DISCLAIMER: No I don't own Harry Potter. I just write fanfics for fun and make absolutely no money out of it. It all belongs to the great JK Rowling
This fic was written expressly for Melindaleo. Love ya Melinda!
A cold, cruel laugh echoed across the burning street, piercing the screams of the panicked people running for cover. Dark-robed wizards wearing white masks shot deadly spells into the thickest part of the crowd, their eyes shining with malice.
The air was thick with smoke, and hot ash blew from the burning shops as the wooden interiors were burned to cinders. Loud explosions were heard from the Apothecary down the street as the more volatile ingredients exploded from overheating or mixing with each other.
Harry Potter drew his wand and crouched down into a dueling stance, ready to battle the monster approaching him from across the alley. He knew that this duel would claim his life, as he was still not ready to take on the Dark Lord. But he didn't plan to go without a fight.
Suddenly a body came between him and Voldemort, and he felt himself being pushed back out of the way.
"Mrs. Weasley... what are you doing?" Harry burst out.
"Run, Harry," she whispered in a strained voice.
"What?" Harry asked incredulously.
"Run! Don't argue with me. Just go," Molly Weasley said sternly.
"If you think I'm going to leave you here to die while I run away like a coward, you must not have a very high opinion of me," Harry replied in a hard voice, trying to get out from behind her.
"Harry, listen to me," Molly Weasley said urgently. "You are not ready yet. You fight him today and he will kill you. And you cannot die. You are the only hope of ending this war."
As she looked at Harry, she saw that her words had no effect on him. His hate-filled gaze was fixed firmly on the tall specter approaching them.
She caught his chin and jerked it up so that his eyes met hers and spoke fiercely. "Harry, for the last year, my every waking moment has been spent looking at that damn clock and praying that the time never comes when one of my children will be killed. If you die here today, not one of them will be spared."
Harry's face went limp in her hands, a wounded look flashing in his eyes. He was nothing more than a weapon to her, too.
"No," Molly Weasley said gently, reading his thoughts through his expressive green eyes. "That's not why I'm asking you to run. I know that there are chances that even you might fail in your task. But you are my son, and as your mother I can't see you die. I can't see one son die knowing the rest of my family will follow him. I'm not brave enough to face that."
Tears ran down Harry's eyes as he realized how badly he had misjudged her. "We can both run, M-m-mum. We can make it," he stammered desperately.
Molly cast a hurried glance and saw that the Dark Lord had nearly reached them. In a minute it would be too late.
"No, Harry. It won't work. If we both run, we will both die. You know this, too."
"But... I can't, Mum... I just can't," Harry said in a broken voice. "I wouldn't be able to live knowing I left you to die."
"You must, Harry," she said softly, tears leaking out of her own eyes.
"I know that by asking you to run I'm asking you to do the harder thing. I'm asking you to live for me, knowing that I will die, and I know it will not be easy for you. But you need to do this, for me. You have a very big burden to bear, my son, but I know you are equal to the task."
"No... I... please don't ask this of me," Harry sobbed. "Please..."
"I can't tell you how proud I am of you," Molly whispered. "I love you very much, Harry, please never forget that. Now go... quickly."
Harry gave one last look at Molly Weasley, the only mother he could remember, and turned around and ran away towards the Leaky Cauldron, and from there into Muggle London.
His footsteps were as heavy as his heart and only his promise to her kept him running. He would gladly have died a hundred times fighting by her side rather than to live like this.
Lord Voldemort narrowed his eyes in anger as he saw Harry Potter escaping from the battle. This was not something he had anticipated.
He had fully expected Potter to stay and fight just as he always had. Bellatrix, Lucius and a few others of his elite Inner Circle were meant to hold off any Order resistance, leaving him free to rid himself of the insolent boy once and for all.
He raised his wand and shot off a powerful blasting spell at the running figure of Harry Potter.
It never hit.
Molly Weasley jumped in front of the curse and brought up her most powerful shield. The curse impacted her like an avalanche, throwing her ten feet away to the ground and breaking her left arm in two places.
