Content Harry Potter Miscellaneous
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Author Notes:

Fifty-five stories later, I still do not own any of JK Rowling's characters or the Christmas song by 4Him. No matter how much fun that might be.

Home by Christmas… well, not quite, but we’re a lot closer than I ever thought we’d be on Christmas Eve.

Harry Potter lay in his bunk in the tent he’d been sharing with his best friends for the last several months and listened to them sleep. Ron, as usual, was snoring, but this sounded like one log being sawed rather than the dozen at a time that was his norm. Hermione was curled into a bundle under her blankets, one hand pressed against her mouth.

I swear someone’s been helping us…

They should never have got away from the Ministry without someone catching them, he knew, but an escaped animal from the fourth floor, quite possibly one of the “very odd ferrets” he recalled Mr. Weasley mentioning a long time ago, had run under their pursuers’ feet and tripped them up.

We knew we couldn’t stay much longer at Grimmauld Place after that, but at least we had a chance to regroup and think about where we were going to go, instead of just haring off wildly and probably splinching ourselves in the process.

Then Voldemort had heard about the raid on the Ministry, and the miracle had happened.

He heard we’d taken a locket, and he couldn’t help thinking about his locket, and everything that went with it…

In that one moment, all the Horcruxes, their locations and safeguards, had been Harry’s.

I’d almost suspect he did it on purpose, except for that little detail about these things trying to kill us. So. We went after the easiest one first…

Harry grinned, remembering his best friend’s face as Ron shrank into the form of his younger sister. He wanted to do something heroic, and that was the best we could come up with on short notice.

As Ginny, Ron had sneaked into Hogwarts, found the Room of Hiding, and brought the diadem out again, getting away with it by dint of looking like he knew exactly what he was doing at all times. The worst scare had been when he’d nearly run into the real Ginny around a corner, and barely managed to duck into a classroom in time.

Once we had the diadem, Hermione cast that lovely little spell that made the locket and the diadem aware of each other, and Voldemort never has been fond of competition, so of course they hated each other on sight… who’d have thought one of the ways to kill a Horcrux was with another Horcrux?

Out of the six Horcruxes, then, four were accounted for. Two remained.

Bill was able to help us find a few renegade goblins who were offended enough by Voldemort using their work to safeguard his life that they agreed to get into the Lestrange vault and steal the cup for us. They demanded we give it back to them afterwards, though, and the locket and diadem, what was left of them. Harry shrugged. Not like we had any use for that stuff. And whatever goblin magic they used to kill the cup, it worked.

Only the snake left now, and then Voldemort himself…

He pulled the covers up over himself and drifted off to sleep, wondering idly if Father Christmas could find well-hidden tents in the middle of snowy forests.

He drifted towards a snow-covered manor house, hearing the sounds of laughter and singing from within. The edge of a Christmas tree was just visible through the nearest window. He wanted to get closer, to see who was celebrating, but something was holding him back…

“Harry Potter,” hissed a voice from behind him. “How kind of you to come.”

Harry whirled. Lord Voldemort, rendered in washed-out color like an improved ghost, smirked at him. “I had so hoped you would—ah, but you could not help it, could you?” He put his hand to something dangling from his waist and yanked.

Agony shot through Harry’s scar, and he stumbled a pace closer to Voldemort. “What…” He pressed a hand against his forehead, caught his breath, and tried again. “What do you want?”

“Only to find out by what magic you have influenced Draco Malfoy away from my camp and into your own.” Voldemort fingered the fine silver cord he’d jerked a moment before, the cord that ran out of his side and up Harry’s neck before disappearing into his forehead. Similar cords stretched away behind them both into the distance, Harry noticed, though his own looked much stronger than either the one between him and Voldemort or the one linking Voldemort to something else…

Belatedly, he realized he’d been asked a question, if indirectly. “I haven’t done anything to Malfoy. Any of them.”

