AN: I originally wrote this to go along with Without You but they both kind of evolved and now they don't really fit together so I am just posting this as a one-shot.

WARNINGS: Implied Slash (HPSS), Very slight OOCness if you have read DH

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter and I made no profit with this fan fiction.


Musings: Do they know him?

Harry Potter: The-boy-who-lived. The entire wizarding world knows his name, knows his power, and knows what he is supposed to do, but do they know him? They say they do. They pretend they do. They don't.

Not even his "friends" Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley truly know him. They may know the features of the mask that he presents to the world, but they do not know him.

All that the world sees is what Harry wants them to see: the fa├žade that he uses to entertain the public, to keep them from criticizing him even more because he isn't perfect. The "boy-who-lived" is a costume he uses to hide his true depressed, suicidal self.

For the general public the disguise is always the same. An ideal role-model, kind generous, powerful, and has a hero complex, but for those "close" to him the camouflage differs from person to person to make it seem more realistic. It is rather Slytherin, actually, not to mention brilliant.

Molly Weasley sees a young, skinny orphan boy in need of pampering, not to mention the future husband of her only daughter, Ginny Weasley, whom, by the way, only sees the famous rich hero who is "destined" to be her spouse.

Ronald Weasley sees his chance at fame and his girlfriend Hermione Granger sees her chance to get ahead in life.

A business partner is all that the Weasley devils perceive which is only slightly better than what Dumbledore sees, in my opinion. He only sees a weapon to be used and abused before being abandoned if not killed.

And then we have the boy's relatives. His only living "family" saw Harry as a freak, a burden and so they neglected him as well as physically, verbally, and sexually abusing him.

And what of Sirius Black, you say? He only saw Harry's father, James Potter. Exactly what I used to see. A presumption I will always regret.

But truly Harry is none of these things. He is a grief stricken Slytherin who is just as sick of Dumbledore's manipulations as he is of the Dark Lord. He is a revenge-seeking soul who has no true interest in society's "justice." He is the abused student who hasn't known love since before he can remember. And most of all he is the young man whom I have vainly fallen in love with.

Everyone thinks they know Harry Potter, but they don't. How can they know him when I don't think he even knows himself? I don't even know him, but I do know more than the rest of the world. I know that the mask he wears is just that, a mask.

-From the person journal of the Potions Master Severus Snape about Harry Potter, The-boy who saved us all