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Greatest Love of All

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,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-Mr. Tambourine Man-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸

 

 

“Harry!”

 

“What?” Harry laughed at the absolute indignation in Hermione’s voice.

 

“I understand Ron, but you?” she said. “You grew up muggle. You had to have seen at least one.”

 

“Nope,” he said popping the ‘p’. “Dursley’s hated them. ‘Too much magic’ they said.”

 

“Unbelievable,” the witch said in astonishment. “So don’t know any of them? Not even Snow White? Cinderella?”

 

“They are a little familiar,” Harry conceded. “One of my primary school teachers may have read some to us but I don’t remember much.”

 

“That’s madness!”

 

“Why is it so important if Harry knows your muggle fairy tales or not?” Ron said from around a drumstick in his mouth. “From what little you told me about them, those stories are pretty odd if you ask me.”

 

“Odd? Not much odder than the ‘Hopping Cauldron’, Ronald. Besides, I, along with nearly the rest of the muggle world, grew up on these stories.”

 

“Alright, alright,” Harry laughed, interrupting the two before they got at it again. “Since you know them so well, why don’t you tell us about them, I mean, since they are so important to you after all.”

 

“Well—”

 

“Yeah! Come on, Hermione! Tell us one!”

 

“Start with your favorite!” Hermione thought over the request and for a moment she looked as though she were about to decline. However, the expectant faces on both the boy’s faces had her reconsider.

 

“Well, alright then,” she huffed. The teen giggled at the mock cheers and exaggerated wide, blinking eyes they sent her as the three settled for a story. “My favorite as a young girl was always ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Back in old France was a village that was home to a young woman named Belle—”

 

,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-*-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸

 

Harry’s first year of Hogwarts ignited an exciting thought in the then young boy’s mind. He was no more a freak than a whole community of specially talented individuals. As an orphan who was forced to live under the roof of a ‘family’ who didn’t care about, let alone love, him only to be sent to a literal magical place where seemingly everyone wanted to know him was a bit disorienting. Harry hadn’t liked the sudden attention but he made do. Afterall, he finally had friends, people who cared about him.

 

His first year of Hogwarts was an unforgettable experience Harry would never forget. He remembered the joy, the pure whimsy of it all. Even the word alone, ‘Magic’, would create the butterfly sensation in his stomach. Harry had nearly forgotten how innocent the word had been back then. Even with the threat of death during the troll incident or that of the stone couldn’t change his mind about Hogwarts. It was fantastic!

 

Only, the golden image of magic began to rust as time went on. Harry had witnessed events that no child should have. He had willingly fought and nearly died on several occasions for the sake of ensuring the safety of his friends and the rest of the population of the school. He hadn’t thought much about it then but merely winning the house cup after a death defying adventure was not worth his life. He knew that now.

 

Sirius’ death had sparked something in Harry. A certain resolve to finally end the hurt that had been subjected upon him. He had been angry, at the world and himself, for letting Voldemort and other adults who had a steady hand over him rule his life. He both loved and hated Dumbledore for keeping secrets from him and most importantly, dying before the old man could tell him himself that he had to die for Voldemort to fall.

 

Neither can live while the other survives.

 

The revelation had made Harry go numb. The idea that he had fought so hard to keep in his first year simply vanished and with it went his anger at the world. Harry thought himself an idiot for ever considering he would achieve a happy life that followed through to his adult years. He would never be able to raise a family of his own to love or protect. He would never be able to become the father he always dreamed of having or even finding love like his parents had before him. Harry Potter was destined to die young and he was a fool for ever believing differently.  

 

And with that thought, Harry’s voice held firm when he spoke to his two best friends for what would be the last time. His head held high and his back straight as he strode into the forest, towards his awaiting murderer.

 

Though numb after the hearing the prophecy at it’s entirety, Harry couldn’t help but feel frightened. There was no coming back from this one. No Fawks to heal him. No Sirius or Remus, or D.A, or even Snape to help him.

 

The only reassurance he had was his mother’s promise to wait for him on the other side. That sobering thought made him almost thankful for the whole bloody situation. Yes, he would be dying tonight at the hands of a magical terrorist but his death would finally grant him his one wish of finally being with his parents. The fact that Sirius hadn’t appeared in the clearing with his parents and Remus hadn’t crossed the teens mind fully as the nerves had finally settled in.

