Harry isn't mine, I'm afraid. Considering my penchant for angst, he'd be dead by now if he were.


Ginny never felt quite so ashamed of herself as when she first saw Harry Potter.

She didn't see him first when she was ten, at the platform, or during the summer before her first year. She didn't see him for the first time when she woke up in the Chamber of Secrets, the basilisk rotting nearby , or when she was twelve or thirteen or fourteen. No, the first time she saw Harry- Harry, not the Boy Who Lived- was the summer after her fourth year.

He'd only been at Grimmauld Place for a week, and at first Ginny had hardly noticed his presence. He seemed little more than a shadow, anyway, and Ginny was sick of spending all her time watching Harry Potter.

And then, one night, she saw him.

If there was one sin, she later decided, one unforgivable sin shared by the world, it was that no one saw Harry. Not Ron, not Hermione, and until that moment, not her. They only saw what they expected to see.

But she saw Harry.

It had been a quiet moment, deceptively peaceful- not the kind of moment, Ginny later thought, that one would identify as lifechanging. She'd been writing to Dean while Hermione read a book off in the corner and Ron and Harry played chess. They'd been in the Black Manor library, and except for Ron's murmurs and Harry's even softer replies, the room had been silent.

Then the door creaked open, and they all looked up. It was Professor Lupin, looking gaunt and haggard and tired. He seemed mildly surprised to see four teenagers in the library, and flashed them a forced smile before leaving, without ever saying a word.

No one else saw it. No one else saw the pain flash across Harry's face when Lupin wouldn't so much as look at him.

Ginny's heart skipped a beat at the sheer agony that flickered briefly in the Boy Who Lived's eyes- guilt fear anger sorrow grief fear fear grief guilt...

The emotion...it took her breath away, it really did. But then it was gone, and Harry was back to joking with Ron, and Ginny almost wondered if she'd imagined the whole thing.

But no, she hadn't. What she'd seen was quite clear and very real: Harry Potter was falling apart before her very eyes, and she was the only one to see it.

And then she wondered how she could have been so blind- how they could all have been so stupid- as to miss his descent. And a million little puzzle pieces suddenly fitted together, and she saw Harry Potter.

How? How couldn't she have seen- how could Ron and Hermione not have seen- how could Dumbledore have missed it all?

It all made sense, suddenly. Everything that she'd ever wondered about, casually or not so casually- everything that had seemed subtly off, before, whenever she considered the green-eyed Gryffindor.

Harry wasn't a hero. He wasn't a savior. He wasn't some knight in shining armor. He was a frightened teenaged boy who was falling apart at the seams with no one around who would hold him together. He was drowning in his own pain, without anyone to throw him a lifeline.

He was alone. He was so very alone.

Ginny had never, never known what it was like to not have anyone, but all of a sudden she knew, with complete certainty, that Harry didn't have anyone, not really. There was the Order and his friends, but now she realized that he'd slowly been pushing them all away for over a year, locking himself away from them.

If he'd ever really let them in at all.

Who did Harry have, then? Who could he talk with about his grief? Who would soothe him when he had nightmares, assure him that it wasn't his fault, that he wasn't to blame for everything bad that happened in the world? Who would be there for him no matter what, completely on his side, without reservation or fear? Who did Harry have?

Then came the shame, a chilling wave that ran over her and turned her blood to ice.

For so long, so very long, she'd been angry at Harry for ignoring her, for never seeing her.

But the truth was, she'd never seen him. No one had. And no one saw him breaking.

Ginny never felt quite so ashamed of herself as when she first saw Harry Potter.