This story is high Teen for blood and gore. No graphic sexual themes, but there may be graphic violence from time to time. There may be warnings every now and then for Mature themes in certain chapters.
Thank you, I hope you enjoy the story.
The Smiling Crow
Harry Potter continued running, ignoring the tears streaming down his face and the burning in his calves. He had to get away.
No one was awake at that time, not many would be at 2 AM, so the streets were open, desolate, and lonely. The dead leaves rattled as a small wind pushed them around on the ground. He didn't like autumn. It meant that his cupboard got very cold, very quickly.
He looked behind him and didn't see the hulking figure of Uncle Vernon chasing him or, knowing the man's cardiac fitness, the family car zooming towards him, so he cautiously slowed down and caught his breath. His cousin Dudley's Harry Hunting kept the 7-year-old in shape, but he'd been running for the better part of 20 minutes.
Tears kept falling as he remembered how it all came to this.
He hadn't meant to.
One moment the mean substitute teacher's hair was its usual, dull grayish-white, the next it was bright blue. Though, the fact that it happened when he was giving Harry an angry lecture on his missing homework (which Dudley stole) meant all fingers pointed to Harry. Thankfully, the school principal could not find any evidence that would point to Harry directly, despite the insistence of Mr. Mulligan.
The principal had to repeatedly question the man's logic when he insisted a seven-year-old child had the chemical background necessary to turn hair blue; let alone make it happen instantly and without touching the hair in question. In the end, he chalked it up as an anomaly, perhaps with the shampoo he used, and dismissed the substitute. Afterwards, he made a note to run a background check on Mr. Mulligan's mental health.
Of course, by the school system, the principal had to tell Aunt Petunia of the incident. In front of the principal, she managed to stay calm, but Harry could tell after 6 years of experience that the subtle stiffening and pursing of lips meant he'd get something for it later. The second they were out of public range, his prediction came true.
As soon as they were home, behind the safety of her closed door, Petunia was livid. She smacked and slapped him while repeatedly calling him "freak". He cooked dinner while she glared at him as though it would cause him to erupt in flames. Afterwards, she held his hand over the still-burning heating element "for good measure". When she was done, he cradled his burned hand in pain and distinctly heard her mumble about "freaks", "beating it out of him", and "he's just like them". He wasn't sure what "it" was or who "they" were, but it was emphasized heavily in her mutterings.
Petunia told Vernon within a minute of him walking in. Harry knew it wasn't going to be pleasant, the way he said "I'm home" signaled that he had a short temper from the day at work. On that alone, it would mandate a few good beatings to vent his frustrations. Compounded with this news… if he reacted anything like Aunt Petunia…
He had acted worse.
Vernon beat him badly that afternoon after yelling and raging incoherently for almost a full hour. Harry numbly accepted the pain with each resounding thump against the walls and the floor. He knew that his Uncle would just punish "crying" on top of it all, but it was trying when he heard the small *crack* in his arm after being thrown against the floor.
He was eventually shoved into his cupboard, still bleeding, without his meager dinner. Harry did a small self-check-up. From what he could tell, he'd probably broken his arm, his nose was drizzling blood, his eye felt swollen and tender, and the rest of him was covered in various degrees of bruises.
The entire time, he heard them through the crack in his cupboard, emphasizing "them" and "it" in hushed tones. When Dudley came home from whatever friend's house he was at that afternoon, anything else was drowned out by either video games from the living room or his incessant whining for food.
He sat silently in his cupboard the entire time. He knew if he disrupted them, he'd get beaten even worse and at the moment, he didn't want to risk any more injury. He shoved his fist into his gut to prevent it from growling at the smell and sounds of the dinner he cooked.
He had started to staunch the flow of blood when they finished watching telly for the evening and he heard their heavy footsteps on the stairs above him. The house was pitch black as all of the downstairs lights were shut off from the switch at the top of the stairwell. He heard them shuffling around upstairs until he could make out the faint snores of Uncle Vernon and Dudley and occasional sleep-murmur from Petunia.
He settled down, but couldn't find a comfortable enough position to sleep in. His left forearm seared with pain every time it jostled the wrong way and the bruises elsewhere prevented him from lying down without wincing at the pressure pain.
In the end, he just sat upright and leaned against the cupboard door. He held his left arm with his right to keep the bone from being jostled. What will happen now? He wondered. He felt his arm was definitely broken; the arm was slightly swollen and a large, nasty bruise was on in the middle of it where the pain was greatest. Even moving his arm caused the pain to flare up. Uncle Vernon had never broken any bones before. Would he go to the hospital? Would anyone care? What would happen?
