The voice was soft and sweet, the sound alighting a memory in the back of his mind. He mumbled softly, wanting the voice to leave him alone to sleep some more.
He was so tired after all…
"Harry." A part of him wanted to wake up, the voice was so insistent… so familiar. But did he really want to face whatever it was his mind was hiding from?
It wouldn't mind… if he merely slumbered for a few hours more… right?
A warm calloused hand touched his cheek, making his eyes flutter open. He looked up and stared into familiar warm brown eyes.
"Neville?" He questioned before sitting up and looking around. They were in the quidditch pitch, his old Firebolt was beside him, showing the wear and tear from years of constant use. He frowned in confusion, he hadn't been here, had he? He had been competing in something… he was sure of it. He stilled as he looked down at his hand, seeing the scars that had been missing ever since…
"You were sleeping for a long time." Neville smiled, his eyes crinkling up at the ends. "Was it a good dream?"
"I... I can't remember..." Flashes of his dream, for it had to have been a dream passed by his eyes. He shook his head and smiled up at his-
"Sorry I was out for so long."
Neville narrowed his eyes playfully. "You better be." He stood up, and Harry startled for a moment as instead of school robes, he took in the dark green healer robes the other wore. "You missed your evening classes, and while your students were overjoyed with having a free period, the rest of us were not."
Harry stared up blankly, shakily getting up on his own two feet. Students, classes…
Had it really been so long?
"Are you alright?" Neville asked him, worry laced in his tone as he hand came up to rest once more on Harry's cheek. His eyes widened at the feel of cold metal on one of Neville's fingers, similar to the band he now noticed laid on his own. "Yeah..." He shook his head. "Yeah I'm fine, just still lost a bit in my dream."
Neville hummed, trying to look stern but failing. "Ah well, just try and seem a bit more bashful in front of Minerva and you should be fine." He grabbed hold of Harry's hand, shocking the other for a moment. "Come on now, it's almost time for supper."
It had been a dream… hadn't it?
There had been pain… so much pain in that dream… but… it wasn't real… this… this was real…
"What are you thinking about to put such a deep line on your brow?" Neville questioned as he walked out of the shower, a towel wrapped around his waist. Harry blushed as he stared at the small droplets of water running down the other's broad chest.
A deep chuckle startled him and he blinked up to stare into heated brown eyes. "Like what you see?"
He blushed fiercely and coughed, turning his head to the side to stare at his pillow instead. He tugged gently on the silken fabric, not able to remember the last time he slept on something so soft.
"I was thinking about that dream again… I know it wasn't real but..." He frowned, that feeling of unease had returned again. He fiercely shoved it down, not wanting to think on it for even a second longer.
"Sounds like you're really caught up in it." The bed dipped and he jumped slightly as warm arms wrapped around him. "Will you tell me about this dream of yours?"
Harry shook his head, leaning into the others warmth, feeling himself calm with each passing heartbeat. It felt right being here… he smiled. He knew it had been just a dream.
Neville hummed thoughtfully, raising a hand to run it through Harry's messy locks. "If you're sure..."
"Yeah." He smiled at Neville. "I'm sure."
It had all been just a terrible and sad dream, now he was awake and back where he truly belonged. The dreams meant nothing…
He fell asleep feeling safe and warm, ignoring with all his might the feeling of unease that simply kept growing.
The days passed peacefully with just him and Neville together in the castle. The students were gone for the holiday, and he thankfully didn't have to worry about grading any papers or assigning any work. Each time he even tried to go to where his classroom was Neville would lead him away to have fun elsewhere.
Not that he really needed an excuse to ignore his work.
They had the castle all to themselves, and had taken full advantage of this fact to try act like school children again as they ran about and played. It was fun, being with Neville again, not that the other had ever left him.
They were in the greenhouse now, relaxing from earlier as they surrounded themselves with the heady scent of flowers. The air was warm and humid yet still comfortable as they sat in the one iron worked table to enjoy their afternoon tea in.
"I've missed being able to play like this." Harry grinned. "Next summer, let's go away together!" He grew excited at the thought. "I'm sure Minerva wouldn't mind! We could go and visit everyone, It'll be like we're all together again!"
Neville smiled sadly. "I'm sure the others would love that idea."
A comfortable silence grew around them, neither of them feeling up to breaking the silence that grew between them as they simply enjoyed the garden around them.
"I wonder what Ron and Hermione are up to..." Harry spoke up, reaching over and grabbing a biscuit to dunk into his tea as he did so. "They haven't sent us any letter's recently, do you think they're busy?"
"Luna hasn't either, well, I'm sure she's busy with trying to find more magical animals but she could still send us a letter or two."
"And Remus and Tonks too! I want to spend some time with Teddy." He huffed, shakily grabbing another biscuit only to accidentally make his cup drop to the floor, destroying the fine china as the tea splashed all around them.
He froze, starting to shake as he stared at the ruined cup. "I'm sor-"
"It's fine." Neville smiled softly before bending down to pick up the shattered pieces. "Accidents do happen after all."
Harry nodded jerkily. He froze as a thought entered his mind. "Why aren't you using your wand?"
Neville stopped for a moment, before going back to picking up the small pieces of glass. "I forgot it in my study."
"But you always keep your wand on you… you even badger me about it!"
