Harry Potter sat quietly on the floor of the Dursley's living room with his back against the sofa, silently playing with the fringe on the rug. He was trying to be as quiet as possible so as to not be sent back to his small bedroom- if he had to spend one more second in there he was going to scream. Sitting on the floor doing nothing was not exactly the most exciting thing he could think of, but it sure beat staring at the same four walls for another day.
His uncle Vernon sat in his usual chair reading the newspaper while his aunt Petunia sat knitting on the opposite end of the sofa from where Harry was sitting.
Harry raised his head as he heard Dudley running down the stairs, sounding not much unlike a horse. "Mum! Dad! I'm going down the street to meet my friends, ok?"
"Dudley, take the boy with you." Vernon said without looking up from his paper.
"What?!" Dudley and Harry said in unison, both equally shocked at the statement.
Vernon lowered his paper and looked to his son, "Take him with you. I'm tired of seeing him moping around." Harry's mouth dropped, he had barely said five words all day. No matter how he behaved, he just couldn't win.
"Dad no, please. I don't want to take him!"
"Dudley!" Vernon snapped, leaving no room for argument.
Dudley glared at Harry as he stood from his spot on the floor. Harry wasn't sure if he was relieved to finally be able to go out of the house or if he dreaded the thought of spending even a moment with Dudley and his friends. The two boys walked out of the house, Dudley slamming the door in Harry's face on the way. No, Harry would much rather sit silently on the floor all day.
They walked down Privet Drive, Dudley a few steps in front of Harry, obviously trying to ignore the boy following him- Harry didn't mind. Harry closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he walked, might as well enjoy being outside, he thought. It was a sunny summer day, not overly hot, anything was better than being cooped up inside though.
After a few minutes they came up to the neighborhood playground where Dudley's friends were waiting. "You stay here." Dudley commanded.
"Stay here. You're not coming. Go away."
Harry stopped walking, not overly shocked that he was unwelcomed. "Fine. Hanging out with your idiotic friends isn't exactly my idea of fun anyway."
Rolling his eyes and scoffing, Dudley continued on his way towards his friends as Harry looked around. The playground was empty aside from the small waiting group in the distance. He smiled as he realized he was outside and away from all three Dursleys. Maybe today will be a good day, he thought as he decided to walk over to the swing set.
Ever since the incident at Dudley's school, life at the Dursley's had somehow gotten even worse. He was hardly ever allowed to leave his room aside from cooking and doing chores around the house. He was shocked that his aunt had allowed him to even sit with them in the living room this morning, let alone be allowed outside. They're probably tired of seeing me sitting around… 'Always in the way', Harry mocked Vernon's curt voice in his mind. Only a month and half until I go back to Hogwarts, Harry thought as he sat on the rusted swing, I can make it.
Harry glanced over to Dudley's friends. The group of boys were sitting on a fence, seemingly trying to decide what to do. Harry rolled his eyes. Only a month and a half...
Suddenly the air around Harry became cold, unnaturally cold. Harry looked toward the sky, putting his arms around himself for warmth as he was only wearing a t-shirt. Grey clouds were covering the sun… hadn't it just been perfectly clear a moment ago? Harry felt… odd, sad. But not just sad, more like suddenly swallowed by despair. It was such a sudden change of mood that it left Harry momentarily disoriented. Then the thoughts began. Images of never being allowed back to Hogwarts plagued his mind, thoughts of never seeing his friends again, of losing his magic, of dying… all underlined by complete and utter hopelessness.
It was silent in the playground as the air began to almost visibly freeze, and Harry could see his quickening breath before him. The terrified scream of a young boy abruptly echoed through the air. Harry's eyes jerked over to Dudley's friends, and Harry instantly saw it. The creature was floating above the group, rags covering its dark flowing body. A dementor.
Harry knew what it was, remembered briefly reading about it in one of his textbooks. He stood, knowing he had to do something, but at the same time feeling as though there was no point in fighting… no point in living. Harry's hand automatically reached for the wand in his pocket, but it was empty. At the start of the summer, the Dursley's had locked all of Harry's magical and school-related belongings up in the attic. He was weaponless.
Harry looked back to the boys. Dudley and two of the others stood there, mouths open, just staring, too afraid to even move. One boy, Harry noticed, had actually turned and was running as hard as he could back towards the street, frantically looking back over his shoulder every few seconds. The dementor was now focused on one boy and Harry could see its dark mouth opening, he knew what was coming.
Even without his wand, even though he could feel every bit of courage and fight in him being sucked away with every step, he ran towards the other boys. He had to do something, he knew what would happen to them, and possibly even him, if he didn't.
As he ran, he heard a slow rattling sound closing in behind him. Harry turned instantly and was soon face to face with one of the foulest creatures on earth. He stood still, staring at death, suddenly not having any desire to fight or run. It was as though he had instantly forgotten all the laughs he had enjoyed with his friends, the feel of the wind as he rode his broom, how it felt when he first picked up his wand…. all of it. Gone.
Suddenly a scream pierced through the air. The scream of a woman.
Harry's knees buckled, his hands covering his ears as the scream continued on. It sounded... familiar. As if Harry had heard it long ago but had since forgotten…
Suddenly, there were voices. Voices, shouts, screams that reverberated throughout Harry's body.
Lily, take Harry and go! It's him!
Harry could hear the rattling breathing getting louder.
Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!
Stand aside. Stand aside, girl!
Hands still covering his ears, desperately trying to block out the sounds, Harry could hear someone in the distance screaming… in the back of his mind he vaguely registered that it was his own scream.
Harry's body was ice cold. He was aware of nothing aside from the people shouting in his head and the cold rattling breaths of the creature above him.
I'll hold him off!
He could literally feel the life being pulled away from his body, knew that there was nothing left to do but wait until it was over… wait until the blackness and misery overtook him. He let go. Harry Potter lay shaking in the dirt, eyes closed, hands over his ears.
Please… have mercy… have mercy…
"No…" he moaned. When was it going to end?
Please… have mercy… have mercy…
Harry started screaming again as a flash of green overtook him. He felt something touch him. Something unnaturally warm in the frozen air surrounding him. Harry's ears were ringing and he was only loosely aware of something lifting him.
Harry felt nothing but numbness, only heard the desperate cries of the woman echoing in his body.
But somewhere, somewhere deep in his mind, he knew he was safe. Protected.
"Hush little one, I am here."