Title: In The End
Pairings: Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione, others TBD
Warnings: Violence, Gay Sex, and Potential Major Character Death. Oh, and MPreg.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter universe or any of the characters. I like to do things with them that would probably make Jo blush.
Summary: Harry learns how to live while dying, with Draco's help. And however hard he fights his attraction to Draco, he eventually learns how to love from him, too.
A/N: I haven't decided how to end this story yet. I don't know if it will be a tragedy, where Harry dies, or one where Harry is cured. IF he dies, I WILL write an alternate ending. Because I've promised myself never to write a story without a happy ending!
Also, this story will be updated infrequently. I have too many stories on the go atm, so I'm going to continue focusing on my older MC's for the most part, and only give my complete attention to this one once one or two of the others have been completed.
In The End
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
In The End – Linkin Park
Harry spent the summer after fifth year in a deep depression; angry and bitter, filled with guilt and self-loathing. He read his textbooks obsessively until he had nearly memorised them.
He owl-ordered several texts on Occlumency from Florish and Blotts, and studied until his mind was closed up tighter than a steel drum. It was a relief not to have to deal with the dreams, or Voldemort's emotions pouring through their link.
He was a very different person at the end of the summer.
His sixth year was difficult at best.
He returned to Hogwarts subdued; depressed and angry. He withdrew from everyone, afraid to be close to anyone in case Voldemort decided to use them against him the way he had with Sirius.
He informed Professor Dumbledore after the Welcoming Feast that he wanted nothing to do with him anymore.
"Unless it pertains to school, sir, I have no interest in speaking to you."
Professor Dumbledore tried many different times and different ways to change his mind, to no avail. He kept his head down, kept to himself, and outstripped Hermione in school. Apparently memorising the textbooks could pay off – who knew?
He used his invisibility cloak every night to sneak into the restricted section and read until the words blurred together on the page. He researched Dark Magic, searching for something that might help him defeat Voldemort.
He learned nasty and illegal curses that he would practice in the Shrieking Shack, away from prying eyes and the Hogwarts wards that would alert Dumbledore if any Dark Magic was performed in the school.
If he met a Death Eater again, he could give them a taste of their own medicine. There was no way he'd attempt to disarm or disable them with harmless spells like Stupefy.
It wasn't until Dumbledore approached Harry with three new offers that he decided to accept, and go back under the old man's guidance. He kept his mind tightly closed around the Headmaster, however, as he had no intention of letting the man know about his forays into the world of Dark Magic.
The offers Dumbledore made him were membership in the Order, complete disclosure, and regular training to equip him to fight Death Eaters on more even ground. His teachers were Remus, Snape, Moody, and Dumbledore himself.
One would think, with his classes, his training, and his extracurricular activities, that he would have no time for anything else. Yet for some reason he had become obsessed with Draco Malfoy.
Malfoy had returned to sixth year as quiet and withdrawn as Harry himself. His father was in Azkaban, his family disgraced, and his mother had filed for a divorce. The last was a rumour floating around the school, based on articles in the Prophet; but since Malfoy never said anything to refute them there seemed to be some truth to them.
Malfoy, the boy who had always boasted about his father constantly, never breathed a word about him now.
Perhaps the most telling indication of the truth of those rumours was the induction of Narcissa Malfoy as an Order member. She swore that she and her son were committed to fighting on the right side, that she'd finally managed to bar her insane sister – along with any other Death Eaters – from the Manor, and she eagerly began the process of reuniting with her other, estranged sister.
Harry watched him every chance he got. He told himself it was because he needed to keep an eye on the Slytherin, to determine whether he was following in his father's footsteps or not; but that didn't explain why he kept noticing things about him. Irrelevant things, like how his hair fell about his face now that he'd stopped gelling it back, or how the lines of his face weren't so much pointy as aristocratic, or just how grey his eyes were. How fit he was.
And Harry most certainly never had erotic dreams that just might have featured a tall, fit blond with grey eyes. After all, Harry wasn't even gay.
