The Best Thing I've Got

Hey guys! Sorry it's literally been FOREVER! I'm not dead, I'm just a college student now. LOL, though if classes stay as boring as they are right now, I might die in the near future. Ugh. I'm really going to try hard to start working on Fanfiction again. Thank you all for keeping with my story! I know you guys are getting tired of Not-Sherlock-Harry, so I'm going to skip writing most of what I had planned for second year and just forge on ahead.

Also, please bear with me. Sherlock doesn't stay "Harry" for much longer, and I promise it was a needed part of the plot. Hope you enjoy! Please Review and let me know people are still reading this! and THANK YOU!

May the gods be ever in your favor

James

Dumbledore was starting to get concerned. It seemed the harder he tried to reign in his unruly Gryffindor, the harder it got to predict him. True, now Harry Potter was acting much like one James Potter, but only the most negative traits. He was rude, crass and honestly far worse at school than his father ever was. Not to mention he didn't have the automatic popularity boost that came with being on the Quidditch team. Albus had thought Harry might seek to join the team this year, but the boy hadn't even tried.

Albus had no idea how his plan had gone so far off base. He had originally only wanted Molly to feed Harry just enough love potion to distract him with Ginny, because, since Albus had it on good authority that young Harry was thoroughly enamored with the Malfoy Heir, he didn't want Harry Potter to become drunk on love once he discovered he and his crush were betrothed, therefore making it easier for the Malfoy's to manipulate him. The bottle he gave Molly contained only a potion with weak but long lasting side effects. Of course, normally this specific potion wouldn't work on Mr. Potter at all, considering his rather large magical core. And so, Albus had thought up the second part of his plan.

Binding part of Harry's magic. Just enough to knock the boy off his high horse, as well as allow the love potion to take effect. The Potter Heir was entirely too cocky and sure of himself, because of his extreme magical prowess, Albus needed Harry to depend on him more. And so, Albus, through a series of tricky rituals, managed to procure the help of a goblin to to the job for him. He had timed it to be done when both he and Mr. Potter were in a public area—the opening feast—so that suspicion wouldn't fall on him. It was simple, really, it was a process that only required a portion of the subject's blood, which Albus had on hand thanks to Hogwarts' standard procedure of collecting a blood sample from every non-pureblood child, in case they were kidnapped or lost, as most efficient tracking spells are light blood magic.

It was an easy matter of taking Mr. Potter's blood vial from the vault, and replacing it with pig blood, then delivering it safely to the Goblin in his….employ. Albus had thought long and hard about his plan before ever putting it into action, and all that should have happened was Harry feeling faint at the feast, and waking up the next day to find his power diminished, and perhaps Miss Weasley a tad more enticing. But that's not what happened at all!

What in the world could have gone wrong?

******1047********

Lockhart was fuming inwardly as he took in the defiant face in front of him. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, was refusing to allow Lockhart to take a lock of his hair, not believing that he, Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class; Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League; and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile was only trying to help him be rid of the Deku Fungus that was obviously inhabiting his head.

The dark scowl on the boy's face made Lockhart take a couple steps back, wondering how his plan had gone all wrong. Lockhart wasn't stupid, he was an intelligent man with a beautiful mind. It had been a fairly simple plan too: win over the Boy Who Lived by offering to be his mentor, show him the ropes of being famous, allow him to read his many, many fan letters, give him special insight into his books and special attention in class. But in order to win him over, Lockhart knew he had to Obliviate the whole fiasco of what happened in Florish in Blotts from the boy's memory.

He got a clear shot during the opening feast, and, by jove, he took it! And Lockhart knew he was successful, he had quite the knack for memory charms. The thing is, the boy STILL seemed to be irked with him. Heaven knows why!

