A/N: And this is it. Thank you all for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.
Chapter Sixty: Gods Amongst Men
Harry skipped away from the curse, favouring one leg. He was fairly sure if not for his dragon-hide armour he would be dead twice over. Across the charred clearing, Voldemort glared, bleeding from his left arm.
Harry felt certain that that his Unspeakable support group was either dead or seriously wounded, and hoped to Merlin that Ginny had the sense to get out. The clearing was no longer ringed by trees, it was surrounded by charred lumber and ground burnt so hot it was glassy in some areas. Never in his life would he have believed himself capable of what he had done.
But it still wasn't enough.
"You have come far, Harry," Voldemort said in a surprisingly casual tone. "Lovegood trained you well."
So he knew all along. "Let me guess, he trained you too?"
Voldemort laughed. "I have ten years on the fool," he said. "No, I trained with far better wizards than him."
"And yet here we are," Harry said. The anger and fear was gone; his heart beat evenly. All he felt was determination. All he saw was his opponent; all he sensed was magic. Though he could not defeat Voldemort in a straight duel, the Dark Lord had not bested him either.
"Do you honestly think you're winning, Harry?" Voldemort asked.
Wordlessly, a nearby tree exploded behind Voldemort, but not with fire. Rather, it was as if a terrible force ripped it apart into a storm of arrows that flew at Harry like bullets. Harry transfigured the ground into a brick wall, disillusioned the last of his explosive discs and threw it, while rolling to the side and casting a chain of curses while the disc was still in the air.
Voldemort casually swatted the curses away, only at the last minute sensing the magic of the disk's runes. He cast a shield just as the disc exploded. Once more magic and physics collided. The shield kept the flame and shrapnel from Voldemort's body, but the explosive force impacting against his magic tossed him off his feet.
Harry did not hesitate and charged forward as fast as his hastily repaired leg would allow, casting with all his power from his wand. Killing curses and blasting curses came in waves directly at the fallen Dark Lord in what both men knew was an end game gambit. Voldemort desperately conjured a wall, rolled back to his feet and screamed.
The wildly uncontrolled blast of magic caught Harry completely off guard. He felt no pain, but a moment of surprised confusion when he found himself flying through the air, only to be followed by the stunning, shocking impact of the ground against his head and back. He felt for his primary wand, and realized with shock that it was gone.
He tried to stand, but he couldn't. He didn't think his back was broken—he could feel his feet. But he was hurt and hurt badly.
Voldemort stumbled into the clearing, bleeding from dozens of cuts from where Harry's curses blew apart his conjured wall. He moved drunkenly, and Harry realized that the outburst had exhausted even Voldemort's near inexhaustible magic.
"You foolish boy," the dark wizard said as he approached. "We are gods amongst men, you and I. Do you think those keepers of yours will ever let you live as you wish? You are their slave, you who should be their lord and master!"
"I never wanted to be a master or a lord," Harry said, startled at how broken his voice sounded. "Everything I ever wanted I found already, and you'll never have it."
"I suppose you mean your precious wife," Tom said, leering. "Love is an illusion, my young fool. A lie the Light tells to make you feel better while they pull the shackles tighter."
"No," Harry whispered, "it's a power you will never know." He struck without warning, not using his wand. Without moving, he ploughed into Voldemort's mind.
The Dark Lord staggered back, shocked at the power and sheer gall of the mental invasion, and fought with all his might to eject Harry.
"Snakey boy! Snakey boy! Hiss at it some more, snakey boy!" The Muggle boys laughed as they pummelled the six-year-old boy in the drab, arid garden of the orphanage. The largest, a blond boy with a torn ear lobe, hit Tom in the stomach, while the others hit his head.
The same blond boy, three years older now, is screaming in the cave while a young Tom Riddle watches. He screams as the sea snakes bite him again and again, while Anne Dundee sits in paralyzed horror, weeping. "I can make you hurt," Tom said to her. "If you ever tell, I'll make you hurt."
Tom Riddle hears the sorting hat whisper to him in Parseltongue. He is the Heir. He is not Tom Riddle, the no-name orphan. He is a wizard of the highest pedigree, and someday he will prove it.
The basilisk rises above him, powerful and beautiful, its eyes lidded behind a membrane that protects him from its terrible gaze. It bows its massive head to him, tasting his scent with a forked tongue almost as large as he is.
