So... the story, the first I've ever written for the HP fandom… God, I'm nervous!
Things you really should read here because I won't repeat myself and won't answer any questions nor hear any complaints about it:
- This a fic centered on Severus and Harry's relationship as in a father and son bonding story. It doesn't mean there won't be any others characters and as much as I hate them, there will be some OCs but their presences will be put onto the background, they won't be overly used but just to explain some things. God, I hate OCs!
- I have to inform you that my story is darker than the books have ever been. I don't like that, with his past, Harry is being so nice and acts so hero-ish, self-sacrificing, devoted (hear stupidly, brashly, suicidal) and all, so... yes, I wanted him to be on edge of being a "bad guy" and with some light mental issues due to the abuse. He won't be dark but he won't be "light" either. He will be "just Harry" or at least the character I wanted to work with. Yes, he will be OOC because his past will be worse than what the canon displayed but I think it's not so much, not to me at least (honestly, a cupboard as a room, not enough to eat, bars on the window…!). He will be intelligent but not a super power Harry even if better than Hermione (yes, he will) but he will work hard and I will use things not used in the books to explain it. As for Severus, he will not be chummy and all but he will go through a difficult process to make of him a real father. Don't worry though, he will be our favorite tough teacher but slightly different (being a father will change him).
- There will be some slash far later (not between Severus and Harry, obviously) in this story so no flames, you have been warned.
- Timeline: Yes, it's a bit different than in canon. Harry is here born in 1989 because I hated the 80's and 90's (Yes, I'm that old…A problem?) and I wanted to work with a modern world and there is another reason and if you can find it, I will answer one question about the story.
WARNING : dark themes, rape attempt, child abuse, violence, not fit for children under 16 years old. You have been warned.
WARNING: I'm writing this story in French, my native language and then, I'm doing the translation for you, dear English readers, so be nice to appreciate it and don't be too mean if you find any misspelling or grammatical errors as I didn't find betas serious enough to do the thing for me but I did try my very best.
Disclaimer : I'm not J.K. Rowling, that's pretty obvious but well… I'm just playing with her universe.
Reviewed and corrected on December, 2013.
Harry, 2 and a half years old.
Harry is afraid of the storm. Like really, really afraid. Inside his little cupboard, there's no window and even if he doesn't see the lightning bolts shining and the rain falling, he still can hear the drumming drops out and the sound of the lightning strikes. It's even more terrifying because he can imagine it all. He usually doesn't like storms and this one is very big and very scaring. He doesn't dare to stir from his closet, mostly because he doesn't know what will happen to him out of there. And his aunt and uncle always told him that he was not allowed to go out except to go to the toilet. It would probably anger them if he went out without a "good reason". They already are so often angry with him... But really, what's stopping him is that outside his small closet there is ... The Unknown. And that's something really creepy. He tries to never go out at night. Except to go when he "has to go" but he does so really quickly because if he doesn't make it in time, Aunt Petunia isn't pleased. She doesn't want him to have diapers any longer – even if Dudley still wear them – but he still has "accidents" and then… That's why he can't sleep well. He's so worried about wetting himself that he tries to prevent the accidents as much as possible by waking up regularly during the night. But, even then, he avoids going out in the night. Even if his room is cramped and uncomfortable he's still familiar with it and it reassures him. Still….now… staying here, all alone, with the storm out…it's too much for him.
A new rumble – he's sure it's nearer than the last - seems to roar outside. His overactive imagination whispers to him that it sounds like the monsters Dudley had made them watch on the TV even after aunt Petunia said no. Then, his aunt had come and she had turned off the TV and then she had comforted her little Diddykins, saying that monsters would never come for nice little boys like him and she had given him a lollypop. But she hadn't said anything to Harry. And he didn't receive any lollypop. Aunt Petunia even scolded him and accused him to have willingly frightened Dudley. But he didn't do it! He swears! It was all Dudley! All the same, now that he is alone and in the dark, he can't help but think about it. What if they were looking for him? He could never protect himself. He is too small, that he knows well. He's shaking all over now and he holds tightly on his little blanket. Tears roll down his cheeks but he tries not to make any noise. It's hard so he has to place his little hands over his mouth to contain his sniffles.