He sat there for a long while and silently waited. He knew he couldn't cry out at night and wake the Dursleys. That just led to even worse beatings.
He eventually heard the small chime of the tacky mantle clock in the sitting room strike twelve. He couldn't help himself. He was scared and in pain. A few tears managed to squeeze their way out of his eyes.
No, you're not a baby! He mentally scolded himself. He sniffled quietly and wiped his eyes.
Still, he sat in his small space and looked out the vent his Aunt and Uncle had forgotten to close. The moon was bright that night and came out from the clouds. The soft, white light illuminated the kitchen and the light from off the polished floors lit up the rest of the house.
Harry was amazed how much he could make out. The television set, the table, the coat rack…
They didn't have a coat rack.
Certainly not one that tall.
His eyes adjusted to the light and he could make out what looked like a man in a black suit. From his vantage point, he could make out that the figure was very tall and had a black business suit like the ones he'd seen Uncle Vernon wear on his way to work, though this figure had a very, very thin suit as opposed to Vernon's. The grate and angle prevented him from seeing the face, though.
The figure didn't move the entire time, but Harry got the feeling it was searching for something. He shivered as his pain-numbed mind realized; someone else was in the house!
Harry paid attention in the safety course at his primary school, he knew about burglars and robbers. He knew they dressed in weird, dark colors and broke into houses at night. This man was obviously here to steal things from the Dursleys!
Out of fear of making a sound, he sat rooted to the spot. It must have been five minutes and the figure hadn't moved an inch.
Harry frowned. He watched a cartoon-y safety video with the rest of his class. It showed a man in dark clothes with a brown bag and a flashlight walking around the house and taking things. The only thing was, the burglar depicted comically walked around on his tip-toes or in an exaggerated "stealthy walk". This figure just stood there. Harry wondered if this was what real burglars did… He idly wondered where the "stealing" part came in.
Suddenly, the dust in his cupboard tickled his nose. Before he could stop it, he had let out an explosive sneeze in the silence of the house.
Horrified, he clamped his hand to his mouth and shuddered as he slowly turned back to the grate opening. The figure was still in the same spot as before, but it had shifted its position…
Towards his cupboard!
Harry scrambled backwards against the far wall of his space, giving a muffled cry as his broken arm reminded him of its presence. He decided that any more noise he made would be useless anyways since the burglar obviously knew where he was.
All he heard was his own breathing as he watched the light through the vertical slats of the vent. The figure didn't make any sound at all, but it moved in front of the grate, blocking out the light. Something that sounded like the soft slithering of a snake moved around out there and he heard the soft *click* of his cupboard latch.
Confused, Harry sat pressed against the wall as the figure moved away and light came pouring back in. He didn't dare to move for a long time until he heard the clock chime 1.
He slowly made his way back to the vent and peered out.
The moon was still up and he couldn't see anything around. Cautiously, he leaned against the door and almost lost his balance as it swung open. He opened it fully and stepped out into the moonlit house.
The figure wasn't around, nor were any footprints or any indication he was ever there.
Harry went back to his cot in the cupboard to mull things over.
How do I explain this? He thought. What would Uncle Vernon say if I tell him someone broke in and did nothing but unlatch my cupboard? He'd probably just accuse me of unlocking it myself and see a new padlock and deadbolt put on as well. Then, he'd probably accuse me of stealing despite the fact that nothing's missing.
He sighed and shifted his weight. Again, he felt a sharp flare of pain from his arm. Looking down, he saw the skin had gone blotchy around the pain and a few cuts started giving off a yellowish goo. He wasn't squeamish, though. The Dursleys had given him cuts and burns before that caused that yellow stuff sometimes.
Though, he couldn't stop to clean it before.
He only had short baths spaced very far apart. His 5 minute bathroom breaks weren't nearly enough to do his "business" and clean the wounds adequately. The rest of the time, he was either in his cupboard or out working in the garden.
Looking down at the yellow pus and bruises, he decided mysterious man or no, he could get out of his cupboard for once and deal with the pain. He slowly opened the door, cringing every time the hinges creaked in the silent house, but the continuous muffled snoring allowed him to relax.
He crept up the staircase, careful to avoid any creaky floorboards and stair steps that had been weakened by the strain of having to deal with his cousin's and uncle's weights. He managed to get to the washroom on the upper level.
