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Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light by Anima Summa

Anima Summa Book 3 - Into the Light

Anima Summa

Chapter 11 Into the Light

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.

"NNNNnnnooooo!" everyone shouted as they stood and watched the black beam of energy speed towards the exhausted Harry and Hermione. The heart-rending cry was full of the helplessness they all felt at that particular moment in time. Their spells had been deflected by Voldemort's protective shield and now there was no time left for Dumbledore to send the spell that would weave a protective cocoon around the two shattered youngsters.

Harry and Hermione stared in horror as the powerful black beam approached them. They both regretted not carrying Relocators into the City of Pillars - after all the success they'd had in capturing Death Eaters in the last few weeks, they'd come to rely on their special powers to evade any curses. They'd thought that there was nothing they couldn't handle - but how wrong they were! In that instant, they both recalled the prophetic nature of the silent conversation they'd had the previous night…




Sleep had been a long time coming as both Harry and Hermione anticipated and yet dreaded the coming conflict. Hermione, not wanting to wake her two friends by her constant tossing and turning, had donned her robes and stepped outside her tent into the chill desert night, hoping that it would clear her head of confusing thoughts.

Harry sent thoughts of comfort towards his girlfriend, and also silently put on his robes and walked out of the boys' tent. Ron opened his eyes as he watched Harry step outside, and then closed them again, trying to shut out the worrying thoughts that had plagued him ever since they'd come to Petra. He just couldn't help but think of what had happened in the past, when the Anima Summas had come up against the evil threat of the Nephilim and Dark Wizards. One or both of them had lost their lives in those distant conflicts, and he hoped and prayed that the same thing wouldn't happen to his two friends.

Harry looked around and spotted Hermione sitting outside her tent. He slowly walked towards her and sat down at her side, reaching out to enclose her cold hand in his.

Draco watched Harry walk from his tent from his position at the top of the wadi. He'd volunteered to keep watch over the camp - after all, he didn't need to sleep, and it gave him something positive to do. Draco was also worried - he couldn't help feeling that the following day would decide his ultimate fate - whether he'd be accepted into the Light Realm, or be condemned to roam the Earth forever more. He started to drift down towards Harry, wanting to talk, hoping for a sympathetic ear, but he stopped when he saw him sit down beside Hermione. He drifted back up to the top of the wadi and stared out into the night.

'Harry, do you…are you feeling nervous about tomorrow?' Hermione sent her thoughts to her boyfriend.

Harry nodded slowly. 'Yes. I feel confident about facing Voldemort and the Nephilim, but it's the power of the Disc of Gates that worries me. I just feel very uneasy about it - not only for ourselves, but for everyone else as well.'

Hermione frowned and squeezed his hand. 'The thing that bothers me is whether we can stop both the Nephilim and Voldemort before they can use their awesome powers. I just don't see how we can do it.'

'We've got to try Hermione. Everything we've done - all we've gone through over the last three years - has prepared us for this confrontation. We just can't afford to fall at the final hurdle. We've got to be positive - we've just got to keep thinking that victory tomorrow will bring a new dawn - a fresh start for everyone in the world.'

'And the price of failure will bring Armageddon,' she added sadly…





Harry and Hermione closed their eyes, waiting for the terrible impact that would shatter their bodies utterly. In their exhausted state, they were powerless to defend themselves. They needed more time to recharge their energies - time they just didn't have. But the impact didn't come. They opened their eyes to see what had happened - and felt a terrible rage born of agonising anguish and utter disbelief rise within them.

While their friends and colleagues were frozen to the spot, two figures - the ones standing closest to Harry and Hermione - launched themselves through the air in a selfless act, intent on protecting the Anima Summas with their bodies - their lives.

Sirius braced himself to take the hit as he put himself directly between Voldemort and the Anima Summas - but the impact didn't come. He stared in horror as Ginny flung herself in front of him, her slim form taking the impact of the deadly black beam.

Ginny's eyes went wide and her mouth gaped open in a silent scream as she felt the terrible power of the Disc of Gates. Within the blink of an eye, she slumped to the ground - her eyes staring sightlessly at the stark rocky ceiling above.

