the Final battle
“Welcome, friends. Today is a very special day. Tonight, we are welcoming several new members into our family. When I call your name, future Death Eaters, you will step forward and receive the Dark Mark, then you will return to the circle,” instructed Voldemort.
Harry watched as one by one new Death Eaters got inducted. Many of the new recruits were foreign, from Dumstrang, Harry suspected. However, there was also a good number of Hogwarts alumni, including Crabbe, Goyale, and former Slytherin Quidditch Captain Marcus Flint.
“Congratulations, new Death Eaters. It is a great honor to wear the mark you now have on your forearm, do not make me regret my decision,” warned Voldemort. “Now that the formalities have been taken care of, it is time for business. Severus, have the Werewolves chosen a new Alpha Male?”
Harry’s hand twitched towards his wand as Snape stepped forward.
“Yes, my lord. They have chosen Greyback’s brother Romulus. I have spoken with him and he is eager to continue his brother’s service to you,” said Snape.
“Excellent. Lucius, did you find my sword?” asked Voldemort.
“Yes, my lord,” answered Harry, laying the jewel encrusted weapon at Voldemort’s feet. Slytherin’s heir picked up the sword and examined it.
“Good. You have redeemed yourself nicely. I will spare you and your family,” said Voldemort.
“Thank you, my lord,” said Harry.
“And last, but certainly not least, my faithful spy, Delores. What news do you have from our Ministry?” continued Voldemort.
“Scridgmour is still reluctant to give Potter Veritserum, he is afraid of the political repercussions of such an action. We still have no clue as to what Dumbledore was doing before he was killed,” reported Umbridge.
“I see, keep trying. If necessary, take matters into your own hands as you did with the Dementors,” ordered Voldemort. “When can we expect our guest?”
Before Umbridge could answer, however, in someone appeared in the middle of the circle, and was quickly put in a Body Bind by Voldemort.
“Greetings, Minister Scridgmour. Thank you for joining us tonight. I will finish you off myself later, but until then, Lucius, why don’t you show the Minister what happens to those who oppose the immortal Lord Voldemort, not that his policies have been any major hindrance,” said Riddle.
Harry deduced that Voldemort wanted to kill the Minister to create his Horcrux later tonight. He looked at his watch and realized his Polyjuice Potion would ware off shortly. Soundlessly, Harry summoned his still invisible staff and approached the Minister as Nagini encircled the prisoner. Harry took out his wand and pointed it at Scridgmour.
“Actually, Tom, you’d be surprised to know just how mortal you are,” said Harry, who turned his wand on Nagini and hissed “Sectumsempra.”
The serpents head separated from his body with a scream as Ginny gave a subtle flick of her wand, setting off a series of Decoy Detonators. The army used the momentary diversion to begin their attack. There was a series of pops as people Apparated into the graveyard and began fighting. As the Polyjuice Potion wore off, Harry placed his wand back into his robes, unwrapped his staff, and turned to face Voldemort. There was a momentary look of shock on the monster’s face, but Voldemort quickly recovered.
“Mr. Potter, how nice of you and your friends to join us. Can I assume by your presence here that you’re ready to die tonight?” sneered Voldemort.
“There was a time when death would have been a relief, but I am not the one who will be dying tonight Tom,” said Harry calmly.
“You seek to kill me?” laughed Voldemort. “I, who defeated death itself. The immortal Lord Voldemort.”
“Are you still immortal? Tell me, when was the last time you checked on your Horcruxes Tom?” asked Harry as the two enemies circled each other. Voldemort looked briefly panicked.
“Don’t call me that!” hissed Voldemort.
“I think that your mother deserves to have her dying wish fulfilled,” said Harry before sending a powerful stunner that Voldemort blocked. “As for you, death is too merciful of a fate.”
“Don’t speak of things you don’t understand you foolish boy,” demanded Voldemort, who proceeded to send a Killing Curse that Harry dodged. “You’re weak. Tell me, how does it feel to lead your friends to their deaths time and time again?”
“I’m not the fool. You are the one who fails to see the advantage of friends over servants. Love is a strength, not a weakness,” said Harry. “Sectumsempra.”
