Part 11 - Trying to Fight Gravity
We didn't know, we didn't even try
One minute there was road beneath us
And the next just sky
ani difranco, Falling is like This
Pansy looked up. The owls were flying down from the rafters, hidden far above, over the lie of the blazing blue sky over their heads, its positively joyous clouds scudding happily from one end of the Great Hall to the other, disappearing in a misted, dusty gray that sifted into black. Pansy hated that ceiling. She had hated it from the first moment she saw it. Once when she was small she and her best friend Miranda Marsden had been taken to a planetarium. It was mid-summer, she was staying with the Marsdens for a week in their small cottage in the north, and the planetarium was a cool respite from a particularly scathing heat wave. Muggles didn't have much going for them, it was generally agreed, but their air conditioning was hard to beat on a hot day when confronted with two seven year old girls screaming together, balanced on a teeter-totter, just to hear the harmonic of their voices at such high pitches. They went inside the planetarium and were told, "Now. Look up and be quiet." They looked up.
It was as though the sky had opened up in front of them, the sky on a dark night with no buildings, no light, no fires burning, nothing at all. Pure darkness, with the bright sky not even casting a glow down into the auditorium with its reclined seats below. And then the scene shifted backwards, as though she were somehow out of time and place altogether, as if she did not have a mandated relationship with the sky. It fell backwards, away from planets, stars, comets, clouds of dust and ice, zooming back and back and back until the galaxy sat in front of her, pristine and perfect like a snowflake. She watched the milky way swirling above her, a great, rotating spider moving so slowly, sparkling. And then they fell back inside it again. They oohed and aahed along with the other children in the sticky seats around them, transfixed by the show of light, sometimes entirely realistic, other times taking them to places they couldn't even imagine. And while Miranda pointed and gasped as the scenes shifted and changed, Pansy sat still, terrified, as the teenager sitting next to her shoved his hand up her skirt. When the show was over and the lights came up, she saw that the ceiling was just an ordinary one after all, it was all lights and shadow and trickery. The teenagers filed out first. The reclined seats were a dull brownish orange, not even the colour of grass you would lie on to watch the sky. Ever since Pansy had hated false ceilings; even more so if there were pretty.
She watched the owls swoop in and drop letters and parcels, just a handful of them this time, the first day back after the Christmas hols. A forgotten sweater, sweet cards from grandmothers and younger siblings, a scarf, a pair of mittens. She kept her eye on them, looking for a purple scroll.
It would never have occurred to her, had she not seen a series of events in just the order she saw them. First, it was the wink across the table at Boxing Day brunch. That in itself was unusual, but didn't point in any particular directions. It was only indicative of a mood, a certain lightness of spirit.
On the way back to school after the hols, Pansy had sat across from Draco on the train, watching him look dreamily out the window. Draco did not do anything dreamily. Pansy knew for a fact that Draco had positively monstrous dreams. There had been a time when she had visited with the Malfoys over the summer and had slept in Draco's bed with him. He had insisted on sleeping without being touched.
"I punch people sometimes," he said, as an excuse. "I see things in my dreams, and if you touch me, I might mistake you for something else, while I'm asleep. It's better this way."
She had been suspicious at the time, read too much into this, felt the great gulf between them after he had curled so tenderly on top of her but then rolled away, and she cried silently as she heard him fall asleep. She was naked and wondered what would happen if his mother burst in, or his father. This never happened. But he did punch her, in the face, once. Each night she was there she woke to his restless dreams, shouting in the back of his throat, arms thrashing around. He growled, his pounded his fist into his thigh, into the mattress. She watched him once, lying on his back, the bedclothes pulled down to his thighs and his body shaking like mad, his arms arrested as his sides. At first she thought he was having a seizure. She woke up and felt him trembling, felt the cold air against his bare skin, turned and saw him. He slept with his curtains open, always. He liked the moonlight, he liked to feel that he had somewhere to run to, in case of an emergency. He did not like to feel trapped. It took her a few moments to register what was happening. Draco, shaking violently, his breath coming in fits and starts as if someone were choking him, limbs immobile, eyes open. He looked terrified, blue in the moonlight, but in Pansy's mind he was blue because he couldn't breathe. She moved closer to him and touched him.
