The Boy With The Red Hair

Jenna Winter- clumsy, silly, and completely ready to go to Hogwarts. As she boards the train with her older brother, leaving the muggle world behind, she imagines what the next seven years of her life would be like. It would be ordinary, boring even. She wasn't special- definitely not a trouble-maker. But everything changed when she stepped into a compartment and saw the boy with the red hair.

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8. Year Seven

 

I stared at the steps beneath my feet, covered in rocks and dust. I cringed whenever I caught sight of the scarlet blood that had infested the school. It seemed so petty, to be frightened by the sight of blood when I was surrounded by much worse things. Ron had just lost his brother, one of the best men I knew. Fred and George, thick as thieves, made these dark times bearable. You couldn’t help but laugh when they were around. Fred would be greatly missed.

And it wasn’t just Fred that was stolen. Colin, Lavendar, Professor Snape, Remus, Tonks. Every loss, every dead body that I saw in the Great Hall, broke my heart.

Remus and Tonks- two of the greatest causalities of them all. They fought- hard. They didn’t care what anyone thought. Thousands of barriers were built, between them and between the world. But they knocked them all down. They even had a child together, a son who will no doubt be as marvelous as his parents were. He would now grow up, never knowing his parents. But he did have the stories, the glorious tales of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, the two people who were stupid enough to fall in love and crazy enough to make it work.

What were we to do now? The battle was yet to end. Voldemort was still out there in the Forbidden Forest, bidding his time. Did he really think Harry would walk into his trap?

I rested my head on Ron’s shoulder and he sniffled. He squeezed his arm tighter around my shoulder, desperate to feel. There was the sound of pebbles tumbling down the staircase behind us as someone walked down. I turned around to face Harry. Ron turned as well, still taking deep breaths.

Harry looked sad, yet resolved. In his hand he held something tightly, but I couldn’t see it. “Hi,” he said simply, offering a small smile.

I shook my head and stood up, running to him. I knew that look in his eye. He was going to do something that I didn’t approve of. I pulled him into a hug, crying now.

“Oh, why do you always have to be the one to save us, Harry Potter?” I asked, stepping back. “Why is it always you?!”

“I’m sorry, Jenna. It has to happen. I have to go to him.” He said and pulled away from me. He grabbed my shoulders and shook them so I made eye contact.

“Wait, what are you talking about?” Ron asked behind me.

“Harry’s going to go into the Forbidden Forest.” I spit out and Harry looks at the dirty ground.

“Why?” Ron asks simply and Harry steps away from me.

“You wouldn’t understand, but it’s out of my control. This is something I have to do. Please just let me go.” Harry looks us both in the eyes before turning to walk past us.

I stand in his path. “No. I won’t let you! After all this time, after everything we’ve been through! You’re just going to hand yourself over! Are your last words to your best friends really going to be ‘stand aside so I can go kill myself’?! Because I damn well will never let you go and give yourself up! What would be the point to this? To the running! Hiding and planning and fighting! Have you even bothered to see who has died? Tonks and Lupin died, Harry. Now little Teddy has no parents-”

“Let him go, Jenna.”

I stop, shocked, and turn to Ron. “What?”

Let him go.” He walked over to me, his eyes soft. “Do you remember all the times Harry and I would disappear when we were younger? We were off being reckless, stupid, but we always made it out. Without Harry I probably wouldn’t be alive. If he needs to go, we need to let him go.”

“You’re wrong! I won’t let him kill himself! Just stay and we can figure something out!”

“Till when, Jenna?” Harry asks abruptly. “How many people have to die for me until you let me go? It’s either me, or all of them.” He motioned to the Hall, where everyone was waiting.

My eyes stung with tears, my throat closing up. “Let me come with you.”

“I have to do this alone.” He shook his head.

“No.” I whispered. “No!”

I felt Ron’s strong arms wrap around me from behind, holding me still. Harry looks pointedly over at Ron.

“Keep her safe. Don’t let anything happen to her.”

I didn’t know if Harry meant me or Ginny, but I didn’t really care. I wriggled around in Ron’s grip, trying to free myself. Ron nodded to Harry in silent agreement and I struggled more.

“NO!” I screamed as Harry gave us one more glance before running down the steps. “HARRY! PLEASE! DON’T DO THIS!”

I can hear Ron sniffle as he watches Harry walk away. He has just lost two brothers, less than an hour apart from each other. I scream and kick as Harry continues to leave the castle. I run out of breath after minutes, but keep trying to free myself from Ron’s grip that is gradually growing weaker.

