Chapter 1 – Fall Out

"'That wand's more trouble than it's worth,' said Harry.

'And quite honestly,' he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, 'I've had enough trouble for a lifetime.'"

Harry strode towards the door, with Ron and Hermione close behind him. They made their way down the spiral staircase, and clambered over the gargoyle that still lay on the floor.

'Thanks,' said Harry, looking back over his shoulder.

'Anytime,' groaned the gargoyle.

Harry led them out of the castle and down to the lakeside, where Dumbledore's still broken tomb stood. Harry stared down at the lifeless form of his late mentor, his arms folded up towards his chest, still gripping at where the elder wand had been. It was surprising how well the marble grave had preserved the body. Without thinking, Harry reached out and placed a hand upon Dumbledore's.

'Thanks Professor,' said Harry, 'couldn't have done it without you.'

As he gazed at the old man's face, Harry couldn't help but think that Dumbledore appeared to be smiling. He removed the Elder Wand from his pocket and returned it to Dumbledore's fingers; the tip pointing up towards his face. Harry stepped back, removed his own wand from his other pocket, and pointing it at the tomb, muttered, 'Reparo'.

The two halves of the marble scraped towards each other, with the low, dull roar of stone grating against stone. They seamlessly melded together over Dumbledore's body, protecting the great wizard's continuous sleep once again.

'There's going to be a few tough weeks ahead of us,' said Hermione, 'I... I guess the first funerals will be in a week or so.'

Ron made a small, sad sniff, and Hermione wrapped her arm around his waist. 'Fred died fighting,' she said, looking into his eyes, 'don't you ever forget that.'

'If it wasn't for him and George,' said Harry, patting Ron on the shoulder, 'we'd have all given in to fear years ago. We'd have had far fewer laughs without them.'

'I know,' said Ron, 'I just... I just wish he wasn't gone.' Hermione pulled him into a tight hug, before leaving a soft kiss on his lips.

Harry turned away to give them some privacy. He thought for a moment about what Voldemort had said, that he'd let others die to protect him. A torrent of anger flushed through his system. He couldn't ever let it look like he didn't appreciate the sacrifice his friends, and many complete strangers, had made.

'I'm going to the funerals,' he said, firmly. 'All of them.'

Ron & Hermione looked around at him. Harry couldn't see it, but they both had looks on their faces that knew he wouldn't have done anything else.

'We'll come too,' said Hermione.

'S'only right,' Ron sniffed, as Hermione wiped a few tears from his cheeks. 'They all gave their lives, same as you Harry, and we have to support the families.'

The trio started walking back up to the castle, or at least, what was left of it. The wreckage covered the grounds; huge chunks of the battlements lay at the base of the walls, having been ripped away by the giants. In fact, one of the giants lay dead amongst the dust as well; the impact marks of a hundred different curses etched into its leathery skin.

'What about Teddy Lupin?' Hermione wondered, sadly. 'Who's going to look after him?'

'I expect Andromeda Tonks will,' said Harry, as they started to walk back towards the castle. 'Although, I'll certainly be a regular visitor; after all, what are Godfathers for?'

They passed the body of Nagini, still lying in the grass. With a small flick of her wand, Hermione set the Snake's headless corpse on fire. As it burned to ashes, the cool May breeze blew them up into the air, scattering them into the settling dusk.

They reached the top of the steps, and walked through the archway where the large doors had been hanging before the battle. The doors themselves now lay on the floor of the entrance hall, blasted off from their hinges by the invading Death Eaters. As they went to climb the marble staircase, with every intention of going up to the dormitories to sleep, Ginny came out of the Great Hall. She caught Harry's eye, and he could see the tear tracks, still running down her cheeks, glimmering in the half-light. He felt so very sad for her, but he could find neither enough words nor the right words to express the emotion. In the end, as they met at the top of the stairs, it was Ginny who broke the silence.

'Hi,' she said, quietly.

'Hi,' he replied. She looked up to meet his eyes, and for the first time in months, Harry felt the once familiar sensation of a lion roaring, triumphantly, in his stomach.

'We'll meet you upstairs, mate,' said Ron, patting Harry on the back, but subtly edging him closer to Ginny. He and Hermione turned and headed off up the stairs, Hermione still with an arm around Ron's waist and her head rested on his shoulder.

