Chapter 1 : Decisions
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The dreams of the flashing green lights that he had as a child, still plagued him throughout many a night. Harry often woke up in a cold sweat and he knew that it wasn’t simply just a dream; there was something more to it, something that his uncle and aunt both knew.
Harry was nearly 17, and everything was exactly the same as it had always been. He still wore Dudley’s hand me downs – which were becoming more gargantuan with every year that passed. His uncle and aunt still treated him as though he was the scum of the earth, and Dudley and his cronies still constantly bullied him.
To put it simply, Harry was almost depressed. He absolutely detested life with the Dursleys, and he found school no better. The students picked on him frequently – quite often taunting him about his looks, comparing him to a gaunt beggar who lived on the streets. To be frank, Harry would prefer to be living on the streets. He couldn’t wait until he was 18 and would be able to do anything he wanted. The first would be to move out, if he lasted until then.
Harry wanted out – and no he wasn’t selfish, or stupid, enough to take his own life – but he just wanted to get away from it all. He couldn’t stand it, and there was no one that was any help to him. Everyone just thought he was a troubled young boy from a good family, but really, Harry thought it was really quite the opposite. He was a good boy from a troubled family. Harry never meant any harm – he had somehow turned out too nice for that – and the Dursleys had numerous problems, but they too far in denial to see that.
Harry resolved to talk to his aunt and uncle that afternoon, perhaps even find out something about his family. Not that it had ever worked before. He couldn’t help but feel bitter towards them, although that was tinted with the smallest hint of gratitude. For his whole life, they had just treated him like complete shit. Yet, they had never thrown him out or deprived him of the necessities – much.
He sighed; he wasn’t living life. He was just being. And he hated it. Harry wanted to go out and see the world. Wear some proper clothes. Eat however much he wanted. And most importantly, he wanted to go somewhere without being teased.
It was creeping up to Easter, but Harry never got excited for those sorts of festivities. Where was the excitement in watching other people have fun? He never received anything, he was never included in any of the family celebrations – not that it would be any fun with the Dursleys, of all people.
That afternoon he helped Aunt Petunia with the cleaning. She could always be softened up with a bit of help, even if it made her suspicious. She peered around at him, her eyes squinting as she tried to figure out his intentions. After the living room had been cleaned within an inch of it’s being, Petunia’s sharp tone rang throughout the room, “What do you want, boy?”
Harry took a deep breath, “I, I really would, uh, like to know something about my parents, and, and why you treat me the way you do. Please Aunt Petunia.”
He swore that he caught a glimpse of something flash behind Petunia’s eyes, but she steadied herself before Harry could figure out the emotion.
“You ungrateful child! Vernon and I have provided for you for nearly seventeen years; given you a place to stay, clothes on your back and something to eat, and this is what we get? Your parents died in a car accident, we have gone through this a hundred times, boy. Now leave me alone,” she near screeched at him.
Harry’s shoulders slumped, but instead of sighing and walking out of the room in surrender, he decided to fight back. “You’re wrong, you’ve never treated me as your own. I’ve known nothing but neglect and cruelty at your hands. * I have never felt the love and warmth of a family. You have treated me like absolute rubbish for my entire life and I’ve had enough. I know that my parents weren’t killed in a car accident and I know you do too.”
A horrified look crept onto Petunia’s face as the onslaught of words hit her. She absolutely knew that every single word was true, but she couldn’t bring herself to voice it to Harry. Every time Petunia looked into his face, all she saw was his eyes – Lily’s eyes. Every thought of Lily came with mixed emotions.
She had been gone for a long time, yet Petunia couldn’t help but regard Lily with the same feelings of contempt that she had held ever since they found out about the wizarding world. But still Petunia was unable to neglect the sorrow that wormed its way into her when she saw those eyes. It tore her to pieces.
As the mix of emotions swept across Petunia’s face, Harry sighed. He knew that she would never tell him everything; it had been bottled up for far too long. Her secrets were sealed.
Harry sulked away to his room, wrapped up in his thoughts. He almost felt sorry for Petunia and the way she had had to keep her secrets for so long. But, alas, her treatment of Harry far outweighed that, completely neutralising any amicable feelings he might hold towards her.
As Harry sank into his bed, he made the biggest decision of his life. He was going to run away. He was going to make a new life of his own, a better life. The life he had always dreamt of; a life without the Dursleys.
* Adapted from the quote by Albus Dumbledore (“You have never treated Harry as a son. He has known nothing but neglect and often cruelty at your hands.”) in the Half Blood Prince (pg 57 - 1st ed - British (in Australia) version).
Author’s Note: This is my first shot at writing really canon characters, even though it’s AU. I would love to hear what you think, and in case you were wondering, I’m not aiming to write in the same tone or style as the amazing J.K. Rowling. (I could never live up to that anyway!)
Thanks for reading :)