Albus knew that not everything was right with Harry’s home life long before his invitation to Hogwarts was sent out to The cupboard under the stairs.
It’s not true that he did nothing. It’s not.
He just did all the wrong things.
Then Harry comes to Hogwarts, wide eyed, apprehensive but exhilarated and Albus feels himself relax. Harry is happy.
Albus has always been good at deluding himself.
Uncle Vernon towers over him. His big meaty hand twitches and Harry flinches violently and raises his hands to protect his head. He doesn’t know why. Uncle Vernon seems surprised as well.
His uncle has never hit him before.
Harry will learn later that body can remember even when mind forgets.
“How did you get that bruise, Harry?” His teacher asks.
He didn’t fall. He woke up and it was there, as if magicked into his skin. He doesn’t say this. He learned a long time ago that magic was a Bad Word.
His teacher doesn’t say anything else but she watches him closely after that. Harry doesn’t understand why. He didn’t do anything wrong.
He is too slow and aunt Petunia’s frying pan hits its intended target.
It’s the first time-
Not not not
- that he didn’t manage to get away in time.
There should be a memory in his mind of being sprawled on the ground sobbing in pain because aunty hit him and Ithurts and whydidshe, whatdidIdo but it’s simply not there.
There is a bump at the back of his head and he can’t help but touch it every few minutes. His teacher notices.
“Harry, stay after class.”
She asks and he tells the truth. She seems upset.
“I’m usually faster.” He tries to reassure her but it only seems to make her even more upset. Aunt Petunia is right. He can’t do anything right!
Someone knocks at the classroom’s door but doesn’t come in when called. His teacher goes into the hallway to see who it is and doesn’t come back.
Next day she acts as if nothing happened. She stops watching him closely as well. Harry thinks he should feel relieved.
Harry sees Merlin on his way home from school. No one else seems to notice him.
There’s blood in his cupboard. Not much but…Harry doesn’t know whose it is.
He never finds it strange that he knows it’s blood. Doesn’t ask himself how he knows.
Still, when he is locked in his cupboard, he can feel his eyes burn and his breath hitch.
Harry looks at his notebook in wonder. The pages are filled and the handwriting is his.
He doesn’t remember doing his homework.
Magic, he thinks excitedly and tomorrow leaves his notebook in the same place but it doesn’t happen again.
That night he dreams that he is doing his homework and just as he finishes it, his angry-
so incredibly angry
-uncle drags him out of the cupboard and into a world of pain.
The dream is gone when he wakes up, chased away by his aunt’s voice and all that is left is fear.
Harry is scared and it bothers him that he doesn’t know why.
Years pass and it stops being weird not to remember things or that others don’t remember some things.
After all, it’s always been that way.
Harry left a few of his books in the common room. He didn’t put them away, he made a mess, he-
-was allowed to eat the next day.
He keeps his plate close to himself and eats quickly, grabbing the seconds. Hermione calls him a pig. Harry has a feeling that her parents never let her go hungry.
He says nothing and shrugs at Ron who shrugs back.
Ron understands. He eats the same way Harry does. Harry thought that they were on the same page.
Harry goes still when someone yells, utterly still.
It’s a pair of redheaded twins this time. They make a ruckus and leave. It is their style, as Hermione has noticed in the few months she’s been at Hogwarts.
Harry lets out a breath he has been holding.
She may be young but she is smart. And she doesn’t know Harry Potter well, they are not friends-
they will be, after the troll, forever
-but she is not blind.
“Are you okay?”
“…I’m fine.” I don’t know.
It is the first time of many to come when Hermione will feel helpless when it comes to helping Harry.
Most of the time, Harry has no problem standing up for himself, but sometimes, just sometimes there’s this change in the air and he tenses and goes blank. Now, Ron may be generally clueless but…when it happens he always shifts just a bit closer to his friend. Not quite touching, but close enough that he feels that jolt of electricity which he knows instinctively is his magic interacting with Harry’s.
His friend would blink then, and it was like Ron had cast Enervate.
Harry never seems to be aware of it. Luckily, it happens less and less as time goes by, before it stops completely, but Ron never forgets.
Albus Dumbledore sits in his office holding his wand.
Among a couple of Obliviate spells there is a healing spell.
He can’t banish the sight of broken bones and broken green eyes out of his mind.
Warm blood spills over his fingers as he tries to hold it in. A spell-
Heal heal heal
-“I’m sorry. Please don’t die. Sorry sorry sorry”
Harry must stay in that house. Blood wards must be maintained. It is not time for Harry to die yet.
His thoughts scatter away. Yet…
For the Greater Good, Albus thinks, but it sounds hollow even in his own mind.
He lost count of how many times he has had to obliviate someone so Harry wouldn’t be taken away from the Dursleys. He thought, in the beginning, that Harry would be better of without the memories of abuse. He thought Dursleys would stop…but their hate was too strong and the vicious cycle would start over and over again.
Memory spell is not an Unforgivable but it should be. Albus thinks it really should be.
Neville’s remembrall glows red in Harry’s hand.
He is forgetting something.