It all comes down to this….but we knew it had to, didn’t we?
If it weren't for bad luck...
Fenrir's group burst through the archway into the courtyard and started firing spells at the various D.A. members, but when they spotted Severus Snape they ground to a halt, sure they were seeing things.
"You're dead!" said one Death Eater, just before a well placed stunner from Ginny Weasley dropped him to the ground.
"Apparently not!" replied Severus, as he shifted position, hitting another of the group and putting him out of action.
"Good one, Professor," yelled Terry, firing off one of his own, pinning down Rookwood behind a large piece of fallen stone.
"Thank you, Terry. Watch it!" Severus warned, pointing, as Rabastan tried to circle around.
"Got your back, Terry," called Silvia, as she spun around and made Rabastan dive for cover.
Fenrir backed into the hallway, out of sight, and waited.
Harry jumped on his broom.
"Where are you going?" Anna grabbed his arm.
"I've got to go help over at the staircase, it looks to spill out into Gwen's path and she and the boys will get caught in the open," Harry lied, stuffing the map in his pants pocket, being careful to avoid meeting Anna's gaze. "I'll catch up with you when I see them to safety. Now, go already, Severus needs some backup!"
Anna cocked her head and looked at him for a moment.
"Alright, then; we'll see you later."
Harry nodded and took off toward the stone arch bridge and then swung toward the terrace outside the Great Hall.
"I got a bad feeling about this," Anna said under her breath as she watched him fly away. Turning, she pointed. "Let's go kick some Death Eater butt!"
As Draco and Theo came racing down the stairs, Cissa turned her head to see who was approaching. Unfortunately, that gave Bella the opening she needed. "Expelliarmus!" she screamed.
Cissa was slammed against the corridor wall with a thud that knocked the wind out of her. She crumpled to the floor in a heap.
"Mother!" Draco leapt the last three steps and raced to Cissa. Theo had his wand pointed at Bella. She laughed at the sight of him.
"AH, young Nott. Hello and good bye....AVADA KA ..."
A chair flew across the hallway and slammed into Bella, knocking her over and giving Theo time to get behind a pillar near Draco, who was still bent over his Mother, trying to see how badly she was hurt, heedless of any danger to himself.
"What? Then who?'
"Tykey will take Missy Cissa to the hospital, Mister Draco, sir."
"Did you throw that chair?" Draco asked, even as he swiveled to check what Bella was doing, only to see her crawling back into the common room, calling for Rodolphus.
"Yes, sir. I is watching and had to do it, sir."
"Thank you, Mister Draco, sir."
"I'm fine, Draco, stop fussing! She just knocked the wind out of me." Cissa was pushing herself into a sitting position.
"I don't care, Mother, you're going upstairs! Tykey, take her, now please; we have work to do."
Cissa and the House-elf disappeared.
Coming across the swinging bridge put Anna's group in the Cobblestone courtyard. They could hear the shouts coming from the Clock Tower courtyard and quickened their pace. They ran through the hallway that connected the two open spaces, wands at the ready, but they failed to see Fenrir standing off to the side in an alcove. When Anna, Zack and Pavarti charged by he slipped away, heading in the opposite direction, then he spotted a good hiding place, where he could observe and wait.
"Mad-eye!" Draco yelled.
"Is that you, Mister Malfoy?" the old Auror shouted back.
"Yes, me and Theo. Need any help?"
"Oh, sure, NOW you get here, after we've softened them up for you!" shouted Bill Weasley, ducking another one of Rodolphus' spells. "Your Auntie's just inside the door to the right, so watch yourselves."
"Hey Draco, how's it going upstairs," Tonks called, as she crept between bits of furniture, looking for an opportunity to nail one of the Death Eaters in the corner. "Stupefy!"
"There goes another one, Bella, so why don't you just give up?" Mad-eye asked cordially .
"NEVER!" Bella screamed, as Rodolphus reached out and dragged her into the shelter of what was left of a bookcase he was crouching behind, whispering urgently to her.
"According to the Map, there are only two groups, beside this lot, still fighting us and they're going down as we speak. It's just a matter of time until the all Death Eaters are captured," Draco taunted.
