Ten-year-old Harry Potter sat on the plane in the aisle seat next to his cousin Dudley who had his piggish face pressed up to the window. It was the first time his family had taken him on vacation and to America too. They were headed to Las Vegas, Nevada. Dudley kept telling everyone he met that his father had won tickets to Sin City and that they were going to see a big dam and go on a hot air balloon over the desert and see showgirls.

"Boy, in the closet." Vernon Dursley said after shutting the door; the Bell Boy had dropped all Dursley's luggage off in the closet, so Harry had to rearrange the suitcases.

"Yes, uncle Vernon," Harry whispered.

"Come, Dudley," Vernon said with a smug smile as he watched Harry close the closet doors, "We are going to hit the all-you-can-eat buffet here in the hotel, and remember, boy…."

"Stay in the closet, be quiet, and pretend I don't exist," Harry said quietly.

"To, right!" Vernon said as he followed his wife and son out the door, closing it with a slam.

The following day the Dursley family plus Harry were on the road headed north into the Nevada mountains in a rented car. Vernon and Dudley had stuffed themselves at the buffet the night before and that morning. Aunt Petunia kindly smuggled him some toast and bacon out of the buffet in her purse. Kindly being a relative word, as she sneered at him, and Dudley stole half the bacon she had given Harry.

Harry watched the foreign landscape as they drove through the Nevada desert, many low-lying shrubs with almost no trees and long valleys surrounded by far-off mountains. Uncle Vernon had rented a red convertible but refused to put the top down, no matter how much Dudley whined. Finally, uncle Vernon got off Interstate 95 at the small town of Tonopah, which had a central Nevada museum, a mining museum, and a clown hotel of all things. Dudley had long ago fallen asleep and was using Harry's lap as a pillow; he was even drooling on him. If Dudley kept that up, it would look like Harry pissed himself, but Harry knew if he dared move Dudley off his lap, Vernon would pull the car over, and that would not be good for him in any way.

Finally, after what felt like hours, Vernon pulled into a small town market called Chang's. Dudley rushed out of the rental car, screaming he had to piss; as Harry was getting out of the vehicle, Vernon pushed him back into the car, shut the door with Harry still in the car, and followed Dudley into the store. Petunia was still sitting in the car's front passenger side, which was totally weird as in Britain, it was the driver's side, but they weren't in Britain anymore. "We never wanted you. Never asked for you. You were forced on us," Petunia said as she stared straight ahead, never looking at Harry.

"I'm sorry, aunt Petunia," Harry replied, not knowing what his aunt wanted to hear.

"When your parents died, we were told we had to take you for our own protection as much as for your protection. We were the only ones who were blood-related to you as my parents had died shortly before Dudley…and you were born," Petunia sneered as she fixed the front mirror so she could see Harry. "Well, we aren't the only ones who are blood-related to you on the Evans's side of the family. Lily and I have a half-brother. He's older than me by eleven years, older than Lily by thirteen years. Before he married our mother, our father had a fling with an American nurse during World War Two, Christine Gummer. She left Britain and went home to America, not knowing she was pregnant. She died when I was little, and Bertram came to live with us," Petunia stopped talking and opened her door.

Harry continued to sit in the car since no one told him to get out. Harry was a little nervous about meeting another uncle; he hoped this new uncle wasn't like his uncle Vernon. Aunt Petunia didn't seem to like her brother very much, so in Harry's mind, if aunt Petunia hated the man, he must be a good man. Harry was hoping aunt Petunia would leave him with his new uncle.

Petunia opened the boot door and got a small suitcase out of the boot. She carried it to the back door where Harry was sitting and opened the door. "Get out, carry this," Petunia said in a weird, monotone voice.

"Yes, aunt Petunia," Harry replied quietly.

"Follow me and be quiet," Petunia said as she walked toward the door to Chang's market. "Sit here," Petunia said as she and Harry entered the store and walked towards the front where the cash register was and a small grouping of tables were. Harry dutifully sat down as quietly as he could as he watched his family. Dudley and Vernon were at the cash register paying for all sorts of junk food. "Excuse me," Petunia said to the clerk at the cash register, "does Bertram Gummer live in this town?"

"Bertram?" The short Asian man laughed, "yeah, Burt lives just up the hill there."

"Good, please give him this letter, and let him know his nephew will be living with him from now on," Petunia stated to the shocked man as she placed the letter on the counter and pulled Dudley towards the door. "Stay here!" Petunia told Harry as she passed him and sniffed in disdain. Vernon finished up and walked out the door without saying anything to Harry.

Harry turned to look out the window in shock, as the only family he had ever known abandoned him in the middle of nowhere America. Uncle Vernon put the top of the fancy red convertible down and could be heard yelling, "YAAA HOOO!" as he drove his family away from the little town of Perfection, Nevada. Harry had wished they would leave him with this new uncle but not like this! The man wasn't even in the store at the moment.

