on the day that harry was born, he spent the day being passed around from shaking hands to shaking hands. he slept soundly through the sound of laughter and sweet whispers. he was both wrinkly and content.
on harry’s first birthday, he woke up to a pile of presents that came up to his father’s waist. he giggled and watched in awe as the balloons that filled his house changed colors and shapes every time his chubby fists grabbed onto them.
on harry’s second birthday, he was awoken at midnight by his aunt petunia who quickly dropped a sliver of chocolate onto his crib before shutting the door once more. he ate the sweet alone in the dark.
on harry’s third birthday, there was no party or mention of what day it was. petunia made harry’s favorite meal for dinner without saying a word.
on harry’s fourth birthday, he watched as dudley cruised around on a fancy motorized toy car that vernon had bought him. he watched with envy as vernon said, “that toy isn’t for you, boy.”
on harry’s fifth birthday, he received a box of dudley’s old winter clothing as a gift. he rolled one of the fleece sweaters into a ball and cuddled it as he slept.
on harry’s sixth birthday, he spent the day outside. he ran away early in the morning and spent his time going to house to house asking for juice, since it was boiling hot and he had forgotten to pack food or water. a neighbor eventually turned him in, and he spent the rest of the summer locked in his room.
on harry’s seventh birthday, he was dumped at ms figg’s house as the dursley’s spent two weeks on a vacation to the coast. she made him cake as she showed off more of her photo albums. there was one photo that he saw that caught his attention. it was a moving one where everyone was wearing long cloaks and in the photo there was a beautiful ginger woman smiling next to a man with messy black hair who was laughing at something off camera. the woman’s bright green eyes caught his and he felt his heart clench.
on harry’s eighth birthday, he spent the day doing chores. not a word was spoken to him the entire day.
on harry’s ninth birthday, he was poked and prodded at by dudley and dudley’s friends. the black eye he received that day faded overnight, almost like magic.
on harry’s tenth birthday he stayed up the night before writing his own birthday card. he put it in the mailbox right before the mailman came and patiently waited for the sound of the mail slot. vernon reached the door before him, saw the card and laughed before ripping it up. harry spent that night silently crying as he wished for someone, something to take him away from this place.