Number 4, Privet Drive
Harry Potter woke suddenly, but years of conditioning taught the skinny 16 year old not to move to sit up, or even open his eyes. Instead he listened carefully. It sounded like late morning in Little Whinging. He could hear the quiet rumble of cars outside on the street, and the occasional yelps of happily playing children. Straining his ears for sounds inside the house, Harry lifted his head slightly from the pillow that blocked his ear. He heard nothing. After several, moments he finally opened his eyes and looked around. He grabbed at his nightstand for his glasses and his watch. Donning them, he headed to the window to peer outside. The Dursley's car was gone, which was no suprise to him. Lately the family, short their nephew, of course, had taken to going to church and Bible study on Sunday mornings. Harry thought the idea was almost laughable. Vernon Dursley, of all people, becomming an upstanding member at St. Aiden's Church. The man who terrorized him so thoroughly, was becomming an increasingly respected member of the community.
Harry sighed and went back to his bed. He stripped off the sheets and blanket, and took them, along with a pile of muggle clothes sitting on the floor, and headed out of his room, unlocking the door with a quick jab of a hairpin. Sometimes he felt that Fred and George Weasley taught him more than the entire Hogwart's teaching staff combined. Harry headed quickly to the basement and put his bloodied load in the wash. He quickly washed any residue of blood off of his hands in the wash sink next to the machine, and headed back upstairs, and into the bathroom. Because it was Sunday and the Dursley's were out, he was able to take a long hot shower without being interupted.
Harry quickly undressed and got into the shower. He turned the water as hot as it would go and simply stood under it. At first the water stung. He twitched involuntarely as it burned his skin, but after only a few seconds his body relaxed. He no longer felt the pain, or even the water. For a long time the boy stood there not thinking as his skin turned varying shades of red and white. After several minutes of doing nothing, Harry reached quickly to the soap and wash cloth. He began to scrub his body, as if he were covered in poisen. Most of the dried blood that had caked his skin earlier had been rinsed away by the steamy water, but he continued to scrub as if nothing could come off. A half hour after he had entered, the boy emerged from the shower red and raw. He wrapped a towel around his waist and sat down on the lid of the toilet. Cringing at the pain and thinking better of it, he quickly stood up again. His attention now turned to his left arm. From around his armpit almost all the way down to his wrists he was covered in cuts. They were his cuts, not like all the other bruises and scrapes on his body (which had been given to him courtesy of his uncle Vernon.) A slight smile played at Harry's lips as he examined his wounds. They were red and puffy, and most of them had their scabs ripped off in the shower. One particularly deep gash just above his elbow was so infected that a ridge of white and yellow crowned the cut, which then gave way to red puffiness. He immidiatly set to work picking off any scabs that had survived his scouring.
"Boy I oughta whack you upside the head for your laziness!" Screamed Vernon Dursley as he thumped loudly into Harry's room. The large man was still in in his church clothes, which consisted of black dress pants, a white sleeved shirt, a set of suspenders stretched so tightly they looked as if they were about to pop, and a dark orange tie that looked too short over the man's enormous belly. The red-orange tie hardly complimented his uncle's ruddier-than-normal complexion. When Harry considered his uncle's thick walrus mustache, he realized that the man in front of him looked quite ridiculous. He laughed darkly to himself.
"What are you laughing at, you freak? You think it's funny that you didn't do your chores while we were gone?" his uncle roared.
Harry did his best to collect himself and politely said "No sir, I do not think it is funny that I neglected cook your lunch. I was laughing because I couldn't decide if you looked more like a drunken lion tamer or an exploding penguin." Harry had kept his voice even, but now he lost himself in laughter as he ran from an enraged Vernon. The man followed him down the stairs, through the house to the kitchen, and out the back door. Harry easily jumped the fence in the back yard and ran down the alley. He spent the rest of his Sunday wandering aimlessly around Little Whinging. He knew he would eventually have to return to Privet Drive, but so long as that time wasn't now, he didn't care.
