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A/N: *ducks the rotten vegetables* I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I truly did not intend to take this long in updating. School has been . . . fun? shall we say and last weekend was the most fun I had in a long time and well deserved fun I might add. (Hey, if you had the chance to see your all time favorite band ever twice in one weekend, wouldn't you go? The music lives baby!)

Thanks to all who have reviewed so far and thanks for the emails. I was not expecting that kind of response from the last chapter. It really does mean a lot to me.

Here's the next chapter and I hope that it makes up for the long wait. One more chapter to go and then the epilouge. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: If you don't know by now, well . . . yeah. . . .




Chapter Twenty Eight


Where’s Mummy? Where’s Daddy?

James Elijah Potter did not like the man who was carrying him. He was mean and he did not carry him like his mummy and daddy did. James squirmed and squirmed trying to get loose so he could crawl back to his parents. He kicked his legs but the man only held onto him tighter. Maybe if he cried, the man would let him go? Besides, it worked with his parents, so he did.

“Shut up brat,” the man rasped and clamped a hand over James’ mouth.

James was getting very angry with the strange man and didn’t like him putting his hand over his mouth. He opened wide and bit the man’s hand as hard as he could.

The man yelped out loud and stopped walking. He put James on the floor to nurse his hand and James took his opportunity.

He crawled as fast as his little legs would take him. He looked around for his parents, but saw nothing but stone walls around him that he was sure he never saw before.

Mummy? Daddy? Where are you?

He was starting to get really scared now. Where were his parents? They wouldn’t leave him with all those strangers. They only left him with Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione. But then again, that mean man did take him away and his parents didn’t look happy about it. Did they follow the mean man? Were they coming soon? He really hoped they were.

“Get back here kid!”

James heard the man’s voice and tried to crawl faster. He wanted to get to a safe place and wait for his parents and get away from the mean man.

But all was lost when he felt someone pick him up and realized it was the same man. His little heart sank.

“You better be worth all this,” the man grumbled and took James back into another direction.

James was not about to give up. He wanted to go home and hold his bunny and have his mummy sing to him and pull his daddy’s hair! He didn’t even get to finish his bottle! It was a good bottle too. He continued to kick and squirm and tried to bite the man’s hand again, but it didn’t seem to be working.

The man took him to a large room and James saw there was a lot more strangers here. There were standing together and they were all looking at him. James scowled at them and tried to kick the man again, but the man held his leg firmly with his hand.

“Master,” the man said. “May I present to you Potter’s son.”

James watched as someone rose from a chair and slowly walked around it. His green eyes widened in fear at the sight of the new man. He had scary red eyes and didn’t have a real nose. His face looked like his toy snake that his mummy hated and James knew that this was a very, very bad man.

“Well, well, well, he looks just like his father,” the snake like man said. He raised a finger and grazed it down the side of James’ cheek. James didn’t like this man touching him at all, so he turned his head and tried to bite his finger. The man pulled his finger back and glared at James. He stared at James for a moment and James stared right back. Deciding that he didn’t like this man, he blew a raspberry at him.

“Feisty as well,” the man said, continuing to glare at James. “Wormtail!”

A short man stepped up and James watched him.

“Yes my Lord,” the short man said.

“Take Potter’s child and put him with Draco’s daughter,” he said. The short man nodded and went to take James. James protested. He did not want to go to anyone else. He only wanted his parents and he wanted them now!

“Ma! Da!” he shouted, hoping that his parents would come and keep him safe. They should be there by now! Where were they?

“Your parents won’t come for you. Not yet at least,” the snake face man said. “No one is to harm the child. No one is allowed in the room with him until we get the Potters here. Once they arrive, I will be the only one allowed to bring any harm to him. I will make sure that Potter suffers before I kill him. And to make sure that no one touches the child, Wormail perform the spell I taught you that way the only way for it to be broken is for me to tell you the counter spell. Take him away!”

James didn’t know what the snake man said but he didn’t like it. His voice wasn’t nice like his parents. It was mean and scary sounding.

Despite James’ protest, he ended up being carried by the short man and taken down a hallway. He continued to try to get away but it wasn’t working.

The short man opened a door and James saw that there was crib in it like the one he slept in. The short man put him in it and put a blanket around him. He took out a stick that he saw his parents use and something shot out of it, surrounding the entire crib. The man looked at James for a moment and quickly left the room.

James scrambled to his feet and held onto the railings to hold himself up. He looked around and saw that he was in a big room with stone walls and very little light. It was cold and he shivered a bit. There was nothing interesting to see so he sat back down and pulled the blanket around him. His eyes widened as he saw that there was someone else in the crib with him. Curious, he crawled towards the other person and saw that the little person looked like it was his age. Another baby! James was surprised. He never saw someone that was smaller than him. He only saw big people. The baby was on its back and it coughed. Slowly, it opened its eyes. It had his Uncle Ron’s eyes and had hair like that boy that was mean to his parents, who he saw his daddy play with before and his mummy was very angry with his daddy for it. The baby looked like it was very cold and he saw that it didn’t have a blanket. The baby looked at him and closed its eyes like it was going to go to sleep. The baby shivered and coughed some more. James took the blanket off of him and covered the baby with it just like he had seen his mother do to him before. The baby opened its eyes again and looked at him. It smiled and closed its eyes again.

