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Chapter 4 : It All Ends
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As soon as she was able to feel her body moving, her eyes opening and taking in the blurring shapes around her, Angelina was aware that something bad had happened right before her body decided to come back to this world.
There was the thick, coppery smell of blood and the sounds of agonized screams, monsters roaring their rage and the lights and furious battling or lights as they collided in deadly, rainbow colored blasts and made the air tremble.
Hogwarts was under attack again. Harry Potter apparently had given his life away and was dead. The force of his kindness made it harder for Angelina to rise but once she did, she was shoved back down by a pair of bloody hands. “Stay down, Angie! Stupefy!” it was Katie, and she appeared just as shocked as she was.
“Katie?” Angelina whispered but then her mind started to fog over again, images of George sweeping across her brain and causing the deepest grief to form over her soul. “George,” she whispered and his name sounded like something lost and almost tainted, he had been taken away from her forever.
Thick dark hair flew around her and she struggled up, fighting Katie away from her body and heard something whizz by them.
“Get away from my friends, you bastard!” Alicia cried just then and Angelina was able to angle her head and see her just a few feet away, dripping in blood and aiming complex hexes and jinxes at whoever had tried to harm them.
They had been the voices that she had heard in her unconscious state and as Alicia ran forward, leaping over their bodies, Angelina felt immense love and devotion to them both. Katie struggled with her for a while longer before rolling off of her, panting and holding her arm.
“You’re hurt!” Angelina cried in surprise while looking at the thick blood that was seeping from her friends flesh.
“It’s nothing!” Katie groaned as she stood and forced her trembling legs to work, looking taller and more powerful than Angelina had ever seen her before she was able to say. “I’m so sorry, Angie. I really am.”
Angelina wasn’t able to say anything back because her friend rushed away into thick, black smoke from beyond her. Shaking and frightened, she felt her fingers closing over her wand and stood up, her leg twitching with pain and blood pooling before she took in the scene around her. She gasped in outrage at the Death Eaters that were swarming inside.
It seemed like thousands of them were there, inside a place that rejected them with its students and its teachers and Angelina was certain that many Hogsmeade villagers had finally had enough. And if she didn’t know any better, a centaur or two was tearing into them left and right.
Arrows were blazing by, colors swayed and collided with the ceiling and she forced herself to stay strong, for George, for Fred, for her parents. And dear little Colin Creevey, whom she hadn’t even known and she felt her heart steeling.
Something jolted by her and she gasped to see Lucius Malfoy and his wife running by, screaming for their dementedly cowardly child. Angelina knew that her own parents would be the same if they weren’t here already.
Gripping her wand tightly in her hands, Angelina looked around for someone to attack. To slash and to destroy and ran into the thick throng of the fighters and Death Eater after Death Eater seemed to fall and crumble.
She was dazed, blood lusty and stricken with grief and thinking of the boy that she had always loved and would never be able to hold for herself, not ever. Not until she would see him again after years and years apart.
Tears stinging her eyes and making her appear quite mad herself; Angelina found her legs taking her from the demolished Great Hall and up many stairs. Tripping over dead bodies and blood; crushed stones until she was running down a wrecked corridor, fending the enemies away.
“Petrificus Totalus!” someone screamed and she turned and saw what might have been Parvati Patil, in her own rage as she caused a Death Eater man to topple away like a rock from a trembling boy.
Angelina and she met eyes for the briefest of seconds. A smile started on her face but just then, the window behind her in the corridor was blasted apart and a giant’s hand reached inside, bloodied and the horror of it tore her away.
Parvati screamed and she leapt away just as she did, the stones crumbling, smoke billowing and the beasts eyes dark and menacing. “Get away, run!” Angelina cried because she knew no spell that could spare them from this.
Together, they ran from it and heard someone distantly scream in agony and death but as they ran, Parvati was somehow lost to her. Angelina was left alone again, finding more Death Eaters and more students that needed her help.
The wand in her hand was a monster on its own and her hand whizzed and slashed through the air and her mouth tasted like blood. She wondered vaguely if she had somehow lost a tooth.
