Chapter 1 : The Battle
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Disclaimer: All plots and characters known are J.K.Rowling's
“The calm before the storm,” Hermione muttered to herself, as she watched the blue sky be blanketed by black storm clouds through her bedroom window at Grimmauld Place.
Of course, it wasn’t just the weather that Hermione was thinking about, but also the war that was raging on the wizarding world.
It had been several months since any news of Lord Voldemort, and Harry Ron and Hermione had been using this time to capture horcruxes. They had succeeded in finding and destroying five, and knew that they were close to killing Voldemort for good.
However, the Order of the Phoenix had been tipped off a month ago that Voldemort was preparing for an attack on Hogwarts in the coming weeks. Wanting to be fully prepped, McGonagall had sent a letter the Order, all residing at Grimmauld Place, to come to Hogwarts. It was expected that the time of the battle was near.
As a result of this, Hermione was sitting on the windowsill watching the clouds take over the beautiful blue skies, while what she should have been doing was prepping and packing her bag.
She was embarrassed to admit it, but she was scared. For once, Hermione did not “know it all”.
She felt herself mentally and physically prepared for what she was going to experience in the battle. She was ready. But it did not make the situation any less terrifying.
Hermione looked around at her and Ginny’s shared bedroom; walls of cream and two beds next to one another, one flawlessly made, and one unkempt. Hermione’s dufflebag was sitting on top of her bed, with a few items placed beside, ready to be packed and begin the next stage in her life. I hope I return, at the end of all of this.
"Come on Hermione we have to get to the portkey!" Harry was shouting from the bottom of the stairs, trying to hurry Hermione up from packing her things.
With one last look around, Hermione pulled herself together and stood up, breathing deeply as she walked towards her bed, packing the last few items.
“Hermione, let’s go. We really need to be going,” Harry said softly. Hermione lifted her head to see him standing in the doorway, a melancholy look on his face. It was not hard for Hermione to know that Harry was also as scared as she was.
"Alright, alright, I'm coming, hold your hippogriffs." Hermione huffed as she threw the last few books into her dufflebag before shrinking it, stuffing it into her pocket and heading downstairs, Harry following her.
As Hermione entered the kitchen, she was graced with the faces of the rest of the Order members, speaking quietly to one another, waiting for direction on what to do next. Seeing the fellow members before her, the determined looks on their faces, yet fear in their eyes, made Hermione shiver. Too many people have already been lost... Merlin I just wished this would be over...
Remus Lupin looked around, checking that Harry ad Hermione had come down, and began to orchestrate the plan. "Ok, we're all here? Good, let's go then. Keep yourselves as safe as possible, help each other out whenever you can.”
“We do not know if the battle is going to be today, or in three days’ time. But is is near. I want you to be on your lookout, and stick to the plan when the battle begins. I believe in all of you" he said, before they all grabbed onto the cracked tyre and felt an uneasy tug in their navel.
Being back at school during this hell was not good for Draco. He didn't get along with the few Slytherins that hadn't been pulled out to help the Dark Lord, and everyone else thought that he was too much of an impostor to belong back.
Draco had forced himself to return to Hogwarts. He was amazed he was allowed back in, but after a stern talk from McGonagall, with her explaining that she had “her reasons” for allowing him back, he returned, and kept to himself for the year.
He knew hatred was what was waiting for him there when he decided to return. But so was safety. Being inside Hogwarts kept himself out of the Dark Lords grasp, at least for now. Who knew what would happen to him once he was taken home.
He was terrified of the letter from his father saying that he would be collecting him this afternoon, after the battle had been won. The Dark Lord had decided that today would be the day to attack Hogwarts.
He should know after the crazy argument and pain that the Death Eaters put me through this summer that I didn't want anything to do with helping that man in any way. Why did he think I forced myself to come back to school? Because I missed McGonagall’s 'beautiful' face?
Speaking of, McGonagall suddenly appeared behind Draco down the corridor of which he was walking down. She was yelling something daft, which he finally attuned himself to hear.
"Attention all fifth, sixth, and seventh years, your presence is urgently needed in the Great Hall. Bring your wands. All students fourth year and younger to your dormitory immediately, and stay there." She yelled hurriedly, her wand pointed to her throat so the entire castle could hear her.
She suddenly realised that Draco was beside her, and turned to him with a stern look on her face.
"Mr Malfoy, if Dumbledore was right about you, and I am hoping that by your presence here this year he was, that you know what is soon approaching us, and to protect all we know and love now, you will help us" she said to him, a hint of pleading visible in her eyes.
Draco was speechless. All he could do was look at her and nod. McGonagall nodded, and turned to leave, hurrying some third years away to their common rooms.
