Action Romance
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 07/20/2005
Updated: 01/05/2008
Words: 204,297
Chapters: 22
Hits: 56,754

Harry Potter and the Soul of the Hero


Story Summary:
The Boy Who Lived has survived Sword and Defiance, but his fight has only just begun. Power enough to destroy Existence is growing in more than one source, and the War for Creation will burn all worlds. Beings of higher power, both Light and Dark, battle for dominance and caught in the middle is Harry Potter. But Harry has his own war to fight - against the Dark Lord - and humanity must unite if he is to win. We have reached the end, and change is coming, whether it be for good or ill. Harry must gamble again with everything on the line, even if it means damning his soul to an eternity of darkness... will he pay that price to save those he loves, or will he tear down Creation itself to destroy his enemies?

Chapter 14 - One World Alone

Chapter Summary:
The pieces on this chess board have come far, and grown into the warriors and destroyers that they need to be in the coming months... when all has failed, we begin to understand that this world is not a friendly place....

Harry Potter and the Soul of the Hero

Chapter 14 - One World Alone

Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire.

~~John Milton

To have come so far and to have lost so much... the journey was not worth the price paid, the life sacrificed, the blood spilt....

All across Existence, trillions of worlds, trillions upon trillions of worlds, lay desolate and battle scarred, smoking heaps of rocks and death, strewn with the remains of the innocent, of the guilty, and of the heroes.

The War for Creation had claimed a fair quadrant of all of the mortal realms, upon which it was most fiercely fought, and had gutted the Boundary of its life force, polluted the Stream so that its destruction flowed back and forward through time - straining to reach that first drop of Existence, that first flow of time and unmake the glory of everything.

For to the Destroyers, who opposed Creation, the void left from the loss of everything would be bliss, paradise, a darkness over which they could rule for eternity beyond time, for time wouldn't exist and nothing and no one would be able to change it.

With the stakes in the game this high, you only got one chance to make a difference, one chance to set it right, and one chance to save it all.

Harry Potter was that chance now, Godric Gryffindor knew. Everything the Guardians stood for had been lost to the infinitely powerful Destroyers - creatures that had flourished with the absence of the Creator, and that now threatened to undo all that He had made.

As it stood now, Existence and Creation was not worth saving. It had, in so short a time, become a desolate husk under the relentless onslaught of pure evil that had been slowly seeping into its every point since the dawn of time. It polluted everything, and had struck fast and hard.

The Guardians had never stood a chance against that, and nothing they knew of - and they shared the collective knowledge from every world since the Beginning - could save time and undo the Great Destruction. But Harry Potter, a mortal boy who had once stopped the Destruction in a different form, may know of something.

He was unique in Creation as the only mortal to ever jump through worlds, battle the Destroyers and win... and ascend the stairs of the Ways of Twilight. That last had never been done by any other being, mortal or not.

So the eyes of creatures from millions of realms, on all planes of existence throughout all of time desperately turned to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, who had saved Existence once before and was the only person in all of Creation that the Destroyers feared....

Gryffindor, who had become commander of this war through the process of elimination - all of the Guardians ranked above him had been slaughtered or obliterated beyond existence - was desperately seeking a way to contact Harry Potter, to enter his mortal world - the world he himself had been born in. For Harry Potter was his descendant. No matter how small events may seem they are all connected....

The Boundary had become almost impossible to navigate through, and it could take weeks to travel the vast distance to Earth - his Earth, the only one that mattered now - and warn.... beg Harry Potter for his help.

Although what he could do seemed insignificant now.... but destiny was that boy, and anything was possible. Gryffindor did not allow himself to feel hope too strongly, but if it existed anywhere it was with Harry Potter, the Darkslayer... the Last Hero.

Gryffindor only prayed, as he moved slowly across the Boundary, doing his best to avoid detection, that he was not too late.

But prayer was futile - no one was listening.


It hadn't taken much to convince the majority of the Australian Ministry staff that Harry was in charge. Mostly it was fear that controlled them, fear and the threat of unemployment. There was also greed, as pay packets for Aurors had been tripled. There was the sense of honour, in some, to keep the country going....

But none of them would have stayed if they had had any idea of the size of the coming storm. They would have fled to spend the last days with their loved ones, for it was indeed coming to the final days of this world, where everything would hinge on the choices of the not quite so sane Harry Potter.

Ron had grown up with Harry, forged a friendship that had stood the test of time - for especially Harry, he knew - and had been through it all with him for the first five and a half years of the ongoing saga that was Harry's life. But Fate had torn Harry from this world, alone and bereft of friendship it had thrown him across time and space in a never ending hellish battle for existence against creatures so unholy that Death himself had to take a visible hand.

Ron could scarcely comprehend the murder and war, power and dealings, life and death that he had seen in the pensieve of Harry's memory. To have come so far still carrying his sense of right and wrong was not something that should be just merely commended... it was beyond words. Harry was more than human, Ron suspected, but also - through his fights and life - had become so much less.

