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Queen of Light, Waiting for the darkness
It was over.
All that remained, she thought grimly, running a pale finger along the dark, slimy walls, is this. This anarchic space, this icy cold corridor, full of lingering chaos, all yet that remained, was the remnants of a forgotten war.
Dirt. Layers upon layers of dirt, sludge and grime was plastered to the heavy brick walls, nothing had touched them for centuries; well that's how it seemed.
A sharp breeze whipped through the corridor numbing her bare feet, she looked down hesitantly- water? Why hadn't she noticed it before? Surely she could still feel, unless she was…
Placing her frail, bloodstained hand on the wall, she gasped as she felt the contact, and when she realised she wasn't a ghost, she was alive, her heart leapt momentarily, but then she realised that's exactly what she didn't want.
Words started to spring to her mind summing up her dismal surroundings, cold, and wet, hard, flat, and desolate. She gazed around again; becoming absorbed in the intricate details of the walls, smeared with the blood of friend and foe.
Funny she thought, here she was in her favourite place in the world, and yet also in her most hated place in the world, the dungeons of Hogwarts castle.
Having lived here in the castle for seven years, she had never fully appreciated all its worth, The tall, toppling towers that loomed over the hidden greenhouses, the warm fires and cosy common rooms, the glittering sky in the great hall, and the dungeons, her least favourite place. No wonder why the Slytherin's lived here she mused. Here it was dark, dangerous, with the only the absent echoing of footsteps noticeable, it reeked danger, bloody Slytherin prats.
Of course, she had never really paid attention to the castle before; it was always between Ron, Harry and homework, coupled with the occasional house-elf hat and trip to Hagrids. Yet out of all her memories from seven long years at Hogwarts, it was the last and most horrific one that she could pick out most clearly.
The castle had been different then, halls full of death and destruction, blood piercing screams hurtled in and out your ears, while danger chose to smother you completely. She could have laughed, but the situation was too dire, she wasn't afraid though, if anything she felt alive.
It was now, she reflected. Now was the time for her to feel brave, she had faced more than anybody, lived through harder things than every other person in the world. Yet it was now, while sat alone in the dungeon corridors of the decaying castle she once called home, now as the dark skies which had loomed overhead for days, now as the sun was finally beating away the clouds for a new dawn. Now was the time Hermione Granger felt afraid, and then the memories flooded back…
'Hermione! Come here, Ron hide, get ready they'll be here any moment, Quick!' Harry had screamed at Ron and herself, 'Good luck, I'll always remember you.'
Those words haunted her as her brain crashed to a blinding halt and the final battle began. All her morals had gone, all her happiness had been sucked away and as the death eaters smashed their way into the dungeon they were hiding in, all her life was drained and viciously taken.
Hexes, curses, jinxes were all flying everywhere. Only one thing the golden trio had to their advantage, the love for the ones who had been lost already. Their love for those Voldemort had helped kill; their love had made them ready. They would kill everyone who had hurt a loved one, they would do everything necessary, and nothing could make them hesitate from jinxing all those who bore the mark, absolutely nothing.
She ploughed her way through the chaos to Ron's side, and with every curse that hit the target, she was pleased, and every curse that missed- well… nothing missed. Some would feel disgusted at the way she felt such pleasure from harming another human being, but she had finally realised the truth, in war it's either kill, or be killed.
Sweat drenched her clothes, blood trickled from her face and she gripped her wand tightly blasting every death eater she could see. She could feel the power radiating from her fingers through to her wand, she could feel the tingling down her spine as the magic flowed through her body, all she could feel was the power, and she loved it.
She was positively gleeful when she fired the curse that left Bellatrix Lestrange a crumpled heap of clothes on the floor. Nothing could possibly ruin her happiness when she snapped Bellatrix's wand in half, and kicked her corpse to the side, nothing could compare to the manic grin she had when she watched the light leave Bellatrix's eyes, nothing at all. She could feel the power and adrenalin pumping through her body; she felt a sense of europhia. Time had halted as she breathed in the relief and satisfaction; time had stopped as she closed her eyes to inhale the cool, crisp air of glory. Time only unfroze as she heard a familiar yell; time was put on fast forward as she snapped her eyes open in horror, to watch Ron fall to the ground.
