Disclaimer: I Own Nothing. Well, a couple of things, I suppose. But the closest I come to owning Harry Potter is owning the books, so find somebody else to sue.
What is happiness, I wonder? Is it an illusion, a false idea made up by people who indulge in wishful thinking? Or is it real? I wouldn't know because happiness, real or not, is something that I have never experienced.
I grew up thinking that I was worthless, that I was a burden. I grew up thinking that my parents had died in a car crash. I grew up thinking that I was someone other than the person I am now. My "family"--my aunt, uncle, and cousin--despise "my kind." They kept me in the dark about my identity for ten years. They punish me for things that "my kind" must have caused, but that "my kind" had nothing to do with.
I am a wizard.
I wasn't told about this until I was eleven, and that was when I got an invitation to go to school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I was excited about this news.
But I wasn't happy.
I am put on a pedestal because I "killed" the Dark Lord Voldemort when I was a baby. I am known as the Boy-Who-Lived. The savior of the wizarding community. The son of Lily and James Potter, who were killed by Lord Voldemort. My mother's love and sacrifice saved me, and I am the only person in the world who has survived Avada Kedavra--the Killing Curse.
Since my first year at Hogwarts, I've met with the Dark Lord three times. The first time was in my first year, when one of my professors was the host body for Voldemort. I killed him, and one of my best friends was hurt that day.
The second time was in my second year, when Tom Riddle--Voldemort--lured Ginny Weasley into the Chamber of Secrets. I killed him. She almost died.
The third time was just last year, at the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament. Cedric Diggory and I grabbed the Cup at the same time, and it was a portkey that lead to Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Cedric was killed. I managed to escape, with Cedric's body.
How many people have died because of me? My parents, Professor Quirrell, Cedric, and countless others. All because I haven't really defeated Voldemort.
I don't want anyone else to die because of me.
So I will die for them instead.
Standing here in the window of the Astronomy Tower, I look down to the ground. It's a long way down, but I don't care. I'll be dead before I reach the ground.
Right before I take a breath, I hear a voice speak to me.
"Well, Potter, it looks like you and I had the same idea tonight." I sigh, shaking my head. Malfoy. It figures that if anyone would find me, it would be him.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" I asked, willing my voice not to shake.
"I was planning on being in the same situation you're in right now, but you beat me to it." Malfoy steps over closer to me. "I'm a little curious now as to why the Boy-Who-Lived, everyone's favorite Golden Boy, wants to do himself in."
"That's none of your business. Now if you'll kindly go away, I'd like to have some peace before I die."
"Oh, no way, Potter. I can't let you do this." I roll my eyes.
"Why the bloody hell not? Wouldn't you just love to see the person you despise, jumping out of a window and falling a hundred feet to his death?"
"Yes, I would. However, my father isn't here, and even if he was, he probably wouldn't do that." I turn my head sharply at this confession. "I don't despise you, Potter. I may not like you very much sometimes, but I don't despise you." Malfoy holds out his hand. "Come on. You don't need to do this, Potter. Think about what you'd be doing to nearly everyone in the wizarding community. They're all counting on you."
"I've had plenty of time to think about things this past summer, Malfoy," I whisper, turning back to look out the window again. "When you're locked in a closet for three months, there isn't much else to do. And they shouldn't be counting on me. I've done more damage than good already; so many people have died already because of me..."
"Potter." Malfoy's voice is suddenly soft and gentle. "Please. Come down from there." He still holds his hand out.
I look back and forth between his hand and the ground. Should I trust someone who has made my life hell for the past four years? I look to his eyes, his beautiful gray eyes, and I see nothing but sincerity. Damn it.
I reach my own hand out, and he grabs it. He helps me step down to the floor from the ledge, and I immediately sink to the cold concrete, hugging my knees to my chest. Malfoy sits next to me, though not too close. We don't speak at first. I just listen to the sound of his breathing: shaky, shallow. Had he been scared? I shake my head slightly, getting the thought out of my mind. Draco Malfoy doesn't get scared, especially over me.
"Cedric's death really hit you hard, didn't it?" Malfoy asks, suddenly.
"It's my fault," I mumble. "I told him to take the cup with me, and he died because of it."
"How could you possibly have known that the cup was a portkey? If you'd known, and you still told him to take it with you, then yes, it would be your fault. But you didn't know." I don't reply. "What happened to you this summer? Why were you locked in a closet for three months?"
"Didn't you know, Malfoy? My aunt and uncle hate magic and everything associated with it. They had to make sure I wouldn't, you know, curse them or something. They only let me out to beat me." Malfoy pales a little. "Yeah, you probably thought my life was perfect, didn't you? Golden Boy Potter, treated like a king wherever he goes? If I had a knut for every person who thought that..." I shake my head, sighing, and glance at Malfoy. "Why do you care, anyway?"
"Let's just say I know what you're going through... I never did hate you, Potter. I had to act like I did. Otherwise, my father... You don't know the kind of power he has. I have to act like I agree with him on everything, or else he'll..." Malfoy sighs, pressing his fingers against his temples. "I don't even want to think about what he'd do to me." He continues with another subject.
"I know how you feel, thinking that people die because of you. My father tells me about some of the things the Death Eaters do to Muggles, half-bloods, Muggle-borns... There have been so many times when I could have stopped someone from being killed. But I was always too much of a child to stand up to my father or cross him by telling someone."
"So what happens if he finds out that you stopped me from killing myself?" Malfoy shrugs his shoulders.
"I don't care. I'm not going to act like a child anymore. I'm not going to be scared of him anymore."
I just stare at him for a moment. I search his beautiful face for any signs that he was lying. Beautiful? Where did that come from? Well, he is beautiful... And he's not lying. Finally, I speak to him again.
"Thank you, Draco." He looks surprised that I've used his first name, but he smiles.
"You're welcome, Harry."