Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Duh...

This is my first fanfic... so yay. It's probably rated K+, but I'm rating it T cause it's kinda violent, and better safe then sorry! )

Harry was well acquainted to the sensation of pain. He could even tolerate it most of the time, or ignore it. But at the current moment, he could not feel anything but his uncle's fist, crashing against his face.


Another blow was thrown against his ribs.


A well placed kick sent him falling to the floor.


And his uncle then spat on Harry, who by that time had resigned himself to his fate, and was lying submissively on the floor.

His uncle scoffed at the boy. "Pathetic. You're truly pathetic. Your not even worth the effort that it would take to punish you." And Vernon Dursley left Harry lying there, by the old cupboard that once was Harry's room.

Harry watched his uncle leave the house. Oh, how he hoped that Vernon wasn't going to a bar to get drunk. If he was, Harry knew he could expect to be bruised and battered too badly to move. Harry knew he had been lucky tonight thus far, he would most likely have only a few bruises where his uncle had struck him. Vernon used to break bones without much remorse; but since Harry had gone to Hogwarts, he would not hurt Harry as much for fear of unexplained injuries being noticed.

The small twelve year old smiled at the thought of his true home. Hogwarts. Soon he would go back for his 3rd year, and he would not have to deal with Vernon for another year.

Sighing, Harry rose from the floor. A dilemma. Should he leave the house and sleep out in the park, so his when his drunk uncle got home, he wouldn't be used as a human-punching bag? Or maybe he could hide in his old cupboard? But Harry was exhausted, and sleeping outside or in the cramped cupboard would be very uncomfortable. His bed upstairs wasn't the comfiest of items, but it seemed oh-so tempting right now. Harry grimaced in pain, and making his decision, limped upstairs to his bed.

Liquid pain.

Hot and cold at once.

Swimming through his veins.

Burning his lungs.

The poison spreads.

Harry woke in a cold sweat, jerking upward. Ouch. Harry gingerly placed his hand to his ribcage, knowing that a bruise already had formed. Looking to his window, Harry guessed that it was at least Six in the morning. Huh. So his uncle hadn't gone drinking, or at least not enough to send him into a rage and beat Harry. Odd.

Harry got out of his bed, and dragged himself to his closet, changing a pair of oversized jeans and a threadbare white t-shirt; both used by Dudley before him. Harry frowned at his clothes. He really hated wearing Dudley's old stuff. It wasn't like he was vain or anything, but he looked truly haggard in them, with his messy black hair, often bruised arms and face, and old worn clothes. He could easily understand how the neighborhood believed he was a criminal, his appearance fit the part.

Shaking himself out of his musings, Harry thumped his way downstairs. The Dursleys wouldn't wake for another hour or so, and Harry would start breakfast in thirty minutes, but right now Harry had the house to himself. Making a quick decision, Harry ran outside to grab the newspaper. Harry didn't often get news from the outside world, both muggle and wizard. Unfolding the front page, his eyes were met with a bold headline.


Mass Murderer Escapes!

Underneath the caption was a picture of the lunatic, with wild black hair and seemingly insane eyes. Harry shuddered at the man. With his luck, Black would show up in the middle of Harry's chores outside and brutally murder him in the flowerbeds. Harry still felt fear when he remembered his first two adventures, he didn't need to add a third!

Folding the newspaper up and placing it back outside so Vernon wouldn't know that he read it, Harry started breakfast.

-Two Weeks Later-

His lungs were on fire! Harry coughed manically in his room, wheezing and cringing in pain. What was happening? His uncle had not touched Harry in weeks, why did he feel like this?! Gritting his teeth, Harry rolled onto his bed.

Breath in.

Breath out.

Breath in.

Harry tried to ignore the way his sides shot off twinges of agony every time he breathed, and just concentrated on drawing breathe after breathe. He could deal with the pain. He wasn't a baby, for Pete's sake! In a couple of hours it would be his thirteenth birthday, and he would be a teenager! A teenager could handle a little bit of pain.

Come on. Just breath.