Walking the streets, however, was not his favorite thing to do. What used to be a relaxing past time now only offered him quiet time to think about his past year. He had just finished his 6th year at Hogwarts. Well, to be correct, he did not finish the year. He was sent back to the Dursleys about a week sooner than expected. Professor McGonagall, now the Headmistress, had canceled exams and sent the students home directly after Professor Dumbledore's funeral. The thought of Dumbledore's death used to put a sickening knot in Harry's stomach, however now, a full month later, he felt nothing. Dumbledore died. He accepted it as though it were any other bit of information. Hermoine was a girl, Ron had red hair, Percy was a git, and Dumbledore had died. It felt much different from when Sirius had died. Last year at this time, as Harry reluctantly recalled, he was laying on his bed refusing to eat or sleep or speak. Sirius' death had been hard on him. He supposed that he had met some sort of emotional quota. He simply didn't feel anymore. A dull satisfaction rushed through him at this realization.
Harry rounded the corner and set down a road filled with mostly industrial buildings. Although he couldn't feel much, he had to admit that he could think- perhaps at a quicker pace than ever before. 'Although it ought to be quick,' Harry thought to himself, 'considering I have the same thoughts over and over again.' At that moment he snapped into one of the several repeated thought lines: Snape.
The thought of Snape, like that of Dumbledore, used to elicit an emotional response so extreme that Harry felt ill. But, as with Dumbledore, he feelings had died. He no longer felt overwhelming anger and guilt when he thought of his former professor. He no longer felt betrayed and vengefull to the point of murder. Now he just accepted it. Hermione was a girl, Ron had red hair, Percy was a git, Dumbledore had died, and it had been Snape that killed him. Did he remember to clean the lint trap in the dryer when he took his bedding out? He hoped so, because his aunt would go ballistic if he hadn't...
"Hey you! Yeah, you, boy!" a vioce shouted out to Harry from the loading bay of a factory to his left. Harry looked at the man, but didn't recognize him.
"Y-Yes, sir?" replied Harry politely. Years of McGonagall and Snape had embedded manners so deep into his brain he couldn't ignore them if he wanted to. The factory man only narrowed his eyes scanning for traces of sarcasm.
"What the hell are you doing here?" the man asked, not unkindly.
"I was just walking, sir." Harry replied
"For Christ's sake, I can see that, boy." The man stepped closer. "What I want to know is why you are walking down a private drive at dusk on a Sunday. Trying to knick some tools or materials for you and your little mates?"
Harry turned and glanced behind him. Sure enough he had walked past a sign that read Private Property: Do Not Enter. He then looked at the sky. It was, indeed, dusk. He had been walking for about eight hours, and had not even noticed it. Harry turned back to the man, but kept his eyes slightly out of focus. "I am sorry, sir, I hadn't realized I was off the main road." He turned to leave.
"Boy, wait." the man said quickly. Harry looked up at him again. "You're bleeding."
"What?" asked Harry.
"From your arm, there. It's commin clear through your shirt." the man pointed at Harry's arm. Harry felt his sleeve with his right hand and sure enough, it was coated with blood. Had he been picking at it? It wouldn't be the first time it had happened.
"Oh." was all Harry said to the man. He turned quickly and ran off, away from the man.
"Wait, boy!" he shouted after Harry. "Come back! You can clean up here!"
Harry just ran.
'Why did I run?' Harry asked himself. It isn't as if the man was somebody he knew. It was likely he'd just hand him a couple paper towels and perhaps a bandaid and send him on his way. Even if he somehow managed to guess about the cuts, it isn't as if he knew who Harry was or where to find him. But still, he didn't want anyone to know about his cutting, and felt that being overcautious was far better than risking exposure. Harry walked around for several more hours going over his reasoning for running. He refused to listen to that small part of him that wished he had simply pulled up his sleeve and shown the man his cuts.
At about 12:30am Harry found himself creeping quietly through the window to Dudley's room. It was dangerous, but couldn't be avoided. The doors were locked and the windows on the first floor were clamped shut. The window to his room had nothing so much as a power line withing 20 feet of it. Dudley's room had a rose trelace. So, ignoring the thorns that dug into his hands, Harry climbed the trelace and slipped silently through Dudley's window. He moved quickly across the room, into the hall, and down into his own bedroom. Without daring to turn on the light, Harry shook off his shoes and went to crawl into bed. His clean bed, with clean sheets. However, when he sat down he felt somebody else, sitting on the very edge, as if waiting for him.