Inside the Temple of Gates, the portal to the Dark Realm opened once more; ready to accept Ginny's tortured soul on a one-way trip to purgatory. Everyone watched in horror as slowly, ever so slowly, Ginny's ghost - her Ba - started to emerge from her body.

Even Voldemort was taken aback by the unexpected turn of events. He just couldn't comprehend how or why the girl would deliberately sacrifice herself - how anyone could do that. It was completely beyond his understanding, and he hesitated for a few seconds - a fatal few seconds - before again aiming the Disc at the Anima Summas and sending the same spell at them once more. But this time, the outcome was different.

The awful spectacle of their redheaded friend giving her life for theirs had raised a terrible rage in Harry and Hermione - a fury that gave them the energy to once more call the Shining Entity into being.


Like before, a glowing silvery-blue light rose from their joined hands, and covered their bodies. The glow increased in intensity, although not quite as intense as it had previously been. Then, in a flash of released energy, the glowing entity - Harry-Hermione - appeared once more, just before the black beam from the Disc of Gates struck.

The deadly spell hit the entity in the centre of its chest - and dissipated harmlessly around them, the blackness soon fading from sight. Voldemort stared in disbelief at the apparition before him, and once more sent the deadly black beam. Once more it hit the Anima Summa and faded harmlessly from sight.

A look of terror entered the Dark Lord's eyes. He not only felt terror at seeing the ultimate personification of the Anima Summa standing, seemingly invulnerable, before him, he also felt the terror of not being in control and not being able to influence the events that went on around him.

Harry-Hermione lifted its arm and pointed it at Voldemort. Again, no word was spoken - the force generated by an incredibly powerful mind pushed through the Dark Lord's protective shield and wrenched the Disc of Gates out of his hands, sending it crashing to the floor to the side, just inside the annex doorway. Voldemort tried to turn, intending to retrieve the Disc, but found that he couldn't move an inch - he was held rigid in the grip of the mind force that surrounded him.

"Lucius… Lucius, help me," hissed Voldemort through the side of his mouth. "Pass me the Disc - hand it to me now!"

Lucius Malfoy, hidden from view behind the Dark Lord's body and just inside the entrance to the temple annex, just sneered. He'd seen the ghostly form of his son, and he'd relived the moment when Voldemort had snuffed out the boy's life without so much as batting an eyelid.

"Lucius - help me!" hissed Voldemort.

Again Lucius just sneered, turned and walked into the darkness to find a suitable hiding place - his revenge had been sweet.

Harry-Hermione looked into the mind of the evil figure before them, and saw his vision of a dark future. They also saw the warped mental processes and knew that there could be no remorse or sorrow felt by this man - only regrets that he hadn't prevailed. Harry-Hermione looked sadly at Voldemort as they did the only thing that they could to make the world a safer place.

Voldemort looked wildly around as he felt his body rise from the ground and float into the Temple of Gates, towards the Dark portal that his diabolical spell had earlier opened. His screams were suddenly cut off as he disappeared into the blackness. His screams were well founded; he knew what fate awaited him at the hands of Satani and the vengeful Nephilim. Later, Snape told them that he'd looked into the chamber just as Voldemort disappeared, and swore that he'd seen several large arms reach out to drag Voldemort through the portal.

The shining glow quickly faded from Harry-Hermione, and in a flash of light Harry and Hermione appeared once more in its place. They slumped to the ground, their exhaustion even more sever than before.

"Harry! Hermione! Please!" shouted Ron, his face streaming with tears. "You've got to help her!"

The pair looked on with a terrible sinking feeling of helplessness as they watched Ginny's Ba slowly float ever closer to the temple door. Her face was a mask of terror, and she reached back her ghostly hand towards her friends, silently imploring them to stop her drift towards the still open portal to the Dark Realm.

"Hermione," gasped Harry. "We've got to try!"

Hermione nodded and for the third time they said the spell that would invoke the Shining Entity. But this time, nothing happened - their energies were completely spent. Harry silently cursed and had to muster all his willpower to drag himself up from the floor, and then reached down to help Hermione back to her feet. Ron and Margot helped them stagger over to Ginny's Ba, and the four stood just inside the temple entrance, blocking her way to the Gate.

