‹ Prequel: Set Fire to Rain
Status: Complete

Safe and Sound

It's over

A mass had already gathered at the door of the school. Rubble had been brushed aside, the survivors gathered in a large crowd, peering through the door with their soot and blood covered faces. I pushed through the crowd, none of them looking at me. They simply continued to stare at the black wall of death eaters across the court yard.

Stepping to the front line, I scanned the crowd. There were more death eaters than there were of our small army. They were in better shape as well, many of them suffering minor or no injuries. Moral was running low, and I already felt in my heart that this was going to be a dead end.

Despite what I was feeling I took steady breaths. My heart was beating erratically in my chest and I still felt incomplete, like there was something missing. It was like there was a void within me, and I couldn’t fill it. If I didn’t act, it would drive me over the edge.

Hagrid was shoved through the crowd of death eaters. He carried a limp body, making my eyes go out of focus for a moment. My knees buckled and I swayed to the left, but Draco grabbed my arm, holding me tight in place. On my right Blaise also grabbed my hand, squeezing hard. My blurred vision cleared.

“Who is that?” Ginny demanded, pushing past Draco. I coughed loudly, realizing it was actually me trying to choke down a sob. I stared at the body in Hagrid’s arms, my body trembling. “Who is Hagrid carrying?”

Something sparked in me. I went rigid, my heart nearly stopping. It felt like the tiniest bolt of electricity had shot through my shoulder from my jagged scar to the center of my chest. My breath caught for a minute and I let it out slowly, closing my eyes. I didn’t feel wrong anymore. I didn’t feel like I was incomplete. He was alive.

“Harry Potter,” Voldemort announced, smiling and casting out his pale arms, “Is dead!”

Murmurs and a sense of distress rippled through the crowd. Ginny screamed, only to have a silencing charm tossed at her, knocking her backwards into her father’s arms. Glancing around, I saw the horror on everyone’s faces. Faces of white, eyes filled with tears and trembling lips seemed to take control of every facial feature.

That’s when I realized it. Even if I had planned to take Harry’s place and fight, it wouldn’t have mattered. Looking at the people around me, seeing the grief flooding them made me realize that Harry wasn’t just a person to them. He was a symbol of hope, a beacon of light against the darkness.

The day my brother was believed to survive Voldemort the first time was the marking point for hope in the wizarding world. If a young boy with no magical talent could be saved, if he could live against the darkest of all wizards in the world, then so could the majority of the community.

Hope was the worst enemy of the dark. Not light, not strength, not passion. Hope was a symbol that there was always an end to the dark reign of terror, that somewhere down the line, evil would fail. Hope did that. Harry Potter was hope, and the only thing I had in common with him was a birth day, a name, and a pair of eyes. I could never have been what he was. I was never going to be my brother, not really.

“It’s time,” Voldemort said. He stood in front of his group of death eaters who laughed and grinned like they had won the quidditch world cup. “It’s time to declare yourself. Come forward and join us… or die.”

Silence followed his threat, for it was more a threat than it was an offer. Not a single person moved under Voldemort’s hungry gaze. His sneer turned left to right, looking at our ranks, but no one moved. No one seemed to even take a breath, standing rigid and alert.

“Draco.” Draco went rigid next to me at the sound of his father’s voice. Lucius and Narcissa both stood there, looking between Draco and eye. I grabbed Draco’s hand firmly, linking our fingers so tightly that it almost hurt. I could hear his quick breaths beside me, the trembling in his exhalations. “Come.”

Many things flashed by me in the moment of silence that followed Lucius’ command. I thought about the first time I met Draco, the first time he had knocked me down, the first time I had kissed him and the first time I said I loved him. All those things flit by in my mind, and I wondered if they were enough to make him stay. I thought that maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be enough to make him remain at my side.

“I think I’m fine here,” he said, voice much steadier than he looked. “Thanks.”

Voldemort laughed. The sound of it sent a palpable shiver through the crowd as he grinned at Draco and I in turn. “Your side seems to have two that are not like the rest of you.” People shifted uncomfortably. “It was nice to have you both in my ranks. I seem to have no use for you now.”

“Absolute rubbish,” Hermione hissed to the people around her. I was relieved that she was backing me up. “Every word he says.”

“I seem to have no use for you either, Voldemort.” My voice was cold and he looked at me strangely. “Really, the world has no use for you. Just like your muggle father. Do your death eaters know that? Do they know that you, who preach of purity and power are yourself a halfblood? I’m sure they don’t. Not that it matters, because you haven’t won.”

“Wherein lies my loss, Reagan Potter?”

“That’s just it.” I took a step forward, scowling. “I’m a Potter. I was born on July 31st, 1980. I lived despite your attempts to kill me, and I was raised by Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy. But I am not the only person who lived on July 31st despite your attempts to destroy a prophecy that would be your destruction.” I looked to my right. “Anything to say, Neville?”

Neville nodded and stepped forward. He held the sorting hat in his hand, which I thought was odd. Why it was in his possession, I had no idea. “Yeah, I do.” He hobbled a few feet in front of us. People were completely held by him, their attention on the boy who they thought was a coward all of their schooling years. “Doesn’t matter that Harry is gone.”

