Speak to Me
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor anything associated with him. He's property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Brothers.
Summary: Hogwarts is has closed for a year, and Harry is thrown in the attic, locked from the outside world, forbidden to speak. What happens when he forgets he has a voice? When school starts up again, who's going to teach him to speak?
Warning: Possibly A/U, Mentions of Abuse. OotP Spoilers, HP/SS Slash (Will be slash later on, much later, because I prefer to work it in, not just jump in. So please don't pressure me.), Some vulgar language. You Have been Warned!
Chapter 1: His 16th Birthday
Vernon hovered over him. Harry could feel his massive form millimeters away, almost touching him. It made him cringe. His uncle leaned down, placing a hand on the desk beside Harry's elbow. He could feel his breathing. Hear him breathing. Smell the foul stench of his breath.
Harry concentrated on the letter. It was all he could do to keep himself from flinching away from his uncle. He hated it when he was so close, too close. But if he flinched away, his uncle would get angry.
He breathed deeply, and picked up his pen, and started to write on the parchment. The sooner he wrote it, the faster Vernon would be away from him.
I'm doing great. The Dursleys are treating me much better this year, now that they're afraid Moody will subject them to magic. I think this is going to be a great summer. I can't wait to meet you all at Diagon Alley, even we're only two weeks into the summer.
I'd write more, but I don't really have the time. I'll write you soon.
Missing you all,
The moment Harry signed his name Vernon snatched the note up and moved away from him. After a few grumbles Vernon folded the note and gave it to Hedwig, who took it in her beak.
"Rutty owl, you know where to take it." Vernon grunted, sneering at her. Hedwig ruffled her feathers indignantly.
"You need to tie it to her leg, Uncle Vernon." Harry said, quietly.
"I thought I told you not to talk, boy?" Vernon snapped, whirling to face Harry, and moving to him. Harry glared at him, earning his second hit in 6 years; one that sent him out of his chair and sprawled on the floor.
Vernon smirked and tromped over to Hedwig, removing a small string from his pocket and tying it around the owl's leg. He moved to the attic window and unclasped the screen, letting the owl out. He put it back in such a way that he knew Harry couldn't remove it. The boy was too weak.
With one last disgusted look at Harry, he moved out the attic's trap door, barely fitting through it, and closed it as he headed through. Harry could hear him locking several locks.
After what seemed like an eternity, Harry dared to move over to the bed he made himself on the floor, a mixture of his school robes and oversized muggle cloths. He didn't care if he was acting like a scared child. He just wanted to get through this summer with as little injuries as possible.
He rolled onto his stomach, flinching as childhood memories of Vernon abusing him flooded into his mind. That's what had him flinching from Vernon, who'd been on the warpath since he found out that Harry's godfather had died.
What the letter said was the complete opposite of everything that was happening. He's been locked in the attic since he arrived. Apparently, while he was away at school, everything in the room he'd been using had been removed, and he was placed in the attic. His meals were sent up through the Laundry carrier, which had been fixed so it would go to the attic.
He had a port-a-potty as the bathroom.
He was visited every three days. His uncle would make him empty his portable toilet, shower, and then would supervise him while he wrote a letter to his 'freaky friends'. He wasn't going to take the chance that they'd get suspicious and come near his house. Contaminate it with their abnormalities.
Vernon told Harry he wasn't to talk; he didn't want the hear the slightest noise coming from him, or he'd belt him. A week into his stay, Harry started to talk quietly to himself, believing that they wouldn't hear him downstairs. Vernon had come up and yelled until his face was purple, then backhanded Harry before waddling from the attic.
Apparently the Dursleys had something hooked up somewhere, so they could listen to make sure he didn't make any noise. Maybe they were scared he was going to cast a spell.
They had left his trunk in the attic with him, instead of locking it in the basement. They previously decided that he'd be quieter if he had something to do; and would be less likely to touch their things.
That's how it was, day after day, week after week. Every three days he would do what was required, and he wouldn't emit a single word. He'd write a letter to his friends. Harry kept mark of the days by carving a line in the wall every day passed. At least he'd have his summer work done.
Harry carefully settled back in the chair he sat in. The desk and chair used to belong to Dudley; but the morbidly obese boy had broken it under his massive weight. The boy must have weighed almost 500 pounds. It was a wonder he didn't have a heart attack and die. The Dursleys would probably blame it on him.
He stared at his Potions essay. It was probably the best essay he'd ever written, and the best he ever would. He doubted he'd ever have so much time, while in school, to spend days researching a potion and then write about it. He did take his time, though. It was the last piece of homework he had.
-A month later-
Harry stared at his desk. Today was his birthday. Vernon would probably throw all the gifts he received in the trash. If he received any. He wouldn't blame anyone if they didn't send him any.