A blur, becoming white at the edges.
A teenager sits on the edge of his bed, naked, his head in his hands. Next to him, a girl is slowly pulling on her own knickers. "It's okay, Tom," she is saying. "It happens to everyone once in a while. I had a lovely time, and I'd be willing to try again."
The young man looks up, smiling at her, but the expression never reaches his eyes. In those eyes burns rage that something so common should happen to him. She does not condemn herself because of his inability to satisfy her—she condemns herself with her words of comfort.
He is not like everyone. "I'd like that," he lies to her, and she is too blinded by his handsomeness and charm to see. "The girls' bathroom on the third floor, tomorrow night?"
She leans down, with her brassiere still undone so that her small breasts hang down, and kisses him. "I look forward to it. Night, Tom."
"Good night, Myrtle."
The blur burns white, and in the distance Harry hears Voldemort's angry voice ordering him out.
A handsome man, still in his late teens, stands in the hallway of a worn but once elegant home. Before him an older couple and their middle-aged son stand staring at him in a combination of fear, consternation, and disgust.
"You are no son of mine," the middle-aged man says. "That…that…monstrous whore of a woman was a liar and a thief. I would never sully myself with the likes of her."
The handsome young man frowns. "She was the last in an ancient and noble line. If my blood is tainted, it is because she sullied herself with you, and I have come to erase the taint. Good bye, father. Avada Kedavra!"
Harry's head bounced back painfully against the charred ground as Voldemort finally ejected him from his mind. "Damn you!" the dark wizard shouted, stumbling and falling tiredly to his knees. "Damn you, Potter! Don't you see? They made you! Just like they made me! I am what I am because they made me this way! You are Dumbledore's pawn just like I am!"
"You made your own choices, Tom," Harry said, coughing painfully. "And you'll pay the consequences for those choices."
Without even both trying to hide the motion, Harry removed his spare wand from its holster under his left sleeve. Voldemort's eyes widened and he raised a shield, but as it turned out, not because of Harry. A second after he raised his shield, two powerful blasting curses struck the shield, one from either side. Harry turned his head, risking pain, and saw a charred and burned Ginny on one side, and a soot-covered, limping Luna on the other. Both girls were casting continuous chains of offensive spells, forcing the magically exhausted Voldemort to maintain the shield on his knees.
"Good bye, Tom Riddle," Harry said. "Avada Kedavra."
The green spell struck the centre of his chest and sent him sliding back over the charred ground. Harry let his arm drop, feeling his own magical exhaustion. He could not even sense Ginny as she collapsed on the ground next to him. "Are you hurt?" she said, her voice hoarse.
"Yeah," he said. "You?"
"That fire blast right after you two started knocked me out of the sky," she admitted. "I just woke up a few minutes ago. I think my leg is broken, and maybe a rib or two."
"Me too," Luna whispered. Her voice sounded worse than Ginny's, and at a glance Harry could see bruising around her neck. "Williamson and his people are dead. They were too close."
"He was a good man," Ginny said. "His poor wife." She sniffed, but did not cry. "Harry, can you move?"
"No," he said. "My back's not broken, I don't think, but I'm hurt badly."
"I'm going to place you in stasis," Ginny said, "and then petrify you to move you. We have our brooms. We'll get you to safety."
"Okay ... Gin?"
"I love you."
"Love you too," Gin said.
"I don't love you, per se," Luna admitted. "But I do greatly enjoy having sex with you, so please do get better soon."
"Luna, don't make me laugh. It hurts when I laugh."
Daniel Proudfoot swept into the battle at the front of a force of Hit Wizards, Aurors and volunteers like a plague upon the Death Eaters. The defending forces, stretched to the breaking point by sheer numbers, cheered loudly at the reinforcements. Students fought side-by-side with professors, Hit Wizards and Aurors as the Headmistress and staff were able to re-establish the Anti-Apparition wards across the castle.
Suddenly Death Eaters lost their mobility and were forced to fight in the halls against much stiffer resistance than they ever expected. With the surge of additional support, even given the fact they had superior numbers, the Death Eaters panicked and tried to escape.
Unfortunately, the bridge leading into the Forbidden Forest was destroyed, and the main bridge was where Proudfoot's people were pouring in. So the frightened and disorganized witches and wizards of Voldemort's armies ran to the first year's entrance, hoping to steal a boat or a broom.
