It was over. After years of fear and of death and of Voldemort, it was finally out of everyone's lives for good.
It was draining, that feeling of completion; Susan Bones felt it sharply. Her life, up to that point, at least, felt purposed and focused on one thing - resistance. But now...now there was nothing left to fight for, because they had already won.
Or had they?
The battle was two days gone, but so many of the combatants were too jubilant over the victory, too grief-stricken over losses, or some sick marriage of the two to leave Hogwarts. She was no different, but after days of seeing people weeping in corners, it was time to get out. Susan felt trapped by the raw emotion that surrounded her, and she needed some sort of release.
Her feet carried her to Hogsmeade, but the town was nearly abandoned, as a good number of the residents were still at Hogwarts in the post-war throng. The doors and windows of all the buildings were sealed up tightly, save for one. The battered door to the Hog's Head was hanging open, swaying in the gentle breeze. Someone was inside, and it sure wasn't Aberforth Dumbledore, who was still at the castle.
Wand out, Susan warily stepped inside of the dingy tavern. There was no trace of anyone in the room, at least until she heard a pitiful groan come from behind the bar. Had someone stumbled out of the battle, wounded, only to fall here? Maybe this mysterious moaner needed help, and she decided that she would take that chance.
"Hello?" she called out tentatively. However, her hail was met by another pained noise at a slightly increased volume. Perhaps this person was unable to do more, which meant that he (judging by the timbre of the voice, it was almost certainly male) was in dire need of assistance.
Susan rushed behind the bar to see who had had the strength to stagger this far, but when she caught sight of the source of the pained whinging, it was one of the last few people who she thought she'd see. It was Theo Nott.
She picked up his hand to feel for his pulse. It was slow, but he seemed to be okay in that department. Next, she looked around his body for any sign of wounds, but she found none. That was when her eyes strayed a few inches beyond his hand and to the empty bottle of Firewhiskey that lay like it had fallen from his grip when he had passed out.
He wasn’t wounded or in pain at all (well, maybe in pain a bit, judging by how much of it he had consumed). He was drunk. With an annoyed huff, Susan dropped his hand unceremoniously on the floor. She had no time for rotten, green-clad, Slytherin sots when there were people back at the school who were genuinely in need of help. This one could just stay there for all she cared.
She strode toward the door in order to put as much distance as she could between herself and Theo’s stinking form; but, just as she was about to close the door, she stopped. Her gaze went back to the bar, behind which was her former classmate’s prone body. She couldn’t just leave him like that. As much as she wanted to, it was simply not in her nature to abandon someone in a bad situation, even if it was of his own making.
With a flick of her wand, Susan Levitated Theo and guided him through the air and toward the stairs. It was an inn, after all; no matter how manky they may be, leaving him in a bed was better than leaving him on the floor. Soon, he was tucked into the cleanest room she could find. She supposed that she could have cleaned both him and the room up a bit, but he was one of them. It was more than he deserved.
He seemed like a good sleep was what he needed, so Susan decided to leave him to it. She was sitting on the edge of the bed, but she pushed herself up to leave. It caught her by surprise when she felt a tug on the hem of her shirt. After looking behind her, she was shocked to see that Theo’s hand was the source. And he was awake, looking right at her.
“Don’t leave,” she heard him whisper.
There was no earthly reason why she should’ve stayed, but Susan felt herself shift back to her former seat, never looking away from Theo’s surprisingly lucid eyes. She knew she would never be able to resist that look in his eyes. “Okay.”