A/N: The world of Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling I'm just playing in her sand box and make no money from this.
Rating is mature for language, violence and subject matter.
Genera: Drama, Romance.
Characters: Harry Potter, Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger, Daphne Greengrass
A/N: First chapter is getting all the nasty stuff out of the way. This story is completely AU and the timeline does not follow canon. This story has changed from originally envisioned from chapter 10 on.
Chapter 1: The Last One Standing
Spell fire, deadly and bright ricocheted off the walls of the stone castle. Hogwarts, under attack from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, rang with screams and curses. Many had fallen on both sides: teachers, students, Aurors, Death Eaters and finally Voldemort himself. The Dark Lord had fallen when Harry Potter had finally found a way to defeat him.
Harry glared at the still form before him. He had used a simple but powerful banishing charm to defeat the darkest wizard in almost a century. The charm had acted on the evil wizard by depriving him of his magical core. Harry wasn't quite sure how that had happened, but the resultant blast of light and energy had destroyed the school staircase that Riddle had been standing on. They had fought for what seemed like hours, but in reality was a much shorter time. Cracks in the stonework of Hogwarts told the story of the fierceness of the battle. Scars in the Great Hall and collapsed columns throughout the first two floors told of the deadly battle. Harry had forged ahead, driving Voldemort back initially, chasing him up and down staircases, until Tom had started to gather his power. Harry had strategically dodged several killing curses, banishing broken doors and stonework in the way of the deadly spells.
He had finally caught Tom unexpectedly from behind with a tripping jinx and while the dark wizard turned, stumbling, Harry threw all his power behind a spell Hermione had invented; a modified banishing charm. The look of surprise as Voldemort fell, did little to take away the pain Harry felt as he'd watched so many of his friends die. Satisfaction mingled with grief and anger, with anger being the most visible emotion at the moment, clouded the face of The-Boy-Who-Lived, now The-Boy-Who-Won.
Harry blinked, unable to see, rubbing his eyes from the after-effects of the blast. His eyebrows and hair had been singed, his robes were in tatters and he swayed drunkenly on his feet before collapsing in exhaustion at the top of the third floor staircase.
All was suddenly quiet in the castle, as if a silencing charm had been cast. If one were to look around, horror would be the immediate reaction to the observer. Dead and dying were everywhere. All of the Dark Lord's followers were dead. The rest of the participants in the deadly battle were either dead or severely injured and unconscious, the result of the collapse of Voldemort's magical core. Nothing moved; even the house elves were gone. Hogwarts was like a tomb with the occupants un-stirring inside.
Outside, a cold November wind blew, stirring the dry leaves of the few remaining standing trees. The devastation reached everywhere on the grounds. Deep scars in the stones of the castle bore mute evidence of the fierceness of the battle. Dead were everywhere, blood pooling around countless bodies, Death Eater and student alike. Hagrid's hut had burned to the ground with Hagrid and Fang trapped inside. The Quidditch field was unrecognizable; deep scars in the pitch and the stands had collapsed. More dead lay here, their bodies awkwardly twisted and broken; students, teachers, Death Eaters, giants and vampires lay helter skelter across the pitch. The stench of death was everywhere. Strangely, a bright and sunny day with a watery blue sky greeted a lone survivor that limped tiredly toward Hogwart's main entrance. The blonde girl, for that was what she was, despite the matted hair, caked dirt and torn robes that hid her appearance, struggled to remain upright as she worked her way into the school. She staggered with a pronounced limp as blood oozed from multiple cuts on her body. Her wand was held loosely, her slim fingers just able to grip the wood. 'So much destruction!' she thought.
"Hello," she called weakly. "Anyone?"
A moan from somewhere was the only answer she received. She stopped to rest, her blue eyes taking in the destruction and she abruptly bent over and vomited as she saw all the bodies lying haphazardly throughout the Great Hall. Raising her wand and muttering a cleaning spell to get the worst of the sick from her robes, she carefully staggered further into the building. A fine mist of dust fell from the ceiling causing her to cough. Her throat felt raw and the coppery taste of blood bore evidence to one of the injuries she had received. Blood seeped from her nose and she cast a quick healing spell. The rest of her injuries would have to wait.
"Hello? Anyone here?" she called again.
A weak mumble answered her from somewhere to her left. Locating the source of the moan, the girl gasped as she recognised her best friend. "Susan!" she sobbed. "Can you move?"
"Hannah," Susan Bones replied weakly. "You're alive. Thank Merlin!"
Another moan, this time closer, prompted the pair to gaze at a boy the same age, struggling dazedly to stand.
"Neville!" Susan choked. She was never so glad to see anyone as she reached for her boyfriend's arm. "You're alive." She grasped his hand and he helped her stand. The trio stood looking at each other, awed that they had survived the final battle.
"Help," a weak call was heard from the distance. "Over here, by the door."
Hannah was the first to spot the figure, lying by the teacher's entrance. "Headmistress McGonagall!" Stumbling through the wreckage she finally reached the stricken professor.
"Ah, Miss Abbott. So, we've won?" she asked, coughing weakly.
"I-I think so," Hannah answered. I don't know who survived though. Susan Bones and Neville Longbottom at least."
Minerva was trapped under the heavy oak staff table and couldn't move. Susan and Neville joined Hannah and between them, they managed to levitate the table enough so that Minerva could crawl out from under one of the table's legs. She winced as a sharp pain shot through her leg.
"Are you alright? It looks like you've broken something. Your leg?"
Minerva nodded as Hannah cast an immobilizing spell on the leg. "Thank you. I hope Madam Pomfrey survived; we could use her skills right now."
With Minerva and Hannah limping and Neville and Susan helping, they began to search for other survivors. Four Ravenclaws, including Anthony Goldstein, Luna Lovegood, Su Li and Padma Patil, as well as Hufflepuffs Megan Jones, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Ernie Macmillan and Zacharias Smith. Gryffindors Hermione Granger, Seamus Finnegan and Dennis Creevey. Slytherins Daphne and Astoria Greengrass and Blaise Zabini rounded out the students. The teachers that survived were few. Filius Flitwick and Pomona Sprout were found, albeit with serious injuries. The hospital wing remained relatively untouched and Madam Pomfrey had managed to escape harm. After she had healed the most seriously injured, the survivors resumed the search for their comrades.
Hannah finally found Harry unconscious at the top of the third floor staircase. "Oh Harry, please don't be dead, we need you, I need you!" Hannah felt his neck and found a weak pulse. Carefully levitating him, Hannah made her way to the hospital wing.
"I've found Harry, he's alive!" she exclaimed, bursting through the doors of the ward.
"Set him down in this bed, Miss Abbott," Poppy directed.
Hannah eased him down, careful not to injure him further.
Madam Pomfrey carefully scanned him with her wand, casting diagnostic spells and reading the results. "Hmm. Apart from a concussion and minor cuts and burns, he seems to be fine. His magical core is almost exhausted, but he should be fully recovered in a few days."
"Thank Merlin," Minerva exhaled. "Did you see any sign of Voldemort?"
"No, Harry was at the top of a collapsed staircase and I couldn't see much else. The dust was really thick in the air."
The hospital ward held only three people now: Harry, Dennis Creevey and Padma Patil. A few minutes later Hermione entered, levitating Madam Pince. "I found her under a fallen shelf of books in the restricted section of the library."