Harry Potter and the Cave of Revelation
Chapter One: The Worst Summer
All was not peaceful in Little Whinging on a humid evening in late July. The quiet was broken by the continuous chopping noise coming from the back garden of 4 Privet Drive. A scruffy looking teenaged boy stood panting as he swung the heavy axe again. The huge log he was chopping finally split in two. Harry Potter sighed as he set the axe aside to reposition one half of the log before returning to his task. Uncle Vernon had dragged him out of the kitchen as soon as Harry had prepared breakfast and shown him the huge stack of wood.
"I want these logs split into fire wood by tomorrow!" ordered Uncle Vernon, as he set down a small bottle of water and few pieces of bread. "Here is your lunch. Do not come back into this house until we call for you." His uncle turned to walk back inside, but paused before opening the door to flash an evil smirk at his nephew. "I have a little surprise for you tomorrow evening," he said maliciously.
Harry had gotten a sinking feeling in his stomach at these words. His feeling of unease had escalated into a deep foreboding as he worked. Each time Harry looked up, he would see one of the Dursley's watching him, always with an evil little grin. What was this 'little surprise' they were planning? No matter what it was, Harry knew it would be something awful, something designed to make him miserable.
They needn't waste their time, thought Harry darkly. Nothing they could do could make me feel any worse.
Ever since watching Sirius fall through that veil, Harry had been drowning in a sea of depression and guilt. He knew that the responsibility for his Godfathers death rested squarely on his own shoulders. Harry was the reason that Sirius was gone forever.
Let the Dursley's do whatever their worst. It's no more than I deserve.
Harry worked throughout that long, hot day, never noticing the blisters that formed on his hands. The axe bit into the wood over and over until the log split in half, then Harry would split each half in two, then stack each piece neatly beside the tool shed. Chop, split, chop, stack, chop, split, chop, stack. Harry lost himself in the monotonous work, his mind going blessedly blank. For the first time that summer, Harry did not feel the agonizing loss of his godfather. Certainly he wasn't happy, but it was enough that, for now, he wasn't overwhelmed by grief.
As the last bit of light was disappearing from the sky, Aunt Petunia opened the door. "Get in here now, Boy," she snapped. Harry put the axe back into the shed and walked tiredly into the house. As he started to sit down at the table for his supper his aunt sniffed rather loudly. "You SMELL," she sneered.
"Well, I have been working all day," Harry pointed out.
"Don't you dare take that tone with me," shrilled Aunt Petunia. "I'll not sit here and attempt to eat my supper with you over there reeking. You can just go to bed now!"
"Yes, Aunt Petunia," Harry responded, dully. He wasn't really very hungry anyway, just thirsty. He would rather be upstairs in his bed with a cool drink of water than having to spend the next hour trying to ignore the snide comments that were always thrown his way anytime he was forced to be in the same room as his relatives.
"And make sure you take a shower! I'll not have my sheets ruined by your filth!" his aunt said, shrilly.
"Yes, Aunt Petunia."
Harry climbed the stairs, slowly. He drank several glasses of water from the bathroom tap before showering quickly. The soap stung his hands where the blisters had burst open and bled, but Harry was too tired to care. He barely made it to the bed before collapsing.
It seemed only minutes later when he was brutally dragged from his bed by his uncle.
"Get up, boy! You'll not lie in the bed all day when there's work to be done. Get outside and finish chopping that wood. I'll not tolerate your laziness!" snarled Uncle Vernon.
"Yes, sir," started Harry before his uncle interrupted.
"And don't you dare wake Dudley with your grumbling!"
Harry walked quietly to the bathroom to wash his face before beginning another day of working in the blazing heat. As he reached to turn on the water, he saw with dismay the ruined flesh of his hands. What had been a series of opened sores was now a red, swollen mess. Harry didn't see how he would even be able to grasp the handle of the axe, let alone finish splitting the remaining wood.
With clenched teeth, Harry cleaned his hands as best he could, before wrapping them with strips of cloth from an old tee shirt of Dudley's. Hopefully this would keep the wounds clean, if not giving any real comfort.
Harry groaned and nearly blacked out when he tried to wrap his hands around the axe handle. As he sat panting trying to recover from the fiery pain radiating out from his hands, he thought back to his Occlemency lessons with Snape from the previous year.
It had helped, somewhat, with the pain in his scar. Without much hope, he began to try to clear his mind. After several minutes, the pain began to lessen. Carefully keeping his mind blank, Harry stood up and grabbed the axe.
This time he was able to pick up the axe and carry it over the remaining wood. The first time the axe hit the log, Harry gasped with pain. The second strike was a bit better. He slowly learned to control his breathing, while emptying his mind of all thoughts. Swinging a sharp, heavy axe was maybe not the best time to do this, but Harry was able to block the pain in his hands to no more than a dull ache.
