The Story Harry Heard; Part II
Harry’s 7th Year, Malfoy Manor
Peter Pettigrew knew that he was
dreaming. Real life was no longer filled with light and he was rarely peaceful
and happy. So the peace he felt was bittersweet because he knew it wouldn’t
Peter sat on the shore of the Great Lake of Hogwarts, the castle spires reaching for the sky behind him, and breathed in the scent of spring.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” said a soft voice. Peter froze.
“M…Maya?” He stammered. He turned around slowly. The young girl was standing near the tree – their tree – her Quidditch robes swaying in the wind. She looked at him for a long time, silent. Peter began to tremble. “You would have done it too,” he breathed.
“No, Wormtail,” said another voice. Peter nearly fainted as he slowly turned back to face the shore. “We wouldn’t have betrayed you.” Padfoot and Prongs, standing side by side on the shore. Both sixteen – still boyish and young but with the serious look of the war in their eyes.
But not anymore.
“You’re a coward,” Maya said matter-of-factly.
“Traitor,” Sirius spat.
“Rat,” said James, but a little sadly. “You were only ever a rat, weren’t you?”
“Leave me alone!” Peter yelled, he plunged his hand into his robes and pointed his wand. The dream dissolved in a flash of green light and a high cruel voice that he recognized as his master’s yelling “Avada Kedavra!” He woke up sweating and tangled in borrowed sheets in a guest room at Malfoy Manor, his enchanted silver hand gleaming in the dark.
“[Wormtail’s] silver hand closed around Harry’s throat… ‘You’re going to kill me?’ Harry chocked, attempting to pry off the metal fingers. ‘After I saved your life? You owe me, Wormtail!’ The silver fingers slackened…wandless, helpless, Pettigrew’s pupils dilated in terror. His eyes had slid from Harry’s face to something else. His own silver fingers were moving inexorably toward his own throat…without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it…”
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
…without pausing to think, Harry tried to drag back the hand, but there was no stopping it…
And later, when this silver gift was wrapped around Harry Potter’s throat, as Harry gasped out, “I saved your life!” Peter found he couldn’t do it. Because Harry looked too much like Prongs...and he was standing on that shore with his friends in the dark, laughing as they talked on a night without a moon. And Peter hesitated, and the silver glove slipped off Harry’s throat...And tightened around his own. Harry’s eyes were wide with shock as he tried to pry the enchanted silver fingers off Peter’s throat. If he’d been able to breathe Peter would have laughed the hysterical laugh of someone who is losing his mind – the same laugh Sirius Black had laughed after Peter had blasted the street and left Sirius Black to take the blame for James Potter’s death. Laughed, because, even after everything he had done, Harry still tried to help him.
death closed in on the fourth Marauder to die, Peter found himself wondering
why he hadn’t suspected that Voldemort would curse that damned silver hand. Of
course Voldemort would make sure that Peter Pettigrew, the most cowardly
Gryffindor that ever lived, would die before he had a chance to redeem
But some small part of him hoped...please, let me die a Marauder, not a Death Eater.
Harry’s 7th Year, Before the Battle at Hogwarts
Remus had fallen asleep in his wolf form, curled on the rug in the living room floor, guarding the door. He hadn’t wanted to transform with Teddy in the house – even with the Wolfsbane potion he could still accidently hurt a baby. But Nymphadora (she still hated to be called that, but it felt weird to call his wife “Tonks” and she insisted that “Dora” was a stupid name and reminded her of being a baby) had insisted that he stay inside the house. Even in his werewolf form, Death Eaters might try to kill him.
It was rare for werewolves to dream...but dream he did. He was in the Forbidden Forest, the full moon gleaming through the leaves of the trees. They illuminated a strange white patch through the trees and Moony’s heart jumped in his chest. His nocturnal eyes finished adjusting and his tail began to wag as the dim outline of a black cat took form. Her single white paw had given her away.
<Hello Midnight,> he said in that strange way of talking they’d always had when in their animal forms. He bounded over to her and nuzzled her gently. Midnight arched her back against him, purring loudly.
