One Last Thing

Disclaimer: All of the characters from the Harry Potter universe belong to J.K. Rowling. No copyright infringement is intended and no money is being made.

Author's notes: This fic was written as the response to a challenge created by Quizgirl on (a Norwegian HP – site) forums, and the idea is entirely hers.

Minor Spoiler Warning for HBP. If you haven't finished reading it yet, don't read this…

Harry knew he was dead. He couldn't explain why, he just knew. He felt as though the world he had known up until then had dissolved into mist and darkness. Now there was nothingness all around him, but still he remained surprisingly...solid. He was still Harry. But now he had to make a choice. He knew instinctively the choice that lay before him. A choice that made him think back, to the moment when life had left his body and he had gone from one world to another.

It had happened quickly, almost without any pain. The spell that had killed so many before him, the spell that he had survived once, the spell that had killed him too at last. The spell that is greatly feared among all wizards.

Avada Kedavra

Harry opened his eyes, not realising they had been closed. The mysterious mist still enclosed him. He heard voices and saw shadows, and the mist seemed to part in two. He could see the world he had just left and the world he was about to enter. On one side he saw the forms of people he knew that had passed on. His mother, his father, Sirius and Dumbledore. On the other side he saw...he saw her face. Now he faced the most difficult decision he could remember having faced, including facing Voldemort.

The problem was that he had one more thing to do. One thing he needed to do, or he would never find true peace of mind. He could not pass on without doing it, and he could not pass on at all if he was going to do it. He couldn't live an eternity without knowing, not even an eternity with his parents and his godfather. Not without telling her... Not without knowing.

He had one more thing to say to a certain person. Her... He had to tell her; even if it was the last thi... then it hit him. It was the last thing he would ever do. He thought of her. Her hair, her face, her eyes, her smile. The lips that he would have give his life to kiss. Now his life was over, and he would never know the feeling of his own lips meeting hers.

He had to know...had to tell her how he felt, and find out if she felt the same. If she didn't, it didn't matter if he was alive or dead, or neither.

But could he make that choice? Going back to the world he had just left would mean that he would have to become a ghost. And remain a ghost forever, no matter what she would say to him. He would never meet his parents, or see Sirius again. Never. And yet. He could not continue on in uncertainty. Suddenly it hit him. The choice had never been his to make. It had been made for him the first time he had laid his gaze on her. They were soul mates. He knew, and still he had never said a word about how he felt towards her. He had kept his mouth shut and been glad just to see her, feel her, smell her.

He turned to face the parting in the mist where the world he already knew lay beyond. His choice, that was never really his after all, had been made. So he decided he would stay. He would stay as a ghost.

With one last glance on the forms of his parents and his godfather he stepped into the known world once more, knowing that everything would be different.

The feeling of being a ghost is not a feeling easily described. Harry felt, knowing of no better world to use, transparent. He looked down on his body, seeing the same body he had always seen, except now it was practically see-through and shimmering with a pearly-white light. Strange as though it seemed, the transformation didn't come as a shock. It was as if he had always known he would look like this as a ghost.

Coming to terms with his new self, he looked around to find himself in a cemetery. He was standing under a Weeping Willow tree, as the last rays of the sun clung to the ground. The cemetery was deserted, except for a young woman standing in front of a new grave. Her hair shone in the last shimmering rays of sun. He recognised her at once. He would have recognised her from a mile away. He began, no longer walking...drifting towards her. Slowly, not to scare her. The tombstones he passed on the way bore familiar names.

James Potter

Lily Potter

Remus J. Lupin

Ronald B. Weasly

He approached her from behind, carefully peering over her shoulder to see the name on the stone she was standing in front of. Although he had half – expected it, it still came as a shock.

Harry James Potter

He really was dead, and if she turned him down his sacrifice would mean nothing, and he would be condemned to an eternity of loneliness. And then everything would cease to matter...

How curious life curious it should be that the moment he had waited for all his life should come now... after his death.