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Beautiful Within by cazvalleygirl
Chapter 14 : The Battle
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 44


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Well here we go, the last but one chapter, I am so nervous lol.  I really hope you all enjoy and for the first time ever I beg you to leave me some feedback lol.  

I also ask you to keep in mind that this has been my first ever attempt at fan fiction so have some mercy lol.

Once again thank you so much to all who read and review.

I do not own any of the characters or places just the plot, the rest belongs to the wonderful J.K Rowling.

Enjoy :D x




Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah...
Hallelujah ~ Jeff Buckley


There was no wind in the air and it was quiet, so, so quiet.  Draco stared across the empty field, in the distance he could make out two hundred or more people huddled on the steps of Hogwarts castle.  The skull like mask covered his face and for that he was grateful, for he feared even the most dim-witted man could read the terror in his eyes.

The sun was setting, casting a picturesque glow across the grounds and in all his memory he could never recall Hogwarts looking more beautiful.  He could see their tower from where he stood, he smiled as memories of all the arguments they had shared came back to him.  He was a master of insults and she was a mistress of comebacks.  He tore away his eyes and glanced at the man standing beside him.  His Father was rigid, his wand was already raised and Draco knew he was terrified; he had kept his word and was risking his life in more ways than one.  But even now he couldn’t bring himself to forgive the man who had raised him. 

A small house elf had opened the gates and Voldemorts glee soon changed to ferocious rage when he saw the awaiting army. 

“I have been betrayed!  They know!  How do they know?”  He ripped off every mask, his red eyes burned into each terrified Death Eaters.  Draco knew it was coming and he had practiced occulemncy, so had Lucius, and when Voldemort seemed satisfied that neither of them was the traitor they lowered their masks.  Draco heard his Father expel a sigh of relief as Voldemort moved away.

Voldemort was in the middle of a speech as he paced back and forth but Draco wasn’t paying attention.  He was not standing on the battle field at that moment, he was with her, the night they had become one.  The night he had really fallen in love with her. 

“Draco.”

Draco jumped as he heard his Fathers voice inside his head. 

“I’m sorry, for everything, look after yourself my son.”

Lucius’s mouth had not opened and Draco thought for a second that he was going crazy, but then his Father turned to look at him and Draco saw the grey eyes sparkle.  He said nothing but nodded his head to show he had heard.

Voldemort was approaching and Draco straightened up, and listened intently to the words the creature spoke.

“I will go to the Forest, you five will accompany me and you to Lucius, the rest of you will stay and fight!  You will show no mercy, not until I have Harry Potter in my grasp!  If he will not come on his own accord then you will bring him to me!  REMEMBER NO MERCY!” 

In a puff of black smoke he had vanished along with the five other Death Eaters, Lucius remained a second longer; turned to face Draco their eyes locked and in the next breath he too had gone.

“You heard the Dark Lord, move!”  Nott screamed to the remaining Death Eaters.  Draco’s feet automatically begun to move forward.  But what of his Father?  How could he expose his betrayal whilst his Father was still in the Dark Lords presence?

His Mothers words came back to him; “Look after one another, for me.”

Draco could clearly see the angry faces; he heard someone’s yell of “they’re coming” and saw Potter be the first to step on to the grass.  Draco couldn’t help but smirk, Harry Potter playing the action hero yet again.

The faster Potter and his army ran so did the Death Eaters, and Draco was on the front line.  He raised his wand and prepared to block any jinxes thrown his way.  He would need to remain a Death Eater for the time being, at least until his Father was safe.

The footsteps grew louder and so did the roars, Draco had never seen Harry look so alive.  Taking a deep breath he blocked the first spell aimed at him.

Soon the battle field was ablaze with jets of light soaring from every wand but the Death Eaters were edging nearer to the castle.  Draco had narrowly avoided a hundred or so curses and when possible he had protected a number of his fellow students.  He darted through the crowd as he searched for Harry or Ron.   He saw Neville Longbottom struggling to hold off his aunt Bellatrix but there was nothing he could do to help without exposing himself as a traitor. 

