It had been almost six months since... Since Draco had died. It must have been the longest six months of Harry's life. There had been days when he had found the thought of getting out of bed an impossibility. But day after day, he had gotten up. He hadn't had a choice. He had had to get to breakfast, lessons and to his home-work. He still despised the world for moving on without Draco.
He didn't know what he would have done without Ron and Hermione. They had been there for him the whole time, showing their support. They really were the amazing kind of friends that Harry himself hadn't been. He didn't know why he still kept them in the dark about Draco. To tell them... It felt like he would be giving away something personal, a secret that had been all his own for so long. But no matter how hard telling them, saying the actual words, seemed to be, he really wanted them to know. And they would, soon.
He knew that Hermione was dying to know the cause of his sadness. She had always believed that no matter what the problem, a solution could be found. He wouldn't bear to look at her face when she would realize how irreversible it all really was. That was the hardest part about death. It was so final.
Ron and Hermione had actually started asking him questions again, and it didn't bother him. In fact, it gave him some kind of comfort. There were still people in this world who cared enough about him to ask him how he was doing, and to risk getting yelled at as a thanks too.
Periodically they would send Ginny to talk to him, which Harry found quite ingenious of them. There was something to be said about talking to people who didn't know you inside out. Ginny couldn't read him like Ron and Hermione could. With Ginny, Harry didn't have to spend so much energy on hiding his secrets. It made talking a lot easier. When he didn't feel like he was under a microscope, he actually told her more about the things that were going through his head. Weird, isn't it?
Shaking his head, Harry looked up at the familiar figure standing before him on the lake shore. He didn't see Draco so often anymore. Never inside the castle. Only when he came out here to sit by the lake. Draco would always be standing on the bank, looking over the lake, robes billowing and hair dancing in the wind. They hardly ever spoke anymore. Harry really didn't know why.
School would be ending in a few weeks and he would be returning to the Dursleys' soon after. He didn't want to admit it out loud, but he was afraid of the possibility that Draco wouldn't be following him there. And he honestly didn't want to leave without him. He tried to remind himself that since Draco was in his heart, he would always be there, but he was feeling anxious nevertheless.
He heard a soft voice call out from behind him. "Hey, Harry."
Harry looked over his shoulder. "Hi, Ginny" he replied with a smile. Was it that time of the month again?
"Mind if I sit?" she asked, returning the smile. Guess it was.
Harry shook his head and Ginny came to sit by his side. They sat in silence for a moment, Ginny peering over the lake while Harry kept his eyes on the ground.
Finally Ginny drew in a long breath and said "I am not trying to say that you don't have every right to feel sad about what happened."
Harry didn't say anything. To be completely honest, he really wasn't sure what she was talking about.
"We all knew that you weren't really okay when you returned to school last September" she went on. "But we thought you were doing better and better as the school year progressed."
She sneaked a glance at him, but he still wasn't saying anything.
"Then right before Christmas..." Ginny said carefully, as if she was waiting for him to blow up. "Again, perfectly understandable. You were bound to feel upset about Christmas. It had been the last time you saw him in person before... you know. And other than that... The spirit of Christmas, it can really get a person down, right?"
Harry was starting to understand what she was talking about.
"But you haven't really gotten much better after that." Her voice was very timid. "Again, you have every right to feel the way you do. But..." She drew in a deep breath. "I don't think Sirius would have wanted you to waste away for him" she finished quickly.
Harry almost let out a small chuckle. Sirius... They thought he was still sad about Sirius's death. Of course he had been devastated to lose him, but... It felt like it had happened a lifetime ago. And besides, he had had Draco back then.
Harry looked up at Draco again. The slytherin had turned around and was now looking at Harry with a gentle smile. Harry realized that if this was the memorial service for Harry Potter's innocence, Draco was forced to the back as a casual acquaintance, while his parents, Sirius and even Cedric were remembered with the love they deserved. Harry didn't want to force Draco to sit in the back.
"It's not about Sirius" Harry said aloud, keeping his eyes on Draco.
"Then what?" Ginny said carefully by his side, but Harry only had eyes for the blond boy. Draco walked closer and sat on the trunk beside Harry. Slowly, Draco looked down at the space between them and Harry followed his gaze to his own hand that was resting on the trunk beside him. Draco put his hand over Harry's and for the shortest of moments, the gryffindor thought he could actually feel it. With a last smile to the slytherin, Harry turned to Ginny, who was looking at him with anticipation and wonder.
"I'll tell you" he said to her.
Sometimes I think that I know
What love's all about
And when I see the light
I know I'll be all right
I've got my friends in the world
I had my friends
When we were boys and girls
And the secrets came unfurled
City of brotherly love
Place I call home
Don't turn your back on me
I don't want to be alone
Love lasts forever
- Neil Young: Philadelphia -
A/n: Well, that's it. It's done.
Once again, I'd like to thank all of you who have been reading. It wasn't always easy, so I applaud you for sticking with it. Thank you to everyone who has reviewed, whether it was in the beginning or here at the end, even if it was just so screech at me or, you know, threaten my life, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to tell me how you felt. And some of you left really nice reviews, I was touched.
If you have a question or a comment and you'd like me to reply, just let me know. And remember to leave an e-mail address.
Other than that, there isn't much more to say. I enjoyed the experience and maybe I'll be seeing you around.
To DarkRemembrence: No, I don't think there'll be a sequel... When you kill off one half of your main pairing, it kinda takes away the... something... or everything. :)