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LEGACIES: The Halo Of Life by The Dark Lord Nedved
Chapter 19 : Choices
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 22

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**CHAPTER 19: Choices**

A few hours after the incident at Hogsmeade had started, the town square was overrun with Healers and Aurors from all over the world. Never since the height of Voldemort’s power had something like this happened, even the incident at the World Cup paled in comparison. Cornelius Fudge was mute and utterly shell shocked as he sat dumbly on the edge of the stage, an ice pack held against his broken nose. It was a horrible sight: bodies of the hundreds of visitors and townsfolk littered the ground like the dead leaves of fall. Moody told him Potter had knocked him out when he discovered that he was under the Imperius, and he shut his eyes in shame; he couldn’t believe that he was the cause of this disaster. All those weeks, the preparations of this gala event- he had organized it all.

The Death Eaters had him under complete control- he never even felt that he was being manipulated. The Dark Mark still glowed faintly in the sky: a damning symbol of his incompetence, and the price he paid for his lack of vigilance was steep. Fifteen townsfolk were dead from being trampled; three Aurors were killed in the battle, countless broken bones and immense spell damage on both sides. The hospitals were going to be full beyond capacity before this night was over.

He sighed, and buried his face in his hands. There was going to be hell to pay come the morning.

The Magical Anti Reversal Squad ( M.A.R.S) team that went to Hogwarts had returned to Hogsmeade. Randy McGregor, the division’s main clean up man had a slightly green tinge to his face. “Professor, you should come with us, and maybe let the students arrive later. It’s not a pretty sight.”

“What happened?” Dumbledore asked; his tone heavy with concern.

“It’s a bit gruesome for words, but basically its four corpses, barely recognizable, and dragon matter scattered everywhere, the walls, the windows, the grounds, everything. It pains me to say this, but we’ll need your expertise to help us get rid of that bloodbath.”

Dumbledore nodded grimly as he surveyed his students, he would spare them the horror- his students were traumatized as it was.


Hermione and Draco were unusually non combative as they walked through the empty halls of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and wizardry. Two bodies were being levitated behind them, and the sounds of their footsteps echoed ominously as they made their way to the medical ward. Hermione’s pretty white dress was slashed and stained from dragon blood, the still form of Harry Potter covered head to toe with blood and gritty sand floating behind her. A body covered with the Cloak of the order of the Phoenix hovered behind Draco Malfoy, who for once was contemplative and silent. His face was solemn, and he kept glancing at the stony expression of Hermione Granger as they carried the two boys to the hospital wing. Draco set Neville on one of the beds, and Hermione levitated Harry unto another. She stared down at the cloak covering Neville’s face, her expression disturbingly impassive.

“Granger?” he asked softly. “Are you all right?”

There was no answer.


She finally looked at Draco, but sad nothing. Turning back her stony gaze to the black cloak, she sat down on the nearest bed and stared at the corpse unblinkingly. Draco stood stock still, he had no clue what to do. He tried to console her, but she wasn’t having it.

Leave me alone,” she ordered, her voice cold as ice. He backed off, turning to look at their fallen comrades. His face set, he went to stand at Neville’s side. He dipped his head, and allowed himself to finally feel the repercussions of what they had just survived. Without even realizing it, he felt strength surge into him, a sense of determination somehow numbing him to the tragedy.

“On behalf of the Malfoy Family, I will honour your name and never forget that you fought bravely alongside us, Neville Longbottom. You have my word.” He spun on his heel, and left her alone.

Hermione was in a numb trance, she could not seem to fathom what had happened, and only when Ron rushed up to the hospital wing a long time after and grabbed her in a fierce hug did she really feel the loss. Loud, racking sobs rocked her body, and she wailed loudly into Ron’s blood stained robes.

Ron said nothing, but wrapped his arms even more around her as he tore his eyes away from the body of one of their fellow Gryffindors.


Harry awoke the next morning, a magical cast on his right leg. The birds were chirping, and it was the start of a beautiful day. He opened his eyes, and Hermione’s head was lying next to his arm, she had fallen asleep in a chair at his bedside. It was dead quiet, and the events of last night flooded back into him. Feeling sick to his stomach he unceremoniously threw up on the other side of the bed, retching violently.

