When We Stand Together

Chapter 12

O.W.L.S. & A New Beginning

Finally it was here. O.W.L.S. had arrived and the time leading up to them saw Harry and his friends in the library studying five years of past notes. Harry and Ron would have O.W.L.S. in Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Herbology, Defense Against The Dark Arts, Divination, and History of Magic. Hermione would have the same except instead of Divination, She had Ancient Runes.

"This is impossible" Ron says throwing down his quill in exhaustion.

Both Harry and Hermione who had been going over wand movements for Charms paused in their work and glanced at Ron and arched an eyebrow each.

"How can they expect us to remember everything from five years of schooling?" Ron grumbled as he reached into his bag for a new ink bottle.

"That's why you should of taken notes Ronald" Hermione says, annoyed by her friends behavior.

"Why when I've got you Mione?" Ron said grinning at Hermione.

Hermione rolled her eyes before asking "Which year do you need Ron?"

"2nd year Defense" Ron says before Hermione digs into her bag for the correct notes before handing them to Ron.

Everyday after classes, between lunch, and after dinner, Harry, Ron, and Hermione would return to the library to study for the upcoming O.W.L.S. They knew how important the O.W.L.S. exams were, for depending on how they did, would shape their last two years at Hogwarts with what classes they would take.

...

The exams themselves would take place in the great hall. For the Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, and Defense Against The Dark Arts O.W.L.S. there would be two parts, a written and practical. As for the rest, it would just be written. The week before the exams were to begin, Professor McGonagall walked down and passed out the schedules for the exams.

Harry tuned out everything as he looked down at his exam schedule.

Monday

Morning: Written Portion of Potions

Afternoon: Practical Portion of Potions

Tuesday

Morning: Written Portion of Charms

Afternoon: Practical Portion of Charms

Wednesday

Morning: Divination

Afternoon: Herbology

Thursday

Morning: Written Portion of Transfiguration

Afternoon: Practical Portion of Transfiguration

Friday

Morning: Written Portion of Defense Against The Dark Arts

Afternoon: Practical Portion of Defense Against The Dark Arts/Written History of Magic

The rest of the week followed as it did before, studying in the library, pop quizzes from Hermione and not a lot of sleep.

Monday came quick and Harry, Ron, and Hermione made their way down to the Great Hall where the four long house tables had been removed and replaced with desks. Once the written part of the Potions O.W.L.S. were over, Harry and the others returned to the common room to go over the potions they were sure that they would be ask to brew in the practical part.

After a quick lunch, the great hall was changed back like it was in the morning and it was time for the practical session for potions. This continued throughout the week as the exams went on. The one thing that annoyed Harry the most was the fact that Umbridge would keep on walking up and down the aisles and it got not only annoying but distracting. However the shit wouldn't really hit the fan until Friday afternoon. Harry and his friends had just finished their fifteen minute break between the practical portions of Defense, and were just getting started on their History of Magic O.W.L. when a loud bang erupted outside in the entrance hall. Umbridge tried to act like she didn't hear anything, but that got harder to do as the bangs got louder.

With a scowl on her face, Umbridge walked towards the doors to see what all the commotion was. About halfway there, the doors burst open and Fred and George Weasley flew in on their brooms, a trail of fireworks following them. Umbridge was yelling herself hoarse as she ran after the twins yelling at them to get down as fireworks showered down in the great hall. Umbridge and Filch ran after them leaving those in the great hall alone.

The students were cheering on the twins, Harry among them as he made his way through the crowd to his friends, His scar erupted in pain and he fell into unconsciousness.

~*Harry's vision*~

The room was dark, just barley lit enough by an eerie light blue light. Inside were thousands upon thousands of shelves. Each one holding a crystal ball, about the size of a softball. Somehow with the low lighting, Harry was able to make out Sirius, who was on his knees, his robes torn and bloody as a high cold voice from behind said "I need that prophecy".

From the shadows behind Sirius, came the one person that Harry despised and hated above all others. It was Voldemort. The dark wizard who had murdered his parents and countless other innocents, both Wizard and Muggle alike.

"Give me that prophecy Black and I may show you mercy" Voldemort said icily.

"No, to get it you'll have to kill me" Sirius said, his voice raspy.

"Oh I will in due time but first Crucio!" Voldemort yelled pointing his wand at Sirius who automatically began to converse on the ground.

~* End Vision~*

Harry came back into consciousness with a start. Several students were gathered around him. Gingerly he got to his feet and fought through to Cedric and the others.

