A 22 year old Harry Potter walked towards the stone gargoyle protecting the entrance to the headmasters office. Once the office of an old, white haired man with bright blue twinkling eyes, who died four years ago, then occupied by a cat-like transfiguration teacher, until a week ago. Now it is occupied by a potions master.

That's right. Albus Dumbledore, greatest wizard of his age, died four years ago at the graduation dinner that Voldemort ruined. The same graduation dinner that Voldemort met his ends at the hands of our hero. Minerva McGonagall became the next head of the school – Harry himself taking over her post as Transfiguration Professor, staying only long enough to train her replacement, Severus Snape.

Severus Snape was the reason Harry was standing out the front of the gargoyle.

"Open." Our Hero spoke. The statue nodded and stepped aside, allowing Harry to make his way to the top.

"Harry?" Severus asked, seated behind a large mahogany desk. The room was no longer a warm, cozy office. That was just not Severus Snape. This room was elegant, still filled with sophisticated equipment, but everything was in simple mahogany glass cases.

"Is it true Sev?" Harry asked his old professor. The two had formed a friendship during seventh year, when they saw each other every night, working out how to take down their mutual enemy.

"That I have hired him?"

Harry nodded.

"Yes. He was the best for the job. They bought a house in Hogsmede and he will floo in every day."

Another nod.

"I will go and look for my replacement then."

"Can I not beg you to stay?"

"I can't Sev."

The dark man nodded. "I wish I did not have to loose you from the staff, but the rest of the applicants…"

"Were dismal, I know. I saw them. There are a number of transfiguration masters out there. You have to do what is best for the school."

"I really am sorry."

"I knew it could never be Sev. At least I did not take up the job of head of Griffindor, then the students would have to have a new head of house as well."

"Yeah." The response was half hearted.

Harry turned and began to leave the room. "I will have a list of possible replacements, along with their CV's on your desk before the end of tomorrow."

Harry walked down the hallways away from the headmasters office, unshed tears threatening to fall. His job had become his life, after the thing he longed for most chose otherwise. Had he not handed in his resignation, he would have been forced to face that which he could never have every day. He would not do that to himself. Finally he made his way into his office, pulling out a small black book, a quill and parchment. He flipped to the first page, then the second, then the third. Next he dipped his quill into the ink and wrote down one of the names from that page. This process continued for the next few hours, then came the floo calls, collection of resumes and finally the creation of a short list.

It was 1pm the next day when he had narrowed it down to just two candidates. Knowing that was the best he could do, he made his way back to the headmasters office. The gargoyle jumped out of the way allowing him entrance. Once up the stairs, he saw exactly what he hoped he would avoid.

"Potter."

Harry's heart clenched in his chest.

"Malfoy. Severus, I have narrowed it down to two. I am going to clean out my room now headmaster. I will be leaving at 6 tonight."

"I will meet you at the gate then Harry."

"I am flooing. I have left the course outline on my desk along with all the documentation. My records cabinet has been changed to password mode, and will open to 'Open Sesame'."

"Then I will come down a few minutes before hand."

"No Severus, you are too busy. Goodbye."

Harry turned and made his way quickly out of the office.

"Potty's not teaching here then?" the blonde aristocrat asked.

"No. Harry's not."

The look of glee that passed over the blondes face made the new headmaster of Hogwarts positively sick.

"Good riddance."

Severus shook his head. "He was one of the best teachers we have ever had Draco. Better than Minerva. We have had 18 Animagus' since he started teaching here. Minerva had only managed to get 3."

"What ever. At least I don't have to put up with him."

Little did either know that Harry had heard every word. In tears, the 22 year old teacher ran to his room and quickly packed everything. Then he ran to the infirmary.

"Harry!" the old mediwitch made her way over to her favorite pupil.

"Poppy, I am leaving." The boy sobbed.

"Severus employed him didn't he." She asked knowingly.

He nodded.

The old mediwitch gathered the sobbing boy in her arms.

"I can't do it Poppy. I can't look at him every day, knowing."

