Searching For The Power by GinnyMyLove
Chapter 79 by GinnyMyLove
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Harry awoke slowly to the sounds and scents of nine women piled onto the large bed around and on top of him. Closest to him were Hermione on his left shoulder...her rightful place, or so the rest of the girls had argued with her earlier that morning. She being the head wife and now the vessel by which Gabrielle had been gifted to him again for an hour.
Behind her was Ginny wrapped around...Cho? He barely remembered her joining the...festivities the night before though he was fairly certain...positive maybe that they had not actually coupled. There had been plenty of that to go around though and Ginny had pounced on the chance to taste Harry's first crush.
The heads pillowed on his thighs belonged to the twins who had assumed a very submissive personality while in the room with the other girls. He wasn't sure if it was psychological, the way they were raised or magic from their betrothal contract; but they had shut him up pleasantly when he'd tried to question them about it.
On his right arm was a peaceful Pansy smiling in her sleep. She too had been forced into her "rightful place" by the other girls. Behind her Susan was spooning with Luna and at the bottom of the bed were Katie and Daphne
Somewhere he had found the energy and stamina to please them all, though he thanked all the deities he could think of for all of the girls keeping each other "entertained" while he focused on one at a time. Luna was correct in that he would never be able to maintain all of his relationships if his girls were not at least curious about the same sex.
He groaned at his small attempt to stretch, every muscle in his body protested the workout of the night before and he quickly decided this could only be a special occasions event, otherwise he was quite certain they would kill him.
The door to the room of requirement had been protected so that only approved females could gain access, so he was surprised but not overly worried when he heard the door open and then close quickly. Until the three silhouettes spoke and a moment of fear and embarrassment overcame him.
"All right you lot, we have a meeting with the DA in two hours in here and I doubt you want them to walk in on this." ...it was Hannah; not expected but not what scared him.
"And goddess have you never heard of an air freshening charm? It reeks of sex in here!"
Daphne chose to show her dislike of that comment by throwing a pillow at her sister. Astoria in the same room where he was naked was MUCH scarier than Hannah The two together had him envisioning slow torture at Neville's hands. He wouldn't even fight much.
He summoned his glasses from wherever they had ended up and winced again at the third voice. "Ah so lover boy was already awake then, wotcher Harry?"
Hermione groaned into his shoulder. "Go away..."
"You're lucky I can't move or you'd all be batboggied!" Ginny said quietly causing a wave of groans and giggles from the pile of flesh.
"They are quite right though. I wouldn't mind so much being sky-clad when the DA gets here but I would fear we might scar their psyche's." Luna was entirely too lucid this morning in Harry's opinion. He would gladly go back to sleep for a few more hours.
There was a subtle shift in the rooms magic and Harry thought he smelled...water? Just before the bed shifted violently and the world tilted. He came up from the hot sudsy water spluttering and momentarily considered hexing Tonks but was saved the trouble as six wands sent stunners and other low level curses and hexes toward the three interlopers. Somehow Susan and Luna had gotten out of bed before they could be dunked along with the rest.
As the girls traded insults he observed that the room had become a replica of the prefects bath and his girls were all rather cute when they looked murderous...as long as that killer intent was not directed at him. Not to mention suds covered bouncing bits were plentiful, he decided there could be worse ways to wake up.
However the arguing died down as the girls watched Luna and Susan successfully push both Hannah and Astoria into...or rather dragged them along as they jumped into the tub. The spluttering fully dressed pair came up for air and glared at their attackers as Tonks laughed her arse off and stumbled around. Not wanting her to feel left out Harry grinned evilly as he asked the room for a troll leg umbrella stand...which seemed to magically attract the defense professor. She stumbled one last time and landed in the water with the rest of them.
Once she saw the cause of her fall she turned a hate filled glare on him, making him gulp, before getting a mischievous look in her eye. "Oh well, I suppose I could use a bath too."
She promptly vanished her clothes which reappeared hanging over a chair in the corner of the room. Harry gulped.
"Will laugh his arse off when I tell him...'sides nothing here you haven't seen before.." she said as she stood and jiggled, with the smile still in place.
Hannah nodded in agreement and followed suit vanishing her own clothing, her breasts immediately bobbing to the surface and playing peekaboo with him before he wrenched his eyes away. Thankfully Astoria was still...
"Screw it, Neville will just have to understand." With that she looked to Tonks who smiled widely before vanishing the girls clothes as well; before she could duck below the water.
Harry was momentarily too stunned to turn away and the girls blush betrayed her brash attitude but she didn't look away as she stood facing him, displaying a very nice set of breasts with soap suds slowly sliding their way over her suddenly erect nipples. Daphne was the one who turned his head away with an arched eyebrow. "I don't particularly like the idea Harry but I'd give it a go if you'd like to convince her. Hell with the twins and Fleur you could go for the sister hat trick.
