Living


I was breathing hard, even if I hadn't done anything even near running. This battle was terrible, really. I felt like I was on the sidelines, watching everyone die for me, but I knew it wasn't true. I had been finding the last few horcruxes to destroy. No matter how much I would tell myself that I only had one left, I didn't believe it. I went through a mental checklist.

Tom Riddle's Diary- check

Dumbledore destroyed the ring

Salazar Slytherin's Locket- check

Helga Hufflepuff's cup- check

The diadem was destroyed in the Room of Requirement

All that's left is the snake

And me, of course (I was still in shock about that, but I always knew somehow)

It couldn't be that simple. Well, I suppose simple is a relative term. Not only did I have to find a way to get to the snake, but I had to be close enough to kill it without Voldemort interfering; that was a one-in-a-million situation. But still, after I managed to do that, it was done, and he would be no more; that was the part I couldn't trust. There was always doubt; what would we do if he came back? But even if he did come back, he was that much closer to death, and that kept me working on a plan to get to the snake.

But then again, that wasn't the only thing on my mind. Watching Snape die, even if he wasn't my favorite professor, was painful. And his memories were even more so. I couldn't get it out of my head how much he had helped me, and how much he had cared for my mother. Sure, it was a bit weird to know your teacher was in love with your dead mother, but it also made me think differently of him. He wasn't the back-stabbing supposed-spy Death Eater who killed Dumbledore; there was more to him than that. I probably didn't even know the half of it; I probably hadn't seen everything he did, or felt how he did when it all happened, or even understand every piece of the puzzle. I only knew from what little I had caught a glimpse of from the pensive. It was enough to see his purpose, but still probably such a small amount.

I stood in one of the hallways looking out onto the battlefield, knowing I could be there saving so many people; I knew, of course, the only way to save them indefinitely was to destroy Voldemort, but lives could be saved, and less grief would be hanging in the air. I didn't want to leave them all fighting for their lives, but I had to so I could save them, because I was the only one who could do it (according to the prophecy, but I was sure there was someone better who could have done it).

Hermione ran in, Ron at her side. "Harry, I just had a brilliant idea!"

"What is it?" I looked between them.

"I kept my time-turner! We could go back and save everyone who's dying. It's here." She pulled it from her shirt. "I found it in my purse."

All of the guilt I had felt, letting everyone die out there was gone in an instant. I could save people. They would live to tell the tale, and live out the rest of their lives happy. I let loose a breath I hadn't realized I had been holding in, and my once burning lungs were relieved at the oxygen they were receiving. "Yes." I said immediately. "That's perfect. Quickly!"

Ron looked between us, obviously confused. "What the bloody hell are you talking about?"

Hermione looked back to him, a sincere apologetic look to her face. "Sorry, again, Ron. You can't come this time either."

"This time? This time what?"

"Ron," I put my hand on his shoulder, making my message more urgent and personal. "I need you to kill His snake. Hermione and I have things to attend to, but I'm giving you this job because I know you can do it."

Ron's confused face grew more serious, and he looked to Hermione before his blue eyes fell on me once more. "Alright, Harry. You can count on me."

I pulled my hand off his shoulder and nodded. Hermione bit her bottom lip and looked at me. A mental message of concern passed between us, but we knew we could now stop anything from happening to him. "We should go then, Hermione." I said softly. Hermione ran to Ron, both very well knowing there were risks to their actions. I watched as they kissed (finally, after seven years). I smiled a bit, happy that it had finally happened. It seemed like I had been watching them torture each other for so long, it was good it was all over. I knew they would be so happy together if we all came out alive. If.

