DAYD Chapter 24- "The Light of Day" Pt 2
Neville looked up in surprise from where he had been contemplating the battered gargoyle that guarded the steps to the Headmaster's office. Ron was standing a few feet behind him, looking tired and a bit dusty, but also oddly guilty,
Ginny: Because he's planning to murder you for me, since I as a woman am unable to do anything useful in ficland!
Ron: Ginny! I wouldn't feel guilty about that.
and he frowned. "What are you doing here?"
"Came up with Harry," Ron explained, "he's off to take himself a bit of a kip now – Merlin knows the bloke needs it bad enough – and…er…." he began to blush, the color starting in the center of his nose and spreading rapidly as though someone had hit him in the face with an overripe tomato. "…I…decided to…hang around."
Now that he looked more closely, Neville noticed that Ron's shirttails were half pulled-out, the red hair mussed, and there was a spot of darker color on his neck that looked very much like it would be purple within a few hours.
Ginny: Way to chew him up like a vampire, Hermione.
Hermione: Honestly! As if I would ever do such a thing in a public area!
Harry: You snogged in front of me…
Hermione: You don't count as the public, Harry.
Harry: I knew it! I might as well not even be there for you two when you get-
Ginny: Harry, if you want to join in with them all you have to do is ask me. I mean, I wouldn't be able to come with as my brother is involved, but-
Harry: GINNY! *hyperventilates*
Neville: Moving right along…
(Neville makes Ron admit he was snogging Hermione because he has no tact or class
To his amazement, the blush actually managed to darken, bordering now on positively maroon at the height of Ron's cheekbones.
Harry: If his ears aren't going maroon, it isn't Ron.
"No…but that's 'cause I told her to split while I got rid of whoever it was. But you don't need to go running to theProphetabout it. Just becauseyouhaven't figured out what witches are all about –"
"Actually, that would fall under things we need to catch up on," Neville grinned.
Ginny: Oh dear God, don't tell me they're going to count bedpost notches after a massacre.
The blue eyes widened in astonishment, and he felt rather annoyed to see that after everything that had happened to the two of them, the thought of him getting a girl could come as such a shock. "Blimey, Neville, you've –"
"Snogged? Changed? Grown up?
Neville: Boasted? Bragged? Turned into an arsehole?
All of the above, yeah. But I'm not gonna tell anyone, Ron, that's your business. Well, yours and Hermione's, I guess."
Hermione: Lovely, as usual I'm a woman so I'm an afterthought.
(Neville nearly cries manly tears at this, Ron is concerned)
"I'm fine…" He took a deep breath, shaking his head as he forced back the unexpected surge of grief and made his mouth turn up into something like a sheepish smile. "…just…keeps hitting me out of the bloody weirdest places how many we've lost." Ron seemed sympathetic, yet a bit confused, and he went on. "There was a betting pool about you and Hermione, actually. Everyone knew you two were mad for each other, and most of Gryffindor put in…I had some silver on Easter, to be honest. But Lavender would have won. She had it on being the same day You-Kno…Voldemortwent down. Except…she's not going to be collecting, I suppose."
See, I told you guys. Lavender making the winning bet was foreshadowing she was going to die horribly. DAYD means you never have to say you're kidding.
"It won't work." Ron's voice was quiet, gentle, and Neville looked up bemusedly.
Hannah: No one's gentle in this fic!
Luna: They like it rough.
"That's why you wanted to see Dumbledore, I'm guessing." Ron shook his head sadly. "I already asked him after Harry left…I thought maybe, if we used all the Hallows together…and after Harry had given himself for all of us, I thought it might work like Harry's mother, or like what Ernie did for his wife.
Hermione: Oh, you mean that impossible plot contrivance?
Ginny: Was Ron planning his own monologue to go with it?
(There's no way to bring back the dead, Neville wasn't going to ask that, but he's sad anyway to hear it)
He took a deep breath, then nodded, accepting Ron's wordless invitation to sit down. The two wizards found a spot on the empty pedestal of the second gargoyle,
Ron: Okay, if there was no place to sit for me to gesture to and we had to find one together, how did I manage a worldless invitation? Would you care to describe what it was?
Luna: Maybe it was spontaneous Legilimency! That would be one of my theories confirmed!
and Neville gestured towards the door that led to the spiral staircase. "I want to ask about this whole mess – what was it, you know? Wands? Horcruxes? Prophecies?
