Butterfly

Loss

Hermione's face was pale. Parvati looked unnerved. Ron's blue eyes were wide.

"Merlin," Ron swore. "I thought all we'd have to worry about today was exams."

Harry chose to ignore this comment. After his 'episode', Harry had simply shook off his teachers and sat down again at his table, although he was itching to run out of the room. From the corner of his eye he had seen Malfoy doing impressions of him fainting, to which a few Slytherins had tittered. Harry had impatiently finished his paper and waited for the examination to be over. As soon as it was announced that the student's time was up, Harry dropped his quill and raced out into the corridor. He waited for his friends and told them urgently what had happened: that he had seen Lord Voldemort torturing Sirius in the room he had been dreaming about - the Department of Mysteries.

Now all Harry needed was a way there. He had to save Sirius.

"We need to get to Sirius, we need to save him," said Harry quickly as he watched Hannah Abbot exit the exam room.

Hermione sighed. "Harry, shouldn't we tell an Order member? Alert someone?"

"Hermione-" started Harry angrily.

"Harry, she's right," interrupted Parvati. She was leaning against the wall of the examination room with her arms folded over her chest. "The members of the Order are the ones who should save Sirius. You need to think about this logically."

Harry swallowed and closed his eyes.

"You're right," he allowed finally. "We need to hurry up and find Dumbledore then, or Professor McGonagall."

The decision was made, and the quartet rushed to the Headmaster's office. Harry could feel his heart pounding in his chest and hear the blood thumping in his head as he quickly gave the stone gargoyle the password.

His mind was in overdrive: he kept seeing Cedric's body in front of him.

It won't happen again… He told himself.

As he ascended the staircase, Harry became aware of voices above him. A familiar, unpleasant baritone caught Harry's attention.

"Dolores, I am afraid that I cannot let you in. In any case, the Headmaster, along with Professor McGonagall, is currently absent."

Harry reached the top of the stairwell, where Professor Snape and Umbridge appeared to be having a tense conversation. There were bright pink spots on Umbridge's cheeks. They matched the colour of her knitted sweater.

"What do you mean, Dumbledore's away?"

Snape turned to Harry. Umbridge pursed her lips as him - it looked as though she had swallowed a lemon.

"Oh, Mr Potter," acknowledged Umbridge sweetly. "We could only expect such insolence from you."

"Where is he?" Harry demanded intolerantly of Snape, ignoring his Defence teacher.

"It is none of your business where the Headmaster is, Potter," replied Snape smoothly.

Harry tried not to snap again. He was breathing heavy, trying to control his anger. "Snape, please, listen..."

"Potter, using manners?" queried Snape mockingly.

Harry couldn't contain his urgency any longer. "I don't have to time for this!" he burst out angrily. "I…" The green-eyed teenager glanced at Umbridge, then back again. "He has…he has Padfoot…in the room…"

Snape stared at Harry for a long moment, his mouth slightly ajar. Harry took in the meaningful look Snape was giving him. He obviously knew what Harry was talking about. He would alert the Order straight away. Sirius would be safe.

Snape then spoke.

"Thank you, Potter, for wasting my time with your nonsensical rubbish."

Snape quickly bid Umbridge goodbye and moved past Harry. Harry was frozen in shock.

Hermione called after the potions master, but he was fast striding down the hallway.

Parvati grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him down the staircase, Ron and Hermione following in her wake. She sprinted down the corridor.

"Looks like it's up to us to rescue your godfather, Harry," reasoned Parvati as she turned the corner. Harry tried to bury the memories that were overtaking his mind, the echo of Voldemort's voice.

Kill the spare…

Very well, then…

"How are we going to get to the Department of Mysteries, though?" panted Hermione. "And where exactly are we going?"

Parvati turned left as the came at an intersection of hallways. "The Room of Requirement," she answered. "It gives you whatever you want; I figure it can give us a way there."


Harry was now running side by side with Parvati, with Ron and Hermione behind them. Parvati slowed, and Harry thought they were near the Room: but in front of them were Dean, Seamus, Neville and Lavender, all wearing grave expressions. In Seamus's hands was something long and fleshy.

"I'm sorry, guys, but we don't have time-"

"We know, Harry," informed Neville calmly. "We, uh…well…"

"We eavesdropped on your conversation outside the exam," explained Seamus easily, waving the Extendable Ear in the air. "These things work a treat."

