A boy walking past the windy road, along with a tall white-haired man a year older than him, in the narrow dimly-lit street near the view of the black and orange lighted skyscrapers at the city. The air was softly striking, hitting his face cold against the sunset. He felt his feet freezing by the minute drops of the rain above his head. He could hear the tree branches swaying and whistling, and the crisp of falling leaves like debris in the middle of the pathway.
Sometimes, he could see spots of running shadows in front of him, people escaping from the starting heavy rain.
He grabbed his collar up to his chin trying to cover up his face and his neck-length hair from getting soaking wet. But all of a sudden, a flash of gray light from his back flared and his forehead started to hurt. The deafening sound banged across the street and the light turned blinding.
He lost his sight of that tall man he used to walk with. He turned around, still clamping his hands on his forehead, learning that he started looking for that man. The man was gone. Wands out.
Then came another explosion. And he started to run, fast.
He was trying to catch up his breath, his right hand pulling up the collar of his shirt and his left holding tightly the wand while rubbing the itch he felt on his forehead. He couldn’t hold it anymore and started to swing his hand for a bit of a run, faster.
He could see lights flashing again now inside his head, nearer and nearer, and turned him blind. He felt it hit him at the back, at his hand. He was not sure. All he was thinking now was to get out of that place. He had no idea what was happening. None at all.
He slowed down as the banging sound and flaring lights started to subside; catching his breath, but still, he kept on leaping to get rid of that dangerous part of the windy, soaked wet road. He turned his head back to see if he could get a slight chance to find that tall man. He was gone, he thought. And then, he looked straight forward, halfway, and he felt excitement and fear at once.
He saw the white haired-man blocking an attacker from the other side of the road. He was panting, finding a place to hide and be safe.
Something hit the white-haired man’s right shoulder. It felt it was burning as his eyes went watery even the rain had stopped pouring. He looked like he was having this prickling pain.
The boy’s vision of that white-haired man was starting to get weaker again, and the flashes of light covering his already blinded sight. He was like vacuumed in, away from the scene, and the last thing he saw was that irritating light and the shadow of that man. Until he realized he was on top of his bed, his face was hit by the sunlight from the very open window.
The morning just came, the first day of September when it started with a very bad dream of one of the most awaited days of Harry’s life. The street in front the Dursley’s house was still quiet, and a few neighbors now in a hurry, gave goodbye kisses, went inside their miniature cars, and off they all went for work.
The growling of the car engine slightly opened his eyes, still flat and groggy on his bed—with his untidy jet black hair covering his face only exposing the oddly looking scar on his forehead.
There was a clatter at the kitchen; it seemed somebody was preparing breakfast. But there was no other who would be doing that. Harry was sure it was his aunt, Petunia. Unless Dudley was told to do it for them as his punishment from coming home very late at night partying.
Aunt Petunia was preparing the plates, Harry was sure, as he heard her called her son to get fresh table napkins and forks ready. Dudley was there in the living room watching BBC World on a local cable network. Harry could hear the very sound to his room with the full blast of the volume. He heard the clatter of plates again, as Dudley turned low the television the moment there was a roaring sound from his dad, demanding.
Harry opened his eyes and went back to sleep until such time, something happened that broke his already morning sleepy head. He was called.
“Harry Potter!” The lumpy Uncle Vernon shouted from downstairs. “Eat your breakfast and we’re about to leave.”
Harry knelt on his bed his hair was covering both of his eyes. Scratching his ears, not by the strangled hair but the rumble of uncle’s voice.
“Make sure you lock the doors and windows before you leave our house,” Uncle Vernon said. He even added saying something like, “before you leave and go to that freak school of yours.”
“Is it really hard to say ‘Hogwarts’?” Harry replied, still kneeling on his bed, his body was swinging like he wanted to go back to sleep. “Hogwarts!”
“Complaining?” yelled his uncle.
“Goodbye Uncle Vernon. Goodbye Aunt Petunia,” he shouted through the windows as the Dursley family went inside the car. “Goodbye Dudleykins!”
“Shut up Harry!” Dudley shouted back.
There was a banging of the car Harry knew the Dursleys all went inside it. But his hope faded away when his uncle started shouting again.
“If I found out that when I arrive back here—” and his voice was fading as the car engine started roaring once more.