As Ginny drifted towards them, Ron raced back outside and scooped Ginny's limp body up into his arms and carried her into the temple, where he gently laid her down in front of his friends. Harry and Hermione joined hands, making sure the rings touched, and whispered the only remaining spell that was left to them - the one that had resurrected little Clare Bryant after the attack on the school two years previously. But they both knew that it was futile - a last, useless gesture in an attempt to save the soul of their friend.

Ginny floated straight through them, the speed of her drift starting to increase as she neared the Gate. The four could only stand and stare in disbelief as she drifted towards an existence of eternal torment. Charlie, Nadine, Sirius, Ceri, Fred and George rushed into the temple, past the four youngsters, and reached out to grasp Ginny's Ba, trying to stop her inevitable passage, but Ginny just floated through them.

Charlie sunk to the floor, covering his face with his hands as he sobbed unashamedly. He couldn't bear to see his sister go to a fate worse than death. Fred and George just stood and stared - too numb with shock to show any sort of reaction.

Then, Sirius suddenly shouted, "She's stopping!"

Everyone looked and saw that she had, indeed, stopped her drift towards the gate, and was looking back to where her body lay. They all turned and saw Draco shielding his eyes as he bent over the pathetic form of the girl he'd come to love, sobbing uncontrollably, his ghostly tears falling onto her pale face, where they slowly faded into her skin. All his anguish and love for Ginny were held in those psychic tears. Then he lifted his head and cried, "Take me instead - leave her alone!"

Ginny, her ghostly features showing the enormous mental effort she was bringing to bear, gasped as she stretched out her hand. "Draco!"

Draco looked across at Ginny and floated towards her, his tortured face showing a trace of hope. He reached out and caught around her, his ghostly form seeming to merge with hers. Then he slowly helped her to drift back towards the temple entrance and away from the gate, which disappeared with a loud rushing noise. The Gate to the Dark Realm had closed for the last time.

As it closed, Ginny's Ba staggered forward. She let out a gasp, and then her features became more serene when she felt the terrible wrenching suddenly cease. They all now stood outside the temple, the two Bas surrounded by their friends, protectors and the remnants of the Auror forces and ministry employees. No one spoke for a while; no one knew quite what to say. They were all relieved that Ginny had been spared a terrible fate, but were still trying to come to terms with her death.

Hermione let out a strangled gasp of anguish and dropped onto her knees beside her dead friend's body, lifting her cold hand gently in both her own. Her head bowed as she silently sobbed, her shoulders shaking with the intensity of the grief she felt.

The others turned when they heard a noise from behind, and saw Remus, his face screwed up in pain, hopping towards them on his good leg and being supported by Katie.

"What's happening?" asked Katie, but then her face fell and she stifled an anguished cry when she saw Ginny's body lying on the ground.

"Oh no!" cried Remus, his pain forgotten, and then stared in confusion when he spotted Ginny's ghost floating beside Draco.

Finally, Professor Dumbledore cleared his throat and spoke. "We must never forget what happened here today - the whole magical community must be told what happened. The Dark Side must never be allowed to rise again; never be allowed to bring such evil into the world. We have been victorious and the prophecy has been fulfilled." He looked sadly down at Ginny's body and then at the ghostly forms of Draco and Ginny. His voice broke with emotion as he said the next few words. "But not without paying a heavy and terrible price. Come, all of you - we'd better get back up to the surface - this place fills me with dread."

They all walked slowly back across the city towards the tunnel that would take them back to the surface and into the ancient city of Petra. Ron, Charlie, Fred and George carried Ginny's body between them, while the rest helped to levitate the injured and those of their dead that they were able to find - they didn't want any of their number left down in that place. Marcus and John walked behind the ten tightly-bound Death Eaters they'd rounded up in the temple annex, but there was one who'd evaded capture, one who still remained down in the city.

Lucius Malfoy slowly pushed open the stone chest, which had once held the four black ritual torch holders, and peered into the gloom of the temple annex. The sounds of movement had long since stopped and he felt reasonably sure that he was safe - at least for the moment.

