February 25th 1998Ginny, with tears streaming down her face, rested her head on Adam's chest, realising that she had absolutely no idea what she was going to do without him.
"Oh...Adam," she cried. "...Adam."
Then, in a rush, Adam's chest moved, almost as if he was letting out a breath that he'd been holding in for too long. Instantly, Ginny sprang up into a sitting position.
"Adam!" She gasped in wonder and amazement. "What...You're alive!"
"Ginny!" He gasped breathlessly. "It's you!"
Ginny paused for a second, simply drinking in the sight of a living and breathing Adam, but then a spell passed dangerously close to them and Ginny realised just how vulnerable they both were. Quickly swinging into action, Ginny threw herself down to onto ground next to Adam and pulled at the cloak, making sure that it covered both of them.
"Ginny!" Adam continued. "I can't believe it's you. I thought... I thought..."
"Adam Winters!" Ginny screeched, suddenly feeling herself fill with an irrational anger. "How dare you!" She thumped her fists against his chest. "How dare you just up and leave me!"
"Ginny..." Adam protested. "I had to!"
"I thought you were dead!" Ginny now sobbed, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulling herself so close that she was lying on top of him. "I love you so much, and I..." she wanted, needed, him to understand just how much he'd hurt her. "I need you Adam... and you just left me. You didn't even think that maybe I'd want to come with you!"
"Ginny..." Adam interrupted, his voice thick. "I love you. I couldn't let anything happen to you!"
"You didn't even give me chance to say goodbye..." Ginny continued, now feeling completely and utterly drained. "Oh Adam, you didn't even have to do this!"
"I did, Ginny," Adam tried to explain. "I had a piece of Voldemort's soul in me. With it still in me he couldn't die. Dumbledore planned it..."
"I know that! To hell with Dumbledore!" Ginny closed her eyes and clenched her fists, trying to calm herself down so that the sound of her voice didn't give their position away. "Adam, I had a bit of Voldemort's soul in me too."
"What!" Adam snapped. "Then..." his voice trailed off.
"NO!" Ginny snapped. "It's gone now, the Dementor... it must have sucked it out of me when it Kissed me."
Adam stared at her in shocked silence.
"I was trying to catch up with you..." Ginny continued. "I thought that if we could..." She gave a short sharp laugh. "I guess it doesn't matter now."
"Dumbledore told me that he knew that I wouldn't die, but it was important that I really thought I was going to die," Adam added softly. "Oh... Ginny, I'm alive. I really thought I was going to die, and then, when he said I could come back to you... I love you."
Ginny stared into Adam's eyes, for what felt like ages, but in reality couldn't have been more than a few seconds. What Adam was saying didn't really make sense, but that didn't matter right now. "Oh, Adam ... I love you, too."
Then, as sounds of the outside world began to intrude into the bubble that seemed to have formed around the two of them, they realised they were both alive and together, but the battle wasn't over.
"We need to find Voldemort," Adam stated suddenly. "With all his Horcruxes gone..." he paused, grinning at her. "That... you were fantastic by the way."
"Yes..thanks," Ginny replied, awkwardly brushing off Adam's praise as she clambered cautiously to her feet. "Let's go!"
The two of them, hidden together under the cloak, made their way rapidly towards the ruined doors of the school. The battle seemed to have moved inside, and, as Adam and Ginny crept into the castle, they found themselves in the shattered remains of the Entrance Hall.
From the far side of the room, a large group of Death Eaters were firing spells at a hastily assembled barricade that blocked the doorway leading into Great was there, standing just behind his troops, watching but apparently taking no part in the proceedings.
"Are they all in the Great Hall?" Ginny asked in hushed voice. "How did the Death Eaters break through so quickly?"
Adam didn't answer, and when Ginny turned to look at him she found him staring forlornly around the room.
The Entrance Hall had been completely destroyed. Chunks of stone had been blasted from the walls and a large part of the marble staircase had collapsed covering the floor with rubble, but worst of all were the bodies.
Ginny hadn't noticed them at first glance, but there were definitely dead bodies buried under the rubble. Ginny could see hands and feet sticking out of the rubble. Most were un-recognisable at this distance, but when she saw where Adam was staring, it was all Ginny could do not to gasp out loud.