Harry & Ginny stood alone in the corridor, still gazing into each other's eyes. Harry still didn't know where to start.

'How do you feel?' Ginny asked.

'Exhausted. You?'

'Emotional,' she said, half laughing, half sobbing, as fresh tears started to stream down her face. Harry still didn't know what to say, but that didn't matter, as there was only one thing Ginny wanted to hear.

'Did you miss me?' she muttered. Harry drew breath, he was a little stunned that this was her first question, and he took a step towards her. They were now separated by mere inches.

'Every single minute,' he replied. 'I've been using the Marauder's map to watch your dot while you were still here.'

Tears continued to fall silently from Ginny's cheeks. 'I was worried you might have forgotten about me,' she said, for the first time looking away from Harry and down to her feet.

'No chance. You made sure I'd remember, in your room, on my seventeenth.' Harry smiled at her. He wiped a tear from her cheek, and thought how even in her sadness, she remained as beautiful as ever. 'But I don't think it would hurt to have a reminder.' Harry grinned, as Ginny looked up to meet his eyes again, but now with a raised eyebrow.

'Oh yeah?' she said, 'what makes you think I want you back?'

A smile broke across her face for the first time, and they threw their arms around each other in a tight hug.

'Don't you dare leave me again,' she said, her head nestled against his chest. 'Never ever, you hear me?'

'Never ever,' Harry repeated. As he pulled her towards his lips for their first kiss in almost a year, his fingers brushed across her cheek and back into her beautiful, dust-filled, auburn hair. But the dust didn't matter. They'd missed each other so much, and both poured ten months of emotion and separation into that one kiss. All the cares of the day washed away from Harry as Ginny's lips clung to his. For the first time in seven years, the first time since Hagrid had told him the truth about how his parents had died, Harry, finally, felt his anger, his hatred of Voldemort, and his feeling of isolation melting away.

After several tender minutes, during which time Harry suspected many people had passed the two of them on their way to bed, they broke apart. Silently, Harry took Ginny's hand, and they started up the stairs towards Gryffindor tower. At the top of the staircase, without asking for a password, the fat lady in the pink dress swung forward to admit the pair.

'No sense stopping you dear boy!' she beamed. 'I'm under orders from Professor McGonagall to let anyone in tonight. You've made Gryffindor proud!'

Muttering, 'thanks', hand in hand they entered the familiar common room. Harry closed his eyes and breathed in his home.

The common room remained unchanged, except for a few things. A few windows had been shattered during the fight, and there were a few dark green scorch marks in the ceiling where stray curses had flown from the grounds below and up through the windows. Finally, over the mantel piece stood a large moving picture of Harry, Ron & Hermione. All three were waving triumphantly out at the room's occupants. Underneath hung a banner with the words "OUR FRIENDS AT WAR" emblazoned across it.

The room itself was full of battle-worn students, each quietly making up beds for themselves. Seamus and Dean were carefully transfiguring arm-chairs into mattresses, in order to provide more bedding for the influx of exhausted victors. Standing in the middle of the room, talking quietly amongst themselves, were Ron, Hermione, Neville and Luna.

'We're all going to sleep down here for tonight, Harry,' said Neville, acknowledging his friends' arrival with a small smile. 'We told the Weasleys to sleep upstairs in the dormitories, and some of the other Order members too.'

'Nice idea, Neville,' said Ginny, and she planted a small, thankful kiss on his cheek.

They each made up their beds, Harry and Ginny shared a mattress, as did Ron and Hermione, whilst Neville and Luna made up separate beds for themselves near the fire.

Harry was now so tired that as soon as the bed was made he kicked off his shoes, and removed his jeans and jacket, both of which were covered in the forbidden forest's dusty earth. He crawled under the covers. Ginny got in beside him and cuddled up close.

'My brave, brave Harry,' she whispered as he closed his eyes. She removed his glasses, placed them carefully into his shoe, and then leaned over Harry, kissing him very gently on his scar. The feeling sent shivers down his spine, and Harry thought to himself, what a much more pleasant sensation it was than the prickling pain he'd grown so used to. Wrapping an arm around Ginny's waist, to hold her close, Harry fell straight into a deep, dreamless sleep.

x x x

The following morning, Harry woke up first. Without waking Ginny, he sat up and looked over to the three mattresses closest to him, and down at the sleeping girl beside him. He couldn't believe the amazing things these five, peaceful sleeping figures had done for, and with, him.

