"Do you hear that petite?" Sasha spoke and for the first time since she started healing her mentor, Emma did look up. Why was she distracting her from her most important of tasks? Still, Emma noticed that the horizon was bathed in indigo instead of the blackness. Night was turning to day and with it Sasha's time was running desperately short. She was not healing like she was supposed to.
"I hear nothing." Emma responded in a slightly annoyed tone, with an obvious underlining of fear. Sasha's delicate, blood covered hand reached up and guided her protégée's young face so that their eyes met. She didn't want to meet her mentor's eye. In them would be the truth that there was little more she could do for Sasha. She would make her accept that fate had in store and Emma wasn't ready to give up just yet. Despite her brain willing her eyes to remain focused on the task at hand, they followed Sasha's silent will. As soon as Emma saw the acceptance looking back at her, tears started to well up in her own eyes.
"That's right, only silence little one. The battle is over." Sasha informed her. This new should have brought her comfort, but in its place was more fear and anxiety. Her new family could very well be dead, and Sasha wasn't looking much better. It was cruel that everything in her life was finally falling into place, only to have it ripped away.
A long cool breeze glided over the hill side and with it came the distant cheering of the victors. A half smile crept across Emma's face. In her heart she knew that her side had one and her family had not been broken. She knew that other's would not be so lucky and she would morn for the fallen, she just hopped Sasha was not going to be counted as one of them.
"Why aren't you healing?" Emma sobbed out in desperation.
"I suspect it's the dagger," Sasha coughed out and winced from the pain the act caused.
"I don't understand?"
"that evil dagger was crafted for the sole purpose of robbing Succubi of their power. It has obviously taken my ability to heal quickly. Lily it seems has done too much damage for my body to overcome. Tell her I hold no ill will, she did what was needed to be done. I have lived a long full life, and on my own terms. I am content to leave this world if it's Goddess Morrigu's wish," Sasha rationalized for her apprentice. Time was running short and there was much she needed to pass on.
"How can you say that?" Emma gasped in disbelief.
"Petite, I never expected to survive this war. That is why I gave Harry the Memory Cabinet and the pensieve. Please remember that at the time, I truly believed that I was going to bear him a daughter, and she would be the one that Orica Zymiti spoke of. If the worst should happen and my clan was wiped out, I wanted him to be able to teach our daughter everything she needed to become a true Succubus. Those memories are now yours. Use them wisely and remember me fondly Petite." Sasha finished as she wiped a falling tear off the young girls cheek.
"NO! You're not giving up!" Emma screamed at her and slapped her hand away. She wasn't ready to give up, even if her mentor was. Emma remembered that she was hit with the dagger but survived. Even if she was only a Succubus Animagus, there just had to be a way. She was the bloody Chosen One after all. The Orica said she was the one to change it all. That's it! How did that go again? Emma closed her eyes trying to remember all the word. The wind whistled and answered her mental plea.
"Lose not faith children and listen to my tale, if we stay true to our hearts, then we will prevail.
What was once stolen will be ours at last, when the King of Serpents arrives at last.
The Matriarch's youngest it will steal, but she is not destined to be his meal.
A jeweled eyed Champion will rise to the task, with only the Blood Moon to light his path.
Teach him our ways for this we must, for he will never betray our trust.
One of will rise with his blood in her veins, what La Fay has taken, she can reclaim.
A bridge between two worlds she will be, only then will the Wizarding World truly see."
Emma's eyes shot open and before her was the misty form of Fleur Delacour. Like Remus, Goddess Marrigu saw fit to let her return if only in a lingering whisper of her form. To lend knowledge to those that knew how to listen and was in desperate need of it. Fleur didn't know why the Goddess found Harry and Emma worthy, and it was not her place to question it. Her time was fleeting so she had to make it quick. Emma followed Fleur's eyes as she looked to the Whomping Willow, then to Lestrange and then back to Sasha, before her eyes again met the child's. Another breeze came and her misty form dissolved away as if it was never there.
The last two lines of the prophecy ran in her hears. Emma's mind went into high gear, as everything fell into place. She was of two worlds and only she could reclaim what La Fey stole from the Succubi. The Whomping Willows sap cured the wound the dagger did to her wing. The first thing Sasha taught her was how to heal, not hurt. She said anyone can hurt someone, but only the truly extraordinary could heal.
Emma looked to the tree Adam had help her. The sap from the Whomping Willow healed her wing, perhaps it would work on Sasha. Then her eyes went to Lestrange. La Fay's dagger was still in her heart, right where her mum left it. Light flickered off the gemstone in the end of the handle. She was sure it was silver before, but it was blood red now. The dagger steals power. Wasn't that what Sasha had said?
That's a Bloodstone! They draw in blood, and the blood of a Succubus and Pureblooded witch resided in it now. Harry had told her Blood Magic was more about intent than actual incantations. Runes only focused its purpose. Emma, on blind faith and hope alone, flew to the Whomping Willow as fast as her wings would carry her. Hopefully, it would remember that she was a friend of Adam's. She landed at its base of its trunk and thankfully it hadn't attacked her.
