Title: The Taming of Harry Potter

Author: Mel J (e-mail me at cosmic_quest )
Disclaimer: The characters of 'Harry Potter' are the property of JK Rowling and no profit has been made by my utilizing them in my story. All other characters are my creation and therefore belong to me.
Rating: PG-13
Summery: For young Harry Potter, a cupboard under the stairs is luxury compared to the conditions he has been kept in since he was seven years old...
Author's Notes: This story came from Lady_Stormrider's challenge offered up on a Severus Snape slash mailing list although I really don't know yet if I can write it as slash since Harry is only eleven here. Also, I've modified the challenge slightly; in the original challenge Harry was kept in a cage since he first came to the Dursleys' but the psychologist in me feels he would have little chance of rehabilitation if I kept with that so I've made it since he was seven instead.
Archiving: As long as you ask first, it should be okay.


October, 1987
"The boy is a freak, Petunia, we can't pretend we can cure him. There is no cure for *things* like him."

In a tiny cupboard under the stairs, a tiny seven-year-old boy sat hugging his knees to his chest, his emerald green eyes brimming with tears and magnified by his crooked round glasses. Little Harry Potter could hear his cousin Dudley laughing at the cartoons he was watching in the living room as he crunched away on a packet of crisps and, if he strained, he could just make out the exuberant squeals of children playing outside in the street, enjoying the last hour of daylight before night set in.

Once he would have been so envious of his peers revelling in their blissful childhood where his existence was practically that of a slave's. However, today Harry was too focused on what they were saying; for he knew without a doubt his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were talking about him. Him, Harry- bane of their lives, nuisance, freak...*thing*.

With more self-restraint than a child of seven years should possess, he valiantly managed to choke back his sobs. Crying would only bring harsher punishment, a lesson he had learnt by his fourth birthday. But he was still such a very little boy and not even he could prevent the tears of self-pity and terrible fear welling over, sopping his clammy and pale cheeks. His thin frame shuddered with forceful shivers every few minutes and he rocked slightly in a vain effort to calm himself.

Today he had gone too far.

Strange events had always taken place around Harry, he didn't mean any of them and he knew how these incidents always frightened the Dursleys' when such happenings did occur. They would glower at him as if he was a stain marring their perfectly ordinary lives, as if they wished he were dead and gone like his parents. But today...today his whole school had witnessed one such event. In part it was Dudley's fault, he and his friends were chasing Harry and somehow when he tried to hide behind the big metal bins, he found himself miraculously up on the roof of the school kitchens.

He didn't even have time to explain that a gust of wind must have blown him upwards; the minute Uncle Vernon read the furious letter from his headmistress explaining he was climbing the school buildings, he was hurled into the cupboard with such force he bashed his head on the wall. It didn't help that Dudley was snickering at the by-lines, telling his father how his classmates thought Harry was some kind of alien for accomplishing such a feat.

At that news, Uncle Vernon had turned umber with a rage Harry had never seen in him before, and he had seen the man angered many times over the years. The boy knew instinctively his punishment would make a slap on the face or a week without food seem mild in comparison. This time he actually feared for his very life and he wondered if he would see tomorrow. And, young as he was, he contemplated the idea of the peaceful eternity of death over the pain of what was to come...


"What are we going to do with him?" Petunia Dursley asked as she thought of her sister's only child, a boy who they should never have been lumbered with.

How she resented the boy with the same intensity she once felt for his mother, her younger sister. The beautiful, perfect Lily- the daughter her parents worshipped despite the monstrosity she became when she received the letter to that blighted school of hers. What had happened to society when abnormality was revered at the expense of a normal, if rather plain, child? Petunia wasn't blind; she knew Lily was a stunning girl just as her son promised to grow into a rather handsome man. Nothing incensed her more than when a stranger would coo over the cherubic Harry and ignore her precious Dudley, such occasions struck too close to her pained childhood when family and friends would crowd around Lily and she was pushed to the side.

And it was not just in the normal world where Lily's beauty reigned but, according to their proud parents, also in her witch world where apparently she possessed great power, which was no doubt to be inherited by her monstrosity of a son. What had that power brought her, however? Blown up along with her useless husband, that's what! If Lily was so wonderful, why couldn't one of her adoring fans have taken in the boy? Petunia had always held reservations over the idea of raising Harry alongside their own son, worrying over the darkness he might bring to their family for this powerful boy had equally powerful enemies who could obliterate her family on a whim.

"Drown him. Throw him away. Put him in Care. I don't care but that thing is not living with us," Vernon snarled, glaring at the cupboard door concealing the child. "Who knows the effect he might have on our Dudley."

Whatever emotions Harry dredged up in her was nought compared to her husband's. Oh, how Vernon loathed the boy since the night he showed up on their doorstep six years ago. He never knew the full story behind the Potters' deaths and what role Harry had to play that night, however, he had seen the child as a very real threat from the beginning. Vernon had all been set for dumping the baby in a river until Petunia begged him to reconsider, unable to murder a child no matter who he was.

It was different now. The boy was obviously not only quite capable of magic even though he was just seven years old but he had also drawn much attention to them. What if one of those dark witch people, those who had killed the his parents, came to learn of his power? God only knew who might come looking for him. And if he was able to fly onto the roof today, the next time he might decide to strike against Dudley after one of their arguments. Was it so wrong of Petunia to put the safety of her own family before that of this boy she never even wanted? Perhaps if Lily had taken a leaf out of her sister's book and stopped meddling in the strange, she would have been alive now to mother her son for herself.

"But... but... what about the others?" Petunia said in a hushed tone, quickly glancing towards the front door. She had seen first hand what Lily could do and she knew better than to anger beings like her. "They might be watching the house. They might harm Dudley if we hurt the boy."

Vernon crossed his beefy arms over his chest, smirking chillingly. "Leave it to me, my sweet. I know exactly how to deal with this creature."

End of PROLOGUE- The Thing