somebody else's business

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, most of which you may find in the M&MWP forum. Check out and join the forum FUN! Read, review, and enjoy!

- ^-^3

There wasn't anything there for her anymore.

Susan Bones had surveyed the wreckage countless times. There was the wreckage of the castle and of the Bones family home. How was she supposed to know that the last things she had in this world, her parents, would've been taken from her when she had rushed into the battle? …how could she not have seen it coming, the chance to wipe out the Bones family?

But if that were true, then she would've died in Scotland. And her body would by lying with Megan's and Leanne's and all the rest. But it wasn't. So Susan looked all around her, trying to find a place in the world—not her place, because she could care less. Any place would do now.

Hannah and Ernie were as a close as ever, despite Hannah's growing attraction to Neville. Justin… He had left quickly to return to his parents, to check on them, and Susan almost wished they were gone so that she would have someone to share her pain…but she knew that wasn't right. And Zacharias—Zacharias hadn't even fought! Neither had Eloise, but she at least had left to keep after the younger students who had been escorted to safety. She didn't know where Wayne had gotten to, but Megan and Leanne were long gone.

There was no going to the other D.A. members for solace, either. Though a friend, Seamus was busy forgetting his worries as he caught up with Dean, whom they hadn't seen for a long while. The Patil twins were checking on Lavender, who could pass at any second from her wound from Greyback. The rest…the rest…

Neville, Luna, and Hermione stood a little behind Harry, and they mourned with the Weasley family, for Fred had died. Off to the side were the late Professor Lupin and a witch Susan supposed was his wife. There were many others whom Susan didn't recognize, but she'd had it, because all the faces were blurring together, and maybe it was a sign that none of it mattered anymore.

Wayne found her sitting outside the portrait for the Hufflepuff territory. He knelt by her and lifted a hand as though he was ready to pat her head, but he didn't touch her. "Sue?" he asked.

Hearing her name…made her stone-cold. It sounded so out of place, the nickname said so gently by this boy—her friend—with his concerned gray eyes and his clean hair the color of toasted wheat that made it look as though he hadn't fought at all. Which was a lie, because he'd almost died fighting alongside Dean and Seamus.

"Susan."

And she sighed and said nothing, because nothing felt right or real anymore, even as he finally patted her hair and drew her head under his chin and squeezed her tightly. All of this belonged to someone else. It was someone else's life, it had to be.

But it wasn't, and Susan left trying to convince herself of that. With no family left, she had enough money to travel the world. America was too noisy. Japan was too crowded. Denmark was too slow-paced for her. Costa Rica was gorgeous but too dangerous, as were many of the South American countries.

Susan returned to the U.K. only because she had no place else to go.

She longed for a bit of nostalgia, even if she couldn't go to the site of her old home or see Hogwarts, though six years had passed. So instead she compromised and went to Hogsmeade.

Most of it had survived the war, though it looked no worse for the wear. Still, Madam Puddifoot's was as garishly pink as ever, and the ridiculousness of it made her think of going inside.

That was when someone emerged from the café. "Susan?" He blinked and tore off a pink apron, hiding it behind his back.

"Wayne?" She furrowed her brow, wondering why he was there.

He laughed, his cheeks red. "Yeah… Merlin, it's been years, Sue. Where've you been?"

She stared at the ground. "Everywhere."

He didn't comment on her answer. Instead, he hugged her and linked their arms. "Well, you're here now. Care for a bite to eat?"

Though her stomach told her no, she nodded, and they ate at the Three Broomsticks. All the while, Susan learned that Wayne worked part-time for Puddifoot, and worked at the Post Office the other half. In his free time, he cared for the owls in the Owlery at the school.

"But that's enough about me. Surely you've done something exciting with your life." He said it so cheerily that Susan wished she could've been as enthusiastic as he was. But she wasn't, and she hadn't been that way for a long time.

"There's nothing exciting," she said in a tone that closed the subject.

Just like that, they were back to that moment from six years ago, and Wayne said "Susan" sadly and he reached across the table and patted her head as though no time had been lost between them.