"Please help me grand and mighty willow. Please lend me your sap, so I may help another as you let Adam help me?" Emma pleaded on her knees to show proper respect. Her answer was silence. She feared she was wasting her time when suddenly she felt something sticky land on her shoulder. She quickly scooped it up and thanked the majestic tree.
Emma's second stop was the body of Bellatrix Lestrange. She took hold the handle of the dagger and gathering her Gryffindor courage pulled it from the evil witch's dead body. Just as she expected not a drop of blood was on the blade. She quickly made her way back over to Sasha.
"What are you doing Petite?" Sasha asked fearfully. Truly dreadful things happen out of desperation, and she didn't want Emma to get lost on that path. Seeing the La Fay dagger refocused the Desory Matriarch's mind. Emma also had a determined look in her eyes. One she had seen too many times in Harry's to not know what that meant. Whatever she was going to do, there would be no talking her out of it.
"Doing that Chosen One thing, what else," Emma answered and used her tail to cut her hand that didn't have sap on it. Blood pooled up, but as she expected it soon was absorbed into the blade and ultimately the Bloodstone. Emma used her fangs to bite down on the Bloodstone and pried it from the dagger. She dropped it into the wound, and then she covered it with the sap from the tree.
The wound started to close and sealed around and locked the bloodstone in place. Her other hand started to bleed again and she placed it over the blood stone. She spared just a quick glance back up at her Succubus mentors angelic face to find her looking back at her with pride. Sasha had faith in her, and that helped her to go on with what she only hopped would work.
"Oh, Lady Justice hear my plea.
What La Fay has stolen dwells in me.
A bridge between two worlds is my fate.
A choice I alone now freely make.
The Matriarch need not suffer anymore.
For her grace I now restore."
Emma got her answer no sooner than the last word escaped her lips. She felt a powerful pull from the Bloodstone, and she gladly released the magic it was calling for. As it drew in more of her magic, Emma reverted back into her human form. The bloodstone was glowing so brightly that Emma closed her eyes to protect them from its intensity. Sasha's body started to rise off of the ground, and Emma slid off of her. She looked up in awe as her mentor floated twenty feet above her. The Bloodstone was still attached to her chest, and it shimmered in the most dazzling manner. The intensity of it grew so great that Emma backed away fearing it would explode at any second.
Sasha's body took on the bloodstones glow so that she became a being of pure light. Then the unimaginable happened. The form of two wings emerged from her back, only to be followed by a long thin tail from her bum. The sight was as entrancing, as it seemed unbefitting that Emma should behold such a majestic sight. She wondered if this was what it looked like when an angel was born. Sasha curled in a ball as if she was drawing something in.
"Glorious Rejuvenation!" Sasha screamed as she threw her head back and her arms and legs out. Hundreds of streams of magical light shot forth from her glowing body. Her peoples long unanswered prayers fulfilled at last, each light seeking out her sister Succubi.
Slowly the light dimmed and Sasha's normal features returned, and her feet descended to the ground by the gentle flapping of her wings. Then her wings and tail retracted back into her body. Her skin tone mirrored Emma's and her hair color changed to a more acceptable copper tone. Sasha held a lock of her hair between two fingers and found it not to her liking. It swiftly took a turquoise tint and she smiled. It was her nature to stand out, not blend in.
"You can Metamorph now? That is totaling wicked!" Emma squealed as she ran up to Sasha and threw her arms around the human looking Succubus. She hugged Emma back just as fiercely. Emma shivered because her human form was not as accepting of the cold as her Succubus form was. Sasha's wings reappeared and wrapped around the two of them for warmth.
"You are the Chosen One, Petite, for you have achieved what many have tried and failed to do.. Now let's go find your family."
Molly Weasley somehow couldn't bring herself to be cheerful despite the fact the battle was over and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was finally dead. The room she was in held too many reminders that victory always came at a price. Too many people she knew from the Order laid dead. Witch and wizards far more skilled than her lost their lives, and to her horror a few students were taken far before their time. Justin Finch-Fletchley met his end stepping between Susan Bones, the girl he secretly loved since his third year, and a Killing Curse.
Padma fought to the bitter end to buy the Council of Elder's time to escape. Since she returned, Parvati silently cried as she cradled her sister's dead body in her arms. Pavarti was badly injured, yet any attempt to give her treatment was met with threats of disembowelment. It was only when Terry Boot limped over to her and the two looked intently in the other's eyes that she relented. Perhaps it was that they had fought together out there that she allowed his presence over others. He moved a clump of dirty and blood matted hair out of her sad tear stained face. Without warning he pulled her head back and shoved a Healing Potion down her throat. Terry's timing was impeccable, as she received the healing potion just in time to save her leg from permanent nerve damage. Instead of cursing him, she pulled him down to her and rested her head on his shoulder. In the years to come, Parvati would look back on this bittersweet moment fondly as how the father of her children won her heart without saying a word.
