Chapter 1 : Knights and Tears
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Dreams were wild in the night. Children dreamt of toys and games, friends and laughter. Teenagers dreamt of long nights with lovers and never ending joy, fun filled days and beauty. Adults dreamt of promotions and money, vacations and less stressful days. Some dreamt of falling, dying, screaming and hurting. Everyone was dreaming, whether it was of nightmares or not, they were dreaming.
But one boy wasn’t dreaming. He wasn’t sleeping at all. He wasn’t even in bed, cowering under the covers and trying to fall asleep. This boy was wide awake, sitting up against the small wall in his ‘room’, repetitively hitting the back of his head against the little door in the darkness.
The occupants of Number 4, Privet Drive didn’t wake to the soft thudding coming from the cupboard under the stairs. No, they were dreaming of cakes and presents, mischievous little boys, and happily ever afters. They went on with their lives, slightly unconscious, however, and they didn’t pay attention to the awake little boy in their house, perhaps the only awake little boy on the street. If they had known he was awake, they would have reacted no differently, simply shrugging it off and returning to sleep, not bothering to wonder what the problem was.
But the little boy couldn’t get the problem off his mind. For a while now, it had haunted his every thought, every dream. He hadn’t had a good night’s rest in over a fortnight.
An owl sounded in the night, but Harry Potter continued to bang his head against the door, closing his eyes very tightly to try and stop the flow of tears from cascading down his cheeks. He was unsuccessful, and his already wet cheeks became new trails for new tears.
Harry hugged his knees tighter to his chest, finally resting his head on his knees. Almost silently, he whispered one word:
He had been whispering the word for nights, weeks, in every spare moment he had away from his relatives, he would wonder the word aloud, each night he would silently cry and whisper the same word again and again, until the sound was foreign to his ears.
To what the question he asked was referring to, the boy would probably never fully understand. He had many questions that began with ‘why’, but this particular question troubled his young mind. Yet, he repeated it each night, each day, and yet, it remained unanswered.
Harry looked up from his knees and sniffed. He reached for his glasses, finding them lying on his mattress. He slipped them on his damp face and searched for his miniature knight toys, finally grasping them on the shelf above his ‘bed’.
He began to play with them, clashing them together and quietly making sound effects until he abruptly stopped and turned the two knights toward each other.
“Hello, good sir,” He whispered, moving the red knight up and down, as if the toy were talking.
“Hello to you as well!” He moved the blue knight this time, “How are you today, sir?”
“Quite well, and yourself?”
“I’m feeling rather sad today.”
“Why would that be, sir?”
“I’m not entirely sure, I’m afraid.”
“We shall figure out what has you under the weather together!”
“How do we attempt such a feat, might I ask?”
“We simply cover every aspect of your well-being, of course! Now tell me, how has life been lately?” At this, Harry paused, thinking of how the blue knight could respond.
“Not too well, I’m afraid. I’m being pushed around like old ham on a dirty plate by my awful relatives, which isn’t anything new, I suppose, but I think treating an eight year old boy with such awfulness is horrid! And I am beginning to doubt that I will ever get out of this place and actually be somebody.”
“That’s terrible indeed!”
“And I’m beginning to questions many things about myself!”
“What such things are you referring to?”
“Well, I’m… I’m referring to… who I am and who I used to be.”
“I haven’t noticed a change in you, sir!”
“That’s just it. Only I’ve noticed my change. As I’ve grown older, I’m changing. Everyone changes, I suppose, grows and matures, but it’s different with me, I believe. I feel like I want to get out and explore. Make friends and be someone! I guess I’ve had these feeling before but it’s different this time! I feel very different about certain things. Like my… like my parents. I keep coming back to the same question again and again. And I don’t know the answer. I don’t know… why.”
“Why? What ever do you mean?”
