Tonight we stand, get off our knees
To fight for what we worked for all these years
And the battle was long, it's the fight of our lives
Will we stand up, champions tonight?
–Change, Taylor Swift
The entire congregation was frozen until one brave Death Eater flung a killing curse straight at Rose’s heart, and a second later, he was dead, Al’s wand aimed towards him, a look of fury on his face.
The jet of green light faded away before it hit its mark, but the entire area was once again fighting.
Multiple Death Eaters moved towards Rose, all expecting her to be defenseless, but she whipped out her wand immediately and was dueling along with everyone else, her spirits unseen as they wandered about, distracting, and sometimes killing, the Death Eaters. The rest of Rose’s army filed in, all looking a bit dazed, but still fighting with amazing skill and accuracy. They were humans, all different, but all sharing the same gaunt, pale skin, the same haunted look in their eyes.
One in particular, who’d been fighting alongside Al, caught him by surprise, nearly costing him his life.
“You’re Sirius Black,” He exclaimed in disbelief, a shield now firmly surrounding him so as to not die while talking to the man who should be dead.
“In the flesh,” Sirius said, nodding towards Al and nimbly shooting a curse towards an oncoming Death Eater. “Rose saved me.”
“She saved all of us,” A very pretty lady said, slamming her fist into a Death Eater’s face, one who’d adventured too close for her liking. “Very powerful witch, Rose is.”
“I know,” Al mused, sending a multitude of stunning spells out randomly, “She killed three men, one when she was eight.”
“We know,” The lady and Sirius Black chorused together, looking haunted again.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Al said firmly.
“Nothing makes sense anymore,” Sirius told him wisely, moving away to help someone else who needed it.
“Where’s Callie?” Rose asked Scorpius hours later, fighting back to back with him, a ring of people cloaked in black surrounding them, all shooting spells back and forth.
“With those who stayed behind,” He answered her quickly, shooting another spell at a Death Eater in between words.
“I should be over you,” Rose told him, wondering if he’d remember the code she’d taught him so long ago.
He was silent, and she left him alone, deftly killing someone who’d cornered Lucy. “DON’T TOUCH MY COUSIN!!” She roared as two more advanced on the younger red head. “AVADA KEDAVRA! AVADA KEDAVRA!!”
“Well, well, well,” a horrible voice rang out, and once again, all fighting ceased. “Looks like little Rosie has finally learned how to kill someone.”
“I’ve known how to kill people since I was eight years old,” Rose retorted at the skeleton, cloaked in black, the eyeholes glowing brighter than ever before.
“Ahh,” He said silkily, “…But that’s right. But I’m afraid you’re not here to kill people.”
“Right,” She said loudly, “I’m here to make crumpets.”
“Amazing, the backbone you’ve grown,” Voldemort said softly, his fingers grazing his wand thoughtfully, “The last time I’ve seen you, minus, of course, my visit while you were in prison, you were much less…out spoken. But, no…the reason you’re here is so I can kill you… you see, I’ve lured you right into my trap…but I must ask, who’ll die for you this time?”
“No one is going to die for me,” Rose said, her voice oddly even, even though she knew what was coming, “No one should ever die for me.”
“Ahh,” said Voldemort, “But then why did your brother do so, eleven years ago?”
Rose was silent.
“Silly boy, didn’t realize…he could have had it all, your throne, your crown, your power, your status…but he traded it all and let himself die because he loved his sister.” His words were scorning, mocking, amused.
“No one would want the power I’d been given, if they knew what it entailed.” Rose declared, seemingly finding her voice again, “And Hugo is the last person I’d set the curse on.”
“The power you were given, Rosalie, could have gotten you everywhere you’d ever wanted to be. I tried to help you…to show you the way…but you declined.”