He immediately sank to the bottom to cover his blush. It didn't help any when Gabrielle chimed in that her sister was welcome to try him if he was willing. He momentarily thought about not coming up but the blurry view of so much naked flesh below the water quickly reminded him how much he had to live for...embarrassment aside. He started to stand back up to get a better view.
It was unfortunately at this point that the castle groaned out loud and a spluttering Harry looked to Tonks for confirmation of what his gut was telling him.
"The wards just fell!" Tonks said with eyes wide as she scrambled toward the edge of the bath.
Harry raced naked into the hall where he met his first death eater, it took almost no concentration to disable the man with a single bolt of lightning. The mask fell away revealing Theo Nott twitching on the floor. Harry's aura began to flare visibly until Hermione caught up to him holding both her clothes and his.
"Not now Hermione!"
She spun him around forcefully, "Harry. Clothes. Now!" She shouted at him pointing at his crotch.
Harry blushed before with a wave of his hand he re-clothed himself as well as Hermione, once again leaving off underthings. The rest of the women emerged half naked and attempting to put themselves in order, with a wave they were all presentable again and Tonks smiled at him as she raced by.
"Got to find a floo and figure out what the bloody hell is going on!"
"That was rather thoughtless of her though wasn't it? Certainly the floo has been blocked before this attack?" Susan asked as she tucked her blouse in beneath her sweater. It was rather drafty in the castle in February and all the girls were thankful for the extra layer of clothing since they were sans underthings at the moment.
Harry spun around before a thought crossed his mind and he sent a quick Patronus messenger to Tonks Once the stag was on its way he cleared his throat. "The walls are shaking, the wards are down and I just singed a death eater. Who thinks the castle is under attack?" All hands were raised. "Alright then..."
Harry fished his bottle of Felix out of his shirt and the girls did the same as they saw what he had in mind. Unbreakable glass bottles tinkled against jade lightning bolts until everyone was holding theirs. "Alright then, time to put old Sluggy's brewing to the test." he uncorked his and raised it in mock joviality. "Cheers!"
All of them downed their potion before a feeling of...rightness fell over them. "This is amazing! I feel like I could do anything!" Hermione said with a smile.
Luna was next to comment, "It is rather lovely isn't it?"
Ginny had a rather different reaction, much like Harry's, "Hell yeah, lets go kick some death wanker arse!"
The other girls giggled at her antics and Harry smiled at her before tilting his head to the side. "Hermione, you know those books on Animagus transformation I memorized?"
She looked at him strangely, "Yes..."
"I'm going to go on ahead, you all stay with me if you can, otherwise make sure to use your formations. If there is any chance Voldemort is here I'll send a Patronus messenger to get us together for the plan."
"But where do you think you are going without us?" Pansy asked.
Harry just smiled...before morphing into an overly large, blood colored wolf with green eyes. He licked Luna quickly before dashing off down the hall and turning down the stairs with a howl. All of the girls turned toward Luna for an explanation.
"Oh that's just Pup, don't worry about it. We have our orders, shall we go...kick some death wanker arse?"
"Hell yeah!" Ginny cried before rushing off with the other women in tow.
They dragged a spluttering Hermione with them down the hall complaining about not even attempting the transformation until you knew your form.
Pup raced down the hallways and stairs, sniffing the air and disemboweling the random Death Eater as he came across them. Apparently the only ones in the school at the moment were students but the wolf was not taking any chances.
He raced out of the castle and down the long drive towards Hogsmeade, his powerful body taking long strides and quickly closing the distance to the gate. A shift in the wind told him he was headed in the right direction, the air at the gates reeked of fear and dark magic. The wards had come down too easily and when Harry remembered that 'Hogwarts, a History' said the wards were tied to the Headmaster he cursed, or growled for anyone who didn't speak wolf. Dumbledore being gone meant it was that much easier to breech the castle.
Thankfully the gates were still locked and for some reason none of the Death Eaters had thought to bring brooms with them. The wolf was barely in sight before he jumped the gate and landed amongst the five or six death eaters who had drained themselves taking down some of the most impressive wards in the world. Pup made short work of those before racing once more toward the village.
As he hit the main street through town Harry transformed back into himself and looked around with a snarl on his face, even as his eyes went black and shadows coalesced around him. His hands began to spark with insane dark energy and he turned around to look at the...battle?
What the hell was going on?
In his limited field of vision he saw several knocked out Death Eaters as well as a few dead ones, he cautiously began walking toward the center of town and the sound of spellfire. Outside of the Three Broomsticks he found the DA and Black Guard lazily casting curses to tie the shoelaces of Death Eaters, at least those who weren't accidentally hexing each other as they tripped over their robes or running away in fear.
He caught Blaise's eye who looked momentarily scared out of his shorts before his cool demeanor returned. "I see you finally deigned it necessary to join the party Lord Black?"