Seamus aptitude for Pyrotechnic Magic saved the life of a Succubus, but most likely cost him the use of his eyes by human and magical standards. His noble act didn't go unrewarded, the very Succubus that he saved entered the Marauders Lair and as if following his scent made her way to him. She looked no older that sixteen, yet showed the signs that she had fought long and hard throughout the night. She sat down on Seamus's bed and she guided his hand to her face.
"Are you hurt?" he asked in a deep Irish accent when he felt the cut across her cheek. There was fresh blood on his finger tip. She added a tear that ran down her cheek from his tender words of concern for her. She brought it to her mouth and whispered something he couldn't understand. The mixture glowed and she guided his finger as she applied it to her soft lips. She started to sing in an unheard and mystical song with a tenor that made everyone that heard it feel uplifted. The bandages around Seamus's eyes were removed and she kissed each of his burnt eyes. Then she laid down next to his and wrapped them both up in her wings. Seamus quickly drifted off to sleep as his siren continued her song, and the glowing lip prints on his eye lids healed him in a way that human magic never could.
It was a sight to behold, and Molly soon recognized the presence of someone next to her. It turned out to be her son's lover. She was still having a hard time believing that Charlie had an intimate relationship with Narcissa Malfoy. Although she went by Cissy Black now, it was still hard for Molly to wrap her mind around. The woman has been an enemy of her family for as long as she could remember. Judging by the way the woman treated her son, and her son treated her back, it clearly is not the case anymore. Then there was the fact, that she helped free Ginny from Lestrange Manor.
'Thank you," Molly finally spoke, but couldn't keep her unease out of her tone, "I know you risked a great deal to help save my daughter, and-" Molly started but she lost her voice.
"If there is anyone you should be thanking it would be Lily and Harry. He was the one that saved her life, and Lily was the one that healed her up. Her brilliance with healing salves is the reason Ginny doesn't have any scars. They both did so much more than I," Cissy told a gasping Molly.
"I thought Tonks save Ginny?"
"What you have to understand is that Lily, Sirius and Harry were still being hunted at the time. Tonks went looking for Sirius to help her, but Harry was the only one home at the time. He refused to let her go alone, and it was a good thing he did, or my sister would have killed Tonks and completed that wretched ritual on Ginny."
"H-he was the one that saved her?" Molly choked out in disbelief. Her daughter had endured so much that she did not know about. In Ginny's greatest time of need, it was the Potter's that were there for her. She now understood why Ginny was so fiercely protective of them.
"If you want the details, you're going to have to ask them yourself. I will tell you this, Harry could have killed Bellatrix that night, but he traded Greyback her life for your daughter's. He would have died before let anything happen to her, and she was a complete stranger to him at the time."
"I never knew. How could he risk so much for someone he didn't even know?" Molly asked truly wanting to know. She knew just how rare that kind of gallantry is in this world. She had judged him so harshly, and unjustly. The shame of that tore at her heart. How could she even begin to apologize for that?
"Molly, that's just his nature, and one I believe he inherited from his mother. I know you and Lily don't see eye to eye on a few matters, but she literally brought your daughter back from the brink of death. I think that has earned them the benefit of the doubt," Cissy told her in earnest and noted Molly's guilt written expressions.
"I've been such a fool," Molly sobbed out as she wiped away the tears running down her cheeks. She felt so ashamed for her actions. Cissy sympathized with her, but Molly didn't need a gentle hand right now. She needed a swift kick to the bum.
"Without a doubt, but you still alive, are you not? Are you going to cry about misfortune like a child, or are you going to be a mother? Fix it woman!" Cissy snapped at her sternly. She did the woman no service by candy's coating the situation. Molly scowled at her for a few seconds at the rude manner she was addressed and talked down to. Then her face softened a bit. On her own accord, Molly nodded her head in agreement. With the exception of Lily, it had been years since she had a proper dress down; not since her mother was alive. Its funny how things that irritated her to no end back then, she cherished now. Molly couldn't help but chuckle a little bit, as she shook her head side to side.
"You're not the person I thought you were. I see now why my son was drawn to you. Thought it was your beauty, but now I see it's your wisdom and strength as well. Do you love him?" Molly asked despite knowing she should leave well enough alone. It was this kind of meddling that had estranged her from half her children.
"I would die for him, Molly. Not only did he save my life, but he also saved me from – well me. If that makes any sense," Cissy told her and was surprised when the woman giggled in a knowing way.
"Actually, it makes complete sense to me. Are you sure your true hair color isn't red?" Molly asked with a chuckle. Regardless how much Arthur irritated her at times. Molly knew she would be lost without him. It seemed the two of them had more in common than she thought.
"Just through association Molly, but I will take as a compliment just the same." Cissy returned with a laugh of her own.
The doors to the Marauders Lair opened and the room quickly filled with those who fought Voldemort's forces. In the front of the pack was Charlie and he was limping. With the help of Draco, he was making his way to them. Cissy's heart almost burst at the sight that the two of them working together. It was more than she could have hoped for.
