I don't own Harry Potter.

Okay, I wasn't going to be starting any new stories, but this one bugged me until I started writing it. So here it is. I just hope you all like it.


Harsh Reality

Day One – The Arrival

Marjorie Dursley slammed down her house phone and scowled at it. Wishing to herself that the one she had been talking to would call back with some good news for once in his life. When it didn't ring she huffed a little as she stalked into the living room of her two bed roomed cottage. Her brother, Vernon Dursley and his thin and frail wife, Petunia were going on holiday for a month, taking their precious and the apple of the eye, son with them. Unfortunately for her, she was being burdened down with their nephew, one Harry Potter.

The trip would be taking the Dursley family to Disney World, Florida. It was an early treat for Dudley who would be celebrating his fifth birthday a month after they returned. Marge had been told that they had tried to get Mrs Figg, a neighbour of theirs, who had looked after Harry before, to take him for the month. Mrs Figg had gone away herself, to visit some family and couldn't take little Harry. This would be the first time she will be meeting the boy, and from what her brother and sister-in-law had told her, she needed to keep a close eye on him.

She went upstairs and towards the spare bedroom, it wasn't fit for a child of four years. It was done much like her own room, in lilac and not sea blue. It was done in pastels, as was most of her house. She had always preferred, understated was the way to go, as she often told her closest friend Colonel Fubster.

She went over to the bed, making sure that the sheets were straight and the covers would be warm enough. It was the beginning of April, but Garrigill, in Cumbria, was going through a rather bad cold snap. A few days ago it had even snowed a little. Marge had brought the small cottage near the little village of less than 200, after her father had passed away, leaving her and her brother a nicely sized inheritance, she had invested wisely and got a good return on them every month. There were a few cottages set a little further from the village, three of them, the third belonged to an elderly couple, who enjoyed the fresh air of this beautiful little village.

She went to the window and looked down to the kennels, she had a small puppy farm, though she would only let the females have a litter once every year and a half, and only a maximum of three litters. She then, with the help of Colonel Fubster, found homes for them after she had them spayed. She missed them when they left, but she knew that she couldn't keep that many. She had a family of Collies, Bulldogs and Labradors. The Bulldogs had a litter six months ago, the Labradors still had their pups, and they were only three and a half weeks old. And the Collies were waiting for the birth, which should be in two weeks.

The room was neat she decided as she walked back out and down the steep stairs. They would be here soon, they had just gone past Lartington Lane, they should only be another twenty minutes at most, if there was no traffic, and in this area, there shouldn't be. She sat down in the living room and looked over to the dog basket nearby, she smiled a little as she looked at her dog, Ripper, he was getting on in age and soon she would be breading him one last time to make sure she kept the line going. The first dog she had was called Ripper and this was Ripper's great grandfather.

"Well Ripper," she grunted as she talked to her precious pooch, "that nasty little runt will be here soon. If he thinks he will be able to get away with all the trouble he causes for poor Vernon and Petunia, he has another thing coming."

The bulldog grunted in response to his mistress's words, though he only understood one or two of them.


A diminutive and scrawny boy sat still and quiet in the backseat of the moving car. He looked to be only three, but would be celebrating his fifth birthday in four months time. He looked out of the window and watched as countryside passed him by. Beside him sat his cousin, Dudley. Sitting in the passenger seat was his Aunt Petunia and driving the car was his Uncle Vernon, Harry could hear him grumble about driving all the way to Cumbria and then back down to Birmingham International Airport for their flight to Florida.

"Mummy," he complained again, "I'm bored."

Petunia turned in her seat to look at her precious little boy, "I know you are Duddykins, why don't you play with your crayons and book and make a nice picture for me so I can hang it on the fridge at home when we get back." She suggested.

His face lit up, "yeah mummy, I'll draw us at Disney World." He enthused as he shot a smug look at his cousin.

"You're such a good little boy, Duddykins." Petunia gushed over him, she turned to face Harry and glared at him, "this is how you should be boy, a good boy. But no, you have to be a freak, just like your pathetic drunkard parents." She hissed at him.

Harry cowered down in his seat and remained silent, he knew better than to say anything, knowing that Uncle Vernon would stop the car to deal with him. Harry shook slightly in fear and sat looking down at his lap until he couldn't feel Aunt Petunia's gaze on him anymore.

He snuck a glance at Dudley who was now drawing a picture, Harry couldn't tell what it was, since all it was, was a bunch of squiggles. Dudley looked up and noticed Harry looking at him. Using one of his crayons he jabbed out his left hand and struck Harry on the leg. Harry gave a small cry as Dudley kept on hitting him with the crayon.