It was Moody.
"Oh..." She said. "It can't even be an hour since I was last here..."
"We have to help them..." Adam murmured. "They're losing. If we can just take out Voldemort... "
Then, before, they could decide what to do, before they could make a plan, a loud crash sounded, the barricade gave way and, with a triumphant cheer from the Death Eaters, they charged forward.
"Forward!" Voldemort shouted, his voice echoing around the room like something from a nightmare. "Kill them all!"
The Death Eaters charged into the Great Hall and the air was filled with spells. At Voldemort's urging, the Death Eaters attacked brutally and the defenders responded, fighting for their lives by firing spells desperately at the mass of Death Eaters.
"No!" Ginny shrieked, watching the Death Eaters and Voldemort fire volley after volley of spells as they slowly advanced in a relentless wave into the Great Hall. "We have to help! Come on!" She shouted.
"My wand!" Adam cried, his expression suddenly twisting into one of complete horror. "I don't have my wand! He took it!"
Ginny stood still for a split second, her gaze flicking between the army of Death Eaters, which were now nearly all inside the Great Hall, and Adam. Why hadn't he said something earlier? she wondered, feeling vaguely was about to respond when a sudden scream from inside the Great Hall shocked her into action. People were dying in there! Perhaps even her parents or brothers!
"We've got to help them!" Ginny shouted back at him. "I've got to help my family! Come on!"
Pulling Adam along with her, Ginny crossed the Entrance Hall. As she moved, she began searching the floor, looking desperately for a wand. Adam quickly picked up on what she was doing and soon he, too, began searching the bodies on the ground for a wand.
"Got one!" Adam cried, holding up a wand.
"Brilliant!" Ginny exclaimed, grabbing his hand. "Now come on! And stay hidden!"
Crossing the room, the two of them charged into the Great Hall. As they passed the doorway, Adam and Ginny were pushed and shoved about in the confusion, but soon they were able to make their way around the ranks of Death Eaters. Once they were clear, Ginny saw that the fight had degenerated into a series of duels, and the entire room was alive with spells. Order members, the DA, even the house-elves were all fighting for their lives!
Ginny scanned the room, trying to decide who she should help or where should could do the most damage to Voldemort's followers, but then her eyes settled on one duel and she gasped. Ron, Hermione and Neville were duelling with Bellatrix Lestrange and, much to Ginny's horror, she realised they were going to lose unless she could help them.
"Adam!" Ginny hissed. "We've got to help Ron, Hermione and Neville!"
And before Adam could stop her, Ginny pushed out from under the cloak and sprinted towards them, determined to help her friend and brothers.
February 25th 1998Ginny's sudden dash across the Great Hall took Adam completely by surprise, and, for a split second, he just stood there dumbly.
When he saw Voldemort, Adam resisted the urge to charge after Ginny. He had a job to do.
The Dark Lord was at the centre of the battle. He was not only duelling Professor McGonagall and a dark skinned-Order member that Adam didn't recognise to a standstill, but was also firing spells across the room striking people and elves down left, right and centre.
Adam paused, conscious that for the moment he was still safely hidden under the cloak, and watched Voldemort. Adam was certain that Voldemort would not hesitate to kill either himself or Ginny, but also knew that there was only way to stop Voldemort; as long as Voldemort was alive he would always be hunting Adam. The question was how?
He was still covered by the cloak, so could he sneak up on Voldemort? It didn't seem fair, but then Voldemort wouldn't hesitate to use any means to kill him.
However, before Adam could begin moving towards Voldemort, there was a flash of light and triumphant roar from the Dark Lord. Adam spun towards the flash, just in time to see Professor McGonagall tossed across the hall like a child's discarded toy.
Now facing only one opponent, Voldemort grew more confident and it seemed to Adam as if he was now duelling his remaining opponent with complete and utter disdain, barely focusing on him and concentrating on firing spells across the room.
As Voldemort fought, Adam closed the distance between himself and the Dark Lord. He knew he would only get a single shot in before he was discovered. I have to make that shot count!But, before Adam could get close enough, there was another flash of light and the Order member, who had been valiantly holding Voldemort at bay, fell to the floor, unconscious, possibly even dead - Adam didn't immediately strode forward and stood over the body of his fallen adversary.
