Harry's life was a living nightmare. When he had first come back to the Dursleys, he had thought that this would be like every other summer. Boy, was he ever wrong. It wasn't long before he discovered exactly how much the Dursley's attitude had changed. But still he hadn't learned. But it was too late, now.
As the Boy Who Lived lay prone on the bloodstained floor of the second bedroom, he regretted ever coming back to the Dursleys, and cursed the fact that Dumbledore was too concerned about his safety from dangers from the outside world that he had neglected to notice that the Dursleys did not exactly revere him as the Boy Who Lived.
/So this is what death is like?/ Harry thought as his lifeblood continued to flow out of the multiple wounds on his body.
/It isn't so bad. At least the pain will end/ Ever since Harry had come back from his fifth year, he had seemed to have lost his will to live.
/Its all my fault that Cedric died. That Sirius died/ Then, he allowed himself one last comforting thought. /I'll be seeing you soon, mom, dad/.
Then, his thoughts turned to his friends. /I wonder if Ron and Hermione will miss me?/ Even now, he could sense what they would say if they saw him in his present predicament.
"Blimey, Harry! You can't give up now! Not after all that work we had to do to try and keep you alive! I mean, I had to let myself get knocked out by a stone chess piece for you! And if you're gone, who will save us from you- know-who? And you're the best seeker in the whole bloody school! Where are we supposed to get your replacement?" would probably be Ron's reaction.
And "Harry James Potter, don't you DARE die on me! Just think of all the things you still have to accomplish! Don't leave us! You're the Boy Who Lived, our only hope! And by the way, just HOW do you expect to be an auror if you don't even live to even peek at your OWL results?"
Ron. And Hermione. That's right. He couldn't let them down this way, he just couldn't. But the black abyss was so peaceful, so quiet, and it had no wars, no exams, no worries at all.
But could he convince himself to let go, even if he could have eternal peace with his parents?
He knew that by choosing death, he would be taking the coward's way out. And Voldemort would be free to kill and enslave the wizarding world. Could he really abandon his friends to their fate?
And yet, he wanted to escape all the terror, the hatred, the war. But even so, could he choose between living in a world with the parents that he had always longed for and the world that he would leave behind in the land of the living? Could he choose between his family and his friends, between eternity in a peaceful world with no purpose nor meaning in life or a world where all the hopes and dreams of an entire nation rested upon his shoulders?
Yes, he could.
/Sorry Mum and Dad, you'll just have to wait a little longer for your son to join you/
Then, using a great deal of willpower, Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, dragged himself off the floor and onto the bed. He reached for some of the healing cream that Madam Pomfrey had sneaked him the day before school had ended. "I, for one, do NOT want to see you in the hospital wing again until a month into the school year, Potter! So make this stuff last, will you? It will heal most of your wounds, bumps, scrapes and whatever trouble you might get into over the summer."
It was as if she knew that he would need it. He really needed to give that witch some more credit.
He let out a hiss of relief as he spread the cream onto his many cuts, bruises and, yes, lashes.
Then, with a sigh of comfort, he replaced the cream back under the loose floorboard.
Harry Potter would live to see another day.
Then he glanced over at the clock and saw that it was almost midnight. Almost July 31st. His birthday. Then he snorted at the irony. He had almost died on the moments before his sixteenth birthday.
Then, having nothing better to do while waiting for the cream to heal his wounds, he slowly counted down to his birthday.
/I wonder if anything will happen/ He thought.
/Maybe I'll change, maybe not/
As he counted, Harry felt a strange feeling, like something was about to happen, something important.
/Maybe something will happen after all/
Wham! Waves of agony slammed into Harry's already battered body.
/What's happening to me?!/ Harry had enough time to think before he blacked out.