“You’ll be in big trouble Harry Potter,” Harry said imitating the voice of his uncle. Then he sighed.
He stood up at the top of his bed, straightened his pajamas to cover his over-exposed Calvin Klein underwear. He stretched both his arms facing the windows, as he was doing that for a morning ritual; stomach flattened, torso up, chest widened and with deep breathing, “Good morning, sunshine.”
That was the beginning of Harry Potter’s seventh year at Hogwarts.
As he woke up in the morning from that foggy dream, scratching his head making his hair ramble, he looked at his cuckoo clock above the bed headboard.
“Merlin’s beard,” he bellowed. “It’s fifteen minutes past ten!”
He now glanced on his Swiss Army wristwatch to make sure the time at the wall clock was telling him right. Struggling to catch up, he hurriedly picks up all clothes he could find and tuck them all in his huge luggage. He went into the toilet and washed his face, wet his hair, and brushed his teeth.
“I’m going to miss the train.”
He jumped on top of his bed, grabbed his already-worn brown corduroy pants. Pulled down his night pajamas his underwear was exposed again and removed his plain white shirt displaying his more likely upper body with loads of scratches and bruises.
“This is going to be messy,” he said. “Uncle Dudley’s going to kill me,” as he looked around checking his room. He was imagining how it was going to be when his uncle saw what happened to his room with the torn curtain and dislodged window. And then remembered about his dream last night.
“What the bloody hell was that dream last night?” He asked himself with his forehead wrinkled and arms wiggling he was confused about what to do first: wear the corduroy or put on his shirt.
The room was all messed up. Laundry was scattered all over the place, the carpet was stained badly of spots that looked like coffee spills, the curtain was partially ripped (“Wand! Wand! Where’s my wand?”) and even the television set was left open.
“There you are!” Harry was under his bed and found his wand, “Reparo!”
The room cleaned up by itself and everything went back to its place with ease. The room was still as Harry finally buttoned his pants and he heard a hooting sound under his bed. He crawled back.
“Hedwig!” He called his faithful white owl. “What are you doing down there?” Hedwig’s round yellow eyes were glowing on the darkest part under the bed.
He placed him in his cage, made ready his luggage and he was giggling when he felt a vibrating sensation inside his pocket. Somebody was calling him on the mobile phone. He answered it.
“HARRY POTTER? ARE YOU THERE?” The person on the other side of the line yelled. “CAN YOU HEAR ME? HELLO?”
Harry pulled the speaker away from his ears. The one who called was yelling hard the device was physically shaking. He put it back near his face.
“Ron, I hope you don’t mind,” he said. “But I’m a little bit busy right now. Can I call you later?”
His best friend Ron called him. He was yelling again.
“Shush, Ron!” Harry said. “You don’t need to shout.”
“I said, you don’t need to shout,” Harry answered uncomfortably. “I now know why my uncle’s racketing when the moment he answered a phone call days ago.”
Ron tried calling Harry using the telephone four nights ago. It was Uncle Vernon who answered the phone as it didn’t stop ringing. After that, Harry was not allowed to eat with them.
“Next time, don’t give out our number to your freaky friends,” the last word Harry could remember from what his uncle told him after receiving a call from his friends at school.
“I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT WE HAVE AN EXCHANGE STUDENT COMING.”
“FROM BEAUXBATONS,” Ron continued, “AND HERMIONE”S TOLD ME YESTERDAY…”
“Ronald Weasley!” Harry shouted that made Hedwig squeak.
“Harry,” Ron said abruptly. “Don’t shout, I’m not deaf.”
Ron’s explanation has Harry’s mouth widely opened, his eyebrows nearly bumped from each other.
Harry told Ron to hang up and they would talk more about their allegedly exciting news when they would see each other at King’s Cross. He grabbed Hedwig’s cage and pulled his luggage downstairs. He slowly slapped the living room entrance door. He walked near the front yard gate, checked if someone’s looking. The street was so calm, neighbors were so busy with their own thing.
Harry raised his wand and gave it a flick. Pointed it to the house and instantaneous sound of clicking and banging were audible telling him the locking spell was working. The house was so still it looked like no one’s in it for such a long time. ▪︎
ALSO READ: 20 Random Things About Harry Potter (Celebrating the 20th Anniversary Of The First Potter Book)
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