Author's Note: This story is a collaboration with my friend Imbeni. I wrote it, but we both plotted equally. I borrowed the style of Jim Henson's Storyteller series. This fic is intended to read out loud in a theatric manner, as such grammar is far from proper. Dialogue outside of quotes is summary dialogue. Dialogue in quotes is word for word. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: This story is based on the Harry Potter novels written by J.K. Rowling. All characters created by J.K. Rowling are owned by J.K. Rowling. None of us are making any money off this and no infringement is intended.
Year Seven: Part 2
Harry decides the only way to convince Draco is to let him see for himself that the children are safe. Licinia is eight months old now and demands Lucius's attention to the point where he's gotten in the habit of taking a nap when she does, and Narcissa likes to lie with him.
Harry takes the opportunity to ask Draco to side-along. They can both Apparate now. Harry takes him to Little Hangleton.
"What is this place?"
"I wanted to show you where the children are. I want you to see that they're safe. He's changed, Draco. If you come with me to meet him, you'll see!"
Now, Draco might be a Gryffindor, but his brand of bravery falls more along the lines of flowers and love songs. He is not foolhardy enough to drop in on Lord Voldemort unannounced. He urges his brother to be more cautious. "No, wait. Let's look around first."
Harry has been given no reason to worry about what they might see, so he's willing to explore. Draco slinks along the back of houses and through alleys, ears alert and heart pounding. Harry follows along behind, trying to reassure him. "The wizard children are up at the house. I don't think there's much to see down-"
"Ssh!" Draco hisses. He hears voices. He tries to flatten his brother to the wall and peak around the corner. It's a dark sight that greets them. Down below ten shuddering Muggles stand in a line in the snow. Four Death Eaters in robes, but not having bothered to don masks, are pacing in front of them.
"...naughty children..." the voice floats up, then a Crucio and one of the Muggles collapses in pain. Draco wants to rescue them, but it's four on one unless he can count on Harry. Even then the odds are not good. "Yes, I see how much he's changed," Draco spits, willing Harry to see too.
But Harry doesn't want to. "Maybe they have been bad," he argues. "We don't know what they're being punished for. Maybe it was awful!"
Draco takes a step back, repulsed. How can this be the same Harry that warned Ron and Hermione away from the forest? How can this be the Harry who sat on his bed for evening stories? But he has sworn not to give up on him.
"Harry, don't you recognize that man?"
"There! Fenrir Greyback!"
Harry's never seen the man. But he knows the name, and it chills him. "He's the one who turned Lupin."
"Father says he targets kids."
Harry feels colder. "What is he doing here?"
The Death Eaters down below are laughing now. Fenrir picks the smallest girl from the line. "This one for me." He drags her toward the forest, while she screams and cries.
Harry's chest is ice. "We should tell Lord-"
"I think he knows," Draco interrupts darkly. He turns his back on Harry and runs down to the forest. Harry follows him. His head is screaming against him, but he has to stop Fenrir.
Draco finds the werewolf in a clearing and fires a stunner at him. Taken by surprise, Fenrir drops without a fight. Draco hurries to the girl, gently but firmly pulling her away. She's not a day over twelve and clings to him, sobbing and shaking. He glares at Harry. His eyes say, See. See why they call him the Dark Lord.
And something inside Harry snaps. He points his wand at Fenrir, mutters a curse, and a flash of green light means the werewolf won't hurt anyone ever again.
Draco sees what Harry has done and clings to the girl now as tightly as she is clinging to him. "Si-Sirius," he manages at last. "Let's go to Sirius."
He raises his wand, shoots off a Patronus with a warning, and takes Harry's arm so he doesn't lose him. They Apparate to Grimmauld Place. Draco nearly has to drag his two charges up the stairs, one clinging to him and the other dead weight. He pounds on the door, and Sirius answers. "Harry! What's happened?"
At his godfather's touch, Harry collapses. He's inconsolable! Wracked with guilt beyond bearing! "It's my fault! It's all my fault!" And he can say nothing else. Moody is there. He summons the rest of the horcrux squad, while they try to console the girl and sort out the story. Moody leaves the girl in Lupin's hands and tries to congratulate Harry on killing a Death Eater. This doesn't help. Harry never wanted to hurt anyone.
Luna and Hermione arrive, and Draco fills them in as quickly as he can, though he's not sure how to tell them what Harry did. Sirius has been trying to console his godson, but he's at a loss. Harry is balled on the couch, and Sirius backs away defeated. Harry's tune has changed to a rocking murmur of "Sorry. I'm Sorry. I didn't-"
Luna drifts onto the couch beside him and pulls his head onto her lap. "It's all right, Harry. You can make it right, now." And eventually his sobs fade into shudders, though he still doesn't want to face anyone.
When he calms down, they tell him about the diadem and work on a plan. Moody wants to rescue Little Hangleton, but it won't be an easy battle. They need to get the horcruxes first. If the snake is one, then there's only one that remains hidden. Harry could spy for them. He doesn't want to, but he feels responsible now, so he agrees. There's something else, but even Moody knows the boy has reached his limit for the day.
