Wow. I am so sorry for the long unexpected break in posting, but I’m back now! I had a great deal of trouble with this and the next chapter, but they are done now. I expect the next chapter to be up before the end of the month, and I will finish this story!
Once again thanks to my beta, Arnel, and for all those who have reviewed.
Adam February 25th 1998
Adam dashed away from the Headmaster’s office in a desperate run. He had to get away from Ginny. If he didn’t, his resolve wouldn’t hold and he… he wouldn’t be able to do it.
Adam continued to run, trying to keep his thoughts away from what was going to happen. He had to take things one step at a time. First step: get outside without anyone stopping him.
But, when Adam reached for his Cloak, it wasn’t there. Where is it? Adam panicked. Oh Merlin, what did I do with it?
Ginny… Adam realised suddenly. I gave it to Ginny.
Coming to this realisation, Adam froze, debating for a second whether he should go back and get the Cloak.
I can’t… he realised. I don’t know hold long my spell will last. If I go back to Ginny, I don’t know if I’ll be able to leave her again.
So, Adam continued down the stairs, trying to avoid being seen, but when he came in earshot of the Entrance Hall, he heard noise. There was a loud crowd of people gathered there and Adam realised he’d never be able to sneak past all of them.
Pausing on the second floor, Adam pondered his options for a second before dashing down the smaller staircase that he and Ginny had used what felt like days ago.
He dashed past the rock fall that had so nearly killed the two of them, down onto the ground floor and, eventually, he came to a small door that led out onto the grounds. Since he had last been here, the door had been repaired and barricaded.
Adam grabbed his wand and began levitating away the two large boulders that had been used to seal the doorway. Once they had been removed, Adam paused, staring at the small wooden doorway. All of a sudden, he found himself overcome with fear. Stepping outside the door would mean leaving Hogwarts for the last time. It seemed like an insignificant step; so why was he so afraid?
Adam unlocked the door with his wand, reached out towards the door handle and hesitated once again.
“Come on…” he muttered. “You have to do this,” he sighed. “You can do this.”
But he knew he was lying to himself. He couldn’t do this. How could he just walk to his death? How could he leave Ginny behind?
She’ll be okay. Adam tried to reassure himself. Once the Horcrux in me is gone, Voldemort can be defeated and Ginny can… she can go on… she can be happy.
That thought didn’t help either. Adam didn’t want Ginny to be happy with someone else. He wanted her to be happy with him! It just wasn’t fair!
Adam leant against a nearby wall, desperately trying to get himself under control. Come on! Come on! Just do it, Adam! ARGHH! he cried out in frustration and anger.
The sound of his voice seemed to echo up and down the narrow corridor and Adam was sure, just for a second, that someone was coming. Could Ginny be coming to save him? Maybe he didn’t have to die after all.
“Lumos!” Adam shouted, his spell lighting up the corridor.
No one was there and, as Adam looked down the ruined corridor, he realised grimly that this was where had Fred died, but Adam could see no sign of what had happened here. Fred had died here, but Adam could easily have walked past and never known.
Would people remember him when he died?
Stop it! Adam scolded himself. He had to do this. In frustration, he shoved his hands in his pockets and looked around, searching for the exact spot where Fred had died.
He sighed. In all likeliness, I’ll be seeing Fred soon anyway.
As he stood there, he felt something in his pocket and, withdrawing his hand, he saw the ring that had killed Dumbledore. Adam stared at it, absently turning the ring over in his hands and running his fingers over the stone set within it.
“Harry…” A soft voice drifted from behind him.
Adam spun around, quickly drawing his wand. Standing behind him was the figure of a woman. Pointing his wand at her, Adam took a step closer and squinted; trying to identify the woman. Meanwhile, she had also stepped forward and held out her arms. She looked familiar, very familiar.
“Harry…” she said softly.
Suddenly, with a blaze of understanding, Adam recognised her. He felt his arm falter, and his wand drop.
“Mum..?” he asked, feeling a sense of awe. Then, she stepped closer to him and Adam tensed, ready for it to be a trap.
His mother seemed to flinch at his defensiveness, but then her expression softened and she smiled widely, her eyes fixed upon him. “Oh… Harry. How I have longed to see you!”
Adam, too, stared, his eyes scanning every inch of her. She was obviously not alive, but yet she didn’t seem like a ghost. It was almost as if she existed somewhere between the two.
Then there was another sound and Adam spun around to see his dad standing just behind him.
“Dad…” Adam gasped in amazement, now finally lowering his wand. “What… how?”