And all hell broke lose. He punched her in the face, hard, and she cried out and fell off the bed. She landed in a heap of blankets with a bloodied lip, one leg still tangled in a sheet and tucked against the edge of the mattress. She propped herself up on her knees and looked over at him, lying uncovered and naked on his white sheets glowing blue, his arms jittering but lying as if pinned at his sides, his cock fully erect, and decided to spend the night on the floor. Draco did not remember this incident in the morning, and Pansy did not ask what he was dreaming about. If he guessed what had happened, he did not apologize for it.
On her last night there, Draco had punched himself, and woke with a bloody nose. This, also, prompted no commentary from either of them, though she went into the bathroom and brought Draco a box of tissues at three o'clock in the morning. She wondered what it was that haunted him. His mother was a dream, his father, distant, cold, perhaps, but not unkind. She wondered what family secrets were buried away in Draco's brain, and couldn't help but hope that one day, with time and patience and love, she would hold Draco through the night and he would know that it was her. Even in his sleep, he would feel her touch and know.
She watched him on the train, looking dreamily out the window at nothing, and felt a stab of jealousy. Had someone managed to touch Draco while he slept? Had someone gotten inside? No. It could not be. I simply could not be. Who was he thinking about? Draco thought he was so closed-lipped, he thought he was inscrutable. She had heard him say as much to his enemies, his friends. She had heard him say things he didn't mean, watched his face as he lied. He didn't think anyone could tell, but she could. She knew, for instance, that Draco had a profound respect for Professor McGonagall, in spite of her clear Gryffindor leanings. She knew that he enjoyed History class, and Arithmancy, though he rolled his eyes and complained loudly about both. She knew that he didn't hate mudbloods as much as he claimed to. She had noticed that he made a show of hating them only in front of the other boys, Vincent, Gregory, Professor Snape, even. She knew that it wasn't so much hatred; she knew that mudbloods made him uncomfortable. He didn't trust them, he didn't understand how they could sit on the fence the way they did, one foot in both worlds, no loyalty to either. He didn't understand how they could cast spells and enjoy all these benefits and then walk back into their families and pretend they were muggles, deny everyone they knew, as if they could forget their wands, their training, their deep-seated love of Quidditch. The idea made him nauseous. Pansy knew this. Draco thought he was so complicated, but really he was not. And watching his face on the train, Pansy knew, with a gut-wrenching certainty, that someone had wormed their way Draco's field of vision. Someone was making him daydream, distracting him from his usual bitter, tortured thoughts.
Hell hath no fury, after all. Pansy wondered, and didn't stop wondering. All she knew for certain was that it wasn't her Draco was thinking of.
Even then she might have just let it be. She had seen something like this happen to Draco before; the Jill Newbury affair had looked a little bit like this. He had wanted her so badly, so completely. He was obsessed. He knew everything about her daily affairs, he could recite the names of the members of her family. He knew her results from class, knew that charms was her weakest subject. He listened to the sound of her voice on playback, knew her tone so well that he could distinguish her coughing in a room full of noisy students. He knew what size clothing she wore, her favourite colours, what time she went to bed and woke up. It was then she had seen a look like this, distracted, thinking through the plot, how to get her, how to charm her, how to convince her. When she finally relented, he possessed her completely. But the possession had only lasted a week or two. Once he had won his prize, he realized she was no real prize; she was bright but was unwilling to challenge him; pretty but a prude. The entire thing was wholly unsatisfying. She was exactly what he knew she was, but in the end it wasn't what he wanted. Draco never seemed to know what he wanted.
Pansy had known even then what Draco had not known. He wasn't in love with Jill Newbury, the beautiful, elegant Ravenclaw whose name Draco may have even forgotten by now. Pansy was certain he didn't even particularly like her, and she had heard enough in the locker rooms to know that Jill was no where near what Draco wanted. Pansy knew that Draco wanted to want things, and sometimes he believed his own hype.
So she might have ignored the dreamy look, even though 'dreamy' was never a term she would have used for Draco, even when he was obsessed. She might have chalked all of this up to good grades, a whole series of beautiful, foreign strangers eyeing him seductively, the last term in school, the start of another Quidditch season. And part of her did, for a little while. Perhaps it was just the air, maturity, Draco thinking about something other than himself. Perhaps.
She had wanted to send a letter to her mother. She had written it on the train ("Dear mum, I know we talked about further education abroad for next year, but can we talk about it more later? I'm just not certain I'm ready yet, and there are people I'm not ready to leave "), and was making her way toward the Owlery after dinner to commission one of the school owls when she saw them.
