|SIYE Time:21:48 on 22nd July 2018|
Moments Before Midnight
By My Wicked Quill
- Text Size +
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: When so many are involved in one scheme, one plan, one plot, you can never be sure who you can trust; for the two sides of war want the same thing: to win. When safey is no longer available, anything goes and no one is safe. The hunt begins at midnight.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2636
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
This was written almost two years ago, when I was fifteen. I really love this piece. It truly shows how much I care for each Harry Potter character, because there really were so many incredible people involved in the epic story, it is a shame we couldn't spend all the time we want with them. This is why we have Fanfiction. Please review.
A wall clock, with many more hands than any usual clock, read 11:52. This special clock presented a picture and name of a different person on each hand, that at the moment all faced dark and demeaning towards Mortal Peril.
Some hundred miles away, a blood red phoenix stood mystically on it’s perch, ruffling its feathers- unable to sleep. It sensed the fear in the air that night, the tension, the sadness. The bird stood on high alert in case it’s help was needed. To the right of the creature sat a woman scribbling away on a piece of parchment, her feathered quill scratching noisily. She glanced up at the clock in the corner of her newly acquired office. The feather from her hat trembling with her.
In a community where life was different, where the people did not know of the dangers stalking their steps, a teenage girl held an orange fur ball of a cat with her trunk at her feet. She, however, was aware. She pet the cat absent mindedly, focusing on the glowing green numbers above her non-magical stove.
Two redheaded twins stood on either side of a counter inside a joke shop. Their pranks and tricks were asleep around them completely oblivious of the anxiety the boys were fighting. They stared at their wrist watches, simultaneously looking up at one another. For once there were no smiles across their faces.
A woman in her late twenties stood before a mirror. She watched as her hair turned from a bright fuchsia to a deep blue color and continued throughout the rainbow. A smile full of mischief crept across her face; the clock told her it was 11:53. How she loved her job.
A man with an unfortunate case of greasy black hair and a rather shockingly pale complexion, sat himself in a high green arm chair. Alone. As of that moment neither side, nor good nor bad, claimed him. His long lean fingers tapped the armrest of the chair to the rhythm of the second hand.
A mother with a round face, rosy cheeks, ginger hair and tired eyes scrubbed a pan. The sponge cleaned fiercely, as though it wanted to rub the metal away to nothing, but she didn’t see that it was already sparkling. She didn’t bother to use her wand- her hands needed to be doing something- she took any distraction she could. Knowing full well that though she sent every one to bed telling them to sleep while they could, she knew no one dreamt that night, no one closed their eyes. Still, she stayed quietly in her kitchen scrubbing her fears and worries away, or at least trying to, hoping that the children would find peace soon- all of them and not just her own. Along with the rest of the world.
Sitting alone in her and her fiancée’s dinning room, a breath taking French beauty twirled her engagement ring. The one-fourth part veela smiled at the thought of how she would look in the wedding dress that was being brought in from France. Her mind was wandering around the small details of her wedding, when the love of her life walked in with his red hair tied back in his usual pony tail and his fang earring. She stood, smoothing her blonde hair to greet him. She glanced at the grandfather clock remembering that they would have to get through that night before the rest of the planning could continue.
A rather scary looking man, elderly and covered in wrinkles, was among the lot watching the time. Trudging over to his broom stick- limping due to his one metallic leg- he stood above it; his one mad eye staying on the clock. He forcefully tapped his walking staff on the ground and his broomstick levitated into his expecting hand. He was ready.
A stunning girl with scarlet locks cascading down her back and deep brown eyes studied the names of all her loved ones still facing towards Mortal Peril. After all these months, all these years, things never seemed to get any better. And now they were facing the worst of it. Hearing her mother in the kitchen, she remained in her spot on the floor in front of the fire place. The only thing her mother could be doing at 11:54 at night would be cleaning something that was already clean. The silence and emptiness of the usually booming and busy house over came her; it had never felt this lonely- she had never felt this lonely. And so after years and years she finally gave into her silent tears.
