Disclaimer: This will be for the whole story. I own nothing Harry Potter related.
A/N: I have some idea of where this story is going, but I'm not one hundered percent sure. If you like the beginning of this story and are interested in hearing more, please leave me a review and let me know if I should continue. Updates to the story will not be regular as college will be taking precedence over writing.
The summer after fifth year was turning out to be one of the worst summers that Harry had ever endured. When Vernon Dursley had picked Harry up at the train station, he had thrown Harry's belongings into the trunk of the car before ordering Harry to get into the backseat. Harry was barely paying attention to his uncle's words. His mind was constantly turned towards Sirius, the prophecy, and the adventure at the Ministry. Since Harry was staring blankly ahead through the windshield, he didn't notice as Vernon kept throwing glares at him through the rearview mirror.
Harry kept blaming himself for Sirius's death. He knew that his friends and some of his professors would tell him that it wasn't his fault, but he couldn't help thinking that he shouldn't have gone to the Ministry that night. Harry knew that Ron and Hermione would be worried about him this summer and would constantly be writing to him; he hoped that he would be able to convince them that he was okay without having to reveal his true feelings.
Harry was also aware that the Order would probably be watching him very closely. They had followed him around last summer, but they would watch him like a hawk this summer since Voldemort would probably be more active. Plus, some of them would be concerned about his emotional state now that Sirius was dead.
Upon reaching 4 Privet Drive, Vernon stalked towards the front door while yelling over his shoulder for Harry to hurry up and get into the house with his things. Harry wordlessly grabbed his belongings and struggled not to drop them on his way into the house. He had to drag his trunk the last few feet up to the door while trying not to jostle Hedwig too much. His owl had awoken moments ago and hooted indignantly after Harry had almost lost his grip on the cage.
Once Harry was inside of the house, he quietly closed the front door and then began his trek up the stairs to his bedroom. Harry had only gone up four steps before his uncle grabbed the back of his shirt and threw him down onto the floor. The pain as Harry landed pulled him out of the daze that he had been in since getting into the car. Shocked, he looked up at his uncle's livid face. Uncle Vernon had never really been physical with him in the past, but apparently something had driven him into getting rough.
Vernon reached down and hauled Harry into a standing position before slamming him into the wall. Harry's eyes moved back and forth for a few moments wondering where his aunt and cousin could be during all of this.
Vernon viciously punched Harry in the stomach and then smirked as Harry gasped in pain while clutching his abdomen. His uncle didn't give him much time to rest before he rammed a meaty fist into the side of Harry's face. Harry removed one arm from his stomach and threw it over his head, trying to protect himself.
"Please, Uncle Vernon," Harry pleaded. "Stop. Why are you doing this to me?"
The smirk disappeared from Vernon's face, and he turned bright red. "WHY? WHY? I think the question should be 'Why didn't I do this in the first place?' You have been nothing but trouble since we took you in. You blew up my sister, you cost me the Masons as potential clients, and you set a python on Dudley. You brought some sort of demons here last summer that hurt my son, and now those freaks at the train station dare to threaten me."
During Vernon's speech, Harry's uncle continued to punch and kick his nephew. Harry tried to defend himself, but his uncle was stronger and bigger than he was. Harry prayed that this would all be over soon; he didn't know how much more he could take.
"Uncle Vernon, I'm sorry," Harry moaned. "I didn't mean for some of those things to happen. It was accidental magic that-"
Upon hearing the word magic, Vernon's assault increased in strength. "I never want to hear that word in this house ever again. You are abnormal, boy. You are nothing special. If it were my choice, you would be tossed out on the street to live. Unfortunately, Petunia, for some reason, allows you to continue to live here."
Once Vernon was done beating Harry, Harry lay on the floor sobbing. Vernon looked down on his body with disgust. "You will behave while you are staying here, and you will do whatever chores we assign. Whenever you write to those people, you will not tell them what has happened today or what may happen any day in the future. Do you understand?"
Harry looked up at his uncle with fury in his eyes. "Don't worry, Uncle Vernon. I won't say anything to them."
"Good. I dropped Petunia and Dudley off at the mall before I picked you up at the train station, so I will be leaving soon to pick them back up. You are to go to your room now and stay there for the rest of the day. I want you to get your clothes out of your trunk, and then you are to put the trunk, with all of your freaky things, in the cupboard under the stairs."
Harry muttered a 'yes, sir' before gingerly sitting up and trudging over to his trunk. His body ached terribly, but he bit his lip in order to keep from crying out. Harry hadn't been able to stop himself from crying during the beating; however, he was not going to give his uncle the satisfaction of seeing him in pain now. Once he reached his trunk, Harry strategically placed himself in front of it so that his uncle could not see exactly what he took out. Within the layers of clothing he pulled out, Harry buried his wand, his photo album, and some food that he had bought on the train.
