Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry potter series, any of its characters, settings, ideas, plotlines or other such things. All of this belongs to the AMAZING J.K. Rowling!

Harry's tear stained face seemed almost unrecognizable to those who knew him, his once optimistic features foreshadowed by grief. Skinny and bruised, the boy was anything but healthy. After blowing his Aunt up last summer Harry had been moved back into the cupboard... much to his dismay.

Needless to say, the boy was in slightly more upbeat than in previous years; finally have something to look forward to. He had a godfather, one who wanted Harry to move in with him. His 11th birthday had brought him the first real home he had ever known, Hogwarts, perhaps it were possible to have two. His friends would boast about their home lives, about past holidays and family outings. Family wasn't exactly a word he could relate to.

His Aunt Petunia had an unbelievably short temper, yelling at Harry whenever he stepped a foot out of line. In saying this, Harry would much rather be caught by Petunia than his Uncle Vernon. Even the thought of the man made him cringe, his horribly fat features and pig like nose being enough to send his brain into meltdown. Uncle Vernon hated his nephew with every ounce of his being, he saw it his duty to 'fix him'.

Both Harrys Aunt and Uncle disapproved of his being a wizard, attempting to thwart any unusual behavior whilst he was under their supervision...'thwarting' said behavior normally saw Harry with a broken arm and no dinner.

Pulling out a small flashlight from beneath his pillow, Harry attempted to bandage his hand. Vernon had gone a little overboard, crushing his fingers after hearing of his writing to Sirius. Nothing Vernon ever did seem enough to prevent him from writing letters, the ambidextrous boy having one up on his Uncle.

Last night had been particularly horrid, Hedwig having delivered Sirius' latest letter whilst Vernon's cousin was over for dinner. He really ought to teach that owl better timing.

Uncle Vernon seemed more of a threat as of late, perhaps even rivaling lord Voldemort. Nurses at the local hospital were becoming wary of his visits, the boy seeming to visit the emergency department a little too often for their liking. He had only recently been discharged, two of his left ribs being cracked after Vernon had pushed him down the stairs.

The most prominent scar on Harry's body was no longer upon his forehead, the work FREAK being etched into Harrys forearm after last night's debacle. Harry's eyes were slowly filling with tears, realization seeming to finally hit him. He was nothing but a worthless freak, Sirius was never coming to get him. No matter how many times Sirius promised him otherwise, to him, he would forever be a reminder of his dead best friend. If it hadn't been for his likeness to his father, Harry was sure he would have stopped writing by now. Had he known how 'freaky' Harry truly were, he would have never offered him a home in the first place.

Once his friends found out about his home life Harry doubted they would ever want to associate with him again. Dumbledore would be appalled, Hermione would be disappointed, Ron would be ashamed, Remus would be disgusted, Sirius would be... gone. He would rather put up with a million beating than lose his Godfather; he was all Harry had left.

"BOY!" Vernon yelled, heavy feet pounding down the stairs.

Harry cringed a little, realizing that his Uncle still seemed a little pissed off.

"Yes uncle Vernon" he replied meekly

The locks on Harry cupboard began jingling, sunlight slowly streaming into his room.

"It's time for breakfast... if you're not up in fifteen minutes, don't expect there to be any left!"

Harry nodded and began searching for his glasses. In his short life he had learned not to talk back, not to speak unless spoken to. Having an opinion only seemed to get him into trouble... trouble was the last thing he wanted.

Pulling on a clean pair of track pants, he strolled into the kitchen, black hair clouding his vision. It had been a while since Petunia had allowed Harry into the kitchen, her sudden passion for cooking coming as a welcome surprise. Harry had learnt how to cook at 5, been preparing meals for the Dursley's since he was 7.

"Have we learnt our lesson now boy?" Vernon asked.

Harry nodded.

Vernon seemed to ask the same questions over and over, not dissimilar to a broken record. Had enough yet? Won't happen again now... will it? Have we learnt our lesson?

Harry sighed and reached for the cereal, doubting he would be able to stomach whatever Petunia was currently preparing. She glared over at harry before returning to her cooking, flipping pancakes and poaching eggs. Dudley didn't know how good he had it, Harry doubted he ever would.

