Chapter 1: Meet Marvolo
The first time that Harry can remember talking to the voice inside his head was when he had been five years old. He had accidently spilled some orange juice when he was cleaning the dishes and his uncle had gotten angry. He grabbed Harry’s arm hard enough to bruise and threw him in his cupboard.
“If you can’t be useful around people, then the least you can do is stay out my goddamn sight,” Vernon snarled as he locked the door on the outside.
“Please, Uncle Vernon, I didn’t mean to. I’ll be better,” Harry begged, though he knew better than to hit the door. Last time he had tried that, Uncle Vernon had gotten very angry and hit him across the face for ruining the space that they so graciously let him sleep in. It made Harry upset and confused and he just wanted to know why he was treated this way when his cousin wasn’t. Why did they hate him so much? It wasn’t fair, and he wanted to be loved. And cared for. He wanted someone to care about him.
Harry brought his knees to his chest and cried, struggling to keep the noises from coming out. The result was wet sniffing and half choked back tears echoing inside the small cupboard he was in. The only light he had was from? the line underneath the door but it wasn’t enough, and Harry was scared.
Why are you scared?
Harry jumped and pressed himself closer to the wall, eyes blindly searching for someone in the darkness.
“W..where are you, sir?” the young boy whispered timidly.
I’m inside of you.
“Are you me?”
No, I don’t think so.
Harry paused, biting his lower lip thinking. Maybe…. maybe it was because he had wished really hard for a friend.
“Will you be my friend, sir?”
Why do you need friends? Can’t you go and make real friends?
“No,” Harry said sadly, picking at one of the scabs that had been left over from Vernon’s last punishment, “my uncle and aunt say that I’m not allowed to go outside ever because I’m a Freak.” Harry felt a burst of pain come from his scar and he whimpered.
Don’t say that word. You are not a freak, and they shouldn’t treat you like that. The voice had a seething undertone to it and even if it scared Harry, there was also something in Harry that felt overwhelmed that someone would want to be on his side. Even if this person wasn’t really real, Harry still felt warmed by the fact that he had a friend. A friend all of his own.
“What’s your name, sir?”
I don’t know. I don’t remember anything.
“You don’t know your name?” Harry giggled.
I don’t remember anything before a few moments ago, so pardon me if I don’t exactly have the best recollection.
“What does recollection mean?”
It means remembering things.
“But you don’t remember your name? Everyone has a name, sir.” Harry said,
Until I can remember mine, call me… Marvolo.
“I’ve never heard of anyone called Marvolo.”
You’ve also never really met anyone though, have you?
Harry shook his head.
Don’t worry. I’ll be here for you. I’ll make sure you aren’t lonely. And then Harry could’ve sworn that he felt a caress on his cheek, and something in him lit up. The coldness of the cupboard melted away from his face when he felt the warmth this invisible hand offered. That his new friend offered.
Chapter 2: Power
It's a curious thing, Marvolo pondered, that he could not remember anything beyond the first time that Harry had talked to him and yet he knew how to talk and he had his own opinion apart from the younger boy. After convincing Harry to go to the library, the closest thing he could find was imaginary friends. Was he an imaginary friend?
"Can we go back home? Uncle Vernon will be mad if he sees I'm not in the garden anymore." Harry had learned that he didn't need to talk out loud to communicate with Marvolo but it still sounded a lot like screaming.
Of course, Harry.
The sun was starting to set and the streetlights were flickering on one by one as they walked past them. This was one of those moments that made Marvolo sure that there was something different about young Harry. This little boy had done things that they hadn't been able to explain away, and the reaction of Harry's family was only proof of that. Screams and carried out threats were always the response when Harry did something... different. The young boy called it freaky, but Marvolo detested using that word.
"Marvolo, why do Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia hate me so much?" Harry asked, looking down at his worn out sneakers. They had been Dudley's before, and when the other boy had found out that they were going to be handed down to Harry, he had damaged them to the best of his ability. This was why the bottom of the shoe would sometimes drag against the ground. It had made Marvolo furious but Harry had calmed him down, saying it was normal.
