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Year Seven - Brink of a Nightmare - THE END
by sarah (herminia)
at July 15th, 2007 (02:27 pm)

i'm feeling : indescribable
i'm listening to: "A Rush of Blood to the Head," Coldplay

Title: Year Seven: Brink of a Nightmare
Excerpt: THE END.
Chapter Title: Because What Do You Talk About At the End of the World, Anyway?
Author: herminia
Rating: PG-13
Ships: Harry/Hermione!
Summary: I read the “spoilers” for the Deathly Hallows epilogue and had to sit down and finish writing my Year Seven fic. Here’s how I would end the Harry Potter series. Harmoniously.

X-posted to blueflame_hhr, delusionalfans, hhr_danemma, harryhermione, harryhermione, harmony_fiction and my personal journal.

Ahhh… background, background. Hermione discovers the secret of the Horcruxes—that Voldemort was restored to his body at the end of their fourth year, but that he is—as Tom Riddle was in the Chamber of Secrets—nothing more than a memory in human form. Nagini is the second-to-last Horcrux and Hermione goes—against Harry’s will—to track down Malfoy, who helps her secure Nagini. Uck. This was better written out. But anyway. Too late for that. The plan is for Ron and Hermione to kill Nagini after Harry’s had time to catch up with Voldemort, leaving Harry’s scar the sole remaining Horcrux. Right before this scene, the Death Eaters have launched an attack on the school by trying to get past the mermaids directly into the Chamber itself.

Edited: Yeah. Took out the “(I need a synonym for “boom!” – and not “crash!”)” notes that I wrote to myself. Sorry ‘bout that. “Boom” works in the space and my editing notes, while humorous, are grossly unprofessional ;-)

* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *

“Potter!” Malfoy careened down the stairwell, his white-blond hair spilling into his wild eyes, pale-faced and frantic, “Potter, they’re coming!”

Harry’s heart hitched in his chest as he pulled Hermione around to face him, and though intent on memorizing every line of her face, every eyelash, he willed himself to speak. He had to explain it properly; everything was resting on this one moment.

“I need you to give me time…”


“…to get to Voldemort…”


“…we don’t know what will happen…”


“…when Nagini is no more… when I’m it, the only one left… we don’t know if I’ll be able to fight…”


“…the timing has to be right…” She stared at him, stricken, and he felt a shaft of ice plunge through his core. The timing had never been right—the end coming on too soon, tearing them asunder—but there was no stopping now.

“Potter!” Malfoy growled. A resounding blast reverberated from the very bowels of the school, causing the flagstones under his feet to buckle from the force.

“GO!” Harry bellowed and, when Hermione did not budge an inch, Ron darted forward and grabbed her hand, dragging her away, down the corridor to Nagini’s lair.

He wrenched his gaze away from Hermione and turned to face Malfoy – Malfoy the schoolyard bully turned worthy adversary turned grudging ally.

“Show me!”

The two set off at a dead run and reached the second floor bathroom in mere minutes. Malfoy leaned over the mirror a moment, studying Harry’s reflection over his shoulder. “You know, I always really hated you,” he said and duffed his head, laughing coolly, and for the briefest moment they’re twelve-year-olds again, only now they’re playing for the same side.

“One thing.”


“Make sure she gets out, Malfoy. Make sure she doesn’t see—” And Malfoy nods, curtly, cutting him short and sparing them both any unnecessary embellishment. Because it won’t—can’t—end well, not now.

“Good luck, Malfoy.”


* * * * *

The flagstones, slick with blood and vile magic, buckled beneath his feet as he crossed the Chamber, so terrible was the magic that rebounded in that ancient space. Water dripped from the vaunted ceiling, seeping down from the Lake above, and through that very ceiling, he thought he could make out other noises, other cries and wails and something that sounded like mermaid song—all wails and minor keys. But it was the drip-drip of water, falling as gently as it does at the tail-end of a summer rain, that occupied him in those moments.

He looked up from the ground, tearing his eyes away from the debris scattered there, and he was there.

