True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories. - Florence King
On a rather dark Wednesday morning, Harry Potter lay in bed. Work was quite out of the question that day, as he had a fever and a few body parts were swollen, and really he just felt awful. Ginny was gone off to her job and Lily, Al, and James were away. It was very quiet in the house without the rest of his family. It was almost eerie.
His stomach rumbled loudly, calling out in anguish at the lack of food. It was already late for breakfast, but he had to have something to eat. There must be something to stifle the horrid groan of his insides. He got up and headed downstairs to the kitchen.
A slightly lumpy bowl covered in tinfoil sat on the table. Ginny had left him something in a covered dish (he had to guess that she remembered the last time Harry attempted to cook; the family's pet cat never really recovered). Upon closer inspection, he saw that it was something that didn't quite resemble toast and a spirited attempt at bacon and eggs. Ginny was a talented witch, but her cooking skills weren't exactly on par with her mother's. Harry took the dish and dumped the contents into the garbage. It seemed that a bowl of Coco Puffs was his destiny.
Harry took the carton of milk from the fridge and swigged right from the carton. The milk tasted chalky and sour as it slid down his throat. He looked down and saw that the expiration date was some three days prior. Not even cereal this morning. Well, unless he went out for food, the next best thing would be breath-freshening cat treats. Not something that ranked high on his list of favorite meals.
He sighed and headed back upstairs to the bathroom. He showered quickly and after dressing, attempted to comb his hair. His hair, though, seemed to have a mind of its own and would not lie still. He gave up with a huff and grabbed his coat on his way to the door.
He was just about to open the door when a light scratching noise reached his ears. He looked into the kitchen, and sitting on the window ledge was a handsome black owl. The tufts of its ears jutted up and its yellow eyes stared with relentless intensity. It held a large manila envelope in its beak and was waiting on Harry to take the burden.
Harry opened the window and gently tugged the package from the owl. The bird took off with a grateful hoot. On the back of the Manila paper was his name in pretty, scrolling letters. Clearly a woman had written it. A blob of green wax sealed the fold, and he broke it with a twist of his fingers.
Two letters fell out, one an official-looking deal from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the other just a simple fold of paper. Harry took the official letter first and broke the seal on it. He turned the parchment over, unfolded it, and read:
Dear Mr. Potter,
As you are no doubt aware, the former Head Auror of our department, Silas Cobb, is retiring tomorrow. He will be sorely missed, but as he is getting on in age, he feels that the time has come for him to retire.
Earlier this morning, he began cleaning out his desk and discovered a curious piece of paper written some years ago when Mr. Cobb was an Auror stationed at Azkaban. Upon reading the paper, he discovered your name within the material. It was requested that the letter be sent to you.
Mr. Cobb and the rest of the department bid you a good day and hope your health will return to normal. By the way, you are expected at his retirement party tomorrow night. He requests you "bring the booze this time!" He has suggested mead from The Three Broomsticks, if you are able to acquire it.
Jonathan P. Corn
Deputy Head Auror of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Harry discarded the letter from Corn (who had strangely pretty handwriting; Corn's sexually had always been a topic of great interest around the office, anyway) and took up the second fold of paper. It was yellowed with age and cracked when bent. It was written in black ink and dotted in places from the excess. The words were scrawled tidily across the length of the page.
Breakfast was long forgotten with the arrival of these letters. Harry sat down in the chair and began to read:
November 18th, 1979
I'm a little awed the human guards gave me this paper. I'm not exactly the favorite person in the wizarding world right now, but apparently I do still merit some form of normal human interaction. They were very reluctant to give it to me, especially the Muggle pen (no quills; too "dangerous"). The poor nitwit who brought me the pen nearly pissed himself when I threatened to shove it six inches into his rectum. I guess that was my last bit of fun.