Poppy nodded. She remembered seventh year. Harry had confided in her that he was in love with the blonde boy. They finally got together at Christmas, Harry loosing his friends because of it. Then in the final battle, Voldemort cursed Draco, causing him to forget all the romantic feelings he had for him, and basically made Draco… straight. After that, Harry had killed the monster, but Draco hated him, and his friends still refused to talk to him. He had not spoken for two months, then he moved into teaching. He still rarely spoke, except for times of high emotion. His only friends were Severus, Minerva and herself.

She consoled the boy for a little while, then let go.

"Where are you going?"

"Far away. I don't know."

"What will you do?"

"I have my medimage certificate, level 1, so I will get a Doctors license."

"You will made a good doctor Harry. When are you leaving?"

"I was going to leave at 6… but…"

"He's here isn't he?"

Harry nodded.

"You want to use my floo?"

Another nod.

Harry made his way into the office of the Mediwitch, and into the floo.

Three months later, Harry could be found in a large hospital in Australia, one of the lead diagnosticians. He was one of the best they ever had, although he spoke rarely, only ever asking the questions he needed, never raising his voice, his calm presence welcome in the chaotic hospital.

The peace was not to last.

A year after he had left the wizarding world, an owl arrived in his small apartment.

To Mister H. J. Potter.

This is a summons on behalf of the Ministry of Magic. You are registered as a MediMage, level 1. Your presence is required at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There has been a potions accident. Mediwizards and witches have been and cured the majority of the students, however one case requires someone of higher skill and power. You are currently the only registered MediMage.

We summon you based upon your oath. Failure to comply will result in magical backlash from breaking of the oath and the removal of your license to practice in both Magical and Muggle worlds.

Please find enclosed a letter of summons for your current place of employment in the non-magical community.

Regards

Matilda Marchbanks

Medimagic Liason Office.

Harry sighed. The one place he did not want to go, the one place that would cause him more pain than anywhere else, the one place he was forced to go.

He packed his travel bag, and apparated into the rear courtyard of the hospital, then made his way up to the hospital director's office, handing the summons.

"I knew you were in high demand. How long do you think you will be?"

"A week at most sir."

"See you in a month then Harry. You need to take a break. You have not missed a day since you started – even coming in on weekends."

"We will see sir."

With that, Harry turned and made his way out of the building, back to the courtyard. A pop later and he was in the house he had bought at hogsmede. He walked over to the fireplace and flooed into the infirmary.

"HARRY!" Poppy Pomfrey ran over to her student and pulled him into a hug.

"Hi Poppy. Who is the patient."

"Draco."

The blood ran out of Harry's face.

"What happened?"

"They were making drought of peace. A student made a mistake. Draco shielded the blast with his body, however the fumes knocked everyone out, but the potion got into his blood. We have tried everything. We don't even know what the mistake was."

Harry nodded. Then held out his hand.

Poppy looked at his waiting hand for a second, then nodded, pulling a phial out of her coat and handed it to him.

Harry sat at her desk and opened his bag, pulling out a tray of small micro-phials and a micro-pippet and decanted the larger phial into them. Upon each one he performed a series of spells, writing notes. Then he grabbed a bag of potions ingredients and added them to a few of them.

As he worked, a team of mediwizards and witches gathered behind him, watching in awe. Suddenly, after an hour of work, his face became ashen.

"I know what it is. God knows how they managed to create it though."

Everyone looked at him.

"It was created for assassinations. A partially completed version would coat a wine glass. As soon as wine was poured into the glass, it gives off colourless fumes. They slowly knock everyone out. However it is slow acting. If it is ingested, the drinker dies a slow and painful death. It is a class A poison. The Blood of Jehara."

A couple of the group nodded, ashen faced. The rest looked confused.

"And skin contact?"

"Same as ingestion, however it is curable. I will make the cure."

The same people who nodded before gasped.

"What did they gasp for Harry?" the Hogwarts MediWitch asked.

"The cure to the Blood of Jehara is a blood based potion. A blood based potion based on the blood of the maker. The reason hardly anyone survives is because of the cost."

"Blood based… How deep is the bond."

"Complete. One way only."

"So he will be in pain unless he is with you."

Harry shook his head. "The cost is on the maker, not the taker. That is why it works. The person gives themselves completely to the person they save. If they do not take it, then the maker pays the price."

