Chapter 11 : Once and For All
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Also I must give credit where credit is due, there is a small scene at the end of the chapter that resembles a scene crafted by the brilliant J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. She is the creater of that scene I just used the same idea to end the story. So this is me giving her credit for that. :)
Harry and Hermione stayed hidden in the dark corner for felt like hours to the two of them; Bellatrix was still lurking around the common room. She had already been upstairs into the dormitories. Harry couldn’t bear to think about what had went on up there, students were bound to have still been in the dormitories; scared stiff upon hearing the murders of Ginny and Ron. It killed Harry to know that these deaths were all because of him. Hermione was trembling beside him, terribly shaken up from the death of her best friend, and from what Harry could tell, her only friend besides himself.
Bellatrix was standing in front of the fire, the red hues bouncing off her black hair. Her arms were folded across her chest and she was tapping her foot lightly. The sound irritated Harry to no end; it was an almost eerily calm tap. With everything that was going on Harry couldn’t imagine anyone being calm. She had her back to Harry and Hermione, who stared upon her with utter hatred. Hermione finally tapped Harry on the shoulder and withdrew her wand from her pocket.
“Move over,” she mouthed to Harry. Hermione’s eyes were unexpectedly glazed over with a determination that was so strong and fierce that it intimidated Harry. It was clear that her hatred towards this woman was all culminating to this one moment. He inched over sideways and allowed enough room for Hermione to crouch beside him. Slowly she aimed her wand at Bellatrix.
“Petrificus Totalus,” Hermione yelled with an anger that Harry didn’t know she could possess. The spell shot out of Hermione’s wand and hit Bellatrix square in the back. She fell to the floor and Hermione and Harry darted out from their hiding spot. Hermione made her way over to Bellatrix’s frozen body and stared down at her loathingly, a few new tears spilled over from Hermione’s eyes and she clenched her fists in anger. Then without warning Hermione kicked her swiftly in the side.
She glanced back at Harry, appearing more satisfied than before and together they went out of the common room. The door swung open and the both of them were admitted into a full-scale war going on in the hallways. Harry could see the black cloaks of the death eaters flying around furiously as other wizards fought against them. Harry had never seen many of these wizards, though they all appeared decent enough. Hermione shook Harry’s shoulder to bring him back from his trance.
“The Order is here,” Hermione said as she looked around. Harry looked at Hermione for a long moment, staring deep into her eyes. A chill ran down his spine but the feeling warmed him. He shook his head and grabbed her hand.
“We have to find our way to the stone,” Harry gazed out ahead of himself, “We’ll have to alert Sirius later.” Hermione nodded and together they ran down the halls, dodging spells as they were fired all around them. They managed to make their way up to the second floor corridor without any trouble.
“There, I see it.” Hermione yelled from beside him. The commotion occurring in the castle was reaching uproar and Harry had trouble even hearing Hermione yell from beside him. He nodded and they made their way down the remainder of the hallway, dodging spells as they raced past. They reached the wooden door and Hermione grabbed the handle but stopped.
Harry eyed her curiously for a moment before laying a hand on her shoulder. Hermione turned around to face him, concern engraved in her face.
“Harry, if we die,” she took his hands in hers and squeezed them gently, “I’m glad I took the time to get to know you. You aren’t like everyone else, I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. I feel so…safe around you.” She said as she laughed lightly and placed a light kiss on Harry’s cheek. She released his hands and went back to opening the door. Harry didn’t know what was taking place within him but something told him to take Hermione back. He gently took hold of Hermione’s arm and turned her around to face him.
She looked confused and anxious about what was to come. Harry had never seen anyone look so beautiful to him than Hermione did in that moment. Her eyes shone brightly through all of the sadness she was full of from the death of her best friend and best of all they told Harry that somehow everything was going to work out.
Harry wasn’t sure when it had happened but one moment he found himself gazing into Hermione eyes and the next moment he was barely an inch from her. She had her brow ceased and her eyes were now screaming a million questions, but her lips were turned into a smile that lit up all her features. Slowly, as to make sure Hermione was okay with it; he leaned in close and gently placed his lips onto hers.
At first she tensed up and she grabbed Harry’s shoulders, as if surprised by his actions but then she eased into his kiss. She tenderly wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. After a moment Harry slowly pulled away and looked to her, making sure that she was okay with what had just happened. She seemed confused at first but then she seemed to light up and smiled warmly back, as if some realization had come upon her.
“Hermione, I don’t care if I die today, because to be honest,” Harry let out a deep sigh, “I didn’t live until the day I met you. I don’t really even know what I’ve been doing all these years.” Hermione hugged him tightly, resting her head on his shoulder.
“Harry, that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” Hermione said with a genuine smile. A loud crash suddenly sounded from behind them. The two of them looked around wildly, trying to find the source of the crash but nothing around them seemed to be broken. Harry put his ear against the door and sure enough another loud crash sounded from behind the door. He reached for the door handle and was about to open it when Hermione put a firm hand down on his.
