To whom this may concern:

Harry, I sure hope that there's still someone out there who cares enough about you to act. I don't think that you'll last much longer if there isn't, and I just don't know what else to do.

I am concerned about the health of Harry Potter, my cousin. He's been back with us since the summer holidays began a month and a half ago, and it seems to me that he's fading away.

God, that's got to be the understatement of the year. You never were very big, but you're just skin and bones now. Worse, you don't even seem to care.

He eats only when told to, he barely sleeps, and he seems to be continually in a daze. I haven't seen him show interest in anything since we brought him back from the train-station. When he does sleep, his dreams are exclusively nightmares.

I wonder if Dad realizes that the reason you aren't waking us up at night anymore is because you've taken to sleeping with a gag in your mouth. Do you even remember the night two weeks ago when I walked in on you because you'd left your light on? You were thrashing around, moaning. Even as I watched, you awoke and ripped the sock out of your mouth to hurl it across the room; then you buried your face in your hands. You barely seemed to register I was there, and you definitely didn't realize it was me. You just kept whispering, "Sirius, no," and, "why you," over and over again.

The death of someone close to him seems to have been the cause of this state. However, I suspect that there may also be something more that is making his condition worse.

Looking back, I think I must have said something, because you suddenly glanced up at me more alertly than I'd seen you since we picked you up at the station. You just sat there looking at me for a minute, then it was like the energy left you and you slumped back to your former posture. I was about to leave when you started talking. You were speaking so softly I had to strain to hear you. I think that just made what you were saying worse. To think, for five years, I've hated you because you had nothing, and yet you had the most wonderful gift of all. From what you said that night, though, I guess I got the better part of the deal after all. Bad enough to see everyone around you dying, but I can't even imagine what it must be like to know that they are giving their lives for yours because of something you didn't ask to be. And to know that everyone is pinning their hopes on you, and to be so afraid that you're just not going to be able to live up to it...Harry, if you're a hero, then I don't ever want to be one.

The reason I am writing this letter is because this morning, I found Harry sitting in his room holding a pocket-knife. His manner at the time indicates to me that he is thinking of using it.

Harry, you're scaring me in a way I never thought you could scare me. As little as a month ago, I would have just said good riddance if you killed yourself, but not anymore. What you said that other night, not even realizing who you were talking to, has had me rethinking a good bit of my life. I'm never going to be like you, not even a little, but I'm not sure I want to be me anymore either. I've hurt people and laughed about it. I can't do that anymore. Every time the impulse rises, I hear you talking about that wizard again. About how he killed and tortured people for no other reason then because he enjoyed it. And I've started wondering how many peoples' lives I've destroyed. I've noticed how many people are afraid to be near me. And the gang I hang with, well, they're with me not because they really care about me, they're there because I'm a means to an end. If they all hang with me, there's less chance that someone will fight back while we're hurting them. Power in numbers and all that. I'm not joining in on beating up other kids this summer. I'm still boxing, but not in the alleys. And already, I've seen Piers and the others drifting away from me, complaining that I'm not fun any longer. I'm not sure I want to be me, and I guess you aren't sure you want to be you anymore, either.

At that time, Harry was turning the knife over in his hands. A few minutes later, he paused and touched it lightly to his wrist. He sat quietly for a minute in that posture, then turned, put the knife into a dresser drawer, and climbed into bed. I do not believe he saw me watching.

You didn't spot Mum either. I actually hadn't heard her come up behind me, but as I turned to leave, I almost ran into her. She'd seen, too, the look on her face showed that. I think she almost decided to do something, then I saw an angry look cross her face and she walked away. I knew then what I should have realized years ago. Mum doesn't hate you because you're a freak; she hates you because you represent everything she desperately wanted to be and wasn't. She's hurting inside, and that means that she's not going to be able to do anything in time. If she found you bleeding to death on the floor, she would call for help. But by then it would be too late, even if you did survive. So I guess this is up to me.

Please come and get him, or you are likely to have a dead hero on your hands. I do not know how much longer he will continue to choose not to use the knife.

I don't even dare take that blasted knife away. At least I can knock a knife from your hand if need be. I'm not so sure about poison or your wand. And I'm afraid that if you found the knife missing, it might convince you to act before we can stop you.

I also suspect that being here, away from the support of his friends, is not helping. If you care anything for Harry, please come and retrieve him immediately. Sincerely, Dudley Dursley

Dudley sealed the letter and looked up at the white owl sitting on the windowsill in front of him. Hegwig hooted softly and turned her head to watch as Dudley gingerly tied the parchment onto her leg. He then opened the window and picked her up. "Please, Hedwig. Take this as quickly as you can to Albus Dumbledore." She gazed at him for a moment, then took to the air. Dudley watched as she vanished into the distance.

I've never liked you, Harry. But I don't want to see you die. I wish I could remember the names of all of the other friends you've mentioned, because I would send this letter to each and every one of them. As it is, there's only one name I remember well enough to send a letter to, and it was because of that bloody tail the giant gave me. Funny how things work out in the end. Harry, I hope they come. And I hope they hurry, because I think time is running out for you.