The Sugar Quill
Author: J. R. Riddle  Story: Of Swords and Sorcerers  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to that most talented of writers, J.K. Rowling

 

A chill wind blew across the damp heath, low dark clouds scudding before it. Swirling amidst blackened leaves and dead clumps of grass it battered against the imposing bulk of ancient castle. High in a tower window, two figures stood gazing out.

" Too cold for May, isn't it?" remarked Harry Potter.

Ron Weasley answered him. " Bloody right! What do you bet You-Know-Who’s got a hand in this."

That was indeed possible, reflected Harry. Voldemort had been on the move, rallying his troops for what was sure to be a final assault on Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he was probably powerful enough to control the weather.

" Come on, let's see where Hermione is, besides its almost dinner." Ron said, wrapping his scarf around his neck and heading off down the stairs.

Harry turned to follow his friend but stopped and gazed out again at the darkening moor. A premonition suddenly splashed over him like ice water, a dull burning sensation began in his head, He is coming…

* * * * *

 

Harry careened down the stairs taking two at a time. Slowing to a fast walk he entered the Great Hall scanning quickly for Ron. He spotted him talking to a bushy haired girl at the Gryffindor table and swiftly made his way over to them. They were engaged in a subdued argument on the merits of whether or not the 7th years should be allowed a final trip to Hogsmeade.

"C'mon, Hermione, as Head Girl you should be able to influence Mcgonagall into letting us go." Ron was wheedling.

" Honestly, Ron, you know it's much too dangerous after that last attack at...." Hermione trailed off after noticing the grim look on Harry's face. "What's wrong, Harry?"

" He is coming. Voldemort is coming now."

" What!" Hermione gasped.

" Hermione, you need to alert Mcgonagall and get the students into the dormitories. Ron you come with me." Harry ‘s voice was steady as he gave these instructions but a sheen of sweat glistened on his forehead.

While Hermione departed for the Head Table, Harry pulled Ron after him into the entrance hall and grabbed both their cloaks from the wall.

" Wait a minute!" demanded Ron " What the bloody hell do you think your doing?"

" Going out," was Harry’s terse reply.

" Harry! You-Know-Who’s out there! You can’t be serious!"

" Ron, listen to me." Harry grabbed Ron by the front of his robes. " Voldemort’s coming to destroy me. I’m the only one who stands between him and the entire destruction of the wizarding world. I have to face him, I have to go out there and fight him."

" That’s where you're wrong, Harry" said Ron, breaking Harry's grip on his robes, " We are going out there."

* * * * *

 

On the windswept quidditch pitch they waited. The only sound was the whistling of the wind through the goalposts and the occasional rumble of thunder in the growing nearer.

" Oy, Harry, sure you got the right place?" Ron muttered.

" I'm sure," Harry replied tightly.

At that moment Harry groaned and staggered. There was a flash of light, a ring of figures appeared around them and the storm broke in a fury of rain and lightning.Through the rain Harry could make out the ring of twelve Death Eaters surrounding him, but his attention was quickly drawn to the two figures in front of him. One was a short man clutching something long bundled in a cloak. The other was a tall, cadaverous wizard with a snake-like face: Lord Voldemort.

Voldemort smiled, " At last! We meet again, Potter. Time and again you have evaded me, but now I have you. Your destruction will mark the beginning of a new age in the wizarding world. But, we have time. Secure them!"

Before he had time to react, Harry was hit by some sort of paralyzing spell uttered by one of the Death Eaters. Beside him Ron was slammed to the ground, victim of a different spell. Unable to move he watched as unconscious Ron was dragged before Voldemort. The Dark Lord chuckled coldly and looked at Harry standing paralyzed in place.

" So, Potter, you brought a friend, obviously a scion of that muggle-loving clan of Weasleys by the looks of him. No doubt an acquaintance of your, eh Wormtail?" This was directed at the second man who was still clutching what Harry could now discern as some sort of sword.

" Yes, master, my former owner when I was in animagus form." Moving forward, Wormtail kicked Ron twice in the ribs.

" Now, now Wormtail," sneered Voldemort, " We have more refined ways to do such things. Crucio!"

Ron was abruptly ripped from unconsciousness by the horrible pain that cascaded through his body like a thousand red-hot knives. Harry could only watch helplessly as his friend twisted and screamed in agony. His scar felt as if it were molten iron burning through his forehead. Casually Voldemort flicked his wand, abruptly ending the spell. Stepping over Ron's body, he advanced toward to Harry.

" Before I kill you boy, let me make clear to you why this is a turning point in history."