“No,” she said sternly, “if we go in there we would be walking into a full blown battle. It would a death sentence for the both of us.”
“But if we don’t go in there then we can’t get the stone.”
“I know, but all we can do for now is wait for them to come out.” Harry wanted to reject the idea and join the battle raging behind the door but Hermione was right. Running into it would risk too much. He grabbed her hand and they took off down the opposite hallway.
“What are we doing?” Hermione practically had to scream at him with all the noise around them.
“If we can’t fight them then we should help everyone else.” Harry yelled in response and he looked back at her for support. She nodded and released his hand as she point ahead of them.
“I just saw someone go into that room.” Harry nodded and they both sprint to the room. Harry reached the door first and swung it open, wide enough to allow Hermione to get through. Harry searched the room but there didn’t seem to be anyone else in the room except for Hermione, who was breathing steadily behind him. Hermione stepped around Harry and quickly drew out her wand, scanning the further side of the room. After an instant she faced Harry and shrugged her shoulders.
“Harry I know I saw someone run in here.” She looked around again. Before Harry could even register what had happened a jet of green light flew from a staircase leading up to a door to the right of Harry and hit Hermione in the side. Her eyes widened in shock and then she fell to the floor, her wand rolling from her hand. Harry wanted to scream and cry out but nothing would come from him, his body was in too big of a shock to do anything but run over to her.
He felt like crying but no tears came from him. He felt so many emotions at one time that he was afraid he was going to explode. He threw himself down on the floor next to her and grabbed hold of her arms, attempting to make her get up.
“No, Hermione. You have to get up. You have to get up! PLEASE!” a sob emitted from him and it shook his whole body. He shook his head in defiance. This had to be a dream. He must have been hit with a rock and he was having some sort of nightmare.
“I’ll fix this Hermione,” he said as he bent down over her and cradled her head in his arms, “I can fix this.” He whispered, as he hugged her, not wanting to let her go.
“Save your dignity Harry,” a voice said calmly to him, “you are better than that.” Harry stared straight into Hermione’s frightened eyes, not wanting to face the horror behind him. He heard the footsteps coming closer but he held no desire to turn around and face the man who had just murdered Hermione. Then he realized how cowardly his actions were, for Hermione’s sake he needed to stand up and face this man. He gazed down at Hermione once more before turning around and standing up.
“Harry Potter,” the man said with a sly smile, “at last we meet.” He stepped closer and withdrew his wand with his spindly fingers.
“But of course, we have met before,” he said as he took his wand and slid a piece of hair away from Harry’s scar. Harry moved Voldemort’s wand away from his face slowly.
“What do you want from me?” Harry asked with a snap to his voice. Voldemort let a malicious grin slide across his lips before he began to slowly walk around Harry. He eyed Harry for an extensive moment before stopping in front of him.
“You must be reeling with questions for me Harry.” Harry maintained a straight, not letting any emotion to be displayed despite the battle rampaging inside of him.
“I would assume that first of all you would be wondering how I am standing before you,” Voldemort said as he looked past Harry, “it’s quite an unfortunate story I’m afraid.” He turned to face Harry, his piercing eyes connecting with Harry’s.
“For many years now I have been searching for the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Harry winced before he could stop his reaction, “Yes, I understand that you know I seek it.”
“For centuries wizards have been attempting to create the elixir of life, something that we both know the Sorcerer’s Stone possess. About a month ago I thought I had discovered this elixir, in my rush I didn’t take the time to truly examine it. The elixir that I took was in fact a decoy set up by your precious Headmaster.” A sneer covered the entirety of Voldemort’s face and an emotion similar to detestation consumed him.
“This elixir if consumed for the wrong reasons will cause a slow demise of the drinker. So sadly I face quite a serious problem. While I have a body of my own I will only have it for a short period of time. But no matter, no matter, I shall soon be free of this curse of have a body of my own.”
“I hardly see how I am a part of this,” Harry with curiosity weaved through his voice. Voldemort laughed lightly and sent it to the back of his throat, allowing it to hang in the air.
“Harry Potter, as long as I’m alive you will always be involved.” Harry’s heart was in double time, slamming hard against his chest. He fought to gain control of his emotions but he was too nervous about what was to come to be thinking straight. He sat back down on the floor next to Hermione’s body. In normal circumstances sitting next to a dead body was have unnerved him, but nothing in his life had been normal. All he ever wanted was to live a life of normalcy; though, it was clear to him now that it would never be.
He would always live a life plagued by Voldemort and death, pain and suffering, fear and hurt. He glanced down at Hermione beside him and realized one thing that stood above all the rest. Though he would always have ache and distress encompassed in his life, the love he would have, the love he had towards Hermione, was stronger because of it. If it weren’t for the circumstances at hand he never would have befriended her, he never would have grown to love her in the way that he did. He looked back up in front of him, his confidence soaring, and locked eyes with Voldemort. No longer afraid of the battle, but willing it to come.
“Do you plan to kill me?” The words left Harry’s lips before he had time to process his question.
