Um...yeah. Hello, I'm dramatic. And evil.
Te conclusion of Loss is here, and hopefully it's worth it. And probably a little dramatic. Very long chapter, but hopefully worth it.
Also, for those that have been struggling to find it, I'm uploading the first chapter of the seventh story around now too. Which is also dramatic, and maybe a little over-the-top.
Oh, and naturally, expect several annoyingly loose ends. And cliffhangers. Enjoy!
So much happened in a heartbeat. Rory looked from Bellatrix, to his wife: and a choice was made, though to him, there was no choice involved. He leapt sideways, the word on his lips, his last word: "Amy!"
That was the first event: the killing curse striking his chest, as he fell backwards into his wife's arms. And in the same split second, as a tear fell from the redheaded woman's eyes, Bellatrix scowled, lifting her wand once more-
The Weeping Angel, now named Ginny, moved forwards; taking advantage of everyone's distractions. She ran with all the energy she had: Amy looked down at Rory, Rory looked up at death. The Doctor had blinked at the intensity of the green light, and Bellatrix had flung her gaze skywards, in preparation for one more killing curse. No time had passed.
And in the next second, Amy looked up; Rory had gone from her arms, after shimmering a pearly grey for a split second: and Bellatrix had almost gone, now replaced by just a pile of grey dust.
One word on the Doctor's lips: hoarse. "Ginny."
"W-what?" Amy spoke eventually; voice shaking, eyes visibly moist. "W-what did she…" her voice trailed off; eyes soon descending to her empty arms. Rory. Gone.
"The Angel," the Doctor whispered; "She helped us- tried to help us, this time. That's why Rory was in the past; Ginny, the Angel, she-"
"You said you trusted her!" Amy's voice rose to a shout.
What she felt couldn't be called anger. It was too deep for that; far, far too deep, and yet was also so different to that emotion. She wasn't rational; few could be, after their husbands dying and vanishing in their arms. It was kind of a fear; a fear that Rory, this time, was truly gone, a fear that she wouldn't be able to see him again, in any form, and a fear of consequences, a fear of some, permanent change in her life: a rarity since she began to travel through time.
The Doctor had never spoken such words; and they both knew that, but Amy couldn't bring herself to care. She knew that the Doctor wouldn't name the Angel after someone like Ginny, nor would he walk with it as if it were a friend, if he didn't trust it. So, in a manner of speaking, he had stated the words, if not with his voice.
"I did- I do," the Doctor quickly spoke; "She was helping, as best she could, the only way she could. She needed energy, potential to feed off from; even just small burst, if she was to reach Bellatrix before we looked up; turned her stone. It was all she could do." The Doctor's voice was oddly broken; no other choice, but that didn't mean he was happy about it.
"She should have left Rory alone," Amy mumbled, still on the floor, curling up a small way, knees pulled to her chest. Sulking might be the best word; yet there was more emotion than childish irritation, so much more: a sense of complete loss.
"Who else?" the Doctor's voice demanded; a flash of surprising anger, a flash of craziness; raging against the immutability, the laws of time. "He was already- already," the Doctor, for once, fell silent. It was strangely hard to say those words; not an experience he was familiar with. Death. Such an easy word, and an inescapable event. Why the fear? He did not know.
"He had nothing more to lose," the Doctor eventually settled upon.
There was silence. Amy pulled herself together, tighter; tears now freely flowing. It was too much, too much to happen again.
"Can we stop it?" It was her last hope; and despite the water in her eyes, she said it quickly, urgent, "Can we? Time can be rewritten. You always say it; time can be rewritten, can we, please…" her voice trailed off. Broken.
"No," the Doctor knelt down beside Amy; tender, soft now. He rested his hand on her cheek, trying to get her to look up; "I'm so sorry Pond. This is something we can't change."
"Why not?" real anger, frustration in Amy's sorrowful voice, as she peered up.
Her eyes could barely be seen; rippling, each an ocean, full of water, of tears. He was gone. Yet the Doctor was able to meet those two orbs, and somehow controlled his own emotion, his own urge to break down in such a way; and he spoke of comfort, or hope, staring into Amy's eyes with his own, piercing gaze. The tears felt like air.
"He's part of events," the Doctor tried to skim over the science; it wasn't what Amy needed to hear. "He helped us before, he had to, so it was necessary. He's brilliant though, you know that? Really, utterly brilliant."
