Harry felt like he was awaking from a deep slumber, groggy and unaware of where he was. He felt himself lying face down on something. It wasn't warm or cold, just there. He wiggled his fingers and his toes, and felt elated he could move them, and a small smile appeared on his face. He slowly opened one eye, squinting at the amount of light penetrating it. He opened his other eye, and tried to focus on what was around him. Unfortunately for Harry, there was nothing to focus on. There was only a light fog surrounding him in the bright, white area. As his eyes adjusted to the brightness, he rolled over onto his back, and realized he was stark naked, but found himself not caring. He looked upwards, and saw thick, white, puffy clouds above him. He rubbed his eyes, still feeling groggy, and realized he wasn't wearing his glasses, much like last time. A voice then came from somewhere near him, past his head.
"So, are you just going to lay there for all eternity or what?" a vaguely familiar, male voice said. Harry sat up quickly, and looked side-to-side, and saw no one there. He felt someone walking up behind him, and someone put a white, fluffy bathrobe over his shoulders.
"Honey, here's something to cover you up, I'm sure you don't want us seeing you, well, all of you anyway," said another familiar voice, this time female, and she was obviously holding back a giggle. Without getting up or turning around, Harry threw on the robe that he was handed. He tried covering up everything, and slowly stood up. As he turned around, he saw two people standing there he hadn't seen in a long time, but this was the first time he had ever seen them in the flesh, so to speak.
"Mom! Dad!" Harry shouted in glee as he ran over to his parents and threw his arms around both of them. James and Lily Potter embraced their son in a fierce hug, the first they had ever shared as a family. Harry had dreamed of this moment all his life, and only now, in near death, was he able to do so, and it nearly overwhelmed him.
"Hello Harry, it's so good to see you!" James said to his only child. The proud parents were shedding tears as they embraced Harry. Finally, they separated, and were all smiling.
"So, I figured someone was going to be here, considering Dumbledore is still alive, but, it's quite a wonderful surprise to see you here." Harry said with joy springing in his voice.
"We insisted that it was us that were here for you Harry, to explain everything," Lily said.
"Well, that would be nice, to know exactly what is going on here. I mean, it's not everyday you have to sacrifice everything you know and love and go back in time to redo everything," Harry said sarcastically.
"Harry, shall we sit down, and your mother and I will explain," James said as he pointed to a bench that had appeared a few feet away. The Potters walked over to the bench and sat down as a family. Harry sat between his mother and father. Lily spoke first.
"Harry, why don't you tell us what you know, and we'll try and fill in as much as we can."
"Ok, sounds good. Um… I remember sitting in my office, well, the Headmasters office, and then out of nowhere, I heard Albus speaking to me. That wasn't the weird part, seeing as I spoke to his portrait all the time. But he was in my room, sitting against my dresser. Well, you can imagine my shock in seeing him there. I nearly hexed him on the spot, and who knows if I would have hit him or not. He told me about the timeline getting screwed up, and something about a rouge Time Master, something like that."
"Yes Harry," his father began. "One of the Time Masters thought he knew better than the Creator. So, somewhere along the line, he did something to prevent you and Hermione from being with each other. You see, you two were destined to change history together. There are times when a soul is earmarked for greatness. When mankind needs to be pushed to the next level, or prevent a catastrophe, that's when those special souls are put on the Earth. You were supposed to stop Voldemort from taking over. And you did that. But you were also supposed to help Hermione become who she was destined to be. And that didn't happen."
"But she was the smartest and brightest witch of our age. She advanced the rights of house elves, trolls, giants, and centaurs. She improved potions and the overall health of everyone in the wizarding world. She was a huge influence. How is that not being who she was destined to be?"
"Because Harry," Lily said, "She was supposed to do more. She was destined to save mankind from a horrible disease, though no one knew about it other than the Creator. That was her destiny. And it was your soul-bond with her that was supposed to bring that out in her. Yes, she was brilliant, but she only scratched the surface of her ability. You were also supposed to keep her grounded, not allowing her work to become too important. But, that of course didn't happen."
"Horrible disease? What do you mean? There was no horrible disease…"
James interrupted him, "But there was Harry. It was spreading quickly. Within a matter of years, the entire world population would have been wiped out by it. Hermione was supposed to create the cure for it, but because she wasn't able to tap into her vast amount of knowledge and power, she didn't. When she died, it was obvious someone tampered with the timeline. Considering she came to us as Hermione Weasley, not Hermione Potter, was the first clue. That's when it was determined you needed to go back and change things."