"Liar!" screamed Bella. "Harry Potter will die tonight and the Dark Lord will reign over the Wizarding World!"
With that, she and Rodolphus leaped out into the open and began blasting their way toward the door.
"Look out Draco!" yelled Tonks.
Theo and Draco took refuge behind two pillars and tried to stop the two Death Eaters emerging from the common room, but once through the door, Bella and her husband turned and fled up the stairs, the boy's spells just missing them.
"Theo, get in there and help Tonks, Mad-eye and Bill contain the rest of them. I'm going to keep track of my dear old auntie."
"Be careful, she's a right nutter, that one."
Draco took off after his aunt and uncle while Theo entered the common room and started fighting the other Death Eaters who were also trying to make a bid for freedom...they didn't get it very far.
Voldemort and Dumbledore sat facing each other, waiting. Soon it would end...one way or the other.
The fighting on the moving stairs was, indeed, shifting in the direction of the terrace. The Death Eaters were retreating, trying to regroup for another attempt to gain entrance to the Gryffindor dorms, where they were sure Harry was hiding.
Dean, Seamus and Neville had arrived and joined in the fray. Seeing them told everyone, D.A.s and Death Eaters alike, that the group of invaders who had been sent to conquer Ravenclaw had been defeated and probably captured...maybe even killed. Jugson and Mulciber exchanged looks and turned back to continue fighting with grim determination. They needed re-enforcements, badly, if they were to get up the stairs.
"Should we make a break for it and get some help from that bunch with the werewolf?" suggested Jugson.
"Yeah, they're not doing anything if we're not delivering the students to the Dementors. So, let's get out of here." replied Mulciber, as he unleashed a shot at Minerva McGonagall that just missed her. "We're not having any luck here, so...on the count of three."
With a quick count and a burst of spells, the two wizards turned and ran down the stairs closest to their position. Several of the other Death Eaters howled their displeasure at their departure, calling them cowards.
"We're getting help!" Jugson shouted over his shoulder.
It wasn't much consolation to those they left behind.
Harry walked into the entrance hall and looked up the stairs toward the Great Hall. Yes, he could feel Voldemort. Suddenly, two Death Eaters came tearing out of the archway leading to the moving stairs and shot out a side door, heading toward the middle bridge. Harry realized that a full scale battle was still going on and his first duty was to stop Gwen and the Creevey brothers before they walked into the middle of it.
Ignoring, for the moment, what awaited him in the Great Hall he turned and looked outside. Sure enough, Colin, Dennis and Gwen were walking across the terrace. He met them in the door.
"Harry!" Gwen frowned. "How'd you?...Oh, yeah, the broom."
"Look, there's a big fight going on, just in there," he explained, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. "You three would have been walking straight into the middle of it and I thought I'd come and warn you. How about if we find some place safe for you, Gwen and then Colin, Dennis and I can go help out."
"Well, I'll just wait in the Great Hall with Professor Dumbledore and..." Gwen volunteered, stepping into the entrance hall.
"You can't, ah...it's not really that safe in there; no hiding places...how about I fly you up to the hospital wing?"
Gwen cocked her head and peered at Harry.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd swear you were trying to get rid of me, Harry."
Just then, Bella and Rodolphus came up the stairs from the Slytherin dungeon, panting, and collapsed against the wall, trying to catch their breath. Looking up, Bella spotted Gwen standing by the open door, a broomstick in each hand.
"Well, well, who do we have here?" Bella smiled wickedly. "Is this the Muggle I've heard so much about?" She pushed herself off of the wall and stood there looking Gwen over, appraising her.
Harry was perplexed, until he realized he and the Creevey brothers were still Disillusioned and that Bella and Rodolphus couldn't see them. He looked at Colin and Dennis and saw that they had figured it out, also, as they were whispering to each other. He watched as they went and stood on either side of Gwen, silently mounting their brooms. Gwen let go of the brooms, which seemed to hover next to her. She removed her sunglasses and propped them on her head.
"Yes, I'm Gwen Jones...and you are?"
"Bella Lestrange...and this is my husband, Rodolphus."
"Charmed," sneered Rodolphus.
