Harry yawned as his Aunt pounded on the door of his cupboard, screaming something about making breakfast and his no good, drunkard parents. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he got dressed and went to the kitchen, tuning out Aunt Petunia's screeching like he always did and getting to work.
He opened the freezer and pulled out enough bacon for two fully-grown walrus', ignoring the fact that seven-year-olds probably shouldn't be cooking as he started frying the meat. Wincing as some grease popped onto his bare arm, he flipped the finished bacon onto a plate and then made some extra. Just in case.
He cracked about half a dozen eggs in the pan after that batch of bacon, putting some coffee on to brew while they fried. After another plate had been filled by these eggs he put both plates on the table, and as usual the two Dursley males chose just then to make an appearance, though why they waited Harry wasn't sure. It's not like they would be expected to help.
Harry silently poured Vernon a cup of coffee and, after setting it down in front of him, departed for his cupboard before they could yell at him some more.
In the 'safety' of his 'room', Harry sighed as his stomach rumbled near-painfully. He was hungry, yes, but he knew that his relatives would say he'd been fed the day before and that that was enough. All the same, he wished he could have some of that bacon he'd been forced to cook...
"Boy!" his Aunt yelled, and he sighed again before exiting his cupboard and making his way back to the kitchen.
"Yes Aunt Petunia?" he asked from his place in the doorway, and she glared at him as if he was a particularly ugly weed she'd pulled.
"The flowerbeds out front are beginning to wilt. Tend to them," she replied crisply, turning back to her breakfast to avoid looking at him longer than absolutely neccessary.
"Yes Aunt Petunia," he said, managing to keep anything negative out of his voice, and crossed the kitchen to the back door. He retrieved the gardening tools from the shed and went around the house to the front, beginning to dig out the weeds and fill the holes in with extra soil.
After that was finished with, he watered the flowerbed to loosen the earth before spreading some fertilizer over it, watering the fertilizer to loosen it up. Then he turned to the flowers themselves, pruning away the dead leaves and burying them in the bed. More protein for the flowers.
It was at this time, not even an hour after he had started, that he heard a rather large vehicle pull up somewhere behind him. He turned curiously to see a moving truck pull up to the recently-vacated number seven, followed closely by a gleaming and expensive-looking rental car that drifted to the curb before stopping. The doors opened to let a man, a woman, and a little girl hop out, and Harry briefly wondered if the new girl might want to be friends with him before viciously squashing the notion.
He didn't want to condemn the poor girl to a Dudley beating just because he was lonely. His chivalry was destined to go unappreciated, though; in the split second it took for him to remember his cousin, the girl had spotted him and had started making her way over to him. By the time he had risen to go inside, she was there and greeting him cheerily.
Now of course, Haruhi had just arrived in Surrey (and indeed, the country) that morning, but you must understand Haruhi gets whatever she wants. And what she wanted was to have an understanding of the English language in order to efficiently interrogate children about any strange goings-on. And of course, her parents had taken English in high school, so they could chalk her new language skills up to their teachings. As to their near-perfect English, they just thought they did better in high school than they thought.
"Hello! My name is Suzumiya Haru...I mean, Haruhi Suzumiya. What's yours?" she asked innocently.
"Don't be seen with me. My cousin beats up anybody who tries to be my friend," Harry warned instead of answering. A strange glint came into Haruhi's eyes at this, something that intrigued, cheered, and terrified Harry all at the same time.
"Yeah? I'm a girl. He can't beat me up. Now, what's your name?" she demanded, slightly petulant though still friendly.
Sighing at the girl who wouldn't stay for long, Harry said shortly, "Harry Potter. You should go before my cousin sees you talking to me."
He glanced behind him at his words, as if Dudley could be sneaking up on him, and then turned back to Haruhi with apprehension bubbling inside him. The feeling only intensified as Haruhi's parents came over to meet the little boy their daughter was talking to.
"Hello Haruhi. Made a new friend already?" her dad asked in English to be polite, happy that she was adjusting to the new place already.
"Yeah! This is Harry Potter!" she replied enthusiastically, then grew sad and added pitifully, "I don't think he wants to be my friend though…"
Haruhi's parents looked at Harry with confusion.
"Why don't you want to be friends with Haruhi?" her mother asked, perhaps just slightly affronted on her daughter's behalf, but of course her heart simultaneously melted and caught fire at Harry's next words.
"I don't want anything bad to happen to her. My cousin Dudley beats up anyone who tries to be friends with me," he replied sadly, his guard torn down by the strange girl and oblivious to where this line of conversation would lead. The Suzumiyas' eyes flashed dangerously at this revelation.
"Why don't you tell his parents then?" Haruhi's mother asked, one part curious, two parts apprehensive that the answer would be what she desperately hoped it wouldn't, and five parts angry that such behaviour would be allowed to continue for so long that it became common practice.
"They'd just say that somebody has to 'protect innocent children from being corr…corr-up-ted by my freak-ish-ness', and then lock me in my cupboard for a week for telling on him," he explained, tone deadening with every word as he struggled cutely through the complicated descriptors.
Of course, even though he had been caught off guard, he was still an exceptionally smart child, and his eyes widened in panic as he realized exactly what he'd just confessed to. He wanted to say something, to play it off as just childish fantasy, but he knew even before he opened his mouth to take back what he said that it was too late.