He feels like he can almost hear the monsters coming and can no longer hold himself. Were they looking for him? He really is afraid now. He doesn't want to have to wait for them to find him. He needs protection. He thinks of his aunt and uncle that are upstairs. It seems so far from his cupboard. But if he could reach them, he could explain about the monsters down and they would take care of them, he just knows it. They are very big, especially his uncle. They would flee before his uncle and they would leave Harry alone. Yes, his aunty and uncle would protect him, for sure. That's what grown-ups do after all. Even if it's to protect him because they may not like him much but they are all he have. He gets up slowly, cautiously, making as little noise as possible. He opens very quietly the closet door and looks outside. He knows it's the sitting room but he hardly recognizes it. He takes a look to see if the monsters are there, just to check.
There are all these shadows dancing and the flashes of light that blind him. The sitting room appears terribly spooky. The shadows… they move! But they don't seem to have noticed him yet. His heart is beating strongly, very strongly. He makes sure that there is no one before totally going out. He's lucky because if the monsters are hiding in the shadows then, at the moment, they don't pay attention to him. It's a relief. He walks hesitantly as he is afraid to draw attention and he holds his breath as much as he can. Suddenly, a large lightning illuminates the room and he can't help but scream out of terror, rushing to the stairs, all precautions now forgotten.
He just wants to find his uncle and aunt. He wants to be comforted and he wants to have them take care of the monsters that dance in the shadows, to make them flee away. His little legs struggle to climb the rugged stairs, but the terror helps greatly in this case. He opens the door that wasn't closed and rushes in the bedroom hastily, huddling on the elongated shape of his aunt while shaking badly. His move awakes his aunt with a start. He stammers and tries to explain that he is scared of the monsters, that they are coming to take him but a rough hand grabs him and pushes him away violently. He falls hard on the floor. It's his uncle and he seems angry. Harry turns to his aunt, confused. She comforted Dudley, she surely knows what to do.
"Vernon, how many times did I tell you to put a lock on that damn closet!", the housewife mumbles, dissatisfied with the rude awakening before lying down again, turning around to go back to sleep.
The boy's eyes widen. Why his aunt doesn't do like she did with Dudley? Harry doesn't understand. The boy is then promptly brought to his cupboard by his swearing and screaming uncle who yells at him, saying that if the monsters ever came back to take him then he should let them do and that if he feels the need to awaken good people in the middle of the night then he would get a taste of his belt. He throws Harry in the little room and leave, grumbling to himself about ungrateful burden. The little boy is confused. And hurt. And still scared. He tries to shut the hurt inside his little heart by humming to himself an old lullaby, hoping to get some comfort from it and hugging himself in order to try to forget his fear.
The next day, Uncle Vernon installed a small golden lock on the room-cage of his nephew while his Aunt gave him a pot chamber.
After that, Harry learned to cope alone with his fears and tears.
Harry, 3 years old.
It's nice; it feels good. He works on the flower beds, watering lightly the begonias as aunt Petunia told him to do before putting him out. The watering can is heavy even if it's not full and it's very difficult to move it. It's important that he be careful otherwise aunt Petunia won't be pleased if he doesn't do it right. He likes being in the garden. He smiles. It's summer and there are lots of flowers around him. It smells good. The birds chirp happily and fly freely. This is why it's not a chore to little Harry. Besides, he doesn't know what he has been punished for to be made to do this chore. But as it often happens, it doesn't matter. Suddenly, his attention is attracted to bright colors that seem to float in the air. Unable to resist, the child gets up and leaves the task to follow the beautiful thing that flies without a defined path, trying to catch it.