James sat back and watched the baby sleep. He wondered if the baby had parents who loved him like his parents did. Why would they leave the baby here with all those strangers? Did the strangers take the baby away like they did to him? He looked at the baby again and decided to sit next to it. He looked up at the door and wondered where his parents were. They would have come to get him by now, wouldn’t they? He didn’t like the scary mean men. He didn’t like this place either.

I’m scared. Mummy? Come get me, Mummy! I want Daddy too!

He didn’t know where his parents were and all he knew was that he wanted them. Feeling tired, James yawned and laid down. Maybe if he slept then his parents would come get him? They were always there when he woke up. Maybe they would be there when he woke up from a nap?

With that thought, he drifted off into a restless sleep.


* * * * * *


The wind whipped around them, blowing tree limbs wildly around. It brought an icy chill to the small group of teenagers and Ginny shivered violently. Harry put his arms around her and shielded her from the cold. He looked around and spotted a very worn out and very old shack. He was amazed that it was even holding up. More than likely, it was held up by magic. There was no way that something poorly built like that could stay standing for long in weather like this.

“Is that it?” Harry asked Malfoy. Malfoy merely nodded curtly.

“There are only two entrances. This front one is the main entrance,” he said and pointed to what looked like a battered door. It hung off the hinges and was creaking in the wind. “It leads to the main hall. There’s another one in the back that very few Death Eaters know about.”

“Then how do you know about it?” Harry demanded.

“Because, Potter, there’s where I have to bring Longbottom through,” Malfoy snapped. “The Dark Lord doesn’t want anyone to know about it. It leads directly to his living quarters and other rooms. If he told all his followers about it, one of them can slip it off to the Ministry and he can be ambushed easily. He only tells the ones he trusts.”

“And he trusts you?” Harry asked. Malfoy sneered at him.

“I’d suggest that you keep your mouth shut if you want your little brat back,” Malfoy spat.

Harry glared and was about to retort, but Ginny held up her hand to silence him.

“Just get us in, Malfoy,” she said. Malfoy stared at her for a few moments. He looked around at the others and grabbed Neville.

“Don’t let on that anyone else is here, Longbottom,” he hissed at him and looked at the others. “Follow me.”

He pushed Neville forward, his wand out and trained on his back while he held the book in his other hand.

“Wait,” Hermione said, “Shouldn’t we have a plan?”

The group stopped and looked at her.

“Well we can’t just go in there. We have to have a plan of attack,” she said.

The group exchanged looks with one another. Barging in wasn’t a good idea. They had to have some sort of a plan.

“Right, Malfoy does anyone guard that entrance?” Ron asked. Harry looked over at his best friend and saw that the wheels were turning in his head.

“About two or three of the stupider ones,” Malfoy replied.

“You go first with Neville and we’ll follow from behind. We’ll stun them right away and take their robes,” Ron began.

“What are you going to do with the robes?” Pansy piped up and Harry had forgotten that she was there. She stood behind Malfoy, looking frightened yet somewhat determined.

“We hide the Death Eaters somewhere and us three,” he pointed to himself, Hermione, and Pansy, “will wear the robes.”

“What about us?” Ginny asked her brother. “How are we suppose to hide?”

Ron thought a moment and looked at Harry.

“Cover yourselves with Harry’s invisibility cloak when we go in and don’t take it off. We get the kids and get out. No heroics,” Ron said, looking pointedly at Harry as he said the last part.

“Don’t tell me ‘no heroics’. They are going to pay for this,” Harry growled. Ginny placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“Harry, as much as I agree with you, he’s right. We need to get James out of there as soon as possible,” Ginny reasoned. Harry turned to glare at her, ready to argue back, but he saw the pleading look in her eyes. “I want them to pay as much as you do, but I will not allow my son to be with those . . . those . . . wastes of human beings a moment longer. I want him out and I want him safe.”

Harry couldn’t argue with her. He sighed and nodded his head. He looked at the others.

“Let’s go.”

Harry covered himself and Ginny with his cloak. They followed Malfoy and Neville, the other three trailing behind them. Harry remembered something and held Ginny’s arm and stopped her in her tracks.

“What?” she whispered and turned to look at him. Harry fished out his wand.

“Switch wands with me,” he said. Ginny frowned.

“Why?” she asked.

“My wand doesn’t work against Voldemort’s. They’re brother wands. If anything does happen, I’m going to end this once and for all,” Harry whispered. Ginny nodded and took her wand out. They switched them and continued following Malfoy. They went around the broken down shack and arrived at the back. Nothing was there except for the wooden wall of the shack and broken planks with wild bushes and plants up against it. Ron, Hermione, and Pansy hid off to the sides in the thicker parts of the bushes while Malfoy took his wand off of Neville and tapped a series of different planks. The wall seemed to melt away and it revealed an archway large enough for two people to enter. Malfoy stepped inside, his wand trained on Neville’s back once more with Harry and Ginny hidden behind them, hidden beneath Harry’s cloak.

