A/N: Hey y'all! This is the first chapter of Love and Recovery. Please Read and Review, this is my first story like this and I'd really like some feedback.
Summary: Harry returns to the Dursleys after his third year to see that his relatives have picked up abuse again after the inflation of Aunt Marge. He quickly reverts back to the child he was before Hogwarts. When he goes to the Burrow for the Quidditch World Cup he catches the eye of a certain Weasley; the only one to catch onto his pain.
Harry stepped through the barrier and delivered the news of his on-the-run godfather to his Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Inside he was barely holding back a laugh of joy. He had never expected to be so happy stepping off the Hogwarts express and into Kings Cross Station, but the letter from Sirius had washed away most feelings of despair. Beyond that he was waiting for the shocked, frightened looks to appear on his family's faces. A sure sign that he would be left well alone this summer.
Therefore he was shocked when their faces, especially Vernon's, transformed into anger instead. Uncle Vernon's voice came out in a low growl,
"Get in the car boy!" Harry flinched at the sound and turned to give one last half-heated wave to Hermione and the Weasleys.
As they drove home the car was filled with a strained silence. And through the rear view mirror Harry could see Uncle Vernon's purple face, quivering moustache and pursed lips. When they arrived home Aunt Petunia and Dudley immediately scurried off to their own activities while Uncle Vernon grabbed Harry's trunk and threw it into the cupboard under the stairs. He threw a glare at Harry,
"Up to your room!" And he walked into the kitchen. Harry moved slowly up the steps and sat heavily on his bed, leaning back to stare at the ceiling. Within minutes he could hear the sounds of his uncle stomping up the steps and he felt a little nugget of fear come up inside of him. Memories from the years before Hogwarts rose to the top of his mind. Those years were the ones when his uncle storming up the steps signaled a beating. And even thought it had been about three years since his uncle had hit him, bursts of anger would bring his old fear back.
Harry jumped up into sitting position as he heard his uncle reach the door. It flew open with a bang and Vernon walked into the room. His face was still purple and his moustache quivered with anger.
"Boy," he growled out. Harry looked away, avoiding his eyes.
"Yes Uncle Vernon?" And because he'd been looking away Harry didn't see the hand that flew toward him and smacked him across the face.
"Look here Boy," Vernon strode towards him and grabbed the front of his shirt. Harry felt himself shoved, choking up against the wall. "You've been nothing but trouble since you arrived here. But we've tolerated you. And we had given up trying to beat the magic out of you, as long as it didn't touch us." Harry was smashed against the wall and felt his head bang roughly. "But the incident with Marge ended that. And after that you had the gall to come back here and threaten us with your lunatic godfather.
"Please Uncle Vernon!" Harry pleaded. "I didn't mean it like that!" Just please-" he was stopped when Vernon threw him to the floor.
"Don't you talk back to me boy!" Vernon yelled. And Harry felt the wind knocked out of him as a foot connected with his ribs. "We will beat this magic out of you!" Something cracked as the foot flew into Harry's ribs repeatedly and he felt blood pour from his mouth from the blows aimed to his head. Finally the kicks stopped coming and he heard his uncle say,
"Be downstairs in two minutes boy. If you're going to live here, you're going to earn it."
Harry forced his aching body to stumble down the stairs. He limped slowly into the kitchen where the Dursleys were. Neither Aunt Petunia nor Dudley said anything about his beaten appearance. He waited silently in the doorway, waiting for his instructions.
"Come here boy!" Uncle Vernon barked. Harry approached the table and was handed a sheet of paper. "Have these done by seven o'clock. That's when you'll be cooking dinner. " Harry looked at the list: was the cars, mow the lawn, prune the begonias, paint the garden bench, weed the garden, wash the windows and dust, sweep and vacuum the front hall and sitting room. Harry sighed,
"Yes Uncle Vernon," and he headed outside to begin his chores. He scrubbed at the two cars sitting in the driveway with soapy water before rinsing them off with water spouting from the hose. He trudged to the shed and pulled the lawn mower out. He pushed it back and forth across the lawn, the hot sun beating down on his back causing sweat to mix with blood and soak through his shirt. He pruned the begonias and painted the bench, covering himself in paint. As he pulled the weeds in the garden he felt his skin begin to burn. He scanned the garden once more for weeds before straightening up. He headed back to the shed and retrieved the ladder. He leant it against the house and picked up a bucket of soapy water and a sponge. He grimaced at the thought of climbing the ladder with his hurt leg, but knew that it had to be done. He climbed shakily up the ladder. Harry worked steadily leaving each window sparkling. But as he wiped the last window his injured leg slipped and he crashed down onto the walk. He pushed himself up, cradling his head and he heard the door open. He looked up to see his uncle approaching, purple in the face.