“Having everything is nothing at the cost of what you described. At the cost of wearing half a Dark Mark on my forearm by force, at the cost of killing everyone, at the cost of going to the dark side?” She showed her arm, black lines on it faint, but still there. It was an unfinished Dark Mark. Hugo had jumped in front of her when he saw them forcing her into it, when he saw them raise their wand against her, and he’d died. “This mark only reminds me of how you killed my brother rather than me. Why would I ever want to be on the side that murders people I love?”
“You sound just like Dumbledore and Potter,” Voldemort spat scathingly.
“Of course,” Rose said, “They were great leaders. You, however, don’t learn, no matter how many times people share the answers with you.”
The fighting had begun again, and no one seemed to be listening to the conversation the two in the very center of the Great Hall were having as they danced in circles, moving with speed and precision.
“You will die,” He hissed smoothly. And Rose noticed that Lucy was once again cornered. James seemed to be too, and Al was fighting five men in black cloaks. Scorpius was holding his own against four very large woman Death Eaters. Lucy seemed to be the closest to getting hurt and Rose was worried for her cousin. If she died, Rose would die.
At the same time, five voices yelled the same curse, ‘Avada Kedevra’, all frustrated with the skill of the Order members.
Screams filled the air as another explosion took place, two of the curses having gone long, slamming into the walls.
As the dust finally settled for a second time, another scream filled the air.
This one was a woman’s, and it was filled with pain.
Lucy vaguely remembered her favourite cousin telling her that she wouldn’t survive if Lucy died. Lucy watched the world blur as she fell to her knees.
Only one person had been hit by the Killing Curse in that second, but two had died.
Everyone stared silently at the red-haired woman on the ground, her eyes closed, clearly dead.
And then the cries broke.
The Death Eaters had vanished as soon as they saw the pile of molten black lava-like substance, burning its path through the marble as it slowly evaporated, leaving off a pungent smell.
No one knew exactly how Lord Voldemort had died, but everyone knew that he would not return. Not like this. There was no body left, no bones, no nothing.
The Death toll was counted carefully, as Rose’s spirits floated away, all having done their part.
There were 269 deaths on the Dark side.
There were 571 deaths on the Order’s side.
Dead Order members were carefully taken away, to be buried, and dead Death Eaters were dragged away, no one wishing to see them as a reminder.
Wounded men and women were all over, others trying to find cures for their ailments. There were no other type of magical animals; it truly was a war of the humans.
People seemed to be in a sludge as to how anything was working. Hogwarts was completely destroyed, far worse than it had been with the Second Wizarding War, and everyone who could was wandering around dazedly. It was unlikely that they would win the war, and they did, but half of their people were dead, and everyone was in mourning.
Nothing seemed to fit anymore.
Funny thing, time. You think you've got so much of it and then it just slips away from you turning days into weeks and weeks into, what? months? Has it really been that long? Well the answer is yes. It has. I did a lot of fretting over this chapter and the next. You see, it's been written for so long that I'd planned on just entering one after another and then I went and read through the last few chapters and they seemed horribly rushed. Well, I was planning on fixing it, but there's this huge part of me that just wants to be done with this story once and for all and be able to sit back and sigh and say 'finally'.
Well, anyway, I know you've all got loads of questions, and I invite you to ask them, because, no matter how long it takes, I will answer every single review I get on this story (and all my others, for people who read those too). I've got a few questions for you. Who do you want to die? Who do you think I killed off? Are those answers the same? IS THIS TOO RUSHED?
Also, minor (very, very minor) editing will go on in the last chapter before I get that up. NTW comes next then some of my new stuff that you all should go read to keep yourselves occupied (coughcough) and then the last chapter of this wil go up and I'll be able to change its status to completed. I'm honestly dreading the day.
So go ahead, shoot me your questions and your hate (just keep it 12+, guys, yeah?) and your desire for this story to be over for good finally and I'll get it answered. Even if I answer them next month, they'll be answered, yeah? It has to count for something. I do love you all, for bringing me as far as I've gotten. Don't forget it as you describe your hate for me. :)