Alright, my muse decided that he wanted to write something sort of depressing. Not that I really blame it, what with what I've been reading lately, and this is what I've come up with.

WARNING: It contains a few spoilers for both HBP and DH. Not many, mind you, just some very simple things.

Anyway, like I said before, It's fairly depressing. Read at your own risk.

(Does my Blood) Run Red?

He didn't know when he started contemplating it. Maybe it just appeared on day; maybe it had always been there. Always watching, waiting until he was his most vulnerable to surge in and bring it into his mind. Had he thought about it before? When he was younger, did he look at a knife and wonder what it would be like? He didn't remember. He wished he could. Had he tried? He didn't think so; he'd never been brave enough.

The thought makes him laugh. Bravery, what a simple thing. Something that every Gryffindor had in abundance. Funny that he should be placed with them then, when he didn't have it. Then, he was a freak, wasn't he. Always different from everyone around him. He didn't belong anywhere; he'd always known that. His relatives had always told him that he was good for nothing, a freak. He hadn't believed them, at first, but it was hard to grow up hearing something and not believe it.

He'd discovered hope when Hagrid had come to him, but even among wizards, he was a freak. He lived when no other ever had. Ironic, then, that he should want to end it now. He was tired of it all; the constant gawking, the whispers, the giggles as people saw him walk passed. Some gave him glares, but they didn't bother him. If they killed him, it would save him from needing to summon the courage needed to use the knife. The small silver knife sitting so innocently in front of his crossed legs.

It was calling to him, begging to be used, and he sat there, staring at it, willing his fingers to lift it. They wouldn't move. The most they would ever do was place it on his bed, and hurriedly put it back in his dresser as his dorm mates filed in. They never knew, never thought that he contemplated anything. They never even saw the knife; he made sure of it.

Why did he hesitate? Could it be that he still wanted to live? Still yearned to pull breath into lungs? Why then, did the knife hold such a draw for him?

Escape it seemed to whisper to him, causing his eyes to cloud over with desire.

Yes, to escape. That was it. A single swipe on both wrists, and he wouldn't have to worry anymore. He'd done his part, he'd rid them of the evil they'd looked to him for. He wasn't needed anymore.

He hadn't said this to anyone; he could already see their reactions to such a thing. Ron would gape at him a moment before telling him vehemently that he was wrong. He was needed; people looked up to him. They saw him as an icon, not that Ron would say that, and believed that there would be peace as long as he survived.

Hermione's eyes would fill with pity as she tried to convince him otherwise.

The Prophet would have a field day, talking about the Boy-Who-Lived's sudden depression. They'd be wrong though. It wasn't so sudden. It had been going on since the day Voldemort had died. Everyone had been able to go on with their lives once the war had ended. They hadn't needed to be obsessed with the maniac. They hadn't had a prophecy hanging over their heads saying that they had no choice in the matter. Their only purpose hadn't been to save the world from the very moment they entered the wizarding world.

His hand started to reach for the knife, still laying so innocently on his bed, but it fell back to his lap, limp once more. A sigh passed his lips, sounding tired even to his ears. And he was tired. He wanted to sleep; wanted to lie down and never wake. If only he could gather his courage.

Voices outside alerted him to his approaching dorm mates, causing his stomach to clench with anxiety. If they ever saw the knife, he would never be left along again. With sudden panic, he reached blindly for silver blade and lurched for his dresser, not bothering to be gentle as he shoved it in a drawer and dived back for his bed. He faked sleep as he friends entered.

They never knew he wasn't asleep. They never knew he listened to their joyful, happy whispers. They never knew he kept a small silver blade, complete with a small snake, in his drawer. He didn't want them to know.

XXX

Freak

The word never left him. Whether he was with his relatives, at school, or facing Voldemort, it was never far from his mind. It was what he was, though no one would tell him so.

Worthless

He was. For a while, he wasn't. For a while, he was all that stood between the world and Voldemort. For just a while, he had a purpose; a reason for being. Now . . . now he was worthless, just like his relatives had always told him.

