Author's Note: After a long hiatus, I bring you the very last chapter of Duel. That will be it, no more chapters to read. I apologize for the long delay. Evidently endings are the absolute hardest thing for me to write. You just want them to perfectly end what you've spent months or even years working on, but finally I just decided to go with this. It isn't perfect, but good enough for me and I hope for all of you. Without further ado, on with the last chapter.
A 26 year old Harry Potter stood there nervously as he paced for a bit just inside the entrance to Diagon Alley.
He only felt this nervous when one of his wives was in labor...which was admittedly a frequent occurrence nowadays.
However, in a way, it felt like he was welcoming another couple of additions to his family. In truth, he hadn't even seen them for the last few years. He'd wanted to visit, he just hadn't had the time what with taking care of the rest of his family. Now however they would be coming here for school.
Finally however he spotted them, recognizing them almost immediately. If they weren't veela, he still would have known who they were from their jet black long hair and green eyes, having taken after him in both regards.
"Krista! Apolline!" He called.
"Daddy!" Both of them squealed as they rushed to give him a hug.
Being embraced by his "lost" daughters was certainly a great feeling for him as he hugged them back.
After they finished hugging, he looked over each of them he commented, "you've both gotten so big."
"Only a little," Apolline answered, the younger of the two twins. She was of course named after Queen Apolline, a woman her mother respected above all others.
"How is your mother?" Harry asked them both.
"Why don't you ask me yourself?" Came a happy voice.
Looking up in the direction of the voice, he very surprisingly found the only woman he had ever slept with besides his wives...and mother of his 2nd and 3rd oldest children.
"Surprise," Giselle told him.
"I wasn't expecting you to come with them," Harry admitted.
"I figured now was a good enough time to actually get out into the world," Giselle admitted.
Even so she appeared to be still glancing around occasionally, as if worried about some of the people or buildings around her.
"It's good to see you," He told her as he went to go hug her.
She however wasn't about to settle for that as she gave him a big kiss on the lips.
Admittedly it felt weird he thought. He of course was used to being kissed by many different women, but each of them were his wives. Giselle, despite their history when he had decided to provide her with the baby (fortunately two in that case) she wanted so much but couldn't have otherwise...but still it was a bit weird.
Judging from her expression however she felt a bit weird too even if kissing in her culture was a lot less that big of a deal. Neither of their daughters seemed to have any problems with it for example.
Krista was the one to break the silence as she asked, "where is Aura?"
Aura was probably both girls' best friend, and they were probably Aura's best friends. It would be nice to have them all going to Hogwarts together. Aura was rather worried about not having any of her siblings there.
With such a large family, you tended to get used to always having plenty of siblings around.
"She will be along in a few minutes, the rest of the family was busy shopping, but I figured it might be a good idea for it to be just me at first so as not to overwhelm you," He explained.
"Thank you," Giselle thanked him gratefully.
He turned back to his two children, wanting to try and catch up as best he could. Despite the distance and complications, he'd still made as best of an effort he could under the circumstances to stay in touch with them.
Aura, who visited them every summer, knew them far better.
"You came!" Came a familiar voice from behind him as his oldest daughter went to embrace her closest in age siblings.
Together again, the 3 veela girls hugged and gave each other kisses on their cheeks.
Coming up behind Aura was Pansy, which wasn't all that big of a surprise. Despite not being Aura's biological mother, all of the children they considered to be collectively theirs, and any of the children would call any of his wives mom even though it did get a bit confusing sometimes as to who they were referring to in conversation.
She certainly would have considered Aura to be her daughter and Aura would consider her one of her moms.
He looked over at his oldest daughter, staggeringly pretty even at such a young age. She looked a great deal like Gabrielle had at that age, a bit short, but adorably cute with a lean yet strong frame, and very long ankle length blonde hair that she took extra care to manage.
It was however a characteristic that most people could not normally see, but was plainly visible whenever she was particularly emotional, kind of like now for instance that got the most attention. She had been born at birth with a bright, white aura surrounding her that had only grown with time. It was why she was so named and it was also who she was as a person: displaying inner and outer beauty at the same time.
