Special thanks: To everyone who's reviewed, favorited, an alerted this story. While it might still get written without you, it definitely wouldn't be posted, and I wouldn't be enjoying it as much. A story's purpose is to be read and enjoyed, and thank you all for letting me know that it is. This is for you.


30 year old Harry Potter didn't like to lose. In the years since becoming a medi-wizard, Harry liked losing even less than he had in school. In a hospital, losing didn't mean the loss of a house cup, or someone else catching the snitch. Losing didn't mean someone else getting the girl, or your schoolyard rival getting the better grade. In a hospital, losing meant death. It meant he was too slow, too unprepared, too stupid to find what was wrong. Here, losing meant he failed yet another child, someone too young to deserve what was happening to them. Someone who'd never done anything. It made him fight harder. It made losing that much more painful.

Harry collapsed backward, only kept from hitting the floor by the nurse on either side of him who caught hold of him and directed his boneless body to a chair. He huffed, desperately needing oxygen. He'd used every bit of magic in him. It was a considerable amount, and he had lasted longer than the others assigned with him. The child, a little girl of six years, was pale and unmoving. As he watched, the child too one harsh, rattling breath, then another, and when she released it, Harry knew she wasn't going breathe again.

Around him, the nurses flurried to action trying to revive the child, hoping to give her yet another chance at life, but Harry knew they wouldn't succeed. She was gone. He'd fought a losing battle from the beginning, spending hours trying to help her when nothing could be done. He watched, emotionally dead, for the moment, as they finally gave up. Someone tried to move Harry, but he waved them off.

"Need a few more minutes," he told them. "Don't think I can stand just yet."

They listened, leaving the room. He had a few minutes before they came back, likely with a pepper up in hand.

It was exhaustion, magical and otherwise, that had him burying his head in his hands, unable to hold back the tears.

"So much sorrow over such a small thing."

Harry bit off a sharp laugh. This was not the first time this particular demon had appeared at the hospital, though always when Harry was alone. Since his kidnapping two years ago, the demon made it a point to show up every couple of months. He hadn't known the demon was summoned that often, and had given up asking who it was. It wasn't his business. He had enough trouble keeping these kids alive.

"Lord Loss," Harry answered, biting back the tears, and the exhaustion. As fond as the demon seemed of him, Harry wasn't an idiot. One didn't appear weak around a demon and expect them to not take advantage of it.

Lord Loss tsked lightly. As Harry glanced up, the demon stared at him from across the room, almost against the wall.

"Don't stop," he said. "Your tears are uncommonly sweet today."

"She didn't deserve to die."

"Do they ever?"

"No." No child deserved to die, but Janet had been at St. Mungo's for over a month, never once losing her cheery disposition, or her ability to make anyone smile. She'd quickly become the pet of the children's ward, and her death would be felt by more than just Harry.

"You cared for her." It wasn't a question.

Harry nodded anyway.

"Was she yours?"

"My patient," Harry answered, a hand coming up to rub his eyes beneath his glasses. There were days he felt far too old for this, despite the fact that he was aging quite gracefully. Unlike both Ron and Hermione, he still didn't have a single grey hair, or any hint of a wrinkle. And it wasn't because his job was any less stressful than his friends'. Good genes, it seemed.

Lord Loss approached the bed, gazing down on the blond child.

"You can't have her," Harry said, finally finding the strength necessary to rise. He'd stop the demon if he had to, though his reserves were nonexistent. He'd always been good at finding something from somewhere, if he needed to.

The demon glanced at him, those soulless eyes still as sad as ever. This time, it seemed to Harry that he missed something, or longed for something. It fizzled his anger as he tried to figure out what that was.

"I'm not here for her," Lord Loss said, sighing one of his sighs that made Harry ache for him. "She was never one of mine. Couldn't be." He grimaced. "Her soul would leave me more hungry than before."

They were silent looking at each other.

"You, however," Lord Loss continued, "continue to be a feast, Harry Potter." The smile he gave seemed satisfied, despite the sorrow that etched across his face. "Only you, I think, would choose a profession where mourning was a requirement. But then, how else would you expel all your tears?"

"I have tears because I feel for them."

"The dead? Why?"

