Unofficial Portkey Archive

Until Midnight by Rosali

Until Midnight


Disclaimer: As you know, the characters from the HP Books are not mine or I would be filthy rich and publishing with a big company just like my idol, JK Rowling, lol. But the situations are mine! All mine! Mwahahaha!


Part One:

"I Made it Clear"

A/N: I don't think this is a typical structured fic, since it has no defined plot points and main conflict, but I wanted to write it anyway, at risk of it sucking, lol. There are also a couple of grammatical mistakes, but most are intentioned, as the story is told from Harry's PoV

Silence. It was over now. He could feel it in his guts but didn't even have the strength to celebrate… he felt like mourning, as a matter of fact, and he was sure he knew why. With the war over, he could finally have the life he'd so longed for, only that he didn't want that life anymore. He only wanted one thing, and he had already made it clear to them that he didn't want what she had to offer.

His birthday had come, it was midnight and Harry Potter was of age now. Two minutes past midnight, a faint glow surrounded Number Four, Privet Drive, and then hell break loose. He would have had a heart attack if he hadn't heard Hermione's admonishing voice above everyone else's for one second, after which it all went wild again. His friends had come to get him so he could leave the Dursleys for sure, of course not before they racked havoc in there for all those years Harry had been apart in the summers.

This would have been the happiest day of his life, if only he hadn't been so sure of what he was to do next. His friends had picked him up, oblivious of the muggles' complaints and opposition. They had set an imperturbable charm for the people outside the house, but inside fireworks echoed, butterbeer and firewhisky and laughter and joy was all around. Except he wasn't entirely there.

He excused himself from the crowd a moment; he couldn't bear it anymore and went up to his room. He kicked out Fred and Angelina and sunk into his bed, as deep as he could. He would have made it into a people-proof bubble if only he'd known how to do it. At that moment, he hated himself for doing what he was about to do that very night, which was leave everything behind despite his promises to his friends and go end this once and for all so he could finally have a life of his own, apart from those who called him hero, those who called him "the one", those who simply pitied him and especially those who had only stood by his side out of sheer loyalty, and whose lives the war had taken since Dumbledore's demise.

Putting a sound-proof charm on the outside of his room (something he DID know how to do), he just stayed there for what seemed like two seconds in Harry's mind, but in reality it had been about half an hour; enough for his best friends to notice him gone.

There was a knock on the door. Nothing. The charm was working. Another knock. Nothing. The people outside were getting impatient, and even worried, so they blasted the door away.

Harry jumped, pulling his wand at ready out of instinct. "For the bleeding blazes, what the hell is wrong with you!" he screamed at his friends.

"You idiot, Harry!" Hermione snapped at him. "We thought something had happened to you!"

"Nothing has happened, Mione, I just put up a charm, that's all," Harry retorted with a resigned air.

"Well, next time, a `Do Not Disturb' sign might help so we don't get all panicked," she said with an annoyed eyeroll.

"And anyway, what you doing up here, all by yourself? There is a party in your name going on downstairs, if you didn't notice…" Ron told him, stuffing something that didn't look too healthy in his mouth and handing Harry a glass of firewhisky. "You can legally drink now," he said with a cheeky grin.

Harry put up his hand to turn the glass down but thought better of it and drank the whole thing in one big gulp.

"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed in surprise.

"What? I am of age now!" he replied, annoyed at her.

"Yes, but you haven't eaten since lunch and it'll go straight to your head"

"How do you know I haven't had lunch?" he asked in defiance and Hermione pointed at the cold plate of food resting on Harry's desk and he smiled sheepishly.

"Now," she sat next to him, "what's the matter?" she asked her friend.

"Nothing, it was just getting too loud"

"You never seemed to mind loud whenever we won the Quidditch Cup…" Ron pointed out helpfully (to Hermione's cause), and earned a glare from his best friend.

"Well, I minded now!" he provided hastily.

"And since when did you become such a hermit, Harry?" she kept pushing.

"Aw, come off it, Mione!" he now sided with Harry. "Get off the man's back!" he said and it was now time for Hermione to glare at Ron, and the red-headed boy shrunk under her gaze.

He looked at one, and then at the other and made a face at them. "All right, fine, just don't bite my head off!" he muttered, resigning himself to let the two argue as his glass refilled automatically.

"It's nothing, really. We should get back down…" Harry said after a rather awkward pause and stood, trying to duck the question again.

"Hold it there, Mr…" Hermione commanded and Harry responded with an exasperated gesture. Too good to be true, he said to himself. "Fine!" Hermione continued and made a glass of firewhisky materialize in her hand, drowning the content in the blink of an eye, leaving the two boys open-mouthed. "What?" she said defensively.

"Nothing," Harry and Ron said in unison.

"I know how to drink too, you know?"

"I can certainly see that…" Ron commented with a smirk and made Harry snicker.

"Oh, come off it!"

"Refill, please!" Harry called to the air and the three glasses were now filled again. He smiled at the situation and was glad for the new firewhisky if it would prevent the two from start bickering again. He watched them for a split second and presumed he could give himself this little time of `normalness' before telling them what he was about to do that very night.

After they had finished their third glass, the three were quite happy indeed; talking about trivialities and vane stuff. They went quiet for a moment, all three staring at the bottom of their empty glasses.

"Ginny?" Harry suddenly asked, surprised she hadn't come up too and in hopes of avoiding the subject he was sure was next one in the `agenda'.