Hermione: If you need definitions, try a library.
Was I everanything, or was it all Harry all along?
Ginny: The biggest burning question of all: WHY DIDN'T I GET TO BE THE HERO? WHERE WAS MY SPOTLIGHT?
What kind of sick idea was it letting Snape have this school?
Harry: An idea to win the war. Once again, don't pin your awful writing of Snape on Dumbledore.
Why didn't hetellHarry what was going on so we could have spared some lives?
Harry: YOU NEVER EVEN TALKED TO DUMBLEDORE. You don't have the right to get all pissy at him, okay, that's what I do.
Ron: He's stealing your job, mate!
Harry: And do you even know what he was supposed to tell me? I mean, do you even know anything? Or are you just looking for someone to be angry at? Because I've been there, but you should probably stick to people you know. Who aren't dead. That way you can break their things.
Hermione: What was that last part?
Harry: I did the rage against Dumbledore thing better than this bloke ever can, that's what it was.
Hermione: All right, then, we'll get you a trophy.
Why couldn't he ever justtellanyone what was going on? Why did it always have to be secrets and hidden meanings?"
Harry: Ron's not telling you Dumbledore's backstory, ask Aberforth. And what are you even going on about; when did he ever leave you hidden meanings and secret messages and motivational bon-mots?
Harry: THE ONLY PERSON ALLOWED TO GET ANGRY AT DUMBLEDORE FOR BEING SECRETIVE IS ME, ONLY I CAN BE HATEFUL TO HIM, HE WAS MY FRUSTRATING FATHER FIGURE NOT YOURS GET YOUR OWN!
Ginny: Just let it all out, Harry.
Ron: God knows no one can stop you….
(Neville thinks he deserves some answers! Seamus is getting monged (? Monged generally refers to drugs…) because he thinks his best friend didn't have to die! Ron says George and Lee are drinking too! And his Mom (yes, again, I really don't get how Thanfiction can keep missing such a basic thing. I'm shit at knowing what British do or don't slang, yet reading the HP books at least drilled that little basic into me) won't stop crying! Life sucks part four billion)
"Don't feel much of anything, really." Ron shrugged. "Was starting to for a while, so I snogged Hermione until I was this close to passing out from lack of oxygen.
Hermione: Did I get a say in this, or was I just some passive agent…?
Probably do that again later, then…don't know. Guess we're all going to have to figure something out. Don't reckon I've got much right to judge how other people go about it, though, even if getting drunk seems pretty stupid to me.
Neville: Very non-judgmental of you.
Makes me maudlin when Idon'thave a reason."
Now it was Neville's turn to be surprised. "When have you…?"
"At Bill's. I…." Ron paused, looking down at his hands as he twisted the long fingers awkwardly on the hem of his shirt. "Oh, hell. I had a lot of the same problems you did, mate.
Ron: Only I was actually on Dumbledore's mission, so I had a right!
Why hadn't he told us more, how did he expect us to do whatever it was he expected us to do, how many people were going to die while we solved his little puzzle? All that. And I decided to stuff it. Just quit the whole thing."
(Ron explains what happened) Stayed with Bill in the mean time, and his wife's French, so there was plenty of wine around for me to give it a go a couple times."
Ron: I'm sure Fleur appreciated my stereotyping of her. I'm like Muriel!
He shook his head with a self-deprecating smile. "Not my thing. Makes me turn on sappy music and cry like a witch.
Hermione: I want to reach into that story and slap your doppelganger, Ron. Slap him hard. Or at least give my usual cutting remark for when you get sexist.
Ron: I know, I almost cringed in sympathy pain. Except I feel little sympathy for anyone in this fic, event the bloke who's supposed to be me.
Have you ever—?"
Neville smiled back. "Properly drunk? Just once…with the guys the first week we were hiding out in the Room of Requirement. We all did. I get really stupid and lose all sense of self-preservation. Thank goodness Ernie, Derek, and Wayne combined to outweigh me like five-to-one is all I'll say.
Neville: It would just take Ernie, considering he was a Mammoth in this fic…
Ginny: Yeah, but your doppelganger was one too. A Manly Mammoth, as is being inforced for the thousandth time.