She however, didn't wait for them to make it to her, as she met two of her three boy's in a full sprint. She pulled them both into a fierce hug that Lily would have been proud of. Her number three boy came flying at them from where he was sitting with Jade. Charlie scuffed up Adam's hair, and Cissy kissed Draco on the cheek. She never thought she was going to get this, and thanked that heavens that she was granted this most precious of gifts.
Molly saw her own family and took stock. Arthur, Fred, George were all present, but they were not alone, a blond girl was attached to George, and the goblins that saved her life was attached of Fred. They all looked ragged, tired and battle worn and Molly was torn between happiness that they were alive, and terror that Ginny was not among them. Then the Potter's entered the room, as she saw that her daughter was among them.
She looked beaten and exhausted, but she also had a glow about her. The way Ginny was looking at the man standing next to her spoke such volumes to Molly. Her daughter was without a doubt arse over elbows for him, and it looked like Ginny's feeling was more than shared. To her surprise, Molly found that she not only didn't object, but she was happy for her. Ginny deserved some happiness in her life, and it was long overdue. If tonight had taught her anything, it was that time was preciously short. Whether Ginny wanted to talk to her of not, they were going to have a chat.
Ginny tensed up when she saw her approaching mother. She knew that determined look all too well, and geared herself up for the pending confrontation. She was preparing to go into full redhead mode when Harry whispered something in her ear that completely disarmed her. She let out a slow breath as she sunk into him and nodded her head in agreement.
"That's my girl," Harry whispered before kissing Ginny on her temple. He slowly backed away. As much as he wanted to be there for her, he knew Ginny had to do this on her own.
"Thank you for not turning your back on me, I wouldn't blame you if you did," Molly started humbly.
"Thank Harry, I'm only doing this for him. It is he that you should be apologizing to," Ginny snapped with her arms crossed over her chest. She wasn't about to drop her guard.
"And I will, properly this time and I will mean it. He's such a good man, and far too forgiving of a witch that was so easily led astray." Molly answered with remorse in her voice. Perhaps it was the humility in her tone that caught Ginny's attention. It was something she never heard coming from her mother before.
"Excuse me?" Ginny asked in disbelief. That was not what she was expecting her mother to say.
"Dumbledore had me under spells to keep me in the dark, and obedient to his will." She tried to explain only to discover that she should have admitted her failures first. Ginny's shocked expression swiftly turned hard.
"Yes, Lily just told me, but that excuse only goes so far. I needed you to be a mum for me, but you were too caught up in his lies and deceit. I was slowly dying inside, and all that you saw was an imperfect girl, that and the Longbottom Title. You wanted me to become something I never wanted to be, and not once did you show me the courtesy of asking what I wanted," Ginny snapped but her voice broke halfway through speech. She paused to settle herself, and Molly saw it as an opportunity to speak.
"I know I failed to you sweetheart, and I know I have no right to call you that anymore. I should have been stronger; a good mother would've been able to break free. I let my own wants and desires for you to have a better life than me cloud my judgment. I know I did horrible things, demanded unjust things of you. I had no right, and I would bear your pain one-hundred times if I could. Please forgive me!" Molly pleaded with tears running down her face. She saw her daughters resolve falter for a second. On some level her words had reached her youngest child's heart. Then her hardness was back.
"This goes beyond the simple on sorry!" Ginny screamed at her, and had to turn her face away. She didn't want her mother to see her weakness. She wanted to believe her words, but she didn't think her heart could take that kind of betrayal again.
"Forgiveness is earned, and I will do everything in my power to prove to you just how regretful I am of my actions. I don't deserve that, but I will beg of it on my knees if I have to." Molly pleaded in desperation. Ginny ignored it or the effect it was having on her. There were things she needed to say, and by Merlin she would say them.
"Stop being dramatic, we may share blood, but were strangers. All you saw was my flaws, never me, the real me. I consider Lily mum now, and you want to know why? She sees me!" Ginny snapped and pointed to her heart to prove her point before continuing, "Even if I had ended up a scarred freak from what was done to me, she would've still seen the real me, accepted me as I was, loved me as I was. That is what a mum is supposed to do!" Ginny voice continued to rise as her rant reached its explosive conclusion. It would have been epic, if not for the soft kind voice who's wisdom she always welcomed.
"And what would I say to you right now?" Lily asked as she placed a calming hand on Ginny's shoulder. She was keeping her distance for the most part, but still handy enough to lend some helpful advice if needed. Ginny's eyes met Lily's and her shoulder dropped.
"That a regretful heart is never beyond redemption," Ginny answered as she deflated. Her anger was justified, but it was also selfish. She caught the worried look in her brothers and father's eyes. This wasn't just about her, she was a member of two families, "All right I will try, not for you and certainly not for me. I'll do it from the ones that love us both."