"Voldemort has Sirius. I saw him torturing him. He wants Sirius to get him something. They're at the Ministry we have to leave now!" Harry said.

His words were met by slight skepticism, especially by Hermione who said "Harry what if Voldemort is just showing you this so he can lure you away from the protection of the school?"

Harry knew Hermione meant right but he couldn't help his response. "Yeah so what if it is Hermione? Am I supposed to just let him die? He's the only family I've got left and I will not lose him".

Hermione bit her bottom lip, knowing it was futile to try to argue with Harry when he set his mind to something. They were torn out of their thoughts when Neville asked:

"Harry how exactly are we supposed to get to London?"

"We fly of course" Luna said as she, Neville, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Cedric followed Harry outside.

Twenty minutes later, Harry and the others were flying to London on the backs of creatures called Thestrals; large winged horses that had skeletal bodies and some reptilian features. Within a couple hours, the group made it back to London and Harry led them to the visitor's entrance that Sirius had told him about. Somehow all seven of them were able to fit into the phone booth.

"Ok whoever is closest to the phone dial 6-2-4-4-2" Harry says.

Ginny was the closest and as soon as she finished dialing the numbers, there was a whoosh and the telephone box began to lower into the ground. Once in the atrium, the doors to the phone booth opened and everyone got out, making their way to the lifts.

Once in the lifts, Harry and his friends rode it down to level nine. As the doors opened, Harry instructed his friends to get their wands out and to be watchful for any kind of movement. After spending an hour of searching, Harry and his friends finally found the correct room. Just like in his vision, the room had shelves upon shelves with crystal balls the size of a softball.

Everyone lit their wands and Harry said "He should be at the end of row 97".

Together, Harry and his friends slowly made their way to the end of row 97. When they arrived however, instead of seeing the prone form of Sirius or the scene of Voldemort torturing Sirius, there was nothing. Just utter blackness. Harry ran his wand over the area looking for any kind of sign of Sirius.

"Harry this one has your name on it" Neville said, shaking Harry from his thoughts.

Biting his bottom lip, Harry walked over to where Neville was standing and there he saw it. On a little sign next to the softball sized crystal ball that Neville pointed to were the words "Harry Potter/Dark Lord".

Reaching up, Harry grabbed the glass ball and clutched it tightly in his hand. As he did, in his mind he heard the voice of Professor Trelawney, his divination teacher at Hogwarts.

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies"

"That's a good boy Potter, now would you kindly hand me that prophecy?" came the cold drawing voice of Lucius Malfoy.

Wheeling around, Harry came face to face with Malfoy Sr. Behind him stood Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius's deranged cousin.

Harry and his friends kept close together as they were slowly surrounded by other Death Eaters.

"If this was the thing that Voldemort wanted why didn't he come and get it himself?" Harry asked, his eyes never leaving Lucius's cold grey ones.

"Prophecies can only be retrieved by those in which the prophecy was made about. Now hand me that prophecy and we can all be on our way" Lucius said, a sneer on his lips.

"Haven't you always been curious about the connection between yourself and the Dark Lord? The reason why he failed to kill you fourteen years ago as an infant? All those answers that you seek Potter are right there in your hand. Give it to me and together we may be able to find the answers." Lucius says, his hand outstretched.

"I've waited fourteen years to find out why he targeted me and my family. Fourteen years of wondering why me?" Harry whispered.

"I know" Lucius said.

"I suppose I can wait just a bit longer, NOW!" Harry yelled.

Together Harry, Cedric, Ron, Luna, Ginny, Hermione, and Neville all yelled Stupefy at the same time. The resulting combined spell sent a shockwave through the hall of prophecy, which in turn sent Lucius and the other Death Eater's flying back. With their pathway now clear, Harry and his friends ran towards the exit as fast as they could. They had just got there when they saw Lucius and the other death eaters heading towards them.

"Reducto!" Ginny yelled, her wand pointing towards the oncoming Death Eaters. The Death Eaters themselves had to swerve to dodge the incoming spell. Neither parties were expecting what happened next. Ginny's reducto spell was so powerful that the entire floor was starting to disintegrate, which in turn caused the shelves with the prophecies to fall in. Harry and his friends were just able to escape before the entire hall collapsed in on itself.