It was only a tell-tail sign known only to them just what Aura also was: a veela princess. They hadn't hid from her what she would eventually be, but they had cautioned her not to tell anybody either or let it get to her head. Fortunately it hadn't, Aura was an extremely nice and caring girl, and they felt she had been raised well enough so far. At least they still had time with her, there was every right to believe that her grandmother Queen Apolline still had many years left in her before Aura would be required to take over, but Aura had accepted her destiny and responsibility long ago.
Hopefully she would still have the opportunity to grow up normally... well as normally as possible anyway.
As if to prove her life would never be entirely normal, a slightly older boy than her, clearly entranced by how cute she and her sisters were approached them.
Aura didn't seem to be interested in boys yet, but she was starting to get this reaction more and more.
"Excuse me," The boy admitted, "but I'd like to say that I have XL underwear."
"Good for you," Aura said, trying to avoid giggling. Sometimes it could be fun hearing the stupid stuff boys said to her...and sometimes just plain creepy for a father to hear a boy say to his daughter.
He got it all the time with all of his wives and not just Fleur or Gabrielle when guys tried to hit on them, but it was even weirder for his daughters. It was something he was going to have to get used to however.
Approaching the boy, he said, "hi, I'm their father, not sure if you've heard of me, but I'm Harry Potter. Pleased to meet you."
The poor boy's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open as his eyes went right to his scar to confirm it. He decided to make a hasty exit, mumbling something before running off.
Aura giggled again as he ran away.
"Do you really need to do that to every poor boy who gets close to one of your daughters?" Pansy asked him.
"Of course I do, what kind of father would I be if I didn't?" He joked right back.
"It's okay," Aura agreed, "I just think it's funny when daddy does that to boys."
"Actually I tend to do that to everyone," Harry pointed out. Being considered the world's best duelist did have its perks.
"You won't be saying that when you get older and try to bring boys over," Pansy answered.
"I should be alright mom," Aura answered.
"Yeah, no dating until you're 80," Harry added.
"Isn't that a little extreme Honey?" Pansy asked him as she put an arm around his shoulder comfortingly.
"All right, 65 then," He amended.
"It's okay," Aura answered, "I don't think I'm going to date any boys for a long time."
"Girls then?" Pansy suggested.
Having two bisexual women in their home who were married to each other, that issue was not a big deal at their home, they would be supportive in whatever decision they made. However since the kids were still young it hadn't been a concern yet.
"No mom, although maybe if I found someone like you I might consider it," Aura replied.
Aura had a lot of respect for Pansy.
"Are you trying to hit on my wife?" Harry asked her, "because if you are I totally understand, I mean who wouldn't want to hit on this sexy thing?"
For that he leaned in and gave her a nice long kiss, before giving her bum a nice squeeze.
"Do you really have to do that?" Aura questioned, looking slightly scandalized.
"Yes," They both replied cheekily at the same time.
"Besides that's just gross wanting to hit on one of my moms," Aura argued.
"Not to me it isn't," Harry replied as he looked lovingly into his wife's eyes.
After a moment's silence, Apolline decided to change the subject by asking, "so when are we going to go get our wands?"
He grinned and said, "how about right now?"
They all headed off down the street.
"Want to see me use magic?" Aura suggested to her sisters.
Both of them nodded, but Pansy shook her head.
"Not in public," She warned Aura.
Aura had already been trained in veela magic by her grandmother every summer as part of her training to become eventual queen, but they tried to caution her against using it in public in case anybody saw a girl somehow using wandless magic.
"When we get home," He suggested to her, which seemed to satisfy the 3 girls.
After getting their wands and some other school supplies, he asked them, "so where do you want to go now?"
"Do you really need to ask?" Aura questioned.
Harry laughed before telling his daughter, "I think I have a pretty good idea."
Five minutes later found them all sitting eating ice cream at Florean Fortesque's.
Yet as he went to go have a lick of his Chocolate Galour, a family entered the Ice Cream shop.
"Muggles and MugWizards," Another customer, dressed in long dark wizard robes spat hatefully.
The family's obviously Muggle clothing was a dead giveaway.
"Magic thieving scum," His friend across from him and similarly dressed said.
