Warnings: This story will contain child abuse (All kinds, including sexual)/neglect
Finding Home Chapter One; The Park and a New Room
It was a beautiful summer day and little Harry was sitting on a bench at the park. It was really hot out but he wasn't allowed to go sit in the shade. Still, he wasn't going to complain; it was the first time he had ever been outside of the yard.
Harry watched as Dudley ran around with one of his friends, he didn't know who, playing tag and going on the playground. Harry had never been on a playground before and wondered if it was fun. Dudley looked to be having fun, and Harry was a bit envious. But he knew he wasn't allowed to get up, Aunt Petunia made that painfully clear.
"You will sit down on this bench, and you won't move." Aunt Petunia had hissed, and she dug her nails into his arm. Strangely, she didn't dig them enough to leave any mark. She had done that a lot lately, not hurting him, that is.
Usually a punishment consisted of getting hit, being starved, and getting locked in his cupboard. When he got hit, the smacks always left marks; bruises and welts and stuff. Lately though, nobody had touched him. No hits, smacks, kicks, and he even got food once a day. Usually he would get a sandwich once over three days if he was lucky, but now he got one everyday.
Harry didn't understand it at all. Not only did they lessen his punishments, he was even allowed to watch the telly a couple times with Dudley. That had NEVER happened before. Usually he would have to listen to it from his cupboard, and then he would usually miss most of it.
Then today, he got to go out of the yard for the first time. It was better than he would have imagined. There were trees and cars and people! Harry was too small to see over the fence in the backyard, so when he got taken to the park, it was very exciting. Of course, he didn't show it, he knew he wasn't allowed to be happy. He was a freak after all, and freaks weren't supposed to be happy. It was against the law or something.
That was another thing that had changed about a week ago. Before he was 'Freak' and 'Boy' but now he was Harry. He remembered the conversation Aunt Petunia had with him.
"Boy, get over here." She snapped at him. Harry had waddled over and stood in front of her. "From now on you're Harry. If anybody asks you, you're Harry James Potter." Harry had been confused, but he nodded anyway.
Now he knew that he was Harry Potter, he was five years old and if anybody asked, he loves the Dursley's, and they treat him very nice. Lately they had been, so if someone had asked he would only be telling the truth, right?
So here Harry was, sitting on a bench and actually enjoying it, even if it was very hot. It was so hot his oversized shirt was soaked with sweat, but he wasn't burning. For the first time in Harry's life, his Aunt slathered him with sun lotion, said she didn't want him getting burned. Nobody had been so nice to him before, usually his uncle enjoyed when Harry was burned. He sometimes would leave Harry out to burn until he blistered, and then would take the belt to the burns.
But Harry wasn't to think about that. Or talk about it. In fact, none of that ever happened. Harry had the perfect life. He got food, baths that didn't burn, clean water to drink, and even got to go outside. Perfect life, right? Right.
"Harry, dear." Aunt Petunia said, pulling Harry from his thoughts. "It's time to go sweetie." Harry jumped off the bench as Aunt Petunia grabbed Dudley's hand, she didn't take Harry's as she led them away.
"We have to stop at the store before we go home." Petunia said.
"What for?" Dudley whined. But Harry was thinking, "Oh! The store! I've never been there! Wonder what it's like!"
"We have to buy Harry some new clothes." Petunia sniffed, Harry almost fell over in shock. New clothes?
"But why?" Dudley whined. "I want new clothes! I want new clothes! I WANT NEW CLOTHES!"
"You know why Dudley." Petunia snapped, effectively shutting Dudley up. "You can have new clothes too." Dudley shut up completely and they continued to walk. Harry tried to keep up as best as he could, but it was hard because of his limp. He didn't know why it was there, but Aunt Petunia had said that he was born with it. He didn't understand why his limp had to hurt, but it always had.
Soon they were at the store and Harry was in awe. There were so many things! There was food, clothes, soaps, toys, electrical things, it had everything! When they got to the clothes department, Aunt Petunia started pulling clothes off the hangers, seemingly at random. When she was finished, she grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him into a changing room.
"Put these on." She demanded. Harry quickly stripped and started trying on the clothes. Most were way too big, as he was a lot smaller than normal five year olds. He looked like a large three year old actually. When Harry was finished, Aunt Petunia picked up the ones that fit and left the ones that didn't, then they went out and got smaller sizes of the ones that were too big.
After she gathered five shirts, five jeans, five pairs of underwear, five pairs of socks and a nice pair of shoes, they went to shop for Dudley. They had to go into the older boys section because he was so large. It took longer to shop for Dudley, as he was so picky. Harry on the other hand, didn't really care what his clothes looked like; he was just happy to be getting some.
After the clothes shopping was finished, Aunt Petunia shocked him again by leading them into the toy area. She browsed the isles, picking up a toy here and there and putting it into the cart. Dudley looked smug, and Harry was happy just seeing the toys and wishing, dreaming that, maybe someday, he could have some like them someday. Aunt Petunia picked up all kinds of things; Army men, toy cars, board games, a ton of stuffed animals, books and so much more. Finally they were done shopping, Petunia paid, and they all took as many bags as each of them could carry, and started walking back to number four. Harry of course, had the most bags to carry. He didn't mind though, he got new clothes!