The world didn't need a worthless freak wandering it, and the thought was saddening. He loved the world, always had. It filled him with wonder, and made him feel safe. Something he really had no right to feel. Every year his life had been threatened, usually it had been Voldemort, but they had also failed every year. Suiting then, that this last year, his life should be threatened, not by an outside source, but himself. Him, who he couldn't outrun, or out plot, out think, or out wait. One should never fight against oneself, either way, one always lost.

His tongue darted out to lick his lips, his eyes still staring down at the small blade. He'd bought it just before school started at a small muggle store. It had caught his attention, whispering everything that it could do, if he'd let it. The promise of blood leaving his veins was to strong to deny, and he'd bought the beautiful blade, but he hadn't been able to let it fulfill its promise. He didn't have the courage.

He still didn't, even months after having bought it.

They, Ron, Hermione, and he had returned to Hogwarts after his defeat of Voldemort to finish their seventh year. It was necessary, Hermione had said, if they wanted to get a decent job. He didn't care though, he just wanted to get the courage up allow the knife to fulfill its promise. But he couldn't, even now, even after so many endless nights, he couldn't do it.

He could feel the frustrated tears welling up in his eyes, and his breath caught in his throat. In his lap, his hands clenched into fists. He was worthless, he couldn't even spill his blood properly.

Then again, he was the Boy-Who-Lived, and the Boy-Who-Lived couldn't just die, could he? Not in public, not in battle, and, apparently, not in private either.

He was so tired of it all; of living, of breathing. Of forcing a smile so that nobody ever knew what was wrong with him. He wanted it so badly.

He failed though, and several minutes later, he was rushing to hide the object that would tell everyone what he'd worked so hard to hide.

XXX

The castle seemed empty, even when it was crowded. McGonagle seemed so out of place in the headmaster's . . . now headmistress' chair, and Slughorn had no place in Snape's73" value"Sn ape's, Sn-ape's, Snipe's, Snapper's, Snaps, Nape's, Snappers, Sniper's, Snipes, Scape's, Snake's, Snare's, Snipers, Snapple's, Synapse's, Nap's, Napes, Sap's, Snips, Snakes, Snares, Stapes, Synapse, Synapses, Sanes, Naps, Saps, Snap" / . He never thought he'd miss Snape, but he did. The man had been just as much a part of Hogwarts as Dumbledore had been. His shadow always had the students glancing over their shoulders, hoping that he wasn't about to swoop down at him.

Even now, even after he was long dead and buried in his grave, he found himself looking over his shoulder, expecting the man to suddenly appear behind him and sneer. Was it part of how far he'd fallen, that he was wishing that Snape was present, simply so he'd be sneered at?

These were the thoughts that traveled his brain as he sat in his bed at night. These were his thoughts as he stared at his small Slytherin-like knife, trying to gather his courage.

Snape would probably know, he thought. In his own way, Snape knew as much as the headmaster. Would he try to stop him? He couldn't help but wonder. Would Dumbledore? He found himself imagining their different attempts to get him out of the hole he'd dug. Snape had always saved him from everything. Would he be able to save him from himself? Did he want to be saved?

He found his eyes drifting to the window, the full moon shining through it. He'd gotten so that he could tell from just a glance if it was a full moon night. It was how he remembered Remus.

Remus

Sweet, kind, Remus, who never had a harsh word to say to anybody. Once would never suspect that he'd be a werewolf; he didn't fit the stereotype. Not like Greyback. Moony would be out now, if he was still alive. If he hadn't died in that final battle. His eyes were pulled back to the knife, almost as if it was jealous of the attention he paid to something else.

He could join them, all of them; His parents, Sirius, Remus. It would be so easy, just two simple swipes of the blade, a little bleeding, and he'd go to sleep. He'd hide his arms under the bed, so that nobody knew. Nobody would know until morning, when he failed to wake, and then it would be too late. He'd already be gone.

They'd cry, he was sure. They'd miss him, of that he was also sure, but he had to do it. The world didn't need him anymore, and he deserved his peace . . . Didn't he? Or was there a law that said a hero never got what they wanted? Was he doomed to continue living, breathing, being, simply because he'd been slated a hero before he'd even been born?

