Innocent Freedom

Harry Potter woke up free of the pain that haunted him. He no longer felt the feeling of slowly starving to death. His unending thirst that made his throat feel like sandpaper, no longer bothered him. For the first time in a long time, all the pain had simply vanished. It felt like magic.

He sat against the wall while holding his knees to his chest. The darkness in the cupboard under the stairs always felt suffocating. He missed the light. Once upon a time, the morning light would greet him through the cracks. One day, he heard his Uncle outside the door and strange sounds. Soon, the cupboard went pitch-black, and the sun never came again.

He tried calling out for his family to let him out one time, but they couldn't hear him anymore. Over time, the air became harder to breathe, making him feel dizzy. The hunger and thirst became worse until he could barely move. His body felt so cold, and his shallow breaths stung horribly. He remembered falling asleep, the pain gnawing at him.

Now, the pain is no longer there. He felt better then he could ever remember. He wanted to smile. He wanted to be free. He wished and wished, and then he fell through the wall. It felt strange to the dark-haired boy to faze through a solid wall. But, he didn't have much time to think about it when he saw the light again.

Joy welled up inside him as he walked over to the window. He wanted to go outside, but he needed to check on his family. He wandered the house but discovered it devoid of all people. Did his family leave and just forget to tell him? He didn't know, but he did find a small pamphlet talking about an island. He wondered when they would come back.

He decided to be wrong and go outside. He knew his Aunt and Uncle would be furious with him. He had always been told to stay in his cupboard when they left. He couldn't help himself, though, he wanted to escape.

He tried opening the door, but it wouldn't budge. He couldn't even turn the knob or unlock it for that matter. He wanted to cry, but remember how he just fell through the wall. Could he do it again? He closed his eyes and walked forward, grimacing as if afraid he would hit the wall. He felt no impact, but when he opened his eyes, he saw the outside. He let out a cry of glee, giggling excitedly.

He did not know how long he stayed out there, running in the yard. Rolling around in the grass, his mind not processing when it turned nighttime. His mind not caring when the sun rose from the horizon. He paid no mind to the neighbors walking passed him, and they didn't pay him any attention either.

Sometime after the joy of being outside without his Aunt's orders, he climbed the tree and sat on the branch. He stayed there for a while, kicking his legs back and forth. He giggled when the neighbors would walk pass him, not seeing his hiding spot. Then his fun came to an end when his Aunt and Uncle appeared back at their home.

He knew they would be upset with him for being out, but decided to get it over with. He walked up to them, but they pretended to not notice him. He felt a sadness claw at his heart, used to being ignored or chewed out. Though, he figured if they were going to pretend he didn't exist, then he could stay outside and play.

Days passed, and Harry never felt so free before. They didn't make him do any chores, nor make him cook their meals. They didn't lock him back up in his cupboard, but let him stay out in the trees. He didn't mind either, the heat or cold didn't bother him. It always felt like a typical relaxing day.

It shocked him one day when an old man appeared with a pop in front of the house alongside a dark-haired man. One sported a deep frown and the other a sneer of disgust. They walked up to the door and knocked, and Harry couldn't help but wince. His Aunt wouldn't like the weirdly dressed men at her door.

His Aunt opened the door and started yelling about freaks. The older man held up his hand placatingly, asking questions about him. He wondered why this old man wanted to know his location. He stayed in his tree, his legs dangling while watching the scene unfold with curiosity.

Soon they both vanished, and his Aunt closed the door. He didn't know how long it passed, but they eventually came back. This time an older lady with them. They pulled out these weird sticks and started waving them around. The older man looked angry suddenly and pointed his stick at the door. The door exploded open, and he fell backward off his tree in shock.

He ran after them to stop them, but they were already in the house. He heard his Aunt and Uncle screaming for them to leave. The sneering man waved his stick at them, and their yelling vanished, but their lips continued to move. They started asking where he was, and he stared at them in confusion. He waved his hand at them and said he's Harry, but they seemed to ignore him like everyone else.

The older man took his stick, and it twirled in his hand, suddenly pointing toward where his cupboard is. He stared at the blank wall in confusion. Where is his bedroom? Did they seal it up since he slept in the tree outside now? His innocent curiosity missed the rapid paling of his family's faces and the angry faces of the three strangers.

