Title: Last Chance
Author: Dragon_of_Venus
Pairings: Voldemort/Harry
Rating (Fic): NC-17
Rating (Chapter): PG-13
Word-Count (Fic): 35,000-40,000
Word-Count (Chapter): 5,098
Master List: Here.
Summary: AU after Half-Blood Prince. Voldemort is in control of the wizarding world. Harry is captured and placed under Voldemort's protection because of the horcrux.
Warnings (Fic): Discussions of rape, graphic attempted rape (not in the main pairing), suicide, character death, slurs, sexual harassment, abductions, history of violence within the main pairing, mentions of hate crimes and torture.
Warnings (Chapter): Discussions of murder and torture, discussions of pairings other than the main ones, speculation on character death, and a character within the main pairing kissing someone else.
Contains: Consensual sex between adults, BDSM, masturbation, voyerism, Voldemort-wins AU.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all related characters, settings, and ideas belong to J.K. Rowling, not to me. I receive no money for writing this or any other Harry Potter related piece.
Author's Note: Alright. We're done. This was by far the hardest chapter to write and I want to thank you all for joining me on this little adventure. I really appreciate all of the reviews, both the constructive ones and the ones that just encouraged me to keep going. There are some things I'm not entirely thrilled with myself about this fic, but that just means that I'll probably try again soon. :) Enjoy the last chapter!


Harry sat on his bed at the Lestranges and stared at the light silver watch on Hermione's pale wrist. Ten minutes until midnight. Apparently, Christmas at the Malfoys' meant New Years at the Lestranges'. Harry and Hermione actually preferred the latter, because Harry had a radio in his room. Fortunately, this holiday had come with no additional bad new. That would have been a bit more than Hermione and Harry could handle. They were still in the earliest stages of grieving for Neville, and the grieving process was not being expedited by the (completely expected) lack of support from the Death Eaters in their life.

Harry could still remember talking to Rodolphus about it on Boxing Day. Harry'd been outside, again hoping that the wind and the rain would clear his head and somehow wash away the sins of the night before, when Rodolphus had slipped out. They'd looked at each other oddly for a moment, then Rodolphus had sat down next to Harry on the swing and began to roll himself a cigarette. There was an immediate unspoken agreement between them that they were just going to ignore each other until Rodolphus went back inside, and for a minute Harry sat quietly next to him and waited for him to get his smoking done and go back inside. Then a strange curiosity about how he'd react to Neville's death struck him. Before Harry had time to talk himself out of it, he said, "Neville Longbottom killed himself early yesterday morning, you know."

Rodolphus finished rolling his cigarette in silence. He stared blankly at his finished product for a moment, glanced up at Harry, and raised his eyebrows. "I think Lucius mentioned that yesterday. Light me, will you?"

Harry pulled his wand out of his pocket and did as he was told.

Rodolphus took a long drag of the cigarette, looking away from Harry. He didn't take any particular care to avoid Harry's face when he blew his smoke. "Baby Blood-Traitor's dead..." he said thoughtfully.

"Neville," Harry said. "His name was Neville."

Rodolphus chuckled. "Do you really think I don't know that? We must have heard his name fifteen times a week from the day we were arrested to the day we were sprung, and a lot more frequently than that when we first went in." He shook his head. "It was always 'Poor Neville Longbottom turned five today,' or 'Neville, the boy whose life you ruined, got top marks in Herbology,' and all this bullshit as if we actually cared. Half of them wanted us to feel guilty and half of them just wanted to tell us how great he was doing so we'd feel inadequate, as if ruining the infant's life had ever been the point..." He took another drag of his cigarette. "Fucking Aurors. They do not let it go when you fuck with one of them."

"If you know his name then why do you call him something else?"

"Why does it bother you so much?" Rodolphus chucked. "That's about reason enough... To be honest, though, we couldn't remember his name the day we attacked his parents, so we just started calling him Baby Blood-Traitor... and it stuck, even when every Auror in England made a point of correcting us."

Harry shrugged. "You probably should feel inadequate, though. I mean, sure, destroying Neville's life wasn't your goal, but you didn't even come close to accomplishing your actual goal, did you? What you should have done was—"

"Thank you, Potter," Rodolphus said. "The fourteen years I spent in Azkaban—half of which you were in nappies for—were not long enough for me to figure out my mistakes. I need a fucking kid to tell me."

