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b Disclaimer: This is JKR's world, I'm just messing in it. /b

i A/N: Last of what is seven chapters of fluff/songfic. Okay, so I plan on this chapter wrapping up my whole series, tying up all the loose ends nicely. However, I don't intend for this to be overly long, probably no more than three to four thousand words for various reasons; the least of which is that I've dragged this through my exams and even now into the hols. So, kudos to everyone who has read, reviewed, provided inspiration for, supported and in any other way helped me write this story- I couldn't have done it without you. This is for the people, ya'll. xP Acknowledgements to Celine Dion for the song. Enjoy :) /i

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b Songfic for: i Goodbye (The Saddest Word) /i - Celine Dion /b

center b Mamma you gave life to me

Turned a baby into a lady

And mamma all you had to offer

Was a promise of a lifetime of love /b /center

Ginny was calm, strangely so, she considered, since her husband had been killed that morning. i Yes, he was my husband... /i she mused, i if only for a moment...but husband he was. /i She remembered his arms, holding her tight to him, close; the warmth and comfort were an intoxicating haven in the chaos of their lives. She found it ironic; their calm in the midst of everyone's bustle that morning now contrasted with her temporarily sated distraught as the rest of the world celebrated the Dark Lord's downfall. That morning, all members had been summoned to Headquarters, together with aurors, ministry wizards and, Ginny had not been surprised to see, the remaining group of Dumbledore's Army. With the headmaster gone, Lupin and McGonagall had been the main co-ordinators of the Order these past two years. Since being informed of the decision made by the Board of Governors, Professor McGonagall had devoted all her time and effort to aiding the Order; something Ginny had found quite regretful at first until she had heard that smaller-scale private classes would still be held on request. That being said, subjects like Muggle Studies, History of Magic and Divination had been discontinued till further notice, lessons being focused on more important things like Transfiguration, Charms and Defence. Her thoughts strayed back to the few minutes that morning when Harry Potter had become her husband, to have and to hold.

i "Ginny, I got to talk to you," Harry's somewhat urgent whisper caused Ginny to send the stack of dark cloaks she had been carrying to the floor; she looked at him with an accusatory look in her eye, he continued, shooting a glance around, "in private." Frowning slightly, Ginny pulled out her wand and sent the whole pile on the floor speeding towards the meeting room where everyone was gathering. Feeling his hand at the small of her back, Ginny allowed herself to be guided back along the corridor and into the Library. Still slightly peeved, Ginny barely noticed the stacks and stacks of ancient texts widely arrayed around the room, some open on tables, others sitting in piles; legacy of months of research by the four teens over the past year and a bit. She turned and rounded on Harry who had stopped. Her irritation turned to worry at the nervousness and tension clear in his eyes... /i what had happened? i Relenting, Ginny raised her hand tentatively and cupped his cheek, leaning closer to him to try to ease the tension which she felt clearly radiating from him. Reciprocating, Harry's arms snaked around her, his chin resting upon the top of her head, seemingly pulling himself together. Gently, he pulled back a little, squeezing her arms slightly in a gesture of thanks, and, in a sudden movement, dropped to one knee, gazing upwards at her. Ginny was rooted to the spot in shock as Harry's brilliant green eyes shone up at her, tears at the edges. /i

i "I don't really know how to say this, Gin. I love you. Perhaps I have always loved you, ever since that day in the Chamber, but I just took a long while to notice it. I don't know, people might say this is rash or just an act of desperation, but I this may be the last time I ever get to speak with you privately, and I couldn't bear it if I didn't say a proper goodbye. Though the last year, the four of us have endured a lot of terrible things, things that most adults probably have never had to face. Ever since we made up after the first time, do you know why we made up Ginny? Why I hadn't stuck to my stupid noble reasons and pushed you and everyone else away?" At this, his voice seemed to crack and his chest heaved with emotion; she looked down, unable to bear the moment, before he continued relentlessly his voice dropping into a near whisper, "It's because I-...I-...I realised that I couldn't live without you. Seeing Ron and Hermione together, it just tore me apart knowing that I couldn't be with you; they had someone to confide in, to share strength and sorrow; to love without hesitation. After that first Horcrux, I knew that I couldn't survive this without you, Ginny. You're my grounding, the thing that keeps me human under all this pressure, the one who loves me indiscriminately, not as an idol, or a hero, or a son for that matter. I love you and I know you love me too. I just can't bear the thought that I might die and never get to do this, I've wanted to do this ever since we made up again, Gin. Ever since then, ever since I realised my stupid mistake; heck, ever since my fifth year, /i you've been there for me i . Ginevra Molly Weasley, will you marry me?" /i

