A Midnight Meeting

By Allanasha Ke Kiri

Away from the mourning celebration that Hogwarts had turned into, Harry breathed a soft sigh. He let his body collapse against a close by tree and closed his eyes, finally letting the sorrow overwhelm him. He'd been running on automatic the last several months, the last year … hell, the last several years. If he was truly honest with himself, he hadn't been completely himself since he'd watched Cedric die.

They hadn't been that close, but they'd known each other, helped each other out. They were going to share the prize, and he'd died. The first in a long line. And he hadn't really had time to grieve; not him, not Sirius, and certainly not anyone else who'd died recently.

Sliding down the tree, he leaned his head back, staring blankly at the clear night sky. The moon was almost full, almost, but not quite. And it was here, alone, that Harry finally let his tears loose. He couldn't do it anywhere else. Someone might see him, and he had to be strong. He was Harry Potter, and they expected him to always be strong. They'd expect it now too, even though he'd finished his task.

So, it was here he let himself mourn for the first, and probably last, time.

"Such sorrow," a low voice murmured, lowly, darkly.

Harry was on his feet in an instant, his wand out and directed at … the thing. For a moment, he thought it was Voldemort, back from the dead yet again to make his life hell, but as he blinked away he started noticing differences. They were both about the same height, that was true, bald, and with no nose. But where Voldemort's red eyes had been vaguely normal, this creature's wasn't. He had no whites in his eyes. It was all red, and a darker red where the pupil should be. His skin was red too, and lumpy, like someone hadn't been particularly careful when they'd made him.

Hissing drew his attention to the gaping hole in the creature's chest. He could see the trees behind him through it … and around the dozens of snakes that inhabited it. They hissed menacingly, flashing their long curved fangs at him.

"What are you?" the words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, but he couldn't find himself caring about the creature's reaction. Not much scared him anymore, not after dying.

The creature's lips tilted upwards in a sad smile, and Harry couldn't remember having seen anyone who'd ever seemed as sad as him.

"I am Lord Loss," he answered, sadly. "I'm a demon."

Harry blinked, frowning lightly. He didn't know much about demon's, just that they were impossible to kill.

"Who summoned you then?" he asked, his hold on his wand tightening. He hadn't yet given the elder wand back to Dumbledore, so it was what he was holding. What better to face off a Demon than an unbeatable wand? "Do I at least get to know who wants be dead before you kill me?"

The Demon shook his head, eyes glittering sadly at Harry. "I'm not here to kill you, Harry," he said. "Just …" his eyes closed and he breathed, "watch. Wars always leave so much pain behind, don't you agree?"

"I s'pose," Harry answered, warily, still not trusting the demon. Then again, he'd probably really have to be crazy to actually trust him.

Lord Loss took a step closer, no he didn't step, he glided. Harry's eyes flickered down as he realized the demon's feet weren't really feet and they certainly weren't touching the ground. He hefted his wand in warning and the Demon stopped with a small smile and a nod in acknowledgement.

"I didn't think it was possible for humans to survive with so much pain in them," Lord Loss said, breathing deeply again. Harry got the strangest feeling he was being smelled. "How have you managed it?"

Harry wet his lips, glancing towards the castle. Way too far to run, and Hogwarts' anti-apparation wards were still up. There was no way to escape … yet.

"I've had things on my mind," Harry answered, his eyes turning back to the demon. "I manage not to think about it."

The demon nodded, as though it actually understood. "And who are you mourning tonight?" he asked, almost conversationally.

Harry felt a wry smile tug at his lips. "Everyone."

"My, that is a big order. Sure you have enough tears?" Harry thought the demon looked a little greedy.

"I've been saving up."

The demon smiled, looking slightly amused. "I mean you no harm tonight, Harry Potter," he said. "Mourn as you will, I simply wish to be near you."

Harry shook his head. "Who summoned you? I know enough to know someone had to have summoned you."

"Yes, but no one you know, and nothing you need to worry about. You couldn't have helped anyway."

Harry blinked at the implication. "You killed them then?"

The demon shrugged, but didn't answer. "Mourn the ones you know, Harry. It is plenty enough. I don't think you'd survive another."

He frowned. "You want me to survive then?"

"For now." Those lips pulled back into another smile. "I could survive on your tears alone for months to come."

For some reason, Harry believed him, and lowered his wand a bit. "You're not here to hurt anybody then? Your word?"

"You'd trust the word of a demon?"

"Probably not," Harry admitted.

Lord Loss actually laughed, and even that sounded sad. "Everyone here is safe from me, Harry Potter, for tonight, as long as you cry for me."

Harry's lips twisted up once more and he dropped his wand to his side. "I can do that," he said. Tilting his head back at the night sky, Harry cried.

Alright, so this is just a little plot that's been running through my head for months. I finally just decided to sit down and write it. I highly doubt there'll be more to it, and if there is, it'll just be short meetings between Harry and Lord Loss. If you want more, let me know and I'll talk to my muse, but right now, this is just a one shot.