A flash of light temporarily blinded him and when he got his vision back he was sickened to see Cho Chang, a pretty girl he knew Harry had once dated being tortured by the use of the Crucio curse by Yaxley.  Draco moved forward and tried not to care, but her pain filled screams would not permit him to move.

“STUPEFY!”  A red light left his wand and hit Yaxley square in the chest.  Cho lay crumpled upon the floor but there was nothing else he could do for her.  Stepping over Yaxleys unconscious form he continued through the crowd.

Finally he saw him; Potter was rushing toward him his wand drawn a spell on the tip of his tongue.  Draco did the only thing he could to stop a spell from hitting him.

“LEGILIMENS!”  Harry stopped in his tracks and Draco got inside his head.

“Potter it’s me!   Voldemort is in the Forbidden Forest with five Death Eaters, my Father is also there.  I cannot show myself as a traitor until my Father is safe.  Where’s Granger?”

As though everything was reversed Draco pulled out of Harry’s head and the other boy did not move forward.  “Is it really you?”  He screamed through the noise and quickly Draco lifted his mask before swiftly lowering it back into place.

“She’s safe.”   Harry said.

Draco nodded and turned back to the crowd, he heard Harry call after him.  “Thanks.” 

Draco raised a hand to show he heard and continued with his mission to protect as many people as he could without giving himself away.

*

Hermione and Ginny sat huddled together on the floor of the pub.  Everybody appeared to be in shock for nobody had spoken.  Hermione pitted them, at least she knew this was coming, at least she could prepare.  Poor Ginny was as white as a sheet; Hermione wrapped her arm around the other girl.

“Harry will be alright Ginny.”

The other girl looked at her and Hermione saw the same terror in her eyes as she had that morning in her own. 

“I can’t just sit here Hermione.  My whole family are in that castle.”

“Believe me Ginny, I know how you feel.”

“How can you!”  The other girl snapped and got to her feet. 

“I love Harry and Ron too Ginny, and -”

Ginny’s eyes narrowed.  “And who?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

Ginny put a hand to her forehead and sat down beside Hermione; she took the other girls hand and squeezed gently.  “I’m sorry Hermione, it’s just, I’m terrified.”

“So am I.” 

“So tell me, who were you talking about?”

Hermione rested her head against the wall and sighed.   “It’s a long story.”

After Hermione had finished telling Ginny everything the red head gaped at her, she didn’t look angry or upset, just shocked.

“So...you...and...and Malfoy?”  Hermione nodded.  “And you’re going to have a...”

“Baby.”  Hermione finished for her.  “A girl in fact.”

Slowly a smile appeared on Ginny’s face.  “A girl.  I never thought a Malfoy would be capable of producing a girl.”

“I know.”  At this thought tears began to form in her eyes.  Ginny noticed and pulled her into a hug.  “He might never know Ginny, he might never know.”  Sobs wracked her body and Ginny stroked her hair. 

“Yes he will, he will be alright Hermione.”

Images of a future without Draco flashed before her eyes and she quickly stood. 

“I need to go back.  I need to go to Hogwarts.”

“Hermione, don’t be silly.  You could get hurt, the baby -”

“I know, but I have to.  It will be worse if I stay, can’t you see that?”

Ginny opened her mouth but no words came. 

“I have my wand, I won’t go looking for a fight, I just need to see him, I have to tell him.”

Ginny stood and took a deep breath.  “Ok, but I’m coming with you.”

Half an hour later the girls scurried along the passageway.

“Come on, we need to hurry.”

Ginny rolled her eyes, Hermione may have been seven months pregnant but she had never seen her move so fast.  The dark passageway was unpleasant to say the least and Ginny was worried that Hermione would trip.  Finally they were nearing the end and Hermione reached the portrait first.

“Love will triumph.”

Hermione screached to the portrait and it immediately swung open. 

Both girls bundled out and ran along the corridors and down the stairs.  Hermione had to stop for breath and Ginny who had continued running went back for her.

“Are you all right?”  Hermione clutched her stomach, the baby was kicking frantically but she felt fine.