"You're Bella? Good Lord, I thought Cissa was exaggerating."
"Exaggerating? About what, may I ask?"
Draco slowed down as he approached the top of the stairs when he heard his Aunt speaking. He took a peek and saw Gwen standing by the door.
'What the bloody hell is she doing here alone? Oh, wait!' thought Draco, as he put on his sunglasses and saw the other three standing with her. Harry spotted him and motioned that Draco should cover Bella and he would maneuver around to get the drop on Rodolphus. Draco nodded, and then he crept up the stairs to get a better view of the hall.
"She said you two were exact opposites and now I can see she wasn't kidding." Gwen raised her hands like she was balancing a scale. "Blond hair...black hair, chic style...bit on the goth side, radiant beauty...fast fading looks..."
"How dare you!"
"What? I didn't say it, your sister did; don't kill the messenger!" Gwen laughed, dropping her hands to her side. Colin and Dennis each took one of her hands and she held on tight. She didn't know what they had planned but she trusted these two kids....with her life.
"With pleasure! 'AVADA KA'..." Bella twirled her wand starting to cast the killing curse.
Anna had managed to join Severus behind a stone urn, spells exploding sparks all around them.
"Hello, handsome. You come here often? 'Stupefy!'" Anna got off a quick spell and then looked up at Severus and smiled.
"Insane woman! I love you! DUCK!" He pushed her down, keeping Anna from being hit and knocked across the courtyard. "How are we doing, by the way?" he asked in a casual tone, getting off two more spells before turning to gaze at his wife, with eyebrow raised.
"According to Harry's map, here and the staircase are the only two battles going on...well, if you don't count the one in Slytherin, which Draco and Theo were heading to. The other groups have been subdued and taken care of. Giants are under control and I see you and Filius were successful."
"Excellent. Well, shall we?"
With that, they came out from their hiding place and started dueling with the Death Eaters.
Three things happened at once; Draco blasted Bella across the entrance hall, " 'Expelliarmus!'", Rodolphus was hanging upside-down, courtesy of Harry's, " 'Levicorpus!' " and Gwen found herself flying high over the huge space, held aloft by two giggling boys.
Rodolphus was the first to recover, " 'Finite Incantatum' ", landing on his shoulder with a nasty thump. He grabbed Bella and yanked her to her feet, blasting spells at Harry and Draco, dragging his wife toward the door to the terrace. As soon as they were outside and heading toward the sound of the other fight going on in Clock Tower courtyard, Draco started down a side hallway.
"I'm going to cut them off if I can! Wish me luck, Harry!"
"Draco, wait!" yelled Harry, but his friend was gone.
Gwen landed next to him, and the Creevey brothers started to Re-illusion themselves.
"Thanks guys," Gwen gave them each a hug. "Now what, Harry?"
Harry was also becoming visible again, thinking it better, under the circumstances.
"You still have to get to the Hospital Wing, but I think you should..."
The sound of the door to the Great Hall opening stopped him.
"Ah...tell you what; wait right here. I'll be back in a minute, after I go see Professor Dumbledore, Ok?"
"Alright; we'll keep our heads down." Colin replied.
Bella almost fell, but Rodolphus pulled her forward.
"Wait, I have to catch my breath; I think my rib is broken," she gasped.
"I'm going on ahead to help Rabastan. Catch up as quickly as you can," he said, and then turned and continued toward the sound of the battle.
He left her near the back entrance to the staircase hall. She could hear the fighting going on in there, too.
'What had gone wrong? How had these children known they were coming, or what their plans were? Who had betrayed them? Who had access to both the school and the Dark Lord? Severus Snape... but he was dead and he hadn't known any of the true details of the plan. So who...'
"Wormtail!" she hissed. "The sniveling little coward."
'But that couldn't be right,' she thought, 'my Master would know if he'd been betrayed, he would have seen the truth in his mind.'
"Taking a little breather, Auntie?" Draco asked, leaning on the door jam of the nearby hallway.
"You! I've got plans for you, nephew." Bella smiled, but it quickly faded as Draco held up his wand.
"Funny, I was about to say the same thing to you."