He didn't... feel... like he had before the circle of light in the Forbidden Forest. Harry had been hard before he left; when he came back he was so beyond hard as to be indestructible. And Ron knew that Harry was damn near indestructible - pretty much everything, even Death, had tried to stop him and he'd just smiled and kept on coming.

But he was dying, Ron knew, and had shared his concerns with Hermione. He was Harry, alive for now, but dead on the inside - dying on the inside. He could fight, that was obvious, fight and live and do impossible things, but his feelings and emotions, a part of all humans, was struggling to breathe.

And what's more Harry knew it, could see that he was closed off and circling closer to the flame, and seemed to think that that - himself - was a small price to pay to stop Voldemort and save the world.

Only it was more than that. Ron could not explain it, and Hermione felt the same way, but they knew that this war was bigger than just Voldemort. The Dark Lord stood at its head, extremely powerful and single minded in his destruction of life, but there were higher powers at work here... powers beyond even Harry....

No, that was not quite right - there was nothing beyond Harry, for he'd beaten it all to get back to this one moment in time where he could save the goddamn day forever. But there was something and it gave Ron a headache to think about.

Something Harry knew of but was keeping quiet about. He had heard whispers from Ginny about a.... War for Creation, and how Harry was trying to avoid it but had, through no choice of his own, become the key player.

Once again it was up to Harry Potter, and that made Ron angry. When was it Harry's turn to rest?

He feared the answer did not rest in this life.

Ron sat with Hermione in a beanbag overlooking the ocean in the window seat of the sitting room in Harry's house/base. It was approaching sunset, that mystical hour of twilight that meant so much to the workings of time and space that it was almost beyond comprehension. Today they had finished the pensieve memory, after being at it for over a week.

Needless to say, the both of them were shaken to their very core. Harry had... well; he had answered so many questions about life, the universe, and everything that it was really no real mystery anymore. Words cannot adequately describe the feeling that the universe has a purpose, that we are all threads in a web so thick and intricate that billions of them could snap away and the web would still hold.

Billions of them had snapped away, as the evil in the scar link between Harry and Voldemort had scoured trillions upon trillions of worlds across different points in time to reach him, to keep them connected. That link, the evil, had given birth to Allarius, the Destroyer's creation, and Existence's damnation.

He had died - this entire world had died. In another reality, one that was chillingly real to Harry, Allarius had come to this world and killed him, killed Hermione.... killed Ginny. The demon had taunted Harry as they battled for the future of everything, taunted him with a thought so painful that Harry had torn apart a city and a world to destroy the beast.

That hadn't worked, and in the end only love had destroyed the demon. Power the Dark Lord knew not, that is all but useless to Harry now as he didn't have the heart in him anymore to use it. Everything was over; everything had been for nought if Harry didn't learn to feel again.

Victory would be indistinguishable from defeat. So much would fall, be lost, that wasn't even human... and that maelstrom of death and destruction swirled around Harry Potter.

Nothing more needed to be said at that, Ron thought, if Harry could not save the day then it was all over.

"What do you reckon, Hermione?" Ron asked, his head resting on the top of her head as the azure twilight claimed the sky and the tide swayed gently on the beach. "Did you see this coming when we started Hogwarts?"

Hermione had been crying all day, on and off, and burst into tears every time she saw Harry. That had unnerved the saviour of everything quite a bit, and he'd gone off to run his country. And that, Harry as Minister, was nothing compared to this.

Worlds that were, never could be, and are... all a stone's throw away if you knew how to get there.

"Oh, Ron," Hermione sighed, breathing heavily into his chest. "How are we supposed to help Harry? This is so... big! Beyond us... Harry's fighting a whole different war than we could have imagined."

Ron shrugged, watching the fading beams of sunlight dance on the window. "We'll just have to be there for him - nothing more and nothing less. I think, in the end, it will come down to Harry on his own, but we have to make him remember that he is human before then... otherwise what the hell will he think he's fighting for?"

Hermione sat up at that, and looked at Ron as if she had never seen him before. After a long moment, where so much was said without words, Hermione whispered, "I love you...."

Ron nodded and then held her close. He was still thinking about the future, and whether they'd have one after what was coming had played out.

And after all of that... there was Ethan Rafe.

He was still alive, a part of him anyway, stuck in Harry's mind and talking to him, projecting himself out into the real world. Invisible to all other eyes, but in the pensieve he could be seen, as it is what Harry saw, and yes, the Dark Lord's son was still alive, living on in Voldemort's last real enemy.

It was odd and scary to think that Harry was never alone, and that none of them could ever be alone with Harry. Ethan Rafe, the enigmatic shadow, was Harry's conscience - they thought alike, argued alike, were alike. Ethan had travelled with Harry, blazing a trail of death across everything and everywhere.

Harry and Ethan had done big things, and were extremely feared and revered for it.

"Where do you think we'll end up, Ron? Once all is said and done...."