Harry sat on the bench, allowing this wave of information to wash over him, trying to absorb the enormity of it all. He was destined to be with Hermione. They together were supposed to save the entire world: He from the clutches of Voldemort, she from a terrible disease. Harry sighed, thinking his entire past life was a mistake. But how could the love he felt for his children be a mistake? As if she sensed the dread in Harry, his mother put her arm around her son and hugged him. "Harry, we'd like to show you something, something I think will help cheer you up. C'mon, let's go over there." The Potters got up from the bench and started walking. Harry couldn't see anything that they were walking towards; all he saw was white light and fog.
Soon, he saw something glittering in the direction where they were walking. He couldn't quite make out what it was. His mom and dad were simply walking with him, both of them with their arms around him, smiling broadly. Within moments, they were standing before a large wall with four shelves on it. Each shelf had four glowing orbs on them, each one the size of a large pumpkin. The orbs were spherical, mostly clear, but had a slight tinge of blue in them. They were filled with the same smoky, fog like substance that surrounded them, but it also looked like little flashes of lightning were emanating from the clouds in the orbs. To Harry, they looked like storm clouds, but white instead of the dark rain clouds. He stared at the sixteen orbs, and then looked at his parents.
"What are they?" Harry asked in amazement.
"Those would be the souls of your children, Hermione's children, and your grandchildren Harry," James answered, with a large grin on his face. Harry's eyes lit up at his fathers answer. He felt so happy that the children and grandchildren he had loved in his last life were going to be ok.
Harry continued to look at the orbs in wonder and walked over to them, but then he started to count the number of orbs. He concentrated, thinking of his family in his previous life, and then fear and panic struck him. His heart began beating very quickly, and turned around to face his parents.
"Why are there only sixteen?" Harry said in a panic. "There should be more. I mean, Teddy, Victorie, George's kids, Charlie's kids…"
His mother held up her hand to stop her rambling son. "Harry, don't worry about them. These are the only souls that will be affected by the change in the timeline. These are only yours and Hermione's children and grandchildren."
Harry turned back around to face the orbs, counting them once more. But the feeling of fear and panic was still within him. "But if that's true, there should be seventeen. Where's the other one? Why are there only sixteen?" Harry's voice trembled with fear, turning back to face his parents. They simply smiled at their son, and nodded at something beyond him.
Harry heard footsteps coming from behind him, but didn't turn around to see whom it was. He was too busy staring at his parents, worrying about the one soul that was missing from the shelves. A voice then came from behind him that he would recognize anywhere.
"Hi Dad…" said the voice from behind him. Harry spun around so quickly he nearly fell over. His heart was still racing, but for a different reason now. He saw the person that had spoken to him and his eyes began to fill with tears, and his face lit up with joy.
"Lily!" Harry gasped. He ran over to her, threw his arms around his only daughter's waist, and hugged her fiercely. She wrapped her arms around her father's neck, and hugged him back just as much. After a few moments, father and daughter stepped out of the tight hug, but still had their arms around each other. "I never thought I'd see you again Lils. I'm so happy your ok."
"And I'm happy to see you too Dad," she said smiling at her father.
Harry observed his daughter, and made an interesting discovery. "Why do you look so young? I thought you were 42!"
"Oh yeah, I'm going to stay like that forever when you're fourteen, and grandma and grandpa are like twenty something. Yeah, I'm going to look twice as old as my grandparents. I don't think so Dad. So I chose to be your age. Then at least I don't feel too weird." Lily smiled at her father. Harry smiled back at her, but soon cocked his eyebrow at her and narrowed his eyes.
"And why young lady are you not in an orb right now?" he said, half smiling at her.
"Well, that's quite a story itself," she said, stepping away from Harry, and they walked over to James and Lily, who were watching their son and granddaughter. "When you were taken back Dad, the Creator brought all of us to this place, and gave us an option. We were told that we could do one of two things. Either be reborn, with no memory of our previous life, as your children or grandchildren again. Or, stay behind as we were and be spirits, and watch over you and Aunt Hermione."
"And why didn't you be reborn?" Harry said, crossing his arms.
"Because someone had to keep you and Aunt Hermione on the right path," she said, smirking at her father. "When we were given the option, all of us were there. James, Al, Rose, Hugo and I told our children that under no circumstances were they not to be reborn. A few of them protested, but us parents gave them the famous Weasley glare and got them to do what we told them to do. So, that left the five of us. Since Aunt Hermione wasn't going to be allowed to remember, I told Rosie and Hugo to be reborn, because it wouldn't be fair for them to stay as is, and only have their uncle and not have their own mother remember them. They finally agreed, and it was down to the three of us."
