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Chapter 1: The Battle
'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock;
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff, which
From her kennel beneath the rock
Maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.
Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
'T is a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way.
The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,
What makes her in the wood so late,
A furlong from the castle gate?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothed knight;
And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that's far away.
She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak,
But moss and rarest mistletoe:
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she.
The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel!
It moaned as near, as near can be,
But what it is she cannot tell.-
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree.
The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek-
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798
A/N: That's only the very beginning of the poem...
Ginny stared in disbelief at the scene before her. Harry lay on the ground, severely wounded. He was surrounded by Lupin, Tonks, Moody, Ron, Hermione, and others who had come to back him up in his last stand against Voldemort. The battle they had all anticipated and dreaded had arrived, and now was past. The fight that had occupied everyone’s minds for so long, that had taken so much planning on Harry’s part that the odds be in his favor, was over. It had lasted a matter of minutes. In scarce moments, Voldemort had perished...and now it seemed Harry would die as well.
Ginny closed her eyes, remembering. She and her family had begun to suspect that in order for Voldemort to be completely vanquished, Harry would have to die along with him, some time ago. It seemed so long ago...
“Ginny!” called Fred sharply, breaking into her thoughts. “Come! He needs you.”
She walked slowly, reluctantly, towards the prostrate body. She hadn’t wanted to see him in this state. She wanted to preserve him in her memory as he was before the battle...strong, brave, whole, and alive. But he wanted her...her! So he really did love her.
Those gathered around him moved aside to make way for her. They all knew the two had been in love; they knew Harry had left her to protect her; they knew it had rendered them both sad and alone. Yet they had sacrificed their love for the good of the wizarding world. It had been a long time since anyone had seen two of such noble heart.
“Oh, Harry,” Ginny breathed, catching her first complete look at his mangled body.
“Hey Gin,” he croaked, trying his best to be jovial, “you did well today,” he said, referring to the fight.
She kneeled next to him, taking his bloodied hand in her clean one. “Thanks...it felt good to do away with those Death Eaters once and for all...” her voice cracked suddenly, and she lowered her eyes. How could he speak so easily of what had just past while he was about to die? We should be speaking words of love and farewell, not discussing the war, she thought silently.
Harry smiled, although it obviously pained him to do so. “Gin,” he whispered, “don’t look like that...you knew almost as well as I that my soul was tied to Voldemort’s...if he dies, I die. The prophecy is fulfilled...” he coughed raucously, no doubt tasting blood I his mouth. Ginny gripped his hand tighter, feeling tears force their way out from her eyes, streaming down her smooth cheeks.
“Isn’t there anything we can do?” she asked, looking up at her parents, who stood behind her, even though she knew they could do nothing.
Molly Weasley shook her head tersly, trying to refrain her own tears...she had loved Harry as much as her own children...
Ginny felt Lupin’s hand grip her thin shoulder. “There is no cure for wounds make by hate. His love killed his nemesis, but it came back in threefold hate to destroy him as well.”
She looked at him. “But if there was a cure, it would only cure him, correct? It wouldn’t bring He-Who-Must...Voldemort back would it?”
Lupin looked at Moody, who shook his head, his magical eye still for once. “No,” he answered, his voice more gruff than usual, “it would only cure Harry. Voldemort is gone forever. If he dies, Harry dies, but if Harry lives, he will not come back...strange arrangement, I know, but that is simply how it is.”
Ginny glanced back at Harry. The brightness in his eyes was fading, and his grip on her hand continually grew looser. She shuddered...she was losing the only loved she’d ever had.
With the corner of her shirt, she wiped his pale face to rid it of any remaining blood. He tried to smile gratefully, but he could not manage it a second time. Ginny looked at him more carefully, not bothering to wipe her face of her ears. There had to be a way! There had to be...
She stared into Harry’s green eyes. There! She saw it; there still remained a spark of life. One spark. If it was not blown upon, it would go out forever. But what to blow upon it with?
She took in a great breath of air, as she pushed back the sobs that were trying to rise from her throat, from her very soul. She blinked rapidly, not wanting to cry anymore. She had nothing to strengthen the spark, but she might as well try to be as brave as Harry was being. As she blinked, she looked up at Ron and Hermione. Ron was trying to comfort Hermione, who was weeping on his shoulder, by smoothing her bushy hair back from her sweaty forehead. With each stroke, Hermione pressed closer to him, trying to keep some semblance of love alive in her life. Harry had been her best friend, the brother she’d never had, and she loved him as deeply as she did Ron, who was now her boyfriend.
Love! Ginny’s face flushed suddenly with excitement. Love could surely make the spark grow back into a flame! After all, wasn’t it his mother’s love had had protected him from all the other times he had run into Voldemort? Wasn’t love what had kept him alive until now? What better care for a hate-wound than love itself?
“Uh,” groaned Harry loudly. Ginny realized she was gripping his now-fragile hand far too tightly. She relaxed a little, and looked back into his eyes, searching for the spark again. Where was it?
The people around the pair looked at each other in confusion. What was Ginny doing, staring at the faller hero so intently?
Harry raised a blood-thickened eyebrow. “What are you doing Gin? Staring will do no good now...come on, let’s have a kiss...” he grunted in pain, “I haven’t much time, love...”
Ginny felt like shouting in both frustration (didn’t he understand what she was trying to do?) and in relief (ah, there was the spark!). “Quiet!”
Ron jerked his head around to glance at George. Why was their sister treating him so? What was the matter with her? Was grief driving her mad?
“Quiet...” Ginny repeated, softer this time, as she leaned forward, never breaking contact with her eyes. She closed them the instant before her lips touched his; no sooner. Although his lips were dry and crusted with his own blood, she took no notice, so intent was she on envisioning the spark she had seen only an second before; in her mind’s eye, it shown clearly, a golden dot among the green waves that were Harry’s, and Harry’s alone.
She pressed closer, deepening the kiss, as she focused on coaxing the spark to grow. “Love, honor, fidelity. I love Harry. Love, honor...” the phrase repeated itself over and over in her head.
But the spark did not grow. Ginny’s concentration broke as she examined the spark, but she did not leave Harry’s mouth. Not just yet...she would not give up so easily. What is wrong? she though rather angrily.
Suddenly, unbidden, a voice that she did not recognize, a voice that was not her own, spoke in her mind. “Nothing.”
“What?” she asked the voice, her brain confused.
“Nothing is wrong. Not really. It isn’t working because the circle is not complete...come with me...oh, and make sure you bring Harry too,” the voice was smug, yet slightly urgent.
Ginny didn’t stop to ponder the strangeness of what was occurring. It felt right, what this voice was telling her to do. Right. The voice was true. It would not lie. It was right.
“Very well. Take us,” answered her mind as her hands gripped Harry’s shirt so that he would come as well. “Take us...we are ready.”
Then, without so much as a noise for warning, or a word of farewell, the pair disappeared into thin air, leaving behind a shocked crowd, and the world they knew.
A/N: I hope you liked it! I know this chapter is a little confusing, but there is more to come in which all will be explained...please review!