Different and Proud
Member No.: 13
Joined: 10-November 04
I felt like writing some aingst after reading a fic, so I just cranked this out. I rather like it. It's about Harry's cupboard. You can see it's a giant stream of thought all metaphorical and stuff, only there's this funny bit in between, so it's a bit of a 180, but I enjoy it anyway, and I hope you do too!
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to her cupboard to
Get her poor doggie a bone
When Harry was three, at nursery school, he heard that rhyme about Mother Hubbard looking in her cupboard, looking for a bone for her dog. He raised his hand and asked his teacher why she kept bones in the cupboard; he thought cupboards were for keeping people in. The teacher looked at him and said, “Whatever gave you that idea?” Then Dudley kicked him and Harry muttered “Nothing,” and the kids all laughed at the weird Harry Potter kid. The teacher watched him after that, too closely, and one time she called Uncle Vernon.
This made Uncle Vernon mad, and he locked Harry in the cupboard. Two days, no food.
Harry learned not to talk about cupboards after that.
Actually, Harry learned not to talk much at all.
Talking got you in trouble. So did crying, or laughing too loudly.
That was the rule.
So Harry didn’t talk. He kept quiet, because nobody wanted to hear what he had to say. On his report cards he always got “Quiet, good worker…” Some of the more astute teachers asked why Harry was so quiet, and why when he talked he always looked afraid someone was going to hurt him.
They never hit Harry. Well, okay, they smacked him sometimes if he did something bad, like turned the teachers wig blue, but never enough to leave mark, never excessively. But he still sometimes acted like he was afraid they would hurt him, because it was the cupboard he feared.
Some teachers were astute, but most ignored the fact that Dudley terrorized him daily. Dudley would make sure to get a seat behind Harry so he could hit him.
It was easy, because Harry never cried out, never made a sound. One time Dudley smacked Harry in the back of the head so hard Harry’s nose smashed into the desk. The students looked around at the noise but just saw Harry, bent over his work. Harry hadn’t made a noise of pain, not even an “oof”. But when Harry lifted his head up, his nose was bleeding like mad. The teacher eventually noticed and sent him to the nurse’s office. The kids recoiled at this weird boy, who didn’t cry out in pain, despite the fact his nose was broken and he was only eight years old. He merely got up and went to the office, expression the same.
Harry was no stranger to pain. He was fast, but everyone tripped sometimes. One time in the bathroom, Dudley had him by the arm. He tried to make Harry cry out, cranking the arm back and back and back. Harry refused. Finally, CRACK! It broke. Harry finally cried out, finally screamed, and Dudley, satisfied, left him. Harry lay there for hours, until he finally got up, dragging his arm with him. He worked with it all day, swelling blue, bent at an odd angle, until the lunch lady noticed, and sent him to the hospital.
“How did you break it?”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“Why would they care?”
The nurse looked at him.
“Oh…I meant…er, it didn’t hurt that bad.”
“Yeah right,” She accidentally twisted Harry’s arm, “Oh, sorry…er…” she stared at the boy, who had gone very pale at the twist, but his expression did not change one whit.
She sent him away quickly. The kid was unnatural. A freak. She hesitated, he hand over the phone. Then she walked away. Little demon child wasn’t her problem.
Harry ran his fingers over the smooth plaster of the cast. The cupboard seemed to close in on him. He closed his eyes and waited for it to go away. He did not fear the cupboard, but the shadows on its walls. That was it.
Yes, Harry was fast. But not fast enough to escape. He knew other kids were treated better, but he couldn’t imagine anything other than this. Everything outside the cupboard was unknown to him. And when the door clicked, he was locked in.
“I’m hungry,” Ron Weasley called. “Don’t these people have any food?”
“You’re asking the wrong person,” Harry called back, “See if you can find any.”
Ron looked around for a place that might house junk food when the kitchen yielded none. Maybe that big cupboard. He looked inside it. Nothing but a bed. Weird. Why would there be a bed in here? Hardly fit in the place. Ron ducked in and saw a chest of drawers as well. He also saw something skitter across the floor.
“Ron, what on earth are you doing-?” Hermione stopped in front of the cupboard. “Why does this place have a bed in it?”
