The two men, as they called themselves, were barely men. The stubble upon their face was not coarseness that came with age, but the fluffiness that came from youth. They were young, but the deeds they had done belied their age.
Murder. Torture. Terrorism.
Their eyes, which had once been bright and full of innocence, were now dusted over with the grime of their actions. The innocence was forever gone, but the brightness was only temporarily dulled from the alcohol.
The bottle passed between their hands. It wasn't an act of generosity, but a need to know that someone else was actually near them, that someone else was close enough to withstand the dark deeds that plagued them.
But they weren't scared, bed-wetting boys. They were men, as they called themselves. As men, they laughed with one another. They laughed about the Murder. The torture. The terrorism. They laughed, because it was the only way to survive.
As the two boys, for they could not be called men, passed the bottle once more, the amber liquid illuminated by the crisp moonlight beams seeping through the ornate glass window, the 'doorbell' rang, so to speak. It wasn't a Muggle device, as their lord would never consort with such barbaric individuals, but a magical doorbell.
Someone had arrived at Malfoy Manor.
The two men, as they called themselves, glanced out the window. Three figures, each with hair as bleached as the moon above them, marched through the gates. The two boys recognized them immediately, but as routine went, they were to examine the magical wards surrounding the property.
"Nothing's showing up. No magical disguises in place," one of them said. His right hand, his wand hand, had developed a constant twitch. It was ironic, because the twitch was often a side effect of the Cruciatius curse, but this boy's twitch resulted from being the caster. The screams still haunted him in his sleep. But he was a man, as he called himself, and so he laughed at the dying woman's cries. It was the only way to survive.
"The kid's gotten a little pudgy," the other man, the boy, said. He was missing the majority of his right ear. The girl he had been toying with had been bound with ropes, but he had never expected her to resort to teeth. Desperation made human's do strange things, the man thought wisely, rubbing his tender ear, but he was just a boy, and little did he realize how hypocritical his wisdom was.
"I thought the wife was a bit taller as well," he said, his fingers twitching.
"That's just the drink," the other said, still rubbing his ear. "Did the wards go off?"
"Then it's the Malfoys. No way to trick those wards. The dark lord himself cast them."
In silence, the two men, as they called themselves, watched as the Malfoys walked past their window, and through the front door. They sighed in relief when no alarms went off, for they were still boys, and the thought of conflict scared them.
One tried to calm his twitching hand. The other rubbed at his tender, torn ear. They both turned when the door behind them squeaked. He tried to hide the bottle of liquor, but his hand twitched at the wrong moment. The bottle smashed to the ground, amber liquid oozing outwards, and seeping into the luxurious wooden floorboards. They both scrambled at the bottle, even though it was broken, as if it was their life support.
As they scrambled on the floor, like young children searching for their missing toys, two muted coughs erupted in the air. They became light headed and fell to the ground. As his hand twitched, he heard the screams of the children as they fell to his wand. He looked at his hand now, and saw a strange red liquid coating his fingers. It wasn't alcohol, so what was it?
He glanced over at the other, and noticed that there was now a hole in his other ear. More of the red liquid pooled out into the ground. He recognized it now. It was blood. He looked back down at his hands, and saw the blood that was pumping out of his chest.
As he took his last, watery breath, and the tortured screams tortured his mind, he thought, with faint stubbornness:
I can't die. I'm not even a man yet; I'm just a boy.
And then he died.
"Damnit Neville, did you have to kill them?" Harry swore, turning to face his friend. Despite wearing a blond, slicked wig, and pale face powder, one could easily tell that it was not Draco Malfoy. Neville had too much bulk on his body, his nose was too big, and despite the colour changing contacts, the eyes were too wide to belong to a Malfoy.
Similarly, it wasn't too difficult to tell that Harry looked nothing like Lucius. The long, platinum hair was near identical, but Harry's posture was not quite noble enough. Lucius walked with a very haughty air about him, which Harry just couldn't pull off. His shoulder kept slumping forwards when he stopped thinking about it.
