Crash and Burn

DaggersBloodPain

Chapter Fourteen

Epilogue

The pub was warm and the cool liquid inside his mug was refreshing as he sat at the bar hood pulled up over his ears. Ten years to the day had passed since that horrible night and here he sat continuing the yearly ritual.

As if on cue at the same time as the years before the bells above the door chimed admitting a blast of cold air and another cloaked person. Without a word the newcomer pulled up a stool next to the previously sitting man, a tankard already being pushed into his hand, he sipped at it slightly reveling it to be his favorite drink.

"How have you been doing Harry?" He asked gently after a few settling pulls on his drink.

"A little better, I was in Italy for the past year, it was a nice place." Harry answered glancing up at his werewolf mentor.

"It's been a decade, I was wondering if you were ready to come home? I know Remus and Poppy miss you, and even Severus is grouchier than usual." Fenrir inquired gently knowing it was a sore point.

Harry took a drink to avoid answering immediately, but finally got himself pulled together enough to answer. "I think it might be time, I have been to all the places I wanted, and I had the peace I wanted. Yet the very grounds of Hogwarts hold memories so deeply buried in me I doubt I will ever be able to enjoy a walk around them again."

"You will one day Harry, but if you keep running you will never get better." Fenrir encouraged.

"I can't promise anything but I will at least try." Harry responded softly.

"That's all we can ask of you, now come on your family is waiting for you." Fenrir asked emptying his tankard as Harry followed suit, he lead the docile young wizard towards the place he almost lost it all. Harry trusting his old teacher enough to guide them home, up the path from the three broomsticks, through the gates feeling the gravel crunch under their feet. They could have summoned one of the carriages or taken the floo to the entrance hall but no, Harry needed this walk it was the only way he would ever heal.

Five years later…

Harry was sitting at the head table, Severus on one side Fenrir on the other. He was watching the new first years be sorted with interest, he wasn't a head of house but each new face was a ray of hope to him. In the five years since his return he had slowly come to terms with his part to end he war, the smiling faces of the children helping him.

Harry was not a professor of any particular subject, he was more of a substitute, filling in when the others were sick or just needed a break, most often for the Defense classes, which Fenrir had taken over. Once a month Harry would come in for three days and teach. The students had gotten used to his transformation over time, and even the new first years looked up at him with curiosity, no fear in their young eyes. That warmed his heart.

It was a simple life, but a good one. He would never have the carefree attitude he had before the war took its hold on him, but he wasn't the washed up shell he used to be and that was the best thing of all. Worming his hand into the one next to his he felt the heat coming off Fenrir and allowed himself to bask in it.