Chapter 31 : The Final Countdown
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The Final Countdown
“Everyone get ready!” Harry yelled as he ran through the halls to collect his gear. “Wands out, ready for anything. Move it, move it, move it!”
Harry’s movements and yelled commands seemed to help no one be calm about the situations. Students were quickly aiming their wands at anyone who moved. Harry knew this wasn’t the best course of action but it might be the safest for them with the current situation.
Harry was dressed though he hadn’t attached any swords or knives to him. He knew he’d never be able to get close enough to Voldemort to use them. But he had two swords in his hands. The ones that were given to him by Kei, Ryo, and Takeshi. Harry had a feeling they’d be needed today even if it wasn’t him that would need them.
Harry met up with Kei, Jen, and Rena at the entrance hallway. He handed the two swords to Ryo and Takeshi. “Take care of them.” He told them. “I’ll want them back when this is over.”
“Won’t you need them Harry?” Ryo asked.
“I don’t see Voldemort letting me get close enough to use them.” Harry told him with a nod. “You two are great with swords. Use them well.”
“Okay Harry.” Ryo said.
“I will.” Takeshi answered.
“What do we do?” Kei asked Harry.
“Stick to your plan.” Harry told him. “It’ll work. We know it will.”
“But you know I can’t see what happens to you.” Kei said.
“You know enough to know I walk out of it.” Harry replied. “That’s enough for me.”
“Kick his ass for all of us Harry.” Rena said with a smile and nod.
“Definitely.” Harry replied. “A walk in the park. Now lets get going.”
The assigned teams walked outside and everyone took their positions. Harry glanced around at the people standing with him and smiled. None looked nervous, not even his friends. They were ready. Harry knew it and so did they.
“I guess we’ll at least give them one hell of a fight.” Harry said with a laugh. “Any last minute warnings Kei?”
“Headmaster, watch for death eaters to your left.” Kei said. “Tonks, watch Remus’ back carefully. Jen, be careful of the one who acts like he’s weak. He’ll be baiting you. Rena, trust to your feet.”
“Got it.” Jen and Rena said together.
“The rest of you, just remember that you’re all here fighting with us cause you are the best.” Kei said. “Prove it to them. Do whatever you have to, but survive.”
“I don’t think I can do it Harry.” Tonks said to him softly. “I can’t kill anyone. I don’t have that much hate in me to do it again Harry.”
Harry placed a hand on her shoulder and looked at her with sorrowful eyes. “Then just be sad Tonks. That’s what I do.” He told her with a slight nod. “Now go and get ready to fight. I bet Remus is already worried about you.”
Tonks looked in Harry’s eyes for a moment before nodding in understanding. “I’ll see you when this is all over.” She said.
“Of that I’ve no doubt.” Harry said with a smile.
As Tonks rushed off to the greenhouse Harry took a few steps to be in front of the group. This was his moment to panic. To fear everything that could happen. In that moment he let out every fear and horrifying thing that could happen during this battle and laid them all to rest while still looking the perfect example of Gryffindor courage and bravery. Dumbledore walked to him after a few minutes and rested a hand on his shoulder.
“I have no doubt that you can defeat Voldemort, Harry.” Dumbledore told him. “You truly have an inner strength that he can never know.”
Harry nodded. “Thank you sir.” He replied. “When this is all over I’m free right? To live like I want to I mean.”
Dumbledore smiled warmly. “My boy, you have always been free to do so.” He told Harry. “You already have. You just do not yet understand it because of the weight you allow yourself to bear. But when it is over you will no longer have to bear it.”
“Good.” Harry replied. “I’m tired of it. It has weighed me down too long.”
“I will be here to help you Harry.” Dumbledore said. “All you must do is call for me and I will be by your side.”
“Thank you sir.” Harry said. Then he turned around and looked at Eileen. “After this we really must sit and have a long talk. I’d like to get to know my godmother after all.”
Eileen smiled brightly at Harry. “With pleasure.” She told him.
“They’re coming.” Kei said with his eyes closed.