Ron frowned and opened his mouth to say something, but ended up just shaking his head. "I don't know," he said. And for lack of any other answer, he said it again, "I don't know...."


"Two hundred and fifty new recruits within the last week, Minister," Stephen Cornwall said to Harry, who was seated in his chair in the Minister's office at the Ministry in Canberra. "Most of them are dodgy characters though and are here for the money. I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them to hold their own on a battlefield. That said, it will take at least six months to train them to any sort of reasonable standard."

"You have two, maybe." Harry sighed and rubbed his forehead. He had another headache - it seemed it was odd if he didn't these days. No matter. "Every wand we can put on the field is worth it, Stephen, remember that - it'll be important should other... parties... take an interest in this war."

Cornwall raised an eyebrow, looking from the tired form of Harry Potter and then briefly at the auburn haired girl that stood behind him, one hand on his shoulder. "Other parties...?"

Harry grinned, baring his teeth. It wasn't an overly comforting smile. "Demons, Mr Cornwall," he laughed bitterly. "Nightmares."

Cornwall licked his lips slowly before saying anything, and glanced at Ginny again - whose face was eerily calm. "Sh... should we expect these nightmares any time soon?"

Harry laughed, leaning back into his chair. "I hope not, Cornwall, otherwise things are going to get really difficult.... but, expect the worst. How many men could I send into battle right now?"

Cornwall frowned and thought for a moment. "Four hundred, I'd say, maybe more and maybe less. We need to leave some to defend our own soil."

Harry nodded. "Then it is time to raise the stakes, Stevie," he grinned. "I want to issue a... proclamation, worldwide."

"Saying what?"

"That anyone willing to fight against Lord Voldemort can come here and join the army - yes, we're creating an army - one that I'll outfit with weapons similar to the Twilight Guardians, and be paid fifty galleons a week, and that rises by fifteen galleons for every month of service."

Quite simply, and to the point, Cornwall said, "You'll start a riot. We'll have all sorts of criminals and madmen signing up."

"The madder the better," Harry whispered seriously. "They won't lose as much when they see what's coming."


"And worse...."

Cornwall shook his head. "This is insane," he said, and Harry appreciated his honesty. "If it doesn't save the world it will destroy it!"

Harry shrugged. If that was what happened then so be it. He was exhausted, running on empty and, after a century of war, was looking forward to the end - even if it meant total and utter annihilation. But he'd fight - go down with his palms blazing.

"To tell you the truth, Stevie," Harry sighed. "I'm not sure if we can save this world, but if we unite then we can try and save everything else."

And to what Stephen Cornwall thought of that, Harry would never know, as the man was rent asunder as the air around him twisted and turned, broiled and bubbled, wrenching open a dark passage between worlds that split him in half. His dismembered body flailed on the carpet for a second, surging with blood, and then lay still.

Ginny screamed, Harry was already standing with his palms ignited, and a cruel pale hand reached out through the tear of darkness. It was followed by a skeletal arm, a thin white body and a bald head that was eyeless. The creature - whatever it was - scorched the ground it stood upon, burning the carpet and what remained of Stephen Cornwall.

Harry calmly stepped in front of Ginny, waiting quite patiently as the beast stood tall, sniffing the air with the pale slits of its nose and hissing when it obviously detected Harry.

"Potter...?" it said - gurgled through a throat obviously in ruins.

"Who sent you to your death?" Harry asked the monster, clenching his fists and cracking his knuckles.

It laughed, stepping in the entrails of a man Harry had needed to control the Auror force. Its breath seemed to hang in the air like a putrid yellow cloud, before dissipating in a haze.

"I bring you an offer, Darkslayer," the creature grinned, showing a row of sharp yellow teeth. Ginny flinched and pressed her hand against his back.

"Oh? From who?"

"The Legion of the Destroyer, the rightful rulers of time and creation, are willing to offer an agreement for peace."

Harry snorted. "Peace... your kind do not know the meaning of the word. I remember your crimes during the last war. Millions slaughtered, butchered... raped and sent adrift into the void. I was there, remember? Peace... there will be no peace. Not until each and every one of you is dead."

Again, that throaty laughter emanated from the demon. "It would be wise, Darkslayer, to listen.... A force of Destroyers billions strong, strengthened by the demon spawn of the between space, is poised to attack and destroy your universe. Your crimes against the Destroyers are not forgotten either... we will offer you this universe, we will spare it, if you remain neutral in the War of Creation."

Harry stared long and hard at the monster, the disgrace and waste of life, a scout of a force so inevitably strong that to fight seemed insane. Well, these creatures had driven Harry insane before, and he had no fear of them.

"You must have known," he said to the creature, pushing Ginny back behind his chair. He didn't know if the creature could see her, but he was taking no chances. "Must have known that I would not even consider such an offer. One universe for everything else? Oh no, all or nothing, you fools."

The creature hissed, but did nod, accepting his response.

