Usual rules apply. This is an AU, there is SLASH, there are mature themes between two males.

Therefore, if you don't like the pairing, I don't wanna hear about it and you can leave this page now without scarring yourself, not that there are Lemons in this chapter anyway.

Otherwise, as always – ENJOY.

Harry knelt outside, his body covered in sweat as the hot sun pounded down on him as he tended to the front garden, pulling weeds and making it look nice. The most recent chore that was handed down to him. He sighed as he wiped his forehead with his equally sweaty arm, it was rather pointless.

"Boy! Get in here quickly!" Came the venomous voice of one Vernon Dursley.

Harry looked over his shoulder and slowly stood, his knees aching from kneeling for a long period of time and he dusted himself off before walking inside. His Aunt, Petunia, was in the kitchen and nodded towards the living area where his Uncle was sitting, feet resting on the coffee table. Swallowing hard, Harry made his way over to the man.

"Yes, Uncle Vernon." He asked sweetly, the fake smile plastering his face as he eyed the man carefully.

"Thought I told you to mow those lawns. What are you doing you useless freak? Pruning the roses?"

Was he serious? He'd just asked him to weed the garden. Harry looked out onto the front lawn from where he was standing and noted that the grass didn't really need cutting but he wasn't about to argue with the man and he walked off to get the manual lawn mower. In this heat, it was the last thing he wanted to be doing.

"Oi! I'm not done with you yet!" The thunderous toned made Harry stop and he turned back to the man a little cautious.

"Sorry, sir. There was something else you needed?"

"Watch your tone, freak. You can wash the car whilst you're at it."

"Yes, sir." Harry sighed in defeat and walked off again.

It had been like this all his life, doing all the chores for the Dursleys. None of them helped and Harry was used to the injustice. Apart from the blood wards keeping him safe at the house, he didn't really see why anyone would let him stay there, surely someone knew what was going on? He snorted at his own thoughts, who was he kidding? He rolled the lawn mower towards the front lawn and started mowing and looked up when a boy slightly older than he walked past and gave him a small smile. Harry smiled back at him before he walked off down the street. Harry didn't think he'd seen that boy before, he thought maybe they had just moved to the area, but it wasn't like he was going to find out anyway. He had too many chores to do.

Finally, as the sun began to set, Harry walked inside and up the stairs where he found his room and quietly closed the door. He was exhausted and now he had the grueling task of trying not to let his growling stomach get the better of him. He was grateful for any food that he was given, but a few slices of toast in the morning and a half assed sandwich, sometimes made from moldy bread wasn't really enough to sustain a fifteen year old, pubescent adolescent. Still, it was better than nothing but his stomach currently wanted more.

"Potter!" He heard a shout from downstairs and he huffed before moving down into the living room again.

"Where is dinner?" He barked when Harry entered the living area.

"Huh?" Harry was baffled, he knew for sure that he wasn't asked to make dinner.

He gulped. That only meant one thing.

"Right. You," he said pointing at Harry, "upstairs."

Harry edged away slowly as the fat lard coughed and wheezed as he stood up. Frightened he bolted up the stairs and slammed his door shut, trying to pin it shut with his boney body but it was fruitless and the man barged through the door, knocking Harry to the ground. He started to cower, he didn't want this and he had been good all day, this simply wasn't fair. But it was his life.

His uncle grabbed his upper arm with so much force Harry thought it was going to pop right out of its socket and was pushed onto the bed. He was ranting about what a freak Harry was and how he was lazy for not preparing their meal so they would now have to wait for Petunia to make some. He was struck across the face with a palm and it made a smacking sound that echoed off the walls as the man's hand made contact with his cheek. He was then kicked in the shins so hard he fell to the ground and from there he was kicked repeatedly in the ribs and stomach.

When the man was done, Harry was wheezing uncomfortably and clutching his chest. He was thankful however, that it hadn't been the belt this time round. That always hurt the most and he had the scars on his back to prove it. A sob erupted from his lips and he crawled into his bed and curled into a tight ball as tears flowed onto his pillow. He knew he was going to be sore in the morning.

The week that followed was just the same, there was another few rounds of kicking and slapping before the belt came out and Harry's back was covered in welts. By the end of that week, Harry was again outside, his shirt soaked with sweat and he tentatively pulled it off before kneeling by some roses and he fiddled round with the surrounding weeds and pruning the bushes back. He happened to look up and the boy that he'd seen walking past almost every day was coming past again. This time however he didn't keep walking, he stopped and turned to face Harry.

"Hi." The boy said.

Harry looked up at him and took in his appearance. He definitely looked like a Muggle with his olive coloured shorts, white singlet and converse trainers. He had really tanned skin and black hair. The stand out feature was however, the piercing blue eyes that seemed to sparkle in the sunlight, yet there seemed to be a dark element to them. Harry couldn't work it out but they unnerved him. Pulling himself together though he stood and brushed himself down before walking over to where the boy was standing.

"Hi." Harry replied tentatively and with a smile.

"You seem to work a lot out here in the garden." He started and Harry unconsciously turned his head back to the house to check if anyone was watching them. "My name's Peter." He said smiling still.

"I'm Harry. I haven't seen you before are you new to the area?" Harry asked curiously and the boy nodded.

