"The Ministry of Magic has never conducted a successful study of the effects of the Dementor's Kiss. Did you know that, Harry?" Her words were poison, uttered only to incite pain and suffering on him. She was delighted by Ginny's having been kissed; the effects it would have on Harry fascinated her in ways nothing else was able to.

"I know the fate of those whom the Dementors have kissed. It is nothing like the fate the Ministry believes it to be. Insentience, incognisance, apathy: none are present in the Dementor's Kiss. Soullessness is much crueller than that. Soullessness is infinite, gruelling, incessant suffering."

Her every word pushed Harry further into his despair. Ginny was gone. Hermione was gone. Harry had failed them both. He had lost one directly to Bellatrix and another to her Dementors. And Harry had been unable to save them. He had failed them. There was nothing left for him. Not here, not in Hogwarts, not in England, in Europe, in life. His reason for continuing on — the reason he had resisted Bellatrix for these long weeks — was gone. What would it matter now if he could negotiate his way out? What would he have to return to? What would be Hogwarts without the one for whom the sun shined? The one who brought the last glimmer of brightness to his world? There was nothing.

A choked sob escaped his lips. She was dead. Ginny — his Ginny — was gone as he knew her. And she was suffering still. The Dementor's Kiss was not what it had always been advertised as — it was not a state of ignorance. It was a state of eternal, perpetual torment. And Harry had been the one to deliver her to it.

"She could have lived!" Bellatrix exclaimed. "Were it not for you!

"You as well as killed her!

"You could have stopped it all—you could have saved her! You sealed her fate!

"You killed her!"


The word escaped his lips in a howl, like an animal in pain. He was shaking and smouldering tears were streaming down his face, his eyes a dark scarlet, standing stark against the purple rings beneath his eyes.

"You killed her, Harry! You killed her!"


And he snapped — animal instinct overtook him and he lunged after Bellatrix, his chains holding him back. He fought against them, writhing against his bonds in his fruitless attempt to attack Bellatrix — to beat her to death, to sentence her to the fate she had forced upon Ginny. The sentence that he had forced upon Ginny.

But his chains were unrelenting, and Bellatrix laughed at him and mocked him as he struggled against them. Helplessly, he fought, but was unable to break past his chains. He roared at Bellatrix, a strangled battle cry, as he lunged after her again. Bellatrix was brave in her mockery, inching closer to Harry with every passing moment, physically boasting.

"You killed her, and you can't even avenge her!" Bellatrix screamed at him, a mad kind of euphoria in her eyes, a brand of darkest sadism. "You're a worthless boy, Harry, too talentless to even take vengeance! You weak, worthless little cu—"

But she had been foolish and proud and had inched just close enough for Harry to seize part of her hair with his left hand. Primality gripping him, Harry dragged Bellatrix closer, still snarling, still screaming the animal scream. She herself yelped in shock and surprise and fear and dread. She reached into her folds, vainly groping for her wooden rod, but she could not overcome Harry's fierce strength, his primal rage.

Harry ripped his right arm forward, trying with every sense of urgent might his body possessed to grab Bellatrix, wanting nothing more than to wrap his hands around her throat. No, needing to wrap his hands around her throat. He longed to squeeze the life out of her, to strangle the terrible venom that was she, to strangle it out and exorcise all there was within her. He needed so fiercely to rip into her with his bare hands, to tear her apart as she had torn them all apart.

Blinding, white rage proved a powerful motivator and it managed to empower Harry enough to break his bonds. Although having not eaten more than blood, dust, and dirt for the duration of his captivity, Harry possessed in his muscles enough strength for this last gothic task. The chain that bound his right arm was torn from the wall, and immediately he clapped it over Bellatrix's thin neck, joining his left hand, choking the life out of her.

And as he gripped the life out of his greatest nemesis, his darkest foe, terror filled her eyes. It was a terror that empowered Harry, that emboldened him and pushed him forward. He would take her to the edge of the cliff and break on through to the other side. His knuckles were becoming white as Bellatrix made choking and gasping sounds with her crushed throat, but Harry was not sated. He tore into her, ripping and clawing with all his hate, needing to take her throat from her. Her death alone would not satisfy him — he wanted more, needed more.

He wanted to tear out her throat and feed it to her. He needed to feel her beating heart in his clutching hand. He needed to beat the life out of her, to choke it out, to rip it out, to murder, slaughter, devastate her, to beat her, perform all her evils, sate the terrible nature of his rageful hate — bring her to the end of his dreams. He needed to make her know the hate that she'd bred, the hate that he felt.