"I wasn't in nappies until I was eight!" Harry had actually toilet-trained rather quickly, probably more out of survival instinct than anything else, if the Dursley's had treated changing Harry's nappies the way they treated feeding him and tending to all of his other needs. Harry only knew that Aunt Petunias guilt-trips to Harry about the days when she'd changed his nappies had often ended with the note "Thank God it stopped right after you turned two..."

Rodolphus smirked and shrugged, taking another drag of his cigarette.

Harry sighed. "So you really don't care that he's dead?"

Rodolphus' smoke few almost right into Harry's face.

"Potter, I don't care about the deaths of the people I did kill. Did you honestly expect me to cry over the brat of two people that I didn't kill?"

Harry shrugged. "Some people would say that what you did to Neville's parents was worse than killing them."

"Some people can shut the fuck up." Another drag of the cigarette, then: "There's another one I've never heard before... What do you think, Potter? Is it better to be you or to be Longbottom?"

"I thought we were discussing whether it was better to be my parents or Neville's parents."

Rodolphus shrugged. "I don't think any of them particularly mind the states they're in. That's the thing about murdering people. They don't mind for very long. I don't think the Longbottoms can really mind either. I was told they considered it great progress when one of them claimed to recognize the medi-witch who'd been caring for them for ten years. I don't think there's much up there now, including minding. So, the real question is whether it's better to be the Baby Blood-Traitor or the Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Die. Which would you prefer, if you had the choice?"

Harry shrugged. "When you put it that way, there's a lot of other factors that go into it. I'd take Neville's gran over my aunt and uncle..."

Rodolphus paused. He took inhaled on his cigarette once again and studied Harry. "They were muggles, weren't they?"

"Yeah," Harry said, trying hard to make it sound neutral.

"I never understood why they did that to you." He smirked. "You 'saved' the wizarding world, and they tossed you out of it." He shook his head. "I suppose you've convinced yourself there's nothing wrong with that?"

Harry shrugged, again trying hard to make it look like he had no particularly strong feelings on the matter. Honestly, the issue wasn't that Harry'd been raised in the muggle world, the issue was that Harry had been raised in the muggle world by those muggles, and for ten years of his life no one had checked up on him or seemed to care at all what became of him. Or, worse, they had checked up on him, and they had known about his situation, and they hadn't cared. That stung a little, sometimes. It would have been nice to have known who and what he was all his life, rather than thinking he was a freak for ten years and then having the whole truth sprung on him in one night when he was barely eleven.

"Well, that aside...?"

Harry shrugged. "I've always kind of considered Neville basically a fellow orphan. We always understood each other when it came to stuff like this... Or, at least, he understood better than most... I guess it's better when they're really dead. There's more closure this way."

Rodolphus shrugged. "Boy-Who-Wouldn't-Die it is, I guess. But I suppose now there's no one to really care..."

"His gran?"

Rodolphus shrugged. "She'll be gone in a few years."

"That's pretty brutal."

"I'm a pretty brutal guy."

"I've gathered as much. Will you feel better when she's dead and there's no one left to care about your crimes?"

"I don't really feel bad now."

Harry smirked. He kicked the yard slightly, pushing the swing into very slight motion. "I think you do. I think you've just felt bad for so long that you're not sure what it feels like to feel good anymore."

Rodolphus chuckled and shook his head. He let the swing rock. "I think I felt pretty damn good the day I finally got away from those fucking dementors."

"Still," Harry said, "I think somewhere within you there's this little tiny that part that feels terrible. It was there when the dementors were and it was still there when the dementors were gone. You just didn't notice because the dementors were a much bigger problem."

Rodolphus shrugged. "Were hoping that telling me about Baby Blood-Traitor's death would open my eyes to my mistakes or something?"

Harry shrugged.

Rodolphus shook his head. "I don't feel bad. I'm not even surprised. Weak-minded parents had a weak-minded kid. It's not exactly front-page-of-the-Prophet news."

"You had no child. Does that mean you have no mind?"

Harry had dodged Rodolphus' attempt to put his cigarette out on Harry's forehead and had dashed inside the house and up to his room. They hadn't really spoken since.

Harry slipped his hand into Hermione's and intertwined their fingers. Hermione wasn't as thin now as she was when she was first taken to the Malfoy's. They were feeding her properly, then, and that was a relief. She seemed to be doing decently enough, all things considered. Harry wasn't worried about her ending up like Neville, at least. Her parents (if they were alive) weren't in any more danger with her alive than they would be if she were dead, and Harry would probably be considerably worse off. The idea of losing Hermione now was almost unbearable.

