The Return of the Elves

Chapter Fourteen: Vengeance on the World; A Wish that Spans the Ages

Draco sprinted towards the castle; his determination outweighed his need to make sure no one would attack him before he reached his goal. Hell, he was even surprised he could run, considering the state his Father left him in. Draco was beyond pissed off, he did not know what he was going to do when he found his Father, but he had a few things in mind. One of which was his Father on the receiving end of the killing curse.

Draco stopped, surveying the fight, and dodged any spells sent his way, while he looked for a familiar head of platinum blonde hair. For a moment, he took in the battlefield and the massacre it became all because a psychopath wanted power. He shook his head, not liking the way the show started. He finally noticed the unmistakable hair and leapt into the crowds of people to face off with him for the last time. He realised, ironically, he had one of the best seats… front row, centre.

Harry ducked spells, clashing his sword with one of the Moriquendi Elves bows, and looked into the Elves eyes, and what he saw there terrified him. Their eyes were black like two gaping holes shining with an evil which might have rivalled Voldemort. Shaking off his sudden dread, he pulled his wand out and stunned the Elf before moving on in his search for Voldemort.

It didn’t take him long to find him duelling with Dumbledore, and he knew he didn’t have the most original approach to the problem. An eye for an eye, the first principle of revenge; old as dirt, still going strong. The cardinal rule in going after someone with an intention to kill was not to make it personal, which it usually ended up being anyway. It did with him. He watched the duel while trying to keep the enemy off his back, and he realised there was no glory in this. He never asked for this crap, trouble came to him, in big dark swarms. The good and the just, they were like gold dust in the Wizarding World, and he had no illusions, he was not one of them.

He was no hero.

Just Harry, his wand, and a Dark Lord. His options decreased to a single course.

Harry decided it may be the best chance to kill him when he was distracted, and he raised his wand, imagining the hatred building inside him which would inevitably lead him to make an irreparable mistake, and all he could do was cower in fear. Then the unthinkable happened when Voldemort shot a spell at Dumbledore who crumpled to the ground.

‘NO!’ Harry screamed, running towards them, taking up stance between Dumbledore’s unconscious form and Voldemort. ‘This is between you and me, Tom,’ Harry said, his voice sounding stronger than he felt.

‘Ah, Harry, so nice of you to make your entrance. Now, I can finally kill you,’ Voldemort answered, bowing.

‘You can try,’ Harry retorted, raising his wand.

Voldemort laughed, a chilling sound sending shivers down his spine. ‘Very well, shall we duel?’ he asked like it was a natural question.

Harry growled. ‘Let’s just get this over with,’ he muttered, firing a spell towards Voldemort who dodged it easily, returning fire.

Hermione watched Harry duelling with Voldemort. ‘Be safe,’ she whispered, closing her eyes, and praying he would make it through.

Legolas appeared next to her. ‘Duck!’ he shouted at her, and she did so, and he released the arrow in his bow at a Death Eater coming towards her.

‘Thanks!’ she shouted to him, and he nodded, disappearing back into the fray.

She ducked a stunner flying over her head and turned to stun the culprit, only to see Draco looking at her in shock, and turned to see a Death Eater crumple to the ground. He chuckled. ‘Well, that was close!’ he shouted, and she glared at him. ‘Sorry!’ he added, turning around to come face to face with Lucius.

‘Did you lose your fight, Son?’ Lucius snarled, smirking at Draco.

‘No, I just found it,’ Draco countered, getting into a fighting stance.

‘You would fight your Father,’ Lucius queried nonchalantly like he was merely commenting on the weather.

Draco smirked. ‘I will do more than that. I’m going to kill you, old man,’ he snapped, shooting the Cruciatus Curse at him. He watched in gratification when Lucius fell to the ground, and twitched in pain, letting out gurgled shrieks. Pissing his Father off was a daring game, but when people get mad, they make mistakes. Draco should know. He wanted Lucius furious enough to trip over his own feet, preferably into a grave…

When Draco lifted the curse, Lucius pulled himself into a kneeling position. ‘You are a disgrace! Have you considered the consequences of your treachery!?’ he screamed and tried to get into a standing position, raising his wand. He shouted the killing curse, but Draco dodged it.