*******1047******

Blaise Zabini was wracked with guilt as he watched Sherlock and John walk down the hall. It was pathetic, really. Sherlock's face, the open—almost bland—expression on his face as he talked to John, and the love-sick adoration on the tiny blonde Weasley made his stomach turn. Just the day before, at the Slytherin/Gryffindor Quidditch match, Sherlock had been bad mouthing every Slytherin he came into contact with, including his own brother, Mycroft, who had only wanted to announce that he was Slytherin's new Seeker, and to with John a friendly game. Only Blaise had seen Mycroft wipe his eyes dry as he baby brother turned on his heel and stormed away.

John had been hit by a rogue bludger during the game and taken a nasty tumble. He'd originally only sprained his wrist, but then bloody Lockhart had stepped in and removed the bones from John's entire arm, making it necessary for John to spend the night in the Infirmary. Obviously, sometime during the night, Sherlock had snuck up to visit him.

Blaise hesitated at a corner, peering, trembling, around it at the door to his Head of House's office. His heart was thundering. Would he be expelled for what he did? Oh, Merlin, he deserved to be expelled! No, he deserved to go to Askaban for what he did to sweet little Sherlock, his best mates' baby brother. Dear Morgana's saggy tits, if Mycroft found out…Blaise gulped down some desperately needed air, not realizing he'd been holding his breath. The resulting noise sounded uncomfortably like a sob.

Everyone suspected that Sherlock was behind Ms. Norris' attack, and was hoping to frame a Slytherin for it. But, Blaise had hoped it wouldn't go any further than that infernal cat. But it had, last night, Colin Creevy was found in the same state: petrified. It was obvious that Sherlock had something to do with it, even Mycroft suspected though he was so busy going through every book in the library with Gremione on mind-altering and personality changes that he barely spared a glance at the news.

Creevy was the only one outside of the Weasley's and Sherlock that John ever cuddled, and John often hugged the smaller Gryffindor. Lately, Creevy had been getting on Sherlock's nerves more and more, until Sherlock snapped at him yesterday, which resulted in John yelling at him in Creevy's defense. And this morning, Creevy was found stiff as a board.

The thing is, Blaise had only meant what he'd done as a simple prank, nothing more. He had no idea how it as escalated like this. Gathering up all his courage, Blaise slowly crept towards the Potion Master's office, raised a shaking fist and hastily knocked twice on the door, before he lost his nerve and backed away several paces, not able to shift his gaze from off the floor.

The door was open in an instant. "Mr. Zabini," drawled the tired voice of Blaise's favorite professor. Blaise finally lifted his eyes, and took in the drawn, paler-than-normal pallor, the deep bags under blood shot eyes, the stooped posture and the rumpled robes. Again, Blaise wondered about the rumor that Snape was actually Sherlock's father. The thought caused all of the guilt and stress Blaise had been holding in to explode out of him, and suddenly, Blaise Zabini, the cool calm and collected Slytherin was on his knees, weeping.

Snape dropped down beside him, hands gripping the boy's forearms, forcing Blaise to look up at him. "What is it?" he asked, sharply but not unkindly. "What's wrong?"

"I-I-I'm s-s-sorry, Ppproffessor," Blaise blubbered out. "All m-my f-f-fault!" Looking about the empty hall, checking that they were alone, Snape lifted the boy up and half led, half carried him into his office, gently setting him down in a chair. Then, he sped over to his potion's cabinet and retrieved a calming draught for the still crying second year. Snape popped off the lid and with an ease that came with regularly forcing potions down an unwilling throat (Sherlock¸ came the unbidden pain of reminder) Severus poured the contents into Blaise's mouth and pressed against the side of his throat, forcing him to swallow.

"Now," Severus said, kneeling in front of Zabini. "Tell me what has you in this state."

"I'm so sorry—"

"I didn't ask you if you were sorry," Severus said, feeling tired and simply wanting to know what was wrong with the boy. "Answer me!"

The harsh tone compelled Blaise to say "I gave Sherlock a potion." Severus froze. For several moments, neither Professor nor child said or did anything.

"When."

