For Anna, to Lycan, to Moni , to Nats and to you if you've stuck with Skye to the very end. (I love that!)
Chapter 67: The Battle of Hogwarts.
(What Draco was up to)
Draco hurried down the corridors, the robes threatening to fall from his hands. He was headed for Gryffindor Tower. He'd already gone to Ravenclaw and gave Anna her robes.
As he walked towards the lions' cave, he heard voices.
"… you told them to be, I expect, Severus." McGonagall's tone was only ever that cold when she spoke to the Slytherins, bar Skye.
"I was under the impression that Alecto had apprehended an intruder." Sev said, his voice that soft, threatening tone. Draco skidded to a halt around the corner from the voices. He peeked around the crook. There stood his godfather, facing McGonagall, and Draco saw Harry and Luna too, covered by a thin veil… at first Draco frowned, how could Sev not attack? Or at the very least attempt to talk to Harry?
Oh, yeah, he's a shape-shifter. Draco mentally slapped himself. Of course Harry was under the Invisibility Cloak, and of course Draco could see him. Damn that cloak.
"Really?" McGonagall was taking the bait. "And what gave you that impression?"
Draco caught a slight flexing movement of Sev's left arm. He was indicating to the Dark Mark. Harry's eyes probed the air, looking for something… Harry wasn't as trusting as he used to be… that's good. Draco had always thought Harry's believing nature was potentially hazardous.
"Oh, but naturally. You Death Eaters have your own private mean of communication , I forgot." McGonagall sounded cynical.
Severus pretended not to have heard her.
"I did not know it was your night to patrol the corridors, Minerva." The old bat said coolly. Draco had always thought his godfather to be an excellent actor.
"You have some objection?"
"I wonder what could have brought you out of your bed at this late hour."
"I thought I heard a disturbance."
Severus looked into her eyes. Hoping she would be open with him if Harry Potter was in the vicinity, as Severus suspected.
"Have you seen Harry Potter, Minerva? Because if you have, I must insist…"
McGonagall moved fast and slashed her wand, and for a moment Draco thought Sev would crumple… but he'd cast a swift shield charm and threw McGonagall off her feet.
Severus knew he'd been right, she was defending Potter, and his suspicions were finally confirmed when he heard a shuffle of feet through the chaos.
Draco rushed forward; the robes tumbled from his grip, wand at the ready. Harry saw him, but was forced to pull Luna out of the way.
McGonagall banished her wand at a torch, and the fire went to Severus and envelope him like a lasso, but it transformed into a black serpent. McGonagall blasted it to smoke and reformed to a bunch of daggers. Draco whipped his wand at the daggers, causing them to turn into a bunch of flowers. Severus wanted to laugh out loud at that. Flowers… Only Draco…
They all looked around at him. Sev had forced a suit of armor in front of him.
"Minerva!" A squeaky voice said. They looked around to the new voice, Flitwick and Sprout were sprinting towards the small crowd. Slughorn behind them – panting. His walrus moustache flapping as he breathed.
"No!" Flitwick squealed and raised his wand. "You'll do no more murder at Hogwarts!"
Another suit of armor sprang to life and got a tight grip on Sev. Draco was surprised by Severus' strength as he threw the metal breastplate towards his attackers. They all raised their wands in unison, and Draco saw Sev backing away…
Severus knew he was done for, and his only escape was the window. That, or depend on Draco. And he wanted to save his son.
"No!" Draco ran forward at superspeed. He knocked them off their feet before taking in a stance in front of Sev. Severus put a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't worry, Draco." He said softly before crashing through the nearest window. Draco saw him fly away in the distance, his cloaks billowing as it were.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry's curse hit him in the chest. Draco felt as if he'd just lost something valuable...
"No, Harry!" Luna had yelled, tucking Harry's arm down. She glared at Potter – and even Draco was scared. Never had he imagined such a vicious look on such an innocent (and slightly boggled) seeming face.
"You threaten my family, you threaten me." Draco said, pointing towards the broken window. Only a few of the teachers knew what he meant by that.
"Draco…?" Luna asked, looking away from Harry and her face softening, she reached for him.
"You do know you just chased away the biggest bloodtraitor there is?" Draco yelled at them, his face as red as an Expelliarmus charm. "You have no bloody idea!" Draco wheeled around and opened his hand, his wand flew to him. He walked back to the fallen robes and lifted them with his wand to his arms.
"Malfoy!" Harry called after him. Draco stopped.
"The Slytherins have made their choice. Whether you like it or not." He said before turning to McGonagall. "Ma'am." He nodded to her. "I need to get into Gryffindor Tower."
"Unfortunately I cannot do that. The Slytherins are being locked in the dungeons." Her tone was icy. Draco looked her up and down, unsure of how to handle it. He decided to play it cocky, rather than furious at his teacher for wanting to lock the pureblood infatuated in the cold dungeons.
"Oh, because we're pureblood obsessed? And you're afraid of us joining Voldemort? Ma'am, I'm not an idiot. Nor are my housemates."
"Mr. Malfoy, you must understand…"
"No, professor, you have to understand." He said. "The enemy is coming, and it's not me. It's none of the Slytherins." Harry frowned at him, how could Malfoy know what was happening?
"Be that as it may, I cannot risk it."
Draco shrugged. "Well, then, make sure that Zane and Sage get these." He pushed the clothes into her hands. "And tell them that Skye wants to see them." He turned heel.
"Mr. Malfoy!" McGonagall called after him. Draco stopped mid-stride and turned his head slightly. She could see his profile, and even from that single point his arrogance showed. "I advise you go to the Room Of Requirement."
Draco nodded stiffly before continuing.
He ran at full speed to the seventh floor corridor. He walked back and fro thrice, thinking of finding what McGonagall wanted him to find. A door materialized out of nowhere. Draco felt around in the pockets of the cloak – a mask. Indeed. He put it on and removed his Glamour Charms. Tonight was the night.
Do or die.
He reached forward and opened the door. Harry was a few paces behind him. He quickly went down the stairs, taking them two at a time.
