Eyes on Me
Eyes on Me by Pseudonymous Entity
Summary: At five-years-old little Harry Potter experiences his first big accidental magic. One that drastically changes his worldview and the course of his life. The Harry that eventually arrives at Hogwarts is one shaped by his childhood experiences...and the darkness of a cupboard.
Warnings: I laugh in the face of cannon. Also? Other religions, cultures, races and sexualities exist. *shrug*
Character: Harry James Potter.
AN: Basically, what I've done here is take the elements I like most from The Rivalry and Something Wicked to give you...this. It's the things I wanted to give you in those stories sometimes but I couldn't because it doesn't fit in or because I was afraid of the reaction. It's gonna have some recognizable elements of those stories, but will be its own distinct segment of my imagination. It's also very likely some of you will get upset or conflicted along the way. It's sort of the point, but just in case you prefer something happy-go-lucky-vanilla-expected I'd like to give you a heads up that this ain't it. And there's nothing wrong with it if that's what you like.
But that's not what this is, and I won't apologize.
So...you've been warned?
Ever Yours, Pseu [Talented, Charming, Ridiculously Good Looking]
"I knew what I had to do
So...you lock them up throw away the key, there's one on every family tree
Ungrateful! Hateful! Vile too!
Break their spirit so they obey, now they do anything you say
So...work them hard until they fall in line, there's one way and it's only mine...
Govern them with a heart of stone, lock them up so they're all alone..."
-Tough Love: The Villain's Lair
Harry used to dream of fantastic things.
Mysterious and otherworldly things and that such things lived within him. Something dark and shining like stars in the velvet black of the evening sky.
It only took one incident when he was five for Harry to learn to keep his dreams to himself. One incident followed by unexpected darkness inside of a cupboard. Maybe it was his fault. He certainly hadn't meant to do anything weird or to be frighening. See, Harry had a temper. You wouldn't know it to look at him now, but once, a long time ago, Harry had a temper. He had a sharpness to his tongue and a cleverness to his eyes that was humoured however reluctantly by his relatives; Aunt Petunia, and Uncle Vernon. Because until this incident Harry had passed for normal.
Or mostly normal.
But he had a temper and he had dreams, and it was his mistake for letting them mix.
It was an ordinary day when it happened, which suited his aunt just fine. A perfectly ordinary day at the end of July. Harry was in the backyard of the house with his cousin Dudley when things went wrong. It was sunny and lovely and Harry thought the light was perfect for drawing in. So he brought out his notebook. A little one Dudley discarded a year before, perhaps. In it were drawings of the people and things Harry saw in his dreams.
Dudley, tired from trying to ride the bicycle his far too optimistic mother and purchased for him, plopped on the ground beside Harry.
"What's that?" Dudley asked.
And Harry, full of toasty sunlight and the unearned confidence of youth, tilted the page to show the drawing he was working on. A motorbike flying in the night sky.
Dudley's brows furrowed together. "That's good." Said Dudley slowly. But then, Dudley did nearly everything slowly. Unless it was eating. "But bikes don't fly. Not even on the telly."
He would know. Duley watched a lot of television.
Harry shrugged. "I didn't see it, I dreamt it. Don't you ever dream odd things?"
Dudley thought about this. "I s'pose." He said. "What else you got in there?"
So Harry showed him. He showed him drawings of boats in a lake headed toward a great a lit up castle on a hill. Faeries with glittering eyes and mean smiles. A snake long as a train, across from a page with a drawing of a small room with one bed and a wardrobe on fire. There was one with a mobile hanging over a baby crib with a tiny dog, wolf, mouse and deer dangling. And there was Harry's favourite.
A woman with flame-red hair and bright green eyes.
"You draw good." Said Dudley. "But snakes don't get so big y'know. And faeries are s'posed to be pretty."
Harry frowned. "My faeries aren't pretty at all. They're mean and play tricks on people."
Dudley frowned next. "But in the books, they're pretty and give you good luck. That's how it goes. That's what the books say."
