At just seven years old, Dudley Dursley had managed to get suspended from school. Harry overheard his guardians talking about it as he straightened up the kitchen after dinner. Dudley was up in his second room playing with his new video game and Petunia and Vernon Dursley had taken the chance to discuss what was to be done.
"It's that new teacher of his," Petunia justified. "She's had it out for poor Dudders since the year began. Do you remember that ghastly note she sent? Claiming our Dudley had bullied one of the other children. I told her it had to be a misunderstanding. Our Dudley couldn't hurt a fly."
"Of course, Pet." Vernan agreed. He rarely ever disagreed with his wife.
"Vernon, let's move."
"Well, if staying here is only going to hurt Dudley, let's move. It's the perfect time since he'll be out of school for the week anyway. Mrs. Dillard down the street was telling me about the school that her nephew attends which sounds perfect. It would be a fresh start for Dudley."
"But what about my job?"
"Alright Pet. Start looking at houses and I'll pick up some boxes after work tomorrow. I'll let them know that something's come up and put in my two weeks."
Harry quickly finished wiping down the counter and scurried into his cupboard. A new school. He wonders if he'll be in a different class than Dudley, if he would finally have the chance to have friends. It would mean leaving his cupboard behind though. He runs his fingers over the drawings he's taped up on the walls and the crayon on the ceiling which proclaims "Harry's Room" just in case anyone ever got the chance to wonder.
Sherlock was staying quiet today. Mummy had told him that morning if he had nothing nice to say to others, that he should say nothing. He sighed as he gazed out the window. He rarely had anything nice to say. He was bored. And surrounded by idiots.
"Sherlock." He turned back to the front of the class at the sound of his name. "Please pay attention." A couple of the students giggled at the perceived chastisement. The teacher smirked a little bit. Not so much that anyone but he would take notice.
He tried, he really did, but sometimes he just couldn't help himself. "Why?"
The teacher gave him a rather severe look. "Because you come to school to learn." She replied.
"Dull." Really she was bringing it upon herself.
"Excuse me?" Sherlock detected the warning in her voice, but really she should know by now that is was best for everyone to just leave him alone.
"Elementary math is dull. I already know my times tables. Furthermore, I know that you're pregnant and that it's not your husband's." The classroom was deathly quiet by now. "Yes, this class is dull, you're dull, this whole town is dull, and I'm bored. Nothing new or exciting ever happens here, and I'm supposed to be quiet instead of rude which is much more difficult when you insist on talking to me. So just leave me be and we'll both be much happier."
The teacher's face was white and she was clutching the piece of chalk so tightly her tendons were clearly visible across her knuckles. "Principal's office. Now."
Sherlock sighed. Mycroft was going to be insufferable when he found out. He really had tried.
Harry had learned long ago that when Dudley didn't go to school, he wouldn't either. He always hated those days because although he usually had chores to complete, Dudley rarely had anything to do other than torment him.
Today, Harry had been told to stay in the yard and weed the flowers Aunt Petunia had had placed, bordering the house. Dudley had taken to throwing a ball against the tree in the side yard. Harry did his best to remain unseen by him. He had just finished pulling the weeds from around the rose bushes when he heard a most unwelcome voice.
"Hey Duds." Piers. One of Dudley's more volatile friends. If there was one person Harry preferred living with Dudley to, it was Piers. Harry quickly made his way to the garden hose. He couldn't enter the house without cleaning off, but after that he could get away with making lunch for everyone, and stay within eyesight of Aunt Petunia where Piers was less likely to beat him to a pulp.
He scrubbed his hands and arms before closing his eyes in order to get his face. The cold water felt like ice after so much time in the sun.
Suddenly, the hose was snatched away and his arms were trapped behind his back.
"Hey Freak." Piers smirked. "Dudley was just telling me that you'll be moving away soon. That just breaks my heart. I sure am going to miss you. Will you miss me?"
Harry hesitated. What did Piers want? Piers stepped closer when he didn't get an answer fast enough. He grabbed Harry by the face, painfully digging his fingers into Harry's jaw.
