Dark clouds moved over the neat, square houses of Privet Drive. Everyone had already retreated inside their homes. Everyone, that is, except for a teenage boy sitting on a garden bench outside of Number 4.
The scruffiness of this boy tended to be frowned upon the neighbors, so he found the back yard to be a safe haven against their disapproving glances. This boy was Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived.
Harry stared up at the clouds in dismay. Great, he thought. Now I’ll have to go inside. The last thing Harry wanted to do was talk to his aunt and uncle. He had sunk to an all-time low. Today was the day before his birthday.
He didn’t except to receive any mail, let alone presents. His friends hadn’t sent him any information about what was going on in the wizarding world, and since Uncle Vernon had locked Hedwig in her cage, he could not write back and he had not been able to contact the Daily Prophet and renew his application.
He knew Dumbledore was responsible for the letters’ lack of information, and he knew he had good intentions, but it didn’t make it any less frustrating.
Harry reluctantly dragged himself into the house and up the stairs. He didn’t feel like eating dinner, and the Dursleys wouldn’t care whether or not he showed up. Just more food for Dudley, Harry thought darkly.
He moved into his room and flopped onto his bed. He stared up at the ceiling miserably. He must have fallen asleep because the next thing he knew the neon green numbers on his clock were glowing 10:37. He cracked one eye open and saw Aunt Petunia standing at his door. He opened the other eye and was about to sit up but stopped when he saw the look on her face.
She seemed to be staring off into space, but her eyes were filled with sadness. He closed his eyes and let off a loud fake snore. This seemed to jar Harry’s aunt awake and her screeching voice immediately filled the room.
“Get up! Get up!” she said, and then in a lower tone, “I brought your dinner. Your uncle isn’t here yet,” surprised, Harry took the plate from her and saw something that resembled compassion filled her face.
Then a door slammed down stairs and Uncle Vernon yelled up the stairs, “ Petunia, I’m home!”
“Coming, Vernon,” she answered. She left the room, locking the door behind her. Harry stared at the food on his plate. There was steak, mashed potatoes, and green beans. The piece of steak was large and seemed to be all right. The last time Harry had eaten steak at the Dursley house it had been badly burnt, and since nothing was visibly wrong with this, he strongly suspected it was poisoned.
Then Harry saw the big butcher knife at the side of the meat. He stared at it, contemplating what it could mean.
I can do it. I can do it now, Harry thought, but a tiny voice in the back of his mind replied, No, you can’t do that! Think about it, the fate of the entire wizarding world rests upon your shoulders!
Exactly!, Harry shot back angrily. Why? I’m only sixteen! I shouldn’t HAVE to worry about that! I should be worrying about girls, for Merlin’s sake!
Imagine what your parents and Sirius would think if you killed yourself! Imagine how disappointed they’d be!
They have no right to be disappointed! No 16-year-old should have to deal with that!
Harry was seriously considering picking up the knife and drive it deep into his arm when the faces of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny burst clearly into his mind. He imagined how hurt they would be when they heard. Hurt the way he had hurt when Sirius died. He did not want to do that to them.
With new resolve, Harry got up, pulled up his bedroom window, and threw the butcher knife as far into the dark night as he could manage.
Quiz: Who do you like better, Hermione or Ginny?
WARNING: Be careful what you wish for!
Write a Review Harry Potter and Merlin's Paradise: Contemplation