This is a Harry Potter fanfiction thoroughly crossed with a book called "The Poison Diaries." That said, it does not require you have read that particular book before reading this. I would recommend reading it eventually though; quite the interesting picture book. Seriously. It's a friggin' picture book.
Called "The Poison Diaries." By Colin Stimpson.
Anyways, I made a connection between the main character of that book (a boy named Weed) and Harry; green eyes and black, messy hair. Both are forced to tend to a garden, and neither of them like who they live with.
Harry is at the Dursley's, nine years old. He learns the ways of poison. He does...things. And eventually, he might go to Hogwarts.
Or he might not go there at all.
This is a totally open story with a lot of room to work with, just read the first chapter and tell me what you think. Could go east, could go west, could fly right over a cuckoos nest for all I know.
If you are curious as to what exactly Belladonna looks like, look at the cover photo.
Harry did all the chores. Cooked meals, cleaned the house, and worked the garden.
The garden was where he found magic that wasn't quite magic.
Ouch. Harry inwardly grumbled, shaking his hand side to side. The little thorns on the roses pricked his fingers every once in awhile, and his Aunt Petunia never gave him any gloves to prevent it. Sucking his thumb, he glanced around the garden. It was not a large garden, by any stretch. It spanned the back left corner of the yard, perhaps three square yards in total, and contained a bit of everything. A treasure trove of tulips grew to his left, and several patches of pansies pocked the earth to his right. Further back, where he currently sat, was the rose trellis.
The roses were of all colors; clearly they'd been thoroughly bred for diversity, as it was like looking at a rainbow every time he tended them. Every once in awhile he'd find a dark crimson, so dark it was nearly black, and he'd snip it off. He collected those in his cupboard, under his bed. One could say he rested on a 'bed of roses,' as it were. He also collected the green ones. Some acrid, some lime, all similar to the colors in his eyes. They didn't shimmer or sparkle like his eyes did, however, and he put them behind the noir in rank of importance.
"Boy!" Petunia screeched from thirty feet away, leaning out of the back door. Harry restrained himself from covering his ears; even from this distance his eardrums still hurt. "You've got ten minutes to finish up, then you're making dinner! Understand?"
"Yes, Aunt Petunia." he murmured, just loud enough that it would carry across the yard. The door slammed shut, and he was alone once more. He shoved his hands into the dirt, clenching them and unclenching them in an attempt to soothe his nerves. Anger was an emotion he felt quite a lot but could never act upon. Petunia would break his eardrums, Vernon would break his back, and Dudley would sit on him; no ventilation system for his frustrations other than the dirt he punched like a piston everyday. He accidentally swung too far to the left and clipped the roses once more. "Bloody nugget!"
"My, what foul language you have." Mid sucking of a new wound on his pinkie, he let his finger slip out of his mouth and looked around for where the voice came from. It was soft, feminine. Seductive, and sinister. He saw no woman in the near vicinity who could satisfy such a voice with their appearance, why, he saw no woman at all.
"Down, boy, look to the ground. I hide beneath the trellis." Harry shook his head, thinking himself loony.
"I must have a fever..." He mumbled, pressing a dirty palm to his forehead to feel just above his scar. To his surprise, he felt rather cold. It was the middle of summer, but his body was frigid.
"Haw, haw, he thinks himself feverish!" A different voice, this one callous and rude. It came from somewhere out of sight, though he swirled in his seat to stare at...nothing.
"Cuhurrg-'ez not caught onto uz-cough, cough." This time it sounded like a sickly old black woman with bad vocal chords. Perhaps, from smoking. But there was no one there at all.
"Down here, down here." The first voice called again. "Under the trellis, you will find me." Shaking his head once more, he lowered himself to the dirt, peering underneath the wooden trellis. The trellis was in one of the darker areas of the garden, a large Dogwood looming over it provided much shade; it was not the best conditions for the roses to bloom, but they blossomed anyways. In the darkness beneath the trellis, up against the fence barring their yard from the neighbors, Harry spotted a decidedly womanly curve. Leaves were bent in such a way that it look as though a hand rested akimbo on a hip in a saucy manner, the other 'arm' hanging freely. The stem formed a lithe torso up to the flower, dark violet petals fluttering at him almost as though they were eyelashes.