The room went quiet. Every eye turned to him. The room was packed; he saw Remus, Kingsley and a few of the old Gryffindor Quidditch players.
"Well… this isn't awkward at all." Draco said coolly from the doorway. Now the onlookers were curious. "What? I'm just a helper!"
But as he said it several individual's eyes went wide and they fell to the floor in a kneeling position.
Harry appeared behind him. He appraised Draco with the mask; then shook his head, thinking his friend to be insane. No, not thinking, knowing his friend to be insane.
"Harry, what's happening?" Remus asked from his kneeling position. Harry jumped into Luna's arms when he saw this. Both Draco and Luna laughed.
"Isn't that a bit much, Remus?" Mr. Weasley asked him.
"I cannot come up until the Emperor commands it." Remus said, his head low.
"Never mind that, tell them, Harry." Draco said quickly.
"Voldemort's on his way, they're barricading the school – Snape's run for it -" Harry's eyes went to Draco. Draco glared at him through the mask. "what are you doing here? How did you know?" He was talking to the old students and everyone else.
"We sent messages to the rest of Dumbledore's Army," One of the twins said. "You couldn't expect everyone to miss the fun, Harry, and the DA let the Order of the Phoenix know, and it all kind of snowballed."
Draco thought this to be an odd term to use.
"What first, Harry?" The other Weasley twin called. "What's going on?"
"They're evacuating the younger kids and everyone's meeting in the Great Hall. We're fighting."
That last bit was said a bit dramatic, Draco thought.
Draco pulled Harry aside, wanting to explain somewhat, as the majority of the people ran past them, the mingled members of Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix. All of them had their wands raised and headed up to the Main Castle. Luna took Dean's hand and they ran upstairs. Draco wondered where his best friend was.
Only a handful of people remained. The Weasleys, and the shape-shifters – still kneeling; making Draco heavily uncomfortable.
"Do we fight too, Emperor?" Remus asked him. Harry frowned and looked from Draco to Remus. Draco was irritated at the effect his true form had on the shape-shifters.
"Would all of you stand up?" He asked, annoyed. While they rose Draco answered him. "We always fight, Remus. Whether we want to or not. Remus, you remain with the Phoenixes for tonight, all right?"
Draco's attention was drawn back to the Weasley's.
"You're under-age!" Mrs. Weasley yelled at Ginny, with whom she was wrestling. Draco hadn't noticed their verbal fight. "I won't permit it! The boys, yes, but you, you've got to go home!"
She pulled her grip from her mother's grip.
"I'm in Dumbledore's Army…"
"A teenagers' gang!" Mrs. Weasley cut across her.
"A teenagers' gang about to take him on, which no one else has dared to do!" Fred said.
"She's sixteen!" Mrs. Weasley shouted. "She's not old enough! What were you two thinking, bringing her with you…"
The two brothers looked ashamed of themselves slightly.
"Mum's right, Ginny," The oldest Weasley said, "you can't do this. Everyone under-age will have to leave, it's only right."
Draco snorted. Like that was going to happen.
"I can't go home!" Ginny yelled, angry tears sparkling in her eyes. "My whole family's here, I can't stand waiting there alone and not knowing and…"
Her eyes met Harry's, but he shook his head at her bitterly. So Potter knew what it felt like? To love one so much that it hurt? That the idea of losing them is unbearable?
"Fine, I'll say goodbye now, then, and…" She said moodily as she turned around.
Draco jumped slightly as another person clambered out of the tunnel. He recognized the new arrival as Percy Weasley. The Weasley who'd turned, as Draco put it, to the Dark Side.
"Am I too late? Has it started? I only just found out, so I – I…" He spluttered into silence and stared at his family. Draco went over to Harry.
"I don't understand how you could have defended Snape." Harry said to him in a low voice.
"If we live through this, Harry, I'll tell you everything." Draco promised before turning to the shape-shifters. Remus was showing a photo to Fleur, Draco assumed it was one of Teddy, his son. Draco had only heard of the child, never having met him.
"Go find your Empress." He said to them. "And protect her." Draco didn't know any of them. "Protect her with all the power you have, is that clear?"
"Emperor?" One of them asked.
"Is this the last battle?"
Draco let his head fall. "No. But this is the one where we have our moment."
"Long live the Empress!" They said in unison before running up the stairs.
He turned back to the crowd, where the family was absorbed in a massive group hug, but they all looked shocked at the masked boy.
"As for you, I think you'd better get to the Great Hall."
Draco headed to the tunnel that he was certain lead to Hogsmeade.
Once he stumbled out of a portrait he found himself in a room that was badly illuminated.
"Oh, no, not… you ran?" The old innkeeper said. He was holding a mirror… He stood in the doorway, his beard grubby and fingernails dirty.
"Where'd you get that?" Draco demanded, pointing at the mirror.
"Bought it of Dung about a year ago." The old man answered. Draco looked up at him and was thrown off guard by the striking blue eyes that stared back at him.
"I'm not running. I'm just here to make sure the arrangements go smoothly."
Not a minute later the students arrived, the green and silver of Slytherin meeting him first, then the Ravenclaws…
When they were all out of the Hog's Head Draco and the old man faced each other.
"You're Dumbledore's brother, aren't you?"
The old man nodded and extended a hand.
"Aberforth. And you are?"
"Draco." Was all he said before motioning to the portrait. "Sister?" Aberforth nodded again. "She's pretty." Aberforth smiled at him. Appreciating the words.
"Shall we go in and fight, then, Draco?"
Draco grinned. "Of course we shall."
Draco went to the Astronomy Tower, where others were already waiting. Sprout among them. He drew every eye again.
"You ready?" Draco asked them quietly. They dipped their heads, yes. Draco grinned again before climbing on the wall, the place he'd perched merely a year earlier to watch Dumbledore die. From there he reached up and gripped the roof, he pulled himself up. He looked down, not afraid of the height. He saw Skye and Zane in the trees in the forest, both holding one hand firmly on a branch, the other a wand raised. He saw something glint between Skye's teeth – a dagger. He hoped to Merlin she would use it to protect herself.
