Dream Journal of Harry J Potter
The Last Wizard Standing
This first dream I'm going to relate took place during my seventh year, however the events of the sixth certainly weren't what had happened to me in reality.
I woke up feeling awful. Not in the "Ow, my foot's sore." way but more along the lines of "Find the sadistic bastard who just stabbed me in the gut and twisted the knife. After you've beat them unconscious, please kill them. Then kill me to put me out of my misery." Yeah, THAT kind of awful.
I briefly considered opening my eyes to determine where I was. It took a very short time, roughly the same amount of time Snape spends smiling at Gryffindors in a week, before I decided opening my eyes would be a really bad idea.
Instead, I just listened. The whole "not moving a muscle" thing sounded like a REALLY good idea just then.
No noise of any kind.
There was no telling whether that was a good thing or a bad thing at that point.
Okay, now to try to announce that I'm among the living, no matter how much I wished otherwise. "Hllgh?"
My grasp of the English language knows no bounds.
"Harry?" Hermione's voice.
Oh, good; I was safe. "Hrnyne?" Now, this is just getting ridiculous.
"Oh, Harry. I'm glad you're waking up."
Speak for yourself. "What. Hap - p'n'd?" Better, but my desert-dry throat still didn't like cooperating.
There was a long pause. "Don't worry about that right now." Pomfrey's voice, so that meant Hogwarts hospital wing. Again. "Now, how do you feel?" she asked.
"Aw - ful."
"Mr. Potter, I think that's the first time you've honestly answered that question for me."
I tried to grin at that, I really did. I can just see the smile she has to be wearing.
"Well, I'm glad to see you laugh, even if it is at me. Now, am I correct in thinking that you're very sore all over, headache, and moving hurts?"
Good guess. "Yes."
"That's what I expected." A goblet was pressed against my lips. "This is a pain potion, Mr. Potter."
Blech. Potion number seven on my personal list. Strong, but short-term.
How sad is it that I could recognize pain potions by taste?
Not that Snape had taught me that skill. No, this dubious skill I had gained from long, personal experience in that very room. Talk about hard-won knowledge.
"As I'm sure that you will want to know what happened, I'll leave now and let Miss Granger explain what happened to you. I'm leaving a dose of Dreamless Sleep Potion for you to take after she finishes speaking with you. See that he takes it."
"Yes, Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said.
Pomfrey's footsteps receded toward her office.
The silence held and I started to become very concerned. Hermione was NEVER this hesitant to talk.
"What happened?" I finally asked. True to predictions, the pain was gone, and I could talk normally.
"Well," she began hesitantly, "as best we can figure, Voldemort created a magical disease. Maybe it was a curse; we aren't sure. Either way, that's what happened to you."
"Am I okay?" I experimentally opened my eyes to slits. The light-dark patterns I could see told me that I was in "my" bed in the infirmary. I turned my head far enough to look toward the blurry Hermione at my bedside.
"You will be," she answered, smiling at me. I couldn't see the smile, of course, but I could hear it easily enough.
Knowing the next step, I started moving my hand toward her. She's had this thing about holding my hand when I'm newly awakened. Not that I particularly minded.
Seeing my hand move, she plucked my glasses off the bedside table and slipped them onto my face before taking my hand into both of hers.
Vision thus restored, I took a proper look around. Only one other bed was occupied, but the occupant had her back turned to me.
"How's everyone else?" I asked, bringing my attention back to Hermione. If I was this sore, it stood to reason that something had happened. Considering my track record, I felt that the possibility of some of my friends being hurt was well justified, even if I'd been told it was a disease created by Voldemort.
She hesitated again, causing all of my warning instincts to light up at once. "What aren't you telling me?" I demanded
She licked her lips and carefully said, "It's been two weeks, Harry. A lot has happened."
"What?" I asked again, panic trying to fight through the waning pain potion.
"I'll let Dumbledore explain it," she temporized. She pulled the other potion bottle off of my table. "Drink. It'll be explained to you when you're feeling better."