He looked over at Neville, who had stood up to the Carrows and their cruelty. Neville who had proved himself a hero, drawn the sword from the hat, and, exactly like Harry had instructed, killed the snake the first chance he got.

Sleeping on the mattress next to Neville, and oddly with her eyes open, was Luna. Luna who, along with Neville, had led a resistance against the Carrows, had survived imprisonment at Malfoy Manor, and had helped him solve the mystery of the diadem.

He looked at Hermione. She had always been at his side; always; even when it broke her heart by forcing her to part from Ron. She was sleeping with one arm out of the duvet, her hand holding that of her new boyfriend. He could see the scarred impression of the word "MUDBLOOD" upon her forearm, where it had been mercilessly carved by Bellatrix.

Harry looked at Ron. Ron, who had battled so bravely the night before. Ron, who had left his family behind without a second's thought, so as to aid Harry in his quest. Ron, who had confronted his fear in order to destroy a horcrux, and been clever enough to think of a way for Hermione to destroy another. Ron, who had been with Harry since his first day at Hogwarts, and Ron, who has lost a brother in the fight, yet remained standing to the very end.

Finally, Harry looked at Ginny. The girl who had loved him, waited for him, and fought for him. Harry couldn't believe how much one person could go through, and for her to still want to come back to him at the end.

He was about to lean down to give Ginny a gentle kiss, when Mr Weasley appeared at the bottom of the stairs leading to the dormitories. He looked tired, aged, and gravely saddened, and yet still greeted Harry with a warm smile.

'Harry,' he said softly, so as not to wake anyone else, 'will you come for a walk with me?'

'Sure,' Harry whispered back. 'One sec.' He felt around for his glasses, but found his wand first. He picked up his jeans, pointed the wand at the mud, and muttered 'Scourgify'. His jeans became clean and he pulled them on. He picked up his first shoe, and found were Ginny had left his glasses. He put them back on, and hastily pulled on his still-tied trainers. Mr Weasley led the way through the portrait hole and down into the grounds.

They walked in silence as they followed the path down to the lake. Harry could tell Mr Weasley was trying to select his words, and he had no intention of interrupting.

'I want to thank you, Harry,' Mr Weasley said after several minutes' silence. They came to a halt by the edge of the lake and turned to face each other.

'I should be thanking you, Mr Weasley,' Harry began, but he was cut off.

'Harry, you're of age, and, I think, after all these years, and all we've been through, it would be quite acceptable for you to call me "Arthur".' Mr Weasley's voice was rough, but he was doing his best to sound cheery. 'Besides, there really is no need to thank me; after all, you're the one who has just saved the wizarding world.' He paused, and smiled fondly at Harry. Then, Harry observed Mr Weasley's posture change, and an awkwardness overcome him. 'I... I understand it was Rookwood who killed Fred.' His voice quivered slightly as he spoke, but he managed to keep it under control.

'Yes,' Harry said quietly. He did not know what else to say. He feared there would be many conversations like this in the coming days.

'I see.' Again, Mr Weasley paused, and surveyed Harry for a moment, before continuing. 'Molly and I are hoping to have his funeral in two days time, at the Burrow. We've asked George his opinion, and he agrees that it would be a great honour if you would say a few words. Nothing too formal, Fred would've hated that. Just something...'

'Of course,' said Harry, firmly. 'Of course I will. It's the very least I can do.'

'Thank you, Harry.' Arthur smiled, and his posture reverted to its original, cheerier stance. 'I see Ginny took you back!' he said, with a small chuckle, as though there were never any doubt of this.

'Yes,' Harry smiled.

'I'm very happy for you two. The whole time we were at Muriel's, she never missed Potterwatch once. She was carrying the radio around with her for a few days, determined not to miss any news of you.'


'Oh yes, I've never known two young people care so much about each other. Well, except maybe Ron & Hermione. When did that finally happen, by the way?'

'Yesterday,' said Harry. He grinned as he thought about the two of them, wrapped up together in Gryffindor tower.

'About time, don't you think?'

'Oh, Mr Weasley, you have no idea.'