"Shut up boy!" Vernon roared, "don't make me pull over and punish you," he threatened the now petrified little four year old.

Harry kept quiet and when Dudley jabbed his side with the crayon, he bit his lip to keep from crying out. It wasn't long before blood began to well up on his lip. He had bitten through it, trying to keep quiet.

Dudley started to get bored with hitting Harry, since he was getting no reaction from him. He gave one last vicious jab into Harry's side, causing him to be pushed into the car door. Harry bit his lip harder, causing more blood to well up.

"Mummy, I finished," Dudley said as he help up the paper with multicoloured squiggles and swirls on it.

Petunia turned in her seat and looked at it, smiling proudly, "Well done Dudley, it's beautiful and when we go home, I'll be putting it up on the fridge."

"Yay," Dudley clapped as he handed the paper to his mother.

It wasn't long until Vernon had pulled the car up to the front gate of a small, picturesque cottage. There were climbing roses over a number of trellises; the hedge was neat and not too tall or wide. Vernon climbed out of the car, making it bounce a little as he did so. He went around the car and opened the door, grabbing Harry by the scruff of his neck and yanking him out of the car, causing the newspaper he had been made to sit on, to fall to the pavement.

"Grab your bag, boy," he grunted at the child as he let go.

Harry stumbled a little and turned quickly grabbing the plastic bag with his things inside. He only had the clothes he was wearing and another set inside the bag, along with some pyjamas. Everything he wore was large and draped over his slight form like a circus tent.

When Harry had turned back around, Vernon grabbed his shoulder and squeezed tightly, making Harry wince with pain.

"While you're with my sister, I want you to obey the rules. If I find you haven't my belt with be the least of your problems. You'll do everything she says, but never forget the rules." He told his nephew shaking the boy emphasising his words.

"Yes uncle Vernon," Harry whispered quietly, almost inaudible.

"Good," he said gruffly as he pulled the boy towards the cottage, opening the gate.


Marge stood up and went to the window of the living room; she had heard a car pull up outside her home. She looked through the window and saw her brother's car. She watched as he got out and went around, knowing he was getting the boy and his things. She gave a sigh and went to her front door. Ripper was slowly getting up and following her.

She opened the door and watched as Vernon opened her front gate.

"Sorry I can't stop Marge, we want to hurry to the airport, and we don't know if the traffic will hold. Our flight leaves at eleven tonight and it's already seven." Vernon smiled at his older sister.

"Alright Vernon, enjoy your holiday, I have no doubt that the two of you deserves it for putting up with the boy." She said to her brother.

Vernon nodded and gave one last squeeze to his nephews shoulder before pushing him into the garden. Harry looked at his uncle as he went back to his car and got in, driving off without a backwards glance.

"Well runt, are you just going to stand there," she said gruffly as she eyed the boy.

"No Ma'am," he said quietly as he slowly walked towards her.

Marge watched him closely, noticing that he was limping a little and had an arm wrapped around his waist and his other hand grasping a blue plastic bag, it was partly filled with some clothes. She frowned a little, wondering why he hadn't brought a toy or more clothes, especially warmer ones. Harry was dressed in an oversized t-shirt and shorts. He wasn't even wearing a coat.

She had told her brother to make sure that he had warm clothes since it was cold at the moment, and was looking like it would be that way for most of the month. He finally reached the doorstep and was looking at his feet, in tattered trainers that looked a little too small for his feet.

"Well, get inside runt," she grizzled as she moved aside and let the boy into her home.

Harry walked inside and looked around the hallway, he could feel the softness of the carpet through his trainers, as the soles were very thin, almost none existent. He looked up to Marge and wondered at what she would do with him and where would he go to keep out of her way.

Marge looked down at him, catching his eyes. She grumbled under her breath about annoying little brothers and walked towards the living room. Harry remained standing by the front door, not sure if he should follow her or stay where he was. He looked down and saw a dog, he didn't know it's name, and he didn't look to friendly towards him, as it was growling lowly. Harry could just about hear him.

Harry adjusted the glasses he had gotten the week before, still not used to having them on. The optometrist had told him that he would have to wear them almost all the time, since his eyesight was rather bad. His Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon wasn't happy about being made to get them for him. Mrs Figg had noticed that he had trouble seeing and reading while she was trying to teach him and had made an appointment for him and then told his Aunt and Uncle on the day he had to go. He had been punished badly that night and locked in his cupboard until this morning, only being let out to go bathroom.

