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Healing scars

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self-harm: [noun] Deliberate injury to oneself, typically as a manifestation of a psychological or psychiatric disorder. (Oxford dictionary)

Blood welled up from the stinging cuts. Harry could do nothing but watch as the blood dripped in the sink, where red islands were formed in a see of metal. He wouldn't try to stop the bleeding, he had caused it himself. Why, you ask? Because he deserved it, because he should hurt. It made him feel more in control, it made him feel like he actually was paying his debt. It was his fault Cedric was dead. It was his fault Sirius died. It was his fault Voldemort was killing everyone. Everything was his fault.

'Harry, are you done doing the dishes?'

Harry quickly covered his cuts with his sleeve and let the water run as his aunt walked into the kitchen. He started cleaning the knife.

'Almost, aunt Petunia, I just have to do this knife', he replied in the sweetest voice he could manage.

'Well, hurry up, and after that you can clean the stairs.'

'Yes aunt Petunia.'

After Harry put the clean knife in the drawer, he filled a bucket with water and soap and went of to clean the stairs. He scrubbed the stairs firmly. Afterwards, he watered the flowers, cleaned the living room, made dinner and did the dishes again.

He got a small piece of bread and some water and made his way to his bedroom. He sat down on his bed. He knew he should eat the bread, but he didn't feel hungry. Like everyday, this and breakfast were the only meals he had. He sighed. There had been no kicking today, no hitting, no black eyes or broken noses. He cursed. Harry missed the pain. He didn't like it, but he needed the pain so he was remembered of what filth he was. A piece of shit. No, less. He was less than nothing.

He was a cutter.

And no one cares about cutters.

He knew that.

—0—

Sadism: [noun]Psychology: the tendency to derive pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.

Draco stared through the window as the grey world flew by. The raindrops made a faint ticking noice on the glass. He found he quite enjoyed rain, as long as he didn't have to go through it at least. He sincerely hoped the rain would stop before they reached Hogwards, or he had to go and find some spell to keep him dry.

A grunt from Goyle made him look up. He looked at the boy, but it seemed that he had fallen asleep on Crabbe's shoulder and Draco realised the grunt must have been a snore. Draco looked at his two sleeping bodyguards. He had wondered for a while now whether they were a couple or just friends.

Whatever, he thought, as long as they can beat the ones that oppose him to pulp. Except for Potter, he wanted to be the one to hurt Potter. He and he alone. His heart beat faster as he imagined Potter laying down on the ground, right before his feet. He was bleeding. Bleeding and crying and moaning his name as he begged him to stop. Draco smiled. That was what he wanted.

He knew he was a sadist, and Potter just brought this hate up in him… Draco just had to act on it. He didn't care whether he would be sent home from school. He didn't care what the papers would say. He wanted to be the one who brought the boy who lived to begging and crying on his worthless knees.

After all, let's be honest, no one cares about Potter. Everyone just cares about their perfect golden boy. Draco hated that. Potter wasn't perfect. And he for sure wasn't their golden boy. He clenched his fists. He would make everyone see that this year. That was his goal.

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Pulchraria falssisa: [spell] made from the latin words Pulcher, -chra, -chrum, which means beauty and Falsa, -us, um, meaning false (latin dictionary)

Hermione would have been proud if she knew. She would also be very, very, very angry. Harry partly understood that. He'd be angry too if he knew that one of his two best friends would do self-harm and uses spells to cover it up. But that would be for them, it was a different case for him. Harry wasn't important, his mental state was not worth caring for or worrying about. As long as he smiled and laughed, as long as he was the perfect image of the golden boy, the propaganda against Voldemort, his mental state didn't matter at all. If he was unable to do that simple task, he might as well die.

He looked at the ugly, bruised face that stared back at him in the mirror. He looked like a junkie, he had to admit. There were dark circles under his eyes and the paleness of his skin not only gave him a sick vibe, but also made the bruises stand out more. It looked like all fat had left his body, even his face seemed thin and bony. He started thinking he maybe should have eaten a bit more.