“Voldemort,” he said evenly, surprised by how calm and collected he sounded – by how calm and collected, indeed, he was. He found within himself Albus Dumbledore’s collected calm, his parents’ bravery, Hagrid’s faith, Sirius’s gall. He had long since ceded any hope of survival and now, deep within the bowels of the school, the promise of death soothed him. It was only a matter of time.

“Harry Potter. The Chosen One,” Voldemort said silkily. “The Chosen One whose bravery I have always admired and sought. The Prophecy that is but a Prophecy – a string of words from a sham of a schoolteacher. I am more powerful than words can begin to describe. Why should words faze me now, when I stand on the verge of greatness?

“So now you see why I never cared for compatriots? Your friends are dead – the Lunatic, the Spare, the Blood Traitors – yes, both! Funny how fate favors Lord Voldemort – and that pesky Mudblood. Mortals, all, and you as well, already as good as dead…” A winding ribbon of magic escaped the tip of his wand and he wound it around his finger, coddling it like a treasured pet. “But together we can bring them back,” he drawled, “– see, I shall return them to you or send you to meet them in Hades, to wherever it is the dead reside, Potter. I would not know…”

Laughter wrapped around him, tight as the coils of a snake. His tongue flickered out and Harry was revolted to see that it was cleaved in two, the tongue of a serpent. Tasting the air for fear.

Lord Voldemort would taste no fear this night.

“I know who you are,” Harry said evenly. “A half-blood,” he continued, when Voldemort did not interrupt, “with a dead mother and a Muggle father who cared not a whit. Rendered an orphan by your own hand. You trick and charm and curse and--”

“Very clever,” Voldemort sneered. “Dumbledore wasted his last precious months telling you fairytales? Providence favors Lord Voldemort once again.”

“You are Tom Riddle…”

Voldemort’s head snapped up and his eyes narrowed.

“Nothing more, nothing less…”

“And therein lies your greatest mistake, for I am much, much more than that son of Muggle scum…”

“But there is more I wish to say before you kill me, Tom,” Harry said, stalling for time, “for Dumbledore told be about more than just hanged rabbits and stolen pennywhistles. You see, he told me about diaries—” – Riddle’s red eyes flashed – “—and lockets and rings and sea caves—”

He paused, letting the words sink in, watching Voldemort’s expression harden and his fingers grip his wand more tightly.

“So before you ask me of mortal life, ask yourself,” Harry slipped Marvolo’s ring from his finger and let it skip across the flagstones so that it came to rest at Voldemort’s feet. “Dumbledore always had you worked out…

“There’s more,” Harry said, drawing out his words, waiting for the moment when Nagini would be struck down. When Nagini is dead, I’ll know. He said, “Destroy me and you destroy the last fragment of your own precious soul.”

“Liar!” Voldemort spat, though Harry detected a glimmer of—fear? it must have been fear—In his slit-like red eyes. “Tell the truth! It does not befit those on the verge of death to wallow in lies!”

But Harry laid his mind bare, tempting Voldemort to see the terrible truth glinting back at him through the vessels of Harry’s vivid green eyes.

“Kill me then,” Harry said invitingly. Voldemort raised his wand but did not cast the fatal incantation. “See for yourself if it is true. Why should I lie to you, if I am – in your words – already as good as dead?”

And suddenly, the weight of the world shifted to his shoulders and he stumbled, as blind as though a dark curtain had fallen over him, cutting him off from the world, his past, his present. The pain in his scar reached a fever pitch and he stumbled forward as lurid green flames sprang up around them. But despite the pain, the heaviness of his feet, the stoop of his shoulders, the connection ran strong. He knew how Voldemort would act—knew with knowing how he did so—knew they were writing the final lines of a chapter left open too long.

He is naught but a memory…naught but a memory…

A splitting, white-hot pain seared through his scar as the connection shattered, as Tom Riddle—half-blood, Muggle-raised—faded from superhuman to man to teenage boy with narrowed eyes, all his poise and polished wiped away—before splintering into a thousand slivers of light* before Harry’s very eyes, blinding him, and he fell to his knees—said the only words that leapt to mind, “It’s gone! It’s done! FINISHED!”

