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Ficlet: The way back (Harry/Dennis)
kaellite
It matters not that he defeated Voldemort, all they care about is that he has made Dennis smile again. As he can and does do that, he is welcomed unreservedly. The rest of it takes adjustment. Too many memories of Uncle Vernon make Harry wary of Sunday’s on the sofa watching footie on the telly, at first. He forgets all that listening to Dennis’ vehemence about that team. Harry doesn’t think Dennis is capable of hate, but his boy comes close to that feeling regarding Arsenal. Then, as if to say he knows he takes it too seriously, Den gives Harry a sheepish smile. If Harry were good with words, which he isn’t, he’d tell Dennis that is one of the things he loves about him, that unbridled feeling. Instead, Harry will show him, making Dennis falter with words until he is reduced to moans. Not at the farm though, there Harry is the good future son-in-law. And in time, it becomes easier, so much so that Harry enjoys his days there.

Slowly, over that first year, Harry becomes re-acclimated to the Muggle world, finding many things to like now about it when he views it through Dennis’ eyes. Hermione may be Muggle born, but aside from awkward visits to her restored parents, his friend has fully made the leap into the Magical world. Den seems intent on keeping feet in both and manages with an adroitness that astounds Harry, taking and appreciating the best of each. So Friday nights become movie nights and Harry gets an enjoyable education in Bogart and Ealing Studios.

He also learns, as does Dennis, how to be in a relationship. How to hug when someone needs it, how to say “I’m sorry” and make amends. Silences that were once awkward when one or the other offended, now are comfortable, filled with hugs, private smiles meant only for the other, hands held while they walk along the edge of the woods.
There are other paths, unmarked, that they trod as well, lighting the way. Harry knows to take off on Colin’s birthday. That is the one day, not the Battle of Hogwarts, that Dennis aches and is near inconsolable for his brother. That is the time he needs Harry to be there, a quide out of his grief and back to the land of the living, what he has to live for. In his own way, Dennis does the same thing for Harry on the anniversary of Sirius falling, letting Harry rant about things that aren’t working right knowing the faulty clock or broom is not the issue, and that Harry is aware of that too. He will be there and listen and hug until a few days later when that smile returns and Harry is his best self again.

That is the main thing, they may need each other to bring them back from the dark places or to a world that they didn't trust at one point, but they never need a way back to each other, they never leave.

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