Okay guys, so this is the only story I've ever written with the intention of it lasting more than a chapter. Let me know what you think.


The battle of wits raged between Harry Potter and the Dark Lord, Harry threw his words like daggers, meaning to strike the heart of the enemy in one last attempt to stop the killing. But Voldemort was having none of it. He sneered and laughed at Harry Potter. I won't go into any more detail as many of you already know that vital scene word for word. The small detail I am choosing to focus on right now is this; Bellatrix did not die.

Yes Molly Weasley fired a killing curse at her, yes it seemed like to all the world she had been struck in the chest, but alas she lived on. Her breathing was faint and her heartbeat was barely there, but still, there it was. You may be asking yourself why this is, you'd be a fool if you were not at least a little confused. The killing curse instead of truly striking Bellatrix dead where she stood, instead hit the silver pendant Bellatrix always wore. But she didn't get off lightly, the curse though not killing her still hurt (a lot) and had in fact burned the pendant into her skin and knocked her deep into unconsciousness. But still better than being dead.

When Voldemort died, every deatheater still alive felt the familiar tingling in their left arm, the dark mark was reacting. But instead of calling them to Voldemort it simply faded to nothing, leaving every person free to live again, under no shadow of tyranny; the Dark Lord had finally been defeated once and for all. After that, after the end of him, the glamour was gone from being there,the battle was over and many thought that meant they were done, many people left, though a few dozen still stayed to clear the bodies of their family and friends, nobody touched the deatheaters, and a wide circle was unofficially cleared around the corpse of the once great Voldemort.

Bellatrix lay crumpled, broken, defeated by a mere housewife. She was totally embarassed but she was not dead. She was left with the dead. She was presumed to be dead, but she was not. It was mainly teachers who stayed during the clean-up, though a few members of the children's organisation 'Dumbledore's army' stayed to offer what little help they could. Many were set to digging a pit, a huge group tomb for Voldemort and his deceased followers, the teachers were off creating walls and trying to make sure that Hogwarts would stay standing. And that left Hermione.

Hermione was doing what she thought was the worst possible job. She had to levitate the lifeless bodies into rows, the death eaters and co. on one side and the good guys on the other. She didn't even have the energy to feel relieved that the line of dead deatheaters was much longer (it stretched from wall to wall with no gaps). Hermione sighed and sat down with a weary sigh, burying her face in her hands, but finding it impossible to cry. She had completed her job and though she wanted to do more to help, she didn't think she had the strength, mentally nor physically. So for now she rested, hoping that when the time came to help she would be able to scrape up the strength from somewhere.

Bellatrix Lestrange lay no more than a couple of feet away from Hermione, breathing shallow and trying not to show any tiny signs of had woken in mid-air and caught the look of fear and disgust in the mudbloods eyes as she was forced to move the "dead" deatheater. Lestrange lay there for a few minutes and Hermione showed no sign of moving from her huddled form, she could have been asleep. The woman stood slowly and walked cautiously, on tiptoes, trying to avoid using the loud clicking heels on her boots, she made it past Hermione and to the smashed window at the head of the great hall, where a bedraggled curtain still lay wrinkled and shredded on the floor. Getting this far had used all of Bellatrix's strength and willpower, her muscles burned as if she were under crucio and her heart was thumping irregularly and so loudly she thought it impossible that Hermione hadn't heard it.

The window was as far as she could make it. Bellattix was wandless and helpless and tired, she curled in a cuccoon of curtain and fell into a sleep so deep she could have been comatose. Hermione woke herself only minutes after, too spooked by the prescence of the dead to go into a real sleep, she wasn't as used to death as Bellatrix was. Hermione Granger paced the hall four times before she realised that something was wrong. It was not like in a movie were she had a six sense to tell her danger was close, or even just a killer intuition to tell her that something had changed. No, Hermione only realised because she saw it for herself. She was turning round when it caught her eye, the gap in the line-up of bodies that had not been there before, the line had stretched from the end of the hall to the other, a complete regimented line that was perfect and undisturbed. But now, it had changed, there was a gap, the perfect sized gap for one person to have slipped out from. Someone was gone, and Hermione didn't know who, and she certainly didn't know just how close she was to her. Hermiones breath caught in her throat and her heart started pounding furiously. How silly, how naive to think that this nightmarish ordeal was almost over, it could never be over.

