1 Work in Anthony Goldstein & Dean Thomas

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    Summary

    What if Voldemort went after Harry and Neville, and gave no one a chance to die for them? What if both Chosen Ones died as children?
    --
    There was no prophesied boy, but there was still this--dozens of shadowed young faces refusing to run, even at the very end of the world. Dumbledore looked out at his chess pieces, pawns and queens; his children and his friends; his collateral damage. He had the beginnings of a plan swelling in his chest.

    It would take them decades to get their hands, quietly, on every Horcrux. Tom Riddle had to think they were secret. He had to think he was safe. It would take them almost decades, but one day he would be mortal again.

    These dozens of faces--they were mortal now. Alastor Moody could feel mortality in the aches of old broken bones; Andromeda rewrote her own last name. Remus and Sirius felt empty, gaping holes in the seats around them, and they made crude, expansive, joyous toasts to friends' memories.

    When Molly first reached over and held Arthur's hand, they knew this was something that could not last. That was why they held hands, held on, held tight.

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