A post Hogwarts story about life after Voldemort and the war. HBP Spoilers! The rating is just to cover myself for later chapters, I doubt this will ever be R rated.
This is a post-Hogwarts story. It does contain HBP spoilers, so if you haven't read that book yet I do NOT recommend reading this fanfic. This is a story about the aftermath of the war, about how the HP characters and the wizarding world in general move on from the war and rebuild their society. I have a good idea about where I'm going with this story, but I should warn you in advance that updates will likely be slow.
Also, this is my first fanfic. I've always wanted to try and write one, and when the idea behind this came to me, I knew I had to write it. It is not beta'd, and I am not British. This second point is important - I am not British. As a result, the characters will probably end up not talking the way they should. I apologize for that. If you really don't like it, then I guess you shouldn't read this.
The rating is simply to cover me, as I'm not entirely sure what the rating will be in later chapters.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I write this purely for fun. I make absolutely no money off this story. Please don't sue me.
The Savior of the Wizarding World
Chapter 1 - The Death of Lord Voldemort
The first thing that Harry James Potter became aware of was the light. It was a blinding, overpowering, glaring sort of light that burned his eyeballs and created unimaginable pain. And so he did the only thing he could think of, he closed his eyes.
Except they wouldn't close. He paused for a moment to process this, his mind struggling to make sense of this new information. Why can't I close my eyes? Why is the light so bright? What is the light, anyway? Where am I? Why is everything so confusing? As the light continued to blind him, he suddenly came to a conclusion. My eyes are already closed.
He wasn't exactly sure how he knew, but as soon as the thought came to him he knew it was true. So he did the only thing he could think of, he tried to open his eyes. He immediately regretted doing that, for the light, which was already causing him terrible pain, seemed to shine a million times brighter the second he opened his eyes. He let out a hiss of a breath as he hurriedly forced his eyes closed again, struggling not to pass out from the intense, blinding pain.
"I think he's waking up!" he heard a voice exclaim. The voice sounded familiar to him, but his mind was still too clouded and confused to recognize it.
He could sense a flurry of movement around him, still not sure what was going on. Just when he was about to try and speak, he heard a voice that seemed to come from just above his face.
"Mr. Potter, can you hear me?"
Harry managed to grunt in acknowledgement.
"Harry!" a voice shrieked. It was the same voice he had first heard.
"Quiet, or you will wait outside!" the second voice said in a firm tone. "Mr. Potter, can you tell me how you feel?"
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but no sound came out. He closed it and took a deep breath, summoning all his strength. "Bright... Hurts..." he croaked, then lay there panting with exhaustion. He never imagined saying two words would be so tiring.
"Oh dear, I'm sorry. /Nox/," the voice said. Instantly the light faded, leaving only a soft glow which caused a dull throb in his head. It was manageable, though, especially considering the light it had just replaced.
Harry slowly forced his eyes open. The first thing he saw was Madam Pomfrey's worried face leaning over him. He tried to smile at her but gave up when he couldn't find the energy. A second later Hermione's face came into view as she leaned over him as well. This time he did manage to smile, a smile which grew even wider when Ron leaned over as well. But the smile faded when he noticed both of them looked horrible. Ron had dark rings around his eyes, and Hermione looked as if she had been crying. He had so many questions for them. He wanted to know what was wrong, why he was in the hospital wing, and why Ginny wasn't there. But an exhaustion was sweeping over him that he just couldn't fight. He drifted off to sleep almost instantly.
- - - - -
Harry awoke with a start, a sense of dread filling him. He lay in bed for a moment thinking. He knew something was wrong but he couldn't figure out what. Realizing he wasn't going to figure it out on his own he examined his surroundings.
He was laying in a bed in the hospital wing at Hogwarts. It looked to be the middle of the night, as the room was dark and he could see nothing but black outside the window. The room appeared to be empty except for Ron and Hermione, who were both asleep in chairs next to his bed. He looked closer at his two friends and frowned when he remembered how they had looked earlier, just before he fell asleep. He could see that they both still looked terrible, although slightly better than before. And where was Ginny?
He tried to sit up and immediately groaned as a terrible pain shot through his head. He slumped back in his bed, searching his memory for what had happened. He remembered going out to dinner with Ron and Hermione, and then...
"Harry!" His groan had awoken Hermione, who instantly shot out of her chair and stood over him. "How are you feeling? Are you ok? Do you need anything? Oh, we were so worried! Do you..."
"Give him some space, Hermione." Harry looked beyond Hermione and saw Ron awake also. Hermione bit her lip and stepped back to stand beside Ron.
"How are you, mate?" Ron asked softly.
