Here it is, the final chapter of Realizations. It's been a long time since I started this, and it's nice to finally see it completed at last, though a little sad too. Hopefully you all enjoy the final chapter. I might revise this sometime in the future, but for now it's time to put it to rest. Enjoy! Review!
It was only four days later when Hermione and Ron came tumbling into the living room of the Snape household by way of portkey. Harry was waiting for them of course. He didn't look much like Harry or Alex, though. He had been using his metamorphmagus abilities more now that he no longer had to hide them. Today his hair was blue, short, and spiked. He had taken a bit of inspiration from Tonks. Severus was glad that Harry was using his abilities more. The hair definitely drew more attention, which hopefully meant Harry was coming out of his shell. It would be good if he continued to use his ability at Hogwarts.
When Ron and Hermione recovered from their less than graceful landing, they stared uncomfortably at Harry for a moment. They also nervously eyed the two large panther cubs lounging at Harry's feet. Midnight and Sangue had been feeling a little ignored by their owner during the end of the school year, and were making up for it by never leaving his side in the cottage.
"Harry?" Hermione asked, recognition dawning on her face.
"I prefer Alex, but yeah, it's me." Harry said. Hermione smiled and rushed over to give Harry a hug, which he didn't flinch away from. Sangue growled lightly, jumping into Harry's lap, glaring at Hermione with his golden eyes. Hermione backed nervously away from the panther and Harry chuckled.
"Don't mind him, he's just jealous." Harry said fondly, patting the cub before pushing him over so he could stand up. When he did, he came face to face with an obviously uncomfortable Ron.
"Harry mate, I...I guess I owe you an apology. Hermione talked to me, shouted at me more like it, and I guess I overreacted a little." Ron said awkwardly.
"A little?" Harry asked.
"Okay, a lot. I just kinda freaked out. I mean, we both hated Snape a few years ago. It's just weird, but like Hermione said, you deserve a family. I guess I can deal with it." Ron said a little grudgingly.
"It's okay Ron." Harry said.
"So what are you doing when we go back to Hogwarts?" Hermione asked. Harry sighed slightly, motioning for the two of them to take a seat while he himself collapsed back down onto the sofa.
"I'm staying as Alex Snape. You both know that I never liked the fame. As Alex, I'm not famous, I can finally just be normal." Harry said.
"You mean you're staying a Slytherin?" Ron asked, a hint of disgust in his tone.
"I was supposed to be a Slytherin in the first place, Ron. I asked the hat to put me in Gryffindor because I had only heard bad things about Slytherin. I was hoping you could look past the house rivalries. They're stupid and childish, and all they do is make it easier for wars to happen because people hold on to the rivalries even after they graduate. I'm still the same person, just in a different house." Harry lectured in a stern voice. He had realized last year that the house rivalries really were stupid.
"I guess you're right." Ron replied grudgingly. "Why can't things just go back to the way they were?" he whined.
"Because I'm not the person I used to be, Ron. I've been through too much to go back to the way I was. I was hoping you could accept who I've become, but I guess I was wrong. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell anyone that I'm Alex now. I don't want everyone finding out." Harry said coolly.
"See, you're ashamed of it!" Ron exclaimed.
"I am not ashamed of who I am Ron, never suggest that again." Harry said angrily, eyes narrowed. "I don't want everyone knowing because then there would be no point in being Alex, I'd just have to go back to being the famous boy-who-won't-die!" Harry's anger was almost tangible in the room, leaving Ron properly cowed.
"I think it is time for you to return home, Mr. Weasley, Miss Granger." Severus sneered as he stepped into the room. He had placed monitoring charms on Harry, knowing that Ron had the bad habit of saying exactly the wrong thing and making Harry react badly.
"Can Hermione stay?" Harry asked Severus, calming down a bit. Severus observed Harry with narrowed eyes before nodding his head in acceptance.
