This story was been written for the
livejournal genfic community, Omniocular’s, January Challenge, which was as
"The theme is Janus, the two-faced god
of doors and gateways, beginnings and endings, looking forward and looking back;
he is a symbol of transitions and changes, of the middle ground between old and
young, peace and war, barbarism and civilization.
The challenge is a character roulette. We
have a numbered list of 100 characters, divided into five groups: Gryffindors (Nos.
1-25), Slytherins (26-50), Hufflepuffs (51-59), Ravenclaws (60-70), and those
who either have no house affiliation or whose house is unknown in canon
(71-100). You choose any two numbers, corresponding to two characters, who we
will reveal after you have chosen, and write a story or create a piece of art
about those characters."
I drew Lavender Brown and Rodolphus
Lestrange. Sigh. Relax, dear reader, I have no intention of shipping them.
"Tempering refers to heating steel
above a critical temperature, then cooling it rapidly to freeze it in a very
hard state, followed by re-warming it to an intermediate temperature to give a
hardness suitable for the job intended."
D C Miller: "Tempering Steel"
"Hardened steels are softened by
From article on steel treatment, found on
People thought Lavender Brown was a silly
and frivolous girl, but she wasn’t, not really. It was just that she had
learned early in life, to be popular, you should not be over-serious,
over-clever, or over-involved. You should not be seen to care too much. You
must be like everyone else, and never, ever, appear to be different.
When Lavender went to her Muggle primary
school, when she was five years old, she was always the child with whom no one
wanted to play; at least before her parents had that talk, and gave up
the whole 'normal' education attempt as a bad business. Even Mr Brown, who
wanted his daughter to have some ‘Muggle heritage’ as he somewhat grandiosely
termed it, understood that it was just impossible. Despite every attempt by
Mrs Brown to teach her daughter some control of the gift, odd things kept
happening, and none of the other children wanted to play with her, or even talk
to her. Whenever there were birthday parties, she was never invited, even when
every other child in the class or neighbourhood was. So, by the time an owl
brought a letter inviting her to Hogwarts, Lavender had realised that what she
wanted most of all was to be accepted; to be one of the popular girls.
She embraced the cause of popularity with
the fervour of a religious convert taking the faith.
Lavender was not a swot, nor studious like
Hermione Granger. She wasn’t the sort of natural brain-box type for Ravenclaw,
either. But people who thought she was stupid and air-headed actually had her
wrong - she had more than enough brains to get by. She’d just learned in an
early and different life-classroom that to be clever, serious or studious –
things that made you stand out and be different - generally meant to be
disliked, and so she consciously eschewed such. Her quest for popularity was a
success. Most people liked her a great deal. It was easy.
It was equally easy to take Ron Weasley
from Hermione, even though Lavender could see that Hermione really fancied
him. In fact, in many ways, Lavender and others saw that before either
Hermione or Ron did.
It was not so easy to lose Ron to
Hermione. Lavender had really liked Ron, indeed love might not have been too
strong a word, but, of course, she could never have expressed it, because that
would have meant being the sort of serious girl she affected to despise. Being
a not-serious girl also had its downside in that she could not now perform a
sort of temperament volte-face and show hurt. So no one saw Lavender
cry into her pillow at nights after the dorm slept, when Ron started going out
And then there was the terrible thing that
happened to Lavender in the summer holidays, after her sixth year – shortly
after Professor Snape murdered Albus Dumbledore.
She’d been to visit Parvarti, her best
friend. They’d drawn even closer since Dumbledore had died; when not even the
most blinkered and ostrich-like attitude could withstand the truth that
terrible events were afoot.
She approached her mother, who was
standing motionless with her back to the door, in the kitchen. Lavender could
see immediately there was something terribly wrong, from her stance and the
particular set of her shoulders. It took all her courage to approach nearer.
Her mother was standing with her fist clenched against her mouth, almost as if
she were biting it.
And her eyes....
"Mum?" More alarmed this time,
Lavender could feel a cold chill running down her spine.
Her mother’s eyes were circled, and
red. She’d been crying.
"What’s wrong?" This time,
Lavender almost screamed at her.
"Your father...they got him last
night, on his way home...."
No need to ask who ‘they’ were. Now,
the events that had scarred the last two years for so many of her school
friends had come home to her, too. There was a tangible, almost crystalline
silence, which spun out between the two of them in that kitchen, and which was
shattered into broken shards by Lavender’s horrible shriek of despair.
