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A Holiday in Provence

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Harry Potter wasn't great at taking holidays. He wasn’t sure he’d ever truly relaxed a full day in his life. Even after the nightmares and aftershocks of the war faded, there was an internal restlessness that permeated his very being, a need to avoid immobility and all the trepidation that came with it. Standing still for too long made you think and dwell. These were all pesky things Harry had spent most of his adult life avoiding.

This wasn’t to say he never had fun. There had been Quidditch matches with his family, lifting little Lily onto his shoulders while Albus and James clung to his legs, Ginny beaming beside him, her wind-whipped cheeks flushed a healthy pink. There had been pub nights with Ron and Neville and occasions when Hermione expanded his cultural net with evenings at the theater in the West End. But to lounge about, soaking up the sun and emptying one’s mind simply for the sake of doing so? It sounded like the makings of a dangerously ticking time bomb to him. No chosen activity, no goal in mind other than this elusive “relaxation” he’d heard so much about? That was a riddle of life Harry didn’t have the tools to solve, and that had been just fine with him. Until now.

With his retirement from the Aurors, his divorce from Ginny, and the kids all grown up, it was a puzzle he could no longer avoid confronting. Idleness was everywhere he turned. All of the aspects which had filled his life to the brim suddenly evaporated, almost overnight, and he was left merely with himself. Harry didn’t know what to do with himself. How does one live purely for selfish pursuits when they’ve spent their entire lives doing the exact opposite? What were Harry’s wants and drives and needs now that he had no one around to tell him? Harry wasn’t sure he knew who he was without being bolstered by the people he loved, and the idea of figuring it out this late in life paralyzed him with more fear than any death-defying Auror investigation ever had.

It was rather pathetic, Harry thought as he sat on the platform waiting for a train that would take him to the idyllic French vineyard in which Hermione and Ron had been very insistent he spend some time. They had ambushed him with the surprise under the pretense of them all spending a weekend in Paris, and Harry couldn’t very well refuse such a nice gift.

He checked his watch, noting that it was half past two and the train would be due any minute now, and nervously jiggled his leg. Hermione had informed him that the winery had packages which included the cost of a portkey. It was a bit of a strange establishment as it was in Muggle territory but wizard owned. Therefore, it was frequented by both Muggle and wizardkind, and enchantments were set up in designated areas to allow for things like Apparition to go undetected. However, Harry had refused the convenience of the portkey and contended that the train ride from Paris would do him some good. Maybe taking the time to unwind as the scenery rolled by the window would put him in the tranquil headspace he couldn’t seem to achieve.

But now he was thoroughly regretting that decision, tranquility be damned. What the hell was Harry going to do during a three hour train ride except stew in the soup of all the thoughts he was trying to stave off in the first place? It wasn’t easy to start over as a single man, and it was even harder if you were a famous wizard whose mythology inspired many preconceived notions in your potential partners. It was harder still if you were turning fifty and just now coming to terms with the fact that perhaps you weren’t as straight as you thought you were.

"You’ve been miserable, Harry."

"Yeah, mate. Do something for yourself this year. Have a fantastic birthday. It's a big one; fifty years!"

Harry heard the echoes of his friends’ sentiments in his head as the train came roaring down the tracks. It was disappointing to learn that he wasn’t keeping it together as well as he thought. Then again, he’d never had much talent for disguising his emotions. Harry was someone who could never be described as inscrutable, and of course it didn’t hurt that his best friends had known him for nearly forty years. He wasn’t sure how spending a birthday away from everyone he cared about could be considered fantastic by any stretch of the imagination, but Harry took a resolute breath as he heaved his small suitcase into the overhead bin and took a seat by the window.

Harry pulled a novel from his shoulder bag, but after ten pages or so, he had to concede that it was a lost cause. His focus was erratic. He couldn’t absorb the details and found himself rereading passages over and over again until he gave up with a beleaguered sigh and stared out the window as the lush greenery rolled by. It really was breathtaking, but the tug of loneliness and anxiety emanated from deep within his chest. This was going to be a long week.