Well, she saw Draco first. He was lying in the snow, wearing a long wool cloak that was near white itself. With is pale skin and white-blond hair she barely saw him lying there, arms wrapped around his torso. He was lying beside a shrub in the herbology garden, and she really only saw him because she had glanced over to see how the Ogre roses were doing. Ogre roses were incredibly beautiful; large, red and luscious, like paintings of roses, not the sorry excuse that the real thing usually was. Orgre roses only bloomed in the winter, and Pansy had gotten into the habit of cutting a few flowers here and there through the long Hogwarts' winters and placing them in a vase on her bedside table. The smell of even one flower filled the seventh year girls dormitory with a smooth, dense fragrance, powdery and rich and lovely. She glanced over to see the roses and saw a hand moving on the ground, in the near-dark. Draco, lying on the ground, looking up.
At first, naturally, she thought he was hurt. Perhaps he had fallen, perhaps he needed attention. But when she followed his eyes up into the sky, she saw something unexpected; a single boy, flying. The boy swooped around in the sky, turned somersaults, spun through a series of sharp corners, obstacles, dipping down and arching back up again. It was too dark to see who it was, and the boy was wearing black school robes, not Quidditch robes. Pansy couldn't even be certain what house the boy belonged to; it was too dark to see his tie, and he wore no scarf. He must be mad, Pansy thought. It's freezing. Both of them will catch a cold. Pansy twisted her lips and pressed on toward the owlery. Whoever it was in the sky was her most likely suspect. Perhaps Draco fancied himself in love with the mad flyer in the sky. Why else would he lie there, on his back in the snow getting cold and wet and dirty?
She was muttering to herself when she walked into the owlery. She pulled out her stationary box from her shoulder bag and pulled out the letter she had written to her mother. The owls tittered, and she pulled out her wand.
"Lumos," she whispered, and the owlery was illuminated. It took Pansy perhaps fifteen seconds to spot the Malfoy owl.
The Malfoys were not always ostentatious. No, Narcissa Malfoy had a sense of subtlety as well. Draco, for instance, was rarely clad in outrageous clothing. His mother insisted on nothing but the best, but opted for the casual, laissez-faire approach; she made it all look so easy, so nonchalant and effortless. Draco appeared quite normally clad until you were up close; it was then that you'd notice the fine cut of his trousers, the gleam of his calf-skin shoes, the thread count of the material that went into his robes, his shirts, his boiled wool sweaters and even the smooth, well-groomed sheen of his skin pointing to the money his mother spent preparing him for the world, the care and delicacy of it, the pride. The Malfoy owls shared this subtlety, and it was one Pansy had appreciated. They were fowl of an ordinary breed (eagle owls, all), but they were special birds. They had unique patterns on their backs, their faces were particularly bright, they had an oddly large wingspan, strangely hypnotic eyes, elegant claws or particularly glossy feathers. Some of them were just unusually bright or well-trained, but these, Pansy knew, were reserved for terribly urgent or important affairs. Malfoy owls were the pick of the hatchlings, the best, the most objectively beautiful. It was a subtle thing, but one Pansy noticed. And there, right in front of her, was a Malfoy owl.
"Well, my dear," Pansy cooed, stroking the soft feathers at the birds' neck. "it's just you I was looking for. You've been delivering from Malfoy Manor, haven't you." She knew it in an instant, and in an instant she had a plan. She pushed the letter to her mother into the box and pulled out a clean sheet of purple parchment, rolling it into a long, tight scroll. "Here," she said, offering the parchment to the owl. "This was forgotten. It's a note that goes with it, the last item you delivered. It got forgotten and I don't want anyone to be embarrassed. Be a dear and just drop this off, to the person you sent the item to?" The owl winked first one eye, and then the other at her, and accepted the parchment. "Wonderful," she said, and smiled.
That night as she fell asleep she worried, worried and planned and hoped. Who did she fear it was? Who did she hope? The mad flyer? Some busty Ravenclaw with a chip on her shoulder? Crabbe or Goyle, getting a late Christmas present? Or just Draco himself. Perhaps his mother had shipped him some cookies and fudge and cake the moment he left, the day before. She was like that, she loved to feed him sweets and send him little tokens. As it turned out Draco had had his full of sweets before age twelve and just passed along these packages, leaving them open in the Slytherin common room for the others to devour, which they invariably did. Perhaps that's all it was. This thought soothed her as she fell asleep, thinking about Draco's arms around her, his lips, his hair brushing against her stomach.
