Title: Fighting Another War
Warning:This story is rated M. It contains Slash (boyxboy) and may have some contents that aren't fitted to the younger readers.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Lord of The Rings belongs to J.K Rowling and J.R.R Tolkien, all the copyrights associated with HP and LOTR belongs to them. Only the ideas contained within this story are the property of the author. no profit is being earned by the writer of this story.
A/N: Alright everyone! I've finally finished re-writing! This first chapter haven't been changed that much but hopefully it's a little better than the original one. For those of you who has followed the story ever since I began writing it you'll know that this is my second and last re-write. I will not be putting you through the long wait that comes with re-writes again and so hopefully you'll all like this version of the story.
I recommend that all of you (that includes those of you who have read it before) read everything from the beginning, there has been made some drastic changes and because some of the new chapters are longer and more stretched we haven't gotten as far with the timeline as we originally have.
Anyway, hope you all enjoy!
"Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair." - William Cowper, 1731-1800.
The heat was unbearable; it almost seemed as if the earth itself was a hot frying pan. In fact, because of the heat most people were staying inside in an attempt to escape from the overbearing warmth. There was no sign of any human life anywhere-- except for one boy. In the garden of number 4, Privet Drive, a boy was crouched down on his knees, tending to the various flowers.
Unruly raven black hair was sticking out in every direction, and a pair of beautiful, bright green eyes hidden behind a pair of old glasses lit up his face, despite the dull hint of tiredness that could be seen in them. The most unusual thing about the boy was the lightning shaped scar hidden behind a curtain of hair on his forehead. This hard working boy was none other than Harry Potter, The-boy-who-lived, the saviour of the Wizarding world-- or in some people's opinion a complete lunatic.
Harry's hands were covered in cuts; the soft skin was marred by the bleeding wounds which were no doubt caused by the roses he had just tended to. A drop of sweat had gathered on his eyebrow, slowly trailing down his temple to its destination, his neck. A dirt covered hand rose to cut off the sweat from its destination as a longing look was sent towards the house he was currently outside of. Dudley's laughter could be heard through the open window, nearly drowning out the sound of the television in the background. His cousin seemed to not have a worry in the world – no fears and no cares. Utter freedom.
A sigh escaped from him as he turned back to the plants; if it weren't for the horrible heat he would be enjoying himself. The plants never judged him; they never teased him or called him names. The fact that the plants never talked at all did not even cross his mind, for he was too content with the fact that he didn't have to care about someone judging him. The plants distracted him from the cruel world, and that was enough for him.
When he was finished potting the red Ginger Lily, he sat back to take a little break and admire his work. Allowing himself to enjoy the first moment of peace he had had in months. Sadly, this moment was soon broken by his uncle.
"BOY! Get off your lazy arse and do as you're told to for once in your life!" Vernon roared, shaking his sausage like hand at him. The large man took a large gulp of his ice tea, not caring about the fact that the boy outside had no liquid to drink, before continuing.
"You still have the hedge to trim and your other chores to do!" The man turned his back on his nephew, shooting one last disgusted look at him.
Oh, how he loathed that man, that man who had made his childhood so miserable. All those days, all those years filled with pain and neglect... all because of that man and his family. Still he did not hate him; even Harry knew that if it weren't for Vernon providing him with food and clothes, he might as well have been dead.
"Get to work!" Petunia Dursleys shrill voice rang through the air, startling him out of his thoughts. With one last longing look at the house, he rose to his feet, a standing height of 5'5", and walked towards the gardening shed, intent on finding the hedge scissors. Opening the door, he looked around at the various tool hanging on the walls, and laying spread across the floor. With a slight frown he began his search for the hedge trimmer. If he weren't so used to it, he would have thought it impossible to find anything in the mess that was the gardening shed. A triumphant cry escaped him as he finally found what he was looking for - it had been hidden beneath a wheelbarrow.
He walked out of the shed, heading for the hedge. It was time for him to finish his chores. He dreaded to think about the abuse he would have to endure should he not manage to finish his chores within the time limit Petunia had set for him.
Yes, Harry was fed, he was clothed and he was kept relatively healthy, but despite all that he was abused. The humiliation, the insults and the countless wishes that he'd never been born were all so cruel and vicious that they literally abused him. They tore down his defences and left him with nothing but an empty shell. It was heartbreaking for a child to constantly be reminded of his own freakiness and of how he didn't belong with such outstanding beings as they.