Skye watched the happenings. Voldemort hadn't arrived yet. And she was certain he'd choose the forest as a hiding place, but, alas, she heard him in the Shrieking Shack, moving around silently. She saw him more than she heard him. Coward. She thought, malice glinting in her eyes.
The gates of Hogwarts opened, and a mass of cloaked figures entered the school. The enchantments had been broken. She remained still, wishing Zane would do too. To her right she saw the centaurs arrive, Anna at the front. She had transformed into a centaur, and the cloak had torn. But she still had it on, which was mattered. Her body was a dark shade of auburn with fiery stripes, her hair was now also the color of her pelt. She looked at Skye and winked. To her left the veela had started to arrive, all of them heinous-looking, but fireballs in their hands. Laud the only one looking calm. He caught her eye, and he nodded reassuringly at her, a smile forced onto his face.
Fighters from Hogwarts ran forward, flourishing their wands with furious supremacy.
"Now?" Anna whispered. Skye shook her head, the centaurs and veela were to remain. They were the back-up.
More Death Eaters arrived, and Skye recognized them. Lucius' pearly hair stuck out from under his mask. Narcissa at his side, followed by the others in the innermost circle of Voldemort. But still not Voldemort himself.
They headed to the forest. Lucius looked around nervously; this place had always been a cause of fear for him. Narcissa entwined her fingers with his. Odd how he'd become to rely on her. He heard boots hit the gravel behind him. He swung around, his hand left Narcissa's… He drew his wand, but he was met by a pair of familiar lime-colored eyes.
"Hi, dad." She whispered before reaching for his arm and nodding to her friend, who stood behind Narcissa. She pulled him down, muttering a soft 'sorry'.
"Hey, Bella!" She called, holding a dagger at Lucius' throat. Bellatrix spun around. "Say goodbye to your sister and her husband." Zane had a hand at Narcissa's throat, ten sharp nails nearly piercing her skin. Lucius would've been terrified if it hadn't been Skye and her friends.
Bellatrix slashed her wand through the air the same time a fast movement behind Skye caught her attention. The green light whizzed past Skye's ear, hitting the person. Skye turned around, dragging Lucius with her. The Death Eater had a knife in his hand and it had been pointed at Skye.
"Now we're even." Bellatrix said, sounding relieved. She smiled cruelly at Skye and waved her wand again. Skye cast a non-verbal shield, protecting her and the others.
"Do that again and he gets it." Skye growled, her voice becoming deep. She tightened her grip on Lucius as if to prove her point. Bellatrix stumbled back, the eyes were glowing green and the girl had fangs. The fangs were barred at Bellatrix. And it terrified the twisted woman.
"Get out of my forest!" Skye's voice held so much power, that the Death Eaters didn't need to be told twice, Skye held her two hostages.
"Get them to safety." She nodded to Laud, letting Lucius go. Zane followed her example and retracted his claws.
"You can't expect us not to fight." Narcissa said.
"You're too important to Draco to let me allow that." Skye said.
"Just as you are important to Severus, but he won't expect you not to fight." Narcissa countered.
"Fine." Skye said. "But centaurs and veela stay, you're not coming out until I give the order, is that clear?"
They nodded and Anna turned back into her human form.
"You're not getting rid of me."
"Nor me." Laud said.
Skye said nothing, her throat thick with emotion, touched at her friends' gestures.
High above, on the highest point of the castle, Draco was watching the scene. Death Eaters and Orders were fighting, but he remained still. He understood, when they were needed, Skye would come out.
"Narcissa, Lucius, you should go to where Voldemort ordered you." Skye said, her tone holding no emotion.
The couple went off.
"Laud, shadow them." Skye ordered him. "Zane, Anna, we go in."
They ran from the forest. Draco stood up when he saw them. Do or die, he thought again. Anna and Zane cast curses and hexes as they passed the fighters. Skye jumped on a Death Eaters back and turned his head, not breaking his neck but causing him to go into unconsciousness.
She let him fall to the ground before doing the same with Seamus's opponent. She was grateful for the mask; it made her sharp eyes focus on one single thing at a time.
She saw pots being thrown from the Astronomy Tower, and it immediately clicked.
"Cover your ears!" She yelled, clamping her hands tightly over her ears. Anna and Zane and the other DA members did so. The Death Eaters looked around, unsure of what to do. She could faintly hear the screeching of Mandrakes as they hit the floor and the pots broke. Many of the Death Eaters tumbled, while others had the idea to cover their ears.
They somehow got into the castle, wands slashing furiously. Each dueling a Death Eater. Anna was facing Rowle, and had him crumpling down in a second. Zane had discarded his wand and was fighting his Death Eater with his awesome martial arts skills. Skye threw her dagger into the array of flashing lights, hitting a Death Eater in the chest, Luna's opponent stared at the dagger in shock before falling to his knees... Skye rushed over and pulled it out, she hadn't wanted to kill someone. She looked at the body, remorseful.
Zane's hand grasped hers, he was tagging her! She immediately went into battle-mode and kicked the Death Eater through the face. He was thrown backwards against the wall.
"Isn't this great?" Seamus yelled at her.
"Involvent dolor!" She yelled, causing a Death Eater to be wrapped up. "Aethra!"
A bright light entered the room, blinding the remaining Death Eaters.
The light disappeared and the Death Eaters' lips were glued together.
"Excellent!" Davies yelled, running past her and taking out as many Death Eaters as he could.
The Death eaters weren't impressed and they started slashing their wands again, doing spells non-verbally.
"Umbra!" Skye yelled, and everyone in the room's shadows sprang to life and absorbed the curses sent their master's way.
"This bitch is still going down!" Skye yelled, clasping hands with Zane and throwing him into the air. He kicked a Death Eater just beneath the chin… blood spluttered out of his mouth.
Anna was battling two Death Eaters, her one hand behind her back, and she looked slightly bored. Skye had to admire her nerve… When they were blasted back, more hooded figures entered the castle.
The DA all retreated to the center, their backs pressed against each other, no one wanting to be surprised.
