Hello. It's Death again.

Did you miss me?

I hope you're well.

I would say I'm excited to finally meet you in person, except I know from experience that that statement doesn't tend to go down that well with the general public.

Anyway, enough about us.

Did you know that it was never Harry's job?

That's where Ginny got it wrong.

Harry had started the job. But finishing it – it was never his job to finish that.

Maybe that was why it hadn't worked the first time.

Harry had assumed a job that wasn't his to do – and had therefore failed.

Life is like that, sometimes.

A bit of a confusing mess, I mean.

Humans do confuse me.


The Dark Lord was indeed dark. Not in his looks; he was as pale as the moon on a cold night. But the very air around him was dark.

It stank of death and power and things that should have been left to rot.

Neville's feet were firmly planted on his porch. His eyes did not glitter. His mouth was stuck shut.

His house was quaking in anticipation; the bones of the place were rattling.

The land was empty except for him, his little old house, and –

Dark things were creeping out of the shadows.

Voldemort was standing in his front garden. Cabbages in the vegetable patch were getting squashed under his robes.

Neville's mouth squirmed suddenly. Here he was, standing on his front porch, and Voldemort and twenty of his followers were stomping around on his vege patch.

Suddenly, the fact that he would never see another sunset didn't matter so much.

He would be the distraction and the decoy that the aurors needed. And it would be enough.

The silence grew. The Death Eaters were still.

Neville looked into the eyes of the Dark Lord. It was like plunging into an icy sea. There was only cold – and hate, the most hate …

He had to look away.

"Bring them out," said Voldemort. His fingers trailed through the air, coming to rest on the wand in his robes. He pulled it out – it was a long, powerful wand, but it was not the Elder Wand.

Neville held every atom in his body together and, through gritted teeth, said: "No."

Voldemort smiled. His teeth were small, and his smile was terror.

Then he froze, and his head moved. "They aren't here," he said.

"You're wrong." The words escaped before Neville realised.

The smile on the Dark Lord's face reappeared. "Then bring them out."

He flicked his wand. Neville felt a familiar searing pain run through him – he was on the floor, overcome by crucio, his voice was screaming …

Then – suddenly – there were yells. And cries. And screechings.

And spells were flying overhead.

The aurors had arrived.

Neville struggled up onto his elbows, and stretched out for his wand. He whispered a shield spell around him, and tried to look around.

He was forgotten on his porch. In front of him, Death Eaters were duelling aurors who had appeared out of nowhere.

From behind him, he heard the front door slamming open. It was Ron and Hermione, and Luna, sprinting out of the house, charging into the battle – they ran past him, but Luna stopped and knelt at his side.

She seized his hand and pulled him to his feet.

"You can do this!" she said. Her eyes were blazing bright with excitement. Spells were flying around her, blowing her hair in all directions. "You have to."

She twisted round in a rush, firing off spells. Neville blinked away the haze and lifted his wand, starting to call out spells, firing round in circles. Death Eaters were appearing out of nowhere, and Ron and Hermione were out of sight, but Neville kept firing, not daring to stop.

He couldn't stop.


The Forbidden Forest was forbidden for a reason, thought Harry, as he pushed his way through the undergrowth.

He could hear Ginny trudging along behind him. Every now and then she would mutter a 'straight here', or 'left at this tree'. He could feel the power of her wand pointing at his back.

The sun had just set, and it was just getting dark enough to make sight a difficulty. Behind him, Ginny whispered a 'lumos'. She pointed it at the trees in front of them.

"We're almost there," she said. "You okay?"

"Fantastic, thanks for asking." Harry stopped. He folded his arms. "I just got whisked off by a previously-presumed-dead Weasley, leaving my friends in dire peril, not to mention Voldemort is left without the only person who can kill him. Other than that, all is just wonderful." He turned around to glare at her.

Ginny's smile faded slightly, but her eyes remained determined. "You know you have to come with me," she said. The wand pointed at him. "You know you have to."

