Disclaimer: I do not make any money with this. No copyright infringement intended. All rights belong to J.K.R.. This applies to all following chapters too and will not be repeated.
Synopsis: Harry gets abused at the Dursley's and when a muggle pediatrician finds out, Harry is placed in the care of Severus Snape who is now facing the greatest struggle of his life – healing a small child that reminds him more of himself than he likes. Will he be up to the challenge?
What's different from the books? This story contains several ideas and characters which were never in the books. Major changes: Harry does not live in the cupboard, he already has the little room upstairs with all the padlocks and in this story he is about 9 years old, quite a bit before he discovers that he has magical abilities. Consequently most of the characters in the book will not be introduced (as of yet and I am not sure which ones I will include). Also he does not need to wear his glasses, apart from that appearance is pretty much the same.
WARNINGS: This is an abuse story. I don't think that it is unrealistic and the major focus lies on the interaction between characters and the building dynamics of abusive relationships, but abuse it described graphically at some points. Rated T for safety and now I come to think about it, possibly language, too.
OOCness: NICE Snape (I tried to keep him in character and explain changes, but to me he was always very misunderstood and no snarky git!) MANIPULATIVE Dumbledore (the usual 'he-thought-he-knew-best-for-all' attitude), and a NOT SO BAD Petunia as you might think. No one ever seems to give Petunia much thought.
Please Come For Me - Chapter 1 - Doctor's Visit
Harry doubted that this was ever going to stop. He pinched his nose, but the blood drops just keep dripping down his nose, ran across his chin and stained his shirt. He hadn't bothered to look for some tissues. As Uncle Vernon had put it he 'was too filthy to touch any of their things' even if it was for the sake of keeping his blood off their precious belongings. He kept holding his head high so none of the blood drops would fall onto the floor, but this only caused the blood to run down his throat, leaving a disgusting iron taste in his mouth.
Just need to wait until it has dried, then I can go wash it off... if Uncle Vernon ever decides to unlock my door again that is, Harry thought bitterly. Although, if he didn't, maybe all the better…
Harry gingerly laid his sore body onto his bed and stared at the ceiling. His eyes wandered from the cracked and stained wallpaper to the window which was shutting out most of the bright sunlight shining down on Little Whinging as Vernon had nailed several boards across it from the outside. Just now and then a little ray of sunlight made its way through to Harry, taking advantage of some slits Vernon had not fully managed to close up in his hurry. After all, he was quite erratic and had a temper. He looked for quick fixes, not pretty ones.
Maybe, Harry thought, I could put up a picture in this room someday. One with a dragon!
Harry loved dragons. He had once heard a little boy talk about them, just outside near the playground. The boy seemed to be speaking about some kind of fantasy movie at the theatre. Harry had never been to the theatre and wondered what it was like. But it seemed to be some place you had to go to with your friends. I don't have any...Harry thought. Probably I wouldn't be allowed in.
The boy had even shown drawings to his friend before Dudley had managed to sneak up on Harry and push him from behind, causing him to stumble terribly and finally fall flat-faced onto the ground in front of the two boys. They giggled, then ran off once the idea struck them that Dudley might be coming a little too close. One of the drawings had fallen to the ground but before he could take another look at it or even touch it, Dudley had snatched it away from his reach and torn it into pieces. 'This is just as stupid as you are anyway...idiot', he had sneered at him.
Well. At least he could dream.
That night he had tried to think hard about the dragon. He had closed his eyes and imagined what it had looked like, trying to imagine what his dragon would look like. Of course it would be very beautiful and very tough. He gave him a very strong armoured skin with black scales and fiercely pointing midnight blue eyes. Also he had to have a very long horny tail and large wings. By the time Harry had finished his dragon, it probably looked more like a giant bat which had been blended into something that, Harry figured, a dinosaur could possibly look like.
There were sounds coming from downstairs. Harry looked to the door, lying on his bed rather guardedly. He was ready to jump any minute if necessary, but then he remembered the padlocks. While they kept him from going anywhere, they also gave him some seconds of notice in advance before somebody entered his room, adding some sense of security. Uncle Vernon couldn't possibly come in here without making a racket.
