The Spirit Room
by Gypsy Silverleaf


Rating: R

Summary: After going back to the Dursleys at the end of his fourth year and the Triwizard Tournament, Harry is abused by his uncle. He quickly falls into despondancy and despair. When he believes nothing can possibly get worse, three dark figures appear on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive.

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!

Author's Note: Love to my beta-reader, Savidana, for her support and lovely words. My thanks also goes to Naadi Moonfeather for her precious advice and to everyone who has supported this story.
< >This fanfiction is posted at Schnoogle and FanFiction.net. Please feel free to leave your comments at either site, or write me an E-mail (gypsy @ HarryPotterRealm.com).

Warnings: This story includes ADULT CONTENT, including language, implied rape/abuse, and slash. Please return to the main page if you do not wish to view such material or are underage. There are sufficient warnings about this story and if you don't want to read very dark, emotional material which includes male/male relationships, please leave.


Chapter Two: Sweet Misery


< >"We are here for Harry Potter . . ."

< >The words hung in silence for several moments until there was a sudden pounding from beneath the stairs and a muffled cry accompanying the noise. The three men stepped through the entrance to the house and their hosts backed slowly away.

< >Eying the stairs, but appearing nonplussed, the light-haired man's stare settled back on Vernon and Petunia Dursley. "Where is his trunk, Mr. Dursley?" The large, purple-faced man said nothing, looking very bristled and perturbed that the thin man standing before him seemed to know who he was. "This can be very easy, Mr. Dursley, with no harm coming to you or your lovely wife, or even your son." The purple rushed from the heavy man's face into an ashen white. "Where is the boy's trunk? Where is his wand - and where is the bird?"

< >Vernon Dursley gawked at the dark trio, opening and shutting his mouth without a sound emitting from his rather beefy throat. All the while, the five adults could hear more pounding and increasingly desperate shouts. Petrified but not frozen, Petunia Dursley stepped forward defiantly.

< >"I know where it is. The owl is at a friend's home, but the trunk is in Harry's room . . . now . . . and his wand is in our family safe - in the bedroom," she said, as an afterthought.

< >"P - Petunia!" Vernon sputtered, horrified.

< >The man who seemed to know Petunia's memories, wand still raised, took a step forward as well, pulling his hood over his head to conceal his face in shadows. He towered over the woman, leaning very close to her. "Do you know the combination to this safe?"

< >Petunia nodded slowly, biting her lip to quell her trembling. She ignored her husband.

< >"Show me," the man breathed in her ear, just loud enough for everyone to hear. Petunia, a wand pointed at her back, calmly led the man up the stairs, where now only a defeated knocking could be heard coming from underneath, locked behind the cupboard door.

< >Light eyes then flickered to Vernon Dursley from watching the two ascend to the second floor landing and disappear. "You seem a little reluctant to hand over your nephew, Mr. Dursley, even with a very testy wand pointed at your heart."

< >He and the first, darkest man pulled their own hoods over their heads. Only their upper lips and what was beneath it could be seen protruding from the shadows, shrouded in a magical darkness.

< >"Has the boy done something to bring about such a . . . severe punishment?" the light-haired man asked, indicating down the hall where the door to the small cupboard under the stairs was closed and bolted shut. In his prison, Harry Potter was silent, as if listening - or, perhaps, wallowing in sorrow. It was hard to tell.

< >"M - m - m -"

< >"Magic?" said the man in a voice carefully disguised as calm. He let out a soft, hollow laugh, his strange eyes smoldering with an unearthly fire. "Oh, no, sir. No, no, no, no, no." He clucked his tongue disapprovingly and shook his head. "I highly doubt magic was even involved in this matter. I would give my right arm, in fact . . ."

< >Vernon Dursley seized his right arm, protectively wrapping his left hand around his fat wrist. He shifted his weight, nervous under the cold states he knew were - but could not see - upon him. The two people in front of him suppressed smiles, the corners of their mouths instead merely turning up derisively.

