[n/a] So, while Ginny bashing is fun, don't want to ruin Christmas with a whole bunch of angst

EFFF You Harry 2

Luna Lovegood ordered "You two, get more stores from the Infirmary."

"I don't take orders from freaks." One boy, in Ravenclaw snapped and started off.

The blonde girl stepped into their path, not even drawing her wand, "That'll be 3 points from Ravenclaw for personal insult to an Upperclassman. And 39 points from Ravenclaw for disobedience to a Superior Officer in time of war. Now, would you like to go for Mr. Filch's thumbscrews? Maximum duration?" She smirked as the pair rushed away, knowing her orders would be complied with. Meanwhile, Luna resumed treating a wounded witch.

"Where's Harry?" asked Ron.

Arthur replied, steely "We needed some family time."

"What did you do?" Hermione demanded, standing up. "And what qualified me over Harry!" She looked around the Hall.


It was some time later, Luna actually knew it to be one hour forty minutes since the departure of Harry Potter from the remnants of the Great Hall. It was time to seek answers. She put a cloak about her shoulders and stepped outside for a break. Away from the smell of blood and death. Luna inhaled the fresh cold air and looked around….Gasped in horror "That fool Bones!"


"So peaceful from up here." Harry Potter spoke, unaware he was under close observation. The Boy-Who-Lived looked down from where McGonagall stood to command the statues battling to defend Hogwarts from the Dark Army invasion. It was the absolute peak of the castle. Here, nothing could be heard. He just contemplated his life…. And readied himself for death. No one in the path of his final drop. Took in several calming, cleansing breaths "Ginny was right, after all."

And that was when Susan Bones intervened. She'd very carefully planned for this moment. Her hair was tied tightly and hidden under a hat. Even though not the same shade, even a similarity of red was to be discouraged in this moment. She finally made her presence known by asking "So, you think dying …NOW… would in some way make up for all the people who died?"

"Who!" Harry squawked, pulled his wand, dropped into a defensive crouch and pulled his wand. Then relaxed and demanded coldly "What do you want, Bones?"

She sneered "For someone set on dying, you seem awfully determined to defend yourself."

"Butt out of things that don't concern you." He ordered, putting away his wand.

Susan leaned against the stone of the wall, clearly not showing threat "That's part of the problem, isn't it Harry?" She asked, rhetorically "Everyone getting in your business? Telling you what you have to do? Even I was guilty of that. Dumbledore's Army."

"What?" he asked "We all did that."

She shook her head "That first meeting. Are you telling me you WANTED to teach us all that. Granger practically pushed you into it. No. I'll take that back. Granger ABSOLUTELY pushed you into it. And anyone there with half a brain, that time, would say the same."

"Don't insult Hermione." He growled.

She shrugged, changed the subject "For the record….thank you…I never would have survived Seventh Year, or today, if it wasn't for you."

"Why did you follow me?" he asked.

To which Susan laughed, and lied, "I was here first. This is where I hang out when I want to be alone. Get out of my spot."

"Why did you follow me, Bones?" he repeated.

"Back to my first question, then." She replied "Do you really think…someone demanding your life…. Is entitled to it if they lost someone?"

He shrugged "I dunno, Sue. Maybe. Yeah. I guess."

"Then, frankly, I'm more qualified than Weasley." She declared harshly "They only lost one out of nine. My parents were murdered months after yours, and my Aunt Amelia last year. I'm as much the last Bones as you are the last Potter."

For a moment, Harry showed a look of pity, then anger "So? What? You wanna throw me over the rail?"

"I didn't say I want your death." Susan clarified "I said I want your life. Big difference."

He tried to process that, came up blank, asked "What does that mean?"

"Not totally sure, yet." She replied as she sat "Let's start with something simple. Answer the curiosity, Harry. One of my gifts, sometimes curse, is a 100% perfect memory. I remember everything I see, hear, touch and smell. Tell me all. Your life story, in your own words. Who knows, maybe it'll make a book. Haha. Or maybe seven? One for each year?"

He shrugged "Who would be interested?"

"I can count the population of Britain as one who would buy such a book. Who knows, maybe the Muggle world would even make it to the movies." She argued. "So? What do you say?"

He shrugged "A movie? Me? Rubbish! And besides, you have to get back."

"Stop prevaricating, Harry." She ordered "Tell. Consider it my price. You yourself said you owe it to me."

Harry sat and complied. Talking himself hoarse. Susan ordered food and drink from an elf. Then they drank and ate. He talked again. They slept, too, on that lonely high point of Hogwarts. Was it a day? Three? A week? Longer? Who can say? Eventually, Harry finished right to the moment Voldemort died. Then Susan, who grew up in a high ranked Pureblood home, began to explain where he'd gone wrong. What he could have done differently and better. What new problems existed thanks to what he'd done.