Lavender made absolutely sure that no one
saw her cry after Ron went for Hermione. And more importantly, she certainly
wasn’t going to let anyone find out about her hiding in her own family attic in
the weeks after her father was murdered by Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Popular
girls don’t scream, they don’t howl, and they do not tear out hanks of their
own hair. She couldn’t even let her mother see. Mrs Brown had her own
All the popularity in the world did not
abate the pain of losing her dad.
What little emotion Rodolphus Lestrange
ever had or felt was been mostly done away with during his years in the inner
circle of the Dark Lord’s servitors; with the residue slowly drawn from him
during his thirteen years in Azkaban - sucked away by the Dementors who feed on
human emotion. If there was anything left, it now lay so deeply locked within
him, he was not aware of it.
Besides, to be Rodolphus Lestrange
was not to have emotions. Best not. He lived in a perpetual vortex of mad
emotion; there was more than enough emotion in his life, without his adding to
it. No - best not.
Compared to his wife, Bellatrix, and his
brother, Rabastan – who was known by the Death Eaters, and their enemies alike,
to be barking, crazy mad – Rodolphus was considered by many to be the softer
edition of the Lestrange trio. It wasn’t true. He only appeared to be the
more human face of his own diabolical trinity, by virtue of his cold and
Long ago, someone had asked Rodolphus what
had led him to join the Dark Lord’s followers. What particular trigger or
driver had set him onto the path towards becoming one of the most feared
members of the Dark Lord’s inner circle? He had never answered, only offering
his questioner (it had been the late and unmourned Rob Wilkes) a look of total
Had he deigned to reply, he might have
explained that his joining the Dark Lord’s coterie was never an emotional
issue, like it had been for, say, Severus Snape (everyone in the inner group
knew what precisely what progression of events had sent Snape to the
feet of their master), or a fanatical near sexual passion for what the Dark
Lord was (as in the case of his dear wife – he might have smiled cynically when
explaining that one), or merely the chance to commit murder and mayhem,
like his brother or Greyback (at the thought of that latter, he would
unconsciously bare his teeth in disgust – he was not even aware of doing it).
It was, for Rodolphus Lestrange, a purely intellectual and rational decision.
He weighed up the pros and cons and decided that his attraction to order and
linear goals was better expressed in the service of the Dark Lord. Rodolphus’
own father had been one of the Dark Lord’s earliest followers – from their
common schooldays – and so it might have seemed to the outside observer that
yet another scion of some family of dark wizards had run true to form.
Erroneously, because had Rodolphus not wished to take the Dark Mark, no power
on earth could have made him.
That all seemed long ago, now.
Over the last few weeks, he had watched in
dismay, as one by one, his colleagues and family seemed to shed their sanity,
like a snake might slough off an outgrown skin. His wife, his brother, his
colleagues – Snape seemed nigh unhinged since he killed Dumbledore (and
Rodolphus Lestrange had always effortlessly been able to see under the thin
veneer of Snape’s outer sanity, to the fuming turmoil beneath. And most
unthinkable of all, their master, too, seemed to be losing his grip on events.
It was as if their whole movement – the elegant bastion of power that had
attracted Rodolphus in the first place - was crumbling.
However, to leave would be unthinkable.
Where would he go?
After she stopped crying daily and secretly
for her father, Lavender decided that being popular hardly mattered anymore.
Popularity had never given her the things she wanted, had it? Had being
popular kept Ron by her side? Had it saved her dad?
War was not a time when façades were needed
Revenge of some sort, however, was. She
considered this for some time. Before you could take revenge, you needed to
know who its object was. She needed to know who had killed her father – not
just the fact that it was yet another Death Eater murder.
She sent several Owls to the Ministry, but
they would not tell her who had been responsible for her father’s death.
However, she was a resourceful girl when she wanted to be, and a few hours
poring over back numbers of the Daily Prophet yielded the nugget that the three
Lestranges had been seen, shortly after a similar murder, in a neighbouring
town, the same night as her father was Death Cursed on his way home. Lavender
was aware that such cross-connections were not exactly evidence; however, it
was proof enough for her.
Knowing whom she wanted revenge against was
not enough - she needed a way. And being realistic, how on earth was she,
Lavender Brown, going to get the chance to take on and defeat any of the
Lestranges – three of the most feared of Voldemort’s cohorts? She lay awake
for many nights, inventing one hare-brained scheme after another, and
discarding each one in sneering disgust at her own weakness.
