Apex Chapter 1 -

"So...tell me what happened Potter?" McGonagall asked.

Harry Potter, fourth year Gryffindor, sat in front of McGonagall and he really wasn't feeling good about himself. This year was supposed to start off good, it was supposed to finally be the one year where he didn't have someone trying to kill him. First year it was trolls, three headed dogs and Quirrell who was possessed by the dark lord Voldemort, the dark lord who he had apparently stopped when he was a baby and was the reason for his fame. Second year it was a good intentioned but rather idiotic house elf plus a seventy foot basilisk and an evil diary belonging to Voldemort that possessed Ginny Weasley.

In his third year it was soul sucking demons, because it naturally never got easier, plus a werewolf attack just after discovering the escaped mass murderer that he thought killed his parents was actually innocent and his godfather and actually escaped to get the actually mass murder and traitor who was disguised as a rat and pet of the boy who was his best mate.

It didn't help that he had to go back to his relatives every year.

At the start of this year he thought it was actually possible for him to have a good year, it was the second time he had a defense teacher who was actually good at teaching defence and he would have hopefully been able to watch the tri-wizard tournament along with the others.

Unfortunately this year had already gone balls up. His name had come out of the goblet of fire even though he did not enter his name into the tournament. Now after years of generally being a quiet boy and also stopping Voldemort in his first year, defeating Slytherin's monster in his second and getting attacked by dementors in his third he expected people to naturally realise that getting into a tournament famous for death rates was the last thing he wanted to do.

Unfortunately Harry had very clearly overestimated people.

The Hufflepuff's who had already turned on him in second year after thinking he was the heir of Slytherin, despite the fact that he was a Gryffindor with a muggleborn friend and mother, turned on him this year as well because he 'clearly entered the tournament just to show up the Hufflepuff champion and ruin their opportunity to make their house more famous', they also seemed to be ignoring the fact that nobody even knew that there would be a Hufflepuff champion until Cedric Diggory's name came out of the goblet. The Ravenclaws were divided but most kept neutral in the love/hate Harry Potter trend going on.

The Slytherin's, or at least the majority of them, were gladly using this opportunity as they had pretty much hated him anyway. Draco Malfoy had even began selling badges that would say 'Potter stinks' if you touched them. As for the Gryffindor's, they were divided. Some easily believed that he did it and others didn't, but those that didn't were very little. So far the only people that had told Harry they didn't believe he did it were the Gryffindor chasers and Ginny Weasley.

He didn't know about the twins as they were too busy treating the whole thing like a joke, he might have found it funny if it wasn't his life that was being affected. Harry had at least hoped that Ron and Hermione, his two best friends, would believe him. He was once again disappointed, Ron had called him a lying git and Hermione had told him in length about how she was disappointed in him for entering the tournament.

And now he was here in Professor McGonagall's office, a cut lip and a bruised right cheek.

"Mr Potter?" McGonagall said impatiently.

"Well...I was walking through a hallway and then the next thing I know I get hexed and I fell down some stairs."

"Do you know who hexed you?" McGonagall asked.

"No," Harry shook his head. "I just look up and I see a lot of students and pretty much all of them looked like they were the ones that hexed me or at least wished they could take credit for it."

"Mr Potter there is no need to exaggerate."

"I wish I was exaggerating, the students hate me professor! I didn't enter the bloody tournament!"

"Watch your language Mr Potter," McGonagall said sternly. "now unless you know who hexed you I cannot do anything."

"Alright...fine...but what about the other stuff?" Harry asked.

"Other stuff?" McGonagall repeated. "What other stuff?"

"Gee I don't know," Harry said sarcastically. "how about the fact that ninety nine percent of the school are treating me like I belong in Azkaban?"

"I'm sorry Mr Potter but there is not much I can do about that..."

"But you can do something about those badges that Malfoy is selling." Harry argued.

"What possible reason would I have for removing these badges?" McGonagall asked. "I see nothing wrong with supporting the Hogwarts champion."

"But the professor the badges change to say 'Potter stinks', when teachers aren't around nearly everyone does it. I'd like to at least be able to walk around the hallways without people following me and blocking my way just to shove them in my face and act like I can't read what they're saying."

"Mr Potter, I understand you are feeling frustrated, but I assure you that this will pass..."

"And I'd rather prefer if it happened as soon as possible."

"Mr Potter, do not interrupt me."

"Wait so I can't even interrupt you because it's rude yet it's fine for me to have to endure being treated like I belong in Azkaban."

"Mr Potter please stop being dramatic."

"Dramatic?! Do you know how many people have tried to hex me and insult me this week alone?! I've lost count! The only plus side I can see is I've gotten better with my verbal comebacks, physical dodging and magical healing spells and shields, though I would have preferred to do that because I can, not because it was necessary."

