Title: Not Real

By: Bleeding Destruction

Began: November 29, 2013

Summary: 'But Harry didn't care. The masks were not real. In the end, somehow, Harry was everybody's fool.'

Warnings: Minor language? Depressing, dark themes?

Author's Notes: Inspired by the song 'Everybody's Fool' by Evanescence. If you look up the lyrics, you'll understand why it reminded me of Harry. It started off just Harry but it took a life of it own… I couldn't stop it!

No one ever saw him. Just him. Just Harry.

No. How could they?

He wore the masks they wanted to see him wear.

On the days they needed it, he let them see the Boy-Who-Lived, the Saviour, the Chosen One, the Golden Boy. He let them think he was a brash, heroic Gryffindor.

At the the end of the day, when they didn't need a hero anymore, he let them see the Heir of Slytherin, a nutjob. He let them whisper how he was going dark; he was the next dark lord.

Some days, he thought he really might just snap and kill them all, just to let them all bask in the knowledge that they were right. After all, if he did that, then he could do anything he wanted. No one questioned your actions when you were crazy.

But he pushed those thoughts away.

Harry knew he wasn't crazy- although he questioned his sanity sometimes. Hard not to, when he let so many people play these games.

No one had any shame. They would send a teenage boy- an untrained teenage boy- to fight a murderous Dark Lord and then once he did that, they would turn on him, and call him crazy.

Sometimes, Harry hated them all for doing that to him.

But most of the time, Harry hated himself for letting it happen, for not standing up for himself. Despite his thrice damned masks (none of which were weak), the 'Golden Boy was pathetic. He would never fight for his happiness.

How could he?

All he was taught as a child was that he was a freak. And then in the wizarding world, he was a freak among freaks.

In the end, Harry would go on to do all the things he never really wanted to do. He would kill the Dark Lord (who he could care less about), then go on to be an Auror like they wanted. He married a pretty girl (even though she stalked him and 'fell in love with him' before she even met him), and then he would do one thing that made him happy.

He had children.

But in the end, those children all wore the same masks.

Eventually, James leapt off of the Astronomy Tower. Harry pretended that he recovered from that, but he mourned the loss of one of his beloved children to his dying breath. If one asked Harry, the father could have quoted James' parting letter and his dreadfully foreshadowing journal entries word for word. And Harry blamed himself for James' passing, despite the fact that James often wrote that he lived as long as he did because he knew 'dad would be devastated, and he also loved me'.

After (398 days exactly, by Harry's count) James' death, Lily was hospitalized. She passed out in potions from severe malnutrition and fell into her cauldron. She went into a coma and never woke up. The healers all claimed it was because she didn't want to wake. The words 'eating disorder' and 'anorexic' were tossed about. Even though the girl showed no signs of waking, Harry would sit at her bed side and speak to her everyday.

And then, three weeks later, Albus disappeared, leaving nothing behind but a note. 'It's all too much here. I'm going to become someone else, someone who is easier to be.' Harry never saw his middle child again, but he blamed himself forever. He believed his son left because it was too difficult to be the Saviour's son.

The masks were gone, gone like Harry's beloved children. Harry had nowhere to hide, and Harry didn't care. They were all he had lived for at that point. He did nothing but waste away. Ginny left him ("You don't do anything but pine after children who are dead, as good as dead, or left us because 'we're too much'." She had said, clearly unaffected.); not that he cared about her, and eventually, the healers gave up on Lily, and she passed.

The whispers of the Chosen One, fallen from grace, were common at every dinner table in the wizarding world.

But Harry didn't care.

The masks were not real. In the end, somehow, Harry was everybody's fool.