- Work in Progress
- Abuse - Child
- Violence - Domestic
If one just glanced at the cookie cutter neighborhood of little whinging, one would think it the epitome of normal. One would be wrong. Number 4 Privet drive held a secret. Actually it held several secrets, but the biggest was the freak. The Dursleys had a nephew, who lived in the cupboard under the stairs, as far away from their normal lives as they could make him. Out of sight, out of mind was the modus operendi there, as well as getting as much work out of him as they could. He had to earn his right to be there after all.
The freak was also known as Harry James Potter. Disdained by all of the household, he was a fairly shy boy. Very small and scraggly looking, wearing huge hand-me-downs from his enormous cousin. His relatives (not his family, because they weren’t) kept from him the secret of magic. If they hadn’t, maybe things would be different, but because he didn’t know any of the ‘rules’ of magic from the real world, he effectively made up his own. And they worked! From a very young age, Harry had been blamed and punished for every wrong in the house, real or perceived. And yet he also had all the chores to do, or he would be punished more. At first the damage mostly healed overnight, but as he turned six or so, and started reading stories where people had special powers, he started trying to do it on purpose, to direct the effect. It worked. By the time he was eight he was practically an expert at healing himself.
Due to the vitriol and lies spewed by the Dursleys, most of the town was entirely against Harry. They believed the lies, because they were so ridiculous they had to be true! There were two main exceptions to this. The Librarian and the school nurse. Harry’s first teacher had brought to the attention of the nurse all of the mysterious bruises and the major behavior shift after the first report card (Harry had badly outperformed Dudley-which was called cheating and freakishness and was punished severely. He was out for a week. After he came back he made sure to never out-perform Dudley again) She was a kindly woman who didn’t tolerate anyone hurting her precious little ones. Unfortunately the school administrator was a buddy of Vernon Dursley and first shut her down, which caused her to bring her information to the nurse, and then when she didn’t stop, he fired her and blackballed her with lies. The nurse having witnessed all of this, and also agreeing entirely with the teacher about Harry’s home situation, but not wanting to disappear herself, kept her head down, but helped Harry any way she could. Ms. Gold let him sit with her during recess, and asked that any detention he received be with her. She made it sound like she was on board with punishment and wanted to ‘teach him the value of hard work’ to help him not be as ‘poor an example as his miserable layabout parents’ by making him help in the infirmary and maybe help him find a trade so he wouldn’t be on the dole like his folks. They lapped it up with a spoon. Meanwhile, she made sure Harry had a safe place and got at least a good meal or two every day.
Harry, of course, loved her and helped her in any way he could. Ms Gold was the first person to show him real kindness. Harry was a smart kid. He would also do anything for Ms. Gold. He spent a lot of time in her office and ended up reading far more books on anatomy and medicine than anyone else his age. And he understood them. And asked for more. By the time he was nine, he knew more about the human body than most first year med students, though he had some trouble with pronunciation. He learned a fair bit of Latin, looked into chemistry and biology at a much higher level than any other kid his age.
It had taken a lot of courage on his part, as Harry had a hard time disbelieving the name calling of Freak, but Harry told and later showed Ms Gold about his deliberate healing. Ms. Gold couldn’t have been happier for him. She knew that she would need to have some help as this was somewhat beyond her. She had reached out to friends about Harry’s situation, but any anonymous tips her friends made on her behalf mysteriously disappeared. Eventually she shared with a friend who had as little tolerance for child abuse as she did, and was also a doctor, and had a lot of experience with wild situations. His name was John Watson. What Ms. Gold didn’t know was that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes power that John could bring to bear if he wished.
While he was not in the know about the world of magic, the British Government knew more about it than anyone in the ministry of magic knew or would want. One day John was sufficiently fed up with the situation poor Harry was dealing with that he actually went to Mycroft Holmes. Having spoken to several people who stated categorically that they had submitted anonymous complaints to various appropriate authorities, the fact that Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade couldn’t find even a hint of a single complaint was beyond worrisome.
There was only one person he knew that had anything like the appropriate pull to accomplish anything about the situation. Having recently lost his dear friend and flatmate, John was determined not to let something happen to his new young friend. John had entered Harry’s life with the endorsement of Ms. Gold, and Harry was willing to trust anyone she trusted as much as she trusted John. So, reluctantly, Harry told John about what he could do, and how he learned. John, having had his ability to keep his emotions in check tested to their utmost by the late Sherlock Holmes, was able to keep the anger out of his reaction and merely convey how impressed he was.
“Can I…Can I show you?” Harry very shyly asked.
“Are you hurt?” John replied.
“No more than normal. I’ve taken any pain or real damage away, but left the bruises so They don’t get mad” Harry was talking to his toes in shyness, so he didn’t see John’s mask crack and the fury show briefly.
There was a pause while John checked himself. “What would you show me then?”