"They deserved it," Neville said bitterly.
He stood there, a silenced .45 pistol in his hand. The weapon had barely made a noise, just two soft coughs, as he shot the two Death Eater guards. Harry sighed. They didn't look very old. He wondered if they deserved to die.
"Alright, it doesn't matter anymore," Harry muttered. They weren't able to carry any large muggle weapons in with them, else the guards would have been overly suspicious, so they were each armed with a simple silenced pistol. Even Ginny had one.
"Ginny, you stay here, me and Neville will go forward-"
"No!" Ginny snapped, shaking her head, and causing the long, platinum locks to swish around wildly. Powder and blush had successfully hidden her freckles, while her skin was pale enough to easily pass for Narcissa. Unfortunately, Ginny lacked the temperament to act like the lady at all. Narcissa would never have been seen stamping her foot on the ground after all.
"Ginny, we went through this. You were to stay here as watch guard," Harry growled.
"I don't care," Ginny snapped. "You're not doing anything without me. I'm coming along."
"Damnit Ginny, this is why I didn't want to bring you along in the first place," Harry snapped.
The three children glared at each other, although they like to call themselves adults, they were really just children.
"I don't want you to get hurt," Harry said softly.
"And I don't want to see you get hurt, so I'm coming along," Ginny replied in a softer, but still furious voice.
"Fine, we're all going ahead then to search for the Horcrux," Harry finally said when Ginny refused to budge. "And no more killing, alright Neville?" Harry ordered.
"Only if they deserve it," Harry heard Neville mutter softly.
The plan had begun perfectly. They had slipped past the powerful anti-magic intruder wards that Voldemort had cast, but Harry couldn't help but feel the plan was quickly falling apart.
A thin sheet of salty spray crashed into the edge of the cave, splashing and chilling Ryan to the core. It wasn't just the cold weather that made him shiver, but the dark magic that permeated the cave. Dumbledore stood at the entrance of the cave, wand drawn, and purple robes billowing out magnificently.
"This is the location," Dumbledore said gravely.
Ryan glanced around the cave, but his roaming eyes found little of interest. The cave was bare, and ended just several steps in. If anyone else had told him that this was the location of a piece of Voldemort's soul, he would have called them crazy. However, it was already well known that Dumbledore was a little crazy, so Ryan didn't bother.
"Ah, how crude," Dumbledore murmuered to himself as he traced the bare cave walls with his wand.
"Crude, sir?" Ryan asked.
"Tom has required that for a wizard to pass, he must spill their blood," Dumbledore explained, and before Ryan could stop the old man, he had slit his forearm, and smeared a line of blood against the cave wall. All was silent as they patiently waited for something to happen. Finally, there was a loud, grinding sound of stone upon stone, but the sound did not occur from in front of them.
"Sir, the entrance to the cave is gone!" Ryan called. He hurriedly drew his wand and cast lumos, for with the entrance sealed by a giant stone disk, they had been plunged into darkness. The magical light flickered across the small cave, and cast queer shadows upon the Headmaster's face. He looked older than Ryan had ever seen him.
"It appears that I am an old fool," Dumbledore whispered softly, "I am sorry Ryan, but be prepared to fight."
"Fight? Sir, what's going on?" Ryan asked. He wasn't worried; he knew that he could handle himself in a fight, and he was with Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard in the world.
"It seems so obvious now. Tom would not want anyone but himself to visit his horcruxes. Only his blood would have opened the passageway. Anyone else's blood would do little else then send a warning signal to him."
"A warning signal?" Ryan asked, already knowing what that meant.
"Yes, Ryan. Tom will be here in moments," Dumbledore said heavily.
"Then what are we doing here? Let's escape back to Hogwarts."
"We cannot. Tom has placed many wards upon this cave."
An explosion interrupted Dumbledore, and student and professor glanced warily at the stone disk covering the entrance. There was a second explosion, and the disk was littered with crumbling cracks.
