Hi everyone, well this is it...this is the final chapter of the first part of this two part series! I really hope you enjoyed it! I have tried to avoid asking for reviews but I would really love it, if you have been reading this, if you could leave a comment. It would just be great to know what you think of it.
I would also love to hear from you if you would like to give your thoughts on what you would like to see included in part two of this series – no promises it will be included, of course, but would love to know what you think!! NB at the bottom of this chapter is the title for part two!!
Also a special thanks to Jake for giving this chapter a really good beta reading, thank you! J
I have had the same `disclaimer' thing for ages but just to say that obviously I make no claim to the characters below, but am really happy to have had the chance to play with them.
I am very open to constructive feedback and comment on the story so please, if you have time and would like to please, either comment or drop me an email on phill2818 at hotmail .co . uk
Harry Potter and the Unforeseen Hero
Chapter Twenty-Six: Aftermath
Tears flowed unashamedly from Ron's eyes and Harry reached a hand across to rub his shoulder in comfort. The old journalist had the decency to avert his eyes from Ron as he recalled the most painful experience of his life.
"I am...I know that this cannot change anything but I would like you to know that I am terribly sorry for your loss. I value my liberty more than anything and it is in no small part due to the efforts of the four of you. I know now that this has come at a terrible cost. Thank you" Cuffe said and offered what he hoped was a look of gratitude. Harry attempted a weak smile back.
"I don't wish to seem indelicate but I must admit I am still slightly confused about her passing. I thought the curse was in the direction of Ron?"
"It was" Ron said but his voice trailed off and he choked on another sob.
"Hermione moved in front of it" Harry finished simply and saved Ron from uttering the words that he knew still haunted his best friend.
There was a lurching burble as Ron began stuttering "Sheee sawww the currrseee" and Harry turned to see his friend wipe away the tears that flowed from the corner of his eyes, only to instantly be replaced. "She looked at me for a split second and then....thennnn she moved to the right, only one step and it hit her."
Harry could still hear the blood-curdling scream that had come from Ron's mouth as he described the last moments of that day. It really was the stuff of nightmares. If you could encapsulate pain, bottle it and then reproduce it; well then it would have been all that that scream had conveyed.
"It sounds strange to say it, but the battle was over pretty quickly after that. Rodolphus never made it to Azkaban. Three, maybe four curses hit him and the combination of a hyperventilation curse and incapacitation charm gave him no chance" Draco said in a voice that dragged Harry back from the smoky battlefield. Draco had drawn a short breath before continuing "The Aurors really helped to re-balance the fight and of course a number of the Death Eaters escaped before they could be subdued but I'm pretty sure most ended up captured or dead."
Cuffe looked around at the three boys and Harry could tell that he was appraising each of them in turn, wondering how three such unlikely characters and a fourth, that was no longer with them, could have endured the hardships that ultimately dictated success. Harry could tell that the author was stalling himself for the inevitable. It was the end of the tale, a parting of ways, whilst Harry was sure that the author had no relish of the contents of their tale it was clear that the author had enjoyed the thrill of learning the truth and now that would be coming to an end.
"Do you have anything that you would like to add? Any further thoughts or comments?"
"Yes" Harry said simply and Cuffe looked up enquiringly.
"Please" the old journalist said, inviting Harry to speak further.
"I would like this text to be included in the front of the book" and Harry passed a small sheet of parchment over to the author who picked it up, read it and pocketed it.
"Of course Mr Potter" Draco looked inquiringly at Harry who shook his head with an imperceptible `I will tell you later' before Cuffe asked, "Anything else?"
"No, I don't think so" Harry said and began looking around for his bag.
"I think you have left out one of the more interesting parts of the story" Ron snuffled.
"Oh?" said Cuffe as the true journalist sought yet another angle.
Harry looked at Ron quizzically. The red head's face was still wrought with tears and his eyes were puffy red and sore to look at. "Yeah, we almost had another set of deaths after the battle, when Dawlish tried to arrest Draco for being an escaped convict" Ron said as the faintest hint of a smile crossed his lips. Harry groaned he knew where this was going.
"Oh come on Harry, don't be like that it was the most impressive pieces of magic I have ever seen" Ron snapped in a way that even Hermione would have been proud of.
"He's right you know Harry" Draco said.
"I'm sorry but what are we talking about?" Cuffe said.
"We are talking about Dawlish's incapacitation for pointing a wand at Draco."
"Ahhhhhh" The man said before continuing "But of course. I must admit though Harry, it was incredible to behold, Wandless magic is incredibly hard to both perform and then to channel. However, you not only managed to perform wandless magic but you channelled it you did it so successfully you floored an Auror without him even having identified you as a threat. The magical aura you produced was quite spectacular. I think it took Dawlish three or possibly four weeks of treatment in St Mungo's before he was released. It's a good job Shacklebolt intervened when he did, as I am pretty sure none of the other Aurors were keen to follow in Dawlish's footsteps."
