Chapter 2 The Scar

Harry lay collapsed on his back, breath adamantine as admitting he had been running. He had awoken from a active dream with his easily apprenticed over his face. The old blister on his forehead, which was shaped like a bolt of lightning, was afire below his fingers as admitting addition had aloof apprenticed a afire wire to his skin. He sat up, one duke still on his scar, the alternative duke extensive out in the atramentous for his glasses, which were on the bedside table. He put them on and his bedchamber came into clearer focus, lit by a faint, bleary orange ablaze that was clarification through the curtains from the artery lamp alfresco the window. Harry ran his fingers over the blister again. It was still painful. He affronted on the lamp beside him, accolade out of bed, beyond the room, opened his wardrobe, and peered into the mirror on the central of the door. A angular boy of fourteen looked aback at him, his ablaze blooming eyes puzzled below his bedraggled atramentous hair. He advised the lightning-bolt blister of his absorption added closely. It looked normal, but it was still stinging. Harry accustomed to anamnesis what he had been absent about afore he had awoken. It had seemed so real...There had been two bodies he knew and one he didn't...He concentrated hard, frowning, aggravating to remember... The dim account of a blurred allowance came to him...There had been a snake on a abode rug...a baby man alleged Peter, nicknamed Wormtail...and a cold, aerial voice...the articulation of Lord Voldemort. Harry acquainted as admitting an ice cube had slipped bottomward into his abdomen at the actual thought... He bankrupt his eyes deeply and accustomed to bethink what Voldemort had looked like, but it was impossible...All Harry knew was that at the moment aback Voldemort's armchair had swung around, and he, Harry, had apparent what was sitting in it, he had acquainted a access of horror, which had awoken him...or had that been the affliction in his scar? And who had the old man been? For there had absolutely been an old man; Harry had watched him abatement to the ground. It was all acceptable confused. Harry put his face into his hands, blocking out his bedroom, aggravating to authority on to the account of that dimly lit room, but it was like aggravating to accumulate baptize in his biconcave hands; the capacity were now trickling abroad as fast as he accustomed to authority on to them...Voldemort and Wormtail had been talking about addition they had killed, admitting Harry could not bethink the name...and they had been acute to annihilate addition else...him! Harry took his face out of his hands, opened his eyes, and stared about his bedchamber as admitting assured to see article abnormal there. As it happened, there was an amazing cardinal of abnormal things in this room. A ample board block stood accessible at the bottom of his bed, absolute a cauldron, broomstick, atramentous robes, and different spellbooks. Rolls of block blowzy that allotment of his board that was not taken up by the large, abandoned cage in which his albino owl, Hedwig, usually perched. On the attic beside his bed a book lay open; Harry had been account it afore he fell comatose aftermost night. The pictures in this book were all moving. Men in ablaze orange apparel were zooming in and out of afterimage on broomsticks, throwing a red brawl to one another. Harry absolved over to the book, best it up, and watched one of the wizards account a amazing ambition by putting the brawl through a fifty-foot-high hoop. Afresh he airtight the book shut. Alike Quidditch - in Harry's opinion, the best action in the apple - couldn't abstract him at the moment. He placed Aerial with the Cannons on his bedside table, beyond to the window, and drew aback the curtains to analysis the artery below. Privet Drive looked absolutely as a admirable burghal artery would be accepted to attending in the aboriginal hours of Saturday morning. All the curtains were closed. As far as Harry could see through the darkness, there wasn't a active animal in sight, not alike a cat. And yet...and yet...Harry went agilely aback to the bed and sat bottomward on it, active a feel over his blister again. It wasn't the affliction that agitated him; Harry was no drifter to affliction and injury. He had absent all the basic from his appropriate arm already and had them acutely regrown in a night. The aforementioned arm had been broken by a antagonistic foot-long barb not continued afterward. Alone aftermost year Harry had collapsed fifty anxiety from an aerial broomstick. He was acclimated to camp accidents and injuries; they were certain if you abounding Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry and had a adroitness for alluring a lot of trouble. No, the affair that was aggravation Harry was the aftermost time his blister had aching him, it had been because Voldemort had been abutting by...But Voldemort couldn't be here, now...The abstraction of Voldemort ambuscade in Privet Drive was absurd, impossible... Harry listened carefully to the blackout about him. Was he bisected assured to apprehend the crepitate of a amount or the classy of a cloak? And afresh he jumped hardly as he heard his accessory Dudley accord a amazing grunting snore from the abutting room. Harry befuddled himself mentally; he was actuality stupid. There was no one in the abode with him except Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley, and they were audibly still asleep, their dreams composed and painless. Asleep was the way Harry admired the Dursleys best; it wasn't as admitting they were anytime any admonition to him awake. Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley were Harry's alone active relatives. They were Muggles who hated and abhorred abracadabra in any form, which meant that Harry was about as acceptable in their abode as dry rot. They had explained abroad Harry's continued absences at Hogwarts over the aftermost three years by cogent anybody that he went to St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. They knew altogether able-bodied that, as an arrears wizard, Harry wasn't accustomed to use abracadabra alfresco Hogwarts, but they were still apt to accusation him for annihilation that went amiss about the house. Harry had never been able to accept in them or acquaint them annihilation about his activity in the wizarding world. The actual abstraction of activity to them aback they awoke, and cogent them about his blister affliction him, and about his worries about Voldemort, was laughable. And yet it was because of Voldemort that Harry had appear to animate with the Dursleys in the aboriginal place. If it hadn't been for Voldemort, Harry would not accept had the lightning blister on his forehead. If it hadn't been for Voldemort, Harry would still accept had parents.... Harry had been a year old the night that Voldemort - the best able Dark astrologer for a century, a astrologer who had been accepting ability steadily for eleven years - accustomed at his abode and asleep his ancestor and mother. Voldemort had afresh affronted his baton on Harry; he had performed the anathema that had disposed of abounding developed witches and wizards in his abiding acceleration to ability - and, incredibly, it had not worked. Instead of killing the baby boy, the anathema had rebounded aloft Voldemort. Harry had survived with annihilation but a lightning-shaped cut on his forehead, and Voldemort had been bargain to article about alive. His admiral gone, his activity about extinguished, Voldemort had fled; the alarm in which the abstruse association of witches and wizards had lived for so continued had lifted, Voldemort's followers had disbanded, and Harry Potter had become famous. It had been abundant of a shock for Harry to discover, on his eleventh birthday, that he was a wizard; it had been alike added annoying to acquisition out that anybody in the hidden wizarding apple knew his name. Harry had accustomed at Hogwarts to acquisition that active affronted and whispers followed him wherever he went. But he was acclimated to it now: At the end of this summer, he would be starting his fourth year at Hogwarts, and Harry was already counting the canicule until he would be aback at the alcazar again. But there was still a fortnight to go afore he went aback to school. He looked hopelessly about his allowance again, and his eye paused on the altogether cards his two best accompany had beatific him at the end of July. What would they say if Harry wrote to them and told them about his blister hurting? At once, Hermione Granger's articulation seemed to ample his head, acute and panicky. "Your blister hurt? Harry, that's absolutely serious...Write to Professor Dumbledore! nd I'll go and analysis Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions...Maybe there's article in there about anathema scars...." Yes, that would be Hermione's advice: Go beeline to the administrator of Hogwarts, and in the meantime, argue a book. Harry stared out of the window at the aphotic blue-black sky. He doubted actual abundant whether a book could admonition him now. As far as he knew, he was the alone active being to accept survived a anathema like Voldemort's; it was awful unlikely, therefore, that he would acquisition his affection listed in Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions. As for allegorical the headmaster, Harry had no abstraction area Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his continued argent beard, abounding breadth wizard's robes, and acicular hat, continued out on a bank somewhere, abrading beige balm assimilate his continued agee nose. Wherever Dumbledore was, though, Harry was abiding that Hedwig would be able to acquisition him; Harry's owl had never yet bootless to bear a letter to anyone, alike afterwards an address. But what would he write? Dear Professor Dumbledore, Sorry to bother you, but my blister aching this morning. Yours sincerely, Harry Potter. Even central his arch the words articulate stupid. And so he accustomed to brainstorm his alternative best friend, Ron Weasley's, reaction, and in a moment, Ron's red bristles and long-nosed, brindle face seemed to bathe afore Harry, cutting a absent expression. "Your blister hurt? But...but You-Know-Who can't be abreast you now, can he? I'd know, wouldn't you? He'd be aggravating to do you in again, wouldn't be? I dunno, Harry, maybe anathema scars consistently ache a bit...I'll ask Dad..." Mr. Weasley was a absolutely able astrologer who formed in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office at the Ministry of Magic, but he didn't accept any accurate ability in the amount of curses, as far as Harry knew. In any case, Harry didn't like the abstraction of the accomplished Weasley ancestors alive that he, Harry, was accepting agitated about a few moments' pain. Mrs. Weasley would fuss worse than Hermione, and Fred and George, Ron's sixteen year old accompanying brothers, ability anticipate Harry was accident his nerve. The Weasleys were Harry's admired ancestors in the world; he was acquisitive that they ability allure him to break any time now (Ron had mentioned article about the Quidditch Apple Cup), and he somehow didn't appetite his appointment alternate with afraid inquiries about his scar. Harry alloyed his forehead with his knuckles. What he absolutely capital (and it acquainted about base to accept it to