The Interpretation of Prophecy
Author : Storm
Spoilers : Everything up
Rating : PG
Summary : As Harry’s 17th
birthday approaches he is hidden with a small team in a sewer, discussing
choices and scars and waiting for the last assault on Voldemort to begin.
Sybill Trelawney’s first prophecy is about to be fulfilled. Set post-OotP.
Disclaimer : This story is
based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various
publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and
Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made and no copyright
or trademark infringement is intended.
It was the gloomiest birthday that
Harry could remember – and considering that he had grown up with the Dursleys
that was saying a lot.
Not that it was quite his birthday …
Faint magical lights spelled out ‘Many Happy Returns Harry, Neville, Dean’
in multicoloured letters on a piece of old scaffolding. It was far from the
most impressive spell Hermione could do, but it was the most magic she had
dared to use while they waited for the coming battle.
Six of them were hiding in a sewer
tunnel underneath a Muggle construction site and Hermione was not even with
them. She had sent the birthday lights with Ginny, but both Hermione and Ron
were crouching with most of the Order in the half built foundations of a new
gym, waiting to cause the diversion that should let Harry get close enough to
attack Voldemort from behind.
It was nearly midnight on the 29th
July 1997 and they had been in place for four hours, although it felt like
longer. Neville had come of age today, it would be Dean’s birthday in twenty
minutes time and Harry knew there was a good chance that he would never turn
seventeen at all.
“Half a minute to go,” said Ginny
and they dutifully watched the second hand on the old Muggle watch her father
had given her tick round to midnight.
“Happy Birthday Dean!”
“Yeah,” said Dean, “thanks! Let’s
hope we deal with You-Know-Who today or I’ll be in deep shit with my parents
for not phoning home on my birthday.”
“Oh Dean!” sighed Ginny. “Have you
still not told them what’s going on?” She had met Dean’s parents while she was
his girlfriend and had been protective of them ever since.
“I’ve said it before and I’ve said
it again. My parents are Muggles. They don’t know nothing about evil overlords
or magical deaths and I’m not stupid enough to tell them. They think it’s a
sign of independence wanting to celebrate my birthday away with friends and I’m
not going to be the one to disillusion them.” He pulled his West Ham scarf more
securely round his neck and shivered in the draft in the tunnel.
“But what if something happens to
you and they never knew you were in any danger at all?” asked Katie Bell.
“Look,” said Dean, “When Mum and Dad
were our age they were caught up in a massive motorway pileup. They were on a
school trip and neither of them was hurt but their coach overturned and the
drivers of two or three cars died. They were probably in as much danger then as
I am now and that’s the kind of thing that could happen to anyone.”
“Not quite the same thing as
deliberately setting off for a desperate magical battle though is it?”
“Alright then, when they were on
their honeymoon they were caught off the coast of Barbados in a freak storm.
Now that’s not quite trying to get yourself killed, but anyone sailing in the
Caribbean in September ought to expect hurricanes.”
“Maybe they were attacked by a
Kraken,” put in Luna unexpectedly.
“There’s no such things as Krakens,”
said Ginny automatically before turning back to Dean. “But –”
“In fact,” he continued over her
protests, “they’d not been home a week before their flat was blown up in a gas
explosion. All the wedding presents were destroyed and they had to move in with
my Gran while they sorted the insurance out. Talk about end of the honeymoon
“Krakens do exist,” said Luna. “Only
last month, Dad had an interview with a couple who were attacked by one while
they were hiking in Paraguay.”
Harry considered asking how a giant
sea monster could have attacked hikers in a country with no coastline, but
decided it was not worth the effort.
“That’s not the point!” Dean brushed
the Kraken aside as irrelevant. “The point is that it’s not being a wizard that
puts me in danger, just being alive does that. We volunteered for this, but do
you think your Mum or Neville’s Gran is really any happier knowing what you two
are doing tonight?”
“Gran’s involved herself anyway,”
said Neville quietly. “And she knows I’d be doing whatever I could, so she
might as well know the details.”
