Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and am making no profit from this story.

dArK-dAeMoIs-DeA wanted a continuation of 'Worth It'

Worth It II: Apology

by Evandar

"You were right."

Harry tried to ignore him, but he couldn't. Marcus was a hard person to ignore. Even when he was quiet, it was impossible: he had a presence. Ron and some of the other Gryffindors put it down to his build. 'Troll-like' they said, meanly, but it was true that Marcus was tall and broad-shouldered, and that was definitely part of it. He also had a habit of looming over whoever he was talking to, which was another part.

But that couldn't be all of it; Harry noticed him every time he walked in a room, regardless of whether Marcus wanted to speak to him or not.

He looked up from his essay. Marcus was standing on the other side of the table, looming as usual, but looking more regretful than he usually did when he acted like an ass.

"Pardon?" Harry asked.

"You were right," Marcus repeated. "It wasn't your fault. You did your job, like you were supposed to, and it's not your fault that Malfoy's a bloody idiot."

Harry couldn't quite stop himself from smiling at that, but it faded quickly. He was angry with Marcus. He'd had no right to speak to Harry the way he had after the match. It had hurt, and it still hurt.

"Did you rehearse that?" he asked.

"A little bit," Marcus admitted. "Can I sit down?"

"Free country," Harry told him, and returned to his essay. He didn't write more than three words. It was hard to focus when he was being stared at.

"Harry."

"Marcus."

"Look, I was a prat, okay? I know I was," Marcus said. "I don't know how else to say it."

"Then don't," Harry said. He looked up again, and was surprised by the hurt look he caught flashing over Marcus' face. He sighed. "I didn't mean that," he said. "Well, I did. You hurt me a lot. You shouldn't have spoken to me like that."

"I know."

And as much as Harry wanted to hold a grudge, he knew that he couldn't. He was helpless in the face of Marcus' sadness, not to mention his own misery. He missed Marcus. A lot. He missed the warm, safe feeling he gave, and the shy smiles and the occasional bit of advice on how to deal with Snape. He missed talking (civilly) about Quidditch and how Malfoy was a prat and Binns was worse than useless. He missed talking with Zephyr, Marcus' snake.

He didn't say it out loud. "Don't do it again," he said instead, and smiled when Marcus grinned at him. They were okay.