"I hurt. Everywhere," he answered truthfully. "What happened? What's wrong, you two look terrible. And where's Ginny?" he blurted out.
At the mention of Ginny Hermione paled and Ron's eyes turned dark. The dread Harry had felt when he woke up suddenly grew stronger. From the reactions of his friends, something was definitely wrong.
"Harry," Hermione said softly. "What do you remember?"
Harry frowned at the indirect answer to his question, but went back to searching his memory. He really was curious as to what he remembered. "I... we went out to dinner. You, me, and Ron," he said slowly. He couldn't understand why it was so difficult to remember, but it felt like he was dragging the memories out of a tightly locked box. "We had just killed the snake. That was the last of the Horcruxes. We were celebrating. Our food had just arrived when... when..." He struggled to remember after that.
Suddenly the memories came flooding back. It was as if a dam had burst, a thousand memories of what happened next flew into his mind all at once, threatening to overwhelm him. In the few seconds it took to process them all, he suddenly felt ill. His stomach twisted into a horrible knot and he looked up at his two friends. His face was white with fear. "Ginny?" he whispered.
Hermione let out a squeak as a tear fell down her face. But it was Ron who scared Harry the most. For Ron also had tears in his eyes, and in all the years Harry had known Ron he had never seen his friend cry.
Harry closed his eyes as the memories of what happened threatened to overwhelm him.
- - - - -
"Hmm?" Harry asked, looking at Hermione. The three of them were sitting at a small table in a restaurant in Muggle London. Harry had found it several months earlier and immediately fell in love with the place. It was small and cozy, with a fireplace off to one side that reminded him of the Gryffindor common room. The food was excellent as well, with a menu offering a mixture of specialties from all over the world.
"Are you going to keep your word?"
He looked at her, the confusion evident on his face. Hermione saw it and sighed.
"About NEWTS, Harry."
"Oh." He stopped to think. When Harry had promised Hermione, almost ten months ago now, that he would study for and take his NEWTS after finding and destroying the four remaining Horcruxes, actually accomplishing that had seemed so far off that he hadn't thought twice about it. But now that it had finally been accomplished, he wasn't sure about it. If he was honest with himself, they just didn't seem terribly important. He would much rather just go after Voldemort now and get the whole thing over with.
She seemed to read his indecision on his face. "You promised me, Harry." When that didn't earn a response, she tried a different tactic. "Look, I know you want to just go out and find Voldemort now," she said in a gentler tone. "I don't blame you. I want this whole thing over with just as much as you do. But your NEWTS are important. At the very least, something you learn while studying for them could end up saving your life when you do finally face him."
Harry smiled. She knew exactly how to get what she wanted, because he had in fact been worrying about whether or not he would even be capable of defeating Voldemort. "All right, Hermione, I'll keep my promise. We'll start studying tomorrow."
Hermione smiled at him and then turned to Ron, but before she could say anything he spoke. "Don't worry, I'm not going to let you two take the NEWTS without me. You can't get rid of me that easily. I'll take them also."
Hermione smiled again and hugged Ron, who was sitting next to her. Harry watched in amusement as they quickly broke the hug and looked away, shooting each other awkward glances. He wondered to himself if they would ever stop dancing around their feelings for each other.
He was broken out of his thoughts, and Ron and Hermione were saved from their awkwardness, when the waiter arrived carrying a tray with their food on it.
"Steak dinner with extra potatoes," he said while placing a plate containing a juicy steak in front of Ron, whose eyes lit up at the sight of it. "Pasta Alfredo for the lovely young lady," he said as he set down Hermione's meal, who blushed at the compliment. "And Pork Roast for you," he said to Harry as he set down the last plate he was carrying. "Is there anything else I can get you three?" he asked.
Harry shook his head, seeing his two friends do the same. "No, I think we're ok," he said. "Thank you."
"My pleasure," the waiter responded. "Bon appetit."
The second he said those last two words Harry felt the tug behind his navel that indicated a portkey. It caught him completely off guard and before he could react he felt himself toppling to the floor, hearing Ron and Hermione do the same beside him.
"You two all right?" he asked quietly, and was relieved to hear them both acknowledge that they were. He stood up, his senses alert and his wand in his hand. They were surrounded by complete darkness, he could see absolutely nothing. The floor had felt like stone, and was cold to the touch. The air was cold and felt damp.
"I think we're underground," Hermione said.
Harry nodded, forgetting she couldn't actually see him. "Yeah, I think so." Suddenly his scar exploded in pain. He fell to the ground, clenching his teeth and trying not to cry out. He wasn't entirely successful and a quiet moan escaped his lips.