There was a long stone corridor lit by dim torches. Harry could make out wooden doors on either side of the corridor and up ahead he saw that the corridor continued on. He felt Ginny shiver in front of him and wrapped an arm around her waist to pull her close to him as they slowly made their way after Malfoy under the cloak.

Just as Malfoy had said, three Death Eaters stood guard. One stepped forward and looked Malfoy up and down.

“What ‘cho doing here?” the masked Death Eater asked.

“Bringing him to the Dark Lord,” Malfoy stated, poking Neville in the back with his wand.

Three Stunner spells shot forward, hitting each of the Death Eaters. They fell, their bodies making heavy thuds as they hit the floor. Ron, Hermione, and Pansy rushed forward, stripping the guards of their robes and masks and quickly pulling them on. They dragged the unconscious Death Eaters, struggling with the weight of them, into an empty room, bound them with Binding Spells, and cast a Locking Charm and a Silencing Charm on the door.

“Where to?” Harry whispered. Malfoy looked down the corridor, his eyes narrowed as if he were trying to think.

“There are two other hallways further down. One leads to the Dark Lord’s quarters and the other to additional rooms and then other hallways branch off of those. Abigail is in the hallway with more rooms and more than likely your son is with her,” he said and began to walk down the hallway.

They walked in silence, all with their wands at ready. They reached a part in the long corridor where there were two hallways leading in opposite directions. Malfoy turned right and they followed him. An unmasked figure stood outside a door down the hallway and Harry guessed that whoever it was was guarding the room that held his son. He picked up his pace, wanting to get to his son as quickly as possible.

The figure looked at the group and started. He stood up straight and pointed his wand at them.

“You’re not supposed to bring him down here,” the person said, his voice very familiar to Harry’s ears. Harry glanced down at the silver hand and felt a surge of rage go through him.

Wormtail.

Ginny put a restraining hand on his arm and Harry forced himself to stay calm.

“I want to see my daughter,” Malfoy demanded, glaring at Wormtail.

“You can’t. Potter’s kid is in there,” Wormtail said, thrusting his silver hand in the direction of the wooden door.

“I don’t care who’s in there, I want to see my daughter,” Malfoy replied, glaring at the man.

“I can’t let you in there Draco. Voldemort’s orders,” Wormtail said. “He doesn’t want anyone to mess with Potter’s kid until he’s ready.”

Harry had enough. No one was going to stand in his way of getting his son back, especially not Wormtail. He pulled the cloak off and in one swift movement, his wand was pushing into Wormtail’s neck and Wormtail was pinned up against the wall.

“Har - Harry!” he squeaked in surprise, looking up at his face for Harry was now taller than the man. His eyes were full of fear and he glanced around nervously. “Your son looks so – so much like you! Your parents would have loved him!”

“Don’t you dare talk about my son or my parents you filthy rat,” Harry hissed, shaking with anger and pressing his wand into Wormtail’s neck a little more. “Let me in now!”

“I – I can’t,” Wormtail stammered.

“You bloody will or else I won’t hesitate to kill you this time,” Harry threatened. Wormtail let out a strangled noise and was shaking in fear.

“You know you’re in debt to me. I saved your life once, remember?” Harry went on. “You wouldn’t like your master to find out that you are in debt to his enemy, would you?”

Wormtail shook even more under Harry’s gaze, his eyes widening at the fear of Voldemort finding out he was in debt to Harry Potter.

“Let us in and help us get James out and you can consider your debt paid,” Harry said.

“All – all right,” he said, a bead of sweat breaking out on his brow. Harry pulled his wand back slightly and grabbed a handful of Wormtail’s black robes. He spun him around to face the door and jabbed his wand to his back.

Harry leaned close to his ear. “Make one wrong move Wormtail and it’ll be the last thing you ever do.”

Wormtail was shaking uncontrollably now and he nodded fervently. He raised his wand and muttered some words. There was an audible click and Wormtail opened the door.

Harry shoved him forward into the room and Wormtail stumbled over his own feet, falling face first to the floor. Harry could care less. He pushed past him, Ginny following closely behind with the others in tow.

An old wooden crib stood in the middle of the cold stone room. The torches on the walls cast very little light in the room and it was very chilly. Something was shimmering a meter around the crib, a shield of some sort. It twinkled innocently at them in the dim light. A cough was heard from the crib and Harry and Ginny immediately rushed forward.

“Harry! Ginny! Wait!” Hermione cried. She pulled out her wand and muttered something under her breath. A small bird erupted from her wand and shot towards the crib. The Potters watched in horror as the bird hit the barrier, shuddering violently as small shocks of electrical current pulsed around it and then instantly turned into ashes.

“A Vexatio Shield. It looks innocent enough but when someone comes into contact with it, it sends a very violent and high voltage of electrical current through a person, eventually turning the person into ashes. The smaller the organism the faster it works. There’s a counter charm but I don’t know the incantation,” Hermione quickly explained. Everyone looked at her in slight surprise. “I was doing another extra assignment for Charms. That’s how I know,” she admitted.

Harry raised Ginny’s wand, pointing it at the shield.

Finite incantatem,” he said but nothing happened. He turned and fixed the wand on Wormtail who was still shaking.

“Take it off,” Harry ordered.

“I – I can’t,” Wormtail whispered. “I was only told how to put it on. I don’t know the counter charm.”