It was Uncle Vernon. The man growled and grunted softly and he grabbed his nephew. He turned the boy toward him and punched him hard in the stomach. All the air flew out of Harry in the second after the blow. Before the boy could regain his breath, Vernon stood up and dragged Harry over to the foot board of the bed. He bent Harry over it roughly. He held Harry down at the neck with one hand, and held the boys knees apart with his legs. Vernon tugged at Harry's too-big sweats and the drawstring snapped, sending his pants down past his thighs. With a quick motion Veron had rid the boy of his underware as well. He quickly undid his own trousers, and leaned in over Harry. He moved his hand from the boy's bruised neck to the base of his arms. He was breathing rather erratically and Harry could feel spit as his uncle whispered "This'll teach you, boy." into his ear.
Harry felt his uncle pound against his backside and enter into him. He felt warm blood trickle from old cuts inside him that had not yet healed, and probably some new lacerations as well. Uncle Vernons sweaty form pounded harder and harder into Harry, which in turn pounded Harry harder and harder into the footboard of the bed. Despite his desire to stay silent, he let out a pained, high pitched groan as his groin was mashed against the board. Vernon gave a gruff laugh and pounded extra hard. Harry let out another gasp of pain. At this, Vernon gave a thunderous moan and Harry felt hot sticky semen drip from his backside as his Uncle pulled out of him. Harry, wanting to turn and run, but too weak and too hurt to do so realized that at least Vernon could leave without seeing him from the front. A sorry bit of privacy, Harry knew, but one that he had no choice but to tie his remaining pride to. Vernon closed his trousers and made to leave quickly, as he usually did after such an "incident." However, this time he lingered.
"Stand up boy." he growled. Harry did not move. Vernon reached forward and grabbed the back of Harry's messy brown hair, and pulled him into a standing position, though still facing away. "Go lay on the bed." he ordered. Harry complied, though did so without turning to face his uncle. Before laying on the bed, Harry quickly snatched his clean blanket and used it to cover himself up to his armpits as he layed down on his back.
Vernon crosed the room, but instead of going through the door, he simply turned the light on and crossed back to Harry's bed. He ripped off the blanket, so that Harry was laying naked and exposed on his bed, under the light, with a pool of blood forming under his waist. He forgot how to breath out of the shame, and tried very hard to turn his mind off. 'Don't do magic, don't do magic, don't do magic...' Harry repeated to himself. He didn't want to draw anyone's attention to what was happening, and doing underaged magic in front of a muggle was begging for trouble. He tried to look defiantly into Vernon's eyes, but when he did so, he saw his uncle staring at his arm. He was looking at the cuts. Slowly, he brought his eyes to Harry's face and grinned at him with his most malicious, evil grin. His eyes squinted in pleasure at knowing what Harry was doing to himself.
"I've been trying to teach you to behave and mind your place in my house, boy, but it looks now that you are so dim you couldn't even teach yourself." Vernon's eyes now moved down his body and rested on Harry's genitals. Again, Harry forgot how to breath.
"You sould know, boy, that you are under my control and at my mercy." He reached down and took Harry's penis in his hand. He rubbed it roughly, and looked back at Harry's face. He smiled when he saw the boy had tears rolling from his clenched eyes. "Look at me!" Vernon hissed. Harry obeyed. "Now I am going to show you just how much control I have over you. You think you can run from me, but when it comes down to it, we both know that I can control you completely. You can't stop me. Go ahead and try boy." With that Vernon began shaking Harry's penis roughly, but not so roughly that the boy couldn't get an erection.
Tears slid thicker over Harry's face as Vernon continued. Whenever Harry closed his eyes or looked away, Vernon pinched hard. Finally Harry forced himself to watch his uncle manipulate him into arousal. No matter what Harry did, no matter what he thought, he couldn't stop himself to responding to his uncle's touch. Finally, after a few minutes of fighting, Harry climaxed. He could feel his own hot semen land on his belly, just as it did when he did this himself.
Vernon gave a smirk and a grunt of a laugh. He got up, crossed the room, and left.