“Stand down, Neville!”

“Shut up, Seamus,” I hissed, glaring at him. He held his tongue. “Continue, Neville.”

“People die every day,” he said loudly, shrugging. “Friends, family.” People began to murmur in agreement, stirring at his words. Neville needed to continue talking. I kept my eyes on Harry, trying not to show my anxiety. He needed time, so we were giving him time. “We lost Harry tonight, but he’s still with us in here,” he tapped his heart. “So is Fred, Remus, Tonks, all of them! They didn’t die in vain, but you will. Because you’re wrong! Harry’s heart did beat for us, for all of us!”

It was almost impossible to understand the several things that happened in that moment. The first image of that moment had been seeing Neville brandish a fine sword, ripping it free of the hat. It gleamed in the sunlight as he charged the snake, which he had keenly noted had slithered away from Voldemort, something not even I had caught.

The next, was that Voldemort stunned Neville, knocking him backwards, while I had simultaneously charged forward, brandishing my wand and throwing a curse at Voldemort, of which a brave death eater took by throwing themselves in front of him- Dolohov, I would remember later.

Lastly and the most important action in that moment was Harry throwing himself free from Hagrid’s arms, shouting a curse and hitting the snake with it, but to no avail. It simply hissed, fleeing away from him as chaos broke out, death eaters apparating and cheers rippling through the crowd behind me.

“Defend Hogwarts!” I screamed, rolling from a shot of red going by me. I was no longer concerned about my brother. He had his job to do and I had my own as I rolled to my feet, running back to the mouth of the school. “Fight them off!”

Everyone was moving. People were pouring out of the castle, throwing curses and hexes. I pivoted, throwing my back against Draco and Blaise as we made a triangle, red sparks flying out of our wands as we defended the castle, taking down anyone that dared to remain and fight, which was still a great amount.

The morning sun was rising high in the sky as the fight went on. Groups of us clustered, defending the entrance to the school, very few death eaters getting passed the main forces at the entrance of the school.

Someone fell down next to me. I twisted and went to my knee, throwing my wand out and screaming, “Confringo!” hitting the death eater square in the chest, his body exploding into flames and pieces. It was gruesome to watch, but it had to be done. I looked down, seeing Luna propped on her elbows. “Are you alright?”

“That was well done.” A nasty gash ran across her right brow. Without asking them too, Blaise and Draco stood in front of us, giving us cover as I took her face in my hands, examining the deep wound that was bleeding freely. “Oh, it’s just a scratch.”

“A scratch?” I grinned tiredly, pointing my wand at the wound. “That’s a wee bit more than a scratch, mate. Episkey!”

Luna’s skin began to knit together, the blood abating and stopping completely. Putting my hands under her armpits, I pulled her up to her feet easily; she was light as a feather. I patted her on the arm and we began moving towards the great hall, fighting, maiming and taking out people along the way.
I ducked under a curse, throwing a stunning spell over Blaise’s shoulder, catching a death eater in the chest. Blaise looked over his shoulder at me, annoyed but I simply grinned and clapped him on the shoulder, assuring him I wouldn’t hit him.

Pandemonium was the only word I thought of when I entered the great hall. Death Eaters were slipping in through the cracks and the main force of Hogwart’s defenders were standing their ground, knocking back the ranks of black each and every time. The death eaters could gain no more ground.

A line of death eaters charged the double doors, bellowing and wands raised. I spun around to face them, throwing my wand arm as I shouted, “Deprimo!” Wind blast from the tip of my wand, howling as it tunneled through the doors and swept back the line of death eats, tossing them with it’s fury. Raising my wand and aiming it at the heavy, metal chandelier hanging in the hall in front of the door, I severed it. “Diffindo!”

“You’re brilliant,” Blaise laughed, almost gleefully. He was looking at me, smiling happily. I grinned back at him. It was like we were almost having fun. Draco kissed me on the cheek before casting an exploding charm, blasting a hurled bolder to pieces. “Honestly, you’re a genius, you-"

Blaise was cut off as he yelled out in pain, twisting as he was hit in the shoulder by a spell. I caught him in my arms, dropping my wand and falling down to the ground with him, cushioning his fall by pulling him onto my chest, my legs folding under me. Draco hurdled over us, warding off our attacker.

Blaise’s eyes were open wide with fear in pain as I looked at his shoulder. The curse had been of severing origin, cutting clean through his shirt and deep into his shoulder, the muscle torn as well. It was bleeding freely, the dark blood staining my hand as I examined it, possible fixes going through my mine.

“I need dittany!” I screeched, looking up at Draco as I pulled off my sweater to reveal a tank top underneath. I balled up the shirt, pressing it to Blaise’s wound. He screamed out in pain, back arching as I used my other arm to press him down across the chest, rooting him in the spot. “I can’t heal this with a wand. I need something like essence of dittany, like if someone was splinched!”

“Where the bloody hell do I find that?”

