Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling and I make no money off of this
Warnings: minor swearing
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"Fawkes, I want you to help people as much as you can- do something, you're much better going than being with me."
His magic stirred, rippling back and forth from his core like unconquerable tides.
His chest burned.
It seemed almost impossible in the packed alley cozied inbetween two buildings, where the walls were tight, and the stones anxious.
A scream rung from the edge of Hogsmeade, making the silver bands on his arms hiss and coil.
He couldn't, no, no, not enough air- the off-white walls were too close, and he kept bashing his damn elbow into the mop handle, and he kept sucking in the plaster from when Dudley stomped on the stairs, and the light above his head was swinging precariously, and he didn't know how long Vernon was going to keep him in here-
No, he isn't in his cupboard.
He's at Hogsmeade, he is Here. Here. Here.
Stuffed in the crevice between two oppressively gray buildings. Like cardboard boxes shoved into attics, forgotten, with old records and yellowing photographs and the crinkling pages of books.
Just breathe; suck in the scent of the stones, the stones that quivered like boulders knocked off the edge of a precipice, that hit the ground trembling, that cracked and split and eroded by water, by wind, by corrosive algae and the salt of the sea. Yes, breathe.
Allow it to fill swelling, unwilling lungs.
Oxygen and the scent of chiseled stone.
Two things he might never know again.
Merlin, he prayed this wasn't the last thing he'd smell.
He'd rather smell lavender, or a pungent vanilla perfume, or maybe even sniff the sterility of hospital bed sheets when he's had time to become old and gray, or yellow, like fading photographs.
Another scream echoed.
Another spike of magic pierced out from his core and swam in his limbs.
Laughter broke out just past his ear, "Crucio!"
Harry shifted his head, ducking it into the darker space of the alley, and watched a lean, robed figure flick her wrist, dark curls poking out from under her hood.
Another man he didn't recognize clapped a hand on the Death Eater's shoulder, "Now, now, Bella, don't you think that's become a bit overused?"
"If you think so, then why don't you exercise your supreme creativity over this Muggle Lover?"
The boy sunk to his knees, poking his head just slightly out of the alleyway.
His vision traveled up the street-
His eyes locked; unwavering, unflinching.
Trembling, just like the stones.
As if attached by magnets, the elder man's eyes immediately glued to his own.
His back arched and he collapsed, shivering on the ground before lifting himself by his shaking arms onto his knees.
His mouth curled, just as much, if not more quivering, than the rest of his body. Irises flashing like silver current reflecting the sun's soft gleam, pouring into black, empty pupils.
He could barely mouth the words, yet the boy could hear his plea expanding in his head:
Please. Please help me.
Don't leave me here.
Just like his own. The elder man's nails digging into the cobblestone just as his nails once dug into the dewy plaster on the small cupboard door. The stifling heat, the hunger, the unquenchable thirst for more than just water, but for a savior, for love, for care, for redemption.
And how hard it was to keep himself from crying, even though his whole body, his whole head, his entire being, screamed that would get him even more bruised.
The vacuous hopelessness that sprung up like crude oil from the ground when that Lady walked away, with the high-buttoned collar and pen skirt and tights that hid the age spots on her legs.
"At his school today, allegations were brought up concerning his home life."
Uncle Vernon's eyes seemed to pop right out of his skull, his face turning as red as a beet. "So, the boy's been spinning lies again, hasn't he?" he spat mutinously, "We put a roof over his head, feed him, provide him with clothes and education... and he does this to us? He tries to rip our family apart?" the man muttered, creating a detailed narrative about how the rotten boy had put all of those bruises on himself as a meaningless ploy for attention.
The prim, elderly lady nodded her head in complete agreement to the man and Petunia, adding in commentary such as the occasional, "Kids these days, don't get harsh enough punishment...", "Hope you put the boy in his proper place...", and other vicious remarks.
In that old man, hunched on the ground, he saw himself reflected.
The stones breathed.
"Sometimes it is the simplest of spells that create the most satisfying results..."
Those eyes never faltered from his own.
A wrist flick, "Diffindo!"
Harry didn't move as the streak of light zipped past his eyes.
But his magic did.
Coiling like a serpent, the bands on his arms squeezed, sending jets of white streaking out of his hands that clasped the ground. The magic ran like colors bleeding over a canvas just barely underneath the surface of the cobblestone, swimming, under they laced seamlessly with the atmosphere.
The elder man did not have the energy to tense, the light approaching, the sweat of adrenaline and pain collecting on his brows, until, until-
The red streak dissolved like weak food coloring into an invisible pond.
"Perhaps its time you went back to third year," the woman snickered.
A low growl, "Try it, then."
A flock of birds appeared, tensed, zipping towards the feeble man-
-Only to hit an invisible screen and waver into nonexistence.
The death eaters stilled to match the silent wind.
Harry sucked in a breath.
She tucked a strand of curly hair back under her hood, pulling it perhaps even more over her head than it was formerly.
The boy could hear the slow, languorous smile spreading over her face.
"I think we have a visitor, 'Dolphy," She curled her wand in her fingers, grasping it loosely.
"Must you call me that, dear?"
She didn't comment, back turned from Harry, and her grasp on the wand grew minutely tighter. Wrist curling. Deep breath. Bone-saw knuckles glinting and back straightening; poised for action...
The boy faltered for only a moment, letting his need for oxygen and his fear make him suck in a quiet gasp.
Quiet, yet audible.
And just like that, the woman turned, arm raised comically in the air, an unnamed green spell dancing on the tip of her wand. And her eyes peered straight at him through a half mask that couldn't disguise her toothy grin.
"Oh, just a boy, is it?"
Abruptly her hand curled around his neck and collar, dragging him up and into the streets.
"Thought you could save this poor old fool, didn't you, you piffy little thing?" she spat, eyes narrowing before her grin broadened even more unnaturally, "Although, I do admire the power it must have taken, you don't even have a wand with you, you would make a great addition to-"
A scream echoed on the other side of Hogsmeade, making him jump and turn.
There was a sharp sting on the side of his face.
"Now, now, what happens there doesn't concern you, yet," she chuckled, "Our Master is quite busy."
The taller, more imposing death eater shook her by the shoulder, "Oh, Bella, your long years in Azkaban must have done some great disservice to your mind-" he snickered, "This isn't just any boy."
He choked as the hand on his neck squeezed, "This can't be..."
"Yet, it is."
"This is the noble savior of the Wizarding World?" She cackled, voice echoing down the street, "This is Harry Potter? Hiding away in the gutters like some slug?"
The boy could see heads peek up into the windows from the shops parallel to him, curious eyes and cowering citizens.
Her voice dropped, "How I can't wait to make every single molecule in your puny little body-"
"You know he's meant for the Dark Lord."
She sniffed, shoulders drooping, "Shame."
He barely stopped himself from clawing at the woman, choking again. Her arm exercised even more force over his neck, "I wonder how many of your friends and family are dead right now," she whispered, gazing cruelly, "Oh wait, you don't have a family, do you?"
His magic churned of its own accord.
Her head craned over his neck, warm breath licking at his ear, "The Dark Lord saw sure to that."
White hot anger cascaded over his eyes, blinding him, and a short burst of magic escaped from his arms.
She staggered back, overwhelmed, and the white washed out of his eyes-
-Leaving the grays and reds and oranges of Hogsmeade to seep into his vision.
His glamours had crumbled.
The bands on his arms sprung up like the hot, thick rings of an old stove, white light glimmering.
More heads peeked up from the shops.
"Take me to Voldemort."