WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME
Scuttling down the corridor, the note scrunched up between his fingers, Harvey Hunter whimpered. The note had been thrust upon him by a sneering Head Prefect, accompanied by a set of sharp orders that followed him out of the Library. According to Rose, he was to inquire within the Prefect's room for a specific folder, one that was for Rose's eyes only and Harvey was to have brought it back before the end of the study session, which was a quarter of an hour away.
The note itself had been produced in Rose's neat, cursive handwriting and outlined what folder she needed. Although the note was scrunched up now, due to how nervous Harvey felt, when Rose had handed it to him, the note had been in immaculate condition.
Hoping that Rose didn't want the note back, Harvey paused outside of the Prefect's room, a mixture of shock and horror coursing through him at how unintentionally speedy he had been. This caused his heart to sink, but Harvey perked up slightly at the prospect of finishing the task he had been given quicker than expected, and with a mantra of 'HURRYUP!HURRYUP!HURRYUP!' pounding in his head, Harvey knocked on the door gently, entering as soon as the barked command to enter had left Sue Winter's lips.
Cringing at the glare he was subjected to, Harvey wasted no time with any forced pleasantries. In fact, he did not speak at all. He simply handed the note over, wringing his hands as Sue read the note mutely, then he nodded in thanks upon having the specified folder shoved into his hands. Sue balled the note up with little effort, considering how ripped it was already, and tossed it into the waste basket, aiming her scorch of a glare onto Harvey until the door had closed behind him.
Folder tucked under his arm, Harvey released a sigh of relief, starting his journey back to the Library with an added stride to his step. He had done it!
Yet, per usual, it all came crashing down within moments. Peering round the corner to examine the corridor that he was about to enter, Harvey promptly let loose a half muffled squeak. Jeff Morgan and Peter Williamson were standing outside a classroom, conversing quietly together. Harvey reeled his head back, cowering slightly against the wall, folder clutched to his chest. He knew that if he rounded the corner right now, then he would be in full view of the two Prefects, which was horrible enough, but as it was the two Prefects that he both hated and feared, Jeff the most for obvious reasons, Harvey realised that the abuse would be even worse.
He shifted his feet, ears straining to hear his tormentor's conversation.
'Well, now that I'm stuck here for a while, I might as well listen in on them for entertainment.'
Later on, Harvey would bitterly regret that decision.
Jeff's voice struck him and Harvey shivered as he detected the underlying tones within the familiar voice. The tones that Jeff reserved for HIM alone.
"Did you see Wheezy earlier? Stupid, fat idiot was in my way, so I shoved him aside…"
The Deputy Head Prefect smirked.
"I had to visualise to him, how inferior he is to me and let me tell you, Peter, it worked wonders! Left him shaking and crying against the wall!"
"Totally expected of him… I mean, how could someone of his age continue to cry like a baby?!"
Harvey tensed, a chill caressing his slowly sinking heart. What had been uttered already had been awful enough, Jeff's regale of their little incident earlier that day causing Harvey to rub his offended arm, but he felt that there was more to come.
And to his utter dismay and misery, there was.
"Speaking of babies…." Jeff's smirk broadened as his eyes flashed wickedly. "I imagine, that Wheezy was a pathetic, weak, little creature as a baby."
"Probably premature!" Peter piped up.
"Yes…. Oh, I wish that the stupid Hunter bitch had terminated the weakling. Surely, she must have been sick of all of the crying and wailing! Should have aborted it when she had the chance."
Harvey slammed a hand over his mouth, tears springing to his eyes. Although he knew that the two boys, Jeff in particular, were nasty and cruel as can be, these torments were the most effective ones so far and Harvey could not help but physically tremble at the sheer scale of the torments.
"In fact….. I wish that Wheezy had died when he was baby, preferably killed, mind you."
"Yes! I agree with you! No one wants a runt around!"
Whimpers increasing, Harvey was defenceless against the first flow of tears that trickled down his round face.
Jeff cackled at his fellow Prefect's remark, snarling: "Too true! Actually, you know what would have been more… humorous?"
Before he could stop himself, Harvey poked his head round, tears dripping down his face as he viewed Peter leaning forwards, hungry for more. Jeff smirked, flung his arms wide and crowed:
"If Wheezy had been stillborn! At least then, his stupid bitch of a mother needn't have worried her pretty little head about his breathing and I would not have been subjected to the pathetic weakling at all!"
Whilst Peter broke into loud laughter, Harvey's composure cracked. The flow of tears heightened and he burst into noisy wailing, unable to comprehend fully what his tormentor had just voiced. The two Prefects, alerted by sudden yet familiar noises, glanced over in the direction of the wailing. Jeff smirked as he spotted Hunter, moments before the boy whipped his head back, turned on his heels and sprinted away, folder in sweaty hands.
Peter sniggered, whispering; "I think he heard you."
"Good. The baby needs to learn his place and understand that he is NOT FIT FOR LIVING! HE SHOULD BE DEAD!"
Harvey raced down the corridor, bursting into the nearest bathroom. He knew that Rose would have his guts for garters if he was late, but at the moment, he was too emotional to face her. Slumping in one of the stalls, Harvey locked the door and sunk onto the toilet seat lid, folder thumping onto the floor.
He buried his head into his hands, screaming as his shoulders heaved. It wasn't fair! He couldn't help how he was! Sobbing, Harvey swore he felt his heart twist. That ultimate torment had pained his very core and he realised that even the slightest mention or thought of the torment in the future, would abruptly result in waterworks.
So, Harvey concocted a mental vow. On the toilet seat lid of one of the school's numerous bathrooms.
Never tell anyone about what you heard today.
Ten minutes had lapsed before Harvey could summon the strength to halt his tears and stagger to his feet. He picked up the folder, leaving the bathroom with a guilty expression smacked onto his face. His face, which was red and blotchy. A face, the eyes especially, that were haunted.
Harvey flinched upon entering the Library. Rose was wearing him down with glare alone, and he mutely nodded as she flew into a rage about his 'poor timekeeping' andeven though the folder was top priority, he had 'dithered' as usual.
Harvey had only been granted a reprieve due to the bell, which Rose had taken as a signal to hastily eject SPLAT from the Library, snatching the folder from Harvey with a sneer of contempt.
For once, Harvey was pleased that he had another lesson as it saved him from the probing looks and half-formed questions from his group, who had correctly detected that something was wrong.
Although they attempted to extract the information from Harvey over the next couple of days, he remained tight lipped and the other members of SPLAT had eventually backed down from their questioning, which Harvey was thankful for.
The only time it had been brought up again was days before the Hunters moved to the village. As it was 'unsolved', Dinah leapt straight in, firing interrogative questions at her little brother with no consideration for his feelings. This ruthless aggression had caused Harvey to fall into a foul mood and even resulted in him threatening to 'box someone's brains out', if he was ever asked anything about the unknown incident again.
A couple of years passed by and at the age of fourteen, seated in the Cyber Café, Harvey resolved to finally tell someone. Jeff had been off the scene for ages now and Harvey felt that he owed SPLAT an apology for how he had reacted when questioned and that they deserved to know the truth.
Blinking as the door opened, his group, now extended, crowding in, Harvey rose to his feet, clearing his throat. One by one, each gaze fell onto him and as soon as they were all attentive, Harvey spoke.
"Hey guys…. I've got something to t-tell you…."