Turning by gryffins_door
Harry Potter slowly relished his bottle of butterbeer, surveying the club from his seat at the bar. He had only been here once before, but he knew it almost like a regular. It was dark but elegant, with wood paneling accented in torchlight, high smoky ceilings that seemed to disappear overhead, and numerous high—walled booths in the far corners for those who wished to disappear themselves. The music was loud but not painful, just enough to keep conversations private. His eyes had roved across the dance floor a third time before he spotted her, a vision of loveliness, passing her outer robes off at the check-in station.
Their eyes locked across the room and, butterbeer forgotten, Harry and she began weaving towards each other through the crowd like cats stalking prey.
Once they cleared the other patrons they crashed into a fierce embrace, and Harry kissed her neck, inhaling the scent of her, stroking her back.
“Gin,” he whispered into her ear.
She pulled back just far enough to look up into face. “Oh, Harry,” she breathed, before pulling him into a passionate kiss.
Harry could not say how long they just stood reveling in the heat of their bodies, the taste of their mouths, the touch of fingers roaming across tender skin.
At some point, Ginny pulled on his arm, stepping back towards the swaying couples in the middle of the room.
“Dance with me,” she said.
“Anytime,” he replied, and they melded into each other once again as they ebbed into the swirling tide.
Nothing was said for a long time, then came the small talk, about family, about quidditch, about things of little import, just to enjoy the back and forth of conversation while they could.
“Harry. . . it’s time,” she finally said, uttering the words he had been dreading. “I. . . have to go.”
“I wish you didn’t have to.”
“So do I, but it has to be this way for now.”
“Ginny, I think I’ll be joining you soon.”
“Soon? How soon?”
“Very soon. I can’t wait to be with you.”
“Oh, Harry, I feel the same.” She pulled him into another lingering kiss.
“How do you think the family will take it?” she asked, pressing her forehead against his.
“Oh, I don’t think they’ll be surprised. They’ve seen it coming for ages.”
She chuckled. “I know Mum has been driving me spare. Maybe she’ll give it a rest with you finally there.”
“Maybe I can talk some sense into her.”
“Surely. She’s always had a soft spot for you, you know.”
“I know,” he said, smiling sadly.
“Until then,” she said, giving him one last tender peck on the lips.
She slipped out of his arms, gave him that blazing look he loved so much, and then she was gone.
The dance floor was suddenly vacant and quiet for him as all the life in him had walked away with her.
After collecting himself, he managed to find the exit through the wetness in his eyes and made his way outside into Knockturn Alley.
He gave the bouncer a nod and noted several figures standing in line. Even though admittance to the club was by appointment only, there would always be those hoping for a cancellation or some other reason that they could gain early access.
Harry wanted to tell them — especially the young ones — that it was folly to come, but he knew that it was something they had to discover for themselves.
“Tinker,” he called.
A soft pop sounded a few feet away as a house-elf suddenly appeared.
“Master Harry called for Tinker?”
“Yes, Tinker, take me home please.”
The small creature nodded with a flap of his ears, grabbed Harry’s arm and with another pop they too had disappeared.
Jonathan Potter stood in the crowded living room looking up expectantly as his Aunt Lily slowly descended the stairs.
The somewhat frail woman, now the oldest of the clan, shook her head. “He’s gone.”
Jonathan sighed and hung his head in respectful silence.
He turned to his daughter Gracie, in whose house they were congregating. “I thought you said he went out just night before last?”
“Yes, but he'd been refusing to come out of his room ever since,” she said, fighting the tears leaking down her freckled cheeks. “Tinker took him to Knockturn Alley. I think he may have gone to that club — The Turning Stone.”
“Are you sure?” said Lily. “Papa swore he would never go there again after what happened to Albus. He even tried to close it, but the public wouldn’t let him.”
“When he came back, he had this far-away look until I asked if he was all right. Then he touched my cheek and said, you look just like your great grandmum. ‘Course, he always said that.”
Lily smiled. “It’s true; you never saw her in her prime. She was as beautiful as you — you have the Weasley hair of course, but those brown eyes and the shape of your face are all Mum Ginny’s.”
“So they’re together again?” asked one of Gracie's children.
"He always said he had it on good authority that death wasn't an end, just the next great adventure, so yes, we believe they are together, with your Grandpapa James, Uncle Albus, and all those before them that you've never met."
One of the boys said, "Was he really the Master of Death?"
Jonathan sighed. “The media are going to be in a feeding frenzy over that again. Harry once told me that he purposefully never had all three hallows in his possession at the same time, just in case there was something to the old tale. He even burnt the Elder Wand to ashes and spread it in the Black Lake.”
“He did leave a note,” Lily said. “He wanted me to remind all of you what makes a person live a full and happy life.”
“Tame your desires and don’t dwell on regrets,” the older ones chorused. They had heard Harry’s philosophies before.
“And do you know what that means?” she said.
“I have a feeling you’re going to tell us,” Gracie said.
Lily nodded, smiling. “He wanted me to share some stories, and some of you may have heard these before, but good stories are worth sharing again and again.”
And these stories were part of the Potter lore, begun by Harry himself.
The first was about a mirror that showed your deepest desire, but unless you were perfectly content it was a lie, because it was neither the truth nor capable of providing the vision within.
The next stories were about two men named Albus, both falling victims to their desires, one of whom was able to deal with lifelong regret it caused, the other was not and tragically passed from this life much too early.
The last was the familiar tale of three brothers who met Death and were each granted a wish; one fell victim to desire, one fell victim to regret, and the contented one lived a long and happy life, just like Harry Potter himself.
It was a sad day in the Potter clan, but it was a day of celebration as well, because Harry was with his beloved once more.
If he had the opportunity to look in the Mirror of Erised once more, he would see himself as he was, because he had what was missing all those years ago, a family.
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