“Beats me. Maybe they kept a dog in here. This place is spider infested!”
“What’s this?” Hermione picked up something that had rolled out from under the bed.
“Big plastic white thing.” Ron said.
“It’s a cast…” Hermione said.
“What’s a cast?”
“What Muggles use to cure broken arms,”
“Whose is it-oh.”
“It’s Harry’s. He wrote on it-“This is property of Harry Potter-Age Nine.””
“I still don’t understand-how would a plastic thingy help cure a broken arm?”
Hermione ignored Ron. “Why would Harry’s cast be under this bed? Unless…no…even they wouldn’t…do…no…”
“Wouldn’t do-oh.” Ron’s eyes widened as it hit him. “No, of course no-
Hermione reached behind the bed, and retrieved some packaged from food, which had been torn into most violently, a sweater that had sleeves copiously rolled up and that would still be too big for Harry even now, and a few stray homework assignments.
“They would,” Ron gasped.
“Where are you two?” They heard Harry call. “I set up your bed in the guest room, Hermione.”
Hermione and Ron quickly backed out, dropping what they were holding so they could rush up and pretend nothing had happened.
“Don’t believe I wouldn’t hesitate to call Child Protective Agencies. In fact, I would relish it,” Hermione threatened.
She and Ron had gotten the Dursley’s in a room, where Hermione was doing what she did best: telling people off.
“We never hit-“
“Neglect,” Hermione said clearly. “I have researched the subject of Child Abuse and the laws that go with it extensively. You are guilty of neglect. ALL of you. Starvation, locking someone is a closet, encouraging and or ignoring constant beatings of the child by your SON none the less, do I need to go on?”
“You can’t prove-“
The Dursleys stared at her uncertainly. “We didn’t do anything wrong. We locked him in a stupid cupboard. We punished him. Dudders never-“
“Yeah right,” Ron snorted. “Hermione has you guys.”
“What do you want from us then?”
The two looked at each other.
“What do we want?” Ron asked.
“They can’t take it back. The psychological damage will always be there.”
“Shut it!” Hermione waved her wand threateningly at Vernon.
“We could curse them.”
The Dursleys blanched.
“Tempting, but illegal.”
“Really call the Child Protection Agency?”
“Well…” Hermione lowered her voice. “They’re actually right. We don’t have any proof.”
Ron thought for a second. “Got it!”
“Stuff THEM in the cupboard.”
“Brilliant! Ron, I love you!”
Hermione grabbed him and kissed him hard. Then she let go “That answer it?”
“Yes…” Ron gasped. “Uhmm…wait…uhhh…how are they going to fit?”
Hermione gave her evilest smile, the one that always scared Ron. “Oh, they’ll fit.”
Number Four, Privet Drive wasn’t there anymore. Neither was that freaky little boy, who didn’t cry out when people hit him, who didn’t talk, who didn’t understand nursery rhythms. Nor were his two best friends, who had threatened, who had cared, who had made the boys tormentors relive his pain. The family that had locked the boy away like a bone was gone too.
A shape dragged itself toward the ruins shivering, curling.
“Harry!” Frantic voices called. “Harry, where are you?”
“There he is, Hermione, we found him.”
“Oh my, he doesn’t look well.”
“Harry, its Ron can you hear me?”
“He can’t…he can’t…”
“Hermione are you all right?”
“I got hit…the whole place is gone Ron. The Dursleys are dead.”
“I know. Harry, get up, we’re taking you to the hospital.”
“What’s he holding?”
“That stupid cast. He’s ill…”
“Can you recognize us, Harry?”
“Ron and Hermione.”
“I…don’t see…am I in the cupboard?
“The cupboards gone Harry, your friends are here.”
“I…fell…I…it doesn’t…hurt…nobody cares…anyway…”
“We care! We bloody care. Help me pick him up, Hermione.”
“You’re safe now. C’mon, just stay with us, Harry. Please.”
But Harry was moaning something. Hermione leaned in close to listen. All she could make out was one sentence.
“The shadows are back again.”
When she got there
the cupboard was bare
so the poor little doggie had none.
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"You said to us once before," said Hermione quietly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"- HBP