“Yes, come on.”  Taking Ginny’s hand the girls started down the steps.

“Hermione!  Wait, I have an idea!  Follow me.”

Hermione was mystified but nevertheless followed Ginny back up a flight of stairs and into the Gryffindor tower.  “Wait here.” 

Hermione waited impatiently as Ginny ran up the stairs to the dormitory, returning a few minutes later clutching something Hermione recognised very well.”

“Ginny isn’t that -?”

“Yes, he gave it to me.  He made me promise I would only use it when necessary and I think now’s pretty necessary don’t you?”

“I suppose so.  But Ginny, I don’t think we are going to both fit under the invisibility cloak!”

"I know that!  I want you to have it.”

“WHAT!  NO WAY!”  Hermione began protesting but Ginny cut her off.  She looked so much like Miss Weasley when she was angry.

“Hermione, please!  You are seven months pregnant!  If you won’t do it for yourself then do it for the baby.”

Hermione thought of a newborn baby, her little girl.  Slowly she outstretched her hand and took the cloak from Ginny.  “Thank you Ginny.”

After throwing on the cloak the girls made their way through the castle.  Hermione noticed how quiet it was.  No suits of armour, no ghosts, no people in the portraits.  It was so unnatural.  A sickening thought occurred to her, Harrys dream!  She remembered him talking about a recurring dream he had about Hogwarts.  She couldn’t remember all the details but this seemed familiar.

“Hermione, are you ok, why have you stopped?”  Ginny asked beads of sweat on her brow.  She had obviously noticed Hermione’s footsteps had come to a halt.

“Its...It’s nothing, come on.”

This time Hermione didn’t stop.  She kept her head down and was careful not to slip.  She could hear the chaos raging now and her adrenaline had begun to kick in.  Finally they reached the Entrance doors.  Her fingers traced the handle as fear ripped through her.

“Are you ready?”  The pregnant girl asked her red haired friend.

“As I’ll ever be.  I’ll keep hold of your arm so I know where you are.”

Hermione nodded and after taking a long deep breath she opened the doors.

She froze at the sight before her.  It wasn’t the Hogwarts grounds anymore, instead it was a bloodbath.  Small fires raged and the cries of pain brought tears to her eyes.  She couldn’t make out the Death Eaters from the heroes.  Sparks of light engulfed the darkening night sky and for a moment she couldn’t breathe.  He was out there somewhere, in the heart of the battle, she knew he was.

“Hermione!  Hermione!”

Ginny was tugging her arm, Hermione turned to face her, her eyes wide open.  “I think you should go back, it’s too dangerous!  I’ll find Draco; I’ll tell him that...HERMIONE!”  

Hermione had shut the door behind her and was now running into the sea of people.  Ginny kept hold of her arm.  “Hermione, please, we need to be sensible.”

At that moment a jet of green light narrowly missed Ginny’s head.  Both girls screamed and ducked.

“Wha...Hermione get down!”  Ginny pushed Hermione to the ground and scrambled on top of her. 

“Ginny, look after yourself, please I’m fine.”  Hermione begged.  Taking no notice Ginny pulled Hermione to her feet and caught hold of her hand.

They darted through the crowds of people, Hermione saw many she knew.  Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and even a few Slytherins united.  Many magical creatures and suits of armour had apparently decided to join the fight to take down Voldemort. 

“Ginny, look!”  Hermione was horrified to see Seamus duelling with a bulky Death Eater who was evidentially coming off better. Without thinking she cast “Protego.”  And a shield automatically surrounded Seamus, who after a moment’s relief sent the Death Eater a curse that knocked him off his feet.

Seamus looked around for his saviour, after spotting Ginny he called, “thanks Ginny!”

“What.  Oh!  No problem Seamus.” 

He ran to help a Hufflepuff and Hermione and Ginny carried on through the crowd, each desperately searching for the man they loved. 

Broken bodies lay upon the ground and as they passed each one Hermione tried desperately to keep the rising panic from consuming her.