"Sit with me for a time, Weed." The boy stared wide eyed, not sure what to make of this development. Nonetheless he found himself enticed. He sized himself up, and the hole between him and the flower. With a grunting and groaning, he squeezed through and rose to a sitting position, looming over the flower as it switched which leaf rested on which haughty 'hip.' It was as though he was within a whole other world. All around him was darkness, but there was a brightness that he himself seemed to create. He could see every detail of the...beauty before him.
"Welcome, Weed." She held out a leaf and Harry found himself gently placing a kiss upon it before realizing what he'd done.
"Weed?" He repeated, releasing the leaf and wiping his lips. Some manner of consciousness told him he didn't want to ingest a single bit of this plant.
"Indeed, Weed." She said. "You may think your name to be Harry James Potter, but it is actually The Great Weed." There was a curious accent to her voice which he could not place.
"The Great Weed." He repeated, dumbly this time, as though a broken record. He started shuffling back, back towards the outside. "I don't really know what's going on, so-"
"Do not fear what you do not know, Weed. We have been calling you for a long, long time; we wish to set you free from the wicked man and his family." He paused his attempt to escape, and she continued. "You may think you are mad, but you are not. Blessed with friends such as myself all around the world, is what you are." The stem leaned forward and she spoke in a conspiratorial whisper. "We will tell you our secrets and make you...powerful."
Powerful. The word was of foreign meaning to Harry. All his life he'd been nothing but a slave to the Dursleys, and here he was, behind a rose trellis, being offered a bit of power by a plant.
"I am Belladonna." She 'curtsied,' leaves splaying out for a moment before returning to the almost cocktail dress form they held before. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Weed." Everything up to this point began to sink in, and Harry slumped forward, peering more closely at this mysterious flower-woman. She tossed her flower around as though whipping her hair, and his heart fluttered. If he were a fellow plant, he would swear she the love of his life. But he was not.
"What do you mean, power?" Harry found his hair entangling with a few of her extended leaves as she caressed his face and head. If petals could smirk, she was doing it now-but it was a pleased, satisfied smirk. Not one of malice, like Dudley always had when he and his gang beat him up.
"We, meaning myself and the other poisons, will make you a master of Life and Death." He pulled back, and her stems curled back against her. Memories of pain and torment from Vernon flashed through his mind. Dudley and his gang. Petunia yelling at him. He wrinkled his nose, conflicted.
"As bad as they are, they are still family."
"You are lying to yourself, and you know it." He gulped, knowing she was right.
"There have been others like you." She interrupted. "They all said the same thing at first; life isn't so bad, they aren't that bad, I don't want to kill anyone...but consider precisely how that family treats you. How your aunt does nothing to stop your uncle from whipping you with his belt, hard enough to leave scars on your back. What of your 'Cousin?' He's not much of a cousin, chasing you down and using you as a punching bag." A single leaf reached up and lifted Harry's chin, which had floated downwards in reticence. "We have seen how they make you suffer. For laying their hands on you, they must die. All of us, even the pompous Lords and Ladies and the sickly Nicotiana, are agreed." That satisfied smirk of petals came back. "Once we have finished with them, we will obliterate whoever you please."
"NO!" Harry shouted, far too loud. It echoed within the tiny alcove, ringing in his ears. He was terrified at the thought of killing someone.
"I see, you need time to think it over." She sighed, leaves drooping slightly. "Come, tonight. I will wait for you, and I will tell you a story. My story. Hurry now, the witch waits for you." The reminder was all Harry needed to scuttle back out from under the trellis and sit up in the garden bed just the moment Petunia stuck her head out the window.
"Boy! If you aren't in here before I count to three, you'll have none of what you cook for yourself!" With haste, he rushed to the door and dove inside, sprinting the ten feet to the kitchen. He reached for the soap to wash his hands when he heard a shriek. Petunia was behind him, almost as purple faced as Uncle Vernon got when he was really, really angry. "Look at what you've done! Tracked dirt all over the house! Vernon!"
Oh, shit. Harry cursed, mentally. He followed her gaze down to the footprints he'd left on the floor, and the other clumps of random dirt that'd fallen off of his upper body and legs. The fat man was there only a moment later, surprising Harry that a man so large could move so fast from the living room couch. It took him only a moment to assess the situation and start undoing his belt. Pre-emptively, Harry curled into the fetal position with his hands over his head to protect against any head or face injury. It was just in time, too.
