Hello! Thanks for clicking on this story!

As in the story description, this story will be eventual slash. I say eventual as so far there is nothing and I have another 14 chapters written of this. So when I say eventual, there will be very very many chapters before anything happens and even then it is a start to a relationship - nothing explicit. Hence a T rating.

However, you have all been warned here so if you don't like slash then please don't read any further! Or do read ahead and enjoy the adventure story and the eventual small male on male relationship which will NOT become the focus of the story but merely a sub-story.

Those of you who read no matter what - I love you guys.

I will post my disclaimer only once - I think by now everyone on this site knows that I do not own anything. All characters belong to the respective J.K Rowling and J.R.R Tolkien.

Enjoy x

Behind the Scars

Chapter 1

There were two scars that Harry Potter had since before he could remember. He didn't know how he had gotten them, or how they'd come to be so important and special to him, he just felt it within his soul.

The first was the lightning bolt shaped scar across his forehead. The jagged red line healed long ago but the bright red colouring of scar tissue had never faded. It was unlike anything any child or adult had seen before. It was different, but different to his family meant bad. It was too noticeable. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia always made him keep his hair long to cover the 'freak' mark.

The second scar he had was on the left side of his body, a thin white line that ran vertically along his ribcage beneath his arm, all the way past his hip. It was strange, unlike his other scar it was barely noticeable, one unbroken line. The silvery, raised skin having healed cleanly left only the slightest blemish on his skin. His chest rarely got sun so the scar blended in with his skin tone. Even if not noticeable to the eye, he knew it was still there.

He had once asked Aunt Petunia about it when he was younger. Her lips had pursed and her eyes narrowed before she blamed the accident which had killed his parents and gave him the first scar. She didn't seem to know much, but the few times he'd asked she'd always got angry and frumpy. He learnt to not ask about it.

When he grew up and was told the real reason as to how his parents died, he learnt the story behind only one scar and his life had irrevocably changed forever. He never gave much thought to that thin scar that ran along his torso again.

/ / /

It had been exactly three years since the war had ended.

Three years of quiet peace with the only odd disturbances being exposure of the wizarding world to muggles, which were easily cleaned up by Obliviators and Aurors. The British Ministry of Magic had finally finished repairs and allocated compensation to those who had been greatly affected by the war. Everyone had been helping with repairs, funded by the money taken from Purebloods and other convicted sympathisers' vaults.

One would think that by removing all traces that the war even occurred would help settle this new age of peace and it did for most of the wizarding world.

Yet, one Harry Potter couldn't find his peace. He was stuck in a place where his purpose in life (whatever that was supposed to mean - Hermione had been trying to convince him to try new things lately) was lost.

After defeating Voldemort, people had begun to move on, slowly but surely. There was hope for them. But for Harry, the one thing driving him, pushing him to be better, was now gone.

Mind you, he enjoyed not being the sole saviour, the one to ogle at on the street. No, everyone now knew what roles Hermione and Ron played, how Neville had defeated Nagini and in the process a part of Voldermort's soul, and the countless others who had fought at Hogwarts that night. He wasn't the only hero anymore.

He never much liked attention, preferring to keep whatever private life he had under wraps. Even the Prophet had stopped writing articles about him. People still stared and many wanted photos and handshakes, but he wasn't hounded like he used to be. Three years was enough time for society to move on.

That is how Harry found himself standing at the edge of the cliffs surrounding Shell Cottage, the sounds of the waves crashing below thundering in time with his pounding headache.

The night air was cool, forcing his hands into the pockets of his slacks. He was glad the jumper he wore was thick, as he'd left his jacket inside with his wand on the inside of the breast pocket.

The light and dull noise of laughter from inside was like white noise to his outlook over the dark stretched out before him. He knew he should be in there, with all the Weasleys and their friends, celebrating another year of peace from the war, another year Voldemort-free.

But he couldn't bring himself to.

He had sat on a plush chair in the extended living room, listening to the chatter around him as he sipped at his firewhiskey until the noise started to pain his head and ears. That's when he excused himself from the festivities and left for the front garden.

He caught Ginny's eye as he left, shrugging at her raised brow. She shook her head and turned back to her conversation with Luna.

