"Gregory," the boy cried as soon as he was within ears reach. "Gregory - it's me! Crabbe. Please, let me talk to you."
The troll was on its feet, and it lumbered slowly, watchfully, towards the small human that had sought it. He could hear the fairy sing with shrill voice, a song about flowers and earthworms, as she washed her hair in the pond and the light of the first stars.
"Greg... please," the boy whispered, his voice trailing of, because the troll was an intimidating sight indeed. He dropped to his knees and held his hands, palm upwards, to show that he was unarmed. The troll bent over him and sniffed him, uncertainly. The smell of Vincent brought back memories from a time when he walked as a human...
...when he had a human father and a human mother, and human friends and dreams and plans...
And the two boys hugged each other with tears streaming. Because Gregory had walked as a troll for so long, that he had almost forgot how to be a human.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, and a veil of fear fell over him. "Your family..."
"...stick with the Dark Lord," Vincent said, and his face was dark. "They kill people, and wanted me to do it as well." He sighed. "And then you disappeared."
"I walked the earth," Gregory said, and Vincent nodded.
"Yeah. I figured. They told me you had fallen out, betrayed your dad and me and Draco and... him. Told me you weren't my friend any longer."
"But I am," Gregory cried. "Always." Vincent put a soothing hand on his.
"Yeah. I know. We're always friends, just like we said when we were small. And I told dad as much, and he went livid. He called me a traitor and wanted to throw me out and..." he gulped. "...and they brought me before the Dark Lord." Gregory stared at his friends with large eyes.
"Yes, the Dark Lord," Vincent repeated. "And he cursed me and threatened me, and he ripped my mind open and there was nothing I could hide for him. I screamed and wished it to end - but it didn't."
Tears fell from Gregory's face. Human tears from human eyes.
"He told me to go to you, to find the girl you hide and to kill her, but I won't. I'll never return to him or to my family again. He can't make me do his bidding anymore."
"Stay with me, and I can hide you from him," Gregory said with a voice thick of emotions, and Vincent took his hand.
"You're my best friend, Greg. My only friend."
Hand in hand, they walked towards the pond. The setting sun coloured the sky red and purple.
"Where can you hide me, Greg, where the Dark Lord will not find me?" Vincent asked, and he watched the fairy in amazement, as she fluttered to and fro, curiously examining the human boy that had been brought to her.
"I will take you through rock and stone," Gregory answered, and his voice was like stone grinding against stone, like the weight of the roots of the mountains; because it was the voice he had got from his grandmother. "Over and under mountain, and far away from the paths of humans. You will be safe, Vinc."
"Oh, I already am," Vincent calmly said. "We don't need to go any further for that."
Gregory heard Luna gasp then, and when he looked up, she was trapped under iron. Vincent held his own wand in his hand, aiming it straight at his heart. An evil smirk was on his lips. Gregory felt the troll rise in him, and he opened his mouth to bawl, but a hex from his friend trapped him, as surely as the iron trapped the fairy. He growled in frustration and fear.
"You lied," Gregory accused, and his voice was filled with a bitterness he could hardly fathom. Vincent laughed.
"Lied? Why should I need to lie when the truth is so very sufficient? I DID turn against my father and my Lord, and I WAS sent here to fulfill the assignment you failed. But why should the Dark Lord send me without ensuring my loyality? Now, let us do what we came for, shall we?"
Gregory watched in horror as Vincent aimed with his wand straight at the fairy, who struggled in vain under the iron. But when the curse was uttered, it was not in his voice.
" Expelliarmus," cried Harry Potter.
"Acio wand," cried Ronald Weasley.
"Finite Incantatem," cried Hermione Granger, and Vincent fell to his knees, crying as a child when the Imperious Curse of the Dark Lord fell off him.
"Well done, Luna," Harry said to the fairy.
"You made brilliant!" Ron said.
"You're hurt!" Hermione cried and rushed forth.
The troll saw the human girl approach the fairy, and Gregory sprang to his feet. He threw her away as easily as if she had been a paper doll, and - ignoring the curse the humans threw at him - lifted the iron from the fairy. Immediately, the wind started to blow in the canopies. Mist rose from the pond.
"Luna! Wait," Hermione cried, and the fairy hesitated.
"You're done, Luna," Harry quickly said. "You have bought us the time we needed. The horcruxes are no more, and Voldemort is mortal once again."
"Please, don't go back to the forest," Ron anxiously said, watching the fairy nervously. "We need you in the fight. We need you to come back to us as a human."
"And you too, Goyle," Harry said to the troll. He had lowered his wand. "And Crabbe. Every single one of us needs to stand united against him."
Gregory hesitated. The blood of the Old People screamed at him to leave, to dash into the forest. But the human blood of his mother screamed at him with equal strength, told him about justice, told him about what is right, told him to take his place in the world of humans.
He turned to the fairy - to Luna - and to his surprise he saw that she watched him with a silent question in her silvery eyes, asked him to make the decision; the big, final decision all those who live in two worlds have to make sooner or later.
Crabbe had stopped crying and was watching him. Harry, Ron and Hermione were doing the same. The world was silent, waiting for him to make his choice.
So he made it.
He was Gregory Goyle, son of his father and of his mother. He was of the Old People and of the young people, and both worlds were by right his heritage. The war that was raging was by right his war, and he had fought at the wrong side for far too long. He knew who he was, and it was time for him to go out into the world and show it.
He smiled at Luna. She smiled at him.
He took her hand, her small, nimble fingers almost disappearing beneath his.