Ron turned toward the name after hogtying the latest Death Eater with a smile, before he commented, "Bloody Hell mate! Whats with the theatrics?"
Harry realized what he meant and quickly calmed down enough for his eyes to clear and the lightning to stop crackling in his hands. His anger and instinct for protection was quickly replaced with confusion. "Huh?"
Blaise smiled, "All that training combined with a dose of Felix and they didn't know what hit them...honestly it was a bit boring."
Several pop's of Apparation had Harry spinning quickly with wands out before he was unexpectedly knocked off his feet by a redheaded missile. "You bloody bastard! First you run off and leave us AGAIN and then you don't leave us any arse to kick!"
The other girls chuckled along with the DA, the Black Guard were a little more disciplined and simply smiled. "Hey, its not my fault!"
The twins each offered him a hand and helped him off the ground as Ginny rolled off. Pansy was next to speak. "Which part? The running off or the not leaving us anyone to beat up?"
"Actually the kicking arse part would be our fault Gin, sorry. Felix plus training equals target rich environment." Ron said with a grin.
Ginny poked Harry in the chest, "You still left us again."
Trying to change the subject Harry stuttered out a question, "How'd you get down here so quickly? I thought Apparation was impossible on Hogwarts grounds?"
Hermione rolled her eyes, "Honestly Harry, how did we know there was an attack anyway?"
"Oh..." Harry said feeling sheepish, "I guess the Anti-Apparation wards came down too...so why were the Death Eaters just sitting there when I got to the gate?"
"Luck Potion...honestly Harry, keep up!" Astoria said with a smile. Neville took that moment to leave the crowd and come hug his girls, initiating a public display with both of them for the first time.
"Well I for one am glad you were safe up in the castle." Neville said softly.
Both girls blushed and Neville suddenly looked concerned...as did Harry. "What?" he asked.
"We'll talk about it later dear." Hannah said before snogging him hard enough to take his mind off the subject.
Harry looked around feeling...left out? Empty?... His hands were clenching and unclenching and he was gritting his teeth, wondering why he felt so...bloody awful after such a decisive victory. Just then his newly Animagus enhanced eyes caught movement behind a barrel and he pointed his hand.
A scraggly looking rat with a silver paw came flying across the road, transforming back into an equally scraggly looking man as his throat was pressed into Harry's palm. Upon contact with the man Harry's eyes darkened once more and small jolts of electricity sparked over Pettigrew's throat. "Wormtail..."
Granted, this was a man who had faced Cruciatus at the end of Voldemort's wand, but for the first time since Hogwarts, Peter Pettigrew soiled himself. "Harry! How w-wonderful to see y...erk!" He was cut off as Harry closed his fist a bit.
"Where are the rest of you? Is this all of the Death Eaters?"
Pettigrew gurgled a response and Pansy cleared her throat, Harry snapped his head in her direction and his eyes cleared as he looked upon his harem. Still, Pansy was impressed enough to slip into her role as Lady Black. "Milord, I'm afraid he cannot answer you if you crush his voice box or block his airway."
Harry nodded and relaxed his grip just a bit, his eyes going black once more as he turned his attention back to the gasping man.
"This...is all...of us..."
"But what about all the recruits you picked up at Durmstrang?" Hermione asked.
"Answer the nice lady." Harry said menacingly.
"Half of them have deserted and we haven't had time to hunt them down, many of them died at Beauxbatons when the Shadow tore through our..." His eyes lit with, if possible, even more fear as he glanced into Harry's eyes. "You! You killed them!" He began to wiggle and try to break free, he tried to transform back into a rat but Harry jolted him with lightning midway snapping him back to human form with a squeak.
"Where is Voldemort?"
"...I-I'll take you there! I can't tell you but I can let you in!" Harry sneered and Wormtail's bowls attempted to void themselves once more but to no affect. "He's injured badly by something you did yesterday! He sent us to kill you knowing it was a suicide mission just to stop he pain! You can kill him now!"
Wormtail's silver hand raised toward his throat as it recognized his betrayal, before it could get there however Harry grabbed it with his other hand and his little dragon friend made of Fiendfyre quickly burned through it before disappearing in a puff of blue smoke. "Can't have you offing yourself before you are useful for once in your life, now can we?"
He turned to his ladies and smiled, "Mione, do you think you are ready with the plan in a non-combat situation?"
"Good, then we are leaving. Everyone touch me" With that he looked Pettigrew in the eye and dove into his brain...it was a vile thing full of self loathing and hatred for the things he had done in his life and the choices he had made. Harry was half tempted to forgive him...but the other half was too pissed off at the moment. He quickly found what he was looking for and backed out, stunning the man before dropping him. "Ready?" Nods from all his girls indicated they were ready, and with a thought they disappeared from Hogsmeade.
