Above and Beyond

Harry's Fate

LILY

The next day, at 6 on the dot, the doorbell rang. James, Sirius and I were all sitting in the lounge room, anxiously awaiting Dumbledore’s arrival. Nikki had really wanted to come too, but she had promised she would have dinner with her parents, and they would kill her if she backed out if it. I promised to tell her everything when it was over.

When I heard the doorbell, I was suddenly so nervous that my throat closed up and I couldn’t breathe, let alone speak. James heard my breathing stop and squeezed my hand, giving me a reassuring smile before he got up to answer the door.

Dumbledore’s face did nothing to calm my nerves when he had greeted us and sat down. It was grave, almost emotionless and his eyes seemed duller, not as piercing. He looked at each of us slowly before speaking.

“Now I am assuming that Lily has told you about how this is not a very happy story, and I will tell you everything I know about Harry and the task I have set him on. After that–”

“Wait, sorry Dumbledore,” James interrupted, “You gave him this task? I thought you told Lily yesterday that he had no choice? Surely you would have let him decide if he could do it or not.”

Dumbledore sighed, “It is very complicated James. Harry can very easily choose not to complete his task, but then it would mean that Voldemort would continue to terrorize the entire world, and no one wants that. Especially Harry. I know that he will finish what I started because he can’t stand hearing about and watching people getting killed and hurt, when he knows that he can stop it. And really, he doesn’t have a choice because he is the only person that can do it.”

“So he really is the only person that can defeat Voldemort?” Sirius asked.

Dumbledore nodded gravely. We all opened our mouths to ask questions but he held up his hands. “Please, you can ask questions later if I haven’t already answered them. I will tell you everything, I just have to figure out where to begin.” He paused, interlocking his fingers as he thought. Then he looked up. “Sirius?” he asked, “I am assuming you told them about the night in the Ministry?”

“Of course.” Sirius said, looking surprised.

“But you don’t know why Lord Voldemort would have lured Harry there in the first place do you?”

“Harry was lured there by Voldemort?!” Sirius exploded.

“Well you obviously don’t know about that part either.” Dumbledore said, chuckling slightly. “So that’s where I will start. Harry discovered during his fifth year, that his mind was somehow connected to Voldemort’s. Every now and then, he would get dreams, or nightmares, when he would travel into Voldemort’s mind or even the minds of his followers. Do you know about his dream as Nagini, Voldemort’s snake that attacked Arthur Weasley?” he asked. We nodded, and I couldn’t help the shiver that slid down my spine. I had been horrified to learn about Harry’s trip into the snake’s mind when Sirius had told us.

“After that, I got Professor Snape to start teaching Harry Occlumens, or trying at least. Harry wasn’t very good at it at all and after a while, Severus gave up, not that Harry minded. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Harry hated the lessons. He hated having Severus invade his mind, it was even worse because Snape was his least favourite teacher.”

“Why did Snape have to do it?” James suddenly burst out, “why couldn’t you teach him?”

Dumbledore smiled, “I was very busy James trying to keep Voldemort from Harry as it was, and believe it or not, Severus was and always has been very talented at Occlumens. After the lessons finished, Harry didn’t seem to be having any trouble with the connection between him and Lord Voldemort, that was, until the day you died, Sirius.

“That afternoon, I believe it was during his History of Magic OWL Examination, that Harry had a dream–”

James snorted and Sirius laughed, “History of Magic was pretty boring.” He muttered, and James nodded, snickering. I glared at them until they stopped. I had to admit, I was not very happy that Harry had fallen asleep in one of he OWL’s—even if it was History of Magic, which, I had to agree with Sirius, was pretty boring.

Dumbledore smiled, but continued on, “—a dream about you, Sirius.”

“Huh?” was the intelligent response.

“He dreamt that he was in Voldemort’s mind again, and Voldemort had you captured. He was torturing you, trying to get you to give him something. Harry realised that it was in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic. So, being the noble and brave boy Harry is, he and his friends took off to save you.”

“But I wasn’t there!” Sirius almost shouted, “I was still at Grimmauld Place.”

