Harry stared longingly out of his window. Memories kept replaying in his head: Sirius falling through the veil; Hermione laying deathly still; Trelawney's hollow voice reciting the prophecy.
That damned prophecy.
He knew what it implied, even if Dumbledore hadn't told him. 'Neither can live while the other survives.' No, he knew what it meant, because Hermione had spent years trying to figure out what the diary was and when she told him what she thought it was, his hand reflexively rubbed his scar.
It was obvious in hindsight that his cursed scar was more than just a cursed scar. How could he have gained abilities like Parseltongue if it was ordinary? No, he had a fragment of a soul stuck in his head and so until it was gone Voldemort wouldn't be able to die.
Dumbledore had told him that his supposed power Voldemort lacked was love, but Harry knew that was wishful thinking. True it had stopped the possession, but that's all it was good for, except maybe casting a Patronus and he doubted that would be much use in killing Voldemort.
No, what he knew to be his power that Voldemort would never be able to comprehend nor use was his ability to embrace death. It wasn't a hard decision really, because the fragment of a soul in his head had to go and the only known methods rendered the container useless, not to mention that now Voldemort could act openly people would start dying.
If his death would save more lives than he could imagine, there was no way he would avoid or delay it. Even now he was waiting for the change of the guard as he didn't want Moody bursting in to stop it.
Already he had several letters written out and Hedwig knew what to do with them. One to Hermione, sharing what he knew his scar to be and how thankful he was for all her help over the years; one to Ron and Ginny, summarising what he knew and thanked them and their family for being so accepting; one to Neville, thanking him for going to the Ministry and encouraging him to be as brave as he was that night; one to Luna, also thanking her for going to the Ministry and encouraging her to stand up for herself as she did for her friends; one to Moony, detailing what he knew and asking him to stay strong despite being alone; one to Hagrid, saying goodbye and asking him to care for Hedwig; finally one to Dumbledore, detailing everything he knew and his reasoning for what he was doing. Lastly... lastly he wrote one to Sirius, because if there was... if there was any hope, Hedwig would find him or at least do her best to.
He caught the changing of the guards in the corner of his eye, a rustling bush giving way to a slight distortion before settling down again.
With a resigned sigh, he started what he wanted to do. His bed was pushed against the wall and his trunk opened on top of it. Using ink, he enlarged a ruin for "Sacrifice" onto his floor before filling the central gap with one for "Retribution" as both were the most fitting for what he was doing. He didn't know much about Runes, but from a little reading Ancient Egyptian seemed the best for what he wanted to do and it couldn't hurt to include them.
Awaiting the drying, he began to filter his trunk, piling up everything of importance. It was far from sure, but anything he could to do to help he would do.
A good fifteen or so minutes later, he began to arrange the items around the runes. In the centre, he placed a fragment of a basilisk's tooth, it being the only thing he knew capable. Around the outside, he placed his Firebolt, the album Hagrid made of his parents, his cloak of invisibility, his wand, the Marauder's Map, the shattered two-way mirror and the gifted penknife.
It seemed right to him that four of the seven items were linked to his beloved Godfather, three to his father, one to his mother and one to the monster who took them all from him.
Sitting in the middle, holding the fang in his hand, he watched the digital clock slowly approach midnight. As it struck, he began to chant the words he had made up, having carefully chosen the wording to hopefully accomplish everything he wanted it to do, because he knew how truly important intent was to all magic.
'To magic, I offer you everything I have. I give you my most prized possessions, my life, my soul, my own magic and anything else of mine you wish to take. I spill my blood in hope that you will hear my prayer and remove the blight that is Tom Marvolo Riddle from the world, that you judge his soul find him wanting. As my mother did before me, I offer you my life in return for the protection of those I love. To magic, I ask all this and offer all I have, so mote it be.'
Breathing in, he plunged the fang into his skull as punctuation to his request, the acute tooth slicing through the scarred flesh. Already he felt the world pulling away, but the moment the first drop of blood hit the floor, a dazzling light pulled him back as the runes ignited.
His consciousness was roughly tossed across the country to beneath a small shack where a ring exploded in a small ball of righteous flames. Again he was manhandled, this time to Grimmauld Place where the displayed locket repeated the ring's action. Next was down into the depths of Gringotts where a golden cup became inflamed. Then into the bowels of Hogwarts and an unfamiliar room laden with miscellaneous goods including a burning diadem. After, he was returned to his room where he felt himself spontaneously combust.
Only, rather than pain, it was soothing, like phoenix song.
Then he came to a manor where a snake writhed upon the floor, tendrils strangling it. His thoughts were shoved across the manor to a room with a throne wrought in the centre of a grand room. Seated was Voldemort, though once he arrived Voldemort began screaming as the same flames sprang forth.
A smile crept upon his lips as he shot back to his room, his body collapsing back onto the floor. Upon his forehead, either side of the lightning bolt and fang, were a cow's head and a crossed crook and flail, burning white.
Beneath his still body, the ink continued glowing as the light crept upon his offerings. Slowly, the map melted into the floor along with the shards of the mirror and his wand while tongues of magic lapped at the others, leaving glowing marks that matched the new ones on his forehead.
Then, slowly, the glow subsided, leaving the room in darkness.
Hedwig dropped down from her perch, nuzzling her master and affectionately nipping his ear before carrying her burden through the window and into the darkness, sounding out a morbid bark as she did so.
In the darkness he lay, deathly still, with a smile upon his face.