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A Brief Shining Moment - Chapter Nineteen
by calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
at August 19th, 2007 (08:47 am)

i'm : my hatch
i'm feeling : sick
i'm listening to: The Return of the King - Howard Shore

Title: A Brief Shining Moment
Author:  calmacil_20
Spoiler/Warnings: An AU story that for the most part ignores DH.
Summary:  A story that ehcoes through the ages is told again...A retelling of the Arthurian legends with our favourite Hogwarts students as the focus. Takes place after the seventh year at Hogwarts is over, and Harry and his friends thought that they finally had some respite. Harry and Hermione are together at last, and live with most of the Order members in small, secluded house, but there is a shadowy remnant of Voldemort's supporters - united under a new leader - who still want to plunge the world into darkness. 
Genre: Angst/Adventure/Romance
Chapter: Nineteen - Two Kinds of Tears
Chapter Summary: Harry and Bellatrix finally meet on the field of battle, and Harry fights not only his enemy but his inner demons...
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: This is quite possibly my favourite chapter in this whole story, and I really hope everyone enjoys it. All my grattitude and love to  herminia for all her help and the fact that I miss her so much. I hope you all enjoy, and feedback is much appreciated.

Here's the Prologue and Chatpers 1 - 18 for those who need to catch up!

Cross-posted to: 
delusionalfans, harmony_fiction, harryhermionehhr_danemma, blueflame_hhrand my own personal journal. 

Harry Potter easily deflected a curse that was shot his way and sent a retaliatory curse back at one of the cloaked figures, which sent the Death Eater stumbling back into the fog that Snape had created.


Ron and Luna had just left to see what those sounds from the back were, and for the first time since Harry had entered the battle, he was afraid. Certainly not for himself, since he had thrown himself into the battle with a frenzy that even he was startled by, but for Hermione. He had told her and Malfoy to go out the back door, and he couldn’t bear the thought of something happening to her.


An explosion of purple light blew the ground to pieces a few feet away, and Harry had to dive out of the way of the raining debris. The curse had been aimed at Neville, but he had managed to dodge it as well, and was busy firing back.


Harry and the rest of the DA fell back, and were now practically at Claer’s doorstep. Harry used the brief respite he had to asses the situation. The DA had been holding their own extremely well, and he was proud of all of them, but the Death Eaters had more experience than they did, and the DA were slowly being worn down. Just the thought of the number dead sent Harry charging toward another Death Eater, blasting him back with a spell before the Death Eater had a chance to turn around.


He stood panting for a moment when a voice he would never forget cooed from behind him, “Ah, so there you are, Potter.”


He turned around slowly to see Bellatrix standing there, her black robes a whirl around her. There was both amusement and hatred in her eyes as she surveyed him.


“Your little band of brats is holding up better than I expected, but I don’t think they’ll last much longer once you’re gone.”


“Dumbledore’s Army isn’t about one person, Lestrange. That was something your lot could never understand: self-sacrifice.”


She scoffed at the statement and looked at him like a scolding teacher. “Don’t preach to me, Potter. I won’t take it from a rebellious little brat like you.”


The people fighting around them noticed what was going on, and the fighting slowed to a halt. Everyone was starring at the two of them, waiting for what was to happen next. An eerie silence fell over the battlefield as Harry clenched his wand tightly.


“How wise do you think this is, Lestrange, challenging the one who destroyed your precious Voldemort?”


Anger flashed across her face, but she managed to control it and said, in a taunting voice, “Oh, I don’t know, Potter. You seem to have trouble these days keeping your own house in order. Something tells me I can handle this.”


Harry felt himself colour at the idea that she would mention Hermione, but determined not to give her the satisfaction of a response.


She held her wand loosely, waiting for him to do something, but he just stared at her, anger welling up in him at the woman who had killed Sirius and had brought down all he had worked for.


She smiled at him and said, “I know what you’re thinking, boy, but don’t worry, you’ll see your precious godfather soon enough,” and fired a silver-blue curse at him.


Harry jumped out the way while firing his own counter-curse, which narrowly missed her and exploded in a flash of red behind her.