“Exactly, Sirius, exactly! It was a trap that Voldemort had set for Harry because he had somehow discovered the connection and was using it to trick Harry to him. He knew that if he made Harry believe he was hurting you, Harry would come to try and save you. But he wasn’t going to kill him, Voldemort needed Harry”

“But why would Voldemort need Harry?” I couldn’t help but ask.

Dumbledore ignored my question, and asked another one. “Do any of you know what is inside the Department of Mysteries?”

I gasped, as I remembered, “Prophecies!”

“That’s right, Lily. And the only people who could retrieve a prophecy, the only ones who could pick it up off its shelf are the–”

“People about whom they are made!” I finished for Dumbledore.

“What?” James asked, clearly confused.

“The only way a prophecy can be taken from its shelf, is if the person it’s about takes it themselves.” I explained to him, “Wait! Does that mean that there was a prophecy about Harry?”

Dumbledore nodded enthusiastically. “That’s right Lily! My, my you are a smart witch. Yes, there is a prophecy about Harry, but it is also about Voldemort. That’s why Voldemort wanted Harry, because he wanted to know what the prophecy said, and only Harry could get it for him. But when Harry realised you weren’t there Sirius, he and his friends fought against the Death Eaters and you know the rest. Unfortunately for Voldemort, the prophecy was destroyed in the fight.”

“So no one knows what the prophecy says?” I asked slightly disappointed.

Dumbledore chuckled, “I never said that. I just said that Voldemort never found out what it said. When Harry got back to school that night, he asked me about it, naturally, and I told him what it said.”

Sirius and I gasped and James managed to get out, “You know what it says?”

“Of course,” Dumbledore smiled, though it was slightly off, “I was the one it was told to.” He continued over us before we could say anything, “It went like this, ‘the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…’”

There was silence. I felt like I couldn’t breathe again. That explains why Voldemort killed James and me. But, no, Harry wasn’t going to have to kill Voldemort or die at his hand. It doesn’t mean…it couldn’t mean-

“Dumbledore?” James asked quietly, his voice sounding oddly choked, “Does that mean that Harry…will Harry have to–”

“Kill Voldemort or the other way around?” Dumbledore said gravely, “yes, I’m afraid it does.” I saw Sirius put his head in his hands and James’s eyes close in pain before the room went all blurry. A strange sound came out of my mouth. It sounded like a cross between a sob, a cry of pain, and a moan, all at the same time. The tears overflowed and poured down my cheeks. I felt James’s strong arms wrap around me, pulling me into his lap and I even felt a few drips fall on my hair.

“I am so sorry,” Dumbledore said, “I know this is incredibly hard for you to hear. As you can imagine, it was very hard for him to hear as well. But he took the new information very well. He just took it in, not a single seed of doubt in his mind, I’m sure.”

I took deep breaths, trying to contain my sobs. I knew that Dumbledore was right, and I was comforted in the thought that if Harry could take the information and just get it done, then I could live with it. I knew he could do it. He is my son for heavens sake!

“Keep going Dumbledore.” I said, “what happened after you told him?”

“Well, I’m afraid it was the end of term. There wasn’t much I could do apart from wish him a good holiday.”

“Not bloody likely,” Sirius snorted, raising his head from his hands. His eyes looked slightly red around the rims. “He had just found out that if he doesn’t kill Voldemort, Voldemort will kill him! Not to mention the fact that I had just been killed! That should have ruined his holiday by itself!”

Dumbledore smiled, “Yes, he didn’t have the best holiday in the beginning. He was devastated about your death Sirius, and you’re right that he was worried about the prophecy. But about half-way through the holidays, I came and picked him up from the Dursleys and he went and stayed at the Weasleys for the rest of the summer. We did have a short stop on the way of course.” He added after a second thought.

“Why did you pick him up?” I asked curiously at the same time the James said, “Where did you stop off?”

“I picked him up,” Dumbledore chuckled, answering my question first, “because I wanted to tell him I was going to give him private lessons during the school year. And I also needed his assistance in getting an old colleague and friend of mine to come back to Hogwarts to teach again for the year.”

Again, everyone asked a question at once. “You gave him private lessons?”

“Who did you need to come back and teach?”

“Why did you need Harry’s help?”

“I will answer all your questions if you let me talk,” Dumbledore said, laughing. We all fell silent. Sirius pretended to lock his lips and threw the imaginary key over his shoulder.