 

***

 

The vineyard was a short, pleasant walk from the tiny train stop at the edge of the village of Aubagne, and the path was well-marked with handcrafted signs bearing the name of the winery in ornate script. Le Dragon Vert. It struck Harry as a very odd name for a French vineyard. It didn’t evoke any images of grapes or wine varietals, but what did he know? Certainly not a damn thing about wine which was yet another reason this trip was sure to be a bust. Hermione had insisted that wasn’t the point. One didn’t have to be a sommelier to enjoy reclining in the French countryside with an expertly crafted bottle of rosé. When Harry had opened his mouth to protest, Ron had interjected with a firm hand on his shoulder.

"For Merlin’s sake, mate, get drunk next to rows of grapes and stuff yourself full of bread and cheese until you’re bloody well pissed and happy. That’s an order."

As he entered the property, Harry had to admit it made a lovely picture. It was an impressive estate, sixty sprawling acres of grapevines, pines and oaks, and rows of fruit-bearing trees that he couldn't identify from this distance. It was a crisp, clear July morning, and the sky was a striking pale blue. The temperature was still a bit cool for mid-summer, lingering in the low twenties, but Harry was sweating a little in his maroon t-shirt by the time he reached the front steps of the castle-esque building in which he would be staying. When he opened the door, he found the lobby to be bustling with guests, a wide range of languages and accents mingling in the air as people chatted and rushed off to different parts of the building. The lobby was outfitted in expensive looking antique furniture in a color palette of royal blue and silver. To Harry’s right, there was a set of gilded armchairs, the upholstery bearing fleur de lis patterns, and two matching sofas arranged in front of a grand piano. To his left was a desk at which a busy young woman was on the phone, speaking brightly and rapidly in French as she typed on the computer in front of her.

Harry approached timidly and waited for her to finish. When she hung up the phone, she turned to Harry with a smile.

“Bonjour, Monsieur. Parlez-vous français ou anglais?” She inquired in a jaunty French accent.

“Er, English. I’m checking in? Harry Potter is the name it should be under,” Harry responded, his voice taking on a tentative tone as he looked about the room and saw the content faces of his fellow guests. All of them, he noted, not alone. Nearly everyone appeared to be coupled in one way or another, romantically or otherwise. The young woman typed on the keyboard, her long straight curtain of black hair swishing across her shoulders as she glanced from the monitor to the phone beside her, which had begun to ring once again.

“Ah, here you are!” She flashed him another smile before beckoning to a young man across the room who swiftly appeared by Harry’s side. “Antoine will show you to your room and give you a quick tour of the building. Sorry to be so brief. It’s a bit hectic today. Enjoy your stay. I’m Audrey; let me know if you have any questions at all later!”

She picked up the phone that was now ringing off the hook. Antoine took his suitcase and cheerily told Harry to follow him. He looked to be at least twenty years younger than Harry, sun-ripened olive skin, the outline of well-defined muscles visible underneath a black t-shirt, and artfully disheveled chestnut hair that fell just below his ears. He smelled like wine and heat and olive oil, and Harry fought the urge to lean in and take a deep inhale. He'd been here all of ten minutes and was already face to face with an Adonic representation of one of the biggest conundrums in his current life. Harry had only been divorced for a little over a year and separated for two. In that time, he had begun to find the space in which to confront a truth he had buried with decades of companionship with the woman he thought he’d be with forever.

Antoine was explaining how to get to the cellars, his bicep flexing as he drew his arm up to push tanned fingers through wavy locks. Harry bit his lip and nodded, unable to concentrate on the finer points of what he was saying.

He’s probably half your age, Harry. For fuck’s sake, stop ogling him.

“Alright, I will let you get settled. If you’re hungry, dinner will be running until ten. Our chef is vraiment genial. He’s a Provence native who grew up in England, but he left to study in Paris and traveled the world from there, working everywhere from Japan to New York. He cooks traditional Provençal food but also incorporates elements of many different cuisines. You will not be disappointed. No one leaves his table unsatisfied,” Antoine explained in a mellifluous French accent, an enthusiastic twinkle in his amber eyes as he waxed on about their head chef. He was very expressive with his hands as he spoke, which did nothing to discourage Harry from continuing to watch the fluid movement of his toned body. “Please join us for the tasting in the cellar this evening. The owner is here for the duration of the summer so he’ll be leading it. They will be unveiling a red Bandol that has just reached maturity. It’s been aging for over a decade so it’s very exciting for us. That’s at eight o’clock if you would like to take part.”

“Thank you. I definitely will. Which way did you say the dining room is again? Sorry, I'm still a bit fuzzy from traveling,” Harry said with a faint laugh, self-consciously running his hand through his own shaggy greying hair.