He couldn’t breathe. He gasped that he wanted something to drink, then without warning, once again vomited everything that was in his stomach.

“Harry!” Hermione said, instantly waking up from her troubled sleep. Harry was still keeled over, and did not stop until everything was out. He was coughing hard, and his eyes watered with the nausea. Hermione immediately filled a cup of water for him, and tapped on the little panic bell on his bedside table. “Don’t worry, you’re going to be okay,” she said, handing him the glass of water and a basin.
He took it gratefully, and rinsed out his mouth.

Madam Pompfrey came bustling in, wrapping a robe around her nightgown. She looked utterly fatigued, and as soon as she saw the situation she summoned a vial of potion from the cupboards.

“Here Harry, drink this.” He did so gratefully, and once again fell asleep.

When Harry woke again, it was in the early afternoon.

“Professor, he’s awake! Harry, can you hear me?” Hermione asked anxiously. He nodded, and opened his eyes to peer about the room. The sword lay on his neatly folded cloak on the bed opposite and Professor Dumbledore, Remus and Hagrid were all in the ward, talking in hushed tones.

“Harry, are you alright?” A very tired looking Professor Dumbledore asked. He thought about it, he felt horrible, but decided not to let them know that. He nodded, and smiled faintly. “Everyone has left, their parents took them as soon as they found out what happened. The only students who remain are you two. Whenever you’re ready we’re here to escort you to your home as there needs to be a lot of reconstruction done here.” Dumbledore tried to smile, but failed. “Are you sure you’re fine?” he asked again worriedly, looking into Harry’s blank expression.

Show no weakness, young Potter…

“I’m fine,” came the monotone reply.

“Harry...” Hermione said worriedly. He shot her a look. She stayed quiet, but her expression said that she wanted him to rest up a bit more.

“Get this thing off my leg,” he said to no one in particular. Hermione looked down at his cast.

“No Harry, Madame Pompfrey says it still needs to heal properly…” Harry ignored her and pointed his wand.

Dissenium evanseco.” The cast vanished, and he got gingerly out of bed. Harry grimaced, and limped gingerly across the room, picking up his weapon and cloak. “I’m ready, let’s go.”

“Very well. The nearest floo fire is in my office.” Dumbledore and the others led the way. Hermione paused. Harry said nothing else and stonily ignored her as they all left for Sirius’ manor.


Hermione was in a state. Two days had passed, and still Harry hadn’t said a word to her, or anyone else for that mater. Ron visited once, alongside Ginny and Cho, but Harry stayed up in his room, silently brooding. He never locked the door, but whenever someone came to talk to him, he remained silent and unaccommodating. She brought something for him to eat and drink at mealtimes, and ate her own food in tense silence as he simply sat or lay on his bed, totally ignoring her. She would then pick up his untouched food, and cry silently as she went back downstairs.

On the third day, she couldn’t take it anymore. She got out of bed that morning and went out in search for him. He had just showered, and she waited for him as he stepped out of the adjoining bathroom.

“Harry, why aren’t you talking? I’m worried about you. Are you coming with me to Neville’s funeral today?”

He said nothing, and rummaged in his drawer for some clothes. Soundlessly, he took them out and went back inside the bathroom to get some privacy to dress. Hermione’s temper rose, and she burst in after him.

“What is wrong with you? Why are you treating me like this?’ She cried behind him, but he remained silent, buckling up his pants and throwing a jersey over his head. He acted like she wasn’t even there.

“I am not a piece of furniture! Do not ignore me!” Hermione looked deep into his eyes and incanted Leglimens!

Horrid images of blood and human bodies being decimated flooded her thoughts before Harry shut her out.

No!” he said, and there was a sharp pain as he forcefully repelled her from his mind. Hermione looked at him in understanding, and sympathized with him.

“Harry, there was no other way, you had to...”


“Harry..” she began, trying to placate him.


He sat down wearily on the bed, and held his head in his hands.

“…And I can’t stand it….I hate my fucking life….”

His pent up frustration welled up inside him, and he began to cry. Hermione wrapped her arms around him, and he sobbed heavily.

“We’ll get through this together, I promise.”

