The feel of this story is possibly what struck me the most as different from most stories I've read. The way it is written, in my case I've found myself to be reading it very... passivly, like an outsider, seeing Harry go through all those events without really feeling them... until the last sentence.
It was the last two words that really spiced up the entire text in my point of view. It struck me hard and gave me that long shiver in my spine. Because they change everything. It's like now we aren't sure if he died... or if his paranoia died. We aren't sure if it is him dying and his paranoia speaking or the opposite if you know what I mean. It makes for confusion and struggle in the reader's mind.
Which is a good thing in this sort of fic, and possibly in any sort of fic when that was the goal.
I also feel like if you have another One-Shot idea for a mental illness on Harry's part, you should go for it. Because the mere concept is fascinating.
Throughout the books JK has made Harry out to be such a hero that people tend to forget two simple things: he has flaws, and no matter how magic, he remains humain. This sort of fic brings back this reality in the readers mind. In fact, after all Harry's been through and at such a young age, it would not be surprising, it would actually be probable, that he would have some sort of post-trauma. And Harry's paranoia seems to be a good choice concerning his background. He would be so convinced of his visions being real, what with his connections to voldemort and with his "hearing voices" back in CoS, that he would not even consider him being wrong. Accusing his friends of betraying him would fit him too, oddly, because though he trusted his friends... he never really did. Always trusting his own impulses before that of others.
All in all, I think this is a particularly interesting piece of work.
You did a great job on it and I would encourage you to write this other One-Shot idea you were thinking about :)
Hope I was helpful!
Author's Response: I'm glad that this one-shot seemed to have a distinctive tone about it; Harry's emotions are so bizarre in this story that it would be a bit weird if it didn't. ;) This story's actually one of my favorite things I've yet written, and it sparked the transition into making more of my one-shots stylistic, instead of just straight prose, so I'm pretty fond of it.
Harry definitely does die at the end of this; that's irrefutable. :3 The euphemism "passed on" and the redness on the floor point to that, as does the line about freedom. Harry's been freed from that paranoia, from Voldemort inside his head, even though in actuality Voldemort no longer exists inside of him.
I think it would have been so, so hard for Harry to just bounce back after Voldemort was gone, like everything was fine. Nearly his entire life had been based solely around the fact that an evil wizard wanted to kill him, and that he was the savior of the wizarding world. Coupled with the fact that he was a Horcrux, that's a pretty powerful burden for anyone to bear, let alone a teenage boy.
I'm glad you liked this! :) Thank you for being willing to review it for me. I definitely am going to write that one-shot, though it'll be different from this one in several ways. Thank you again!!