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It was finally over. The Second War against the Dark Lord Voldemort had ended after his death to the young wizard Harry Potter. In the three months since the war had ended, his life could not have been more full of love and happiness. 

Aside from the numerous funerals and memorial services held over the summer, things had gone pretty well. Ginny and Harry were back together and Ron and Hermione had finally admitted their feelings for one another. No longer would there be a tension among the sexes in this group of youthful wizards. 

As quick as the summer came it went out and the group had found themselves on a familiar carriage ride to the castle of Hogwarts. Ginny would be starting her seventh and final year while Harry, Ron and Hermione were invited back to finish as a make up for their absence in the previous year along with any other student that had not attended. Harry and Hermione were made Head Boy and Girl and Ron Prefect of Gryffindor House. Even though being a Head had its privileges like private dorms, Harry and Hermione both declined these luxuries due to the fact that they did not want to be far from their friends. 

As the carriage made its way over the hill, the majestic school had come into view. Each of them wondered how the castle would look because the last time they were there, it had been a war zone. It had looked better than before. From the exterior it looked as if the school had never seen battle. There were no longer any crushed walls or bodies strewn across the grounds. Things looked like they were definitely shaping up, yet still in the back of his mind, Harry Potter believed something was still wrong.

“Harry? Harry?” yelled Ginny in an attempt to knock him out of the daydream he was in.

“Oh sorry, Ginny. What were you saying?” replied Harry for he knew he had been caught.

“I was asking you what’s wrong. You had that nervous look on your face again. You’ve had that a lot lately.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed it too.” said Ron leaning up from his seated position with his arm around Hermione.

“Harry something’s bothering you. All of us have noticed it. You need to tell us what’s bothering you.” chimed in Hermione.

“I don’t know. It’s been like a dream this past summer. Everything has bee going so right for me. All of us for that matter. I’m with the girl I love.” said Harry as he looked into Ginny’s eyes and gave her a peck on the cheek. “My two best friends have stopped acting dancing around their feelings and confronted each other.” After hearing this, Ron and Hermione had engaged in a full on open mouth kiss. “Come on, I’m serious.” Harry laughed. “Things have been great. The ministry is stable once again with Kinsley as Minister and Professor McGonagall was officially made Headmistress. I just get the feelings that this can’t last forever. The dream can’t go on. I’m just worried that something really bad is going to happen and ruin all of this.”

“I think I know what the problem is Harry.” Hermione added. “You’ve never known this much happiness before. You have been fighting one battle after another with no time in between to fully enjoy life. This feeling of bliss is alien to you. That’s what I think the problem is.”

Harry let the words sink in. Hermione had a good point. There were no more battles to fight or enemies to vanquish. It was the first time in weeks that Harry had stopped analyzing his good fortune and realized that maybe life can be this good.

“Harry, the only thing you need to worry about this year is passing your N.E.W.T. s and Head Boy duties.” added Ron.

“I guess you guys are right. Let’s just enjoy all of this while we can.”

“Smart move mate. Let’s put all of this talk about sadness behind us, besides we’re just about here.”

All of the students could not help but feel a sense of comfort as the came up to the school that had changed their lives. No longer would they walk through its doors with worry or suspicion. They no longer had anything to fear from the outside world or to seek shelter inside its grounds. It was the one thing they had all come to treat it as. Home.

From close up the school had not changed much. There was the occasional spot on the wall that was a little off color, mostly from the cleanup proceding the Battle, but other than that it was still the same school. But one major change had occurred. On the way to the feast in the Great Hall, all of the passing students gathered around a large white obelisk jutting out of the center of main courtyard. It was cast out of marble bearing the crest of Hogwarts on the front side, and on the tip stood a mighty bronze Phoenix. The side everyone had gathered around bore an inscription that read:

“This Memorial is dedicated to all those who gave their lives in the Two Great Wars against the Dark Wizard Voldemort. They gave their lives so we could keep ours. May their spirit live on and let their sacrifices never be forgotten.”

Below the inscription was a list of the people who had died in both wars. Each side of the memorial had thousands of names with dates the people had died on. Those that died who were not human were also listed, which included creatures ranged from werewolves to house-elves.

Harry and the others looked to read the list and find people that they recognized. Harry could not help but feel a sense of sadness, because it seemed that every few or so lines were someone he knew.