"Ryan, do not fight Tom," Dumbledore ordered, "And be sure to obey any of my orders."
The stone disk exploded inwards, but Dumbledore had transfigured his outer robe into a taut sheet of elastic. Sharp, stone shrapnel struck the elastic, and was shot back outwards. There was a shout of outrage, and Ryan cringed as he felt the familiar, powerful magical pressure of Voldemort descend upon them.
The dark lord floated above the ocean, his robes billowing outwards in the stormy sea breeze. There were tears through his black cloth, and it seemed that the stone shrapnel had at least drawn blood.
"Albus, I should have known," Voldemort hissed. "Are you prepared to die tonight?"
"No one shall be dying tonight, Tom," Albus replied gravely. The old man's feet slowly lifted off the ground, as purple, crackling sparks of electricity sizzled out of his boots.
A whirlpool seemed to swirl in the ocean at Voldemort's feet, and the next moment a roaring, sea monster leapt outwards, made entirely from salt water. Dumbledore jabbed his wand at the creature, and a shard of amethyst shot out, striking the creature in the forehead. Its scream was more of a gurgle, but the creature didn't disappear. Rather, the single head split into two heads.
A torrent of water came spewing out of the sea serpant's mouths into the small opening of the cave. A shimmering blue shield erupted from Dumbledore's wand, sealing the cave. Then, with a wave of his free hand, Dumbledore threw a bolt of black lightning at the liquid. The whole ocean lit up in a burst of black light for a single instant, before the sea serpent evaporated.
Voldemort sent three green killing curses at Dumbledore, which slipped right by the shimmering shield. A concussive curse at the ceiling of the cave caused enough fallen debris to impact the green curses, but the momentary loss of vision meant that Voldemort had closed the distance between them.
Suddenly, there was a scream of pain. The dust cleared, and Ryan saw that the cave entrance had grown razor sharp, yellow teeth, and had bitten down upon Voldemort. His arm had been completely torn off, and blood splattered to the cave floor freely.
With agile speed, Dumbledore rushed forwards, purple lightning crackling at his feet as he sped across the room, and grabbed Tom by the throat. With a powerful, unbreakable grip on his throat, he slammed him against the cave wall. Voldemort's blood sprayed the wall, and the cave wall immediately disappeared, as if it had been an illusion all along.
"Ryan, go!" Dumbledore shouted. His talking cost him however. Voldemort plunged one his hands that was soaked in an inky darkness directly into Dumbledore's chest. The old man stumbled backwards, his eyes clouding over as black ink swallowed his bright blue pupils.
"You shall never win Albus. I am invincible," Voldemort hissed.
"I may not win, but you shall still lose," Albus roared in response.
"Your boy will never win, he is too weak," Voldemort taunted.
Ryan was forced to leap out of the way as a green light shot over his shoulder.
"You will not harm him," Albus roared again, purple lightning crackling all across his body. His feet lifted off the ground, and once again, he leapt forwards and grabbed Tom by the throat. Then, with an almighty bang, the two soared out of the cave, above the storming seas. Purple bolts of lightning clashed with eerie midnight green explosions in the sky. Ryan was tempted to simply stand and watch the two most powerful wizards fight each other, but Dumbledore's orders still echoed in his ears.
With his wand drawn he stepped into the newly opened cave. A large lake encompassed the area within, with a single, isolated island in the centre. There was a small pedestal, which obviously contained the horcrux. There was a row boat that looked more likely to sink than float resting at the edge of the water.
Ryan finally decided that it would be safer to simply fly over the water. He reached into his pocket and unshrunk his firebolt. He swung his legs over the broom, and felt himself relax immediately as he hovered several inches above the ground.
Leaning forwards, he shot across the water, but immediately felt resistance. It wasn't total resistance, the broom was still moving forwards, but it was only moving about as fast as Ryan could run. The moment he passed over the water, the peaceful lake erupted in vicious bubbles and ripples. Ryan swore to himself as dead bodies erupted out of the water, trying to drag the broomstick into the depths of the lake.