Harry nodded and turned his attention to the direction Kei’s closed eyes were looking. Soon he saw explosions and laughed. “I guess they stumbled on to my surprises.” He said.
He watched as they continued to face explosion after explosion. Harry noticed that they were leaving a rather gruesome trail in their movement. When at last they’d made it through all the traps sprung for them Harry guessed they’d lost at least half their number behind.
“Long walk?” Harry asked calmly.
“Potter, why don’t you surrender to me now?” Voldemort questioned. “Your small band of followers are no match for my death eaters.”
“They are not my followers Voldemort.” Harry told him. “They are my family. Each and every one of them. I’d bet on their strength against your death eaters any day.”
“You cannot hope to win.” Voldemort said. “You are outnumbered.”
“Then why don’t we settle this just you and me?” Harry asked. “Or are you afraid of fighting me? I understand if you are. I would have killed you as an infant if it wasn’t for the horcruxes.”
“So you suggest a duel?” Voldemort asked. “What’s to keep you from running like you did the last time?”
Harry smiled. “Where is there to run?” He asked. “What’s left to defend?”
Voldemort smiled evilly. “Very well Potter.” He said.
Harry stepped forward to about twenty paces from Voldemort and bowed before pulling out his wand. Voldemort did the same. “Are you ready then?” Harry asked.
“Just one more thing.” Voldemort said before pointing his wand in the air. “Kill them all!” Then a bright bubble seemed to surround both Harry and Voldemort. Harry was even more shocked as the bubble turned black all around but still seemed to allow light in. “Now there is nowhere to run Potter, and we will most certainly not be interrupted.”
“Good.” Harry said and had his wand aimed at Voldemort. He waited for Voldemort’s first move nervously. As soon as he felt the need to strike he did.
“Avada Kedavra!” They yelled in unison.
Their wands connected as they had in the graveyard after the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Harry kept fighting to push the spell back on Voldemort as he knew what the trick to it was now. Soon he saw that they were battling for the spell strongly on both sides and Harry knew what he had to do.
“Voldemort, I’m going to win.” Harry told him.
“How do you imagine that?” Voldemort spat back.
“Because I’ll cheat.” Harry told him and had Gryffindor’s wand in his left hand instantly and aimed at Voldemort. “Avada Kedavra!”
Voldemort leapt out of the way and broke the connection between the wands. Voldemort sent a curse at Harry that he didn’t recognize and he dodged it quickly. Harry slide his wand away and quickly had Slytherin’s in his right hand as he aimed again.
“Tishiya!” He yelled and Voldemort just managed to escape.
“How did you learn that?” Voldemort asked. “No one has the power to use parseltongue spells. They were lost with Salazar Slytherin.”
“I guess I had good teachers.” Harry said and shot another parseltongue spell at Voldemort that almost hit him.
“I suppose I will have to use another trick then.” Voldemort said.
Harry felt Voldemort trying to break into his mind and fought with all his strength to push him out. When he saw that it was harder than he thought he did the next best thing. “Sectumsempra!” Harry yelled angrily, furious with himself for not being stronger in his mental abilities.
Voldemort dodged the spell quickly and turned his wand on Harry. “Crucio!” He spat venomously.
Harry dodge the spell easily and glared at Voldemort. “You’ll have to do better than that.” He said.
Kei led the students that chose to fight. This mean Jen, Rena, Ryo, Takeshi, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Susan, Hannah, and Brianna. Their team was the smallest but by no means less menacing when faced against.
Kei took Ryo and Takeshi with him as he fought the death eaters. He swore to look out for his brothers and he planned to do it. At the moment it didn’t seem needed as they were fighting strong even though he saw tears in Takeshi’s eyes. He knew what that was as he had seen it often from Harry. He didn’t let it stop him from fighting.
The battle waged on in a battle of near epic proportions. While they were not ending the attack they were slowing it with every move. They continued fighting on as strong as they could.