Harry growled in frustration and looked back at the crib. There had to be something they could do. Something, anything had to work!

Hermione’s words came flooding back to him.

"The strongest emotion that can have an affect on Spells and Charms the most is that of love. If a love is very strong, it can break even the most difficult spells. It can serve as counter-jinxes, anti-hexes, break through shields, and potentially stop some Unforgivables."

“That’s it,” Harry whispered. If only they concentrated on how much they loved James, they may be able to break the shield. If it was strong enough they could break it, if not then . . . Harry did not want to think about what would happen if they didn’t succeed.

“I think we can break this,” he said to Ginny.

“How?” Ginny asked.

“Our love for him. Love is a strong emotion and makes magic stronger, right? If we concentrate on that, we can break it,” Harry quickly explained.

Ginny bit her bottom lip and looked up at him. “What if it doesn’t work, Harry?”

“It will. I know it will,” Harry assured her, not quite believing his own words.

She took a deep breath and took his hand.

They both concentrated on the love they had for their son, blocking out all other feelings from their minds. They focused on James and only James. Ginny reached up and slowly reached out towards the shield and Harry copied her actions. They let every ounce of love pour out of them, determined to get to their son no matter what the cost.

Their fingers touched the shield and they felt electrical shocks flow through them. Every cell in their bodies was shaking with the electrical shock that was pulsating through them and every hair on their bodies was standing up. It was as if they were burning up, like they would burst into fire at any given moment. Neither one could move, they were glued in their positions, shocks continuing to flow through them as every muscle in their bodies contracted, refusing to relax. They desperately pushed on, blocking out the pain and focusing on James and getting to him. Slowly, after what seemed like hours of agonizing pain, they felt the shocks fade away and the pain slowly left them. They heard a buzzing sound and the shield was gone.

Despite of being partially electrocuted, they rushed forward once more and peered into the crib.

James was huddling close to a small infant girl, obviously younger than James, who was shivering and coughing as she was curled up into a ball She was wearing a worn out, white one piece that looked like it hadn’t been washed at all and a thin blanket was over her. She had wisps of white blonde hair on the top of her head and when she opened her eyes, they were a light blue color. James was sitting next to her, without a blanket and staring at the baby girl with what could only be a look of concern. He looked scared and was shivering slightly. He lifted his head and his green eyes widened.

“Ma!” he scrambled on to his hands and knees and crawled towards the side of the crib. He hoisted himself up onto his feet, a look of relief on his face. “Da!”

Ginny wasted no time in scooping him into her arms and holding him close to her. She smothered his face in kisses, rubbing his back, and feeling quite relieved to have her son in her arms once more. Harry wrapped his arms around them both, kissing the top of his son’s head. Ron and Hermione gathered around them, the stolen robes gone, and watched them be reunited with their son. Harry glanced up and saw that Neville had his wand trained on Wormtail. Malfoy and Pansy were now standing over the crib, both staring into it. He couldn’t read their expressions on their faces from the angle he was at though. He glanced down at where Abigail was and saw that she was staring up at them. Malfoy leaned forward and Harry saw a small smile on his usually cold face. Pansy slowly reached in, her hand shaking as she did. Abigail didn’t seem to know who she was. How could she seeing as she hasn’t seen her mother since probably she was a week old? Slowly, the infant raised her own hand towards Pansy and Harry heard Pansy let out a sigh of relief. With trembling hands, Pansy reached inside with her other hand and picked up her estranged daughter. Draco immediately pulled off his cloak and helped Pansy wrap their daughter in it.

James turned in Ginny’s arms and reached over for Harry. Harry took him and relished in the feeling of holding his son and vowing to never let anything happen to him again. Ginny pulled out Harry’s wand and quickly conjured a thick and warm blanket. She draped it around James and Harry helped tuck it around him. She conjured up a bottle next and gave it to James. James took the bottle and drank hungrily from it.

Ginny looked over at Malfoy and Pansy. Pansy was awkwardly cradling their daughter, both looking down at her with awestruck expressions. Ginny felt sorry for them. Unlike them, Ginny and Harry were able to be with their son. They were able to watch him grow and hold him and love him. She couldn’t imagine what it would feel like if she couldn’t be with her child and know that her child was being abused like Abigail had been. The little girl began to cry, her voice small and weak and it sounded just like James’ cry when he was hungry. Ginny conjured up another bottle and went over to them.

“Here,” Ginny offered and held out the bottle. Malfoy and Pansy looked up at her. “It’s only a conjured bottle and it isn’t the best source of nourishment for her, but it’ll help.”

Pansy stared at the proffered bottle and then up at Ginny. She took the bottle.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Ginny smiled softly at her and watched as Pansy held it up for Abigail to drink. The baby girl suckled hungrily from it and her light blue eyes stared up at Pansy as she feasted on the milk.

“She’s beautiful,” Ginny commented softly. Malfoy looked up at her, then back at his daughter with a smile on his face. Pansy looked up at Ginny and smiled at her before returning to stare down at Abigail in her arms. Deciding to leave them to themselves, Ginny returned to her own family.

The silence was broke by the sound of coughing coming from Abigail and it didn’t sound very good. Ginny looked back at Malfoy and Pansy.

