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Chapter 34: Chapter 34: Nurenmgard
Chapter 34: Nurmengard
The castle’s walls glistened in the rain giving it a strange, eerie glow. Ron shivered violently-the rain and wind battered Nurmengard’s walls. Being imprisoned in the highest tower of the fortress, he was feeling the full force of the freezing weather.
Dolohov and Rowle had only just left-not that he was about to forget them. His lip was bleeding, his nose broken. He reckoned his left wrist was broken too, it hurt like hell anyway. He felt weak from the repeated pain of multiple Cruciatus curses. He ran a shaky hand, his good hand, through his hair, finding it matted thickly with dried blood.
If Harry came alone, and he probably would, they’d both end up dead. Still, it was better than this…dying like a caged animal. The pain was becoming unbearable from his numerous injuries; darkness was starting to creep into the corners of his eyes, swallowing him. As his vision failed and he slipped into unconsciousness, he swore he could see three figures flying towards him…
“What’ve they done to him?” Hermione whispered as they hovered outside the tiny window, peering into the highest cell. “Oh Ron…” Ginny’s face was extremely white, Harry noticed. He had to keep this together, even though the sight of his best friend, his partner and his brother lying on the floor in that state chilled him to the bone.
“Diffindo,” he muttered, jabbing his wand at the wall. There was a crack, and a jagged circle came loose from the castle. “Winguardium Leviosa,” he muttered, levitating the slab. Hermione raised her wand and vanished it. “In we go,” Harry said grimly, allowing Hermione to climb through first before following her through. Ginny followed him, and Harry tucked both their brooms into his moleskin pouch.
“Ron,” Hermione whimpered, checking his pulse. “He’s alive!” she said in a choked whisper.
“Let me,” Harry said, easing her aside. He leant down beside Ron and pulled out his bottle of dittany. He worked quickly, applying it to the worst of his cuts and bruises, which sizzled and smoked lightly as they healed. “Rennervate,” he muttered, tapping Ron’s forehead with his wand. His eyes flickered for a while, then snapped open.
“You came?” he rasped. “You heroic idiot,” he muttered.
“What else did you expect? Drink this,” Harry replied, giving him a small vial of strengthening solution and grinning. Ron swigged it, and Harry pulled him into a rough hug. “Never leave a brother behind, you know.”
“Shut up,” Ron muttered. “You are NOT making me cry,” he said firmly.
“Damn,” Harry replied, pulling back and grinning. “One day.”
“No chance,” Ron replied. “Hermione?” he said blankly.
“Am I invisible over here?” Ginny laughed weakly. Hermione pushed Harry aside, ignoring his protests.
“Don’t you ever scare me like that again!” she squealed quietly. “Oh Ron…”
“Oh Hermione,” Ron groaned.
“I won’t let go,” she whispered.
“Please do,” Ron replied. “I don’t know what they’ve done to my ribs but they bloody hurt.”
“Oh,” Hermione replied, hiccoughing. “Sorry.”
“What the hell are you doing here anyway?” he asked suspiciously. “Both of you?” he added, glancing at Ginny.
“Finally, he notices,” Ginny muttered, rolling her eyes. “We made Harry take us with him.”
“I was going to come alone,” Harry said apologetically. “They made me do it.” He pouted.
“Wimp,” Ron replied, shifting to a sitting position. “Ahhh….I think my wrists broken.”
“Give it here…Episkey!” Harry said, jabbing his wand, first at Ron’s face and then at his wrist. There were two sharp, wince worth cracks, and Ron’s wrist was repaired, along with his nose. His face scrunched up briefly in pain, but he relaxed after a moment.
“That’s better,” he commented, flexing his wrist.
“It’s about to get a whole lot worst,” growled someone from behind them. Harry spun round. Yaxley was standing beyond the bars, leering at them. He pulled down his sleeve and placed a finger to his dark mark, which was now accompanied by the Hallows symbol just below it.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry yelled before Yaxley could aim his wand. It flew from his hand and was neatly plucked out of the air by Ron.
“He knows you’re here now,” Yaxley growled menacingly. “You’re massively outnumbered. You won’t last five minutes.
“Then we’d best start to even the odds! FLIPENDO!” Harry roared. The spell struck the former Death Eater in the chest, smashing him through the wall, where he fell, seemingly in slow motion, all the way to the ground.