“There’s Fred!” Ron pointed out toward the bottom of the statue.

“I see Mad Eye and Sirius on this side.” called out Hermione.

“Lupin and Tonks are over here.” said Ginny pointing to a place near the bottom.

“I found my-” Harry stopped and turned away.

Ginny turned toward Harry and saw a tear roll down his cheek. “What is it Harry? Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. It’s just that I found my parents names. This year is going to be eighteen years since they died.”

“I know. It’ll be okay. We don’t have to stay here. Let’s get to the Great Hall.” Ginny motioned toward Ron and Hermione. “Besides, I’m sure you must be hungry from the train ride.”

“I know I am.” chimed in Ron.

“You’re always hungry Ron.” retorted Hermione.

“Well I do have to keep up my strength if you’re going to be my girlfriend.”

“Hello, sister present, I don’t need to hear that.” said Ginny in a mock disgusted manner.

The four of them started off toward the Great Hall laughing as they went. As they entered past the thick wooden doors, each of them reflected on the first time they had entered it. The night sky on the ceiling could not have been more beautiful. The moon was full, the stars were shining bright and there was not one cloud.

One by one, all of the students made their way in and sat at their respected house tables. A group of young students had gathered up toward the staff table for the sorting ceremony. It seemed that all of the students had made it back this year because there was nothing to keep them back. Even Draco Malfoy had returned. Harry’s group noticed him by his blonde hair the minute they walked in.

“How the hell was he allowed to come back?” asked Ron in a rather angry manner.

“His father gave up all of the information he knew on the whereabouts of escaped Death Eaters. As part of a deal they cut him, he was allowed to keep his assets, his job at the ministry and the privilege for Draco to attend school here.” replied Hermione. “Bullshit if you ask me.”

Ron was taken back. Never before had he heard Hermione curse like this. He made mention of the fact by giving her a wide-eyed expression.

“What did you expect from all the time I spend with you?” laughed Hermione. “Let’s just enjoy the feast, shall we?”

Once all of the houses were seated Professor McGonagall made her way to the podium to make her welcoming speech. The usual teachers adorned the staff table. Professor Flitwick, Madam Pomfrey, Hagrid, and the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher Bill Weasley, were all at the table.

Bill had been offered the position during the summer and gladly accepted. His position would likely cease in the middle of the year because Fleur had announced in June that she was two months pregnant with her first child.

Kingsley Shacklebolt was seated next to McGonagall at the head table and waved to Harry as McGonagall started to make her speech.

“As your new Headmistress this year, I would like to welcome all of you back. It is such a pleasure to see such wonderful faces again. I would also like to welcome the Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, who has decided to oversee the new class entering Hogwarts this year. As you all have noticed, the school has been completely repaired and will function in its usual manner as in previous years. I’m sure that most of you have noticed the memorial erected in the courtyard and so I am asking for a moment of silence for those who lost their lives fighting in the war this past year.” It seemed like this moment lasted forever to Harry, for he knew just how many people had died. “Thank you all. Now, let the sorting begin!”

Just as the Headmistress was about to unfurl her list of first years a long crack of thunder broke out in the sky above the Great Hall. Soon the crack was joined by more in rapid succession and lightning and wind were added to the mix. All of the students looked up in fear as the night sky seemed to turn into hell. None of the teachers had ever seen the ceiling do this and were frightened just as well. Harry looked on knowing that he had been right before. Something was definitely wrong.

The storm in the sky seemed to get more violent by the minute. Out of the turmoil in the air appeared a wind-like vortex among the angry grey clouds. Pretty soon it was as big as the Great Hall itself. The next part of the storm no one was prepared for.

All of a sudden the storm went quiet and out of the vortex erupted a column of blue smoke, which proceeded to fall and for some reason completely surround just the four long tables seating the students. The teachers started to draw their wands in fear as to what kind of dark magic could do this when the vortex spewed out eight black columns of smoke. Each one of these dark columns quickly fell into a circular pattern surrounding the Hogwarts staff.

Slowly, one by one, each of the dark clouds took the shape of a person. All of them were clad in black and by the looks of them were not much older than 17. Each one of them had their wands drawn and was ready to strike at any moment. The trapped students could only look on in fear as they soon discovered that no spell broke the barrier. Harry, Ron and Hermione along with most of the other students tried at least a dozen times. All they could do was watch and listen.

