There are a few references to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 36, which have been marked with an asterisk.
Draco could hear yelling behind him, but he ran. He wanted to get to Ginny, to make sure she was okay, he wanted to find his parents, to get them out of this mess. He dove into the battle, trying to find them. A flash of light whizzed over his head. He ducked and was knocked over by a Death Eater. The Death Eater loomed over him, his wand drawn. Draco scrambled to his feet. The Death Eater’s wand was pointed at Draco’s face.
“I’m Draco Malfoy!” he screamed incredulously, stumbling away from the man.
The man wouldn’t listen. Draco could swear he heard the man laugh under his breath. The man raised his wand--
A flash of red light was shot from seemingly nowhere. The Death Eater fell over, Stunned, and Draco turned around, eyes wide, searching for the source. Suddenly someone punched him in the mouth. He was knocked off his feet, blood filling his mouth. He wasted a few precious moments sitting there, completely surprised, before spitting out blood and continuing his search.
The Great Hall was a mess -- students, Death Eaters, teachers, massive spiders, and giants were all fighting. Draco’s eyes scanned over the battle, searching for either the tell-tale red hair of Ginny, or white-blond that matched his own hair. He saw teachers battling Death Eaters using their own personal strengths -- Professor Sprout had brought out the more deadly plants from the greenhouses. In the corner of his eye he saw a blur of gray. Draco smashed himself against the wall to get out of the way of Greyback, who was blasted back before he could sink his teeth into someone Draco couldn’t see.
More giant spiders fought their way into the castle. Draco had to pause for a moment, awestruck and horrified that Hogwarts -- his home -- was falling apart. His stomach convulsed as he saw blood and bodies and spells being thrown every which way. These were his classmates, people he’d known since he was a child, people he’d grown up with. He shook himself -- now was not the time to process this -- he needed to think -- the panic was suffocating.
It was likely his parents weren’t even in the castle at all. As Draco hid in the shadows he craned his neck to see exactly which Death Eaters he could find. It seemed none of the Inner Circle were there, likely waiting close by -- the Forest? -- for the Dark Lord’s instructions. Thinking quickly, he decided to instead search for Ginny only. He growled in frustration -- she shouldn’t even be there, she was underage! What was Potter thinking letting her stay here--
Without thinking, Draco threw himself into the battle, searching for the familiar faces of Death Eaters, hitting them with his bare fists before they could lift their wand. As his vision went red, he finally let it take him over, losing himself -- he fought for his childhood, stolen away from him, he fought for his parents, for his friends, for Ginny-- A burst of light exploded from him, sending a massive spider flying. Draco paused in surprise at his own wandless magic before using it to his advantage, cutting down any creature or masked figure in his path.
Suddenly the familiar voice of the Dark Lord echoed once more through the castle. Goosebumps and a cold sweat broke across Draco’s skin as he heard him command his forces to retreat, giving Potter one hour to turn himself over to the Death Eaters. The Dark Lord threatened to mow down anyone and everyone who stood in his way -- as if this was news to anyone. The maniac had already proved himself capable and willing to do that.
The voice faded into silence. A rush of creatures and men departed at once, leaving the castle feeling ghostly empty. The rage that filled Draco settled. He kept to the edges of the room, watching silently as the remaining inhabitants of the castle lifted and carried bodies -- both alive and not -- into the Great Hall. The entrance hall emptied quickly, leaving behind piles of rubble, broken statues, and streaks and pools of dark blood.
Something behind his eyes burned and Draco shrunk behind a heap of crushed marble as he tried not to cry like a child. Several minutes passed as he gulped deep breaths in an attempt to calm himself. He’d seen horrors before, growing up as the child of a Death Eater. Becoming one himself. But this -- this was too much. Steeling himself, he stood and stepped carefully toward the Great Hall, avoiding the blood stains. He peeked into the Hall and the sick feeling returned.
Bodies were lined in a row down the middle of the Great Hall. Students and family members, the survivors, huddled together for comfort. On the raised platform where the teachers usually sat, the tables were cleared so Madam Pomfrey could attend to the injured. The Weasley family were gathered around the fallen twin. Draco could see Ginny sitting curled up on the floor next to Granger, her long red hair covering her face. Almost as if she could sense him, Ginny looked up suddenly, looking toward the doorway where Draco cowered. Even from where he stood, Draco could see the tear tracks shining on Ginny’s freckled face.