“You…” Dad spoke. “You called us.”
“I…” Adam stammered. “How?”
“I don’t know,” Dad replied. “But I’m glad you did. It’s good to see you, son.”
Adam was completely and utterly speechless. His knees felt week and it was all he could to do not to sink to the floor.
“I…” Adam tried to speak, as he stared alternately at his mum and dad.
“Harry,” his mum spoke once more, gesturing behind him.
As Adam turned to look, he choked out a sob. Standing on either side of the doorway were Remus and Sirius.
“Sirius… Remus,” Adam choked out.
“It’s good to see you again, Adam,” Sirius said, flashing him a grin.
“Hello, Adam,” Remus added softly.
Adam swallowed deeply. “I… Remus… Sirius,” he began. “I never wanted you to die. Merlin, Remus, you never got to see your son.”
“Adam,” Remus replied and, much to Adam’s shock, he was smiling. “I have seen him, and although I’m sad I won’t be a part of his life, my hope is that he will grow up in a world free of Voldemort and that is worth any sacrifice.”
“Harry.” His mother spoke again and Adam suddenly realised that Remus and Sirius had called him Adam, whereas his parents called him Harry. But was that actually important? “You’ve been so brave. We’ve been watching over you as best we can, and we…” her voice cracked a little.
“We’re very proud of you, son,” Dad continued. “Despite everything that’s happened to you… how you’ve been treated…” he paused, unable to hide the tone of fury from his voice, “…you’ve grown into a fine man.”
“T-T-Thanks,” Adam stammered. He wasn’t going to break down now. “I… I just wish that I didn’t have to…” he trailed off, “…I don’t want to leave her.”
“I know, son,” Dad replied, stepping forward, and Adam thought, with a strange sense of anticipation, that he was going to put his hand on his shoulder but, of course, his dad wasn’t alive, so he couldn’t comfort him.
“Harry,” Mum began softly, moving so she was standing at his side. “We’ll stay with you.”
Adam looked at his parents, standing on either side of him, and then at Remus and Sirius, who were standing next to the doorway. He strode forward, grabbed the handle of the door and paused. Looking to his right, Adam made eye contact with his dad, who nodded at him encouragingly. So, giving his dad a firm nod in response, he pulled open the door and strode outside.
Walking with a renewed strength, having his parents and two friends at his side, Adam strode across the grounds of Hogwarts.
As he crossed the grass, Adam looked back at school. He could see that the majority of the lights in the school were now out, with the exception of those around the Great Hall and the main doors.
Then, in the stillness of the night, the sounds of voices suddenly echoed across the grounds and Adam tensed. Walking up the path towards the school, bold as brass, was a large crowd of cloaked figures. They were laughing and cheering, confident in their victory and, at their head, walked a figure that Adam knew only too well: Voldemort.
“This is it,” Adam said, closing his eyes and clenching his fists. “This is it…”
“You’re nearly there,” his mum said. “We are so proud of you.”
Adam took another few steps forwards before stopping once more. “What—” he questioned, turning to his companions, “What’s it like?”
“It’s quicker and easier than falling asleep,” Sirius responded. “You can do this, Adam.”
Adam closed his eyes again, took a deep breath, sighed, and then set off across the grounds towards the Death Eaters.
“Someone approaches, my lord!” One of the Death Eaters called as Adam drew near, and instantly the group of Death Eaters were silent.
“Kill them,” Adam could hear Voldemort order.
“Voldemort,” Adam called loudly. “It’s me! Harry Potter. I’ve come as you’ve asked…”
“Stop!” Voldemort cried. “Potter is mine!”
A bright light shone into Adam’s face, blinding him.
“Potter,” Voldemort’s voice echoed clearly across the grounds and Adam wondered briefly if it was being magically amplified. “Come closer. I want to see you. My Death Eaters will allow you to approach.”
Adam started walking once again, slowly approaching the point on the path where Voldemort and his Death Eaters were standing but, as he drew near, the light shone on him once again.
“Potter!” Voldemort announced. “Do you think Lord Voldemort is foolish enough to allow you to approach him with a wand? Perhaps you plan to make an attempt on my life?” he paused. “Hold out your wand, Potter.”
Adam sighed and held out his wand, which immediately flew out of his grip, sailing through the air towards Voldemort as if it had been Summoned.
“Now, Potter,” Voldemort continued, “you may approach me.”
