A/N Ok, this is my first real attempt at Fan Fiction, so any advice from you veterans out there is appreciated. Naturally, I am but a humble adventurer in the Potterverse and do not claim to own anything. Unless somebody wants to give me something, then I'll take it.
SUMMARY: Ritually abused by the Dursley's, young Harry Potter learns to count on himself. After discovering magic at a young age, he practices to become stronger and protect those weaker than him. He escapes from Privet Drive with his two best friends before his 11th birthday, leaving Dumbledore confused and desperate to find him. Eventually, he is drawn back into the magical world, but the Harry Potter that arrives at Hogwarts is already powerful, refuses to be led, and doesn't trust easily. Contains graphic violence and child abuse.
FYI, I don't know if I'll have a single pairing or multiple pairings, or what. I need to see how Harry develops as I go. The only thing I can say absolutely for sure is that this will NOT BE A SLASH STORY. I always appreciate when people specify this up front, so there you go.
In his 10+ years of life Harry potter had become well acquainted with many types of pain. The dull ache of bruised ribs, the biting sting of open belt wounds on his back, even the awkward ache and occasional sharp pains that came from broken bones; all had become commonplace for Harry Potter at he hand of his so-called family.
The first few times that it had happened Harry thought it must have been something he did. When he was 5 and his uncle had knocked him into a wall for being underfoot, Harry had simply figured he had done something bad and deserved it. When he had come from school a year later with a bloody nose courtesy of his cousin Dudley, his Aunt had screamed at him for getting blood on the carpet and his uncle had added a split lip and bruised ribs to his collection of injuries. As he lay in his cupboard that night he wondered why he had been punished when it was clearly Dudley's fault, so he decided to ask his uncle.
When he asked his uncle the next afternoon why he was punished and Dudley wasn't, his uncle picked him up by the neck and slammed his head into a wall repeatedly, yelling that he was a "worthless freak," and should never ever compare himself to Dudley, as he was a better person than Harry could every hope to be. That night, Harry had felt his uncle's belt for the first time and was left bleeding in his cupboard for the entire weekend without food.
He never asked again.
When Harry turned seven, his uncle had celebrated by forcing him to clean the entire house with a broken arm (again courtesy of Dudley), and rewarded him by breaking two ribs and accusing him of being too slow. That night, as he lay in agony with pieces of his rib poking his internal organs, Harry asked God to take him from this horrible house and give him a real family that would love him. If this was too much, Harry asked God to at least have mercy and let him die. God didn't grant his prayer. Instead, Harry awoke the next morning with no broken bones and all his bruises gone. Unfortunately, when his Uncle saw how that he had been somehow healed, he screamed bloody murder about how "freakish and unnatural" it was, and proceeded to re-break the two ribs and beat Harry with his belt until he passed out from the pain.
Harry never asked God for anything again.
When Harry returned to school following the healing incident, he decided to risk telling a teacher that he was being beaten at home. His teacher looked skeptical, and instantly Harry knew he had made a mistake. When his Aunt and Uncle had returned from the parent teacher conference they'd been called to attend, Harry's uncle had taken a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him if he ever told another soul.
Harry never asked an adult for help again.
By the time he was 8, Harry had accepted that pain was a major part of his life. In a way, pain and his relatives loathing were the only things he could count on. Every day he was either in pain from a recent beating, or he was wondering when his next beating would come. If he was late, he got beaten. If he was early, he got beaten. If he was too loud, too fast, too slow, or too happy, he got beaten. If he screamed loud enough to disturb his Aunt when he was getting beaten, he was beaten some more. And so, the young boy learned to move swiftly and silently, and to disappear immediately. He did nothing extraordinary, got average grades, had no friends, and never went out to play. He never got angry, never yelled, never cried, and he never smiled. By the middle of his 8th year, Dudley and his gang of bullies had even given up pushing Harry around because they never got a response. Harry's peculiar behavior led his classmates at school to dub him "the robot," and left many of his teachers to wonder if he really was mentally ill, as Petunia Dursley so often claimed. To the rest of the world, Harry Potter had become a shell, devoid of all life and emotion, and this suited him just fine. After all, if emotions were what the world used to hurt you, then he would simply take away their ammunition.
