A/N: Hello all! This should be better than my last Percy fic, I promise!
It does have another Barenaked Ladies song in it, though! waves BNL flag
Anyway, what we have here is a nice little story about Percy, who has
recently realized that he doesn't love Penny anymore, if he ever did.
Eventually there's some pre-slash. Welpers, enjoy and please review!

Break Your Heart

I've been using her. For nearly three years I've been using her, using her to convince my family and make my parents proud, using her to show the other students, using her as an escape for my true feelings. It's not that I don't love her; what's not to love? It's just that I don't love her like -that-, and I've been convincing everyone else, from my family to my peers to she herself that I do. Everyone expects us to marry after this, our final year at Hogwarts. They expect me to propose! But I've decided. I'm not going to lie for the rest of my life, I refuse to. Maybe I had to, to get by in school without too much harassment. Maybe I had to to live under my mother's roof and keep her gaze upon me loving and proud. But lying is one thing I hate in this world, above all else. So I've resolved, this time, to tell her the truth. We'll sit down in the Prefects' car, and I'll ask her to come with me and talk for a moment. No one will think it suspicious; they might even think I'm proposing to her now. But really, I'll be breaking up with her and finally bringing it all out into the open, once and for all. Well, maybe not ALL of it; after all, I still have to live with these people for nine months. maybe in my valedictorian speech I'll come out, once and for all (I mean, I'm a sure thing for valedictorian, aren't I?). Just not here, not now. My job today is to simply tell Penelope that I do not love her and hope against hope that she'll understand. Alright, I suppose I'd better get this over with. I hold my breath and run through the wall into the platform. I've done it for seven years but I still don't feel comfortable with it and probably never will. Ah well, I'm here now. the platform is vibrant and full of life, as usual. Old friends telling tales of their summer adventures, class leaders basking yet again in their English schoolboy glamour. On any other first day of the school year, that's what I would be doing too. But not today. I have another purpose. I stroll swiftly over to the Prefects' car and be seated to wait for her arrival.

The-e-e bravest thing I've ever done
Was to run away and hide
But not this time, not this time
And the weakest thing I've ever done
Was to stay right by your side
Just like this time, and every time

Here she comes. She's beautiful, she really is. Her shoulder-length light brown hair sways, no it flows, from side to side behind her as she walks. She smiles a brilliant but kind smile at some of the first-years. Her bright, clear complexion is just a bit darker from spending her summer in southern France; she seems to glow. As she approaches the car, I can feel my heart beating harder. It seems I still have a bit of that good old schoolboy crush on her, just like I always did. Either that, or I'm very very nervous at what I'm about to do. Probably a bit of both. But I didn't love her. She enters the car. "H-hi," I whisper, feeling my voice crack, but no one had heard me. No, this won't do. I clear my throat and begin again. "Hello, Penelope, how was your summer? I've missed you so."

She hugged me and gave me a small kiss on the cheek, which was her usual whenever she met me in public. "Oh, it was wonderful, Percy, just wonderful!" And she launched into one of her never-ending stories about what a great time she'd had, and how very nice the French are, and how she hopes to go back this summer and maybe study advanced Arithmancy there. She sat down next to me and I plaster one of my "oh-yes-I'm-listening- attentively-to-whatever-bit-of-idiocy-you've-got-to-say-this-time" smiles across my face and nod at the appropriate times. I remember doing this, I've had a lot of practice, and not just with Penelope. My internship at the Ministry this summer had shown me a whole new level of social navigation skills. She talks on. And on. And on... Eventually I awake from my nap and realize that we've reached Hogwarts and I've still not done what I had meant to. Penny's gone now, though, as is everyone else. Oh great, the Head Boy has fallen asleep on the train. How very imposing. I stretch quickly and gather my things before speed-walking out of the coach.

I couldn't tell you I was happy you were gone
So I lied and said that I missed you when we were apart
I couldn't tell you, so I had to lead you on
But I didn't mean to break your heart

We were at yet another of our studying sessions in the library in preparation for our NEWTs. She was quizzing me on the Goblin Rebellion of 1863 and I wasn't remembering a thing. That's only if I wasn't so spaced out I didn't realize she was asking me a question. "Well?"

I look up. "Well what?"

"Who was the leader of the goblin forces at Hooksmear?"

Hell if I know. "Oh, that was Bungrel the Big-Nosed, wasn't it?"

"No. He was the commanding officer of the goblins' western campaign, but their leader at Hooksmear was Ferclaw of Grint. Honestly, Percy, you used to know these things forward and backward. What's gotten into you? Is there something the matter?"

I can only sigh. How can I tell her? It's not her fault I don't love her anymore. My resolve has seemingly vanished along with my affection. I owed it to her to at least pretend I was fine. "I must not be getting enough sleep lately, I mean being Head Boy and all there's a lot of extra things I have to do."

"Well," she looked at me, scrutinizingly, "perhaps you'd better be getting some sleep then. It's getting late, after all. We can try to study again tomorrow, if you're feeling better by then." She looked around, then seeing that the library was empty at this hour, wrapped her arms around me and kissed me full on the lips. I sort-of kissed back, I hope. I know I at least tried to. But I didn't love her. She shook her head, got up, and walked me back to my common room.