Adam walked purposefully the final hundred or so paces towards his death. His parents and friends still standing at his side; Sirius and his father to his left, Remus and Mum to his right. I’m not going to come crawling! Adam silently vowed, doing his best to stand up straight and meet Voldemort’s gaze.
As Adam drew close enough to the Death Eaters that he could recognise them, they began to jeer and shout.
“Look at him now!” Bellatrix Lestrange, who was standing at Voldemort’s side, shrieked. “Look at the great Harry Potter!”
Then, Adam stopped walking and just stood there, letting the taunts wash over him. He just wanted it to be over.
“Silence.” Voldemort spoke softly, and the Death Eaters obeyed him instantly.
Adam stood there, looking Voldemort in the eye, and for a fleeting second Adam wondered if he could make a deal with Voldemort so that he’d leave Ginny alone, but Adam knew that Voldemort would never keep such a deal and he’d no longer be in a position to make sure of it. Oh… Ginny!
Just do it… please. I know I have to die, but please just end it.
“Harry Potter,” Voldemort said very softly. “The Boy Who Lived.”
Then, he raised his wand and sent a bolt of green light at Adam.
Green was all Adam could see, but soon enough, green turned to black and Adam saw nothing more.
Ginny February 25th 1998
Ginny had long since given up on screaming. She knew that Adam wasn’t coming back. Instead, she continued squirming against the ropes, desperately trying to break free, but having little success. They were only conjured ropes! How strong could they be?
As Ginny continued to struggle, she repeatedly glanced at the clock that rested on the mantelpiece. Five minutes! Ginny realised. Adam had been gone for five minutes. He wouldn’t even be out of the castle yet, but time was running out.
I’m going to save you, Adam! Ginny silently promised herself. Even if this time it’s from yourself!
Spurred on, Ginny continued to thrash around; fighting against the ropes and trying to reach her wand, which was stuck uselessly in her pocket. A minute ticked by and Ginny felt her despair growing; she tried to conjure an image of Adam’s face in her mind to comfort her, but no such happy memory came. Instead, Ginny found herself unable to wrench her mind away from the horrendous probability that Adam would be killed.
No! Ginny squeezed her eyes closed as she began to feel the trickle of tears down her face. There had to be another way! There just had to be! How can I live without him? she despaired, her body sagging. Our entire lives were centred on each other!
I can’t live without him! Ginny realised and, with an almighty effort, she tensed her entire body, pushing with everything she had against the ropes. Damn you, Adam! she raged, as she fought against the bonds that had ensnared her body. I won’t let you die!
Then, suddenly, just when she thought that the ropes had beaten her, Ginny felt her arm move as the ropes began to fray and break.
Emitting a cry of triumph and relief, Ginny began furiously pulling the ropes off her body. As she worked, Ginny felt herself filling with anger. How dare Adam leave her alone up here while he went off to die to save the world! They did everything together, how could he leave her now?
He wanted to make sure you were safe. A little voice that sounded somewhat like Adam spoke from the back of her head.
I don’t want to be safe, though! I just want to be with Adam!
It took Ginny valuable minutes to free her arms and legs and, by the time she was mobile again, Ginny saw that nine minutes had now passed.
Glancing at the clock one final time, Ginny pounded out of the Headmaster’s office and down the stairs. As she ran, she felt her anger grow. In fact, she didn’t think she had ever been so angry in her entire life. How dare he leave me here! Ginny ranted to herself as she ran. We could have figured it out! Together we could do anything… at least… at least then I could have been with him at the end. Damn him!
As she passed the gargoyle, her anger turned to Dumbledore. Her mind conjured an image of Dumbledore sitting behind his desk, putting all the clues together: Parseltongue and the visions. Then he would decide not to tell Adam that his destiny was not to defeat Voldemort as he had previously thought, but to die. How could Dumbledore live with himself when he didn’t even have the courage to tell Adam that death would be his ultimate fate?
Then she stopped, rooted to the spot in the middle of a deserted corridor, a new tendril of excitement forming within her.
She’d been able to understand Parseltongue, but in the tunnel on the way to the Shrieking Shack she hadn’t been able to understand Voldemort when he’d spoken.
I wrote it off because I was distracted… but what… what if it means something! I’ve always been able to understand Parseltongue… When was the last time I heard it before today? Ginny searched her memories desperately.
With a surge of inspiration, Ginny remembered. Godric’s Hollow! She could understand Parseltongue then, so why not now?
The Dementor, she realised with horror, her mind involuntarily replaying those few terrible minutes.
She felt pain unlike anything she had encountered before. It felt as if someone had placed a pair of hooks inside her body and was slowly dragging her insides towards her mouth.
