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Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows



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Old August 27th, 2010, 4:21 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 41
Aberforth's Tale


(Hermione's PoV)

Hermione's feet touched down onto the road. She saw Hogsmeade High Street in front of her: dark shop fronts, and the mist line of black mountains beyond the village and the curve in the road ahead that led off toward Hogwarts, and light spilling from the windows of the Three Broomsticks.

Beside Hermione, Ron and Harry let go of her hands, and as they did, a piercing scream tore through the air. Hermione gasped as she realized what it was: a warning system for any intruders.

Hermione looked at Ron and Harry, who were looking back at her, all three wondering what to do next. Before they could discuss anything, the door of the Three Broomsticks burst open and a dozen cloaked and hooded Death Eaters dashed into the streets, their wands aloft. Harry seized Ron's wrist as he raised his wand; there were too many of them to run. Even attempting it would have give away their position. One of the Death Eaters raised his wand, and the scream stopped, still echoing around the distant mountains.

"Accio Cloak!" roared one of the Death Eaters.

The cloak did not move. The Summoning Charm had failed.

"Not under your wrapper, then, Potter?" yelled the Death Eater who had tried the charm and then to his fellows, "Spread now. He's here."

Six of the Death Eaters ran toward them: Hermione, Ron and Harry backed as quickly as possible down the nearest side street, and the Death Eaters missed them by inches. They waited in the darkness, listening to the footsteps running up and down, beams of light flying along the street from the Death Eaters' searching wands.

"Let's just leave!" Hermione whispered. "Disapparate now!"

"Great idea," said Ron

"We know you are here, Potter,” a Death Eater shouted, “and there's no getting away! We'll find you!"

"They were ready for us," whispered Harry. "They set up that spell to tell them we'd come. I reckon they’ve done something to keep us here, trap us - "

"What about dementors?" called another Death Eater. "Let'em have free rein, they'd find him quick enough!"

"The Dark Lord wants Potter dead by no hands but his - "

" 'an dementors won't kill him! The Dark Lord wants Potter's life, not his soul. He'll be easier to kill if he's been Kissed first!"

There were noises of agreement. Hermione shivered. If dementors attacked, they would have to produce Patronuses, and the Death Eaters would surely find them then.

"We're going to have to try to Disapparate, Harry!" Hermione whispered.

Even as she said it, she felt the unnatural cold being spread over the street. Light was sucked from
the environment right up to the stars, which vanished. Hermione took Ron and Harry's arms and turned on the spot, but nothing happened.

Her eyes went wide.

“Oh, no,” she whispered.

The air through which they needed to move, seemed to have become solid: They could not
Disapparate; the Death Eaters had cast their charms well.

Hermione, Ron and Harry retreated down the side street, groping their way along the wall trying not to make a sound. Then, around the corner, gliding noiselessly, came dementors, ten or more of them, visible because they were of a denser darkness than their surroundings, with their black cloaks and their scabbed and rotting hands.

Next to Hermione, Harry raised his wand.

“Expecto Patronum!” He shouted.

The silver stag burst from Harry's wand and charged: The dementors scattered and there was a triumphant yell from somewhere out of sight.

"It's him, down there, down there, I saw his Patronus, it was a stag!"

The dementors had retreated, the stars were popping out again and the footsteps of the Death Eaters were becoming louder; but before Hermione could ask either of them what they should do, there was a grinding of bolts nearby.

A door opened on the left-side of the narrow street, and a rough voice said: "Potter, in here, quick!"

Without argument, Harry headed toward the building, and Hermione and Ron followed him in.

"Upstairs, keep the Cloak on, keep quiet!" muttered a tall figure, passing them on his way into the street
and slammed the door behind him.

Hermione looked around. In the stuttering light of one candle, she recognized the Hog's Head Inn. They ran behind the counter and through a second doorway, which led to a trickery wooden staircase, that they climbed as fast as they could. The stairs opened into a sitting room with a durable carpet and a small fireplace, above which hung a single large oil painting of a blonde girl who gazed out at the room with a kind of a vacant sweetness.

Shouts reached from the streets below. Still wearing the Invisibility Cloak on, they hurried toward the grimy window and looked down. Their savior, the Hog's Head barman, was the only person not wearing a hood.

"So what?" he was bellowing into one of the hooded faces. "So what? You send dementors down my street, I'll send a Patronus back at' em! I'm not having 'em near me, I've told you that. I'm not having it!"

"That wasn't your Patronus," said a Death Eater. "That was a stag. It was Potter's!"

"Stag!" roared the barman, and he pulled out a wand. "Stag! You idiot - Expecto Patronum!"

Something huge and horned erupted from the wand. Head down, it charged toward the High Street, and out of sight.

"That's not what I saw" said the Death Eater, though was less certainly

"Curfew's been broken, you heard the noise," one of his companions told the barman. "Someone was out on the streets against regulations - "

"If I want to put my cat out, I will, and be damned to your curfew!"

"You set off the Caterwauling Charm?"

"What if I did? Going to cart me off to Azkaban? Kill me for sticking my nose out my own front door? Do it, then, if you want to! But I hope for your sakes you haven't pressed your little Dark Marks, and summoned him. He's not going to like being called here, for me and my old cat, is he, now?"

"Don't worry about us." said one of the Death Eaters, "worry about yourself, breaking curfew!"

"And where will you lot traffic potions and poisons when my pub's closed down? What will happen to your little sidelines then?"

"Are you threatening - ?"

"I keep my mouth shut, it's why you come here, isn't it?"

"I still say I saw a stag Patronus!" shouted the first Death Eater.

"Stag?" roared the barman. "It's a goat, idiot!"

"All right, we made a mistake," said the second Death Eater. "Break curfew again and we won't be so lenient!"

The Death Eaters strode back towards the High Street. Hermione moaned with relief, wove out from under the Cloak, and sat down on a wobble-legged chair.

The curtains drew to a close and Harry and Ron appeared out from under the cloak.

They could hear the barman down below, rebolting the door of the bar, then climbing the stairs. A moment later, he entered the room.

"You bloody fools," he said gruffly, looking from one to the other of them. "What were you thinking, coming here?"

"Thank you," said Harry. "You can't thank you enough. You saved our lives!"

The barman grunted. Harry approached him looking up into the face. Hermione looked at Ron, who only shrugged.

"It's your eye I've been seeing in the mirror."

There was a silence in the room. Harry and the barman looked at each other.

"You sent Dobby.” Harry said.

The barman nodded and looked around for the elf.

"Thought he'd be with you. Where've you left him?”

"He's dead," said Harry, "Bellatrix Lestrange killed him."

The barman face was impassive. After a few moments he said, "I'm sorry to hear it, I liked that elf."

He turned away, lightning lamps with prods of his wand, not looking at any of them.

"You're Aberforth," said Harry to the man's back.

He neither confirmed or denied it, but bent to light the fire.

"How did you get this?" Harry asked, walking across to the mantelpiece.

Hermione then saw a reflective glimmer of a small shard of mirror, very much like the one she had seen Harry carry around.

"Bought it from Dung 'bout a year ago," said Aberforth. "Albus told me what it was. Been trying to keep an eye out for you."

Ron gasped.

"The silver doe," he said excitedly, "Was that you too?"

"What are you talking about?" asked Aberforth.

"Someone sent a doe Patronus to us!"

"Brains like that, you could be a Death Eater, son. Haven't I just prove my Patronus is a goat?"

"Oh," said Ron, "Yeah... well, I'm hungry!" he added defensively as his stomach gave an enormous rumble.

"I got food," said Aberforth, and he sloped out of the room, reappearing moments later with a large loaf of bread, some cheese, and a pewter jug of mead, which he set upon a small table in front of the fire. Ravenous, they ate and drank, and for a while there was sound of chewing.

"Right then," said Aberforth when the had eaten their fill and Harry and Ron sat slumped dozily in their chairs. "We need to think of the best way to get you out of here. Can't be done by night, you heard what happens if anyone moves outdoors during darkness: Caterwauling Charm's set off, they'll be onto you like bowtruckles on doxy eggs. I don't reckon I'll be able to pass of a stag as a goat a second time. Wait for daybreak when curfew lifts, then you can put your Cloak back on and set out on foot. Get right out of Hogsmeade, up into the mountains, and you'll be able to Disapparate there. Might see Hagrid. He's been hiding in a cave up there with Grawp ever since they tried to arrest him."

"We're not leaving," said Harry. "We need to get into Hogwarts."

"Don't be stupid, boy," said Aberforth.

"We've got to," said Harry.

"What you've got to do," said Aberforth, leaning forward, "is to get as far from here as from here as you can."

"You don't understand. There isn't much time. We've got to get into the castle. Dumbledore - I mean, your brother - wanted us - "

Harry went silent. Aberforth's eyes were a glass stare as they looked upon only him.

"My brother Albus wanted a lot of things," he said, "and people had a habit of getting hurt while he was carrying out his grand plans. You get away from this school, Potter, and out of the country if you can. Forget my brother and his clever schemes. He's gone where none of this can hurt him, and you don't owe him anything."

"You don't understand." said Harry again.

"Oh, don't I?” said Aberforth quietly. "You don't think I understood my own brother? Think you know Albus better than I did?"

"I didn't mean that," said Harry, "It's... he left me a job."

"Did he now?" said Aberforth. "Nice job, I hope? Pleasant? Easy? Sort of thing you'd expect an unqualified wizard kid to be able to do without overstretching themselves?"

Ron gave a rather grim laugh. Hermione sighed. Aberforth seemed to know what he was talking about, and she couldn't help but agree.

"I-it's not easy, no," said Harry. "But I've got to - "

"Got to? Why got to? He's dead, isn't he?" said Aberforth roughly. "Let it go, boy, before you follow him! Save yourself!"

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I...,” Harry stammered, “But you're fighting too, you're in the Order of the Phoenix - "

"I was," said Aberforth. "The Order of the Phoenix is finished. You-Know-Who's won, it's over, and anyone who's pretending different's kidding themselves. It'll never be safe for you here, Potter, he wants you too badly. So go abroad, go into hiding, save yourself. Best take these two with you."

He jabbed a thumb toward Hermione and Ron's direction.

"They'll be in danger long as they live now everyone knows they've been working with you."

"I can't leave," said Harry. "I've got a job - "

"Give it to someone else!"

"I can't. It's got to be me, Dumbledore explained it all - "

"Oh, did he now? And did he tell you everything, was he honest with you?"

Harry didn't answer. Aberforth only grunted.

"I knew my brother, Potter,” he said. “He learned secrecy at our mother's knee. Secrets and lies, that's how we grew up, and Albus... he was a natural."

His eyes traveled to the mantelpiece, and to the painting of the girl. Hermione now had an idea of who she was.

"Mr. Dumbledore" said Hermione rather timidly. "Is that your sister? Ariana?”

"Yes." said Aberforth tersely. "Been reading Rita Skeeter, have you, missy?"

Hermione blushed, though she didn't want to answer truthfully.

"Elphias Doge mentioned her to us," said Harry, trying to spare Hermione.

"That old berk," muttered Aberforth, taking another swig of mead. "Thought the sun shone out of my brother's every orifice, he did. Well, so did plenty of people, you three included, by the looks of it."

Harry and Aberforth stared at each other.

"Professor Dumbledore cared about Harry, very much," said Hermione in a low voice.

"Did he now?" said Aberforth. "Funny thing how many of the people my brother cared about very much ended up in a worse state than if he'd left 'em well alone."

"What do you mean?" asked Hermione breathlessly.

"Never you mind," said Aberforth.

"But that's a really serious thing to say!" said Hermione. "Are you - are you talking about your sister?"

Aberforth glared at her: His lips moved as if he were chewing the words he was holding back. Then he burst into speech.

"When my sister was six years old, she was attacked, by three Muggle boys. They'd seen her doing magic, spying through the back garden hedge: She was a kid, she couldn't control it, no witch or wizard can at that age. What they saw, scared them, I expect. They forced their way through the hedge, and when she couldn't show them the trick, they got a bit carried away trying to stop the little freak doing it."

Hermione's eyes were huge in the firelight. Beside her, Ron looked slightly sick. Aberforth stood up, tall as his brother, and suddenly terrible in his anger and the intensity of his pain.

"It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again. She wouldn't use magic, but she couldn't get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn't control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless.

"And my father went after the *******s that did it," said Aberforth, "and attacked them. And they locked him up in Azkaban for it. He never said why he'd done it, because the Ministry had known what Ariana had become, she'd have been locked up in St. Mungo's for good. They'd have seen her as a serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy, unbalanced like she was, with magic exploding out of her at moments when she couldn't keep it in any longer. We had to keep her safe and quiet. We moved house, put it about she was ill, and my mother looked after her, and tried to keep her calm and happy.

"I was her favorite," he said, and as he said it, a grubby schoolboy seemed to look out through Aberforth's wrinkles and wrangled beard. "Not Albus, he was always up in his bedroom when he was home, reading his books and counting his prizes, keeping up with his correspondence with "the most notable magical names of the day," Aberforth succored. "He didn't want to be bothered with her. She liked me best. I could get her to eat when she wouldn't do it for my mother, I could calm her down, when she was in one of her rages, and when she was quiet, she used to help me feed the goats.

"Then, when she was fourteen... See, I wasn't there." said Aberforth. "If I'd been there, I could have calmed her down. She had one of her rages, and my mother wasn't as young as she was, and . . . it was an accident. Ariana couldn't control it. But my mother was killed."

Hermione frowned, and felt revulsion at the story. But Aberforth didn't stop.

"So that put paid to Albus' trip round the world with little Doge. The pair of 'em came home for my mother's funeral and then Doge went off on his own, and Albus settled down as head of the family. Ha!"

Aberforth spat into the fire.

"I'd have looked after her, I told him so, I didn't care about school, I'd have stayed home and done it. He told me I had to finish my education and he'd take over from my mother. Bit of a comedown for Mr. Brilliant, there's no prizes for looking after your half-mad sister, stopping her blowing up the house every other day. But he did all right for a few weeks... till he came."

And now a positively dangerous look crept over Aberforth’s face.

"Grindelwald. And at last, my brother had an equal to talk to someone just as bright and talented he was. And looking after Ariana took a backseat then, while they were hatching all their plans for a new Wizarding order and looking for Hallows, and whatever else it was they were so interested in. Grand plans for the benefit of all Wizardkind, and if one young girl neglected, what did that matter, when Albus was working for the greater good?

"But after a few weeks of it, I'd had enough, I had. It was nearly time for me to go hack to Hogwarts, so I told 'em, both of 'em, face-to-face, like I am to you, now.”

Aberforth looked down at Harry.

"I told him,” he continued, “you'd better give it up now. You can't move her, she's in no fit state, you can't take her with you, wherever it is you're planning to go, when you're making your clever speeches, trying to whip yourselves up a following. He didn't like that."

"Grindelwald didn't like that at all. He got angry. He told me what a stupid little boy I was, trying to stand in the way of him and my brilliant brother... Didn't I understand, my poor sister wouldn't have to be hidden once they'd changed the world, and led the wizards out of hiding, and taught the Muggles their place?

"And there was an argument... and I pulled my wand, and he pulled out his, and I had the Cruciatus Curse used on me by my brother's best friend - and Albus was trying to stop him, and then all three of us were dueling, and the flashing lights and the bangs set her off, she couldn't stand it - "

The color was draining from Aberforth's face as though he had suffered a mortal wound.

" - and I think she wanted to help, but she didn't really know what she was doing, and I don't know which of us did it, it could have been any of us - and she was dead."

Hermione felt tears pool in her eyes and run down her cheeks. Ron was almost as pale as Aberforth. The old man dropped into a chair.

"I'm so...I'm so sorry," Hermione whispered.

"Gone," croaked Aberforth. "Gone forever."

He wiped his nose on his cuff and cleared his throat.

" 'Course, Grindelwald scarpered. He had a bit of a track record already, back in his own country, and he didn't want Ariana set to his account too. And Albus was free, wasn't he? Free of the burden of his sister, free to become the greatest wizard of the - "

"He was never free," said Harry.

"I beg your pardon?" said Aberforth.

"Never," said Harry. "The night that your brother died, he drank a potion that drove him out of his mind. He started screaming, pleading with someone who wasn't there. 'Don't hurt them, please... hurt me instead.' "

Hermione stared at Harry, as did Ron. Harry had never told them what had happened the night Harry and Albus Dumbledore went into the cave.

"He thought he was back there with you and Grindelwald, I know he did," said Harry, "He thought he was watching Grindelwald hurting you and Ariana... It was torture to him, if you'd seen him then, you wouldn't say he was free."

Aberforth seemed lost in contemplation of his own knotted and veined hands. After a long pause he said:

"How can you be sure, Potter, that my brother wasn't more interested in the greater good than in you? How can you be sure you aren't dispensable, just like my little sister?"

A shard of ice seemed to pierce Harry's heart.

"I don't believe it. Dumbledore loved Harry," said Hermione.

"Why didn't he tell him to hide, then? shot back Aberforth. "Why didn't he say to him, 'Take care of yourself, here's how to survive' ?"

"Because," said Harry before Hermione could answer, "sometimes you've got to think about more than your own safety! Sometimes you've got to think about the greater good! This is war!"

"You're seventeen, boy!"

"I'm of age, and I'm going to keep fighting even if you've given up!"

"Who says I've given up?"

"The Order of the Phoenix is finished," Harry repeated, "You-Know-Who's won, it's over, and anyone who's pretending different's kidding themselves."

"I don't say I like it, but it's the truth!"

"No, it isn't." said Harry. "Your brother knew how to finish You-Know-Who and he passed the knowledge on to me. I'm going to keep going until I succeed - or I die. Don't think I don't know how this might end. I've known it for years."

Aberforth didn't reply, jeer or argue.

"We need to get into Hogwarts," said Harry again. "If you can't help us, we'll wait till daybreak, leave you in peace, and try to find a way in ourselves. If you can help us - well, now would be a great time to mention it."

Aberforth remained fixed in his chair, gazing at Harry. At last he cleared his throat, got to his feet, walked around the little table, and approached the portrait of Ariana.

"You know what to do," he said.

She smiled, turned, and walked away, not as people in portraits usually did, one of the sides of their frames, but along what seemed to be a long tunnel painted behind her. They watched her slight figure retreating until finally she was swallowed by the darkness.

Hermione gasped. She had ever seen a portrait do that before. She had never even read about it.

"Er - what - ?" began Ron.

"There's only one way in now," said Aberforth. "You must know they've got all the old secret passageways covered at both ends, dementors all around the boundary walls, regular patrols inside the school from what my sources tell me. The place has never been so heavily guarded. How you expect to do anything once you get inside it, with Snape in charge and the Carrows as his deputies... well, that's your lookout, isn't it? You say you're prepared to die."

"But what...?" said Hermione, frowning at Ariana's picture.

A tiny white dot reappeared at the end of the painted tunnel, and now Ariana was walking back toward them, growing bigger and bigger as she came. But there was somebody else with her now, someone taller than she was, who was limping along, looking excited. His hair was longer than Hermione had ever seen. Larger and larger the two figures grew, until only their heads and shoulders filled the portrait.

Then the whole thing swang forward on the wall like a little door, and the entrance to a real tunnel was revealed. And our of it, his hair overgrown, his face cut, his robes ripped, clambered the real Neville Longbottom, who gave a roar of delight, leapt down from the mantelpiece and yelled:

"I knew you'd come! I knew it, Harry!”

---------------------------------------
End of chapter! Sorry for another delay. Been rather busy!

A lot more to come soon, including the trip into the Chamber of Secrets!

Feedback would be awesome.


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  #42  
Old August 27th, 2010, 4:23 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 42
Reunited!


(Ron's PoV)


“Neville -- what the -- how -- ?” Harry stammered.

But before Harry could complete his sentence, Neville had spotted Ron and Hermione. He ran over to them with cheers of delight and hugged Ron. He then hugged Hermione, then turned around.

“I knew you'd come!” he said, “Kept telling Seamus it was a matter of time!”

“Neville, what’s happened to you?”

“What? This?” Neville dismissed his injuries with a shake of the head. “This is nothing, Seamus is worse. You’ll see. Shall we get going then? Oh,” he turned to Aberforth, “Ab, there might be a couple more people no the way.”

“Couple more?” repeated Aberforth ominously. “What d’you mean, a couple more, Longbottom? There’s a curfew and a Caterwauling Charm on the whole village!”

