AN: Thank you for the support of my first story. If you have corrections or ideas/advice for a new writer, please P.M. me, I will be happy to at least read it, and fix any corrections I can. I'm more focused on writing a quality piece, so unfortunately unless my writing pace increases drastically, I wont post exceedingly often. I don't own Harry Potter, but I bet you already knew that.
Summer 2006~ Privet Drive
This is the Story about a very normal family. In an average house, on an average street, in an average neighborhood, lived the Dursley family, plus Harry of course. They lived in a suburb south of London in a county called Surrey. The family would appear to be the epitome of normal to anyone who looked. Well, so long as anyone who looked didn't necessarily look too closely and maybe squinted, while looking through some hazy air, or a blurry window pane. Because the truth is that the family of three and an extra was quite abnormal, despite all of their posturing.
Vernon Dursley was a very large man, with a great bushy mustache that often quivered when he spoke, got mad, went to use the loo, scratch his nose, or any number of mundane activities he could perform. He often had a red face, whether because of his apocalyptic anger or because of the many favorable tumblers of whiskey he consumed. He was also a rather spiteful man. He hated anyone that wasn't exactly like him. Which typically consisted of people who were large, racist, or prejudiced in some manner, typically white Englishmen, who either lived in London, or near it all their lives, and wanted nothing to ever change in their lives. Vernon worked at a very boring firm called Grunnings. He often spent the whole day doing nothing but eating, yelling, and filling out paperwork, but the latter was a less important priority.
Petunia Dursley nee Evans, was an overly thin blonde women, with a long neck, and an often puckered face with a sneer on it. She spent most of her day shoving food down her sons face, and listening to, and spreading gossip. She hated anything that didn't fit into her small perfect world, and that typically ended up being her nephew Harry. Petunia Dursley also had an obsessive need to have everything in her house be meticulously clean, sometimes cleaning rooms of the house every day without fail, for weeks on end.
Dudley Dursley was a rotund boy, with large meaty everything's. While he was not quite there, he was almost as wide as he was big. Dudley didn't do much other than eat and watch the Telly, but he also enjoyed throwing tantrums, and hitting and stealing from his cousin Harry.
Harry Potter was a young boy. He was six years old, and quite small for his age. He had unruly black hair, that wouldn't lay flat, and piercing emerald eyes. Harry lived with his Aunt Petunia, his Uncle Vernon, and his Cousin Dudley. He lives in a cupboard under the stairs, along with the spiders and dust bunnies that also call it home.
Harry Potter was not a happy child. Then again, very few children would be happy under the same circumstances. There were multiple reasons for the soon to be six year olds misery at this moment. His birthday had just passed, and once again, nothing came of it. Harry had never celebrated his birthday. In fact he had only ever known his birthday since his teacher had mentioned it in passing during the previous school year. Harry had never gotten a present, he had never eaten birthday cake, nor had he celebrated the occasion with friends. Of course the boy would need to have friends first before he would be able to do so. But not having his birthday acknowledged, was not the most of his problems.
His second problem was that he had been told by his aunt that he was expected to start cooking breakfast every day for the new school year. Not that this was new, Harry had been put to work for as long as he could remember. Sweeping, polishing objects low to the ground, weeding, putting away Dudley's toys, and anything else his relatives could think had been 'taught' how to cook by his aunt, by her handing him a cook-book, and a dictionary, and telling him to figure it out. It was a good thing that Harry was a clever lad, otherwise he would have had even more problems than he already did, figuring out through context what some of the terms meant. She had given Harry more specific instructions on how to prepare the expected breakfast, but how she expected a soon to be six year old to cook, while requiring a stool to even reach the stove and the majority of the Fridge was anyone's guess. It didn't help that the expected breakfast meal in the Dursley home was nearly a dozen eggs, too much bacon to be good for anyone, a quarter of a loaf of bread, jam, syrup, and a myriad of other things. To make matters worse, it would be a rare day when Harry would be able to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
But the most important reason was that Harry was quite upset with his hair. It wasn't that the young boy was having a bad hair day, although it wouldn't necessarily be wrong to call it that either. Harry aunt had decided on her own that it was important to prepare for the new school year by looking their best. Petunia decided a good starting point would be to get the two boys a haircut. Her precious son got a trim that ended up making it look like someone had merely set a mop on top of a beach ball. But Harry was not so lucky in the Dursley Family adventure in hair trimming. In the Dursley's eternal war against Harrys rather unruly hair, it had been shaved all off except for one lock of hair "to cover up that ugly scar".