"Skye, there are too many!" Anna yelled hopelessly.
Skye closed her eyes. Her hand raised on its own accord.
"Exuere!" She yelled, shocked by her choice of spell. "Aqua!"
A bubble enveloped the group, shielding them from the aging fire now enveloping every Death Eater in the Entrance Hall.
The bubble drifted to the Great Hall, Skye's hands sort of steering it. Skye let her hands fall, and the water flowed to the Entrance Hall – dousing the fire.
"Impetum Aranea!" Skye yelled, her wand pointed at the wall. She heard her eight-legged friends scurry towards the castle. From outside the wall was blasted open (probably by a Death Eater) and the spiders entered the hall.
"Kill the Death Eaters!" She commanded them and watched them scamper towards the hooded figures, biting them in the leg or just standing near them, threatening to attack – the Death Eaters were scared out of their wits… a spider was blasted backwards, stunned. Harry stood there, tears running freely down his cheeks. He was standing near a body. Skye looked down at the body… one of the Weasley twins…
"Help them!" She yelled at the spiders and pointed towards them. Two spiders sauntered over and lifted his body onto their shoulders. Ron looked horrified, but Harry swished his wand again.
"No, Harry!" She yelled, "They're only helping!"
Harry looked murderous, but when he saw the spiders carry the body into a deserted classroom, he followed. Skye ran to them, wanting to explain.
"…find out where Voldemort is. Because he'll have the snake with him, won't he? Do it, Harry – look inside him!" Hermione yelled. Skye seized Harry's hand as he closed his eyes.
She was standing in a grubby place; the walls were lined with dirt, and scratch marks. A werewolf hideout, she decided. The sounds of a raging battle could be herd in the distance.
"My Lord." A voice said. Lucius' voice. "My Lord… please… my son…"
"If your son is dead, Lucius, it is not my fault. He decided to turn against me."
"My Lord… Wouldn't it be… forgive me… more prudent to call off this battle, enter the castle and seek him y – yourself?"
Skye's heart went out to Lucius.
"Do not pretend, Lucius. You wish the battle to cease so that you can discover what has happened to your son. And I do not need to seek Potter. Before the night is out, Potter will have come to find me."
Voldemort dropped his gaze to the wand his hand. Skye realized it was the Elder Wand.
"Go and fetch Snape."
Skye's heart rate picked up.
"Snape, m – my lord?"
"Snape. Now. I need him. There is a – service – I require from him. Go."
Lucius scarpered from the room, leaving Voldemort alone with two teenagers in his mind. Undetected there.
"It is the only way, Nagini," He whispered and looked around to the great snake, which was twisting gracefully in an enchanted sphere.
Both Skye and Harry gasped as Harry pulled them out.
"He's in the Shrieking Shack. The snake's with him, it's got some sort of magical protection around it. He's just sent Lucius Malfoy to find Snape."
"Voldemort's in the Shrieking Shack?" Hermione asked. "He's not – he's not even fighting?"
Harry started to explain what they'd seen, but somewhere in mid-argument between Ron and Hermione he realized someone was holding his hand. He looked around at her; she was staring out in front of her, paralyzed in fear.
She shook her head and retracted her hand from Harry's.
"Did you just see all of that?"
Skye nodded slowly, unsure of what else to do.
"He's going to kill him." She said, the realization hit her.
"What are you talking about?" Harry asked her.
The tapestry was ripped open, two Death Eaters facing them.
Before their wands were fully raised Hermione had flattened the stairs.
Hermione changed the tapestry to stone, and the Death Eaters ran into it, and to sickening crunches could be heard.
"Get back!" Ron shouted and they flattened themselves against the wall. McGonagall came charging with hundreds of desks at her heels. Her hair had come down, and there was a gash on her cheek.
"Harry, you get the cloak on." Hermione said. "Never mind us…"
But Harry threw it over all three of them, forgetting Skye completely. She followed them, though, seeing them with her abilities.
They hurried through the midst of fighting. Dean was facing Dolohov, and one of the Patil twins Travers. Peeves he Poltergeist came zooming in and dropped pods on the heads of every fighter, whether he was a Death Eater or not. Some of it fell upon Harry's cloak.
"Someone's invisible there!" A masked death Eater yelled. Dean took the opportunity and stunned his opponent, whilst the Patil shot a body-bind curse at her adversary.
"LET'S GO!" Harry yelled. They tightened the cloak around themselves and ran further down the stairs. There were more duelers all over the stairs and in the Hall. Skye saw Yaxley in combat with the charms professor, Kingsley dueling another masked figure. Children ran everywhere, carrying or dragging their injured and dead friends. Harry sent a spell towards a Death Eater, but missed, though almost hitting Neville, who'd emerged with armfuls of Venomous Tentacula.
Skye saw Fenrir throw himself across the room.
"NO!" Hermione yelled, and the animal was blasted backwards. Lavender's body was stirring feebly…
"Fenrir!" She yelled, and ran forward, putting the dagger through his shoulder. She pulled it out and made to strike again, but here was a flash and Skye was thrown backwards. She made sure to keep on to her two lifelines, her blade and her wand. She looked over to the werewolf, he wasn't stirring. The cause for his unconsciousness was a crystal ball – and Trelawney was yelling about having more. Skye felt a rush of affection towards the teacher she never had a chance to learn from.
The doors opened and more spiders entered.
"Kill the Death Eaters!" Skye repeated her order from earlier. "They don't spare us, so don't spare them!"
"We know, Skye!" Davies yelled at her, he was dueling Bellatrix.
"I wasn't talking to you!" Skye yelled back, shooting a jinx at Bellatrix. The witch dodged it. Davies grinned at Skye and dueled the next Death Eater. Davies sliced the air with his wand, and the same thing happened on the mask, and the Death Eater's face, they saw, as the mask fell off. The Death Eater tumbled to the floor, dead.
"Great work!" Skye yelled, throwing her arms around him in a hug.
"How do we get out?" Ron yelled from across the room, and Skye remembered what she'd seen in Harry's head. She pulled back and dueled side by side with Davies.