It really is quite horrible here. There was a layer of dust two inches thick when they brought me to the cell; they obviously don't offer maid services. I was given biscuits and water to eat; if I wasn't in prison, I suppose I'd feel like a suave American cowboy, eating "hardtack" and all that. I'd fancy myself like the Muggle actor Clint Eastwood. I bet he never had a colony of platypus spiders living in his pillow.
I was brought in by an Auror and a couple of dementors. It was the worst feeling being near those creatures, like the deepest depression imaginable. I kept seeing that street behind my eyes, all those bodies scattered around, blood and gravel and dirt mixed and coagulating. I can't believe I let Wormtail get away; he escaped into the busted sewer before I could get my hands on him. If I ever see him again, I'll kill him for what he did to James and Lily.
I just hope Harry is okay. I gave my bike to Hagrid; doesn't look like I'll be needing it any time soon. I suppose I'll have to trust that he and Dumbledore can manage to keep my godson safe. I'm quite useless in that respect now.
I suppose Dumbledore will leave Harry with Lily's sister since Mr. and Mrs. Potter have passed away. I've never met the woman personally, but James said she's a terror. She better be good to my godson, though, her and that pig husband she's got. Otherwise, there will be hell to pay; I'll make sure of it. Somehow. And exploding Dungbomb sounds fitting...
The Minister came to see me this morning. He had that bastard Barty Crouch Sr. in tow as well, the one who wouldn't even see fit to give me a trial. It doesn't matter I guess. The results would have been the same, trial or not. Better to just go to prison than have a long, publicized fake deal. I'd still be here anyway, surrounded by these soul-sucking dementors.
The Minister seemed quite surprised that I wasn't huddled in a corner spouting a load of gibberish. To be fair, I'm a little surprised myself. At least I'm still relatively sane. The poor bastard in the next cell over thinks he's talking to some crossdressing bloke named Lydia; far more interesting is the chap in front of me who thinks he is the crossdressing bloke named Lydia. As I recall, they both came in wearing lipstick, false eyelashes, and sequined cocktail dresses. Strange men.
I have to say, though, neither of them is as interesting as the broad that came in the other day. I could have sworn she was a man. She had a unibrow, beard, and, might I say, a full luxurious Manchu mustache. Then she dropped the pants of her prison uniform. Let me say that what I saw should have classified her as a man. It didn't, but the world works in mysterious ways. She and Lydia have been having very steamy verbal prison sex; it's rather terrifying when they get going.
Anyhow, when the Minister came to see me, he was astounded to find that I wasn't screaming. In truth, I think he was kind of disappointed. He had a copy of the morning addition of the Daily Prophet. To my surprise, he let me have it when I asked for it. Really, I was just glad to get some news from the outside world.
I shifted through the pile of paper in hopes that it would remind me that I was still sane and innocent. Wendy Widdershins (old girlfriend of mine) got married to some Turkish man with humongous eyebrows. Lawanda Lassiter (another old girlfriend) had twin girls by some Bulgarian former convict. She was a nasty piece of work, I remember. Remus's birthday was mentioned; I'm sorry to say I missed my chance to give him another gag gift. That last one nearly took his left ear off.
I think I'll give this to the guard and have him mail it to Harry one day. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll rip it up and use it to stuff my pillow. After all, those platypus spiders don't make great stuffing for a pillow. Too crunchy and the little legs tend to poke out and get stabby.
Apparently that nitwit Auror wants his pen back. Too bad; I was looking forward to doing the crossword puzzle before lights out. Maybe I can hold him off for a while using that Muggle prison rape card. Better yet, maybe I can get Lydia to verbally harass him for a while. Should give me enough time to finish.
I really miss doing the morning crossword…
-Sirius Black (who didn't do it)
A smile played on Harry's lips as he folded his godfather's letter back up and slipped it in his pocket. It certainly made him wonder what Sirius had been like in his younger days. The old yellow parchment crackled as he moved it. His stomach growled again, louder now than before. He took up his coat and headed to the front door. Just as he left, he came to a realization.
Who the hell was Clint Eastwood?
Maybe I wasn't off too much personality-wise. Feedback would be helpful.