Chapter 22: Fallen
Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione had planned to go to Hogsmeade together and were joined at the last moment by Neville and Luna. After a quick visit at Honeydukes Sweet Shop (mainly for Ron’s benefit), they made their way to the Three Broomsticks to warm themselves up with a Butterbeer. They found an empty table in the corner of the tavern and sat down contently.
“I’m surprised Dumbledore still allows us to come to Hogsmeade.” Ron said. “With Voldemort being back and all.”
“Well he has been laying low for now, hasn’t he?” Hermione said. “He probably wouldn’t attack Hogsmeade with Dumbledore so close.”
“But is he?” Ginny wondered. “He has been away a lot lately. I haven’t seen him at all this week."
Harry nodded. He knew Dumbledore had left the school on various occasions. He had tried to ask him where he went during his private lessons, but his headmaster had merely said Harry would find out in time. Dumbledore was still teaching Harry advanced magic that would help him in combat, but he had also talked to Harry many times about Tom Riddle when he was at Hogwarts. He apparently thought it was important for Harry to know as much as possible about his enemy.
They had been sitting in the Three Broomsticks for about an hour when they heard screams coming from the High Street. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny immediately jumped from their seats with their wands drawn, quickly followed by Neville and Luna. Harry noticed that about half of the tavern had followed their example. Apparently, the better part of Dumbledore’s Army had been sitting in the Three Broomsticks as well.
Madam Rosmerta quickly ran to the door to see what was going on. She paled when she saw what was happening. “Death Eaters!”, she screamed, terrified.
Harry ran to the door and saw that a large group of at least forty Death Eaters had apparated into Hogsmeade and were attacking innocent bystanders. His heart dropped when he saw Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas were under attack from four masked Death Eaters and were struggling to keep up with them. Without thinking he made to go outside to help them, but Madam Rosmerta grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
“Don’t be silly, Harry, you can’t go out there.” she said with a shaking voice. “We all have to stay inside and secure the building.”
Harry nodded. “Yes, you do that. But I am going to help my friends."
His five companions made to follow, but Harry told them to stay inside and keep safe.
“Like hell we will.” Ron said.
“We’re with you, Harry.” Ginny said, looking at him determinately.
Harry wanted to protest, but Neville cut him off: “We’re Dumbledore’s Army, Harry. This is what we have been training for. We can’t hide now.”
Harry looked around the tavern and saw that all the DA members that had been sitting there were standing with their wands drawn, ready to follow him.
“Alright then.” he said. He turned to Colin Creevey. “Colin, once you are outside, I don’t want you to fight – “
Colin cut him off immediately: “I can fight!”
“I know you can.” Harry said. “But I need you to go to Hogwarts as fast as you can to alert the teachers. We are going to need help. Try to find McGonagall or Snape if you can.”
Then, he turned to Anthony, Michael and Terry and said: “I need you three to give him cover. Make sure he gets out of here safely before you help others.” The three Ravenclaw fifth years nodded.
“Alright.” Harry said. “The rest of you, follow me. I don’t want you to seek unnecessary danger. Protect everyone who needs it. Don’t attack blindly. If you have stunned or petrified one of them, make sure you tie them up, so they can’t re-join the fight when they wake up.”
He was afraid his friends didn’t really know what they were getting into, but when he saw their determinate faces, he knew he wouldn’t be able to talk them out of it. “Let’s go.”
Harry lead them outside and saw to his surprise that other members of Dumbledore’s Army had already joined the fight. Hannah Abbot and Ernie Macmillan had come to the aid of Dean and Seamus. Seamus was still standing, but Dean was on the ground, bleeding profusely from his head.
He saw a Death Eater fire a Killing Curse towards him. “Protego Yomorus!” Harry yelled.
A big gold shield appeared before Dean and the green beam bounced away and hit another Death Eater in the back. The Death Eater who had fired the Killing Curse turned to him and pointed her wand at him.
“Well if it isn’t the great Harry Potter.” a female voice sneered. “I see you have been training with Dumbledore. He is the only one who can block unforgivable curses after all.”
She pulled her mask from her face and Harry recognised Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius’ cousin and one of Voldemort’s most trusted Death Eaters. A blind hatred took over his mind. “Stupefy!” he shouted.
Bellatrix blocked his spell easily and laughed. “You want to play do you, dear Harry? I am afraid we don’t have time for games. I’m here to take you to my master.”
A familiar voice spoke up behind Harry’s back. “I’m afraid your master will have to wait a little longer.”
Harry turned around and saw that Neville had come to his aid. Bellatrix took advantage of this moment of inadvertency and quickly shot a binding spell at him, which was blocked by Neville.
“Well... Who might you be?”
“Neville Longbottom.” Neville said blatantly.
The eyes of Bellatrix dilated in recognition before she started laughing tauntingly
“Oh, I had the pleasure to meet your parents, dear boy. How are mum and dad?"