"Help me get across the room!" She screamed at Davies. He nodded and whipped his wand repeatedly.
Skye slashed and sliced, making sure to hit only Death eaters – the mask was helpful. A green jet of light flew past her… and straight into Davies' chest. Her heart shattered… he had been a friend…
"NO!" Skye yelled, turning around and looking the unmasked Death Eater in the eyes. "Fuck this!" She ran forward at full speed and plunged the dagger into his chest. She pulled it out and stabbed again, blinded by rage. When she pulled it out again he fell to the floor.
Hagrid came thundering down the stairs, his pink umbrella raised above his head.
"Don't hurt 'em!" He yelled, and Skye had to agree. They were not going to hurt her pets! But Severus needed her more, so she turned around and searched the crowd for the trio. They were staring at Grawp. Another giant was with him.
"RUN!" Harry yelled; the night was full of dreadful screams and even more startling blows as the giants wrestled beyond the castle. Harry took Hermione's hand and tore down the steps, Ron and, a few paces behind, Skye behind them.
Skye shivered. The air was frozen. Dementors. She realized. The sounds of the battle subsided.
She needed to conjure a patronus, but fear took over her heart… The dementors started closing in on her…
What was there to be happy about? Draco was missing… Severus was dying…
A panther ran past her and started to circle, it barred its teeth at her attackers… and chased them off. The air around her became warm again. Skye's eyes found her savior – Lycan. He had just entered the school grounds. Skye turned her back to him and followed Harry, Ron and Hermione. The stopped in front of the Whomping Willow, levitated a stick to a lump and went in under the Invisibility Cloak.
Skye wondered if she'd fit in there with them. Deciding she wouldn't, not as a human, anyways, she transformed into a bird, any bird, as long as it could fly, and flew off towards the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade.
As she landed inside the shack, no one noticed her. She saw her father in front of the Dark Lord, and Harry, Ron and Hermione, covered by the cloak behind the crate. Harry's fist was shoved into his mouth and he was biting down. Skye sat perched on one of the broken beams.
"… my lord, their resistance is crumbling…" Severus was saying.
"And it is doing so without your help." Voldemort said in his high voice. "Skilled wizard though you are, Severus, I do not think you will make much difference now. We are almost there… almost."
"Let me find the boy. Let me bring you Potter. I know I can find him, my lord. Please."
Voldemort ignored him. "I have a problem, Severus." He said softly.
"My lord?" Severus said.
Voldemort raised the Elder Wand; he held it delicately, as though it was made of gold.
"Why doesn't it work for me, Severus?"
The snake in its protective sphere hissed slightly.
"My – my lord?" Sev said blankly. "I do not understand. You – you have performed extraordinary magic with that wand."
"No, I have performed my usual magic. I am extraordinary," Skye felt like snorting, this man's – was he even a man? – ego rivaled her own. "but this wand… no. it has not revealed the wonders it has promised. I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago." What scared Skye was the calm demeanor Voldemort had. "No difference." He repeated.
Severus didn't speak, and Skye couldn't see his expression, but she wondered if he sensed the looming danger too.
"I have thought long and hard, Severus… do you know why I have called you back from the battle?"
"No, my lord, but I beg you will let me return. Let me find Potter."
"You sound like Lucius. Neither of you understands Potter as I do. He does not need finding. Potter will come to me. I know his weakness, you see, his one great flaw. He will hate watching the others struck down around him, knowing that it is for him that it happens. He will want to stop it at any cost. He will come."
"But, my lord, he might be killed accidentally by one other than yourself…"
"My instructions to my Death Eaters have been perfectly clear. Capture Potter. Kill his friends – the more, the better – but do not kill him. But it is of you that I wished to speak, Severus, not Harry Potter. You have been very valuable to me. Very valuable."
"My lord knows I seek only to serve him. But – let me go and find the boy, my lord. Let me bring him to you. I know I can -"
"I have told you, no! My concern at the moment, Severus, is what will happen when I finally meet the boy!"
"My lord, there can be no question, surely -"
"Bu there is a question, Severus. There is." Voldemort was staring at Severus. "Why did both the wands I have used fail when directed at Harry Potter?"
"I – I cannot answer that, my lord."
"Can't you?" Voldemort was insulting Severus' intelligence. Of course he knew…
The bird that was perched on the broken beam's heart hammered against her ribcage, threatening to break loose. It beat so loud that she struggled to hear the rest of the conversation.
"My wand of yew did everything of which I asked it, Severus, except to kill Harry Potter. Twice it failed. Ollivander told me under torture of the twin cores, told me to take another's wand. I did so, but Lucius's wand shattered upon meeting Potter's."
"I – I have no explanation, my lord." Severus' eyes were fixed upon the serpent in its protective sphere. He needed to kill it…
"I sought a third wand, Severus." Voldemort continued. "The Elder Wand, the Wand of Destiny, the Deathstick. I took it from its previous master. I took it from the grave of Albus Dumbledore."
Severus looked at Voldemort. Hatred coursed through his veins for the serpentine man. He had forced Severus to kill his idol, and now this?
Skye's mind was whirring; then it hit her. Voldemort was under the impression that her dad was the true owner, but even if Sev killed Dumbledore, the wand didn't belong to him. It belonged to Draco – he'd disarmed Dumbledore that night.
"My lord – let me go to the boy -"
Again, his words were ignored.
"All this long night, when I am on the brink of victory, I have sat here wondering, wondering, why the Elder wand refuses to be what it ought to be, refuses to perform as legend says it must perform for its rightful owner… and I think I have the answer."
Severus stared. He knew what was coming.
"Perhaps you already know it? You are a clever man, after all, Severus. You have been a good and faithful servant, and I regret what must happen."
"My lord…" Severus tried one last time, knowing it to be futile.
"The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus; because I am not its true master. The Elder wand belongs to the wizard who killed its last owner. You killed Albus Dumbledore. While you live, Severus, the Elder wand cannot truly be mine."
"My lord!" Severus protested whilst raising his wand.
