Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing of Harry Potter. Not even an eyelash.
By: Irish Valkyrie
Chapter 1: And So It Was
Harry James Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, faced Lord Voldemort across the rolling hills of the Hogwarts front lawn. People lay dead and dying all around him. Witches and wizards, students and teachers, friends and…family.
He briefly glanced away from the monster in front of him to a body lying crumpled on the ground. The bright spot of Weasley red hair was visible even from this distance, as was the long lanky form of what had once been Ronald Weasley.
Harry forced his gaze away from his best friend, but his eyes fell on another victim of the battle. Nymphadora Tonks was lying on her back where she'd fallen, her face contorted in agony for the rest of eternity.
Harry tried to shut his eyes to the horror, but they just wouldn't close. Mad-Eye Moody was a charred and still smoking corpse lying several feet behind Tonks. His electric blue eye was black now, covered by the ash from his own burning body.
Headmistress Minerva McGonagall was an indistinguishable pulp lying in a hole. Harry wouldn't even have known it was her, except for the fact that he had seen the giant stomp her into the ground. It didn't matter where he looked. Corpses of people he had once known and loved were lying every which way in varying degrees of pain and mutilation.
He had no idea where Remus Lupin was…or, correction: He had no idea where the rest of Remus was. The werewolf's severed head was wedged in the crook of a tree on the edge of the forbidden forest, right where the trolls had left it.
Hagrid was a slashed and bloody mess. His large body had been shredded into ribbons by the very dragons he loved. Harry knew there was no way the half giant was still alive.
The young man's eyes strayed once more to another red-headed corpse. The first victim of the final battle was, oddly enough, the most peaceful looking of the lot. Little Ginerva Weasley, the baby of the family, was lying curled on her side where Voldemort's Avada Kedavra curse had dropped her. To Harry's complete bafflement, it was Draco Malfoy's body that was sprawled protectively over her, even in death.
Even more startling was the fact that Draco hadn't been killed by the good guys. No, Lucius Malfoy had killed his own son in a fit of rage after Draco had refused to join Voldemort's side. To say that everyone had been surprised was an understatement.
Harry's eyes caught on a bushy brown haired figure stumbling toward him out of the carnage. He felt overwhelming relief at the sight of her and had to mentally restrain himself from rushing over to her. He knew if he did, he would crush her to him and never let go.
Hermione came to a painful halt next to Harry. There was a large gash in her side and she was bleeding profusely, but still standing. She had a slight burn on the left side of her face and three of her fingers looked like they were broken. He wanted to tell her to get back inside the castle right this instant, but he knew he couldn't.
Harry wasn't without injuries of his own. His left arm hung limply at his side. The shoulder was dislocated and the arm bones shattered. The broken shaft of a conjured arrow was still sticking obscenely from the flesh of his thigh and his right ear was missing, having been blown away by a Reducto curse he was too slow in dodging.
"Looks like you're running rather short on friends Potter," Voldemort shouted across the field. Blood was running into his eyes from a scalp wound. Harry was surprised the bastard was still human enough to have blood.
"No more Riddle," Harry shouted. "This ends today. You've held your reign of terror for long enough."
"Bold words coming from the mouth of a dead man," Voldemort sneered.
Harry ignored this and turned to Hermione. "When this starts," he said, "I want you out of here."
"No! I will not argue about this. You have to get out of here alive. You hold the future Hermione. My future. Your future. The world's future. It all rests with you. You, more than anyone else here today, have to survive."
"Harry, I can't—" she began, tears gathering in her eyes.
"You have to." Harry pulled her into his arms and kissed her soundly on the lips.
"Remember, when this starts…you leave. Promise me."
"No, I won't leave you!"
Hermione was so startled, she found herself nodding before she realized it.
"You know it has to be this way Hermione," he said, softly now, rubbing his hands up and down her arms. "You heard the prophesies, both of them, you know what they mean."
Hermione nodded slowly and began to recite the newest prophesy from memory. The first one was, of course, the one Dumbledore had told Harry. The second had been told to Hermione by Professor Trelawny.
Hermione had been wandering the halls looking for Harry when she had literally bumped into the errant seer. After apologizing profusely and helping the professor to gather her papers, Hermione had made to leave and was stopped by a strong grasp on her arm.
The professor's eyes were wide, slightly protruding, and rolled into the back of her head. The young woman was now very concerned for the teacher and tried to call for help. Sibyll Trelawny had started to speak in a deep raspy voice so unlike her own that Hermione had been startled into silence. The Divination professor had uttered the most bizarre string of words Hermione had ever imagined.
"Conceived by Minerva's raven daughter
Sired by her chosen one,
Innocent lambs to slaughter
Apollo guide the sun.
Artemis will lead the flower
If given slightest chance,
But should darkness overpower
Flower's life will end at point of lance.
Should Minerva's daughter perish,
Hope will fail the earth.
The dark shall gain its wish,
And life will have no worth."
It had taken Hermione only the barest moment to realize she was hearing a true prophesy, and once that realization had struck, she tried desperately to remember the words Trelawny had uttered. Luckily, as the recipient of the prophesy, it was automatically ingrained into her long term memory. She wouldn't forget those words for the rest of her life…no matter how hard she tried.