Harry did not sleep. He stayed in his bed until he could hear his uncle snoring from the next room. He got up, grabbed some clean pajamas, and tiptoed to the bathroom. He did his best to clean himself off, and tried to dress. The bleeding from where Vernon had entered him had slowed, but not stopped. Harry sighed, and reached into the little drawer under the sink. He pulled out one of Aunt Petunia's maxi pads and placed it inside his briefs, before pulling on his pajamas.
Back in his room Harry went immediately to the loose floorboard under his bed. Inside his hiding place were his wand, the locket he and Dumbledore had taken from the lake, the photo album Hagrid had given him, and a small razor blade.
Harry grabbed the blade, rolled up his sleeve, and began to draw it over his skin. Deep gashes dribbled out streams of blood. After four long, deep cuts were made on his already mutilated skin, Harry dropped the blade to his side, and just watched the blood. He didn't have to think about anything else for the moment, only the blood really mattered.
Finally, he looked over to his once-clean, now-bloody sheet and grabbed it. He cleaned the blood from his arm on it, and held it tight against the cuts to stop the blood from trickling out again. Harry looked in disgust at the sheet. He had just washed it this morning! He had waited three whole days until Sunday so that he could get a chance to wash his sheets. Tonight was supposed to be his first night where he didn't sleep in a mess of dried blood and semen. He was looking forward to it, and now it was gone. Suddenly Harry felt something. A sense of loss. His anger and dispair at his sheets being dirty was greater than anything he had felt about Dumbledore, Voldemort, Snape, and Vernon in the last several weeks combined. It overwhelmed him. Grabbing his wand from the hole in the floor he pointed it at the disgusting mass of sheets.
"Scourgify." he muttered firmly. In a flash, the sheets were clean.
"Mr. Potter? Mr. Potter, wake up." commanded one voice.
"Harry? Come on, wake up." said another. The owner of the second voice was gently shaking his shoulder.
Harry knew the voices, but wasn't entirely coherent enough to place them. He felt that they were trustworthy, though, so he opened his eyes. To his suprise he found himself looking at Professor McGonagall and Bill Weasley. He looked around. He was still in his bedroom at the Dursleys, and his body hurt immensely, but when he looked back at his visitors they were still there. Something hooted from his desk. He looked, expecting to see Hedwig, but saw a brown and white owl that he didn't recognize. Confused and still half asleep, he turned his eyes to Professor McGonagall. Meeting his eyes she conjured two chairs and pulled one up to the bed and sat down; Bill did the same.
"Mr. Potter, do you know why we are here?" She asked. Harry shook his head no, just to be safe. McGonagall continued looking somewhat speculative. "We are here because Aurthor Weasley contacted us this morning and said that you were detected by the Ministry for using a cleaning charm early this morning."
"Oh." was all Harry could manage. Carefully making sure the sleeves of his night shirt were pulled all the way down, Harry drew himself into a sitting position against the headboard of his bed. When it became clear McGonagall was waiting for some further explanation he looked at the owl. "Is that the owl from the Ministry then? I didn't see one arrive before I fell asleep."
"Yeah, Harry, it is the owl from the Ministry." answered Bill. "We haven't read the message, but Dad pretty much said that you are going to get off the hook. Apparently the Ministry is a little concerned with You-Know-Who to spend their time chasing underage wizards who clean their rooms in the middle of the night while their muggle relatives sleep." He shot Harry a half smile.
"Oh." Harry said again. McGonagall was looking promptingly at him, so again he chose to speak. "I guess I am lucky then, huh?"
McGonagall spoke now. "Mr. Potter- Harry. Harry, I would agree that you were lucky if the room that supposedly had a cleaning charm performed in it wasn't in shambles and spattered in blood." She reached out and took his hand in hers. It was less akward than he would have expected. "Harry, what happened here?"
Harry looked quietly around the room. It had become a hobby of Vernon's to smash Harry's things when he was angry, so Harry barely noticed the broken mirror, the pile of wood that used to be a chair, or random pages of torn up books and magazines that littered his room. There were dents and cracks in the soft drywall from where his head or back had been thrown into it. Worst of all, he could see smears of blood on his footboard, and droplets of the dryed substance trailing back and forth across the floor where he had walked. Two bloody footprints lead from the footboard to his bed, and his body grew rigid when he realized there must be a pool still sitting on the floor where Uncle Vernon had bent him over last night.