Everyone was silent. Everyone but Harry and Poppy left the small office to go and tend to their patients.

"You are willing to do that for him Harry?"

"I would give my life for him, you know that Poppy. I am going to go and use the potions classroom. If Sev has the time, I could use his help preparing ingredients."

The mediwitch nodded and watched as the boy walked, head down out of the hospital wing. She shook her head, then went to report to the headmaster.

"Severus, he came."

The headmaster nodded.

"And can he help him?"

Poppy nodded. "Have you heard of the Blood of Jehara?"

Severus gasped.

"He is going to base the potion on himself isn't he?"

The nurse nodded.

"I have a book on it Poppy, if you wanted to read it?" She nodded taking the book from the headmaster.

"He says that if you want to help prepare ingredients, he is in the potions class room."

Severus nodded and quickly made his way out of his office, leaving Poppy to read the book.

Inside the potions classroom, Harry had seven cauldrons on the go. When Severus walked in, Harry nodded to the first two, indicating he should take them over. In front of those two cauldrons were instructions.

"Both are on step three." was all Harry said.

"Welcome back Harry."

"Thanks Sev."

The two worked in silence until nightfall.

"I will come back in the morning. Try and get some rest Harry, or something to eat."

Harry nodded absently and continued working.

For the next 7 days they worked – all potions classes were cancelled, Harry not eating or sleeping, no matter how much Severus insisted he should. Finally they came to the last step. Harry slit both of his wrists, allowing half a liter of blood to fall into the potion.

"Leave it to boil for 24 hours, then add the powder to a glass of water. Force administer it orally." Then he collapsed.

Severus shook his head. He knew that Harry was in for a world of pain. He knew that Draco was happily married to Pansy Parkinson, and would never reciprocate his feelings. In fact it was impossible for him to reciprocate. But maybe he could do something for Harry. His friends maybe. He levitated the poor boy to the hospital wing and then used the mediwitches fireplace to call some of Harry's old ex-friends.

The first was probably the one he had the most hope for, Hermione. She stepped out of the fireplace.

"Hello Severus, what can I do for you?" the tall brunette asked.

"I am calling for Harry." Her face darkened instantly. "He really needs friends."

"He should have thought of that before he abandoned us for him. Now he reaps what he sewed."

He looked at her for a second. "If I remember correctly, you all abandoned him because he loved Draco. Now he has no one."

She looked down.

"Why now. Why are you asking now."

"Draco was poisoned with the Blood of Jehara. Harry made him the antidote."

"And with the spell…" Severus nodded.

"Well it's his own fault."

"He would have done it for you as well, had we asked. You know that."

"So."

"Oh Come ON! I thought you were smart! You and Ron went out. He did not abandon you two."

"No, he went and consorted with the enemy."

"ENEMY! He was a spy for the light! Was I the enemy?"

"No!"

"And the cases were the same! Do you know what Harry did during the times you two were off snogging and then when you abandoned him? He could not hang around with Draco! That would blow his cover! They could only meet once a week for an hour."

"No.." she replied meekly.

"Do you remember how the Ministry had confiscated his vault for 'aiding and abetting' a criminal after they found out about Black?"

"Yes."

"And that donation for your wedding?"

She gasped. "That was his vault?"

The headmaster glared at her. "You are THICK girl! That went to the ministries pockets. No, that anonymous donation of two hundred thousand galleons he EARNED for you two, so that you could buy a house and have the perfect wedding. Even though you had both told him he was not welcome in your life, and convinced everyone else that he did not deserve their friendship, he tried to make sure you were set up for life. He taught 1st year transfiguration, and also did three shifts a week at St Mungos during seventh year. Every knut went to you. Up until the day he left here he was giving you money. He lived here. He bought a small shack in Hogsmede for 500 galleons and lives in a studio apartment in Australia. From what I have found out, he kept enough to live, the rest is distributed amongst his old friends. About a hundred galleons each a year, apart from Draco, who gets twice that. No one really knew that he did it. I talked to the goblins last week whilst we were making the cure." There were tears in Hermione's eyes by the end of that tirade.

"W… Why?"