They started duelling heatedly. Bellatrix was outmatched two to one, but she held her own quite easily. She was an extremely talented and heartless witch, but she didn’t manage to incapacitate either of the younger boys, until suddenly she managed to disarm Neville. She instantly followed the disarming spell with a Cruciatus Curse and Neville writhed on the cobblestones in pain.
“Stupefy!” Harry yelled, at the exact same moment as someone from behind Bellatrix.
The two stunners hit her simultaneously and she was blown back from the force of the spells and disappeared behind Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet who were taking on four Death Eaters. Harry saw Angelina Johnson standing before him, wand in hand.
“Thought you might want some help.” she said simply.
“Didn’t need it though.” Harry grinned. “I had her.”
“Sure you did." Angelina smirked. “Duck!”, she yelled and pulled Harry to the ground as two Killing Curses flew over their heads.
“That I did need.” Harry mumbled. Angelina grinned.
They weren’t able to catch their breath as they were immediately engaged in a duel with five more Death Eaters. Neville had jumped to his feet again and came to their aid. They were able to take two of the five out and tie them up, before a series of pops announced the arrival of a large group of wizards. Harry’s heart sank as he thought that a Death Eater had left to get reinforcements, but then he saw Tonks and Lupin appear hand in hand to his right.
“Wotcher, Harry!” Tonks said cheerfully, before she easily took out a third Death Eater.
Harry looked around and saw that members of the Order of the Phoenix were helping the students and teachers from Hogwarts and inhabitants from Hogsmeade.
“About time.” Harry said.
The remaining Death Eaters were rounded up quickly. The two Death Eaters who were still standing were now outnumbered five to two against Harry and his friends, but they didn’t give up without a fight.
A Reductor Curse fired by someone behind them blew of the mask of the shortest of the Death Eaters and Harry was shocked to see the face of Peter Pettigrew.
Lupin’s face hardened when he saw his former friend and yelled: “Animagus Dolorius!"
Harry realized Lupin had prevented Pettigrew from turning to his animal form, so he wouldn’t be able to escape this time.
Harry and Lupin duelled Pettigrew, while Neville, Angelina and Tonks took on the other Death Eater. When the latter was incapacitated they joined the other duel and Pettigrew , who was barely holding his own against Harry and Lupin knew he was cornered. Instead of surrendering, he used the last means of resistance he had: “Avada Kedavra!”
Harry saw a body crumple to the ground in the corner of his eye when it was hit with the green beam of light from Pettigrew’s wand. A blind rage and hatred took over his mind. “Reducto!”
The Reductor Curse was so powerful Pettigrew was blown backwards and hit the brick wall of a house headfirst. A sickening crunch of skull against stone told Harry that the man who had betrayed his parents couldn’t possibly have survived. He was shaken for a moment by the fact that he had killed a man. Then he remembered that one of his friends had been struck by a Killing Curse from the now fallen Death Eater.
He turned around and felt his heart sink to his stomach when he saw Neville and Lupin kneeling by the lifeless body of Angelina Johnson.
“Where was Dumbledore?” Ron asked gruffly. “He should have been there.”
“He isn’t at school, according to McGonagall.” Ginny answered. “No one knows where he is. He probably still doesn’t know what happened."
Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Luna had all suffered minor injuries during the battle. Though not seriously harmed, Madam Pomfrey wanted them to stay the night in the hospital wing. Neville also stayed as he was still suffering from the after effects of the Cruciatus Curse.
There were no members of Dumbledore’s Army that were gravely injured. Dean and Seamus were in the hospital wing too, as were Hannah Abbott and Terry Boot, but they would all be allowed to leave in the morning. The scars that were left by the loss of one of their members would be much more difficult to heal.
Harry and Neville were probably affected the most by Angelina’s death, as they were there fighting with her when it happened. Especially the fact that she died when the fight was almost over and they thought they would be safe hit them hard. A terrible feeling of guilt plagued Harry as he realized this would not have happened if he had told everyone to stay in the Three Broomsticks and to secure the building.
Harry’s friends didn’t really know what to say to him. As they knew Harry, they realized he would be beating himself up and blaming himself. They wanted to comfort him and tell him it wasn’t his fault, but Harry seemed to have shut himself off from them. When he had returned to the school, he had rushed to the hospital wing to see if everyone else was alright, but he hadn’t spoken a word since he verified that all the other DA members would be fine.
After sitting silently with his friends for a while, he stood up without a word and left the hospital wing. He walked slowly to Gryffindor Tower and locked himself in the fifth year boys dormitory. The only advantage of the fact his friends were in the hospital wing was that he had the room for himself. He really didn’t want to see anyone.
He lied down on his bed and he grieved for his fallen friend. Angelina, the though Quidditch captain with the big mouth, but with a very good heart. He remembered Angelina comforting Neville the night before and her telling Harry about her parents in the Room of Requirement last fall. It was a soft spot Harry had never seen of her, but it was there. But now she was gone. She would never cheek him again, never lash out at the twins because they were goofing around at Quidditch practice. Tears were streaming down his cheeks when he fell asleep.
“Death is harder on those who are left behind” – Robert La Fosse