The cave wasn't high enough to simply avoid the Inferni, so Ryan had no choice but to ward them off. The first corpse that leapt at him was split into three pieces by two hissing blades of wind. Ryan concentrated on the air around him. A small hurricane surrounded him as he sat on the broom, except each swirl of the hurricane was a vicious, decapitating blade. Several corpses leapt at him, only to be torn into little pieces. Several small fingers managed to break through, and clung at Ryan's flesh, desperately trying to drag him downwards.
The corpses continued to attack though, and they grew in number as Ryan got closer to the island. He eventually began erupting the hurricanes. Blades of wind shot outwards in all directions, striking whatever was in their path. Water spurted upwards as the blades struck the surface, while the other blades soared right through the corpses, splitting their bodies in half.
The corpses never stopped moving, but Ryan cut their bodies into enough pieces that they were practically harmless. He finally disembarked off his broom, and examined the pedestal in the centre of the island. The corpses moaned as they tried to drag themselves ashore, but Ryan extended the slicing hurricane so it encompassed the whole island, and the corpses were sliced apart as they approached.
Upon the pedestal was a bowl, and although there was a locket hidden within the bowl, it was sunk within a mysterious potion. Ryan had no doubt that the potion was a poison, but no charms were able to retrieve the horcrux.
In an act of desperation, Ryan dug the whole pedestal out of the island. He then levitated the large chunk of stone, the pedestal, potion and horcrux across the island. Strangely enough, the corpses seemed to avoid the horcrux, as if something about the item disgusted them. Ryan hopped back on his broom and sped across the lake. This time, there was no resistance, and he had crossed the lake in mere seconds. He continued to levitate the pedestal towards the entrance of the cave, and was wondering what to do next, when Dumbledore smashed into the ground beside him.
He didn't look good. The top half of his robes had been completely obliterated, revealing the muscled, scar ridden torso, covered with a fresh array of bleeding cuts and ominously coloured, throbbing skin. Voldemort floated down gracefully, despite the fact he was missing an arm. Purple amethyst coated half of his face, but he was otherwise unharmed.
"What do you think you're doing?" Voldemort hissed, staring at the pedestal Ryan was levitating. "Even if you know what it is, you cannot destroy it."
"We'll find a way," Ryan said adamantly, "You'll never win Tom."
"You're Dumbledore's man, through and through, aren't you," Voldemort said, amusement in his voice. "I suppose killing the man should be enough to put you back in your position."
Dumbledore struggled to stand to his feet. Ryan only now realized that one of his legs was completely mangled and useless. He raised his wand and faced Voldemort boldly, but it seemed obvious who would win.
"Goodbye, you old fool," Voldemort said as he raised his wand in preparation for the death curse.
"Sectumsempra," Ryan shouted, pointing his wand at Voldemort. Voldemort glanced at Ryan with one demeaning, red eye, and turned his wand away from Dumbledore as if to deflect the curse.
When Voldemort started screaming, Ryan didn't understand what was happening. The cutting curse slipped through Voldemort's defenses, and blood splattered outwards from the slice within his chest, but the pain didn't seem to bother the dark lord. He clutched his head, and screamed in agony, as if something inside him was being torn asunder.
"How?" Voldemort screamed. "You did this. It was all part of your plan, wasn't it, old fool!"
"I have no idea what you're babbling about, Tom," Dumbledore declared, rising from the ground, wand drawn. Voldemort leapt at him, wand sparking with magic, but Dumbledore deflected the strike.
"You're weak Tom," Dumbledore declared.
"I'm stronger than you," he hissed.
"For now. But tell me, how strong will you be once the last horcrux falls?"
Voldemort leapt at Dumbledore in a rage, but a pulse of pure magic erupted from the headmaster, forcing the dark lord backwards. Voldemort gathered his own magical power around him, and Ryan felt himself struggle to stand as the magical pressure became too intense.