“I know, that’s why they’ll be Apparating directly into the bar,” said Neville. “Just send them down the passage when they get here, will you? Thanks a lot.”

Neville helped Hermione climb up onto the mantelpiece and then into the tunnel. Ron followed her and Neville followed him.

It looked as though the passageway had been there for years. Brass lamps hung from the walls and the earthy floor was worn and smooth; as they walked, their shadows rippled, fan-like, across the wall.

“How long’s this been here?” Ron asked as they set off. “It isn’t on the Marauder’s Map, is it Harry? I thought there were only seven passages in and out of school?”

“They sealed off all of those before the start of the year,” said Neville. “There’s no chance of getting through any of them now, not with the curses over the entrances and Death Eaters and dementors waiting at the exits.” He started walking backward, beaming, drinking them in. “Never mind that stuff … Is it true? Did you break into Gringotts? Did you escape on a dragon? It’s everywhere, everyone’s talking about it, Terry Boot got beaten up by Carrow for yelling about it in the Great Hall at dinner!”

“Yeah, it’s true,” said Harry.

Neville laughed gleefully.

“What did you do with the dragon?” he asked.

“Released it into the wild,” said Ron. “Hermione was all for keeping it as a pet“

“Don’t exaggerate, Ron –“ Hermione said, with a sigh.

“But what have you been doing? People have been saying you’ve just been on the run, Harry, but I don’t think so. I think you’ve been up to something.”

“You’re right,” said Harry, “but tell us about Hogwarts, Neville, we haven’t heard anything.”

“It’s been …. Well, it’s not really like Hogwarts anymore,” said Neville, the smile fading from his face as he spoke. “Do you know about the Carrows?”

“Those two Death Eaters who teach here?” Ron asked.

“They do more than teach,” said Neville. “They’re in charge of all discipline. They like punishment, the Carrows.”

“Like Umbridge?” Harry asked.

“Nah, they make her look tame. The other teachers are all supposed to refer us to the Carrows if we do anything wrong. They don’t, though, if they can avoid it. You can tell they all hate them as much as we do.”
“Amycus, the bloke, he teaches what used to be Defense Against the Dark Arts, except now it’s just the Dark Arts. We’re supposed to practice the Cruciatus Curse on people who’ve earned detentions – “

“What?”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s united voices echoed up and down the passage.

“Yeah,” said Neville. “That’s how I got this one,” he pointed at a particularly deep gash in his cheek, “I refused to do it. Some people are into it, though; Crabbe and Goyle love it. First time they’ve ever been top in anything, I expect. Alecto, Amycus’s sister, teaches Muggle Studies, which is compulsory for everyone. We’ve all got to listen to her explain how Muggles are like animals, stupid and dirty, and how they drive wizards into hiding by being vicious toward them, and how the natural order is being reestablished. I got this one,” he indicated another slash to his face, “for asking her how much Muggle blood she and her brother have got.”

“Blimey, Neville,” said Ron, “there’s a time and a place for getting a smart mouth.”

“You didn’t see her,” said Neville. “You wouldn’t have stood it either. The thing is, it helps when people stand up to them, it gives everyone hope. I used to notice that when you did it, Harry.”

“But they’ve used you as a knife sharpener,” said Ron, winding slightly as they passed a lamp and Neville’s injuries were thrown into even greater relief.

Neville shrugged.

“Doesn’t matter. They don’t want to spill too much pure blood, so they’ll torture us a bit if we’re mouthy but they won’t actually kill us.”

“The only people in real danger are the ones whose friends and relatives on the outside are giving trouble. They get taken hostage. Old Xeno Lovegood was getting a bit too outspoken in The Quibbler, so they dragged Luna off the train on the way back for Christmas.”

“Neville,” Harry said, “she’s all right, we’ve seen her –“

“Yeah, I know,” Neville said, “she managed to get a message to me.”

From his pocket he pulled a golden coin, and it took a few seconds for Ron to recognize it. It was one of the fake Galleons they had used in Dumbledore's Army to get messages around.

“These have been great,” said Neville, beaming at Hermione. “The Carrows never rumbled how we were communicating, it drove them mad. We used to sneak out at night and put graffiti on the walls: Dumbledore’s Army, Still Recruiting, stuff like that. Snape hated it.”

“You used to?” said Harry.

“Well, it got more difficult as time went one,” said Neville. “We lost Luna at Christmas, and Ginny never came back after Easter, and the three of us were sort of the leaders. The Carrows seemed to know I was behind a lot of it, so they started coming down on me hard, and then Michael Corner went and got caught releasing a first-year they’d chained up, and they tortured him pretty badly. That scared people off.”

“No kidding,” muttered Ron, as the passage began to slope upward.

“Yeah, well, I couldn’t ask people to go through what Michael did, so we dropped those kinds of stunts. But we were still fighting, doing underground stuff, right up until a couple of weeks ago. That’s when they decided there was only one way to stop me, I suppose, and they went for Gran.”

“They what?” said Ron, Harry and Hermione together.

“Yeah,” said Neville, panting a little now, because the passage was climbing so steeply, “well, you can see their thinking. It had worked really well, kidnapping kids to force their relatives to behave. I s’pose it was only a matter of time before they did it the other way around. Thing was,” he faced them, and Harry was astonished to see that he was grinning, “they bit off a bit more than they could chew with Gran. Little old witch living alone, they probably thought hey didn’t need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway,” Neville laughed, “Dawlish is still in St. Mungo’s and Gran’s on the run. She sent me a letter,” he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, “telling me she was proud of me, that I’m my parent’s son, and to keep it up.”

“Cool,” said Ron.

“Yea,” said Neville happily. “Only thing was, once they realized they had no hold over me, they decided Hogwarts could do without me after all. I don’t know whether they were planning to kill me or send me to Azkaban, either way, I knew it was time to disappear.”

“But,” said Ron, looking thoroughly confused, “aren’t – aren’t we heading straight back for Hogwarts?”

“’Course,” said Neville. “You’ll see. We’re here.”

They turned a corner and there ahead of them was the end of the passage. Another short flight of steps led to a door just like the one hidden behind Ariana’s portrait. Neville pushed it open and climbed through. As Harry followed, he heard Neville call out for unseen people:

“Look who it is! Didn’t I tell you?”

As they emerged into the room behind the passage, there were several screams and yells:

“HARRY!”

“It’s Potter, it’s POTTER!”

“Ron!”

“Hermione!”

The next moment they were engulfed in hugs by the crowd. Harry tried to look around, to figure out where they were, but he could barely see past the crowd.

“Okay, okay, calm down!” Neville called, and as the crowd backed away.

Ron was able to get a better look. It was enormous, and looked rather like the interior of a particularly sumptuous tree house, or perhaps a gigantic ship’s cabin. Multicolored hammocks were strung from the ceiling and from the balcony that ran around the dark wood-paneled and windowless walls, which were covered in bright tapestry hangings. Ron saw the gold Gryffindor lion, emblazoned on scarlet; the black badger of Hufflepuff, set against yellow; and the bronze eagle of Ravenclaw, on blue. The silver and green of Slytherin alone were absent. There were bulging bookcases, a few broomsticks propped against the walls, and in the corner, a large wood-cased wireless.

“Where are we?” Harry asked.

“Room of Requirement, of course!” said Neville. “Surpassed itself, hasn’t it? The Carrows were chasing me, and I knew I had just one chance for a hideout: I managed to get through the door and this is what I found! Well, it wasn’t exactly like this when I arrived, it was a load smaller, there was only one hammock and just Gryffindor hangings. But it’s expanded as more and more of the D.A. have arrived.”

“And the Carrows can’t get in?” asked Harry, looking around for the door.

“No,” said Seamus Finnigan, whose face was bruised and puffy. “It’s a proper hideout, as long as one of us stays in here, they can’t get at us, the door won’t open. It’s all down to Neville. He really gets this room. You’ve got to ask for exactly what you need – like, “I don’t want any Carrow supporters to be able to get in’ – and it’ll do it for you! You’ve just got to make sure you close the loopholes. Neville’s the man!”

“It’s quite straightforward, really,” said Neville modestly. “I’d been in here about a day and a half, and getting really hungry, and wishing I could get something to eat, and that’s when the passage to Hog’s Head opened up. I went through it and met Aberforth. He’s been providing us with food, because for some reason, that’s the one thing the room doesn’t really do.”

“Yeah, well, food’s one of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration,” said Ron to general astonishment.

“So we’ve been hiding out here for nearly two weeks,” said Seamus, “and it just makes more hammocks every time we need room, and it even sprouted a pretty good bathroom once girls started turning up – “

“—and thought they’d quite like to wash, yes,” supplied Lavender Brown.

“Tell us what you’ve been up to, though,” said Ernie. “There’ve been so many rumors, we’ve been trying to keep up with you on Potterwatch.” He pointed at the wireless. “You didn’t break into Gringotts?”

“They did!” said Neville. “And the dragon’s true too!”

There was a smattering of applause and a few whoops; Ron took a bow.

“What were you after?” asked Seamus eagerly.

Ron wasn't sure exactly how to answer that. He turned to Hermione, who looked just as confused as he did. He turned to Harry, who looked as if he was about to faint. Ron grabbed him, and kept him on his feet.

“Are you all right, Harry?” Neville asked, “Want to sit down? I expect you're tired, aren't –?”

“No,” Harry interrupted quickly, and turned to Ron and Hermione, “We need to get going.”

Ron's eyes went wide. He knew what Harry meant. He had almost forgotten You-Know-Who was on his way to Hogwarts. Was he getting closer?

“What are we going to do, then, Harry?” asked Seamus. “What’s the plan?”

“Plan?” repeated Harry, “Well, there’s something we – Ron, Hermione, and I – need to do, and then we’ll get out of here.”

Nobody was laughing or whooping anymore. Neville looked confused.

“What d’you mean, ‘get out of here’?”

“We haven’t come back to stay,” said Harry, rubbing his scar, “There’s something important we need to do – “

“What is it?”

“I – I can’t tell you.”

There was a ripple of muttering at this: Neville’s brows contracted.

“Why can’t you tell us? It’s something to do with fighting You-Know-Who, right?”

“Well, yeah – “

“Then we’ll help you.”

The other members of Dumbledore’s Army were nodding, some enthusiastically, others solemnly. A couple of them rose from their chairs to demonstrate their willingness for immediate action.

“You don’t understand,” Harry said, “We – we can’t tell you. We’ve got to do it – alone.”

“Why?” asked Neville.

“Because,“ Harry said, using his words slowly, carefully, “Dumbledore left the three of us a job and we weren’t supposed to tell – I mean, he wanted us to do it, just the three of us.”

“We’re his army,” said Neville. “Dumbledore’s Army. We were all in it together, we’ve been keeping it going while you three have been off on your own –“

“It hasn’t exactly been a picnic, mate,” said Ron.

“I never said it had,” Neville said, “but I don’t see why you can’t trust us. Everyone in this room’s been fighting and they’ve been driven in here because the Carrows were hunting them down. Everyone in here’s proven they’re loyal to Dumbledore – loyal to you.”

“Look,” Harry began.

But before he could say anything else, the tunnel had opened behind them.

“We got your message, Neville! Hello you three, I thought you must be here!”

It was Luna and Dean. Seamus gave a great roar of delight and ran to hug his best friend.

“Hi, everyone!” said Luna happily. “Oh, it’s great to be back!”

“Luna,” said Harry distractedly, “what are you doing here? How did you -- ?”

“I sent for her,” said Neville, holding up the fake Galleon. “I promised her and Ginny that if you turned up I’d let them know. We all thought that if you came back, it would mean revolution. That we were going to overthrow Snape and the Carrows.”

“Of course that’s what it means,” said Luna brightly. “Isn’t it, Harry? We’re going to fight them out of Hogwarts?”

“Listen,” said Harry with a rising sense of panic, “I’m sorry, but that’s not what we came back for. There’s something we’ve got to do, and then –“

“You’re going to leave us in this mess?” demanded Michael Corner.

“No!” said Ron. “What we’re doing will benefit everyone in the end, it’s all about trying to get rid of You-Know-Who – “

“Then let us help!” said Neville angrily. “We want to be a part of it!”

There was another noise behind them, and Ron turned. His heart lurched: Ginny was now climbing through the hole in the wall, closely followed by Fred, George, and Lee Jordan. For the first time in forever, he felt warmth in his mid-region. His family was safe.

“Aberforth’s getting a bit annoyed,” said Fred, raising his hand in answer to several cries of greeting. “He wants a kip, and his bar’s turned into a railway station.”

Behind Lee Jordan, Cho Chang had climbed through.

“I got the message,” she said, holding up her own fake Galleon and she walked over to sit beside Michael Corner.

“So what’s the plan, Harry?” said George.

“There isn’t one,” said Harry.

“Just going to make it up as we go along, are we? My favorite kind,” said Fred.

“You’ve got to stop this!” Harry told Neville. “What did you call them all back for? This is insane – “

“We’re fighting, aren’t we?” said Dean, taking out his fake Galleon. “The message said Harry was back, and we were going to fight! I’ll have to get a wand, though –“

“You haven’t got a wand--?” began Seamus.

Ron turned suddenly to Harry. He had an idea.

“Why can’t they help?” he asked.

“What?” Harry asked.

“They can help.” Ron dropped his voice and said, so that none of them could hear but Hermione, who stood between them, “We don’t know where it is. We’ve got to find it fast. We don’t have to tell them it’s a Horcrux.”

“I think Ron’s right,” Hermione said, “We don’t even know what we’re looking for, we need them.” And when Harry looked unconvinced, “You don’t have to do everything alone, Harry.”

While Harry was contemplating, Ron felt a pat on his shoulder. He saw Fred and George smiling at him as they passed by.

“All right,” Harry said.

Ron and Hermione smiled as Harry addressed the room.

“Okay,” he said to crowd.

The chatter ceased. Everyone looked alert, excited.

“There’s something we need to find,” Harry said. “Something – something that’ll help us overthrow You-Know-Who. It’s here at Hogwarts, but we don’t know where. It might have belonged to Ravenclaw. Has anyone heard of an object like that? Has anyone come across something with her eagle on it, for instance?”

Ron looked toward the little group of Ravenclaws, to Padma, Michael, Terry, and Cho, but it was Luna who answered, perched on the arm of Ginny’s chair.

“Well, there’s her lost diadem. I told you about it, remember, Harry? The lost diadem of Ravenclaw? Daddy’s trying to duplicate it.”

“Yeah, but the lost diadem,” said Michael Corner, rolling his eyes, “is lost, Luna. That’s sort of the point.”

“When was it lost?” asked Harry.

“Centuries ago, they say,” said Cho, “Professor Flitwick says the diadem vanished with Ravenclaw herself. People have looked, but,” she appealed to her fellow Ravenclaws. “Nobody’s ever found a trace of it, have they?”

They all shook their heads.

“Sorry, but what is a diadem?” asked Ron.

“It’s a kind of crown,” said Terry Boot. “Ravenclaw’s was supposed to have magical properties, enhance the wisdom of the wearer.”

“Yes, Daddy’s Wrackspurt siphons – “

But Harry cut across Luna.

“And none of you have ever seen anything that looks like it?” he asked.

They all shook their heads again. Ron sighed, disappointed. He looked at Hermione who looked thoroughly down-heartened.

“If you’d like to see what the diadem’s supposed to look like,” Cho said, “I could take you up to our common room and show you, Harry. Ravenclaw’s wearing it in her statue.”

Harry didn't answer immediately, but a few moments later, he looked at Ron and Hermione.

“He's on the move,” he said to them.

Ron's eyes went wide. How close was You-Know-Who now?

“Listen,” Harry continued to them, “I know it’s not much of a lead, but I’m going to go look at this statue, at least find out what the diadem looks like. Wait for me here and keep, you know – the other one – safe.”

Cho had got to her feet, but Ginny said rather fiercely, “No, Luna will take Harry, won’t you, Luna?”

“Oooh, yes, I’d like to,” said Luna happily.

“How do we get out?” Harry asked Neville.

“Over here.”

Ron watched Harry and Luna leave the room. Ron felt like he wanted to do something rather than just sit there...

But what could he do?

----------------------------
Had to end it there! One of the most anticipated chapters is next: Ron and Hermione's journey into the Chamber of Secrets!

Hope you liked this chapter!

Feedback would be great!


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  #43  
Old August 27th, 2010, 9:19 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 43
The Chamber of Secrets


Author's Note: If you read another story of mine, “Harry Potter and the Return to Hogwarts”, there is a chapter in there that is similar to this. So if some of this is familiar to you, that is why. Also, my idea on getting them out of the Chamber of Secrets is a little far-fetched, so if it's not very canon, I apologize.


(Hermione's PoV – A few moments earlier)

"He's on the move," Harry said quietly to Ron and Hermione. He glanced at Cho and then back to them, "Listen, I know it's not much of a lead, but I'm going to go and look at this statue, at least and find out what the diadem looks like. Wait for me here and keep, you know--the other one—safe."

Cho had got to her feet, but Ginny said rather fiercely, "No, Luna will take Harry, won't you Luna?"

Hermione didn’t hear what Luna had to say. She was too immersed in thoughts about the cup Horcrux that she and Ron had in their possession. Voldemort would be at Hogwarts soon, and if there was any chance of destroying him, the cup Horcrux had to be destroyed… but how? With the sword gone, there was no chance of destroying the Horcrux.

“Hermione,” Ron said.

“What?” Hermione asked, breaking her from her thoughts.

She looked around. Harry was nowhere to be seen.

“What do we do?” Ron asked. “I feel like we need to do something.”

“I don’t know!” Hermione said, “We have the cup and we can’t destroy it. We don’t have the sword anymore.”

“Hermione,” Ron said, “It wasn’t the sword that destroyed the Horcruxes.”

“What?” Hermione said, “Of course it was! Where have you been?!”

“No, Hermione!” Ron said, “It was the basilisk venom imbued in the sword. Remember?”

“The venom?” Hermione said slowly.

She slapped her hand to her forehead.

“Of course!” she squealed. “Oh, Ron, you are brilliant!”

“Do you think Harry will be okay?” Ginny asked, walking over to Ron and Hermione. “Voldemort is really coming, right?”

“Yeah,” Ron said.

“Listen, Ginny,” Hermione said, “We have to go somewhere. If Harry comes back, tell him we are going to Myrtle’s bathroom.”

“A bathroom?” Ginny asked.

Ron looked a little confused as well. Before Hermione could explain, Neville walked over to them.

“Neville, where did you let Harry out?” Hermione asked, “We need to get out of here.”

“What's going on?” Neville asked, “Now you're leaving?”

“There's something we have to do,” Ron said.

“Can we help?” Neville asked.

Ginny nodded.

“No,” Hermione said, “You need to be here when Harry gets back. To tell him where we went. Can you show us the way out of here?”

“But--” Ginny said.

“Hermione's right,” Neville said, “Besides, if I am correct, there will be a lot more people coming our way.”

He turned back to Hermione and Ron.

“This way,” he said.

Hermione and Ron followed him toward a corner of the room. A small cupboard opened out into a steep staircase.

“Like I told Harry,” Neville said, “It comes out somewhere different every day, so they’ve never been able to find it. Only trouble is, we never know exactly where we’re going to end up when we go out.”

“Thank you, Neville,” Hermione said.

“Yeah, thanks,” Ron said.

“Yep,” Neville said, “And do be careful, you two. Snape, Filch, and the others are always patrolling the corridors at night.”

“We'll be careful,” Hermione said.

They hurried up the staircase, which was long, lit by torches, and turned corners in unexpected places. At last they reached what appeared to be solid wall.

“Dead end?” Ron asked.

“I highly doubt it,” Hermione said.

She gave the wall a little push. It opened outwards at her touch. They walked through it, and found themselves on the Grand Staircase.

Hermione looked behind her, as the wall closed, revealing a portrait.

“Oi! Scurvy braggers!” the portrait of Sir Cadogan said.

“Oh, not him!” Ron complained.

“You don't look like scurvy villains to me!” Sir Cadogan said.

“It's because we're not,” Ron said.

“The real villains are headed this way,” Hermione said, “Can you please tell me where we are?”

“The Grand Staircase, of course, my lady!” Sir Cadogan said.

“That's obvious,” Ron said.

“Which floor?” Hermione asked.

“The fourth,” Sir Cadogan said, “Did you say there are villains coming this way? By Lords, I must be going! Ride, my faithful steed, ride!”

The small pony neighed and he and Sir Cadogan jolted toward their left and disappeared.