"During the welcome feast," Blaise wiped his eyes, "I had my House Elf teleport the contents into his pumpkin juice."

"What potion"

"T-the Lagraocion."

Severus paused. "And who did you procure this from?"

"I-I made it…" Severus frowned. The Lagraocion was notoriously difficult to make, though a student of Mr. Zabini's caliber may have been able to pull it off. It was a love potion, that was so powerful it wasn't even classified as a love potion but rather a mind-altering one. The only problem is, is that its effects are incredibly short lived. Five minutes at the most. Severus frowned, though it made sense as it wouldn't show up on any tests that they'd done as the potion didn't target the victim's actual mind or body but rather…

"Magical core" Severus spat, standing upright in a jolt, making the distraught boy flinch. Turning his attention back to Blaise he asked "What on earth possessed you to do such a thing?" his question caused the second year to burst into tears again, though not as violent as before, so Blaise was still capable of answering.

"I-I only meant it as a joke! Please, believe me professor! Mycroft's my best friend, I'd never do anything to hurt his baby brother! I had p-potions in my trunk that I'd made over the summer for p-p-practice with my Mum. I thought that the potion only lasted a little while. I thought it'd be funny to see John's face when Sherlock started mooning over his sister, but it was only supposed to be temporary! I don't know what went wrong!"

Severus massaged his temples. There were several things that could have gone wrong. "You could have made a faulty potion, for one," he hissed. "Sherlock could be having a severe allergic reaction, for another. It may have had adverse reaction to the medicinal potions I've been having him ingest!" Blaise was weeping again. Severus forced himself to calm down.

"You should have come to me sooner," Severus said, marginally softer. "But at least now, I have something to go on."

****1047****

John sat glumly beside his son's bedside in the Mediwing. Madam Pomfrey was bustling about, though John knew from experience as a doctor that she was only trying to look busy and actually had no way to further help Colin. Colin sat there, eyes staring wide open, hands held above his face still in the position of taking a picture. His eyebrows were raised high, and his mouth was slightly open. Colin was wearing an expression of fear. John tenderly brushed his fingers through Colin's hair, the only part of the child that wasn't completely frozen stiff.

"Here again?" came Sherlock—Harry's voice. John clenched his fists. Ever since they got off the train at the beginning of the year, Harry had treated Colin like an annoying stranger. John forced his fingers to relax, but inwardly he felt raw. Like his very soul had been scrubbed bloody with steel wool. First Harry started acting like…not Sherlock, then his own sister started acting like she hated him, and now his poor son…

"Yes" John said shortly, not trusting himself to say anymore. "He's" John hesitated. "He's important to me." Harry looked as though he wanted to mock him for this, but at the last second seemed to change his mind, instead placing a hand on John's shoulder. Despite everything, John found himself leaning into the touch. Merlin, he was pathetic.

"I've heard from Dean that Dumbledore ordered Snape to look for a cure," Harry said in what he probably thought was a comforting tone, but fell more within the category of pompous. "And I saw the old Bat head down to the village early this morning. As much as I hate to say it, Snape is probably Creevy's best bet. He'll be fine, Ron."

John nodded stiffly, then tensed as Harry's fingers bushed over his ear. The smaller boy was still, then he inhaled sharply, taking a hasty step back. With a muttered excuse, Harry left Colin and John without a backwards glance. John stared after him for a long moment, before turning back to his son.

"I wish you could have seen us, before," John thought to Colin, placing a hand on his unnaturally stiff stomach, idly brushing his thumb back and forth. "I wish I'd known about you, before." John could just imagine it. He wouldn't have gotten back with Mary, at least, he hoped not. He honestly didn't know for sure and he hated that. John wished he could say to himself with absolute certainty that, even back then, he wouldn't have stayed with the monster that had harmed his very best friend. But if he had known about Mary being pregnant, he would have demanded to be a part of the child's life.