Just up six fights of stairs from the girl, another redheaded teenage boy lay on his bed, not sleeping- not even close. He held his wand lazily, illuminating the dark room then letting it fall into the darkness once again and repeating the process over and over. Not even having to murmur an incantation, his mind was left to wander and as the room glowed he watched the empty bed beside him and the clock just above it. And when the light left, he saw things in the darkness hat he had never wanted to see again.
A wolf looked up into the night sky, the full moon shinning brilliantly over head pulling a howl out of the were wolf that ricochet off the trees of the forest. The were wolf ran off, blood thirsty and excited; he would have killed his best friend had he gotten in his path. Somewhere deep within the wolf, a brave man wished everything would go as planned tonight, though he couldn’t be of any assistance.
11:55. The boy sat on the edge of his bed staring his night side table which held another small non-magical clock. His heart was pounding with every second that brought him closer, and closer to danger, dragging along all those he cared about with him. He ran a hand through his raven colored hair, the lightning bolt scar on his forehead tingling. The window beside him was shut tight, his trunk was packed, his wand in hand. The boy was set.
He looked up into the faces of his followers; some standing proudly, some quaking in fear, others flinching when they met his eyes. The dark room was as silent as it was still; they knew what they must do, there were no reasons for any more explanations. If they couldn’t comply, they wouldn’t live long enough to apologize. He, the thing that was more creature than man, was sure his followers knew that. Without another word, nor of encouragement nor wisdom, he turned to the clock.
A snow white owl had been let out for hours. She soared through the sky watching over all the people she loved, all miles and miles apart. Though she was just an animal, her spirit lived with everyone she knew, and though it was obvious hard times were coming, she knew it would be alright in the end. As the owl prepared to end her flight, she glided over Privet Drive, a seemingly calm road where each house was identical to the one before. Seeming like just white lines from the sky, she knew it wasn’t just that- it was more. It wasn’t home, but it was safe, and though the owl was only a creature she was smart; she could sense that the place wasn’t as safe as it once was... and she knew they wouldn’t be returning again. With a soft hoot, she hovered outside his window. A pair of green eyes glowed in the black that was surrounding them meeting hers as he lifted the frame.
11:56. The boy’s owl had returned; he had let her out that afternoon and she now resided back in her cage. The boy sat back down on his bed with nothing left to do. He had worked hard to keep his mind occupied at all costs but now there was nothing else to think about. Leaving him only with his memories…
“No! Please, no STOP!” she gasped, “Stop, stop it!!” her voice cracking every other word.
“PLEASE! I can’t…I can’t take it!”
“No, this is much too fun.”
There was only laughter.
“You…” she broke into hysterics, her body twitching uncontrollably, “You MONSTER!!”
“Oh really? That wasn’t very nice to say.” His hands worked harder and faster at the statement.
“Harry…James…POTTER!!!!” she tried to grab his hands but her laughter took over and it was hard to do much else.
“Say mercy,” he told her with a smirk, tickling her weak spot.
She had tears in her eyes and though he knew it must have been pure torture, he didn’t want the smile to leave her glorious face.
“Mercy?” she tried speaking, but found it hard to breathe, “To you? Never.” A giggle burst through her lips loud and strong. Thankfully they were far off and hidden beneath the trees, too far for anyone to see or hear.
“Really?” he asked, as his hands paused. Ginny attempted to take advantage of his distraction but his knees were planted on either side of her waist and though his hands stopped, they were still holding her with no intention of letting go.
She groaned and gave up, stilling herself to look up at him.
His eyes widened, amused. “Ok, well then,” he began again, laughing along with her.
Harry just smirked. Her hands clawed at him- his chest, his arms- for the first time ever pushing him away. Pulling at his robes, Ginny desperately searched- having no chance at reaching her own robes under him- until she found Harry’s wand and whipped it out.
“If you don’t stop, I will jinx you so hard Fred and George will never let you live it down for as long as you live,” she nearly growled.
