Normal Disclaimers Apply
To all those who patiently waited, I present you Chapter 2 of Poison Candy, Descent. It's not much but I found it a necessary addition for the next set of events. The story is no longer going to be a three-shot - probably five to ten chapters or more.
A very very big thank you to Shiroyu, my new beta. Shiro's a great help with plot details.
AND more thanks for those who reviewed last chapter. You guys really made my day.
Warning. Sexual content. Abuse. Disturbing content.
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Wednesday, November 23, 1994.
He was engrossed in reading about Molecular Orbitals, knowing that Severus Snape would be fairly disappointed if he didn't keep up with his work. The neat stacks of notes lie on one side of his desk, while his ratty Chemistry book was propped up, pages fluttering whenever the air from the fan hit its edges.
His History book however, was nowhere to be found. He was supposed to be reading about the research project, or whatever it was that was assigned to him and Malfoy, but when it came to History, an imaginary voice of their teacher would flow in his head – the droning quality that made everyone fall asleep made it very difficult to read the textbook. So he procrastinated, and settled on his second least favorite subject – Chemistry.
"Harry? Your uncle sent me to tell you that he wanted you in his office."
The door to the attic closed. Harry banged his head on his notebook. He counted to ten and dragged his feet to his shoe-rack, grabbing a pair of slippers. Breathe. He prepared himself for another spanking. Castigation for his wretched soul. Not abuse.
His uncle's study was a small five by four meter room. The floor was black marble with dark brown carpeting. The ceiling was flesh colored, and on its center was a small chandelier that resembled a donut with protruding spherical bulbs.
Adjacent to the entrance were two walls. The right wall was lined with a large wooden shelf that contained books, records, magazines and a collection of newspaper issues. On the other wall, there was a decoration table that shouldered a large aquarium housing his uncle's beloved Aruana. Beneath the table was a glass showcase of trophies.
At the middle there were three couches and at the far end, there was a large desk, a man sitting on a chair, and beyond him, a marble cabinet inlaid with several mirrors.
Harry hated mirrors. He also hated the man who was sitting on the chair.
"Well, boy? What are you doing there, standing like an idiot? Sit down."
Harry hastily complied. He wondered why his uncle didn't immediately command him to lie down and strip. Then smack him with his paddle or any of the assortments of things he kept in his cabinet.
A blank envelope was tossed to him. "This came with the flowers, and that slimy Malfoy servant told me to give it to you. I checked it, and it was empty. I thought it was just a prank. You told me that the Malfoy brat hated you. When you were asleep, the little bastard called and asked if it would be alright to pick you up this Friday? Well boy?"
Harry's face crumbled, cringing inwardly at what his uncle was thinking of. "Is he your good ol' fuck buddy?"
The suggestion was vile. "No! He's just a classmate."
Harry bit his lower lip, and clenched his right hand. "We're supposed to work on a project in History. Malfoy invited me over this Friday. I was going to tell you that but I f-forgot."
Vernon harrumphed. "You forgot!? Brat, I refuse to have you-"
"I already agreed." Harry cut sharply.
Vernon stood up. The flat of his palm landed on the desk hard. "How many times do I have to tell you to ask permission before you do something like this?"
Harry grumbled. "I knew you wouldn't agree if we worked on the project here, so Malfoy offered to do it at his place."
Vernon sat back down. "No, you will not go. Within reason."
Harry opened the envelope – and glared at the four letters that stood in broad red ink.
Harry crumpled the note, and swallowed reflexively, "Please, Uncle Vernon. It's just a project!"
Vernon groaned. "Stop whining. You're making my headache worse."
Harry glanced at the mirrors and saw something wrap itself around Vernon's neck. Harry looked down, horrified. The man groaned, and his eyes went glassy and unfocused.
"Uncle Vernon?" Harry asked. Vernon nodded, shaking his head and blinking several times in confusion. "Wait, what did you say?" The voice slurred.
"Will you let me go, this Friday?" Harry enunciated every syllable slowly and Vernon began nodding.
"Fine. You know the rules."
Vernon sighed, and Harry watched as the man poured more and more alcohol on his glass, until the rest spilled. It continued that way until Vernon blinked, and corked the bottle once more. The yellow liquid seemed to disappear in his uncle's mouth in one straight flush.
"If I hadn't paid for your tuition, I'd remove you from that school."
Harry shuffled on his seat. The boy rubbed the raw rope marks on his wrists together and glared at the floor. The man was rambling about how he would have to walk by himself to school now. Not that he cared.
Eventually, Vernon closed his mouth, flicking through the news paper.
The clock behind them ticked noisily – against the quiet of his uncle's study. The man coughed, eyes clearing, and he pointed a finger at Harry's clothes.
"Boy, any of your cuts still bleeding?"
Harry nodded. "The one at my back, sir."
Vernon rubbed a finger on his mustache and lay the newspaper aside.
"I see. There will be visitors today and I won't have you presented in that condition."
Harry's mouth opened, tongue brushing back his lower teeth and the teen fought to control a grin and the spiteful comments that spurred out of his mouth. So that's why.
"I've sent for the doctor to pick you up. Crouch said he would arrive within an hour."
By Crouch, he meant the younger Crouch, Barty, the son of the Mayor. Harry had been Barty Crouch's patient for several years. Harry was introduced to the man while he was suffering from chicken pox when he was eight. So far, Barty was the only person who was able to stomach the atrocities done to him by his relatives and he also kept his mouth shut.
Harry had no idea what happened to his other doctors but he was pretty sure the unlucky few were maimed and taken out of business.
Barty's role was to repair him. There's no other word that could sum up the doctor's purpose in his life. The man took care of his physical and mental injuries. He was also a friend. Harry didn't know whether or not he would be up and standing right at that very moment if not for the man's continued efforts.
"Take off your shirt and turn around. I want to see your back."
Harry winced, lifting the shirt. The leather squished noisily when he shifted and Vernon grunted on his chair. "I said turn around."
"Yes uncle Vernon."
The man was amused. He was looking at Harry's back as if it were an art form.
Harry ground his teeth together when he was fully turned away. He was kneeling on the chair, his bloodied shirt discarded to the side, and taking off the bandages. He wished he could gouge his uncle's eyes. His cuts were sore and he was feeling very queasy about being in the same room of the person who caused it. And his ass hurt. It made it painful to just sit, painful to sit in one spot too long – and even more painful to move.
A finger began tracing the multiple cuts on his back, and Harry whimpered. He leaned on the edge of the couch as the pudgy fingers prodded his back. "Serves you right, you nasty piece of shit."
He was backhanded. His glasses landed on the floor and Harry was momentarily dizzy, rubbing his back. When he saw Vernon retreating to his chair, Harry hastily took his shirt and put it back on – trembling hands taking his soiled bandages and tucking them on the pocket of his shorts. Last, he retrieved his glasses, pushing one lens back into position.
"May I leave?"
Vernon threw a pen on his direction. "Stay here until your doctor arrives, and be quiet."
While Harry sat on the leather couch praying to whatever god he was led to believe in, his uncle began to work. The ring on his finger tapped against the telephone, a finger turning on the dial, calling members of his company – Grunnings.
The rest of the noise was ignored, while Harry resolved to calm himself down. He knew he had blood on the couch by now, and he was thankful that by the time Vernon realized he dirtied it, he would be gone.
Minutes later, a knock came from the doors, "Sir, the guest has arrived. Mr. Crouch is waiting at the patio."
Vernon stood up, and told Harry to do the same. Petunia accompanied them when she heard that the Mayor's son was there. She opened the front doors of the house, and standing before them was Harry's Doctor. He looked like a man in his mid-twenties, wearing a white coat – black slacks, not a hair out of place, carrying himself in a confident air. It seemed the man had just finished his hospital duties. Nevertheless, Bartemius Crouch looked as pristine as ever, his smile – tight and controlled as he greeted Vernon and Petunia Dursley with familiarity.
He resembled his father a lot.
"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, I'm sorry about your son. He was a good kid."
The man turned to Harry, briefly, ruffling the teen's hair while he exchanged pleasantries with the Dursleys. "I'm afraid I only have little time today, so I'll take my leave." The man waved goodbye, Harry on one arm heading for his car.
Before he unlocked the doors of his black Cadillac, the doctor gave Harry a meaningful stare. Harry withered before it.
"Are you alright, Harry?"
Harry gave a half-hearted smile. "What do you think?"
The engine purred, and soon enough, Harry was strapped on the car-seat with a bored expression.
Harry smiled when the Dursley Mansion disappeared from view. They passed several houses in the village and soon, they were out in the highway. Autumn at this point in time, was usually chilly, but the afternoon sun was warm.
The windows were kept open because Harry preferred it so. The sun turned the pavement into a shimmering blob of light, against the dark canopy of the tall trees. Harry's eyes often closed but he found it beautiful so he kept staring at it.
