Disclaimer: It's Jo Rowlings, not mine.
Well, good job reviewers, you just got all the NON reviewers a chapter. Off to your reading.
This story has been solely dedicated to the class of 2006. Today was my last day of school -and I cried my eyes out- and I will be leaving some of the greatest people that I've ever known... most especially the Sisters- Bells, Stickey, and Duck. No one can imagine how much I lean on these people. So, here's to the girls who I will miss dearly. This story is just for them.
Harry and Dumbledore landed cleanly through a window which had opened for them as they sped on their brooms towards the Astronomy Tower. Harry suspected that Dumbledore mumbling under his breath had something to do with the window opening for them; he was undoing the charms placed on the castle which allowed no one to enter by flying or such.
Harry had his invisibility cloak on, as Dumbledore had ordered and as he clambered off of his broom, he had to keep a tight hold so that the cloak wouldn't fall off.
He was about to glance at Dumbledore and ask what they should do next, but the moment he turned, he heard someone shout, 'Expelliarmus!'
Harry froze. He was confused because "Expelliarmus" was the spell for disarming someone, but he had been frozen still as a statue. He realized after a few moments that Dumbledore nonverbally cast the spell on Harry.
To Harry's horror, he saw Draco Malfoy stride up to get a closer look at Dumbledore. If Harry could have talked, he would have shouted for Dumbledore to run, but he was immobile.
Dumbledore, meanwhile, had been playing his cards as safely as he could. He began to calmly speak to Malfoy, urging him to put his wand down.
'Draco, you are not a killer,' he said slowly and quietly.
Draco gritted his teeth. 'You're cornered. You're cornered and you know it. You have no wand to defend yourself. I will kill you,' he said, as he aimed his wand directly at Dumbledore's heart. His eyes were narrowed on Dumbledore's, not flinching.
Dumbledore sighed. 'You are not capable of killing me tonight Draco. I know that you aren't like your father. Don't do this,' he pleaded calmly to Malfoy.
'Don't insult my father!' Draco snapped, licking his lips nervously.
'I didn't insult your father, I just said that you weren't him, Draco,' Dumbledore explained himself calmly.
Draco ignored Dumbledore's comment and said with a smile, 'You're trapped now. Your little Order friends are down there right now, fighting with the Death Eaters that I brought into this school. You failed, you old fool. I managed what no one has ever managed before, allowing Death Eaters to come in right under Dumbledore's ugly nose,' he was almost talking to himself, almost like Dumbledore wasn't even there.
Dumbledore showed no reaction to Draco's brag.
'You did succeed in bringing Death Eaters into the castle tonight. I would justlove to know how,' Dumbledore said with a small smile.
Harry rolled his eyes, Of course Dumbledore would ask stupid, stalling questions while he was trapped into a corner with someone pointing a wand at his heart, Harry thought.
Draco smiled a gloating smile. 'I used the Vanishing Cabinet. It was broken from when Montague got stuck in it last year, but I fixed it. It took me awhile, but when I asked Montague what happened, he told me there was some sort of channel connecting the cabinet in Hogwarts and the cabinet in Bourgin and Burkes. He said that sometimes while he was inside the cabinet, he could hear conversations on either side of the network. It didn't take me long to figure out that I could use this connection by means of transportation. Well Montague ended up apparating out. I figured that if I got the Death Eaters in the cabinet, somehow they could come out as well. It's quite simple really. And I did it, right under your nose,' Draco sneered to Dumbledore.
'I applaud you on that Draco,' he said to him. At that moment, a large bang came from the steps downstairs. Harry heard someone, a girl, scream. 'But, I must tell you that it seems our Order is making progress,' he told Draco with a smile.
Draco flushed. 'No, I'm going to kill you. Stop smiling!' he snapped angrily.
Ginny dodged a spell as she ran over to Hermione.
'Hey,' she said breathlessly, after shooting a leg locker curse at a Death Eater, but missing by mere inches.
Hermione grunted, having just threw herself on the ground to dodge a beam of yellow light.
Suddenly, they heard a shout. 'Hey, HEY, WE FOUND IT!' the person yelled.
Ginny looked over to where the person was standing and realized that it was a boy who had realized that the passage way to the Astronomy Tower was blocked. She watched as he tried to ram through it, but an invisible barrier wouldn't allow them through. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Snape creep through the tower.
Harry is up there! she thought, watching Snape go up the stairwell. Maybe only people with the Dark Mark can get through, she suggested to herself.
As she was fighting, Ginny could hear jeers and screams of Death Eaters, members of the Order, and her schoolmates. She could've sworn she saw a familar head fall crippled to the ground, but she put it out of her mind. She knew that many experience Aurors were working on the invisible barrier blocking the tower, but there was nothing else she could do to get to Harry.
