'Hello again, and welcome to another absolutely wonderful day in the life of Percy Ignatius Weasley.' The redhead sighed as he gazed at the words he'd just written. He was hunched over his desk, scrawling onto the pages of a book. Its cover was a deep, sensuous violet and the pages had a slightly lavender hue. He had made the purchase at a Muggle bookstore while looking for a birthday present for his father that June. No one knew he had bought it, which was just as well. The last thing he needed was to be harassed about owning a purple diary. He re-read the sarcastic words etched into the smooth paper, remembering reading something once that had identified sarcasm as "the protest of those who are weak". How fitting then. He continued.

'I was woken up at an unheard-of hour by our friendly neighborhood Quidditch captain getting ready for practice. I tossed and turned for a while before falling back to sleep without realizing it. When I finally woke up again I'd missed my alarm and it was twenty minutes before my first class, Charms. I threw on my robes (wrinkled) and didn't have time for breakfast or even a shower before running straight to the classroom. Probably the only good thing that's happened to me all day is that I wasn't tardy. The class was loud and very disruptive, so now I have a five-page essay on advanced cheering charms to write (of course, *cheering* charms) besides the original homework for this weekend. And I finally got back to the dorm to eat a bit and shower and saw in the mirror the state my hair had been in all morning. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. So of course I just got into the shower and acted like I was just fine. Why do I always have to do that? Why does no one ever notice me? If only I'd known what I was doing to myself by never allowing myself to learn how to cry...'

It was true. In the seventeen years he'd been alive, Percy had never once cried. It wasn't that he never needed to; far from it. But being caught crying would've destroyed his cool and collected facade, and he couldn't let that happen. So he simply never allowed himself to cry. Instead he'd developed more unhealthy ways of expressing his pain. Like cutting. He gingerly touched the bandage he'd put around his upper arm after last night's episode. He'd started in third year. He'd done it to relieve the pain of the insults and teasing he recieved. He'd done it because of the pressure he'd always felt to be perfect. He'd done it because, no matter how hard he tried to convince everyone, he wasn't perfect. Or maybe he'd done it to PROVE that he wasn't perfect. Maybe he'd wanted his body to be as wounded and ugly as his cowardly soul. There were many reasons he'd started to cut.

Yes, nearly four years ago he'd started, and by now he knew all the places clothing would cover, and the places it might not. He knew where the scars would fade and where that would not; for example, he knew never again to cut on joints like ankles and shoulders or any other patch of skin that moved around or stretched a lot. This made the scars large and protruding when they healed, and very obvious. Places like his upper arms and his legs, where the skin didn't stretch and were always covered by sleeves or pant legs, these were the places he let his blade wreak its punishment. The scars here came and went very easily, in fact the summer before last he'd been able to wear sleeveless shirts. That was before he'd dug into the pale skin where his shoulder met his ribs and created permanent scarring, though. Now, he always wore pants and at least short sleeves. He'd convinced his parents years before that he was hydrophobic ("no more water than can fill a Muggle bathtub", he'd always said) so he didn't need to worry about swimsuits and the like.

But really, he wanted water. He needed water, needed it to burn saline trails down his flushed and freckled cheeks. Needed it to fall, unchecked, from his eyes and saturate his shirt or his hands or his pillow or Penelope's shoulder. He needed to cry. But his foolishness in years past had destroyed him and left him with no coping strategies except to mutilate his body to the point at which he had to hide it, living in constant fear his habit would be discovered. Now, he cried blood instead of tears.

'Well, it sounds like Oliver's back. I'd best put you away. Love, Percy'