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Chapter 1: The Nephew
There it was again. What in the world is that boy doing up at three in the morning! I'm careful not to wake my husband up as I climb out of bed and wrap a robe around myself. I quietly sneak out of the room and pad down the hall. One thing I pride myself on is spying. I see everything that goes on in this neighborhood. Not even that ungrateful nephew of mine can tell when I am watching him. I quietly lay my hand on the door knob and turn it. I enter the room and stand in the doorway. He is tying something to that dreadful creatures leg.
So, sending letters to your freak friends while you should be sleeping? I'll put a stop to that. The owl gave a quiet hoot and Potter shook his head. "I'll be fine girl it's not as if this hasn't happened before. Go on to Dumbledore now. He will need to know about the dream." With that he shooed her out the half-way open window then turned around and faced me.
"Oh! Aunt Petunia, what are you doing up?"
"Wondering what in the world you were doing up at this hour of course! You stop all this fool- Good grief Harry, what in the world happened to your head?" That scar of his was either bleeding or had only just stopped. He sighed and his shoulders slumped. When he finally spoke his voice was almost too quiet for me to hear.
"It will be fine by morning; it always is."
"But what happened to make it like that? And what do you mean by it always is? Are you doing some sort of that freak stuff because I warn you if you are..."
"I'm not. I just had a nightmare and my scar bled some, that's all." He grabbed a rather bloodstained rag and pressed it to his head wincing a little at the contact.
I gave him a piercing stare. That rag probably had countless germs on it. I decided that maybe if I cleaned it for him he might go back to bed and let me get some sleep. "Come on."
"Wha?" I rolled my eyes.
"Get in the bathroom and let me take a look at that." He just stood there looking rather stunned. "Well, go on!" He finally got moving and I followed him into the loo. I had him sit on the toilet while I wet a cotton ball with alcohol. We did have something that wouldn't sting but why waste the good stuff on him? I've got to say though I did regret not giving him the peroxide when I started dabbing his scar with the cotton ball. He went extremely pale and he seemed to barely bite back a yelp of pain. He gritted his teeth and didn't make a sound even though his scar turned a strange purple color and started to bleed again. I gasped and almost threw down the cotton then wet a rag and told him to just hold it on there. We sat in silence for a while, well let me rephrase that, I sat there in silence while he stared off into space looking terrified for a few seconds then seemed to snap out of it.
"That must have been some dream Harry."
He looked at me, and I swear I will never forget that look as long as I live. He looked so- so haunted. His eyes were dull and very tired looking.
"I've had worse. At least no children-" He snapped his mouth shut with an audible click and stared at me in horror.
"What? What about the children?"
"You don't wanna know."
I glared at him a bit and rubbed harder than was necessary at his scar. It had stopped bleeding and closed up. It almost looked normal again. "You're scar, it's..."
"Almost totally healed? Yeah I know. It happens almost every night now. As soon as Voldemort calms down it stops hurting and closes up. I'm just about used to it by now."
How in the world had I managed to miss something like that? I had noticed the boy was much quieter than usual and seemed to be in a slump but I had just brushed it off as teenage angst. To tell the truth I had been pleased to have him so cooperative. He hardly ever complained about anything anymore. Wait a second, did he just say Voldemort!?
"Harry, did you just say Vvv... Vvvv-"
"Voldemort?" I nodded. "Yes."
"But he's dead... isn't he?"
Harry hung his head. "He came back last June."
I gasped and put my hand to my heart. Lilly had spoken of the dark lord several times. She had managed to ingrain a healthy terror of Voldemort into me. "But I thought he had died when he tried to kill you! How in the world is a dead man back among the living!?"
"It's my fault."
I felt my eyes widen in shock then narrow in hate. "Why you little... how dare you! After all we've done for you... How could you!?"
"I-I'm sorry. It wasn't my choice though." He clinched his fist and gritted his teeth. I couldn't help but notice that he was on the brink of crying. So that's what had happened.
"What happened Harry? How did he come back?"
"I... I was tricked. He had me entered in a tournament and he made the trophy into a trap. It took me... and someone else right to him. They called him a spare! He wasn't! He was good, and brave, and hardworking. He deserved to be the champion. He wasn't even given the chance to defend himself. He was my friend and they just called him a spare, just a spare." He tried taking deep breaths to calm himself but it didn't seem to be working very well. It had literally been years since I had seen him cry. I think the last time he cried was when he was eight. He had been mending the roof and had fallen. I was a bit surprised he had managed to hurt himself so badly. Every other time he had been in danger that magic of his had protected him. I knew that Harry was a pretty tough kid.
"It's not fair."
"What's not fair?"