And Harry really listened. This wasn't a grandfatherly talking down to, as of Dumbledore; nor an insulting lecture like Snape, nor the motherly scolding lectures a la Molly Weasley. This girl spoke his language and in ways neither Ron nor Hermione never had.

"Well, all of that can still be solved by my tossing myself into the gardens yonder." He flippantly commented.

Susan nodded nonchalantly "If you want to take the coward's way out." She allowed, not yet ready to bring out the ultimate last resort of her Oath to Luna. "But that is hardly the impression I've got from watching you over the years. You rush…headlong…into danger. Without plan or concern for personal safety-"

"This is supposed to be a pep-talk?" he snarked.

She silenced him with a glare "My point, Potter, is that you've never thrown yourself over a cliff. And I, for one, would be highly disappointed in you if you chose to leave our world in the mess it is now."

"Disappoint Miss Susan Bones?" he quipped "Oh! The horror!"

She made an irritated noise, rolled her eyes "If that's not enough, Luna Lovegood spoke very highly of you. And I think I can speak for her. That's one witch you don't want upset at you."

"Luna saw what happened with Ginny." He commented with insight "That really was all my fault."

Susan snorted in total disgust "Did you ACTUALLY kill Fred? Of course not. He died fighting for what he believed in. From what I saw, I think he would be ashamed of how Mr. Weasley dismissed you and Luna. Regarding your..ahem…girlfriend… well Auntie was a politician who taught me, sometimes not to speak my mind. It's called diplomacy."

"I get the feeling Ginny's not my girlfriend anymore." Observed Harry.

To which she shrugged "If you're at peace with that I know of at least two witches who wouldn't mind stepping up." And the last part of the suggestion was just a hint suggestive.

"Two?!" Harry squeaked "Even if it was legal! Is it?"

To which Susan gave a derisive laugh "That, for another time. Ready to confront the real world?"


"Mr. Potter, Miss Bones, good to see to both." Professor McGonagall greeted the pair on sight "Your disappearance caused something of a disturbance. May I inquire as to its purpose?"

Susan added "She means you specifically, Harry. I'm pretty sure no one noticed MY absence."

"A-hem I noticed." Arms crossed over her chest. Hannah Abbott's look of anger lasted just long enough to embrace her lifelong friend. "But, I guess, everyone's entitled to a vacay. Where'd you go? Paris? Ireland? Wha'd'ya bring me?"

Susan laughed and cried at the same time. Tugged sharply on a lock of hair "Yeah, we had loads of fun. I'll tell you, at least some of it." That last, in consideration of a look from Harry."

"I needed some time, Professor." Harry answered "Alone, but…well, a friend helped."

The at least temporary Headmistress considered the pair. Couple? Circumstantial evidence pointed to it. Nothing for it if they were alone together for almost a week. The appearance rankled her sensibilities. "Well, you both seem unharmed. That will have to do for the time being. There are numerous people concerned for your whereabouts, as well as SEVERAL Ministerial authorities. If you please." She indicated with a hand.

As the trio made their way down the Grand Staircase to the Great Hall signs of repairs were to be seen. Holes in walls were patched, but not yet painted to match. Blood stains were cleaned…well, mostly. Temporary wood supports were in place where needed. Bodies of the dead were gone. The wounded, in four categories, recovered Death Eaters in custody -in several secured classrooms; those still being treated, in a guarded part of the infirmary. Same for the Hogwarts defenders. With Healer approval, a defender was released to go home, or help where needed.

Word of Harry Potter's reappearance, of course, raced ahead. Getting to every corner of the Castle long before he reached the Great Hall. And, as may be expected, stories of the how and whys took on a life of their own. In particular, the flavor of the spoken word changed with the listener. Of those most involved in his life, it was Hermione that Harry saw first. "Oh my God! Harry!" she hugged him "I was getting so worried!"

"Needed to clear my head." He replied, returning the hug with vigor. "Too much happened. Had me-"

Ginny came out of the blue, interrupting "Well it's about time you showed up. Where've you been?" A glance at Hermione caused just a hint of a ripple of jealousy. But Susan Bones' presence instantly put Ginny on the wrong side of reasonable "And just WHAT are you doing with HER?"

"Talking." Was Harry's one word response. There was no hint of emotion in his reply.

Ginny's face twisted into a nasty expression "For almost a week?" she wanted to know "You expect me to believe that?"

"You expect me to care what you believe?" Harry countered, coldly.

Ginny flinched, face a study in shock "Excuse me."

"No! I don't excuse you!" he snapped "You were a nasty little bitch!"

She turned red to the point her freckles disappeared "My brother just died!"

"You wanna compare pain?!" he countered "Tonks! Remus! Sirius! Same for Susan! Her Aunt Amelia! Neither of us has any fam-!"