No Place In This War.
Running. Ducking. Weaving.
Hermione Granger pelted through the throngs of duelling wizards, shooting spells towards the enemy death eaters but never stopping in her desperate sprint.
She had to find him. He had to still be alive.
She slowed momentarily to take a swift look around her hoping against all hope that she would see that familiar blaze of red hair, willing with all of her mind to see him standing tall and fighting back against the tide of masked wizards that had stormed into the hall leaving only death and darkness behind them. She began to run in earnest again only to trip before even taking a few strides. Looking around from her position on the floor to see what had caused her fall she met the dull and lifeless eyes of Nymphadora Tonks.
The dead woman's eyes stared straight through her as Hermione recoiled slightly from her body. The once vivacious witch now lay strewn upon the floor with blood clotting from a wound on her head and her limbs splayed around her and her normally bright hair a mousy brown mess around her head.
From her low vantage point she could see all of the fallen who lay upon the cold hard stones which had once meant home to so many of them. She could see every one of her fallen comrades that lay lifeless and every death eater that fell on top of them all with dead blank eyes. As she began to shift from her position on the god forsaken floor she caught another familiar face. Her heart stuttered as she took in the empty face of Remus Lupin laying only inches from his wife; she could feel her mind threatening to collapse from the grief as she tried and failed to tear her eyes and thoughts away from the dead in front of her. Her thoughts were miles away as she thought of Teddy Lupin, a baby who would never know his wonderful parents, she thought of Andromeda Tonks as she waited with Teddy desperate to hear only good news. Good news that would never come. Her eyes burned and her throat felt so constricted that it was a wonder she could breath, but no tears came.
Tears were weakness and weakness had no place in a war.
Stumbling slightly she righted herself from the ground and once again began her frantic searching of the masses around her all to no avail, she began to push past the duellers and bodies before she heard a sound that made her mind freeze an her blood run cold.
"Mudblood!" came the insane cackle from behind her " didn't finish you the first time did I, Scum?" Hermione turned around with the strongest sense of foreboding she had ever felt in her life and came face to face with her attacker. Bellatrix Lestrange had her wand trained on Hermione and on her face she wore a terrible mask of grotesque joy that showed the insanity beneath her skin "I don't fail twice" she said her voice raising to a guttural scream "AVADA-" Hermione had her eyes squeezed shut in anticipation for what was to come; the end. The end of everything she knew and had fought for. She hoped that Harry won, but even more than that she prayed that Ron was around to witness their victory.
Because her eyes remained shut she did not see that body that hurtled towards her sending her flying out of the path of immediate danger but she did however hear the roar that made her eyes snap open in disbelief as she looked up.
Ron stood protectively over her and was looking at Bellatrix with a look of pure rage upon his features. Bellatrix remained deadly still in shock for a fraction of a second before a laugh bubbled out of her in a torrent. A scream of derisive mirth was ripped from Bellatrix as she looked from Ron's defiant face to Hermione's terrified one before just as quickly as it had began her laughter quietened into something much more dangerous.
"Avada Kedavra" whispered Bellatrix with her wand directed straight at Ron's chest. In that second as Hermione saw the stricken look dance across his face as he slowly toppled backwards, she knew that her worst fear had come to pass. Ronald Weasley was no more.
Hermione stared in horror at the body in front of her. Ron Weasley lay dead before her and he had died protecting her. He had sacrificed himself for her and now he was gone where so many had gone before him. As disjointed thoughts ran through Hermione's head all she could focus on was the need to crawl over to him, hold him and beg him to come back to her. As she lay there with suffering etched into every line in her face, a sharp cackle broke her reverie.
"Is the little Mudblood sad?" came the mocking voice of Bellatrix who was slowly and deliberately picking her way across the dead beneath her as she walked towards Hermione "Do you miss your blood traitor friend already?" she hissed as she reached Ron's body on the floor and casually rolled his body on to its side with her foot.
Hermione looked on with utter despair weighing down her every thought as she watched Bellatrix pick her way across the littered floor and for the first time she felt completely and utterly hopeless; she was going to die, Bellatrix's face was telling her so.
That was when Bellatrix made her first mistake, as she walked over she rolled Ron over to his side and in a sickening fashion his head lolled over as well.
That was when Hermione snapped. Her mind just stopped, but instead of being rooted to the spot as she thought she would have been she was filled with cold sense of purpose that felt both foreign and dangerous to her mind. In that instant Hermione became focussed on not just killing Bellatrix but hurting her and as she rose under Bellatrix's manic glare something in the younger witch's face made the older witch falter.
