**Suffering Ch.1: Hidden Secrets** **Disclaimer: Not mine. If it were mine, would I REALLY be writing this crappy fanfic? As of right now, everything I'm using belongs to J.K. Rowling. There. I said it. So don't sue me because I have nothing of value except this shiny piece of aluminum foil, and you'll never get it from me! (Laughs hysterically) It's mine! It's mine and you'll never take it from me!!!! **A/N: Okay, so this whole Harry abused thing is WAY overdone, but I have wanted to write this fic forever! I might not be able to update too often, watch for that. I really only have a rough idea of where this is going, so please click the little purple button with any suggestions you may have. Oh, and anyone looking for a couple of great Draco abused fics should check out Struggle by Cinnamon and Kill Me Slowly by Fire'N'Ice. I don't know whether this will be slash or Harry/Herm, or possibly Harry/Ginny, it all depends on what you guys want. Am also toying with the idea of making Harry a cutter. So review and let me know!!! Okay, enough jabber, on with the story!

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Harry saw a jet of red light hit his godfather square in the chest. Saw Sirius's shocked face as he fell backwards through the fluttering black veil. He felt Lupin holding him back as he rushed forward to keep his godfather from stumbling through the stone archway.
"SIRIUS!" Harry yelled the word as he sat bolt upright in bed, drenched in a cold sweat.
Breathing as heavily as if he had been sprinting, Harry looked around and realized he was in his bedroom at Privet Drive and that it was very early morning. He also realized his shout must have woken his uncle.
*Oh, God, I hope I didn't wake him up! *Thought Harry desperately. But even as he hoped against hope, he heard heavy, lumbering footsteps approaching his bedroom. He knew that sound could only mean trouble. Sure enough, seconds later, his uncle's purple face appeared at the door.
"What the HELL are you doing?" his angry uncle inquired through clenched teeth.
"S-sorry, Uncle Vernon, I just had a bit of a nightmare, you see." Harry began weakly, but he knew it was useless.
"I don't give a shit if you had a dream!" snarled his uncle. " There is no bloody reason to wake every person in the bloody house!" The large man delivered a swift punch to Harry's abdomen, sending the teenager sprawling on the floor. Harry knew better than to attempt to fight back against the man, who was 3 times his size, at least. Instead, he chose to tense his muscles to absorb the blow. He turned his head to stare blankly at the wall, willing himself not to scream while the man he called his uncle began to kick, punch, and throw things at the 15-year-old with alarming ferocity.
Finally, breathing like a winded hippopotamus, the man stopped his assault and stared down at the child who lay completely still on the floor. "You'll be writing to those freaks, now that you're up. I know you can hear me." And with that, the man spat on his "nephew" and left the room, slamming the door so hard that bits of dust and rubble fell from the ceiling.
Shaking, Harry slowly attempted to get to his feet, only to wind up on the floor again, gasping for breath. Bringing himself to his hands and knees, he crawled over to the bed and pulled himself up. It was only when he had balanced himself on the bed when he realized that the bloodstained sheets were blurry ad he couldn't seem to focus on them. *Oh, dear, * Harry thought, *No glasses.. *That complicated things a bit. He couldn't see how he was supposed to be able to write when he couldn't see.
Harry was writing to the members of the Order of the Phoenix because he could clearly remember Alastor Moody threatening to "drop by" if the Order didn't hear from Harry for 3 days. Harry knew his uncle definitely didn't want that, and neither could he. He could just picture Moody, Tonks, and Lupin traipsing up the sidewalk to check on him. They would force their way in if they had to, then they would make their way upstairs. That was when they would begin to realize something was dreadfully wrong. The bloodstained, battered door with multiple locks, the slight stench of blood and vomit as they neared the room, and, of course, the room itself. A virtual hellhole for Harry, as it had been for as long as he could remember. Perhaps last summer, he would have prayed for someone to come and find him, to save him. But now he didn't care. He had killed his own godfather. He deserved whatever horror nature could bestow upon him. In fact, he didn't want anybody to find him, because then they would all know that the great Harry Potter, the Golden Boy, the person who was supposed to be the Savior of the Wizarding world, couldn't defend himself against a stupid muggle.
Harry sighed and slowly limped over to the mirror on his wardrobe door. Oh, he was just lovely. His right eye was still very nearly swollen shut from the beating he had received the instant he returned to Privet Drive, and he was bleeding pretty much everywhere. His face was a patchwork of colorful bruises, and a large gash across his left cheek was oozing quite nicely.