"I don't care what your stupid books say." Harry snapped. He didn't know why it bothered him so much. It wasn't like he'd ever see any of those books to know.
Dudley stood up. "Stop that."
"What?" Asked Harry.
"That...thing you do. Your eyes glow when you get mad. Ma says we're not s'posed to talk about it. That it might go away. But I don't like it! It's scary Harry." Dudley said, wrapping his arms around his middle.
Harry's eyes widened. "I...glow?"
Dudley nodded. "Y-yes."
"Are you cold?" Harry asked, standing up too. "You're shivering."
Dudley shrugged the best he could, keeping his arms tight around his middle. His lips were turning blue. "It's c-cold. Make it stop Harry. Make it stop!"
"I'm not doing anything." Harry protested.
"Yes, y-you are. I hate you. I h-hate your s-stupid pictures and your s-stupid boats and the l-lady w-with the stupid r-red hair! Why d-do you have to be s-s-such a...s-such a...freak?"
Harry hadn't meant to do it. Or maybe he had. In the moment. But he was five and he hadn't known what he was doing! He was just so angry which was so so stupid because they were just drawings. Just dreams. None of it was real. In the end, it didn't matter that Harry was sorry or that he was only five or that he wouldn't do it again. His cousin still ended up in a tree, a huge windstorm knocked out all the power and broke some windows. His aunt and uncle were still furious.
Harry couldn't say for sure what happened next. It was all a blur of anger, of answering fire within him, of his cousin screaming, and the being violently brought to the present by his uncle's hand on his arm. Harry was dragged inside the house and shoved into the cupboard under the stairs. There was a lot of activity outside that door. Harry knew because he sat against it in the dark listening.
Huddled there, arms around his knees, Harry listened to the commotion on the other side of the door. To his aunt frantically calling...someone. Not long after there were several sets of footsteps and voices in the house and it seemed like everyone was talking at once. Was it doctors to look at his cousin? Was Dudley okay?
Or maybe policemen to take Harry away?
Five-year-old Harry sat in the dark and he waited for someone to come get him and tell him what happened. He pushed his shoes against the dusty wooden floor every so often to make it squeak, and when he got hungry he tried naming the colours of the rainbow in order to keep his mind off of it. No one was coming for Harry, which he would learn when his eyes flew open in the darkness the following open. The door behind him opened and he fell to the floor with a smack.
Harry shot to his feet, rubbing the back of his head. He wanted to ask what happened. If Dudley was okay.
He didn't get the chance.
Aunt Petunia placed an unkind hand on his shoulder and lead him away from the cupboard and toward the stairs. As they passed the windows Harry glanced outside and stared with wide eyes. Everything was gone! The fallen tree branches and the mess he made. Like it never happened at all. But how? As they turned and began up the stairs the windows left his line of sight. Aunt Petunia had him stop at his and Dudley's room.
"Fetch your clothes and a pillow." She instructed, pushing him forward.
Harry stumbled to a stop near Dudley's big dresser, left hand out and grasping it to keep himself up. He straightened and looked back over at his aunt, frowning. Why did he need clothes? Were they going on a trip? Harry went over to the small closet and knelt down, gathering his clothes from the chest into a neat pile. He stood up and walked to the bed uncertainly. Aunt Petunia gave him a sharp nod, her eyes flickering between Harry and something down the hall. Like she was trying to avoid something.
Harry put his clothes pile on the soft cool pillow and lifted it up, clothes and all. Harry followed His aunt when she turned and walked away. They continued down the hall, down the stairs and then turned back toward the house, not the door. Harry followed after her, brows draw together in confusion. He was quite glad not to be punished but he was still really confused.
Aunt Petunia pointed in the cupboard.
Harry was a clever boy. He let the pillow and clothes fall from his arms to the floor. He stared at his aunt and then at the cupboard. He knew he cried and he knew his aunt said something to him but he couldn't remember what it was. Before he knew it he was in the cupboard once more, sat on a small cot someone moved into the small space. The pillow and his clothes were on one end, and he sat on the other -on an itchy wool blanket- with a roll in one hand and a warm bottle of water in the other.