“Of course, of course.” The young man smiled cordially, and it made Harry’s heart skip a beat. “When you go down the stairs, make a left, walk through the library, and then you’ll be there.”

Harry thanked Antoine again, and when he had gone, Harry flopped onto the bed with a groan. His suite was decorated in more of the same style of furniture he’d seen in the lobby, but the color scheme was mahogany and white. His bed was canopied with a gauzy white fabric, and even the wallpaper looked too expensive to touch, ornate gold leaf on cream. He glanced at the antique pendulum mantle clock atop the dresser, noting that he had an hour and a half until the tasting began. It was just enough time to have a leisurely dinner and unpack.

Finding himself alone with images of Antoine lingering in his head, Harry’s thoughts drifted back to his sexuality. Now that he was free to start acting on the curiosity he had neglected for so long, he had no idea how to go about it. There had been a couple inept fumblings with men at bars that had resulted in Prophet articles that made him even shyer about exploring his late-blooming preferences. Luckily, his children, his loving, big-hearted children who meant the absolute world to him, had received the news well. The chance to tell them himself was a terrible thing to be robbed of, but they all took it in stride, cautiously and sweetly asking him if he wanted to talk about it. Albus and James had sat on either side of him, holding his hands as they assured their father that, whatever he may be going through, they were there for him. Lily told him that she herself wasn’t sure how she identified yet and started listing famous people who had come out in later life, wizards and Muggles alike.

"There’s no 'one size fits all' timeline for these things, dad. Everyone has their own pace. It’ll be alright," She had said with a warm smile and pat to his shoulder.

Harry felt tears welling behind his eyes at the mere thought of the memory. He had been loaded to his fingertips with pride and affection for his children that day. Hermione had been very supportive as well, the unwavering pillar of friendship she had always been for Harry. Even Ron, emotionally clumsy as he could be at times, imparted kind words when they finally spoke about it. Harry’s mood sobered as he remembered that Ginny’s reception hadn’t been quite so warm. Her tone was accusatory as she quizzed her ex-husband, throwing pointed questions his way quicker than he could process them. How long had it been? Was he thinking of men the whole time they were married? Was he gay? Did he not love Ginny? Had their whole lives been a lie? Was this why they had separated?

It was hard to articulate feelings Harry himself was just now coming to terms with, and his fragmentary responses only served to further confuse her. He didn’t know how to tell her that it wasn’t about her and never had been. The way he felt about men didn’t negate or cheapen what he had felt for Ginny. They weren’t mutually exclusive things; they coexisted within him in equal strength.

"I just need some time, Harry."

It had been months since that day, and Harry had heard nary a word from her beyond the necessary civil communications about the kids or the leftover tasks of dividing their shared lives into two. What had once been a whole, the sum of their joined parts, was now two separate paths with ever-shrinking overlap, and Harry was only just now getting a handle on how to navigate the daily life of that.

His stomach emitted a telltale rumble, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten anything since the small chocolate croissant in the Paris train station. Grateful for the interruption of musings he would rather cast aside, Harry got up and made his way to the dining room.

 

***

 

Regardless of how miserable he might end up otherwise, at least he wouldn't go hungry this week. Bouillabaisse was probably the most famous dish of the region, and the chef had prepared a Moroccan twist on the classic. The menu (thankfully, there was an English one in addition to the French so that Harry didn't have to muddle his way through) had described it as being comprised of "monkfish loin, grilled merguez, and chicken kabob in a tomato/saffron broth with sunchokes, grilled eggplant and harissa croutons." Harry only knew about half of those ingredients, but the waiter had sworn up and down that he would be in love with it ("a symphony of flavors dancing on your tongue, Monsieur!"). In addition to that, he ordered a cheeseboard of local specialties including Banon, Brousse du Rove, and Saint-Marcellin. All of them were so delicious, they made him practically moan in pleasure as soon as they hit his tastebuds, but the creamy, satiny-smooth Saint-Marcellin was his favorite.

Painfully aware of his lack of expertise in the area, he gladly took the waiter's recommendation for wine pairings for all the courses, including a dessert of lavender-infused crème brûlée garnished with a sprig of candied lavender. He had reluctantly ordered the latter, afraid he would need to be gracelessly rolled out of the opulent dining room by the time he finished the final bite, but it was too tempting to pass up.