They reappeared in the drawing room of a run down mansion, Harry looked confused for a second before forcibly shoving the feeling away.
"Where are we?" Pansy asked.
"I don't know...and if I did know I couldn't say. Its under Fidelius."
"Then how did you get us here?" Hermione asked, ever inquisitive.
Harry began looking around the room as he answered, "I saw this room in Wormtail's head, I could teleport us here no matter what wards were in place and apparently I can get through a Fidelius if I can see the inside of the place. I still cant tell you where it is because I don't know, but if I had to guess I'd say we are somewhere near Little Hangleton."
"We are definitely studying you." Hermione said as she followed him toward the stairs, the other girls in her wake, wands out and spells ready to fly.
"I told you, you can study me all you want as often as you want." He turned and wiggled his eyebrows, "But not until you figure out elekticity, and oh yeah, after we get rid of Tom here."
At the top of the stairs they turned left and stopped at the end of the hall. Harry motioned for them to hold position as he opened the door quietly. Inside, on a large round bed in the middle of the room, lay the pathetic form of Tom Riddle Jr, sheets soaked with sweat and blood, and gasping for every breath. Harry motioned for the girls to set up around the perimeter of the room.
"Wormtail! You've failed me for the last time...Crucio." A faint red spell shot toward Harry, who simply shifted two inches to the right before casting his first offensive spell.
"Expelliarmus." he deftly caught the Yew wand and pocketed it. "Not Wormtail I'm afraid."
Voldemort focused his eyes toward his foe...and laughed. "Ah Potter, here to finish me at last? Please...end my suffering, make me spirit once more...I cannot die, but I can be free of this torment!" He then began a coughing/laughing fit which lasted a good minute.
"Are you quite done yet Tom? And who said anything about killing you? You think I want to wait until you can get a body back to take care of you again?"
"It's no use boy! I have become immortal!"
"Yeah yeah, Horcruxes blah blah blah...guess what, we did some research and found one of the only spells that might be considered darker than that. Wanna guess what it is?"
Harry pulled Gabrielle's pendant from his shirt and over his head to dangle over Voldemort's form. The thing couldn't even move anything except his eyes, he didn't even need to be restrained. The girls began chanting from their places around the room in a variation of calling the elements. Earth was called and the room was filled with the smell of meadow and freshly turned dirt, Fire was called and the room's temperature rose momentarily, Water was called and the smell of the ocean permeated the air along with a feeling of cool mist on their skin, Wind brought a breeze and a chill to the room and Spirit brought them some of the joy of Phoenix Song. Once the corners were called the remaining two girls, the twins, began the ritual to bind Voldemort's remaining soul by calling on a very old, chaos oriented goddess. The power in the room was palpable and for the first time in a long time, fear was present in Tom Riddle's eyes.
The final part of the ritual was up to Harry...and as he looked down upon the broken, pathetic, unnatural form of Lord Voldemort he sighed. Somewhere deep inside him his anger turned to pity, not forgiveness but pity for what the mans life had become. "I bind you Thomas Marvallo Riddle. Bind you from harming others and bind you from harming yourself. To this token I bind your soul that it may never again be used to harm a living being."
The jade began to glow eerily as Harry repeated the binding, Voldemort looked as though he were trying to shout, or to struggle, but his eyes were locked with Harry's. Upon the third reciting a black and sick looking stream of spirit began to leach through the air from the body on the bed toward the pendant. Tom Riddle Jr wasn't even able to scream as the light began to dim in his eyes.
"Good bye Tom." With that the body dissolved into its base elements as the magic that held it together was sucked away.
Harry looked at the pulsing jade pendant and nodded to Padma and Parvati who turned as one and began dismissing the elements to close the circle. Once they were done the girls rushed in to see the pendant, all ignoring the goo on the bed.
"Is that really it?" Ginny seemed to sum up what all of them were feeling.
"I...think so?" Harry said quietly.
"It all feels so..." Hermione started to say and Pansy finished for her, "anticlimactic? Hell yeah it does."
"The death of Harry's nemesis and the worst Dark Lord in a century or more shouldn't feel so...hollow..." Susan chimed in.
"Is it the luck potion? Making it all too easy?" Padma asked.
"Not that that's a bad thing!" Parvati added.
Luna shrugged as she turned toward the door, "Well, I suggest we get back to the castle. We are missing two Death Eaters and only one of them is accounted for."
Harry and the girls looked at each other before following Luna down the stairs and out the front door to the front of Riddle Manor. "Grab on, were going back the fast way!"
The group reappeared in Hogsmeade to find the captured Death Eaters tied and lined up or bodies covered in their cloaks in the middle of the main street. Tonks was helping the Aurors account for which was which and who was who, and spun around when they arrived. Her face instantly went serious. "Is it done then?"
"It is." Harry said.
