Harry's Worst Day Ever
Let me just place emphasis on some of the themes in this story. THIS IS NOT A STORY BASED ON REVENGE OR LUST. Those who are looking for such themes, I can tell you now, you will be very disappointed by this story. Rather, the main themes will be the derivation of strength from love, sympathy, and acceptance in the face of adversity. Harry will experience a lot of suffering - emotionally, physically, isolation, and even sexually. This story actually places great emphasis on his suffering and how it affects his character.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
James Potter waved his wand in a figure eight motion, entertaining his young son by transfiguring a vase into a parrot. "Our son is going to be a transfiguration master when he grows older, just like me," he announced with much affection and fondness. "He already shows interest, Lily. See?" He gestured to Harry, his son, who laughed delightedly as his father easily transfigured the parrot into a hawk.
Lily shook her head, pretending to be exasperated. "James, how many times do I have to tell you that our son is going to have a greater affinity for charms? He's only one, and he's already levitating things all over the place!" But she smiled and laid her head on her husband's shoulder, eyeing Harry with as much love as a mother can possibly give her child.
James chuckled lightly. "Of course, Lily. And I suppose he'll be awesome at everything else, too?"
"Of course! He's…"
"Shhhh…hold on, Lily." He could've sworn he heard their gates squeaking open. "Do you hear that? It's probably Dumbledore or Sirius or our other friends." He stood up, leaving his wand on the couch, and went to their front door, which clicked open. He froze, fear gripping his heart as a figure in a black cloak entered their house.
"James, who…?" Lily was carrying Harry and walking towards him from the living room.
"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!" James cried. So many emotions flickered across his eyes as he stood between Voldemort and his family. Peter betrayed them; his own friend betrayed him. He had trusted him…Lily, his wife, and Harry, his son, his only son, might not live to see another day…Voldemort was here; he himself was without a wand. There was no doubt that he would die tonight. How stupid of him to forget his wand! He had been a good enough duelist to defy the Dark Lord himself three times. How could he have been so careless as to leave his wand in the living room? It didn't matter now though. Voldemort was after his family, and the only way he was going to reach Lily is by going over James's dead body, even though without his wand, he would only be able to hold Voldemort off for a few seconds at most.
Voldemort laughed. "You think you can stop me without a wand?" Without a second thought, he raised his wand at James's heart and hissed, "Avada Kedavra!" A green light shot out of the tip of his wand and hit James in the chest.
James's eyes clouded over, and he collapsed to the ground.
Voldemort glanced up the stairs. Now, for the boy…
As Lily reached Harry's nursery, tears ran down her cheeks. James was dead. She heard Voldemort said that her husband didn't have his wand with him. She also heard his body thump to the ground. Lily herself forgot her own wand in her haste to get Harry to safety. It was such a stupid mistake. Now, Voldemort had them cornered. Lily placed Harry down in his playpen. This was the last and only thing she could do. "Harry, my son, everything will be alright," she whispered soothingly despite the tears pouring down her cheeks. "It will be alright." She herself knew that everything wasn't alright, but she would give Harry comfort in her last moments.
The door burst open, and Lily spun around, fear in her eyes.
"No," she whispered. "Please don't kill Harry…"
"Step aside, you silly girl," Voldemort hissed, granting Snape his request to spare Lily's life. It was a pity the girl didn't join him when he requested her and her husband in his ranks. They were so talented, unlike his other idiotic Death Eaters, even though the girl was a Mudblood.
"Not Harry, please no don't kill him, take me, kill me instead —" Lily was panicking now. She would do anything to convince Voldemort to spare her son's life. She didn't want to live if Harry had to die.
"This is my last warning —" Voldemort hissed impatiently. Even with such a good spy as Snape, he was not going out of his way just to grant him his request. If the girl was standing in his way, he will have no qualms about killing her to get to her son.
"Not Harry! Please ... have mercy ... Not Harry! Please — I'll do anything..." Lily begged. Her son, her only son…
Lily's eyes clouded over as the green light hit her in the chest.