Maybe they would have switched back and forth every week, he and Mary. Colin at Baker Street one week and with his mother the next. It wouldn't have been perfect, but it would have been close to. John could see it, in his minds eye, Sherlock holding a baby Colin, explaining to the babbling, drooling thing all about the experiments and cases he was working on. The baby playing with the skull they always had on the mantel place. Mrs. Hudson cooing over the three of them whenever they had a sit down, family night in front of the telly.

John sniffled, bushing away tears from his eyes and nose with his sweater sleeve. "He'll be alright, deary," Madam Pomfrey told him, suddenly appearing from behind, making John jump a little. "Once we get the cure in him, it'll be just like he's waking up. He won't remember being frozen." John nodded, dully, then rose to his feet.

"Thank you," he said softly. He cast one last, longing glance at his son, then left to go find where Sherlock had gone off to.

*******1047**********

Mycroft hadn't slept in two days, and even then it had only been for a few, restless hours. The runes on his shoulder itched, burned, felt icy cold and charged with energy all at once. It meant that the older participant of the bond, his brother, was in trouble. Mycroft rubbed at his shoulder, furiously blinking away tears and sleep from his eyes. He opened yet another tome, this one about remote possession and empathetic control. The words danced around on the page, he couldn't focus. The lines garbled together and when he tried stinging the words together, he might as well have been reading a text written in ancient Sumerian backwards while drunk.

Mycroft felt very small. He felt very stupid. He felt very lonely. He looked up from where he was sitting cross-legged on his bed, and caught his own reflection in the mirror across his dorm. In it, he saw a frightened tiny boy with a pale flushed face, red eyes with deep bags, greasy mussed hair and dried tears on his cheeks.

He started to cry. He was silent, and still. But tears poured freely down his bowed face, dripping onto his book and blankets. Theodore Nott, who had been studying in his own bed, looked at him with pity for a moment, then rose and absconded the room. Not three minutes later, his godfather swept into the room and scooped him up at once, squeezing him tightly. Draco went limp, unable to do anything else.

"You will cease this nonsense," Severus said briskly, never mind the fact that the sullen faced Potioneer was soothingly rocking the child to and fro, rubbing his back affectionately. "I'll fix this," he whispered into his godson's hair, feeling relief as Draco slowly calmed, his breath evening out. Pausing, he cast a mild diagnostic charm. Severus sighed, wanting to feel irritation but not really able to work up the effort needed; the brat had fallen asleep. Severus sat down on the nearest bed heavily, still holding Draco in his arms. He really didn't get paid enough for this.

*****1047******

Aeldin winced as he dodged a piece of falling debris. It clattered down from the ceiling, shattering into a thousand pieces when it crashing into the floor. He'd been following the flow of magic all day, and it had gotten him nowhere.

Well, that's not exactly true, it had certainly taken him on a long, twisting tour through Sherlock's mind palace. He'd seen rooms that, had they been whole, would have belonged in a medieval castle; rooms cozy, like they were taken straight from a cabin in a woods; rooms decorated lavishly in strange muggle technology; and even rooms that contained outdoor spaces, one with a vast smoldering desert, and one with frozen tundra.

And now, he was traveling through a broken, decrepit hall, the likes of which he had never seen yet in this grand, vast space that was Sherlock's mind. The walls had holes in them, as though eaten out by giant termites, pieces of plaster and dry wall littered the floor. Aeldin stepped over them.

And then the magic stopped. The stream had been growing steadily smaller, weaker, thinner. But now it was gone, not even the smallest drop went any further. Aeldin frowned. He might have simply turned around and gone back the way he'd come from, if he hadn't heard a muted, heartrending voice call out, softly. Whatever words that the voice had spoken were lost, but Aeldin could still hear the quiet tones on the barest edge of his hearing.

He stood at the edge of the magic, and closed his eyes. Slowly, he walked towards the wall to his left.

He shoved.