"Stupid freak! You'll be cleaning the entire house, for that! Move!" Vernon shouted. "Move!" Herded like a sheep, Harry was slapped with the whip towards the hallway and then back from whence he came, back outside. The whipping did not stop, for Vernon had no fear of any neighbor seeing what he was doing; the hedges were untrimmed and loomed high enough that people would only ponder what the slapping sound was. Harry knew better than to scream for help; Vernon would only hit harder. With a rough kick to the back of his knee he was on the ground, and moments later very wet and thoroughly chilled.
Vernon was using the hose on him.
The beating did not stop, even as his writhed on the ground, a sobbing mess of both his own tears, mud, and more water than would have filled the bathtub. A final kick to his ribs and the hose was dropped on him, still pouring out water.
"Turn the hose off once you've cleaned up. Then, you'll get inside, dry off, and make dinner. After that, you'll clean up the mess." Vernon walked off, still purple faced.
It was at that moment Harry decided a unmoving and lifeless Vernon wouldn't be half bad.
Out of spite, Harry shoved the hose into the ground, still running, behind a bush. It wouldn't be noticed; he was the only one who did the gardening, and they barely came outside. Their water bill would be sky high in half a day. He was drenched, soaked, and very cold. Britain was not known for its warm, temperate climate. The boy trudged back into the house and into the cupboard, where his wet clothes made a sopping pile in the back corner. They'd probably be moldy by morning if he didn't do the laundry. He dried himself with his own blanket and then put on another set of clothes from a younger Dudley which were still several sizes too large for him.
Dinner was made swiftly and without a word. Petunia had gone upstairs to knit. Vernon had gone back into the living room where Dudley sat staring at the telly like a hypnotized pig.
He hadn't even heard the commotion, so enticed he was, and would probably box Harry around after seeing the hallway when called for dinner.
Sure enough, a hard slug came to the side of Harry's head as he placed the last plate, for Dudley, on the table. The plate was thrown off said table when Harry's arm was shoved against it, and it broke apart on the floor, food splattering everywhere.
"Why's the hallway all dirty, freak?" Harry murmured in response, and upon hearing the reason Dudley smacked his head again. "Idiot. Stupid, idiot." Then his eyes fell on the plate that'd cracked on the floor, and where it'd come from. "Oi! That's my food you spilled!"
"You shoved me into-"
Another smack, this time right on Harry's ear. The pain was deafening. In fact, a loud, loud pop was the last thing he heard in that ear, aside from a weird high pitched buzz.
"Well, you can eat it now!" The pig walked over to the counter and took the last serving, which would have been Harry's, and sat down at the table with it. Not even waiting for his parents to walk in, he chowed down, not even looking at Harry.
This was the point in time Dudley tinted red, and seemed to be better off dead to Harry.
Barely containing the urge to deal back the same blows Dudley had dealt him, and then some, Harry forced himself to walk out of the kitchen and grab the vacuum cleaner.
Concentrate on work. If you hit him, it'll only be worse in the long run. He forced himself to start cleaning, even as Vernon and Petunia walked past him, one bumbling like a hippo and one simpering like a snake.
"Better be cleaned up before we're finished with dinner, freak." Petunia sniffed. Freak. They either called him a freak, or 'boy.' Typically Petunia stuck to 'boy.' The way she leered over him as he toiled in a mess that could have been avoided if she hadn't rushed him. It was her fault. It wasn't like he wanted to track dirt in the house-she'd rushed him.
And yet, she still looked down on him like he was the cause of every problem. Harry could recall three times in the past week where he'd done something she'd commanded him to do only to get scolded by her later for doing it. That, or he'd get yelled at by Vernon or Dudley for 'messing with their things' and she wouldn't say a single thing about telling him to do what he'd done.
Around this time Harry decided that he wouldn't care if Petunia were alive or dead, for without the other two germs in the house she would probably lose her edge, and subsequently level out. A bit.
Nay, he'd prefer her dead anyways.
