Author's Notes: Written for the January 3rd Prompt of the Day on Hogwarts Online II ā€“ "We all carry scars, inside and out. You're no different from the rest of us."

Set in OotP. During one of Harry's many pissed-at-the-world phases.


"Why are you so angry all the time?"

Harry's head snapped up at the sound of Luna's serene, quiet tones. He was sitting in the library, staring unseeingly at the book in front of him, and Luna's voice seemed jarring. She was standing in front of him, a book in her arms, with the usual expression of wide-eyed innocence on her face.


"I asked why you're so angry all the time."

He immediately felt a flash of irritation. Who was Looney Lovegood to ask him why he was angry? She didn't control his emotions, he didn't have to justify himself to her. Besides, he wasn't angry all the time.

"Don't see that it's your business," he mumbled, looking down.

"I'm just curious," she said. "Ginny says you're always snapping at people."

"Oh, so you and she have been talking about me behind my back, have you?"

"No." Luna shook her head so hard her radish earrings smacked against her cheeks. "We weren't talking behind your back, because if we were talking behind your back, I wouldn't be telling you."

Harry slammed his book shut and glared at her.

"You want to know why I'm angry all the time?" he asked, his voice rising, causing several third-years studying at a nearby table to look up in surprise.

"Yes," Luna said mildly, sitting down, and somehow that infuriated Harry more than anything else in the world ever could have.

"I'm angry all the time," he hissed, spitting out the words as though each one tasted bad, wanting to impress upon Luna just how angry he could be, "because I've got OWLs coming up, I've got to deal with that toad Umbridge, I saw my friend die last June, Dumbledore won't look at me, the Daily Prophet's publishing all sorts of articles about how I'm mad, and, oh yeah, Voldemort's back!"

Luna tilted her head and considered him.

"And it doesn't help matters," he added, "that you're asking me why I'm angry as if it'sā€“ as if it's unreasonable or something!" A burning pain shot through his forehead, and he clutched at it, wincing.

"I'm very sorry, Harry," Luna said. Her voice was the same light, dreamy, serene tone she always used, and she reached out and took his hand. "I suppose all that is very hard. But I don't think you should take it out on people who care about you."

"You don't get it," he muttered, rubbing his forehead. "You just don't understand what it's like. I'd like to see you go through all this," he added spitefully. "Maybe if you got a scar or two you'd be a little less self-righteous about all this."

"We all carry scars, you know," Luna said. "Inside and out. You're no different from the rest of us."

He laughed bitterly. "Yeah. Right. I'm not that different from you."

"You're not."

"Don't be stupid," Harry snorted. "What scars do you have? You're so- bloody happy all the time, I'll bet not one thing has gone wrong in your cheerful little life except- except not being able to find enough Crumple Horned Snorkacks!"

Luna's face didn't betray any hurt. She kept her serene smile in place, though if Harry had been paying better attention, he would have seen the way her eyes clouded over and she looked down.

"Things will get better," she said at last. "They always do, after a tragedy."

"As if you'd know anything about a tragedy."