They went back and forth, sending spell after spell at each other, and Harry was aware that he was slowly being beaten back towards the house. She was just so fast with her wand; every spell he shot at her, she deflected like lightning and just a quickly returned fire, causing him to scramble out of the way. Between the two of them, they were creating a veritable fireworks show as their duel wore on.


As Harry came within feet of the house, he realized that he was losing, and there was nothing he could do about it. She was too quick, and he had given up all his energy in the earlier fight and in saying goodbye to Hermione.


Suddenly Bellatrix shot two quick spells at him, and while Harry was able to deflect one, the other hit him square in the chest and he was sent spinning backwards. He crashed into the wall of the house, before dropping to the ground. Pain rolled through him in waves, and he was dimly aware of Bellatrix laughing manically.


He managed to pull himself to his feet, and faced her again. They circled each other, and Harry made sure that his back wasn’t to the house anymore; one more hit like that and he’d break his back. They finally stopped, his back to one of Claer’s few trees that wasn’t on fire. The ground under it was littered with twigs and branches that had broken off during the battle, and Harry couldn’t help but notice that many of them were wand-sized. If only they were wands, and he had the numbers, he thought ruefully.   


They stood facing each other, Harry taking great gulps of air, and noticed with a glimmer of satisfaction that Bellatrix was breathing hard as well. At least I won’t make it easy for her, he thought grimly.


He was just about to launch an attack when he heard his name and turned to see Hermione standing at the corner of the house with Ron and Luna. Seeing her standing there, when he told her to leave, momentarily struck him dumb, and he looked at her like she he was just meeting her for the first time. He briefly wondered where Malfoy was, but when his eyes met Hermione, nothing else mattered. In that moment, as if some kind of gift, he saw all the love he had felt for her reflected back at him. She did love him, and it was so clear in her eyes that it took his breath away.


This only lasted for the briefest moment, but it gave Harry a whole new sense of strength and power. He realized there was only one way to finish this, and thanks to Hermione, he had the courage to do it. He felt tears of joy springing to his eyes, and turned back to look at Bellatrix, who was looking at him like one looks at some strange animal never before seen.


“Like I said, Lestrange, your lot could never understand,” and he launched a fierce attack at her, momentarily driving her back, before she countered, sending spells that exploded all around him, making him dive everywhere to dodge them; he just wasn’t fast enough to deflect them all. The time had come, and Harry knew what he had to do.


The next spell that hit close sent him rolling backwards to the base of the tree, and as he rolled, he grabbed a twig, and as another spell exploded where he had just been, he was able to slip his real wand into his jacket pocket.


He stood back up, facing a raging Bellatrix.


“ENOUGH!” she screamed, and aimed her wand at him.


Hermione was the only thing he thought of as he dove out of the way. As he had hoped, Bellatrix had caught on to this tactic of his, so when he dove, she anticipated and hit him as moved, sending him crashing into the trunk of the tree. The twig flew out of his hand as he hit the ground.


Again, pain ripped through him, this time worse than before, and he knew he wouldn’t be getting up again. The grass below him started to feel wet, and when he touched it with his fingers, they came up red.


He could hear the gasps of the DA, the shouts of victory from the Death Eaters, and just barely heard Hermione screaming his name.


He craned his head and saw Bellatrix coming slowly towards him, her step light and gloating, a malicious smile on her face. Making sure no sudden movement caught her eye, he slowly reached into his jacket pocket at grasped his wand.


She finally stood over him, smiling down at him as the branches above her swayed with the dying wind.


“This is how it ends, Harry Potter,” she said win a wicked grin.


She was just about to say the curse when Harry pulled out his wand and yelled, with all the strength he had left, “STUPEFY!” She flew high into tree, and as she came down with a screech, her long hood got caught on a branch, and with a loud snap, broke her neck.


She stayed there, hanging in the tree like some kind of macabre Christmas ornament, for a moment before the branch broke and she crashed to the ground in a lifeless heap.


Harry laid his head back and closed his eyes. It’s over, he thought, smiling.



With a terror she had never thought she could feel, Hermione had watched as Harry was hit by Bellatrix’s venom-green spell, sending him into the tree, and then sprawling to the ground, his wand flying out of his hand. She had screamed his name and tried to rush over to him, but Ron held her back as her cries were drowned out by noise made by the DA and Death Eaters.