He sighed. Unfortunately with the invention of the ability to give magic to Muggles, only made legal for children 11 and younger in Britain as well as a couple dozen other countries, many natural-born wizards were extremely upset with this change, and even more so with the soon to be unification of the two schools, where for the first time MugWizards or those who received magic in such a way would be sharing a school, classes, and even dorm rooms with other wizards.
Conversely, Muggles were still rather distrustful of wizards, with wizards often getting similar treatment whenever they went inside the Muggle world in wizard attire. Even so and while often treated poorly, more and more Muggles were opting to have their children become wizards, in today's society, it was far easier for a wizard, who had many valuable skills to be able to make way more money and have a better lifestyle than a Muggle could. Particularly those of the poorer classes with far fewer opportunities were opting to get it, only making natural-born wizards only more angry.
The family however, a mother and father and two kids, a boy of 7 and a girl that appeared to be around Aura's age ignored the numerous insults and looks of disgust and went to go purchase some ice cream.
For a moment, he had been worried the person selling the ice cream would deny them service, but fortunately while there was bound to be a difficult transition, the Muggle and Wizard Governments had worked very hard to ensure that discrimination or outright violence was swiftly and harshly dealt with. Fortunately there had only been a few incidents.
However the family soon got their ice cream, being as far as he could tell, given adequate amounts. Most people were still courteous, it was just a minority that were that way.
When they went to go sit however, the couple sitting right next to them immediately got up to go to another table, unwilling to be near such a family.
"Let's go sit by them," Aura suggested eagerly, as usual wanting to help others.
Pansy nodded in agreement and they each got up and went and sat at the table that the couple had just vacated.
She looked over at the mother and greeted warmly, "Hi, are you here buying school supplies as well?"
The mother seemed to study them for a moment as if cautious of a trick before replying, "yes, this is our daughter Lucy's first year at your magic school. I confess I wasn't expecting such a poor reception."
"Things will die down and get better soon, just watch," Pansy promised warmly, "we just need a chance to get to know each other that's all. I'm Pansy by the way and this is my husband Harry."
"Jack and Jamie Cresswell," The Muggle woman introduced back.
Susan, who was at the frontlines in tackling the issue, could have explained it much better, but she had pointed out that blacks and whites had once had difficulty integrating together and it had been hard, but ultimately well worth it in the end. This would be no different.
"I'm actually a veela," Aura admitted, "sometimes I'm treated a bit badly too because of it. It's just because people don't take the time to understand others."
"You seem to have a very wise daughter," The Muggle man observed, "are all 3 of these your daughters?"
"Yes," Harry admitted.
Noticing that they were still being watched, Mr. Cresswell observed, "sorry about them still staring at my family."
"Actually," He was forced to admit, "they're staring at us."
His fame seemed to follow him everywhere it seemed. The only reason he had managed to avoid spending all day signing autographs was he was using plenty of Notice-me-not charms, deadening any onlookers to being only curious about why they were somehow interested in a seemingly random and ordinary guy.
"My dad is Harry Potter," Aura blurted out, not able to resist hiding it any longer. She got a bit of a thrill out of seeing people's reactions, not because she enjoyed the attention, but because it was always funny to watch.
Even though they were Muggles, immediately the Cresswells recognized the name. Probably nobody on earth didn't know his name and he groaned inwardly.
Aura couldn't resist giggling and both Krista and Apolline giggled too, clearly enjoying learning about the fact that they apparently had a very famous father.
Technically, they were part of a very famous family in general, so they should probably get used to it he thought. Pansy and Tonks were only famous for being married to him as two of the 7 Potter beauties as dubbed by the media, but Aura, Su, Fleur, Gabrielle, and Susan were more than a bit well known for various reasons.
"I had no idea," Mrs. Cresswell claimed as she clapped a hand over her mouth.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm super famous and stuff," He claimed, wanting to speed this whole surprised reaction along, "so anyway, how are you liking your ice cream?"
Evidently the Cresswells, the Muggle family they had befriended seemed to have been able to overlook a few things, because they were soon invited to head out into the Muggle world to do a bit of shopping.
Since he felt it important for his children to experience the Muggle world as well, he instantly agreed.
