In a fit of uncharacteristic effectiveness, the Auror Corps had organized and were marching alongside the Order. Their superior numbers and arsenal really meant that the remaining Order members were tagging along with them. Apparently, somewhere along the line, Robards, despite his boss being a death eater, realized that leaving the fate of the battle against the dark side to a teenager was not in the best interests of the wizarding world. Harry felt differently. But upon informing Robards of his, Ron and Hermione’s success in destroying all the horcruxes—most recently Nagini, who had rather been persuaded to take part in a ritual to remove the soul fragment—Robards had decided that the children’s job was done. He had told Harry off for missing so much school and requested that they leave the battle to the adults.
Hermione had agreed to this, and had convinced Ron. Harry, of course, had refused. And so, he was locked and warded in Hagrid’s hut, wand locked away and told to stay put. It would not have been a surprise to anyone, had anyone had happened to look in on him, that Harry turned to brooding to bide his time. It had been a while since he had a good brood, and what better moment than then?
In that moment, he felt an awful sense of… deja vu of a sorts. Here he was, left alone and forgotten, though spoken of by the wizarding world, for “his own good.” Look how well that had turned out with him at the Dursley’s, verbally abused and starved half the time. Or more recently leaving him frozen to watch Dumbledore’s murder. Or with Voldemort himself for that matter. Helpless and unable to do anything about it. He wondered if had the Dursley’s left him in an orphanage as bad as Tom Riddle’s he would have become a raging immortality-obsessed psychotic as well? According to Dumbledore, no, thanks to the bloody “love” he possessed.
Dumbledore sure was banking a lot on something so intangible. Of course, because it was intangible, it could never be truly destroyed. Because it meant something different for each person and each thing they might bestow it upon, it could never be taken away. But given this fact, did not Voldemort feel love? For power and life, sure, but there must be a good deal of people who loved life, given the battle starting outside.
And why was Harry the only one locked up? Why was he and he alone in Hagrid’s hut?
At this Harry frowned and moved to the small, high curtained window. The faded yellow fabric had dust in its folds.
He pulled it aside and saw only the lawn and edge of the forest. Weird, he had assumed the battle would take place there. He peered out the edges. He could just barely see the front steps. There, indeed, was a crowd. There were a handful of Death Eaters who seemed to be parleying with a handful of red cloaked aurors.
There was no sign of the unnaturally tall form of Voldemort, and Harry hoped Nagini would be safe, she had proven to have a rather understated sense of humor, which he was sure Voldemort couldn’t appreciate as much as he.
The relative silence of the hut was shattered when the back door slammed open. Harry jumped in surprise and twisted to survey the intruders. He was even more surprised to find Snape pushing a protesting, catty, loud Draco Malfoy through the door. Malfoy had managed to lock his limbs in a starfish shape and was holding onto either side of the door. He was slowly being bowed inwards by Snape’s unrelenting pushing on his back.
Malfoy was cursing Snape, his mother, Snape’s mother, his father, Snape’s mudblood father, Hagrid, Hagrid’s hut, Dumbledore, the Dark Lord, the Dark Lord’s muggle father, and, when he caught sight of Harry, Harry.
What Harry could understand of Malfoy’s protestations was that Malfoy didn’t want to fight nor give himself to either side, and since he didn’t want to fight nor become a slave to the dark, Voldemort didn’t want him alive. Harry was a little bit relieved, and quite resigned, that he wouldn’t be forced to spend the battle confined with a full-blown Death Eater. Only half a Death Eater, he supposed.
Finally the arc of Malfoy’s body extended his arms and legs to his fingers and toes, and upon reaching critical mass with one final shove from Snape, he popped into the wards and onto the floor. The grime of the floor seemed to shock him into silence, into which Snape spoke:
“It’s for your own good, Draco. I promised your mother I’d keep you safe. You wand is in the snowdrop patch in the forest, I’ll fetch you when this is over.”
Malfoy sat up and watched the door slam shut, mouth hanging open in disbelief.
“Well,” said Harry, “I guess it is down to you and it is down to me.” The blond threw himself back to the ground with a sound somewhere between a screech and a whale noise.
Harry watched as he got up and tried the door. It didn’t budge.
“It’s no use, I’e already tried.” Malfoy drew back to throw himself against the door. “I really wouldn’t try that.”
Malfoy threw his weight against the door and was thrown back into Hagrid’s table, which was a good deal more solid than Malfoy. The blond slumped to the ground, clutching his kidney. Harry’s matching bruise twinged in sympathy.
“Told you so.”
Malfoy turned, snarling, “Shut up, Potter!”
Harry raised an eyebrow and Malfoy’s usually condescending features crumpled into a frown. “I hate you! This is your fault!”
“Really this is Voldemort’s fault. He chose to mark me. If he hadn’t killed my family, maybe we’d all already be his happy little slaves.”
Malfoy flinched at his words and gave Harry the hairy eyeball.
