Last chapter . . . yikes. Well it's a bit of a long one, a gift for sticking with me through it all (Im also aiming to get to 100,000 words). I apologize for my inconsistency in posting. I hope you have enjoyed the story. I do plan on continuing it in some form. It will probably be a while before I begin posting the continuation. My semester has finally started and I have a crazy amount of work to do.
Lots of love for everyone who reviewed. Between the two places I have posted this there have been more than 1000 reviews. Your theories, comments and recommendations were what kept this story going. I love you as much as my cold heart will allow. I shall see you soon.
When the other schools finally left, their departure felt more muted than it was supposed to be. The Pegasus drawn carriage still flew away majestically and the giant ship sank into a whirlpool with no less beauty. Still, the students that watched did not feel the deep excitement they thought they would when they eventually left. In fact, the grandeur only made the day seem like it was mocking them more than usual. After learning that one of their classmates was dead and then finding out that their teacher had been a known Death Eater and insane escaped convict had left a feeling of gloom. Yet the sun was determined to shine. It was dogmatically bright and warm outside. It felt like the world was trying to make a mockery of it.
Or maybe that was just how Harry felt.
Harry couldn't rightly say what anyone else was feeling at the moment. He had been avoiding most contact these last few days. Hermione had been there, but there was a lot of silence between them. There was nothing that she could say that would really make Harry feel any better. She had never really experienced death the way he had. Death had only come in her life as a stranger she heard about or a relative that she barely knew. For all of their adventures she hadn't actually been there when there was a death. Because of that her words didn't have the weight to them that would make them matter.
In the end it left them on the train home, both silently reading. He did feel bad because he knew that she was genuinely trying to help. Hermione liked solving problems. Normally she would research and cast spells until every issue was gone. It frustrated her that there was no answer for this that she could find. No spell or secret word she could speak that would make everything better.
He had talked to Snape. It was the potions master that made him realize why Hermione's comforting words didn't feel all that helpful. Late one night, after he had been released from the hospital wing, the man had sent him a note to talk. Harry arrived well after curfew, not bothering to try and knock on the door of the familiar office. Snape was already situated in his chair, waiting for Harry. He gave Harry a calming potion, something that he hadn't needed for some time now. Still, Harry took it without hesitation, eager to calm the burning beating of his heart.
Harry told him everything. All the events that happened from the first moment he had the curse placed on him until he collapsed against the potion masters chest hours later. He went through the detailed version he hadn't been ready to give the Headmaster. Blood, gore tears and all. Snape had stayed silent through most of it. Only interjecting to get more details. He let the words tumble out uninhibited. Finally stopping when there was nothing else to be said. He waited for a comment, anything that might make him feel better.
"You are still in shock." Snape offered.
"Shock. You are still unable to grieve. You went through a great trauma. Instead of having time to sit through your emotions too many things have happened. You have been in the hospital wing, barraged by your teachers and friends, funerals, tournament business and prepareing to leave for the summer. Grief is complex. Impossible to ignore for too long."
"I don't know what to do." Harry muttered.
"Grief is something that no one is properly prepared for. Even those who have time to prepare, to think and plan, never truly know what to do when it finally strikes." Snape explained, a distant look in his eyes. "The best you can hope for is to temper it. To put up the sand bags so there isn't a flood."
"How would I do that?" Harry queried. Snape turned to look at his desk. He raised his hand, three fingers stretched. With a plucking motion he pulled his hand towards him, moving as if he were snatching something right out of the air. From the large pile on his desk a pamphlet flew out, jetting over to the potions master. He let it fall into his hand, before turning it around and offering it to Harry.
'Dealing With Grief' was blazed across the top. There were two pictures on the front; a young woman crying and the picture of a gravestone. What caught Harry's eye was the fact that the pictures weren't moving.
"This is muggle?"
"Yes it is." Snape replied, dragging his thumb over his thin lips in consideration as he sat. "Unfortunately for us the best resources for dealing with grief is Muggle."
"But why don't wizards have anything? It's not like they don't feel sad or have tragedies." Harry shrugged, turning to the first page of the pamphlet curiously. "Hell most of them have had a war in their life time now."
"True. As you have no doubt realized, the wizarding world is wholly unprepared for most things. The issue is that magic is a quick fix for most problems. Things that would normally take days or hours can be done with a flick of the wand. If you don't have something you can summon it, if you want to go anywhere you can just appear there. An instant solution. So why would they think that mental health was any different?"