"Thank you, that's all I can ask. I'll never let you down again," Molly express gratitude of her daughters decision. It would be a long road she would travel to regain her daughters trust and respect, but she would traverse it regardless of the hazards if it led her to Ginny. In the mean time she had Lily to help guide her. To Molly's surprise the thought brought not envy, but immense gratitude for the woman.
"We'll see. I just need some space now, when I'm ready we'll talk again," Ginny said in a truly conflicted tone. She hurried away so she could regain her composure, and check on Bill.
Now Molly had to settle things up with Fred and George. She was realizing that her son's choices were just that, their choices. Whether she agreed with them or not, she would always respect them from now on. Molly knew the blond girl attached to George was a Slytherin, and the goblin being friendly with Fred was the one that saved her life. She couldn't very well object now could she? Instead, Molly decided to embraced the changes in her reality. As much as she hated to admit it, sometimes change was a good thing. With that settled in her mind, Molly went to her family and started the process of building some burnt bridges.
"So pup, how are you able to take out Greyback and turn his pack to your side?" Sirius asked with a fair amount of pride in his voice. James stood next to his longtime friend, and too smiled with pride at his son.
"After I ripped the heart out of their Alpha, they were more inclined to listen to reason. I offered them the full support of the Potter/Black Alliance in regulations governing them and their rights in the Wizengamot. The free Wolfsbane Potion and secluded land to run on during a full moon may have helped also."
"You are a far better Noble Lord than I ever was," James told him with reverence in the man his son has become.
"Couldn't have done it without Remus," Harry answered honestly, then regretted his words and the close proximity he had to a certain Auror.
"What?" Tonks gasped, as her hand went to her chest. She knew after her brief conversation with James, her husband wasn't coming back, but that didn't mean she stopped wishing it to be so. Harry looked at her with eyes full of sadness and guilt. His last words to Remus were far from kind. Tonks picked up on it immediately, "Don't you dare Harry! He forgave you the moment those words left your lips. He would've taken in your pain in a heartbeat if he could have. You were like a son to him," Tonks reassured as her feet lead her to Harry. She took his large hands in her small ones. He tried to blink away the tears forming in his eyes, but she wiped them away for him. With that act Harry broke.
"He saved me Nympy," Harry choked out, and Tonks wrapped her arms around him. Harry returned the gesture, and she received the same amounts of comfort as she was trying to give. After a few moments, they broke and found they were much calmer. "I was about to give up, and he came back and told me how to win. I know it's not possible, but I heard his voice and I saw him, even if he was just mist."
"How is that even possible?" Sirius asked.
"That is the power and wonder of Goddess Marrigu. She often sends guidance to those that have an open mind and she feels are worthy," Sasha explained.
"But, I only saw Fleur?" Emma asked.
"Petite, one cannot simply converse with a goddess. She sends emissaries from the Realm of the Dead. Two of whom that desperately wanted to help," she elaborated further.
"Well, that explains that, but you seem to have regained some of your accessories since last I saw you," Lily pointed out while looking at Sasha's wings and tail. Harry's eyes met Sasha's. There was great happiness within them, but also overwhelming misplaced guilt which required her immediate attention.
"I shall let, Petite tell this tale. For I would not be alive, or be fully restored if not for her," Sasha redirected Lily's question without breaking eye contact with Harry. She shifted her head off to the side and Harry nodded. The two former lovers slipped away as all eyes turned to Emma.
When they were a short distance off, Sasha spoke. "No, I will have none of that. This was war and I was captured. I refuse to let you let you punish yourself for that."
"I was the one that sent you to that graveyard," Harry disagreed.
"I could have said no, but I didn't. My actions, or inactions it seems, led to my capture and everything that followed," Sasha corrected him as she caressed his cheek like she always did when he was distressed. The physical contact was gentle and reassured him that she held no grudge. It only eased his sorrow slightly.
"They hurt you because of me," Harry argued barely keeping his voice steady. His shame was on the verge of exploding. Sasha took his face forcibly into her hands, and pulled him down so they were nose to nose.
"They, not you Harry. Just as they, used my body to try to assassinate you. Would you hold me accountable for their actions?" Sasha asked while her empathy felt a change in him. Harry maybe too noble and stubborn for his own good at times, but he wasn't that thick.
"No," he huffed out in defeat. The last thing he wanted to do was argue with her. He was exceedingly grateful that she was alive and whole again. Perhaps justice wasn't as blind as he always thought.
"You came for me, Harry, through an army of werewolves you fought and bled for me. What kind of insane person does that? My Champion does that's who? You kept your word, duty and honor in doing so. You are now, and always will be, my hero Lord Harry James Potter." Sasha finished with a look that told him if their situation were different, she would show him for the next several hours just how much so, "Nice to see I can still make you blush," she ended with a shameless giggle.
"So it seems," Harry acknowledged and she gave him a playful swat to the bum with her tail, "Just like old times, that still hurts by the way."
"As I recall, you like it that way," Sasha teased. He smiled back ignoring the pain and enjoyed the fact that her ordeal hadn't changed her core nature. His eyes then took in her once elegant gown's tattered state and the slave collar around her neck. What bothered him most were the words on the name tag.
