“And the time that has been long awaited, will soon fall upon our sweaty brow. Soon. Soon the time that all the weak souls fear will reign into existence, eliminating those who are contaminated with their mud blood. This is mealy the rehearsal. Soon, the pain, and the suffering will overpower them, and they will fall, and we will be ready”
The stone cold throne sat amidst a wash of black cloaks which covered the faces of those veiled behind them as they faced the dark figure stood high above them on a marble pedestal, his wand clutched tightly in his skeletal hand as his voice thundered over the silence.
“HE will be DIMINISHED! Weakened for the finality of his last breath that I, and only I, will take from his pleading lips in the dead of the night. And that night shall govern our souls very, very soon. Until then, you each have your bidding to compile in preparation for that gracious night.”
Deafening applause closed in on the crowded room like blood running through a river of bodies, callous and harsh. Their heads bowed to their master as he sang the words of their victorious night, his veins pulsating to the song of the dead.
The room was dark as the golden moonlight filtered effortlessly through the miniscule cracks in the deep velvet curtains, illuminating the smallest of detail upon the cowering boy who lay silently on the soft bed, tear-marks apparent on his flushed cheeks as his small frame rocked back and forth.
“Harry?” a voice called softly through the shut door as knuckles quietly rapped upon the wood, the sound echoing around the silent bedroom.
Harry sighed deeply and turned away from the disruption, his tired face burying deep within his pillows.
He knew that he would have to face them at some point, yet his heart just wasn’t ready. He knew and understood his place within this war, and although he was scared, he was ready for what was to come. In his mind, they were not.
Harry dispised himself for bringing them into his world. He knew that if he had not have met them, they would still have been part of the war, especially since Arthur was in the ministry with Bill and Charlie in close contact, yet without meeting him, their own lives may not have been personally threatened. Everyone I love dies
Harry sighed and closed his eyes, pretending too be asleep as he heard the small creak of the door. He could feel his friends watching him, yet they did not speak, they did not want to disturb him, yet in their hearts, they knew that he wasn’t asleep.
Hermione let out a small sob and rushed back out of the room.
Ron sighed loudly and turned to follow her, stopping at the door, his back turned to Harry.
“Harry, mate. Look, I know how you must be feeling, but please…for Hermione’s sake…don’t shut us out. We’re here for you, mate, we’re your friends.”
Ron quietly closed the door with a small snap of the catch. After a few moments, Harry sat up and stared at the door. He knew that Ron and Hermione were just trying to help, but he didn’t need their help. He didn’t need them to die because he loved them.
The order members had finally departed from the brightly lit kitchen, leaving only Ron, Hermione and Remus sitting around the table, their minds full of the conversations the meeting had brought them.
As Hermione poured them all a cup of coffee, tears began to well in her eyes. Hastily, she tried to wipe them away with her sleeve, spilling the burning hot water over her hand.
Remus quickly ran over to where she was stood and waved his wand over the burn, rapidly easing the pain, yet Hermione continued to sob, her body shaking uncontrollably.
“Hermione?” Ron asked as he pulled himself to his feet, an anxious look in his eyes.
Hermione looked up at him and sobbed louder, her body falling towards Remus, who grabbed her tightly.
“Hermione, what’s wrong?” Remus said quietly, yet the hint of worry surfaced in his voice.
“I…it’s just…can’t…Harry…I…I…” Hermione stammered, her wet face burying into Remus’ chest.
Remus sighed, knowingly as he stroked Hermione’s soft hair.
“I know” he whispered gently, “I know.”
Quietly, Remus led a still sobbing Hermione to a chair; sand slowly helped her to sit down. His heart reached out for her, for Ron, and especially for Harry, who he had begun to look upon as his son.
“Harry just needs some time” Remus said, his voice barely a whisper, “We all do.”
Hermione slowly nodded as she wiped away her tears.
“It’s just…” Hermione stammered quietly, “…We’re his friends; we are meant to be able to console him and help him through everything.”
“Hermione” Remus said as he shifted his body in the seat, “Harry knows that you are both there for him, and I know that he appreciates it immensely, it is just that…”
“That he doesn’t want you to die”
Hermione, Remus and Ron jumped and looked over to the doorway where Harry was stood, his body leaning against the wall with a tired look in his eyes.
“Harry!” Ron said, a little too loudly making Harry smile slightly.
“Harry, why don’t you take a seat” Remus said standing up, “I’ll make you some coffee.”
Harry nodded slowly and made his way to the chair next to Hermione.
“Thanks” he said quietly as he watched Remus wave his wand.
Harry stifles a small laugh. He would never get over the magical way of coffee making when the muggle way was so much simpler.
Harry sighed and turned his attention back towards his friends, his heart torn with his mixed emotions.
“Harry, I…” Hermione started, but stopped when Harry slowly shook his head, his hand resting on her shaking arm.
“No” Harry said softly, “Let me speak first.”
Hermione looked into Harry’s eyes and silently nodded. In turn, Harry glanced at Ron, who was holding his head in his hands, watching Harry closely.
Taking a deep breath, Harry leant back in his chair and began the speech he had rehearsed over and over again in his mind.
“Look, I am sorry, both of you. I am sorry that I have been acting like a right prat recently, it is just…coming back here without…I have just needed some time to…adjust.”
Harry paused as he swallowed hard. He turned his head slightly and saw that Remus was smiling gently at him, his hand softly clasping Harry’s shoulder, giving him the comfort he needed. Like Sirius used to
Harry sighed and fought against the tears that were beginning to well up in his eyes.
