The Golden Trio: Crossing the World

He found them sitting by the Great Lake. The sun was on its descent and the air was heavy with a mist. The overcast sky twisted the sunlight into something unfamiliar so that the world was colored an uneasy orange. It made the grass seem uncommonly green where it had not been torn up by running feet and hooves or covered with the rubble which had once been part of the castle.

They were sitting under the beech tree the three had visited many times over the years at Hogwarts. Except seeming a bit bare of leaves, it was completely untouched. It was unmarked. All limbs were attached. No hex marks marred its trunk. It grew on. It would out live them all.

He didn't heed to say anything. They turned their heads when they heard his approach, scuffling footsteps in the dirt. Ron looked weary; the skin under his eyes was dark against his pale skin and freckles. Hermione's eyes were red, although Harry saw no evidence of tears. They both smiled small, tight smiles, but welcoming ones nonetheless.

Harry took it as an invitation and sat down on the other side of Hermione. She was leaning into Ron. He had an arm around her shoulders. Harry leaned back, palms against the grass, body propped up at an angle. Although he stared straight ahead where the peaks of the evergreens in the forest met the sky, he was looking at nothing.

"It's over."

It was a sort of whisper. Neither of his companions responded and Harry wondered if he said it aloud or just in his mind. But after a moment he felt a brush of fingers on his shoulder. They did not linger, but it was a small comforting gesture of Hermione's. He understood it though, because his words were not as happy as they should have been.

Victory had been at dawn. Now it was dusk. Elation had long since died. He was happy at Voldemort's demise, yes, but the happiness was numbed by the sorrow. Because he thought of Fred, Remus, Tonks, and Colin. Of all the dead he was not yet aware of and all the dead he did not know. His thoughts reached before the battle too— to Moody, Dobby, Sirius, Cedric, even Snape. All the people stolen away.

The waters moved on the surface of the lake, rippling, glancing light off the miniature waves. Something choked Harry's throat as he fought back inexplicable tears at the sight of the giant squid's tentacles breaking the surface of the water.

If Hermione or Ron noticed, they did nothing.

And the sun fell as they sat there in silence— if the breeze rustling the trees, the squid splashing in the lake, the sound of his companion's breathing, and the loud beating of his heart in his chest could be considered silence.

The sun was almost dead, now. Its light was barely peaking above the low points of the trees and mountains. Evening was coming upon them.

"Should we go in?" asked Hermione quietly into the twilight.

"Not yet," said Ron. Harry was thankful Ron had said it so he would not have to.

Here, Harry, with Ron and Hermione, was content. Here they could just be the three of them under no pretense— no demands to be leaders or mourners or celebrators. Here, staring out at the lake as the sky was painted darker by the minute. As soon as they turned around and walked back to the castle, it would be different. Because there was a world to rebuild and funerals to be had and a million admirers, well-wishers, and question askers to face. And right now he'd rather be Harry—just Harry— with his two best friends out at the lake worrying about exams and Quidditch and girlfriends and the indignity of the most recent amount of points stricken from their house unfairly by Snape. All those things that had once been important.

Maybe they would be important again someday. Girls- certainly and possibly Quidditch and Harry was sure that there would be many more students that would sit where they were sitting and anguish about such things. The thought relieved him.

The stars were visible now. The silence— the so called silence— was increasingly comfortable between the three and none of them made a move to leave. There would be a lot to face tomorrow and the day after, but it could only be better than yesterday. Hope, Harry may have called it. Yet that was not what he was most thankful for. No, rather, he was most thankful for this moment, the one he was living in right now with every passing second. T his moment and the company with whom he was sharing it.

Aki- This is the last chapter, as I was always planning on ending with our favorite trio. This chapter came out a bit…less happy…then I was intending, but I like it. I was experimenting sith creating sensory and visual details that created the mood, thus the description at the beginning, rather than just stating the mood. Hope it worked.

Thanks to Tenshi who helped with many of these chapters, whether with proofing or helping me come up with ideas/concepts.

As this is the last chapter, you should all review now.