Warning: This fic is rated R for a reason -- it contains quite a bit of swearing!
As always, thanks to Cami, Jaq, John, and Michele for being wonderful betas and adding the little touches that I rely on so much to make my work what it is.
Is this what destiny is all about?
Is this mixture of fear, dread, and excitement it?
Is this what my life has led me to?
I guess so.
I'm surprised I am this calm. I thought I'd be more incoherent, acting on instinct. After all, this is everything I've worked for.
Ginny's fighting near me. I can always tell when she's near. It's like a sixth sense. A Ginny sense. It's probably just a combination of how she moves and how she smells that attracts my attention.
Ginny. I'm in love with her, you know.
I fell about six months ago. Hard. It actually hurt, but not as much as having to hide it. God, that has been the hardest thing.
Do you know what it's like to school your face in a "friends-but-nothing-more" expression, when all you want to do is grab her and snog her senseless in front of the entire school – so that they would all know that she belongs to me? That she's totally mine! I wonder if I can make us both forget our own names in the process. Then take her somewhere quiet, and spend a healthy quantity of the rest of my life snogging her even more senseless. After all, we'd have to stop to eat, get married, and have a couple of kids. But I'm sure we could fit a lot of snogging around that.
Looking up, I see a Death Eater in front of me. Could be Nott, but with that ridiculous mask on I'm not sure. I sway to the left casually, letting the curse fly by my shoulder, and smile amiably at him. "Did you know your flys undone?" I query.
He looks down automatically, and I hit him with a Stunning curse. What an idiot. I must be wrong; it has to be either Crabbe or Goyle, senior. I mean, come off it, he's wearing robes. It's not as if they have flys anyway.
So, where was I? Oh yeah, with Ginny. Been there a lot recently. Unfortunately, after a quick chat with my illustrious Headmaster, we decided it would be better if I didn't act on it. I can't say I liked it, but I agreed. I know Ginny can handle herself, but I can't handle her getting hurt. I know she would risk it for me, but I'm too much of a coward to risk it. If she got hurt, I'd go all out for revenge on Voldemort and would probably die doing it. My sense of responsibility sucks.
She twists herself, firing off her curses. I love the way her t-shirt occasionally tightens over her chest. And damn, what a wonderful pair of breasts she has.
You know -- I pause my thoughts to deal with another couple of Death Eaters -- I could talk about Ginny-breasts a lot. You see, there are breasts, and there are Ginny-breasts. As far as I can tell, she's a B-cup. Now, obviously I'm male, so you're probably wondering exactly how I know what cup size she is. Well, it wasn't easy. But Ron knew that Hermione is a C-cup, so that was what I based it on. I had no wish to know how he knew that; but regardless, it gave me a starting point.
So, I decamped to the library for some intensive study. I was quite surprised to find that these measurements that boys joke about are actually not that attractive. I mean, the figures Seamus was talking about would make a girl have hips the size of a hippo, a waist the size of a quill, and breasts the size of Hogwarts. How attractive is that?
Then you have Ginny: now that's perfection. Perfectly proportioned. Sure, she's only five feet two, but half the time you forget. There's so much energy and life in that small package that you sometimes think she's a lot bigger. Anyway, she's a B-cup, which actually makes her breasts look big on her tiny frame. So yeah, knowing Hermione's size, and having spent far longer than I should have sneaking looks at Ginny's chest, I managed to work out what size I think she is.
I bet you thought I snuck into her underwear drawer and looked, right?
Although I did think about it for a bit - but eventually decided it wasn't a good idea. It was more of a Draco Malfoy sort of thing to do.
Hey... speaking of Draco, that's him up ahead; he's fighting for them. I've been saving a special curse for him. I cast it and hide the laughter. All it does is remove his robes and leave him in some rather fetching ladies' underwear. You know, the purple knickers actually suit him. He's looking horrified, but Crabbe junior's looking at him with interest.
Oh well, he's now been hit by a curse; I think it was from his own side. I hope someone is taking pictures.
Fred and George are fighting up ahead; they were here visiting Ron and Ginny when the Death Losers appeared in Hogsmeade and, of course, stayed to fight.