A strong hand closes hard on the small arms and makes him look up. Aunt Petunia seems furious. He tries to show her the beautiful insect that landed on a daisy a little further. So that aunt Petunia would see them too, the beautiful colors dancing in the wind. And his aunt does see them. She approaches the butterfly and, without giving it a chance to escape, she ruthlessly crushes it before turning and barking at him to get back to work as he should in order to thank them as she and his uncle Vernon had taking him in out of the kindness of their heart, sacrificing themselves to offer shelter and food to the ungrateful brat that he is.
After that, Harry had no desire to laugh anymore.
Harry, 3 and a half years old.
"I'm sorry! Please, I'm sorry Uncle Vernon!"
The child moved back against the wall, scared. He didn't do it on purpose, he swears. He didn't think that Dudley would be afraid by the pretty little snake or so that it would bite him. It was so cute with its so pretty dark maroon color with large yellow stripes and its scales so bright under the sun. Harry had met it in the garden, somewhere in the wood heap for the chimney and they got to know each other. It was so nice to speak to something that he had wanted to show it to his cousin but Dudley had howled when seeing it and Harry was so surprised that he had dropped his friend on the floor. The snake must have been scared too because he had jumped on the fat leg of his cousin only to pierce the chubby skin with its sharp fangs.
Aunt Petunia had come then, followed by uncle Vernon. She took care of his "baby" as Uncle Vernon seized the broom and stroke, again and again, the little grass snake until it wasn't more than a pulp. The child had tried to save his friend but uncle Vernon had pushed him. Hard. He had fallen over the wall, dazed. Harry had been sad then and had felt guilty too. The little snake was so soft and nice and, at the beginning, it hadn't wanted to come with Harry but the little boy had succeeded in convincing it and now, it was dead. Because of him.
Like his dead parents. That's what aunt Petunia had told him.
And now his uncle is very angry. Aunt Petunia is hugging her duddykin who's sniveling against her chest while glaring at him, the one who had threatened the life of her dear child. What Harry isn't. He looks at his uncle who is now removing his belt. A gesture that he will soon learn to acknowledge. His aunt feebly protests that, maybe, "they" are watching but the man doesn't pay attention to her. He has to punish the freak, to pull this freakishness out of him. He wouldn't stand endangering his baby and his family because of this burden that had been forced upon them. He had to protect his family.
The first blow felt on a petrified and surprised Harry. It hurts badly. He huddles up, screaming, trying to protect himself with his thin arms, begging for his uncle to stop as he's lifting and lowering his leather belt upon his puny body. Finally, uncle Vernon had to stop himself, being out of breath but, surprisingly, feeling much better. He had done what had to be done. He had to make the boy learn his place. Someone had to inform the boy of what was acceptable and what wasn't. And he would be this person. After all, even if he wasn't pleased with it and would have gladly gone without it, he was the one responsible for raising the brat. And he swore that, even if it should take him years, he would do it. For the good of them all. For his family. Yes, that was the perfect thing to do.
"You're fortunate enough that it wasn't venomous, boy", he told at the bloody limping form on the floor. "We had to take you in but I can assure you that you will learn to obey and walk straight in this house for I won't stand my good name to be soiled by the devil's spawn of good for nothing freaks!"
Harry didn't answer, shocked. His body was hurting all over, he couldn't move so he stayed on the floor until the Dursley's came back of their traditional Sunday walk. His aunt then dragged him on his closet while cursing him for the cleaning that he had put upon her. He hadn't eaten at all this day but didn't ask for anything. Aunt Petunia seemed still so angry. He just heard one more thing before falling asleep despite his so many wounds which probably wouldn't allow him a proper rest:
"You have seen it by yourself, Pet', no one is watching. We can try to make something of this bad seed that we have been forced to plant."
Harry, 4 years old.