"You know me Dad, I get what I want," she smiled while batting her eyelashes, just like her mother.
"James and Al didn't protest?"
"Of course they did. They wouldn't be older brothers if they didn't you know. James suggested that it should be all of us either way, either we all get reborn, or all stay. But I reminded them that you'd probably be upset if all of us stayed…"
"You were quite correct in your assumption…" Harry interrupted, narrowing his eyes at her.
"Anyway, I knew someone needed to stay behind, to tell you what happened and that everything would be ok. I forced them to go back. I'm daddy's little girl remember?" Lily batted her eyes at her father once more. But then, her voice dropped, and the sadness was evident in her voice. She sighed, and continued. "I didn't want to lose all the wonderful memories of you and mum. As much as I love Aunt Hermione, I didn't want to lose that. I also didn't want you to forget about us, or mum. I know you weren't supposed to be with her, but I just couldn't do it."
Harry reached out and brought his daughter into a tight hug. He tried to hug her sadness away, to take away her pain. Tears formed in his eyes, and he began weeping. "I'm so sorry Lils. I'm sorry to do this to you. I'm so, so sorry."
Lily was crying as well, hugging her father back, and trying to comfort him as well. "It's ok Dad. I know you had to do it. You didn't have a choice."
"But I did have a choice," he said, crying into Lily's shoulder.
"No Dad, you didn't," she said, stepping out of the tight embrace, wiping away her tears with her arm. She grabbed her father's arms, and rubbed his upper arms lovingly. "You did what any Potter or Weasley would have done, and that is saving the world, no matter what the cost. You had to give us up, for the good of mankind. No one should have to deal with that burden. But of anyone in the entire universe, you can do it. I know you can. And I'll always be here Dad, to help you. I'll come visit you in your dreams."
"You can do that?" Harry asked in disbelief, grabbing her hands, holding them in his.
"Yes, it was part of the deal I struck with the Creator. If I stayed behind, I wanted to be able to visit you, and talk to you. So I'm the one who will help you stay on the correct path. Mind I can't visit every night. But I'll always be here for you and Aunt Hermione. Though it will be very weird seeing you two together, married, having kids, and not you and mum," she said with a hint of laughter in her voice.
"You know I always loved your mother," he said, his voice trembling.
"I know Dad," she said, taking her hands out of her fathers, and straightened his robe collar. "But you have a job to do. And it's just about time for you to go back and finish what you started. Promise me one thing though."
"What Lils?" Harry asked, looking into her eyes, which reminded him so much of Ginny's.
Lily looked up at her father, and gave him the biggest puppy dog look she could; knowing how weak willed he was when she truly wanted something. "I know you won't want to name your boys James and Albus again, because it will remind you too much of my brothers. But please, do name your daughter Lily, if not after grandma, then me. Perhaps, Lily Ginevra Potter? Name her after mum, grandma, and me. I'm sure Aunt Hermione won't mind, will she?"
A smile split Harry's face in two. He could never resist those eyes. He could be frozen in ice and still be melted by them. "For you, Lily Nymphadora Potter, I will. I'll name my eldest daughter Lily. And you're right about your brothers. I can't imagine yelling at my sons James or Albus, and not seeing those two boys. Hermione and I will come up with something different. Maybe something like Sirius Remus Potter, get all the Marauders in there. We'll see. But I will keep my promise Lils."
"That sounds great Dad. You better get going," she said as she gave her father a peck on the cheek.
"Ok," Harry sighed and turned to his parents. "I love you Mom, Dad. Take care of my daughter, will you?" James and Lily nodded at their son. Harry turned back to his only daughter. "And you, take care of your grandparents." Little Lily smiled at her father and nodded. "I love you Lily Nymphadora."
"I love you too Dad." The three generations of Potters embraced in a loving, tender hug. Harry then stepped away, and walked into the mist, closed his eyes, and felt himself being pulled back into the cold, harsh world, where his greatest enemy awaited him.
Harry felt himself falling, from how high and for how long he didn't know. He was falling down a long, dark, seeming bottomless pit. There was no sense of impending doom, no ground screaming towards him. Faster and faster he fell, until he felt himself jerk awake, lying on the cold, wet ground of the graveyard. His body was contorted into an uncomfortable position. He was lying on his left side, the side of his face buried in mud, his right arm thrown above his head. His legs were curled up and his knees were near his chin. His left arm, aching from the cut given to him by Pettigrew, was under the weight of his legs and also buried in the mud.
