Pushed too far
Harry Potter was sitting alone at the edge of the Astronomy Tower, thinking. He was thankful there were no lessons happening in it this evening, or that any couples had come up to snog, because he would definitely be in trouble if he was caught. The punishment would definitely be… not nice.
It had all started at the Sorting. He'd been happy so far, getting to leave the Dursleys, going to his parent's old school. He'd even thought he'd made a friend in Ron.
But then that stupid hat had to ruin it. He couldn't just listen to Harry. No, it definitely knew best, and the opinions of the students didn't matter at all. He'd asked not to go to Slytherin, partly because of Malfoy, but mostly because he was the Boy-Who-Lived.
He knew the school, and the greater wizarding world, wouldn't take it well if he was anywhere but Gryffindor. It had been obvious to him as soon as Hagrid had taken him into the Leaky Cauldron. His aunt was always changing her opinion about the celebrities on the television, and while he knew his relatives weren't the best benchmark for anything, he also knew that they strived to appear normal, and normal people would change their opinion with the wind.
He wanted to scream the first time he heard that. What was so normal about abusing your nephew he wanted to scream at them, every time he was shoved into his cupboard, or every time Dudley was given anything he wanted while Harry was given nothing.
But, getting off topic, he'd known he'd need to keep a very specific persona when in at Hogwarts. He'd had every intention of doing so, doing everything he was expected to in order to survive.
Then the Sorting Hat (the stupid stupid Sorting Hat) had sorted him into Slytherin.
The mood in the Great Hall had changed in an instant: the easy chatter going silent, happy faces becoming horrified. The sorting hadn't continued until five minutes later, when Professor McGonagall had finally read out the net name on her list.
From that moment on, it had become an uphill battle for Harry. Many Gryffindors sent jinxes and hexes at his back, and shouted insults whenever they could. The Ravenclaws sneered at him and sent obscure curses at him and his things, often joined by the Hufflepuffs who also spread rumours.
"Haven't you heard? When he was seven he killed his cousin's puppy, just to see him cry."
"Didn't you know? Potter's always been a bad nut: a girl at his school got into a fight with him once, and the next day they found her in a pool of her own blood!"
If he'd been hoping for any support from his house, he'd have been disappointed. The Slytherins were some of the worst of those bullying him, and once they'd publicly snubbed him (at the feast that first night), the other houses had declared him fair game. He'd moved out of the dorms after two nights, and was sleeping in an abandoned classroom instead.
Even the teachers hated him. Every class he'd had so far he'd lost Slytherin at minimum 20 points, even more in classes where the teacher outright hated him (Potions and Transfiguration were the worst). They always turned a blind eye to any bullying, insisting it was his fault, and once he'd heard Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey saying how his parents would be ashamed of him. Hagrid wouldn't meet his eyes after he'd been sorted, and he'd not seen the friendly man since.
It had been two weeks, and Harry was tired. Tired of the bullying, tired of the expectations (which people still had, even after he became 'the next Dark Lord'), tired of everything really. He had come to the wizarding world hoping for an escape from the abuse at Privet Drive, for a chance to make friends, but instead got exactly what he'd run from.
He wasn't sure he could take any more. The abuse didn't seem to be tapering off, in fact it got worse every day. There was no point to staying, but he couldn't, wouldn't go back to the Dursleys again. But, if he went back into the Muggle world, that's exactly where he'd end up.
If he tried to hide in the wizarding world, people would see recognise him, and send him straight back to Hogwarts.
Harry twisted his emerald and silver tie through his fingers as he thought, until a gust of wind tore it from his fingers and sent if spiralling down to the ground below.
He sighed again, knowing he'd have to sneak down and get it, otherwise the next day he'd lose even more points for not being correctly attired or something stupid like that.
What if he just went down the easy way.
The thought surprised him, and Harry retreated from the edge of the tower to think on it.
Why not? There really wasn't anything worth staying for. He just couldn't go through another day of being reviled and hated. The school would probably celebrate him not being there. Plus (and the thought made him want to cry), he'd get to see his parents again.
He'd get to meet them properly, receive an actual hug from his mum and dad. He'd get to know them after so many years of wondering. He'd finally know what they looked like.
Harry stood up in the centre of the room. He pulled a piece of parchment and an inkwell and quill from his pockets (because anywhere else and they'd be attacked), and started to write a note.
He didn't really know what to say, but all the television programmes always had a note, and if he was going to do this, he was going to do it properly. He wrote it quickly, ink splattering the page where his hand slipped, and finished soon.
Blowing on it to dry, he looked at what he'd written critically, but he didn't have any more parchment so couldn't try again.
Dear everyone, it read, I can't do this any more. I can't be everyone's punching bag any more. I thought I'd left behind the abuse in the Muggle world, but I know now that isn't true. I thought that wizards wouldn't judge me on something as stupid as the colour of my tie, but I guess I was wrong.
Harry pulled his wand from his pocket, and without looking at it snapped it between his hands. A low, mournful cry echoed around the room, but he paid it no mind, both pieces of his wand in his left hand, the note in his right.
Standing on the ledge, he looked up at the stars. They were incredible bright. No cloud cover meant he could see each one, and all of them shone at him, like each one was pleading with him, saying Don't do this.
"I have to," Harry said, still looking at the sky. He swallowed the lump in his throat: he wouldn't cry, not now. "I don't have anything worth living for."
He turned, looking up at the sky, and closed his eyes, wanting his last sight to be one of beauty. "Mum," he said, "Dad." He thought of the stars, "I love you."
It was like flying, he decided, or what he imagined flying would be like. The air was rushing around him, like it was trying to cushion him, keep him from landing, but the Astronomy Tower was too high up, the ground was too far below, he'd never
The next morning in the Great Hall, breakfast was interrupted by a sobbing half-giant, a too-small body in his arms.