Harry is happy. He spoke to the Cats' Lady, and she was very nice to him. But he doesn't like when she hugs him. This may be because he isn't used to it or perhaps that's because Mrs. Figg doesn't know that she shouldn't touch him. Because he is a freak, he just knows it. That makes him uncomfortable when she does. And it hurts too, sometimes after one of his uncle beatings to get the freakishness out of him. He usually doesn't like coming at her home because she tries to make him looks at her many cat's photo albums that he doesn't care at all about but he's forced to comply into looking at them so she wouldn't complain about his behavior. But, more often than not, she just ignores him and lets him do what he wants, so that's fine. Today, his uncle and aunt went to town with Dudley, leaving home. Because it is a very special day. And even if it smells cabbage and catnip at Mrs. Figg, he doesn't care anymore right now. She gave him something to draw! And that's really good.
Because Harry has a great idea.
He heard about it weeks ago and saw lots of ads everywhere. That's why he was left at Mrs. Figg, he knows it. So he wouldn't spoil their day as he often does. But he wants to participate too but did not have time to do something before. Dudley destroyed what he had done at the nursery and even though the teacher said that it did not matter, Harry doesn't agree. He had put in it a lot of thought and then he concluded that it was logical that he does one. He draws with concentration. He puts all his talent and is careful in coloring all the characters, without overflowing the card.
It'll be good, or so he hopes.
He cannot write yet, but it doesn't matter. He draws his very wish on the blank sheet of paper. He uses the most beautiful colors and is careful with the proportions. He has talent, the teacher told him before putting a star on his last drawing. She even displayed it in the classroom before he asked her for it so he could put it in his room. That was an image that Harry has often dreams of, a bike that flies in the sky above the city. Her aunt was angry when he talked about it so he had to hide the picture in his cupboard under the stairs, not wishing to cross her. He doesn't want her to be angry with him; he's working hard for it.
Even if he does almost never succeed.
But that's because Harry is disobedient. He knows it; his uncle says it all the time. And his uncle is a grown-up, so he must be right, right? He is also "un-great-fool". He doesn't know what it means but he knows that it is serious offense for them. Yet, he tries to be nice, he really tries. But it's not easy to be all the time. This is why Harry is often punished and must go to bed even when it is still day light and he has not eaten. And he gets hit too, but that's when he deserves it. When he'd done his "freakish tricks" so it's normal, he supposed.
Finally, his aunt went to pick him up. He follows obediently. He wants her to be in a good mood because it's a great day. He wants to be a good boy so he really, really is careful. He never tried as hard as he is now. Because he craves so hard for his dream to come true. She asks him to water the plants in the garden with the garden hose before it gets too dark. He's happy to oblige. He opens the valve with all his thin forces and copiously waters the flower beds.
Once he's finished, he puts out his card with the drawing he had made. It was neatly pocketed so as to not damage it. His heart is pounding. He is afraid and at the same time, he is a bit excited. There is so much hope in this little card that he feels like he could explode. He enters the kitchen where his aunt is preparing the dinner. She notices him and he gives her, his hands shaking, his little sheet of paper by launching a shy and hesitant:
"Happy Mother's Day... Mom."
While a little boy tried with difficulty to recover from a severe beating and from the hateful words thrown at him by his aunt, a drawing – albeit a little clumsy and naively made by childish hands – picturing a happy family with two parents and two little boys, smiling and taking each other's hands, was seeing its bright colors fade to nothing under the rain in the unclosed trash bin. Harry learned a new lesson this time.
This evening, he learned that dreams never get to be fulfilled. At least, not his. Even when trying really hard.
Harry, 4 and a half years old.
He must go on. And run. The boy's little lungs are fighting for air. His legs become heavy, his muscles being tired of the forceful use. There is not enough food in his tiny body to sustain his effort but he has to put up with it. He just can't stop. So he does what he always did. He doesn't pay attention to the pain. He runs for a reason, of course. Not for the pleasure of running but to survive. Because Dudley and his gang are after Harry in the marvelous game of "Harry Hunting". They are just "playing". But their games are always painful for Harry.
