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Sorry for the delay, but I had to re-write this chapter a few times. It still isn't exactly how I pictured it, but... Without Further Ado... Read and Review Nothing is My Own ******************************************************** Chapter Forty-One: The Battle of Wits and Wands Cho was screaming loudly and trying to pull her way towards Harry. Pulling like an ox against a mountain. “Please no, this isn’t happening!” Harry fought as his feet inched closer and closer towards the tattered cloth. “Don’t fear death Harry, I hear it’s quite peaceful,” Luna jeered as she joined in the insane laughter of the Death Eaters around her. “NO!” Harry yelled again. Voldemort’s yellow eyes burned into Harry, “thought you were clever, but in the end remember who won. I never lose Harry Potter, never.” Suddenly Harry felt fear taking complete control of him as his foot dangled dangerously close to the black cloth, this was it, in a second he would be dead, or as good as dead. All this time, he never realized it, but he wasn’t ready to die. His eyes misted as he fought to keep what little dignity he had left, he wasn’t going to let Voldemort see him cry for his life. “AH!” one the Dementors cried releasing Harry’s arm, followed by a similar reaction from the second one holding on to him. “What are you doing you fools!” Voldemort hissed. One graveled towards his master holding up his scalded hands, “master, we can’t touch him.” “Avada Kedavra,” Voldemort shot a green flash of light out of the end of his wand as the Death Eater fell dead. Cho eyes widened as she looked at Harry, she finally understood how Cedric had died. “Harry Potter, so think you’ve cheated me out of your death once again,” Voldemort began, “go through the veil.” “What would I do that?” Harry retorted back, staring his nemesis straight into the eye. Voldemort laughed loudly, “because, your weakness betrays you. Go through the veil or..” he slowly moved his wand towards Cho, “she dies.” Harry felt his heart sank, as he stood there unsure of what do to. “NO HARRY!” Cho cried, still struggling against the Death Eaters holding her. “How do I know you won‘t kill her off once I‘m gone?” Harry spat. Voldemort laughed and his Death Eaters joined him, “of course, you have my word as a wizard.” “Harry, please!” Cho begged. Harry made a motion towards the tattered black veil, the voiced behind it calling to him, beckoning him to join them. “YOU CAN’T!” Cho shrilled. Harry was just inches away from the veil as it’s cool breeze tickled his nose, all he had to do was let himself fall. “HARRY!” he heard someone who was not Cho scream and he looked up. Remus Lupin was leaning over the edge of the upper balcony in the large chamber. Behind him was a group of Auror from the ministry of magic. “KILL THEM!” Voldemort hissed as he pointed his wand at Cho. “NO!” Harry shrilled running towards her with all his might. “Avada Kedavra.” Cho stood like a deer in headlight as the flash of green light jetted towards her. Suddenly Harry made contact with her throwing her to the floor in barely the nick of time. Cho was shaking but nodded to Harry as the two jumped up to find some cover. The room had erupted into a full battle against the Death Eaters and the Order and Ministry Aurors. “We need our wands!” Harry said suddenly. Cho nodded, “Luna still has them.” Harry didn’t waste any time, he made a dash through the jets of spells and hexes towards the area he last saw Luna Lovegood. “Looking for something Potter?” Luna teased dangling his wand in front of her face. Harry stood with his fist clinched at his sides, he could tackle her, but she’d probably curse him before he got to her. “Give me my wand Luna.” Harry warned. “Or what? You aren’t exactly in the best position to be demanding things,” Luna snapped back. Suddenly Cho tackled Luna from the back side causing her to fall forwards with a thud, Harry wand flew from her hand landing a few feet in front of him. “Stupid whore! Cutvasious” Luna swore throwing Cho off of her, and dashed through the crowd of fighting wizards. “Brilliant,” Harry yelled at Cho as she grabbed her face. Luna has slashed her face open from the tip of her earlobe to her chin. She was bleeding, but looked immensely satisfied with herself. “Are you okay,” Harry asked concerned as he noticed the blood trickling down her face. “LOOK OUT!” Cho screamed, causing Harry to duck, narrowing missing some purple hex. “Harry, get out of here!” Professor O’Riley screamed at him as she faced off wand to wand