"Hi, Anna," called Ginny, as she crouched behind a pillar, catching her breath. "Seen Harry?"
"Yes, he's over at the Great Hall."
"What? Voldemort is in the Great Hall; I heard one of the Death Eaters say so."
"But that's where .....Oh my God, Dobby said Albus was going to the Great Hall to talk to someone...you don't suppose?" Anna gasped, shooting off a spell and then turning to Severus.
"There's only one way to find out," Severus answered.
Anna and he doubled their efforts and started to work their way toward the entrance to the school, but Rodolphus had joined up with his brother and they were singling out the Snapes as their personal targets.
Ginny, however, was quicker and smaller and made it to the archway, then took off running for the Great Hall.
Anthony, Lavender and Padma were just taking off on their brooms, having secured the Death Eaters by the Quidditch gate and turned them over to the House-elves. As they gained enough height to check over the wall, they could Katie, Fred, George and Angelina were still engaged at the wooden bridge and Clock Tower courtyard.
They then turned their attention to the last group of Death Eaters, still waiting at the main entrance gate to the castle. What the Death Eaters couldn't see was the Aurors had arrived and were streaming up the approach road.
"This should be good," remarked Anthony. "The Aurors will get there in a couple of minutes, but what say we keep those Death Eaters busy until they do?"
"Sounds like a plan to me," agreed Padma. "Ready Lavender?"
"Let's do it!"
Wands out, they streaked silently through the night sky, straight at the half dozen figures, lounging against the stones of the gate house.
Jugson and Mulciber couldn't understand where everyone had gone. The fountain courtyard was empty; no Dementors, no Fenrir, no other Death Eaters. From the sounds they'd heard, though, there were still at least two battles going on: the one in the staircase tower that they had run from and the one over by the wooden bridge and Clock Tower. They had seen someone, probably those pesky students of Dumbledore's, swooping around on brooms. But what should they do? They didn't dare try and leave, there were Death Eaters stationed at the outside gates to stop that from happening.
"I guess we have to go back. Better to go down fighting then get caught, in my book." Jugson said as he turned back toward the bridge.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. We've had nothing but bad luck tonight and that's the truth." Mulciber grumbled.
"If it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all." snorted Jugson.
"Ha, ha, very funny. Let's go."
The cobblestone courtyard was now filling with the members of Severus' group and the Death Eaters they were fighting, as the battle drifted further into the school. Jugson and Mulciber came through an archway and joined in, even as Ginny ducked into another door, trying to get past the fight, striving to reach the Great Hall. She heard spells flying off to her right and had a glimpse of Draco and his aunt Bella dueling, as she continued.
The battle in the staircase tower was also drifting outside, through doorways onto the terrace and into the entrance hall. Harry took one look over his shoulder at his friends fighting the Death Eaters and then stepped into the Great Hall. The door swung shut behind him.
It had been emptied of furniture; the long tables and benches and the staff tables...gone. The only light was from a few torches on the walls and some candles on a small table set for tea that was between two chairs on the dais at the far end. To Harry's amazement, Dumbledore and Voldemort were sitting in those chairs, both calmly observing him as he advanced the length of the vast room.
"Harry," Dumbledore greeted him, calmly.
"Sir," Harry replied, giving him a small smile before swinging his gaze to the other wizard. "Tom."
"Potter," Voldemort hissed the name. Then he smiled. "I'm so glad you could join us."
"How are we fairing, Harry," the Headmaster raised a hand and indicated the rest of the school.
"We've just about finished catching all of the Death Eaters, the last of the fighting is just outside, as we speak," Harry informed him. "Looks like it's come down to you and me, Tom," he added, turning his attention to the Dark Lord.
"I see...but, we both knew that was inevitable, didn't we?" Voldemort tilted his head. "Well, shall we get this over with; I have plans for this school that need to be put into motion."
"I doubt you'll ever see those plans to fruition." Dumbledore stood. "I believe I should excuse myself. After all, this is between you and Harry, as you pointed out, Tom. Wouldn't want you saying I was interfering, now would we?" He looked at Harry and winked.