Bellatrix's eyes began to turn red as Harry kept throttling her throat and continued to try tearing at it, attempting to rip out the insides of her. He stopped trying to rip open her throat and instead moved his hand upward, curling his thumb and pushing it against her bleeding eye. He wanted to gouge it out, to dance on it, perform barbaric acts upon it; he wanted to keep a relic of her deformed and butchered corpse, when nothing else would be left.

Bellatrix was not even able to scream as her eye was ripped from its socket. Harry crushed it in his hand, still snarling at Bellatrix and crushing her throat, with all his might ending everything she was. Harry lunged his neck forward in a ragged, brutal motion. He caught Bellatrix's nose in his jaws and clamped them down, then tugged. He shook his head, trying to tear the woman's nose from her face, trying to unmake what once was beautiful, to make hideous his tormentor, to make her look as he felt. It was with a whipping back of Harry's head that he realised he had torn off the woman's nose.

Harry spat in disgust, his movements still primal and animal. But it wasn't enough, it was never enough. His one hand still clamped on Bellatrix's throat, Harry started pummelling her face, beating her, crushing her with his blows. He lunged his face forward again, smashing his skull into hers. Harry all the while maintained his hold on his last nemesis. He continued to grip and strangle long after the last breath had escaped her body, after her movements had stopped and her body had begun to grow cold.

"It doesn't matter if we all die, it doesn't matter if we all die, it doesn't matter if we all die," Harry repeated to himself, his own private mantra. He muttered it through tightened lips as he murdered, and screamed it as he thrust his hand into the torso of Bellatrix's robes and groped about, searching for her wand. When he found it a moment later, he let Bellatrix's body fall to the floor. Finally, after a long time of killing, a loud and distinct thump sounded as her body hit the ground.

Harry swung his hand upward, bringing Bellatrix's wand to his temple. "AVADA KEDAVRA!" he roared, hatefully, wildly. Despite firmest intent and the depth of his hatred, the curse did not fire.

The man swung his chained foot back and kicked Bellatrix's limp face, knocking it to the side. He screamed at her body, vocally destructing the woman that had destroyed them.

Harry looked to Ginny's body, no longer chained and instead huddled nearby, blank faced. But he knew she was suffering. And so he lunged after her, both of his arm shackles having been torn away, and wished desperately that he could reach her. Hated luck was with him still.

He flopped onto the ground, only his legs still chained, and was able to reach Ginny, but only just. He pulled at the fabric of her clothing, desperately trying to gather her to him. She fell over limply, and Harry was able to drag her nearer.

He managed it and pulled her in close, hugging her desperately, holding her to him. He was on his knees, cradling the fallen girl. Harry pushed back her hair, patting it back and using his filthy, blood-soaked hands to try and tidy her up as best he could. He looked into her eyes and cried. He could see her pain there — it glared up at him so obviously, so terribly.

His face scrunched up so tightly as he wept…. He knew what he had to do. He knew he had to save her. Save her from herself, from her prison. Another sob escaped his throat, wrenching at him and killing him. He consciously tried to build up his rage again, because he knew he couldn't do it otherwise. He knew that there was only one means of death at his disposal; he knew that it was a terrible thing to have to do. He knew he should never have been put in this position.

He looked to Bellatrix, that horrible worthless whore of a woman, and the hate began to rise again. He looked back to Ginny, his eyes so apologetic — so much more pain-filled than any other time in his life. He wept openly and begged absolution of her. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry... I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so fucking sorry!"

Harry brought his hands to her neck and began to squeeze. He shook and shivered and sobbed as he did it, but he did. It was the most horrible thing he'd ever done, the most terrible. He strangled her as her body shook too and her legs flailed wildly. Even without a soul, her body still had its natural responses, and self-preservation kicked in. Harry just strangled harder, because he knew he had to. He knew the pain that she was in. He knew it.

He kept choking until the shaking stopped, until she was silent and still, and her chest no longer rose and fell…. He sobbed so hard, was so overcome by his grief, he then did the only thing he could do, the only logical thing.

Wildly, Harry brought one of his freed hands to his mouth. Tearing his teeth across a wrist, he used ever last drop of violence in him to escape, to embrace death and be free.

With a howl and a wordless scream, Harry's violence overtook him and life pushed out through his open eyes, a final, climactic and vicious haemorrhage letting him in amongst the blissfully dead.