He speeds up, again. They are all well feed, Harry's chasers and (well, except for Dudley, of course), they run fast. They laugh seeing him trying to escape. The neighbors don't do anything, as usual, and look at the children with leniency. It's nothing of importance. To them, it probably is not, Harry told himself. He speeds once more for shaking them off even if the chances are next to nothing. But Harry doesn't want to lose against the bullies. He runs and tries to find a little hole or something to hide. He decides to go in the neighbors' gardens, through the edges and fences and soon, he doesn't hear their steps anymore.
Dudley has probably got tired and has given up.
Oh, of course, Harry knows that he will have to pay later for escaping them but, for now, he is safe. He had found a pretty grove behind the Donovans' house. It's dense enough with sharp thorns. Harry has chosen this one precisely because of the thorns as he is sure that Dudley and his goons would never come there. He must wait and stay hidden. He makes a face when he sees that he had grazed his arms but, more importantly, that he had torn up his shirt.
His aunt won't be happy with him. Not at all. She always said that he should be grateful for the clothes she provides him. Even if they are too large and overused. Dudley's old clothes. Because new clothes are for the ones that deserve them. And he doesn't. That's why he must take care of the rags he wears. Now he is in so much trouble. She's going to tell to uncle Vernon... But, right now, he doesn't want to think or even care about that. Because he had won. He had been better than Dudley. More obstinate and cunning. It doesn't happen often but as long as he uses his brain he can win. He can do it if he's stubborn enough.
But for now, he just wants to rest a little. Before he has to come back. For his thrashing.
Harry, 5 years old.
Today, it's the start of the school year. Harry was up to begin it. He is very excited. He will learn how to read, how to write and count. And he hopes to make friends too. He'll work real hard and he'll be nice and all. And he will show his aunt and uncle that he isn't stupid and maybe they will like him better, or even just a little bit more. It's Dudley school beginning too. Aunt Petunia had bought him a new wardrobe, a new bag and many other new things. Harry has a bag too, a used cotton bag but he has chosen his better clothes, the ones that aren't too bad. He would have liked to shower but his Aunt has told him that there wasn't enough time for him. He just has come to wash his face and freshen up a little. He is a little scared but he doesn't want to think of it.
Everything is gonna be alright.
His uncle and aunty had driven them for the first day but they made sure that he knew that he will have to walk up there as of tomorrow. It's not easy to memorize the way to school because they drive fast. Fortunately, the school isn't far from the park he comes when he wants to escape a little. He thinks that he can manage. After arriving, his aunt gives a long hug to her Duddy darling dear while sobbing as his uncle is beaming with joy and pride towards his son. On the other hand, he throws significant looks to Harry. The Look that said "no freakishness or you will regret it". That's a lesson that Harry has long since known. His aunt finally consents to let her precious Duddydiddykin go as the teacher begins to gather the children.
Class is going to begin. Harry's so impatient.
Harry feels like crying. It hadn't been alright. At all. Firstly, he hadn't answered when the teacher had called his last name. He didn't know there was something else apart from « Harry ». Everyone had made fun of him. He told himself that it could have been worse because if it wasn't for Mrs Figg he could even have not known his first name too as she is the only one who's using it. His teacher wasn't pleased with him and she has scolded him for disturbing the class. Harry was ashamed. Then, the following lesson had been interesting but he had quickly got bored. The teacher was only repeating again and again the same thing when once should have been enough. So he had been daydreaming and when his teacher had come to order him to pay attention, he had jumped, screaming. Everyone had, once again, laughed at him. He had been put in the far corner of the room until time break.
But it wasn't the worse of it.
During break, no one had wanted to speak to him and the few who had wanted to, Dudley and his goons had made them flee. They said that he stinks, that he is ugly with his mess up of a hair and his rags of clothes. Dudley had then pushed and stricken him. He had fallen hard on the ground. The teacher had come then and stepped in but everyone told her that Harry had fallen alone. It was not true and Harry tried to explain but she didn't listen. She was fed up with him and promised to tell his uncle and aunt how much trouble he had been.
He felt like he was in for a good beating.