“Ron, I picked your wand up in Hogsmede,” Hermione said shakily after a moment of stunned silence, handing him the willow wand. “It’ll work better than Yaxley’s.
“Thanks,” he said, taking it back. “So…” He turned to face Harry. “On our own, in the hornet’s nest, hopelessly outnumbered…They’ll write a book on this one when we get out,” he grinned. Harry chuckled.
“Well, let’s get started,” he replied. “Hermione?” he added, nodding at the bars.
“My pleasure,” she said darkly. “Bombarda!” she cried, flourishing her wand. They burst from the wall with a resounding clash, sending stone and dust spiralling around. They stepped forwards to the window. The courtyard was filling up quickly with shouting Consecrat fighters, men and women on brooms were rising at every angle.
“Well, that rules out escape by air,” commented Ginny. “Any ideas?”
“Call the Order?” suggested Hermione. Harry shook his head.
“It’s too late. We’ll have to fight…if Dumbledore could beat him on his own, why can’t we four?” he asked, his green eyes blazing with excitement, fear and anticipation. They could hear footsteps pounding up the stairs.
“Well said,” Ron muttered, drawing his wand. “Let’s do this.” He suddenly took Hermione in his arms, forcing her against a wall. “You shouldn’t have come,” he whispered. “But I’m glad I’m facing this with you. I love you.” Hermione’s worried face broke into a smile.
“I love you too,” she said softly. Harry glanced at Ginny.
“Soppy aren’t they?” he said casually, ruffling his hair.
“Shut up and kiss me,” she replied, rolling her eyes and pulling him close. “Whatever happens, stick together,” she said quietly.
“Always,” Harry replied softly. “Let’s go.”
They sprinted down the stairs, meeting the first wave of attackers head on. There were only three, and the quartet dispatched them with magnificent ease. “Like old times,” Harry commented, laughing as he stunned one, who promptly fell down the stairs and landed heavily on his friend Ginny had hit with a bat bogey hex.
“Yup, imminent danger, constant threat of death…Can’t imagine why I didn’t miss it,” said Hermione sarcastically as they carried on down the stairs.
“Oh come on,” said Ron. “You missed hanging out with us.”
“Once again, your choice of date is seriously flawed,” Hermione told him. “I’m so glad I decided to plan the wedding with your mother and didn’t leave it up to you.”
“Honestly,” muttered Ginny, rolling her eyes. “Even now?”
“I’m used to it,” Harry replied. “Where is everyone?”
“No idea,” Ginny replied. “It’s far too quiet.” They’d reached the bottom of the stairs by now.
“This way,” Ron muttered. “We can go through the main hall and into the courtyard.” Harry nodded and followed Ron through the door on the left. They burst through the next door, a large, double oak one, and stopped dead. “Oh bloody hell,” Ron muttered.
“How much further?” muttered Gawain. Sabine had led them around the back of the mountain range that protected Nurmengard’s rear, into a series of dark, winding passageways that ran beneath the mountains.
“A long way,” Sabine replied. “We come out in the deepest part of the prison. Once there, we must ascend into the great hall. His forces will be gathered there.”
“How do you know?” Gawain asked curiously.
“Listen,” said Sabine quietly. Gawain strained his ears-he could hear it. The distant, echoing sound of voices. “You can hear them,” she said softly. “Perhaps we are too late.”
“We can’t give up,” Gawain said firmly, quickening his pace. “We mustn’t lose hope.”
“What about the rest of the Order?” Hestia asked. “Are they on their way?”
“I sent word to them, but who knows how long it will be before they arrive?” Gawain replied. “We couldn’t afford to wait.”
“It seems suicidal,” Hestia replied. “We don’t have a clue what’s on the other side.”
“We do,” Neville put in. “Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny are there. We can’t leave them.”
“Damn right,” growled Gawain. “Never leave a man behind.”
“Well, well, well,” said Gellert slowly, clapping his hands on each word. “Look who’s fallen into the lion’s den.”
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny stood in front of at least fifty Consecrat fighters, every wand pointing at them. “Have you any last words, Mr Potter, before I reclaim what is mine?”