Dumbledore's sent out a call for all the Aurors and Order members he can, but typically they're not bloody here when we might actually need them. If I survive this, Fudge is going right to the top of my shit list. Maybe the top two slots.
This fighting is kinda monotonous. It's all I've been doing for the last six months. Ever since Snape got wind of Voldemort planning to launch an all-out attack to get at little ol' me. It's so nice to be popular.
So, the whole D.A. has been preparing – in case we needed to help. Then the bloody git launches an attack two weeks early, and everyone is caught out.
I bloody knew we shouldn't rely on a self-obsessed numpty like Snape. Anyone who holds grudges like he does can't be bloody trusted. When this is over, and if I'm still alive, I think I'm going to get some revenge for six and a half years of him tormenting me, by seeing how many of Snivellus' teeth I can knock out in one blow.
I'm hoping for four.
Six would be cool.
Two would be a disappointment.
Where the hell is Tom? It's bloody typical – you get all worked up and ready for the fight, and he hides at the back.
"Tom!" I yell hopefully. "Come out here, you half-blood peasant."
That should get his attention. Oh, people are looking at me strangely. I forgot that not everyone knows how Tom is. "Tom, Mr ‘I'm-shit-at-making-anagrams-Voldemort' Riddle. Come out and play. You know you want to. Come on – your name means ‘fly of death', and I've got a fly swatter!"
Well, it actually means ‘flight of death', but I think you'll forgive me for the corruption. Now, finally, people are starting to get the message. I have to concentrate a bit harder on the fighting now. I seem to be attracting attention.
If I didn't know better, I'd say they were quite upset about me taunting their Dark Lord.
I cast a Sonorous spell on myself, so I can make sure he can hear me.
"Come on, you filthy half-blood orphan. Stop hiding behind your lackeys and get your bony arse out here so I can give you the spanking you didn't get at the orphanage. I've heard of cries for attention before, but you really take the Mickey. Or should that be, you really take the Lucius? I've heard you both swing that way."
Ahh, I think I forgot to mention my plan to the others. I don't think I've ever seen Dumbledore quite this surprised before.
"Tom, if you don't come out here now, I'm going back to the castle. I've got better things to do, you know. I've got exams in a few weeks' time and your bunch of posturing homosexuals Storm Troopers wannabes are ruining my study time."
I pause; the fighting's pretty much stopped as everyone is looking at me, not sure what to do. Even the Death Eaters. I bet they don't even know what a Storm Trooper is. Wankers.
"Okay, people," I turn my back on the blankly staring Death Masticators. "Let's go back to the castle; we can fight when Tom bothers to show up. No point in wasting our time."
I walk up to the teachers, patently ignoring the enemies.
"What the hell do you think you are doing, Potter?" Snape sneers.
Sod it. I pull back my fist and let loose, just as Tonks taught me, only she didn't teach me to use a knuckle duster – that was Padfoot from the Marauder's Map.
I look around.
All right! I start to dance on the spot happily. I GOT ALL SIX!
Now everyone's really shocked. I mean, super shocked. I doubt a battle has ever been stopped like this. First you had a cross dresser, and now the good guy from the other side has just knocked six teeth out of the spy.
"I've wanted to do that for two years," I state happily. Ginny's trying hard to hide a smile. It makes her eyes light up with mischief. Damn, she's beautiful. I bet she's the only one with any clue what's going on in my mind.
Bugger; she's just worked it out, and her face is darkening. I wink at her, basically asking her to let me do what I have to. She doesn't want to agree, but with a frown, she does.
I wonder if she knows she has great breasts. Actually, I bloody hope no one has told her. Thank god she hasn't been dating anyone, and that Dean was only a joke last year. It might have crushed me. I think she wanted to stay out of relationships at school with everything going on.
I could have kissed her. Well, I could have kissed her anyway, but you know what I mean.
Albus is saying something to me; I don't think he likes the fact that I'm not acting predictably - or that I just wiped out his Potions professor.