"We expected that, Potter... we could have had a truce," it croaked, visibly trembling. "You have just doomed the Light to eternal darkness. The Guardians are defeated, lost, strewn throughout time. You have no allies, you are alone, and the entire expanse of the Boundary and its minions are under Destroyer control and will be set against you, only you...."

Harry gritted his teeth, itching to destroy this foul beast. "I've had worse odds," he growled.

Though not by much, Ethan commented wryly. He'd been silent the last few days, tired of the Great Game.

The creature screeched now, losing its temper, and the glass in the room shattered. Harry didn't flinch but Ginny fell to the floor, covering her ears and shielding her face from the rain of sharp fragments.

The black tear in reality that had brought this creature was still seething behind it, drawing in the light and pulsating slightly. The monster took a step back towards it, still screeching.

"Not even you will escape the flames of what is coming, Potter," it said, ceasing its shrieking. "We will teach you to fear for eternity... your soul, boy, will forever reside in torment."

"Blah, blah, blah," Harry said dryly, hitting the desk in front of him with his glowing palm and propelling it into the wall, where it splintered and destroyed one or two cabinets and portraits. The occupants in them had long since fled in terror. He had heard all of this, and rubbish like it, many times before.

"No truce with the Destroyers!" he shouted. "No peace, no offers, no hope! I'll give you an offer - the Destroyer army is to destroy itself, and save me the trouble... for I'll be coming, with the fury of the human race behind me I will be coming!"

"You are weak against this, Darkslayer, you will not survive. You have no plan, you have no hope! Hope never existed... There is no one to help you. You have nothing!"

Harry paused, speculated on that for a moment, and then smiled that insane smile. Evil itself had felt fear at seeing that smile. "You're right," Harry told it, spinning his palms together and weaving silent destructive magic. A spiral of gold and red light formed quickly. "You are absolutely right... and you're scared to death of me because of that."


The room shook as the creature dived for its portal back into the Boundary, but Harry was ready for that. He unleashed his spiral of power and as fast as the speed of light, which can circle the world seven times a second, the inertia of his power simply unravelled the monster. It disappeared in a cloud of light, destroyed, blasted beyond even time.

And that was what the end of that day brought for Harry, as he walked back across the room towards Ginny, who was busy getting to her feet and brushing the shards of glass from her hair carefully.

"We're in trouble, Gin," Harry sighed, falling back into his chair. All that had to be done could wait for one minute, as he rested and absorbed this latest development.

"I know," Ginny replied.

"There is an army of billions, who will ally themselves with Voldemort for his power, about to knock our door down... and all I've got are four hundred Aurors."

You may not even have that now, with Cornwall's death, Ethan whispered.

"I know," Ginny said again. "And all we've got is you, Harry Potter, but I'll be damned if that isn't enough."


Once upon a time there was a boy named Harry Potter....

He was a wizard....

And lived, comparatively speaking, a normal life....

He had friends, he went to school, and he made enemies....

Enemies that could wield awesome powers... that had no respect for life, and indeed hated it with a passion that burnt brighter than any star...

Harry was a hero, the Last True Hero, and the Darkslayer.... the Light's final hope for salvation.... a desperate bid by a Power long lost to save Creation....

Harry was a boy, lost in adventure and power that consumed him, destroyed his mind....

He was hunted... tortured... all across Existence....

But when things were looking grim for the hero.... something always pulled him through....

Some touch he possessed kept him safe.... if not so safe then alive after it all....

Harry struggled to find his way home.... stumbling blindly in the dark for a needle in a haystack as big as the universe....

He found it... and recreated all his enemies, the Destroyers and the demons... to get home....

But if he didn't come home then nothing would have mattered anyway....

Caught between a rock and a hard place... Twilight opened for the hero and Creation was given its last coin toss, roll of the dice, hand of cards...

All or nothing this time, it said, tired of Evil and Destruction....

This time, this game, the hero would play for the whole cake....

Reunited with his friends, Harry Potter set out to unite humanity under one banner... to send them into war against the Dark Lord Voldemort....

But those in power denied our hero, and left him no choice but to take all he could and throw together an army to stand against the Dark Lord....

That was going pretty well until the War for Creation spilled into his universe.... billions of creatures allying themselves with Voldemort to destroy him....

Harry was understandably upset about this, but also felt a small glimmer of satisfaction that the Destroyer army was gathering all its strength in one place.... hanging itself, really....

In a fairytale we all live happily ever after... but that doesn't exist here... this is no fairytale....

Dreams of Twilight, of life and love, failed in Harry's mind now... as he had no time and no strength for which to battle the Storm on the horizon of Existence....

But fight it he must, for everything....

For his Soul... for a bargain with Death... because doing so was just right!

Everything must have a Beginning, and so do we approach the End of everything....

One world, with only one hope, was left to stand against the Destroyers. But it was the one world that mattered!

Harry Potter would see to that....

Once upon a time... we fought a dream... and in the end did we live at all?


