None of the familiar things are mine. I don't charge for you to read this, so chances are I'm making no money, and if you don't believe me, try to sue me and discover that I have no money. This fic will not get terribly graphic, there's mention of child abuse and a slight hinting at sexual abuse between Harry and his Uncle (but this is not a graphic scene, nor is extensive. The professors save Harry before anything too terrible happens.)
The first chapter is very slow, but they do pick up, I promise. Please read through to chapter two or three before you decide to start an online bush fire with your flaming, and only constructive flames please.
Harry and His Past Lives
Chapter One: "Mr. Potter, I Presume?"
Harry Potter found himself in quite the dilemma from nearly the moment he arrived back at the Dursley's following his fourth, and most trying year, at Hogwarts. He couldn't say what he found most distressing or disturbing about his current predicament, whether it be his Uncle's fat, violently magenta face, or the fists that kept ramming into his chest. Both were quite annoying, but he figured the fists, at least, would only leave a bruise or a cracked rib, but his uncles face….that was bound to cause psychological scarring. It was so fat and unnatural when twisted up in a demonic rage.
Harry shuddered to himself and stayed in his fetal position, hands covering his chest to the best of their abilities. He didn't need to protect his face. His uncle wasn't fool enough to hit the boy anywhere obvious. Apparently the seeping scars and lashes on his back were miraculously unnoticeable to the world, or much less noticeable than a bruise on the face was. Even in public school, back when his uncle beat him year around, he had only managed to rouse the suspicions of one teacher, and she was idiot enough to let him go with the infamous, "I fell down the stairs because I'm a clumsy idiot" line. He had a black eye (rare, though his uncle did occasionally forget where he should hit the boy) and after gym class that day, his back had begun to bleed. Apparently the teacher actually thought stairs capable of giving someone welts and scars.
Harry sighed and bit his lip as he felt the belt for the first time that night. He didn't know if he should be relieved or worried. The belt usually signaled the end of the nights torment. It was used when his uncle was beginning to tire. It was also the most painful and tedious for Harry. He refused to cry out. He didn't scream. Not even a wet glaze had gathered behind his eye. He had learned long ago not to cry and not to give him the satisfaction of a plea or single tear. The only sign of any anguish was his ravished lip bleeding beneath his grinding teeth and the clentching and unclenching of his fists as he tried to stay strong.
Finally, after a good half hour of kicking and punching and twenty minutes of the belt bearing down on his legs, back, and chest, Harry finally found himself alone in his room. He took a deep, steadying breath and breathed back out, wincing with a slight cry as his chest felt on the verge of collapse with his breaths. He used his arms, which were usually his strongest limbs during the summer months, to pull himself up to a sitting position. He leaned forward gently and ruffled his hand through his raven black hair, sending the sweaty, tangle mess into more disarray than before. A soft clicking grabbed his attention, and he turned to find Hedgewig clicking her beak while bobbing her head at some parchment. Harry looked at her softly before he shook his head. The owl gave a stern, scolding look, as though it were looking at an insolent child, but Harry wouldn't give, and so the owl flew to Harry's shoulder and clipped lovingly at his ear.
Hedgewig had gotten used to all of this by now, and after every beating, she motioned towards a parchment, practically begging for Harry to swallow his foolish pride and write about it to somebody. Anybody. Harry had always refused, and he couldn't say why. Even sitting there, too tired to move and in to much pain to sleep, he knew he was being daft. Dumbledore would never leave Harry here if he knew what went on. Being safe while living with assholes was one thing, being safe from one psychopath so you could be tortured and beaten by a whole pack of related psychos was something else. Harry, however, had kept his secret and kept it well. Everyone knew that Harry was sometimes put on a severe diet, but they never imagined that he was going through this every night. He told Ron the bruises he spotted were from Dudley and the smaller scars Ron had spotted were cuts and scrapes from Quidditch or muggle sports Harry claimed to have played once (sort of true if Harry Hunting was considering a muggle sport.) Harry never let his back show. He knew he wouldn't be able to explain it so simply. Even during the second task at the Tournament, he had jumped in the water with a full school robe on.
It was more a sense of shame than anything. The Daily Prophet would have a field day if they found out. And Voldemort…Voldemort would have an irritable spawn of kittens if he ever found out that the idiot boy who managed to best him four times actually laid down and got pummeled by his muggle uncle.
Of course, the longer he let it go without talking, the harder it was for him to even imagine talking to someone about it. Lately, it had been getting worse, too. Another reason for Hedgewig to be so concerned. Harry had begun to have a series of nightmares and visions. Each equally vague. Sometimes they would be Voldemort related, but most of them weren't. Most of them felt ancient, like it contained the past. The most Harry had gotten out of his dreams, however, was emotions. He always felt honor and duty, love and purity flowing around him like a tornado and washing over him like a tidal wave, and then he'd feel pain, pain beyond pain as he was nearly torn apart by the quaking winds and churning seas. He'd wake up screaming, drenched in a sweat that seemed readily serious about drowning him. Most of the time, he found out the hard way that it was actually his uncle's fist pounding that woke him up rather than the pain from the dream. He almost feared sleeping for fear another one would come, but he couldn't do that forever. He had already been without sleep for five days, and his uncles beating for this morning's burnt toast had zapped all of his energy. Harry felt himself drift, his eyes close, he body relaxing against the side of the bed despite the screaming of every nerve ending in his back.
