Author's note: As I was writing background leading up to this scene, I thought that fleshing out that background on how he sunk this low might make for a lovely feature-length fanfic. So for now, this is an artist's study in madness and salve. Reviews will help me decide whether or not it's worth it.

"And that's all I hear from any of you. 'I know how you must feel.' What do you mean by 'you know how I must feel'? Do you spend every waking hour going over and over in your head each and every move made at Hogwarts to see where you might have saved some innocent life? Only to be followed by the ever-so-blissful night's pastime of reliving your best friends' torture? Can you walk out of your house every day without being congratulated thirty fucking times for the one day in your life you'd wish had never happened? OK, Riddle's dead. OK, I killed him. But how? How many innocent lives did I have to involve in this? How many people did I have to bloody inspire to fight along side me? There were two people in that prophesy, Gin – two! Tom and me. That's it. It said nothing about sweet, innocent sixth-year photographers. Nothing about twin pranksters or new parents. It said Tom and Harry. And I'm still here. Why am I still here, Gin? Why? I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't work, I'm of no use to anyone except as some kind of figurehead of something I don't even want to remember.

"And then you tell me that you love me, and it kills me, because I can't love you back. And every moment you're not here I feel like half of me is missing. And when you are here, I feel like I have nothing to give you. Nothing, Gin. I'm broken. You've given me everything: you've taken over Godmothering Teddy, you've stayed with me when I've pushed you away countless times. And those bloody healers keep asking me how this all makes me feel. Do you know how this makes me feel, Gin? Like the lowest scum on Earth. I've got the best girl a bloke can ask for, I've got the adulation of the entire Wizarding world, and I don't deserve any of it, because I can't – I just don't know what to do." And Harry breaks down into uncontrollable sobs.

Ginny pulls a chair over to Harry's bed. She holds him as he cries out – loudly and without inhibition. He is shaking, but the healers say that's part of his potions regimen. She wants so desperately to crawl into his bed, to crawl into him and make whatever daemon that has control of him let him go. She wants to rescue 'The Boy Who Lived' from 'The Savior of the Wizarding World'. But she knows she can't help him by force. She can only do the one thing she's allowed to, and that's show up on the every day for visiting hours. As his sobbing slows, Ginny sees a chance to get a word in.

"Harry, baby… You don't have to know anything right now. You don't have to be able to love me. You've been through so much these last three years. You have folks to lean on now, baby. You have me, and mum, and Ron and Hermione. There's Luna and Neville and Dean, and between all of us, there's plenty of love waiting for you. Now I'm a pretty smart witch, right?" Harry nods weakly in assent. "It's not going to be easy, but I'm going to be here to see you through. And if you'd like to hear one, I have a plan for you. All you have to do is follow some simple instructions. And none of them involve loving anyone or doing anything for anyone that isn't named Harry James Potter, all right?"

Harry nods again, and it is plain to see that his mood is picking up. He is listening attentively as Ginny continues.

"You're only going to stay here a couple of more weeks, until the healers are good and convinced that you aren't going to try anymore stunts like the one that landed you in here. While your wounds seemed to have healed, you're in no condition emotionally to leave. While you're here, you're going to let the healers do their job, and you're going to listen to what they have to say. Am I clear so far?"

"Please continue, Love"

"Right, now when you get out of here, you're going back to 12 Grimmauld Place with me."

"Your mum's going to have kittens."

"My mum has no say in the matter, Harry. I'm seventeen, and can make my own decisions. You're a very sick man, and need someone close by you. Right now, you're not letting anyone within a mile of you except me, and so I'm the only one for the job. And that's part three, Harry. You're going to let me love you, without worrying whether or not you can love me back. And as you get stronger, you're going to start allowing others to do the same. Hermione has so much love to give you, as does Ron. But you don't have to see them until you're up to it. As for Diagon Alley, we'll simply turn you back into cousin Barney when you're ready to go out. If you like, the rest of us will change, too, so as not to arouse suspicion. The secrecy wards are already up on Grimmauld Place. Ron's the secret-keeper, and he's only told the family and Hermione.

"Is there more to this master plan of yours, Ginny?" asks Harry, now sporting a wan smile.

"Just one more thing. The healers are going to give us instructions on what to do once we get you home. You're going to follow them. Now, do any of these sound like impositions on your time, space, or psyche Harry?"

"No love, they don't."

"Good. I'll be back tomorrow. I love you, Harry, regardless of whether you can love me back or even love yourself right now. Just know that I do, and that's enough."

"Thank you, Ginny. Seeing you is a bright spot in my day." Tears roll softly down Harry's cheek as he says this.

"I know love, now get some rest. You have to meet with your healers in an hour." Ginny kisses Harry on the forehead, gently on the lips, and then makes her way to the healers' station on the fourth floor.