Disclaimer: JK owns the characters etc. etc., but I own the plot, so if anyone steals it then the police will find you the next morning as a rug on my bedroom floor.

A/N: I'm not sure if you would call this story graphic or not, but just to be sure, I'm telling you now that this story contains child abuse and may contain some graphic material. I also think that I'd better say thank you to 'Mrs SoBla Padfoot' for inspiring me to create this fic; I recommend her story 'In The Dark' to all of you who enjoyed this one.

Chapter 1

Hatred. Hatred was all that Harry felt right now. He knew that hatred was a very strong emotion, and that he should only think like that if it was absolutely necessary. But tonight, Harry felt that no one deserved his hatred better than his Uncle Vernon did.

Crouched in his tiny cupboard, Harry tried his best to ignore the pain throbbing through his legs, his arms, his chest. His head was pounding with thoughts of fury and revenge. He felt himself getting more and more worked up. The exposed light bulb hanging limply above Harry's head flickered and went out.

For a moment, curiosity over took Harry's anger, and he calmed down enough to think properly. Strange things often happened when Harry got angry. Insignificant things, but he like to think that these things and his mood were somehow related. Harry lay back onto his cramped bed and slipped into his favourite daydream. He imagined that his parents were not dead, and they came round and rescued him from the Dursley's. He imagined that he started a new school. There were some people who liked him, some that didn't, but for once Harry has friends. Without warning, Harry slipped into a comfortable sleep, a cautious smile spreading slowly across his face.

When he woke up, he felt anxious and angry. It took him a moment to remember what had put him in this strange mood. Then it hit him. Vernon. Harry sat up, blood pounding in his ears. He recalled the events of the night before.

Harry screamed. Vernon laughed and hit him again on the arm, harder this time. Harry's face contorted with silent pain and he struggled to free himself for his uncle's iron grip. No such luck. His uncle held him fast around the ankle, bruising him badly. Harry brushed his sweaty, raven-black hair out of his eyes, only to see Vernon drawing his fist back for another blow. The next hit came on his chest, and he felt his uncle digging his nails sharply into his skin, drawing blood. Harry was now taking in ragged breaths, and his vision had gone cloudy. His head made painful contact with the ground and he blacked out.

A tear trickled down Harry's face, pausing at the bridge of his nose, then carrying on down his left cheek. It hit the bed sheets with a tiny thud, and then another, and another. He curled up and bit his lip, desperately trying to stop the steady flow of tears that were now streaming down his face.

Harry understood his mood well; this always happened after one of his Uncle Vernon's beatings. First he would feel pain, then anger, then something would happen that would make him feel curious, then sometimes he'd fall asleep, then he'd feel more anger, and then he'd feel misery and sadness.

Harry sniffed and wiped his face dry with a dirty towel. He didn't know what time it was, but decided that he should get some more sleep. No sooner had he laid his head on the pillow, however, when he heard a sharp tap-tapping on his cupboard door.

Harry stiffened, his alert senses straining to hear the noise again. For what seemed like hours, but could have only been minutes, he sat there, cold and damp, listening, just listening. Eventually he heard the sound again.

Tap-tap, tappity-tap.

It went. Again:

Tap-tap, tappity-tap.

The light bulb burst into light, blinding Harry and leaving the image of the room imprinted in his eyes. All around him, it seemed that ghosts were rising up and circling him. But Harry was above such childish games. He was not scared. He was not that kind of boy.

He slowly opened the cupboard, and slipped out of his 'bed'. Every step he took made the floorboards squeak accusingly. Every corner he looked into stared at him with accusing eyes. Harry stopped suddenly. He had heard the noise again. Except . . . it was different. It was more like

Tut-tut, tuttity-tut

this time.

Tut-tut, tuttity-tut, why are out of your cupboard?

Tut-tut, tuttity-tut, why are you even out of bed

Tut-tut, tuttity-tut, what are you doing, sneaking around the house?

Each step, a new accusing squeak. Each corner, a new accusing face. Each 'tut', a new, accusing, question.

He came into the kitchen, and saw a feast lain out on the table.

Tut-tut, tuttity-tut, the food invited.

Harry knew that he should resist, he knew he would get caught, and get beaten again and again and again. But Harry was past caring. He had had nothing to eat but a few carrot sticks a day for only God knows how long. His stomach moaned in anticipation. Sighing, and knowing that he would be done for later, he sat down and began to eat.

No sooner had he begun, however, than he heard the noise again, much louder this time. It was coming from right behind him. He turned around, and gasped.

A/N: I am SO sorry that this is such a short chapter, but I promise I will make up for it. I scrapped the 'You Spin Me Round' challenge; I haven't even started it. But I've been busy at work with 'Must Be Love . . .' and am currently working on the ninth chapter. And I can't do any more tonight, coz I have to go to my brother's school concert. What fun. Any way, I realise I have kinda neglected all my other stories, so next on my priority list is 'Harry Potter and the Chime of the Warrior', then 'When Love Comes Close', then this one, and then finally I'll be posting chapter nine of 'Must Be Love'. I toyed with the idea of discontinuing all but one of my fanfictions for a while, so as to concentrate and finish one, but that went out the window, coz I write different types of stories when I'm in different types of moods. So yeah, that's all I have to say now. Apart from: I have to go now coz ma din din is ready! Ps please review!