with a Death Eater. He made a dash towards Cho, grabbing her hand and dragging her out of harms way. Suddenly one of the Death Eaters came flying, through the air, landing in front of Cho and Harry. His dark hood revealed the face of someone from Harry’s past. “Crouch!” Harry shrilled, “it can’t be.” “Quite you stupid boy!” the Death Eater hissed, “just get out of here!” Harry and Cho reached the bottom of the stair case leading to the upper level of the chamber when something he had seen play from his past catch his eye. “NO!” Harry screamed as he saw December O’Riley fall dangerously close to the veil. Her right arm had passed through the black cloth and the blew viciously in the wind. Harry ran as fast as he feet would carry him catching her by her opposite hand, as an unseen force on the opposite side, slowly started pulling her in. “Harry!” Cho screamed after him, when a jet of red light caught her in the chest and slammed her into the wall. She fell and crumpled to the floor. Harry made a dive towards his Defense Professor catching her hand. “Now, you die,” he heard a voice that had once seemed so innocent and dreamy say in a dangerous tone. “Avada Kedavra.” Harry closed his eyes and waited for the jet of green light to hit him, but it never impacted. “NO!” Luna hissed. When he opened his eyes he saw a limp body of a Death Eater laying before him. “Expelliarmus,” Harry yelled thowing a disarming spell at Luna Lovegood. She shrilled in shock and again disappeared. December O’Riley’s head was half-way into the veil as Harry braced his legs against the side wall pulling with all his might. He wasn’t going to lose her. “Let me go Harry,” she said to him, as her stern face seemed prepared to except death. “NO!” Remus Lupin yelled joining Harry in his tug-o-war against death. “They’ve got me, you can’t fight them all,” December said before her head disappeared behind the veil. “I’m not losing you!” Remus screamed as he seemed to be tugging for his own life. Harry couldn’t believe his passion. “Lupin, what in Merlin’s name do you think your doing, it’s too late!” Moody fussed from across the room. “NO!” Remus said stern fully, “she isn’t all the way through yet.” Moody flung his arms and muttered something about foolishness before helping in the tugging effort. “You can’t cheat death! Moody lectured, as he pulled as hard as he could (well considering how difficult it was to pull with a wooden leg.) It scene seemed so surreal as the battle continued before Harry’s eyes. Wizards and witching laying wide-eye and motionless on the floor around him. So many lives lost in so little a period of time. “It’s too late!” Moody growled again. Tonks was now helping them fight against the veil, but the harder they pulled the farther December O’Riley disappeared. “Let her go! It’s going to suck us in too!” Moody continued. “NO,” Remus spat as his arm barely escaped the veil. Suddenly the veil blew hard knocking the lot of them back ten feet. What remained of December O’Riley laid motionless, half engulf by the veil. The tatter piece of black cloth blew again and December O’Riley rose to her feet in tears. “December!” Remus cried embracing her into a hug. “He saved me,” she cried, tears of joy and remorse streaming down her face. “Sirius,” Harry whispered. “No time for tears, we have Death Eaters to capture!” Moody croaked before dashing back off into battle. A deep feeling a dread hit Harry as he remember Cho slamming into the wall, he started to sprint off towards her when he tripped over the figured that had come between him and the killing curse. “Rictus Orphill,” Remus screamed hitting a Death Eater behind Harry square in the stomach. “Get out of here Harry!” he spat before joining the rest of the Auror in the battle. He continued on his original path towards Cho. She hadn’t moved from the spot she had crumpled onto the floor. A puddle of blood surrounding her usually flawless face. “Cho,” Harry said sliding to his knees beside her, “girl wake up.” She let out a soft moan, he knew he couldn’t leave her here in this battle. He scooped he up in his arms and dash madly up the stairs. The battle seemed to be everywhere, even in the corridor past the statue of the screaming lady. Harry pushed dangerously past several close calls, as the bleeding Ravenclaw dangling helpless in his arms. “Expecto patronum,” he heard shouted from behind him, and when he saw an otter charging past him into the darkness he knew it was sent by Hermione. “Hermione!” Harry shouted, “it’s me.” “Harry!” she yelled, “I thought you were