He felt like he needed to throw up but more food still was being forced down his throat, and he felt himself swaying in his seat and briefly heard “Oh and boy, happy birthday!”
~~I do not own Harry Potter and that I do not intend to make any money from writing this fan fiction. ~~
When Harry regained consciousness he found himself in a very dark, cramped cupboard most probably under the stairs. His face felt numb and his scar was dully burning as was the usual. He had no idea of the time but felt as though a long time had past since he was last awake. That’s when the evens of earlier hit him. The only good thing about what had happened was that he had at least seen the letters get away so no one would worry too much. As he struggled to sit up in the limited space he also became aware of a sharp and intermittent pain in the pit of his stomach, he also saw that on the boxes on which he had been lying and on his hands and ill fitting jumper was blood.
He could have laid there for hours or could have for minutes but after some time the bolt on the cupboard door slid across, and the door opened, engulfing the space in light. The next thing Harry knew he was leaning against the kitchen wall being watched by Uncle Vernon as Aunt Petunia called “Goodbye Diddykins have fun at Piers’ house” from the front door then joined her husband.
“Alright, boy, what exactly have you been saying about us?” Said uncle Vernon not looking at Harry but instead at the blinds he was closing across the window, as though he thought someone was watching him.
“What? I don’t understa-” Harry began.
Aunt Petunia then wordlessly handed a scruffy envelope to her husband, it was read Harry Potter on the front, although he saw no name of the sender Harry knew instantly that scruffy practically illegible handwriting it belonged to non other than Rubeus Hagrid and then Harry realised he probably should have put it somewhere safer and that his relatives had ram sacked his room.
‘Ahem’ Uncle Vernon sounded as he cleared his throat and began to read, Knowing Hagrid wasn’t known for his sleuth, cunning and carefulness Harry felt very apprehensive about what Hagrid had written.
“Harry, I hope those muggles are behaving themselves just remember you can always threaten them with turning that dolt of a son of theirs into something. Remember Sirius dying wasn’t your fault. See you in September, Hagrid” Uncle Vernon finished triumphantly. Delight obviously in his eyes, “So your Godfather’s dead” It wasn’t a question just a statement of fact, but Harry could see the delight in his expression.
Harry didn’t respond just gazed depressingly down at his feet, which were swimming in and out of focus even though he hadn’t replied Harry knew his uncle knew he (uncle Vernon) had won.
“There are going to be some changes around here, boy.” Uncle Vernon began quite happily. “All … owls… are to come in through the back windo-"
“I can’t help where they fly-"
“That won’t be a problem and NO INTERUPTIONS” Interrupted Aunt Petunia briskly.
Uncle Vernon had a victorious expression once more and continued “You will give the letter to us and we will tell you what to write. You are not to mention the new changes or the events of the last day to anyone. You will have as little contact with my family as possible.”
“And will stay in your room and not leave the house or speak to Dudley or else you will be sorr-” Harry’s aunt began when the shrill sounding doorbell rang. The kitchen began deadly quiet as Aunt Petunia left Harry’s eyes darted towards the door, desperately hoping it would be someone good…in the order…anyone. As soon as his eyes had turned towards the door, Harry felt a large set of callous hands cover his mouth.
“-Yes, I have some jobs around the house and I was wondering if your nephe-” An elderly woman’s voice continued.
“I’m so sorry, Arabella, but my nephew is out at the moment and will be very busy over the summer” She interrupted hastily.
“But it’s the summer, if I could just see hi-”
“He has gone out, as I said, maybe you should hire some help, Arabella, as your clearly struggling.” Aunt Petunia finished coldly before slamming the front door and returning to the kitchen as uncle Vernon released Harry. It had been quite plain to Harry that Mrs. Figg was quite determined to see him, and he knew she was going to report back to the order. Harry couldn’t quite decide if he wanted the order to come or not, he thought he might be missing his friends but they would want to talk about Sirius… no he definitely didn’t want the order coming but luckily, he thought, he had sent letters to them all-minus Hagrid- and so the order would think he was alright, hopefully.
“Go.” Harry’s uncle said simply.
Harry felt eyes on him as he left the room and climbed the stairs he found that the higher he went the more he needed to use the banister and the wall, by the time he was at the top he was leaning all his weight on the wall. As he staggered into his room he realised why there wasn’t a problem with stopping the owls delivering letters to him. Against the window was the all to familiar bars but this time they were on the other side than last time, inside, but his where curtains closed securely underneath so from the outside it would just look like the curtains were shut but nothing out of the normal. The window behind was locked and bolted, stopping Harry have the one bit of communication to the out side world, he was well and truly trapped.
Meanwhile miles away on the quiet street in London was a house called number 12 Grimmauld place. The occupants where inside, the children meant to be unpacking upstairs and adults talking in hushed voices downstairs in the kitchen.