******1047*****

The days seemed to tumble by in a blur of sleep deprivation and disappointment. The only bright point, for John, came after Greg was petrified—as must as it made him feel like a monster for even thinking so. She was the fourth to be petrified after Justin the Hufflepuff Second year and Nearly Headless Nick. She'd been excited that day, running up to Harry, telling him that he had to follow her quickly. He'd told her off for it, telling her that he was busy and didn't feel like "playing with her".

She'd spun on her heel, offended, and stalked away. Four hours later, she was found petrified in the hallway near the girl's bathroom on the third floor. Harry had frozen when he heard the news, and instinctively reached for John.

After that, Harry sat closer to John, held his hand constantly, and at night he curled up right next to him. If John pretended, just a little, he could imagine that it was the way things were, again. Christmas was just around the corner, now. And Harry had agreed, much to Ginny's delight, to once again spend the break at the Burrow.

Maybe it was just the way John was interpreting things, but the holidays that year seemed to come with less pomp and circumstance than usual. Sure, they went to the alley and picked out presents (John had made Harry buy presents for all the people he had last year, saying that if he didn't it would be rude, though John had to subtly buy enough sweets for the Slytherin first years, and later spent his own money on Mycroft and Snape, sending Mycroft a snowglobe replica of the Burrow, and Snape a framed picture of Sherlock…Harry…making an adorably irritated face as he tried-and failed-mixing ingredients together for cookie dough.)

John was unreasonably happy when, once again, Harry ignored the extra bed and simply laid down in John's like he belonged there. Christmas morning dawned, and John found himself enveloped in the arms of his best friend. Despite being larger than Harry, John's head was pillowed on Harry's chest, his arms about the raven's waist.

John watched with painful, aching fondness as Harry stirred. His nose wrinkling and eyes scrunching up as he yawned. John wrinkled his own nose at Harry's morning breath, but felt amused anyway. John relaxed, and felt Harry hug him tighter. "Happy Christmas," Harry whispered, as though not wanting to spoil the peacefulness of the morning. John mumbled back a reply, rubbing his cheek against Harry. His friend laughed, and ran a hand over John's head, making his hair stand up.

The eventually got around to getting ready for the morning, and it was only when John was about to leave the room and head down to breakfast, that he noticed that someone-probably the twins- had strung up a pathetic looking piece of mistletoe over their doorway. John smiled at it. "What's up?" Harry asked him, walking up as he pulled his old Weasley sweater down over his head.

"That" John said, pointing up. Harry followed his finger, looking upwards. When he spied the sprig of leaves, tied with fraying twine, he grinned a little bit. Later, John would blame his actions on his inherited Gryffindorishness; but at that moment, his heart gave a lurch that made him capture Harry's lips with his own. Time stood still, and John's eyes slid closed.

His hands seemed to move of their own accord, one gently framing Harry's cheek, the other resting on the smaller boy's hip. At first, it was chaste. After all, in this life the two of them were only twelve. The kiss was just the simplest press of skin on skin, until John tilted his head, slotting their mouths closer together, pressing in deeper.

*****1047******

Harry laid in bed Christmas morning, thinking about his life. He kept his eyes closed, and lay very still, so that he wouldn't wake up Ron, who had snuggled up to him in his sleep. Harry couldn't help but smile a bit at his friend. Harry was considering maybe going to see Madame Pomfrey when he went back to school for one simple reason: he seemed to have an awful amount of gaps in his memory.

He couldn't remember what he'd done that summer, not clearly. Just the vague idea that he visited friends for the most of it, and that he'd felt very happy. His first year of Hogwarts was a blur, and that in of itself was a pain, because it would help him succeed in his second ear school work if he could remember what he had been taught a year ago.

He didn't remember meeting Ron. It was almost as though he'd always known his strange, but wonderful friend. But that was ridiculous, he'd only met Ron two years ago on the train at Kings Cross Station. Harry had a sneaking suspicion that someone had taken his memories purposefully, because nothing in his life made sense and his missing memories probably held most of the reason behind it. Why did Malfoy act as though they were estranged best friends? Why was Ron so protective of that Creevy kid? Why did everyone act as though he should be striving to make Snape proud?