They hate you because they're jealous, Harry. Because you have...powers that they don't. They want what you have--the power. Marvolo replied, but he could tell that it was the wrong answer because Harry's lips trembled. But that isn't a reason to hate someone, Harry. You and I know that. You can't control your power any more than Dudley can control his weight.
The younger boy giggled at that as he snuck back into the garden in the back of the house. Thankfully, no one had even noticed that he was gone, and he hurriedly began to tug at the weeds that had sprouted near the rose bush.
"I wish I never had these powers. I want to be normal."
If Marvolo had a face, it would have contorted in rage, instead all that happened was Harry
got getting a little headache.
Harry, being normal isn't worth it. What you have is special. It's a gift, and you can do so much with it, even if your terrible aunt and uncle can't see it."
"Like… help other kids like me, right?"
"If that’s what you want."
Chapter 3: Gentle Touch
For the most part, Harry could get away from the discomfort of being the unloved one by hiding away in his cupboard and quietly doing the chores, but there were times when Uncle Vernon came home from work with a horrible attitude, looking for something to take his anger out on. This something usually ended up being Harry, despite his best efforts to do everything to the letter. But the stress of getting it just right and Uncle Vernon's eyes obviously following his every movement made Harry's hands shake. He spilt some of the tea on his hand, causing Harry to hiss and drop the kettle.
It lands with a loud enough bang, giving Vernon the excuse, he needed to get up from his spot at the table and march over to Harry with his face red in anger. Tears were already rolling down the boy's face as he clutched his scalded hand to his chest, backing into the counter
"Boy, what do you think you're doing ruining the counters that I paid good money for? How dare you try and rebel against me when I give you food and a place to sleep, your ungrateful brat!" He grabbed Harry by the ear and viciously yanked it as he dragged him towards the cupboard.
"I'm sorry, sir. I'm sorry!" Harry whimpered, trying not to cry. His uncle said nothing in response to the apologies and threw him against the door of the cupboard. In the next second, there's a fist flying to his face and Harry crumbled into a sitting position, clutching his cheek with hot tears rolling down his face. His scar started to burn with the anger Marvolo was feeling towards Uncle Vernon, but he hid that pain because the last time he hadn’t, his uncle had told him that he was being dramatic, pretending to be hurt.
"Since you seem to want to waste the food I put on the table, you're not going to eat until tomorrow,” he shouted, grabbing Harry by the hair and shoving him into his supposed room. The young boy hit his elbow harshly against the wall, leaving him with a buzzy feeling in his arm.
"I want to be normal, Marvolo," Harry sniffed as he fought back the sobs that would only get him into more trouble. "I just want a Mommy and Daddy who love me. I want someone who will love me." He felt the imaginary fingers cupping his cheek but he angrily turned his face away from it. "I want someone real to love me."
Marvolo grew angry and he took Harry's chin in his invisible hands.
Don't think for a second that just because you cannot see me that I am not real, Marvolo said. Just because I am in your head doesn't mean that I don't care for you. I promise you, Harry, that I am going to take you away from this one day. One day, I will KILL your supposed family for treating you like this… like some kind of slave. His grip tightened on Harry's chin, and the boy's lips trembled as he looked up into the space where Marvolo's eyes would have been. He nodded, wiping his tears away, before rubbing his nose.
"Do you promise to never leave me, Marvolo?" Harry whispered as he leaned back against the wall, cradling his cheek that was hot and getting bigger under his hand. Marvolo's hand encased his and Harry gasped as it became cold.
I promise you, dear Harry, that you will never be alone again.
After a few seconds, Harry sighed, leaning his bruised cheek into the hand. If he closed his eyes, he could even pretend that Marvolo was actually there with him, crouching in the small cupboard and offering comfort, no matter how temporary, to Harry. His gentle touch was a balm after having spent so much time experiencing cruel touch.
"How do you do that, Marvolo?"
I just can.
"Thank you, sir."
Don't call me that.
That's what you call your uncle and I am not your uncle. I would never hurt you.
Chapter 4: Just Breathe
Chapter by LeiMcCartney
Harry goes to school for the first time and has a panic attack
When the time came for him to go to school, Harry had been so enthusiastic to finally get to meet other kids. However, all the other kids seemed to have been with Dudley as they were growing up, and they thought Harry was some kind of freak who would do scary things to people who got too close.