Jen and Rena had taken up together as both of their partners were in their own battles. They moved well together. Rena let her feet do their normal trick of stepping right where she needed to be while Jen used her talent to see where the spells were aimed at and coming from.
The two seemed to work in unison while working separately at the same time. They gave warnings and shields to each other without stopping the fight in front of them. They were so locked in the battle that they almost missed Kei’s call.
“Now Jen!” Kei yelled.
Jen quickly transfigured a metal shield out of a blade of grass and quickly thought Attack! to Scrimgeour and Tonks before returning to the battle as if it were the simplest thing in the world to do.
Ron, Susan, Brianna and Ginny were fighting together. Their spells came quick and soon enough they were using obsolete obstacles for a chance to hide when the spells came their way too quickly for them to dodge them all.
“Hannah!” Hermione yelled.
Ron turned and saw Hermione standing alone with ten death eaters about to hit her with spells and ran to her. Just before the spells hit a huge boulder appeared in front of Hermione and Ron was standing next to her.
“What happened?” Ron asked.
“She’s dead Ron.” Hermione told him. “I couldn’t help her.”
“No one could then.” Ron said to her. “You have to keep it together. We’re going to run on three okay?”
“Okay.” Hermione said with a nod.
“One.” Ron said with a deep breath. “Two.” Another breath. “Three!”
With that he grabbed Hermione’s hand and ran as fast as he could, half pulling her behind him. Spells flew to the places their bodies were in just seconds before and then the spells slowed. Ron looked and saw Ginny, Brianna, and Susan shooting spells of all kinds at the death eaters trying to get Hermione and him. He got to them and quickly turned firing five spells and then turned to Hermione.
“We’re fine here.” Ron told her. “Help Dumbledore till everyone else gets here.”
“But-” Hermione started.
“No time for that Hermione.” Ginny said without looking at her. “Dumbledore needs help but we need to be here. If we aren’t they have a clear line to the door. Go, we’ll cover you.” Hermione nodded. “Okay. Ready? Now!”
Hermione ran as fast as she could to Dumbledore. When she got to him she faced the death eaters and used whatever spells she could to stop them. Dumbledore’s acknowledgement of her was something that surprised her the most.
“Miss Granger, I am glad you are here. Will you be so kind as to see to Severus’ ribs?” Dumbledore asked. “He tells me they are broken.”
“Right away sir.” Hermione said and went to check on Snape. She handed him a vial that Harry gave them all. “Didn’t Harry give you any of those potions?”
“He tried.” Snape said. “I am still unsure of the potion making skills of Weasley however.”
“Well trust me then.” Hermione told him. “I made this myself.”
Snape nodded and drank the potion quickly before pushing Hermione to the ground as a spell rushed over her side and aimed his wand straight ahead of him. “Sectumsempra!” Then he held his free hand to help her up. “My apologies, Granger.”
“Thank you sir.” Hermione said before turning her attention back to the fight.
Tonks found herself crying quickly using Harry’s method of fighting. She hadn’t know how hard it was for him to fight like this before, but now she did and the sorrow she felt was for no one other than Harry. The amount of pain he had to have suffered to use his magic so efficiently must have been torture for him.
She couldn’t imagine ever doing this again it was so painful. She knew she had to keep on with it on that day, the most important day, so that she could be the most helpful. Sadness, along with her skills at sharp spelling, made her a very deadly foe. She always kept a close eye on Remus and was sure to stop anyone who he happened to miss with very deadly accuracy.
As time wore on they moved closer to the teachers of Hogwarts and stood between them and Ron’s small band of auror trainees. At last Scrimgeour joined them with Kingsley and the rest of the aurors and Ron’s group moved closer to Jen, Rena, Kei, Ryo, and Takeshi.
It seemed as if the line was drawn at last. Students and professors, Aurors and Order members, Dumbledore and Scrimgeour, all standing side by side against their toughest adversary. The true battle of good versus evil.
While this tremendous event was happening they all knew something even more shocking was taking place in a spot they couldn’t see. The battle that worried them the most and yet was completely unknown to them. Everyone refused to look at the impenetrable blackness that contained the battle that they all wanted to know of the most.