It was only when he was alone at night, locked safely in his cupboard, that Harry would allow himself to feel. When he was younger, Harry would often have dreams of being rescued by a long lost relative, someone who had been looking for him for a long time and would finally bring the Dursley's to justice. As years passed and the beatings increased, he came to realize how foolish such dreams were. By the time he turned 9, Harry Potter had accepted that no one would ever come to rescue him, and no one else in the world cared if he lived or died. But although he accepted the reality that he was alone in the world, he refused to allow life to slowly kill him. As he sat in the darkness of his cupboard on his 9th birthday, he swore that one day he would be strong. And he would never be helpless again.
After the mysterious healing incident, Harry spent many nights nursing wounds in his cupboard trying to figure out how it happened. One night, after a particularly vicious lashing, Harry closed his eyes and wished really hard that his back would heal itself. As he was wishing, he started to feel sharp, stinging pains all over his back. After a minute the pain began to fade and Harry promptly passed out from exhaustion. When he awoke, he was amazed to find that his back was completely healed and he felt no pain at all. Although he was already quite adept at blocking pain from his conscious mind, he was nevertheless elated at this newfound ability, and practiced routinely every night thereafter.
Now, nearly two years later, Harry once more lay in his cupboard healing his latest batch of wounds. However, tonight something very rare was happening. In fact, one could count the number of times this particular event had occurred in the last year on one hand. Tonight, Harry Potter was smiling.
"Take that freak!" Shouted Dudley as he pushed Harry, then 9 years old, to the ground. Knowing what was coming next, Harry rolled into a protective position and concentrated on a single blade of grass in front of him.
It was an odd way to block pain, Harry thought idly as Dudley's foot made contact with the side of his head. He had first discovered it while recovering from a belt lashing years ago. There had been a small spider in his cupboard spinning a web in the corner, and Harry had become completely entranced by the intricate pattern as it unfolded. It wasn't until the spider finished that Harry realized he hadn't felt any pain while he had been watching. Later, he discovered it didn't matter what he was looking at or thinking about; if he focused hard enough on anything it was like the rest of the world faded away, and nothing was left but him. He had take to calling this space "the void," after he had a read a fantasy novel his cousin had thrown away. In his mind, however, he thought of the void as his home, and it was one of the only places he truly felt safe.
Of course, this was meaningless to his cousin.
"Huh? You like that? Do you? You like getting beat? Well? Say something, freak!"
"Come on D," another voice chimed in, "this is no fun. Leave the robot alone and let's go get that new kid, he looks like a crybaby."
"Yeah, whatever," Dudley replied with a last kick. "Let's go."
As they walked off, Harry slowly uncoiled himself and stretched his screaming muscles. He started to concentrate on healing his bruises when his concentration was broken.
"Hey kid, you ok?"
Startled, Harry whirled to face the voice and instinctively crouched to a protective position.
"Woa there, just checking to see if you're alright," Harry could now see that the voice belonged to a boy a few years older than him. The boy held out his hand. "I'm Jack, Jack Thomas. I saw that fat kid kicking you while you were on the ground and came over to help. Sorry I couldn't get here any sooner."
"No matter," Harry shrugged.
"What'd you mean, no matter," Jack asked, bewildered. "It had to hurt pretty bad."
Harry shrugged again. "Pain is temporary." He turned to walk off.
"Hey, wait a min-"
"Jack? What're you up to now?" A girl's voice interrupted from behind.
"Just a second Row. Hey, kid, wait a minute." Harry stopped and turned around with his typical blank look.
"Uh, well," Jack stammered. "Hey, this is my sister, Row." He gestured to the young girl that had come up from behind them.
Harry greeted her in his signature monotone. "Hello, Row."