He couldn't resist asking the name of the chef. It was obvious that whoever had meticulously crafted this menu loved food in a very personal way, and it made Harry curious about the person behind the meal.

"Blaise Zabini, Monsieur."

"Get out! Really?!" Harry exclaimed with surprise, his eyebrows drawn up high beneath his fringe.

The waiter maintained his cordial smile but was clearly disarmed by Harry's reaction.

“I went to school with him. I didn't know he was a chef now," Harry hurriedly explained. Harry had never known Blaise on a very personal level, but somehow it made sense that he'd gone into the culinary arts. Harry idly wondered if that was how Hermione had heard of this place. On a whim, he took a gamble.

"Tell him Harry Potter is here and thinks this is the best meal he's ever had."

"Certainly, Monsieur. I'm sure he'll be glad to hear it."

As the waiter walked back toward the kitchens, a large group of six who were seated two tables in front of Harry got up to leave. The dining room had been almost packed to capacity when he arrived, but the crowd was thinning as it neared eight o'clock, people heading off early to the tasting or back to their rooms. Harry took a sip of his wine and nearly choked on it when he saw who was sitting behind the now vacated table. In a light blue three-piece linen suit, a matching tie layered atop the white button-down peeking out from underneath his waistcoat, was none other than Draco Malfoy.

Harry hadn't seen him since Albus's Hogwarts days. While they would acknowledge each other on Platform 9 3/4 with brief nods that held no animosity, they never really spoke much. Even when Albus and Draco's son Scorpius struck up a friendship and began to spend more time together, Draco and Harry hadn't really interacted in any way that could be construed as "socializing." A polite "hello, how are you" perhaps, but nothing of real consequence.

In a way, it was bizarre to have this person who had been such a prominent thorn in Harry's side reduced to not even a secondary role in his life. Now he was simply another person Harry used to know, nothing more and nothing less. Still, despite their unspoken armistice, Harry wasn't particularly keen to encounter him on this trip. Blimey, Blaise Zabini and Draco Malfoy in one night. Was the rest of Slytherin House squirreled away somewhere? Harry really hoped this wasn't going to turn into an impromptu Hogwarts reunion. He slumped in his seat, praying Draco's eyes wouldn't wander away from the book he was reading and land on Harry. Maybe he could slink away undetected if he just –

"Harry Potter! Fancy seeing you here! Marc gave me your message. Glad you're enjoying the food." A beaming Blaise Zabini appeared at Harry’s side. He flinched a little at the volume in which Blaise was broadcasting Harry’s presence to the dining room, debating whether or not to turn his head to find out if Draco had noticed. Still, he couldn't help returning Blaise’s charming smile. He had retained his handsome features, remaining trim and well-built with deep brown eyes and plush lips, his starched white chef's uniform contrasting with his chocolate complexion.

"Oh, it's brilliant! I think I over-indulged a bit, but it was well worth it. How long have you worked here?"

"About ten years now. I've worked all over, but this feels like my culinary home. Due to mother's many husbands," Blaise rolled his eyes and shook his head at that, "I'm sort of French-English-Italian-by-way-of-Mozambique. I've always been fascinated by jumping from this cuisine to that. Thought I'd give it a whirl about oohh… five years after the war I think? Turned out I had an eye for international fusion and blending unlikely flavor combinations so I've been doing it ever since. Never gets old, honestly."

Blaise lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned closer.

"Like discovering how to make a strange new potion every day. Endless excitement."

"That's amazing, Blaise. I'm happy to hear it." Harry smiled, eyes darting nervously over to Draco, still afraid that he would catch wind of their conversation and saunter over. As if summoned by Harry's gaze, he turned his head and looked right at him. Harry swiveled his head back to Blaise although it was far too late to pretend he hadn't seen him.

"Listen, how long are you staying?"

"I'll be here for a week."

"Lovely. Well, let me know if you have any requests the next time you're in here. I love going off menu for the hell of it, drumming up something just to see what happens. It's the busy season so I'm usually running around like a mad crowd of pixies on the loose, but maybe we can grab a drink before you leave?"

"Yeah, yeah, that'd be wonderful. Thanks for stopping by, Blaise." It was hard to maintain his focus on Blaise because, out of the corner of his eye, he saw Draco rising from his seat. If Harry had to put a few Galleons on it, he'd bet he was walking toward Harry's table with a smirk.