That morning she watched the owls enter the Great Hall and descend from the rafters, dropping newspapers and letters and packages. She spotted the elegant Malfoy owl while Draco poked at his scrambled eggs. It circled the room broadly and them dropped the purple parchment above the Gryffindor table. It seemed to fall unusually slowly as Pansy watched it, her fingers gripping the edges of her seat. She watched it leave the owl's grasp and fall from perhaps twenty or thirty feet above, spinning in the air and landing, finally, on the white table cloth, between a fork and a soup spoon, directly in front of Harry Potter.
Harry had decided to fly that night to calm his nerves. He had had a wonderful holiday, minus Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley. He had spent his time off school with Sirius, laughing at his stories and jokes, feeling like a regular kid. He had eaten good food, stayed up late, woken Christmas morning and run into the living room, the Christmas tree hiding presents for him beneath its bows. He had nearly cried with joy. Sirius had brought him back to Hogwarts the day before the others, and then spent the day closeted away with Dumbledore. Grave discussions, no doubt. Strategy, political movements, alliances. Death tolls, names, lists of possible suspects, questions. Harry didn't want to think about it just yet. He had spent the last week imagining that this wasn't happening. He and Sirius had agreed when his holiday started that they would do their best to pretend that there was no war, that Azkaban did not exist, that his parents were not killed by a raving lunatic who was out to kill Harry, that Sirius had not taken a break from gravely dangerous work to spend this time with him. That Harry himself would not be joining him shortly, to prevent further bloodshed, to stop Voldemort from destroying the world. For a while, they imagined that they were just family, enjoying a holiday, eating plum pudding and turkey and mashed potatoes, playing exploding snap. If he stayed in the air, he thought, clutching at his broom and swooping through the cold January air in the dark, he might be able to prolong it. When he touched the ground he would have to admit the truth; he was in grave danger, there was a war going on, people were dying. People would continue to die.
And yet there were these bright spots in his immediate future. Sirius had given him a beautiful new broom, top of the line. Ron and Hermione had returned on the train with the others that afternoon, bearing gifts and chocolates. Harry had lost his spare pair of glasses last term, but Sirius had given him a new pair, and these made the world sink into sharp focus. While he was dreading sitting through advanced Divination again, Harry was looking forward to this final term in Defense against the Dark Arts, Charms, and even Potions looked interesting. NEWTs were fast approaching, but Harry felt prepared, or at least, he felt that he would be prepared. Hermione would not let him feel otherwise. His results had been quite good last term and he felt that he was hitting his stride. He had started to feel that he really did have something to offer the wizarding world, something beyond just the scar on his forehead. He had learned in class last term that he was a much stronger wizard than he would have imagined; he could resist curses and cast spells that painted a look of shock on his teachers' faces. This pleased him a great deal. He wanted to be as special as they all hoped he was, he hoped there was something in him that could be the difference between victory and defeat. And in the middle of all of this, he had received this anonymous gift, a fencing foil. From who? Professor McGonagall? Dumbledore? Sirius? Could it really be Malfoy?
He had come to be quite used to their regular sparring. There had been days when he had needed it more than almost anything; Harry was not good at dealing with his own frustration, and Malfoy's constant teasing gave him the perfect excuse to lose his temper. When he felt uncertain about his place, when he felt confused and angry with his family and frustrated in History of Magic when they read, yet again, about the horrors muggles had inflicted on wizards and witches. Sometimes he felt less than certain, sometimes he worried that he was less than prepared. And then Malfoy would hurl some mudblood comment toward Hermione, he would look the Hufflepuffs up and down and laugh at them with his cronies, he would narrow his eyes at Harry and lift his chin in defiance and Harry would know. Yes, he knew what was right. No matter how horrible the history was, no matter what the Dursleys had done to him, it did not justify what Voldemort wanted, what he did. And Voldemort was no saint for the cause; he killed wizards and witches too, he killed anyone who stood up to him. There was no truth in there, there was no salvation. Draco was a living reminder, he pushed Harry back into his role. When Draco flashed him that challenging glare across the potions dungeon, Harry knew who he was. He was a hero. And he would be that hero.
