Disclaimer: If you haven't realized it by now, I do not own the characters that you recognized in this story. They belong to JK Rowling.
Through the Cupboard
Following one of the worst nights of his life, fourteen-year-old Harry Potter sat on his bed in the smallest bedroom of Number Four, Privet Drive and tried not to fall asleep again. Every time he closed his eyes, his mind took him back to the graveyard, just as it had over the last few weeks, and forced him to relive the needless death of Cedric Diggory, the return of Lord Voldemort, and the vision of his parents pushing themselves out of the Dark Lord's wand. Harry had been dwelling on this last vision more than the others; he'd found that if he concentrated solely on his mother and father, the other things that happened that night were pushed aside long enough for him to get a few hours' rest.
This also took his mind off of his friends. Harry had received a few owls from Ron and Hermione, and even one from Sirius, but none of them were the least bit helpful in his current situation. Harry wanted to know what was happening in the wizarding world. Was the Ministry still being completely blind about Voldemort's return? Had there been any attacks? When would Harry get out of the Muggle house and back where he belonged? It had been frustrating; Harry had been the one to see Voldemort being returned to his body and now he was being completely left out of everything. He didn't like to think childish things such as 'this isn't fair' or 'I'm not a baby anymore,' but this was definitely the track his mind was beginning to take. Did they not think he could handle what was going on? He'd seen more than Hermione and Ron combined, but they were the ones who were involved in whatever was going on, together, while Harry was stuck on Privet Drive with only his Muggle relatives for company.
He felt himself drifting off to sleep, the image of his mother walking towards him firmly in mind, and his imagination took over and dragged into a dream world where he wasn't despised and treated like some naughty child who'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It was a world he preferred to this reality right now and anything he would be facing in the coming days.
As he slept, an ancient magic began filling the cupboard under the stairs where Harry had spent ten years before getting his Hogwarts letter. Though he wouldn't know for a few days longer, his dream world was about to make its way into Harry's real life and he would soon learn some wishes were better left ungranted.
As the days went on, Harry found himself dwelling less on the silence from his best friends and godfather as his aunt set him to chores around the house. Normally he would have preferred spending time outside, walking around the town with only his thoughts as company, but as Dudley and his gang of bullies had been on the prowl more often than not, Harry found it safer that he stay within in the confines of Number Four, even if Aunt Petunia was over his shoulder every few minutes barking orders on how he was dusting the plants incorrectly – he was supposed to twirl the duster, not sweep it across the leaves. How unfortunate that Hogwarts hadn't taught him proper Muggle cleaning techniques…
While Harry munched on a surprisingly decent lunch – Dudley hadn't come home as he preferred to have lunch with Piers Polkiss, so his leftover grilled chicken sandwich from the night before was left without somebody to digest it, and Aunt Petunia resignedly stuck it in front of him as he eyed hit hungrily from the table – his aunt was naming off other chores that needed to be done. Apparently they would be having a dinner party that weekend with a hopeful client of Uncle Vernon's. At this, Harry had to be careful not to think of the last time the Dursleys had hosted a dinner party; they still hadn't quite forgiven him for the Dobby incident.
"And the cupboard needs sweeping out," Petunia said as Harry washed his plate from lunch. "Dudley nearly swallowed a spider when he went for his leather jacket last week."
Hiding his amusement at a sudden image of his giant whale, wrestler of a cousin cowering in fear from a tiny spider, Harry nodded silently. Aunt Petunia handed him the broom and cleaning solution and told him to get to it, hinting he might get some time outside before dinner if he finished quickly enough. Rather warily, the fourteen-year-old wizard opened the cupboard under the stairs and stared inside for several minutes. It looked different, he thought, looking from the floor to the bottom of the steps above it. Hadn't it always been that small?