A hand turned on the cassette, and soon enough, Harry could hear the cassette playing a classic piano piece, Tristesse by Chopin.
"How was work?" Harry began, and poked his head out of the window. A hand pulled the scruff of his shirt lightly.
"Don't do that, you could lose your head." Harry pretended to look guilty and Barty murmured something about insufferable brats. "As for my work, it was fine, and tiring. I will not bore you with the details."
Harry rubbed the pad of the car seat then he began to take in the man's appearance. The sun's rays hit his doctor's golden brown hair. It reminded him of the way Malfoy used to wear his own hair, combed back and pumped with lots of gel.
His doctor also had pale white skin. It looked unhealthy. He doubted Barty was healthy. The man hardly left the hospital, and Harry knew it was what caused the complexion. He was a workaholic. His eyes had dark rings under it – that proved how much sleep he was getting. His right hand had a long scar that never ceased to fascinate Harry. He said it was from a mistake in handling the scalpel.
Those imperfections didn't lessen the fact that his doctor was handsome.
Harry felt something press around him, cutting off his breathing, and he turned away.
"You're not feeling well."
Harry gasped, feeling light-headed. "Obviously." The sensation passed, and left Harry feeling drained.
"You can adjust the seat and lie down if you want to. I don't care if you get it dirty. Just rest, okay?"
Harry reached for the handle, and pulled upwards. Harry leaned back, dragging the back rest into a reclining position. The boy closed his eyes. It was not hard to fall asleep – with the warm wind, and the smooth ride, the drifting melody. Harry could not fight the growing fatigue and soon enough, was dozing off.
The doctor smiled, seeing the child succumb to sleep. He drove leisurely – careful not to jostle the child's injuries.
The car took a turn from the fork that separated Great Hangelton from Little Hangelton. From there, it was a fifteen minute drive to the Doctor's house.
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Harry stretched, and yawned, blinking away the sleep when he felt the smooth pavement turn to gravel. He could hear the way the rocks skidded against each other, and the rush of the water coming from a nearby stream. His eyes opened to see the car slowly cross the wooden bridge that led to the house where his doctor was currently living in.
It was simple in structure, and if anyone were to describe it – it was a cube with several holes for windows and doors. It was a glaring white block, partially hidden by the tall trees, nestled in a small clearing between a boulder and a stream. A simple wooden fence stretched around the house – and a gravel of rocks spread across the clearing. At the left of the house, there was a small elevated tiled platform covered by an arbor which served as the parking space for the doctor's much cared for automobile.
"We're here." Barty said, and Harry stirred from his seat. Another yawn came out of his mouth and he pushed himself to sit up, pulling on the recliner's handle and placing it back into position.
They entered the otherwise empty looking house and Harry took off his shoes – and socks. Jugson was there, a blonde haired woman who was Barty's girlfriend. He greeted the girl, who was busy in the laundry room. They passed the hallway and Barty took off his coat, loosening his tie and headed upstairs.
Harry tried to avoid looking at the several mirrors that lined the room. Harry hated mirrors. Not because Harry thought he was unattractive, far from that. He hated them because of what they show him – the demon. It was bad enough that he could feel the snake like presence that was wrapped around him but seeing things in the mirror – a person that shouldn't be there was starting to freak him out.
The voice called out to Harry, "Make yourself comfortable. You can watch the television while I prepare the room."
Harry nodded, and headed for the living room. Harry sat on the carpet, his head on the couch, propped up by pillows while he stretched his legs, sighing to himself. His right hand took the remote and pressed the power button. Black fizzled, and red bled to form other colors. Harry began flicking past the channels obsessively – until he settled in watching a movie.
He didn't catch the title but he was pretty sure it was Beetlejuice. The main antagonist reminded him so much of clowns. The movie was funny enough to reduce the world into him, the movie, and the popcorn – a sudden tunnel vision. He was already at the part where the clown had to marry the girl when a voice from above called for him.
He came to a stop before a familiar room, and sighed when he felt the hand on his shoulder, ushering him inside. Not much has changed, and Harry mourned at his growing trauma of the color white. He associated it with pain. Several times in the span of his life, he would wake up, staring up at an unfamiliar white ceiling and the equally white walls.
"What happened this time?"
Harry shuffled from one foot to another. He settled for leaning on the wall, staring at the floor, unable to meet piercing gaze. "He got depressed over Dudley's death and took his frustrations out on me. Then, the usual."
Barty nodded. He sat on one chair opposite to the table, and took out a folder – where several blank pieces of paper were clipped. His pen made a soft click and the man was suddenly engrossed in writing. Harry learned that he was more comfortable without the man's obvious attention on him.
"Continue. Describe it in detail."
Harry frowned, and bit the inside of his cheek. "It happened last Monday, see."
Barty's pen wrote swiftly across the paper. The words are almost unintelligible. Harry continued, "I don't remember doing anything – or even riding home. I was at school one moment, and the next, I was lying on the desk of my uncle's study. When I woke up, he started asking questions. I didn't know what I've done wrong until he told me that Dudley was dead, and it was apparently my fault."
Harry paused. Barty ripped off the paper and tucked it on one folder.
"By the way, your school nurse informed me of what happened that afternoon. The reason why you're unable to remember anything was due to a panic attack, when you were at school. Do you remember that?"
The man asked, and he began dragging the tip of his pen against another paper.
"I'm wondering what set you off. Would you care to tell me?"
Harry thought long and hard, and finally replied "I don't know. A lot of things happened that day."
Harry didn't know why everyone was hell bent in figuring him out. "None of your business."
The doctor sighed. Harry shifted his weight from one foot to another. He really hated being asked questions that pertained to his psyche. It was not that he was scared of the reaction that would come out when he tells everyone he's slightly unstable. No, he was just tired of all the other questions that would be sure to follow. When he admits one particular thing, they would all get curious and hound him, which is the most likely possibility if he tells the truth…
Harry couldn't imagine Barty's reaction if he suddenly tells him the truth. He imagined himself, telling his doctor the embarrassing tale of him, kissing Malfoy Draco of all people in front of Cho, his girlfriend, -and the fact that there was a demon after his soul. And his apparent confusion about his own sexuality. And. Sex.
No. He would lie through his teeth if anyone asked him of the truth. He was just coming to terms to it himself. Besides, he didn't think any normal human being would believe him even if it was true.
When the doctor realized he wouldn't be getting any reaction from his patient, he started maneuvering the conversation to a different matter.
"Pomfrey sent me your blood samples. We found nothing that might induce hallucinations. I find it difficult to imagine how, traumatic the event was – to induce that kind of reaction from you. If you do not want to tell me, I will respect that, but as your doctor, as a friend, I deserve the right to know, and I will find out."
"Oh." Harry didn't know what to say. He asked lamely, "You got blood samples?" He checked his fingers and nodded absently at the small almost unnoticeable dot on the middle finger of his left hand.
"Harry, did any of your classmates harass you?" The soft voice attempted to lure him to the safety net that he associated with Barty. Harry reminded himself that he couldn't trust the man.
So there was an adamant shake of a head.
"No harm will be done if you admit it." The doctor said, softly.
"No. Just. Let it go. I said it's NONE of your damned business!"
A long moment passed, and Barty coughed, pretending that he didn't hear the outburst. Harry was breathing hard, trying to steady his heartbeat.
"Very well, continue recounting the events of last Monday."
Harry glared at his shoes. The hum of the air conditioner was loud in his ears. After a moment, Harry pressed a hand to his forehead, and asked, "Where was I?"
"Harry," The voice warned. "You woke up in your uncle's study. What happened next?"
Harry cringed, remembering the growling voice that accused him several times of his involvement with Dudley's gang – how they got the stash of drugs and how it was utterly stupid of Harry not to stop them.
"You know what usually happens." Harry's voice came, low and hollowed.
"Would you please, cooperate with me?" Barty asked in an earnest voice, but underneath the pleasant tone, there was a hidden veil of threat.
"Okay. Just. Bah. He had me flat on his desk. Then he hit me with a plastic ruler – then his belt – his cane, kicked me then carved… I think he carved something on my back. I-I passed out. When I woke up, I saw him tying me to my bed. The same thing happened last Tuesday. Maybe, He'll do it again."
Harry groaned. Forcing him to say those words made everything uglier, more real, that it actually happened, and he was revisiting it in his mind. How could his uncle do that to him? Whatever did he ever do to the man to deserve that anger?
"In detail, Harry."
The boy's heartbeat skipped.
The writing stopped, and the doctor pinched the bridge of his nose. Harry seeing this, reacted violently, "Don't force me to say e-ve-ry fucking detail, you sick fucking bastard. God!"
Something snapped. It echoed in the sound proof walls of the room. Barty bent down to take the remains of his plastic pen, and placed it on the desk. He took another one from the drawer and began scribbling on the paper.