The Death Eaters are still standing around, not sure what to do. You'd think that someone would just order them to attack. But obviously Tommy's been training them to follow his orders only. Stupid git.
Wait, he's coming!
"Tom!" I cheer happily. "So good of you to come. Are you ready for death?"
Voldemort comes closer, gliding in that eerie manner of his. "Are you?" he hisses back. He really should get that looked at. It can't be good for his voice box.
"Why yes, I am," I reply happily. "Thanks for asking."
Voldemort pauses, he didn't expect that.
"What?" he hisses again.
"Have you seen a doctor about that?" I ask him, a bit loudly so that everyone can hear us. "All that hissing has got to hurt. Or do you have a potion to make it better? I'd ask Snape, but he's a little toothless at the moment."
Voldemort looks at the still-prone Potions professor. "The traitor," he sneers.
"Ugly git, too," I agree happily. It's so nice to talk to people who share your point of view. "But then, you'd know a lot about that, wouldn't you Tom? You know, the whole snake look is SO second century."
"Don't call me that," he demands. I can see he's starting to get mad.
"Why? You'll get mad?" I move around to Professor Dumbledore, hiding behind him as I peek around to look back at Tommy-boy. "Oh please save me, Professor! The nasty man's going to get mad at me! Save me from him, please." My tone is about as mocking as I can make it.
Dumbledore still hasn't got a clue what's going on. I think he thinks I've gone mad. He's not far from wrong.
"Are you all right?" he whispers softly. Typical, NOW he cares. Didn't bloody care about the Dursleys, did he? Didn't care when he avoided me for my entire fifth year, did he? Blood protection, my arse!
I move over to McGonagall; I'm really taking the piss now. "Stop the ugly man, please?" I shake her a little, really over-acting. "The half-blood's irritated! Oh, won't somebody save me?"
"Stop that!" Voldemort demands angrily.
I fall to my knees, "Please don't be mad at me," I plead.
"Crucio!" he hisses. I guess he's fed up with waiting. Damn, that HURTS! It's the same sort of pain as being hit in the balls by a Bludger, only all over.
"Now that's not very nice," I say as I stand up.
Ginny's looking more worried now. I bet she can tell that this fucking hurts! Yes, I swore. I'd bloody like to see you take this sort of spell and still act normal, without swearing.
Still, the look on Tom's face is priceless. My god, I'd go through this a thousand times over to see ol' snake eyes look like that.
"Are you constipated?" I enquire politely. "I hear that prunes are good for that sort of thing."
"Crucio!" he hisses again, harder. I didn't even know you could hiss harder, but he managed it. And bloody hell, it hurts even more.
I wander over to a few friends. D.A. members.
"So, how's the fight going for you?" I ask.
Blaise grins at me. He's an all right bloke, actually, even though he's a Slytherin. I think he might have guessed what I'm doing.
"Not bad, Harry. Bit of a relief really, I had no wish to die today. I've got a Transfiguration test on Monday that I really want to be studying for. Are you going to be long with this?"
Yes! He's bloody marvellous! If I was gay, and not nuts about Ginny, I could kiss him.
"Yeah Harry, hurry it up, will you? Hermione and I wanted to spend some time in a broom cupboard tonight," Ron yells.
Good old Ron; he might not get what's going on inside my mind, but he's not thick. He can always think pretty fast on his feet, but from the look on her face, I'm guessing that Hermione isn't all that happy about him yelling out their plans for this evening in front of everyone here - including the professors.
"So how about it?" I ask Tom. I can't act much longer; this incessant curse is about to drive me insane.
I try my hardest not to react as he gives up. That was the hardest thing I've ever done.
I can feel the pride in Dumbledore's gaze now. He's just worked it out. Never seen him look so sad either.
"Are you ready for us to get this silly prophecy out of the way?"
"You're going to die!" he hisses gleefully.
"Of course I am," I tell him happily. I do a little jig of happiness. "Can't wait. What about you? Did you make your will and tidy your affairs?"
He looks nonplussed. "What!?" he demands.
"None shall live, both shall die," I misquote merrily. "Didn't you know?"