"If you were really Ginny," said Harry, "You wouldn't be pointing that Elder Wand at me."

"If I were really Ginny," she said, "I would do anything it took to save your idiotic skin. Even if that meant threatening you with violence."

She gave him a bright smile.

He glared fiercely.

She gave the wand a little wave. "Move, please," she said. "As I'm sure you're aware, we don't have a huge amount of time. We have to get the Hallows back before Voldemort is defeated, otherwise we'll have to die. There's no way around it."

Harry didn't move.


There was a little zap of silver out of the wand. Harry felt the heat on his skin.

He turned, and moved.

"Left at this tree."

Harry stuffed his hands in his pockets, and powered past the tree.

What an absolutely stupid predicament.

He could just feel them missing him at Neville's.


Voldemort was in the middle of his Death Eaters.

They were fighting around him like flies, and he was standing tall in the centre, the aurors surrounding him, shooting off spell after spell.

And into the middle of it all stormed Neville.

His eyes were blazing, and his fist was clenched around his wand. It was shooting off spell after spell, and he was dodging spell after spell… Aurors were dodging out of his way, and a Death Eater fell at a particularly harsh stunning spell.

There was Ron, at his side, building a shield around him, knocking enemies out of the way as Neville fired off spells.

There was Hermione, behind him, aiming stunning spells at the Death Eaters behind him.

There was Luna, on his right, sending off spells in every direction.

"It wasn't Harry," Hermione yelled suddenly. "It's you!"

"What? Kinda busy here, 'Mione –" Neville gave a great gasp as a spell brushed his hair – he shot back with a fury, sending shields and stunners off at lightning speed.

"It's you, we can't wait for Harry!" cried Hermione. "You've got this! You have to do it – for all of us! He's defenceless!"

"Doesn't feel like it!" Neville narrowly dodged a nasty looking enchantment by ducking just in time. "What are you on about?"

"Just get him, get Voldemort!" cried Hermione. "Quickly!"

"She's right, do it quickly!" cried Luna. "Quickly, you don't have much –"

And she was cut short.

There she was, on the ground.

Green faded up from her chest. Her eyes were open, and she looked slightly stunned.

Neville was at her side. In the background he could hear Hermione and Ron yelling at him, to get up, to keep fighting, but it didn't matter, nothing mattered, because Luna was dead, she was dead, she was dead, she was dead, she was dead, she was dead – She couldn't be dead, surely not. He frantically felt for a pulse, but there wasn't one – she was dead, and she had been killed, and Voldemort had done it.

Neville pushed himself to his feet. Rage filled his body; an uncontrollable, incredibly calm, rage.

Ron and Hermione were yelling in his ears.

He raised his wand – and began to fight.

Spell after spell after spell -

And there he was.


Shooting green spells out of his wand, without consequence, without care – without remorse.

Neville shot his spells with great accuracy and with incredible anger.

A great yell came shooting out of his mouth.

This was going to end.


Harry was trudging along through the undergrowth. He was just considering asking when on earth they were supposed to arrive at this place they were trying to get to, when, all of a sudden, the trees and bushes opened up –

And they were there.

The Clearing.

This was where he had dropped the Stone, and this was where he had seen his parents.

His mouth opened in a perfect 'O'.

"We made it," said Ginny from behind him. She stepped out into the clearing, and strode out in front of him. Then she turned, in the middle, facing him; her eyes blazing like stars.

"What now?"

In response, Ginny reached into the pocket of her robes and pulled out the Stone. Very carefully, she laid it in the middle of the circle.

In another pocket, she pulled out the Cloak. Down it went, next to the Stone.

And then –

She laid down the wand. It was still glowing from 'lumos', lighting up the circle with its light.

She took a step back.

Harry took his chance.

With a great dive, landing on his stomach, he grasped desperately for the wand – he held it in both hands, and pointed it up at Ginny.

She looked down at him.

She shook her head. "Fine, then. Take the bloody wand. Much good it'll do you."