"I will pretend that I did not hear that." Barty smiled, the edges of his lips not reaching his eyes. "I will let you off for now, but later we will talk about what happened and you will tell me everything." Then, after a short pause, the doctor pulled out a medical file from one of the cabinets. He took a check list and placed it on the neat stack of papers on the desk.
Harry felt guilty all of a sudden. He hated nosy people. Barty knows that but why can't he see that he was uncomfortable with the idea. It reminded him of the time when he was a kid, when he thought that it was his fault that he was being punished. He could remember the guilt of being born a nuisance and the numerous excuses he used to shy away from the fact that his own relatives hated him. When all he wanted was a working family… To be accepted.
Without any intonation, the doctor asked, "Have you taken a bath this morning?"
Barty ruffled Harry's unmanageable hair and with a weary voice, he ordered the child to "strip."
Harry obediently did as told. When the last article of clothing was removed, Harry felt the man eye him from head to toe. He was observed with a critical eye and Harry tried his best not to fidget. His body was a myriad of colors: most were blue and yellow and red. Some his bruises were swelling, some healing – but the skin of his back was torn – and his buttocks can't be called a pretty sight.
"Does it hurt?"
"Very much." Came the exasperated reply.
Barty stood up and guided him to lean against the table. "Where does it hurt most?" The doctor asked.
"My back, and my a-ass." Harry responded, finding it very difficult to speak out.
The doctor touched his shoulder gently. Harry was turned around and made to lean against the table. His legs were parted by a hand, and Harry felt very humiliated when it parted his butt cheeks. "Were you raped?"
"Wha- Excuse me?" Harry spluttered. Harry didn't understand how the man could figure it out.
"Did your uncle, force you in any form of sexual activity?" There question was rephrased, but the shock was still there in Harry's system.
Harry shook his head in a violent no. The idea that Vernon would do such a thing was preposterous.
"Then why is there blood on your anus?" Harry bit his lip. "Constipation. I dunno. You tell me."
Barty laughed. "Right." It came out as a long drawl, and Harry almost groaned in despair.
"Well, I didn't bring you here just to stare at you." Harry breathed easier when Barty pulled his hand back. The air felt warmer, and Harry found that his hands were sweating. Crouch smiled. "Before we start, here are some pain killers. The plastic cups are in one of those cabinets." The man pointed at the semi transparent cabinets on top of a built in tiled shelf. "You know where the water dispenser is."
Harry sighed, and took the packet from the man's offered hand and walked towards the white curtains disappearing from view. He came back and threw the plastic cup and the medicine wrapper in the trashcan.
Barty took him by the arm and made him sit on the table. The man felt for his bones and began saying what would have happened if his uncle didn't have the presence of mind to know his limits. Harry still couldn't understand why Barty took everything in stride, as if his abuse was no different than a change in weather. "It's surprising you didn't get a bone fracture. At least Vernon knows not to make a repeat of last year's incident. It's rather costly."
Harry knew it. It was payback. He would never say he was sorry for calling the man names but this was harassment. "It's still painful. I don't understand why he even bothers to send me to you." Harry snapped back.
Barty poked his forehead. "Your uncle doesn't want you to die. He just wants you to suffer."
Harry couldn't say anything against that. His doctor was a failure in life, and so was he.
"He hates you, brat. We've gone over this before. His hate is unfounded, together with his actions – and even if he knows it's not proper – he will continue to do it because it's already become a habit." A pause. "More like a vice." Harry retorted.
The child in Harry cried at the unfairness of it all. He also wondered on whose side Barty belonged to. Maybe it was just the money. Money makes the world go round. He should have known. He began biting his lower lip and Barty ignored the child knowing Harry was having one of his inner dilemmas.
Eventually, the tension in the air lessened. Harry resolved that he was no better than his uncle if he vented out his stress on other people. Barty may not be innocent and faultless with all his suffering, but Harry knew the man was trying to sincerely help him.
The hum of the air-conditioner was a pleasant buzz while the adept fingers started cleaning the cuts. Disinfecting it wasn't as painful as one would imagine – but the pain was still there. Harry soon felt the familiar sensation of a mild sting, and his eyes lit up with slight interest as cuts bubbled when introduced to hydrogen peroxide. Then the sheen of yellow followed next. A cotton swab coated everything with the sickly yellow color, held by a medical pincher.
Time passed and within half an hour, Harry thought he resembled a mummy.
"Be careful in removing this. Make sure not to pull too harshly when you have to change it." The man said, while passing his finger on Harry's left arm.
"I know." Harry mumbled. Of course he knew that. He also knew how to bandage himself properly.
"I never really got the chance to look at it, but what did he carve at my back?"
Barty ran the cotton through the cut, and Harry winced. "Well, your uncle wasn't very creative. It says slut, right here." The man lightly tapped the hollow on the middle of Harry's upper back. "On this side, he carved whore," he pointed at Harry's middle back, "and near your buttocks – he wrote freak."
"Oh." Harry inhaled a long breath then hissed a sigh. "Will they scar?"
"It will fade in time."
Harry nodded, and pressed his cheek flat on the soft padding of the table. The sterile white of the room was downy, and Harry was half asleep at the effect of the pain-killers and drugs introduced to his system.
Bartemius, if anything, was thorough with his work. He told Harry that next week, when and if his schedule wouldn't be akin to a pus-filled boil, very red and agitated, itching to pop, that was a very big IF, He, being the meticulous creature that he was, would conduct a full body check-up that required other medical equipment that was not present in his house.
They proceeded with routine, a brief physical examination, "I will omit some steps from the regular A-check up, since I still have one from two-weeks ago, so there is no need to prolong the entire process," sample collection, "Urine and blood," and finally the last exam addressed the first problem that Barty spied on Harry, the rectal exam.
"Did you have anal-sex with anyone within the past 24-hours?" Barty said, while he applied a lubricant on his right index finger. It was smeared on the gloves and Harry tilted his head in curiosity.
He took time to think of way to answer, and rephrase the crass question he'd like his doctor to answer. "No. Why do you insist that I had sex with someone?" It was better than using the term rape, Harry said. Barty was quick to enumerate, "Bruises on your hips, love bites among other things."
Harry huffed. "What's it to you?" Barty poked his anus. "I hope you are intelligent enough to make sure your partners are clear of any diseases."
Harry grumbled. The finger came in smoothly, and a brief memory entered his mind. Of how the texture was definitely different and how it entered smoothly as compared to using saliva. And how cold it was.
"Harry. You've been my patient for five years, and I believe that the time we shared would amount to some sort of trust between us." The finger palpated and felt against his prostrate. Harry groaned, feeling his phallus twitch to life.
"Last Monday. And I'm sure whatever it was that entered my ass didn't have any diseases." Harry said very quietly. He cursed his doctor's finger.
"Right. Monday. And, true. I ruled out the possibility that it could have been a girl, with a dildo, or a boy. Or did you do it yourself? Am I right to assume that this happened before your uncle beat you up?"
Harry was aghast at the quick forming possibilities.
"Steady now. Since you don't have a fever, bleeding at that spot would be an indication of hemorrhoids, a fissure, or cancer. Well, let's just hope it's not too serious. Relax."
The finger twisted clockwise and counter-clockwise. The next procedure involved the use of an anoscope. Shortly after, it was done.
"You said you suffered from constipation. Or is that false? Before I check it myself, I'll have to empty your colon, so I hope you won't be against the use of enema."
Barty opened the large cabinet and checked several boxes. He retrieved a small plastic package and opened it. "This will only take awhile."
When the process was done, Barty introduced a long metal tube that had a handle and had a removable cylindrical tube in the middle, similar to the anoscope. It had a bulb that could be used to pump gas inside – and Harry felt incredulous that the "10-inch tube will enter your anus to check your rectal cavity – and the parts of your anal canal that I may have missed."
The same finger stretched his entrance to prevent any obstruction when the tube that his doctor called a proctoscope enters him. Harry watched carefully – as the same fingers applied a lubricant to the probe, and braced himself for the metal object to enter his anus.
"Relax. It'll make this easier."
Harry wondered why he didn't ask his uncle to fire the man. If he didn't know the man for several years already, he would say the man was sexually harassing him.
Harassment or not, the man made him blush and he grumbled a flustered, "Just get on with it doctor."
"This is a standard medical procedure. I am not doing this for my own amusement."
The tip entered him slowly. Having cold metal up his track was a weird feeling – and he tensed, remembering Thomas. He was embarrassed to feel his phallus harden. Was it supposed to feel good? Harry found himself thinking. He vowed that these medical procedures should be illegal. Maybe they were.
"-And, this is a natural reaction. There is no need to be ashamed with it."
An involuntary gasp escaped his mouth as he the man pushed the probe further.
The whole procedure took a long time, for Harry. He watched the clock as it turned from 1:46 to 2:11 pm.
"Done." Harry blinked, and asked, "Really?"
The man retracted the thing.
"No need to thank him. Thank me instead." Barty said, as he placed the proctoscope on a tray together with his gloves then washed his hands.
"So. What do I have there?"