So he could throw that punch, hurl insults, stand between Hermione or Seamus or Justin and a sneering, angry Malfoy, adopt a challenging stance and lift his own chin. You want to? Go ahead. Try me. And so they would fight. Aside from Professor McGonagall, no one ever really blamed him for it, not even when he lost house points. Malfoy was certainly poised to be a Death Eater; he hated people because of their heritage and worshipped the monster that killed Harry's parents. He was the perfect cardboard cutout of an enemy for Harry, and, strangely, Harry found this reassuring. There were so few constants in Harry's life; Ron and the Weasleys, Hermione and her good advice, the mundane day to day of the school year, and Draco Malfoy. Hating him, fighting with him, challenging him and being challenged by him. It made the hairs prickle on the back of his neck, sometimes it made his heart pound harder in his chest, made his breath come faster, made his blood boil. He hadn't thought about how much this actually meant to him until he opened that gift, thinking about Draco with a foil through his chest. Yes, he was a villain. A coward, a tattle-tale, a failure of the education system.
But he was consistent, at least. Even this gift, which Harry suspected probably did come from Malfoy, was a mark of the obscure form of respect that they offered each other. It showed Harry that Malfoy seemed to value their strange, antagonistic relationship as much as Harry did himself. Valued? Was that the right word? Certainly, in a strange kind of way. He was glad that Malfoy acknowledged it as well; fencing could be just one more way they could continue to define each other, defy each other, push each other farther, attempt to destroy each other. He wondered, with his new broomstick cold and slick against his palms, if Malfoy entertained the same fantasies he did; winning the argument, drawing Malfoy to his side, seeing him apologize to Hermione, holding him up as a kind of prize. If I leave Hogwarts having convinced him, having pulled him toward the right side of this battle, I will really have accomplished something. Yes, Harry imagined that Malfoy did think the same way, and that this was precisely why he was such a good opponent.
And so he had flown through the evening sky, trying to fight gravity, feeling powerful and powerless, afraid and brave, hot and anxious and cold in the hard, sharp January air. He had talked to Sirius about what he would do after he graduated, and it seemed that there were many different routes he could take, all important, all challenging, all working to destroy the Death Eaters. Harry was anxious and afraid to begin. He felt helpless here at Hogwarts, he felt restless. By the time he was ready to go inside again it was dark and his fingers were numb.
Ever since Harry had discovered that Malfoy had found out about their attempts at becoming animagi they had moved their activities onto an even lower gear. Hermione researched quietly, and only during regular hours, hiding books within books. Ron had overheard a few things from his brother and was convinced that Voldemort was aiming to break into Hogwarts this term; the three of them thought their best defence, if Voldemort had them near cornered, to transform themselves and scatter. They had even decided on a rendezvous point, should the moment arrive. Ron had brought up an old tent from his parents' basement, and Hermione had made a matchbox hold as much as a large refrigerator. Harry had convinced Dobby to help them, and managed to gather up several weeks worth of food. These items, as well as a change of clothes for the three of them, were hidden away in the hollow of a tree on the edges of the forbidden forest. All that remained was working out how to transform themselves safely and without being detected. From there, they figured, they would plan the counter-offensive.
When the purple letter had dropped next to Harry's plate at breakfast the next morning, Hermione had looked at it, confused. "Who's that from, Harry?" she asked. Harry had shrugged, pulled it open, and found it blank, just a blank sheet of parchment in a pale shade of lavender. "That's odd." She took it and sniffed at it, stroked it, waved her wand over it and whispered a few spells. "Hmmm."
"Do you think it's from You Know Who?" Ron whispered, his fingers clutched around his goblet of juice.
Hermione giggled. "Well, if it is, he certainly has lovely taste in stationary. It looks like a love letter someone didn't just forget to sign, but forgot to write entirely." Harry laughed, and wondered who would send him love letters. He looked around the room, seeing some smiling Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws arguing pointedly, a small food fight erupting at the Slytherin table. He noticed that Draco was playing with his food, and that Pansy was staring straight at him. They're eyes locked for a moment, and Harry furrowed his brows in confusion. Pansy had never given him a second glance. She looked absolutely furious.
"Something's in the works," he said, sighing, leaning back in his chair and breaking eye contact with Pansy.