Mr Weasley smiled. 'Arthur, Harry. Call me Arthur.'

'Yes, sorry... Arthur.'

Mr Weasley smiled, and looked out over the lake. 'I'd like to think you know this already, Harry, but should you ever wish to, as the muggles say, "pop the question", I want you to know that you have my blessing.' He returned his gaze to Harry and patted him on the shoulder.

'Thank you, Mr Weas... I mean... Arthur,' said Harry, correcting himself. 'I'd like to think that day won't be far away.'

'Good,' said Mr Weasley, 'but don't tell Molly, or she'll be picking out curtains for the two of you faster than you can say "Dumbledore".'

They both laughed. Then Harry remembered something he needed to know the answer too.

'Arthur, what happened to Remus and Tonks?'

'Ah,' Mr Weasley looked saddened again. 'They both fought magnificently. Both of them took out a handful of death eaters each before… well.' He paused once more, and looked back out over the lake.

'It happened while Remus was duelling against Dolohov. Tonks had fought through a crowd of Death Eaters to check that Remus was ok, and had then managed to engage Bellatrix. They were firing spells at each other at a speed I've never seen before. It was truly something to behold. Across the room Yaxley was duelling with Luna and Dean Thomas; he'd cursed Dean to the floor and had turned his wand upon Luna. Tonks cast a shield charm to protect her but that was all the distraction Bellatrix needed, and she struck Tonks down with the killing curse.' Mr Weasley paused again, in order to clear the lump which had formed in his throat. Harry wiped a single tear from behind his glasses. 'As she fell,' Mr Weasley continued, 'Remus, well, he ran, he... he tried to catch her, but he'd turned his back on Dolohov...'

'Ok,' said Harry, cutting him off. He didn't want Mr Weasley to have to tell him anymore. 'Thank you for telling me.' Harry wiped his eyes on the sleeves of his T-shirt. 'I assume Andromeda will look after Teddy,' he asked.

'Yes, Kingsley went last night, in person, to tell her what had happened. We didn't want her to hear it by owl. Not after losing Ted as well. Obviously, she was devastated, but has to think about what's best for Teddy now. She's going to come up to the school today.'

Harry remained quiet for a few minutes. Mr Weasley sat down on the grass, and continued to look out at the lake. He gestured an invitation for Harry to do the same.

'I want to speak to Kingsley myself at some point today,' said Harry as he sat down. 'There are things to be discussed, to be decided. Not least, what we're to going to do with Voldemort's body.' Harry noticed that, for the first time in years, Mr Weasley didn't tremble at the name. Instead, he simply nodded his understanding.
They sat together in silence for another half hour, just looking out across the lake. In the very centre, the giant squid was splashing about, and leaping through the air. Apparently, not just wizards and centaurs were celebrating the victory.

Harry opened the door to the great hall and was greeted by an almighty cheer. Mr Weasley patted him on the back, and walked ahead to join his wife at the Gryffindor table.

The four long tables had been replaced into their normal positions, and hundreds of people, both students and adults were sat having breakfast. As he moved through the hall, shaking various people's hands, Harry noticed that the enchanted ceiling was displaying a beautiful cloudless blue sky.

He sat down next to Ginny, opposite Ron & Hermione, and pulled a plate of sausages towards him. Ginny kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear 'Sleep well?'

'Unbelievably well,' he replied, his mouth half full of sausage, 'best I've had in months. Sorry I left this morning, your Dad wanted to talk.'

'That's ok; I expect there'll be a few times that happens over the next few days.' She smiled, as her boyfriend finished the second mouthful. Harry smiled back, leaned over and brushed her lips with his, before grabbing a fork, and scooping several fried eggs on to the plate in front of him.

Ginny rolled her eyes and grinned as Harry began his attempt to eat his weight in fried food. She turned back to Hermione.

'So,' she began, 'when did you two finally sort yourselves out?'

'Yesterday!' Hermione smiled.

'S'pout dime doo' Harry said, his mouth now full of bacon.

'Well, how did it happen?' Ginny asked Hermione. She patted Harry on the back, as he had started to cough having attempted to squeeze in one too many mushrooms.

'Girls," Ron sighed, with a wink to Harry, 'they always need the story, don't they?'