Row giggled. "Well, aren't you just full of excitement. What's this all about Jack?"
"Well, I saw that Dursley kid kicking our friend here while he was on the ground, but they stopped before I came over."
"That's awful," Row gasped. "Are you ok?"
"Fine, thank you," Harry replied cautiously. Why did she care?
"Hmm," Row looked skeptical. "What about you Jack?" She asked as she turned towards him.
As the two siblings talked to each other in low tones, Harry studied their features. Jack was tall and slender, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He had a rough look to him, and he held himself in a way that made him seem much older. Almost as if he had seen too much to be a kid anymore. Switching his attention to Row, Harry was surprised to find almost no similarities between them. Where Jack's features were rather rugged, Row's were sharp and elegant. She was about Harry's height, with high cheekbones and an especially angular nose complimented regally by shoulder length black hair. Her piercing blue eyes screamed intelligence and cunning, but held such deep sorrow that Harry was instantly drawn to her.
"Excuse me if this is rude," Harry interrupted, "but you two really look nothing alike."
"That's ok," Row laughed. "Actually I was adopted by Jack's mum before she passed away. We live with his father now." Harry noticed a look sorrow on Jack's face when she mentioned his mum, but it was quickly replaced by sheer hatred when she mentioned his father.
"I'm sorry," said Harry quietly. "My parents died in a car crash when I was one. I live with my Aunt and Uncle now, and they hate me."
This last part was stated with such quiet certainty that both Jack and Row looked at him with wide eyes.
"You get it too, don't you," Jack asked quizzically.
"Get what?" Asked Harry, confused.
"The belt, the stick, whatever," answered Jack. "My old man is partial to the belt himself."
Instantly, the blank look was back on Harry's face. "They've never hit me. And why are you telling me all this?"
Jack nodded knowingly. "Yeah, I used to be like that. Look, I ain't gonna tell nobody. I can just tell, you know? I can see it in your eyes or something. Anyway, if you every wanna chill or anything, me and Row usually hang out in the alley around the corner from the mini-mart. Sometimes my old man leaves early for the pub and we get in without seeing him. Actually, we're going there right now, wanna come?"
Harry shrugged. "Whatever."
Jack smiled. "Follow us then."
The three of them had become remarkably fast friends after that. Having never known what it felt like to have someone who actually cared about him, Harry quickly developed a fierce sense of loyalty to Jack and his sister. Although he didn't admit the extent of the abuse he suffered at the Dursley's, he did tell them he was mistreated. It was almost cathartic for Harry to finally have someone to share even part of his home life with, and he suspected it served a similar purpose for Jack. It turned out Jack's father blamed Row for getting his wife killed, although neither of them knew why. Whenever he tried to take it out on Row, Jack would start a fight with him and take the brunt of the beating. What really scared them both were the speculative looks they sometimes caught Jack's dad giving her lately. Jack said he didn't know what they were about, but Harry instinctively knew he was lying.
It seemed strange to Jack that Harry appeared so angry when he talked about his and Row's father when it was obvious that Harry got the same treatment. Little did he know Harry was already trying to find a way to improve his new friend's situation, knowing first hand how painful such a life could be.
Originally, Harry was worried that Jack and Row would be afraid of him if they were ever to find out about his special abilities, and therefore chose not to tell them. Of course, that decision didn't last for long…..
"You know Harry," drawled Jack, "I think I could take your cousin out for you if you want. At least keep him away from you for a while."
"And have him go running to my uncle?" Harry snorted. "It doesn't really matter anyway, most of the time I'm too fast for him, and if he does get me I don't really feel it and he gets bored."
"Yeah, yeah, big bad Harry," teased Row.
Harry shrugged. "You know it's not like that. It's just that pain is really temporary, you know? I mean, if that's the worst there is then bring it on. I'll take it for now, and when I'm stronger I'll put them in their place, and everybody like them." Harry's eyes hardened and his voice grew hard. "I'll never be helpless again."