Harry smiled. He didn't feel as if Dumbledore was abandoning him to his fate, just giving him a clear field and also, in a strange way, his blessing. Albus was saying he knew Harry would be able to take care of this, by himself. It made Harry feel more confident.
"What, you're not going to be our witness, old man. Nonsense, I wouldn't think of depriving you of the opportunity of seeing your star pupil in the fight of his life. His soon to be short life, I might add," Voldemort sneered, as he rose from his chair. "I insist you stay!"
"Thank you, no. I believe Harry is quite capable of handling you and I'd better check and see what's happening out there," replied the Headmaster, pointing to the door, "in my school." He turned and walked past Harry. "Good luck, my boy."
"Thank you, sir. I'll see you later,' Harry added, never taking his eyes off of the Dark Lord. He could see the anger growing in those red slits. Voldemort walked down off of the dais and pushed past a startled Harry, following the Headmaster.
"Come back here, Dumbledore! I have plans for you, right after I take care of this boy."
Dumbledore kept walking. Even before Harry could move, Voldemort raised his wand.
" 'Avada Kadavra!' " bellowed Voldemort, a green streak of light flying from his wand, hitting Albus square in the back. The Headmaster fell forward onto the stone floor, dead.
"NO!" screamed Harry, who ran past Voldemort and fell to his knees by Dumbledore's body. He gently turned him over and gazed into those blue eyes, now lifeless and unblinking. It took him a few seconds to process what he was seeing and another few to realize what a vulnerable position he had put himself into by turning his back on the Dark Lord. He fully expected to hear the killing curse again, but when he turned and looked, Voldemort was gone!! The Great Hall was empty, save for himself and Dumbledore's body.
Both battles were now merging, the staircase defenders having pushed the Death Eaters back to the entrance hall and its marble steps. The fight extended out the doors and along the terrace to the Cobblestone courtyard and into various adjoining hallways. All of the D.A. had 'Re-illusioned' themselves, as to better see and be seen in the narrow confines of the passageways.
Gwen and the Creevey brothers had retreated up the marble stairs. Dennis and Colin had insisted that Gwen hide behind a rather ugly statue in an alcove to the side of the Great Hall doors. They stood in front of her, wands out, ready to defend her.
Bill, Mad-eye, Tonks and Theo emerged from the Slytherin dungeons and joined in the free-for-all. George, Fred, Angelina and Katie had landed on the terrace and were keeping the Death Eaters from fleeing over the stone arched bridge.
Padma, Anthony and Lavender swooped overhead and then landed near the front doors. Spotting Mad-eye, they ran over and joined him.
"Hey, Mad-eye, the Aurors are here. They'll be coming through the school in a few minutes."
"Good, laddie, glad to hear it. Have any trouble with your lot?" asked the craggy old wizard.
"No, we just finished with the group by the Hogsmeade gate and left them for the Aurors to find," laughed Padma.
"Had a great time chasing them around the greenhouses, too," added Lavender.
"Excellent, well, lend a hand here and we might even make breakfast on time," Mad-eye observed, as he sent a Death Eater skidding across the marble floor to crash into a suit of armor.
Harry stood up and spun around, wand out. This didn't make sense. Where was Voldemort? He even looked up and checked in the rafters, remembering Anna's edict to always look in EVERY direction. Nothing. This wasn't right, it wasn't right at all. Harry couldn't even sense Voldemort's presence.
He ran to the doors of the Great Hall and pulled them open. The sounds of the battle hit him and he emerged into middle of a final desperate battle for Hogwarts; spells flying, shouts and screams echoing around the hallways. But he hardly heard it as he leaned over the banister, scanning the crowd, looking for...what, he wasn't quite sure of. Then, out of the corner of his eyes he saw Ginny, at the hallway near the base of the stairs, look at him, smile slightly and then turn and walk away.
"Ginny? GINNY!" Harry started running down the stairs after her, taking them two at a time, ignoring the battle raging around him.
Remus heard Harry yell and met him at the bottom of the stairs. Remus grabbed his arm and stopped him, pulling him out of the way of a red spell that streaked by, inches from Harry's chest. Remus answered back with a well placed spell and then turned back to Harry, who was struggling to get out of his grasp.
"Harry! What's going on?"