She could also feel his anguish through the ring on her neck. The feelings surging through Harry's own body was also in her's as well. She could feel fear and anxiety from Harry and attempts to calm down. She knew whatever was going on up in that tower was not good.
At one point, she saw Neville get stunned, so she ran over to where he was fighting and took up the masked Death Eater. One of the scariest parts of the fight was the amount of green. She knew that a green beam of light meant the Avada Kedavra and she took careful steps to dodge it. She hoped that none of the D.A. were hurt badly throughout the fight; it would have been her fault if they were injured.
'WE GOT IT, WE GOT IT OPEN!' someone screamed from somewhere not far from where she was. There were a lot of people fighting, and she knew some were working on getting the tower passage way opened.
She ran to the tower and raced up the stairs. She realized that no one was following her because they all were too busy fighting. She took each step one by one, and finally got to the top.
When she did, she saw a group of people surrounding Dumbledore, who was crouched on the ground, obviously hurt.
She was momentarily stunned, seeing Snape approach Dumbledore. Nobody seemed to even realize that she was there. What scared her most was that Harry was nowhere in sight. She was shocked, as Snape had a look of pure hatred on his countenance.
Then she heard something chilling and more frightening that she had ever experienced.
'Severus, Severus, please,' Dumbledore was begging. Pleading.
Her jaw dropped, as she saw Snape raise his wand ready to strike, and when he did he roared out, 'AVADA KEDAVRA!'
When this happened, Ginny's wedding ring gave a heart clenching throb. Dumbledore was dead. He was thrown out of the window in which he and Harry had entered and was no longer in her sight.
When the shock wave went over everyone that Dumbledore had died, they turned and saw Ginny. She was instantly stunned and thrown on the ground. Before she blacked out, she saw Snape running with Malfoy down the staircase.
She didn't know that Harry had been unfrozen at that moment and stunned a few Death Eaters as well. He saw Ginny and revived her, then without another word, ran down the stairs and after Snape and Malfoy.
Ginny ran after him, but when she did, she was taken over by a stampede of Death Eaters running out of the small cove before the Astronomy Tower. She was temporarily knocked to the ground and passed out.
When Ginny awoke, she squinted her eyes looking to see Harry, but instead, saw Hermione.
'What happened?' Ginny questioned, looking around the scene. All the Death Eaters were gone, except for one and that was a corpse of a dead man. She nearly threw up from the smell of blood that was lingering in the small room.
'Ginny, it's all over. They ran for it. The Death Eaters ran. Ron has gone off to get McGonagall to pick up the body. All the D.A. members are going back to their dorms. The Order is in the Hospital Wing, they said to revive you and then meet them there. Harry came down awhile ago. He was running after Snape and Malfoy. I'm not sure where he is, can you stand?' Hermione explained all at once, almost confusing Ginny.
'Harry's out of the tower? Snape ran for it too? Is anyone hurt, did anyone die?' she asked Hermione.
Hermione shook her head and pointed to the lone, dead Death Eater. 'Only him, but Bill got - well, got mangled by a werewolf in his human form,' she whispered.
Ginny stood up shakily. 'I - I need to find Harry. I need to go see him,' she mumbled, running out of the small room and down many flights of stairs. She made her way through the empty Great Hall and through the large doors to exit the castle.
When she got out there, she realized a small commotion by Hagrid's hut. She ran over there and saw the ruins of Hagrid's hut, obviously scorched by a fire, and also a small crowd of people surrounding Harry and Hagrid.
'He's dead, he's dead,' she heard Harry say to Hagrid over and over. She could tell he was crying and obviously frustrated.
'He can't be, Harry, he can't, it's Dumbledore,' she heard Hagrid tell Harry. 'Come on, we gotta go inside the castle,' Hagrid told him.
Ginny rushed through and broke into the crowd. She knelt down by Harry, who was sitting on the hard ground. She slipped her hand into his and whispered calmly in his ear.
'Harry, come on now. Let's go,' she told him softly.
'But - but, he's dead Ginny, Dumbledore's dead!' he insisted to her.
Ginny's jaw shook. The words didn't hit her right away but she understood that finally, the old, wise man had been defeated. She just nodded and helped Harry stand up.
'Everyone is in the Hospital Wing and we have to meet them,' she explained.
Harry nodded and stood up. He left Hagrid, confused and worried.
'Is - is anyone hurt?' Harry questioned, trying to calm his shaking voice.
Ginny swallowed. 'A Death Eater died. Other than that Hermione mentioned something about Bill, but he's - he's still alive,' Ginny said, trying to hold in her sob. It also didn't help that everyone was watching them. Sobs of girls could be heard around them and she didn't want to act like them. It seemed like the whole castle was alive, and knew what had happened in the castle.
Harry didn't respond, just held onto Ginny's hand tighter.