Harry didn't know what to do or say. He dared to look at Bill, hoping against hope that the young man would provide him with a cover story. Harry never met his eye though, it went instead to the bundle he was holding in his lap. It was bloody and wadded. Harry could make out the torn sweatpants and underware that he had been wearing the night before.
He looked down and realized that his hand was still inside McGonagall's. He looked at it like he had never seen a hand before, but did not withdraw it. He continued to look, he didn't know what else to do. Did they know what had happened? Perhaps they thought he was simply beaten. Harry decided that he would stick with the beating story.
"Uncle Vernon and I got into an arguement. I know I was wrong to use magic. I am sorry." he tried to explain.
To his suprise, McGonagall rose from her seat, and without dropping his hand, sat down next to him on the bed. Her face looked more motherly and understanding than he ever would have thought she could be. "Harry," she began softly, "we've seen your clothing. Your pants and underware were ripped down off of you. They are covered in blood. The puddle and smears at the end of your bed... Harry we can figure out what happened."
"You're wrong." he replied strongly.
"Okay, Harry," said Bill, as softly as McGonagall, "then we are. Nonetheless we are going to bring you back to Grimmauld Place with us. Alright?"
"I don't want to go there." he responded quickly. It was true, he didn't want to go there. He wanted to be left alone. McGonagall shifted slightly beside him.
"Harry, the time required with your relatives is up, but you are not yet of age, nor do you have anywhere else to go. Please come with us."
He couldn't argue, he had nowhere else to go. Couldn't he stay at the Leaky Cauldron again? Couldn't he rent a room somewhere? But suddenly he felt very tired. Too tired to argue. He would go with them, it seemed to only option for the moment. He nodded slightly to them.
"Okay then," said Bill, "Let's get you ready to go. Is all your stuff in this room?" Harry nodded. "Alright, how about Minerva and I start packing and you get up and ready. We've placed a charm on your relatives. Right now they could sleep through a tornado." Harry attempted a weak smile, and started to move.
In only a moment Bill and McGonagall were hunched over, gathering some books into his trunk. Harry decided to get up quickly, grab some clothes, and head quickly to the bathroom. It had to be fast though, because he was sure there had to be some bloodstains on his pajama pants. Harry ached all over, particularly on his backside. Walking was more difficult than he remembered it being before, and his legs felt wobbly under him. His vision was not only blurred, but also spinning and he could feel blood spilling over Petunia's saturated pad and down his leg. He hurried as fast as he could to the dresser and bent over to reach inside for some clothes. As he did this, the tops of his thighs, the small of his back, and the bottom of his gut seared with pain. He let out a small gasp and crumpled to the floor. For a split second he had hoped his visitors didn't notice him fall, but they were hovering over him almost the second he hit the ground. He did not look at them, only at the floor. He heard McGonagall whisper something about blood to Bill, and then felt Bill's strong arms pick him up and take him to the bed. McGonagall immediately wiped his forehead with a cool damp cloth, and he was suprised to feel relieved. He didn't even know he was sweating.
"Harry, you kinda fell over a bit, so we're just going to help you get ready to go, alright?" said Bill nonchalantly. Harry looked at him and tried to tell him no, but he was so tired and achy he only managed to look up at the ceiling.
Around him he could hear Bill and McGonagall moving. McGonagall had gone to his dresser to get some fresh clothes for him. He was annoyed that she was handeling his underware, but didn't have the energy to say anything. He could feel Bill undo his pants and slide them off. Before he knew what was happening Harry felt tears sliding through his closed eyes and down his face. He felt McGonagalls hand on his forehead again, and she stroked his hair soothingly. He knew she was watching. He felt Bill finally tug his pants from his ankles. He could feel on his legs that they were soaked through in blood. Next he felt a cool cloth wipe his legs clean, and a soft fluffy towel, undoubtedly one of Aunt Petunia's, was being used to pat them dry. Bill was especially carefull of the bruises around Harry's knees and upper thighs.