“Exactly! And Mrs Weasley’s the
same. But my parents don’t know what’s going on and they couldn’t do anything
about it if they did, so why tell them?”
Ginny still looked doubtful, but no
one really had an answer for that.
It was five o’clock in the morning
and Neville was dozing uneasily against the sewer wall.
“Not long now.” Ginny murmured
quietly. “How are you feeling, Harry?”
“A bit sick.” Harry admitted. “I
mainly just want it to be over.”
Luna raised an inquiring eyebrow in
the faint light of Hermione’s birthday message.
“The worst thing…” he continued.
“The worst thing is… Well I knew it was going to come down to me against him in
the end, but I hadn’t quite realised I’d be dragging all of you along with me.
All the Order and half the DA could be killed, just so I can get one good shot
“It’s like Dean said before,” said
Luna. “We chose to do this. We think it’s worth it.”
“Besides,” said Dean, “when did
anyone ever ask if you wanted to be the hero?”
Harry laughed, a little bitterly. “I
think that was chosen for me, when I was a baby. ‘The Dark Lord will mark
him as his equal’ remember?” He had finally told his friends about
Trelawney’s first prophecy over the Christmas holiday. “Voldemort was the one
to choose me as his enemy and he isn’t going to stop until I’m dead. I’d just
as soon go down fighting, thanks. I never really wanted to inflict it all on
Neville, but I admit I’d rather not be defined by this scar.”
“I’d be fighting anyway,” said Neville, his voice
coming unexpectedly out of the darkness. Clearly he was not asleep after all.
“And so would you, Harry and you know it. And one day that scar will be just
“Lots of people have scars,” agreed
Ginny. “Yours is just where people see it as soon as they meet you. Dad still
has marks right across his chest from where that snake savaged him, but he
doesn’t let it stop him doing anything. It drives Mum crazy sometimes, but he
says that the only use of scars is to remind us what we’re fighting for.”
“Hermione still has scars from when
Dolohov attacked her,” offered Katie, “And I still have a bit of a mark where
Goyle’s bludger hit me in the head last year.” She pulled her hair away from
her face to demonstrate.
“Man even I have scars,” said Dean,
pulling up his trouser leg to show a shiny welt across his left ankle.
“I didn’t know that,” said Luna,
bending closer for a look. “Was it a Devilicanus Curse?”
“No,” said Dean. “The child minder dropped
a kettle of boiling water on me when I was a baby.”
Two hours later, Harry was disturbed
by the shrill ring of the mobile phone that Hermione had given him yesterday.
“Harry, it’s starting. There are
Death Eaters closing in on us from all sides, but they don’t seem to realise
we’ve noticed them yet. You need to be ready when I give the word.”
Dean and Neville jumped up at
Harry’s signal and started loosening the nuts on the metal trapdoor that would
give them access to the building site.
“OK, here they come, we’ll draw them
out as fast as we can…” Hermione’s voice started fading as heavy magical
warfare interfered with the phone’s reception.
The six of them in the tunnel fell
completely silent, keen to draw no attention to themselves until Voldemort
reached the point where they lay in wait.
“There are a group of them right at
the North end of the site… and some more at the entrance to the new office
block, but I don’t think He is with any of them-” Hermione was cut off
by the sound of a huge explosion.
“What is it?” Harry hissed into the
“Banging Barbaka Curse. Bit close
for comfort though… Harry I’ve seen him. He’s about fifty yards away from you…
twenty yards… They’ve passing over top of you. Now! You’ll be right behind him.
Dean pulled the hatch open and Luna
and Katie scrambled through it as Harry’s advance guard. Moments later he was
following them, hands scrabbling on gravel as he pulled himself out of the
tunnel, eyes blinking in the sudden shock of the morning sun, wand at the ready
as he prepared to fight.
In the heat of battle it was hard to
keep track of just what was going on, but it seemed to Harry as if the Death
Eaters were winning.