Moody's threat, far from stopping Vernon's violence, had in fact earned him the beating he had received upon arriving at "home". The very thought of the beating still made Harry shiver.
"So!" Vernon Dursley had bellowed the instant he had shut the door to Number 4. "Thought you'd get those freaks into scaring us, did you?" Spit flew from the man's mouth as he advanced upon Harry in a frightening rage.
"No, Uncle Vernon, see--" Harry's hasty explanations were cut off as his uncle had kicked him in the stomach- hard. Coughing weakly, the teenager attempted to stand, but was sprawled on the floor again as his uncle backhanded him with an incredible amount of force.
"SILENCE!" The large man roared, punching his nephew in the face. "Oh," he said, breathing like a wounded boar, "you'll still be writing those-those- FREAKS, and you'll tell them we're treating you just great, too! Understand?"
Harry had nodded mutely, and his reward had been his uncle dragging him upstairs and throwing him against his bedroom wall, laughing maniacally all the while. That had been 3 weeks ago, and not a day had passed that Vernon hadn't shown Harry similar or worse violence. It had tended to be punching and kicking, but sometimes his uncle would get.bored. And when Vernon Dursley got bored, he got out his belt. Of course, Alastor Moody and the others had no idea of Harry's hellish homelife, because every 3 days or so, Harry was forced to write a letter telling everyone at headquarters that he was great. Apparently, he was to do the same thing again today, although writing anything legible should prove to be a challenge. It would have been very difficult to write without his glasses, but to add in a black eye and 3 fingers that were most likely broken, and it would be nearly impossible.
Sitting down gingerly at his desk with a heavy sigh, Harry drew a piece of parchment towards him and dipped his quill in his inkpot. As he tried to think of something to write that would sound convincing, his thoughts slipped back to the days preceding his return to Privet Drive. The fiasco at the Department of Mysteries, and Sirius- *No, * Harry thought firmly. * I'm not going to think about that.* Instead, he thought about how he had tried to convince Albus Dumbledore to allow him to stay at Hogwarts over the summer, just like he had every year before. And, just like every year before, Albus Dumbledore had told Harry that he would be safest staying at Privet Drive. Ha! Thought Harry. * What good is it being protected from Voldemort if Vernon kills me anyway?* Even though he moved gingerly, Harry winced as pain coursed through his body like fire. Moaning slightly at what felt like several broken ribs, he began to write his letter. Hey everybody,
My summer's going all right. Professor Dumbledore wrote me to tell me that Snape's going to start giving me Occlumency lessons again as soon as I'm back in London. At least then I might be able to stop the dreams. Speaking of London, when will I be able to get out of here and go there? I hate being stuck here! Well, anyway, just letting you know everything's fine here.

Harry

Harry did his best to proofread his letter, knowing it would be sloppy. Oh well, hopefully everyone would just think he was lazy. No one had questioned his equally sloppy letters before. Deciding his letter would just have to do, Harry set the parchment on his desk, knowing his uncle would want to check it. He lay down gingerly on his bed, though he couldn't imagine falling asleep when every nerve in his body felt like it was on fire. **************************************************** Remus Lupin sat at the scrubbed wooden table in the kitchen if Number 4, Grimuald Place. It was 3 A.M. His head was in his hands and he was clearly deep in thought. "Remus?" Molly Weasley's kind voice gently brought the man back down to Earth. He looked up at her warily. He seemed years older tan he had just a few short weeks ago. "I thought you might like some tea," she offered. "You couldn't sleep." It was a statement, not a question. Lupin shook his head. "I haven't had a good night's sleep for awhile now." Molly just nodded, and there a was silence for a moment. Finally she said quietly, "You really miss him, don't you?" Lupin nodded gravely. " I know Harry does too. I don't know if you heard about what he did in Dumbledore's office that night?" Molly shook her head, looking earnestly at Lupin. "Well, I spoke to Dumbledore. By the time he got there from the Ministry, Harry was hysterical. Dumbledore said he just kept throwing things and yelling and then he said that he wanted it all to end. Albus said that about a week later, he saw Harry sitting out at the lake for hours, he stayed until past nightfall. Harry blames himself for Sirius's death, Molly." Molly nodded. "I know. Ron told me. He said Harry wouldn't speak to him, or anybody else. I wish Dumbledore would let him come already. All he will say in his letters is that he has to get out of the Dursley's house. And who can blame him? He needs his real family right now." "I know," said Lupin resignedly, sounding more tired than Molly had ever heard him. "But you and I both know Dumbledore's got his reasons." ******************************************************** "Get your lazy ass out of bed!" yelled Vernon, punching Harry's ribs. "You've got to do extra chores to make up for the disturbance you caused this morning. And send that damn letter already!" Harry's vision stopped swimming from pain and exhaustion just in time for him to see his uncle thrust a slip of paper at him and stomp flat-footed from the room. * Well, that was a lovely wake-up call, * thought Harry, *I wish every day could start like this. * He massaged his ribs as he sat up very slowly. By the time he had finally worked up the strength to stand, he had heard a second car leaving, presumably taking his aunt and cousin for a two-day trip in London.
