For the Kill Them Off/Save Their Lives Competition by omnomnivore on HPFC.

I was given: Kill off Katie Bell.

Warnings: Character death (obviously), one swear word.

.

Katie Bell comes to the Battle of Hogwarts with one goal in mind: vengeance. She is not a little girl anymore, and she is not going to let herself be used again.

She lost five months last time. Five months of her life, spent in a near vegetative state at Saint Mungo's because someone decided that it would be fun to screw with her and use her as a weapon.

She was weak, she was vulnerable then.

Not anymore.

Katie has been using every moment of spare time since she woke up to teach herself everything she could get her hands on – offensive spells, defensive spells, protective enchantments. She has turned herself into a machine, with the honed instincts of a fighter. She is invulnerable.

And she is bound and determined to make her mark here today. She will not just be the girl who was cursed by a necklace. She will be something more.

Katie pivots and twirls with the grace of her six childhood years of dance lessons, her ponytail snapping against her shoulders at each sharp turn. She lets the world narrow into this moment, until it is all that matters. She allows herself to truly feel, and everything becomes a mess of sensations – the sweat dripping off her forehead, the smooth wood in her hand, her shoes against the stone floor, the cacophony of screams and incantations.

She ducks and weaves between spells, throwing them back with equal fervor. She watches as Death Eater after Death Eater falls at the end of her wand.

Katie allows herself a small smile of satisfaction. It isn't fun, no, she is not that far gone, but it is intensely satisfying to watch the people responsible for all of this fall.

She twists, narrowly avoiding a green beam that shoots past her ear, and she cannot help but laugh as she fires an immediate stunner back at the Death Eater who cast it. He crumples to the ground, and Katie grins. That's what you get for messing with me, she thinks. Serves you right. I'm no weakling.

A roar of rage that's almost inhuman comes from behind her. Katie whirls around just in time to see a Death Eater take a flying leap, carrying her with him to the floor. He's slight – she can tell, because he landed on top of her – but surprisingly strong. Fueled by adrenalin, she guesses.

"You messed with the wrong family, you little bitch," he hisses.

Some part of Katie's brain goes, Huh. I didn't know Death Eaters had family loyalty.

The rest of it is busy screaming out for oxygen. His hands are around her throat, desperately tight. "You don't touch my brother again, got it?"

Katie cannot nod, even if she wanted to. She is too preoccupied with thrashing and bucking, trying to knock him loose.

He smirks at her efforts, and there is something almost… deranged in his eyes. "Oh, I don't think so."

Keeping her pinned with one hand, he flicks his wrist, freeing his wand from its holster. With a quick wave, Katie feels all voluntary control of her body leave.

"Neat little spell," he says, still grinning manically. "Wide awake, but you can't struggle. And you aren't Petrified, so I can still crush your windpipe. Clever, isn't it?"

Darkness begins to seep in at the edges of her vision.

No! she thinks furiously. I will not die like this!

But it doesn't seem like she has much of a choice. She cannot move, cannot fight. There are no options left.

And then Katie has a stroke of luck. A stray spell hits the man atop her, knocking him to the floor. The tips of her fingers are tingling, feeling already coming back. She isn't sure whether the spell was simply a short one, or if this is a byproduct of his lost concentration, but right now she isn't going to question it.

She wills the feeling to spread through her arms before the man regains himself. The process feels agonizingly, but Katie knows that in truth it is merely moments before she is propping herself up, fingers scrabbling for the wand that she dropped when the man decked her.

She scrambles to her feet just as he does the same a few feet over. He turns toward her and something gleams in his eyes. Katie raises her wand, shooting off the first spell that comes to mind – another stunner.

The cry of rage from behind her is oddly familiar. Deja vu, her mind provides. Shut up, she tells it. Not now.

She turns, anticipating a body slam. Instead, her entire torso is torn apart, rents in the skin everywhere. Her clothing wastes no time in turning crimson.

Ouch, she manages to think, before she crumples to the ground.

"All right, brother?" is the last thing she hears before the Great Hall fades away – for good, this time.