"What do you mean?" Hermione said, between bites of toast, still looking worriedly at the purple sheet of parchment.
"I don't know. I just suspect that something is brewing." He lifted his goblet toward the Slytherins. "Double potions. Again. Fabulous. I suppose we'll find out then." He drained his glass, eyeing Malfoy, who was running his fingers through his damp hair, smiling, talking to Pansy.
Professor Snape had, as usual, paired Harry with Draco, which both had come to expect. Harry sat on his stool and stretched out his spine, throwing his head back, groaning a little in the back of his throat. The air had been far too cold out last night and he had over-exerted himself. His back and his legs were sore and cramped. He had done no flying at all over the holidays, and flew too hard and too long last night. He felt his back crack satisfyingly.
Draco chuckled. "All that flying last night throw your back out, Potter?" Hermione, sitting directly behind Harry, partnered up with Pansy, shot Draco a look, and then raised an eyebrow. Pansy glared at both of them and grabbed the knife out of Hermione's hand, slicing furiously into the pitcherplant roots. She mumbled something under her breath, but Hermione ignored her, watching Draco.
Harry sat up and stared. "How did you know I was flying last night?"
"Ah, you underestimate me. I know everything." He looked up at the blackboard, and down at the table full of roots and vials in front of him, picking up the knife.
"Hmmm." Harry sat up properly and grabbed his cauldron, setting it over the flame. "I've got a new broom, you know." He say quickly, noting that Snape was making his rounds across the room. "Flies like a dream. You'll have no chance at all against us this season, I'm afraid."
"Ah! A gift from another fan? I hear you get a lot of those." Draco looked down at the root he was chopping, very aware of the closeness of Harry's body, his arm nearly pressed against his own.
"I do indeed. Some very fine ones this year." Harry grinned lopsidedly, and whispered, "Thanks for the foil, by the way. It's really lovely. What is it, poisoned? Non-retractable? Will it stab me in my sleep?"
Draco laughed. "No no no. Though, I was tempted by the one that promised to give you a matching scar on your arse, but " he gestured with the knife toward Harry forehead, and Harry grinned widely. Draco smiled back, and added, "That foil is very much like mine, in fact. I don't want to hear any more complaints about the equipment. I prefer to win clearly and without question." Draco turned and rifled through his bag for his wand, hoping to hide his sudden attack of nerves. As he grabbed his wand, he swore under his breath, feeling a blush rising in his cheeks.
Harry smiled and shook his head. "So it really was you." Draco retrieved his wand and set it on the table, turning and raising an eyebrow at Harry as if to say, well, who else would it be? While Hermione rose to pick up some tincture of bergamot, Pansy watched Draco's face, pink in the cheeks, his movements uncertain. She fumed.
Draco hmphed and went back to slicing the root in front of him. "Make yourself useful, Potter. Slice the flobberworm, I hate those things."
"Ugh!" Harry reached across the table and grabbed the flobberworm tail, still damp and slimy from the jar they had pulled it from. He took the knife, wrinkled his nose, and sliced. "Ouch!" Harry jerked back, cradling his thumb. "Dammit!"
Draco looked over and saw blood on Harry's hand. "Good Lord, Potter, let me see." It wasn't a serious cut, but the blood was still running profusely down Harry's thumb, pooling in the palm of his hand. Snape was looking into cauldrons across the room as Draco picked up his wand.
"Malfoy, don't, I"
"Let me just"
It was just then that Draco heard it. He was holding his wand, pointing it toward Harry's hand, about to utter a spell to stop the bleeding. He heard it the way you hear a wind in the trees on a rainy day, the way you hear the swish of robes when you're in the stacks at the library, someone brushing past in the aisle. The way you hear a storm coming in the distance, the slow step of a predator in the underbrush. A word, but barely, more like the ghost of a word, a word in a language you don't have the senses to comprehend. He heard it and it made him shiver, as if it were spoken against the skin at the back of his neck.
As if in slow motion, Harry's eyes rolled back into his head, his limbs in spasm, he fell, his head crashing into the stool on the way to the floor. Draco's mouth hung open, he was in shock. Harry lay before him, arms and legs lying brokenly on the floor, bent at horrifying angles, his skull pressed inward along the left side, his chest heaving fitfully and impossibly, collapsed in parts as if he had just been sat on by a troll. He heard a bottle drop against the stone floor and shatter just before Hermione started to scream.
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