Summary: It's Harry's fourth year and on top of his fair share of problems (the Dursleys and the Triwizard Tournament to name a few), he has to deal with his parents and the marauders surprising him on the Hogwarts Express.
TRIGGER WARNING: Contains mentions of child abuse and eating disorders
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters.
Harry lay on his flat back, breathing as though he had been running. The vivid dream he had just woken up from and the burning scar on his forehead, weren't the only factors contributing to the pain he felt.
He tried to sit up very slowly, careful of the many open wounds littering his body. In the end, he gave up and decided to remain flat on his back. He couldn't bear to strain the gashes on his back just yet. He would have to get up soon enough, it just didn't have to be NOW.
Harry closed his eyes tightly, trying to block out the many aching areas of his body. He didn't want to think about the major cause of his pain... he couldn't. And it made no sense to beat himself up about something he couldn't change, he was being beaten frequently enough as it was.
It was a lot easier to focus on trying to remember his dream. Voldemort, Wormtail and the old man... it had all been so very confusing... And he knew this was a repetition of a dream he had already had once at the beginning of the summer holidays. The pain in his scar must have been caused by the mere memory of it.
Harry suppressed a groan. No, nothing could distract him from the pain and he wasn't capable of focusing on anything right now. He must have been thrashing around a lot for it to hurt this much. Luckily, no one seemed to have woken up. The thought of waking one of them up alone made Harry shudder.
He knew he couldn't put this off any longer. He needed to get up soon or... Harry didn't even dare to think about the consequences of him not getting up on time.
The dream wasn't his primary concern at the moment. No, he needed to do something to make himself more presentable for his journey to Hogwarts today. He quickly put on his glasses and turned on the lamp beside him.
'It won't hurt that much if I do it fast', Harry thought, as he took a deep breath, ready to jump out of bed. He had tried to prepare himself for the onslaught of pain that came with this sudden movement, but he could never have prepared himself for such an immeasurable amount.
A wave of dizziness overcame him, and Harry had to steady himself on the bedside table. He gritted his teeth in order to keep himself from screaming out from the pain.
It had never hurt this much before! And this hadn't even come close to the worst punishment he had ever received! Just what was wrong with him?
Granted, the overall strain over the summer was higher than it had been any summer before. He was punished more often and given less food than ever before in order to keep him in check after what had happened to Aunt Marge.
Harry decided not to dwell on the origin of his pain for now. He needed to do something about the pain itself and assess the situation. It couldn't be that bad... Maybe he was just overreacting...
The mirror on the inside of his wardrobe door proved him wrong. Harry almost stepped back in fright after setting eyes on the boy in the mirror.
Harry had always hated looking at his reflection. Which is why he had been avoiding it as much as he could this whole summer. He knew he would have to face it eventually, but he had been putting it off time and time again... He had expected it to be bad. A summer of hell obviously left its marks, but, yet again he was surprised at what he saw in front of him.
A skeletal child looked back at him. If he didn't know he was fourteen, he would have guessed him to be a lot younger.
Most of his bear upper body was covered in different shades of bruises, the darkest ones those covering his protruding ribcage. His arms and legs looked like mere sticks covered in purple, blue and green, which not even his thin pyjama trousers could hide.
His back was in even worse shape. There was no unmarked area to find there.
Inflamed dark red and black gashes with something white in them were there to hide the pale skin underneath. Harry quickly turned back around. His back was too hard to look at.
His eyes wandered up to his face. It was thinner and paler than it had ever been. Dark rings surrounded his dim green eyes.
Never in his life had he been this skinny. This was more than just skinny. He looked like he would drop dead from starvation any second now! Which he supposed was actually the case...
Harry couldn't do anything but stare for a while. He didn't know how long he had been standing there, staring at the foreign boy in the mirror. And he had no idea how to convince his friends that everything was alright.
Because everything was. Alright, that is.
A/N: So, this is an AU story that kind of follows the events of the fourth book with the only changes being that Harry still suffers from the harm done to him by his abusive relatives over the summer and acts OOC because of that. Yeah, and there are some guests from the past, which also changes a lot.
Oh, and Harry looks like Lily...
(Er...maybe there ARE a lot of changes.)
The story is very slow and I'll write it the way I think it would turn out. It's not because I want to drag it on, it's really just because I see it that way. I don't try to make it terrible on purpose.
If you hate the story, just stop reading it, please, there's no reason to review on the many things that aren't to your liking, which I already know are bad.