Voldemort stepped over her dead body and towards the child. He stared at the boy. What's so special about this boy? Could he really have such power as to defeat the Dark Lord himself had Voldemort not kill him now? Voldemort smiled sadistically. Well, then, this was a pity. The boy could've been a great addition to his ranks, just like his parents would've been. He raised his wand to the boy's forehead. "Goodbye, Harry Potter. Avada Kedavra!" The next thing he knew, unbearable pain shot through his veins…
Eight years later…
Today was, by far, Harry's worst day ever.
As soon as Harry was released from school, he ran as fast as he can before Dudley and his gang can catch up with him. Suddenly, he was jerked backwards, almost making him fall, by Piers Polkiss, Dudley's best friend. The bully held his arms behind his back. "Hey, Dud! Get over here! I got him!"
Dudley wobbled over, panting from exertion of having to run across the grounds to beat Harry. He grinned stupidly, his eyes malicious, before punching Harry in the ribs.
Harry coughed, the wind knocked out of him. His eyes watered, but he didn't bother to struggle. He knew that if he just let Dudley have his way with him, he'll eventually tire and leave him alone. As Dudley continued to use him as a punching bag, Harry looked up through the pain and noticed a small crowd watching him. No one would help him of course. No one was his friend. They were too afraid of Dudley's gang. It was a humiliation for him, but sometimes he wished someone would stand up for him.
Harry knew his appearance also played a factor in his isolation. Wearing Dudley's old clothes, he was wearing clothes ten times his size. His glasses were broken and held together with scotch tape. He was skinny, and if anyone sees him changing, they'd see his skin stretched over his ribs. They'd also see scars that he had received from abuse by his relatives. Of course, Harry was careful to not let anyone see him changing. There were a few things he loved about his appearance though. For one, the lightning shaped scar on his forehead made him feel distinguished, somewhat special. He also loved his bright green eyes – eyes that made teachers stop in mid-sentence, amazed at the color, when he looked at them; eyes that were like beams of light on the background of his thin, pale face…
It was a rarity that Dudley and his gang ever caught him like this. Normally, he could outrun them…Harry closed his eyes. He had already learned to accept his lot in life. He was practically starved by his relatives. They abused him, isolated him, and pretended to the public that he doesn't exist. He lived in a cupboard under the stairs. He learned that there was no point in wallowing in self-pity. It did him no good.
As Dudley tired, Piers let go of his arms, and the two boys left, laughing and leaving Harry curled up on the ground, trying to catch his breath. Harry gave a mental sigh. Oh, well…his life was better than most. He had a roof over his head. He went to school and was at the top of his class. Most of his teachers adored him, and he learned more than most kids his age because he spent most of his breaks in the library to avoid Dudley and his gang.
Harry got to his feet and stumbled towards the Dursleys' house. As he walked into the house, his aunt immediately descended upon him and told him to weed the gardens and then make dinner. He only responded, "Yes, Aunt Petunia." As he worked in the gardens, sweat trickled down his neck from the afternoon sun. It was almost summer. Harry always hated the summers. He didn't have school to allow him escape from the Dursleys' abuse.
"Eight years," he whispered, yanking a weed out of the ground. Eight miserable years.
Working in the gardens gave him a lot of things to think about. His aunt and uncle always told him his parents died in a car crash, his father was an unemployed drunk, his mother was a prostitute, etc. Harry assumed that he had received his scar during the crash, but he always thought it strange that there was a burst of green light. Where was that light from? Car's headlights weren't green.
After weeding, Harry went inside to clean up and make dinner. As always, when he's doing his chores, his mind wandered to other things. Normally, by rote, Harry could avoid burning the food. However, today, after Dudley had beaten him up and the ache in his muscles from doing the gardening work, the worst thing happened to him. A burning smell permeated the kitchen before Harry realized what was happening, his eyes widening in horror, and turned off the stove quickly. His heart pounded away in his chest as he waited for the inevitable to come.
Uncle Vernon, who had arrived home a few minutes ago, rushed into the kitchen as fast as his fat body allowed him, roaring, "What did you do, boy? Are you trying to burn our house down?"
Harry flinched and cowered away slightly. "I'm sorry, Uncle Vernon," he whispered. "I'll clean up and cook another meal."
