Tragedy, The Death of a Hero
DISCLAIMER – Harry Potter and its affiliates are the sole property of JK Rowling. The plot and unknown names are mine.
DISCLAIMER – This is a gay love story between Harry and Draco. Other couples will be mentioned from time to time. If you are uncomfortable with gay rights or homosexual innuendoes, then I humbly ask that you not read beyond this point.
DISCLAIMER – "We are the World" is a song by multiple artists for USA for Africa. "That's what Friends are for" is sung by Dionne Warwick and friends. "I Will Always Love You" is written and sung by Dolly Parton.
NOTE – Thank you for all the wonderful reviews. This story will be harder to write than its prequel. The response for the first book was astonishingly large. I have hopes that this story will do half as well. Thank you for following along with me.
Chapter 5 – Tragedy: The Death of a Hero
"So what are the plans for today?" asked Draco sitting on the edge of Harry's desk. "Today is Saturday and we have not done something leisure in awhile."
"How about we go for a horseback ride?" replied Harry. "We have not done that in forever."
"Hey that is a great idea," said Draco. "Mother sent all of the horses from Malfoy Manor here. It was a great idea to let her run the orphanage."
"She does seem to be enjoying her role," commented Harry. "How about we make it a group outing?"
"Sure," said Draco with a smile. "We can get Hermione, Ginny, Colin, Blaise, Ron, Luna, Neville, and Dudley to go with us."
"I am delighted that Dudley is dating Luna," said Harry. "He actually treats her very well. Not to mention that they are on the same level of learning now. I am impressed that Dudley has progressed so well with his studies."
"We just have to find someone for Ron now," said Draco.
"Yes I agree," said Harry. "It is time for us to play cupid again. Why don't we ask Hannah Abbot to join us? She and Ron give each other looks when the other isn't looking. That may be the start of a nice relationship."
"That sounds good," said Draco. "Ron has to learn not to blurt the first thing he thinks of when he is speaking to someone. He has little tact."
"Hannah doesn't seem to mind it that much," said Harry.
"Ok lover," said Draco. "Give me a kiss and then I will head out and find everyone. You go down and have Hagrid help you saddle up the horses."
Harry reached over and grabbed Draco by his waist and pulled him over. He leaned his head and kissed Draco soundly on the lips. Draco returned the kiss with passion.
"Go before we forget about our plans," said Harry with a small laugh.
Draco laughed and led them out of the office. When they descended the stairs, both young men headed off in different directions.
"Where are you going Harry?" asked Minerva.
"Draco and I are taking a group to go horseback riding," said Harry. "We thought that while we were at it we could set up Ron and Hannah."
"Good thinking," said Minerva. "I do have to say though, that you all are making me feel extremely old. All of this young love going around."
"What did you expect?" asked Harry. "I will see if I can get a young man or lady here in the castle to sweep you off your feet. Though, they will probably have to be careful not to dislocate one of your hips."
"Why you little shit," screeched Minerva pulling out her wand. "I will show you a dislocated hip Harry James Potter."
She chased Harry out of the front entrance firing hexes at him the whole way. Harry laughed as he ran from her. She ran out of breath due to running and laughing.
"Prat," said Minerva smiling. "That boy is like the son I never had."
"Well now," said Severus coming up. "That was amusing. Good thing for Harry he can run so fast."
"He is so lucky that I love him," said Minerva. "Or else I would do him serious damage for some of his comments."
"It is when he stops making those comments that you have to worry," said Severus. "I believe you know how much he loves you as well."
"Oh my goodness yes," said Minerva. "I could not be more proud. He is doing such a wonderful job running this school. He is so advanced for his age. Add Draco to the mix and you have the obnoxious little shit running around making us love and laugh."
"Yes Draco is just like him in some ways," replied Severus. "At least they make us laugh. What are they doing today? I saw Draco rounding up some students."
"They are going for a horseback ride," said Minerva. "They are playing cupid again."