“Do you know how to make a Port Key?” she asked Malfoy. He looked at her and nodded.

“I think you should make one and send Pansy and your daughter back. She doesn’t sound very good,” Ginny suggested. Malfoy stared at her for a few moments before pulling off his Head Boy badge. He pointed his wand to it. It glowed blue and trembled, then it returned to normal. He handed it to Pansy. She took it and pressed her palm against her daughter’s arm with the Port Key between them. Within moments they were gone.

“We need to get him out of here,” Harry said, handing James back to Ginny. He looked over at Malfoy. “Hold out that book.”

Malfoy thrust the book out towards them and everyone began to walk towards him.

There was a sudden shout of surprise, startling everyone in the room.

Incendio!

The book Malfoy held burst into flames. He dropped the burning book, horrified at the sight of the flames licking around it and turning it quickly into black ashes.

Accio wand!

Malfoy’s wand flew out of his hand and soared through the air, landing in Wormtail’s outstretched hand.

Before anyone could do anything, Wormtail transformed into his rat form and scurried quickly out of the room.

Neville stared in shock at the spot where Wormtail once stood. A determined look came across his face and he quickly left the room, no doubt that he was going after the rat.

“We need to get out of here,” Ron said, looking around the empty room. “There’s got to be something we can use to make a Port Key with.”

Shouts came from outside the corridor and were getting closer.

“There’s no time! Come on!” Hermione reasoned, grabbing Ron and rushing out the door. Malfoy followed them, completely wandless, with Harry and Ginny behind him.

Ginny ran as fast as she could, clutching James tightly to her and holding Harry’s wand in one hand. She didn’t know where they were going, only that they were heading in the direction away from the voices. She wanted to get James out and back to the castle as soon as possible, but she knew that it wouldn’t happen as soon as she wanted it to.

They turned down a corridor, having no idea where they were going and heard hurried footsteps behind them. Ginny glanced over her shoulder and felt relieved to see Neville was after them, clutching a squeaking rat in one hand. Hermione wrenched a door open and they quickly flew into the empty room.

Neville set the rat down and Hermione quickly shot a spell at it, forcing it to turn back into Wormtail.

Harry grabbed Wormtail by the collar of his robes and slammed him up against the wall.

“You filthy rat,” Harry spat. “Think you can be sneaky, don’t you?”

Wormtail mouthed wordlessly to him, a look of sheer fear on his face.

“You are nothing more than a traitor. Bloody low life scum of the earth and a waste of human flesh. You betrayed my parents and now you’re trying to betray me, well I’ll tell you something, you owe them and you owe me. You will help us get out of here or else I will make sure you die a very slow and a very painful death,” Harry hissed, anger and hate flowing through his veins. Wormtail lost all color in his face and slowly he nodded. Harry grabbed the two wands he held.

“Your wand, Malfoy,” Harry said, thrusting one wand behind him. He felt Malfoy take it and kept Wormtail’s wand to himself. He snapped Wormtail’s wand in half sparks shooting from it and dropped it to the floor.

“Get us out of here,” Harry ordered, pointing the remaining wand at him.

They followed Wormtail out of the room and down the corridor. Everything was quiet, but Harry felt it was too quiet. He wasn’t quite sure that Wormtail would lead them to the way out or not, but he didn’t know himself and he wanted to get James out of there.

Harry’s feelings were proven correct when they turned into the next corridor and came face to face with three Death Eaters.

They took off in the direction they came, wands out and throwing curses and hexes over their shoulders. Spells shot around them, hitting the stone walls and whooshing past their ears. Ginny was clutching James close to her, helpless to help fight back. Just as Harry decided that he should get behind her to cover them, he heard a Death Eater shout a spell and red light whooshed past him, aimed closely at Ginny. Harry pushed her out of the way and his blood ran cold when he heard James cry out in pain.

Glancing quickly, he saw that a large tear was on Ginny’s robes and that James’ arm had a large and deep cut. Shaking with intense anger, Harry stopped and spun around.

Stupefy!” he shouted and an angry jet of red light burst from his wand. It hid a Death Eater square in the chest, rendering him unconscious. Harry launched several more until every Death Eater chasing them was lying on the ground and unconscious.

They turned down a corridor and came to a large, opened room. It was made of stone just like the rest of the place and a lone armchair stood in front of a large fireplace. There was a door on the other side and nothing else in the deserted room. Ginny quickly set James on the stone floor and pulled the blanket off of him as he wailed in pain. Harry knelt next to her, trying to comfort their son and mentally swearing to himself to make sure every last Death Eater he came into contact with suffered. Ginny tore long pieces of cloth off the blanket and took James’ arm. She carefully wrapped the cloth around his cut, making sure it was tight and stopped the blood flow. She whispered a spell and pointed Harry’s wand at the cloth, then dragged it down the length of the makeshift bandage. It sealed together and she picked James up.

“Shh, shh,” she comforted him, rocking him back and forth in her arms. “It’s okay sweetie. Mummy made it all better.”

She lifted his bandaged arm and kissed it softly then kissed the top of his head. His sobs subsided and James snuggled closer to Ginny.

Harry watched them for a moment, trying to figure out how to get out. They could use a cloak for a Port Key. . . .