Rodolphos Lestrange flung the
Cruciatus Curse at him and he dived desperately to the left, almost into the
path of the Impediment Jinx Katie was casting behind him, before managing to
duck behind a mechanical digger and catch his breath.
Under the cover provided by his
friends, he was trying to work his way towards Voldemort, but the building site
was a lot more confusing when you were trying to avoid being cursed and seemed
full of many more vehicles, machines and random concrete blocks than it had
done yesterday. He wasn’t actually sure yet just which of the black cloaked
figures was his target and he still wondered whether he would ever be able to
cast the killing curse successfully, but right now it didn’t look as if he
would get close enough to find out.
“There he is!” hissed Katie. When I
give the word, I’ll draw those Death Eaters there off and you dive past them to
get to him. Go!”
Harry scrambled madly up five
unfinished steps and onto the foundations of the new shopping complex. Neville
was beside him, clutching his new birch wand, with Dean, Ginny and Luna just
behind him. Over to his right, a purple explosion lit up the sky where the
Order was keeping the bulk of the Death Eaters busy, although he thought he saw
Kingsley Shacklebolt and the Wilfred Croaker, the Unspeakable, running towards
them to provide backup. He spared a moment to hope that Ron and Hermione were
Voldemort was a dark shadow, facing
away from him, focussing on the main fight. This really just might work.
But as Harry raised his wand,
Voldemort turned, spitting out a curse before Harry could speak and Harry
barely managed to cast “Protego!” in time.
That was Luna and Ginny. They must
know that those jinxes would have little effect on Voldemort, but they might
just buy enough time for Harry to take aim.
He raised his wand again – it was
now or never - and began to speak. “Ava –”
Lestrange had reappeared in the
chaos and grabbed his arm from behind, crushing his wrist with brute force and
prying his fingers from his wand.
Neville ran forward valiantly, calling out a stunning
spell, but Voldemort brushed it calmly aside. His terrible red eyes narrowed as
they passed over Neville, confirmed that Lestrange still held Harry powerless
and returned to Neville again.
“Troublesome boy!” he hissed. “Let
me see if you cry as well as your parents cried for my loyal Bella. Crucio!”
Neville’s screams of agony filled the air and Harry
redoubled his efforts to break free. Witches and wizards tended to despise
“Muggle duelling” but a few lessons in hand to hand combat would have been
useful right now.
Ginny and Luna were battling another Death Eater; there
was no help to be found there. Then a large weight was knocking him off his
feet as Kingsley launched himself bodily at Lestrange and attempted to throttle
the Death Eater, leaving Harry free.
He was winded, lying flat on the
ground and he felt as if he had cracked a rib or two, but if he could just
reach his wand… he stretched his arm out desperately. Just another few inches
and he would have it.
“Master!” cried Lestrange. He had
only managed to dislodge Kingsley’s hands for a moment, but that was all he
Voldemort swung round, focused on
Harry and prepared for the killing stoke.
Everything seemed to slip into slow
motion. Harry was aware of Dean, running towards a large Muggle machine,
Croaker mouthing unintelligible things towards him. He heard Neville, no longer
under Cruciatus, but still sobbing in agony a few yards away from him. Kingsley
was still struggling with Lestrange, unable to help. And Harry still could not
quite reach his wand.
He had thought he would be afraid of
death; now he knew he felt worst for all those who would continue living. The
prophecy had been a cruel thing to bear, but if Harry died it would be
fulfilled. Voldemort would survive without him and there would be no one left
who could defeat him.
Harry nearly had his wand. Voldemort
grinned in triumph. Harry’s hand closed futilely on thin air. Voldemort raised
his wand to strike…
And was crushed by half a ton of
Harry looked up in a daze to see
Dean sitting at the controls of a giant mechanical crane and Croaker grinning
as he spoke to him. Neville was sitting up, looking dazed but unharmed and
Kingsley was taking great satisfaction in tying Lestrange up with purple
magical cords. The remaining Death Eaters began to Disapparate; the battle was
Ginny and Luna came running towards
him. “Harry!” Ginny cried. “He’s dead! Dean crushed him to smithereens. He’s
Harry got to his feet and gaped.