"No!" he whispers, "It can't be!"
"Oh come on, Tom," I laugh at him. "Surely you didn't think you were actually going to get away with all this killing and stuff, did you? I mean, really, how likely is that?"
Tom doesn't appear to know what to say; he's been off balance for too long.
I bet he's still trying to work out why I'm immune to the Cruciatus curse. I'm not, you balding, ugly, thick-as-pig-shit git; I'm just a damn good actor. You should know that by now.
"I've had two years to prepare myself for death, and I'm quite looking forward to it really. You see, I'm a good guy, which means when I die I get to go to Heaven, meet my parents and find Padfoot, and spend the rest of eternity having fun.
"You, on the other hand, being -- you know -- big, bad, evil, and with a serious odour problem -- you should see a doctor about that as well, that sort of stink isn't normal -- get to go to hell, where little guys with pitchforks will stick them where pitchforks don't normally go."
"Avada Kedavra," he screams at me.
I laugh loudly and point my wand. I make a flicking motion, and the curse diverts into the air. Everyone knows you can't stop a killing curse - not even me.
No one said anything about changing its target though.
Now everyone is stunned. Unfortunately, not literally.
"Crucio!" he yells again, only this time not at me. He must be checking to see if his magic is actually working.
Ginny screams in pain as the spell hits her, and then the screaming stops as soon as the pain stops.
The pain has stopped because I'm in the process of removing Tom's teeth with my fist.
"Of all the people you pick," I snarl, "you just had to pick her, didn't you, you stupid, ugly, git!"
I continue to pound him. Now I'm not just mad, I'm enraged.
He touched my Ginny.
He is going to pay for that.
There's this stunned silence from everyone as they stand around watching, wondering just what the hell is happening. Ginny's being helped to her feet, and she's looking on wild-eyed. I bet she's just put it all together.
Tom throws me off using wandless magic.
I tumble through the air and take a deep breath. I tuck my legs in and start to control my fall; at the last minute, I twist violently, turn to face Tom, and land in a crouch. From the impressed look on everyone's faces, it must have looked really cool.
With a large grin on my face, I start to lope back to Tom. A lope isn't a run, and it's not quite a charge - it's kind of in between. It's certainly implacable. It allows me to dodge certain things, like the curses he's throwing at me left, right and -- I jump to avoid one of them -- centre.
Everyone, students and Death Eaters alike, are circled around us now, which does seem a little stupid; what with the curses that Tom is throwing. I need to switch sides so that any that miss me hit them instead.
As I get near Tom, I fake to my left and bounce to my right, my foot flashing up and doing some more damage to his jaw. I land and continue to bounce away from him as five of his teeth drop to the ground. My punching must have loosened them. Damn! I did better punching Snape.
"Fight me!" he screams, firing several curses at me, two of them the Avadas. I don't divert these. I simply drop to the floor. I look behind me for a second, and hey, two more dead Death Eaters.
"Thanks!" I grin at him.
"Gaahhhh!" he screams in rage.
"Why Tom, I didn't know you were so articulate," I tease him cheerfully. He throws more curses at me. Several hit, but I ignore them as much as I can.
I run at him again, and this time it's more of a charge than a lope. Loping takes a lot out of me, and after that Crucio earlier, I'm not really up to it anymore.
This time, I fake left, and then really do go left. I launch a kick to his stomach, and then grab his left arm and break it at the elbow - the snap is audible.
He screams in pain. What a wimp. I bet that hurts less than a Crucio.
"If you want to give up now, I can cast a spell that will kill us both easily," I offer, as if I'd rather not.
"I will see you dead, Potter," he sneers, his arm dangling uselessly at his side.
I noticed Blaise whispering to the students, and then them passing the message on. That guy's on top of his game. He's told them all not to interfere. If one of them does, then the masked wonders will fight back and we'll lose what I've been doing. At the moment, it's just Tom and me.
"Yes, I know," I say patiently, my back to the Death Eaters again. Stupid sheep.
"I've already told you. We're both going to die," I remind him.
"Stop saying that!" Voldemort demands, launching more curses at me.