Harry stood facing Voldemort. The battle had been going on for what felt like hours to Harry though he knew it couldn’t have been that long. It was the force he was pushing into the spells that made him feel so weak. Voldemort paused for a second.
“You have greatly improved from your fourth year Harry.” Voldemort said calmly. “I am pleased that you are not running away as you did then.”
“I was young and foolish, what do you expect?” Harry asked. “If I knew it was this easy to fight you I’d have done it ages ago.” He added as a devious grin pulled at the left corner of his mouth.
“Then let me show you the true power of the Dark Lord, Harry.” Voldemort said as his evil tone became more horrifying. “Avada Kedavra!” Harry rolled quickly to the left but was unable to avoid what happened next. “Sectumsempra!”
Harry felt the agony that occurred in that instant and collapsed as the curse hit and cut him from a few inches from his left shoulder down to his right hip. The gash was deep enough to nearly have gone straight through. Harry coughed and saw blood fly from his mouth as he looked shocked at Voldemort who seemed to stop his attack.
“You are through Harry.” Voldemort said calmly. “This battle was won by me before you even chose to take it. Fear not, you fought as well as can be expected, even better than Dumbledore fought me in his time. You have proved yourself. You have nothing left to fight for.”
Harry moved his head to see what was happening with the others. Knowing they couldn’t help nor even see the battle between Harry and Voldemort he knew they thought him still fighting bravely. He had to see them first. He had to know they were all doing well.
He saw Hermione with Remus, Eileen, Dumbledore, and the rest of the Hogwarts staff out there. He saw Hermione fight with the same slow determination he saw in McGonagall and smiled at this knowledge. He also noticed that all the teachers fought in this way. They seemed to be taking the slow approach which managed to leave them less tired than their enemies, who were attacking at near maniacal speeds but looked as if they’d pass out from exhaustion.
Dumbledore himself had a look of calm about him that he had to admit would strike fear into him had he been faced against it. Eileen seemed to remind him strongly of Sirius in that moment. She was talking back and forth with Remus and they seemed to have a standing joke going. Remus himself seemed to be at ease, as if he felt at home on a battlefield.
He saw Susan, Ron, Ginny, and Brianna fighting strongly. Their skills had improved tremendously from the time they started learning from him. He was proud as he saw them dodge spell after spell, and especially when he saw them use every item he’d given them from the twins.
Jen and Rena were fighting nearly side by side. Rena’s mind seemed focused on letting her feet walk on their own to avoid spells while counting on her own skill to overpower her enemies. Jen seemed to take the simplest approach of stealing the next attacks direct from her opponents minds and countering them easily.
Tonks fought beside Kingsley and Scrimgeour. He noticed that she was crying but her spells were strong and he knew that she understood what he had said to her before the battle broke out. Kingsley and Scrimgeour seemed to use brute force magical attacks to take down two or three death eaters at a time.
At last he saw Kei. Standing with him was Ryo and Takeshi. Ryo’s face was set in the same grim look of determination as when he practiced with Harry, while the tears still seemed locked inside his eyes. Takeshi looked much different from any time he’d ever seen the young boy before. His face was tear streaked and his expression was filled with pride, but his eyes shocked Harry the most. He saw not only determination but sorrow in them, as if he were suffering the loss of each person he attacked.
Kei seemed to be torn. His eyes held the sadness that was normal, but his movements were too strong, too fluid and aggressive, to be as sad. Harry also knew it wasn’t anger that was leading his friend, no, his brother’s actions, but rather the knowledge that his younger brothers were involved as well had pushed him further into his role as a guardian. Now he not only protected the world, but the lives he swore to his parents to protect with his own.
“You’re wrong.” Harry gasped as he coughed up another spatter of blood.
“Oh?” Voldemort asked calmly, thinking this battle won. “And what is there left for you to fight for?”