"It seems you have a cut – it's a small fissure – not an ulcer. It will heal itself in time, but to help it, I have this ointment. You can wash off in the lavatory. Use the bidet."
There was a muffled sound from the room, and the voice came through, very cheerful in informing him, "I'll prepare a rich-fiber diet for you, and I'll hand it over to your uncle myself."
The next procedure was the application of lidocaine ointment that would help with his anal fissure. Harry was ready to shout obscenities as Barty had another excuse to put a finger up his ass.
Harry was very silent once the whole procedure was done, and he couldn't bring himself to look at his Doctor the same way. Before, he would have been unaware of these advances, but after having been educated with what it was, Harry found he couldn't ignore it. Or perhaps he was just imagining things. Barty had Jugson. Those were simple standard medical procedures, and he was made aware that men regularly had to undergo it as they age.
It would be entirely too childish of him to accuse his doctor that it was a form of sexual harassment.
"By the way, you would have to apply the ointment yourself when I'm not there."
Harry was at the end of his wits. Did the man have a hidden obsession of pissing him off? Because right now, he was just, mad.
"What do you take me for, a child?"
The man sighed, and poked Harry's forehead. "To me, you will always be that sniveling nine-year old brat, and even now, you look like a child. So thin. Very short. Eat up will you?"
Harry flinched, and threw one of the syringes on the man. "I hate you!" But Harry knew he could do no harm to the man when he was naked, groggy, semi-mummified, and hungrier than he could have ever remembered. His stomach rumbled in protest at his action and he slumped on the table.
"Of course you do. I'm a naturally mean person and I enjoy making you angry, so it's alright to get mad at me. Cheer up, brat. If you're worried about your injuries – we both know they'll heal in time."
Harry shakily nodded.
"Here are your clothes. Petunia was thoughtful enough to give them to me before we left. I also have your favorite dish served downstairs. Come quick so the food won't cool down."
Harry glared at the man – and glared at the mirrors and glared at his shoes, a fierce blush on his cheeks while he watched the man leave the white room.
Lunch was typical, with his preferred tea, Earl Grey, vegetable salad, chips and fries with an assortment gravy, cheese and buttered-garlic sauce. Then Jugson served them vanilla icecream.
It more than made up for his ruined mood.
While eating however, Barty proceeded to question him of his home life, and school life – that which Harry answered between mouthfuls, table manners be damned. In the midst of eating, Harry was wondering why so much was being done for him when all the doctor was being paid for was to make sure Harry was alive and his silence.
He thanked Jugson for the wonderful meal and his doctor's thoughtfulness of serving him his favorite meal. Hah. One thing that the doctor wasn't still sure of was Harry's preference of food.
Before they left the house and settled back inside Barty's black Cadillac, the man held the door closed.
"You're not telling me everything. I find it odd that the moment your cousin had that incident, you had a sufficient alibi – a panic attack. I know you can fake that, and I want you tell me the truth."
Harry visibly froze. "Are you suggesting that I had something to do with my cousin's death?"
"I might be. If you know anything about it, then you should tell me now. What's stopping me to give your uncle further proof of your involvement?" The man asked, in a whisper.
With no moment of hesitation, Harry said, "You wouldn't dare."
"Of course not, if you give me what I want." Bartemius smirked.
Harry pushed the man off him grumbled to himself. "I don't know what you're talking about. Just get me home."
Harry paused, his mind racing. He really couldn't understand his doctor.
"What are you planning? What do you get out of this?"
"It's a secret."
"Tell me." Harry insisted.
"It won't be a secret if I tell you, cheeky brat." Then, the man blinked, and laughed to himself.
"I don't appreciate nosy people, even if it is you, Doctor."
"Barty, I have a name, brat. Call me Barty." The man almost whined.
"Never. You will always be doctor to me as long as you treat me like a child." Harry pouted then quickly schooled his face into a frown, hoping that his pout went unseen.
"Well, you are one, and you aren't doing a very good job in convincing me not to treat you like an adult when you always act so immaturely."
Barty placed his right hand atop his hair and gave an affectionate ruffle on his otherwise untamable hair. Its severely tousled appearance gave the impression that Harry just woke up from bed. When the petting became unbearable, Harry ducked away, and opened the door.
The child nearly stumbled at the bright sunlight passing through his glasses, making him squint several times.
Barty grinned, led Harry by the hand, and soon enough, had the brat strapped on the seat of his car. The car keys sent the engine to a purr.
The ride towards the Dursley Mansion was a silent affair.
Once there, a maid rushed to open the gates. Harry's stuff was carried away – the first aid kit, and the black plastic sealing bag that held Harry's dirty clothes.
The visitors were already there. Some were in the patio, and they raised their eyebrows at Harry, who was accompanied by the illustrious son of their mayor. They wrinkled their nose at the bandages poking through the long-sleeves and shied away from the 'Trouble Child'.
The mahogany sliding doors were kept open and right at the middle of the receiving room, Harry could see Dudley's coffin. Several flowers surrounded the box – several men and women, conversing in a manner that would grate on anyone's nerves. He wondered if what he was seeing was a good example of mourning. He almost felt sorry for his cousin, because from what he could see, the event was no different from a social gathering.
"Harry, finished your appointment with the doctor already?" Vernon's voice came, a gruff condescending tone, as he bundled from one end of the room to greet him and his doctor.
Arthur Weasley was there, and whispered to Harry's ear, "Ron would be pleased to see you're alright." Vernon fumed, and took Arthur's hand off the child.
"My nephew's really clumsy, and as a result, he often gets injured. Worthless brat. You shouldn't worry over him, Arthur."
Harry glanced at his friend's father, and then Vernon. "Sir, please tell Ron not to worry about me."
Vernon huffed and dragged Harry off.
Petunia took Barty's shoulder and led him to the dining area, while Vernon cornered Harry to a hidden alcove, then began berating him.
"You will sit on the couch – nice and pretty. Not a word from what happened last night – or anything for that matter." Vernon's fingernails dug on Harry's shoulder. "Understand?"
"Yes uncle Vernon."
A stray ray of light burned past his eyelids. At once his eyes flickered open, a groan of complaint on his lips.
He just had to fall asleep with his glasses didn't he? It was a good thing that it didn't break, because it was a gift from Ron and Hermione. A lazy eye flickered to the wall where a clock was hung. Harry's countenance turned sour and a he held a hand over his eyes.
He was late for school. If he did make it, it would seem like he skipped Chemistry and Physical Education. It was also very sad that around this hour, his relatives were eating at the dining table. He dreaded it already, the dining table. He began blinking, then a yawn left his mouth. He didn't know that it was possible for him to sleep this late.
His uniform was propped on his dresser, hanging by the handle – perhaps brought by one of the maids who were thoughtful enough not to wake him up. Or thoughtless rather. They knew how much he hated not coming to school on time.
The blue sky peered from beyond his window. Scarce clouds lined the edge of his vision, cheerful dashes of cotton fanning out beyond the valley of Little Hangelton. The wind was humid, with pleasant smell of fresh autumn and rain? He noticed the wet splotches on the window and thought that it might have rained last night. It was the beginning of a great day and Harry found that he hated that.
He turned over, burying his head on the pillow. The heat of the sun's rays burned the back of his neck and Harry was aware that a slight sheen of sweat formed.
It was only natural that he woke up. Waking up was strange, and rather unwelcome. He wondered what would happen if he just continued to sleep – for well – forever. He rolled again, now his back was against his sweaty beds sheets, and sighed.
For a moment, he only stared at the irritating sky, and his irritating ceiling, and his irritating room. He continued to lie on his bed, waiting for his mind to connect with his body or for his mind to grow accustomed to the pain his body was feeling so that he could actually process his thoughts face the day and perhaps, start moving. For painkillers, for his schoolbag, and yes, to take a bath.
Harry stretched, then raised both his hands to his face and began inspecting his wrists – then the bandages covering his body.
He could faintly remember the conversation that followed that night, two days ago. The enormity of his foolishness did not escape him. Thomas had no reason to lie to him, and Harry believed everything else that came out from the mouth. When it came down to it, the full enormity of the deal had not reached him yet.
"You remember the words, I asked you that night. I asked you if you would concede to death, to prove my existence, and you were hasty to answer yes, offering me freedom, and your soul."
His soul? Why would anyone want his soul? Why not kill him now that he's already proven that his existence was real? Or was there any lingering doubt in Harry. That maybe some part in him still could not believe that Thomas was a Demon and that there were other Demons existing.
The cogs of his mind turned and it toppled back in forth against each other. It was unfair that this was only happening to him and none of his peers ever had to experience this madness.
Today – marked the eighteenth day of the curse.
"I will continue to starve for your soul until the time comes that I would be forced to devour it. This hunger is insatiable but if you let me have your body-"
However, there was no telling what would satisfy his demon. Even now, Harry thought that he was just hallucinating, but there was a glaring truth to what the demon said.