"Pulchraria falssisa" His lips formed the words, which moved like a whispering wind around him. He felt the soft tingling of a brush going over his skin. He was used to the feeling and instead of focussing on it, he stared straight at the mirror, where he could see his reflection change from a shallow drug dealer to what was seen as the ultimate beauty standard for a society's hero. Sometimes, he wanted to undo it, to let people see in which state he really was, how he really felt. Sometimes, he wanted to cry and scream, to ask, no, beg, for help. But he knew that was impossible. He had to keep up his act, after all, his act was all he lived for.

Not a single day passed by, or he thought about suicide. Sometimes, the urge was there, and his heart was aching for the sweet relief of death, but he couldn't comply to it. He had to go on... He had to do the right thing... at least one right thing in his life. Even when he felt he didn't have the right to stay alive, even when he longed for death to release him from this pain, he knew that his death would have consequences. He knew that he couldn't flee from pain at the cost of others. So he stayed alive. He kept up the act. Golden boy.

He smiled at his image in the mirror. It seemed fake. How could people not notice that his smiles were fake? That his laughs were fake? That he was one big lie? "People only see what they wanna see", said a voice in the back of his head. And he knew that, but still... He had started his fifth year almost a month ago, and still no one had noticed anything. Due to him almost always being surrounded, he didn't have much time to cut properly either. He also had to watch out where he cut, so that if the spell failed, no one would notice the cuts at least. Things were getting harder for him and he missed the cutting terribly. Just... 9 more months, he tried to tell himself. 9 more... hold on.

With those thoughts in mind, he equipped his smile and changed his posture. He was late for breakfast, he knew, but it was the only moment it was calm enough in the bathrooms to lift and recast his spell. He had to cast it at least once a day, or people would start to be able to see through it.

He opened the door, breathed in, and started running. Out of the lavatories, past the doorway where the fat lady was cursing "the reckless youth nowadays", down the first pair of stairs. When those stairs started moving, he made a jump for it and lost his balance. He awkwardly stumbled down the second pair of stairs and slammed into another student. It hurt. That thought made Harry smile. It hurt.

He heard a familiar voice cursing behind him. 'What was that for, Potter? Is your death wish so great that you need to drag others in to it?'

If only he knew how close he was to the truth, thought Harry. He stood up and brushed the dust of his robes, as collected as he could.

'Malfoy.' Was all he could say in his regular cold tone. He wasn't sure why he did. He knew this accident was his fault, and honestly, he was too empty to feel any kind of hatred or anger for the blonde. He guessed his reaction to him was nothing more than automatism, an act he was too used to. Harry shrugged mentally, his whole life was one act anyway. 'I'd say sorry, but what are you doing here? This is not the way from the dungeons to the dining hall. And you didn't even bring your gorilla's along I see. What are you up to this time?'

Malfoy sneered in response. 'Why don't you mind your own business, Potter?' Harry saw something sparkle in Malfoy's eyes, a flash of what? Anger? Mischief? He wasn't sure. What he was sure of, was that Malfoy had pulled his wand out in a few seconds. 'I'll gladly help nosy brats like you further down the staircase. Expulso!' With a wave of Malfoy's wand Harry was pushed backwards and continued his journey tumbling down the stairs at a speed higher than before. He reached the ground floor quickly and dizzy, and, to his excitement, with his whole body aching. He looked up the stairs, but of course Malfoy was long gone.

He felt a soft breeze go along his limbs and recognised it as the spell covering up possible bruises. He ignored it and stayed put for a couple of minutes, inwardly smiling at the pain he had missed so badly.

The sound of approaching students made him jump up and go to get some breakfast. He wouldn't tell Hermione and Ron about his encounter with Malfoy, something him was against it. With his body still hurting, he felt like the encounter was something private, something personal Harry That didn't want to share.

So he wouldn't share it.

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Reparifarge: [spell] an untransfigurationspell, used to turn mistransfugred beings back to it's original state (wikia)

Harry couldn't really focus on his lessons for the rest of the day. Granted, he never had the motivation to pay much attention in class, but today he really was out of it. His mind kept going back to the encounter earlier. His bruises had stopped hurting and Harry found himself missing the pain fervently. He tried to punch and pinch himself in the sore places, but the pain didn't last long enough.