Hannah Abbott and Seamus Finnigan were alongside her at some point and the three of them were taking down at least six Death Eaters on their own and having just a bit of trouble. Reinforcements came in the form of Madame Rosmerta, Professors Sinistra and Sprout and about a dozen other people she recognized.
Bowled over from the sheer force of will, the Death Eaters that weren’t killed pleaded for their lives, tossing aside their wands but Angelina wasn’t able to lower her own and only stopped herself from killing them because it frightened her deeply.
Could she become a creature like them? Could she kill a man, a woman, a child that was begging for their life? No. Angelina stumbled away from them as the world around her seemed to crumble, it still being dark outside and many more bodies strewn about the corridor floor.
After shaking off her terrible thoughts and thinking of George again, she thrust herself back into the battle. He wouldn’t want her to be that way, he would want her to stay strong, to be happy and that caused her to grow more strength, even as her body was trying very hard to get her to die, to rest a bit, perhaps forever.
The ceiling was shaking, people were crying out in pain and Angelina found out why when she stumbled down an adjacent hallway to see Dementors, once again, trying to feed on helpless innocents.
A grouping of about six or seven students were trembling, holding their mouths as the inky creatures bent over them like an evil cloud, trying to steal their souls and a few of them appeared as if they had succeeded.
“Someone help!” a boy cried between his fingers.
Angelina was panting hard and conjured up the happiest memory that she could, the happiest feeling and an old image of George as he smiled at her, and energy sprang like the thump of her heart.
“Please George,” she whispered before raising her wand and crying, “Expecto Patronum!” and almost instantly, the force of her lioness exploded from her wandtip and charged.
She was beautiful; the most beautiful thing in the world and Angelina kept her mind and her feelings on George, always George and watched as the Dementors reeled away from the children, trying to fight her Patronus off.
Her feet were sliding and her knees felt weaker and weaker. But she held on as strongly as she could and eventually, the slimy, black creatures faded away, retreating through a broken window, their would-be victims sagging with relief.
Angelina watched as her Patronus prowled around them, bringing with it a warmth that made their pale cheeks turn back red and sweaty, “Thank you so much!” a girl whispered and Angelina could only nod.
Without another word to her besides a few nods and relieved smiles, the group managed to stand and walk away through the smoke and the darkness before her Patronus burst away.
Angelina felt as if the very life had been taken from her and she very nearly fell but almost as she did so, a mangled looking Death Eater woman seemed to emerge from nowhere, her hand gripping along the wall.
She was going after that group of kids and Angelina shot a curse at her, “I don’t think so you bitch!”
The woman blocked her attack just in time and turned to her and Angelina was surprised by how hard she fought her, as if she were in just as much of a haze as she was.
Her magic was far more advanced than hers but Angelina fought her just as hard, her mind gone but a nasty hex struck her shoulder and she cried out in pain and had to steady her hand against the wall.
“Poor little Hogwarts witch,” the woman jeered meanly and Angelina felt her eyes fogging over with pain but just then, just as she knew that she would have died, a curse struck the woman directly in her forehead.
She watched as the woman’s eyes went wide with shock before she fell and Angelina gasped as she felt someone’s hand wrapping around her waist and tugging her upright against them.
“Merlin, Angie, are you all right?” She looked up and saw red hair, freckles and a face covered in blood. “Hey, you’re safe now. It’s all right,” he said softly, pulling her to him.
It was a dream of some kind because she would know his voice and his touch anywhere and she felt as if she couldn’t breathe properly. “George,” her voice was a hoarse whisper and she broke down into relieved sobs so terrible that she almost fell to her knees, “George!”
At first, she thought that he would crack some sort of joke and say that he was Fred, like he would sometimes do to tease her a bit but he said nothing. Instead, he stayed silent and Angelina grew obsessed with the pulse of his heart as it beat in his chest and right then she was unable to stop herself from crying harder, his one arm locking her harder to him.