"What the ruddy hell do you think you're doing boy?" he whispered. "You've gone and got blood on the walk." He looked around at the other houses. "You'll deal with that tomorrow. Just get inside before somebody sees you." With a last look around he grabbed Harry's arm and dragged him into the house, throwing him on the floor.
"It is now six forty-five." Uncle Vernon said. "I expect these two rooms spotless by seven o'clock or there will be consequences." And he turned on his heel and walked into the kitchen. Harry rubbed his eyes. He had fifteen minutes to have the hall and sitting room spotless. However it shouldn't be too hard, Aunt Petunia kept everything spotless anyway. But when Harry looked up he was horrified to see trash littering the floor, drinks spilled, bottles broken and sticky fingerprints coving the walls. He looked into the kitchen and his suspicions were confirmed when Dudley shot him a nasty grin. He felt the tears come to his eyes, but he shook them away. He hurried to pick up the trash, wipe the floor, scrub the walls, weep, vacuum and dust. He was hurrying into the sitting room when Uncle Vernon called out,
"Six fifty-five," Harry hurried around picking up trash. He was on his hands and knees scrubbing a stain out of the otherwise white carpet when a shadow fell over him and he was met with a kick to the side.
"You're not done yet boy." Vernon growled. Harry looked up at him,
"I-I'm sorry Uncle-" he was cut off with another kick.
"Finish and then cook. Remember there will be consequences." Harry shut his eyes and let out a sigh. He finished the sitting room and walked into the kitchen at seven twelve. He received no acknowledgement as he entered the room and immediately went to work cooking. A short time later he delivered dinner to the Dursleys. Uncle Vernon shot him a look,
"Go up to your room boy!" he barked and Harry hurried to comply.
Harry sat on his bed, thinking. Stepping off the train he'd felt confident that the Dursleys would leave him alone. But quite the opposite had happened. Should he send a letter to Ron or Hermione with Hedwig? Harry shook his head. His old self=hate was returning and he didn't want to burden them. Looking across the room he saw that it didn't really matter as there was now a padlock on her cage. He was pulled from his thoughts at the sound of footsteps mounting the steps. His door smashed open and he felt a meaty hand wrap around his neck and throw him to the floor. He heard a crack as a kick was aimed at his ribs and he felt his breath leave him. His uncle grabbed the front of his shirt, pinning him to the wall.
"We ask you to do a few simple chores for us, and we ask you to be on time for dinner, but you can't even do that!" Vernon growled, the last few words punctuated with Harry's head banging against the wall.
"We told you to be done by seven o'clock and you weren't, were you boy? Answer me!"
"N-no sir," Harry stammered. Uncle Vernon leaned in,
"What time was it boy?" he asked.
"Seven twelve, sir." Harry answered him. He had no warning before he was thrown to the ground again.
"Take your shirt off!" Vernon barked. Harry struggled to pull the shirt over his head. Vernon grabbed his arm and dragged him to the desk in the corner of the room. He bent Harry over the desk, pressing in behind him so that he couldn't move.
"I told you there would be consequences. Let's say, two lashes for every minute you were late." Vernon said. Harry turned his head and saw that Uncle Vernon was holding a belt in his hand .
""No, Uncle Vernon, please!" Harry whimpered.
"Quiet!" his uncle yelled. "You'll count." Harry heard the whistle of the whip and he felt it rip open his back.
"Count!" Vernon ordered.
"One," Harry whimpered.
"I can't hear you boy." His uncle taunted, another lash.
"Two, three…five, six…ten, eleven…fifteen…seventeen, eighteen…twenty four." Vernon backed away letting him fall to the floor.
"That should teach you."
Disclaimer: Any characters you recognize belong to J.K. Rowling. I'm just manipulating them.