"Because you were all he had. The love of his life hates his guts. So do his friends. I contacted his boss in Australia. He worked 9-5 five days a week, coming in most weekends and doing 9-5 then as well. He regularly pulled all nighters as well. Basically he has no life. Now… He will be in pain 24/7 as well."

"I… I can't professor. There is too much bad blood... Find someone else to nurture him…"

Severus hung his head. "Alright. Thankyou Mrs Weasley. I gather I would not even get this far with your husband."

She shook her head, and made her way towards the fire place.

"How long do you think he will have after the potion takes effect on Draco?"

"They have all committed suicide within a week. Harry wont because he understands the side effects of his death."

"Huh?"

"If he kills himself, Draco will fall sick again, he will live, but he will be weak. Harry will just live through it. Then when Draco dies, either through natural causes, or unnatural, he will die."

"Thankyou headmaster." She disappeared through the fireplace. Severus slumped into his chair. That did not go well.

The same sort of thing happened for every person he called. Luna was the only one who seemed unfazed. She just responded with "I am not what he needs" before leaving.

The next day, Severus made the potion, and gave it to Draco. A quick scan showed that he was now in a healing sleep. Next he walked over to the bed where Harry was sleeping… Or rather, meant to be sleeping. Upon the pillow was an envelope.

Severus.

I did not want you to see me in pain. Please do not try to contact me again unless it is an emergency. Do not tell him PLEASE. I could not stand it.

If I do not see you again, thank you. For everything. Thank Poppy for me too.

Good bye my friend

Harry.

Severus crumpled the note and sat on the bed. One word, four letters, ending with ck and starting with an f (and there was the fifth vowel in there somewhere too) summed up every thought in his mind.

Meanwhile, Harry was lying on his bed in his small studio apartment. He felt the exact second the potion took effect. He felt like he was under the cruciatus. Minutes later, it had dulled – meaning he could move without crying out in pain. Unlike the cruico spell, there would be no retreating into his mind. No insanity. No saving grace. He tried pain potions and medication to no avail.

For the next month, he managed to go to work, however over time the pain got worse. Finally it was too much and he was forced to quit his job. He had saved enough over the month to live in his apartment for the next two months. And that is exactly what he did. The pain grew, enough that he could barely move without wincing. Then the day came. The day he could no longer afford the apartment. He collected his bond, and used it to buy some food at his cottage in hogsmede. When that money ran out, he did the only thing he could think of. He crawled into the floo, and cried out for the hospital wing.

Poppy Pomphrey was sitting in her office worrying about her favorite pupil at the exact time that he came through the floo. She rushed up to him and was about to pick him up when he spoke.

"P. P Please… Don't…" The Mediwitch nodded, as Harry picked himself up and crawled over and onto her couch.

"How are you holding up Harry?" She asked carfully.

"Sore."

"I thought you had left for good."

"Not work. No money."

"Oh Harry! Let's get you to a bed."

"L.. Locom… oter… mortus"

The nurse nodded, and cast locomotor mortus upon him, causing him to raise off the couch and float behind her. The mediwitch made her way to a private room in the infirmary. She lowered him ontop of the covers.

"I have to go and tell Severus. I trust you will be okay."

Harry nodded and wimpered in pain.

The mediwitch ran out of the room, and up to the headmasters office.

"Harry's here!"

Severus looked up from his desk, a curious look on his face.

"Really? How is he?"

The nurse shook her head. "The pain is getting worse. He can't walk. He can barely move without causing more pain. And I think the pain is getting worse."

Severus nodded glumly.

"I thought that would happen. He has been given a room in the hospital wing I take it?"

"Yes. I had to use loco on him to get him that far."

Severus nodded.

"Have you filled those two empty staffing positions Severus?"

Another nod.

"Who?"

"Weasley and Weasley."

Poppy nodded thoughtfully. "Hermione will make a good arithmancy teacher. And I gather her husband is going to be the flying teacher."

"We will have to tell the staff about him Poppy. The Hogwarts by-laws insist."

The mediwitches face darkened. "And Draco?"

"Yes."

"And will you explain why?"

"Hermione knows. If I tell her not to tell Draco, that may work. I don't want to betray his trust and go against his wishes."

Poppy nodded. "I will follow your lead in this headmaster."