Unable to fight the combination of fatigue, returning pain, and determined witch, I quickly fell asleep.
When I next awoke, it was to considerably less pain. Without assistance, as nobody seemed to be at my bedside at the moment, I reached over and retrieved my glasses.
It was apparently the middle of the night. The other bed was still occupied, but the woman was now facing me, eyes bright in the dark room. "Wotcher, Harry."
"That's me," she chirpily replied.
"What happened to you?"
She didn't answer for a moment. "What have you been told?"
"Nothing much," I grumbled. "Voldemort got me sick or something."
"Or something," she repeated darkly. "Yeah, well, I'm not the one to explain it. Honest truth is that I don't understand most of it, so I couldn't really tell you even if I wanted to."
"That only answered half of my question, Tonks. I also asked what happened to send you to the Hogwarts infirmary."
"Oh, that. I was wounded in an Order raid."
I blinked hard at this. To my knowledge, the Order had never conducted a raid. "WHAT?"
"Let Dumbledore explain it," she said quickly.
"Is everyone okay?"
She hesitated for only a second. "Everyone on the raid came through it fine. Well, I'll heal. Remus, Hestia, McGonagall, and Gwen are all fine."
"What happened to you?"
She mumbled something.
"What was that?" I asked her to repeat herself.
She sighed. "I said, 'I tripped.'"
I tried. I really did. The laugh came out anyway.
"I have a good excuse this time! I was kinda distracted dueling Aunt Bellatrix."
My good mood was gone in a flash. "Did you get her?" I asked lowly.
"Remus did," Tonks answered simply.
"Good," I said in great satisfaction.
Pomfrey, wearing a dressing gown, poked her head out of the door to her apartment. "I thought I heard voices. How are you feeling, Mr. Potter?"
"Good," she said with a nod. "I'll inform Professor Dumbledore. He'll want to talk with you immediately."
"It's the middle of the night!" I objected in surprise. She wasn't really going to wake Dumbledore, was she?
Pomfrey shrugged. "He said immediately when you awoke and could answer questions." At my incredulous look, she explained, "I'd usually be concerned for his and your sleep, but Albus needs precious little sleep anymore. You've been asleep for two weeks, so I don't think missing a few hours will do you any harm," she said in a dry tone and with a grin. "I'll call him immediately. He'll likely be in momentarily. Shout if you need anything."
I looked over toward the washroom, measuring the distance and trying to come to a decision.
All bustling efficiency, she levitated me into the room and let me do my business. Back in bed, I was only blushing mildly as I thanked her.
She waved it off. "Nothing we haven't had to do before, Mr. Potter. I left your wand on your table, so you should be able to help yourself to some degree. " She turned her head, "Miss Tonks, how is your leg?"
Tonks nodded. "Better; it hurts less. I only need one more dose of Skele-Gro, right?"
I winced in sympathy, remembering my own experiences with that potion.
"Indeed." Pomfrey glanced at the clock. "In about six hours." She looked back over at me. "I'll inform Albus you're awake." She headed back to her apartment.
"How are you, really?" both of us asked simultaneously. We both laughed.
"You answer first," Tonks invited.
I shrugged. "Feeling better. Still wish someone would explain what happened to me, though."
She winced. "Yeah, I can't blame you. Honestly, Harry, I'm not the one to explain. If Dumbledore doesn't explain what happened then I will. But give him a chance first, okay?"
Her pleading expression curbed my impatience, at least for the moment. I needed answers soon or I wouldn't be responsible for my actions. Instead of taking out my frustrations on her, though, I said, "Fair enough, for the moment. So, how are you, really?"
"Honestly, I'll be fine. I dodged a curse by Auntie Bell, tripped, fell, and broke my leg. She hit my lower leg and foot with a Bone-Shattering Curse after that, though. I'll be fine, eventually, but that Skele-Gro bloody well HURTS."
Her grimace and pout made me laugh. "I know, I know. Had to re-grow all the bones in my arm once after Git-roy Lockhart removed them."