Why did Harry care about keeping Ron happy? Keeping him safe? When Granger had been attacked by whatever the hack was stalking the halls of Hogwarts, Harry had only thought of what would happen if Ron were to be next. Horror had gripped him, and the slightest guilt about Granger had been completely over taken by fear that something would happen to Ron. But why Ron? Why didn't he worry so much over Neville, or Dean?

Ron cuddled closer, and Harry fondly rubbed his head. "Happy Christmas," he said. Ron smiled at him. Harry thought some more as he got dressed. When was the last time he'd been at Privet Drive? What had happened last Christmas? He'd been at the Burrow, right? Harry was pulling on his sweater when he realized that Ron had stopped moving, and had a strange, sad smile on his face. Slightly concerned, Harry asked him "What's up?"

Ron had looked him in the eyes, and there was something forlorn in the taller boy's face. But, still with a smile, Ron had pointed out a sprig of mistletoe strung up in the doorway. Harry looked up at it, and grinned. The twins must have put it up as a prank. After all, the entire Weasley family with the exception of Ginny was under the impression that—

Suddenly, Ron was kissing him.

Harry felt nothing but panic for several seconds, as Ron placed a soft, gentle hand on his cheek, his other hand pulling his waist forward. Harry's own hands were fisted in the front of Ron's sweater, not pulling…but not pushing away either. Harry's saw, eyes wide open, that Ron was crying though his eyes were closed. Two tears were trailing down from his left eye.

Oh. Harry thought, a bit stupidly. He was about to push away from Ron, not to be mean but simply because, then something stopped him. What would he say? Would they still be friends? The thought of not being best friends with Ron was unimaginable, unbearable, agonizing. Besides, the kiss wasn't that bad. It was…it was…it…

Ron deepened the kiss, and abruptly it was no longer just a firm pressure between their two closed mouths. Harry's own eyes fell closed.

Oh.

Ron's arms curled around him, drawing Harry in a tight embrace, not breaking their kiss. Harry wrapped his arms around Ron's neck. Wetness fell on Harry's cheeks. Both boys tightened their arms, Harry stepping just the smallest bit closer. I love him, Harry thought, a bit dazed. And then he understood that they'd never be too old to cuddle in public and the realization made him feel inexplicably happy. He started to smile and it made kissing a bit harder, but Ron didn't seem to mind, he only hummed a swiped at Harry's mouth with his tongue. A thrill went through him, and his smile got bigger.

If this were a fairytale, Harry mused in the back of his mind, kissing Ron would bring his memories back. He was slightly disappointed that this wasn't true. However, maybe it was just his imagination, but it seemed as though his mind felt just the slightest bit clearer. The faint image of a mirror reflecting the two of them flickered across his mind.

*******1047*****

John felt strangely like he was cheating on Sherlock with Harry.

He'd gathered over the course of the school year, that Harry had absolutely no idea what he was talking about whenever he brought something up from their old life. Harry didn't understand any references to experiences or actions that were purely Sherlock in nature. Harry didn't even act anything like Sherlock. But then John would look at his face, hear his voice.

Kissing Harry was exactly like how he'd always imagined kissing Sherlock would be. He'd tensed up at first, but then Merlin did he respond. He was clumsy, and eager. Unexperienced but that made the kiss so very sweet and innocent and beautiful and for the time being John felt the gaping hole that had been in his chest all semester just fill up with the love he had for Sherlock.

And then he remembered who he was kissing, and a sharp pain shot through him. He almost broke the kiss, when Harry's arms wrapped around his neck and pulled him closer. John thought he might have been crying just a little bit, but Harry didn't seem to mind.

Then Harry smiled into the kiss and John felt his stomach flip.

