You know itís autumn, because you can feel the slight shift in the temperature and the desolate chill in the faint breeze. You know itís autumn, because youíve counted the days since your imprisonment, and you know itís the twenty-first of September, because what else is there to do to pass the time but count the minutes?
You canít see the trees, but you can feel them. You can hear them. And you want to laugh, because a year ago, trees were trees and there was nothing else to it. You want to smile at the irony; at the fact that you can feel the presence of something a thousand miles away; at the fact that you can see the Hogwarts grounds in your mindís eye clearer than you ever could while you were at school. You try to laugh, and you try to smile, but you canít remember how, so you rest your cheek against the wall. Itís grimy and uncomfortable, but youíre saved from the necessity of trying to remember happiness, so you stay there.
You stretch out a hand and you note that itís rough and unfamiliar. You know without seeing that your eyes are tired and your hair is long and matted; your figure is gaunt and your smile is vacant. You feel older than time, and when you close your eyes the grey walls are gone. The reds and greens and yellows press upon your eyelids and youíre no longer in Azkaban. Youíre at Hogwarts, at a time when autumn was autumn and trees were trees Ė a time when your best friend was alive and regret was a foreign word. You can feel the frivolity with which you lived; the carelessness with which you breathed. You can see the faces of your friends blurred together out on the grounds, in front of a canvas of colour, light, life. The forest is seductive in its mystery, and the castle is beautiful in its profound simplicity. And youíre sitting beneath the beech tree by the lake on a cool autumn day, and you feel young, naÔve and alive, because youíre where you need to be.
And you open your eyes, and the image is gone. The faces of your friends are distinct; one dead, one alive, one a traitor.
The pictures of the grounds are oddly distorted, as though you maybe had never been there at all.
You know itís autumn, and you try to care.