"You don't think you'll miss me, Harry?"
Harry began to tremble. Quick as a snake, Piers forced open Harry's jaw and brought the hose to his mouth. Water flooded his mouth and Harry tried to swallow, to block his throat and turn away, to breathe through his nose, to escape the hold that his cousin and Piers had on him. It was hopeless. No matter what he did, he couldn't get away. Could do nothing other than choke. He heard Dudley chortling behind him as he struggled to find a way to breath. Tears were beginning to fall down his cheeks as he prayed that they would get bored soon. The water was taken away.
"Say you'll miss me, Freak." He heard Piers saying. "That's all you have to do. Tell me how much you'll miss me and all of the fun we have. You like playing games with me right? Right?" He shook Harry's head a bit with the repetition before bring the water back to his mouth.
Harry made a garbled, choking noise through the water as he tried to speak.
"What was that, Freak?" Piers lifted the water hose away once more.
"I'll miss you, Piers." Harry mumbled hoarse. He flinched as the water was brought close again.
"And I like the games we play, Piers." Harry was still crying and taking deep ragged breaths.
"I know you do, Freak." Piers tapped his cheek "I know you do."
Harry didn't see the punch coming, but he heard the laughter as he doubled up, once again struggling to breathe. He was released and tumbled to the ground next to the still running garden hose. For the first time, Harry felt happiness towards the move. Anything was better than Piers.
"I can't take it anymore. He's driving me spare." Sherlock hear through the door. "It's always something. Either he's not paying attention to the lesson, or he's belittling me in front of the class. Either way it's completely disrespectful. You have to do something about it. I refuse to put up with it any more."
Sherlock kicked his legs out the I refuse to deal with it anymore echoing in his head. He refused to let it hurt him. He didn't want to deal with stupid people anyway. He had begged Mummy to just let him work with a group of tutors, but she hadn't listened. She said that learning to socialize was important. Sherlock couldn't understand why. All he learned was that people couldn't understand him, and rarely even bothered to try. But he loved his mummy, and tried to please her, so he kept trying to stick out this hell.
He didn't have any friends. Mycroft said it was because he wasn't trying hard enough, but Sherlock felt had tried quite hard. He had introduced himself, and waited for the others to do the same, as custom demanded. He had listened to their tedious conversations and even tried to add input every now and then. It wasn't his fault the others had a hard time keeping up with him. He hadn't even made it through Kindergarten before disaster struck.
He had tried to console one of the others about the divorce her parents were going through and she had slapped him before bursting into tears. He didn't understand what he had done wrong. He had expressed sympathy, and told her that it wasn't her fault, but that was the first step into exile. The second occurred when Sammy Turner couldn't find the superhero doll he had taken to show and tell. The whole class had been held after while the teacher checked everyone's bag. Sherlock spent the time colouring. He had already figured out what had happened to the stupid doll, and was just waiting for the teacher to catch up. The teacher found the doll in Tom Joyner's bag , and when she went to pull it out, the leg fell off.
"You broke my Spiderman!" Sammy accused.
Sherlock looked up at this brow furrowed. "No he didn't."
"Yes he did. Look, his leg fell off."
"Well, yes, but you're the one who broke it. You were playing with it during recess, and you've still got glue on your hands from where you tried to fix it."
"You're lying!" Sammy accused panicked.
"I am not. You've even got a scrape across your knuckles from where you tried to shut Tom's bag and the zipper stuck." He looked over to the teacher. "He broke his own toy."
The next day, Sammy started saying bad things about him. One was that he was a freak. For whatever reason, that name stuck among the children, and no one even attempted a conversation with him anymore. He was laughed at and teased. But he stuck through it, and tried not to let anyone see how much it hurt, because he loved his mummy and wanted to make her proud.
Mummy came to the school and talked with the principal. Suspended for three days. Mummy sighed when she came back out to the hallway, and Sherlock hung his head. The driver took them home and she didn't say anything to him along the way. Sherlock didn't mind. He had three days to do what he wished.