The door shut and the light went out.
So it went every day. He would hear a knock at the door. The door would open. No one else was ever around when this happened. He would be lead to the bathroom to wash up and use the toilet. Then he would get something to eat. Back into the cupboard. Eventually, his aunt started talking to him when he was out of the cupboard. About controlling his anger. His emotions. About focusing on them and what caused them, then imagining them bottled up and shoved away into a corner where they couldn't hurt anybody. He wasn't allowed to ask questions and he especially wasn't allowed to bring up what happened with Dudley.
"Nothing happened silly boy." She said, waving him off. "It's that useless imagination of yours. Nothing but trouble. There's no such thing as magic."
Harry frowned. "But...I thought..."
Aunt Petunia spun him around and gestured toward the windows. "Do you see any fallen trees or whatever you imagined, Harry? There's nothing there. You sound crazy." Her voice went a little lower, softer. "You're not crazy, are you Harry?"
"I'm not crazy." Harry agreed. But the storm did happen. Didn't it?
After two weeks Harry couldn't quite remember whether the windstorm really did happen or if it was a dream. After two months he was allowed to help aunt Petunia in the kitchen if he didn't speak. After two years it was his new normal and Harry would say things had always been this way. He always lived in the cupboard under the stairs. Harry adapted to his new rules quickly.
Don't react. No matter what happened. If it was unfair or upset you or it hurt. Pretend it away. Or let it wash over you and away from you. Stand apart from the world, don't let it touch you.
Don't think too much about things, don't question. If you start asking questions you'll start getting answers, and those answers might hurt somebody. You don't want to hurt anybody, do you Harry?
Take a breath and don't react. Control yourself. Stay disconnected and nothing can hurt you. More importantly, you can't hurt anyone. Not if you just stay calm.
Breathe. Keep the emotions at bay. Feel nothing. Stay in control.
If Harry did good. If he kept himself in check and kept his voice to himself he was rewarded. Less time in the dark, more time in the daylight. He was even allowed to go outside and work on Aunt Petunia's garden. In the cool shade of the fencing, hidden amongst the vegetation and flowers, Harry could filter the rest of the world away. Soft grass and dirt beneath his knees, sweet smelling breezes against his skin and in his hair. Quick fingers worked on auto pilot and his body breathed in the fresh air and sunlight while it lasted.
It became his mission to earn as many days in the light as he could, to perfect his face, his emotions. Himself. His goal for each day, each morning, the second he left his cupboard. Less time in the dark, more in the sun.
Anything but the dark.
Harry James Potter lived under the stairs in a small cupboard at number 4 Privet Drive. He was too small. Too clever. And his eyes were to bright. His family's greatest secret. Harry Potter was seven and a half now, and he was a freak. Freaks could hurt people, so it was their responsibility to keep their freakishness to themselves. That way nobody got hurt. As long as he stayed focused, stayed in control. As long as he fought to keep whatever it was that was within him to stay that way, everything would be fine.
Imagination was bad. Storybooks were bad. Feelings were bad. Dreams were useless, dangerous things. And the most important thing to remember?
There was no such thing as magic.
The day ended. The freak was returned to his cupboard. The perfectly normal members of the household enjoyed their evening programs on the telly, had dessert -apple tarts!- took their baths, said their prayers and went to bed. Hours later, in the space underneath the stairs, a glowing orb ofsomething rolled along the palms of tiny hands. Green light flickered along the face of a small boy in the darkness.
"You don't want to hurt anybody, do you Harry?"
"Never turn your back, better keep your eyes on me..." -Celine Dion
AN: Thoughts, Comments, Questions, Theories andLimericks always welcome
Pain comes in a variety of forms. Some are more clumsy and obvious, like a bruise or a broken bone. Then there are pains that go years without a name, that seep into your veins and spread throughout your body, infecting everything it touches. A pain that lingers long after the moment it arrived...
ANx2: I haven't got a Beta. I make mistakes. I write Pureblood as 'Pureblood' not 'pure-blood'. This is the rock I will die on.
Ever Yours, Pseu