Progress Notes: 01/10/07
Chapter 3 is in Beta: Revision 2.
Chapter 4 is about 20-25%.
12/20/06 - I appologize for the last update being over 2 years ago. The loss of my daughter, my divorce, moving, and changing jobs managed to kill any desire to write that I had at the time, all but forgetting about it being here on PS.Net. Strangely enough, I have taken up the mantle once more to finish this story, thanks to a review notification email I recieved recently.
A/N: S.O.P. (Standard Operating Procedures) I own Nuh-zink!
Chapter 1: At First Sight
Harry looked dejectedly at the front door of Number 4, Privet Drive, slipping a photograph into his trouser pocket. The train ride home from Hogwarts to King's Cross station was a blur of partying, cheers, and butterbeer. The fifth years had finished their O.W.L.'s, the sixth years had one more year of Snape to deal with, and the seventh years were free to roam the world as they chose. Harry had one more year left, and with it, one more summer with the Dursleys'. Nothing could kill his good mood faster than thoughts of facing his aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon. He hadn't even stepped foot into the house and he could already hear the bellows inquiring as to where the "no-good freak" was hiding.
Harry blinked back the anxiety and took a deep breath before opening the front door, dragging his trunk through the entry behind him. His aunt Petunia paced in the sitting room and kept glancing from the floor to the top of the stairs, until she saw Harry closing the door.
"Vernon, he's home!"
Harry stopped in the doorway, dropping the handle to his trunk. He could only stare at the violent bruises on Petunia's arms and her swollen eye.
Vernon Dursley charged out of Harry's doorway at the top of the stairs and stopped at the banister, shaking the railing with the impact of his plump hands. His knuckles turned white from the death grip he had on the wooden railing.
"Where is it, boy?!" Vernon's face turned a nasty shade of radish red as he stomped down the stairs in a rush. Harry could smell the vapors of strong liquor on his breath from where he stood. Vernon was roaring drunk. "Where is it?!"
Harry backed away from Vernon, pushing his trunk behind him with his legs. "I haven't got a clue as to what you are referring to. I don't have anything of yours. I just came home."
"Don't stand there and lie to me, you misbegotten abomination! I know you have my money, now hand it over!"
Vernon was on a rampage. He stood face to face with Harry, his hand raised. Harry could only stand in shock as Vernon let fly with a slap hard enough to knock him over his trunk backwards, tipping the trunk and knocking it open. Vernon kicked the trunk sideways into the middle of the sitting room floor, strewing Harry's clothes, books, and meager possessions everywhere. Harry jerked his head over in time to see his leather-bound photo album slide out of the trunk and hit Petunia in the foot, his wand rolling to a stop beside it. She bent over to pick them up. Harry paid little attention to the furious man standing over him as he shouted.
"Stay away from those! Those are mine!"
He was already regretting stashing his wand in the trunk but knew it was best if he didn't want Vernon to snap it in half before him. Vernon's eyes darted from the trunk to the piles of clothes and books, stopping on the expensive dress robes Harry had purchased for the end-of-year ball, and the new Quidditch pads that Professor McGonagall had given him at Christmas for making captain of the Gryffindor house Quidditch team.
"So you did take it! I always knew you were a liar and thief. How else could you buy all that expensive stuff?!" Vernon hauled Harry off the floor and slapped him again, hard enough to send his glasses into the wall and shatter them. "I want my thousand pounds back, YOU THIEF! I know you're not old enough to do…your funny business, so fork it over!" The crimson hand imprints on Harry's face were starting to turn purple.
Harry was beginning to fear for his life, and so he paid no notice as Petunia Dursley opened the cover of his photograph album, and then jerked her hand away as if she'd been bitten. The first photo in the album was of Lily and James Potter, with baby Harry, all waving at the camera.
Harry's vision blurred with red and his ears rang as Vernon held him by the collar of his shirt and backhanded him in the face repeatedly, yelling at the top of his lungs in unintelligible bellows laced with spittle and curses. Petunia picked up the photo album hesitantly again and stared at the pages, flipping through them carefully, gazing intently at the moving pictures with fear and apprehension. She paid little attention to Vernon's ministration to Harry.
As Vernon's large hand connected with the side of Harry's face again, his head lolled to the side. Harry's eyes started to roll in disorientation and his line of vision fell across the laundry. He could barely see the washer just beside his cupboard under the stairs. Harry's eyes were slow to focus through the tears and the pain of his uncle shaking him, but he was still coherent enough to make out the shape of Dudley pulling a large bundle of money with a shiny silver clip holding it together from a pair of slacks.
