Harry sunk into a chair outside the small café in Diagon Alley. He needed a break from the hubbub and confusion of the world. It was late Sunday afternoon, and the crowds of wizards were quickly thinning. It was the perfect place to go to be alone.
In the peaceful quiet, Harry reflected on his divorce. He'd thought that marrying Ginny would be perfect, but, after a few months, Ginny, devastated about her brother's disappearance, had told Harry that she was simply unable to concentrate on their marriage, and had left him. Harry had been shocked at first, but, after a while, he had concluded that this was just the way his life went now. His orphaning, Voldemort's quest to destroy him, Ron's abandonment, Hermione's death…and now his wife had left him. It seemed as if defeating the Dark Lord had been the only good thing that had ever happened to him. Even so, hardly anyone appreciated it. He was just some crazed, attention-craving maniac who had cast the right spell at the right time.
Harry groaned, burying his head in his hands. How had his life been thrown so far from its perfect beginning? A happy family, a caring godfather, a great plan. How had things gone so wrong?
"Sir?" inquired a confused-sounding young woman. Harry looked up to see a waitress, holding a menu as if unsure what to do with it. He took it gratefully, giving her a strained smile. "Our specials this evening are the grilled salmon with dill and the pecan chicken salad," she said, lapsing into the dictation she was paid for. "What can I get you to drink?" she asked cheerily, glancing at Harry's tired expression.
"Nothing, thanks," he said weakly, gesturing to the small flask hung around his neck. It was a habit he had picked up from Mad-Eye Moody, a man who had ended up like most of the people that Harry cared about: dead. The waitress, though thoroughly flustered, trotted off into the restaurant to wait for Harry to decide what he wanted.
He sighed, glancing up and down at the menu without finding anything that he wanted to eat. What he wouldn't give to be eating those disgusting mushrooms with Hermione and Ron again. He rubbed his eyes wearily, wishing that something could for one be right in his life. He had no friends, and lived at Grimmauld Place alone. Kreacher had disappeared when Harry, Ron, and Hermione had left after the fiasco at the Ministry of Magic. Harry missed him. He had been one of his only links to a happier time.
Harry had decided to leave without ordering anything and go wallow at his house. He didn't really want to be around other people. What he really needed was to be alone. Perhaps that was all he had ever needed, and fate was cruelly giving him his wish.
However, as he stood, a familiar face appeared around the corner. Harry was frozen as Ron Weasley walked closer, his face a mask of guilt and surprise. "Harry?" he asked, though he was certain that the man before him was his former best friend.
"Yes," answered Harry emotionlessly. Ron came closer, until he was standing in front of him. Something between them that had been broken for years refused to repair itself. And so, Harry, staring into the eyes of the wizard he had spent seven years with, the man who had been his best friend, and the man who he had risked his life for, felt nothing.
This was a stranger who had deserted him. This was the stranger who had left the girl he loved to die. This was the stranger who had made it clear thirteen years ago that he had no desire to take any part in defeating Voldemort.
It was late Sunday afternoon when two strangers parted, never to see each other again.