 

The sight of Hagrid, bound and forced onto his knees, deeply saddened him. The half-giant heart was not one for war. He was the first person to have ever showed Harry kindness and this was what Hagrid got for his troubles. Harry sent Hagrid a look, hoping that the man would see just how sorry he was but Harry knew the other wouldn’t be able to see past his own sorrow.

 

Harry Potter, Boy Who Lived,” Voldemort whispered almost wistfully. “Come to die?”

 

Harry could feel himself shaking; no longer from fear but from fagitude. He ignored the excited whispers that broke out between the Death Eaters and kept a steady gaze into his soon-to-be killer’s eyes. Harry had never been more sure of anything in his life but at that moment. In the eyes of Tom Riddle, he had truly and finally won.

 

The forest grew silent as Voldemort raised his wand. Time seemed to stop for a moment as the situation dawned on everyone present; The Dark Lord was going to finish what he had intended to do nearly seventeen-years-ago. This was how it was always supposed to be. Harry was never meant to live but that did not mean Voldemort would survive this night either. At least Harry would die knowing he had fought his best and others would be there to finish the fight. If only he had more time to see everyone he had grown to love off before he left.

 

“Avada Kedavra!”

Chapter Text

,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-Spoilin' for a Fight-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸

 

Harry didn’t remember what had happened after the acidic green curse made contact with his body. He didn’t remember falling to the ground or if he even took a last breath. He did recall the last few moments before hand. The jeering smirks on the Death Eaters faces, Bellatrix’s crazed laugh, and even Hagrid's tearful shouts to run away.

Harry wondered if Hagrid got out safely. He didn’t dare think on the situation any more than that. Hagrid was a strong man, one who survived a brief stint in Azkaban with little to no repercussions. In fact, Hagrid could have easily overpowered any extremest creep that got in his way. If only the man didn’t have such a big heart—

He shouldn’t think about it any longer. Harry held back a gasp that threatened to escape him as he carefully took in his surroundings. He lay still, his back and limbs aching from phantom pains but he dared not to move. He did not know who may be watching. The confusion of him being alive at that moment was pushed away for now.

He waited for what felt like hours before Harry grew the courage to peek through his lashes. He internally groaned when he realized his glasses were not on his face but figured if losing his glasses was the cost of surviving the killing curse, again, then maybe being near blind was a better alternative. 

Hearing no movement around him, Harry risked sitting up. He let out a pitiful groan as his back left the hard surface of the ground he found himself on. He took a moment to adjust to the pain before taking in his surroundings to the best of his ability. 

The first thing that Harry noticed was that rather than the grassy surface of the forest floor, he was met with hard concrete. It was wet and grimy; Harry had the distinct feeling that the grime would easily give away under his fingernails if he so much brushed his hand across the floor. The stench was something of a mix between an out-of-date potion and Dudley’s bedroom.

The smell alone caused Harry’s stomach to revolt against him and had there been something in it, Harry was sure it would have made a repeat appearance on the already disgusting floor. Trash, inside and out of bags, littered the area. Plastic wrappings showcasing products Harry had never seen or heard in his life glimmered slightly under the dim moon. The dew that collected on them tinted a slight green that no doubt mirrored his face.

He sighed through his mouth, careful not to let the odor overtake his senses as he carefully climbed to his feet. He staggered a bit as he leaned against an equally gross exposed brick wall. He bit back a gag as a cool wet sensation hit his back; even between all his layered clothing. He took a moment before carefully stepping away. His steps felt unsteady and raw as he slowly crossed the small area. He turned and walked the other way a few more times in order to regain some strength and heat in his body. Harry's teeth chattered as he tried to regain a sense of stability within himself. He felt shaken and not all awake but the careful movements was helping. Once the teen was sure he wouldn’t fall over, he glanced around the clearing for his wand and sighed in relief when he found it safely tucked into his sweatshirt sleeve.   