Next he felt use something to cut into the leg holes of his briefs. He wondered why Bill opted to destroy them, but then he realized they were also soaked in blood. He felt Bill's cool hand slip the underware from between his legs as if it were a diaper. He felt something plasticy rub him as the underware slid out. The maxi pad. More tears cascaded down his cheeks. McGonagall wiped them gently with one hand, and stroked his hair with the other. He felt Bill clean him, or at least try to. Harry felt him wipe blood from the sides of his legs, and then from between them. Bill cleaned off his genitals, but with a small gasp when he saw the bruise marks on Harry's penis. He wiped blood clots from his brown pubic hair, and then gently turned him on his side. He muttered a charm and all of a sudden it felt like the blood had stopped. Bill cleaned his bruised and torn backside, and carefully laid out a towel before easing him back over. As quickly as he could, he put a new pair of underware on Harry, followed by some clean pants. It felt good to be clean. "Thanks" he mumured to Bill.
"No prob, Harry." Bill murmered back.
McGonagall was now sitting him up against her, and had reached down to pull his shirt off. As soon as she got to the arms, Harry tried to resist, but she didn't even notice. A sudden gasp followed by silence told Harry that they had seen his arm. He pushed himself back down onto the bed and rolled over on top of his arm. Those were his cuts. They were not for anyone else to see or judge. They were private.
McGonagall tried to pull him up a bit. "Harry, we are only going to put a shirt on you." she promised him. He was tired, he had no choice but to accept. He allowed himself to be lifted slightly and a shirt slide over his head. He felt Bill lowering the sleeve down over this mutilated arm. McGonagall lowered him against her and sat stroking his hair while Bill put his socks and shoes on him.
"Harry, we are going to do a side-by-side apperation. We'll end up just in front of 12 Grimmauld Place. From there, Bill and I will help you in. For the apperation, I want you to hold onto both of our elbows as tight as you can. Do you understand?" Harry nodded. "Good," she continued, "we'll send somebody back to get your things once we get you settled. Now stand up and take our elbows... good."
There was a faint pop and the trio disapperated.
Harry awoke in his usual room at Grimmauld place. He recognized it by the portrait, or at the moment lack there of, of Phineus Nigellus. Thankfully the deceased headmaster was currently elsewhere. He slowly began awake fully. In an instant everything came back to him. He was at Grimmauld place because Bill and Professor McGonagall found last night. Last night... that was right; he had run away and when he got back Uncle Vernon was waiting for him. It didn't seem quite real, but why else would he be here? Another vauge memory hit him- McGonagall had held his hand and wiped his forehead. She knew everything... He groaned softly.
"Well, Harry, I am glad you are awake. I was reluctant to wake you, but at the same time reluctant to let you sleep through lunch." Professor McGonagall's hand appeared over his own, just as it had the night before. He refused to role his head over to look at her, but nonetheless gripped her hand.
"How are you feeling?" she asked him gently. He hesitated a moment and then roled over and looked at her. Her face was full of concern, but still exuded an air of strictness. 'Perhaps I have just learned to associate McGonagall's face with strictness...' Harry thought to himself. She squeezed his hand lightly and prompted him again in a kind voice, "Harry?"
Harry had time to turn his head away from the teacher before vomitting all over himself. He tried to catch it in his throat, but that only caused burning bile to seep into his nose. McGonagall quickly reached over and placed her hands on the boy's forehead and shoulder to support him while he wretched three more times into the blanket. When he was done she vanished the vomit, though the wetness of it remained on the bedding. She again waved her wand and the bedding was changed. Harry collapsed back into it and began to shiver uncontrollably. McGonagall conjured a damp cloth and set it on Harry's forehead. She then reached into her robes and took out a small bottle of potion.
"Here, Harry, drink all of this. It will help with the nausea as well as help rebuild your strength." Harry looked at the potion with disdain. He clamped his mouth shut, and turned back over.
"I don't need it, thank you professor." He said curtly to the wall.
"Harry, you are not well. This potion will help you feel better." the professor gently argued.
"I apologize for being sick just a moment ago, ma'am, but I am quite sure I am better now. I do not need your potion." Harry responded. He didn't mean for his voice to be as sharp as it registered in his ears, but that bothered him very little.
"Harry, why do you refuse to take the potion?" questioned McGonagall. "This medicine will help you recover quickly."
To be honest Harry was not sure why he was refusing the potion. It thretened him a bit, he supposed, to have to admit his present condition. Perhaps if he refused to acknowledge treatment it would be the same as refusing the problem? But couldn't help but scoff at the words "medicine" and "recover." Like such a thing were possible, and even if they were, why would he want them? Thoughts continued to swirl in his head.