"No problem. I'll see you later, Harry." With a friendly pat to Harry's shoulder, Blaise stood up and walked off in the direction of the kitchens.

No sooner had he gone than Draco appeared in his stead, electing to remain standing and looking down on Harry rather than sitting across from him. Although it was a few years since Harry had last seen him, he hadn't changed much. His hair was thinner than it had been in his youth, but it was still that trademark white blond with a precise part to the side, cut a little shorter now that there was less of it. Harry had to admit he looked stylish and handsome in his suit, a far sight more befitting a place like this than Harry was himself. His body had filled out more, svelte but no longer the bony, sharp physique he’d once had. Draco's angles had softened a bit, his countenance still patrician but less severe.

"Hello, Potter. I didn't know you were here," he said in a cool, detached tone.

"Why would you?" Harry hadn't meant it to sound accusatory, but he heard the old familiar antagonism spiking his tone. He tried to eliminate the bite from his voice when he spoke again, but although the way he said it was less harsh, the words he chose weren't particularly amicable. "What are you doing here?"

Draco snorted in disbelief.

"Are you serious, Potter?"

"It's a reasonable question. It's a bit odd for us to wind up here at the same time."

"Is it?" Draco asked, a sneer threatening to spread across his pink lips as he narrowed his eyes. "God forbid I tread where the Chosen One chooses to spend his leisure time?"

"Merlin! No no, I just… thought it was interesting is all. I didn't mean anything by it. Did you know Blaise Zabini is the chef? I only arrived a couple hours ago, and it's already been a parade of familiar faces. Such a strange night." Harry tried his best to smile, but it came out more of a grimace.

Instead of expressing any further irritation, Draco canted his head with a smile that suggested he was in on some secret and Harry wasn't.

"Oh, this is just too delicious. Are you attending the tasting, Potter? It starts in about twenty minutes." Draco's smile broadened and he crossed his arms, clearly enjoying some joke Harry was not privy to. He was behaving very curiously, and Harry didn't have the patience to suss out why. Now that his dinner feast had begun to digest, his earlier fatigue from the journey was returning with a vengeance.

"I'm not sure. I was going to, but I'm rather tired. Might head to bed early."

"You really should come. It won't take long, and the wine is quite a rare one. I'd immensely like it if you agreed to come."

"Um, okay then… I guess I will."

"Good. I hope you enjoy your stay here. I'll see you at the tasting?" That mysterious grin was still plastered on his face, and it was beginning to make Harry feel very unsettled.

"Er, yes. I'll be there." Harry was incredibly befuddled. Enjoy your stay. What a strange thing to wish someone. It was something he expected to hear from the mouth of the clerk at the front desk, sure, but not a fellow guest. Draco ambled away, and Harry shook his head, reeling from that small but weird conversation. He scooted his chair back and headed out of the dining room toward the staircase leading to the cellar.

 

***

 

"Tonight, we will be sampling the red Bandol in two of the final stages of its vinification. First, we will be tasting the wine fresh from the eighteen month oak barrel aging process which is required for it to properly be deemed a Bandol red," Antoine gestured toward the barrels lining the wall behind him while his colleague, a blonde woman in a slinky black dress named Simone, delivered the same speech in French to the other half of the room, "and the second batch is from those that have already been bottled and aged within that bottle for a few months. It is the final product that will be shipped from the winery to other vendors around Provence so this is an excellent opportunity for you to contrast and compare the flavor of the wine at different stages. The owner of this remarkable vineyard is here with us for the summer and will be joining the tasting. Mr. Malfoy, if you'd like to come up and do the honors?"

Harry's jaw dropped to the floor as Antoine waved Draco up to the front of the room. As Malfoy walked from the back of the crowd, he flashed Harry a mischievous grin. He was obviously having far too much fun with Harry's ignorance.

