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Chapter 28 : What It Takes To Win
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Author's Note: Hey everyone! So I thought I'd post another chapter, but there is only one more left after this one. And I won't post that one until I have the first chapter of "Safe and Sound" written. But it should be written soon because I have a MILLION ideas for "Safe and Sound" and for a next generation fic after that (that will be a continuation of HHWC). So don't forget to review and be awesome and I will see you next chapter!
"Harry Potter is dead! He was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring you his body as proof that your hero is gone. The battle is won. You have lost half of your fighters. My Death Eaters outnumber you, and the Boy-Who-Lived is finished. There must be no more war. Anyone who continues to resist - man, woman, or child - will be slaughtered, as will every member of your family. Come out of the castle now, kneel before me, and you shall be spared. Your parents and children, your brothers and sisters will live and be forgiven, and you will join me in the new world we shall build together."
I looked up at Hermione but I refused to believe it. It was a ruse to get people to join him. Harry would never run away like that, and most importantly, he was not dead. I would know if he was dead. I knew I would.
That scream was the most terrible thing I had ever heard. I could barely believe it could come from Professor McGonagall. I could hear Bellatrix Lestrange laughing, happy with McGonagall's despair.
I slowly rose from my spot in the Great Hall and made my way outside the Entrance Hall. More people were screaming as I continued my slow walk to the front of the group.
I looked at the limp Harry in Hagrid's arms and was done. I just stared at Harry's body, unable to believe my eyes, wanting more than anything for my eyes to be playing a trick.
"NO!" I screamed, lunging forward to try to get to him, but multiple people held me back, and no matter how hard I fought, they made it clear that I wasn't going to go anywhere near him.
"SILENCE!" Voldemort yelled when all of the survivors started to scream and shout abuse at the Death Eaters. Kacey Tremblay and Shana Parks stood by his side, both smiling at everything that was going on. They didn't have a single scratch on their body. "It is over! Set him down, Hagrid, at my feet, where he belongs!"
Harry's body was lowered to the ground.
"You see?" Voldemort demanded. "Harry Potter is dead! Do you understand now, deluded ones? He was nothing, ever, but a boy who relief on others to sacrifice themselves for him!"
"He beat you!" Ron yelled, and immediately the defenders of Hogwarts were shouting and screaming again until another bang extinguished their voice again.
"He was killed while trying to sneak out of the castle grounds," Voldemort said, but even the tone of his voice gave away his lie, "killed while trying to save himself -"
I wouldn't listen to this anymore. I couldn't. I started firing spells at him, as fast as I could, but he was just as fast at defending them.
"And who is this?" Voldemort said. "Who has volunteered to demonstrate what happens to those who continue to fight a lost battle?"
I walked a few steps forward, never breaking eye contact with him. I now stood in no-man's-land between the survivors of either side.
"Ah, the princess," Voldemort sneered, looking at me with disdain. "Apparently your capture didn't teach you anything."
"I'm a slow learner."
He grinned that evil smile again. "Ah, that spirit never diminished, did it?" I stared at him. "You could have everything you ever wanted and more if you joined me. You would make a most valuable Death Eater."
"I'm not a pureblood. Then again, that probably doesn't matter because neither are you, Tom," I said, to instantly be silenced with the Cruciatus Curse. My body jolted as the horrible feeling of white hot knives being stabbed into my body took over. It didn't seem to hurt as much as it usually did - it was as if I had become numb to the pain.
"Do you all see what your insolence gets you?" Voldemort demanded. "Pain beyond anything you ever imagined."
I slowly got back to my feet. "It'll take a lot more than that to keep me down. You'll have to kill me."
"I think that can be arranged."
"You've heard the Prophecy, I'm more powerful than you - than anyone that's ever lived, actually," I said, no longer caring if people though I'd end up like him. I would never be like Voldemort. "If Harry's dead, that means I can destroy you and all of your pathetic little flunkies."
I was grabbed from behind, my hands held behind me and a knife held at my throat. I started laughing. Genuinely laughing. Everyone must have thought the stress of it all had made me go insane, but at this point, I had nothing left to fear. My parents would never remember who I was, my kids would be protected, and Harry was already dead. I could die now and have nothing to worry about.
Voldemort waved his wand and a misshapen bird flew out of the castle and dropped the Sorting Hat in his hands.
"There will be no more Sorting at Hogwarts School. There will be no more Houses. The emblem, shield and colors of my noble ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, will suffice everyone. Won't they, Your Majesty?"
He said 'Your Majesty' like it was a joke.
He pointed his wand at me and my whole body froze. He then put the Sorting Hat on my head and it fell over my eyes, making everything dark. "Emily here is now going to demonstrate what happens to anyone foolish enough to continue to oppose me time and time again," Voldemort said, and with a flick of his wand, the Sorting Hat burst into flames.
He really didn't think that one through.
The binding spell didn't last long, and I was free from it within seconds of it being cast. I yelled, "Neville, now!"