She then turned back around and went on with her work, Harry quickly located Professor McGonagall
who seemed at a loss as what to do in town. No students or townspeople had been harmed in the least during the brief fight and she was dreading getting back up to the school to start paperwork on the unidentified death eater students Harry had taken care of earlier.
"Mr. Potter!" She looked genuinely relieved to see him, "We had wondered where you and your little group had gotten to. I dare say if your dose of potion worked as well as mine I needn't have worried."
Just then the potion began to wear off, the world seemed to twist on itself for a moment and as a whole those who had taken began to groan in a staggered fashion. "Uh...I think Professor Slughorn somehow made that an extra strong batch...but the side effect is sudden loss of euphoria. I think I'm going to throw up..." Hermione said as she promptly did just that.
"Quite..." The Professor said and she held a handkerchief up to her lips. "I cannot express how much that meant to us and to this fight though Mr. Potter..."
"Min, I think in this situation we can drop the formalities don't you?"
She smiled at him, "Indeed Harry, Indeed. So...You seem particularly intact at the moment...I take it you were unable to find Tom?"
Harry smiled and held up his hand which still clutched the chain with the pendant hanging from it. "Actually I brought a souvenir, Tom Riddle is for all intents and purposes, dead."
Luna chimed in, "At least for the moment."
The group turned on her as one, "Excuse me?" Harry said quietly.
"Oh don't worry, that piece of Tom Riddle will definitely not bother us ever again. I just meant it was theoretically possible that he could come back somehow."
"Why doesn't that make me feel better Luna?" Hermione asked and Pansy nodded her agreement.
"Don't worry, I don't See anything, I just don't like to deal in absolutes."
Hermione began to rub her temples and the rest of the group groaned slightly as Harry turned back toward the grimacing professor. "Like she said, this piece of riddle is the one that has caused us the most trouble, and this piece will not be coming back."
"Very well...the other professors are up at the school taking care of...things..."
"And Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
"Has not yet returned from his excursion...I daresay he will be rather surprised to come home to a victory party."
"I don't think so..." Luna said with wide eyes as she looked up toward the castle, Harry followed her gaze and found the Deaths Head floating above the astronomy tower.
"Draco!" Harry shouted, he wanted to kick himself for wasting time when that little ferret was still loose in the castle.
With hardly a thought he disappeared.
"Avada Kedavra!" Draco shouted and the green light jumped from his wand to the Headmasters chest, tossing him over the edge just as Harry appeared behind the Slytherin. With hardly a thought Harry cast force lightning at Draco hard enough to fling him nearly from the tower after Dumbledore, he was saved by the low wall, though he was still under the effects of the magic and "saved" could be argued.
"Draco! Why?" Harry didn't know it, but the tears running down his cheeks were as black as his eyes. "He never did anything but fight for you!"
The magic let off and Draco gasped enough air to speak. "It was all you Potter! You killed my father and turned my mother against me, you stole my family name and legacy! You took Pansy, you took everything! Killing the old man was my last shot at saving my own skin from the Dark Lord!"
A coughing fit took over shaking his frame as he rolled to his hands and knees. Harry kicked him in the ribs knocking him onto his back and pointing the Elder Wand at the boys nose. "Your Dark Lord is dead, I just finished him off not twenty minutes ago. If you'd waited a bloody second I might have let you live!" Harry shouted at him.
"Kill me then! I don't have anything left! The old goat was trying to tell me he could reform me! How he could get me back to the light, I could go live with my mother and be a good little boy! HA!" That laugh turned into more coughing as the advanced cruciatus-like after-affects of force lightning wreaked havoc on his body. "You want to know what his last words were?" The boy laughed even though it hurt him to do so, "Draco my dear boy, if you wanted to kill me you would have done it by now."
"Why kill him then? Why didn't you come for me?" Harry said quietly...already beginning to blame himself for a death he wasn't even willing to accept yet. Maybe he had taken his Felix before going on the Horcrux hunt and it had still been effective when he went over the edge? Maybe Draco missed...
"He gave you everything! You were his precious little light side prodigy! It's his fault you ever lived long enough to ruin my life! You were next don't worry!"
The reality of Dumbledore's death was beginning to sink in and Harry simply couldn't hold onto his rage. "But why..."
"Just kill me and get it over with Potter..."
The tone in his voice betrayed his words and Harry for the third time that day felt pity for his enemy...he simply didn't have it in him at the moment to fight Draco any longer. "No."
Draco grabbed his wand and made his way unsteadily to his feet, "FIGHT ME!" He shot a stunner that Harry simply sidestepped without even thinking about it.
"No...I'm done with all this..."
"FIGHT ME! COWARD!" he shot a sickly looking acid yellow spell but Harry blocked it with a wave of his hand.
"DAMNIT FIGHT ME! CRUCIO!"