"Mr Potter, I am sorry but with this many people it'll be difficult for me to do anything. Your situation was already discussed with the headmaster and he feels that the there is no need to escalate the situation by having the Hogwarts staff interfere with it, he has asked me to tell you that he advises you to keep your head down." She said, but that did not help Harry in anyway at all.

"But that's bullsh..."

"Mr Potter I'd advise you to control your language," Professor McGonagall cut him off with a warning tone in her voice. "now I would advise you go to Madam Pomfrey if you feel that you need her help, if not then I would advise you to go and complete any homework you have remaining.

"But Professor, please I just..."

"Mr Potter, I have already made my opinion clear, have I not?"

"Yes...Professor McGonagall." Harry interrupted through gritted teeth as he got up and walked out of her office, his fist and teeth clenched as tight as possible.

He walked down the hallway, passing jeering crowds of students as he did. Some of them laughed at him, some pointed, other insulted, some waved their wands around like they were about to shoot a spell. Harry for any person that happened to see him looked perfectly calm on the outside, despite the his inner emotions, however two things gave him away. His clenched fist and the veins threatening to pop out of his forehead.

"Oi Potter," One Hufflepuff fifth year said as he walked alongside Harry. "like the badge?" He grinned as he put the badge as close to Harry's face as he could without touching him and pressed the badge so it would say Potter stinks.

"Oh yes, very nice, very original." Harry said sarcastically. "I congratulate you on standing out from the rest of the school Mr...oh wait I don't know your name, nor do I care about you so kindly do me a favour and go search long and hard for someone who does."

"Who the hell do you think you're talking to?!" The Hufflepuff demanded, all traces of a smile gone as he pushed Harry against a wall with one arm. Harry looked around for support but saw that he would get none as very few of the people around did not look entertained and even then they did not look like they would do anything.

"Look, I don't know if you're doing this because you just hate me or if you just think it's fun to go with the flow, but I am not in the mood for this shit." Harry growled out.

"Oh is that right?" The Hufflepuff asked in an amused voice. "What are you going to do?"

"I don't WANT to do anything, I just want you to leave me alone and back off."

"Oh and what are you going to do if I do this?" The Hufflepuff asked before punching Harry in the stomach, Harry slid to his knees coughing as he felt the effects of getting punched, hearing laughter from those around him did not help. "Aw did that hurt?" The Hufflepuff asked in a baby voice before he slapped him on the back of his head.

"Stop." Harry said in a low voice.

"What did you say?" The Hufflepuff asked, pretending to have not heard him.

"Look...I am not in the mood and I am dangerously close to going past my limit." Harry said in a warning tone. "In fact I am already at my limit, just back off, enjoy your victory and leave me alone."

"Or what Potter?" The Hufflepuff laughed before slapping Harry on the back of his head again.

"Hey come on dude," Another Hufflepuff said. "don't waste your time with Potter."

"Yeah," The first Hufflepuff nodded. "I might get something." He laughed before he walked away with his friends.

Harry sighed before he climbed to his feet, he glanced around and his anger rose when he saw people looking at him like he was an animal in a zoo, he restrained his initial instincts and walked off. Eventually he found an abandoned classroom, he walked in and slammed the door shut. He did not think he could go back to the Gryffindor common room at the moment and not punch or hex someone. He sat on the floor as he did not really care if he was going to be angry on a chair or on the floor.

"Fucking hell." Harry whispered as he rubbed his stomach.

Harry was not lying earlier when he said when he was at his limit. Say what you want but Harry had had enough. Not just because of all of the life threatening crap but also the people. He had spent years putting up with the Dursleys, of his cousin and uncle bullying him with his aunt either helping them or treating him like it was his fault. That plus Snape, Snape the potions professor who would just not fuck off. The man had a ridiculous hatred of Harry yet still constantly sought him out. That was bad enough. but made worse by the fact that nobody did anything about it.

Harry also had to deal with Malfoy who was another bully who would just not leave him alone. Harry was also pretty positive that the blonde prat was gay, the guy was like Harry's personal stalker. Now while Harry had no problem with gay people, he did have a problem with Malfoy who quite frankly was allowed to get away with more bullying than he would in any other school.

Then there was Harry's friends, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Ron was someone who always found something to complain about, if Harry was being honest he'd gladly swap his life. Ron might have had to share with a lot of siblings but at least he wasn't punished for simply existing. Ron was Harry's first ever friend, and if Harry was being honest he probably would not have stayed friends with Ron if it wasn't for the fact that he had spent most his life without friends and had been pretty desperate to make some.

Ron always complained about something or the other and Merlin forbid Harry doesn't go along with Ron wants, in the past Harry did so simply because Ron was his first ever friend and he was desperate to keep him. And now after everything that had happened between them other the years Ron had decided to abandon him and call him a cheat. Harry couldn't help but compare him to Wormtail, Wormtail abandoned Harry's parents when they really needed him and in Harry's eyes Ron did the same.