“Myrtle's bathroom is on the second floor,” Hermione said.

“Myrtle's bathroom?” Ron asked.

He stared at Hermione for a second.

“The Chamber of Secrets?” Ron asked.

“Yeah,” Hermione said.

Ron gulped.

“But how are we going to get in?” he asked, “I was there, remember?! There was only one way to get in, and unfortunately neither of us has that ability!”

“We will have to try!” Hermione said, “We have to get the basilisk venom!”

“I don’t know about this,” Ron said, in a panicked tone of voice.

Truthfully, Hermione didn’t know how they were going to pull this off either, but there had to be away. If there wasn’t, then the wizarding world had no chance.

“Come on!” Hermione said, “And we can't be seen.”

Hermione looked over the side of the stairwell. There was nobody in sight. They made their way down the staircase and toward the second floor. By their luck, the corridor on the second floor leading to Myrtle's bathroom was completely empty. They headed down the corridor and into Myrtle's bathroom.

The bathroom was empty; not even Myrtle, who could usually be seen floating around the toilets near the back of the bathroom was there.

Ron led Hermione over to the sinks.

“This is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets,” he said, “And I am telling you there is only one way in!”

“When Harry spoke Parseltongue, what did it sound like?” Hermione asked.

“A hissing noise,” Ron said, shrugging, “I don’t know.”

“Remember, please!” Hermione begged Ron.

“I can try to mimic it,” Ron said.

“Go on then,” Hermione said.

Ron cleared his throat and closed his eyes. Hermione looked over her shoulder, nervously, hoping nobody interfered. What if Myrtle glided into the room? Or worse... Peeves. Either of them would make a racket and Hermione knew it would only be a matter of time before Filch or Snape, or one of the Death Eaters, had found them.

“Ron, please!” Hermione repeated.

Ron cleared his throat again and stared at the sinks.

“Hyahasshika,” Ron said in a feeble attempt at hissing.

Hermione and Ron waited, but nothing happened.

“Damn it,” Ron said.

“Try it again,” Hermione urged.

“But --” Ron began.

“We have to get into the Chamber of Secrets, Ron,” Hermione said, “We have no other choice. Come on!”

Ron sighed and cleared his throat once again.

Hyahassiheth!” he hissed.

Hermione stared at it, but nothing was happening.

“I told you, Hermione,” Ron said, “It's hopeless --”

Suddenly, there was a mechanical jolt coming from the sinks. The sinks moved toward them, and Ron dragged Hermione backward. A full minute later, there was a very large hole in the center of the sinks.

“I-I did it?” Ron stammered.

“That was brilliant!” Hermione said.

“I didn’t know I had it in me,” Ron said.

“Come on!” Hermione said.

Without any second thoughts, Hermione jumped down the hole and was soon sliding deep underground. She heard Ron behind her, groaning a little. A minute later, Hermione came to the end of the slide-like pipe and landed with a thud on something that made crackling sounds.

“Ugh!” she groaned as got up from the ground and looked at it: there were the bones of mice and rodents littered all over the place.

“That was just how I remembered it,” Ron said, shuddering, “And it was just as scary as before.”

Hermione grinned, but the grin disappeared as she looked around. There were three other pipes and the only thing she saw through them was darkness.

“Where do we go?” she asked.

“This way, I think,” Ron said, pointing to the pipe ahead of them.

Hermione followed Ron into the pipe. A couple of minutes later, they arrived at a pile of rocks.

“We are going the right way,” Ron said, “A cave-in had blocked it, but Harry had to move the rocks away. I remember. Come on!”

Ron hurried forward at a pace where Hermione had to run to keep up with him.

“Slow down!” Hermione finally said a few minutes later when she was nearly out of breath.

Ron stopped and at first Hermione thought they were at a dead-end. At a second glance, Hermione saw that there was a large door.

“Speak in Parseltongue again!” Hermione said.

Hyahasshika,” Ron said.

This time, there was no delay. With a loud noise echoing off the walls, the door opened. Hermione and Ron hurried through and this time they were in a very large room. There were statues of snakes on the sides of the walls. In the middle was a long stone walkway in between some water.

“T-there it is,” Ron said, shuddering and pointing to the end of the walkway.

Hermione saw it as well: a large snake-like skeleton was lying on the stone ground.

“Well, let’s go,” Hermione said, “It’s not like it will attack us, right?”

“I wouldn’t be too sure,” Ron said.

Hermione rolled her eyes and climbed down the ladder onto the walkway. Ron followed down behind her.

“Er... maybe I should go first,” Ron said, “Just – you know – just in case.”

Hermione only nodded, and Ron walked ahead of her. As they approached the skeleton, she realized it was bigger than she thought.

“Harry fought this?” Hermione asked, “I never realized it was so big.”

“You never saw it in that mirror of yours?” Ron said, “You know, when you got Petrified?”

“Ugh, do we have to bring that up?” Hermione asked.

“Oh, right, sorry,” Ron muttered.

“It’s okay,” Hermione said, “No, I didn’t really see it then.”

“So what do we do?” Ron asked.

“We have to get the fangs,” Hermione said, “And hope beyond hope that there is still venom inside them.”

“Er… right,” Ron said, “And… how do we do that?”

Hermione didn’t answer, but only looked at the large boney fangs. A minute later, she took out her wand and pointed it at the fang.

“Diffindo!” she said.

The large fang dropped away from the jaw.

“Brilliant, Hermione!” Ron said.

“Er… thanks,” Hermione said, grinning, “I didn’t know if that would work, to be totally honest.”

“How many do you think we need?” Ron asked.

“We better take a lot,” Hermione said, “We don’t know which ones still have venom in them.”

Hermione and Ron used several severing charms on the jaw, separating the fangs from it.

“We better go,” Hermione said, “We need to find Harry.”

“Hang on,” Ron said, “How about you destroy the cup?”

Hermione stared at him.

“W-what?” she asked.

“You haven’t had the chance to destroy a Horcrux yet, right?” Ron asked.

“No,” Hermione said, “But… right here? Right now?”

“No better time than the present,” Ron said, shrugging.

“Okay, I guess I can,” Hermione said, nervously.

She dropped a few of the fangs, and held onto a larger one. She then took the silver cup from her cloak and looked at it.

“So, just stab it?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah,” Ron said.

“Okay, heh,” Hermione said, laughing nervously, “Here goes nothing.”

She lifted up the fang, and Ron held up his hand.

“Wait!” he said.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“We don’t know what it will do,” Ron said, “I-I mean… when you stab it. So you better drop it as soon as you do.”

“Yeah, good advice,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes.

She took a deep breath and lifted the fang. But as she did, she saw something very weird inside the cup. What looked like water was filling the cup.

“Come on, Hermione!” Ron urged on.

"I see your heart and it is mine!" an ethereal voice hissed out of nowhere.

Hermione didn’t move. Where had that voice come from. It was definitely not Ron's voice.

She looked down into the cup and knew the answer then. The voice had come from the cup.

She looked down at the watery substance. Her eyes went wide as she saw something in the water. There was a figure of a girl. A very familiar girl. The face of Lavender Brown was staring up at her. But there was something different about her face. Her eyes were glowing red.

He’ll never want to be with you, Granger,” the figure said, “He told me, you see. He loved me. Why would he want to be with a Mudblood like you?

“Hermione, destroy it!” Ron said, though it was very faint.

Lavender’s face disappeared, but another face replaced it: Harry’s face, with the same glowing red eyes.

He thinks you love me,” Harry’s voice said, though it was cold, “Why would he want to intrude on that? We are his best friends.

“Hermione, can you hear me?” Ron said.

This time his voice was stronger. Hermione blinked and looked at Ron. For a mere moment, she thought she would see the same red tinge in Ron's eyes, but he looked completely normal. She looked back at the cup. The water and the haunting images inside were no longer there.

“Stab it!” Ron yelled.

Hermione plunged the basilisk fang into the cup with both hands. For one moment, she just stood there, staring at the cup.

“Hermione!” Ron yelled.

She felt Ron's hand grabbed her arm and she was pulled back. The force of their weight threw them onto the ground, feet from the cup,.

She couldn't believe her ears. The cup was now screaming. A cold high-pitched scream that echoed off the walls of the Chamber.

Hermione's eyes widened as she watched the cup twist in on itself. Just as fast as it came, the screaming voice had vanished.

Ron wearily stood to his feet.

“Well that's that then, isn't it?” he asked, helping Hermione to her feet, “Another one finished.”

“Yeah,” Hermione said, staring at the cup.

The voices of the cup were still ringing in her head.

“Hermione?” Ron said, though he seemed hesitant.

Hermione looked at him, but didn't say anything.

“The cup,” Ron said, “It didn't – you know – do anything before you stabbed it, did it?”

Hermione tried to keep her face straight. She couldn't explain what had happened to him. Not yet.

“No,” she lied.

“Nothing?” Ron asked.

“We need to get out of here,” she said, “We need to find Harry.”

“I was thinking about that,” Ron said, “I have no idea exactly how we're going to get out.

“What?” Hermione asked, “How did you get out last time?”

“Fawkes,” Ron said.

“Dumbledore's Phoenix?” Hermione asked.

Ron nodded.

“He carried us,” he said, “Harry, Ginny, Lockhart, and me, out of here.”

Hermione's heart sank. She was so intent on getting into the Chamber of Secrets, she didn't even think on how to get out.

“Heh,” Ron said, “We could really use Fawkes again. He could fly us out of here.”

Hermione's eyes widened as she looked at Ron.

“What did you say?” Hermione asked.

“I wish Fawkes was here,” Ron said.

“No, that last part,” Hermione said.

“He could fly us out of here?” Ron asked.

Hermione grinned.

“Oh, Ron, you're brilliant!” she said.

“Why?” Ron asked, “There's no way we could bring Fawkes here.”

“He's not the only thing that can fly us out of here,” Hermione said.

Ron looked at her questioningly.

“A broomstick, Ron!” Hermione said.

“Oh yeah!” Ron said, then frowned, “Shame I didn't bring one.”

Hermione took her beaded bag from her cloak and opened it. She rummaged around and pulled out a broomstick.

Ron didn't say anything. He only gaped at Hermione.

“I kinda stole it from your brother's house,” Hermione said, “I had a feeling we could use it.”

“You're telling me about this now?” Ron asked, “Do you know how many times we could have used this today?!”

Hermione nodded timidly.

“I kinda forgot about it until now,” she said.

“We flew a dragon when we could have taken this?!” Ron asked.

“We couldn't have gotten out of Gringott's on this,” Hermione said, “That dragon is the reason we escaped.”

“Fine,” Ron said, “Now can we go? Please?”

“You know how to get us out of here?” Hermione asked.

“Well, now that I know we have a broom, yes!” Ron said.

Hermione handed the broom to Ron and stowed the beaded bag back under her cloak.

“Ron?” she asked.

“Yeah?” Ron asked.

“Do me a favor and don't tell Harry how we came by the broom,” Hermione said, “I would not like to explain it to him. He'd probably yell at me.”

Ron grinned. Hermione picked up Hufflepuff's cup and stowed it under her cloak as well. She then picked up a handful of basilisk fangs.

Ron then led her back toward the ladder. They made their way back toward the rock-slide.

“When this whole thing caved in,” Ron said, “It made a large hole leading out somewhere near the lake. I just hope it hasn't been patched up.”

They walked through a hole near the rock-slide until they arrived at large opening. Above them, the cool air reached them. Hermione looked up. There was a large hole hundreds of feet above them in which they could see the sky.

“Thank Merlin,” Ron said, emitting a relieved sigh.

He set down the broom and commanded for it to raise, then mounted it. Hermione wasn't very fond of brooms, but she took her place behind Ron.

“If you're afraid, you can put your arms around me,” Ron said.

“I have to hold these fangs,” Hermione said, “I think I can do this.”

“Right,” Ron said, “You ready?”

Hermione hesitated, though nodded.

The broom rose into the air and it rose up towards the large crack in the earth and through it. The cool spring air whipped against them.

“Now for the tricky part,” Ron said.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“We have to get back inside without being seen,” Ron said.

Hermione sighed, knowing Ron was right. How exactly were they going to do this?
----------------------------------------------------
Another chapter finished!

First off, apologies for the cheap introduction of the broom that gave them their way out. It was probably not very canon, given that if she did have it, Hermione would have brought it up at some point beforehand.

Hope you liked this chapter. It was eagerly anticipated, and I just hope it was what you had been waiting for. All the idea for inside the Chamber were mine, taking details from the very few descriptions we got from the book. Oh, and also, Ron did not hear the voices that Hermione heard.

We're about to the Battle of Hogwarts, and that will definitely take some time figuring out what to do in Hermione and Ron's PoV. Plenty of moments of their PoV were away from Harry so of course it will all come from my head!

Anyway, feedback for this chapter would be lovely!


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Last edited by Fury; August 28th, 2010 at 4:26 pm.
  #44  
Old September 2nd, 2010, 1:26 am
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 44
Love And War



(Hermione's PoV)


Hermione looked frantically over each side of the broom, searching for a spot where they could safely land. Suddenly, the broom jolted downward. Ron seemed to have a heading.

“Ron, stop!” Hermione said.

The broom stopped with a jolt.

“What?” Ron asked, “Did you see someone?”

“No,” Hermione said, “I just... wanted to know where we're going.”

“Hagrid's hut,” Ron said, “It just came to me.”

“Not a good idea,” Hermione said, “If Hagrid sees us, you know he's going to be really happy. Somebody might hear him.”

“We don't need to worry about that,” Ron said, “Hagrid's not at his hut, remember? Remember what Aberforth said? He suggested we hide out with Hagrid up in the caves.”

“Oh, yeah,” Hermione said.

“Hagrid's hut is far enough from the castle,” Ron said, “It is the best chance we have if we're going to sneak back in.”

“Where should we go when we get inside?” Hermione asked.

“Room of Requirement,” Ron said, “Harry probably thinks we're still up there.”

“Right,” Hermione said.

The broom sped ahead toward Hagrid's hut. A couple minutes later, they arrived in the large garden. Hermione looked up toward the grand castle. It would be a miracle if they could find Harry without being seen. Suddenly, the Hogwarts grounds began to glisten in white light. Hermione looked overhead and saw that the moon had appeared from behind the clouds.

“Let's go,” Ron said.

Just as Hermione was about to respond, she heard a distant crash of glass breaking. Had You-Know-Who already arrived? Had the battle begun?

“What's that?” Ron asked.

Hermione looked sideways at Ron. He was pointing up in the air. Hermione looked up. A huge bat-like shape was flying off toward the perimeter.

“Do you think the battle's started?” Ron asked.

“I don't know,” Hermione said, “But we have to hurry.”

Hermione and Ron started toward the castle. It took about ten minutes before they reached one of the doors in the back of the castle. They hadn't been seen yet, but Hermione was still ready for anything. There was one little problem though. In order to get up to the higher levels of the castle, they would have to go up the Grand Staircase, and that meant going right past the Great Hall.

Hermione was going to tell this to Ron, but he just continued walking toward the direction of the Great Hall. When they arrived in the front entrance of the castle, Hermione saw the large doors open. Through the doors, she could see a large group of students. Hermione recognized a few of them: students who had been in the Room of Requirement right before Hermione and Ron had left.

“What do you think is going on?” Ron asked.

“I... don't know,” Hermione said.

With another glance inside the hall, Hermione saw Professor McGonagall at the front of the hall along with many of the teachers.

“I... I think I see my parents,” Ron said.

Hermione was about to respond, when she heard McGonagall speak up.

“There isn't much time,” she said, “So please let me say what I have to without any interruptions. This isn't easy to say, and I know it won't be easy for you to hear. You-Know-Who is on his way to the castle along with his Death Eaters.”

Hermione heard frightened murmurs and whispers from students. A student small enough to be a first year had broken down into tears. A few of the other Professors looked quite surprised. But Hermione was a little confused. How did McGonagall know You-Know-Who was coming? Had she spoken to Harry?

“Please, please!” McGonagall said, raising her hands, “Listen. If you wish to leave the castle before You-Know-Who arrives, evacuation will be overseen by Mr. Filch and Madame Pomfrey. Prefects, when I give the word, you will organize your House and take your charges in orderly fashion to the evacuation point.

“And what if we want to stay and fight?” Ernie Macmillan spoke up.

There was a smattering of applause.

"If you are of age, you may stay." said Professor McGonagall.

"What about our things?" called a girl at the Ravenclaw table. "Our trunks, our owls?"

"We have no time to collect possessions." said Professor McGonagall. "The important thing is to get you out of here safely."

"Where's Professor Snape?" shouted a girl.

"He has, to use the common phrase, done a bunk." replied Professor McGonagall and a great cheer erupted from the Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws.

“Snape is gone?” Hermione asked.

“That thing we saw flying away from the castle,” Ron said, “I think we now know who it was.”

Hermione's eyes widened, but she continued to listen to McGonagall.

"We have already placed protection around the castle," Professor McGonagall was saying, "but it is unlikely to hold for very long unless we reinforce it. I must ask you, therefore, to move quickly and calmly, and do as your prefects -"

“Greetings,” a high, clear, cold voice erupted out of nowhere.

Hermione didn't need Ron's nudge to her back to tell her that the voice was coming out from somewhere on the grounds.

“I know you are preparing to fight,” the voice said.

There were screams from the students inside the Great Hall.

"Your efforts are futile.” Voldemort said, “You cannot fight me. I do not want to kill you. I have great respect for the teachers of Hogwarts. I do not want to spill magical blood."

The screams had stopped. Silence reigned throughout the hall.

"Give me Harry Potter," said Voldemort's voice, "and you shall not be harmed. Give me Harry Potter and I shall leave the school untouched. Give me Harry Potter and you will be rewarded. You have until midnight."

“We've stayed here too long,” Hermione said, “We need to find Harry.”

Ron nodded, and ignoring the commotion in the Great Hall, they headed up the Grand Staircase, They made their way up to the Room of Requirement, where the door was already open and hurried inside. It was completely empty.

Suddenly, they heard crashing from somewhere outside.

“Come on!” Ron said.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“Hermione,” Ron said, “Where there's battling, you know Harry has to be somewhere close by.”

Hermione decided not to argue the point and followed Ron out of the Room of Requirement and headed down the corridor. Argus Filch and a large crowd of younger students were headed down the hall. Ron turned a corner and Hermione followed him.

“Potter!” a voice said somewhere near by.

Hermione looked at Ron. That voice sounded familiar.

“Aberforth?” Ron mouthed.

Hermione raised her hand to stop Ron.

“I’ve had hundreds of kids thundering through my pub, Potter!” Aberforth said.

“I know, we’re evacuating,” Harry's voice said, “Voldemort’s –“

“– attacking because they haven’t handed you over, yeah,” said Aberforth. “I’m not deaf, the whole of Hogsmeade heard him. And it never occurred to any of you to keep a few Slytherins hostage? There are kids of Death Eaters you’ve just sent to safety. Wouldn’t it have been a bit smarter to keep ‘em here?”

“It wouldn’t stop Voldemort,” said Harry, “and your brother would never have done it.”

“It's Harry!” Ron whispered.

He headed down the corridor and Hermione followed close behind. Suddenly, Harry appeared around a corner.

“Guys!” he yelled, sounding a little angry, and relieved at the same time, “Where the hell have you been?”

“Chamber of Secrets,” said Ron.

“Chamber – what?” said Harry, coming to an unsteady halt before them.

“It was Ron, all Ron’s idea!” said Hermione breathlessly. “Wasn’t it absolutely brilliant? There we were, after we left, and I said to Ron, even if we find the other one, how are we going to get rid of it? We still hadn’t got rid of the cup! And then he thought of it! The basilisk!”

“What the – ?”

“Something to get rid of Horcruxes,” said Ron simply.

“But how did you get in there?” he asked, staring from the fangs to Ron. “You need to speak Parseltongue!”

“He did!” whispered Hermione. “Show him, Ron!”

“Hyahasshika,” Ron said, “It’s what you did to open the locket. I had to have a few goes to get it right, but,” he shrugged modestly, “we got there in the end.”

“He was amazing!” said Hermione. “Amazing!”

“So...” Harry was struggling to keep up. “So...”

“So we’re another Horcrux down,” said Ron, and from under his jacket he pulled the mangled remains of Hufflepuff’s cup. “Hermione stabbed it. Thought she should. She hasn’t had the pleasure yet.”

“Genius!” yelled Harry.

