Authors note: I do not own Harry Potter, the wonderfulness that is Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling . Mentions of abuse are in this story so if that bothers you, you might want to skip to the next chapter! :)
Harry woke with a start someone was standing over him. He almost jumped up and ran as fast as he could, but at the last moment he made out the blurry figure to be Ron. Ron was shaking his shoulder and asking him if he was alright.
"I'm fine Ron, just had a bit of a dream. Thanks for waking me mate." Harry said trying to shrug Ron off, he hated being fussed over and he didn't want Ron to suspect anything was wrong. He could handle a few muggles, or he had to make everyone else believe he could. He couldn't be seen as weak, not "The Boy Who Lived".
Ron shrugged "If you say so mate. If you need anything you know where I am, and I mean anything Harry even if it's just to talk." Ron went back over to his bed and Drew his curtain. "Goodnight Harry".
When Harry heard Ron start to snore he snuck out of bed and grabbed his invisibility clock. He had to take a walk, he couldn't go back to sleep now. Not after that nightmare anyway, of his Uncle beating him to a pulp. Harry quietly crept down the stairs to the common room and out the portrait hole, not really knowing where he was going.
With his invisibility clock draped over him he crept through the halls, his mind swirling over his dream. It had been a bad nightmare, one of the most vivid he had had in a while. Memories coming and going he suddenly felt overwhelmed. He had thought the walk would help clear his head, but it was obviously making things worse. Finding an abandoned classroom he sat down in the corner and let the memories wash over him. Knowing no one was here to see him and even if there were someone here they could not see him, he let his emotions go. Crying, it always made him feel better afterwords.
Dumbledore was walking through the halls that night. It was a glorious night, a full moon, the stars were shinning brightly and after christmas so it was getting warmer. Smiling he rounded the corner and started to make way to his office.
He suddenly came to a stop though outside a classroom. In waves he felt raw emotion coming from the room pain, sadness and loneliness. A little confused Dumbledore entered the room, becoming even more confused as he saw no one. Thinking his mind was playing tricks on him he almost left, but then he heard a soft sob coming from the corner. Could it be a upper year who knew invisibility spells, or did they have an invisibility clock?
Sadness flowed through him as he thought of the one he had given that cloak to this Christmas. Without a doubt that sob he had heard had been Harry. Softly so not to startle the child he called out "Harry", "Harry dear child can you please show yourself, I know your here."
Harry felt panic raise in his chest when he heard his Headmaster speak to him. How was he going to show himself when he had tear tracks running down his face? Number one rule, do not cry. So he stopped breathing trying to make it seem like the Headmaster was mistaken and he was not here.
"Harry, child I need you to come out now. I need to know what is wrong, maybe I can fix it" Harry heard Dumbledore call.
Reluctantly Harry lowered his cloak, but he pulled his knees in tighter and hugged them waiting for the blow that he was sure was coming. After all he had broken the first rule and probably more now that he thought about it.
Catching site of the boy in the corner Albus's concern skyrocketed. The child looked like he was ready to accept a beating, head lowered hands protecting his stomach. Ignoring his old bones protests he walked over to the child and sat down beside him. "Harry" "Harry, dear child are you alright?"
Dumbledore received no response. Becoming even more alarmed he gently placed a hand on Harry's back and began to gently rub circles hoping to calm him. It did not calm him though Harry's whole body stiffened with fright. Almost in panic mode Albus took his hand back. "Harry" "Harry, look at me" "Harry it's professor Dumbledore, I will not hurt you." The child only seemed to curl tighter into himself.
Seeing that nothing he could do was going to pull Harry out of this state he called one person he knew had experience with frightened children Severus Snape.
Dumbeldore had never before been so glad to Severus in his life. The man strode in normal graceful way, robes billowing behind him and stopped when he saw them on the floor. Albus begged, he knew that the potions professor would be annoyed at him, but at that moment he didn't seem to care. "Please Severus, I don't know what to do." "I've tryed everything I can think of, he flinches away from my touch and tences at the sound of my voice." "Please Severus he's in pain and I can't help him."