“Why aren’t you marked, anyways? I know Nott and Parkinson took it last summer.”
The blond stood and sat heavily in one of the kitchen chairs on the side adjacent to the seat Harry was in. “I’m not talking about this right now, especially not with you.”
“Look at it this way, I’ve got a bit of the Dark Lord with me at all times anyways. So in a way you’re speaking to Him.”
“That’s a scar, Potter.” He said Potter, in exactly the tone of voice Snape said idiot. “It’s inflicted, not a transference.”
Harry smirked, “Ooh, big bad arithmancer, huh? Well it’s not just a scar.” Something in Harry felt lighter at having told someone, even Malfoy.
The confusion on Malfoy’s face would have looked more at home on Crabbe or Goyle than on Malfoy’s pointy aristocratic features. “Of course it’s a scar. It’s a curse scar, it’s a well established field.”
“Nope, mine is something more.” Perhaps being locked up was making Harry insane, why else would he be sharing this information with the son of a death eater?
Malfoy narrowed his eyes and leaned closer, eyes fixed on Harry’s forehead and calculating. Harry leaned away on instinct but Malfoy only followed him. This was a far cry from their usual antagonistic relationship.
“Stop it, it doesn’t look any different closer up.”
“What is it then, if it’s not a curse scar?”
“What do you know about Voldemort?”
Malfoy finally moved away, “Probably too much, he was living in my home for months.”
“Fair enough. Okay what do you know about his immortality and resurrection?”
“It had something to do with Pettigrew and that he was somewhere in Albania during his… sabbatical.”
“Alright, and what do you know about the night he murdered my parents?”
“He killed your father and mother and then had his killing curse reflected back at him. Come on Potter, this is all elementary information, what does it have to do with your scar?” Harry could see the cogs turning in Malfoy’s mind. “Killing curse.” Malfoy’s eyes lit up, “But neither of you died.” He began speaking to himself then, thinking out loud. “If your mother or father’s death cast a protection ward of some sort, at least one life force was used in the reflection. But it was not a true reflection, since an afterimage was left. So you have one life force keeping you alive and a piece of the Dark Lord’s murderous will causing friction. But the will took the form of a curse…” He trailed off, then, “Are you saying you’re invincible?”
“What? No! I think, it’s not like I’ve tried killing myself.”
Seeming to remember that it was his long time enemy he was talking to, he added, “I could help you test the theory.”
Harry gave him a dirty look and Malfoy’s hunger for understanding won out over his antagonistic relationship with Harry.
“In all seriousness, it might be impossible for you to die.” He paused and then added, “I’d need my notes and some books. And some experimentation.”
“How would you experiment? Look I doubt that’s the case, though I do have to die in order to defeat the Dark Lord.”
Harry’s comment obviously completely derailed Malfoy’s thoughts, if his wide eyed look meant anything. “I beg your pardon, either you’re more of an idiot than I gave you credit for I misheard you saying that you had to die in order to defeat the Dark Lord.”
Harry smiled widely, “What do you know about horcruxes?”
Malfoy reared back like he’d been struck. “What.”
Harry raised his eyebrows.
“The Dark Lord made a horcrux?”
“Dear Tom made eight horcruxes.”
“Eight.” Malfoy’s voice rose an octave.
“Well he had seven and I was the accident.”
“Bit of the Dark Lord in you indeed. No wonder he’s barking mad. Eight?
Malfoy slowly became more thoughtful.
“So what Pettigrew did wasn’t necromancy. I knew he was too daft to have managed it.” Malfoy looked into the distance, thinking. “Merlin’s tits,” he finally breathed, “And you’re one too?”
Harry nodded and Malfoy breathed out sharply. “A nearly immortal raving madman on one side and a probably immortal hormonal teenager on the other. And father wondered why I didn’t want to marry myself to a side.”
“I’m not that bad! I’ve never tortured or killed anyone.”
Malfoy gave Harry a look out of the side of his eye, raised his eyebrows and then buried his face in his hands.
It was then that a loud explosion shook the hut. Harry jumped up and hurried to the high window.
“Why are you worried, you’re not the one who’s going to die if this hovel gets leveled!” Malfoy pushed him aside to peer out. Harry hadn’t realized how much taller the Slytherin was than him, and for a moment he was distracted from the sight before them.
The Aurors and Order members were facing off against the Death Eaters and had begun a full out battle. Spells, shrapnel, and pieces of Hogwarts were flying and illuminating the clouds of dust that rose from within.
The Aurors looked to be better equipped, however the Death Eaters has numbers on their side. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Malfoy scanning the battlefield. His gut clenched at the realization that while he might have friends out there, Malfoy’s family was on that field. Harry returned his gaze to the lawn.
The dark forces looked to be gaining the upper hand when suddenly a huge glowing ring made of runes rose above a group of huddled red cloaks. It shifted it’s tilt until it was facing a tight clump of death eaters. A beam of pure white scorched the troops, encompassing humans, werewolves and the bottom halves of two giants.