"What's wrong!" Hermione cried out, feeling along the floor to try to find Harry.
"Scar..." he said, still fighting the pain but slowly getting used to it enough to function.
"Voldemort," Ron said in disgust. "He's here. He must be, if your scar hurts that much."
"/Lumos,/" a voice hissed in the darkness. Instantly the room was flooded with light. From his spot on the floor Harry blinked in the sudden light and looked around the room. He fought to suppress the panic that threatened to overwhelm him. The three of them were in the center of a large room made entirely of stone. They were surrounded by at least 50 wizards in black robes and white masks. And standing among all those wizards was one who stood out from the rest. He stood taller than the rest and he was very thin, unnaturally thin. His skin was almost white it was so pale, but what really set him apart were his eyes. Red, snakelike eyes that shone with a hatred so intense it made Harry shudder.
"Brilliant deduction, Weasley," Voldemort said, his hissing voice making the hairs on the back of their necks stand on end.
Harry pushed aside his fear, ignored the pain in his scar, and climbed to his feet. He stared at Voldemort for several seconds, his green eyes and Voldemort's red eyes locked in some sort of struggle. Nobody moved, the room was deathly still as the most powerful Dark Lord in the history of the Wizarding World and the Boy-Who-Lived stared each other down.
"What do you want, Tom?" Harry asked, breaking the silence. "I really don't feel like playing with you today. My friends and I were just about to sit down to dinner as a matter of fact," he said with such sarcasm that Voldemort blinked before scowling at the use of his given name.
"That is not my name, Potter," he hissed.
"Oh, I think it is."
Voldemort opened his mouth to respond, and then stopped. Instead he smiled, a smile which chilled Harry to his very core. It was a smile that told Harry Voldemort had something to be pleased about, and that was never a good thing.
"Your arrogance won't last, child." And with that he stepped aside. Harry opened his mouth to send back a retort but it never made it out of his mouth. His eyes widened and his stomach plummeted as he saw what Voldemort had been hiding with his body. Ginny Weasley stood there, bound and gagged, her eyes flashing with both anger and fear. Two Death Eaters stood on either side of her, one with their wand pointed at her throat, another with their wand pointed at her heart.
"Ginny!" both Harry and Ron cried out at the same time. Harry turned to Voldemort. "Let her go!" he shouted.
Voldemort just laughed, a cruel, high-pitched laugh, and then he flicked his wand lazily towards Ginny. "/Crucio,/" he hissed. Ginny went rigid for a second and then fell to the floor in convulsions. She made no sound because of the gag (along with a silencing charm, Harry realized) but her eyes reflected her pain.
"Let her go!" Harry cried out. He tried to lunge forward but was suddenly halted by a dozen Death Eater wands pointed directly at him. Surprisingly, though, Voldemort did just that. With another flick of his wand the curse ended, leaving Ginny panting on the floor. But before Harry could puzzle over Voldemort's actions, he flicked his wrist a third time.
"/Crucio./" Again Ginny began to convulse in pain. Voldemort turned to Harry. "Just kidding," he said, and then he laughed again.
"I said, let her go!" Harry cried out again. He glanced back at his two friends but saw both of them paralyzed with fear. With a start he realized this was the first time either of them had ever actually faced Voldemort. For the first time he really began to panic. He had no idea what to do, and in the meantime he was forced to watch as Ginny endured the horrible effects of the Cruciatus Curse.
"I think not," Voldemort responded. "I wasn't planning to kill you just yet, Potter, but when I found out you were going to that restaurant I just couldn't pass up my opportunity. I knew you would feel safe in muggle society," he said, spitting with disgust when he said 'muggle', "so I knew you would have your guard down. Just turn a couple of chairs into portkeys which are activated by that stupid muggle phrase the waiters there always say when they bring your food, and here you are."
Harry was now in full-fledged panic mode. The whole time Voldemort was talking he was watching Ginny convulse on the floor. Blood was now trickling out of her nose. "Fine, you want me?" he said. "Then kill me. But let her go, she never did anything to you."
"She's a Weasley. A blood traitor. Even worse than muggles. No, Potter, I think she will die. Ordinarily I wouldn't bother with her myself, but I know how much she means to you. Nothing will give me greater pleasure to see the look on your face as I kill you, knowing that you have just watched your beloved Ginny Weasley die by my wand."
"/Expelliarm/..." Harry shouted.
"/Reducto/!" Voldemort hissed, expecting an attack. Harry flew backward several feet before crashing into the stone floor, hitting his head hard as he landed. A searing pain flashed through his head but he pushed it aside and climbed to his feet.
