Title: Slytherin Child

Author: Jolie

Distribution: Want, take, have. Just tell me where it's going.

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine.

Rating: PG13

Summary: What if Harry had been physically abused as a child? How would that have changed his personality, his outlook on life?

Categories: AU, action/adventure, drama, possible eventual romance.

A/N: This does contain inexplicit child abuse. Later, if I extend this to cover later years at Hogwarts, it will contain slash. Not right now, as he'll be eleven for the majority of the fic, but maybe in sequels (if I write them). If that squicks you…

The Boy Who Lived In A Cupboard

He was running. Running so hard and so fast and trying desperately to get away. Unfortunately, he was only four years old. His legs weren't as long as his uncle's. He was scared. One of those weird, unexplainable… things had happened again, and he knew what came next.

He was going to be punished.

He knew he deserved it, but it hurt. His eyes searched frantically for a suitable hiding place, somewhere he could go until it was all over. But no. That was wrong. His Uncle Vernon said he should take it like a man, and he was a grown up. He had to be right.

There was a grunt from behind him, and he cried out as he was tackled to the ground.

"Boy! What…did…I tell you…about those abnormal…freak incidences!" He panted, out of breath.

"N-not to do them, sir? But, I swear, I didn't mean to, I don't even think I did it! It-it couldn't have been me."

"Shut up!" Came the angry yell. The frightened boy flinched as he felt spit hit the back of his neck.

"Swore I'd beat it out of him… good-for-nothing lazy piece of shit freak…" The man muttered.

The boy was unceremoniously dragged back down the street to number four Privet Drive. Once there, the man started beating on the boy. No blood, he had found that the boy lasted for longer if he stuck to his fists. Besides, bruises were easier to conceal.

Finally tiring of his sport, the man threw the boy into a small cupboard under the stairs, slammed the door shut and stomped up to the second floor. He lovingly kissed his son goodnight and went to sleep next to his wife.

In a cupboard under the stairs, a small, bruised, shivering little friendless boy hugged his knees to his chest.

God, I'm such a freak.

End Chapter 1.

So, you like? Should I continue? Anyone have an opinion? 'Cause I'd like you to share it…

The Marty-Stu-ish Summary of Harry's Childhood

As far back as he could remember, strange things had happened around Harry. Hair turned various colors, clothing shrunk, or he ended up in places he just shouldn't be. All sorts of things happened around Harry.

Whenever his Aunt or Uncle noticed, he was punished.

He only saw his Uncle during breakfast, at night, and on the weekends. His Aunt Petunia, however, was always home. She made him do tons of chores around the house, and of course, he was expected to make breakfast every morning.

At night, his Uncle Vernon came home. That was when things got bad.

He learned to do whatever he had to do to survive. He didn't protest the chores Petunia made him do, and he didn't resist his Uncle's beatings. He did what he had to do.

No other kids would play with him, partly because of his fat and bullying cousin, and partly because of his withdrawn nature. He was quiet, kept to himself. Sometimes, adults noticed his bruises, and started asking questions. The first time, he told the truth.

A few beatings and a week in the cupboard later, he learned to lie.

Harry observed other children with their parents and relatives. None of them treated their children the way he was treated.

When he was five, he went to school. He absolutely loved reading. Picked it up immediately. His teachers were astonished. They quickly called his Aunt and Uncle, babbling about how gifted their nephew was.

Harry didn't come back to school until the next week. Afterwards, he concealed how easy he found his classes.

He still read, though. He went through the entire elementary school library. It took him a while to pick up some of the harder stuff, but after two years, he had read everything. After three years, he had read everything three times.

Soon, he told himself he was glad that he didn't have any friends. He knew that if he did, he wouldn't spend so much time with his books. He read everything. Fiction, nonfiction, biographies, encyclopedias, fairy tales…

However, he didn't spend all his time reading. He found his other subjects fascinating as well. He got other students to explain them to him, and when they couldn't satisfy his curiosity, he went to the town library.

When he was six, he found out something rather remarkable. He could control the freak things that happened around him.

He had been doing an assignment for school, and his pencil had broken. Utterly frustrated, he glared at the broken utensil.

