Dementors don't leave bruises
Dementors don't leave bruises
A/N: I do not own the world of Harry Potter. After Re-reading the fifth book for the sixth time, I realized that no one mentioned the bruises that would have been on Harry's neck from his uncle strangling him.
After Harry and the rest of the gang had gone up to bed, Remus noticed an odd look on his old friend's face. It wasn't the gloomy look that had resided on his face for the past month, and it wasn't the happy face that he wore during school.
"Sirius, mate." Remus said. "You've been quiet for an hour. That's rare. What's bothering you?"
"Dementors don't leave bruises."
That single sentence silenced the room faster than if he'd said Tom's fake name. Molly, Arthur and Bill looked confused, Tonks looked worried, many other members of the Order also looked confused and the teaching portion of the Order looked concerned. Unfortunately for Remus, he was the one who had to ask what in the world Sirius meant.
"Those bruises on his neck. You didn't notice them?" Sirius said in a hard voice. His eyes were almost ice like and for once Snape was glad it wasn't directed at him. He'd rather face the Dark Lord than anger the mutt this severely.
"Maybe he fell?" Tonks suggested. It was a reasonable suggestion. After all, she was down right clumsy.
"That would happen with you, Tonks. Harry, on the other hand, is not so clumsy that he ends up with hand sized bruises on his neck."
The women gasped. Albus, who had come to Headquarters to catch the Order up on a new schedule for the guard, paled and began to worry for his safety. He was the one to leave Harry at his Aunt and Uncle's.
"Now that you mention it, Black, I thought I saw some discoloration on Potter's neck. I thought it was a trick of the light." Snape said. He was reluctant to do so, but he was a teacher. It was his job to recognize abused students and help them find proper homes.
"He always comes from his relatives looking skinnier than he should for a boy his age." Molly looked over at Sirius when she said this. The ex-convict seemed to grow angrier and angrier at the thought of someone abusing his beloved godson.
"Wait, mum? You don't think they starved him, do you?" Bill asked. It wasn't that he didn't believe his mother. It was just that he couldn't believe someone would treat a child that way.
"You remember that time I flooed you, ranting about your brothers flying your father's car to Harry's house?"
"Yeah, but I don't—"
"When they came home, Ron said that Harry's uncle had put bars on his window and that he was locked in his room. I thought he was joking, or trying to get out of de-gnoming the garden."
Sirius looked up at the mention of bars on his godson's window.
"I think it might be time that we talk to Ron and Hermione about Harry's aunt and uncle tomorrow, don't you Padfoot?" Remus asked.
"Indeed I do, along with the Twins. If they flew the car, then they know something about Harry's home life."
The next day saw Sirius and Remus in the Black family library with Ron, Hermione and the Weasley Twins.
"So, what did you want to –"
"Talk about, O pranking Gods."
Ron rolled his eyes. "They just told us that they wanted to talk about Harry, dimwads."
Remus couldn't help but pull a Ron and roll his eyes as well.
"We were just wondering if you knew anything about his home life." Sirius asked. The accompanying silence spoke volumes.
"It's frightingly dull."
Sirius frowned. Those were excuses he himself had used when James and Remus had asked him about his home life.
"So, he gets the proper amount of food for a boy his age?" Remus asked and Sirius saw the Twins squirm.
"He gets presents on his birthday? Christmas?"
More squirming, but this time Ron was the one trying to avoid their gazes.
"He got a proper bedroom when he arrived there?"
"He's never been starved?"
"Never been locked in?"
Ron shared a glance with Hermione, and she shook her head. Telling Sirius about Harry's home life right after he'd just yelled at them the night before was not a good way to spend the summer.
"Well, then you'd tell us if Harry's uncle ever hit him, right?"
Just like magic (for lack of a better term), the twins' heads popped up but before they could say anything, Ron hissed, "Don't you dare. Harry made us swear not to tell a soul."
Unfortunately for him, he forgot that he was in a room with a werewolf.
"Don't you think that you're doing Harry more harm than good if you keep what his family does to him a secret?" Remus asked.
"Well, just as long as you won't tell Harry," Hermione said. "I actually don't know that much about Harry's home life."
"I do." Ron sighed; he knew somehow his friend would find out and the first part of the year would be like fourth year all over again. "He told me all about it when we first met on the train. He told me how he'd always have to wear his cousin's hand-me downs and how he didn't have any friends in school and how he had to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs—Wait, I didn't say that!"
He was too late. Sirius was already racing to his godson's bedroom to confront him.
"Ummm Sirius?" Harry squeaked out after Sirius engulfed him in a Hagrid size hug. "Is everything okay?"
"We need to talk." Sirius said and shut the door.
Sirius took in a deep breath and decided to get it over with. "Why didn't you tell me that you were abused?"
Harry started and then seemed to freeze. "Wh-who told you that?"
"That doesn't matter. All that matters is that you didn't tell me, or anyone else for that matter."
"It didn't matter. By the time I got my letter, it had pretty much stopped."
"But they still didn't treat you the way that they should have."
"I've no idea what you're talking about."
"Bars on your windows ring any bells?"
Harry froze. "Ron told you, didn't he?" From the tone of his voice, Sirius could tell that his godson regretted ever telling Ron a thing.
"Harry, listen to me. I will do every thing in my power once I'm cleared to get you out of there."
"But I'm fine!"
Sirius wondered how much his godson could deny the abuse, or how much longer he could stay in the room and not go and kill the Dursleys.
"Harry, I should have asked you why you so readily agreed to live with me when an hour earlier you had thought I was a mass murderer, the man who betrayed your parents, and you had almost beaten me to a bloody pulp. Nice right hook by the way."
"I wanted to live with you because you're my godfather, the last link to my parents and thanks."
"What if Ron had a godfather he never knew about who invited him to live with him?"
"That's-that's completely besides the point."
Sirius could see Harry's wall of forced calm beginning to crumble and seized the opportunity.
"Harry, did you ever have to sleep in a cupboard? "
Harry sighed. "From the age of one until I got my Hogwart's letter," he said, lowering his head.
"Harry," Sirius said lifting up his godson's head in order to make eye contact. "I should have been there. I wasn't, but now I am. Remember, I will always be there for you."
"Really Really." Sirius smirked, remembering the same promise he'd made to James the day before his wedding. James had asked the exact same thing.
"Thanks, Padfoot. Now, can we go prank Ron?"
Later that day, the Headquarters for the Order heard a high pitched scream coming from Ron and Harry's room accompanied by the laughter of a former marauder and a future savior.
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