The weeks drift by slowly at Privet Drive, but Harry hardly notices. Over the holidays Hermione has kept up a steady stream of prattling letters, sending gossip and writing notes about continuing with DA in the upcoming year and what they – and by that she means 'Harry' – should teach the others. Ron is slower with his news. Writing about the Burrow and how he'd had to leave it behind, and what the twins are up to, and a single line in three family orientated letters about Percy.

Part of Harry that is still a thirteen year old boy absently thinks to write back and ask how Scabbers is, but then he remembers, and feels sick.

The Dursley's avoid Harry with a kind of hatred he should be familiar with, but isn't. He listens to the news, and works in the garden, and doesn't eat much, and at night when he sleeps he sometimes called out words and names that no one but him could understand. And none of them say a word.

Part of Harry that is still fourteen wishes it would end.

Harry avoids Mrs Figg as much as he can, and since he knows better by now he doesn't bother checking letters that arrive in the regular mail any more, so he doesn't spot one return address of hundreds, and doesn't make the connection between a postmark he can't recognise, and is therefore rather surprised when Lupin turns up on the Dursley's doorstep wearing clothes that are borrowed from someone else and made him look small and tired and pale despite the summer heat. Harry feels his intestines drop out of his stomach and can't make eye contact, because he suddenly wants to be normal so he wouldn't know Lupin, and wouldn't have to go anywhere, and so Sirius wouldn't be… but he gathers his things without being told, and leaves to go to the house he likes to tell himself he hasn't visited yet, because he desperately wants it to be one year ago when things still made sense.

The majority of Harry that is fifteen, and selfish, and eternally bitter wonders if Lupin has nightmares too.