Harry quickly rolled up his barely legible letter and worked his way over to Hedwig's cage. He tied the letter to her leg and gave her a gentle stroke. She nipped his ear gently and soared out the window
Harry limped over to the mirror. Even without his glasses, he could tell that he looked far worse than he had at 2:30 that morning. The new bruises on his face had developed into deep purple splotches, he looked pale and drawn, and each of his ribs stuck out, visible even under his shirt. Of course, that could happen when you were surviving on a meager meal every 2 days. The Dursleys hadn't exactly been feeding Harry. *I hope the concealing cream is enough to hide the bruises, * thought Harry. For the past two summers, Harry had hidden all physical evidence of his uncle's abuse with Madame Maudie's Magical Concealing Crème that he had ordered from the Daily Prophet. It had generally worked well, but considering the severity of his new bruises, he wasn't sure if it would still do the trick. The reason Harry had only needed to use the ointment for the past two summers was because his Vernon had backed off a little when he went to Hogwarts, and before that, Harry hadn't had anyone to go to, so it didn't matter if he looked a little bruised. But, Harry's back, conveniently invisible to the public, was covered with many layers of scars, old and new, made by various instruments, mainly belts, although lately his uncle had been using a horse whip, which was much more painful than any belt. Jerking himself out of these unpleasant thoughts, Harry picked up the list his uncle had left him. It looked as though Vernon's idea of "extra chores" was to triple his already large workload. Harry briefly wondered how he was to complete these chores when he couldn't see and was barely capable of standing. * But, of course, that's the point* thought Harry. *Because if I don't get my chores done it gives him an excuse to kick me around more.* Harry had long since decided that his uncle actually enjoyed beating him, but he had also long since decided that he deserved it. Shaking his head briefly, Harry attempted to clear his head and focus, which he immediately regretted, because the pain in his head was so great that he nearly passed out. Harry looked down at the list. "Weed garden, paint fence, mow lawn, clean garage, clean gutters, do dishes, wash windows.oh, Lord, it just keeps going." Harry was surprised by his own voice. He rarely used it, so it was very hoarse. He hardly ever even screamed anymore. Shuddering, Harry quickly headed out of his bedroom and downs the stairs to get a start on his monstrous workload. 6 ½ hours later, an exhausted Harry had painted the fence, mowed the lawn, cleaned the garage, cleaned the gutters, done dishes, washed windows, washed the other family car, mopped his Aunt Petunia's kitchen, and dusted her living room. Now, nearly passing out in pain and exhaustion, Harry only had to weed the garden. However, that was an hour's worth of work and he only had 30 minutes to complete it. Kneeling on the grass, Harry was blindly, feverishly groping and pulling at weeds. Finally, limp and nauseous, he pitched headfirst into a large, prickly bush and passed out. ************************************************** Vernon Dursley was contemplating as he drove home from work. He was in a very bad mood. His drill company, Grunnings, was failing, ad all the employees, himself included, were suffering massive pay cuts. His day had been long, and, in his mind, stressful. Vernon was in such a bad mood that he had stopped by the pub on his way home. The practice, which was becoming more and more frequent for him, hadn't helped as much as he'd thought it would. Of course, Vernon knew the true source of his problems. It was the Potter freak. That boy had never caused anything but problems for Vernon's family. The man had just pulled his car into the driveway when he caught sight the very cause of his problems SLEEPING on the twilight-darkened lawn. If Vernon had been in a bad mood before, it was nothing compared to the rage he felt when he saw Harry Potter slumped over his Hydrangea bushes. Shaking and swaying as he got out of his car (he seemed to be having problems walking in a steady line), Vernon staggered over to the brat. He was going to make the boy pay. ******************************************************** Harry had been peacefully enjoying a, for once, dreamless sleep, when he was swiftly waken by a very large man shaking him. Reluctantly opening his eyes, he found himself face to face with his Uncle Vernon, who was holding him with his hands around his neck. "You lazy, insolent whelp!" hissed the purple-faced man through his teeth. "I leave you a simple list of chores and you can't