But do I have the balls to kill them, his final thought as he shoveled the last bit of dirt out the door. He went back down the hall, wiping the floor to get rid of any stains. When he was finished he threw the rag in the laundry basket and peeked into the kitchen. He'd moved fast; they were still eating dinner. After some quick thinking, he decided he ought to get in the cupboard and out of sight. They'd be less likely to claim he'd 'missed' a spot if he wasn't there to remind them.
It was rare he actually went into the cupboard willingly. Tonight, he did. He shut the door and huddled himself on his bed. He'd forgotten to take his clothes to the laundry, but had no choice in the matter now; he could hear chairs moving and conversation in the hallway.
Please let them forget, please let them forget-a loud banging on the door told Harry it was not to be.
"Oi, brat!" Another one of nicknames for him, 'brat.' "You missed a spot in the corner!"
With great lethargy Harry slid off the bed and out the door of the cupboard, which Vernon had yanked open as soon as his feet touched the ground. It seemed the banging warning his uncle gave was the only courtesy he could manage. Sure enough, out in the hall in the corner up against the wall was a tiny pile of dirt he'd happened to miss.
Couldn't just deal with it themselves, huh?
Silently, with dustpan in hand, he walked over to it and swept it up, poured it outside, returned the dustpan to the kitchen, and re-entered his cupboard. Not, however, before Vernon whacked him upside the head, Dudley boxed his ear, and Petunia turned her nose up at him. As of the moment he entered his cupboard, he was trapped. They locked it every night. With a click, his designation in the household was secured, and he had no way out. For some reason, this disappointed Harry more than it usually did.
...Belladonna, he thought. She had been...nice to him. Unlike these self-indulged prats. And she said...something about a story? Tonight-Tonight! He had to escape! Belladonna was waiting for him the very moment the sky darkened, which had happened a half hour ago. He spun to face the door, frowning at the way the knob wouldn't budge.
Come on! He rattled it, then rattled it harder and harder. Stupid Dursley dumpheads, locking me in here-with a grunt it suddenly gave way, and the door cracked open a good foot before he pulled it back shut. Bloody hell-did that just work?
Little did Harry know he'd used a bit of accidental magic to his advantage.
Caution his middle name, Harry peeked out the slimmest of cracks he could form opening the door. Thankfully it pointed towards the living room. No one was there. The telly was off. Opening the door a bit wider he made out the throaty snores of Vernon dozing. High pitched sniffles accompanied them; Petunia. No sounds from Dudley. He could still be awake... but it was worth the risk. With a swift opening and closing, he was out. As quietly as he could manage, the only sounds the tipping of his toes, he manuvered down the hallway to the back door. He knew it creaked upon opening, so he went back to the kitchen and got some vegetable oil to grease the hinges.
Not long at all before he was out in the garden, approaching that trellis. There were hundreds of voices, now. All of them had gone unheard earlier, but somehow now all audible. Curious, unexplainable, but Harry did not question.
"The Great Weed," most of them shouted. He got on all fours and crawled through the space, coming face to face with the lady herself.
"I knew you'd return, Weed." She said, pride evident in her voice.
"I came for the story." He said, simply. Harry tried not to give away he'd already made a decision. The Dursley pig reign would end, by his hand. He knew it. But he desired Belladonna to 'convince' him first, to seem morally good until a breaking point (which he'd already smashed to bits) was broken.
"Ah, the story." She repeated. The plant reached into her flower and pulled out a small black and shiny berry. In a deft motion she squished it, and flicked a drop of the juices into each of Harry's eyes.
Everything shifted as Belladonna began to speak. Hallucinations ran rampant in Harry's mind, visualizing everything she spoke with great clarity and exaggeration. He did not perceive what lay in front of his eyes, but what Belladonna wished him to witness.
"I once grew in the forgotten corner of a large garden in a country far to the south of here. It was called, "Italia." Oftentimes I would see a girl laughing in the center of the garden among the stupid common flowers."
"I believe they were roses. I loathe roses. They are nothing but chatterboxes of the worst kind, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them get their heads snipped off to die in a vase. Those out on this trellis are just the same-pardon, I've shifted from my tale."
"Though the girl did not come near I could tell she had bright green eyes and black hair like you, but twisty and unkempt." Even while he witnessed something else in his mind, Harry reached up and curled a finger in his hair. "At night I would call out to her, unfortunately there were no other voices to accompany me, and she did not hear. But I waited. I knew she'd come near eventually, when the time was right."