Harry froze, his own wand touching the tip of his nose and his eyes crossed as he stared at it. He gulped, “But, that’s…that’s my wand, it won’t... it won’t work for you.”
She smiled at the fear in his voice. “You like me, do you not? You like me, and so your wand likes me.”
“I don’t think it…works that way.”
“Would you like me to try and find out?”
He sighed and rolled off her. Anyone would be a fool to tempt her, she’d probably hex him into the next century.
Harry looked out towards the lake with the school somewhere behind them. Everything seemed so calm at the moment, with the spring breeze rushing through the trees and blowing several leaves into the vast lake. The sun was shinning on the horizon, warning them that it would be dark soon. He pulled his knees into his chest, resting his chin on them and closed his eyes.
She lay there for another minute, trying to soothe her sore aching muscles from being tickled mercilessly for so long. Yes she hated the feeling, especially when he knew all her weak spots but she did enjoy having his hands all over her... maybe much more than she should.
Ginny watched him silently, it was moments like these they loved the most. They didn’t have to talk, they didn’t even have to touch; just being there with one another in their warm companionable silence made them sure they weren’t alone.
Particularly in times like these.
He seemed so peaceful there- away from all the madness that defined his life. The madness that seemed to follow him wherever he went. It just wasn’t fair.
She sat up and put her chin on his shoulder and her hand on his back as she waited for something that she knew was coming.
“I think I’m going to skip dinner,” he said.
“I’ll skip with you.”
They sat for a while wrapped in their thoughts. Until she broke the silence.
“So when are you leaving?” she whispered.
He turned slowly to face her, “How did you…?”
“It’s obvious, to me at least. It’s time isn’t it?” her fingers made their way up to his face, stroking the black shadows beneath his eyes. “Time for you to…go off and…end this I suppose?”
Her hair flamed in the orange light of the sunset, it was on fire, silky and smooth and, beautiful. She was never anything less in his eyes. He hadn’t been planning on telling her, he didn’t have the courage, but he did think just up and leaving would hurt her more in the long run. And now, he didn’t really see another choice.
“Some time in the summer. Most likely after your brother’s wedding,” he confessed, dropping his emerald eyes from her chocolate brown gaze.
She played with his wand, “How long…do you think, do you think it will take?”
“I know what you’re thinking, and yeah, it could take years.”
“Then I’m coming.”
“Don’t you dare say dangerous, Potter, don’t you dare,” her voice drip with murder.
“Fine then. It’s still a no.”
She knew this would be the outcome, he was just too stubborn to see any other point of view, but she had intended on trying at least.
He was still amazed at how perspective she always seemed to be. No one had yet suspected anything of him leaving.
She grabbed his chin and forced him to look at her. Staring into his endless eyes, she could already feel herself loosing her train of thought. But she couldn’t- she needed to know.
Taking a deep breath, her heart breaking already. “How long do we have?”
He stared for a moment, lost in her eyes…her lips…her freckles, before he understood what she meant. “Us?” he asked.
She nodded,“You and I,” she agreed, inching closer.
He felt his heart aching, and knew hers was too. And it would hurt even more when they would separate. Part of his pan to keep her safe. Apparently, she was catching on to his plan. Ginny would become, once again, his best mate’s sister, nothing more, nothing less. Though she was much more- she was everything. But he couldn’t risk any of the bad ones to find out about her, they would use her to get to him.
It was the only way.
“Me and you?” Harry whispered, feeling her breath on his face.
“So this is goodbye?”
“I’ll be around for a while like always…”
“That’s not what I meant,” her voice cracked.
“I know what you meant.”
“Then?” she urged desperately.
He didn’t think his words were audible through the knot in his throat, “Then this is goodbye.”
She sighed. “Well I guess I always knew this would happen in the end, you wouldn’t be happy unless you were hunting him.”
“I’m happy with you. But… I just can’t risk it anymore. If you got hurt because of-”
“Stop.” She grabbed his hand cutting him off, “I understand, really I do but, what if I don’t care?”
