AN: This is a Harry/Elizabeth pairing with the distinct possibility of Hermione and Luna also joining them. This will be a fluffy story with no lemons, it will both follow Canon and deviate where appropriate.
The Final Straw
Five year old Harry and Elizabeth Potter lay huddled together on the rickety cot that served as their bed in their cupboard under the stairs.
Harry Potter lay in sincere misery, hours of back breaking manual labor followed by a harsh beating for not completing the chores to his Uncle's impossibly high standards had him clinging to his sister shivering in pain. He could never understand what he and his sister had done to be treated so cruelly by their relatives. He was nothing but a glorified was the Durselys gardener, handyman, mechanic, and butler. The neighbors believed him to be a dangerous delinquent, a rumor that was encouraged by his relatives and further perpetuated by his dirty torn clothes, his perpetually bruised appearance, and the cold unresponsiveness his uncle forced him to adapt.
Elizabeth Potter lay beside her brother, tears streaming down her face, sobs wracking her too small frame. Her wonderful brother always took the lions share of the work, and punishments. He purposely would draw their Uncle's anger, in an effort to deflect whatever punishment she had supposedly deserved onto himself. He was her knight in shining armor, and the best friend a person could ever ask for. The beatings he took were bloody awful, but in some terribly perverse way Elizabeth mused that Harry was actually kind of lucky. Uncle Vernon was a man of few words, and as such his repetitive insults lost their sting after a while. Aunt Petunia was a different story altogether.
Elizabeth suffered the anguish of being the focused target of her Aunt Petunia's soul crushing barbs and wicked insults. She constantly demeaned and belittled her. Aunt Petunia seemed to absolutely revel in breaking her spirit, one piece at a time. Elizabeth like Harry was forced to wear her cousin Dudley's old, too large, threadbare clothes, which for Elizabeth who had a very feminine spirit was very humiliating. Aunt Petunia also took vicious glee in butchering her beautiful red hair, cropping it absurdly short, leaving great bald patches all over her scalp.
She was essentially her Aunt's personal house maid. She did majority of the housework whilst her Aunt spied on the neighbors, gossiped on the phone, and watched her vapid soap operas. She also had the horrible responsibility of waiting on her Cousin Dudley hand and foot. She fetched his food, changed the channels for him, and cleaned up his messes, most of which he made just for the purpose of giving her something to do. The only saving grace was that he wanted nothing to do with her beyond being his servant, he believed that she like all girls had the lurgy, and as such she was to be avoided at all cost.
Harry hated Aunt Petunia more than he could ever begin to hate Uncle Vernon. The way she treated his baby sister was unforgivable. His sister was the most wonderful creature on earth, she didn't deserve to be tortured by Aunt Petunia so, to be forced to have her beautiful appearance marred, to have the whole world believe the despicable lie, that she was mentally retarded.
Harry's stomach growled. Harry and Elizabeth's most common punishment was to not be fed, which led to their rather emaciated appearance. On a good day a "meal' was nothing more than table scraps, plate scrapings, and food that was deemed too old for the Durselys consumption. Harry always gave Elizabeth the choice pieces while he ate the more questionable bits. Elizabeth hadn't liked that, feeling they should suffer equally, even if that meant eating discarded bits of prechewed food. She evenually gave in, but only after securing a deal where in exchange for better food, she would soothe his aching joints and muscles and treat his cuts and bruises.
The Durselys encouraged the idea that he was a delinquent and that his sister was mentally feeble to justify the twins poor appearance and to illicit sympathy from the community. They hid the abuse with carefully crafted lies, lies which portrayed the Dursleys as saints and the Potter's as dreadful burdens. The community, one and all bought it without question, because it is always easier to believe the worst of those who appear a certain way, the Durselys appeared perfectly normal and upstanding, whilst the Potter twins looked like nothing but trouble. So of course that was all there was to it.
At school they had noone but each other. None of the other kids wanted to befriend "those weird Potter twins" and even if they did Dudley's gang would scare them away or turn them against them. They were forced to do poorly in class, to avoid upsetting Dudley by outshining him, and to maintain the image created by the Durselys, to do otherwise would result in severe punishment.
For as long as Harry could remember Uncle Vernon had toed the line and had kept his anger solely focused on Harry, but he had crossed the line today when he had viciously backhanded his baby sister. She had accidentally spilled her Uncle's evening glass of Scotch onto him, after Dudley had tripped her. For that she had earned a split lip and a bruised cheek, whilst Dudley had received a second helping of cake, for being a little angel unlike his dreadful cousins.
Harry held his crying sister close, hugging her tightly as she nuzzled into his side. He kissed her softly on her cheek, trying to convey to her that he was there and that he loved her so.
Seeing his little sister, his only source of love, hurting was the final straw.
"Yes, Harry?" she whispered, her voice her hoarse from crying.
"We've got to get out of here."