Suddenly everything became a blur; she had searched the room hastily for the one who had killed her beloved. She smiled grimly as she found her target, oh yes, revenge is good she thought as she whispered the two most hated words and watched as Lucius Malfoy fall to the ground dead, with the smirk wiped freshly from his face. She closed her eyes momentarily savouring the power and relief surging through her body. Revenge was sweet people say, if only Ron hadn't died in the process. Revenge wasn't sweet; she thought sadly, it was bitter sweet, only by feeling the pain before the pleasure gave her satisfaction, but as soon as Ron came to mind, all sweetness was gone, replaced by anger, and the powerful emotion called love.
Reopening her eyes she dodged another jinx hurtled hurriedly her way which hit the limp form of Malfoy Senior, but with no result.
She looked to her attacker, rage was building up inside her, all the emotions were merged into one; one swirling vortex of anger, pain and love came together to form a powerful ball of energy, ready to be unleashed upon every person who bore the mark of death. Her energy was her weapon, her trapped emotions had been pented up too long, now she was ready to let them free, and let them free she did. She bowed her head in understanding, she understood now how Harry had to kill Voldemort because of his love for his parents, his need to avenge them, and now she felt the same. She started a new war upon those who had hurt her friends and family, she started her own personal grudge war, killing everyone involved.
CRACK, Wormtail had gone instantly, she smiled crazily as she stamped her boot on his face, for good- or bad measure, she thought, disfiguring the face of the vermin who had helped kill James and Lily, the filth that had betrayed Ron and Sirius, the piece of unworthy dirt who had taken advantage of Harry's generosity, and escaped only to help the dark lord return. He had deserved a much more painful death; the flash of green light wasn't enough to fill her with satisfaction. Damn, sometimes I'm just too soft, she thought as she broke the traitor of a marauder's wand into tiny pieces and began to hunt the rest of her prey.
Next came a slightly less important grudge, Macnair's death was disappointedly quick. He wanted to kill Buckbeak, surely some blood loss would be necessary in his death, thank god for Sectumsempra, and at least one Death Eater had got the death they deserved. Power surged through her fingertips as she stalked the next on her death list, her fury reignited by her use of Sectumsempa.
She finally found the slimy git and while gripping her wand and quickly blocking her mind, she nonverbally cast Crucio while watching her old potions professor writhing on the floor beneath her. She laughed wildly and shook her hair out of her face, ready for a little more torture with the Prince of Betrayals. Snape stood, panting for his breath and loosely gripping his wand, trying to recover from the pain, yet Hermione was too quick, Sectumsempra, Expelliarmus and Crucio followed each other as her eyes gleamed and she sighed in relief. Finally another one on the list would go, Avada Kedavra, she whispered softly, as the flash of green light engulfed the professor's body. Accio Wand she cried, snatching the half-broken wand from mid-air and throwing it down to the ground before turning away, and scanning the halls for her next victim on her list.
