Disclaimer: So not mine.

Again: HBP spoilers ahoy.

Beta'd by the fantabulous Wren Truesong and betalicious Nimbirosa, who has forgiven me for beta-cheating on her with dress-without-sleeves. Hopefully.


She doesn't need him.

She can breathe just fine without him, and if she feels sometimes like she's choking on nothing, like the air from her lungs has been stolen by the wind...well, she's got plenty of other things to be anxious about, plenty of other reasons to feel like the end of the world has come and gone and all that's left is emptiness and solitude.

She doesn't need to see his smile to feel happy. She doesn't need his touch to set her pulse racing. Not that his touch ever did set her pulse racing. Because it didn't. He's stupid and clumsy and he left her behind.

Not that she cares. She barely notices his absence, anyway. She doesn't freeze every time she sees someone who resembles him; she doesn't expect to see his, his stupid face and that dumb messy hair or that useless worthless ugly scar on his forehead.

The sun's just as bright without him, the skies just as blue, Quidditch just as exhilarating. She doesn't need to look into his girly green eyes to feel whole. She doesn't need to see his annoying crooked grin, doesn't need to hold his overly-rough Quidditch-calloused hand. She doesn't need his lips on hers.

He isn't that good of a kisser, anyway. Really, she doesn't know why she bothered with him in the first place. She should have stayed with Dean. She should have found someone else. She doesn't need him, and she never did.

She doesn't need his awkward declarations of affection to feel beautiful.

She especially doesn't need him to wipe her eyes dry when she's been missing him. Because she hasn't been missing him at all. If she cries herself to sleep sometimes, it's because she's sick with worry for her family, her parents and her brothers so involved in a war that he's supposed to win.

And that acid feeling in her gut is a lingering side-effect of one of the twins' new candies. The aching, unrelenting prickling pressure behind her eyes is because of a cold or some previously undiscovered allergy. The worry she feels is for Ron and Hermione, off saving the world with him.

She doesn't need him.

But sometimes she wishes he'd needed her.