AN I do not own Harry potter AN
Chapter 6 battle worn
As the two bodies hit the floor a moment of utter stillness descends as both sides try to comprehend what they had just witness. Many contemplating what they were meant to do now as so much of the war had focused on the two lifeless figures on the ground. Could either side end the battle of the century without the main players on both sides? The outcome of the next few hours would determine the future of the muggle and magical worlds for centuries to come. The light side had the advantage that they had fought out of love and a belief in what was right and although Harry potter gave them a focus point for their actions he was not the reason they fought they fought for their lives and their futures. The side of the dark lord fought out of hatred and fear and relied on Voldemort to lead and direct them without him they were a snake without a head, the years between 1981 and 1995 had shown that. It was clear that the audience were waiting for either Harry or the dark lord to stir and tell the surround crowd their apparent death was a feign to trick their opponent. The stretching silence made it seem as if somebody had cast Petrificus Totalus on the area.
The odd silence was broken by a heart breaking scream and sob, which focused everyone's attention on the circle in front of them, where they saw a young ginger-haired girl clinging to the dead body of Harry Potter trying shake then kiss the departed hero as if trying to revive him. The crowd watched a group of six witches and wizards rushed towards the scene wands out the witches immediately trying and failing to remove the girl from the corpse of the boy who died. There was clearly a frantic whispered conversation going on between the groups that the crowd could not hear.
"Ginny" cooed Hermione struggling with her own emotions of seeing her first and best friend lying dead straight ahead of her. But Hermione knew now was not mourn or lose control of her emotions that could wait until there weren't a herd of death eater 10 feet away, when this was totally over. Right now, they needed to get Ginny, Tonks and herself to safety and to keep their promise to Harry to stay out of the battle. Right now, they were too exposed and after Harry, she and Ron were prime targets for death eater revenge.
"Ginny" Hermione tried once again to separate the distraught Ginny from Harry's body this time trying to gain the girls attention by gently rubbing her back but Ginny didn't react at all she was too consumed with grief. Hermione realised they were not going to get Ginny to move away from Harry willingly. Hermione looked to Tonks and Remus for guidance seeing the lost marked on their faces and she guessed her face looked similar.
Remus took charge "Right guys I think we need to get Ginny away from here ASAP before the death eaters start up again we've already lost too many young lives this evening. Colin, Neville, I think we are going to have to carry Ginny, can you manage that?" both young men nodded" do not immobilise her unless necessary in her current state who knows what the long-term effects might be. In addition, we don't want to be the first to draw our wands, right now it's bound to draw a lot of unwanted attention from our marked friends over there. Hermione I want you and Tonks to try to keep Ginny as calm as possible under the circumstances have a hand on your wand in case but only use it in an emergency. Ron you and I are going to take protective stances around the group. We need to get back to the castle ideally the hospital wing but we should contact with the rest of the Weasley's on the way. If we come under attack Neville and Tonks will join Ron and myself and Hermione and Colin will take charge of Ginny." a sombre Remus stated. "Ready ..."
Meanwhile Bellatrix lestrange had used the girls scream and the distraction that had created to check on the dark lord. As she approached, she hoped that this was just another ploy by her lord to lull the light into a force sense of security before coming down hard on the mudblood loving fools. Where were her lords other supporters why weren't they coming to assist their lord. Why were they just standing there! As she reached her lord, she could see this was no trick but she reasoned this was not the first time her lord had survived death. Having that thought, her mind went back to her lord and his chat with the brat during the duel. She remembered that the brat saying he was no longer immortal whether or not that was true she needed to carry on her lords' work and if no other follower was going to step forward she would just have to lead the way and ensure victory to continue to please her lord.
Looking around she knew immediately where she wanted to continue the lords' work and it was personal...
The group had successfully separated Ginny from both her wand and Harry and despite her struggles against Neville and Colin; the small group had almost reached the large group of red heads known as the Weasley's. Hermione looked at the group and saw the looks of utter devastation across their faces she also noticed the absence of one of the twins she wondered where Fred could be but her musings were broken by a sudden flash of light to her right. Hermione turned to the source to see her recent tormenter Bellatrix advancing on their group with an even more crazed look than normal on her face.
"Well, well, well if it isn't my itty bitty niece Nymphadora and her beast of a husband. I thought my dear sister had desecrated the family name enough by marry that bloody mudblood then having you but then you had to mar the noble house of black further by marrying this creature. Well at least now, I have a chance to cleanse the family of all this dirty blood once and for all. After all, we already got your magic stealing father and boy did we have fun with him by the end he was begging for death just like the pitiful muggle he was. It's a shame you didn't bring your spawn along to this party I'll just have to find him later." Drawled Bellatrix. Remus and Tonks sent Neville, Ron and Hermione a look that said keep moving before turning to their deranged aunt.