It appeared that during their scuffle with the death eaters, instead of leading back to the hallway with the lift, it opened up into a whole different room altogether. The rooms itself made it look like they were in a cave as the ground was not the usual cool tile of the atrium and hallway leading up to the department of mysteries. Up on a slight outcropping stood a stone archway and as they got closer, Harry swore he could hear voices.

The sound of air whipping around the room caused Harry to turn around. As he did he saw clouds of blackness heading straight towards them.

"Get behind me" Harry yelled as he held his wand tightly.

Cedric and the others dove behind Harry as the Death Eaters surrounded them. Harry knelt close to the floor as he felt hands grabbing at him trying to get the prophecy. As soon as it started, Harry felt the grabbing hands stop. As he got to his feet he saw why, since they couldn't get the prophecy from Harry, the death eaters grabbed Harry's friends. They were going to use them as a bargaining chip for the prophecy.

"Did you really think that a group of teenagers stood a chance against us? Now Potter give me the prophecy or watch your friends die" Lucius says as he walked up to Harry.

Just as Harry placed small glass ball into Lucius's outstretched hand, there was a flash of white light and Harry's eyes widened when he saw who just appeared behind Lucius. Arching an eyebrow, Lucius turned around and came face to face with Sirius Black.

"Get the hell away from my godson Malfoy" Sirius growled before throwing a right hook which caught the Malfoy elder hard in the side of his face. The impact of the punch sending the Malfoy elder tumbling down away from Harry. As Lucius fell he dropped the prophecy and he jumped forward to catch it but he was too late. The small glass ball smashed against the ground, thick billowy white smoke rising from the broken glass ball. This happened to prove to be the best distraction for all around flashes of white light appeared, bringing with them Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Mad-Eye Moody, and Kingsley Shackelbolt.

The Order members were able to get the other death eaters away from Harry's friends and Harry watched as Cedric led the others up to the door to get out of there. This was all he was able to see before Sirius shoved him out of the way of an incoming spell.

"You've done great Harry, now follow the others and get out of here. We'll take it from here son" Sirius says.

"No I'm not leaving you Sirius" Harry said softly.

Before Sirius could reply, both he and Harry were drawn into a duel against Lucius and unnamed death eater. The duel was very fast paced as both Harry and Sirius dueled Lucius and Harry the unnamed death eater.

"Stupefy!" Harry yelled, the jet of red light shooting out of his wand and hitting the unnamed death eater, sending him flying backwards. There was a dull thud as his body hit the wall behind him where he slumped to the ground unconscious.

"Good one Harry" Sirius yelled as he shot a disarming charm at Lucius. The disarming charm sending Lucius's wand flying out of his hand. Sirius followed this up with a full body bind charm. Lucius automatically fell to the ground, his body frozen.

The happiness however was short-lived. For as soon as Lucius had fallen, Bellatrix Lestrange had taken his place. Her agility and master of the dark arts was more than enough for Harry and Sirius combined.

Bellatrix laughed like a maniac as she fired off a killing curse. The jet of life-killing green light heading straight for Sirius. It was if time slowed down and Harry found himself remembering that fateful night in the graveyard at the end of last year and how he had saved Cedric from the same deadly curse. No longer would the people he cared about would die for him. Harry charged forward and knocked Sirius aside. As he did, the jet of green light hit him squarely in the chest sending him flying backwards and through the stone archway.

Seeing the life leave his godson's eyes as he fell through the archway drove Sirius into a maniacal rage. Forgoing his wand, He threw himself at Bellatrix. Sirius shoved Bellatrix down onto her back, his hands at her throat with which he began to squeeze and choke. Bellatrix started to turn blue, her eyes widening as she clawed at Sirius's hands hoping to get them off her throat. Alas it was to no avail as Sirius twisted his hands and there was a sickening cracking sound. Sirius had broken Bellatrix's neck.

Standing up, Sirius slowly made his way back up to the atrium. Once there he saw Dumbledore talking with the minister. He made his way over to Cedric and the others and asked "What happened? Why is Dumbledore talking to the minister?"

"He and Voldemort just had a duel here and Dumbledore was able to freeze time just for a short while, allowing Fudge to see him when he and some other ministry officials arrived." Hermione explained.

Sirius nodded, biting his bottom lip as Cedric asked "Sirius Where's Harry?"

"I'm sorry Cedric, Harry…Harry is gone" Sirius says, his voice cracking.

"Gone what do you mean gone?" Cedric asked his eyes widening.