I want to give in now. I want to stop. God, these hurt so much.
I can feel blood running over my body under my robes. He can't see it though. I stand up straight, no hint of how damn hard it is on my face.
"Why won't you die?!" he screams in frustration.
"Because you're not dead," I remind him.
He fires curse after curse after curse at me. Some hit me, and some hit his Death Eaters.
The smarter ones are already retreating. They believe me. They're realising that their big boss is powerless, and that with him dead, they're gonna be screwed. You can almost hear them thinking about who they can betray to the authorities to get a lighter sentence.
I jog towards him. This time, as he moves to avoid my punch, I leap in to the air and as I fall, I kick down hard, right into his kneecap.
He's got a really piercing scream. He's not used to pain, I guess. I am. It's been one of the constants in my life. Mental or physical -- I've experienced it all.
Tom's lost -- he doesn't know what to do next. As far as he can tell, his spells have no effect on me, and he's not set up to fight a physical battle. That's part of my plan. I'm never going to beat him in a straight fight. He's so much older than me, and he's been fighting magical fights for all his life. He knows more magic than I can dream of.
I knew this, so I concocted this plan. Just take his magic and do my best to ignore it, while hurting his body and his mind. Sure, acting insane is a lot of fun, and I based it on my dad, Padfoot, and the twins, but I'm glad we're getting near the end. I'm breathing heavily, and all I can think about is the agonising pain I'm going through.
I need to finish this soon because if I don't, he'll win.
I cast the strongest shield spell I can, using it right against my skin. I'm a wizard as well, and I need all my magic for this now. I walk towards him slowly.
"I think it's time we stopped, Tom," I say, now looking sad. "This world's been all right, really, and I'm kinda sad to leave it. But as I said, I'm optimistic about the other side."
Tom's firing every curse he can think of at me, and my shield is taking the lot; only I don't think he can tell I have a shield. He's in too much pain to understand.
I reach him, and my shield is already fading. Tom is so powerful - much more so than Dumbledore. If he'd kept his head earlier, he could have ended this easily. The arrogance of evil, I suppose.
"Ready?" I ask cheerfully, absently kicking out and knocking him to the floor.
"You can't kill me," he cries. "I'm not human anymore!"
"You know," I say, "that actually makes it easier." As fast as I can, I pull the Sword of Gryffindor from its holster on my back, and stab him in the chest.
He looks shocked. All the magic that's been used to keep him alive, to stop spells from hitting him, and he never expected the use of a Muggle weapon.
"I am Lord Voldemort!" he screams.
"No," I whisper softly. "You're Tom Riddle, and he's dead." I pull the sword from his chest, spin it once through the air, gathering speed, and then swing it down, hard, as I move to the side.
Tom's head rolls forwards; his body slumps down.
I feel sorry for him, in a way.
I look up, at the Death Eaters, and stand up straight. I hope they don't attack, because I can't move anymore; I just want to collapse to the ground and lay there, forever.
They look at me, and I can tell they're scared. They think I'm invincible; they've brought my act completely.
"You said you would both die," one of them complains. It's Wormtail! Maybe I do have a little bit of energy left. I throw the sword as hard as I can, straight at him.
"Yeah, well about that," I say, my voice strong and confident. "I lied."
The Death Eaters turn and start to run, trying to get away. I bet Lucius is the first of them. I'll deal with him later.
"Well," I ask the Aurors and Order members who have FINALLY turned up. "What are you waiting for? Capture them!"
They look at me in awe for a second, then collectively seem to blink, waking up to what has happened. With a cheer, they charge.
I collapse, exhausted.
It's no real surprise that Ginny is the first to reach me. She's crying.
"Hey," I say softly. "Don't cry."
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asks, sounding really upset.
"Couldn't," I whisper. I think I can feel blood trickling down the side of my mouth now. Those spells must have done a lot more damage than I thought. "I'm dying," I whisper softly. "I'm sorry."
"No," she whispers, "You can't."
"Are you really a B-cup?" I slur, the light fading around me.
