Chapter One — “He Can’t Do That”
The stench was horrible. Though everyone could smell it, no one even took notice because of what their eyes were screaming at them. What they had seen and what they had heard over the last half hour, though without reference to their past experiences, could not be compared to what stood right before their eyes.
Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, the world’s only hope to stop Voldomort’s plan for the wizarding world and the muggle world, was running and at the same time staggering out of the Forbidden Forest. He had gone in alone roughly 30 minutes before, but not really alone. All of his friends, all of those who loved him and that he loved, at least all of those that were still alive or still conscious, were standing there or lying there at the edge of the forest.
“I will take your friendship and your love with me,” he said so that all could hear. That sentence would sound hokey to many but not to those there. “Some of you always felt you should be with me at this last battle. I have known for some time that I must face Riddle alone. You and I were both right. I will be alone in Riddle’s eyes, but you will be with me in my heart. My mother’s love kept me alive in my first meeting with him. Your love and your faith and your hope will keep me alive in this last confrontation.”
Harry spoke as though he were not talking about facing Voldomort. The victory was a foregone conclusion in his conversational tone of voice.
“Accio sword,” Harry spoke into the wind and then he continued, “Kingsley, ten minutes after the battle appears to be over, if I haven’t come out, come in and save Luna. I may be dead or unconscious, but Riddle will be dead. Make sure whatever is left of his body is destroyed. I don’t want anyone resurrecting the monster.” To the rest he asked, “If you know how to pray then please do. If you don’t know how, now may be a good time to learn.”
Harry raised his hand into the air as he said those last two words and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor flew into his grasp, startling almost all around him. He hadn’t even looked up. He placed the sword in his belt. He drew out his wand, and walked in to the forest alone.
Over the next half hour their were flashes and explosions and great tearing sounds. Fred Weasley swore that he saw Harry blown into the sky, only to turn in midair and rocket back down as if he were on a broom.
Both Weasley twins were there as were their parents and Charlie, Ron, and Ginny. Percy had been killed by Death Eaters over a year ago. Bill was in St. Mungo’s Hospital recovering from losing his right leg below the knee and two fingers on his left hand while in a fight last week. Hermione held Ron’s hand tightly.
Almost all of the DA were there except for Hannah Abbott and Dennis Creevy who had been killed defending injured citizens of Hogsmeade from Death Eaters and Dementers almost a year ago. Collin Creevy had become a powerful and ruthless warrior and Harry had taught him—but that was not the most important thing Harry taught Collin. Collin wanted to beg Harry to take him with him to face Voldomort, but he knew Harry would deny his request.
Professors Snape, Sprout, Sinistra, and Vector were dead. Professors Flitwick and McGonagall were there and wounded but refused to leave to seek aid in the infirmary. The rest of the Hogwart’s staff were there at the edge of the forest. Hagrid was pacing and repeating the prayer his giantess mother had taught him as a little boy. With a moment of objectivity, Albus Dumbledore noticed that a number of people were actually praying for help. Harry just might be right about that.
Seven minutes after the last battle noises ended, Kingsley Shacklebolt was selecting a group to enter the forest in three more minutes. He was the chief auror now that Mad Eye Moody was dead. Just then Hermione let out a gasp.
They had all been volunteering to go in with Kingsley and Harry had made his way almost to the group before he was seen.
The stench was horrible. Though everyone could smell it, no one even took notice because of what their eyes were screaming at them. What they had seen and heard over the last half hour, though with little reference to their past experiences, was incomparable to what was right before their eyes.