Yet Harry wondered when he would be let out again. Sometimes he feared Uncle Vernon might just forget about him, but usually those moments passed quickly. Even if Vernon tried to keep him out of sight for as long as possible, there was usually something that needed to be done, along with the long list of chores he had to do already on a daily basis.
Despite the tempting idea to lock the boy away for the whole summer, the urge to heap an even greater workload on the boy was just too tempting to resist for Vernon. He just couldn't keep him locked up inside his room where he would be lying around lazily not doing anything at all when so many chores were to be done!
When no footsteps followed the sounds, Harry relaxed a little and made himself more comfortable on his bed, still holding his nose with one hand, putting the other one behind his head. He ran his fingers through his hair which was feeling damp. Harry was sweating. Despite the darkness in his room, the sun crashing against the boards all day heated it up eventually. With no exchange of fresh air, this wasn't a comfortable place to stay in the summer.
Weird, Harry thought as he stroked through his hair again. It really had grown fast. In an annoyed rash at his hair 'deliberately sticking into every direction' Petunia had cut it only a month ago. It had looked like Harry was run over by a lawnmower. Yet it already fell onto his forehead again and nearly touched his ears.
Ironically, at this length his hair wasn't sticking into every direction anymore and, to be honest, Harry liked it this way very much. He had hated the way it looked like when it was violently shortened and had felt very naked without it.
Downstairs he heard some excited chattering going on. Probably Aunt Petunia managed to talk Uncle Vernon into a second rage momentarily.
Not helping, Harry thought bitterly. Usually he liked his aunt better than Uncle Vernon. Well. He didn't actually like him. But. Didn't he? After all, he was grateful that he was given a shelter, food and at least some kind of human interaction. They got mad all the time, but actually Harry got used to that. It didn't hurt as much as being ignored completely. No, Harry didn't hate them. He just didn't know how to make them less angry, how to make it right.
Harry rubbed his aching face with one hand and continued to immerge into his thoughts. Aunt Petunia was usually a lot nicer to him, at least compared to Uncle Vernon. At least as long as he didn't ask about his parents, talked back, or talked at all. As long as the glamorous family's image was not besmirched, she was in fact quite manageable. But when it came to this topic, she could turn vicious beyond recognition. Once that happened, with eyes reduced to mere slits and her lips tightly pursed together, she was a very scary woman to be around.
x x x
'Mrs. Dursley, it is really important that your son spent some more time outside. He is in a very bad physical shape.
And mental, Harry thought, but wisely kept his mouth shut. A skill he had acquired just recently.
'And he is very pale. Doesn't he play outside? He would REALLY profit from some exercise and you need to take better care of his nutrition. Doesn't he have any friends that take him outside? Your nephew looks more like he gets outside from time to time. He seems to have lost quite some weight though, hasn't he? Look at his clothes.'
The doctor turned towards his little patient who was suddenly very interested in his shoelaces to avoid some stare-down with his broiling aunt.
'Not liking your Aunt's cooking?' the doctor asked with a grin on his face. Harry didn't know how to answer. 'Seriously, you need to eat some more if you ever want to grow into these trousers!'
He smiled. The boy didn't. What a day. Giving him a little nudge, he insisted: "What about it, Harry?" The boy flinched.
'Yes, Dr. Connor' Harry answered obediently, not daring to look up, afraid to meet Petunia's gaze. For a moment, Harry thought it was nice of the doctor to ask. On the other hand, it was his job, wasn't it? He was supposed to ask, he got paid for this.
The doctor gave Petunia a reproachful look, not noticing the awkward frown that had formed on Harry's forehead. Examining her thin frame with his professional eye he continued.
'Well at least one of your boys seems to take after you, physically, that is. See that you take care of Dudley's shape as well, won't you? I fear that he will have joint issues later if he gains more weight at such an early age.'
Petunia was too incensed to speak. She gasped, clearly affronted. Realizing how this must look, she tried to force the gasp into a somewhat lame cough, smiling a fake apologetic smile at the doctor. How did this person even dare to assume that Harry took after her? Remind her that she was even related to that... thing.
