You didn't even say goodbye.

After some time spent in a deep and solemn silence, Harry, Ron and Hermione made their way back down the stairs of Dumbledore's office to face the pain and freedom of the new world they had created.

They walked in silence, evenly spaced apart, and at first Harry found it comforting walking between his two best friends, but then it bothered him, so he hooked his arm around Hermione's waist and the other around Ron's shoulders so they could enter this new phase as one, always together, friends until the end, and the Golden Trio descended the wrecked marble staircase in unison.

Harry's mind was filled with a myriad of thoughts, constantly changing and morphing. Fred, Voldemort, Lupin, Tonks, his godson Teddy, the fact that he was alive, the guilt, the pain, the relief, and then his mind cleared as Ginny walked through the doors of the Great Hall.

Sensing their need for privacy, Hermione kissed Harry on the cheek whilst Ron gently squeezed him with his arm, and they broke off, simultaneously reaching for each others hands and walked back to join their family's palpable grief.

Harry watched Ginny's face anxiously as she waited patiently for Ron and Hermione to enter the Great Hall. Her face was streaked with tears and her eyes were both tired and bright. As soon as they were alone she closed the space between them and slapped Harry hard across the face with all her might.

"You didn't even say goodbye. How was I supposed to live without you Harry? Living without you for just one year, not knowing whether you were alive or dead, it was torture, but I understood. You couldn't control it. But you walk knowingly to your death, and you don't even say goodbye? How could you," she sobbed, and began beating her hands against his chest ineffectually as he stood there and took it, relishing the punishment.

He too began to cry quietly as she beat her grief into him, but soon he gently gripped her weary wrists and she pushed her face into his chest. Wrapping his arms tightly around her they slowly crumpled to the floor, holding each other as close as they could, shaking with grief, shock and love for what seemed like hours.

Eventually they calmed, and Harry slowly stroked her hair as she lay against his chest like a frightened child. She slowly lifted her head to stare at him longingly, and they both leaned in to share the sweetest and most needed kiss of their long lives together, in which all that needed to be said was.

When they finished, they rested against each other cheeks for another long moment, then Ginny got to her feet wearily, reached down her hand to help Harry up, and with a deep steadying breath, they both followed Ron and Hermione's path into the Great Hall, hand in hand, heart in heart, ready.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.