He stepped out of the chest, looked out into the city to make sure that he was alone, and then sat down on the cold ground. Before going back to the surface, he'd wait for a while to make sure that everyone had gone. He sat deep in thought, thinking about his future - or lack of it. But he soon found solace in the first stirrings of a plan than crept around inside his head. He couldn't return to Malfoy Manor, of course - that was lost to him now - but he could still make Voldemort's cave reasonably comfortable to live in. Nagini would have to go, of course, but he'd keep Voldemort's Dark Library. He grinned as he anticipated the dark secrets he'd be able to read about, and in time, he'd be able to assemble his own army of Death Eaters. But he wouldn't make the same mistakes as Voldemort - he'd do things differently.


All was dark in the ruined city of Petra as Professors Flitwick and McGonagall led the dishevelled band out of the Roman governor's tomb. They'd lost all track of time during the battle down in the city of Pillars, and they were all surprised to find it was the dead of night.

They walked over to their camping place at the bottom of the wadi and waited at the end of the line of tents that still stood there while Ron, Charlie, Fred and George gently placed Ginny's body on the ground. Marcus and John Ballot walked slowly up and covered her with a white sheet.

Ron, unable to contain his grief any longer, let out an anguished moan and buried his head in his hands. Margot, Harry and Hermione caught around him and held him close while Draco and Ginny floated just to the side.

Oliver and Katie were the first ones to become aware of the change - they were the ones who were facing in the right direction. Low down in the eastern sky, a small bright spot of light, which Oliver had first thought was a star, started to expand.

"Look - there!" shouted Katie, pointing at the growing sphere of light. Everyone turned and faced the light, which had now grown so bright that it cast an eerie glow over the desert city.

"It's not getting bigger," gasped Oliver. "It's just getting closer!"

The orb of light moved across the city and came to rest directly over the group. Night was transformed into day and they had to shield their eyes against the glare. A serene smile slowly spread over Professor Dumbledore's face as he whispered, loud enough so that everyone heard him, "It's the Light Side - they're here."

Then, out of the brightness of the glowing orb, a figure started to take shape as the brightness slowly faded. Then the bright orb of light was gone, to be replaced by a single figure surrounded by shimmering radiance that seemed to come directly from its body.

"It's Thoth!" gasped Hermione, looking around at her friends with excitement.

His features were unmistakable - he was exactly as they'd remembered him in the secret chamber beneath the great pyramid of Giza. He drifted down to the ground and walked over to stand before the four youngsters, his eyes kind as he smiled at them. Everyone could feel the aura given off by his immense intellect and goodness.

Thoth turned and surveyed the scene, looking at everyone in turn, and then he spoke with a soft and kindly voice.

"You have done well, children of the Light. The prophecy has been fulfilled."

Ron slowly approached the radiant Thoth and pointed down at the dead body of his sister lying beneath the white sheet. "My sister… Ginny… she…"

Thoth reached out and placed his hand on Ron's shoulder. "I know, Ron. It was known for some time. At such pivotal times in the history of the Physical Realm, there is always a sacrifice - it is inevitable."

"Can you… can you bring her back?" asked Ron, gazing at Thoth anxiously.

Thoth smiled and slowly shook his head. "I'm afraid that I can't. The power of the Disc of Gates was too much - the spell destroyed her body utterly before releasing her Ba."

Ron gasped and stepped back into the comforting arms of his friends.

Thoth looked directly at Harry and Hermione. "Your task is done. You have done everything that was asked of you, and you showed great courage and skill in the way you did it. But just as one door closes, another opens - read me."

Harry and Hermione glanced at each other in confusion, but then looked back at Thoth as he walked over to the ghosts of Ginny and Draco. Draco's eyes went wide when Thoth stopped just in front of the pair. "I know you - you're the shining being who came to me after I died, and told me I had to do a selfless act."

