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As One

By Nikidri

Action / Adventure

Chapter 1

He was running in the pitch black darkness of the forest. He had to get to them. To warn them. He just needed to go a little farther, faster. He's getting closer! And he broke out of the Forbidden Forest, only to set his eyes on the burning remains of Hogwarts. His home. His first home. His only home. Gone. Nothing more but ash on the horizon. He collapsed to his knees, pain constricting his heart. He openly sobbed at the sight of his home having been destroyed. He felt that he needed, no deserved, a moment to stop and mourn.

But he couldn't. He needed to see if they were alright. It was the middle of the school year, there had to have been students inside, nearby, or, preferably, as far away as possible. He got back up, a new resolve to find the others, the students, the professors, and hopefully, Hermione and Ron.

If they were gone, if anything happened to them. No. He won't think like that. They're alive. They have to be alive. They had to of gotten everyone out. They must have gotten to Hogsmeade, probably from one of the hidden tunnels. There is no other explanation. They need to be there.

He started running in the direction of Hogsmeade, with more energy than ever. He had to know they were alive. They couldn't be dead. Not now, and definitely not until they've lived long and happy lives.

He stopped and hid behind a boulder, his frame still lean enough to do so, while swearing under his breath. A Death Eater. Just one. A straggler from the battle, he supposed, sent to do recon of the rest of the area, for survivors. Luck was on Harry's side, the guy seemed to be a newbie, just randomly tossed onto the field and lucky enough to survive. He put a silencing charm on himself, deciding that stealth would be best, still weak from the last attack on him and his friends. He slowly stalked up behind the Death Eater and sent an overpowered stupefy the man's way, knocking him out cold. He thought it best to hide the body, and levitated the man behind the boulder. He still couldn't find it in himself to kill. There was only one who would receive such a fate from him. Once done with the man, he started running again.

The path was beaten, even more so than usual, it was recent. With a few more yards to go, he started to see Hogsmeade. And when he got there, he was met with the most amazing and menacing sight of his life. Hermione and Ron at the end, wands out ready for the enemy.

"HARRY!"Both Ron and Hermione shouted at noticing him. They ran at him, forcing each other into one another's arms, the relief obvious to anyone who looked.

"The school…" Harry trailed off, "It's gone Harry, we tried, but we couldn't-"Hermione was cut off by Harry raising his hand.

"As long as the students and professors are fine. Hogwarts may have been home, but we can always rebuild it, or a different school need be, but until then…"

"Right. We managed to get everyone out in time. We had no other choice than to move on. We can mourn for our home later." It was strange to hear Ron being so serious, but he had a point. As long as the others were safe, they could get back to the war. Hogwarts may have been lost, but the war still rages on.

"Nagini?" Harry asked.

"As destroyed as Hogwarts. Voldemort's soul is far too fractured to make anymore Horcruxes. He's vulnerable now, we just have to get to him." Was Hermione's bad news yet good news answer.

"We need a plan. Ron?" Ron started to go into thought at Harry's unstated question. A plan. They needed to find Voldemort's lair, and he told them so. Once they find that out, then they can start working on a plan. It was going to be a daunting task, until Harry mentioned the possibly still stupefied Death Eater.

"Where?" Was Hermione's quick response, and Harry led them back out of Hogsmeade, with the hope of getting information and a plan.

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