“Come, come, Harry.” Voldemort twitched the cord again, and Harry shuddered as his scar seared with pain. “Do you really expect me to believe that Draco Malfoy—an obedient child if a sentimental and foolish one—would, of his own accord, have killed my dear Nagini? And, when I discovered him destroying her body with cursed fire, have spit at me and fled bodily into a realm I can enter only in the spirit? No, Harry, I cannot believe he did so much on his own.”

Malfoy killed the snake? And— Harry gasped and staggered in place to another pull on the cord, but his mind was still working beneath the pain. Cursed fire—that sounds like the Fiendfyre Hermione was talking about—

Does this mean Malfoy just killed the last Horcrux for us?

“I have tracked him here through the connection I have with all those who wear my Dark Mark.” Voldemort held up his right hand, and yet another cord, thinner even than the one that bound Harry to Voldemort, gleamed silver in the reflected light from the window. “The Mark is laid, you understand, not only on my followers’ flesh, but on their souls. Thus I can always find them, wherever they seek to hide.” He rubbed a finger on the cord, and it contracted a little, showing a straight line towards the house. “As I thought. Come, Harry. You should see how I deal with those who betray me.”

Souls. These cords have something to do with souls. Harry let himself sag, as if defeated, as he followed Voldemort closer to the house. The ones behind us, could they be linking our souls back to our bodies, wherever they are? Because he said he’d come to this place in spirit, and he looks like a ghost only more so—

He put out a tentative hand to touch the cord which hung loosely between him and Voldemort. This is probably the bond that’s been between us since I was a baby. Since the day he murdered Dad and Mum—

He murdered them. Murder tears the soul. And our souls have been linked since that day. I can speak Parseltongue like he can—get inside his head—

Harry’s hand shot up to his scar as the idea fragments flew together into a cohesive whole.

Am I—can I be—

The knowledge sent him to his knees in the snow.

I’m a Horcrux.

I always have been, from the day I became The Boy Who Lived…

Voldemort, brought up short by the tension on the cord, looked behind him and tutted. “Praying, Harry? I doubt it will help you much now.” He tweaked the cord sharply. Harry gritted his teeth and got through the pain without making a sound, though it felt as though a large piece of his skull had come loose and was being smashed against the rest of it with every pull…

Or could it be a piece of soul? A piece that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of me?

If I can just get him to keep doing what he’s doing…

“You’re not going to win, you realize,” Harry ground out, glaring up at Voldemort. “Even if you kill me, you won’t win. Prophecies aren’t perfect. And there can always be another one.”

“But there will not be.” Voldemort smiled. “I will keep very close tabs on my world, Harry. When it is mine, which should not take too long once you are gone. There will never be another child born who will stand against me, for all will worship me and follow where I lead.” He tugged playfully at the cord, like a boy taking a refractory dog for a walk. “Even you will follow me, before you die. Come, Harry Potter, come here…”

Harry fixed his mind on the people for whom he kept fighting. Ron and Hermione, asleep in their tent; Ginny and Neville and Luna, home now for the holidays; even Draco Malfoy, inexplicably become an ally if not a friend. He thought, too, of the ones he’d lost, of his parents, Cedric, Sirius, Dumbledore, Moody. Faces and voices chasing one another through his mind, he took a deep breath—

And leaned back, against the pull of the cord.

The pain was worse even than a Cruciatus, because he was doing it to himself, and because it was concentrated all in one place. His scar had never hurt like this, not even when Voldemort had possessed him at the Ministry—he knew he was screaming, because he could barely hear Voldemort’s furious “Come here, I said! You will obey me!” over his own screams, but his world had narrowed down to the twin needs to keep pulling and hold on

His scar tore open, and Harry pitched over backwards into the snow. Voldemort swore in Parseltongue, an incomprehensible hiss broken only by two breathy sighs.

I didn’t understand him.

I don’t speak Parseltongue anymore.

I hope that means what I think it means.

