Chapter 28: How to Save a Life (Part 3)

Author: Ally (Hafthand)

Rating: M

Disclaimer: Not mine

A/N: It has literally been years. This is not the ending I intended, and maybe not the ending you all wanted, but I felt I owed it to myself and everyone to finish this. Thank you everyone. Thank you.

Hermione lay helpless on the floor as she watched the drama unfold before. Never before in her life had she felt so useless and less in control; even when Lucius and his cronies had made her their toy two years earlier. Not even then.

'Mother,' came Draco's pleading voice from across the hall.

Draco. She could focus on Draco. The sight of his broken body and the pain in his eyes as he watched his mother square off against his father forced her to stop feeling sorry for herself and ignited a spark of fight within her.

She shifted her body as she watched Remus and Arthur Weasley battle Deatheaters at the rear entrance to the hall. How they came to be here, Hermione did not care. They were here. They were fighting.

She watched as Blaise Zabini seemingly appeared from nowhere to slowly and stealthily make his silent way to Draco's prone form. He was here. He was fighting.

She watched as Draco shouted 'No!' repeatedly to his mother. He was here. He was fighting.

She watched as Narcissa Malfoy squared off against her husband, going against years of ingrained servitude. She was here. She was fighting.

Hermione fought the pain as she sat her body up. Her eyes met Blaise's behind Draco and for a moment she saw a look of understanding cross the boy's face. She had never held a conversation with Blaise, but in this moment they were connected by a bond stronger than any she had shared outside of Harry, Ron, and yes, even Draco.

Hermione wiggled over to the broken glass to her left and, in more pain than she had ever been in, proceeded to try and cut her bonds behind her back. She was momentarily distracted by the shouting and the fighting, but she refocused on her task as she watched Lucius brandish his wand in Narcissa's direction.

'Time to die, Love. Knew I should have been rid of you years ago. Look what you have done to our son,' Lucius spit out, gesturing harshly to Draco. Whether he noticed Blaise attempting to free Draco or not, Hermione couldn't tell. Either way, he ignored both of them.

'I might be harder to kill then you think,' Narcissa said to her husband steely. Hermione did not know where the strength in this woman was coming from, but she could kiss her for buying them all the time they needed.

'Well, I won't kill you until you suffer. I will make you watch our son die. Avada Kedavra!' Lucius shouted as he turned and thrust his wand towards Draco.

'NO!' echoed from three voices. Hermione watched in slow motion as the spell made its way towards Draco's body. His eyes shifted to hers and she met his gaze as she screamed to the fates. She watched as Narcissa threw herself bodily at Lucius, but too late to divert the spell. Just when she thought she would watch him die she watched the surprise register on Draco's face as Blaise threw himself over Draco's body while shouting a spell she couldn't make out.

The spell hit Blaise and the loudest explosion Hermione had ever heard reverberated throughout the house. The green seemed to shatter against something and scatter to the wind, but still Blaise's body was flung lifelessly across the room into the walls and landed with a sickening crunch.

'NO!' was this time ripped from Draco's throat. Hermione watched in relief as he finally threw off the ropes that had impeded him. Hermione glanced quickly at Blaise's body and prayed silently to whomever was listening that his soul would be safe. She thought sadly that she had never known the boy; a boy who had given his life for his friend.

'You see!' shouted Lucius. 'You see what your love does? It kills!' And whether he was addressing Narcissa or Draco, Hermione would never know. Draco suddenly rushed his father and tackled him to the ground.

Hermione doubled her efforts to free herself as she watched the two Malfoy men forget magic and fight with flesh. So consumed was her focus that she jumped when a light touch landed on her shoulder. Hermione looked up and was met with the cold gaze of Narcissa Malfoy.

'We don't have much time,' Narcissa said calmly as she reached behind Hermione and undid the ropes. Then she grasped Hermione's arm and helped her stand.

'Thank you,' Hermione managed to croak out.

'Enough,' Narcissa stated, and when Hermione looked at her questioningly she noticed that Malfoy's mother's gaze was on her two men. 'More than enough I think,' she heard Narcissa mutter before she was once more met by the beauty's gaze. 'Voldemort would use Draco as his vessel and use your body to ensure his immortality. Do not let him. Tell my son I love him and I am not sorry.'