"I don't need your potion." He said flatly, not even adding a respectfull "professor."
McGonagall raised her brows slightly. "Harry, I-"
"I think I would like to take a shower, professor." Harry cut in quickly. He broke his stare from the wall, but still refused to meet her eyes as he struggled to swing himself out of bed.
"Harry, I'm afraid I can't let you get into the shower just yet." McGonagall started. "We are very concerned about you, and think that it would be better if you had somebody with you. It will only take a moment for me to fetch Remus..." She trailed off slightly, expecting a fuss from the young man sitting in front of her. He showed no reaction to her words. She stood up slowly, waiting for a reaction, and then quickly left the room to get Lupin.
Only a minute or two later, the door opened again, and Remus Lupin walked through the door. Harry usually enjoyed seeing his former teacher, but this time he felt nothing when he looked at the man.
"I want to take a shower," he said.
Lupin nodded silently but kindly. He waited patiently for Harry to get off the bed and gripped him gently on the elbow once he stood up. Harry was greatful for this as the room span around him. When everything steadied he inhaled deeply and Lupin dropped his arm.
"You lost a lot of blood, you're bound to be dizzy." Lupin explained quietly. Harry nodded in response, and the two set out for the bathroom. By the time they had made it down the hall Harry was swaying slightly, and Lupin had his hand on the boys arm again. Harry slumped against a wall, and before he could get himself up Remus had picked him up. He carried him wordlessly back to his room and lay him down.
"Do you see now why you need potion?" He asked.
Harry gave no response.
"Harry, we are worried about you."
Again Harry gave no response, except to turn over and draw the blankets over his body. Remus sighed and sat back in his chair. Minerva was right, this was bad.
"I just don't understand why he won't take the potion." said Minerva, sitting with Remus, Tonks, and Severus around the kitchen table.
"I think he is looking for something to try to control." offered Tonks. "I mean, the cutting and the refusal of the potion are both choices he's able to make. Let's face it, his uncle didn't give him many choices."
Remus drew his brows together, "Surely he can do better than this, though. Refusing our help is simply foolish."
"Do you think he's mad at us for not finding him sooner?" Minerva wondered out loud.
Remus nodded, "Could be..."
"Maybe he's just mad in general, he's gotten the shit end of things lately." Tonk offered.
"Yeah, he has." agreed Remus.
"The fact remains," Severus spoke up, "That he needs to eat and take the healing potions. When I examined him this morning he was very weak. Whatever his reason for refusing treatment, we cannot allow him to refuse."
how could you be so cruel?" asked Tonks. "We can't force
him, he's been forced through enough already."
"Ms. Tonks, I am... aware of Potter's situation. However, sympathy doesn't do him any good if he's dead. Now you can take my advice or leave it. I am, after all, only a trained healer turned teacher. It isn't as if I know anything of health or teenagers." At that Snape stood and walked out of the room, black robes billowing behind him.
After he had left Tonks looked down at the table and softly said, "It isn't as if I want Harry to get worse."
Remus placed a hand over hers. "We know that, and Severus likely knows it as well. After what happened with Albus, however, I think that he is on a personal mission to keep everyone he comes in contact with alive."
Minerva sighed again and spoke, "We know Albus told him to go through with the unbreakable vow. We know he didn't want to kill him. But sometimes, Nymphadora, he forgets that."
Harry rolled over again, this time fully aware he was in his bed at Grimmauld place. To his confusion, Remus Lupin was sitting in a chair next to him reading a book.
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked accusingly.
Lupin gave a weak smile and answered evenly, "We are not letting you alone yet. I am here to in case you get sick or try to harm yourself."
"I don't need a sitter. Go away." Harry commanded.
"No, Harry, I won't do that. I am going to stay here with you until you are better."
"My wounds are healed." argued Harry. "Though I'm not going to ask which one of you shoved your wand up my ass, I'd appriciate it if you remember that one of you did."
Lupin raised his eyebrows slightly at Harry's acidic retort, but stayed sitting in his bedside chair. "No, Harry, I am going to stay here." He reached into his robes and pulled out the small vial of potion that McGonagall had had earlier. "I'd like you to take this Harry. It will help."
