Chapter 1 : Not a Neville Longbottom
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A Blaise Zabini One-Shot
I am a Slytherin. I belong to Slytherin House. I come from a pureblood family of generations of Slytherins. After Hogwarts, I will join the ranks of the Death Eaters, following the footsteps of my parents. I am treated with a level of respect, however minimal, by the Death Eaters working and residing at Hogwarts because of my fate.
But I do not know if it is what I want anymore.
I was raised to hate Mudbloods, raised to despise Muggles and blood traitors, raised to cherish all things pure magic. I prescribed blindly to the lifestyle. I was fully prepared to face the hordes of half-bloods in my generation at school the day I turned eleven. I had been brainwashed by my family.
But I have seen the cruelty. I know, now, what I am getting into.
I see Neville Longbottom stand up day after day, no matter the torments they put him through. I mock him and bully him with the rest of my House. I, however, wish I was brave enough to stand for what is right, like Neville Longbottom.
I am a coward. I fear for my own life more than I desire to do what is right. I am selfish. I am a selfish, cunning coward. I was made to be a Slytherin.
I follow those who are greater than me, who have more power than me, simply because I am inferior to them. I have become a follower. During school, I follow Draco Malfoy, although I have my own brain, my own desires, my own future. He can get me what I want, so I stick by his side.
I am a selfish, cunning, power-hungry coward. I will fight the battles the Dark Lord tells me to, I will stand in his ranks with my head held in an arrogant, self-certain manner I will not mean, and I will always be a coward.
When the Sorting Hat was placed on my head, it asked me if I wanted to go to Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. I replied to it indignantly that I could never belong to a house filled with half-bloods and Mudbloods, blood traitors and brave fools. To this day, I do not know why Gryffindor was the other option. However, I would gladly chose again, given the option. Maybe I could feel more at home.
I've asked myself if, maybe, I'd be better suited for Hufflepuff. If I had been Sorted into the House of kind souls, maybe it would've been instilled in me. Maybe I could then stand beside Neville Longbottom.
I am a selfish, cunning, power-hungry, dearly lost coward. Does my future have to follow the path I've been carving all my life? Is it too late the change its course? Do I really have to follow my parents?
When I was young, my mother would tell me stories about members of the pureblood line who had decided it was better to be associated with Muggles than with wizards. To me as a child, they were horror stories. Sirius Black leaving his own home, two generations of Potters destroyed, Andromeda Black marrying a Muggle. The two blood traitor Blacks had been erased off the family tree in the Black home. The way she described it, my mother made it sound as though the spell had been cast strong enough to burn Andromeda and Sirius. It scared me enough to never disobey my mother.
Now, though, I wish I had rebelled and tried to follow the footsteps of purebloods who'd decided ancestry didn't matter. I wish that I was more than just wishing for a different me. I have created myself and if I were braver, wiser, a Seer even, I would be able to change. I am none of those things.
I am a selfish, cunning, power-hungry, dearly lost, clever and ambitious coward. I am lost in this world I have wrapped around my heart, but I've learned how to use it to my advantage. I know who's arse to kiss, who to snub, and who I should simply regard as someone who may be of value one day. I know how to use malice and confusion to my benefit.
Am I proud of these things? I don't know anymore. I used to cherish it, revel in every inch of it, but anymore I can't tell. Does my lack of certainty mean I am ashamed of who I am? Maybe. If it does, I hope my shame will allow me to change my future.
But I don't think that's how things work. Fear of my ugly future will not be enough to change who I am at my very core. I am more afraid of what refusing my future would do. I am so much more afraid to stand up to the Dark Lord, the greatest wizard in centuries, maybe even in all time. I could never be a Neville Longbottom, who endured years of torture to prove to all of us that he will be worth something. I could never be a Harry Potter, daring to do what is right, even though the path will surely end with death.
I am not a Ron Weasley, who is stubborn and easily embarrassed, but he is willing to travel the world with his friends. I am not a Hermione Granger, brightest in our year and willing to punch Draco Malfoy when he took it a step too far. I am not a brave Gryffindor. Nor am I a kind Hufflepuff, or an intelligent Ravenclaw. I was not smart enough to choose one of these Houses.
No, I am a coward, a Slytherin coward like every Slytherin before me, a coward like every Slytherin to follow me.
I am a selfish, cunning, power-hungry, dearly lost, clever and ambitious, uncertain coward.
I am a Slytherin. I belong to Slytherin House. I come from a pureblood family of generations of Slytherins. After Hogwarts, I will join the ranks of the Death Eaters, following the footsteps of my parents. But I do not know if it was what I want anymore.