Since he had arrived at Hogwarts, he had refrained from cutting. He had longed for it multiple times, more than daily, but he simply couldn't. It was too risky, even with the spell he used to cover up his real appearance. He was around people 24/7, so as soon as the spell started fading, he would get in trouble.

Besides that, he was barely able to find the time and privacy to cut himself properly without getting caught. He had tried to hurt himself in other ways to relief himself a bit: hitting himself, digging his nails in his skin, pinching himself, holding his hands under ice cold water, everything that could be done easily without anyone noticing. But it wasn't enough. He wanted more. He wanted to cut, he wanted Malfoy to push him down the stairs again.

Harry tried to get that thought out of his head, but it wouldn't work. He didn't miss cutting alone, he also missed the abuse from the Dursly's. He needed to get kicked and beaten up, he needed the feeling that he paid for who he was. A failure. A useless "hero".

The Dursly's weren't here, but the Malfoy was just as good, and Harry found himself longing for another encounter withe the blonde. So he could feel the pain again. Of course, it wasn't as easy as it seemed. He couldn't just walk up to the Slytherin and ask politely if Malfoy would like to beat him up. Part of him wanted to, but he knew that it would make his secrets come to light and he couldn't have that. The last thing he could do, was act as everyone's precious little hero.

He pulled himself from his thoughts and attempted another go at the transfiguration spell they we're doing. He gave his wand a wave and muttered the words half-heartedly. The dove transformed fairly quickly in a box. A feathery box, flapping around with it's deformed wings and screeching God-knows-how without a beak. Students ducked away from the disaster and pure chaos emerged in the classroom. Harry woke up from his thoughts, for the first time since the encounter fully aware of his surroundings. The sight was honestly hilarious, if it hadn't been so terrifying to have a screeching monster-box flying at you.

'Reparifarge!'

The spell came from the front of the room and hit the monstrosity with a flash. It turned back into dove which fell dazzled to the ground. the class stared at it for a couple of seconds, before going back to their places and continuing with their own business. The dove took it's chance and went for the nearest window. Harry knew they normally preserved the animals used in class, but the bird had suffered enough in his opinion, so he just watched as it flew away. If only he could do the same… away from everything…

'ahem' The stern cough pulled Harry back into reality. He looked next to his desk and found a not too amused Professor McGonagall standing there.

'Mister Potter, I would like you to pay attention while handling magic', she said. Harry looked down, ashamed of himself.

'sorry professor', he answered, more to his shoes than to her. She remained silent for a couple of seconds.

'Very well, you can stay here and help me clean this mess of a room. For the rest of you: class dismissed.' She walked back to her desk as everyone begun packing their stuff. Hermiony seemed hesitant, but after a glance from McGonagall, she left the room with one last pitying look at Harry and Ron on her tail. The door closed behind them.

Harry sighed, he knew what he had to do. It was like detention with Snape, only this time he really was responsible for the mess he had to clean. He started picking up the fallen books.

'That won't be necessary, Harry. Please come over here and sit down.’

He froze. Whenever McGonagall addressed him with his first name, he knew she wanted to talk about something personal. What if she had found out about him? What would she do? How can he cover it up? He tried to stop himself from panicking and put on a cold mask. He obliged and went to sit down opposite of his professor.

She eyed him with a stern but compassionate look.

'Harry, you really seem a bit absent lately. It's not just in my lesson, I've heard you were lost in yourself in other lessons too. Is something the matter?'

Harry looked down and cursed inwardly. As he had feared, his mental state had become noticeable. It was his own fault, hut it was getting too hard to act like nothing was the matter. He needed to get away with this. Part of him wanted to tell McGonagall the truth, tell her how he really feels, but he knew that his secret wouldn't be safe with her. It wouldn't be safe with anyone. He had to keep lying, keep the act up. He felt his heartbeat quicken under her gaze. He really had to say something to brush her off.