"Do you now understand?" Voldemort began. "Potter is dead, and your best fighters have fallen," He paused, pointing his wand towards the man who was slumped at his feet. "Surrender now and I will promise you an easy death."
Despite the fact that Voldemort was speaking, the battle continued around them, and, as Adam watched Voldemort preparing to kill the man, he thought for a moment that he was the only one close enough to hear Voldemort's speech.
"We won't give up!" A voice screamed, suddenly grabbing Voldemort's attention away from the man at his feet, just as Adam was about to strike.
Oh...no! Adam felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he watched Voldemort focus on the source of the voice... Ginny. Don't attract his attention! You're too important!"YOU!" He roared. "I will have revenge for Nagini!"
As Voldemort began to move, Adam knew he had to act. So, without hesitation, he ripped off the cloak and shouted. "VOLDEMORT!"
For a split section, the Great Hall seemed to fall strangely silent, almost like the calm before a storm. But it didn't last; the Great Hall erupted in were cheers of 'Harry' and 'He's alive!', but all of these sounds were instantly silenced as Voldemort roared. "POTTER!"
The individual battles around the Hall seemed to stutter to a stop and Adam realised that everyone was now watching him and Voldemort face off.
Voldemort stared at Adam, pointing his wand directly at him and, in response Adam raised his wand and kept it fixed on his enemy.
"Potter..." Voldemort hissed softly, taking long striding paces towards Adam. "I confess myself confused... If you are here then I must wonder who I killed not more than an hour ago. Did you actually manage to convince yet another person to sacrifice their life for you?"
"NO!" Adam shouted in response, horrified by the allegation. "I've never asked anyone to die for me!"
Voldemort took another two paces forward, but Adam held his ground, briefly scanning to crowd, spotting the familiar faces of Ginny, Hermione and the other Weasleys. As he glanced at Ginny he saw that Ron had his arm clamped around her shoulder as if trying to keep her from intervening.
"No...No-one help me," Adam stated, the Prophecy and Ginny's safety at the forefront of his mind. "It has to be like this. It has to be me and him."
Voldemort laughed in response. "You think you can defeat me? You survived as a baby because of your mother! You survived my rebirth because of Dumbledore! You survived this battle only because you forced someone to die in your stead!"
Adam ignored his taunts, keeping his wand pointed firmly at Voldemort and doing his very best to ignore the small voice in the back of his head telling him that there was no way he could defeat Voldemort.
"It is only by accident and chance that you stand here before me now. You have hidden behind greater wizards your entire life!" Voldemort laughed. "So you'll understand if I am not afraid of defeat at your hands."
"You're lying!" Adam challenged, his voice ringing through the silent hall. "You do fear me! Why else would you try to kill me as a baby? Why else would you try to entice me to surrender before the battle actually begins?"
As Voldemort took another step forward, Adam stepped to the side and soon the two began circling each other.
"I won't let you kill anyone else!" Adam spat at him. "I was ready to die to stop you from hurting anyone else!"
"But you did not!" Voldemort sneered.
"I meant to, and that's what's important! My mum died to protect me and I did the same. We're protected from you! Haven't you noticed how you havent been able to kill any of us since we last met? You don't learn from your mistakes, Tom, do you?"
Voldemort snarled at Adam and, for the first time, it was as if the Dark Lord had nothing to say.
"Protected from me you say?" Voldemort eventually murmured. "But what about my followers? How protected do you think your..." Voldemort paused disdainfully. "...girlfriend is against my Bellatrix."
In a flash Adam's head snapped towards Ginny. She was standing some distance across the room wand to wand with Bellatrix Lestrange.
"Concentrate on Voldemort!" Ginny shouted back, glaring at Bellatrix. "I can take her!"
Adam hesitated for a second, watching with horror as Bellatrix levelled her wand at Ginny, drawing the action out to torment him.
"Wait!" he shouted at Voldemort, trying to think of something ... anything that would make him ignore Ginny and concentrate on him. Adam turned towards her, he had to save her. "I..." then suddenly his voice cut off as his entire body was suddenly held in an invisible vice-like grip.
It was then that Adam realised he had made a fatal mistake. In his desperation to protect Ginny, he had ignored Voldemort and Voldemort had taken full advantage.