* * * * *

 

" As you well know, Potter, I am the last heir of Salazar Slytherin." Voldemort was speaking softly, his red eyes gleaming in the occasional lightning flash, " When Slytherin and Gryffindor parted ways many years ago a certain prophecy was uttered: In the final hour the heirs shall meet, darkness and good shall strive and the destiny of worlds will be held in balance." Voldemort stepped closer, locked eyes with Harry and hissed: " but, what you don't know is that you are the last surviving heir of Godric Gryffindor."

Harry was stunned, He the Heir of Gryffindor? What? The sight of Wormtail bringing the sword to Voldemort interrupted his thoughts. Voldemort wrenched the sword from the scabbard and whipped it in an arc. " Look, Potter, behold your death."

Harry was still paralyzed, helpless as he watched Voldemort raise the sword for the killing blow. Time seemed to stand still for Harry. The scene around him was frozen like some bizarre tableau. Harry felt an odd sensation in the back of his mind, like something was struggling to break out, and suddenly in a rush of inexplicable power he was moving forward. The paralyzing spell that bound him cracked, and fell away like drops of water. Stepping forward and raising his right hand, he thundered in a voice he hardly recognized as his own: " Gryffindor gladius auxilium!"

 

 

* * * * *

 

In a swirl of light, the ruby encrusted hilt of Gryffindor’s sword dropped into his outstretched hand. Time resumed its normal course as Harry brought the sword around to meet Voldemort’s swing. The swords collided with a brilliant burst of light. Voldemort stepped back and regarded Harry with interest. " Most impressive, boy, but it will only prolong your imminent destruction."

He attacked again only to be deflected by Harry’s sword. The fight continued on. Harry had no sense of how long the fight continued, but could tell he was slowly tiring. Voldemort, however, was a wizard in his prime and sensing his advantage, attacked with redoubled ferocity. Bit by bit Harry was being driven back toward the ring of Death Eaters when, out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of Wormtail bending over Ron’s inert body, a knife grasped in his hand. Momentarily distracted, he whirled to fend off Voldemort, too late. With a cry of triumph, Voldemort drove Harry’s guard down and thrust forward. The gleaming blade entered Harry’s chest and drove all the way through him.

Harry felt an expanding pain in his chest as he watched in fascinated slow motion as the sword entered. Then, even as the sword stabbed through his flesh, it began to crumble. The blade of the sword dissolved into nothing, leaving only the hilt. Voldemort was thrown off balance. Summoning his last remaining strength, Harry swung the sword of Gryffindor in a sweeping, downward arc. Screaming, Voldemort flung up his arm to protect himself. The shining blade slashed inexorably downward, rending flesh and shattering bone. Voldemort's body was wreathed in green flames as his screams turned into a shriek and finally a thin hiss.

* * * * *

 

 

Harry fell to his knees, hands grasping his gaping wound. He knew the wound was fatal, he could feel his life ebbing away. Determinedly he lifted his gaze to where Lord Voldemort had been. All that remained of the once powerful Dark Lord was a small pile of dust gray ashes. Even as he watched, the wind took the ashes and scattered them away. Harry’s vision began to blur, and it seemed that a golden haze was forming before his eyes. Suddenly, to his surprise, Professor Albus Dumbledore stood before him. Dumbledore looked exactly as he appeared last year before his death, with Fawkes his phoenix resting on his shoulder.

" Well fought, Harry," said Dumbledore, a twinkle in his eye, " Alas, poor Riddle could never understand that, in the end, good ways triumphs over evil. There are no exceptions. That is why he could not kill you. And for that very same reason you must now go back to see that evil does not rise again. Farewell, Heir of Gryffindor."

Harry shook his head and opened his eyes. He was still on his knees, but his vision was better and he could make out a figure running toward him.

" Ron!" Harry lunged forward and caught his friends arm. " Wormtail…the knife, are you all right?"

" Never better! When you hit You-Know-Who, Wormtail and the rest went berserk and started running away and…" Ron trailed off looking at Harry chest, " Cor! Harry, didn’t you get stabbed?"

Harry quickly put a hand to his chest. He felt a long gash in his robes, but no blood or any kind of wound. Opening the front of his robes he looked at his chest. All that remained was a four-inch, jagged scar. Great, scars and me are like students and sugarquills, thought Harry wryly, together forever. Grasping Ron for support, Harry pulled himself to his feet. The storm had cleared, a ray of sunlight broke through the clouds illuminating the quidditch pitch and turning the castle golden. Harry threw an arm around Ron’s shoulder, and turned towards Hogwarts. "Come on, let’s go home."

 

 

Finis

 

 

 

 

 

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