"Oh, hell no," Harry growled out as he gripped the collar. There was no visible area where it connected, and was probable the reason she had not ripped it from her person yet. Harry could feel the dark magic keeping it around her neck, but he wasn't a Marauder for nothing. He forced his own magic against that of the collar. The magic binding it to her was strong, but his power and determination was stronger. It took a few minutes, but in the end it dissolved away to nothing. Sasha rubber her neck, and sighed happily at being relieved of the despicable thing, "Thank you."
Dumbledore woke up inside an abandoned and empty Hogwarts. He knew in an instant he was within his mental fortress, yet is seemed different somehow. It was by no mistake he chose this to be his minds defense, and had years to add wards upon wards to make it impenetrable. In his arrogance, he chose specific wards and it would be his final undoing. Potter and Black got past Hogwarts wards and he had fashioned his by the schools wards.
Fear took root and Albus quickly checked his protection for any sign of duress. They were as strong as ever, yet he still felt unsure. Something was still off. He quickly made his way to the Great Hall, it was his sanctuary, and the place his felt most secure.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY CHAIR POTTER!" Albus roared upon entering the Great Hall. Harry had his feet up on the table.
"Al, about time you got your ass up. Have to say impressive set up, but not infallible," Harry answered without moving from his chair or showing the slightest concern for the enraged wizard marching across the room.
"Clearly, but this is my mind and in here I rule supreme boy!" Albus raged and shot forth his hand expecting wandless magic to humble Potter, but he only got nothingness in its place.
"I would think by now you would have figured out that I don't play by your rules," Harry stated as he got up and hopped over the staff table."You have a very logical mind old man. That is your greatest strength, and it is your ultimate weakness. You do not thrive in chaos, I do however," Harry explained as if talking to a child. Then Albus heard growling. It was as if it was coming from every direction at once. He looked around and saw a countless pairs of green eyes looking at him from every shadow in the room.
"What have you done?" Albus demanded.
"Ever heard of Newton's Third Law?" Harry inquired as he walked up to him.
"A Muggle scientist of some sort."
"Physicist actually, but close enough."
"Yes, something about for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction," Albus answered in an annoyed tone.
"Words to live by Al…words to live by." Harry said before he winked and sunk into his shadow. His intent was clear, if the fire ants he encountered when he entered Potters mind demonstrated anything it was what happens in here would also happen out there. Potter could induce situations to cause him to have a stroke, or have these creatures lobotomize him and no healer in the real world would be the wiser. One way or the other, Dumbledore was going to take his potion regardless of how bitter it tasted.
"James, it's time to go," came a voice from the past. Lily gasped the loudest of those that knew her in life. Standing before them was James mother Dorea Potter. She was more solid thanks to the magic of the Marauders Lair. As several wands were drawn, Sasha walked up to her and knelt at her feet with her head down.
"Goddess Marrigu, you honor us with your presence, surely this man has earned a second chance," Sasha pleaded.
"That is not under debate Moon Daughter, for his actions have helped to restore the balance between your Realm of the Living and of the Dead. The wizard born Tom Riddle has caused much destruction in both worlds. However, the equilibrium is not yet fully re-established. This must come to pass if both realms are to heal at long last," Dorea form spoke in a calm and reassuring voice with no hint of malice to it. All the same, Lily clasped hold of her husband and refused to let him be taken away. Emma too was at James side, while Sirius stood directly in her path should it come to that. Then he felt the firm hand on his shoulder, and instinctively knew it belonged to his best mate. The two lifelong friends shared a look that only brothers could understand.
"Dammit James! This is your time, I'll pay the bloody price." Sirius growled at him.
"Your fate is to start a family with Gabriella. You have sacrificed too much for me already." James disagreed in a calm tone that shocked Sirius.
"Then we fight for your right to live, brother!"
"Padfoot, we can't win against a Goddess. Trust me, I got this covered," James said as he stepped forward to face his fate. Lily rushed after him, but Sirius held her back with a great deal of difficulty. He didn't agree with his friend, but he would honor his silent request.
"Surrender the Hallows, James Potter, and see if Fate has found you worthy," The body of his mother urged and James heart sank. He was hoping they would allow him to cheat death this time, "Did you think becoming the Master of Death excluded you from it?"
"Was kind of hoping it would," James admitted before reluctantly dropping his father's cloak at her feet, then followed this newly acquired wand. James took a deep breath, before facing what he's feared since the moment he returned. He believed in his heart that the ring was the only thing keeping him alive. James Potter above all else was a Gryffindor to his core. He wanted to look back at Lily one last time, but feared he wouldn't have the resolve to do what needed to be done. Severus Snape watched the display with a new found respect for the man. His eyes then took in Lily and the look on her beautiful face shredded his heart.
No one was more surprised than James when the ring landed on the floor, twirled a few seconds before coming to a stop, and he was still there. Lily broke free of Sirius and wrapped her arms around James from behind, "See! He's still here! You can't have him!"
