Disclaimer: I am not blonde, nor do I have any kids
Harry watched his Uncle warily from the corner of his eyes for the entire trip back to his relatives house. The man had a look in his eyes that made Harry shudder and remember pasts he tried so hard to forget.
"Get out," came the irate whisper of his Uncle. They'd reach the pathway to the house.
Harry didn't waste any time not obeying. He pulled the car's door open and went to the boot to get out his trunks when he was halted by his Uncle's loud, "Stop!"
The bigger man walked towards Harry and pulled the smaller boy by his arm.
"You won't be needing those Boy," his Uncle snarled, dragging him inside the house. There he flung his nephew away from him, making the boy stumble and fall on the hard floor.
"Well? Why are you still sitting there? Get up!" his Uncle screamed at him while kicking the boy's ribs over and over again with his shoe, as if it was going to help the boy get up.
Harry scrambled to get up and away from his Uncle. He stood a few feet away from the man, heaving hardly and curling into himself a little.
The older man stared at him with narrowed eyes for a few seconds and when he saw Harry was not moving, he strode quickly towards him making the younger boy shout.
"W-w-ait! I-I, uh, what about m-my t-trunks sir?"
His Uncle sneered. "I said you won't be needing your freaky things Boy. Do you understand me or are you too thick to get that into your mind?" Without waiting for an answer, the man screamed at Harry again, lunging towards him. "Go to your room Boy! I don't want to see your face any longer than I have to."
Harry wanted to protest, but he didn't want to anger his Uncle any more than he already was and nodded quickly and practically ran up the stairs, happy to put a distance between him and the furious man.
The locks were still on his door but he didn't expect those to go away. In his room, Harry sank on his hard mattress and put his head in his knees, shivering from the cold. Someone (probably his Uncle) had opened his windows which made his room freezing like the Arctic Pole. Harry cursed his Uncle and himself quietly, closing the window and then seating himself on the bed again.
He hated himself for showing his weakness in front of his Uncle. He was a bloody Gryffindor right? Where was the supposed famous courageous traits he was supposed to have?
Wish everyone would see me now, Harry thought bitterly. Their great savior can't even stand up to his own Muggle Uncle.
He jumped when he heard his locks turn. His Uncle was locking his room. Harry sighed. He needed to badly use the loo. Harry growled in anger and frustration when he saw a green dirty bucket in the corner not to far away. It was probably there to humiliate him, to remind him of when he lived in his cupboard. Thank Merlin he had sent Hedwig with Ron. He shuddered, hating to think what would have happened if he had brung his beloved familiar with him.
His lock picking set that the twins gifted him on his last birthday was in his trunk, so he wouldn't be able to unlock the room any soon. Harry didn't know what his Uncle intended to do with his trunk. He hoped no harm to come to it, in their was his parents photo album and it brought tears to Harry's face at the thought of the only pictures he had of his parents were destroyed.
Harry looked around his room to consider his options. He was locked in this prison (he refused to call it a room anymore) for who knew how long. Harry didn't know when was the next time he was going to get food or even outside. He had nothing but his clothes on him and a wand that he couldn't even use.
Harry smiled grimly. Just his bloody luck
His Uncle entered his prison the next day. The man wore a nasty grin and before Harry could react, he was grabbed by the neck and thrown roughly on the floor. Harry groaned as he heard his shoulder crack. He felt paper thrown on his face and he grabbed it to read it. Chores. There were so many.
Clean all of downstairs
Clean all of upstairs
Wash all the clothes
Mow the lawn
Paint the fence pale blue
On and on it went.
"If you want to eat Boy, you must earn it," his Uncle nodded gleefully at the list in Harry's hands. "And if you don't complete it by the time I get back…" he let the threat hang.
Of course Harry didn't finish by the time his Uncle came back. Of course he didn't get anything to eat either. And of course his Uncle beat him up every single day as punishment. He was quite creative. With a belt, a cane, a plug, knives, hands, feet, and even wood. His Uncle didn't care. His Aunt was a little more 'compassionate' and gave him some water sometimes, like once every two days. He got some pieces of stale bread maybe once a week that he didn't even think of saving. He gobbled them up immediately. The nights when Harry had the time and ability to get some sleep, it was plagued with nightmares of the graveyard, Cedric dying, and Voldemort. For some reason he dreamt of Dementors and the screams of his Mum as well. Uncle Vernon tried to make him quiet, but all it did was wake Harry from his nightmare and straight into another. Nothing began to make sense. He wondered if this is what Cinderella felt, living with her cruel stepsisters and stepmother. Then he snorted to himself at comparing his life to a fairy tale. It was anything but.
One day his Uncle decided that Harry should learn to beg.
The whip came in contact with his skin again, this time harder than usual. A small moan escaped Harry's mouth without his permission.
"It hurts doesn't it Freak! You understand that you are just a burden right? Nothing. You are nothing. Your parents got themselves killed just to get away from you Boy. You should go follow them as well Boy. You are nothing but trash and we were generous enough to let you take food from our mouths and let you live under this roof! Otherwise you would have been left to die! I was kind enough not to drown you the moment Petunia found you on our doorstep you Freak!"
His Uncle ranted and screamed at the boy until he got frustrated from getting no answer.
"Get on your knees Boy," his Uncle whispered cruelly. "You should show me some respect after all I've done for your bloody self!"
Harry finally found it in himself to struggle and fight this order. He was exhausted and wounded but he wouldn't bow to his Uncle. Never! He hadn't even bowed to Voldemort, so why should he bow to his Uncle.