After spending years doing whatever Ron wanted, dumbing himself down so Ron didn't think he was trying to show him up and generally putting up with the red headed disposal unit, Harry was rewarded by being abandoned and having his so called friend join everyone else in the 'hate Harry Potter club'.

Then there was Hermione, his second friend ever. Harry knew that if he was not so desperate for friends he likely would not have stayed her friend. The girl seriously had problems, one of which was her need to always know what was going on. She didn't ever let him a single moment of privacy thanks to her rather annoying need to know everything, at times she made him feel like she was his owner and he was her pet. If the girl was not reading a book then she was likely nagging him about something, actually no she was more than capable of doing both.

Honestly he wasn't half as dumb as he let her believe. Between Ron who hated everyone better than him and Hermione who was more competitive than an Olympic sprinter, Harry made sure to keep himself average if for no reason other than to avoid the two irritating him. Harry was sick of having to act for the sake of others.

Growing up with the Dursley's Harry had learnt to act a certain way and behave a certain way, he had to learn quickly if he wanted to survive that hellhole. During Harrys first few years there he was more than willing to push back if someone pushed him first, he talked back if someone said something to him and he acted like he wanted. But that quickly disappeared thanks to constantly getting beat up by his cousin and his friends along with his uncle's over use of his belt and his aunt's love of denying him food.

He was also a lot smarter than he let on, but he had to dumb himself down because the last time he dared to do better than Dudley on at test he got locked in a cupboard after an hour with Uncle Vernon's belt. It turned out to be good practise for when he came to Hogwarts as he already knew how to dumb himself down for others. Average grades made sure that Ron didn't get too angry with him and made sure he didn't have to constantly suffer thanks to Hermione.

Eventually Harry learnt to change the way he acted and spent years acting meek and week just to get through life with minimal suffering. However the important thing was the fact that that Harry, the original, never left. He was merely pushed back so meek Harry could take over. However Harry knew he was still there, he could feel him, sometimes even let him take control.

In his first year when Quirrell tried to strangle him and ended up burning himself, Harry had frozen in fear, that was until the real Harry took over and finished Quirrell off by grabbing him and burning him to death. The same with the Basilisk, the dementors, it was the original Harry who had taken care of the problem, not the fake weakling that he had to pretend to be.

After nearly an hour of Harry sitting in silence he came to a realisation, he no longer had to pretend to be someone he was not. The purpose of weak Harry was to minimise his suffering when he could not fight back, but now...now he could. Here he was armed the same as everyone else, except he had an edge that they did not. He was the one who had killed at the age of eleven, he fought Slytherin's monster, he fought off an army of soul sucking demons. They had not seen what he had seen or felt what he had felt.

Each near death, each and every moment of suffering helped him, made him stronger, even in simple ways like at least increasing the amount of pain he could endure. He had the potential to become great, his 'friends' had abandoned him. This was an opportunity, no longer would he spend years pretending to be someone he was not and no longer would he have to put with people he did not like, no longer would he be someone he was not.

"No more." Harry whispered to himself as he closed his eyes. "No more pretending, no more, now...it's time for the real Harry to come out." Harry said, as he opened his eyes. If he had a mirror then he might have noticed the brief glow that came from them.

"The great Harry Potter sir?" A voice interrupted his silence. Harry's wand was out in record time and aimed at the intruder before they could even finish saying his name. "Don't shoot!" The intruder cried and put his hands up in a submissive gesture.

"Dobby?" Harry sighed, rolling his eyes at the house elf in front of him. "What the fuck are you doing here?"

"Dobby was cleaning great Harry Potter sir, then Dobby finds the great Harry Potter sitting on the floor." Dobby replied, looking at him and waiting for him to answer the unasked question of why he was sitting on the floor.

"Yeah well...I'm not doing too good right now Dobby." Harry confessed, lowering his wand.

"Oh no!" Dobby replied as if he was just told the most horrific news in the world. "Can Dobby be doing anything to help?"

"That depends," Harry said after a moment of thinking. "you can go anywhere in the castle right?"

"Yes Harry Potter sir!" Dobby nodded quickly, eager to help.

"I want you to go to the Gryffindor common room, get all of my things and then come to me when I call you, can you do that?" Harry asked.

"Oh yes!" Dobby nodded so fast that Harry suspected the elf had hurt his neck. "Dobby can do this!"

"Fine, go get my stuff and wait for me to call you." Harry replied as he got up to his feet. "I'll be off, wait for my call." Harry said before he walked out of the classroom and down the halls.

On Harry's way to his destination he suffered through, what was becoming a regular thing, where he had people looking at him like he was an animal in a cage. He also had the unfortunate pleasure of coming across the same Hufflepuff from earlier.