“As you are probably aware, for some time now, we have had to get new Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers at Hogwarts every year. The last teacher, Dolores Umbridge was not really a teacher, she was a Ministry worker who was sacked for good reasons at the end of the year. So for Harry’s sixth year, I gave Severus the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher job and–”

“But-but Dumbledore!” Sirius erupted, obviously forgetting about his locked lips, “the scoundrel had been after that job for years! He doesn’t deserve it, the bloody Death Eater—”

“Sirius!” I yelled, shocked that he would say that, even about Snape.

“But it’s Snivellus Lily! You know how James and I hate him, not to mention Harry!”

“Still! You really shouldn’t say that about anyone Siri! It’s really horrible.”

He glared at me and I glared back until Dumbledore started speaking again. “I know Severus had been after it for years, Sirius, that’s why I gave it to him. And also because I couldn’t find anyone else who wanted to take the job. Most people are afraid of it because they think it’s cursed. So, with Severus as the Defence Teacher, that meant I had to find a new Potions teacher. And that’s where Harry came in.

“I had a friend who had once taught at Hogwarts. You three should remember him. Horace had retired many years ago but I knew that with the right motivation, he would gladly take the job back again. I knew how much he enjoyed it, even though it was many years ago. He taught you three, but he was known as Professor Slughorn to you.”

The boys burst into laughter at the sound of his name and I couldn’t help but smile just a bit. Slughorn had always loved the three of us. I was his favourite student because I had a ‘natural talent’ as he called it. James came directly from pure blood and his family was very well known, so of course Slughorn took interest in him. James wasn’t to bad at the potions making aspect of it as well, it was just most of the time he was mucking around with Sirius, who Slughorn loved mostly because of his charm and cheekiness. Professor Slughorn loved a good joke as long as he wasn’t the victim of it, and he enjoyed James and Sirius occasionally torturing the Slytherins in potions, even if it was his own house. Sirius had always had a way with the teachers. He had a certain charm that none of them could resist. Except McGonagall, who just gave him detentions.

Once James and Sirius had calmed down, Dumbledore told them about his trip to Slughorn’s house with Harry and how Slughorn had agreed to teach after his talk with Harry. Dumbledore told us how Harry had then gone to stay with the Weasleys and spent his time flying around playing Quidditch and talking with Ron and Hermione.

“When school went back,” Dumbledore continued, “I managed to get a few private lessons with Harry, even though he, Ron and Hermione were very busy. They were getting more and more homework, Ron and Hermione were prefects and Harry had a Quidditch Team to trial, so it-“

“Whoa, whoa,” James butted in, “Harry had the Quidditch Team to run? He was Quidditch Captain?” When Dumbledore smiled and nodded, James’s hazel eyes warmed and a proud grin spread across his face. “That’s my boy!” he yelled, “Just like his dad! I’m sure he did a great job too! Bet they won the Cup didn’t they? Harry leading Gryffindor to victory.” He was beaming and I couldn’t help but smile with him, though I also felt sad. I knew that this was probably James’s proudest moment as a father, and it made me sad that he had to find out almost a year late, and not from Harry. I tried not to let it get to me though.

Sirius was also grinning like a madman, “Knew it!” he said, “I knew he would get it. I told him, I said to him he would be Captain. And I was right.”

“Yes, Harry got Gryffindor Quidditch Captain,” Dumbledore said, “and he deserved it. Helping Gryffindor to victory every year he was on the team since first year, is quite an achievement.” He paused to check James and Sirius were actually listening until he started again, “My lessons with Harry were only about once a month, and I would get one of the other students to give him a note from me saying the time on what day. I didn’t teach him anything he could learn in class. It was much more important. Time was running out for me. I was getting older and I was sick. I knew I would die soon so I had to teach Harry all that I knew. No, no. Questions later.” He added, as we gave all the signs of interrupting. “I taught him about Voldemort, about his life as a child, his mother, and what he was like as a student at Hogwarts. I told Harry that he needed to know about Voldemort’s past to really understand him and his motives. But there was one topic in particular that Harry needed to know about. They were absolutely essential to know about if Harry was ever planning to kill Voldemort, though they are almost the darkest magic known. Horcruxes.”