Harry held Luna Lovegood in his arms. She looked untouched but she was not moving and her eyes were wide open—painfully wide open and staring at nothing at all. Harry was the source of that the horrible smell, and he look like he could frighten a boggart back into a closet. The front of Harry’s robes were torn and cut in a number of places and there was blood seeping out of several huge gashes on his arms and rib cage. He had been splattered across his front with a green ooze of some unknown origin. The hair on the right side of his faced had been singed off above the ear and up the back of his neck. His famous scar that he tried to hide with his unruly locks, was now plainly visible. That scar would be secondary now. There was a jagged gash on his left cheek running from his ear to his chin in an identical but larger lightning zig-zag. Somehow it had clotted and was not pouring blood, as it should be. The pants leg of his left leg was shredded off at mid thigh and he ran/limped favoring that leg. On closer inspection you could see that the smaller fibula bone in that leg was broken and sticking out of the torn skin. Many a strong man lapsed into unconsciousness with such a wound and Harry was standing on it with the girl in his arms. “I will take her,” urged Remus Lupin, the first to recover from his shock. “No, I have her and I am never letting her go again.” Harry said almost off handedly, as if discussing the weather. “Kingsley, please go destroy what ever you can find of Riddle’s body. I had to kill him three times and I do not want to have to do it again. And please bring the sword back.” To the group he announced as if ending a Quidditch practice, “Thank you all for your support in there. I felt your love with me the entire time and I could not have done it without you. I have to get her to the infirmary.” Kingsley turned with Tonks and Charlie Weasley to go to the forest as Harry bid. Everyone else turned to follow Harry. Molly Weasley's gasp was the loudest but not the only one. She could be heard sobbing, "The poor boy, the poor boy," over and over like a mantra that might some how help him.
They saw where the stench was coming from. His entire backside was burned. The robe was scorched off up to his shoulders. Most of Harry’s skin was exposed and exhibited at least second-degree burns. The shreds of his pants that were left on his right leg were charred up to his underwear. There was a jagged branch, over an inch wide, sticking almost four inches out of his shoulder, and who knew how deep it went into his shoulder. There were numerous cuts and gashes on his badly burned back.
Harry was talking soothingly to Luna but his words were too quiet to be understood. He must have been in excruciating pain but he still ran/limped towards the infirmary. He stumbled and once again Lupin asked to take her from him.
“No, I have to get there faster anyway.” And with that Harry rose a foot off the ground and levitated towards the castle faster than any man could run. They stood in shock watching. You didn’t just do that.
There were scattered school broom about the grounds where Harry had summoned them during the Death Eater/Dementer battle earlier in the day. Ron grabbed one and shot after Harry. The others followed Ron’s example. The castle door opened before Harry and he zoomed straight up to the infirmary. The others followed disobeying the rule of no flying in Hogwarts, but it was Dumbledore on second broom behind Ron, so there would be no question of rules tonight.
Everyone dismounted outside the infirmary door and walked in just in time to hear Madame Pomphrey say in her most commanding voice, “Mr. Potter, I cannot help the girl if she has been tortured into this state by the Cruciatus Curse. She needs to go to St. Mungo’s, but there is plenty of time for that. You are in a dreadful condition. You should be unconscious for a number of reasons. Please let me attend you so you can be moved to St. Mungo’s for long term recovery. You could die right here in front of me.”
She turned to the arriving crowd, “Professor Dumbledore please talk to this boy. We can prepare stretchers for both of them after I get him stabilized and Floo them to St. Mungo’s.”
“No.” Harry said just loud enough for all to hear. “I will take her there now. It will be faster. You all can follow by Floo.” With that he closed his eyes. He seemed to glow or get hazy around the edges in a few seconds and ‘pop’ he disapparated from the room with Luna still in his arms.
“Bu-but Professor Dumbledore, he can’t do that, No one is suppose to be able to apparate or disapparate inside of Hogwarts,” Hermione stuttered in confusion.
“Well Miss Granger, it appears we cannot say that any more, can we?”
A/N Please let me know how you feel about this tale. I am writing for my own satisfaction primarily but I am honest enough to say that I do hope that many like it.
I wrote this and then signed into this site to find a one shot story that has a similar starting premise. The story is "Goodnight, Mr. Potter" by aikakone. I did not read it before hand, but I do want to acknowledge the similarity of a story on this site ahead of mine.
Disclaimer---As always, what belongs to J K Rowlings is J K Rowlings'. What belongs to anyone else is theirs. Everything left is mine, I guess, but remember the old adage: "There is nothing new under the sun." — Aaran St. Vines***