Summer Night's Shadow
by Soulstarsinger

Harry is unpacking his trunk when the door to his bedroom swings open with surprising lack of force. It's Dudley, watching Harry, but not meeting his eyes when Harry looks up.

"That thing," Dudley says, apparently trying for casual but landing somewhere nearer panicked, "the thing last summer. That won't happen again, right?" It's more a plea than a question.

"N..." Harry begins, then changes his mind. "I dunno, Dudley. But if it does, it'll be me they're after. And, I'm allowed to, you know, get rid of them like before."

"Right." Dudley looks green, though whether from the thought of Dementors, or that of Harry doing a spell, Harry isn't sure.

"Best not come near me outside the house." Harry adds on a flash of inspiration.

"Right." Dudley repeats. "Like I would anyway." Belatedly. He stomps away.

"Yeah," says Harry to the empty doorway, "right."

He gains a large unwelcome shadow on the way home some nights that summer, regardless.


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