As the nights went by, and rest eluded her,
she began to think she was going mad. Certainly the mirror showed her that the
fluffy-headed giggler of her year in Gryffindor had gone entirely. She was
being forged by the heat of her own rage into something very different, but
something she did not know how to be. She didn’t know how she was going to
endure this new life.
Then, the next day saw an unexpected
For the Lestranges, it had merely been
business as usual. The Death Eaters had one or two useful ‘sleepers’ in the
Ministry of Magic who were able to provide details of the sort of people the
Dark Lord wanted made eliminate – Muggles who had married witches or wizards.
Sometimes both parties to such disgusting unions would be killed; sometimes it
was more fun to leave weeping widows and orphans. On the night in question,
they had been advised of the movements and whereabouts of the Muggle, Brown.
The Ministry’s Muggle Relations Department kept tabs on all Muggle partners in
mixed marriages as a matter, of course, just in case a breach of the Secrecy
Act occurred – as was occasional in the case of marital fall-outs. So they
knew Brown’s habits. They also knew that Brown’s daughter was a schoolmate of
Harry Potter’s, so it was more important than might have been immediately
obvious. Let the Brat Who Lived quake with fear - and guilt -
every time he opened a copy of the Daily Prophet.
They covertly followed Brown until he was a
mere lane away from his home. Bellatrix could have done it, but she found such
a quarry boring – simple killing without any accompanying torture was of no
interest to her – it was the same with Rabastan. The duty thus went by default
to Rodolphus, who performed the Death Curse with something bordering on
indifference. He gently tapped the man on the shoulder, watched as he turned,
and greedily drank up the look of surprise, which was rapidly replaced by
terror, in the Muggle man’s light blue eyes, before killing him with the speed
of a striking snake. Bellatrix gave a low chuckle. Rabastan cast the Dark Mark
into the sky. The usual. Then they all turned and almost strolled away before
Disapparating en route to the next ‘call’; it was nothing to them, just another
job in a whole list of things to be done that night.
By the following morning, after a night of
heavy duty, the Muggle, Brown was forgotten.
Neville Longbottom was the very last
visitor Lavender expected.
In truth, Lavender always (like most of the
girls in her year) affected to laugh at Neville. He had the reputation of
being a bit soft, a bit wet. The minute Lavender looked at him when he called
- really looked at him - she realised that he, too, had been wearing his own
persona with which to face life. Just like her. Now she understood that
Neville’s seemingly gentle façade cloaked a rage to match her own – a rage to
far outsoar hers, in fact. And she’d not even realised until she looked at him,
just how angry she was about her father.
He did not waste time with any polite
preliminaries and social amenity, either; it was exactly what she wanted. And
"I heard about your dad, Lavender.
"I know who it was. That’s why I’m
She got ready to speak, but what came next
"The Lestranges did it, didn’t
"I think so. How did you--?"
"They got my mum and dad - years ago,
after Harry Potter became ‘The Boy Who Lived.’ They wanted to know where He
Who Must Not be Named…damn it, V-Voldemort..." Lavender could see
the inner struggle to say the hated name. There were generally only two people
in the world who would ever dare call the Dark Lord by name, Harry Potter and
Professor Dumbledore. She was heartened by Neville’s courage. "They
wanted to know where Voldemort had gone. They tortured my mum and dad. Again
and again, with the Cruciatus Curse...."
At last, something a few years ago that had
vaguely puzzled her made sense. It was during one of their classes with
Professor Moody (only it turned out he was not the real Moody) as
Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher. He’d demonstrated the three Unforgivable
curses, and now she remembered a brief glimpse of Neville’s face, white and
strained, and how he’d left the class, head held unnaturally high, eyes
Neville continued, saying: "They’re
in St Mungo’s, now. They’re mad. They don’t recognise anyone. I see them during
the school holidays." Such a mild and matter-of-fact tone to introduce
such monstrous cruelty, Lavender thought. "The Lestranges did that to my
mum and my dad. I think I know how you feel, Lavender. If there’s anything I
She bit her lip, momentarily beyond speech.
"Are you going back to Hogwarts, after the hols?" she asked, trying
to make conversation.
"I suppose so. Gran says I have
to." He shrugged. "How about you?"
"I never really thought...I suppose I
shall. Is it true Harry’s not coming back?"
"So I understand. He and Ron and
Hermione are going off to try and find some stuff out. To do with
You-Know...Voldemort...." He said the forbidden name easier this time,
and she felt an obscure form of comfort. It strengthened her, and she no
longer felt quite so alone, so bereft. She also noticed detachedly, that the
name ‘Hermione’ no longer held any real emotional resonance. She could even
silently wish them good luck in their quest, without any personal reservations.