Harry shrugged. They'd had this conversation before. If the demon didn't understand it by now, he never would. Then again, being a demon, Harry shouldn't expect him to understand.

"Twelve years," Harry said suddenly.

The demon blinked, gazing at him with his head cocked to the side in silent question.

"It's how long I've you. Off and on, I mean."


Harry couldn't help but smile, shaking his head at the demon, unable to tell if he really found it that interesting, or if he was just humoring Harry.

"Every time you come, you start spouting about my sadness being fan-bloody-tastic, and how you can't get enough of it, but you've yet to tell me why, or what you get out of it, other than some semblance of a meal. Why are you here?"

The demon was silent, observing Harry without a word. He didn't push, knowing Lord Loss would answer in his own time, if he answered, and nothing else Harry said would make a difference.

"You're different," the demon answered, finally. "Every time we meet, whether there is need or not, you mourn. You feel for those I have taken, and those you lost years ago. The pain never lessens with you. Yet, it doesn't consume you. You grow, and you fight, and push, yet when you mourn, you light up, and you've never been more lovely."

Harry blinked, suddenly uncomfortable. "Sounds like a love confession, mate," he quipped, smirking to hide his discomfort.

"I'm a demon," was the answer, as though it explained everything.

Strangely enough, it did. Demons didn't love anything, except possibly the souls they could collect. Staring at the demon, Harry was struck, not for the first time, just how lonely their lives were. Alone in another realm, hording and scrounging power, keeping themselves from being destroyed by another demon. Never trusting, never loving, never knowing friendship.

The demon blinked at him, surprise flickering through those crimson eyes. "Tears?" he asked, voice softer than Harry had ever heard it. "For me?"

Harry blinked, only then realizing that he was leaking again. He reached up to wipe the salty liquid away, but froze as Lord Loss reached across the bed, fingers stretching out to Harry until they touched his cheek. Harry stood still, fingers wrapped around his wand, should the demon try anything. He didn't, merely caught one of his falling tears on the pad of a finger tip and pulled away. It sat on his finger, a small perfect sphere of clarity sitting against the unfinished flesh of a demon.

Harry's eyes flickered up to the demon's, but all of Lord Loss' attention remained on the small drop of water.

"It's a little soul," Lord Loss murmured, eyes closing as he inhaled slowly. "You humans don't know what you give away by mourning."

"Tears are our souls then?" Harry asked, lips quirking. The demon always had a strange way of talking, or describing Harry. Over the years, it had become almost amusing. In a morbid sense.

"Tiny, fractured pieces," Lord Loss agreed. "You send them out into the world on your tears and wonder why you become jaded to death and loss."

Lifting his finger to his mouth, Lord Loss licked the tiny tear remnant, sighing is melancholic bliss. Harry, after that last little fact, shifted uncomfortably. Was the demon just being poetic? or had he actually just eaten a tiny shard of Harry's soul?

"Don't worry so," the demon murmured, seeing Harry's unease, "your soul is safe enough from me. Unless you offer it to me, I will never get it."

"Good to know," Harry answered. "I'm never going to offer it, you know."

"Perhaps. Humans always want so much. If I'm around when you want something, I may yet get it."

"Magic gives us most of what we want."

"Including a child's life?"

Harry blinked. "Can you save a life?"

"I have before. But," those eyes caught Harry's again, hiding and holding information that Harry would never be able to guess, "so can you."

Before Harry could ask (demand) clarification, the demon vanished. A moment later, the door opened, revealing a nurse with a pepper up potion. Harry sighed, sitting himself down again.

He should probably stop talking to the demon. He should probably tell someone he's being stalked by a demon.

There are a lot of things he should do, but probably won't. There were plenty of things he shouldn't do, but did. Like crying for a demon because they'd never been loved.

Could he be any more stupid?

It's significantly shorter than the last one, but here's another encounter. I did say that not all of them would be the same length. the next one's going to be … interesting. No, it's not the one I hinted on back in chapter 2. I'll let you know when that one's supposed to be next. I need everyone a little older first, and I need to get the relationship/friendship(?) down right between Loss and Harry before that happens.

Also, I feel compelled to tell you, that I got my years wrong. As such, Ron and Hermione's children are a couple years younger than they were in the epilogue.

Anyway, let me know what you think.