"The point is, Harry, we want to help you," Lavender said, her voice strong and uncharacteristically serious. She seemed to be standing close to Seamus for moral support.

"No," said Harry firmly. "I can't let you go and just risk your lives-"

Lavender shook her head. "It's our decision to make, not yours. We aren't your responsibility. We're your friends. Honey, we want to help."

Harry fell like screaming, infuriated with how much time had passed since the vision. Voldemort had threatened to kill Sirius. What if they were already too late? "Okay!" he half yelled. "I…you can come…please…I just need to get to Sirius."

Parvati then led the group of eight to the Room of Requirement. She paced back and forth in front of the wall.

The wall transformed, and the group went in. It was a bare room, apart from a large brick fireplace situated directly in the middle.

"I decided the Floo network would be the easiest way," elucidated Parvati swiftly.

Ron grabbed a handful of Floo powder and paused.

"Should I say 'Department of Mysteries'? I mean, you'd think it wouldn't be that easy to get into the Unspeakables' headquarters."

"Good point, Ron," praised Hermione. "Say 'Ministry of Magic' and we'll have to sneak to the department from there."

Ron stepped into the fire, then Hermione, followed by Lavender and Seamus.

"Harry!" whispered Parvati quickly as Neville departed from the Room of Requirement. She gave her boyfriend a tight hug. "Everything will be okay," she vowed. Harry could tell she was trying to be firm, but he could hear the uncertainty in her tone. "We'll save Sirius."

Harry looked deeply into Parvati's chocolate eyes, seeking reassurance. "You still can't See anything?"

"No."

Harry stepped up to the hearth and threw down his pinch of green powder. "The Ministry of Magic!"


Harry tumbled out of the fireplace, finally coming to rest with his feet over his head. The Floo network, though effective, wasn't the most comfortable way to travel. Harry unsteadily got to his feet, dizzy from the transport. Ron, Lavender, Neville and Seamus were all leaning against the wall opposite to Harry, trying to look inconspicuous. Harry was at least grateful that they didn't have to be in uniform for their exams, and thus were not going to be easily recognised as Hogwarts students.

Harry looked back at the gilded fireplace behind him, and then to the few wizards and witches that were arriving and departing with the fireplaces. Large engraved letters on a plaque on the wall opposite told Harry his was in the Atrium in the Ministry of Magic.

The fireplace roared and one by one came Parvati, Hermione and Dean forth from the green flames. Hermione covered Harry with his father's Invisibility Cloak with the words, "Just so no one recognises the Boy Who Lived and wonders what he's doing sneaking around the Ministry."

Ron volunteered to the lead the way, and he seemed to know where he was going. He snuck the group past the security stand to a series of lifts. They chose the middle elevator and huddled in once the doors opened.

Harry pulled off his cloak and stuffed it in his jeans pocket. Harry ignored the anxious jolt he felt in his stomach as he pressed the button for Level Nine: The Department of Mysteries.

He would save Sirius.

He had to.


"What is this place?" Harry heard Seamus wonder aloud.

"It's the Hall of Prophecies…" Hermione's voice floated softly down the corridor.

Harry stared up at the high, infinite shelves of swirling orbs. He could not feel intimidated by the impressive shelves and their objects. His instincts were screaming danger.

He had his wand at the ready.

The group were standing in the middle of a thin corridor that was lined with shelves filled with the strange orbs that Hermione thought to be prophecies. They were standing in a circle, wands out so that they were covering every angle. The strategy had been Ron's idea.

"This was the room where Sirius was in my vision," Harry relayed to Parvati, feeling frustrated. The sense of danger had only intensified. He just wanted to find Sirius and go home - go back to Hogwarts.

Parvati couldn't hide the fear in her voice. "I still can't See anything," she said despondently.

"You'll get your Sight back," encouraged Harry, feeling hopelessly optimistic. He'd kill for Parvati to have a vision of Sirius safe…and alive.

A voice broke though the tense atmosphere.

"Ahh, how precious. Young love."

Harry's blood turned to ice.

He turned, threatening his wand at the Death Eater.

"Malfoy," he spat. "Where is he?"

Lucius Malfoy feigned confusion, a mocking smile turning up the corners of his lips. "Where is whom, little half blood?"

"Sirius! Where is he?"