"/Crucio! Crucio!"/ Both Ron and Hermione cried out in anguish and fell to the floor, overcome by the curse. "Your friends will pay for your foolishness," Voldemort hissed over the screams of pain.
"Let. Them. Go. Now." Harry was seething with anger. Voldemort turned to him and his red, snake eyes widened in surprise. Harry was pointing his wand at Voldemort. His eyes had turned a much darker shade of green than normal, and his hair was suddenly blowing about as if he was standing outside in the wind. But what truly surprised, and even frightened, Voldemort was the waves of power he felt coming off the boy.
"I grow tired of this," he said, wanting to get this over with as quickly as possible. "Disarm him," he instructed his followers. Despite Harry's strength at defending himself, he could do little against 50 shouts of "/Expelliarmus!" /at once. His wand flew out of his hand. For a brief second it hovered in mid-air, shaking under the power of so many curses at once, before it exploded into countless small pieces. Harry stared in shock, not quite believing what just happened to his wand, one of his most beloved possessions.
Voldemort ended the curse on Ginny and then motioned for her to be brought to her feet. The two Death Eaters at her side dragged her up and let go of her. She swayed dangerously but remained upright. "Good," he said. "It's much less fun killing people who can't even stand." He pointed his wand at her.
Harry looked around in desperation. His wand was gone. A few dozen Death Eaters had wands pointed at him. Ron and Hermione were still on the ground, convulsing under the effects of the curse but no longer crying out. He worried about what that meant, but pushed it aside for the moment. He had absolutely nothing he could do as he watched Voldemort prepare to kill the girl he loved.
The realization of the situation enraged him. Voldemort was about to kill Ginny and he could do nothing. He felt a rush of powerful emotions, the strongest of them a blend of rage and love. He hated Voldemort with every fiber of his being, but as Voldemort raised his wand and opened his mouth to speak, the love he felt for Ginny overwhelmed even that hatred. He felt like he would burst as he realized, for the first time, the depth of his feelings for her and what it would be like to watch her die.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Harry cried out as his emotions overwhelmed him. He felt a sudden surge of power. As soon as it faded he slumped to the ground, exhausted. He looked around and saw that every Death Eater was laying on the ground, apparently unconscious. Ron and Hermione were still on the floor, but the Cruciatus curse no longer seemed to be on them. The only two people still standing were Voldemort and Ginny. Voldemort looked at Harry, fear evident in his eyes. Ginny stood there defiantly, tears still streaming down her face from being held under Voldemort's curse for so long.
Harry got to his feet and started to run over to Ginny, but stopped when he felt something jabbing into his leg. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a wand. He blinked in surprise when he realized whose wand it was. He turned to the owner, who still hadn't moved.
Voldemort scowled, the fear still evident in his eyes. "How did you do that?"
Harry shrugged, feeling confident after seeing how afraid Voldemort was. He held the wand at his side. "Why should I tell you?"
It happened in the blink of an eye. The fear disappeared from Voldemort's eyes and was replaced by triumph. He raised his hand and pointed a finger at Harry, who had only enough time to realize he had been tricked. "/Avada Kedavra!"/
Ginny let out a muffled cry and lunged forward despite being bound by magical ropes, placing herself directly in the path of the green light flying towards Harry. It struck her square in the chest and she crumpled to the ground.
Harry stared at her motionless body in shock. He could feel himself shutting down. He knew he would never feel happiness again. He felt the desire to live leaving him. But he pushed all of that aside, so far away that he couldn't feel it, at least for a few minutes. He left only one emotion, one which was so powerful he began to shake.
"You should know, Tom, that all of your Horcruxes are destroyed. You can now die, just like anybody else," Harry said, his voice shaking with barely restrained fury at Voldemort. He felt the hatred soar through his body, and in that instant he knew exactly what he would be capable of.
He pointed his wand at Voldemort at the exact moment Voldemort pointed his finger at Harry.
The red light and green light struck their targets at the same time. Harry slumped to the ground, unconscious. Voldemort slumped to the ground, dead.
Author's Notes: Please review!
Ginny is not dead! But that doesn't mean everything is ok either. That's all I'll say for now.
Also, some of this might not make sense. Questions such as "how did Harry knock out the Death Eaters and get Voldemort's wand," "why did Voldemort only try to stun Harry after Ginny got hit with the killing curse," "why were Ron and Hermione so useless," etc. - they will be dealt with throughout this story. I'd like to think I have answers for everything, but feel free to ask anything in reviews. And no, this is not a super-Harry story.
Finally, I don't think this chapter turned out all that great. But I just wanted to get Voldemort out of the way. This isn't a story about defeating Voldemort, it's a story about what happens next.