The pain faded eventually, but Harry did not notice it, since he was currently in deep thought.

What is this? What was all that pain? It seemed to be centered on my lungs and arms, but why? Maybe I'm sick? Great. Just Great. I'm going to be sick on my birthday. And Aunt Marge is coming in a week, and if I'm too sick to cook dinner for them Vernon is going to skin me alive. Huh. I wonder if people actually skinned each other alive once… Oops! Off-subject. Maybe I ought to write someone… Not Ron, cause if Mrs. Weasley hears it will get to Dumbledore before I can say 'Lumos'. Hermione, then. I'll just tell her about the symptoms and see if she knows if it's some weird kind of wizard sickness.

Grabbing a pen and a scrap of paper from his trunk, (Harry had managed to trick Vernon, telling him it was hexed this year, and if Vernon touched it, then he would turn into a pig; thus letting Harry keep it in his room.) Harry quickly scribbled a note to his female friend.

I think I might have a wizard sickness or something. A half a hour ago, it felt like my lungs were burning, and I had trouble breathing. Also, my arms hurt too. Don't worry, it passed in about ten minutes, but I have no idea what happened. I haven't been Injured or feeling sick, it was totally random! Do you know if it's a normal sickness, or just another thing that makes me weird? Please mail me back using Hedwig, I'll tell her to wait for your reply.


P.S. Don't tell anyone. It's not that serious.

Satisfied with his letter, Harry unlocked Hedwig's cage and handed her the letter.

"Hedwig, this is for Hermione. Wait for her reply, ok? Be careful, girl." Harry opened the window and let Hedwig fly into the night sky.

Harry watched wistfully as she disappeared from his view. If only he could leave as easily as that.

Just noticing that his arms were incredibly sore, Harry cringed a little when he realized how hard it would be to cook tomorrow morning. Debating whether or not to go to bed early to get over the pain, but break his lifelong tradition of waiting till midnight for his birthday, Harry sat down on his bed and glanced at his digital clock on the desk. 11:43 p.m. Might as well wait.

Seventeen minutes of humming 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' passed somewhat quickly, and Harry smiled in pleasure when the clock changed to midnight. He stood up and looked out into the sky, where he saw that there were owls coming to his window.

Petting the bronze owl who landed first, Harry placed it on the arm of his bed, and unrolled the letter and attached package.


Happy Birthday, Mate! I hope you've been having a great summer! Sorry for not owling you before, but we've been in Egypt! Dad won some galleons from work, so we took a vacation!

Fred and George say 'Happy Birthday' . Oh. And Ginny is hovering over me while I right this, so I suspect she wants to wish you a happy birthday too, but is too shy. Ah well. Mate, I wanted to give you something awesome from Egypt, but everything's so bloody expensive!

So I got you something else. That's all I'm saying. Open it now!


Harry looked at the small package attached to Ron's letter, and unwrapped the brown paper covering it.

A book? Ron had given him a book?! Harry gaped. Did Ron get gift-giving advice from Hermione? Frowning, Harry examined it more closely. The book was red with a gold binding, but was blank of all labeling. Harry shrugged and opened the cover.

And gasped in shock.

Little action figure-sized quidditch players in red and gold crawled out the book. Little quidditch players with Gryffindor badges on their uniforms?! It was the Gryffindor quidditch team! Harry watched, wide eyed, as his counterpart waved cheerfully at him, and climbed on his broom.

Before a full blown game could start, Harry shut the book, effectively making the figures disappear.

The next few owls were from Hagrid and Hermione, and neither had a letter attached. Hermione must of not gotten my letter yet. Hagrid gave him a book about monsters that seemed to be possessed by a demon, since it kept trying to bite his hands off, and Hermione sent him a book also.

Harry choked at the title when he saw it. How to Deal with Bitter Teachers?! Was she implying that he didn't handle Snape well?!

But even though he should have been tweaked at the gift, he couldn't help but chuckle at it. Harry gave the owls a few crackers that he had snatched from dinner, and let them fly off.

Jumping back on his bed, Harry closed his eyes and tried to fall back into oblivion.