A/N: Okay, I swear, this is the last time I'll change things. Absolutely, cross my heart. I started with things the other way, but, I just… couldn't make the storyline work nearly as well. So, yeah. Here we are again. A special Thank You to everyone who's bearing with me on this! Please enjoy!
My only request: If you choose to review (and I hope you do, I love replying to them!), please don't complain about my pairings. I'm not forcing you to read this, after all. I'm just providing some entertainment for you should you so choose to do so.
This story is dedicated to my late cousin "Bobby."
Dancing… Yes, they were dancing. It was a crude and unpracticed art form for them, but they were dancing indeed. Harry watched as Mr. Weasley, a late arrival to the party, helped bandage up Ron and the others as best he could while dodging spells from the Death Eaters. In Harry's opinion, he was doing a damned fine job of it, too.
Harry's gaze met Ginny's eyes as she tried not to squint from the pressure of Arthur's hand on her arm as he mumbled some bandaging spell. Finding a short break in the crossfire, Arthur pulled Ron and Ginny both up by the arm, ushering Luna to follow as well, and quickly led them to a safer spot, slightly hidden behind a pillar. Harry returned his attention to Sirius and Bellatrix.
They danced and spun, rapidly firing off spells toward one another, dueling continuously as they moved. One moment they were halfway across the room, and the next they were near Harry. Harry remained unmoved from beside the dais in the center of the room. Most of the Death Eaters had seemingly forgotten him, everyone focused on their own battles or the duel between Sirius and Bellatrix, and he took the few moments to catch his breath. Harry ducked a few times as Bellatrix missed Sirius on purpose, and successfully shielded himself for the few spells he could not duck.
All feelings of idiocy for allowing Voldemort to coerce him into coming to the ministry tonight aside, Harry admired the familial affection Sirius showed. And the knowledge that Sirius was fighting for him simply increased his admiration for the man.
Some moments later, Ron escaped from Arthur's side and came to stand by Harry. "Careful, Mate!" he called as he approached, shielding spell at the ready.
Arthur looked worried but determined to allow Ron to act maturely and assist his friend. Harry noticed a spell being 'misfired', accompanied by a small 'Oops' that didn't sound regretful at all, Ron's weak shielding charm failing, and then a form planting itself firmly in front of Ron and him. A quick glance at the head of the form determined it was Arthur Weasley, as the dim light did nothing to mask the red of his hair.
"Dad, we're okay!" Ron yelled through the renewed din of noise. "Go back to Ginny, she still needs you!" Harry had a fleeting image of Ginny rolling her eyes and glaring unhappily at Ron before another spell was fired their way.
Ron and Harry simultaneously cast their shielding charms, but the spell never hit them. It zoomed between them to hit Arthur squarely in the chest. The red flash of light was certainly no killing curse, but it threw Arthur off-balance regardless. He was forced to take a couple steps backward, and then lost his balance completely, before falling through the veil-covered archway.
The rest of the scene played out in a haze. The Death Eaters scattered. Ron and Ginny were beside Harry, and now Sirius, each trying to get through the veil. Knowing only something terrible was going to happen if Harry let them through there, he grabbed hold of the nearest to him tight by the arm. Luckily it was Ginny, as Ron was struggling fiercely with Sirius, managing to land a few painful-looking blows. Ginny stared blankly toward the scene, not willing to comprehend the situation.
"Harry, we have to get them out of here! Now!" Sirius yelled. Harry, still in a daze, blindly obeyed, forcing Ginny to follow behind as he led her from the room, into the lobby. He left her in the care of Hermione and Luna when Dumbledore arrived.
As the pace of time resumed, Harry fought alongside Sirius and Dumbledore, suffering the pain of possession as best he could. Dumbledore and Sirius later commented that he fought valiantly, and Harry chose to block as much of the struggle as possible from his mind. Voldemort retreated from Harry's head, leaving the teen weak and fatigued.
When Voldemort fled, Harry returned to Ron and Ginny's side, unsure how to offer comfort. The two siblings sat together, crying silent tears as Hermione and Luna attempted to hold on to both at the same time.
"Things won't be perfect, but they will be okay again. And it is perfectly acceptable to cry in the meantime," Luna offered. Harry smiled softly at her advice. It didn't always make sense, and sometimes it was nearly crude, but the empathy behind her words always lent Luna a certain measure of good intention. And it always seemed to be enough for those who listened carefully.
Harry sat down beside Ron, who had Hermione on his other side, and she was squished between him and Ginny. Luna and Ginny were tangled in a fierce, weepy embrace as Neville chanced a sit beside Luna.
The reality of the war settled on them all like a heavy weight. Until that point, few, including Harry and his friends, truly understood the depth of the danger presented. The small group of teens and adults sat in silence, no one speaking, all trying to decide what to say. No one recollected the number of hours or minutes until they were ushered back to Grimmauld Place.
About the Title (and thanks to KatonRyuuka for her help with this!):
Death = Dissolution
God = Master = Wizard
See what a good thesaurus can do for you? 8-)