“-He said he was fine so we should just leave him” Said an aggravated Snape once more after having the same discussion almost everyday.
“-But when has Harry ever been known he be completely truthful” Replied Remus instantly. It the most he had said recently. Usually he sat in silence in the meetings.
“Arabella said he hasn’t left the house apart from at strange times in the night or early morning and that he hides under enormous jumpers with the hood up so know one knows how he looks and that the muggles lied saying he wasn’t in when we knew for a fact that he was.” Molly said quickly as if rehearsed or thought about a lot.
“Surely we should just check on him to make sure he is indeed alright” Her husband, Arthur, said to the room, getting a mixed response of murmurs.
“There are no signs of danger so interfering may cause more trouble than it’s worth” Mad eye cut in, his eye watching everyone in the kitchen intently and lingered slightly out side the door.
“But in the letters he sends to the order his handwritings getting drastically worse each time, it’s practically illegible now and the wording doesn’t sound entirely like what Harry would say.” Molly argued.
“In case you hadn’t noticed it is the summer, a teenage boy is hardly going to write in his neatest form of calligraphy, is he? Anyway from what I saw it’s a darn sight neater than what the child writes in my lessons. Now if you would excuse me I actually have something remotely productive to do, rather than worrying about a sulking aggrogan-” Snape retorted angrily as he rose out of his chair, reading to leave and most of the order rose as well, however it was to disagree with the man and remind him Harry was grieving. As the fire then gave off a bright light and an old wizard with a long silver beard, in robes of plum stepped out of the fire place.
“Severes” He said calmly and the greasy haired professor sat down at once in silence.
“Albus!” Many people in the room said in surprise.
“Albus, shouldn’t someone go and check on him?” Molly said instantly walking over to him. “Are we quite positive he is safe? Well? Healthy? Happy? How do you know?”
“ Molly, as I have said before, The safest place for Harry right now is with his aunt and uncle” Albus responded but was stopped short as Arthur, Tonks, Remus and others were readying to protest. “However, if there is any concern of his welfare, then perhaps in a few days time …then…” looking around the room “Yes… Remus and Nymphadora, if willing, could verify his safety and well being.”
The renowned shining blue eyes of the headmaster had been absent all the way through his arrival and had not yet returned. The auror and ex-professor looked briefly at each other though Remus didn’t meet her eyes and nodded.
“Then I believe that is settled, now if you would excuse me, I have other business I need to attend to”. He gave a small bow then left the same way he had arrived.
The potions professor followed almost instantly. Remus exited quietly through the door, not saying good bye. Tonks made to follow but Molly placed a hand on her shoulder as Arthur went to relieve Mundungus of Harry watching duty which was rather uneventful as it involved sitting under an invisibility cloak and watching a pair of closed curtains.
Outside the door sat the youngest Weasley child, who had remained hopefully unnoticed by Remus as he left hurriedly. They hadn’t put up any charm on the door as they thought the children were unpacking and ready for bed.
Once sure the meeting was over she tip toed up to join her brother in Ron’s and Harry’s (If he was here she thought). As she entered the room Ron was sitting blankly staring at Harry’s bed. As she closed the door Ron jumped as though he hadn’t noticed her enter.
“Well?!” He asked eagerly. She explained the whole meeting in perfect detail.
“Did they see you, or the extendable ears?” He asked after she had finished. The last time Ron had sat there he had nearly been seen because he was so much bigger than Ginny.
“No” She responded simply.
The two where immersed in silence, worrying about Harry as the door then creaked open and Fred and George wandered in.
“Did you hear?” One of them asked.
“Of course” The girl answered simply.
“Good, then we-” Said a twin.
“-Can talk about it-” Said the other.
“-Then, there are so many stupid order rules-”.
“-Honestly you would have thought they would have thought them through more-”.
“- Coz if you hear it all, we can technically discuss it-”.
“-We aren’t meant to tell you anything-”.
“But if you kiddies are naughty enough is over listen, then …” The twins both said, one after the other. Raising their eyebrows.
“So a few days then?” Ron asked hopefully, his eyes darting over to Harry’s bed which Ginny was curled up on.
“…Well… there is a full moon on Monday and Remus may need a bit of time to recover so probably more like over a week.” Fred said lamely.
Ginny and Ron both stiffened at this, the twins went and sat next to their brother.
“I’m sure he is fine you know” George said honestly.
“He’s not, we all know it” Ron answered.
The room was once again filled with an empty silence as the Weasleys remembered Sirius and worried about Harry.
“Ron.” A voice came from outside and so he disappeared out the room.
The twins looked over at their sister who was now curled up in Harry’s sheets but even though she looked tired and worried she also seemed the happiest she had been she arriving. The twins winked mischievously at each other, then stopped as Ron came back in holding two letters. He handed one to Ginny saying “Hedwig arrived downstairs”.