Neville smiled sheepishly. "Must have slipped my mind."
"Where is everyone Neville?" Harry stood up quickly, not even noticing his chair fall to the floor as he focused his attention on the young healer before him. "Why are we here all alone? Minerva always stays at the school, and Hagrid does too, so why-"
"What happened after the war Harry?"
He felt his insides freeze at the question. Without sparing the other another thought he turned and rushed to the door, ignoring Neville's shouts behind him. He slammed the door open and ran out, barely paying any notice to the figure watching with dark purple eyes as he ran back into the castle.
"I'm sorry about this afternoon." Neville looked so down and upset, making Harry feel as if he'd kicked a puppy. They were in their chambers, the fireplace the only light around them. He chewed on his bottom lip for a moment before sighing and moving over to sit next to Neville on their chaise, enjoying the feel of warmth as he sat next to the other. "It's alright."
Neville wrapped an arm over the younger man's shoulder, bringing the two of them closer.
"Will you tell me about your dream one day?"
He swallowed thickly.
He was hearing voices again. It reminded him of second year, except this time there was no one around for him to tell about the voices he was hearing. He and Neville were the only ones staying in the castle, and he wasn't about the worry the other over what he was hearing. He kept trying to follow the low murmurs, racing all around the empty castle to try and find the source. But by the time he arrived to where the voices had been coming from, they would disappear again.
He growled out angrily as he came to a stop by the area that had once hosted the dragon arena for the Twiwizard Tournament. The voices seemed strongest here, but as always…
He stilled as he spotted a figure staring over at him from the forbidden forest. He froze, feeling fear burrow it's way into his heart before he started to chase after the figure.
There was no one here but him and Neville right?
He ran as fast as he was able, the branches from the trees and the dense undergrowth causing him to slow. Not once did he think to use his wand. After all, he couldn't remember when he'd seen it last.
"Dammit!" He shouted out in anger after losing sight of the stranger he'd been following. He slammed his hand angrily against the oak tree, not feeling any discomfort for the action before moving to rest his forehead against the tree as he tried to catch his breath.
It was at that moment, as he allowed himself to calm down that he noticed something strange…
The forest… once filled with the sounds of birdsong and other songs of nature… was silent.
He couldn't hear anything moving in the forest besides himself.
"Where is everyone Neville?"
Brown eyes blinked at him in surprise. "They're all on holiday remember? They left the castle to your care and mine."
Harry nodded, looking down at his plate. The food looked delicious but…
"The war-" Harry bit his lip before turning to look over at Neville. "What happened after the war?"
Neville smiled at him sadly. "You already know."
Harry swallowed thickly. "We won right, and then you… you wanted to stay with me." He felt his eyes burn with tears but he refused to let them fall. "We won, right Neville?" When silence was all that answered him he felt a cry leave his lips as he grabbed hold of the one that had stayed beside him till the-
"You're here." Harry gritted out as he tried to hold back his sobs. "I can feel you, you're here. So tell me… Tell me we won." He looked up into those eyes, those painfully kind eyes. "Tell me!"
Warm, warm arms wrapped around him. He felt a soft kiss be placed on his brow.
"Will you tell me your dreams?"
"They're alive there… my parents… everyone's alive and so young… so happy."
"Then why are you sad?" Warm calloused fingers came up to wipe away his tears. "Why do you keep crying?"
"Because-" Harry felt his voice break as a sob unwillingly left him. "They're not you! They're not any of you!" He cried, holding onto Neville as if the boy would fade away should he let go. "I wanted to be with everyone! I wanted to be with all of you again! I wanted to keep our promise-"
Warm lips touched his own.
With one last sob he let his eyes fall shut.
"Before the war, there were a lot of things I wished for." Neville whispered to him, his voice soft and quiet, making Harry have to strain his ears to hear him. "I wished I had been braver and asked you to dance at Yule. I wish I had been there when he hurt you, I wish you didn't have to see me die." He ignored Harry's hoarse sob at the last part. "But want to know what I wished after?" He smiled softly, holding Harry close.
"Beyond all else, I wished for you to live, for you to find the happiness that has been denied you for far too long." His arms shook a bit, but he only moved to hold Harry tighter against him. They were at the lake, watching the sun set.
"The others Harry… They wished for this too, all of us… every single one… wanted nothing more then for you to live." He stared out across the lake, watching the fireflies come alive.
The murmurings were growing louder again and in his panic Harry held closer to the one he'd never wanted to leave.
"But I don't want to leave you!" Harry cried, his shoulders shaking as he held onto Neville. "I want to stay here with all of you."
"Maybe one day… you can." Neville smiled at him, even as his own tears fell down his cheeks. "But that day… is far, far from now."
He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to the top of the teens messy hair.
"It's time to wake up Harry."
Emerald green eyes widened as he shook his head. "No, no please! Just a little longer please!"
He closed his eyes as a warm hand came to rest on his cheek. "I know it hurts right now, but one day the pain will fade… We'll always watch out for you… but Harry…"
"It's time to wake up."
Emerald green eyes fluttered open, meeting with dark curious purple.
The next moment everything went dark as the screams began.
A/N: I might come back and add more to this chapter at a later date. Thank you everyone for reading this tale, it means a lot to me. Thank you.