The next thing Adam knew he was flying through the air and striking the wall, still unable to move. He didn't even fall to the ground. He simply hung there, pressed hard against the wall, his limbs still held in the position they were in when he was first struck by Voldemort's spell. The worst thing, however, was that from his position suspended halfway between the floor and ceiling he couldn't even see what had happened to Ginny, or what Voldemort was doing!
"Tell me something, Potter," Voldemort jeered at him. "If you died for your friends and my spells can't harm them... can they still harm you?"
"A..g.." Adam choked out, trying to speak, but the words just wouldn't come out. Adam tried again, but he couldn't. He couldn't even seem to get enough breath. Voldemort's grip was squeezing all the air out of him. He couldn't breathe!
"Let him go!" he heard Ginny scream, even the sound of her terrified cry comforted him. She was alive! "Fight him like a man and not the snake that you are!"
Adam was in a full blown panic, he couldn't move, he couldn't breathe. He tried to struggle, but he was getting tired. His legs felt heavy, and he eyesight was blurring.
"Adam!" Ginny screamed. "Let him..." Ginny's voice cut off suddenly by a strangled cry and there was a horrifying thwack.
Ginny! Adam struggled feebly against the spell holding him. What had Voldemort done to her! Ginny!But he couldn't get free, and, as a lack of air began to make it difficult to think, Adam was vaguely aware of noise beneath him. Everything was beginning to drift slowly away from him, but then there was a shout, Voldemort roared something in fury and Adam distantly, as if he wasn't really in his body anymore, felt himself drop and then stop suddenly.
Then there was a tremendous explosion and Adam, fell, now barely aware of what was going on. He hit the floor hard, but the pain didn't seem to bother him, instead he began sucking in deep breaths of air as he was pelted by debris.
Over the next few seconds, as Adam recovered his breath, the noise of battle once again filtered into his , his legs feeling like they were burning, Adam pulled himself onto all fours and looked up, straight into the eyes of Voldemort.
Somehow, Voldemort too had been knocked off his feet and, as Adam watched, he rose from a kneeling position.
Adam knew that he would once again have to fight him, so he grappled desperately for his wand as he struggled to his feet, feeling himself swaying slightly in the process.
"I think, Potter," Voldemort said in a slow deliberate voice. "That you have finally exhausted the supply of people that will sacrifice themselves for you." He gestured casually and Adam felt a sick feeling in his stomach when he saw Ron and Hermione crouched over a body. No! ... It wasn't Ginny, but Neville. He couldn't be... surely Voldemort hadn't killed him! But if Neville had tried to save him... what had happened to Ginny?He forced himself to focus, he wasn't going to make the same mistake again, he had to put the worry over Ginny and Neville out of him mind. So, Adam did not respond, instead he just stared hatefully at Voldemort.
"You're friends are dead or dying, there is no Dumbledore to save you now, now, Harry Potter, you will die. And I, Lord Voldemort, will take my rightful place as the leader of the magical world. No longer will be cowed by fear of discovery by the Muggles. We will rule over them as is our ..."
"Stop talking! Stop making speeches! Expulso!" Adam cried in anger. "I won't let you win!"
Voldemort batted his spell aside with a casual flick of his wand.
"Even Dumbledore couldn't stop me!" Voldemort cried. "I, Lord Voldemort even planned his death prove that I am his better!"
"You did not plan his death!" Adam cried, fury coursing through his veins. "You may have ordered Snape to kill him, you may even have ordered Snape to pin it on me, but Dumbledore died fighting against you! Snape killed him because he told him to!"
At this pronouncement, there were cries of outrage from both sides, and Adam realised that everyone seemed to be once again watching the two of them. Voldemort meanwhile seemed, for the first time, to have been shaken.
"Severus Snape wasn't yours," Adam continued. "Snape was Dumbledore's. He was Dumbledore's from the moment you started hunting down my mother. And you never realized it! He was Dumbledore's spy from the moment you threatened her, and he's been working against you ever since!"
"It matters not!" shrieked Voldemort, emitting a cackle of mad laughter. "It matters not whether Snape was mine or Dumbledore's, or what petty obstacles they tried to put in my path! I crushed them as I crushed your mother, Snape's supposed great love! Oh, but it all makes sense, Potter, and in ways that you do not understand!