Harry ignored the blood that run down the side of his face, he searched frantically for Ron, he hadn’t seen him since the start of the battle and more and more bodies had fallen.  He needed to find him; he needed to tell him what he was going to do.  He needed to hear him promise he would tell Ginny his message.  He rushed through the people, helping anyone he could when he spotted a flash of red hair.  For a second he thought his eyes were deceiving him.

 It can’t be.

“GINNY!”  He screamed at the top of his voice but his calls went unheard and he rushed after her.  What the hell was she playing at?  Why had she come back!  She had promised he had made her promise, what could have happened to change her mind?

“GINNY!”  He was getting closer, when suddenly from the corner of his eye he saw her, as mad as a hatter, the witch from hell, Alecto Carrow was gaining on Ginny and the red head had no idea.  Anger soared through him and he screamed “Crucio!”

The woman fell to the floor rolling about in agony.  Ginny spun around and looked shocked by the sight she was met with.  Her eyes travelled from Alecto and toward Harry who was still punishing the woman.

Ginny dropped Hermione’s arm and ran to Harry throwing her arms around his neck and planting kisses along his face.  “Harry stop it!  I’m alright.”

Hermione allowed the relief of seeing Harry alive to wash over her before she took her chance and hurried along the crowd.  Ginny was with Harry now, he would look after her.

Ginny broke away from Harry, “Hermione’s here too.”  Harrys eyed widened and he looked around.  “She’s under your cloak.”

“Where is she?”  He whispered back. 

Ginny pulled him toward the spot she left Hermione and said the girl’s name.  Quietly at first, and then louder and louder until she was practically screaming it.  Harry rushed to her side and cradled her in his arms as Ginny begun to cry.

“Oh god Harry where is she?” 

“It’s alright, we’ll find her.”  Truthfully he wasn’t sure if he believed himself.

Hermione moved through the battle with relative ease.  The smell of smoke was overbearing and she had to conceal a cough more than once.  Her eyes scanned every face, but she didn’t know if he would be masked or not.  She saw Hannah Abbot in the distance, she was apart from the crowd and duelling a Death Eater, Hermione rushed forward careful not to allow the cloak to slip. 

Locomotor Mortis.”  She whispered and the Death Eaters legs locked making it impossible for him to walk.  Hannah began clapping before putting yet another spell on the Death Eater.  At that moment the baby kicked causing Hermione to pause.  She straightened up and for the first time since her arrival she allowed herself to look around.  The sight before her can only be described as devastation.  But she didn’t cry, not yet, there would be time for that later.  Right now she had to be strong.  She had to find him.  A thought occurred to her.  Maybe he wasn’t there; maybe he had been spared the battle.  At that moment a scream so full of pain caused every particle in her body to scream with them.  She turned to see Colin Creevy lying on the floor, his body wriggling around in total agony.  Before him stood two men, each wand pointed at the small boy. 

What are you doing here Colin!  You’re too young!

She had seen red and forgotten everything else, with all the power and venom she held she pointed her wand at the standing men and screamed at the top of her lungs

“Sectumsempra”

She didn’t even know the spell well, she remembered Harry explaining it to her.  It was Dark Magic but it was the first and only thing she thought of and hearing the Death Eaters howls as it cut their backs was music to her ears.  They both fell to the ground in agony.

Hermione rushed forward and dropped to her knees at Colin’s side.  The boy was so pale and weak Hermione couldn’t leave him. 

“Colin, Colin it’s me, its Hermione Granger.”  She whispered, her face centimetres from the boys.  A pair of strong hands grabbed her shoulders and pinned her roughly to the ground.  The masked man held her tight but the cloak still covered her face.  She used her free hand to scram the open cuts on his back.

He screamed and she froze, she stopped fighting, her breath caught in her throat.  She knew that voice.  His hands found the cloak and ripped it violently from her body, and she too felt his body freeze. 

They stayed there for a moment, both shocked beyond the power of speech.  She knew him so well but at that moment she felt like she didn’t know him at all.  She could see his grey eyes through the holes in his mask; she saw a thousand emotions rush through them.

“Granger.”  He breathed.

“Get off me.” Her voice was dangerous and hateful.