She stared at me for a moment. "Why in the name of Magic did he remove all the bones in your arm?"
"I'd broken it playing quidditch. He claimed he could fix it." I shrugged, not understanding the man's reasoning any better now than I had at the time.
"What a prat."
"Hey!" I answered in annoyance.
"Not you, you ponce. I meant him."
The door to the infirmary opened and Dumbledore entered. I was shocked to realize that the man's incessant twinkle was nowhere in sight. Even in the middle of the night, I expected his eyes to light the room. They always had, after all.
"Harry!" the man said jovially. "How are you doing, my boy?"
Between the overly cheerful tone and lack of humor in his eyes, I was now very much on my guard. "I'm told I'll be fine. I'm also told that you'll explain what happened to me."
Dumbledore sighed and seated himself beside my bed. "Indeed, that is one of the reasons I needed to speak with you as soon as possible after you awoke. First, however, I have a few questions. Please answer honestly, even though they may seem quite odd for me to ask. Forgive me, but they are also going to be quite personal. Are you ready?"
Confusion, panic, and apprehension fought for dominance in my brain, causing me to be even more on guard. "Yes, sir," I answered cautiously.
"How is your relationship with Miss Chang?"
Whatever I had been expecting, that wasn't it. "Uh, we dated two years ago, briefly. It didn't work out." The man had to have known this already. What was going on?
He nodded. "And Miss Weasley?"
"We dated some last year but broke it off amicably. Sir, why are you asking me about this?"
"In due time, dear boy. In due time. Miss Granger?"
"What about her?"
"How is your relationship with her?" he repeated patiently.
"She's my best friend, sir."
"I am aware of this, Harry. I was wondering if you had any . . . romantic interest in her."
I stared at him in incoherent confusion.
"Professor, maybe you'd better explain a little to the poor kid. His brain is probably about to fry as it is," Tonks's voice came from out of the dark.
"Perhaps so, Nymphadora," Dumbledore agreed. He turned back to me, ignoring her growl. "Miss Tonks is correct. I had best explain the situation to you. Before that, however, I must ask: what is the last thing you remember before waking up a few hours ago and speaking with Miss Granger?"
I thought back and drew a blank on what could have happened. "Friday afternoon we won the Quidditch Cup after beating Ravenclaw. I went to bed sometime after midnight, I think. Nothing unusual happened after that that I can remember."
Dumbledore nodded and sighed. Leaning back in his chair, he brought a hand up to pinch the bridge of his nose.
It was this visible display of tension that was the most alarming thing about the entire situation. Voldemort could be knocking on the front gates, and he wouldn't look this upset.
His hand dropping again, he peered at me. "Please prepare yourself, Harry. What I am about to tell you is going to be quite a shock."
I was dying. Cho, Ginny, or Hermione was dying. Cho or Ginny had been captured. Cho or Ginny were dead.
All of these and more alarming thoughts flew through my mind in a split second.
I closed my eyes and took a breath, consciously calming myself. Undirected thought wasn't accomplishing anything more than making me panic.
"What's wrong?" I asked, close to panic. Close to panic was better than full out panic, right?
"There is no immediate danger," Dumbledore immediately said, apparently seeing my tense posture.
Knowing that there was no need to immediately jump up and run off to a rescue at least helped. The panic in my gut uncoiled just a little.
"Okay," I said, keeping my eyes closed and taking a deep breath. "Nothing needs to be done right this second. Now, will you tell me what IS wrong?"
I heard him sigh again. I opened my eyes and saw the sad expression etched on his suddenly old and weary looking face.
"Voldemort attacked that Saturday morning."
I blinked in confusion. Being attacked and hurt enough to cause me to be in the hospital? That should have awakened me, right? I'd always remembered the mental attacks as well, so . . . What was it? "I don't understand, sir. Voldemort attacked the castle?"
"No. Voldemort attacked the world."
Still confused but now frowning, I repeated, "I don't understand, sir."
"He did not attack any one place. In a sense, he attacked everywhere at once. Tell me, have you ever heard the term 'biological warfare'?"