There was nothing Dudley, Petunia and Vernon Dursley enjoyed more than destroying Harry from inside and out. It brought them to a new, unheard of plane of satisfaction. It brought them such ecstasy and such pleasure that it was the peak of their day. They practically lived to ruin his life.
Harry had early on learned to close himself off when they had these urges. He had learned to close his ears and not hear anything but his own breath. It worked most of the time, but then there were these instances when their words would cut straight through his shields and lodged themselves deeply into his vulnerable heart.
Still, he never let it show.
The sorting hat had been right when it wanted to sort him into Slytherin. Over the years Harry had become great at deception, at least infront of the Dursleys he had. No matter how much their words managed to hurt him he always masked it with an indifferent face, never giving them the fulfilment of knowing that they'd managed to wound him.
A great groan of relief escaped him as he finished with that dreadful hedge; it had taken him almost over an hour. He hadn't known it would take him so long. He sighed as he walked up the stairs, intent on reaching his room as fast as possible to get some much needed sleep. He almost cried out in relief when his room came in sight. His feet and hands were aching.
Ignoring Hedwig's distressed hoot he threw himself on the bed, too exhausted to strip off his clothes. His entire life consisted of these routines, in Privet drive at least. It was remarkable how different his life at Hogwarts was from this, though at least here he didn't have to worry about the threat of Voldemort.
Yes, here he had no crazed killer after him. This was his sanctuary, despite how awful it may be.
It was time he got some sleep. If he wanted to survive tomorrow's chores, he needed to be well rested. And so he closed out everything in the outside world, and focused solely on his own breath, falling into the dark abyss that was sleep.
It was weird really, how drastic the weather could change. Yesterday he'd been begging for some rain to escape from the heat and today it was raining cats and dogs. At least he'd finished the garden; he didn't even want to imagine how it would be like gardening in this weather.
Turning off the running water, he admitted to himself that it was getting tiresome to do the same old chores over and over again. At least he didn't have Petunia or Vernon breathing down his neck today. His beloved Uncle and Aunt had figured that today was a nice day to visit Vernon's dreadful sister Marge. Luckily, they had decided that Harry was not to come with them.
Harry had once been told that humans all learn from their mistakes, that they repented when they discovered what sins they were guilty of committing. He, however, had yet to see it. People around him made mistakes all the time, but none of them learned from it, and none of them would have done it differently if they had gotten a second chance. He himself never learned from his mistakes. He always ran into situations unprepared, never thinking of the consequences. Oh yes, he was well aware of that fact, even if most people figured him ignorant in that apartment.
He wasn't, and had never been, as ignorant as people thought him to be. Just because he never said anything or did anything about it, didn't mean that he never noticed things going on around him. In reality, he was very attentive to the things happening around him.
Well, everything except love that is.
When it came to relationships he was oblivious. Hermione had once said that he wouldn't know if someone liked him unless they told him to his face, and even then he would have thought it was a joke. It wasn't possible for someone to love him; he had been told so numerous times and he'd slowly begun to believe it. It wasn't really a big thing to him, yes he was alone, and yes it was likely that he would be alone for the rest of his life, but he was used to it by now. Yes, he had his friends and the Weasley family, but they couldn't be counted as his real family. In his mind, Harry believed that he would always be alone.
The dark, mahogany grandfather's clock (A precious heirloom according to Vernon) standing in the living room chimed, ringing through the air with clear notes that made him look up from his cleaning, three more hours till the Dursley's would be home. He needed to speed up if he wanted to finish before they arrived. Petunia had made it very clear that if is his chores weren't finished by the time they returned, the consequences would be severe.
He wasn't foolish enough to believe that the threat was an empty one. He had, on several occasions, discovered that when Petunia said something like that, she meant it. He had felt the consequences before; he was not ignorant of what they involved. Days, perhaps even weeks, of verbal torture would be unleashed upon him, and even worse, he would be put to the task of cleaning Dudley's room. Shivering slightly at the thought he continued cleaning the stove as a sickening feeling of nausea swept over him. He didn't want to feel Petunia's wrath again, especially if it involved (which it probably did) even approaching the deathly hell hole that was Dudley's room. His mind was still scarred from the last time he'd been forced to endure such punishment. He imagined that the room of his large cousin was as close to hell as one could come on earth, and that said a lot.
Yes, he had scars; despite what every wizard in the Wizarding world believed his childhood had not been a walk on roses, quite the opposite really, it had been like walking over red hot lava. Oh yes, when it came to his muggle life everyone was ignorant. They did not know the mental pain and suffering he had gone through, at the tongues of his aunt and uncle, no less.
