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With his wand pointed towards the gaping hole in the ceiling Harry closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on the task at hand. He could feel Ron and Hermione watching him but right now his self-consciousness was unimportant. He had to think of something supremely good, something entirely happy. He thought of how happy he’d be if they got Ginny out of this okay; not good enough, he chided himself, it was too close to the bad imaginings. Ginny…she just had to be okay, they all had to make it out of this all right. He couldn’t lose her; she was his heart, his reason for living. Even now he longed to kiss away all the pain. Kissing Ginny, he could be perfectly happy kissing her and loving her for the rest of his life. To feel the comfort of her arms around him, to see that blazing look in her eyes she had only for him, to feel the love she had for him. He let that feeling envelop him as he cast his Patronus with the added intent to send a message to the Burrow. He kept it simple; he sent word that they were at the Potter’s in Godric’s Hollow, that they found Ginny and that they needed back-up fast. At least that’s what he hoped he sent as he opened his eyes to see his large bright stag Patronus leap out of the end of his wand and through the roof.

In a quick succession of events spanning the time of mere seconds: Ron pulled the door open, a shout of alarm sounded from downstairs, they could hear Ginny screaming in pain again and Ron and Harry rammed themselves up against the door to the master bedroom so hard it was knocked off it’s hinges and in a cascade of dust and wood splinters slammed to the floor.

Without wasting any time Harry hexed a man who was standing inside the door to the right and he fell in a crumpled heap upon the floor, Ron did the same to a man on the left. Hermione shot a particularly nasty curse at Goyle that made him break out in gross pustules then she put him in a Full Body-Bind. Ginny was on the floor when they had first entered, her body had been bent at odd angles in agony. As soon as the Cruciatus Curse was lifted she kicked out her legs tripping up her attacker. He fell in a tangled mass of black billowing robes. Harry couldn’t get a clear shot in without risk of hitting Ginny who was throwing kicks and punches at the man. Harry was about to leap in to help her when more wizards came bursting into the hall. Harry felt a hot sting hit his back and he turned around fast to face his attacker. He quickly disarmed him, disabled him and turned back to see Ginny had freed herself from her attacker and was getting up from the floor. The man was lying face down on the carpet, not moving. Harry called out and tossed the newly acquired wand to Ginny and she caught it deftly with the skills of a Seeker. The next man through the door was hit hard by Ginny’s Bat-Bogey Hex and Hermione’s Body-Bind. Someone from downstairs must have signalled for help because there were more wizards than they had seen before. The dark wizards stormed up the stairs and into the room, outnumbering Harry and his friends three to one.

Hexes and curses continued to fly across the room in an array of colours; they were all careful to avoid the telltale green. The four friends stood in a line of defense, Harry on the outside left (as they were now facing the door), Ginny was directly to Harry’s right in the middle, Ron to Ginny’s right also in the middle and Hermione had the outside of the line. Unfortunately they had to keep backing up to put distance between themselves and the advancing dark wizards and they were quickly running out of room and would soon be against the wall. One burly wizard with dark hair and bushy eyebrows, that Harry thought he recognized as one of the students from Durmstrang, charged at Ron with the intent of tackling him but Ron feinted then decked him so hard the man fell to the floor out cold. Ron shook his hand and Harry heard Ron mutter, “nearly broke my hand with his face,” and called the man a few names Mrs. Weasley would shudder to hear Ron saying.

Harry disarmed two more and looked over to see Ginny, a flurry of Stunning Spells, take down another and helping Hermione battle the Wizard after her who was eyeing the brown-haired witch like a piece of delectable meat, Harry had a hunch he was one of Greyback’s disciples. Ron sent a strong Stinging Hex at the Wizard giving Hermione and Ginny trouble and he hit the wall hard clutching his chest. Unfortunately the move left Ron open to attack and Harry blocked a Cruciatus Curse aimed at him but Harry wasn’t fast enough to block a Curse that hit Ron’s shoulder and it singed Ron’s shirt and burned his skin. The Wizard who sent the Curse was advancing fast and just as he made to leap over one of his fallen mates Harry cast Levicorpus nonverbally on him, catching him off guard, and he was flipped up into the air with a yowl of surprise, his limbs flailing helplessly. Then the man froze and Harry realized belatedly that it was because Ginny had put a Body-Bind on him.

Harry ducked under a stream of red that streaked over his head. Hermione managed to cast a Jelly-Legs Jinx at the witch that was sending the curses Harry’s way and she began to wobble around the room so bad she tripped up the wizard next to her.

“Nice one, Hermione!” Harry called out to her as he stood up straight again. Just as he did so a shot of blue flew at him and he had to quickly duck again. “Whoa!”

