I don't own Harry Potter
If you are interested in some background information about this story, just look at my profile. Only one thing I should mention, while I post the first two chapters today, in future I will probably post only one chapter a week. Also, I'm not a native speaker of English, so there probably will be mistakes (I don't mind having the mistakes pointed out, though;))
Ever since they had gone into hiding, wizards had been quite ignorant of new developments in the Muggleworld.
Even Albus Dumbledore, self-proclaimed leader of the light and therefore highly tolerant of anything muggle-ish, wasn't aware of what electricity could do, that doing the dishes wasn't as troublesome for muggles as wizards thought it was since the dishwasher had been invented and, most importantly, that muggles had made extreme progress when medicine and the treatment of „unusual behaviour" was concerned.
As a result, he wasn't at all concerned when he laid little Harry onto the doorsteps of Number 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, accompanied by two of his closest friends who were, however, equally oblivious of the threats muggle could pose to a wizard, or at least to a wizard like Harry.
Never once did either of the three thought about that being hit by a killing curse could have done any harm to the boy. He survived, didn't he?
And while Albus Dumbledore, who was somewhat aware of the possibilities what the cut on the forehead might imply, was clearly worried about the boys safety, he considered it entirely impossible that mere muggles may notice something disconcerting about the boy.
It never once crossed his mind that a piece of the soul of the most evil wizard of all time, attached to the soul of a child, would affect the boy. Would affect the boy in a way MUGGLES might notice.
Or would entail other things than that the boy had to die in order to banish Voldemort for good.
The boy-who-lived was seemingly peacefully asleep when he was left on the doorsteps of Number 4. And while his head surely hurt quite a bit, either inside and out, he would never remember this night and the days that followed. He would never remember the pain that resulted from a splinter of a foreign soul ensconcing itself in your mind, in your brain, and starting to feed on your sanity.
Chapter 1 -Lily's child
Petunia Dursley would never forget opening the frontdoor on November 2, 1981 and finding her nephew lying on the doorsteps, wrapped in only a thin blanket. Of course, she hadn't known it was her nephew until she had read the letter about 5 minutes later.
Her first reaction was to be outraged at whoever would leave a baby outside, at night, in November. The child was asleep, but shivered and its lips were in an unhealthy shade of purple. She brought the baby to the bathroom and immediately switched on Dudley's fan heater.
Suddenly being lifted and brought to somewhere warm awoke the child and it started to cry. Petunia tried to quiet it since it wouldn't do any good to wake Vernon half an hour before he had to get up for work and, more importantly, breakfast. He hated it being woken when breakfast wasn't ready, and she had just wanted to fetch the milk from the front steps when she had discovered the baby.
However, the baby didn't stop crying, so Petunia closed the door and prayed this would be enough. Vernon could be rather... demanding when he was in a bad mood.
It was when she started to unwrap the baby out of its blanket that she noticed the letter.
An envelope mad of parchment.
Sealed with red wax.
She that down onto the edge of the bathtub.
She knew who the sender of this letter (and presumably the baby, too) was.
But, this was impossible, how could Lily give her child to HER of all people? And WHY?
The last time she had heard from her sister was when a card came by post (mugglepost, fortunately) announcing the birth of a son to Lily and James Potter.
Petunia hadn't replied.
It was too painful to be remembered that she once had a sister she dearly loved. All she had now was a sibling the despised and whom she envied quite a lot. Even so their parents had died a few years before, the treatment she had experienced by their parents after Lily had gotten that damned letter was still too raw in her mind.
Numbly, she opened the letter. And read. It wasn't from Lily. Lily was dead.
Petunia didn't know how she should feel.
Her little sister was dead. Murdered. And, apparently, this still crying baby was hers. Her son. And now, Petunia should care for him. Because Albus Dumbledore, the very man who hadn't done anything for her when she had been a child, who hadn't cared about destroying her life by taking her sister to that stupid school, introducing her family to the wizarding world and leaving Petunia behind, left out, alone, expected her to do so.
This man just had to be mad, Petunia thought.
She had forgotten that she had refused to ever set a foot into this stupid magical shopping center, that she had refused to be present when one of the teachers from that school came over to tell them more about the wizarding world.
As far as Petunia was concerned, they had taken Lily (and her parents attention as well) and ever since Petunia had been the boring, unimportant second-best child who could never do anything good enough to come up to Lily's achievements.
How could they expect her to take that child? Did they believe that she would be grateful for the chance to raise a freak herself, being recognized as a relative of one of THEM?
