Author's Note: sorry it took so long to update...but anyways, here's the second to last chapter...Read, Review, & Enjoy!!
Jason couldn't believe it. All this time everyone thought he was the water elemental and that it would be he who died in battle. Everyone was wrong. Jason held the lifeless body of Hermione Granger in his arms. Her sacrifice fulfilled the water elemental's prophecy. Jason felt himself losing control of his emotions. He lifted his head and let out a loud, long, anguished cry.
"Music to my ears," Voldemort said, "Now Potter, it's your turn." Harry stood, frozen, as Voldemort raised his wand.
"No," Jason said softly, rising to his feet.
Voldemort turned and faced Jason. "I'm sorry I didn't hear you," he hissed, "What did you say?"
"I said no," Jason growled, "No one else dies today except you."
"There is little you can do to stop me, boy," Voldemort cackled, "Time to join you girlfriend. AVADA KEDAVRA!!"
Jason narrowed his eyes and stretched out his hand as he hand done countless times before. "No Jason!" Alice shouted, "You can't catch it!"
Alice quickly shut her eyes, fearing the inevitable outcome of Jason's actions. Though her eyes were shut, she could hear Ron gasp next to her.
"Bloody hell," Ron said, "Look."
Alice uneasily opened her eyes. To everyone's utter shock, the curse stopped in its tracks mere inches in front of Jason. A quiet gasp raced through the crowd of Death Eaters and Hogwarts students.
"He caught it," Alice said, utterly shocked.
Jason stared at the curse in front of him and, with a wave of his hand, made it vanish. Jason stared into the eyes of Voldemort and felt his anger once again take control. Everyone watched as the grey aura formed around Jason just as it had done before. Jason's eyes turned pitch black and his upper lip curled into a snarl, displaying the razor sharp teeth that had formed as he bared them at Voldemort.
"You took away everyone I loved in this world," Jason growled, "Now, I return the favor."
Voldemort raised his wand. "Kill him!" he ordered.
All the other Death Eaters raised their wands. Jason raised his head and let out a loud inhuman roar. All at once, the wands of all the Death Eaters, including Voldemort's, shattered. Jason dropped to all fours and released another roar. Everyone watched as his form changed into a large lion. The lion dashed towards Voldemort. A Death Eater stood in front of Voldemort, attempting to protect him.
The lion pounced on the Death Eater, mauling him to death. Everyone nearby, including Voldemort, were splattered with the spray of blood as the lion sank its teeth into the Death Eater's throat. The lion raised its head and glared at Voldemort, blooding dripping from its jaws. Voldemort, displaying not so much fear, but alarm, raised his hand in the air, signaling the Death Eaters to retreat. As the Death Eaters fled, Voldemort locked eyes with Harry.
"This is not over, Potter," Voldemort hissed, "I will return. And when I do, it will be the last time we meet."
Voldemort turned and fled with his Death Eaters. The lion turned and crept back to where Hermione's body lay. The lion released another roar, which slowly turned into an agonizing cry as the lion transformed back into Jason. Jason looked at Hermione's locket and held it in his hand.
"I'm cursed to lose the ones I love," Jason said. He held Hermione in his arms and looked into her lifeless eyes, closing them with his hand. "I love you," he said, "And I always will."
Jason, locket in hand, took a hold of Hermione's hand and pressed his lips against hers. Everyone watched as the locket began to glow in between their hands. A white light began to shine from between their lips. A flash of white light erupted from both Jason and Hermione, blinding everyone. As the light faded out, Jason held Hermione in his arms when he felt something squeeze his hand. He looked at his hand and saw Hermione's hand briefly twitch, then squeeze his hand. Wide-eyed, Jason looked back at Hermione's face and saw her eyes slowly open and look at Jason.
"Is this a dream?" Jason asked.
"Kiss me," Hermione said softly, "And see if you wake up." Hermione flung her arms around Jason and the two held each other tight.
"You're alive!" Ginny shouted, breaking into a run across the field.
Harry quickly helped Jason and Hermione to their feet just in time for Ginny to grab hold of Hermione and hug her tightly. Ron, Alice, and Draco joined her. Harry helped Cho to her feet and held her close as they joined everyone else. Their reunion was short-lived, though, as they soon saw the bodies of some Hogwarts students and staff, among them Dumbledore. Harry knelt down next to the body of his headmaster.