However while inside a particular establishment called Clothes Galore as he "helped" Pansy pick out a few outfits, he suddenly heard a loud noise.
His instincts already on high alert, he immediately got out his wand with Pansy just a split second slower than him as they automatically went and stood back to back ready for action.
She couldn't resist laughing a bit as she commented, "are we always this jumpy?"
"Better jumpy than sorry," He quipped back.
Even if Pansy wasn't the best duelist among his wives, he would still choose any of his wives over anyone else anyday. He always fought better with one of his wives beside him.
It soon proved he had reason to be worried as he spotted more than a dozen figures all clad in dark cloaks and wearing silver masks all storm inside the front entrance.
He took out two of them before they even made it a few feet, and Pansy had already taken out another.
Aura, who had taken up a defensive position alongside them both, knew exactly what to do. Each of his children received training on what to do in such situations.
Not wanting to put his daughter in danger however, he suggested, "we've got this honey."
Unfortunately, not all of his children were as well versed in combat, causing the exact scenario he had been trying to avoid and dreaded as a parent, especially one with still plenty of enemies.
"Drop the wand," One of the assailants told him and Pansy as they held his wand pointed it directly at Krista's head while he held onto her.
Apolline, her sister, was currently being held onto as well by yet another assailant.
He thought this over. If it was just one of them being held prisoner he could have done something without too much risk. With both of them...
"What do you want?" Harry asked finally.
The unknown assailant grinned through his silver mask as he admitted, "it isn't what I want, it is what my master wants. He has been wanting to speak with you for a very, very long time."
He racked his brain, hoping it wasn't who he thought it might be, but of course that was impossible. He was dead.
"Daddy?" Krista asked worriedly.
After going over all of his options, he realized he didn't have any choice as he said, "I'll agree to come with you if you agree to swear an Unbreakable Vow that you won't hurt them."
"Harry no!" Pansy cried in worry.
He however ignored her as the assailant, still pointing his wand at Krista nodded in agreement before making the vow.
Harry let his wand clatter to the ground as he walked towards them.
Pleased, the remaining assailants chose to release Krista and Apolline, no longer needed and tied him up with strong magical rope before marching him out of the store and then disapparating.
The next thing he knew, he found himself in a graveyard of sorts, although it was clear it hadn't been maintained in many years, various weeds covering most of the gravestones.
"Harry Potter, I've been expecting you," A cold, evil voice greeted him.
He turned to look at him and gasped in shock. In truth, he hadn't really met this person since he was a baby, and he had come to just assume he was dead, but here he was in the flesh.
"Surprised and scared to see me?" Voldemort asked.
He wasn't about to let him get to him however.
"Actually I'm a bit relieved," Harry admitted, "I was worried you might be Dumbledore back from the dead, but you aren't nearly as bad as he was."
A scowl formed upon Voldemort's noseless face as he commented angrily, "I'm far greater than Dumbledore ever was."
Seeing that this subject really annoyed him, Harry reminded him, "I don't think so, I mean let's face it, the only reason you never really tried to take over magical Britain was because you were so afraid of Dumbledore, mind you I can't blame you, he used to creep me out as a kid too, but he's been dead and gone for nearly 12 years and only just now are you really getting started on your attempt to take over the world. I hadn't even heard of anything you could have possibly done particularly noticeable recently."
"I've been gathering followers!" Voldemort roared, "no thanks to you for ensuring that so many of them ended up in prison or ended up reforming. Fortunately I do have to thank you and that politician wife of yours for ensuring legislature was made for those Neo-wizards or whatever filth you are choosing to call them. Plenty of people are upset which is why I now have just the support I need to finish where I left off."
"So I'm assuming that you're starting with me, the one who vanquished you in the first place," He taunted, "my how original."
"You're really super annoying, you know that," Voldemort claimed in clear anger, "and to think all this time I hear you're some super great world famous duelist. Frankly I had concerns my men would even succeed in managing to capture you, but I suppose you're not as great as all the untruthful legends there are about you."
A thought suddenly struck him, an insane thought, but one that just seemed so obvious and delicious to him he actually laughed.
"That's why it's taken you this long to actually try and come back even after Dumbledore's death," Harry observed with a bit of mirth, "It wasn't just that you couldn't get enough followers together, you were actually scared of me instead."