It didn't help that Harry accidentally knocked over a stapler from the third shelf without touching it because he got nervous. In the minds of the other kids, this only confirmed that Dudley's freak cousin was just that-- a freak.
This was why Harry was sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, shoveling food into his mouth with undisguised pleasure. He had never had this much food since he was a little baby. Before his first incident of doing freaky things.
The other kids were looking at him with disgust, but Harry had already learned that they weren't going to be his friend no matter how he acted. That was okay, though, because he had Marvolo who seemed fine with being Harry's only friend.
"Do you think other kids have imaginary friends like you, Marvolo?" Harry asked silently.
No, Harry. I think their imaginary friends are things they make up, he mused. And we both know that's not true for us, because I'm always there. Also, you can sometimes feel me or hear me.
"Are you one of those freaky things I do?"
You would've created more people than just me if you could do that. Marvolo laughed. And probably people that are nicer. We also have different opinions, so I don't think that I'm just imagination. A finger tapped his forehead and Harry nodded at the logic his counterpart presented. He stopped when he realized that some of the kids were looking at him funny for nodding at nothing, feeling a blush color his cheeks. He forgot sometimes that it did look strange to other people.
Maybe we should go somewhere with less eyes, Marvolo mused as he registered Harry's embarrassment. Where else did the teacher say you could go? He knew perfectly well where they were allowed to go, but he had noticed that Harry seemed to respond rather weirdly to orders from Marvolo. He often acted subservient like if he was Uncle Vernon, and Marvolo detested that.
He hated being even remotely connected to that pathetic excuse of a man. No, Marvolo was something better. Whatever had birthed him into existence in little Harry's mind had put him there for a greater purpose even if he didn't know exactly what that would be yet. He knew that Harry was going to be something great though, if these little acts of… magic were anything to go by.
"She said we could go to the library if we were done eating and had some time left over during the lunch period, Marvolo," Harry replied happily, swinging his feet as he took another bite of the sweet pudding they put on the side.
Then let's go there, so we can talk and not have everyone looking at us, he suggested and the younger boy paused, looking almost mournfully at his half finished pudding. He was already full but he also never got to eat this kind of stuff. Marvolo seemed to sense this and he put a hand on Harry's shoulder. Don't worry, Harry. The school lunch here is free and you can get it every day.
Harry sighed in relief and stood up, grabbing his tray to throw it away in the trash just like they had taught him. However, when he got to the trash bin, a group of three older kids blocked his path. It was Dudley and two other kids who crossed their arms and looked at him with obvious disdain.
"How are you so skinny? You eat like a pig." The girl on Dudley's right sniggered. "Only pigs like eating the pudding. You're such a weirdo."
"Yeah, why are you even coming to this school? You should be on a farm, haha." The boy laughed and the other two followed in suit.
"Can I please throw my trash away?" Harry asked timidly, trying to step around them and the other two kids looked like they were about to say something, but Dudley stopped them and stepped aside with a wide, intimidating grin that just yelled that he was planning to do something.
"Come on, Harry. Throw your trash away."
With a suddenly dry throat, Harry stepped forward, walled in by the older kids and threw his tray into the trash, and then he suddenly felt a hand push him into the trash bin, face first, and Harry let out a small yelp, trying to right himself. He could hear them laughing and high-fiving one another.
The sting of tears threatening to spill was already there, and Harry felt helpless as he stood up, some kind of food stuck in his hair and his uniform stained. Everyone in the cafeteria was looking at him and he started to cry, covering his eyes as he wished he could be anywhere but there.
Then suddenly Harry felt like he was being squeezed through a tube, and when he opened his eyes, he suddenly found himself standing on top of the roof of some building. There was a feeling of concern coming from Marvolo but Harry was too shaken up to fully process what he was trying to say to him. How had he gotten from the cafeteria trash bin to the roof of a building? The wind was blowing in his hair and he blinked as a glob of something plopped from his hair to his face.
He wiped it away and frowned at the sight of jelly in his hand.
Harry, are you okay? Marvolo's voice finally filtered through and the younger boy nodded.