center b Now I know there is no other love like a mother's

Love for her child

I know that love so complete someday must leave

Must say goodbye /b /center

i All it took was that one sentence; one sentence that she had been waiting for since she had laid eyes on Harry. Since she had realised that this boy, no- young man, would be her true love, her one and only love. Her mouth, which had been shut throughout his entire rambling confession now unstuck itself as tears flowed freely down her cheeks, staining her pale skin with pure, unadulterated emotion. Love. Still at a loss for words, Ginny dropped down into a crouch, arms twining themselves around his shaking body, cocooning Harry in a curtain of scarlet hair. Her heart was brimming, no, overflowing with joy; thick, hot, dripping and climbing, sending shooting warmth throughout her body and she felt, into his as well. The couple barely blinked as magical sparks burst forth from both their bodies, dancing across their skin and expanding into an aura around the two teens. Harry looked up at her, his heart in his eyes, sadness, joy, worry, stress, hope and love; as, without cue, the couple stood up together as one. Her message clear without speaking, Harry reached into his robe pocket and produced a simple band of gold with a sizeable Gryffindor ruby set in the middle. Harry stared down into her soulful chocolate-coloured eyes, as she was absorbed into his deep green ones. Wordlessly, they drew together; he lifted her unresisting arm and slipped the beautiful ring onto her left ring finger where it fit perfectly, sparks gathering and circling it in a flash. Her face upturned to meet his as they shared a tender kiss. In his arms, she felt as she had only felt once before, safe as a child in her mother's embrace. Her breath came in gasps, her voice not at all hoarse with crying, Ginny spoke. /i

i "Yes, Harry. I will." /i

Unbidden tears fell like gentle raindrops from the sky as the joy coursed through her being. In the palm of her hand, her engagement ring lay; Ginny caressed the solid reminder of the one she was promised to, the metaphorical life-buoy to a drowning man. Her breath a cloud before her, Ginny rubbed her hands self-consciously and slid her small feet to the floor. She shivered- the stone was now cold beneath her feet, the pre-dawn air filtering in through the window. Any time now, her family would be back from their celebrations. Thinking of her family, a sudden stab of hate blinded her as she wondered how heartless they were, celebrating the death of Harry. The moment passed. Tears fell once more, this time of loneliness and fear. Regaining her composure, Ginny straightened her dress, now more for the comfort of habit than for the need to, causing the simple thread of trimming to writhe like an undulating serpent. At the memory, her find returned once more to the task at hand, explaining her actions. Sighing slightly, Ginny reached towards a small drawer, sliding it open to retrieve a roll of fresh parchment, a new quill and a bottle of her favorite green ink. Dipping her quill into the bottle, she watched as its tip broke the pristine surface of the ink, sending tiny ripples across it as she withdrew the quill. Tiny pearls of green-black ink slid along the waxy length of the quill-point, dropping noiselessly to rejoin their comrades in the glass container. She hesitated, watching the a droplet of sweat roll off her finger to merge with the ink bubble collecting at the point of the quill, only to fall into the jar. With a calming breath, Ginny lifted the quill and began to write.

i b Dear Mother,

By the time you read this, I will be back with my husband. Don't feel sad, I realise now that my place is not here with all of you and, although it rends my heart to do so, I must leave to save myself from a sundered soul. Once, I would have attempted to cling on to the last scrap of normalcy Voldemort's victory entailed, but that was then, and this is now. My once childish girlhood feelings are gone, mother, and in their place is a bond unbreakable. I love Harry, mom, and I intend to keep my promise. It would do none of us good to have me linger and lead a hollow life, and I do not intend to. My path is clear to me, I will rejoin my beloved by sunrise. To this end, however, I owe you many explanations. You have raised me, taken me into your heart without fear or regret despite all I have done; more recently, all I have risked. You were always there for me, ever with a warm smile or an equal hand. You always held answers for me, and I always looked for them in you. You have given me life, and taught me how to appreciate it, how to live with no regrets, to be true to myself. Now, I discover, I was wrong on one count. You are not the all-powerful figure I once saw you as. Now I see, how much I have put you through, how much you have suffered, how you and dad have scrimped and saved to provide for us. Yet you hold no regret, no anger, no resentment despite all we have cost; instead, you shower us with love and care. In all this, I owe you my story. I owe you an explanation of my death, my death by my doing. /b /i

center b Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear

Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near

Someday you'll say that word and I will cry

It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye /b /center

i b I will not tell you everything. By no means everything; no one deserves such cruelty. My death began six years ago, mom. I was lost the moment I found Harry by my side in the Chamber. I know I have never told you all the details of my time with Riddle in my mind. I was never again the same, but at least I found someone who accepted me for what I was- no longer a little girl, but a hardened young woman. I know this may sound ridiculous, but it is the truth. When Tom left me, I was different. I knew things so terrible, that sometimes I had to cry myself to sleep even as my room mates slept soundly beside me. Then I saw Harry, and from that moment, I realised that I loved him more than just as a childhood crush, even more than teenage puppy love. I loved him, mother, as my soul mate, for that is what he became the moment he set his hands on me as he saved me in the Chamber. Never will I feel such coldness again, never will I feel such warmth. But I digress. The simple fact of the matter was that I was bonded to him, I did not know it then, nor did I know it till our sixth year, when we started going out. Did any of the Order there that day tell you about it? I'm sure they all wondered how I managed to deflect such a dark curse without even my wand. It was pure, unadulterated love, mom, that saved him that night and several times after; and I am not ashamed about it... /b /i