With these words, water like green sludge, —grotesque in its terrible beauty–surged over the precipice, catching Harry full in the chest. He found himself caught in the undertow and carried away as the dams of ancient magic gave way on all sides. He clawed at his throat, gasping for air, as the current bore him down the length of the Chamber and finally tossed him against the wall as it cascaded over abyss. He lay crumpled at Salazar Slytherin’s feet, unable to move. One final wave of water, gentle as a moonlit tide, washed a pile of sodden robes to his side.

It’s gone, it’s done, he thought mirthlessly as another stab of pain sent spasms through his broken body. So let it be done.

Blood trickled nauseatingly into the back of his throat. Somehow, the pain was ebbing away. Creeping death soothed his desperation and blotted out the bleak destruction in the Chamber. He only wished he could see Hermione and Ron one final time, but he knew it was not to be.

He was very much alone.

Quite unexpectedly, Hermione sailed into his arms, crying his name.

He formed his lips around her name, “Hermione,” but no sound escaped his blood-clogged lungs.

--But in an instant, she had gone, replaced by Dumbledore, leaning heavily on Harry’s arm.

--“I am not afraid, Harry. I am with you.”

--Malfoy sobbed over the bathroom sink, then lay sprawled on the flagstone floor. Blood and water mingling freely.

You came through, Malfoy, Harry thought numbly.

Harry watched helplessly as Sirius fell gracefully through the archway, a look of surprise permanently fixed upon his wasted features.

--Hot blood rushed from his arm into a boiling, sparkling, sputtering cauldron at his feet. Let it have died, let it have gone wrong.

It’s over; it has gone wrong.

--I’m going to live with Sirius!
“Expecto Patronum!” A giant white stag erupted from the end of his wand and galloped away. Prongs rode again last night.

He was going to see Sirius again. Sirius and his parents. Together, forever.

But Hermione—

--The basilisk reared its blinded head as Fawkes soared in and out of sight, his enchanting melody swelling, building within the Chamber.

You were marvelous, Fawkes. I just wasn’t quick enough.

--Wood peered down at him. Harry was crumpled on the ground at his feet wearing his Quidditch robes. Hermione lay, frozen and still, on the hospital bed.

Numbed disbelief filled him. Not Hermione. Not now…we’re so close to the end. She solved it.

--The imposter Quirrel’s hands were on his throat.

Harry’s scar surged with fresh pain and faded into a colorless crick between his brows.

--Aunt Petunia rapping on the door to his little cupboard under the stairs. “Up! Get up!”

But it wasn’t a dream.

--A woman screaming. A blinding flash of green light.

Then nothingness.

* * * * *

Silence. A sound more terrifying than any she had heard that night. Stricken, she passed the bowed and fallen statues standing as sentries – witnesses to the crimes of the night -- following the rivulets of red-tinged sludge down the length of the Chamber. Here, marble pillars had been reduced to mounds of gravel and columns of sand. There, a wand cast aside, snapped in half. Phoenix feather protruding.

She did not dare utter Harry’s name, it was too sacred to speak here in the midst of such destruction. That her cry might go unanswered -- but for the echoes of her own terrified voice -- was too painful to consider… better to say nothing at all.

And then she saw him, slumped at the feet of a long-dead adversary. The undoing of Slytherin’s own true heir now lay crumpled at his marble toes, unmoving.


She ran, slipping and sliding on the blood-slimed flagstones. Fell at his side. Bowed her head over him. Stroked a lock of blood-crusted hair out of his closed eyes. He might have been slumbering, but for the bruises and cuts that crisscrossed his face. Had he died alone?


A strangled sob escaped her lungs and she buried her face in his chest, letting the mangled shreds of his black robes – his school robes – Merlin, were they so young? – catch her tears.

Bring him back… she barely whispered the words, not daring to speak them. To speak them would give them too painful a legitimacy… she could not…

His chest rose and fell sharply with each wailing sob she cried. Bitter illusions. Mocking her in her grief.

That peace would come at so high a price… war was better… blood and fire… anything was better than the silent, creeping pestilence of an ill-gotten peace.