The volley of spells was fast and deadly no minor charms and hexes were exchanged although you would be forgiven for thinking by the speed and ease that Bellatrix was releasing unforgivables that they were minor household spells. Tonks and Remus were both working hard as a team but even though it was two against one they were struggling to avoid Bellatrix's efforts. Interestingly exhibiting true Slytherin characteristics many of the death eaters around were not engaging in battle but looking for escape routes. Thankfully the order members minus the Weasley's had snapped out of their trances and were rounding up all the death eaters they could.
Hermione looked at Neville, Ginny, Ron and Colin a silent agreement passed between them they would ignore the requests of the elders and Harry to get to safety and help their friends none of them could stand the thought of losing anymore friends tonight. Thankfully, Bellatrix's rant seemed to have broken though Ginny's hysteria and she was no longer fighting her defenders and appeared to have gained control of her emotions for the time being. Although Hermione noticed something in Ginny's eyes that was not there, earlier she couldn't quite place what it was but it unsettled Hermione. Armed with wands in the youngsters headed towards Tonks and Lupin unfortunately their assistance came too late to stop the horror they were about to witness.
"I've had enough games, it time this was over so I can move onto the mudblood and blood traitors over there" screeched Bella while looking at the Weasley's. With that she fired three simultaneous Avada Kedavra straight at Tonks there was no time for Tonks to avoid all three. The youngsters looked on with horror as Tonks considered the poetry of it all. Tonks closed her eyes and waited for the inevitable collision her last thoughts wishing she had more time with teddy and hoping the light would prevail. Suddenly she felt movement in front of her, her eyes shot open to see Remus jump in front of her taking the green curses to save her. The pleasure on Bellatrix face was clear "looks like you trained the dog well, never mind you'll be joining him shortly" Tonks ignored her aunts barbs her attention focused solely on her dead husband she wanted to die and join him she didn't care anymore what else was going on she just wanted to be with her love. Then reason struck she couldn't actively let herself die she couldn't do that to Teddy there was no way she'd choose for him to be an orphan and she couldn't waste Harry's sacrifice.
Meanwhile the group of young witches and wizards had surrounded Tonks with all their wands all trailing Bellatrix. The order members had all been drawn into battles now but they appeared to have the upper hand.
"Oh goody the kiddies have come out to play this will be fun! "Bellatrix said in her fake sweet voice, you could see this rise the hackles of Neville, Ron and Hermione in particular "Didn't you get enough last time mudblood" she drooled looking straight Hermione "at least I'll get to finish you off this time".
With that, the battle began considering she now had five opponents Bellatrix was still holding her own and enjoying it taunting them at every opportunity and it worked as both Ron and Neville lost concentration at particular digs. Watching the battle was like watching an intricate dance and the wand flourishes were quick and bright. If you did not know magic, you might think it was a gymnastic dance display with pyrotechnics rather than a life or death battle.
Suddenly a green flash of light shot past Ginny missing Ginny by a millimetre what scared Hermione was the look on Ginny's face she looked disappointed that it missed. Out of nowhere came a cry of "NOT MY DAUGHER, YOU BITCH!"*. the group parted to allow the irate Molly Weasley access Hermione and Neville helped the despondent Tonks up and moved to join the audience watching the two formidable women do battle to the surprise of many Molly was more than a match in skill for the demented death eater. Only Arthur looked unsurprised by his wife's skill he knew nobody should ever threaten their children, as Molly wrath had no bounds when defending her young.
"Your master and his crazy ideas has already cost me two children, this will stop NOW!" screamed Molly followed by Avada Kedavra Bellatrix didn't believe the matriarch had it in her as the green light slammed into Bellatrix she fell with an uncharacteristic look of shock on her face.
Bellatrix death at the hands of Molly Weasley established a real change in the balance of the battle. With their two main leaders dead and defeated the remaining death eaters could not compete with the side of the light a few of the remaining devoted supporters of lord Voldemort took Bella's defeat as a sign to retreat and escape notably among them Lucius Malfoy, Yaxley and Crabbe senior.
The battle continued for another hour or so by which time the majority of the remaining death eaters were captured or killed. Thankfully Bill battled Greyback for the 2nd time but this time he won striking the werewolf down with a nasty cutting curse followed by strong Expulso spell.
As the battle drew to a close, many of those on the side of the light went into the great hall and began to celebrate. There was no such release for the order or Harry's closes friends there was too much to do.
The captured death eaters were placed in an empty classroom under an order-guard. The dead death eaters were placed and locked in the anteroom along with their lords body wards were set up so only Arthur Weasley, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Minerva McGonagall could gain access. The giants and dark creatures had been contained outside the castle with the assistance of Hagrid and two heavily warded marquees had been erected in the grounds one for minor injuries staffed by cleared st Mungo's and bolstered thanks to Fleur's family connections by staff from St. Raphael's in Paris.
What to do with Harry's body was troubling many of the order members, they didn't want Harry's body defiled or stolen by anyone nor did they want an impromptu shrine to be created. They were also worried about the press reaction to the news of the battle and Harry's death. It was decided Harry needed to be placed away from prying eyes. Hermione suggested Harry be placed in the headmaster's office until they had time to come up with a better plan Kingsley and McGonagall agreed and bill and Charlie were tasked with moving Harry's body.