She really did seem to be gaining a certain amount of favor with Voldemort, especially now that Neville was gone. He had brought her into his office for several private lessons in how to cast spells, adjust for changes in the parameters mentally rather than completely redoing the maths, and trim out unnecessary wand movements, and her magical abilities had not gone unnoticed by her fellow Death Eaters. When she finally told Harry about her experience with Macnair, and about Snape's intervention, which was still confusing for both of them, she'd quickly followed it up with "But that hasn't been much of a problem lately..."

She'd even been allowed to write Ron one letter after Christmas. Ron had, apparently, been sent back to the Burrow and given a tedious job at the Ministry which mostly involved filing paperwork alphabetically in several filing cabinets that he'd described as "bottomless," though Hermione had been quick to point out to Harry that that wasn't practical and was likely an exaggeration on Ron's part. Ron's parents and siblings were all alive and well enough. His father hadn't been fired and imprisoned during Voldemort's take-over, but rather transferred to the Department of Magical Transportation. He wasn't as happy there as he had been at his old job, but it was an unspeakable relief to all of the Weasleys that he even had his life and his freedom, let alone a decent-paying job to go with them. No one was willing to complain too much.

Bill and Charlie were out of the country and probably never going to return. Harry didn't blame them for that. Bill had married Fleur in England as planned, of course, but after a few months of living under constant terror in the early days of Voldemort's regime, several surprise searches of their home, and Fleur's surprise pregnancy, Bill had made the incredibly difficult decision to leave his family a second time and take his wife and unborn daughter to Paris. According to Ron, he was happy enough there. Charlie was getting very worried about the rise of the Death Eaters in Romania, but that was no cause to come home.

Percy was speaking to the family again. He'd admitted several months ago that he was wrong to mistrust Harry (and it did bring a small smile to Harry's lips to know that he was the cause of Percy admitting he was wrong for the first time in as long as Harry had known him) and he'd spent Christmas with them. He was getting married to some girl named Audrey in February. Harry was invited, officially, and the invitation came with Percy's "most sincere" apologies, but everyone involved knew that the odds of Harry actually being allowed to attend were extremely low. Fred and George still had their shop and were enjoying making Snape's life as Headmaster of Hogwarts (and that still stung, even after all these years) Hell.

Ginny was dating, of course. She'd started dating again just a few months after Harry "ran away to Albania with her brother." Harry had rather mixed feelings about Ginny and Ron joking about that, but at the end of the day, it was their lives as much as it was Harry's. He didn't really have any right to be upset with them. Ron had dropped some hints that she might be getting married to Seamus, but he hadn't said it outright. If that was an attempt to spare Harry's feelings, it was a rather poor attempt.

Still, it was nice to know that Seamus was alive. Harry had been worried about him, since his father was a muggle and he and his mother were blood-traitors, and Harry really didn't doubt that he'd been involved with the Order after school, just as Neville had. It was unsettling to think of him with someone who wasn't Dean, though. What had happened to Dean? Dean had no wizarding ancestry that he could prove... Harry hopedhe'd been taken in by the muggle-born groups and that he'd fled with them.

Then there was the matter of Voldemort. Harry had thought for half a second that "Stop fucking people who killed my parents" might be a wonderful New Years resolution, but in truth he didn't have much fight left in him when it came to these urges for Voldemort. It was a very confusing year indeed when one went from being mutual mortal enemies with a man to fucking him and being under his protection. Harry had quit telling himself it wasn't going to happen again. It probably was. It had very nearly happened the next morning, when Voldemort woke up and found Harry's bloody body lying next to him. (Voldemort didn't sleep much, as far as Harry could tell. Harry was getting somewhat better at being able to sense through the horcrux when Voldemort was sleeping, and it only seemed to happen if Harry happened to be up at some absurd hour of the morning—between two and five, usually.) Harry's conscience (and probably his consciousness, and his not-quite-replenished blood supply) was only saved by an "urgent" fire-call from the ministry. Harry half-hated himself for being disappointed about that.

