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Draco caught Elle and pulled her quickly up into his arms, cradling her securely into his chest. He kneeled down to grab her wand from the floor before turning to Harry, unsure what to do with the situation. The look on Harry's face is what finally alerted Draco to the state of the rest of the room.
It was more silent than death; still, as if frozen. And all eyes were glued to Draco, and the slight girl in his arms. Even Harry—all of Elle's friends and family, looked on as if they were meeting this sight for the first time. Not the sight of Elle with Draco, with a Death Eater, with the enemy. But the sight of Elle.
He could see it in their eyes. Elle still emblazoned, alive with magic; a magic none had ever witnessed. Some of them had seen hints of it, like Harry. Some had nearly figured it out on their own, like Hermione and Lupin. But they had never witnessed the pure scale of undiluted power that Elle had at her fingertips.
And that's when Draco knew that he may be the only person alive, other than the shivering body in his arms, who knew of the prophecy told of Elle Potter. The Order of the Phoenix had been totally left in the dark as to what they should do if their leader perished—as he ultimately had. And now they were aware of that fact; and they were reeling, coming to terms with this new thought—the thought that Dumbledore had not left them to fight alone.
They were seeing that he had been focused on their goal for longer than any of them knew, and he had known, somehow, that he would not be there with them. He had known that in the end they would need someone to lead them into battle in his place, and he had known who it should be. He had been building them a weapon the likes of which had never been seen before. He had created in this fragile teen girl, and her older brother, their path to victory.
Suddenly Draco was very aware of this fact, though he had known it for quite some time. Elle would be the one to face the Dark Lord alongside her brother. Not behind him, helping him follow through on his own orders from Dumbledore, but beside him, carefully following her own.
His arms tightened around Elle viciously, fueled by some instinctual need to protect her from a battle that he should know he had no way of protecting her from; from a battle she was born to fight—but not a battle she was born to win. Not even all the forces in the universe could align seamlessly enough to guarantee triumph here.
Draco was terrified. And it was that terror that was being reflected back at him from The Order members; the people that loved Elle just as he did, those who were even in that very instant preparing themselves for a fight to the death. A fight for Elle and a fight for Harry. This fight was synonymous with the fight that they would be enduring for themselves. But this, Draco could see, was giving them a new strength. He watched Lupin's eyes narrow, he saw McGonagall's chin rise, and he watched her friends set their shoulders, moving closer to Harry—closer to Elle.
The thought didn't give Draco any strength however. He felt as though it was draining out of him, pouring into the girl he clutched to his chest.
The next thing he knew the doors to the Great Hall were being slammed open, and he and Elle were toppling to the floor, covered by an onslaught of Order members. He heard Elle scream; his name, then Harry's. She was frantic, pulled into consciousness before she was ready, before she was stable. Amid the chaos of the bodies flailing around him, grasping at him, and at Elle still tight in his embrace, he caught sight of Harry frantically pushing through the mass of people surrounding them.
Draco could hear calls of the words, "Retreat! Run!" being called from different directions. All from Order members trying to get a hold on what was going on.
"Voldemort!" Harry screamed over the cacophony of voices as he reached Draco and Elle, their whole gang with him. They had somehow, through years of practice Draco normally would have scoffed at and called 'harebrained schemes', managed to stay together through the madness.
"What?" Draco yelled, Elle shuddering brutally against him.
"He's here! He got in!" Ron moaned loudly.
Abruptly Draco could feel himself being pulled out of the center of the room, the rest of the Order clustered around him. Wands were waving quicker than he had thought possible, and the calls of spells were not doing nearly a good enough job at drowning out the sound of the students' screams. Draco had to drop to his knees once they finally came to a halt, no longer able to retreat any further inside the Hall, as Elle's shrieks joined those of the others. She looked at him almost, blindly. She looked mad and Draco could feel her body vibrating, shaking so hard he could barely keep her within her arms.
He lost all coherent thought as the floor beneath them began to quake, a crack appearing right below his feet. He lurched out with his arm, grabbing Lupin and yanking him down to his own level. He was sure his face looked somewhere between livid and horrified, as Lupin's face morphed into a mirror of his own when he noticed Elle's face, now frozen in a silent shriek of anguish, unimaginable to either of the wizards hovering over her.
Her hand was clenched into the nape of Draco's neck, furrows being left in the wake of her nails, the blood streaming openly down his back, mixing with the wound inflicted by his father.
"What's happening to her?" Lupin demanded, reaching out and shaking Draco.
"I don't fucking know," Draco cursed, shoving Lupin away from him. It was taking everything he had to keep Elle up against him, and even more to keep from ripping her hand off the back of his neck, where he thinks her nails had come into contact with the top of his spinal cord, shredding the flesh away from it.
"We have to get her out of here," Lupin states, it's almost a question he's deferring to Draco in hopes that the child knows of some way to save what looks like a dying girl.
"Obviously!" Draco sneers.
"But the fight," Lupin looks around, noting it is not leaning towards their favor. "We cannot abandon Hogwarts to Him."
"We can! And we will!" Draco shouts, pulling a ducking Harry into their circle.
Harry's face pales, before he drops completely to his knees reaching out for his sister. The only sound he makes is something close to a pained gurgling.
"Don't!" Draco hisses, painfully aware that his grip on Elle, and her's on him, are the only things keeping Elle safely anchored in their world.
"She's dying!" Harry screams in his face, blood flying from his mouth.
"Not if we get her out of here," Draco screams back.
Everyone around them is beginning to take note of the trio of men clustered close around Elle, unmoving in the center of their group. They're slowing down, looks of horror creeping onto their faces as they notice Elle's silent plight, or as they see the gashes and blood falling from the hand she has entrenched into Draco's neck.
"Hogwarts," Harry whispers. The only reason the other two men know what he said is because they had been watching him intently.
"Leave it!" Draco demands.
"We can't just leave it!" Harry shouts, watching the fighting going on around them.
"Then she'll die!" Draco croaks.
It was the sound of his faltering voice and the look of terrified honesty from Draco that shook Harry to the core. Elle was dying. She was weak, and for some unknown reason the battle surging around them, the magic being evoked, was crushing her.
"Spread the word," Harry winces as he says it. "To the Burrow."
"Leave Hogwarts?" Lupin asks.
"Leave it," Harry nods.
The last thing Draco hears is Voldemort's voice echoing throughout the entire Hall saying, "Give me Hogwarts and none shall be harmed! Go! You are weak and you have lost! Give me Hogwarts and you shall live another day!"
Then Lupin's arms were around Draco and Elle and they were hurtling towards some place called 'The Burrow'. He didn't even have the time to wonder where they were going before he was smashing into the ground outside of a topsy-turvy dwelling he was sure, from its crazy, muddled, hectic appearance was the home of the Weasley clan.
As soon as he came to a halt, and the thudding of the rest of the bodies falling onto the ground had silenced Elle relaxed in his arms. Her face scrunched and tears immediately began to fall as she took in the sights around her. Her eyes were still clouded and wild as she looked from the house back to Draco and mumbled, "Thank you for getting me home."
Then she promptly fell limp and slipped into the safety of unconsciousness once more.