"For the most part, the wizarding world handles grief with potions and Cheering Charms. Things that will force a person to ignore the pain or only feel pleasure. Some more . . . revolutionary healers will use potions to ram the patient through their grief, making a process that could take months or even years happen in a matter of hours. Unfortunately that is just a band aid over a gushing wound, or a scalpel depending on which option that a person chooses."
"We are all equipped to handle grief but forcing the mind to go through it quickly or to use a crutch is not healthy. That is why many of those who use Cheering Charm or potions end up addicted. Those forced to go through it instantaneously tend to break. Neither are pleasant outcomes and wholly inappropriate for those who are underage. So, instead I lean towards muggle methods. In fact, in matters of the mind I always lean towards the muggle way. That is why we sit and talk. The mental healers whom I bring in for the others feel a similar way. You cannot fix the mind easy. That is something muggles understand far better than wizards."
"Oh. That makes sense." Harry commented for lack of anything else to say.
"Unfortunately you leave in two days. While normally I would like to start someone off with some guidance we do not have the time. Perhaps if this . . . incident hadn't happened then we would have been able to place you over the summer which would be a better environment for your healing. Alas, with the Dark Lord alive there is no other place that can offer you the same level of protection." Snape sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose as if he had a headache.
"If you have any issues Potter I do expect you to write me. You are not the most forthcoming with your issues but this is not a situation that is best handled alone." Snape demanded.
"My Uncle . . . he sometimes . . . padlocks Hedwigs cage." Harry tried to explain. He sounded a bit shy as he shrugged his way through the answer.
"He will not do that this summer. While I cannot prevent you from being placed there, I can prevent some of the more serious damage. Your Aunt and Uncle will be given very specific instructions on your care. With severe consequences should they be broken." He paused here. With the same plucking motion he pulled another piece of paper off his desk and into his hands. He twirled his wand, softly chanting a spell which ended with two sharp taps on the page. The parchment glowed blue for a moment, fading into a normal looking blank page.
"Should there be any issues caused by loopholes in my instructions you can contact me with this page. Any ink on the paper will find its way to me."
"Thank you." Harry said, clutching the piece of paper like a lifeline. He was happy for the extra security. He folded it twice, slipping it into his pocket with an extra pat to make sure it stayed there.
"Mr. Potter. There is no quick fix to this. People will try and give you comfort the best they can. Some may help, most will not. Do not get discouraged. Humans are meant to survive most things. Every person grieves differently but there is hope." Snape wasn't quite looking at him. It was that lost look again. It reminded Harry of the talk he had with Mr. Dawsen. Suddenly those nameless tragedies he knew the man had suffered seemed more real. Just as quick as it was there it was gone.
"Now off you go. It is well after curfew and you do not want to be caught this late." And Harry had left.
He had wanted to be angry that he was going back to the Dursleys. Well, he was angry about that. It was more that he had wanted to be angry at Snape that he was going back. He had said that he would try to get him away. He never promised, Harry had realized after thinking about it for a while. Never swore that he would. But he had said that he would look, that he would try. So Harry had gotten his hopes up. When he had found out he had wanted to storm up and point and accusing finger. To yell and scream that it wasn't fair.
It wasn't fair. That was his ultimate realization. Perhaps he had a chance at a new home. But that rested on the laurels that he would be safe, the reason he had to stay with the Dursleys in the first place. But he wasn't safe now. Two months ago he was, now he was not. Two months ago, two weeks ago he would have been safe enough in a different home. Now, he was not. It wasn't Snapes fault that he was no longer safe. If anything, it was more Harry's fault than his. It didn't make him happier, just less angry.
So here he was, on the train back to the one place he didn't want to be. There was no hope of a sudden rescue this time. No person to come storming through his fire place or a flying car to break him out. It was the only place besides Hogwarts that would be safe. Well maybe not Hogwarts. After all, this was the third time Voldemort managed to put him near death while inside the school. He could only hope that whatever threats Snape had used would work. Who was he kidding? Any threats from Snape would make a person want to shit their pants.