"Oi Freak!" Dudley hissed "Pass me the butter!"

Harry rolled his eyes before passing him the butter, fully aware that Dudley was well within reaching distance himself.

"Thanks cousin, I really appreciate it" Harry mimicked, eyes fixed on his plate.

Vernon glared up at him, resisting the urge to yell. Had the freak lost absolutely every reminisce of graciousness over the school term? Surely he should know better by now.

Harry, realizing his uncle was glaring at him, attempted to avoid eye contact, continuing to stare at his food.

Slap

Harry cringed, biting the inside of his lip to avoid crying out. The room fell silent before returning to their meals, Harry's 'punishment' seemed rather mundane in comparison to recent events. The boy could already feel the oncoming of a bruise and wished for nothing more than to return to his cupboard.

"May I be excused?" he murmured.

Vernon nodded.

Harry tucked his chair beneath the kitchen table and placed his bowl in the sink. Though this had been Harry's first meal in almost two days, he didn't seem the slightest bit disappointed to rid of it. He would do absolutely ANYTHING to get away from his relatives.

Back in his room Harry finally thought it time to read Sirius' letter, he hadn't exactly been in the right frame of mind to do so last night.

Dear Harry,

I wish you were here, Remus makes rather good company though he can be a little boring at times. Nobody in their right frame of mind reads as much as he does. I swear he hasn't been without a book all week!

Dumbledore is still being an outright prat, claiming that even if I were proven innocent, you still couldn't come live with me. Blood wards or some shit.

Don't worry though... he'll come around! I'm sorry to hear about your Uncle, I know they give you a hard time at the Dursley's. Petunia wasn't exactly happy to hear about her sister being a witch. Don't worry bud, you'll be out of there soon enough!

Until then,

Snuffles.

Harry sighed, folding Sirius' letter in half. His godfather didn't know the half of it, didn't know just how badly he had it at the Dursley's. Harry had simply complained about his uncle waking him up at two in the morning, imagine how he would've reacted had Harry told him about the abuse!

He pulled out a blank piece of parchment and began writing his reply, hoping to send it tonight after his relatives were asleep.

Dear Snuffles,

Dudley is being a complete idiot lately... I kid you not! The big oaf really needs to learn some manners!

I would much rather be there with you and Remus, even if he can be a total bore.

I really think you ought to give Dumbledore more credit than you do, he is a far better man than you seem to realize.

I don't know if I will be able to write quite as often as usual... Vernon is getting a little upset by all the owls.

If you ask me, the sooner you get me out of here the better!

Your Godson,

Harry Potter

Reading the letter twice over, he collapsed onto his bed, almost smacking his head on the roof. Harry's things were packed in the corner, not even his wand having been used since he left Hogwarts. Hedwig was still out hunting and Harry doubted she'd be back until this afternoon. Vernon would have left for work by then, much to Harry's delight.

Realizing he had little else to do, Harry again reached for his quill. He might as well write a letter to Ron and Hermione, it had almost been a week since they had left Hogwarts.

Dear Ron,

I hope your holidays have been better than mine; my relatives are still acting like total nutcases and won't let me visit this summer.

Luckily the bars have been taken off of my windows and the locks off my door. To say that fred and George scared them would probably be an understatement.

My uncle is still a little sour about my blowing up his sister... I guess that was bound to happen though right?

See you after the break.

Harry

He sighed, slipping the note into a clean envelope. He hated lying to his mates, it seemed the worst feeling. Ron had always been easy to fool; he doubted Hermione would be so easily tricked. She had begun piecing facts together, not yet being able to place exactly how Harry was being hurt. Child abuse was almost unheard of in the wizarding world, it was only natural for her to assume it were death eaters or dark wizards.

Dear Hermione,

I'm sorry I didn't write sooner but Vernon is worried about the neighbors seeing Hedwig. Heaven forbid should anyone suspect them of owning a pet!

I don't think I'll be allowed to stay at Ron's this summer, Dumbledore is more up tight than usual... My relatives aren't really too keen on the idea either.

I guess I won't be able to see you guys until the train... being the boy who lives sucks sometimes.

Most of the time.

I hope you have a good holidays.

Your friend,

Harry Potter.

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