Chapter One the Pain
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters; they belong to J.K. Rowling
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The heat of the night billowed through the open window and Harry was sprawled atop his bed. He had that dream again, of the graveyard, when he was squeezed and tied, with Cedric dead at his feet. His body was still sore from that night. He assumed that was why, subconsciously, the pain only grew as the nightmares made him relive every moment.
In the dark he could make out hazy blocks of furniture, so similar to tomb stones. Before hid thoughts could go any darker, a sudden wave of nausea racked his body. Harry gripped the front of his shirt and sighed all too soon as it subsided to a dull pain, concentrating in his lower stomach.
It ended in a light tickle that itched his chest and abdominal muscles. He frowned as he relaxed his hand there. Since the tournament these mild attacks had only gotten worse. He knew his health wasn't good, heck, he hadn't grown a smidgen since turning fourteen. The likely hood of some miraculous growth spurt was almost a rinning joke between him and Ron. Ron was already towering over him, and he could have sworn that he had even shrunk a bit. Just thinking of his body sent another tremor of itchiness. He would have laughed if not for the onslaught of cramps.
He settled a lone hand to probe the area. His waist felt slimmer to his touch and his muscles less defined, to his great displeasure. Though he would never truly be fat, the muscles had given him an extra weight, and he could never tolerate being soft. Fate had cursed him to be small, courteous of the Dursley's regiment of malnutrition to his diet, and puberty worked no magic for him yet.
Though exhausted, Ron's snores would unsurprisingly keep him up again. Not wanting to spend a fruitless night tossing and imprisoned in his own mind, he silently crawled to the end of his bed where his trunk was. Harry didn't bother with changing, and he slid into his shoes, secured his wand, and draped the invisibility cloak over his head. The alarm read 3:42 and he withdrew from the room with the little light that issued from the window to guide his way.
Harry had a faint idea of where he wanted to go as he walked with his wand tip lit. He didn't think that whatever was wrong with him was because of stress. He had lived with stress all of his life and it never had given him cramps. His feet took him to the library, hoping that maybe he could find a book that could help him.
Harry breathed in the faint smell of old pages as he passed rows and rows of thick books. The cloak fell to the floor as he reached his hand out to select a book. He hastily checked over the medical section. He wondered if perhaps that night at the graveyard he had suffered an unknown curse. But he frowned. In all of his nightmares, he couldn't remember a single curse that could do this to him and last for over four days.
A yellow volume with gold lining caught his eye. He passed it though when he saw its title, Wizard Addictions and Overdoses. Reaching out for a tattered green book titled Wizards and their Little Problems, he skimmed through the appendix. If anything the title amused him for he did have an affinity for short things, being one himself. He felt glad to note that there was a chapter on growing, puberty, and such, but he kept going to see if there was anything for his specific symptoms.
He vaguely could recall the horrors of Health class in the muggle schooling, but even that could not answer the question of his slow growth. The human body seemed like a foreign subject for there were no classes on it offered, at least that he knew of.
A ripple of syncope struck his body, and he bent over his stomach. The book slipped from his grasp. Harry gritted his teeth as it felt like ice had radiated and burned to his very cells, very much like a dementor's touch. His tendons and ligaments stiffened like bark on a tree, while his throat constricted, barely allowing him to gasp for breath. Harry began to shake uncontrollably as the pain took over his senses, blurring his sight, and at last his head thudded against the floor.
Harry did not feel the hands that gripped his shoulder. He could not see the figure that knelt beside him. He would not be able to recall that he had been carried away. Even though the pain numbed his senses, he felt the warmth so different from the usual cold.