Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.
Vernon and Petunia Dursley were the proud parents of Dudley Dursley, in their words who was the most precious child in the entire world.
There was never word of a second child living in number four Privet Drive.
And yet hidden to the world of Privet Drive was a boy living in the cupboard underneath the stairs. The nephew of the Dursley parents.
Strange happenings surrounded the poor child. Happenings that he wasn't able to control. Such as heavy items that he had been instructed to lift and hadn't been able to with his thin arms, the items; such as a heavy pot filled with stew, simply lifted into the air as if picked up by someone invisible. Other times was when he was presented with overly large and disgusting clothes only for them to shrink and turn into something a bit more presentable. The strangest one however was the time when his aunt had nearly shaved him bald in an attempt to get some control over his hair only for the hair to grow back overnight.
While the Dursleys obviously loved their son, this shown through the elaborate gifts and words of praise they so easily gave to the boy. As much as they loved their son they also hated their nephew in the same amount.
For as long as Harry could remember he was forced to perform any and all the chores that he had been given to the full extent. To not do so was to be punished; either through not getting any more food to even physical punishments.
And now. After living with the Dursleys for five years. Five years of suffering through their actions and words.
He was now on the street tightly clutching his pillowcase that he had filled with everything that he owned. Every paper, every article of clothing, every little thing.
It was close to three in the morning and he was still marveling at the fact that it had been so easy to get out. The cupboard under the stairs that served as his bedroom had been unlocked for the first time at night in his memory. So moving quickly he had torn off the pillowcase from his pillow and stuffed everything that he could into it before quietly and quickly making his way out of the house.
The street was deserted however thankfully the night was still warm from the summer heat of the day. Harry wasn't sure where to go as he walked. He closed his eyes for a moment to savor the fresh air and the slight wind, he breathed in deeply and sighed appreciatively.
Perhaps he could go to the park and hopefully wake up before anyone else would be there. He had no desire to go back to the Dursleys and if the wrong person saw him he would be with the Dursleys before he even knew what happened.
Back to being in the cupboard. Back to working day and night only for insults and wounds to follow. Days and nights with no food. No comfort, love, or safety.
He stopped in the middle of the street and looked around. There were four roads he could take, five if he counted going back the way he came, and he had no idea where to go, where he was, or what to do.
Footsteps sounded behind him suddenly from nowhere. He whirled around to see a girl in her teens walking towards him. She wore a cloak around her body which covered every inch except her head and boots. The heels of the boots were the only sound where they were.
When she reached Harry she kneeled down so they were at eyelevel and smiled warmly at him. "What's your name little boy?"
Harry shook his head. "I'm not supposed to talk to strangers." he said as he looked around trying to find a way to get away.
The girls smile widened. "My name is Marianna. Do you want to be friends?"
Harry shyly nodded his head.
"You see then? We're friends, not strangers anymore." Marianna said brightly. "Now can you tell me your name?"
"Harry." he said. "Harry Potter."
Her eyes widened for a moment, unnoticed by Harry, before they returned to normal and she continued to smile at him. "Well then Harry, why are you out this late? It's a bit past your bedtime young man."
"I ran away." he said quietly. "I ran away. Please, don't make me go back."
"You ran away from home?" she asked. When Harry nodded she asked "Why?"
"Because its bad there." Harry said. "My aunt and my uncle…they aren't nice. Sometimes I don't get food but I get so hungry! And they always say bad things about me and make me do all the chores."
"Do they ever hurt you?" Marianna asked.
"Sometimes." Harry said in an even quieter voice. "My uncle gets mad and he punches me. Sometimes my aunt throws things like pots and pans at me."
"I see." Marianna said in a quiet voice. She smiled at Harry once more. "Are you hungry?"
Harry nodded excitedly.
Harry nodded once more.
"Do you want to go somewhere you can be safe and loved?" Marianna asked.
Harry nodded again.
"I live with a lot of other children Harry." Marianna said. "A lot of people my age and younger. There are no adults; we take care of each other. There is food, comfort, safety, and love. You of course will need to obey the rules and do as we tell you but we would never hurt you or make you do anything that you can't do."
Harry was staring at her in wonder.
She leaned in close to Harry. "Do you want to come live with me and my family?"
"Yes." Harry whispered.
Marianna smiled and extended her hand. "Then take my hand and close your eyes."
With no hesitation Harry immediately placed his hand in hers and closed her eyes. A sharp crack filled the air as both the girl and boy disappeared.
I do not own Harry Potter.