"Who are the victims this time?" asked Severus.
"Mr. Weasley and Miss Abbot," said Minerva. "Knowing Harry and Draco, we will have wedding bells for them before long."
Laughing the two older members of the Hogwarts staff went back into the castle. Draco meanwhile, had gathered a couple of the guests together. They in turn helped locate the rest of the group. By the time they all gathered, Harry and Hagrid had the horses ready. Light and joy was on the faces of Harry and Draco as they watched their friends climb up. Luna sat on her horse like she had been doing it forever. Riding side saddle was not easy. Luna however had no trouble at all. The group rode around the perimeter of the forest. Even though Harry was in control, there were still dangerous creatures living in the trees. Harry knew that Aragog and his family lived somewhere in the forest. The centaurs emerged on the edge of the trees to watch the party ride by. Harry saluted them and was pleased to receive a salute in return. About an hour after they rode, Harry called a halt and dismounted. He flicked his wand and a picnic blanket appeared. He sent a patronus to the castle. Within moments, Dobby and Winky appeared with a miniature feast for the group. They all sat down to eat. Dobby and Winky made to leave when Harry stopped them.
"Now you two don't leave," said Harry. "Sit down with us and enjoy the meal and the fun."
Everyone else echoed his suggestion. Happily the two elves sat and started to eat with the others.
"So Ron," said Harry winking at Draco. "How are you doing with finding a mate?"
"I uh," stammered Ron. "I uh don't know."
"How about you Hannah?" asked Hermione on cue.
"I don't know either," mumbled Hannah going red.
"Well I think it is time to introduce you to your secret admirer," said Draco laughing. "Ronald Weasley, meet Hannah Abbot. Hannah Abbot, meet Ronald Weasley."
Both teens looked at each other and blushed. The rest of the group giggled.
"We have noticed the way the two of you look at each other," said Ginny leaning back against Hermione. "It is obvious that you like each other."
"Leave it to Harry and Draco to play cupid," said Colin. "They are the reason that I am with Blaise."
"I love Colin," said Blaise wrapping his arms around Colin. "I know that he loves me as well."
"Of course I do," said Colin kissing him on the nose. "If anyone knows true love it would be Harry and Draco."
"They helped me and Luna get together," said Dudley wrapping his arms around her.
"We couldn't be happier," said Luna with a blush.
"I didn't know Hannah felt anything for me," said Ron turning as red as his hair.
"I didn't know Ron was interested," said Hannah also turning a deep red.
"Well now you do," said Harry wrapping his arms around Draco. "We just want all of you to have the same joy that Draco and I have."
"How about you sing us a song Harry," said Hermione. "I think it would be great."
"Sure," said Harry. "Give me a moment to think of a good one."
Harry thought for a minute. He went through the catalog of songs he had at his disposal. Finally he decided on one and started to sing.
There comes a time when we heed a certain callWhen the world must come together as oneThere are people dyingOh, and it's time to lend a hand -to lifeThe greatest gift of all
We can't go on pretending day by dayThat someone, somewhere will soon make a changeWe're all a part of God's great big familyAnd the truthYou know love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children.We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start givingThere's a choice we're making we're saving our own livesIt's true we'll make a better day just you and me
Well, send' em you your heart so they know that someone caresAnd their lives will be stronger and freeAs God has shown us by turning stone to breadAnd so we all must lend a helping hand
We are the world, we are the childrenWe are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start givingOoo there's a choice we're making we're saving our own livesIt's true we'll make a better day just you and me
When you're down and out there seems no hope at allBut if you just believe there's no way we can fallWell, well, well, let's realize oooo that a change can only comeWhen westand together as oneyeah ,yeah, yeahhhh
"Harry that was beautiful," said Colin. "It is perfect for the situation we have. We are the ones that will make a future in this world. You and the rest of Team Potter already are."
