The first thing I noticed was the feeling of cool hands on my face, wiping off the remainder of tears and dirt that were still caked on. As I tried to stir and alert whomever it was that they were invading my personal space, an electric shock of thought reminded me of exactly why I was lying on the ground in the first place and pain flooded my limbs. The agony intensified as I was moved. Distinctly I experienced the sensation of being carried between two people.
Everything in me began fighting for some kind of method to let them know I wasn't dead; that by some miracle, I wasn't yet dead! Yet all my inner struggles were going nowhere. I couldn't feel my hands, let alone my fingers, and the nerves in my arms and legs were only strong enough to give me the barest hint I wasn't naked.
The air changed, and did the pattern of the two carrying me, becoming that which I thought meant they were stepping over rubble. What had happened? Where was I? Did we win? Voices were all around me, faint, tones ranging from sad to determined. From what I heard they seemed to be sorting through this and that. I realized suddenly they were naming off the injured and dead, and my body tried to tense, but that was impossible for me to do so right then.
A nearby voice cut through the low hum of commotion and called out, "You there! Wait!" Footsteps grew closer, and I was dimly aware of a shadow over my face. "He deserves a place of honor among our dead."
Another shock, and I realized the voice belonged to Harry Potter. Dead? I thought. He was supposed to be the dead one, a sacrifice for our victory, and he yet lives? What can this mean?
I felt myself moving again. The fight to give a sign, any sign, that they were wrong, that I yet lived, became my sole focus and despair. Why can't they feel my heartbeat? I thought. I know I'm alive... I shouldn't be alive... And yet...
I felt ever so slightly warmer, and I gathered I was now moving into sunlight between the two people. The pain throbbing through what parts of me I could still feel lessened, and I assumed I was being let down. I wondered if I should feel worried that I could only feel the warmth on my face, and no other part of me.
"Wait, I want to see to him." I recognized the voice of Hermione Granger and cringed inwardly.
"Miss Granger you should be resting, you've done as much as any of us."
"I insist on preparing him personally. He's done far more than I have."
"I still think-"
"Please stop." Her voice sounded a bit more tense. "I know my limits. And I'm newly aware of all he's done for us. Our victory is his doing. I owe him this much."
Something inside me uncurled, and I felt a sense of peace at the same time so many questions were raised. We'd won, but if she knew about my hand in it, how much time had passed? Exactly what did she know about my memories? How much blood had I lost? And, if in the blessed names of God and Earth I was alive, would I be much longer? My thoughts seemed to be strengthening, but if she was preparing me to be buried, which from the way I could feel hands trying to move my weak limbs into more proper positions was exactly what was going on, I wasn't sure what it all meant.
Hands that I knew belonged to Granger began to brush against my face, trying to be gentle, but I could tell they were shaking. I felt myself giving to anguish, that I could have survived so much and now meet my end for no better reason than those around me can't tell I'm alive. Please, I thought, almost afraid to hope. Please, if my heart yet beats. If I can ask the fates to let someone, anyone, notice that I'm alive, if I am, if this isn't some kind of prank my mind is playing on me... My voice sounded so desperate, so unlike my own in my head, but even as I mentally pleaded without composure I felt her hands hesitate on my neck.
They paused for roughly 10 seconds before I heard the voice that I now knew belonged to one of the volunteers which had doubtlessly shown up after the battle was over. "Miss Granger? Something wrong?"
"Did you check this man for a pulse?" My mental voice caught. This seemed promising- I recognized her tone as rather icy.
"No Miss." Idiot. "We just assumed that, with all these giant bites all over him, he was dead."
"While I understand that, Braxton Willis, you are not a doctor, and should always check. Get a healer!" This last part was called loudly, and I heard, rather than felt, footsteps getting nearer.
"Hermione? What is it?"
"It's Professor Snape." Her voice sounded breathless and rushed as she spoke to Harry and McGonagall. "His heart's still beating... Not sure how much time..."
"Get this man to St. Mungos! The intensive care section!" At McGonagall's call, the general commotion picked up and much quicker footsteps pounded my way. I felt a rush of emotions flood me, as all around the soft hum of voices grew louder and more shrill, and yet I could feel myself becoming distant...
"Go with him Granger."
"Don't argue with me Granger." As I slipped back into unconsciousness, I Minerva's voice take a stern but low tone for words whispered only for Granger. "Not everyone knows what we do. We need someone to go with him, someone who can handle stress. You're the best we have. Now, go."
She Apparated us.
I couldn't feel Hermione holding my hand as everything went dark once more.