Hermione had only a moment to wonder what she meant before the woman strode away from her and raised her wand. Draco was suddenly flung away from his father. Both were bloody and panting. Lucius whirled on his wife viscously.

'You dare!?' he bellowed. Hermione noticed now how unhinged the man really was. He was beyond reason, beyond rage. She barely registered him pointing his wand at his wife before Hermione heard Draco moan in pain. She immediately turned and ran towards him. She slid to her knees and gasped at the amount of blood that covered him.

'Draco,' she whispered as she touched his cheek.

'Mmmmm,' he moaned and shifted into her touch. She watched as his eyes fluttered open and she was floored once again by the knowledge that this fallen angel loved her.

She reached down and helped him sit up her arm wrapping around his back to support him.

A sudden crashing sound interrupted their reunion and Hermione glanced up in time to see Narcissa's body come flying towards them in a flash of yellow. She covered Draco's body protectively but his mother's body slid to a stop just in front of them. The woman groaned and fought her way up to a standing position.

Once again, the world slowed. Hermione wondered at why the awful events always made sure you were able to catch every single detail. Hermione wondered at the cruelty of it. She watched as Narcissa glanced back briefly and smiled at her son before throwing herself in front of the curse that Lucius had sent towards them all.

A purple light enveloped Narcissa and her body seemed to hang momentarily, free of the weight she had carried for so long, free of the anger and hatred, simply free. Then she crumpled like a ragdoll to the ground, all life seemingly gone from the woman.

She felt the tension go out of Draco's body and when she turned to look at his face she was taken aback by the deadness she found there. She could hear Lucius laughing maniacally in the background. She could hear Remus shout her name from closer than she anticipated. She could sense the battle drawing to a close.

But none of that mattered.

Draco had turned to look at her and his eyes were burning into hers. 'You're all I have left now. I won't let him take that too,' Draco said softly, his bloodied hand rising and caressing his cheek. He leaned forward and kissed her softly and she felt her throat constrict in longing and fear. She broke away and smiled at him softly. She helped him rise and together they turned and faced their would-be executioner.

Lucius stood ten feet from them stepping over the body of his wife as though she were a rug beneath his feet. 'I have thought of something better than killing you son,' the man said with an energy Hermione did not understand how he could have. He stopped and raised his wand in front of them. It pointed at Hermione but as the smile grew on Lucius' face, Hermione watched in horror as he shifted its focus onto Draco. 'I am going to make you forget,' Lucius whispered.

Hermione's world stopped. It didn't slow. It stopped. She understood Lucius perfectly in that moment. She knew what his twisted and sadistic mind had come up with. He was going to wipe Draco's memory of his love, of his weakness. He was going to get what he wanted: loyal, mudblood hating Draco. He was going to win.

Hermione had fractions of a second to watch as Lucius began to vocalize the spell. She had a moment to propel her body in front of Draco's, her eyes locking on to his and begging him to understand that she was saving him. For Hermione knew, if he forgot, there would be no saving Draco Malfoy this time around. She could live with herself for having her memories wiped. She knew he would find her again and make her understand his love. She trusted him to raise her from the fog. She felt that she would one day grow to love this person. And as the spell hit her already fragile body, she saw the horror of what was about to happen hit Draco's face. She watched as the pain in his eyes morphed into surprise and then anguish. She watched as his mouth formed a shout she could not hear. Her mind whispered, 'Good-bye' to him as her world went dark and she felt herself fall into oblivion.

Hermione watched from a distance now, as the rest of the event played out. She had no memory of these things as she had not been conscious, but Voldemort was forcing her to watch the pain and death she had unknowingly caused. She watched as Draco stood frozen in a silent room cradling her unconscious body. She watched as he turned to his father and killed him, coldly, clinically. She watched as Remus and Arthur tried to pry her body from Draco. She watched as he broke down and finally fell apart in Remus' arms. She watched.

She watched.

Until her mind was forced back into her body and back into the present.

It felt as though she had fallen from the skies the force of the impact back into herself had her literally seeing stars. That is until she focused on the pale, snake-like face in front of her. Voldemort still held her against the wall, his finger still touching her forehead. She heard the sound of a body hitting something and a groan of pain.