They parted and tears were in Hermione's eyes. We left Ron standing there, working out some kind of plan (Hermione was rubbing off on him an awful lot lately). The hallways in Hogwarts were so eerily dark, they were almost unrecognizable, even different from the times I had snuck around after curfew. Only the lights of spells from the battlefield cast light onto our path, sending ominous shadows across the walls, especially when the light was green. We came to a slow halt just before the opening out to the battlefield, barely peeking our heads around to see what was going on. My eyes wandered around at the people sending spells at another. I saw so many people I knew, and they were doing quite well; and then many people I knew, who I wished weren't doing so well (bloody Death eaters…). I felt so awful for letting the ones I cared for fight out there without my help, like a father watching his small child walk into a body of water; they either swam, or they drowned.

Beside me, Hermione gasped and covered her mouth. Startled by her noise, I pulled her back to sure we weren't seen by anyone. "Hermione, what is it?" I whispered. Her face was pale, and frightened, but she brought back her ferocity in a moment.

"Weren't you looking at the floor?" she whispered back harshly.

Right…I peeked my head back around the corner, keeping my eyes to the floor. Bodies were scattered around, either very bloody, or perfectly unharmed. One was near a very evil looking man standing over it, looking down at it, perfectly recognizable with his red hair strewn everywhere, his mirror image not too far away, tears in his eyes, but he continued fighting on with more determination and less fear. "Fred…" I whirled back around to Hermione. She looked a bit distressed, but, of course, we were going to fix it. "Let's go."

Hermione removed one coil of her necklace and placed it over my head. The small hour glass was in her hand, and she turned it once. It spun around much like it had third year. Nothing about it was different. And our surrounding swirled around us in a blur before it stopped. We peeked back around the corner of the opening, and saw almost an identical scene to what we had witnessed before, except there were very little bodies on the floor and fewer injuries on those involved in the battle, as well as the bit of sunlight that still clung to the sky.

"This is about an hour earlier." Hermione said. "We should be able to save quite a few people. Not just Fred."

I nodded and ran out into the field, my wand ready for battle. Hermione followed after me, but I was already preoccupied with combat. I already saw Fred was casting some nasty hexes at a Death Eater, who turned around and quickly shot a green bolt of light. "Protego" I said, and a barrier shielded us both, and the spell shot back at the Death Eater. He hit the ground, either out of clumsiness or quick reflexes, and the spell hit the boy right behind him. The boy fell, his pale skin even paler and his black hair strewn about him. I cursed. If that bloody ass hadn't have ducked… But it was too late. The damage was done. A few seconds was all it took for me to look over Neville and process what should be done about this.

"Crucio!" I hit the Death Eater, and he writhed on the floor. The world took on a shade of red, and I couldn't hold back my anger. I let him go after a few seconds, my mercy and good morals getting the better of me. Yes, he had just murdered one of my friends, but he wasn't worth my time; there were other lives to be spared.

I turned around and saw Hermione just shot a hex at someone. "Hermione," she turned to me, quickly shooting someone with a counter-curse before allowing me to finish. "We need to go back." My voice was strained and barely audible in all of the noise; added with my frustration and grief, Hermione must have had a hard time hearing me. "Neville just…"

The sentence went unfinished, but I backed up just enough so she could see. Her hand covered her mouth, and I assume she gasped. "We'll have to do it later, Harry." She shook her head. "We'll go back too far if we do it now."

I saw a red beam of light heading our way, and my wand hand instantly rose to counter it. "Let's hurry up then."

We continued to move further into the battle, casting offensive spells when needed, and defensive ones to protect others. Our cause was losing its glory fast. With each person we saved, another seemed to die not far from us. I was using all of my effort to save them all, but my frustration was getting the better of me, and I was (more or less) lashing out everything I had at whoever I saw. I knew, deep down, I was being far too careless, but I hadn't even skimmed an ally yet, and so I continued. Time flew by, and the sun got lower in the sky, but I never even stopped to breathe for a moment. Every second used to pause was better used saving people. By the time Hermione had found me once more, just about the same amount of bodies littered the floor; they weren't even in a different ratio of evil to good, for just as many good lay still as did the evil.