Harry still had very mixed feelings about his... thing... with Voldemort. He did not love Voldemort. His certainty about that matter, if no other, had never wavered. And Voldemort didn't love or even like him. It wasn't flirting or even gentle teasing when Voldemort called Harry childish, a slut, or a freak, or even when he threatened Harry's loved ones. Harry was and would always be at best a nuisance to Voldemort. Voldemort would never be anything but the cold-blooded monster that murdered his parents to Harry. It was never going to be a very functional relationship.

But Harry didn't really want a functional relationship for Voldemort. He wanted pain and he wanted excitement. He wanted the strange euphoria of coming closer and closer every time to death, only to be pulled out of death's arms at the absolute last second by the man who had so many times tried to send him there. If Harry wanted anything, he wanted dysfunction.

But it might have been about time to see if he could use these flings with Voldemort to get favors from the man. "Get the fuck away from the Lestranges" still seemed like a very good New Years resolution. Bellatrix had not calmed down any since her vow to reveal Harry's fling with Voldemort and ruin him. Harry had gone up to his room after dinner one night and found the words "Truth potion in your food" carefully stitched into his pillowcase, presumably by Twoey. Harry had taken a shower and found the message cleanly removed when he returned. She still made a point of calling him a slut regularly, though usually in off-handed comments rather than in larger arguments, so Harry didn't have as much cause to respond with a comment about her own sexual feelings for her master.

Perhaps he should spare her the trouble and tell Hermione himself. Beyond Hermione, there was no one whose discovery of his affairs would Voldemort would really bother Harry. If the Death Eaters didn't judge him for sleeping with their master, they'd judge him for something else. It might as well be something that was true. Hermione... Hermione would forgive him, eventually. He hoped she would, at least. If he were completely honest about their situation, she didn't have much choice. She had no one else. Maybe she'd understand whatever fucked up psychological needs he was fulfilling with this better than he did, and she'd help him understand. It didn't hurt to hope so.

He took a deep breath. "Hermione..."

She looked up from her watch quickly. She was quietly relieved that they weren't just going to spend the next ten minutes counting down to the new year in silence. Ten seconds would do nicely. Hermione doubted that her first calendar year as a Death Eater would be worth more than ten seconds. Even if the Dark Lord was beginning to show some favoritism to her and reward her in little ways, and the other Death Eaters were largely leaving her alone, she was still spending all of her time around Draco Malfoy, of all people. She was not looking forward to the influx of Slytherins that would surely come with his wedding in May. It was bad enough to have Pansy around more and more frequently... and the idea of ababy Malfoy coming shortly after the wedding, as Lucius and Narcissa had been unsubtly hinting to Draco for months that they expected, was frustrating to the point of being almost unbearable. She would have to do what she could to get away from the Malfoys, preferably before the wedding.

Harry hesitated for a moment, and she smiled at him. Just barely enough time since Neville's death had passed that they were capable of smiling at each other again without it being painful and forced.

Harry looked as though she'd just punched him.

Her smile vanished immediately. "Harry—"

"Wait..." He closed his eyes and took another deep breath. He opened his eyes and looked into Hermione's eyes with his brows set and his lips pursed. "Promise you won't hate me," he said.

Hermione was so stunned by the question that her jaw actually dropped for a second. "Harry... I... Who did you kill?"

"What? No one!"

"Torture?"

"Never in my life."

"Then how could I possibly hate you in present company?"

Harry smiled. A weight was instantly lifted off his chest, because he knew she meant it. She would probably be angry with him, but she reallycouldn't hate him. They had no one but each other, and they would always have each other.

"I have a theory," he said.

"Try me."

Harry took one last deep breath, then he took the plunge. "I fucked Voldemort. Twice."

Hermione blinked. Her face went completely blank for a moment, then her forehead creased, and she went deep in thought, analyzing Harry's words the ways that Harry had analyzed Voldemort's note about Neville, trying desperately to make the words mean something other than what they appeared to. After a long minute of this, the muscles of her face relaxed again and she closed her eyes and took a very deep breath of her own. Her stomach gave an unpleasant flip and she glanced for a moment at the door to Harry's bathroom. A thousand things rushed through her mind, from furious swear words to betrayed sobs, but ultimately only one answer seemed appropriate: "Why would you do that?"

Harry shrugged. "I wish I knew. Do you hate me?"

Hermione shook her head. "No. I don't hate you. I'm a little bit disgusted with you and..." she drew in a staggered breath, "...and rather upset with you, but I can't hate you. Do I really have any right to?"

"What do you mean?"

