Bellatrix Lestrange leads Voldemort's forces in the final assault on Hogwarts. Hannah and another new ally join rebel leaders Neville and Luna in the penultimate battle!
You are Hannah Abbott.
It's too late.
The sounds of many cracks, one right after another after another, more than a dozen of them, sound outside the previously deserted lanes of Hogsmeade. Worse, you know the Herbologist shop Dogweed and Deathcap is no place to hide.
"C'mon Hannah!" Neville calls out urgently as he and Luna rush toward the exit. "They'll be swarming this place in no time. We've got to get outta here!"
"Nearly done!" you call back desperately. Taking advantage of the Undetectable Extension Charm placed on your handbag way back at the Weasley twins' shop, you stretch it open as wide as possible, using your free arm to scoop as many varieties of magical plants, potions, and supplies into the bag as you can. The shopkeeper has long since vacated the building, so you figure he won't begrudge you the lost merchandise under such dire circumstances.
"HANNAH, NOW!" Neville shouts. Luna runs back to drag you by the arm. But by now you've collected all that you can, including one last helping of Devil's Snare, and thus run willingly with her.
Dashing out into the lane, you make your way back to the main street and find your options quickly dwindling. On the one hand, to your right is the road that leads all the way down to the Hogwarts grounds, and you're ill able to think of a more dangerous place to be right now. But to your left is the stile at the end of the road and the edge of town, at the end of which is only wilderness and a lone mountain--in other words, a dead end.
But Neville has already made his decision, turning right immediately. "More hiding places down at the school," he yells behind him, as if reading your thoughts.
"Plus, we know Hogwarts really well," Luna adds, huffing along beside you as you both quickly follow along behind Neville. "Though by this time Aquavirius Maggots may have succeeded in flooding the--"
But the tale of Luna's latest ridiculous creature is cut off by the sudden Apparition of three Death Eaters in the street directly in front of you. "Blast 'em!" one of them bellows immediately.
"PROTEGO!" you shout at once, erecting a shield protecting the three of you from the furious onslaught of red and gold spells that follows. Your group begins to scurry for cover as your shield is quickly overwhelmed, however.
"You fool!" another of the Death Eaters calls out. "Just use the Avada Kedavra. Madam Lestrange don't care no more if we take 'em dead or alive now!"
"Not since they scuttled the Dark Lord outta th' Ministry," agrees the third grimly, already training his wand on you. "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
You dive frantically out of the way of incoming green bolts and dash into the Post Office just across the way, and you can breathe again only when you see Neville and Luna scrambling in after you. There aren't many owls left in here, but the few that remain are making a terrible racket of hooting, screeching, flapping--you're not sure if the din is helping your cause or hurting it.
"DIFFINDO!" come several voices outside, and the noise of the owls is vastly overshadowed by the thunderclap of sections of this building splitting and tearing apart above and all around you. Most of the owls--those that aren't killed--scatter and fly away, buying a few precious seconds' diversion.
"It's no good," Neville seethes. "They'll be in here in moments. We've got to get out now!"
"Since we won't be here to welcome them," you announce, bringing a particularly nasty potted Venomous Tentacula out of your bag, "I figure at least we can leave them a present." At once your trio dashes out the other side into a back lane. The pained cries you hear from within a very short while later confirms your booby trap to be a success.
Creeping behind one building after another, you look over your shoulder in the direction of the castle and see flames rising to the sky much nearer now. Doing a double take, your heart lurches as you notice the building on fire is the one at the farthest end of the lane leading to Hogwarts... the Three Broomsticks.
"ROSMERTA!!" you cry, instinctively running toward the blaze.
Neville grabs you before you can get very far. "No, Hannah!" he urges you along with him and Luna. "There's nothing for it. Nothing you can do for her now. We've got to find someplace to hide, quick!" You feel the sting of tears for the fate of your Mentor but comply anyway.
"Madam Rosmerta's very intelligent," Luna says reasonably as the three of you continue down the back lane. "I'm sure she made her way out before the fire hit."
Your trek off the main thoroughfare of a besieged Hogsmeade seems to be going well so far, until the three of you are met by a pair of mountain trolls, who immediately start swinging their clubs at you. Just barely avoiding being bludgeoned to death, you find yourselves back on the main road again. One Death Eater releases the villager he'd been either interrogating or torturing--you're not really sure there's a distinction honestly--points at you and shouts, "There they are!"
Luna fires a Stunner and Neville a Body-Bind while you bewitch the nearby lamp post to snap apart and fall in the path of the remaining Death Eaters.
