Rating: T, just to be safe
Summary: "She likes to think she knows what loyalty is." Susan Bones has always been in love with Harry, even if he doesn't know her name.
Author's Notes: This just kinda came out. It has not been betaed, so any mistakes you find are my own, and I'd like to know about them. Please review! I'm planning for it being seven chapters, one for each year. I hope you like it. Thanks! Enjoy!
It is first year, and Susan Bones is ready.
She buys a brand new cherry wood and unicorn hair wand, a polished, pewter cauldron, and an elf owl named Xavier, whom she dotes on a bit. She has just turned eleven years old, and she feels she is on top of the world.
On the train, a girl with blonde pigtails offers to share her compartment. "I have lollipops," she says politely and with a sweet smile that Susan cannot refuse. "You can have some, if you'd like."
Susan selects a strawberry flavored one and a key lime flavored one, and shares her own assortment of wizarding candy with the girl. Her name is Hannah, and she is Halfblood just like Susan, although it's her mother who's magic, not her father. Susan decides to like her, because she hasn't got anybody else, and because she really likes lollipops.
A tiny speccy boy puts his head in their compartment and blushes in embarassment. "I'm sorry," he says politely. "I didn't mean to disturb you."
He turns to leave, but Susan stops him. He's a first year, too, and probably doesn't have anybody either. "It's all right," she says. "You can stay if you want. I'm Susan Bones, and this is Hannah Abbott, what's your name?"
He grins profusely and introduces himself as Terry Boot. He drags his trunk inside the compartment and sits down, looking pleased with himself.
"I have chocolate bars," Terry says pleasantly. "I would be pleased to share them with you."
Susan giggles at him, and likes his overly formal manner immediately. Hannah laughs and snorts, which makes her laugh more, and Susan likes her too. She hopes they're all in the same house.
As the three of them swap candy, a rumor begins to float down the train that Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts. Hannah and Susan look at each other excitedly, and Terry looks confused.
"Who's Harry Potter?" he wonders. Susan thinks he must be Muggleborn.
Hannah tells him in an excited chatter all about Harry Potter. How he saved the wizarding world from the Darkest wizard of all time when he was just a baby. How he was the only person ever to survive the Killing Curse. How he's been spending his whole life with his horrible Muggle relatives, without even knowing who he is.
Susan marvels at how much Hannah knows just as much as she marvels at the appearance of the famous Harry Potter in her year.
As Hannah chatters on and on to Terry, Susan's mind begins to wander. She's heard about Harry Potter since she was just a baby, and wonders what he's really like. She hopes she catches a glimpse of him. She wonders if she'll know who he is even if she does.
At the castle, Susan and Hannah are quickly Sorted into Hufflepuff, and to her disappointment, Terry leaves them for Ravenclaw. She watches him a bit and sees that he seems quite happy there.
An eager-looking boy named Justin joins them at the table, as do two haughty looking girls named Megan and Sally-Anne, and a pompous but highly amiable boy named Ernie. Susan smiles at Justin, ignores Megan and Sally-Anne, and giggles at Ernie when he nearly rips off an older boy's arm with a handshake. Hannah looks stricken.
Finally, the Great Hall hushes. Professor McGonagall has just called "Potter, Harry," and Susan cannot breathe. What does he look like? What does he talk like? What house will he be in?
A skinny, nervous looking bespectacled boy with jet black, unkempt hair steps up to the stool. He looks around him a bit and disappears modestly under the Hat. He sits, unsure of himself, for a long time, until the Hat calls out, "GRYFFINDOR!" and Harry Potter does something Susan never expected.
He grins, just like a little boy.
Susan has never thought of Harry Potter as a little boy, although she must admit now that he is. A very little one at that. He should probably eat something, she thinks, and finds herself thinking things of that nature for the whole feast.
She barely notices Ernie talking about Muggle-wizard relations with Justin in a very diplomatic manner. She gives an absentminded wave to Terry when he turns to grin at her, and she hardly ever registers when Zacharias, the boy sitting to her left, asks her to pass things.
In bed that night, Susan lies awake staring at the curtains of her four poster bed, listening to Hannah's labored breathing and wonders if Harry Potter is sleeping well. She wishes she had had the courage to talk to him, but what was she supposed to say to him? "Goodnight, thanks for saving us all, and by the way, you should probably eat more vegetables, you look a little emaciated?"
She wonders why she could not help staring at the back of Harry Potter's head all night, or why she has his smile memorized, or why she has a Celestina Warbeck song stuck in her head. And then she knows.
Susan Bones is in love with Harry Potter.
Susan likes Hogwarts immediately. She is proficient at her classes, her teachers seem to like her (except for Snape, who doesn't seem to like anyone not wearing a serpent), and her classmates are lovely. ...Most of them, anyway.
Hannah quickly becomes her professed best friend, and the two are nearly inseperable. Hannah has taken a liking to Ernie MacMillan, who is friends with Justin Finch-Fletchey, and the four of them create a sort of co-allegance of Hufflepuff first years. They are hardly seen apart.
Susan has gotten used to Ernie's airs, and finds them rather amusing now, though she doesn't argue when people say he's arrogant. Justin, who comes from a well-to-do Muggle family, is as eager to impress as Ernie, but does it with a slightly less put-offish manner. Hannah is a sweetheart who can never find anything mean to say about anyone (even Draco Malfoy, who is a prat).