Fix, he thought. Please.

To his astonishment, it did. After that, he experimented with other things, and found he could make minor changes to his surroundings. He could make things float, fix things, change things, and make his cousin trip over things that weren't there. Over the years, he found other things he could do.

Harry saw how fat his cousin was getting and did not want to end up like that. He got much less food than Dudley anyway, but he decided to be safe, he would exercise. He ran and did push ups and other exercises every day to make sure he didn't end up like his cousin. He became very fast, agile, and strong.

There was a gymnastics class held after school every day that he went to as well. The Dursley's didn't care as long as he was still there to beat on and do the chores; and as far as Harry was concerned, any time away from them was time well spent.

He was a very good gymnast, and as soon as the instructors started pushing for him to enter contests he quietly dropped out of the class. He didn't want to draw any attention to himself. He hated attention.

Harry was very small. He had tanned skin from his work out in the garden, and was slender and muscular from exercising and gymnastics. He had shoulder-length straight black hair that he wore in a pony tail most of the time. When it was cut short, it became a floppy mess. That was the reason he wore it long. Whenever his Aunt Petunia cut it, it mysteriously grew back overnight.

It was three days before his eleventh birthday when he got the letter…

End Chapter 2.

Um, yeah. That one was not so interesting. I know. Please, keep reading. The next chapter will go back to being a regular fic, and not just a Mary-sue-ish summary.

Just Another Day in Hell

Harry snapped awake, eyes flying open, sitting straight up on his cot. He panted for a moment, eyes darting around the small cupboard. When his surroundings registered, he groaned, and dropped back onto the cot.

Here we go. The start of yet another day in hell.

He hated the holidays. Summer vacation, Christmas, everything. It meant more quality time with the Dursley's.

Joy.

He jumped as the pounding on the door started, and then hissed as he hit his head on the ceiling.

He waited until his Aunt Petunia's yelling-

"Get up, you lazy freak!"

-stopped and he heard her footsteps moving away, towards the kitchen. Then he cautiously peeked out the door, moving out of the cupboard when he saw no one there. He didn't bother getting dressed. He only had one outfit, and that served as day clothes and pajamas.

Harry unobtrusively entered the kitchen, doing his best to avoid his Aunt. He started the breakfast.

Fifteen minutes later, he froze as a heavy hand dropped onto his shoulder. He was quickly pushed to the ground and his cousin stepped on him on his way to the table.

"That's it, stay on the floor where you belong, freak."

Harry's face twisted up in anger, and he stared at Dudley, concentrating. His concentration was shattered a second later as he heard-

"Good work, Dudley, keep him in his place. Boy! Don't just sit there staring, I want my breakfast!"

-his Uncle's voice. He scrambled to his feet, and quickly served breakfast to the three people in the world he absolutely loathed.

He would eat leftovers later, while he was cleaning up. It usually took him a while, the Dursley's were complete pigs.

He winced as he saw a bit of egg fly out of Vernon's mouth onto the carpet.

Harry heard the click of the mail slot and flop of papers on the doormat. The Dursley's did too.

"Get the paper, boy."

"Y-yes Uncle Vernon." Came the stammered reply. He went to get the mail. Three things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, who was vacationing on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a bill, and--a letter for Harry.

He stood, heart in his throat.

Who could--

An impatient yell from Vernon cut his thought short, and he hurriedly folded the letter up and shoved it in an oversized pocket.

**********

Hours later, he finally escaped his Aunt for a minute's break from his endless chores. He shut the cupboard door soundlessly and took out the letter, hardly daring to breathe.

He opened it up slowly, carefully, and found--

_____________

HOGWARTS SCHOOL

of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY

Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)

Dear Mr. Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.

Yours Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall,

Deputy Headmistress

_____________

--what the hell?

End Chapter 3

Nighttime Visitors

What is this?

Harry found himself trembling. He had thought that, maybe, someone was actually writing to him, that someone cared. When he was a child, he had always dreamed of someone coming to take him away from the Dursley's, who would tell him it was all a mistake, his parents were alive, and they loved him.