a Dementor!” Only about half the group he had left in the Room of Requirements approached him. “It’s Luna! I can’t believe it’s Luna. Oh my God!” Hermione muttered as she approached. “Is she alive?” Pavarti asked pointed at the bleeding Cho in Harry’s arm. “Yea, she’s just took a bad hit,” Harry sighed as he looked at his group nervously, “where is everybody else?” “Oh Harry,” Hermione started to cry, “it’s horrible, the Dementors attacked us when we were trying to get our wands back from the Death Eaters.” “Is everybody okay?” Harry asked. Ginny continued for Hermione, “ we don’t know, we’re trying to find everyone, we all scattered and ran.” A cold chill shot up Harry’s spine as he heard the familiar sounds of deep breathing approaching down the hallways, he looked at everyone who could clearly see what was approaching, “RUN!” They all took off down the corridor as fast as they could, “GRYFFINDOR COMMON ROOM! IT’S THE CLOSEST SAFE SPOT!” Harry yelled. “NO, HUFFLEPUFF IS CLOSER!” Ernie interjected making a sharp right turn, that everybody followed. “Clover Dasmels,” Ernie screamed as they ran towards an suit of armor at the end of the corridor. The suit of armor obediently opened the passageway into the Hufflepuff common room and the group of students ran in. It look similar to the Gryffindor common room, only decorated in different colors, and there were no lions on the wall, instead the proud badger stood in its place. Harry sat Cho down the couch and propped her head up with a pillow. “She’s bleeding an awful lot,” Padma said with her hands covering her mouth. “Does anybody know any healing charms?” Harry asked holding his robe to her face to suppress the bleeding. Hermione shook her head, “healing charms can go terrible wrong if you don’t know how to do them properly, remember what Professor Lockhart did to your arm when he tried to mend your broken bones? We could end up doing more harm than good.” Michael Smith knelt beside Harry, “but she could bleed to death if we don’t do something. If anyone can do a healing charm, you can Hermione.” “The Dementors, I think their coming!” Ginny said pointing at the darkness now creeping under the door. “We have to get out of here,” Harry said suddenly. “The window!” Ernie suggested rushing towards the main window in the Hufflepuff common room. “We’re too far off the ground, we can’s jump that far,” Hermione insisted. “Harry can summon his Firebolt!” Pavarti suggested. “The door!” Ginny shrilled as it slowly started to creak open. Harry raised his wand and closed his eyes, he had done it before. He had created a corporeal patronus that was powerful enough to fend off at least a hundred Dementors. “Expecto patronum,” Harry screamed as a beautiful white stag erupted from Harry wand and charged the door. The door busted open as Harry’s corporeal patronus meshed with a cloud of silver that was approaching from the opposite direction. It was enough and the three Dementors back away. Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley stood on the opposite side of the corridor, Neville with his wand extended. “I did it,” he muttered, “I created a patronum.” “Get in here!” Ernie yelled as the two boys broke into a sprint towards the common room. “This is just awful, what are we going to do?” Padma said hysterical. Hermione was helping Harry hold his blood soaked robe to Cho’s face, “we need to find Madame Pomfrey.” “We don’t have time, you can do it Hermione, I know you can,” Harry urged her, noticing Cho getting paler by the second. Hermione looked nervous as she pulled out her wand. “Clotaliuulation Stillutiaous Emendo,” Hermione muttered, tapping her wand softy to Cho’s open wound. “YOU DID IT!” Michael Corner exclaimed embracing Hermione in a congratulation hug. Ron’s face turned bright red, as he gave Michael a death look. “She’s still unconscious,” Harry stated the obvious. “Oh course she is, I probably didn’t do it properly. It could take hours before she wakes up,” Hermione said putting her wand back into her robes. Pavarti Patil let out a scream, “there coming, about seven of them!” The door to he Hufflepuff common room still laid wide-open, and plain as day the tall grim-reaper like figures were making their way back down the hallways. Harry pulled out his wand again, “Expecto patronum!” “We’ve got to get out here!” Harry instructed handing Cho over to Michael. “We need to get to Dumbledore’s office. The password it GRAWP.” The students took off in a run behind Harry as they tried to make their way to the corridor that housed the Head Master’s