Summary: He speaks in hisses and writes in squiggles without a second thought, English unnatural coming from his quill or mouth. Snakes are his brethren and the Dark his lusting pursuit. When he enters the wizarding world, he is far from what they expected.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter series. The characters, places, objects, ect. are owned by J. K. Rowling and other associated parties.
Warnings: Possible spoilers for all seven books, may or may not contain future slash (m/m relationships), rating may be M in the future, darkish Harry, powerful Harry, child abuse/neglect.
Author's Notes: This is my first try at a Harry Potter fanfic. I'm not entirely sure where it's going but we'll see how it turns out. Hopefully I will finish it, that's what I'm aiming for anyway but there's always the chance that I'll lose interest. Well, hope you enjoy.
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley remembered, quite clearly, the first time Harry Potter had tried to say his first word. It had been a perfectly normal weekend; Petunia and Vernon had been playing with their own son Dudley, leaving young Harry in the play-pin in the corner of the room. Harry Potter had always been a quiet baby, never crying or making fitful noises; it was almost as if he knew that his aunt and uncle didn't want to be bothered by him. So it had been quite a surprise when they heard him try to speak. They had both froze where they sat with Dudley and slowly turned to look at Harry in the play-pin, a mixture of shock and fear on their faces.
They had seen the young child sitting with a small smile on his face mingled with concentration. And then Harry had opened his mouth to try out his new word once more. The Dursley's hadn't known what to think of the sound that had just come from the boys mouth. It had sounded demented and evil to their ears. Inhuman. As soon as they had pulled themselves together, Vernon Dursley walked to Harry and slapped him on his cheek, while Petunia hurriedly picked up Dudley and left the room.
That night, for the first time in a long time, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley had an argument. That had been the first sign of the boys freakishness and they both wanted the boy gone. But Petunia remembered the letter Albus Dumbledore had left her, she knew that if they got rid of the boy he would come to their door, and that was the last thing she wanted. Vernon, on the other hand, wanted that boy out of the house and away from his Dudley so he couldn't taint them with his unnaturalness, no matter what a bloody letter said. In the end though, Vernon had seen the truth of Petunia's words and conceded. They had both agreed on one point though: The boy needed to be kept as separate from them as possible, even while remaining in the same house.
So that night, they had moved the boy into the cupboard under the stairs. Harry had previously had the small room next to Dudley's, the Dursley's grudgingly thinking that it would be fine as long as the boy stayed 'normal,' but that had all quickly changed. They had taken away all the boys play things (what little he had) and moved him into the cupboard with his small mattress and thin sheets. The next day they had fed the boy three small meals which had doubled as the time he got to spend outside his cupboard each day.
After the first two days of this, Harry figured out that his meal times were the only times he would get to spend out of the cupboard and he had begun to fight his aunt or uncle when they would try to force him back inside the cupboard. When he fought Petunia he would be screamed at and smacked until he was back inside the cupboard; but when he fought Vernon, he would stop to beat the boy until he no longer fought as hard as he had. After these sorts of beatings, Harry would be left inside his cupboard crying and letting out strange sibilant whimpers. But he soon learned that even his whimpers would get him yelled at through the cupboard door.
Harry quickly became accustomed to his new living arrangements (lest he be beaten) and when he turned three, Petunia would let him out of the cupboard more often to do small chores around the house. Whenever he spoke though, he would promptly get a smack on the cheek. Harry was glad for the time he spent outside the cupboard and made sure to make his chores last as long as possible without getting in trouble.
By age four, strange things began to happen around Harry. When he was cleaning, places he had already cleaned would become a mess once more whenever he turned his back, unwittingly giving himself more time outside the cupboard. But when petunia noticed that his chores were taking longer to do she would spank him. His chores soon got done even quicker than before and he began to like his cupboard more than outside. Another strange thing was that when he received beatings from Vernon, his uncle would rapidly lose interest and get the boy in his cupboard as soon as possible.
When Harry turned five he got to go to school. Harry had been excited at this; he had never before been allowed to leave the house, except for Dudley's birthdays when he would stay at Mrs. Figg's. Even his uncle's searing words ("Do not ever speak in that school, boy. Don't speak anywhere, at all.") couldn't dampen his mood. His first day had been awkward but exciting. Since he wasn't allowed to speak he had to try to answer everything with a nod or shake of his head. He was glad to be around so many other kids but soon found out that they would leave him alone after they found that he wouldn't speak to them.
When the teachers had questioned Mr. and Mrs. Dursley about his silence they said he was unable to speak, which was a complete truth in their eyes. But it was when Harry was learning how to write the real trouble began.
He had been copying the alphabet and had thought he was doing a really good job at it too. But at the end of class when Petunia came to get Harry, the teacher asked to speak with them both. Petunia looked apprehensive, wondering what the boy had done while Harry was merely confused.
The teacher took out his paper from earlier, the one he had written the alphabet on and for one moment Harry proudly thought that the teacher was going to show his aunt how well he'd done. But she had laid the paper down in front of Harry, setting beside it a card. She pointed to a letter on his page, the letter A, and asked him if it looked like the letter on the card, also the letter A. He had nodded his head happily and the teacher furrowed her eyebrows in concern and asked if he was sure. Harry knew he had done something wrong now so he carefully looked at his letter A and at the one on the card and back again. His eyes widened when his perfect letter A was suddenly a strange scribbled line on his page.
That night Harry was beaten by his uncle.
Petunia had bought Harry a cheep pair of glasses, the kind you don't need a prescription for and he was forced to wear them to school even though they made his eyesight worse. From then on, he had to look at his writing very carefully to make sure he didn't write the scribbles his hands seemed to want.
Even though there were these drawbacks at school, he still preferred it to home but this soon changed.