As Draco began to walk to the Great Hall, he thought about what he now had in store for him. Merlin help me, I wonder which side will kill me first…
Arriving in front of the gates of Hogwarts made Hermione’s skin crawl with dread. The grounds were silent, and a fog had descended, a symbol of the unknown future ahead of them. Upon seeing her discomfort, Harry squeezed her shoulder softly. Sending a thankful smile his way, Hermione was more focused on the school that had become her soul; her everything. She didn't want to see it destroyed by the likes of Voldemort.
Walking up the long path to the school, it was obvious to everyone how much of an effect the war had had on the school in just half a year. The grounds were completely deserted. There wasn't a creature, human or otherwise, in sight. For the first time in Hermione’s life, there were barriers on where people could go. Even Hagrid’s hut was too far away from the castle. The castle itself was locked from the inside out; Hogwarts trying its best to keep its people safe.
Professor Flitwick was outside waiting for them as they were the last group of people to arrive. After re-locking the castle, he escorted them to congregate with everyone in the Great Hall. The amount of people that had come to help fight was relieving, but, as Hermione could see, they all had the same look of fear in their eyes as she had in hers, even Draco Malfoy.
Hermione made a beeline to a small redhead sitting in a school uniform complete with a prefect’s badge. Ginny turned around just in time for Hermione to give her a hug.
"Hi Hermione I've missed you loads too!" she laughed quietly as they released each other.
"Yeah sorry. But do you know how crazy I’ve gone with only those two goons for company for half a year? I needed a female to talk to! So how come Malfoy is here? I thought he would be out with You-Know-Who, rallying up the other Death Eaters" Hermione said, a slight frown forming on her face.
Ginny frowned in return. "Oh I feel your pain, I do. Malfoy? I didn't even see him there. Well he came back to school this year, don’t really know why. What I do know is that ever since he came back to school he's been pretty reclusive, sticking to only himself. I'm surprised he's even here with us now.”
Shouldn't he be on the other side? Hermione turned and glared at him furiously. She wanted nothing more than to go over and tell him to leave, and that he did not belong in the Hogwarts walls, but on the outside with the other Death Eaters. But the look in his eyes as he stared at the ground, stopped her in her tracks. She could see a twinge of pain, and another emotion that seemed almost indiscernible…fear?
“Oh no, here we go." Ginny said from beside her. Shaking her head clear of the woes of Draco Malfoy, Hermione turned to face McGonagall, who was accompanied by Kingsley and a few other teachers and Order members.
"In a matter of minutes we are going to be struck with the biggest battle of our time, right in front of this castle. For those who do not know, Lord Voldemort and his army are currently on the way to destroy this castle, and everything that we hold dear in our hearts. We have to work together and live on the highest hope that we can get through this, and end his evil forever. I want everyone in this room to walk tall, and fight with pride for who you are and what you believe in" Kingsley said sternly staring down at everyone present before leading them out of the hall and through the front entrance, and to the beginning of the rest of their lives.
"Crucio!" Bellatrix threw the curse at Hermione, and she dodged it just in time, running from Bellatrix while throwing a disarming spell at another Death Eater who was aiming at a fallen student.
The battle had begun several hours ago, just as Professor McGonagall had predicted, and it had already resulted in heart-wrenching deaths on both sides. There were many bodies littering Hogwarts’ grounds, many indiscernible and unknown whether alive or dead.
There was still no clear side winning, but both sides were doing their worst to inflict as much towards to opposing side. Harry and Voldemort were nowhere to be seen, and the fog that had settled on the grounds had become denser, with rain falling steadily, making the circumstances even bleaker than before.
Hermione did her best to help the students around her, before looking around for Harry and Ron. Ron was fighting Dolohov and Harry was having a dangerous showdown with Voldemort behind Lucius Malfoy. Speaking of Malfoy, where's the other Malfoy? Better not be hurting anyone he's not supposed to be. As she looked around, she spotted Draco not too far away from her, staring.
He was standing amongst all the fighting, with an unreadable look on his face, watching the battle. Hermione followed his line of sight; his father was fighting a student, one she did not recognise. A few moments later, she saw a rogue blast of green light slam Lucius in the chest. Before she knew what was happening, Lucius Malfoy was no more.
She couldn’t help but gasp at the speed of this dangerous man’s death. Killed by a rogue Avada Kedavra, a spell he was well-known for casting himself. She had not expected him to die in such an unobtrusive way.
After deflecting a few quick spells from other Death Eaters, she looked back to Malfoy. His face was still unreadable, but his eyes... There was something there. Sadness? Anger? Loneliness? She couldn't tell. It wasn't until he looked directly at her that she realised what she had seen. But it was too late. Hermione hadn't heard the curse aimed at her, by what she did see was Malfoy running at her, trying to push her out of the way, and both getting a full dose of the spell.
The last thing she saw was Bellatrix Lestrange laughing maniacally before all went black.
Authors Note: Hello! This is the newly edited version of the first chapter. I have done my best to incorporate ideas from all the wonderful people who have reviewed this, and I hope it shows that.
Thank you for reading! I hope you continue, it gets better :D
All comments welcome.