"Now don't cut yourself out of this Colin," said Draco. "You play your part just like everyone else. Even Dobby and Winky play their parts. We all do what we have to do in this world to make sure that in the end we all live happy and free."
"Yes," said Hermione. "When this war is over and we have won, the peace and love that Harry and Draco have started for the rest of us will be a wonderful and delightful thing for our children."
"We are the next set of heroes," said Ginny. "We know what we have to do. It is a matter of getting it done now."
"We have the right tools," said Harry. "Now we just have to make sure that we use what we have carefully and effectively."
"So what is our next step?" asked Blaise.
"We have to find a way of getting to Nagini," said Draco. "She is the last horcrux. Once we destroy her, we have a better chance of killing Voldemort for good."
"Do you think he will attack again?" Colin asked. "I know I made an error in judgment, but I want this war over with. Now that I have something worth fighting for, it means all the world to me that I can keep what I have rather than it being taken from me."
"These are thoughts that we talk about and share all the time," said Harry. "The power to end this resides in each and every person that graces the halls of Hogwarts. Your error in judgment was just that Colin. It was a mistake. We all learn from our mistakes. You and Dennis learned from yours. For that I am forever grateful."
"Thanks Harry," said Colin. "Your forgiveness means a lot to me."
"It is what friends do," said Ginny. "Harry is not one to hold a grudge."
The rest of the group all nodded at this.
"Ok we need to head back to the castle," said Harry. "It looks like it will be snowing again soon. Are you all staying at Hogwarts for Christmas?"
Everyone nodded their heads.
"Great then we can work out new plans over the holidays," said Harry. "It is just a week before the holiday is here. With fewer students in the castle, there will be a better chance of getting a plan devised on how to capture Nagini. How about, you all write down your ideas and we can discuss them as a group. Colin, do you still have a way of contacting Percy Weasley?"
"Yes," said Colin. "Unfortunately I do. I was going to bring it to you, but I got lost in love."
"I need you to do something for me," said Harry. "I need you to tell him that I found some of Voldemort's things. Even though it is a lie, I need you to tell him that. It might bring Voldemort out into the open."
"Sure I can do that," said Colin. "I would do anything to help you Harry."
"Good," said Harry. "We can actually use this to our advantage."
Colin smiled as Blaise helped him stand. The rest of the group were all getting up and standing as well.
"Oh and Neville," said Harry. "Do not think we are not going to match you up with someone. You are next on our list."
Neville blushed as he got into the saddle of his horse. Harry flicked his wand and made the picnic disappear. He grabbed Winky and put her in the saddle with Draco. He grabbed Dobby and placed him in the saddle with Hermione. Both elves were delighted by this. Harry climbed onto the back of his own horse and the group made their way back to the stables. After each person helped with the brushing down of the horses, they made their way to the castle. They were met at the door by Petunia and Vernon with some hot chocolate.
"We thought you could all use some warming up," said Vernon with a smile.
"Thanks Uncle Vernon," chorused the youngsters.
Vernon laughed. He and Petunia were called Aunt and Uncle by just about everyone in the school. The Dursleys were beloved by many. Their care for the students was a delightful change from when Harry was growing up.
Harry was sitting at his desk the next day going over some documents when his fire flared. He looked over to see Albus' head in the flames.
"Harry," said Albus. "May I come through? There is something very important I wish to discuss with you."
"Of course you can," said Harry.
Albus stepped through the fire and dusted himself off. Harry noticed that the old wizard looked very pale.
"Are you feeling alright?" asked Harry. "You look sick. I can summon Poppy for you if you need me to."
"No Harry," said Albus. "What is wrong with me has no cure. It is the reason why I am here today. If you could please summon the faculty for me, I have an important announcement to make."
"Sonorus," said Harry. "Attention prefects. Rounds will begin immediately. Professors and Madam Pomfrey will report to my office. Hagrid please join us as well. Quietus!"
"Thank you Harry," said Albus wearily sitting down in a chair to wait.