“Horcruxes?” I blurted out before I could stop myself, “But that’s awful magic! Why would you teach Harry such a thing? Why would it be essential for killing Voldemort unless he…” I could feel everyone watching my face as it sank in. I tried to swallow. “Did he make one?” I was so horrified, I couldn’t get my voice any louder then a whisper.

Dumbledore nodded, “Not one, but many.” And I was about to ask how many when Sirius’s exasperated voice cut me off.

“Will somebody please explain what about this Horcrux or whatever it is?”

James nodded in agreement, clearly also confused.

I took a deep breath, wanting to get it out as fast as I could, “A Horcrux is essentially a piece of soul that someone splits from their own soul. They put it in an item, a treasure or something along those lines, and if someone tries to kill them, they will not really be able to die, because their piece of soul that they broke off will still be untouched.”

They looked at me as if I was speaking another language. There was a long moment of silence. “So let me get this straight,” James said slowly, “You would rip off a piece of your soul, and put in say…a box, and then you couldn’t die?”

“In theory, yes.” I said. “For example, if I stabbed you with a kitchen knife right now, it would hurt your body but it wouldn’t touch your soul, yeah?”

“Uhh, Lils?” Sirius said, going over the top of whatever James was going to say, “You realise that we are already dead right? We are just our souls already. Our real bodies are down on earth.”

“Exactly Sirius!” I exclaimed, “Our bodies are dead on earth, but our souls are up here. So your soul really stays untouched when you die. If you have two pieces of soul, one in your body and one in an object, you would in theory have two souls, so you could keep on living until you got another body. Get it?”

I took from their horrified and slightly disgusted faces that they understood.

“Very well explained,” Dumbledore said to me, “and now we are all on the same page. I told Harry that while he was at school Voldemort discovered the theory on Horcruxes and unlike all four of us, he found the idea very appealing. It would make him like a cat with nine lives. He could really be invincible. When he was older and knew the magic, he made himself not one, but several Horcruxes, putting them in some of his most treasured possessions: a locket that once belonged to Salazar Slytherin, a ring that had belonged to his grandfather, an old diary that he used as a child and his snake Nagini, who he always kept close. Then there were about three more but I don’t know for sure what they are. I have a few guesses though.”

There was a stunned silence until I managed to choke out, “Seven? I didn’t even think that was possible” I felt a particularly unpleasant wash of nausea over my body.

Dumbledore nodded, “He wanted to make sure he survived, although one of them, he didn’t mean to make and it almost killed him. He hid six items in different hiding spots. It was lucky for Harry that two of the Horcruxes had already been destroyed. Earlier in the year I had discovered the ring and I managed to destroy it with Gryffindor’s sword because that contains Basalisk venom, one of the only two things that can destroy Horcruxes. The other is Fiend Fire.” He added, seeing our confused faces. “Harry had unknowingly at the time destroyed another of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. The diary, when he was in second year.”

Sirius gasped, “The one that Ginny wrote in and ended up with her in the Chamber of Secrets?”

“The very same. Harry destroyed it with a Basilisk fang from the Basilisk he killed. That was how it could possess Ginny. When a Horcrux has a safe…home, it can flitter in and out, possessing any living thing close to it. When Ginny poured her thoughts and feelings into that diary, it only made the little bit of soul stronger, so it could control Ginny more.”

“And this is what you taught Harry in your lessons?” James asked, sounding slightly sick.

“Yes,” Dumbledore said, “I told him all about the Horcruxes that I knew. Some of them I wasn’t sure about the other three but I had hunches. The later the year got, the harder it was to get lessons in. I was busy and Harry was busy. He had classes, and homework, his friends were fighting so he had to run between them, and a Quidditch Team to run. Then he got himself detentions with Snape until the end of term, Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup, he got himself a girlfriend…” his eyes sparkled as he said this, “everyone was busy.”

There was a beat of silence, then, “I swear I hate Snivelly.”

“He won the Cup? Woooo! I knew he would. I knew he would do it!”

“He got a girlfriend? Who? When? How? Who?

Dumbledore laughed and waited until we had all calmed down. “Professor Snape gave Harry detentions until the end of term, because Harry had used a horribly violent spell on Draco Malfoy. He said it was self-defence because Malfoy was about to use and Unforgivable Curse on him, and he had no idea what the spell would do. It gave Malfoy gashes on his face and chest, making him bleed profusely.”

