The cupboard under the stairs was as cold as one would expect in late December. Though most would ignore this fact save for the brief visit to hide gifts for someone or to store something. However, if the cupboard happened to be your place of residence then the cold became ignorable for other reasons. Harry Potter did not realize the cold as he fingered the Christmas card his teacher had sent home with him. The cold became tolerable through the many times he was confined to the cupboard, his most recent punishment occurring due to the fact that his teacher's wig had somehow turned blue and he, Harry, was blamed. He did not remember the extent of his punishment; Uncle Vernon had given him so many punishments that one was not distinguishable from another.
Harry was determined to keep the letter unopened until Christmas because it could be considered a present. Harry's cousin, Dudley, had thrown his out having no use for a piece of paper that wished him a happy holiday, knowing he would receive better presents and did not want to inconvenience himself with the card. Harry, however, did not expect any other gifts, so he felt that he should save himself something to open Christmas morning, which was an eternity of two days away.
Harry was both confused and excited when he saw the card in the folder that the school sent home weekly. The teacher usually gave out the cards, a generic, mass-produced Christmas cards, but Harry was usually overlooked. No one, including the teacher, seemed to care about him beyond the fact that he was breathing, and Harry expected that this teacher hated him even more than the others since his wig somehow turned blue. Yet Harry had been given the card. He quickly removed the card from the folder sent from school upon his discovery of it, not wanting the Dursley's to confiscate it.
Harry opened the envelope as his willpower gave out. His hand wavered above the card, curious yet wanting to wait before he opened it. As his hand closed around the card he felt a strange sensation and felt himself fall to the ground.
As he fell to the ground Harry had closed his eyes and briefly wondered how he could have fallen when the entire cupboard was taken up by the makeshift cot he slept on. Opening his eyes and standing up Harry saw that not only was he no longer in his cupboard, but he was out of doors. Furthermore, he saw mountains; he did not know of any mountains like that near his home. He got to his feet the card dropping from his hand, staring at the mountains.
Harry did not notice anyone around him until he felt a hand on his shoulder. He jumped, quickly spinning around shifting his gaze from the mountains to three teenage boys and falling from his feet again. The middle boy knelt down and offered his hand to Harry.
"Are you alright?" He asked. He received a nod in response. "Are you lost?" The boy continued to question. Harry nodded again staring fearfully at the boy, who seemed to him an adult with his size as he was pulled to his feet.
"Would you like help finding your parents?"
"They've been dead since I was little."
The boy was silent for a while, momentarily turning to his companion on his left and exchanging a quick look before introducing himself.
"Well, I'm Sirius Black, this" he motioned to the right, "is Remus Lupin, and this," he motioned to the other boy, "is Peter Pettigrew. What is your name?"
"Harry Potter," Harry managed to say. He was quickly fearful of what his aunt and uncle would say. They had always forbid him from talking to strangers. At school the teachers always warned the students not talk to strangers, but the Dursley's did not want Harry to talk to anyone, especially strangers. His thoughts must have appeared on his face because Sirius's voice broke into his thoughts. Harry focused again on the boys, realizing Peter was not there anymore.
"Peter went to go get some stuff that we forgot," Sirius said with a smile, noticing where Harry was looking and leading Harry down the street of the village. "Remus and I thought you looked cold so we are going to go to the pub for a drink. Is that alright with you?" Sirius smiled again as Harry noticed that the two boys were on either side of him leading into a pub before he could read the sign on the door. Harry remained quiet while ushered to a table in the back of the pub and was placed in a chair facing the back of the pub.
After a quick word with Sirius, Remus sat down opposite Harry, looking at him intently. The gaze was unfamiliar, calculating yet friendly. Harry's mind drifted back to the Dursley's when Remus's voice disrupted Harry's thoughts again and began questioning him. The questions began with the basis of trying to figure out where Harry lived so that he could be returned home safely. As Harry continued answering the questions he began to reveal a bit more about himself. He inwardly did not want to answer all of the questions for fear that he would be punished by the Dursleys, yet Harry trusted Remus or was that his charismatic and determinate way of asking questions. The questions did not seem to come with order so that Harry had no time to think about what he was telling the stranger, nor did he have time to register why the questions were being asked of him. Harry ended up revealing the fact that he lived with his aunt and uncle; as much as he knew about the location of the house, which was very limited; his limited knowledge of his parents that they died in a car crash; his age and year of birth; and other details about his life.
Harry was confused when Remus stopped speaking and looked over his shoulder before he realized that Sirius must be back with the drinks. Sirius quickly moved to a spot where Harry had to remain focus towards the back of the pub and started handing out drinks. Harry was astonished when he was given the first mug. He waited for the rest of the drinks to be passed out before start drinking. Giving Remus his drink Sirius turned to Harry again.
"Don't wait for us to have our drinks; start drinking." With a slight blush Harry raised his mug to his lips and felt a warmth rush through his body and began to feel slightly light-headed. Sirius made a comment to Remus that Harry didn't catch and placed his drink next to his seat which was on the other side of Harry from where he was sitting. Harry only slightly registered Sirius walking around his chair before he began to fall into unconsciousness. The last thing Harry remembered was that Remus reached across the table to take his mug and pair of arms fasten around him as he slumped towards the table.
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Harry Potter. I am writing this to satisfy my own personal "What-If" fantasies.
Authors Note: Feel free to e-mail me about anything. I love e-mail and it beats my school work, which I should be doing rather than this, but hey I don't really care.