She felt herself fading as the two hooks, one now slightly in front of the other, neared her head and, as the first one seemed to leave her body, she realised that this was it. She was going to die.
Her eyes flew open and she saw a ball of green light floating into the Dementor’s mouth causing the Dementor to emit a harrowing scream.
Sagging against a wall, Ginny tried to banish the horrible memories from her mind, but the memories had told her something. The Dementor had pulled two things from her: one was her soul, which had eventually made its way back to her body; the other had been…
But it wasn’t the same. She, unlike Adam, had never had visions of Voldemort. Adam had pains in his scar. She didn’t have any scars from her encounter with Voldemort… the Diary.
She didn’t have any scars, but she did have phantom pains in her hand occasionally. They were often barely noticeable, but could it be connected? Had she, like Adam, had a bit of Voldemort inside her?
She just didn’t know.
With a start Ginny realised that it didn’t matter if her case wasn’t exactly the same as Adam’s, it didn’t matter if she wasn’t sure. If Ginny had had something from the Diary inside her, and the Dementor had removed it, perhaps the same could happen to Adam and he could live!
She had to save him! And with single-minded purpose Ginny ran. She pelted down through the levels of the school. She leapt down stairs three or four at a time. She pushed past Order members and students. They weren’t important now.
All that was important was Adam. Oh… Adam! Why didn’t you trust me enough to let me come with you! Damn you! Damn you!
Within minutes Ginny reached the Entrance Hall and, to her surprise, she found it crowded with people.
“Ginny!” she heard a voice shout.
Ignoring the voice, Ginny desperately scanned the crowd for Adam; there was no sign of him. Realising that he must already be outside… on his way to Voldemort, she dashed across the room, her eyes fixed on the large doors of the school.
I won’t let you die! Ginny promised. I won’t let you sacrifice yourself, not when there’s another way.
But, before she could reach the doors, someone grabbed her.
“What!?” Ginny spat, spinning around and coming face to face Ron and Hermione. “Oh… Ron, have you seen him? Have you seen Harry? Did he come though here? Where is he?”
“Ginny,” Ron replied. “Calm down. Who?”
“Adam… Harry!” Ginny cried. “He came this way. I need to find him! I need to stop him!”
Ron and Hermione seemed to look at each other for a second before Ron replied. “Ginny,” Ron paused, “we haven’t seen him. What’s going on? You-Know-Who’s on his way! We’ve barricaded the door to try and hold him for as long as we can.”
It was only then that Ginny paused to look around the room. She saw the terrified faces of the people in the room, including her brother, but her attention was soon drawn once again to the large doors. She knew that Adam had gone out of those doors to meet Voldemort. The stupid boy!
“I have to go after him!” Ginny exclaimed and, pushing her brother away, she sprung into action, quickly crossing the room. “I need to get out!” she cried, as she began searching for a way to open the doors. “Is anyone going to help me?”
“Ginny, no!” a voice cried, and Ginny found herself once more pulled forcibly away from her mission. “We can’t open the door. He’s on his way!”
“Tonks!” Ginny pleaded desperately, recognising her friend. “Adam’s out there. I’ve got to get to him. Please!”
“Tonks…” Ginny pleaded, “I…” she froze, not quite knowing what do say. “I need to…”
Tonks seemed to hesitate. “Ginny…”
“Nymphadora Tonks!” A voice boomed from across the hall. “Do not open that door!”
Ginny narrowed her eyes and glared as Alastor Moody hobbled across the Hall. “Weasley, I don’t care what you have to do out there. I am not putting all these people at risk by removing the protections on that door!”
Ginny felt her shoulders sag, and she fought desperately with herself so that she didn’t cry. She stared at Tonks pleadingly.
“Ginny,” Tonks replied after a moment, taking her hand. “Come with me!”
Ginny allowed Tonks to pull her along as she led her up the stairs towards the first floor.
“I can’t tolerate that man!” Tonks ranted. “Do you know he tried to send me home?”
“What!” Ginny exclaimed.
“I know,” Tonks said with a dismissive snort. “I know I have a baby, thank you very much! But I’m also a better fighter that half of them down there!”
“He’s a git,” Ginny commented as the two of them charged down a corridor into a windowed room that overlooked the school’s entrance.
“Right,” Tonks announced once they were in a position so that they could look out of a small narrow window onto the grounds below. “You can climb down from here.”
Ginny looked out of the window, it did seem an awful long way down, but she could do this. She would do this, for Adam.