< >"They are taking a long time," said the large, brute of a man after a few minutes of silence. His attempt not to stammer whilst speaking of his wife and the second man was not a total failure.

< >"He won't do much to her. Sharpen those often?" The man nodded at Vernon Dursley's yellow nails, painfully obvious and wicked against his blotchy red skin. Swallowing, Mr. Dursley hid his hands behind his back and was rewarded with a bitter frown.

< >"Get him out of there," the light haired man said to the other man, keeping his eyes, flashing coldly, on the loutish fiend in front of him. "Now."

* * *

< >"You will not, sir!" Mr. Dursley shouted, reddening with anger and wheeling on the dark man starting down the hall. His eyes bugged out of his head. Vernon Dursley struggling to salvage his dignity and protect himself in the meantime was never a pretty thing. "You will not open that door unless you want the maddest little wanker in Surrey on your hands!"

< >Harry was beginning to shout incoherently again, pounding on the door, crazed in the thought these men - whoever they were - might believe Uncle Vernon and politely take their leave. He had been locked in this cupboard for far too long, physically and mentally, and was ready to escape its webs of madness, spindling and encircling him with a lunacy he was desperate to escape.

< >He heard footsteps on the stairs above him and yelled more, begging, pleading to be released from the darkened chamber. His fists suddenly flew into air, instead of slamming into wood, and he rushed blindly forward, wrapping his arms around the waist of a figure draped in a sea of black robes.

< >"Oh, God, thank you, thank you," he sobbed, clutching the fabric tightly in his hands, unable to control himself. The figure grabbed his elbows firmly. "Thank you . . ."

< >"Funny," said an unfamiliar and very wintry voice. Harry pulled back slightly and looked up, mouth dropping open in absolute terror. His insides went cold and his first thought was dementor . . . but dementors did not speak English, nor did they smile, and this man was leaning over Harry so he could see his cruel smile and pale skin and hear his voice far too clearly. " . . . and truly very curious, that you would so easily embrace your worst and most hated enemy."

< >Harry had no time to think. He knew between himself and the front door stood Uncle Vernon, trapped by his own mystery man. He was being joined by Aunt Petunia and her captor, also dressed in foreboding ebony robes, which made that exit completely impossible. The kitchen with its unlocked back door was very inviting. By the time he thought to struggle, though, the dark man in front of him had grabbed his wrist, spun him around, and was now marching him into the front hall.

< >Uncle Vernon's countenance was conflicted between total fury and alarming fear, meaning he was an intriguing shade of mauve. Aunt Petunia looked slightly pained and very pale, but was otherwise expressionless, her sharp blue eyes watching all three men with resentment but also a strange reserve.

< >"Mad, is he?" Harry's vanquisher demanded scornfully of Uncle Vernon, shoving Harry into the middle of the awkward circle the five adults and school trunk had "inadvertently" created. Harry could hear the hatred dripping from the man's voice. "Not nearly as mad, you despicable Muggle, as you for putting him in that cupboard. I have a right mind to put you out of the world's misery."

< >The look on Uncle Vernon's face might have been priceless if Harry hadn't adopted the same stricken expression and closed his eyes, not wanting to see. He wouldn't be able to stand another death, even if -

< >"Now, now," tutted the man beside Aunt Petunia, acidly. "We're only out to collect the boy's blood, not these Muggles." Uncle Vernon took a step backward and grimaced angrily when his back hit the banister. The man looked at Mr. Dursley, although Harry could only see his mouth and chin, and seemed grimly satisfied.

< >Harry had to bite back a painful yelp as Aunt Petunia suddenly arrested him. She gripped his upper arms with her hands, pulling him to her so close their foreheads bumped and pressed together. She shook him slightly to emphasize her words. Not one of the captors moved to stop her. "Harry - Harry, listen to me. You are still under our care. Do you understand, Harry? You are still under my care. Do you understand? Harry, please say you understand, please say yes. Harry - !"