He was glad he and Ginny remained friends after the war. Everyone had expected more to blossom between them, but the loss of their friends and family had torn them apart. Some wounds just couldn't heal.

As Harry walked through the garden, passing bushes starting to bud with the coming flowers, he stopped only to kneel by the small grave. He brushed a few leaves from the spot, patting the tomb head.

"Hope you're enjoying all the socks, Dobby," Harry whispered as he let his hand linger for a moment before getting up and finishing his walk to the cliffs.

Harry breathed in deep, filling his lungs till they hurt as he exhaled slowly. He willed the throbbing behind his eyes away, the pain stinging. He had gotten his eyes fixed after the war, his iconic round glasses now rested on the fireplace mantle in Grimmauld Place.

He rubbed his eyes and the bridge of his nose with his index finger. The shadows cast by the light of the windows drew his attention to the ground. The stretched black figures moved around in the yellow light, eerily reminding Harry of dementors as they glided across the grass.

Harry stepped closer to the edge, his breath catching in his throat as he looked down into the black, watery depths below, adrenaline pumping. As he did, the pain behind his eyes and the pounding in his head ebbed away. The thrill of it made him laugh breathlessly and for the first time in a while, he felt alive.

He knew how wrong that was. To feel anything only by risking his own life. He rolled on the balls of his feet. He wasn't about to plunge off in a swan dive or anything that stupid, he knew better than that. It was enough just standing with his toes near the edge and looking down to feel like he was atop of the world.

He didn't notice the way the dirt was crumbling, the rocky edge made unstable with his movements.

"Harry, want a glass of bubbles?" Hermione asked from the doorway of the cottage, her face shadowed by the light streaming from behind her.

Harry turned to face her, taking a step forward. It was time to rejoin the others, even if that meant smiling that fake happy smile.

Next thing he felt was weightlessness.

He could hear the shocked cry of Hermione as he fell, the ground he had just been standing on dropping with him in chunks of rock and soil.

Harry looked up at the starry sky above and wondered if this was the end, and if it was, it was hardly the way he'd expected his death to be.

As his back hit the water he let out a gasp as pain shot through him, feeling his bones break. The surface of the water had felt like concrete and it had surely broken his back.

As he was plunged into the icy water he was pulled about by the turbulent waves that crashed over him, tossing him against the rocks hiding beneath the surface. He rolled and struggled to right himself, but he honestly had no clue which way was up and down as he was thrown.

As his lungs burned for air, he felt his body stop struggling through the pain, his limbs growing weaker and weaker as he felt his consciousness slip from him.

/ / /

A body washed ashore, the pebbles and rocks cutting into already torn and bloodied flesh. The body was bruised badly and dark hair was matted against the swollen face. Clothes were drenched and ripped, exposing the body to the elements.

To passers by, the body would just be another casualty and they would pay no mind to it. After all, monsters still roamed the lands and the men and women didn't want to get mixed up in it all if they could avoid it.

If only one were to venture closer, they would hear the shuddering breathing of the man and realise he was on the brink of death, barely holding on, but alive nonetheless. Because god forbid that Harry Potter was going to give up just yet.

Crunching boots on the pebbles brought two men closer, the smaller of the two slowly touching the body, talking to his companion in mumbled tones.

Harry was slipping between consciousness and sleep, hearing the foreign language the men were speaking. He felt large hands grip him as he let out a whimper as pain shot through him. God he was sore.

The hands were much more gentle as they turned him so he was on his back, which Harry was surprised didn't hurt as much as it had when he had first hit the water.

He tried to open his eyes, the lids swollen and heavy and all he was able to make out was a mess of dark hair and two blurry faces.

"R-Ron…?" He managed to breathe out between his split lip, tasting the coppery liquid which coated his mouth as he swallowed.

The blurred figures were still talking to each other as Harry tried to continue speaking but his tongue didn't seem to want to move.

A hand on his forehead had him stilling, wondering what was happening and why he was even still alive after a fall like that.

The coolness of the hand against his forehead had him fighting to stay awake, his body urging him to give into the darkness and to rest. Reluctantly, Harry let himself fall back into a restless sleep.