I don't know what to do, Harry told Ethan.

It had been two days since the Destroyer had killed Stephen Cornwall in the Australian Ministry, and now Harry's control on that power base was shaky. He had promoted the most senior Auror to the position of Deputy Minister, but the woman wasn't as agreeable as Cornwall had been. Sometimes she was outright hostile, and only just did what he told her to do.

Admirable, but she was only hastening this world's defeat. He couldn't make her see that. Maggie Thorn, the new Deputy Minister, had looked at him as if he had gone mad when he explained what had killed Cornwall, and that there was an army not only threatening this world from upon it... but also beyond it.

She could be a problem, if not watched - and she had refused the squad of Twilight Guardians as protection. All six squads were now back and resting in his house, waiting for the next mission. Harry had been to see the British Prime Minister yesterday, to explain the situation, and after many, many hours he had managed to convince the man that an army of something was about to attack the world.

That meant the British Army, the British Muggle Army, needed new weapons, and Harry was the only person on the planet who could and would provide them. He just needed more magical people loyal to him to help make the modifications and crystals that powered the terrible guns.

Roll with the punches for now, Ethan replied, shrugging in his mind. The odds are high and that's all you can really do....

I need Dumbledore's influence, Harry sighed. But the man doesn't trust me and probably never will again.

Ethan snorted. Is that why you're doing this?

Aye, Harry whispered, as he ran his fingers down the coarse length of his pensieve. The silver memory swirled at his touch, but remained level and smooth. Caring little about the consequences, Harry opened a small gateway in the air - not very large - that looked through onto Dumbledore's desk at Hogwarts, in his office.

He only felt the slightest resistance at breaking through the castles many wards, and when the square gateway stretched to its full length, Harry saw that the old man was not there. Fawkes the phoenix was, and he uttered a small note of surprise as Harry levitated the pensieve through the gateway and deposited it on Dumbledore's desk.

Attached to it was a note, explaining the truth.

Professor Dumbledore,

The future does not exist - none of it has to happen. I will fight for it the only way I know how.

Harry Potter

"Well that is that," Ron said, once Harry had closed the gateway and collapsed backwards onto the leather sofa by the coffee table in the centre of his large sitting room.

"Done is done," agreed Harry, as Ginny rested her hand upon his on the chair arm. "One more choice that may or may not see us through...."

"What now?" asked Hermione, hugging her knees and resting her chin on them next to Ron. "What... next?"

She directed the question towards Harry, as it was he who was in charge of this. No one else could be... no one else could even understand the mountain of war stretching clear across the horizon.

"It's time I explained a few things," Harry said, looking to each of his friends in turn. "What we're doing, why we're doing it, and what we're up against."

It felt uncomfortable to say 'we're' after spending so long doing everything alone, fighting it all alone - defeating it all alone and ending it all alone.

"The War for Creation," Ginny said, squeezing his hand. "Demons and Destroyers... nightmares."

"Voldemort," Ron said glumly. "Death Eaters and about ten thousand Inferi...."

Hermione blinked, looked a bit helpless for a moment, and then added more enemies to the list.... "Dementors...Vampires, Harry, they won't have forgotten about you."

"Nor I them," Harry said, without fear or feeling. It was just a simple statement. He smiled though, before speaking again. "There are a lot of enemies, we agree," he said. "A lot of enemies - we are surrounded. Humanity in this universe, and all others, stands upon the brink of destruction... but I want you to understand what we are really fighting."

He let that hang in the air for a minute, watching his friends, before continuing.

"Evil," he said, "is all a matter of perspective. Voldemort does not consider himself the villain of this story, even though we know he is... from our perspective he is. He's not the first, but he could be the last, monster capable of destruction and slaughter on such a scale that the effects will reverberate throughout time forever. If time continues to exist, that is - and we cannot be certain it will... or even if it ever did... but that's beside the point."

"He is evil," Ron said. "No matter which way you look at it... he just is wrong."

Harry shrugged. "The Destroyers are Creation's dirty little secrets. Beings of evil, of suffering, of pain and malice with the single goal of obliterating life in all its forms. They form half of a whole. Good and Evil, Light and Dark.... the Balance between them, set down at the Beginning, has been tilting in Evil's favour ever since."

"Why?" Ginny asked quietly, enthralled by the way Harry spoke - simply but deeply, with the voice of experience.

Harry glared at nothing that they could see. "Because what ever force created the web of Existence abandoned it to its own ends. Abandoned it or died for it, either way we were left without a Divine presence in all of our lives. A feeling of oneness with Creation - and for lack of that evil has flourished everywhere for time beyond count.

"The Destroyers are coming now, here, with their entire force behind them. Billions upon billions of enemies that are nothing but shadow, or could be as tall as a giant, strong as one as well. Hate and fear in all of its forms, power unimaginable allying itself with Voldemort to ensure my destruction, and, as a consequence of that, Creation's annihilation."