< >Aunt Petunia was looking at him with such urgency, her blue-green eyes nearly falling out of her head and her complexion was so very pale that Harry felt, despite the situation, compelled to answer her. "Y - yes," he stammered, shaking visibly, "of - of course, Aunt Petunia."

< >"We don't have all day for this," said the third man impatiently, dismissing the conversation as Petunia's captor pulled her almost gently away from Harry. His wand was still focused unwaveringly at Uncle Vernon's heart. "You've said your good-byes, Mr. Potter?"

< >"Wait." The man next to Petunia let go of her arm and drew out his wand. Harry stiffened but the man controlling Vernon, eyes probably never dithering from the wretch, snatched the arm of Harry's jumper with his free hand and entangled his fingers in the woolly fabric. Not being allowed to move forward, Harry glared at the man who smiled viciously then looked away, astonished at his own daring.

< >Petunia Dursley said nothing - did not do anything - as the man muttered a great many words and outlined her body with his wand. She didn't move and closed her eyes until he was finished. He ended just above her heart and smiled. "A protection spell," he said in his raspy voice, "from him." He gestured to Harry's uncle then turned back to Petunia. "He nor any other man can touch you, if they intend to harm you. Except" - he laughed and brushed Petunia's cheek with the back of his hand - "Lord Voldemort . . . and me."

< >The three darkly clad men roared with soft laughter. Riveted to the spot, Harry stood there long after the man watching Vernon had released his hold. He realized he was trembling and the front door magically opened, turning him toward his inevitable destiny. He raised his quivering chin and looked at the man in front of him, blocking the door.

< >"Pr - pr . . . where . . . ?"

< >"Your precious Professor Dumbledore is in very good hands," snarled his original captor from behind and Harry's heart plummeted into his stomach. He was abruptly propelled forward. "Now, let's go."

< >Harry was marched from the room, Vernon's man in the lead. The second man, Petunia's accoster, was traveling at his left side, his trunk floating at waist level on the other, preventing his escape rather well. The man who had taken him from the cupboard under the stairs followed behind him. The front door slammed shut and Harry looked up at the street.

< >A fourth figure, much smaller and slimmer than the other three, stood just beyond the fence. He - or she, with another glance at their size - was dressed also in black, hood pulled over their head, resembling a druid down to the neatly-tied twine robe around their waist. Harry anxiously strained to see the person's face, but quickly came to the conclusion that all four hoods of the figures were enchanted by magic to conceal their faces from his, or anyone else's, view.

< >"There you are," said the fourth one irritably, looking pointedly at its three associates. "One of those stupid kneazle-felines followed me halfway here. I had to kick it to get it to leave me the bloody well alone." Harry nearly tripped when he saw a white as snow chin jutting out from within the shadows of the hood. Death Eaters, his mind acknowledged bitterly, confirming his fears.

< >"I didn't know we were running on your time, little one," said the one in front of Harry mildly. "We had a few unexpected . . . problems collecting him." There was a sudden burst of shouting from inside the house of four, Privet Drive and a bellow of pain, unmistakably coming from the mouth of a one Mr. Vernon Dursley.

< >"Oh." The fourth figure smirked - Harry saw he was wrong in thinking the person wore a mask, but it did not soothe his rapidly beating heart - and stared up at the house behind them. "I see."

< >Giving Harry a very leering smile, the younger one - definitely female, Harry decided, even if the voice was utterly indistinguishable - spun around. She pulled out her wand and flicked her wrist. The trunk shifted about two feet away from Harry in the air and the third man - the one who'd been in front of him - slid in alongside Harry before he even had a second's chance to flee his captors. The woman replaced him, levitating his trunk in front of their procession.

< >The man behind him placed a hand on Harry's back to urge him forward, but Harry bit back a cry and, grimacing, leaned out of the way. There was a moment of silence as the man behind him and the one on his left exchanged glances. Harry stared at the ground, focusing on the loose cobblestones instead of the fire that had raced through his body and instigated a furious stinging in the corners of his eyes.

