Chapter 1: Halloween

"Honestly, Ron, with five years of experience one would think that you had learned to write a proper introduction" Hermione lectured as the three friends walked towards the Great Hall for dinner. Ron had received a P on the latest Transfiguration essay. It seemed, though, that the reason for his bad mood was primarily due to Hermione's scolding. Harry tried to tune Hermione out but that was simply not possible.

A few weeks ago, Ron had received a package from his twin brothers containing a bottle of firewhiskey. Ron and Harry had spent a Saturday evening in the Room of Requirement emptying the bottle over several games of chess and boy talk. After quite a few glasses, Ron had actually admitted to fancying Hermione. Not that Harry did not suspect that already, but he had not expected Ron to announce it after a few glasses.

Now, Ron was replying single words or grunts to Hermione's lecture. It seemed that Ron was trying hard not to start a row. And funnily enough, it seemed to Harry that Hermione was trying just as hard to start a row. Did she like the fights? Harry was not sure whether or not he wanted to know.

They entered the Great Hall which was decorated for the Halloween Feast, sat down and began their feast.

"Hi all" Harry stiffened momentarily as the youngest Weasley slid into the seat next to him.
"Hi Gin" He replied "How was Care of Magical Creatures"
"Err... interesting." She made a face. "We discussed pistrixes. Hagrid has a shoal of smaller ones in the lake"
"Perhaps we should encourage Malfoy to take a swim, then." Ron smirked and they all snickered at the thought of the annoying boy meeting one of the huge dragon-headed fish. Hermione, though, tried to look stern - she was, after all, prefect - not to mention still angry with Ron. Soon pudding emerged and Harry was just reaching for a piece of pumpkin pie when a loud explosion was heard. Everyone froze before looking either for the source of the sound or at the teacher's table where Dumbledore had gotten up and was striding out of the Hall.

BOOM! The thundering sound was heard again. This time the Hall shook around them. People started screaming and running as a third crash reverberated through the castle and a large crack appeared in the enchanted ceiling of the Hall. The charm that depicted the sky outside flickered a bit. As Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny ran out of the Great Hall a piece of the ceiling loosened, fell down, and crushed part of the Hufflepuff table.

Professor McGonagall was shouting for students to retreat to their dormitories but few listened in their panic to get out of the way of the crumbling ceiling.

People were running in all directions and many were running out of the castle doors. Through the open doors Harry saw panicking students running straight towards the approaching death eaters outside. He winced as a small student - presumably a first year - was hit by a curse and thrown back about 15 yards from the blast.

Heart thumping in his chest, Harry ran out through the doors. As he stood on the castle steps, he noticed the presence of Ron, Hermione and Ginny behind him. Quickly, he took in the situation. Death eaters. Many of them. It looked like Voldemort had gathered his entire army tonight. They had been cursing the castle, but now as they walked closer, they started to curse the panicking students. He ran to the left and the other three followed.

"We should cover each other's backs" Hermione yelled.

Harry nodded and stood, facing the approaching masked people in black robes. Ron turned his back against Harry's, Ginny took the place at Harry's right side and Ron's left and Hermione covered Ginny's back on Harry's left. Then... they waited.

They did not have to wait long, though, before the first curse was heading straight at Harry. He blocked it. By now, several death eaters had noticed them and headed for them. Soon, they were all more than occupied - each keeping several death eaters at bay.
Harry had no time to consider how his three friends were doing.
"Reducto!" He got one of the slower death eaters.
"Stupefy!" Another sent a red jet of light towards him.
"Protego!" He managed to block the stunning spell and retaliated with a stinging hex which the death eater blocked sending a spell at Harry that he had not heard before.
"Protego!" Luckily, the blocking charm worked and he quickly fired his next spell: "Diffindo"
Harry was too quick for the death eater and the spell hit him across the stomach. He swayed a bit before he fell. Harry heard Ginny hit a death eater with a bat-bogey hex before the next death eater attacked him.

