Harry glared furiously at the door, still shaking from its violent closing. He couldn't believe the nerve of his cousin! Right after he'd saved his freaking soul, Dudley had blamed his dementor-derived illness on him! Betrayer. Well at least he now knew how Pettigrew had been put in Gryffindor; you'd have to be pretty brave to betray someone if you knew that a murderous Sirius Black (or in this case Harry Potter) would kill you as soon as he got the opportunity.

For a moment, he toyed with the idea of giving Dudley to the Death Eaters, but soon decided against it. It wasn't actual affection (hidden veeerrry deep) for his cousin that made this decision for him. It was that (a) he didn't want to get that near any Death Eater, (b) if the press or (Merlin forbid) Hermione and Ginny found out, Voldemort would be out of a job and (c) he wasn't quite that vindictive. But it was a near thing.

Abandoning his rather unBoy-Who-Lived-ish thoughts, he glanced around his room. From the old textbooks from first year to fourth year, to the baby toys stacked by on and around the strained shelves. His trunk was open, half full of quills, parchment, pyjamas and, well, he wasn't quite sure what that was. He winced inwardly, remembering that he had to go through that and pack it up again in an hour. Normally, packing a trunk wouldn't be much of an issue, but his trunk was so messy he was quite sure that it would have made the stables that Heracles had to clean look tidy.
With an internal sigh, he leaned down and started to pull things out of his trunk. A singlet that he must have worn when he was an eleven-year-old stick figure, the 'textbook' that was the magic version of the muggle 'magic' eight ball, his battered old journal. He stopped at that. He couldn't believe he still had that. He thought he'd thrown it out after Ginny's experience with a similar object.

Apparently not. He opened it to the first page. 'Keep out!' among similar messages occupied the page. He smiled at the childish scrawl. Flipping over to the next page, he frowned. He read:

Dear Journal,
I know that you are Dudley's but I don't think that he will ever suddenly get the urge to keep a journal. Unless, of course, he sees me using his. I am Dudley's cousin, Harry Potter. I didn't know that till I was fore. I found out cos I ova heard Unkle Vernun and Aunt Petuna talking about me. I know it was about me cos my Unkle was saying sum thing about 'Boy' and Unkle Vernun only eva calls me 'Boy' but Aunt Petuna called me Harry. Then Unkle called James Potter a no-good lay about and why did they hav to look after his brat. Aunt Petuna sed they had to cos of stuff with blud and Lily. I think Lily must be my muther cos if Aunt Petuna and Unkle Vernun are really my aunt and unkle then one of their siblins must be one of my parents. But Unkle Vernun only has one sibling and that's Aunt Marg and I know she's not my muther. So Aunt Petuna must hav had a sister, so that was probably Lily, so Lily was probably my muther. See?

The Durslys don't like me. They say that I'm a 'good-for-nuthing, lazy, ungrateful, freakish bastard'. I hate them. I do more of the work around here than anyone else, so I am good for something, and I'm not lazy or ungrateful. I don't know if I am a bastard. I don't know what a bastard is. I do know that I'm a freak though. Cos a freak is sum one who's weird and I am. Well I think I am, anyway cos when I get angry stuff happens. Stuff that's not sposed to happen. Sum times stuff moves or gets smaller and sum times stuff disappeers. Unkle always gets angry when the stuff happens. He yells at me and calls me freak and tells me its all my folt cos evry thing's my folt and he hits me and puts me in my cubbord. My cubbord is cold and dark and it has spiders in it. I don't mind the spiders. They don't hurt me if I don't hurt them but the dark skares me. It is always dark in the cubbord. It makes me feel like I've been in there forever. And the cold is horrible cos even though the doors shut it still gets in. I cant get away from it. Its there all the time. And sumtimes the cold and the dark make me stop breething. My throte closes up and I cant breethe. Then I keep trying to breethe but I cant and it gets worse and worse. I hate the dark. I hate the cold. They make me choke and cry.

I hate crying. Unkle Vernun always hits me harder if I cry. I don't want to cry ever again. It never makes anything better anyway. I wont do it. I wont!

Here, a line streaked off the page as though the writer had been startled by something. Then the entry continued.

I have to go and move the televishun, Unkle Vernun says that the sun is stopping him from seeing the picshure with the televishun where it is,

Harry was revolted. He brushed through then pages, noting that the first half of the book was written in what looked like blood and only the last half was written in pen. He put the book down on the bed and sank down next to it. His head was spinning. Flashes of buried memories surged to the front of his mind.

Curled up in a ball, rocking backwards and forward, biting his lip to stop tears from leaking from the corners of his tightly closed eyes

Being thrown against the wall by his Uncle, who seemed much bigger than he was now.

Sitting in the cupboard, leaning against the wall, cradling his wrist to his chest, taking deep shaky breaths in attempt to relax, head tilted back and eyes closed, but no sign of tears.

Lying in the foetal position, Dudley's gang in a ring around him, taunts ringing in his ears, but still no tears. Then the memories stopped. Harry tried to remember more but no more memories surfaced. He just couldn't remember anything from the time when the diary was written. It was as if someone had gone through his mind and locked all of his memories about the abuse mentioned in the diary away.

Now he thought about it, he realised that while he always flinched when his Uncle raised his hand, he couldn't for the life of him remember the kind of physical abuse that would've prompted such a response. He knew that he had lived in the cupboard under the stairs until he was eleven, but he couldn't remember any of it. He could remember chores with great detail (he had done them all a million times) and he remembered that his Uncle would punish him but past a punch on the mouth, even the more recent events were a blur. It made no sense.

Glancing at Dudley's old alarm clock, Harry put the matter aside to be dealt with sometime in the distant future; he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know why he couldn't remember and he wasn't positive he would be any happier knowing. Sighing, Harry started in on his trunk again, hoping that this time, he would finish it. Preferably before the Weasleys arrived.