“It’s me you want,” Harry said clearly, careful not to betray any of his fear in his voice. “Let the others go.”
“You’re in no position to bargain,” said Gellert coolly. “Prepare to die.”
“Wait!” Harry said, fighting the desperation. If he had to die, he wasn’t going to drag the others down with him. “Duel me. One on one. If you win, you get the wand. If I do, I go free. That way, you win with…honour.” Gellert grinned at him.
“Honour…” he said softly. “Potter knows how to play,” he chuckled delicately. “Very well. Leave him, he is mine,” he warned his forces. “Your friends may leave. You’re correct, my problem is only with you. Their time will come,” he said menacingly. Harry glared at him, green eyes meeting grey.
“Harry you can’t,” whispered Ginny frantically. “Please…”
“Listen to me,” He said, handing her the moleskin pouch. “Get out. I’m not letting you die because of me,” he said firmly. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, kissing her for what could be the last time. “Go!” He glanced at Hermione, who nodded and took Ginny’s arm.
“Tell me you have a plan,” she muttered as he walked forwards.
“I’m improvising,” he replied simply, pulling out the phoenix wand. Ron remained by his side.
“I’m not leaving you,” he said simply. Harry gripped his shoulder.
“You have too,” he said. “Look after them if I don’t make it back,” he said firmly. Ron swallowed and nodded.
“I’ll come back for you,” he vowed. “With everyone I can get to follow me.” He hugged Harry and turned to go. Ginny was struggling furiously.
“I’m not leaving him!” she shrieked as Hermione dragged her away. “NO!” Ron jumped in to help, lifting her round the waist.
“I love you,” Harry told her, forcing away the tears.
“I love you too you heroic bastard!” she screamed. “You’d better bloody win!”
“I’ll try,” he said simply, before turning to face his opponent.
“How very touching,” said Gellert sarcastically. “Love… Dumbledore’s favourite. Let’s see how ‘love’ fares against sheer power!”
“It’s done pretty well so far,” Harry replied coldly. “Stupefy!” Gellert deflected it with a flick of his wand, before returning fire with a Cruciatus curse. Harry managed to block it, but with difficultly. Anger coursed through him-Gellert was toying with him. “Sectumsempra!” Harry yelled, wildly slashing his wand. The curse hit Gellert’s shield charm with an ear splitting noise, like glass being shattered.
“Flipendo!” countered Gellert, shooting the knockback jinx so quickly that Harry had no time to react. He was caught in the chest and send flying, head over heels, before slamming painfully into a wall, sliding to the ground with his glasses askew. He straightened them groggily and scrambled to his feet.
“You see Potter,” said Gellert icily. “Even though you are the master of the Elder Wand, you cannot defeat me. Only Dumbledore was ever my equal, and soon he will be but a mere memory, eclipsed by my greatness.”
As he spoke, Harry had a sudden flash of a vision.
“Dumbledore’s been driven out of the castle by the mere memory of me!” Riddle hissed.
“He’s not as gone as you might think!” Harry retorted. He was speaking at random, wanting to scare Riddle, wishing rather than believing it to be true.*
Help had come then, in Harry’s hour of need, through his loyalty to Dumbledore. Could it save him again?
“Dumbledore wasn’t your equal,” said Harry quietly. “He was a far greater wizard then you could ever be.” Gellert’s smile momentarily faltered.
“Dumbledore’s dead,” he said coolly. “How is he possibly my better, you foolish boy?”
“You’d never understand,” said Harry simply. “People followed Dumbledore because they believed in him! They follow you because they fear you!” Gellert’s face was contorted with fury, but suddenly he seemed hypnotised. Harry knew why-he heard it too.
Phoenix song. Hauntingly beautiful, it transfixed the entire hall.
There was a flash of fire in the centre of the room, and Fawkes the Phoenix, as beautiful and magnificent as ever, appeared before them. He shot towards Harry, dropping in his hand perhaps the one weapon that could lead to his success.
The Elder Wand.
Fawkes cawed loudly, before disappearing in another flash of fire, his service to Harry done.
“So this is how it ends,” said Harry, as he and Gellert began to circle, fury etched into every line of the old man’s face. “Two wizards, one on one, battling for the most powerful wand in existence.”
“Both of us, titans among men,” commented Gellert. “I’ll enjoy watching you die.”
