For the movie I saw early yesterday morning, and was so affected by.
"Don't stray too far…"
"I'm fine," Harry said, and meant it. He dared to go farther, testing the limits of his mentor's patience (and, it was to be admitted, his nerves).
Albus Dumbledore closed his blue eyes and muttered something very offensive. He was in a foul mood today, a morbid anniversary of all days, and so cursed himself—self-loathing did that to him, made him want to curse the day he had been born and let loose to wreck the lives of others.
He was a monster in human clothing.
"Come on, Professor!"
Harry didn't seem to see him that way, though.
"I'm coming," he replied, and heard the softness in his own voice. As always, the boy undid him.
They made it to the cemetery at last. Harry glanced at Dumbledore, feeling uncertainty for the first time since they had left Hogwarts.
"Should I just…?"
"No!" Dumbledore's protectiveness answered for him; he worked to lower his voice, gentle it. "No… please, do not go ahead alone. Please, Harry… follow me."
Harry did, without question.
How does he deal with me? Albus wondered, his blue eyes piercing the boy before he spun around to lead him. Why does he stay around me, when I have remained watchful and protective of him even now? He could surely find more cheerful company in his friends, in his parents' friends…so why me?
Harry tripped on an exposed root and yelped; almost immediately Dumbledore whirled around to catch him, steady him on his feet.
"Are you all right?"
Harry gave him an enduring sort of grin, an Everything's all right grin that made Dumbledore relax a little and move to lead him past the numerous gravestones.
They walked on for only a few minutes more, until at last they reached the row of tombstones they had been looking for.
Each one stood untouched, gleaming from its last visit. Flowers had been placed around certain ones—Harry waved his wand and new flowers appeared around others. He moved closer to his mentor so that he could examine the names magicked into the stone, as they always did when coming here.
After the long journey, it was too much for Dumbledore. His blue eyes filled with tears—the tears I had to keep in my eyes before, so as not to seem weak or despairing. But the war is over now… now I may weep all I wish.
Harry did not shed any tears—he had done enough of that on the journey. He missed every face behind the tombstone, of that Albus was certain—but he knew in his heart, too, that he would see them again one day. There was never really an ending—only a new beginning.
They'll always be with me. I can always return.
It was a strangely comforting thought.
"They're probably having fun on their new 'great adventure', Professor," he murmured quietly, and looked for his Gryffindor courage—upon finding it he reached out, hesitantly, and wrapped his arm around Dumbledore's shoulders.
It startled the old man, but he did not move away. Instead he closed his eyes, still wet with tears, and relished the closeness. Albus had lost so many in order to end the war—some would say too many, and he would agree wholeheartedly. He had lived in constant fear of losing Harry, too, for the past four years. When he had not, the slightest bit of paranoia set in—he wanted the boy as close as possible, and Harry, equally shaken by loss, had not protested at all.
Even now he stays.
Albus moved now to dispel Harry's obvious uncertainty—he wrapped his own arm around the boy's—man's, how easily he forgot—shoulders, and pressed a kiss to his messy hair.
At last, looking upon their sleeping loved ones, he answered the boy.
"Yes… they probably are."