"I don't know how I got here, but I did. Marvolo, how did I get here?" Harry looked down at his hands. He really was a freak; Harry started breathing faster and faster. His vision started going blurry and he fell down to his knees, clawing at his chest as he cried. Everything was starting to go dark until he felt arms wrap around him from behind, a warm and steadying feeling. Then he heard very distinctly in his head BREATHE.
Harry struggled to follow the command, but it felt like he couldn't get any air in his lungs. He squeezed his eyes shut, crying.
"I can't. I can't, Marvolo," Harry sobbed breathlessly, his hands weakly pulling on the arms that were forcing him to arch backwards. "Marvolo, please."
Yes, you can, Harry. Breathe in. Breathe out. Harry swore that he could hear his voice next to his ear and he gasped in a breath, feeling the immediate relief at getting oxygen. His head started feeling heavy and he fell back, forgetting that there wasn't actually a body behind him. He put a hand beside him as he regained his breath, shaking.
There you go, Harry, Marvolo said soothingly, his hands gently carding through Harry's hair. The other boy leaned into them, seeking any form of comfort that the other could offer. It felt like the warm sunshine in the winter, like when he took a shower after not being allowed to shower for days. Marvolo's touch made him wish that the other boy wasn't just some figment of his imagination but that he was actually there, breathing and living and hugging him.
"What happened to me?" Harry whispered, putting a hand on his chest, still struggling to recover his breath. "I really am a freak, aren't I, Marvolo?" His shoulder sagged, but then he felt a hand grip his chin.
You are not a freak, Harry, he said resolutely. You are incredible. You can do things that no one else in this world can do. You can move things just by thinking about it. You can travel from place to place just because you want to. Imagine all the things that you can do that you don't even know about yet. You could change everything, Harry. You have that power in you... and it's time that you stop being afraid of it, Harry. Because... this is who you are. You are amazing, and it's horrible that no one else can see it. There was a pause and the hand on his chin disappeared and the younger boy reached for it, knowing that he wouldn't be able to touch it.
And that's why I'm here, Harry. Marvolo placed his hand over Harry's. I'm here to be there for you when no one else is. You never have to be afraid that people aren't going to accept you, because you will always have someone on your side.
A sense of relief filled Harry.
"Do you think that my powers come from me just thinking?" Harry asked.
It seems that whenever you wish it really hard and when you feel something intensely, your powers come out, Harry.
"Do you think I could do anything?"
I do, Harry. Anything.
After his first panic attack, Harry had asked the school nurse about what had happened to him and she had explained to him that he had a panic attack, something that could happen when someone was under a lot of stress. She assumed that it was because it was his first day.
Marvolo suggested that he could find this information inside a book, and they had secretly gone to the library, asking one of the nice ladies if they had any books on panic attacks. She had looked concerned at first but led him to the direction where those books would be. Harry had immediately begun to argue with Marvolo when he saw how big the books were and how there were no pictures for him to see.
It turned out that Marvolo could read. He just needed Harry to flip the pages and look at the pages. After he had finished reading it, he allowed Harry to go to the kid's section and look at one of the books there.
However, the time came for them to go back to the garden and pretend that he had been working on the garden. Aunt Petunia had been complaining to Uncle Vernon that she had been noticing some weeds around her beloved rose bush, with an obvious accusing gaze towards Harry. It made Marvolo fume with rage.
But they had discovered a rather useful trick since they started making daily trips to the library. They could use magic to pull the weeds faster without his hands hurting terribly at the end of the day. It had made Marvolo much happier which made Harry happy. So like, right now, he sat down next to the rose bush and took a deep breath before closing his eyes and extending a hand towards the weeds. Come out. Come out. He chanted in his head, wishing desperately. The sound of the weeds being pulled from the ground was incredible, and Harry marveled as they came to rest in his hand.
It had taken some time to get the hang of it, but with Marvolo helping him to focus on what he wanted to do, Harry had been able to do it. Sometimes it would work better if he said it out loud, but it was never a guaranteed thing. Harry knew that Marvolo always felt immensely proud that Harry was learning to control his powers rather than fear them, which triggered a sense of confidence in Harry that he didn’t know he could have. That he hadn’t had before.