"For you see, Harry Potter, when I realised I could not defeat you with an ordinary wand, I sought out a wand that could defeat you," Voldemort paused. "Dumbledore's wand. The Elder Wand! He tried to keep it from me and I see now that he intended that Snape should be the true master of the wand! But I got there ahead of you, little boy, I reached the wand before you could get your hands on it. I understood the truth before you caught up. I killed Severus Snape three hours ago, and the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the Wand of Destiny is truly mine! Dumbledore's last plan went wrong, Harry Potter!"
Adam froze, renewed fear now coursing through him. This wasn't fear for himself, but fear that maybe, just maybe, Voldemort was right, and that he knew something that Dumbledore did not, but then he remembered the scenes he had witnessed in the Pensieve.
"You're the master of Dumbledore's wand?" Adam asked hesitantly, still circling Voldemort.
At Adam's uncertainty Voldemort threw back his head and laughed. "Yes, Potter. I possess Dumbledore's wand. The Elder Wand! The most powerful wand in the world. Snape killed Dumbledore claiming mastery over the wand and I then killed Snape! It is over, child, you have lost!"
Adam stopped moving, and for a second it seemed as if his and Voldemort's breathing were the only sounds in the room.
As Voldemort stared at him, Adam replayed the images from the Pensieve over and over again in his mind. Could the wand really only be passed by killing the previous master? If so then had Dumbledore gifting the wand to Snape been a pointless act? If Snape wasn't the master of the wand, then who was?Suddenly, it all clicked in pace in Adam's mind, as he remembered his actions the night Dumbledore died, and he couldn't believe it. He was unsure at first if it had been brilliant planning by Snape and Dumbledore, or if it was just a case of tremendous luck.
"You have one last chance," Adam said slowly. "I am going to defeat you! But before you try to kill me, I'd advise you to think about what you've done. Do you feel any remorse?"
This announcement seemed to shock Voldemort. Adam saw his pupils contract to thin slits, he saw the skin around his eyes whiten. He wasn't quite sure what had shocked the Dark Lord; was it is new confidence that he could win? Or was it just the simple fact that he had asked him if he felt any remorse?
"You dare?" said Voldemort again.
"Yes, I dare," said Adam. "Dumbledore's last plan hasn't backfired on me at all. It was a brilliant plan and it's backfired on you, Tom."
A ripple of whispers shot through the room and when Adam spoke, he tried to speak up clearly so everyone in the room could hear him.
"I am the master of the Elder Wand."
As Adam spoke Voldemort seemed to relax, and he laughed. "Is that all you have? A lie to scare me? Do you seek to flee once again and let all these die for you?"
"No..." Adam spoke slowly. "You see, Snape did not kill Dumbledore. I did."
Several gasps echoed in the room.
"Did I deliberately kill him? No, but I was the one who struck the final blow. Snape was never the master of that wand. I have been all along."
Voldemort still laughed. "It matters not who killed whom! I have the wand here. And I will now kill you with it!"
"Don't you get it!" Adam cried. "The wand chooses the wizard. It doesn't matter who has it..."
Before Adam had even finished speaking he felt it coming. He felt it building inside the wand pointed at his face.
Adam saw Voldemort's green jet meet his own spell and, as their spells collided, there was a bang like a cannon blast, and suddenly golden flames erupted between them.
Then, he hit the floor, his body feeble and shrunken, his hands empty.
Voldemort had fallen and he lay there still, his snakelike face vacant and unknowing.
All Adam could do was stare at the body, it was only then he finally realised what had happened. Voldemort was dead, killed by his own rebounding curse.
Time suddenly seemed to have come to a standstill. No one did anything. No one in the Great Hall moved. Then, as if reaching him in a sudden rush, Adam felt himself bombarded by an avalanche of sounds. He heard cheers of victory; he heard the sounds of wands clattering to the floor, perhaps from surrendering Death Eaters; he heard the sound of spells; but, above them all, he heard a deranged wail.
Spinning toward the sound, Adam saw the crazed woman barrelling towards him. He brought up his wand, but, before he could even react a spell hit her, tossing her to one side.
