DAYD Chapter 24- "The Light of Day" Pt 1
Ginny: It's nearly over! So hard to believe!
Harry: What is this chapter even for?
Hermione: Look like a reflection on the horrible deaths of everybody.
Hannah: Oh joy.
Neville: It's shorter than usual though! We can do this!
Ron: God, you're both such optimists.
Luna: As a fellow optimist, I'm holding out hopes for plant tents, everyone finally releasing their sexual tension and having a slashy good time and confirmation of all my theories. At the same time.
(Everyone Loves Harry Group Hug. I bet Thanfiction was sad this had to be kept in, though he does make sure to allude to the fact Harry is ABOUT TO BE RIPPED APART BY THIS INTENSE AFFECTION so there is some suffering for Harry involved)
Then he was shoved back, shouldered out of the way by Ginny,
Ginny: Yesssssss, my doppelganger finally got to hurt him.
by Luna, by Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Hagrid and a dozen, a hundred, a thousand others.
Ron: Biggest hug ever.
(Neville is so happy! He is injured but so happy! He considers hacking at Voldemort with the sword but that would be CHILDISH so he spits at it instead…which is less childish somehow?)
It landed with a satisfying splatter, and he wasn't the only one to feel that way. Little Rose Zeller, a fourth-year Hufflepuff girl, came crawling through the chaos on her hands and knees, dragging her useless arm and leg behind her,
Harry: I really think I would have noticed if maimed fourteen year olds were crawling around mutilating Voldemort's corpse. And mentioned it! I also would have mentioned that the hall was sea of blood and that everyone I knew besides you lot and a few scattered adults and Seamus was reduced to a pile of gore. I mean, yes, it's possible I would have missed a few bodies I knew initially, but the massacre depicted here? I would have given that a mention.
Ron: Also, there's no way that girl's injuries won't be fixed up in St. Mungo's in a minute, so the horror we were supposed to feel at how she'll never recover from whatever's wrong with her is a bit lessened.
(Rose carves "DA" into Voldemort's chest, but Kingsley stops her and says V's not even worth dealing with, and McG says they should get the defilement out of the room. Neville is probably super disappointed by this but is bombarded with almost as much affection as Harry! before he can whine)
he was being kissed by witch and wizard alike,
Luna: Looks like my theory of this ending in a massive Great Hall orgy is coming to fruition!
and he was grateful when McGonagall reached through the ecstatic melee and gently took the Sword he had been trying to hold away from it all to avoid slicing open his own comrades.
Ginny: Though he was sure they would have all enjoyed it, as everyone gets off on gore in this thing.
Luna: It will make the orgy even better for them!
(All the heavily injured want to talk to Neville! They want him to kiss their scorched cheeks! A lot of words! He is crying, but not proper tears, manly tears! He feels very little! Is that supposed to be a surprise or something?)
He was still their Commander, still their leader, and it was dizzying how when everyone else was still clustered around Harry, the few remains of his own little army didn't even seem to care that the other wizard was there.
Ginny: HARRY JUST KILLED VOLDEMORT BUT WHO CARES NOT A BIG DEAL NEVILLE GOT PEOPLE TO DIE THAT WAS GREAT
The reinforcements had included the families of nearly all the students who had remained to fight in the first wave of the battle, summoned by the desperate hope that they could do something to help their children, their brothers and sisters, their nieces and nephews, even their grandchildren, and because of the Fidelius Charm, most of them had no idea that it hadn't been Harry who led the fight all along.
Ginny: LITTLE DID THEY KNOW HARRY SUCKED. PS LUNA AND I DID NOTHING TO HELP LEAD THE FIGHT
Ron: You infected her with your capslocks, didn't you, Harry?
Harry: Mrs. Weasley does it too, maybe she inherited from her.
At first, as each knot of relatives found their loved ones, it was Harry that was sought out, embraced in tearful thanks for those who had lived,
Ron: Probably a good idea, as they would have died had Harry not killed Voldemort.
begged for some closure, for words of praise and solace for those who had arrived too late, whose children were found dead or seriously wounded or not at all.
To his surprise, it was Ron and Hermione who re-directed them, taking shaking shoulders and murmuring softly through wails of anguish that it had been Neville after all. Neville who had taught them to fight hard enough to spare their lives, Neville that had been their leader whom they had followed proudly and gladly to the last.
