Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 271

Harry stood on the tower longer than he'd care to admit, as the wind grew colder and stronger. His hands gripped the railing at the edge, and all that echoed through his mind was -

am I alone?

In some sense,he really was. He'd heard a teacher once say that you weer always alone when you went to meet your Maker, and at this very moment well, he felt just as alone. People liked to pray to God, but Harry'd always felt that was a little bit big for your britches. He was thankful, true, to be here. But...

Why was he here?

At some point, answers to questions like that had seemed silly. He'd been a student, and the answer was plain: He was here to learn. But, Harry thought, I'm not just a student anymore, am i? Someone decided to make me into a symbol, entirely without my consent - and when I was far too young to object anyhow.

There was a certain loneliness in that sentiment, along with a sudden understanding. Wizarding Britain had eaten the stories up, because they were afraid. Like he was, right now. Harry'd known for years that fear wasn't the worst thing - it had kept him safe from Dudley loads of times, after all. But, now he was starting to think, pretending you weren't afraid was worse.

Harry didn't want to be alone.

But since when had the universe ever listened to ickle little Harry, smallest in the class? He wanted to blame Dudley, but really couldn't quite bring himself to do it. Dudley had been five or six the first time he'd beat up Harry - that was a time when plenty of kids in school were rough and tumble, and where teachers intervened. It wasn't Dudley's fault the Dursleys had encouraged him.

And, truly, Dudley hadn't ever gone after anyone except Harry.

Not that this would stop Harry from punching Dudley's face in, if he ever got the chance. Sometimes you needed to use a bit of force to make a lesson stick.

Harry shook himself, cross at his own angst. He had friends, teachers who cared, even the Weasleys would look out for him - in mass if needed. All he needed to do was imagine Hermione's smile - and that dogged look on Ron's face. Even Neville and Luna, who'd run off to the Ministry with him.

Allies. Friends.

They might not be the familial bonds he wished, but he insisted, loudly, to that tiny portion of his shuttered mind, that he wasn't alone.

[a/n: in mass was originally en masse. Not a typo, a fun pun!

To: Anon, who really should just log in if he wants questions answered. I tend to use these chapters like pages. So when I find a break, I put one in. Plus, I write small chunks and I'm far too impatient for feedback to leave it a whole week to finish the scene.

That said, I'm almost done with the song.

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