Although if Terry were still around, I'd get him loaded just so you'd believe me. Heparses."
"Spells. You know. The advanced stuff. Sits down and starts picking them apart really intently.Incendio, Incendius, Incendior, Incendiate, Incendiavis…"
"That. Is. Bizarre." Ron chuckled. "Between that and Luna, I think they need to re-build Ravenclaw tower with padded walls."
Ron: Luna! Luna! Calm down!
Luna: I have had it with this Ravenclaw prejudice! We're invading!
Hermione: But Luna, how can we invade?
Luna: I'll find a way! Even if it takes me years!
Neville: I'll support you, but for now, let's get this over with.
"I think we've all wound up a little mental," Neville pointed out. "It's been that kind of a – well, that kind of a several years, really." He paused, then his tone became serious again. "But what brought you back? Did you get your answers?"
"Some of them, and some just sort of figured themselves out as we went along." He hesitated, frowning. "You don't really know Harry all that well, do you, Neville?"
Neville: Er, we've been friends for years, I roomed with him his entire time at Hogwarts, listened to him talk in his sleep
Harry: Wait, what-
Neville: Risked my life with him twice, I'd say we're acquainted.
He spread his hands, shrugging slightly. "As well as anybody other than you and Hermione and maybe Professor Dumbledore. He's always kept to himself a lot. Never really blamed him, being a celebrity since he was a baby and all."
Ginny: You're a lone wolf in the wind, Harry.
Harry: He sure makes it sound like it…
"He really, really got thrown into the deep end of this. You and I, we can't properly imagine. Not only did he find out from nowhere that he was a wizard and about the whole world that came with that, but that he was The Boy Who Lived, about Voldemort, his parents – did you know he actually grew up believing that scar came from a piece of jaggedglassin a Mugglecar accident?"
"But that's atextbookCurse scar!"
Harry: Wait, a lot of people have lightning bolts? I thought I was the only one who ever survived a Killing Curse…by the way; I like how Ron is just casually sharing personal information about me, not like I'd object or anything!
(They discuss how DD's death made Harry come apart (I thought he handled it pretty well, actually…) and Ron mentions Rita's book, and Neville goes into a tangent on how none of them bought it and the Hufflepuffs hate Rita for disrespecting Cedric- might have been nice scenes to have in the actual fic but I guess Snape trying to poison everyone was more important)
But what of it?"
"It messed with his head bad. It was already so much of a shock to him that Dumbledore had actually died, he was ready to believe anything.
Harry: You were the one coming up with theories about Dumbledore being reborn like a Phoenix, Ron.
Ron: I still say that was plausible!
Luna: We should discuss it sometime!
And I think Dumbledore knew that. He knew there'd be stupid trash books and people jumping up to blab to the papers, because there always are when someone famous dies, whether they deserve it or not. I think he knew how bad it would muck with Harry and gave us a good long run-around to give him a chance to get his head together. He needed it, too."
Harry: So wait, that was supposed to be therapy? Not about finding the Horcruxes?
Ron: Worst. Therapy. Ever.
Harry: I don't know, you worked out some of your issues…
Ron: THE WORST!
Ron shuddered a little, there was a haunted look in his eyes, and Neville remembered his own near-breakdown that spring. He certainly had no right to hold it against Harry if he'd taken the strain badly himself.
Harry: Er, what did I ever do to give Ron a haunted look during the trip?
Ron: There was that fish you caught…
Harry: Oh God, I still remember those weird eyes…
"On my wand, Neville,
Luna: Is that a command?
Ron: I'm finally dragged into your slash. I was wondering when that would happen…
I think if it had been even a couple weeks less – hell, even a couple ofminutes –he wouldn't have been able to do what he needed to in the end, because there would have been a part of him thatwantedto die."
Harry: Wait, what? When was I ever suicidal that year?
Ron: I like how I'm your psychoanalyst now.
Harry: And just couple minutes sooner? I mean, wouldn't it be more likely I wouldn't have wanted to die if I hadn't seen Remus and Tonks and everyone's bodies? It just doesn't…the only time I've ever seriously wanted to die was right after Sirius died, come on now.
Neville thought about this a moment, then cocked his head curiously as another question came to him. "Why not warn Harry ahead of time if he knew he was going to die and knew it would hurt him?"