"Don't Poppy, I thought we were better friends than that."

"Sorry Severus. Will you come down and see him?"

Severus nodded and put down his quill.

The two made their way to the hospital wing and into the private room at the back.

"Hello Sev." A quiet voice said from the bed.

"Hey Harry. How are you holding up?"

"F.. Fine. Ho.. How's Dr.. Draco?"

Severus smiled grimly. "Oh, he's fine Harry."

"I.. Is he… Happy?"

"Yes."

"Kids?"

"Twins."

"Oh." Tears were flowing down the boys cheeks. They were tears of both loss, and joy.

"Wh… What di.. did he ca.. call.."

"The boy is Caleb, the girl is Lillianna." Severus said, knowing that they were the two names Harry and Draco had wanted to call their children if they had any.

"Mc.. Gonagall."

Severus looked up. "I am sure she would love to see you Harry."

"Herm… ione?"

"She and Ron are teaching here this year, Arithmancy and Flight. Ginny married Neville. They are both running a large Herbology company. Luna is a reporter like her father and everyone is just how they were before."

Harry smiled slightly.

"Kids?"

"No."

"How… about…y.. you… got… your… man… yet?"

"Not yet Harry. Not yet."

"Oh."

Severus reached forwards to take Harry's hand, wanting to lend support, however as soon as his hand put any preasure upon him, he cried out in pain. Severus quickly withdrew his hand.

"It's okay… Sev…"

"Sleep Harry."

"Can't."

"I have some things to do. I will be down later okay? Do you want Poppy to sit with you for a while."

"No… Sev… See. You.. Later."

"Okay. I will floo Minerva too."

With that, Severus stood and walked out of the room.

"How is he still alive Severus?"

"The potion. It was intended that the two would be together, intimately, in love. The bond between the two will stop him from dying before Draco, by using some of Draco's life force. The drain on Draco is minimal. However Harry can be killed, or kill himself, which he refuses to do, as it would drain Draco almost completely, leaving him weak and near death. Draco's life force just makes sure he lives and remains conscious and lucid."

"And it will get worse?"

Severus nodded. "He was able to work long enough to stay away for almost four months…I would say it has more than doubled in that time."

"And he will live for.."

"Well Draco could well live another century."

The nurse looked faint.

"Come, we have a staff meeting."

Half an hour later, all the members of staff were gathered in the staff room ready for the impromptu meeting.

Just before they started, Severus pulled Hermione and Ron aside.

"Do not tell Draco what I told you. Okay?"

They nodded.

"I am sure you are wondering why we are all here so soon after the last staff meeting? Well today, Harry Potter fell out of the floo and will be living in the hospital wing private room. No one is to disturb him unless they are authorized by either myself or Poppy. Minerva McGonagall will probably be visiting soon too."

"Why is Potty here?"

"Harry is suffering from a rare… disease. There is no cure."

"Oh." Most of the staffs head dipped down, having either worked beside him for years, or known him well. Draco smirked lightly.

Severus, Poppy and Hermione tried hard not to slap him silly.

"Remember those lesson plans everyone. We are being audited this year."

With that, everyone left to go about their usual business.

Ron, Hermione, Severus and Poppy were the only three left behind.

"How is he?" Hermione asked.

"Not good. He can't walk, he can barely talk due to pain, even being touched causes him to scream out."

"I suppose it is a good thing he will loose consciousness soon." Hermione thought aloud.

"He wont; the bond ensures that he will not die or loose conciousness or lucidity. He will be perfectly alive and sane until someone kills him, or Draco."

The couple bowed their heads.

"Would he … I mean would it help if we were to go and see him?"

Severus looked to Poppy, who nodded.

"Only for a short time. He asked after you when I talked to him earlier. I doubt he will be able to do anything but scream in a few months."

The two nodded and followed Poppy to the private room.

"Mione?... Ron?"

"Hey Harry." Ron responded sadly.

"Ch… Chin … Up … Okay?"

"Sure Harry." Hermione said, tears in her eyes.

"We're so sorry for seventh year mate." Ron said, eyes glistening.

"No.. Worries… Under… Stand… Tell… me… about… y…your .. wedding"

And the two did, telling of the twins tricks, what everyone wore, the songs that were played, everything. A tear rolled down Harry's cheek. When he laughed, he ended up coughing up blood, then passing out for a minute.