Finally, they reached the Hospital Wing. Ginny turned to Harry before entering the doors. 'I love you, you were very brave today,' she whispered, kissing him lightly on the lips.
They went through the doors and saw a group of people sitting in a circle of chairs. There was Sirius, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Tonks, and Luna. Neville was fast asleep in a bed beside a mangled body... which was Bill.
'Harry!' Ron and Hermione stood up and walked over to him. Hermione gave him a hug and Ron put an arm around Ginny.
'We're so glad you're alright, did you catch them, any of them, the Death Eaters?' Hermione asked quickly.
Harry shook his head silently. He was too busy watching Ginny's silent tears as she looked at Bill. He shrugged to Hermione, trying to hold back his own tears by biting the inside of his cheek.
'He'll be okay Gin, Poppy says so,' Tonks assured her calmly.
Ginny nodded her head, turning away from Ron and putting her head into Harry's chest, sniffing.
'Don't worry, I'll bet that Dumbledore can think of something to fix Bill up pretty nicely. He was always pretty good at charmwork. I'm sure he'll know the side effects as well,' Sirius said, smiling.
Harry sniffed and let the tears fall now. 'He's - Dumbledore - he's dead,' Harry said.
There was a pregnant silence. You could hear the small gasp from Pomfrey, who was taking care of Bill. Hermione began crying and Ron slowly hugged her, in a state of shock. Tonks' eyes widened, and Lupin and Sirius looked at each other, almost in a fearful way.
'How?' Sirius asked breathlessly.
Ginny shrugged and looked at Harry. 'Harry, I know you don't want to talk about it, but you need to tell people how it happened?' she asked him.
'Snape killed him. I saw it, Snape killed him,' he repeated.
'No,' Lupin said, shocked.
Hermione cried more loudly now.
'What is it?' Ron asked her.
'I could've stopped him! I saw him leave his room and I didn't go after him!' she wailed.
'There's nothing you could've done,' Lupin said somberly.
Hermione just shook her head.
'But - but, how, why would Snape?' Tonks couldn't continue because Ginny interrupted.
'Shh!' she said, pointing to the window. As she did, they could hear the low cry of a phoenix in the distance.
'Fawkes,' Harry mumbled, feeling the courage, yet sadness that the bird's song was giving off.
The door to the wing opened then, and McGonagall bustled in.
'Potter, Hagrid mentioned something - Dumbledore, Snape... well, what happened?' she asked him, interested.
'Snape killed Professor Dumbledore. I saw him under my invisibility cloak. Then he took Malfoy and ran for it,' he explained curtly.
McGonagall sunk into an empty chair. 'Snape killed...' she couldn't say anymore.
'I think that we should - should go. We'll catch up with you guys,' Ginny said softly, looking at Harry in the eyes.
She took ahold of Harry's hand, knowing that nobody objected to leaving. She leaded Harry out of the wing and to the Gryffindor common room. She then kept walking up the stairs to the boys' dormitories. Without a word, she surveyed the room, making sure that they were alone and she sat down on his bed.
Harry sat next to her, and she laid down across his chest.
'Now what?' she whispered.
Harry shrugged. 'I don't know,' he answered back.
'Do you want to talk about it?' she asked him.
'Did you get a Horcrux?' she asked him again.
'Yeah, I did, actually,' he said, glad that he could get his mind off of Dumbledore's death.
He opened the locket and something slipped out. It was a note explaining that the writer had destroyed the Horcrux in hopes that Voldemort would be mortal again when he met Harry for the final battle.
'So it's fake? It's not even a real Horcrux?' Ginny questioned sadly.
'It's not real,' Harry answered for her.
Ginny sighed. 'Harry, it's not your fault. Please - please don't blame this on yourself! There was nothing you could do,' Ginny answered to him in a soothing voice.
Harry shook his head and he could tell that he was going to cry. 'I - I couldn't do anything and that's what makes me mad. I couldn't help. He froze me when Malfoy came,' Harry told her, his breathing ragged.
Ginny began to cry as well. 'Don't blame yourself. You have to be here for us... for me. Dumbledore froze you for a reason,' she told him as she ran her fingers through his unruly hair.
'What was I supposed to do?' Harry asked.
'There wasn't anything you could do!' Ginny repeated.
They both fell silent, and Harry tightened his grip on Ginny.
'I love you,' he whispered, as he realized that Ginny had fallen asleep.
This is not the last chapter, there will be a epilogue and then an authors note after that. Thanks for reaching 400. I want to hear peoples opinions on what I did with Dumbledore... so please review. (By the way, shouting at your computer b/c Dumbledore died is not the answer, I am well opened to flames - I think it was necessary inthe series and fanfiction for him to die, sorry for all those who wanted him to live.)
Again, I love you class of 06 and Sisters. This chapter belongs to you.