Brilliant flashes of green light soared past her. Her face was smeared with dirt, blood, and sweat. She ran, diving and ducking out of the way of the deadly spells being shot at her from every which angle. She spun around and her hair whipped her face. She bellowed a spell that went unheard throughout the grounds as silver light jetted from the tip of her wand and hit the cloaked man square in the chest. He flew backwards as his wand was ripped from his grasp by an invisible hand, and then thrown the opposite way. Breathing heavily she turned back around and continued running. He was so close, just a few feet ahead and she would be there, by his side. His hair was plastered to his face in sweat, and he was panting. It seemed like she would never reach him. As hard as she ran, she could only see him growing smaller and smaller. The green flash exploded out of the tip of the cloaked man’s wand, and Ronald Weasley was dead before he even hit the ground. Her breath caught in her throat and she froze. Everything around her became a blur. The only thing she really heard was the deafening sound of Ron’s body toppling to the ground. She let out a bloodcurdling scream and scrambled over to his lifeless body. She scooped up his head in her arms and rested it on her lap. Tears trickled down her cheeks and onto his pale face. She stroked his hair and shakily planted a kiss on his forehead. Her face crumpled and more tears went rushing down.

“Hermione!” she heard from somewhere behind her.

She slowly turned around to see a dark haired boy with stunning green eyes running toward her. She turned back to Ron and kissed him again.

“This is all my fault,” she whispered, trembling. “I could’ve saved you.”

She bit her lip and her vision was blurred by another rush of hot tears. She stroked his flaming, red hair and held him, rocking back and forth gently, completely forgetting about the war going on around her. She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up at him with a saddened expression. He looked down at his lifeless friend and squeezed his eyes shut, gently shaking his head. He kissed her on the top of the head and helped her up.

“Don’t give up on me. I still need you,” he said soothingly.

She looked down at Ron once more and choked down more tears. She pulled off her cloak and with an enormous effort, draped it over his body. She sobbed violently as she did so.

“Please forgive me,” she whispered.

She stood up and Harry held her tightly as she sobbed into his chest. He rested his chin on the top of her head, but kept an alarmingly close watch on everything happening around them.

“Stay strong.” he said softly, as she looked up at him. “Ron would never want you to give up on his behalf.”

She nodded shakily and let go of him, drawing her wand. She ran at the cloaked man who had killed Ron and screamed, plunging the tip of her wand into his back. He yelled and spun around but he was too late. Hermione had already withdrawn her wand and was shouting the incantation.

“AVADA KEDAVRA!” she bellowed.

A brilliant flash of green light erupted from the tip of her wand and hit the man. His body stiffened and hit the ground with a disgusting crack. Her lip was upturned in repulse and she kicked his body, remembering that she would never again see her best friend. She would never again see his lively smile, or his flaming red hair. She would never again hear his wholehearted laughter. Now he was just a memory.

She spun around to find her friend Ginny, Ron’s little sister struggling against two deatheaters. They fired spells at her nonstop and Hermione could tell she wasn’t able to hold on much longer.

“Avada Kedavra!” she shouted, her wand pointed at one of them.

He died instantly. The other seemed almost shocked that she had killed him, and froze for a moment. Ginny took this as an opportunity and disarmed him. She finished him off and turned to Hermione.

“Thanks.” she said, giving a very weak, very strained smile.

Tears filled her eyes again. She didn’t know. She had no idea that her brother had been killed yet.

“What’s wrong?” Ginny asked, frowning.

“Ron’s d-d-dead.” she spluttered, tears splashing over the leaves at her feet.

Ginny’s face crumpled and tears streamed down her face. Hermione hugged her and apologized numerous times.

“It wasn’t y-your f-fault, d-don’t apolo- apologize.” Ginny managed to say.

She swallowed hard and dried her tears.

“I’ve got to stay strong for him. We can’t let them win, Hermione.”

And without warning, there was a brilliant flash of green light and Ginny fell to the ground at her feet. Hermione’s eyes widened.

“Ginny!” she screamed, her voice cracking.

She had no idea what to do. Panicking, she spun around and ran. Faster and faster she ran. She had no idea where she was going but all that mattered was that she had to get away from it all. Bodies littered the ground and all you could hear were shouts of different curses. Flashes of green, blue, purple, red, yellow, and silver formed their own deadly rainbows in the crimson sky. The clouds were black and the air reeked of blood. She ran harder and harder, dodging curses and jumping over bodies. She saw the silhouette of a massive tree, whose branches swayed back and forth, striking at anyone who came within its’ reaches. She sprinted towards it. She swerved around the giant, hitting branches and crawled into a small opening at the base. She slid down the small passageway and collapsed in a heap at the bottom in a small chamber. Her wand slid across the floor a few feet away. Dirt flew up into her eyes and she coughed violently. After the dust cleared she looked up to find the tip of a wand pointed straight between her eyes. She swallowed loudly and stared at her opponent. His hood was drawn up over his head, and where his face should have been was just a hollow blackness.

