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“Everything is going to change.” Hermione said standing out on the balcony late at night. “This war will change so much.”

“Only if we let it.” Harry replied standing beside her.

“You can’t pretend that everything is going to be okay after this. Lives will be destroyed and we’ll live in grief for a long time.”

“But the magical world will know that he is gone.”

“How can you speak like everything is going to be alright?”

“Why do you speak like I’m going to die?”

“Because I’m afraid of loosing you.”

“I’ll live, I promise.” He said hugging her. “Stop worrying so much. I want you to think about yourself for once. Think about your health and your personal life. You barely speak to Ron or Ginny anymore. You need to give your mind a rest for a while before something happens. Something that could have been prevented.” She had lost a few pounds in the last couple of weeks; she was unusually pale and tired all the time. “I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere.” He paused and lifted her chin so that her eyes met his. “I want you to be happy again. I want to see those beautiful teeth and that smile. I want your eyes to glow and your face to light up again. I don’t want to see you cry yourself to sleep anymore.”

“I don’t know if I can be happy again.” Hermione said shaking her head. “My parents are gone, some of the people I know will be killed or hurt, and I can’t loose you. Not again.”

“Don’t talk like that anymore. Be happy that this war will finally be over. For good.”

“At the expense of a lot of good people.” Hermione said shaking her head. “I just don’t want to see people lose their lives.”

“You can’t save them all.”

“But I could still be out there to help. I can’t help but think that I could possibly save their life. No one deserves to die.”

“But everyone does, eventually. You can’t stop death.” Harry said. “It’s destiny. You just have to live with your own. What you do, is what you are meant to do. Just like my destiny is killing Voldemort. I’ve faced that fact. Don’t let me keep you from doing what you want to do.” He said stepping back inside. “If you want to be in this war, go ahead. I can’t stop you.” She followed him inside and grabbed his arm.

“I wish none of us had to be in this war.” She looked down. “I’ll stay behind because I know someone will need my help here.”

“You’ll have your turn.” He said kissing her on the forehead. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” She kissed him passionately and then quickly removed his shirt. One thing led to another…

*

May crept up on them all too fast. Spring had arrived but not many could tell. The grounds were covered in mist and fog. No one was allowed outside the castle after dinner and if you did go out on the grounds, you always needed an Auror to assist you.

“This is bollocks.” Ron said looking outside. “Why wont he just come out and end this thing?”

“In a hurry?” Luna asked.

“No, I just want this to be done.”

“We all do.” Hermione said drinking her pumpkin juice.

“Ron, you know how much it scares me that I’ll lose you.” Luna said.

“I know.” He said kissing her on the cheek. “Don’t worry, I’ve got Harry.” He smiled towards Harry who wasn’t paying any attention but was looking outside. “Harry?” Ron asked. “What are you looking at? I can’t see anything through all that?” Harry didn’t say anything.

“Harry?” Hermione asked waving a hand in front of his face. “What do you see?” Hermione said trying to look where he was looking.

“They’re coming.” Harry said standing up and looking down to Dumbledore who was clearly looking off to the forest like Harry was.

“When you are finish with your dinner, please stay seated.” Dumbledore said standing up.

Hermione looked over at Harry again. “Harry, what’s happening?”

“Stay seated.” He said not looking at them but up towards Dumbledore who was leaving.

“Where are you going?” She asked as he got out of his seat.

“Just stay here.” He ordered and followed Dumbledore out of the Great Hall.

“Do you really think it’s starting?” Ginny asked coming over to their table and sitting down in Harry’s old seat.

“I don’t know. I mean who could possibly see through all of that?” Ron asked.

“I think that’s the reason why they’re saying it’s starting.” Hermione said. “It’s getting thicker by the minute.”

“Then how are we going to see through it?”

“It’ll disappear, I’m sure.” After a few minutes everyone became restless and started spreading rumors. “Honestly, can’t people be mature for one second.”

“What are they supposed to do? Sit around and be scared?” Ginny asked.

“No, they can start thinking about the battle and what’s going to happen. This isn’t a joke.” 10 minutes later, Dumbledore and Harry walked back into the Hall. Harry sat down without saying a word and everyone had his or her eyes on Dumbledore.

“The time has come when we must use the skills we have mastered to end this war.” Dumbledore said standing up at his podium. “We must end this tonight. Harry, if you would please…” Harry nodded and stood up. He walked up to where Dumbledore was standing and took his place at the podium.

