There was an expectation that you would never back down, that you would never break. There was a belief that your strength would overcome all that stood in its way. And for so long these things held true, and your spirit was steadfast and yet you remained whole.

At the end of things when victory was yours and the burden you had carried was lifted things were supposed to go back to normal. But you had never been normal; you had never been a child how could you be a man?

So you gave them assurances, empty platitudes, telling them all was well. You retreated from them, from those who cared and you let go. All that you had carried, all that you had lost can no longer be ignored and it is enough to break you completely.

Your parents. You pour yourself a glass. Cedric. Another drink. Sirius. You're drinking from the bottle now and everything is a blur. The faces of those who are gone rush before you and the bottle falls to the ground with you following close behind.

And yet when you wake you are no longer on the floor of Grimmauld, nor are you alone. There are sheets beneath you and a head of red hair is lying on your chest. Lying still, the sound of her breaths converge with the pounding of your head, and you return to the blackness of sleep.