Harry looked closely at his mentor and friend. The closer he looked the more alarmed he became. Harry looked towards the map and saw the professors making their way to his office. Draco came in flanked by Hermione and Severus. Minerva followed with Pomona and Sybil. Slowly each professor made their way into the room. Harry quickly waved his hand and caused seats to appear for everyone. His eyes never strayed from the face of Albus. Finally when all of the professors were seated, Albus looked over to Harry.
"I have taken the liberty of inviting Molly, Arthur, Narcissa, and Kingsley here as well," said Albus. "They sound be apparating in moments. If you could lower the wards for me I would appreciate it."
Harry lifted his hand in the air and slowly brought it down. Within moments, four cracks could be heard as the four apparated directly to the office. Harry twitched his hand and felt the wards snap back into place. Still he never let his eyes wander from Albus.
"What have you done to yourself?" asked Harry sharply. "Your magic may fool the rest of these people, but it doesn't fool me."
Madam Pomfrey took out her wand as Albus gave a sad smile.
"Albus Dumbledore," she stated. "You are dying. What did you do to yourself?"
"I have made a grave error," said Albus to the assembled room. "Please bear with me as I tell you my story."
Harry and the others sat back in their chairs. Many had shocked looks on their faces. Draco sat next to Harry and wrapped his arms around his husband. Tears were in his eyes.
"What is said in this room is to go no further," said Albus. "Harry, I have closed the portal between your office and mine. I fear that after next week at the longest it will not function anymore anyway."
Harry waved his hand impatiently and caused the glamour on Dumbledore to fade. The others all gasped when they saw the state the old wizard was in. Albus stared around the room. Tears fell from his eyes as he began his story.
"I found the resurrection stone in the Gaunt cottage," he said. "I always wanted to know if it was my spell that accidently hit and killed my sister when Gellert, Aberforth, and I were dueling. I wanted to know. After I destroyed the horcrux that was in the ring, I put it on my finger."
"That was a very foolish thing to do," snapped Severus. "Any item that had a horcrux in it would definantly carry a curse with it. Where is the ring now?"
"I have it," said Hermione. "Albus and Harry asked me to hold on to it. They never told me why. I think now is as good a time as any for these two to tell us what is going on."
"It is one of the Deathly Hallows," said Harry sadly. "I have one, Albus has one, and you have one."
"Wait," said Minerva. "You mean the items from that story are true?"
"I am afraid so," said Albus sadly.
"Why Albus?" asked Harry crying now. "Why would you do something like that? I can understand your reasoning, but why. Because of your foolishness we are going to lose you. How could you be so stupid?"
"I know," said Albus sadly. "This is why I have come here. I need to appoint my successor. I also want to ask you for a favor. It was something that Miss Granger wished for last year."
Harry was openly crying now as were most of the others in the room.
"What is it you wanted to ask of me?" Harry asked trying to calm himself.
"I would like to spend the rest of the time that I have here at Hogwarts," said the old wizard. "I also would like to be buried here on the grounds. This place is where I was the happiest."
"You foolish old man," said Harry. "How could you do this to me? I love you like the father I never had. How am I supposed to end all of this mess with Voldemort without you?"
"Harry," said Albus. "You do not need me to help you with that. You always had the power to do it on your own. Take a look around you at all of these people. I am not leaving you alone. They will take my place and help you to succeed. Do not let my stupidity stop you from believing in yourself. You have all of the tools and strength to complete this war. You have love and strength flowing in you that many do not possess. You have your knight in shining white armor standing next to you. I am just a man who loved you enough to get you started."
"Oh Albus," said Harry standing. "I love you, you foolish senile old bastard. You will stay here with us. I will see to your final resting place personally."
"Fawkes will bond with Severus," said Albus wiping his tears away. "Just know that when I pass on, my legacy will continue through each and every one of you. I have taught each one of you here in this room. You have learned all that you need to learn from me. My time to pass into my next phase of life has come. You all have much left to do in this world."
