"Hurry up boy!" Vernon Dursley growled, trudging angrily through the thick underbrush, heedless of the small trail of destruction his girth was leaving in its wake. Harry started and walked faster, grimacing slightly at the pain in his feet. The trail they were taking was littered with several sharp pebbles and stones. It wasn't his fault that aunt Marge's bulldog had ripped Dudley's old cast off shoes apart but he had accepted it by now that freaks always got what they deserved and his uncle had made it quite clear that harry potter was a freak. They were currently on a family vacation in the little coastline village of hamilton. Several days before aunt marge had won the all expenses paid trip in a dog show. There were five tickets and his usual babysitter, , was out of town, meaning that there were just enough tickets to host the Dursley family and their freak in the quaint little bed and breakfast they had chosen to spend their vacation in. Or there was until dudley had tripped over harry, who had been exiled to the floor to sleep as the beds were too good for the likes of him, and sprained his ankle. Harry who was hardly awake, had just been struggling into consciousness when his uncle had wrenched him up by his reedy, malnourished arms. He had been dragged out of the house and into the car they had rented without a word. It was only now that they were wandering through a nearby forest that harry was questioning this new and decidedly strange reaction.
'Usually when uncle wants a switch he goes for the more close by trees, whats going on?' The startlingly mature four year old wondered, struggling to keep up with his guardian as branches flew backwards to whip him in the face. By the time that they got to their destination they were decidedly isolated and harry had several fresh cuts along his body though they were hidden by the already existent signs of abuse.
"Uncle?" Harry ventured timidly only to bite down on his tongue as vernon sent a brutal slap his way that had him tumbling to the ground.
"You do not question your betters boy!" The tubby man reprimanded violently, the colour of his face just edging into purple from its usual unhealthy red.
"Yes uncle" harry whimpered, gingerly climbing to his feet so as not to jar any of his other extensive injuries. Appeased at the sight of Harrys immediate and fearful submission vernon continued in a slightly less furious tone
"We won't be taking care of you anymore, boy. We've fed and clothed you for six years despite your freakishness and you repaid us by maiming our little Dudders the instant our backs were turned! A little cretin like you deserves to starve and die alone in the wilderness and so thats exactly what you going to get! Now go while i'm still feeling merciful!" It was on that note that Harry's abuser of four years turned his back on the stunned child to make his way back to the car. Harry stood frozen, hoping against all hope that the large man would come back, that it had all been a joke to scare him, but after an hour this theory was finally exhausted. Turning in the opposite direction harry began to walk hoping that at the very least he might run across a hiker before he starved to death.
Many days later harry was tired, cold, hungry and on his last legs. It had been days since his last meal and he dared not eat any berries since the last bunch had had him throwing up stomach acid for hours. He was just about to collapse, at this point only sheer stubbornness was keeping him going, when he smelled something...odd. It was spicy and leathery, yet not totally unpleasant and by now anything smelling remotely pleasant seemed downright appetizing. Following the delicious smell, indiscreetly sniffing the air, harry followed the scent to a small out of the way cave. Cautiously edging into the hollow in the rock, harry was surprised to find that the tunnels continued several miles below the surface. Continuing down the tunnel, fingers tracing the wall as he walked, harry soon saw the faintest glimmerings of light. Approaching desperation at this point, harry abandoned his caution rushing out of the tunnel only to find himself in a large dome shaped chamber. Filled with riches of every size and worth piled high atop the walls, harry gaped, strongly reminded of a story book he had read once at school called the arabian nights. There were diamonds and rubies stacked upon each other like chairs, tapestries hills and mountain tops of gold and strewn across the top lay great tapestries and fine silks. Rubbing his eyes, sure that this was only a dream and that at any minute he would wake up in his cupboard harry gasped as a great form rose out of the trench of treasure, sending the coins and jewels skittering across the floor.
"Who daresss disssturb my ressst?" The towering creature, who harry now identified as a dragon, hissed in a distinctly feminine voice, long neck lowering to garner a closer look at the intruder. Being four and not realizing the impossibility of the situation harry did not find the scene odd in the least.
"M-my name is h-harry potter ma'am" harry stuttered, readying himself to be struck down by the large creature only to be met with a hissing laugh
"You sssseem intelligent for one of your kind. Tell me how it wasss that you knew where to find my abode?"
"I don't know ma'am" harry replied now ready to meet what he assumed to be his final moments
'Hmmm' the serpentine dragon thought, flicking her forked tongue thoughtfully tasting the faint scent of magic in the air 'A wizardling then'
"How did you come to be here child?" She asked gently, smelling the pain and hunger on the boy
"I hurt dudley by accident and uncle vernon left me here to die" harry sniffed a fresh batch of tears making their way down his cheeks. The dragon was outraged. She had been trying to find a mate for many years, simply for the chance to have chicks of her own and here were these muggles abusing their own so callously. It had been many years since she had given up on finding a mate, her species being rare as it was, and here was this child somehow finding its way into a den that should have been protected with dozens of wards and spells to keep that very thing from happening? It was too coincidental to be anything but fate. No, she shook her head, this child would not be returning to the care of those horrible humans, he would be her chick and she would raise him with all of the love and warmth she had to offer.
"dragons often have certain giftsss depending on their ssspecies young harry, one ssssuch gift of mine is to sssee the future. Thisss meeting wasss not foretold. In fact i doubt it wasss ever sssupposssed to happen. Dessspite thisss i have an offer for you. Would you like to be my child little harry?"
Your child harry repeated, blinking up at the great serpent owlishly
"Yesss child. I will give you love and care for you until the end of your days. i will teach you all i know, and still i will teach you more. I will protect you and guide you until sssuch a time until you can stand on your own. You will want more nothing and receive power the likes of which has not been witnessed in millennia." Harrys eyes sparked hopefully for a second before becoming shuttered and guarded
"But i'm not even a dragon, won't you live a lot longer than me?" He questioned sadly, dreading the answer.
"No, there isss an old ritual that will partially transform you ssso that it were asss if you were truly of my blood. You will be able to ssshed your muggle ssskin at will and will be able to take up a number of forms depending on your power. Your ssspecies and inherent powersss will depend on who you are and your potential abilitiesss." Harry wasn't very conflicted. Go home and likely die at the hands of his abusers or stay here and have the family he always wished for, not a huge conundrum.
"I'd really like to stay ma'am"
"Call me mother. Now come. There isss much to prepare for. Your future will not just wait." Harrys new mother commanded slithering through a small out of the way tunnel that had been hidden behind a large silver statue
Harry would not emerge from this cave for eleven years.