Disclaimer: Anything you recognize from the Harry Potter books is NOT mine and I am NOT making any profit off of it other than the good feeling I'll get when I read the reviews! Grinz Oh and if this sounds like something else you've read, don't scream at me, I'm trying my best to be original!

A/N: Usually Power Rangers and Digimon take up my writing time but I think I'll take a break from it and go on my renewed inspiration... looks at her 64 ounce cup of pepsi Please remember to read and review, of course, if you hated it, don't bother to flame, it doesn't make any difference to me, but I don't need to be wasting my time reading such crud. (Oh and if you have suggestions for the Title, go ahead and throw 'em at me!)

We're not so Different

Chapter One: Pain and Realizations

Harry Potter's fifth summer back from Hogwarts was far from over. Hardly a week had passed and Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived, was out in the garden pulling out the weeds that hid from the sight of mere passers by. As The Order of the Phoenix had promised, Harry received letters from Remus Lupin, Nympadora Tonks, Mad Eye Moody, and several other Order Wizards including Molly Weasley and her husband. Harry groaned as tiny stickers from one particularly pubescent weed sliced into his hand. Uncle Vernon had insisted on overwhelming his nephew with too many chores to complete in the allotted timeframe. Considering the events that had brought his stay at the Dursley's to an end the summer before, Harry thought Dudley had taken a turn for the better. He had lost some weight but had a strange haunted look on him still, especially when Harry was in the same room. But the biggest change was that the blonde boy actually had started to be kind to Harry. He assumed that Aunt Petunia had talked to her son about Harry actually saving his life and that the sudden kindness was only out of a feeling of life debt. Harry, was of course, still underfed, only given the bare minimum. But Uncle Vernon had taken to blaming Harry for all of life's little inconviences, like when all the Grunnings lower employees had gone on strike for a raise in pay and healthcare. Chores weren't the only punishments. Last time Vernon Dursley had come home angry, He had gone straight to where Harry was and although the boy had been wide awake when the beefy man had barged in, teeth bared, he had left the room when Harry was unconscious and his breathing ragged.

"I DON'T CARE, THE MERE SECOND HE TURNS LEGAL HE'S OUT! I DON'T CARE WHAT THAT CRACKPOT OLD FOOL SAID IN A BLOODY LETTER." Harry knew all too well what Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were arguing about. Uncle Vernon had told him that when he turned of legal age, that the doors of Number Four Privet Drive were closed to him, and he would not be allowed to return.

"VERNON, HE STAYS UNTIL DUMBLEDORE SAYS HE CAN GO! I DON'T WANT TO EVEN KNOW WHAT THE MAN WOULD DO IF WE THREW HIM OUT WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION! HE MAY BE A CRACKPOT OLD FOOL, BUT THERE ARE SOME LIKE HIM THAT ARE MUCH WORSE AND WOULD SOONER ATTACK THE HOUSE THAN THEY WOULD INVITE US TO TEA!" Harry could name a number of wizards and their families that would sooner blow Privet Drive to smithereens than invite any sort of Muggle to tea. Perhaps Aunt Petunia did know something about the wizarding world after all. Harry brushed the thought aside as he heard Uncle Vernon's footsteps heading for the door.

"Are you done yet, BOY?" he gruffly spat, pulling Harry up by the oversized grey shirt that he wore.

"Yes Uncle Vernon." Harry cringed, knowing full well what his Uncle's Intentions were.

"DON'T CALL ME THAT BOY! YOU WILL CALL ME SIR AT ALL TIMES, AND YOU WILL REFER TO PETUNIA AS MADAM. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"

"Yes... Sir..." Vernon threw him against the stairs.

"UP! GET INTO YOUR ROOM NOW!" Harry immediately started staggering up the stairs, hoping that he'd be able to avoid Vernon Dursley's wrath. He ran into the room and threw all his 114 pounds of weight against the door, praying Vernon wouldn't be able to get in. His prayers were cut short by the man throwing the door open, in turn making Harry hit the wall with a dull thud and a crack coming from his left wrist.

Several hours later, Harry Potter was to be found in the kitchen, cleaning the floor with a used toothbrush. Wincing painfully as he sucked in another painful breath of air, he continued to scrub the tiled floor. Petunia and Dudley had left while he had been unconscious only a few hours earlier, and Vernon Dursley was in the living room watching TV and stuffing his face with a bag of popcorn that he had popped for the bastard of a man under the threat that he wouldn't live to see September. His hands stung in complaint as the soapy substance he was using to clean made its way into the cuts and scrapes he had gotten in the garden.

"BOY!" Harry jumped at Vernon's booming voice as the man walked over. He could feel the vibrations of each footfall.

"Yes Sir?" Harry choked on the words as they poured out of his mouth dumbly.

"YOU HAVE A LETTER TO WRITE! AND YOU'D BETTER NOT TELL THEM!"

"I wouldn't dream of it, Sir." A large tawny owl flew over to the counter and Harry got up to untie the parchment that was tied to its leg.

Dear Harry,

I know you don't like it at the Dursleys, but you have to stay there, it's only been a little less than a few weeks. You know you have to stay there. Even if there was something we could do, there's not enough of us to just come and get you every time you feel that we're abandoning you. Dumbledore insists that you stay two months at most. We're all afraid for your safety, but we can't put important business on the line to come and collect you right now. How are you doing? How's your Scar? Is there anything you need?

R.L.

"I need to get a quill from my trunk, Uncle Vernon."

"NO, YOU WILL USE A PEN AND I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO CALL ME SIR!"

"You did, Sir, I forgot..." Vernon Dursley's hand hit Harry's head with brute force, knocking the boy to the floor. Tears threatened to fall from Harry's eyes, but he immediately thought better of it.

"THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR DISOBEYING ME!"

"Yes Sir, It won't happen again, Sir."

"FROM NOW ON YOU WILL CALL ME MASTER, AND IF YOU FORGET..." Vernon spat, a sadistic grin curling upon his lips. "YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO THAT BLOODY OWL OF YOURS AND TO ALL YOUR LITTLE FRIENDS, BECAUSE YOU WON'T SEE THEM EVER AGAIN!" The blood in Harry's face drained away as he realized what the oversized man meant by that threat. His mind went to the memory of Sirius behind that curtain in the Department of Mysteries, The death of Cedric Diggory, and many other deaths he had begun to witness in his sleep since he had returned to Privet Drive. That was one of the reasons that Vernon was constantly reminding him that he was only there because of Petunia being his Mum's sister by the constant chores that were guaranteed to cause him pain, and the daily beatings that he was subject to under his uncle's wrath. A small part of his mind screamed out that Vernon Dursley was the Muggle equivalent of Voldemort AKA Tom Riddle.

"Yes... Master." Harry gave up the internal battle that was waged in the comparison of him calling Vernon Dursley, Master and Death Eaters doing the same towards Voldemort. Both were subject to pain at their Master's whim, only a few minor differences stood clear and even then, that wasn't enough to get the dark thought out of Harry's mind.

A/N: Cackles Evilly I hope you liked the first chapter! Because it's only the start of something much more, I apologize for the shortness of it! And also the loooong paragraphs. I tend to let paragraphs run away from me! J/K. I'm probably going to get the second chapter done in less than an hour or so, depending on how long I want it... Well, you know the drill, read and review, just don't flame. I'm open to suggestions though. And typically, I don't need a beta reader because I have spell and grammar check on my computer! grinz wickedly