He breathed in sharply as he suddenly heard the locks clicking on the attic's floor-door. How could he have not heard anyone coming? Oh well. That's right, too. Today was one of THOSE days, the days he's come to refer to has 'The Third Day.' His weeks had began to work on three day schedules. No special names, just 'The First Day,' 'The Second Day' and 'The Third Day.' He smirked to himself, trying to decide if it was fortunate that his birthday had fallen on The Third Day, or if it was bad.
Suddenly coming to his senses, Harry grabbed the parchment off his desk, and his books, and stuffed them in his trunk. He soundlessly and quickly as possible moved back to his desk, and pretended to be staring dazedly out his window. He wasn't sure if he was really allowed to get into his trunk, and he wasn't about to risk having it taken away.
"Potter." The voice of his Uncle Vernon snarled, as the large man climbed into the attic, breathing heavily, face red. Harry supposed it was from so much movement. Must have overexerted himself. Harry resisted smirking to himself.
"Your Freaky friends sent you gifts." He growled, dropping a trash bag on the floor, grinning as it sounded like something broke.
Harry flinched slightly.
"Get up and empty that disgusting toilet right now. Then shower-and then you'll come back here, and you'll open these gifts in front of me." Vernon growled viciously. Harry stood up and moved over to the toilet. "Hurry up!" Dursley snapped, "And don't use the warm water-" he said dangerously, "You'll be wasting my hard-earned money."
Harry silently started to the attic floor-door with the port-a-potty.
"Make sure you wash your hair well, you smelly, greasy little bastard." Vernon snarled after him.
Harry closed and locked the bathroom door, turning on the water. He soaped up his hands well, and started to wash.
He couldn't believe Vernon dared called him greasy. It wasn't his fault that he could only shower every 3 days. But... sometimes Harry felt that he deserved what he got, that it was what he deserved for what happened to Sirius, a debt that could never be paid.
He filled his hands with water, and drained him quickly, before filling them back up again. He got so thirsty. Petunia only sent water up, with some bread. That was his usual meal and drink. Three times a day. Sometimes the bread was stale. But it was food. If he was lucky, he'd get table scraps. He wasn't sure he wanted to know what happened to them though. Dudley could have licked them for all he knew.
But it was food.
Harry sat on the floor in the attic as Dursley took the trash bag of owl-delivered items and tipped it over, pouring the contents on the floor.
"Start opening," Vernon snarled, and stood towering over him.
Harry reached out and picked up the box from Ron, pulling the string and letting the paper fall back. He quickly opened the box, to find a sweater from Ron's Mom, and a box with a small cupcake in it. There was a few chocolate frogs, and Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.
Vernon snarled, "Dump it out. Hurry up, boy, I haven't got all day."
Hesitantly, Harry slowly tipped the box on the floor beside him. A few other candies and a tiny wrapped rectangle tumbled onto the floor.
Vernon snatched the box up, and tore the paper off.
He snorted in laughter. "These are your friends? Pathetic, Potter. They look more abnormal than you." He said with a disgusting smirk, and roughly tossed the picture over onto his desk. Harry held his breath, but didn't hear anything break. Thankful that Vernon didn't break the frame, Harry quickly picked up the letter from Ron.
'Happy Birthday, Harry!
I hope you liked the picture of me and Hermione. She came over to visit a few days ago, and-well mate, I finally told her.
That's a chocolate cupcake; I know how much you love chocolate, so Mom made it as chocolatey as she could. I hope your birthday
is brilliant. Have you gotten any of your summer work done yet? Hermione made me work on mine, but I haven't even begun to tackle that Potion's essay. Honestly, Snape must be mad. Assigning that much over vacation..
Anyway, have a happy birthday Harry, can't wait to see you!
- Your friend,
Harry read the letter, and went to set it down when a pair of red, fat fingers snatched it up.
Harry slowly went to the box he got from Hermione, and unwrapped it. He smiled as he looked at the gift; She had sent him a book titled 'How to use Wandless Magic.' And.. A ring?
Raising his eyebrows slightly, he picked up the letter from Hermione and read it.
'Happy Birthday, Harry!
You're probably wondering what the ring does. Well, it works with the book. You'll have to read it to find out! I don't know if you've read Ron's letter or not, but we got together a few days ago. I've never been so Happy.
Anyway, write back. I miss you.
He smiled slightly and silently handed the quiet Vernon the letter.
He had two gifts left.. And 3 letters. One of them with the Hogwarts seal.
Harry picked up the other gift. This one was from Remus. With a soft smile he quickly opened it, feeling impatience radiating off the fat man behind him.
He grinned, looking at the book Remus got him. The real title was covered with a parchment, obviously in Ron's handwriting, that said 'How to Handle Greasy Gits.' Curiously, Harry removed the paper, raising his eyebrows at the title. 'Occulmency and You.' Hearing what sounded like a growl from his uncle, he quickly snatched up the other book Remus got him. 'Understand Potions'
Potions? Why would Remus get him a book on Potions? Maybe he knew how horrible he was in Snape's class. Well, that was a given.
