So, without further ado:
Rating: V for Violent…
Preface: Rather than focus on tying up ALL loose ends in 500 words, I focused on one—the “battle” between Voldemort and Harry.
A full moon glistened in the night sky. Its moonlight filtered through the dense forest surrounding the hollow. Even with the moonlight, a pall of darkness still covered the landscape concealing much from the untrained eye. The wind whispered treachery as it blew across the nape of Harry Potter’s neck. He paused momentarily, rubbing the back of his neck and adjusting his glasses in an effort to brush off the invisible eyes that were staring at him.
Harry’s jaw was clenched tightly as he strode towards the clearing with a sense of purpose. His wand was drawn clasped tightly in a fist as he squinted through the darkness, taking caution as he approached the clearing.
Voldemort was already there waiting for Harry as he stepped into Godrick’s Hollow. He was dressed in thick, black robes and his snake-like visage looking even more sinister in the moonlight. Voldemort’s wand looked twisted as it reflected the moonlight. Harry tried to get a better look at it, but was distracted by the snake-like voice of Lord Voldemort.
“Potter. Ssssso good of you to fffinally join usssss.”
A hissing laugh erupted from Voldemort and reverberated through the forest as he unfolded his arms, raising them to the sky as he cast a spell that would trap Harry in the hollow.
“The sssssixth horcrux clue I leffft ffffor you wasssss a trap. You are sssssso sssstupid. Ffffitting you ssssshould meet your demissssse here offfffff all placcccesssss.”
Voldemort laughed again. This time, his laugh was joined by more laughter. The invisible eyes in the forest materialized. They blinked and moved forward until the moonlight revealed the Death Eaters—Crabbe, Goyle… Draco Malfoy. Malfoy was sneering-- a look of pure delight and hatred radiated from his visage. He was older now, and had learned to hold his tongue while in the service of Voldemort. He said nothing.
The Death Eaters began to chant a quiet spell as they circled around Harry, pushing him towards the center of the clearing towards Voldemort who was laughing incessantly. Their whispering sounded like the hissing of snakes.
“There issss no one to sssssave you now, Potter! No one! Thissss old magic issss sssstronger than you’ll ever be!”
The circle of Death Eaters surrounded Harry and constricted tightly around him. Their chanting prevented Harry from accessing his own thoughts. His tongue was dry and his mouth cottony. He dropped his wand and held his ears to block out the hissing chants. Harry couldn’t speak-- only scream-- as Voldemort’s reflective “wand” plunged deep into his heart from behind.
The chanting faded as blood from a pierced lung drizzled from Harry’s lips. He staggered forward before falling to his knees, a shocked look on his visage as he looked upwards at the glistening moon. Mother. Father. I’ve failed you all… . A tear rolled down Harry’s cheek as the last bit of his consciousness absconded into the darkness. The darkness swallowed him whole leaving Lord Voldemort the victor, his moonlight cackling a Requiem for his dead opponent.
Title: You Don't Need Friends to Survive
As the years passed, the horrific final days of Voldemort’s reign dimmed only slightly for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The ten-year celebration of Voldemort’s second, and final, death seemed a slap in the face for those who had lost everything to bring it about.
Harry sat with the latest Minister of Magic. Scrimgeour was long since sacked. In fact, during the course of the war, several Ministers had been sacked, Muggle and Magical alike. The current Minister was none other than Flitwick, the only surviving Hogwarts Professor from Harry’s childhood. He had tidied up, for good and all, the relationship between the Muggle and Magical Ministers. Voldemort had wanted the Wizarding World to control the Muggles, and now they did. The new Prime Minister asked Flitwick’s opinion on everything. Harry would have considered this a defeat, if he’d had time to consider it at all.
When Flitwick took office, just before the last Horcrux was destroyed, Harry finally agreed to be the Ministry’s spokesboy in exchange for the Ministry’s promise not to interfere any further in the war. He was still regretting the decision, although he knew that (though he hated to think ill of the dead) a few more clumsy oafs like Tonks, and they might have lost the whole war. So he grinned at the people around him without any warmth in his eyes, letting them snap his picture at will.
Ron was equally immersed in the Ministry. Having been given honorary command of the Aurors after Voldemort’s defeat, he was charged with rounding up remaining Death Eaters. He had done just that. The Malfoy family was a forgotten memory, as were many other old Wizarding names. The only Death Eater thought to have survived was Pettigrew, and Ron thought he’d find him soon. He saw Harry as he walked in the door, but didn’t approach him. They’d fought so often during the Horcrux search that they weren’t exactly ‘mates’ anymore. He waved. Harry waved back. It was enough.
Hermione was the last to arrive, looking every inch the spinster Tranfiguration Professor. Once she had alienated Harry by giving Snape to the Aurors for justice, rather than allowing Harry to murder him, she hadn’t expected much of either of the boys. However, the hunt had continued, and she’d proved her worth by killing Nagini, the final Horcrux. In her pocket she carried a letter she intended to lay at Victor’s grave before she went back to Hogwarts, and a rose for Molly Weasley’s as well. Her life was full of graves. She steeled herself for a desolate evening of empty speeches, nodding first to Harry and then to Ron before moving to a chair equally distant from each of them. Her last thought before she was engulfed in the meaningless rigmarole was that she still had her trophy: In a cage on her mantel was a fat rat with a silver claw to remind her that you don’t need friends to survive.
“I still can’t believe he’s gone…” Ron said, taking a deep breath. He looked up at the overcast sky to see a lone ray of sunshine peek through the clouds, catching his line of vision.
“Me either,” his wife said, interlacing her fingers through his. “I can’t recall a memory that doesn’t involve him…”
A lone tear streamed down her face as a female red-head stepped forward and gingerly placed her hand on the snow-covered piece of granite.
“He might be gone, but it wasn’t in vain. He gave his life so that Voldemort couldn’t ruin anyone else’s life; he forfeited his future so that we could have one. I highly doubt he would do that and then have his best mates sit around and mope. Especially not with yet another Weasley on the way.”
Chuckling, Hermione placed a hand on her stomach, just at the right moment to feel something kick. At the same time, her husband gave her a look of adoration and tightened his grip on her hand, not wanting to let her go. Ever.
“I know, Gin, but it’s just hard not having him around anymore. I honestly don’t know how you’re holding up – you’re the one that’s lost the most,” Ron said, mesmerized by the carved name upon the granite.
Ginny gave Ron and Hermione a reassuring grin. “Yeah, he’s gone, but he hasn’t truly left me. Every time I look at you two I can see him; everyone with green eyes reminds me of him; and I can always know that he’s with me…”
“We lost so many brilliant people that day that sometimes I just feel guilty,” the brunette said meekly. “Why were we spared when others perished?” She furrowed her brow, thinking.
“Obviously somebody had bigger plans for us. Everyone we lost that day nine years ago, Dumbledore, Neville, Draco, Harry… They did it out of love for us. They wanted us to have better lives no matter the consequence. And because of that, I’m going to make the most of my life; you two should as well,” Ginny replied, once again being the sensible one.
A moment of silence passed between the trio. Snowflakes began to make their way to the ground, catching themselves on eyelashes and branches of trees.
Taking a deep breath, Ron sighed, “Who would’ve thought that all of this pain, suffering, and yet happiness would all come from a single scar?”
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