Harry took a deep breath and did something he’d never done before. He used the magic he used so well with his wands in his life to sustain him. One last battle, he thought to himself, just one more and it’s all over.
“Everything.” He said viciously as he jumped to his feet quicker than he ever had before. It was then he broke his promise to himself, knowing he had no other choice. “Now let me show you the true power of a guardian.”
“Avada Kedavra!” Voldemort screamed, but Harry had already expect it and had transfigured the metal wall in front of him. As the spell hit Harry spun around from behind the wall and aimed quickly with Gryffindor’s wand.
“Sectumsempra!” Harry yelled. When Voldemort dodged he was met by a shock similar to Harry’s moments before. “Sectumsempra!” Harry spat again, hatred filling his voice and soul with every syllable. Voldemort’s wand arm was torn from his body and the wail of agony the screamed through Voldemort’s mouth reverberated through Harry’s skull like a jackhammer. “Sectumsempra!” Harry cried again, just as evil as before but aimed the spell low. The cause was that Voldemort’s legs were cut clean from his body. “Sectumsempra!” Harry yelled again and Voldemort’s other arm came clean off the stump that was left of Voldemort’s torso.
Harry walked calmly toward Voldemort then. When he could see Voldemort staring at him in shock he spoke. “This is what even your ancestor feared. When I use hate and the dark arts I’m very strong. Pretty much unstoppable.”
“Then do it, Harry.” Voldemort said with determination. “Become what you hate most. Take my life in your hate and become just what I am.”
“No.” Harry said as tears finally fell from his eyes. “I have no more hate Voldemort. I have only sadness left. You’ve taken me from those I love. I have nothing but emptiness and loss left.”
“Then you will lose.” Voldemort said. “Because my death will have been done with hate.”
Harry shook his head. “Sorry Voldemort.” He said. “But it won’t.” He added as sadness thickened his voice and he pointed Gryffindor’s and Slytherin’s wand at Voldemort. “Sadness will do. Avada Kedavra!”
Voldemort’s eyes widened. In the second it took for the spell to strike him he saw exactly what it was that was going to kill him. The sadness in Harry’s eyes spoke volumes more than any words could. Worse was that Voldemort was being killed by something he never knew and could never understand. He was gong to lose his life due to love.
As Voldemort’s eyes faded as the spell hit him the dome preventing anyone from seeing or helping either of them disappeared. Harry saw everyone stare at him for only a second before he turned to face the battle properly. With the moment of shock that held everyone frozen Harry took the time to take down fifteen death eaters, the most noticeable being Lucius Malfoy and Wormtail. Harry didn’t know who else he had managed to hit as his vision kept swimming in and out of focus. He only knew that they were death eaters.
With this done many began their escape immediately. This led to many more falling in the battle than before as they were often killed or otherwise stopped during their chances at escape. In what seemed a matter of minutes after Harry’s attack the battle was over.
Harry took a few short, weakened, and very uncertain steps before he fell to the ground. He pulled himself over to the wall of the manor and forced himself to sit, once more coughing blood upon the ground.
“It’s over.” Harry said to himself as all those he saw only a few minutes before came over to him.
Ginny was the first to reach him and hugged him tightly before noticing how he stiffened at the embrace. As she pulled back from him she saw that her shirt was covered in blood. She looked at him shocked as tears stained her eyes. “What happened to you?”
“I tried Gin.” Harry replied sadly as he started to cry. “I tried to do this right.”
“What happened to you?” Kei asked worried.
“I couldn’t avoid it. No chance.” Harry said.
“Get Madam Pomfrey!” Ginny yelled. “Quick! He needs blood replenishing potion and he needs to get healed up quickly before it’s too late!”
“It’s already too late.” Harry said softly.
Tears streamed down Ginny’s face. “No!” She yelled. “It’s not too late! Just shut up and let us take care of you!”
Harry shook his head. “Incurable.” He said softly. “I can’t be saved. Let me say what I need to. I don’t have much time.”
“No Harry!” Ginny yelled again as the tears now flew freely from her eyes. “You can’t die! You can’t leave me alone!”