Harry toyed with the wand under his sleeve but didn’t take it out. As he was, Harry was sure that even attempting a simple spell would end disastrously. Not only was he still a bit disoriented but Harry felt his core nearly depleted. It would be awhile before he could cast anything without risking permanent damage. The thought actually caused a spike of panic to rush through him before he stomped down the feelings of fear bubbling inside. He took a few deep breaths, ignoring the taste of the lingering stench in the air, and forced himself to calm down.  

The sound of rushing foot steps caused Harry to wince. He didn't feel comfortable moving too much just yet but the idea of confronting others seemed more daunting. The teen slowly made his way to the opening of the alley, careful to keep his movements steady. He didn't rush himself as he knew his body could not yet handle it and it would lead to more suspicion should there be any witnesses on the other side. After drawing on his hood, Harry turned in a random direction and continued walking. He did not know where he was going but staying in one place for too long was not an option.

The decrepit buildings and rickety houses were not something Harry recognized. The stalls full of broken items and bruised goods seemed to have all came from the same trash bin. The people handling the very items stirred a sad feeling in the pit of Harry's stomach. A woman, a young mother by the looks of the small child in her arms, was small and very dirty. She wore ragged clothes that only served to preserve her modesty. The holes and subpar patch work did nothing to protect her from the cool air in the strange bazar. The sneer settled firmly on her face seemed forced and made the woman look like she was in pain rather than angry. However, the look she sent Harry when his gaze lingered too long made him scurry passed her. He knew better than to anger a scorned mother.

Harry quickly realized that most, if not all, the people around them reflected the appearance of the first woman. Angry, bitter, sad, hungry were just a few of the wide range of emotions that filtered past every one of their gaunt faces. Harry was almost glad that he had lost his glasses as he wasn't sure he wanted to see more of what was in front of him. The only seemingly bright side in the dreary atmosphere was the shouts and giggling coming from small children that ran around the booths. Though there were physically just as bad off as the adults present.

Harry had almost dismissed the children entirely. It wasn't until a small group had brushed by him that made Harry rethink that they were just innocent kids playing. He felt the telltale pressure of a hand hovering over his jean pocket. Harry had been shocked for a second and had almost grabbed the hand but at the last second he resisted. He didn't have anything on him for the little pickpockets to take. Even then, Harry was not cruel enough to deny a bit of pocket change for a group of obviously starving children. The blurry look of disappointment the kid sent him had actually made him chuckle as he shrugged his shoulders slightly. 

"Haven't got anything on me, sorry." Harry brushed off the surprised look on the child's face as one of being caught and didn't think of it further as he reached the end of the market.

The amount of people dwindled as he finally crossed to the other end of the strip. Flashes of dark purples and blues from the neon signs sputtered randomly, illuminating the streets and giving an ominous feel that everyone seemed to ignore. Harry squinted at a wooden sign, trying to read it without the aid of his glasses and from his distance did nothing to help him. He almost made out the first word when he felt something solid run into him. The force made Harry stagger back a few steps, the tight hold of his wand almost slipping from his grasp as he steadied himself. The teen turned to give an automatic apology but stopped when the same figure shoved him back.

"Watch it," the man growled as he breezed past him. Harry blinked in astonishment at the pure anger that radiated off the other person. Harry grimaced as the previous aches from his body flaired back to life after the man pushed him back. The amount of force put behind the sudden shove was more than a little surprising as Harry had actually felt the ground leave from under him. If it weren't for the wall behind him, Harry was almost sure that he would have fell on his ass. The man was undoubtedly strong and Harry had no desire to run into him again.

"Good old dad," someone chuckled besides him. Harry jumped at the sudden voice and whipped around to face the source.

"Pardon," Harry rasped, his voice hoarse as he took in the taller teen leaning casually beside him. The boy was tall, easily surpassing Harry, and brawny but despite his size he didn't seem to have that looming quality Harry had observed from the other people he saw in this strange place. His dopey smile seemed out of place resting on such an intimidating person. Seemingly unaware of Harry's perturbed look, the other teen babbled on.

"Well not 'good' good. More like the 'bad' good. There's no good on the Isle," He laughed. "So what I meant to say was 'bad old dad'. But that doesn't sound as good as 'good old dad.' Not to say that my dad is good. That word sounds funny now."

"...What?"

