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The Man by Roots in Water
Chapter 1: The Man
Disclaimer: Do not own Harry Potter. Am not JK Rowling.
What he did exactly is a mystery. I cannot find hint of it in any source. Perhaps he saved the prime minister’s life? Alerted the police to a terrorist attack? Ran into a burning building and rescued a trapped child? Whatever he did, it was worthy of an award and the people’s adoration.
From the numerous photos taken of him, I know that his appearance was not extraordinary. He was the sort of man you could pass by on the street without a second glance. Brilliant green eyes and raven hair were his only distinguishing figures, for he was of an average height and neither fat nor skinny.
For months he was the central focus of the media. Nothing he did was not noted and eventually written about. It seemed as though he was model citizen before the event that rearranged his life, and he continued with his good behaviour. He was never seen at a bar, nor involved in any of the shadier parts of life.
His career changed. He joined a peace-keeping unit—the police, I think—and the public continued to be enthralled with his heroic deeds. Article after article, conversation after conversation, he was lauded about, put on a pedestal. Someone that you aspire to be, to have, but never actually touched.
There were critics, yes. Some people—gossips, I think they were once known as—just aren’t content with their own lives, and feel the need to go meddling about in others. Rumors and accusations were passed by word of mouth, hushed, hurried and whispered about in darks corners and alleys.
He was promoted again, and then again. He rose fast up the ranks, causing discontent among those who thought his rise was too quick, but those whispers were drowned out by calls for more. He was no longer a person to them; instead he was a hero, a human without the faults and sins they hated.
The mania over him grew and with it the pressure. He didn’t have a separate life from work—all his time was consumed by his career and the press. He had a nervous breakdown once, and a coffee cup was regularly seen in his hand.
He once admitted in an interview that he now constantly felt the pressure of thousands, no millions, of eyes on him. He admitted that he was afraid of messing up, of costing someone their life. The public responded that he could never make such a mistake—he was too perfect.
He tried to leave once. A ticket had been booked and he’d almost made it through security before he’d been stopped and shamed into staying. A coward, some accused, running away from his problems. Never mind the fact that they were his problems and if they’d just leave him alone, he’d be fine.
The critics picked up steam. No longer were they content to remain in the shadows—not now, not when they had positive proof! Slowly the poison spread, over the course of months. More people believed them, thinking that no one could be that perfect; never mind the fact that they were the ones who had built him up in the first place.
The media published the new public opinions, and his social status plummeted. He was demoted at his job, and then fired. No one wanted to be rescued by him any longer—it was not an honour now, and it never would be again.
He fell out of the public’s eye. He bought another ticket and this time he was successful in leaving. He packed his bags one autumn morning and left. Simply disappeared. No one heard from or about him again, and he is remembered as a disgrace. But that is not what I see. I know that he was just a simple man, laboring under the assumptions of society. It’s true what they say: history is written by the winners. The losers…well…
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
A/N: Please review and tell me what you think!