It's easy to feel safe behind stone walls. Easy to grow comfortable with powerful witches and wizards watching over you, and feeling so confident in their ability to keep you out of harms way. It seems like it's the only way to live when all you've ever seen is within your fenced-in yard and your magically protected school.
But I know better.
I've seen a world beyond Hogwarts, and the apartment I'm living in with my grandmother. There's death, torture, and darkness that light will never be able to reach, yet I feel like I'm the only one who can see it. I can't lie, I'm a little jealous. Everyone else my age is walking through the corridors without a care in the world outside of getting that essay finished and if that boy over there likes them...so why is it that I've never felt that way? Why couldn't there have been a time in my life where I didn't have this knowledge that shattered my sense of security? I know what's really lurking out there in the world, and while I feel like having that knowledge should make me feel safer...it doesn't. I don't feel better knowing what's going on outside of the walls of Hogwarts, who's really behind those mysterious disappearances in London and what's happening to them. I feel sick to my stomach and my hands start to shake, just having that bit of knowledge. I envy those whose sense of security has remained intact.
At one time, I was sure that everyone around me was wearing a mask to the point of paranoia. I thought that they didn't really feel secure, but pretended to anyway. I'm good at wearing masks; obeying my parents and doing so with a small, polite smile that isn't really mine, pretending that I believe in everything they've told me. Masks were possible. Easy to those of us who had enough practice and incentives to wear them. But when I took a good look around, I realized that it just wasn't probable that every single student at Hogwarts wore the same mask. Most of the students here really feel like they're safe behind the mighty walls of the school.
So it's only a matter of time until their sense of security is shattered like mine was. They'll figure out soon enough what is really out there in the world.
To me, wearing a mask is automatic. It feels obvious, like everyone should be able to see it, but no one else seems to notice. I'm still that shy girl behind a book, sitting at the Ravenclaw table waiting for her only friend. Nobody could possibly figure out who I really am...what I'm really a part of. This mask of mine is part of me now. It's become that sense of security that I lost. As long as I can keep those around me fooled and at arms length from the real me, then I'm doing my job.
No matter how good I am at wearing this mask, it feels obvious. That, itself, shakes my rebuilt security down to the core. If I can wear a mask so easily, why can't the next student? Or the next one? I wear a blue and silver tie, read a book everywhere I go, and people believe that that is the real me. So who is the real person sitting beside me?
There's no way to tell when someone is showing their true colors. So, to keep myself safe, I'll tighten the strings of my mask, and keep everyone at bay.
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