"Fuck off." was Harry's only reply. He rolled over and stared at the wall until he fell back asleep.
Remus watched the boy turn from him and eventually drift into sleep. He didn't know what to think. Was this really James and Lilly's son? Was he really so cold and unloyal to those around him? When Bill and Minerva had informed him of Harry's condition, he thought that Harry would be at an advantage being with in a house full of Order members, and with one exception, Gryffindors. At first it seemed that things would be okay. He had agreed to come here, accepted affection from Minerva, and did not initially resist being watched. However everything was going wrong.
'Tonks could have been right.' He found himself thinking. She seemed to have a great deal of insight into this matter. He certainly had not considered that any of this could have to do with power and control. The theory seemed a little melodramtic at first, but as he continued to think, he couldn't help but notice how well it described Harry's behaviors.
The next time Harry woke up was only an hour and a half later. He looked over to see Remus still sitting in his chair next to the bed. He glanced up from his book when he heard Harry stir. His eyes then focused on the little bedside table next to him. Harry's gaze followed it. On the table there was a bowl of thin soup and, next to it, the healing potion. When Harry's eyes wandered back to Remus' the man spoke.
"You can choose one or the other. Of course, it is better if you take both." he said calmly.
"Go fuck yourself, Remus." Harry responded, just as calm. Remus sighed and set his book down on the table.
"Harry, what's going on?" he asked. Recieving no response he spoke again. "Your parents died for you after devoting their lives to the Order. Are you really going to act like this now? It's a slap in the face to everything and everyone your parents believed in."
"Fuck off, Order member Mooney." Harry snarled. He reached to the nightstand, took the soup, and turned it upside down over Remus' book. Smirking, he turned back over and stared at the wall. Remus could tell he wasn't sleeping, just simply staring.
With another sigh, Remus got up and walked out of the room.
Harry was left alone for about fifteen minutes after Remus left. He figured that the werewolf was telling McGonagall, Bill, and whoever the hell else was at Grimmauld Place about his attitude. Harry used the time to get up and go to the bathroom. A quick inspection showed that the bruise marks were fading more quickly than natural; it probably had something to do with that creamy stuff smeared all over them. A hand swept over his shoulder told him that the bite marks that had been there were healed, and the same seemed true with every other scratch Vernon had given him. He did not check his arm. He did, however, check his penis. The same lotion that had been applied to his other bruises was smeared over the fingerprint bruises there, as well as into his pubic hair. A glace into his underwear told him that the anal bleeding had been stopped. As embarassing as it was to think that one of the Order had had to close the tears with their wand tip, he was greatfull not to be bleeding. Merlin he hoped it had been Bill who healed him and not Remus or McGonagall. Whoever had done it, Harry conceded, had done a good job. The only effects of the attack were the fading bruises and some aching muscles between his thighs and navel.
Turning on the faucet as hot as it would go, Harry began to scrub his hands, arms, and face in the sink. Steam clouded the disgrunteled mirror, but he payed the enchanted object no mind. He also paid no mind to the knocks comming through the door. He could hear McGonagall, and then Remus call his name, asking him to unlock the door and come out. He simply continued to wash his hands and face. By the time the professors' Alohamora spell cancelled out Harry's locking charm, he was red and raw from the harsh scrubbing and heat. They ran to him.
"Harry! I left you because I didn't want you to be upset, not so that you could sneak away!" Remus yelped out as he rushed in. He made to grab the boy and either shake him or hug him, but froze when he saw fear ripple across Harry's features. Remus drew back and wiped his face with his hands. He sighed, and then walked back through the door and away from the crowd.
Bill Weasley had appeared from seemingly nowhere and cleared his throat. "Harry, why don't you lay back down on the bed and let us know what we can get you to drink while we put balm on your hands."
Harry's barely focused eyes settled on the redhead. "I don't need any fucking balm for my hands. I want them this way."
Bill quirked his head to the side "Does that mean you will take something to drink? I'll be having pumpkin juice."
Harry looked at the man in front of him as if he were crazy, but nodded very slightly to see what he would do.
"All right then," said Bill. He snapped his fingers "Buesie!" a house elf popped into existance, "Please bring me and Harry some pumpkin juice."