It was time for him to get some dinner, Petunia, the generous woman that she was, had left him some leftovers in the fridge. Naturally, there was no way a freak like him deserved any better. One would think that the insult would bother him, but he was indifferent to it now. You could say that he was thick skinned; insults like 'freak' just bounced off him now. It was their constant reminders of how his parents had deserved to die that really got to him. Each time they cruelly said something horrible about them, he was nearly overwhelmed by the pain of having to endure these constant slights to his parentage. No one had the right to spit on their names; no one had the right to talk about them as if they deserved what Voldemort had done to them.
No! He would not go down that trail of thought again. He was over it; he had accepted his parent's deaths. They'd died - goodbye, end of story. Yes, it was a cold way of saying it but it was a fact. No one could defeat death; everyone dies sometime, from accidental death, murder, sickness or old age. One way or another, everyone dies. That was reality for you.
A beep alerted him that his dinner was ready. Grabbing a fork and a knife he headed towards the dining room, since he was the only one in the house at the moment he could see nothing wrong with eating in the dining room instead of his usual seat in the kitchen. It wasn't as if he would be caught or anything, right?
He snorted in amusement at the thought. The Dursley's couldn't catch a snail even if it was dangled before them as an offering. They were too caught up in their own world and their own pathetic lives to see something that was right in front of them. Surprisingly enough, the only thing they could catch was the thing they hated the most: magic. They had an extreme ability to figure out when Harry used magic, accidental or not. It was unnerving to say the least.
He finished his plate and headed for the kitchen again. It wouldn't do for him to leave any traces of his presence in the dining room. He could almost picture Vernon's face, purple with rage, at finding out that Harry had eaten his dinner at the table reserved for family members only, as Harry wasn't and had never been considered one of them, giving him no right to sit at their table and eat their food.
Washing the dishes he looked up at the grandfather's clock. Eight o'clock. The Dursleys would return soon. He would have to go up to his room before they arrived; it was a procedure they had adopted in the years Harry had been staying with them. And everyone, even Harry, was satisfied with it. It kept unnecessary arguments from arising.
With one last look at the kitchen he walked upstairs, He needed to prepare himself for bed before his aunt, uncle and his cousin could catch him using their precious water for his own use. He wasn't allowed to use any water without their permission, and even then it was only for two showers a week. He realized he was treated unfairly, but he was resigned to sucking it up. He only had to stay at the Dursleys for 6 weeks, after all. For the moment, it was tolerable.
The taste of mint flooded his mouth as he brushed his teeth, the fresh taste pleasing on his tongue. He looked up in the mirror and focused on his face, and the way his green eyes had a hint of tiredness in them, the way blue rings were starting to form under them. To most people running away would have been an obvious solution; they would think him a fool for not trying. But he'd tried alright, oh how he'd tried. Ever since he was little, he had made countless attempts to escape his prison, never managing to succeed. When he turned eleven, he had stopped trying.
He threw himself onto the bed, the mattress swaying slightly as he did. His room was unusually silent, the absence of Hedwig's hoots was welcome, he didn't think that he could deal with his energetic owl at the moment; he was too tired to deal with her antics. With a quiet sigh, he removed his glasses, carefully putting them on his bedside table.
With trained movements he laid down on the bed, making sure not to bump his head against any sharp edges. It had taken years of practice for him to be able to lie down as swiftly and gracefully as he did now without the help of his glasses. He was, after all, practically blind without them.
The sound of a door being slammed was the only sign he got that the Dursleys had arrived, not that it mattered much to him, they would only ignore his presence, his chores was done for the day so they had no reason to want to interact with him.
Just as he was about to shut his eyes he shot up and out of bed. His heart raced in his chest as he fumbled around for his glasses. Something dark moved in the corner of his right eye, it danced in and out of his vision in jumpy movements, as if teasing him, as he frantically reached for his spectacles. The wind howled outside as he finally felt the hard contour of his familiar glasses. Hurriedly, he put them on, eyes swivelling around the room in a desperate search for something suspicious. He found nothing. Only the well-known sight of his bed, desk and wardrobe was seen.
With one last suspicious look around the room, he gave up, moving towards his bed with intent of getting a good night sleep. It didn't take long for him to fall into the dark abyss that was called slumber. The very second his head landed on his thin, uncomfortable pillow, he escaped into the world of dreams, nightmares and nothingness. No one noticed the slight flash that erupted from the room, no one noticed the loud shrieks emitting from a snow white owl that had just returned.
No one noticed that Harry James Potter was missing.