"That is correct Draco," replied Thoth. "It was foreseen that Ginny would be the one who would give up her life to save the Anima Summas. You were given the chance to redeem yourself by preventing her soul falling into the Dark Realm. You see - you were the only one that could save her. The Anima Summa could have done it, but they were too weak to call the shining one into being. It needed an act of self-sacrifice, like the one that Ginny did, to prevent her fall. Your tears of love slowed down the terrible spell, caused it to become confused, but it was your cry offering to sacrifice your own soul in place of Ginny's that finally stopped the spell. It became even more confused by the hard fight that Ginny started to put up, and your offer of an easy solution to its dilemma. The spell couldn't take you, of course - you hadn't been hit by it. So it just gave up and dissipated."

Thoth stood up even taller and pointed over to the three rows of bodies lying beneath their white sheets - the bodies of those who had been killed by the Forces of Dark in the battle below. "Those too made a sacrifice. And they too will join you in the Realm of Light."

A bright silvery light shot from Thoth's outstretched hand and settled over the pathetic forms lying on the ground. Then there was movement. Ghostly forms started to rise from beneath the sheets - shining beings of light - Akhs. They stood and looked around with some confusion for a few moments, and then smiled when they spotted Thoth.

"Go into the Light," said Thoth, pointing his arm into the air. The air above their heads started to swirl and distort, and then finally stretched and expanded to form a shining vortex that slowly revolved. Everyone could see into the vortex. Whether they were standing to the front or behind it didn't matter - it appeared exactly the same from whatever angle it was looked at. The bright interior of the portal seemed to stretch into some unfathomable place, reaching out to a point that was hidden from view by the shining radiance that was there.

The shining beings of light reached up, led by 'Mad-Eye' Moody, and entered the portal, the joy on their ghostly features being clearly visible. Then they were gone, but the portal still remained. Then Thoth turned once more and smiled at Ginny and Draco.

"It is now time for you to join us in the Realm of Light." He stretched out his arm and covered them in the silvery light. "Your time is short, but you may ease the anxiety of your friends before you come."

The dim ghostly forms of Draco and Ginny slowly transformed, slivers of light shooting through their substance until they glowed with the same radiance as Thoth. Ginny and Draco looked deeply into each others eyes and smiled, and then drifted over to stand in front of Harry, Hermione, Ron and Margot. Ginny looked over their shoulders and beckoned for Charlie, Nadine, Fred and George to join their little group.

"Don't grieve for me - for us," said Ginny. "We are safe and happy." She turned and looked at Draco. "I'm exactly where I want to be now."

Harry, Hermione and Margot smiled - they knew that things were as they were meant to be. But the other five still found it hard to accept the loss. Ginny and Draco drifted closer.

"Reach out and touch us," said Ginny.

When contact was made, Ginny sent her thoughts and feelings into their minds. And then, all too soon, she broke the contact and stepped back. "You know what I feel now. Tell Mum and Dad, Bill and Percy not to mourn my passing - tell them how I feel, and that I've found love at last."

"Draco," said Ron quietly, looking at the shining form of his former enemy, "you… will you look after my sister? Make sure she's all right?"

Draco grinned and nodded. "Of course I will Ron. But it may be more appropriate to ask Ginny to look after me - after all, I've only just joined the good guys. Your sister has spent her whole life being good, so she's likely to find her feet in the Light Realm a lot quicker than me."

"Come - it is time," whispered Thoth, reaching out to the shining pair. The three intertwined their hands and they drifted up to the portal. Ginny turned just before she entered, and smiled as she looked down at her friends for one last time. Then she turned and went into the Light with Draco and Thoth.

The vortex seemed to expand outwards, then disappeared soundlessly, leaving everyone staring at the dark night sky.


Ron sighed for what must have been the hundredth time since he saw his sister go into the Light. He sat with Harry, Hermione and Margot at the top of the wadi while the remaining Aurors and ministry employees packed everything up and prepared to go back to Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad.

Several other small groups sat down in the wadi, talking quietly among themselves. Professors Dumbledore, Snape, Flitwick and McGonagall were discussing plans to reopen Hogwarts and resume the school year.

Nadine sat captivated as Charlie, Fred and George recalled better times, back before Ginny had started her Hogwarts schooling, when their lively little sister would terrorise them early in the mornings, bursting into their rooms and jumping excitedly on their beds. But the smiles soon disappeared when they started talking about when and how they'd break the news to their parents and two brothers.