“It was nothing,” said Ron, though he looked delighted with himself. “So what’s new with you?”

As he said it, there was an explosion from overhead: All three of them looked up as dust fell from the ceiling and they heard a distant scream.

“I know what the diadem looks like, and I know where it is,” said Harry, talking fast. “He hid it exactly where I had my old Potions book, where everyone’s been hiding stuff for centuries. He thought he was the only one to find it. Come on.”

As the walls trembled again, he led the other two back through the concealed entrance and down the staircase into the Room of Requirement. It was empty except for three women: Ginny, Dora and an elderly witch wearing a moth-eaten hat, whom Hermione recognized immediately as Neville’s grandmother.

“Ah, Potter,” she said crisply as if she had been waiting for him. “You can tell us what’s going on.”

“Is everyone okay?” said Ginny and Dora together.

“’S far as we know,” said Harry. “Are there still people in the passage to the Hog’s Head?”

“I was the last to come through,” said Mrs. Longbottom. “I sealed it, I think it unwise to leave it open now Aberforth has left his pub. Have you seen my grandson?”

“He’s fighting,” said Harry.

“Naturally,” said the old lady proudly. “Excuse me, I must go and assist him.”

With surprising speed she trotted off toward the stone steps.

Harry looked at Dora.

“I thought you were supposed to be with Teddy at your mother’s?”

“I couldn’t stand not knowing –“ Dora looked anguished. “She’ll look after him – have you seen Remus?”

“He was planning to lead a group of fighters into the grounds –“

Without another word, Dora sped off.

“Ginny,” said Harry, “I’m sorry, but we need you to leave too. Just for a bit. Then you can come back in.”

Ginny looked simply delighted to leave her sanctuary.

“And then you can come back in!” he shouted after her as she ran up the steps after Dora. “You’ve got to come back in!”

“Hang on a moment!” said Ron sharply. “We’ve forgotten someone!”

“Who?” asked Hermione.

“The house-elves, they’ll all be down in the kitchen, won’t they?” Ron asked.

“You mean we ought to get them fighting?” asked Harry.

“No,” said Ron seriously, “I mean we should tell them to get out. We don’t want anymore Dobbies, do we? We can’t order them to die for us –“

If you asked her months later, she wouldn't be able to tell you why she did it. Perhaps it was the suspense of the incoming battle. Perhaps she felt that if something had happened to her or Ron, and she was never able to do it, she might have felt guilty the rest of her life. But in that single moment, something inside her leaped up from out of nowhere.

She dropped the basilisk fangs, and barely heard them clatter on the floor as she ran over to Ron. She flung her arms around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw his basilisk fangs and the broom away and lifted her into the air, returning the kiss.

“Is this the moment?” Harry asked, weakly.

Hermione had barely heard Harry, and was still kissing Ron.

“Oi!” Harry yelled, “There's a war going on here!”

Hermione broke apart from Ron and looked at Harry.

“I know, mate,” said Ron, a little dazed, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?”

“Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?” Harry shouted. “D’you think you could just – just hold it in until we’ve got the diadem?”

“Yeah – right – sorry –“ said Ron.

Hermione picked up the fangs, blushing madly. She looked at Ron, who seemed to be smiling hugely.

It was clear, as the three of them stepped back into the corridor upstairs, that in the minutes that they had spent in the Room of Requirement the situation within the castle had deteriorated severely: The walls and ceiling were shaking worse than ever; dust filled the air, and through the nearest window, Hermione saw bursts of green and red light so close to the foot of the castle that she knew the Death Eaters must be very near to entering the place. Looking down, they saw Grawp the giant meandering past, swinging what looked like a stone gargoyle torn from the roof and roaring his displeasure.

“Let’s hope he steps on some of them!” said Ron as more screams echoed from close by.

“As long as it’s not any of our lot!” said a voice.

Ginny and Dora had both their wands drawn at the next window, which was missing several panes. Ginny sent a well-aimed jinx into a crowd of fighters below.

“Good girl!” roared a figure running through the dust toward them, and Hermione saw Aberforth, his gray hair flying as he led a small group of students past. “They look like they might be breaching the north battlements, they’ve brought giants of their own.”

“Have you seen Remus?” Dora called after him.

“He was dueling Dolohov,” shouted Aberforth, “haven’t seen him since!”

“Tonks,” said Ginny, “Tonks, I’m sure he’s okay –“

But Dora had run off into the dust after Aberforth.

Ginny turned, helpless, to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

“They’ll be all right,” said Harry. “Ginny, we’ll be back in a moment, just keep out of the way, keep safe.”

He turned to Hermione and Ron.

“Come on,” he said.

Hermione and Ron followed Harry back toward the Room of Requirement.

------------------------------------
Okay, so it was kind of an abrupt ending, but I wanted the next part to be a whole new chapter!

A lot more to come in Hermione and Ron's PoVs. Hope you liked this chapter!

Feedback would be awesome!


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  #45  
Old September 10th, 2010, 3:23 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 45
The Room of Requirement



(Hermione's PoV)


Hermione watched as Harry paced back and forth in front of the Room of Requirement. Beside Hermione, Ron kept looking over his shoulder nervously. She couldn't blame him. She wondered how many people had already been killed, and how close the battle was coming toward them. She turned back to Harry, ready to tell him to hurry up, when the doors to the Room of Requirement opened. Hermione, Ron and Harry hurried inside. Behind them, the large doors closed, shutting out the furor of the battle.

All was silent. They were in a place the size of a cathedral with the appearance of a city, its towering walls built of objects hidden by thousands of long-gone students.

“And he never realized anyone could get in?” said Ron, his voice echoing in the silence.

“He thought he was the only one,” said Harry. “Too bad for him I’ve had to hide stuff in my time...this way,” he added. “I think it’s down here...”

At the sight of the room, Hermione couldn't help but remember the last time they had entered such a labyrinthine place. The Prophecy Room in the Department of Mysteries looked quite similar to the view before her eyes. In that location, they did not find what they were searching for, but found something they were not expecting. Would that happen here?

“This way,” Ron said, pulling Hermione along the aisle.

Up ahead, Harry had turned to the right. Ron and Hermione turned down the left aisle. At first, Hermione wasn't exactly sure this was a good idea, and sure that they should stick together, but then she decided that it would be faster if they went in different directions.

“Should we split up as well?” Hermione asked.

“Er...” Ron said, “I don't know... it can't be too hard to find this thing. Whatever it is. Hey... what is it exactly we're looking for?”

“A crown-like thing, I guess,” Hermione said, “And it should have Ravenclaw's symbol on it.”

“Right,” Ron said, “Like I said, shouldn't be too --”

He paused and looked over Hermione's shoulder.

“What?” Hermione said.

“I thought I heard voices,” Ron said.

“I didn't hear anything,” Hermione said, “But it's probably just Harry, wondering where we are.”

“It doesn't sound like Harry,” Ron said, “Come on!”

“Ron --” Hermione began.

But Ron ran off back down the aisle toward Harry. Hermione sighed and followed him.

“Harry?” Ron called out, “Are you talking to someone?”

“Descendo!” a voice said.

Hermione's eyes went wide.

“Ron!” she yelled out.

But it was too late. A huge pile of objects near Ron was falling right toward him. She looked up just in time to see more objects falling right toward her. She screamed in half-surprise, half-fright and ran out of the way.

“Ron!” Harry said, “Finite!”

The pile of objects steadied a few feet before it fell on her. Hermione ran out of the way in Ron's direction, hoping he wasn't buried beneath anything. Then she heard his voice.

“Harry!” Ron said, “What's going on?”

“Harry,” mimicked a voice, and Hermione recognized it as Crabbe, “What's going on – no, Potter, Crucio!”

Hermione ran toward Crabbe's voice.

“STOP!” a voice shouted, and Hermione knew it was Malfoy, “The Dark Lord wants him alive –“

“So? I’m not killing him, am I?” yelled Crabbe, throwing off Malfoy’s restraining arm. “But if I can, I will, the Dark Lord wants him dead anyway, what’s the diff – ?”

“Stupefy!” Hermione yelled, pointing her wand at Crabbe.

Draco pulled Crabbe out of the way, and the stunning spell missed.

“It's that mudblood!” Crabbe yelled, looking right at Hermione, and raising his wand again, “Avada Kedavra!”

Hermione dove out of the way just in time.

“Stupefy!” Harry yelled.

“Don't kill him,” Draco yelled, “Don't kill him!”

“Expelliarmus!” Harry yelled.

“Stupefy!” Hermione yelled again.

Ron appearing suddenly at the end of the aisle, shot a full Body-Bind Curse at Crabbe, which narrowly missed.

“Avada Kedavra!” Crabbe yelled again.

Hermione looked over her shoulder just in time to see Ron dive away from the green beam of light. She ran toward Goyle.

“Stupefy!” she yelled, yet again.

The stunning spell hit Goyle and he fell. Suddenly, Hermione heard a loud roaring sound and looked on in horror as a abnormal wall of fire appeared out of nowhere. Crabbe was chasing Ron up an aisle and the fire was chasing them.

“It’s somewhere here!” Harry yelled at her, pointing at the pile of junk into which the old tiara had fallen. “Look for it while I go and help R –“

“HARRY!” Hermione screamed.

Harry finally saw the abnormal wall of fire.

“Like it hot, scum?” Crabbe yelled, as he chased Ron.

“Aguamenti!” Harry yelled.

Water erupted from the end of Harry's wand, but Hermione knew it had no effect.

“RUN!” Harry yelled.

Malfoy grabbed the Stunned Goyle and dragged him along; Crabbe outstripped all of them, now looking terrified; Harry, Ron, and Hermione pelted along in his wake, and the fire pursued them. It was not normal fire; Crabbe had used a curse of which Harry had no knowledge. As they turned a corner the flames chased them as though they were alive, sentient, intent upon killing them. Now the fire was mutating, forming a gigantic pack of fiery beasts: Flaming serpents, chimaeras, and dragons rose and fell and rose again, and the detritus of centuries on which they were feeding was thrown up into the air into their fanged mouths, tossed high on clawed feet, before being consumed by the inferno.

Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had vanished from view: Harry, Ron and Hermione stopped dead; the fiery monsters were circling them, drawing closer and closer, claws and horns and tails lashed, and the heat was solid as a wall around them.

“What can we do?” Hermione screamed over the deafening roars of the fire. “What can we do?”

“Here!” Harry shouted.

Harry seized a pair of heavy-looking broomsticks from the nearest pile of junk and threw one to Ron. Ron mounted his, and pulled Hermione up behind him. They soared up into the air, high above the room. Below them the cursed fire was consuming the contraband of generations of hunted students, the guilty outcomes of a thousand banned experiments, the secrets of the countless souls who had sought refuge in the room. Hermione could not see Malfoy, Crabbe or Goyle anywhere.

“Harry, let’s get out, let’s get out!” bellowed Ron, though it was impossible to see where the door was through the black smoke.

And then Hermione heard a thin, piteous human scream from amidst the terrible commotion, the thunder of devouring flame.

“It’s – too – dangerous – !” Ron yelled.

But Harry wheeled around. Hermione heard Ron sigh, but the broom turned around and followed Harry.

“IF WE DIE FOR THEM, I’LL KILL YOU, HARRY!” roared Ron.

As a great flaming chimaera bore down upon them, Hermione and Ron dragged Goyle onto their broom and rose into the air. Goyle was choking and sputtering.

“Crabbe,” Goyle said, “I-I saw him. There was nothing I could do. H-he--”

Goyle didn't finish his sentence, but Hermione knew Crabbe's fate was grim.

“We gotta go, Ron!” Hermione said, “Harry is right behind us.”

“But where's the door?” Ron asked.

“There!” Hermione pointed ahead of them through the billowing smoke.

“I see it!” Ron bellowed and the broom jolted ahead.

The door was closed, but with a simple spell from Hermione, it opened just in time as they flew through it. Ron landed, almost crashing the broom, and Hermione fell off it, Goyle right behind her.

“Harry?” Ron said, “Where's Harry?!”

Hermione looked around.

“He was right behind us!” she said, “No...”

Suddenly, a broom whooshed out through the door and collided with the wall in front of them. Harry and Malfoy was thrown off.

“C-Crabbe,” choked Malfoy as soon as he could speak. “C-Crabbe . . .”

“He’s dead,” said Ron harshly.

There was silence, apart from panting and coughing. Then a number of huge bangs shook the castle, and a great cavalcade of transparent figures galloped past on horses, their heads screaming with bloodlust under their arms. Harry staggered to his feet when the Headless Hunt had passed.

The battle was still going on all around them. Hermione could hear more scream than those of the retreating ghosts.

“Where’s Ginny?” he said sharply. “She was here. She was supposed to be going back into the Room of Requirement.”

“Blimey, d’you reckon it’ll still work after that fire?” asked Ron, but he too got to his feet, rubbing his chest and looking left and right. “Shall we split up and look – ?”

“No,” said Hermione, getting to her feet too. Malfoy and Goyle remained slumped hopelessly on the corridor floor; neither of them had wands. “Let’s stick together. I say we go – Harry, what’s that on your arm?”

“What?” Harry asked, “Oh yeah –“

Hermione's eyes went wide as she looked at the diadem in Harry's hand. A bloodlike substance, dark and tarry, seemed to be leaking from the diadem. Suddenly it broke apart in Harry's hands, and as it did so, Hermione thought she heard the faintest, most distant scream of pain, echoing not from the grounds or the castle, but from the thing that had just fragmented in Harry's fingers.

“It must have been Fiendfyre!” whimpered Hermione, her eyes on the broken piece.

“Sorry?” Harry asked.

“Fiendfyre – cursed fire – it’s one of the substances that destroy Horcruxes, but I would never, ever have dared use it, it’s so dangerous – how did Crabbe know how to – ?”

“Must’ve learned from the Carrows,” said Harry grimly.

“Shame he wasn’t concentrating when they mentioned how to stop it, really,” said Ron, whose hair, like Hermione’s, was singed, and whose face was blackened. “If he hadn’t tried to kill us all, I’d be quite sorry he was dead.”

“But don’t you realize?” whispered Hermione. “This means, if we can just get the snake –“

But she broke off as yells and shouts and the unmistakable noises of dueling filled the corridor. She turned around. Death Eaters had penetrated Hogwarts. Fred and Percy had just backed into view, both of them dueling masked and hooded men.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione ran forward to help: Jets of light flew in every direction and the man dueling Percy backed off, fast: Then his hood slipped and they saw a high forehead and streaked hair –

“Hello, Minister!” bellowed Percy, sending a neat jinx straight at Thicknesse, who dropped his wand and clawed at the front of his robes, apparently in awful discomfort. “Did I mention I’m resigning?”

“You’re joking, Perce!” shouted Fred as the Death Eater he was battling collapsed under the weight of three separate Stunning Spells.

Thicknesse had fallen to the ground with tiny spikes erupting all over him; he seemed to be turning into some form of sea urchin. Fred looked at Percy with glee.

“You actually are joking, Perce... I don’t think I’ve heard you joke since you were –“

The air exploded. They had been grouped together, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, and Percy, the two Death Eaters at their feet, one Stunned, the other Transfigured; and in that fragment of a moment, when danger seemed temporarily at bay, the world was rent apart, Hermione felt herself flying through the air and tried to shield herself from harm.

She heard the screams and yells of her companions without a hope of knowing what had happened to them... and then she heard a terrible cry. It tore at her insides. She was frightened at what could have happened.

She struggled to her feet in the wreckage, and she saw three redheaded men grouped on the ground where the wall had blasted apart. Harry grabbed Hermione’s hand as they staggered and stumbled over stone and wood.

“No – no – no!” someone was shouting. “No! Fred! No!”

And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.

--------------------------------
Short chapter, but I wanted to end it there. Next chapter will be in Ron's PoV! I hope I can get his emotions right here.

A few more chapters to go!

Hope you liked this one! Feedback would be awesome!


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  #46  
Old September 10th, 2010, 3:25 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 46
The Shrieking Shack

(Ron's PoV)


I'm dreaming. This is just a dream. A nightmare. This is not real. This day never happened. I'm at Shell Cottage, asleep in a comfortable bed. Everything will be fine when I wake up.

Ron closed his eyes.

I'm dreaming. When I open my eyes, this will all be gone.

Ron opened his eyes. Nothing had changed. He was still at Hogwarts. Or, at least, he thought it was Hogwarts. It didn't like the grand, old, castle he was used to. Dust filled the air, threatening to choke him. Debris covered the corridor. An enormous chunk of wall was missing.

But out of all the gruesome images in front of his eyes, he only wanted one to go away. His brother, Fred, was laying on the ground, very still, in front of him. His eyes were open, a cold stare that was disappearing altogether.

He's asleep. Wake up, Fred. Let me hear your laughter again. A joke. One joke. Please.

Tears threatened to roll down Ron's cheek, and he did nothing to stop them. And then a body fell past the hole blown into the side of the school and curses flew in at them from the darkness, hitting the wall behind their heads. Ron was jolted awake from his stupor.

“Get down!” Harry shouted behind him.

Ron turned around. He and Harry pulled Hermione to the floor. Percy lay across Fred's body, shielding it from further harm.

He's dead, Percy, we can't do any more.

“Percy!” Harry shouted, “Come on, we got to move!”

Percy shook his head.

“Percy!” Harry shouted again.

Tears fell down Ron's face as he tried to pull Percy away from Fred, but Percy wouldn't budge.

“Percy, you can't do anything for him!” Harry yelled, “We're going to --”

Hermione screamed. Ron turned and gasped in horror.

A monstrous spider the size of a small car was trying to climb through the huge hole in the wall. one of Aragog's descendants had joined the fight. Ron and Harry shouted together; their spells collided and the monster was blown backward, its legs jerking horribly, and vanished into the darkness.

"It brought friends!" Harry called to the others.

More giant spiders were climbing the side of the building, liberated from the Forbidden Forest, into which the Death Eaters must have penetrated. Harry fired Stunning Spells down upon them, knocking the lead monster into its fellows, so that they rolled back down the building and out of sight. Then more curses came soaring over Harry's head.

"Let's move, NOW!" Harry yelled.

Ron pushed Hermione down the hall. Behind them, Harry was dragging Fred, and Percy stood up to help. Ron wanted to help, but Hermione dragged him down the hall.

“They have to die for what they did!” Ron yelled.

“Ron, you can't do anything!” Hermione said, “We have to --”

“ROOKWOOD!” Percy roared.

Percy ran past them, and Ron tried to pull away from Hermione to join his brother.

“I want to fight with him!” Ron said.

“Ron, no!” Hermione said, “Harry, in here!”

Ron was pushed behind a tapestry, but he tried to get around Hermione.

“Ron, please!” Hermione yelled, “Listen to me – LISTEN RON!”

“I wanna help!” Ron said, “I wanna fight Death Eaters!”

"Ron we're the only ones who can end it!” Hermione said, “Please--Ron--we need the snake, we've got to kill the snake!”

Ron barely heard Hermione. He just wanted to fight.

"We will fight!" Hermione said. "We'll have to, to reach the snake! But let's not lose sight now of what we're supposed to be d-doing! We're the only ones who can end it!"

Something inside Ron told him that Hermione was right. He looked up at her. She was crying too, and she wiped her face on her torn and singed sleeve as she spoke, but she took great heaving breaths to calm herself as, still keeping a tight hold on Ron, she turned to Harry.

"You need to find out where Voldemort is, because he'll have the snake with him, won't he?” she said, “Do it, Harry--look inside him!"

Harry stared straight ahead. All around, Ron heard more battling. Parts of the castle was crumbling. How long would it hold? When was the battle going to end? Would it end.

“Ron, please,” Hermione said.

“I'm not going anywhere,” Ron said, “You're right.”

Hermione let out a sigh and smiled at him.

“I know how you're feeling, Ron,” she said, wiping a tear from her eye, “But there is time for that later --”

“I said I'm not going anywhere,” Ron said, “I'll stay with you.”

Hermione was about to answer, when Harry gasped.

"He's in the Shrieking Shack,” he said, “The snake's with him, it's got some sort of magical protection around it. He's just sent Lucius Malfoy to find Snape."

"Voldemort's sitting in the Shrieking Shack?" said Hermione, outraged. "He's not--he's not even FIGHTING?"

"He doesn't think he needs to fight," said Harry. "He thinks I'm going to go to him."

"But why?" Hermione asked.