The wizard did not answer for a moment. Harry aimed a leg-locking curse at him, but it was quickly deflected.

Lucius's smile grew wider. A muffled scream cut through the air to Harry's right, and he whipped around to see Bellatrix Lestrange holding Parvati by the throat. Her pale hands covered Parvati's mouth. Parvati's eyes were wide with shock and fear as she gagged behind the murderer's hands.

"Now, Potter. You of all people should know that visions can be subjective," answered Lucius Malfoy, gesturing to Harry's girlfriend.

Parvati wrestled against Lestrange's grip, gasping for air. The madwoman laughed, her nails digging into Parvati's skin until she bled.

"Let go of her," ordered Harry, feeling sickened and pained, "and where have you taken Sirius! I know you've got him!"

"It was a ruse to lure you here, Potter," explained Malfoy simply. "Your precious godfather is safe, sound, and not in the possession of the Dark Lord."

Harry faltered.

It had been a trick. Sirius was alive.

"Then why bring me here?" he asked, enraged.

"The Dark Lord wanted to, ahh, test you…and my comrades and I here thought we'd have a little fun."

Malfoy seemed to be enjoying toying with Harry, for he continued, "Potter, you and your mudblood friends mustn't think I'm too nasty…"

Out of the darkness, a dozen more Death Eaters, cloaked in sable robes and terrifying masks fell in behind Malfoy.

Harry swallowed, trying to force the bile back down his throat. It physically sickened him to hear his love been nearly strangled behind him. Lestrange cackled and Malfoy's simpering smile grew wider.

"…I think I'm rather generous when I want to be." sustained Malfoy. "So I'll tell you what, Potter. I'll give you and your lackeys to the count of three before we kill you. I suggest you start running."

Harry chanced a look back at the group. They looked terrified. Harry signalled at them.

They would run and try to aim as many hexes at the Death Eaters as they could.

Harry looked back at Lucius Malfoy with a steely gaze.

"Have it your way," he said, gritting his teeth. He gripped his wand tighter.

Lestrange let go of Parvati. She scampered off the floor, gasping. Harry took a step backwards. Harry couldn't risk checking if she was okay. He couldn't risk thinking about if Voldemort's 'test' was complete. He couldn't even risking worrying about the situation he had gotten the people he cared about most into.

Malfoy started counting.

"One…"

Harry bolted, hot on the heels of Ron and Hermione. He glanced at Parvati as they ran down the lengthy corridor. She had angry red marks along her neck and arms.

Harry's feet pounded into the floorboards as he ran further away from the enemy. He could feel his heart thumping in his chest, the blood pounding in his ears.

Seamus turned sharply to the right, running down in aisle of prophecies. The rest of the group followed. Harry looked up at the high shelves of swirling orbs.

"Reducto!" he incanted, aiming his wand at the topmost shelf behind him. He ran faster, avoiding the cascading shards of glass as the shelves smashed down behind the group. He heard Ron follow his lead and cast the spell. The green-eyed teenager hoped it would hinder the Death Eaters catching up to them.

Harry followed as Seamus threw open a large wooden door and fled inside the new room.

Harry could hear the yells of Death Eaters not too far behind them. Harry took the lead and guided the group to quickly turn left at down a long, wide hallway. The hallway was brightly lit, with strange ornaments hanging. The voices sounded closer.

Hermione shrieked. Harry heard her cry "Tarantallegra!", and he saw a flash of light streak past him. Her curse hit a Death Eater, emitting a loud cry from him.

Harry grinned, but the grin soon fell from his face as he quickly scanned what was in front of him. Three passageways; each an exit from the room. Harry grabbed Parvati's hand, and he, his girlfriend and Hermione ran through the passageway on the far left. They didn't have time to see which ways the others took.

"Potter!" Bellatrix Lestrange's voice echoed gleefully down their passageway. Harry could hear her cackles over his friends' desperate and fast footsteps. Parvati let go of Harry's hand in an effort to run faster. She let out a cry of relief as a flood of light came out from the end of the passageway and into another room. In a few seconds, they had left the passageway and Bellatrix behind.

The room they had entered was brightly lit, the light sparkling like a thousand diamonds. Strange and eerie clocks hung on every surface.

"Where do we go?" asked Parvati, not clearly seeing an exit from the time room.