When they got back Petunia set Dudley down for a nap, then turned to Harry. "I want you to go take a shower." She said. "Take as long as you want and you may use the good soap." Harry's eyes went wide and Petunia started to unpack all the things they bought.
"Go on." She said looking up. "I'll put some clothes in there for you to put on." Harry stood in shock for a moment more than turned and ran up to the bathroom. "You can use warm water too!" She called after him.
Harry was so happy; he'd never had a warm shower before. He'd have boiling hot baths and ice cold showers, but never warm! He quickly turned on the warm water and took his clothes off. Gasping, he stepped under the water and goose pimples popped up all over his skin. Harry stood under it for a long time, just feeling the warmth spread all over his body.
After about twenty minutes, he picked up the bottle of shampoo. He'd never used shampoo before, but he'd always loved the smell. He opened the cap and squirted a small amount on his hand, and then he lathered it into his hair. Harry made sure to scrub his hair really good, he didn't know when he'd get to shower again and wanted to be real clean.
When he was sure his hair was the cleanest he was going to get it, Harry closed his eyes and stepped back under the water to rinse it out. Then Harry took the bar of soap and started scrubbing every inch of his body clean.
Soon he was finished with his shower and the water was getting cold, so he turned the water off and stepped out. On the counter was a clean towel and some of the new clothes that he got. Harry smiled to himself and started drying himself off, then put on his clothes.
When he was finished getting dressed he hung the towel up and went downstairs to see if he had any cores to do or something. When Harry got downstairs, Aunt Petunia was doing laundry. He stood in front of her expectantly.
"Why don't you go watch the telly. Dear." She added sweetly. Harry stood and stared, in shock yet again, but then shook his head and went and turned the telly on. The news was on and Harry found it fascinating, so he plopped down on the floor to watch.
"Oh for heaven's sake!" she sighed, "Get on the couch. And what are you watching? You can't watch news." She picked up the remote and turned some cartoon on, then she turned and went upstairs. Harry paid no mind to her, or Dudley when he came down, he was too interested in the telly. Before he knew it hours went by and Uncle Vernon came home.
Harry jumped off the couch as the front door opened. Uncle Vernon took one look at Harry and growled.
"Get to your room, boy!" he snapped. Harry sprang into action and ran to the cupboard. He flung the door open but then stopped; his cupboard was filled with cleaning supplies.
"Oh, Harry dear, I've just finished cleaning your room." Petunia said kindly as she came down the stairs.
"Bu-but cleanin' supp'ies." Harry stuttered, looking back at the cupboard confused.
"Honey, why are you looking at the cupboard?" Petunia asked. "Your room is upstairs." Harry looked even more confused. "Come along dear." She said holding out her hand.
Harry crept forward and took the hand, then followed her upstairs. She led him to Dudley's second bedroom, which confused him even more. She opened the door and pushed him in. The room had changed completely. The bed was made and all of Dudley's toys were gone. In place were his new clothes and the toys Aunt Petunia had bought at the store.
"This is your room." She said softly. "You need to stop forgetting, hun. You've never slept in a cupboard, you've always slept here with all your toys and clothes. Right?" Harry nodded slowly.
"Toys Hawwy's? Hawwy pway?" Harry asked.
"That's right. Why don't you go in and play with your toys now." Harry nodded stupidly and Aunt Petunia shut the door. Harry was too shocked to play, so he stood in the middle of the room and looked. Hours went by and he still didn't touch any, it was just too good to be true. He was waiting for Uncle Vernon to fly through the door with his belt at any minute, but when the door opened, it wasn't Uncle Vernon.
"Supper is ready, Sweet heart." Aunt Petunia said, "Come down please." Harry nodded and jumped off the bed. He couldn't believe he was getting supper too! She led him down to the kitchen and set him down in the chair next to her and Dudley, and then filled his plate with roast beef and mashed potatoes.
"Eat up." She said. Harry picked up his fork slowly; he could see Uncle Vernon out of the corner of his eye and was scared. Vernon was so purple, Harry thought he was about to explode.
"Vernon!" Petunia growled. "Let him eat his supper." Vernon grumbled but calmed himself, and Harry ate his supper. He'd never had roast beef before, but he decided that it was his new favorite. He ate it as slow as he could, but not slow enough to where he was the last one done.
When the supper was finished, he stood to take care of the dishes, but Aunt Petunia stopped him.
"You don't do the dishes, I don't know how many times I've got to tell you, sweetie. You're getting confused again." Aunt Petunia said. Harry's brows furrowed and he thought for a minute.
"Why don't you go upstairs and get your sleep clothes on, then go to bed. It's been a long day." Petunia said. Harry nodded and went to his new room. He pulled open the drawer and took some night clothes out. He put them on and crawled into his bed, smiling the whole time. Harry closed his eyes, not knowing how things could change.