Ernie smiled bitterly, not at Susan, but at the situation he was in. "You're right, of course. But this year it's twice that bad. It's too much of each thing, and there are too many things."
"And thanks Susan. Really. It's just way too easy to doubt myself about this," he said, gesturing at his Head Boy pin. "It's just that, with the glue incident, I didn't want to be so much as civil to the Slytherins, even though I knew I needed to. And all of that, and everything else, makes it hard to focus on this," indicating the stack of books, parchmet, ink, and quills littering the table. He sighed. "I know I should be thankful for the chance, but all I can think of is how silly I was to ever want it."
Ernie watched as Susan smeared dirt onto her face, and he smiled. "How were the greenhouses?"