Harry could hear Bellatrix coming closer. He feebly threw a trip jinx her way, but was unable to hear if he hit his target. Hermione had directed him to exit through a small door she had found underneath an ageing timepiece.

The three of them kept running until a familiar voice was heard, followed by a shriek. Harry deviated sharply to the right.

They entered an almost long, rectangular room with lamps hanging from the ceiling. It was almost empty apart from what appeared to be desks surrounding a large murky green tank. There were things -almost like brains - lurking in the tank.

"Who screamed?" he asked, but he need not have. In the far corner, Lavender's petrified expression gave way to a pained one as she stared at her ankle helplessly. Harry had a funny feeling that no bone should be jutting at an angle like that. Seamus looked a little sickened as he tried to support Lavender. His eyes kept darting over to the tank. It seemed her ankle was not the source of Lavender's cries.

At first, Harry thought Dean and Neville were wrestling Ron: but they were fighting against the brain-like being that had leeched upon Ron's forearms in a stranglehold. Hermione screamed as Ron was helplessly jerked from side to side in his friends' efforts to remove the brain-thing. He did not appear to be conscious.

"What happened?" asked Hermione, petrified.

"We were chased by Malfoy," explained Neville as he struggled. "He cast some weird spell on Lavender, but Seamus got him with a stinging hex."

Harry started to run over to help his best friend Ron, but a low, haughty laugh from behind him rendered him motionless.

"Lestrange," he hissed, his green eyes flashing in anger. She would pay for hurting Parvati.

"Hello Harry," she said in a sweet voice, tracing her strong jaw with a dainty finger.

"Hello Longbottom!" She called over to Neville, her eyes wild with insane delight. "How are you parents doing?"

Neville shot a curse at Lestrange but she deflected it almost lazily with her wand.

"This is so boring," she said, covering her mouth with her hand for emphasis. Her mouth slithered in a coy smile. "How about we have some fun?"

She turned to Lavender, who had managed just to get up. "Aren't you sweet? Crucio!"

Lavender writhed and trashed in pain, her severely injured ankle clashing against the wall. The bone broke through the flesh.

Bellatrix lifted the curse. Lavender appeared to be semi-conscious.

Seamus let out a cry out outrage. He moved until he stood directly parallel to Bellatrix Lestrange.

"Get away from her-" he started to yell, his sandy hair flinging into his eyes.

"Avada Kedavra!" Bellatrix screamed a rapturous lilt to her voice. A blast of green light hit Seamus Finnegan square in the chest and rendered him lifeless instanousely. The force of the killing curse flung him back into the tank. His body smashed into the glass. The murky, jade water gushed out of the broken tank.

Lavender let out a blood-curdling scream.

Harry met Bellatrix's gaze, the horror of what had just happened slowly unfolding.

Her strong features melted into a picture of innocence.

"Oops," she breathed, twirling her wand idly. "Guess I got a bit carried away."

She gave the broken group a swift glance before she ran down the corridor she came out of.

Harry's legs started to move before he realised had he starting chasing Bellatrix Lestrange. Her girlish laughter echoed down the corridor, taunting Harry.

She fled into the room adorned with timepieces.

"Come and fight!" Harry yelled, incensed by her cowardice. He did not hear a response from the Death Eater.

He entered the time room, quickly enveloped by an eerie silence. Bellatrix was nowhere to be seen.

Red eyes set in slitted sockets caught Harry's gaze.

"Hello, Harry Potter," greeted Lord Voldemort as he appeared from under the shadow of a grandfather clock. "I've waited along time for this."

Harry felt like he way going to be sick.

Kill the spare…

"Waited for what?" Harry asked, determined not to show his fear.

Lord Voldemort tilted his head, as if contemplating Harry himself. "To kill you," he said simply.

Harry's knees buckled, and slowly, like a thousand, tiny insects, agonising and unbearable pain crept up along his body, searing deep under his skin.

Harry's jaw moved in agony. "Give up, Harry Potter…" The words hissed out from his lips by an alien voice. "Give up…you cannot win against me…"

The pain had reached his head. His vision was red; he tasted something metallic in his mouth. It seemed from far away he could see Parvati racing towards him, her hands outstretched, determined to save him.

"Harry!"

Harry! Harry! Harry!

The shrieked words reverberated around his mind. That beautiful voice.

Harry! Harry! Harry!