Harry paused there and glanced speculatively ahead of him into the reflective glass of the coffer table, at the bottles of Coca Cola half empty on there and to the space where the pensieve had sat a few minutes ago.

"I...." he said. "I don't want that to happen, but our chances of stopping it have grown very slim. We, this world, but us five especially, are all that stand between life and oblivion across everything."

"Five?" frowned Ron, counting them. Himself, Harry, Ginny and Hermione.

Harry grinned and tapped his forehead, where Ethan Rafe resided.

Ron continued to frown but then his eyes glimmered with understanding. "Ah, yeah... five...."

I think I'd welcome oblivion if it finally let me die, Ethan said morosely. But I'm with you for this last dance, Potter. Who would have thought I... we'd come so far? I was betting against it from day one.

"Then we should fight," Ginny said, gritting her teeth and once again squeezing his calloused hand.

"How do we do that?" Hermione asked, shaking her head. "I hate to say it... but we're outnumbered a million to one by creatures dozens of times more powerful than all of us could ever be... well, save Harry."

Harry inclined his head and smiled. "It's not as bad as all that...."

Yes it is, Ethan sung, and showed Harry a mental image of one of the larger battlefields he had been on. One littered with the corpses of a million men. The very clouds on that world had been tinged red with blood, evaporated from the crimson water. Harry, as always, was the only survivor.

He shook that away, a shadow of regret and pain passing over his face. His friends saw it, but remained silent.

"There is always a way out, a way to survive, if you look for it," Harry told Hermione. "I changed time and space to get back here, to stop Creation from collapsing and, although it took me some time, I did do it. We are not beaten yet."

"Do you have a plan, Harry?" Ginny asked, looking anxious. She was biting her bottom lip and her eyes were quivering with unshed tears.

Harry shrugged, trying to look unconcerned but failing miserably. A leader had to be strong though, had to show those under him that everything was fine. "We humans...." he began. "We are stronger than this Existence has given us credit for. We can fight, we will fight...."

"So," Hermione said irately. "You're just going to put a gun into the hands of every man and woman you can?"

"And child...." Harry whispered.

"Harry!" Hermione and Ginny exclaimed. Ron had paled, but Harry thought he saw the need.

"Do you have a better idea?" he asked the girls. "Any at all? I'll do my best to destroy as much of this army as I can, but it isn't going to be easy. Even if the billions of humans on this planet fight, every one of them, we are still going to be overwhelmed. To save life, to preserve hope and light, we may need to sacrifice our own world! And I won't let that happen!"

Harry didn't raise his voice, but that perhaps only made him that much more frightening. Hermione didn't think he was aware of the way blue sparks flittered across his eyes when he was angry, or sad, or passionate.... or the way the light seemed to bend around him, giving his skin an ethereal glow. It was only there a few seconds, but that was more than enough.

Harry didn't just fight for the Light... in a way he was the Light. All that was left in an existence where Evil had flourished since the Beginning of Time.

It wasn't hard to see why that same evil feared him so... he was indestructible.

No, it wasn't that, Hermione knew. He wasn't indestructible - he was mortal, that was what the Destroyers feared. They had defeated everything set against them, save for one mortal boy - Harry Potter, who possessed a will of steel to see this through to the end. They couldn't and didn't understand that.

"We won't let it happen," Ron said, putting his arm across Hermione's shoulders and drawing her close. "Merlin... this just doesn't seem real...."

"Believe it," Harry said, chuckling with a hint of bitterness. "This is as real as it gets."

"What's today's date?" Ginny asked.

"July14th," Hermione replied.

She nodded, turning to look at Harry. "How long do you think we have?"

Harry shrugged. "A few months, at best. It will take the Destroyers time in our reality to gather their forces."

"What do you want us to do?"

Harry smiled sadly. He couldn't believe it had all played out this way. One hundred years of fighting to save it all... destroyed in a few months by a quirk of Fate. Harry had recreated Allarius, those who are Evil, in the form of the Destroyers. They had always existed, and were now making their bid for total domination.

All that stood between Evil and the end of Creation was Harry Potter, and the human inhabitants of one small world - most of who had no idea of what was coming.

"I need crystals for weaponry," Harry told Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. "I'm going to introduce you to the Twilight Guardians - you'll each be under their protection, and they yours - and I'll show you how to charge crystals with magic so that they work in Muggle weaponry."

"And what will you be doing while we're doing this?" Ginny asked.

"I'll be trying to unite the human race under me," Harry replied with a heavy sigh. "I'll be engaging Death Eaters and Inferi... Dementors and Vampires... with my squad of Aurors and men from the Muggle armies. I'll be telling the world what's coming, showing them when I have to."

And so there they were. Five friends with a plan to save their world, to save every world, and with so little time to do it. Harry knew he would have to continue taking over world Ministries, and set his sights on America next. Taking out the superpower would nudge the rest of the dominoes.

Here's hoping they'd fall.


