Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, lay dying in the failing dusk. The field was quiet around him; everyone was gone to the night of black, beyond the veil. His hands and feet were numb, from the curse or from the cool breeze, he didn't know. Nor did he particularly care. He had more things to worry about then how cold he was.
Voldemort's empty shell lay nearby, he knew. He had sent him there himself, by his own wand and hand. The harsh sound of the killing curse had pierced the evening air, propelled by fear and anger and an unfailing courage. The Dark Lord had been overcome, simply and finally, just like that. Betrayed by a spell he had invented, by a hero he had created. Fate at its' best.
A spider crawled near his head, and the wind whistled by. Harry smiled as life continued on, even as his was ending. He felt light-headed, sore, but nothing else. The damage was internal, the hurt was inside, from the curse that had killed his enemy and from the piece of his soul he had given up to destroy him. Oh, and the repeated use of the Cruciatus curse may have inflicted some injuries as well.
The Final Battle was over. Forever. They were all safe, now. Ron and Hermione, together; Mr. and Mrs. Weasley; Remus and Mad-Eye and Bill and Dean and Luna and Neville. All of the Order, all of the world. The Dark Lord was defeated, and finally, there was peace.
His thoughts turned to Ginny, as the last rays of the sun disappeared over the horizon. His beautiful, cunning, stunning, brilliant Ginny. Red hair flaming in the morning light, eyes dancing in the twinkle of the moon, heart beating as she pressed him against her, holding him safe in her arms. She too would be protected from evil now, for always.
Exhaustion ran through him, even now, even after all this time. The battle had been waged for so long, it had become a part of him, strange and alien, yet essential to his existence. Four years he had fought, four years he had endangered the lives of other in his quest to bring the good and right back to the world. Now, they were safe, and he was happy.
However, there was still sorrow and grief in his heart, as he thought of the things he would miss. Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks. The Burrow. Hogwarts. Ron's laugh. Hermione's smile. Mrs. Weasley's embraces. Ginny's touch. He would miss everything, as Ron and Hermione entered their life together, as the Weasley twins made their fortune, as the son he would never know grew up.
The dark crept in from the sky.
His child. Ginny's child. The boy born in the war, a beacon of hope and happiness. They had been too young, way too young. But somehow, strangely, it was right. It had brought purpose, it had brought meaning to Harry, as day after day after day in fought in so many bloody battles, where people died at any given moment and nobody could stop to care. Innocence and justice became just two more casualties, killed by the never ceasing hunger of war.
He hoped he would grow up good, and strong. He hoped the boy would be loved, he hoped the boy had every single happiness in the world, and would always feel wanted. He wanted his son to grow up in a world without pain, he wanted him to learn and play and go to school. He wanted him to be just another boy, just another wizard. He wanted him to be normal.
A star appeared above him, and suddenly, he couldn't breathe. The air caught in his lungs and it felt as if he was on fire. He gasped for oxygen, and finally, after an eternity, it came, sweet and cool. His head fell back down onto the grass, as lights danced in his vision. He closed them, savouring the respite of the dark.
It was harsh, somehow, that he wouldn't know his son, and that his son would not know him. History repeated itself, Voldemort killing Harry just like his parents before him. Two generations destroyed by the same man, orphaning one child and leaving another fatherless.
Harry's torso began to freeze, as he lost all feeling everywhere.
So this is what it feels to die, he thought to himself, even as he could feel his mind shutting down. He remembered everything in that infinitesimal moment, absolutely everything.
Drinking a disgustingly warm glass of milk at Dudley's third birthday party.
Hiding from a bully at seven.
Running from Dudley. Meeting Ron and Hermione. Finding the Chamber of Secrets. Laughing by the lake. Fighting the merpeople. Crashing the flying car. Talking with Cho. Kissing Ginny. Crying by Cedric's body. Dancing at Bill's wedding. Holding Tonks' lifeless body. The tragedies of war and the triumphs of life all came rushing back to him in an instant as he approached the threshold of death.
In the Department of Mysteries, deep within his mind, the veil shifted and opened, revealing everything. Harry Potter approached the edge. On the outside, his body began to seize up, convulsing, alone in the dark. But he was already gone, into the veil.
Somewhere else, a child cried out, and a hero passed into legend.
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