Sirius, Ceri, Remus, Oliver and Katie kept glancing up to the top of the wadi where the four youngsters sat. They'd gone over and over the action back at the temple, agonising that they just may have been able to do something - anything - to have saved Ginny. But Remus had reminded them all that there was absolutely nothing they could have done to hold back destiny.

"Harry knew that something like this would happen," said Sirius. "I remember him speaking to me a while ago about it - something that Trelawney had seen in the Tarot." Sirius shook his head slowly. "He was very worried about that - he said that she hadn't predicted Harry's death like she normally did, she predicted A death - a sacrifice that would have to be made. Harry was worried that it could have been any one of us - and he was right. And if I'd been just a little quicker, it would have been me."

"Margot saw it as well," whispered Ceri. "She had a nightmare when we were at The Burrow back last summer. She saw a death too - but she couldn't see who it was."

They all sighed and looked back up to the four youngsters, wondering how they were coping with the loss of their sister and friend.

Ron sighed once more and Margot leaned against him and caught around his arm. "It's going to be so strange without that redheaded little firebrand," he said, wiping away a rogue tear that escaped from the side of his eye.

"You felt her thoughts Ron," said Margot gently. "You know that she's going to be all right."

"I know, Margot. But it's not the same as actually seeing that she's ok. Thoth said that there had to be a sacrifice. But why couldn't it have been me? Why did it have to be her? She was the most innocent, the most compassionate, the most caring one of us all!"

Hermione reached out and stroked her hand along his shoulder. "It's not for us to try to figure out how these things work Ron. But perhaps it was just that - what you said about Ginny being the most caring one of us all. It was that very selflessness in the face of great danger that made her react quicker than anybody - even quicker than Sirius."

Harry, who had been strangely quiet as the four friends talked among themselves, let out a gasp and dropped his head down onto his chest, not wanting Ron see the tears rolling down his cheeks. "I lost a sister too, Ron," he finally managed to whisper. "I… we're all going to miss her. We were four to start with, and now we're four once more - but I wish we were still six."

The four reached out and held each other close. They stayed that way for what seemed a long time before Margot broke the spell. "What… what are you going to do with that… that thing?"

"The Disc of Gates?" asked Harry, pulling the object out from his robes. "Like Osiris and Isis before us, we'll have to hide it. But this time, we're going to have to think of a place where it can never be found again."

Margot nodded. "That was a strange thing that Thoth said to you," she said. "What did he mean?"

What… about one door closing and another one opening?" asked Hermione.

"That's right," said Ron. "And he said 'read me'!"

"The book!" exclaimed Harry. "He must have meant the Book of Thoth!"

"It must be complete now," said Hermione. "Catch my hand Harry."

They closed their eyes and concentrated, willing the Book of Thoth to appear. The sand in front of them shimmered, and then the dark red leather-bound book appeared. Hermione quickly opened the cover and turned to the final few pages that had previously been blank.

"They're still blank!" exclaimed Margot. "I thought…"

She suddenly stopped talking when the blank page started to shimmer, undulating waves of light spreading out from the middle of the page towards the edges. Then they all gasped when a tiny figure appeared at the centre of the page, rising up and growing to a height of about a foot. A kindly smile lit up Thoth's wrinkled face.

"How… but we just saw you go…" gasped Harry.

Thoth held up his hand to ward off further questions, and then he spoke. "Yes Harry. You saw me go into the Light. And I am there with your friends - but I am also here. Do not worry yourselves with the whys and wherefores - just accept that there are things of which you are still unaware and will not come to know until it is your turn to join us in the Realm of Light."

"But… but why are you here?" asked Hermione. "Why weren't the final few pages filled in?"

"They will be filled in, Hermione. As we speak, the script is being fixed to the page." Sure enough, several hieroglyphs had already appeared at the top of the blank page.

"The final pages of my tome are important - not only to you but for everyone in the physical realm. I have come in person to deliver my last message both to make sure you fully understand the importance of it, and to answer any questions you may have."

Thoth paused and looked at each of the four youngsters in turn. "This is the last time you will see me in this realm. The Book of Thoth has come to an end and I must take my place in the Realm of Light for the rest of time. My task is done, but yours is just beginning."