"Yes!" she cries. "And if you want to see them, you'll not die."
Oh Christ, I can't die now, damn it.
I'm fighting now. Remembering the kids I wanted with her. I should tell her that, I think groggily.
"I want kids with you," I croak. I wish my voice was stronger.
I think everyone is gathered around, silently watching us. I can kinda see them out of my eyes, but they're fading.
"You have to live," she pleads, "for our children."
She's right. I do. I fight some more to stay awake. I can't let Tom win now - not after I've killed him.
"So you'll marry me?" I ask hopefully.
"If you live. I love you Harry. I always have."
I smile, suddenly I feel like it's all been worth it. "I love you," I whisper. "Not always, but for some time now."
"Make way," another voice demands; I wonder who it is. A shadow is over me, and a potion is forced down my throat.
I gasp, the light returning. I'm going to live. Fuck me! It hurts.
"We need to get him to the Hospital Wing," Madam Pomfrey says. "That potion won't last for long, and he took too many curses for me to fix out here."
There's some movement, and before I know it, I'm on a stretcher that Ron and Hermione made. I owe them a serious explanation. They pick me up; Blaise and Neville have my feet, Ron and Hermione by my head, and Ginny holding my hand at my side.
"That was the bravest, stupidest thing I have ever seen," Hermione says, tears running down her face.
"It worked, didn't it?" I croak softly.
"It did, Harry," Ron said, a look of admiration in his eyes. "The twins are going to worship you as a god."
"Damn right we are," they shout from the sidelines.
"But we ARE going to have a talk about exactly how you know my sister's bra size!" Ron adds.
I laugh weakly.
"No, you bloody well won't, Ronald Bilius Weasley," Ginny interrupts sternly. "First of all, Harry gets to check; he was right first. Secondly, as I'm now his fiancée, all complaints have to go through me anyway."
Ron gapes at her. I'm trying hard not to myself. I did ask her to marry me, but I didn't think she'd take it so literally.
"Stop," Snape demands coldly, sneering down at me. He's holding one hand to the side of his face. Oh yeah. I forgot I knocked his teeth out.
"Severus!" I hear Dumbledore call, but he's a little too late.
Ginny's already eased the knuckle-duster off my right hand, and punched him as hard as she can. Boy, can that girl pack a punch. It looks like he's lost even more teeth.
"I love you," I tell her.
She just smiles at me. And again, I realise that it was all worth it. I've defeated the bad guy, got the girl, and can now look forward to a, checking her breasts; and b, marrying her.
You know what? Destiny kicks ass!
Now, I wonder how long Madam Pomfrey will keep me in the hospital. I have an appointment with Ginny, a bottle of champagne, the Room of Requirement, and some massage oil.
I hope that Ron doesn't decide to look for us. I'll lock the door. Maybe ask Dobby to bring us food.
We have years to make up for, and it will take me at least a couple days to learn everything I can about Ginny's breasts.
Actually, I'd better make that the rest of my life to learn all about them. No sense in hurrying things, is there? Besides, it will take me at least a year to name all her freckles.
Hmm, I'm supposed to be leaving school in a few weeks. And Ginny's coming back next year. I wonder what the rules are for engaged students.
Still, if I don't like them, I'll just ignore them. After all, it's not like I haven't done that before this, right? We can live at Hogwarts together till she finishes, and then we can look for a place of our own.
I can keep her occupied when she isn't in class or on the Quidditch pitch, and when she is, perhaps I can finally start to learn magic for fun, and not to keep myself alive.
You know, I'm not an Animagus yet. And I can't turn myself invisible, or see through invisibility cloaks, or do any of that cool stuff.
A year of living with Ginny, studying magic for fun, and being in a place I still call home? Yeah, this is definitely what destiny is all about!
A/N: Is this REALLY a Jeconais fic? No super-powered Harry, Snape a git...
This little piece was written with two points in mind. The SIYE discussion about banning swearing, and Jaq spending too much time teasing me about always writing Harry as a leg-man.
There is a sequel to this, but only an edited version will be posted here -- the full version will only be available on TheBroomCupboard.net.