i "Harry..." Ginny murmured, placing a gentle hand on his back. Silently, Harry stopped and turned slowly, trying not to touch the blood-slicked walls on either side. Putting a finger to her lips, she motioned with her wand at a seemingly blank piece of wall; she cocked and eyebrow and shuffled backwards as Harry moved forward to investigate. Ginny watched with pride as Harry made a few passes over the cracks with his wand, changing incantations and wand movements as he saw fit. He had grown up a lot in the past year, Harry's always lean body was now nicely muscled, turning his slim arms and nobbly knees firm and toned. Ginny could also sense the new power radiating off him, as it did off her, ever since they had joined beneath the oak tree. He was no longer a scared and nervous young boy, but an assured and intelligent young man. Within moments, the tiny frown of concentration was replaced by a happy grin, which widened as Harry was rewarded by a soft congratulatory kiss. Pulling himself away, he turned his attention back to the wall, no, she was sure it was a door, once more. With a muttered incantation, he made a jabbing motion with his wand and waited as the portkey activated itself. Where the blood-reddened stone once stood, a squarish hole now gaped. Just small enough to fit through the small door, Harry squeezed himself through with a few scrapes and cuts, making sure the coast was clear before motioning for Ginny to follow. Wand out, she maneuvered herself gracefully into the chamber. With a reassuring squeeze, Ginny followed as Harry strode into the chamber, wand out and casting multi-hued beams of light around every so often. All of a sudden, the beam that emitted from his wand turned a ghastly green, causing Harry to stop dead in his tracks. Flinging out an arm, he barred Ginny's way before she could make another step. /i

i " /i Desino!" i he roared, making a slashing motion with his wand. A beam of brilliant red light pulsed from the tip of his wand, ripping through the now visible threads of the spell. With another wave of his wand, Harry conjured a translucent-pink shield around the two of them, even as the backup traps he knew would be there released their poisonous cargo. With a burst of sparks, the magical darts shattered as they collided with Harry's shield, leaving only the soft buzz of residual magic in the air. Waiting a few minutes to see if the danger had passed, Harry finally dropped the shield, walking slowly forward once more. As they trekked deeper into the dank cave, Ginny felt colder, even as the light within increased. After what seemed like hours, a gentle glow finally announced the presence of the last horcrux, set in a small alcove in the far wall. Holding out his hand to stop her again, Harry strode forward purposefully, casting spells of detection once more. A burst of ice shot up Ginny's spine, sending tears into her eyes. Her head shot up, watching as Harry stood, caught up in his magic, as... something... hurtled towards him. Instead of the beam of spell-fire she had expected, a distortion in the air was the only indication that he was in danger. Without hesitation, Ginny flung both her hands outward, her mind filled only with her fear for Harry. A net of gold formed instantaneously and burst forth from her hands, expanding quickly as it flew towards the unsuspecting Harry. Even as her spell-web covered him, the trap-spell hit it and... passed right through. With a soft 'Oh', Harry was bathed in green light for a moment as the spell sank into his chest. /i

center b Mamma you gave love to me

Turned a young one into a woman

And mamma all I ever needed

Was a guarantee of you loving me /b /center

i "Harry!" Ginny screamed, rushing forward to his aid. Stumbling blindly around, Harry seemed to be lost and confused. As Ginny neared him, she noticed a trickle of blood flowing out from the corner of his lip and she bit back a sob. All of a sudden, there was a rush of wind and where only a moment ago was empty space, now stood a creature which made Ginny's breath catch. The beast stood at least fifteen feet tall, clad in fur the colour of the finest desert sand, with massive wings spread in an aggressive arc. Its beak was striking and likely cruelly sharp, its foot-long claws extending from paws the size of dinner plates. Two large red eyes glared hauntingly from their sockets like a predator searching for its prey; something lurked behind the veil of simple predatory fury... was it hatred? Then it happened. Harry turned around and smiled at the Gryffin, hand outstretched. /i

i "Come on, Ginny... I'm okay. Let's get the Horcrux and go..." he said calmly.

Ginny watched on, her mouth open in shock as Harry walked towards the rearing Gryffin, apparently under the illusion that it was her. All this time, Harry strode non-chalently towards the now angry beast, speaking as if to her. The creature rose onto its hind legs, claws pointing out, ready to skewer the approaching wizard. With a roar, it leapt forward, eyes flashing as coiled muscles tensed beneath rippling skin. Her body leapt into action even before her mind comprehended what was happening, hand shooting out as the purely emotion-fuelled spell left her wand-tip, searing the air with blinding heat. A loud crack rang through the cave and caused chunks of rock to fall from the ceiling, tumbling awkwardly towards the ground in an ungraceful shower. Even as the spell neared the Gryffin, a pale blue wall of shimmering light appeared in the air and intercepted the beam. As Ginny recovered from the massive after-shock, she was sent sprawling once more as she quickly ducked a bolt of purple fire which burst from the dust-cloud without warning. /i He's attacking me... i The words raced through her mind in an endless loop as she crouched and leapt behind a ledge for cover. Another explosion rocked the cavern as more of Harry's spells rained down on the stone ledge. Ginny's mind was in chaos... she had to find a way to counter the spell, if this went on, either she would die by her husband's hand, or they would both be killed by the monster which she knew still lurked somewhere in the dust. Filled with a sudden sense of purpose, as if some divine being had revealed the way, Ginny stood up. She calmly blocked a spell with a flick of her wand and stepped out and into the dust. /i