'Well of course does Dudley have friends. Isn't that right my Duddykin? Many nice friends! I just don't want to get him sunburnt!' She made sure to pronounce every word. 'And he has a lot of exercise but with his cousin always running wild, well, who is supposed to keep up with him?' Petunia ploughed on.
Yeah sitting in front of the telly 8 hours a day surely is quite some exercise, Harry thought not without some jealousy. He'd be half his weight if he did my chores!
Dudley couldn't even bother feeling embarrassed. By now, he was too busy trying to pry some sweets out of a candy jar which was standing next to Dr. Connor's desk. He had already managed to grab several toffees, but now his porky little fist was stuck inside.
Harry was sitting on one of the chairs in front of Dr. Connor's desk and tried to keep his face straight and think of the least funny thing he could imagine to refrain from laughing out loud. This was becoming an increasingly difficult task when Dudley started whining, causing Petunia to blush even more fervently and hurrying over to rescue him. Yet this was no easy task as he refused to let go of the handful of toffees he had already acquired.
'Dudley.' Dr. Connor, feeling very proven in his just elaborated point, crouched down next to the 10-year-old boy and tried to put on his most convincing smile. 'Tell you something. We'll make a deal. Be a good boy just like your cousin was (at that Petunia shot Harry a very aggravated glare behind the doctor's back) and I will give you one toffee as soon as you are done.'
Harry's heart sank at that glare he received and stopped dangling his feet immediately. He hadn't done anything wrong! He had been a good boy!
He had felt very tense being forced to come here, because going to the doctor's was generally a delicate affair with the Dursleys. They hadn't seen Dr. Connor before. Their last doctor had started to ask awkward questions when Harry didn't show up for several check-ups so Vernon decided that they would go somewhere else where no one would dare 'ask stupid questions which weren't to bother them anyway'.
Harry didn't like going, especially when this meant that he had to meet someone new, who hadn't already been told how bad he was. Who possibly liked him and therefore made Petunia angry at him all the same.
Dr. Connor seemed to be a nice man. Harry reckoned that he was approximately going on 35, maybe 40 (with adults, this was always so hard to tell!) and he was quite tall. Also he had brown hair which was slightly longer than it probably should be for some professional, Harry reckoned. It was carelessly combed and tucked behind his ears to keep it from falling into his eyes (without success).
Also he didn't look like a usual doctor to him. The last one he had had was quite old, always wearing some kind of weird pullover underneath the white coat. Dr. Connor, on the other hand, seemed to favour casual wear. He wore a white polo shirt buttoned up only halfway and some sneakers to match his jeans. He was even wearing an earring on his left ear. Petunia immediately knew she hated him the instant she saw him.
Harry thought he looked quite interesting for a doctor. Usually there weren't so many interesting people around in Little Whinging.
He had come to this visit without frowning, received the vaccination which was due and had not complained about a single thing. The doctor had commented on his bravery and not realized that this made Dudley look bad, less brave, less heroic and sweet than Petunia had praised him to be. Harry was sure he would pay for that.
A sudden squeak made Harry's mind jump back to the present. Dr. Connor had figured that Dudley would not be convinced easily and had taken advantage of his very unfortunate position. While the boy still struggled to pry the sweets out of the jar, the doctor had reached for the vaccination and given him the required shot while he wasn't able to flee or stick is porky little arms elsewhere.
'Oh Duddyboy my honey all is good now!' Petunia fussed over him.
'You are so brave,' she praised (right, Harry thought) and managed to pull him into a hug as he had finally let go of the sweets, rather out of shock than willingly.
'Well. Are we done then?' She tried to look as good-naturedly and sweet as she could with her lips tightly pursed together. It completely ruined the effect.
When Dr. Connor nodded she took Dudley's hand to walk him outside and beckoned Harry to follow after them. Harry's heart felt like it had plummeted into his stomach when he noticed the curt nod Petunia had given him. Gazing down, he shuffled his little feet towards the door. Just as he reached it, he bumped into Dudley who had broken away from Petunia's hand and now stood glaring daggers at Dr. Connor.