Hannah: Neville who had convinced them they should charged blindly into death, Neville who had dragged underage students into the fight, Neville who had convinced them they had little hope of survival, Neville who had yelled at and berated them constantly, Neville who had taught them how to torture and kill, Neville who had just left several of them to die because he was too busy running around looking forward to his monument…
It was easier for those he hadn't seen. He could praise their heroism, tell their families and friends what they had been like alive, how they had fought back all year, how they had grown and become so strong and so brave,
Harry: Because of him, of course. They definitely weren't like that before. Any good trait they had would have HAD to come down to HIM.
and how he knew they had gone down hard,
Hermione: I'm sure that's a very…comforting… thing to say…
and yes, he was sure that they had thought of their families with love in the last moments.
But he also had to face Nick and Sarah Vance, find a way to explain why they weren't being allowed to see Ryan without forcing them to hear that he had been ripped inside out by an Entrail Expelling Curse,
Ron: Oh god, do we seriously have to relive this stupidity again?
why their other son had been rushed away to St. Mungo's where they could only hope to undo the thirty layered hexes that had finally felled him. Romilda's entire caravan had come,
Luna: Romilda is a circus performer? That explains quite a lot!
Ron: What does it ex-?
Hermione: I think it's supposed to allude that she's a gypsy. Allude to it in a really awkward way.
beseeching him to help them find her, and he had to lead them to the shredded heap they had walked past six times, then admit the news that therewasno one to curse,
Ginny: Because gypsies! And their curses! Am I right?
Harry: Even though they're wizards, so curses shouldn't actually be unusual!
Neville: If we took a drink every time this story dropped in a culture only to represent it with the most common stereotype, we would be long in the grave.
because the closest family of the witch who had done it were the two tow-headed boys a few places away in the line of heartbreak.
Ginny: The stupid thing about Colin and his brother being related to Lestranges again.
Ron: Oh. Isn't everyone related to the Lestranges (except Muggleborns, which Colin is supposed to be). So why is Colin's relation to them such a big bloody deal? These people will just have to curse everyone in the wizarding world, I guess.
Hermione: It's a really awkward way to remind us of Colin's and Dennis's death. Bellatrix's closest family would actually be Narcissa Malfoy, so why don't they curse her?
Ginny: Also, "line of heartbreak" for extra eye-rolling.
thanked him for fighting at their side, and for being willing to see them now. But what else could he do? It was impossible for Neville to turn his back on them
Hannah: You turned your back on Jack and let him bleed to death…and that's just for starters…
when they had all become so much more than his soldiers; they were his friends, every one of them.
Harry: Yeah, sure. Except for the fact you treated them as pawns and always thought of them as such.
Euan Abercrombie had collected Chocolate Frog cards, and he had wanted his younger brother to have the whole set, even though he had never let him touch them in life.
Harry: Er, hurray?
Ron: ONLY IN DEATH CAN YOU TOUCH MY STUFF! I bet that made his death worth it for his brother.
He held Pansy as she sobbed over her sister and swore to her that she had never betrayed her beliefs.
Ginny: He assured Pansy her sister was racist to the very end. How sweet.
He found Gwenog Jones in the crowd and lead her over to where Rowan lay, and the tough athlete wept as she placed a gentle kiss on the young witch's cold lips, then took off her own team robes and wrapped them around the strong, broken shoulders.
Luna: The only slash I get is necrophilia? I may be a multishipper, but I have limits.
Ron: What language is she speaking?
(Hannah gets Neville to eat)
Hannah actually had to feed him the first few bites of the meal that had been placed in front of him
Hannah: Because he is a helpless little baby…
before he realized that he was, in fact, starving and tucked into it himself, but the food was tasteless in his mouth even as his body demanded it with frightening rapacity.
Ginny: Seriously, stop trying to show off the thesaurus.
Slowly, he became aware of the people clustered around, and his brow furrowed as he noticed that one particular face was missing from the eager little gathering. He turned to Hannah, dropping his voice low to keep the question between the two of them. "Where's Seamus?"
Luna: Communing with the leprechaun in his head!