< >"Move," one of the captors - he didn't know which - finally said and, flanked by four very ominous figures, and trembling head to toe, Harry began to trudge away from Privet Drive.

< >As they walked, the stinging sensations at the corners of Harry's eyes were becoming increasingly harder to blink away. He only noticed faintly that, apart from a sprinkler and an abandoned grumbling lawnmower, the neighbourhood was empty of sound or movement. There was probably a charm on them, keeping their gazes fixated on something like the kitchen blender or a jar of potpourri rather than looking past the windowpanes.

< >If these . . . these Death Eaters, Harry spat in his mind, have come for me, that must mean . . . He struggled to hold back tears by pressing his stubby nails into his palms as he reiterated the information to himself again, trying desperately to understand. Voldemort must have . . . has done something - terrible - to Professor Dumbledore. Why didn't anyone tell me? Hermione has Hedwig . . . Mr. Weasley's in the Ministry, Ron would have written if something had . . . oh God . . .

< >Harry realized with a start that they were coming upon the house of Mrs. Figg, the woman who occasionally took care of him when the Dursleys decided to take Dudley out. He stopped dead in his tracks and nearly fell over as the man behind stumbled into him.

< >"No!" Harry shouted, fighting with a newfound energy to get away. He turned around and tried to leap past two of the men, tears running unabashedly down his face. "Mrs. Figg, Dumbledore, Hermione, the Weasleys . . . Ron! What have you done? What the hell have you done? Get off me, get - "

< >Three pairs of hands took hold of him in various areas and started dragging him up the walk, still screaming hysterically and wildly flailing his arms. The woman ran up to the front door and pounded furiously, calling for the door to be unlocked.

< >"We're invisible, not soundless," someone hissed over Harry's head, clamping a hand over Harry's mouth.

< >"Well, no -"

< >"Shut your mouths and get him in here!" the woman ordered sharply as the door swung open, ducking in quickly with his school trunk so her three accomplices could follow her into the darkness of the house.

< >Harry thrashed about with all his might, but three grown men against an exceptionally thin boy would always win. They dragged him past the past the overgrown grass, half covered with rat-infested ivy, untrimmed hedges and tall bluebells, and through the door. He was still howling, albeit weakly, striving and failing not to give up until it was impossible not to admit defeat to the men.

< >They stumbled past the round kitchen nook table, knocking over several barstools at the counter parallel to the table in the process. The green-eyed boy who was so special was hauled up the few steps leading into the living room and pulled down a long dark hallway he'd had never been down before, lit only by small dim torches. Harry could only glance at them for a moment when he was thrown into a very dark room.

< >He fell into the back of a chair and had to grip the wood backing, catching his breath and looking feverishly around the room. It was dark, blacker than night, save for the flickering fire, cornered at the end of the left and closest wall to the door. The glow from it cast a dark golden light over the chair he held on to, the identical one beside it and a coffee table in front of them. A long leather settee, with a hard-looking back and covered with brass buttons in a very old-fashioned style, was facing the three, half-bathed in the light, and he could see no further than that into the chamber.

< >For one fleeting moment, Harry believed he might be left to his own devices in this room, having been alone for several minutes after catching his breath. In the next, hands unexpectedly wrapped around his meager biceps and he was pulled over the coffee table with almost inhuman strength and drove him onto the couch. Harry fought back, scratching and punching at his captors, but his efforts were in vain as they wrestled him easily onto the sofa. He quickly found himself on his stomach, writhing madly under the hands holding fast to him.

< >A body sat down instantly beside him, pinning his legs between their hip and where the sofa back met cushion. Another person hauled Harry's right arm out from where it was trapped under his chest and pulled it up, yanking his wrist and half of his forearm over the backing to render him immobile. Yet another sank to their knees beside the end of the couch and grabbed his left wrist, drawing it down so far he felt his knuckles brush and knock upon the polished hardwood floor.

< >He was trapped.


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