'I wanna have my candy NOW! You forgot!' he squeaked, outstretching his hand.
Dr. Connor couldn't help but grin. Never had he seen such an impertinent kid and yet he felt sorry for him at the same time. Doesn't come from nothing, such an attitude, he thought.
He handed Dudley the promised toffee which he snatched from his hand with a very reproachful look, due to the fact that it was in fact only one. When he made his way back to Petunia who was already pushing Harry out of the front door, Harry heard someone call him.
'Harry, come back here!'
What had he done now?
Harry looked at his Aunt who looked equally confused, but for the sake of playing along the nice and good family game she gingerly said
'Harry, go to the Doctor and see what he wants... sweetie.'
'Surely you wouldn't have left without taking your treat as well!' Dr. Connor grinned broadly at him, handing him a toffee as well. As he reached out for the boy's shoulder to pat him on the back, he flinched again.
Harry blushed, muttered a shy 'thanks' and quickly shoved it into his pocket. Then he shuffled back to Petunia without looking up. Hopefully the doctor hadn't noticed. When no reaction followed, Harry decided that he hadn't.
'Oh,' Dr. Connor called after Petunia when she finally thought that this charade would be over, 'make sure your boy gets that exercise!'
And with that he quickly shut the door of his office before any protest could reach his squeal-deafened ears, grinning broadly when he leaned his back against the door hearing some muttering and ushering outside which eventually faded.
x x x
Petunia was fuming. She shoved Harry in the back of her car so firmly that he bumped the side of his head and started rubbing it vigorously.
'Ouch!'Harry cried out while Petunia stretched out her hand towards him.
Harry wasn't sure what was demanded of him.
'Give that sweet to me. NOW!' Her commanding voice left little room for discussion.
Harry reached into his pocket and surrendered the toffee to his aunt. How could he have thought that he was allowed to keep something he had been given, for only one second?
I should have eaten it right away, Harry thought bitterly. But back in the treatment room he hadn't dared, feeling Aunt Petunia's gaze firmly upon him.
His aunt slammed the backdoor in his face and ran over to Dudley who had seated himself on the co-driver's seat, handing over the sweet she had just hunted down from Harry.
'Here you go honey, now don't let this bother you. We won't see that doctor again!'
With a grin, Dudley stuffed the sweet into his already cramped mouth, then turned around to face Harry and mumbled 'Wait till I tell Dad what you did!'
Harry sighed. What had he done?
And so it had come. Once the three of them had reached #4 Privet Drive, Harry noticed that his uncle was already home. Their trip had taken longer than expected – thanks to Dudley's fussing – and now he lost no time in telling his father how awful Harry had been.
Not that this was necessary for Vernon Dursley to get mad at Harry. He already was angry. A lot. But it helped to direct his anger.
He had strained himself for a week to ignore the boy. He had tried not to give in to that urge to strangle him, to be able to present two children – alive – at the doctor's. By the time Harry had shuffled inside, Vernon was already towering over him. Fearfully Harry looked up to his uncle, but before he could even try to say something in his defence, (and what exactly should he have said anyway?) he was lifted up by the scruff of his neck and dragged into the living room where he was slammed onto the couch.
He tried to raise his arms to cover his head and protect it from the blows, but Vernon just grabbed his hand and pulled it away, vigorously slapping him with his other hand across the face.
'How dare you make Dudley look bad in front of someone else? You will respect everybody in this house or you will be very sorry for it! DO NOT GIVE ME THAT LOOK, BOY!'
'I am sorry, Uncle Vernon! Please believe me!' Harry pleaded. 'I didn't mean to. I am sorry! Please stop… OUCH!' He held his cheek where his uncle had backhanded him.
'Are. YOU. Telling. Me. What. To. Do?' He slapped each word into Harry's face.
'No! Please, I am sorry! I really am! I will never do it again!' Tears started running down his face and Harry hated himself for always losing his composure so quickly. Uncle Vernon was right. He was weak. Why did he always have to start crying?