“Right,” Ginny said, nodding firmly. “Let’s go.”
Tonks conjured a long coil of rope and threw it out the window. Then, gripping the rope, Ginny climbed onto the small window ledge.
“Tonks,” Ginny began as she steadied herself on the rope. “Thanks.”
Tonks grinned back at her. “Be safe, Ginny. I’ll see you soon.”
Ginny gripped onto the rope, trapping it firmly between her feet, and soon felt herself being lowered towards the ground.
It seemed to take an eternity but, once her feet touched the ground, Ginny disentangled herself from the rope and sprinted down the path that led away from the school. She had no time for stealth. All that mattered was getting to Adam.
I’m coming Adam! Just hold on… Please hold on.
Before she’d run more than a hundred metres, Ginny froze, hearing the sound of raucous laughter and cheering coming from just in front of her. Knowing that she’d be no use to Adam if she got herself captured or killed, Ginny slowed her pace and approached stealthily, crouching low and creeping along the side of the path.
The Death Eaters were gathered just out of sight of the school and, as Ginny approached, she quickly realised their attention was completely focused on another person who was standing between them and the school. It was Adam! Or at least, she thought it was… he was currently facing away from her, she could barely make him out in the dark.
I’m too late! Ginny realised with horror. Adam had already given himself up to Voldemort’s followers.
Overcome with a sudden desire to get closer to him, Ginny dropped to the ground and crawled along the side of the path until she was more or less in line with Adam. As she approached, she had to stifle a gasp of horror and grief. Voldemort himself was there, standing immediately opposite Adam, with Nagini still resting in her sphere by his side.
Then, before Ginny could do anything to save Adam, Voldemort raised his wand and sent a bolt of green light at Adam. Ginny leapt up, acting purely on instinct, but she was too slow, and all she could do was watch as the green bolt of light sailed through the air towards Adam.
The curse struck him before she’d even taken her first step. His limbs jerked for a split-second and Ginny felt as if her entire body and soul had gone numb. She heard a harrowing wail fill the air, which she assumed was from herself. Then, just like Adam’s life, her energy seemed to be sucked away.
She fell to the ground, and Adam fell with her. His body tumbled to the ground, his head striking the path and bouncing slightly, before his body finally settled in a heap on the ground. Ginny too hit the ground, landing on something that felt softer than it should. She lay there, tears streaming down her face, as she stared at the body of the love of her life lying in ruin on the path. Ginny thought that she could see, even through the darkness, that he had landed with his eyes open, almost as if he was looking for her, even in death.
She heard a second cry join with hers, this one a cry of anger, blind fury mixed with pain, but it didn’t seem to matter. Nothing seemed to matter anymore.
Eventually, sounds other than the two cries of grief and anger seemed to intrude into her awareness. Suddenly aware again of what was going on around her, Ginny’s self-preservation instinct kicked in and she put her hand over her mouth, vainly trying to stifle the sobs that were escaping her.
“My Lord!” The voices of alarmed Death Eaters began shouting. “What has happened?”
“My Lord?” Another voice asked. “We heard someone else. What are your orders?”
Ginny finally tore her eyes away from Adam’s body and she saw that Voldemort too had fallen to the ground. As she lay there watching, Ginny suddenly felt a new purpose settle over her, making her feel strangely calm. I have to finish what Adam had started! I can’t let him down now!
She tried to climb back to her feet, but tripped and fell again. As she tried once more to stand, she felt what had caused her to trip. It was Adam’s Cloak! She’d taken it from him in the Shrieking Shack, what felt like a lifetime ago, and it had been in the pocket of the Death Eater’s robes that she had been wearing ever since.
The cloak was what I felt when I fell! Ginny realised suddenly. I can use it to escape!
As quietly as possible, Ginny took hold of the Cloak and pulled it over herself. She’d barely got herself covered when Voldemort suddenly spoke.
“Find whoever made that noise and bring them to me!” he roared.
The Death Eaters seemed to freeze for a second before they scattered to search for her, leaving only a few people standing near Voldemort.
Ginny lay on the ground for several minutes, hoping against hope that the Death Eaters wouldn’t step on her. She desperately tried to keep completely still and silent, but then she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. On the ground next to her was a photograph, which had presumably fallen out of her pocket.
Oh… Ginny gasped, tears springing to her eyes once more. It was the photo of Teddy. Adam’s godson. She’d forgotten she had it and forgotten to show it to him! It had completely slipped her mind that she had the photo in her pocket and now Adam would never get to see what his godson looked like.