His uncle turned a deep shade of purple – which signaled his uncle was VERY angry. Of course, his uncle was always angry with him some way or another – whether it's because he had better grades than Dudley or because he just plainly existed. "You…you…"
Harry didn't really understand why his relatives normally got angrier when he apologized. After all, it was the right thing to do – which is why he kept doing it despite his apologies making his relatives angrier. Maybe it was because they think he made too many of the same mistake and, therefore, his apologies weren't sincere?
His uncle approached the boy, who took a deep breath and was determined not to show fear in the face of his uncle's intimidating figure. But of course…Harry's attempt at bravery failed, and he ended up trembling uncontrollably under Vernon's malicious gaze. Harry knew he made a mistake in letting his mind wander while cooking, but he also knew he did the right thing in apologizing and offering to rectify his mistake. Therefore, he knew his uncle was in the wrong. It was this knowledge that made living with his relatives bearable.
His uncle cuffed him and roared, "You think your apologies can make up for the burnt food? It's a waste! Not to mention our house could've burned down!" He grabbed Harry's hand and slammed it down on the hot stove.
Harry hissed in pain, his eyes watering. When his uncle finally let go of his hand, Harry leaned against the counter and slid to the floor, breathing heavily.
His uncle appeared satisfied and said cruelly, "Make us another dinner, boy." With that, he left the kitchen, leaving Harry on the floor. He did not see the tears that ran down the boy's cheeks as Harry hung his head to hide them. Quite frankly, though, he wouldn't care.
Harry stood up slowly and went to the sink, running cold water over his burned hand. He had treated worse burns; all this was like routine to him. After several minutes of the treatment, he wiped his cheeks on his sleeve and returned to the stove to attempt to make dinner for the second time that day. He wondered for a brief second whether he really was a bad person inside if fate had felt he deserved all this. With that, he realized with horror what might have made him deserved the Dursley's treatment…was it possible that HE was the one who caused his parents' deaths? Had he been crying loudly in the car? So much that his father was distracted, sending him and his mother to their deaths?
Harry clenched and unclenched his burnt hand. He deserved the pain. "Mom, Dad, I'm sorry…" he whispered.
During dinner, Harry's emotions were becoming turbulent within him. As he made his way to his aunt with a frying pan of food to dish some out onto her plate, he jumped in shock as the food just exploded into the air. His aunt shrieked and grabbed the pan from him, trying to whack him with it but missed as his quick reflexes allowed him to duck under it.
However, he wasn't as lucky as Vernon grabbed him by his neck, nearly strangling him, who was almost as shocked by the food explosion as his uncle was. "WHAT HAPPENED?" his uncle roared.
Harry stuttered, "I-I don't know! I swear I don't!"
"I'M TIRED OF YOUR FREAKISHNESS! FIRST YOU TRIED TO BURN OUR HOUSE DOWN! THEN YOU MADE FOOD EXPLODE!" His uncle was turning red again. Then he dragged his nephew out into the hall, still keeping his hold on the neck. He pushed Harry up against the wall.
Harry knew what was expected of him and, without a word of complaint, he took off his shirt. He quietly dropped it beside him and stood facing the wall, his hands pushing against it to stabilize him. He closed his eyes as the first lash of his uncle's belt hit his back. He only breathed deeply, like an inward hiss. Still, he made no sound. He deserved this – he kept telling himself that. Soon, however, the pain caused him to drop to his knees, his eyes clouding over as he slipped into unconsciousness.
So angry was Vernon that he stomped on his nephew's chest trying to wake him up. He didn't even pay attention to his wife, who was trying to stop him from killing the boy. "THIS FREAK DOESN'T DESERVE TO LIVE UNDER OUR ROOF!"
"Vernon, please, you'll be put in prison for murder!"
That stopped the man, who stepped away from his nephew, breathing heavily. He grabbed the boy, opened his cupboard door, and threw him inside, locking the door.
Outside, Minerva McGonagall was watching the scene with horror in her cat form. She had decided to check up on Harry tonight as part of her monthly routine. The cruelty displayed left her shaken. He had been about to murder the boy! With a pop, she apparated to Hogwarts front gate. She rushed inside and straight up to Dumbledore's office.
"Professor Dumbledore," she said, approaching him, trying to remain composed and poised.