The funeral was probably the most depressing thing Harry had ever witnessed in his life. The mentally ill couple of Frank and Alice Longbottom were there, smiling cluelessly as everyone came up to them to pay their respects. Neville’s grandmother had totally broken down, and had to be helped to get up when she fell out her seat, wailing in grief. Neville’s coffin was draped with a brand new mantle of the phoenix. He was inducted into the Order post mortem, and Harry’s eyes dipped as he felt the pressures weighing on him hard. Professor Dumbledore cried silent tears as the coffin was levitated into the ground.

Draco and Kenna Malfoy put up a bouquet of flowers on top of the mantle, and to Harry’s surprise, he even went and offered his condolences to his parents and grandmother. Harry and Hermione had stood at the back of the crowd. People were only glancing at him, speculation of his direct involvement in the slaughter traveling through the air in hushed whispers. Harry didn’t care what they thought, and the Sword of Gryffindor was in plain view, tucked into the belt of his robes. He would not take any chances: anywhere he went, it was at his side.

When they reached back home, Harry sat at the breakfast table. Christmas was only a week away, and now more than ever, he was glad he wasn’t at Hogwarts. Right now, the less people he was around, the safer they were. Everyone’s parents were terrified due to the attack and he knew Christmas cheer would something hard to come by this year. He never really liked alcohol, but as he looked into the empty mug of fire whisky at his side, he thought that it had its uses.

Sighing loudly, he got up to get himself another bottle. Pouring it into the shot glass, he washed it down in one go, then once again replenished the glass.

All the many had to die deaths.

He drank again, cursing softly to himself.

When will it end?


Hermione invited him for Christmas at her house, but Harry was very reluctant. He finally agreed, and was extremely tense when Roger Granger opened the door.

“What are you doing here?” he said testily. Harry gave Hermione a “I told you so” look, and Hermione glared at her father.

“Dad! You promised!” she said in an accusative tone.

“Don’t bother,” he said sadly. He knew this would have been a bad idea anyway. “I understand. Mr. Granger. Good day.” He nodded, and got on the motorbike that Remus brought back for him. It roared to life, and Hermione practically shot bolts of lightning from her eyes towards her father. Her mother joined him at the door when she heard the engine, and she could see that a battle of wills between her husband and daughter was taking place right before her eyes. Harry was backing out of the driveway, turning to leave.

“Don’t you dare…” her father warned, seeing his daughter’s indecision. She glared venomously at him, and ran off to Harry.

“Wait! I’m coming!” she said, and jumped on behind him. Harry said nothing, but paused momentarily as she clambered on behind him. After engaging the invisibility cloak, he shot off into the sky. They made it back to Grimmauld place in next to no time, and he parked at the back. Stalking off towards the backdoor, he did not even look at her as he opened the locks.

“You should have listened to your father. He knew I was dangerous to be around,” he said darkly.

“Oh bosh! My father is an idiot,” she said, but Harry knew that she was only saying that because she was angry. “I want to spend the holiday with you, and if he doesn’t want you there, well he doesn’t want me there either,” she declared.

Harry had to smile, that made him feel like the luckiest man in the world. He looked her deep in the eyes and said, “You don’t know how much that that means to me. You mean the world to me, and I’m glad you decided to stay.” He gave her a warm hug, and Hermione needed that, more than ever, after what they’ve been through. It was his first show of affection since those weeks back, and she smiled contentedly.

“Er- so what do we do about Christmas lunch?” he smiled boyishly.

“I’m sure we could fix up something, after all, we’re wizards aren’t we?’

“HA HA! That doesn’t mean we could actually cook anything!” Harry laughed. She beamed at him, at least he was back to smiling.

“Oh ye of little faith. Just because you get spoilt on house elves cooking all your food, doesn’t mean that I don’t have any skills!”

“Okay, if you say so…” he said uncertainly. Hermione gave him a wink and set out to work.

“Come on, you’ve got to help, I’m not letting you get off so easily!” Hermione took his arm in the crook of her elbow and dragged him to the kitchen.

After the whole day of work and then eating what he must admit was a decent Christmas supper Harry was having the best night of sleep he’d had since they were all at Grimmauld Place. Then, in the darkest part of the night disturbing images began to seep into his dreams. There were faint outlines of silhouettes talking in hushed tones.