While Harry still tried to evade his uncle's blows unsuccessfully, Petunia lost no time excitedly telling her husband how that barefaced quack of a doctor had had the nerve telling her that her Duddykin needed more exercise.
Upcoming visits at the doctor's were always a straining experience for the Dursleys. It was well known that they had two kids (like it or not) and both were due for regular check-ups. They couldn't possibly leave Harry out of it. They had tried! But people started asking questions why they only brought one kid when the record said something different. Also, they could not keep changing doctors as this looked equally suspicious.
On the other hand, this meant that Vernon Dursley had to bite back his frustrations and anger for at least ten or so days to not leave any marks or bruises on the boy which were sure to be noticed by the professionals.
Vernon had pitied himself for that fact. Nevertheless, he had succeeded in making the boy feel as miserable as he could for the past week, even if he hadn't been able to give Harry the attention he so well deserved. It hadn't been easy, but he had made sure the boy hadn't had a single joyful moment during that last week.
'Don't worry, son.' Vernon smiled ferociously at Dudley who was sitting in his favourite telly chair stuffing more candy into his mouth as if it were popcorn. Dudley was observing the scene and felt clearly entertained by it.
'I will make sure he will not embarrass you like this again, son!'
And with these words he pulled Harry from the couch and shoved him towards the door.
'Your room! NOW!'
Harry fled from the scene, hearing his uncle stomping madly behind him. He could just imagine the purple-faced monster closing up on him. In his hurry, Harry missed the handle and bumped into his bedroom door that remained shut. Dammit. His nose started bleeding instantly and he could just in time cover it with his hands to keep the blood from ruining the carpet.
'Now look who managed to beat himself up!' Vernon sneered when he had finally caught up with him, breathing heavily.
'Don't you dare make a mess in there!' He spat as he pushed Harry inside his room with his left hand and fumbled clumsily with a bunch of keys with his other hand.
He slammed the door shut and Harry heard the familiar clicking noises from the padlocks outside.
Several long minutes passed in which Harry didn't quite know what to do next. He still held his nose as the bleeding refused to cease when a loud CRACK made him twirl around. In surprise, he looked at his window. Although he didn't dare walking closer towards it, he could observe the bizarre scene from his bed. Vernon had started to nail boards across his window, running out of steam at a bewildering rate.
'We will see if you will still be less pale than Dudley in a week!' He snickered, happy with his own genius idea, and nailed one more board across the window.
x x x
And there Harry lay, feeling very miserable to say the least. The darkness wasn't even the worst part. He missed the sound of birds and any sign of outside life as everything seemed to reach his senses only very muffled. He tried to think of something to distract him, tried to relax only a little bit.
'I can be good,' Harry mumbled. He closed his eyes and his lip curled into a little smile. 'I can be good. Then, they'll like me.'
Violently, Harry snapped back to the present when something yanked the covers from his bed, causing him to fall to the floor.
His wrist made a snapping sound but he tried to ignore it.
'What the HELL do you think are you babbling on about, stupid boy?' Vernon snapped.
He was delighted to watch the effect he had caused as Harry crawled backwards on the floor, trying to get some space in between the two of them visibly, trying hard not to whimper in pain.
'Are you COMPLETELY out of your mind now?' Vernon continued. 'I always knew you were strange, but your weirdness is just increasing every single day. Wouldn't have thought that was possible. Now get your lazy ass out of here and fix us supper... freak.'
Harry bit his lip to prevent a nasty comment from slipping out. He knew better. It had taken quite some time and painful experiences, but he was getting there!
Guardedly, he watched Vernon as he squeezed past his uncle. This was a rather difficult task, regarding the size of his room and his uncle respectively. Just as he thought that he had successfully slipped past him, he felt a tight grip yanking him backwards. Struggling to keep his balance, he cast a quick look at his uncle, estimating the need to run for cover. Vernon just sneered at him.
'Go and get your filthy face washed before Petunia sees you like this. And do. not. dare. stain anything in the bathroom. Get going. You look like an idiot.'