"I have heard it, sir, but I don't remember much about it."
"I'm sure Miss Granger could give you a better explanation as it is a muggle term, but as I understand it, it is the use of diseases as a weapon of war."
A vague recollection came to me. "Ah, that was what it was. I remember it from primary school. Using germs in a gas over cities or something like that. I don't know whether it's ever been done, though."
"In a sense, it has. As closely as we can determine, Voldemort magically altered some disease during his first rise to power. In the intervening twenty years, everyone in the world has caught it. In its dormant state, there was nothing to show that anyone had caught anything, so there was no way to know it even existed. However, early Saturday morning he performed a ritual that activated the disease. All over the world and all at once."
I'm sure I paled. "What has it done, sir?"
Dumbledore's face was grave. "To the muggles, nothing. They are completely unaware that anything is amiss. To the wizards . . . Any wizard under a certain power level slipped into a coma and died before we awoke Saturday morning."
I paled even further. "How many?" I asked hoarsely.
"Slightly less than fifty percent of the male magical population of the planet," Dumbledore whispered, gaze distant.
My brain attempted to shut down.
Fifty percent of the wizards in the WORLD had DIED?
"There is more," Dumbledore went on softly. "Those that didn't die were also . . . affected."
"Wait," I croaked out. "You're saying that half the wizards DIED?"
"What about the witches?"
He shrugged slightly. "It seems that it was a gender specific curse. The witches, apparently, are all entirely unaffected."
Despite my tight throat, I swallowed. "How were the rest of us affected?"
"Technically, the answer is total sterilization." Seeing my blank look, he explained, "In simpler terms, none of us can ever again have children."
Oh, bloody hell.
"The wizarding world is going to die due to lack of children? What good could that possibly do for Voldemort?"
"My own theory is that the sterilization was unintentional. Killing off large numbers of underpowered wizards is something I can comprehend him attempting. Recall, he is convinced that pure-bloods are more powerful."
"So he was targeting half-bloods and muggle-born wizards?" Dumbledore nodded. "What a hypocrite. He's half-blood!" I objected.
Dumbledore shrugged. "True. However, with the rituals he performed upon himself, he ensured that he was above the power threshold."
I again swallowed against a constricted throat and attempted to order my thoughts. "You, me, and Remus survived. Who else?"
Tonks answered, "Everyone except Dung from the Order came through."
"You lost a few classmates, Harry," Dumbledore answered gently. "Misters Crabbe, Goyle, Boot, Cornfoot, Macmillan, Finch-Fletchley, and Thomas from your year. I have a full list for you to read later at your leisure."
As guilty as the thought made me, I was glad to hear that Ron was still alive. "What else?" I asked in a croak.
"Those of us who survived until Saturday morning were all exceedingly weak, physically, until some time on Tuesday."
Suddenly realizing something, my eyes flew open and I looked over at Tonks. "THAT'S why there was an Order raid. The Death Eaters were vulnerable!"
She nodded. "Remus's lycanthropy meant he was fine. All werewolves are sterile anyway, and the curse didn't affect werewolves. He joined us girls in the attack."
"And as almost all of the active Death Eaters are male -"
She nodded and completed my thought, "There were only three defenders. We got the whole group of them in ministry holding cells." She snorted. "Those who survived, anyway. Voldemort has been kept unconscious. Director Hammer cast the Stasis Spell herself."
My mind was still trying to keep up with everything. It didn't even register with me that this meant that the war against Voldemort was over.
Instead, I was sidetracked by the last thing that Tonks had said. "Who?" I asked.
"Director Connie Hammer. She took over the aurors when Director Bones became Minister."
Dumbledore came back into the conversation, "Of the male survivors, ninety-eight percent of us have been severely weakened, magically. Most are barely better than squibs at the moment. The Healers are confident that it is temporary, but for the time being, all the power in our society rests in the hands of the witches." He twinkled over at Tonks. "Most of them, fortunately, are doing well and not taking advantage of the situation."