“He really is gone for good,” Luna
smiled. “Mr Croaker cast an experimental anti-disembodiment charm on the bricks
before Dean dropped them. He couldn’t even get away as an unquiet spirit this
time.” She ran off to congratulate Dean.
Harry was left opening and closing his
mouth with no sound coming out.
“But… but…” he managed at last. “I
was supposed to be the one to kill him. There were prophecies about it and
On the whole he was glad not to be
dead, but he felt a bit as if everything he knew to be true was lying in pieces
“Hermione always said you had a hero
complex,” said Ginny, but her voice was sympathetic. “You know that
Divination’s a really imprecise branch of magic. Even centaurs sometimes read
the signs wrongly. The important thing is it’s over. You’re free Harry. You
don’t have to be defined by him anymore.”
Harry stared at her blankly then
slowly started to smile.
Extracts from the files of the
Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Attack by eight Death Eaters on Automobiles on a Muggle
Motorway. Seven Muggles killed, nineteen injured. Circumstantial evidence
suggests You-Know-Who (only we don’t know who he is yet, thank you very much,
Minister) may have been present in person. Obliviators were called to the scene
and sixty-three Muggles had their memories altered. No witches or wizards were
present so there is no eyewitness testimony available for use in the
Wizengamot. However before removal of her memories one Muggle gave an account
of a masked figure referred to as “Master” by the other attackers as well as
descriptions of two girls who “looked young enough to still be at school” and a
man with long platinum blond hair.
international incident occurred today in the Caribbean. A Norwegian Ridgeback
dragon created havoc in the waters between Barbados and St. Lucia, leading two
Wizarding vessels to capsize as well as destroying a handful of Muggle boats.
Suitable memory charms were cast by local wizards. Initial reports suggest that
the dragon was deliberately brought to the area and set free by European Death
Eaters in retaliation for Barbados’ recently concluded alliance of support for
the British Ministry of Magic. In the light of the political implications, a
squad of five Aurors and two dragon keepers from the Welsh Dragon Reservation
have been seconded to work with the local authorities.
Acting on a tip off concerning illegal dragon blood, five
Aurors today proceeded to Barking, East London where He-who-Must-Not-Be-Named
and a dozen of his Death Eaters ambushed them in a Muggle block of flats. Two
Death Eaters were killed and subsequently identified as Evan Rosier and
Athelstan Wilkes. Senior Auror Moody lost a chunk of his nose in the fight and
is currently recovering in St Mungo’s. The building was nearly destroyed and
seventeen Muggles were injured in the crossfire. Their memories were
subsequently modified and the explosions explained as the result of a gas leak.
This department would like to point out that the number of “gas leaks” causing
explosions has increased five fold in parts of London over the last three years
and that if the Ministry Obliviators can’t come up with a better range of explanations,
even Muggles are going to start to notice what is going on.
Y-K-W today attacked a Muggle home containing a
childminder and four children while apparently hunting for the Muggleborn witch
Emmeline Rigden. Madam Rigden was in fact many miles from the attack and had no
connection to the house in question. All five victims survived the attack,
although one baby was caught by a skin-melting curse. All memories were removed
and the child’s burns were blamed on boiling water dropped by the childminder.
We understand she has now lost her job and the parents concerned believe the
child’s injuries to be perfectly Muggle in nature.
Divination is an uncertain science
and the interpretation of prophecy can be as much about your own prejudices as
about the prediction itself.
There were indeed just two wizard boys born at the end of July
1980, whose parents in the Order of the
Phoenix had survived Voldemort three times. But although Albus Dumbledore
is a great and wise man, even he added his own assumptions to what Sybill
Trelawney actually Saw.
And even if someone had thought to
check, the records held by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement during the
first Voldemort War were never kept in sufficient detail to show whether any
two Muggle victims had ever survived more than one of the Dark Lord’s attacks.