Disclaimer: Oh, how I wish I owned them all…

"The sweetest thought, I had it all, 'cause I did let you go, all our moments keep me warm, while your gone. All my thoughts are with you forever, till the day we'll be back together. I will be waiting for you." Within Temptation, Bittersweet

So now I sit, playing aimlessly with my wand, my four treasures spread out on the table before me. There is silence in my chest, a silence as heavy as the longing that I've worn for over a year now. Without the clock to keep time, I just stare out the window towards the horizon, whispering over and over again.

"Come home. Come home. Come home."

In the reflection of the fading starlight on the glass of the window, I can almost see the face of the little girl who walked beside me down the aisle for Bill and Fleur's wedding. Little Gabrielle. I suppose the first time I really knew Fleur was a human being was the way she screamed and wailed over that small body, clutching her sister to her chest. And I cried, and Mum cried, and Dad and the twins and Charlie cried. Bill didn't cry. He just held her, his arms going around both beautiful girls, and rocked them, and didn't cry. He was strong, because she needed him.

After Fleur fell into a fitful sleep, Bill sat beside her on the bed, buried his face in his hands, and sobbed like a child.

And I closed my eyes and saw Harry's body in my arms as I screamed and wailed and pled with the fates for mercy.

And I began my chant.

"Come home."

Last year, as we managed to steal a moment between studying and Hororcruxes, we hid in a secret corridor from Hermione's admonishments to study and Ron's constant eye rolling. Seated between his knees, leaning back against his chest while our hands tangled up, he whispered little stories to me I'd never heard. He told me how he had learned of Wormtail's betrayal, and how he saved the coward's life from Sirius and Lupin. I knew all this, but not the conversation with Dumbledore. I had never heard of this bond between wizards, when one saves another's life. As he murmured beside my ear, I stared at our fingers, locked together, and I wondered.

Tonight, the silence telling me more than any message brought by owl could, I don't wonder. I know.

I have spent nearly twelve months trying to keep everything safe on the home front, loving and hating this damned clock. Every tick was a reminder that he was away, and yet that he was alive. I needed it, and I would have given anything to cut it out of my chest.

Now…now it's silent.

The clock behind my heart has stopped.

There is the telltale pop outside the door behind me. I grasp my wand, fingers tightening on the wood as my hands shake. A glance out the window in front of me shows blood red light staining the dark sky.

The night is over.

The clock would stop for only one of two reasons. Either Harry is coming home…or he never will.

There are footsteps drawing closer to the door. I hear the handle turning. My breathing is racing, but still I can't turn around.

What will I see?

Green eyes full of wonder?

Or red snake eyes full of death?

The door is opening.

Whatever comes, I will face it with the bravery he would expect from me. That's why he loves me.

The same reason I love him.

Taking one last deep breath, I turn to face the dawn.