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Fire That Lights My Life
By myenzie

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Category: Alternate Universe
Genres: Fluff
Warnings: None
Story is Complete
Rating: G
Reviews: 4
Summary: A variation on Book Seven in a few short words.
Hitcount: Story Total: 3397

Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.


Fire That Lights My Life

He stood outside the Burrow, outside the circle of light formed by the many windows, dark sky with bright stars above, and was transfixed staring at the fire blazing in one of the windows, flickering many shades of red.

Harry had been gone for many long, trying months. Ron and Hermione had set out on the long and arduous path to hunt down and destroy the Horcruxes with him and had been invaluable in that quest. The snatchers had been relentless in chasing them, and his status as “Undesirable Number One” had insured that their journey had been difficult.

Harry had destroyed the first, a diary in which a piece of Tom Riddle’s soul resided, when he was only eleven and had ventured down into the Chamber of Secrets, where he battled not only the memory of that monster but a basilisk as well in his efforts to rescue his best mate’s sister.

Dumbledore had destroyed the second, a ring in which resided another piece of Tom’s soul. That he ultimately lost not only his arm. but his life, as a long and convoluted result of that still amazed and saddened Harry immensely.

With Kreacher’s help, the trio of friends had found Mundungus Fletcher and traced the third, a locket once belonging to Slytherin himself, to Dolores Umbridge. Harry had been more than happy to steal it from her, sending untold Muggleborn to safety and her into abject failure in Riddle’s eyes in the process. Fawkes’ appearance with the Sword of Gryffindor had allowed them to destroy that abomination as well.

Ron had been the first of the three to be injured. The fiasco at Gringotts had nearly cost all of them their lives, but Ron had barely survived the burns from the dragon, and he and Hermione had no choice but to get him to a Healer. Madame Pomfrey had done an admirable job of healing him and hiding him, and finally arranged for him to return to the loving embrace of his family.

Since Harry and Hermione were hiding from everyone, they had to continue their efforts one short of the trio. They had missed Ron — especially Hermione — but had no choice other than to continue the fight. Finding Ravenclaw’s tiara at the burned-out ruin of the orphanage in which Tom had been raised had in some ways been a stroke of luck. Unfortunately, the army of Inferi that had risen had not been at all easy to deal with, and Harry had barely been able to apparate away with Hermone, already wounded, in his arms just as Voldemort himself arrived.

What Dolohov had not accomplished in the Department of Mysteries, the Inferi almost had. Harry could not entirely stop the bleeding, but somehow managed to get her to Poppy Pomfrey just in time.

And so, Harry had carried on, alone.

He had found and fought Tom three times, but never had Nagini been present, so each time he had left — hurt but not bowed. Each time he had healed himself and carried on.

At last, on Easter Sunday of 1998, Harry had found where Voldemort and Nagini were staying and had, with Kreacher’s help, created a distraction that lured Voldemort away and allowed Harry to kill the cursed snake.

As far as Harry knew, that left Tom without a Horcrux and Harry free to kill him or die in the act of trying.

Finally, on Saturday, May 16, 1998, Harry had confronted Tom Riddle for the last time on the cobblestoned street of Diagon Alley. Tom’s appearance after Harry’s public challenge was a foregone conclusion. The two battled valiantly, but finally Tom resorted to casting a killing curse against which even Harry’s shield charm couldn’t defend, and Harry crumpled to the ground.

In Harry’s mind, the prophecy was fulfilled. “Either must die at the hands of the other.” The prophecy did not promise immortality for either — only that one would kill the other. Harry knew that if he won he would not live forever and knew the same about Tom Riddle.

Meeting Sirius in death was a shock and a joy. He had at first looked forward to the peace of death and the promise of being with his mother and father and Sirius, until he realized that he would have to leave his Ginny.

Harry learned that HE was the last Horcrux, and that Voldemort by virtue of his own sick ritual to return himself to life had tied Harry also to life, and Harry found himself with a choice. Harry, being Harry, did not choose the easy path; instead, he hugged Sirius as he never had in life, and returned to the realm of the living, thinking in life as he had in death of the young woman he loved.

And when he returned, Voldemort was in fine form, gloating in front of the assembled Death Eaters and the curious crowd behind him. To say that he was surprised by Harry’s rebirth would be an understatement.

Harry offered redemption and Tom chose to forsake it, and so Tom cast the killing curse that Harry deflected back into the Dark Lord. Tom died, and Harry became “The Boy Who Lived Again,” and the wizarding world knew peace after a long and dark interlude.

Harry stood for a few moments on Diagon Alley, feeling more alone and adrift than ever he had before, because he had not thought he would survive this final encounter. Until he remembered the reason he had chosen to return; then, without waiting for questions from Aurors or reporters or ordinary people trying to swarm around him, he disapparated to the grounds of the home of the love he had left behind when he went off to save the world.

And that is how he came to stand in the shadows beyond the circle of light formed out of the windows of the Burrow that warm Spring evening. He heard the murmur of conversation from within and caught fleeting glimpses of the family — he saw Ron for a few moments, his arm slung over Hermione’s shoulder and holding her tight. Mrs. Weasley bustled into the kitchen for a few minutes, then moved back to the sitting room. They all seemed relaxed, as well they should have been: the wards and protections around their home left them safe, here, at least, and knowledge of Harry’s defeat of the Dark Lord had not yet spread far beyond Diagon Alley.

Still the fire he sought was in the window; then, it moved out of sight. A few minutes later, the back door from the kitchen opened and the fire emerged and Harry did not think he had ever seen anything, anyone, so beautiful in all his life. He moved forward then, closer, and she saw him. All of his worries and fears were swept aside when she ran into his arms, crying and laughing at the same time, and the kiss they shared was more brilliant than any before.

Harry was home, and he held the fire that lit his life in his arms, and everything was right in the world again.
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