Black. That's all everything was, until the tidal wave of white light came washing over him, drenching him in humbleness and honor. Harry shivered as the water felt like it was drenching him, freezing his insides and working its way to his skin. This wave knew him inside out, but Harry was still at a loss about the wave. He waited as the light began to spin around him, as the black began to get caught up in the movement, and suddenly all there was in the world was the tornado, the white water rising like liquid light to his knees, and himself. He closed his eyes and bit his lip as the water rose swiftly, edging towards his belly button. The wind whipped his hair around and tugged at his robes. Robes? Harry looked down to find his baggy jeans and white tee-shirt. He blinked, then shrugged. and decided that it was just a dream. Odd things happened in dreams. He once had a dream he was Dudley's seat cushion and kept getting squashed. So why worry about robes?
He bit his lip again as the water reached his chest where it seemed to wait momentarily. The wind seemed to die a bit, becoming almost caressing and soothing, nearly coaxing. But Harry, after all the trauma and tragedy, was not a child to be soothed or calmed by gentleness. He was too strong, and too stubborn, to fall for such ploys. The wave seemed to sigh inwardly before trying once more. It reached out with its light, reaching into Harry's insides. Harry froze up instantly. The freezing sensation of the wave delving into his soul wasn't painful, but the violation of it was. The wave seemed to almost ask permission to go further into the murky substance of Harry, but the boy hated that it hadn't bothered to ask earlier, and he hated the feel of the light exploring him. He tensed and stubbornly demanded it to leave, ordering himself to wake up.
The light, however, sensed his emotions, as every other dream in the past, and began to pound into his soul, drilling into his core being. Harry fought bravely against it, putting his whole mind to work to force it out. It wasn't working. The light continued further and further in, freezing all of Harry's body and spirit as it wound deeper and deeper, until it came to a sort of wall constructed of dreams and aspirations. The light didn't ask for permission, it immediately rammed into the wall, but Harry panicked when he sensed the light there. He didn't know why, but he knew he couldn't let it fall.
He summoned every magical power in him and enforced the wall. And the war began. The wind picked up stronger than before and began to tear at his very skin. The water began to rise, threatening him with its pain. Still, Harry refused to give it entry. The light was summoning all its power, showing the boy its majesty. Still, he fought. The water was nearly to his nose, the wind began to act as a hand, pushing the boy to the floor and beneath the water's surface. He sputtered as he was pushed under, and then tried to concentrate on the wall, ignoring the burning in his lungs. The currents picked up and began to pull his body in various directions, and then the light began to administer pain to make the wall crumble. A thousand crucios seemed to ring through his body, loud and clear. He started to scream as white, blinding pain was blinding him to everything, but all he got was a gallon of water in his lungs. He was choking on the water, on the feel of it, and then he started screaming again and more water flooded him. The pain increased. His eyes were clamped shut and rolling in his head, and his clenching fist was drawing blood from his palm.
He felt the wall crumble slightly. The sense of responsibility leaked out with duty and love tinged with hatred. His eyes suddenly relaxed a bit, the pain lessened, though still wracking him with excruciating torture. He looked straight ahead, into the abyss that was the ocean drowning him, but a haze clouded his vision. He felt like he was staring through many layers of magic and emotion. Many levels of dream and hopes. All laid together to form a mighty wall. The light, after removing the first barrier, was trying to strip the second coat. Pain flooded him again as it fell. He screamed again. This pain was tearing him into pieces, clawing at his soul and inner gut.
The haze began to lift with the second layer, and he could see a figure standing on the other side of the wall, behind the slightly translucent protections surrounding him. The figure wore scarlet robes and seemed to hold a staff. The pain increased beyond comprehension as the third barrier fell. He could only hope he would drown or go numb. Death would be welcomed at this point.
The figure on the other side of the vision seemed to be looking at him oddly and sympathetically. Harry felt support and encouragement being sent through the walls into his system.
"Mr. Potter, I presume?" the figure said in a strangely familiar voice, his now clearer green eyes gazing out at him with concern, fondness, and regret. Harry's emotions were reeling. Part of him felt strongly better with the wall coming down, while the other was screaming and crying. Begging for a break.
Harry shut his eyes and tried to close the pain out as he knew this must be it. The last wall would come down and he would have to face this man, this light, and the horrid torture that went with it. He only hoped this was not one of Voldemort's tricks nor an everlasting sort of deal. He didn't feel much like torture for all of eternity. He waited for the pain, and finally it came. A series of blows reined down on him from what seemed to be everywhere. He felt his chest heaving up and down, felt the cracking of ribs as they were shifted beneath a fist. His back screamed again, and his throat felt hoarse from screaming and filled with the coppery taste of blood.
Harry immediately opened his eyes. This was a different pain. It wasn't working from his insides. His uncle's fat face was in view, twisted up in a hideous scrowl. His eyes glinted maliciously, promising pain. And then the fist came down again.