"I want revenge," she said
"I want justice," he replied.
Lavender thought it was the same thing; it was not until much later that she
realised there was a world of difference between the two terms.
They talked a little more about
inconsequential things, and then Neville left. She did not see him again until
the term started, but she felt better for his visit. Something was growing
inside her mind in the meantime, and she hoped she’d get the chance to speak
with him again.
Soon, it was time to go back to Hogwarts.
The night before term started, Lavender went to stay with Parvati and Padma.
Their dad took them to Kings Cross – in a Ministry car specially borrowed for
safety. It seemed that the Ministry was determined that there would be no
incidents, and security for all returning children was tight. Fortunately,
nothing untoward marred the start of term.
It wasn’t the same on the train.
Lavender sat with her usual friends on the
Hogwarts Express, but gone was the easy banter, the girlish giggling. It was
as if a new seriousness had enfolded them all. Parvati, Padma, Romilda – even
Romilda - seemed to have new seriousness. And Ginny Weasley was there, too.
Ginny seemed almost grim – Lavender wanted to ask her if she had any news of
Harry, but did not quite dare – there was a tight set to Ginny’s mouth that
No one had said much about her father,
beyond a shy, ‘I’m so sorry, Lavender,’ and she was glad. She still hurt about
her dad, and probably always would, but it was not something she could easily
discuss. The only person who had seemed to understand her was Neville, but he
was elsewhere on the train with some of the boys.
It was at the feast, after the Sorting that
the enormity of what their lives had become hit Lavender hardest. The gaps in
the hall – they were so small, but yet so huge, too. The Gryffindor
table bore a void where Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger should
have been. ‘Surely,’ everyone whispered, ‘Hermione would have been Head
Girl.’ Now she was no longer there. Instead, she had gone who knew where, on
who knew what crusade or quest, with her two best friends. No one spoke of it,
but everyone was thinking of it and secretly praying for their victory.
There was another gap, too. At the
Slytherin table – Draco Malfoy was no longer there, and his two shadowy goons,
Crabbe and Goyle, had also not returned to Hogwarts.
Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape no
longer sat at the High Table, either, but that was not even to be thought of.
Lavender was not alone in studiously not looking at the High Table.
Those gaps said everything about what was
happening in their world.
"Lavender--" A hand touched her
shoulder. She looked round to see Neville.
He sat down beside her without being asked,
this new Neville who seemed decisive and toughened with new inner steel.
"Lavender – I’ve been thinking. We should reform Dumbledore’s Army...."
At the name, she winced – she could not help herself and he saw and stopped
saying what he had been about to. "Don’t you think it’s a good idea,
then?" he asked.
"I think it’s a great idea. I think
it’s the best idea anyone has had."
"It’s just that you seemed to wince...."
"It was the name of Dumbledore, not
the idea. It’s right, Neville." She spoke with a firmness to match his;
perhaps she was beginning to find some new steel of her own.
"Will you tell everyone who was in it
last time? They won’t take much notice of me."
"I think they will. You’ve changed a
bit, Neville. So have I. We’ll both do it. It’s the right thing, and I think
Harry would like that we are doing something here, and Headmaster Dumbledore
And perhaps this was the way to her
Rodolphus was bone weary. If he had believed
for a minute he could have got away with a fast fade, he would have, not to put
too fine a point on it, run like hell. He wanted out of this insane asylum
that his life had become.
His wife spent her waking and sleeping
hours muttering inanity, and gibbering like the madwoman she now most clearly
was. He no longer even felt a vestige of pity for her. It had been a summer
of escalating violence and mayhem, with accelerated raids against mixed
families, and those purebloods who had not declared for the Dark Lord.
Rodolphus had never imagined that dark
magic sport would grow tedious but it had, as had the company of the mad, and
the despairing. The mad – his dear wife and brother. The despairing – those
so bereft of hope, that it seeped out of their skin pores like rank sweat –
Severus Snape – whose blank black eyes looked like some deep unbearable pit of
non-being – and Pettigrew, the eternal butt of all their jokes, who nowadays
visibly cringed when anyone so much as looked at him.
Rodolphus, looking dispassionately at his
fellows, realised that their cause was utterly doomed. He looked to find an
end soon, and prayed, for the first time in his life, that it would be quick -
anything but to live, and anything but to be imprisoned, again.
And no more killing – he was done with
that. Let him just find his quick end, he implored whatever fates might be
listening. He was no longer dispassionate, no longer the calm one; he had
changed, his life had forged him into a tortured and base metal that would
crack at the first fatigue.