"Where's Snape?" Harry asked.
"He's not here," Alice said.
"He must have left with Voldemort," Draco said.
"Ginny, Alice, and Cho," Harry said, "Tend to the wounded. Jason and Hermione, get the remaining students not seriously wounded back inside the school to their dorms. Draco and Ron, you assist me in tending to the dead."
Everyone split up and went about their tasks.
Ginny, Alice, and Cho had one by one helped the injured students and staff to the Hospital Wing and began to treat their wounds. Seamus and Dean were among the wounded in the hospital wing.
"It seems so surreal," Seamus said, "The fact that Dumbledore is really gone."
"Try not to think about it," Alice said, "Your wounds aren't so bad. Once they've been treated we'll need you to help out."
"Did you see the look on Harry's face?" Cho asked, "He looked as if he could kill Snape."
"Who doesn't feel like killing Snape right now?" Ginny said, "He murdered Dumbledore and robbed us all of our headmaster."
Everyone else remained silent. When Seamus and Dean's wounds were treated and dressed, they began assisting in tending to the rest of the wounded.
Jason and Hermione were herding the uninjured students to their respective dorm rooms. Neither one said a word to each other, but continually they would look at each other, almost communicating through their facial expressions. There were whispers traveling all through the crowd of students. Hermione returning from the dead. Jason's horrific transformation. Dumbledore's death. Finally, Neville spoke up.
"Alright now," Neville said, "Enough of that. After what transpired today, the last thing we need is rumors and gossip spreading through these halls. If anyone has questions, I'm sure all will be answered in due time."
Everyone quieted down as the group got smaller and smaller with each common room they visited. They reached the Gryffindor common room when Neville stepped in front of them.
"I can take it from here," Neville said, "You both look exhausted."
Jason and Hermione nodded and wandered off as Neville finished leading the remaining students to their dorms. Jason and Hermione walked down the empty corridors.
"Hermione, I don't even know where to begin explaining what happened today," Jason said, "I mean, I saw you die and then everything was a blur."
"Why should it matter what happened?" Hermione asked, "The important thing is that I came back."
"But how?" Jason asked, "I saw you die. I held you in my arms after the fact. How is it that you're still here?"
"I might be able to explain," a voice behind them said. They turned around and saw Sirius.
"You see," Sirius explained, "The prophecy as I remember it was: The water elemental will be the first to love, first to die, and first to rise again."
"Hermione was the first to say I love you," Jason said, suddenly hit with that realization, "It makes sense. She's the one who deduced that the prophecy was Russian."
"And with the fact that she displayed her love first made it clear that she would, in fact, be the first among the eight of you to die," Sirius explained, "But also, in the same fact, would inevitably rise from the dead as long as the lion did his part?"
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.
"It was Jason who deduced that the last vision was Italian," Sirius continued, "Also, if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The Lion will come forth when passion and intellect are united to save a life. Jason, you have a raw magical power that is governed by your emotions, among those passion. Hermione you are the smartest witch to grace the halls of Hogwarts in quite some time. Passion and Intellect. When you shared that kiss out there, the magic within you two united and, through its power, brought Hermione back to life, thus not only fulfilling your part of the prophecy, but Hermione's as well."
"It was staring us in the face the whole time," Hermione said, "And we never saw it."
"Well, do you see the underlying fact in all of this?" Sirius asked.
"Her prophecy and mine are connected," Jason said, "One can't exist without the other."
"It also means something else," Sirius said, "Because you were destined from birth to inherit these prophecies, it means that the two of you were destined for each other."
"Somehow" Jason said, smiling at Hermione, "I always had that feeling."
Hermione grabbed Jason's hand and entwined her fingers in his as they continued walking.
Harry, Ron, and Draco had collected the bodies of those who fell in battle.
"Not as many as I thought," Draco said, "Only six died."
"That's six more than should have," Ron said.
"Identify them," Harry said.
"Colin Creevey and Lavender Brown," Draco began, "Michael Corner, Pansy Parkinson, Professor Sprout, and Dumbledore."
Harry sighed heavily. He heard a small popping sound and wheeled around as Arthur and several Aurors appeared.