"That some people are just the spares. Everyone should be important, not just a few people." He rubbed his eyes with his sleeve and sniffled a little.
"You know, your mother said something similar once." He looked up at me. There were so many emotions and questions in his eyes that I couldn't catch half of them. I did notice that they seemed more alive than I had seen them all summer.
"It was right before her seventh year. We didn't talk much then but one day she just broke down. She was scared for her friends, but wanted to go fight at the same time. I think she had just found out about your father's parents death. I told her that she wouldn't be able to do a thing and to quit being silly and she came back at me with that. You're both right I guess, everyone should be important."
"I wish... I could remember her. I've seen pictures and heard her voice, everyone always talks about how I'm so much like my dad. Only thing they say about my mum is I have her eyes."
"You heard her voice? A tape recording?" I watched his eyes dim even more.
"No... a memory, but not a good one."
"You remember something of your parents?"
"Well, there is a certain creature that makes you remember bad things. I was around one two years ago..."
I was actually a little interested in what he remembered. I didn't pay attention to the strained look on his face or the morose look in his eyes. "Well? What do you remember?"
"My parents last few moments alive. He didn't want to kill my mum. She died saving me and pleading for my life."
That just about stopped me in my tracks. I finally took a good look at the boy. He looked miserable, he was extremely thin, his eyes were dull and haunted. How could I not have noticed his condition? I may not like the kid very much but he was, after all, family. When he started speaking again his voice was so soft I almost couldn't hear him.
"I saw them this year. I was forced to duel with Voldemort." He shuddered a little. "It's my fault he's back. He used my blood to come back. I killed my parents, Cedric, and brought Voldemort back to life. You were right Aunt Petunia, I would be better off dead."
I watched a few tears fall down his face. What in the world had that boy been through? And when did I say that? I don't remember saying he would be better off dead. I kneeled down so that I was level with him and put a hand on his shoulder. "I don't remember saying that Harry, but if I did I was wrong." He suddenly broke out in a bitter humorless laugh.
"Not like I'll actually live through my seventh year anyway. Every year except my third we had some type of fight. My luck isn't gonna hold forever. And you know what? I'm scared. I see how he kills his enemies! He picked me as his mortal enemy..." He trailed off shaking. I rubbed his back a little trying to calm him down. "I'm gonna end up like the Longbottoms, I just know it! A crazy, drooling idiot that won't even recognize his own friends! He would probably keep me alive as long as he could... just to keep me from seeing my parents! When he... it was awful. I wanted to just die it hurt so much. I'm not even sure if I screamed or not when he cast that on me. It hurt and I'm scared, no, terrified of being caught again."
That... was a little more than I could stand. I pulled him to the floor, and incidentally my lap, and just held him there. Harry wasn't crying very much; he was too busy shaking uncontrollably. He was really close to having a nervous break-down.
"Shhh just calm down. No one is gonna hurt you here."
"He bblames me... he cccommes in my ddreamms and he tttells me it's mmy fffault he wwwasss made the sp-spare."
"Shhh don't think about it right now. Think of good things, those friends of yours, the Weezys." I rubbed his back and rocked him. As soon as the shakes were mostly over he let out a loud wail and started sobbing into my shoulder. I made a promise to myself right then there I would be a bit kinder to him for the rest of the summer. Voldemort had hurt him too much. What I did was for his own good. I just tried to stamp the magic out of him. But now that the spark in his eyes that I used to find so annoying was gone, I found I really missed it. I planned to take Harry out the very next day and get something for his sleeping problem. I probably wouldn't be able to do anything about the visions, but I could do something about the run of the mill nightmares. He eventually fell asleep on my shoulder. He looked so exhausted. I whipped away the last of his tears.
I didn't have the heart to move for about an hour and a half then a crick in my back forced me to wake him up and send him back to bed. I tucked him in. I couldn't ever remember tucking Harry into bed. I sat in his desk chair till I was sure he was asleep then crept back to bed myself. I glanced at the clock. In two hours my opinion of my nephew had almost completely transformed. I still didn't approve of him using magic, but I at least pitied him. I never realized that he carried around so much guilt. I made a mental note to speak to Vernon in the morning about Harry. He needed to relax, he needed to recover. I don't know if I loved him when I finally went to sleep, but I did respect him and pity him. My nephew, is a hero and I am gonna do everything I can to help him.
AN: Ok this was the first of a three part one shot series. The Nephew, The Boy, and The Cousin. If you guys like these three I might be persuaded to do on in Harry's POV called, The Family. I really don't think Petunia Dursley is all that bad. I think that she wasn't OOC in this ficcy at all. Sure she may not like Harry, but she dosen't want him suicidal depressed either. And that's about where poor Harry is now.