Until The End
"Did you end up finishing that awful essay Snape gave us on lycanthropy last night, Harry?" Hermione questioned brightly as she tucked into her breakfast.
Harry found himself unable to look Hermione in the eye.
I didn't finish that awful essay because I had sex with my fiancée. Multiple times. We didn't get to sleep until three in the morning.
"Uhhh, no…" he replied lamely.
Hermione rolled her eyes at him. "Well, that wasn't a smart move, you'll have to finish it tonight, and you were going to help me study! We have a reservation at Madam Rosmerta's tomorrow night remember?"
Harry, Ron, Hermione had decided last week that they hadn't done anything relatively rule-breaking in a long time and had convinced Parvati, Lavender, Dean (who also invited Ginny, his current girlfriend) that they sneak out and have dinner at Madam Rosmerta's establishment in Hogsmeade.
Harry shrugged. "Snape would give me crap marks, anyways."
""'allo there, 'Arry!" Hagrid beamed as he entered the Great Hall.
"Hey, Hagrid!" Harry greeted cheerfully; the trio hadn't been down to his cabin in some time, so he was glad to see his favourite teacher once again.
"I've gotta message fer yer from Headmaster Dumbledore," Hagrid winked. "Wants to see yer in his office right away, 'e said."
Harry frowned. "Oh, that's weird."
Hagrid then added to Harry in a hushed tone, "The password's Ton-Tongue Toffee."
Ron shot Harry a worried look. 'Do you think he knows that I sold my bag of Dungbombs to some first years?' he mouthed, to which Harry shrugged in reply.
"Ahhh, Harry," Professor Dumbledore greeted warmly. "Please, sit down."
"Now, you must be wondering why I have summoned you here."
"Uhhh, yeah, I have."
Dumbledore's blue eyes looked grave behind his half-moon spectacles. "The recent incident with Mr. Malfoy has made me…evaluate how I have treated you, Harry. I am afraid to say that I have left you in the dark when it comes to the topic of Tom Riddle."
Harry stiffened; this was going to be a serious conversation.
"I think I am correct in saying that you rightly believe that you will most likely be the one to kill him. He certainly has a target on your back."
"Yes," Harry whispered. "But, I mean, that's not your fault, that's his fault."
"But, perhaps, I could have educated you more, trained you…but I have always reasoned that your mother defeated him with love, and that love is so obvious in you."
Dumbledore met Harry's gaze.
"I want you to know, Harry, that myself and the Order of the Phoenix will be with you when that day approaches. And that I am truly sorry for the burden of what you must do."
And then, lone tear slipped down his wizened face.
The following day, Harry found himself excused to see his counsellor, who had successfully convinced Harry to call her Angela and not by her surname.
This whole depression thing…it scared Harry shitless. It wasn't just some idea with a name; it was something potentially sleeping inside of him, dreaming of all the hurt and death and hardness of his life. He knew it wasn't a weakness but he couldn't help thinking of it as one. Hermione had told him this was typical of a man, but…he just felt so unsure and uninformed about it all.
Angela gave Harry a comforting smile after he told her his fears honestly.
"I've seen improvement in your mood and behaviour since I first saw you, Harry," Angela told him. "I feel that you need to be careful, however, as in times of great stress and emotional instability you become introverted and, yes, depressed. The way you felt during last year sounds to me as though you suffered from what we call major or clinical depression – a depressed mood that lasts for at least two weeks. In the future if these feelings ever resurface we can certainly delve further into the topic of treatments and what you would feel works best."
The witch waved her wand with a small flourish and a set of pamphlets landed in Harry's lap.
"Here is some information regarding depression, the symptoms, the treatments, and what you and your family and friends can do to help."
Harry couldn't help but feel as though he might be living like a description in these pamphlets one day. "Thank you."
"It is my pleasure to help you, Harry. I'm always here to help you."
The group sneakily walked down the cobblestone street. They had met Lavender halfway. Ron kicked a bin over, prompting Dean and Harry to laugh and Ginny to groan, "Ron, we're meant to be sneaking!"