Thomas was an invisible presence that stalked him constantly at day. He was there but he was not there. If Harry concentrated enough, he could feel it – the soft touches that glided over his skin. The sensation was similar to the feel of an underside of a serpent's belly. It was smooth, and like a serpent, it was tightening – coiling – halting his movements, whenever it wanted to.
"Good morning." It was a whisper that rose from his lips, unbidden. Immediately the lethargy that accompanied upon waking up lifted. He could see things clearer, and breathe a lot easier. It took away the growing numbness on his body that forced him to stay in bed.
The shadows in his room flocked towards him as a greeting.
"You would be surprised that several of those who believe in God – are mere puppets who were led to believe their sacrifices signified their faith and devotion to a holy being. Why else would a god need sacrifices? Believe me. Men only use religion as an excuse for their measly confidence. There is no god, no messiah, nothing. If there was a god, Harry you should pray for your soul to be saved and maybe you might be saved. Who knows? But we both know that's not true.
"I did not appear to preach to you about your silly beliefs on Jesus Christ and his eternal holiness, however – and since you asked very nicely, I will tell you a way- to make this painless."
Harry bit his lip in deep thought. He wondered how he would proceed with his life from now on. Thomas told him it has already started. The feeling of something heavy and suffocating crowding about him, and stealing his breath, his awareness, his mind. The feeling will worsen until he himself would beg for an end.
Thomas suggested that he should become his puppet. If he followed Thomas like a good boy, he would be rewarded with his revenge – a painless death. That was the bargain. Events would unfold like a preordained plan- his life righted without any effort on his part – except his acquiescence. If he followed obediently, there would be no pain. His revenge will be extracted with no intervention, be it divine or whatsoever. He would not even have to dirty his hands. They will all suffer, and when the time came for payment, Harry would hand over his soul.
It was perfect, a pathetic ending for a pathetic life.
He did not want that. He did not care if Thomas said it was better for Harry not to prolong the bargain. He would force himself to do what it takes to get through this in one piece.
His eye wearily glanced at the clock, watching it tick.
He really dreaded coming to class today.
Harry stood up. He massaged his forehead and walked towards his study table and began arranging his books and notebooks. A small sardonic smile was on his features. His life was taking a turn for the worst and here he was, worrying about his glasses, and school.
The principal had already informed him that he may not be able to make it in the Dean's List. He might even be expelled.
Ron and Hermione were worried sick. He had no means of contacting them, missing all the phone calls and unable to call back to inform them he was alright.
Those two would jump at the first opportunity to question him. For other people to find out about his home life – was a big embarrassment. He did not want their sympathy or pity, especially when all they could offer were the comfort of words. Several people promised that they would save them, but no one actually showed up. No one would be able to take him away, and that was the end of the story. Besides, he did not want the ridicule that would be sure to follow.
Speaking of ridicule, he wondered if the news that he was gay already spread. His hurt for the break-up with Cho couldn't compare to his fear for what his rival did, and of course - Thomas. It was all too sudden – and he would give anything to return things back to the way they were before.
If Barty had not told him he was taken in the infirmary – he would have no idea what happened back then. He was also wary of what the doctor was planning. He had a feeling that it had something to do with the identity of his doctor's father and Petunia.
The thing was, he didn't know what to do if Barty decided to turn on him. The man was unpredictable, and even if he knew Barty for five years, he still couldn't fully trust his doctor. It was the man's fault. Harry was guilty of the crime that his doctor accused him of doing, but that did not mean that the Doctor had the right to point his finger on him.
It was true that he had the perfect alibi. The question was why did Barty accuse him? How could he have known? How would he or anyone prove his involvement with the incident in the first place? His cousin's death was an accident. Right…? Harry thought he was just paranoid.
In a way he hated that Dudley died without ever having tasted his revenge. If he could only make another bargain with the devil, he would ask for Dudley to be brought before him.
His eye widened as his shadow tightened. It seemed to wrap around him, like a snake, slithering, coiling around his wind pipe. It was an unwanted presence that sucked on his energy. Harry trembled, feeling the fatigue while the shadow danced on him. It came to stop on his right eye, blinding it. His breathing turned shallow.
The possessive hold did not recede, and it took time to grow accustomed to it. Harry didn't know what Thomas wanted now. He wasn't doing anything wrong, was he?
"Let go of me, damn you."
Harry gasped when he was engulfed in a sudden darkness. Sensation left him, the sounds, taste, even touch. It was all gone.
It was a familiar sensation, and now that he had the presence of mind to experience it, Harry was scared.
It was an eternity until he could feel the coils loosening around him, and he stumbled on his desk, gripping the wood, and blinking several times to be certain that his sight came back to him.
Malfoy was right when he said that it would kill him soon.
A stray hand combed through his hair and he shivered at the heavy feeling of a stranger's fingers passing through the strands. He could not see it – but he knew it was there.
The age old mirror of his dresser allowed him to see the faint outline of the body that held him in a possessive embrace. He could see how the hair wrapped around his body, and the blood red eyes that seemed to suck on his vision. The longer he stared at it – the more life-like the fingers felt, the more his knees weakened as he leaned against the air – how he saw his own mouth parted when a tongue entered and that made Harry close his eyes in panic. He looked away from the mirror, his mouth suddenly dry at the thought – of what Thomas could do to him – like this.
He was too vulnerable.
Harry vowed to avoid staring at mirrors if he could help it. He wished he was the only person who knew of his predicament but Malfoy- Harry was curious about Draco – and how he was able to see Thomas when Harry himself couldn't see him. In this form, Thomas could not speak to him, yet Draco showed that he could converse with Tom even at day time.
He would simply have to find out later. He made up his mind. He would go to school today and have Vernon sign the excuse letter for his lateness and absences for the umpteenth time.
He was afraid, but he was also curious, about how all this was supposed to work.
A hand opened his cabinet and he haphazardly took his medical kit, his underwear and towel. He took the uniform on his bed and – headed for bath.
Yesterday was tiring. The visitors looked at him as if he were trash, and he was forced to lie about how thankful he was that the Dursleys were taking care of him and how wonderful Dudley was and why he thought Dudley didn't deserve to die. There were even reporters who came to interview his uncle. Trust Vernon to have enough power to make his son's death some sort of publicity for him.
He finished taking a bath, and stopped his ongoing musings opting to concentrate on the task of reapplying the disinfectants and ointments. He expertly began wrapping his back and shoulder blades with bandages. He took care not to make them too tight, but tight enough to prevent more bleeding.
Downstairs, he saw the eight person dining table filled in two spots. There was Vernon on the head table – and opposite him was Petunia. They acted as if they had not noticed his presence. Vernon was chugging his orange juice with no sense of decorum while Petunia was the perfect opposite – refined, taking time to savor every bite.
Beyond the dining table was the large picture frame of the three person family – Dudley at the middle, smiling broadly – he was six years old.
If anyone were to look at the mansion, they would find no pictures of Harry – no proof that he lived there except the room in the attic.
He pulled his chair away and watched Vernon and Petunia from beneath his lashes. His chair scraped against the marble floor, and soon enough, he was motioning for the food.
The maid was by his side at once, asking if he wanted orange juice, and Harry shook his head. "I would like water."
Harry attempted to ignore how the utensils clashed heavily on the dining plate. Harry discretely observed Vernon and Petunia, both of them had been crying, their eyes puffy and red. His uncle was suffering from another hang-over. Petunia's hair was in a perfect state of disarray – and Vernon's clothes were ruffled.
There was a scratch on Vernon's cheek, while there was a bluish tinge on his aunt's shoulder. A fight.
They had only stopped to eat but Harry could perfectly imagine what they were doing before they took their respective seats on the dining table.
This was why he vowed never to start his breakfast late – especially now that Vernon and Petunia were at odds with each other.
"How are your injuries, boy?"
The gruff voice asked. Harry bowed his head meekly.
"They're fine, uncle Vernon." Harry lied.
Petunia stared at Harry, her eyes widened, pupils dilated. The hand gripping her spoon tightened and it shook even as she held it. It was laughable at how her betrayed expression looked back and forth between Vernon and him – and then he remembered the Doctor. That meddling old man.
People like him would learn what would happen if they messed with the Dursleys. He had a very strong inkling that the Doctor would soon be out of service.
"What?" said the garbled voice from the opposite end of the table. Petunia wiped her mouth with the napkin. Her movements were trembling, perhaps in anger, the numerous accusations waiting patiently at the tip of her tongue.
She slowly picked her way with the salad, but one would notice how she used too much force with her knife – the piece of greenery disappearing in her mouth, that was pursed in a strong downward line of a frown.
The seconds ticked and the question was unanswered. "Someone bring me wine."
Harry was almost finished with his meal, when the woman erupted.
"I will not have you drinking anymore liquor while you are under my watch. Understand me?"
