Disclaimer: I'm only going to one of these at the beginning of the story because it's a fanfiction site, so you all know I don't own anything already. If you recognize it, it's not mine.
A/N This is just an idea that I had, so I have only a vague plan of which direction I will take this story. I will update as often as possible, but after this first chapter it will probably seem slow to start so please bear with me! Let me know what you think and please review!
EDIT: This story has been edited from its original form, I recommend re-reading he first five chapters to see what's different before continuing reading. All author's notes form original posting have been kept the same, so some of the information in them may no longer be 100% accurate.
Hermione flew down the hallway at top speed, not even reacting when the castle shook. She heard curses flying at her from behind, but did not falter in her step as she sent the death eater coming up behind her into a wall. She took the stairs two at a time, with the same bone-chilling voice repeating over and over in her head.
Your hour is up.
They had barely begun to collect the dead when the battle began anew. What was worse, Harry seemed to have gone missing. She hadn't the slightest idea where to even begin to look in the chaos of the battle. The castle shook once more and a wall gave way in front of her, causing her to turn around and sprint through a secret passage.
In the passage the sounds of the battle diminished slightly, and the shouts of pain and curses could barely be heard. When Hermione reached the end of the passage she was forced to stop because of a body blocking the exit. She didn't dare look at the face, not caring if it was a friend or foe lying there. She leaned against the wall for a moment and forced herself to collect her thoughts.
No matter how Hermione tried to think rationally, those four deadly words blocked all other thoughts in her mind. Think. Think. Where would Harry go?
Hermione nearly smacked herself when she remembered. The map! Harry had given it to her to find him in the room of requirement earlier. She quickly fished it out of her beaded purse and found him exiting Dumbledore's office.
Hermione carefully maneuvered around the body and winced as she stepped in a pool of blood. The moment she was free of the passage she was sprinting again. She dodged the slew of curses that came firing at her again and kept going. She didn't even flinch when an improperly aimed Sectumsempra grazed her forehead and caused it to start bleeding.
By the time Hermione reached the seventh floor she had left the battle behind. The only evidence anything was going on was the flashes seen through the windows and shaking of the castle. As she turned a corner she nearly ran straight into Harry, who did not seem to be paying attention at all.
"Harry!" Hermione all but yelled, "Where the hell have you been?!"
Harry looked up, seeming startled, "I had to see something…."
"Well it must have been pretty damn important if you didn't hear Voldemort telling the whole castle we are about to die! The hour is up!" Hermione yelled.
This sent Harry into action as he started to run down the hallway, aware of the sounds of battle from the floors below for the first time. Hermione took off after him, a barely heard him mutter, "I didn't get there fast enough."
Hermione immediately knew what he meant. He was going to turn himself over to Voldemort. She ran after him yelling repeatedly variations of 'stop' and 'don't do this.'
In her desperation, she screamed, "Harry Potter, don't you dare get yourself killed, or all those lost lives tonight will be for nothing!"
Harry stopped dead and slowly turned around. She kept running a finally caught up to him. It wasn't until she was facing him up close that she saw the hollow, dead look in his eyes that told her all that she needed to know. He had given up.
Harry's face was an expressionless mask and there was no emotion in his voice as he said so quietly she almost missed it, "Hermione stop. I have to do this; I have no choice."
"Harry, you always have a choice! You can't stop fighting now!" she began angrily, but he stopped her.
"Don't." he said in a strangled voice, his voice cracking slightly. He took a second to compose himself and settle back into his expressionless mask. "Just do yourself a favor, and when this is all over go to Dumbledore's office and look in the pensieve. It will explain everything."
With that, Harry then moved so quickly she didn't have time to react. He pushed her backwards while quickly casting a shield charm over her. He proceeded to cave in the ceiling next to her, effectively preventing her from following him.
She had not even begun to try to get through the obstacle Harry had made when the corridor behind her filled with people dueling. Among them she saw Neville, Luna, Molly Weasley, and Kingsley Shacklebolt. Hermione barely had time to react before she was forced to join the fighting. The entire time she kept thinking, I need to get out of here. I need to get out of here.
Hermione had just managed to throw Rodolphus Lestrange into a nearby wall when she turned and saw what would be forever imprinted in her mind. She watched as if in slow motion as Lucius Malfoy cast a dark curse she didn't recognize at Luna and sent her flying into the nearby wall. She lay with limbs twisted at awkward angles and blood trickling out the side of her mouth, dead. Neville turned and cried out in anguish, and Hermione instantly sent a curse at Malfoy. Lucius quickly retaliated, and their duel began.
