Dear all,

This is the first time I've written in more than one year and I just did it as a spur of the moment thing. If you think it is any good, I will continue it. Please respect that English is not my native language, my apologies for any faults that might appear in the following text.

Please take a moment to review,

Andrea xxx

There weren't many people that noticed him as he entered the Great Hall on the first night of his final year at Hogwarts. He dressed, talked and looked the same as he always had. His hair was still unruly and black, his skin ghost pale and his eyes emerald green. The only difference in his looks was the fact that he no longer wore glasses as he had gone to a muggle doctor and had an operation to fix his eyesight. But overall he looked exactly the same as he always had. Yet there he felt even more like an outsider than he ever had. It was the fact that no one spoke to him or even looked at him. He felt as though he didn't exist. At least not in the same world as everyone else. Usually he would be happy about not getting as much attention as he used to, but this time it was different. Different because of the reasons why no one would as much as look at him. At the same time he was relieved, because for the first time in his life he was truly invisible.

A couple of months earlier, in March, the war had been coming to an end. He and everyone else had been fighting death eaters for the past weeks and it seemed as though they were finally going to defeat Voldemort. One night, when he, along with Remus Lupin, Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall, was fighting a small number of death eaters, at a boarding school in Berkshire, something awful happened. All the children at the school had been evacuated, thanks to Snape, who had warned them about the attack even though it had blown his cover as a spy. Everyone, except for one, a 12-year old girl called Christina. For some unknown reason she had stepped out on the courtyard between the school's chapel and reception, where the battle had taken place. At the very same moment Harry had fired the Avada Kedavra curse at a death eater who happened to be standing right in front of the spot where Christina stepped out. Unfortunately the death eater had anticipated Harry's next move and had therefore taken a step to the left just when the curse was fired. The killing curse hit Christina with full strength and he watched her die in front of him. By the time he had killed the death eater and got to her side, she was long gone.

Harry had found it impossible to go on after that event and even though Christina's family forgave him for it and even though he donated his entire fortune to Christina's family, Harry could not forgive himself. In his eyes, he had become just like Voldemort, if not worse. At least Voldemort admitted he was evil, Harry had thought bitterly. After that night it was as though there was a massive wall around him which no one could get through. His friends tried for weeks but Harry just fell deeper and deeper into a depression. A month later he decided he had had enough, so he snuck out to Hogsmeade and apparated to London, where he headed to the first open pub he could find and drunk himself senseless. It didn't take long before he started to take drugs which, at first, numbed the feelings of guilt, but soon numbed all of his senses. Only two weeks after his first night in London, he had become a homeless drug addict, living on the streets of London. The only thing he was aware of was the fact that he deserved this kind of life. That combined with his newfound lifestyle gave him some consolation. That is, until a kind muggle woman took pity on him and placed him in a rehabilitation centre, in the outskirts of London. It was then life got really difficult. On more than one occasion he tried to kill himself. However slowly time passed, his state gradually improved. The helpful muggle woman also took him to a doctor to fix his eyesight, something he would be eternally grateful for. By the beginning of August he was starting to feel normal again, a feeling which he treasured. It was around that time he got hold of an issue of the Daily Prophet. After quickly scanning through it, Harry reached the conclusion that the war had ended the week before, with about a hundred people having died in the final battle. He quickly read the long list of names of the people who had died in battle and was relieved to find that he didn't know anyone on the list; apparently most of the victims were civilians. There was also a short paragraph titled "Why did Harry Potter abandon us?" saying that no one knew where he was and that perhaps he was too full of himself to care about anyone else. The article also blamed the large number of deaths on him, as they thought that the final battle would have been much quicker, had he been there to help them. When he was finally allowed to leave the rehabilitation centre, by mid-August, he had no idea where to go. He therefore sent a letter to Albus Dumbledore, who then invited him for a meeting in his office the next day. Harry was surprised, to say the least, when Dumbledore greeted him with his usual smile as he entered his office.

"There you are, my boy. You have no idea how worried I've been for you", Dumbledore said warmly and gestured for Harry to sit on the chair in front of his desk.

"I'm so sorry, for everything", Harry said softly and looked into the Headmaster's blue eyes. "I just felt... that I had to get away. I was no good here taking up you and everyone else's time so I thought you would be better off without me. It seems I was right. Congratulations on winning the battle. I realise I am not entitled to your forgiveness, hence I will not ask for it, I just want you to know that I am truly sorry for abandoning all of you like that".

"You have nothing to be forgiven for", Dumbledore said firmly, "but I would like to know where you went and what you did. None of us were able to find you".

At this question, Harry was silent. He held on to the chair's arm rests tightly before opening his mouth to reply to the Headmaster's question.

"At first I ran off to London where I, I am ashamed to say, spent a week getting drunk. I became friends with this Russian girl, called Katryna, whom I then stayed with in St. Petersburg, until now. I didn't have any contact at all with the Wizarding world before this week, when I got hold of a copy of the daily prophet. That is when I sent a letter to you", Harry explained after having chosen his words carefully, in order to make his story as believable as possible.

"I see. It seems this time away have done you very good, Harry. I am happy for you. I assume you want to come back here by the end of this month, am I right?"

"Yes, I would like that very much", the young man replied quietly. "How did everyone take my disappearance?", he asked nervously.

"Everyone was really shocked and I am sorry to say that your closest friends were very hurt. I advise you to contact them before the start of term as they will be very shocked, to say the least, to hear that you are back. Most of us almost came to terms with the fact that you could be dead".

The two men continued talking for an hour or so before the Headmaster offered Harry a room at Hogwarts to stay at until the beginning of term as he was well aware of the fact that Harry had donated his entire fortune, hence he had no place to stay. On the Headmaster's recommendation Harry sent letters to his closest friends, including Ron, Hermione, Remus, Ginny, Luna, Neville and the Weasley family, explaining the situation. He was quite surprised to find that after a week he still hadn't had a single reply. When he asked the Headmaster about it, he suggested that the owls might have failed to deliver the letters. Harry therefore tried again but received no replies this time either. He truly hoped everything would be alright on the first day of term as he could not imagine Hogwarts without his two best friends. Over the two weeks that followed before the beginning of term, Harry caught up on everything that had happened since he had left, by reading almost every single issue of the Daily Prophet that had been published during his absence. The only people he saw were the Headmaster, Madame Pomfrey, who was as nice as ever, and Professor Trelawney, whom he ignored. He was very grateful for the time he was able to spend contemplating his situation and dreaded the first day of term when he was going to have to face his fears. All of a sudden the first night of term was there and he heard the castle fill with students and professors. He decided it was time to make his appearance and entered the Great Hall, before the Sorting had begun. It did not take him long to realise that this was going to be a long, long year.