Happy Fourth of July!
Harry groaned as he took the book.
"Don't feel like reading right now?" asked Sirius.
"Not at all during this one." said Harry with a frown.
"I'll read then." said Remus taking the book gently.
"The Scar." read Remus.
Sirius placed his arm around his godson gently and gave it a bit of a squeeze.
Harry lay flat on his back, breathing hard as though he had been running.
"What was wrong, sweetheart?" asked Mrs. McFinn.
"Was it your scar?" asked Remus looking up from the book.
"Completely addled!" shrieked Umbridge.
"Shut up you stupid woman." said Chief Hawkeye.
He had awoken from a vivid dream with his hands pressed over his face. The old scar on his forehead, which was shaped like a bolt of lightning, was burning beneath his fingers as though someone had just pressed a white-hot wire to his skin.
Sirius dragged Harry closer to himself so Harry was leaning into the Sirius' shoulder and placed a gentle hand over his godson's brow.
"I’m alright." said Harry.
"I’m not." said Sirius in a whisper.
He sat up, one hand still on his scar, the other hand reaching out in the darkness for his glasses, which were on the bedside table. He put them on and his bedroom came into clearer focus, lit by a faint, misty orange light that was filtering through the curtains from the street lamp outside the window.
"That streetlamp gets broken at least twice a month." said Harry.
"How?" asked Fred.
"Dudley and his little...friends...keep chucking rocks at them. To see who has the best aim." said Harry rolling his eyes.
"Who has the best aim?" asked Ron.
"The only one in the troupe that has a lazy eye." said Harry with a smirk as he lifted his legs over the side of the bowl.
Harry ran his fingers over the scar again. It was still painful. He turned on the lamp beside him, scrambled out of bed, crossed the room, opened his wardrobe, and peered into the mirror on the inside of the door.
"Why did you do that?" asked George.
"Midnight primping?" asked Fred placing a hand on his hip and the other on the side of his head.
"I was making sure it wasn't bleeding." said Harry.
Fred stopped posing.
A skinny boy of fourteen looked back at him, his bright green eyes puzzled under his untidy black hair. He examined the lightning-bolt scar of his reflection more closely. It looked normal, but it was still stinging.
"I could almost see it throb." said Harry.
"And he can live through that pain, I wouldn’t last four days." said a first year.
Harry tried to recall what he had been dreaming about before he had awoken. It had seemed so real...There had been two people he knew and one he didn't...He concentrated hard, frowning, trying to remember...
"Boy do I remember that dream now." said Harry shaking his head.
The dim picture of a darkened room came to him...There had been a snake on a hearth rug...a small man called Peter, nicknamed Wormtail...and a cold, high voice...the voice of Lord Voldemort. Harry felt as though an ice cube had slipped down into his stomach at the very thought...
"When you don't eat, it leaves a really hollow feeling in your stomach." said Harry.
"And I take you didn’t eat the day before." said McGonagall furiously, she wasn’t angry at the boy, but the relatives he was forced to live with.
"I did, it was just…not a lot." said Harry.
He closed his eyes tightly and tried to remember what Voldemort had looked like, but it was impossible...All Harry knew was that at the moment when Voldemort's chair had swung around, and he, Harry, had seen what was sitting in it, he had felt a spasm of horror, which had awoken him...or had that been the pain in his scar?
"I would say both." said Tempest.
And who had the old man been? For there had definitely been an old man; Harry had watched him fall to the ground.
"So in a way, his warning did reach you." said Dumbledore thoughtfully, "But all those facts about his life, and what those people said in the pub, how did you know all that?"