But their numbers are too great. You run for your lives, but you're clearly outnumbered. Dashing toward another side lane, you notice the barman of the dingy Hog's Head charge out, wand in hand. You meet at the turnoff and have to duck as he aims a particularly powerful lightning spell at your foes behind you. Then you have to back against a nearby building as a herd of goats begins a stampede in the street, butting Death Eaters with surprisingly strong horns.
You startle momentarily when the barman looks at you with blue eyes so like Professor Dumbledore's, before you remember this is his brother Aberforth, also a Mentor for the Games. "Hurry!" he calls you. "In here, before they regroup." He gestures to the Hog's Head, and the three of you scurry inside without hesitation.
"Aberforth!" you exclaim, immediately flinging your arms around him. "You've made it back so soon? We heard about everyone's escape from Azkaban!"
"Oh, I'm not the only one back," he says, almost as if it's a warning. "It was more than just us Order members in prison, you know. Those escaping who didn't need to be put up at St. Mungo's are headed this way, and many've already arrived. Word is, You-Know-Who's holed up right down at the school, and everybody in the Rebellion is headin' there for a crack at 'im."
"Lead the way, sir," Luna says, as if about to begin a particularly interesting game of hide-and-go-seek.
He looks out the window at the mayhem outside. "Let me go out first. I can cover for you three, let you get far enough away to Disapparate out of this mess. Then you can run, lay low, wait for this war to blow over."
Neville steps forward. "Ab, you really don't get us if you think after all we've been through, we're just going to back out now." You and Luna step forward in solidarity, and you grab Neville's hand.
He looks back at you, and even though his shoulders slump, yet you think you see a twinkle in those blue eyes of his. "I might've known," he whispers, then looks up at the painting of the strange girl hanging over his mantle and announces in a clearer voice, "It's time." The girl nods with a sad smile, and suddenly the portrait swings open, revealing a dark tunnel behind it.
"Blimey, where's that lead to, Ab?" Neville asks, full of wonder.
"Precisely where you need to go, if you're serious about this."
"Oh, this'll be fun!" Luna says brightly.
"But what-- how--?"
"Come now, Abbott, you don't think with having the headmaster as a brother I might have learned a trick or two about the castle?"
"Well, if you put it that way..."
"Go then," he suddenly cuts across you. "The Death Eaters are bound to swarm this place anytime, and I don't know how long I can keep them off you."
"Thank you, Aberforth, for saving us," you say with earnestness, and Neville adds, "Yeah, we owe one, Ab." Luna nods serenely at the barman.
"That remains to be seen," Aberforth says inscrutably. "They're coming now. GO!"
Luna climbs onto the mantlepiece and ducks inside first, and you follow, Neville coming in after you--the portrait shuts immediately after him, and the sounds of battle are suddenly muffled. You walk down a flight of ancient stone steps flanked by torchlight on both sides.
You continue down the long, winding passageway, sometimes climbing up an incline, sometimes turning a corner. You're beginning to wonder just how much farther you can walk in your fatigued state when you suddenly see steps leading up to a corresponding doorway.
Emerging, you find yourselves inside what could best be described as a moderately sized treehouse room. You find three hammocks hung spaciously apart with a banner above each: Above a blue hammock you find the bronze Ravenclaw eagle, above a deep red hammock waves the Gryffindor lion in gold, and finally you spot a yellow hammock with your own Hufflepuff badger emblazened proudly over it.
"What is this place?" you ask, awestruck. It suddenly occurs to you can hear nothing outside now.
"Why, it's the Room of Requirement of course," Luna says happily, but then adds in a tone of warning, "We should be very careful of nargles, though. They're known to infest hidden places like this."
"It's brilliant is what it is!" exclaims Neville, as if he hadn't heard Luna's last line.
You plop down in the golden yellow hammock seemingly made for you and immediately have to fight the urge to close your eyes. When was the last time you slept? "I think we need a rest, guys."
Luna blinks her wide eyes in agreement. "A good sleep will do us nicely if we're to help our friends."
Neville looks glum. "I'm shattered too, but there's a fight on right now. We can't leave our friends on their own against You-Know-Who while we stay here and nod off. You remember what we told Aberforth, don't you?"
You do, and as much as you really want to charge out there right now to defend this school that's always been like a sanctuary for you, yet there's another part of you that thinks you'll be pretty useless in battle as weary as you are now, your wits dimmed by fatigue.
How will you serve your friends and allies best?
A.) Set out to battle now?
B.) Rest yourselves first?