“What is going on? What is the meaning of this intrusion?” asked McGonagall in a desperate attempt to make some sense out of the situation.

“In good time Madam.” spoke a cold shrill voice from a tall blonde wizard among the intruders. “All of your worries will soon be over. For now, you can call us Redeemers.”

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” said McGonagall as she raised her wand angrily at the leader.

“Drop the wand Madam. You are completely surrounded. Besides, the barrier currently surrounding your precious students is a Deprimo charm, which means at any time I could squash the entire student body into a human jelly by shrinking the barrier, and I’m sure you don’t want that. So please, all of you, drop the wands.” commanded the leader.

Two sounds only filled the room after that. One was the sounds of panic coming from inside the barrier and the sound of wands hitting the stone floor on the teacher’s stage.

“Now that we see eye-to-eye, maybe you can meet our demands.” spoke the leader.

“And those would be?” quipped McGonagall.

“We have come for three of your students. Our reasons are none of your concern. We only want Hermione Granger, Ronald Weasley, and of course the great Harry Potter.”

“Out of the question! We will not allow you to take them or any student from this school.”

“I’m afraid that’s not your decision. Its theirs.” replied the leader as he turned toward the enclosed students. “HARRY POTTER, RONALD WEASLEY, AND HERMIONE GRANGER! We have only come for the three of you. If you show yourselves at the front of the barrier immediately, no one will be hurt. If you don’t, then everyone’s life in this room will be forfeit. The choice is yours.”

“What are we gonna do?” Ron said to Harry in a nervous tone.

“We have to go up there or he’ll kill everyone. I’m not losing anyone else. We have to go.”

“Harry’s right Ron. It’s either we do what they want or we all die.” said Hermione.

As if it was the last thing he was to do alive, Harry pulled Ginny close to him and said “I’ll always love you.” and gave her a deep kiss. After about 10 seconds he pulled away and starting walking toward the front. Ron and Hermione, hand in hand, followed behind.

As the trio made their way forward, the blonde Redeemer looked on with a twisted grin. He himself walked down to meet them at the barrier. As they came closer to one another the barrier opened a door-sized hole to allow the trio to come out. As soon as all three of them were out, they were hit by an Incarcerous Charm and were instantly bound together in tight rope. Soon after their wands were taken and placed in the Second in Command’s side bag.

The leader turned toward the stage and said, “We have the prize, now seal the deal.” As soon as this was said, another barrier was cast around the teachers by the other Redeemers.

“Job well done Scorpius.” cheered a pale lanky looking intruder.

“We’re not done just yet, Reul. There is still one problem.”

“And that is?”

“They're still alive.” said Scorpius as he pointed toward his bound captives. “Bring me the sword. I want everyone here to remember this day, the day we killed the Golden Trio.”

From among the 7 Redeemers behind him, one emerged carrying an English longsword. There was nothing to fancy about this weapon, except for the fact that it was going to be the weapon that triumphed where even the Dark Lord had failed. The Redeemer handed it over to Scorpius who accepted it with a devilish smile on his face.

Then he turned to the three bound students and said, “Any last words Mr. Potter?”

“Yeah, I have some.” said Harry as he looked at his friends and thought for a moment. “No matter how this ends, you and your friends are all going to burn in hell.”

“Thank you for that Mr. Potter, but I think you’ll find that it’ll be you in hell before me.” said Scorpius as head place the blade on the back of Harry’s neck and then raised it with two hands behind his head. The next thing everyone anticipated was the sound of the sword cutting through the air before Harry’s neck and screams afterwards.

Scorpious was about to make the final blow when came a sudden roaring rumble from behind the doors of the Great Hall. As Scorpious turned his head toward the large wooden doors, there was another, even greater, rumble that seemed to shake the walls of the school.

“Smythe, Avery, Kurtz, check the door.” commanded Scorpious as three of the Redeemers motioned toward the door.

The three henchmen crept slowly to the door, expecting something to jump out at any minute. As they moved closer to the door, they could see through the small cracks that there was an immense light source on the other side. As they got closer, one of the Redeemers turned back toward Scorpious and said, “Sir, there seems to be some sort of bright light on the other side.”