“Hey, ugly!” Ginny called out to the new foe. To the wizard’s discredit he actually turned to her at the crude summons and barely managed to get out a ‘huh?’ before Ginny slammed him with a Disarming Spell. “Thickhead.”

The witch freed herself of Hermione’s jinx and Harry managed to Disarm her but the wizard that had been next to her had gotten up and hit Harry in the leg with a Curse that cut him up pretty badly just above his knee. It stung like fire and he nearly lost his balance but he gritted his teeth and managed to flip the wizard up in the air by his ankle and just as before Ginny magically bound him. What had seemed a longer amount of time because of the pain Harry felt in his leg the whole intereaction with the wizard in actuality took only seconds.

Realizing their fault in attacking the four friends was underestimating them and coming at them one or two at a time the Dark wizards changed their tactics and formed a line of four. Harry could see that behind them more reinforcements had arrived. Honestly, thought Harry, when had they had the time to recruit so many? It didn’t help that some of the disarmed wizards were getting up off the floor and were clearly prepared to fight without wands. Over by the window the wizard that had been torturing Ginny grunted as he began to rise. The Dark Wizards were encroaching upon the four friends and they, in response, drew back and closer together. No one was casting anything. Harry looked over at his friends; Ron’s shoulder was swollen and bleeding, his shirt sleeve torn up, Hermione was sporting a few welts and burns herself, Ginny looked like she had been through Hell and back.

“Give it up!” the wizard who had risen said, once again Hary thought the voice was familiar. The wizard had not yet turned to face them, it was arrogance perhaps or overconfidence to keep his back to them for so long. When he finally did turn around Harry recognized him at once-- Rodolphus Lestrange. He turned to look at Ginny, “don’t think you won’t pay for that you little bi-”

“Hey!” Harry shouted in outrage.

“Oh, how touching,” Lestange mocked Harry, “you really do have feelings for the wench. And here I thought they were merely rumours, but I had hoped they were true. Of course I hadn’t planned on you finding us,” Rodolphus growled. “How did you by the way?”

Harry didn’t answer him and Lestrange looked at Harry intensely. Harry knew he was using Legellimancy on him and he tried to block him out by clearing his mind. He began to feel the prickles in his mind but Harry continued to stare at a spot of blood on Rodolphus’ hairline until the sensation went away. Lesteange shook his head slowly.

“Well, well, we are full of surprises. Someone’s taught you Occlumancy, have they, Potter? No matter really,” Lestrange paced the line between the two sides and it was clear he was the leader of the Pure-Blood Movement; it didn’t surprise Harry in the slightest. “You have changed my plans quite a bit though. Not that it matters overly much. As I said before, Potter, you might as well give it up. You and your friends are severely outnumbered.”

“Think again, Troll-breath,” George said from the doorway.

“Duck!” Bill Weasley called to them and Harry pulled Ginny down with him and he cast a Shield Charm in front of them. Spells went flying as the re-inforcements for their side attacked from behind. After the first volley Harry dropped his Shield Charm and began carefully sending stunners at the Dark Wizards being cautious not to hit one of their own. Arthur Weasley stunned and disarmed a wizard. Kingsley took down one as well. With the odds now in their favour it didn’t take long for the battle to finish.

Harry was disarming a wizard when he heard a loud crash and wood splintering.

“Noooo!” Ginny cried out as she ran to stand under the gaping hole in the roof. “He’s getting away!” Harry tried to stop him but Lestrange was already too far way. He had flown out much the same method as his former master and when he reached the edge of the cottage’s protective barrier he Disappereated away, spinning in midair.

Harry tentatively put his hand on Ginny’s shoulder and in a great rush she turned around and buried her face into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her. He could feel he shaking as if she were cold.

“Don’t worry, Miss Weasley, we will find him,” Shacklebolt said trying to give some words of comfort as he handed her back her wand he had pulled off of the Wizard he had dueled and looked up through the ceiling’s opening.

“No, you won’t,” Harry could hear Goyle saying, “ he’ll never let you catch him, you-” what Goyle was going to call them they wouldn’t know because his words were stopped short. There was a loud thump and Harry turned around with Ginny to see Goyle was again passed out upon the floor.

“Sorry, he, er, kind of stood up too fast and hit his head on my fist,” George said with a perfectly imitated air of innocence.

“Right,” Kingsley said clearly not believing him but not willing to dispute him either. “You four, St. Mungo’s, no arguments. The rest of us can deal with this lot.” Harry was going to argue against the orders despite the mention not to but Kingsley gave him a stern glare that stopped the protest in his throat.

“C’mon, Ginny, your mum will be waiting for us at the hospital,” Harry tried to coax her to walk and she did, albeit very shakily. All thought of helping to bring in the prisoners left Harry’s mind. He knew he would not, could not, nor would he want to anytime soon, leave Ginny’s side until he knew she was safe at home.

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