Over the rest of the school year, Neville
and others took turns to teach the rump of the old illicit movement Harry had
formed in Umbridge’s year. All sensed some urgency, and there was a common
belief that just as the Death Eaters breached Hogwarts’ defences last year,
there might be a similar incursion at some point during this one.
"We have to defend this place,"
said Neville, speaking privately to Lavender one session, after the others had
gone. "What if Harry defeats Voldemort--?"
Lavender still could not restrain the old
frisson of shock at his use of the forbidden name.
He continued without noticing her visible
shudder: "And there is nothing left here--?"
"He is fighting for all of us – let’s
make sure there is something for him to return to," Lavender finished for
him. He smiled at her. She did not say how much she just wanted to see
whichever Lestrange had killed her dad writhing in agony in front of her. She
felt it best not to. Best not to open those wounds Neville must have carried
in silence for many years.
But once again he surprised her.
"You want to hurt them, don’t
you?" he asked.
"It’s not right," he said
firmly. "That’s not justice – it’s revenge and it’s their sort of
revenge, too. That’s them winning. I realised that after we went to the
Ministry. If we start doing what they do, it makes us no better than
"But I want--"
"I know what you want. Or what you
think you do. But if you become like that woman who destroyed my mum and dad,
it’s not a victory, Lavender - not for us, anyway."
She said nothing more, but she did not see
how they could be defeated except by their own dreaded weapons.
And so the meetings began – weekly at
first, then as the school year drew on towards early summer - daily. Everyone
seemed to sense the urgency. All the older Gryffindors, most Hufflepuffs and
Ravenclaws, and even a few shamefaced and renegade Slytherins, perhaps taking
the lead of their new house head, Professor Slughorn.
And as the year drew on, they were close to
ready – as ready as they thought they could be. Endless practice of defensive
magic, night after night – it was exhausting, but desperate.
Neville had become a sort of leader in a
quiet and reluctant way, and stopped to say some final words to their group in
the very last session they had.
"Remember, we are there to fight against
the Death Eaters – not to be the Death Eaters. No Unforgiveables – or we
become as bad as they are."
Lavender could see a number of faces
looking a bit nonplussed at this. How, after all, were they to fight these
creatures, if not with the same sort of weapons? She didn’t know the answer,
she herself wanted to kill everyone with the name of Lestrange – she didn’t see
how Neville could pretend differently.
When Voldemort sensed the destruction of
the last but one of the Horcruxes, those repositories of his murder-fragmented
soul, he clutched the very last one, his snake-spy-evil-sigil, Nagini, close to
himself in some grotesque parody of affection, and as a last throw of hatred’s
dice, despatched the bulk of his forces to destroy Hogwarts. In a supreme
irony of fate, he kept by his side two men he believed he could most trust.
Severus Snape and Peter Pettigrew.
Severus Snape - whose allegiances were so
twisted, so tortured that even he himself hardly knew what they rightly were,
anymore - sat at Voldemort’s right hand in the role of trusted second.
Cringing at his dark master’s feet sat poor Peter Pettigrew – a debased man who
had once had his life saved by Harry Potter, years earlier.
Children, teachers, house elves, those few
Aurors who were on guard duty, the surviving members of the Order of the
Phoenix, some of the Centaurs of the Forbidden Forest, all stood in formed
ranks, ready to defend the school, the Hogwarts ideal and the legacy of Albus
Dumbledore, against the army of vileness that Voldemort sent: Renegade
werewolves under Greyback, thirsting for the fresh, red throat blood of the
youngsters; as well as vampires; giants; and the evil elite corps of Death
Neville and Lavender found themselves
acting generals of the old Dumbledore’s Army, by default. Their small group
now augmented by those in the upper years who had not joined earlier, but who
now chose to make their stand to defend their school. The younger children
were hidden deep in the school dungeons by members of the Order of the Phoenix – where they would be safe, unless the day was lost. If that happened, no one
would be safe anywhere.
There was only time for some brief orders,
disposing the better fighters in position where they could rally the lesser
ones, before the final assault fell.
For Lavender, whose expectations of what a
battle would be like had been hugely influenced by Muggle film depiction – her
dad had been a keen filmgoer and she had loved to go with him – it was almost
like a disappointment. She’d expected carefully drawn lines, with each side
following a specific strategy. Or something rather grand like in the Narnia
books she’d read when younger. What actually happened was more of a series of
rag-tag skirmishes; a confused melee of bodies, of noise, cursing, and scrappy
The battle was not long, for after an hour
of grievous loss – of adults and children - it is hard to fight an equal fight
when your enemy has no rules of engagement and you have many – a sudden silence
fell, and all fighting stopped.