Harry: Didn't you just answer your own question?
The blue eyes fixed him with a frank, open stare. "Do you think he'd have been able to concentrate on what Dumbledore was telling him all year, or do you think he'd have just started giving up and coming to pieces earlier?"
Ron: I mean, Harry doesn't relish death like you guys.
Harry: Also, a simpler answer: Dumbledore has actually stated he had a hard time telling me things that would make me seriously depressed because he likes to see me somewhat happy. On account. Of. Actually. Liking. Me. So he held off me knowing something pretty brutal until the last minute. But I know you can't factor human emotion in, everything has to be strategy.
"Okay…." Neville had never considered Ron to be particularly philosophical before, and he was beginning to regard the other wizard with a new respect.
Ron: I'm so honored.
(Basically, Ron talks a bunch of sense at Neville and tells him that Fudge is really to blame for the mess they were left in- he's like the only voice of reason in this fic. He seriously is. Check this out)
"And half of them didn't need to die."
"According to Seamus, half of you shouldn't havelived," Ron snapped with surprising harshness. "He said you were planning a last-man-standing business at the end of the yearwithoutHarry or Dumbledore or anyone else."
Ginny: Wow! Ron! You're actually calling Neville on his suicidal stupidity that got everyone killed! Not nearly harshly enough, but-!
Ron: I know! It's a miracle!
"We didn't have a choice!" he shot back fiercely. "We thought we'd been abandoned! No one told us anything! How were we supposed to trust in any kind of greater plan with someone likeSnaperunning the school! It's all the worse that he was Dumbledore's man in the end! To let thatbastardhave control of his –" Neville cut off, his face twisting in hate as he struggled to find words for what the ex-Potion Master's reign had been like,
Hannah: "Comically ludicrous" comes to mind.
but Ron either had heard enough from others already, or he could guess.
Ginny: Even Ron knows about how ridiculous Snape is in this fic. And yet somehow, I still allowed my kid to be named after him. Seriously, that's what gets me about Snape's character assassination. I never liked Snape, but I respected that he was one of the reasons my husband survived and Voldemort won. If he'd regularly disemboweled children in front of me, I would have told Harry, Ron would have told Harry and Al's middle name would be Dobby. Or Neville.
"If he'd known you like you are now, Neville, I'm sure he would have told you something,
Harry: He would have told you to bugger off. Expelled you, maybe. One can hope.
but when he was alive to make the decisions, youweren'ta leader, therewasn'ta reason to tell the rest of Hogwarts anything." Ron couldn't keep an edge of sarcasm back as he continued. "And how was he supposed to haveletSnape have the school when Snape took over after he'ddied?No one ever said helikedSnape, just that heusedhim, and he'd have been an idiot not to."
Harry: Damn, Ron. Ginny's right. Voice of bloody reason.
Ron: Aren't I always?
(Ron is so great even this fic couldn't mess him up too badly. Must have inherited it from Mr. Weasley)
"Fair enough," Neville conceded grudgingly, then sighed deeply, rubbing his temples with the tips of his fingers. "I hate you, Ron."
Ron: Aaaaand then I punched him in the face.
Harry: As someone who speaks sense and points out the flaws in Neville's reasoning, of course you must be hated. Of course.
The other wizard blinked, stunned. "What?"
Ron: Where's my face-punching?
"This whole year," he said slowly, "it's been a living hell.
Ron: And…that's my fault somehow…look, I didn't write this thing…
And now we've lost just enough of our friends that it hurts almost too bad to go on, but there are still enough of us left that it's a victory, and Voldemort's dead, Snape's dead – and he helpedwinit in the end, even though he was a horrible person – and everything's still a mess, and Dumbledore screwed up, but thanks to you I guess I know he didn't screw up badly enough that I can hate him for it,
Ginny: Maybe you can hate yourself! You really screwed up after all! Go ahead, that's an option!
and Fudge is toopatheticto hate…
Harry: Not really.
and it's just…Colin once said that he liked the wizarding world because it was straightforward. Good. Evil. End of story. But it'snot."
Ginny: I'm getting so bored. And he never explains why Ron is the unlucky target for hatred other than that he dared talk sense. This isn't too terrible anyway, can we skip some lines?