A flash of a smile jumped across his face at the thought. The Dursleys soiling themselves as Snape towered over them. Labyrinth lifted his head curiously as Harry suppressed a chuckle. Labyrinth decided to come home with him. Harry had offered to let him back out into the forest, after all that is where he originally came from. The little snake had vehemently said no. The lazy thing just commented that it was cold and he had to hunt in the forest. So he wrapped himself lightly around Harry's neck and refused to budge. Harry was happy that he had decided to stay. Still, it meant a trip down to Snapes so that venom could be extracted to make an anti-venom. Labyrinth spent far too much time threatening to bite those who annoy him for Harry to not be carrying it around with him.
"I'm going to take a walk." Harry snapped his book shut. He shift Labyrinth into one of his robes pockets for safe keeping. After a moments thought he pulled out a pouch from his trunk. It was made of purple silk and had an ornate crest stitched into the front. That went into a pocket, though a different one than the one that house his snake. Hermione waved him off, nose too deep into Theoretical Ancient Runes and Their Application in Herpetological Spell Casting. Harry wandered out into the hallways, trying to walk off the excess energy he had. He glanced into the windows of the different compartments, watching the other students as they talked and relaxed.
He paused when he saw a flash of white-blonde hair. It was Malfoy. He was sitting in a compartment filled with his fellow Slytherins. He was sitting across from Zabini, a chess board between the two of them. A quick glance at the board showed them in the midst of a long game. Most of the pawns were off the board and the scattered pieces showed the remnants of complicated plans that Harry could not predict. Crabbe and Goyle were eating pumpkin pasties. Parkinson was reading a magazine, wrinkled nosed and with a look of derision. Suddenly Malfoy looked up. Their eyes looked for a moment. Draco quirked his lip so quickly that Harry almost didn't believe it ever happened. Then he jerked he head to motion Harry onwards, looking back to the board when Zabini finally finished his move and raised his eyes.
Two cars down was Ron, Seamus, Neville, Dean and Ginny. Neville was stroking a plant that was sitting on his lap. It looked similar to a rose but Harry knew better than to assume that was what it was. Ron was reading a quidditch book. Well maybe reading was the wrong way to describe it, since the book was resting on his chest while he snored in his seat. Ginny was reading as well, actually awake and looking at the words. Seamus and Dean were arguing about something. Not an angry argument but a playful one with fake punches and playful shoving. Harry knocked on the window to catch their attention. Most of the car looked up and he waved at them. They waved back and Harry turned to keep on walking.
Harry decided to move on, wandering aimlessly through the train. He stopped in front of a carriage. It was the Weasely twins, who looked incredibly suspicious with their heads pushed close together despite the fact that they were in the car alone.
"Hey guys." Harry said, entering after he knocked the on the door.
"Harry!" They cried in unison. A piece of paper was whipped out of his view and stuffed in a pocket.
"How are you doing, mate?" Fred, maybe, asked. Harry smiled, trying to ignore the obvious cover up. The twin always looked guilty, even when they weren't.
"As well as I can, considering." He shrugged.
"Well if there is anything-"
"That we can do, let us know." The twins offered, trying for a comforting smile.
"Actually, you can." Harry said. "I've been meaning to talk to you guys. You are still working on your pranks right?"
"Yes Sir!" The twins chorused.
"Are you planning on going farther with them?" He queried.
"Of course. We are going to-"
"Start with a mail order business."
"If we can make-"
"We are going to start our-"
"Store after we finish school." The two jumped on each other's sentences. Harry smiled fondly, enjoying their boisterous energy. The twins were always like a virus. When they were around their playful, prodding joy just seemed to infect everything around them.
"What if you got money early?"
"Early? I guess we would try-"
"And build up stock."
"Start more research,-"
"Buy all those things that-"
"You can only get if you have-"
"Enough in your pocket."
"Why?" The finished together.
"Well you know how the tournament had a prize? A thousand galleons?" He waited for them to nod curiously. "The officials decided that since there were two of us who touched the cup we both won. Instead of splitting the prize they gave it to us in full, well to me and Cedric's parents." He paused here, not quite ready to bring them up in conversation.
"I don't want the money. I did not earn it by any type of logical answer. The Diggory's. They did not respond to my offer of the money given to me. I can't . . . I can't keep it. I won't keep it. So I figure, well you guys could make use of it." He pulled out the bag of money Ludo Bagman had forced into his hand with a smile and a handshake for the picture. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable few minutes of his life. And that included the private interview with Rita that ended up with a newspaper saying he was crying over his dead parents.