No one had a dry eye. Many people were standing and gave Albus a hug. Harry waved his hand and replaced the glamour on Albus.
"Is there no way to remove the curse?" asked Harry.
"I am afraid not," said Albus. "Tom knew what he was doing when he placed the death curse on that ring. There is not counter charm for the curse. All we can do now is to wait for it to finally extinguish my life."
"We will do our best to make sure that you are as comfortable as possible until that day," vowed Draco.
The rest of the group all agreed in unison.
"Thank you all for being so wonderful to me," said Albus.
"That's what friends are for," said Harry for the second time in as many days. He started to sing.
And I never thought I'd feel this wayAnd as far as I'm concernedI'm glad I got the chance to sayThat I do believe, I love you
And if I should ever go awayWell, then close your eyes and tryTo feel the way we do todayAnd then if you can remember
Keep smiling, keep shiningKnowing you can always count on me, for sureThat's what friends are forFor good times and bad timesI'll be on your side forever moreThat's what friends are for
Well, you came in loving meAnd now there's so much more I seeAnd so by the wayI thank you
Oh and then for the times when we're apartWell, then close your eyes and knowThe words are coming from my heartAnd then if you can remember
Keep smiling and keep shiningKnowing you can always count on me, for sureThat's what friends are forIn good times and bad timesI'll be on your side forever moreThat's what friends are for
Keep smiling, keep shiningKnowing you can always count on me, for sureThat's what friends are forFor good times and bad timesI'll be on your side forever moreThat's what friends are for
Keep smiling, keep shiningKnowing you can always count on me, for sure'Cause I tell you, that's what friends are forWhoa, good times and the bad timesI'll be on your side forever moreThat's what friends are for
Draco had added his powerful voice to Harry's. When the two men were done with the song, Albus stood up. Each person present walked over and hugged Albus again. They all sat down and regaled in memories of their time as student, faculty member, and friend of the old wizard.
"So who will you name a successor?" asked Harry a few days later. "It definantly would have to be someone you trust."
Albus looked weakly from the bed he was lying in at Harry. His breathing was harder with each passing day. It would be a matter of hours to a couple of days at most before Albus passed from the world.
"Arthur Weasley will succeed me as Minister of Magic," said Albus weakly. "I wanted someone who would pick up where I left off and keep the pattern I set up going. He was the best candidate for the job."
"Have you told him this?" asked Harry.
"Yes he knows," said Albus. "He and Kingsley are working hard right now to ensure that no one stops my will from being read immediately after my death."
Harry looked over at Albus. He stood up and walked over and placed the straw to the mouth of the old wizard. Albus sipped the cool water. He was hit with a spasm of pain. Harry grabbed a potion and went to open it.
"No," said Albus. "It will not be long now. Will you sit with me Harry?"
"Of course I will," said Harry trying hard not to cry. "I will not leave your side."
"Tell me about your honeymoon," said Albus. "I would enjoy hearing about it."
"It was wonderful," said Harry. "Draco and I stood before the falls and watched the rainbows reflect off the water. We made love on the bank the second night we were there. That was some extensive magic I cast that night for us to be able to do that. We would go to sleep that night to the sound of the water. It was a romantic time. There was so much to see and do. Draco and I got a lot of sun and we enjoyed the quality time we had. You would have loved it Albus."
Harry looked down and realized that he had lost his audience. Albus had specifically asked Harry to tell him so that while Harry was holding his hand and reliving the wonderful memories, he could pass away with the one man that meant the world to him. Harry cried as he sat there and continued to tell Albus many different things that were going on. He knew the old man couldn't hear him anymore, but he kept talking anyway. A couple of hours later, Draco found him sitting next to the old wizard crying. Quietly he left to go get Severus and Minerva. They came back with Poppy. Draco helped Harry to stand and walked him out of the room. Severus, Minerva, and Poppy saw to Albus.