“Granger,” he hissed.

His voice was somewhat familiar. He pulled back his hood to reveal a ghostly white face and very blonde hair. He glared at her through his icy blue eyes.

“Malfoy,” she replied softly.

A few tears trickled down her cheeks. She sobbed quietly.

“Just do it,” she said quietly. “I have nothing to live for anymore.”

He lowered his wand and looked at the ground for a moment. She stared at him. He had purple bags under his eyes, which were red and bloodshot.

“I didn’t do my task. I couldn’t.” he said quietly, more to himself than to her. He was staring at his feet.

She carefully moved toward her wand in an attempt to grab it. He saw her and kicked it away.

“I can’t let you ruin anything else. He’ll kill me. He’ll kill my mother. I can’t let you,” he said. It was almost as if he had been programmed to say it.

She flung a few chocolate colored curls out of her face and stared at him. He stood there with his foot over her wand and his frail, bony arms crossed.

“Just do it!” she screamed, lunging at him.

She pounded her tiny fists against his chest, sobbing violently until she tired herself out and slid into his arms, resting her head against him. He awkwardly patted her on the back, sliding down to the floor in a more comfortable position.

“I’m sorry,” he said. It almost sounded sincere.

She looked up at him with red cheeks and watery, brown eyes. She rubbed her nose on her sleeve and sniffled. How could he. After tormenting her and her friends for seven years, and handing Dumbledore over to Voldemort on a silver platter, how could he. How could he just sit there, completely calm, cradling her in his arms as if she were the love of his life. She shook her head slowly, biting her lip with her brows furrowed.

“Don’t,” she said sternly. “Don’t you dare try to apologize. I hate you. I hate you!” she screamed.

He held her closer to him and kissed the top of her head. She pulled away. He brushed aside one of her long, silky ringlets and cupped her cheek in his hand. She stared up at him like a pouting child. He seemed to be looking through her, like he thought she was someone else.

“I never thought that he would let me, Draco Malfoy, ever attempt one of his tasks. I was so blinded by arrogance, I couldn’t see what was right in front of me,” he said, laughing quietly and still staring blankly at her, as if he was looking at something far beyond what the eye could see. “He never meant for me to accomplish the task. He expected me to die trying. Then he would send someone else to finish the job. I was so stupid.”

Hermione looked up at him blankly. She had heard it all before. She didn’t care to hear it again.

“I had everything planned out so carefully. I could almost taste the satisfaction of seeing his face when I revealed to him that I had defeated the all-powerful Dumbledore. But I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t kill him.”

“That’s called having a conscience.” Hermione interrupted coldly. “Not that it matters since you lead him straight to his death anyway.

“I never meant for it to happen this way,” he said quietly.

“What did you think would happen?! You’d kill Dumbledore and we’d all worship you? You bloody bastard.” she snapped.

“He was going to kill me and my mother. She’s all I had left. I had to do it. I couldn’t let her down. She’s everything to me.”

Hermione was about to make another rude comment but the look on his face... She almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

“Why are you telling me this? Do you want me to feel sorry for you? To pat you on the back and say that everything’s fine?”

She shook her head in disgust. He looked down at her with a look of regret.

“I’m so sorry,” he said quietly, “I’m so sorry.”

He leaned in very close to her face, and giving her a look that almost seemed to ask for permission, kissed her. She could feel her whole body tingling. He cupped his hands around her cheeks and pulled her face even closer to his. She seemed to freeze. She saw him pull the long sliver of wood out of his cloak but she wasn’t thinking clearly. She seemed dazed by his kiss. Her position was stiff, with her arms stick straight by her side and her legs so uncomfortably tensed up it almost hurt. He lifted her up and pushed her against the wall, deepening the kiss and resting his hands comfortably on her hips. She pulled away suddenly, backing into the wall. She looked around the dark and dirty chamber, trying to avoid eye contact. But she craved his kiss. It was so passionate and so caring. It made her forget about all the horrific things happening just a few feet away from her. She looked up at him, and with a single tear sliding down her cheek, she kissed him, knowing what was to come.

“Avada Kedavra.” he said quietly, and Hermione fell, dead, before she even hit the ground.

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