Reluctantly, Harry handed his trunk over to his uncle. Vernon shoved the trunk inside the cupboard before slamming the door and locking it. Harry flinched when his uncle suddenly turned back towards him. Vernon smirked at Harry's reaction, but he only waved his meaty hand towards the stairs. Harry took the hint and began slowly climbing the steps while tightly clutching the handrail.
Not long after reaching the top of the stairs, Harry found himself shoved into his bedroom with the door swinging shut behind him. He heard the key turn in the lock, and then his uncle's heavy footsteps pounded back down the stairs. Wearily, Harry picked himself off of the floor before easing his sore body onto the thin mattress. Before he could fall into a restless sleep, however, he realized that he still needed to hide his album, food, and wand. Those items were still hidden among his clothes, and he did not want his uncle to discover that he had disobeyed him. Harry gave a loud groan, yet he pushed his body up. It took a few minutes in order to gather the items and hide them under the loose floorboard. Once that was taken care of, Harry sank back onto the bed and allowed his tired eyes to close.
Harry never did hear his relatives come back, and they didn't bother to wake him for supper. During the night, Harry faced several nightmares where Sirius blamed him for his death. Harry tried to apologize to Sirius, but his godfather only glared at him before walking away. When he tried to follow Sirius and explain everything, Sirius sped up and disappeared from Harry's sight. Harry dejectedly wandered around calling his godfather's name; however, he only heard his own voice echo back to him. When a body started to materialize in front of him, Harry eagerly ran towards the person. Once the person was recognizable, however, Harry came to an abrupt halt. Vernon wickedly grinned at him before raising a hand to strike.
A loud knocking woke Harry up from his dream. He distantly realized that his aunt was yelling at him to get up and cook breakfast, but Harry was too busy trying to calm his racing heart. His body was drenched with sweat, and the details of the dream kept circling in his mind.
"If you're not out here in five minutes, I'm going to get Vernon," Petunia threatened.
Harry's head whipped around to face the door. "I'm awake, Aunt Petunia. I'll be downstairs in a second."
Hurriedly throwing on some of Dudley's hand-me-downs, Harry got dressed in record time. He pushed himself to get ready quickly even though his body was still in pain from the day before: Harry didn't want to make his uncle angry again.
Once downstairs, Harry headed into the kitchen. His aunt was setting the table with plates and napkins. Harry hesitated before walking all the way into the room.
"Morning, Aunt Petunia," Harry quietly said. "What would you like me to make for breakfast?"
"It's about time that you got down here, boy. Dudley is still on his diet, so everyone is going to get one piece of toast without butter and a glass of orange juice."
Harry nodded to his aunt before getting out the loaf of bread and some glasses. Harry bitterly wondered why his aunt couldn't fix a few pieces of toast herself since she had already been down here, but he wasn't about to voice his opinion. After setting everything on the table, Harry sat in his chair and waited for the rest of his family to come down.
Dudley and Vernon could be loudly heard using the stairs. Once Dudley had entered the kitchen, he stopped in the doorway upon seeing Harry's face. Harry had briefly glanced in the mirror before leaving his bedroom that morning, so he guessed that his cousin was smirking about the bruise that was visible close to his temple.
"Dudley, what's going on?" Vernon asked from behind his son. "Breakfast is ready for us to eat. Keep going into the kitchen, son."
Plopping down into a chair opposite Harry, Dudley continued to sneer at him. Dudley had apparently realized what had caused the bruise on his face. Vernon ignored Harry until the end of the meal when Harry began to clean up the table.
Squeezing a hand over Harry's wrist, Vernon began to speak. "There is a list of chores by the refrigerator that I want done by the time I come home. If they aren't done, there will be hell to pay. Is that clear?"
"Crystal," Harry sarcastically answered.
Vernon squeezed harder causing Harry to wince. "If you don't want a repeat of last night, I suggest you shape up."
Once Vernon let go, Harry began rubbing his wrist as he walked over to pick up the list. Dudley snickered at Harry's pain before leaving the house in order to terrorize the neighborhood with his friends.
Vernon gave Petunia a quick peck on the cheek, shot Harry one last warning glare, and then left for work. Harry's aunt left the kitchen soon after without even paying any attention to Harry. He guessed that she was just going to ignore the fact that her husband had been beating him last night and the fact that Vernon had even threatened to do it again.
Looking at the list, Harry sighed at all of the things that he was going to have to accomplish that day. He hoped that he would be able to finish them despite his pain. Harry knew that he didn't have any time to waste, so he decided to start by vacuuming upstairs. He had been in too big of a hurry that morning to grab his wand, but he figured that he could pocket it while he was cleaning the upstairs. Harry didn't expect that he would need to use it while at his relative's house; however, he knew that it was always better to be prepared.