He felt a cool and familiar hand touch his bare forearm. A shock of electricity seemed to pass through his body. He heard screams, his, hers, and the enraged roar of Voldemort. The agony suddenly fled his body.

Everything went black.


Parvati held tight onto her boyfriend's hand, determined not to let go. The cool white metal bar of the hospital bed that she leaned on soothed her sore arm.

"Miss Patil," said Madam Pomfrey, "You've had a tough few days. I think it would be wise to rest."

Parvati shook her head. "No," she answered stubbornly. "I want to be here when he wakes up." She ignored the matron's look of disapproval.

Harry hadn't woken up for three days. It had been a long three days.

It was on the first day that Parvati remembered being gently awakened by her mother, still in the time room; the place had been filled with Order of the Phoenix members. Apparently Snape had been bluffing to Harry. Her mother was cradling Parvati in her arms, as though she were a child again. Harry was being looked over by a aged-looking Sirius Black. Parvati could hear Mad-Eye Moody shouting orders at everyone. Dumbledore was dealing with a very distressed Minister for Magic. Parvati, too exhausted to even lift her head, slowly faded out as her mum assured her everything would be okay.

She had truly woken up in the Hospital Wing, the sterile white ceiling slowly coming to focus as she opened her eyes. It had been the second day. Her whole body ache as though she had been beaten. She remembered with horrifying detail the ordeal. The Department of Mysteries; Harry's vision being a trick; Bellatrix's nails as they dug into her skin; Lavender's screams; Ron's unconscious, strangled form; Seamus's body, lifeless, smashing into the tank; Harry, possessed by Lord Voldemort; her body so anguished as she touched his arm; the infinite number of visions that flashed before her eyes as she screamed; the way her mind abruptly became blank before she succumbed to unconsciousness.

Hermione, Neville and Dean has suffered only minor cuts and bruises, and had been waiting, bleary-eyed, for their friends to wake up. Ron would have scarring from his ordeal with the brain, but was otherwise unhurt.

Parvati too had come away with little physical injury: it was her Sight that worried her. Something had happened when she had touched Harry when he was possessed. Parvati had tried to force a vision, but it was as though her Sight hit a brick wall every time.

Lavender's ankle had been instantly repaired, but it seemed her wounds went far deeper.

Lavender had stared, almost dazedly, at Parvati as she had whispered, "S-Seamus and I…we…we…"

Parvati's blood ran cold. "You two were together?"

"Yes," Lavender replied, hopelessly repressing a strangled sob. "For the last m-month or two. We were going to…announce it…after the exams…"

It still had not fully registered to Parvati that her friend was dead. It didn't seem real. She and Lavender had spoken just earlier that morning. None of them knew where Seamus' body was: his family had arranged for a private funeral in a few days time.

Parvati was brought back to the present moment by Harry stirring.

Harry had only suffered minor injuries from the fight in the Department of Mysteries. According to Dumbledore, the possession would not leave any lasting wounds.

Parvati wasn't so sure: Harry had been through so much. He had seen so many people die. He had been tormented and manipulated by an adult man. Surely, that would leave a scar?

Harry slowly came to awareness.

"Hi," he said, his voice hoarse.

Parvati felt a tear slip down her cheek. "I was so scared for you," she whispered.

She gently placed Harry's glasses on his face. Harry gave her a faint smile.

"You saved my life," he croaked.

What?

"Voldemort…when he…when he was using me, you touched me, and it sent him away."

Parvati climbed into Harry's bed and stretched out alongside him. It felt so right to be next to him.

"Thank you," Harry finished.

Parvati kissed him on lightly on the lips. He looked more exhausted than Parvati felt.

"Go to sleep," she encouraged softly, tracing the dark circles under his eyes, and Harry obliged.


Lavender was staring into her lap, her long black skirt pooling into her lap. Today was the day of Seamus' Finnegan's funeral. It was being held in Seamus's hometown. They had been granted special leave to go – Neville, Dean, Harry, Ron, Parvati and Lavender. The two girls were getting ready.

"Parvati?" Lavender broke the silence with her fragile voice.

"Yeah?"

"I…I've been thinking…you know how I have that modelling contract? Well, I've been offered to model full time. They say I have a good chance of making it big."

"Oh," replied Parvati, her insides cold with dread. She was going to lose her best friend. "Are you going to take the offer?"