Wrenching himself free, Harry continued on his way, yelling back over his shoulder, "It's Ginny! Something's wrong." He quickly was lost to Remus' sight in the confusion of body in the hallway.
"Wasn't that Harry?" Colin looking over the banister at the milling throng below.
"He came out of the Great Hall," Dennis joined his brother. "There he goes!" He pointed at Harry as he worked his way through the battle..
"Where's Dumbledore?" asked Gwen, as she headed into the Great Hall. "Oh my God! Dennis, Colin, get in here!"
Gwen ran to Albus, laying still on the floor, the boys racing in behind her. She fell to her knees and felt the Headmaster's neck for a pulse....nothing.
"Is he?" Dennis asked in a small voice.
"Not if I can help it," was the grim reply. Gwen turned and faced the two shocked brothers. "You two go out there and find Seamus, send him in here as quickly as you can. GO! NOW!"
Collin and Dennis shot out the door. Gwen put Albus' head back, pinched his nose and breathed into his mouth, then again. Throwing his arm off of his chest, she ripped open his robe and feeling down his sternum, found the bottom and placing the heel of her hand slightly higher up on the boney plate, put her other hand on top, locking her fingers and started rhythmically pumping on his chest.
Just then, Seamus came tearing into the Great Hall skidding to a halt beside her.
"No time for explaining," Gwen snapped, and then she bent over and breathed into Albus' mouth twice more, before resuming chest compressions. "Go get Tut! As fast as you can, Seamus! Run over any Death Eaters that try to stop you and get back here! NOW!"
Seamus didn't need any further instructions, but jumped up and took off running, flat out, blasting his way through the entrance hall and outside to the courtyard.
In a minute, Gwen heard the roar of Tut's engine growing closer. 'Good!' she thought, as she gave Dumbledore two more breathes. The huge motorcycle flew through the open doors and skidded around, facing outward, Tut's headlamp swiveling up and down, taking in the scene. He flipped open his saddlebag, waiting.
"Get the sidecar on and get Albus into it, Seamus. That wingy thing."
Gwen continued with the chest compressions as he complied with her instructions. Two more breathes and she watched as, " 'Wingardium Leviosa'", Seamus settled Dumbledore's body into the seat, his head hanging down on his chest.
"I want you to take Albus to the hospital wing and get him onto the floor, not on a bed. Over-rule Madam Pomfrey on that. Tell Artemus to continue CRP. Did you get that bit? CPR. He'll know what to do."
"CPR, got it!"
"Tell Artemus I'll be there as soon as I grab something from the ambulance." Gwen was shifting Dumbledore's body until he was lying in the bottom of the sidecar. "Ok, Go!"
Seamus jumped back on Tut and roared out the doors and taking a deep breath, flew down the stairs, straight through the heart of the fighting, Death Eaters jumping out of the way, D.A.s cheering him on. Dean arrived in time to see Seamus starting down the stairs, but Gwen grabbed his arm.
"Dean, follow Seamus as best you can and cover him."
Gwen turned and ducked as a spell streaked toward her. Straightening up, she stuck her tongue out at the Death Eater and headed for the Cobblestone Courtyard where the ambulance was parked. Dean paused as her turned the corner at the bottom of the stairs and stunned the Death Eater before he could aim at Gwen for a second time.
Ginny Weasley walked into Moaning Myrtle's bathroom and looked around.
"Well, well, if it isn't Miss Weasley. My, how you've grown since I lived with you and your family."
"Shut up, Wormtail. We're leaving, quickly," was the terse reply, as she started toward the stairs to the Chamber of Secrets.
"Who do you think you're talking to, you Muggle loving, blood traitor..."
"And whom do you think you are talking to, Wormtail? Get Nagini and follow me!"
"Yes." Ginny turned and spoke in Parseltongue, calling the snake from her resting place in a far corner. "See, Wormtail, at least one of you realizes who I am."
Pettigrew gasped, "Master?"
"Precisely. Now hurry; pick up Nagini and follow me."
With that, the girl started down the stairs. Wormtail hoisted the snake onto his shoulders and followed.