She eagerly sat up and tore the envelope open as her brother did the same, for the next few minutes the twins and Ron read his as Ginny read hers, she couldn’t help but smile as Harry defined fine, she felt upset by the majority of the rest and actually giggled when she saw Harry comment on the name she had given Bellatrix.
Ron’s letter was brief and very un-Harry-ish.
“Now, do you accept he is not ok?” Ron asked angrily before storming out of the room, taking the letter with him, without one look at anyone.
Fred looked at the floor as George looked carefully towards the door then saying “So what does your reply say?” studying his sister carefully.
“Yeah, what was so funny, Ginny?”
She looked into their smiling faces and sighed silently knowing they would never let it drop if she didn’t say anything. “Before, the last time I sent him a letter, I asked that was his definition of ‘fine’ and it looks as though he actually looked it up in a dictionary” She answered as her hand unconsciously traced his words.
“Can we see the letter?” The twins asked looking at each other, trying not to smile, and one reaching out to take it.
“No!!” She answered instantly though regretted not being very casual about it, but she didn’t want them or anyone seeing his response, it was hers, she also didn’t want them touching it, as the last person who did was Harry himself, No, Don’t, he is your friend, that’s it, she told herself.
“Why ever not?” They responded, not even trying to hide their enormous grins, but moving closer to her to try to grab or peak at the letter. She carefully folded it back up and held it against her chest.
“Because…it’s… mine…write your own letter and you can share the response with whom ever you like” She answered hurriedly before fleeing the room. While the twins lay in fits of uncontrollable laughter, rolling over Ron’s unmade bed.
Back in Privet drive Harry lay, watching the crescent moon in the sky, his head was throbbing and he felt sure he could feel multiple bruises on his body. He had lost complete knowledge of the time and date; his relatives had removed his clock and calendar and all of his school stuff (including his wand), they had been put somewhere else and he had no idea where.
The bolt across his door and the newly put on lock clicked and the door flew open as aunt Petunia said “Bathroom – 10 minutes- Go.” looking at her watch.
He wondered across the hall and straight into the shower before removing his clothes, he briefly thought he must have imagined the blood on him as his clothes were not clean but defiantly bloodless. Why he would imagine blood he didn’t know. He had been so sure.
As he stepped out after only about minutes, Harry guessed, he looked in the mirror. Harry couldn’t see himself in it. The boy in his reflection had scruffy black hair and cracked broken glasses, his eyes were empty, bags haunted under his eyes, his face was completely covered in black, red and purple bruising, he had a circular cut running all the way round his neck, presumably where the collar of his shirt had cut him, but couldn’t remember it.
Thinking about it he couldn’t remember not having the bruises and cuts or what had happened before, there was something important that had been upsetting him, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. His memory felt funny.
The reflection had bruises everywhere on its body and well as several handprint shaped ones. Its ribs stuck out sickly on its chest, one at a rather peculiar angle, but the most noticeable thing was its scar it stuck out vivid red on its forehead, I have one like that’ Harry thought briefly before shoving his clothes back on, cleaning his teeth and using the toilet and returning dozily back to his room. In the hallway he briefly saw Dudley and as they caught eyes Harry for the second time ever in his life saw proper unmistakable fear in his cousin’s face.
As Harry closed his eyes that night he saw his Godfather falling through a veil and saw Voldemort murder countless muggles and awoke screaming in unimaginable pain. It could have been days later then Harry woke up he felt better-ish, sleeping had helped but as he got to his feet he felt worse than he had prior to sleeping. His uncle called him downstairs; he and his wife stared blankly at Harry before looking at each other then the calendar, Harry hazily saw his aunt whisper into her husband’s ear before disappearing off. Harry’s uncle gave him a pen and a bit of parchment this time, Harry could see Hedwig shut securely in her cage sitting silently staring wide eyed at him. Harry struggled immensely with the pen as Uncle Vernon dictated what he should say, which was basically I’m well, don’t come. As he finished he did as he was told and tided it to Hedwig who sat motionless still gazing at Harry and only flew off as harry gave her a pathetic shove to the window. He made to head upstairs as uncle Vernon held loosely on to his wrist and pulled him into a kitchen chair. He felt extremely exhausted now and his vision was going even blurrier, which considering both lens on his glasses where cracked, should have been quite concerning.
“Now boy, you need to eat up, because I am not having freaks blaming me because you have a death wish, but since you now leave all meals … we have no choice but this.”
Harry felt his head being pushed back and some food down his throat, he felt like he needed to throw up but more food still was being forced down him, and he felt himself swaying in his seat and briefly heard “Oh and boy, happy birthday!”