They parted reluctantly, Harry leaning up on his toes to press little butterfly kisses to John's lips as they went. His smile was so bright, his vivid eyes were gleaming. Tiny hands wiped away John's tears. "Please don't cry," Harry pleaded, "it's Christmas and we're together." John managed a smile, then a thought struck him.

"I-I thought you had a crush on Ginny"

Harry frowned. "What? Of course, I don't." He frowned deeper. "I don't?" he didn't sound so sure that time. Then his eyes cleared and he looked up "I love you" John couldn't help kissing him again, just as deeply.

*******1047******

Arthur Weasley had been worried about Sherlock when he'd first seen him that year for Christmas. The boy seemed off somehow. And then there was the way that he called Ron by his true name, which wasn't necessarily a problem, but it was still disconcerting. And, even though it was impossible, Sherlock just didn't seem as—well—as intelligent as before. On top of that, there was the frankly alarming fact that he seemed to be flirting with Ginny.

So, when Ron and Sherlock came down Christmas morning, hand in hand, beaming at each other like they were the only two in the world, Arthur relaxed just a bit. The festivities were as joyful as they were every year, Molly's cooking just as fantastic. Though, Arthur had to admit, his favorite part of the evening was when his two youngest boys discovered the mistletoe by the Christmas tree. Sherlock had hesitated a moment after seeing it, Ron not noticing it at all. Then, Sherlock and pulled Ron down by the sweater and kissed him….rather thoroughly for a twelve year old.

But, Arthur felt like everything was finally right in his world, even if it was just for Christmas. Though, he did spare a thought to wonder why Ginny was running up to her room so hurriedly.

*****1047*****

Tom had been lost in thought, knowing that Ginny probably wouldn't write him on Christmas, when he was interrupted by a sudden wave of magical energy and emotion. Tom tried to decipher it, so he could plan how to react. Anguished sadness, depression, resentment, anger, longing, the emotions were coming at Tom faster than he could grasp them.

Oh, Tom I just saw my brother and Harry kissing under the mistletoe and I thought he finally liked me why does Ron have to steal EVERYTHING from me? I wish he would just go away things were finally good for me for once!

The little girl kept on her horribly punctuated ranting and Tom scanned her words blandly. He felt quite pleased that Sherlock seemed to be getting back to his usual self.

That's horrible, Ginny. Oh, you poor girl! What happened? Why is he suddenly acting like this?

I don't know! I wish I did, because then I might be able to fix it.

And I wish I knew what I could say that could possibly make you feel better. I'm so sorry, Ginny. A sweet girl like you doesn't deserve to lose the love of her life forever.

The wave of despair and anger that swept over Tom's soul was like a magic healing balm. His strength was returning quickly, thanks to Ginny. And Sherlock to a certain extent. If this kept up the way it was going, Tom might be able to be fully corporal by the time they got back to Hogwarts.

*****1047*****

Harry was pretty sure dating Ron was the best idea he'd ever had.

It didn't just make Ron happy, it made everyone happy. Whenever they walked into a classroom holding hands, the other people around them would invariably beam. When Harry snuck a peck on Ron's cheek during Potions, even sour old Snape seemed to soften a bit, something Harry had thought was impossible.

And Ron's kisses were amazing. It made Harry feel like he was flying. But better because Harry didn't actually like flying. They cuddled all the time, and Harry finally saw why Ron had been trying to do it all along. It was warm, and made him feel safe and sleepy. Bedtime was Harry's favorite now, because he could kiss and hold Ron privately and it made him feel strong. Like a dragon protecting their hoard with a content feeling of mine.

Mornings were good, too, though. Because they always always before they did anything else, kissed long and good. Most times, Ron would be above Harry, pressing him into their shared pillow, holding him down, and his kisses would be deep and firm. Then, Ron would pull away and Harry would say loudly, breathlessly "I love you".

And Ron would kiss him again, "I've loved you longer".