Harry, Ron and Hermione sat on some fallen stone ruins, looking up at Hogwarts, their childhood home that now lay in ruins.
As Harry sat in the middle of his two best friends, he felt different than he had before.
"It's all over" Harry said numbly. Hermione looked at him, then laid her head on his shoulder.
"It's a new beginning, Harry, just think of that"
Harry smiled and leaned his cheek on Hermione's head. Ron scooted closer and put his hand on his best mate's shoulder.
"Hermione's right. We just embark on another adventure"
Harry sighed. "Just think... We've been fighting Voldemort for seven years now"
"Wow" Hermione breathed.
"Yeah, wow" Ron agreed. The trio was silent for another while.
"I can't stop thinking about all those... people" Hermione whispered, and Harry felt his shoulder damped with her tears.
"Fred..." Ron said, looking away.
"Lupin... Tonks" Hermione added.
"Collin" Harry murmured. Hermione sniffed. Ron still turned away, making Harry suspect he was holding back tears as well.
"I'm sorry" Harry said, shutting his eyes and taking a shaky breath.
"For what?" Ron asked, turning back to him.
"For killing everyone..." Harry said, staring miserably at the ruined bell tower.
"Rubbish" Ron said, picking up a chunk of rock from the ground and throwing it as hard as he could. The rock made an hollow sound on the flagstones. Harry watched it roll to stop.
"It's not your fault, Harry" Hermione said softly.
The silence dragged on again as the sky got lighter. Ron began to trace circles in the dust with his toe.
"I got to see my parents, Sirius and Lupin too" Harry stated. Hermione took her head off his shoulder and Ron turned so they both were looking at him.
"Was... that what it's like, in heaven?" Ron asked tentatively. Harry shook his head.
"I used the resurrection stone before I went into the forest, just so i'd have someone with me" Ron and Hermione nodded.
"What was it like when you died?" Hermione asked carefully. Harry was silent for a moment, before swallowing and continuing on.
"To...To tell you the truth, it looks a lot like King's Cross station" Harry said blandly, beginning to make circles of his own in the dirt.
"King's cross?" Ron asked. Harry nodded. "Just cleaner" Ron and Hermione both chuckled at this.
"Dumbledore met me there, and part of Voldemort was under a bench. Dumbledore and I walked together for a while, talked about stuff" Harry studied his feet while Ron and Hermione watched him carefully.
After a while, he looked up, green eyes meeting both of his friend's gazes.
"It wasn't all that interesting, to tell you the truth... I would much rather be here with you two" He pulled Hermione into a hug, and Ron came over to join too. It was a while before any of them moved.
"You know, I was a bit of an arse. When I met you two on the stairs... I should have said something more"
"You didn't have to, Harry" Hermione said. Harry shook his head.
"Listen, you two have been the best mates anyone could ever have. You've stuck with me all this time, and I love you both. I should have said it then, and the truth is... I thought about you right before.. you know, it happened. I thought about how I was saving you all, and how much I would miss you both"
Ron and Hermione stared at him for a moment, and Harry looked away, furrowing his lips as he frowned.
What happened next, Harry didn't expect.
Ron and Hermione both threw their arms around him, hugging him until he couldn't breathe.
"Oh Harry, you know we feel the same way about you" Hermione mumbled into his neck.
"You're our mate, mate. Don't you forget it" Ron said on the other side. Harry grinned for the first time in what felt like ages.
"Just like old times" He said. Hermione and Ron both laughed in return.
The three stood from their spot, then began to walk back towards the ruined castle. Harry in the middle, with Ron and Hermione's arms still around him.
That's how they always had been, that's how they always would be.
The Golden Trio.