Scorpious in a sudden realization yelled, “IT’S A TRAP! GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR!”

Before the men could follow the order, the doors to the Great Hall flew open to reveal an intense white light, which instantly pulled in the three scout Redeemers.

“They know we’re here!” said Scorpious in a nervous tone. “You three, cover the door. Cut off the first wave when it’s sent through.”

The three bound hostages could only look on in and watch their captor’s plan’s fall to pieces. “Plans not working out Scorpious?” said Harry in a mocking tone. Ron and Hermione could only laugh at their sudden change of fortune.

“Reul, gag them. I don’t want to hear another peep out of any of them.” said Scorpious to his second in command.

As all this was happening, the three other Redeemers were moving closer to the door when suddenly a tiny black ball was thrown through the light from the other side. As the henchmen looked on in curiosity the ball exploded producing pitch black darkness in the room.

When this happened an ungagged Ron turned toward Harry and said, “It’s Peruvian Blackness Powder. I’d know that sulfur smell anywhere.” There conversation was cut short when through the darkness a loud deafening scream was heard. By the sound of things, the Redeemers were losing numbers fast and a loud crack of lightning was heard ever few seconds followed by another scream. When things could not get any stranger, a low pitched growl was heard followed by a bark. For some odd reason it sounded like a dog was in the room.

Whatever was happening in the darkness, someone knew what they were doing because pretty soon the only sounds being heard were of people breathing and a dog growling. There were no spells being cast or panic stricken Redeemers running from the unknown terror. Harry, Ron and Hermione could only help but think they were next. Their fears were disproved when a calm voice whispered to them, “When you have the opportunity to run, take it. Otherwise pretend you are still bound, you’re no good to me dead.” said the Stranger as they felt their ropes being cut. Just then the darkness started to settle.

As the darkness started to fade, a figure emerged from near the white light. Scorpious and Reul, the only two Redeemers left standing, tried to find their bearings and make sure there catch was still with them. A quick glance revealed that they were in the same place, but did not reveal to him that they were less restrained. The quick glance was all the reassurance he needed to advance forward and confront the stranger. “Reul, make sure they don’t go anywhere.”

“Reveal yourself! Or else!” shouted Scorpious pointing his wand toward the figure standing in the light.

“Or else what? You’ll kill me?” said the Stranger in a full voice much more confident and heartier than the whisper he gave Harry. “No, I don’t think I’ll let you do that again,” replied the Stranger as he moved out of the light revealing his true form. Following behind him was a large black burly dog. As the stranger came closer, a look of extreme fear appeared on Scorpious’ face.

“What’s the matter Scorpious? It looks like you’ve seen a ghost.” continued the stranger as he moved forward showing more and more to all those looking on. He was clad in black and had fair skin with a head of thick shaggy black hair. By the looks of him he was 6’3” at about 180 pounds and no older than 17. The most interesting thing about him was his piercing green eyes.

“How did you-?”

“How did I survive? Let’s just say that I now know I have friends on the other side.” replied the Stranger.

“Even if that were true, there is nothing you can do to stop me. That’s what you were sent back for, right?”

“Yes, and to reclaim my wand.”

“I almost forgot I still had that.” said Scorpious as he pulled a white wand out of his jacket pocket, which he then tossed on the ground.

By this time the two young men were about twenty feet apart staring each other down like two gunfighters ready to duel.

“That reminds me of something you gave me once too.” said the Stranger as a he slowly pulled a mid-sized silver dagger out of his pocket. “Do you remember this? It’s the same dagger you used to stab me in the back.”

“Drop it.” replied Scorpious as he slowly shook his head trying to trick himself into thinking he did not do those things. “Drop it or I swear I’ll finish the job this time.”

“If you’re gonna finish me, use this” said the Stranger holding up the dagger. “Except this time don’t come from behind like a snake in the night. You look me in the eye when you do it! You see the soul leave my body and know that you, and nobody else, killed one of the few friends you had.” said the Stranger as a tear slowly rolled down his cheek. “Here, catch.” And in an instant the dagger was sailing upward in an arc toward Scorpious.

Scorpious took his eyes off the Stranger for a split second to see the dagger fly upward and when he looked toward the place where he was standing, the Stranger and the black dog were gone. The silence of their sudden disappearance was over when the dagger finally landed blade down, causing it to stick out of the stone floor.