Suddenly, Voldemort was screaming again. Dumbledore had the sword of Gryffindor in his hands, and had plunged it into the floating pedestal. The locket within shrieked in fury, and a black soul was stretching and screaming to escape. Voldemort screamed alongside the soul, howling in pain, until finally, silence descended upon the cave.
Voldemort screamed in fury, but instead of launching himself at Dumbledore, he fled. Ryan just stared in confusion. He knew he should be thankful. He had been on the precipice of death, and had, again, miraculously survived, but he didn't understand why.
"What happened sir?" Ryan asked cautiously. Dumbledore was swaying on his feet. His mangled leg was supported by a steel brace, and his brilliant blue eyes were no more, and were instead shrouded in darkness.
"It appears, that we have more allies than I believed."
Harry led the group through Malfoy Manor, silenced pistol drawn. They had their wands, but they were wary of using them. It was possible that foreign magic would alter Voldemort to their presence. The silenced pistols were deadly enough though.
They had a general layout of Malfoy Manor, and although they were unsure as to where Voldemort may have kept his Horcrux, there were only a few likely possibilities.
"Where to first, the master bedroom, or the dungeon?" Ginny whispered in Harry's ear, causing him to shiver despite their dangerous situation.
"Master bedroom," Harry replied, "It's closer."
It probably wasn't the best reasoning, but the other's obeyed his lead anyway. They crept up the stairs, avoiding the rooms where voices emerged. They found the door to the master bedroom, and found it locked. Harry grabbed a screwdriver from his pocket, and began unscrewing the hinges. It took a minute to get all the screws out, but eventually the door simply fell down. Neville and Harry managed to grab it before it slammed against the ground, and slowly lowered it to the floor.
"Alright, let's get searching," Harry muttered, and they split off, scrounging the room for anything dark like. They hadn't been searching for long when they heard voices coming from the hallway. They all turned around, pistols in one hand, wands in the other, but they blanched when they recognized the voices.
"And what of my task, Bellatrix?"
"My lord, it is completed. The cup is stored within my vault."
"Excellent. The last one I have to hide is still in the bedroom. Would you like to accompany me, dear Bellatrix?"
"Of course my lord. It would be my pleasure."
The footsteps became steadily louder as the two traversed up the stairs. Harry glanced at Ginny, who was pale, her features scared and ashen. Neville was also pale, but he didn't seem scared. Rather, his eyes were blazing in fury. Harry knew that Neville would not run. He would stay and fight to his death to try and kill Bellatrix. This wasn't a fight they could win though. Voldemort was just mere steps from the bedroom.
"What is, my lord?"
"Silence! No, no, no! It isn't possible. They couldn't have found it. " Voldemort sounded both enraged and panicked. Moments later a crack was heard, and Voldemort had disappeared.
Harry breathed out in relief. They couldn't have been luckier. They had successfully avoided both detection and a fight.
"I'm going to kill that bitch," Neville whispered angrily, and it took Harry several seconds to figure out what he meant. By then, it was too late. Neville had already ran outside the room, and was casting his curses at Bellatrix.
"Longbottom!" Bellatrix squawked, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to avenge my parents," Neville shouted back.
"You broke into the mansion. I'll have to offer your body to my lord to account for my failure."
"What do we do?" Ginny moaned to Harry.
"Let him fight," Harry said, although it pained him to leave his friend out there. "Voldemort mentioned that something was hidden in this bedroom. It has to be the horcrux."
The two began tearing up the room, giving up on being subtle. Neville had ruined any chance of that. Harry found nothing, but when Ginny screamed, he realized that she had found something. She was pale and shaking, staring at something within the wardrobe. Harry hurried over, wrapping an arm around Ginny and pulling her to him, while also examining the wardrobe.
Within was a bust of a female witch, wearing nothing but a sapphire embedded tiara upon her forehead. Harry stared at it, but didn't feel any strange feelings emanating from it.
"Can you feel something?" Harry whispered to Ginny, who nodded against his chest.