“Why was I left here, alone and afraid, with these retched people my mum had to grow up with? Why am I treated this badly? Why do I have to be the one to receive the beatings, the words of disgrace? Why am I the one locked in this awful cupboard, in the darkness and the cold, not knowing what will anger my uncle next? Why am I the one that always has to take the blame of my fat cousin? Why am I the one with the stupid scar? Why… why did they have to die?”
Harry wasn’t able to allow the red knight to respond, for he burst into tears at his own words, and he began to hit his head against the door again, wanting nothing more than to feel his mum’s arms around him, to hear his dad’s laugh echo in the tiny space. He just wanted someone to hug him, to love him. He just wanted his parents.
“Why?” He sobbed again, hitting his head harder, the plastic knights’ conversation long forgotten. “Why did they have to die?”
He suddenly stopped, sniffed and sighed.
“Mum,” Harry said into the darkness, “if you can hear me, please listen.
“Aunt Petunia says you were nothing special, a disgrace to the family, a horrible sister, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of that woman’s mouth. She scowls whenever I bring you up, and she waves her hand and dismisses the subject. She says she never wants to think about someone like you. But mum, I know you were someone really special. I know you were amazing and friendly and smart and beautiful and caring and loving and… and special. Because you’re my mum. And wherever you are, I want you to know I love you.
“And dad, I’m not forgetting about you. Aunt Petunia doesn’t ever talk about you unless it’s to add a comment about how horrible you were. When I asked her about you, she said you were no good for anybody, which makes me love you more. I know you were charming and a daredevil and funny and you made mum fall for you because of who you are. And I know that because, in the back of my mind, I can hear you tell me what to do in tough situations. I can hear you both.
“When I’m scared, I can feel you hold my hand. When I’m upset, I can feel you kiss my forehead. When I’m sure the world is going to end, I can hear you whisper it’ll be okay. Every night, when I cry myself to sleep, I can feel you wipe my tears away. Sometimes I can see you, too. I don’t know what you look like, but I can tell you’re always here with me. Because you’re my parents. And I know you’ll never leave me.” As Harry whispered the last word, the tears flowing out of his emerald eyes became too much and he wiped them away furiously.
“And sometimes… sometimes I wonder who I’ll be when I grow up. Sometimes I think, ‘Will I ever be anyone? Will I ever be like you? Will Aunt Petunia finally say something nice when I pack my bags and run from this place?’ Do you ever wonder, from wherever you are, if I’ll ever be anything great? If I’ll become the Prime Minister? Or a football star? Or if I’ll ever have any real friends? Ones that will never leave me, ditch me for some rather odd blokes? Or if I’ll ever find someone who likes me for who I am? Someone who can break through the walls my relatives have built around me, and get to the real me? I wish I could know. I just wish… I wish you were here with me so I could get some answers. I just…
“Who am I, anyway?” Harry began to cry again and, this time, he didn’t try to stop the flow of tears.
If only he knew who he was, who he was to become, the friends he would acquire, the love he would feel, the people he would meet, the fates he would discover, the places he would travel, the nights he would spend awake, the tears he would cry, the smiles he would share, the words he would speak, the lives he would save, the feats he would accomplish, the days he would spend pondering, the spells he would cast, the sights he would see, the creatures he would face, the wizards who would die for him, the ones who wouldn’t, the hearts he would touch, the memories he would make, the people he would make proud. How he would make his parents proud.
If only he knew all this, then perhaps he wouldn’t cry, or perhaps he would only cry harder.
But sadly, Harry Potter knew none of the great things he would accomplish, so, just like every night he had ever spent at Number 4, Privet Drive that he could remember, he crawled under his covers, shivered from the cold, and fell asleep.
Why, hello, lovely readers. How do you find yourselves today? I hope you enjoyed this little... thingy I wrote the other day. I was just reading a whole whack of Lily/James stories and thinking about why they had to die. I cried more than a few times, I might add. Anywho, thank you for reading and I should let you know that the little box down there is getting quite lonely and would like some words to be written in it. If you know what I mean. Hehe... ^_^
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by GRED WEASLEY