He left the lights off. Thankfully, the moonlight through the window was more than enough to work by. He opened the faucet to a silent trickle and took an old towel from under the sink and wetted it. He gingerly dabbed at his wounds, slightly relieved as the blood and pus wiped away. He searched in the cabinet and found a small first aid kit.
Inside was a small first aid booklet. He flipped to the page on broken bones and found some bandages and a spare lead pipe from the cabinet under the sink. He put a layer of bandage over his arm and lined up the pipe along his forearm to the palm of his hand so it kept his wrist flat. Then, following the book's instructions, he secured the pipe with a few more layers of the bandages. He cut the bandages off with some large shears that came with the kit.
It was uncomfortable, but it helped him not move his arm as much.
He also found some antibiotic ointment as well. He was immensely relieved when he put it on the cuts and the stove burn from earlier. It cooled the mildly burning pain and his cuts felt "cleaner" than they had in years.
He closed the top lid to the toilet and sat on it. He kept gently dabbing on the cooling ointment and even putting a few band-aids on some of the worse cuts and scrapes.
After a few minutes, he sat there, collecting his thoughts and allowing the ointment to help relieve the pain. It was very relaxing; the dim moonlight was not as harsh as the bathroom light's glare and he was relieved at the silence throughout the house.
Save for a mild ringing in his ears.
Confused, he gently fiddled with his ears to see if the ringing would go away. Interestingly, he found that after moving his head around, the ringing seemed to have a source. Swiveling his head around, he determined it was outside.
Slowly, he went to the single window in the room and peered through the curtains.
In the dim light from outside, he could make out a few trees, the outlines of the other houses, the lamppost-
He gasped when he saw it.
Under the streetlight's dim cone of yellow light, was a figure in a business suit. Harry was frustrated that the tall figure's face was obscured by the darkness just outside the cone of light, but he knew that it was the same character that managed to get in the house.
Again, Harry got the distinct impression the figure was looking right at him; as though he knew that the young boy was looking out the window despite being in the darkened bathroom and hidden behind a layer of curtains.
The black-haired youth, almost defiantly, stared back at the figure. Almost daring him to make a move. He could swear he heard the distorted sound of chuckling inside his own head; like a laugh from another channel on the TV that didn't quite tune right through the static.
He whirled around to the sound, his ears straining to find the source. The house was completely silent and he waited for a few seconds before cautiously turning back around to the window.
The figure was gone.
So was the slight ringing and static. Harry frowned in confusion, grateful for the silence to think in. It was a lot easier to concentrate and think than his thought being broken by Vernon's snores-
He was blinded as the lights to the bathroom suddenly flared to life. His eyes couldn't make out much in the harsh light, but he saw the large figure of his Uncle in the doorway.
Harry saw the large blur start hulking its way towards him.
"WHAT THE DEVIL ARE YOU DOING OUT OF YOUR CUPBOARD, BOY!?"
In a split second decision, Harry picked up the silver shears he used to cut the bandages. His Uncle picked him off the ground by the neck and Harry flailed wildly. The shears managed to cut his Uncle on the arm and the larger man cried out in pain, releasing the smaller child.
Harry scrambled backwards as his Uncle hissed in pain with his other hand clamped over the wound to help staunch the mild flow of blood. He looked down and saw an opening on his Uncle's left side. He dove for it, but was snatched up again by the irate uncle. This time, Harry's bandaged left arm, fortified with a lead pipe, managed to collide his Uncle's leg. He thought he heard a small *crack!* and his uncle howled in pain before collapsing and clutching his shin.
Harry took the opportunity and scrambled out of the bathroom. He raced down the stairs and threw open the door to the night air. Just before he was off Number 4's lawn, he heard his uncle's bellow echo across the neighborhood.
And so, Harry found himself long past Privet Drive. He made it to the wooded park a number of streets down from Number 4. He slowed down and found a vacant park bench. The large park was empty, so he lay down, careful of his left arm and huddled for warmth on the bench. The autumn wind didn't help, but at least he'd kept his day clothes on instead of the pitiful excuse for pajamas the Dursleys gave him. The jeans were warm enough to keep him from getting hypothermia.
The 7-year-old thought about where he'd be going from here. What would he do? Where would he go? How would he eat? Sleep? Live?
He sniffled and allowed a few tears to drip down.
All he wanted was to go back to his cupboard at this point. He didn't want the attention or the cold or the fear, even if he was hurt by them, sometimes they'd let him be in the blissful state of "ignoring him as if he didn't exist". Those days, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and even Dudley wouldn't cast a second glance at him. He'd be so grateful on those days as it signaled he'd go to bed without a couple of bruises and cuts and maybe even a small meal.