"S.. Sorry."

"It's okay Harry. We should let you rest now." Hermione said, between intermittent sobs.

The two left the hospital wing, nodding to Poppy as they left.

The next day, Minerva McGonagall stepped out of the fireplace in Poppy's office.

The two women embraced. "How is the poor dear Poppy?"

She shook her head. "Not good Minerva. Not good at all. Come on, he wants to see you."

She was lead into the room, and Poppy left, closing the door behind her.

"Harry?"

Harry's eyes opened.

"Hey … Min."

"How are you going Harry?"

Harry gave a wry grin.

"I'll live."

Minerva let a tear slide down her face. Harry held out his hand a little. Minerva put her own out, allowing Harry to grip it slightly. He gritted his teeth and strangled a scream.

"Not… had… contact… for… a lo… long … time… Min."

She smiled slightly.

"You were like the son I never had Harry. It hurts so much to see you like this."

"At least… He.. is still… alright."

"He really was your soul mate wasn't he. It's all Voldemorts fault."

Harry nodded slightly.

"Min… give.. me .. a …reason"

Minerva knew this 'game', it was one that they started playing after the final battle, Harry would ask for a reason, and Minerva would try and come up with a reason for him to continue. There were very few back then, and even fewer now. In fact she could only think of three. For me, for your friends, for Draco.

Harry smiled slightly when she said all three. "Thank… you… Min… can… you tell.. me a … story?"

She knew what he wanted. A story of the past, to show that there is light and hope in the world.

So she lent back in her chair and began telling the story of how she met her husband.

When she was finished she stood up.

"I am staying at Hogwarts for a little while. I will come and see you tomorrow."

"P..Pensive?"

"I will bring your pensive Harry."

"Love… you… Min…"

"Love you too Harry, my son."

Minerva left with tears in her eyes, collapsing onto the nearest bed.

Poppy quickly bustled over to console her.

"He asked again didn't he?" Poppy knew the reason for the tears was Harry asking for a reason. When it started, Minerva always got depressed after she was asked, knowing that there was very little reason for him to keep going. Now, all of the reasons she felt worth while were gone.

"Yes."

"Come on, let's get you to bed Minerva."

She nodded, and followed the mediwitch towards one of the guest books.

Days passed, as they have a habit of doing. Minerva, Severus and Poppy visited every day, Minerva for longer than the other two – due to the fact she was retired. Ron and Hermione visited a couple of times, but not often. During one of these visits, Hermione mentioned that she was three months pregnant. Minerva added that to the reasons he should live when he asked. Everyone could see that it was getting worse. He could no longer sleep with blankets over him, they had to be levitated, and he was also levitated a few inches off the bed. Any motions he made were accompanied by gasps of pain.

After four months, he could barely talk without screaming, and his sentences were usually limited to one or two words, like "Hey Min" or "Reason". "Story" was another common one. It was then that Minerva had to leave for a few weeks. It was also then that Draco Malfoy decided to investigate.

The blonde aristocrat snuck into the room during the time Minerva was usually there and put up a silencing ward.

"Well, well, well Potter. You look pathetic"

"Draco" the boy said quietly.

"You are pitiful." He ran his finger down the lightning bolt scar, causing the boy to scream in pain.

He turned around and walked out of the room in disgust, tearing down the silencing ward on his way. Not noticing the longing in the boys eyes, nor the tears that were running down his face.

Minerva came back a few weeks later with some books in toe, which she delivered to Hermione and Severus. Hermione was about 8 months pregnant by then, and two weeks later gave birth to a girl. A couple of days later, the proud parents came into Harry's room.

"Hi… Mione….Ron." He gasped out.

"Hey Harry. I want to introduce you to our daughter, and we have a question to ask you."

"Silence… Me…"

Hermione cast a silencing spell over Harry, and watched as he turned his head around to face them, then passed out momentarily. She lifted the spells as Harry came about.

"Name?"

"She is called Harva Elle Weasley"

"Beautifull."

"We wanted you to be her godfather."