His scar was hurting more with each day and Harry knew Voldemort knew Harry was…well…not doing terribly well at the moment, he thought, Voldemort seemed to be gaining more pleasure and power, the weaker Harry got. Even though Harry was too weak to get out of bed and that he was shaking uncontrollably Harry had regained consciousness some time ago and had just laid there watching the sky change to black and then back again and then back again, the moon was a new moon and was virtually invisible, I wonder if it has an invisibility cloak, he thought wildly.
In the meantime, the opening of Privet Drive saw two lone figures cloaked and weary as they walked together towards number four. One figure reached towards the doorbell, as to ring it, when the other pulled their hand back, and shook their head.
“If they don’t let the cat lady see him they are hardly going to let us are they?” One whispered.
“Well, what do you suggest then Tonks? The wizard in the shabbier robes and cloak asked politely.
The witch looked up at the window then to the windows on ground level all of which had there curtains closed.
“I think they are asleep lets just…” She said drawing her wand and pointing it at the lock.
“TONKS” He whispered back hurriedly grabbing her arm back, “We had our orders not to do magic unless absolutely necessary.”He finished. He emphasised absolutely.
“Aww, your no fun sometimes, you know that Remus” She replied playfully, “Ok fine we’ll break in muggle style then” She whispered happily before rushing off swiftly through the side gate, leading around to the garden, before the wizard could stop her.
He quickly caught up and together they surveyed the house.
“See the windows are unlocked” She said matter of factly. “Come on, don’t be like that, gimme a leg up” She said, her bubblegum hair dazzling in the moonlight.
The wizard looked like he was fighting his better judgement as her helped her in whispering, “Be careful.”
A few seconds later the door was unlocked and Remus and Tonks where standing in the hallway. The house was quiet apart from the sound of a man snoring quite loudly. Heading for the upstairs, Tonks was leading and was doing a rather good job at dodging the various items on the stairs’ Remus thought, until she lost her footing and started quietly tumbling down as Remus caught her by the waist and only dropped his hands when she seemed stable.
“Opps.” She mouthed, her cheeks a light shade of pink.
“That’s an understatement” Remus whispered, though the first hint of a smile in many weeks plagued his mouth.
They slowly reached the top of the stairs and Remus followed Tonks to the door on the end that was complete with one heavy duty lock on the door and a key in the lock. They both temporally froze then withdrew their wands. The wizard quietly un-slid the bolt and turned the key. They softly pushed the door open and froze at the sight that met their eyes.
Both stepped inside. The putrid smell of stall mouldy food, vomit, blood etc filled there nostrils. Dishes of uneaten food were filled on the floor, thick iron bars were screwed over the window, and various jumpers were swooned across the floor and lying shaking, his eyes wide open, glasses lopsided staring into nothingness was Harry Potter, the boy who lived.
Luckily Tonks cast a silencing charm on the room just as Remus yelled out “Harry” and rushed faster than ever to Harry’s side. Followed quickly by Tonks.
“Harry. Harry? HARRY?!” Remus asked the boy who had not even so much as blinked at the arrival of the two.
Remus carefully un-wrapped Harry from the sheets he was tangled up in. The witch and wizard both took a sharp intake of breath; the boy’s torso was covered in blood as was his scar.
“We should take him in side apparation don’t you think?” Tonks asked quietly, not taking her eyes of Harry.
“…We should warn the order first…then take him to Grimmauld place…make sure none of the children are there, he will get more unstable when we move him so Madam Pomfrey needs to be there before hand, We need to use the invisibility cloak and apparate just outside the entrance then we can just enter but you cant apparate directly inside because of the charms and protection upon it.” Remus replied quickly, not taking his eyes from Harry’s.
“Harry!” He said anxiously as Harry began to blink and look around the room with a confused expression. His eyes travelled from Remus to Tonks to the door and back to Remus.
“What? Where…?” Harry mouthed as he began trying to move but Remus gently placed a hand on Harry’s skeletal shoulder stopping him, Harry winced.
Harry then looked back to Remus and his confused expression became more pronounced.
“Harry, what is it?” Tonks asked kindly.
But Harry didn’t appear to have heard as he watched Remus and then whispered in a hoarse voice “I know you.” It wasn’t a question but a mere statement of fact, or Harry trying to remember how or why. Remus and Tonks both momentarily stopped breathing as Harry uttered those three words, and then as he knew no more and his limp figure fell in Remus’s awaiting hands.
Tonks rose from her position beside the bed and helped Remus support the boy in his arms and then whispered unevenly “See you in a minute” and disapparated with a pop. Remus accio-ed the invisibility cloak they had brought and covered himself and Harry in it.
Harry’s chest was moving irregularly and slower with each beat and by the time they had left Privet drive, appeared to have stopped breathing nearly altogether.
A.N Hope you enjoyed the chapter- not too sure whether to post the chapters as I do them or one big story- I will decide later. Hope it was ok, here’s the next one. Yep, very bleak, but will pick up. Hope it wasn’t too extreme. Let me know what you think.