The Sugar Quill
Author: Jenavira (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: I Can't Stand to Fly  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: Ron, Harry, Voldemort, the Chudley Cannons, and all the rest of the wizarding world belong to J.K.Rowling. I am making no money off of this fic in any way; I wrote it because it needed to be written.

Author's Notes: This was originally written as a songfic to 3 Doors Down's "Superman", but it stands on its own just fine without the lyrics, so I took them out. Consider it a soundtrack.

Ron was worried.

Harry had arrived that morning, cheerful and excited, just as he always was when he was able to stay at the Burrows. He'd sat down to one of Mum's fantastically huge lunches with the rest of them and he was perfectly all right then, but as the meal went on, Harry had become more and more withdrawn, and now he practically wasn't responding at all, just sitting there, staring at the bright orange Cannons bedspread.

"D'you want to go play some Quidditch?" Ron offered. "They're starting tryouts early this year. Fred and George are around; they'll probably want to have a go."

Harry didn't look up. "I don't think I'm going to play this year."

Ron's jaw dropped. "What? But..."

"But what?" Harry muttered, glancing sideways at his friend.

"Well the team needs you," was all Ron could come up with.

A painful grimace twisted Harry's face. "Right. Just like the wizarding world needs me to defend it from Voldemort?"

"Well, yeah." Ron was now really confused. Harry never got like this - he had always known what he had to do, and had never complained about it. But now -

Now he was sitting on the edge of his friend's bed, picking at the quilt and refusing to make eye contact. After a long, uncomfortable silence, Harry said, "I wish I could just have a normal life."

Ron swallowed. What on earth was he supposed to say to that? "But you're not normal," he finally managed. "You're -"

"Harry Potter," Harry finished along with him. He made a face. "I'm never going to get away from that, am I?" he said quietly. "I'm always going to be famous Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world."

"Is that really that bad?" Ron asked, and regretted it immediately.

"I dunno." Harry still wasn't looking at him. He was just staring at the bedspread. "Sometimes...sometimes I think about running away completely - just packing up everything and leaving. Maybe even leaving the wizarding world completely. I get so tired of it all, of people expecting me to be great and all-powerful and..."

Ron's jaw was hanging open. "But - you couldn't leave! We need you, Dumbledore and, well, everyone."

"Yeah," Harry muttered, rubbing his scar. "I know. I wasn't... I'm not really serious."

There was another pregnant silence. Ron started fiddling with the blanket too. Finally he said, "I still think we should go play Quidditch. It'll be good for you. You'll see."

Harry shook his head. "I don't think so. I don't see much point in Quidditch this year."

"Not much point? Harry - "

"What," Harry snapped, suddenly angry. "Just because Voldemort is taking over everywhere and all our lives are in danger and everyone's expecting *me* to solve all our problems, that's no reason not to go on like normal?" He looked over at Ron, who was staring at him with his mouth open in shock. "I don't have time for Quidditch," he finished weakly, looking back down at the blanket, where he wouldn't have to see the posters of the Chudley Cannons swooping around the room after some unseen quaffle.

Ron swallowed hard, sure he should keep disagreeing with his friend, but not sure just how to do it. He kept on staring at Harry, who didn't seem to notice, and the two boys continued to sit in silence.

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