Several figures flooded into the large room. Harry quickly shielded James and Ginny, pointing Ginny’s wand at the figures.

A battle ensued, an explosion of hexes and curses hurling through the air. The six teenagers sprang into action, dodging spells and throwing their own.

Harry blocked a spell and sent another one back at a Death Eater. It caught the Death Eater off guard and threw him across the room. Harry turned and saw something he couldn’t believe; a Death Eater against a Death Eater? One of them went flying through the air and landed on his back, clearly knocked out. The one left standing turned and looked at Harry. Suddenly, the Death Eater ran towards him and Harry quickly lifted his wand to defend himself. However, he found that he didn’t need it, for the Death Eater shot a spell behind him and with a quick glance behind his shoulder, Harry saw another Death Eater crumple to the ground.

“School rules were always beneath you weren’t they Potter.”

Harry’s eyes widened in shock at the sound of that voice.

“Pro-professor Snape?”

“Shut up Potter and fight. As soon as I can, I’ll go back to Hogwarts and get the others,” Professor Snape said icily and hurried off to battle.

Harry felt a wave of gratitude towards his potions master. Knowing that they had at least some extra help in the ensuing battles, made Harry feel a little bit better about the situation and he thought they had a standing chance of winning and getting out. Harry resumed battling, stunning several Death Eaters and injuring others. He looked around after stunning another Death Eater and saw Ron and Hermione battling fiercely next to each other. They were succeeding in lowering the numbers of Death Eaters around them. A hex flew past his head and Harry whipped around. A Death Eater was bearing down on him and threw another curse at him. Harry quickly threw up a shield and the hex bounced off and sailed back at the unsuspecting Death Eater. Harry quickly turned around once more and saw Neville locked in battle with a Death Eater who wore no mask. It was Bellatrix Lestrange.

Harry had never seen him look so determined. There was a fierce look in Neville’s eyes as he hurled curse after curse at the woman who caused him so much pain. Bellatrix dodged a curse and laughed openly at him.

“Poor wittle baby,” she mocked him in that annoying baby voice she used. “Can’t hit the big bad Death Eater?”

Neville shook with anger and before Harry knew what was happening a green light shot from Neville’s wand. Bellatrix’s eyes grew wide in fear and in a flash, the life in her eyes was wiped out and her lifeless body fell to the floor.

Harry couldn’t believe what he had just seen, but he didn’t have time to ponder it or even process it. A hex flew by his head and he leapt back into action.

Ginny held James tightly against her, trying her best to duel with wizards and keep James out of harm’s way. The infant was shaking slightly in her arms, his head buried in her chest and clutching to her tightly. She tried to whisper soothing words to him as she dodged curses and threw some of her own back. Glancing around she saw Draco Malfoy in battle with Lucius Malfoy. Curse after curse flew at one another, identical looks of hate and determination on their pale, pointed faces.

“You’re a disgrace to the Malfoy name!” Lucius Malfoy snarled at his son.

“And you’re a disgrace of a father,” Draco Malfoy shot back.

“You pathetic blood traitor. You soiled the Malfoy name,” Lucius Malfoy said, dodging a hex from Draco Malfoy. “I hope those wenches of yours perish when we storm the school. I’m sure the dementors have already had a go at them by now.”

Draco Malfoy shot a Reductor Curse at his father but his father quickly dodged it and it hit the wall behind him. A large crack formed in the wall, heading towards the ceiling and a small amount of rubble fell to the floor.

“I gave you the best and this is how you repay me?” Lucius said. “You’re no Slytherin. You’re nothing.”

Draco Malfoy stared his father down, a smirk curling on his lips.

“I am very much a Slytherin and I think it’s time for you to pay for what you did to my mother and my daughter.”

With his wand pointed straight at Lucius’ chest, Draco Malfoy shouted the Killing Curse. The jet of green light hit his father and he fell to the floor.

Ginny was so enthralled with watching the Malfoys she didn’t see a curse fly through the air towards her.

“Ginny!” Harry’s voice rang out. Ginny turned and her eyes widened in fear as the curse came closer to her, frozen on the spot and unable to move. She ducked her head, holding James closer to her, preparing to take the blunt of the curse. She felt a sharp pain in her leg and she sagged slightly. She looked up and saw a Death Eater throw an unfamiliar curse at her and she found that she couldn’t move.

Harry ran as fast as he could towards his wife and son. He had to get them out of the way of that curse. What he didn’t expect was to see Neville throw himself in front of his family. The curse hit Neville, sending him sailing in the air and slammed him into a stone wall. He slid to the floor, his head hanging limply to one side, clearly knocked out.

Harry reached Ginny who was staring at Neville’s unconscious body.

“Gin, are you all right?” Harry asked. She slowly looked at him.

“He saved us,” Ginny whispered. Harry glanced at Neville.

“I know,” Harry replied.

Ginny glanced behind Harry’s shoulder.

Stupefy!” she shouted. Harry turned and saw a Death Eater fall to the ground. He looked back at Ginny.

“Thanks love,” he said and launched back into battle.
Soon the five remaining teenagers found themselves back to back, trying anything to defend each other. Harry kept an eye on Ginny and James, determined to keep them safe no matter what.