"After everything Voldemort did to you? I... I mean, it doesn't seem fair to act as though he's my enemy in a way that he's not yours."

Harry nodded.

"So if you can't forgive him—"

"Who said anything about forgiving him?"

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "So you haven't made your peace with him, and you're fucking him?"

"Something like that," Harry said. "In the interest of full disclosure about exactly what my relationship with him is, can I show you something?"

Hermione looked offended, and Harry quickly cut off her thought process by adding, "It won't involve me taking off my clothes!"

Hermione sighed. "Alright then."

Harry haphazardly tugged his collar down and waved his wand, dismissing the glamour spell that he'd had over it. Hermione gasped as the two small but hideous dots became visible. They were still mostly black, but over the course of the week that had very slowly began to turn red. They still bleed frequently, to the point that Twoey had felt obligated to report to Rodolphus that he was frequently finding blood on Harry's clothes.

That had been a pleasant conversation. Harry had been heading down stairs, and as he walked by the master bedroom Rodolphus had casually reached out and grabbed him and pulled him into the dark room. Harry didn't know if he'd been standing there for a while as part of a trap or if it had simply been coincidence, but Rodolphus was lucky that Harry's quidditch reflexes had dulled enough over the years in Albania that Rodolphus had no trouble pulling Harry's wand away from him before he got a fast curse in.

While most of the house was astoundingly normal looking, Harry did not like his first look at Rodolphus and Bellatrix's room. Even with a gas lamp on in the corner, it seemed surreally dark, and Harry was fairly confident there was a spell on the window preventing all sunlight from passing through the rather thin and dreary gray drapes. The room had its own fireplace, and the mantle of that fireplace was covered with skulls and shrunken heads. Aside from a few tapestries depicting the family trees of various pure-blood lines that Harry assumed Rodolphus was descended from (the largest of these by far was the Lestrange one, which went back a good millennium, while others only seemed to go back a century or two, even though the witches and wizards are the ends of them were listed as pure), the room looked like it had been done by an interior decorator who kept her office in Knockturn and who'd done a rather powerful drug before beginning. There were brutal paintings depicting muggles being murdered by wizards, witches being burnt at the stake, and famous dark figures from history casting horrible spells on muggles. Thankfully, none of them were moving.

Harry made a very unnecessary mental note to never allow Bellatrix to decorate his room.

Without saying a word to Harry, Rodolphus had grabbed Harry's collar and tugged it downward. Harry had hissed at the pressure on his wound from his fingers brushing against them, but this only seemed to upset Rodolphus more when he didn't see anything. Harry was backhanded hard and an order to "Remove the glamour!" was barked at him.

Harry obeyed quickly.

"What the Hell?" was all Rodolphus said, and even that was only after a moment of surprised silence.

"They're snake bites..." Harry said. He let his eyes stray to the floor, which was by far the least offensive thing in the room.

"Snake bites," Rodolphus repeated, not as though to make sure he'd heard Harry correctly but as though to make Harry realize what a complete failure as a human being he was for having snake bites on his neck.

"Yes," Harry said through a sigh. He didn't think Rodolphus would quite believe him if he tried to explain that he already felt horrible about them. "Snake bites."

"And is there anything that I can tell the Dark Lord that might save both our skin when I explain to him that his horcrux was bitten by a snake on the neck?"

"You could try reminding him that he is the reason it happened."

Rodolphus relaxed visibly. "Oh," he said. He let go of Harry's collar.

"Yeah," Harry said, recasting the glamour and fixing his robes.

"They're healing up alright?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't seem to have died yet. I doubt Voldemort left anything to chance when he healed me. Now can I—"

"So, not only are you fucking the Dark Lord, it's happening like that?"

Harry rejected several less polite answers and settled on, "I really don't see what business of yours that is..."

Rodolphus had just laughed.

Hermione reached out, and for a moment Harry was afraid that she was going to actually touch the puncture wounds, which were still very sensitive. She didn't, though. Her hand stopped in the air centimeters away from the horrible marks, hovered there for a moment, then fell back to the bed.

"I don't understand," she said, for perhaps the first time in her life.

"Nagini bit me," Harry said.

The look on Hermione's face did not imply a sudden understanding.

"Because Voldemort told her to," Harry said.

"Why?"

"Because I dared him to endanger my life." ("Begged" an annoyingly loud voice in the back of Harry's mind corrected.)