As Ginny once more struggled for self-control, the Death Eaters continued to search. She watched angrily as a figure approached Adam’s body. She tensed, ready to leap into action if they had the nerve to do anything to Adam, but the figure simply knelt down by his side, paused for what felt like hours, before rising and returning to Voldemort.
Eventually, the Death Eaters grouped up less than ten metres from her and, after conversing briefly, they returned to Voldemort.
“My Lord,” one of the Death Eaters announced as the group approached the Dark Lord, “we found no one.”
Voldemort was silent for a second, almost as if he was considering what to do next.
“Let us advance!” he cried loudly. “My loyal Death Eaters, let us show them that their saviour has fallen. Let us parade his body before them!”
With that, Voldemort raised his wand, and suddenly Adam’s body rose up in the air and began to float. The Death Eaters began walking back towards the school with long, arrogant strides, as if their victory was now assured. Poor Adam floated along in front of them, his arms dragging on the ground as they hung limply at his sides.
As she watched his body moving away from her, Ginny felt a new wave of grief sweep over her. She buried her face in the cold ground in desperation, hoping that her cries wouldn’t give her away.
By the time she was able to get herself back under control, Ginny looked up to see that Voldemort and the Death Eaters had now all but disappeared into the darkness.
Where had they taken Adam? What was Voldemort going to do to him? You stupid girl! Why didn’t you follow them?
Suddenly finding herself overcome with desperation to see Adam again, Ginny leapt to her feet, moving as quickly as possible along the path towards the school. Soon, lights came into view and she began to see the outlines of dark figures spread out around the path.
She froze, her breath catching in her throat. There seemed to be far more Death Eaters than there had been earlier and now they were lined up facing the repaired doors of Hogwarts, an army drawn up for battle.
“Look at Harry Potter now,” Voldemort was speaking in a magically amplified voice. “Here lies your saviour. He is dead and broken.”
Ginny crept forward, trying desperately to find Adam’s body.
“And now, defenders of Hogwarts, watch as your saviour becomes little more than food for my pet,” Voldemort continued speaking and then suddenly hissed something in what Ginny assumed to be Parseltongue.
With a sudden horrible realisation, Ginny ran towards Voldemort, worries about her discovery now forgotten. He was going to make Nagini eat Adam’s body! She had to stop him! She continued running, horrendous images of Nagini wrapping her jaws around Adam’s legs flashing through her mind. She pushed past Death Eaters, all concerns for her own safety long gone as she desperately fought to get to Adam.
By the time she finally emerged from the mass of Death Eaters, Voldemort had already released Nagini from her spherical shield and the snake was slithering towards Adam.
“NO!!” she shouted, holding the Cloak tightly around her body, clasping her wand in her hand and screaming. “EXPULSO!”
Everything seemed very still and for a second nobody moved. The Death Eaters seemed completely and utterly shocked that, for a split second, someone had appeared in their midst and sent a curse at their master’s pet.
Ginny’s curse flew through the air and hit Nagini. The snake exploded, sending chunks of flesh flying. Then Voldemort screamed a cry of absolute fury.
“KILL THEM!” he roared. “KILL THEM ALL!”
Then curses started flying once more, but this time they were directed at Ginny. She kept running, still hidden under the Cloak, but with the sheer number of curses that were being sent her way, Ginny knew that it was only a matter of time before she was hit. So instead, she threw herself to the ground, hoping that the Cloak and the darkness would save her.
As she hit the grass, it dawned on her. She had just destroyed the final Horcrux. Voldemort could be killed! Now if only she could get to him. Here was her chance to finish Adam’s job and avenge him in the process!
So, barely seconds after she had flung herself to the ground, Ginny clambered back to her feet and began moving back towards Voldemort. As she began to move, however, she suddenly realised that the spells were no longer being fired at her, many were now directed at Hogwarts itself and Ginny saw, to her relief, that the defenders were responding.
Spells whipped through the air in all directions and the Death Eaters scattered as the defenders fired spells at them from every window.
“BREAK THE DOOR!” Voldemort roared. “TAKE THE SCHOOL! KILL THEM!”
The battle had degenerated into chaos, the Death Eaters were firing spells, some seemingly still searching for her, but the majority now focused on Hogwarts; green spells arcing towards the windows, some striking to stonework, some flying into the school.
Ginny took advantage of the chaos; she slipped between the Death Eaters, occasionally drawing spell fire as her invisible form pushed past them.