Hermione's eyes looked up to meet Bellatrix's and Bellatrix found herself unnerved by what she saw there; there was no anger or terror or really any emotion at all only cold focus that seemed to drive away the fear or doubt which had previously consumed the young witch. Bellatrix did not see the first attack from her opponent but she did manage to block it in time. Barely. Deciding it was only fair to respond in kind she sent a barrage of spells towards Hermione. The younger witch dodged and deflected most of the spells but after a few minutes of vicious duelling Bellatrix could see she was tiring, close to giving up. Heartened by the fact that she could rid the world of yet another young witch who she deemed unworthy to live she carried on bombarding Hermione with spells and it was clear to anyone who was watching that the battle was quickly becoming completely one-sided as Hermione ran out of strength to send back curses to Bellatrix and instead just tried to concentrate on not being completely finished by a deranged and deluded mad woman, but even this was turning out to be too much effort as she began to take the minor curses and hexes to her body and she fought to stave off the real damage.
Feeling her body complain from the strain she quickly and desperately cast her eyes around for another option before realizing her crucial mistake.
Bellatrix saw he opening as she watched her opponent's eye frantically search the once great hall for an escape. Pulling up magic from the deepest depths of her mind she screamed an incantation and watched in malicious satisfaction as she watched the young woman's body become airborne as she flew across the hall from the sheer force of such a spell and skid along the floor before being stopped by the stone wall with her head hitting it with a audible and sickening crack.
Hermione heard her head smash into the stone wall but she didn't feel any pain from the collision, instead she could sense her thoughts begin to dim in an almost pleasant way as she recognised that her mind, so often complimented by others, was slowly slipping away into the abyss of darkness and the unknown. She would have happily allowed her mind to wander until it could do so no more if it weren't for one nagging thought.
The boy who she had watched turn into a man. The person who had lost so much and had tonight not just lost one best friend but was in the process of losing another.
The person who had turned out to be so good despite what he had been made to live through his entire life. The only person she had left in this world.
Her friend who after tonight would be left with very few friends and very little family. The person that they were all fighting for.
As though of their own accord she felt her fingers slowly begin to inch down towards the hem of her robes, reach into her sock and close around the small beaded bag she had so carefully and meticulously placed in there just hours ago. Was it really just hours ago? It could have been a lifetime ago and Hermione would not have been able to tell the difference. Time has a funny habit of turning to liquid and escaping your hands when you come to realise how precious it actually is. Groping with what little energy she had left she raked through the contents of the bag only able to try and distinguish what the items within her grasp were by the feel of them since she had long since lost the ability to raise her head and look at what it was. If she had of been able to look at what was being taken from her bag and discarded she would have seen a lengthy golden chain emerge from her bag with a rotating hourglass glinting in the light produced from the wayward spells. As it was she saw nothing and carried on with her desperate last attempt by searching her bag one last time hoping and praying that this one last endeavour would work. And it did. Hermione almost smiled when she felt her fingers scrape at the cool, smooth and rounded edge of the vial of blood red potion. She clenched her fist around it and slowly and painfully dragged her fist out from the bag it which it had lay. With a final burst of energy she opened her eyes a crack and watched as Bellatrix almost danced over to her with glee and when she judged that she was close enough she flung he fist forward with all of the pitiful strength she could muster and opened it causing the vial to fly across to Bellatrix's feet and land there.
With an insignificant and almost musical tinkle the glass of the vial cracked. Hermione watched in an almost mild interest (as that was all that she seemed capable of feeling at the moment) as the potion seeped out of the confines of the fragile glass and began to react violently with the air. She watched as it began to bubble and froth and she rolled her eyes up slightly to see Bellatrix's face break into a expression of profound relief as the potions reaction seemed to slow and stop with a gentle hiss.
That would turn out to be the last expression that Bellatrix ever wore on earth, at that moment the potion blew up under her feet with what seemed to be the force of a contained nuclear bomb which sent all death eaters and friends flying backwards a like within a twenty foot radius.
Hermione was once again struck against the unforgiving stone wall but this time she was sure there was no reprieve, no sudden burst of energy, no hope of staying alive. Her last sensation was of something being crushed under her hand which had thudded back to the floor after the explosion and finally she felt like she was falling, falling away from her world just as surely as the witch she had just obliterated had fell from hers
A/N- Ok, so I know it's cliché but truly and honestly? I couldn't resist, I have an amazing lack of self control when it comes to these things.
Please leave comments and reviews and please be brutally honest! I love reading time travel and I've just discovered that I love writing them too but sorry if I bore you. Overall thanks for reading to the bottom of the page and if you can take 15 seconds out of your day to write a review I can promise you that you will make me smile for the rest of the day, all the best-VE