“You’ll get a good view from hell,” Harry replied. It was now or never, and so he yelled his best hope, the only spell that never failed him, to the sky.
“AVDADA KEDAVRA!” Gellert thundered. The two spells met in the middle, red on green, as it so often was. Harry, feeling the power course through him again, pushed everything into it, channelling it through the Deathstick. The energy released seemed to be too much for Nurmengard-the walls began to shake, the roof was crumbling. The Consecrat began to flee, screaming in terror.
“COWARDS!” roared Gellert. “THIS ISN’T OVER!”
“It will be!” Harry shouted. He flicked the Elder Wand upwards. The combined spells shot to the sky, completely obliterating the ceiling. The rain began to pour in. “Stupefy!” Harry yelled, whirling the Elder Wand. Gellert sidestepped the stunner, which collided with a pillar, collapsing an upper level balcony.
“Locomotor!” Gellert yelled. The crumbling black stone stopped dead in mid-air, before Gellert slashed his wand at Harry, sending several tons of rubble soaring towards him.
“Reducto!” Harry yelled, and the rubble exploded, shaking Nurmengard to its foundations once more. Harry knew the castle couldn’t take much more.
“Confringo!” Gellert roared. He too was aware that his fortress was coming down around his ears, but no longer cared. Madness had taken over his soul-madness and hopeless longing. He’d lusted after the Elder Wand for years, and he wasn’t going to let some plucky teenager with messy hair take it from him, for the sake of a crumbling castle.
Harry effortlessly battered the blasting curse away, destroying yet another pillar. Another section of the upper castle caved in, and Harry felt the floor seemingly sink a few feet. He was now soaked from the rain, his hair whipped across his face as the wind blasted him.
But he was winning. He could feel it, Gellert was getting desperate. His spellwork was decreasing in quality, his accuracy was wild. And yet all through this, he was laughing.
Gellert laughed because he couldn’t believe it. He, Gellert Grindelwald, the greatest and most powerful wizard of his generation, perhaps of all time, struck down by a lucky teenager? No, he was too powerful for that. He raised his wand, summoning all his power for one final curse to annihilate this nuisance in his life.
And that was when he realised his mistake. He’d made the same one, over fifty years ago. Oh, he was a fool.
“Expelliarmus!” Harry yelled. Gellert didn’t have time to block it. He saw the stream of red light zoom across the battleground to him, saw it hit his chest, felt his wand fly from his hand. But the disarming charm came from the Elder Wand-it’s power was amplified. He was thrown off his feet, crashing clean through a wall. Nurmengard was built high in the mountains, on a steep slope.
Gellert Grindelwald didn’t stand a chance. He laughed manically as he fell, disappearing into the thick, black abyss.
Harry sighed. Killing never got any easier. Still, he didn’t have time to dwell on it-Nurmengard was collapsing around him-in fact, it was slipping closer and closer to the edge of the slope Grindelwald had fallen from, it’s crumbling walls beginning to join it’s former master in the abyss below.
Turning on the spot, Harry tried to apparate. Nothing. Cursing, he pulled out the portkey from his pocket, willing it to take him away. Still nothing. He may have been mad, but Gellert Grindelwald sure had been thorough with his wards. Desperate, Harry plunged his hand into his pocket, searching for anything that might help him.
His hand brushed across a polished wooden fragment. He pulled out the broken handle of his Nimbus 2000. It was barely three inches long, even if the flying charm remained, he’d never be able to fly on it.
And then it hit him.
His wand had been beyond magical repair, supposedly. But the Elder Wand had fixed it. Perhaps it could work again.
“Reparo,” he muttered, tapping the fragment with the Elder Wand. A warm tingling sensation trickled down his arm, and the fragment seemed to grow in his hand, until Harry was holding his faithful Nimbus, shining as brightly as the day he’d received it. The floor began to shift-the castle was falling over the edge. Swinging his leg over the broom, he kicked off hard, soaring into the air. How wonderfully familiar the old broom was! He easily dodged chunks off falling rock as he flew directly upwards, fighting against gravity as the castle began to plunge over the edge.
