Forbidden

The Final Battle

Disclaimer: Not mine at all.

I moved over to the table where Colin Creevey laid, his eyes still open towards the ceiling. Tears pricking my eyes, I gently closed his eyes, bending forward to kiss him on the forehead. "Thank you," I murmured as I stood up straight.

From where I stood I could see all the people who mourned over the dead.

Remus and Tonks weren't to far away from where I was with Colin. A sob stuck in my throat as I thought about the little boy with the turquoise hair that had stared up at me from the picture that probably still rested in Remus' pocket.

Across the hall I saw the Weasleys grieving over Fred. Hermione stood next to Ron, her hand on his back. He had his hand over his eyes but I could see the tears falling down his arm. And George . . . poor, poor George. There were probably no condolences for him now.

"Josie?"

I froze for a minute before turning around to find my brother. I knew it would be him. He was the only one who ever called me Josie.

Draco looked frail and scared. There was dry blood on his lower lip from where Ron had punched him. At that minute, he looked more like my younger brother than my twin.

He, surprisingly, threw his arms around my shoulders, drawing me too him.

We hardly ever hugged. The last time I think I ever hugged my brother might have been ten years ago, at the least. Lucius considered it inappropriate (how he and mother ever got together to consummate their marriage, I'll never know) and Draco didn't ever hug me in front of people because he thought it would make him look soft.

I say all this to explain how almost incredibly awkward this is. But I wrapped my arms around his waist anyway. It felt natural, possibly because he was my twin, after all.

"I thought you had died," he said, into my hair. "I mean, I knew you were still alive but I –"

"It's alright, Draco," I said, rubbing his back. "I'm fine."

He leaned back, letting go of me, albeit awkwardly. He ran his hand through his hair, giving me a small smile. "I guess Potter's been taking better care of you than I thought he could."

I smiled, about to respond, but I stopped. . . . Where was Harry?

There was a loud roar from outside the castle. It sounded like a cry of –

A cry of victory.

I looked across the Hall to find Hermione and Ron looking to me. We all rushed towards the Entrance Hall, McGonagall appearing next to us along with Neville as we hurried down the front steps of the castle. If I had been paying any attention at all, I would have noticed that half of the people left in the castle had come outside too.

"Oh no," I gasped.

Hagrid, tears streaming down his face, stumbled forward, Harry in his arms. . . .

My heart stopped.

I was sure I felt it.

Harry could not – he couldn't be . . . dead. . . .

"Behold!" Voldemort said, looking triumph, Nagini coiled about his shoulders. "Your fearless leader! Dead! I'll have you all know that your so called Chosen One died by my hand! I caught him, running away, terrified by my power! What say you now? I command you all to kneel before me! Kneel!"

"Liar!"

I couldn't stop the word as it burst from my mouth. I felt Ron's hand on my arm as I took a slight step forward.

Voldemort looked to me. "You dare speak out against –"

"You're a liar!" I screamed, tears coming from my eyes. "Harry was the bravest of all of us! He died fighting you! You're the coward!"

"How dare –?"

"We will never kneel before you!" Hermione said, angry. "You don't deserve it!"

"You're a fool," McGongall said. "To think that we would ever choose to serve you."

"Harry was a better wizard than you could ever wish to be!" Ron said. "And he always will be!"

"Enough!" Voldemort cried out. "This insolence will not be tolerated!"

"Voldemort!" We all looked around, shocked as Neville came running forward, his wand drawn. "I challenge you to a duel!"

There was a murmur through the entire crowd. A few Death Eaters stepped forward but Voldemort stopped them, holding out his arm.

"You are a fool, boy," he said. "But brave . . . I will commend you for it. As my first act, I will place you the highest position of my loyal friends. My right hand. What say you?"

"No," Neville said. "I will never serve you."

A sneer passed quickly over Voldemort's face. "You dare reject me?"

Voldemort held out his hand and I looked up as the Sorting Hat came flying into view. "We will no longer be needing this. All of Hogwarts will be a part of the Slytherin house!"

The hat landed on Neville's head and, with a snap of Voldemort's fingers, it set on fire.

"NEVILLE!" I heard Ginny scream, and I know she tried to run forward but was held back by Percy.

But her screams were in vain. I watched amazed as Neville pulled the Sword of Gryffindor from the hat, the flames extinguishing immediately. He rushed forward with a cry and sliced off the head of Nagini in one smooth cut.