"He knows I'm after Horcruxes,” Harry said, “he's keeping Nagini close beside him- -obviously I'm going to have to go to him to get near the thing--"

"Right," said Ron, squaring his shoulders. "So you can't go, that's what he wants, what he's expecting. You stay here and look after Hermione, and I'll go and get it--"

Harry cut across Ron.

"You two stay here, I'll go under the Cloak and I'll be back as soon as I--"

"No," said Hermione, "it makes much more sense if I take the Cloak and--"

"Don't even think about it," Ron snarled at her.

"Ron,” Hermione said, “I'm just as capable -- "

Before she could finish, the tapestry at the top of the staircase on which they stood was ripped open.

"POTTER!"

Two masked Death Eaters stood there, but even before their wands were fully raised, Hermione shouted "Glisseo!"

The stairs beneath their feet flattened into a chute and she, Harry, and Ron hurtled down it, unable to control their speed but so fast that the Death Eaters' Stunning Spells flew far over their heads. They shot through the concealing tapestry at the bottom and spun onto the floor, hitting the opposite wall.

"Duro!" cried Hermione, pointing her wand at the tapestry, and there were two loud, sickening crunches as the tapestry turned to stone and the Death Eaters pursuing them crumpled against it.

"Get back!" shouted Ron, and he, Harry, and Hermione hurled themselves against a door as a herd of galloping desks thundered past, shepherded by a sprinting Professor McGonagall.

She appeared not to notice them. Her hair had come down and there was a gash on her cheek. As she turned the corner, they heard her scream, "CHARGE!"

"Harry, you get the Cloak on," said Hermione. "Never mind us--"

But Harry threw the cloak over all three of them.

They ran down the next staircase and found themselves in a corridor full of duelers. The portraits on either side of the fighters were crammed with figures screaming advice and encouragement, while Death Eaters, both masked and unmasked, dueled students and teachers. Dean had won himself a wand, for he was face-to-face with Dolohov, Parvati with Travers.

Harry, Ron and Hermione raised their wands at once, ready to strike, but the duelers were weaving and darting so much that there was a strong likelihood of hurting one of their own side if they cast curses. Even as they stood braced, looking for the opportunity to act, there came a great "Wheeeeee!"

Looking up, Ron saw Peeves zooming over them, dropping Snargaluff pods down onto the Death Eaters, whose heads were suddenly engulfed in wriggling green tubers like fat worms.

"ARGH!" Ron yelled.

A fistful of tubers had hit the Cloak over Ron's head; the damp green roots were suspended improbably in midair as Ron tried to shake them loose.

"Someone's invisible there!" shouted a masked Death Eater, pointing.

Dean made the most of the Death Eater's momentary distraction, knocking him out with a stunning Spell; Dolohov attempted to retaliate, and Parvati shot a Body Bind Curse at him.

"LET'S GO!" Harry yelled.

Ron, Harry and Hermione gathered the Cloak tightly around themselves and pelted, heads down, through the midst of the fighters, slipping a little in pools of Snargaluff juice, toward the top of the marble staircase into the entrance hall.

"I'm Draco Malfoy, I'm Draco, I'm on your side!"

Draco was on the upper landing, pleading with another masked Death Eater. Harry Stunned the Death Eater as they passed. Malfoy looked around, beaming, for his savior, and Ron punched him from under the Cloak. Malfoy fell backward on top of the Death Eater, his mouth bleeding, utterly bemused.

"And that's the second time we've saved your life tonight, you two- faced *******!" Ron yelled.

There were more duelers all over the stairs and in the hall. Death Eaters were everywhere. Yaxley, close to the front doors, in combat with Flitwick; a masked Death Eater dueling Kingsley right beside them. Students ran in every direction; some carrying or dragging injured friends.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione sped won the marble staircase: glass shattered on the left, and the Slytherin hourglass that had recorded House points spilled its emeralds everywhere, so that people slipped and staggered as they ran. Two bodies fell from the balcony overhead as they reached the ground a gray blur that Ron took for an animal sped four-legged across the hall to sink its teeth into one of the fallen.

"NO!" shrieked Hermione, and with a deafening blast from her wand, Fenrir Greyback was thrown backward from the feebly struggling body of Lavender Brown.

He hit the marble banisters and struggled to return to his feet. Then, with a bright white flash and a crack, a crystal ball fell on top of his head, and he crumpled to the ground and did not move.

"I have more!" shrieked Professor Trelawney from over the banisters. "More for any who want them! Here--"

And with a move like a tennis serve, she heaved another enormous crystal sphere from her bag, waved her wand through the air, and caused the ball to speed across the hall and smash through a window. At the same moment, the heavy wooden front doors burst open, and more of the gigantic spiders forced their way into the front hall. Screams of terror rent the air: the fighters scattered, Death Eaters and Hogwartians alike, and red and green jets of light flew

into the midst of the oncoming monsters, which shuddered and reared, more terrifying than ever.

"How do we get out?" yelled Ron over all the screaming.

But before either Harry or Hermione could answer they were bowled aside; Hagrid had come thundering down the stairs, brandishing his flowery pink umbrella.

"Don't hurt 'em, don't hurt 'em!" he yelled.

"HAGRID, NO!" Harry bellowed.

Harry ran out from under the cloak before Ron or Hermione could grab him. Ron watched as Harry chased after Hagrid.

"HAGRID, COME BACK!" Harry yelled.

“Harry!” Hermione yelled.

“Come on!” Ron said.

Pulling Hermione along with him, he ran toward the enormous entrance doors and down the steps. Ron saw Harry running back toward them.

“Oh my!” Hermione gasped.

Ron looked up and saw a giant trying to grab people through a window.

"DON'T!" Ron yelled, grabbing Hermione's hand as she raised her wand. "Stun him and he'll crush half the castle--"

"HAGGER?" a voice roared.

Grawp came lurching around a corner of the castle. He was definitely smaller than the other giants.

The gargantuan monster trying to crush people on the upper floors turned around and let out a roar. The stone steps trembled as he stomped toward his smaller kin, and Grawp's lopsided mouth fell open, showing yellow, half brick-sized teeth; and then they launched themselves at each other with the savagery of lions.

“RUN!” Harry yelled.

Harry grabbed Hermione's hand and ran down the steps. Ron followed them. They ran toward the forest, when suddenly, the air froze around them. Ron saw his own breath, and knowing exactly what was happening, he looked up.

Shapes moved out in the darkness, swirling figures of concentrated blackness, moving in a great wave towards the castles, their faces hooded and their breath rattling.

The noise of battling suddenly muted.

“Come on, Harry!” Hermione said, “Patronuses, come on!”

Ron's thoughts went toward Harry, Hermione and his family surviving the battle.

“Harry, come on!” screamed Hermione.

“Expecto Patronum!” Ron said.

A wisp of white light erupted from his wand. He saw the silver terrier form, but all he could think of was Fred, as well as the possibility that other members of his family had not made it. The silver terrier disappeared. The dementors were closing in. Ron welcomed them. He could be with Fred again...

Suddenly, a silver hare, a boar, and fox soared past Ron, Harry and Hermione's heads: the dementors fell back before the creatures' approach. Three more people had arrived out of the darkness to stand beside them, their wands outstretched, continuing to cast Patronuses: Luna, Ernie, and Seamus.

"That's right," said Luna encouragingly, "That's right, Harry...come on think of something happy..."

“Something happy?” Harry repeated, his voice cracking.

"We're all still here," Luna whispered, "we're still fighting. Come on, now....”

“Expecto Patronum!” Harry bellowed.

The stag burst from the end of Harry's wand. It cantered forward, and now the dementors scattered in earnest, and immediately the night was mild again, but the sounds of the surrounding battle were loud in Ron's ears.

"Can't thank you enough," said Ron shakily, turning to Luna, Ernie, and Seamus "you just saved--"

With a roar and an earth-quaking tremor, another giant came lurching out of the darkness from the direction of the forest, brandishing a club taller than any of them.

“RUN!” Harry yelled.

Ron didn't need telling twice. He followed Hermione and Harry, while the other three hurried back toward the battle.

"Let's get out of range!" yelled Ron as the giant swung its club again and its bellows echoed through the night, across the grounds where bursts of red and green light continued to illuminate the darkness.

"The Whomping Willow," said Harry, "go!”

They sprinted across the grounds, Harry ahead of both Ron and Hermione. A few minutes later, they reached the large tree. Hermione was breathing so hard, she couldn't speak.

"How--how're we going to get in?" panted Ron. "I can--see the place- -if we just had--Crookshanks again--"

"Crookshanks?" wheezed Hermione, bent double, clutching her chest. "Are you a wizard, or what?"

"Oh--right--yeah--"

Ron looked around, then directed his wand at a twig on the ground and said "Winguardium Leviosa!"

The twig flew up from the ground, spun through the air as if caught by a gust of wind, then zoomed directly at the trunk through the Willow's ominously swaying branches. It jabbed at a place near the roots, and at once, the writhing tree became still.

"Perfect!" panted Hermione.

"Wait." Harry said.

“Harry, we're coming,” Ron said, “Just get in there!”

Ron pushed Harry forward toward the tree. The three of them wriggled into the opening. They squeezed through, the trip harder than Ron remembered.

Finally they saw a silver light ahead of them.

“The Cloak!” Hermione whispered to Harry, “Put the cloak on!”

With difficulty, Harry grabbed the cloak from Hermione and put it on. The edged up to the opening. Harry peered through. Ron was about to ask him what he saw, but he thought better of it.

“--my lord, their resistance is crumbling,” a voice said.

Ron recognized the voice. It was Snape, and he sounded very close to them, as if he was just on the other side of the opening.

"--and it is doing so without your help," said Voldemort in his high, clear voice. "Skilled wizard though you are, Severus, I do not think you will make much difference now. We are almost there...almost."

"Let me find the boy,” Snape said, “Let me bring you Potter. I know I can find him, my Lord. Please."

"I have a problem, Severus," said Voldemort softly.

"My Lord?" said Snape.

"Why doesn't it work for me, Severus?" Voldemort asked.

Ron wished he could see better, but he didn't risk it.

"My--my lord?" said Snape blankly. "I do not understand. You--you have performed extraordinary magic with that wand."

"No," said Voldemort. "I have performed my usual magic. I am extraordinary, but this wand...no. It has not revealed the wonders it has promised. I feel no difference between this wand and the one I procured from Ollivander all those years ago."

Ahead of him, Ron could hear Harry straining softly. He knew Harry's scar must be burning.

"No difference," said Voldemort again.

Snape did not respond. Ron heard footsteps as Voldemort walked across the room.

"I have thought long and hard, Severus...do you know why I have called you back from battle?

"No, my Lord, but I beg you will let me return. Let me find Potter."

"You sound like Lucius. Neither of you understands Potter as I do. He does not need finding. Potter will come to me. I knew his weakness you see, his one great flaw. He will hate watching the others struck down around him, knowing that it is for him that it happens. He will want to stop it at any cost. He will come."

"But my Lord, he might be killed accidentally by someone other than yourself--"

"My instructions to the Death Eaters have been perfectly clear. Capture Potter. Kill his friends--the more, the better--but do not kill him. But it is of you that I wished to speak, Severus, not Harry Potter. You have been very valuable to me. Very valuable."

"My Lord knows I seek only to serve him. But--let me go and find the boy, my Lord. Let me bring him to you. I know I can--"

"I have told you, no!" said Voldemort, "My concern at the moment, Severus, is what will happen when I finally meet the boy!"

"My Lord, there can be no question, surely--?"

"--but there is a question, Severus,” Voldemort said, “There is."

He paused.

"Why did both the wands I have used fail when directed at Harry Potter?" he said.

"I--I cannot answer that, my Lord." Snape said.

"Can't you?" Voldemort said.

"My wand of yew did everything of which I asked it, Severus, except to kill Harry Potter. Twice it failed. Ollivander told me under torture of the twin cores, told me to take another wand. I did so, but Lucius's wand shattered upon meeting Potter's."

"I--I have no explanation, my Lord." Snape said.

"I sought a third wand, Severus,” Voldemort said, “The Elder Wand, the Wand of Destiny, the Deathstick. I took it from its previous master. I took it from the grave of Albus Dumbledore."

"My Lord,” Snape said, “let me go to the boy--"

"All this long night when I am on the brink of victory, I have sat here," said Voldemort, his voice barely louder than a whisper, "wondering, wondering, why the Elder Wand refuses to be what it ought to be, refuses to perform as legend says it must perform for its rightful owner...and I think I have the answer."

Snape did not speak.

"Perhaps you already know it?” Voldemort said, “You are a clever man, after all, Severus. You have been a good and faithful servant, and I regret what must happen."

"My Lord--"

"The Elder Wand cannot serve me properly, Severus, because I am not its true master. The Elder Wand belongs to the wizard who killed its last owner. You killed Albus Dumbledore. While you live, Severus, the Elder Wand cannot truly be mine."

"My Lord!" Snape protested.

There was a swish of air, and Ron knew Snape had raised his wand.

"It cannot be any other way," said Voldemort. "I must master the wand, Severus. Master the wand, and I master Potter at last."

Another swish of air. Voldemort had raised the Elder Wand. Ron looked over at Hermione, whose eyes were the size of saucers.

Hissing tore through the air: Voldemort was commanding Nagini to do something. There was a terrible scream and Ron heard Snape fall to the floor.

"I regret it," said Voldemort coldly.

Ron heard Voldemort walk away out of the shack. Before Ron could say anything, he saw that Harry had his wand pointed forward.

“Harry!” Hermione whispered.

Harry ignored her. The crate in front of him lurched forward. Ron watched Harry climb toward the room. Ron scampered toward him; Hermione right behind him. By the time Ron arrived in the room, Harry was leaning over Snape. From one look at Snape, Ron knew the man was only minutes from death.

“Take it,” Snape gurgled, “Take it.”

Hermione rushed forward and conjured a flask out of midair. She handed it to Harry. Snape's memories were filling the flask.

“Look... at... me,” Snape said.

Ron watched as Snape's eyes glazed over. The hand holding Harry loosened and fell away. The Potions Master was no more.

--------------------------------------
Another chapter finished! Hope I did Ron's emotions well in this chapter, especially with Fred's death.

Still more to come! I'll stay in Ron's PoV for at least another chapter!

Feedback would be great!


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  #47  
Old October 13th, 2010, 3:55 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 47
The Castle In Ruins


Author's Note: It is unknown what Ron and Hermione do after Harry leaves them in the Great Hall, so I'm just going to make something up. Hope you like it.

(Ron's PoV)


Ron looked at Hermione. There were no tears in her eyes for the slain Potions Master, though she did look distraught. Ron didn't know whether to comfort her or not. The kiss between him and Hermione seemed ages ago; months, years even. It seemed like so much had happened since then, and it hadn't even been a couple of hours yet.

He looked behind him and suddenly realized that they were in a very vulnerable position. Standing in the exact spot that Voldemort had been just a few moments before. Ron knew there was a chance he could come back into the shack.

“Attention,” the cold, high voice of Voldemort said.

Ron and Hermione spun around. Behind them, Harry jumped up from his kneeling position. All three thought that Voldemort had reentered the room.

Voldemort’s voice reverberated from the walls and floor, and Ron realized that he was talking to Hogwarts and to all the surrounding area, that the residents of Hogsmeade and all those still fighting in the castle would hear him as clearly as if he stood beside them, his breath on the back of their necks, a deathblow away.

“You have fought,” said the high, cold voice, “valiantly. Lord Voldemort knows how to value bravery. Yet you have sustained heavy losses. If you continue to resist me, you will all die, one by one. I do not wish this to happen. Every drop of magical blood spilled is a loss and a waste. Lord Voldemort is merciful. I command my forces to retreat immediately. You have one hour. Dispose of your dead with dignity. Treat your injured.”

There was a short pause.

“I speak now, Harry Potter, directly to you.” Voldemort continued.

Ron and Hermione looked at each other quickly, then to Harry.

“You have permitted your friends to die for you,” Voldemort continued, “rather than face me yourself. I shall wait for one hour in the Forbidden Forest. If, at the end of that hour, you have not come to me, have not given yourself up, then battle recommences. This time, I shall enter the fray myself, Harry Potter, and I shall find you, and I shall punish every last man, woman, and child who has tried to conceal you from me. One hour.”

Ron and Hermione looked at each other again, their eyes wide. Then they looked at Harry, their heads shaking frantically.

“Don’t listen to him,” Ron said to Harry.

“It’ll be all right,” said Hermione wildly. “Let’s – let’s get back to the castle, if he’s gone to the forest we’ll need to think of a new plan – ”

Hermione glanced at Snape's body then retreated to the tunnel entrance. Ron followed her.

“Any ideas?” Hermione asked him.

Ron shook his head.

“For now, I just want to know if the rest of my family is okay,” he said.

Hermione looked as if she was about to say something, but only nodded, solemnly.

Harry joined them, and the three of them crawled through the tunnel. It was silent, except for the ringing in Ron's ears. He knew what the ringing was from, though he tried his best to ignore it, but failed. Voldemort had given his final warning. If Harry didn't meet him, the battle would continue, and Voldemort himself would join.

Ron knew it was inevitable. Harry couldn't meet Voldemort in the forest. It was like meeting his own fate. Walking to his own death. There was no way he would do it. And if he did, Ron swore he would stop him. He was not going to lose his best mate all because Harry had a saving-people-thing.

Once they were out of the tunnel, Hermione pulled out her wand.

“Wingardium Leviosa,” she said.

Ron watched as a small branch levitated and hit the knot of the Whomping Willow, freezing the tree once again. The three of them stood up, stretching out their muscles, trying to loosen them up. As he stretched, Ron looked around the grounds. It must have been close to dawn, but it seemed pitch-black.

As they hurried toward the castle, Ron looked around at the signs of the battle that had gone on. Trees were down, large splinters of wood littered all over the ground, signs of spells that had missed their victim and collided with wood. As they got closer to the castle, Ron saw debris from the castle all over. Stones, some as tall as himself, lay on the ground. Shards of broken glass littered the ground.

They hurried up the stone steps, back into the castle.

Everything was unnaturally silent. There were no flashes of light now, no bangs or screams or shouts. The flagstones of the deserted entrance hall were stained with blood. Emeralds were still scattered all over the floor, along with pieces of marble and splintered wood. Part of the banisters had been blown away.

“Where is everyone?” Hermione asked.

Ron shook his head, but heard movement and voices close by. It was coming from the Great Hall. He crossed the entrance hall, Hermione and Harry tailing him.

The sight was unbelievable.

The House tables were gone and the room was crowded. The survivors stood in groups, their arms around each other’s necks. The injured were being treated upon the raised platform by Madam Pomfrey and a group of helpers. Firenze was amongst the injured; his flank poured blood and he shook where he lay, unable to stand.

Ron then spotted his family huddled in a group. He did not need to ask who or what they were huddled around. He looked at Hermione, who nodded, and they walked away from Harry. Ginny spotted them first, and she ran over to them. She and Ron exchanged frowns, and as Ron walked by her, she hugged Hermione. He could hear their near-silent sobs, as they mixed in with the others in the Hall.

Ron approached his family. He could see his mother lying across Fred's body. Her whole body seemed to be shaking. His father was stroking her hair, and Ron could see tears etched into his face. George was kneeled at Fred's head.

“There you are!” Percy said, almost shouting, “Where have you been? Do you know how worried we were We thought you were --”

Percy closed his eyes and flung an arm around Ron's shoulder, half-hugging him. Bill and Fleur looked at him, both attempting a smile, but failing. Nobody was smiling today.

Ron walked slowly toward Fred's body and kneeled by him. His father saw him, and spoke up.

“Percy says you were there,” he said, his voice shaking, “when Fred --”

Ron nodded, words failing him.

“Good,” his father said, “A-at least he had a couple brothers nearby.”

“I should have been there,” George said, his voice monotone, “If I was, then maybe – maybe this wouldn't have happened. We always looked out for each other. Always. Now... who... will –?”

His jaw trembled and he went silent. Ron heard movement behind him. He turned around. Hermione and Ginny were joining them, their faces soaked with tears.

Ron stood up and walked over to Hermione. She attempted a smile, and almost succeeded. She threw her arms around Ron, and resumed sobbing. Ron felt tears fall from his own eyes, but he was unashamed of it.

Hermione backed away slowly and looked at Ginny.

“Where is Remus and Dora?” she asked Ginny.

“You haven't seen yet?” Ginny asked.

Ron and Hermione shook their heads. Ginny turned and nodded over toward the side of the Great Hall. A long line of bodies were there. At the very end were Remus and Dora. Strangely enough, they seemed to be sleeping, but Ron knew better.

