Uncle wasn’t going to stop. Freak didn’t know what he was going to do.
“Please,” he begged, over and over and over again. But it did no good.
Uncle tore into Freak over and over again and Freak screamed but there was nobody to hear him. Or nobody who cared. Those that could hear him were amused by his pain, if not aroused by it. He didn’t want to scream, didn’t want to give them the pleasure. But he couldn’t stop himself. He screamed until his throat was raw and none of them cared. Not his Uncle, not the other men, not the one woman watching. His blood was hot and slick and free and they revelled in it.
Freak screamed again and then his mouth was full and he couldn’t scream any longer. He couldn’t breathe either, and tears leaked from Freak’s eyes but it only served to incite the crowd further. He was choking, he couldn’t breathe, his vision was blacking out around the edges. And still they laughed and screamed and revelled. And all Freak knew was pain and anguish.
Later, much later, Freak lay on his cot trembling and shaking and hurting. The bite marks on his shoulder were particularly painful just then, throbbing and stinging as sweat dripped into them. He was filthy, and the room stank of his filth. But he couldn’t bring himself to move, to try to tidy up. Not that there was any way to tidy up, what with him being so weak and pained and broken and pathetic. And the stairs were creaking as one of Them went up or came down or just danced to make the dust fall into his eyes. It irritated, but Freak blinked it away. It wasn’t so bad as the pain in his shoulder, which was easier to focus on than the pain in the rest of his body.
Then the door to his cupboard rattled and the handle to the door turned.
Freak froze. No. Not again. He couldn’t. He hurt too much. He couldn’t. Not again. But the cupboard door was opening and that meant only pain and hurt and fear and no. No. His Uncle peeked in through the gloom of the cupboard, a sickening leer on his face.
“Come here, Freak,” Uncle snarled, his voice thick with want.
Freak whimpered. It hadn’t been so long since the last time. Not even a full day, he didn’t think. He was still sore, still injured. Normally they would have faded before Uncle came to him again. “No, please, Uncle,” Freak begged, his voice shaking.
“Shut up, Freak, and do as you’re told,” Uncle snarled, his lips curling frightfully. Uncle stepped into the cupboard and reached for Freak.
Freak let out a broken, desperate little cry and closed his eyes. He couldn’t... he couldn’t! And then he felt like he was being pulled apart, squeezed into a straw and twisted and when it stopped and he opened his eyes...
...there was a monster staring down at him. It was massive, bigger than a house, bigger than a jet even, with huge and intelligent eyes that mesmerized Freak. It had wings, massive wings, and scales that shimmered in the moonlight. Freak was enchanted.
He reached out one hesitant, shy, shaky little hand and pressed it against the impossibly warm nose that was lowered to sniff at him.
“~Hi~,” Freak whispered, staring at the majestic monster. It was too dark for him to make out the color of its scales, but Harry thought the creature was beautiful all the same. He thought that if the monster was going to kill him, he would be happy for having seen it just this once.
The monster let out a small huff of air, and Freak smiled as the hot air rushed over him. “~You’re lovely,~” he whispered, his voice shaking still in the pain of just being on his feet. It was easier to forget about now, with a lovely monster staring down at him.
“~A Singer,~” she rumbled, and Freak thought that maybe she sounded pleased.
“~Is that a good thing?~” Freak asked, hopeful. How could he not be? Nobody said nice things about him, at least not nice things that didn’t hurt. He’d been told that he felt lovely, that he was a good fuck, that his mouth was nice, but they hurt him as they said it.
“~It is a wonderful thing, little Singer,~” she said, and even her whisper felt like a roar to Freak. It was wonderful. Here was a creature that wouldn’t be pushed around by his Uncle.
“~Thank you,~” Freak whispered. He was tired and hurting and dizzy with blood loss, but he was so happy to have had a nice word said about him. He thought that he could truly rest in peace, now.
“~And you’ve found us so young,~” the monster murmured, her massive snout nuzzling against Freak’s cheek. “~Would you like to stay with us, little Singer?~” she offered, and the rumble of her voice radiated through Freak’s fragile body.
“~Oh, please,~” Freak whispered, his tone pleading. He was certain that Uncle couldn’t hurt him if he were here with the lovely monster. She would keep him safe, somehow he just knew it.
The monster let out a roar, shot flames into the sky, and Freak was suddenly buffeted by hurricanes of wind and surrounded by many of the massive monsters, all as large and hot and warm as the first.
“~It will hurt, little Singer,~” she cautioned, her tone warm and affectionate, “~but you will have your home with us in the end. And we will never allow another to hurt you again.~”
Freak’s eyes widened at the thought. He was already so tired, so hurt. But one more hurt to be able to have a home wouldn’t be so bad, right? He bowed his head and something strange, powerful, dangerous rose within him. “~Please,~” he whispered once more, unable to say anything else.