Voldemort’s shield charm saved him from being cut, but he grabbed his side where it hit and made a face that looked suspiciously like a grimace.
“I did not believe Snape when he told me you used such a dark curse. Such magic does not suit you,” taunted Voldemort.
“A curse is only as dark as its caster,” argued Harry. The pair continued to exchange spells while the battle raged behind them.
“Avada Kedavra,” shouted Voldemort about 15 minutes later.
“Amorus Protego!” countered Harry. The brilliant white shield that emitted from Harry’s staff collided with Voldemort’s Killing Curse. However, unlike other spells that got absorbed by the shield, the Killing Curse came to a sudden halt, but kept pushing on the shield, trying to get through. Harry concentrated with all of his might, trying to keep his shield up, as if he tried to dodge the curse it would likely hit an Order or D.A. member.
“An impressive shield, Potter,” conceded Voldemort, an expression of scholarly interest on his face. His knowledge of magic was unsurpassed, so it was rare for him to see a spell that he was unfamiliar with. “I’ll have to learn it. Perhaps if a decent wizard were using it they might actually be able to block the Killing Curse.”
“You’ll never be able to use this shield, Tom. It runs on what you cannot hope to have,” said Harry, sweat forming on his brow as he struggled to hold off the Killing Curse.
“It’s just as well, it doesn’t appear your shield will be able to last much longer,” said Voldemort as his curse inched closer to its target, pushing the shield back. Harry was getting exhausted fell to one knee.
“Harry!” shouted Ginny when she saw him go to the ground. At the sound of the girl’s voice Harry’s shield glowed so brightly Harry briefly worried it might blind him. Voldemort’s Killing Curse was sent flying back three times as fast as it had left Voldemort’s wand. As soon as the curse stuck Voldemort’s chest Harry’s scar burst and a pain like no other he had ever felt filled his body. As Harry collapsed, clutching his forehead, he knew that this pain meant one thing; Tom Riddle was dead. He was vaguely aware of the cheers of victory, mixed with the sound of Death Eaters (Umbridge among them) panicking and Apparating away after seeing their master dead. Harry removed his head from his hands and looked up to see Ron and Ginny standing guard, sending powerful hexes towards any Death Eater who dared to get too close to him.
The Death Eaters who hadn’t fled seemed intent on fighting to the death, and Harry knew that he needed to help end the resistance before he could celebrate his victory over Voldemort. His joints aching in protest, Harry picked himself up off of the ground in time to see Lupin blast Wormtail off of his feet, directly into the path of a Killing Curse Dolohov had sent towards Mrs. Weasley, who sent her brother’s murderer crashing into a large monument. Turning to his right, Harry saw Hagrid pick of Macnair and slam him into the headstone of Tom Riddle Sr.
“Stupify!” shouted Harry before watching Montague hit the ground. Harry wiped his forehead and joined the fray, sending spells and hexes at any Death Eater who he could aim at without risking hitting anyone on his own side. The shield, along with the other spells Harry had cast that night, combined with the pain his scar had felt when Voldemort died had drained Harry, and spells were rapidly decreasing in strength. Harry felt a gentle breeze over his head and looked up to see Charlie, Dean, Fred, George, Cho, Zacharias Smith, along with Alicia Spinnit and Angelina Johnson, who were on their brooms, using their Quidditch Talents to rain spells down on the Death Eaters beneath them.
Suddenly there was a piercing scream. Harry turned and saw Bellatrix Lestrange holding Luna under the Cruciatus Curse and cackling madly. Harry made to go to Luna’s aid, but was beat to it.
“No, you’re not taking her from me too!” shouted Neville. “Stupify!”
Lestrange blocked Neville’s stunner, ending Luna’s torture.
“Looking to join your parents, Longbottom?” laughed Lestrange. “Crucio!”
Neville ducked and responded, “Impedimentia!” The force of Neville’s spell sent it right through Lestrange’s shield, who fell to the ground, where she was put in a Body Bind. Neville’s wand remained trained on the Death Eater. Harry recognized the looked in the young man’s eyes.
