The Death Eaters required us to leave Hogwarts before the end of April, whilst Professor Snape asked us to prepare the materials by mid-March. The black ink was especially eye-catching on the blank notebook. The nib paused, jotting down a full stop. The person writing stopped, causing the ink to gradually become faint.
They hesitated before slowly continuing to write, stroke after stroke. It's already March 9.
Cho Chang no longer knew how to finish her diary entry. Like the beginning of a sad song, it became hard to find the courage to continue; difficult to begin the next melody.
But writing down diary entries is necessary, she thought.
There would always be things necessary to record, things that needed to be passed on and remembered. Even if they really did lose, were defeated, or died, at least this diary would tell the world that they once existed.
She took a deep breath, lifted her quill, and began to awkwardly write again. Hermione found the dragon's heart; we are one step closer to success.
Before she could think about what to write next, she heard a commotion outside her room from the other students.
Hogwarts was in a state of panic. The students who volunteered to stay weren't trained warriors. Though hot-blooded, they had no strength or wisdom to support their well-meaning temperament. In near-death conditions, they'd become nervous and fearful, attempting at a tactical retreat.
But fortunately, they never complained.
Cho Chang felt troubled by the outside commotion. She decided to just end her entry there and closed her notebook.
I haven't seen Professor Snape since that day. It's been almost 20 days since he's stepped out of his room, with the house-elves opting to deliver his food directly to him. The magic of resurrection must be extremely profound; none of the Ravenclaws, nor Hermione, has ever heard of a way to resurrect the dead,
The Professors and Aurors seldom stop by Hogwarts. They're busy collecting the necessary materials for Harry's resurrection.
We found Fawkes; he seemed to understand we needed him, so he perched himself atop his shelf in the Headmaster's office since the early morning.
Harry must be resurrected before the 21st, otherwise, we'd forever lose the opportunity to do so.
There are only ten days left, yet we haven't collected even half of the materials.
The most important is the Dark Lord's blood.
We tried to get the Dark Lord's blood for the first time. Everyone was timid, except for one, who threw a brave face on and volunteered to charge forwards. Ron.
Professor McGonagall didn't allow it. She thought he was too reckless.
I overheard some students asking him why he was so willing. He'd simply said, "Harry's my friend."
It must be nice to have friends like that.
Except for Mad-Eye Moody, who led the team, nobody else came back.
"We weren't even able to close in on him." Moody supported his prosthetic leg, trying to move with difficulty, his face filled with bruises and scabs. "The numbers of Death Eaters exceeded our expectations."
"They were like ants."
"He just sat there and watched us act like clowns, then yawned and left his seat to enjoy his lunch."
Simon, Ernie, Anna…
They're not dead, but they must be facing a terrible danger worse than death.
With no interruptions - or should I say no interruptions were allowed? - we tried again, trying to take advantage of everyone's fresh feelings from the first attempt. We could only pray that the Death Eaters who'd just tasted victory would be more relaxed.
Nobody complained, and although everyone was afraid, nobody withdrew.
I think we've all begun to grow up; our older selves are no longer childish or immature.
That person's death completely woke us up - all of us.
If the stories are to be believed, Harry's been single-handedly doing this every year since he was eleven.
Most of the war efforts are coming from the seventh years, but even we feel like children in the face of such hardship.
But Harry's been doing this since he was a child.
I don't know whether to be impressed or devastated.
Nobody came back.
The Dark Lord's like a cat who caught mice; he's condescendingly looking down on us like a giant would ants.
(The person who wrote this seemed to be unable to hold their quill firmly; their letters were crooked, forcing them to cross it out with dismay.)
"We're running out of time." Professor Snape finally appeared with a stern expression, black and blue under his eyes. "Three days. We have at most three days to get the Dark Lord's blood; otherwise, we'd have to sing a requiem for him."
Hermione, who'd always been the witty one, was helpless. She could buy a dragon's heart with a fortune; she could summon Fawkes back; she could persuade the centaurs to donate their bone marrows; she could sneak-attack a giant python to obtain its fangs… But Voldemort wasn't a magical creature. He was Hogwarts' most outstanding student; the most ambitious and, at the same, the most accomplished.
