"Ron!" Hermione breathed.
"Whaddya want, Hermione?"
"What?" I bolt upright.
"I know." Tears well up in her eyes. "I went to talk to him this morning. The door was unlocked, so I let myself in. And he was on the floor. Someone Kedavra'd him. Ron, someone killed him!"
"But I have to go to the Min-"
"Show me. The trial will have to wait. Besides, it's going to be canceled, with Neville dead."
Hermione winced, but opened the door for me.
Finally, we arrive at Neville's home. She opens the door and drags me to the spot where she saw Neville dead on the ground.
The sight makes my heart drop to my stomach.
Neville was there, a ribbon of blood coming out of his mouth, hands still in the surrender position.
I gasp, covering my mouth with my hand. Hermione looks at me, crying once more, hands shaking.
"Who did this?"
"I don't know." She whispers, taking my hand.
I let her lead me out the door and to the car. This time, she's in the driver's seat.
"Don't think you're going to the Ministry today." I say, staring at her.
"I have to."
"Shacklebolt, the Ministry members, and me."
"And I'm not more important than them?"
"Look," she says, holding my hand yet again. This time, however, it's like she's holding it for her sake, not mine. "You are. I love you. Not in the way I did...him, but I still love you, alright? In my heart, you are more important than them. In my heart, you are more important than me. But they are more powerful. And this game we are in, it's a game of power. We can't be the pawns."
I nodded. "I get that we cannot be manipulated by the more powerful, I understand that. But remember the first game of wizard chess I played against you?"
She smiles faintly. "Yes."
"Who ever would have thought a pawn could capture and kill the king?"
She giggles, and I smile.
"That was kind of you to say," she sys when we walk in, "but I'm still going. You can't get in my way." She kicks me, hard, casing me to fall onto my back. Then then kicks me again, the throat this time, and the pain is the last thing I remember.