I slowly calm down, still sobbing. Ron’s arms fall to his sides and I know this is my chance. I run down the stairs and Ron lets out a yell, realizing his mistake.

“Harry!” I cry after him, though he is nowhere in sight- probably already to the forest by now. I finally reach the bottom floor when Ron catches up. Seconds later we both fall to the ground, Ron’s arms wrapped around my waist again. I squirm under him, crying out to anyone who could hear.

“JENNA! JENNA, STOP!” Ron yells at me and I raise my hands to my face hysterically.

“How can you do this?!” I scream. “How can you let him go out there and DIE?! After all you’ve been through!”

Ron’s makes no effort to hide the pain ripping through him, tears staining his cheeks and reddening his eyes. “Please,” he whispers. “Calm down. For me. Be strong for me.”

I was too scared for calmness. Too terrified for what Harry was going to face in the forest- what he’s probably facing right now.

“We need to go after him!” I beg Ron, but he doesn’t move off of me. “There’s still time!”

“Jenna!” Ron struggles to grasp my attention. He grabs my face in his hands, trying to get my eyes to look at him. I was looking everywhere but him. “Jenna!”

I ball my hands into fists and thump him on his chest. “WHY WON’T YOU LET ME GO?!”

There’s silence as Ron puts the right words together in his mind. I stare at him and wait for his explanation.

“Because,” he begins quietly. “Because we need to respect his dying wish.”

That’s sets me off on another screaming rampage. I won’t let Harry die. I can’t.

“Please, Ron.” I say in a quieter tone, hoping to show reason. “You’ve already lost your brother. Why should you lose Harry as well? I can stop him before he turns himself in! There’s still time, I bet! I can save him; he doesn’t have to die, Ron.”

He looks up at the castle door, which was opened to the demolished courtyard. It looked like he was thinking hard. Maybe I got to him, I think. Maybe he’ll let me go.

Ron frowns before standing up, offering me his hand. I accept it and he pulls me up. I turn to run, but his iron grip on my hand pulls me right back to him. His face is only an inch away and I can’t help but feel butterflies in my stomach.

“Be careful, Jenna.” He whispers and kisses me lightly on the cheek.

I nod, not really sure how to reply to that, and finally begin sprint out into the courtyard. I can do it. I can save him. No longer will I be the mud-blood girl who follows Harry Potter and Ron Weasley around. I’ll be the girl who saved the boy who lived.

My spirits were short lived. On the long, stone bridge that connects the courtyard to forest, there was a sight that made my breath catch in my throat. It was too far away to note who exactly it was, but it was certainly not good.

The majority of the mass was black, and there was a recognizable sound that came before them.

Laughter.

It wasn’t the sweet laughter of a little child, either. It was cruel and came from the cold-hearted. I stayed frozen where I stood, trying to better make out the mass slowly but surely coming towards me.

I felt Ron’s familiar presence behind me, his hand on my waist. He saw them as well, I was sure of it.

They were coming closer and I saw someone that stuck out from the rest of the crowd. He stood at least three feet taller than everyone else, his scruffy hair and clothes easily identifiable. It was Hagrid, and he was carrying something in his arms. Something that I didn’t let myself see. I caught only a glimpse of whatever it was before something in the back of my brain ordered me to look away. I didn’t want to confirm my suspicions of what it was. Who it was.

Instead, I looked over at the rest of the crowd, even closer now. They stepped onto the courtyard, every face registering in my mind from either Wanted posters or knowledge of the Death Eaters.

And at the very front, bearing the widest grin, was Voldemort.

Ron was ridged beside me and now everyone was being drawn out by the jeering and laughter erupting from the Death Eaters and even Voldemort himself. He was smiling, and what I presumed what happiness was strained on his face.

There were cries from everyone behind and around me as they saw what Hagrid was carrying. I kept my eyes on Voldemort. The longer I was kept in ignorance was more time away from agonizing pain.

“NO!” there was a loud scream and I saw Ginny run out in front of us all. This was confirmation enough. I knew what lied motionless in Hagrid’s arms.

Voldemort’s laugh grew louder as he gained power from our suffering. He raised his arms, welcoming more of our cries.

I closed my eyes and stepped closer to Ron. The fire that had burning in me earlier had been extinguished in seconds in defeat. There was nothing to do. Our only hope was gone.

“Harry Potter…” Voldemort began, drawing out the sentence. “IS DEAD!”

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