Harry pulled himself up on short, chubby legs.
"Oh look, Siri, he's walking, he's walking," Remus bubbled, catching the raven-haired man's attention.
Sirius quickly whipped out his new wizarding camera, entranced by his adopted sons movement.
"I wish Lily and James could have been here to see this," murmured Remus sadly, as the boy clutched his pant leg and smiled up at him.
Sirius moved to sit next to the sandy haired man, an arm hanging loosely over his shoulder.
"Come on, let's take a photo of us an Harry. He may not have Lily and James anymore, but he'll never lose our love even if he's….even if he's a Slytherin!" he joked.
The camera hovered in front of them, flashing a white light and capturing the paternal guardians feeling for Harry Potter
Muscles that were weak and barely developed from lack of food were not the best things for a growing baby to possess. Ronald Weasley, weak from starvation and illness had however pulled himself to his feet.
"Garn, look at that, Cindy, 203's standin' up all by hisself. He's just abou' ready ta get in wiv the other lot," commented a stringy haired woman.
Janice was in charge of all the infants, and it was her call as to when a child was ready to go and work with the older orphans. Ronald, nearing three, had only just shown signs of walking.
"Well Miss, there's a lot of work ter be done; more n more of 'em are dyen' nowadays. Send him out wiv the rest to the gardens tomorra," Janice replied. Ronald's troubles were just beginning.
"Oi, 22, we got ourselfs fresh meat," snickered a small boy who looked to be about 10, but due to a lack of nutrition, he was probably closer to twelve. 22, aged 16, and his younger brother 23 ruled the roost at Ferrego's orphanage. They had formed a gang made up of the stronger children, and had even allied themselves with some of the staff. For information about other children, Mr Ferrego himself would give them food- real food, and they were never as badly treated as the rest. They still bore the marks of Ferrego's frequent tempers, but they could have been treated much worse. For instance, a young girl (89) could barely move let alone work, and yet she was expected to play her part just like the rest. She had not tidied up her small bedroom to Mrs Ferrego's standards, and had not been seen for a few weeks. When she returned she was the shadow of the laughing child she had been. Ferrego's orphanage tended to have that effect on its audiences. A small spade was thrust into his hands. Ronald stared at, before stabbing it roughly into the ground, and beginning work. The two boys grinned maliciously at one another; this was going to be fun.
The next few days began to settle into a pattern for orphan number 203. He woke up, tidied his small bedspace, was attacked and bullied by 22 and 23, worked until dinner, was tormented some more, and went to sleep, bleeding and hungry. Everyday, the same. His hands were a bloodied, pus-filled mess, his tiny body gaunt. Eyes bulged out of his shrunken and misshapen head, glaring at anything or anyone he saw. Devoid of love, of attention, of friends, Ronald was callous and cruel. While outside, he found a matchbox. He would catch flies, rip off their legs and leave them inside it until they were dying. Often, he would place them in spider webs just to watch them struggle. Every time he did, he pictured 22 and 23 enjoying the same fate.
"Aren't you going to say anything, pipsqueak?' 22 pushed Ron up against a wall.
Ron stared at him with unfathomable eyes.
"Come on, or maybe you like a bit of pain, eh? You freak!" 23 joined in on the taunting, as the other children entered the room.
"He's funny looking!" shrieked a 9-year-old girl with dirty blonde hair.
They crowded around him, chanting, throwing insults.
Still, Ron didn't say a word. He glared at his tormentors, eyes filled with fury.
22 stopped, staring at him in confusion. What was happening? His hand was on fire!
Throwing himself backwards, his mouth open in a gut-wrenching scream. All around him children were running, trying to escape. His younger brother was lying on the ground, flames eating his body. The two boys screams mingled until they were just a pile of ash on the floor. Mr Ferrego was at the door, staring numbly at the two piles. Still, Ron didn't say a word. He had performed his first piece of magic on his third birthday.
Harry's first piece of magic however, was wildly different. When he was four, Harry accidentally levitated a nearby quill when he wanted Remus' attention.
"Da Remus," Harry smiled at the kindly werewolf. "Wanna play?"
"Of course, Harry, just let me finish up and get my quill off the ceiling," he smiled back at the small boy, noticing Sirius behind them with his much-used camera, snapping madly. Every precious moment, each shared hug, had been captured to fill up photo albums. They had to be careful, of course, that no other witches and wizards intruded on their sanctuary to 'thank' Harry Potter for saving the wizarding world. He had no idea of his significance and the two men planned to keep it that way until he was old enough to deal with it all. Harry was a healthy and happy four year old, he wanted nothing. He wasn't spoiled of course, but he was happy which was more important in the end.
Kevin Packer was sick. Not physically of course, but mentally, he was very ill indeed. By society's standards, he was a pervert and a child molester, and he had just heard of an orphanage that didn't do background checks into their potential adopters. He was going to be like a kid in a candy store, except the items for sale this time weren't candy.