A cry tore from my lips as I pulled my wand out and rushed forward, Hermione, Ron, and McGongall behind me.

The fight began again.

I quickly tied up a Death Eater and looked to Hagrid, to Harry . . . who was gone again.

I chased a Death Eater up the stairs into the Entrance Hall, thinking I had him cornered but he spun around suddenly, as if he had me right where he wanted. He shot a spell at me, but it was blocked and I watched as he crumpled to the ground.

I felt a hand grab my wrist, pulling me into the Great Hall. "Har –?"

Something hit me in my stomach and I skidded across the floor into a wall. Looking up, I saw Bellatrix coming towards me, a sickly sweet smile on her face. "Hello, dear niece."

I felt hands lift me up and I looked over my shoulder to find Hermione and Ginny, both of them glaring at the woman in front of us. We each held out our wands, ready to duel.

"This is for Dobby," Hermione said.

And so we fought, Bellatrix expertly blocking all our shots. If there was one thing I could say about my aunt, she knew how to use her wand.

She cackled evilly, the infamous green flash of light whizzing just past Ginny's head.

"NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!" the usually calm Mrs. Weasley shouted, her hair wild about her head and a practically scary look on her face. She jabbed her wand at Bellatrix, putting an end to her insanity.

There was a scream of rage.

We turned to see Voldemort heading towards us, heading towards Mrs. Weasley, but his spell was blocked.

The crowd hushed as Harry pulled the invisibility cloak from him.

They circled each other.

"You can't win boy," Voldemort insisted. "You've only ever succeeded against him by accident or because greater men and women have been shielding you and pulling the strings."

"I guess you don't know then," Harry observed. "I laid down my life for all these people at Hogwarts. Now, they have a protective charm on them like the one my mother put on me. All of your curses keep sliding off of them. I really thought you had it all figured out but I know many important things you don't know.

"You never actually had Dumbledore killed, because Dumbledore planned his own death months before. You know what else? Snape was Dumbledore's spy almost his entire career because he loved Lily Potter, my mom, a Muggleborn, since I was a child. Most importantly, you are not the master of the Elder Wand because you still haven't defeated the Wand's most recent master."

"Of course I have," Voldemort said. "I killed Severus Snape."

"The master was not Snape," Harry continued. "Snape never defeated Dumbledore but he did help him die. The person who truly defeated Dumbledore, even though he never knew it, was Draco."

I looked over to my brother, who looked just as surprised by the news as everyone else did.

"The Elder Wand recognized Draco as its master, though he never knew or took possession of the Wand, and the Wand was buried with Dumbledore. But I guess, seeing as how I disarmed Malfoy weeks before, and, if the Elder Wand is aware of this fact, I am the Wand's true master."

"You lie, boy," Voldemort hissed.

"Do you want to test that theory?" Harry said, smirking.

Voldemort sneered. "Avada Kedavra!"

"Expelliaramus!" Harry cried.

The two spells hit in the middle, but Voldemort's spell rebounded, striking him in the chest.

He fell backwards, the wand flying from his hand and into Harry's.

The room was silent for a moment before it exploded in cries of happiness and victory.

It was over.

Harry had done it.

I hugged Hermione and Ron tightly before they moved to each other and I turned away, allowing them some privacy.

"Joey!" I cried out happily as Harry's arms wrapped around my waist, practically lifting me off my feet.

"You did it," I said, softly.

"Not without help," he said, kissing me. He took my hand and was heading over to Ron and Hermione when I felt someone tap my shoulder.

I found Draco behind me once more, but this time with a smile on his face. "It's over," he said, happily.

I grinned, putting my arms around his neck. He hugged me back. "I'm sorry . . . for everything."

"I know." I leaned back to smile at him. . . .

A pain.

It was pain like I've never felt before. Worse even then the Cruciatus curse.

Draco must have seen the change in my face. "Josie. Josie what's wrong?"

I tasted blood.

Felt it trickle down my chin.

I felt myself falling.

Draco held onto my waist tighter, one of his hands going behind my neck. "Josie!" I heard him cry, but it sounded as if it were from far away.

"Potter!" Draco yelled over the shouting and celebration.

I should have told him about the hex passing through, I realized. Now, after all this, I was going to die. I found myself oddly at peace though. My family was still alive, my friends . . . Harry . . . they were all okay. And I got to see the war come to an end. It was alright.

Harry's face came in place of Draco's, concerned and worried. "Joey," he said.

His features became blurry and his voice distorted.

Darkness.


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