"Get in here runt!" came the gruff voice of Aunt Marge.

Harry moved as quickly as he could, his backside and back were still hurting from his punishment. So was where Dudley had taken to hitting him with the crayon. He entered the living room and looked around. It was decorated in cream and chocolate colours, which helped bring out the chestnut wood of the furniture and the deep red of the upholstery on the sofa and matching chairs.

He came to stop in front of Marge and looked down at his feet, afraid of what would happen. He heard movement and flinched in fear.

"There will be rules runt, and you best follow them. I will not hesitate to take you over my knee if you misbehave." She told him, grabbing his chin and making him look her in the eye. She smirked inside when she saw the fear within his green eyes, she looked at him closely and noticed some blood on his bottom lip, she wondered how it had happened briefly.

"Yes Ma'am," he answered trembling at the thought of what she would do to him in punishment, he knew what Uncle Vernon would do, but Aunt Marge was someone new.

"Good, now, get out of my sight." She said as she jerked Harry chin as she let it go.

"Yes Ma'am," he whispered as he made to leave the room.

"On second thought, go to your room and go to bed." She then told him as she watched him leave the room.

She settled back into her favourite spot on the sofa and turned on to her favourite soap, Emmerdale, which she had missed the start of.

Harry walked out and heard as the T.V was turned on. He looked around, and noticed that there wasn't a cupboard under the stairs like there was at Privet Drive. He continued looking around, hoping to find somewhere where he could sleep. He was tired and in pain. He wandered into the kitchen and looked around.

The floor was made of stone cladding and looked cold and hard. Harry walked into the utility room. He spotted a small area under a side; it was curtained off and looked like it could be a room for him. He walked over to it and peaked around the bright curtain. The dryer was on one side and on the other a stonewall, it was clean and on the floor was an old rug.

Harry thought to himself that this would be his room while he stayed here. He moved inside and settled down, he could feel the cold of the stone floor seep through the thin rug. He shivered a little as he lay down and pulled out the other t-shirt that he had brought, he covered himself up and snuggled down into it. He closed his eyes; glad that he would be able to sleep without being locked in. He didn't like being locked in, for the four year old it was a scary thought.


Marge yawned and looked up at the clock, she blinked as she saw the time was almost midnight. The last she knew it was ten, since she had to feed the dogs at that time. Her brother and his family would already be on their way over the ocean by now. She got up from her spot on the sofa, turned off the T.V and went into the kitchen to make herself a nice cup of ovaltine to take to bed with her. She made it quickly with hot milk and a little sugar.

She yawned once again as she made her way up the stairs, Ripper was following her, in his slow amble. She waited for him at the top of the stairs and looked at the closed door of her second bedroom. She frowned a little, she had expected the little boy to have woken up crying, missing his own room at Privet Drive and his Aunt and Uncle, but she hadn't heard a peep out of him. When she had taken Dudley for a week, he had cried every night missing his mother and father.

She was about to go and check on him, but changed her mind. If he was asleep and she disturbed him now, he most likely would be like Dudley and not go back to sleep without a few stories and some hot chocolate. That was another thing that puzzled her, he hadn't asked for anything to eat and drink before going to bed. Dudley had a sandwich and a drink before he had gone to bed when she looked after him, he even reminded her about it.

She sighed and told herself she would make sure the boy had breakfast in the morning. She saw that Ripper was at the top of the stairs waiting for her to lead the way to the bedroom. She smiled down at him and went to her bedroom, happy that she could have a peaceful nights sleep. She just hoped that Harry wasn't like Dudley and would wake her up as soon as the sun come up wanting his breakfast.

She did her nightly routine and got into her large and soft bed. She picked up her book and started to read her nightly chapter. It was a book that Colonel Fubster had given her last Christmas, it was set in a world of magic about an evil Dark Lord and a young man that had set out to vanquish him. It was a bit different that all the other books she had read, but she did like a good fantasy at times. She wished she could do the Animagus transformation that she had read about in the last chapter. She would love to be a dog and see what it was like.

She looked over to Ripper who had settled into his own little bed and smiled. She snuggled down and started to read, taking a sip of her drink every now and then, until she had finished both her drink and the chapter. The light went off and she fell asleep.

Well, what do you all think? I would really love to know, since this is the first time I've tried to write something like this. Any mistakes are mine, if you spot them, please tell me so that I can correct them.