Designed by Natasha B.
Special thanks to Adam Spunberg
Click here to learn the Fate of the Horcruxes!
As the last of the setting sun's rays filter through the windows of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, lengthening the shadows all around them, Harry Potter steps forward out of the crowd, along with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, the trio surveying the damage in the back of the shop where the Horcruxes now lie in ruins, forever emptied of their power. "Well, that's it then," Ron says, the eagerness apparent in his voice. "That's all the Horcruxes. Now we can go after You-Know-Who, be done with all this fighting! What are we waiting for?"
"I'm afraid it's not quite that easy, Ron," Hermione admonishes him. At the blank look on his face, she continues: "Even if Voldemort is--oh, seriously, Ron!" she interjects after he cringes at that name. "As I was saying, he may be mortal now, but he's still surrounded by a massive army of powerful Dark wizards. We'll have to get past them in order to get at the Dark Lord himself."
"Hermione's right," Harry puts in. "We still have a lot of enemies left... and a definite shortage of allies. Just look around this room for starters."
Twenty-four Tributes were sent into the Arena for the so-called Potter Games, but only twenty-two now remain, the whereabouts and ultimate fate of the other two still a mystery. The original Tributes now gathered here all look as if they're about to participate in some great Quidditch match, still attired in their House robes from the Games. The Gryffindors had of course Transfigured the attacking snake out of their uniform logos shortly after escaping the Arena, leaving a lion standing proudly alone against a backdrop of scarlet red. The Ravenclaws stand tall in royal blue robes, the Slytherins in emerald green, and Hannah Abbott the only Hufflepuff in golden yellow (Cedric Diggory alone has discarded his Games uniform for a black vampire's cloak instead). Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum remain arrayed in Beauxbatons pale blue and Durmstrang bloodred, respectively.
Even though this sizable gathering has gained two new allies from beyond the wizarding world during the Horcrux hunt, seemingly in place of the two Tributes lost during the Games, the absence of their Mentors is one that hasn't gone unnoticed. Harry turns to face the group directly.
"As I think you know," he continues, "while the rest of you were sent out to hunt down the Horcruxes, Luna, Goyle, and I searched for information on the Deathly Hallows. We heard of rumors that Marvolo Gaunt's ring may or may not contain the Resurrection Stone, but I don't suppose we found out much else about the other Hallows." He pauses to take a breath, then pushes on. "But what you may not know is that during our quest, we stumbled on some valuable information regarding our Mentors and the Order of the Phoenix. It turns out most of them have been captured by the Ministry of Magic and are being held prisoner in Azkaban for their part in the sedition against Voldemort's government." Many faces are crestfallen at this news.
"Between finding the missing Tributes, freeing our Mentors and the Order, and taking out key Death Eaters, I'm afraid we still have plenty to do before we can go after him and end this war." Harry forces a sympathetic smile as he continues to address his fellow students. "You have all been amazing so far, between banding together to make sure we escaped from the Arena, and then especially finding all the Horcruxes. All of you have played a crucial role in getting us this far, and I couldn't possibly ask any more of you. Everything we do from here on out will be exceedingly dangerous. So if you want to volunteer and help us in this final leg of the war, we could definitely use you. But if you feel like you've already done enough and wish to return home to your families, please by all means--no one will hold it against you."
The words hang in the air for but a moment before Ron claps him on the shoulder. "Well mate, you know you won't be able to keep me away even if you tried." And when Hermione drapes an arm around Ron's neck and beams at Harry, he knows that she's fully on board too.
"You're mad if you think for a moment I'm going to sit this out, Harry Potter!" Ginny Weasley comes and stands by Harry's other side, her eyes filled with equal parts admiration and determination.
"And as you know, we Weasleys," begins George...
"...come as a package deal," finishes Fred.
Neville Longbottom comes up alongside the Weasley twins. "Luna and I started this Rebellion," he says, looking at Luna Lovegood, who nods serenely at him. "And we're determined to see it through to the end!" Hannah Abbott moves forward to entwine her arm around Neville's and signals her commitment to the cause.
"Well, Potter," comes the drawling voice of Draco Malfoy, "it just wouldn't be right if we let you get all the credit for winning this war, would it? We Slytherins have connections that will prove vital to our victory." Gregory Goyle, who's only ever known to follow Draco's lead, is immediately at his side. Pansy Parkinson takes a moment, but after wrinkling her nose a bit, she finally steps forward and nods tersely at the other volunteers. The three of them stand together, former adversaries, now valued allies.
And so one by one, each person in the room steps forward to join with Harry Potter and the others, vowing to bring Voldemort and his minions to justice: Gryffindors, Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, as well as those from beyond Hogwarts, and last of all the Muggle girl named Katniss Everdeen, slinging her bow over her shoulder and signaling her readiness.
By the end, the group stands united, twenty-four strong, ready for war. No one is inclined to look back now.
Harry feels a sudden surge of affection for nearly everyone present after this show of solidarity. "I... I never expected this. Thank you, just thank you, all of you. I don't have to tell you how incredibly dangerous this is going to be--but I know better than to think that will deter you.
"So if you are still determined to defeat Lord Voldemort... then put together your teams and choose your assignment!"
Note: The quests are long, so be sure to use your browser's bookmark function to mark your place when you need to come to a stopping point!