Sirius floos Lucius to assure him the boys are safe and have been with him. Lucius wants them home, and to avoid suspicion, they are sent. Draco claims to return to Sirius's the next day, though he really snuck off to have Christmas with Hermione's parents. Harry stays at the manor. He's less oblivious now, and Narcissa's ennui finally dawns on him.
"You don't like my brilliant idea, do you?" he asks her.
Narcissa is ready to vent. "It's a terrible plan, Harry. Horrid. Babies ought to be with their real mothers. It's one thing to adopt a needy orphan, but this is dishonest. It's a lie! Licinia's life is a lie, and so is ours!"
"I'm sorry," Harry murmurs. "I'm going to try to set things right." Narcissa can see he really is sorry and hugs him close as though she's his mother too. "It's all right, Harry. I'll forgive you. Just try to talk sense into Lucius."
Narcissa snatches away the baby for a change, and Harry stares at Lucius with heavy eyes. Lucius takes his ward to his office and asks what's wrong.
Harry's too tired to lie. "I killed Fenrir."
Lucius wards the office. This clearly needs to be a private conversation. He won't let Harry go to Azkaban over a werewolf.
The story spills out. Harry's too broken to be cautious. "Did you know?" he asks Lucius. "Did you know about Fenrir?"
Lucius can honestly say he didn't. "You did the right thing," he assures Harry.
Harry's been waiting for someone to say that and clings to it. "I think I've been wrong about a lot of other things," he admits. "I think I've been wrong about Voldemort. He's not my friend."
Lucius twists inside. Old loyalties are slow to die. He had thought himself quite progressive in agreeing to Harry's plan. But he can see Harry's now disillusioned with it. He thinks of Licinia, and the thought of a wizard like Fenrir anywhere near her or the other children makes him angry and ill. He had trusted Lord Voldemort too. "He's very powerful, Harry. You would do better to try to reason with him than fight him. He might listen to you. But if you are too defiant, he will kill us."
Harry frowns and chews on his thought and finally says. "If there was a way to kill Voldemort would you help?"
"That's dangerous talk, Harry. I don't think he can be killed."
"But if there was a way...Would-You-Help-Me?"
Lucius pauses. Harry clearly knows something he doesn't. "Is there a way?"
And out spills the story of the horcruxes. Harry gives a description of the cup which triggers a memory in Lucius. Voldemort gave two of his most loyal Death Eaters powerful objects to keep safe. Lucius a diary, and Bella a cup. When Bella was sent to Azkaban, Narcissa was entrusted with her key, and Lucius is pretty sure he's seen the cup in her vault.
That night Lucius goes himself to Little Hangleton to hide Fenrir's body. The next day he gets the key and retrieves the cup. He gives it to Harry, who is bursting with relief to have Lucius on his side.
The moment is sobered by Harry's realization that they'll have to give back Licinia. Lucius is far less amenable to this part of the plan. "We must wait at least until the Dark Lord is truly dead." Harry agrees, which buys Lucius a few more months with his darling.
Harry's pleased as punch to show up at the first horcrux squad meeting after term begins with the missing horcrux. HOW? they want to know.
Harry smiles. "Father got it for me."
They're all in shock, but never mind that now. Stabbitty, stab, stab! And the cup's full of holes. "Only the snake left."
Moody must work out the details of their assault, which is delayed till Easter holidays, so as not to tip their hand. Harry's clearly a lousy spy, so the next step is to confront Uncle Snape. Harry and Draco tell him about Fenrir and Little Hangleton, and Snape sighs. A nicer, friendlier Voldemort had been too good to be true. Since he had always been more devoted to Harry and Lucius than Voldemort anyway, he's quite willing to spy for the Order again.
Harry asks Luna for a Hogsmeade date, and while the rest of the horcrux squad is happy to encourage it, Luna's skeptical. Pansy decides being overturned for Looney Lovegood is the last straw and attaches herself to the arm of Terence Higgs, who's out of school already and has a real job.
Whether it would have been a successful date is hard to say, since Moody interrupts. He's decided he needs to tell Harry something and not at the last minute. This is not news to Harry's liking. He's a horcrux too? He has to...die? And at Voldemort's hand? But what about the prophecy? What about...?
But Moody can only shake his head. "I'm only telling you what Dumbledore told me, lad. I hope you and the squad can figure a way around it."
Harry returns to Luna, white as a ghost, and she takes him back to school. He assembles the squad, so he doesn't have to tell them twice, and relays Moody's news. Somber news indeed. Luna does Harry the service of crying for him. She's not sure she wants to date Harry, but she certainly doesn't want him to die. No one else does either, so it's back to the books to find a way to de-horcrux someone without killing them.
Between trying to save Harry and prepare for N.E.W.T.s, they don't have much time for anything else. All two months of dedicated research can pull up is that to de-horcrux Harry, Lord Voldemort must feel genuine remorse, so Harry figures he's doomed. It was his brilliant idea that caused all the trouble. It's his duty to fix it. But he really doesn't want to die.