After vacuuming the whole house along with dusting the furniture and washing the windows, Harry went outside to weed the front and back garden. The sun beat down hotly on his weary body. Normally Harry would have taken off his shirt in order to cool himself off a bit, but his body was littered with bruises. He didn't want to risk anyone seeing them.
When Harry had told his uncle the night before that he wouldn't tell anyone about the beating, he had been telling the truth. Part of him felt that he deserved the abuse because of Sirius's death, while another part of him felt ashamed and embarrassed about telling anyone what was happening. He hoped that he could survive this summer without angering his uncle too much, but he knew that his uncle wouldn't always need a reason to beat him. Harry was thankful that he only had one more summer until he would turn seventeen. At least he would be able to leave the Dursley's house after that.
Relieved when he finished the front garden, Harry decided to take a quick break for lunch before starting on the back garden. When Harry trudged in for lunch with dirt and sweat streaked on his skin, Petunia grimaced at his filthy state.
"Do not get anything in this house dirty, or you will have to clean it again," she stated. She forced a plate, which was only filled with a dry cheese sandwich, and a glass of tepid water into his hands.
Harry took his meal out on the back porch in order to eat it. He had no desire to clean the kitchen again. Since Harry had only had a piece of bread that morning and nothing for supper the night before, he quickly wolfed down his simple meal. Even though he was still hungry, he knew that he would have to ration the food that was up in his room. Harry never knew when his relatives would decide to starve him.
Setting the plate and glass on the porch, Harry started to weed the back garden. Because this garden was not seen by as many people as the front garden, it wasn't as well maintained and was going to require a lot more work. While Harry was away at school, the Dursleys probably hired someone to take care of the yard. They certainly wouldn't do any of the hard work around the house themselves. Harry bet that the Dursleys got rid of the gardener a few weeks before he came back from school just so he would have a lot more work to do.
When Harry was halfway through the gardening, the sound of a twig snapping drew his attention to something behind him. He quickly whirled around and put his hand down by his wand without drawing it. Harry was startled to see Remus standing beside him.
Remus laughed at the look on Harry's face before drawing him into a hug. "Hello, Harry."
"Hi, Remus. What are you doing here?" Harry replied.
"The Order is still going to be watching you this summer, but unlike last summer, Albus is going to allow us to talk to you every now and then. We still want you to write letters to us, however, especially if you have a vision."
Remus pushed Harry away a little bit in order to get a good look at him. He kept his hands on Harry's shoulders as he intently looked Harry over. Harry wanted to squirm under his gaze, but he forced himself to be steady. Harry held his breath waiting to see if Remus would comment on the bruise on his face.
"How are you doing, Harry?" Remus asked seriously. "I know that it's going to be tough on you losing Sirius, but I'm willing to talk to you anytime that you need me. You are always welcome to use Hedwig to reach me."
Harry tried to discreetly let out the breath that he had been holding in. Apparently his hair was hiding the bruise. He would have to be careful so that Remus wouldn't find out.
"I really miss him, Remus. I had a nightmare about him last night. I guess that it will be a while before I can really get over this."
"I understand, Harry. Sirius was one of my best friends. He was one of the last true Marauders. I miss him too. Do you want to tell me about your nightmare?"
"Not right now. I'm sorry, but I don't really want to talk about what happened with Sirius right now. It's too soon for me," Harry answered with tears beginning to come to his eyes.
Remus rubbed his shoulders comfortingly. "All right, Harry. Just know that I'm not the only one that you can turn to. Your friends would be glad to help. Now, how are the Dursleys treating you?"
Harry looked Remus in the eye when he replied. "They're just like usual. I only have a few chores to do everyday."
"Do you want me to talk to them again? I don't want them to be horrible to you like they have been in the past."
"No!" Harry forcefully said. He toned down his answer when Remus shot him a startled look at his response. "I mean, no thank you. The Dursleys mostly ignore me, and I don't really mind doing a few chores. They get my mind off of everything that has happened lately, and it gives me something to do."
Remus nodded sympathetically. "If you're sure, Harry, but promise me that you will tell me if they get too out of hand."
"I will, Remus," Harry lied.
"Okay, I need to get back on duty now. Someone else will be here soon to take my place. I will talk to you again later. Bye, Harry."
"Bye, Remus," Harry gloomily answered as Remus disappeared from sight.
Harry walked back over to the garden and began to finish weeding. He was glad that he would be able to talk to members of the Order every once in a while, but he was going to have to be mindful of any injuries that he was sporting. Some Order members were more perceptive than others. Harry did not want anyone to know what was really going on inside 4 Privet Drive.