Chapter 1

The Choice

"AVEDA KEDEVRA!" Voldemort's eyes were alive with excitement as he watched the young man before him fall. It was over. His Death Eaters were silent, but bristling with curiosity and anticipation. Harry Potter was dead. The Death Eaters had just watched their master kill him. They had won.

Harry Potter opened his eyes. He didn't appear to be lying on anything, but as soon as he thought it, Harry realized he was standing on a floor. He was surrounded by white mist, but it was a most bizarre mist, unlike any he had seen before. It was most definitely not fog; it didn't feel like anything, it seemed to just… exist. Harry had a funny feeling it would become whatever he wanted. In the same moment, Harry realized he was naked, and immediately wished for robes. They appeared a short distance away. Harry pulled them on. They were warm and soft like he had just pulled them out of the dryer.

"Harry." Harry saw a familiar figure walking toward him.

"But you're dead!" Harry blurted out. "Does that mean I'm dead too?"

Professor Albus Dumbledore smiled, his astonishingly blue eyes twinkling.

"An excellent question my dear boy. Walk with me." Dumbledore strode along into the white nothingness, with Harry jogging to catch up.

"So, professor, where are we?"

"I can quite honestly say that I have no idea. This is, as they say, your party. Where would you say we are?"

"Well," Harry began, looking around. He suddenly realized he recognized the place, "It looks a bit like King's Cross Station."

"King's Cross, eh?" said Dumbledore, peering about. "I think you are right."

He stopped suddenly. Harry looked at him questionably. He smiled woefully and pointed down. Harry looked underneath the bench they had stopped at and recoiled. It was the ugliest baby Harry had ever laid eyes on. It lay there under the bench, wailing at the top of its lungs now that it knew Harry had seen it. Harry shot an alarmed glance at Dumbledore. He meant to ask, "How can I help?" but it came out as, "What is it?"

Dumbledore looked slightly amused at Harry's expression.

"Something beyond your help, and mine for that matter. I'm sure you are wondering why you are here."

"Yes, sir."

"You have a choice to make. You have destroyed all but one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. He himself just killed the last one when he killed you. Now you must decide. Do you wish to go back and continue your fight, or leave the fighting to the rest of the world?"

"I have a choice, sir? I don't have to go back?"

"Not at all Harry, my brave young man. You say we are in King's Cross? Then I think, if you so wished, you would be able to catch a train."

"And where would it take me?"

Dumbledore paused, contemplating this question. "On." he finally replied. Dumbledore smiled, and then walked into the mist. Harry sat down on the bench, thinking hard. This was the most important decision of his life. Or death. He knew what the right choice was. What the brave choice was. But Harry was so tired of being brave. He just wanted an eternity of peace.

Ginny. He thought of only her for a minute. Her fiery red hair. Her soft brown eyes. The way she seemed to dance as she fought. He wanted to go back to her. But she would join him eventually, if he chose to go on.

Mom, dad, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Cedric, Dobby. The war had disposed of so many great fighters and friends already. What would it matter if a small, skinny boy of no particular talent joined them? He wanted to join them. He wanted to know what it was like to have a mother; he wanted to laugh the days away with his father. The ache of losing his godfather still reverberated within him. These thoughts passed over his brain in a moment, and he knew.

The train pulled silently into the station. Harry didn't know where it would lead him to, but he knew it would be better than the place of the living. He boarded. "This is it." was his only thought. The train doors slid shut with no squeaks. There was a slight hiss and the train started moving. Harry was nervous but excited. This is it. The train moved faster and faster until all Harry could see was the white mist that made up the train station he had just exited. Harry's heart stopped, both in real life and metaphorically.

This is it.

Narcissa Malfoy walked cautiously up to the broken body of Harry Potter, as if she were afraid he would jump up and start killing everything in sight. Hagrid was weeping enormous sobs from where he was tied to a great pine tree. He was struggling against his bonds, but the ropes of the Death Eaters were strong, so he stained in vain. Narcissa leaned down close to Harry's heart and listened. Silence. She felt the young man's wrist for a pulse. Nothing. She was happy for the wrong reasons. With Harry Potter dead, Voldemort and his army would march to the castle to give the survivors of the terrible battle a choice: join him or be killed. Narcissa would finally be able to see her son again, if he was alive that is.

She stood up.

"Dead." She pronounced. Hagrid's wails doubled in power, but they could hardly be heard over the terrible cheers of the Death Eaters. Voldemort smiled an evil, twisted, demented grin as his army advanced to the castle.

Disclaimer: Hey all! As you could probably tell, this is my first Fanficton. I hope you liked it! I guess I didn't do too terrible if you got this far. Well, you I'm sure you know, these wonderful characters do not belong to me, but the amazing J.K. Rowling (and if you didn't know that, why the heck are you reading this?!). So, that's pretty much it. I hope you enjoy the rest!