"Harry, we have to go back again now. Come on." She tugged on my arm, but I was busy sending spells every which way. I hated these horrid Death Eaters; every single one of them deserved to be punished for what they have done. I wished, secretly in my mind, that they would all drop dead. My yellow beam met someone else's black one, and over powered it. They were pushed to the ground, but quickly got back up and sent another, green one my way. I met it with an Expelliarmus. In an instant, their wand flew out of their hands, and out into a crowd of others. Poising my wand at him, I prepared a spell to avenge the man who hadn't died yet, but I would have no chance of saving; Severus Snape. Sectumsempra… it was there in my brain, but Hermione dragged me away before I could cast it.

"Bloody hell, Hermione. You couldn't let me cast just one more-"

"No! We have to go now, Harry." She tossed a few spells every which way before sneaking around a different opening on the other side of the battlefield. Her uncoiled her necklace again, placed it around me, and gave the mini hour glass one spin. After the blur of colors, the day returned to us, as did all of the corpses that had been on the floor. "Now, we have to be more careful, Harry. Don't let anyone…" I couldn't focus on her words. Neville and the other people, whose lives had been lost while trying to save another's, had been plaguing me the entire time, only adding to my growing grief. I needed to right the wrongs that had been caused directly by me. I could care less about precautions; I understood what was at stake. "…Alright?"

I nodded. "Come on." I ran across the field again, only casting defensive spells when we were attacked, for fear of costing someone else their life. It seemed like forever to cross the field again, and I feared we wouldn't make it in time to spare Neville. What if we hadn't gone back far enough? I hoped my luck would pick this time to help me. Somehow or another, Hermione was in front of me now, and she came to an abrupt stop. I ran into her, and we both fell to the ground. I tried to get back up, but Hermione pushed me back down and pointed between two pairs of legs.

I could see us, peeking out from behind the opening a few yards away. "Harry," Hermione said. It was almost equal to a whisper in this chaos. "Remember, we can't let ourselves be seen. We have to be as secretive as possible." I nodded, understanding what she had said, but planning to put it all aside if need be; Neville would be saved at any cost. My past-self ran out into the battlefield, and started shooting of spells.

"Protego" I said as a green light escaped from the Death Eater's wand, and Fred and I were protected.

"Petrificus Totalus" Hermione cast at him quietly. Instead of ducking (or falling, I wasn't too sure), he stayed in place and was hit with his own spell. He still was as straight as a soldier, not moving a muscle, until Hermione released her enchantment upon him. His shoulders quickly slacked, and his knees gave way, his head hitting the floor with a thump that didn't reach my ears because of all the other commotion. I looked the other direction to find Neville, holding his ground against some dark creatures. I sighed in relief, the need to see that we had actually saved him fulfilled. My eyes followed back to where my past-self had been. I had left, and Fred was battling some other people. Percy was at his side, saying something I couldn't catch from here. Fred looked surprised a moment, and said some words, but never got to finish his sentence.

In an instant, the something behind him exploded, and Fred was hit dead-on. Hermione gasped and my breath caught in my throat. Percy next to him looked the most shocked. Time seemed to slow down, and the field was silent, the seconds dragging on, the air stilled. And Fred was on the floor, behind him stood Augustus Rookwood, wicked smile on his face and wand drifting back down to his side. Several others had been hit by the explosion as well, and they were all littered around him. Percy continued fighting, looking different than before, his eyes more fierce than I had ever seen them, but I couldn't move, and neither could Hermione. We had assumed that Fred was killed by that Killing curse I had saved him from; it hadn't occurred that it had been anything else. And now Hermione and I were lying on the floor of the battlefield, completely baffled and overcome with grief, unmoving. We must have looked like we were dead, because we hadn't even been acknowledged. My lungs pressed for air, and my body relented, sucking in a sharp breath that stung.

"We could try again…" Hermione said without conviction. She seemed to know as much as I did how useless this seemed to be, and how little we had actually accomplished. It seemed to be hopeless to try again, but we had to try. Losing Fred was terrible; for me and Hermione, for Ron, Ginny, Ms. Weasley, Percy, Charlie, Bill, Mr. Weasley, and for George especially. Our lives would never be the same without the other Weasley twin. We would go back and try to save him again, of course, but what would we do to prevent him from being near the explosion? Every back-up plan seemed to lose its color.