Silence. Amy stared up at the Doctor; she didn't speak now, she couldn't; and she barely listened, more concerned with the way the light rippled through her tears. At just the right angle, there were shapes, blurs. They reminded her of him. Everything reminded her of him.
"Not many people could do what he's done," the Doctor spoke; quickly, a semi-eulogy. His babbling wasn't for Amy; it was for himself, he needed something to do, to say, he couldn't face another life on his conscience. "He waited centuries, and he was brave enough to save you, Amy, so, so many times. A Weeping Angel died, to honour that," the Time Lord's gaze wandered to the pile of grey dust; the dust that had once been an Angel. "He was incredible."
Silence. The Doctor found himself pressing his lips to Amy's forehead; not a romantic gesture, purely paternal, an effort to comfort. He'd made mistakes like this before; leaving people when they were in distress, when they were sad. It had happened to the Angel also: she'd been left, alone, after witnessing her partner's death.
The Time Lord found his thoughts drifting to Ginny the Weeping Angel. Put through so much tragedy she tried to take her own life; and enslaved by Bellatrix it seemed, the Death Eater forcing the Angel to feed, to go on living, until she killed the Doctor. No one deserved that.
One thing that frequently scared the Doctor, was the depths of depravity to which some humans could go. Not all by a long shot; some humans impressed him with their benevolence. Some humans however, they consistently did more and more evil than the Doctor was willing to imagine anyone capable of.
They were alone now. Amy and the Doctor; as it began. Deep inside Hogwarts, night fast approaching, none wandering near the two.
Alone. The thought was strangely comforting; no more interference. They had a chance to think, to let the sadness wash through them. To cry.
Muffled sobs still fell from Amy's curled up form. The Doctor sat himself down beside her, to comfort, to do the best he could to help; resting an arm on the redhead's shoulder. Too often before, he hadn't been there when his companions needed him. Not this time.
The Doctor, for once, didn't mind waiting. He stayed by the inconsolable woman, quiet; his presence intended to comfort, as well as the gentle, warm hand just on her back. It was enough to keep him there; so many other times, he'd have walked away, bored of the slow tick of time; yet now, Amy's sadness kept him fixed in the present. She needed some sort of help; and that's what the Doctor specialized in.
The Time Lord was about to speak, to break the silence, when something else caught his attention; a momentary flash of light, just ahead. Hesitant, worried for Amy, he looked up.
Bellatrix Lestrange; hair wilder than ever, and her metal mask scorched. She glared, lifting her wand in fury. Yet she looked strangely similar to the Bellatrix responsible for Rory's- the one Ginny the Angel had flung to the end of the universe, or beyond.
The Doctor's mind raced; Bellatrix wasn't even supposed to have time travel, but now it seemed she not only had it, but also had a form which could change course and implement said course for safety, in a split second, while whirling through the vortex at an accelerated rate. That was fearsome technology; few things could be said to possess such advanced time travel.
"Stay!" her voice was wild; cold. Anger was too mild a word; a blazing, icy, eerily controlled fury.
One thing that could be said about Bellatrix, even normally, she was unstable; yet she very rarely grew more unstable, giving such anger as this the impression of being controlled, yet with the potential to erupt at any second. Her hand quivered; wand still pointed to the unarmed Doctor and crying Amy.
"No one," the witch's wild voice cut through the silent room. Neither Amy nor the Doctor wanted to speak, "No one tries to kill me."
The Doctor's eyes looked up from Amy. Burning. Seconds ago, he was quiet, now, he simmered with a wrath akin to Bellatrix's; maybe greater, one great enough to make even Amy shudder, despite her sadness.
"And no one kills my friends," the Doctor, quiet, resolute. "There's a lesson for you. If you walk out of here, remember that: one thing you never, ever do, not if you want to see the Sun again, not if you have any plans for the future, not if there's anything you're planning to accomplish: never, ever, ever, hurt my friends. I'm the Doctor, and I-"
"The Oncoming Storm!" Bellatrix gave a gleeful cackle; switching moods in an unsettling instant. Her eyes hardened; wand moving to point to the Doctor; "You'll die last. I want to see you give up hope."
Her words were spoken in scarcely more than a whisper; shaking with some sick sense of excitement, anticipation. Her eyes met the Doctor's blazing orbs. Wand raised.