Something had happened, but no one was sure
exactly what it was.
The details would not be known until
afterwards, but what happened was that both Snape and Pettigrew, at the very
last minute, turned against the Dark Lord and paid their own long debts. They
were instantly murdered by Voldemort but that murderous moment gave Harry
Potter the time and diversion he needed to destroy his enemy, as had been
prophesised. It was the end.
Most of the non-human combatants, no longer
under any will other than their own, turned without further ado and fled into
the Forbidden Forest. This left only the Death Eaters who had been sent, and
suddenly the hearts of the defenders of Hogwarts lifted as they were no longer
fighting against overwhelming odds. The Death Eaters seemed to sense this,
too. More than one began slowly to retreat away towards the Forest, and hopefully
"Don’t kill them!" called Neville
in a gasp. "Capture!"
Lavender ended up duelling one of the few
Death Eaters who did not flee, and aimed a spell, which dislodged his mask.
When he saw her at close quarter, his eyes widened in recognition. He’d seen
those same eyes months earlier, in a different face – the face of a middle aged
man. Pale blue eyes with a shocked look, and he knew instantly whose daughter
she must be.
He’d heard the call for capture, and
realised that there was only one way of avoiding a return trip to Azkaban. By
now, half the force of Aurors in the country would be on their way, and as if
to confirm his thought, he heard the beginning of a series of popping noises
that heralded mass Apparition.
His wife, Bellatrix, was kneeling on the
ground, keening and mourning for her dead master, who Rodolphus supposed had
been the real love of her life. He paid her no further attention. Let her
find her own salvation, though he doubted there was any such for her. There
was a way for him to escape the fate he dreaded, though.
"Know who I am, girl?" he sneered
at Lavender. He saw how her eyes blazed with rage – yes, she knew, all right.
He pressed home the advantage, hoping to provoke her further. "I killed
your father! Stupid Muggle! Served him right, all Muggles should die!"
She caught her breath. She could kill him,
and avenge her father. It would be easy. She was ready. This was exactly
what she’d hoped for, and what she’d dreamed of all year. Revenge.
She raised her wand and pointed straight at
his head - just as she’d practiced so many times. What she intended to do was not
something she’d learned at meetings of Dumbledore’s Army. She readied
herself, and drew on her banked hatred to power the curse she intended to use.
The she heard, as clearly as if it had been
spoken aloud, Neville’s words: "Remember, we are there to fight
against the Death Eaters – not to be the Death Eaters. No Unforgiveables – or
we become as bad as they are."
She wanted to kill this murderous swine -
just for a moment - and then she realised that this was exactly what he
wanted and that by killing him, she’d be his agent. And besides, she knew in
this moment, neither her dad, nor her mum would want her to be a killer – not
And nor did she. She had wondered who she
was becoming since her dad died. Now she knew – she was Lavender. The real
Lavender Brown. Herself.
"It’s not right. That’s not
justice – that’s revenge and it’s their sort of revenge, too. That’s them
winning. I realised that after we went to the Ministry. If we start doing
what they do, it makes us no better than them."
Words that sounded clearly among the gasps
and groans of fighting, above the rage and screams of the defeated and the
Revenge was not justice. This creature had
committed many crimes – and all his victims cried out for a justice that
was not hers to give, but she would do her best to make sure that he got the
justice he deserved.
"I know what you want. Or think
you do. But if you become like that woman who destroyed my mum and dad, it’s
not a victory, Lavender. Not for us, anyway."
Yes. So right.
She felt this cold steel inside her, and it
straightened her back, steadied her wand, and strengthened her arm. Lavender
saw a look of insane exultation on the face of her enemy. She smiled gently
back, and noted how he closed his eyes in relief at having successfully goaded
her into giving him the release he craved. "Stupefy!" she called, and
his eyes snapped open in horror. She saw the look of appalled terror in his
eyes, before he fell to the ground, pole axed. It was an easy matter to
magically bind him. Until whatever justice that could be done, was done.
Lavender looked over to where the dreadful
Lestrange woman was – she, too, was bound in cords and sobbing, while Neville,
no longer looking like a general, but more like a tired boy, turned his back on
her, and approached Lavender at a near stagger.
His eyes were very bright, and she held out
her arms to him, as a friend, and hugged him tightly.
"We won," she whispered.