"We heard Voldemort had been here," Arthur said.
"He was," Harry said, "A battle ensued."
"I take it you won?" Arthur asked.
"In all honesty," Harry said, turning to face the body of Dumbledore, "I don't think anybody won today."
Arthur placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "We'll finish this up, Harry," he said, "You've been through enough today."
Harry nodded and he, along with Ron and Draco, slowly walked back into Hogwarts. They arrived at the hospital wing and saw that everything was well in hand. Madam Pomfrey had recovered well enough to resume her duties and were tending to those who were injured. Cho saw Harry and quickly rushed to him, throwing her arms around him.
"Is it over?" Cho asked.
"I wish it were," Harry said, "But at least we survived."
Draco made his way to Ginny and embraced her tightly. "Your father could've killed you out there today," Ginny said.
"If it would've saved you, I'd do it in a heartbeat," Draco remarked.
"Then who would I marry after Hogwarts?" Ginny asked.
Draco thought for a moment, then grinned. "How about Potter?" he asked. Ginny smacked Draco on the shoulder playfully while the two shared a laugh.
Ron and Alice met each other in the middle of the room and stood inches from each other. "Are you okay?" Alice asked.
"A bit banged up," Ron replied, "But I'll be okay enough."
"Okay enough for what?" Alice asked.
"For this," Ron replied, embracing Alice and kissing her deeply. They stood there, kissing, for what seemed like an eternity. As they parted, Alice's head was spinning. "Fighting in that battle today made me realize how important everything is in my life," Ron said, "You being the most important."
Madame Pomfrey finally shooed the six of them out of the Hospital Wing. As they left, they ran into Jason and Hermione.
"Dumbledore said love would be our greatest weapon against Voldemort," Harry said, "You two proved it out there today."
"I just wish that same power could bring Dumbledore back to life," Jason said.
As they all stood in silence, they were approached by Professor McGonagall. "If you please," she said, "I require the eight of you in the Great Hall."
Everyone turned and followed McGonagall into the Great Hall where the vast majority of the Hogwarts students were present.
"Today, Voldemort attempted to destroy all that we love," McGonagall said, "His efforts were thwarted by you brave young wizards and witches. But the victory is not without tragedy, as several students were killed in battle, as were Professor Sprout and Headmaster Dumbledore." Everyone shared a moment of silence for the deceased.
"Tomorrow, all students will board the Hogwarts train home," McGonagall, "Tonight, rest easy in the knowledge that you are safe and that you have brought freedom and safety to Hogwarts." As the students were filing out, McGonagall approached Harry and the rest.
"There are a few matters that Dumbledore was going to discuss with you after the battle," McGonagall said, "But, being that he is no longer with us, I will relay the information. Mister Potter, a letter came for you prior to the battle." McGonagall handed Harry a letter. Harry opened it up and read it.
If you know what is good for you, you'll not return home. We tried to care.
Harry closed the letter and tucked it into his robe. "What did it say?" Ginny asked.
"It was from my Uncle Vernon," Harry replied, "He doesn't want me to come home."
"Well I say to hell with him," Ron said, "You can stay at The Burrow again."
"Miss Granger, you also received a letter," McGonagall said, handing Hermione a letter.
Hermione read the letter and tucked it away. "Ron, I'm gonna need housing too," she said, "My parents are going to be at a medical summit and will be gone for awhile."
"No problem," Ron said, "Mum will be delighted to know you both will be staying again."
"And finally, Mister and Miss Saint," McGonagall said, "It would appear that Dumbledore had been arranging for you both to become official Hogwarts students. I received word from your headmaster, Abernathy, that this request was approved. You'll both be heading home to Dragonfire to finalize the paperwork and gathering your belongings." Jason and Alice smiled at this and held their respective significant others close.
That night, sleep was welcomed. Hermione and Jason lay in bed, arms wrapped around each other.
"So, you'll be leaving for America then?" Hermione asked.
"Yes," Jason said, "But I'll be coming back. And when I do, it'll be for good."
"That's the best news I've heard all day," Hermione said, nuzzling herself close to Jason.
Finally, sleep claimed them both. Despite the tragedy, the castle was at peace.
A/N: So that's the aftermath of the battle...the final chapter will be up hopefully by the end of the weekend.