"Harry . . . we can't take that." George, probably, said. His tone was colored in surprise.
"Listen, either you can take it or it is going in the hands of the first homeless wizard that I see. I have more than enough money. I don't need gold earned by someone spilling blood in my place." He reasoned. He truly did have more money that any person had a right to have. Maybe he wouldn't give it to a homeless person, there were many charities and such. But he knew the twins would not take it without a show of force. The two turned to each other, a silent conversation passing between them at lightning speed.
"Are you sure?" One asked.
"Absolutely sure?" The seconded echoed right behind him.
"More sure than you can possibly know." Harry said, face set in a hard, uncompromising expression. He tossed the bag onto the lap of the nearest twin. He was glad that the bag had a feather-weight charm on it because it would have been over twenty pounds without it. "Thank you guys, really."
"We should be saying that." Fred, maybe, said. He picked up the bag delicately like it was a Fabergé egg and not a bag of heavy coins.
"Hey just give me first dibs when you make something useful and I will call it even. Gotta go, we are about to arrive and I'm still in my robes. Happy inventing!" Harry smiled before leaving. He felt pounds lighter as he went back to his compartment, glad he could end all of this on a high note.
Hermione nodded in greeting when he wandered back to his seat. He pulled off his robes to stuff them into his trunk. Under his robes he had put on his muggle clothing back when he was still at Hogwarts. A pair of heavily ripped jeans. They were a pair of Dudley's. An old pair, so the waist fit a little bit better but they were a fair bit too short. More so now that he had been gaining height with the help of Snapes potions. It let his ankles feeling a bit breezy but he just pretended that it was a fashion choice and moved on. His shirt had once been too large but he had sewn it so that it fit better.
When he was young he had often been in charge of darning Dudleys clothes. He wasn't particularly good at it. He struggled with keeping the stitches uniform. Sometimes he had to double stitch or even triple stitch out of a bizarre paranoia that what he had already done was not strong enough. Still, it beat having a shirt that was basically a dress. Over his shirt he slipped on a hoodie, tucking Labyrinth in the belly pocket. Vaguely he wondered if he should invest in reading up on spells that can change clothing. Madam Malkins knows a whole array of spells. I'm sure there are some simple ones in a books somewhere. Hermione would know.
The train pulled into the station and he and Hermione shuffled around, pulling their trunks off the racks and picking up pets. They left the train, hugging each other as they parted ways. Hermione bounded over to her parents that were waiting for her. In just a moment she sank into the crowd and disappeared. Harry sighed as he stood in front of the barrier. With a deep breath he stepped forward through the ward and out of the magical world.
Searching the Dursleys out in a crowd was generally an easy affair. The two men's bulbous size normally allowed for an extra amount of berth from those who had to walk around it. If that didn't keep people away then the smell of Dudley, who rarely showered and was always eating something greasy and odorous, was enough to make those in the crowd take an extra step away. This lead Harry to the plan of merely looking for the loudest pocket in the crowd. Eventually he ended up in front of his Aunt and Uncle. . . And another person.
"Mr. Dawsen?" Harry questioned. The man turned at his name with a bright smile. He was wearing a black, tight cut suit. A black trilby hat perched on his head and a pair of oxfords finished off the look. He was carrying a briefcase but his wand was nowhere in sight. That's when Harry remembered that they were in the muggle world and that would not have been appropriate.
"Mr. Potter!" He waved him over with fervor. He turned to glance at Uncle Vernon before turning back to Harry. Uncle Vernon had a sour look on his face. Though he had that expression a majority of the time so Harry wasn't sure if it was the lawyer or not. "Good to see you my boy, good to see you. I was just having the most wonderful chat with your Uncle." Vernon grunted as if that was a contestable point.
"What are you doing here?" Harry questioned. He wasn't sure why the man was talking with his family. It did not look like he was threatening them, though he would not put it past the man to smile while threatening someone. However, neither his uncle nor aunt looked fearful. Dudley was eating a kabob, ignoring the conversation completely. Yeah he had been right. The rotund boy reeked of garlic and onions. It was not going to be fun having to sit in a car with him.