He’d never seen her cry before. The sight was so beautiful and so terrible that the air left his lungs as if the wind had been knocked out of him. Ginny, perfect, strong Ginny, had finally been brought to tears. Her eyes met Draco’s gaze -- she opened her mouth as if she were about to say something, but Draco drew back quickly. He wouldn’t interrupt her grieiving with her family. It was enough -- more than enough -- to know that she was alive. That she was safe, for the moment.
Relief settled into his chest and Draco crept back over to the pile of rubble where he’d hidden before. Footsteps followed him, ones he recognised, and he turned to look at her.
“Ginny,” he began, not knowing what to say.
She took a step towards him, then another, then fell into him. Draco caught her, holding her tightly against him as her body shook with quiet sobs.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Draco whispered softly, rubbing her back. As much as he wanted to just stay like that with her, he knew he couldn’t. He waited as long as he could, listening to her breathing even out, before pulling away.
“Gin, you’ve got to go back to your family.”
Ginny nodded. “I know,” she said quietly. “I just -- I needed --”
She looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes. “What’s going to happen?”
Draco couldn’t answer. He didn’t know what was going to happen. Odds were that Potter, ever the hero, was already on his way to the Forbidden Forest. Ginny’s thoughts seemed to be too preoccupied with her brother to realise this, and Draco didn’t want to remind her of it.
“Just be careful, Ginny. Please,” he begged. She held him tightly once more, giving Draco a chance to press a soft kiss to her temple, before stepping away from him. It felt so final, Draco thought, as he watched Ginny duck out from their hiding spot. The unknown of it all made his heart sink. As soon as Ginny was out of sight, Draco settled down behind the rubble.
He felt trapped. He didn’t belong out there with the other Death Eaters. Yet he didn’t belong in the castle, with his classmates and their families grieving their dead. If anyone saw him in the castle still he was sure they would turn him over to the Death Eaters, or worse…
Draco hid there for a while, not counting the minutes. Every so often someone would walk through the entrance hall, but he remained undiscovered. He couldn’t move; he didn’t even have a want to defend himself, and he wasn’t sure his previous outburst of magic would return to him. As it was, he was physically spent.
Once again the Dark Lord’s voice rang out, sending another shower of dust raining down. As before, the voice was magically enhanced so every being nearby could hear it, but it also sounded closer, somehow.
The blood drained from Draco’s face as he listened: Harry Potter was dead. The rest of the words were interrupted by outraged cries coming from the Great Hall. Draco watched as the majority of the remaining people pressed out of the castle, led by Professor McGonagall. He quietly went with them, keeping his head down, until he saw what waited for them outside.
The Dark Lord stood triumphantly on the lawn. His awful snake sat upon his shoulders, its tongue flicking in and out of its mouth, tasting the death in the air. Death Eaters flanked him, and Hagrid stood near, holding the body of--
So it was true. Potter was dead. Draco heard a wrenching cry from Professor McGonagall and was surprised she could make such a noise. Then other voices filled the air. He recognised Ginny’s broken scream -- “Harry! HARRY!”* -- and winced as he felt the raw pain in her outcry. The screaming went on, until a cold, high scream and a burst of light forced them all into silence.
The Dark Lord’s voice resonated over them -- Draco tried to shut out the sound of him describing how Potter had tried to flee, as if they could ever think Potter so weak. A voice rang out -- Weasley’s? -- and another silencing spell froze them.
Draco watched in horror as a boy broke free of the curse, launching himself toward the Dark Lord. Longbottom was easily disarmed; he grunted as he hit the ground. He was easily recognisable -- Aunt Bellatrix immediately cackled with delight at the round-faced boy trying to fight back.
As Draco’s eyes fell on his aunt, they immediately focussed on the figures nearest to her. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy stood with the Death Eaters, but one look at their faces told Draco everything -- their allegiance had changed. Their gazes found Draco’s and he could see the restraint it took for his mother to not run to him. Her hands were empty -- she had no wand. His father’s expression was full of relief as he watched his son, communicating silently his regrets.