"Crucio!" a screech; agony striking the Doctor. And this time, he didn't even wince, taking one, slow, hesitant step forwards; yet closer to Bellatrix Lestrange. Fear flickered across her face; her favourite weapon, pain, seemed useless. Well, the magic was; she'd have time later to experiment. Her hand ran soothingly over the handle of her knife, before muttering a quick banishing charm, and flinging the Doctor back, violently, to the stone wall.
A savage grin crossed Bellatrix's face; her gaze returning to the kneeling, crying Amy. A sadistic smile. Wand pointed to the redhead. A curse formed in her throat, willing and excited to send jolts of agony through Amy.
"No!" the Doctor shouted, struggling to his feet; Bellatrix gave him an irritated look, pinning him against the wall with another quick curse. A gasp of pain, before the Time Lord spoke again; "No! Don't hurt Amy, can't you see she's been through enough?"
"It's never enough," Bellatrix muttered savagely; instead sending a Cruciatus curse running through the Doctor; this time, he did scream. Music to her ears.
"Don't hurt her," the Doctor said; shouting now; "Please, just don't hurt her."
"You don't want me to cause her pain?" Bellatrix's voice took on the simpering, mocking, child-voice she used so often. Her eyes bored into the Doctor's; full of loathing, despite her pale, thin mouth twisted into an unsettling smile.
"Y-yes," the Doctor exhaled eventually, feeling himself be lifted up the wall a small way, press against the stone. "Just stop- just stop hurting her."
There was silence for a short while; punctuated only by Amy's tears. Rory had gone.
Bellatrix stood, wand pointed at the two time travellers. Dust lay scattered over the floor; the grey, lifeless Angel. And Amy was curled up, foetal position, on the cold stone floor, the Doctor behind her, pressed against the wall, a metre or so in the air. Then, disturbingly, Bellatrix began to smile.
"Very well," the Death Eater chimed, eyes moving once more to Amy: heartless. "I shall cause her no pain."
They both knew exactly what she was planning an instant before she did it. The Doctor struggled against his magical bonds, shouting, screaming 'No!' and Amy tensed, but made no other noticeable reaction. Bellatrix Lestrange gave a cruel, callous glance down at the redhead, jabbing her wand at Amy Pond.
Once more, she shrieked the fatal curse: "Avada Kedavra!"
Michael Corner, Colin Creevey, Draco Malfoy, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger against an army of Death Eaters. One of Voldemort's followers had fallen, stunned, at the start; and as such, the rest were prepared. They were struggling to move too far from the vanishing cabinet; but they'd choreographed themselves well, if such a term could be applied. An elaborate, deadly dance; two cast shield charms, easily repelling the curses and hexes thrown haphazardly by the DA: and a third, still inside the cabinet, flung bolts of red and green light.
Draco took several, quick steps back, moving away from the Death Eaters; wand still raised, deflecting as many spells as he could, until he stood by Harry's side; Fenrir Grey-back's eyes flashed dangerously from the side of the cabinet, and instead of recasting the shield charm, he flung a whirling, green killing curse forwards.
Draco hesitated; and it was Harry who moved, pushing the blonde sideways, and then darting back himself, letting the curse shoot past them.
Ron and Hermione were to the left of the central duo; Neville and Luna to the right; Colin and Michael moved around quickly, Colin as hyperactive as ever, relying more on movement than shield charms.
The DA had the advantage, initially; they could move, there were more of them, and they had the best position: the Death Eaters however were more practised at the fighting arts, and were willing to take as many lives as needed. Fenrir stepped back, putting all the strain of shielding on the other frontal wizard, before muttering Imperio. Michael Corner stiffened.
"Expelliarmus!" the controlled student shouted, eyes wide, doing his best to resist the Imperius curse; and failing, the disarming charm rattling through the air and striking Ron. The redhead looked around, disbelieving; before nodding in gratitude to Colin, who levitated the wand back into its owner's hands.
Michael moved jerkily, lifting his wand again, jabbing it forwards; but whatever curse he was planning was never found out, Neville taking a moment to look back, casting a stunning charm.
The first of the DA had fallen; and not by the spell of a Death Eater.