'I'm sorry professor, I've just had troubles sleeping lately.'

'You're having visions or nightmares from You-know-who again?'

'Nono, it's just... regular bad dreams.' He looked up, just in time to see his head of house twitching her mouth. He knew from experience that when she did that, she didn't completely believe you. He braced himself for more questions, but none came.

'Well, we can't have you ruining classrooms. Go get some Sleeping Draught from Madame Pomfry. We can only use wizards with a good night rest here. Go now, I'll clean this room myself.'

'Yes Professor, thank you,' Harry said hastily and went for the door.

'Wait, Harry.' Harry stopped with one hand on the doorknob, not having the strength to look behind him.

'Yes professor?'

'Please do tell me if something is wrong.'

Harry just nodded and walked out of the door. He walked as fast as he could, almost running, as far aways as possible from the transfiguration classroom. He didn't walk towards the Great Hall either, as he wasn't hungry and felt that he couldn't handle social contact at the moment.

After a while, he went to lean against the wall in a deserted corridor. He needed to be alone. He wanted to cry, he wanted to die. He wasn't sure why he was feeling like this because of a stupid small talk with a professor, but he did. He felt like he had fucked everything up. Professors had noticed his behaviour. McGonagall had been suspicious. He couldn't do it. He couldn't act like he was fine. The first week had worked out, but it was too difficult, too heavy. He punched the wall as hard as he could. Pain spread through his hand and arm like a shockwave and calmed him down. He couldn't think rationally without pain.

He knew that he had to get his daily doses of pain or he could forget his little façade. If his secret came out, he might as well die. He had suffered and endured life for too long to let it all go to waste. And he couldn't destroy even more people their lives. He had done enough of that already. Now, he had to make up for it by being the perfect "Golden Boy". He slid down against the wall, hands covering his face. He couldn't do it. He was born a failure, a curse, nothing would ever change that. Everyone around him would always get hurt and it was his fault.

"mister Potter, shouldn't you be heading towards the Great Hall?' A familiar voice broke the silence and brought a feeling of dread to Harry's mix of messed up emotions. Snape.

'Professor McGonagall sent me to Madame Pomfry for some sleeping draught, Sir.'

'Ah, I see. You are not in a hurry, clearly.' Harry could hear him sneering at him. 'Madame Pomfry doesn't have that in stock anymore, as she just asked me to bring some flasks of it to her. If it will make you go back to the rest of your insufferable friends, I'll give you some of it at once. Follow me.' And with those words, Snape left.

Harry wasn't sure what it was that made him stand up and follow the greasy potions master. Maybe it was because he really had dreadful nightmares that he wanted to get rid off, or maybe he secretly hoped to get insulted by Snape. He wanted that. He needed someone to just tell him again how useless and insufferable he was. Or maybe he just didn't have anything else to do and didn't want to be alone with his thoughts. Either way, he stood up and followed Snape, fervently trying to put up his mask, but barely succeeding.

They walked a few stairs down. Harry hadn't realised how close he had been to the dungeons. After some turnabouts, they stopped at a door. Snape muttered something too quiet to catch properly. Not that Harry tried to, he didn't care much for anything at this moment. He just stood outside waiting until Snape came back and pushed some flasks in his hands.

'Keep these, don't drop them because that's all you'll get for the next week. Now get out of my sight.', was all the potions master said before turning around and disappearing in his room again.

Harry sighed and walked the way back to his dorm. At least, that was his plan until he saw a familiar blonde pass by in another hallway. Something about it peeked his interest.

What was Malfoy doing here? Shouldn't he be eating dinner in the Great Hall? And why aren't his bodyguards with him? Harry wanted an answer to his questions. He stuffed the Sleeping draughts in a nearby storage room and tailed the Slytherin. Something in Harry told him this was important. Whether it had something to do with the questions in his mind or with his need for pain, he did not know, but one thing was certain:

He would find out what Malfoy was up to.

