I'll Stand By Your Side (Book 3)

Athena Black's seventh and final year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry brings more than she could ask for. Dolores Umbridge, The latest Defence Against the Dark arts teacher is beginning to take over the school in the Ministry of Magic's attempt to keep the news of Voldemort returning to power on the down low, and that doesn't settle well. Athena is the youngest member of The Order of The Phoenix and is determined to do the best she can to help, as long as she can stand by the sides of the ones she loves. (Book three to the Proud To Be series)

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14. 13 -final-

Athena's POV

"The events of last night...?"

"Indeed."

"But.... That's where they went then, isn't it?" I asked, looking from Eli to McGonagall.

"Yes, it is. Last night, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, along with Ginny, Neville and Luna Lovegood from Ravenclaw, went to the ministry."

"But why?"

"Potter... Had another dream." I sat straight up in my seat, staring at her intently.

"He hand another dream? Who's hurt? Harry is alright, right?"

"Listen, please." She said softly and I shut up.

"Mr. Potter had a dream of your father being tortured by V-Voldemort." She told me and I felt my stomach drop.

"It wasn't really, was it?" I asked desperately.

"No, it wasn't. You see, Harry hasn't learned Occlumency, and apparently, Voldemort realized there was a connection. He used that to lure him there, and he hoped that he would've gotten the chance to kill him." I sighed, only feeling slightly relieved.

"So, The Order knew he was there, so they went to help them. They knew Voldemort would stop at nothing to get the Prophecy."

"Why wasn't I told? I'm a part of the order!"

"It was far too dangerous last night, Ms. Black. Anyway, the order put up a good fight. Almost too good to be true. Then... Something happened. And I want you to stay calm, okay? I know it will be a shock, but you need to remain composed. Can you do that?" She asked me, and I nodded, preparing for the worst.

"Who's hurt?" I whispered.

"That's... That's the thing, Athena. Harry and your father were against a few Death Eaters in The Department Of Mysteries. Bellatrix Lestrange being one. And... Let's just say your father lost focus, and..."

"She killed him." I said, blankly. "Cousin Bellatrix killed him, didn't she?" I asked, with a twisted smile.

"I'm afraid so. I am terribly sorry. The others are back now if you'd like to see them,"

"He's dead." I said bluntly, ignoring what she had said. "Just dead." I said, and then I started laughing. "Nice try, he isn't dead." I said, thinking she was joking.

"Ms. Black, I'm not trying to joke with you, your father... Is dead. He fell through The Veil after she killed him." She told me, and I couldn't even try to make this into a joke. I looked at her and she looked so sad. So sympathetic for me and I looked at Eli, who looked shocked, and like she was going to cry at the same time. And I knew it was real.

My dad is dead. And he won't be walking me down the isle at my wedding. I started crying. "No, no, no! He can't be dead! Who's going to walk me down the isle at my wedding? Who's going to be home with Remus when I get back? He was supposed to be there so I could annoy him all summer! H-he can't be d-dead," I choked on the last sentence and I felt like someone just punched me in the stomach.

"Do you want me to take her back to the dormitories?" I heard Eli ask, but barely. Nothing seemed real. The only thing I could feel was the unbearable pain that settled in my heart.

"That would probably be best," McGonagall whispered and Eli helped me up.

"Come on, it'll be okay." She tried to calm me down, but I cried harder. I could hardly breath and I was holding into Eli's arm so tight I was afraid I was hurting her. She lead me back to the Gryffindor tower, and tried her best to hide me from the people staring, though it was no use. I was now shaking so badly I could barely even keep my hold on her robes.

She muttered the password to The Fat Lady and I nearly fell as she tried to get me through the hole. When she got me in safely, the first faces I saw were Ron, Hermione and Harry. They looked terrified at the sight of me.

"Tell me she was lying, p-please. Tell me he's still alive," I begged, trying to hold back my sobs.

"Athena,"

"Please! He can't be dead! He can't be...." I cried and Eli kept her hold on me firmly.

"I'm so sorry," Hermione said softly. By now the whole common room was watching us.

"Athena," Harry said. I looked up at him and he looked so pained to see this.

"Please," I whispered.

"He's gone," he said so quietly I barely heard him. He pulled me into his arms and held onto me so tightly. It was nice to know he was there. It really was. He was slightly taller than I was, so I just let him hug me. Mostly because I didn't have the energy to move, and because I really needed it. "There was nothing we could do... She just..."

"I know, I d-don't blame you. I just... I really need to.. I have to.." I muttered, pointing to the girls dormitories. He nodded and let go of me, kissing the top of my head.

"It'll be okay," he made an attempt at making me feel better. I didn't have the heart to tell him it hadn't worked, so I just nodded.

"Come on," Hermione whispered. Her and Eli both brought me up to my dorm that I shared with four other girls from my year. Fortunately, they weren't in here. The two of them let me sit down and get comfortable, before they said anything.

"Don't bother, I'll be fine." I told them, laying down.

"Oh don't lie," Eli snapped, rubbing my back gently. "You can't shut us out." She said in a softer tone.

"I know. But I just don't want to talk right now." I told them. Hermione nodded, and left with a small, sad smile. Eli didn't take it, though. She crawled in bed next to me and hugged me tightly, just letting me cry.

"It'll be okay, I promise. Everything will work out, I swear." She whispered as I continued to let out loud, body racking sobs that I was unable to control.

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