“Granger, I -”

“I said get off!”  The nails that had been placed on his back once again dug painfully deep into his flesh.  He rolled off her screaming in pain.  She wasted no time getting to her feet.  Putting the cloak back in place she headed through the crowd. 

His blood and skin dirtied her fingers and she felt infected.  She wiped them in her clothes; her cries became more and more hysterical.  She needed to breathe, she needed to sit and breathe. 

She ran as fast and as far as she could from the battle and slumped against a wall behind a tower.  She run her hands through her hair and across her face smearing blood across her porcelain cheeks. 

How could he?  How could he stand there and torture an innocent boy.  If he was capable of such an act how could he ever love their child?  How could she ever trust him not to hurt their daughter in the same way his Father hurt him?

“GRANGER!  GRANGER!  GRANGER!” 

She heard his frantic calls as he appeared around the corner.  Hermione tried to stop crying but she couldn’t muffle the sound.  She watched as he turned quickly and walked in the direction she sat.  She quickly clapped a hand over her mouth.  She was terrified by his appearance.  He looked so different as a Death Eater; she would never have known it was him.  He was walking with a limp and she noticed the deep and painful cuts across his back.     

“Granger, where are you?”  He spoke softly, his voice quiet.  She didn’t reply and he stood still.  “I know you’re here.  I didn’t want you to see that.  I didn’t want to do that.  I had no choice.

“There’s always a choice.”  She whispered wiping her face with her sleeve.

“No, Granger there’s not.  Please will you take off that damn cloak?”

Hermione sat still, she did not move and she watched the frustration appear on his face.

“Granger I’m doing this for you!  Why can’t you see that?”

“FOR ME!  No you’re not, you’re doing this because you’re sick and twisted like your Father!”

“NO I’M NOT!”  He roared so loud she jumped.  “DONT FUCKING SAY THAT!”

“But I don’t want you to do that for me!  Can’t you see that?”

“But like I said Granger, I don’t have a choice!  My Father is still with Voldemort.  If he finds out that my Father betrayed him do you know what he’ll do?  I can’t let my guard down!”

“You already have.”  She stated simply.  “Let me see the mark.”

Her hand outstretched from the cloak and if anyone was to stumble upon them they would see only a Death Eater and a floating arm.

“Why do you want to see it?”

She shrugged but realising he couldn’t see her she replied “I just have to.”

Slowly he walked over to her and pulled up the sleeve of his robe exposing the branded skin on his left forearm.  She didn’t gasp, she didn’t feel repulsed, not like she thought she would.  He crouched before her and her fingers trailed along the mark, her eyes never left his.

His face scrunched up from the pain in his back.  Hermione felt a stab of guilt but she was still so angry.  “Take off your mask.”  She demanded redrawing her touch. 

“What?” 

“If you take off that mask, then I’ll take off the cloak.” 

A moment of silence filled the air.  She was breathing hard and heavy and so was he.  Slowly his fingers found the mask and gradually he lowered it to the ground.  Hermione felt so many things upon seeing his face after months apart, but the overriding feeling of happiness was more than she could take.  His hair was longer than it had been, but apart from that he was the same.  Not a scratch was on his beautiful face and she was thankful. 

“I stuck to my side of the deal.” 

The baby kicked and Hermione giggled.  Draco was taken aback. 

“I think there’s something you should know...”  Every word she said was slow and clear.

“What?”

Hermione stood and allowed the cloak to drop to the floor.  Draco recoiled in horror and Hermione felt sadness rush through her.

“What the hell happened to you?”  He rushed to her side and cupped her face.  She breathed a sigh of relief.  She wriggled free brushing away his concerns.

“It’s not my blood, it’s yours.”

“Oh, thank, then what’s the matter?”

Her heart was beating a thousand beats a minute or so it felt.  She didn’t know how to put it into words.

“I think it best I show you.”

“Well take your time Granger, it’s not like we are in the middle of a battle or anything.”

Hermione rolled her eyes at his sarcasm and with shaky hands she pulled off her baggy Gryffindor robes. 