After that point, things began to fall downhill. Voldemort's followers were able to move further out of the cabinet; one more joining them, making them five, though only four were conscious and able to face the DA. A jinx managed to break through the shield charm, striking Neville; luckily it wasn't a particularly harmful one, though the boy did collapse for a moment, shuddering.
Killing curses became increasingly common, as the Dark Wizards grew more impatient; all missing, thankfully, chipping the stone walls. The formation the DA had created soon fell, as they ran to avoid the unblock-able curse. And still the duel went on; flashes of light, with light in response.
"Imperio!" this time, the Unforgivable Curse came from the lips of Draco; Harry shot a surprised look, and several others looked outraged. Colin blinked; distracted just long enough for a spell to strike him, knocking him to the floor. It was all too long before anyone realized it had been the killing curse.
Malfoy stood behind Harry; relying on the Boy Who Lived to defend him. It was hard to focus on controlling another's mind in addition to your own; though Draco had all too much practise. A Death Eater; it was burnt into his skin, literally. He was willing to cast the spells the others found so repugnant, and he could do it with ease.
No unexpected results from within the Death Eater group however; Draco made sure of it, instructing the mind of Rowle to do nothing unexpected. A few more seconds passed, populated by shouts and hexes, gradually letting the Dark Wizards' guard fall, thinking he'd failed-
"Stupefy!" Rowle grunted, swinging his wand sideways and knocking Fenrir to the floor; one of the other two flung a killing curse towards Draco, distracting the blonde enough to break his hold; but not until after he'd been able to add a subtle command to Rowle's mind.
One more step out; the three still-standing wizards duelled, easily holding their own against Neville, Luna, Ron, Hermione, Harry and Draco. Alecto and Amycus Carrow, alongside Thorfinn Rowle; Alecto turned his gaze to Ron and Hermione, Amycus to Neville and Luna, with Rowle, furious, looking to Harry and Draco.
Bellatrix Lestrange, the final witch, stepped out of the vanishing cabinet.
Draco met her eyes, once, and tensed; stepping back slowly. Watching her all the while; she unleashed a streak of green light, utterly uncaring about the lives around her, separating Ron and Hermione with her first curse. Not one spell left her wand that wasn't intended to be fatal.
Now five steps behind Harry, tentative, Draco looked around the room; Luna to Neville to Harry to Ron to Hermione, and then the Death Eaters fighting, valiant and victorious, in the centre of the room. He hesitated.
"Stupefy! Stupefy! Stupefy!" the blonde repeated the hex five times; quick, barely giving anyone enough time to turn as he shouted.
Each struck by a lightning-fast stunning spell, caught completely by surprise, the DA fell to the floor; save for Harry, the last to be 'struck'; and in that case, ever-vigilant, Malfoy flung the curse straight over Harry's shoulder, watching it fizzle away on the shield. For a moment, the Boy Who Lived paused; before realizing just what he was supposed to do, and crumpled to the floor, in a passable imitation of being stunned.
From the vanishing cabinet, the four Death Eaters looked, weary, at the blonde; Malfoy lowered his wand, returning the gazes of the bitter Rowle, Alecto and Amycus, and even the wild stare of Bellatrix.
"You took your time getting here," Malfoy spoke with a sneer, one all too easy to regain. "I even brought you Dumbledore's pathetic little Army as a warm-up."
"You arranged this?" Alecto spoke; glaring. He muttered a charm, rejuvenating Gibbon and Fenrir, the stunned Death Eaters
"Of course," Draco gave an uncaring chuckle, "Thought you'd enjoy the sport."
"He's telling the truth," Rowle spoke; acting out the command Draco had left in his mind with the Imperius curse; an instruction to remember events as different, "He told me. Wanted to wait until we were all here before he ended the game."
A pause. The werewolf Fenrir Grey-back strode to Malfoy, exhaling bestially, tilting his head as he regarded the blonde. He was so much like the wolf, even in his human form.
"You're sure?" Fenrir spoke, "I smell fear on him."
"The Dark Lord trusts me," Draco responded quickly; deceptively calm, "Is it possible you do not?"
Silence once more. Bellatrix walked forwards into the room, pacing, kicking the pale, lifeless Colin. A smile greeted her lips.
"We should kill them," Alecto broke the quiet. "Make sure."
"Oh, no Alecto," Bellatrix simpered; voice cruel as ever, yet taking on that mocking baby-tone Draco had grown to loathe, "Imagine their expressions when old daddy Dumbledore's dead before them."