Lavender brushed a few stray tears away with her dainty fingers. Her voice was thick with emotion as she spoke. "I don't know, Par…I don't know if I can come back…"

Lavender collapsed into sobs. She muffled them with her cardigan. After awhile, she grew silent. She soon revealed her blotchy red face from her clothing.

"Lav?" asked Parvati gently.

Lavender made a small noise in reply.

Parvati bit her lip. "I can do your make up if you want."

Lavender slowly met Parvati's eyes. "Okay," she whispered dully.

Parvati set about doing Lavender's make up. She applied the foundation against Lavender's perfect skin, rouge on her cheeks, eyeliner and mascara for her eyes. As Parvati let the red lipstick run along Lavender's pale lips, two dark tears fell down the girl's pale cheeks and over the ridge of her cerise upper lip. Lavender closed her eyes.

"I can't...I can't wear any, not today," Lavender whispered brokenly. She went into the bathroom and washed her face.

Parvati followed. Wordlessly, she picked up the washcloth that rested on the ivory basin and wiped it along the side of Lavender's face. It hurt Parvati to look into her best friend's eyes. Her blue eyes held so much sudden and furious grief. Parvati never truly knew how much love Lavender could possess: her past, casual relationships hadn't given any evidence to the solemnity of her character. Everything with Seamus had been so quick and wonderful, only to die in a brilliant spectacle of sorrow.

Lavender fell against Parvati, tugging at the hem of her black dress.

"Why?" was all she asked.

Parvati could not give her an answer.


Parvati watched as the scenery whipped by behind the windowpane. Seamus's funeral and the Leaving Feast had treaded by slowly and painfully. This train trip was like no other. No one had spoken for nearly half an hour, too consumed and numbed from the loss of their friend, their classmate. Lavender, who was sitting on the opposite seat in Parvati's train compartment, stared unseeingly out the window, her blue eyes bright in the glass reflection.

The brown-haired witch found small comfort in the sensation of Harry's weight as he sat next to her.

Harry shifted in his seat. Parvati felt his lips against her skin. She turned to see him standing up.

"I'll be back in a second," he said softly. His expression was oddly guarded. "We're almost at London, I just want to say goodbye to Ron and Hermione."

Parvati nodded, giving him a small smile as he left the compartment. She felt a dull weight pressing on her head, making her eyelids heavy. It lasted only for a minute, maybe more. She was anxious to see her mother: she had only confessed to Harry that she thought something might have gone wrong with her Seer abilities.

Soon enough the Hogwarts Express slid into its stop at Platform 9 ¾.

Parvati slowly exited with Lavender. She said a tearful goodbye to her best friend. Lavender said she would call in before she would make any real decisions about her future.

"Parvati!"

She whipped her head around to find Harry making his way through the bustling crowd.

"I need to tell you something," Harry said sincerely, his voice cracking. He looked as though he was about to cry. "This is not…I wish it wasn't now, with everything that's happened…"

"I love you," he said honestly with an almost pleading look on his face. Parvati could feel tears welling in her eyes. What had happened?

She unconsciously moved closer towards Harry, and he wrapped his arms around her. She buried her face into his chest, feeling both anxious and safe.

Harry cleared his throat. "I just…I think I might need a break, from everyone, really."

Parvati stared, stunned as Harry continued. She could not hear the crowd, only his voice.

"A couple of weeks, not too long."

Parvati turned her head and met Harry's eyes. He gently wiped a tear from her soft cheek.

"I just need time to sort myself out," he explained slowly. "I'll see you when I'm ready…"

Parvati couldn't hold back a sob. She should have expected this - she certainly understood. She could not blame him for this decision, sudden as it was. She knew Harry needed this time for himself. She knew they would be okay.

It hurt so much just to think about being be apart from him, not be able to talk to him, after the year they had had…

"Okay," she agreed shakily. They silently rocked back and forth on the spot, holding each other so tight that it hurt. Parvati heard Harry sniff. Parvati squeezed tighter against her love. It was like letting go half of herself.

She gave him a goodbye kiss. "I love you."

"I love you too," Harry declared back, "with all my heart."

"Bye," Parvati whispered, as Harry stepped away from their embrace. He looked almost pained by the physical separation.

"Bye," he replied, and he hastily wiped a tear from his face.

He just needs time, Parvati said to herself as she and Harry parted ways.

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