"That wand's more trouble than it's worth." Said Harry. "And quite honestly," he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Griffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, "I've had enough trouble for a lifetime."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. By JK Rowling


The three staggered out of the portal from the headmaster's office. Neither looking right nor left, they, as one, turned to Gryffindor Tower. They didn't care who might already be there, only if the beds were free, and they could be alone. Harry didn't notice a slight figure scuttle off ahead of them. He didn't notice much of anything.

Crawling through the portrait with the Fat Lady, she informed them that they would have the privacy they needed. Barely having the energy to continue, only Hermione was able to mutter a thanks. They divided at the foot of the stairs that separated the girls from the boys dorms, but as Ron took the first step, Hermione held onto his arm.

"Please. Stay with me." The whisper spoke of her fear, and her need of comfort.

Harry continued upwards. Pleased they had one another, he was happy to have the dorm to himself. Alone. To rest. Maybe to fade away.

As he stepped into the dorm room, he started stripping. His robe, his jacket, jumper, shirt, tee, trainers. Everything was kicked away. Nine months of wearing the same clothes, He couldn't stand the thought of ever donning them again. As much as Fleur washed them, they could never be clean again. The filth he felt was more than mere dirt.

He went straight to the shower, blasting it as hot as his skin could stand. Nothing mattered anymore, just the last year being washed down the drain. He didn't turn off the water until he couldn't imagine walking further than his old bed.

He blindly stumbled to the towel shelf and wrapped one around his waist. Without opening his eyes, he headed straight for the bed. It seemed to beckon him. As he neared it, he opened his eyes, only to find a neat pile of clothing folded at the foot of the bed. A tray of sandwiches and pumpkin juice sat on the bedside table and the most beautiful girl in the world in front of him.

He opened his mouth to speak, but Ginny touched his lips with her fingers. "Hold still," She said as she held up a small potions bottle." With a gentle touch, she dabbed dittany over his many abrasions and cuts. She reached into her pocket and brought out a small jar. With this, she smeared cream over the bruises and burns that covered his body. Special care was taken to his chest, the large burn that marked his most recent encounter with death. "Shh, don't talk. Dress. Eat. Sleep. It's my turn to protect you." She kissed his lips, then stepped around him and went towards the door.

With her back to him, he grabbed the pair of sweat pants and slipped them on. Before she reached the door, Harry called. "Wait." Harry paused until she turned back to him. "Stay."

She gave him a long stare, then nodded.

Ignoring the other clothes, He moved towards the head of the bed. It seemed she had already turned the covers back, welcoming him in to rest. He crawled in then reached for a sandwich. It was devoured quickly and the second one was half gone before he could pause. "How did you know I needed this?" He asked, then took another large bite. The glass of juice followed soon after.

"Because I know you." Came her quiet answer, as she pulled a chair to sit next to the bed.

"You know me?" He asked.

"I know who you are. Not Harry Potter, the famous wizard. Not Harry Potter, the Savior of our kind. Not Harry Potter, the trouble maker. I know Harry. The man who needs to be cared for. The man who needs to be loved. The man who I love." She looked at him levelly.

The food was forgotten. His exhausted mind tried to hold what she just said. "After all that's happened, and you what?"

"Harry Potter, I love you. And I will love you until the day you die. Again." A small smile formed on her lips.

Sleep claimed him before he could say the words he so longed to say. But that was fine, he had years to say them.