Vernon grumbled, banging a hand on the table. "What right do you have, woman? You cannot order me around. I pay for this house, I pay for everything. This is my only indulgence. Let me drink." One of the maids brought a wine from Vernon's collection. A Romanée-Conti La Tâche vintage wine, and Vernon grinned wildly at the sight.
Petunia huffed, her fork cracked open the shell of the abalone she was eating. "For the love of God, you would not even listen to your own wife? I am telling you to stop because this is not doing you any good. I can't believe I'm married to a drunkard."
Vernon's face turned into an ugly shade of purple. "And you think I am happy for marrying a slut?" Vernon laughed, then – when he saw Petunia turn aghast. "You didn't think I'd notice? Wake up, dear – it's the talk of the whole town. You and the Mayor? I know everything, Pet. No wonder Dudley turned out that way. Tell me, is that child even mine?"
"Dudley is yours, and don't start with how I raised him up. At least I raised him and you, you did nothing! You weren't even there on most of his birthdays. I was there to hang his medals, I was there for him. And you, where were you?"
Vernon and Petunia couldn't keep their mouths shut. The argument escalated until Petunia threw the glass she was holding towards the laughing man.
"-sick, bitch. I only want Dudley back."
"Then go find a way to revive him!"
Harry opened a banana. The yellow fruit was probably part of his diet. The arguments were loud. He wished he brought ear plugs.
"How dare you suggest I'm infertile. Have you no shame at all?"
"Then I will have a bastard child! Who cares? As long as I have an heir, a son that would carry this name when you won't-"
"Are you out of your goddamned mind? You would sleep around women just to have another child? Are you that desperate? Then let's have a divorce. I am not going to stay around here if you will continue this… this madness!"
"Petunia!" The woman let out shrill scream. "Enough! I've had enough of you!" Vernon took off from the dining room, wine all but forgotten.
Harry finished his food, and placed it on the sink. He could hear their shouting. He wonders whether or not they would stop fighting soon. Their son's funeral was only a few days away and they should be mortified if Dudley was there to listen to them.
- x -
- x -
He entered his advanced department with a stamped slip from the admin. He received a few stares about the bandages peeking out from the school coat. He figured that having bandages over his wrists would amount to some sort of curiosity.
He ignored all this unwarranted attention.
History class was on the third floor of the building. Upon opening the sliding door, his eardrums were filled with the noisy chatter of children. It was as if nothing was out of the ordinary. He was prepared for the teasing, but nothing happened, even when he passed through the front of the room.
The boys in one corner continued talking about the latest game they were playing. Several girls were squealing at one side about love, while a few were dozing. The rest were reading, or finishing a paper. Harry blinked and was reminded of his late Chemistry paper. He had to pass by the Teacher's Lounge later, and hopefully Snape would accept it.
"Harry! Welcome back!"
Harry smiled. "Yeah, thanks Susan." He placed his bag on his seat. A couple of students broke away from their clique and surrounded him.
"Hey is it true? I heard your cousin died."
"Yeah, come on Harry, share us what you know."
Harry understood why they were so interested. Hey, it wasn't always that the resident school bully was heralded a hero on the news.
"Well, I wasn't there with him, but you're welcome to drop by and see his body yourself." Harry smirked. "Well, you've all seen what it's like. His face is barely recognizable." Some of the girls scrunched their nose. "That's nasty ya' know. Ever heard of respect for the dead?"
Harry bobbed his head in agreement. "Yeah, I would respect any dead body, if only it wasn't Dudley." Harry joked about the entire incident with his friends and cut it off when he saw the bush head that was approaching. "Guys, I'll talk to you later, okay."
Harry could not avoid the swift hug that was sent his way and he flinched as his injuries were pressed together.
"Harry." The voice started. Hermione might be under the illusion that if she said Harry's name in just the right tone, Harry would understand what she meant to say. That she was worried, and that she was relieved he was alright, and that he owed her an explanation.
"Hermione." Harry greeted, then pushed her away. Hermione reached out to touch him again, but her hand halted in midair. She then uttered three words that Harry feared. "Harry. We need to talk."
Damn it to hell.
"Before that, your notebook. I finished copying everything. Give me a sec, let me get it."
Harry opened his bag and took the yellow hello-kitty notebook and handed it over to his friend.
"Ron told me you collapsed, and the next day you're gone. Now – you're like this. Wait, are those, bandages?"
Harry made a show of looking surprised, then looked at his wrists, and stared at the bandage on his collarbone that was on plain sight. "Ah, this. I fell down the stairs. No big deal."
Hermione looked skeptical. "Can't you think of a better excuse than that?"
"Well, whatever happened, it doesn't concern you. You don't have to worry about me Hermione." Harry placed a hand on Hermine's shoulder. "I'm fine."
Several students began entering the classroom and the noise quieted down. "Wow, look at that. Sir Cuthbert is early."
Harry walked away and Hermione gritted her teeth.
The man entered the room, and roll called while everyone was hurrying to take a seat. Harry rocked his chair. On his desk was a plain white folder. He wondered how it got there without him noticing.
He opened the first page, ignoring the man's lecture, and stared as he saw the title. It was a history project, the research project. He skimmed through the whole thing and found that it was a detailed report that discussed the topic thoroughly. The only fault he could find was that some of the statements seemed opinionated, but the argument that was present was supported by several sources. Harry was bemused at what rich people could do in such a short time. The whole thing was written in Draco's style though, and no matter how much he tried to deny that Draco was not capable of doing anything by himself, this was proof.
He was not the school's second rank for nothing. At the back of the folder was a small note.
I've finished the paper as you can see. We'll finish the visual aids this weekend.
I also made sure that Cho will keep her mouth shut.
Binns will let us off early, so come with me to the rooftop. We can talk there.
Ready to beg Potter?
If you're finished reading this letter, tear it apart. Now.
How childish. There it was, pot calling kettle black. Harry reread the letter and tore it apart, stuffing the bits on his pocket. He glanced at the room to see that Malfoy wasn't present. He must have skipped it in boredom.
The chalk dragged across the board. Sir Cuthbert Binns was droning about the importance of cleanliness and passing the said work before deadline. The format for the next assignment was simple, it must be written on a short bond-paper with one and a half inches margin on all sides. The topic was an argumentative essay about the effects of migration in society, hand-written, with at least three book sources, and not less than two hundred fifty words but not exceeding three hundred.
"You are dismissed from this class. Use this free time to talk to your partners about the project."
His hand closed his History notebook, placing it in his bag. He slung the black school issue bag and headed over the exit. A nervous glance towards Hermione made him aware that his friend was staring at him. She was waiting for an opportune moment to talk to him. Before she could call out his name however, the teen was out of the classroom.
Harry walked through the empty hallways, wondering why he was even considering the note. Harry started questioning his sanity.
The door to the rooftop was guarded by Crab and Goyle. They grunted as a greeting, and held the door open for him.
Harry was greeted with the view of the beautiful sky. The same cheery sky was now a vibrant orange, yellow, and the edges were pale pinkish violet. They clouds dotted it, like strips of cotton. The sun was about to set.
The breeze came strong and it went billowing against his robes. It was cold. It signaled the coming of winter. With the wind, there were leaves – that danced and whirled at one spot of the wall. Then, there was Malfoy.
"Took you long enough." Draco yawned, and gestured towards the spot beside him. "Thought you wouldn't come. Have you even checked your watch? It's been an hour since you got dismissed by that faggot."
Harry harrumphed. "You're exaggerating it. I came here as soon as he dismissed us." Harry stared at the blond whose back was stretched to the flat of a wooden table, hands at the back of his neck and apparently, watching the clouds.
"No. Check your watch, idiot."
The blond tilted his head and twisted around to lie down on the front of his chest. Draco put his chin on the knuckles of his hands and grinned. Harry proceeded to check his watch, and wondered, thirty minutes passed by without him noticing anything.
Harry eventually took a seat on the bench and placed his bag on the floor. He hugged his knees.
"You think that's scary?"
Harry stared at his watch again, wondering where the past half hour of his life went.
"How do you know all this?" Harry mumbled. The fire that usually consumed their meetings was extinguished by Harry's refusal to rise on any of Malfoy's baits.
"Let's just say that I can see things normal humans can't. I'll let you figure it out for yourself." Draco grinned and reached for a plate. "You want some cookies? Mother sent me a pack, and I can't eat them all by myself."
Harry's eyebrows rose. "What's up with you?" Draco scowled, and returned to his reclining position. "It's a wonderful day for me. It's not every day that I see you this miserable, and I'm planning to savor it. Go on, it's a treat for amusing me."
It was just cookies. They were harmless things. And Harry felt hungry, so he grabbed one. He took another. "This is good stuff even though it looks weird."
Draco laughed. "You don't think I know? Mother's quite good in baking."