"It cannot be any other way. I must master the wand, Severus. Master the wand, and I master Potter at last."
Severus was afraid… as was the bird.
Voldemort moved the snake towards his servant, Severus screamed as the fangs of the great snake pierced his neck. All of the color in his already pale face drained and his eyes widened.
"I regret it." The Dark Lord said coldly.
Voldemort turned away, his expression showing no remorse to the bird. He pointed the wand at the starry cage of the snake, causing it to drift upwards, off Severus, who fell to the floor, sideways. Blood gushed from the wounds. Voldemort swept from the room without a backwards glance, and the serpent floated after him.
Skye was frozen on the broken beam…
Draco had watched the scene unfold in the form of a small snake, hiding from everyone in a hole.
He'd seen Skye run after Potter, and how Lycan had saved them. He'd jumped from his position atop the castle and ran forward at top speed, changing into his snake form and forcing himself smaller. He hid. Harry came out of the gap behind the gap where he and his friends were hiding. Harry moved towards the dying man, unsure of how to feel. He took of his cloak and stared down at Severus. A terrible rasping, gurgling noise issued from Severus's throat. Harry bent over him, and Severus lifted his hand and pulled Harry even further by his robes.
"Take… it… Take… it…"
Something more than blood poured from him. Severus felt like he was dying, his pulse was slowing and the blood poured from him, a big pool having formed by now. Harry pushed it into a flask with his wand, the flask probably Hermione's doing. Severus felt the urge to see the eyes of the first woman he ever loved. He felt his grip slacken.
"Look… at… me…" Severus whispered. Harry looked at him, and Severus saw the eyes that reminded him so much of Lily. And he felt his last strength pull away as his hand thudded to the floor.
Harry kneeled next to him, staring. Severus couldn't understand why Harry just left – it was of uttermost importance that Potter saw the memories! Severus also couldn't understand why he was still alive. His pulse beating, even if it was slightly.
"You have fought, valiantly. Lord Voldemort knows how to value bravery. Yet you have sustained heavy losses. If you continue to resist me, you will all die, one by one. I do not wish this to happen. Every drop of magical blood spilled is a lost and a waste. Lord Voldemort is merciful. I command my forces to retreat, immediately. You have one hour. Dispose of your dead with dignity. Treat your injured. I speak now, Harry Potter, directly to you. You have permitted your friends to die for you rather than face me yourself. I shall wait for one hour in the Forbidden Forest. If, at the end of that hour, you have not come to me, have not given yourself up, then battle recommences. This time, I shall enter the fray myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman and child who has tried to conceal you from me. One hour."
Draco found the bird on the broken beam with his eyes, his tongue flicked out, snake-like, and he tasted the air. There was still warmth coming from Severus' body… but he was certain that heat wouldn't last long.
The trio exchanged a few word before hurrying back towards the gap. Draco slithered out and transformed into his human form.
"Skye, come down."
The great bird flew down and landed next to the injured man. It was a beautiful bird. Big, and colorful. Green and gold feathers…
"Skye…" Draco began, but the bird had started to cry. She placed her head near the two wounds, and cried. He was gone. Gone forever. And she hated Voldemort. She hated Bellatrix. But most of all she hated that snake…
She shifted into her human form, her face twisted in pain; she sat next to her father, in his blood. Draco pulled her up.
"Skye… we have to fight."
She looked at him, her eyes almost completely obscured by the green.
"I want that snake." She said. "It's mine." The tears were running down her face, but it bore no sadness. Simply hatred. There would be time for grief later – now she just wanted revenge.
She stood up and transformed into the bird again and flew out of the room, using the gap as an exit. Draco transformed too, into another type of bird and followed her. Leaving a supposedly dead Severus Snape alone upon the cold floor.
Skye flew into the Great Hall and landed gracefully, transforming while she did so. Draco copied her movement. They looked around the room, seeing the living, the dead and the injured. Skye's eyes fell upon Anna the same as Anna's fell on her.
"Skye!" Anna yelled and ran forward, enveloping her best friend in a strangling hug. Skye returned her hug, happy to see that her best friend was still alive.
Draco spotted Blaise; he was sitting with Luna and Xeno, who was sitting near the Weasleys. The three of them were clasping hands, and when Blaise looked up to find Draco he jumped up and ran over, not thinking of what anyone would say when he embraced Draco.
"Blasie?" Draco was almost crying when Blaise pulled back.
"Will you be my best man?" Draco was afraid he wouldn't have the chance to ask Blaise again.
"Of course." Blaise smiled sadly.
Skye was weeping in Anna's shoulder.
"Skye… calm down…"
"What happened?" Blaise asked, pointing to Skye.
"Sev…" Draco began, but he, too, was overcome by tears.
The dead lay in a row in the middle of the hall. Skye could see Fred's body, the Weasleys there. Hermione was hugging a shaking Ginny, Ron was standing with his arm around Bill's waist, the family was close… and Skye would never feel what it is like to be married with her father at her side… Skye was overcome by new grief, and she clutched Anna even tighter. Anna had grasped what Draco had meant by saying his godfather's name. She stroked Skye's back, and didn't say anything. Knowing that whatever she said would only cause the girl to be in more grief. Draco was trying hard not to yell and scream and break everything he saw. Blaise had pulled him into a hug, having understood too.
"I'll kill them." Skye said softly through her tears. Anna pulled back and was shocked by the expression on her face. "I'll kill them all." He voice rose. "I'll fucking torture them!"
But Skye pulled away, fully intent on going to the Dark Forest and face the Death Eaters herself.
"Skye, don't you dare!" Draco had pulled himself together. "It's not your destiny!"
"He killed my dad, Draco!" She shrieked, the dagger in her hand gripped tightly. "And I'll fucking kill him for that!"
"What?" Sirius had entered the Great Hall, a large bowl in his hands. "Sev's dead?"
"Sirius!" Sirius was met by Remus first; the two men hugged each other slightly awkwardly what with the bowl and everything.
But Sirius was determined to find out why his Empress was crying. He set the bowl on a stray table and went over to her as soon as Remus let go of him.