Chapter Text

Curiosity: [noun] a strong desire to know or learn something (english dictionary)

It wasn't before long when Harry realised where Malfoy was going. The Room of Requirement. Of course. He followed him through the hallways and up the stairs, as silently and carefully as he could. Not that that was necessary; Malfoy was either too certain he wasn't being followed or he was too lost in his thoughts to check his surroundings. Either way, he didn't seem to notice his pursuer.

When they arrived at the hall where the entrance to the Room of Requirement appeared slowly. Harry hid behind a corner and watched as Malfoy walked through the door. He had thought about following Malfoy in there, but he had decided against it. He didn't know what the room was like at the inside, it could be gigantic and full and easy to enter unnoticed, but it could be small and empty as well, making entering a guaranteed failure to find out what Malfoy was hiding. He also wasn't sure whether Malfoy was alone in there.

All in all, guarding the entrance and waiting for Malfoy to come back outside seemed the better option.

Seemed.

Until Harry woke up in the dark hallway with a foot on his chest and a smirking slytherin hanging above him. Fuck. He had fallen asleep while waiting. And he had slept very uncomfortable at that.

'Well, well, seems like someone chose a unusual spot for a nap. Could it be that you were trying to follow me?'

Harry looked up at Malfoy with the most challenging look he could manage. His neck ached, but it was only a little and it awakened his need for more pain. His heart was beating fast. The position he was in right now, so dominated, so at mercy of someone else. He sensed danger, and he liked it. He knew this could easily turn into a good beating. His heart longed for it. He longed for it. He needed it. He needed to provoke Malfoy.

'Now Malfoy, I was just watching out for you. Everyone knows how weak you are without your bodyguards, so I thought you'd need someone to protect you.' Harry smirked at the blonde.

He was rewarded with a sneer and a fierce kick in his stomach which hurt a lot.

'Mind you're fucking own business, Potter. I don't need anyone to protect me, I could easily beat the living shit out of you right now.'

Harry gave a short laugh and immediately flinched due to the pain. He continued nevertheless, noticing how on edge Malfoy was and seeing his chance to make the boy explode.

'You? As if! You're just a pathetic piece of shit, good for nothing. You can't do anything, I'm not scared of you.' In his head, he wasn't talking to Malfoy, but to himself. It seemed to do the trick.

He saw Malfoy's eyes widen and saw the fierce anger rise up in them. Then, the blonde attacked.

He started kicking Harry repeatedly. Harry's body shook with each kick. He felt how strong Malfoy was because of his anger. The boy had clearly lost control. Harry felt ribs bruise and maybe even break. 'I. Am. Not. Helpless.', Malfoy said through clenched teeth with each kick, 'You're one to talk! "The precious golden boy"? Don't let me laugh, you're the pathetic one here, look at you!'

He was right, Harry knew. He was the pathetic one. The weak one. The useless one. He deserved all the suffering in the world, he deserved to be humiliated and beaten to pulp. He deserved all the hate in the world more than anyone. He could only smile at the thought he was finally getting what he had wanted, no, needed, for the past two weeks.

The smile was subconsciously and it made Draco even more angry. The boy jumped on top of him and proceeded to ravish Harry's face with his fists. Harry felt his nose break, and the pain was astonishing and so, so satisfying. The Pulchraria Falsissa spell ran around his body, but it didn't heal anything, it only made the wounds invisible. Harry felt the pain taking over, pulling him into the darkness.

The last thing he experienced before falling completely unconscious, was Malfoy stopping with beating him and starting to cry on his chest.

—0—

Frustration: [noun]: the feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change or achieve something (english dictionary)

Draco looked down at the unconscious body of his nemesis through his tears. He felt so humiliated, crying like this on top of his arch enemy, of all people. He had the comfort that said arch enemy was unconscious, but still, it was not Malfoy-worthy. He didn't feel Malfoy-worthy anyway. Nothing he did was ever good enough. Nothing. They always wanted more and more. Asking more and more. And he just had to obey. One mistake and things could be over.

Movement in Potter's face caught Draco's attention and the blonde looked puzzling at the sight of Potter's face repairing itself. It made him frustrated again. Why was Potter so Goddamn perfect? Even his face couldn't be beaten out of shape!

