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Author's Notes – This is an idea I had while writing the third chapter of my other story. I've always felt restricted by doing the Hogwarts years and I'd also wanted to try doing a first-person story. So I figured why not do a Post-Hogwarts First-person story. So here it is, Originally I was going to write a prologue, but figured to merge it into Chapter one to beef it up.

Be warned nothing in the canon epilogue will happen in this story. People will die.

Chapter One

My name is Harry James Potter.

The Wizarding World knows me as the Boy-Who-Lived, their saviour, the one who vanquished the Dark Lord Voldemort not once but twice.

I sometimes wonder if I might have doomed the Wizarding World by defeating Voldemort, oh sure the despair lifted for a few years, people were happy, they felt safe, they felt secure. But little did they know, that Voldemort was just the opening skirmish, his fall was the prelude, not the end.

We were unprepared for the evil that would follow in his wake, an evil with such power that many good men and women died helplessly in the first days of what would come to be known as 'The Age of Desolation'.

I lay much of the blame on myself, I was naïve, blind to it. I thought my work as the spearhead for good was over, I got soft, I allowed myself to enjoy life and in doing so I fear I've doomed us all.

In my naivety I lost people precious to me, I was unprepared and I paid the price. The Battle at Hogwarts paled in comparison to the carnage and death of the first attack, 1000's of Wizards and Witches died in a matter of minutes, and we were all powerless to stop it.

Now, I lay low, hidden away like a coward, trying to rally the troops and find a away to thwart this unstoppable evil. I feel inadequate, bereft of ideas, clawing for a solution that just is not there.

So I sit here lost, without direction.

Hogwarts is gone. The Ministry of Magic is no more. He was smart, he knew where to attack, where to hurt us. With the two largest repositories of Wizarding knowledge destroyed, we had nothing to go on, no clues to find, no secrets to uncover.

There might yet be a way but we're oblivious to it, blinded and confused.

But we will continue fighting, we will fight until the bitter end, to the last man, victory or death.

We will persevere.

We will survive.

Even if it kills me, I will drag us back into the light.

I will not let hope elude us.

We are lost, we are hurt, we are facing down the barrel of the gun.

But we are still alive, we are still fighting, still struggling against the chains of despair.

Until our last dying breath.


It'd been three quiet years since I'd defeated the Dark Lord Voldemort, things had quickly settled down after the Battle at Hogwarts. Ginny and I had retreated from the Wizarding World back to Godric's Hollow, I was too tired to face the thanks and platitudes, I wanted some time with Ginny to recover. So we started rebuilding my parent's home, it was a tough task, but I needed the distraction, to keep my mind working. Ron and Hermione came over often to help, they too wanted away from the limelight. Between the 4 of us, we managed to have the house rebuilt within 6 months, oh sure we could've cheated and used spells to do all the work, but that's not what it was about.

With a home, Ginny and I spent the next two and a half years together, recovering, I didn't even look at a copy of the Daily Prophet for 18 months, I wanted ignorance, to be blissfully unaware of whatever crisis or catastrophe was around the corner. We'd done our work, we'd spent our childhood's fighting the most evil Wizard in centuries. We were retired.

But on that fateful night, my folly in trying to shield myself from the Wizarding World would forever scar me. It was mid-summer and that night Godric's Hollow was being subjected to the worst storm I've seen in years.

Ginny was sat on the wool rug in front of the fire, a book cupped in her lap, as I stood at the window watching the storm intently. This wasn't natural, the weather reports had said a clear night and there had been no alerts about a storm. No, this was created and that scared me.

“Come away from the window Harry, you're just paranoid.” Ginny said her attention going back to whatever romance novel she was reading this week.

“Perhaps, but I have that feeling,” I replied, clutching my wand just in case.

“Oh you always have a feeling, you had one when Mrs Spogg's cat decided you were the devil incarnate, every week there's a new danger lurking.” She said chuckling.

“This time is different, I can feel it in my bones, in my heart, nothing good can come of this storm.”

Ginny just sighed and resumed reading, as much as I loved her, the way she could shrug off my worries was infuriating, where was Ron when you needed him? He'd understand, he'd help me formulate strategies and solutions, figure out what evil could be coming. Perhaps I should call him, Hermione had finally persuaded him to invest in a phone, one she had no doubt warded from magical interference.

“I'm going to call Ron, he'll know what's going on,” I said half-heartedly.

“Whatever makes you feel better, tell Hermione I said hi.”

I nodded in acquiescence as I picked up the phone and pressed the speed-dial for Ron. I put the phone to my ears and froze, all I was getting was static, this wasn't right, I'd warded this phone, it worked perfectly.