Instead, they met Rubeus Hagrid, Professor of Care of Magical Creatures, Keeper of Keys, and half-giant, and his pet dog Fluffy. Fluffy stood fifteen feet tall at the shoulders and had three rather large heads, all the better to eat those terrified Death Eaters with.
Behind them came the defenders and reinforcements, cursing relentlessly, killing without mercy. Finally, realizing they had no hope, the survivors threw down their wands and raised their hands. Of the fifteen hundred wizards who attacked Hogwarts, barely a third survived.
The Battle of Hogwarts at last came to an end, just as the sun was setting.
Harry woke up to phoenix song and a feeling of contentment. He opened his eyes and saw not the roof of the hospital wing, but instead the ceiling of their quarters next to Gryffindor tower. He looked up and saw Fawkes roosting on the headboard. Ginny lay on his right, snuggled up so tightly to him he had difficulty telling where her body ended and his began. On his other side, Luna laid facing away from him, her cute bum pushed up against his thigh.
"Fawkes," Harry whispered. "Are you why I feel so good?"
The bird trilled an affirmation, before flying between the curtains of their bed to a stand Harry placed by Ginny's vanity. The bird roosted there, still crooning gently.
Though he felt good on the inside, on the outside he felt grimy, and realized he was still in bits and pieces of his shredded armour. He looked and saw that Ginny and Luna were also still in their armour as well; as worn and damaged as his own.
Gently, trying not to wake them, he wiggled his way out of bed. The moment he tried to stand, his knees buckled and he barely caught himself before falling. The feeling of contentment did not translate into strength—he felt as weak as when Snape poisoned him.
Still, he had strength enough to strip out of his tattered armour and wander into the bath. The three of them had expanded it almost on their first night, since their bathing ritual had become a habit the previous year. He did not have the magical strength to even conjure water, so instead he turned the spigot and climbed in, settling down as the near scalding hot water began to rise up around him.
It did not surprise him when Ginny stepped into the bathroom, already nude. He could not see any cuts or bruises, but by the sheer amount of dried blood, he knew she had been hurt badly as well. "Fawkes?" he said. His voice sounded hoarse, but better than before.
"There are advantages to having a phoenix," she said. "When the healers realized you were bonded to a phoenix, they let Luna and I bring you back here so Fawkes could heal us. You did break your back, you know, but only the bone, no nerve damage."
She climbed into the tub and positioned herself between his legs so she could lean back against him. "Luna coming?" Harry asked.
"No, I made her take her full potion suite," Ginny said. "She…she started to execute the prisoners. Zeus stopped her, thank Merlin, but we realized that she was still in fight mode, so we dosed her up well." She shivered, leaned forward, and started to weep.
"Colin's dead," she whispered. "So are Faye Dunbar, and Romilda Vane. The Hit Wizards and Aurors did their best to protect the students, but they couldn't save everyone. Ernie McMillan died, and Joseph Finklestein—remember the Ravenclaw in our Arithmancy class? Forty two students died. Forty two."
"How many Hit Wizards and Aurors?" Harry asked.
"Two hundred all together ... and another fifty civilian volunteers. I heard Zeus talking with Amanda about whether we even had a sustainable population any more. So many dead…"
Fawkes flew into the bathroom, and once again began crooning to the pair. Ginny leaned back against Harry as the water continued to bathe them. Fawkes hopped across the floor until he stood beside the tub. Still crooning, the magical bird leaned over and wept two tears into the water.
Almost immediately the scalding hot water seemed to penetrate even deeper into their bodies, and with a start Harry realized that the phoenix's magic was acting like a natural purification ritual. He felt the dark residual magic from his curses begin to melt away within him, leaving nothing but warmth and the comfort of his life.
"I heard a little, what he said at the end," Ginny said. "That you two were so alike."
"On the surface, maybe," Harry said. "Remember when they told us Dumbledore thought the power in the prophecy was the power of love?"
Ginny nodded without speaking, and brought his hand up across her chest.
"I wonder sometimes if he was right," Harry said. "I used Legilimency on him in the end, just desperate to buy myself time if nothing else. I don't think, in his entire life, he ever knew what love was. He had an opportunity with Myrtle, believe it or not, but it was too late for him by then, and so she died."
"Do you feel sorry for him?"