Her eyes widened as she looked around, noticing for the first time that the young Irishman
Ginny: OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SEAMUS IS IRISH
Harry: I NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED
Hannah: I am shocked by this development!
was nowhere to be found. "I don't know. He was here a little bit ago…over with Dean
Ginny: You know, the Dead Black Best Friend…tragic…
and his family." She stood, craning her neck to see through the crowd that had thinned a bit, but was still dense in the wrecked Hall. "They're still with the body, but I don't see him anywhere."
Neville stood, surprised to find that his strength had returned quite a bit with only the few minutes rest and the meal he had demolished. "Guys –"
The babble of voices stilled, and a dozen pairs of eyes looked up at him expectantly, as if waiting for his next order.
Hannah: Dear lord, he's got them brainwashed.
"Hey…" he shook his head, "we're not an army any more…but does anyone know where Finnigan's gone?"
Harry: Out of this thing if he's smart.
(He's missing! Oh no! Something terrible may have happened! MAYBE HE IS CRYING THAT WILL RUIN HIS IRISH MANHOOD! Anyways, Neville orders everyone to recover, they will have a victory party later, they do the Dumbledore's Army chant and he goes off to look for his life partner)
He found Seamus in the Room of Requirement.
Ginny: I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!
Luna: I do!
It was unrecognizable as any of the forms it had ever taken. Instead, it was simply an empty room,
Neville: Empty like his heart and soul.
no larger than one of the smaller classrooms, scorched completely black
Neville: Completely black like his heart and soul.
and smelling strongly of char as faint wisps of smoke continued to rise here and there where beams and braces continued to smolder.
Neville: Smoldering like his good looks.
Seamus had found or conjured a small stool that seemed incongruous as the only thing unburned in their former hideout,
Ginny: Including Seamus who was burned by being in this fic.
and he was sitting with his back to the open door, his head bowed low, his elbows braced on his knees as he stared at something in his hands.
Harry: Something Irish no doubt.
He didn't answer when Neville called his name, and as he walked into the room and came around to face his friend, he was not entirely surprised to see that it was a bottle,
Neville: You were so right, Harry! Because those Irish, they always get drunk! Especially Seamus!
Ginny: Maybe he decided to play one of our fic drinking games.
the amber liquid barely filling it halfway. The tracks of them were visible on the freckled cheeks when Seamus finally raised his head, but there was no trace of tears in the blue eyes. "Whatcha doin' comin' in here?"
Hannah: Leave him to Irish in peace!
(Neville was worried about him, of course!)
"No need." He raised the bottle, showing the label, which was a Muggle brand of whisky Neville did not recognize. "Jus' havin' meself a bit o' a victory nip. You'll be welcome ta share'f ya like. Dean put me on to it, he did, y'know. Shocked as anythin' to find I'd never had non o' what me own country does grand enough without magic 'tall.
Ginny: Dean told Seamus they couldn't be friends if he wasn't more of a stereotype. He couldn't be just an Irish drunk, he had to be an Irish drunk on Irish whiskey! And that's why Seamus killed him when no one was looking.
Luna: Ooh, plot twist! The tragic love that ends with murder.
Not s'much kick as firewhisky, but smooth's a kiss, an' lets ya tuck it by better for't."
Hermione: Whatever that means.
"Seamus – " Neville frowned as he got a better look at the flushed cheeks, heard the thickness of the accent and the blur at the edges of the words. " – you're drunk."
"Fifty points ta Gryffindor for noticin' the bleedin' obvious."
Ron: This Neville states the obvious so much even the other characters in this bilge notices it!
He took another long pull from the bottle, then wiped his mouth on the back of his hand. "An' I don't know when I intend ta be sober again, tell ya true that."
Ginny: That's the only way to be TRUE Irishman!
Neville reached out, putting a hand gently on the other man's back. "I don't think Dean would want –"
"T'hell with Dean!" He yanked away, his eyes blazing abruptly.
Dean: Thanks, Seamus, I'm touched.
Seamus: Wai…what am I doing here!
Ginny: So glad you two could join us!
"I thought it were Sally-Anne what'd lost t'use of her eyes…
Seamus: Am I making blind jokes?
Hermione: Sadly, yes.
or can't ya hear, neither? Or can't ya see how many o' our friends were laid out down there? Din't ya hear Harry?"
Seamus: What did Harry say?
Harry: No idea, but everything I say is just automatically terrible in this thing.
