Harry recoiled in pain. He clamped his hands on his nose and tried to stop the bleeding. With a wipe of his robes, he was able to absorb most of it. His attacker stood tall in front of him, laughing heartily.
"Oh, Harry Potter. You'll never beat me! Now that I have your wand." The attacker held up the pilfered wand. "You're defenseless, Harry Potter. And I think we both know who has the physical advantage. But just to make it interesting." Harry's opponent held up both wands and with a quick motion, snapped them in half, sending cascading sparks in all directions.
The tall figure laughed. "If she could see you now! You'll never be as good as me, you know that. That's why you'll never be with her, Harry Potter. That's why you'll never be with anyone!"
Harry growled. "How dare you?"
The figure laughed again. "And what exactly will you do about it?"
Not saying a word, Harry charged.
Suddenly, he found himself on the cold stone floor tangled in his robes.
"You're so clumsy, Harry Potter. So CLUMSY! Get up! Get up! GET UP!"
"C'mon Harry, get up! Are you okay?" Ron shook Harry, who shook his head blearily.
"Ron, is that you?"
"Of course, Harry. Feel all right now?"
Harry grinned. "Yeah, I think so. Just a nightmare."
Ron looked confused. "A nightmare? How is that possible?"
Harry paled. "What do you mean? Why?"
Ron looked away. "Man, I wish Hermione was here. She'd know what to do." He turned back to Harry. "Oh, Harry, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to bump into you. You just sort of collapsed."
Harry felt a strange pang at Ron's mention of Hermione's absence. He shook it off. "Ron, I'm fine." He looked around. "Hey, where are we, anyway?"
Ron's eyes widened. "Uh, Harry, this is my house. You've been staying here for the last week after that incident at your aunt and uncle's."
Harry snorted. "What incident? And why would I be here when the school year's not even over yet."
Ron breathed in slowly. "Harry, this is the last week of the summer holidays. Are you saying you don't remember anything from the previous few weeks?"
Harry thought hard. "No, the last thing I remember is waking up with Madame Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore standing in front of me. They were telling me Cedric had an accident and was in critical condition. Apparently we had collided in midair during a Quidditch match. We crashed into the stands and I think that Cedric saved my life in a way, since he hit first and padded the impact."
Rod looked shocked, mouth agape. "Harry, that's what you remember?! But what about the Tournament?"
Harry looked confused. "What?"
Rod tried to respond, but couldn't. He shook his head. "Ok, fine, but what about You-Know-Who?"
"You mean Voldemort?"
Rod cringed. "Yeah, yeah. I see not all your memory's mangled. So what do you remember about him?"
Harry scratched the back his head, trying to remember. "Well, he's been trying to kill me. But that's always been the case. And Dumbledore said he might have engineered the Quidditch accident."
"But Harry, don't you remember how he got his body back?"
Harry shook his head. "No. So what does that mean? I guess he's more powerful, huh?"
Ron bit his lip. "Ok, we have to go see someone about this. Maybe Mum or Dad will know a memory expert."
Harry shrugged. "Go ahead, but I feel fine."
Harry jumped down from the stands. He looked around. "Where is everyone?"
End of Prologue