Characters don't belong to me. More's the pity. Not really indepth, just something that kept bugging me and wouldn't go away. Casualties of war I suppose. On with the short fic.

Bodies lay strewn around them. Some were disfigured from the amounts of curses and hexes they had received, both before death and after. Other's had been dismembered, and more were actually still breathing, crying out for help. For the moment all was silent, as both sides attempted to rest. Messengers, both owl and human, could be seen scuttling through the mess, trying to find the ones they were sent to.

Two men, both with long raven hair, lay perfectly still next to each other. They lay back to back, their eyes open, scanning all that moved from around them. They were wedged between some boulders, in faint hopes of staving off as many attacks as possible. "You should rest while you can."

"So should you."

"I'm not the one that got caught with that last hex."

"No, you're the one who used an illegal shield before that and drained your strength."


He knew that tone of voice. That tone of course meant he was treading on dangerous ground, but at the moment he didn't care. "Don't you 'Potter' me, Snape. I'm old enough to know how to take care of myself."

"Funny. You never do."

Whatever retort Harry was about to make was interrupted as a large brown owl fluttered down next them, and Harry eyed it suspiciously before taking the parchment from it's proffered claw. He didn't know what he had expected, but it hadn't been this. His body went tense and he began shaking. Snape edged away and turned towards him.


He didn't answer. His jaw was set and his eyes changed to a hard cold green that reminded Snape of a frozen pond. "They're dead." He finally breathed.

Snape froze in place, his eyes slow to find the younger mans. He didn't want to know who. This man boy couldn't take much more than he already had. "Who?"

"Remus, Hagrid," there was a long pause and then in a voice that was nearly choked. "Ginny."

Snape closed his eyes for a moment before reaching out a staying hand on Potter's shoulder, only to find that Potter was no longer there. The rocks beneath his feet were beginning to shake and he stepped away cautiously as the shaking became tremors. The vibrations continued until several of the rocks began exploding, large and small pieces flying into the air, causing everyone to duck for cover. Up a head he could just catch sight of Harry's cloak, and he disappeared after, in hopes of finding the younger one.

Harry looked around slowly at the carnage. He didn't know how he'd gotten there, all he knew was that he had. He didn't know what he'd done, or what had been done to him in turn, all he knew was that where mere moments before had stood an arrogant, half dead, scaly skinned monster, there was now nothing. All around him was silence, and it pressed in awfully on his ears, making him want to cringe and cover them as he fell to his knees, his eyes taking in all the death. So much death. So much that seemed so wasted. A cry fell from his lips, "Ginnyyyyy!" and he collapsed.

He was shaking again. Whatever warmth had been in his body had fled right along with what precious little food he'd had that day. For nearly two hours now he'd been in the bathroom, bent over the toilet, and quite sure he was loosing every single meal he'd ever eaten. He crossed his arms, holding himself for warmth, but the small movement caused his stomach to flip, and he vomited bile again. He leaned weakly against the wall, shaking too much to even attempt standing. There was a rustle of cloth and he opened his eyes blearily.

"Potter, I swear to Heaven, what am I going to do with you?"

He blinked and tried to focus as he felt something cold press to his flushed face. That was odd. How could his face be flushed if he was freezing so? Something was being tipped into his mouth, and he automatically swallowed. The nauseousness eased as strong arms slipped under him and lifted him easily, carefully. "Do tell, Mr. Potter, what is the point in sharing rent and cohabitating with a potion's master if you won't ask for his help?"

Harry groaned slightly and shifted, pressing his face into the cool pillows as Snape laid him down gently. "I didn't want to bother you." He shivered again and pulled the covers up over himself, trying to burrow under them. There was an annoyed sigh and a long hesitation and then the bed dipped and Snape's blissfully warm body was holding his.

"Unfortunate as it is, I find it more bothersome finding you in the bathroom, hurling, and then having to carry you back because you can't bring yourself to bother me."

Harry tried to laugh at that but didn't quite succeed as he moved closer to his ex-professor. Most people would have never believed it if they had looked in on the scene, but Snape and Potter were not lovers. Potter didn't go that way, and neither did Snape. They just... coexisted. They had become somewhat of friends after the final battle had finally taken place. They had had no one else to depend upon but each other.

The war had taken its toll, and the final battle had been the worst. Snape had lost Albus and Minerva, the only two people he'd ever truly let back in after all his failures and heart aches. The loss of those had been bad enough. Harry... had had it much worse. He had lost everyone. Beyond Albus and Minerva he'd lost all the Weasley's, who had been the only true family he'd had, Moody, Tonks, Lupin, and Hagrid. Harry had crumpled. He hadn't completely gotten over Black yet when Minerva and Albus had been struck down. It was the beginning of a downward spiral that they almost didn't catch until too late.

Snape was of the opinion that had Ginny or Lupin survived, Harry would have eventually been okay. He sighed and his hands automatically went to Potter's head, weaving his fingers gently through the overlong hair. "You could always ask me for a dreamless sleep potion."

"I deserve these dreams."

Snape sighed and tightened his arms around the too small man. He hated this. This hopelessness, because there really was no potion that could help. Potter had lost so much, that for a while he had given up. It had taken a lot of work on Snape's part to bring him back. He refused to let Potter turn into another version of himself. Unconsciously, Harry snuggled closer to the warmth and began to drift off, and in his sleep he was truly himself and no one else. He turned his head, and half mumbled in his sleep. "Thank you."

And Snape found himself dropping a gentle kiss on top of Potter' head. "Rest, child."

Maybe, just maybe, there was still yet hope... for both of them.