Chapter One

King's Cross, Again

Harry sighed, and rested his all too world weary head on his pillow. It had indeed been a long week, filled with almost as much exhausting celebration as burdensome grief. Voldemort was gone at last, and yet there was still little time to look ahead, towards his own suddenly bright future, amid so much handshaking, consoling, and the like. After the battle, he had possessed so much strength, so much confidence. Victory was indeed a great morale booster, but in the wake of the many celebrations and funerals that he had had to attend, whatever power the victory had granted him to stay his own weariness was long gone.

In the midst of so long a week, he had scarce little alone time with his friends, and even less time to enjoy the company of the one person who above all he sought – Ginny. And still, with all the commotion and tears shed, still she would catch his eye now and again; a tender glance towards him as he shook hands with the myriad of admirers, a reassuring smile as he bore the right hand of Remus Lupin's casket. And it was with thoughts of her that he drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow would be another day; the last of this weary-making week. Tomorrow would come, and he would say the last of his goodbyes.

He had not yet woken. That was clear, yet the dream in which he now stood was as vivid and bright and clear as morning sunlight. It was also just as familiar. He was back at King's Cross station.

"Hello Harry." said the voice of Albus Dumbledore.

Harry turned, and there he stood.

"Professor Dumbledore? What's—"

"Come, Harry, we must talk. I shall explain everything I can, and then, I must ask you a favor." Dumbledore turned, and Harry followed him along the platform.

"It's good to see you, professor."

"It is good to see you too, Harry, though I fear that we shall not leave this meeting on such pleasant terms." Harry looked into Dumbledore's sparkling blue eyes, and he saw there something he had never seen before – nervousness, and apprehension.

"What's wrong, professor?" Harry asked,

"I am afraid I have need of your assistance once more, Harry. I would like you to know how much I trust you, but, unfortunately, for what is at stake, I must ask you to risk your life, once again, in the name of secrets and lies."

"What is it you need me to do?" asked Harry, his trust in professor Dumbledore unwavering once more.

"I need you to find someone for me. Her name is Magda Allard. Unfortunately, I can tell you little else besides her name. Just know that the danger involved in this journey is no less than what you have had to deal with up until now, and as such, no risk taken should be taken lightly."

"Does this have to do with Voldemort?" Harry asked, slightly apprehensive himself now,

"Thankfully, no, though the dark wizards whom you may come up against should be considered no less dangerous, or crafty, for that matter."

"Who are they, that they can be considered on par with Voldemort?" Harry asked

"They are the very ones who taught him. Though they never really became involved in the great power struggle to which you recently put an end, they are largely responsible for much of the bloodshed that Voldemort brought about." Said Dumbledore.

They walked on in silence for some time, Harry contemplating the question that had been on his mind for quite some time now, but he had been afraid to ask. It was as if asking the question would shatter the temporary connection he had with those who had passed on, and he was loath to do so. Finally, Dumbledore turned to him, a slight smile on his face, his eyes sparkling as they always did, once more giving Harry the impression that he could see into his soul.

"We are always with you Harry. Know that. Though we are not always able to show ourselves, we will stand with you in the darkest of times, and in the moments of your greatest triumph." His smile brightened, as tears welled in his eyes.

"let me tell you a secret. Something very few people know on your side of the veil that is the line between life and death. A patronus is more than simply your greatest and happiest memory. It is the very strength of your belief, your conviction to those you care for, and it is strongest when their presence around you is unclouded by your own fear or anger. Of all the patronuses I have seen, I would have to say that the two strongest among them were those of Severus Snape, and you, Harry. Severus' was so strong because, in the form of his caring for your mother, he was able to rise above his own anger, self hatred, and doubt. And, in a similar way, the pure love and devotion you display towards those you care about unlocks the strongest power you possess. So do not fear that those who are gone are gone forever, for nothing is ever completely lost."

Thus far unnoticed by the two, the obscured and misty sky had brightened, and Dumbledore said "it appears it is time for you to rejoin the waking world. Remember what I have told you. Find Magda Allard. I believe you know who you can trust to help you in this task." As the dream began to fade, Dumbledore called out "and remember, never underestimate the power of love." If Dumbledore said anything more, it was lost in the obscurity that is that place between waking and dream.

Throughout the many memorials he had attended, even for those in which he played a large part, he said scarce little during the ceremony, though it was not for lack of wanting to. He found himself tongue-tied, the sacrifices of those who had fallen in his name crushing the strength from his jaw. But then, as he walked up to Fred's casket, the purple and yellow spotted rose given to him by George in his hand, the words, as if coming to him from some other person thousands of miles away, flooded his mind. Still, though the words were there, he still did not yet possess the strength to speak them. He found that strength in the eyes of the Weasleys. He looked over them, one by one, and his strength grew. Finally, as his eyes settled on Ginny, the whole world seemed to float away, and there was nothing, save her face. And it was to her that he now spoke, the words feeling like firewhiskey on his throat and tongue; warming their way through his body, giving him the ability to continue standing, though his knees were weak.

"a lot of people died putting an end to Voldemort's reign of terror. A lot of good people. No-one asked them to, they just did it. They did it to…" his voice broke. These were the last words Remus Lupin had ever said to him. then he found strength once more, for he knew that nothing was gone forever, and that they were with him now, all of them. His mother, father, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Dobby, Hedwig, Dumbledore, Fred. Once more, as it was as he walked towards his seemingly inevitable demise, they were his strength, and he smiled, though his voice was broken, and tears stood in his eyes.

"…They did it to make a world in which their families could live a happier life." His smile brightened. "I was there when Fred died. I watched him laugh, at Percy's joke, no less! I'm not saying anything about dying is fun, but what better way to go, especially for someone like Fred, than laughing at the joke of a loved one?"

He raised the purple yellow-spotted rose, and let it fall from his fingers. "Goodbye Fred. You will most definitely by missed."