Harry felt like for the first time, he would be able to escape the Dursley's. Like someday, he could go out into the world with just himself and Marvolo, the two of them against the world, without having to worry about coming back home before they noticed he was gone, or whether he would be able to make whatever dinner they wanted him to prepare. One day it would just be him and Marvolo.
Petunia knew that her freak of a nephew Harry was always running off when they sent him outside to do the gardening. She would watch him as he climbed over the fence, looking like some kind of burglar. It was a good thing that her Dudley didn't have to see that kind of behavior. Who knew what the freak would teach him if she let him near her dear Duddykins?
Every day she would wait to hear him coming back and when she would go outside she would always find him with a pile of weeds and the trimming scissors in his hands as he carefully took care of the bushes and garden they had. She knew that it took longer than five minutes for him to do all of that, which meant that he was using magic on her garden. She had half a mind to tell her husband of Harry's trips to who knows where, but then again, if she told him, Vernon would get angry and make a mess when he beat the boy. Also, there was the added bonus that since he was out of her hands, she didn't have to spend time worrying if the neighbors were going to see the brat.
It was only a matter of time though before Vernon found out about his little getaways, and it seemed like today was going to be that day. Vernon had come from work, grumbling about how the people in his office were never doing their damn job and he had asked her where Harry was. She had shrugged saying that she saw him in the garden last. There was a smirk on her face as he passed by.
"He's not here." Vernon shouted, frowning as he came back in. He yanked open the cupboard door and looked angrier when he saw that it was empty. "Where the devil did that freak go?" He slammed a fist on the counter.
Petunia shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't want to keep track of that dirty little thing. If he decided to run off, good riddance is what I have to say." She curled her lip and turned to her son. "Besides why would I pay any attention to that boy when I have my own son to take care of? You know, Vernon, that our Dudley is more important than he will ever be." Vernon gave her a smile and sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.
"Of course, Petunia. Dudley is the most important thing in our lives."
Petunia ended up having to make dinner which infuriated her husband. She didn't mind, considering that she hadn't made any sort of meal in quite a while, but she also did not like that she was doing the Freak's job.
It was around 6 PM when she heard the tell tale signs of the Freak climbing over the fence. She chuckled, shaking her head. Oh, he had really pushed it this time. Wherever he was going, he better have kissed it goodbye, because Vernon was going to lock him up for the rest of his days. It seemed that she wasn't the only one who had heard the noise, because a second after the shuffling could be heard, there were heavy footsteps descending the stairs.
Vernon turned and went for the back door, almost tearing it off its hinges as he caught Harry grabbing the shears, his head snapping up. His eyes were fearful as Vernon grabbed him by the neck of his shirt and pulled him into the house.
"Where were you, Freak?" Vernon hissed, his face turning red as he shook the boy. "I came home and
I expected to see you making dinner but instead all I find is my poor wife having to make dinner herself. Is this how you repay me for putting up with you?"
Harry looked down at the ground and tensed himself for a beating.
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Oh no," Vernon shouted. "You don't get to play the victim like you always do, you attention seeking freak. Where were you?" He pulled Harry's hair roughly, causing involuntary tears to come from Harry's eyes.
"I-I was at the library, sir. I'm sorr--"
"THE LIBRARY? What does a freak like you need with someplace like the library? You're as dumb as your mother; you couldn't read to save your life." Uncle Vernon turned and grabbed a book off of the bookcase behind him. It was one of those heavy books that was never used by anyone, sitting on the shelf to collect dust. Until now.
He swung around and hit Harry in the face with the book, sending the boy spinning into the corner. Blood was already pooling at the edge of his face. The boy immediately curled into a ball, arms covering his face as blow after blow of the book rained down on his shoulders and back. He could already feel the bruises that were going to form in the shape of hard corners.
Inside, Marvolo was seething and for once, he wasn't able to block the dark and violent thoughts he had towards the Dursleys. He imagined ripping them apart limb from limb and feeding it to the dogs. He imagined tying them down and burning them with hot water, matching them burn for burn that was on Harry's body. He imagined beating the living daylights out of that fat man who would take his anger out on Harry.