It had only been a month, a mere month of mostly peaceful school days. Sure the teachers thought him strange and the kids ignored him cause of his silence but he was still happy. That was, until a group of kids, Dudley included, started to bully him. Their main goal was to make Harry say something, make some sort of noise. The most they ever got out of him though were the strange hissing whimpers. They always bullied him away from the teachers eyes and Harry couldn't tell anyone, so the bullying went on without proper notice. This soon was called 'Harry Hunting.'
It was when he was six years old that things began to change.
It all started when he was in the front yard pulling out the weeds from the garden. He had just been reaching under a tall bush, shaking it in his attempt to get the weed, when he heard an irritated voice.
"Sstupid human. Just when I had fallen assleep. . ."
Harry froze suddenly, peering up through the bush where the voice had come from.
"Hello?" He whispered, feeling somewhat foolish.
There was silence and then a bright green head was hanging in front of him. Harry was still as he stared into the brown snake eyes, seeming entranced and fearful at the snakes appearance.
"You can sspeak?" It asked, in seemingly perfect English.
He continued to stare at it in astonished silence before shaking himself.
"What do you mean I can sspeak when you're the one talking?" Harry asked it.
His mind was whirling; a talking snake. It went against everything the Dursley's said, it went against everything 'normal.' But then again, he was the exception to normal wasn't he? He broke from his thoughts at the hissing chuckle from the snake.
"Little human," it said, "you think I am the one who can talk to you?"
"Well, yeah. . ." He trailed off when he began to realize something.
He was remembering all the times he had spoken and gotten smacked, the times he had been told not to speak, getting yelled at when whimpers passed his lips. All those times. . . He thought he had been speaking English. But. . . That was just illogical! How could he, Harry, speak to a snake? But then, why wasn't he allowed to talk? His mind circled until the snake spoke again.
"You, little human, are the one who sspeakss to me."
The snake was telling him the same thing his mind was, but. . . it didn't make any sense! How could he not speak English when he could understand it, grew up listening to it? He concentrated on his voice as he spoke this time.
"But I'm human, I sspeak Englishh, I -"
And then he stopped abruptly because he heard it this time. He heard his voice. It still sounded like English to him, but this time it sounded distorted, with hissing, sibilant edges and whispery tones. All this time, how had he not known he was speaking – speaking snake language!?
"You have deluded yourself, little human." The snake said. "But now you ssee truth."
Indeed he did.
Millions of questions were inside his mind but the most insistent of them was how?
"How can I sspeak to ssnakess?" He voiced his question.
"I do not know, little human."
He frowned. The snake didn't know how he could speak to it. He sighed as he pushed away his thoughts. He had to finish weeding the garden before his aunt came to get him or she would be mad. He reached for the weed that was under the bush and plucked it from the ground.
"Why do you do work for the otherss?"
He pulled his head out from under the bush and sat back on his knees eyeing the snake.
"I don't have a choice." He said as he plucked another weed.
The snake seemed to cock his head as it watched him work.
"You are not like them. You can make a choice."
Harry stopped weeding and looked back to the snake. Of course he wasn't like them. He could talk to snakes yet couldn't speak English. They reminded him constantly that he was different, abnormal.
"They know I'm different too, remind me of it everyday," he spat.
"You delude yourself." The snake said once again.
But before Harry could say anything back or even think the sound of his aunts voice snapped at him.
"What are you doing, boy!? You're not done yet?"
Harry turned to see his aunt looking at him from the driveway. She looked up and down the street to see if anyone was out but seeing no one she walked towards him irritably.
"All you had to do was weed the garden, boy," she said on her way.
Harry knew she was going to hit him. She always did when he took too long or did something wrong, but in a flash of realization he remembered that time when he was five and learning how to write. How he had written his alphabet in squiggles and he had to focus hard on writing the letters properly, even now. So he focused on saying something in English, he focused with all his might to say his words in the language his aunt could understand.
Her hand was just coming down to hit him when he spoke.
The word was said slowly and decisively, low and cold. It felt completely unnatural as his lips formed the word and he grimaced at the feeling of English. But it did it's job.
His aunt was frozen, her hand stopped near his face and her eyes were wide and shocked. Harry looked at her through narrowed eyes before turning to pluck out the last remaining weed and throwing it into the trash bag. He stood up, bag in hand, and focused on English once more.
"I am done."
And then he walked off, leaving his shocked aunt behind.
His uncle beat him again that night. He knew his aunt had told his uncle that he had spoken. Even though it was in English this time he still beat him. Harry was silent throughout it, like he always was, and soon he was thrown back into his cupboard.
As he laid there, keeping his mind from the pain in his stomach and back, he thought back to what the snake had said.
You delude yourself.
How was he deluding himself? He did as he was told and took the beatings his uncle gave him. He didn't speak (excluding today) and did his best not to be abnormal. So what was he deluding himself on?
You are not like them. You can make a choice.
The snake was right in one respect: he wasn't like them. Not at all. But how could he make a choice? Choices eluded him, his aunt and uncle ripping away any say he could make. After all, what could a six ear old in a cupboard do?
You delude yourself.
Those words again.
He furrowed his eyebrows and thought hard about what he could be deluding himself on. Was it his inability to make choices?
His eyes were drooping, weary from the beating and he let his eyes slip close and drift into sleep. He didn't notice how the pain was ebbing away as he reached the outskirts of consciousness and didn't think twice when he awoke the next morning with no pain at all.
Thanks for reading! The thought of this popped up the other day but I only have a vague abstract idea of where this story might be going. So it's just go with the flow for now. It'd be nice for you to leave a review with your thoughts on the story, but please don't feel like I'm demanding them. Thanks again!
EDIT: Just fixed a sentence.