Suddenly a terrible pain erupted in Harry’s scar. He hissed in pain, pressing a palm to it and knew that Voldemort was very near.

As the pain in his forehead intensified, Harry noticed that the assault ended and the Death Eaters were retreating.

Harry didn’t need to look around to see why the Death Eaters were retreating. The intense pain in his scar told him what he knew already.

Voldemort was there.

Harry quickly threw himself in front of Ginny and James. He glanced around and saw the horrifying sight of Voldemort. His enemy surveyed the scene around him and lifted his wand. An unfamiliar incantation was muttered and several webs of pearly white string shot out of his wand. The webs wrapped themselves around Ron, Hermione, and Malfoy. With a loud smack, it secured the three of them against the walls looking very much like flies that were caught in a spider’s web.

“So we meet again,” Voldemort drawled. “I didn’t expect to see you so soon. It’s a good thing that you are here; I can get rid of you much quicker.”

Harry didn’t reply. He glared at his arch enemy, ignoring the throbbing pain in his scar. He felt Ginny’s trembling presence behind him and drew strength from knowing she was with him. James let out a soft whimper and Voldemort’s eyes flickered to a spot behind Harry. His eyes widened in surprise and he returned his gaze to Harry.

“Wormtail!”

Wormtail hurried forward, trembling violently as he approached his master. Voldemort’s gaze turned on him and Harry saw a violent fire in his cold red eyes.

“You have failed me,” he hissed. “You let the child escape!”

“My Lord! Please, have mercy! I didn’t have a choice!” Wormtail begged.

“You have failed me for the last time Wormtail!” Voldemort shouted. He looked back up at Harry and down at the blubbering Wormtail. “I shall deal you with you later.”

He waved his wand and set Wormtail sailing into a wall where he fell limply to the ground.

“So, you somehow managed to get your son. How very brave of you to come all the way here. Too bad you missed the dementor attack in Hogsmeade. I was sure you would have fancied meeting them again. I do hope you enjoyed your little family reunion because it’s about to come to an end,” Voldemort said to Harry.

Harry didn’t reply. He stood tall, his forehead still throbbing painfully. Voldemort smirked and lifted his wand. Harry felt as if an iron hand was pushing him aside and before he knew it, he felt some invisible force twisting around his knee and he screamed in pain as his kneecap was crushed. Harry tried to stay standing, but the invisible force had other plans. He felt himself being thrown down on to the stone floor. His shoulder hit the ground hard and he heard a loud snap and a sharp pain in his shoulder. His squeezed his eyes shut, the pain engulfing him fully and tried to raise himself up. He opened his eyes and looked up at Voldemort. There was a movement behind his arch enemy and Harry had a feeling the Professor Snape was finally going for help.

“How about a little game?” Voldemort said and his eyes landed on James. “Crucio!

Harry’s eyes widened in horror and he tried to raise himself up, but failed. He watched as Ginny quicky turned around and the curse hit her back. She screamed in pain, fighting to stay standing, and holding on to James. She twisted this way and that and unable to take the torture anymore, she fell to her knees. She threw one hand out in front of her, dropping Harry’s wand, and tried to hold herself up and keep James from hitting the floor.

“Take it off!” Harry demanded. Voldemort simply laughed evilly, his laugh mixing with Ginny’s screams and kept his wand on her.

Harry had to do something. He couldn’t let her suffer like this. He couldn’t let his loved ones be tortured.

Voldemort raised his wand, ending the curse, and Ginny’s screams restored to soft whimpers. James was crying now, his small voice filled with fear and Harry’s heart ached. His son shouldn’t be going through this at all.

“How the memories come back now. History is repeating itself I see, but this time, none of you will survive and I will succeed. Your time has come, Potter,” Voldemort said. He flicked his wand and Ginny was turned around so that James was now facing Voldemort. She held onto him tightly, her head bowed down and Harry saw she had gotten the wand back in her hand. She was shakily slightly and trying to whisper soothing words to James.

“First,” Voldemort said, “you shall watch your son die, then your wife, and then you. I should have done that in the first place. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.”

Voldemort pointed his wand at James and Harry felt his heart beat furiously against his chest and his dreams came flooding back to him. He wouldn’t let Voldemort kill his family. He wouldn’t let him harm them anymore.

He quickly looked around and saw Ron and Hermione struggling against the webs on the walls. He looked back at Ginny and James, fearing for their lives. He wouldn’t let anyone die. He was not going to let it happen.

A surge of power suddenly filled him. Warmth spread through his body, giving him strength and he raised himself up a little higher, trying to block out the pain in his shoulder and knee that was making him dizzy. Harry raised his wand, just as Voldemort began to say the Killing Curse.

Protego cingo!” Harry cried.

A golden light shot from his wand and engulfed himself and his family. It shimmered brightly as it whirled around them. The Killing Curse that Voldemort had thrown couldn’t penetrate the shield and bounced back, flying towards Voldemort. Voldemort’s red eyes widened in fear and he ducked his own curse. It hit a Death Eater instead and he fell to the floor instantly.

Voldemort looked at Harry in shock and it was obvious that this protection shield that Harry had managed to conjure was not making him happy. He glared at Harry and began throwing curses left and right.