Said boy trembled in horror at the thoughts that Marvolo was thinking, even if a part of him desperately wished for the same, if just to end the torture. He could feel Marvolo doing something within him, and Harry gasped as he suddenly felt that fluttery feeling he got when he was using his powers.
The blows stopped and Harry hesitantly looked up, eyes red from crying and the side of his face stained red in his blood.
Uncle Vernon was looking at him with a shocked and angry look on his face, mouth moving but nothing coming out. His entire body was frozen stiff as he looked madly at Harry, hand still raised. Distantly, Harry thought he looked like one of the historical statues, muscles tensed but unmistakably frozen. Aunt Petunia seemed to have heard the lack of beatings and came into the small corridor, frowning. She gasped and ran to her husband, trying to move his arms. She turned angrily on her heel to face Harry.
"What are you doing, you freak?” she yelled in a shrill voice. "Let him go! Stop using your freaky magic inside my house!" She brought her hand up and slapped him. The blow seemed to break whatever spell Uncle Vernon had been put under as he backed up.
"Go to your room right now," Uncle Vernon panted as he grabbed his own arm. His nostrils flared as he advanced towards Harry. The younger boy started, going in the direction of his cupboard. Pausing, he turned around and in one quick rush of words said, "I just wanted to read."
What the boy had said that day stuck in Petunia's mind. So the boy wanted to read. Well, he would have to suck it up because she wasn't about to waste time or money going to the library or buying books for the Freak. Especially not after he had done magic in her household. She would never have allowed for magic in her household if it wasn’t for that stupid note that had been left with her nephew that night. Those witches and wizards were nothing but trouble, and the death of her sister was only proof of that.
Even before her death, Lily had always been going on and on about how marvelous magic was and how great it was while doing freaking things like getting objects to fly without touching them. Or, Petunia remembered, there had been one time when Lily had changed her pencil into a cup. It was against all the rules of nature. Petunia shuddered as she banished the thoughts from her head.
Normally on Sundays, she would go and buy food since the Freak was still too small to bring everything back, and the last thing they needed was to waste money on food that would end up being spilled on the ground. Today, though she felt like going into London so she had taking the car and brought Dudley with her so they could explore the city.
Her Dudley had wanted to visit the playgrounds that were in the city and she had allowed it because she wanted to encourage her baby's need to explore. He was so smart.
She did a bit of shopping, buying herself some coats and clothes that would make her look absolutely fantastic. Oh, her neighbors would be so jealous when they saw her wearing brand clothing. They would be besides themselves with envy.
It was on their way back to the car when they were intercepted by one of the homeless men that was sitting in the streets with a box of items and a sign with some fake message on it. She rolled her eyes as she had passed it, but he had stood up.
"Lookie, here, dearies, I've got all kinds of toys and books that you can buy." The man offered up his box and most of the items in it looked horribly old and worn down. Petunia sniffed as she began to pull Dudley away, but her son stopped her.
"Mum, look at this journal. I want it!" Dudley had reached in and grabbed a journal that already had letters monogrammed on its cover. TMR. She couldn't believe her son wanted this.
"We can get you a brand new one, Dudley. With your initials sewn onto the cover of it." Petunia took the book out of his hands, pinching it with two fingers as she was about to put it back into the box. "You don't want this old and ugly one."
Her son stomped his foot, glaring up at Petunia.
"No! I want that journal!" He pouted, crossing his arms as he frowned up at her. She sighed and looked at the man who seemed overly delighted at having made a sale.
"How much for the dirty journal?"
"100 pounds for the fine journal. It's vintage, ma'am. That monogram was handsewn by yours truly." He smiled, revealing yellow teeth.
"I won't give you more than 30 pounds for it." Petunia scoffed.
"Then I guess I'll have to keep the journal and sell it to another young boy or girl." He made a pointed look at Dudley who let a whine. She gritted her teeth and handed him 50 pounds.
"I'm not paying a penny more."
The man nodded his head with a wide smile as he pocketed the money.
"Here you go, lad." He handed the journal to Dudley who turned and gave her a wide smile, hugging it to his chest.
Petunia sighed. That was 50 pounds that she could've spent on clothes.