That sounded vaguely familiar. I knew I had seen that spell somewhere, a long time ago. I didn’t realise that James and Sirius were both thinking the same thing, yet they both knew the answer. “Snivellus.” They both hissed, absolute hatred in their voices.

Oh, so that’s where I had seen it! Snape had used it on James once right in front of me in seventh year. It was a horrible spell, I felt sick just thinking about it. That would explain why Snape gave Harry so many detentions. But how did Harry get the spell?

Sirius and James were now yelling about how Snape shouldn’t have given Harry so many detentions, seeing as it was his spell, and Dumbledore good-naturedly explained that that was exactly why he had been so mad. “The number of detentions didn’t bother Harry,” Dumbledore was saying, “it was the fact that the first detention happened to be on the day of the Quidditch Final.”

WHAT?” Sirius and James yelled at the same time.

“I know,” Dumbledore said, “It was a bit harsh, and Harry was devastated that he couldn’t play, but just think, if he hadn’t kept Harry in for the game, Harry might never have had the guts to get his girlfriend.”

“Really?” I said excitedly, “tell me everything! What happened? Who is she?”

Dumbledore, James and Sirius all laughed. “Lily, you are such a girl.” Sirius teased.

I rolled my eyes at him, “Was that supposed to be an insult Siri?”

“I wasn’t there,” Dumbledore cut in, “But I heard the gossip the next day. It was all the whole school student body would talk about for a week. From what I heard, after Severus let Harry out of his detention, he went straight to the Gryffindor common room, not knowing who had won because the game was over. When he got inside, they were partying because Gryffindor had one. Apparently what happened was, Ginny Weasley ran up to Harry to give him a hug and Harry just kissed her.”

“In front of all of Gryffindor?” I asked, thoroughly impressed. I bet Harry liked her for ages, just never had the guts. I beamed, I couldn’t help it. I was so happy for him, he finally got the girl that, according to Sirius, was perfect for him. I suddenly really wanted to meet her.

James and Sirius had jumped up and were yelling “YES! GO HARRY! GO HARRY!” and doing their Marauders victory dance that they had made up in second year and that they somehow, never forgot. I always wondered if they practiced it privately in their dorm. I just laughed at them.

“See?!” Sirius said breathlessly, as he and James both dropped back onto the couches, after about 10 minutes of non-stop Marauder dancing. “I told you they were meant for each other. I knew they would get together, and I was RIGHT! Now we just have to find out about Moony and Tonks…” he started stroking an imaginary beard, thinking. I snorted at him. Sometimes I can’t believe I am friends with this loony.

“So Dumbledore, what happened next?” James asked, clearly enjoying himself immensely.

Dumbledore smiled, “Well I can truthfully say that I don’t think I have ever seen Harry so happy. Everyone was gossiping about him, but for once, he really couldn’t care less because what they were talking about made him really happy, not sad. But Ginny was in fifth year and she had OWL’s to study for so their time together got restricted. It was good for Harry that Ron and Hermione were speaking again, otherwise he would have had a real problem on his hands.”

“Oh, that’s right! You mentioned something about that. What happened?” I said.

Dumbledore laughed, “I don’t know the whole story but I think it was something about how Ron started going out with a girl called Lavender Brown in Gryffindor and Hermione really didn’t like it.”

Sirius burst out laughing. “I knew it would be something like that. Hermione, being the smart one, has realised that she likes Ron more then a friend, but Ron is too daft to realise that he is in love with Hermione, so he goes out with someone else and she gets jealous! Ha ha!”

I giggled, it was just like a muggle soap opera. James sighed and shook his head, a small smile on his face, “Poor Harry. Caught in the middle.” He said.

“I’m sure he hated it,” Sirius said, still chuckling, “Ron would probably always be with Lavender and Hermione would probably be in the library sulking. That would have been no fun at all.”

“But they worked it out alright?” I asked Dumbledore, “He broke up with this Lavender and Hermione forgave him right?

“I believe it went something like that,” Dumbledore said, “after a few shouting matches in the common room, that Harry had to referee.”