(Neville and Ron consider being adults and going Muggle etc)
"So what're you gonna do now?" Ron asked after a long pause.
Go to Disneyworld?
Neville took a deep breath, considering it carefully before he answered. "I still want to know if I ever was really fated for anything, or if it was just Dumbledore's way of trying to make sure that someone would be willing to make a go of it if Harryhaddied in a way that wasn't planned.
Neville: In other words "WHY WASN'T I THE HERO" is still the most important thing on his mind.
Hermione: Er, he seriously thinks he would be the only one willing to try to kill Voldemort if Harry died? There's myself and Ron, for a start. And then, we go on to, oh, everyone else in the free world. And for goodness' sake, no one is FATED to do anything! Prophecies don't always come true!
It doesn't reallymatternow, I know, but I think I'll sleep better at night just having an answer.
(snip gonna try to move on what about you Ron?)
"Find Hermione is number one. Re-commence the snogging until she slaps me,
Hermione: Excuse me? Excuse me? I should not have to SLAP you to get you to stop snogging me. Nudging you, pulling away and saying "that's enough" should be fine. If I have to physically prevent you from snogging me when I've had enough, I don't want to be in a relationship with you and in fact I will curse you until you're black and blue.
Ron: In your anger, I would just like to remind you I've never actually said anything like that, so don't get mad at me…in fact, I usually get tired of snogging before you do, too much overkill in early years with Lav, I guess…
Hermione: Yes, I just love the implication because I'm a woman I must really not enjoy snogging and just be passive receiver who eventually has to put a stop to it by attacking my partner because he doesn't care that I'm not enjoying it….
Ginny: Your hair DOES seem to crackle with electricity when you get angry! The twins were right!
or until the last thirty hours or so finally catch up and I pass out.
Hannah: That sounds like it is so healthy and not at all harmful thinking.
(Neville notices Ron does have new lines around his eyes and has trouble with his arm. ZOMG OTHER PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS TOO)
It would never be the same. They were all scarred, all battered, they had all bled pieces of their hearts over every page of the calendar that year,
Neville: I now have a very silly mental image of the DA each walking up to a paper calendar and ejecting wriggling pieces of muscle onto it through various open wounds, making the pages of the calendar all sodden and soaking.
Ginny: ….I had no idea your imagination was so twisted, Neville.
Neville: Ill-thought-out and awkward metaphors lead to awkward and gross images, apparently.
and left still more lying on the battlefield below. But they would move on. What choice did they have now that they had survived?
Ginny: Exactly the thoughts I have about surviving this fic.
He reached out to squeeze Ron's shoulder,
Luna: And then his-
but there was an odd dip in the skin there beneath his robes, as if the underlying muscle had been hollowed out. The other man's eyes opened at the touch, and he gave a lopsided smile. "Splinched. Little souvenir, just in case I might forget."
Neville tapped his own face, where the healing beneath the Sorting Hat's flames had finally closed the cursed wounds, but where two long scars now ran from ear to chin, unnaturally smooth and white across his cheeks.
Ginny: Great! He had to get more manly scars. Now he doesn't even have to take off his shirt to show them off.
Harry: More stigmata for St. Neville.
Hermione: So that's why the Magical Shield had to have healing powers instead of simply, well, shielding. Logic bows to the need for our heroes to have rugged scars!
"That's one thing thatissimple. We'll never forget."
Neville: I really wish I could forget. Reading this. All of it.
Ginny: Holy shit, guys, we're almost finished.
Hannah: There's light at the end of the tunnel! Just one short epilogue and we're done!
Luna: We came so close to orgies under plant tents with all the creatures rejoicing, but as it has been with this whole story, it only ended with disappointment.
Hermione: Was that really what you were hoping for?
Harry: Well, there are plants in the epilogue, apparently…
Neville: I'll be bringing Robert to keep me company when we finish this for good then. In fact, I'll go get him now.
Harry: Robert-? Oh, the Mimbulus Mimbletonia, right. Well, I'm going to go eat.
Ginny: I'll come with you.
Ron: I'm going to celebrate my status as least-out-of-character person in this thing!
Hermione: And I'll glare at you as you do so.
Hannah: I'll have a lie down…
Luna: And I'll plan the Ravenclaw invasion!
Neville: Good luck with that. See everyone next time for our final installment. At LAST!
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