"I was just informing your Aunt and Uncle of the wonderful opportunity you earned for the summer." He boasted, dropping a quick wink to the little wizard. Harry felt a small balloon of hope swell in his chest. He couldn't keep his voice from wavering when he asked.
"Oh yes, I forgot. You thought you hadn't won it. There has been so many things that have been going on. Paperwork mix ups and such." He turned back to his uncle for a commiserating nod. "The summer job opportunity my boy! I was just informing your family that you have been offered a position to work in a research lab. Decent pay but quite a lot of hours. Room and board will of course be provided."
"Now normally you would have been informed of this and you would have traveled with the others. That is the problem with some people, their poor work ethics ruins it for everyone. I feel quite awful springing this up on you so quickly. I knew you would be arriving soon so I was letting your family know of your situation. How you wouldn't be living with them this summer." Harry tried to restrain the large smile that was going to fall on his face.
"Oh right, that." Harry agreed. He didn't want to seem eager. If there was anything that would make his uncle refuse to let him go would be to seem like he really wanted to go.
"We don't have to pay anything?" Vernon grunted, brushing his fingers through his bushy mustache. "And you take the boy for the whole summer?"
"None at all, my good man. Those who are accepted into the program do labor to pay for the cost of boarding them. Guardians are not expected to pay a cent. It is an attempt to instill good work ethic and provide invaluable experience. It would be cruel to make the parents and guardians pay for it." Vernons face lit up eagerly. No doubt he was happy at the idea that Harry could be out of his house, costing him nothing.
"Well pet? What do you think?" He looked at Petunia. She was busy scanning Mr. Dawsen up and down. No doubt looking for some flaw that she could gossip about after they leave. She just gave a sharp nod, not even bothering to look over at Harry. She turned, calling for Dudley to follow her to the car. Harry waved good bye sardonically.
"Can I speak to my nephew for a moment?" Vernon asked. Mr. Dawsen nodded, stepping away far enough that he wouldn't necessarily hear but still within eyeshot. Harry noticed that the man had pulled out his wand, resting it against the length of his crossed forearms so that no one would be able to see it unless they were looking for it. A heavy head fell on Harry's shoulder and suddenly his uncle was in front of his face.
"Now boy. Don't you mess this up. I will be very unhappy if I have to take you in in the middle for the summer. If I have to put up with you, you will greatly regret it. You are lucky that I didn't tell him what a horrid problem you are. You will behave no matter how much work they give you. I won't have you complaining like you usually do." He growled the threat in his ear. Harry nodded his head. The hand on the shoulder shoved him away, forcing him to stumble a step. Vernon lumbered away, whistling happily. Harry tried not to sneer at the retreating back.
"Harry." Mr. Dawsen reappeared at his side. This time his smile was more genuine and Harry felt unashamed to beam back at him. "Follow me." He whispered. He led Harry over to a little cove so that they could be alone. He whipped out his wand, turning it over in his fingers.
"Now don't worry about this. Just a few spells to get rid tracking charms and other things such as that." He began waving his wand about. He went on for a few minutes using an array of wand motions, languages and spells to do whatever he was trying to do. Harry tried to stay as still as he possibly could, unsure if moving around might ruin them.
"There." Mr. Dawsen sighed happily. He turned to Harry's trunk. With a sharp jab and a silent spell it was shrunk down to the side of his palm. Harry tucked it into his hoodie pocket for safe keeping. "Are you ready to go?"
"Hell yes." Harry all but shouted. Mr. Dawsen nodded, leading him back into the crowd. Harry followed him out onto the curb outside the station. Mr. Dawsen thrust his hand out, hailing a cab. Harry was vaguely surprised that they didn't apparate or call the Night Bus but he wasn't going to argue. They piled into the cab, Alex leaning over to give an address Harry didn't recognize. Harry shushed Hedwig when she hooted angrily at the quick motions.
"Sorry for all the confusion Harry." Mr. Dawsen started, pulling off his hat and setting it in his lap. "Did not know until this morning that everything would work out the way that it did."
"I thought Professor Snape said there wasn't anywhere safe for me." Harry queried.