The look on Voldemort's face told him it was completely true, but of course the evil dark lord denied it as he insisted, "I'm not scared of anything."
"All right," Harry suggested, "then prove it, face me in a duel, just you and me. We'll see who is better."
Voldemort seemed tempted to do just that, but at the last second he said, "no, I've got a better idea."
"Let me guess, try to sacrifice me for some dark ritual? Perhaps get out some dangerous pet and then say you don't have time to watch me die because you suddenly have some other urgent pressing matter such as world domination?" Harry suggested, "you do realize how cliché that is? I mean I've been around, I really have with evil villains by now and it really gets old."
Voldemort however had the nerve to smile evilly as he admitted, "actually what I have planned is far more inventive. You see, you actually had good reason to be concerned about Dumbledore coming back after all. It turns out the old coot was far more brilliant than even I foresaw. He actually made several clone bodies of himself in which to be able to come back as soon as everything died down and everyone thought him good and dead. Then he could start over in another part of the world in disguise and eventually rise to become a leader there. Afterwards, he would move towards conquering the world. Unfortunately for him, I ended up finding out and destroying all of his clones. All that is except for one. Right now, that body is just an empty husk, but through a great deal of effort, I've been able to replicate what Dumbledore did. All I need to do now is to fill it with a soul, and it isn't Dumbledore's."
His eyes widened in shock as he realized what Voldemort intended to do.
"That's absolutely disgusting!" Harry claimed vehemently, "why on earth would you want to do that?"
Volemort shrugged and said, "I merely wanted you to experience possibly the worst punishment imaginable. I left Dumbledore's clone body without any arms or legs and with much of it's throat cut out preventing the ability for you to talk or even swallow. I could of course have just done that to your body and saved myself a great deal of trouble, but doing this adds to the fact that even as you live, probably locked up in a prison cell somewhere once it is discovered Dumbledore is proven alive, you will only be able to stare at the many people who hated Dumbledore and also hear their disgusted voices as they speak of you with contempt. Can you imagine for example the way your wives or your children will look at you or speak of you? With such absolute disgust, never realizing that the person they are gazing at is in fact their husband or father? What about the world at large? How will they react as you are continually spit upon. Even those who may have been indifferent to you would be absolutely disgusted by your mutilated body."
That was seriously messed up, Harry thought. He could see now why Voldemort would go to such trouble. He honestly couldn't think of a worse fate for anyone. The fact that it would be himself that would soon be going through it certainly got to him.
Voldemort cackled with obvious glee as he said, "not so willing to taunt me anymore are you?"
He however wasn't about to give up just yet. He still had a plan to get out of this.
"So what do you plan to do after you do that to me anyway?" Harry asked, still trying to stall a bit for time.
"I'll gather together as many followers as I can and together, we shall prove wizard superiority and take over the world, killing all Muggles save for the few we save as our slaves," Voldemort declared.
"Good luck with that," Harry told him.
"Enough with talking, I'm ready to put you through the process," Voldemort declared as he gestured to one of his servants.
His servant brought out a large canister.
He was tempted to roll his eyes, if he was correct in his guess, Voldemort would be using that to put his soul into before putting it into the mutilated Dumbledore clone. Again, not very original. He could for example put it inside of a jack in a box and then turn the crank to open it. Peeves for example loved to play that trick on people.
Amazing that in that moment of probable death he thought of Peeves. The poltergeist had really turned around as now the official founder as well as ghost of his namesake House Peeves. He wondered idly if perhaps one of his children would end up in it.
Probably, he thought considering Peeves now had nearly as many students in it as the rest of the houses.
Aura would probably end up in it at least, Harry thought. He thought with sadness that he would never get a chance to see her get sorted...or any of his children for that matter. Oh how he loved his children and his wives. Hopefully no matter what happened, they would always know he loved them.
Just as Voldemort went to go and put his wand directly on top of his head to begin the soul extraction process...which would hurt no doubt...
An explosion knocked several of Voldemort's followers off their feet, literally, their feet had actually been blown off in the explosion.
Voldemort turned to look at the cause of the commotion but had hardly any chance to react as several spells went flying at him.