Call to Arms

From this day forth, July 15th, the Army of the Darkslayer
is recruiting from all over the world. All able-bodied men and women
over sixteen years of age are invited to
fight against the
Dark Lord Voldemort, for the future safety of our world.

You will serve under Commander Harry Potter, the Darkslayer, and receive
a weekly wage of fifty galleons. Wage increased by the sum of fifteen
galleons for every month of service.

With the threat of war looming over this entire world, know that
you can make a difference, can fight for a brighter

Weapons, training, food and housing provided. All applicants
should approach the Australian Ministry of Magic.

It was printed in every Magical newspaper on the planet, hundreds of them, announced on the Wizarding Wireless, sent out within thousands of proclamations carried by owl post. Not one corner of the magical world failed to hear about it in the following days....

Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, was marshalling a tremendous army to wage war against He Who Must Not Be Named, who was rumoured to have Vampires and Inferi by their thousands, as well as Dementors and Death Eaters.

There was outrage at the decree - many world leaders tried to censor it immediately, but it was out there. Common public knowledge, and within the first two days hundreds of potential soldiers had flooded to Australia.

Harry had the Ministry build dozens of barracks in the large and empty outback plains of Australia, in the desert. They were huge, could house thousands upon thousands, and yet filled an area only three square kilometres wide. The grey stone and hastily put together buildings were a damn sight bigger on the inside than out.

They filled up fast as well. By July 18th, three days after the proclamation was issued, one thousand, three hundred and forty eight wizards and witches were moved into the barracks, pending acceptance of their application into the army.

Hundreds more were arriving every few hours. The Ministry in Canberra was devoted almost entirely to shipping these men and women, most of them dregs of society, to the military base in the middle of the desert. Keeping them well stocked and supplied was another matter entirely, but it was done.

Harry spent two and a half million of his own galleons in the first few days, subsidized in part by the Ministry he controlled.

The soldiers were ranged all across the spectrum. There were hardened criminals escaping justice, old and young men looking for a fight, Aurors who found the pay better with Harry, Aurors who wanted to fight Voldemort, men and women who had no other prospects and nowhere else to go....

They came in all shapes and sizes, disciplined severely by the Twilight Guardians Harry had dispatched to supervise over the growing barracks and begin training with the mixed muggle/magic technology. He would need more men and women to do that, and such people were being briefed by the Muggle Prime Minister quickly on the situation.

Harry had found a fellow warrior in that man. A man who wasn't in power for his own gains, but honestly wanted to serve his people. A man who had withstood the backlash from ten thousand grave robberies admirably.... a man who understood the need to wipe Voldemort off the face of the earth.

They were two of a kind, the last of a dying breed of fighters.

Whatever they were, it had now begun. There was no turning back, no time to be afraid, and only a slim hope for the future.


July 19th

It may be safe to say that over the years, Harry had gained one or two scars from the fights he had fought, the battles he had won, and the life that he had led.

His joints ached in the morning when he woke from the few hours of sleep he allowed himself to have. His knees and thighs, his shoulders down to his elbows, as well as his lower back all bit at him with an aching and constant pain that he knew he would carry for life.

There was no cure for these old wounds - scars that he wore like badges of honour and regret - cold reminders that he wasn't meant to find peace in this life, or any other. That it was his place and always would be his place to fight the good fight.

Early that morning, just as the sun crested the eastern horizon, Harry was out jogging on the beach outside of his manor house. He had found that it helped to work out the pains in his joints, which if left alone became unbearable after a few hours. It had been many long years since he had been able to really run, to sprint, to throw it all to the wind, and this was as close as he could come now.

The sand was hard near the swaying tide and yet he still left deep indentations with his bare feet as he propelled himself down the beach. With the wind in his hair and eyes, he felt his joints loosen and the pain recede after the first mile.

He really felt free of all the responsibility as he raced the rising sun further west, disturbed a flock of seagulls, and dodged the rotting carcass of a large fish in his path. He was just a human, just one life form, on what could possibly be the only planet in this universe that held life.

Nothing mattered but the smell of the salt, the rush of the wind, and the breath in his lungs. His heart was pounding in his chest, the dunes and cliffs on his right whooshed by, and he noticed a large tanker out in the shipping lanes of the ocean beyond the coral reef.

The large manor house that had once hosted parties to the elite of the wizarding world, and was now playing host to the kids that had to save Creation, slowly disappeared around a bend in the beach.

Harry ran across sand that hadn't felt a human foot in years, decades even. This part of the world was so seldom used, that the large ocean salmon swam without fear of being plucked out of the water on the end of the hook just a few feet out into the calm sea. Harry would have been willing to bet that they would swim around his ankles.

He saw kangaroos up on the distant dunes, and even glimpsed a camel once, as well as a variety of native Australian birds.

Eventually, breathing heavily, he fell onto the warm sand and let the early morning sunlight wash over him. He wore a simple white shirt and shorts, and at that moment did not look quite like the most feared human in all of Time and Space.

