Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I'm just borrowing.

We Fools Who Love
by Startide Risen

Everyone in our world knows the story. I myself have heard it so often, I can almost picture it. The great final battle on the grounds at Hogwarts... you no more than seventeen, but standing proud and defiant in the face of hell itself... bursts of light as spells flash between you... they even say you were walking toward him, in the final moments... advancing on Lord Voldemort.

Almost picture it. Somehow I can never imagine what comes after all the green light.

But the whole world knows how you dueled with the Dark Lord and defeated him. And we all acknowledge that you are an unparalleled hero, more than deserving of the Order of Merlin, First Class, the Wizengamot Medal of Honor, and all the other shiny things to your name. The problem is that I have no choice but to hate you anyway.

You see, I never cared very much that the war was over. It was largely unimportant to me that Voldemort was forever gone and most of his lackeys with him. I was supremely unconcerned with the end of a second reign of terror that had cost hundreds of lives. And the celebrations, I thought, were downright moronic.

Because you were dead.

It was all your bloody fault, you know. If you hadn't insisted on being He-Who-Saves-the-World, hadn't insisted on being so damn brave all the time... You knew how it was that heroes met their ends but you walked the path as if you didn't.

Now you are the stuff of legend. Now there is a memorial to you standing in the Ministry of Magic where the Fountain of Magical Brethren used to be. Now there are a thousand books chronicling your life and endlessly expounding your virtues. Now mothers tell their children in hushed voices at bedtime about the wonderful Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world. Does it make you happy, wherever you are, how they fawn over your memory? Do you smile to see them go on and on about your courage and honor and nobility and all that shit?

Do you even remember me? Can you still see me? Talk to me, dammit!

Paging Ginevra Weasley, paging Ginevra Weasley, this is your sanity speaking. Get a grip on yourself, woman! He's dead, and no matter how loud you yell, he will not yell back.

You know what? I don't care. I don't care about any of that ridiculous sap. It was because you were so damn courageous and honorable and noble that you went and got yourself killed and I hate you for it. You hear me? I hate you! You were stupid and hardheaded and idiotic and you wouldn't listen to me when I told you that I loved you and needed you and couldn't live without you. You wouldn't listen when I told you that you couldn't possibly risk your life for the rest of us because none of us were worth it. None of us were worth you.

I told you not to and you did it anyway, you bastard.

You knew how it was that heroes met their ends and yet you walked the path as if you didn't. You swore you loved me, swore you wanted to spend forever with me. Isn't that what you said all those nights when you kissed me and I stopped breathing? Isn't that what you said? Even now I can hardly believe the way you left us, the way you left me, to go take care of some maniac with delusions of world domination. Was it that important, that you had to leave us all like that? Was it really so urgent that you had to hurt us all like that?

I suppose you thought so.

But did you see the expression on Ron's face when he found out you'd died? Did you have to watch Hermione sobbing as though the world were coming to an end? Did you see them nearly crazy with pain when we buried you? No. It was I who had to watch all of that. It was I who stood alone in a modest little graveyard after everyone else had left and tried to find the words for goodbye.

Yes, yes, I nearly went mad, drowned in darkness, forgot how to breathe, et cetera ad nauseam... After awhile I found that it was easier, much easier, to hate you than love you. And make no mistake, I am perfectly entitled to hate you. You were, after all, the self-centered bastard who gave his life to save the world.