“Oh, Merlin,” Hermione said.

She flung her arms back around Ron, momentarily surprising him.

“Why?” Hermione said, “They... they had a baby to look after!”

“I'm sure Dora's mother will take care of Teddy,” Ron said.

“Hey,” Ginny said, “Where's Harry?”

“Oh,” Ron said, “He's --”

Ron looked toward the large doors of the Great Hall, where he had left Harry. Harry was no longer there.

“He must have gone to help bring in others who were... injured,” Ron said, not wanting to say 'killed'.

“I'm going to go look for him,” Ginny said.

“No you are not!” Ron said.

“Don't tell me what to do!” Ginny argued.

“Ginevra Weasley!” Ron's mother said, rather loudly.

Ron and Ginny turned around.

“You will stay here,” she said. “Both of you. I will not --”

Fresh tears sprouted from her eyes.

“Listen to your mother,” Ron's father said.

“What about Harry?” Ginny asked.

“I'm sure he's fine,” Percy said.

“But you heard what... Voldemort... said,” Ginny said, “We all did!”

“Ginny,” Bill said, “Harry isn't foolish enough to do that.”

“Oh, really,” Ginny countered. “Like he hasn't done it before?”

Ginny looked at Ron and Hermione. Ron sighed. He looked at his family. His mother and father were distracted and were no longer listening.

“We need to find him,” Ron whispered to Hermione.

She looked at him with watery eyes, and nodded.

“Perhaps we should help the others bring the injured in,” Bill said, looking at Ron.

“Bill, no,” Fleur said.

“We can't leave them out there if the Death Eaters return,” Bill said. “You stay here with our family, Fleur. Ginny, you can come with me.”

He then looked at Ron and Hermione and motioned for them to follow him. They nodded, and the four of them walked toward the Entrance Hall.

“Did Harry say anything about where he would be going?” Bill asked, “Did he give any indication that he would go into the forest?”

Ron and Hermione looked at each other. Both knew the answer was probably a yes.

“He... didn't really say anything,” Hermione said, “At all.”

Bill looked at Ron, who nodded.

“Right,” Bill said, “Here is what we'll do. I imagine we have about thirty minutes before the attacks resume. Use those thirty minutes wisely. Look for Harry, yes, but if you find anyone injured or dead, bring them back to the Great Hall.”

Ron and Hermione nodded.

“Ginny will stick with me,” Bill said. “We will search down here. You two search where it seems necessary. But if you go onto the grounds, find us beforehand. Okay?”

Ron and Hermione nodded again.

“Stick together you two,” Bill said, “Do not split up for any reason.”

“Wouldn't think of it,” Ron said.

“Okay,” Bill said, “Go on. But be back here in twenty-five minutes. Don't make me regret this.”

Hermione headed up the stairs toward the Grand Staircase. Ron followed her.

“Where are we going?” he asked her.

“Right before Snape died,” Hermione said, “He gave Harry something. I think it was a memory, wouldn't you?”

“I guess,” Ron said, shrugging, “Yeah.”

“So he went to find the Pensieve,” Hermione said.

“The Headmaster's office,” Ron said.

Hermione nodded.

“Wait, Hermione,” Ron said. “Do you really think Harry would do something like that in the middle of all this?”

“If he thought the memory had some kind of answer,” Hermione said, “he would.”

“What kind of answer?” Ron asked.

“I don't know, Ron,” Hermione said, with an impatient sigh, “but we need to find him before --”

She closed her mouth, refusing to finish her sentence.

“Before he goes and does something mental,” Ron said, nodding.

Without another word, Ron and Hermione raced up the steps toward the Grand Staircase. It was an eerie sight as Ron looked at the interior of the seven story tall room. Usually, the portraits along the walls are filled with their inhabitants, either snoring or chatting animatedly to themselves or fellow portraits. But now, every single portrait was empty. A few of the portraits were at the bottom the staircase, victims of curses that missed their targets. Ron could only imagine what went on in this large room.

As he and Hermione ascended the Grand Staircase, it was soon apparent that many of the stairs were no longer there. It took three times as long to get to the seventh floor where the Headmaster's office was.

“This is useless!” Ron muttered as they reached the seventh floor, “Even if Harry was up here at one point, he can't still be here, can he?”

“We would have seen him come back,” Hermione said.

“Unless he was under the invisibility cloak,” Ron said.

“He would have seen us then!” Hermione said.

“Unless he went a different way,” Ron said, “Or... he never came up this way at all.”

“You think he went out there?” Hermione asked.

Ron didn't need to ask what she meant.

“If he did,” he said, “and he makes it back, I'm gonna kill him myself!”

“Either way,” Hermione said, “We should check the Headmaster's office.”

Ron decided not to argue against the point. It seemed hopeless that Harry was up here. He knew it all along: Harry had gone into the Forbidden Forest, after Voldemort. He wouldn't allow Voldemort to come back toward the castle as long as he had a breath left in him.

And that is exactly what Ron was afraid of.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Short chapter, but hope you liked it. The story is almost done! By this point, Harry had watched the memory and is on his way toward the forest.

Still more to come though! Feedback would be great!


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  #48  
Old October 14th, 2010, 1:26 am
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 48
Voldemort Victorious?



(Hermione's PoV)

Hermione looked at Ron, then looked past him, down the hallway that led toward the headmaster's office. She was almost sure Harry wasn't there. The truth had engulfed her like a wave. Harry was on his way through the Forbidden Forest. Despite her and Ron's frantic pleadings in the Shrieking Shack, Harry was on his way to meet his fate.

Hermione almost laughed, as insane as the thought of laughter was at a moment like that. It was almost painstakingly obvious. Since when did Harry every really listen to her and Ron when it opposed something he wanted to do? He was, in Hermione's opinion, infinitesimally thick-headed about that.

It was Harry's fate, in the end, to fight Voldemort, wasn't it? Since the moment Harry had told her and Ron the details of the prophecy, she had known that at some point it would come down to this.

Neither one could live while the other survived.

But what if Harry died in the process, or (and this thought was almost as painful as the prior option) what if Harry lost and the world was left to deal with Voldemort without its Chosen One?

No. She had to know if Harry was still in the headmaster's office. If he was, if there was a chance that he was still there, Hermione would find him and convince him not to meet Voldemort. There had to be another way.

“I have to know if Harry is still in the Headmaster's office,” she said, resolutely.

Before Ron could respond, Hermione pushed past him and walked down the hall.

“Hermione, wait!” Ron said.

“Ron,” Hermione said, stopping and turning around, “If he's still there –!!”

“I know, Hermione,” Ron said, “I just wanted you to wait for me.”

He smiled at her, and she responded with a brief smile, before turning back around and racing toward the Headmaster's office at top speed.

“Password?” the stone gargoyle asked.

“Er...” Ron said, “How are we supposed to know?! Just tell us. Did a scrawny boy with glasses and a scar on his head ask to gain entry?”

“Possibly,” the stone gargoyle asked. “Password?”

“Thanks, you're very helpful,” Ron said sarcastically, then looked at Hermione. “Now what do we do?”

Hermione looked at the stone gargoyle, studying it.

“Dumbledore,” she said.

The gargoyle slid aside, revealing the stone staircase.

“You happy?” Ron asked the gargoyle, “We told you the password. Could you answer my question now?”

“Yes,” the stone gargoyle said.

“Could you be a little more thorough with your answer?” Ron asked.

“The boy in which you speak of,” the stone gargoyle said, with a sigh, “did indeed gain entry to the passage in which I guard.”

“Thank you!” Ron said, “Was that so hard?”

“But you will not find him here,” the stone gargoyle continued.

“He left?” Hermione asked.

“Yes,” the stone gargoyle said.

“When?” Ron asked.

“I do not know,” the stone gargoyle said.

“You don't?” Ron asked, “Then how do you know he left?”

“I am made of stone,” the gargoyle said, “Time does not affect me. I do not know when he left. I just know he is gone. There is nobody in the passage in which I guard.”

“Of course,” Hermione said, “He would have been under the cloak.”

“Thanks,” Ron said, sarcasm ringing through his voice once again as he spoke to the gargoyle, “You were so helpful.”

The gargoyle yawned.

“Happy to be of assistance,” it said.

“Stone-brained git,” Ron said, as he and Hermione walked back toward the Grand Staircase, “It would have been just as easy to say 'he is not here', don't you think? So what do we do now?”

“Maybe,” Hermione said, “Maybe there is a chance we just missed him. Maybe we can catch up to him before he leaves the castle.”

“You think so?” Ron asked.

Hermione did not answer. Truthfully her answer was no. If Harry was not walking in the Forbidden Forest at this very moment, he was on his way there. Then there was the factor that Harry was probably under his invisibility cloak. There was no chance they were going to catch up to him.

But Hermione walked down the broken staircase with a purpose, just the same. If Harry was brave enough to walked through the Forbidden Forest to meet the most terrible Dark Lord the wizarding world had ever seen, she was brave enough to make it back to the Great Hall without breaking down right on the staircase.

Ron must have figured out himself that there was probably no chance to catch up to Harry, because he was audibly cursing under his breath as they made their way down the staircase.

When they reached the entrance hall, Ginny and Neville were comforting a young girl. Ginny looked up at the right moment to see Hermione and Ron. She and Neville ran over to them.

“What are you doing out here by yourself?” Ron asked, “Where's Bill?”

“He's back in the Great Hall,” Ginny said, “And I'm not alone. Neville's with me.”

Ron made a face and Hermione knew he didn't accept that as a good excuse.

“Did you find Harry?” Ginny asked.

“No,” Hermione said.

She looked at Neville, who seemed to not be paying much attention. Neither Ron nor Ginny had noticed.

“Neither did we,” Ginny said, frowning.

“Ginny, I think you better take Alyssa inside the Great Hall,” Neville said. “She seems to like you better.”

Ginny looked ready to argue, but one look at the young girl must have changed her mind. She nodded and walked over to the girl.

“Who is she?” Hermione asked. “She looks to young to have had permission to fight.”

“She is,” Neville said. “But she found a way to stay behind. She wanted to fight Death Eaters. I guess her parents were killed by Death Eaters a few years ago, and she wanted to avenge them. She almost got killed herself, and is taking the whole thing rather badly.”

“No surprise,” Ron muttered.

“Listen,” Neville said. “I need to tell you something, but I didn't tell this to Ginny.”

Neville inhaled and exhaled, readying himself.

“I saw Harry,” he said.

“What?!” Hermione asked.

“When?” Ron asked, “Where?!”

“Over by the front door,” Neville said, nodding to the large doors behind him, “About ten minutes ago.”

“What did he say?” Hermione asked, “Was he looking for us?”

“He mentioned you,” Neville said, “But no. He said he had something to do, and that he wanted me to kill Voldemort's snake in case you couldn't. In case... you know... you're busy when the right time comes.”

Hermione's eyes widened. In the rush to find Harry, she had forgotten about Nagini.

“Harry's going out to face him,” Neville said, “Isn't he?”

Neither Hermione nor Ron answered.

“Should've stopped him, I guess,” Neville said, “At the time, I just thought he was looking for you. But when I saw you, I knew that wasn't the case.”

Hermione fought back tears. If Nagini was still alive, and Harry was going to face Voldemort, then there was no hope. Unless Harry could kill Nagini in the process, he wasn't going to be able to kill Voldemort.

“Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger!” a familiar voice called out.

Hermione looked toward the doors of the Great Hall, where the voice had come from. Professor McGonagall was standing there.

“I've been looking for you!” she said, “Bill told me you were looking for Harry. Given that I do not see him anywhere in the vicinity, I guess you were unsuccessful.”

“Yes, ma'am,” Hermione said.

The Professor sighed.

“Where could that boy be?!” she asked.

Hermione, Ron and Neville all exchanged looks. Unfortunately, McGonagall was paying attention.

“Holy Merlin,” she exhaled, “Can it be true? We all heard the warnings, but I never expected --”

She reached into her robes, and Hermione thought she was going to pull out her wand. Instead she pulled out a handkerchief, and blew her nose into it.

“Pardon me,” she said, clearing her throat, “The dust from the debris has gotten to me, it seems.”

Hermione looked at Ron and frowned. Both knew better.

“Do you think we should go in after him?” Neville asked.

Hermione shook her head.

“Not a good idea,” she said, “It would spark another battle.”

“Miss Granger is correct,” McGonagall said. “We cannot risk venturing into the forest. If they choose to attack, here is where we will stand our ground.”

“But,” Neville said, “What about Harry?”

Nobody could answer.

“We're just going to let him go out on his own?” Neville asked, “We promised that we would stand by his side, no matter the cost.”

“What is going on?” Ginny's voice rang out behind Professor McGonagall.

Ginny looked around at Ron, then Hermione, then Neville, and finally the Headmistress. All were silent.

“Did you hear from Harry?” she asked.

“Ginny,” Hermione said, “Harry --”

“Harry Potter is dead,” a cold, high voice rung out from the grounds.

At the same time, Hermione, Ron and Neville spun around and looked out toward the grounds.

“No,” McGonagall whispered.

“He was killed as he ran away,” Voldemort said, his voice magnified, “trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring you his body as proof that your hero is gone.”

“He's lying,” Neville said.

Hermione heard the commotion from the Great Hall. Many of the occupants inside were coming their way.

"The battle is won.” Voldemort's voice rang out clearly once again, “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 their 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."

Professor McGonagall pushed past Hermione and Ron and ran out onto the grounds. Ginny ran by as well, and Hermione and Ron followed her. It didn't take long to see the crowd at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Hermione could see Voldemort. Hagrid was also standing there. He seemed to be carrying something.

“NO!” McGonagall screamed.

Her despair was something that Hermione had never heard. Behind Hermione, she heard the crowd of witches and wizards from the Great Hall joining them. Some were crying and yelling.

Then she realized what they were reacting at: Hagrid was carrying Harry's body.

“No!” Ron cried out beside her, more anger than grief.

Hermione also cried out “no!” but she barely heard her voice over the screams behind her.

“Harry!” Ginny's voice called out, and it was easy to see that she was crying, “HARRY!”

“You rotten --” someone in the crowd cursed.

“This isn't the end!” another voice called out.

“SILENCE!” Voldemort commanded.

There was a flash of blinding white light. Silence engulfed the crowd. Hermione could hear the trees of the Forbidden Forest rustling in the wind.

"It is over!” Voldemort said, “Set him down, Hagrid, at my feet, where he belongs!"

Voldemort grinned and paced back and forth, his eyes moving from the witches and wizards at the castle, toward Harry's body.

"You see? said Voldemort, "Harry Potter is dead! Do you understand now, deluded ones? He was nothing, ever, but a boy who relied on others to sacrifice themselves for him!”

Ron cursed out loudly and stepped forward a few feet. Hermione reached out to pull him back.

“He beat you!” Ron yelled.

“That's right!” Neville said.

“Long live Harry Potter!” another voice yelled out.

The last was echoed around the grounds.

"He was killed while trying to sneak out of the castle grounds," said Voldemort, "killed while trying to save himself - "

“Liar!” Neville growled.

Neville ran forward, past Hermione and Ron, past McGonagall. He whipped out his wand and a flash of light zoomed toward Voldemort. Voldemort waved his wand, and Neville collapsed feet from him. For a moment, Hermione thought Neville was dead.

Voldemort's laugh echoed across the grounds as he stalked toward Neville.

"And who is this?" he said in his soft snake's hiss. "Who has volunteered to demonstrate what happens to those who continue to fight when the battle is lost?"

A laugh rang out, and Hermione knew exactly whose laugh it was: Bellatrix Lestrange. She would not forget that cackle for a long time.

"It is Neville Longbottom, my Lord! The boy who has been giving the Carrows so much trouble! The son of the Aurors, remember?"

"Ah, yes, I remember," said Voldemort.

He turned his gaze back to Neville, who was struggling back to his feet, unarmed and unprotected, standing in the no-man's-land between the survivors and the Death Eaters.

"But you are a pureblood, aren't you, my brave boy? Voldemort asked Neville, who stood facing him, his empty hands curled in fists.

"So what if I am?" said Neville loudly.

"You show spirit and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom."

"I'll join you when hell freezes over," said Neville. "Dumbledore's Army!"

The last phrase was a shout that echoed back toward the crowd. There was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort's Silencing Charms seemed unable to hold.

“YEAH!” Dean Thomas yelled out.

“You tell him, Neville!” Seamus' voice rang out.

"Very well," said Voldemort,"If that is your choice, Longbottom, we revert to the original plan.”

Everything was quiet. Then....

“Look up!” a voice said, “What's that?!”

Hermione looked up. She saw a misshapen blob fly out of a window toward Voldemort. Voldemort caught it with ease. Hermione looked at the object, and suddenly realized what it was.

The Sorting Hat.

Harry remembered Harry's story about when the Sorting Hat had appeared to him in the Chamber of Secrets. There was a sudden glimmer of hope.

“Impossible,” Hermione muttered, looking at Nagini, “Could it be?”

Ron looked at her. She shook her head, still full of thought.

"There will be no more Sorting at Hogwarts School," said Voldemort. "There will be no more Houses. The emblem, shield and colors of my noble ancestor, Salazar Slytherin, will suffice everyone. Won't they, Neville Longbottom?"

He pointed his wand at Neville, who grew rigid and still, then forced the hat onto Neville's head, so that it slipped down below his eyes. All around and behind Hermione, the crowd started to move as one, ready to fight. At the same time, the Death Eaters raised their wands, holding the fighters of Hogwarts at bay.

"Neville here is now going to demonstrate what happens to anyone foolish enough to continue to oppose me," said Voldemort, and with a flick of his wand, he caused the Sorting Hat to burst into flames.

Screams split the dawn, and Neville was a flame, rooted to the spot, unable to move.

“No!” Ginny cried out, “Neville!”

“Go!!” McGonagall cried out, “For Harry!”

She rushed forward toward Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

“FOR HARRY!” Hermione, Ron, and the crowd cried out as one.

Hermione, Ron, and the crowd of witches and wizards ran forward, ready to battle Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Hermione silently vowed to stay near Ron. At that moment, Ron grabbed her hand with his free one, but still rushed toward the battle.

“HAGGER!!” a loud voice roared out.

All of a sudden, Hermione saw Grawp out of the corner of her eye. He was rushing toward the battle, looking for Hagrid.

His cry was answered by roars from Voldemort's giants: They ran at Grawp like bull elephants making the earth quake. Then came hooves and the twangs of bows, and arrows were suddenly falling amongst the Death Eaters, who broke ranks, shouting their surprise.

“Ron, we have to get back toward the castle!” Hermione said, as she saw wizards and Death Eaters retreating toward the castle, away from the centaurs and giants.

“Look at Neville!” Ginny cried out, nearby.

Hermione turned, searching for Neville. It seemed the battle around them had stopped, or at least slowed to a snail's pace. Eyes were focused on Neville. He was holding Gryffindor's sword.

I knew it. Hermione thought, as soon as I saw the Sorting Hat.

With a loud roar, Neville raised the sword.

“For Harry!” he roared, and ran toward Nagini.

With a single stroke Neville sliced off the great snake's head, which spun high into the air, gleaming in the light flooding from the entrance hall, and Voldemort's mouth was open in a scream of fury that nobody could hear, and the snake's body thudded to the ground at his feet.

Then something unexplainable, miraculous happened. Voldemort had sent a killing curse toward Neville, and a Shield Charm appeared out of nowhere, guarding Neville.

“How in the hell?” Ron said.

Then came Hagrid's voice, loudest of all.

“HARRY! WHERE'S HARRY?!”

Hermione spun around, looking for Harry's body, fearing that he had been trampled. Then she realized...

Harry's body was nowhere to be seen.

------------------------
Chapter finished! Whew, Merlin, I loved that chapter, especially the last half! That was one of the most exciting things I've ever written. All thanks to J.K. Rowling of course.

And it is STILL not over! Just a few more chapters left!

Feedback would be grand!!!


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  #49  
Old October 14th, 2010, 2:01 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 49
The Chosen One

Author's Note: Voldemort and Harry's duel will be almost word for word, at least in the quotes.


(Hermione's PoV)

Chaos reigned.

All across the Hogwarts grounds, the centaurs were scattering Death Eaters. Witches and wizards, good versus evil were battling, spells were cracking and flashing as they hit or missed their target. The ground shook from the thunder of giants as they roared across the grounds.

