Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
The Wishing Well
Classes came the next day, as they did every day, and Harry was once again rushed around from class to class, caught up in the insane schedule that was a Hogwarts' school day. Still, Harry managed to make it through the rest of the day, holding on to the fact that once he broke free of the hours upon hours of study, classes, and assignments, he would be free of the day. When night came, he would be at the lake again, free to let his guard down and be Harry as he was, not as the boy who lived. Thus, Harry's good mood prevailed until right after lunch. Potions class was next.
Harry's first mistake was to enter the classroom with a faint smile on his face. The slip up was instantly rectified with five points from Gryffindor for some minuscule thing or another. Still, although Harry was no longer smiling, he demeanor was cheerful throughout the whole class. That is, until Snape realized it.
"Had a good day today, Potter?" Snape swooped down on him like a hawk sighting a mouse. Still Harry would not be deterred from his good mood.
"Yes sir. Thank you for asking. Had know idea you cared." Harry grinned back at him and Ron beside him sniggered.
Snape waved it off though. "I'm very glad to hear that, Potter. But then, seeing as your idea of a good day is one where you don't get anyone close to you killed…….." he whispered, only loud enough for Harry to hear.
Harry's mood went out the window as he felt his face heat up. Everyone in the room looked on to see what was going to happen.
"Yes. Granger and Weasely are still here, which means you must be having a fair day so far." he was sneering now. Harry's fist rose slightly, as if considering wiping it off his face, but instead it grasped furiously for his quill.
"Still, there are a few more hours in a day. Some of the worst days start out as good ones."
The quill snapped in Harry's hand and the inked tip on it was making deep, blue lines in his paper. Snape, apparently satisfied, moved on to other matters.
"Longbottom! The Basilisk scales go in before the death root!"
The instant class was over, Harry rushed out the classroom door. Hermoine and Ron looked at each other before going after him. They caught him in the hallway and called for him to wait up. It crossed Harry's to just ignore them and keep walking, but he knew he would feel guilty about it later. Resigning himself, he stopped and let them catch him.
"Don't listen to a word that greasy bastard says. It's not your fault. Sirius made his own decisions and so do we. Nothing you have done or can do will change that." Hermoine assured him.
Harry nodded glumly, but didn't answer. Hermoine and Ron exchanged a look. Harry had been depressed all year, though it seemed he was getting better. Ron had told Hermoine that he no longer woke in the middle of the night, screaming. Of course, if he had, Ron wouldn't have known as Harry had been sneaking out to the lake every night. Still, Harry was constantly having mood swings; going from cheerful, to enraged, to depressed to excited with in hours. He was a roller coaster of emotions and his friends feared the end was still not in sight.
"Harry, just remember if you ever need to talk, we're there for you."
Harry gave another dispassionate nod, Hermoine gave Ron another worried look, and Ron gave a helpless shrug. They continued in silence until they reached the Fat Lady when Harry shocked Ron and Hermoine by speaking.
"Listen, guys. I'm a little hungry. Didn't get much to eat at lunch so I'm gonna pop down by the kitchens." Harry strolled of, hands stuffed in his pockets, eyes cast down at the floor.
"I'm really worried about him, Ron. He just seems to be so lost."
Ron nodded. "Still, he does seem to be getting better. I just hope he understands how much he comes out of this soon. He cant keep everything in like this."
Harry had no intention of going to the kitchens. Instead, he got out onto the grounds and summoned his broom from there. After a few minuets, he caught it in his hand, mounted it, and took to the skies. I don't think words could describe the freedom he felt with his hands firmly clutching onto that oak handle as he dived from the sky, but be it enough to say he would die happy if he were to pass out in a loop and fall to his demise.
The sky was not high enough for Harry as he whipped around the tiers and spires of Hogwarts Castle. He twisted through the ramparts, as the sunset on the horizon. His heart was calling to him, telling him to go higher; faster; freer. He wished he'd never have to land.
But life's burdens soon weighed him back down to Earth. It was almost curfew and he had to be in his dormitories soon. As he flew to the Gryfindor tower, he glanced down at the lake from above. He would be there again soon. He just had to give the impression of actually sleeping in the dorms first.
Harry slipped out from behind the fat lady, his invisibility cloak covering him and made his way through the castle. It took a while, but eventually he made it out on to the grounds and to the lake. Once again, as it had every night for weeks, the lake wrapped him up in it's peace.
Storm clouds gathered in the darkened sky overhead, but Harry paid them no heed. That is until it began to rain fierce buckets down on him. Instead of abandoning his spot, however, Harry levitated his cloak over head to act like a rain block, placed a warming charm on himself, and continued to sit by the bank as the heavens opened up. Harry didn't mind. He loved the rain. Always had. Probably always would.
So Harry stayed and enjoyed himself as the skies played out their symphonies. This night, Harry slept not to the singing of the mermaids, but to the booming thunder; a great kettle drum in the atmosphere's revision of Stravinsky's Firebird Saga.
AN: Second chapter. Told you this wasn't a one shot. And don't worry. There will be more to the story than just this. I'm just setting the stage. The plot comes later. Please review and tell me what you think. Honesty over false compliments. Constructive criticism over flames.