Harry had always hated the attention of the public; now, between the desperate attempts by various publications to interview him, the Ministry – which was no longer headed by Fudge, but by a former Auror named Rufus Scrimgeour – hounding him to endorse them to increase the faith of the public in them, and the constant stream of letters from the public, Harry began daydreaming about becoming a hermit.
Voldemort kept busy that year; killings increased and people were terrified. Dark Marks appeared in the sky all over as muggles, wizards, and witches alike were brutally murdered.
Harry threw himself into his studies with fervor. He learned as much as he could for as long as he could, and by the end of his sixth year could best or at least match all of his teachers. It was as if he'd had an untapped reservoir of power within himself that he'd never been able – or perhaps motivated enough – to access before.
When he returned to the Dursley's the summer before his seventh year, he was determined to end things, once and for all. With nothing else to do with his time but complete the mindless tasks the Dursleys set him, his mind was constantly whirring, plotting.
He needed a way to defeat Voldemort for good. But with all the Dark and Light Magic he'd been taught, there was no sure way to guarantee he could complete the task.
In a dusty, hidden book in the furthest section of the Restricted Section, heavily warded with curses, he'd discovered a thin book. It discussed a theoretical spell that could destroy all life within a certain radius of its casting. It remained theoretical only because no one was suicidal enough to attempt it, as it destroyed the caster.
Within the boundaries of its casting, nothing could survive.
Harry had less regard for his life than he'd once had, and he figured that killing Voldemort was something worth dying for.
So it was that Harry came up with a plan.
The Order had plans to move him, as the protection of the Blood Wards on the Dursleys house would fall when he turned seventeen. They spirited away the Dursleys a week prior, hiding them away where they'd be safe.
Harry was to be moved the day before his birthday.
The same night as the Dursleys left, Harry released Hedwig, telling her to fly to Hogwarts and stay there. Then he took his wand, a pack filled with food and water bottles, and slipped out of the house under his invisibility cloak. He ran as fast and as far as he could before he was finally forced to stop and rest.
He curled up under a bush and slept under the cloak.
He continued travelling invisible until he reached London. He turned seventeen the day before he reached the city. Having given a lot of thought to the fastest way to be caught by Death Eaters, he lit upon the plan to visit Knockturn Alley.
He entered Diagon Alley invisible, and made his way to Knockturn. It was in an alley beside Borgin and Burkes that he slid off the cloak; stuffing it into his now-empty pack and stepping back out into Knockturn. He brushed the hair off his forehead and walked through the street, head held high, scar clearly displayed.
He might as well have been wearing a neon sign.
Sure enough, Death Eaters arrived to capture him. He was ready.
He put up a good fight. He may have wanted to be captured, but he had no intention of making it easy for them and wanted to take as many of them down as possible beforehand.
They weren't expecting him to be so skilled. They certainly weren't expecting him to use Dark Magic.
Killing them was much easier than Harry had thought it would be. He felt almost detached; clinical as he took life after life.
He killed five, wounded seven badly enough that they were down and helpless, but finally they managed to stun him.
He woke up bound and silenced in a dungeon somewhere. The Death Eater who Enervated him sneered as he levitated Harry along through the corridors until they reached a wide stone chamber, swarming with Death Eaters in full regalia. Seated on a high stone throne at the head of the room was Voldemort.
"Harry Potter," he hissed, as Harry was dropped unceremoniously in the center of the room, in the center of the circle of Death Eaters.
"The Boy-Who-Lived." Voldemort sneered, and Harry thought how odd it looked without a nose. The thought that Malfoy's sneer was infinitely more attractive skittered across his brain almost too fast for him to register it.
"I have solved the problem of our wands," continued Voldemort, smiling cruelly. "I have a new wand; one that has bonded to me exceedingly well, and will not interact with yours the same way."
He rose and prowled towards Harry. "Today, I will finish you. Release him, and give him his wand!"
Harry found himself free and able to speak again. He caught the wand that was tossed in his direction with deft seeker skills. He rolled it between his fingers, meeting Voldemort's stare coolly.
