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Title: A Sincere Apology
Author: Silyara (trivalent/silyara)
Characters/Pairings: Barty Crouch Junior, Susan Bones. Mentioned: Edgar Bones, Theseus Bones, Barty Crouch Jr/Theseus Bones, Bartemius Crouch Sr, Hugo Weasley. Implied: Susan Bones/Lysander Scamander.
Rating: PG
Word Count: 597
Warnings: ??? Founders post-Hogwarts setting.
Summary: Barty tried his best.
Notes: JK made the world, but this Barty is mine, and Susan is desire_of_nymph's.

Barty sat on the couch, feet up on the coffee table, flipping through old photo albums. One was from Hogwarts, their time at Hogwarts. It was so long ago for him, yet just there, in that photo from a quidditch game, he and Hugo played against each other. Hugo was still so young, a lot younger than so many people, himself included. They had all been so young then. He hadn’t had a clue how life was going to turn out, not like this. He had known, back then, what was going to happen. But the future was going to change, or … he wasn’t going to make it. Those had always been the only options.

Except for Theseus. Theseus had found a way. Barty ran a finger across the face of a smiling sixteen year old boy. That crazy lad.

He reached down into the box on the floor for the next photo album. Oh. Oh, that one. He hadn’t known it had survived.

The door opened, and Barty jumped to his feet, wand in hand. Susan stepped through. His body at first relaxed, though he then looked puzzled. How did she have a key? “Hello Susan,” Barty greeted her pleasantly.

“Hello, Barty,” her voice was distinctly cold. She trusted him the least of any of them.

He gave the best smile he could. “Can I help you with anything?” he asked, rather glad he had been dressed.

Her eyes glanced over the boxes. “I thought everything was unpacked last week,” she commented, not answering his question.

“Everything Theseus brought, yes,” Barty replied as he made to pick up the photo album from the couch. “I…my father didn’t have anything done with my stuff, so I had it sent over. It’s just a few…things. Photos, mostly.” He was blathering. Bloody hell.

Her face was suspicious and quiet. She stepped closer, before gasping. “Is that…my uncle?” she asked, as cold as ice.

His eyes glanced down, and he wasn’t able to forget how Edgar had looked, torn to shreds. “We were…friends,” Barty replied, “Trained together.”

“Were you the one who sold him out?” her voice pierced the distance between them, and he looked up from the picture, hurt, and the first words in his throat were angry, then a joke. But he was Susan’s family, Theseus’s family.

“I told him to ward his house better,” Barty replied plainly, “I asked him to, as a favor to me.” He looked down at the picture, where their arms were around each other’s shoulders, a pint of beer each. “They always thought I was joking,” he sighed, looking up again.

For a few moments, Susan was shaken, gripping her sleeve tightly, but she pulled herself together. “Why would a Death Eater do that?” she questioned sharply.

“I saw you there, the morning after it happened, with your mum. You were only a baby,” Barty replied. He took a deep breath because Edgar hadn’t ever understood any of his hints. Neither had the man’s wife. “I guess some points in history are fixed.”

Susan looked at him, and Barty looked back at her. He wasn’t sorry for anything he had done. But he was sorry he hadn’t been able to save Edgar Bones. She turned around and left, the door shutting loudly behind her, and he ran to the door, looking down the stairs, barefoot. “Susan!”

The witch was gone. Barty closed the door, locking it again. Slumping into the couch, Barty turned to the next page, where Edgar held a baby Susan. She had been so much younger back then.

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