Another little fic that popped into my head and wouldn't go away. Also, I found the first paragraph on my computer as part of my private musings from a while back and wanted to do a little something with it.
No, I don't own Harry Potter. Yes, I need to sleep.
Possible trigger warning. Cutting and attempted suicide.
All My Bloody Fault
I can't even face myself in the mirror anymore. Just for once, I want to be able to see me for who I really am, not what the world sees me as.
And there is a lot that the world sees me as.
I'm Harry bloody Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One. Oh yes, I know who I am. I've read the articles that appear in the Daily Prophet every morning. I've heard everything. According to them, I've gone completely mad. And for the first time, I think I actually believe them.
I dash into the bathroom to shower and hurry back to my room before I can catch sight of my reflection in the misted glass. I don't want to see my messy hair and my pale skin. I don't want to see my green eyes and fragile glasses. And most of all, I don't want to see the bruises on my face or the angry lines running up my arms.
The abuse has started again. I've been mostly free from it since I started my first year at Hogwarts, but for the first time in a long time, Uncle Vernon is scared of being associated with me. He knows about Voldemort's return – Dumbledore saw to that – and he's taken to using me to alleviate his anxieties.
Hedwig chirps halfheartedly at me as I curl up in a loose ball on my tattered bedspread. A pile of mail sits beside her rusted cage. I drag them toward me and tear them open one by one, taking in the contrasting handwriting of Hermione and Ron.
…Harry, How's your summer so far? I've been in France, and it's wonderful…
…Hey mate, How are the Muggles treating you? We don't have the car anymore so don't get into too much trouble…
…Harry, you have to see these pictures we took. I figured out the charm to make them move…
…Harry, did you hear Charlie's inviting us to Romania for the summer?...
…Harry, I haven't heard from you. Is everything alright?...
…Harry, mate, what the hell? Why aren't you responding?...
…Harry, I have half a mind to write to Dumbledore if you don't answer…
…Hey mate, Hermione hasn't heard from you either. We're really worried, you know…
…Harry, if I don't get a response by next week, I'm alerting someone…
…Mate, I'm going to try to reach you on that bloody fellytone again, do you hear?...
…Two days, Harry, and I swear I'll send someone over…
…That damn Muggle yelled at me. Honestly, I'm going to tell Mum, mate…
…Harry, I told Dumbledore. He's going to send someone to check on you. Hold on, Harry. Help is coming…
I had received the last message from Hermione two days ago and someone had yet to come and ascertain my condition. Of course, even if someone had stopped by, they might not have noticed anything. I've discovered that I am quite proficient at wandless glamors and healing charms. The bruises I leave; those are what I deserve.
Oh, I look perfectly fine but for the bruises. The cuts are easily hidden with a simple glamor or two. And no one can ever see the war being waged in one's head.
I stared at the letters until darkness fell and my eyelids felt as if they were being forcibly dragged downwards. I turned the light out and flopped back onto the hard mattress, knowing full well that sleep would not claim me for hours. I gazed emptily at the ceiling, watching the shadows move across the dark walls and wondering if they were more than my imagination recreating my demons.
When I finally slept, Cedric's face drifted in and out with Voldemort's in the graveyard. I woke in a cold sweat and sobbed quietly into my dirty pillow before steeling myself.
It was time. This had gone on long enough.
I crawled from my bed and pulled back the loose floorboard, reaching my hand into the small space and retrieving it. I held it in my hand, feeling its cold weight in my hand. I placed the cool barrel against my forehead and then placed the icy metal between my teeth. With a sigh, I set the gun back in my lap. If the entirety of the wizarding world insisted that I live among the muggles, then I would end this the muggle way. Besides, my wand was locked up under the stairs with the rest of my school stuff.
I pulled the rusty razor from where it lay under the floorboards and dragged it across my wrists before dropping it in favor of the gun. I tapped the side of the barrel against my jaw twice before leveling the barrel at my temple. This was Uncle Vernon's gun; I had stolen it from his office. As I sat there, I wondered idly if he would take pride in the fact that he had in some way taken a part in my death. The metal of the gun slipped down my skin in my discontented distraction.
Shaking the thoughts from my mind, I returned the gun to its original position against my temple and cocked it. I took another breath and started to put pressure against the trigger with my finger –
Cold hands grabbed mine abruptly, and I jumped violently, dropping the gun back into my lap.
"No, Potter. What in Merlin's name do you think you are doing?"
I buried my face into my hands at the silky voice of my most hated Potions Professor before raising my head to gaze at him defiantly.