Jack broke the tense moment by doing a superman pose. "Then you'll be SUPER HARRY!"
Row broke out in giggles and Harry's face relaxed. "Yeah, well-," he began, but was interrupted by a car that came speeding around the corner of the alley.
"Row, LOOK OUT!" Jack yelled, but it was too late. The car was headed straight for her and showed no signs of slowing. Just when it appeared the car would hit her, Harry flung his hand toward and shouted "MOVE!"
And she did.
Row was suddenly flung violently sideways, avoiding the collision by milliseconds. She soared through the air and crashed straight into an astonished Harry, who promptly collapsed on the pavement under the added weight. They both lay there panting, and Harry found himself feeling oddly drained.
"Umm, uh," Jack stammered in confusion. "Ok, what the hell just happened? It was like you pulled her right into you, Harry. Harry? Hey, HARRY!"
"Huh, what?" Harry broke out his trance.
"I don't know how you did," Row turned around, still breathing heavily. "But thanks."
"Yeah, thanks," echoed Jack. "But what the hell did you just do? You just pulled her right to you, like it was nothing!"
Looking at their astonished but grateful faces, Harry made a decision.
"Ok, now you guys have to promise not to tell anybody this, but this isn't the first time something weird has happened around me…."
In the end, they had taken the news much better than he thought they would. Jack had even remarked that now he really could be "Super Harry," and asked what else he thought he could do. Harry had replied that he really wasn't sure, but they may as well find out.
And so it was that instead of just hanging out in the alley after school, the young trio spent every afternoon trying to establish the limits of Harry's odd powers. After a few short weeks, they still appeared limitless. So far they had determined that Harry could move virtually any small object in any direction simply by thinking about it. They had also tested his healing abilities, but thus far it appeared that the only person he was able to heal was himself.
It had been one of Jack's ideas that finally led them to a breakthrough, when he had jokingly asked Harry if he thought he could throw a fireball like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Harry had laughed too, until he tried and it and managed to set Jack's shoes on fire. Since then, Jack had been re-reading every fantasy novel he could get his hands to find new things for Harry to try. After two months of daily practice, Harry could move objects, make things bigger and smaller, create fire, ice, and water, blow things up (Jack's favorite) and make himself invisible. And the list was still growing.
After a month of practice, Jack had suggested that Harry use his new powers on his so-called family to teach them a lesson. While it was tempting, using his abilities still left him rather tired, and unless he wanted to kill all three of them it would leave him defenseless later. Therefore, he decided that the best option was to continue to explore his strange gift and grow stronger. If life had taught Harry Potter anything, it was that he would only have one chance to make his escape. If he failed, it would likely be the last thing he ever did.
And he would not fail his friends.
Now, in his cupboard nearly a full 2 years later, Harry was confident that he could take his uncle and cousin apart piece by piece. His powers still seemed limitless, and he could use them for hours on end before he began to feel drained. In fact, it seemed that there was virtually nothing he couldn't do it he concentrated hard enough. He'd even discovered that if he looked someone directly in the eyes he could almost read their mind, like he was viewing their thoughts on a TV screen. It was a good thing too, because after nearly 11 years of torture, Harry Potter had a plan. He was ready to make his escape.
A/N What'd you think? Good, bad, ugly? The fantasy novel thing I saw originally in a story called Harry Potter, the Archmagus, or something like that. It just seemed to me that kids would naturally go to comic books and fantasy novels to find cool powers they might want to have (I know I would). FYI, this will be a Super Harry story, but I'm not going to make him ridiculously all-powerful with all sorts of strange talents. Basically, the idea is that Harry can do pretty much anything magic is capable of if he concentrates hard enough, and he doesn't need a wand. When he finds out about Hogwarts (which will NOT be immediately – he will miss at least the first year) he will have to reconcile what he knows about magic and what they teach. I guarantee there will be many things he will need to learn. However, he WILL be much stronger than any other student and most adults.