"Potter." Vernon snarled, "You can linger later, Open the other one NOW."
Harry flinched, and opened his mouth to say something, but didn't. he knew better than that. He quickly picked up Remus's letter, and opened it, eyes scanning it quickly.
Happy Birthday. I hoped you might appreciate the books, if you had time. I got the impression from your letters that you were rather busy. So when you get the chance, at least look at them. I promise they'll help you. We all miss you very much.
Vernon snatched the letter from his hands, and read it over as Harry picked up the last gift, irritated that he couldn't simply enjoy opening his presents, that his uncle had to be there to ruin it. He should just be happy that he could open them at all, let alone keep them. Would Dursley let him keep them? Maybe if Hary didn't make a fuss about it?
He unwrapped the other gift. It was two boxes, one stacked on top of the other. One was labeled 'Frm Hagreed' in Hagrid's chicken scratch, and then another one 'From Albus Dumbledore'
He opened Hagrid's gift first, gently emptying the contents onto the floor. There was a tin of hard fudge, and a card saying 'Happie B-Dae, Hari. I miss u.' Which was snatched away from him the second he finished reading it.
He did the same with his Headmaster's gift, although unsure why he was receiving anything from him.
A rather large, dusty book slid out of the box; it read 'A Beginner's Guide to the Dark Arts'. His eyes nearly bulged from his head as he read the title.
"Dark Arts?" Vernon said with a hint of amusement, "That crackpot fool of a headmaster sends you a book on arts?" He snorted. "Well, now. Get to it. Open the letters."
Harry picked up the nonofficial letter first, and read it.
Happy Birthday. I hope you make use of this book, perhaps you could use it as a stool or something. Possibly read it. It might help prepare you for the upcoming battle. I borrowed it from Professor Snape, so when you come back to school next year, please return it to him.
Harry stared at the letter. Next year? Maybe he truly is off his rocker. Why would he need to keep it for an entire year?
'Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Birthday. I would've given you a real present, but I think this book will do well enough. As a school official, I'm not allowed until you graduate. Student Favoritism, you know. You can always ask Severus if you need to borrow it again.
"Finished?" Vernon sneered, and Harry handed it back to him, "Took you a bloody long time to read it." He said darkly before scanning over the letter.
Next was the Hogwarts letter.
"Dear Mr. Harry Potter,
We are saddened to inform you that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be closed this year, due to the dangers of Death Eater activity. New wards have been set up around the school, and as you know, will take a full year before they become active. We'll be seeing you next September!
Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.'
Vernon was quick in reading that letter, too.
"WHAT?!" He bellowed, nearly shaking the house, "I'm stuck with you, you little freak runt, for another year? You won't be leaving this house, Potter. Ever." He grabbed Harry's arm and yanked him up. Harry surpressed a yelp as the over grown whale dragged him to his desk and shoved him into the wobbly chair. "Write!" he snarled, spit flying from his mouth and landing onto the desk. Harry cringed, picking up the pen and beginning to write. "I'll be damned if I have to stay in this stench hole a moment longer."
Thanks for the gift. I love it. I'm happy for you and Hermione. I got my homework done, but since we have another year to do it, I guess it doesn't really matter, does it? I doubt Dumbledore will let me come visit you. No worries, though, Mate. With everyone backing me up, I'm going to be having a good time.
Tell your Mom thanks for the sweater and the cupcake.
Thanks for the ring and book, I can't wait to read the book. I'm going to miss you and Ron, since I won't be seeing you till next year, trusting you've heard the school is closed. I'm happy for you and Ron; I can't believe he finally got the courage to come out with it. Anyway, I'm doing great here,
Thank you. I'll be sure to read them, don't worry. I'll need to brush up on my potion skills if I want to be an Auror, and I know how important Occulmency is now. Sadly, it took my godfather's life in order for me to realize it. I'm really sorry it had to happen.
I think I'll be able to bear staying here for one more year, thanks to you guys. It's not so bad, and if I ever to do bored I'll have all these books to read. I know I'll get bored eventually. I have a full year. Ill write soon.
I miss you too,
'Dear Headmaster Dumbledore,
Thanks for the book, I promise I'll read it. Merlin knows I'll need it. I can't imagine what you went though to get Professor Snape to allow me to borrow the book.
Thanks, I'll see you in a year.
Harry put down the pen, his hand obviously exhausted from writing, and Vernon picked up the letters, reading each one slowly. He glowered at Harry.
"Remember, not a peep, understood?'
Harry simply bowed his head to the man, who left the attic, leaving Harry to himself. He hadn't seen Hedwig in days. She learned to go downstairs, ever since she realized Harry couldn't open his window.
The 16 year old boy sighed and stared out the window.