“Jeez, doesn’t that take me back.” Sirius sniggered. James and I glared at him. I had always hated it when James and I fought in the common room when we were at Hogwarts. Only we discovered later that we just annoyed each other so much, we didn’t stop to get to know the other person better. We could have saved ourselves a lot of time, not to mention voice. And Gryffindor students’ eardrums.

Dumbledore interrupted my reverie. “It was towards the end of the year when I found another Horcrux. It was I a cave that Voldemort used to visit when he was a child when he went on trips with the orphanage. Yes, he was an orphan, like Harry. Only he didn’t have relatives to go to.” The fact that Lord Voldemort was an orphan shocked me. It would be hard for any child to grow up without a mother or father. He would have had no way to know he had any magic powers. Though I knew what that felt like. I concentrated on Dumbledore again.

“I went and got Harry as soon as I could. He wasn’t scared at all and that impressed me. He was just really angry at me at the time.”

“Why?” I blurted out.

Dumbledore sighed, “Well, that’s another story entirely. And I will tell you all some time, but I’m afraid I am rather tired so I will finish my story and then be off.” He paused taking in a deep breath. “Once I mentioned to Harry I had found the Horcrux he agreed to come with me. He promised me that he would do everything I told him to do. That included leaving me and running if I told him to.”

“Bet he wouldn’t have agreed to that too easily,” Sirius muttered.

“No, he didn’t at first, but he reluctantly gave in eventually.” Dumbledore said, “I took him to the cave. Voldemort had taken precautions but I knew Voldemort and his tricks. I found the hidden boat and discovered how to get through the cave. We travelled out in the little dinghy he had provided and we got to the basin in the centre. I had expected all of this and I had suspicions of what was coming. On the way to the centre Harry noticed that there were Inferi in the water, and I know that scared him slightly, but he was very brave.” I shuddered, I had never seen Inferi and I never planned to. How horrible for my boy. Dumbledore continued in a grave voice. “In the basin was a potion and I knew that beneath the potion lay the Horcrux. I just had to drink the potion to get to it.” He grimaced slightly at me when he heard my gasp of shock. James and Sirius just stared at him, horrified.

“The potion was worse then I feared. It brought back horrible times in my past, and caused extreme pain mentally and physically. I do remember screaming several times, and all the while I could hear Harry trying to comfort me while making me drink more potion, like I had told him to. I managed to drink all the potion and we got back onto the boat once Harry had retrieved the Horcrux. It was Slytherin’s locket. We did have a little encounter with the Inferi, but luckily, I knew how to handle them. Harry was very brave throughout it all and I was not surprised when we managed to get out easily.”

He stopped and shuddered, relieving an obviously unpleasant memory. “Then what happened?” I asked softly.

“The moment we got back to Hogsmeade, I knew something was wrong,” he said quietly, “When I looked up at the school I realised. The Dark Mark had been set over the Astronomy Tower. The Death Eaters had attacked.” He ignored our gasps of shock. “I was suddenly so aware that Harry and I had been gone for hours. I didn’t know who had been killed or hurt but I knew I had to get there quickly to save my school. I summoned brooms from The Three Broomsticks and Harry immediately flew up to the Astronomy Tower. Seeing that there was no one up there, Harry went straight to the door, but then we both heard footsteps running up the stairs. That was when I realised it was all a trap.

“All my life, my mind had always been good at processing and thinking things through very quickly, and even as an old man, my brain had still retained that skill. In only those few seconds when the running footsteps echoed up the stairs, I thought about how Harry had been trying to convince me all year that Draco Malfoy was planning something. Harry had known that somehow the Death Eaters would get into the school, and yet, I had disregarded him. It was one of the very rare times when I realised that I had been wrong. It was a trap, and there was no way out.”

“Who was it?” Sirius cut in, “Who was it, running up the stairs? What happened?”

Dumbledore smiled at him, “If you listen, you will find out.” Sirius shut up, (only Dumbledore and McGonagall could make him do that) and the story continued. “Harry was still under the Invisibility Cloak. Your cloak James, and I must say that I’m sure Harry has found that quite as useful as you did when you were at school. I’m pretty sure that Harry has had a few adventures with that Cloak. Maybe breaking a few rules.”