It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair! He wanted to scream and rant. He wanted to throw things around and vent his displeasure. He wanted to cry, but the tears would not come.

So simple it seemed to whisper

And it was. His hand twitched for the blade, but didn't move from his lap. His dorm mates came before he'd gotten the courage.

XXX

Does my blood run red?

It was a simple thought, one he should have been able to answer right away. He'd bleed before, the war had seen to that. Voldemort had seen to that. He'd bleed at twelve, fourteen, and an uncountable number of times because of various activities, but that had all been before he had killed Voldemort. Had his blood changed? Was it still red? Or did killing do something to it? He'd never seen a killer bleed. Was their blood red?

Red blood seemed too . . . human for the killers he'd known. It was impossible that it should be so. Such murderers blood should be black, thereby separating them from the rest of the population. But then, wouldn't his blood be black as well?

But he wasn't a killer, not really. At least, no one had called him a murderer. They had all rejoiced in the defeat of Voldemort, for that was what they called it. They didn't say kill, or murder, so he must not be one.

So his blood must be red.

Right?

So why did he hesitate? If his blood was red, he need not worry.

Still, his courage seemed to desert him

XXX

The room was dark, his dorm mates having drifted to sleep long ago. The moon didn't even light the room, the sky being overshadowed by clouds. Not that it mattered, it was a new moon anyway. Even if it wasn't, his curtains were closed, his bed illuminated by a single candle placed just beyond the blade. He hadn't been able to put the knife away tonight, so, when he had heard them coming, he'd quickly closed his curtains, barely daring to breath as they had prepared for bed.

The blade was reflected the flame, and he found himself mesmerized by it yet again. It was just beyond his knees, where he always put it. It was always there. He never put it anywhere else. Always withing inches of his crossed legs, easily within reach, but never touching.

He could imagine it moving across his skin, the edge cutting his flesh, and the blood (red or black his thoughts interrupted) welling up over it, slowly draining away his life. His heart picked up at the thought, and his breath became short. It would be so easy, and no one would know until morning.

His will was ready, it had been since before Voldemort was dead. The chance that he'd die had been too high to ignore, and he'd prepared accordingly. He'd changed it afterward, after more people had died. After another had come forth. They never knew. He never told them. They hadn't needed to know. He'd changed it again after he'd found the knife, mostly just adding things he wanted to say to everybody. They wouldn't understand, but he'd his reasons there.

He took a deep breath and moved his hand. It hovered over the dark shape of the blade for a moment before dropping, and finally, finally, he touched it. The metal was cool under his hand. Slowly, afraid that his courage would desert him once again, his fingers curled around the handle, and raised it. He turned it shakily, his eyes looking it over. Still it whispered to him, begging him to allow him to fulfill the promise it had given him all those months ago. His fingers tightened around it, and his other hand raised, caressing it softly, like he would imagine a lover would do.

Slowly, his hand dropped to his wrist, and he hesitated. He closed his eyes, begging his courage not to leave him yet. He was so close. He inhaled sharply as it cut deeply into his flesh. Opening his eyes, he stared, fascinated by the red blood he found running down his arm. Smiling softly, he switched the blade to his other hand and cut into his other wrist, making it deeper than the first. They both bleed freely.

He wasn't sure how long he watched them, re-cutting his skin each time they started to slow, but eventually, he felt himself growing tired. Smiling softly, he leaned forward and blew out his candle. Then he laid down, his legs stretching out as he gently held his knife in his hands. His smile never left his lips, even as his lids drifted shut, forever hiding his emerald eyes from the world.


I warned you, didn't I? (Deep sigh) I've got this heavy little weight in my chest now. (sniffle) You know, it's things like this that made my school councilors think that I was suicidal? I've lost count of the number of times I was called down to talk with them because a teacher of mine thought something I'd written was a call for help. (rolls eyes) You'd think that after a time or two, they'd get it into their head that that's just what I happen to write sometimes . . . Okay, most of my poetry tends to shift that way, but you see my point.

Anyway, I'm going back to write my 'world' story, It isn't quite so depressing. I'm not planning any other chapters to this. It was just a one shot to satisfy my suddenly depressed muse.

Allanasha Ke Kiri