But Hermione was oblivious to it all. Harry's body was nowhere to be seen. She searched around, trying to get a glimpse. There had to be a reason.

“Hermione!” Ron yelled, “We – have – to – move!”

“Harry,” Hermione muttered.

“We can't do anything for him if we're dead!” Ron said, “Come on!”

Ron took Hermione by the hand and she was almost thrown off her feet as he dragged her back toward the castle.

A great caw was heard, and Hermione looked over her shoulder. Buckbeak the hippogriff and a number of thestrals were soaring around, attacking the giants. Grawp roared as he punched one of the giants. All around Hermione, Death Eaters and witches and wizards all retreated back toward the castle, battling each other as they did.

“Stupefy!” Ron yelled.

Hermione spotted Ron's stunned victim, flailed out across the stone steps. Finally, they made it inside, but the battle still ensued there. As Hermione was pulled into the Great Hall, she spotted a Death Eater topple over, hit by spell that came out of nowhere.

“Ron!” Hermione yelled at him.

He turned around.

“What?” he asked.

“We can't fight if we're attached to each other like this,” Hermione said.

“I am not losing sight of you!” Ron said.

“You won't!” Hermione said, “I promise. But we'll do more harm than good like this.”

Ron sighed.

“This is for Fred!” Charlie's voice said from nearby.

“Help your family,” Hermione said, “I'll be fine.”

Ron looked as if he was going to say something, but he nodded.

“If anything happens to you,” he said, “I swear to --”

“I know,” Hermione said, “Ron, I lo --”

But her voice was drowned out by a louder sound.

The centaurs Bane, Ronan and Magorian burst into the hall with a great clatter of hooves. On the other side of the hall, a door was thrown off its hinges.

The house-elves of Hogwarts swarmed into he entrance hall, screaming and waving carving knives and cleaver, and at their head, the locket of Regulus Black bouncing on his chest, was Kreacher, his bullfrog's voice audible even above this din: "Fight! Fight! Fight for my Master, defender of house-elves! Fight the Dark Lord, in the name of brave Regulus! Fight!"

They were hacking and stabbing at the ankles and shim of Death Eaters their tiny faces alive with malice, and everywhere Harry looked Death Eaters were folding under sheer weight of numbers, overcome by spells, dragging arrows from wounds, stabbed in the leg by elves, or else simply attempting to escape, but swallowed by the oncoming horde.

Meanwhile, Hermione had been split up from Ron. She looked around for him, and saw him join Neville and George. The werewolf Fenrir Greyback was fighting them on his own.

“Hey mudblood!” cackled a very familiar voice, “Yoohoo!”

Hermione spun around. Bellatrix was standing there, her bloodshot eyes were staring right into Hermione's. She looked downright insane.

“Escaped me for the last time, little girl!” Bellatrix cooed, “No house-elf will save you this time! Your filthy blood will stain this floor!”

“This is for Dobby,” Hermione said, brandishing her wand, “Expelliarmus!”

Bellatrix lifted her wand, blocking the spell with ease.

“It's going to take a lot more than that!” Bellatrix said, cackling, “Even for the smartest witch of her age.”

“How about me?” Ginny's voice said behind Hermione.

“And me?” Luna's voice, no longer dreamy, but resolute, called out

Bellatrix just cackled.

“Three on one,” she said, “How quaint. How pleased my lord will be when he hears of my victory.”

Without warning, she shot a spell at Hermione, and Ginny sent out a shield, while Luna attempted to curse Bellatrix. Back and forth it went, Hermione trying to curse Bellatrix with all she had. Nothing seemed to work. Bellatrix seemed to be toying with them.

“Avada Kedavra!” she yelled.

The spell was aimed for Ginny, who jumped out of the way, just barely.

"NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU *****!" a familiar voice rang out.

At first, Hermione couldn't believe her ears. But as she turned to help Ginny, she saw Mrs. Weasley walking toward them.

"OUT OF MY WAY!” she shouted.

Hermione backed up with Ginny and Luna.

“Mum?” Ginny asked.

She began to duel. Hermione watched as Molly Weasley's wand slashed and twisted, and Bellatrix Lestrange's smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the withces' feet became bot and cracked; both woman were fighting to kill.

"No!" Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. "Get back! Get back! She is mine!"

Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent.

"What will happen to your children when I've killed you?" taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly's curses danced around her. "When Mummy's gone the same way as Freddie?"

"You - will - never - touch - our - children - again!" screamed Mrs. Weasley.

Bellatrix laughed the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did.

Molly's curse soared beneath Bellatrix's outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.

Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: For the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.

Suddenly, McGonagall, Kingsley and Slughorn blasted backward, flailing and writhing through the air, as Voldemort's fury at the fall of his last, best warrior exploded with the force of a bomb, Voldemort raised his wand and directed it at Molly Weasley.

“PROTEGO!” yelled a voice.

This voice was too familiar, and Hermione grinned as she heard it, though Voldemort was looking around, searching for it. Suddenly, Harry Potter appeared, throwing his invisibility cloak away from him.

Shocked cheers and screams resonated through out the Great Hall.

“Harry!” a voice yelled.

“HE'S ALIVE!” another voice yelled.

“Oh, Harry,” Ginny said, her voice full of emotion.

Hermione suddenly felt a hand take hers. She looked over. Ron was standing beside her. He didn't look any worse for the wear. In fact, he was smiling.

The cheers were all stifled at once. Fear swept across the room, and silence reigned as Harry and Voldemort looked at each other, for a moment, then started to circle.

"I don't want anyone else to help," Harry said loudly, and in the total silence his voice carried like a trumpet call. "It's got to be like this. It's got to be me."

Voldemort hissed.

"Potter doesn't mean that," he said, his red eyes wide. "This isn't how he works, is it? Who are you going to use as a shield today, Potter?"

"Nobody," said Harry simply. "There are no more Horcruxes. It's just you and me. Neither can live while the other survives, and one of us is about to leave for good."

"One of us?" jeered Voldemort.

His whole body was taut and his red eyes stared, a snake that was about to strike.

"You think it will be you,” he taunted, “do you, the boy who has survived by accident, and because Dumbledore was pulling the strings?"

"Accident, was it, when my mother died to save me?" asked Harry.

They were still moving sideways, both of them, in that perfect circle, maintaining the same distance from each other.

"Accident,” Harry said, “when I decided to fight in that graveyard? Accident, that I didn't defend myself tonight, and still survived, and returned to fight again?"

"Accidents!" screamed Voldemort.

But still he did not strike, and the watching crowd was frozen as if Petrified, and of the hundreds in the Hall, nobody seemed to breathe but the two.

"Accident and chance,” Voldemort continued, “and the fact that you crouched and sniveled behind the skirts of greater men and women, and permitted me to kill them for you!"

"You won't be killing anyone else tonight," said Harry as they circled, and stared into each other's eyes, green into red. "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," said Harry. "I know things you don't know, Tom Riddle. I know lots of important things that you don't. Want to hear some, before you make another big mistake?"

Voldemort did not speak, but prowled in a circle. He seemed mesmerized.

"Is it love again?" he said, his snake's face jeering. "Dumbledore favorite solution, love, which he claimed conquered death, though love did not stop him falling from the tower and breaking like and old waxwork? Love, which did not prevent me stamping out your Mudblood mother like a cockroach, Potter - and nobody seems to love you enough to run forward this time and take my curse. So what will stop you dying now when I strike?"

"Just one thing," said Harry, and still they circled each other.

"If it is not love that will save you this time," said Voldemort, "you must believe that you have magic that i do not, or else a weapon more powerful than mine?"

"I believe both," said Harry.

Voldemort began to laugh, and the sound was more frightening than his screams; humorless and insane, it echoed around the silent Hall.

"You think you know more magic than I do?" he said. "Than I, than Lord Voldemort, who has performed magic that Dumbledore himself never dreamed of?"

"Oh he dreamed of it," said Harry, "but he knew more than you, knew enough not to do what you've done."

"You mean he was weak!" screamed Voldemort. "Too weak to dare, too weak to take what might have been his, what will be mine!"

"No, he was cleverer than you," said Harry, "a better wizard, a better man."

"I brought about the death of Albus Dumbledore!"

"You thought you did," said Harry, "but you were wrong."

Hermione and the rest of the crowd drew breaths as if one.

"Dumbledore is dead!" Voldemort lashed out, “I have seen it, Potter, and he will not return!"

"Yes, Dumbledore is dead," said Harry calmly, "but you didn't have him killed. He chose his own manner of dying, chose it months before he died, arranged the whole thing with the man you thought was your servant."

"What childish dream is this?" said Voldemort, but still he did not strike, and his red eyes did not waver from Harry's.

"Severus Snape wasn't yours," said Harry. "Snape was Dumbledore's. Dumbledore's from the moment you starting hunting down my mother. And you never realized it, because of the thing you can't understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle?"

Voldemort did not answer. They continued to circle each other like wolves about to tear each other apart.

"Snape's Patronus was a doe," said Harry, "the same as my mother's, because he loved her for nearly all of his life, from the time when they were children. You should have realized... he asked you to spare her life, didn't he?"

"He desired her, that was all," sneered Voldemort, "but when she had gone, he agreed that there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him - "

"Of course he told you that," said Harry, "but he was Dumbledore's spy from the moment you threatened her, and he's been working against you ever since! Dumbledore was already dying when Snape finished him!"

"It matters not!" shrieked Voldemort, who had followed every word with rapt attention, but now let out a cackle of mad laughter. "It matters not whether Snape was mine or Dumbledore's, or what petty obstacles they tried to put in my path! I crushed them as I crushed your mother, Snape's supposed great love! Oh, but it all makes sense, Potter, and in ways that you do not understand! Dumbledore was trying to keep the Elder Wand from me! He intended that Snape should be the true master of the wand! But I got there ahead of you, little boy - I reached the wand before you could get your hands on it, I understood the truth before you caught up. I killed Severus Snape three hours ago, and the Elder Wand, the Deathstick, the Wand of Destiny is truly mine! Dumbledore's last plan went wrong, Harry Potter!"

"Yeah, it did." said Harry. "You're right. But before you try to kill me, I'd advise you think what you've done...think, and try for some remorse, Riddle."

"What is this?"

Hermione realized at once. Of all the things that Harry had said to him, beyond any revelation or taunt, nothing had socked Voldemort like this.

"It's your one last chance," said Harry, "it's all you've got left...I've seen what you'll be otherwise...Be a man...try.... Try for some remorse...
"
“You dare --- ?” said Voldemort again.

“Yes, I dare,” said Harry, “because Dumbledore’s last plan hasn’t backfired on me at all. It’s backfired on you, Riddle.”

“That wand still isn’t working properly for you because you murdered the wrong person. Severus Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore.”

“He killed --- ”

“Aren’t you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore instended to die, undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!”

“But then, Potter, Dumbledore as good as gave me the wand!” Voldemort’s voice shook with malicious pleasure. “I stole the wand from its last master’s tomb! I removed it against the last master’s wishes! Its power is mine!”

“You still don’t get it, Riddle, do you? Possessing the wand isn’t enough! Holding it, using it, doesn’t make it really yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard... The Elder Wand recognized a new master before Dumbledore died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realizing exactly what he had done, or that the world’s most dangerous wand had given him its allegiance...”

Voldemort's chest was raising up and down.

“The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.”

Blank shock showed in Voldemort’s face for a moment, but then it was gone.

“But what does it matter?” he said softly. “Even if you are right, Potter, it makes no difference to you and me. You no longer have the phoenix wand: We duel on skill alone . . . and after I have killed you, I can attend to Draco Malfoy...”

“But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took his wand from him.”

Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it.

“So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does.... I am the true master of the Elder Wand.”

A red-glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. Hermione realized this was it.

“Avada Kedavra!” Voldemort screamed.

“Expelliarmus!” Harry screamed.

Golden flames erupted between both wands. It was so intense, that for a moment,Hermione nor any of the onlookers could tell what was happening.

When everything had cleared, the immediate result was apparent. Voldemort was sprawled out on the floor, dead, and Harry was standing, staring at the body. Two wands were in his hands.

One shivering second of silence, the shock of the moment suspended: and then the screams and the cheers and the roars of the watchers rent the air. This time it was Hermione who was dragging Ron, right toward Harry. They wrapped their arms around him. Hermione couldn't hear her own voice over the cheers and roars.

The Ginny, Neville, and Luna were there, and then all the Weasleys and Hagrid, and Kingsley and McGonagall and Flitwick and Sprout, and they could not hear a word that anyone was shouting, not tell whose hands were seizing Harry, pulling him, trying to hug some part of him, hundreds of them pressing in, all of them determined to touch the Boy Who Lived, the reason it was over at last.

----------------------------------
Just a couple more chapters to go! The next chapter is going to extend a bit from the book.

Apologies for the latter half of this chapter being almost quote for quote from the book, but it was needed.

Feedback would be great!


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  #50  
Old October 16th, 2010, 6:08 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Chapter 50
Aftermath


Author's Note: Parts of this chapter are quite different than what was described in this book, but I thought it would be nice.

(Hermione's PoV)

Chaos reigned.

But this time, it was welcomed, at least for the moment. The cheering crowd were so boisterous, consisted of so many, that it was many minutes before Hermione, Ron and Harry were free. It was all for Harry, of course, but Hermione and Ron were in the midst of it.

Finally, Kingsley, Bill and Professor McGonagall had appeared and escorted them out from the crowd, over toward a lone corner. Bill had then left to find the rest of his family.

“Kingsley and I thought you three deserved a well-earned break,” McGonagall said. “And perhaps some privacy?”

“It would seem so,” Ron said, a small chuckle shaking his voice.

“I expect it won't be for long, though,” Kingsley said, “The day has just begun.”

“What will happen to his body?” Harry said, quietly.

Hermione looked at Harry, who was staring toward the center of room. Hermione looked over. Professor Slughorn and three other wizards were carrying Voldemort's body unceremoniously out of the hall.

“He can rot at the bottom of the lake,” Ron said, “As far as I'm concerned.”

“Ron,” complained Hermione.

“Actually, that is a good idea,” McGonagall said, a rare grin forming her lips, “Let the depths crush him.”

“He will be quite forgotten,” Kingsley said, “That is my promise.”

“Shacklebolt!” a voice said behind Kingsley.

Kingsley turned and Hermione saw a glimpse of Percy Weasley.

“News from the Ministry!” Percy said, “We have regained control! You are needed in London! Word has reached my ears that you could very well be our next Minister!”

He cleared his throat.

“If you accept of course,” Percy finished, “The Floo Network is ready for you. A group of Aurors will be waiting at your call.”

“I will be ready to leave shortly,” Kingsley said.

“Yes, sir!” Percy said, “I-I mean... Minister.”

Percy bowed slightly, and ran off.

“This is wonderful news, Kingsley!” McGonagall said.

“I'm sure there will be plenty of wonderful news over the next many hours,” Kingsley said.

He turned to Harry.

“Harry Potter,” he said, “You have mine, and the wizarding world's infinite gratefulness. Please know this. This is a brand new day. The wizarding world has waited for this day for a very long time. We owe this day to you.”

“Thank you, Kingsley,” Harry said, “But, to be honest, I --”

“I understand,” Kingsley said, “Fame isn't easy. Please understand, Harry. Even if I take the job of Minister, that power will not be enough to withstand the immense load of gratitude that will come your way. Though I may be able to soften the load of – excuse the term, my dear friend – fan-mail that will come your way.”

“I appreciate everything,” Harry said. “From everyone of you. But as you said, I think I've earned my privacy.”

“That you have,” Kingsley said, “But I ask you to delay that privacy for one day.”

He looked around the Great Hall.

“I believe you owe it to them,” he said, “To show them how much they mean to you.”

Harry remained silent, but he nodded.

“I will return,” Kingsley said, “But for now, I must take my leave.”

Kingsley bowed slightly toward Harry. He turned, his cloak sweeping the floor behind him, and marched across the Great Hall.

“I hope he's our new Minister,” Harry said. “Because I already like him a hell of a lot more than I liked the last three.”

Hermione, Ron and McGonagall chuckled. Ginny appeared out of nowhere.

“Well, I was trying to keep the masses away from you, Harry,” McGonagall said, her eyes narrowed at Ginny, “But I have a funny notion I won't be able to keep this one away.”

Ron and Hermione grinned at each other, as Ginny walked past the Professor. Harry stood up. Ginny's eyes were full of tears as she leaped at Harry, hugging him tightly.

“I thought – I thought,” Ginny sobbed, “Oh, Harry.”

“It's okay, Ginny,” he said, “I'm here.”

“Never leave my sight again,” Ginny said.

“I'll try,” Harry said.

“You'll do better than try!” Ginny said, hitting Harry on the shoulder.

“I'd be careful around this one, Potter,” McGonagall said, “She's far more dangerous than Voldemort.”

“You don't have to tell me that,” Harry said.

“I'll leave the four of you alone,” McGonagall, “You won't be bothered by anyone but immediate family. I give you my word.”

She walked off.

Hermione finally started to feel the weight of the moment. She hadn't slept since Shell Cottage.

Shell Cottage, she mused.

How long ago,it seemed, that she had walked out of the doorway of the tiny house, looking like Bellatrix Lestrange. It seemed like ages ago. Years. Had it only been a day?

Hermione rested her head on Ron's shoulder, closing her eyes, momentarily. She felt Ron's arm swing around her.

“No way,” Ginny asked Harry, “Are they --?”

“Mmhmm,” Harry said, just as tired as Hermione felt.

“Since when?” Ginny asked.

“I don't recall,” Harry said, “Do you, Ron?”

“Sometime between the Chamber of Secrets and a giant blaze of fire I think,” Ron said.

“Romantic,” Ginny said, sarcastically, “You don't even remember when you and Hermione became a couple?”

“I don't know,” Ron said, “Hermione, do you think a kiss means we're a couple?”

“I'm too sleepy to answer that,” Hermione muttered, her head still on Ron's shoulder, her eyes closed.

“Ha!” Harry said, “Finally a question our Hermione can't answer!”

“Harry,” Hermione said, “Shut up or I'll curse you.”

Ginny, Harry and Ron laughed.

And for a few minutes, the four of them just sat in that lone corner, silent and peaceful.

-------------------------------------

Finally, Harry was pulled away, due to keep the promise that Kingsley Shacklebolt had asked of him. Everyone in the hall seemed to crave his attention at some point.

Professor McGonagall had summoned four tables in the Great Hall. Nobody was sitting according to House anymore: All were jumbled together, teachers and pupils, ghosts and parents, centaurs and house-elves, and Firenze lay recovering in the corner, and Grawp peered in through a smashed window, and people were throwing food into his laughing mouth.

Hermione, Ron and Ginny joined the rest of the Weasleys, all looking just as tired as Hermione felt. All except Percy.

“News has just come in!” Percy said, animatedly, “The innocent prisoners in Azkaban are being released, replaced with those Death Eaters that the Aurors have caught. Those yellow-bellied Death Eaters turned tail and ran just after Voldemort fell! And Kingsley Shacklebolt is officially the Minister of Magic, temporarily, it seems.”

“Percy,” Charlie said, “As happy as I am to hear this news, it can wait till later. Can we just sit here in silence? For once.”

Percy shut up instantly. Hermione looked around the table. The memory of Fred seemed to be etched into everyone of the Weasley's tired faces. At the other end of the table, she saw Neville sitting there, surrounded by new admirers. The Sword of Gryffindor lay in front of him. In one corner of the room, Hermione spotted the three Malfoys huddled up against each other. All three had survived the battle. And though it seemed they were unsure whether they were welcome in the vicinity, nobody except Hermione seemed to notice them.


Hermione felt Ron's hand reach for hers underneath the table. She looked up at him, and smiled. Even though he was looked worn out and war-torn, he seemed more beautiful, more handsome than ever. She looked at his lips, wanting to kiss them again, but feeling it was rather inappropriate at a time like this. Besides, she knew well enough that kiss outside the Room of Requirement wouldn't be their last. It was only a matter of time.

Hermione heard footsteps behind her.

“It's me,” an invisible voice whispered.

Harry's voice was only meant for her and Ron.

They stood up at once, and together they left the Great Hall. Great chunks were missing from the marble staircase, part of the balustrade gone, and rubble and bloodstains occurred ever few steps as their climbed.

Somewhere in the distance they could hear Peeves zooming through the corridors singing a victory song of his own composition:

We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter’s the one,
And Voldy’s gone moldy, so now let’s have fun!