As Bellatrix stood over Harry, taunting him even in death, a rage so all-encompassing that she thought she would drown in it rose up, and she thrashed against Ron, and now Luna.


Bellatrix had her wand ready, and was just about to kill him, when to everyone’s surprise, Harry pulled his wand out of his pocket and sent her flying into the tree. The sound of Bellatrix’s neck snapping made her flinch, but when the body fell to the ground, she felt herself go limp in the arms that were holding her. Harry and tricked Bellatrix, and won, but he wasn’t getting up.   


Hermione could hear the rest of the Death Eaters shout in panic, now that their leader was gone, and she was aware of people fleeing and members of Dumbledore’s Army chasing after them, crying out in victory.


All she could see was Harry lying on the grass, which was rapidly turning red with his blood.


She suddenly felt Ron take her hand and he lead her over to Harry. The whole world suddenly seemed to have turned murky; her eyes were so full of tears.


As she followed Ron and Luna to the body she noticed that no one else seemed to be paying attention, so intent they were in catching the fleeing enemy. She noticed a ragged looking Neville emerge from a group and head towards Harry as well, a look of anguish on his face.


At last she arrived where Harry was lying, and without realizing how it happened, she’s on the ground next to him, taking his already cooling hand into her own, trying desperately to call out his name through the sobs that were constricting her throat. In response to the touch of her hand, he turned to look at her and gave her that pure smile that she first fell in love with all those years ago and she felt her heart start to crack.


“H-hharry, I’m so sorry,” she finally managed to get out, but before she can finish, he raised a hand and put it to her lips, then let it rest softly on her cheek.


“It doesn’t matter now, my love. I was as much a fool as any. I was so focused on trying to make sure you were safe that I stopped paying attention to you, and what you needed,” he coughed, and blood flecked his lips, but he spoke in a firm voice. “Hermione, I want you to listen to me. This is not your fault, and I will not have you going through the rest of your life blaming yourself. It was not your fault, do you understand? You gave me the courage to do what needed to be done.” It was all she could to do is nod; the power of speech had been torn from her.


“I love you Hermione, and I always will,” and suddenly she was leaning down, kissing him softly for, what her heart said and her brain rejected, will be the last time. “I love you too, Harry.”


He smiled faintly and said, “I’m so lucky that your face is the last thing I get to see,” to which, she couldn’t help but smile, “and the last thing I get to feel is your lips. That’s how I always wanted life to be. I’m so lucky…” and he looked at her one last time, and closed his eyes.


She called his name once, twice, three times, before her hearted shattered like glass, and bowed over by grief, and completely unaware of the rain of tears that fell from those standing around her, laid her head on Harry’s chest and wept like a child: a child who lost the thing she cared for the most.


Posted by: obiwankatie (obiwankatie)
Posted at: August 19th, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)

i love this so very much and it can not be over! there is also a slight error in his dying speech: "You gave met he courage"

obviously it's 'gave me the'

just to make it perfect and all


Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: August 19th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
Simpsons - High five

Haha, thank you very much. I didn't see you comment on the last couple chapters, but I hope you enjoyed them as well. I've got one more chapter coming, and then an epilogue, so hopefully that'll give you some closure.

And thanks for the spelling catch!

Posted by: obiwankatie (obiwankatie)
Posted at: August 20th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)

yeah, i'm so sorry! i got backed up in, like, life/work stuff and didn't have time to read them when posted. So this morning i caught up and totally didn't review cause i just wanted to tear through the chapters and see what happened! i apologize! I loved them all - i just got lazy.

as long as your closure is better than Rowling's, i'll be totally all right!

Posted by: sarah (herminia)
Posted at: August 19th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
H/Hr - Dan & Emma // Whispers

He smiled faintly and said, “I’m so lucky that your face is the last thing I get to see,” to which, she couldn’t help but smile, “and the last thing I get to feel is your lips. That’s how I always wanted life to be. I’m so lucky…” and he looked at her one last time, and closed his eyes.

Heartbreaking beyond words. You are so good.

How are you doing today?

Posted by: calmacil_20 (calmacil_20)
Posted at: August 19th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
LOTR - Aragorn - Sad

Thanks, Ace. A little better; not great, but still.

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