Harry pushed himself up onto his knees, and pointed the still glowing wand at her, leaves falling out of his hair. He held it in both hands. He found he was shaking.

Ginny shook her head. "What are you trying to accomplish, Harry?"

"What did you bring me here for?"

"To meet Death, I already told you!"

"That sounds ominous."

Ginny threw back her head and laughed. "I suppose it does, Harry Potter." Ignoring the wand he was aiming at her, she gave him a great, great smile and shoved her hands in her pockets. "I suppose it does."


Luna's soul is a beautiful pastel yellow.

It is a pastel blue at just the right angle.

It is very rare when I see souls that are purely beautiful.

Luna Lovegood's soul is one of them.

I pick her up quickly.

I am wanted elsewhere.

The Forest calls.

I glide softly away.


It all happened very fast –

Neville was face to face with Voldemort.

He was more powerful than Neville had thought possible. Down went spell after spell – carrots were flying through the air as spells uprooted his vege patch. If he had had time, Neville would probably have laughed. He wasn't sure that anything mattered anymore, except for winning.

So he shot spell after spell, and Voldemort's fierce smile grew firmer and firmer as he cast aside stunners with great skill.

And suddenly – it was just Neville and the Dark Lord.

And, as if one, they both yelled "expelliarmus!"

And the magic connected the wands, a great line of blue, and an incredible power pulling them both together. A great heat was surging, and sparks were flying off the wands and into the sky – and a great ball of light grew on the magic, and it was running down the line towards Neville.

Neville gritted his teeth and pushed. He pushed and pushed and pushed. The ball of light slowed down, slowly halting less than a foot close to his wand.

Voldemort's eyes were angry, red slits in his face, and Neville tore his eyes away and looked with all his might at the silver ball of light, which was beginning to slide towards the Dark Lord.

Summoning ever single ounce of magic that he had left in him, he pushed and pushed and pushed – with all his might and will, the magic edged closer to the Dark Lord.

And then – he felt his mother next to his elbow. His father on his other side. Alice, and Frank next to him, their eyes blazing. "Go on," they were saying. "Push."

His Father placed his hand on Neville's back. "You can do it."

"I believe in you," said his mother.

And Neville pushed. And he pushed. And he pushed.

And the ball of light sped up – and it went faster and faster and faster, and suddenly it was at the edge of Voldemort's wand –

And there was a great shriek of light and magic and heat, and both Voldemort and Neville were tossed back into the gardens behind them.

And there was a great explosion of light –

And then there was nothing.


Harry pointed The Elder Wand at Ginny; it was shaking slightly, and he forced his hand to be still.

She looked up into the sky. "Well, we're here!" she yelled suddenly, her voice breaking the stillness. Bats flew into the air.

"Shut up, are you crazy?" hissed Harry. "We're in the Forbidden Forest!"

"It's been a long day!" returned Ginny.

"So where's Death then?"

"I don't know!" cried Ginny. "I'm working on it!" she folded her arms with a huff.

Suddenly, she gave a great jolt and fell to her knees.

"Wha – you okay?"

"I …"

She gave a great gasp, and looked down at her hands. They were sifting from freckled to pale; her hair was changing from red to blonde – she gave a great shriek, "No, no, no, no," and clawed at her skin –

Far far away, the Dark Lord had fallen.


Neville hid his face inbetween his knees, squeezing both eyes shut.

He couldn't see for a moment, and his ears were ringing. He lifted his fingers to his eyes, checking to see whether they were really open. The smell of smoke stuck in his nostrils.

At last he could make out something – a cluster of people on the other side of his garden; they were a blur, but they were yelling.

There was a great cry.

"He's dead!"

And the Aurors were yelling, and Death Eaters were screaming, both in pain and in horror at the revelation that their Dark Lord was Dead.

And Neville closed his eyes again, and leant back among the remains of his vegetable garden.

Voldemort had picked the wrong child.

It should have been Neville, not Harry.

And Neville smiled to himself amongst the cabbages -

And then he started to weep, as memories flooded back in.