DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry, the Dursleys, the Weasley's, Hedwig, Sirius, Lupin or anyone mentioned in this story. They belong to J.K. Rowling (easily the greatest author since… well, a very long time) and Warner bro.s.

SPOILERS: Book three, book four… It's kind of hard to understand if you haven't read them.

Harry had to admit to himself, in retrospect, that the first month of that summer was definitely one of his better stays at Privet Drive, though the thought was quite depressing considering not a single coherent word was uttered to him in that stretch of time. Not that he overly missed being addressed by the Dursleys, but still… if he could find someone besides Hedwig to talk to… especially after all that had happened at the end of his fourth year…

Harry pushed the last thought out of his head right away. It did him no good to dwell on it, difficult as the memories were to avoid. He certainly had plenty of time for thoughts.

This was not to say that Harry never got any letters ~ quite the contrary, Harry had received more mail from his friends Hermione, Ron, and a few from his school Gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures teacher Hagrid in one month than he had his entire summer last year ~ but it simply wasn't the same as having his friends nearby to talk to. And than there was Sirius…

Harry's godfather, having spent twelve years in Azkaban for a crime he did not commit, was not a fugitive from the Ministry of Magic, and had yet to send Harry a single letter since Harry had last seen him. He had, as far as Harry knew, gone on a special trip for Dumbeldore to "alert the old crowd" in regards to the most feared dark wizard in a century, Lord Voldemort. Harry knew that Sirius was to be staying at Remus Lupin's for a while, but still worried about what would happen should Sirius be caught and handed back to the Dementors.

What distinguished this summer from Harry's previous ones, apart from the recent uprising of Lord Voldemort, was the sudden epidemic of a particularly nasty flu spreading up and down Privet Drive. Aunt Petunia had contracted it first, but insisted that she was not too ill to cook and would not let Uncle Vernon or the two boys anywhere near the oven. Harry therefore had to endure a week of his Aunt's temper, now about ten times shorter than normal as she puttered about the kitchen dabbing at her red nose with a hideously pink handkerchief and yelling at them in her now very hoarse shrill voice.

Then had come Uncle Vernon. Harry had thought it would be a relief not to have to deal with him for a full three days, but instead found it increasingly irritating as his burly Uncle's voice, unaffected by illness, shouted at them all from his behind his (thankfully closed) bedroom door. It was also difficult to leave his room without bumping into Aunt Petunia, who scurried about the house fetching her husband tea and brandy.

But by far the worst was Dudley, who was known for being able to milk even a simple papercut for all it was worth. Harry seriously doubted weather Dudley was in as much discomfort as he let on, but his Aunt and Uncle had submitted themselves completely to their son's care. They proceeded to wait on him had and foot for a solid two weeks, buying him more chocolate and candy than was normal for even Dudley and throwing stones at the squirrels outside for making too much noise while Harry's small rhinoceros of a cousin slept.

So the first part of Harry's summer basically consisted of owling his friends, dodging his family and talking long walks around the neighborhood. It never really occurred to him that he was also susceptible to catching the flu until he woke up early one morning to a throbbing ache in his forehead.

At first he thought he'd been woken up by the scar on his forehead, which pained him whenever Voldemort was nearby or feeling particularly murderous. Naturally this summer that had become increasingly common, as had his nightmares. But that changed when he'd sat up and found lifting his head rather similar to lifting a small Hippogriff. He groaned to himself. *Just what I need, * he thought bitterly, *to get sick now. *

He huggeed his knees to his chest and shivered. Maybe it was due to the ominous rise of Voldemort, or maybe it was just plain coincidence, but that summer had been much colder and rainier than normal. As if that weren't enough, the latch on Harry's window had broken and he could not shut it completely. He was left with a crack about a centimeter high that he had attempted to block with a pair of socks. But they didn't really do much.

Harry looked across the room at the calendar on his wall, where he had checked off the days until September first. Today was July 30th, the last day he had to be fourteen.

*Even better, * he thought, *I get to be ill on my birthday. *

His eyes flew to Hedwig's cage, open and empty. She was off delivering a letter at the moment. Harry more than ever longed for her company, some comfort to distract him from his increasingly pounding headache. She had been gone a while ~ maybe she would return today.

Harry glanced at the clock by his bed. Five o'clock in the morning. Knowing he would not be able to get back to sleep with this headache now, he stood up and grabbed the bedpost to steady himself. He staggered into the bathroom ~ quietly, so as to avoid waking the Dursleys ~ and poured himself a cup of water. He than wet a washcloth with cold water and wrung it out into the sink.

He paused for a moment to look at himself in the mirror. He could see dark shadows under his eyes, partially hidden by his round glasses, and his skin was paler than normal, in contrast to his sharp green eyes and jet black hair and the red lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Harry massaged his temples for a moment and groaned softly before returning to his bedroom. He shivered and lay down, finding the cold sheets no comfort and wishing he could cast a spell to warm them. The cool cloth provided some comfort to his aching head, however, and he soon found himself surrendered to the soothing serenity of sleep.

A/N: PLEASE REVIEW AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK. I know it's kind of boring now but it will get better, I promise. But please review, I need the constructive criticism.