Another, another, another.
It felt like it would never end.
Harry would spend some nights dreaming of what it would be like when he would finally be of age and be free of his simple-minded family. Dreamed of what it would be like to never have to return to this god-forsaken house.
Harry knew he had a long way to go before he reached that haven though. It was currently the summer between his second and third years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he had barely been at his uncle and aunt's home for 24 hours before he had been beaten and bruised. It was never enough to draw suspicion from people, never enough to make people question the wellbeing of the young boy those few times a summer he was actually allowed out of the house.
Often when Harry's quick temper flared he would be on the receiving end of punishments, which often included being physically hit. Not to mention the almost constant yelling and reprimands.
Harry let out a sigh as he rubbed at the new blue and black bruise forming on his forearm. That was the least of his worries though as he was fairly certain an unexpected shove by Dudley onto the stairway had bruised his ribs earlier.
The black haired boy glanced at the alarm clock- 1:31 am. The house was silent as he sat up in bed- finally giving up on attempting to sleep.
The boy looked around. Not sure he had heard anything at all. He listened to the silent house.
Ignoring it, Harry winced as he situated himself on the small bed, wrapping the one thin blanket he had been provided around his shoulders. His bedroom was always so cold. He often wondered if Vernon had done something to make his bedroom the coldest in the house. He now sat cross-legged on the bed with his back upon the wall. He let out another sigh and closed his eyes, hoping to relax enough to become tired.
He thought about his friends at Hogwarts- primarily Ron and Hermione of course. He wondered what they had been doing over the summer. Harry smirked as he pictured Ron with the rest of the Weasleys sitting around their kitchen table, trying to yell over one another to be heard. Ron, Fred, and George had probably been spending their days playing Quidditch, while Harry was certain that Hermione had barely lifted her head from her textbooks over the past month. Harry chuckled.
His eyes snapped open. Ok, he definitely heard it this time. Harry quickly looked around his room… the voice was much louder and clearer than the first time, like it was getting closer. Harry's ears strained to listen to what was happening in the rest of the house. Silence. There was no way anyone in the house was calling for him.
Harry wrapped the pitiful green and brown blanket tighter around him. He kept his eyes open this time and felt almost expectant. He thought of last summer when Ron and the twins had rescued him in the Ford Anglia.
"Please come for me, please come for me," Harry quietly whispered to the room. Harry wanted desperately to be rid of his uncle, aunt, and cousin for one more summer.
Suddenly, the temperature in the room rose. Harry could instantly feel the change in the air. It was like a warm heated blanket, much unlike the one he was currently wrapped in, was enclosed around him. Harry tensed for a moment, waiting to hear another voice or noise, and almost expected a red head to pop up in the window. After a few moments of silence Harry's shoulders slumped. 'Something must be wrong with the thermostat,' he thought. Either way, it was a relief to not have to sit and shiver for once.
Harry closed his eyes again, feeling more comfortable as his normally tense muscles unclenched in the strange and unexpected warmth. He felt suddenly relaxed… unnaturally so as he was alert and listening just a few moments ago.
A few minutes passed with Harry resting his head on the wall, enjoying the calm feeling and slowly becoming tired. He felt pressure on his bruised arm.
Harry jumped, startled. It felt like someone had touched him.
Calm down child…
It took a moment for Harry's eyes to readjust to the darkness, but he saw no one in the blackness.
Harry was certain he could hear a voice. But it wasn't the voice of anyone in the house, nor was it the voice of Dudley or his uncle or aunt. This voice was… different. He felt the pressure on his arm again.
"Who are you?!" Harry blurted out in his shock, snatching his arm away from the feeling. Harry scooted down the bed, leaving the blanket behind, farther away from whatever was touching him.
Child… trust me.
'Trust you?!' Harry thought. Harry no longer felt alone, he could feel something in the room with him. He desperately wished his uncle had not locked his wand up for the summer.
Trust me, the voice soothed. There was something about that voice, like Harry had heard it before, but this time it was so… different. It was calm, relaxing, and something about it lured Harry in, even while his brain was screaming 'danger' in his ear. As it often did, Harry's curiosity won out over his common sense.
Harry sat still, waiting. Suddenly he felt the light pressure on his forearm again and this time he kept himself from jumping. Harry looked to his side but still saw nothing but his pillow lying innocently on the bed. Unexpectedly his arm felt warm, similarly to how the room now felt. A strange feeling reverberated through his forearm and lingered for only a few moments before disappearing. The pressure released and Harry raised his arm and squinted into the darkness. The black bruise was gone. Harry lightly pressed his other hand into his forearm, expecting to feel sudden pain but nothing came.
Do you see? Trust me.
Harry's senses now came to him. "Who are you?" he quietly asked again to the room, trying to keep his voice down so as to not wake anyone in the house. There was no reply. "Really, who are you?!"
I think you know, young one…
"What?!" Harry most definitely did not know what this strange presence was that had invited itself into his room without invitation. "I don't know who you are."
Harry sighed, slightly frustrated. What was going on?
"Why are you here? What's going on? How did you even get in here? My aunt and uncle are right down the hall and if you wake-"
Hush child, so many questionsss…
That hiss. Did the voice just hiss? Why did it sound so familiar?
Harry felt pressure on his forehead, sliding his hair to the side.
"What the- stop!" he whispered as he swatted at air.
You will be free of your family soon…
Harry stopped at hearing this. "Huh? What do you mean?"
I am coming for you.
I am coming.
"Who are you?"
You will soon be protected.
Harry waited expectantly for the voice to continue, to explain these riddles.
"Would you just please tell me what's going on?"
Harry listened but only heard silence. He sat and waited, expecting to feel the voice touch him again, not that he really minded, it had healed his arm after all. The voice was surprisingly soothing, and it was talking about protecting him. Maybe Dumbledore had sent it… sent it to heal him, to give him hope.
Harry suddenly felt very tired, and soon he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. He slowly lay back down upon his bed, still hoping for an answer from the voice. The voice had to be from Dumbledore, it made him feel safe. Harry's head lay upon his pillow as his eyes slowly closed shut. Just before he fell into unconsciousness he felt the familiar warm sensation in his ribs. He smiled slightly as he knew the voice was healing him. It would protect him. He knew it.
Soon, my little snake.