He even disdained his title as 'Lord'; 'Devil' was his true crown.
In the end, it was Professor McGonagall who stepped forward.
She said that everyone here had responsibilities to bear, and every person's sacrifice was an immense loss.
She said she was old enough.
Tomorrow is the deadline for Harry's resurrection. We still hold hope.
Our hopes have shattered.
It's too late; not to mention we haven't obtained the Dark Lord's blood, nor the other necessary raw materials.
The cruelest aspect of this wasn't that our hope shattered, it was that our hope shattered again. We were given an opportunity, but we could only watch it flit past us; we want to close our palms around it, but it would just fly faster.
"Everything's ready," Ginny reported to Hermione. That brave and beautiful red-headed girl seemed to be slightly less vivid; she had the same appearance, had the same smile, but a deep weariness and lifelessness seemed to latch onto her.
Hermione nodded; the past month had emptied her of all vitality. "Well, no matter what, we still need to host a serious funeral."
Ron may have imagined attending his friend's funeral, but he never expected it'd be when they were so young.
Harry's body was very well-preserved; although cold, he was unexpectedly soft. Even the arc by the corners of his mouth hadn't changed in the slightest.
The Great Hall temporarily served as the funeral home; the black coffin was placed on the steps, its dark colour swallowing all the light around it, forcing people to increase the ceiling's brightness.
Everyone was here to witness the funeral of the Saviour who couldn't save the world.
No, in a sense, he still saved the world.
The funeral was organised by Hemione. She didn't know what funerals were like in the Wizarding World, but she did her best to see her best friend off.
Everyone sang a requiem.
(1) "You take away the sins of the world, grant them eternal rest; you take away the sins of the world, grant them eternal rest."
Snape stood as stiffly as wood among the crowd, his voice barely a mumble as he sang the requiem with everyone strenuously.
If he hadn't told Potter to find the Dark Lord…
The singing gradually subsided; the requiem had ended.
No excessive memorials were used; words paled, unable to bear all this person sacrificed.
As long as we understand, everyone thought.
"Close the coffin!" Someone said, proceeding the funeral.
The dark lid was lifted and slid over the coffin, the heavy sound of wood rubbing against each other reverberating around the Great Hall.
Bang! The coffin lid finally fit.
"Set the coffin!"
Plain black wedges were taken out, its swarthy shade impacting the retina of everyone present; in the bright hall, dots of ink suddenly appeared on the (2) white banners. Like Death, a person wearing black raised his arm and slammed down a hammer.
Dong! The muffled sound caused everyone to hold in their breaths. Iron nails sank into the wood, inch by inch; just like those nailed into Jesus' wrists, one by one. The coffin uttered a painful sigh, heavy and muffled, causing many people to release their tears.
Finally, the wedges were nailed completely into the coffin; the final gap between the lid and coffin closed, and the Saviour plunged into pure darkness.
Before everyone could bow their heads, the doors of the Great Hall were suddenly opened and a large crowd of people dressed in black poured in.
In the bright Great Hall, even if everyone attending the funeral were dressed in black, none of them wore an outfit as purely deep-black as the coffin on the steps.
Upon entering the hall, the most conspicuous item would naturally be the dignified coffin.
"Voldemort!" Ron immediately pulled out his wand, the corners of his eyes still unnaturally red. He waited fiercely for the man; even in the past he never had such courage. "Piss off! We don't want to fight you right now."
The Devil standing in front of the Death Eaters didn't even spare him a look. He just stared at the coffin, his crimson eyes appearing as if they'd been soaked in blood; a particularly terrifying sight.
He wore no expressions, his face as rigid as a sculpture, but the sense of hostility emanating from him caused Bella to not dare get too close.
At last, he moved his lips, a hint of ferociousness on his handsome features.
"Open the coffin!"
(1) This is a section from Mozart's Requiem. It's meant to be "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world..."
(2) It is a Chinese custom (albeit ancient) to hang white banners during a funeral ceremony.