Where is he? Ginny thought as she wove through the Death Eaters.
Ginny continued searching, but she couldn’t find him. Voldemort seemed to have vanished into the mob of Death Eaters that were advancing towards the doors of the school. She stopped, and for a second the battle seemed to carry on around her. As she took in her surroundings, Ginny realised she was now only a few feet from Adam, his body now seemingly forgotten. I’ll never forget you, Adam!
Ginny approached slowly, noticing suddenly that Adam seemed to have been moved in the confusion. He was now lying on his side, as if curled up in fear.
Had someone pushed him? Kicked him? Did they have no respect? He was dead now, why could they not just leave him alone?
Oh… Adam. She felt grief wash over her once again, and she fell to her knees by his side. She’d not been able to get near to him since… since it happened.
Reaching out, Ginny touched Adam’s back and quickly withdrew her hand. Should she touch him? Should she stay with him? I have to find Voldemort, Ginny thought. But I still owe it to Adam to make sure his body is safe first… I can stay with him for just a little while.
So, reaching out, Ginny gently rolled Adam onto his back again, crawled closer and, remembering the times in the past that she and Adam had cuddled, she slowly laid her head on his chest and sobbed.
Ron February 25th 1998
The atmosphere in the Entrance Hall grew tense as the minutes ticked by. Trying to kill some time, Ron glanced down at his watch. It had only just gone two in the morning. There were hours and hours left until it began to get light. Ron guessed that it would be all over by then; either You-Know-Who would have won, or they would have.
Ron knew they couldn’t hold out much longer.
Last time he had spoken to Harry, Ron had been certain that the other boy had a plan. However, Ginny’s frantic appearance a few minutes ago had sown seeds of doubt in his mind. She had been frantically trying to stop him from doing something. The only question was, what?
Ron sighed. He didn’t know the plan. Harry… Adam and Ginny hadn’t seen fit to include him in it. Adam had disappeared and now Ginny had run off with Tonks, trying to find him.
The minutes passed slowly, and it felt to Ron as if every minute was being stretched by some weird sort of Time-Turner, but then he heard sounds.
It was the faint sound of cheering.
Around the room others stood up from their positions, rousing those around them that had fallen asleep.
“They may sound confident,” Moody roared suddenly. “But they won’t beat us! When they come through that door, we’ll give them everything we have! Do not hold back! Show them no mercy!”
The cheering continued and Ron even thought he heard a scream, but then, suddenly, everything went silent.
The sudden silence caused Ron to shudder involuntarily and, as goose-pimples erupted across his skin, Ron reached out and suddenly felt Hermione’s hand slip into his own.
“What… what do you think’s going to happen?” she asked in a hushed tone.
“I don’t know,” Ron replied. “But I think he’s coming.”
An eerie silence had settled upon the room and, while he waited, Ron looked around the Entrance Hall, searching for familiar faces. He saw his mother, still teary-eyed but gripping her wand determinedly. He saw his father and Bill standing near Moody, seemingly discussing strategy. Hermione was at his side, and he knew that Neville was upstairs, keeping watch above the main door. George was in the Great Hall with Percy, and Charlie… he didn’t know where Charlie was. I hope he’s all right.
Still, nothing had happened, and Ron began to feel more and more tense. Fighting was horrible, but waiting was even worse, but what choice did he have? His entire family was here, including Adam. Adam and Ginny were actually out there, somewhere, facing who knew what.
The first sign that something was happening was a shout from upstairs. “They’re coming!” The voice trembled. “There’s— there’s so many of them!”
“Right!” Moody roared. “This is it! They will try and—”
But before he could finish, a cry from upstairs silenced him.
“What was that?” Moody shouted. “What‘s going on out there?”
There was no reply.
“Talk to me!” Moody continued, striding over towards the staircase.
Eventually, the figure of Neville appeared on the landing above and descended the first few stairs, looking pale and shaken.
“It’s Harry…” Neville said, his voice trembling. “He’s… he’s dead.”
There were gasps and cries of dismay from around the room and, for the second time that day, Ron felt like he’d punched in the gut as he realised another member of his family had been killed.
“Longbottom,” Moody cried, his voice betraying no emotion, “are you sure?”
But before Neville could even answer, Voldemort’s magically amplified voice filled the room. “Look at Harry Potter now. Here lies your saviour. He is dead and broken.”
Voldemort continued speaking, but no-one seemed to be listening to him. Everyone seemed frozen in shock and, from around the room, there were reactions of distress, despair and grief. Ron even thought, for a second, that he could hear his mother’s cries.