Severus nodded and motioned for Albus to get up from the floor. He then went to crouch down before the frightened child. In a gentle voice the Headmaster had never heard Severus use he tried to reach Harry. "Harry, child your ok. Nothing here can hurt you, it's just me and the headmaster. Come on Harry lift your head and look at me. Thats it, such a good child. Now Listen to me, I'm going to pick you up and carry you to the hospital wing. Nod your head if thats ok."
Severus received a very hesitant nod, but it was something. He picked up the fragile child in his arms and placed a hand on his forehead casting a silent mild sleeping spell. "Headmaster, this child is much to light and I can feel all his bones. Wherever you sent him all those years ago was not the right choice" Severus sent a glare at Albus as he carried the child out of the classroom.
If Severus had looked back as he left he would have seen tears cascading down Albus's face. It seemed that Dumbledore agreed wholeheartedly.
Arriving at the hospital wing Severus placed he child down on the bed reserved for abuse victoms. It had more privacy curtens and extra wards to prevent self-harm. Often victoms of abuse could find no other way to cope with what had been done to them then to harm themselvs. It was something Severus knew well, helping kids come out of these situations was not easy for anyone.
Severus made sure Harry was comfortable on the bed and went to go retrieve Poppy. Even though Poppy could be a little too soft heated at times she was still the best mediwitch around and he needed her help. So he gently knocking on her bedroom door willing her to wake up without him having to make anymore noise. Luckily she was a light sleeper and came to the door seconds later in her nightgown and robe. "Severus what is it that you had to wake me at two in the morning?"
"I am sorry Poppy for waking you, but the Headmaster came across a child crying in a classroom tonight and was unable to console him. He called me and I suspect that his home life is not happy and he needs checking over." Severus was a little cranky he did not like being woken up at this time of night either.
"Oh Severus! Why didn't you say so before? Where is the poor child, did he come back from break hurt?" Poppy said coming out of her room fretting over the child in question and getting potions and healing creams ready.
"Poppy relax. I already put him in bed and he is currently sleeping. To answer your other question he did not go home for break, but I do not know if he has hidden injures from before. He does seem underfed and malnourished as he was far too light when I carried him here and could feel his bones." Severus was exasperated he hated how this woman fretted.
All Poppy could exclaim was "Oh my" as she rushed to the bed she knew the child was in. When she reached the bedside she stopped. "It's can't be, can it Severus?" "How could I have not seen this? Harry's already been in here several times...:
Grumpy as ever Severus almost spit out his "reassuring words", he was really sleep deprived. "You know as well as I do Poppy that when a child wants to hide abuse that they will go to any length to protect their secret. Do not blame yourself. Can you help me heal him, or do I need to wake Pomona?"
Poppy sent a glare towards Severus. "You are indeed one grumpy man when you don't get your sleep. Come on lets heal this poor boy."
Dumbeldore had arrived shortly after they had finished healing Harry, all Poppy could do was hand him the chart with all of Harry's alments on it and retreat to her rooms. Two broken ribs, right ankle was broken and healed improperly, his right wrist was still fractured and a few infected welts still on his back. What shocked them all to the core though were the numerous scars the eleven year old boy had. There were simply too many to count.
After healing Harry both Poppy and Severus were exhausted. Severus had gone down to his rooms as he could not deal with an abused James Potter. He still thought Harry was an arrogant child despite all he had seen that night and did not want to be there when he woke. Poppy had retreated to her bedroom to cry without disturbing anyone in the hospital wing, she could not believe she had missed all the signs. The one person who stayed by Harry's bedside was Dumbledore, he thought he owed at least that much to the child. While Poppy and Severus had been healing the boy he had put in the emergency transfer of guardianship forms to the ministry. Papers that would make him the boys guardian.