Harry didn't even feel the curse wash over him, either Draco didn't really want to hurt him, or he didn't have much power left to put into it or a combination of the two. Harry turned and faced him, and with a casual wave Draco was encased in rope from neck to ankles.
"No Draco...I won't fight you, but I can't let you hurt anyone else."
"What do you mean? Just kill me already!" he practically screamed as tears began to fall.
Harry shook his head and quickly came up with a substitute spell for the one he had used on Riddle. "I bind you Draco NoName, bind you against harming yourself or harming others."
"What the hell do you think you are doing?" The blond shouted.
"I bind your magic Draco NoName, that you can never again use it to harm others or harm yourself. So mote it be."
A flash of light from Harry hit Draco, then returned to Harry before Draco fell sideways onto the ground, losing access to all of his magic at once having sent his already shocked system into system overload, he passed out.
Harry walked over to the edge of the tower and looked down, there at the base he saw a large group of people gathered around a body...he took a step, disappearing into thin air, and reappearing at ground level taking the next step that led him to Dumbledore's broken form, the crowd parting like water before him. He knelt and began to cry clear tears this time. He felt hands on his back and looked up to see his girls had joined him.
As darkness began to fall Professor McGonagall, fresh tears on her cheeks, lit her wand with a Lumos and raised it into the air. The rest of those present did likewise in the wizard version of a candlelight vigil. Each in their own way remembering the headmaster and grieving in equal measure to how well they knew him.
"He's gone Harry, there is no reason for us to stay here." Luna said quietly. "Let's go get cleaned up and tend to our grief together."
"Grimmauld Place I think, not the castle." Hermione said and Harry nodded as he stood up. With a glance at Professor McGonagall who nodded he popped away taking his girls with him. The wards were still down so Neville, Hannah and Astoria, as well as Blaise and Daphne all Apparated to their own refuges as well.
Three days later Harry sat on the couch in the multipurpose room at Grimmauld Place, arms crossed and a dark look on his face. If their were a magical thermometer that could measure the level of brood in the air it would read scorching. Harry Potter was pissed.
Over the weekend his girls had talked to him, tried to help him out, tried to figure out why he was in such a bad mood. It wasn't Dumbledore's death that had done it, Harry was sad that he was gone, but he had already known the old man wouldn't likely make it to the next school year due to the curse form the ring...
"The Ring!" Harry said as his eyes went wide and he jumped up off the couch. He quickly pulled the ring off of his hand where he had taken to wearing it, and without pausing to think about it he turned it over three times repeating, "Let me see them."
The air shimmered as the wraith's of Lily, James and Dumbledore appeared and Harry fell to his knees with tears streaming down his face. He couldn't speak through the lump in his throat as his mother smiled down at him, ghostly tears sparkling on her own cheeks. "Hello Harry..."
"Hey son..." James appeared to be in the exact same state as Harry, but had more experience in concealing it. His eyes were wet and his smile seemed to hide the sob that wanted to escape at finally meeting his son.
"Harry my boy...I did not expect to see you quite so soon, but I am not displeased." The old man looked better than he had in the past year and was smiling widely. That is until Lily reached over and smacked him on the back of the head.
"Don't you talk to my son that way you old codger! You nearly ruined his life trying to turn him into your weapon against Voldemort!"
"Lils leave it be, I doubt Harry called us here just to watch you lay into the old man." James said with a knowing smile.
"No." Harry struggled through the lump as he stood up, "Please, that actually sounds rather entertaining."
"That's my boy!" James crowed pumping his fist into the air, meanwhile Dumbledore looked like someone took his lemon drop.
"I had thought we were past this..."
Harry smiled, his heart lifting at the casual banter which reminded him nothing of his encounter with Cedric. "Oh we are, that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy having mum rip into you. Merlin knows I've wished someone would lay into you or Professor Snape on my behalf over the years."
Lily let a sob escape as she turned her face into James' shoulder, her shoulders shaking as he held her. "Don't mind her Harry...watching as you've grown up without us has been hard..."
"You watched me?" Harry said with his eyes going wide.
James chuckled, "Well we learned to turn our backs this summer, but before that we saw everything Harry...by the way if you don't kill the Dursleys I know a poltergeist or two who are looking to cross back over..."
"James!" Lily smacked his chest, "We can wait patiently for them to join us and THEN we can punish them. Having them killed is too good for them, besides...she is still my sister and Harry's only family..."
Harry coughed to get their attention but was holding a huge smile on his face, "I love you mum and dad, I barely remember you...but I never didn't love you."
Lily started crying again and James smiled and buried his face in her hair, ostensibly to comfort her but Harry saw the tell tale dampness on his eyelashes. "We love you too son..." His father choked out softly.
"Harry I do hope you aren't overly sad about my early departure?" Dumbledore chimed in, possibly in an attempt to leave James some dignity. "I can't think why else you would have called me here."