"My dad is a good bad dad. He's good at being bad and bad at being good. Get it?" The teen finally turned his full attention to Harry, his eyebrow drawn in concentration. "I don't even think I get it." 

"Well don't hurt yourself," Harry replied cautiously as he began to walk away from the other boy. A hurried set of footsteps following him nearly made Harry grown out loud but he held it in when he caught the wonder filled on the others face.

"Uma and Harry tell me the same thing!" He said. Harry twitched at his name but didn't say anything as the two walked side-by-side. Nevertheless, Harry nodded his head and continued to look around for anything familiar. As the weird boy babbled about his two friends, Harry couldn't help but notice how the sea of people seemed to part for them. Harry hummed and looked at the boy before glancing back at the scene. It was not unlike something he would see happen to him at Hogwarts only the looks of contempt seemed to be more out of fear than anger. That had Harry reeling as the boy walking beside him didn't seem all that scary. A little dimwitted and huge but not scary. "...do you know them?"

The sudden question brought Harry back to the moment at hand. He slowly shook his head, mindful of the small headache building up behind his eyes.

"Oh," the boy said almost sadly. However that didn't last long before his mood was back up again. "Well you should meet them!"

"Um, no thanks," Harry muttered. The boy deflated and pouted, actually pouted, at him as he waved his beefy arms around. 

"But why?" he whined. "I'm supposed to recruit new crew members and people are honestly making it so much harder than it should be."

"Recruit? For what?" Harry didn't even know why he kept talking to the other boy. He should have remained quiet and hope his silence would bore him and make him leave. Though Harry had to admit the other was doing a very good job distracting him. The anxiety and panic he felt when waking up in an unfamiliar place after literally dying was receding to the back of his mind as he watched the other teen flail around.

"For our crew!" he stressed. "It's going to be great! We'll be the strongest crew on the Isle now that Mal and her friends are gone."

"The Isle?" Harry questioned, however, his question went unanswered when a deep chuckle rang through the air.

"How cute," the voice cooed. Harry watched, tensed, as the once semi-crowded street hurriedly emptied. The people almost climbing over each other to leave. Some even took the opportunity to swipe some of the trinkets left unattended on the tables. It wasn't long before Harry and the other boy stood alone. A quick glance at the burly boy caused Harry to mirror his stance. The once cheery teen looked angry and ready for a fight and despite only knowing him for a short time, Harry didn't feel comfortable leaving him to face whatever he knew was waiting for him alone. The grateful look Harry received in return was enough to prove that he chose correctly. "Uma isn't shit. She and her crew will fall before the Huns just like the others."

"Wang Yu," the strong boy muttered as another boy their age stepped out of the shadows. Wang Yu laughed again, before casually walking towards the pair standing in the middle of an empty street.

"I know Gil, the resident idiot, but you," he said pointing at Harry with a dull blade. "I don't know you." 

Gil, Harry figured that was his name, moved in front of Harry. The two stared each other down for a long moment before Wang Yu stepped back with a laugh. He turned, the knife glittering under the neon lights before he made a dismissive wave with the blade. "Protecting your boyfriend, Gil? Is he a good lay?" 

The burly teen moved to attack Wang Yu but Harry grabbed his arm before he had the chance. Gil sent Harry a questioning look but Harry shook his head. Wang Yu wasn't here for a mere brawl. Harry could recognize those. Plus, the moving shadows indicated Wang Yu didn't come alone. He was trying to anger them, cause them to act without thinking past the haze of fury. He'd seen a good share of these tactics during the final battle. The numbers were against them but Harry knew that a good team was nothing without the clarity of their leader.

"Big talk coming from someone named Wang," Harry called. His voice still sounded a little raw and came out raspy to even his ears. His name must have hit a sore spot as the teen actually spun around to glare at him, the knife now held tightly in a white knuckle grip.

"You want to say that again?" Wang Yu sneered. Harry rolled his eyes under his hood. He didn't expect such a third-year comment would rile the other up so well. But if it worked, it worked.

"I think we both know what I'm saying, Wang." Harry smirked slightly at the muffled chuckles floating through the street. Gil didn't even try to hide his mirth as Wang Yu struggled to reply. "That toothpick of a knife must mean a whole lot to if you have to show it off like that. Must remind you of something right, Wang?" 