…We may not be able to get Granger, no way we’re getting anywhere close to her now.

…That seems to be the situation, doesn’t it?

…We need someone who is bound to the Halo Doholov! The Malfoy woman and the Potter woman were the only two other than the mudblood! Who can we use?

…I have found one who is bound indirectly to it. Someone who has protected Potter all of these years. She should do nicely …

… Who in the world are you talking about?

…Have no fear…. I always have a substitute plan… the voice said, and there was chilling laughter heard in the distance.


Boxing Day was a roller coaster ride for Harry. His depression over Neville was slowly fading, and now he could once again think straight. He got up with a horrible headache, but he couldn’t let Hermione know that, she may think it had something to do with her, plus that would be a very stupid thing to say, as she would worry about him even more. Harry smiled as he walked through the lonely halls of Grimmauld Place, listening to the early birds chirping their morning songs. Everything was perfect, but this horrible headache and the weird dream he had was plaguing him. Why couldn’t he remember?

Things were so much different now. He no longer could hide behind Dumbledore’s robes, or blame his troubles on Voldemort or anyone else for that matter. He was responsible for his actions, and since that fateful day when he left to find Sirius, none of his choices were the right ones. If he could take back a whole year of his life, this would have been it. Now he was back at square one, Neville was dead, there were people out for him, no wait, not only him, but also for Hermione, and he had no clue what was going to happen next. His frustration was building, and he kicked at a pair of trainers left lying in the hall, a reminder of all those months ago during the summer. Out of curiosity he opened the walk-in pantry and a sudden rush of memories flooded him, this was where they first kissed, but unfortunately at the time he couldn’t remember a thing. He was so drugged under the burn salve Cho made for him he must have made a move on Hermione, and apparently was successful.

Wish he could have remembered that though.

He sighed, things were all so simpler then. Three different girls liked him, and he didn’t know which one he liked back- but that was all normal, teenager problems. Everyone had them.

But not him.

While some guys were more concerned about girls and future career choices, he was worrying about being the number one target of Voldemort while trying to find a way to get to him first. The death toll was counting, and it dawned on him that these dark wizards would not rest until he was dead. Hermione would never be safe until it was all over, one way or the other. Contemplating on the changes he’s been through; obviously her parents must have guessed that their precious little girl wasn’t so young and innocent anymore. He smiled, she was beautiful, smart, and brave, and she loved him. It made life seem so worth living, but at the same time, what happened at Hogsmeade haunted him everyday. Another bad call in judgment; if he had gone to her when he felt the danger, she would have been safe, and Neville would still be alive. Instead, he went after Dolohov and Lestrange, and she was taken, and once again someone had to pay for his stupid mistakes.

He looked through the open window, and vowed that Hermione would never have to pay for his mistakes ever again.

Hermione Granger felt glorious as she stretched in bed, the sheets tangled about her legs, the bare flesh pressed against the cool sheets. Patting her hand on his side of the bed, she realized Harry was already up. She would nap a bit more, and then get dressed. She had waited so long after their first time to hold him close again, and it was worth the wait. Harry’s shirt was on the foot of the bed, barely hanging on the edge. Using her foot to hook it, she pulled the too big shirt over her head, then lay back and drifted off to sleep once again.


“You sure this is the place?” Roger Granger asked his wife, peering at the places numbered 11 and 13. The both sat in the car, a bit confused to why there wasn’t a number 12.

“When Harry called he told me this is the place,” his wife answered, not too sure herself.

“Well, we know that boy is nothing but trouble, I don’t know what she sees in him-”

“Mr. Granger- Mrs. Granger,” Harry Potter stood on the other side of the street, looking very sharp in a crisp white muggle shirt and slacks. Roger and his wife jumped at the sudden voice on the other side of them, and looked at him through the windows.

“You scared us! How long were you sitting there?” Jane asked, spotting the bench in the open square opposite.

“A little while. I’ll call Hermione, okay?” he said, and walked up to the empty space. He pulled out a key, and slotted it into the thin air. A door magically squeezed its way between the two adjacent houses, and he beckoned them inside. “Come in.”