"After you had sex with him?"

"No, before... or... while I had sex with him, I think. Yeah, while."

Hermione nodded very slowly. She did not appear to understand, but Harry didn't think she was going to admit to it twice in such a small period of time.

"Well," Harry said, flipping his collar back up, "Now you know. Nothing Bellatrix or anyone else says can shock you now... Or, at least, if it does it's probably not true."

Hermione took a deep breath. "That's all?"

Harry nodded. "That's all."

"I still don't understand why."

Harry shrugged. "Neither do I, entirely. Ask Voldemort. He certainly has a pet theory." Harry opted not to tell her that Voldemort's pet theory matched with Harry's observations of himself fairly well.

Hermione shrugged. "Alright. I suppose it's not like you've killed or like you're suddenly convinced he's right about everything or anything."

"Not at all!"

Hermione nodded. "Besides..." She shook her head slowly, trying to shake off unpleasant thoughts. "I'm a Death Eater now. There may come a day when I need your forgiveness for something a bit worse."

"Ten!" shouted multiple voices downstairs. Narcissa's and Pansy's were the loudest, with Draco's and Lucius' only slightly softer. Rabastan might have been half-mumbling in there too.

"Nine!"

Hermione and Harry quickly went back to staring at Hermione's watch. They watched the seconds tick by as the Malfoy's counted down. Eight, seven, six—

Hermione grabbed Harry, pulled him in close, and kissed him on the mouth.

"Three!"

"What was that?"

"Two!"

Hermione opened her mouth to explain herself, but nothing came out.

"One! Happy New Year!"

Hermione pulled him in again and kissed him again, this time pushing her tongue into his mouth.

"Hermione!" Harry said, shoving her away. "What are you doing?"

Hermione laughed awkwardly, not seeming terribly offended by Harry brutally shutting down her sexual advances. "Sorry," she said, reaching up to fix her hair. "I just didn't like the idea of Voldemort being the last person you kissed thi—last year. Or the first person that you kiss this year."

Harry turned red from his hairline to his neck. "Actually, he's never kissed me..."

"He's never kissed you? You let him sick his giant snake on you, but he's never kissed you?"

Harry laughed. "It sounds worse than it is when you put it that way. I've never really wanted him to kiss me, and I don't think he's the kissing sort... How would he, even? He doesn't have lips."

Hermione was blushing rather furiously herself now. "Well, I imagine he could. It would just probably feel... interesting."

They both laughed.

"But thank you," Harry said. "I got fucked twice last year. I suppose I should have been kissed once."

Hermione cleared her throat awkwardly. "I was the only...?"

"What? Did you think I was fucking Ron or Rodolphus?"

Hermione's face screwed up unpleasantly. "Neither. I just... I didn't think about it. And speaking of Ron, you probably shouldn't tell him about that."

"Think you two will ever get a chance again?"

"I think..." Hermione was quiet for a minute, "I think that anything can happen, at this point. I was allowed to write him. That was a really huge step, wasn't it? And if I'm ever allowed to leave the Malfoy's custody, I suppose I'll be able to do whatever I want. It'd be... nice. Are you upset about Ginny?"

Harry wasn't sure if he was imagining the veiled question about his sexual preferences or not, but he didn't really know the answer to it in either case. It was not the greatest of his worries about fucking Voldemort. He shrugged. "What right do I have to be? I broke up with her."

"Not by choice."

"And I started having sex with someone considerably worse than the man she moved on to. By choice."

"Fair enough." Hermione shrugged.

"Not really." Harry sighed. "But it's my life. I'd probably better just get used to Voldemort for a little while. I don't imagine he's going to let anyone else get near me for the next few years."

"He's the jealous type?"

"No. He's the absurdly controlling type who's terrified that everyone is out to get him and that someone will kill me if he lets me out of his sight for too long." Harry shrugged. "I'd probably be a terribly boyfriend anyway."

Hermione laughed. "Don't be so hard on yourself! You and Ginny were great... and you're not a bad kisser, you know."

Harry's face was scarlet. "Thanks. You're, uh, pretty good yourself."

"Thanks."

There was a moment of silence, then they both laughed. After a night of reflecting on the last year of their lives, on the camping trip from Hell, on their newfound situations with Death Eaters, and on Harry's newfound relationship with Voldemort, of all people, there wasn't much else they could do.

They were going to be alright. At least alright, if nothing better.