And he was free. The rain on his face, the wind whipping through his hair, the fading sunlight in the distant horizon, it was more magical than anything Harry had felt or seen before. He was alive. Sitting astride the Nimbus, he raised his hands in triumph, and let out a long celebratory cry.
They’d won. As he streaked towards the sky, he saw the archway to the entrance of the fortress was still standing. For Greater Good was still easily readable, carved into the stone.
Fitting thought Harry, as he accelerated away.
“What the hell was that?” Gawain hissed as a tremendous crash echoed throughout the tunnels. The ceiling shook, it felt as though the entire mountain was coming down. “Go back, Go back!” he shouted, turning around.
“Wait!” cried Sabine. “Someone is coming. I can hear them.”
“Wands out everyone,” Gawain growled. “Stay sharp.”
Panicked voices became louder and louder. Charging footsteps thundered through the cave, and wand light loomed.
“On my mark, stunners,” Gawain muttered. The first figures came into view. “NOW! STUPEFY!” he yelled, flicking his wand. Around a dozen red lights flashed through the cave, illuminating them in an eerie glow very briefly, before they met their targets. Several people dropped, but most kept coming.
“Aurors!” cried a voice.
“No! No more,” said another. “We surrender.” There was a general murmur of agreement, and wands began to clatter to the floor. Dedalus summoned them too him nonverbally.
“Cowards!” screamed a third person. “Stand and fight!”
“It’s over Valko!” said the second voice. “Potter’s won. You know it.”
“It is never over!” thundered Valko. “Hans, you disgust me!”
“I’m being realistic!” cried Hans.
“You’re being a fool,” Valko said coldly. “Avada Kedavra.” There was a flash of green, and a body dropped to the floor. “And you!” he screamed furiously, pointed dramatically at Sabine. “You betrayed us!”
“You chose the wrong side, Valko,” said Sabine coolly. “Drop your wand before you do something stupid.”
“Big words,” growled Valko. “I will kill you before you take another step.”
“He is mine,” said Sabine firmly, drawing her wand. “You are all talk, Dragonov. Crucio!” Valko dodged the curse, whirling around and shooting a fireball at Sabine, who put it out with a jet of water from the end of her wand.
“Fireballs? Are you nine?” she cackled. “Petrificus Totalus!” Valko blocked this with a quick shield charm.
“Avada Kedavra!” he roared again. Sabine leapt aside, and the killing curse struck the tunnel wall, cracking it.
“Keep trying old man!” Sabine taunted. “You won’t best me!” She danced out of the way of a second killing curse, before binding him with thick rope.
“Diffindo! Diffindo!” Valko cried, managing to free himself. “Locomotor Wibbly!” he yelled, and Sabine’s legs collapsed from underneath her. “It looks as though I’ve bested you,” he said darkly. “Diffindo!” he snapped, slashing his wand. A dark slash appeared on Sabine’s throat, and she fell backwards. Gawain quickly raised his wand-this man was dangerous, he had no choice.
“Avada Kedavra,” he roared. The jet of green light soared towards Valko, but he somehow managed to throw himself out of the way in the nick of time.
“Fool!” he screamed, getting back to his feet. “I am Grindelwald’s most trusted servant! I-“
“Shut the hell up,” spat Gawain, cursing him again. The green light hit Valko in the chest. He looked surprised as he dropped to the floor, his eyes rolling back into his head.
“HARRY!” screamed Ginny, now sobbing uncontrollably into Ron’s shoulder. They watched from a safe distance as Nurmengard crumbled and fell into the deep abyss between the two mountains on which it was situated. “We have to go back,” she wailed, pounding Ron’s shoulders with her fists.
“It’s no good,” said Ron quietly. “If he was caught in that, he’s gone.” Tears were spilling down his own cheeks-he couldn’t believe it. He’d left him-he hadn’t got back in time.
“What’s that?” Hermione asked, astride Harry’s Firebolt. “There’s someone on a broom!” she exclaimed, squinting. Ron plunged a hand into his inside pocket and pulled out a pair of omnioculars he’d bought at the world cup.
“It’s Harry!” he yelled, twiddling the dials. “Where’d he get a Nimbus from?” Ignoring Ron’s question, Hermione leant as far forward as she dared on the Firebolt, shooting forwards. Ron leant forward on Ginny’s Nimbus, struggling to keep up.