Parvati and Harry were lagging behind the group, having gotten caught up in each other. Parvati made an pleasured noise as Harry's wet tongue went into her mouth, and his hands around her waist.
Harry whispered in her ear, "You look sexy. Those heels are awesome."
Parvati smiled. "Thanks! I have a cover-up excuse for walking funny," she winked, making him blush. "And hey, guess what I'm also celebrating tonight?"
"No idea, tell me."
"I have an interview with Genevieve Gladrags, she sounds like she really wants to be my mentor!"
Harry congratulated his girlfriend enthusiastically and endearingly told everyone in a loud voice as they got their table at Rosmerta's.
Lavender zoned in on Parvati's hand, and the ring there, and choked on her mocktail. "Oh my GOD, PARVATI! Are you pregnant?"
Hermione gasped. "That's an engagement ring? Harry!"
Harry looked as though he was being admonished by a mother, and winced. "Hermione?"
"Is Parvati pregnant?"
"No. It's just something we want to do; we won't even be getting married soon."
Ron looked puzzled. "Then why get engaged?"
"Just wanted to make ourselves tied in another way…this war isn't exactly without casualties."
Ginny spoke up. "It seems weird…we might have to kill someone to protect the people we love. We're just kids."
Parvati gave her a reassuring smile. "I suppose it's a pity those people can't be stopped in any other way."
Lavender, however, then seemed to want to change the subject, and seemed to get over the shock of this revelation quicker than anyone else, saying, "Oh, cool. Congrats. I better be maid of honour!" Parvati knew this was why Lavender was her best friend – she just understood.
The rest of the evening was great; Hermione, being seventeen, secretly bought alcohol for everyone, and the food was fantastic. Ron and Hermione even seemed to be flirting. They made a toast to Seamus, and Lavender smiled at the memory of him instead of letting her tears fall.
At nine o'clock, Ginny yawned. "We should probably head back to school…"
A strange white light blinded Parvati all of a sudden. Parvati blinked. What the…?
Harry. Entering Hogwarts from the main gate. Gate blasted open. Harry. Great Hall. Wand aimed high. Lord Voldemort. Green light. Harry. Dead.
Parvati turned to Harry. She felt sick and shaky and then –
Harry. Entering Hogwarts through secret passage. Harry. Great Hall. Wand aimed high. Lord Voldemort. Green light. Voldemort. Dead.
Parvati came back to the present, just as the lights went out in Madam Rosmerta's.
"Lumos," she heard Harry whisper.
"Harry!" cried Parvati urgently, gripping his ar. His face was surrounded by shadows. "Whatever you do, enter Hogwarts by the witch's hump, okay?"
An awful smash sounded, and she heard Lavender scream.
The lights came back on to reveal the bar surrounded by Death Eaters. Lucius Malfoy smirked when he saw the group.
"The Dark Lord is waiting for you, Potter," he said in a simpering voice. "Kill them."
"Stupefy!" Hermione cried at a nearing Death Eater, and the group took this as the cue to run.
They dashed through Hogsmeade, dodging curses and shouting incantations in their defence. More than once, Parvati spotted an Order member duelling with a Death Eater.
"Confringo!" Harry shouted, a hex striking an enemy down. "Confringo!"
Parvati's high heels pounded against the pavement as she slowly caught up to Harry; she turned around wildly and faced her.
"What did you see?" he urged.
"I had two visions," Parvati panted. "If we go through the gate, Voldemort k-kills y-you. If we go through that secret passage with the witch's hump, you defeat him."
Parvati looked at her surroundings; they were right near the secret entrance.
Parvati crushed her mouth against Harry's, kissing him with all her might, putting all of her feelings and fears into the kiss. "Go," she commanded, her voice breaking.
Harry's expression was unreadable as he turned away. He ducked through the passage and out of sight.
"Well, look here, if it isn't the Boy Who Lived's little pussy."