Neville came out of nowhere and sliced the Sword of Gryffindor down on Nagini, taking off its head. I had told him to get the sword from the Sorting Hat in Dumbledore's office once I knew that he had already seen Harry coming out from there. Harry may have been dead, but it wouldn't be vain.
I quickly broke my hands free from whatever the Death Eater had been using to hold me still and flipped him over. When I saw who it was, I smirked. "I told you I'd be the one to kill you, Michael McDonald." And with that, I killed the person who had wrecked a big part of my childhood.
Chaos broke loose as Grawp came trampling in and everyone started fighting again. The centaurs started scattering the Death Eaters, and everyone was trying to stay right side up. The fairies flew into the air and started shooting arrows at all the Death Eaters.
I was fighting Voldemort, one on one. He kept backing into the Great Hall and shouting orders to his followers. I would not let him leave the grounds of this school alive, even if it meant that I took my own life in the process.
The room got more and more crowded as everyone forced their way inside. We were making our comeback. Our side was attacking the Death Eaters with a newfound determination, and pretty soon, the only fights left were Voldemort, Kacey, and Shana against McGonagall, Slughorn, Kingsley, and I, and Bellatrix against Hermione, Ginny, and Luna.
All of a sudden I heard, "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!"
I knew then that Bellatrix had aimed a Killing Curse at Ginny and just missed her. Now, Molly was going after Bellatrix all by herself. I was still Voldemort, Shana and Kacey when Voldemort suddenly screamed, and I knew Molly had killed Bellatrix. Thank Merlin.
In this moment of distraction, McGonagall and I both shot killing curses at Shana and Kacey, but once again, Shana escaped. Voldemort screamed again before blasting McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley all backwards, leaving it to me to fight him. "You will pay for this," Voldemort hissed at me, aiming his wand at me.
"Come at me, bro."
He raised his wand but someone shouted, "PROTEGO!" and a barrier was put between us. There were shouts of cheer and joy, and when I turned around, Harry was standing there.
"Harry!" I shouted, running to him and jumping in his arms. He hugged me tightly and kissed the top of my head.
"I would never leave you," he whispered, quickly kissing my lips before moving me out of the way so he could face Voldemort. He held my hand tightly in his.
"I don't want anyone else to help," Harry announced, his voice carrying through the Great Hall like he was using a microphone. "It's got to be like this - it has to be me."
Voldemort hissed. Harry let go of my hand to circle Voldemort. "Potter doesn't mean that. This isn't how he works, is it? Who are you going to use as a shield today, Potter?"
"Nobody because there are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me. Neither of us can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good."
"One of us?" Voldemort jeered, his whole body taut and his red eyes glaring at Harry, like he was going to strike. But really, he was scared. He knew Harry had just as good a chance at beating him as Voldemort had of beating Harry. In fact, Harry had a better chance because his soul was in tact. "You think it will be you, do you, the boy who survived by accident, and because Dumbledore was pulling strings?"
"So it was an accident when my mother died to save me," Harry said in fake astonishment. "So it must've been an accident when I decided to fight you in that graveyard. Oh, and it must've been an accident that I didn't defend myself tonight, still survived, and returned to fight again?"
"Accidents!" Voldemort screamed. "Accident and chance and the fact that you crouched and sniveled behind greater men and women, and permitted me to kill them for you!"
"You won't be killing anyone else tonight," Harry said as they circled each other more. "You won't be able to kill any of them ever again. Don't you get it? I was ready to die to stop you from hurting these people -"
"But you did not!"
"- I meant to, and that's what did it. I've done what my mother did. They're protected from you. Haven't you noticed how none of the spells you put on them are binding? You can't torture them. You can't touch them. You don't learn from your mistakes, Riddle, do you?"
"You dare -"
"Yes, I dare," Harry said. "I know things you don't, Tom Riddle, very important things. Wand to hear some before you make another big mistake?"
"So it this protection works so well, I guess one of my Death Eaters won't be able to kill your girlfriend."
It took me a few seconds to get what he'd say that, and by that time, it was too late. I had shot a Killing Curse at Shana and missed, but she had already cast a spell on me. I stared at her in astonishment as the pain started to set in.
It was worse than any Cruciatus Curse I'd ever had cast on me, and I screamed out in pain. My knees buckled and I fell to the ground, trying to control myself enough to reach past the pain. Shana leaned beside me and said, "Looks like I'm going to be the one to kill you after all."
"Not before I kill you first," I growled, grabbing her by the shirt and pulling him down to the ground. I ignored the pain as much as I could and set a fire in her stomach, something so gruesome I had never thought to do before this moment, but she deserved it.
"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?" Harry demanded, rushing over to me.
"Oh, that - well, that's a great spell I invented that makes someone suffer before they die," Voldemort said.
"Kill him, Harry," I said hoarsely, curling into the fetal position as I tried to stop the pain. I don't know what happened next, because I blacked out from the pain.
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