"It's your fault the managers fired me from Grunnings yesterday, you misbegotten demon-spawn! No wonder that criminal godfather of yours is dead. You probably killed…"
Harry swallowed the blood that was trickling into his mouth from his bleeding nose and lips. He didn't hear anything Vernon had said. "Dudley has it in his hand."
"Don't you blame this on my son," Vernon blasted, inches from Harry's face. The veins on Vernon's forehead pulsed with drunken rage as he threw Harry down with excessive force. His face and hands broke through the glass top of the wood-framed coffee table. Slivers of wood and glass chips sprayed everywhere. The pain of the glass and wood biting into Harry's skin overwhelmed him; he was unconscious before his face hit the floor.
Petunia dropped the album as the sound of the glass shattering startled her. It was open to the last page, a grayed, curled photo of another family with two daughters waving. One of the girls was wearing a pink dress and one was wearing red. It was an old, false-colored photo of Lily, Petunia, and their parents.
"What do you mean they fired you yesterday? Why was it because of him, Daddy?" Dudley looked completely confused.
Vernon grasped the back of Harry's shirt to haul him upright from the pool of glass and blood. When he stopped and looked at Dudley, the clip full of money hung limp in Dudley's pudgy fingers.
"I never thought my own son would do this to me. How dare you steal money from me? Haven't I given you everything you wanted? You whine and moan every year for another present on your birthday and Christmas, and I spend my hard-earned wages to make you happy and you do THIS! Maybe I should beat some sense into you too!"
"But I didn't steal it, daddy, honest. I was trying to find my locker key in the laundry and just found it in your work trousers."
Vernon advanced on Dudley with one hand out grabbing for the wad of bills and the other lifted to strike his son. Vernon was within mere inches from gripping the front of Dudley's shirt when the sound of wood splintering stopped everything. Vernon's eyes rolled back into his head as he uttered an odd squeak of protest before he collapsed sideways into the wall. Petunia dropped the broken coffee table leg from her hands and pried the money from a violently shaking Dudley. Dudley was stuttering enough to prevent him from saying anything.
"Don't touch my son, you…you…" Petunia spat as she folded up the money and stuck it into her trouser pocket, glaring at Vernon's limp form.
Petunia's face clearly exhibited the distaste she had felt for Vernon's actions as she turned away from the mountainous heap unconscious on the floor. She spared a second glance at Harry before going for the phone in the kitchen.
"Dudley, get Harry out of that mess and be careful not to get blood everywhere…" Petunia looked back as she picked up the telephone, "…where it isn't already."
"But Mum, why do I have to? He deserved it. Daddy said it was his fault." Dudley was still shaking, and the stain of his trousers had belied how very afraid he really was.
"Shut up, Dudley, and DO IT!" Petunia dialed the emergency number for the ambulance.
"You're positive there's no chance?"
"Unfortunately, there isn't any doubt."
Harry shook off the last dregs of his drug-induced sleep and realized that he couldn't open his eyes to see who was talking, or if it was really talking that he had heard. Gingerly, he felt the wrappings over his face with bandaged hands, finding the gauze wrappings and padding holding his eyes closed. His breathing increased rapidly when he remembered his uncle practically throwing him face first into the plate glass top of the coffee table.
"What's going on? Where am I? Who's there?"
"Harry, my name is Dr. Weavers. I'm an ophthalmologist."
"A what?" Harry tilted his head, unable to comprehend.
"I'm a surgeon that specializes with eyes and how they work." Harry felt a soft hand touch his forearm. "Your Aunt Petunia is here also."
Harry's breath caught in his throat when the doctor mentioned his eyes. He hadn't registered that she had said his aunt was also present. "What's wrong with my eyes?" Harry was beginning to panic. He reached out his hands to the side and brushed over his glasses sitting on one of the bedside tables. The glass was missing completely from one eye, and tiny shards stuck in the other.
"Your eyesight was…damaged…from the injuries you sustained during the quarrel with your uncle. We've taken X-rays and I've managed to remove all the glass. Your eyes will heal ok, and there will be minimal scarring, if any at all. There are some other…issues though."
Harry started to have an anxiety attack as he replayed the glass breaking in his mind, how his eyesight turned blurry, and then tinted red before going dark. "I'm…I'm blind, aren't I?"
"Yes, Harry." The doctor confirmed his suspicions.
"That…that…" Harry couldn't find the right words with which to curse his uncle. "He took away my sight." His mouth set in a line of grim realization before he started sobbing quietly. The last thing he could remember seeing before the encounter with his uncle was a picture of Ginny Weasley in her dress robes taken at the end of year ball held for the sixth- and seventh-year students and t