"Oi Potter, remember me?" He said with a grin, the other students in the hallway that knew what had happened before grinned in anticipation while those that didn't simply watched with interest.

"Do I remember you?" Harry smiled as he looked at him. "Hmm, can't say I do, I don't make a habit of remembering every dumbass I see."

"What do you say?!" The Hufflepuff demanded.

"You might want to get that hearing looked at." Harry said with fake concern.

"Don't mess with me Potter," The Hufflepuff warned. "you remember what happened last time."

"I can't say that I do," Harry said just before his smile disappeared. "why don't you try again so we can see?"

"Ha," The Hufflepuff laughed along with his friends before he walked towards Harry. "you want it so bad? Fine."

"Come on." Harry said with a quick shrug of his shoulder.

The Hufflepuff threw a punch, Harry stepped to the side then responded with a jab to his face. The Hufflepuff stumbled back as the crowd gasped, the Hufflepuff looked furious, he roared and tried to throw another punch, this time Harry ducked low and got on his knees before he responded with his own punch. However Harry did not aim for the face or the stomach.

The Hufflepuff cried out in pain and bent over while many males in the audience gave him a sympathetic wince, Harry sighed before he removed his hand away from between the Hufflepuff's legs, he stood up and gave the Hufflepuff a small tap on the shoulder before he pushed him so hit a wall head first.

"Anyone else?" Harry asked, pulling out his wand. "It's funny, you all don't look so brave now when I decide to fight back."

"Ha," Someone laughed, everyone turned to see Mad-Eye Moody. Professor Moody, the current defence against the dark arts teacher and ex auror, walked towards Harry. He was slowed down slightly by his fake leg but still looked impressively dangerous, some could argue that his fake spinning eye and scars made him look more dangerous. "you're right about that Potter." He laughed.

"But sir Potter attacked him!" One Hufflepuff cried.

"Quiet!" Moody snapped, "I saw the whole damn thing," He said before turning to the Hufflepuff on the floor who looked back up at him. "get up off the floor you idiot!" He hissed before he grabbed him by the arm and pulled him onto his feet. "You started it, you threw the first punch, ten points from Hufflepuff and a detention."

"But Potter hit him in the balls!" A different Hufflepuff cried.

"That's good," Moody said with an approving nod to Harry. "in a real fight there are no rules, just survive. If this was a duel then Potter would have lost, was it a duel Potter?"

"Not as far as I'm aware sir." Harry shrugged with a smile before he looked around and made sure he looked at everyone before turning back to Moody. "I'm just finally pushing back." Harry said in a strong voice.

"Atta boy." Moody smiled. "Off you go while I deal with this mess."

"Thanks you, and...have fun sir." Harry gave him a small smile before he walked off.

A couple of minute later Harry, after making sure nobody saw him, had entered the girls bathroom on the second floor.

"Open." He said in parsletounge, the language of snakes, the sink moved to the side revealling a hole that Harry knew lead to the chamber of secrets. Harry was about to jump down when a thought struck him, would Salazar Slytherin slide down each and every time he entered the chamber? Or would Riddle do the same? He found that hard to imagine. "Stairs." Harry said in parsletounge and sure enough a few seconds later stairs formed, Harry climbed down the stairs with the entrance closing behind him.

A few minutes later Harry found himself in the chamber of secrets, it was the exact ssame as he remembered. The statues of snakes, the giant statue of Salazar Slytherin and the dead basilik was still there as welll.

"Dobby." Harry called and Dobby popped into the chamber with Harry's things.

"Oh my..." Dobby trailed off when he saw the rest of the chamber before gasping in shock and horror when he saw the basilisk. "...why would the great Harry Potter want to come here?" He wondered out loud.

"Because the great Harry Potter is about to become greater."

A.N: Hey guys, hope you liked the chapter. It was supposed to come out yesterday but it didn't for two reasons. First of which was the fact that my laptop restarted midway though writing it so I lost a lot of work plus i ended up getting busy as well.

Anyway, the basic story so far is that Harry has been pretending to be different from who he really is for the sake of others and has finally gotten sick of it and will now start behaving how he wants. This is a grey/dark Harry, he won't be ridiculously overpowered or anything either, I will attempt to keep it to a ceartin level of realism.

Also i know someone might be tempted to point out that this isn't an original idea because plenty of other people have done something similar, to that I say 'so what?', this is fanfiction. I could write the whole of the first book on here and make the only change be Harry's hair style and it would still count as different. Yes many people have done similar things but this is just my take on it.

As for the pairings, i have not decided on any yet, so far i am choosing between the following:

* Ginny Weasley

*Astoria Greengrass

* Tonks

Also i know people are pretty down thanks to this coronavirus crap and i just want to wish everyone the best.

Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a review.