“Really gives a feeling for the scope and tragedy of the thing, doesn’t it?” said Ron, pushing open a door to let Harry and Hermione through.

“I owe you an explanation,” Harry said, to Hermione and Ron, as they climbed up the Grand Staircase.

“Harry,” Hermione said.

“Let me do this, Hermione,” Harry said, “Or I will never get it out.”

Hermione nodded.

“You know Professor Snape gave me a memory right before he died, right?” Harry asked.

Hermione nodded again, realizing that Harry had said “Professor” when referring to Snape. Normally it would have taken heavy goading to get him to say that.

“Well, I went up to the Headmaster's office,” Harry said, “And found the Pensieve. I found out things beyond my wildest dreams. Professor Snape loved my mother.”

“You're joking?!” Ron asked.

Harry shook his head.

“He loved her from the moment he saw her,” Harry said, “Some time before their years at Hogwarts started. He always loved her. Do you two remember that Patronus I saw? The one that led me to the Sword of Gryffindor?”

Hermione and Ron nodded.

“It was his,” Harry said, “Professor Snape's Patronus was a doe. The same as my mother's.”

“So...” Ron said, “Snape led you... us... to the sword?”

“Don't you see, Ron?” Hermione said, “Snape put the sword in that lake! He actually helped us.”

“That may be,” Ron said, “But he was still a git.”

“Ron!” Hermione said, offended.

“What?” Ron asked, “Don't expect me to go all soft just because the man is dead. I haven't forgotten the way he treated us here. So he had a boy crush on Harry's mother. Doesn't mean he had to hate Harry just because he resembles the guy Lily fell in love with.”

Hermione looked at Harry. She couldn't tell if he was offended by Ron's statement or if he agreed with Ron.

“So, what happened in the forest, Harry?” she said, fearing an argument.

For a few moments, Harry didn't speak.

“Well, I found out how to open the Golden Snitch,” Harry said, “and the resurrection stone was in it.”

“Oh, Harry,” Hermione said, disapprovingly, “Please tell me you didn't use it.”

“Hermione, I thought I was going to die,” Harry said. “That's what 'I open at the close' means. The close means death. End of life.”

Hermione gasped silently. Of course. How could she have missed that?

“You saw your parents again?” Hermione asked, knowing the answer before she said it, “Didn't you?”

Harry nodded. “Sirius and Remus was there too,” he said.

“Oh, Harry,” Hermione repeated, though this time her voice was more sad than anything.

“I wanted to see them,” Harry said, “One last time.”

None of the trio spoke as they walked up the Grand Staircase to the seventh floor, then made their way to the Headmaster's office. The gargoyle that had so annoyed Ron had been knocked over.

“Can we go up?” Harry asked the gargoyle.

“Feel free,” groaned the statue.

They clambered over him and onto the spiral stone staircase that moved slowly upward like an escalator. Harry pushed open the door at the top.

A commotion greeted them so loud, Hermione thought the battle had started again.

But it was applause. All around the walls, the headmasters and headmistresses of Hogwarts were standing and applauding; they waved their hats and in some cases their wigs, they reached through their frames to grip each other’s hands; they danced up and down on their chairs in which they have been painted: Dilys Derwent sobbed unashamedly; Dexter Fortescue was waving his ear-trumpet; and Phineas Nigellus called, in his high, reedy voice, “And let it be noted that Slytherin House played its part! Let our contribution not be forgotten!”

Harry walked across the room, and Hermione knew where he was going before he got there. Hermione and Ron followed him over to Professor Dumbledore's portrait. Tears were sliding down the face and into the long white beard.

Harry held up his hands, and the inhabitants of the portraits all stopped applauding.

“The thing that was hidden in the Snitch,” Harry said to Dumbledore's portrait, “I dropped it in the forest. I don’t exactly here, but I’m not going to go looking for it again. Do you agree?”

“My dear boy, I do,” said Dumbledore, while his fellow pictures looked confused and curious. “A wise and courageous decision, but no less than I would have expected of you. Does anyone know else know where it fell?”

“No one,” said Harry, and Dumbledore nodded his satisfaction.

“I’m going to keep Ignotus’s present, though,” said Harry, and Dumbledore beamed.

“But of course, Harry, it is yours forever, until you pass it on!”

“And then there’s this.”

Harry held up the Elder Wand. Both Hermione and Ron looked at it, beaming, both expecting Harry to keep it.

“I don’t want it.” said Harry.

“What?” said Ron loudly. “Are you mental?”

“I know it’s powerful,” said Harry wearily. “But I was happier with mine. So...”

He rummaged in the pouch hung around his neck, and pulled out the two halves of holly still just connected by the finest threat of phoenix feather

He laid the broken wand upon the headmaster’s desk, touched it with the very tip of the Elder Wand, and said, “Reparo.”

As the wand resealed, red sparks flew out of its end. Hermione knew that Harry had succeeded. Harry picked up the holly and phoenix wand and grinned.

“I’m putting the Elder Wand,” he told Dumbledore, who was watching him with enormous affection and admiration, “back where it came from. It can stay there. If I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it? The previous master will never have been defeated. That’ll be the end of it.”

Dumbledore nodded. They smiled at each other.

“Are you sure?” said Ron.

There was the faintest trace of longing in his voice as he looked at the Elder Wand. In that instant, Hermione realized Harry was right. He had his wand back. He didn't need the Elder Wand.

“I think Harry’s right,” said Hermione quietly.

“That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth.” said Harry. “And quite honestly,” he turned away from the painted portraits, “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.”

“Now that,” Ron said, “I do agree with.”

“I think we should go to the Gryffindor Common Room,” Hermione suggested, “It's been a very long day.”

------------------------------------------
A few minutes later, Hermione, Ron and Harry arrived at the Fat Lady's portrait.

The Fat Lady was crying so badly, she was smudging parts of her portrait, and there were puddles of tears at the bottom.

“Dear Fat Lady,” Hermione said, “What is wrong?”

“I-I-I'm just so-so happy!” the Fat Lady said, sobbing.

Hermione, Ron and Harry looked at each other grinning. Though Ron also rolled his eyes.

“I've been trekking this castle for hours,” the Fat Lady said, “I swear I probably visited all the portraits this place has to offer, just to watch the battles. I wanted to help, but I-I-I... well, look at me, I'm a portrait!”

She started sobbing again.

“Well, the battle is over,” Ron said.

“Oh, I know!” the Fat Lady said, “I'm so happy! Now... you three, you tell me this. Where have you been all year! I was so worried when you didn't show up!”

“Er...” Ron said, “Let's just say that it is a very long story. Can we go in please? We don't know the password.”

“That's okay!” the Fat Lady said, “I don't know it either!”

She resumed sobbing and her portrait swung open. Hermione, Ron and Harry walked into the common room. Hermione half-expected the common room to be full of cheering, partying Gryffindors, much like it is after a Quidditch match victory, and was therefore relieved when she found that it was empty.

“Well, I don't know about you two,” Harry said, “But I'm going straight to bed.”

Hermione looked at Ron. She could tell that he wasn't ready for bed just yet. He knew as well as she did that were things left to discuss, and there wasn't time to wait.

“Good night, Harry,” Ron said, “Er... or rather good morning, I guess?”

Harry gave a sleepy laugh and walked across the room toward the stairs. Ron motioned to the couch in front of the fireplace.

“Shall we?” he asked.

Hermione nodded. They walked over to the couch and sat down. The heat from the fireplace felt very soothing and welcoming. Hermione could fall asleep right there, but she knew that would have to wait.

“So,” Ron said, “You still haven't answered my question, you know?”

“Which one?” Hermione asked.

“Do you think a kiss means we're a couple?” Ron asked.

“I don't know,” Hermione said, “Do you?”

Ron stared at the fireplace for a long time. Hermione had a feeling there was a battle going on in his mind more terrible and more beautiful than the one they had just been a part of.

Then, without warning, he leaned over to her, and kissed her full on the lips. It took her a moment to put it through her head what was happening, before she returned the kiss. It was even warmer and more welcoming than the fire in front of them. Hermione was a woman of logic and thought, but all thought had left her brain. It felt numb.

She was finally getting what she had dreamed of for years.

Finally, when it seemed she could take no more, she came up for air.

“You still haven't answered my question,” Hermione said, a smirk forming across her lips.

“Hermione,” Ron said, “I've loved you for the longest time. I've just been too much of a git to say anything about it, it seems. I thought that you loved Harry. Both of you are my best mates... and... I didn't want to interfere.”

“I don't feel that way about Harry,” Hermione said.

“He basically said the same thing,” Ron said, “He sees you more as a sister more than anything.”

Hermione gasped softly, turning back to the fire.

“So,” Ron said, “I guess my answer... would be yes. I only hope that is your answer as well.”

Hermione chuckled. Ron raised an eyebrow at her response.

“What...?” Ron asked, “Is it – because --”

“I just wish you would have asked me that question a long time ago,” Hermione said, “Because it would have been the same exact answer it is now.”

Ron stared at her.

“The answer is yes,” she said. “Of course it is, you big git!”

She laughed and playfully hit Ron on the shoulder. She then laid her head on his shoulder.

“I could fall asleep right here,” she said.

“What's stopping you?” Ron asked.

“I haven't had a good bed to sleep in in months,” Hermione said.

“Oh,” Ron said.

“But,” Hermione said, “I guess your shoulder is better than anything.”

Ron grinned and put his arm around Hermione. There they laid, cuddled up in each others arms, and drifted off to sleep.

---------------------------------------------
Well, I wish I had a better ending to that chapter, but ah well.

One more chapter to go! It's Ron and Hermione's version of the epilogue!

Feedback would be fantastic!


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Old October 16th, 2010, 9:25 pm
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Re: Love And War - A Ron And Hermione PoV of Deathly Hallows

Epilogue
Nineteen Years Later


(Hermione's PoV)

“HUGO WEASLEY!” Hermione yelled, “Get back here with your sister's wand!”

“Aw, Mum!” a small red-headed boy complained.

Hugo Weasley, the nine year old spitting-image of his father, trudged up to his mother. His sister's nine-inch holly-and-heartstring wand was in his hand.

“Give it to me,” Hermione said, her hand outstretched.

Hugo sighed and placed the wand in her hand.

“Don't let me catch you with this again,” Hermione said. “You are too young and --”

“It is too dangerous, I know,” whined Hugo.

“For Merlin's sake,” Hermione said, with an annoyed sigh, “I will be so happy when your sister goes to school. She's older than you and yet you have to pick on her?”

“I can't help it that she's a nerd,” Hugo muttered.

“A – excuse me, young man?” Hermione asked.

“She's a know-it-all,” Hugo said, “Her nose is always stuck in those school books. It's been that way ever since she got her letter.”

Hermione tried her best to hold back her smile.

Rose Weasley, eleven and headed to Hogwarts for her first year, was the twinkle in her mother's eye. Rose idolized her mother and Hermione knew it well.

“You shouldn't call her a nerd,” she said, disapprovingly.

“Why?” Hugo asked, “Dad says she is.”

Hermione narrowed her eyes. “Does he now?” she asked, tapping her foot.

Hugo nodded, grinning. Hermione recognized that grin. Hugo did this whenever he knew he got away with something... or thought he did rather.

“Go get ready,” Hermione said to him, then muttered, “I have to find your father.”

Hugo smiled and raced up the stairs toward his bedroom.

“Mummy!” Rose called out from her bedroom, “Have you seen my wand? I can't find it!”

“I have it, Rose,” Hermione answered.

Rose appeared at the top of the staircase. Her hair, red like her father, though long and bushy like her mother's when she was her age, flew behind her as she took the stairs two by two. She grinned when she saw the wand in her mother's hand.

“What have I told you about your wand?” Hermione asked.

“Keep an eye on it at all times,” Rose quoted.

“You may never know when you'll need it,” Hermione said.

“Mum, relax,” Rose said, “This isn't the Second War anymore.”

“You're right,” Hermione said, “And for that, you should feel very lucky.”

She gave Rose her wand back.

“Do you have everything packed?” she asked.

“Almost,” Rose said.

“Well, finish up,” Hermione said, “We're just about ready to go.”

Rose nodded and turned around, then raced back up the stairs. Hermione walked toward the kitchen, through it and out to the garage. Her husband, Ron, was walking around the family car.

“Rear wheels,” Ron said, “Check and – oh, hi, honey.”

“Ron,” Hermione said, “Can I speak to you for a moment?”

“Can it wait?” Ron asked, “I'm doing the checklist for the car. I wasn't going to, but Dad said I should. You know how he is about his children.”

“Speaking of children,” Hermione said, “I'd like to talk to you about yours.”

“Oh?” Ron said, “Which one? Both?”

“Hugo,” Hermione said.

Ron grinned. Hugo was the twinkle of his eye, and it was very understandable why.

“He stole your daughter's wand,” Hermione said, “Again!”

“I'm sure it is just a bit of fun,” Ron said, still preoccupied with his car, “Give him the motherly speech, like you always do.”

Hermione narrowed her eyes.

“I already took the wand from him and gave it to Rose,” she said.

“Then what is the problem?” Ron asked.

“Did you call your own daughter a nerd?” Hermione asked.

Ron flinched. Hermione already knew the answer.

“How could you?” she asked.

“I was just trying to cheer Hugo up,” Ron said. “He's terribly jealous of his sister right now.”

“Is he now?” Hermione asked.

“Yes,” Ron said, “Or did you not notice? He keeps talking about Hogwarts. He wants to go so badly. He doesn't want to wait two years.”

“Rose's wand is not a toy, Ron,” Hermione said, “Hugo needs to know this.”

“He does,” Ron said, “Give the lad a break. Now, if you want us to get to King's Cross by noon, I need to make sure this car is going to get us there.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. Ever since Ron had taken driving lessons, he had been excited about getting a car and driving one. Arthur Weasley had bought Ron a car, because he was thrilled that one of his boys was just into cars as he was.

What Arthur did not know (and Ron also thought his wife didn't know either) was that Ron only passed his driving test because he Confunded the instructor.

------------------------------------------
Despite Ron's worries, the Weasley family was at King's Cross with plenty of time to spare. Ron backed into the parking space, apparently trying to impress his family.

When they arrived at the barrier between Platforms Nine and Ten, Rose started to look very nervous.

“Don't worry,” Hermione said, “Everyone is nervous their first trip onto Platform 9 ¾..”

“Are you sure I won't smack into the wall?” Rose asked.

“Dad did once!” Hugo said, “Remember the story?”

“Hugo, you know well enough,” Hermione said, “that the barrier was blocked because of a house-elf trying to foolishly protect your Uncle Harry.”

“That's one memory I'd like to forget,” Ron said.

Hermione turned back to Rose.

“You'll do just fine, dear,” she said, “I promise.”

Rose gulped, but nodded. She took her mother's hand.

“I'll bring the Hugo and the cart,” Ron said, “You two go ahead.”

Hermione felt Rose squeeze her hand tightly.

“On three,” she told Rose, “One... two... three!”

Rose closed her eyes. Hermione led her toward the barrier and right through it. The hustle and bustle of the Hogwarts Express engine and the witches and wizards on the platform welcomed them.

“My goodness,” Hermione said, “I had almost forgotten the excitement this place holds. It's like first year all over again.”

Rose's jaw dropped as she looked around the platform. Hermione walked out of the way, just in time, as Ron, Hugo and the cart made their way through the barrier.

“That was fun!” Hugo said, “Can we do it again?”

“No!” Rose said.

“Coward,” Hugo said.

“Flobberworm,” Rose said.

“Hmmph,” Hugo said.

Hermione shook her head. Kids.

“Okay,” she said, “Let's go find your cousins, shall we?”

They walked to the end of the train, to the last carriage but had no luck.

“Huh,” Hermione said, “I guess they aren't here yet.”

“See?” Ron said, “I told you we'd get here quickly. It's all because I drove.”

Ron lifted Rose's trunk into the train.

“Hi!” said a small voice.

Hermione turned around. The Potters, Harry, Ginny, Lily and Albus were walking up to them. There was also James, the oldest of the children, now a second year, but Hermione guessed he was probably off on his own adventure on the platform.

Albus, the middle child and a first year, like Rose, was the one that had spoken up. Every time Hermione saw him, she couldn't help but think how much he looked like his father.

"Parked all right, then?" Ron asked Harry. "I did. Hermione didn't believe I could pass a Muggle driving test, did you? She thought I'd have to Confound the examiner."

"No, I didn't," said Hermione, "I had complete faith in you."

Ron and Harry helped bring Albus' trunk into the train.

“I wish I could go,” Lily whined, “I'd definitely be a Gryffindor! What do you think, Hugo?”

"If you're not in Gryffindor, we'll disinherit you," said Ron, "but no pressure."

"Ron!" Hermione said, her hands on her hips.

Lily and Hugo laughed, but Albus and Rose looked solemn.

"He doesn't mean it," said Hermione and Ginny.

But Ron was no longer paying attention. He was looking off in the distance.

"Look who it is." he said.

Hermione turned around. Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasized the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly, and turned away again.

"So that's little Scorpius," said Ron under his breath. "Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother's brains."

"Ron, for heaven's sake," said Hermione, half stern, half amused. "Don't try to turn them against each other before they've even started school!"

"You're right, sorry," said Ron, but unable to help himself, he added, "Don't get too friendly with him, though, Rosie. Granddad Weasley would never forgive you if you married a pureblood."

Rose blushed, which Hermione couldn't help but notice.

“Hey!” a voice said.

Harry and Ginny's eldest son, James, appeared.

"Teddy's back there," he said breathlessly, pointing back over his shoulder into the billowing clouds of steam. "Just seen him! And guess what he's doing? Snogging Victoire!"

|He gazed up at the adults, evidently disappointed by the lack of reaction.

"Our Teddy! Teddy Lupin! Snogging our Victoire! Our cousin! And I asked teddy what he was doing --"

"You interrupted them?" said Ginny. "You are so like Ron --"

"-- and he said he'd come to see her off! And then he told me to go away. He's snogging her!" James added as though worried he had not made himself clear.

"Oh, it would be lovely if they got married!" whispered Lily ecstatically. "Teddy would really be part of the family then!"

"He already comes round for dinner about four times a week," said Harry "Why don't we just invite him to live with is and have done with it?"

"Yeah!" said James enthusiastically. "I don't mind sharing with Al--Teddy could have my room!"

"No," said Harry firmly, "you and Al will share a room only when I want the house demolished."

He checked the battered old watch that had once been Fabian Prewett's.

"It's nearly eleven, you'd better get on board." he said.

Rose pouted. She ran over to Hermione and hugged her.

“You'll write to me, right?” she asked her mother.

“Only if you write to us,” Hermione said, “Promise?”

“I will,” Rose said.

She then walked over to her father and hugged him.

“Hey,” he said, “If anyone asks to copy off your homework, let them.”

“Ron!” Hermione said.

“It worked for me,” Ron said, “Your mother let me copy off her homework.”

Ron looked over Rose's shoulder at Hermione. She just grinned.

“That may be,” Hermione said, “But you shouldn't do it.”

Rose turned to Hugo.

“Don't miss me too much, little brother,” Rose said.

“You can count on it,” Hugo said.

All the same, Hugo hugged his big sister. Hermione just smiled.

“Better get on the train, Rose,” Hermione said.

Rose and Albus walked up to the door of the train. Just as they did, a great number of faces seemed to be staring at Harry. Hermione shook her head. Nineteen years later, and Harry was still getting the fame he felt he did not deserve.

"Why are they all staring?" demanded Albus.

"Don't let it worry you," said Ron. "It's me, I'm extremely famous."

Albus, Rose, Hugo, and Lily laughed. The compartment door shut, and Hermione, along with the other adults, waved and did their best to follow the train as it left the platform.

“Do you think she'll be all right?” Hermione asked Ron.

“Relax, Hermione,” Ron said, “She's our daughter, she'll know what she's doing.”

“That's what I'm scared of,” Hermione said.

Ron smiled and put arm around Hermione, as they watched the Hogwarts Express disappear out of sight.

-------------------------------------
YAAY! That epilogue turned out better than I hoped!

Well, the story's complete. Hope you liked it. I did. It was fun to write.

As of now, this is the second fan-fiction I have ever completed.

I'd like to thank:

J.K. Rowling, who without, I would have never been able to write this. Deathly Hallows was awesome, and this was just a version of that. So thanks, Jo!

And to my reviewers: Thanks for the awesome feedback and sticking with me till the very end.

For now, I close...

Oh, and feedback would be grand!


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