"After our duel with Malfoy and the other death eater, Bellatrix appeared and dueled us both at the same time. It was fast paced going back and forth. However she shot a killing curse at me and at the last second Harry shoved me aside. The curse hit him in the chest and he fell through the archway which is called the Veil." Sirius explained.

Word of what happened at the Department of Mysteries quickly spread around Hogwarts. No one could believe that Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived was dead. With Harry dead, it seemed that the hope he'd installed while teaching Dumbledore's Army diminished. Harry's friends were all angry and upset, none more however then Cedric. He had loved Harry so much and he was fighting a losing battle within himself. On one hand Cedric was beyond angry at Sirius for letting this happen. On the other, he knew how Harry was and how much he loved his godfather. He knew that Harry would have done anything to protect Sirius.

The End-Of-The-Year feast was nothing to celebrate. Hogwarts had lost one of its own. The walls were covered with silk black banners with the words Harry James Potter 1981-1996 written in gold. There was no talking at all. Up at the High table the teachers were silent themselves. Finally it was Dumbledore who broke the silence.

"Harry Potter was more than just the boy-who-lived. Harry was the purest of heart and possibly one of the best Gryffindor's ever to arrive at this school. He had unwavering loyalty and courage was mixed with his high intelligence and resourcefulness. These may be qualities for each of Hogwarts houses; however it was these qualities that made Harry just as much a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin just as equally as he was a Gryffindor".

There was absolute silence before Dumbledore went on.

"It was brought to my attention that when he returned from the ministry, Cedric Diggory found something interesting in Harry's trunk". Dumbledore reached into his pocket and pulled out what appeared to be some kind of disc.

"This appears to be what the muggles call a CD or compact disc. I believe Harry has left us all a message and I believe he'd want everyone to hear it". Dumbledore says.

Dumbledore placed the CD down in front of him and lightly tapped it with his wand, muttering a spell under his breath. There was a flash of bright light before the disc began to vibrate. As it did Harry's voice filled the hall.

"Hey everybody, if you're hearing this then I'm most likely dead or something worse happened to me. Hermione, Ron you two were the best friends anybody could ask for, even if I had to put up with your constant bickering. The rest of Gryffindor house, you gave me something that I've always wanted, a family. Cedric, I love you with all my heart, and I will never stop so live for me until we see each other again. Now I also have a message for Hogwarts as a whole including all four houses".

"The petty and pathetic house rivalries need to stop. I know I'm probably asking for a miracle here but there needs to be a house unity among us. If we are to stop Voldemort and his followers from making this planet dark, we must stand together and unite as one. No longer should anyone care whose parentage is or how high someone's IQ is. The coming war will bring us to our breaking point, but that is what separates us from Voldemort and his followers. We actually have something worth fighting for, something worth dying for".

Harry's voice started to fade, only slightly as music erupted into the hall from the CD. Only a few minutes later, everyone could make out Harry's voice. He was singing.

One more depending on a prayer

And we all look away

People pretending everywhere

It's just another day

There's bullets flying through the air

And they still carry on

We watch it happen over there

And then just turn it off

Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

We must stand together

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

There's no giving in

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Hand in hand forever

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's when we all win

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's, that's, that's when we all win

That's, that's, that's when we all win

They tell us everything's alright

And we just go along

How can we fall asleep at night?

When something's clearly wrong

When we could feed a starving world

With what we throw away

But all we serve are empty words

That always taste the same

We must stand together

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

There's no giving in

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Hand in hand forever

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's when we all win

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's, that's, that's when we all win

That's, that's, that's when we all win

The right thing to guide us

Is right here, inside us

No one can divide us

When the light is nearly gone

But just like a heartbeat

The drumbeat carries on

And the drumbeat carries on

(Just like a heartbeat)

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

We must stand together

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

There's no giving in

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Hand in hand forever

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's when we all win

(Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

That's, that's, that's when we all win

That's, that's, that's when we all win

After the song finished that was it, the end of Harry's message.

Dumbledore and the other teachers watched as students from each house began to get up and socialize with students from the other houses. Finally after so long, the houses of Hogwarts were united. It was sad that all it took for this to finally happen was the death of a student but what Harry said resonated in everybody. In order to protect what they each held dear, then everyone would need to stand together and be one.

A/N: End of Chapter 12 and End of When We Stand Together! This chapter was hard to write because I wanted to try something different. I will be doing a sequel for this later down the road so don't worry about "Harry's death". For the time being I hope you enjoy my upcoming stories which include the rest of Saving Me and the beginning of Animal I've Become.