What the hell is she playing...Oh?

Her clingy white t-shirt revealed a small but perfectly formed bump.  He stood still, his eyes wide open, his mouth ajar.  He couldn’t take his eyes from her rounded stomach.  He heard his name being called but it was like he was in a dream.

“Draco...Draco...MALFOY!”

Finally he was pulled out of his trance and his eyes travelled to hers.  He couldn’t remember her looking so afraid. 

“Are you...Is it...Am I?”

“Of course you are!”  Hermione walked closer to him.  If the situation wasn’t so dire it would have been funny.  She had never seen Malfoy so lost for words.  His wand hanged limply at his side, and he still had his mouth wide open.

“It’s a girl.  We are having a daughter.”

She saw an unfamiliar look in his eyes.  Carefully she stepped in front of him and took his hand; slowly she rested it upon the small bump.

“She kicks a lot.  She’s going to be a right handful.  I wonder who she gets that from.”

As soon as his skin touched her bump the baby wriggled.  Draco tore his hand away.

“What did I do?”  He asked his voice full of panic.  “Is she alright, did I hurt her?”

Hermione laughed at Draco’s terrified expression.  She grabbed his hand again and placed it upon her stomach.

“You did nothing, she’s just saying hello.”

Hermione continued to giggle and soon Draco let out a shaky laugh.  “We...we are going to have...we are going to have a baby?” 

She nodded and let out a squeal as he picked her up and spun her around.  She wrapped her legs around his torso and threw her arms around his neck.  She had never seen him so joyful.  She didn’t think he was capable of such happiness.  Finally he put her down and after months apart he captured her lips with his own. 

“I’m going to give you the stars Granger.” He whispered against her mouth.

In the chaos of the battle, in a secluded corner underneath the night sky two souls reunited and for a few precious moments became lost in world entirely their own.  A world that knew nothing of war and suffering but only of happiness and love.

*

Draco had insisted Hermione keep on the invisibility cloak and she was adamant on him changing.  So hand in hand they ran through the empty castle toward the Heads common room.  They met no one along the way and once they were inside Hermione ran up the stairs and threw Draco a pair of Ron’s trousers and a revolting green and what appeared to be furry jumper.  

“Granger this might do something for you but it does nothing for me!”

“Put them on you snob.  NOW!” 

With a grimace on his face he quickly changed and they headed back toward the battle field.

“Granger, I wish you would go back!”

“Stop talking about it Draco, I told you I’m staying!”

He didn’t argue.  She had made her mind up and he knew he wasn’t going to persuade her otherwise.  He was going into the Battle as a free man.  The Death Eaters mask had been abandoned on the floor of the common room and he knew he was taking a massive risk.  But he couldn’t think about that, he had promised his Mother he would look out for his Father but Hermione had to come first.

Her and his unborn child. 

They rounded a corner and both stopped in their tracks.  Harry was standing by the double doors leading to the Great Hall.  Blood stained his cheeks, but the fierce look remained.  Hermione went to step forward but Draco caught her and pulled her against him.

“Just wait.”

Hermione remembered the dream; they had been gone for at least an hour, what had happened in that time?  And where was Ginny?

She could hear Harrys voice in her head as he explained the dream, and she could see his fingers get closer and closer to the handle.

“It’s like I’m walking around the school and it’s empty, I mean no one at all, not even the ghosts or the people in the portraits.  Completely deserted.  And I’m walking and walking and I don’t know what I’m searching for but I know it’s something I love and I can feel the dread take over me, and when I push open the doors of the great hall…I wake up…screaming.”

“Draco, we have to stop him!”  

Hermione rushed forward and the cloak fell to the floor.  She could hear Draco calling her name but she had to stop Harry, she didn’t know why, she couldn’t explain it, but she needed to shield him from what he was about to see.  She needed to protect herself.

His fingers touched the handle and before she could stop him he had pushed open the door.

Hermione stopped, so did Draco beside her.  Harry remained still but Hermione knew it would come, she knew only too well.

“NO!”