“Neville, don’t do it!” pleaded Harry.
“She took them, Harry. I didn’t even get a chance to know them,” said Neville, his voice and wand shaking.
“I know. I understand wanting to get revenge on someone, but believe me, you don’t want to live with the pain of taking someone’s life if you don’t have to, no matter how much they deserve it. I’ve been there before. It stays with you,” said Harry. “Go check on Luna, she needs you.”
“How touching,” said an oily voice Harry was all too familiar with. “I must thank you, Potter. The Dark Lord wouldn’t let anyone else relieve the world of your horrid existence. But, with him out of the picture, I’m free to take the pleasure for myself. You’ll be with your insufferable father and his flea bitten pet soon.”
“Severus, no! The Dark Lord ordered!” shouted Rodolphus Lestrange.
“The Dark Lord is dead. We must regroup if we want to continue,” retorted Snape. Ron used the momentary distraction to stun Lestrange. Suddenly, Snape was yanked up into the air by his ankle, revealing Remus Lupin standing behind him, wand aimed directly at his former colleague.
“Impaled by your own sword, Snivilus?” jeered Harry before incapacitating his long time tormentor.
Harry was steadying his legs when there was a crash in the air above him. Dean had swerved to dodge a curse and collided with the lighter Cho, sending both teens tumbling towards the ground at what was surely a fatal height.
“Levicorpus!” thought Harry, aiming his wand at Dean and his staff at Cho, but the spells were too high. Harry watched in horror as the two landed with a sickening snap on a pair of head stones. Ignoring the battle Harry rushed over to the lifeless bodies, searching franticly for pulses that weren’t there. Harry suddenly found himself wishing Harry had been on better terms with Cho and Dean before they died. Dean had never forgiven him for dating Ginny, and still gave him death glares when he thought he wasn’t looking. Harry had barely even spoke to Cho since her friend had betrayed the D.A. For reasons that Harry couldn’t understand, Harry felt that Cho’s death was affecting him more than it should. Harry allowed himself a few tears before standing up and joining the fight with a fury, stunning five Death Eaters before the adrenaline wore off and he was even more depleted than before. Harry saw that the two Goyales had Colin Creevey cornered and stunned the elder man. Goyale turned to face his father’s wobbly attacker.
“Expelliarmus!” said the thick-necked Slytherin. Before Harry could react his wand and staff flew from his hands.
“Avada-” began Goyale before falling down at the hand of Horace Slughorn.
“Harry, that shield must have taken a lot out of you. There’s no way Goyale should have been able to disarm you. You need to get out of here before you get killed,” said the Potions teacher. Harry was about to argue when a green flash of light hit Slughorn in the side and he fell over dead, courtesy of Theodore Nott. Nott turned his wand on Harry, but with a crack was thrown violently into the air.
“You is not harming Harry Potter,” said Dobby, who then threw himself at Harry and hugged his legs. “Harry Potter did it! Harry Potter defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! You is truly a great wizard!”
“Dobby! What are you doing here?” said Harry.
“It is part of the House Elves magic, Harry Potter sir. We is always knowing when our masters is needing us, even when they is not being able to call us themselves,” explained the elf. “You is needing to get home now, Harry Potter sir, you is not well. I is Apparating you home and you is getting rest.”
“I can’t. The fighting isn’t done yet,” insisted Harry.
“Harry, if you’re losing to the likes of Goyale you won’t be doing much more fighting tonight. You’ve done enough, let us take care of the rest, we’ve almost got them all anyway,” said Ron.
“What about the Minister?” asked Harry.
“The damn coward is fine. As soon as the body bind wore off he Apparated away,” said Ron. “Now go before I have to force you.”
Harry sighed and gave in. He hated to be abandoning the fight, but knew that Ron was right when he said that he wouldn’t survive the fight much longer. Dobby grabbed a hold of his hero and Harry again felt as though he were being squeezed through a tube before appearing in his bedroom at Potter Manor. Harry was too exhausted to change; he barely had enough energy to climb into his bed, secure in the knowledge that with Voldemort finally gone, one day, eventually, he might be able to sleep and live peacefully