Harry lay on his back in the dark, barely breathing. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to move. He couldn't see. There was no light in his cupboard. It was pitch black. It all started after the Tri Wizard tournament. Nightmares of Cedric being killed, Voldemort being alive plagued him every night to the point where he'd wake everyone up with his screaming. After the first week of this, the Dursleys started force feeding him sleeping pills every night, with no avail. Then Vernon decided to beat it out of him. Vernon would come into his room and hit him until he woke up. This continued all throughout the third week of his summer holidays. Nobody had written to him. His friends didn't care. He didn't even know where Hedwig was. Was she alive? Harry didn't know.
On the fourth week, he awoke to Vernon dragging him down the stairs and throwing him into the cupboard under the stairs and locking it. That was where he stayed for the whole of the fourth week, trying hard not to sleep. When he did fall asleep, he'd be woken by a foot to his ribs, each kick more painful than the last. Judging from the pain in his right side, they were broken. That was two weeks ago.
Last week, he was allowed out of his cupboard to wash in the shed in the garden because he was making the house stink. When he came back, there was a cinnamon air freshener in his cupboard. Harry. The smell of it made him sneeze. Sneezing made the pain in his ribs worse and he was sure he heard a few cracks. Harry tried hiding it under some old clothes, but that didn't help. Then the Dursleys decided that because it was their last week of having the freak in their perfect house, they were going to have some fun with him.
Harry was dragged out of his cupboard and up the stairs by his hair to his room. It wasn't easy, being dragged by his hair, especially with broken ribs. He felt tugging and then the cold air and realised his clothes had been ripped off. Harry tried to curl up to protect himself but that just worsened it. Vernon started kicking him; anywhere he could reach as Harry writhed on the floor in agony as his broken ribs were brutally kicked. Vernon stamped on his shin and a nasty cracking noise came from it.
Harry passed out, only to have a bucket of cold water dumped over him. Vernon was kneeling behind him now. Harry could feel something hard pressed up against him and then a sudden pain as Vernon grunted. Harry realised he was being raped. He started moving, trying to free himself, but Vernon knelt on his arm. Harry passed out after hearing the splintering of bone.
Green eyes fluttered open to the dark and low ceiling of his cupboard under the stairs. His mouth was dry and his head was stuffy. He tried to sit up, only to fall back down after his broken ribs, on both sides now, protested. More than protested, Harry felt like he had taken bludgers to his ribs before being trampled on by a hippogriff and crucioed by the Dark Lord.
He reached for his light with his unbroken left hand and pulled on the cord, once, then twice. Panicking, he tried a third time. He let his head drop back onto the floor. The bulb was gone. He raised his good hand to his face, checking his glasses were still intact. He found out they were little more than shattered glass and twisted wire laying on his face. Harry became dimly aware that he was lying in a pool of blood. Was someone bleeding? He could smell the red liquid as it soaked his clothes. A more rational voice in his head urged him to get out, but how could he? His arm, his leg, his ribs were all broken. His wand was locked away in his cupboard and he – realisation dawned on Harry. He was in his cupboard. He'd never thought he'd be grateful Vernon was stupid.
Pushing himself backwards with his good arm and good leg, he made it over to the box. It was in there somewhere, it was his birthday present from the Dursleys...apart from the kicking he'd received. He desperately felt around the box until his fingers scraped it. Harry picked up the paper clip and tried to clumsily bend it into a shape with his fingers. It wasn't perfect, but if he could get through the padlock Vernon was bound to have put on his trunk, he could leave.
Even if it meant being expelled for using magic.
Harry pushed himself over to the other side of the cupboard, blindly feeling for the padlock. Once he had it, he pushed the paperclip in and twisted it, praying to whoever was listening it would work. If it didn't, he was dead. Once he heard a click, Harry pulled off the padlock and as it clattered to the floor, he feebly lifted the lid and slipped his hand inside, stifling a gasp when it fell on the unseen bruises littering his skinny arm. His hand felt his books and the silky material of his invisibility cloak and eventually his bruised fingers closed around his wand handle. Carefully drawing his arm out of the trunk, Harry considered what to do now. After all this, he was tired. Covered in blood, he wanted nothing more than to let the darkness claim him. What was there to do? He couldn't go to Hogwarts, nor let the Weasleys see him like this.