Harry opened one eye a fraction to see Voldemort regarding the jagged shard of silver which had torn free at the end of the cord. “Odd,” the Dark Lord said musingly. “Still, best to be sure…”

He drew a wand, as translucent as the rest of him, from his robes and waved it three times towards Harry. “There. He cannot leave now unless I let him, and I will not until I have ascertained his current location and the charms he is using to remain hidden. Now, to the business at hand.”

And tucking the soul-piece into a pocket, Voldemort strode away in the direction of the house.

He must think the pain knocked me out. Harry waited until his enemy was several yards away before rolling over and pressing his face into the snow, letting the cold soothe away some of the throbbing which remained in his scar. How kind of him to put me under Cruciatus a few times, so I’d know how to handle it.

Slowly, he got to his feet, following Voldemort towards the house. To his amusement, the Darkest wizard in a hundred years was peering through a window like a child at a bakery, watching whatever was happening inside avidly.

It sounds like a family having Christmas to me. Harry fought off a throb of homesickness for Hogwarts and the Burrow—he had Ron and Hermione to have this Christmas with. It would be enough.

But what would it have been like, if there hadn’t been a Voldemort? If Mum and Dad had never died?

Within the house, a piano began to play an introduction. Harry crossed behind Voldemort as a young man’s voice began to sing and peered into the next window over.

Sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him

Harry kept himself from yelling only by clamping a hand over his mouth.

The singer had his face.

Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem

Black and messy hair, bright green eyes, round glasses, every one of his features was duplicated on the young man who was sitting on the stool in the curve of the ebony baby grand, except one.

The singer’s forehead had no scar.

And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes

Most of the other people in the room had the same green eyes as the singer. The chubby little red-haired girl sitting on the floor and gazing up at him raptly, the two black-haired primary-school-aged boys who were eyeing the presents under the tree with longing, and the woman sitting at the piano and singing a harmony line all shared them, as did the teenage girl lounging on the couch with her arm around one of the two exceptions.

The message from the angel come alive

That exception was Draco Malfoy, leaning into the girl’s embrace and looking, for the first time since Harry had known him, fully at ease, relaxed, even happy. The thoughtful smile on his face made him nearly unrecognizable as the angry and suspicious boy Harry recalled from school.

And Joseph said
Why me

The other person in the room without green eyes stood behind the pianist, turning her pages. He was tall and thin and wore wire-rimmed glasses, and his hair was as disheveled as his sons’.

I’m just a simple man of trade
Why Him
With all the rulers in the world

Harry risked a glance towards Voldemort and found the snakelike face contorted with fury. This has to be driving him mad—he knows he killed these people, but here they are alive and well, celebrating without him, and he can’t do anything to them…

Why here
Inside this stable filled with hay
Why her

Malfoy laid his hand over the girl’s and pressed it. She turned to smile at him, and Harry suddenly understood Ron’s reaction to any boy who dared to come near Ginny.

She’s just an ordinary girl

His other self inside the house noticed the movement as well, but simply rolled his eyes and kept singing.

Now I’m not one to second-guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way
To save the world

Save the world. The words continued to reverberate in Harry’s mind as the piano played its interlude. Save the world.

He glanced down at Voldemort again, then at the thin cord leading out from his back and off into the distance, and suddenly knew what he had to do.

To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He deserved

Those people in there are having the life I deserved, or at least the one Mum and Dad did. There must never have been a Voldemort in this world.

There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth

Harry crept down the snowy lawn, watching Voldemort watch the family tableau like a snake watching a nestful of mice.

He can’t have them now. I won’t let him.

But Joseph knew the reason
Love had to reach so far

Going to one knee, Harry stretched out his hand. Just a little farther… a little bit… got it!

The cord that linked Voldemort to his body rested in his palm.

And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have said
Why me

I’ve always wondered why it had to be me. Why it couldn’t have been anyone else who was The Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One.

I’m just a simple man of trade

I’m not anything that special. Except when I have to be.

Why Him
With all the rulers in the world

And I’m not willing to let an evil wizard take over everything I love just because I’m scared or I don’t know what to do.

