Authors Note: This story is very personal to me as I have been fighting with self-mutilation for five years now. In that aspect, please be gentle because of the nature of this plot. At the same time however, I do appreciate very honest, if brutally so, reviews and any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Warnings For This Chapter: suicide, cutting
Summer of Secrets
Harry Potter refused to sleep. It was only two weeks into the summer holiday and he'd had a grand total of 56 hours of sleep. It wasn't that he couldn't sleep; he was afraid to.
A scrawny boy of fifteen, nightmares were not new to Harry Potter; the Boy-Who-Lived. After all, how could he have been through all that he had been through and escape nightmare free? No, Harry Potter was definitely no stranger to nightmares. Normally he fared pretty well with them – but this was different. When he did manage to sleep he saw his godfather, Sirius Black, fall through the black veil in the Department of Mysteries over and over again, and try as he might, he could never stop him.
Every night, Harry woke up in a cold sweat screaming. He wished Albus Dumbledore had obtained permission from the Ministry of Magic for him to use magic outside of school before he became of age, so he could perform a Silencing charm at night. Unfortunately, even Dumbledore couldn't make that happen.
This night was no different. Harry tossed and turned in his sleep, trying to escape the memories. Just after Sirius fell through the veil, he awoke screaming, "Sirius, no!"
Fighting to free himself from his tangled mess of bed covers, Harry leaped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. He unsuccessfully attempted to empty his stomach into the toilet. It was no use. He didn't eat. There was nothing in his stomach to empty. In the end, he stood there dry heaving until his stomach settled down enough for him to part from the commode. He splashed his face with cold water and looked at his reflection in the mirror.
Harry was paler than normal. His jet black hair washed him out, making him appear chalk white. His famous lightning bolt scar stood out against his pallid skin more than it ever had before. His eyes were no longer their usual bright emerald; instead they had faded into a dull, lifeless green. Harry Potter no longer looked like himself.
Returning to his dismal bedroom, Harry closed the door behind him and slumped to the ground. He hated being at Number Four Privet Drive, but he knew it was necessary if he was to stay safe from Voldemort. His only comfort was knowing he would leave for the Weasley's the next day
A little more than a hundred miles away, Ginny Weasley awoke suddenly. She was glad. She had been in the Chamber of Secrets again, only this time Harry Potter came too late. By the time he got there, she was dead and Tom Riddle had risen with the help of the diary that she was foolish enough to pour her young soul into.
Ginny got out of bed and crept down the stairs. She went into the kitchen, filled a glass with water, and sipped on it while pondering her dream. Her nightmares had come back ever since Tom returned one year earlier, and the events in the Department of Mysteries did not make them any better.
Returning to her small bedroom, Ginny closed the door behind her and slumped to the ground. She could not go on like this any longer. All this pain, what was it worth? Was life worth this? Surely she was already a target for Tom after her first year at Hogwarts. What would it matter if she died a little sooner than planned?
This thought floating through her head, Ginny crawled across the floor, reaching her trunk at the foot of her bed. She searched through it until she found the razor she had yet to unpack. She admired the way the moonlight caught the metal blade. It was beautiful. In a sudden moment of anxiety, she drew the blade across her wrist. She wished it was all over. She did not want to live any longer; her sleep constantly plagued with horrifying images. This was the perfect solution. Tom did not need to be bothered with trying to kill her. She would do it for him.
Ginny pulled the razor across her skin again and again, only stopping when she finally felt the pain. Blood bubbled up from the gash, falling from her wrist and onto the floor. It was as if she awoke. What was she doing? She couldn't kill herself! What would that do to her family? Her friends? How much grief would she bring them? She couldn't hurt them like that.
Ginny rushed to the bathroom and grabbed a towel, pressing it hard against the wound. She hissed in pain when the rough material of the towel met her raw skin, but somehow, the pain was soothing. It was a distraction. As long as there was physical pain, there was no mental anguish. Realising this, she pressed harder on the wound, happy to finally have a solution.
Maybe this was not a healthy solution, but it was a solution nevertheless. Ginny knew this would not be the last time she was to be comforted in this way, but she also knew no one could ever find out. This was to be her summer of secrets.