She looked glorious, her face was twisted with pain and streaked with blood, and she seemed have seriously injured one of her feet. But even so, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Lestrange didn't stay down; instead, she rolled back to her feet and fired a stream of curses towards Ginny, screaming madly in the process. Adam instantly realised what the demented woman was now trying to do. He'd taken Voldemort from her, so she was now going to take Ginny from him.
And Ginny was struggling, she didn't seem to be able to dodge spells with her injuries. So, desperately, Adam started to move towards her. He couldn't let anything happen to Ginny. Not now, not after all they'd been through. But he was too slow, he watched helplessly as Lestrange sent a horrible black spell towards her.
Ginny tried to dodge out of the way, but in the process she put weight on her injured foot and screamed in pain. It was then that Adam realised he was too far away and he wouldn't be able to get close enough to do anything.
Adam saw Ginny's leg fold under her as she tried to dodge and then he saw the black spell impact with her shoulder. For a fleeting instant Ginny's face took on a shocked expression, then she flew backwards as her shoulder literally exploded.
Adam cried out in terror, his mind now a jumble of images; Ginny dying, Ginny being Kissed by a Dementor, Ginny being hit by Lestrange's Killing Curse. He ran, faster than he had ever run in his life, his whole being focused solely on a single goal: getting to Ginny and stopping Lestrange.
But before he could even take two paces, someone else screamed, someone was closer than him and quicker than him. A person whos voice rang above the clamour of the Great Hall like a battle cry.
"THAT'S MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
Mrs Weasley's scream was instantly recognisable, and Adam watched as her curse flew through the air, striking Lestrange, who had paused relish in Ginny's curse struck Lestrange just above her heart and she toppled, falling to the floor with a look of shock forever etched on her face.
But Adam didn't stop running; he had more important things to do. Somehow, as if he had suddenly been gifted with superhuman speed, he was the first person to reach Ginny, who was lying sprawled on the floor, still alive, but seriously hurt.
"Ginny!" He cried, falling to his knees at her side. "Oh, Ginny!"
Adam checked her over, feeling a sense of relief that flooded down to his very soul that she was still alive but horrified at the injury that had been sustained to her shoulder.
"A..A.." Ginny gasped out in short panting breaths, as blood oozed out of her shoulder. "HHu.."
"Okay, it's okay!" Adam replied, quickly pulling back the bloodied remains of the robe covering her wound. "I'm here."
".." Ginny cried out in pain, as blood continued to leak from the gaping hole in her shoulder, then her eyes rolled back and she lost consciousness.
Adam was now in a wild panic."Help!" he cried, to no one in particular. "Help her, someone! Please!"
He knew that he had to stop the bleeding somehow, so he grabbed for something to use as a bandage. He paused momentarily realising that it was his cloak, but he shook his hesitation away and pressed it hard against her shoulder. Ginny was far more precious that any cloak.
"Adam," A voice came from behind him and Adam could have sobbed with relief as he recognized Professor McGonagall. "Well done, you've stopped most of the bleeding. Now hold that in place, well get her help," She paused and waved her hand in front of Adam's face. "Can you hear me?" she questioned him, waving her wand several times in the process. "Listen to me, she's going to be alright. I'll used a spell to keep that in place, but I need you to let go of her so that I can levitate her. Well take her to Madam Pomfrey, okay?"
Reluctantly Adam nodded, let go of Ginny and sank to the floor. He watched numbly for a second as she was levitated away. He felt completely and utterly useless. Tearing his eyes away from the Professor McGonagall's rapidly shrinking form, he looked around the room and found that a large amount of people were staring at him. He saw Mr and Mrs Weasley dashing after Professor McGonagall. He saw Ron and Hermione standing on the far side of the room, holding each other, most likely in the same state complete shock that he was in.
Slowly people began to approach him.
"Harry." Someone he didn't recognise held out their hand to him, and he allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. "Thank you," the man continued. "You saved us."
Adam didn't know what to say in response, so he shook his head. "I..." he stammered. I...I need to go check on Ginny."
With that, Adam walked quickly after Professor McGonagall. He needed to be with Ginny now, out of this room and away from the stares. He needed to know that Ginny was alright. He needed to think about what had just happened. Nothing else seemed to matter.