He had gotten over that a while ago, but when he'd seen this letter, when he'd seen the carefully written address, he had thought--he had thought that maybe, it could happen.

And then he had opened it, and found this. Who would do that? Who the fuck would raise all his hopes and then just rip them away!

The cupboard door exploded.

Harry flinched back as bits of wood rained down on his head. He heard a burst of angry voices, and then feet stomping down the stairs.

Oh god oh god oh god sorry so sorry didn't mean to I didn't--

Darkness.

**********

When Harry came to he immediately searched for his glasses, found them, picked them up and then shoved them none too gently onto his face. He winced.

"Ow."

They were pretty much bent into a whole new shape so he took them off and concentrated. They slowly repaired under his forceful gaze. Then he slumped back, energy almost completely depleted by that simple task.

A few moments later, he quietly peered out of the sheet that now divided his cupboard from the rest of the house. He needed food. He found his body healed more quickly that way.

He stepped into the hall and froze. There was a persistent tapping sound coming from the area of the door.

Oh god, is someone trying to get in?

All the robber and murder mysteries Dudley watched came flooding back to him.

I'm definitely not in any condition to resist whoever that is. And…what if it's something important? Maybe I should just take a quick look.

He moved to the door and slowly opened it. He gave a quick start of surprise when he saw who--or rather what was at his door.

There's a bloody owl flying around my front porch.

I wonder what kind it is, he found himself thinking insanely. It's daytime, I thought owls only came out at night…

He gave a short, almost hysterical laugh and slumped back against his door.

Bloody hell.

End Chapter 4.

Kay, that's it for that one.

I want to thank everyone who reviewed-you guys are the best!

And, to those who asked, yes, Harry will become friends with Draco. I'm not sure how Ron and Hermione will fit in, but Draco's definitely going to be a part of this.

I don't know how I want to portray Dumbledore. Should he be scheming and manipulative? Did he know about the abuse and do nothing to stop it? Or should he find out later and be absolutely outraged and guilt-stricken? What do you guys think? Any opinions?

Letters and Brilliant Questions

Harry leaned against the door, his mind racing.

Okay, Fact One: There's an owl outside my door.

Fact Two: It's a little after sunrise.

Fact Three: This is bloody weird.

Fact Four: It looks like it's carrying…a letter…

He slowly reached his hand out, trying to get the letter without being bitten. He took it carefully and drew back. Harry opened up the piece of paper and stared. And then stared some more. It was the same letter that he had received the night before.

"Oh." Was it possible that the letter was real? Or, maybe someone had trained owls to-

Okay Potter, get a grip. That's ridiculous. Stop. Just…stop.

He scanned the letter again. "We await your owl."

Could that mean…

He eyed the bird thoughtfully. Finally, he sighed. Feeling completely stupid, he told the owl "stay," and went back inside. Harry grabbed a pen, scribbled down a note on the back of the letter, and read it over to himself.

"I don't have any idea what you're talking about. Please explain. HP."

Brilliant Harry, absolutely brilliant. She's a teacher…! You're going to make quite a first impression, aren't you? He sighed. Oh well.

He handed the piece of paper back to the owl, and watched in surprise as it immediately flew away.

Huh. Must've worked.

He went back inside, closing the door quietly behind him. He was halfway to his cupboard when he remembered his first objective and padded silently into the kitchen. Harry grabbed something to eat as quickly as he could just in case the Dursley's got up early. Carrying his food, he sat down on his cot. He ate fast, and then did his best to go to sleep. He stayed awake for about forty-five minutes, twitching at the slightest movement, before he finally drifted off.

He woke up to the sound of the doorbell ringing.

End Chapter 5.

Okay. Yeah. I know that was short. It was the shortest chapter ever. Um, sorry? I'll try to do better next time, I promise.

Chocolate sundae with extra hot fudge to whoever can guess who's at the door! Give you a hint: it's not Hagrid. *g*

So, so far, we've got 3 votes for nice!Dumbledore, and 0 votes for naughty!Dumbledore. I think I might go with the (almost nonexistent) crowd, on this one. *smiles*

Thank you's and cookies to everyone who reveiwed!