"My hero" Draco said and grinned at Harry.
"Oh shut up" Harry said trying to hide the flush of red that had crept up his face before nudging Ron in the ribs.
"Gentlemen, its been an honour, if there is anything I can ever do for you please, do not hesitate" and the journalist stood and bowed his head before continuing "You can expect to receive a draft within the next six weeks or so."
Harry raised his eyebrows and Cuffe said "I have been writing as we have progressed. I simply need to add this last, most important part, and review the document as a whole."
"Great, now only exams and the rest of our lives to worry about then?" Even Ron managed a half laugh.
This was not the way it was supposed to have been. The Dark Lord was to have ruled on high over the witches, wizards and muggles. As his most faithful servant she alone would have power beyond her wildest dreams. But no, Potter had consorted with faithless souls to destroy his great aims and now it all lay in tatters. She had scratched around non-wizarding towns searching for a sign off progress but there was nothing. The papers were still full of Potter the saviour, Potter the hero. She could barely stand to look at them.
She knew that it was foolish to trust, every fibre of her soul told her not too, but she had placed all her trust in the hooded figure. The Dark Lord had never discussed the possibility of defeat. Defeat had never been an option. He had however, informed his closest seven Death Eaters that in the event of any unforeseen challenges they were to set in motion a series of activities. It had involved sending an owl to an unnamed address and the initial meeting with the hooded character. She had followed his instructions to the letter provided what had been requested, including many requests for items that had not been easy to procure. She had assumed that the Dark Lord had good reason for this and that it would bring him back to her. It was for this reason that she had come running when the figure had summoned her and even brought the snivelling wretch to him. Then nothing. He had said he was close to completing whatever had been instructed. But nothing.
Still, she thought, at least her situation had improved when the whelp had escaped, a blessing in disguise that was really. Of course Bellatrix was angry that it had escaped, cursed herself for letting her guard down but she had honestly believed that its will was broken. It was a strange tale, how the creature had come into her custody. Of course she had known of the plan from the beginning and an ingenious one it was too. But to be passed the unconscious body by another of the Dark Lords faithful servants as she fled the castle of Hogwarts with the words `take it and go, it may yet prove useful' was a most welcome treat. She was indeed happy to have had sufficient time to get to know the creature and to repay it for some of the wrongs that had gone before.
The rendezvous point was quite different to their last. This time there was no woodland to be found but she stood in a cave half way down a cliff face, why here she did not know. The loud crack of a figure apparating close by made Bellatrix jump and she herd urgent footsteps approach her position. Would this be the moment that she was reunited with her master? She dearly hoped so.
"Bellatrix" the voice was curious, familiar, yet some how different.
"My lord?" and the questioning tone betrayed her usual arrogant air.
"You have the final list?" the figure asked.
"Of course" and she handed over a piece of parchment littered with names "all those you find on this list will continue to serve faithfully. Who are you?"
"What about the creature?" it did not escape Bellatrix's notice that the figure had not answered her question. She was not even sure that it was the same person that she had met at their last meeting.
"It has, regrettably, escaped" she said unflinching.
"I am confident that I had been specific in my request that we retain its `services', was I not clear enough for you Bellatrix?"
"Who are you?" she deflected the question with her own.
"Who am I?" the stranger repeated as if weighing a decision in his mind. Finally he raised two bony hands up and pulled the hood down to reveal the face that had hidden underneath it.
"YOU" Bellatrix spluttered.
"You are surprised?" the wisp of a snake's hiss hung in the air.
"You're dead? The Ministry?"
"Well as you can clearly see Bella I am not dead, simply misplaced and never mentioned again" a smile filled the face of Barty Crouch junior.
"Explain!" she snapped as her thirst for information outweighed her shock.
"The Dark Lord had intrusted to me the most secret of missions. I, and I alone, was able to succeed where others had not. I provided Potter to him on a plate, the tri-wizard tournament, I am sure you remember Bella. For that I was selected of all his Death Eaters to hold the information for his resurrection in the event of a catastrophe."
"Buutttt" she stammered now confused "you aren't the Dark Lord."
"Of course not!" he snapped loosing the casual air of indifference.
"Once you are dead, you are dead Bellatrix. You should know this. It was different before as he was not truly dead. This time however, Potter has ensured that any holds to this earth were removed and he truly died at Hogwarts"
"Then what have we been doing for the past months?!" the maniacal scream echoed through the cave.