Hermione immediately told Harry and Ron about the prophesy, then the three of them had gone to see Dumbledore. He'd been alarmed and recommended that they try to figure it out, and fast.
It had taken the three teenagers weeks to figure out what it all meant and by then, the first stanza had already come true. Now, Harry waited in fear, determined to prevent the fate the third stanza told of.
"If your girlfriend's becoming a problem Potter we can just get rid of her," drawled a familiar voice from behind the two seventeen year olds. Both of them whipped around and came face to face with Lucius Malfoy.
The older man looked the worse for wear, but he had his wand trained on Hermione's heart. There was a maniacal light gleaming from his icy blue eyes. Malfoy's fingers tightened on his wand as he uttered the most unforgivable of the Unforgivable curses.
"NO!" Harry yelled and leapt in front of Hermione, knocking her to the ground next to him. He closed his eyes as the flash of green light whipped over their heads, missing them by a hairsbreadth.
Oddly, there was another flash of green light over their heads, but Harry dismissed it as irrelevant. He was back on his feet in an instant and cursing Malfoy. He launched his spells faster than the eye could follow and within seconds, the death eater was lying on the ground, unconscious. Harry briefly wondered why Hermione wasn't cursing Malfoy right along side him.
Insane laughter was drifting across the field to Harry, filling him with a cold dread. He whipped around only to find Voldemort laughing, his wand pointed straight at him. A terrible sense of foreboding filled the young man's heart.
No, not at me, he realized with a dawning sense of horror, at Hermione! He dropped to his knees beside her, but his brain was already telling him what his heart refused to accept.
Hermione was dead.
He cradled her limp form in his arms, a wail of despair forcing its way past his lips. He refused to believe that she would leave him like this. He had always imagined her dying peacefully in her sleep at a ripe old age, a large book resting at her side. Not broken and bleeding on a battle field with no warning.
"Hermione love, come on you've got to wake up." He shook her body helplessly. Her head lolled to the side. "You aren't meant to die this way Hermione, not like this."
There was still no answer from the limp form in his arms.
"I need you here Mione, you can't leave me like this. Don't leave me alone please. I'm terrified of being alone." Tears were coursing down his cheeks and dripping onto her face, but still she didn't stir.
He slapped her cheeks lightly. "Come on love please. I'm begging you and you've got to know how hard that is for me. Of course you know, you know everything about me. Hermione come back to me please. I'll even give up quidditch for the rest of my life if you'll just blink those gorgeous eyes of yours."
His voice was a weak shaky whisper. "I don't want to be alone Hermione. Please, don't leave me, I need you. I love you." Harry was sobbing now and the sky turned gray. Large rain drops began falling and both teenagers were drenched within moments.
Harry leaned over Hermione, trying to keep her as dry as possible. He looked into her honey colored eyes… and nothing stared back at him. The fire, the passion for knowledge that had always met his probing gaze, was gone. Everything that had made Hermione dear to him had been taken. Torn from her body by force…by Voldemort. It was at that moment that he realized she was truly gone from him, forever.
Now a roar of rage escaped Harry's lips, and for a brief moment, Voldemort stopped laughing. Harry gently laid Hermione back down, removing his cloak and covering her body with it. His heart was gone. It had been destroyed when she was ripped from life. Now all he felt was an all consuming hatred for the creature standing in front of him.
"VOLDEMORT!" Harry thundered. "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS."
"Funny Potter, but I think I've heard that line before." Voldemort managed a credible sneer, but for the first time in his life there was fear in his voice.
The rain began to come down harder and thunder crackled in the distance while lightning flashed overhead. Harry glanced around at the battle field once more. He waved his arm encompassing the raging fight, the dead bodies, the sheer waste of it all.
"Is this what you want for your future Tom?" his voice was still loud and filled with rage. Voldemort only laughed again.
"Then so be it," Harry whispered softly. The two wizards faced each other in the downpour, wands aimed. As if by signal, they both fired at the same time. Harry's banishing spell collided with Voldemort's killing curse in midair. At the exact moment of collision, a third spell intersected with the first two.
The ensuing explosion knocked Harry onto his back. There was a bright flash of pure white light, and then nothing. He was unconscious.
Fifteen feet away, Severus Snape collapsed, the last of his strength used in what he hoped was a move that would save the wizarding world. As his life's blood flowed from the fatal wound in his chest, Snape prayed…for the first and last time in his life.
Author's note: Okay, so excited to be writing again. For those of you who read and reviewed my other story "What Hurts the Most", this one is dedicated to you. For everyone else, just sit back, read and enjoy.
Now, on to more serious business. I've decided to give you guys a few clues to help you figure out the prophesy before I explain it in chapter five. There will be a total of four clues, one for each chapter. Here is the first one: Clue # 1: Minerva was the Roman goddess of useful knowledge, noble reasoning, logic, and wisdom… think about it.
P.S. I refuse to post the next chapter until someone takes a crack at the riddle. Come on, you know you want to (grins all evil like).