Harry, 5 and a half years old.
Harry has finished his chores after school. It's late now and he is tired. Uncle Vernon is out for a drink with some important customers and the house is quiet. The child knows that he should get back to his closet but he doesn't. Not yet. He had made his chores quicker than usual just so that he can hide and listen. He goes upstairs quietly. He knows how to do it without being noticed. He goes near Dudley's room, just beside the door. He doesn't want to get caught or he will have to face many troubles, of that he's sure. The door is slightly ajar; he squats down, watching as, inside the bedroom, his aunt hugs her son before beginning to read him a story. Harry can't help feeling jealous. His throat tightens and his chest feels a little more constricted than he wants to admit. His aunt reads a story to his cousin every evening so that he can have good dreams.
Harry would like to have some good dreams too. But the only dreams he had are of pain, green lights and cold laughs. That's the reason that sometimes, he's glad to spy on these moments between Dudley and aunt Petunia just so he can dream for a moment that it is his hairs that are being petted, that it is him who will be tucked in and kissed on his forehead before going to sleep. The story in itself is boring. The adventure of the child who was lying about an imaginary wolf only to get eaten by it because of his lying doesn't matter. It's only about lies. Lies are not good or bad in his opinion. It is a necessity. Harry lies often but only to protect himself. Because his own wolf is named uncle Vernon. Once, he had told his uncle that he was waited by Mrs Figg to help her as he was about to beat him. The lie had convinced his Uncle to let him go and then, when he had come back; his uncle had forgotten to punish him because he was busy. And so the lesson was: Lie if you must in order to survive.
The stupid story is over now.
Dudley protests that he isn't tired and doesn't want to sleep but after tucking him in and offering him a late smile and goodnight kiss, he is already asleep. She is nice and soft when with him. Not as she is with Harry. But he doesn't count. He isn't wanted, that much he knows. They had taken great care of making sure that he knows. He doesn't care now and it doesn't hurt so much as it had before. He knows that he must go now and so he does, tiptoeing. He comes back to his refuge. He lies on his old cot and tries to tuck himself in with his threadbare blanket. He wouldn't cry. His eyes have long since mourning from what he can't have even if he doesn't really understand yet. It will be the last time he does that. He doesn't want to feel sorry for something that there's no hope for him to ever have. Not anymore.
It's too late for that.
Harry, 6 years old.
Harry tries to follow the directions of his aunt but it's not an easy task. He takes the bacon and puts it on the frying pan. He takes out the eggs and laboriously put them on the counter because it's high and he is small. He is hungry but his Aunt had said that if he did as he was told without trouble he would have something to eat. He didn't know what "something to eat" means but he hopes that it will be better than usual so he tries very hard to please her. He is careful. Harry is used to be hungry. It's the way things are for freaks like him. That's what his aunt and uncle had told him. He doesn't believe it now that he is older but he knows that it's better to just shut up and say "yes". They also say that food must be deserved and Harry has to do many things to deserve the scraps they let him have. Now he has learned to deal with. It's not fair but he says nothing. What good would it do? Sometimes, it's difficult to do all the work with an empty stomach but his aunt used to let him have something on some of her "good" days. A can of cold soup most of the time.
Harry is a quiet child. He doesn't speak and doesn't ask questions. He has piercing eyes though. Some would say that he is too quiet but as no one notices him, it doesn't matter. He is the one that is usually forgotten and more than once, people would notice him a long time after he had come around, surprised to find him there when they did think they were alone. He makes people nervous. He observes everything around him and listens on what should have been private conversations like the shadow he is becoming. He doesn't mind, he just tries to take care of himself. He can't play, no one wants him to use the toys and he doesn't want to just watch. Instead, he looks at the others, at their life, at everything that presents some kind of interest to him.