He almost got the chance to hug her again when she stood and said goodbye and ran off. She didn't need him to worsen things. She liked the numbness she had built up. It was nice. It kept her calm.

For ten more years, Susan forgot about him. She forgot about Wayne, about the war, about everything, almost. There were times when she was reminded of the past, reminded of her family and friends and all she'd swore to leave behind because they'd all left her behind anyway.

But friends and romance in Canada, in the Philippines, in Germany, in India…none of it was real. None of it made her feel as though she'd found a place just for her. In trying to escape a life she thought was someone else's, she ended up living other people's lives entirely. Hearing "Je t'aime," "Iniibig kita," "Ich liebe Dich," and "Main tumse pyar karta hun" just reminded Susan how good it was to hear someone plainly say "I love you."

Maybe that was why she was drawn back to Scotland after the seventeenth anniversary of the war victory. She wanted to hear English again, and not just in passing. She wanted to see familiar faces again because—she had to admit—there was a charm about nostalgia and its power over her, its power to make her come home.

"Home" was a strange thought for her, though. She hadn't had a…home in forever. Nevertheless, Hogwarts looked better than ever, and she wished she could get her last few school years back, to redo.

"Harry's first kid is starting this fall, you know," a voice said, spooking her in the Owlery.

Susan had been expecting to see Wayne at some point, but she hadn't thought he'd find her again so soon. He was always doing that, wasn't he?

His smile was tight and he'd filled out, but he was more handsome than she recalled. His hair had a slight curl in the front, like Justin's, but he…he was still Wayne Hopkins.

"You still love the Owlery, I see," she said by way of making conversation.

Wayne sighed. "I love owls. I'm crazy enough to run the Post Office in Hogsmeade now."

"I see."

"I'm crazy enough to still help out Puddifoot every now and then."

"I see."

"I'm crazy enough to have waited almost twenty years for you to decide you're back for good."

Susan had been watching a Tawny owl until he said that. Now she looked at him. "What?"

"Are you done being everywhere? Are you done doing 'nothing exciting'? Are you home?"

No, no, no. He couldn't say these things to her. She was one with the numbness. She didn't want to feel again, not after the war. The only thing she wanted was a place for her…and she refused to let Wayne be that place. She bit her bottom lip to keep it from quivering.

"Oh, Susan…" Wayne took a step towards her and reached to pat her head as he'd always done.

But she flinched back. If he touched her now, if he caressed her hair, then the numbness would go away. She hated that he wanted that numbness to go away, that he wanted her to care again and—Susan paused. Confound it, he'd already made her numbness fade, and it was disappearing more with every step he took to close their distance. Why? Why did he have to interfere and make her think of all the good times as well as the bad when he pierced her with his gaze?

"Sue," he breathed, and then he caught her breath in his mouth.

And it was painful, the emotions welling in her chest, because it felt real, too real, and the crashing of reality over her was too much. His embrace and his "I love you" nearly drove her mad. She didn't belong here, she didn't belong, she didn't belong

Wayne refused to let her go. "Welcome home, Sue."

The numbness shattered and she cried in his arms. There were tears for everything: the war, their losses, her family, their friends, her distance, her coldness, her unhappiness, his patience, his love, and his belief in her.

"We've been waiting for you, you know," he whispered.

She nodded, knowing he meant their friends. There was actually so much still here for her, and she would slowly work towards recognizing all of that. Yet for now, she had to realize something else in Wayne's kiss. This life was hers, and not someone else's. This place was hers, and not someone else's.

- ^-^3

:') We know so little about Wayne, but my strong Hannah/Ernie, Justin/James S.P., and Zacharias/Parvati leanings have long left me wondering what to do with Susan if she isn't with Harry. And finally Wayne popped up and said, "Hellooo! Obvious pairing here!" Which is kinda funny, because Wayne/Susan's such a…normal M&MWP. XD (And Jamestin and Zachvati are 2 more M&MWPs, so please give credit if you use them, thanks!) I will deffo be writing more Wayne/Susan! *Note: The title of this fic is a song by Pet Shop Boys. :)

Thanks for reading, and please review!

-mew-tsubaki :]