<Your son is adorable, Moony,> she said. <You make a great dad.>
<I don’t know about that,> said Moony regretfully. <I put him in danger once a month. We’re in hiding. Voldemort wants to have us killed...>
<And you’re constantly worried about him, would do anything to protect him,> another voice interjected. <That means you’re a good father. Trust me, mine was awful.> Moony’s tail wagged even harder as he reached out and swatted Padfoot playfully on the nose. Padfoot jumped back and went into his playful pose – tail high in the air and front against the ground.
<You mean,> growled Moony seriously, his tail ceasing to wag. <The way Harry saw you.>
Sirius instantly sank to the ground, tail still.
<We can’t change that we died,> said a new voice. Moony spun around; the dry leaves on the ground blew up in the sudden movement. A large stag with kind, brown eyes was standing in the clearing with him.
<Prongs,> Moony breathed.
<You’ve got a rough time ahead of you, Moony,> said the stag. <But remember that you are a Marauder – and we always do all right.>
<Say hi to Teddy for me,> meowed Midnight as the dream dissolved away and Remus woke up, still in wolf form, in his living room, feeling far calmer within his transformation than he had in years.
And when Bellatrix came for Nymphadora and Dolohov came for him, as the green light filled his vision and he collapsed like a puppet with cut strings, Remus found himself thinking, “Even with this. We did all right.”
I’m sorry, Teddy.
The last writer of the Marauder’s Map died where he had most lived, within the walls of Hogwarts.
Halfway through The Battle of Hogwarts
“There was a terrible scream. Harry saw Snape’s face losing the little color it had left, it whitened as his black eyes widened, as the snake’s fangs pierced his neck…When the flask was full to the rim, and Snape looked as though there was no blood left in him, his grip on Harry’s robes slacked. ‘Look…at…me’ he whispered. Green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish…”
–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
At least, thought Severus Snape, as darkness closed in on him and the last thing he saw was the green glow of eyes that looked just like Lily’s eyes, at least I know that I did all I could. It’s up to them now. All of us from before, are dead...
The Battle of Hogwarts; The Forbidden Forest
“[Harry] closed his eyes and turned the stone over in his hand three times. He knew it had happened, because he heard slight movements around him that suggested frail bodies shifting their footing on the earthy, twig-strewn ground that marked the outer edge of the forest…they were neither ghosts nor truly flesh…less substantial than living bodies, but much more than ghosts, they moved towards him. And on each face, there was the same loving smile. James…his hair was untidy and ruffled…Sirius was tall and handsome, and younger by far than Harry had seen him in life…Lupin was younger too…happy to be back in this familiar place, scene of so many adolescent wanderings. Lily’s smile was the widest of all.”
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry saw his parents as he walked slowly in the forest towards his death. He saw Sirius – his godfather. And he saw Remus – the first man he had actually known from his parent’s story. But he didn’t see who else was in that clearing. So many eyes were watching him on his slow march to death. So many people who had staked life in the war that Harry had come to symbolize. The struggle that he’d been born to see. And it hadn’t been Harry Potter’s fault.
So many people watching and waiting.
But only a few that had put enough stake in what was happening to actually be in that clearing.
And Harry didn’t see them all. Those he could see and hear kept their own dark thoughts to themselves; even now there was a way they could protect him. They could not let their own frustration and anger that the boy they had all fought to protect was sacrificing himself.
But those who he couldn’t hear...
Maya’s green eyes were bright as she watched Harry Potter walk past her slowly. “He’s possibly the bravest person I’ve ever met,” she said quietly. “To simply accept it...many people would have run.”
James shot her a grateful look and Lily fought to keep tears from falling down her face. She had to be strong for her son.
Regulus came slowly into view, his dark eyes troubled as he watched Harry walk past him. And Severus Snape, looking about nineteen years old as he leaned against an old tree, wondered if he should have done something different. But he knew…
“We did all we could,” Sev whispered. “With what we knew...we did what we could.”
Maya had slipped her fingers into Sirius’s hands and he squeezed her hand tight as Harry dropped the resurrection stone to the ground...
“Harry saw [Voldemort’s] mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone…”
‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry. ‘Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?’
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring the figure. ‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’
He was lying facedown on the ground again. The smell of the forest filled his nostrils…”
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
As Tom Riddle once told him, Harry Potter was very much alive.
And finally...finally...the cycle broke...
Well...not quite yet...