A burst of flames brought their attention back to what was happening: Longbottom was burning. Draco jumped as people sprang into action, rushing at the Death Eaters. Centaurs finally joined the battle, shooting their arrows and stamping their hooves. The Giants heavy feet made the ground shake -- the weaker towers of the castle trembled. Draco could see more people rushing toward the school from the Hogsmeade path. A flash of silver caught his eye and he turned in time to see Longbottom, somehow free from whatever curse had been placed on him, swinging a giant sword -- the sword, Draco realised -- and momentarily time seemed to freeze as Nagini’s head was sliced off cleanly. The snake’s body fell from the Dark Lord’s shoulders, lying in a heap on the ground. It was only then that Draco realised Potter’s body was no longer there--
“HARRY! WHERE’S HARRY!”* roared Hagrid over the chaos.
The mass of people and creatures was pushed back inside of the castle, Draco with them. He lost sight of his parents, ducking as a stray curse was blasted his way. The castle was absolute chaos -- spells and curses flying haphazardly through the air, screams and shouts making it impossible to hear anything else. Draco craned his neck, desperate to find his parents, when he saw Ginny.
She wasn’t alone -- Granger and Lovegood stood beside her, all three throwing curses as hard as they could. But they were no match for Aunt Bellatrix’s strength. The breath left his lungs as Draco watched his aunt send a Killing Curse straight toward Ginny. The curse missed its mark barely -- Draco’s roar was lost in the noise of the battle, but one person’s cry was not--
“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”*
Draco watched in horror and awe as Ginny’s mother took on Aunt Bellatrix. The jets of light that flew out of their wands was bright green: this would be a fight to the death. Aunt Bellatrix laughed and taunted Mrs. Weasley. Blindly, he fought forward to get to them, not knowing what he would do but knowing he must do something--
A flash of green light hit its target. Draco skidded to a stop, bumping into other awe-struck students as his aunt froze -- and fell.
Cheers cried out around him. Draco couldn't hold back his own cry of triumph. The Dark Lord’s best, most loyal follower was dead. Draco’s heart filled with relief and dread. The Dark Lord’s wrath erupted, sending people flying away from him, and he aimed his wand at Mrs. Weasley, when Draco heard a voice he knew only too well.
Harry Potter shimmered into existence. Silvery fabric pooled at Potter’s feet -- of course Potter would have his own personal Invisibility Cloak, thought Draco, his relief preventing him from rolling his eyes at the dramatic entrance -- and the battle stilled with shock.
Draco took his chance while everyone’s attention was on Potter and the Dark Lord. He stepped away from the crowd, finally spotting his parents hanging back from the fight. His mother saw him first -- she practically flew to him, embracing him so tightly he could have choked. A moment later his father pulled Draco to him, clutching his son’s shoulder as they turned to watch Potter and the Dark Lord’s final battle.
Jaws dropped when Potter called the Dark Lord “Riddle”. Even Draco couldn’t believe the audacity, watching their exchange. But that shock was nothing compared to the revelation that Potter was the true master of the Dark Lord’s wand. It felt like a punch to the gut as Draco put the pieces together -- that he was meant to be killed months ago, after Dumbledore was killed -- but he couldn’t help but feel a sliver of pride that he played a small part in the Dark Lord’s downfall, even as Potter held up Draco’s own hawthorn wand.
Sunlight flared into the windows, lighting up the room. But even brighter was the shouted spells -- a Killing curse and an Expelliarmus -- once more Draco wanted to roll his eyes in exasperation. Then the Dark Lord’s wand flew out of his hand, and his curse rebounded on him, and his empty, lifeless body hit the stone floor.
Draco sat in the Great Hall with his parents among the other survivors. He doubted anyone actually noticed or cared about their presence, but he still felt uncomfortable. The grip on his shoulder, his father’s hand, had not loosened in nearly an hour, but Draco couldn’t make himself shrug it off. It felt good. He was alive. His parents were alive. They were together. The war was over.
There's only one chapter left -- the epilogue! It'll be from Ginny's perspective, something that we haven't seen in this story. I'm so excited and so sad that the story is almost over. Please drop a review to tell me what you thought!
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