"Did you know Bella that when a person dies their magic does not? It simply becomes dormant, it retreats if you will, back to the earth?"
"What is this rubbish that you speak?" she spat, her hair flying around her face.
"Well the Dark Lord`s plan had merit and with a few adaptions I have been able to turn things to my advantage. I have summoned his slumbering magical force back from its resting place. With some difficulty, let me tell you Bella, I have forged it with my own. I have unrivalled power now Bella" his tone was almost whimsical.
"You..." she spat but did not finish before she was interrupted.
"Now, now Bella. I am more powerful than the Dark Lord, I am more powerful than Harry Potter, I am the most powerful wizard that has ever lived."
He deflected her curse with a simple wave of his left hand "YOU betrayed the Dark Lord" she screamed and fired off curse after curse at the figure.
"Bellatrix you bore me and you have failed in your mission to retain the creature. You are of no value to me" with a whip of his left hand he deflected the curses that Bellatrix continued to rain down and with his right he conjured a slashing charm that cut through the soft tissue of Bellatrix's larynx. Blood flowed and splattered unceremoniously on the cave floor before the corpse of Bellatrix Lestrange joined it.
"Your failure will serve as a warning. I am not prepared to be as tolerant as the one you called Voldemort. I am Maverick and people will fear that name long after the name of Voldemort is a distant, long forgotten memory" he turned on his heal and disapparated without so much as a backwards glance.
It was a few weeks after the final interview that Harry first felt an uneasy sensation at the base of his tummy but he dismissed it almost instantly as pre-exam nerves. However, it was now several months later, the exams were completed and he, along with Draco, were back at Secrecy Place. Far from dissipating the feeling had, if anything intensified. Harry had wracked his brains on countless occasions to try and locate the nagging doubt but had, so far, come up with nothing.
He hadn't bothered to trouble Draco with it. It was after all just a strange feeling that popped up in the base of his belly. What was the point in worrying the blond when he was, for the first time Harry could ever remember, so relaxed. Looking to his right he could see the blond hair of his lover spread in a tangled mess over around his head as he moved to envelop Draco in his arms. This was the place he always felt safest. The sleeping blond rolled over and pulled Harry closer.
Let him sleep Harry thought, for today would be the day that they would discover their exam results and he knew that his lover was at the very least nervous. He had on more than one occasion confessed that he did not know what he would do now that they had finished school and had expressed doubts as to `who would want to hire a Death Eater's son'. Harry had of course chastised Draco for thinking this way and affirmed his conviction that Draco would not only pass his NEWTs with flying colours but also find himself with a string of employment opportunities. Harry could only hope the same for himself!
As it turned out Harry, himself, would be glad of the extra forty minutes in bed. It was an old muggle tradition that events of significance occurred in threes but had you outlined his day to come, as his eyes drew heavy, he would not have believed you.
Harry was asleep. He was on a beach, it was deserted, save for him and Draco. The blonde's legs were wrapped around his neck as he was plunging his thick cock into his lover's tight ass. Draco was groaning and he was exploding inside him as he was jerking Draco's cock. As his lover exploded all over his own chest he slowed down the tugging and then something strange was happening, his hand was moving of its own accord being tugged... slowly consciousness peculated back into his form as Kreacher tugged at his wrist.
"It is time to wake up young master, the post has arrived" said the house elf who bowed deeply and withdrew from the room.
"Draco" Harry whispered into the blondes ear as he rubbed sleep from his own eyes, the groan that followed told Harry that this was going to be one of those days where getting Draco up from his slumber would not be easy.
"Draco" Harry tried again.
"No, five more minutes" the blond grumbled.
"Ok fine, I will be downstairs opening my post" Harry smirked as the blonde's eyes flew open.
"The post is here??"
"That's what I just said."
Draco scrambled from the bed and followed Harry downstairs. Kreacher had laid out a fantastic breakfast with muffins, croissants, Danish pastries and toast. A pot of steaming coffee lay invitingly on the kitchen table. The paper lay folded and tucked between a jug of fresh orange juice and the coffee pot. Lying carefully on each plate was a letter stamped with the Hogwarts coat of arms.
"Coffee?" Harry asked completely ignoring the letter.
"Oh give over Potter" Draco said before snatching for his own letter off the plate in front of him.
Harry did the same, quickly peeling back the envelope.
Harry Potter has achieved the following grades in his Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (NEWTs):
Charms: Exceeds Expectations
Defence Against the Dark Arts: Outstanding
Transfiguration: Exceeds Expectations
Harry immediately swapped parchment with Draco and another piece of parchment fell to the floor. Disregarding this for a moment Harry glanced down at the parchment.
