One-shot! A new betrayal fic with a rather grim spin on it...
A/N: Well, I lost all my fanfiction, and so I had to get most of the files back from other people or places, or in the case of stories like this, completely retype them. In the case of this story, I mentioned it in the final A/N of my last short betrayal fic, "The Transfer Student." This has a rather grim spin on it, compared to my other betrayal fics...
NOTE: This is post-OotP AU.
Dedicated to Corwalch, whose HP/SG-1 crossover "A Place Where I Belong" gave me the idea for this, as well as "Do Not Meddle" being a partial inspiration for this story.
It was a rather dark and cloudy day over London, very cold for the first day of the month of August, and the mood reflected the weather for a certain group of people in a special, hidden place.
The Order of the Phoenix was in a miserable mood as they all thought about what had happened barely more than a month before...
A week before his sixteenth birthday, Harry Potter had been arrested and subsequently convicted for the double murder of Rubeus Hagrid and Remus Lupin. Fudge had a field day with trying to throw Harry into prison as quickly as was possible, and his friends didn't came to his aid. Instead, however, they set his possessions on fire with smug looks on their faces, thinking they'd done the wizarding world a favor.
How wrong they were and sorry they would be.
At the end of that school year, Voldemort attacked Azkaban and broke Harry out, then heading to Hogwarts. After laying siege to the castle and holding all the students and professors hostage, he then proceeded to gloat about how he tricked them into betraying Harry Potter by having Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew impersonate him with Polyjuice Potion. While Harry's betrayers were all feeling incredibly stupid and equally guilty, Harry (who had been feigning unconsciousness up to this point) moved for Voldemort's wand and stole it away from him. A moment later, he focused everything he had on Voldemort, blasting him into oblivion and fulfilling the prophecy. After taking a moment to glare at those who betrayed him, he simply vanished from the premises.
Dumbledore found him the next morning at the Leaky Cauldron, where he had been given lodging for the night, and promptly apologized to Harry before immediately informing him that since he was still a minor, he had no choice but to complete his education at Hogwarts and stay with someone over the summer. The old Headmaster informed him that the Weasleys had offered to let him stay with them, but Harry acidly refused, saying he'd rather stay with the Dursleys. On the way out, his icy glare towards the Weasleys, Grangers and everyone else who betrayed him was enough to stop them dead in their tracks.
That would be the last they ever saw of him.
Now, all they knew was that yesterday, on August 1, the day after Harry's seventeenth birthday, the Boy Who Lived had bid his relatives a curt and brief farewell during breakfast before leaving their abode forever.
The door swung open, and everyone turned to see the newcomers.
Professor Albus Dumbledore entered the room, followed by a sour-looking Petunia Dursley. For one brief moment that seemed to feel a lot longer than it actually was, the Order of the Phoenix glared at this mean-spirited woman, and she just glared right back. One could almost feel the heat in the room's air heating up, little by little, as the glares were exchanged.
Dumbledore's wearied voice eventually broke the silence: "Petunia, please show them what Harry left you to give to us."
For the first time, everyone's attention turned to the sealed wooden box tucked under Mrs. Dursley's arm, roughly the size of a Muggle school textbook. She set it on the table, unlocked it with a key produced from her pocket, opened it up, and took out its contents.
It was a small Pensieve, roughly half the size of Dumbledore's own. Careful not to spill the silvery liquid of memories sitting inside, she placed it on the table.
Mrs. Dursley stepped back, and then Dumbledore stepped forward, ready to activate the Pensieve.
However, for whatever reason she may have had, Mrs. Dursley chose at that moment to say, "He said it was for all of you, although given what you did to him, I'm sure it can't be anything good."
They all jerked and turned to look at her, stupefied. "And how would you know anything?" Mrs. Weasley said, standing up and putting her hands on her hips, ready and primed for a fight.
However, both women were cut off as the memory started. Harry's face formed in the Pensieve, but then vanished - only to be replaced by his voice.
"To the members of the Order of the Phoenix...
"First of all, let me just say how /disgusted I am with all of you for what you did to me. Nothing you ever say or do could even possibly begin to make up for what you did to me. You were all more concerned with finding a convenient scapegoat than the actual culprit, and the ultimate truth. You burned my only possessions, killed my innocent owl, and even sided with that two-faced crowd-pleaser Fudge just to see me go down. I mean, come on! 'The treacherous Boy Who Lived who killed innocent members of the heavily persecuted giant and werewolf communities'? If Fudge isn't one of the best examples of hypocrisy there is, then I don't know who is!"/
"You were my surrogate family. I loved you. I trusted you. I would have even /died /for you if I had to! And for years of love, loyalty and friendship, this is how you reward me? I doubt whatever you gained from /your /treachery will eclipse the losses you'll have to deal with, and I don't just mean the popularity of the sheep-like wizarding community.
"You see... within the first month of my incarceration, on my sixteenth birthday, long-dormant magic took place... spells and charms placed on my by my parents not long before they died. It was made so on my sixteenth birthday, I would be able to keep in contact with them from beyond the barriers of life and death. This was made so they could teach me all kinds of magic and tactics that I could use against Voldemort. This was meant to be supplemental to my education which I was /supposed to be getting back at Hogwarts at the time. However, given the circumstances which you all had a hand in forcing upon me, it become my only education for that time./
"Not only that, but I was also becoming more powerful, bit by bit. And then... something /else /happened.