"Alright," I said. "But we have time to stop others from suffering the same fate." I forced my arms to push myself from the floor, and for my legs to hold my weight. Hermione got up with the same difficulty, but we were both standing, wands in hand, preparing ourselves to fight once more. A Death Eater saw us, but it took a few seconds to shake out of my shock, and I was almost too late for any protection. "Finite Incantatem" The spell was canceled out and Hermione pulled me in a different direction. My legs wobbled a bit, but I made it to where Hermione had dragged me to. From where we were, I could see us battling and blocking, and I saw my next opportunity to save someone come up. My past-self had just ducked from a spell out of reflex, and a poor sixth year behind me didn't see it coming.

"Protego" Hermione said. The barrier formed around the student, and the spell was sent back at the original caster. The Death Eater sunk to their knees, their shoulders shaking like mad. Whatever curse that was, I was glad it hadn't been used on the student. It was reassuring that we had finally saved someone without harming another, and I felt a little more hopeful, just enough to break out of my shock and wake up the fight inside me that had fallen asleep.

"Expelliarmus!" A Death Eater, about to shoot a spell at past-Hermione, lost their wand as it flew from their hand. Instead of sending the counter-spell, Hermione turned with just enough time to protect a member of the Order who had been injured and was about to be hit with a pretty nasty curse.

"Expecto Patronum" I looked back to the current Hermione, who had just saved us from a few Dementors coming our way. We were back battle-mode, and I was grateful to take my mind off what we hadn't done to focus on what I could do.

Another spell flew our way, from an unknown direction. I stopped it, and threw another spell at its caster, feeling rather annoyed I couldn't see who it was. "Sectumsempra!" Other spells had been flying about from that direction, but now they stopped, and two identical screams rang out. I looked at Hermione, and her eyes widened as cuts appeared on her body. I hadn't sent the spell at her, and my brain couldn't wrap around what had just happened until I looked back to where I had sent the spell. Past-Hermione was on the floor, so terribly blood covered and injured. Current-Hermione's cuts were some-what healed, like time had passed or maybe a healer had worked on her for a few seconds. Another Death Eater smiled evilly at past-Hermione, and a green bolt of light was sent from his wand straight to her heart. I had been so frozen in place, I hadn't had the time to react, but it was too late. Instead of the current-Hermione disappearing like I feared she would, the world burst into light, almost like the ground had become the surface of the sun.

It was unbelievably bright. Everything was some color more pure than white, which burned my eyes a bit when I opened them. I felt like the layers of my skin were slowly dissolving, like I was submerged in acid. It all hurt, but not anything I hadn't experienced before. I didn't even make a sound. Everyone else around me, however, was screaming at the top of their lungs. I reached out my arms, trying to feel for someone, anyone, but found nothing but stinging from the surreal beams that had encased everything. Other screams almost broke my eardrums, as well as my sanity. I couldn't let people around me suffer from...what was going on anyway? I wasn't sure, but I had the undying guilt of letting it happen. If I let it happen, it was almost as if I had caused twit pain. But was I the cause? I wasn't sure, but it didn't matter. I needed to save people. They were in trouble, and it was my instinct to jump into action. But I could do nothing.

The brightness vanished, and the battlefield was before me once more. I stared in horror at all of the freshly mutilated bodies that covered it. Not a single person was standing; the only sign of life seemed to be me. I pushed myself up from the sitting position I had ended up in. My legs refused to hold my weight, but I locked my knees to gain some structure enough to stand. I looked out into the sea of corpses. Tears came to my eyes. My throat grew tighter. All were burned beyond recognition, with only red, bloody muscles and flesh showing. My stomach flipped, and I suddenly became very nauseous. I squeezed my eyes shut, to not have to see this terrifying sight. Everyone I had ever cared about had died a horribly painful death, at my fault. It didn't matter to me that about half of these people were Death Eaters; I wished every single one of them had not suffered this fate.