“I sometimes wish that…that we had never become so close because…” Harry paused as he saw Ron look up at the ceiling in an attempt to stop himself from becoming emotional. “…because then I wouldn’t feel so scared, so scared of losing you all.”
“But, Harry, you won’t…” Hermione interrupted, her voice high pitched with emotion.
“Everyone I…everyone I am close to ends up becoming one of his toys…everyone ends up dead because…because of me”
“Harry, that is not true” Hermione cried, tears falling silently down her face.
“Sirius is dead, Dumbledore is dead, who is going to be next?” Harry half shouted, his face beaming red with emotion. He felt a small squeeze on his shoulder and remembered that he wasn’t the only one who had lost people close to him. But it wasn’t their fault…it was mine.
“Harry” Remus said softly, his eyes watching the boy in front of him, “Whatever you think, Dumbledore and…Sirius…they did not die because of you. It wasn’t your fault; none of this is your fault.”
“The prophecy was written about me” Harry said, his voice calmer, “Me and him. He is killing those I love because he wants me.”
“That isn’t true…” Hermione stammered, her body shaking with her quiet sobs.
Harry sighed and closed his eyes.
“Maybe…” Harry whispered, “Maybe we should just give him what he wants…maybe then, all this will end.”
A shocked silence filled the room as Harry kept his eyes shut, his heart beating wildly.
After a few moments, Remus knelt down level with Harry and gently cupped his chin in his hands, lifting his eyes level with his own.
“Harry that will never happen” he said quietly, “I will never let that happen.”
Harry opened his eyes and gazed into Remus’, silent tears now flowing fast down his face.
Slowly, Remus pulled Harry’s body to his own, his arms wrapping around his thin body as their warmth slowly comforted one another.
“We will stand together until the end” Remus whispered as Harry sobbed into his chest.
“Together” Hermione and Ron chorused, their own arms moving around the two hugging men.
Harry smiled ever so slightly. He felt comforted by their words, their actions, yet he knew in his hearts that in the end, he would be standing alone to face the thing that had caused so much pain. In the end, it was going to be one or the other, and Harry made a silent plea to his Godfather to help him be the one who lived.
Ginny Weasley sat crossed legged in the Black family library, her eyes darting over the blurred writing of an old leather-bound book. The light from the hallway shone through the open door onto the table filled with books as Ginny crouched in the furthest corner of the shadows, not wanting to be seen. The library had been classed as out of bounds to them after an unfortunate accident involving a very nasty spell that her brothers, George andFred, had cast from the writings of an old, dark magic book that had not been moved. They had been researching a way to trick the enemy using normal, everyday things from their joke shop, which had now been torn apart by Voldermorts army, but they ended up hexing each other into Kingdom come. Remus and Moody had since then began clearing the books away, yet Ginny had managed to sneak in quietly in order to research a way to help the order.
She shifted in her seat, stretching her tired body as she silently picked up another dark book and rested it gingerly on her lap, her fingers tracing the faint writing as her lips moved silently.
Ginny jumped erratically, dropping the large book onto the floor with an almighty thump.
“Wha…?” She said in a surprised voice, before noticing Harry standing in the door, his lean figure silhouetted in the light.
“Oh, it’s just you” she said quietly, trying to compose herself, “I though that you might have been Remus, or worse, Moody.”
Harry smiled softly and made his way over to the table, picking the fallen book up as he went.
Glancing down at the cover, Harry sighed and flipped it open, his eyes widening at the spell list.
“These are dangerous, Ginny” he said, quietly placing the book on the far side of the table, “And the library is out of bounds.”
“Only to me evidently” Ginny said, her eyes narrowing with jealousy.
Harry sighed and pulled out a chair from beneath the table. Sitting down, he looked deep into Ginny’s eyes.
“You have had this conversation over and over with Remus, your parents, Moody…” Harry gently took Ginny’s hand and covered it with his own. “They are just trying to protect you.”
“Harry!” Ginny said in disgust, “I don’t need protecting. I turn seventeen in a month’s time, I will be of age and then there is nothing you or anyone else can do.”
“It doesn’t matter whether you are seventeen or seventy, people will still want to protect you.” Harry said quietly as Ginny pulled her hand away from his.
“What, like you so wanted to protect me when you went off with Hermione and Ron to look for those damn horcruxes, leaving me behind on my own.” Ginny stood up and knocked a small pile of books to the floor. Harry could see the tears brimming in her eyes as she tried her hardest not to let her emotions rule her body.
“Ginny, I had to” Harry answered in a barely audible voice, I didn’t want you to…”
“What? Die? No, I guess you didn’t” Ginny snapped turning to the door, her hair flinging over her dainty shoulders, “No chance of me dying is there when I am unprepared, left in the dark and constantly on my own, oh no. Certainly no chance of me dying whilst I don’t have a life in this sodding war.”
“Ginny, you don’t understand…”
Ginny stopped in the door, her back turned to Harry, her voice barely more than a low whisper.
“Oh, I understand perfectly. Ginny Weasley is too young to understand, too weak to fight. Yes, Harry, I understand, but don’t expect me to like it. I am not just going to sit around and watch those I love die.”
Ginny stormed out of the room and into her bedroom, slamming the door after her, leaving Harry sitting in the near darkness of the library. I just can’t win
Harry sighed. All he wanted to do was to keep those he loved safe, yet everything seemed to be falling apart.
His mind went back to his earlier thoughts as he silently rubbed his scar. Maybe everyone would be better of if we just gave him what he wants.