‘I’ve betrayed no one, Father. I’ve merely come to my senses,’ he responded, retaliating with the killing curse, watching his Father fail to dodge it in time, and he fell to the ground, his blank horrified gaze staring back at him accusingly. Draco did not feel any better about killing his Father; he almost felt guilty. He was a murderer. Even the strongest ties can become frayed around the edges. Take blood for example; it is the strongest tie there is, but it can become watered down, and Draco had to wonder if doubting was a sin.

Draco lied to himself it was over. He was still alive, but his life had taken a turn for the worst. It was not over, not by a long shot.

Hermione looked around at the carnage before her eyes found Harry and Voldemort battling it out by the Black Lake. She clasped her hands together, lowering her head in the hope Harry would strike the finishing blow. She could tell Harry was getting tired, and he was throwing himself out of the way of spells, but Voldemort looked like he could go for a while yet.

Everything around her seemed to slow down, and she watched Voldemort shoot a spell at Harry, and he fell to the ground. ‘No,’ she whispered, taking a step forward, but stopped when Harry dragged himself to his knees. ‘Please…’ She trailed off. Harry tried to lift his wand to attack, but Voldemort smacked him across the face causing him to fall back to the ground, and she gasped when he pointed his wand and the dreaded green beam enshrouded Harry. ‘NO!’ she screamed, falling to her knees with tears streaming down her cheeks, and she pounded her fist into the ground. She looked up when a bright light filled the area, hitting Voldemort square in the chest, and he crumpled into dust, but Harry did not move.

The war was over. Voldemort had fallen.

While the Auror’s gathered up the shaken survivors of Voldemort’s army, Hermione got up and sprinted towards Harry’s still form. She noticed other footsteps following in her wake, and it was not long before she was crouching next to Harry’s unmoving form with Haldir, Legolas, and Ron by her side. Hermione clutched Harry’s hand noticing immediately it was cold and clammy, but there was no pulse.

‘Mate?’ came Ron’s quivering voice from her right, and she dissolved into tears.

Harry Potter was dead.

When he opened his eyes, he saw stars like holes of brightness in the sky and knew he was no longer amid the final battle. Air was caught in the damp grass, making it feel puffy beneath his fingertips, and rolling over, he saw the full arch of the starry sky overhead. He was on the grounds of Hogwarts, but he could not remember how he came to be unconscious.

He looked around at the destruction left behind, watching stretchers being conjured for the injured, and the dead carried to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Draco felt relief, but so many fell in the battle, and he lay back down on the ground in exhaustion. A satirical smile touched his lips, and he let himself slip into unconsciousness.

Hermione stayed at Harry’s side even when they placed him on a stretcher, and carried him into Hogwarts. She knew there was nothing she could do.

He was dead.

She could tell by the empty accusatory stare of his eyes. Legolas tried his best to comfort her, knowing she was in shock. Hell, they all were, but he was fearful the dark depression would take over her again.

Legolas opened his eyes, watching owls fly across the Black Lake, floating around in a circle, before arching and making their way back towards the castle. He glanced down at Hermione where she was leaning up against a tree and knew she was hurting. They buried Harry that morning, and he could not believe a week had passed since the final battle took place, and he could sense peace returning to the world.

He knew there was the final trip he needed to take with the rest of the Elves, but he was not sure how to break it to Hermione.

He was going to fade with the rest of them.

With the Valar gone, he could not even give up his immortality to be with her, and the thought dismayed him immeasurably. She lost so much over the last few months, and he did not want to hurt her any more than she already was.

He turned, hearing footsteps, and smiled when Haldir walked over with Luna. ‘What is this, then?’ he asked, his grin widening.

‘Luna is an Elf,’ Haldir responded, placing his arm around her and smiling.

‘We will fade together as was meant to be,’ she advised him, caressing Haldir’s cheek tenderly.

‘How were we unable to sense this?’ Legolas enquired in astonishment, looking at her.