“HARRY!” Hermione yelled. Harry turned, a broad grin on his face, and shot towards them, hitting the three of them with a solid thump
“You’re brilliant!” Ron exclaimed. “Bloody brilliant!”
“Amazing,” agreed Hermione.
“My hero,” said Ginny softly, sliding on to his Nimbus. “I love you.” And he kissed her, like there was no tomorrow, no matter that her older brother had his arm around him and was cheering their victory. “Where’d you get that?” she added, pointing to the Elder Wand in his hand. Harry was about to answer, when there was a flash of flame, and Fawkes appeared on his shoulder, cawing gently.
“That’s how,” he said simply. “Lo Fawkes,”** he said softly, stroking the bird. “You should take this back,” he added, holding out the Elder Wand. The Phoenix took it from his hand and took off. Harry smiled. He’d done it, he was with the people he cared about most, they’d all made it. And he’d be eternally grateful for that.
He watched as the graceful bird disappeared into the sinking sun, and wondered if they’d finally have peace.
“You two,” said Gawain. “Are absolutely unbelievable.” He shook his head. “Mr Potter what you did was rash, foolish and if I had any sense left I’d punish you as severely as I could.” Harry tensed, and felt Ron do the same beside him.
“But,” Gawain sighed. “I cannot deny that your actions brought an end to the war, and saved many lives. It seems that once again, we are in your debt, Harry.”
It was three weeks since Harry had defeated Grindelwald. Gawain had given both him and Ron the time off to recover from their ordeal, so they’d only just managed to explain everything to him.
“Gawain?” came Kingsley’s voice from the other side of the door. “Are they ready?” Gawain sighed.
“I haven’t told them yet,” he growled. “Would you like to do the honours?”
“My pleasure,” said Kingsley cheerfully, opening the door. “Harry, Ron, nice to see you alive and well.”
“And you, Kingsley,” Harry said warmly.
“What haven’t you told us?” said Ron suspiciously.
“Your presence is required in the atrium,” Kingsley replied. “Oh, hello Rufus,” he added, as they sidestepped a man with a peculiar resemblance to Cornelius Fudge, flanked by two hit wizards “I’m guessing you won’t be vanishing any trains any time soon?” he chuckled. Rufus gave him a vile glare as he was dragged down the corridor. “We have an announcement to make,” Kingsley continued, speaking to Harry and Ron again. Puzzled, they followed Gawain and Kingsley up to the atrium, which was packed with people, everyone from reporters to cleaners, and for some reason, the entire Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore’s army.
“Sonorous,” muttered Kingsley as he climbed a podium, that Harry had never noticed before (in fact he was pretty sure it’d just been added), raising his wand to his throat. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he boomed. “For the past five years, we have lived in a state of fear, from not one, but two Dark Wizards. They were both a serious threat to our society, our very way of life. Therefore, it is my pleasure to honour those who were instrumental in the downfall of Tom Riddle, or Lord Voldemort, and Gellert Grindelwald.”
“Oh Merlin’s Beard,” muttered Harry darkly. He could see where this was going.
“Firstly, I’d like to draw your attention to the members of Dumbledore’s Army,” Kingsley proclaimed, and a spotlight shone upon the assembled members. “Each of these witches and wizards, many of them barely of age, some not even there, fought against the tyranny of the Carrow twins during the darkest times in our world. When Hogwarts descended into a battlefield, many of them joined the fight. Therefore, it is my pleasure to award each one of them with the Order of Merlin, Second class!” he said, beaming. He waved his wand, and each of the mentioned wizards acquired a small silver wizards hat on the lapel of their robes.
“Next, to the members of the Order of the Phoenix,” Kingsley continued. “The Order of the Phoenix was a secret society formed in 1970 by Albus Dumbledore to combat the growing threat of Lord Voldemort. Since then, the Order has frequently been on the front line in the fight against darkness, most recently in the war against the Consecrat, led by Gellert Grindelwald. Many lost their lives, and we now have a moment of silence in their memory,” he paused, and the entire atrium stood still, nobody seemed to move. Harry thought back tears as he remembered Sirius, Remus and Tonks, Mad Eye, Dumbledore, Fred, even his parents. They’d all died for the peace they’d finally achieved.