"I just wanted to know how you want me to handle Draco..." he trailed off.
Dumbledore's ghost nodded, "I think you have done very well so far, I trust your judgment in this matter. Aside from your life, Draco may be one of my largest failures, I do not think I have any right to meddle further."
Harry snorted at that getting an accusing glare from his mother which still somehow gave him an instinctual need to apologize to his mum. "Sorry..."
"It's okay baby..."
Harry then realized something was missing, "Where's Sirius?"
Sirius tumbled out of the Death Arch and down the stairs into...clouds? All around him was startlingly white light without a source, and clouds hung around the floor like fog up to waist level. He quickly got what bearings he could and stood up looking around.
"Well shit...I guess I'm dead..."
"You know Padfoot you really shouldn't curse like that in heaven."
Sirius spun toward the voice and saw two people walking toward him. "Prongs?" he asked unable to believe his eyes. "Lils?"
"That was a dastardly thing to do leaving my son in the middle of a battle with all those Death Eaters! He is probably down there right now blaming himself and trying to do something stupid like avenge you!" Lily said with a scowl Sirius remembered perfectly from his school days.
"Lils I'm sorry..I don't know what happened, I was fighting Bella and then I got hit with...a stunner? How the hell did a stunner kill me?"
"Death Veil." James said as if that explained it all.
Lily nodded, "It's quite an amazing device if insidious... Honestly what your family was thinking when they made that.."
Two more shapes approached and Sirius turned to them with a frown as one began to speak. "Well according to the Grimoir it was made by a Black necromancer several centuries ago at the request of the ministry as a "humane" form of capital punishment. You can't really blame the Blacks for that..." Mooney said as his arm lay across Nym's shoulders.
Sirius was looking between them in confusion, "Wait...how do you know what was in my family Grimoir...and why would a Black care if capital punishment was humane? And what the hell are you doing here? You were both winning your fights when I...fell through the veil or whatever!"
"Your family is responsible for many ugly things, for instance did you know the ritual used to revive Voldemort was partially taken from the Blacks and completed by Tom Riddle?" Mooney answered him.
Sirius shook his head as James continued where Mooney left off, "In any case, you see what the Blacks didn't tell the Ministry is that the so-called 'Death Veil' really only stores a soul for all eternity. But its possible to get someone back by trading one soul for another."
Sirius nodded, "See that's more like my dear old family, build in a backdoor way of getting people out without telling the Ministry. And just for kicks make it a really dark ritual requiring a sacrifice of a human soul. One thing I don't get though..."
"Whats that?" James asked innocently.
"How in the hell did you hear your fathers voice well enough to mimic it? And who the hell is playing Lily?"
"Damn it!" James cursed and Lily began laughing.
"Hermione told you he'd figure it out."
"Yeah but he could have at least waited til we thought we'd convinced him to burst our bubble..."
James waved his hand and the light went out, another wave and the fog began to lift into the darkness. Before long the torchlight made things visible in the Veil Room at the Department of Mysteries as everyone's eyes adjusted to the light difference. Lily waved her wand and her green eyes turned brown even as her hair got a shade lighter and freckles appeared on her cheeks. James shrank an inch and his eyes turned green but nothing else about him changed except his voice.
"Welcome back Sirius." Harry said with a huge smile.
"We weren't bullshitting you about the veil being made by your family, or the backdoor."
"Harry! Who the hell did you kill to exchange for my soul? I would rather be dead than benefit from that ritual!" Sirius shouted.
Ginny put a hand on his arm to calm him, "Would you believe we traded you for Voldemort?"
"I don't care who you...wait what?"
Harry nodded, "I was sick of carrying him around anyway, he always gave me an icky feeling like I needed to take a shower with bleach and a toilet brush. He's where he belongs now, plus, no worries about him escaping from that pendant."
"Huh?" Sirius asked intelligently.
Hermione and the rest of the girls appeared having closed the circle they used to perform the ritual, "You do realize just how wrong it is to have Ginny play the part of your mother right?"
"I don't follow?" Harry said.
Hermione rolled her eyes, "Ginny being a redhead and many might call her a dead ringer for Lily except for the eyes and freckles..."
Mooney nodded, "Especially when seen with you."
"Exactly, honestly it didn't occur to me before because I wasn't looking for it, but seeing her revert from Lily to Gin does kinda make your Oedipus complex rather obvious."
Ginny frowned at her girlfriend as Sirius continued to look back and forth in confusion, "Are you trying to tell me we shouldn't be together?" Her voice was tinged with just a bit of sadness.
"Of course she isn't Gin!" Harry answered as he kissed her softly, "You aren't my mum and I never thought of you as my mum. Besides, even if it is true I'm not the only one with 'Mother Issues' now am I?"