"Skye?" He asked, putting both hands on her shoulders.
"He's dead, Sirius." She said without a tone. She was going through stages of grief and numbness, preferring not to feel than to have that pain.
Sirius didn't hug her, knowing pity would simply make her cry more. He bent down before her.
"My Empress knows everything happens for a reason." He said. "And it will only make her stronger."
"I don't want to be stronger, I want my dad." She stated bluntly. "And I'll kill him for what he did."
"Skye, it's not your destiny!" Draco yelled at her, wanting to make her understand. Skye was shaking now, so bad… he knew what was going to happen.
"Back away from me." She warned. "I can't control it."
They all backed away from her, only Draco remained. Skye shook violently and threw her head back, a sound of utter pain escaping her. Wordlessly the Order of The Empress cast a charm to protect their friends and schoolmates.
The wind entered the Great Hall, a frightening wind. It whipped at Skye's hair and tore her jacket. It tore the robes Draco was wearing, and finally they burst into flames. Draco shook the robes off calmly, and reached for Skye. The moment he touched her, the wind and fire subsided.
"We will kill them Skye. We'll have to." He said, pulling her into his arms. She became limp, her powers exhausted.
Draco laid her down on the floor, knowing she'd wake up in only a few minutes. She was covered in Sev's blood… she'd cried right over his wounds, and for a moment Draco worried that she would have the same death as her father.
Then it clicked. Severus Snape was far from dead. Skye had been a phoenix when she cried above his wounds. At the time he hadn't been able to identify the type of bird. He felt a grin take over his lips…
Back in the Shrieking Shack Severus Snape lay on the cold floor. His pulse slow; there, nonetheless.
He thought how he would never see Skye grow up. Never see the beautiful woman he knew she would become. The powerful and wise ruler she was destined to be. He'd never see the man Draco would become, a powerful man, he thought with fondness. He would never see the two of them get married, never share the father-daughter dance with her… He himself would not get wedded.
No. Severus decided. Skye needs me. Draco needs me. Storm needs me. And goodness knows the world needs me. I am NOT dying this way.
His pulse had been slow enough for them to assume he was dead, but his heart rate was now speeding up. Blood was formed by his liver and sent through his arteries to every organ and limb. His mind was becoming less and less fuzzy as his pulse quickened.
Forty-five minutes later he gasped and sat up. He was a bloody and sticky mess. He wasn't dead. How did that work? He remembered Skye sitting next to him, as a human and as a feathered friend. That bird had been a blur of green and gold… was it possible that she'd turned into a phoenix?
He severed a piece of linen off his sleeve tied it around his neck, stemming the bleeding. He looked at the floor – he must have a lot of blood, for the whole surface was covered in a dark pool. He quivered at the sight.
He sauntered to the steps and climbed them, with difficulty. Finally he reached the top, where he threw himself into the air and flew. Towards Hogwarts. Towards his children.
Skye sat up back in the Hall the same time Severus had in the shack.
"Skye?" Draco called to her. Her vision came into focus and she saw Draco bent over her.
"You're alive?" She asked.
"Why wouldn't I be?"
She growled at him and stood up.
"How long do we have left?" He glanced at his watch. "About…"
"Harry Potter is dead. He was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring his body as proof that your hero is gone. The battle is won. You have lost half of your fighters. My Death Eaters outnumber you and the Boy Who Live is finished. There must be no more war. Anyone who continues to resist, man, woman or child, will be slaughtered, as will every member of their family. Come out of the castle, now, kneel before me, and you shall be spared. Your parents and children, your brothers and sisters will live, and be forgiven, and you will join me in the new world we shall build together."
Skye and Draco looked at each other, panic in their eyes. No way was this real. No way had the destinies changed. Or could it?
They stood up and followed the crowd.
"SILENCE!" Voldemort cried. There was a bright flash and they were thrown under a silencing charm.
"It is over! Set him down, Hagrid, at my feet, where he belongs!"
Hagrid lowered the boy to the grass.
"You see? Harry Potter is dead! Do you understand now, deluded ones? He was nothing, ever, but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him!"
"He beat you!" Ron yelled, and the charm broke, followed by other cries. Skye was glaring at the Dark Lord, Draco standing a few feet behind her, seeing the way her hand gripped the dagger… it scared him.
"He was killed while trying to sneak out of the castle grounds, killed while trying to save himself…"
Neville had burst from the crowd and charged at Voldemort. Voldemort flipped his wand, and Neville's wand was flying through the air and he fell to the floor in a grunt of pain.
Harry's eyes shifted slightly. Skye saw it and smiled triumphantly.
"And who is this?" Voldemort said. "Who has volunteered to demonstrate what happens to those who continue to fight when the battle is lost?"
"It is Neville Lonbottom, my lord!" Bellatrix jeered. "The boy who has been giving the Carrows so much trouble! The son of the Auror's, remember?"
"Ah, yes, I remember, but you are a pureblood, aren't you, my brave boy?"
Neville had struggled back to his feet.
"So what if I am?" He said loudly.
"You show spirit, and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom."
"Valuable like Severus Snape?" Skye spoke up, walking forward. She twirled her dagger playfully. Her wand stowed safely in the sleeve of her jacket. Every eye was fixated on her. She looked at the dagger almost lovingly.
"Another one?" Voldemort looked positively gloating. "Aren't you that girl that defied me three years ago? As I remember, you are one strong witch. What say you, will you join me?"
"We'll join you when hell freezes over!" Neville yelled. "Right, Skye?"
Skye nodded. "When hell freezes over." She repeated, her eyes glued to the snake, now no longer in a protective cage. The crowd cheered at their answers.
"So be it." Voldemort said, and waved his wand. Something came flying through one of the shattered windows.
"There will be no more Sorting at Hogwarts School. There will be no more houses. The emblem, shield and colors of my noble ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, will suffice for everyone, won't they Neville Longbottom?" He pointed his wand at Neville, who stiffened. The hat was forced onto Neville's head and it burst into flames.
And then many things happened at once.
