Chapter 135 : The End of Darkness
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Fleur couldn't quite believe what she was seeing. Even the Death Eater she'd been duelling stopped and stared, and while Fleur was admittedly distracted she still managed to shoot a Stunner at the black robes and knock her adversary to the ground. Normally she would have pulled off the mask to see who she'd been fighting but that could wait – she had to work out if she was dreaming or if this was real.
Still staring, she pinched herself hard on the arm. Yes, that hurt. She was definitely awake. Then how, she thought, could this possibly be happening?
First Bellatrix Lestrange had fallen, defeated by none other than her mother in law. That was a shock in itself, but it appeared that Lestrange had been fighting Ginny so Fleur could understand how Molly could have reacted the way she did. If Gabrielle had been in that situation Fleur would have done the same, and Gabrielle was only her sister, not her daughter. She hadn't yet experienced the bonds of parenthood yet but she had a fair idea of their strength.
Then, as Voldemort had noticed the death of his great warrior and let out a scream, Harry had appeared in the middle of the room. Harry. It was impossible. Harry was dead – they had seen his body. Dozens of people had almost given up at that point, until one boy about Harry's age had stepped forward and provided resistance, and that had given them all some spirit, especially when the boy had pulled that ruby-encrusted sword from the ancient hat on his head and sliced off Voldemort's pet snake's head with it. If that didn't lift people's spirits, nothing would.
But yes, there he was, seemingly flesh and blood. Harry. Wiping the sweat from her brow, Fleur just stood there and watched. Fortunately everyone else in the room was doing the same, and she didn't need to concentrate on fighting anyone. Everyone wanted to see what would happen now, with Harry and Voldemort facing each other, their wands in battle position.
Noticing some movement on her left, Fleur looked quickly around, wand out, in case it was a Death Eater making the most of the distraction. But no, it was her husband, looking a little the worse for wear but miraculously alive and seemingly undamaged. Some blood and the odd scratch, yes, but nothing permanent. Not like last time.
"'Ow is eet possible?" she whispered. "We thought 'Arry was dead! We saw 'is body!"
Bill shrugged. "I thought that too," he admitted. "Looks like we were wrong."
"Eet eez incredible," she said, watching the two enemies circling each other. They were talking, too, about a wand of some sort, but she didn't know the background of the conversation and couldn't really follow it. Then again, her English was still not brilliant so she sometimes had trouble following conversations anyway.
Finally, it looked like there was going to be some action. No one in the room moved apart from Harry and Voldemort, and it felt like everyone watching was holding their breath, waiting for this to be resolved.
Fleur didn't see how Harry could get out of this alive, not realistically. Then again, she didn't see how he could be alive now, when she had seen his body earlier that night, seemingly lifeless. She still had hope, however, clutching at Bill's hand like her life depended on it.
The spells were cast at the same time – a Killing Curse from Voldemort, a Disarming Charm from Harry. The jets of light met in the middle and then the strangest thing happened – the older, more experienced, more skilful of the two, Voldemort himself, fell backwards and collapsed lifeless to the floor, his wand flying in an arc through the air and landing in Harry's outstretched hand. Fleur had no idea how this could have happened but she was relieved it did; if this was true, if her eyes hadn't deceived her, then it was over. If Voldemort was dead, then they had won.
"I cannot believe eet," Fleur whispered, ostensibly to her husband but really to no one in particular.
"I think you'll have to," Bill said, his words barely audible over the cheers and tumult caused by the onlookers, who had obviously reached the same conclusion she had. It was over.
Fleur's eyes turned to the window, where the sun had just made its first appearance over the eastern horizon. "Eet eez fitting," she said, tears of happiness in her eyes as she turned to Bill. "Zat ze Dark Lord fell just as ze sun rose. Eet eez ze end of darkness, eez eet not?"
Bill laughed, the joy on his face reflected all around them. "I can't argue with that," he said with a broad smile. "The end of darkness. It certainly is."
Thanks to blueirony for her work beta-ing this story.
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