...not a virgin. "Virgins make better sacrifices," Luna tells him coldly. "Besides, you'll survive somehow. Boy Who Lived and all."
Easter holidays come too soon. Luna allows Harry a kiss for luck. Lucius tells Voldemort that Harry wishes to bring some pure-blood friends to him. Snape has armed the entire Order with Basilisk fangs from the trunk. Everyone is told to kill the snake, though not why.
Harry shows up on Voldemort's doorstep with Neville, Ginny, and Draco. Lucius helps present them, then suggests they take the tour, while Voldemort chats with Harry. Snape agrees to guide as well. Harry's left alone to chat with the Dark Lord.
Now Voldemort's been happy as a clam this whole time. Muggles under his rule, and a large family of wizard children calling him Father. But Harry, you look troubled.
"I'm sorry, sir. I've been...I've been thinking about the first time around. And I was wondering. Do you ever feel remorse?"
While Voldemort tries to puzzle through this topic of conversation, Draco, Neville, and Ginny are looking for the snake while pretending to take a tour. Finally Snape spots Nagini slithering by, and the squad is on it. Stabbitty, stab, stab! Snake's dead.
A signal is fired, the Order attacks and chaos ensues. Lucius and Snape don Death Eater masks to try to take out Voldemort's agents at Riddle House without endangering the children. The horcrux squad focuses on rescuing Muggles, making good use of Hermione's invisibility cloak, while the Order tries to take the fight down to the village.
Voldemort hears the ruckus and throws open the window. He understand immediately that Harry has betrayed him. Without a thought, he fires a killing curse and goes to defend his children.
Now, Harry's dead. But not quite. A bright light yes, but now he's in a train station. King's Cross perhaps? And there's a ghastly thing crying under the bench. And someone coming to greet him. But not Albus Dumbeldore. This Harry barely knew him and needs no answers. No, instead what he's always needed and wanted was a mother to love him, and it's his mother he sees. His real mother, Lily. She hugs him and sooths him and sits with him.
"Am I dead?" Harry asks her.
She strokes and ruffles his hair. "Only if you want to be, my dear boy."
"Oh well, I don't want to be."
She kisses his forehead and lets him go. "Live well, Harry."
Harry finds himself back on the cold floor where he had fallen. He picks himself up and looks out the window. Lord Voldemort is storming down towards the gates, firing curses at anyone who's foolish enough not to run away. Without a thought, Harry hurries down after him.
Now, a Gryffindor Harry might call out to the Dark Lord. Announce his survival. Allow a final chance for remorse. But this is a Slytherin Harry, so he walks up silently and fires a killing curse at the Dark Lord's back. Voldemort is quite dead, but just to be sure, Harry fires off a few extra Avada Kedavras and a Crucio and kicks the corpse.
Lucius and Snape have cleared the house of everyone but crying children and their Muggle nannies. They look out the window to see Harry alive and the Dark Lord dead, and Lucius runs out to embrace his boy.
As they realize the Dark Mark has gone, the remaining Death Eaters run away, and everyone but Mad-Eye is happy to let them. The rest of the Order sets about the business of returning the right children to the right parents, and modifying the memory of the Little Hangleton Muggles so they at least can forget this ever happened.
Licinia is returned too, along with her parent's memories of her, and a very large pile of clothes and gifts. Her Muggle parents insist on calling her Abbigail. The Daily Prophet reports the tragic death of Licinia at the hands of the Death Eaters. Lucius prefers not to talk about it. Narcissa sooths him.
The squad shuffles back to Hogwarts for a bit of normalcy and final exams. Half the wizarding world didn't even know a war had been going on, and they're too tired to correct them. Draco no longer cares that Hermione out does him in every subject, Ginny and Neville are just glad to be together, as they should be, and Harry is just glad to be alive. "I told you, you'd survive," Luna says, though in all honesty she hadn't been entirely sure.
Home for the summer! Done with school forever! They've survived seven years at Hogwarts, and so has Professor Snape.
Draco doesn't want a birthday party this year. He wants a wedding, and Narcissa ensures it's the grandest money can buy. She's decided she can do far worse than Hermione for a daughter-in-law, and if Lucius says a word against it, she'll kill him.
Oddly enough, Lucius finds he doesn't mind so much. He's ready for grandchildren.
The wedding is every bit as grand as Narcissa can dream it. Everyone is invited, and everyone comes, even Pansy and Terence, and a bunch of people who never made it into the story. Draco and Hermione are dressed in white and surrounded by flowers. They both say yes, and that is the start of another great adventure.
Harry feels happy for them and a little jealous too. Luna's sitting beside him dressed like a sunflower, and he asks her. "Do you want to be my girlfriend?"
She cocks her golden head, looks at him with silver eyes and says, "I'll think about it."
End Notes: This style doesn't lend itself to epilogues, which are depressing affairs at any rate. Thank you for reading to the end. Please review with your thoughts. We're considering doing this as a YouTube series (again as homage to Jim Henson's Storyteller series).