Harry looked down at the resurrection stone that lay in his palm, suddenly chilled to the bone. The forest lay silent all around him. He was going to die...
He clasped the stone in his hand, shutting his eyes. He needed guidance, and he knew exactly who to ask for it.
When he opened his emerald eyes, four ghostly white figures stood around him in the clearing.
Harry recognized his mother first. She held out her arms to him, tears welling in her matching green eyes. He ran to her, hugging the ghost she was, even if there was nothing there.
"I miss you mum" He mumbled. His father came to lay a hand on his shoulder. Tears pricked Harry's eyes as he felt safer than he had in years.
He pulled away from his mother to look at the other two figures in the clearing. Sirius Black leaned his elbow on Remus Lupin's shoulder, both smiling at Harry.
"I'm sorry" Harry said, drawing in a shaky breath. "If it wasn't for me, you'd all be alive right now"
"You didn't know what would happen, Harry" Lupin said in a tender tone, shrugging off Sirius to come stand in front of Harry, hands in his pockets.
"If it wasn't for me, you and Tonks would still be up at the castle, a-and- Oh god, Teddy would still have parents!"
All of Harry's pent-up emotions from the past seven years suddenly burst forth, sending burning tears down his cheeks.
"If only I had been born twelve hours later, or had not been so stupid, or given myself up sooner... You would all be alive..."
Harry fell to his knees, overcome by the raw emotions washing over him.
"I miss you all... so much" He gasped between sobs. The four specters in front of him remained silent, letting him cry his anguish out on the forest floor.
It was Sirius that knelt down and took Harry's chin in his hand, lifting the boy's face to his.
"You have... by far, become the bravest man I ever met" Sirius whispered. More tears rolled down Harry's cheeks as he saw his parents and Lupin nodding in agreement.
"No matter what, Harry... Don't give up"
Harry looked into his Godfather's eyes, seeing the love there. He bowed his head, sobbing into the air where Sirius' chest would have been. Sirius held him close.
James circled around and put a comforting hand on Harry's back before hugging him tightly, and Harry could actually feel the warmth his Father's spirit was sending him.
"Does it hurt to die?" He asked the figures in the clearing.
"Quicker than falling asleep" Sirius answered. Harry smiled, his eyes shut tight. His mother and Lupin came on either side of him and wrapped their arms around him, his mother planting a light kiss in his head.
Harry wished this moment could last forever.
In the space of five minutes, he was feeling more love and kindness than he had his whole life.
Harry Potter was home, safe in the arms of those who loved him.
He was ready to face death.
"Always" His mother whispered.