Chapter 1 : .
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Author's note: Anything you recognise belongs to J.K Rowling.
So this is my entry for the Writer's Duel 2011, enjoy!
It had happened, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had been defeated. The Wizarding World was free from terror once again and those celebrating thought it was all down to him. Harry Potter. The-Boy-Who-Lived.
But what about those that had not lived? Those who had lost their lives in the fight against evil? Their faces swam in front of Harry's eyes. An immense feeling of guilt crashed over his exhausted body, how could he take the credit for everything they had done? How could he let everyone see him as the hero when really he felt like a coward?
He thought of the bodies that were lying in that cold chamber, bodies that no longer housed their souls. Among them were his friends, people he looked up to, people who had helped him when he saw no way forward.
Lupin and Tonks: they had left a son behind. His heart strained at the thought of little Teddy who was oblivious to the life that had been snatched away from him. Harry thought of how Lupin had helped him in his third year, how he hadn't judged him for fearing the Dementors. Harry had learnt so much from Lupin, he had learnt to accept the fact that he was different, that it was okay to feel weak sometimes and that most importantly Harry had learnt about his parents.
Having Lupin and Sirius around had acted as the the link to James and Lily that Harry had craved his whole life, knowing that there were people around who had seen them breathe, heard them talk, watched them fall in love. It had almost felt like the hole that nearly tore him apart most days was that bit smaller.
But now, now the hole had grown so big that it threatened to consume him, to take over his whole body so that all that would be left was a shell, a body without feeling.
He wanted to scream, to vent his anger on something but his body was numb, everything had given up, everything but his heart. He had already lost Sirius, his one chance at a normal family. Sirius: the man who had brought light back into his life, a ray of hope. His Godfather had been one of the only people he could talk to, show how he really felt. He could drop the façade of being 'The Chosen One' and just be Harry. Images of that night at the Ministry mixed themselves among the faces, Sirius passing through the veil, his face empty of expression as if he'd never felt at all.
He hadn't realised that he'd walked away from the castle, he turned around and took in the devastation. The strong fortress that had once been Hogwarts had crumbled under the weight of battle. The Great Hall however remained nearly intact. Harry could see a faint glow emitting from the gap where the the big, leaded windows used to be.
Six years of memories flooded Harry. It was hard to imagine himself as the small, nervous eleven year old who had walked into the hall all those years ago. He had been scared, he had entered a new world of which he knew nothing about.
He hadn't been alone though. Throughout those six years as a student he had been watched over by a brilliant wizard -Albus Dumbledore. He believed Harry when others had refused to and enabled him to see that he had the ability to achieve. He had allowed Harry to make his own mistakes and choices and had been there regardless. And of course Dumbledore had been the one to set Harry on his path, to show him what he needed to do. They had both known it would be a dark and dangerous path, that sacrifices would need to be made. They were going to do it together, conquer evil and free the Wizarding World. Harry had not realised exactly what sacrifices would need to be made.
The night at the top of the Astronomy Tower flew into Harry's mind. He glanced up towards the tower, feeling his knees go weak beneath him. He would never forget being stood, frozen, not able to save the man who had done so much for him. The feeling of helplessness had plagued him for months after that night; guilt and anger at the fact that Dumbledore was gone and there was nothing he could do to bring him back
His anger about Dumbledore's death had not only lay within himself but also with another -Severus Snape. Thought's of revenge had accompanied the helplessness, magnifying the need to find Snape and make sure he paid for what he had done. It was only hours ago that he had would have been glad to see Snape die, to finally have justice.
But all that had changed. His belief that Snape was evil was now shattered, torn apart and in it's place a belief had settled that Snape was one of the bravest men he would ever know. A shard of glass crunched under Harry's foot. He bent down and picked it up. Snape had protected him, had made sure that Voldemort was fooled, had risked his life for seventeen years; for him. His mind wandered to the Shrieking Shack. The moments in there would be etched on his memory forever, the words 'look at me' would echo in his ears and he would always see the pain in Snape's eyes as he glimpsed those that reminded him of what he had lost, for the very last time.
Harry stared into the shard of glass, feeling the ragged edge on his skin. Emerald green eyes stared back at him from a gaunt, beaten face. People had always told him he had shared his mother's eyes, something that he had got used to. But after seeing Snape's memories in the Pensieve, his eyes had taken a new significance. He had watched his mother be kind to Snape, be his friend, stand up for him against James. It had shocked him, to know that all this while Snape had been hiding this secret, holding back, never once breaking his role. Severus Snape had loved Lily, his mother. It was because of that love that Harry was alive. Snape had paid the price for what he had done, running to Voldemort with information about the prophecy. He had paid for it by having to see the eyes of the woman he had loved and lost in the face of a boy he had to protect.
Harry let out a deep breath and dropped the glass back to the floor. Turning back towards Hogwarts he caught a glimpse of two figures walking towards him, arm in arm. They may not have lost their lives in the Battle but Ron and Hermione had sacrificed a lot for Harry over the years. It pained him to think about how much they had lost because of him.
Hermione had modified her parents memories so that she could help Harry find the horcruxes. She was such a brave girl, he knew it had killed her to have to say goodbye to her mother and father but she had done it; for him. Over the seven years Harry had known Hermione her support had not faltered, she had been there through everything. She had been there for him during the hardest parts of his life from the Triwizard Tournament right through to the search and destruction of the horcruxes. There was no doubt in Harry's mind that he would not have achieved half of what he had if Hermione Granger had not been by his side.
Then there was Ron: his best friend. The boy who had to put up with being known as 'Harry Potter's best friend' for seven years. Harry had no clue what he would have done without him. Ron had kept him grounded, made sure he didn't think too much of himself. Harry knew there had been times when their friendship had been tested but it had only come out stronger because of it. Ron too had made sacrifices for Harry, he had left his family behind and come back to him when Harry had needed him most. Happy memories started to seep into Harry's mind. He thought of wizard's chess, Christmas at the Burrow and playing quidditch.
No sooner had these memories entered Harry's mind when they left again. A feeling of grief gripped his throat has he thought of the loss the Weasley family had suffered at the hands of evil. Tears threatened to fall as Harry thought of Fred, lying with the other fifty who had lost their lives during the battle. He pictured his youthful face, still, not a trace of laughter left.
Once again the thought of all the people who had helped him overcome evil, all of the people who would not be able to witness or enjoy a free Wizarding World. A feeling of guilt mixed with the grief and tightened itself around his heart. One day he would be able to celebrate. Not today. Today he would remember all of the people that sacrificed so much for the freedom of their world.
He may be Harry Potter, 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' or 'The Chosen One' but he would be nothing without the people who had been behind him every step of the way and that was something that he vowed he would never forget.
Author's note: I'm quite proud of this story. I hoped you liked it! Don't forget to review :)