But for now, he must concentrate. He has to. He can't afford to make stupid mistakes. It's an important task (even interesting) and he feels a little pride that he is the one to do it. Just a little. He tries to do his best. He has to. Dudley isn't allowed to come near the stove and it's the first time he has a right that Dudley hasn't. His aunt makes it as if she's doing him a favor but Harry is not stupid, it's just a new chore. However, it's one chore he doesn't mind as he hopes he will be able to sneak food more easily. He doesn't have a choice anyway. Dudley can make choices. He can't. It's hard to keep a watch on the cooking because he can't see inside the frying pan. He grabs the handle while rising upon his toes to have a look. But it's too heavy for him and the inside falls over him, burning his skin with hot grease. He can't help screaming. In a second, his aunt is on him.
She doesn't check that he is ok or that the burns aren't too deep, no, she slaps him and yells that he has spoiled the breakfast. She doesn't listen to his apology, yet sincere. Then, uncle Vernon steps in to "take care of the issue upon his own hands". He drags him to the cellar, where no one will hear him and removes his belt. Because he has to "stop him to mess around", spoiling and destroying everything for the ones who are so kind as to take a freak like him under their roof. He strikes again and again until the "lesson" has sunk enough into the freak to his taste. Harry hadn't begged for mercy or cried when the leather had made deep wounds into his skin. It would just have made it worse, or so he knows. He just had huddled on the floor, protecting his head and tummy.
It's been a long time since Harry had known that no one would come to help him.
Harry, 6 and a half years old.
Harry doesn't cry. His eyes had dried a long time ago and he doesn't want to allow himself to be weak any longer. He should be crying right now but he had long since forgotten how to. Miss Crawley is gone. Because of him. Miss Crawley was nice to him. She is – was – his teacher at school. She had said to him that he was nice and intelligent. She had even given him advanced exercises when she had notice that he was daydreaming because he was bored. She wasn't angry when he didn't listen and just made him pay attention to a new exercise or lesson while the others were going on with the current lesson. Of course, she made a point to be sure he had learned what he should but she never yelled at him. She asked him questions and when she was satisfied with his answers, she let him do what he wanted as long as it was learning. He loves – had loved – Miss Crawley. But she is gone now. Like his parents, she has given him up. He can't blame her after all; he should just have shut up.
It was too good to last anyway.
His teacher had punished Dudley for his bad behavior and never indulged his every whim. She even scolded him for preventing one student to speak with Harry. Harry. She was the only one apart from Mrs Figg to use this name. It was weird at first and he had needed some time to get used to it. She called the others by their first name too but it seems special to Harry. It had been the two best months ever for the boy. Nothing that could be compared with before. She was nice and soft and she smiled quite often. Like a mommy, or so he thought. She never made fun of Harry for his rags of clothes, his smell or his ugly glasses that his aunt had been forced to retrieve from the charity case after his teacher made her notice that he needed them. She gave him the feeling that he was like the others for once and it felt good.
Too good. He should have been more distrustful. He had let his guard down.
Then, one day, she had asked him to stay after class. He knew that he should have paid attention then but he thought that she would only want him to talk about showering or about the state of his clothes because he knew parents were complaining. But how could he explain that his relatives didn't let him get a shower more than 3 or 4 times a week? He just managed to wash quickly his face and freshen himself a bit every day. But that wasn't what she wanted to talk about. He hadn't wanted to speak at first. Uncle Vernon had made it clear that he would pay dearly if he ever did. He didn't want to be in trouble with his uncle. But then, she said that she was there for him, to help him because not only was it her duty but because she cared too. She said that she would make sure that he would never be coming back to the Dursleys if he talked. She gave him hope. He had talked then. Because she said that she cared and she was the first to. She wasn't like the others or so he thought.
She lied to him.
He had wanted to trust her so badly because it was just so hard to always bear it alone, to never talk to anyone, to not have any others friends than books. He told her about the cupboard, the chores and the lack of hygiene. But he couldn't tell her about the beatings and the hunger. He was too ashamed. But she knew, she had guessed. And she had cried. But it wasn't so much, was it ? Only 2 or 3 times a week, not enough to keep him away from school for long. Just when he had really been ungrateful or made freakish things to happen. She said that she would prevent him to be abused again and this had made him frown. He had not really believed that she would act upon his confidences but she had. He just wanted someone to know and to care to help by giving him food, clothes or let him use the school's showers.