"What does it look like?" I snapped, fumbling to pick the gun back up without breaking my gaze. He removed the weapon from my clumsy grasp easily and unloaded it; bullets hit the wooden floor one by one, each one making a faint metallic clink before rolling out of sight. He slid the gun across the floor away from us.
"Potter, stop. Do not make a mistake that you are unable to rectify," the man murmured, his voice softer than before. His dark gaze took in my hands and he paused before adding, "You are bleeding, Potter. Why?"
"I –" Caught off guard, I turned over my hands to expose my slashed wrists. My hands shook violently as he pulled his wand from his sleeve and murmured an incantation. The wounds instantly began to knit themselves back together until all that was left were two angry pink lines. I tried to snatch my hands back before he noticed the others, but he grasped my wrists tightly. "Why are you here?"
"I am here, Potter," he bit out as he struggled to hold my arms out, "because your dear friend Miss Granger was worried and requested that the Headmaster send someone to check on your condition." He paused again as he took in my scarred forearms. "Did you do this to yourself, Potter?"
"What do you think?" I pulled my arms against my chest and curled carefully around them. "You show up and I'm sitting here with a bloody gun to my head, and you're shocked that I'm cutting myself?" I laughed bitterly.
After a moment of silence, Snape continued the conversation. "Why, Potter? Why would you do this?"
I looked at him for a moment before responding, and when I finally did, my voice had raised to a shout. "Because it's all my bloody fault! Because I brought fucking Voldemort back! Because I got Cedric killed! It was my idea to take the cup together! Mine! Because I don't have a real family to live with despite the fact that my godfather is living! Because I can't stay out of trouble! Because I put the only friends I've ever had in the biggest danger they've ever faced! Because I can't do anything right!" As I listed off reasons, my voice grew ever louder. "Because I'm famous for living while the rest of my family fucking died! Because I got my family killed! Me! Because I'm a freak that deserves to die! Because I can't defend myself from my own uncle! Because I hate myself and everything about me!" A loud sob escaped my throat and I broke down. I froze instantly, however, when I heard my uncle thundering angrily down the hall.
"What the bloody hell is going on in there?!" he shouted through the door, and it burst open suddenly, hitting the wall hard enough to leave a dent. He looked at Snape in confusion before shouting, "Who are you?! Who do you think you are, showing up unwelcome in my home?!" Vernon's gaze rested on me, and his voice dropped to a dangerous whisper. "And you. Making a racket in the middle of the bloody night. Making a mess on the bloody floor! Bringing one of your kind into this household! You'll pay for this, boy. I'll make you pay." He moved toward me, his meaty hands twitching in what I was sure was the urge to wrap them around my throat.
Snape was on his feet in an instant, his ebony wand pointed directly at Uncle Vernon's throat. Through clenched teeth, he hissed, "Do not take another step. You have no right to hurt this boy, no right." His voice carried easily through the small bedroom. "I swear to God if you ever touch him again, no one – not Albus Dumbledore, not the Minister of Magic, not even Lord Voldemort himself – will be able to keep me from murdering you where you stand. Have I made myself clear?"
Although the angry look still contorted Uncle Vernon's face, fear glinted in his eyes. He nodded, his eyes trained on the stick of wood pointing at him, and swallowed uncomfortably.
"Good," Snape enunciated. He turned toward me sharply. "Potter, you are coming with me. Take your belongings. We will not be returning." After a quick glance around the room, he gave me a piercing glare. "Where is your trunk? Where is your wand?!"
"Under the stairs, sir," I mumbled. At Snape's rough 'I beg your pardon?!' I coughed and raised my voice to an audible volume. "Under the stairs, sir. All of my belongings are locked in the cupboard under the stairs."
Snape turned his glare on Vernon once again, and the large man shrunk back against the wall. "Come along then." He walked briskly past the man and opened the small cupboard that had used to be my bedroom. I shifted uneasily as I watched my professor take in 'Harry's Room' scrawled childishly on the door. He shrunk my trunk and placed it in his pocket before reaching out and grasping my arm. I flinched away violently. "We will talk about this cupboard later. In the meantime, I will not hurt you. Take my arm, and hold on tightly. We are leaving."
I hesitantly grasped his arm and felt him Apparate us away.
And maybe, just maybe, everything was going to get better. Maybe, just maybe, life would be worth living.
I'm Harry Potter. I'm the Boy-Who-Lived. And I'm not going to end that now.
Heyyyy yeah. Like I Must Not Tell Lies, I'm leaving this open to a possible continuation. If I decide to do it, it wouldn't be started until at least after I finish About a Boy, though.
Like always, please review. It makes my day :)