Author's notes: This story used to be part of a longer story, but as I thought about it, I realized that this should be a one-shot as I had originally intended. Also, the song in the background is from the soundtrack to the movie 'Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron', one of my favorite animated films.

For fans of my other works, I regret to say that I will be breaking until I finish classes, except for work on 'When Worlds Collide' which is located under the pen name The Orange Elf of Oblivion.

Reading is good, reading and reviewing… even better.


Harry Potter: Holding On

Hogwarts Castle, Scotland

Harry Potter was staring out of the window in the highest astronomy tower. He'd come up here in a desire to avoid all the other people. The night was clear, and Harry looked up at the night sky with all the twinkling stars. He brought his gaze down a bit and saw the Quidditch field where Sirius had once watched Harry play. Harry remembered seeing the shape of a big black dog and panicking as he thought it was a Grim.

Thinking about his godfather now, Harry sometimes found it hard not to just run away somewhere that wouldn't remind him of Sirius. But it was no use as even the Dursleys' home made Harry pine for the home he could have had with Sirius. Harry closed his eyes as he remembered Sirius offering when they left the Skrieking Shack. 'If you'd ever want a different home…' It hurt to think about Sirius; a deep, knowing ache that started in his heart and mind, and slowly crept through the rest of him.

'Sound the bugle now

Play it just for me

As the seasons change

Remember how I used to be

Now I can't go on

I can't even start

I've got nothing left

Just an empty heart'

Harry could dimly remember the fleeting thought he'd had before his first Quidditch match this year. He'd never voiced it to Ron or Hermione, but he'd wanted so badly to invite Lupin with the hope that Lupin would find some way to bring Sirius with him, so that Sirius could help cheer Ron on and give him a bit of confidence. But ever since Sirius's death Quidditch seemed to belong to a separate world. One that Harry no longer lived in. Not since that night…

'I'm a soldier

Wounded, so I must give up the fight

There's nothing more for me

Lead me away

Or leave me lying here'

Harry wanted to go away… to die… to leave all his pain behind. He didn't want to feel this pain anymore. He didn't want to deal with his life anymore. It was too big for him. But he died, Voldemort would win. 'He's won anyway,' Harry told himself. 'Killing Voldemort won't bring Sirius back. It won't bring Mum and Dad and Cedric or anyone else back. They're all dead. They're dead because of me. Because of the prophecy. Because I'm the one who has to destroy Voldemort.'

'Sound the bugle now

Tell them I don't care

There's not a road I know that leads to anywhere

Without a light I fear I will stumble in the dark

Lay right down—decide not to go on'

Harry climbed up to sit on the window sill and looked down. The height was good. He could fall away from all his troubles. So simple. 'Just jump,' said a voice in Harry's head. 'Free your self from this responsibility. You don't was this burden. You never did.' Harry closed his eyes and felt the cold night's breeze on his face. He'd do it now, before anyone came to find him.

"I thought I'd find you up here," said a vague, dreamy voice behind him. Harry turned his head to look and see who was there and was surprised to find Luna Lovegood standing alone in the doorway.

"Go away, Luna." Harry said in a sharp voice that did not sound like his.

Harry's tone was a pained growl, but Luna didn't let it bother her. "Death is no answer, Harry. I know. I've tried." She held out a hand and Harry saw two long scars on her wrist.

"Luna, you…?" Harry couldn't bring himself to finish the thought. She didn't seem like the type to try and kill herself. "You don't understand, Luna. I have to. I have to stop this pain."

Harry's voice had lost the bite, but there was now a choke of emotion that threatened to overwhelm him. Luna could sense that Harry's resolve was starting to crumble and she knew that she had to keep him from doing what he had come up here to do. "It won't bring him back, Harry. I know it's hard. I felt the same when my mother died."

"What?" Harry turned so that he was sitting on the windowsill facing her instead of the grounds.

Luna sat on one of the desks, holding his gaze. "When I was 9. She was experimenting and one of her spells went badly wrong. It is hard, Harry, and I know it does hurt, but you will go on. As did I."

Harry stared at Luna as she stood up, waiting for him to come with her.

'Then from on high

Somewhere in the distance

There's a voice that calls

remember who you are

If you lose yourself

your courage soon will follow

So be strong tonight

Remember who you are'

Harry suddenly stood up and rushed to put his arms around Luna. He needed to hold someone, to feel the comfort of another person. He didn't even feel it as the tears poured down his face. Luna seemed utterly unperturbed, however. She put her arms around Harry and whispered softly. The words were of no importance, but it was the feeling of being held that comforted him.

'You're a soldier now

Fighting in a battle

To be free once more...

Yeah, that's worth fighting for'

They stood there for a while, Luna soothing Harry as all the emotion he'd bottled up exploded. Then as the boy sank to the floor, Luna knelt down, still holding him. Harry knew he should feel embarrassed, but he didn't. Luna's comfort seemed to be like that of a sister. He just let everything pour out of him. Every thought, every memory of Sirius spilled out of his mouth without stopping.

Finally, Harry's tears seemed to slow. Luna looked at him. "Do you want to go to the kitchens for some hot chocolate? Ginny told me how to get in."

"Sure," Harry said, a ghost of a smile on his face. "Sounds good." Luna smiled as well. Standing up, she offered a hand to Harry to pull him to his feet. Then, Luna's arm around Harry's shoulders, the two went down to the kitchens.

'To be free once more...

Yeah, that's worth fighting for'