James grinned and sighed wistfully, “That takes me back.” Sirius laughed and nodded. I don’t even want to think about all the rules they had broken while at school. It never ceases to amaze me how they got away with it all. I suppose the Cloak did help, but I didn’t know about that until after school of course.

Dumbledore got back on track. “No one knew Harry had been with me all evening, and I didn’t want him to get into a situation he couldn’t handle, so I immobilised him quickly, even though I knew he wouldn’t like being helpless. I did it just in time, because right at that moment Draco Malfoy burst through the door, just as I thought he would. He lost no time in Disarming me, my wand fall in over the edge of the Tower. I was weak, still sick from the potion I had to drink and I was defenceless. It was a shame, he couldn’t bring himself to do it, Draco could have easily killed me.”

“Wait?” I said, “He didn’t kill you? Who killed you then?”

He sighed, “I knew that he wanted to do it, Voldemort had given him orders to kill me, and he had had several attempts to do so throughout the year. But unfortunately for him, neither attempts had worked, both of them almost killing an innocent student. Ron was one of them. He had accidentally drunk the poison that Draco had intended for me, and if Harry hadn’t saved him in time, with some extraordinarily quick thinking, he would have died.” He held up his hands to stop us from questioning him, “Draco had me right where he wanted me, but he couldn’t do it. I knew that he wouldn’t. He is a good boy at heart, just following the wrong people.

“As Draco was deliberating, other Death Eaters arrived at the door. Alecto and Amycus Carrow, Fenrir Greyback, and one other I whose name I can’t remember for the life of me.” I was absolutely horrified that Harry was so close the Greyback, the werewolf known for being so ferocious and vicious. “Each of them tried to get him to do it, but he couldn’t. Then Severus arrived. I had made a deal earlier with him in the year, that when the time came, and I was weak, he would kill me and put me out of my misery. It took some convincing, but in the end he gave me his word. I did not want to shrivel away slowly and painfully. I wanted it to be fast, and with dignity. That night, on the Astronomy Tower, Severus fulfilled his promise. I pleaded with him, and though I know it hurt him greatly to do it, he killed me.”

“No!” I gasped. “You died? Right there? But what about the Death Eaters in Hogwarts? And the students!” I demanded, “What about Harry?!!”

He sighed, “I didn’t want to leave them, but I know that they could go on fine with out me. The Death Eaters were only there to kill me, and I’m positive that once the job was done, they would have left. And as for Harry,” he sighed again, “he will be confused and hurt at first, but the time will come when he will make the decision to leave all comfort behind and set out to bring peace to the Wizarding World once again.”

There was a stunned silence. I couldn’t believe that Harry had to go through all this pain just to bring Voldemort down. He has lost so many people he cared about, it just doesn’t seem fair.

“So, he has to go and hunt down the remaining Horcruxes?” James asked quietly.

“Yes,” Dumbledore said, “He has to kill Voldemort’s snake, then find out where and what the other two Horcruxes are.”

“So he doesn’t know what they are?” Sirius said.

“No, but he is very smart, and if he has Ron and Hermione’s help, which I’m sure he will, he will figure it out.”

“Do you know what they are?” James asked

Dumbledore shook his head. “I don’t know for sure but I do have suspicions. As a young man, Voldemort liked to have treasures, things that he thought were worth something. I suspect that one of the Horcruxes is a cup that belonged to Helga Hufflepuff and the other would probably be something of Ravenclaws, but I didn’t really get time to think about that one.”

“But...” I said, confused, “you said that Voldemort had made seven Horcruxes, and those only add up to six. Or don’t you know what the other one is?”

“I do know what it is.” Dumbledore said, in a grave voice, which worried me immensely. “The final Horcrux is…Harry.”

For one long moment, there was no sound. My mind seemed to be working very slowly and it took me a long time to process what Dumbledore had just said. Then it hit me. Harry.

My boy, my only son was the seventh and final Horcrux. He is only living, so that he can die. I burst into tears at the same time as I heard the yells.

“No!”

“NOT HARRY!”

James and Sirius were on their feet. Sirius began marching around the room, swearing at the top of his lungs, knocking things over and kicking the table. James just stood where he was, not moving an inch, his hands clenched into fists so tight that I could see the tendons sticking out. I stared at his hands blindly for a few moments, still sobbing uncontrollably until I realised that they were shaking.