With a sigh, Harry began pushing aside some of the boxes that blocked the walls – most certainly they hid some of the evil spiders ickle Diddykins had fled from. Unbeknownst to him, his dear cousin was stampeding through the kitchen and either without knowing it or not caring – Harry was settling for the latter – Dudley pushed hard on the cupboard door, knocking Harry inside, and locked it. Yelling indignantly and rubbing his head where it had hit something hard, Harry tried to stand up, but realized immediately just how much he'd grown since he was eleven. Between the boxes, the coats, and who knew what else, it took Harry nearly five minutes to right himself so he was at least not upside down anymore. There was considerable noise coming from the kitchen, telling Harry immediately that Dudley had brought home several members of his little gang, and it wasn't long before he stopped yelling; over that lot, Aunt Petunia would be lucky to hear herself sneeze, let alone hear Harry's cries for help. And really, would she care? Harry was out of the way for the moment…
Harry rolled his eyes and tried to sit on a nearby box – he ended up falling right through it. Growling curses that would make Ron grin appreciatively, Harry fought his way out of the box of Dudley's old clothes, kicked it aside in annoyance, and sat on the floor. It would be a long afternoon.
Harry Potter's brilliant green eyes snapped open quite suddenly and he realized just as quickly that he'd fallen asleep, using one of Dudley's puffy winter coats as a pillow. He briefly marveled at how soft it was before his current predicament flooded back into his mind. Struggling to his feet again, Harry began beating on the cupboard door calling for help. All was silent, however, and a trickle of panic began to feel the boy's insides. There was no light coming through any of the cracks at the top, bottom, or sides of the door, suggesting quite firmly that night had fallen and his relatives had probably gone to bed. It took him a moment to get over the indignant thoughts that he'd been forgotten before he remembered who he was dealing with: the Dursleys were quite used to ignoring Harry's very existence and they probably very hopefully believed he'd run away or something. Regardless, Harry yelled at the top of his lungs, making as much noise as possible, but all he'd achieved was a rather sore throat and throbbing bare foot where he'd kicked the door.
He considered using magic to get out – underage wizards were allowed to use magic in emergencies, right? Then he wondered if this counted as an emergency; the Ministry would probably roll their eyes at crazy Harry Potter's attempt for attention and continue to drag his name through the mud, as which was the case during his last year at Hogwarts. Did he risk it? Surely Sirius would stand up for him, if, of course, he wasn't wanted by the Ministry for being Voldemort's right-hand man and the alleged murder of twelve Muggles and Peter Pettigrew. Well, then, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley or Dumbledore…
No, he finally decided, it really wasn't worth causing so much needless trouble for all the people he cared most about when there were more important things to deal with.
With a sigh, Harry was resigning himself to a few more hours in the cupboard – he'd start his noise-making again over breakfast. Surely the Dursleys wouldn't leave him there when they so desperately needed someone to pour their coffee and make their breakfast…
Then something very unexpected happened. Harry's brow furrowed deeply as he began to see a bead of light reflected in his glasses and tried to swallow his fear as the bead became much larger, nearly blinding him as it filled the cupboard. Gulping nervously, wishing desperately he'd thought of carrying his wand around in the house, Harry slowly turned and found himself oddly transfixed by what he was seeing: the light was coming directly from the wall, but it wasn't an ordinary light. It reminded him of the substance he had seen in Dumbledore's pensieve last year, not quite liquid, not quite solid. And that wasn't all. The substance in the wall seemed to be attempting to form a picture, but didn't seem to have the strength.
Curiosity getting the better of him – what could happen in the Dursleys' house? he asked himself – Harry licked his lips, kicked aside the things in front of him, and raised a hand to the substance. His heart was racing as he drew nearer to it, his mind being completely ignored by the rest of his body as it screamed to him that it was a trap of some sort, Harry's fingers grazed the surface of what had once been the Dursleys' wall. It was squishy, almost like jell-o. He knew somewhere inside him that he should stay clear away from whatever this was, but the harder his fingers pushed on the substance, the more it resisted, and he found it an interesting challenge to see just how hard he'd have to push to break the surface.
Very suddenly indeed, his hand was fully immersed in this odd substance and Harry had a moment to contemplate that it was indeed almost the exact consistency of jell-o before something yanked him roughly through the once solid wall of the cupboard under the stairs.
AN: Yes, yes, another new story... I realize the first chapter is rather short, but anyone who has read my stuff... well, ever... knows that I very much enjoy cliffhangers. You know the drill! Click the pretty button, leave a review, and you'll get chapter two.