“He’s gone! Where did he go?” shouted Reul, still perched on the spot with his wand drawn on his three bound hostages.

“He’s still here. He and the dog just apparated out.” replied Scorpious looking in every direction in hopes of spotting the mysterious Stranger.

“Are you sure? He could be anywhere!” replied Reul as he felt a hand tap him on the back of his shoulder.

“He always thinks he’s sure.” replied the familiar voice of the Stranger who suddenly apparated behind Reul.

Before Reul could turn and draw his wand, the Stranger, with lightning quickness, knocked him across the room with an upper cut to the jaw leaving him passed out on the floor. And before Scorpious knew what was happening behind him, he was tackled by the black dog who appeared as quick as the Stranger. He would have cursed the dog off of him but the tackle had dislodged his wand from his hand and landed several feet away. The only thing he could see other than the dog on top of him was the Stranger walking toward him. He only stopped for second to pick up the white wand Scorpious had dropped earlier and the dagger that was still embedded in the stone floor, which was quickly put into his pocket.

“White oak and angel feather, 13 inches long. Nothing like the feeling of your own wand in your hand.” Said the man clad in black as he stood over the bloody blonde rag doll under the dog’s fierce grip. “Down Padfoot! Let him breathe.”

At the mention of the dog’s name, Harry felt a connection to this person. Did he know Sirius? Had they meet before and someone mentioned the name? The rush of questions in his mind was interrupted by the grunts Scorpious was making as the Stranger held him off the ground by his neck. He must have been immensely strong because he was only using one hand.

“Harry? Harry?” yelled the Stranger without taking his eyes off Scorpious.

“Yeah,” replied Harry as he knew this was the moment that the Stranger had told him about when it was safe to leave the bonds.

“Take your friends and stay back. I don’t know what he’s capable of, but I can’t let anything happen to you.”

“But, we can help.” yelled Ron who was now just as free as Harry and Hermione.

“You can only help me by staying back. Just trust me.” said the Stranger looking back toward the shaken trio giving them a look of concern. Then he turned his gaze back onto the squirming Scorpious. “Before I send you and Reul back like the rest of your boys, I need to know who cast the spell.”

“If I tell you he’ll kill me.” replied Scorpious as he tried shaking loose.

“If you don’t tell me, then I’ll kill you.” said the Stranger with an anger serious voice. He waited a few seconds to see if he would finally crack. “No answers, then I guess you don’t need the ability to talk.” As he said this, his grip on the blonde boy grew tighter until finally he provided the answer.

“IT WAS GREYBACK!!” shouted a choking Scorpious. As he finished the Stranger loosened his grip.

“Now that we have that settled, where is the item you stole from the Ministry?”

In fear of being tortured further he simply replied, “Around my neck.” Once this was said the Stranger felt inside of the boy’s shirt and pulled out a silver object on a chain. Even from across the room, Harry and Hermione recognized it instantly as a Time-Turner.

“The only thing left to do is send you back.” said the Stranger with a look of satisfaction on his face.

“If you do that, then I’m dead either way. The Ministry will give me the Kiss or Greyback will find me first.”

‘Then I guess, the next time we meet will be in Hell.” replied the Stranger. And as he said this he tossed the blonde boy by the throat across the Great Hall and into the light. As he hit the light he instantly disappeared. The Stranger was in a daze of euphoria and victory when a shout brought him back to reality.

“BEHIND YOU!” exclaimed a terrified Harry.

As the stranger turned around, he could see the bruised and bloody-mouthed Reul Stromberg pointing his wand at him. “Give me the Time-Turner, or I’ll kill them” said Reul as he pointed his wand toward the trio near the back of the Great Hall.

The Stranger reached his arms toward the sky in fear of what Reul would do to them if he didn’t comply. His right hand tightly dangled the silver Time-Turner in the air. He was quickly joined by a growling Padfoot, which placed himself right at the Stranger’s side. “Come on, Reul. This isn’t you. You’re no killer.”

“Just shut up and give the Time-Turner. I’ll just take it and go” said the half frightened half desperate wizard.

