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She stumbled after him as he tore through the passageway, running quicker than she had ever seen him run before. Her long brown hair flew behind her as she struggled to keep pace with him, a few strands of it sticking to her face, which was drenched in sweat. She had a painful stitch in her side, but she had spent months trying to convince him the Ministry of Magic was corrupt and was determined to keep up with him, now that he had finally realised where his allegiance lay.

"Percy, wait!" she gasped, doubling over. She stumbled over her feet as she did so, and tripped over on to the rock. It cut her knee, causing blood to flow.

"Audrey! Come on, hurry!" Percy called, at least 10 metres ahead of her.

"Alright! Just give me a few seconds!" Audrey hastily wiped off the blood on her knee, her breathing still heavy from running. She winced, pain shooting up her leg as she got up. It caught her off guard and she stumbled over again, falling on her ankle at an awkward angle this time. She bit her lip just in time to stifle a gasp of pain.

"Audrey, are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine!" Audrey got up gingerly, and slowly followed Percy with a slight limp as she felt like her ankle was on fire.

"No, you're not." Percy ran over, putting his arm around Audrey to support her. "Does it hurt when you walk?"

"A bit," Audrey said through gritted teeth. "But I can't run anymore."

"I'll wait for you." Percy supported Audrey as they slowly made their way towards the end of the tunnel.

"Don't, I'll just slow you down," she said after a while. "You should go and find your family; you said you hadn't seen them in months. I'll catch up with you later."

"Are you sure? I should stay with you, you're hurt."

"I'm fine," Audrey said impatiently. "It's just a cut. I can heal it easily. Go find your family; they're more important." She decided not to tell him her ankle was probably sprained- there was no point in worrying him when a simple Episkey could probably fix it.

"I'll be fine. Honestly," she insisted when Percy still looked a little doubtful.

"If you're sure..."

"And I am."

"Well...alright then, I'll see you later." Percy leant in to give Audrey a quick kiss on the cheek and dashed off.

Audrey scrambled around for her wand so she could heal her ankle, and watched as the man she had grown to love ran further and further away from her along the rocky tunnel they were in. She heard his sounding footsteps grow more and more distant, until there was nothing but silence and she could no longer make out his vividly red hair in the passageway.

He must have made it to the Room of Requirement, where Aberforth the barman had told them the tunnel would lead to back when they had first arrived at his pub. No doubt he would do what she was also intending to do: plunge straight into the battle that was now taking place at Hogwarts.

She was pretty confident they could both survive, but she thought it was best not to be too sure of it. This was a war after all. This was real life.

Happily ever afters don't always happen in real life.

Hogwarts was chaos. Green and red lights flashed everywhere in the corridors, screams filled the air as Avada Kedavra and Crucio were repeatedly cast, and smashed ink pots littered the floor, where Peeves had aimed them at the Death Eaters. Students ran around desperately dodging any duellers as they searched for missing friends and relatives who may or may not have been one of the many bodies that were being taken to the Great Hall.

Audrey weaved between students and Death Eaters, trying desperately to find Percy. They had been separated after a Death Eater- called Crab or something like that- had cornered her. A quick duel had left him silenced and stunned, while Audrey had escaped with only a few cuts on her arm. Some of these Death Eaters were honestly dumber than a sack of potatoes.

Percy couldn't be found, however. Audrey thought she had spotted him when she caught a flash of ginger hair, but the person she had spotted was much taller, had scars all over his face and had longer hair that was tied in a ponytail. She realised with a shock that this was one of Percy's brothers, Bill. She had heard Percy's descriptions of his family a number of times so she recognised him, even if they had never met.

Better than nothing, Audrey thought. He might have seen Percy.

She quickly ran up to him and asked, "You're Bill, aren't you? Have you seen Percy by any chance?" The words were out of her mouth before she could realise how weird and stalkerish she sounded.

"Percy?" Bill frowned. "You know him?"

"I- yes. I should have introduced myself." Audrey flushed, and held out a hand. "I'm Audrey Clearwater. I work at the Ministry with Percy. Oh, don't worry, I'm on Harry Potter's side," she added as she saw Bill stiffen at her mention of the Ministry of Magic.

"Well, I suppose you already know who I am," Bill said, his face relaxing into a smile. "And I saw Percy chasing after- Rookwood, I think his name was? Somewhere on fifth floor."

Audrey thanked Bill and quickly hurried off. Like he had said, she found Percy on fifth floor near the Room of Requirement. He was locked in a fierce duel with a Death Eater, who Audrey assumed was Rookwood.

"YOU- STUPEFY! FILTHY EXCUSE-PROTEGO! OF A MAN! YOU DON'T DESERVE TO LIVE!" Percy was bellowing. He quickly ducked as Rookwood sent a Killing Curse at him. Audrey quickly whipped out her wand as he was still concentration on Percy.

"Stupefy!" The Death Eater fell to the ground. "Percy, are you alright?"

"Fine," Percy said in a tone that suggested he was anything but. Audrey was shocked to see the tear stains on his cheek when he turned his head.

"No, you're not. What is it? You know you can tell me," she added when Percy remained silent.

"There- there was an explosion," Percy started, his voice shaking. "By the Room of Requirement. A-and my brother...Fred...he was there with me. We- we were both duelling Death Eaters and didn't see it coming. And then- it just happened. H-he didn't survive and-" He broke off as fresh tears poured down his face and it all came flooding back to him.

Audrey, stunned, was uncertain what she should say. She couldn't say she was sorry; she had learned that was one of the least helpful things to say. She couldn't comfort him and say everything would be alright either. His brother had just died. And 'Don't be upset' was just out of the question.

So in the end, she didn't say anything. She put her arms around Percy and let him cry on her shoulder, despite the fact that he was almost a head taller than her. She let all his tears flow until there were none left to cry. For now, at least.

"You'll get through it. The pain won't be as bad as time passes," Audrey whispered.


A/N: I have no idea if this even makes sense. Sorry for the cliffhanger... *evil laugh* This was supposed to be a one shot but I decided to split it so I do have the next chapter written. Please review, I'd love to know what you think! :)

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