Let him be at peace…let him find a solace…

Again – the cruel artifice – for she could have sworn that she had felt – nay, heard – him draw a shuddering breath, though her mind knew that nothing – nothing – could reawaken the dead.

Unless –

She pulled away, not trusting herself to hope that he might not have gone on. His green eyes flickered open, seeking her out in the darkness…

Had it been any other moment on any other day, we would have branded it woefully cliché: the kiss, the fraught tears of joy, the needless proclamations of love where love is already known, already all and everything… and in some ways, it is but a cliché of grandiose proportions, a story of a hero and a heroine, but in every way that counts, it was so much more.

"Once upon a time, they say, there was a girl ... there was a boy ... there was a person who was in trouble. And this is what she did ... and what he did ... and how they learned to survive it. This is what they did ... and why one failed ... and why another triumphed in the end. And I know that it's true, because I danced at their wedding and drank their very best wine.”**

* * * * *


* * * * *

The Daily Prophet had a field day.

Voldemort—vanquished. Harry Potter—the great Harry Potter—vanished into the night. Every story ran with a dedication to Harry Potter and a nod to Hermione Granger, and to Ron Weasley who stayed behind (though for all the answers he gave as to their whereabouts could just as well have skipped the continent himself and flown up, up, and away to distant fortunes and futures unknown) and sent off to the press with the inscription: “Never to be seen again.”

–Which is a lie, of course. You see them everywhere, those you have loved so well and lost. The girl in Flourish and Blotts with the warm brown eyes and the knowing smile; the boy on the subway, singularly determined, though to what end, you know not… In a way, it doesn’t matter if he’s off to save the world or is simply keeping a keen eye out for the next stop… The young couple framed against the jeweler’s window, picking out rings and scribbling down vows.

Ron Weasley shakes his head and smiles. You see them—always you see them.

{ Read? }
{ Review. }
{ Thanks for reading! }

*lets out a deep breath* Well?

*Terri Windling, "Ashes, Blood, and the Slipper of Glass."
**Why, yes, I did ruin this line for myself by thinking of George Bush I’s “thousand points of light” platform. Thanks for asking!
***Narrowly resisted the urge to make the last line: "You see them—always you see them. SCAR!" Narrowly, folks.


Posted by: hammergal (hammergal)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)

I'm trying to type and also trying to swallow the huge lump in my throat! Wow, so moving! Thanks for this, it was simply beautiful. If only JKR does it half as well.

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
GG - Rory // Cloud Nine

Thanks so much :-) I hope she does twice as well, as a gift to her devoted readership, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Jennifer (hmsharmony)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)

I was tearing up by the end of this. It was absolutely beautiful. And a lot of it was in Rowling's style (her good style, that is -- of the OotP era), so it was as if I was reading the actual epilogue. I'm going to have to add this to my memories so that after DH I can read this and feel better. Wonderful job!

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Hermione - 3 // Smirking

Hey, maybe DH will end so well you won't need a pick-me-up, but if you do and this does the job, I'm glad :-) Thanks for reading!

Posted by: ilis (ilonga)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 08:49 pm (UTC)

I would like to read this fic, where can I find all the chapters?

Posted by: Kristal (venus_ice)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)


Posted by: ♥Valeria♥ (narnialovers)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Kristal (venus_ice)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)

Posted by: ilis (ilonga)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Kristal (venus_ice)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)

Bebe, I had this on my To Read list since HBP but it was never completed so I couldn't read it! XD Will read when the book comes out to take my mind off all the other crap.

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
Hermione - Emma // Silly

It's got a bit of a gaping hole in the middle where I didn't get done, but it is "finished" so if you're up to it, I'd appreciate another reader :-) Thanks for giving the link too.

Posted by: i like flag shirts on louis tomlinson (miss_mady)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:04 pm (UTC)

I'm trying to choke back tears and it's so good and it's so well written and I want this to be DH's ending, and this is just a huge run-on sentence, and I'll stop now. :)

Excellent. ♥

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
Hermione - Emma // Premiere Night

Aww, thanks so much :-) I'm really glad you liked it as you've been one of my most faithful readers between here and PK!