“Um, Ginny, dear, the phone's not working...”

“It's just the storm, probably knocked down a phone-line, it'll be fine.”

I didn't reply, what could I say? She was certain I was worried about nothing, nothing I could do or say would change her mind. So I just brooded in front of the window, watching as lightning ravaged the sky and thunder shook the house.

After 20 minutes of watching I finally decided to step away, as much as I enjoy stoically standing guard for evil, maybe Ginny was right and this was just a regular a storm. A freak storm, but regular all the same.

As I was about to put away my wand, the front of the house exploded inwards, broken masonry and glass peppered the room as I was thrown backwards with such force that I felt the wall give under my impact. Dazed and confused I tried to get up, but my legs couldn't hold my weight, deep in my right thigh was a large shard of glass, I groaned loudly.

I was soon distracted from the pain as a figure stepped through the gaping crater of destruction, groggily I tried to discern the features of this figure, but the smoke had not yet cleared. Instinctively I pointed my wand at him and shouted “STUPEFY!” A red light flashed across the room, directed at the figure but it was deflected away nonchalantly by the figure.

I was shocked, I'd never seen anyone ever deflect a curse, let alone in such a nonchalant way. Whoever this was, he or she was powerful.

Finally the smoke cleared and I could see who it was that had assaulted the front of my house and deflected the curse. It was a man, a smartly dressed man in a dark tailored suit, with short, slick, jet-black hair. His skin was pale and his face held an arrogant sneer, immediately I could feel the power emanating from him. It felt like electricity, filling the room with a strong smell of ozone.

He turned to look at me and smiled, lifted his right arm and with one motion I was lifted and slammed against the wall I had recently dented. I was held there purely by his will it seemed, I struggled against the invisible bonds but I had no chance, I still held my wand but without the ability to move my arm, I was doomed.

Suddenly Ginny erupted from a pile of debris and pointed her wand at the man, he turned his gaze on her and lifted one eyebrow. “AVADA KEDAVRA!!” she shouted and from her wand exploded a green light, it rocketed towards the man and like he had with my stupefy curse he casually deflected it with his free arm.

I was stunned, this was not possible, that was the killing curse and he had deflected it with no damage to himself, who on earth was this man?

“Tsk tsk, this will not do,” the man said in an aristocratic accent. He then waved his free arm again and Ginny was thrown backwards through what remained of our coffee table which had rested against the back wall. She struggled back to her feet and pointed her wand again, blood pouring from a wound over her left eye, her face a mask of unbridled rage.

The man just smiled and then made a motion of a backhanded slap and Ginny flew sideways, hit the fireplace with a sickening crunch and fell limp.

“NO!” I screamed, ”LEAVE HER ALONE!!”

“And what can you do to stop me Mr. Potter?” He asked condescendingly.

I opened my mouth to roar at him but he quietened him with his hand.

“Now, now Mr. Potter, your fiancé is not dead, hurt yes, but not dead. Not yet at least.”


“Shush, or do I have to shut you up by force?”

I closed my mouth, if the killing curse had no effect on him, he could destroy me in the blink of an eye. I may be filled with anger, but I wasn't stupid.

“Smart boy.”

“Who are you?” I asked, if I was going to die tonight, I was going to do so knowing who it was that killed me.

“Well, I have many names, but I much prefer Mephistopheles, it has a certain weight to it, don't you think?”

I didn't answer, so Mephistopheles was his name, it rung a bell but I'm not sure where from.

“You look nothing like your predecessors, but then it has been over a millennium since I last reared my ugly head.” He chuckled at the self-deprecating joke. I was not amused.


“Yes, the four founders of Hogwarts, the so-called four greatest Wizards and Witches of the age.”

“Why are you telling me this?” I asked, confused at why my killer would spend his time chatting.

“Why? To educate you, it's only right, seeing as it was you who freed me from my prison.”

“I did what!?” I freed him? How? When?

“Oh yes, by killing Tom Riddle, or Voldemort, you released me from my bonds.”

“But how?”

“I'll spare you the details but let's just say Salazar was a deluded soul, he felt his bloodline would never die out, but if it ever did he left a loophole. You ended his bloodline and here I am.”

“Why would he do that?”

“I don't know, maybe as a punishment for ending his legacy, who knows?”

“So what do you want with me?” I asked, this whole situation felt absurd, but if he wanted to talk his guts out, I wasn't about to stop him.

“Isn't it obvious?”

I shook my head.

“I've come to thank you, to thank you for releasing me.”