"Why am I the only one in the infirmary?" I asked, suddenly. Everyone else was awake and moving around, but I was still laid up in bed?
Dumbledore hesitated a moment. "You reacted differently, Harry, and so it took longer for you to awaken. Speaking of which, how are you feeling?"
"Better," I admitted, slightly surprised at the honest answer.
"Splendid! I do not wish to overtire you, so I shall take my leave momentarily. For the moment, do you have any other questions?"
What a question. "Uh . . . Yeah, but I can't seem to think of any of them."
He chuckled. That annoying old man actually laughed at my shock and confusion.
"Then I shall leave you in the capable care of Madam Pomfrey and Miss Tonks. I believe they can answer any further questions you may have." Standing, he gave each of us a friendly nod and left.
"What do we do now?" I asked Tonks as Madam Pomfrey entered and started running diagnostic spells on me.
"What do you mean?" Tonks asked.
"Well, if none of the guys can have kids, then the wizarding world will just stop in a generation, right?"
Tonks frowned and tilted her head. "Hmmm," she sub-vocally disagreed.
"There are ways, Mr. Potter," Madam Pomfrey said from my other side, wand still waving over me.
I looked at her with something like fear. "Should I ask?"
Her lip twitched. "Nothing too embarrassing to discuss, Mr. Potter, at least in the generalities. Magical cloning is possible, but it has some . . . side effects. We can also magically create an embryo as the mix of a witch and wizard. This method is considered borderline Dark, but it gives us a lot of control over the resulting genetic mix. We can choose the gender of the child for instance, but it also tends to produce magically weaker children than a more . . . natural method of conception."
I frowned as I thought it through. "So to repopulate the magical population, we'd have to make it weaker?"
"If we used this method, yes," Pomfrey confirmed. "However, the muggles are unaffected, so any muggle-born children conceived AFTER the attack should be unaffected."
"So we should encourage Hermione's parents to have more kids?" I guessed where the conversation was heading.
She nodded. "That's one thing we're going to do, but that's only a partial answer. At most, they could have only a few more children. The odds of any one of them being magical are better than fifty percent, but still, that isn't very many. Even if all parents of all muggle-borns were willing, we aren't talking about too many potential children overall. No, the answer is something that Albus didn't tell you. One wizard had enough power that he came through the illness healthy. He can have children. Based on his power level, he's likely to have very powerful children."
I brightened. "That's good, right?" Something occurred to me, and I immediately voiced my worry. "He's not some pure-blood supremacist, is he? I mean, if I'm understanding what you're suggesting, you're going to encourage this wizard to have as many children as possible, correct?"
She nodded. "Correct. To answer your question, he's not at all discrimatory on blood status or ethnicity as far as I'm aware."
"Well, that's good, isn't it? I mean for the good of wizard-kind, anyway." I thought about it for a moment. "You know, I almost feel sorry for this guy." Tonks and Pomfrey looked surprised at this, so I explained, "Having the future of all wizards on his shoulders?"
"As opposed to a prophecy that a certain black-haired Gryffindor I know was the only one who could kill an otherwise immortal Dark Lord?" Tonks asked.
Well, when you put it that way . . . "Okay, I see your point. Still, I know a lot of guys who would think this is just perfect. Encouraged to have as many children as possible by as many women as possible? Talk about every adolescent male's fantasy." My eyes widened as what I'd just said registered. "Hey, he IS young, isn't he? I mean young enough to still have kids."
Pomfrey's eyes were laughing. "Yes, he is."
I waited, and so did the two women. "So you aren't going to tell me?" I rolled my eyes at the two who were apparently enjoying the situation. "Okay, where is he? I mean, in Europe, America, some tiny island in the Pacific, what?"
"Here in Scotland, actually."
"Well, that's convenient. Would I know him? Who is it?"
Tonks's eyes were sparkling. With obvious relish, she answered, "You."
I woke up at that point. Too bad, actually. It had the potential to be a very . . . entertaining dream.
I admit that I got the seed of this plot from a Sliders episode.