Title: Deathbed Confession
Author: Nopporn Wongrassamee aka The Evil Author
Summary: Albus Dumbledore has one last task for Harry Potter.
Disclaimer: The characters and settings belong to whoever owns them. I’m just too lazy to look up who they are.
“Professor Dumbledore?” Harry called softly.
“Harry, come here, my boy,” Dumbledore said weakly from the infirmary bed. “All is well?”
“Yes, Professor,” Harry replied. “Voldemort’s finally defeated for good.”
“Good, good,” Dumbledore wheezed. He eyed the others present. “Everyone but Harry, please leave.”
A storm of protest arose from the assembled teachers.
“What I have to say is for Harry and Harry only,” Dumbledore told them. “Go.” Even on death’s edge, he still commanded a great deal of authority. The others complied. Soon, it was just Dumbledore and Harry.
“I fear I have one last burden to place on your young shoulders,” Dumbledore told his student. “One you must bear for the rest of your life.”
“Anything, Professor,” Harry said. “What could be harder than defeating the Dark Lord?”
“You must prepare for the next Dark Lord.”
“Harry, there has always been a Dark Lord.” Dumbledore’s next words had the feel of ancient litany. “In every generation, a Dark Lord is born, one witch or wizard chosen to bear the burden of darkness so that the Slayer may battle unhindered. When one Dark Lord dies, the next is Chosen.”
“The Slayer? What’s the Slayer?”
“Long ago, long before the time of Merlin, great wizards battled demons for this world,” Dumbledore continued, seemingly not to notice Harry’s question. “One group of Wizards took the heart of a Greater Demon and created the Slayer, an unparalleled warrior meant to fight the demons. However, to keep the Slayer from becoming infected by the Greater Demon’s evil, a line of Dark Lords was created to bear the burden. When a Dark Lord dies, a new witch or wizard will be chosen to bear the evil. Whoever it is will be young, still learning the ways of magic.”
“The ancient wizards knew that in creating a Dark Lord, they threatened to undo all the work they made in creating the Slayer. So they tasked an eternal creature to keep the Dark Lord forever in check. The creature did this by creating a line of Champions. Once a champion defeats their Dark Lord, he or she must train their successor. I defeated Grindlewald and trained you. You defeated Voldemort.”
“Fawkes. Fawkes is the eternal creature,” Harry concluded, his mind reeling at the task at hand. “What about the Slayer? Why can’t he fight the Dark Lord?”
“The Slayer and the Dark Lord are linked, Harry,” Dumbledore explained. “They were created from the heart of a Greater Demon. To bring them together risks resurrecting the Greater Demon. At the very least, it risks giving one or both of them the Greater Demon’s power. Such power as nothing on this Earth can withstand. The Slayer and Dark Lord must be kept separate. We cannot chance that it is the Dark Lord who gains this power. That above all else is why the Wizarding World is kept separate from the Muggle world.”
“The Wizarding World is the Dark Lord’s prison, Harry.” Dumbledore gave a weak, humorless laugh, which devolved into a cough. “A gilded cage the Dark Lord never leaves because he doesn’t wish to. And he must never wish to.”
Harry was speechless.
“Listen, Harry, I do not have much time,” Dumbledore continued urgently. “You have years yet before the new Dark Lord will make him or herself evident. How many, I do not know. Once that happens, you must keep him in check. Your successor will come after the Dark Lord arises. You will know who it is with certainty, though I know not the means. I knew you by prophecy. Your successor may be revealed in other ways. And Harry…”
“First and foremost, the Slayer and the Dark Lord must never meet.” With that, Professor Dumbledore expired, leaving Harry with one burning question.
Who was the new Dark Lord?
It was the other side of the world, a budding new witch was discussing the previous nights events with her friends.
“I went back to the mansion,” Giles was saying. “Acathla was dormant.”
“I think the spell worked,” Willow Rosenberg, the witch in question, told her friends. “I felt something go through me…”