He touched his forehead to hers, “I do.”
She closed her eyes, defeated. She needed to be strong, she needed to be understanding. “One more hour couldn’t hurt could it?” she whispered.
“I don’t think so.”
And so she pulled him into her…
“So we’ll leave after the wedding?” his best friend asked for the hundredth time.
“Yes,” he replied.
The bushy haired girl sighed looking out over the grounds of the castle from the top of the astronomy tower, where he and his two best friends had retreated to the last day of term.
Ron stood up, running a hand through his red hair, “And we won’t be coming back nest year?”
Harry hung his head, “I doubt we’ll be finished in time to come back to school.”
“Wow,” his best mate said walking over to Hermione, “you must be depressed.”
Despite everything she smiled, “Oh be quiet, the three of us will just take our final year when we return.”
Harry couldn’t bring himself to say, “If” the guilt of what he was bringing his friends into crashed down on him again, but he knew better than to try talking them out of coming with him again.
“So I’m guessing this is our last goodbye?” He questioned.
The lot of them now leaned over the balcony of the tower watching students below scrambling around to locate all their belongings.
“No Ron, didn’t you hear what I just said?” she rolled her eyes.
“I don’t think he’s planning on taking the year when we come back,” Harry said in a joking tone.
They each laughed once, a half hearted laugh, “I’m just waiting for the day we won’t have to give up what we love most.”
Harry only nodded; she was right. Though it applied to him the most out of the trio, over the course of his short life it had been all about sacrifice and death. Now, looking down on the grounds of Hogwarts, the only home he’d ever known, other than the Burrow in summer time, he realized that today had been the worst of it. He had given up the two things he cherished most. His home and his heart.
“Look on the bright side,” the tall lanky red head tried, “It’ll be the last time you see your aunt and uncle.”
Harry nodded, not caring so much about that, though it was a plus out of all the turmoil that had become his life.
“Yeah!” Hermione chipped in, “And then we’ll get to spend some time at the Burrow with everyone… and Ginny…” she smirked.
Harry closed his eyes.
“So, Potter, are you trying to tell me that after all these years you’re just... dropping out?” The headmistress raised an eyebrow watching him intently from her side of the desk.
“That’s not what I would call it Professor…” he muttered, dropping his gaze to his trainers.
“Then what would you possible call three promising students failing to return for their final year of school? Do tell.” The room went silent, the only sound coming from the previous headmaster’s of Hogwarts snoring away in their portrait’s around the grand office.
“”We…” he struggled for words, not sure how much he could say about the matter. He had only been allowed to tell Ron and Hermione after being sworn to secrecy. He wasn’t even allowed to tell the girl he knew he wanted so much to be able to spend the rest of his life with, though he knew that dream was not possible. He couldn’t tell her where or why he was running off, she could only assume it had to do with his destiny, and she was right. But his destiny didn’t seem to be headed in a promising direction, he would be lucky if he were still alive by tomorrow. “We, have things to do…things to finish.”
Minerva McGonagall put down her quill; she had known this was coming, and she knew what she must say,
“When then, seeing that you are no longer a student here Harry-”
“Professor-” he tried but she cut him off and continuing.
“Minerva. It is only fitting that you call me by my first name since you will obviously be doing something the Order wishes they could do for you.” She looked into the innocent eyes of the boy she watched grow up with so much pain and loss. Though she knew litle about what he was planning on doing, she knew that she wouldn’t find out until sometime in the future, she figured it had to do with the darkest wizard of all time.
“Nevertheless,” she continued, “you can do this Harry. Whatever it is that needs to be done to…end this. We all have full confidence in you, we always have.”
Harry met the old woman’s eyes, bewildered but the sudden amount of support he was getting, when she spoke, she spoke for the entire Order of the Phoenix. Though she sometimes came across intimidating and frightening, she was one of the most warm hearted people he knew. He owed her so much.
“Thank you,” Was all he could bring himself to say.