i Striding sedately through the cloud, the rain of spells became thicker as Harry fought off his imagined attacker. Fed up with the fog, Ginny made a sweeping motion with her wand and conjured a small gust of wind to clear it away, only to reveal a frightening sight. Harry stood, feet apart, with one arm raised at chest height, his wand flaring and sparking; his eyes were narrowed and flashed with anger, in concert with his other arm which was raised protectively by his side, behind which the wide-open jaws of the Gryffin could be seen. Her actions governed by other-worldy forces, Ginny clenched her fists and raised them without missing a beat. She drew in a deep breath. She closed her eyes. Time stood still. /i

A beam of rose light from her right hand, shimmering and still.

A beam of golden light from her left hand, soft and caressing.

The red beam connected with the Gryffin, suspending it in the air. The only noise which broke the timeless silence was the soft rustle as the wind reclaimed its own.

The golden beam danced, frolicked and leapt; boundless, passionate, warping the very space it occupied as it connected with Harry's still form. A halo of light erupted from the point of his chest where the beam struck his heart and brightened slowly till even Ginny had to avert her eyes. When the light lifted, a nimbus of her golden magic trapped a point of darkness above Harry so deep that Ginny's heart felt heavy to look at it.

Moaning slightly with the pain of it, Ginny unclenched her hand slowly and called the blackness to her. She opened both her hands and brought them together, squeezing the spirit out of existence.

A trickle of blood ran out from beneath her fingers and dripped onto the dust-dried stone. In the alcove, all that remained was a small pile of ashes.

She exhaled.

i It was all Harry could do to stumble into her arms as fear and remorse overpowered him.

"I'm so sorry..." /i

center b 'Cause I know

There is no other

Love like a mother's love for her child

And it hurts so

That something so strong

Someday will be gone, must say goodbye /b /center

i b ... and that's when I was captured. It was just two days ago, but it seems like an eternity ago. When we received the call, we were in the basement of the twins' shop looking over some maps. We rushed to headquarters immediately, sending a patronus to Fred to get them to join us. It was chaos, mom, I remember seeing you and dad rushing past me... and I saw Fred being hit by a spell, but by the time I got to his side, he was back on his feet again. When it happened... I really couldn't fight back. The sight of his body... I can't believe he's gone, mom... I can't believe Ron's gone... /b /i

i Ginny cradled the limp body of her closest brother in her arms as sobs of anguish ripped through her chest. The blood and gore on the floor ignored, she knelt with her sister-in-law in the midst of the battlefield in a worlds of their own. /i I could have saved him! Why did I hesitate? I've killed him! i Guilt and sorrow cocooned around her, dampening the sound of the battles being fought mere feet from her. She had been a moment too late. Her shield had been useless... /i You could not have saved him. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Ginny! He was dead the moment Michael laid eyes on him. i The voice of reason soothed her, but she quickly flared again as the scene replayed itself over and over again. The strangled cry of her brother as he dove in front of Hermione, the rage, love and shock on his face as the killing curse sank into his chest. Hermione had screamed dived for her love's still form, but Ginny had turned with cold fury in her eyes to meet those of the monster who had killed him. /i Michael Corner. i Her once friend stood there unashamedly with a cruel smirk on his face... he did not even have time to react as his body was incinerated from his legs up. Ginny's spell lasted only a moment to everyone else, but to Michael it would have been an eternity of pain. He had been a casualty of this war; a casualty by his own choice. /i

The real Ginny sat at the table, slowly rocking back and forth as she hugged her knees to her chest. Her eyes were glazed over as she sank into memory, her hand raised, hovering over the paper as a droplet of ink dripped off the tip and fell ever so slowly onto the waiting parchment. The ink droplet shuddered as it hit the rough fibers on the surface, shattering into a million tiny flecks which littered themselves onto the surface, spreading in an ever-widening circle as Ginny's hand trembled. She remembered.

