Knowing Kakashi was out there, fighting to save Harry and his world, did nothing to calm the teenager's nerves. It was torture, knowing that his lover could be killed at any given moment. Was this how Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were feeling? Remus and Tonks? Harry knew that Kakashi had been in battle before, but the shinobi had never faced off against wizards and magic.
The whole situation made Harry that more determined to finish the battle quickly. The quicker this was finished, the less of a chance there was for more people to die. He threw spell after spell at his opponents, curse after curse, not caring if they were Unforgiveable curses or not. He just wanted this battle to be over with.
Harry knew he needed to find Voldemort. He knew that he was going to die before the night ended. It would just be a matter of when.
White-hot pain seared through his scar. Harry felt himself drop to the ground as he screeched in pain, clutching his burning scar. After a minute, the pain subsided and Harry could hear an announcement being made by Voldemort himself.
The Death Eaters would retreat for an hour. Harry was to give himself up. He was to head inside the Forbidden Forest to be killed by Voldemort. If he did, there would be no more deaths.
Harry didn't believe the last promise. He knew that after his death, others would keep on fighting. Voldemort wouldn't stop killing until every single wizard or witch or shinobi or creature that had defended Harry Potter was dead. And even then, Voldemort wouldn't be satisfied.
Shinobi were looking around in confusion. Harry doubted that they had ever encountered something like this. From what he had heard, shinobi fought until the battle was over. There were no "breaks" in the battle.
Harry turned to look behind him. The Forbidden Forest called to him. He didn't want to do this so soon, especially since Nagini hadn't been killed yet, but there was no point in stalling. He had already had enough time to accept his death.
As Harry started to wander into the Forbidden Forest, he became aware of someone coming after him. He stopped and eyed the dog. He recognized this dog as Pakkun, having met him once.
"Pakkun-san," he greeted. "Why are you here?"
"Akago-san," the ninken said. "Or is it something different?"
"I am the Harry Potter that the enemy wants," Harry informed the dog. "This world knows me as Harry Potter."
"And you're just going to give yourself up? Without a fight?"
"There's no other way!" Harry shouted, finally letting his frustrations about the entire situation bubble to the surface. "I've tried to think of ways out of this situation for weeks. I've got to die, otherwise this war will never end. I'm dying for the greater good! For a future!"
Pakkun stared at Harry for a long moment before giving a curt nod. The ninken could sense that he wouldn't be able to talk Harry out of doing this.
"Then you shouldn't be alone. A shinobi should never die alone. They should die with a comrade to take them back home to their family and friends."
"I'm not a shinobi," Harry pointed out.
"But you're as brave as one," Pakkun replied before dashing out of sight. Harry stared in the direction the ninken went, mulling over those words.
Pakkun returned a few minutes later, with Kakashi following behind him. Upon seeing the gray-haired shinobi, tears started to prick at Harry's green eyes. Of course Pakkun would bring Kakashi to him, the one person Harry wanted to see most before he died.
"Pakkun filled me in," Kakashi said bluntly.
"I don't want to do this," Harry murmured. "But there's no other way. You understand, don't you?"
"Not completely, but for the most part," Kakashi said. "I should be restraining you, ordering you not to do this."
"This isn't your battle," Harry pointed out. "You can't order me to do anything."
From behind Kakashi's mask, Harry could see the tiniest flicker of a smile. He wondered what it meant. The teenager began to walk further into the Forest. Kakashi followed.
"Is there a chance that you'll survive this encounter?" Kakashi asked, wrapping his larger hand around Harry's. Harry tried not to flinch at the sound of hope in the shinobi's voice.
"Probably not. I've survived too many other times," he replied dully. "There were so many other times I could have died and didn't. I suppose my luck has run out now."
"Or maybe there's enough luck left for one last encounter," Kakashi murmured.
"Maybe," Harry agreed. "But I doubt it. This time I won't be fighting to stay alive. This time I'm just sacrificing myself in the hopes of a better future for my people."
Harry knew that Kakashi would understand what he was trying to accomplish with his sacrifice. From what he had heard in Konoha, Kakashi had been prepared to do the same in many battles. He had even been a similar age in his first few battles.
"Ino will be upset," Kakashi said.
"Thank her for me when you get back, will you?" Harry asked. "For making me feel welcome at first."
"I'll make sure that someone will," Kakashi said. "However, I won't return until I know that this enemy of yours is no longer a threat. As long as he is a threat here, he is a potential threat to Konoha."
"There are people up ahead," Pakkun announced. Harry nearly tripped over his feet in surprise. He hadn't noticed Pakkun following them.
Harry looked at Kakashi.
"I suppose this is goodbye," he said quietly. Kakashi gave a tiny nod, unsure if he would be able to speak in a clear voice. Harry tried not to focus on the pain and torment revealing itself in Kakashi's single eye.
Harry never saw Kakashi move. One second the man was a few feet away and the next, lips were pressed on Harry's in a firm, hard kiss.
"If there's any way at all, come back," Kakashi whispered against his lips. Harry nodded and caressed Kakashi's face carefully.
"Don't leave me," he said as he pulled away. "Bring my body back if you can."
Harry tried not to think about how similar his words were to Cedric's. He knew that it was cruel to force Kakashi to watch him die but he felt better, knowing that he wouldn't be alone as he died. He would have a familiar face near him.
Harry walked toward the gathering of people he could just barely here. Kakashi remained where he was.
"I'm here," Harry announced as he walked into the clearing where Voldemort was waiting. "I've come."
Voldemort grinned. His thin lips and pale skin made the expression look painful. Harry stared dully back at his foe.
There were no pleasantries exchanged. No grand announcements. Voldemort merely raised his wand.
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