Harry thought about it, and finally shook his head. "No. Look at me, Ginny. Look at us. How many wizards or creatures did we kill between just in this battle alone? We are killers, you and I, and yet I have the love of a phoenix who can weep my darkness away, and the love of a woman who came and swept my fears and insecurities away."
"And the affection of a psychopath, for what that's worth," Ginny said.
Harry laughed. "Admit it, having a third adds something to the dynamic, doesn't it?"
Ginny wiggled a little against him, and then sighed. "Yeah, it does. It helps to know that I'm the one you love most. I don't feel insecure because I know you'll always put me first."
"Always," Harry promised. "Be a dear and turn off the water?"
She did so, and the two simply sat in the tub, soaking up the heat, while their murderous lover slept in the arms of her potions in the next room.
When they emerged from their quarters that night for dinner, it was to a terribly damaged castle. The astronomy tower had collapsed entirely, and almost half the passages were un-passable. The castle elves helped transport the wounded to St. Mungo's, while the dead were in the Hospital Wing, awaiting identification before cremation.
The one area that was not damaged was the Great Hall. Because of the local wards the staff cast to protect the younger students, the Great Hall came through the battle unscathed, and within it Harry and Ginny found Aurors, Hit Wizards, parents and staff eating side by side with students. When Harry stepped through, a startled hush ran through the entire room as everyone turned to look at him.
Ron and Hermione were sitting at the nearest edge of the Gryffindor table, surrounded by Weasleys. George bore a rather large scar on his cheek, and it looked like Bill had been mauled, but otherwise the family was relatively unharmed. When Hermione saw him, she rose to her feet and then shot like a bullet into his arms.
"I saw you, when they brought you in," she whispered. "And for a moment, I thought you were dead."
"I'm not, Hermione," he assured her. "How could I die, when I have so much to live for?"
Hermione backed away, wiping her eyes, before she hugged Ginny next. Behind her, the entire Weasley family stood and began clapping. Moments later the entire hall followed suit, until the hall resounded with the sound of wild applause. Ginny snuggled next to Harry, while Hermione and Ron stood to his other side, embracing, and the four simply stood and let the applause wash over them.
"Is it over, Harry?" Hermione said, having to raise her voice over the din.
Harry looked at her, then to the beautiful woman snuggled into his side, and finally grinned. "Hell no, it's just getting started!"
Epilogue: Three Years Later
It was supposed to be a rapid sting operation in Devonshire. Someone was selling magically enchanted Muggle Weaponry, in clear violation of several British and ICW accords. Of course, the Unspeakables had a whole cache of such weapons, but they were most definitely not for public consumption.
Worse yet, they believed it was an insider within the Department of Mysteries making the deals.
The sting operation incorporated both elements of the Muggle Security Services, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the Unspeakables, since both the magical and non-magical ministries agreed it was a serious situation. Senior Unspeakables Apollo and Artemis were assigned for the actual sting operation once the intelligence confirmed where the delivery of the weapons would take place.
Harry and Ginny waited under the disillusionment charms of their cloaks with four other agents, and Luna as their control, floating on brooms in the rafters of the warehouse ceiling. Below them, the buyers were trying to make themselves feel more secure by walking the perimeter around their very nice automobiles. They were all Muggle weapons dealers from Serbia.
The dealers arrived with pops—already violating the International Statute of Secrecy. The Serbs pulled their weapons and shouted in alarm at a display of the impossible. The leader of the Magicals snorted. "Don't get your panties in a twist, you ugly cunts."
Harry tried to hide his shock—he recognized that voice, if not the face. It was the Snorkack Hunter! Without his robes on, the Hunter proved to be a man in his early thirties with a brutally shaved head, a dragon's tooth earring in his left ear, wearing dragon leather pants and a black shirt. The others behind him were dressed equally flamboyantly.
Without further warning, Harry set off the Anti-Apparition wards on the whole building, while Ginny and the rest of his team sealed the door. Hunter looked up, sensing the magic. "Shit, boys, we got company!"
Harry unleashed his broad-area stunner, taking out all the Muggles in one fell swoop. The Magicals, however, proved more resilient. Hunter raised a powerful shield, and then pulled an Uzi charmed almost the same as what Krum used in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and just started firing into the ceiling.