The store wasn't empty, but everyone looked out the windows like Harry in shock; it wasn't every day a child was abandoned in Perfection, Nevada. Okay, Melvin's parents left him monthly to gamble in Las Vegas or Reno, but everyone knew they would eventually return. In the store was a small Asian man. A "Latino"-Harry's aunt once called a man in London-man. A tall caucasian man sat on a barstool; finally, a blonde woman sat at a table near him.

The tall caucasian man got off the barstool, went to a pay phone, and added a quarter, "Burt, we have another problem down here at Chang's; you and Heather need to get here ASAP."

Harry just stared out the window as all the adults gathered around Chang and whispered and watched the kid. A few minutes or a few hours, Harry couldn't tell; he was still in shock; an older man and red-haired woman walked into the store and straight up to Chang. They were all silent as the older man was handed the letter. "Fuck, I know that cursive," Burt swore, and Harry finally looked at the new man. The blonde woman whispered fast to the red-haired woman as the redhead gasped and looked at Harry.

Burt tapped the unopened letter against his thigh as he looked at Harry, "are you Hiram James Potter?" he asked the boy.

"I…I'm Harry Potter," he shuddered, overwhelmed by everyone looking at him.

"Harry," Burt snorted, "Petunia Anglanized your name. No, when you were born, your mother Lily sent me a picture of you with 'Hiram James Potter' printed on the back." Burt said as he watched the skinny little boy. Too skinny. "Did your parents die in 1981?"

"Yes, sir," Harry responded.

"Figured. I stopped getting letters from Lily about that time," Burt hummed, looking off into space; Harry fidgeted, causing Burt to focus on him again. "Have you lived with Petunia since then?"

"Yes, sir," Harry said, this time to be interrupted by his stomach growling loudly; Harry blushed and looked down at the wooden floor.

The red-haired woman went to the small cooler towards the back of the store, retrieved a burrito, and walked behind the Asian man to the microwave; she popped the burrito in and heated it up before bringing it to Harry along with a cold can of soda. While this was going on, Harry stared at the floor but secretly watched as Burt opened the letter from Petunia and read it. "Here you go, darlin', I'm your aunt Heather, Burt's wife," the redhead told Harry in a thick accent different from everyone else he had met in America.

"Hello, aunt Heather," Harry said as he looked at the redhead, then looked at the burrito, confused.

"You just pick it up and eat it with your hands," the Latino man told Harry. "They don't have a lot of burritos in Britain, yeah?"

"No, sir," Harry said before picking up the burrito and taking a bite.

The man laughed, "I'm Miguel; this is Walter, Nestor, and Nancy."

"Nice to meet all of you," Harry said shyly as he put down half of the burrito, unable to eat anymore.

"I'd bring you home and make you some dinner, but we have an emergency going on in town right now," Heather said as she sat down next to Harry and watched as he fidgeted.

"God, my sister is a BITCH!" Burt stated loudly as he finished the letter. "Can't you eat anymore?"

"No, sir. Sorry, sir," Harry said, looking down, waiting for his new aunt and uncle to start yelling at him about wasting food.

"That's not a problem, Hiram; I mean Harry," Burt said, sitting next to Heather.

"You can call me Hiram; I kinda like it," Harry whispered as he looked up quickly and noticed his uncle watching him; he lowered his eyes again.

"I'm going to fucking kill, my sister," Burt muttered quietly to Heather as he watched his meek nephew. Heather just nodded.

"Do you know why my mum named me Hiram?" Harry asked, peeking at Burt.

"Yes, our father was named Hiram, and my great-grandfather on my mother's side of the family," Burt stated as he watched Harry. "Petunia never told you your grandfather's name?"

"She said his name was Henry," Harry replied.

"Bloody hell," Burt said, slipping into a light British accent. "She Anglanized her own father's name," Burt then started speaking in a foreign language before switching to English, "does she go to a Synagog or a Church?"

"A church...," Harry said, confused, "she, uncle Vernon, and Dudley attend St. Michaels's Anglican church."

"And yourself?" Burt asked.

"She says I'm not allowed, that I would burst into flames if I entered a church," Harry whispered.

Burt snorted, "I'm surprised she didn't burst into flames; we, and I include you and your aunt, are Jewish."

"Jewish?" Harry asked.

"Yup, I'm nonpracticing, but yes, our family are Jews," Burt smiled at a flabbergasted Harry. "Hiram is a Hebrew name. As I said, your grandfather was a Hiram, and my great-grandfather, your mother, used to love my stories about Hiram Gummer. He moved to Perfection in 1889 and owned the local silver mine. The mine is closed now, but I still own it and most of the land in the area.

"Cool," Harry said as he looked back up at Burt before looking down again.

