Lord, this is angsty. The P.O.V. is obvious, so I'm not going to point it out.

I've killed five people.

Oh, not on purpose.

The first two I truly can't be faulted for, though I know why the Dark Lord was there for them. He wanted to kill me, not my parents, but it seems good people always die in the crossfire. My mother and father died protecting me, but it was truly my mother's sacrifice that saved my life.

The third, I can't help but be happy of, even though I was only eleven when it happened. A man of evil, to be sure, had taken it upon himself to kill me, so instead I returned the favor. All it took was my bare hands, the pressure of skin on skin. He blistered and burned beneath my touch, turning slowly and agonizingly into ash. I do not envy him that death, I myself nearly blacked out from pain.

The fourth was my first memorable period of absolute despair. Oh, when I couldn't live with my godfather I was desolated, but the death of that poor boy I knew, my opponent on the field, sixteen year old Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory . . . that invoked a terror and aching, it gave me a lifetime of nightmares.

This was only inadvertently my fault. I only led him to his doom on a lighthearted suggestion; we would take a joint win for Hogwarts and seize the Cup at the same time.

But the treachery of a teacher had taken us to a graveyard. Defenseless, Diggory was slain as I stood, too terrified to move. Two fell words ended his life – Avada Kedavra. Had I not been so foolish as to suggest so spectacular an end to the Triwizard tournament . . . well. It's no use what iffing.

The fifth and final wash of blood on my hands (so far, at least) was that of the most recent father-figure in my life. My biological father and his nominee for my caretaker in the event of his death, both gone. Because of me.

Sirius Black was the best escaped convict ever to walk the Earth. He told me stories of my parents that didn't make me angry or sad, a feat all in its own. He gave me the love of himself and the father I'd never truly known. And in return, what did I give him?

The same fate as his best friend and predecessor! Death, this time at the hands of his cousin, instead of her Lord. If I hadn't been so preposterous, jumping to conclusions . . . if I had worked harder with Snape, instead of writing off the lessons as rubbish because Snape taught them . . . perhaps I would still have a godfather.

I know no one blames me for any of these deaths. At my parents, "You were only a baby!" For Professor Quirrel, "He was trying to kill you!" Diggory, "An honest mistake, you tried your hardest." And Sirius . . . the hardest death to bear. I have not heard their excuses for this inexcusable act yet, but I don't doubt the owls will rain in soon enough. Every Weasley who loves me as a brother and son, and the whole Granger family even if I barely met Hermione's parents . . . she'll have explained, and they'll send condolences. Dumbledore will tell that while every action has repercussions, it is impossible to see the all, because every event depends on the outcomes of choices, and without knowing every choice, much less their end, how can anyone know the event for sure and its own termination of circumstance? Or some such philosophical twaddle a large percentage of people won't understand.

Remus Lupin . . . my secondary guardian, after Sirius. Remus will tell me he does not blame me, though of course he does. Sirius was his childhood friend, and dying so soon after being returned, must be torment for the already lonely and tortured werewolf. No doubt Remus tells himself daily that he /shouldn't/ blame me, but does so anyway . . . because his wolf knows its my fault.

The rest of the Order of the Phoenix will tell me nothing could have been done, though all will know something could have been.

I perceive Severus Snape in my dreams sometimes. One night he laughs at my pain, telling me Sirius deserved death, because they themselves were enemies even as allies, opposing forces on the same side. But other nights, like the last one, he tells me, "Potter, quit your sniveling. Do you imagine this is what your precious guard-dog wants?" And then the harsh face softens, and he pulls me in his arms like a child with a broken toy, telling me, "It's alright, Harry, it's alright, you'll be strong and you'll be fine, it's alright, Harry, it's alright."

But in the end, I've still killed five people.