"A couple of weeks ago. It's strange, you're the only other person I've seen around here who's my age."

"Oh really? I haven't really noticed." Harry said still cautious of being yelled at.

"Are you okay? Are you waiting for someone?" Peter asked him looking over Harry's shoulder to see what he was looking at.

"Oh, no. Sorry." He gave a soft laugh. "But I should really get back to this. It's been nice talking though." Harry said turning around and walking back over to the roses.

He heard the boy gasp and he turned around quickly to see what the matter was. The boy pointed to Harry with a worried look on his face.

"Your back." He said horrified and Harry thought the blood had drained from his face. There were huge red welts and a couple of cuts on his back from the other day when he was beaten by the belt.

"Oh that?" Harry shrugged casually. "I fell into these the other day." Harry lied pointed at the rose bush and smiled.

He wasn't sure if the boy believed him and narrowed his eyes before smiling again and waving goodbye. Letting out a sigh of relief, Harry got back to his gardening before he heard the threatening voice shouting from inside the house, he knows.

The next day, Harry was walking towards the letterbox at the end of the drive as he had been ordered to get the mail for his Uncle, well more importantly the newspaper, when he saw Peter approaching and he quickened his pace, not wanting the boy to see him. It was too late however and he said hello.

"Hey Harry, how are – Oh my god what happened to your eye?" He said looking a little worried and Harry shrugged again.

"Oh, I walked into a door last night. Rather clumsy hey?" He tried to joke and the boy smiled a little, but Harry could see cautiousness. "How are you?"

"I'm okay. Was just about to head to the park today, the weather is so nice I thought I might jump in the pool there. Did you want to come with me?" He asked hopefully and looked at Harry with bright eyes.

"I'd love to, let me just check though." He said, he knew he wasn't going to be allowed out but he thought he'd try anyway. "Why don't you go on ahead? If I'm allowed to go I'll meet you there."

"Uh, okay. Sure." And with that Peter walked off leaving Harry with a funny feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Harry walked back inside and handed his Uncle the paper, there were no letters on this day. He cleared his throat as he stood in front of the ugly man and he looked up at Harry with a sneer that rivaled even Snape's.

"Sir, I was wondering if I may go to the park for a little while?" He asked politely and the looked on his Uncles face said it all.

"When there are chores to be done here? I don't think so freak." He spat and turned back to his paper.

"I've done double the chores I usually do in the holidays all week, please?" Harry begged. He really needed to get out of the house.

"Just let him go." Sighed his Aunt and Harry looked at her as if she'd grown a second head. Did she just say he could go?

The fat man sighed before nodding and sending out strict instructions for when he should be back and what he would have waiting in terms of chores when he got back. Harry nodded and left the room quickly and heard Dudley snickering as he left.

"He only wants to go so he can see his boyfriend." But Harry didn't stop and argue, he wanted out and quickly.

He shut the front door behind him and quickly walked towards the park to see his friend. He felt a little embarrassed if he was honest though, he still wore Dudley's hand me downs and they were extremely big on a scrawny boy like Harry but it was all he had. He guessed that if Peter had an issue with it he wouldn't have talked to Harry in the first place.

It was another extremely hot day and Harry wanted to rip off his t-shirt to try and cool off. He saw Peter sitting on the edge of the pool and he went over to sit next to him. They exchanged small talk for a while, then Harry started asking questions and Peter started to do the same. The heat was getting unbearable and Harry was watching Peter with longing eyes as he swam the length of the pool a couple of times. The water looked so inviting and he wanted to jump in.

"You coming in or what?" Peter asked as he came up from duck diving under the water.

Harry considered it but he didn't feel comfortable going in with his shirt off. But now that he thought about it, Peter had already seen the welts on his back so he guessed it wasn't too big of a deal. He smiled and nodded before carefully extracting his shirt of his sweaty upper half and was about to jump into the pool when he heard a snapping sound. One that sounded like a whip as it snapped in the air but Harry knew better than he spun round to where the sound had come from and looked around wildly. For all he knew it could have been a Deatheater coming to attack him but he couldn't sense any dark magic and his dreams hadn't suggested anything lately so he took a deep breath and tried to put it aside.

In his haste to find the cause of the noise, he hadn't notice Peter get out of the pool and stand next to him looking in the same place where Harry was. They didn't know each other overly well, but Peter had a kind heart and he was worried about his new friend. The one that seemed to have a new bruise everyday, but he wasn't going to question Harry about it. Not directly anyway.

"Boy you scare easily." He commented before turning to look at Harry and he put a hand on Harry's shoulder but immediately tensed and he withdrew his hand.

"Do you want to talk about it?" He said in a friendly manner hoping that Harry could trust him.

"Talk about what?" Harry asked feigning confusion but he knew what Peter was getting on at.

"The truth behind that," he point to Harry's face, "and those." He continued and pointed to Harry's bruised chest.

"It's like I said, I'm such a clumsy person." He tried and walked towards the pool with the intention of jumping in, he did and Peter jumped in after him.

What they failed to notice, or rather what Harry failed to notice was the concealed man dressed all in black standing not too far away from the two teens, frowning at the sight in front of him.