“You know I can’t let you do that. You had a major hand in this. I simply can’t let you go” replied the Stranger with a calm complexion. “The only way out for you is through me. You’re just gonna have to kill me.”

“Are you willing to die just for them? Or anyone here for that matter?” said Reul as he pointed toward Harry, Ron, and Hermione with his free hand.

And without a moment’s hesitation he replied, “Yes, if it comes to that.” It seemed that after hearing this everyone in the room, with the exception of Reul, was moved by the Stranger’s display of selflessness. “If you want this thing so bad,” exclaimed the Stranger as he lowered the Time-Turner, “you’ll have to take it from me.”

“You’re not gonna do a thing as a long as I have my wand dead on Potter and his friends” replied Reul in a voice of pure anger and malice. At this statement, Padfoot bellowed a loud angry bark. “So just call off the dog and shut up!” After this, the Stranger motioned toward his dog, which then silenced itself, but still kept an uneasy growl.

Reul slowly moved closer and closer to the Stranger, his wand never leaving his three targets across the room. “Drop it in my hand and you friends will live” said Reul as he extended his arm outward taking the wand out of the Stranger’s hand and casting it aside.

“The only thing you’re accomplishing with this is further pissing me off.” said the Stranger as he slowly lowered the arm holding the Time-Turner. And with a final turn of his hand the small silver object fell into his enemy’s grasp.

“Don’t you have any famous last words before I kill you?” said Reul as he slowly backed up.

“Yeah, I have a few. Sick’em Padfoot!” and with lightning speed, the black burly dog was off and running. Just as the Expulso Charm was cast, the dog sank his teeth into the leg of the pale young wizard, diverting it to a nearby table in front of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, causing it to explode violently. They appeared to be unharmed, but knocked unconscious.

The dog was cast into a wall moments later after Reul turned his wand on it using the Killing Curse.

“NOOOO!!!” exclaimed the angry Stranger as he witnessed his companion’s death. With this bellow of anger and sadness, Reul turned his head towards the enemy and realized this was his moment to strike. His enemy was defenseless and in open range.

The Stranger, having realized this too, started a series of back flips moving him further and further away from his enemy. As he did this, spells were whizzing by missing him by only a few inches. The last back flip put on the spot where his wand was cast aside. As his hands hit the ground, the familiar feeling of his wand was in his grasp and he gripped it tightly. When the flip was complete the Stranger ducked and shot his wand forward producing a jet of green from its tip, which hit Reul squarely in the chest. The boy lowered to his knees and knew that he was done. The life in his body was quickly extinguished as he fell back onto the cold stone floor.

The Stranger having realized his task was only half over walked toward the young wizard’s body. When he was beside it he pulled the silver Time-Turner from his cold lifeless hands. In a quick motion the Stranger threw it into the air and muttered a charm as it sailed downward. When the bright hex hit it, it produced thousands of white sparks that flew into the air like fireworks. After combing the body, the Stranger found the bag containing Harry, Hermione, and Ron's wand and removed it . The next part of his job was to get rid of the last piece of evidence, the lifeless body of Reul Stromberg.

With almost the same ease as he threw Scorpious, the body was cast forcefully into the white light beyond the doors of the Great Hall. As it disappeared in to the light, the Stranger produced a golden object from around his own neck.

McGonagall, having never taken her eyes off the epic duel for a second, recognized the object as another Time-Turner much like her own. She had little time to observe it because it was cast almost as quickly as Reul into the light. Unlike the first things to enter the light, the second Time-Turner caused the it to shrink and enclose when it went through. Within two seconds the light was gone and the Great Hall returned to its normal brightness and the skies above the Great Hall returned to the tranquil night. The barriers surrounding the students and teacher disappeared as the light went out and all were caught up in cries of mixed joy that the battle was over and terror from what they had gone through.

The teachers rushed toward the students to check if they were okay and were relieved when no one answered, until a shout came from the back of the Great Hall.

“SOMEBODY, PLEASE HELP! SHE’S HURT!” yelled Ron and Harry as they slowly awoke from their unconsciousness. The teachers and the Stranger started to make their way toward the panic in a sprinting fashion each regardless of their differences. Both groups came upon the sight together.