"Can't… hold…" He clenched his teeth "She… get… better…. Than me"

"Please Harry… We want you."

"Okay…Hold?"

"You want to hold her? Are you sure?"

"Yes… Silence?"

Hermione nodded and cast a silencing spell over him, then allowed Ron to place her daughter in the gap between his arm and body. They silently watched as he screamed with pain, then clenched teeth as he slowly moved his hand across to caress the baby. A few strokes later, his hand returned to his side, and he gave a slight nod. Ron picked up his daughter and canceled the silencing charm.

"Thankyou."

Time passed as it has a habit of doing. Harry had stabilized a bit – meaning the constant agony had gotten no worse. He was visited daily, but otherwise had nothing to do. He watched as his god daughter grew up, he cried as he tried to explain why he could not give her a hug, or buy her a gift for her birthday. He listened as she talked through each day, and told stories she had heard. He helped her with her reading, and she kept him company. It was on his 32nd birthday, that everyone who knew of Harry's state and the reasons behind it gathered in Severus' office.

"Okay everyone. Hermione, Minerva and I have been researching for a while, trying to find out a solution for Harry's pain that will not damage Draco. We have come to the conclusion that there is no way to separate them, however there is a way to stop Harry from drawing on Draco's life force. The problem is.." Severus started

"Harry needs Draco's life force to stay alive."

"So you are saying that we can give Harry the choice to stay alive and in pain, or go into an eternal sleep?" Ron asked.

"Basically. It is a choice he has the right to make."

Everyone agreed, and Severus was elected to be the one to 'break the news'.

"Harry."

"Sev?"

"We were looking for a way to free you from your pain, with no damage to Draco, and we found one. It comes at a high price though."

"Death?"

"Yes Harry. But it will not effect Draco."

"Noth…ing?"

"No."

"W..When Harva… starts here… after… sorted… say… bye."

Severus nodded.

"The first of September, in three years?"

"Yes."

"Okay Harry."

"Sev?"

"Yes Harry?"

"Thank…you."

Severus gave a wry grin, turned and left.

The next three years passed much like the last few. Harry made every moment with his god daughter count, telling her tales in his breathy, pain filled, halted speech about his life, and she in return made sure that she learnt everything she could from him.

It was September 1st, the day that Harva was being sorted. Slowly the day passed, and he was visited by everyone for a brief period, to say their goodbyes. At 8pm, Harva, Severus, Hermione and Ron came into the small room.

"Hey."

"Hi Harry!"

"What… House?"

"Griffindor of course Harry!" Harva exclaimed happily.

"We have not told Harva anything about what is happening tonight Harry, we thought you better."

"Harva… It's my… time… You… Understand?"

The 11 year old nodded, tears in her eyes.

"Chin.. Up… Just… Remember… You… my… Reason… Ask Min… about … reasons…"

Harva nodded.

"Silence… me… please."

Hermione nodded, and cast a silencio on Harry, who slowly turned and sat on the edge of the bed, his face a mask of pain. He beckoned Harva into his lap, screaming as she got up, tears in her eyes, and gave her a tight hug. Her first and last.

She got out of his lap, and Harry lay back down. Hermione removed the charm.

"Thank… you… Remember… Pensive… Draco."

"Okay Harry. We will do it now. Minerva wishes she could be here to say goodbye, but she said she came in earlier? Poppy has patients out there too unfortunately. She also came in I believe?"

Harry nodded slightly, and the three adults stood around him.

"Thank… you… Every… one."

They each gave a solemn nod, and rose their wands. Each began casting a different spell, and Harry felt the life leaving him. "Re..Remember… Please." Were the last words he said, as his eyes closed. Permanently.

Each occupant of the room, closed their eyes, tears sliding down their faces as they remembered the most selfless person they knew. Who lived about 12 years in constant pain for a love he would never again know, who gave his all to save people who turned on him at the slightest change in the wind. A person who never truly lived. Hermione brushed his hair over his scar, covering the one thing he hated most about himself.

--

Technically this is the end of this one shot. There is a little extra 'epilogue' that I am thinking of writing however. I wrote this whilst I was in a rather depressed mood, and it did bring tears to my eyes – although some of them may be from thoughts that were related running through my head. I hope you enjoy.