Deflecting all the curses sent her way she rushed through the dimly lit corridors with the slime covered walls to find the last on her list. Smoke and dust filled her lungs as she descended deeper into the dungeons and finally she reached her old classroom, the ancient wooden door blasted off its hinges and missing, she stepped in, and vented her anger in the best way she knew how. The desks were upturned, empty cauldrons discarded at the sides of the room and the floor was littered with dead bodies of both friend and foe alike. Her heart gave a jolt when she saw Neville and the Weasley twins, bloodstained and propped up in the corner, she almost called out to them, until she realised they were dead. She turned her attention to the middle of the room; Harry and Voldemort were there, locked in a fierce battle of tongues, sparks and flared temper. Crouched behind one of the tables was her last victim, she knew that just killing him wouldn't satisfy her need; she wanted to mess with his mind. She smirked evilly as she remembered similar words spoken by Dumbledore in the Department of Mysteries. So screwing up her face and hiding her wand carefully she ran into the young, blonde death eater, flinging her arms around his neck and wailing into his chest. 'Oh Draco,' she whispered to the gullible youth, noticing the look of confusion on his face, 'I'm so scared Draco, I need help, please Draco.' He looked at her as if she was mad, and started to speak as she clawed his neck and spoke the killing curse quietly. She threw his now dead body to the floor, making note of the shocked expression on his face, eyes wide open in shock, and his mouth gaping in realisation. All she could do was smile bitterly as she snapped his wand and turned to face the evil conqueror and the defender of Light, coming to the end of their battle. Harry was injured, she thought desperately. Voldemort was standing above him, ready to send Harry to his death and all she could do was gape.
The great Hermione Granger, greatest student since the Dumbledore himself, muggleborn best friend of Harry Potter, and all she could do was gape. As time slowed down again ready for the inevitable, she did what seemed the most logical and most ironic thing she could have done at the time. She yelled. She yelled the one thing that brought a smile to Harry's face before he died. She yelled with all her might, 'Oy, Pea-Brain!'
She could see Harry fighting the urge to laugh at her Ron-ness, but he thought better of it, and used Voldemorts temporary confusion to grab his wand and leapt to his feet, shouting the curse which soon echoed throughout the dungeons.
Though he was too late, Voldemort had already started to turn around and cast the curse himself, and all she could do was watch in desperation as Harry and Voldemort crumpled to the ground instantly, with the flash of green light which was brighter and more powerful than ever before. She closed her eyes and let a tear fall down her cheek as the dark lord fell, along with her beloved, the-boy-who-lived.
Then all was silent, the death eaters were no more, and their leader had been defeated. The Order was gone, and all those on the light side too, she was the only one left.
She smiled bitterly, half of her life had left her when Ron had fallen, only to be replaced her anger and power, but when Harry had gone, she no longer had any emotion to replace her loss. She no longer had anything to exert her need for power and revenge. When her second beloved died, she died too. She had nothing to lose, and nothing to gain, she felt no desire for revenge, and no pleasure from the revenge she had already taken. She felt no relief, nothing; all she could do was to exist…
So here I am sitting tiredly in the corridor of the dungeons, merely hours after the battle ended, reflecting on all I had done.
I killed, I slaughtered, I maimed. I lost count of all the death eaters I had sent down to their hellish graves and now I was the only one left. Everyone had seemed to think that when the war was over, when the dark side was gone, that Light would prevail. Everyone had drilled into their minds that as soon as the battle was won, we could celebrate.
Yet alone sit I, so who do I celebrate with, and what for? The only survivor in a war which killed all, I see no need to celebrate. Now I realise that surviving is so much worse than dieing, sometimes you realise however important the cause you fight for is, that when you are the only one left, the cause has gone, and the deaths pointless.
All this war has created is death, not hope, not glory, but cold, hard, bitter death. Okay so I survived, but what does that mean? I have the only story to tell of this war, but nobody to listen, because the war has killed all the listeners. The war has killed everything.
Some who might have heard my story would say that because I am alive, the Light Side has won. Some would call me the champion of light, but there is nobody to call me that. Nobody to hear the story, and if there's nobody to hear the story, then nobody has won at all.
All I can do is sit and wait. Wait for the listeners who will never come, wait for the healers who have already been killed, wait for the emotions to overcome me with pride saying, you have won, you survived. Be happy! But they don't come, because the war has killed them.
I've only been here a few hours and already I can't breathe or think properly, my small injuries are amounting to more because they are left untreated and already my memories are leaving me and my emotions scattered.
My name is Hermione Granger; I am the only survivor of the second war. I sit here, in the bitter, murky dungeons of the place I used to call home. I am the Queen of light, waiting for the darkness to take me.