Harry frowned, taking another bite. He pursed his lips together and deliberated, "I'm really dying, am I?" He turned towards the blond, who looked so out of character, munching on the heaven-sent yellow brown thing, that Harry himself couldn't get enough from. "You know I won't make it, that's why you're being all nice to me." Harry scoffed, and bit on the oatmeal cookie. The white chocolate melted on his tongue and the crunched almond was a good touch to mix. They continued eating in silence while the sun set before them.
Soon enough, the chips were gone, and Harry stood up. "Water?"
Harry accepted the glass. "Thanks."
Draco smiled, and began stretching. Harry placed the plastic glass on the table and Draco refilled it to drink on the same cup.
"This is all new to me you know. You can't expect me to take that all in without questioning the logic." It was a touch hysterical. Even Harry's voice cracked at the end.
Draco laughed. "Welcome to the other side of the world."
Harry rocked on the balls of his feet. "Other side… I'd rather go back to my old life, thank you." Draco's playful nature turned into a complete one-eighty, and Harry soon found that he'd just gone from one predator to another.
"So, when are you going to start begging me? I'm the only one who can help you with your predicament."
Harry knew that. From the start he was wondering when Draco would start demanding something from him.
"I didn't come here to beg. I came here to offer you a deal."
Malfoy licked his lips. "A deal? What kind of deal?"
The problem- Harry pursed his lips and thought of what he could offer, and found none. He settled for a bluff.
"I know you want something from me, and if I give that to you, you would help me – with this thing."
Draco frowned and raised one of his hands towards the sky. "When you don't even know what I want from you, how can you expect to carry on a deal with me, Potter? That's just so like you – saying the first thing that comes out of your puny wittle brain."
The blond adjusted his position so he was sitting on the bench. "I don't want to argue with you. I don't even know if what you're saying is real. I honestly don't know what's going around – with this, with me."
Harry felt it then, a brief contraction of his heart. He raised a shaky hand at the coils, and wondered what he was doing wrong. He watched as Draco approached him and took his right wrist. The next thing he knew he was losing vertigo. Then, darkness.
Harry was lying on someone's lap when he regained his consciousness. Black tar was covering his wrists and it felt disgusting when he reached out to touch it.
Draco traced his forehead, and Harry trembled before him.
"No." Harry closed his eyes and averted it towards the school-grounds. He couldn't, for the life of him, even move. "What happened?" Harry said as he observed the moving bodies with envy. They were all completely normal people, with completely normal lives.
Draco's response was a rather worrisome, "You fainted."
The next thing Harry did was tilt his head towards the spots of red that he could see in his vision.
- x -
Shadows weaved patterns on the floor. They crowded about him like excited children. It was a stark contrast against the light.
The room was quiet white walled, smelling of fresh bed-sheets and antiseptic. The infirmary. Draco was kind enough to accompany him and it took a lot of convincing on his part. Harry was really thankful that Draco agreed. Madam Pomfrey was sitting at one desk, taking notes and watching the students of her ward. He tilted his head on the pillow.
Some people would think the reason why he was always in the infirmary was because he was sickly, and his infamous status as a trouble maker. Pomfrey could find nothing wrong with him except for the sudden paleness that was a tad lighter than his normal skin color. She gave him something really bitter, and green. After drinking the juice, he felt the need to wretch, but kept it inside knowing Pomfrey would scold him for not being able to keep it in.
The woman was busy, and Harry was amused to see her battle against the constant stream of students, well-wishers that visited the sick bay. Her gaze penetrated their skulls and sent them careening outside her sanctuary. This amusement was short-lived and he argued with the matron to let him out. There was no reason to keep him bed-ridden. Eventually, the woman lost, unable to keep up with his torrid enthusiasm for freedom.
Before leaving the infirmary, he managed to filch out something important. Pomfrey told him that five students knew of his condition. One of them was Ron, therefore, there was also Hermione. He then began wondering if there was a way to prevent leakage.
Contrary to what he told Pomfrey, he used the excuse slip for skipping classes. He wandered about the school grounds and eased his guilt whenever a bell rang. During his sixth period of classes, Harry settled was sufficiently tired from his strolls. He bid his time by hiding on his favorite spot by the lake.
There, under a wisteria tree, he ate the food that was on his lunch box. Harry attempted to bring himself out of the mud-hole that he was wallowing for the past few hours.
Sure, he had no concrete plan of how to carry on with his life, but things would work out in the end if he was prepared to face it, right? Malfoy agreed to help him, under several terms that he would make sure he would fulfill. There was a certain thrill about knowing that there was more to the world than the surface. There was a whole other society that lived under the shadows, and he was one of those few people who would be privy to this fact.
His thoughts turned into an abrupt halt when he felt a hand poking his cheek.
"Mate, thought you could avoid us for the whole day?"
Harry couldn't stop himself from frowning. "I tried."
Hermione sat beside him. "Well, if you really wanted to avoid us, you should go somewhere less obvious." The girl placed a hand on the frills of her dress when a strong gust of wind blew. Ron whistled. Harry laughed at his friend's antics. The two tested the waters and when they noticed Harry was not going to run away, they settled around him.
"You can't avoid us forever, anyway." Ron said. The red head grabbed on Harry's sandwich. "Ron, that's mine." Ron tore the sandwich in half and put the other on Hermione's hand. The wisteria moaned together with Harry.
"My sandwich. Gone." Harry mourned while he watched the sandwich disappear on Ron and Hermione's mouths. Harry settled for last one from his pack. "How come both of you are here?"
Ron grinned. "Skipping." Hermione shook her head in disappointment at Ron's flippancy for school. "Vacant."
They fell in the synch, content with each other's company. Ron was the first to break the silence.
"So, have you decided Harry? I didn't get the chance to hear if you're going to join the team." Hermione slapped Ron hard on the head.
"Sorry Ron, I don't think I have enough time to participate." Harry replied. He took a napkin from his bag and wiped his lips. He felt a small twinge when he saw Ron's dejected frown. He was also very aware that they were still wary of confronting him. He knew that this meeting was long overdue, and when Hermione placed her hand on his, rubbing against his pulse – Harry snapped.
He pulled his hand away and turned away from them. "I know what you're both here for." Harry paused. He tucked his lunchbox inside the compartment of his bag. "It's simple. My uncle is a drunkard, and I'm a convenient punching bag."
Hermione cringed. "Harry, that's just sick." Ron nodded. "Blimey, it's worse than I thought. Why don't you report it?"
Harry stretched, and thumped his head against the trunk before answering. "I did. Nothing happened."
He began to recount stories of his childhood and Ron and Hermione was all ears. He wished that he had disheartened them enough so they would not bring him any trouble. "I'll deal with this when the time comes. Believe me when I say I tried, but if this is taken to court, I know that it'd only make things worse."
"-but Harry…" There was that tone again. He stood up from his seat and dusted his pants. When it was clear that he was going to walk away, his two friends caught up to him and halted his tracks.
"No buts Ron, Hermione. I don't care what you think. You won't do anything about this. It's my problem and it would stay that way." He turned around to face them, and when he saw Hermione's hand reaching out to touch him, he slapped it away. Hermione was aghast at his flippancy.
"Look. I just don't want everyone else to know. I don't want them to know that I've been abused like this for twelve years and I've done nothing about it. It's just, just… You don't understand."
"You shouldn't feel guilty about it. It's not your fault." Hermione quipped. "She's right, mate. We could tell Dumbledore-" Ron hastily said.
"No one. Don't. EVER. Tell anyone about this." Harry growled.
"You have a doctor right? Ask him to testify for you." Hermione held her hand. The girl was pushing Harry into a corner and she didn't know it. "And if that doesn't work, you could run away. You're not obliged to stay in that pig's house."
Harry stared. It was a mistake to tell his friends of his problem. He should have avoided them until the end. That way they wouldn't be involved in this mess. He laughed at the suggestion, and watched as Ron turned red. Harry covered his eyes, and attempted to calm down the growing hysteria in him. "This is not a joke. I can't do that. I can't just disappear."
"We could hide you." Ron blurted out.
'Hide me?' How would that work? Where would they hide him? How would they hide him? "No. Ron." Harry said. "But this has to stop." Hermione said. Harry was peeved that they would continue to force their own opinions against his own. He already gave everything much thought and he would not change his mind about it.
They parted when they heard the last bell that signaled the start of the seventh period. Harry knew that their promises would only hold true until he kept his eye on them. If he falters, he would not be able to stop them, and this posed a problem. An inquisitive mind like Hermione's would not stop until she got to the bottom of the problem, and Ron's impulsive character would thin in impatience, getting all of them into trouble.
- x -
- x -
It was midnight when he awoke to the swaying of the trees. The cold night air bundled through a crack on the window panes, and the yellow candles that surrounded the room flickered against its hissing tongue. That was all the warning he got when the shadows began to swarm about him, rendering him immobile. This was the fourth night that he found himself within the depressing room of the manor. Any recollection of the events that led to his current sorry state was swept under the tide of the sudden pulsating feeling he could feel in his stomach.