i Ginny was brought out of her reverie by a flash of light through her closed eyes. Sluggish with emotion, she grabbed her wand off the floor and spun around. There was no one there. Even as she realised her mistake and began to incant, she felt the force of a spell throw her face-down onto the blood-stained ground, unable to move or speak. She arched her back in pain involuntarily as a bolt of power slammed into her back moments later, sending a strangling chill into her body which spread at an alarmingly rapid rate. A soft thump signaled that Hermione had probably just suffered the same fate, and Ginny sensed more than saw that she was still alive. Even before Ginny began to feel the rocks and grass biting into her flesh, she was hauled back to her feet and the body-bind taken off. A shiver ran up her spine not at the sight of the four Death Eaters who surrounded her, but at the fact that Hermione was no longer on the ground beside her... because Ginny was no longer at the battleground. Pain erupted in her skull once more and blackness swallowed her world. /i

center b Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear

Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near

Someday you'll say that word and I will cry

It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye /b /center

i Ginny opened her eyes with difficulty, shutting them almost immediately again as a raging pain shot through her head. She grimaced and willed her eyes open once more. It still stung but she merely gritted her teeth and tried to find out how bad a mess she had gotten herself into. The room was lit dimly by a single torch in an old-fashioned bracket on the wall, about five feet up, and the walls, floor and ceiling appeared to be made of the same cold, grey stone. Stretching a little, she realised that her arms were unbound, her feet as well. Wondering if it was a trap to lull her into a false sense of security, she slowly slid her hand along the floor to check for any traps or weapons. Her fingers hit a smooth surface. Not daring to believe it, she wrapped her fingers around the familiar curve of her wand and tried to sit up. Cringing slightly from the ache of stiff muscles, she quickly recovered and took stock of herself. She felt fine, save for an inexplicable numbness throughout her body, and she looked unhurt except for a few cuts and bruises where she had hit the stone. The soft creak of wood announced the opening of a door she had not previously noticed. Ginny spun around quickly and raised her wand at the man who strode calmly in. Pitch-black robes covered a thin but muscled frame, pale hands protruded from the sleeves, one clutching an unmarked wand. Her gaze roamed up to meet the gaze of a pair of cold black eyes which were framed by a hooked nose and a curtain of oily hair. /i

i "Well, Weasley, it appears that you've gotten yourself into more than you can handle this time... while you're sitting comfortably down here, my fellow Death Eaters are upstairs preparing a little... welcome... for your lover when he arrives, as I know he will. Tonight, the Dark Lord shall finally kill that arrogant little swine and then I will be rewarded beyond your dreams," Snape sneered down at her, plainly thinking her a petulant little child. /i

i "Oh, shut up you coward..." Ginny's lips turned up at the edges as she watched Snape's fury boil beneath the surface, "you're all the same, talking big but never able to deliver. Harry's going to come, but he's the one who's going to win tonight. You think your master will really reward you at the end? You're just a tool; and by the end of tonight, no matter who wins, you'll be a worthless tool and you know it. You will either be killed by us, or by Voldemort, so why don't you just give up. If he wins I won't need to worry, because I will be with Harry; but you will be just so much dirt beneath his feet. Dirt he will want to be rid of. So why don't you just flee with your skin now before I curse you into oblivion..." /i

i "SHUT UP! SHUT UP YOU FOOLISH GIRL!" Snape screamed madly, spittle flying from his mouth and his eyes bulging with rage, "You think you are so clever, but you are powerless now. We bound your magic in Alecto over there, and you're never going to get it back. The Dark Lord has expressly forbidden us from... playing... with you right now, but by the end of the night, your mud-blood lover will be dead and I will teach you some manners. Perhaps later we can experiment with some of your more... obscure charms..." He sneered again at the look of fear which flashed across her face and turned abruptly, preparing to leave the room. Ginny couldn't just sit there as the traitor walked out of the room. She silently willed a stunner to stop him. She screamed. It felt as if hands were clawing her insides apart, as fire-ants clawed their way up her lungs. The pain was blinding, but the most saddening and frightening thing was the emptiness she felt within. She found herself on the floor, the hem of Snape's robes before her. Snape bent down and spoke in a furious whisper. /i

i "I told you Weasley... but not to worry, you'll be screaming again soon enough..." Snape was cut off suddenly as an echoing 'boom' rang throughout the room, standing up, he smirked before he left, "Looks like Potter is here to the rescue... too bad he'll die and you'll be left for dead" /i

i Ginny watched as Snape and the rest of the Death Eaters left Alecto by the door, hurrying along the corridor and disappearing from sight around a corner. As Alecto moved to shut the door, Ginny knew that she had to escape. Looking quickly around, the torch in the bracket caught her eye. Seizing the well of strength within herself, she tensed her muscles, waiting for the right moment. Alecto started to close the door. Springing quickly up, Ginny lunged for the torch as the Death Eater struggled to push the door aside to free his wand arm. Without missing a beat, she sprang towards the door, kicking it into Alecto's arm. Dodging the stray spell, Ginny lunged forward with the torch, brandishing it in his face. With a scream, the Death Eater fell back, dropping his wand as he clawed at his burning flesh. Roaring bestially, Ginny pressed her advantage, mercilessly watching as the boiling pitch roasted his skin and eyes. With a cry, she lashed out with a quick kick to her captor's gut, sending him sprawling on the floor. She knew he was dead before she saw his cracked skull. She felt her power once more. Wasting no time, she followed the sounds to the fight. /i

