Disclaimer: No, no! Don't be thick! Not my characters.

A/N: Welcome to my latest story. Please enjoy it, at least a little?

The Perks of Suburbia

Chapter One

All the residents of Privet Drive had taken refuge inside their square, cookie-cutter homes, windows and doors shut tight to keep them living in their own frosty, recycled air.

A slim blonde teenager, however, reclined outside in the backyard of his new home. He was taking up two lawn chairs; one for his normal sitting regions, and one for his feet. A book rested loosely in his hands. He wondered why anybody would want to remain indoors on a gorgeous summer day like this one. The warm yellow sun spotted through the gently swaying trees, the sky was one of those blues that make you think you must have gone back in time, because it looks so virginal and clean. The shimmering wisps of clouds drifted lazily by, and the boy found himself no longer interested in his book. He leaned his head back and sighed a little, as a cool, sweet breeze lifted his hair softly off of his forehead.

This day sounded exactly like it should. It sounded like summer in the suburbs. The sounds of air against grasses, the tiny collective buzz of insects, the far away sound of someone mowing their lawn...

"Shit."

The boy was jerked out of his dozy reverie by the sharp perforation of the summer by a loud curse.

Mildly curious to see who else in this god-forsaken neighbourhood could be outside in the sun, he stood up and stretched. The voice had come from across the street — it had travelled through the still summer air easily. The tall, thin boy stepped around to the side of his house and searched for the source of the swearing. He found it. A smallish boy with dark hair was crouched in the midst of the garden of one of the houses across the street. His shirtless back was tanned and vaguely muscular — no full protrusions in his flesh, but rather a tight, toned sort of muscular. The dark-haired boy looked to be about the same age as our blonde one.

As he watched from the corner of his home, his new discovery cradled his finger for a moment before shaking it a little and then turning back to his weed-pulling.

"Draco, darling," his mother began from her end of the dining table where they sat eating, surrounded by menacingly tall piles of brown boxes.

"Yes, mother?" He mentally sighed. He knew what was coming.

"Did you go out today?" Yes, there it was. Now she'd ask if he'd made any friends. "Did you make any friends?"

"No, mother, I didn't go anywhere. Where do you expect me to go?"

And she launched into her usual tirade explaining how if Draco didn't go out and make friends now, he'd be simply lost once he had to go to school in September, and anyway, what else could he be doing? Reading?

Draco's father looked up from his food and interrupted his mother.

"Draco, I saw a boy about your age, he lives right across the street."

Draco's mother squealed.

"Oh, darling, do go out and introduce yourself! I'm sure you'll be great friends!"

Why was it that adults seemed to think that if two young people were the same age, they'd automatically become the best of friends?

Draco sighed.

"Mother, I can't just go over there..." he put up half-heartedly. He knew, though, that if his parents wanted him to do something, he could only end up doing it.

"Draco, you will go over there tomorrow and say hello," said his father in a voice that left no room for arguement.

Draco nodded resignedly.

A few hours later, Draco came downstairs from his bedroom to find his living room much more crowded than usual. His father and mother sat on the couch, faces stretched tight with grim, fake smiles. Sharing the couch with them was a horse-faced woman. In one chair — his father's chair — sat an enormous man with a horrible little moustache, and in another chair sat a very slightly smaller version of the man; a pink mass that looked bored out of his tiny mind, but hungrily shoving the cookies that had been set out on the coffee table into his mouth.

Perhaps the room was less crowded than at first glance, and it was just the unusually large size of its occupants that struck one with the fact that there was much less room than there should be.

The whole group (besides the boy) looked as if they were part of some grotesque, carnivalesque scene, as each of them wore that frightening, fake grin, showing off too many teeth.

"Ah, Draco!" his father called in exaggerated joviality when he saw him. He quickly stood up, seeing this as his only airy opening in an otherwise stuffy, endlessly pressing evening in which there would be no more means of escape. He led Draco to his former seat on the couch, his fake smile (quickly slipping into a grimace) distorting his face.

"This is my son Draco," he said to the three visitors. "And these are our new neighbours from across the street; Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley. Now if you'll all excuse me, I have some important calls to make."

"Yes, I'm sure they're very important!" said Petunia in a sickeningly adoring voice.

They all said their good-byes and an awkward silence fell over the room, until Draco's mother said,

"Now, I thought my husband had seen another boy at your home today — is he the gardener, or what? Is Lucius simply mistaken?"

Draco watched Vernon and Petunia exchange almost horrified glances, which he found quite fascinating, before Vernon spoke up.

"No, no, it was no mistake. That's my nephew, he lives with us."

"He wasn't feeling quite good enough to come meet the new neighbours, I'm afraid!" added Petunia with a sort of nervous titter. She glanced around the room wildly, looking desperately for a change of subject, when her eyes landed on Draco.

"My, what a handsome son you've got there!"

Draco smiled graciously and thanked her for the compliment, noticing with an unexplainably savage pleasure that his mother had no such compliments to return for the pink mass eating all their food. Mrs. Dursley continued on valiantly.

"You should come over some time, I'm sure Dudley would love to have you, wouldn't you?" She turned to her son. He shrugged and went on eating. Draco nodded and smiled, trying and succeeding in hiding his disgust and disdain for such a creature. He would do no such thing...unless of course, it was to meet the boy's mysteriously absent cousin, instead.

A/N: Ahh…I just had to start writing this or it was going to burn a whole through my skull. Please review! I shall love you if you do. This is a wonderful prize, you know.