Did they really believe she would expose her own son, her Dudley, to the same disregard she had experienced?But the letter went on.
She had never heard of them, but since it seemed to be another freaky thing that wasn't this baby – Lilys child – was in danger of being murdered, too. Had even survived one attempt on its life already.
„Survived to become a nuisance to decent people" She though bitterly.
What was worse, however, was the hint that her – Petunia's – family might be also in danger if she didn't care for the freak.
This was... disgusting! Threatening her family in order to make her take in that devilish urchin!
Why, pray tell, couldn't those other freaks care for this child on their own? Why had it be her family that was burdened with a boy that seemed to be even more abnormal than an average wi...freak?
She wouldn't take the boy in. Vernon wouldn't approve of it, too.
She wouldn't let those disgusting freaks destroy her life even further, interfering with her own family, using her family to hide a boy who had already been the target of some criminals, and endangering her son and her husband in doing so.
She was about to stand up and waking Vernon, since surely this was more important than some petty grudges about breakfast not being ready, when she became aware of a slight problem.
Or, as she thought, a very big problem.
Their wasn't a return address.
The letter was signed, yes, by this stupid Dumbledore-man nonetheless, but no address, no telephone number, not even a person or authority they could go to if there were any problems.
What were these people thinking? Were they thinking at all?
„Stupid, worthless freak!" She hissed.
At a loss at what to do, Petunia started to rand at the still crying boy.
„Just as attention-seeking as your mother! Be quiet! There is nothing wrong and you should better be grateful that I haven't left you on the doorstep in the first place! Ungrateful cretin!"
Oh no. Vernon was up.
Petunia flung the door open and was face to face with her husband.
„Petunia, what does this noise mean? Is Duddy ok? Why isn't he sleeping, he never wakes up this early, little tyke." He chuckled
„Vernon... look... this letter... it isn't Duddy..." She stammered and handed Vernon the letter.
„What..." he began, skimming the letter. His expression getting angrier and angrier.
„Pet... Petunia... they can't be serious! We can't take a freak in! He will contaminate Dudley! I won't allow my son to be subjected to the... unnaturalness of such a freak!"
„Vernon but what can we do? He – this man – hasn't written anything about whom we can contact if we don't want to keep him!"
„This... you're right... this..."
„And this man writes something about us being in danger if the boy doesn't stay with us! I don't know, Vernon, but we can't let anybody hurt Duddy!"
„Hurt Dudley?! Nobody will hurt my son! This is... evil! Forcing us to take this freak in OUR home by threatening us that someone might hurting OUR son if we don't do as we are told! This is..." He seemed to be unable to find a fitting expression.
„Yes, Vernon, you are quite right!" Petunia nodded virgiously,"they are stupid, selfish people who don't care whether they ruin someone else' life! I have told you what they have done to my family, to me, such vile people they are! Especially this man who has written the damned letter, evil freak he is!"
She was close to tears now.
„Petunia, Pet, calm down, it'll all be ok! I'll make sure of it! You won't have to suffer again because of those freaks, and Dudley will always know that he is loved, that no freak could ever be nearly as good as he is! We won't allow those freaks to ruin our life!"
„But if he has to stay...?"
„I know, Pet, I know, it won't be fun, but we will manage!"
„But how? I can't be caring for HER child! What if he does... you-know-what? What if he hurts us with it? What if he is mean to Dudley?"
„He won't! I will never allow such freakishness in MY house!"
„But how can we stop it? I don't think there is anything one can do about THIS... Lily never..."
„Oh, I'm sure if handled properly, this urchin won't dare to do anything imprudent!" Now a strange glimmer was in his eyes.
„If he is ever foolish enough to do anything like THIS, he will feel the consequences. I'm sure we will be able to deal with it. We just have to be strict and intransigent. Such a freaky boy needs a strong hand, he mustn't get away with anything! Yes... I think... „
He broke off.
„Vernon? What do you mean?"
„Huh? Ah, Pet, I think I have just found both a solution to our problem and a way to pay these other freaks back for leaving him with us"
„But we can't give him into an orphanag or just kill him, Vernon! If we do so, Dudley will be in danger by those criminal freaks!"
„Nonsens, we won't do any of these thinks! we..."
„But if he stays here, how ir our life not going to be ruined?"
„He stays here, yes, I don't think there is another possibility... perhaps one day one of those people contacts us, than we will give him straight away, but in the meantime we have to deal with him, I think... and we will try our best to get rid of it! If we try hard enough, we might be able to get rid of that freaky stuff in that boy! We only have to treat him accordingly!"