He said this while looking Hermione in the eye and the girl blushed scarlet before shaking her head, She turned to Sirius in an obvious attempt to change the subject, "Why don't we get back to Grimmauld Place and get you cleaned up before we answer any more questions."
"Um okay..." The poor Animagus said wishing he had any clue as to what they were talking about.
Pansy slid into Harry's side and kissed him on the cheek, "I'm very proud of you for performing such a dark ceremony in such a Grey way milord.
Sirius looked even more confused as he looked between Ginny and Pansy, and then Hermione kissed his other cheek. "Lets get home."
"Home?" Sirius asked.
"...So in short, we needed to exchange a soul to retrieve a soul and we just happened to have Voldemort's piece of soul laying around so..." Hermione trailed off having exhausted herself overly explaining everything that had happened to bring Sirius back. Before that Harry had told him all about how they had defeated Voldemort so that it would make sense how in the world they were carrying the dark lord around on a necklace.
Sirius sat there quietly for a moment thinking it over, "And you used one of the bloody Deathly Hallows to talk to your mum and dad and that's how you were able to mimic them so perfectly without Polyjuice?" Harry shrugged and nodded, "And I'll bet James put you up to this didn't he?"
"Yeah I suddenly noticed that mum, dad and Dumbledore were there but you weren't. At which point they told me you never quite made it across. It took another couple of days to go through the Grimoir's to find anything useful and then seeing as how I was the Man-Who-Conquered, I hate that name by the way," Sirius nodded and smiled, "I was able to commandeer the death chamber for a few hours to dispose of Voldemort."
"And they have Peter in custody?"
"Yes, and he has been singing like a Wockler too, you shouldn't have any trouble coming back to life, so to speak." Luna said with a grin.
Sirius eyed the girl warily for a moment before nodding, "Well it's not the furthest-fetched story I've ever heard so I'm willing to accept it, however there is one thing you seem to have left out of the story."
"What's that? I'm certain we went over all the pertinent points!" Hermione said looking over the notes she had prepared just for this presentation.
Sirius looked at all the females in the room and nodded, "Pertinent points is exactly what I'm talking about," His eyebrow wiggle had him suddenly moving on before he could be cursed, "Would someone please explain to me which one of you is Harry's girlfriend? Because if I were to suggest what I'm starting to believe I am pretty sure I would end up a pile of post-hexed goo..."
Harry smiled at his girls, "What them? This is Pansy Parkinson, soon to be Lady Black. This is Padma and Parvati Patil soon to be Potter and Potter by contract. Luna Lovegood, Susan Bones and of course you know Ginny and Hermione...also a future Potter. Sirius my harem, harem Sirius Black."
Sirius was crying, "I'm so proud..."
Harry Potter was sitting on the couch brooding again when Hermione walked in and sat down beside him. "Harry you've been like this for days now."
"I don't know, I'm just...angry."
"But we've already been over all of this. Dumbledore would have died soon anyway, Draco can't even try to kill himself so he has to live with his mistakes in a Muggle prison, all of the death eaters but one are dead and he is in the long term spell damage ward at St. Mungo's right next to Lockhart, Voldemort is gone and Sirius is back!"
Harry snarled at the far wall, "Can't a bloke just be angry for no reason? Geez..."
Hermione smiled at him, "You're brooding Harry."
"What of it?"
"You're doing it out of habit aren't you?"
He visibly calmed down and shrank back into the couch, "Maybe...it's just..."
"I know Harry, it's just that it all felt too easy, too cliche, you feel like you were robbed of a fight, blah blah blah. You didn't want that fight anyway remember?"
He shrugged into the couch cushion, "Maybe..."
Hermione stood and held out her hands, "I guess I'll just have to get you out of that bad mood wont I?"
Harry pretended to ponder the idea for a moment before he shot to his feet and tossed her over his shoulder. "Harry!" She squealed.
"Hush Pet! I thought you wanted to make me happy?"
"Of course I do Master."
He smacked her bottom with his free hand getting a moan/squeal from her, "None of that, we've talked about that Pet."
"Sorry Master." She said playfully.
I know, I know...the chapter sucks...but I had to finish this damned story! Maybe it will get a rewrite some day, but I figured if I was going cliché I might as well embrace it!
It was forced, but its been on hiatus and I promised I wouldn't abandon it so I haven't.
There may be more additional scene's / epilogues to come, but for now it is COMPLETE!
Honestly..I feel like crying now...
Much Much later Authors Note: Many people as "what about snape?" "wasn't gabby in the necklace?" Snape was mentioned if you look for it, The only Death Eater left is in the long term care ward next to "Joined Up Letters" Lockhart. Gabby used the necklace as a sort of talisman for a time but once Harry wore it she moved into his body, both were meant to be like a horcrux but made with love.
Maybe...MAYBE...I'll write one more chapter Epilogue to the Epilogue just to close these gaps...