Written for McTabby's "Blame Each Other Challenge" (and I'm blaming Furiosity, for the Challenge: "Dobby is a Horcrux")

Warnings for creepy wrongness.

The Last Horcrux
by Beth H
(c) October 1, 2005


It was little wonder that Lord Voldemort had underestimated Harry Potter when first they met. The Dark Lord was a masterful sorcerer at the height of his powers, while Harry was little more than a babe in arms, and Voldemort, in his arrogance, could not conceive of a such a small, weak creature being any kind of a threat.

The outcome of that first encounter at Godric's Hollow might have been very different if Voldemort had simply remembered that true magical power resides within.

Seventeen years later, Harry Potter would have been well advised to remember that very same thing.


As far as most magical folk were concerned, this was a time for unalloyed celebration. He Who Must Not Be Named had been vanquished utterly and completely in a very public showdown with the Boy Who Lived, Voldemort's surviving Death Eaters had all been captured, and the only remaining danger to the denizens of the Wizarding World was Madam Rosmerta's special house-brand Firewhisky.

However, the small band of young wizards and witches currently holed up in a back room at the Leaky Cauldron were finding it impossible to celebrate, for they alone knew that there was one last step to be taken before anyone could guarantee that Voldemort would never return to threaten the safety of their world . . . and it was a step they were loathe to take.

"Are you absolutely certain, Hermione?"

"Of course I am, Harry," she said with a sigh. "Ginny and I have searched and searched for an alternative, but unless the horcrux is destroyed completely, the bit of soul within will always remain intact."

"But . . . this is Dobby! He's good."

"Oh yes!" said Dobby in a voice more high pitched then usual. "Harry Potter speaks the truth! Dobby is a good House-elf. Which is why Dobby must tell you that . . . "

"We know you are, Dobby," said Hermione reassuringly, as she patted the small creature on his shoulder. "Don't worry . . . we won't let you come to any harm."

"That's right," chimed in Ron. "We'll come up with something. You'll see."

"You is all very great and good to Dobby," the house-elf said quietly, his bat-like ears drooping pathetically. "But Dobby thinks...."

He paused, and Harry knelt down beside him.

"What do you think, Dobby?" he asked gently.

"Dobby thinks that he must not be saved. Dobby thinks that Harry Potter must do as he promised and he must do it now."

"No way!" Harry said vehemently. "Do you even understand what that would mean?"

"Dobby understands."

"It would mean that I'd have to kill you!" Harry shouted. "I'm not going to lose anybody else!"

Dobby's orb-like eyes widened and he gazed up at Harry.

"Oh, Dobby has made Harry Potter angry! Dobby must be punished!"

For a moment, the others could only stare in shock as Dobby picked up an empty Butterbeer bottle and started to hit himself over the head with it.

"Stop it, Dobby!" Ginny wailed, before reaching out and capturing his thin arm in her hands. "Please stop it!"

Dobby stopped abruptly, and swivelled his head slowly toward the weeping girl,

"Do you . . . does Ginny Weasley truly care so much for . . . Dobby?" he asked, an odd gleam in his eye.

"Of course I do," she said, wiping a tear from her cheek.

"We all do," said Harry, as he wrapped an arm protectively around Ginny's shoulder. "We'll find an alternative, Dobby. Just trust us."

But Dobby was no longer listening.

He was biting his lip, his brow furrowed.

If Harry's attention had not been distracted, he would have noticed that odd expression on Dobby's face - one which Harry had never seen on the house-elf before, but which would most definitely have been familiar to him, for Harry had seen it on the face of Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets, and he had never forgotten it.

However, Harry was focused entirely on comforting his overwrought girlfriend, and so he never noticed.

Ron was briefly taken aback by what looked like rage on Dobby's face when Harry kissed Ginny on the cheek, but then Ron blinked and Dobby's expression was back to normal.

And Hermione? She did recognize the uncharacteristically sly tone of voice when Dobby sighed and said "I warned and warned Harry Potter," but by the time she put together all the facts, it was too late.

Petrificus Totalus, Dobby said, and an instant later, all four young people were fully bound.

"I do apologize for what I'm about to do," Dobby said to Harry. "If you hadn't freed me - if you hadn't freed Dobby - from Lucius, well . . . I suspect it wouldn't have been quite so easy to take control of this body, and for that I am very grateful."

Dobby waved his hand, and Ron disappeared, then he turned back to Harry.

"I don't suppose you ever realized just how powerfully magical house-elves actually are, did you? She might have," he said, indicating Hermione with his oversized head. "The Mudblood always was far more clever than you, wasn't she?"

He waved his hand again, and Hermione disappeared.

"Not that you'll ever have to worry about that again. In fact, soon you won't have to worry about anything."

Dobby sighed. "It's a pity you won't be able to say goodbye to your . . . girlfriend, but I don't think it would be wise to allow you to speak. You do understand, don't you?"

"Oh right," Dobby said, chuckling a bit. "You can't answer my question, can you? Ah well. Goodbye, Harry."

Dobby waved his hand a third time, and Harry disappeared.

"And now, young Ginny . . .what are we going to do with you?" Dobby asked, as he stroked Ginny's cheek with his long thumb. "I was going to send you away with the rest of your trouble-making friends, but it appears that both the House-elf and my younger self harbour some . . . . feelings for you."

Ginny's eyes - the only part of her body which could move - widened in alarm, but Dobby just laughed.

"I already know all your secrets," he murmured, nestling his head between her firm young breasts. "Given enough time, I'm certain I'll find a way to make you scream with passion."

Dobby took a step back and gazed up at Ginny.

"Well . . . at least I'm certain I'll be able to make you scream."

Comments, critiques, chit chat: beth-h @ mrks.org

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