"I wouldn't keep talking if I were—"

"Did you name it?" Harry continued. "The knife that is. If not may I offer the suggestion of 'Willy'?"

"Wang's Willy?" Gil parroted, his tone confused for a moment before he understood. The resounding laughter that overtook them made Wang Yu sputter in indignation.

"Exactly, Gil!" Harry said and smiled when the other teen puffed up after the praise. Wang Yu growled as he glanced around the area. He snarled at his gang to stop laughing but it went unheard. Harry watched as the teen seemed to grow angier before he finally snapped.

"Enough!" Wang Yu shouted. Harry snorted at how little it took to make the other boy visibly shake in anger. It was almost sad, really, but Harry couldn't think on it further as the taller teen dove to slash him with the dull knife. Harry leapt away, his back colliding into Gil who pulled him further away from the furious teen. "Don't just stand there! Get them!"

"Watch out for his Willy, Gil!" 

Five other teens emerged from the shadows, each as tall and stocky as Wang Yu and Gil. Harry ignored the feeling of unjust at being the smallest fighter again and quickly dove away from a well aimed punch to the side of his jaw. Though the other teens were large and stronger than he, Harry was easily the fastest of the bunch. He made quick work of dodging every strike, his body ached and screamed during the movements but he couldn't afford to stop.

In fact, Harry hadn't thrown a single punch throughout the brawl. He noticed early on how well he and Gil mirrored each other's movements. Where he would dodge, Gil was quick to attack. Harry was impressed how Gil had come up with there system. The teen was definitely smarter than he first made himself out to be.

Though they were good, Gil and Harry were still outnumbered. During the fight, the two teens were herded in a corner with Wang Yu and two others slowly advancing on them. Each had some type of weapon that could easily kill either teen. The fact of the matter was that Harry was still injured. He could feel his cuts reopening as blood slowly dripped down his body under his clothes. His head and bones ached. And without his glasses, he was fighting half blind. This fight had to end before anyone seriously got hurt. 

Harry, though reserved on using magic on muggles especially as young as the ones attacking them, had no other choice but to use his wand. His core felt tight as he summoned enough energy to conjure a quick jinx. Something that wouldn't too much.

"Locomotor Mortis," Harry shouted. His core strained as the jinx sputtered in the air before colliding into their three attackers. With a shout, the three teens fell to the floor. Harry gasped in pain. He had not realised how exhausted, magically and physically, he was. He stumbled back and watched in dismay how the jinx seemed to be wearing off quickly. Before the three teens were fully up, Harry felt Gil pull him away from the wall they were cornered in.

"Let's go!" Harry stumbled to catch up, his lungs felt like they were on fire as the three goons followed after them unsteadily. Gil kept a tight grip on Harry's arm as they raced through the crowded streets. This time the people not having enough time to part for them as they did before. At one point, Gil had to let go of his arm in order to jump over a small wall. Harry quickly followed but they were separated by the crowd. Harry didn't have time to look for Gil as Wang Yu had seen him before he could catch sight of the other teen. Instead Harry turned and lead the gang leader through a dark alley.

Harry's greatest mistake was turning back to see how far off Wang Yu was and tripped over a pile of rubbish in the way. Harry tried to get up but a kick in the chest made caused him to fall back to the ground. He groaned in pain as another kick was delivered to his face. Harry spat out the wad of blood that collected in his mouth and glared at the ground. He heard Wang Yu laugh, still out of breath from the run, before Harry felt the other teen pull his head up by his hair.

"I love a good chase," Wang Yu said, his mouth set in a bloody grin. Harry sneered at the teen but didn't say anything while Wang's blade was pressed against his exposed throat. "Never mess with the son of Shan Yu."

"Should I know who that is?" Harry couldn't help but say. Wang Yu snarled and moved to press the blade harder against Harry's throat when the teens weight suddenly disappeared from on top of him. Harry scrambled to sit up, his back pressed against the wall as he clutched a hand to his slightly bleeding throat. He glanced over at Wang Yu's unconscious body before turning slowly to whoever helped him.

"I said no BLOOD on my FRONT PORCH! Is that too HARD to UNDERSTAND? Like, Seriously!"