“Find madam pomfrey or Hermione! And hurry, Draco.”

“I can’t very well leave you two here!”

“We can cover her.” Craning my neck up, I saw George and Percy Weasley. They were both ragged and worn, bleak twists to their mouths. I opened and closed my mouth, not sure what it was I was supposed to say. I wasn’t going to deny help from them. “Go, Malfoy. We’ve got it.”

Instead of replying, he nodded once. He gave me a look that made me smile. “I know. If anything happens to me you’ll kill me. Now go, before he bleeds out.”

Looking like it was the last thing he wanted to do, Draco took off. George and Percy both stood by Blaise and I, countering any enemy that came near us. I managed to pick up my wand off of the ground, defending myself and Blaise if I could get a clear shot around the Weasley’s.

Blaise grunted and I shushed him, kissing the top of his brow to ensure him that he would be okay. And he would be okay. I just couldn’t knit the muscle together, I wasn’t skilled enough for that. But I could apply pressure to slow the bleeding, and I could defend him. Because that’s what I had taken up to doing, defending the people I loved.

The only thing I was ever good at was defending people. I wasn’t good at making the right decision, I wasn’t good at being friendly, and I was even worse at making friends. But I was good at protecting people that I vowed to protect. No one had died for my lack of protection. I sure as hell wasn’t going to start with Blaise in the middle of a battle at my school.

“Am I going to die?”

I glared at Blaise. He was looking up at me. “No, you’re not going to die. Get a grip of yourself, lad. Draco will be here in a minute. You’re fine.”

“If I die-"

“If you die, I’m going to give you a proper beating. Now shut it, stop wasting energy.”

A faint smile tilted his lips. “Did you know you get meaner when you’re afraid of something?”


“Yeah. You’re being pretty mean right now, if you weren’t aware.”

“Perhaps is because my best friend keeps thinking he’s going to die when he clearly isn’t going to and he won’t stop running his bloody mouth. Perhaps that’s why I’m mean, Blaise.”

He smiled but didn’t respond, taking to sitting quietly and waiting.

I was anxious. I had no idea where Draco had gone, but even worse, I was wondering about Harry. I hadn’t felt anything as strange as I had when he had been killed, but I certainly was scared. Somewhere in the castle, he was fighting Voldemort, and they were testing their strength against one another.

But there was also the snake. I hadn’t seen the snake anywhere, but it had to be somewhere unattended for. The urge to locate it and kill it were strong, but not stronger than to remain sitting on the floor, protected and protecting Blaise as he lost more blood, standing my hands and my clothes.

Starting to consider getting up and finding Draco and the dittany myself, I heard him before I saw him. Draco was yelling something at someone before a particularly loud explosion rocked the room. Everything went quiet then, like something had put a silencing charm on us all.

Peeking around George’s legs, I saw Draco. He was ducking down with Seamus, a huge piece of the wall at the entrance of the hall collapsed. Dust filled the air in brown and tan plumes. When the dust cleared, it seemed nothing but black cloaks had been under the rubble.

Seamus’ laugh was the first thing to fill the hall. Draco’s laughed followed, something that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. Draco clapped Seamus on the back as they stood, the entire room breaking out in victorious yells. It wasn’t until then I realized that there were no more death eaters pouring in through the doors. They had either been crushed in Seamus’ explosion or had turned around to flee.

With haste, Draco slid to his knees, coming over to us and unscrewing the bottle. I took the dropper and squeezed it over Blaise’s shoulder. He screamed as it burned, but the muscles instantly began knitting together, the strands intertwining and healing. The skin also pulled together, stitching itself.

A sigh escaped Blaise’s lips. Draco and I both pulled him up. The three of us stood there, Blaise with both of his arms wrapped around Draco and I, the three of us battered, bloodied and bruised. We stood in the wake of destruction and war, but the three of us were still alive, holding on.

Blackened and limping, a figure stood in the doorway of the great hall. My heart swelled. I looked at the two boys next to me. They both looked at me, one of them someone I was completely in love with, the other my best friend in the entire world. I smiled at them, tears pricking my eyes as I looked back to the entrance of the great hall.

Silence washed over us as Harry stood there. He had a wand in his hand, one that wasn’t his own. Though most would not know it wasn’t his, I did. Harry’s eyes swept the great hall. No one screamed for victory, and no one moved. It was like the shades on a window had been pulled up to reveal the sun for the first time.

There was hope, standing right in front of us again. And he wasn’t going anywhere ever again. As long as those who loved and believed in Hogwarts existed, there would be hope. And there would always be help for those who asked of it. Joy swelled in my heart at the thought.

“It’s over, boys.” I smiled at Harry before looking back to my own two boys. “Let’s take a damn nap.”
♠ ♠ ♠
I really wanted to focus this chapter on Harry being a beacon of hope and I really did not want to end the scene with a Draco and Reagan moment. I sort of wanted to capture that it's always been Blaise, Draco and Reagan, even though a lot of the time it wasn't totally obvious.

I'm going to save my closing comments for the epilogue. But this story is over.. that was the last real chapter. I don't even know what to do.