Draco flung his fist at Potter's face, but again, it mysteriously healed itself. Draco cursed. Nothing ever went his way. He collapsed on Harry again and started crying tears of frustration. Why him? He hated everything. His father's message had made Draco so infuriated and the thing that would make him calm down the most, didn't because fucking Potter healed himself the whole fucking time.

He stood up, feeling numb and still frustrated, but breathing steadily and regaining his senses. He looked down at the Potterboy. Healed body or not, he was still unconscious. He couldn't have Potter rat him out, and after tonight the likelihood of that was too high. He had been stupid. He should have let Potter sleep and walk away. But the urge to hurt Potter, humiliate him, had been too great. He simply couldn't resist. He sighed. There was no other choice than to lock Potter up in the Room of Requirement.

He had to act quick, since he knew Filch would be doing his tour around these halls soon. He grabbed the Griffindor's shoulders and dragged him slowly towards the entrance. Draco noticed that Potter was far more light than he thought. A wave of relieve washed over him as he saw the door reappearing, letting him and Potter in. After some fidgeting, and Draco suspected some help from the room, he managed to get the unconscious body in the room. The room looked like a normal dorm, and Draco expected it wanted him to lay Potter on the four poster bed. He scowled at the thought of making Potter's sleep more comfortable, but obliged, being happy with the help he got from the room. When Potter finally laid on the bed, he looked at the boy for a couple of seconds. He looked different know from usual, Draco noticed. More... content? Peaceful? He shook his head and left the room. What did he care? Even while walking back to his dorms, questions about Potter's healing and lack of weight kept on roaming through his head. Who knows, maybe Draco could uncover some secrets he could blackmail Potter with... Or just ruin his life all together. Draco smiled at the thought. Now, wouldn't that be wonderful?

Chapter Text

Hey all!

I don’t know if anyone is actually waiting for updates, but I felt like I needed to write a little message for past and future (and current) readers. I’m not the type to put this out here, but the comments on this fic were very nice and supportive, plus, the nature of the fic matches the message too I guess. TheWaywardFangirl wrote this nice comment that asked if I was okay. And I wasn’t.

This was a vent-fic, a coping mechanism where I put Harry in my shoes. I felt better imagining that a character like Harry would feel the same as me, having mental scars, but feeling the need to hide them.
At one point, I got the opportunity to take some distance from my every day life and try to focus on healing. And I did, I healed a lot. I got mentally stable, with suicidal thoughts only every few weeks instead of almost hourly and I successfully quit self-harm for over a year now. During that time, I felt like it was too hard to look back at this fic, even at all the nice comments. There was just too much things from the past that I wasn’t ready to face.

I’m sorry for being absent for a long time, I appreciate each and every comment. I love you all <3 I will continue this fic (hopefully) soon. I think I am ready to get back to it and write a story full of angst and love. The updates might be inconsistent due to university stuff (bleh), but I’ll try.

If you came here because you felt like I did when I wrote this and as a way to cope, I get how you feel. I hope this proves that you are not alone.

I hope you will see that you are loved or that you will find someone who loves you. I hope you realise things can get better. My path to get better isn’t finished yet, and boy, it’s a long one, but now that I’m walking it, I finally can believe there is a way for me to live a happy life. I hope you find that path too. It might be hidden, it might take effort to look for it, it might be easy or a steep slope upwards, but it’s there.

If you feel like you are not allowed to feel bad or sad or suicidal or depressed, don’t. You are allowed to feel however you feel. There are about 8 billion people on this world, there will always be someone who has it better than you and someone who has it worse. Even though you don’t have any visible reasons to have bad thoughts, you still have reasons. It is okay to not be okay. As long as you get to fight to get better.

Okay, that was very sappy, and you probably think it was annoying. But I needed to say this to past me and anyone who thinks/feels like past me.

This chapter will be deleted as soon as I continue the series.

Edit: due to reasons I want to change the ending up a little, so I have room for plot ideas or detailsor scenes if anyone wants to add! just comment!