"Good evening, everyone. I'm ecstatic to be here for the first tasting of this wine. We've waited over a decade for it to reach its peak, and I'm beyond excited to finally uncork the first bottle. My family has been in the business for generations, but this venture is a much newer branch of winemaking for me. I started this vineyard about fifteen years ago. As a boy, I completely fell in love with Provence and all it has to offer in its cuisine, its people, its culture, and, of course, its time-honored tradition of exemplary wine. So when it came time for me to open my own winery, I knew it had to be here. I truly believe there's no better place to make wine in the entire world. The red Bandol was the very first Provençal wine to hit my young lips so the fact that I've finally helped craft one with the help of the unmatched staff here is momentous. I'm glad you'll all be joining me on this very special occasion." Everyone clapped while Harry stood there, dumbfounded and agape. The way Draco spoke in front of the crowd was very antithetical to the Draco Harry knew. He was so affable and warm. He made eye contact and smiled at the patrons. His excitement was so genuine, Harry could have sworn he was actually glowing. There was no condescension or annoyance to be found in this version of him. Harry snapped back to reality as he realized people around the room were looking at him and so was Draco. "I was wondering if you'd like the first taste, Mr. Potter?"  

Slowly, Draco's expression transformed into the smugness Harry was more accustomed to.

"S-sure." Harry gave Draco a strained smile and stepped forward, accepting the small glass he offered him with a muttered "thanks." Around the room, Antoine and Simone were filling glasses and handing them to the others. Harry tipped his glass back, emptying some into his mouth and swishing it around a bit before swallowing.

"Well? What do you think?" Draco said in a voice soft enough that only Harry could hear. The din of the room had grown now that people were drinking and sharing their thoughts on the wine.

"Um, sorry to say, but I don't really know anything about wine," Harry shyly replied, his eyes roving over the crowd, the barrels, anything but Draco. What a fool Draco must have thought he was during that stupid conversation in the dining room.

“Of course you don’t." He rolled his eyes. "Tell me, why are you on holiday at a vineyard then?”

Draco took a sip from his own glass, closing his eyes as he held it in his mouth for a moment before swallowing with an appreciative hum.

"Hermione and Ron surprised me with the trip. It's my birthday next Wednesday."

"Of course they did." Draco poured a second glass, this one from the bottle rather than the tapped barrel, and handed it to Harry.

"Stop doing that. I get it, I'm hopelessly predictable." Harry sighed and took a sip.

"Your words, not mine. Well, I hope you have a pleasant fiftieth birthday, Potter. Perhaps I'll see you around," Draco said with a cheeky smirk. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a tasting to run."

Harry downed the rest of his wine and glared at Draco's suit-jacketed back as he walked away. He would be spending his fiftieth birthday as a customer of Draco Malfoy's winery. As soon as Harry got back to his rooms, Hermione was getting an earful.

 

***

 

"Hermione, why would you send me on holiday to a vineyard owned by Draco?" Harry tried his best to dial back his incredulity as he paced about his suite.

"I didn't think it mattered really. All the old baggage between you two is history. It's been decades since Hogwarts."

"It has, but..." Harry struggled to articulate why he was so bothered by this. Something about that snarky mouth and condescending gaze made Harry's blood boil. In light of everything he was dealing with, maybe he was just ripe to pinpoint a new target for his ire, but seeing Draco had set Harry's teeth on edge. It was like picking at an old wound that had long since scarred over.

"Did something happen, Harry? Did he say – " Concern edged into Hermione’s voice.

"No, he was fine. I mean, he was the same annoying git he's always been, but he wasn't cruel or anything. It's not like I couldn't just try to avoid him all week." Harry sat down heavily on the edge of the large bed and watched the sky outside his window turn into vibrant pink and orange hues as the sun descended on the horizon. Perhaps, during another less exhausted evening, he would go find a peaceful spot among the trees and watch the sunset.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't sure if he'd be there. He still lives at the Manor, and I suppose I assumed this was a place he owned more in name rather than one he was involved with. That tends to be his family's way of managing anything they own."

"Yeah, that makes sense. Ignore me."

"Are you going to be alright, Harry? I really want this trip to be the opposite of stress for you." Hermione sounded sad, and Harry could tell she had picked up on the note of defeat in his voice. 

"It will be. I promise." Harry wasn't certain of that, but he didn't want to worry her, especially after she and Ron had gone to the trouble of giving him this generous gift.

"Okay, well… call me if you need to. You know we're always here for you."

"I know. I will. Talk to you later." Harry pressed the "end call" button on his mobile's screen and leaned back on the bed with a sigh. Tomorrow was a new day. Maybe it would be a better one. Maybe it would be the day he'd finally learn the secret of that rare bird people called relaxation. Harry wasn't counting on it, but as his head hit the pillow, he allowed himself a little bit of hope.