He dodged two of them, but the other two hit their target, knocking him to the ground.
A second later and the ropes he had been bound with were loosed as he turned to look at his rescue, a big smile on his face.
"What took you so long?" He asked his 7 rescuers, all 7 of his wives.
Su smiled and joked, "we weren't late were we?"
"Nope, you were just in time," Harry admitted.
As Tonks and Fleur finished taking out the rest of Voldemort's followers by knocking them out if possible and then incapacitating them, or taking more violent measures if needed, he asked Pansy, "how did you find me?"
She smiled and said, "we'll always find you Harry no matter where you are, we love you."
"Or maybe it's just the tracking charm I placed on you," Ariana confided, "evidently your attackers didn't find it."
"Nobody could find it if you put it there," Susan reminded her wife as she put an arm around her, "thank you for saving him."
"We would have actually been here a lot sooner if we didn't have to start outside the anti-apparition wards that were set up," Gabrielle declared, "who even set them up anyway? They were very well done."
"Voldemort," Harry admitted, to each of their shock as he pointed at Voldemort's body.
As he went to look him over, he noted that he was however currently still alive, although his wand arm had been completely blown off and blood was gushing from a head wound.
"What should we do with him?" Susan asked.
Pansy looked him over quickly before stating, "he's dying anyway."
At that, Harry heard Voldemort gasp, "kill me."
Oh how ironic, Harry thought. The monster that had sought for so long to cheat death was now begging for it, aware of the awful state of his injuries and the pain he would go through as he slowly died.
He could indeed let him slowly suffer and die, he would deserve it but...after nearly having had to experience a fate worse than death himself he decided on the better option.
Taking his wand back from Pansy, who had picked it up for him after he had willfully dropped it back in the clothing store, he pointed it at Voldemort and said, "Avada Kedavra."
There was a quick spark of green light and then...Voldemort closed his eyes for the last time. He was dead.
None of his wives voiced any complaint about him deciding to kill him.
However there was then another gasp of shock and he hurried over in the direction of it to find Ariana now crouching over the body of the Dumbledore clone.
"Is he...?" Susan asked with worry.
"No," Harry said as he gazed himself upon the admittedly rather gruesome sight even if it still clearly looked like Dumbledore, "he's not alive...merely the last remaining vestige of what was once Dumbledore here merely to disturb us temporarily before we move on once again from the legacy he left us."
He put an arm around Ariana to console her and then after a moment, Susan suggested, "let's go home, the kids will likely be waiting and hungry for dinner."
"Agreed," Pansy answered, "although I don't think they should know about some of the specifics of this whole event, not until they are older at least."
With that, they turned towards home.
Years later, as the memory of that event faded away, their older children sat there open-mouthed at what they just saw.
"So dad almost became a-?" Celeste asked.
"That's right," Su agreed as she clutched her very pregnant belly.
"You did amazing moms," One of his other children piped in.
"They sure did," Harry agreed as he looked at each of them lovingly.
Tonks however clapped her hands together and announced, "well I do believe it is time for bed for the rest of you."
There were several cries of complaint, but dutifully they all got up to go to bed.
As all but Su went to go tuck them in however he chose to linger back for awhile longer.
"Crazy life and family we lead huh?" He suggested.
"Definitely but I wouldn't have it any other way," Su answered as she got up to go while he helped her up.
There was however a sound of water hitting the floor and a currently surprised Su standing there, knowing immediately what had happened as she said, "speaking of which..."
He smiled and said, "never a dull moment for the Potter family."
Exactly two hours later and he had the next two additions of said family, born both perfectly happy and healthy.
Author's Note: So there you have it, the very last chapter of Duel. That means it is done, finished, completed, no need to check for anymore updates because there won't be any. I really hope you enjoyed both this chapter and the story at large and I would encourage you to keep reading my other story projects as I currently have a few in the works still. For those of you also following Too Many Dates, I should have that done and posted in probably the next couple of days as I'm mostly just in the editing stage of that. Thanks go out to my beta who stayed with me through so much of this story, he'll never know how much he helped, J.K. Rowling of course, and to all of you readers who gave me reason to keep going, especially for those of you who ever reviewed.