He trembled, landing on the wooden floor, and curled onto himself. His fingers curled and uncurled unused to the sensitivity, and the hot sweltering heat that suddenly seemed so unbearable.
"It's so hot… Thomasss what is this?" Harry groaned. He felt as if someone was burning him, but it was not painful – it was of a different kind, like being on the edge. Something terrifying was going to happen, and he felt that he should enjoy it – surrender in the tide of sensation – of feeling. But this, this was also cruel, and he longed for air, water – anything that would soothe the burn.
A cool finger swept his cheek briskly, and Harry realized that was all he needed. He wanted more of it, and leaned towards the touch, rubbing the hand on his face, urging Thomas to do something, to fuck him.
"Nggh. Help me… So ahhh. Thomass. Please!" His eyes stared back at the red – swirling orbs, hoping that it would just swallow him whole. The demon smiled at the invitation.
Clothing was loosened, and tossed haphazardly on the ground. The bandages were roughly torn out of their neat wrappings and his face kissed the floor. Dizziness passed. The dim lights became mere blurs. A hand dragged him by the hair and sent him flat against the metal railing of a balcony. Barely awake, he felt the hungry fingers travel the expanse of his back, tracing and soothing the pain. Harry purred happily, urging the hand to continue the ministrations – for, anything, a pleasant coolness to get rid of the burn.
Harry did not think twice of doing what the voice in his head commanded. Laughter accompanied his motions as he grinded against the railing, hands guiding him where it should be, and soon enough, he was moaning at every thrust he gave onto his hands. The rational part of his brain wanted it to stop, because what he was doing was unsightly. "Nghh."
"Faster." He could feel something wet touching the shell of his ear, it trailed down, and he shivered. "Don't stop."
Harry would not stop this pleasurable sensation for the life of him. He felt the wetness trail on his back and gasped when the same wet thing began exploring his ass, hands parting the cheeks. "Thomaasss-" Harry hissed the name.
The tongue lathered him and entered him and this was heaven. He moaned, loudly, lost in the dizzying haze of moving, back and forth, of the maybe the answer was there. There. "Come."
And he came, hurtling the hot seed, the dirtying his hands, dripping on the floor – on the railings. He began laughing, half crazed and elated but itwas still not enough. The demon turned him around, and his breath was suddenly gone. He loved this.
The possessive kiss seemed to steal all his remaining thoughts. His own hands, wet with seed, combed against the long silky hair that swathed his lover's form. He felt two strong arms attach itself from the back of his knees and the teen caught on fast, wrapping it against the man's torso.
Harry felt his back collide on the hard and uneven expanse of the railing – his head lolling to one side and back head.
Harry stared at the red orbs that seemed to hold his stare. He was lost and seduced with the strong allure the desire held for him. Thomas was everything he was not – he was perfection. A god. His god? "Fuck. Ahh!"
Thomas entered him in one swift thrust. He began thrusting and Harry found himself moaning in wanton desire. His back grated against contours of the metal, his own cock rubbing against the naked skin of his partner.
"You've been a very naughty boy." Thomas said, his voice pure silk, and feeling it reverberate against his body, Harry's only retort was a long moan, his mouth on a perfect O. "Very, naughty indeed." He felt his head bob up and down, in synch with the violent thrusts. "I'm a not ahh- hah..nggh." Harry couldn't bring himself to say the words, knowing they would only be mangled with what he felt.
"Naughty boys deserved to be punished, don't they?" Harry opened his eyes, not knowing he closed it awhile ago. Thomas staring at him, and it held his gaze. He found himself kissing the beautiful creature. Their tongues battled for dominance, even though Harry knew he would lose from the start.
They broke for air, and Harry winced when he felt teeth begin to dig on the side of his neck. It broke his skin. The mixed pain and pleasure – sent Harry in a screaming orgasm. The man followed soon after, pulling out from him.
Harry collapsed in dead faint.
"Get dressed. Tonight, I am in need of sustenance, and even if you offer your blood, or this, it would not suffice."
- x -
They took a cab. At this point, Harry stopped wondering why the human driver would not even look twice – to take in the demon's bizarre appearance. When he prodded the reason, Thomas supplied that humans were instinctively ignorant of their presence.
They were dropped off in a noisy district. It was crowded, cars littered the streets. Women in outrageous clothing posed and flirted with the random passerby, selling their bodies.
The air was cold and it made him press closer to his companion. Thomas only chuckled at the child's antics. Several people crowded the street. From above, the lights flashed in different colors, music blared and the voices were a cacophony of sultry teasing, shouting. Laughing and drawling. A drunkard passed out and was laid on the middle of the street walk, and Harry cringed as he spied a torn skirt tossed in front of a trashcan. A brawl was starting at one end of the street where a crowd of people cheered on.
Was this life. Another side of life that he hadn't known of…
Perturbed, Harry asked, "What are we doing here?"
Thomas put a finger on his lips, and told him to follow quietly. Harry attempted to resist, walking forward but found that he could not, his feet moving on its own. They stopped before a random establishment. The bouncer seemed to know Thomas, and soon enough, his eardrums were assaulted by the loud booming music. He was pressed against bodies, and their sweat clung to his skin. Harry felt one or more hands begin to grope him.
On the stage, there was a half naked woman who rubbed herself against a pole. Her skin was tanned. Black hair was tied in a pony-tail, where braids trailed until the middle of her back. Her breasts bounced as she swung to and fro, her mouth painted with a daring smile. Those at the front of the gathering stuffed money on her undergarments, and hooted for her to continue the show. She rewarded them, wiggling her ass, and touching herself. Hanging on top, there were body painted dancers – male and female who gyrated against the music.
Harry soon found out that he was lost, and Thomas left him alone in the middle of the crowd. He panicked and pressed a hand on his pocket, feeling for his wallet. He groaned. Nothing.
The bar seemed inviting, and his feet dragged him towards the table. Harry collapsed on the seat and leaned his head on the bar stool.
"Hey, kid, want a drink? It's on the house. You seem pretty lost. Did your partner leave you? Happens all the time."
Harry stared at the multi-colored beverage and thought that it was his salvation. "Thanks." He took the drink and downed it in one go. The burn soothed his pains and he placed his cheek on the marble top of the bar.
A minute later, he found himself kissing a random girl, or was it a guy? His only thought was of the vibrant dark green – blue - yellow shade, disproportioned, that seemed to glitter in a thousand pieces, shifting in colors, utterly magnificent. The voices of the world coalescing in a soothing rhyme that would slow or rush to an inescapable beat, prodding him for laughter, because he was stuck in how silly the voices sounded… "Come on, relax, relax, enjoy this." The soft whisper becoming a repeating drone in his head that echoed endlessly in a closed chamber "I'll take care of you."
- x -
Friday came, and Harry found that he couldn't focus on anything. He swore he was sleeping through all of his classes. He also wished that he could clear out his head. It seemed to him that he was stuck in a permanent high, and no matter what he did, it didn't come down.
Harry found himself vomiting inside the Boy's rest room during lunch time. A yellowish white substance came out, and he drank the tap water to wash off the acrid taste. Events from last morning came in disjointed quality. He could remember a bed, and the girl, and him fucking her on the foul smelling mattress. The sex was great. She had a vagina and she was very loud. He finally had the answer to his sexuality and Harry thought he was bi. That was the good part.
"Seems you've had fun without me… I'll have to rectify that. I must say, you attract the best type."
Remembering the next set of events made him dry heave. Thomas was menacing, he was terrifying to behold, a black wraithlike thing - standing before their exhausted forms. He remembered the girl asking who Thomas was before the blinds shut close, together with the doors. Thomas ripped her apart, literally. She was screaming loud, and she pissed herself in fright. All Harry could do was crawl on the edge of the bed. He clamped both of his hands on his ears as he watched her die.
The sensation of her guts landing on the side of his face – her blood splattered everywhere, on his eye-lids, on his hands and it stood to haunt him. His eyes were blinking closed, and he thought he was also screaming when Thomas began to start putting the fleshy bits inside his mouth.
The scattering points of the pavement proved to be a good source of solace as his feet obsessively stomped on it, like a bug. By sundown, he was inside Draco's car. He knew that the day was far from over.
- x -
Word count: 15, 200
Last edited: 2/22/10
I hope you enjoyed it. I know that not a lot of stuff happened in this chapter, just be patient. Reviews are very much appreciated.
Thank-you to the following people: Kokoro5050, Basill, Bizarre Dreamscapes, Mooncalf, Lethi, Maddgirl, SilverBlood7884, Lone-Angel-1992, Kamiyoukai, Dazzling Weasel, Hyper-active Neko-chan, Kamorie, CH0C0CANDYZ, psalmofsummer, Mickey Mouse, Gemini Perevell and Loony Dagda. You guys rock.
Anonymous review replies (since I can't use the pm/review reply feature)
Mickey Mouse - You'll just have to wait I guess. Thank you for the review
Lethi and Mooncalf - I'm glad you liked Tom. :D