Standard disclaimer applies.
Chapter 21: In Which Ron and Snape Just Want It to End
Ron pulled at his hair in frustration before banging his head repeatedly on the table.
"Come on, Ron, this isn't so bad. There isn't too much left anyway," Hermione said with a smile. Ron lifted his head so he could glare at her.
"What are you talking about, Hermione? I haven't recognized any of the last three chapters. How can you tell that we're nearing the end?" he whined.
Hermione put a consoling hand on Ron's shoulder before pushing the typewriter back towards him. "The chapters haven't been quite that different. Luna just replaced the ballet studio with a greenhouse and Lavender changed James' name to yours." Hermione laughed lightly. "I knew she was still bitter about your break-up."
Ron hit his head against the table again, just barely missing the typewriter. Hermione had found it in the Room of Requirement when the girls had decided how to penalize Ron for burning the books. He had argued incessantly that it hadn't even been his idea, but it had been futile. Hermione hadn't listened and the other girls had been too excited about the punishment to care.
They were collectively re-writing Twilight.
It hadn't been their intention to re-write it, but Ron noticed far too many disparities as he was forced to type every word that came out one of the girls' mouths. In order to avoid conflict, only one girl at a time told her version of a chapter while Hermione was there to keep watch over Ron. Lavender had just left the room, and Ron had begged Hermione for a brief reprieve.
"It would have been easier to piece together the burned books, Hermione," Ron said at last, not bothering to lift his head from the table.
"They would have smelled like ash."
"Fine, it would have been easier to purchase new ones."
"Too much of a hassle."
"You don't think this is a hassle? I have to sit here and type as everyone changes details of the story! You and I both know that Jacob was not four feet tall with excessive acne when he told Bella about the Cold Ones!"
"This is your punishment, Ron. You can only blame yourself."
"Malicious she-devil," Ron muttered under his breath. At least Lavender changed Victoria's name to Hermione when she changed James', he thought. Serves her right.
"Let's just get this over with."
An awkward silence had descended over the Death Eaters as they watched Voldemort pace back and forth. Every once in a while Voldemort would pause, glare at the figures he had beckoned, and resume his pacing. The sound of his footfalls resonated through the woods.
Finally one of the Death Eaters sputtered, "Why does that one look different?" He motioned toward the brown-haired girl clutched securely against the bronze-haired one's side.
The girl sighed. The boy, sensing her discomfort, murmured, "You are by far the most beautiful creature here." She huffed – over half of the people present were wearing masks. The rest of the vampires stood strangely silent as they watched the Death Eaters with thinly veiled curiosity. Wormtail emitted a tiny squeak as he noticed the largest figure staring at him.
At last, Voldemort ceased his pacing. Gesticulating wildly, he began muttering angry curses again. The Death Eaters picked up on "Potter boy" and "vampires" and "pathetic cheese soufflés." Wormtail blushed.
The brunette seemed to have enough of the strange situation. With only a moment's delay, she swiftly picked up a small stick from the ground and stepped away from the vampires. In a brave voice, she stated, "Voldemort, I challenge you to a duel." Her crudely fashioned wand wavered only slightly as she directed it toward her opponent.
The girl felt the boy quickly resume his place beside her. She could tell he was tempted to grasp her and situate her safely behind him but was glad that he made no move to restrain her.
The Death Eaters were frozen in place, glancing back and forth between Voldemort and the girl with horrified eyes. The girl, seemingly satisfied with the Death Eaters' immobility, turned her full focus on Voldemort. He looked at her incredulously.
"You're not a vampire. You're not even a wizard. And that – " he said, pointing at her wand, " – is a stick that you just picked up off the ground."
Undeterred, she began a series of complicated hand gestures and uttered as many combinations of Latin words as she could think of. With one last glance at the boy behind her, she took a deep breath and struck.
The collective gasp was deafening.
Voldemort lay on the ground, bleeding. The vampires looked upon the prone figure with revulsion, as if the blood were spoiled.
"Bite me, one of you!" Voldemort cried. "Bite me!"
With a quick movement, Wormtail morphed into his Animagus form. He scurried over to the Dark Lord and, after a moments pause, chomped down on one of his fingers.
"AHHHH! You demented rat! Now I probably have some rodent disease. It's not bad enough I'm already dying, is it?" Voldemort screeched as a rather scared looking rat ran back towards the other Death Eaters. Malfoy looked appalled at the bleeding wound on the Dark Lord's digit as Snape discretely chuckled.
Wormtail turned back into to his human form and clutched his wand nervously.
"I… apologize… most adamantly… my Lord. You did say 'bite me,' my Lord."
"I was speaking to the vampires, you fool!"
Wormtail had the decency to look ashamed, bowing his head. He did not, however, relinquish the tight grip on his wand.
Voldemort continued to moan. He had stopped bleeding, yet blood stained the ground beneath him. Although there was not much, the dark hue of the blood looked sinister. Malfoy removed a handkerchief from his cloak and held it over his nose.
"I can't believe you stabbed me with that," Voldemort admonished. He pointed a skeletal finger at the girl's wand. The tip of it was stained the same color as the ground.
"I was trying to disarm you," the girl said defensively, not looking directly at Voldemort. "I would say it was an effective method." The boy squeezed her arm reassuringly but quickly removed the stick from her grasp. He could tell she was desperately trying to ignore the blood everywhere.
Voldemort clutched his bloodied arm and rasped, "But now I'm dying! Why will no one save me?"
Snape shook his head sadly at the Dark Lord's prone figure. His amusement was wearing off, quickly becoming replaced by boredom – again. Voldemort's lack of successes was just becoming depressing. Raising his wand and sparing the outsiders a brief glance, Snape murmured the banishing charm. He hated cleaning up Voldemort's messes.
Bella gasped, startled to find herself sitting upright in her own bed. She turned slightly and released a sigh as she realized Edward was lying beside her. Edward was glancing around warily, but he placed a soothing hand on Bella's shoulder.
"It was a dream, Bella. It was just a dream," Edward murmured, trying to calm her down.
Bella fell back into her pillows. "It was so vivid, Edward! You and I were in it – and your family – and the Death Eaters and Voldemort!"
Although it was dark, Bella noticed Edward's eyes narrow as he glanced toward the bookshelf in her room. "I don't think you're allowed to read those books before bed again."
Bella's breathing slowed as she sought comfort in Edward's strong arms. Of course Edward was right. It had only been a dream. She laughed softly to herself. "Edward?"
"I stabbed Voldemort with a stick. Isn't that funny?"
Edward smiled, although it didn't quite reach his eyes. "I can't imagine."
It had, after all, only been a dream.