Title: My Special Day
Author: sapphiretragedy/diggingupophelia – it depends where you're reading it.
Date/Challenge: April 13/birthday for the LJ community 30hath.
Character/Pairing: Harry and the Dursleys
Rating: PG-ish, because of the themes.
Word Count: 700
Genre/Warnings (if applicable): This deals with themes of child abuse. Not so much physical child abuse but the horrible way Harry was treated by the Dursleys.
Harry was five when he figured out he must have a birthday, just like Dudley did. It did not go unnoticed that he'd never actually had a cake or was given presents on a special day. At first Harry thought his birthday had been taken away because he was bad; but he'd seen Dudley kick Uncle Vernon in the shin for getting him a blue car instead of a red one. He knew bad children still had birthdays. Harry watched Dudley unwrap gift after gift wishing he had just one of his own to open.
Harry sat in his cupboard late at night using his dim flashlight to inspect a calendar. He was searching for some clue that would tell him the date of his birth. He finally gave up and fell asleep with the calendar under his pillow. He had lots of strange dreams. He thought maybe one of them would tell him the day when he could expect a present.
Two weeks later, Harry finally decided to ask his Aunt Petunia when his birthday was. He knew she hated when he asked questions but he couldn't go on wondering any longer.
"Aunt Petunia, do I have a birthday?" he asked as he washed the breakfast plates.
Petunia huffed. She looked down her nose at him and curled her lips in disgust. "July thirty-first," she bit out.
Harry's green eyes beamed with excitement. "But, that's ... that's tomorrow. I'm going to have a birthday tomorrow! I've never had a birthday before," he yelled excitedly. In his excitement, he dropped Aunt Petunia's favorite blue teacup - it shattered into a countless number of pieces.
"Careless boy! Into the cupboard with you! No lunch today," she said kneeling down to pick up the mess.
Harry didn't care that he'd been sent to his cupboard, he had a birthday and tomorrow there would be a parcel waiting for him, even if he did break the teacup. He was sure of it.
He was so excited that he couldn't sleep that night. He watched the second hand on the clock tick until he saw it was midnight.
"Happy Birthday, Harry," he whispered to himself. It was the first time he had ever heard that phrase. He smiled as his head sunk into the pillow.
Harry woke up extra early and took great care to dress neatly and comb down his hair the best he could. He was smiling brightly when Uncle Vernon unlocked the cupboard and let him out. "Hurry up, boy. I haven't got all morning to wait for my tea. Some of us have to work for a living."
Harry waited, but Uncle Vernon did not wish him Happy Birthday. Harry set about making tea and eggs and bacon. Soon the rest of the family was eating breakfast. Harry was elated when Aunt Petunia allowed him to have two pieces of bacon. He cleared the table without being asked and then went to sit in the sitting room.
He was quietly flipping through the pages of a large book all about dogs when Aunt Petunia called him into the kitchen.
"Here," she said tossing a package on the table. It had been wrapped up in the same old used paper he'd seen on Dudley's gift a few weeks ago, but Harry didn't care. "Happy Birthday," she said as though she was ordering him to scrub the commode with his toothbrush.
"Thank you, Aunt Petunia," Harry said, genuinely, as he tore into his present. He opened the shoebox that had been covered in the paper and tossed the lid aside. The box was full of paper obscuring the gift that lay in wait for him. His little hands hastily pushed it aside, eager to get to the treasure below. Harry's face fell when he pulled up a plastic bag containing the broken bits of the china teacup he had broken the day before. He noticed there was also a tube of glue in the box.
"Don't go telling anyone that we never do anything for your birthday. Now run along and play with your toy. And don't make a mess in that cupboard!" she chastised.
Harry went back to his cupboard. He wished he'd never asked when his birthday was.