"But… but I thought that our task was completed when we banished Voldemort and the Nephilim back to the Dark Realm!" exclaimed Harry.

"Have patience Anima Summa," said Thoth, smiling benignly at Harry. "It is true that the prophecy has been fulfilled and your task is completed, but there is a far greater task that you must now undertake. Let me tell you of the history of the last days of Nibiru - the place you know as Atlantis - the history that has been hidden from you until this moment. I felt it necessary to withhold these details until after the final conflict with the Dark Realm for fear of distracting you from your purpose. But now there is no distraction - now you must hear the things that were revealed to us before the destruction of Nibiru and the rest of the world so many years ago."

Despite the gravity and solemnity of the situation, the four friends couldn't help but grin as Thoth sighed and sat down on the page, making himself comfortable before continuing with the message.

"The path of humankind through the ages has been, and still is, a very precarious one. You have read in my book how Nibiru was destroyed and sank beneath the ocean, and that the event was foreseen by our seers. Only a pitiful few within the scientific community took heed of the warning and, under our leader Anu, sought out a safe place to ride out the destruction. That place was, as you know, beneath Mount Mashu in the Garden of Eden. But during our earliest days in the garden, we undertook a crash program to monitor the destruction, in an effort to determine the cause. This is the history of those findings. Every 9,600 years, the Earth undergoes a change. It is related, in part, to the phenomenon known as the Precession of the Equinoxes."

Thoth looked up at Hermione, who nodded to show that she understood.

"At that time, the Earth's magnetic polarity changes - it flips so that north becomes south and south becomes north. At the last change, when Nibiru was destroyed, the magnetic changes were accompanied by a displacement of the Earth's crust, plunging some continents into the Polar Regions, and others into warmer climes. We weren't able to determine why this happened, or if it is a regular feature associated with the magnetic shift. That, children of Light, is for you to determine. Full details of our research and findings are contained in this book to aid your future efforts."

"Do… do you know when the next destruction will take place?" asked Margot.

Thoth looked sadly at the four and nodded his head. "Yes - it will happen on 21st December 2013."

"What!" exclaimed Ron. "But that… that's only a few years away! Are you sure?"

"Quite sure, Ron. One of our scientists, like me, left the Garden and went to help rebuild civilisation in South America. I, as you know, went to Sumer, Egypt, Greece and Rome. That scientist encoded our calculations into an ancient calendar - now known as the Mayan Calendar. Your archaeologists and scholars are well aware of the predictions in the calendar, but they have, of course, confined the facts to myth and fantasy. They don't want to believe what is in front of their faces - that the Mayan Calendar stops on 21st December 2013 - nothing is beyond that date."

"Bloody Egyp… uh, archaeologists!" exclaimed Hermione.

"My sentiments exactly Hermione," said Thoth, smiling. Then his features became sombre once more. "It was also discovered that towards the end of each age is a great struggle between the forces of Light and Dark, and the victor will dominate the start of the next great cycle. At the end of the last cycle, and this one, the Light prevailed, but we weren't able to find what happened in previous cycles. It is Anu's opinion that the Dark prevailed in the cycle before ours - that is why the miracles of Wizard-kind were not discovered until the end of our cycle was almost upon us."

Thoth got up and stood on the page once more, drawing himself up to his full twelve inches. Again he pierced all four friends with his benign gaze. "You are charged with leading humanity through the destruction that will soon descend and into the next great cycle. You are the next great civilisers, the patriarchs and matriarchs of a new age. It falls to you and your friends and helpers to do what we failed to do - find a solution - a cure - for the destructive cycles that forever hold back the evolution and true destiny of our species. Like we before you, you must cultivate the Shem-an-na and benefit from its powers of magic, longevity and goodness. You must extend your lives and oversee the rebuilding of a world and a great civilisation that will rise to the challenge of curing the ills of a troubled Earth.

"The gods of the old world are no more - we have completed our task and have returned to the Light. You will be the generation of new gods who will guide and advise a helpless and confused remnant of humanity. I am content that this great task is in good hands. Now I must go."

