Disclaimer: Not mine beyond the plot, alas.

"I'm scared."

The room was silent, too silent, broken only by that thin, whispered thread of sound.

"I know, love. "


"Tell me."

"We'll be together, love, right till the end. All the way. Together."

A slow, shaky, breath.



Two bodies curled together, both feigning sleep, both counting down the minutes and thinking please no, not yet.

The sun rose to noise, and chaos, and blood and pain and death.

Smoke and ash billowed over the battlefield, pierced by the flashing lights of hexes and the bone-chilling screams of loss.

Bill moved frantically through the chaos, left arm dangling limply, thin veins of blood sneaking over bruised skin and torn flesh. He'd promised, and nothing would keep him from that promise. His tired eyes skimmed over the bodies, torn and still, without focusing, looking for something –


A flash of dark hair, and swirling, torn red robes, downing an opponent and then stopping, briefly, to down deep, sucking gulps of oxygen. Bill knew that form, knew it by heart and hand and touch and sight as well as any other piece of himself. A deep breath, heart rising in aching joy – yes, oh god, please, just a little more time – and Bill staggered forward.

A pause, then - "Hey, love."

The man whipped around, wand aimed – and green eyes met blue. Relief, sorrow, love, acceptance. For a moment, time ceased, and Bill felt something rising in him. It wasn't hope, couldn't be hope, for they both knew how this was going to end. They'd been fighting too long, lost so much, become too broken and scarred for a future. And Harry – Harry would gladly give everything he was to keep his world, his family safe.

And Bill would follow him.

So perhaps it wasn't hope, but peace – peace he could do. Bill took a step forward, and, painfully switching his wand arm, grabbed Harry's left hand (dirty, and bloody, and oh so beloved)in his right and with a small, choked, cough (not a sob, no, couldn't be) managed to clear his throat.

A small quirk, not quite a smile, flickered across his lover's mouth. A brief clench of hands, hard and desperate, and those red-clad shoulders squared once more.

"Ready, Bill?"

No, never, please – blue eyes locked onto green, trying to convey all that they didn't have time to say.

"Together, love. Forever."

A breath of time, forever, never, and then –

Turning, shoulders, brushing, to go forward. Hands grasped between them, moving towards the darkness, the epicentre of the battle, never looking back.

Don't leave me alone, love.

Never, Bill. Together. Forever. No matter what.