Author's note: This is an evil little idea that started bugging me a few months ago. I've been handwriting the story, but now I've decided to see what other people who don't know me think about this. Review please.

Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize. All HP characters belong to JK Rowling. Go bother her to write faster.

Phoenix Rising Chapter 1

Harry sat in his room at 4 Privet Drive, finishing up a letter to Ron. It was a quiet evening; since Vernon was currently out, Petunia was watching TV as Dudley blew up aliens on his computer in his room. Vernon had been gone a lot recently, but Harry didn't mind, as it was one less person to yell at him.

It had been a fairly quiet summer so far, and tomorrow was Harry's 15th birthday. Hopefully soon, Dumbledore would let him leave this house and stay with the Weasleys. The Dursleys tried to ignore Harry completely for the most part, so he was lonely and bored.

However, since the beginning of the summer holiday he had begun waking early due to horrible nightmares, both of the Third Task and the graveyard. Suppressing screams had become second nature, and found that jogging is a good way to clear his mind.

On one of his routes he discovered a new gym offering free martial arts lessons. This quickly became incorporated into his morning routine, jogging to the gym and practicing various techniques which, he discovered early on, he had a natural skill for. The next week he could start learning the various weapons, which Harry was looking forward to.

Suddenly the peace of the evening was shattered by the front door slamming open and a loud shout of "BOY!" Harry froze, listening to the staggering footsteps climbing the stairs and the muted growls, then muttered "Oh shit!" Vernon had been drinking. Again.

Apparently over the previous year, unbeknownst to Harry, Grunning's had run into some financial trouble resulting in cutbacks in labor. They had laid off entire sections of the company and reworked some departments. While Vernon was a fairly good employee who had been with them for years, his position, in final evaluation, was decided to be redundant. So they transferred him into a different department with a substantial pay cut and an insincere apology.

Needless to say, Vernon didn't take it too well. By the time Harry had rejoined them for his summer exile from the wizarding world, Vernon was spending more and more of the dwindling money on beer at the local pubs. He tended to become rather belligerent when drunk, and lately Harry had been his favorite target. So far he'd never actually harmed the young man, mainly due to Harry's quick reflexes and running speed, but tonight running was out of the question. Vernon sounded much worse tonight than ever before.

Harry jumped to his feet and quickly locked the door, then started to drag his trunk to block the entrance. If he could only weather it out for a little bit, his uncle would get tired and stumble into bed and pass out. Vernon started hammering the door, bellowing drunkenly and shouting insults, the wood shaking beneath the blows. Abruptly, before Harry could shove his trunk into place, the doorjamb splintered and the door crashed open, Vernon framed in the doorway.

The boy had time for one thought. *This is gonna hurt.* With a roar of drunken rage the man leapt forward, grabbed Harry by the neck and threw him across the room. Harry slammed into the opposite wall and slid to the floor, stunned, then instinctively tried to rise and protect himself. His uncle pushed the trunk out of the way with an almighty heave and stomped over to him, then kicked him in the stomach. Harry doubled over, gasping, and Vernon slammed a fist the size of a ham to the back of his neck, depositing him on the floor with a blinding headache.

Harry could barely see. His glasses had fallen off, and as he blindly reached for them Vernon cruelly stepped on both the glasses and his hand with a sickening crunch. He could feel glass impaling his hand as bones snapped, and bit his lip to keep from screaming in pain. Vernon then snatched up a handful of Harry's black hair and lifted his head, then backhanded him across the face, blood splattering from the cut lip and nose. The abuse continued for what seemed like forever. The initial attack had been so swift and brutal that Harry never had a chance to defend himself.

Finally Vernon picked him up and threw him bodily towards the window. With a crash, Harry's head connected with and shattered the glass, and for a long moment he was in danger of tumbling out and falling two stories to the garden path below. Instead he slumped to the floor, surrounded by a pool of broken glass and blood, mercifully unconscious. Vernon clumsily wiped the sweat and drool from his mouth, stomped out of the room and locked the door. Lurching down the steps and into the living room, he passed out on the couch with his bloody knuckles dragging on the carpet.

The crash from the window above startled Petunia, who was currently hiding in the garden outside. It had become her regular escape once her husband began spending more time and money at the pub than in her house. One night he had come home stinking drunk and angry, and turned on Petunia. God forbid he should lay a hand on his precious son. She was now terrified of her husband, and now for the first time felt pity towards her nephew, having been on the receiving end of those beatings before.

Once she heard the snores form the living room, she crept back in carefully and stole up the stairs as quietly as possible to inspect the damage. Luckily, with the doorjamb broken the lock could not hold, so the door swung open at her touch. The room was a mess: the trunk had overturned, spilling robes and books everywhere; crushed shelves dangled from one nail, and broken toys lay forgotten; blood had splashed on the floor, up the walls, over the bed and desk, and dripped from the remains of the window. Beneath the window lay a bruised, broken and bleeding Harry Potter.

Petunia's breath caught in her throat. It was much worse that she had thought. She ran to his side and felt at his neck for a pulse. It was a bit thready and weak, but there, and he was still breathing. Gently resettling him more comfortably on the floor, Petunia hurried downstairs for water and bandages. Her home aid kit wasn't nearly enough make a big difference, but she knew the bleeding needed to be stopped.

While she was gone, a soft fluttering could be heard, and Hedwig soared in through the broken window. She screeched and hooted wildly at the sight of Harry, trying desperately in her own way to wake him up, to no avail. Finally she saw the letter to Ron, still on the desk but unfinished and now spattered in blood. Thinking fast the owl snatched it up with her talons and took flight again, heading as quick as she could to get help.

Harry's aunt returned and started mopping up her nephew, wiping off the blood and bandaging what she could, pulling the glass shards out of his hand and head. Harry began to stir fretfully, but Petunia whispered soothingly while stroking his forehead, and he settled back into unconsciousness. When she had done all she could, she picked up the slight body and deposited him carefully on the bed, wary of the broken bones. Silently she debated with herself whether or not to summon the police or the paramedics.

Harry needed professional care, but she couldn't carry him to the car by herself, and Dudley would not go anywhere near Harry. Even now she could hear his snore in the next bedroom. The ambulance would attract attention, and wake Vernon. Then she would be the next one lying on the floor bleeding. But maybe, the police could arrest him, and Petunia would never have to be afraid again. This internal back and forth lasted a long time, during which she sat by her nephew's side absently smoothing his hair while chewing her lower lip. Eventually she made her decision and walked downstairs for the phone.

Just as Petunia started dialing, she heard a knock at the front door. Startled, she glanced at the clock over the sink. It was nearly midnight. Who on earth would come knocking at their house so late at night? Not wanting the noise to wake the slob on the couch, she decided to answer the door. But even as she walked down the hall, she heard someone outside mutter something, a flash of light, and the door burst open, revealing five black-robed figures in masks, all with wands out.

Petunia screamed.