They got out the car, Jane smiling a bit hesitantly, while Hermione’s father walked inside without so much as a glance in his direction.

“Where is our daughter?” he ordered, not even looking at him.

“She’ll be down in a second, sir. Please, have a seat.” Harry sighed; there was no easy way in doing this. He went up the stairs, and hoped that she would be able to see his side of things.

Hermione was having a glorious dream, when someone began pushing her softly. That same person was calling her name, and she groaned in protest.

“Hmmng? What?” she murmured.

“Come on Hermione, you’ve got to get up, and get dressed.”

“What? Why?” her eyes fluttered open, and she had some sleep tousled hair all in her face. Harry groaned silently, god, she was so damn sexy.

“You have to get up. Your folks are here for you.” At this her eyes shot open, and she stared, dumbstruck.


”Yes. I’m sorry Hermione…but you have to go.”

“What are the doing here? How could they even find the place?” she demanded.

“I called them.”

“You what?!

“Hermione, I think you should spend a little time with your parents, they’ve been worried sick.” Harry said, knowing fully well that wasn’t the reason.

“You’re lying, I know when something is not right...” She shot him her best glare.

“We could talk about this some other time, but right now they’re waiting downstairs,” Harry cursed himself, he hated to push her away, but he knew it would be for the best.

“There’s something you’re not telling me. And after yesterday, if you can’t tell me the truth... I just don’t know what to say anymore...” she trailed off, feeling immensely hurt.

Harry grimaced. He knew that she would never just take that weak excuse for him wanting her to go with her folks.

“Okay. I’m going to tell you how it is. Hermione. You’re safer with your parents, Dumbledore’s magic protection at their place is stronger than here. It’s the smarter choice.

“I told you before- I’M NOT SCARED!! WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THAT INTO YOUR HEAD?! I WANT TO STAY!!” Hermione ranted, pushing a stern finger into his chest.

“Shhh! Hermione, they’ll hear!” Harry warned, trying to calm her down.

“Oh NO YOU DON’T ‘SHH’ ME! You always try to push me away, and I don’t understand why! Am I not good enough for you?”

Harry paused. How could he make her understand his side of things? She knelt on the bed, her eyes level with his.

“Harry, listen to me, we’re a team, can’t you see that ? I need you, and you need me. We’re great together,” she tried to persuade him, taking his hand. They looked deep in each other’s eyes, and Harry’s heart ached with what he must do. Even if he didn’t, Hermione would live and pass on those beautiful eyes to the children she would have in the future. But at the moment, he had to keep her safe, no matter how much it hurt him.

“Get dressed. They’re waiting,” he said in cool finality.

“Oh so that’s it? GET DRESSED ?!” she spat angrily.

“Hermione- it’s all for the best...”

“Yeah! The best! Like when you left me in the summer, worried sick, and crying my eyes out everyday because you couldn’t- write- me- a- single- letter!”

He knew something like this would happen. He had to spell it out in basic and crude English for her to really understand.

“You don’t get it do you?” he hissed. “I’m not safe to be around. Until I sort this out, you’re in grave danger. So please...just, go with them.”


“Be reasonable,” Harry said softly.

“Promise you won’t leave me again,” she begged, squeezing his fingers.

Harry said nothing, and looked away from her. She saw it written all over his face- that was exactly what he was planning to do.

“Promise me!” she whispered fiercely.

“I- uh- promise.” It was an obvious lie, and they both knew it. Pulling her hand away, Hermione shot off the bed, why can’t he be happy with me? Why does it have to be like this??!

“FINE!! I’m going. Merry fucking Christmas!” she said angrily. Not even bothering with changing, she just pulled on her underwear under the large shirt, grabbed her wand, and stormed down the stairs.

Great Potter. Real smooth. You know exactly what to say to set her off. Shit.

He followed her down, her angry footsteps on the old wooden staircase booming through the hallway. Roger and his wife looked at her wearing Harry’s shirt- sending a clear statement to what had happened last night. Utterly shocked that she had slept with him, her father sprung up from the couch, confronting the young man at the foot of the stairs.

“You bastard!!” he roared, clenching his fists. Harry stood where he was, not saying anything. Roger Granger fumed at him, his temper coming t a boil.

