Sometimes it's blinding, the light you can't...quite...see.
It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. There's something that surrounds him. The Dark Lord can probably see it, instead of merely sensing it; it would be the only brightness in his world. I remember those days.
You can sense that it's there. It's obvious what it is; it's the spell that protected him, the deep magic that runs below the surface of wands and words in Latin and curses and hexes and charms. It's primal magic, the sort that our schools were founded to conquer, because it can't be let run loose, or, well...you get Harry Potter, and Tom Riddle.
The problem is, I've stopped sensing it.
It's really quite worrying.
But what am I supposed to do, go up to Lucius Malfoy or something and ask him, Excuse me Lucius, do you happen to see if Harry's lost his spell? That would be just the height of stupidity.
It's not a halo, or an aura. It's just as though the sun was shining from behind him. That's what I think, when I feel it. It nags at the consciousness, distorts the world around him. It's intensely irritating.
And now it's stopped.
I doubt very much that it simply wore off. A mother's love doesn't go like that. I think maybe Harry's done it himself. We watch him still, we've watched him all this summer, as much to make sure he doesn't do something stupidly rash as to make sure he isn't attacked.
I know he's lost, who better than I know that he's lost? His parents and his godfather are dead, and he's stuck instead with three whole, healthy, and unutterably odious relatives. I'd be angry too. So I do wonder if he's hidden it. If the light that used to shine around him went inward.
And I wonder if that's the first step in what happened to Tom Riddle.
Perhaps I think about it too much, but when you're on a twelve-hour nighttime watch and the boy sleeps like a stone, there's nothing to do but brood.
Dumbledore hasn't said anything about it. Neither has Lupin, though everyone knows we don't talk. I'd think if anyone saw it they would say something, wouldn't they? Then again, I haven't.
I'm tempted. To send little fingers into his mind, searching for the brightness. Draw it out of him if I can. Not because I like the boy; I don't. Not because I feel any kind of teacherly paternity towards him. I certainly don't feel the need to be his father, of anyone's. But he's our weapon. And we protect our weapons. It's why I agreed to tutor him, and you can see how well that turned out.
Would he know? If I slipped into his mind while he slept? Did I teach him well enough that he could keep me out, or at least notice me if I was there?
So I haven't, yet. After all, it's just a brightness. Probably doesn't mean anything.
This is going to drive me mad.
And so I go. I do. I send little searching tendrils drifting into his dreams, and down through his dreams into his mind. I've seen the torments of his cousin, I've seen the many forgotten birthdays and the second-hand Christmas gifts. I've seen the cupboard before. You'd think it would make me feel sorry for the boy, but you'd be wrong. After all, he's seen my torments too. Caused, might I add, by his own dead father. And it's not as though I'm looking for these memories. I'm looking for the brightness that's gone. The protection he had.
Maybe it's not in his head. I'm sure he doesn't even know it exists. I'm sure he's not hiding it on purpose.
Flashes of light, but no, not enough; those are just bright memories. Seeing his godfather in the sunlight, a precious few times. I can't hate Sirius Black, not here in his head, or he'll find me, so I simply move on quickly.
And there it is.
In the centre of his thoughts, like a floodlight, surrounding a figure in shadow. A Dementor, of all things; curiousity lasts only a moment before I realise that this is the essence of it, the memory the dementor brought to him, of hearing his parents being killed. Because even a few sentences in his mother's voice, a few words of his father's, are better than the nothingness that he used to have.
Why here? Why is it hidden? There are heavy steel walls around it. Why?
Because his parents aren't enough anymore? Because he has his own reasons to hate the darkness, instead of other peoples? He's been harmed by the Dark Lord himself now. He has more than revenge on his mind. Complete obliteration of the monster.
Good for him.
Hate, after all, is fuel of a sort. Dumbledore would disapprove, but I think more of the boy for it. And pulling back, slowly, still not wanting to be noticed sifting through his thoughts, I could leave behind some sort of approval of his vendetta. I could. Would it help him? Do I even want to help him?
No. I simply vanish, out of his head, leaving him to his dreams. The light's still there, even if it has walls around it; that's all I really wanted to know.
The brightness can still shine out of his eyes. As long as there's that one crack -- that light shining out of Lily's eyes -- I have no fear that he'll stand up and fight, when the time comes.
Good for Harry.