office. “Harry!” Ginny yelled as she noticed about twelve Dementors closing in on them. Harry held his breath, “don’t look back!” “Expelliarmus Utomamaous.” Harry felt his feet fly out from underneath him as he came crashing down face down into the stone floor. “Why if it isn’t wee baby Potter, still morning my dear cousin’s death?” a cackling voice teased as she stood above him cloaked in black, with her outstretched wand. Harry slowly lifted his head, glancing behind to see if anyone in his group hadn’t been disarmed. They all laid on the floor next to him. “Harry Potter, I grow impatient with you,” a snake like voice hissed, as two cold yellow eyes drew near. “Voldemort!” Hermione bellowed, being it was the first time she had actually seen the Dark Lord. “Cruico!” Voldemort pointed toward Hermione as she crumbled on the floor in pain. The Dark Lord laughed hysterically, and Harry took the distraction to reach for his wand. “Take it off her!” Harry warned rising to his feet. “I admire your courage, as foolish as it is. Therefore I will give you one last chance to save your friends,” Voldemort spat, not faltering his curse on Hermione. Harry narrowed his eyes, “I will not compromise with you.” “I was once like you. Then I discovered the promise of power. I could give you things you’ve never dreamed possible. I see it in your face, the thirst for revenge. Nobody will every look down on you again. Wizards will cower at the mere mention of your name.” The Death Eater on Voldemort right looked up at his master, then back down towards Harry, as if trying to decide something. “I’m not like you,” Harry said dangerously. “Avada Kedavra!” the Dark Lord said sharply, as Dennis Creevy smashed into the cold floor. Padma screamed loudly as he collapsed next her , his eyes staring blankly back up at her. “I’ll do you a favor, you can choose who’s next or,” the Dark Lord teased. Harry pointed his wand forcefully, “Why not just use the Imperio Curse on me?” “Because, your mind isn’t weak enough,” Voldemort said, pointed his wand at Padma Patil. “Should she be next, young Potter?” “No!” Harry demanded, wishing he was more powerful, wishing he could duel with Voldemort like Dumbledore had. He knew if he threw a spell, they were all dead. “If I say I will join you, will you leave them alone?” Harry spat hatefully. Voldemort laughed, “of course, but it isn’t that simple. You must sell me your soul, by taking my Dark Mark.” “Harry, you can’t!” Ron yelled. “And if I refuse?” Harry bellowed. “There are things so much worse than death Harry. You’ll hear their screams for the rest of your life. I’ll make them suffer, there are much more painful ways of killing a wizard than Avada Kedavra.” Bellatrix Lestrange grabbed Pavarti Patil off the stone floor, holding her by wand point, as an insane cackle left her lips. Harry felt tears stinging his face as he struggled internally on the decision he had to make. He wanted to tear Voldemort apart, limb by limb with his bare hands. A look of twisted fury etched on his face. “You know as well as I do, even if I took your Mark, I’d never be loyal to you,” Harry hissed raising his wand to a defensive position. “Harry,” Michael muttered shielding Cho with his own body. “Rictus Corprus!” Harry screamed from the end of his wand causing Voldemort to fly backwards. “STUPID FOOL!” the Dark Lord hissed. “You’ve just sealed your friends fates!” Voldemort raised his wand and charged towards the group when the silent Death Eater on his right seized his right arm as Voldemort threw the killing curse in the direction of Pavarti Patil. “RUN!” the cloaked figured yelled as Voldemort smashed him to the ground. “Wormtail, you idiot!” Voldemort hissed placing the Curico curse on him.Pavarti Patil staring blankly at the scorched spot on the wall just above her head. Hemione was still twitching violently, as Harry threw the counter curse on her quickly during the distraction. Several of the fallen group tried to flee and were half way down the corridor when Voldemort raised his wand again. Harry dashing in front of him, dangerously. “Our wands are brothers. If you throw as curse, I’ll return it and connect our wands again,” Harry warned. “If the prophecy says that you and I can only co-exists together, than mark my word, you will join me,” Voldemort swore before turning to Wormtail and laughing. He flicked his wand and shear wind blew Harry off his feet and sent him crashing into the castle wall, and like the wind. Voldemort was gone again.

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