Remus turned and knocked a Death Eater against the wall with a well timed hex and then looked around. Anna was fighting alongside Severus against the Lestrange brothers. To his right he could hear Ron and Hermione yelling to Neville and Luna as they shot off spells, beating back a group of Death Eaters toward the main entrance.
Suddenly, a group of Aurors burst through the front doors, cutting off the Death Eaters only escape route. They were quickly captured and the four D.A.s waved at Remus and looked around for any other Death Eaters trying to sneak out.
Remus sprinted to join Anna and Severus, adding his spells to theirs and soon the tide of that fight turned and the Lestranges were cornered. A few of the Aurors came over to help and Remus grabbed Severus' arm.
"Severus! Harry! He's taken off down that hall!"
"What? Anna, come on!"
Turning, Remus and Severus sprinted down the corridor and then up a flight of stairs, Anna hot on their heels.
"Which way did he go?"
"I'm not sure, you can head in almost any direction from here," said Remus, when they stopped at the top of the stairs, looking down every hallway. "He was following Ginny, said something was wrong."
Anna caught up with them. "Ginny? But where would she be going?"
They stood, trying to understand what had happened, when they all three had the same thought.
"Voldemort," Remus whispered.
"He possessed her in her first year, from that diary of Tom Riddle's." Severus was thinking aloud. "Perhaps..."
"He's using her to escape," Remus speculated.
"The Chamber...Moaning Myrtle's!"
They broke into a run, heading for the second floor girl's bathroom.
Gwen jumped down the last few steps and putting her head down, raced over to the ambulance. She caught hold of the side mirror to yank herself to a stop. Grabbing the handle of the side storage bins, she opened the doors and reaching in, took hold of the handle of a shiny metal case and pulled it free.
Turning, she headed to the rear of the vehicle and putting the case on the ground, threw open both doors and climbed in. Grabbing the small oxygen tank and the bag of face masks and tubes, she frowned when she felt the ambulance rock back and forth. Fenrir Greyback climbed down off of the roof, where he had been hiding, sniffing the air. She sensed, rather that saw, that the back door was blocked.
"Well, well, well, who is this? The Muggle mate of the werewolf Lupin, I presume?"
Gwen turned to find the door filled with Fenrir's huge form
"Who are you?" she asked, as she turned back and continued to rummage around for supplies.
"Fenrir...perhaps you've heard of me?"
"Nope, can't say that I have. Here, take this and put it outside for me."
She grabbed the equipment bag she had loaded and hit Fenrir square in the chest with it. Surprised, he grabbed the bag, looked down at it, stepped back and tossed it aside.
"Hey! Careful with the equipment, Fernear!"
"Whatever. Here, this, too."
She tossed a second bag to him, which he impatiently threw down.
"I don't think you realize the seriousness of your present situation, my dear. You see, I'm a werewolf, too. In fact, I'm the reason your dear sweet Lupin is the way he is on those moonlit nights we're so fond of."
Gwen still had her back to him, but she swung around, aimed and fired her crossbow in one swift movement. The arrow she had loaded went straight into Fenrir's chest. He grunted and glanced down, perplexed, but when he looked up at Gwen, he snarled as he pulled the arrow out.
"You think an arrow can bring me down?"
Grasping the side of the doors, he put his foot up and started to climb into the ambulance.
"No effect? Then it's on to plan B." Gwen replied calmly. "Anna assured me this would do the trick."
Gwen pointed Anna's gun at Fenrir and pulled the trigger, point blank and hit him right dead center of his forehead, knocking him backward out of the door, to land spread eagle on the cobblestones...dead.
She clambered out of the ambulance, grabbed the metal case and the equipment bags and without so much as a glance at the body lying there, headed to the hospital wing.
Harry opened the door to the bathroom cautiously. He didn't hear anything except dripping water. Walking forward, he whispered, "Myrtle?"
"Oh, hello Harry! Hasn't this been an exciting night?"
"Yes, yes it has. Ah, by the way, Myrtle, did you see Ginny Weasley come in here in, say, the last couple of minutes?"
"Yes, she and that nasty little man and the awful snake went down there," replied the ghost as she floated above the spiral stone stairs, pointing down into the dark.