By 4:00 he was finished. Harry sighed as he leaned against the neatly stacked fire wood. Now that the job was completed, he began to wonder what his uncle wanted with all of this wood. Following the Weasley's appearance in the fireplace two summers ago, Uncle Vernon had bricked over the entire wall. They had no fireplace, so why all of this wood? Was it just another form of punishment, some useless job made to force Harry to work himself so hard that he was too tired to hex the lot of them? Harry shook his head tiredly and sighed again. It didn't matter. The work was finally done and, he had other things to worry about…such as the nasty little surprise his uncle had planned for him, the pain in his hands that was now fully awake again, not being able to complete any of his summer assignments for school…
It was this last that concerned him most. Harry had thought after Mad Eye Moody had that little talk with his uncle that this summer would be, well maybe not good exactly, but certainly better than any of the previous ones. That, it turned out, was not to be true.
By the time his uncle had driven them home from Kingscross Station, he was furious.
"How dare that crazy looking freak threaten me!" he had raved. "Haven't Petunia and I been the ones forced to raise the brat!"
Harry, not wanting to anger his uncle further, quickly carried his things upstairs and stayed there. He was thankful that Moody, Lupin, and the others had vowed to keep a close eye on his situation with the Dursley's, but his uncle still made him nervous.
Harry was right to be nervous. The very next morning, he awoke to Uncle Vernon standing over him, glowering.
"Wake up, boy. I want to get a few things straight. I don't care what those freaky
friends of yours have to say, you WILL NOT make any mention of your abnormality in this house!"
"Yes, sir," agreed Harry.
"Now, as you will HAVE to write to them daily, I am allowing you one hour every other night to write you letters. You will give me the letters, and once I have approved them, you can send them off, while I watch. I'll not have you claiming that your aunt and I are mistreating you. I don't want those freaks anywhere near my family," at this last, Uncle Vernon shuddered.
"I am graciously allowing you to keep that bloody owl," Uncle Vernon continued, "as far as your 'other things' are concerned, I will be taking them. You can have them back at the end of the summer,"
Harry smiled. He didn't see anything 'gracious' about being allowed to keep Hedwig. His uncle knew that without the snowy owl, Harry would not be able to send any letters, and if he didn't send any letters, one of the members of the Order would be showing up at 4 Privet Drive. Then Harry realized the rest of what his uncle had said.
"But you can't take my things!" Harry started, angrily. "I need them."
Uncle Vernon narrowed his eyes. "Oh, no you don't. You're not allowed to do magic outside of school. Do you think I've forgotten the trouble you got into last summer? Why didn't they expel you?"
"Because," said Harry, glaring into his uncles eyes, "I am allowed to do magic if I am in danger." His uncle looked taken aback at this news.
"Well, um…right. Since you are not to leave the property, I can't see your life being in any real danger."
"I'm not allowed to what?" Harry gasped. "You mean I have to stay here the entire summer? You can't make—"
"It's certainly not MY idea," interrupted Vernon. "I received a letter from your Head Master. It said, under no circumstances are you to be allowed to leave until someone comes to collect you for the next school year."
This surprised Harry, although given what had happened last summer, and with Voldemort's rising, he supposed it shouldn't have. Of course Dumbledore would want to make sure Harry stayed within the protective wards that were in place as long as he lived with his aunt. But to spend the whole summer under his aunts hateful watch? It was almost too much to bear. How could Dumbledore have sent him back here? After having to watch Sirius—
With the thought of Sirius, Harry stopped cold. Because of Harry's refusal to learn Occlemency, Sirius was gone, and now just a few weeks later Harry was standing here arguing about whether or not he could go for a walk. Harry was disgusted by his own selfishness.
"Yes, sir, Uncle Vernon," he said softly. "I will not leave the property."
"Well, don't act like your doing me any favors! If it were up to me, you'd go the same way as your godfather!" his uncle said, icily.
Harry was trying to choke back the tears when his uncle went on.
"Right, as I was saying, you can have your bloody rubbish back when you leave. Until then, you are to help out around here. I'm not paying to feed and clothe you while you spend your days feeling sorry for yourself."
Harry said nothing, but he couldn't help but give his too large clothes a pointed look. The Dursley's had never spent a single shilling on Harry.
Vernon, ignoring his nephews look, finished by saying, "you might as well start those letters now. I will be waiting to look them over when you are through."
"Yes, sir," whispered Harry, his voice wavering somewhat. "I'll just get the things from my trunk."
"Don't you listen, boy? I've just told you that you can have your things back when you leave!" Roared Uncle Vernon.
"But I need some parchment, and a quill. And I need my books to do my homework…" Harry began.
"You can bloody well use paper and a pen, like normal people do!" growled his uncle. "And I couldn't care less about your blasted homework!"
So that was how three weeks into the summer, the Dursley's were getting away with treating Harry worse than ever. Every other morning, Harry would write to his friends, give the letters to his uncle to OK, then send them off with Hedwig while his uncle stood glaring over his shoulder.
Harry's stomach gave a loud grumble, startling him out of reverie. He glanced at his watch, and saw with some surprise that is was nearly time for supper. He would have just enough time for a shower before it was time to prepare the evening meal. Then it would be time for the surprise the Dursley's had planned for him.
Just a little bit of a cliffy! This is my first ever ff, so PLEASE R&R. Any constructive criticism will be appreciated!