The characters are not of my creation, they're just borrowed.

Harry has fulfilled the prophecy. Voldemort is rotting in an unmarked grave. But the Wizarding world is in chaos. A new minister for magic has been elected to bring peace in unstable times. Unfortunately his solution sees Harry in Azkaban, about to stand trial for murder.


That was how he felt.

Absolutely shattered.

He lay on the uncomfortable cot bed, a spring digging into his spine, staring up at the cracked plaster on the ceiling, willing his mind to sleep. But however tired he might have been, sleep was not forthcoming. He couldn't shut off his mind, couldn't stop the thoughts and feelings whirling inside him. And any thoughts that haunted him while he was awake were only ten times worse when he slept. The sleep betrayed his weaknesses, reminding him of all the memories that he had tried so hard to forget. The war. The final battle. The reason for his current incarceration in Azkaban.

At least the Dementors had never returned. Azkaban was a cruel, brutal place and that was without the soul robbing demons haunting the corridors and guarding the doors. Harry sighed, and rolled over onto his front, beating the thin excuse for a pillow into submission.

There was another reason for his restlessness. He had a continued creeping sensation under his skin, like an eternal itch that however hard he scratched only grew worse. His stomach was a knot, screwed so slightly it was painful, continuously upset, like a bag of snakes was slithering around trying to escape. The food was bad enough, but nothing much was getting far down his oesophagus. His joints ached, his head pounded; the symptoms all caused by one problem- the containment of his magic.

The Ministry had learnt something from their previous mistakes. The Dementors were gone, but a powerful shield in its place left all magic dormant, itching for release, but none possible. In the early days he could keep it under control. Could scratch the itch as it were. But the longer he was imprisoned, the more the magic grew inside of him, desperate for any kind of release.

He didn't know how long he'd been here. Time had little meaning when all he had to look at were the four walls of the cell, a dank hole in the ground for comfort, and the bed he currently residing on. Time might as well have stood still.

He had lived with the weight of the prophecy ever since he'd heard it at the end of his fifth year at Hogwarts. And whilst he hadn't exactly dealt with it all that well, he'd kept up his side of the bargain. He'd worked hard at becoming stronger; whilst with Ron and Hermione he'd sought out the last remaining Horcruxes. Then he'd stood alone, a single man against the might of the most powerful dark wizard alive. And he'd continued to stand, through the final spell, watching whilst Voldemort crumpled to the ground, robbed of all life.

And that was meant to be that. The prophecy had been fulfilled. The life he'd put on hold was meant to return to him then. His last year at Hogwarts, perhaps even his relationship with Ginny. Everything that had ended with his search for the Horcruxes and the final showdown with Voldemort. But the Wizarding world was still in chaos. Businesses had failed. People were still too frightened to go back to normal. Violence still abounded. And in a power vacuum at the Ministry of Magic, a young upstart by the name of Casper Williams had stepped up to the helm. Elected on his promise of peace at last, he won with a landslide. He promised that everyone who was responsible would pay. That violence would not be tolerated. And his first order of business, arresting Harry Potter for the use of an unforgivable against another wizard had shocked the Wizarding world into silence.

What followed, unbeknownst to Harry, was a hate campaign so subtle, the tide of public opinion had changed dramatically. Harry was no longer the hero of the Wizarding world. He was its downfall, daring to fight fire with fire, fighting violence with violence without seeking out a peaceful solution. He was the cause of the continued violence, why businesses failed, why many wizards and witches were out of work and why so many families continued to still suffer.

Harry could guess at what had happened. He didn't need to read the Daily Prophet's articles, or listen to the gossipmongers. He had been subject to the differing tides of opinion long before he'd stood watching Voldemort decay. After all, it had been the same people that had rubbished his claim of Voldemort's return that were once again trying to contain him.

His frustrations seemed pointless. Anger futile. But they came anyway. He'd been built up to be the saviour of the Wizarding world, the one, the only one to vanquish the Dark Lord. The people who had once upon a time begged him to kill Voldemort now wanted him to rot in hell, as if society would be so much better without him in it. But the anger, the frustration just inflamed his magic more, pushed it to its limits, so that Harry literally clawed at his skin trying to get some of it, any of it out. A useless gesture, making his skin bleed but just blood, not magic.

What of the people who had stood by him to the end? What about Hermione, Ron? Ginny, even? The Weasley family as a whole. Harry couldn't believe they'd be sucked so easily into the "I Hate Harry Potter club". But where were they then? They had certainly never been to visit. Not even a letter had been passed through the bars to him. And as the days dragged on, as time continued on its path, leaving him to rot in the cell, on the darkest of days he wondered if they'd left him as well.

What he didn't know, and perhaps it was the cruellest blow of the lot, but only family were allowed to visit the prisoners of Azkaban. And Harry Potter didn't have any family. Or, he did. But his Uncle Vernon and his Aunt Petunia had just laughed when the invitation had been extended to them.