Parvati whirled around, ready to take the sonofabitch who dared to disrespect her.
Harry had to win this. She would do this for him. They wouldn't stop any other way.
It was stupid and pathetic and unjust and wrong but in their world there was no other way.
She would have to just live with that fact.
"Crucio!" she cried.
Curses gleamed in the night sky, fleetingly, before the spells cast hit their targets.
Parvati dodged a killing curse narrowly by slamming herself into the corridor wall of Hogwarts. She fought against a moan of pain and ran in the direction of the Great Hall. Her black high heels skidded along the blood soaked floor.
I certainly picked the wrong day to wear heels, she thought to herself. Suddenly, the familiar feeling of a vision washed over her; a bright light, there was a Death Eater, a small boy, the Death Eater – female - raised her wand, shouting "Avada Kedavra!" -
Parvati whirled to her left, and spotted the scene she had just witnessed. The boy – he could only be a third year – was crying but still threatening his wand at the Death Eater. Parvati didn't have time to admire the boy's courage; the Death Eater raised her wand, about the shout the killing curse, when Parvati cried, "Stupefy! Stupefy!"
The Death Eater froze and collapsed onto the floor. Parvati pushed past the boy and ran. She tried to sort through her mind and project a certain vision of the future.
Come on, come on, where's Harry?
Parvati turned left into the penultimate corridor to the Great Hall. She was sure Harry would be in there by now; they had been engaged in battle for nearly twenty minutes. She picked up her pace, only to have her heart jolt in terror as she lost her footing; the heel of her right shoe broke, her ankle twisted, and she fell to the ground. She hissed in pain, and she made the unmistakable whimpers of someone frightened as she tried to lift herself up off the floor by grabbing onto the blood stained wall behind her. Her mind was whirling; she was desperately searching in her mind for the vision of Harry, the vision she had been seeing repeatedly; Harry in the Great Hall beside her, his wand aimed at the corpse of Voldemort. She was half standing when a follower of Lord Voldemort caught up with her.
"Pretty little slut, you are," the Death Eater hissed at her.
"Go to hell," Parvati snapped.
The Death Eater pushed back on Parvati so hard the she jammed into the wall. She heard a something crack, and the pain in her body doubled; she felt for sure her shoulder was dislocated. The Death Eater laughed, his spit hitting her face.
"I'll come back for you, sweet," he leered, before kicking her injured ankle. Parvati let out a scream, and the Death Eater walked away.
Parvati abandoned her attempts to See in favour of focusing on the present. In a reckless moment, she steadied herself and pushed herself against the wall, her dislocated shoulder slipping back into place.
Parvati bit her lip, locking the moan of undulated pain inside her mouth. She would worry about it later. She had to get to Harry – the sooner she got there, the sooner this madness would all be over. She had Seen it.
It took Parvati a longer time than she thought it would due to her ankle, but eventually she made it to the threshold of the Great Hall.
Parvati has never seen him so magnificent. He stood his ground, staring right into Lord Voldemort's deep red eyes.
"Your followers are weak," Harry said confidently. "When you die, your Death Eaters will flee. It is fear of you, not loyalty to you, that keeps them fighting. When you die, this all will be almost over. All your planning would have been for nothing."
Voldemort sneered, "When I die, Potter? Surely you mean if."
Harry pointed his wand at Voldemort. "Yes, when."
Lord Voldemort screamed "Avada Kedavra!" just a moment after Harry did.
Lord Voldemort collapsed onto the edge of the blood-splattered Gryffindor table, dead.
Harry swayed, blood dripping from his mouth. Parvati caught him and staggered in her attempt to support him physically. Harry looked up at her, dazed. He was crying.
"It's over," he whispered through blood-crusted lips, a relieved smile fleetingly fitting his features.
"You did it," Parvati whispered back. Her voice was thick with emotion and she could feel tears running down her face.
No more prejudicially motivated deaths. No more terrifying visions. No more undulating waves of pain from his scar.
She smiled back at him, and sobbed.
It was all over.