A claw, unexpected, slashed at his back. It tore through his clothing, tore through his flesh, maybe even tore through his bone. He screamed, broken and desperate and anguished, and another claw struck his chest in the same way. He fell to his knees, but it didn’t stop. Other claws tore at his arms, his leg, even his face at one point. The world dissolved into a haze of pain and confusion.
“~With our claws we rend what was,~” a thousand voices said in a chorus as Freak writhed in pain on the ground. He could feel himself dying, giving in to the loss of blood that clawed at him even as the monsters did so as well.
“~With our blood we restore that which was lost,~” the voices continued. Freak felt a slick wet coolness mingling with the heat of his own blood, and realized that the monsters were sharing their blood with him in some crude manner.
“~With our fire we forge what was torn!”~ the voices finished with a triumphant roar. Freak was engulfed in the heat of their flames.
As Freak began to truly lose consciousness, the thousand voices chorused in tones that screamed satisfaction and joy, “~Singer, we welcome you!~”
At midnight on March the third, in the year of 1987, Albus Dumbledore woke up feeling as though somebody had crossed over his grave. Or, more appropriately, as though somebody had walked over his grave but stopped just before they left it, leaving shivers running down his spine and his nerves jangling with the feeling that something was very, very wrong . Fawkes was shrieking, only adding to the feeling.
He made his way swiftly to his office where he froze. The instrument on his desk that had moved steadily for five years wasn’t twirling. It wasn’t moving, it was in fact entirely unresponsive. Its lack of motion and response could mean only one thing, and it wasn’t a good thing.
The wards were down at Number Four Privet Drive.
Albus Apparated immediately to the house the moment he’d made it out of the boundaries of the school wards. He banged rudely on the door, not caring at all for the time or the propriety of the matter. It didn’t matter, none of it mattered, not if the Potter boy were gone. If Harry was gone then there was a good chance that nothing would matter at all.
“Are you- No. Absolutely not,” Vernon Dursley blustered, and tried to slam the door in Albus’ face.
Albus had his wand out and in the Muggle’s face before the door could close. “Where is Harry?” he demanded.
“Listen, we won’t have any of your freakishness in our household! We’ve only just managed to get rid of the Freak you saddled us with; we don’t need anything more out of you!” Vernon roared, his face going purple.
The “ Stupify! ” came out before Albus could stop it, and Vernon slumped to the floor, unconscious.
Albus entered the house, but could see no sign of anything wrong. It was a perfectly normal house, just as the outside had implied. At least, what little of the outside he could see in the barely-there moonlight. Except that... there were no pictures of Harry on the walls, he realized as he entered the living room, Vernon’s body floating easily behind him. There were dozens of their other child, Dudley, but none at all of Harry.
“Vernon, dear, who was at the-” Petunia stopped at the sight of her husband unconscious, hovering in midair, and Albus Dumbledore in her living room. “What are you doing here?” the woman bit out, her gaze narrow and pinched.
“Where is he, Petunia?” Albus asked, his voice shaking. There was no evidence that two children lived here. And yet, Harry had to have lived at least at one point, otherwise the wards would have fallen long ago.
“He should be in his cupboard. That’s where Vernon normally puts him when there isn’t a party,” Petunia responded, then looked horrified, as though she hadn’t meant to say that.
“His... his cupboard?” Albus asked, confused. Never mind that Vernon apparently only brought the child out for parties, something else which made little to no sense. Realization dawned, at least partially when Petunia pointed to the partially opened small door just under the stairs. The cupboard under the stairs, which most houses would use to store cleaning supplies and the like. “You kept him in a cupboard?” he snarled, his wand coming up once more before he could stop it. The thought was horrifying.
Petunia let out a frightened little shriek and crumpled into a dead faint without Albus ever having to utter so much as a syllable of a word. He felt vaguely guilty for inspiring that sort of fear but that feeling vanished when he actually approached the partially opened cupboard. Even several feet away he could smell the sharp scent of waste along with the iron tang of blood and the musk of arousal.
Warily, he opened the door. The tiny cupboard was every bit as disgusting as it had smelled from a distance. There was a thin, tiny little cot shoved up against one wall, covered in blood and waste and something white that horrified Albus all the more. The cot looked as though it had been slept on fairly recently, but Harry wasn’t there. And now that Albus was actually in the cupboard, even if only partially, the magic saturating it made his senses tingle.
Harry Potter wasn’t in the house that night. Albus knew, as he left, that Harry Potter would never return to Number Four and Albus thought that perhaps he couldn’t even blame the child. Now he just had to find the boy before anything could happen to him. Not that Albus thought there was much worse that could be done to the child.
He prosecuted the Dursleys for all that they were worth, had them thrown in jail and their son taken away. He did all that he could to get justice for Harry even though the child wasn’t there. Albus knew that the boy was alive, but no matter what he tried he couldn’t seem to find the boy.
It would, in fact, be another seven years before Albus Dumbledore saw the boy once more. By then, Harry would be something entirely unrecognizable, something that the wizarding world was in no way ready to face.