center b But the love you gave me will always live

You'll always be there every time I call

You offered me the greatest love of all

You take my weakness and you make me strong

And I will always love you 'til forever comes /b /center

i b ...I ran past a few groups of fighters, but they were all doing fine. I only hesitated when I saw Tonks cornered, but I took down one of the Death Eaters who were surrounding her and she took care of the rest... I didn't see you when I came up, but some of the Order helped me get to Harry and Hermione in the Death Room. He looked amazing, mom, he seemed to be dancing around spells and obstacles, and he was fighting like a tiger. He was... graceful... as he fought, he flowed with his spells. I was entranced... /b /i

i " /i Falarica! i " Harry shouted, sending a blast of light towards the Death Eaters closing in on Hermione. Harry, Ginny, Hermione, Ernie and Professor McGonagall were in the Death Room. Nearly four times their number were edging them towards the pedestal in the center, and the teens knew that they would be finished if that were to happen. Spell fire filled the air as each group tried to gain an advantage over the other. With another grunt of effort, Ginny sent a barrage of spells at the four Death Eaters cornering her. Two fell while the others dove for cover behind the raised seats lining the walls. Breathing heavily, she advanced with her wand raised, ready to respond to any retaliating fire. All of a sudden, a pair of strong arms wrapped around Ginny's torso, holding her in a vice-like grip. She struggled wildly, trying unsuccessfully to throw her assailant off her back. The arms squeezed tighter, and the pain in Ginny's arms grew till a loud 'crack' was heard. Feeling her right arm broken was too much for her, and Ginny screamed in pain. /i

i "Good, I like screamers... We'll have a little fun after this, won't we..." the stink of the Death Eater's breath coupled with the still-searing pain in her arm worked to make Ginny nauseous, "I'm sure Potter won't mind if we... take you for a spin..." She felt a rough hand snaking into her robes and she placed the voice. /i Marcus Flint i Knowing who her attacker was gave her a burst of strength and Ginny renewed her struggle, but Flint was still too strong, and his wandering hands were making her panic. There was a sickening crunch and an impact as the Death Eater's body fell past her, his head landing feet away. Still shivering with fright and pain, Ginny turned to embrace a comforting Harry. With a flick of his wand, he conjured a cast for her, and rejoined the battle. Ginny gritted her teeth and ignored the shards of fire in her arm, using her left hand to send spells flying at the Death Eaters. Seeing her injury, the remaining dozen Death Eaters split her away from the others. With no hesitation, they began firing spell after spell at her, forcing her to back up to the northern tier of seats. In desperation, Ginny exercised everything she had learnt, blocking or reflecting all their spells and even returning fire and taking two of them down. Soon, however, she would have to climb backwards up the stairs while holding them off, and she knew one mistake would be fatal. A furious roar filled the cavern and she saw Harry rushing to her aid, wand raised like a whip. Knowing what he was going to do, Ginny conjured a protective barrier and fell to the ground. /i

i A high-pitched keening sound filled the air. Harry gritted his teeth as he whipped his wand down in a half-arc, sending a blade of raw power flying towards the Death Eaters at chest height. As the pale green arc of light hit the Death Eaters, a horrible ripping sound was heard as their bodies were rent by the shaped magic as it touched them. Sudden silence filled the room. Where the Death Eaters had stood, there now lay piles of viscera. Breathing heavily, Ginny looked around to check if everyone was alright. Harry was walking resolutely towards her, ignoring a few gashes in his robes, Ernie had propped himself up against a stone chair, and was tending to a large cut in McGonagall's arm. Hermione... Hermione lay amid a group of lifeless Death Eaters, her arms over her stomach. Even as she started towards her fallen friend, Harry fell onto his knees, screaming in agony... His eyes were shut and blood flowed freely from his scar. Abruptly, he fell face-first onto the floor. As he gingerly recovered, she knew. /i He was here. i /i

center b And when you need me

I'll be there for you all the way

I'll be there all life through

I'll be there this I guarantee /b /center

i Ginny followed closely behind Harry as he leapt up the stairs and through the door. There was a massive flash and the teens were thrown back in a heap against a pedestal in the middle of the circular room. The blue fire dancing in the torch brackets cast eerie shadows across the face of the gaunt figure which strutted towards them. Lord Voldemort looked livid. His previously pale skin had taken on a reddish-green tinge, making him look, if anything, more sickly than ever. Recovered sufficiently from the blast, Harry placed himself protectively in front of Ginny's unmoving form, shielding her with his body. Shaken, he used his left hand to touch her forehead as he raised he right, his wand steady. Feeling Ginny regain consciousness, Harry stood up, not a hesitant bone in his body. Power radiated from him, sending waves of magic echoing off the stone walls. Ginny sat up blearily, quickly clearing her mind as she recalled where she was. In a sudden move, Harry flung out his arm, fire flashing in his eyes. A churning ball of chaos gathered at the tip of his wand in the blink of an eye, roaring off with its owner's ferocity in a thunderclap of sound. Ginny watched as the ball accelerated, flying inexorably towards Voldemort, colours writing beneath the surface. There was a flash of plain fear in the Dark Lords eyes, but it immediately gave was to hate; sweeping out his wand, a shimmering green wall appeared before him. There was a second where everything seemed to swell at the pure power of the forces being released. In that instant, a monstrous explosion ripped through the room, sending everyone against the walls. Picking herself up, Ginny turned and saw Harry lying face-down on the floor, clearly knocked out. A soft rustle reached her ears, and she spun around to see Voldemort standing across the room, his wand pointing directly at Harry. With a cruel smile, he made a stabbing motion with his wand, shrieking as he did so. /i