"Downstairs, with Fred and George," Ron provided. "Why?"

Harry shrugged. "Nothing, just wondering"

"Why did you break up with her anyway? Like, really?" Hermione questioned. "She is sad, you know?"

Wrong move, Harry told himself immediately and didn't know which was worse; the Ginny subject or the `why' he had left the party and wouldn't come down at the beginning of the night.

"I had to… just look at what's happened in only a month!" Harry exclaimed, in reference of their classmates and Order members that had been killed the past month. "And it is only starting…" he said darkly.

"Harry, you can't save everyone, you have to grasp that concept," Hermione tried to reason with him.

"Everything is NOT your fault, they could have been killed for Merlin knows how many other reasons!" Ron backed her.

"How can you say that?! They seem to be picking you one by one until they get to… to you!" he managed.

"And you can't keep all of us by your side at all times, that is physically impossible, Harry!"

"Unless I do exactly what he wants!" Harry finally let out and left the other two open-mouthed.

Hermione was the first one to react. "What?! You are not honestly thinking of doing what I think you are thinking of doing, are you?" she said with wide brown eyes.

Harry stayed silent as Ron gaped at the two, trying to decipher what she had just said and failing miserably. "You are not really thinking of going to him, are you? You can't kill him right now, Harry, you know it!"

"No, but I can get closer to him by looking for the bleeding horcruxes and destroying them until I get to him," he explained.

"Harry, this is not a detective movie, that doesn't happen in reality," she tried to reason without success.

"Well, I'll make it one because there is no other choice!" Harry nearly screamed.

"Of course there is! We can help you!"

"NO! That's why I'm leaving!" he yelled and immediately gasped and took a hand to his mouth. He hadn't wanted it to come out this way.

The other two stared at him for what felt like an eternity. Ron looked just betrayed and Hermione was apparently studying him. And then she took a few steps forward and slapped him hard across the face. "You are such a goddamned liar, Harry Potter! And a coward!" she said with tears welled up in her eyes.

Ron flinched and jumped in Harry's defence. "Hey! That was a bit too much, don't you think?"

Hermione turned to him. "Have you no clue, Ron? He is leaving us… for real. He is not going to keep the promise he made only a month ago. He is running away because he is scared," she said desperately and Ron looked from Hermione to Harry.

"Is that true?" he asked a dumbfounded Harry that had only managed to take a hand to his injured cheek. The other boy nodded and Ron's blue eyes widened. "That is not possible, you promised, Harry, and you have never broken a promise," he said and sounded like a little boy. "Besides, you certainly can't do it alone"

"Gee, thanks for the vow of confidence, Ron," Harry said rather angrily.

"He is right, the little chance you have of surviving this whole thing is immensely diminished if you go by yourself"

"But I won't have to worry about you getting killed"

"We are dead anyway if you get yourself killed!" Ron snapped at him.

"I simply can't all right?" he said, turning around as to not face them.

"That's why he is a coward," Hermione told Ron but was speaking to Harry.

"I am not!" Harry said, turning around to face her. "You have any idea what it is living like I do? Fearing for the ones you love. The ones you don't know call you their savior. The others look at you like some hero you certainly are not. And the other ones, simply pity me, how that for a life, eh, Hermione? Assuming, of course, I survive! I can't do it, Mione, I can't!" he screamed at her and his voice broke,

"Oh, poor me!" Hermione spat angrily. "This is not what it is about, and you know it, Harry?"

"Of course it is!" he said, not meeting her eyes.

"Fine, suit yourself, but you won't go by yourself, I will make sure you don't," she threatened.

"Oh, yeah? What are you going to do, put a tracking charm in me?" he defied.

"As a matter of fact, a device, yes. And one you already have in your body, by the way," she said angrily,

"What? I can't believe you-" he started but was cut short by Ron.

Ron had been staring at the two as they discussed, and for a moment there, they appeared to him as an old married couple arguing about something stupid. "Hey! You are stealing my role, Harry!" he tried to lighten the mood, seeing as this was getting a bit too steamed for his taste.

Harry turned to him, as if only just realizing his best friend was standing right next to them. For a moment, he flushed, for he felt a strange sensation as his head came to terms with the discussion they'd just shared.

"That's better, isn't it?" he asked, surprised that he had played peacemaker for once. Silence. "All right, I get it, not much into a chatty mood…" he bit his lip.

"I have to finish packing," he said darkly and Ron sobered instantly.

"I am sorry, mate, but I am with Mione, here, I won't let you go alone either," he said, dead serious.

Harry's mouth dropped at the statement and he shook his head. "I would have liked it if you had only supported me in this one, Ron," he said angrily.

The redhead shrugged. "I can't. I agree completely with her"

"Well, that's a first..." Harry commented sarcastically.

"Oh, don't be so thick, Harry!" Hermione snapped.

"Fine! I won't go alone…" he told them and stopped for a moment, pondering what he was about to ask his friends to do for him. "But I need to ask you for something," he said in a soft voice.

"What is it?" Hermione asked, coming closer to him, as if what he was about to say would be a secret just for her.

"I-I don't know how to say this but… I would like for you to just leave when this is over…"

A/N: I guess it isn't the one-shot I had originally thought of. It will be a two-shot because otherwise it would be too long. I hope you enjoyed, looking forward to hearing if you thought this sucked, lol.

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