‘Because she is the Granddaughter of the Lady Galadriel,’ Haldir answered, and Legolas nodded, comprehending Luna could mask the fact she was an Elf.

‘It is almost time,’ she whispered, her eyes moving to Hermione forlornly, and she nodded at them, leaving the two companions to talk.

Haldir’s eyes lingered on Hermione for a moment before looking at his friend. ‘Have you told her?’ he asked him quietly.

Legolas shook his head. ‘I am not sure how to,’ he murmured, sighing miserably. ‘I do not want to hurt her,’ he added, looking at his friend earnestly.

Haldir shook his head. ‘I do not have the answers you seek, Legolas,’ he told him.

‘If there was a way to give up my immortality…’ he trailed off.

Haldir nodded in understanding. ‘There may be a way, but there is little time,’ he told him before turning and walking away leaving Legolas to wonder if there was a way.

Draco stood on the balcony overlooking the courtyard, and he looked out at the mass of Elves who congregated on the grounds of Hogwarts getting ready to fade from existence. He was curious to see what something like that would look like. Would they all just evaporate? Would they all drop dead? He had no idea, but he was inquisitive. He knew it was uncouth to watch something like a mass extinction, but it was one of those things he could not pass up.

His thoughts wandered back to the battle, and when the fear sank in, it tore everyone apart. Hermione was suffering, reaching out to him and Legolas, but neither of them could see it. Without Hermione’s help, he would be a dead man.

As if his thoughts were a summoning spell, Hermione appeared next to him, leaning on the railing. ‘This day will never come again, so let me have this moment,’ he mumbled when she opened her mouth to speak.

They both looked out at the accumulation of Elves, and Hermione looked down when another Elf walked out of the building, and she frowned, recognising the head of blonde hair. The Elf paused, sensing someone watching him, and he turned, glancing up at her, and Hermione gasped.

It was Legolas.

Her heart fluttered in dread, and he nodded at her despondently, turning to walk out to the gathering of Elves. ‘No…’ she whispered and, ignoring Draco’s shouts, she ran from the balcony, leaping down the stairs two at a time.

She ran out into the courtyard towards the vast expanse of grounds taken over by the Elves while they faded out of existence like they were particles of dust thrown together, and unravelled by a strong wind, dazing her. She shook her head, fighting her way through the crowd, looking around desperately for Legolas, and she eventually found him. ‘Legolas!’ she cried.

He turned upon hearing his name. ‘Hermione…’ he trailed off.

She ran into his arms. ‘I don’t want the future; I want the present to stand still. I just want to stay here with you…’ she trailed off, looking into his eyes.

‘I have to be with my kin…’ his voice was full of sorrow, and he could not look into her eyes.

‘I know…’ she answered, ‘but what if…’ she stopped herself, shaking her head.

‘I want to stay,’ he told her honestly.

She nodded, tears filling her eyes. ‘You weren’t even going to say goodbye, were you,’ it wasn’t a question.

Legolas closed his eyes, looking at her again. ‘I did not want to make things more painful for you,’ he whispered, caressing her cheek gently, and she nodded in understanding, but she still didn’t want to accept he was going to leave.

Dejectedly, Hermione backed away, making her way back towards the courtyard. She did not turn back; she could not stand to see him fade from her reality. She felt like her heart was shattering into tiny pieces, and scattering to the wind.

Legolas watched her walk away, and there was nothing he could do to make her feel better. He wanted to stay with her, but he would only lose her to an illness or death. By then he would be forever trapped to wander the world of mortals, and the life of endless solitude was a nightmare from which there was no waking. He would never be able to make her happy or give her what she wanted. When he gazed upon this experience, which he could not change, his heart grew bitter with regret. Time flows without pause, and in a world where Legolas would no longer exist, the future was about to change.

Legolas looked up while a flock of doves flew overhead, and smiled when a small hand took his own. All around him, the Elves vanished, but two remained, and he looked down at the hand, before looking into the bright sapphire eyes. He felt a rush of power envelop him, and all he could see was black. He felt like he was floating on an ocean, the current sending him in one direction.

One thing he did know, floating in the abyss, was the only reliable thing about the future was uncertainty.

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