“You have a twisted sense of gratitude.” He grinned at me.

“I do, don't I? But then I was never fond of you humans, you replicate like rats, although you are entertaining rats at that. All those wars, the bloodshed, it's enough to make me weep from joy.”

Mephistopheles stepped forward and considered the room he had recently decimated.

“Your architecture, leaves a lot to be desired though, well not all, I did quite like Hogwarts with all it's and stone.”

“Now what?” I asked tentatively, scared of what his answer might be.

“My dear boy, I've not yet finished thanking you,”  he said menacingly.

I closed my eyes in anticipation of some grotesque torture, braced myself for whatever pain he would cause. But nothing came, no searing pain, no mutilation, nothing. I opened my eyes and he was stood with his arms crossed smiling at me. He then pointed at the motionless form of Ginny and I screamed.

“No, please don't hurt her, please, not my Ginny.” I pleaded with him.

He just ignored me. Turn his gaze to Ginny and smiled slyly as she lifted up into the air and was held in place. He pointed at her and then made quick, short movements with his right index finger. I almost choked as long cuts followed his finger, blood oozed from the fresh wounds. I struggled with all my strength against my bonds, but nothing, I was still trapped and helpless as I watched this fiend mutilate my beloved.

Over and over again he cut her, I hurt with each wound as if he was doing this to me, I wanted to turn away but I know that Ginny would've hated me if I had given into my fear. No matter how helpless I felt, I tried to be strong for her.


“Very well,” he said still smiling and he lowered his hand and the wounds stopped coming.

I breathed a sigh of relief, “I'm not finished yet Mr. Potter.” He said, it made a chill run down my spine. Not finished? Oh god, what next?

He made a short slapping motion with his hands, the type you make when trying to wake someone up and then I heard the scream. The most gut-wrenching scream I've ever heard, It'd forever haunt my dreams. Ginny was awake.

Tears fell from my eyes as she continued to scream, her eyes almost bloodshot from the effort.
“Help her, help her please, she doesn't deserve this, oh god, someone please stop the pain... PLEASE!!”

“As you wish,” he said and with his right hand he squeezed his fingers together and Ginny went completely quiet. I was about to thank him when I looked at Ginny, her head was lolling sideways, sticking out of her neck was her spine. She was dead.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” She was dead, my Ginny... Dead. This couldn't be happening, not after all we'd sacrificed, all we'd fought for, all come to an end, like this. We were supposed to live in peace and quiet and die of old age, together, with a family, grandchildren and it was all gone. All gone in one sickening moment.

I was numb, my throat was hoarse and I felt like like someone had ripped out my heart and dipped it in acid.

“Kill me, Kill me now, I've nothing left to live for, nothing left to give, just end it... Please.” I begged, I pleaded with him to kill me, I couldn't go on, not with Ginny gone.

“Why would I kill you Mr. Potter? You're the one who freed me.”

“Don't kill me then, but I swear from this moment on, on the memory of those I've lost, I will kill you, I will destroy you and scatter your ashes on the winds of hate. I will end you Mephistopheles!”

Mephistopheles just laughed, a single sickening laugh.

“With what? Mr. Potter,” he pointed at my wand and it exploded in my hands. “Your wand? I think not.”

I dropped the burning wand immediately and glared at him, I will take this pain, this misery and I will use it against him, mould it into the motivation needed to destroy this monster.

“Scatter my ashes to the winds of hate? Hmm I like that.”

Ginny dropped to the floor with a thud and Mephistopheles look one quick look at me before turning to Ginny's dead body. He held his right hand out and a geyser of blue fire erupted from his fingers and swallowed Ginny's body whole.

“What are you doing!?”

“I'm taking a page out of your book Mr. Potter, scattering her ashes to the winds of hate.”

Within moments the flames had consumed Ginny, they ceased burning and all that was left was a pile of ashes. With a wave of his hand a strong wind took the ashes and sent them scattering through the hole was used to be my front window. I was broken, I'd not even be able to bury her next to her brother Fred, I'd not even be able to hold her ashes in an urn. There was nothing left of her, nothing left to treasure her memory by.

“Now Mr. Potter, I has things to attend to, so I'll end our meeting now. I will say this though, if perhaps you survive the next few years, maybe we will talk again, until then I bid you adieu.”

With a click of his fingers I dropped to the floor, and then he was gone, apparated away silently. I crawled forward, and then froze. A deep groaning echoed around the house, he had left me one final present, the complete destruction of my family home.

Masonry and glass being raining around me, pieces of plaster exploded in front of me and then it fell, the whole house collapsed upon itself and everything went black.