The shield held strong. The curses bounced off of it, hurling back in the direction they came from. Voldemort dodged them all and they either hit the Death Eaters behind him or the walls of the room. But the shield was starting to weaken from the continuous blows. Over time, the golden shield faded into nothingness.

Voldemort smiled at that. Harry was feeling very weak. Conjuring up that Protection Shield had taken more out of him than he thought. But he had to keep going. He just had too.

“The end has come, Potter. Say goodbye to your precious family,” Voldemort said.

Harry was kneeling on the cold stone floor on his hands and knees, barely keeping himself up with his injuries, panting and in intense pain. He could hear James crying and he slowly, and painfully, turned his head. Ginny was holding James close to her and she was kneeling on the ground as well. Harry’s eyes fell upon her injured leg, blood still oozing from the wound. She was trying desperately to shield James from all harm, holding Harry’s wand out and it was slightly shaking in her hand. Ginny slowly turned to look at him. She looked terrified, yet determined and Harry knew she wouldn’t let anyone hurt their son or him. It was a look of love and Harry felt that feeling burst in him. The surge of power he had felt before multiplied and he felt himself becoming stronger again.

Now, he had to do it. He had to put all his training, what little that he had, into this. He had to protect those he loved. He would win this battle once and for all.

Slowly, he got to his feet, the pain seeming to numb away a bit, fueled by the love his had from his family and friends and from Ginny. He held his wand steady and pointed it at Voldemort.

Legilmens!” he whispered quietly.

He entered Tom Riddle’s mind and met with his barriers. Voldemort’s eyes went wide with fear. It was clear he had no knowledge of Harry being able to do this. Harry narrowed his eyes and concentrated, pushing his mind further in order to break the walls. They cracked and he pushed harder. He felt Voldemort enter his mind as well and desperately tried to block him and pushed against the barriers again.

He clamped a hand over his scar as it burst with intense pain. He was in. He broke through and was now able to see Voldemort’s memories. He saw a lonely little boy, sitting in the corner of an orphanage. An old woman was scolding him and slapped him sharply across the face. Harry felt his pain and his anger and the images began to change. A young teenage boy was standing in a large room, his wand pointed towards a figure cowering on the floor. This time Harry felt hate and anger and then, when the teen raised his wand and roared the Killing Curse, he felt triumph and power. More and more images came to his mind and Harry began to feel sick from it. He wanted to break the connection and stop seeing these images and feeling these feelings that weren’t his own. But he couldn’t. He had to fill Voldemort’s mind with his own.

Harry concentrated even more and slowly let his guards down just enough for Voldemort to get through. Voldemort pushed through, a gleeful smile on his snake like face and Harry felt his scar burst in pain again. Harry smirked, his teeth gritted from the pain, and conjured up every memory full of love in his mind. He relived memories of the times he spent with Ron and Hermione, laughing in the common room and at the Burrow. He saw their late night escapades and Hogsmeade trips together. He conjured up images of flying with Ron and Quidditch matches and conversations in the Great Hall with his best friends. Harry then allowed images of Ginny to float to his mind. Her smile, her laugh, the way her eyes twinkled. He saw their first kiss, feeling the joy and happiness from that moment. He saw himself gazing down at Ginny as they made love for the first time, and the many times after. Their wedding was next and Harry saw himself staring down into Ginny’s eyes and he said his vows feeling nothing but complete love and pure joy. He saw himself kissing Ginny’s swollen stomach, talking to it, and feeling their baby kick. Next he saw James in his arms, a tiny little newborn, crying and squirming as Harry held him for the first time. He remembered the feeling of being a father and feeling nothing but love from this tiny baby he helped to make. Harry filled his mind with more and more images of Ginny and James. James’ first smile, the first time Harry heard him laugh, the first time he crawled, his first tooth, everything about him. Finally, he thought of James and Ginny together. James sitting in her lap as she held up his hand to wave at Harry and James squealed happily. He called out to Harry, his joyfully voice chanting “Da da” and Ginny smiling down at their son. Images alternated from Ginny to James and occasionally Ron and Hermione, with one constant theme: the undying and everlasting love he had for them and that they had for Harry.

Voldemort screamed and Harry felt him leave his mind abruptly. Harry watched as Voldemort fell to the ground and Harry knew he had done it. He had filled his enemy’s mind with so much love that it was painful. He was weak and was not able to fight back. Harry felt weak too and wasn’t sure if he could finally end this. But he had to. For Ginny and James. For the world.

Harry raised Ginny’s borrowed wand, limping heavily as he went towards his enemy, feeling his power leaving him and feeling weaker with every step. He conjured up all the hate he had for the creature that was on his knees in front of him. He felt like fainting now, the urge to just collapse on the floor quickly winning over his will to stay standing. He stopped and pointed his wand at his life long enemy.

“This ends now,” Harry said. Voldemort looked up at him, fumbling with his wand and gasping for breath.

Harry suddenly fell. His legs gave out and his power was draining quickly. He raised the wand again, mere feet away from Voldemort. He looked up and saw that Voldemort was shakily holding his wand out and had it pointed at him.

AVADA KEDARVA!

Two voices rang out, but only one was quicker than that other and Harry’s world went black.

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