I looked up at his face and only then did I notice that he was crying, tears just falling down his cheeks slowly. I tried to stifle my sobs as I reached out to gently unfurl his fingers. He looked down at me then, looking at me as if he only just realised I was there. Then he sat down next to me, and I buried my face in his chest. We sat there for what seemed like forever, James with his comforting arms wrapped around me, and my face hidden against his shirt, soaking it with my tears. I could still hear Sirius marching around the room, and it was only then that I remembered Dumbledore’s presence.

When I looked at him, just sitting there across from me, watching us break down with a sad expression on his strangely young looking face, something just clicked inside my head.

“But, wait.” I sniffed, trying to calm myself, “Didn’t the prophecy say that Harry had to kill Voldemort or the other way around? If Harry dies Voldemort will live forever because no one can kill him. And you said that Voldemort could die.”

A huge smile appeared on Dumbledore’s face so suddenly that I was rather taken aback, but it was lucky I was sitting down. Sirius was so surprised that he tripped over the table leg.

Dumbledore chuckled, “My dear Lily you really are an incredibly smart woman. You could give Hermione Granger a run for her money.”

Sirius laughed, heaving himself into a sitting position on the floor “I don’t think that’s possible Dumbledore.” I glowered at him, and he added hastily, “Because they have never met.”

Dumbledore laughed quietly. “I never said Harry would die.”

Even I couldn’t comprehend that. “But how can he survive if he is the last Horcrux. All the Horcruxes have to be destroyed.”

“I believe that it is possible for the Horcrux in Harry to be destroyed without Harry actually have to give up his life.” Dumbledore replied, “I think that Harry has once or twice actually thought that he may be a Horcrux. When Harry learns that he is indeed a Horcrux, I am sure that he will go to Voldemort and allow the Killing Curse to be used on him, because he would believe that if he dies, the Wizarding World will be safe. If Harry makes no move to defend himself, the part of Voldemort’s soul inside him will be destroyed by the Killing Curse, but his own soul will be unharmed. Only then, is it possible for Harry to defeat Voldemort once and for all.”

It was silent. You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone just sat still, absorbing this information and trying to wrap their mind around it. But there was something that still bothered me. Apparently it bothered James too.

“How did Harry become a Horcrux in the first place?” he asked.

“Well, I believe that when Lily died to save Harry, she unconsciously cast a very old spell over Harry. He was protected by her love from most of the power of the Killing Curse which Voldemort then attempted to set on him. When he cast that spell, Voldemort accidently split his already fragile soul into its seventh piece, and that piece latched on to the only living thing in the room. Which happened to be Harry.”

“So that’s why he disappeared…” Sirius trailed off.

Dumbledore nodded, “When his soul was separated, it almost killed Voldemort. He lost his body almost, and was not entirely human for over a decade. It was in the graveyard thirteen years later that he fully came back to power because he gained a new body. It was only then that he was powerful enough to fight Harry on his own.”

There was another prolonged silence. My head was starting to hurt.

“So, let me get this straight.” Sirius said, “Harry has to hunt down four more Horcruxes and destroy them, without being caught by Voldemort and his many minions, and without Voldemort knowing. He then has to somehow find Voldemort only after all the Horcruxes are destroyed and let Voldy use the Killing Curse on him without defending himself, so that the Horcrux inside him will be destroyed. After all that he has to fight Voldemort one last time to kill him and end all the horror.”

“Yes.”

Sirius started laughing, “I’m so glad I’m not Harry right now.” Count on Sirius to make a deadly and dangerous task a laughing matter. I sighed.

Dumbledore, upon hearing my sigh, looked at me and said softly, “Lily, don’t be worried. I have the utmost faith in Harry, I know that he can do it. He is a great wizard, brave, noble and loyal. A true Gryffindor through and through. Just like his parents,” he smile kindly at us, before quickly adding, “and like his godfather too.” Sirius grinned. “I know he can do it, and I know that you know he can too. Just have faith in him; I’m afraid that’s all you can do. Goodnight.” Then he got up, gave a small smile and a nod, turned on the spot, and he was gone.


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