The Golden Thread::Book Two::Chamber of Secrets::

You Promised

Harry had survived a few days.

He was hungry and the large bruise on his ribs still hurt but at least he was alive.

It was the middle of the night and Harry was sure the Dursleys were all asleep. He climbed out of bed and turned on his light he then slid under his bed and pulled up a loose floorboard he'd found at the start of the summer. He reached inside and pulled out two photos. One that he had taken out of the album Hagrid had given him before his uncle had locked away all of his school things, including the album that had been in his trunk, showed his parents smiling and waving at him. He took a moment to watch them, the ghost of a smile pulling at his lips. How he wished they were here.

He placed the picture of his parents back and looked at the second picture. It was one Neville had taken back at Hogwarts of Him, Ron and Hermione in the common room. Harry watched as the picture Ron ruffled the hair of the Harry in the photo beside him making his untidy hair look even messier than usual as picture Hermione giggled at their antics.

"I miss you guys.." He said quietly. Still looking at the picture he stood up and crossed the room to where his snowy owl Hedwig sat perched in her padlocked cage. He stuck a finger through the bars and Hedwig leaned closer to him so that he could stroke her feathers. She hooted softly at him in a reassuring kind of way.

"Do you think they'll come for me?" He asked the owl, staring down at the picture in which he and his friends were clasping hands, Harry in the middle while Ron and Hermione waved their free hands at the camera. Even though he knew Hedwig couldn't answer talking to another living being was helping to keep him sane. He held the picture to his chest and walked back to his bed. He sat down still staring at the picture, daydreaming of his friends coming to rescue him. Ron had promised. It would be okay if he could just hold on. Suddenly there were footsteps in the hall. Harry didn't have time to turn off his light or hide the picture in his hand before the padlock on his door clicked and his uncle entered the room

"What are you doing up, boy?" He snarled

"N-nothing." Harry stammered. Uncle Vernon stepped into the room, looking around. Harry quickly tried to stuff the photograph away in his pocket but his uncle was too quick. He stomped over to the bed and tugged it away from him, looking at it.

"Freaks stick together, eh." He jeered "These must be the little friends you were calling for the other day, right.."

Harry gulped. His uncle now held one of the only things keeping him form going completely mental while he was locked up here. The reminder of his friends, the reminder that someone out there loved him. Anger bubbled in his chest and made him feel stupidly bold. He hopped off his bed and made a grab for the picture

"Give that back!"

Uncle Vernon's eyes narrowed and Harry's short burst of courage failed him. His uncle shoved him, hard, and Harry hit the floor and uncle Vernon stamped on his back

"Don't you dare talk to me like that you freak." He snarled, aiming a kick at him that caught Harry in the shoulder. Harry closed his eyes and waited but another blow didn't come. At least at first. Instead he heard a ripping sound and felt his heart sink. He opened his eyes and looked up just as his uncle tossed the torn pieces of the photo down on him. This felt like as much of a blow as the kick he'd just gotten.

"No.." He said quietly. He was quickly distracted from the photo however when he was pulled up by his hair

"Now, I'll teach you a lesson."

Harry shivered. Just like before his shirt was pulled over his head.

"Let's here you call for your freaky friends again, boy."

He squeezed his eyes shut 'I won't call for them' he thought to himself 'I'll scream, I'll cry but I won't call for them..I won't do what he wants.'

The blows of the belt began to land and Harry yelped in pain but kept his promise not to cry out for his friends. As the blows continued he felt like he was close to breaking point then it came to him. He would use the Thread. His uncle wouldn't get the satisfaction of hearing him beg for his friends and Harry could release his stress. It didn't matter if they couldn't hear him. It would help me..

More blows, more yelps of pain

Then it was over. Harry curled up on his bed and focused on the weak threads linking him to his friends. He felt tears roll down his face