Just a warning. This is not Epilogue Compliant. I have never agreed that Harry would be with Ginny. If, and I mean a big IF, he ever dated her, I don't see it lasting. Certainly not long enough to marry and have three kids. While I love what the fandom has done with those children, I still cannot get over my distaste of the pairing. As such, it's rarely ever going to be seen in my writing. Other than that, Enjoy.

A Midnight Meeting

By Allanasha Ke Kiri

It had been five years since the the Battle of Hogwarts, as the papers and history books called it. Hermione was taking the Ministry by storm. There were some even whispering that she'd run for Minister in the next ten years. Ron was an up and coming Auror who'd passed the training with flying colors and was making quite the name for himself hunting down dangerous wizards. Neville had started a plantation full of dangerous and precious plants, which people all over the country sent for. Luna ran the Quibbler, which was still seen as a fringe paper, and rarely taken seriously. Ginny, after a rather disastrous break up, had left England for Greece, where she enjoyed an adventurous profession seeking out the magical components of Ancient Greek religious rituals. Rumor had it she had a book coming out in the next year.

As for Harry, once he'd finished mourning, he realized that, despite what he'd told McGonagall all those years ago, he didn't want to be an Auror. He didn't want to spend his life hunting someone down. He didn't want to spend his life fighting, or chasing the guilty until that was all he could see in everybody. Despite several attempts from the Auror department to recruit him, Harry remained steadfast in his desire for something else. What that was eluded him until his godson, then only a year old, came down with a rather nasty disease variant. The medi-wizard who'd seen to Teddy had been professional, dedicated, soothing, and knew what he was doing. Harry had watched the man save his nephew with awe. Here was this man, using his knowledge and considerable magic to save a life. What had Harry ever done but take them?

After some research, he had taken his newts - Much to Hermione's pleasure - and was pleasantly surprised to find that he had the necessary ones to go into medi-wizardry. He'd even found, to the shock of nearly everybody, that he had a talent for it. Healing came as naturally to him as defense had, and now, after four years of struggle, Harry Potter was a medi-wizard in training. Like the man who'd inspired his career choice, Harry specialized in children.

Unfortunately, they were also the hardest to let go.

Harry collapsed in a park away from St. Mungo's. He didn't want to go home, not yet, but if he stayed there any longer, he wouldn't be able to go on. The past month had been hard for everyone. A new disease had swept through England, called 'Dragon's heat' for the fever that was its first symptom. If not caught fast enough, it would kill its victim within 24 hours, their own body heating up to such proportions that it basically cooked itself. Even if it was caught, there was no guarantee of survival. The second symptom turned their sweat - which was naturally produced to fight the fever - to an acidic consistency. The victims had to be bathed by the hour to keep it from eating into their own skin. the final symptom, and the one that lost them the most, was the closing of the airways, and the hardening of the heart. They had lost over half the the victims before someone had found a potion to stop it.

Dragon's Heat only targeted children.

Harry leaned forward, head resting in his hands as he contemplated his own uselessness.

"Such sorrow."

Harry's breath caught. He shot to his feet, hand on his wand as he turned to face the speaker. It was the demon. The one he'd seen the night of the battle. The one who'd wanted his tears.

"Lord Loss," Harry murmured, the sight of him bringing back memories Harry had managed not to think about for years.

"Yes," he replied, voice as sad as Harry remembered him. He hadn't changed at all, body still half-formed, a hole still in his chest, feet still not touching the ground. "And you're still so sad. Are you still mourning?"

"Mourning again," Harry corrected, still tense, still wary of the demon. They weren't to be trusted, after all, no matter that he hadn't tried to harm him before.

"And still so strong." Lord Loss cocked his head too the side, observing him with those red eyes. "How do you survive it?"

"Practice," Harry replied, lips twisting upwards in a wry smile.

"You are always sad then?" He asked, gliding forward.

Harry's wand slipped out of its holster and into his hand, pointed at the demon. It might not be the elder wand, but he wasn't exactly defenseless. The demon stopped, a sad smile appearing on his lips as he gazed at Harry. It almost - almost - made him feel bad about not trusting the demon.