Hermione stumbled, shocked away from the empty space, unwittingly tottering marginally closer to the sleeping hidden deatheater. Hermione slumped to the floor, shock overriding her usually flawless logic "How could this happen?" Hermione whispered to herself.

"How could what happen miss Granger?" Minerva's voice echoed eerily through the hall as Hermione realised how much her voice must carry in the silent stone room.

"Nothing, just blaming myself for all this." Hermione gestured at the rubble "I know I shouldn't..." Minerva smiled sympathetically and with her gentlest voice offered Hermione the Gryffindor dorms to stay in.
"The password is 'Loyalty' go up whenever you're ready, I've placed protections around it, but I do have some more business to attend to so if you will excuse me Miss Granger, I bid you good day." Minerva strolled away again, not a mark on her to show how hard she fought.

For the second time in an hour Hermione buried her head in her hands and sighed. Tears still remained elusive to the heroic bookworm but she didn't feel as if she would be able to sleep, not after the deaths of so many people. And though what she had told Minerva had been a hastily constructed lie to hide whatever hideous mistake she had made, there was a small seed of doubt that as Hermione realised was there grew and sprouted tendrils of guilt, shame, sorrow and Hermione knew, deep down that she could have stopped this. Hermione sat crumpled in on herself silently, wearily berating herself for all the times she could have stopped things, so for hours Hermione blamed herself and grew more and more angry at her imaginary stupidity. She didn't know that a pair of dark, scared, haunted eyes had at last fluttered lazily open, Bellatrix had finally awoken to a world that believed her dead. Bellatrix's faint stirrings were not loud enough to alert Hermione to her presence, her thin pale fingers reached to her pendant immediatley, burnt to her skin it was the most painful thing she had ever felt, a dull shadow of the original pain still throbbed every now and again through the bitter husk she called a heart. Shakily unsheathing a silver knife from the inside of her thigh the battered killer prepared to slice her heart out of her chest. Not her real heart. The heart pendant that had only hours ago been an easily removable accessory needed to be hastily removed due to the magical defences she had bestowed upon it. The silver knife sliced through the layer of pale creamy skin that joined the woman and the pendant, severing the cold burnt metal from her chest. Only seconds later blood dripped steadily from the chest of a whimpering murderer.

Bellatrix's gasps and whimpers of pain finally alerted the still tearless Hermione to the fact that she wasn't actually alone. Hermione stood up slowly, eyes wide with fear at the sudden intrusion. She turned to see the strangest sight she had ever seen. The proud and once fearsome Bellatrix Lestrange tears dripping steadily down her face, half wrapped in a ragged curtain, clutching a bloody heart pendant in one hand and the other trying to stop the steady bloodflow that stained both hands and her already bloodstained dress.

"Help me. Please help me." Bellatrix gasped, her high voice sounding childlike without its usual cruel undertones.
"Keep putting pressure on the wound." Hermione ordered through gritted teeth. Unknown strength seeped into Hermiones body as she worked to keep Bellatrix alive.
"Accio dittany!" Hermione almost screamed, pointing her wand into the beaded bag she never left anywhere without. The dittany flew out on command and Hermione plucked it from the air with accuracy she couldn't have survived without. Unstoppering it Hermione gently moved Bellatrix's bloodstained hands and dripped dittany onto the bleeding flesh. Bellatrix's wound healed completely before Hermiones eyes; now the war was over she no longer needed to be stingy with dittany. Bellatrix's pale bloodstained hand reached towards Hermione's face, she rested it on Hermione's cheek and whispered
"Don't let them take me away. Don't let them kill me." Before falling instantly into unconsciousness. Hermione looked down at the small form of the sleeping killer and felt revolted by how protective she felt over the little bloodstained form in front of her.

Hermione shook her head "There'll be no more death today." she sighed.