"A portkey to return to your house is on the table there. The activation word is maelstrom. Do try and not forget it, I know it's a big word but even your puny brain should be able to remember it for a few minutes." Severus said, sweeping out of the room.
"How can you stand him Harry! He's just the same as he's always been!" Ron exclaimed.
"He's nice to people who deserve it, Ron. I think you should go home now too." Harry said. Ron glared at him before angrily grabbing the portkey, and in the blink of an eye he was gone.
"Why did you want me to stay, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"Because I need to talk to someone, and you don't care which house I'm in. Would you mind calling me Alex?" Harry asked.
"Okay Alex. What did you want to talk about?"
"I never got to finish telling you what happened last summer. Father thinks it will be good for me to stop keeping it a secret, and I agree too. It's been weighing me down." Harry said.
"You mean there's more?" Hermione asked worriedly, moving to take a seat beside Harry on the sofa. Midnight sat at her feet, placing his large black head in her lap. Hermione smiled at the big cat, stroking his soft fur.
"I told you that I tried to kill myself, but I didn't tell you that I tried more than once." Harry said softly. Hermione gasped.
"How...how many times?" she asked fearfully.
"There were three times I was definitely trying to kill myself, twice over the summer and once more near the beginning of the school year. There was one time where I got too far into a panic attack and almost bled to death, though I don't know if I was actually trying to kill myself that time. There were a couple other close calls when I cut myself too deeply, but I wasn't actually attempting suicide." Harry said quietly. Hermione gasped, a hand covering her mouth in shock.
"How...what made you want to die so badly? Why did you start having panic attacks?" Hermione asked, tear in her eyes. Harry took a deep breath, readying himself to tell Hermione. He wasn't as afraid as he had been when telling Draco, now that he knew that not everyone would think he was unclean.
"Over the summer a lot of things happened." He began, stalling for time a little. "I was abused badly by my uncle. Voldemort found out where I was living, and though he couldn't enter himself, he sent someone else there. The person he sent, he...he raped me." Harry said a bit easier than last time.
"Oh my god Harry!" Hermione exclaimed. "Are you okay? I mean, of course you're not okay, you were raped but...how...how..." Hermione ranted awkwardly, at a loss as to what to say. Harry sighed slightly
"I'm okay now, I'm starting to get better." Harry answered.
"If you ever need anything Harry, er...Alex, don't hesitate to ask me." Hermione told him, tears streaming down her face. Harry smiled slightly at the girl who was so distraught with worry about him, knowing she was still a good friend.
"Thanks Hermione." Harry said. The two of them sat in silence for a few minutes as Harry waited for Hermione to stop crying. After she had calmed down, the two of them talked for a while before Hermione decided it was time for her to return home. Harry sighed to himself, sitting alone in the room.
"How did it go?" Draco asked, interrupting the silence. Harry looked up sharply, having not noticed the blond's entrance.
"Not so bad." Harry said.
"Severus cast a spell on Weasley." Draco smirked.
"What?" Harry asked in surprise.
"He won't be able to go blabbering your secret all over the school." Draco said.
"How did he manage that?"
"None of your business." Severus said, entering the room as well. Harry chuckled slightly.
"Thank you." Harry said sincerely. Severus waved it off as usual.
As the three of them moved to the kitchen to have dinner, Harry hung back slightly, observing them. For the first time he could remember, he had a family. He had a father who loved him unconditionally, and a friend who wouldn't reject him like Ron had often done in the past. Things were definitely looking up, and he was, for once, looking forward to the rest of his summer, and the rest of his life. There was no way he was going to give up his life now. He finally realized that there might be hard times in life, but afterward came the good times that had been so sorely lacking in his life. It might take a while for him to stop panicking and cutting, but he no longer felt the urge to die.
"Is something wrong Alex?" Severus asked, noticing he had stopped.
"No." Harry said, startled. "I just realized something." He said with a small smile, ignoring his father's questioning glance.