"The tiara. It feels… just like the diary," she whispered fearfully. Without hesitating, Harry leant forwards and grabbed the tiara. As soon as he grabbed it he felt a strange pressure upon his body, urging him to wear it.
"Screw that," he muttered to himself, "I'll be dead before you catch me wearing a princess crown."
The wall to the room exploded inwards, and Neville came soaring through. He crashed to the ground, and slid all the way into the bed. Bellatrix stood on the other side of the wall, cackling madly. She laughed even louder when she finally spotted Harry and Ginny.
"More intruders? I'll kill them all. Watch me, my lord!"
Harry let go of the tiara and drew his wand. He pressed the trigger of the silenced .45 until the chamber was emptied. Each shot seemed to slow down as it travelled towards Bellatrix however, and when they finally reached her, she simply batted them out of the way with her wand.
A swirl of flames erupted around Harry, just in time to incinerate the bedposts, which had been transfigured into javelins. Toxic fumes seeped out of Bellaxtrix's wand, which were set alight by the heat of Harry's flames. Harry sent a tidal wave of flames rolling across the room at her, but she cocooned herself within a black shadow. The flames passed by her, and when she leapt out she sent four heavy metal chains swinging towards Harry.
The heat of his flames weren't enough to melt the metal, and he was struck by the chains. He crashed into the floor, nursing a broken arm, and probably several broken ribs. Maniacal laughter resounded in his ears, interrupted only by the brief screams of worry from Ginny.
Harry heard voices within him. They told him how to become stronger. How to become powerful to win, because there was only power, and those too weak to seek it. He clambered out for the power, because currently he was powerless.
Without knowing what he was doing, Harry had grabbed the tiara and placed it on his forehead. He grinned in triumph for exactly three seconds, before his world exploded in pain. He tried to pull the tiara off his head, but his limbs no longer obeyed. Instead, he picked up his wand, and pointed it at the witch.
Flames sparkled at the end of his wooden stick, and he grinned as he relished the power that flooded through his body. All it would take was a flick of his wand, and the witch would be dead. Burnt to an unrecognizable crisp.
The voices in his head told him the truth. The witch was shouting at him. Taunting him. Ignore her. Burn her. She is the evil one.
"Harry! You have to stop!"
Ignore her. Don't listen to her. She's trying to trick you. Burn the witch.
"But I really like her," Harry whispered to himself in confusion.
Then burn her.
Because it's the right thing to do.
He swiped his wand down, and flames erupted outwards towards the witch, threatening to burn her. They never reached her though. A wall of crystal had erupted upwards, deflecting the flames that could only lick at the impenetrable wall.
Next thing he knew he had been knocked to the ground. His head was swirling in agony, and he was having trouble realizing what was going on. The room was covered in flames. Bellatrix stood at the exit of the room, laughing madly. Ginny was ashen faced, kneeling on the ground in front of Harry, her hands desperately holding his face.
"You're all going to burn in their, that's fiendfyre," Bellatrix said, still laughing.
"They won't die," Neville said. Harry glanced upwards, and saw his friend, standing proudly, wand drawn. Walls of crystal surrounded him as he stood in front of Harry and Ginny. The fiendfyre was overpowering the crystal, crumbling it to ash.
"You can't save them Longbottom," Bellatrix shrieked, "You can't even save yourself. Do you honestly think you can beat me and escape?"
The last of Neville's crystal defences were crumbling. He stood proud, his shoulders wide, his brown hair plastered to his face with sweat.
"You will never hurt my friends," Neville proclaimed.
Harry heard it again. It was whispering. Whispering in his ear. Telling him about power, and how there were only those too weak to seek it.
"Neville, the tiara," Harry managed to say. Neville glanced down at him with compassionate brown eyes. "You have to wear the tiara Neville. Do you understand me?"
Neville smiled sadly at Harry. Harry never quite realized how tall Neville actually stood. He stood there defiantly, ignoring the blistering heat from the fiendfyre.
