Disclaimer: All characters are fictional; the story in itself is mine, but all background information and all characters are the creative property of J.K. Rowling and whatever associates she has. Please don't sue.

i. After the war, Harry left.

No one saw him go. They were all busy with finding dead people; arranging burials; and celebrating, of course. He walked out of their lives calmly, and with a slight limp. His scorched wand fell from his fingers, and he did not seem to care.

He went to the Gryffindor common room in Hogwarts and sat in front of the dead fireplace. Half-heartedly, he poked at the ashes to see if there were any dormant embers he could spark up. Harry sat there for a very long while, and thought about people who had died, and people who had not, and what the bloody hell he was going to do with his life now.

He hadn't a clue.

It was Sirius who found him first, his stooped godfather with still-healing scars criss-crossing his face, and a wound on his wand arm weeping red. "Harry?"

Harry was quiet for a while; so quiet Sirius began to fear for him. Or of him. "Yes, Sirius?"

"What are you doing here? Don't you want to celebrate? At the very least, I think Madam Pomfrey should take a look at you, and I'm sure that Hermione and Ron would love to see you."

"I killed a man today, Sirius." Harry poked ineffectually at the ashes again. No fire was there, in that scattered pile of disintegrated wood. "I killed today, Sirius. Deliberately. With malice."

Sirius cautiously came closer. "Yes," he agreed. "Yes, you did kill today. But -"

"Don't," Harry said succinctly, "say that it was necessary, or justifiable. Do not say that to me."

Sirius came closer, dripping blood onto the floor. He laid his hand on Harry's shoulder tentatively. Harry was acting as a skittish animal would. "Come on Harry, let's go."

Harry cast one last look at the fireplace, and thought simply to himself, All the sparks have died as well.

Then he stood, matching height to height with Sirius, and walked away from that place.

ii. After the war, Harry left.

Magic was empty for him; he no longer used it. That was what most believed anyway. In truth, magic no longer came to him. No one but Harry knew how often he would try to mount a broomstick, or cast a spell, only to have it all horribly fail. He could still see magical things, as a Squib would, but he wasn't magic any more.

Sometimes this hurt him, but usually it didn't.

He'd grown up as a Muggle for roughly the first eleven years of his life. He knew the ways, and the hows, and even most of the whys. He rented a flat and got a job and paid his bills on time. He occasionally went out to the movies, but never with anybody. Once in a while he would get a visitor, usually Ron or Hermione or Sirius.

He worked in a library for a few months, putting the returned books back to where they belonged. Muggle books, hard-bound in cardboard and plastic and paper, marked in type-writer ink, had a different smell than Wizard books, which were bound in leather and written out by hand. Muggle libraries were orderly and had endless rows upon rows of shelves stacked to the tops with books, shelves so high a ladder was necessary. All books were numbers, and subjects, and categories. Wizard libraries meandered. Potions found next to Herbology found next to Charms. Books were stored on low, rickety shelves that groaned under the weight, and the two different kinds of libraries were so very different.

Harry quit that job, not sure if it was because the library reminded him too much of Hogwarts' library, or because it didn't remind him enough.

iii. After the war, Harry left.

Not many people could tell when they saw him. They saw his scar, and his wild hair, and his smiling lips. They didn't see the blankness in his gaze.

They didn't see, though he most certainly did, the blood coating his hands.