"Hero"

~ I am so high, I can hear heaven ~

The wind whipped his hair about wildly. He stood on the
threshold of the sky-scraping Astronomy Tower, physically
seventeen, emotionally, much older, a broom grasped in his hand.

~ I am so high, I can hear heaven ~

He wasn't a hero...he knew that he wasn't; he always had. The
world as he knew it was on the brink of insanity, Voldemort's
clutches tightened on the Wizarding world, more and more each
day.

~ Whoa, but heaven...no, heaven don't hear me ~

Harry knew that he didn't have to defeat the Dark Lord. But, he
needed to. The newspapers cried daily that the Boy-Who-Lived,
the hero, would save them soon.

~ And they say

That a hero could save us ~

It was so much more than that to him. He knew that if he didn't
do this, he wouldn't be able to live with himself. It was much
more than trying to be something he wasn't. They said that a
hero would save them...but, all they had was Harry.

He wasn't a hero.

He'd promised Professor Dumbledore that he would wait until
after his N.E.W.T.'s to go after Voldemort. He understood now
that Dumbledore wanted him to live as much as possible before it
happened.

Harry let out a harsh laugh, one that sounded very different
from who he was, at the irony of everything. For all the wizened
professor's talks, love hadn't done much for Harry. Love had
gotten Ron and Hermione tortured, Percy killed, Hagrid killed,
Ginny almost killed, and his parents murdered all because they
cared for him.

It wasn't fair.

Sweeping his eyes over his home for what might be the last time,
Harry mounted his Firebolt and took off into the sky.

~ I'm not gonna stand here and wait

I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles

Watch as we all fly away ~

~*~

The doors of the Great Hall swung open many hours later. A hush
fell over the crowded room and tired green eyes swept over them,
barely twinkling, focusing on the Weasleys, Hermione, Remus, and
Sirius, who were gathered in front of the staff table,
apparently harassing the teachers as to find out where Harry
was. The silence reigned as Dumbledore stood up.

~ Now that the world isn't ending

It's love that I'm sending to you ~

Harry looked up into the concerned and hopeful blue eyes. A
ghost of a grin appeared on the young man's face. Reaching in
his pocket, he pulled out a wand almost identical to his own-
Voldemort's broken wand- and tossed it out onto the floor. It
clattered across the hardwood before rolling to a stop.

"He's gone." The simple words cracked with everything Harry was
suppressing. He felt anything but jovial, let alone triumphant.

The silence somehow got quieter, until Harry could hardly bear
it. Some of the Slytherins began to exchange nervous glances.

Harry tried to ignore the wave of fear that had washed over him.
Were they so quiet because they didn't believe him? Was he not
good enough for them anymore? He had killed, even if what he
murdered was barely human. He wasn't a hero, he knew that now
better than ever....he hoped they all knew how much he cared
about them. He didn't know how to say it; he'd never said
anything like it before. He swallowed, hard.

~ It isn't the love of a hero

And that's why I fear it won't do ~

Then, the stillness was broken.

Harry began to shake as Sirius approached him. There was a
collective intake of breath; not everyone believed in his
godfather's innocence.

~ And they say

That a hero could save us

I'm not gonna stand here and wait

I'll hold onto the wings of the eagles

Watch as we all fly away ~

Harry's shaking increased. He expected to be reprimanded for
leaving so suddenly.

~ and they're watching us (watching us)

But Sirius just looked at him with something analogous to pride
in his eyes.

~ watching us

as we all fly away ~

"You look....just like James."

Harry was suddenly surrounded by people. Ginny had his neck in a
vice grip, Sirius was ruffling his hair affectionately, Hermione
and Ron were sobbing and whacking him on the back, respectively,
and everyone else in the hall surrounded him, many in a fierce
hug.

~ and they're watching us ~

Harry closed his eyes, laid his head on top of Ginny's, and
breathed, letting everything out but taking everything in.

He was flying.

~ and we all fly away..~

A/N: Songfic to Chad Kroeger f/ Josey Scott: Hero