Terry shares a Potions class with them, and Susan makes a point to visit him and his Ravenclaw friends in the library sometimes. He helps her with her schoolwork, and is the sort of person who will wait until Susan is done talking to sneeze, so as not to interrupt her. He talks about the advice his mother has given him a lot (the woman apparently took it to heart to instill iron-fisted politeness into Terry).
Susan is not sure she likes some of Terry's friends from Ravenclaw. Anthony Goldstein is all right, but she thinks perhaps Michael Corner might be bullying Terry into doing his schoolwork. She tells this to Hannah, who instantly snubs Michael whenever he's awful to Terry, because Hannah knows what loyalty is.
Some of the other Hufflepuffs Susan doesn't like very much, especially Zacharias Smith. Zacharias has a way of making everyone feel stupid with just a raise of his eyebrow, and he has reduced Hannah to tears on one occasion, which is one too many for Susan's liking. Susan is only nice to Zacharias when she thinks it is required of her, because she likes to think she knows what loyalty is, too.
But despite all the people she meets, she cannot help thinking about Harry Potter all the time. Her favorite class is Herbology, because he is there. She memorizes all the rules of Quidditch when he makes the team. She even finds herself hating Hermione Granger when they become friends, because she is allowed to hug him and Susan isn't. She hates herself for thinking these things, hates herself for her obsession with someone whom she's never spoken to, hates herself for being such a girl sometimes.
She thinks it might get better, but it doesn't, and Hannah says that love hardly ever gets better. Susan hopes she's wrong.
At the first Quidditch match of the year, Susan cheers shamelessly for Gryffindor, but no one notices as they all want Slytherin to lose. Terry has snuck away from the Ravenclaw seats and has brought Anthony with him. Ernie sets upon Anthony about a nasty essay they'd been given in Potions, and what he thinks of Ravenclaw's chances of winning the cup this year. Anthony looks flustered, but Susan thinks Ernie will make a wonderful politician someday anyway.
"I don't mean to be rude, Susan, but why are you yelling so loudly?" Terry asks her when Oliver Wood stops a Slytherin shot. He shuffles his feet a bit apologetically and Susan can't help but laugh.
"I really want Slytherin to lose," she replies, and it's only half of a lie. She really does want that Pansy Parkinson girl to stop looking so smug in Charms while Draco Malfoy makes fun of Harry Potter, and thinks that will probably do it.
Hannah grins at her knowingly, and Susan blushes. Hannah has had her suspicions ever since their first Herbology lesson when Susan could not stop staring at Harry.
"What?" Terry wonders, looking between them increduously. "What is it?"
But Hannah just grins and shakes her head, and Susan thinks she has chosen her best friend right.
"Look!" screeches Aaron Summers, a third year, pointing to the sky. "Look what's happening to Harry Potter!"
Susan immediately searches for him, and there he is, his broom bucking beneath him, trying to toss him off. Susan lets out an involuntary gasp, and Hannah grasps her hand. Susan doesn't move until Terry reminds her to "Please, breathe." She watches in horror as he dangles in the air, being whipped around like a ragdoll, and can feel her eyes well up with tears.
Don't let anything happen to him, she hopes with all her heart. She wants to close her eyes but can't. She grabs Terry's arm and holds on tight. Please, no.
And then it stops. Just as it started, Harry Potter is able to climb onto his broom and even catch the Snitch for a Gryffindor win. Susan screams and screams herself hoarse and wishes she could storm the field and hug him, like Hermione Granger can. She resigns herself to screaming and screaming, but Hannah and the boys are too because it really was a spectacular catch.
When Terry walks Susan and Hannah back to their dorm, Susan thinks that Harry must be the most heroic boy she's ever met in her life. She must have looked dreamy, because Terry asks what's wrong.
"Are you feeling sick, Susan?" he wonders, grabbing her elbow to keep her upright.
"I'm wonderful," she replies, and goes to bed and dreams.
Susan plucks up some courage (at Hannah's insistence) and sends Harry a card while he is in the Hospital Wing. She signs it, Thinking of You, Susan Bones. She has never written any truer words, as she is thinking of Harry all the time. She hopes Madame Pomfrey is well qualified to keep him safe and make him better, and wonders if he's eating properly.
In the corridor she questions Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as to how Harry is doing.
"He's not awake, but Madame Pomfrey says he will be soon," Ron says. Hermione looks worried.
"Will you tell him I said hello when he does wake up?" Susan requests on a whim.
"Of course," says Hermione, even though she will do nothing of the sort. She will forget, Susan knows, and so will Ron. But that's okay, she tells herself, because she would be surprised if Harry even knew who she was anyway. She has yet to work up the courage to say hello to him herself.
He is at the end of the year feast, and seems sour about the Slytherin decorations. But Susan is glad he's back, and he seems glad, too. She scans his body for any maladies that Madame Pomfrey might have missed, and, upon seeing none, smiles.
Dumbledore changes Harry's mood immensely, of course, when he begins awarding points to Gryffindor. Harry grins when he is given points, but not for himself - for Gryffindor. Harry never wants anything for himself, Susan thinks.
She cheers, the loudest of all the Hufflepuffs, when Gryffindor wins.