At that, even Fenrir smiled.
"We should get going," Draco spoke, "You lot wasted enough time with your incompetence."
It made the blonde tense to have to turn his back on the Death Eaters; especially after those lies; but it was all he could think of, the only way to save what little remained of the split DA. They weren't going to win; and that was all too obvious; so he was forced to 'change' allegiances once again.
It gratified him to hear Gibbon, Rowle, Bellatrix, Alecto, Amycus and Fenrir follow; though a few were more distrusting. Malfoy smiled; his practise at deceit had paid off. For now, the DA was safe; but now the blonde worried about the headmaster of Hogwarts.
Several minutes later, after hearing the Dark Wizards depart, Harry sat up. A few more seconds; inhaling, exhaling, quiet. Then, still nearly silent, Harry muttered "Ennervate," on the nearest student; Michael Corner. The DA member sat up, blinking; looking around.
"What happened?" Michael muttered, looking around. The Death Eaters were gone.
"Draco," Harry murmured, still a little breathless from having to pose as stunned. "He tricked them. I think he saved us. Pretended to be one of them; stunned us."
"If you say so," Michael replied; not sceptically, instead actually showing some trust in Harry's judgement. He stretched, patting the ground until he found his wand.
"Can I ask," Harry began, welcoming the distraction from his thoughts, curious, "Why did you agree with Draco? You were never one of the more…" Harry's voice trailed off, unsure of how to continue
"That?" Michael chuckled darkly; "Easy. Ginny."
Harry winced as he spoke her name; Corner noticed, voice growing softer as he continued.
"I dated her as well Harry, don't forget. You're not the only one that cared; and I learnt to trust her judgement. She trusted you, so I do."
"Thanks," Harry smiled gratefully. He still had someone's trust; that was good. And Ginny was still helping it, it felt like. Her sheer likability providing an ally.
A creak from the vanishing cabinet; Yaxley, the final Death Eater, stepped through. Harry was too lost in his thoughts, once more, to notice; almost casually, Michael shot a stunning charm through the air, striking the Death Eater before he could react.
The killing curse spiralled through the air; oddly graceful a sit moved. Time seemed to stop; as did Amy's body. Her eyes were focused, lost in the captivating light. Green, mostly spherical, with so many sparks shooting off, an aurora-like haze forming around it, a blur. A jet of green light propelled off the sides, unstable, as if it would explode at any second.
Despite all that, the killing curse stayed together, coming so, so close. Then, in what felt like an instant, the green struck Amy Pond, just below her neck. A blink; the green light dissolved into her crackles still running along her skin as it dissipated. One second.
Then an odd sensation; truly indescribable, as something within her lifted, lighter than air, over every spot the killing curse touched. She closed her eyes; feeling odd, above the clouds, above the world. On top of the world; strangely ecstatic.
It was then Amy became aware of the screaming. A woman's scream? Agonized, to be sure; and yet, more than physical pain. No, it wasn't hers.
Amy opened her eyes; to see the tangled dark hair of the Death Eater, the wild, wide eyes, the pale face; screaming, for once in something so much like real fear. Her wand still pointed forwards; yet her hands held it, loose.
She dropped the wand. Such a mild action; and then the screams reached a crescendo for scarcely a second, before a rush of air whirled around the witch, impossible, some kind of magic; a crackle of green, a flame; the burning drew inwards, the ripple seemingly in reality itself. A flash of green; the smell of ash, and nothing more stood where Bellatrix Lestrange had been.
The Doctor fell to the floor, no longer supported by magical; an ungraceful end to the event.
"W-what happened?" Amy spoke; shaken. Looking up; she was alive. Still alive. Somehow; but she'd seen the killing curse touch her.
"Like master, like servant," an uncharacteristic flash of icy coldness in the Doctor's eyes.
"She- I-" Amy stuttered; breathless. The sight of the witch's…demise? The feel of the killing curse on her flesh. It felt so real; still present. "Is she-"
"She's dead," the Doctor said, simply. Then, looking down, as if only just realizing Amy was there, his eyes mellowed; turning soft in an instant. A smile; "You can thank Rory for that, no really, thank him," the voice of the Time Lord she knew so well; always willing to ramble and explain. "He loved you. He died for you; sacrificed himself, even though he didn't have to. The magic in his system, the same that let him become a ghost- like Lily Potter. Like Harry. He protected you from the curse."