Today was the 31st of August and he was going back to Hogwarts tomorrow.
Or he would be, but he wasn't going anywhere in this state. He wouldn't be going anywhere ever again if he didn't do something. In the darkness, he was seeing spots and he was certain the pool of blood he'd woken up in was bigger. There was only one place he could go, to the person who hated him the most. Harry tapped the padlock and weakly whispered Portus Spinner's End. He grasped his trunk with his good hand with his wand clutched in his trembling fingers and moved his other hand to grab the padlock, holding back screams of pain.
Severus Snape was in the sitting room, enjoying a rather old potions book along with a rather old glass of gin as what light in the room faded. An alarm sounded from somewhere and he looked up irratibly. Someone was trying to get through his wards. Deciding to desposit them on his doorstep, he set his gin and book down before taking his time to walk to the front door, lazily twirling his wand. There were few people who knew where his house was and fewer people who knew the appropriate password to get in. He was not, at all, worried about what would be waiting for him on his doorstep. Or at least, that's what he thought as his opened the door to see Potter, son of his most hated enemy and bane of his existence.
What little colour existed in his face drained away as he took in the blood soaking Potter's clothes, the hand clutching the padlock that was attached to a bruised arm with the bone jutting out through the skin and the leg that was twisted the wrong way and hanging at an angle nobody should ever achieve. Snape, lest he should throw up, turned away for a second and breathed in deeply through his nose. Worse things had been seen at his Death Eater meetings, yes, but he had not known those people. As much as he hated the Potter spawn, he had to do something.
Snape turned back, his face devoid of emotion, Potter brat or not. Raising his wand, he levitated the unconcious boy and his trunk into his house, deciding immediately to place him onto one of the spare beds whilst he worked. Taking him up the stairs and doing just that, Severus summoned several potions, setting them down on the faded maple table next to the bed.
Whilst no Healer, Snape could fix injuries, although the boy's mental state would be another thing entirely. Banishing Potter's t-shirt and replacing the jeans with shorts, he cast a diagnostic spell and would've paled (had he any colour) at the length of the list presented to him.
What had Potter been doing over the summer? Shouldn't he be lounging at his relative's home, being pampered and waited on hand and foot. Potter should be well fed, not skinny enough to count all his ribs. Snape frowned. What could Potter have possibly been doing to get these injuries? He grabbed the list and scanned it, ignoring the past injuries and skipping to present injuries. Broken arm, leg, ribs and...rectal bleeding.
Severus was jerked back to reality when Potter twitched and moaned. He was going to have to fix Potter. Snape picked up one of the potion bottles containing a pain killing potion and uncorked it before spelling it directly into Potter's stomach. It would do no good to have him choke. How was he going to proceed? He needed to stop the bleeding first. Snape levitated Potter onto his front.
"Episkey." That took care of the bleeding. Flipping him back over, Severus followed up with a blood replenishing potion, as no other places seemed to be bleeding. He didn't know whether he should try to fix the broken arm or to vanish the bones and regrow them as that fool Lockhart did a few years ago. As stupid as it was, the idea did have some merit. First, the leg though. Pointing his wand at Potter's leg, he flicked his wand and cast a silent Erecto. Now the bone was set, he cast Ferula that was bound Potter's leg. Snape eyed Potter's arm before banishing the broken bone and summoning Skele-grow, which like the other potions, was spelled directly into Potter's stomach.
Unfortuately, Snape couldn't give Potter a sleeping draught, unless he wanted to kill Potter. Severus had a feeling both Dumbledore and the Dark Lord wouldn't be pleased if such a thing happened. Snape finished fixing the Potter brat with Episkey to his ribs and used his wand to place him into the bed then proceeded to exit the room, back down the stairs into the sitting room.
Snape picked up his gin and downed the glass before sitting down heavily in his chair and staring at the fire place. What was he going to do with the Potter boy? He couldn't contact Dumbledore, the old fool had sent the boy back to his relatives every summer. Severus had never seen a clearer sign of abuse than this, now that he thought back over the years, everytime he saw Potter limping around at the beginning of the year, wincing and flinching when people came too close.
How could he not have spotted it sooner?
Snape would've continued dwelling if his thoughts hadn't been disturbed by a loud blood curdling scream from upstairs.