"And until this morning there wasn't. Poor Severus. He was quite at the end of his rope these last few weeks. So many of his students needed his help and he felt awful that there was nothing that he could do to help this situation. It was offered up that a fresh set of eyes may help solve a seemingly impossible problem. I am always one for a challenge and I accepted. Though I do not think he really believed me when I said I would. I never mentioned it because I was unsure whether it would truly work out. So many factors, you see. I wasn't lying when I said there was a lot of paperwork that got mixed up. Wards, spells, papers and builders. I was quite lucky that everything melded the way that it was supposed to. As such I really haven't been able to tell you much or pre-warn you. Sorry."
"It's okay." Harry said. "You are not going to hear me complain!" He joked happily. He watched the world whip by the windows of the cab.
"Yes well there are a few things we should talk about on our way."
"What do you mean?"
"Well officially you will still be living at your family's house. At least to anyone who is going to be bothered to check. The headmaster was quite adamant that you remain with your Aunt. I have no legal standing should we be found out to remove you from your house. Therefore it would be best that when you contact your friends you do not tell them where you are."
"I can do that." Harry agreed. Chances are that Hermione would not be able to keep it secret, especially when she found out what Dumbledore wanted. She still deeply believed in the man. Harry couldn't fault her for that because most people thought and acted the same way. Harry wasn't sure where he was going but he was sure he didn't want to go back to the Dursleys. If there was any one he could trust to find him a safe place is was Mr. Dawsen and Professor Snape.
"I placed a spell on your family that will prevent them from letting anyone know that you are not with them. Don't worry, all legal of course . . . well mostly." Alex placated. Harry wasn't sure if it was a joke, and he wasn't going to ask either.
"Also there are plans midway through the summer for you to be picked up. Dumbledore has procedures in motion to bring you to an undisclosed location a few days after your birthday. The night before we will have to drop you off at your uncle's house. That falls under the same issue of no one knowing that you have been moved for the summer. Don't worry you will be protected during that time. A few spells and your Aunt and Uncle won't know you are there for the time that you are."
"Why would they be picking me up?"
"I can't rightly tell you. Severus mentioned it but he was sworn to secrecy. The type that can't really be broken. Nothing horrible I have been assured. Unfortunately there are some spells that aren't worth trying to break. If it were really going to be bad Sev would have mentioned it."
"Okay." Harry acquiesced. "Where are we going?" He asked. The cab had actually moved out of the large city and was taking a road into a nearby town. They passed by a large suburban area.
"I will tell you when we get there. Unfortunately around prying ears is not the best place to explain everything." Mr. Dawsen glanced at the cabbie who seemed to be ignoring them. "It would be good to remember that there is some powerful magic, even more so now that He has risen again. Certain things should only be talked about in the safety of ones own home. That includes your full name, if you don't mind. Better safe than sorry." It was another five minutes before the cab stopped in front of a nondescript town house. The tall, thin building was painted an eggshell white and had slate grey shutters. The front yard was green and well maintained. Harry took in the black door with a golden 42 nailed to the front. Alex paid the cabbie, waving away any change. Harry followed him up to the front door. Suddenly Mr. Dawsen stopped.
"Whoo. Ugh." Alex shook his hands, shifting in nervousness. He sucked a breath through his teeth, letting it out in a soft whistle. Harry tried to not freak out at the sudden change in attitude.
"What is it?"
"Well . . ." Mr. Dawsen trailed off. "To be completely honest. I didn't tell him that you were coming. He is not going to be happy with me. Oh well, in for a penny as the saying goes." Before Harry could ask who he was talking about Mr. Dawsen pushed open the door with a loud bang.
"Honey I'm home!" He shouted into the empty hall. A random door opened and a tall figure came out. It was Professor Snape. He was wearing a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. He was wiping his hands on a towel, not yet looking up at them.
"Must you shout? It is wholly unnecessary. I just-" He stopped. His eyes roamed the scene before him. Harry was on his front step, clutching Hedwigs cage nervously. Alex stood just past the doorjamb, an expression of coy confusion but without an ounce of innocence. It was clear to every person in the room that he knew exactly what he had done. He wasn't even going to pretend that he unintentionally kept it secret.
"Please tell me you didn't." Snape finally said.
"I might of?" Harry wanted to laugh, he really did. He didn't know why he didn't suspect that this was where Mr. Dawsen was leading him. It was comical, Snapes glare and Dawsens' attempt to calm him with big eyes and pouting lips. This was not what he was suspecting when he woke up this morning. But as he had said earlier, he wasn't going to complain.