The man kept hitting him, but Harry still refused to bow. His eyes burned with determination and he braced his body for every blow. Finally the angered whale of man kicked Harry's legs from below him making the smaller boy collapse on his knees in front of his Uncle.
"There," the man smirked at Harry, "isn't that much better."
Harry would have cried or screamed if he could make a sound or have any tears left. Instead he stared blankly ahead, the last pieces of his hope and will to live crumbling.
He got a chance to escape his prison when his relatives began to get suspicious that their neighbors were whispering about him. Whatever the reason was, Harry was glad to be outside for any other reason other than doing his chores. They had decided that they would take Harry out when they were going to meet one of Uncle Vernon's coworkers in a respectable restaurant. Aunt Petunia threw one of Dudley's very old and dirty jacket to cover up his wounds, which did nothing to protect him from the cold, and then they were of. They ordered Harry to stay away from them during this little outing and told him to to stand outside near the restaurant for a 'few' hours as they didn't trust him in their car by himself. Since he had already done his purpose by being seen by a few of the neighbors, he was then left to himself. If Harry could bring himself to feel anything more than hollowness, he would have felt indignation at being treated like some kind of obedient dog.
He still felt the need to take care of himself, so he wandered near some kind of park. There he saw some girl dump food in a bin and he hobbled towards it as fast as his wounds allowed him to go. He ate it quickly, feeling some of his everlasting hunger abate and then he eagerly rummaged for more. He startled very hard when he heard a voice. It was familiar and the name was too. It took him a few seconds to place that it was his name that the person spoke, because for the past two months he had been called everything but that name. Harry whirled around and met the warm chocolate colored eyes of his best friend's.
The first thing Hermione noticed about her friend were the shadows and dullness in his usually vibrant deep green eyes. Seeing those eyes like that were like seeing Headmaster Dumbledore's eyes without his famous twinkle and it felt very wrong. Then his ragged appearance. His clothes looked torn, like they were barely rags. Harry looked almost ill and looked like even the wind could push him away. Harry had always been a little in the thin side, but this was too much. To Hermione he looked very much like a recent Holocaust survivor.
"Harry," she whispered softly this time. He flinched slightly but did nothing else but stare at her eyes. He jumped when her parents saw her and her Mum called out her name. Hermione gestured at her parents towards her, not wanting to leave Harry, worried about his current state.
"Hermione?" her Dad's voice slightly apprehensive at seeing Harry. He didn't recognize him.
"Dad. It's Harry," she said softly.
"Harry?" her Mum asked, confused. Then she looked closer at Hermione's friend and gasped.
"Harry!" she yelled incredulously. "What happened to you!" Harry covered away from her, clapping his hands over his ears.
"What are you doing here?" her Mum continued not noticing Harry's reaction.
"Emma stop talking," Dad spoke suddenly.
"Why- oh," she said more quietly, watching Harry.
"Dad what do we do? Why is Harry acting like this?" Hermione spoke softly so Harry couldn't hear her. She saw Harry recognize her, but that glint of recognition was gone and replaced with dullness again.
"I don't know. But I intend to find out." Her Dad advanced towards Harry but her friend flinched hard and looked like he was about to bolt.
"Hey. Hey Harry," her Dad murmured softly, putting his hands up in the air. "I'm not going to hurt you."
Harry was watching Dad's hands intently. Her Dad slowly began bringing his hands down and Harry's eyes followed each move.
Hermione felt her heart hurt when she realized Harry was afraid that they were going to hurt him. What in Merlin's name happened to him?
"Hermione," her Dad whispered, shaking her out of her thoughts. "Give me some of your food."
Hermione quickly ripped open her backpack and pulled out her Mum's famous home-made sandwiches. Her Dad took it and handed it towards Harry, who stared at the food for a few seconds. He seemed to wait for something and then faster than Hermione could see, Harry had grabbed the sandwich out of her Dad's hands. He hid it from their view, crouching away from them, like he was protecting the sandwich and then tore at it.
Hermione's Mum made a sound that suspiciously sounded like a sob as they watched Harry eat the sandwich in a matter of seconds. Hermione slowly reached out to Harry, handing him another sandwich. He didn't move this time, his eyes watching her attentively. Then he moved and grabbed the food so fast he almost made her shriek in shock. He seemed to notice that, as he had dropped his head down with a small frown on his face.
"I don't think we should find Harry's relatives. He should come with us," her Mum said firmly.
"The Dursleys are out of the question. They did something. I know it," Hermione spat angrily.
"Careful Hermione. Those are dangerous accusations, but I fear you may be right," her Dad agreed.
Her Mum meanwhile went closer to Harry and whispered to him gently. Harry looked tense but seemed to listen.
"Harry do you remember me? I'm Hermione's Mum. Emma. Emma Granger. Do you want to stay with us for a while? We won't hurt you."
Hermione watched, slightly amused and sad as her Mum seemed to take on the tone she usually used on younger children as her career as a dentist. Harry looked a little confused, but nodded, and Hermione sighed in relief. Together the four odd group walked towards the car, the other three giving the boy some space as not to frighten him as he seemed jumpy enough.
Hermione smiled at Harry gently in the car, absentmindedly wondering if this was legal or not. Probably not. Oh well, as long as it was safe for Harry she didn't care. She grinned slightly as realized how far she had come. Hermione looked back at Harry who sat still like a statue, watching everything like a hawk. She knew he came far too and still would; Harry was strong. The strongest person she knew. Whatever happened to him, he would survive and beat everyone while at it. Hermione hoped with all of her heart it was true.
Hey! So yeah this is my fic and I have a fair idea of what it's gonna be like. There are grammar mistakes, I don't claim to be perfect so excuse me on that please. If you all wish to add or say something about it- please review!