"Hiram," Burt said, waiting for Harry to look at him, "welcome to Perfection."

"Thank you, uncle Bertram," Harry said as everyone laughed at him.

"You can call me uncle Burt," Burt said, glaring at everyone laughing at his name.

"YAAA HOOO!" Vernon screamed as he sped away in the red convertible, away from his freak of a nephew. "Free at last!" Vernon said, smiling at Petunia.

"Free at last!" Dudley copied his father, "Dad, what are we free from?"

"We are free of the freak!" Vernon replied happily.

"Free of…no more Harry?" Dudley asked.

"That's right, son, no more freak!" Vernon tore open a candy bar and stuffed the whole thing in his mouth.

"But why?" Dudley asked, looking at his mother.

"What?!" Vernon choked as he looked in the rearview mirror at his son.

"Why'd you leave Harry at that store? Who am I going to play with?" Dudley asked.

"You don't play with FREAKS!" Vernon snarled and screamed at his son.

"But how am I supposed to play Harry Hunting if Harry doesn't live with us anymore?" Dudley asked.

Vernon laughed, "Harry Hunting."

"Dudley, our lives will be much better with the boy not living with us anymore. No more of your clothing going to him, no more food going to him." Petunia turned to look at her son as she spoke to him. "So much better," Petunia whispered, turning to look at the road, wiping her eye.

Vernon noticed Petunia wiping her eye and glared at her. "It's just the dust upsetting my allergies," Petunia lied.

"Daaaaddd," Dudley whined, "I gotta piss again."

"Fucking road work ahead," Vernon growled, looking at the sign in front of him. "Just a moment, son, let us get past this road work before I pull over so you can piss."

"Hey, it's Val and Earl." The blonde girl who had been sitting with Harry said to all the adults. The adults were discussing a murder that happened earlier that day before Harry arrived. The girl, Mindy, was Harry…no Hiram's age, but he felt like he was so much older than her. They had nothing in common and Harry and call-me-Mel, had even less.

"They shouldn't be here already," aunt Heather said as she and all the adults went outside to greet the two new strangers. For a town of only 14 people, Harry…no, Hiram felt like he was meeting many people. Harry slowly followed everyone out.

"…canyon road, we were on it about two hours ago…" one of the strangers said as Mindy called for her mum. On the men's truck was some sort of snake or eel, Walter had said; Harry watched as he was plastered against the store wall as his uncle Bert removed the snake from the men's truck.

"Whatever this is, just one of these couldn't eat up old Fred and his flock of sheep." Harry heard his Uncle Burt tell everyone as he slowly peeled himself away from the store to see the snake better.

Harry stared at the snake while the adults talked; it didn't look like any snakes he saw in his aunt Petunia's garden.

"Anyways," the younger of the two men interrupted, "whether it is a snake or a murderer, whatever, got old Fred, got the two road crew and whoever was riding in the red convertible that was stopped by the road crew. The road to Bixby is down, boulders blocking it."

"Aunt Petunia is dead?" Harry asked, looking at the young man.

"Errr, what?" the man asked, looking around for someone to explain who the strange new kid was.

"Petunia was in a red convertible, Hiram?" Burt asked as he stood up and gently grabbed Harry's shoulder to look him in the eyes.

"Yes, sir. Uncle Vernon rented a red convertible." Harry responded, looking at the snake on the ground, not knowing how to feel if the Dursleys were dead.

"Burt?" The older, new man asked.

"My sister, Petunia, her husband, and son were in the red convertible. They had just dropped off our nephew, Hiram, here. Petunia felt she couldn't care for him anymore." Burt said, looking at the two men.

"Aww, Burt, I'm really sorry," the older man replied.

"Val, Earl, are you sure everyone up on Canyon road was dead?" Burt asked.

"Yeah, Burt. There was blood everywhere." Val responds softly. Heather gathers Hiram up, takes him back into the store, and wipes his eyes with a paper tissue. He didn't even realize he was crying until he was pulled onto Heather's lap and held while she rocked him. This tiny bit of comfort made Hiram cry even harder as Hiram had never experienced comfort like this before. He had seen Dudley being held by aunt Petunia like this, but she had never held Harry like this.

"Listen," Burt tells the assembled group. "Heather and I need to take Hiram home and get him settled. We can't do anything more tonight. Everyone should get into their houses and ensure all their doors and windows are shut and locked. Whether this is a snake or a man killing everyone, I don't know, but everyone, be careful. Nancy? Nestor? Who is watching Melvin?" Burt asked.

"I am," Nestor told everyone.

"Okay, let's meet at sunrise tomorrow at Chang's," Burt ordered.

"I'm not meeting at 5:30 in the morning," Val complained.

"Let's meet at 8:00 a.m," Earl said firmly, "if we meet too close to sunrise, there are too many shadows that snakes can hide in."