He had failed James and Lily. When they had found out about the prophecy that would fallow their child they had him promise that he would protect Harry as much as he could. Albus had tried he really had. That night he had placed Harry with his Aunt and Uncle he had thought it was for the best. Grow up being a normal child, no fame, no pressure. He had really thought that was the best, but how wrong could he have been. He really and truly thought that Patina could look past her and her sisters differences and be able to raise Harry like he was her own. He was such an idiot, he should have adopted the boy himself when his parents had fallen. "Please forgive me dear boy."
Groggily Harry woke keeping his eyes closed, he was aware that he was not in his own bed in Griffendor Tower. So then where was he? Thinking back to the day before he went over all the events that had taken place. Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Lunch, Defense Against The Dark Arts, and Quidditch Practice. It had been a normal day so where was he? Then he remembered waking up last night to Ron hovering over him and what his nightmare had been. Walking the halls to clear his mind, the classroom and then...Dumbledore?
Dumbledore had seen him cry. Dumbledore had seen him break the number one rule and a few others as well. Would he send him back to the Dursleys? What would happen now and where was he? Without realizing it slowly but surely Harry was working himself into a panic attack.
The Headmaster saw the panic attack coming on so he did the first thing he could think of. He got out of his chair, lifted Harry into a sitting position and slipped behind Harrys back pressing Harry's back into his chest. "Harry breath slowly. Feel my chest move, see how slowly I'm breathing? Match your breathing to mine. Thats it my dear boy. Breath in and out, in and out... There we go, nice and calm. Such a good child."
When the Headmaster had sat Harry up Harry's eyes popped wide open. Why was the Headmaster touching such a freak? What was happening? Then through the fog he heard instructions, he was good with instructions. Harry did what the Headmaster bid and the fog that had rolled in slowly faded.
Keeping his place behind the boy in case he worked himself into another panic attack Dumbledore decided that he should try and figure out what had gotten him into such a state in the first place. "Harry, my dear child what is the matter?" Straining his ears all Dumbledore could here was the soft "I'm sorry sir" from the body in front of him. "My dear boy what are you sorry for?"
In an even softer voice then before Harry mumbled something that Dumbledore could not hear. "My boy can you please speak up, I could not hear you."
Without warning the boy started to shiver uncontrollably in fear. "I broke the rules. I didn't mean too, I thought I was alone."
Dumbledore had a feeling that being out after curfew was not the issue here. Tt was the way Harry had said "alone" and it scared him a bit. "Harry this is not about being out after curfew is it? What rules are you talking about?"
Holding back his tears Harry said as calm as he could and in Dumbledore's eyes that was not calm at all. "The rule where freaks are not allowed to cry. I'm sorry sir please don't send me back. I'll be good."
Dumbledore could not help it, he turned Harry so that he was facing him and hugged him resting Harry's head on his shoulder. "My sweet child you are never going back there. I should have never have left you there in the first place, forgive me. You are allowed to cry and are no freak." Relief washed over Harry, he might not have believed it whole heatedly, yet, but the words were enough at the moment. Tightly intertwined in his Headmasters arms he started to cry on his shoulder.
Feeling the hot tears on his shoulder and hearing the deep sobs coming from the child he started to rub his back and mumble reassuring words. "Thats it my dear child, let it all go. Let all the hurt out, thats right. Such a good boy."
Harry cried till he could cry no more. He laid limp in Dumbledore 's arms with his head still resting on his shoulder. The only difference now was that Harry had a red tear stained face and was essentially holding on for dear life. Trying to gain the child's attention he called out his name. No response. "Harry my child, can you hear me? If you can can you please nod your head?" A nod was felt on his shoulder. "Thats a good boy. Now as I said you will never again return to your relatives, you will instead stay with me. I should have taken you in all those years ago and I am so sorry I did not. You are more my son then my student and I love you Harry.
The only response Dumbledore got from Harry was a tighter hug then before if that was even possible.