He opened his eyes, and saw all of the Death Eaters surrounding a fallen body, no doubt Voldemort. He heard them whispering in a panicked state, but no one seemed to be paying attention to Harry. Deciding he needed to take advantage of the situation he found himself in, being completely ignored, he uncurled himself and rolled onto his back. He felt himself rolling on his wand, and quickly picked it up. He struggled to his knees, and looked around the graveyard. He saw about 30 Death Eaters, and he wondered to himself whether or not he could take them all on in his current condition, but that was not his top concern. He saw the blanket sit sitting there, and he saw a slight movement under it, meaning Nagini was still there. Gasping for breathing, and trying to shut out the pain, Harry rose to his feet, and stood up straight as best he could. Holding out his wand, Harry gathered up all the courage he could muster.
This was the time. This was the place. It must end now. "Riddle!" Harry shouted. All the Death Easter head's whipped around. All of their faces had the same look: Shock and horror. They had all witnessed their master shoot a Killing Curse at the Boy-Who-Lived, and connect with it. And now, he was standing, shouting for their master. He was now the Boy-Who-Lived-Twice. Could this boy be immortal, they all wondered? "Is that the best you've got Tom?" Harry shouted again.
Voldemort was assisted to his feet by two Death Eaters. He looked like the one who had taken the worst of the Killing Curse, not Harry. His eyes at first looked weary, but as soon as he saw Harry standing there, rage once again pulsed through his body. "No! No! Impossible! You should be dead Harry Potter!" Voldemort screamed. He looked around to his Death Eaters, and commanded, "Kill him!"
A plethora of green jets soon followed the shouts of "Avada Kedavra!" The blasts came closer and closer, and at the last second, Harry swooshed his wand in all directions, and every Killing Curse rebounded, shooting back in the same direction from which they came. Death Eaters scattered, trying to avoid the green jets that came flying at them. Several of them were not fast enough, or simply ran into each other, and were hit by the rebounding curses. Soon, more shouts, more green jets, more rebounding curses, more dead Death Eaters. After this second round, just over a dozen of them remained standing. Most of the survivors tried to apparate away, Harry could tell, because they turned where they stood. But a big grin came over his face.
"Trying to run away cowards? Good luck, there's an Anti-Apparation dome around us, and it's a good half-mile around. So you won't be going anywhere." Harry said, confidence oozing from his voice. "Now Tom, that wasn't very nice having your cronies try to kill me. I thought this was just between me and you," he said as he paced back and forth, staring directly at Voldemort. One of the Death Eaters stepped forward, in front of Voldemort.
"You will show respect to the Dark Lord you insufferable little brat!" Lucius Malfoy said, his voice seething in anger.
"Oh, hello Mr. Malfoy. I was wondering if you were one of the, shall we say, unfortunate ones," Harry said with an amount cockiness usually spoken by a Malfoy, not spoken to one. "So, are you stepping up and showing something a Malfoy hasn't shown in generations, a backbone?" Harry was smirking at that last comment, rather wishing Draco were here to hear it as well.
Malfoy's eyes went wide at hearing the remark made at him. He pointed his wand at Harry, and shouted "Avada Kedavra!" Harry chuckled, let the curse come within a few feet of him, flicked his wand at the jet green blast, and sent it back at Malfoy at more than twice the speed it had come in, and before he could react, Lucius Malfoy was throw backward by the impact of the blast and into Voldemort, dead before he reached the Dark Lord. Voldemort stumbled backwards, and let Malfoy's body fall with a thud onto the soggy grass of the graveyard.
Harry looked around at the remaining Death Eaters. "Anyone else want to try? Anyone? No? Aw... too bad. Come on... I was just getting started..." Harry said, pouting his lips, stomping his feet on the ground, which caused mud to go flying all around him, trying to act like a two-year-old. After a few moments, Harry stopped his child act, and swooshed his wand once more, shooting stunning spells at all the remaining Death Eaters. None of them were fast enough to avoid the red jets, and were immediately knocked unconscious, leaving only three people standing: Voldemort, Harry, and Peter Pettigrew, who was hiding behind a large gravestone.
Voldemort looked around at his decimated forces, and let out a terrible scream. Anger coursed through his veins. Breathing heavily, Voldemort turned his attention to the 14-year-old boy standing before him. "Well well, young Harry Potter. It appears we have something in common. Both of us cannot die. How very cleaver of you; what was it you said? 'I am not afraid of death'? You cannot fear something that cannot happen to you, can you Harry?"
