Disclaimer: Harry Potter and the characters affiliated with it is the property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers. I make no claim on her work, I simply add on to it!
Morning. Mourning. Open eyes. Greeted by plain white ceiling. White but for the water stain in the corner. Harry got out of bed and moved to the cupboard. He was still wearing jeans from the day before; grass stained and torn. He pulled open a drawer and half-heartedly searched for other pants. He knew there were two pairs on the floor, one in his trunk, and one downstairs in the laundry hamper. Still, he searched. His mind neglected to give him a reason to stop searching. Or perhaps pants weren't really what he was looking for.
"He isn't in the cupboard." Harry shook is head as he spoke, ceasing his investigation. He backed away from the piece of furniture and surveyed it blankly, not really seeing it. Without his hands busy, Harry stood in the middle of the room not knowing what to do. Brain-dead. Morning was such a horrible time, but it would pass. Mourning was different.
Downstairs, the habitual Dursley routine remained intact. Harry wasn't a part of it, yet he knew every detail. Petunia makes Vernon's lunch: beef sandwich, peach yogurt, apple pie, and a can of diet coke. The man takes the generic brown paper lunch bag from his wife, pecks her on the cheek, and waddles to the door; making sure to grab his keys off the little peg in the front hall. The woman, satisfied with the transaction, cleans the counter of breadcrumbs and butter knife. She then bustles upstairs to wake her only child Dudley, not trusting his alarm clock to do its job. Once this is done she returns to her kitchen, turns on the radio, and sits down with a cup of tea. Simple, efficient, and always ends as expected.
Harry's morning routines were never the same, though they held similar attributes. He always felt the same.
Harry walked to the window in time to see Vernon pulling out of the driveway. He was holding the beef sandwich in one hand and steering with the other. A sizeable chunk was already missing from the deli monstrosity. Harry knew the brown paper bag would be empty by the time Mr. Dursley reached his work. Petunia never knew that her husband spent thirty pounds a week at his work's cafeteria. She never bothered to check his MasterCard bill.
A hallway door opened, another door closed; Dudley had just commandeered the washroom. Harry decided to brave the summer heat. He did not want to be around when his cousin relinquished the loo and decided to conquer the refrigerator. He did not need Dudley mentioning Him again. The dreams were enough of a reminder.
Over the past month Harry had become quite adept at passing through life as a ghost. With no one to talk to, he found consolation in listening. The ticking of his bedside clock, the kitchen radio reporting record high temperatures and water shortages throughout Surrey, Dudley's morning bladder relief. The stairs were the only ones to acknowledge his presence; steps three, six, and seven creaking in protest as he made his way down them. Perhaps he wasn't a ghost after all, as ghosts did not have the matter with which to make stairs creak.
Shoes. No socks. Sweaty feet. Harry slipped his trainers on with minor resistance. Bodily fluids other than blood didn't concern him at this time. He needed air, space, quiet. Things that were not available in the Dursley household. He opened the door and stepped out into the familiar street.
The park was a mile away, not that Harry had the intention of walking there. He let his mind go; he made his body move out of habit, not conscious thought. Though he got out of bed the instant he woke up, Harry was always struggling. He had to force action, strive to carry on with everyday activity. The dreams had gotten worse, the painful ache of loss never leaving. It was all part of his mourning.
Morning on Privet Drive was like walking out onto the movie set for "Stepford Wives." Lawnmowers, SUVs, and dog walkers all spread out in neat parallel lines. The only difference was the reluctance on everyone's face. No one wanted to be outside when it was this hot. No one except Harry. Being outside was better for him; enclosed spaces seemed to emphasize his life in a way that was almost unbearable.
The sidewalk stretched out before him. The long and winding road. More like the short, straight, block followed by eight more identical to it. Harry never saw the appeal of living in a suburb; it was like living in a maze.
"Don't go there," he whispered, shutting his eyes momentarily in concentration. Maze, hedges, red sparks, the gleaming cup, and…Him. Harry groaned and shook his head. He was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking a large sweaty woman in jogging garb.
"Alright dear?" she asked in a breathy voice. She was obviously not interested in an answer as she was still jogging on the spot and looking past him impatiently. Harry moved aside without a word knowing not to expect one in return. She was a good distraction from the unmerciful onslaught of memories. He watched her jog on, certain bits of her moving to a slightly different rhythm then her feet. He kept walking.
The park came into view, its bright colour scheme incongruent with the pale pastel houses and the dried brown grass lawns surrounding it. Harry sat down on the edge of the slide as all the swings were vandalized to an unrecognizable mess. He lay back and let his eyes close against the blinding sunlight. His skin seared from its heat. Perhaps he would just lie there until he burned up and was reduced to ash. The Golden Boy consumed by golden light, fire eating him inside and out. Wishful thinking.
That was when the tears came. He didn't try to restrain them anymore; he just let them overflow. Gasping. Choking. He spoke words undistinguishable from the shuddering breaths and moans. The noises he was making were unappealing, as was his runny nose and swollen red eyes. All together undignified. All together too real to be dignified.
This was his morning routine, the common factor that linked one day to another. His morning's mourning. It didn't matter where he was, or what he was doing right before hand. When or how exactly it would start was unimportant. The Why and the Who were always the same.
Harry groaned and gasped once more, his throat nearly clogged with phlegm. His head hurt, his throat hurt, everything hurt. But he continued to cry because the Why was ever present. The Who, ever on his mind. Harry mourned.