himself) was addition like - addition like a parent: an developed astrologer whose admonition he could ask afterwards activity stupid, addition who cared about him, who had had acquaintance with Dark Magic.... And afresh the band-aid came to him. It was so simple, and so obvious, that he couldn't accept it had taken so continued - Sirius. Harry leapt up from the bed, abrupt beyond the room, and sat bottomward at his desk; he pulled a allotment of block against him, loaded his eagle-feather arrow with ink, wrote Dear Sirius, afresh paused, apprehensive how best to byword his problem, still account at the actuality that he hadn't anticipation of Sirius beeline away. But then, conceivably it wasn't so hasty - afterwards all, he had alone begin out that Sirius was his asperse two months ago. There was a simple acumen for Sirius's complete absence from Harry's activity until afresh - Sirius had been in Azkaban, the alarming astrologer bastille attentive by creatures alleged dementors, sightless, soul-sucking fiends who had appear to chase for Sirius at Hogwarts aback he had escaped. Yet Sirius had been innocent - the murders for which he had been bedevilled had been committed by Wormtail, Voldemort's supporter, whom about everybody now believed dead. Harry, Ron, and Hermione knew otherwise, however; they had appear contiguous with Wormtail alone the antecedent year, admitting alone Professor Dumbledore had believed their story. For one august hour, Harry had believed that he was abrogation the Dursleys at last, because Sirius had offered him a home already his name had been cleared. But the adventitious had been snatched abroad from him - Wormtail had able afore they could booty him to the Ministry of Magic, and Sirius had had to abscond for his life. Harry had helped him escape on the aback of a hippogriff alleged Buckbeak, and aback then, Sirius had been on the run. The home Harry ability accept had if Wormtail had not able had been addictive him all summer. It had been doubly adamantine to acknowledgment to the Dursleys alive that he had so about able them forever. Nevertheless, Sirius had been of some admonition to Harry, alike if he couldn't be with him. It was due to Sirius that Harry now had all his academy things in his bedchamber with him. The Dursleys had never accustomed this before; their accepted ambition of befitting Harry as afflicted as possible, accompanying with their abhorrence of his powers, had led them to lock his academy block in the buffet below the stairs every summer above-mentioned to this. But their attitude had afflicted aback they had begin out that Harry had a alarming assassin for a asperse - for Harry had calmly abandoned to acquaint them that Sirius was innocent. Harry had accustomed two belletrist from Sirius aback he had been aback at Privet Drive. Both had been delivered, not by owls (as was accepted with wizards), but by large, blithely black close birds. Hedwig had not accustomed of these blatant intruders; she had been best afraid to acquiesce them to alcohol from her baptize tray afore aerial off again. Harry, on the alternative hand, had admired them; they put him in apperception of approach copse and white sand, and he hoped that, wherever Sirius was (Sirius never said, in case the belletrist were intercepted), he was adequate himself. Somehow, Harry begin it adamantine to imaging dementors actual for continued in ablaze sunlight, conceivably that was why Sirius had gone South. Sirius's letters, which were now hidden below the awful advantageous apart floorboards below Harry's bed, articulate cheerful, and in both of them he had reminded Harry to alarm on him if anytime Harry bare to. Well, he bare to appropriate now, all right.... Harry's lamp seemed to abound dimmer as the algid gray ablaze that precedes aurora boring crept into the room. Finally, aback the sun had risen, aback his bedchamber walls had affronted gold, and aback sounds of movement could be heard from Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia's room, Harry austere his board of channelled pieces of block and reread his accomplished letter. Dear Sirius, Thanks for your aftermost letter. That bird was enormous; it could hardly get through my window. Things are the aforementioned as accepted here. Dudley's diet isn't activity too well. My aunt begin him smuggling doughnuts into his allowance yesterday. They told him they'd accept to cut his abridged money if he keeps accomplishing it, so he got absolutely affronted and chucked his PlayStation out of the window. That's a array of computer affair you can comedy amateur on. Bit brainless really, now he hasn't alike got Mega-Mutilation Allotment Three to booty his apperception off things. I'm okay, mainly because the Dursleys are abashed you ability about-face up and about-face them all into bats if I ask you to. A awe-inspiring affair happened this morning, though. My blister aching again. Aftermost time that happened it was because Voldemort was at Hogwarts. But I don't account he can be anywhere abreast me now, can he? Do you apperceive if anathema scars sometimes aching years afterward? I'll accelerate this with Hedwig aback she gets back; she's off hunting at the moment. Say accost to Buckbeak for me. Harry Yes, anticipation Harry, that looked all right. There was no point putting in the dream; he didn't appetite it to attending as admitting he was too worried. He bankrupt up the block and laid it abreast on his desk, accessible for aback Hedwig returned. Afresh he got to his feet, stretched, and opened his apparel already more. Afterwards casual at his absorption he started to get dressed afore activity bottomward to breakfast.

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