i " /i INANIS!" i A black Void erupted from the tip of his wand in a cacophony of silence. The darkness of the spell seemed to suck in the light of the room, distorting the walls and the ceiling till everything seemed to be absorbed into the bolt of pure nothingness. Even as Ginny watched Voldemort's face twist into a horrifying sneer, the spell sped across the room, silent as it absorbed even the sound. With a start, Ginny dropped to Harry's side, clutching his hand as she did so. As the warmth of his love flooded her entire being, Ginny gave a scream of rage as she swept her arm in a diagonal arc, his mind focused solely on protecting the man she loved. Magic danced behind her eyes; in her limbs, along her skin and across Harry's body; the air around them fairly rigid with her love and power. Harry opened his eyes, mind clear; love shone like a beacon in the night sky, sending another surge of power through Ginny. There were no more sparks. In their place, a golden aura surrounded the couple pure, rich and powerful. The golden light swathed her arms, throwing out beams and sheets as her fingertips passed through the air. Behind them, the light gathered in an instant, clear, yet opaque; a steady sphere of magic pulsed around them within that split second; the moment he opened his eyes and loved her. The bolt of nothingness arrived abruptly, distorting the air, the light, the sound. There was silence. Blackness reigned and Ginny was forcibly reminded of the night more than a year ago when she had found herself in the same position. Instead, the darkness cleared and their shield stood firm. The rest of the room was in shambles. Doors were scorched, some broken from the previous fights, the torch brackets twisted and warped. The ceiling was bare of the facing stones and the walls fairly crumbled. A pitiable moan broke the silence. Harry and Ginny helped each other up, their eyes locked, gaze firm. Somehow, they knew exactly what to do. /i

i The pair clasped hands, his left with her right. At that moment, standing in a cold, stone-walled room, surrounded by death and destruction, even in the presence of the darkest, albeit battered and broken, wizard of all time, Ginny felt loved. His hand fit perfectly in hers, as if it had always been meant to fit there. His body, firm beside hers, radiated comforting pulses into her. She looked up at his face, seeing his profile, nice nose, strong chin, unruly hair. He turned to look at her. A simple look conveyed emotions complex beyond belief, all understated by the love that was clear in his emerald eyes. The door Voldemort's body leaned against was humming with magic, odd lights dancing around the edges. She recalled- the door they had been unable to open, even with Sirius' knife. As their eyes locked onto each other, she felt him within her, his soul, his magic, his heart; all shared through their simple bond. As her chest constricted with the overwhelming emotions flowed in through their bond. The light surrounding them now jumped in arcs across their skin, sending warm surges throughout their bodies. They each raised their free hands, palm forward and fingers splayed. /i

i "I love you, Ginny. More than you will ever know. I will always be there for you. Without you, I am incomplete."

"I love you too, Harry. You've always been in my heart, and I will never stray from you. Ever." /i

i Without warning, a beam of golden light raced from their bodies and out their upraised palms. The stream did not flicker, it danced; the light did not waver, it pulsed; the love did not leave, it expanded. The three wizards stood transfixed as the beam connected with the mysterious door. A soft but steady hum ran through the room, vibrations butterfly-like in the air. The locked door glowed, the light spilling out stronger than before. There was a hiss, and then it was gone. /i

center b Mamma, I'll be

I'll be there through the darkest nights

I'll be the wings that guide your broken flight

I'll be your shelter through the raging storm

And I will love you 'till forever comes /b /center

i The quality of the light was indiscernible. It danced and morphed in a rainbow of colours; in a prismatic fabric of magic. Ginny and Harry stared slack-mouthed at the breath-taking sight, lost together in the substance of all the purity and life in the world, the goodness to counter the evil; the order to counter the chaos; the hope to counter the despair; the light to counter the dark; love to overcome all. Utterly mysterious and complex, yet simple beyond belief. It was the love of a mother for her child, the love of friends in life, the love of comrades at war, the love of a man for a woman. Harry and Ginny lowered their hands, turning their power on Voldemort. Even as he was lifted and his wand destroyed, Voldemort screamed in fear. /i

i "But how? I am more powerful, you should not be not be able to kill me! She... she cannot kill me... the prophecy... the prophecy--" he began to babble as he was consumed by the light. His silhouette hovered only for a moment before it was gone.