Draco Malfoy has achieved the following grades in his Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (NEWTs):
Defence Against the Dark Arts: Exceeds Expectations
"HA! Told you, didn't I? Said you would get amazing grades. Well done Dray" Harry said and leaned forwards to give his boyfriend a kiss.
"Ok well, that's only part of it, we still have to find gainful employment!" Draco replied smiling at his boyfriend.
Harry reached down and scooped up the parchment that had fallen to the floor.
Dear Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy,
I would be grateful if you could attend a meeting at 13.00 this afternoon. I will leave the flu open in my office unless I hear otherwise.
Professor. M. McGonagall
Harry handed the short note to Draco before wondering out loud, "what she wants."
"No idea, but I guess we will find out soon enough?"
The couple whiled away the morning by taking a shower and Harry recounting the dream that had occupied his thoughts during his snooze that morning, which Draco had insisted they re-enact. Harry was only too happy to oblige. Filling his boyfriend was one of the things that gave Harry genuine pleasure.
12.55 found the couple dusting off soot from their robes and emerging from the fireplace into the all too familiar headmistresses' office. She lifted her eyes imperiously from the paper work she was reviewing and for the first time that Harry could really remember she smiled sincerely and genuinely.
"I trust you were both pleased with the results?"
"Yes, thank you, very!"
"Please Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy do take a seat" and she indicated the two chairs in front of the desk.
As they both assumed the seats indicated she continued "I hear that you were favourably impressed with the first draft of the book."
"Yes, we sent back a few minor amendments, but I understand that it is to go on sale in a weeks time" Draco said.
"That is my understanding. I, for my part, am looking forward to reading it."
The professor continued with what Harry could only assume was `small talk'. This surprised him, he was used to her brusque nature. He let it go on for another few moments before curiosity took hold of him.
"Professor, I am happy to continue our discussion on the Chudley Cannons season but perhaps you could tell us why you asked us here?
"Potter, has civilised conversation ever been a part of your skillset?" Draco asked with distain.
"What? I was only asking" Harry replied defensively and Draco rolled his eyes as if to say `only you'.
"Yes, of course, I am sure you remain very much in demand and I am grateful to you for seeing me at such short notice. As I am sure you will be aware our Defence Against the Dark Arts position remains vacant. We managed, of course, to secure the services of Professor Hart for this first semester but he remains keen to return to his retirement. Similarly, Professor Snape remains in St Mungos and Professor Slughorn, whilst continuing admirably this semester after sustaining his injuries, will be unable to continue into the new semester. As you can imagine this is something of a major staffing nightmare halfway through the academic year."
Harry stared at her blankly before stumbling into "I am sorry to hear that professor this must be a real challenge, but I am not really sure why you're talking to us?"
"Oh Potter; think about it for just a moment?" McGonagall snapped, returning to her former self before continuing "You defeated the Dark Lord, displaying magic in the process that was superior to anything in living memory and Mr Malfoy, perhaps not yet a potions master, but superbly close. Yes I can't think why I would want to see the two of you, can you Mr Potter?" she said. Draco snorted and Harry glared at him.
Just as Harry began formulating his response the look on McGonagall's face changed. It was a tangible shift from carefree, relaxed to on edge and nervous.
"What's that matter professor?" Harry asked.
"One of the features of being headmaster or headmistress of Hogwarts is that the wards of the castle align to you, you can sense things that often are great distances away" she said getting to her feet and tapping the underside of her sleeve to check for her wands presence before striding towards the door. Harry and Draco followed without question.
"And" Harry prompted as the three pounded through corridors in the direction dictated by McGonagall.
"There is someone at the boundary attempting to gain access" the group descended from the 7th floor and sped up, crossing the courtyard just as the sun broke through the clouds. It had been a very mild winter and the sun felt warm on Harry's back as they crossed and turned towards Hagrid's hut.
"Nearly there, be prepared" McGonagall said pulling her wand from the sleeve.
Harry could sense McGonagall drop the ward that had been previously restricting access. She stopped and looked around. Harry and Draco moving to the left and right of McGonagall's position as she advanced further away from the boundary. After a few more moments, Harry was pulled back by Draco's voice.
"Oh my god, HARRY!"
Harry couldn't possibly imagine what he had found to elicit such a response from Draco so he turned and ran quickly towards his boyfriend. He clapped his had to his mouth at the sight in front of him, it just could not be.
So there you go...that is part one `Harry Potter and the Unforeseen Hero'! Cliff hanger much?!!?! hahahahahhahaahaha
Would love you to review/get in touch and let me know what you think – firstname.lastname@example.org. I will upload a message on this story to let you know when I start posting part two! As a small teaser... part two will be called: Harry Potter and The Resurrected Magic...stay tuned!