The elderly man waved his stick at where his bedroom door usually is. Suddenly, a new entry appeared, much better looking then the one he remembered. The three strangers crowded around his old room and opened it, and started gagging sickly. He winced. He knew they probably smelt where he went to the bathroom. He would get in trouble for that, but he needed to go.

He quickly left the house, hoping to escape his Uncle's wrath. He climbed his tree and sat and watched. Time seemed to pass, and soon a bunch of cars pulled up. So many flashing lights seemed to light up the surrounding area. Neighbors came out and watched. People in uniforms that his Uncle told him to never speak to barged into the house. Were they there for him? He didn't think his family would be this mad at him.

Curiosity and acceptance finally won over, and the boy jumped off the tree branch. The impact on the ground from such a height didn't bother him. He didn't even feel it. He stalked over to the door and peered inside and saw all the cops searching the house. His Aunt and Uncle are cuffed and be questioned. A couple, in particular, were snapping pictures of his old bedroom, and he felt embarrassment heat up his cheeks. He slowly made his way over to the officers, who all seemed to not see him.

For the first time, he looked into his cupboard and tilted his head in confusion. A young boy with messy black-hair was sleeping where he usually slept. He walked over, brushing passed the people taking pictures and stared at the boy's face. He looked just like him, with the same strange scar.

What was happening? He didn't know, and a tingle of fear crept up his body. Why is their a copy of him sleeping in his old room? He tried to shake him awake, but his hands fazed through the boy. He looked at his hands in shock before staring at the uniformed people. He tried talking to them, but no one would listen. Panic filtered in, but no one cared. He started crying and shouting, his emotions going haywire. The pictures on the walls all suddenly cracked.

He didn't seem to notice as he ran back outside and sat down alone, rocking back and forth. Day turned to night, and soon everyone left, and his home deserted. He had been forgotten again.

"Are you alright?" a voice called out from beside him.

He felt startled and quickly looked over. A pretty woman with long straight black hair and cold blue eyes stared at him. Her skin is pale and reminded him of snow. "I'm okay. My family forgot me," he said sadly, curling back into himself.

"Did they? I'm sure they didn't mean to," her warm, soothing voice comforting him. "Would you like to come with me? I can take you to a place where everyone wants to see you," she said, softly playing with his hair.

"Really? I don't wanna be a bother," he mumbled.

"You won't be, I promise," she said with a small smile, standing up and gesturing for him to follow. He hesitated for a second but decided to go with the pretty lady. "Grab hold of my sleeve," she said, and he did so. "Good boy," she said with a gentle smile that made his heart feel warm. The coldness that clung to him falling off.

A bright flash forced him to close his eyes. When he reopened them, he saw an area filled with white mist. Standing off in the distance is a man with messy black hair and glasses and a woman with beautiful red hair. "You see those two over there?" the woman beside him suddenly said. He looked up into the pretty woman's blue eyes and nodded. "They've been waiting a long time to see you again. I have to go, but why don't you go see them," she said, and he felt unsure. "It'll be okay, I promise," she stated, gently nudging him forward.

He slowly nodded his head and walked forward. The closer he got, the more detail he could make out. They looked so much like the people he saw in his dreams. A woman who screamed with bright green eyes and red hair. A black-haired man that looked so much like himself. The red-haired woman got down on her knees, looking happily at him with tears. "Harry," she cried out with love.

"We've missed you," the man said, getting down on his knees beside the woman.

Something seemed to click in Harry's head. "Mummy? Daddy?" he nervously said, unsure if he guessed correctly. They both nodded their heads, and his own eyes misted. "Mummy! Daddy!" he cried out, running over to them. They enveloped in a warm hug, and a bright flash surrounded them before they vanished.

The pretty woman smiled sadly before pulling out a notebook. Inside the journal is an evergrowing list of names that wouldn't stop filling up for a long time. Her blue eyes scanned pages of scratched out names until they rested on a specific name. "Harry James Potter," she said, slowly drawing a line through it. The book closed shut, and she vanished herself to continue her work. Death's work is never done.

Author Note: This an idea I've had floating around my head for a long time. I don't know if I do it any justice, but I wanted to get it down in words. I hope you all can feel the emotions I try to convey in this short one-shot. Thank you for reading.