“Certainly.” Voldemort said with a smile, his eyes glinting at the thought. Harry nodded slowly, trying to think of a way to get out of the room. There would be time to come back for Hermione, but for now he had to save himself.
“Then why don’t you kill me now?” Harry proclaimed boldly.
“Because first, I must acquire the stone. First, I must have my full body so that my greatest murder will be my first.” Harry looked away from Voldemort; he didn’t want his feelings of defeat to be seen by him. Harry let his eyes travel along the floor.
“Yes, Harry, it won’t be long now.” Voldemort sighed contently and continued to talk, his wand drawn and eyes glued to Harry. Harry couldn’t hear anything that Voldemort was saying; he was too consumed in his own thoughts. He was studied everything around him, desperately searching for something that could help him.
Then a glint of gold caught his eye. It was a quick instant, so small that Harry was sure Voldemort hadn’t seen it. He followed his eyes to a small golden object that Harry could see lying under Hermione’s white blouse. A memory flooded back to him, the day when he had followed Hermione down that hallway. He didn’t dare reach for it with Voldemort still staring at him but he knew, as soon as he saw it, that it would help him. He remembered the small hourglass that was inside the ring. Harry was willing to bet that it could take him back in time, how he didn’t know, but if could just get that necklace from her then he might be able to fix everything.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door and Voldemort turned around, Harry waited until he was completely facing the door before. Hurriedly reaching for the necklace, he took it into his hands and quickly studied it. There was a small knob on the side and Harry twisted it over and over again, waiting for something to happen. Harry couldn’t see anything changing around him. He looked over towards the door where Voldemort was standing. He was slowly turning back around to come to Harry with the stone clenched in his hand.
Harry swore under his breath and took the necklace into one hand. He gazed back at Voldemort just long enough to see a look of panic spreading across his face as Harry lifted the necklace above his head and smashed it as hard as he could into the ground. White light flooded his vision and Harry was sure that he was dead.
Harry felt like he had fallen a hundred feet and had landed in a dream of his. His stomach was flipping madly and his head was spinning. He put a hand to his temple to try and steady himself. The only thing he could remember was that he had smashed the necklace into the ground and hoped that he had managed to escape. Harry to notice of his surroundings, he was in Hogwarts surrounded by a sea of young people. That’s when he began to notice an eerie fact, these were his peers, and they were just in their first year.
The possibility hit Harry like a ton a bricks. By smashing that necklace he might have somehow taken himself back to his moment in time where he made the biggest mistake he could had ever made. He looked beside and there was Ron, red-haired and full of life. Harry couldn’t help but smile, somehow he had fixed everything, just as he had promised Hermione he would. Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw Hermione. She was standing by herself but she appeared completely content to look around.
Harry began to wonder that if he remembered everything then maybe she did, the possibility was a far stretch but it was still a possibility. He tapped Ron on the shoulder and Ron turned to look at him.
“I’ll be right back,” Harry said to him.
“Take your time mate,” Ron said back to him. Harry nodded and slowly approached Hermione.
“Hi, my name is Harry. We met on the train remember?” Hermione seemed taken aback that he was talking to her but all the same she smile politely and nodded.
“Yes, I remember. Can you believe that we are here?” She said with an innocent disbelief in her eyes. Harry realized that she didn’t remember anything, and more than likely he was the only one that did. Maybe he was getting a second chance, a chance to change everything that he had done wrong.
“Do you want to come and stand with me and my friend Ron?” Harry asked casually. She took her eyes off her surroundings and stared straight on at Harry, her eyes penetrating to his soul. Her smile lit up her eyes and it sent a warm shock through Harry. He knew that it wouldn’t be right to push anything on Hermione at the moment, because at this point in time he knew she didn’t feel that way about him. But maybe some day in the future it would be possible for them to share the love they had found, for now a friendship would work just fine for Harry. She nodded and emitted a small laugh.
“I’d like that.” Harry motioned for her to follow him and he took his place beside Ron with Hermione on his other side. That’s when Harry caught his first glance of Draco. He was talking with Crabbe and Goyle and a few other people whom Harry recognized from when he was in Slytherin. Then Draco caught Harry eye and he waltzed over, followed by the usual group. He snickered at Ron and Hermione, and then turned to face Harry.
“So it’s true, what they were saying on the train,” he paused and took a step closer, “Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts.” The moment was exactly as Harry remembered it, he had relived it in his dreams so many times.
“This is Crabbe and Goyle,” Draco took yet another step closer, “And I’m Malfoy, Draco Malfoy.” Just as Harry knew he would Ron laughed lightly and Draco turned sharply to him.
“Think my names funny?” He inquired with a sneer. “No need to ask yours. You must be a Weasley. You’ll soon find out that some Wizarding families are better than others Potter, I can help you there.” Draco extended his hand just as had all those years ago, only this time Harry knew his decision without even having to consider the offer. He took a step forward so that was so close to Draco that he could spell the peppermint that clung to his cloaks.
“I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thank you.” With that Draco turned on his heel and stalked away. Harry smiled to himself, because he knew that once and for all he had fixed what shouldn’t have been.