She smiled softly suddenly seeing him as the fragile one year old who had just lost his parents and became the most famous wizard of all time with out even knowing. Visions of her and a wise man dropping him of at a horrid family’s front porch, passed through her mind. The poor child had no where else to go. And now, almost sixteen years later he stood before her, still fragile, still lost, still hurting, but loving caring, brave, strong, and talented. She would have never guessed he would turn out like this.
“You best be off, you don’t want to miss the train now.”
“Yes Ma’am.” He stood and made his way towards the door, but he did in fact subtly look back at the portrait of the wise man who help him through it all. Minerva pretended not to notice as he quickly turned and proceeded out of the room, her eyes followed and stared at the place the boy had just been for some time, proud to end’s wit with the boy, no man he grew up to be.
“He’s doing the right thing Minerva,” the portrait of the same old man spoke,
She sighed, not surprised at the tears I her eyes. “Yes but why must the right thing to do be the wrong thing for his well being, time and time again?”
“Because life works in ways we can’t control.”
She nodded. “I wish you were alive Albus, he needs you.”
“He needs us all.”
The teenage girl still held her cat in the middle of her parent’s kitchen, she took a deep breath causing her bushy hair brown hair to flutter around her face. 11:59. The last minute of July 30th.
“The last minute he will have to endure that place,” she thought.
“The last minute the safety spell would last over the house,” thought the greasy haired man.
“The last minute of the plan a wise man had for him,” thought the woman in her office.
“One minute to go,” thought the young witch with changing hair.
“The last moment I’ll be considered a child,” the boy thought.
“The last minute the boy has to live…” the creature thought.
Yet no one dared speak out loud. No one dared to break the silence.
It was then, both worlds asleep around them, that midnight struck. All across Britain, they froze.
The time had come; sixteen years had flashed before their eyes.
“Happy Birthday Harry,” the redhead girl whispered, wiping the last stray tear away.
“MOM!!!!” she screamed.
And all over Britain the Order got to work.
McGonagall stormed out of her office
Hermione squeezed Crookshanks once before grabbing her trunk and apparating out of the muggle kitchen.
Alastor Moody, Mad-eye, rushed into his yard and whisked away on his broom.
Severus Snape stopped tapping his fingers and smirked.
Fred and George grabbed their wands and both apparated at the exact same moment out of their shop.
Tonks laughed once and then left her mirror ready to face anything.
Fleur kissed her fiance before grabbing his hand and apparting, yes she didn't of course preper this job and the Weasley's drove her mad at times, but the Triwizard Champion in her called.
Mrs. Weasley dropped the pan as her youngest child and only daughter rushed into the kitchen. She turned to Ginny, whose own eyes were blazing with fear and determination. “Already?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
Ginny Weasley nodded, “Yes.” They both stood for a moment, at a loss for words, until they broke out,
Ron Weasley was already bounding down the endless stairs when his mother and sister called. Grabbing a freshly made muffin from the counter top he raised his eye brows at the women, stuffing it into his mouth and hurried out the door.
“Good luck!” they cried again.
“”Bring him home to me in one piece,” Ginny added under her breath.
Harry Potter jumped off his bed and raced into the hallway of his aunt and uncle’s house. Swearing softly, he burst into their rooms where they had been fast asleep.
“Get up!” He yelled, “Get up now!”
“What the devil had gotten into you boy?” Uncle Vernon thundered sitting upright. His Aunt Petunia followed his lead turning on the bed side lamp.
“You all need to get out of here, it’s not safe.”
“How dare you run in here like that-” he began his tirade but Harry had no time to put up with it.
“Leave or stay, I really don’t care, but if you want to protect your damn arse get out of here this instant.”
Petunia spoke up then, “I’ve already packed.”
Vernon Dursley turned to his wife dumb founded as Harry caught her gaze.
Of course she knew.
Albus Dumbeldore himself explained it to her.
Harry nodded and left them to face his destiny.
Albus Dumbledore sat back in his portrait and watched as his plan fell into place. He truly was the wisest wizard of all time.
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