Why here
Inside this stable filled with hay

Voldemort leaned forward avidly, craning his neck to see something happening inside. Harry got to his feet and backed up the few paces he’d come, letting the cord play out in his hand.

He was just in time to see Malfoy tilting his head awkwardly towards the girl he was sitting next to.

Why her
She’s just an ordinary girl

The girl smiled at him and leaned forward. His arms went around her, hers slid about him, and they drew one another close.

Now I’m not one to second-guess
What angels have to say

Their lips met.

Voldemort hissed in fury and pushed forward through the wall.

But this is such a strange way

Harry dropped the cord to the ground, planted his foot on it, and bore down with all his weight.

To save the world

The cord snapped like a rotten piece of string.

Voldemort whirled around just as the color drained from his body, leaving him the silver-white of a ghost. An instant later, he was gone, evaporated where he stood.

Inside the house, the younger children applauded and cheered as Malfoy and the girl deepened their kiss. The singer leaned back against the piano and cast a world-weary look at his parents, who only grinned back at him.

Hey, it could be worse, Harry silently consoled his other self. At least he seems to be better than he used to be. Still, if he starts to get out of hand, punch him once for me, would you?

Lily hadn’t stopped playing, and after a moment the other Harry straightened up again, picking up the end of the chorus once more.

Now I’m not one to second-guess
What angels have to say

Harry filled his eyes with the sight of the family within the house, letting it take the place of all the Christmases he’d never had with them.

I’ll always miss you. But at least I know you’re happy.

But this is such a strange way
To save the world

And now I have the chance to be happy too.

He closed his eyes, letting the end of the song take him back to his body.

This is such a strange way
Such a strange way

You gave that to me.

Thank you.

A strange way
To save the world

Harry opened his eyes to the fabric of the tent overhead. His scar ached, but dully, as though the worst of the pain had been and gone already.

It’s over. The war’s over. I did it.

The thought got him out of his bunk, out of the tent, put his wand in his hand. A thought levitated the tent free of the ground around it, and another shrank it to the size of his palm without harming its occupants. Cradling it carefully, he rose onto his toes.

I want to go home, he thought, and Disapparated.

Ginny Weasley sat at her bedroom window, staring out at the star-filled sky. It was just midnight.

“Happy Christmas, Harry,” she whispered. “Wherever you are.”

The door creaked behind her. She spun around with a gasp.

A tall, thin shadow stood in her doorway. Starlight sparked off a pair of glasses and a grin. “Somebody say my name?” said the voice she’d dreamed of hearing for the last four months.

Ginny shoved off the wall and was in his arms in two leaps. “What did we used to call Bill’s wife?” she whispered into his ear.

Harry chuckled. “That’s an easy one. Phlegm. But we won’t need questions anymore, Ginny. It’s over.” He bent down and kissed her cheek. “He’s dead. Did it himself… with a little help from me.”

“A little help?” Ginny smiled cheekily up at her boyfriend. “Only a little?”

“Only a little.” Harry wrapped his arms more tightly around her. “Just like I only want a little kiss.”

Ginny gave him what he wanted, and several more to go with it.

“Ron and Hermione?” she murmured in one of the intervals.

“Outside in the tent.” Harry nuzzled at her neck, making her shiver with pleasure. “I think I’ll let them figure out where we are on their own, when they wake up tomorrow.”

“Today,” Ginny corrected.

“Is it gone midnight already?”


“Well then.” Harry lifted his head and looked into her eyes, holding her close against him. “Happy Christmas, Ginny.”

“Happy Christmas, Harry.”

As their lips met again, Ginny thought she heard music.

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Author Notes:

Two more chapters for this one, a fairly short one which is finished and a longer one which isn't. Encouragement is always welcome!

SD and LSSR are also in the works (literally, they're open on my desktop right now), but I wanted to give you this for a nice end-of-Christmas-season present. Hope you enjoyed!