Harry Potter and the Loss of Innocence

Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters and locations belong to JKR and her agents, I'm only playing in her sandbox.

Rated: M for violence, language and sexual situations.

Ships: Harry/Luna/Hermione, Neville/Susan

Genre: Romance/Tragedy

Warning: Major character deaths.

A/N: This is an AU look at what might have happened during and after the battle in the DOM.

Summary: Luna comforts Harry after the disaster in the Department of Mysteries.

Chapter one: The Battle

"Oh!" Hermione gasped in surprise and crumpled to to the floor as a purple flame spell cast by a silenced Dolohov hit her in the chest.

"Hermione!" Harry screamed. "No!" He ran to her side as spell fire continued to surround them. A green light passed over him, blasting a chunk of wall where he'd been a second ago. Harry turned and shouted "Reducto" at Dolohov, severing the man's arm and destroying his wand.

Dolohov screamed and disapparated, leaving four Death Eaters still in the room with him. Neville and Luna made their way to Harry, firing stunners for cover.

"Where's Ron and Ginny?" Harry asked.

"Ron ran through that door over there," Neville answered, pointing to the room that contained the weird brain tanks.

Luna told him that Ginny had not come through the door with them and was trapped on the other side of the door that they'd just locked.

Harry froze. "Ginny! She's in there with Malfoy!"

A shrill scream was heard from the other side of the door and was cut off abruptly.

"Give it up Potter! You can't win and you can't escape. We've killed the little Blood Traitor and the rest your little friends don't stand a chance. Just give us the Prophesy!" Lucius yelled.

A cold feeling swept over Harry when he heard this. Neville and Harry were franticly bending over Hermione, trying to see if she was alive. "I can't hear her breathing, Neville!" Harry sobbed. "Please don't die Hermione!"

"I think I feel a pulse, Harry." Neville reassured him. "It's weak and we'll have to get her out of here fast."

Between the three of them, they managed to get Hermione through the door that Ron had escaped a few minutes ago. Minutes that now seemed like hours to Harry. When they reached the room with Ron, they saw an unbelievable sight. Ron had been grabbed by a pair of brains from one of the tanks that had broken during the fight. Tentacles had wrapped around his head and were forcefully working their way into his mouth, ears and eyes. Ron was convulsing as Luna fired a Reducto at the brain entities. Two more brains took their place as the first two withered and died, but the damage was done. Ron collapsed on the floor, blank eye sockets staring at nothing and a clammy whiteness to his skin told the trio that Ron was dead. Neville checked and could not find a pulse.

Harry retched at that and Luna had to support him. Neville looked away and helped Luna, Harry and Hermione out one of the random doors. As it happened, they had wound up in the odd room with the curious archway, only to be confronted with a half dozen Death Eaters.

"Ah, so nice of you to join us Harry," Malfoy sneered. "Just give me the Prophesy and we'll let you live."

Harry's answer was to fire a powerful series of Reducto's at the Death Eaters. Two of them apparently hit their mark as Yaxley and Rodolphus Lestrange died with gaping holes in their chests.

"Enough of this!" Lucius roared. "Accio Prophesy!"

Harry felt the bottle slip from his hand and sail toward Lucius, only to have it knocked away by Neville. Luna made a grab for it, but it slipped and toppled down to the floor, shattering. A spectral disjointed voice spoke, too quiet to be heard above the din of battle, before misting away.

"NOOO!" Malfoy shouted, aiming his wand at Harry. "Avada Kedavra!" He shouted the killing curse, but Harry had dived out of the way.

Several pops could be heard and figures appeared in the room. "Harry!" It was Sirius and looking around, he noticed Tonks and several other Order members engaging the remaining Death Eaters.

"Sirius, am I glad to see you!"

As the fighting continued, Bellatrix fired a spell that narrowly missed Sirius when he stood by the archway. Luna took the opportunity to fire an odd spell at her and Bellatrix opened her mouth, but no words came out and she slowly sank to the floor, eyes wide in death. Harry noticed that Rastaban Lestrange had tripped and fallen through a veil that was suspended in the archway. He didn't appear on the other side. 'Odd,' thought Harry, but he was more concerned about Hermione. The fighting intensified and gradually the Death Eaters were stunned or killed.

"Sirius! Hermione's been hurt, we have to get her out of here!"

"I'll take her Harry, I think we've got the situation under control now. I'm taking her to St. Mungo's." And with that, he pulled Hermione into his arms and disapparated.

In the Ministry Atrium, Voldemort had appeared and was engaged with Dumbledore, each firing powerful spells at the other. Although Dumbledore was old, Voldemort had not regained his full powers after the Goblet of Fire incident in which he was reborn. Slowly, the old man had cornered Tom and despite apparating to different locations, Voldemort knew he was still too weak to win this fight. Harry, Luna and Neville had come upon them at this point, and though exhausted, lent their spells to the fight. Voldemort, trying to seize the opportunity, briefly possessed Harry, only to retreat screaming in pain. He felt Harry's rage at the loss of his best friend and the terror he felt when Harry thought of how his other best friend was injured.

Dumbledore looked at Harry and understood the deep emotional hurt emanating from the boy. Harry's aura flared and Voldemort took the opportunity to disapparate.

Harry, overwhelmed by grief, promptly vomited again and fainted.

Luna and Neville rushed to his side, absently noting that Cornelius Fudge had witnessed the fight between Dumbledore and Voldemort. Cradling Harry in her arms, she took her wand and cleaned up the sick around him and wiped his face with a conjured handkerchief. Waving her wand, she cast "Enervate" on Harry. Harry blearily opened his eyes and looked up to see a pair of soft silvery eyes looking at him with tears in her eyes.

"We lost Ron and Ginny, Harry," she said softly. I hope Hermione makes it." Then with determination, "I got Bellatrix, Harry and you got Dolohov, Yaxley and Rodolphus.

Realization hit him. He'd killed today! Now, as tears filled his eyes, he realized he was no longer an innocent schoolboy.

The Order had retrieved the bodies of Ginny and Ron. Ginny had been hit with a particularly nasty cutting curse and had bled out. Ron… well it was too disgusting to see what the brains had done to him. Half his face was missing and cuts and puncture marks were all over his body. His skin had collapsed as if all the fluids had been sucked out of his body. Already his remains were starting to decompose and most observers had to turn away at the horrible sight. Harry was unable to tear his eyes away from the body of his best friend until Luna forced him to look away.

"Let's go, Harry, you don't want to look at that," Luna said softly.

Harry was shaking, unable to stand, tears falling freely from his eyes.

Dumbledore walked over to the trio and told them to grab hold of the Portkey he had just made.

A moment later they were gone.