"Hello, Tom," he said, smirking a little. "Still haven't realised who's the better wizard?"
Voldemort growled, and raised his wand. Harry cast a special, Dark shield charm that would encompass his body and follow him as he moved. He dodged and rolled away as Voldemort shot a Killing Curse at him.
He fired off several Dark spells at the other wizard, none of which would stop him, but were sufficient to incapacitate him for a few precious minutes. They made contact only because Voldemort was thrown off-balance by his use of Dark Arts.
As soon as Voldemort was occupied, he ran for the one place in the room that provided shelter – the throne. He ducked behind it and began chanting, moving his wand in the intricate and precise patterns he needed to perform the spell.
Just as Voldmort blasted the chair out of the way, he finished the spell.
A blaze of white light shot from his magical core, bursting from every pore of his body, shooting out in a wide circle that encompassed the entire room, moving outside. Every person it touched dropped.
Harry knew from the research that not even a blade of grass would survive.
Voldemort gasped, and fell to his knees, choking. His face went slack and he dropped to the ground where he lay still.
That was the last thing Harry saw before he too succumbed, and his world went black.
When Harry woke in St. Mungo's, he was confused. I'm supposed to be dead. He sat up and looked around.
The door opened a couple of moments later, and a Healer dressed in lime-green robes entered. "Mr. Potter," he said, with a respectful nod that Harry returned. "My name is Healer Morgan."
"Hello," he said a trifle awkwardly. "Er, can you tell me why I'm here?"
The Healer blinked, then smiled. "You defeated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," he said. "There was a powerful burst of Dark Magic so strong that the Ministry was aware of it, and sent a team of Aurors out to investigate. They found you in a house on one of the old Black properties, in the basement. You were lying unconscious, surrounded by dead Death Eaters. You-Know-Who was lying there as well, quite dead."
He shook his head. "The papers have been having a field day all week, and there are still people dancing in the streets. Everyone wants to know how you did it."
Harry looked away. The spell would be catastrophic in the wrong hands. He couldn't afford to let anyone know. "I can't say." He turned back to the Healer. "I have to say I'm surprised, though. I wasn't meant to survive that."
The Healer looked momentarily shocked. A flash of sadness crossed his features before he schooled them into a more neutral expression. "I'm afraid that's a matter of opinion, Mr. Potter."
Harry tilted his head. "What do you mean?"
The Healer grimaced. "You've suffered an intense exposure to radiation, Mr. Potter." He cleared his throat. "We've done the best we can, but you have severe radiation poisoning."
Harry nodded slowly, not understanding.
"We've slowed it down, and if you follow our potion regimen every day, and come in for regular checkups, you'll have a year left; maybe two. But that's the most we can do for you." The Healer looked so apologetic that Harry felt bad for the man.
He nodded. He wasn't sure what to say. Being told that you're dying should perhaps be more shocking, but he still hadn't adjusted to the fact that he was still alive, so it was less disconcerting than it ought to have been.
"I'm afraid it will be quite painful, towards the end." Healer Morgan winced.
"I'm not afraid of pain," Harry answered.
A sudden thought struck him. If his friends and the Order members had been told, he would be coddled and fretted over until he looked forward to dying. The thought made him so weary.
"Have you told anyone else about this?"
The Healer shook his head. "Since you're of age, you no longer have a legal guardian. Since you have no family, there was no one we could inform of your condition without your consent without violating our Oath."
Harry smiled weakly. "Good." He shuddered. "Don't tell anyone. I don't want the hassle yet."
The Healer raised his eyebrows, but nodded. "Are you ready for visitors? You have quite a few."
Harry shook his head. "I need to be alone with my thought for a while, first."
The Healer nodded sympathetically. "I understand. Just let me know if you need anything or decide you want to let them in."
Harry thanked him, then sank back onto the pillows as the man left. He stared at the ceiling.
I'm dying. I have a year left; maybe two.
Then, What on earth am I going to do for a year?