"Still so distrustful."

"Well," Harry said, "I notice you haven't said you don't mean me any harm this time."

"And why would I wish to harm such a splendid feast such as yourself?"

Harry blinked. He supposed he had been the one to bring it up, and Lord Loss hadn't made any secret last time that Harry's tears would 'feed me for months', but he wasn't prepared to be someone's meal. It was positively undignified.

"You'll forgive me if I'm not reassured," he said. "Sometimes, life is worse than death."

The demon nodded, once again seeming to understand Harry's meaning without him having to explain it. Strangely, it helped Harry relax.

"Who summoned you this time?"

"Does it matter?"

"I suppose not. Are they dead?"

"Surprisingly, not," Lord Loss answered. "They ... won, you could say."

"Won?" Harry barked out a laugh of astonishment. The demon grimaced. "Won what?"

Silence reigned for a time while Lord Loss observed him through shuttered eyes. "If I tell you, will you mourn for me?" he asked, voice a bare whisper.

"As long as you don't intend to kill, or kidnap me, I suppose I can do that." He was going to do it anyway, might as well get something useful out of it. A demon appeased was a demon less likely to rip him apart.

Lord Loss inhaled, eyes closing in satisfaction. "Chess."

Harry blinked. "Chess? You play chess? Someone summoned you to play chess?"

"You know how it is," the demon replied, airily, "a cursed family, a demon has a cure. I need some enjoyment."

He raised an eyebrow. "The cure depends on their winning, doesn't it?"

Lord Loss nodded. "Of course."

"And you feed off their misery all throughout the game."

The demon nodded again, a heavy sigh leaving his lips.

"What do you need me for then?" Harry asked, now morbidly curious despite himself.

A pause. "I have never known a mortal who grieves like you, Harry Potter," the demon admitted, eyes closing in what could be rapture if it weren't for the sorrow still etched into his features. "You grieve like a dozen mortals in unison have given their hearts and souls to it. You grieve like it is the last thing you shall ever do. You grieve like you were born to do so."

It was a disturbing description, and not one Harry would have ever thought applicable to himself. The demon's eyes opened once more, his gaze cutting of Harry words. For a moment, he couldn't breath, caught in that dark, greedy, possessive gaze.

"Well," he managed, after a long moment. "It's nice to be appreciated."

"What brings you misery tonight?" The demon asked, keeping his distance, though Harry's wand had dropped back to his side again.

"Children," He admitted. "Hundreds of them, all dead before they had a chance." The tears choked his words away. Silence reigned as the fought not to let them fall. The demon waited, watching with bated breath, gaze more greedy than every as it took in every subtle change in his expression.

"There was nothing I could do." He'd bathed skin, administered fever reducers, carried out countless errands, and for naught. Hundreds of children had died in the last month because they couldn't do anything to save them. "Nothing any of us could do. We tried. Merlin, we tried, but nothing worked. I've never felt so useless in all my life."

His head bowed, no longer even looking at the demon. "They were children. They didn't deserve this. They couldn't have deserved this. They've barely lived." He swallowed. "One girl, about eight, told me she wanted to work with dragons. She never will now."

They'd all had dreams, and now none of them would get to realize them. None of them would go to Hogwarts, attend classes, get a career. They'd never be disappointed, or experience love.

"So mourn," Lord Loss breathed.

Given permission, Harry closed his eyes and let the tears fall, remembering each of the children he hadn't saved.

It took like seven years, but I reread the one shot and my muse thought another installment was in order. For those of you who wanted another meeting, and for those of you who alerted this years ago, your dedication has paid off. Here is Lord Loss and our resident (no longer a) boy hero.

Also, in case anyone is wondering, I'm ignoring timelines for this. Unless otherwise stated, every meeting is set before the main series. If it ever meets up, I'll let you all know (assuming it ever does). As of right now, I've got one other segment that's been playing through my head for a few years now, and now that I've got some inspiration, I might actually write it up. Other than that, we'll see.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. It felt a little repetitive to me. Almost a 'different place, same scenario' kind of thing. Let me know what you think.

Allanasha Ke Kiri