From a distant boundary of the school hordes of people came running, and Skye recognized them. Storm, the Everglotts – the whole family, including Elzette, Jo and Nina came running, Tobias Snape looing angrier than when Severus had called him an abuser…
Grawp came in, looking for Hagrid.
Skye raised a hand, signaling the centaurs and veela to come.
The sound of hooves filled the air…
And Neville moved too. He pulled the burning hat off his head and pulled from it the rubied hilt of the Sword of Gryffindor…
The single slice that ended the snake's life couldn't be heard, but it still drew every eye. Skye smiled at Neville, thanking him.
She saw Harry pull the Invisibility Cloak out of his inner pocket and threw it over himself. He cast a shield between Voldemort and Neville and me.
The centaurs scattered the remaining Death Eaters, as they all dueled. Anna was a centaur again and she whinnied, thestrals came flying, as did Buckbeak the Hippogriff…
Balls of fire were being fired from different directions… the veela… then the house-elves swarmed in.
"You were saying Voldemort?" Skye felt herself ask, but he wasn't there anymore. Nor were Neville or Harry. Or Draco. Skye looked at the fighters, Yaxley was slammed to the floor by the remaining twin and Lee Jordan, Dolohov hit the floor with a scream at Flitwick's hands… Walden Macnair was thrown across the room by Hagrid, and Fenrir was being taken down by Ron and Neville. Narcissa and Lucius were dueling too, side by side, but they were dueling Death Eaters. Skye ran forward, ready to help them.
"No! She's mine!" Narcissa yelled at Skye, she was dueling a foul smelling witch…
Skye ran forward, allowing her wand to slip from her sleeve into her hand. She flicked it at a masked Death Eater, the latter moved aside and turned around. Skye used the same curse Davies had used earlier. She slashed the air in an X shape, and watched it hit the Death Eater. Whose mask fell of, and he crumpled, dead, to the floor. Skye hated herself for the amount of people she'd killed tonight, but she felt the idea of do or die. Kill or be killed.
Pansy ran in, holding Theo's hand… they dueled furiously, never leaving one another's hands…
Nina and Elzette were working as a team. They dodged and blocked spells, simply by bending away from it. Jo was twirling to swords and plunged it into the nearest dark figure. Leo Everglott defended her the whole time, making sure her swords hit the target. Skye sliced her wand through the air at Pansy's opponent; it looked like he had gotten the upper hand. And Theo lay off to one side, unmoving. Pansy's cheeks were streaked with tears as she brandished her wand at another figure, not holding back. Hatred and hurt etched onto every single line in her face.
Draco and Blaise were fighting back-to-back, tagging each other and switching opponents.
"I think this is enough, Blaise, we're playing with our food." Draco said, and Blaise nodded vigorously. They moved their wands in similar ways, and their opponents were on the floor.
Skye looked around as she heard the cold voice scream. Voldemort was dueling McGonagall, Slughorn and Kingsley… And Bellatrix was dueling three of her own, Hermione, Luna and Ginny. A killing curse flew past Ginny, so close…
"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
Mrs. Weasley threw her cloak off and stepped forward, and with another swipe of the wand they began to duel earnestly. Bellatrix looked amused at first, but her smile faltered soon, replaced by stony determination.
"You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!" She screamed. Bellatrix had brought Fred into the duel, and one should know that a mother's love is alone enough to kill you. Narcissi was proof of that.
The Hall had stopped fighting to watch the two duels. Bellatrix let loose a cackle – and both Skye and Draco knew what coming, but a jet of green light shot Bellatrix in the under her arm, squarely in the chest, right above her heart…
Voldemort cried out, furious at the loss of his last loyal lieutenant. He blasted his three opponents backwards and turned his wand on Mrs. Weasley.
"Protego!" Harry threw the Invisibility Cloak off.
Cries of 'Harry!' and 'He's alive!' filled the air. Finally – Skye thought.
"I don't want anyone else to try and help. It's got to be like this. It's got to be me."
"Damn." Skye cursed under her breath.
"Potter doesn't mean that." Voldemort hissed, his eyes wide. "That isn't how it works, is it? Who are you going to use as a shield today, Potter?"
Skye rolled her eyes at Voldemort's dramatic nature.
"Nobody." Harry said simply. "There are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good…"
"One of us? You think it will be you, do you, the boy who has survived by accident, and because Dumbledore was pulling all the strings?"
The two men started to circle each other, talking about the flaw in the plan. How Harry was now the true owner of the wand, because it had not been Severus' in the first place, but Draco's… and how he'd overcame Draco only hours earlier… Harry gave Voldemort a chance at remorse, but he slapped it out of Harry's hand – figuratively… the two were circling each other the whole time. Playing for time.
"So it all comes down to this, doesn't it?" Harry said. "Does the wand in your hand know its last master was disarmed? Because if it does… I am the true master of the Elder wand."
As the sun rose over Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry the two men yelled their best hopes to the heavens.
The wand flew into the air as Voldemort's spell backfired on him… Harry caught it, clasping the wand that was finally going to its true master…
And for a while it was silent.
Screams of joy filled the air, and the majority of the crowd moved forward… wanting to touch Harry Potter, the reason that it was all over…
Skye, Draco, Anna, Zane, Sage and Laud stayed rooted. Others moved closer to them.
"Now it really begins." Skye said, turning around, wanting to head inside, but instead meeting a hairy, disgusting smelling man.
"You bet it does." Fenrir growled at her before flicking his wand. Skye was thrown back against a wall, and slid down. No longer moving.
A/N: Do not hate me! The sequel is already posted! I had to end it in a cliffhanger, I just had to! It's in my nature!
Well, I'm gonna forget all modesty and say that I think this chapter is just fucking awesome! Pardon my French. Anyways, I had so much fun writing it, and will be sticking it out. I've been wanting to write this for so long, and time just wouldn't go by fast enough!
The sequel's called 'Skye Night: The Final Battle.', by the way…
I hope all of the readers that normally just read and do not review will consider reviewing. As this is the last chapter of SN1 and all.