The elderly wizard looked up from a transfiguration book and smiled at his deputy headmistress. "Ah, Professor McGonagall, surely you should be sleeping at this time of night?" he asked gently.
McGonagall took a deep breath. "They nearly killed him, Albus."
Dumbledore froze and paled slightly before asking calmly, "Please explain, Professor."
"I saw them. His uncle beat him to within an inch of his life," McGonagall breathed. "Harry Potter."
Dumbledore stood up, and for the first time, McGonagall was afraid of the Headmaster. Normally, Dumbledore always exhibits an air that made everyone comfortable around him. However, now was not the case. His face was thunderous, and his twinkling blue eyes lost their twinkle. His voice was calm, yet so cold that there was a drop in temperature in the room. "Lead the way, Professor." He was the most shocked in all his life. Disbelief filled him. He had depended on familial duty to protect the young Potter. That was apparently a mistake. He had thought being with his aunt and uncle would be the best for Harry. That was also a mistake. He had known the boy was neglected, but never abused so terribly.
The Dursleys never expected what hit them. Petunia was the only one of them who seemed to care the slightest that Harry was on the verge of death. After all, even though she was jealous of Lily for her magical powers, she didn't hate her sister. She felt a duty to at least look after the boy of her blood. Therefore, after Vernon and Dudley went to bed, Petunia went to Harry's cupboard and began cleaning and wrapping his wounds.
She had only finished cleaning his wounds when she heard a knock on the Dursley's front door. Who would be coming at this time of night? She stood up and answered the door. What she saw made her pale. Never had she been so scared, looking at the figure of an angry Albus Dumbledore.
The Hogwarts headmaster spoke calmly, yet he exhibited a cold and deadly air, "I would like to see young Harry, please. And do wake your husband, if you can." Despite the words, Dumbledore did not make a request – only an order.
Petunia trembled before rushing upstairs to wake her husband. Grumbling about being woken up at an unreasonable hour, the beefy man went downstairs with his wife. What he saw woke him out of his half-sleep state. "Who are you? I demand you leave, Sir!" he growled aggressively. However, Dumbledore didn't even blink.
"I would like to see Harry Potter, please." Again, it was not a request.
Vernon paled. However, Petunia gestured weakly at the cupboard under the stairs.
McGonagall stiffly pointed her wand at the door, which burst open to reveal an unconscious, half-naked Harry with bloody, raw wounds that glistened in the dim lighting. The elderly professor clasped a hand over her mouth, gasping in horror. "No…"
Dumbledore crouched down and brushed Harry's bangs out of his eyes gently. His eyes became wet, and he blinked away the tears. "My boy, my poor, poor, boy," he whispered. Sleeping, Harry looked like a lamb, one that was beaten for no reason other than its existence. Dumbledore couldn't help but admire Harry, who had bore such misery with such strength. Although his plan hadn't gone as he would have liked, it had accomplished its purpose. Harry's heart was prepared…
He picked up the boy and turned to Professor McGonagall. "Take him to Potter Manor, Professor. Tell the house elves to take care of Harry. But tell them to tell him nothing about the circumstances of his parents' death and Voldemort. He is not yet ready for such a burden." Dumbledore handed Harry's body over to McGonagall, who held the boy gently. "I will be there later to cast the Fidelius Charm over the estate." After McGonagall apparated, Dumbledore turned towards the Dursleys, his eyes cold.
Vernon gathered together his courage and growled, "We did not want him in the first place!"
"He was family," Dumbledore said quietly. "Yet you did not do as I had asked. You did not treat him as a son. I did not expect as much of course, and it was a good thing that you did not do so, or else, you would've inflicted on him the same, greater damage that you did on your own son." He narrowed his eyes dangerously. "And yet, there was one thing I did not expect – you being prepared to murder him." He raised his wand at them, and the Dursleys cowered. "I would suggest you think about your actions toward an innocent, defenseless boy. He could've been a great gift to you." He flicked his wand and left the house, saying softly, "Experience his experiences as your own. They will haunt you, and perhaps then you could learn sympathy."
After his departure from the Dursleys, he arrived at Potter Manor, gave directions to the house elves, and then proceeded to cast the Fidelius Charm.