So kiddies...this is the last chapter to this story! There is lots left up to your own imagination or conclusions...so take what you like from the ending ;)
quick note: I was made aware of a major error in the last chapter. I mentioned sirius dying recently but that is incorrect. I killed him off in harry's third year. I have corrected the mistake now, just letting those of you who had read the chapter before I fixed it know.
Thanks for all of the reviews and support for this story. I hope you have enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think!
Chapter 11: Infernal
I'm waking up to ash and dust
I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust
I'm breathin in the chemicals
I'm breaking in, shaping up, checking out on the prison bus
This is, the apocalypse, whoa
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore closed his eyes clutching with what feeble strength he had left at the rim of the stone basin. His bespectacled vision swam and he desperately tried to blink the blurry edges away.
"Come on professor, just one more...you're almost finished" Harry encouraged, tipping the caustic, vile tasting potion down the older wizard's throat.
Visions and memories flashed before him, a never ending slideshow of his failures and mistakes; The time when the was eight and lost his temper which caused his magic to attack his brother and break his arm, his fight with Grindewald when they were sixteen arguing over the rightness of two boys being together, the later fight and fatal curse that hit his beloved sister Ariana... punching Aberforth in the nose...the memories just kept coming.
Perhaps one of his worst mistakes he had made was how he handled one young Tom Marvolo Riddle. He couldn't help himself, from the moment he saw that familiar gleam in the eleven-year olds eyes, he feared what the boy might become.
Because of that, he had treated Tom with a coldness and suspicion that shames him to recall. Maybe if he had shown the child understanding instead of mistrust, mentored instead of monitored things would have turned out different.
He has tried to tell himself that he is not to blame for the Darkest lord of the past several centuries, but there are times he cannot help but wonder. It is only because of another dark haired boy that the headmaster has been able to find some sense of redemption.
When he first saw Harry Potter he was frightened by the similarities between the child and the child Tom Riddle had once been. They were both incredibly handsome boys, both geniuses by their own right, both charming and suave. And both of them had the same aloof disconnect from their peers.
This time though, Albus decided to do things differently. Instead of treating young Harry with wariness that some might argue was prudent...he chose to ignore his instincts pushing him to monitor the boy's every move. Oh, he watched him closer than the other students... but it was more for the child's safety than anything else.
He had been relieved to note differences between the two boys...Harry didn't seem to be as ambitious as Tom had been, for one he didn't try to amass followers and admirers but rather seemed to avoid most people.
It was true Harry had a few closeish acquaintances, but they were acquaintances as most. And while this worried Albus initially, the boy never appeared to be overly interested in the dark arts or tried to influence those around him in that direction. In fact young Draco Malfoy switched from Voldemort's side to the light side to garner the teen's affections.
Regardless of the checks and minuses on whether the boy was another Tom Riddle, Dumbledore did his best to treat him with warmth and understanding...he would not make the same mistake twice. Harry was too important to the grand scheme of things to have him turn against him.
Albus regretted the events that would need to play out for Voldemort to be defeated, he hated the fact that a young boy would need to make the ultimate sacrifice. It was different for him...he was an old man; he had lived out his live. Departing from this world would not be such a bad thing. But Harry...
Well it seemed cruel that Harry would likely not see his eighteenth birthday. But this was life. It was for the greater good.
His thoughts were pulled away from this line of thinking as pain wracked his body, the potion meant to weaken him was currently moving into its second course going from attacking his mind to attacking his body...the third and last part of the poisons' path would be too attack his magic...leaving him a near squib...if he survived it.
He saw Harry's angelic face hovering above him, "Professor?"
"Grab ...locket...basin" Dumbledore managed to wheeze out fighting for breath as the liquid attacked his lungs.
Harry glanced over at the now nearly empty basin, before turning back to stare at him impassively.
Confusion flooded Albus's ailing brain, "H-a-rry?" he garbled out, coughing violently as he spit out blood filled secretions. He forced himself to take another deep breath and gathered what was left of his strength to try and communicate with the silent teen.
He felt the third step of the potion come into effect as the pain in his body all but stopped, but instead of relief it suddenly felt like his soul was being shred.
"L-listen H-Harry you...you ar-are the only o-one who can defeat V-v..." he was overcome by the pain for a moment before he tried again, "...Voldemort...his..h-horcruxes...s-still f-four more a-after locket...y..must de-destroy them...only way to...to d-defeat him...p-please Harry, t-they are counting on –you" he finished before beginning to cough again.
Harry stood, still as a statue, his head cocked curiously to one side watching his headmaster struggle... after a moment he replied, "no"
Dumbledore's brow furrowed not understanding what the teen meant...surely he didn't mean...no...he couldn't. Albus concluded he must have misunderstood the teen, "no?" he gasped out in question.
"You heard me correctly, no" Harry replied calmly moving towards Albus and picking up the man's wand, stroking it lovingly for a moment, "such a shame..." he murmured before swiftly breaking it in half.
Albus stared at him in shock, not quite believing what he was witnessing. Harry looked up at him again and continued his explanation, "No, I will not face Voldemort or fight for the rest of the sheep's freedom...frankly they do not deserve it..." he paused for a moment a cruel glint shining in his eyes, "plus I rather enjoy watching them die"
Albus struggled to pull himself up off the ground, but failed to do so. There was no way he could get up without help; the potion had thoroughly wrecked his body, not to mention drained him of almost all of his magic. He watched as Harry moved gracefully to where the boat was anchored, climbing effortlessly in.
"w-why?" Albus whispered desperate to understand how he could have once again screwed up so badly. How had this happened? What did he do wrong?
The sable haired teen gave him a long look before stating in a flat voice, "Because Albus Dumbledore you should have known better...playing with men should be left to the gods"
And with that final verdict, Albus Dumbledore watched the green eyed teen move the boat swiftly across the Inferi filled lake, leaving him alone with his regrets and past mistakes.
The biggest of those mistakes being his failure to recognize the true nature behind those immortal green eyes.
5 years later…
Years later Harry watched as Voldemort's forces clashed with what remained of the resistance, both sides cutting down the bodies of their opponents, their blood slowly turned the ground a dark crimson.
Harry stood to the side of the waging battle…just out of site and watched the surrounding grounds and forest burn. The once green trees slowly surrendered to a damning red. The flames reflected back in his emerald eyes, giving them an almost reddish tinge.
As he took in the sight of the pure unadulterated destruction and chaos in front of him, he sighed contentedly.
He had always hated the color green.