"Of course I know how many we lost!" He pulled a piece of parchment from his pocket, letting Seamus see the long list of names written there,
Seamus: Okay, er, thanks for that visual demonstration…
"I'm the one that's been having to deal with all their families. And it's not Harry's fault, Seamus. He didn't –"
Harry: OF COURSE IT'S MY FAULT ALL THE WOES OF THE WORLD COME FROM ME.
"No, no he din't, an' that's the pain o' it. I had meself a chat with Ron. Harry were as blind lost as any o' us. D'you know ol' Dumbledore din't tell themanythin'?They were out there, tryin' not ta get killed, wanderin' around for better part o' a year on a little breadcrumb scavenger hunt, no bleedin' idea o' what they were doin', or what they'd do when they were done. Harry din't even know he had ta die until we were already under ceasefire."
Harry: Dumbledore should have told me when I was eleven. Then I could have spent the rest of my life being morbid just like the people in this fic.
Seamus' voice broke, and his head tipped down into his hands as his shoulders began to shake. "They had the last one o' them Hor-bastards done by not fifteen minutes in. Coulda all ended there. Coulda been – "
Harry: That wasn't Dumbledore's fault. He genuinely didn't know where the other Horcruxes were.
Neville wanted to soothe him as he began to weep bitterly, to protest that he was drunk, that he must have misunderstood, that it couldn't be true, but he couldn't.
Neville: Because it was his inclination to think the most negative thing about everyone.
He remembered how Ron and Hermione had been just as ignorant of what Harry was doing as the rest of them. How they had been guessing just as blindly. How lost, howabandonedHarry's eyes had seemed when he first showed up,
Ron: You're like an abandoned puppy dog, Harry.
Harry: Shut up.
and how he had confessed to all of them that he didn't even know what they were looking for.
Harry: Yeah, nobody knew. Not Dumbledore. Not anybody except Voldemort. That wasn't Dumbledore's fault.
The cold rage that had first begun to hint itself to him when he learned of Snape's supposed 'true loyalties' began to grow anew.
Harry: "Supposed…?" Look, he died giving me the knowledge to defeat Voldemort, you can't backpedal on that author, even if you hate him so. He was on our side. Don't try to write that off because you can't characterize the man worth a damn.
Hermione: I really can't figure out what he's mad at Dumbledore about concerning Snape…everyone knew Snape was SUPPOSED to be working for Dumbledore and Dumbledore trusted him…so he's mad that Dumbledore trusting Snape actually turned out to work? Is that what the irrational rage is about now?
His mind spun through the list, thinking of how very, very few had actually been lost in the initial onslaught. If what Ron had said was true, they would still have lost Michael, Ryan, a handful of others…
Seamus: But who cares about those losers! Just a handful, after all!
Luna: It was really more than half…
Ginny: Silence with your logic, Luna!
but Parvati, Colin, Lavender, Terry…ohdamn him! DamnDumbledore if even half of them could have been spared! If evenone!
Harry: All right, what exactly is he mad at Dumbledore about?
Hermione: Apparently for not intuitively knowing what all the Horcruxes were and not predicting there would be a big fight and you should be told to go die at the beginning. Dumbledore should be omnipotent
Harry: He told Snape to tell me at the best moment… I mean, as much as I would have rather there had been honesty about the dying thing, and well, a lot of things…a whole lot of things… at the same time I do understand it would have made things very depressing and messed up for me and that Dumbledore did want me to be happy in his own way…also, me knowing could have messed up the hunt for Horcruxes and led me to do reckless things…I was the Chosen One, it was up to me to be alive as long as possible for the sake of the war, and there was the fact I was supposed to have the power to defeat him, it really wasn't in everyone's best interests for me to die as soon as possible, the Horcruxes needed to be found first and we really didn't find them all until the last minute and again that bit isn't really Dumbledore's…
Ginny: Your logic doesn't matter, Harry! This Neville wants to jump to the worst possible conclusion with the least amount of information possible! It's what he does!
"There has to be a reason, Seamus." He fought to keep his voice calm, reasonable,
Seamus: BECAUSE THERE HAD TO BE A REASON
but he could hear the tremble of fury and newly-awakened pain at the edges. "I'm sure he had a reason."
Seamus: A REASONABLE REASON.
"I'd take kindly if he'da told us what it was, but there ain't none o' that now, is there? He's gone long since,
Harry: And he died just to screw with us, obviously!
an' he weren't 'zactly the most forthcomin' sort in the first!"