It was an effective tactic, since it required the Unspeakables to shield and give away their positions. Unfortunately for the weapons dealers, Harry and his team were the best. They dropped down with cushioning charms and engaged the wizard criminals in close quarter combat. Harry poured magic into every blow, snapping his opponent's arms when the man tried to block his kick, and then downing him with a wandless stunner.
Ginny and the others were making similar progress with the other Magicals. The exception, and it was a surprise since she was technically not supposed to engage in combat except as a last resort, was Luna and her opponent. She and the Hunter were fighting, and it was possibly the dirtiest fight Harry had ever seen.
Their cutting curses were shallow enough to do little more than cut away clothes, but in his eyes Luna wielded her wand like a scalpel, cutting away the Hunter's shirt to reveal a broad, well muscled and rather hairy chest. Perhaps because of her own actions, Hunter did the same, cutting away her Unspeakable cloak. Only, unlike most Unspeakables, Luna did not believe in wearing anything else underneath. It was a peculiarity Harry and Ginny were accustomed to, and it came in handy since combat made her randy.
However, it shocked Hunter when his cutting curse revealed a female breast under the cloak. Suddenly she cart wheeled, and in doing so caused her robe to flip up in a spectacular show of her nethers. "Bloody 'ell," Hunter managed to say, right before she brought both feet down on his face.
He staggered back and then fell on his arse, momentarily stunned by the blow. Luna landed on her feet and slashed her wand in a crossing pattern. Ginny felt her cheeks burn as their friend essentially cut away the man's pants to show he was going commando, and was very, very well endowed.
Luna stepped over him, her cut Unspeakable gown hanging about in such a way as to reveal one breast, and a stretch of her long, pale leg. "What's your name!" she demanded. For whatever reason, she'd allowed the voice filtering charm to drop so that she spoke with her own voice.
"Rolf Scamander!" the man said angrily. "And I ain't talking to…bloody shite what are you doing, woman?"
Luna pulled her cloak up around her waist, completely ignoring the stunned Unspeakables around her, and squatted down over the stunned Scamander. She pulled her hood back, showing her face, and then reared back and punched him, hard.
He punched her back without hesitation. She licked the blood from her lip, and said, "Fuck me now, please."
"You're a right crazy slag, now, aren't you?"
"Yes, yes I am! Fuck me now, you buggering gobshite!" She mounted him while cursing, and he cursed right back as pulled her down, and after a few minutes of frenzied bouncing, they finished.
Luna popped right back off, and said, "Don't move or I'll kill you." She said it in her normal, matter-of-fact tone before talking over to a stunned Harry and Ginny. "Well, it has been fun, but Rolf Scamander has a much larger penis than you, Harry. This is not to say that you are small by any means. For your size you are actually far above average. But Rolf's pecker is almost nine inches long and feels quite pleasant. In addition, I think we are a much better overall match. So, good bye. Don't try to stop us, please. I would feel bad for a moment if I had to hurt you."
She walked back to the still mostly naked Rolf Scamander and said, "I'm Luna Lovegood. You're going to take me back to whatever hole you live in, and you're going to fuck me some more. Right?"
Scamander looked at the stunned, silent Unspeakables, smirked and then flipped them all the bird. "Right out, Luna Lovegood. Let's go have a right good shag, and then we'll talk about business."
"Sex first," Luna ordered, moments before she brought down the Disapparition wards and the two disappeared.
"Harry?" Ginny said, struggling to find her voice, "did Luna just dump us for a weapons smuggler?"
"I think so," Harry said, feeling confused and, if he admitted it to himself, a little hurt. "And what'd she mean, 'For my size!' I'm almost five-eleven now! I'm as tall as Charlie!"
Ginny took her husband's arm, while the rest of the Unspeakables who knew better than to comment on what the Head Unspeakable's daughter just did, went about collecting the Muggles and the evidence, while Ginny patted Harry's shoulder. "Well, didn't Healer Richardson say one time that we couldn't really depend on her?"
"Well, yeah, but I thought we'd be the one dumping her!"
She patted his shoulder again. "I know, but it'll be okay. Besides, there's always Minister Grayson's granddaughter. She's a 99th percentile witch, and you did say that having a third adds something."
Harry leaned in and kissed his wife until both their toes curled, and said, "What was her name again?"
Author's Note: One last, huge, very special thank you to Teufeul1987, JR, and Miles for beta reading. As always, they make these chapters better than they could ever otherwise be.