My vision blurred and my knees gave way. I fell onto a bloody-muscle corpse. There were faint traces of bushy brown hair at one end and I just about lost it. Hermione. How could I have let this happen to her? I never should have been so careless. What will I tell Ron? I squeezed my eyes shut and let my sanity trickle out of me like water from a drain. The hinges that held my world together fell apart, and my world came crashing down. Unless Ron is the same way... I looked over to the school, only to find a dark sky and rubble where it had once been. My whole body trembled with sorrow. I couldn't bear losing my two best friends; the ones who had been at my side, caring and helping whenever they could, since first year, and who had been the first to see me as more than The-Boy-Who-Lived.

That horrid name...it was a curse on me. I looked once more around me at the now red field, where the moonlight reflected off the blood that covered it. What was the point of living if everything you would live for was dead? It would be nothing but suffering, alone and full of grief. The sky was pitch black, only the dim lights coming from the moon, which was a wicked grin in the sky that taunted me. But still, all my eyes could see was that unexplainable brightness that had burned everyone alive. A ghostly mist passed by my shoulder, but my head wasn't able to meet the figure that stood before me.

"Harry," my mother said, her gentle voice so horribly out of place in such a cemetery. "I have protected you your entire life. I sacrificed myself to save you when you were only a baby, and I have done it once more today. You have a bright future. Only you can help the Wizarding world now. I know you can do it all, and more." she smiled and her ghostly hand brushed right through my shoulder.

"And if I don't want to have a bright future?" I barely found my voice.

"Harry, my dear, what are you saying?" She was truly concerned for me, but once your whole life is gone, all your friends and family and enemies, there is no point in torturing yourself any longer.

"Why would I want to live when they are all dead? They kept me helped me through my problems, and provided something solid to stand on. THEY kept me alive this whole time. Without them, I'm as good as dead." My voice was so quiet, as not to disturb those who were resting in peace, but the words were so incredibly easy to say; they bled off my tongue with ease. I no longer felt anything. The world was filled with pain, but I was so incredibly numb; I didn't want this

"Harry, you will live. I will assure you do." Her tone had changed to a frightening threat, and the words hung in the air, forming cracks in the silent wonderland. She vanished and I was left to wallow in my own grief once more. Everything was so painful, I almost couldn't feel it anymore. The quiet air brushed past me, sending the smell of burning skin into my nose. I tried to keep down the contents of my stomach. This world was so much darker than night; so much more sinister and blood-crazed. My head hung down and my eyes stared at the garnet liquid that now stained the floor. With all my other senses turned off, I could only hear what broke through the silence; the wind slicing through the trees, and my lungs gasping for breath.

And footsteps. Several people were making their way here, but I couldn't lift my head to see them. I felt like a tree; not able to move, but only staring at the ground and aging, every second coming closer to death, but so long off still. I waited for Death to meet me, but I was the master of Death. He would never find me, and take me away to join my friends once more. I was stuck here in this horrible world for a long time, possibly forever. Would my mother's protection ever wear off? Before, I never wanted to die, but now it wasn't really dying as much as being relieved of living.

"Harry Potter." said a familiar raspy voice.

Of all people to live through this, it would always be he and I; perfect opponents for one another, prophesied enemies, similar pasts with different outcomes. If everyone on Earth died, we would have our own ways of living through it all; by using a damnable number of horcruxes or by some crazed force of love gone too far. We hated each other, and nothing would bring more joy to one than the death of the other, but it seemed it would never happen. Endless suffering came to those who surrounded us. One of us embraced that, and contributed to it even, but the other absolutely hated whatever force that led to so much loss. How could two people be so alike, yet completely opposite?

"What has happened here? It seems you have beaten me to killing off everyone you loved..." he let a small dark chuckle out.