Hermione was furious, Malfoy had not only just killed Luna, but he was preventing her from running after Harry. They were both fighting with a ferocity clearly intended to kill. Her injuries and blood loss were beginning the catch up with her, and Lucius did not seem to be faring any better. They were both wordlessly flinging curses so fast that it became a blur of color between them, and eventually Lucius was forced to dodge rather than block her curses. In her anger Hermione's magic seemed to strengthen and lose control. The air around her sparked with static and all of Malfoy's shields refused to work. His usually composed mask of indifference slipped and fear showed on his face as he was backed against a wall.
In a last ditch effort, Lucius cried "Avada Kedavra!"
The spell hurtled straight towards her and time seemed to slow down as she faced her certain death. Hermione closed her eyes and waited for the spell to come, but it never did. She looked down and took in Neville's lifeless form lying at her feet. She looked up to see a satisfied smirk on Malfoy's face and he turned the corner running down the hallway.
Hermione ran after him full speed before she was stopped as she came face-to-face with Bellatrix. Hermione didn't even bother to block the curse that was sent at her accompanied by an evil grin, choosing to sidestep it instead.
"Well if it isn't Potter's favorite mudblood." She sneered.
The anger and desperation Hermione felt inside her overflowed in a wave of magic that sent Bellatrix flying backwards. Bellatrix quickly got up, the smile disappearing from her face. Hermione paid her no attention, because she was already gone chasing after Harry again.
Hermione didn't hear anyone pursuing, so she continued on, weaving in and out of the fighters and dodging curses down the corridor. She watched as more wizards and witches fell with panic. It was becoming clear that they were losing and soon to be outnumbered. Multiple times she narrowly missed being hit by a killing curse.
After another narrow miss, she tripped and fell over something large. She looked down to see Hagrid on the floor with blood covering his face with his large yellow handkerchief pressed into a fatal wound. With a pang, she realized it was his attempt to stop the blood.
Hermione screamed out in panic and shock. With tears streaming down or face and blurring her vision, she did her best to scoot herself away from him across the floor. It was all she could do to not break down then and there. 'I have to get out of here.' She thought once again.
Hermione saw a door come into focus and dragged herself through it, tears still running down her face. Disoriented, she managed to stand up to find herself in a deserted corridor that seemed oddly untouched by the battle. Alone in the battle-absent corridor she broke down. Everything of the last hour came flooding back.
Voldemort's condescending and icy voice once again filled all of Hogwarts declaring, "Your hour is up."
Within five minutes the Great Hall was filled with Death Eaters fighting the remaining survivors. The dead so carefully laid out were trampled, and many more began to join them. Just as Hermione brought down another faceless Death Eater, the entire hall suddenly fell silent.
Everyone turned and watched as Voldemort entered the Great Hall and calmly walked up to the head table, occasionally kicking a body out of his way as if it was a piece of discarded trash. Her heart clenched when he kicked Fred in the head as he passed by his body. George jumped forward impulsively in anger, and with a flick of Voldemort's wand he fell on top of his brother, dead.
There were multiple cries of anguish, and several others started forward, only to be yanked back by their peers. As Voldemort reached the head table, his Death Eater's gathered behind him.
"Where is Harry Potter? No one to volunteer their life to save him this time? Too much of a coward to face me?" Voldemort sneered.
No one dared to breathe, let alone respond.
"Have it your way then. Unless any of you wishes to join me." He paused for a moment, and then turned to his Death Eaters, "Kill them all. Find me Harry Potter."
She shook her head to clear her dizziness and collect herself before sprinting down the corridor.
As Hermione rounded the corner she found herself faced with Lucius Malfoy yet again. He was simply walking down the corridor with a smirk on his face as if nothing was happening.
Hermione once again screamed out in anger and started throwing spells at him again, simultaneously crying out, "Coward!"
Malfoy had barely begun to turn when she had him on the ground knocked out.
Hermione kept running and heard a commotion behind her. She happened to be passing by Dumbledore's office. In an effort not to be caught and slowed down in a duel again, she blasted the gargoyle out of the way of Dumbledore's office. She hurried up the stairs to wait for the death eaters to pass. Hermione reached the top of the stairs as she ran into the last person she had ever expected to see.