A few days later, Harry and Draco were sitting together in the first row of chairs. A white marble slab was waiting as the final resting place of Albus Dumbledore. Harry held the elder wand in his hand. The wand had died with its last owner. Hermione was wiping her eyes. She was holding the resurrection stone in her hand. Minerva was holding onto the cloak. Hagrid walked down the aisle with the body of Dumbledore in his hands. He gently laid Albus on the slab. He turned and made his way to the back of the group and sat down. Ginny, Neville, and the Dursleys sat with him. The priest stood up and approached the stand.
"All of you here know the deceased," said the man. "He was kind, good, and loving. His intelligence made him an honorary figure in the eyes of the public. His care for the students of Hogwarts was beyond extreme. His one joy was watching Harry Potter come to school. He also was touched by being the one to unite Harry and Draco in holy matrimony. Albus was a gifted man. He led a long and prosperous life. Here to say some words is his successor and friend, Harry James Potter."
There was a slight spatter of applause as Harry stood up.
"Albus was my friend," said Harry. "He loved and cared for each and every one of us. Even on his death bed he asked me to tell him the enjoyment I had on my honeymoon. He taught me everything I needed to know. He was there for me when many turned their backs on me. He defended and helped me to learn patience, compassion, love, and most of all the meaning of friendship. What many of you did not know was that Albus was the owner of the Deathstick. Many of you know this wand as the Wand of Destiny. Others may know it as the Elder Wand. He knew that if Voldemort or one of his followers were to ever get their hands on the Deathly Hallows then the forces of light would lose. I had another of the Hallows. I had the cloak of invisibility. Today I will place all three hallows in the tomb with Albus. He encouraged me to try things on my own. He taught me to have respect for myself as well as others. He taught me that no matter what, I had to believe in myself. With his guidance and his care, I am where I am today. Many of you can say the same thing. So I ask Hermione and Minerva to please come and place the Hallow that they are holding on Albus."
Harry watched as Hermione fit the ring on Albus' finger. When she was done, she kissed the old mage on the forehead and sat back down. Minerva laid the cloak over Albus. Like Hermione, she kissed him on the forehead and returned to her seat. Finally Harry placed the Elder Wand in his hands. He kissed the cold cheek of the dead man. With tears in his eyes he turned back to the crowd.
"I found a sheet of music in his belongings with a note to me telling me to sing this at his funeral," said Harry. "For my mentor and friend I will honor his last request."
If I should stayWell, I would only be in your wayAnd so I'll go, and yet I knowThat I'll think of you each step of my wayAnd I will always love youI will always love youBitter-sweet memoriesThat's all I have, and all I'm taking with meGood-bye, oh, please don't cry'cause we both know that I'm notWhat you needI will always love youI will always love youAnd I hope life, will treat you kindAnd I hope that you have allThat you ever dreamed ofOh, I do wish you joyAnd I wish you happinessBut above all thisI wish you loveI love you, I will always love
I, I will always, always love youI will always love youI will always love youI will always love you
Tears were flowing from everyone as Harry finished singing. He turned around and raised his hands. Fire erupted from his hands and engulfed the marble slab. Harry shifted his hands causing the flames to shift with them. When Harry had it the way he wanted, he let the fire die. A tomb of black marble encased Albus. He then placed the crest of Godric Gryffindor and Rowena Ravenclaw on the tomb.
"Where ever you are," cried Harry. "Just know that you will be remembered and loved. Goodbye my friend. Until we meet you in the next life, have a safe journey."
Harry turned around and looked at Draco. The blond stood up and hand in hand, Harry led the procession out of the new setting on the grounds of Hogwarts.
AUTHOR'S NOTE – I am sorry for the loss of Albus. It was a necessary thing. It saddens me that he is gone, but we can't have all the good guys not losing anyone. At least Albus died peacefully doing what he wanted to do. He was listening to the young man he loved like a son. The moral of this chapter is that you have friends that will do what ever it takes to help make you happy in this world. Thank you for reading.