"It would seem that the Hollows agree with you Lily Potter, but for the balance to be restored I still need a soul," Marrigu mystical voice agreed.
"Then you shall have it," Severus Snape said as he stood on shaky legs, "if it is only a soul that you require, my should suffice. It may be dark and corrupted but I do believe it still counts as a soul."
"Why would you do this for me Snape?" James asked in disbelief that his lifelong enemy would make such a magnanimous offer.
"Not for you Potter, but for Lily I'll gladly face oblivion," Severus said while never taking his eyes of the woman he had loved since a child.
"Severus?" Lily whispered in his shaky voice. She walked up to her childhood friend and looked intently in his eyes for any sign of deception. What she saw looking back at her was the boy she knew, not the man he became.
"You would not survive losing him twice Lily. I may hate him, but even I know he would not let another take his place. My actions robbed you of a husband and your son of a father. Please grant me redemption. I never meant to hurt you, and I'm sorry I wasn't the man you need me to be," Severus told her as he took her hands in his. She pulled her hands-free and wrapped them around him instead, Lily then buried her head into his chest.
"Oh Sevy," Lily sobbed. She felt his arms pull her tighter against him. She felt an old familiar comfort return to her. All her negative memories of him faded away as her buried youthful ones snuggled her like an old comfortable blanket.
"I have waited a long time for you to call me that again. I've loved you since the first moment I saw you in the park. I just wasn't brave enough to tell you." Severus Snape confessed while showing a rare emotion that only Lily was ever able to bring out of him.
"You were my first friend, and you had my love as well. It just wasn't the same kind of love. I'm sorry I wasn't the woman you needed to, Sevy," Lily answered into his chest.
"I've missed you so much," Severus choked out and found that it may have not been what he wanted in life, but it was enough and more that he deserved.
"Me too,"Lily whispered back and wanted this instant to last forever.
"Then you're decided?" Dorea's form questioned. Severus and Lily slowly parted. He wiped away her tears as he nodded his answer. Dorea Potter simply touched his shoulder, and Severus body dropped. James and Sirius rushed forward and caught him before his body hit the ground. The two of them nodded as they took him and placed him down next to Remus. They may not have liked him in life, but he died with their respect and his honor.
By lunch time the Wizarding world knew that Voldemort was dead, and that it happened just beyond the boundaries of Hogwarts. Classes were canceled so the student population could send owls to their parents that they were safe and unharmed. That didn't stop parents from coming to the school to check for themselves. Not all families remained whole though. When some of their students letters home returned to Hogwarts, unanswered, several students broke down. Lily and Minerva spent most of the morning counseling students while the angelic melody of a young Succubus seemed to be heard throughout the castle and grounds.
Professor Sprout had a very long and detailed talk with Cissy and Adam. She confirmed what she had suspected. Adam was indeed a Druid, but just as amazing as that revaluation was that the Whomping Willow, Or Wally as Adam called him, was rather friendly. With Adams guidance, and the chanting of Wally the Whomping Willow via the Weasley twins, the remarkable tree was giving rides on his many branches. The line of students was long and ranged from first to seventh year, and seemed to help ease the hardship of the previous night.
There were student who would not be noticed missing until the next day. Many were loyal to Voldemort's side and it was believed they fled the country with their families. Only one name would draw attention. Romilda Vane was nowhere to be seen. When it was discovered her little brother was a Death Eater prisoner. Many thought she was turned into a spy, and fled for her own safety. Several students came forward saying they saw her having private conversation with Pansy Parkinson. Draco admitted he knew Pansy had a spy in the Gryffindor House but she never said who. They assumed the mystery ended there, but they were wrong. Deep within the bowels of Hogwarts, in the Chamber of Secrets laid two dead girls and one unborn child. With Nevimort gone, the snakes that lived in the chamber turned on them. Such was the fate of many that served the Dark Lord.
Madame Bones returned with several Aurors, Healers and Ministry Officials. Each had jobs to do. Each was surprised at what they found at the school. When word reached St. Mungo's that Succubi were healing the injured overflow they sent Hogwarts, The Head Healer from the hospital had to see it for himself. He talked with Sasha and discovered that Succubi Healing Magic was very effective against dark curses. She sent him back with several of the Desory Clan to lend a hand at St. Mungo's. Those that they would help this day would remember and speak of the Succubi much differently than they had in the past. The winds of change now blew favorable for Sasha's people at long last.
Sirius and James had a long talk with the Ministry Officials about how it was the creatures of the Forbidden Forest, the Desory Clan and the werewolf pack that helped to bring down Voldemort. There was some discussion of how James was back from the dead. He played ignorant to the motives and activities of Voldemort, while with the aid of Gaby deflected any questions that referred directly to his return. He agreed to go to St. Mungo's and have tests done to ensure he had no trace of dark magic upon him. Once the Ministry knew for certain James would have all his rights as a wizard restored with the excepting of the title of Lord Potter. That didn't bother him that much. He had his eye on the newly vacated position of Transfigurations Professor at Hogwarts. Minnie was going to be very busy as Hogwarts new Headmistress.