even complete those! You have been a freakish sore in my family's side for long enough! I'm going to teach you a lesson you'll never forget!" With an insane sort of cackle, Vernon dragged the speechless boy into the house. Once his uncle had dragged him inside, Harry, still only vaguely aware of what was happening, was thrown to the ground with enough force to make the wooden flooring sound with a loud thud. Harry curled up into a ball to minimize the amount of damage, keeping his eyes shut as his uncle punched, kicked, and slapped him over and over again. Then his uncle removed his belt. Harry didn't know it was coming until he heard the leather strap whooshing through the air. He tensed, but it didn't matter. Again and again, his uncle brought the belt down on him, each time producing a loud slapping noise and causing a bleeding red welt to appear somewhere on his arms, legs, or back. Harry simply clamped his eyes tighter shut. He wouldn't allow the tears of pain to weave their way out of his eyelids. Then his uncle stopped suddenly, and Harry heard him stomp away. Taking advantage of the situation to take several short, gasping breaths, Harry's relief was cut off as his uncle grabbed him again. With his uncle holding his wrists out of the way, Harry briefly had time to feel panic when he saw the light glint off something metallic in Vernon's raised hand before the man sent the knife plunging in to his stomach. Harry's stomach exploded in pain and he let out a long, piercing scream as blood began to flow from the deep wound, soaking through his shirt and onto the hardwood floor. "SHUT UP!" bellowed his uncle, and he drew back the knife again. Harry, barely able to see, fought back as hard as he could, gasping for breath all the while as his uncle stabbed him again. The man held the teenager tight as he began to struggle and writhe. Harry finally felt the pressure released on his arms and curled up in a ball, sobbing, his hands clenched tight over his bleeding stomach. He began to cough and blood seeped out his mouth. His vision was fading around the edges and he could feel all consciousness leaving him. He was only just aware of his uncle, still laughing maniacally, grabbing his shirt collar and dragging him, not to his bedroom, but to the cupboard under the stairs.

Harry felt a large pair of hands throw him into the tiny closet and heard the door slammed shut behind him and the lock click into place. It didn't matter; Harry couldn't possibly fight back. Coughing spastically as he rocked on the floor of his closet, he felt blood come up again and again. Eventually, he began to vomit as well, his stomach heaving up the small amount of food he had eaten in the last 2 days. Finally, no longer able to move, Harry sank into his pool of blood and blacked out. His last thoughts as he lost all consciousness were, * I'm going to see my parents now. I'm going to see Sirius.* ********************************************************* Hedwig was returning from her journey to London. She had flown as quickly as possible, not wanting to leave her master alone. She wished she could help him. The instant the strange-looking human with the funny eyes had removed her letter, she had taken off again into the receding light. Soaring over Privet Drive, Hedwig started circling down. Spotting her master's open window, she flew in, searching for him, to give him a reassuring nip. Her master was not there. Hedwig was confused. Her master was always in his bedroom by this time of night, waiting for her to return. It was very late night, after all. Concerned, the snowy owl silently flew through the house. She spotted nothing upstairs, but downstairs, she noticed something odd coming from the cupboard under the stairs. She could smell blood and pain and fear.and death. Hedwig flew closer to the cabinet. She could hear the ragged breathing that no doubt belonged to her master coming from under the stairs. Seeing the large red puddle on the floor outside the locked door, she sent a soft hoot through the door as she made sure to stick one snowy wing into the warm red liquid and took off towards her master's open bedroom window. Once outside, she began traveling as fast as she could in the direction she had just come from. ************************************************************* A/N: Okay, so there's your first chapter- kindly review???? Just reminding you again- NONE OF IT'S MINE!!! Yeah, I know, I know, such a typical story, poor Harry, poor Harry, but it gets better, and I live off abuse stories, so there! (sticks out tongue, bites self) Ouch! Okay, I have this klutz theory- as it gets colder, I get klutzier, my joints just kind of seize up. At least it's a good excuse.. PLEASE REVIEW!!! DON'T MAKE ME BEG!!!