Chapter 11 – I Am But a Shadow

It used to be so hard being me. Living in the shadow, of someone else’s dream.

Shadow – Ashlee Simpson

I am but a shadow of my former self. I am no longer the Boy-Who-Lived, the one everyone praised after the defeat of Voldemort. For years I had lived in the darkness of what I was, of what I had felt I was. Everyone wished for me to be this hero, this man who wanted nothing but to be a boy. I had wanted to slink away from the spotlight and be the normal kid that everyone just wanted to befriend.

But I had that taken away from me by a wizard that I knew nothing of. In the shadows he lurked, waiting to strike like a venomous snake, slithering in the night. My parents had suffered a fate worse than death protecting me, all because of a prophecy that might or might not have come true. The history books would write thousands of pages of that dreadful night, the one where my parents ceased to breathe no more. It was that night my father fell before Voldemort and my mother sacrificed herself so that I might live. It was that night that would change me for all time.

I was pronounced ‘The-Boy-Who-Lived’ for which I would forever be known. The lightning shaped scar on my forehead would become my trademark and something that I would never be rid of. It was a tattoo on my past, a life I had never known. It was that scar that would plague me all of my days. How I hated the fact that everyone foresaw me as someone that would only bring back Voldemort, the wizard they all had thought to have died. I wanted nothing of the sort, wanted nothing to do with a being that had destroyed everything that I was and what I could have become. But as I grew older, something stirred within me, a thing so dark that I knew it was slowly blackening my soul.

Dumbledore, as much as I admired him, was of no help. There was no way to stop the spread of darkness that was consuming me. I could ignore it, for what it was worth, and pretend it had never existed. I lived only to move on with my life. I moved on only to give hope to the masses that didn’t even know who I truly was. There was only one man that ever knew me, that could see inside of me and understand who I was, but he was lost to the Veil that night, much like my parents were, sacrificing himself for my safety.

After that I knew that I could no longer fight what was inside of me. I let it take hold, encompassing my heart as if it was barbed wire. My blood ran cold even though I never let it show. For years I had put up a façade that everything in my life was alright, that I was fighting the good fight in order to defeat Voldemort. What no one knew was that I was slowly becoming more like him. Day-by-day my soul grew as black as the night sky. When I closed my eyes at night I could hear his cold cackle in my ears, practically bidding me welcome to the evil that was Voldemort. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew that I was a Horcrux and that I had to be destroyed, that my death would come and I would no longer feel the pain of those that I had lost. But instead I had died and was brought back. I had felt the warmth of the white light that Muggles claimed they saw as they left the world that they had once been a part of. I saw my parents and the friends that I had lost because of them needing to protect me. But even in that brief instant, I felt the loss of myself. No one knew that I didn’t come back whole. Even as that piece of Voldemort left me, that piece of his dark soul that he had cast into me as an infant dissipated…I felt different.

I was no longer Harry Potter.

The fan fair began not long after Voldemort’s defeat. No one understood that after so many years of fighting this wizard that had destroyed everything that I was, I just wished for peace. Instead interviews, appearances, and other things that I didn’t want to be apart of became a part of my life. I had graduated a school that held memories of what I once was. I became a husband to a woman that I had loved for years and a father to children that were apart of who we were.

But even as I saw them grow up, I saw my friends become who they had always wanted to be, I felt myself becoming a shadow of who I had once been. I could pretend and get away with what looked to be enjoyment. I watched my two sons and my daughter become more than I had ever hoped to be. But when I looked into Albus’s eyes, I saw a mirror of what I had once been when I was a child. I saw innocence.

So that night I stood before the elongated mirror in my bathroom and gazed upon myself. It was not in vain, to see if my looks were up to everyone’s standards. I wanted to see myself, to see what I had become. I imagined Albus standing beside me, his cheeky smile and his wide eyes. Dark lines were beneath by eyes that looked almost hollow and devoid of the happiness that I was experiencing in my life. But I saw it, deep inside, that flicker of Voldemort that still remained. It was as if I had become Jekyll and Hyde. I felt my true self dissolve away and I was slowly becoming the wizard everyone was afraid of me becoming.

I was a shadow of what had once been Voldemort.

I refused to be anything less than my full potential. On that night, beneath the glow of the moon, I stood at the grave of my parents and my godfather. The Marauders were laid side-by-side, peaceful in their slumber. But I felt the cold ground beneath my feet, saw it running red with the blood. Yes, the wizard that had destroyed everything that I was had been dead for years. But what of the others? What of the ones who stood idly by while the ones I loved were slaughtered?

It didn’t take me long to let the darkness completely take over my soul. It didn’t take me long to become the man that everyone feared I would be.

I began to gather the greatest minds together, to threaten them with the death of their families if they didn’t help me. They concocted a serum, a potion that would become the downfall of the Wizarding World. Once released, it would diminish all means of happy thought, plaguing the once joyous world into chaos and ruin. But I knew no one would ever see me as dark, no one would understand that I had always been this way but had hidden it from the naked eye. So I made polyjuice potion consisting of Draco Malfoy’s hair. He might have been a git, not strong enough to swat a fly, but everyone knew the reputation the Malfoys had. It would get me ahead, farther than I had ever dreamed of getting myself.

But there were roadblocks, people in my way of my ultimate goal. The Weasley family had grown in the ranks, rising up the evolutionary chain of the purebloods. They were no longer shunned and had become a significant part of the Wizarding World. The loyal Weasleys would surely find me out before long and I knew they had to be stopped. Charlie was the first casualty of war. Sectumsempra became my spell of choice, finding ways to prolong death.