Madame Bones expected more resistance from Dumbledore when she came to arrest him, with his Fawkes nothing more than a hatchling and Moody dead. Tonks was right about the Phoenix having a burning day. Alastair for all his faults and paranoia died like the warrior he was and with honor. He was the last man standing when he took out thirty plus Death Eaters with a Reducto Maxima and saved a village of muggles from being wiped out just because they lived.
Tonks was waiting for her and already had the Magic Repressing Manacles on the old and defeated looking wizard. She read the charges and his rights before placing Dumbledore under arrest. As she escorted him out of the Hospital Wing, Amelia could almost swear she felt a presence in a dark corner of the room. She saw nothing but a shadow. She couldn't help but bow her head to it, just in case. It was a slow and purposeful walk to the boundaries, beyond the schools protective wards. In the eyes of his own students and staff, few eyes held pity for him.
Ginny watched from the Astronomy Tower as they carted Dumbledore away with satisfaction. She felt his presence before Harry's strong arms wrapped around her. She melted into his embrace as his lips caressed her neck and nibbled her ear lobe.
"Keep that up, Mr. Potter, and you may very well get a happy ending tonight," Ginny moaned as she tilted her head to the side for him to have better access.
"What's this may shit?" Harry purred and took a nibble at her highly sensitive flesh.
"Down boy, you just let that percolate while I ask you some questions," she warned and lightly slapped away one of his hands roaming her body. She knew where it was heading, and Harry was too good with his hands to keep her resolve for long.
"Are you speaking, Muggle? Your corruption to the Dark Side is now complete. Dance for me, my pretty," Harry continued in a voice Ginny recognized as the bad guy from that movie they watched, while completely ignoring her mock attempt at thwarting his advances. It really wasn't fair that he could smell her getting excited thanks to Shadow. Ginny turned around in his arms and ran her finger slowly up him.
"Naked dancing?" Ginny asked with one raised brow and a seductive smile when she reached his chest.
"Most defiantly," Harry answered in a husky tenor as he went in for the kill. Ginny shoved against his chest and pushed him back at arms length.
"Then answer my questions," she demanded with a smirk that reminded him she was not without game as well.
"And that's why I call you, Tease," Harry huffed out indignantly. He held up his hands to show her he would behave for now.
"I could rub something sensitive while I ask the questions, if that would help?" she asked with a sympathetic look.
"Dammit! Can't believe I fell for that," Harry cursed at himself then smiled at her set up. This was one of the reasons he loved her. She gave as well as she got. He shook his head while laughing, "Well played, my Lady, ask away."
"Dumbledore is going to escape, isn't he?" Ginny asked in a worried tone. She knew once those Magic Repressing Manacles came off he would escape Azkaban., "He is too powerful and can perform wandless magic. I was foolish to think he would ever be imprisoned to begin with. My pride wanted his crimes exposed and his reputation destroyed. Eventually, he will come looking for revenge. I don't want you, or our possible children down the line to suffer for my mistake." Ginny expressed the fear that had been plaguing her for a while now. They had been so busy with more important things that it had been put aside, but now she needed to deal with it. No, they had to deal with it. It wasn't just her anymore. She had a good man now. He was her lover and Mate. She would never be alone again. As if answering her silent call, his strong but gentle hand guided her head up so her eyes met his.
"Do I look lake a man that would let Dumbledore leave without making sure the woman I love and my future family weren't protected?" Harry asked her. She saw not a speck of worry in his emerald eyes, and all her fears seemed to melt away.
"You've been a bad boy?" Ginny praised more that accused him. She didn't know what he did, and she wasn't sure she wanted to know. Ginny was just happy that she had a man that would go to any length to protect her.
"I've been a Marauder," was all Harry said as he moved his wand in several intricate motions at the stairwell leading up to the tower. The spell would ensure the young lovers would not be disturbed. Ginny followed her Mates lead and conjured a wireless radio and a slow song filled the air around them. With a overwhelming sense of hope she embraced the man that claimed her heart so completely. Her dark past was now behind her, and a blissfully bright future laid before her. Ginny knew that there would be challenges ahead. There would be sadness to bear, and Joy it embrace. That was life, and Ginny knew through it all she would face it with Harry at her side. For now the future could wait, for tonight? Oh yes, there would be naked dancing.
A/N: Yes I know it's been awhile since I updated. Been sick since a little after Christmas. I'm feeling mush better now.
I'm ending the story here so that if I write a sequel down the line. I won't be limiting my options by writing a detailed epilogue. I want to thank everyone who read my story. Your support and reviews have been very helpful. I hope that I have improved since I started this story. To tell you the truth, I originally only planned on this fiction lasting 16, 17 chapters tops. I never expected it to go on for 56 chapters. It kind of took on a life of its own, and it certainly has been a interesting trip for me.