What had lasted forever for her, had only seemed to last a minute in the present.

'You're mine now,' Voldemort hissed into her face. 'Whole again. Ready to bear forth my immortality.'

'You'll never win,' Hermione managed to croak out around his grip on her throat. 'I don't know what you hoped to accomplish by showing me that, but it has only made me want to fight you harder.'

Voldemort's eyes blazed and an ear-splitting laugh blasted her in the face.

'This Gryffindor courage you throw at me, do you really think one such as you can defeat me?' Voldemort asked, his finger falling from her forehead to draw a sharp line against her cheek.

Hermione smiled. 'No,' she said softly, looking pityingly at the Dark Lord. 'But they can.'

Hermione had been buying time. Over Voldemort's shoulder she had watched as Harry and Draco had come to on the couch. She would ask them later why Harry was lying on top of an unconscious Malfoy, but she had only felt strength and a surety she had never before known flood her veins.

As her words, Voldemort had turned just as the room was suddenly flooded with people.

Through the doors around her she watched as Remus, Neville, Luna, Tonks, Bill, Arthur, Snape, Kingsley and Fred entered, their wands raised.

'It's over, Tom,' came Harry's soft voice. Hermione turned and watched as Harry and Draco, as one, moved towards the Dark Lord, their wands never wavering.

'It'll never be over,' Voldemort hissed. Hermione watched in horror as he launched himself, faster than she would have ever imagined possible, at Harry. But somehow, as if he had known what was going to happen, Fred suddenly appeared in front of Voldemort, a great shield of magic surrounding him.

Voldemort, more distracted than anything, turned momentarily at the startling appearance of Fred, and avoided the shield.

The distraction proved enough however, as Harry had used the opportunity to speed to Voldemort's right side. He had pulled from his robes the silver dagger that had started this all and plunged it into Voldemort's head.

'Die, Tom. And leave me the fuck alone,' Harry said coldly as he followed Voldemort's body to the ground. A sudden light appeared from the dagger and began to envelop Harry and Voldemort. Draco ran across the room and grabbed Hermione, turning her to shield her eyes from the light. A loud hissing, almost scream like sound filled their ears and Hermione barely heard the others shouting and hitting the ground.

As suddenly as it had begun, it was over.

Hermione turned in Draco's arms and sought out Harry.

He was there, just as he had been before. His hands wrapped around the dagger on his knees over Voldemort's body. Hermione screamed in relief, joy, fatigue, everything. She felt Draco's arms tighten around her and she watched as Harry's body slumped slightly. His head moved upwards and she met his gaze.

Harry smiled at Hermione. Hermione smiled back.

'It's finally over,' Harry whispered. His fingers fell from the dagger and Hermione gasped as he shifted slightly and his hair moved from his face.

'What?' Draco asked.

'Your scar, Harry,' Hermione said. She left Draco's arms and walked gingerly over to Harry. She knelt down in front of him and carefully and lovingly brushed his hair from his forehead. She heard the others approach behind her and felt safe for the first time in a long while.

'Your scar is gone, Harry,' Hermione told him.

And after a moment, Hermione watched as the-Boy-who-lived broke down and finally cried.


'I love you,' she found herself saying in a room full of people.

They were back in the Burrow, only this time celebrating instead of mourning. At her words, the room had grown silent.

'I love you too, Hermione,' Fred said from behind her, 'but do you think that is appropriate to announce in front of Malfoy?'

Hermione couldn't help the laugh that escaped her as she turned as slapped the Weasley man that had grown into so much more than a simple friend.

'Fred Weasley!' Molly shouted from across the room.

'Back off, Weasley,' Draco suddenly said. 'I think she was talking to me this time.' And before Hermione could react he had grabbed her and turned her back to face him and proceeded to kiss her in front of everyone she knew.

Before she lost herself completely in the feeling, she heard Fred say to Harry, 'Don't be jealous, Potter, I know how much Malfoy means to you, but we'll find you someone else to love.'

The sound of laughter once again coming from the Weasley household propelled her happiness even further than she could have imagined possible and she lost herself in Draco's kiss.

Memories old and new would no longer be tainted by guilt, fear, and destruction. She would see to that.

The End.

It has been a hell of a ride.

Love, Ally