Having stopped choking, Harry grinned back and leaned across the table to pull the toast rack towards him.

'So?' Ginny urged, ignoring her brother's interruption.

'Ron stood up for elfish rights.' Hermione said dreamily, and Ron wrapped his arm round her shoulder.

'How romantic,' Ginny said sarcastically. 'They'll be telling that story down the ages.' Ron snorted his amusement, and Hermione smiled.

'Well, to be fair,' said Ron, 'I think that was just the final push we needed.'

Harry turned to look up at the teachers table. Professor McGonagall was sat in the Head teacher's chair, on her right sat Professor Flitwick and to her left sat Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Professor Slughorn was sat next to Professor Trelawney who had three crystal balls on the table in front of her. Harry suspected that these were the only three she had left, after smashing her others on the Death Eaters, and had refused to let them out of her sight. Professor Sprout had her arm in a cast, and on the end of the table sat Hagrid, in his large, magically reinforced chair, beaming down at Harry. They exchanged a little wave with each other, as Kingsley stood up at the front of the hall, and the room's occupants fell silent.

'Today,' he began, 'marks the start of a new wizarding world. Voldemort has forever been defeated.' A few people still trembled as he said Voldemort's name, though many others cheered, however, the majority of the hall's residents remained perfectly still. Kingsley continued. 'The last few years have been difficult for many of us. Many have lost loved ones, many have suffered torture, and many have been forced to do things against their will. Finally, we're free from this tyranny. Those who we have lost shall be honoured; those who fought shall live in peace. But all, all, shall be remembered.

'Voldemort, at long last, has forever fallen, and we have one man we must thank; one man, who has been through more than most of us. My friends, please raise your goblets in a toast, to Mr Harry Potter.'

'Harry Potter!' Everyone chorused, and the room erupted again in cheers. Ron grabbed Harry's arm and raised it into the air in celebration. Harry was embarrassed, but felt honoured nonetheless.

'Speech!' Ernie MacMillan called from the Hufflepuff table, and a few people laughed, others waited to see if Harry would say anything. Harry stood up and slowly walked to the front of the hall. He thought briefly of the last time he'd done so, when his name had unexpectedly been drawn from the Goblet of Fire the year that Voldemort had returned.

He reached the front, and stood next to Kingsley and looked out at the hundreds of faces now looking up at him. Harry was surprised he wasn't more nervous. 'Thank you all,' he began. 'I really mean it. Thank you. Many of you have stood by me for years, and all of you stood by me yesterday in battle. But there are two people who I would like to thank most. Two people have spent the last year with me, and stuck by me, even when times were tough, and without whom, I probably wouldn't be here today. Those two people are Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger.' There was more applause from the house tables for Ron and Hermione, who both went as red as Ron's hair, but looked pleased. 'Another toast,' declared Harry, 'to Ron and Hermione.'

'Ron and Hermione,' everyone chorused.

'Thank you all again.' Harry finished.

There was more applause, during which George shouted 'Merlin's beard, somebody stop him now before it turns into an acceptance speech!'

Everyone laughed at this, but Kingsley smiled. 'Well, now you mention it George…' He turned to Harry and withdrew a small box from inside his robes.

'Harry Potter, as acting Minister for Magic, I'm delighted to present you with the Order of Merlin, first class; just a small thank you from the Ministry.'

Harry's mouth fell open, as even more applause broke out, and Kingsley hung the medallion around Harry's neck. Kingsley whispered in Harry's ear 'the very least we can do!'

'I need to speak to you later,' Harry whispered back, 'before you leave.' Kingsley nodded.

It soon became the longest breakfast Harry had ever experienced at Hogwarts. After glasses of fire whiskey and bottles of butterbeer had been passed around in celebration, and even more hugging and handshaking had occurred, Harry found himself sat in Hagrid's hut with Ginny, Ron, and Hermione, while Hagrid himself made tea.

'I've missed this,' said Hermione, filling a brief gap in the conversation.

'Yeah, I know what you mean,' Harry replied, 'We've not really had a chance lately just to sit around chatting, have we?'