"R-Rory saved me?" Amy spoke eventually, once the Doctor's words had sunken in.
The Time Lord nodded; and Amy looked down, and cried.
Rory's ghost drifted into the room; and watched them. He'd wanted to come; but he'd been too late. Oh, too late. And they didn't need him any more; Amy wouldn't want to see him now.
Smiling sadly, the spectre turned away.
The Lightning-Struck tower: Dumbledore stood atop it, looking out over the grounds of Hogwarts before, sadly, turning back; wind whipped his robes as he beheld the Death Eaters.
Draco and Bellatrix stood at the head of the group; with Snape standing a small way back from them. The rest of the invading force were far back, in the tower, duelling with the few members of the Order present.
Draco took one step closer to the headmaster, wand in hand; tense. How could he get out of this? Silence; he could feel Rowle's suspicious eyes on him, Bellatrix's glare, Snape's urgent surveillance.
Hesitant, trembling though he tried to hide it, Draco lifted his wand; pointing the tip towards the elderly headmaster. He didn't want to; oh, he really didn't want to.
A footstep; echoing in the silence. On the cold stone of the tower. A crack of thunder; and silence again, it seemed. It was Snape; Draco didn't have to turn to figure that one out, it was Snape moving closer, trying to help as he'd tried to throughout the year.
"No, Severus," Dumbledore was the first to speak; gently lifting one hand, gestured for the potions master to stop. "Let the boy make his own choice."
Snape stopped; caught by surprise, yet obeying. Bellatrix shot a sharp look sideways; and Draco took one more, nervous, step towards the headmaster of Hogwarts. He was closer to the elderly man than he was to the Death Eaters now. Any of the braveness he felt earlier had evaporated; he was no more than a student, just a student, out of his depth, challenging the greatest wizard who'd ever lived, and serving the darkest wizard. Cold, shivering; the wind bit into his skin.
Quietly, Albus Dumbledore moved closer to the blonde; the shaking blonde, moving to the tip of his wand, standing directly in his range for a moment. Then, just as silent, smoothly, he moved to the wise of the wand, Draco's arm still pointing forwards, into the empty air.
The headmaster whispered something to Draco's ear; unheard by any of the others. It took quite some time; yet gave off the impression that there was to be no interruption. Even Bellatrix paused: and as her patience ran out, there was a ruckus behind her.
The DA and the Order; they'd made their way to the tower, urgently fighting, trying to help. Alecto and Amycus raised a shield charm, deflecting the first few curses; though Fenrir was quickly, thankfully stunned.
The headmaster of Hogwarts eventually stepped back from the blonde; oddly solemn, taking a few steps back, until he was once more in front of the blonde's wand, and a step away from the edge of the tower.
It was worthy of a photo. Dumbledore, on the tip; Draco, wand outstretched, further in, paler than ever, eyes meeting the headmaster's in a mixture of awe and fear. And yet further in, the motionless Fenrir, and Snape, Alecto, Amycus, Rowle and Bellatrix duelling a combination of Order and DA members; Harry among them, right in the centre and flinging what curses he could at the hated, tangled hair, sadistic witch. Neville by his side; joining in with a surprising, uncharacteristic ferocity.
The Boy Who Lived looked up; looking straight at the blonde who stood, facing the solemn, seemingly resigned Dumbledore. Harry's eyes widened as he saw what was coming; shrieking 'No!' futilely.
Draco Malfoy blinked once, feeling time seem to stop; and in scarcely more than a whisper, yet with all the meaning needed, cast one spell. "Avada Kedavra." A statement, not a command.
Green light; easily cutting through the air. The duellers behind the blonde all turned, all distracted by the sight as the killing curse struck an elderly man; a man whose face had turned, somehow, into a gentle smile.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore took one, last step back. And fell, strangely gracefully, from the great tower. Eyes closed on the journey down, hands to his side; Elder Wand clasped firmly.
By the Great Lake; the Death Eaters had fled much time ago, time running the course it should, with only minimal differences. Draco had not been seen since the day; he had fled with the rest of the Dark Wizards, next to Snape.
The funeral of Albus Dumbledore; the marble coffin rested on strangely tranquil grass, softly shining, much of the proceedings having already come to pass. Amy and the Doctor sat with the attendees, each profoundly moved.