For just the briefest of seconds her face was lifted up and he might have kissed her before the moment was broken by a harsh and nasty laugh. “Well, well, isn’t this touching? Two little Hogwarts fighters all alone…”
Angelina turned around with him and saw that two Death Eater men were standing there, one of them so tall and so wide that he appeared to touch the ceiling. “Back off, or we’ll kill you.” The other, a squat man that she couldn’t quite place said while holding up his wand.
The battle apparently wasn’t going so well for them down below and Angelina swallowed hard and raised her wand, unsure how she was able to see at all through her tears. George’s wand was already out and there was a fierce look in his eyes that was almost inhuman, deadly and his body stiffened until Angelina wasn’t able to recognize him but she was by his side, and that was all that mattered.
No words were said and the Death Eaters fired spell after curse after hex at the two of them and Angelina found that she was able to dodge. To duck and to leap over them with a grace that was coming from survival and not the energy she knew that she didn’t have.
George stayed beside her the entire time and only needed her help when he stumbled and his large, evil opponent nearly killed him with a blast of green light and Angelina was able to grab him aside. “Thanks, Angie,” he panted.
“Not a problem, George,” Angelina said back but he was already turning away from her and fighting again and she went back to her own opponent, who was losing his nerve and appearing as if he were running out of ideas.
Not feeling sorry, she was able to dodge his Killing Curse and Bind him with a flick of her wand that was so strong that his little body flew back and into a wall, his head banging violently against it and making him slump.
Just at that time, George was able to dance around his opponent and fire a curse into his chest that made him fly backwards through a shattered window and land far, far away and Angelina wasn’t able to hear the thud.
Unable to believe what she had seen, Angelina stared at him and saw that he had changed drastically since she had seen him last. Before the battle had started and wondered what was done to him, to turn him into this.
She had seen murder before and she was unsure if she had killed anyone herself but to see George murdering a man caused an odd mix of feelings enter her heart. But she pushed them down and tried to gather her breath.
Sunlight was creeping onto the horizon and George’s hair seemed to turn into molten lava, his back to her as he allowed the silence to engulf them both. Angelina could hear no fighting below but the distant sounds of screams and shouts could be heard and a black, horse-like creature that could have only been a Thestral flapped by the window at some point. But there was no other sound save for their breathing and the thumps from various feet.
“We should go back down to the Great Hall.” George said then and his voice caused her to jolt just a bit before he angled his head back at her and smiled, that right dimple appearing and assuring her that he was just who he was. Angelina managed to nod and he wandered up to her and held out his hand and when she hesitantly took it, his voice turned cajoling, “Scared you might like it?” and he grasped it before she could reply.
It seemed that all of the grief and hatred she had felt while thinking that he was gone from her seemed to seep from her lungs with each breath. Angelina managed to look up at him and notice that his eyes were hard; there was no longer a need to speak.
They walked over wreckage, tore their eyes away from the dead and it took far longer than she would have thought to reach the remains of the Great Hall. But when they did, she was able to see that the War was over.
Harry Potter was somehow still alive and the celebration seemed to explode around them. The sounds of cheers and merrymaking made it all seem like some terrible, horrible nightmare and Angelina wasn’t sure if she could take it in.
George’s hand gripped hers tighter until she looked up at him, “…I’m so glad that you’re alive.” He said, “For a moment, I saw you lying there after he was gone and I thought the worst.”
“When who was gone?”
Angelina thought and her memory yanked her back until she recalled the red haired man on the ground, surrounded by family, the freckles that she had known so well and for so long causing her heart to stop. “…George, where’s Fred?”
The question was all it took for him to break and he started to squeeze her hand so tightly that for a moment it hurt.
But her heart hurt much worse, almost as if it had been ripped from her chest and stomped on but George said nothing, his eyes going red. Tears started to flood but she was already engulfing him in her arms and feeling his forehead resting on her shoulder, his arm going round her waist again until he was overcome with depression and grief.
But there was relief that it was over and hatred for the person that took his brother from them all, making them empty. Angelina wasn’t able to get her mouth to work, her mind to form words. But George didn’t appear to mind and while the celebration raged around them, people letting off fireworks, they held onto each other so tightly that nothing else in the world mattered.
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