Seeing that no one found interest in this besides the Weasleys, I knew I had to step up my plans…finding ways to make myself known. The Inferi were more than willing to help my cause as was Pansy, after seeing this new seductive Draco. Be it I hated her, but she was a mere puppet, useful in commanding the Inferi when I could not. She served her purpose as did Crabbe and Goyle. Once they saw their beloved ‘master’ returned to them, it didn’t take long for them to fall into line. My army was slowly growing. It took a bit of convincing and the granting of much bloodshed on my part, but Fenrir fell into line soon after. I granted him his right to ransack Hogwarts when it deemed necessary in my plans if he agreed to do a few extracurricular activities on the side – Fleur being one of them. He nearly drooled at the thought and agreed immediately. My army was amassed. I had no one standing in my way.

Until Teddy…until Draco…until Hermione…and Luna…

The four of them became more of a thorn in my side than anything I had thought imaginable. Teddy was soon taken care of between the new potion and Legilimency. I invaded his dreams, driving him to near insanity with the visions of the bloodshed covering the land. Draco was simple enough after killing his wife before his very eyes. He was susceptible to my torture, willing to take it after threatening his son. I knew Scorpius could prove useful in the end and I left him alone for the time being.

After threatening her entire family, Hermione fell into line, willing to do whatever was necessary to save her family…to save Ron. I already knew Ron would not survive my rampage, but it was a thought I was willing to keep to myself if it meant being rid of the brightest witch of our age before her keen mind figured out my plans.

Then there was Luna…much like a Seer in her own right. She knew what was coming before I had even approached her. My legacy would be lost if she remained in her right state of mind. She was no longer Looney Luna as we knew her in school. After her marriage to Neville, she became different and more sure of herself. So I found a remedy to that, finding a new potion that would allow me to dictate the ‘voices’ inside of her mind. It didn’t take long for Neville to commit his dear wife to St. Mungo’s much like his parents had been before their deaths not long after Voldemort’s had been. It was only befitting for poor Neville to watch his wife slowly be driven to madness. To this day I still smile for what I had done to Luna and the triumph I felt swell in my heart after watching her and hearing her during the dead of night. Much like Teddy, my stronger Legilimency tactics had grown in strength and I could let her see everything I was doing, only driving her deeper into herself.

Soon darkness covered the land and I reveled in it. The Daily Prophet had seen to it that my triumphs were printed on the front page almost every morning. I continued to smile devilishly while I watched the chaos ensue around me. But soon I felt myself turn even darker, needing to fill a need so great that I would take the lives of my own family. I remember Ginny’s screams of terror as she realized what was going to happen and who was causing it. Her blood was on my hands, something I had never foreseen…something I’m not sure if I wanted to happen.

But now it is quickly coming to an end. I know that I cannot last much longer. My reign of terror is going to become all but a distant memory. But there are things I must finish first before I can finally say that it can be over. Teddy is the last of the past that I need to be rid of. He is the last tie to the once proud Harry Potter. I raised him as my own with help from his grandmother. I can see part of my former self in him and it frightens me. So rather than face him, I will decimate him from the inside out.

Victoire is gone. His family…gone. There is nothing left for him but the dry earth that will be carried away when the wind blows.

So in death he will find peace much like the others have. The shadows will no longer plague them. Hopefully I might find absolution somewhere in the near future, finally finding peace from the darkness that has plagued me since the death of my godfather. In death there is light, a light I have searched for, for almost all of my life. I know what I have done was wrong, but all I could feel was the hatred and the anger boiling inside of me. Soon the last steps will be complete. Voldemort will no longer be known as the most powerful wizard that ever lived. Harry Potter will not be seen as the Boy-Who-Lived…

Harry Potter will now be seen as the wizard who tore apart the Wizarding World from the inside out, leaving it to rot for never giving back as I did to it.

Harry watched the pieces of parchment flitter from his hands, landing on the lifeless body of Luna. Her eyes were wide with horror while her mouth was agape. Blood pooled beneath her, staining one of the pages of his life’s story and her golden hair. The explanation was there, for those who gave a damn to know it. It was sad to see the life drain from Luna so quickly. He had hoped that she would show more resilience than the rest, but she had been a failure. Neville would be devastated once again, and that was enough for Harry rather than killing the one who never seemed to cut a break.

I want Harry Potter!

Even through the night, he heard Teddy’s voice, seething. Smirking, Harry began out, shutting the door behind him. Taking out his wand, he continued down the corridors of St. Mungo’s, feeling himself be lost in the darkness that still slithered and smothered his once pure soul. It was through this one last battle that he knew his name would forever be etched in history.

The tip of his wand ran along the length of the wall. As he continued out, ‘incendio’ escaped his pursed lips. He felt the heat rise behind him, destroying everything in his wake. The only thing that would be left of St. Mungo’s would be his letter left to the Wizarding World, not that they deserved an explanation. They deserved nothing for standing idly by while he took care of everything that didn’t need to be taken care of by a young boy. No…Harry Potter was done with everything that was life. He would truly be done soon enough. And…

…the Wizarding World would know who destroyed their idyllic lives before it was all said and done.

A/N: Alright guys, there is only one more chapter to go. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and this story. Please let me know what you think. Thank you for reading and reviewing as always.

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