In the Lake, with the choir of Mer-people, an odd creature could be seen; perhaps a fish, a sign of all the variable lives the headmaster had touched.
Quietly, the Doctor stood; this had been planned, and he was more than happy to do so. A eulogy, for the departed Dumbledore. It felt somehow right; even though the Doctor hadn't known the wonderful man for as long as the others, it might be accurate to say that he knew him best.
"Dumbledore," the Time Lord spoke, by the perfect marble. "What can I say about Albus Dumbledore? He was gentle, he was kind; he cared, like too few people. When I first met him, we agreed; on so much. On so many levels. But he was still happy to disagree, and on top of that, just as happy to admit he was wrong.
"He lived his own life, he was true to himself, and there is no better thing to say. When he smiled, he meant it; and when he shouted, oh-so-rarely, you weren't afraid, he didn't try to intimidate, he tried to help, to encourage. The teacher, bringing more intelligence, more brightness, more light into the world.
"Albus Dumbledore was human; no, he was more than that. I think- yes, I think I can quite honestly say, Albus was one of the best men ever to have walked on the face of this planet."
The Doctor did not say goodbye; it was not a greeting he believed in. He simply stepped down from the centre, and walked, slowly, away. Perhaps it was a tear in his eye; or perhaps it was simply the sunlight.
It was quite some time later, as the attendees to the funeral were wandering away, Amy brought herself to speak; rekindling the Doctor's inner, yet otherwise unseen invisible, tears.
"Take me back to Leadworth."
"You're sure about this?" the Doctor asked, quiet, soft, in the TARDIS. They'd landed in Amy's garden. The right time, the right place. For once.
"I-" the redhead nodded, once, resolute. And she turned, only slightly hesitant, walking along the TARDIS floor for what felt like the last time. And it should be.
Silence; even the wheezing of the engines seemed to have faded. It was just Amy's footsteps, on the grating, Step, step. She hesitated by the door, resting her hand on it. One step and she'd leave this life behind.
But she had to. It was...wrong. Too wrong; no one should have to see and live through that much tragedy. The redhead closed her eyes, swaying softly by the door. And, with one last thought of the now-lost Rory, she opened the door to the time machine.
"You know I might never come back," it was the Doctor; perhaps informative, perhaps one last plea for her to stay. It was hard to tell.
Silence; Amy did waver for a moment, looking out the open door; normalcy seemed strangely seductive, her own house, her garden, so familiar, and yet it had been so, so long since she last saw it.
"I know," Amy murmured; not even willing herself to turn around. And, with little intention of turning around, she took one, infinitely long, yet strangely easy, step out of the TARDIS.
The doors slowly closed, hiding the vibrant red hair, the companion; and the distant glow of fire on the horizon.
Silence. The Doctor stood there for a long, long time. "The girl who waited," he whispered, "Pond," a momentary smile; "Goodbye Amelia Pond."
The Time Lord turned to the console once more, moving back to his normal routine with strange ease. He reached out for one lever; and it descended itself, without even needing his touch. A familiar wheezing, groaning of TARDIS engines, leaving Amy Pond far behind as the blue box flew itself through the currents of time.
It wasn't long until it landed. The Doctor stood inside the machine for several seconds longer before, hesitant, walking towards the exit also; the TARDIS had brought him here, and he'd learnt from experience not to ignore her. But still… The Last of the Time Lords opened the doors; a dark forest, night, bare, cold trees. Why here?
One step out of the time machine; and a soft, white light shimmered in the air before him, circling for a moment. Featureless; a blur of light, perhaps there was some vague form, but it was too radiant to determine.
Slowly, it gracefully drifted through the air, through the trees; vague parts of it momentarily visible. Were those wings? Whatever the case, the Doctor followed, strangely memorized by the light. He slowly came to a stop, just by a campsite; an abandoned tent, and a few, ashen tree stumps.
The radiant creature faded; and the Doctor looked down, to where it had lead.
On the silent, undisturbed ground, lay three people; all pale, unmoving, expressions frozen in shock. Lifeless. One was a boy, with vibrant red hair. One was a girl, long brownish hair. And the last was another boy; with short black hair, and cracked glasses hanging askew. On his forehead was a lightning bolt scar.