"I've had enough trouble for a lifetime."

Ron and Hermione turned out of Dumbledore's study and led Harry up to Gryffindor Tower. His steps were slow, weighed down by grief and exhaustion. When they reached his room, Harry sat on the side of his bed and buried his face in his hands.

"Don't go," Harry pleaded through his sobs. "Don't leave me." He pulled his legs up and wrapped his arms around them, leaning his forehead on his knees and crying against his thighs.

Ron stepped forward and touched Harry's shoulder, but Harry shrugged his hand off. Frowning, Ron moved back to Hermione and took her hand in his. Harry looked up at them and saw their entwined fingered. He rolled his eyes and stood, marching over to the window to get away from them. Suddenly he didn't want them there anymore. He didn't want to be alone, but seeing his two best friends together like that made him feel more alone than anything. He didn't know what he wanted, except for those who had died to come back.

When he turned back around, Hermione was gone and Ron was standing alone, looking down at the floor.

"I'm… I'm sorry about Fred."

Ron shook his head and Harry didn't say anything more. Hermione returned a few minutes later, Ginny in tow. Ignoring Ron, Ginny ran over to Harry and flung her arms around his neck, drawing him as close as she could. Harry buried his face in her neck and wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, crushing her against him. Without him realizing it, Ginny led him over to the edge of the bed and sat down with him, rubbing his back soothingly as he wiped the tears out of his stinging eyes. Harry looked around the room and saw that Ron and Hermione had both left, leaving him alone with Ginny for the first time since his seventeenth birthday.

"I'm glad… so glad you're safe." Ginny sighed with relief and, with her free hand, grabbed Harry's leg. "When I thought you died…" She shook her head. Harry put his hand over hers and squeezed it gently.

"Don't think about it. I'm here. I'm alive."

Ginny nodded and leaned her head on his shoulder. "Are you… okay?"

Harry sighed deeply and leaned his head on Ginny's. "Will you stay here with me?"


"Then I'm okay."

Ginny smiled and leaned up against him for akiss. Her scent and taste filled Harry's heart with comfort and a staggering feeling of safety. He lay down carefully, wrapping her in his arms as exhaustion overpowered his other emotions.

"Promise you'll be here when I wake up?" Harry murmured into her hair.

"I promise."

"Good… good…" His grip tightened as he fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, holding onto what made him know that he wasn't alone, what made him feel normal and loved, and what gave him hope that someday, possibly even someday soon, he would be happy again and all would be well.