I wanted to move; to kill the man who was the cause of all my pain. Without him, I would never have been who I was. I could have been a normal wizard, with a normal family, and friends. I wouldn't be in this bloody fucking world that was falling apart like bits of paper torn off the sheet. But I still couldn't move, no matter how hard I tried. The floor held me to it, and gravity hooked every part of my body. If anything, I was being pulled more down than up. I was going to sink beneath the floor, farther and farther until I couldn't breathe anymore, and where my mother would have no power over my death. I waited for it to happen, but it never did, and I was stuck with the fact that I was going to have to settle for dying at the hands of Voldemort.

The world didn't matter anymore anyway. I could care less how I died. But living was no longer an option. Without them, I would only suffer until I let out my last breath, and my heart stopped beating. The light had left me, and all that was left was space. I was not dark, as Voldemort was, just empty. There was no reason for me to do anything but give up and join my friends and family. Then I would be truly happy; I would finally be filled with the happiness I had waited my whole life to feel, and I looked forward to it. The light was at the end of the tunnel, as it should be. All I needed was to get to the tunnel, and I had a feeling I wasn't too far from a one-way trip there.

"Are you not going to fight me?" Voldemort pulled his wand out. "Pity. I was honestly hoping you would go with more of a fight, but I suppose I can respect your death wish."

He knew. I ripped my head from the trance it was in and forced my eyes to meet his. His red eyes were cold and inhuman. He wasn't alone. Many of his Death Eaters had stayed with him; probably the ones who wanted to watch me die instead of killing others. I was almost shocked Bellatrix wasn't among them, but quickly found that she was probably crazed enough to want to kill others rather than waste time on me. It made sense. And I knew how Voldemort knew about my death wish. I figured my mind was more open than a book at this point, but I didn't much care. The more he could understand without me explaining it served as time saved. I was getting closer to happiness with each second.

/Just do it./ I told him in Parseltongue. It wasn't that I didn't want the others to know what I was saying as much as I wanted to direct that message at him.

There was a certain torture worse than anything physical that could be done; where your insides were attacking itself, and your body refused to do anything it once did to live, and your mind slowly atrophied into nothing more than dust. It was completely natural, not caused by anything but the wish of death. And the edges of your vision blur ever so slightly, turning everything you can't see into nothing, and every muscle was slowly ripping itself from skin and bones, and your heart slams against your chest trying to escape. The air is dry, and your lungs feel like they are filled with burning sand. The end of the world was coming, and you accept it as an inevitability, and welcome it to come, encourage it even. Where nothing is so much worse than darkness and space is closer to Earth than once thought. I hadn't broken eye contact with him, awaiting the moment when he would raise his wand and kill me. Being so eager, every second was another century that I suffered through, and aged from. I almost thought he wouldn't do it, and I was scared he might walk away and leave me here alive. There was nothing worse than that at this point.

"Ah Harry, but I could never turn down an offer as enticing as this one." He poised his wand, its tip pointed directly at me. "Any last words?"

Before I could speak, my mother's ghostly figure was in front of me. I could see Voldemort through her, but it was a bit blurry, like I wasn't wearing my glasses. She faced him, as if protecting me once more, but I didn't want her protection, didn't she understand that? I wanted to be with her, and my father, and my friends; life was the only thing that stood between me and my greatest desire. And the only thing standing in the way of ending my life, was my mother.

"I was destined for greatness. My future was thought to be bright, and full of success. But I've already been great, and I've already been successful, but I've never had a family, and I've just lost my friends. Can I not have a future where I'm surrounded by them? I miss you, Mom. And Dad. And I can't bear living anymore. It was so difficult before, but I can't handle it now. Please, just let my life end now, while I still have the option." My mother turned around to face me, her translucent eyes full of sorrow. "The Dark Lord couldn't do it once, because you wouldn't let him. But now it's what I want. Please…don't make me suffer anymore." She blinked slowly, before she finally stepped out of the way and disappeared.