"I understand Harry. Pass me the tiara," Neville said.
Harry felt a surge of relief rush through his, and he grasped for the silver jewelry. He handed it over to Neville in a frantic haste, as if it were the most important and vital gift in the universe.
"Wear it Neville," Harry ordered, "you have to wear it."
"Don't worry, my friend," Neville said, and Harry was surprised to see tears on Neville's cheeks. "I know what I have to do."
With a swish of his wand, crystal stone weaved its way around Neville's wand, clustering together. The crystal grew outwards into a blade, with sharpened edges and a deadly point. The crystal continued to grow up Neville's hand, until it encompassed his whole forearm. He had the tiara clenched in his other fist.
He then ran through the fire, towards Bellatrix. Bellatrix screamed, and shot the green curses at him one after another. Neville ducked under the first one, and spun around another. He stumbled on a broken shard of the bedpost however, and was forced to use the crystal blade to deflect the incoming curse.
The crystal shattered in a marvelous display, leaving just a jagged, broken blade jutting out a foot from his fingers. He continued to run towards Bellatrix, the fire wrapping around his body as he ran. Bellatrix cast another killing curse, at the same time Neville leapt off the ground into the air.
Harry watched as his friend flew through the air, broken blade of crystal jutting out of his hand. The green killing curse left Bellatrix's wand and struck him directly in the chest. He continued to fly forwards though, and the jutted blade of crystal smashed directly into Bellatrix's face. Blood and bone spurted outwards as Neville fell to the ground, blade impaled upon Bellatrix.
Harry roared and shouted as he watched his friend fall limp to the ground. He bounced once, and then he stopped moving. The fiendfyre wrapped itself around the two fallen fighters, licking at the skin, before leaping in and devouring their bodies.
There was no screaming from them. They were already dead. Harry screamed though. He could still see Neville's sad smile, and the tears on his cheek as he took the tiara from Harry. He had stood so strong, so proudly and now he was gone.
The fire continued to devour Neville, when he suddenly erupted in a pulse of dark magic. Harry glimpsed the molten metal of the tiara melting in the fiendfyre, and a black, screeching soul trying to escape. Harry wrapped his arms around Ginny as the dark shockwave hit them. They smashed through the wall of the manor and fell from the second story to the grounds. Harry felt blood leave his mouth as he hit the ground, but he didn't feel the pain.
"We're going," Harry said bitterly, dragging Ginny away from the burning building.
"But what about Neville?" Ginny asked worriedly. She kept glancing back at the building as Harry led her away.
"Just shut up!" Harry roared in anger. "He's dead, you stupid bitch."
She didn't say anything after that. They walked away into the surrounding forest. They walked until they could no longer see the house, and then they continued to walk until they could no longer smell the smoke. Finally, Harry collapsed, his feet no longer holding him up. He leant backwards against a tree and closed his eyes. Ginny slumped down beside him. She was breathing heavily. There were tears on her ashen face, marred with grime and smoke. Her hair was a mess, and she seemed absolutely exhausted.
She didn't say anything, and Harry remembered his harsh words. He felt like crying himself. His best friend had sacrificed himself for them, and he had taken it out on his only other friend.
"I'm sorry Ginny. I shouldn't have yelled. I didn't mean any of it," Harry said softly. She didn't reply immediately, but wrapped her hands around his arm and nuzzled against him.
"Was that why you didn't want me to come along?" She eventually asked.
"I don't want to lose you Ginny. You're all I have left," Harry replied. She let go of his arm and clambering onto him, straddling his waist. She leant forwards and claimed his lips for her own. It wasn't a sweet kiss. It was smoky and desperate, and caused them to cough and choke on the ash afterwards.
"And you're all I have left," she replied, her voice hoarse and rough.
"Together then?" Harry asked hesitantly. He peered at Ginny through his glasses, and saw that her chocolate brown eyes were flashing in victory. She leant forwards and wrapped her shaking arms around his body.
That pretty much sums up my feelings right now.
The end is growing near...