From the looks of things, the table that had exploded from Reul’s Expulso charm caused a blast of wood fragments onto the trio. Ron and Harry had only minor cuts and bruises while the same could not be said for Hermione. Her chest was covered in blood due a large wooden shank lodged in her stomach. The teachers moved and pulled away the boys from the girl’s dying body. When the Stranger moved closer several members of the staff pushed him back in fear and misunderstanding of what he was and what they had seen him do.

“YOU stay back!!” shouted Kingsley, pointing his wand at the Stranger in an attempt to maintain order.

Hermione finally spoke as Madam Pomfrey knelt by her side, trying all of the medical spells and charms she knew. “Please don’t let me go!” cried Hermione as blood gurgled from her mouth and tears rolled down her cheeks. “I don’t want to die!”

“Somebody please do something!” shouted a crying Ron as Harry tried holding him back.

“I can’t do anything more. She has lost too much blood” said Madam Pomfrey trying one last time to stop the bleeding and heal the girl, yet with no progress.

“I CAN HELP HER!!” shouted the Stranger attempting to talk some order into the staff. “If you don’t let me help, she's going to die” exclaimed the Stranger in a calmer voice now that the Professors were looking at him.

“Let him through!” called Professor McGonagall kneeling beside the dying girl. The staff looked on in disbelief.

“You don’t know what he’ll do. He could kill the girl for all we know. We can’t trust him.” retorted Kingsley.

“He risked his life to save us all. That’s more than enough reason for me to trust him.” replied McGonagall in an effort to speed up the process of saving Hermione.

“I hope you know what you’re doing. Let the boy through” motioned Kingsley towards the rest of the staff. The students by now had gathered around with the teachers and parted to make an opening for the Stranger. He walked down the path with everyone’s eyes on him. Their eyes held the feelings of fear and curiosity as to what he would do next. When he made it to the inner circle, Ron stood in his way and said, “I just want you to know, if she dies then so do you.”

“Don’t worry, she won’t” replied the Stranger motioning Ron to step aside. “Alright, I need everyone to move back.” saying this loud enough for all to here as he kneeled next to Hermione. “I need space to do this.” Following his orders, the entire crowd moved back ten feet.

“Hermione, I need you to stay with me. This won’t work if you give up. I need you to fight.” said the Stranger in a soft voice to calm the girl down.

“Please help. Make the pain stop.” cried Hermione struggling to stay conscious.

The Stranger put his hands on the spike jutting out of her chest, causing her to wince in pain. “This may hurt at first.” Without a moment’s notice he quickly pulled the bloody steak out of her chest and tossed it aside. The sound of wood hitting the ground was blocked out due to Hermione’s screech of pain. “Stay with me!” he shouted as Hermione closed her eyes.

The Stranger then put his hands together, which looked to everyone else like a praying position. When his hands met, he started to quickly mutter a charm that no one recognized, not even McGonagall. The other thing the crowd noticed was that his hands started to glow red as he continued his charm. He started to speak faster and louder, which caused his hands to glow even brighter up until a point that no one could look at him due to the extreme light. Then in one motion he separated his hands and thrust them onto the bloody wound. When his hands met her flesh, the room was flooded by an intense scream, but it was not from Hermione. It was coming from the Stranger.

After about fifteen seconds of touching the girl, he fell backward onto the floor. No one could believe what they had seen. There was no longer a bloody pool in the middle of Hermione’s chest, but instead a clean patch of flesh. As soon as the crowd noticed, the once dying girl sat up in a dazed motion. Ron and Harry were on their knees next to her in seconds. “What happened?” she asked as the two boys hugged her for all she was worth.

“He saved you!” exclaimed Ron as he kissed her lovingly on the lips.

“Who?”

“Him” said Ron as he pointed toward the man lying on the ground. “Something’s wrong!” All three of the students and several staff members crowded around the boy on the floor.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” Harry asked in an attempt to see what was wrong.

“Is she okay?” spoke the Stranger in a weak voice.

“She’s right here.” Harry motioned for Hermione to come forward. “You saved her.”

“Good. Keep her safe.” said the Stranger pointing toward Ron and Harry. “I need to rest now.” With those final words the Stranger passed into a deep sleep right in the middle of the Great Hall.

The only thing the staff could think to do was put him in the hospital wing and wait for him to wake up. They could only hope and pray for him to wake up so he could answer the question of the hour; what the hell were the caught in the middle of?

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