With a mighty push, Harry was shoved towards the door and quickly scurried away. Once he was in the bathroom, he quickly closed the door and looked at his reflection in the mirror. His cheek had bruised visibly. The marks where his uncle's fingers had connected with his face drew a clear outline. Gingerly Harry ran his own hand along the lines.
He really did look filthy.
His nose had continued to bleed a little once he had dozed off because of his stupid day-dreaming and dried blood was smeared across his mouth, cheeks and throat. Just now he realized how itchy that was starting to feel.
As he reached for the tap he noticed that there was blood on his hands, too. Quickly he washed everything off his hands and face until all looked clean. He grabbed some toilet paper and dried the sink and tap as well as his face and flushed it down the toilet. He didn't dare to use one of the towels Petunia had hung up for the family recently. When it came to such things, he wasn't qualified. He wasn't family.
He grabbed another handful of toilet paper, dampened it and quickly made his way out of the bathroom to clean up any other stains he might have left on the floor without thinking. He was relieved to see that there weren't really any.
'Get down here NOW and fix supper, boy!' Vernon bellowed from downstairs. 'What the hell is taking you so long?'
Quickly shoving the damp toilet paper into his pocket, Harry ran downstairs and made his way to the kitchen.
What day is it? Harry thought with his mind racing. What bloody day is it? He tried to think very hard but it was so easy to lose track of time when you weren't allowed to go outside, watch TV, read the newspaper.
Uncle Vernon favoured particular meals at predefined weekdays, although Harry wasn't sure if that was really a habit or simply some chance to get Harry into more trouble. Then an idea struck him.
Uncle Vernon had said 'Boy, wait until you come back from that bloody quack on Wednesday. Give me ONE LOOK and you'll be damn sorry for it! No doctor left you can run to and rant on about a single thing. As if we ever treated you badly, anyway. Just wait until Wednesday when this visit is over..."
He was right. It was Wednesday. Wednesday was fish day.
Harry quickly shuffled to the fridge to get out the salmon Petunia usually bought on Tuesday. He knew how Vernon liked it – fried, dripping with fat.
He opened the fridge and his heart sank deep into his stomach. There wasn't any fish.
'What exactly is the problem NOW, boy?' Vernon was hollering.
It was never a good sign when he actually called Harry boy.
'thereisntanyfish', Harry mumbled.
'There isn't any fish in the fridge, Uncle Vernon. Maybe I can fix you something el...'
'WHAT?' Vernon cut in. 'Why isn't there any fish?'
He heaved his massive body out of his chair and stomped towards his nephew.
'Honestly, I don't know Uncle Vernon!'
Harry shrunk back from the fridge as his uncle cornered him in the alcove of the kitchen were all the cooking was done. Harry no longer trusted his voice and just tried to look as neutral as possible, hoping that Uncle Vernon wouldn't notice his fear.
'Probably he already ate it because he wanted to have it all to himself!' Dudley squawked from his telly chair. 'Look at him. How guilty he looks! Yeah, like he'll ever admit it!'
'IS THIS TRUE BOY?' Vernon was outraged. How could the boy dare!
All blood seemed to have drained from Harry's face now. He paled when his uncle unbuckled his belt. There was no messing around with him when it came to food.
In vain, Harry tried to take cover in the corner he was being pushed into; arms raised high above his head, waiting for the buckle to make contact with his body. When the first blow didn't come, Harry suspiciously opened his eyes.
Aunt Petunia was standing in front of her husband, looking very miserable.
'Vernon! No! It was I.'
Had Harry dared to look his uncle in the face, he would have seen him dumbfounded, the situation too absurd to be really happening.
'Vernon, I simply forgot.' Petunia tried to appease her enraged husband. 'The boys. The doctor's visit. I simply forgot.'
With a jerk of her head, she motioned to Harry who still cowered in the corner miserably. 'He'll fix something else.'
Belt still in hand, Vernon pointed at Harry, his index finger hovering dangerously close in front of his eyes. For a moment, he didn't seem to know what to do. Then he regained his composure.
'This is entirely YOUR fault!' Lashing out with the belt towards the door, he motioned for Harry to get out.
'Get going! No food for you today. And do something about that BLOODY hair!'
x x x