“I think I can help your shoulder” This time Harry looked up in time to see John’s mask crack. “I mean, I don’t know if I can, but I can see how much it hurts and I was hoping I could try. I just don’t want you to be too disappointed if it doesn’t work right. It is harder to heal others than myself”
“Of course I wouldn’t be mad. You are offering to try to help me. If it doesn’t work, I’ll be no worse off, but if it does that would be great” John grinned. Have you healed others often?”
“I’ve only healed another person once.” Here he got really shy and curled up on himself.
“What’s wrong Harry?” Ms. Gold interjected, knowing that this was a reaction beyond simple shyness. “Whatever it is will be alright. We won’t be mad. Even if you did something that maybe you shouldn’t have, we will discuss it and see how it could be handled differently in the future. Will you please tell us why that question alarmed you so?”
After a moment of looking into Ms. Gold’s eyes, Harry slowly and very quietly said “I healed you. It was last year when you were so tired all the time, You were so sick. It took many times. Any time you took a little nap I would do what I could. It was really hard. I have only had one time where I had to work that hard on myself.”
“Could you tell me what was wrong?” she asked with a sinking feeling. She remembered that time very clearly. She had an unfortunately strong family history of cancer, specifically uterine and ovarian types that were usually very hard to treat. However when she went to get checked out, there were no signs of active tumors, but there were a few worrisome tag cells that would bear watching, so she and her doctor decided to get yearly scans and regular blood tests.
“You had a really bad growth on your…” here Harry blushed and clearly didn’t want to finish the sentence.
“You mean my uterus?” Harry nodded, still blushing. Turning more to John she clarified “Several members of my family have had, and died from, some of the scarier uterine and ovarian cancers. I was really worried last year, but when I went to the doctor, he only found tag cells. No growths.” She turned to Harry “Did you do that?” Harry nodded, but couldn’t look at her. “Oh Harry! Come here!” She pulled him into a giant bear hug and started crying. “Harry, you probably saved my life. Why would I be mad? I love you so much dear one.”
She had yet to let him out of his hug, so it was a little muffled, “But I didn’t have permission…But I couldn’t lose you!” He was now sobbing into her shoulder. “You are the only one who cares!”
“I love you too, but I am not the only one who cares.” At this point Harry was inconsolable and incomprehensible in his sobbing. “Dear one, I love you. Thank you so very much for what you did. You saved my life. Thank you. I was so scared would have to Leave you. You made it possible for me to stay. I love you so much.” She continued to hold and hug him while gently rubbing his back while he cried himself out. Dr. Watson made himself useful and made some tea with the electric kettle Ms. Gold kept in the infirmary. By the time he was done with that, Harry had gone mostly quiet with a few sniffles.
“Thank you for helping my friend. At some point I would love to ask you about the details of what you did, or how you did it, but I also want to say thank you. Also that she was right when she said that she wasn’t the only one who cares. I know Ms. Darrow cares for you.” Ms. Darrow was the librarian who wasn’t nearly as close as Ms. Gold, but she still let him take out books and spend time in the library. She also answered his questions without sneering or mocking him. She had a better idea of how smart he was and once she had been filled in by the nurse, helped Harry where she could. She would also bring in snacks and treats for him and let him eat them safely away from his cousin or his cousin’s buddies.
Ms. Gold took up the thread, “Mrs. Mitchum cared for you very much. But Principal Douglas made her go away when she tried to do something about your situation. That’s why I pretend to be nasty to you in front of him. You know that.”
“I have come to care about you too.” Dr. Watson added. “You’re a pretty neat little kid, and I would care about you anyway, but you also helped save my friend’s life, so I will always be grateful for that. If there is any way I can help, ever, let me know. In fact I have a friend that I would like to tell about all of this. He might be able to help, and he lives far enough away that your relatives have no connection to him. He works for the Government, and could get to the bottom of some of what is going on here. May I have your permission to tell him? I already told him some of what was going on and he is looking into it, so is a Detective Inspector friend of mine. A lot of people have given reports that something wrong is happening with your relatives, but nothing has ever come of it. There are no records of any of the reports. It’s like they were never made. Something is going on here, and my friend should be able to get to the bottom of it. So may I tell him?”
“Do you still want me to try to help your shoulder?”
“I would like that a lot, but I want to help you whether you can or not, whether or not you even try.”
Harry looked perplexed that anyone would help him without being made to or getting something for it. “Why?” He paused, “why help me?”
“I have several reasons. I am a doctor, and I don’t like to see people hurt. It’s part of why I became an Army doctor. You are a friend of and important to a friend of mine, so I would help on her behalf anyway. It is the right thing to do. No one should have to live with what you put up with. It’s not right. Also I have come to care for you in your own right.” Harry still looked baffled. John had to wrangle his rage so it wouldn’t show on his face again. That such a sweet and kind little boy would be so unfamiliar with kindness that he truly didn’t understand it when anyone was kind to him bad him want his gun. Maybe call a few Army buddies and…No. But he would help Harry.
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