It all just seemed unbelievable. Harry Potter was the hero, he couldn’t just die. But to Ron, it wasn’t Harry the hero who had died, it was Adam… his friend. Oh… Adam… Oh, Ginny… this would destroy her.
At the sound of tears, Ron realised that he had neglected the person at his side.
“Hermione?” Ron asked.
Hermione’s eyes were tear-stained but her expression was hard.
“It’s not true,” she stated, her voice shaking. “He can’t be dead, he just can’t. It’s all a trick. It must be his plan.”
Ron felt a surge of hope fill him. Could she be right?
“Did —” Ron whispered, “Did he tell you that he was going to do this?”
“No,” Hermione replied shakily. “But he must have a plan. He can’t just die…” Her voice trailed off.
At Hermione’s words, Ron felt his hope die down once more, Hermione didn’t know anything more than he did. But, he vowed to himself, I’ve doubted Adam in the past. I won’t give up on him until I see it with my own eyes.
“It’s okay…” Ron said softly, giving her hand a squeeze and feeling that he should say something, but for the life of him not knowing what to say.
Hermione was about to reply when Voldemort’s voice echoed throughout the castle once more. This time though, it wasn’t calm and collected but filled with fury.
“KILL THEM!” he roared. “KILL THEM ALL!”
The sounds of spell-fire from outside began to penetrate the castle. To Ron, it sounded little more than pebbles impacting on the mighty stones walls, but he knew that in all likeliness the spells were blasting chunks out of the walls and slowly eating away at the only thing that kept the Death Eaters out of the school.
As the sound of spell-fire began to intensify, Ron began hearing shouts of alarm and panic from the floor above them.
“You!” Moody suddenly roared, pointing in turn at Ron, Hermione and several Order members. “Take cover in the doorway, we won’t hold them here!”
Knowing better than to argue with Moody, Ron and Hermione set off at a run but, before they could even reach the door to the Great-Hall, You-Know-Who’s voice sounded, once more filled with rage.
“BREAK THE DOOR!” he roared. “TAKE THE SCHOOL! KILL THEM!”
“This is it!” Moody roared in response, taking up a position just to the side of the main door. “Take cover! Everyone get ready! Here they come!”
Ron, grabbing Hermione’s hand, dashed into the Great Hall, ready to take cover on either side of the doorway. As they ran, there was a mighty roar and a wave of something immensely powerful flung the two of them off their feet, slamming them onto the floor.
Fortunately, Ron didn’t lose consciousness and was able to pull himself back to his feet.
“Hermione!” he exclaimed, quickly kneeling at her side. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah…” Hermione responded dazedly. “I…” she paused, staring at something behind him.
Much to Ron’s surprise, Hermione quickly leapt to her feet and peered back into the Entrance-Hall. As Ron turned to follow her, he froze, sucking in a deep breath.
The doors to the school had been blown apart in an explosion big enough to blast away large chunks of the stone around them. Rubble now filled the Entrance Hall and Ron could see only a handful of other survivors struggling to their feet. There was no trace of many of the defenders that had been downstairs just moments ago.
“Where… where are they all?” Ron whispered in despair. There had been nearly thirty people in there… his gaze involuntarily flicked towards the staircase, which was now empty. What had happened to Neville…?
However, Ron had no time to worry about any of them. As he looked across the Entrance Hall, Death Eaters were beginning to storm their way through the rubble into the school, firing curses in all directions.
“We have to cover the others!” Ron called vainly, his voice barely audible over the noise of spell-fire. “We need to get everyone back into the Great Hall!”
Fortunately, the few surviving defenders seemed to have the same idea, and one by one they struggled through the doorway, while the spells flung from within the Great Hall kept the Death Eaters temporarily at bay. When Neville finally appeared and had staggered past Ron into the Hall, he heaved a sigh of relief, but soon the number of Death Eaters piling into the school increased and the defenders were becoming overwhelmed.
Then, a curse hit the doorway just beside where Ron and Hermione were standing and, acting on pure instinct, Ron leapt backwards, pulling Hermione with him. Both of them looked at each other before Hermione finally verbalised what he’d been thinking.
“What do we do now? We can’t hold them back.”
Ron looked with despair at the ever-increasing group of Death Eaters moving through the rubble and then back at the small crowd of defenders who were now gathering at the doorway to the Great Hall.
“We… we have to fight back…” he began hesitatingly, “we have to barricade this door, we have to last as long as we can and take out as many of them as we can.”