And if-if-if I always seem distracted
Like my mind's somewhere else
That's because it's true, Yes it's true
It's this stupid pride that makes me feel
Like I have to follow through
Even half-assedly, loving you

"No, no, no! Grindewald wasn't even born yet!" Penny shook her head. We were in the library yet again, studying as usual. I'd been doing abysmally in History of Magic lately. She'd even given up snogging me as a reward for a good study session, not that I'd had one lately. "Shouldn't you be seeing Madame Pomfrey though? I mean, you've been like this for weeks."

I yawned as if to prove to her that I was just sleep-deprived. "Fine, I'll go see her tomorrow." Anything to get you off my back. Maybe she'll let me have a good lie in one of the hospital beds. I sure hope so. I feel terrible running away, but I feel like I've run out of options. I should've told her as soon as we got on the train. Now I'd wasted two months. "Penny..." I began. She turned to me. "Uh... thanks for helping me study." I couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it, I was too much of a coward.

"You're welcome, of course. I mean, you are my boyfriend. I should be there for you."

"I don't know why you put up with me sometimes."

She smiled. "I don't either." Then she leaned in and gave me my first kiss in three weeks. Her lips were sweet, soft, and warm. I could never hurt her. But I didn't love her.

Why must I always speak in terms of cowardice
When I guess I should've just come out and told you right from the start
Why must I always tell you all I want is this?
I guess 'cause I wouldn't want to break your heart

She'd finally convinced me to go see Madame Pomfrey, who promptly diagnosed me as not only overworked, but a victim of dragon flu. I'd caught it from the blanket Charlie'd sent me in commemoration of my becoming Head Boy;
this was currently being decontaminated. "Why didn't you come to me sooner? It's too late to do anything for you now, we just have to let the virus run its course." Apparently only people with run-down immune systems were vulnerable to dragon flu, and the stress I'd been under had turned me into a prime candidate. Penny had been worried sick, and had visited me twice a day to bring me food from the Great Hall and just to talk. In fact, she was due for another one of her visits any time now.

Yes, here she came. And during my week-long stay in the hospital wing, I'd resolved to finally tell her. No time like the present. She entered the room and I said, "Penny? I... I need to talk with you."

"Alright," she said, seating herself next to the head of the bed where I was resting. Now that the time had come, I didn't know quite what to say.

"Well, Pen, I've had something I needed to talk to you about for awhile now." She nodded. "All year, in fact. I actually meant to tell you on the train, but I fell asleep..." She nodded again. "Well, the thing is... what I wanted to say... oh, I'm terribly sorry." I looked down, and she prodded.

"What is it? Surely you can tell me. Come on, Percy."

"It's difficult to say. I don't want... I'm afraid this is going to hurt you."

"Is this why you've been sick all this time?"

I nodded, "Probably."

"Come on, honey, you can tell me. Now what's all this about?"

I sighed and prepared myself. "Well, Penny, I think it's time... I think it's time we broke up." She cocked her head. "I just... the thing is... I don't love you anymore. I'm not sure if I ever did. I don't know if I'll ever love anyone. I know I should've told you sooner, but I didn't want to hurt you, you're too sweet a girl to deserve to be hurt. I was just trying to protect you... from me. I'm very, very sorry..." the last thing I would've expected her to do was to look angry. Or to slap me, -very- hard across the face.

"You've been using me, all this time?"

I nodded. "I'm truly sorry."

"Percy, did you think I would break down because you broke up with me? I've been putting up with a hell of a lot, you know. If I'd known... I did everything for you, Percy! Even let my grades drop so I could spend more time helping you! And for what? You, you to tell me you don't really love me!"

"I'm very, very, you can't know how sorry I am!"

"Not as sorry as I am that I ever wasted my time on you," she spat, before finally composing herself. When she spoke again, her voice was tight.

"I don't think I'll be able to be around you for a while, Percy. I'll try to forgive you, but... it might take a long, long time. In the meantime, you'd better get someone else to bring you your meals." She spun sharply and marched indignantly from the room. Oh well. I didn't love her.

You say
What'd you think that I was gonna do
Curl up and die just because of you?
I'm not that weak, you know
What'd you think that I was gonna do
Try to make you love me as much as I love you?
How could you be so low?
You arrogant man
What do you think that I am?
My heart will be fine
Just stop wasting my time!

We're finally talking again. She's still a bit stiff around me, but that's to be expected. Meanwhile, I've been hanging around my roommate quite a bit recently. Oliver Wood, Gryffindor Quidditch captain. It turns out there's so much more to him than just being a jock. He's a very sweet and intelligent young man, and... let's just say I've caught myself falling under his spell more times than once. The way he makes me feel is so much more than anything I ever knew with Penny. And you know what? He's gay too. And I have a feeling that, even though I never loved Penelope, I could very well love him...

And now I know that you will be okay
And now I've got what I want
And that's rid of you, Goodbye
And it's not 'cause I'll be missing you
That makes me fall apart
It's just that I didn't mean to break
No I didn't mean to break
No I didn't mean to break your heart
Your heart.....