“This is it.” Harry started to say. “This is where we decide what happens. Do we stand and fight for a world we’ve grown to love? Or do we run and hide? If we don’t stand and fight, what do you think would happen? Do we win or do we lose? Most of you aren’t ready for this war, to fight, but I know we can do it. I know we can end this, here and now. I know some of you think that you aren’t ready. That we aren’t ready for this. Trust me, I don’t even know if I can do this. If I’m capable of doing this and saving everyone. I’ve seen so many things since I’ve been here at Hogwarts and I’m ready to stand up for what I believe in. Of course, I have a fear of loosing. What if I fail? What if I don’t kill him? If I don’t do this, who will? A lot of you know what it’s like to lose someone, to have them taken away from you. I’m tired of fearing for others lives; I want to end this so I don’t have to look over my shoulder everywhere I go, wondering if he’s there. Who’s going to stand with me? Who’s going to stand up and fight against him and his army? Sure he’s got the upper hand with dementors, giants, death eaters, but we’ve got something he doesn’t. Love. Lets end this misery and destruction. I know I’ve had enough, so who will stand with me?” He shouted the last part. Everyone in the Great Hall immediately stood up and started clapping their hands. “Lets get this over with then!” He shouted over everyone.

“Will everyone please go to their common rooms to get changed into something better suited? When you get back down here, please split into your groups that we had assigned and get into your positions.” Dumbledore asked.

Everyone left the Great Hall and returned to their common rooms to get changed. After about 15 minutes everyone returned and separated. Ron, Hermione, and Harry were walking towards the front of the castle to meet the rest of their group until Hermione stopped abruptly.

“Hermione, aren’t you coming?” Ron asked stopping a few feet in front of her. Harry was the last one to stop and turned back. Hermione was looking at Harry when she shook her head.

“I’m going to stay here.” Hermione said.

“Are you sure?” Harry asked taking a step forward.

“I’m sure.” She nodded and then turned towards Ron. “Don’t get hurt out there, okay?” She asked as she engulfed him in a hug. “Look out for Harry for me and bring him home to me, please.” She had tears in her eyes as she pulled away.

“Of course.” Ron said trying to smile but he had tears in his eyes as well.

“Don’t let anything happen to him.” She kissed Ron on the cheek. “I’ll see you soon.” She gave Ron last one hug and then Ron walked up to the front of the hall and waited for Harry. Harry was now a couple of feet in front of Hermione. He pulled out a small red box wrapped in a gold ribbon and placed it in her hand.

“Don’t open this until I get back.” Harry said. “It was supposed to be your Christmas present but I thought it was better to wait after all that had happened.” Hermione nodded unable to say anything. “Promise me you wont open it until I come back.”

“I promise.” Hermione cried. She placed it in her pocket and looked back up at him. “Promise me you’ll be careful.”

“I’ll be fine.” He said reassuringly.

“Don’t do something stupid.” She smiled.

“Where would the fun be in that?” He smiled too wrapping his arms around her in a hug.

“I love you Harry.” She said crying into his shoulder. “Come back to me.”

“I’ll always come back to you. I love you always and forever.” He put his hands to her face and brought her lips into a kiss. After a moment he let go and walked away. She was about to cry out but quickly wiped away her tears and turned around to walk to the Hospital Wing. ‘Be strong Hermione.’ She told herself. She walked slowly to the Hospital Wing.

Harry and Ron joined up with Ginny, Malfoy, Luna, Neville, Dean, Pavarti, and Seamus. They all had broomsticks in case they needed it. “Are you guys ready?” Harry said.

“Yeah.” They said in unison.

“Where’s Hermione?” Ginny asked looking around.

“She wont be joining us.” Harry said. Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Lupin, Sirius, Gwen, Jesse, Tonks, and Moody joined them.

“Are you ready?” Dumbledore asked.

“Yeah.” Harry said as every one else just nodded.

“Good.” Dumbledore lifted his wand and said something under his breath as he pointed his wand. The fog and mist went away to show a surprising and frightening sight.

“Oh my.” Ginny said. Death Eaters were closest to them, the dementors were floating on the ridge of the Forbidden Forest and the Giants were nowhere to be seen yet, as well as Voldemort.

“Lupin, stay with them.” Dumbledore instructed. “The rest of you follow me.”

“Be careful out there.” Lupin said giving Tonks a quick kiss.

“I’ll be nearby.” Sirius said to Harry. “I just need to do something first. Good luck, and I’ll see you out there.” Harry nodded and the rest left.

“We leave when the bell rings.” Lupin said.

“What did you give Hermione?” Ron asked while no one paid them any attention.

“A ring.” Harry said taking off his glasses and wiping the lenses.

“A ring?” Ron asked with a smile on his face. “Are you going to ask her to marry you?”

“That was the idea.” Harry said putting his glasses back on. “I was going to ask her on Christmas, but things went a little differently then planned. I decided to wait.”

“I’m so happy for the both of you.” Ron patted him on the back. “You make each other both happy. And congratulations.”

“Thanks.” Harry smiled. “Ron, promise me, if anything happens…”

“You’ll be okay.” Ron nodded and looked away. “We’re both going to get out of this alive.” Harry smiled sadly and nodded.

The bell rang loudly over the grounds signaling the start. “This is it.” Harry said. “Let’s go.”

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