Ginny insisted despite many protests for the adults on accompanying Harry's body to the office. Once there Ginny refused to leave not wanting Harry to be alone after 30 minutes of trying to persuade Ginny to leave and getting nowhere Hermione was struck by an idea. Hermione went to talk to a few people leaving Ginny with Neville, Bill and Charlie all but Ginny avoiding looking at Harry's slight body for fear that it would break the little remaining strength they possessed.
Hermione returned 10 minutes later with Arthur and Tonks by her side both of whom looking exhausted and devastated in equal measure. Arthur took one look at his daughter and knew that this was going to be heartbreaking and it was going to take all of his little remaining strength to get through this discussion but he knew for the time being he had to be strong for his family, there would be time to mourn today's events later.
Although none of the Weasley, children could ever be described as, spoilt Arthur very rarely said no to his daughter. When Ginny did need disciplining he normally deferred that duty to Molly but that wasn't an option right now. Molly was with George and Percy in her own vigil to their son Fred stuck down by masonry early on in the battle. He was going to have to handle his headstrong daughter in a circumstance every parent prayed their child wouldn't have to handle. He couldn't imagine how he would feel if Molly was taken from him he suspected even at Ginny's age he would have been destroyed as the future he'd imagined would be forever a dream. How was he meant to help his only daughter deal with this? At this moment, Arthur doubted his family would ever recover from this but right now he needed to get Ginny away from Harry's body and into a bath or bed.
Arthur slid next to his daughter, placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder and started tentatively "Ginny, princess I know you don't want Harry to be alone, but you can't stay here tonight ..."
Ginny looked ready to hex him right then and there but he persevered. "The castle isn't secured yet nobody is allowed to be in groups less than three for most of the castle, we don't know if there are death eaters still hiding in the castle... "Ginny interrupted
"I can help with that H-Harry gave me something that can help, if I do that can I stay with him here?" Looking hopefully at her father.
"sorry honey but we need to lock down this office to make sure Harry's safe and I know you would happily stay here but you need to eat and sleep and if you think for one second your mother would allow me to let you stay here alone... . Besides Hermione's had an idea, none of us want Harry to be alone, he spent far too much of his life alone so how would you feel if we brought Fffffred and Remus up here to keep Harry company? Hermione's spoken to your mum and George and they like the idea" at this point Tonks broke in "and I know Remus would want to be Harry". Ginny considered this she still didn't want to leave Harry but she knew if she didn't her mum would drag her, this way she'd be in control and she wouldn't stress mum out further.
"Ok but I'm not leaving until Fred and Remus get here" responded Ginny while still clutching Harry's hand. With that Arthur, Neville, Bill and Charlie exited the office leaving the women to each other's company once again. This time there was no distracting chitchat acting on need Hermione and Tonks place themselves either side of Ginny facing the body of the young man whose child they may or may not be carrying and hugged one another and let the tears finally flow.
This was how the Weasley's and Neville found them 10 minutes later tears still stream done their faces in an almost silent vigil for a boy who never really lived, for a brother who's time was cruelly cut short and a future husband who was never allowed fulfil his potential.
It loathed the observers to disrupt the private moment between the three women in front of them but it was almost 3 am and they all desperately sleep. Leaving his brothers and Neville with the bodies Ron moved forward slowly as he reached Harry he quietly cleared his throat aware that everyone was still in battle mode and that loud noises and sudden movements would lead to pain. Ron moved next to Hermione and whispered in her ear she turned to see their audience and nodded her acknowledgement to the crowd. Hermione then caught Ginny and Tonks attention and the trio proceeded to have a whispered conversation inaudible to the rest in the room. All three young women then stood Tonks was first to move drawing Harry's eyes to a close before she moved away next was Hermione who whispered something in Harry's ear then sought out the comfort of Ron. Finally Ginny prepared to leave her love still grasping his hand she moved to his head then she released his hand to stroke his hair before leaning in for one last kiss Ginny then turned to her family she hesitated a little turned back to Harry's body whispered "I love you Harry, always". Everybody in the room was well aware of what she said and Bill and Charlie looked a little shocked. Ginny took one last look at Harry before running into her father's arms.
The Weasley boys took this as a sign that it was ok to start moving Fred and Remus into the office. Once both bodies had been laid down each brother said goodnight to Fred until only Molly and George were left the approached together. At the same time, Tonks was saying goodbye and goodnight to Remus Ginny remained wielded to Arthur's chest unable to handle any more grief. The group moved out of the office while bill created some high level wards.
Now all the urgent issues had been handled the Weasley's, with Neville, Hermione and Tonks headed to the Gryffindor tower where two dorms had been put aside for them. Everything else could wait until morning. Unbeknownst to the group the rest of the order and the army geared up to a night of security rotation.
*From Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.