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC)
HP - H/Hr - What Matters Most

Beautifully done, Ace. Really nailed all the emotion here. My hat off to you.

Only two points:

-The Chosen One whose bravery I have always admired and sought. - Not quite sure if Voldemort would say he sought Potter's bravery.

-“It’s gone! It’s done! FINISHED!” - Glad to see that like Rowling, you're lifting stuff out of LOTR (the scene on Mount Doom after Gollum goes in, and Frodo turns to Sam and says, "It's done! It's gone!")

Otherwise, brilliantly done. Especially loved the ending(s). Aces all the way.

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC)
Hermione - Emma // Silly

Haha, now I remember you mentioning the "it's gone/it's done" thing when I ran the ending by you a few months ago, but had forgotten. And about his bravery? I would politely disagree with you there, baby. Voldemort has expressed more than just mocking admiration for Harry's mettle in the past... Anyway. Thanks for reading - I was sort of hoping all day you'd find it and I'm glad you liked it :-) And I know you're thinking - "multiple endings? That's what I'm Tolkien about!"

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:18 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)

Posted by: sarah (ttaxicab)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)

jhabsdjhabdsv PERFECT :D

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
HP - H/Hr // Amandioka's Art

Thanks :-) Glad you liked it!

Posted by: Give me a good, solid wool (estarcollector)
Posted at: July 15th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Nicolas Cage from Houseoficons

Oh. WOW. I needed this today. Beautiful.

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Hermione - 5 // Naughty & Nice

Glad it hit the spot! :-) Thanks for reading and reviewing!

Posted by: superbeffie (superbeffie)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
always there

*whimpers* I need to.. want.. I mean... that is to say *sobs*

Sod it all, I love you to peices and that's all that needs to be said.

You know, I'm not entirely sure I am ready for this all to be over. One way or another, our fandom is going to be different in just over 5 days. And I like it this way. *sniffs* And I want the book to go YOUR way. OUR way.

"Everything's going to change, isn't it?" -Hermione, Goblet of Fire (movie)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
HP - I Will NOT Cry

Yeah, I mean, depending on HP&DH goes down, will we even want to re-read the other books or re-watch the movies? Dunno. I just hope it ends well. *hugs* And thanks for always reading and reviewing :-)

Posted by: you could be my unintended love (sweet_iolanthe)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
Harry and Hermione

that was fucking beatiful! *smiles****
loved the end, the one before the epilogue. that whole paragraph. brought tears. and the collision of their kiss... and fucking great.

sry for the language. i just had to do something.


Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
HP - H/Hr // Dan & Emma

Thanks so much :-) I'm glad you liked it!

Posted by: there goes the downpour (ohmygiddyaunt)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
natalie portman // all lies

I'm really trying to not to assume that the spoilers are real, but whether they are not, you've done better with this than anything Jo could have done. Absolutely beautiful. I got chills. :)

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: July 16th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Hermione - Emma // Pensive

Thanks so much! I'm hoping the spoilers are fakes, myself, but if they are, they're pretty damn elaborate fakes, so... we'll see.

Posted by: ※ I BELIEVE IN SHERLOCK HOLMES ※ (alory_shannon)
Posted at: July 17th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about--this is the good stuff. 8DDD

...After gagging numerous times while reading snippets of the tripe that is JKR's attempt at "romance", this could not be more welcome.

It takes good writing to soothe away the pain of the badness, and this did a wonderful job. You had me tearing up, nearly crying, which is no small feat. -^_^- It's absolutely lovely.

Writing like this is what reassures me that the Harry Potterverse is worth my time. -^_^- If it wasn't for fandom and how much I love H/Hr, I'd've jumped ship ages ago.

Posted by: just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world (watchasifall)
Posted at: July 19th, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)

Wow. I'm totally bawling my eyes out. My parents actually asked what was wrong HAHA! Wow. This is brillaint.

If JK writes something half as good as this I will be happy. Wow, just wow.

Posted by: empress_izzy (empress_izzy)
Posted at: July 22nd, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)

After ranting and much considering and mulling-over of DH, I still haven't decided what to think of the book. Your ending was beautifully written and made me tear up - lovely.

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