It was the beginning of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts. He had spent the first week shuffling around in a haze, not quite sure what was reality and what was dream. The death of Sirius had left him feeling empty and sent the weight of his title crashing down on him. How could he defeat Voldemort and save the wizarding world if he couldn't even save the last semblance of family he had. He supposed there was still Remus, but it just wasn't the same although he didn't know why. There were Ron and Hermione too, yet nothing could make up for the loss of Sirius. He couldn't let this happen again, he couldn't lose someone he cared about, he couldn't let anyone else die for him.
Harry swung his legs over the side of his bed and slowly sat up, reaching for his glasses off his bedside table. He carefully stood up making sure not to make a noise. He then made his way across the cold stone floor, not bothering to put on any slippers, to grab his invisibility cloak. Noiselessly, he crept down the stairs and out of the common room. His body felt heavy with sleep as he dragged his feet up countless stairs. After what seemed like ages, he had reached the top of the astronomy tower.
He stood at its edge, taking in the night sky, searching the constellations until he found it. His eyes spotted the North Star shining brightly high in the sky. They trailed down past Cassiopeia to Perseus, then drifted slightly left towards Orion and further left still to Canis major just as Hermione had shown him in the weeks right after Sirius's death. It had been one of her attempts to comfort Harry. There, shining more brightly than any of the other stars in the sky, just like the man himself, was Sirius.
Harry felt tears start to slide down his cheeks, he lowered himself to his knees, his face dropping into his hands. He cried until he had drained his body of all its moisture. This had become a habit for him. He could not, would not show his weakness in front of anyone. They were depending on him as their savior to be strong and defeat Voldemort and Harry did not want to disappoint them. The astronomy tower provided him with a private place to release his emotions. The night air gave it a slight chill that stung his exposed skin made him feel. Though he had to admit that he hadn't really felt much of anything since Sirius's death. It was like nothing else mattered.
He attempted to put his hands in his pockets, however he soon realized that he was only wearing his boxers, the cloak lying on the ground at his feet. Instead, he fiddled with the fabric at the bottom of his boxers. Fingers brushing against the raised marks that marred the otherwise smooth skin. He looked down. The pale pinks and whites that marred his thigh shone in the silvery light emanating from the moon. Straight, exact lines carved into the flesh and then promptly healed. Shivering, he reached down and grabbed the cloak, wrapping it tightly around his shoulders, feeling its plush warmth on his cold skin.
He whispered to himself, "I didn't mean for this to happen, any of this, honest. I would give anything…anything to get you back. I just want you back. This isn't fair, none of this is fair. You shouldn't have died. Why did you have to die? I wish you were here." The tears streamed down his face once more as he pleaded quietly to himself to Sirius to existence to fate to anything and everything.
The wind started to whip about a bit causing Harry to sway. He glimpsed over the edge of the tower to the welcoming ground below. The ground looked so cool and inviting. Would it be all that bad, he thought, if I just leaned a bit further? Would it feel like I was flying? Could I become one with the ground and just disappear? No more boy-who-lived, no more Voldemort, no more death? He imagined the soothing coolness of the ground enveloping him. It would be nice to simply rest. No one else would die for him.
Somewhere in the back of Harry's mind was a part of him that was unsure whether or not this was just another dream that he would be rudely awakened from. His expectations of comfort and rest to be replaced by sunlight creeping its way through the curtains and shining on his face alerting him to the cruel fact that he was still alive, still at Hogwarts, still alone. This was just another dream, he thought, as he hopefully pitched himself off the top of the astronomy tower. The wind cradled him, its gentle rocking soothing Harry. The cloak fanning out around him. His eyes closed peacefully as he made his descent. Maybe, just maybe, he would finally be free. Maybe, just maybe, it would finally work.