Harry fell to his knees, he sounded like a wounded animal, as he screamed over and over again.  Hermione couldn’t move she was paralyzed by fear.  She watched as Harry struggled to his feet his wand raised a savage look upon his face.

“THIS ENDS NOW!”  

He disappeared into the hall and finally Hermione became unstuck.  Draco caught hold of her arm and drew her closer to him, putting a finger on her mouth.  They crept silently along the corridor and peered into the Great Hall.  Hermione saw straight away the thing that had caused Harry to become so unhinged.

Dumbledore lay lifeless on the floor; Dumbledore who had always been so kind to her, so wise, was finally defeated.  She felt like her heart had been torn to pieces but she couldn’t think on it because on the other side of the hall Harry was locked in a fierce battle with the essence of evil.

Two sets of green lights met in the middle.  Surrounding them was a group of Death Eaters.  Ginny was being tortured by Nott.  Hermione forgot everything and ran forward her wand raised as she sent a stunning spell at Nott who fell to the ground. 

Voldemort had for a mere second looked at the source of noise and Harry had taken his chance, in the same breath he uttered two spells.

“EXPELLIARMUS, AVADA KEDAVRA!”

It was so simple, so easy.  The whole hall fell silent, nobody breathed as the light left Voldermorts eyes and he fell backwards with a resounding crash.  And just like that it was over. 

Harry had won. 

Ginny’s sobs were the first thing to break the silence as she rushed to Harry and threw her body against his.  She kissed every bit of his face she could reach.  Hermione had tears of joy running down her cheeks and Draco stood beside her, a smile on his face as he wrapped his arm protectively around her.

“It’s over.”  She breathed, gazing up at Draco.

Three Death Eaters sat on the floor, their wands thrown to the ground.  Lucius Malfoy walked up to his Son.

“Draco.”

Draco removed his arm from Hermione’s shoulders and kissed her forehead.  “I’ll be back in a second.”  She nodded and watched as he walked a few feet away, his Father followed. 

Hermione stood there and gazed at the two men, she wasn’t sure if either had spoken and it looked incredibly intense, but she hoped there would be a chance of the two becoming reconciled. 

Underneath it all she suspected Lucius had somewhat of a heart, after all he had managed to produce Draco.

Hermione turned to face Harry who was still holding Ginny.  He looked exhausted; he raised his head and saluted at her.  She smiled and waved, he had actually done it; the boy who lived triumphed over evil, words couldn’t express how proud she felt at that moment. 

Whilst gazing at Harry her wand dropped to the floor, she bent down to pick it up when she heard Harry’s terrified voice.

“HERMIONE, MOVE!”

She looked up and came face to face with Nott.  She knew what coming; she knew she didn’t have time to move.  She closed her eyes and thought of Draco, of her family and friends and the daughter she would never meet.

Draco heard Harry’s scream, his head turned first toward the terrified voice and followed his eyes to Hermione and a Death Eater with his wand raised a spell on the tip of his tongue.

“GRANGER!” 

The next few seconds was a blur of moving bodies.   

“AVADA KEDAVRA!”

Through closed lids she saw the flash of green and waited for the darkness to claim her.

She waited, seconds passed and she knew she was still alive, she could feel her beating heart. 

Upon hearing a loud thud she opened her eyes.  Harry was wrestling with Nott and Ginny was walking towards her. 

But then who…

She dropped her gaze and looked into the empty grey eyes that belonged to the person who lay motionless on the floor, the person who had taken the killing curse for her. 

And in her state of shock she noted how his white blonde hair even looked lifeless. 

Nobody spoke, she couldn’t think, she couldn’t feel, she was numb with pain and slowly she felt the strength leave her body and she collapsed to her knees beside him.

And in that moment she knew why she had been so terrified to let Harry walk through the door.

“No, come back.”  She shook his body on the floor willing him to breathe.  “I said come back!”  Anger consumed her.  “COME BACK!”  Her fists fiercely hit his chest.  “I SAID COME BACK.”

Not a soul in the hall moved and the only noise was that of her heartrending sobs as the realization hit her, he was never coming back.


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Beautiful Within: The Battle

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