There is a boy who lived. Unfortunately for the wizarding world, he will live to be a boy who died.

The whispers ring out through the wizarding world - you-know-who, the Dark Lord, Voldemort is dead! There is drinking and fireworks and arrests and oh so much happiness, because it wasn't the Aurors, paid and trained to save them, that had killed him, nor the Order of the Phoenix, masked vigilantes that they were.

The whispers ring out through the wizarding world - Harry James Potter, the boy-who-lived! Voldemort killed his father, killed his mother, but could he kill one little boy? No! Of course not, they cheer.

Because the Potters are dead.

A mad dog snarls as he's arrested for killing a dirty rat. An bat looks back and screams what have I done. A kitty cat on a street corner weeps.

Because the Potters are dead.

The prophecy, the prophecy, those select few whisper, as Hagrid's motorcycle roars on the way to the Potters.

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…

Neville Longbottom, Harry Potter, a new contender every second, but blood will out, like draws to like. Voldemort killed the Potters, they cry, but the boy who lived killed him! Harry Potter, the boy who lived! they cheer.

Because the Potters are dead.

Dumbledore, waiting patiently with an unbelieving kitty cat, fears he is not as gone as he seems.

But the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies, and Harry killed July with his birth, and the Dark Lord had been vanquished.

Because the Potters are dead.

Dumbledore knows not what the power the Dark Lord knows not is, but he thinks it love - what else could someone as brilliant but deprived as the orphan Tom Riddle lack?

The Dark Lord will mark him as his equal. Dumbledore looks down at young Harry's scar, and smiles a sad little smile. "Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground." He says, chuckling, as he places the young boy on the step and lets the wards set in.

The scene closes on their disappearance, the lone babe in his blanket waiting on the step for history to be made.

For the next thirteen years, Harry lives, breathes for neither can live while the other survives, and although Voldemort might not be dead at the hand of the other to survive is to not-die or disappear, to live through something, and a shade thought to be gone tethered to life only by the split of his soul is not survival at it's fullest.

Some sort of survival it is, however, so Harry lives with abuse and death and fickle people on all sides.

Because the Potters are dead.

Until Voldemort steps out of the cauldron, adjusts his new robe, and laughs. "Harry! I'd almost forgotten you were here, standing on the bones of my father. I'd introduce you, but rumor has it you're almost as famous as me these days."

Voldemort laughs once more,giddy with life, and turns to his summoned followers. "The Boy-Who-Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry! Do you want to know what really happened thirteen years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? It was love. You see, when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, it provided him with the ultimate protection, I could not touch him. It was old magic, something I should have foreseen. But no matter, no matter, things have changed. I can touch you … Now!"

And Harry pales as his finger touches his cheek, and then he screams in pain pain-pain-pain. And Voldemort laughs once more, assured that the boy is no longer any threat, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not.

And once love is off the list, there aren't many things that are left.

As the war wages on, as the years drag by, Harry cries and lies and almost dies over and over again. While his life worsens, Voldemort's life betters - the Death Eaters are moving faster and faster, gaining control over the Ministry, over Hogwarts, and then-

Harry is the Master of Death, he has the cloak and the ring and the wand, and he has the power the Dark Lord knows not.

"That Potter lives is due more to my errors, than to his triumphs... I have been careless, and so have been thwarted by luck and chance, those wreckers of all but the best laid plans. But I know better now. I understand those things that I did not understand before. I must be the one to kill Harry Potter, and I shall be." Voldemort says, and then does.

And Harry, Master of Death, uses the power the Dark Lord knows not.

It isn't love, it isn't hate, it isn't magic, it isn't strength, it isn't hope - but it is fate.

Because seventeen year old Harry Potter, the boy who lived, can die.

Because the Potters are dead.

But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not and avoiding death isn't something Voldemort isn't acutely aware of.

Dumbledore looks down at a tarnished soul and sighs as Harry gets on the train.

Either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.

Harry Potter is dead and gone, he has not survived, and Voldemort throws back his head and laughs, and laughs, because he can live.

Voldemort rapes the prophecy out of the last of the light's minds, and from then on worries not that it might give birth to another fated hero.

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies… and he laughs and he laughs and he laughs.

Because the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord is dead at the hand of the other.

The one.

The one.

The one.

And Voldemort laughs, and laughs, and laughs as the last of the Light scream their deaths at his feet. The mad dog is dead, the dirty rat is dead, the bat is dead, and there is only one sad little kitty cat left.

The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord is dead at the hand of the other. The prophecy has already given birth to its destined hero, and its destined hero's power the Dark Lord knows not was death, the only thing Voldemort knew not of.

Voldemort laughs and he laughs and he laughs.

Happily ever after.