You're out of shape, Ethan said. That was barely five miles.

"Pretty good for a hundred and seventeen year old," Harry breathed. "Anyway, I don't see you winning any marathons."

"I'll race you back," Ethan challenged, appearing before Harry. He wore a neon pink running suit of Muggle design, and reached down to touch his toes - stretching.

Before Harry knew what he was doing, he was laughing and clutching his sides. Ethan in pink track pants was so unexpected that it made him forget everything that troubled him for just a few seconds. And he truly laughed.

"You're on," Harry said, standing up and shaking the sand off.

Ethan grinned and winked. It was obvious he would win - seeing as how he couldn't tire and would have to stay ahead of Harry to be seen by his eyes, but it was the small things that mattered.

Despite their history, Harry and Ethan were friends most of the time. They had been together so long that neither properly knew how to function without the other. It would be both a sad and joyous day when they were finally separated.

"On three," Harry said. "Three!"

Harry went all out the five miles back to the house. His palms blazed as he used his raw energy to throw himself across the sand, churning it up and leaving a deep rift in his wake. Ethan, of course, left no footprints. He annoyed one or two birds and Ethan stayed one or two metres ahead the whole way. It only took twenty seconds, and Harry could have done it in one if he had wanted to.

When the house loomed up before them, Ethan inclined his head and disappeared - grinning at his victory.

Harry swatted the air where he had been and then Apparated up into the showers of the room he had chosen for himself within the house.

The shower water felt good across his old joints and scarred skin, washing away the grime and sweat. Stepping out of the shower, Harry dried himself with a blast of warm air and stepped out of his en suite bathroom naked into his bedroom.

Yes, not wearing a stitch he stepped into his room and scared the hell out of Hermione, who jumped two foot into the air when she saw him and quickly turned around, muttering fast and jumbled apologies.

Ginny was there as well, and although her cheeks quickly became stained red, she smiled appreciatively before turning around herself and giggling.

"Merlin, Harry," Ron said as Harry was still blinking in surprise at finding his room occupied. "Put it away! You're embarrassing Hermione's parents."

Oh yes, everyone was there. Brian and Janet Granger stood near Ron opposite the bed and next to the door.

Ethan was rolling around laughing in his head as Harry cursed and quickly summoned his clothes whilst jumping back into the bathroom. He closed the door firmly behind him as Ron's laughter echoed Ethan's.

Cursing himself for not sensing anyone in the room, Harry grumbled as he pulled on his jeans and buttoned up his black short sleeved shirt.

"Right," he said, stepping back out into the room with all the dignity he could muster. The saviour of all time and creation was not blushing! "What can I do for all of you this fine morning?"

Ron was still quivering with laughter, while Mrs Granger and Hermione were looking apologetic and Ginny was grinning slyly. Mr Granger seemed to be fighting his own laughter.

"Sorry for just barging in Harry," Hermione said. "But we didn't think you'd be...."

"All natural," Ron finished, sniggering again. "But, by God, Harry. How did you get that scar across your chest?"

Grinning himself, Harry replied, "Dragon."

"Dragon?" Hermione said uncertainly.

"Dragon," Harry repeated. "Big teeth... very sharp...."

And this one didn't breathe fire, Ethan chuckled.

"Could breathe acid...." Harry trailed away. "Anyway... why are we all here so early?"

Hermione blinked, and then suddenly looked very excited. "We've found something that might help, Harry," she said. "You said you wanted me to research the Darkslayer, well I mentioned it to mum and she said...."

Janet Granger stepped forward, glancing at her daughter and at the sudden way Harry Potter stood rigid, staring at her without blinking.

"There's a fairytale," Mrs Granger said. "I studied dentistry at university, where I met Brian, but my minor was in Ancient Egyptian mythology. Anyway, there was a story that the people of that time told to their children about a man called the Darkslayer. Just a bedtime story...."

"Stories are what make a universe...." Harry whispered. Did the answer to his questions lie within the mind of Hermione's mother, from a story four thousand or so years dead?

"Etiam, aiunt facio," Mrs Granger replied with a small smile.

Harry frowned at that, but then he realised that he had spoken last in Latin without consciously being aware of it. How did that happen? It was odd.... what had Mrs Granger just said? Etiam, aiunt facio - roughly translated through much grammar and dialect meant, Yes, they do.

Well, Harry knew enough Latin to be going on with.

"It is a very symbolic story, actually," Mrs Granger continued. "Some have even speculated that it was the basis for all religion...."

Harry nodded, not sure where this was going. Hermione saw that he was becoming confused and intervened.

"This story," Hermione said, staring directly into Harry's eyes to make sure he understood. "This fairytale, Harry, speaks about the... the Hand of God."

"The Hand of God?" Harry whispered, his throat suddenly very dry.

"A man," Hermione continued ominously. "A man the people called the Darkslayer."

And with that... the plot thickened!


Cheers for reading and please review. joe