She screamed in agony, thrashing around on the ground. Her body had been bruised badly in the fall and blood escaped from several large gashes. Her face had been burned from the fire raging nearby and stung horribly.
'Get up, Molly' she told herself fiercely. 'Get up, or Harry will be captured.'
She scrambled to her feet painfully, making an inhuman effort. Her left arm was twisted at an unnatural angle, but she ignored the pain and raised her wand, standing shakily to face one of the most powerful Dark wizards in history.
"Foolish woman, do you think you can save him? Even if he escapes, he will die another day. You have only bought yourself death," the Dark Lord hissed angrily.
Inside Molly was trembling in fear, but she managed to let none of it show. She had never been able to even say the Dark Lord's name, and here she stood facing him in a duel. But she would not go down like a coward. She would uphold the Weasley name. She closed her eyes for a brief second, in remembrance of her two brothers who had died heroically, fighting to the end.
The same blood ran through her veins.
"He... He w-will d-d-defeat you," she stammered, showing her defiance in face of certain death.
Voldemort laughed mockingly. "He has only escaped me so far because he was lucky. The next time he meets me he will die, make no mistake about that."
He flicked his wrist lazily and Molly found her wand flying out of her hand into his.
"You haven't been able to kill him so far," Molly said quietly, showing almost no reaction at being disarmed.
By now it had sunk in that she was going to die, and with her hope for her life, she lost all of her fear too. She stood and proudly faced the inhuman creature before her.
"Yes," Voldemort acknowledged with a cruel smile. "Twice his worthless mother and her blood protection saved him, once he was saved by that Muggle-loving fool Dumbledore, and another time by that song bird of his. But who will save him the next time?"
"He won't need saving next time," Molly Weasley whispered. "One mother's sacrifice was enough to vanquish you for thirteen years, this time it will destroy you for good."
Voldemort looked at her coldly. "It costs nothing to dream, but I promise you that I will send that 'son' of yours and all the rest of your family to join you soon."
Molly Weasley closed her eyes. This was the end.
The flash of green light hit her and she knew no more.
The day was bitterly cold and snow was falling gently from the sky. there was no wind to speak of, no sound of birds chirping, no sound of squirrels scrambling around. It seemed that even nature was paying homage to this moment by being utterly silent.
Most people knew better than to venture out on such a cold day, when warnings of heavy snowfall were being broadcast on every radio station. The blanket of pure white snow and the desolate surroundings made it seem as if the place was frozen in time.
Suddenly the scene was disturbed by a soft 'crack', the noise echoing in the quietness.
A thin man had suddenly appeared before a gravestone, his body hunched to be able to bear the cold. He was dressed in a long, thick overcoat and knee-high dragon hide boots. Snowflakes fell on his messy black hair, and he moved a hand to brush them off distractedly.
He knelt down and ran his hands over the grave, brushing the snow off as best as he could. Then, taking a bunch of flowers from inside his coat, he slowly laid them down.
His tear-filled eyes ran over the epitaph on the gravestone:
1950 – 1998
Here lies her mortal body,
But in our hearts she lives on, immortal.
"I did it, Mum, he's gone for good," Harry whispered softly. "Ron, Ginny, the rest of them, they are all ok. I didn't let any of them get hurt."
He ran a hand over the smooth stone and his body began to shake violently with grief. "I miss you... so much...nothing seems the same without you. It feels like there is an empty space in my heart that will never be filled. I saved the world, Mum... but I lost my mother... all over again."
He wiped the tears from his eyes and got up. The wind was beginning to blow and the snow was falling even harder. A storm was building up and it was time to go.
He turned to face the grave one last time and whispered, "Sometimes it doesn't feel like it was worth it."
A/N – Thanks go to my beta Tricia (MuggleMomma) who helped me to edit out the unnecessary parts and polish it up to what it is.
Additional thanks go to my PS.net beta – Jen. She helped me add the final finishing touches to get the best out of the story.