Disclaimer: I am clearly not JKR so Harry is not mine.

Also, props to you if you know where my collection title is from 3 It belongs to the rather wonderful writers of Doctor Who but, who's gonna tell? ;D

A/N: So, this be for my very first serious challenge in the Potter fic challenges. I'm competing for the rather wonderful house of Ravenclaw!

My first prompt was the word 'slip' and I have to use it in at least two different ways: meaning that it needs two different meanings throughout the story.




He found her sat on the floor at the foot of the four-poster. It'd once been the bed he had slept in for his six years at Hogwarts but, although he'd left his schooling there less than a year before, it'd felt like a lifetime.

He'd let the past year slip by in a whirl of restless nights, torture, aching legs and bloody body.

He sunk down beside her and remained quiet.

They needed to talk but it could wait.

It could wait forever if that was what she wanted.

He slipped into his own thoughts of the horrific twelve hours that had just blown apart his world. He was surprised to note how little damage this corner of the castle had sustained. Ravenclaw tower had all but collapsed in great chunks across the grounds and into the lake, large boulders of the castle had been flung into the forest by the giants and yet, except for a few scorch marks and torn tapestries and the Fat Lady's portrait blasted from the wall, Gryffindor tower was still as one.

At some point or another she'd slipped her hand into his and intertwined their fingers. She rested her head on his shoulder. It took him a few moments to realise that she was crying.

He kissed her forehead, extracted his hand from hers and pulled her to him. He rocked her gently, stroking her mane of bushy hair and making what he hoped were soothing shushing noises. They stayed like this for some time. They both knew that her tears had long since dried up even though she continued to cry.

It'd been too much. Far, far too much.

They were eighteen. Adults, apparently, in both Wizarding and Muggle terms but as he sat on the floor, cradling the girl – no the woman – that he loved beyond all reason, he felt exceptionally young. He was a child of war, forced to grow up and do things no one should ever have asked him to do.

He thought of Harry. Harry, who had just died to save them all. It didn't matter that some twisted miracle meant that he was still alive, still there, still their Harry, he had been dead.

And then he thought of Fred and felt his own tears burn in his eyes. He loved Harry like a brother, but why had he been allowed a second, no a third chance at life when his real brother had been torn down, his life discarded? It wasn't fair, none of it was fair, and he was selfish and stupid and his heart hurt in so many ways he couldn't begin to count them.

The great tears began to slip from his face into her hair. She looked up at him, her face glowing pink and blotchy, her eyes puffing slighting, hair sticking to her damp cheeks and she was beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful.

She lent up and pressed her lips lightly to his.

"It's okay," she whispered, resting her forehead against his. "I know."