Harrys scar was one of many sources of contention between the small boy and his relatives. His uncle considered it abnormal, and that real scars don't look like that. His aunt just said that it was horrible, and did her best to hide it when she cared. Dudley didn't particularly care, but preferred calling his cousin Scary, instead of Harry, which was the epitome of funny to the blonde fluff ball. Harry however rather liked his Scar, it made him different, and anything that made Harry different, was grand in his books. Up until a few months ago, Harry would have done anything he could to just be normal, in an effort to fit in and be loved. But after a year of watching the other kids get picked up by their parents, of watching them celebrate birthdays, of them getting picked up, and patted on the head, and other such things, it did two things to Harry. One thing was that it intensified his desire to have his own family one day and love them, like his couldn't. The other thing was that he had a rather morbid realization for a 5 year old. Harry Potter knew in the spring of 2006, that he would never be loved by the Dursley's.
Not that Harry had failed to try and 'earn' love from his relatives, especially when he wasn't given love freely. He had done everything asked of him happily, hoping for a bit of praise, or some other form of acknowledgement other than a scowl, or a fist. Harry Had brought home the best marks he could in school, always trying his best to prove himself to his relatives. Getting smacked around for outdoing Dudley was a big part of his wake up call.
But overall, Harry was not a happy child. As the sun started poking its rays into the sleepy community in which privet drive existed, something special happened. After a long night of worrying about the new year of school, plus worrying over all of his normal problems, the uncomfortable ball of stress sitting in Harry's stomach had sparked an occurrence over the period of his restless sleep. In the quiet calm of the dawn hours, The precious silence was shattered by the screeching call of, "Boy! Wake up boy!" As the call spread through the house, Harry startled awake to a head full of hair.
Harry had gone to bed nearly shaved bald the night before, which was a condition not ordinarily reversed. Except for possibly waiting for the hair to grow back naturally that is. So it is not misunderstandable that Harry ended up quite flustered when, upon leaving his cupboard of a bedroom, he was yelled at, walloped, questioned, walloped, and thrown straight back into his cupboard for punishment.
Harry was currently cradling his left arm in an attempt to sooth some of the pain he was feeling, but more than just that, Harry was attempting to figure out what had happened. His Aunt and Uncle had mostly been incoherent in their questioning, but Harry had easily understood their clear displeasure in him. After the pain in his arm had gradually diminished and he had wiped away his tears, Harry had calmed down enough to try and understand what exactly he had done. Because no matter how stupid the 'reason' may be, his Aunt and Uncle typically had one behind their punishments. And so Harry sat on the cot in his small cupboard, occasionally sniffling, going over and over the possible reasons for his relative's displeasure. And in doing so, Harry, in a nervous habit of sorts, started running his hand through his hair. Of course it took the boy a while to even understand what was wrong with him being able to run his hand through his hair. Harry was upset, confused, and in pain. Still, Harry was a clever child, and he was quickly able to understand the simple fact that hair does not as a matter of fact grow back overnight.
In another Universe, or dimension, or timeline or whatever, Harry would have wanted to be 'normal' so bad, he would have done anything in hopes of being loved and accepted, even ignoring his own blatant uniqueness. But this Harry despised 'normal', he wanted to be different, he wanted to be special, he wanted anything that was different from his relatives. Harry knew something had happened to him. He knew the hair wasn't a wig, and he knew that someone hadn't done something stupid like glue hair onto his head. He pulled it, touched it, he even looked at it the best he could through the small bits of light that were coming through the vent on the door to his cupboard. After finally accepting that it was his real hair, he continued feeling his hair, marveling in its return to his head.