Both Malfoy and Harry gasped sharply, unable to look away as the beam faded, leaving the glowing circle slightly dimmer. Those caught in the circle were very obviously dead. The battlefield and the two boys in the hut stood frozen as the giant’s falls reverberated in the ensuing silence. Then a green bolt of light shot from the tall form of Voldemort and caught a red robed Auror in the chest. The colors and sounds of curses and spells resumed, if a little more subdued and the runic circle slowly got brighter.
Harry drew away slightly, his throat dry and hands shaking. Malfoy was taut as a bowstring. Both boys kept their eyes glued to the field. When the beam burst forth again, their breaths caught; Voldemort had been in the beam. When the light ceased, all the bodies were on the ground and both sides were transfixed on Voldemort’s corpse. The world let out a breath. Malfoy turned slightly to Harry as if to reassure himself that the world was still turning. And then a red aura began emanating from where Voldemort lay. Harry did not see this though, for his sight was flooded red and then faded to black.
When he awoke, shortly after, Malfoy was on the ground with him, shaking him. He seemed to have aged years and his hair was no longer neatly combed to the side.
“What—” Harry began.
“I don’t know, the horcruxes probably, but I believe you now. About the transference.”
“I destroyed them all.”
Malfoy looked pointedly at Harry’s scar.
“We need a wand.”
“We don’t have a wand, Potter.”
Harry was fairly sure his wand was under a loose stone outside Hagrid’s hut, he’d done more difficult things than summoning something so close by, even if it was his wand. Plus, one of the past summers he’d seen bits of Dudley’s movie Star Wars while cooking.
“That’s never going to—“
“We have bigger problems right now than—“
The window shattered as a wand burst through it. Harry deftly caught it then presented it to Malfoy.
“Malfoy, you have to kill me.”
The Slytherin jumped up, jostling Harry to the floor, “No! I won’t! I can’t!”
Harry’s eyes darted to the window. “Fine.” In a moment, Harry had his wand pointed at his own throat. “Avada—“
Draco sprang towards him, but it was too late and for the second time in as many minutes, Harry’s world went black.
Draco knocked into the dead boy as his arm fell limp to the ground. The brother wand to Lord Voldemort’s clattered on the dusty floor and rolled under the table. The iconic glasses fell to the floor, clattering with finality. Outside, there was silence. Voldemort had fallen, dead at last once his final horcrux was extinguished. The side of the light had sustained great casualties, but the dark forces were all but annihilated. Draco saw none of this though. He was holding his long-time enemy, the savior of the wizarding world to his chest. His final hope for escape from a madman was dead. His earlier predictions of immortality rand hollow with a corpse in his lap. This was how Severus Snape found his godson and long-dead best friend’s son.
Draco turned slowly to the usually dour man. Severus’ face was chalky as he approached the boys.
When he was facing Draco across Harry’s body, he sunk to his knees.
Finally Severus softly said, “Foolish boy, what have you done?”
Malfoy grew angry then, how could his own godfather think he was capable of homicide? “I didn’t do it! I tried to stop him!”
Stricken, Severus looked up, “Draco, of course you didn’t. My poor boy.” Reaching across Harry Potter’s body, he embraced his godson for whom emotions finally proved too much. Draco choked out a sob. What was his future now? Slave to a mad man? Death? Draco couldn’t bear to continue that train of thought. Severus was shushing him and petting his neck. “It’ll all be okay, Draco.” He whispered.
Draco shook his head and drew back, “It won’t be okay, Sev, Harry Potter is dead!”
“And so is the Dark Lord.”
Draco nearly dropped Potter. “He’s—” he stopped himself from asking a redundant question. “How?”
“He just dropped dead, after he rose up again, he only managed to let loose a single AK.”
Draco looked down at Potter’s restful, if exhausted, face. “He did it. He was right.”
“After you left he started nattering about immortality and horcruxes.”
“How do you know about horcruxes?
“I am a Malfoy and a Black. But he shouldn’t be dead.”
“Draco, the killing curse—”
“But he’s Harry Potter!” Draco could almost see the arithmantic equations playing across Potter’s face. “He shouldn’t be dead!”
Draco shook Potter’s shoulders again, there was a reason arithmancy was the one class he topped Granger in. “Potter! Harry! Wake up!” Severus gripped his forearms trying to still him.
Heaving, Harry took a deep sobbing breath and proceeded to choke and cough until he slowly regained consciousness. Draco felt a sudden irrational surge of happiness, whether the cause was that his theory had been proven right or that the body in his lap was no longer a corpse. He hugged the Gryffindor to his chest in giddiness truly unbecoming of a Malfoy.
Harry finally squinted and was able to confirm that the person hugging him was Draco Malfoy and the other person peering down at him was Snape.
“This is the worst death ever.”