"Asking your mother to let you die? You really have lost it. No matter. You are my prophesized equal, and I will grant you with mercy." His voice died down to a whisper, so I could barely hear him in the silent field. "I will make this quick and painless for you."

"Voldemort," I interrupted. "You should consider making more horcruxes."

His eyes narrowed but his wand did not fall. "And why would such a suggestion come up?"

"Because I am one of the only two you have left." His wand lowered, and I cursed myself for even mentioning it. "Just kill me!" I shouted in frustration. My throat was so dry, every word out of my mouth made it burn, and I could feel blood cascade down it. It boiled in my stomach and I could feel it tear through the tissue containing it, and sent it spilling out onto the war that was occurring between my organs.

/I suppose I'll have to take you advice then./ And his wand raised once more. "Avada Kedavra!"

Green light brightened my world for a moment, and then unreal darkness overcame me. I was in the tunnel; I could feel it. And there was the light at the end of it. I took a step towards it, feeling ever so compelled to reach my loved ones at last and to be free of my pain. Another step, and I felt something pull at my leg. I looked down to find a little being, much like the one that had arrived before being placed in the cauldron fourth year to rise once more as the Dark Lord, but covered in blood. I tried to pry my leg from its hands, which were so small and inhuman, but still so powerful. I could hear my mother call me from the light. My name was so wonderful in her voice, and I wanted to see her with all my heart. I tugged my leg forward, but didn't move an inch.

"Harry." It was so beautiful. I longed to be held like I never had before, and to be truly loved without regret or distance. "Harry!" Someone else joined in, the voice so familiar, tears came to my eyes. Hermione was waiting for me as well. I tried to drag the small creature along with me if necessary; I just wanted to be reunited with who I had lost. "Hey, Harry!" Ron's voice rang out, and I pulled so hard on my leg it fell. I clawed at the tunnel, using all of my might to reach out to the light, but it was so far away still. "Hurry on then, Harry" one of the twins said. "Yes, don't keep us waiting all day" said the other. I thrashed so hard, kicking with all my might, but the hold would not let me go. Become distressed, I reached back and clawed at the hand that held me, trying to pry its solid steel grip from me. "Harry," Ginny's voice brought tears to my eyes. This was a new kind of torture. I pulled my fist back and threw a punch at the creature, who only caught it and held onto my hand with the same intensity. Using my other hand, I hit the hand that held me repeatedly. "Don't let the Nargals get you, Harry. Do hurry." My teeth sunk into the hand, trying to bite it off, but it was unfazed, even if more blood began to pour from the wound. "Harry, we can't hold this open forever. You really must hurry." Sirius's words were urgent, and I only panicked more.

"I'm trying!" I screamed. Nothing seemed to be doing anything. I pulled back my fist, and this time it connected with its head, but nothing happened; it didn't move at all, like a concrete statue. No matter how hard I tried to escape, it would not let me go. But I needed to get to the light. I would gladly bring it with me, if it would just move.

"Harry! Quickly, now! We haven't got much time left!" Remus yelled, and the light began to shrink in size. I tugged, and scratched, and kicked, and bit, and pulled, but the creature never released me.

"PLEASE! JUST LET ME GO! I NEED TO GET TO THEM! I'LL TAKE YOU WITH ME! WHATEVER YOU WANT! JUST MOVE!" But my pleads did nothing. I continued to fight, but the light only continued to shrink. "NO! JUST WAIT!" Several voices screamed out to me, telling me to hurry so I wouldn't miss it. As a last try, I reached my hand to the light now only a quarter of its original size. "Accio Light!"

But there was no magic here.

The light shrunk into nothing, and my hope shattered into a million tiny pieces. There was nothing but darkness, and I fell into it, my pain from life coming back to me, and I continued to fall, never reaching any solid force to stop me. I had missed my opportunity at something greater, and get to what I wanted most. But I soon realized it. I closed my eyes and let my pain take over me entirely, because that was the only thing to do when I realized it: Death was no greater than life.