That was pretty stupid of him.
She had petted his cheek softly as he had imagined a mommy would do. He had really loved Miss Crawley with her fire colored hair and her bright eyes. She was like a memory he had forgotten. She made him feel like everything would be ok and that he could tell her everything. But then she had called the headmistress who, in turn, had called his relatives and he had felt betrayed. He had known what a huge mistake he had done when watching his uncle and aunt displayed the perfect act of the distraught family who can't understand why they are putting on edge when they try so hard to deal with a boy with so many issues. They explained that he was totally traumatized by the car accident where his drunkards of parents died, and how they tried to cope with him. They said that they didn't have extra money for him as his parents left him so many debts that they used all the money to pay for refunding, so that he wouldn't be burdened upon his majority.
They said that he was a boy with many issues, that he often lied or refused to eat with them or scream when they wanted him to take a bath because he was water phobic. They explained what a burden those lies weighted on them when they did try to do their best to raise him as they did with their Dudley whom he stole his old clothes because he refused to go anywhere in a car. There were holes in their story but their acting was truly impressive and, of course, the headmistress was embarrassed and felt sorry for them. Miss Crawley was furious but powerless to defend him. When she wanted to know why Harry had marks on his back, his aunt explained that Harry had bad scars due to the accident and that they couldn't get him to see a doctor as they feared they would be accused of abuse.
The weird thing for Harry was that, at first, the headmistress was fairly on Miss Crawley's side, and then, she suddenly had begun to believe the Dursleys. Her frown had then increased with every lies they were spouting until she stopped the argument and stated that Miss Crawley had to present the Dursleys an apology for unfounded accusations of child abuse. Maybe the word "donators" meant more than Harry's health in her book, he didn't know. She had advised his relatives to take him to a psychiatrist and that maybe a few chores in the house should take care of his obedience issue. Miss Crawley had been speechless. The headmistress had told her that she had misinterpreted or that he had probably exaggerated what he had told her but Miss Crawley hadn't wanted to let it go and continued to argue until she had to give up. She had lost. And then he knew that he was in so much trouble.
He had so much regretted ever having talked to her, to have put his trust into someone.
He had been seriously beaten and he had sworn then that he would never trust anyone again. He would just shut up now. It had taken one week before he could go back to school. Miss Crawley had tried to get attention from Child Care Services. She had been fired and his file, forgotten. Now, his new teacher is Miss Needlehead, a woman about fifty with a dry face and the first thing that she told him was that she knew what a little liar he was and that she would make sure that he knew his place. She was a stern and cantankerous teacher. Then, school had been a lot less pleasant. She spent her time picking on him and making fun of him when she praised Dudley for being such a nice boy with a cousin as Harry. Now, he is not Harry anymore though. She calls him "boy"or "Mr Potter". She calls him stupid and told him how hopeless he is. He doesn't really care.
After that, he saw Miss Crawley once more.
He was on his way back to the Dursleys. She was waiting for him. She told him how sorry she was before telling him that she was leaving the town as she wasn't wanted here anymore. She gave him a book of History as she knew how much he loved it. She made him promise that he would continue to study and that, one day, everything would be alright. She wasn't really convinced herself, he could tell. He had just nodded and had left her. He should have felt pain or something but he didn't. It was the first time that he had understood – really understood – that he can't expect others to help or care for him, that if he wants things he had to take care of them himself. There is no one else. There will never be someone else. There is no hope. Adults lie and break their promises all the time. They will always let you down in the end. He had believed them so he deserved the lesson. But he won't do this mistake anymore. That was the last straw.
Talk only brings troubles as much as dreams will never be fulfilled.
Well, that's all for now.
If you think that is a long chapter, you have to know that is, in fact, the first part of the prologue...
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