This one went down easily enough with a Petrificus Totalus from Harry - and he turned to the next death eater. But he did not attack. In fact, none of the remaining death eaters did. Instead, they had closed a circle around the four teens. Ron took down one who had turned away from them to fight someone attacking the outside of the circle.

Harry gasped in pain as a puff of smoke went off in the circle and his scar split open.
"Well well well, we meet again." An icy voice said.
"I hear you, Miss Weasley, have had the joy of my company before too"
Harry felt Ginny sway a bit against his shoulder.
"Stupefy!" He fired a curse against the Dark Lord, who lazily sidestepped it.
"Do you really think you can stun me?" Voldemort laughed. A chilling laugh.
Harry did not answer. Green eyes glared at red ones.
"Have you noticed what day it is today? Hmm?" The evil wizard smiled.
"Halloween... It has been exactly 15 years since I killed your good-for-nothing parents. What a perfect day to put an end to the Potter family once and for all"

Harry did not answer.

"You look a lot like your blood traitor father did in his last moments. He thought he could get me with a jelly legs charm though. Stupid boy. I even offered him a chance to live. But noooo, he had to go and get in the way. Foolish Gryffindors. Well... let us see how much fight there is left in you when your little friends are gone"

Harry could hear the blood pumping in his ears.
"Crucio!" Harry tried to block the curse, but it was not aimed for him and his shield was slightly off. The curse hit its target and Ginny fell to the ground. She did not make a sound but she was writhing and shaking. Harry could feel Ron and Hermione's growing panic as they kept their positions behind him. Ginny gave in to the curse and screamed.

"Create a diversion." Harry took the chance to whisper to Ron and Hermione as Ginny's screams cut through the air. He got a nudge on the shoulder as reply. They had heard him. Voldemort lifted the curse and Ginny scrambled to her feet, reclaiming her position and covering Hermione's back.


"Your mother..." Voldemort continued. "Begged and pleaded for your life. She even offered herself in your stead. Silly girl. I might have let her live but she would not get out of my way. She deserved it anyway. Filthy mudblood. She..."
Voldemort was cut off as both Ron and Hermione fired a curse at some of the death eaters. Both curses hit their target as none of the death eaters had expected the sudden movement. One death eater screamed as boils broke out all over his skin and the other was blasted far away and landed in several pieces. Surprised, the Dark Lord looked away from Harry for a moment and Harry took his chance.
"Incendio!" A blast of fire hit the Dark Lord and immediately flared up his robes. "Expelliarmus!" Harry's wand flew out of his hand. "You foolish boy!" Voldemort had extinguished his robes. He flicked his wand and Ginny fell the to ground again. Her screams echoed over the grounds.

Harry felt his temper rising. Soon, Ginny's screams faded into an ongoing ringing tone and Harry felt his magic starting to overwhelm him.

I'll kill him. I'll rip him slowly and leave him to bleed to death. Bastard! I'll tear him apart!

His magic was almost too strong for him to control. Something told Harry to stretch out his arm and as he did, his body released a surge of magic, which hit a surprised Voldemort straight in the head - separating the head from the body. The body spasmed a bit and then it was still.

Harry stared at the body for a moment. Then, coming to, he realized everything was strangely quiet. Then he noticed a blue light surrounding them and that the death eaters did not seem to be able to pass through it.
Wondering what it was, he turned around to see that the blue light came from Hermione. It streamed out of her wand and as he looked, she fell to her knees but still kept the light coming.

"I can't keep it much longer" She yelled.

Then, the death eaters seemed to be attacked from the outside. Hermione was on all fours now, fighting to keep the shield standing even though no-one were trying to break through it at the moment. Through the blue light they saw Dumbledore running over to where they were and the last few remaining death eaters disapparated.

Harry saw Hermione pass out and that Ron ran over to her - then his world went black too.