"Because Ginny is part of me, and our love can overcome anything..." Harry whispered quietly as he watched his nemesis disappear. He turned to face her and pressed a soft kiss to her lips, tender and warm. She reveled in the passion, the rapture... He broke off suddenly, spun around and gestured for her to follow; Ginny was confused till she heard his cry: 'Hermione!' /i

i As she cleared the last step, she saw Harry, Ernie and the professor with their wands out, tending to their fallen friend. Even from a distance, she could see that they were all worried. Filled with fear, Ginny leapt down from the seats and rushed forward to lend her aid. Footsteps rang on the stone from the other end of the room. The door was thrown open and a black figure jumped into the Death Room, sending a blast towards the four Order members. Before Ginny could even cry out, they were thrown back with a loud 'bang', and sent flying from Hermione's body. Ernie was flung bodily into the far wall, Professor McGonagall into the tiered seats, Harry was thrown against the central pedestal. Quickly recovering, he stood, wand raised and head high. /i

i "So, Potter... you killed the Dark Lord... No matter, I will kill you." Snape raised his wand, sneering as he did so.

"You wish. I killed one scum today and I can kill another." Harry said, voice steady. All of a sudden, Ginny noticed something. Although Harry was acting with bravado, his knees were shaking badly. Quickly scanning his body, she noticed blood flowing from a wound at the back of his head. /i He can't fight a duel like that! i She screamed inside her head. /i

i It happened too fast. One moment the two were standing talking, the next there were two loud explosions and smoke filled the air. Clearing it with a wave, she broke out of her trance and ran towards the dais. It was empty. All that was left of Harry was a smattering of blood on the black veil into the world of the dead. Ginny turned around. Snape stood there, unsure of how to act. Power radiated form her like heat from a burning sun, sending visible waves rippling out from her. The ground warped and cracked as her power radiated over it, as did the walls and ceiling. Even as he raised his wand, it crumbled beneath his fingers at her will. She drew in a breath. /i

Coldly, detachedly, she raised her hands in the timeless space.

Snape's eyes widened as power blossomed from every fiber in her being and coursed towards her hands.

Light, white and radiant, blasted out from her.

Dark, black and cold, twinned around it.

The beams of light crossed and became the pulsing golden light of her bond, surging forward with boundless force. As it ripped into Snape's form, every cell in his body was burned, frozen, sundered, crushed, tortured and stilled. Lifetimes of experiences poured into a timeless instant as Ginny was consumed in her magic.

She exhaled.

i Even as Snape's corpse disappeared from sight, somewhere, nowhere; forever, never; in the instance between Life and Death, Snape suffered the pain of Love. Endlessly. /i

center b Goodbye's the saddest word I'll ever hear

Goodbye's the last time I will hold you near

Someday you'll say that word and I will cry

It'll break my heart to hear you say goodbye /b /center

b i ...and that's how Harry died. He died in the hatred of one man, when he brought a world of love to all. The irony of it struck me then, even as I unashamedly told you of my killing Snape. The irony that as Voldemort was consumed by the ultimate embodiment

of Life, Harry was killed by the embodiment of Death.

But now, I am utterly alone. I am without my best friend, my brother, or my soulmate. I know that Hermione is not going to live another night, no matter what the healers say. I saw the wound, she will not survive. I am without hope, without joy; and I do not wish to be a burden as you all rebuild your lives. I just want you to know, mom and dad and everyone else: I love you all.


Ginny Potter. /i /b

Ginny rolled up the parchment and sealed it with her wand. Slowly, she stood up and placed the parchment on her table, beside the burnt-out stub of the candle. She reached into her pocket and removed the crystal vial and the ring from her pocket. Stepping across the room, she sat on the bed, placing the vial beside her. She held the ring to her lips once more, kissing the last symbol of her betrothal. With silent tears falling down her cheeks, she slid it onto her left ring finger. She picked up the vial once more.

She uncorked the vial and brought it to her lips.

She closed her eyes in silent prayer as she filled with calm.

She tipped the phial back, and the liquid flowed down into her throat.

Ginny moaned slightly as the life fled from her body.

The phial rolled from her limp fingers and fell to the floor. It shattered.

center b 'Till we meet again...

Until then...

Goodbye /b /center

Somewhere, a family mourned. Four coffins side-by-side. Three full, one empty. All were wept for.

center /center

The girl opened her eyes. All was right. She smiled and turned to face the boy. They exchanged no words, just a soft touch; their lips met- and they were lost.

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i A/N: Last down, none to go! I have finally come to the end. I feel a great weight has been lifted from me, but that would be an understatement. This story has been a burden, a wonderful and rewarding burden, but a burden none the less. It has been wonderful to write this story, and I truly hope that you all enjoyed reading it. Once again, I thank the people who left reviews, and the many others who bothered reading my second attempt at writing. In reflection, writing this story has really developed me as a fan, I have not only attempted to penetrate the wonderful and mystic world of JKR, but have gained new emotional and intellectual insights into the minds of the characters in this and many other works of fiction. To those who have noticed: yes, I did bring some elements similar to Terry Goodkind's into the story... not purposely but perhaps cos I just love his books... Lastly, and more on point, I hope I have been a satisfactory read, bringing Ginny's emotions more clearly into the picture as a true H/G fan. :D Thanks for reading, now review :)

/i Geoffrey Lim i /i

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Copyright Geoffrey Lim 2006