"But wait," cried Harry. "How can we save all the billions of people in the world?"

"You can't Harry. I fear that your experiences in the few years that remain of this cycle will mirror our own. You will not be believed - they will not want to believe what you tell them. All you can do is gather together a band of those who accept your word. Most of your colleagues who took part in this victory will believe you, for they saw and experienced things that have been hidden from Muggle and wizard alike. Their minds are open and receptive - they will be the core of your support in the great venture that lies before you."

"But time is so short!" exclaimed Harry. "How can we find a place that will be safe?"

"You will find it, Anima Summa. It is in your nature, and that of your companion Anima Summa to prevail. Start with the Fabled Garden - that can be your starting point. And feed on the wisdom of your mentor - Albus Dumbledore will be the steadying influence in the early days. Make him your leader - this will free you to further your research and uncover great mysteries that will enable you to prevail. At his passing, you will be better prepared to take the mantle of joint leadership of your community."

"But… but if there's to be all this destruction," said Hermione, her face full of concern, "what will happen to all the souls if you and the other Shining Ones are not here to guide them into the Light?"

Thoth smiled enigmatically. "Do not concern yourself with that, Hermione. Provision has been made. Now I must go. For the last time - farewell, Children of the Light, and good fortune."

The figure of Thoth dimmed, and then shrunk back down into the final page of the book of Thoth. Then he disappeared from the Physical Realm for the last time.

The four stared at the page, which was now covered in script, and stood silent for several minutes. Then they glanced at each other, each seeking everyone's initial reaction to the revelations they'd just heard.

"Well bugger me!" exclaimed Ron. "If that doesn't beat all!"

The other three grinned briefly, but their expressions then turned serious as they all felt the weight of the great responsibility that had been placed on their shoulders.

"We'd better go down and tell Professor Dumbledore and the others," said Margot.

"I wonder how they'll react to this little lot!" said Ron.

"You two go on down," said Harry. "Don't say anything yet, but tell them all to wait for a few minutes. We'll be down a little later to tell them all about it, but now," he gazed into Hermione's eyes, "we just want to be on our own for a little while."

Ron and Margot nodded in understanding and walked, hand in hand, slowly down to the bottom of the wadi. Harry stretched out his hand and Hermione reached out and held it. They stood looking at each other for a few moments, both realising at the same instant that the calming influence of the rings was no longer present. They looked longingly into each other's eyes.

Then Hermione flung herself into Harry's arms. They held each other tightly for a few moments before breaking apart slightly. Harry gently smoothed the cheek of his girlfriend and slowly placed his lips on hers. They both savoured the moment as they kissed - a gentle and loving kiss - before Hermione drew in a deep breath and crushed her lips against Harry's. They broke apart once more, gazing deeply into each other's eyes. Then Hermione squeezed her eyes tightly shut, clutching Harry fiercely to her as she sent her thoughts and feelings - feelings that were many and varied - the terrible pain she felt at losing her friend Ginny, the anxiety of the forthcoming task, the dread at the sudden responsibility that had been thrust upon them, relief that the fight was all over, and love - love that only the Anima Summas could share.

"I know, Hermione," he whispered into her ear, stroking the soft hair lying at the back of her neck. "I know."

Hermione raised her head and gently kissed Harry's lips and then gazed lovingly into his eyes.

After a few minutes, they looked up to see the first streaks of light coming over the eastern horizon. They turned and faced the budding light, and then walked hand in hand, slowly over the sand and into a new dawn.

Author's Notes : Please review this chapter. It's almost finished now - just the epilogue to come. I'll be giving you some of my thoughts on the series at the end of it. There's a few images on my picture board relating to this chapter.

- Shining Entity - the formation of Harry-Hermione Anima Summa

- The Arrival of Thoth - Oliver, Sirius and the others look up to see the expanding orb of light

- The vortex into the Light

- The Mayan Calendar with the encoded date for the destruction of the world

- Hermione watches as the orb carrying Thoth gets brighter

- Harry watches as the orb gives off its bright glow

- Ginny's Akh goes into the light

- Harry and Hermione kiss as dawn breaks over Petra

Epilogue - And so it Ends - coming soon.