Title: To Care For A Cat

Author: Afuunana

Pairing: None.

Warnings: Scenes of violence and descriptive graphic details. Child abuse.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. All credit of characters and magic belong to J.K. Rowling.

This is my first attempt at writing a fanfic in well over 10 years. I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1

This summer had been hard. Not only was he grieving Sirius' recent death, something he fully took the blame for, but ever since Dumbledore had sent a letter to the Dursley's informing them of his godfather's death, they'd been incredibly smug and constantly reminded him of the fact. They also no longer took the Order's orders to treating him well seriously. Now only four weeks into summer holidays, he had lost a significant amount of weight and had been moved back into the cupboard under the stairs accompanied by his trunk. Hegwig had been left with Ron to take care of for the summer.

The cupboard, which he had fit into decently well when he was 11, was no longer so accommodating to his mid-teen size. Though he was still significantly smaller than his like-aged classmates, his legs and arms had to be held close to his body to fit into the cramped space. He now found himself curled into a ball much of the time, laid upon the curved top of his trunk. His thin mattress pad that had served as his bed for as long as he could remember was quickly thrown out and they told him his trunk top would be a perfectly fine surface for him to sleep on. His constantly aching body disagreed.

The worst of it all were the increasing number of beatings, many of which were given because of fabricated events or for things that didn't deserve that treatment. Things like breathing too loud or giving Vernon a funny look when he'd not even looked in his direction were throw at him as valid excuses for physical punishments.

As Harry went to crawl out of his cupboard to get breakfast started, he moved a little too suddenly. Desperately keeping the gasp as quiet as he could, the pain reminded him of the previous night's thrashing.

His right leg had been badly broken the week before when Dudley had shoved him suddenly down the stairs. He'd heard his leg snap violently beneath him when he landed and he'd accidentally cried out at the mind numbing pain.

That was one of Uncle Vernon's main rules for him when in the house or around the family. No unnecessary noises at any time; to be seen and not heard. In fact, he was better off not being seen at all.

Apparently being shoved down 20 steps and having your leg violently snap in two beneath you wasn't in the list of times noises were appropriate. That had earned him a swift kick to his side, causing his already bruised ribs to creak.

While seeing stars, Vernon had grabbed him by the hair and roughly yanked him back to his feet, ordering to make dinner since he was running late.

Unable to stand, he fell back down gasping desperately through the pain. Vernon grabbed at him again and forced him back to his feet. Taking a quick moment to breathe through the pain, he managed to balance himself against the wall and slowly made his way into the kitchen.

Since then he's been understandably slow at finishing his chores. Vernon had not touched him since that night, but by the looks he'd been getting from the man, he knew things wouldn't remain that way for much longer.

Last evening, Vernon had returned back home from work with a nondescript bag in hand and sent him a nasty grin. Harry knew his time was up. His leg was now beyond useless, completely numb from mid thigh down. Had he been allowed out of the house for chores, he would had left and headed straight to the hospital, damn the Order's demands that he stay within the wards at all times. What was the point of the wards if they weren't protecting him.

The Dursley's had hired a gardener to do Harry's usual outdoor chores. The man was obviously not allowed in the house. Of course, Mr. Adams was allowed cold glasses of water and lemonade and small snacks "to keep his strength up."

Now though, he was too weak from the lack of food to do much of anything other than standing for short periods of times to cook meals.

When Vernon ordered him to Dudley's second bedroom last evening, he looked pleadingly at Aunt Petunia for help. The small hope faded immediately when she simply turned her nose up at him and told him to listen to his Uncle with a threat of no dinner for not obeying right away. He knew he wouldn't have gotten dinner either way.

"Come on, boy," his Uncle barked impatiently, nameless bag clutched in his sweaty hands.

Head down, Harry slowly and painfully made his way upstairs. He avoided Vernon's grabbing hands and Dudley's tripping feet best he could as he slowly and painfully made his way up the stairs. He supposed he should be thankful the cupboard was downstairs so he didn't have to go up and down the stairs every morning and night.

What followed was the worst beating he'd ever had to endure. He simply took it, knowing fighting back would only make things worse.

By the end, he'd had a few ribs broken, breathing becoming arduous and painful. His wrist had been snapped and hung there uselessly. Knives had been pulled from the bag, used to carve the words FREAK and MURDERER deeply into his back.

Already weak from starvation, his wounds were pounding with the beat of his racing heart and his body was warmed uncomfortably, a sure sign of the fever he'd felt creeping up on him the past several days.

Slowly making his way through breakfast, the miraculously finished by the time the others entered the kitchen.

"Food better be ready, boy," Vernon threatened. "There's no excuse for your recent laziness."

"Yes, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied submissively. He was slow to bring the food to the table. He saw Dudley's foot shoot out in his good foot's path but without the use of his right leg he was unable to avoid it. Food went flying, smearing across the table and in the laps of the seated family. The sounds of shattering glasses and plates fell into the background as Harry's eyes zeroed in on Vernon's face. He was dead.

Petunia shrieked and Vernon, who had already been turning purple because how long it'd taken Harry to bring the food, went a deep fuchsia. Dudley simply looked fervently between Harry's weak grounded form and his furious father, hoping for a good show.

Vernon stood threateningly over Harry's downed form. Harry's vision began to tunnel and the room tilted dangerously. All thoughts stopped and everything went black.

I hope you enjoyed! No worries about this being abandoned. All the chapters have already been written and I'm in the process of editing them for grammar and spelling. A new chapter will be posted ever second day!

Reviews are very welcome.

- Afuunana