Harry knew that something odd had happened. But due to a lacking vocabulary, young Harry was unable to find the word to define such an event. But just knowing that this 'Thing' had happened would be enough for any child of his age, but Harry wanted more of this oddity. Even if his relatives hated whatever 'It' was, Harry was just more likely to pursue such an oddity. "What have You done?" "Freak" "Unnatural" "why did You do this?" The questions reverberated through his mind, and in the easy acceptance of children, even ignoring the usual taunts of his relatives, Harry assumed that he had been the one to make his hair grow back. Harry was naturally thrilled that one of his biggest wishes had been granted, his being special, but it was not enough. Harry needed more. And if Harry could make his hair grow once, who was to say that he wouldn't be able to do it again?
It wasn't that easy though. Due to one of Harry's recent punishments, the bare light bulb hanging down from the ceiling of his cupboard had been taken away. Not to mention that Harry did not have a mirror to count among some of his meager possessions. Of course he was already figuratively trying to figure out this power of his blind, but he didn't particularly want to do it literally either. But Harry forged ahead in his effort to learn how to utilize his new ability, and even a lack of sight couldn't stop him. Driven by his need to be different than his relatives, and a new found interest in having something unique to call his own, Harry concentrated and strained and practiced in the cold dark of his shelter. But willpower was quite literally all young Harry had going for him. He didn't have any technical know-how; in fact, he had no clue what he was doing at all. But despite a lack of a plan, or knowing what he was doing, Harry delved into the task he had set before himself.
During the hours the young boy would normally be day-dreaming of a Family coming to rescue him from his current life, or quietly humming along to some song he had heard. Harry had taken to concentrating as hard as he could on his hair, attempting to make it grow. Of course a newly 6 year old boy could only take so much mental strain before he would be forced to rest and let his thoughts wander. But even with the many breaks he would have to take to regain his ability to concentrate, the young boy was still unfairly locked in his room, and had nothing better to do with his time.
And so the young boy's days continued for the remnant of the summer. When he came out of his cupboard to empty the pot he used as a restroom in his room, he took the opportunity to look in the bathroom mirror, trying vainly to see if there was any change in his appearance. And at the end of the week it was the day for Harry to come out again after completing his punishment. After filling his stomach with water that didn't come from the dog bowl in his room, Harry took another opportunity to look into the mirror. He wasn't quite sure, but he felt that his hair was maybe an inch or two longer. Harry attempted desperately to not think that he was imagining any improvement, and aimed himself towards gaining a noticeable change, just so he would know it was real. Harry was still very pleased though, despite his possible misgivings, he felt almost certain something had happened, and he knew that he would succeed regardless.
It was important that Harry had learned at an early age to not show pleasure or any sign of real happiness around the Dursley's, otherwise, anything from a beaming smile to a bemused grin could have leaked out from behind the boys once again shaggy locks. But a few times being smacked around by a displeased Vernon was a good teacher in the art of keeping a neutral appearance. It wasn't that Harry hadn't been disciplined for a neutral appearance as well, but it was certainly a smaller amount of discipline than what happiness got him.
So Harry washed the sleep out of his eyes, and tried to wash himself quietly and quickly with the sink. , because the thing that all children dreaded had come. The first day of school was here, and Harry had to once again cook breakfast for his family. After getting the knots out of his back; or at least trying, and blinking the brightness out of his eyes, Harry went to the kitchen to create food that he would likely not be able to eat much of.
After getting splattered with cooking oil, burning a couple fingers, and getting a singular piece of toast for his troubles, Harry was on his way to school. He was carrying a threadbare pack that had originated in a goodwill box, and a half-filled in notebook and a couple broken pencils he had found. His hair a mess, clothes several times too big for him, and his shoes more tape than anything else, the boy watched the Dursleys family car driving past with a much too smug looking Dudley looking out at him as they drove on. Harry adjusted the weight on his back and absently went back to attempting to make his hair grow out during his trek to the nearby school.