Seamus: Wait, since when do I know Dumbledore personally?
The words were choked on the sobs, the pain refusing to be numbed by mere alcohol, and Neville gave the tattooed shoulder a firm squeeze as he stood.
Seamus: Wait, I have a tattoo? Is it me mother's name?
Dean: Maybe we got a homoerotic tattoo together like Michael and Terry!
Harry: No, it's the gruesome tattoo of a dark celtic warrior ritual that you murdered Snape with in a vague, round-about fashion.
"I've got a few questions of my own, actually, now that it comes down to it," he said coldly.
Neville: Yes, go yell at a picture! That will solve your problems!
"Go whistle ta the grave if ya will, but won't do no good."
Neville smiled darkly down at his friend, thinking of the night Ginny had been told about his own supposed role in the prophecy – something that now didn't seem to make any sense at all –
Hermione: ….My. The writer just admitted his plot didn't make any sense through his main character. He just…admitted it.
Neville: And tried unsuccessfully again to blame his failure as a writer on Dumbledore's pettiness.
Ron: Sorry, mate, can't cover your arse that way, you're just showing it to us.
Harry: Yeah, Dumbledore was infuriatingly secretive, but he doesn't just tell people total bilge for shits and giggles. Well…except for the sock thing and the…all right, sometimes he does, but not like that.
and the only time he had ever spoken to the old Headmaster in any way directly. A portrait wasn't as good as a person, not by a long shot, but if there were any answers to be had there, he was bloody well going to get them.
Ron: Ooh, he said bloody, this must be serious business!
"I've got an idea," he said, "and I'd take you with me, except –"
Seamus: I'm far too Irish?
"No," the singed head shook dully,
Seamus: Hogwarts is heavily populated by floating heads?
Luna: And I thought you were new here!
"jus' lemme be, mate. I don't want naught t'do with folk right now."
"All right, but I'll be back to check on you, that's a promise." He reached down to his friend's belt
Luna: What I was waiting for! Having lost both their life partners in Ernie and Dean, the two men find solace in the Room of Requirement!
Seamus: I still can't believe they killed Dean in this! Pigs!
Harry: …Wow, you're taking Luna's insinuations well.
and took the wand
Luna: And inserted it-
Neville: Let's not get graphic, Luna.
before the other wizard could protest,
Luna: Now be careful there, I don't want any non-con!
Seamus: Is she always like this?
Dean: You get used to it.
tapping the bottle. The liquid inside shimmered, rippled a moment, and Seamus sniffed it before looking up again, his eyes wide with incredulous indignation.
Ginny: An intervention! You're too Irish! You must become British through swift application of our national beverage!
"You're already blitzed, mate. Whatever it's gonna do for the pain, it's done. You don't need to hurt yourself on top of it." He smiled at the other man, allowing some of his own pain to show through the layer of anger that had built solidly atop it.
Hannah: He has LAYERS of tantrums.
"You're not just my last Lieutenant, Seamus…
Seamus: Are we still in Army Camp or something?
you're one of the dearest friends I have left.Please…."
Luna: Just snog, will you! I need some joy in this chapter!
Harry: Luna's actually starting to sound frustrated, good thing we're nearly finished…
There was a moment's more frustrated consternation, then the blue eyes softened, and he put the bottle on the floor at his feet, raising his hand to place it firmly over Neville's own.
Luna: At least there's hand holding.
"Fair 'nuff, Fearless Leader."
"Thanks." He slipped his hand away,
Luna: Why would he do that?
then started towards the door, but then he paused and turned back. "Here –" Neville tossed the wand, and both wizards seemed equally stunned when Seamus actually managed to catch it. "—I'll give you the benefit of the doubt…if you're able to transfigure it back, you're still okay to have more."
"Oh, Neville, m'darlin,"
Seamus: I call Neville "m'darlin'" and we're not supposed to be together? Here I thought Luna was just spitballing!"
Luna: I'd never do such a thing.
Seamus rolled his eyes at the ceiling, then cast a mournful look at the bottle. "I couldna ever do that when I were stone sober."
Seamus: The joke is that I'm dumb and can't do basic Transfiguration, eh? Well, you can just go to hell! Let's go, Dean!
Dean: Bye, guys. It was so nice being a dead afterthought in this fic!
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