"I was correct. On a night like this one, when she was but a few years older than yourself, she crawled between some bushes with her gown torn and splotched with dirt and her face wet with tears. Infuriated, I offered to help her take vengeance on whoever had upset her so."
"Witnessing who had spoken she ran away. She thought love had made her mad. It did not take long for her senses to return, however, and she reappeared a few nights later. With wet eyes she told me the man she loved was to marry her cousin."
"Foolish Erbaccia-that was her name-refused to listen to reason. I offered to put her cousin in the ground, but she would not consent. So, instead, I taught her to make herself more beautiful. By letting a drop of my venom fall into her eyes they became as lovely as stars, so lovely a man could lose himself in them."
Harry frowned at this, watching Erbaccia drip poison into her pupil.
"I don't want to be beautiful."
A simpering laugh came from the plant.
"I do not doubt. Nay, Weed, you are one of us. Our properties will not affect you the same as they do other people-but do not take that lightly. Consume us without proper preparation in any way, shape, or form, and you will die."
The boy nodded, and Belladonna continued. Never once did he question how she showed him such visions.
"Unfortunately, this beautification did not earn his love. I reasoned that he must be blind not to see her beauty...but to tell the truth, she had a face that looked as if it had been stung by a swarm of wasps-not to mention her cousin was almost an angel in human form. We bikered and bickered, but before long time ran out and the day before the wedding Erbaccia made the decision. Her cousin would be come, how should I say...dead."
"The lass was already practised in making an essence of my poison, so it was just a case of getting her cousin to drink it. One private celebratory glass of wine later, and the marriage had begun. It ended before it'd even begun; the bride staggered down the aisle twitching all over and stuttering about visions of hellfire in her head. She shed her skin like a snake, and died, there on the carpet."
While Belladonna spoke Harry witnessed this particular event with great lucidity, something he'd prefer never having done. It was almost traumatizing-but an inkling within him wondered how Vernon's face would look underneath that purple skin. Would the bones be purple, too? What of Dudley? Would he stagger into the television he so loved and fall just so his neck snapped?
"I am deadly, my sweet boy, after all." Belladonna said, a swell of pride in her voice once more.
"But-but what happened to Erbaccia?" Harry blurted. "Did she, you know...get away with it?"
Belladonna put both leaves on her hips, and leaned forward with what could be called 'frowning' petals.
"Oh yes. Do not doubt my discretion; I am subtle, and not very sweet. When someone drinks my poison their throat swells and the voice is taken away; it is unlikely they would speak a name, much less speak at all.No one found out Erbaccia had poisoned her cousin, that night."
"Did she get married?"
"No." The flower looked away, clearly displeased. "Unfortunately, he was betrothed once again soon after." Discontent stormed in Harry's heart. He wanted a good ending, though apparently it was not to be.
"What happened to her?"
"She killed his betrothed, of course. And the next, and the following, and the subsequent. People started pointing fingers eventually. Her only choice to escape was to drink my poison herself. Her last moments were skipping off the palace roof in naught but her brassiere. I guess she thought she could fly; many do."
A different kind of discontent swelled within Harry; uncertainty.
"If Erbaccia was so unlucky, why should I kill anyone-even the Dursleys, God knows how much they deserve to die."
"Simple, Weed; you are not in love. Erbaccia was lost to love, and doomed from the start. Besides; Erbaccia only had me. Here, you have others. You haven't spotted them yet, but you will; more friends to take care of you." A few cries of agreement came from outside of the trellis, and Harry found himself smiling. His vision had returned and he gently kissed Belladonna's extended hand-leaf.
"You need not worry for my poison. Take a few berries for safekeeping, and come back tomorrow."
"I will." Harry said, snatching a few from the flower and shuffling back out from under the trellis. He clutched the berries in hand, passed the bush where the hose still pumped water into the ground, and entered the house. Mere moments passed until he was back in the cupboard, relatively safe. He guessed it was nearing midnight. Sighing, he laid the berries to rest on his poor substitute of a desk, and then hopped into bed, ignoring the fact he was covered in dirt. He'd clean up in the morning; he always woke up before everyone else no matter how he tried to sleep in.
Within minutes he was parachuting through a dream, plotting perish by poison.
So, what'd you think? Please review.