„What do you mean, Vernon?"
„Well, obviously, he has to be punished severely ever time he puts a toe out of line. If he dares to do... freak-stuff... he won't be able to sit properly for a week! Once he is old enough, maybe in two or three years, he can do chores around the house to keep him from getting in trouble and to earn his keep. I don't see why we should provide food and clothes and shelter for him without getting anything in return! Then, he won't get much to eat. After all, if he doesn't have energy, it will be less likely that he does anything... inappropriate. Otherwise... what does a child like him need at all?"
„Well, he needs a room, first of all... then we have to look after him. Dealing with him when he falls ill. Providing all sorts of things... we can't just lock him into the cellar, I think..."
„Hm... but he won't get any more attention than absolutely necessary! I won't allow you being distracted from Dudley! He might feel neglected if this boy gets to much attention!"
„I didn't mean he needs attention,on the contrary, the less he gets the better!" Petunia snapped, „and I would never treat him as I treat Dudley, Dudley will always know that he is the most important child at all! I won't allow ANYONE to treat the freak better than our son!"
„That's my Petunia!" Vernon smiled, „family always comes first! I mean," he corrected himself, "real family, not such... freaks... they can hardly be considered proper family!"
„So...what do we do now?" Petunia asked, gesturing at the STILL crying boy. „He just won't stop crying! Dudley has never been such a nuisance!"
„Well... I think we can just leave the room. Once he notices that all the racket won't get him any attention at all, he will stop. Yes, Petunia, we just have to make it clear that, if he wants to get food or something else, he has to behave. Just think about it like animal training! Perhaps we can even ask Marge what would be the best way to train him properly! After all, she has plenty of experiences in dealing with misbehaving animals!"
As if to emphasize his statement, Vernon turned around and left the room.
„And just turn off Dudley's fan-heater, the freak will be fine, don't see why we should waste energy on him! After all, it isn't as if we get any allowance for caring for the boy! I won't allow those freaks to plunge us into poverty!"
Petunia glanced at the boy. He seemed reasonable warm now, or at least he wasn't shivering any longer.
Deciding that Vernon was right, she was about to switch the heater of when she became aware that one side of the child's face was rather red. It hadn't been so when she had brought him in, had it? Perhaps she should have paid more attention to how close the ch...freak was lying to the fan heater.
But, she thought after a few seconds of doubt, this wasn't Dudley, this wasn't even a real child, this was only a freak.
Any feeling of guilt suppressed, she took the boy in order to leave him in the guest bedroom. She couldn't very well bring him in Dudley's room, as nobody knew what the freak might do to her precious son.
Dudley didn't become aware that a new child had moved in for quite some time. His parents were very adamant about not letting their son suffer under a freak in any way. And too concerned that the freak might do something that would hurt Dudley or themselves, they tried to avoid as much exposure to Harry as possible.
Of course, Petunia fed him, changed him and gave him a bath every other day, but she was careful not do so when Dudley was in the same room.
This resulted in Harry having to wait until Dudley was taking his nap or was asleep in the evening, and left him with a sore behind (and being hungry quite often) after only a few days with his last remaining relatives.
The crying increased. Since he had been moved to the cupboard under the stairs the second day after his arrival (after Vernon had complained that they couldn't leave him in the guest bedroom for good, after all Marge had to sleep somewhere when she visited every two or three years. And, of course, clearing Dudley's second bedroom was out of question) this was, however, not longer a problem. When you shut the air vent, the cupboard was, surprisingly, rather soundproof.
It was not until after christmas that the boy became quieter.
This was, for such a young child, a very long time and resulted in a very annoyed Vernon phoning Marge several times. She was quick to explain that there were dogs who were rather stubborn and strong-willed and that the only way to break these beasts was to ignore them as much as possible and to punish every unwanted behaviour fiercely.
During January, Harry indeed became quieter and Vernon was pleased that his sister was such an expert when it came to dealing with dogs. (In his opinion, there was hardly any difference between dogs and freaks).
Harry, however, while becoming more and more hopeless as the treatment continued, had another reason for becoming more and more silent and modest. Not only was his headache starting to become less sever, but also was he, somehow, somewhat, not longer alone. Well, not really.
Since being alone is one of the worst experiences for any baby, and, of course, Harry being too young to notice that something about the whole thing was odd, the little child was just grateful when he felt the soothing presence of another being in his head.
From now on, being alone in a dark room didn't seemed so bad anymore.