Harry and Voldemort began to circle one another, in an apparent precursor to a duel. But Harry knew better. He knew fully that a duel between himself and Voldemort was impossible. With what happened the last time he was in this graveyard, Priori Incantatem, he knew this would end without a proper duel. "No Tom, I can die, just like you. I just know all the little details," Harry said, smiling knowingly.
Voldemort laughed at Harry. "I cannot die Harry. There are things in this world you just don't understand."
"You're right. There are plenty of things I don't understand. But what you don't realize is that I know more than you, and I know a lot more than you think I know. Take this, for example." Harry pointed his wand at the blanket, and shouted "Sectumsempra!" The curse hit the blanket, and the snake that was underneath it was thrown high into the air, its head quite clearly removed as it flew through the air, blood glittering in the bright moonlight. A gasp left Voldemort, and his eyes grew as wide as they could. For perhaps the first time in his life, Voldemort felt scared. "You see, I know more than you think Tom."
Voldemort looked back and forth between Harry and the severed head of his snake, Nagini. "Why, why did you kill my snake Harry?" he said, his voice filled with fear, anticipation, and anger.
"It's quite simple really. You underestimate me, you underestimate Dumbledore. We know of the Horcruxes. We know of their locations. We found them. We destroyed them. You witnessed your last two Horcruxes be destroyed, right in front of your eyes."
At the last statement, Voldemort titled his head, knowing what his Horcruxes were, and knew that there was only one here. Or he thought he knew. Harry continued, "You look confused, let me explain. That night, when you killed my parents, you inadvertently made me one of you Horcruxes. Which, thanks to you, I am no longer one because you killed it yourself. And as for the others, well, obviously, I knew about your snake. There's also the ring, which we found at the Gaunt estate. Your diary, which I destroyed my second year. Slytherin's Locket, which was actually found at the Black estate. Originally, one Regulus Arcturus Black took it from your little cave. Then there's Hufflepuff's cup, which you were actually smart to put it in Gringott's. But the Lestrange vault Tom? Come now, with both of them in Azkaban, you should have known it would be easy to seize a stolen item like that. Ravenclaw's lost diadem, which I admit must have been a chore to get, seeing as the Grey Lady hardly talks to anyone, even the Ravenclaw's."
Voldemort looked totally stunned at hearing this boy rattle off every single one of his prized treasures and where they were. "How did you know about them?" he yelled at Harry. "Only I knew of them!"
"And there you go again, underestimating both Dumbledore and myself. But why would I want to reveal all my secrets Tom?" Harry said, breathing heavily, feeling very tired all of a sudden. He glanced down at his left arm, and saw it was covered in blood. He was losing too much, and it was starting to cause him to lose focus. "Tell you what, let's end this, I want to go back to my nice warm bed and have a good nights rest. I'm ready to have you out of my life once and for all," he sighed, placing his hands on his hips, gasping for breath.
"I am not some thorn in your side boy! I am Lord Voldemort! The Dark Lord! Prepare to die!" he screeched. "Avada Kedavra!"
Harry let the curse fly at him, keeping his wand at his side, gathering all the magical strength he could muster. Closer and closer the curse came. He placed his right foot back behind him, trying to brace himself. Closer and closer the curse came. He closed his eyes. Closer and closer the curse came. He could feel the curse coming; he could feel the magic racing towards him. Closer and closer the curse came. He put up his bloodied left hand, his palm facing Voldemort. Closer and closer the curse came. Inches from his hand, the curse stopped in midair. Still breathing heavily, Harry held the curse suspended there.
Voldemort stood in stunned silence, witnessing his Killing Curse floating in front of Harry. Harry looked beyond the light of the curse, directly into Voldemort's eyes. "For all the pain and suffering you have caused, you deserve a fate worse than death. It will be a small consolation that you will no longer plague the Earth. Tom Marvolo Riddle, may you not, rest in peace," Harry said with anger and vengeance in his voice. With all his might, he shoved the Killing Curse back at Voldemort. His snake-like eyes grew wide in fear. He put up his arms, in a vain attempt at shielding himself. He gasped his final breath as the curse hit him square in the chest, sending him flying backwards, landing with quite splash in a mud puddle. Harry stumbled over to the body, which was sprawled out, spread eagle. He looked into the eyes of his mortal enemy.
Lord Voldemort was dead.