"Some of you might know about that illness which spread throughout the prison during last winter. It was contagious, yes, but not fatal. Or, at least, that's normally the case with that particular illness. Once again, it seemed that I became the unwilling exception to the rule.
"I don't know the full explanation myself, but my best guess is that the illness going around reacted strangely to the spells placed on me. Somehow, it accelerated my magical growth and powers - at the cost of my days being numbered."
"In case you haven't figured it out already, let me spell it out for you: By now, if you're watching this, then I'm no longer along the living. Congratulations, you idiots, by throwing me in Azkaban, you killed me!"
There was a collective intake of breath as everyone gasped, hoping against hope, that this just couldn't be true...
Harry's message merely continued from that point: "I became just powerful enough to finally vanquish Voldemort, but once I finally accomplished that, then my days were definitely numbered. I purposely chose the Dursleys over your traitors, because all things considered, they were just the lesser of two evils. I used the last bit of my powers to "Apparate" from the Dursleys' home to my family's hidden sanctuary. It is a place that all Potters are endowed with the knowledge of, and since I am - or should I say /was /- the last of my family, now no one will find it. By the time you're watching this, then I should have died in peace, in my family's hidden and protected abode. At least this way, you won't have some place where my remains are, where you can turn it into an attraction site or something like that.
"I don't know if I should agree with what a certain foolish Headmaster says about death being 'the next great adventure' - or /anything he says, for that matter - but I know this: At least now I'll be reunited with those who truly ever cared about me: My parents, Sirius, Remus, and even Hedwig. You all mean nothing to me. At least now, this long, endless suffering otherwise known as my life will finally end./
"I've heard here and there that a person facing death should make peace with those they know, but no matter just how hard I tried, I just couldn't bring myself to do so. You deserve your pain, your suffering, your anguish, whatever you deserve to feel right now for betraying me the way you did. I leave you nothing but my eternal animosity towards you.
"Oh, and one other thing: In case any of you try to let the press know about my death and try to spin off some lies like how you tried to make peace with me in time or were tragically too late to do so, I should let you all right now that the moment this message in the Pensieve was activated, messages have gone out to every major newspaper outlet in Great Britain, /especially the Quibbler/. That way, people will know the truth, and not whatever sugarcoated or whitewashed lies you try to tell them. How will people react to that, I wonder? How you betrayed Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, The One Who Vanquished Voldemort, The Heir of Gryffindor, and unwittingly set him up to die. If there was only one thing which I wouldn't have minded being alive to see, then that would have been it. As far as I'm concerned, you definitely all deserve it.
"So long, and good riddance to you all."
And with that, the message ended.
There was a horrible, stifling silence that followed, as everyone tried to come to grips with what happened. There was grief, sorrow, denial, regret, guilt, and a multitude of other such emotions going all around as everyone all looked at each other.
That is, except for one person...
"Well, I knew you witches and wizards had these tendencies to make these sorts of problems for yourselves, but Good Lord, you /reall/y outdid yourselves this time."
Everyone turned to hatefully look at Mrs. Dursley, looking both pained and smug at the collection of fools before her.
"Don't you dare start up, you horrible, evil woman," Mrs. Weasley fumed, primed for a fight yet again.
Mrs. Dursley couldn't help herself; she let out a mocking, pitying laugh that sounded horrible to everyone else's ears.
"None of you are in any position to talk. At least my nephew forgave me for all I did to him - or didn't do for him. And I didn't do anything as wretched or horrible as what you did. As much as I may detest magic and your world, I know enough about it to comprehend just what sort of hell you put him through. I may not have been so generous to him, but even I have my limits... and I certainly wouldn't have let him to die either. Besides, none of you are in any position to talk."
Mrs. Dursley did honestly grieve somewhat for her nephew, but at the same time, she just couldn't resist this opportunity to stick the proverbial knife in and keep on twisting it.
"Silence, or I'll curse you where you stand!" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed angrily, brandishing her wand.
Mrs. Dursley snorted on cocked her head to one side. "Is that the answer to everything among your kind? When you can't deal with something, fool around with magic to make yourselves feel better? Go ahead, curse me, and that will only prove that your kind has an awful tendency to think with their powers, and not with their brains."
All the other witches and wizards currently gathered in the kitchen tried to look superior, as though they were not the ones to blame for this whole mess, but they had to face facts now: Harry Potter was dead, which they were responsible for, there was nothing more they could do, and now they would never get the chance to make up for what they did.
Collecting herself, Mrs. Dursley prepared herself to take her leave. "Now you have to live with the consequences of what you've done. There's nothing more you can do. You're going to have to get on with your lives and let me get on with mine."
A/N: Well, this is a bit of a change from my previous betrayal fics... back in the ending A/N for "The Transfer Student," this was the "tragedy" I mentioned. (Also, this didn't /quite turn out the way I hoped it would... oh well...)/
As for killing off both Hagrid and Lupin... well, I didn't want either one to being among Harry's betrayers, so I had them both killed. Well, on the plus side, at least now Harry can be "reunited" with them beyond the veil or whatever. (Shrugs.)
OK, I think now I'll get back to work on NoF and HPPoH... -Quillian