“ROGER!” his wife shouted in protest, but he did not look at her, and stared into Harry’s green eyes. Harry remained cool, he had to show some maturity, or else things could get ugly. That insult hit him deeply though, he did deflower their only daughter, and her father had every right to be angry.

“Come on dear, let’s go,” she soothed him, and Mr. Granger backed off. The Grangers stormed out of his house, and Harry had the sudden impulse to say something.

“Hermione!” he blurted, and she turned at him, a flicker of hope in her eyes. Did he change his mind?

His courage faltered, and he couldn’t say those three words he wanted to shout at the top of his lungs. Come onHarry, open your mouth, and say, ‘I-LOVE-YOU’. He began to speak but the only thing that came out of his mouth was:

“Er- goodbye..then.”

Hermione’s hopes shattered into a thousand pieces, and she ran off before he saw how much Harry had hurt her. Tears were rolling down Hermione’s face, and once again Harry felt raw pain in his heart, he had made her cry again, even though he once promised never to hurt her She slammed the door as she got inside the vehicle, and scooted across to the far end, so that he couldn’t see her face. Hermione leaned against the door, silently crying as her father drove off. Harry stood at the doorway, watching the car as it disappeared around the corner. He vowed to make it up to her, after he dealt with the business at hand.


“This is ridiculous.”

Rodulphus Lestrange stood patiently outside the supermarket, looking as normal as any other muggle. Macnair, on the other hand, looked distinctly uncomfortable in their nondescript attire, his eyes darting back and forth.

“What makes you think she’ll be here?” Macnair asked again.

“Relax, my friend. My little research specimen is quite predictable.”

“So you’re saying she will be here shopping for groceries, on New Years’ Eve? How can you be so certain? You must be even more touched in the head than your wife.”

“Ha! You may be right my friend, but the line between insane and genius is very narrow. Shortly you will see why Bella is quite dead, while I, am very much alive.”

“Better be right, we’ve been waiting here for hours!” As he said it, a car hastily stole a valuable parking space from another muggle who was waiting patiently for it. Lestrange smiled.

“Ah, there she is: right on schedule. Come now, let us introduce ourselves,” he said cheerfully, striding towards her.

Petunia Dursley loved Christmas and New Day’s Eve, those were the days she really got to show off her cooking. But this year, as with all the other years, she forgot to pick up something from the grocery. Never too late to run out and just grab it quick -she couldn’t spoil dinner just because-

“Goodnight. Are you Petunia, sister of Lilly Potter?”

Petunia head shot up at the smarmy-looking gentleman with long hair, and the huge burly man with muscular forearms standing next to him.

“That name means nothing to me,” she said abruptly. Who were these men?

“Petunia Dursely?” He asked smoothly. This time she automatically responded.

“What do you want with me?”

“Nothing much, just your sister’s power. Stupefy!” She didn’t even have time to scream before she slumped into Macnair’s waiting arms.

“I must admit Lestrange, that was easy,” Macnair said begrudgingly.

“See? Told you so. Now Godfrey knows how to do Innate Possession, and we must make haste. Shall we?” With a snap of his fingers, they and they were gone.

The few days between Christmas and New year’s Day Harry was on constant vigil. He knew something was going to happen, and happen soon. Is just exactly when was the question. He went to bed alone that old year’s night, his wand strategically placed on his bedside table. A few hours later in the darkest hours of the night, he felt an intense spike of pain. He was sweating, and his body felt lethargic and weak.

What the hell was happening to him?

He sat up in bed, unconsciously rubbing his forehead. He paused, realizing what it was he was really doing. It couldn’t be. He shot out of bed, and ran into the bathroom. Igniting the lamps, he stared into the mirror. Straining his eyes to see it, a cold wave of dread washed over him.

High on his forehead was the very faint impression of a lightning shaped scar.

Jesus H. Christ. He had to warn the professor.

Author's note: Due to processing time, I will try extra hard to make sure there is a chapter ready by the time the current one is validated so you don't have the long lull in between chaps. To those who remember, there is going to be a lot of action coming up in the fic. I'm going to re-edit those chapters to make them even bigger and better, never fear. Respect and Thanks for reading!

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