'Well I'm jus' thankful that we've still got yeh 'ere 'Arry,' said Hagrid from the sideboard where he was dropping several dozen teabags into a large teapot. 'Wors' moment of me life were carryin' yeh outta the forest las' night; thinkin' yeh was dead.' He sniffed loudly, and blew his nose on his tablecloth-sized handkerchief. 'Still,' he said brightly, as he turned round to face them carrying a large plate of his infamous rock cakes. 'As it turns out, yeh were fine. I shudda known he couldn't kill yeh as easy as that.'

Harry grinned at Hagrid. 'I'm just a tough nut to crack,' he laughed. 'It's not as though Voldemort's going to get a chance for "third time lucky" is it?'

'Anyway,' said Ron, leaning forward, 'speaking of things that are hard to crack, rock cake anyone?'

'Ooh, yer cheeky little bugger,' said Hagrid.

The others fell about laughing, as Ron, feigning innocence, offered round the plate of cakes. Just as their laughter began to subside, there was a knock at the door.

Hagrid opened it, to find Kingsley stood on the door step.

'Sounds like this is where the party is,' said Kingsley. 'I could hear you all laughing all the way up at the castle.'

'Could you really?' asked Ginny.

'Rock cake, Minister?' said Ron, peering around Hagrid and offering the plate to Kingsley. Ginny and Hermione both sniggered, and covered their mouths with their hands to try and conceal their laughter.

'No, thank you Ron,' Kingsley replied. 'I've come to speak to Harry, actually.'

'Ah, good,' said Harry, pulling himself up out of his chair. He followed Kingsley out into what was left of Hagrid's pumpkin patch.

'How're you feeling?' asked Kingsley.

'Pretty good,' Harry replied. 'You?'

'Yes, excellent,' Kingsley agreed. 'You wanted to talk to me?'

'I did. First of all, what are we doing with Voldemort's body?'

'The Department of Magical Law Enforcement's standard practice is to cremate the body of any dark wizard killed by the Aurors during a mission. That seems most likely.'

Harry thought for a moment. 'Yes, that sounds sensible. What about the ashes?'

'Ordinarily, if the wizard in question has benign family members, the ashes are returned to them.'

'Is that what will happen with the Death Eaters bodies?'

'Yes, for the most part. However, as Voldemort has no living relatives, the ministry will have his remains scattered at sea.'

'At sea? Why at sea?'

'We wish to avoid putting them anywhere they can be found. We don't want to allow them to become a shrine for other dark wizards or surviving Death Eaters.'

Harry nodded. 'I've not seen the Prophet yet today; how far has the news travelled?'

'The battle was too late last night to make the morning edition, but I imagine tomorrow's paper will have it. Don't get me wrong though, people know. I hear that wizards and witches are celebrating in Trafalgar Square.'

'I bet that's quite a sight,' Harry chuckled.

'I know,' Kingsley sighed. 'Muggles everywhere; it'll take us weeks to wipe all of their memories. Anyway, I'd best be going, new job and all; was there anything else?'

'Yes actually,' said Harry, 'speaking of new jobs. I was wondering if there are any vacancies in the Aurors' department.'

Kingsley raised an eyebrow at Harry. 'After last night, I'm afraid to say there are several.'

'Oh,' said Harry, 'yes, of course. Sorry, I didn't mean...'

'Don't worry,' said Kingsley. 'I know what you meant. There's a post available for you whenever you're ready to take it.'


'Of course, Harry. From what I've seen, a few weeks of training and you'll be more than ready for field work.'

Harry thanked Kingsley, who held out his hand for a parting shake. As Kingsley strode off towards the front gates, Harry walked around the pumpkin patch and back into Hagrid's hut.

'What was that about?' asked Ron, as Harry closed the door behind him.

'Disposing of Voldemort's body,' Harry replied, 'also, when the Prophet will run the story, and then I asked about working in the Aurors' department.'

'The Aurors?' asked Hermione. 'Really? What did he say?'

'He said the job's mine when I want it.'

'And you're going to take it?' asked Ginny.

'Of course,' said Harry, 'I want to help with the fall out. Oh, hey, Hagrid, can I use your facilities?'

'Course,' said Hagrid. The four of them watched as Harry strode across the hut and disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Ginny and Hermione glanced at each other, a worried look etched across both of their faces.

'Who's going to tell him?' Hermione asked, quietly.

'Tell him what?' asked Ron.

'That the war is over,' said Ginny. 'Who's going to tell him he can stop now?'