“Each member of the Order,” Kingsley continued after a minute, “fought with pure nerve and outstanding courage. I therefore award each member, past or present, the Order of Merlin, first class!” He waved his wand again, and the members of the Order who fought both Voldemort and Grindelwald received a similar lapel pin to the D.A, this time in gold.
“There are three others, who are worthy of such an award,” Kingsley said. “During the ministry’s occupation under Lord Voldemort, Hogwarts school became no longer a place of education, but a prison of fear and punishment. Those who participated in the resistance movement have already been mentioned, but they were magnificently led by three, truly inspiring people. Therefore, I award the Order of Merlin First Class To Mr Neville Longbottom, Miss Ginevra Weasley and Miss Luna Lovegood!” Harry could see Molly’s face stained with tears of pride as Ginny received her honour. Even Arthur looked a little emotional. Harry felt a strong surge of pride towards her-Ginny, his girl.
“Finally, I have a new announcement to make,” Kingsley boomed over the babble of noise that had broken out. “As many of you may know, the Order of Merlin was first established by Merlin himself, to ensure equality among wizards and muggles. Once it was disbanded, it became what it is now, a proud Order for those who have performed admirable services to our world.
However, some people’s deeds are simply too great for even this. Some people have gone beyond the realms of what is easy, to do what is right for the greater good.
These people, in my opinion, deserve their own award. And that is why, as minister for magic, I have created a new award: The Order of the Phoenix.” A band of cheering broke out.
“There are three people in this room, who probably deserve this prize more than anyone else. We all know who they are, we all know what they faced. Therefore, I’d like you to put your hands together for Mr Harry James Potter, Mr Ronald Bilius Weasley and Miss Hermione Jean Granger!” The applause was deafening-nothing Harry had ever heard was anything like it. It was greater than winning the Quidditch final, greater than winning the house cup.
Hermione appeared next to them, crying her eyes out. Catching Ron’s eye, they both rolled their eyes, laughed and put their arms around her.
“You three are heroes, and you should be remembered as such,” Kingsley told them. “Also inducted into the Order are Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape and James and Lily Potter.” Harry’s jaw dropped, stunned. “All of you gave great sacrifices, it should never be forgotten.” As the cheers ran out, as Ginny threw herself around him and he lifted her, kissing her so the entire world could see, Harry felt that he could have eradicated every dementor in the world with the patronus he could’ve produced.
“Do you think it’ll finally get better now?” Ron asked. He, Hermione, Harry and Ginny were once again cuddled up around Grimmauld Place’s coffee table-Professor McGonagall had agreed to allow the girls to stay the weekend.
“The Death Eaters got away,” Harry reminded him. “They’ll be back. So did a lot of the Consecrat”
“Hooray,” grumbled Ginny. “Are you ever optimistic?”
“Only when it’d be truthful,” Harry replied, grinning. She rolled her eyes.
“I still can’t believe all the Malfoys got off scott free,” complained Hermione. “I know we wouldn’t have won the war without them, but that’s pushing it isn’t it?”
“They’re not all bad,” Harry said slowly. “Pretty bad, though,” he added hastily as the other three glared at him. Ginny yawned and stretched out, catlike.
“I think I’ll turn in,” she decided. “You coming?” she asked Harry, kissing him on the cheek. Ron mimed vomiting, earning him a slap from Hermione.
“I won’t be long,” he assured her. She shrugged and trotted off up the stairs.
“So Harry,” said Ron quietly, leaning back in his armchair. “When you asking her?”
“What?” said Harry, far too quickly.
“Never ask my Dad for permission when George is about,” Ron advised him, laughing. Harry groaned.
“He said he wouldn’t tell!” Harry protested.
“And you believed him? You’re a bigger idiot than I thought,” Ron sniggered wickedly
“Git,” Harry replied coolly.
“How’re you going to do it then, Harry?” Hermione asked curiously, interrupting their spat, snuggling closer to Ron.
“Haven’t got a clue actually,” Harry admitted. “I’ll know when the moments right though,” he assured them.
*Taken from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
**From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A/N Well he’s dead! But don’t worry, there’s still a little more to come, and then I’ll start posting the sequel! Look out for it in about a weeks’ time, it’s going to be called “Harry Potter and the Knights of Mordred.” Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with the story so far.