He silently cursed himself for ever turning the teacher's hair blue. It was his fault. He didn't know why, he didn't know how, but he was sure it had something to do with him. With "it" as his Aunt had said.
What's more, he cursed the figure. He had no clue what the suited man wanted, why it let him out , or why he got Harry in this situation, but if he had never interfered, maybe he'd be able to just live in his relative obscurity.
He shifted to get comfortable on the park bench. He was glad he'd thought to put a protective layer between the lead pipe and his skin; he could feel the cold metal leeching his body heat even through the bandage, but he imagined it'd be worse if the bandage wasn't there at all.
He'd just started giving in to the numbness of sleep, when he… felt a presence.
He slowly sat up. It was like this one time Dudley was feeling less physical and more annoying during a car ride. He spent the entire time with his fat finger a centimeter from the side of Harry's head chanting "I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you." He knew the finger was there, he just didn't see it and it nagged at the back of his head and he could "feel" something there insisting he look.
He slowly turned around and allowed his eyes to adjust to the park.
About ten feet away was the same figure in a suit standing next to a short lamp post. He could confirm the figure must have been almost nine feet tall, it was almost as tall as the post itself. Again, the figure's face was shrouded in the shadows cast by the light and Harry couldn't make out any features other than the fact that its neck showed he had pale skin, if not white altogether and matched the same color as his white dress shirt. If it wasn't for the collar, Harry would have almost guessed the figure wasn't wearing a shirt at all.
He could "feel" the eyes on him, so he feigned bravery and angrily stared right back at the area he supposed his eyes would be.
He jolted. It was another chuckle, similar to what he heard in the bathroom, but much clearer than before.
He shivered as the figure stood still as if waiting for him to do something. His initial fear of the man gradually receded to wary curiosity. He didn't feel like the figure meant to do him any harm. If anything, the figure was almost benign.
He slowly walked towards the figure until he was within the cone of yellow light from the dim street light.
"Who are you?" He asked quietly.
The figure didn't respond, instead simply standing there facing Harry. Harry was undeterred.
"What do you want?"
The figure crouched down. Its long legs bent awkwardly and its arm came down to stabilize itself. Harry's breath caught in his throat as he finally saw the figure's face-
Or, rather, lack thereof.
The figure's face was blank and as white as an empty canvas. There were slight indentations, emphasized by the shadows, that were similar an old statue where the face was weathered away, but you could make out the faded curves that may have been a nose and eye sockets.
There was no mouth nor any indication of any ever being there. The "nose" indentation had no orifices for breathing. His completely hairless head showed he had no ears either.
There were no eyes in the "eye" indentations, but Harry got the feeling it could still "see" him.
For a few seconds, they both silently regarded each other before the tall man slowly extended a long arm towards Harry. The pale, white hand faced palm upwards as if offering something. The message came clear to his head. It felt as though the figure "talked" in a deep bass with a vague American accent, and the voice came from his direction, but it was not sound-based at all. It was confusing to "hear" someone without his ears.
"I want to offer a choice, child. If you wish, I want to help you leave this place."
Harry looked down at the hand being offered. He didn't know who this figure was… or even what this figure was, but whatever it was, it offered an alternative. It offered him a choice.
He glanced back at the direction of Privet Drive. Memories flooded him of Vernon's temper, Petunia's neurosis, Dudley's spoilt behavior, Aunt Marge's cruelty, the uncaring teachers, the mean children. His jaw clenched and his back straightened.
He reached out his cut, bruised, and burnt, but not broken, arm to the figure and grasped the hand.
The figure straightened, but its arm was long enough that Harry could hold on comfortably despite its incredible height.
The lights all around the park flickered off suddenly, leaving the entire lot moonlit. The tall figure and the young boy walked soundlessly in the darkness. The intricate shadows cast by the branches criss-crossed and soon grew denser and denser.
And with a faint rustle of wind through the autumn trees, the pair disappeared into the shadows of the forest.
Leaving the park as though they were never there.
AN: I'm trying a different angle on Creepypastas. They'll still be off-kilter sanity-wise, but there will be some variance of "niceness" and less trying-to-kill-Harry-at-first-meeting.
But fear not… there will be evil, there will be gore, and there will be the corruption of Harry Potter by the Pastas! Muahahahah!
-The Smiling Crow
I thought Pasta fans would like this. Down here, I'll put the name of the characters and their creator (if I can find them) along with their respective Pasta title, if available.
-Slenderman: no official pasta: created by Victor Surge