“Never alone.” Harry rasped and another cough escaped his lips. He looked around at all those standing around him. “Family. You’re all family. Even you, you insufferable git.” He finished with a nod in Snape’s direction. Then he looked at Remus. “Remember that well.”
Remus nodded. “I will Harry.” He said.
“Professor, can’t we help him at all?” Hermione asked Dumbledore.
“I do not know, Miss Granger.” Dumbledore said. “I assume he knows the curse used well to know if it’s incurable.”
“You can’t die Harry.” Takeshi said. “You taught us, and we’re here. You’ve got to be okay.”
Harry smiled sadly. “I only helped teach you.” He said. “I’m grateful, Takeshi, that my students have surpassed their teacher.”
“Harry, please don’t go.” Ginny said softly with her voice thick with emotion and tears. “I love you.”
“I love you too Gin.” Harry said. “That’s what helped me win. Love was my strongest weapon.”
“I’m sorry Harry.” Kei said. “I didn’t see it to warn you. I failed.”
Harry shook his head. “No, you didn’t.” He said. “You are the one who will pass on our knowledge. Go to them, all three of you, and tell them what happened to me. Tell them I didn’t fall to the darkness, tell them I sent you to learn from them. Protect what is yours now until it becomes the time for others to take our roles. That’s your job now.”
“I will Harry.” Kei said as tears filled his eyes as well as Jen’s and Rena’s. “I promise you.”
“Good.” Harry said. Then he turned to Rena. “Guess we won’t go shopping next year huh?”
Rena tried to smile. “I guess not.” She said. “I’ll miss you Harry. We all will.”
Harry nodded. “You are in charge.” He said. “Trust Kei’s plans and Jen’s knowledge. You are the only one reckless enough to take charge now though.”
Rena nodded. “I will Harry.” She said softly. “Be well in your next life.”
“Jen, keep them on the right track.” Harry told her. “You have all the knowledge to do so.”
“I will Harry.” Jen said before she hugged Kei, crying into his shoulder.
“Brianna, you take care of Ginny when you two get to be aurors.” Harry said.
“I will, as often as she’ll save me I’d wager.” Brianna said. “I wish this hadn’t happened.”
“Me too.” Harry said. Then he turned to Ron and Hermione. “Love each other and live as I always wanted to.”
Hermione hugged Harry, as did Ron. “I promise Harry.” She said.
“I’ll do my best mate.” Ron said sadly. “Are you sure there’s no way to help?”
“I wish there was.” Harry said before another coughing fit took hold of him. “Ginny, I’m so sorry. I wanted to be there to grow old with you. I wish I could. I’m sorry this happened. I love you.”
“I love you too Harry.” Ginny said, crying openly with her head resting on his undamaged shoulder. “I’m going to miss you Harry.”
“I will miss you too.” Harry said, then his demeanor changed and he smiled slightly as he nodded to Dumbledore. “You were right about it all.”
“What do you mean Harry?” Dumbledore asked curiously.
“Love was my strongest weapon, and this life is not the end.” Harry answered. “I hear them sir. Sirius, Dad, Mum, they’re calling to me. They said it’s okay, that they’re proud. I didn’t disappoint them at all. They say my adventure’s not over yet, that its only just begun. They are waiting for me. It’s time, they say.”
Dumbledore, for the first time in many years, had tears escaping his eyes as he kneeled down and placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Then you should not keep them waiting my friend.” He said sadly. “We will miss you in this life, but we will find you when our adventures bring us together again.”
“I will be waiting for you all.” Harry said softly as one last sigh escaped his lips. “But I hope it is a long time for all of you. Goodbye, my most wonderful family.”
And with those final words Harry Potter left this world for his next adventure, just as Albus Dumbledore always promised him.
A/N: And now you all probably hate me. I know. Please read the last chapter though. It's not over just yet. But feel free to tell me you hate me now if you'd like. I'll only say I had a very good reason it had to happen. Thank you for reading.
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