by Faith Unbreakable

Three hundred and ninety two.

When the wards are breached Hermione is in the kitchen, wearing nothing but a bra and jeans, making coffee. The Death Eaters attack like a swarm of angry black wasps and her wand goes flying before she can take out more than two.

She never had time to learn any wandless magic.

Her screams are almost drowned out by the constant screeching of the broken wards.

Three hundred and ninety three.

When Ron hears his girlfriend scream he wants to storm down the stairs to help her, but Draco and Harry hold him back. There is nothing he can do for Hermione anymore, except for dying over her body.

They won't let him. Ron understands that, even through his rage.

They won't lose him.

They can't.

Instead they wait and shut down the alarm and listen closely.

There's the sound of footfalls on the old, creaky stairs and doors being blasted open with brightly coloured hexes.

Three hundred and ninety four.

The door to Harry's and Draco's bedroom is the last the Death Eaters blow apart and they are greeted by the blind rage of a suicidal redhead, the silent power of the Boy-who-lived and the ice cold fury of a Malfoy.

Hermione may have been a mudblood, but she was his. Nobody takes anything from a Malfoy and lives to tell the tale.

But there's a first time for everything.

Three hundred and ninety five.

Harry might wonder how they got the information, still. But he doesn't wonder anymore.

He watches.

Only two hours later Voldemort's followers would have encountered nothing but an empty house. Two hours later history might have been changed once and for all.

Three hundred and ninety six.

Ron's fury kills him as surely as the blast of green light does and then there are only two.

There's six times as many of the enemy.

They are losing.

Three hundred and ninety seven.

The curse is meant for him.

Every curse in this war in meant for him. They always were, because this is Harry's war and no one else's.

Still people die.

Three hundred and ninety eight.

In his blind furyragegriefrelief he throws up a shield with his bare left hand. The right one's bloody and useless.

Behind the shield he kneels down beside the fallen body of his lover.

Three hundred and ninety nine.

He doesn't kiss Draco, doesn't push a wayward strand of hair out of his face, doesn't cry.

Doesn't say goodbye.

Sometimes he wonders if they ever said hello to begin with. If he thinks about it, there never was any time for it, really.

Four hundred.

He pushes a hand down Draco's shirt and gropes around for a moment, before pulling out a pendant on a thin gold chain.

It was meant to save so many, but now...

Now nothing matters anymore.

Four hundred and one.

Harry smiles grimly as he watches his younger self throw the necklace over his own head, pendant clutched tightly in his ruined hand.

Four hundred and two.

It takes less than an hour for his world to fall apart every time.

Four hundred and three.

Two turns of the hour glass should do.

They always do.

Four hundred and four.

As the younger Harry's vision begins to blur and time runs backwards, the older Harry's insane chuckling fills the silence of the dead house.

Four hundred and five.

He's still watching.


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