"Your cupboard?" Haruhi's father asked with a raised eyebrow, a dangerous glint in his eye that resembled the one his daughter had gotten a few minutes ago, and Harry blinked fearfully before sighing in defeat.
"Yeah, my cupboard," he said lowly, "It's where I sleep, and where they put me when I've done something wrong."
A beat of silence.
"DISGUSTING! ATROCIOUS" Haruhi's mother screeched loudly, switching to Japanese in her rage and garnering the attention of anyone who wasn't already peeking out their curtains or over fences (which was nobody), "I'm going to go give those people a piece of my mind !"
Before she could stomp up the number four's door, though, her husband caught her around the waist.
"Now honey, what did I tell you the last time you did something like this?" he asked soothingly, staying in English to remind her of where they were, and Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
It didn't last long.
"Make sure there are no witnesses for when you have to drag the bodies out," she said in a low hiss, and Harry's jaw dropped as Haruhi's father beamed.
"Exactly! Let's go handle the movers," he advised, and Haruhi's mother reluctantly linked arms with him to walk back to the moving truck.
Harry stood there, with Haruhi trying to determine exactly how his jaw managed to unhinge so apparently-painlessly, until he remembered the Dursleys and closed his mouth with a snap. He had to get these people away before they made things even worse!
"I'm serious now. You really should go before my cousin comes!" he advised Haruhi, a tiny bit frantically, but Haruhi merely smiled angelically.
"That cousin?" she asked innocently, peering around Harry to catch sight of Dudley. She did a double take, because how was that blob of blubber waddling toward her even standing up?
Harry sighed again and said, "I warned you," before turning around and answering tiredly, "Yes Dudley?"
"Mum wants you to come in and clean up after our breakfast," he sneered, obviously enjoying that Harry had to clean up his mess. Then he noticed Haruhi.
"Who're you?" he asked bluntly, and Haruhi scowled a bit at his rudeness but answered nonetheless.
"Haruhi Suzumiya. My family's moving in just down the street," she said, indicating the moving truck with a jerk of her head, and Dudley's eyes moved to her parents as the two brain cells he had worked tirelessly to help him understand. At last, a spark of understanding appeared in his gaze, and he grunted to show it.
Then he smiled a sickeningly wide grin and said, "Well Harihu-" Haruhi wincing at the mispronunciation, "-I don't think you want to be hanging out with him," gesturing to Harry vaguely.
"Why?" she asked curiously, and it was evident he hadn't expected Haruhi to ask this, for he only blinked stupidly for a few seconds before answering.
"Because he's a freak," he said lamely, but instead of repulsing Haruhi as he thought it would, her eyes lit up.
"What?! Why?! What does he do that makes him freakish?" Haruhi asked fervently, eager to hear his answer, and Dudley looked at her blankly for a moment. Someone wanted to know about his cousin? After a few moments of contemplating this, he shrugged.
"Not supposed to say, but..." he began, looking behind him as if expecting his parents to be standing there, before leaning in and whispering conspiratorially, "Whenever Mum cuts his hair, it grows back overnight."
Haruhi looked ready to faint in excitement at this, but Dudley wasn't finished. Bolstered by telling her this little thing, he searched his memory for another incident and came up with, "Oh, and one time he turned his teacher's wig blue."
Haruhi let out a high, short sort of squeal and grinned widely.
Encouraged by her reaction, Dudley paused for affect before saying with an air of finality, "And one time, when we were chasing him... poof! He was gone. They found him on the roof."
The girl was practically frothing at the mouth.
When she managed to get herself under control, she turned to Harry with fire in her eyes and said, quite calmly, "Show me."
The poor boy contemplated backing away slowly from the slightly-twitching girl, but then he remembered from the five seconds of nature show he'd been able to snatch before his uncle had changed the channel that running from bears ensured they'd chase after you. So he settled on telling the truth.
"I can't. It only happens when I'm angry, or scared," he confessed, and Haruhi looked a bit put out before she perked back up.
"Alright then. I'll just hang around you until it shows up," she decided, and Harry blinked in stunned shock, which was marginally better than Dudley's gape.
"You…you want to be around the freak?" the blob asked in astonishment, and Haruhi nodded enthusiastically.
"Yeah! I've been waiting my whole life for something weird, and he's it! So, Harry? We're friends now," she said matter-of-factly, going to his side and slinging an arm around Harry's shoulders, and Harry stared at her with pupils dilated in fear. This girl was insane!
It was Dudley's turn to blink, though, as this sentence registered in his mind; now this was something he could understand. He took a second to prepare himself before stepping forward menacingly, a sickening grin on his face as he said, "No, you're not."
Haruhi looked at him in confusion and restated slowly, as if talking to a small child (which, in intelligence, Dudley was ), "Yes. We are. Didn't you just hear me?"
Dudley frowned angrily and insisted, "No, you're not, because if you are I'll have to beat you up like the others."
Haruhi blinked, once, before ever-so-slowly, a devilish grin spread across her face. Birds took flight, deer scampered away, and Harry and Dudley nearly soiled themselves as Haruhi said lowly, "You don't want to do that."
Against all his sense of self-preservation screaming at him to run, run away and never look back, Dudley drew himself to his full height and asked pompously, "And why not?"
Instead of answering though, Haruhi demonstrated.
She pointed at Dudley dramatically, tears gathering in the corners of her eyes as her little face scrunched up in misery and fear. A few sniffles and sobs sprinkled in for effect leaked out, a mere hint at the torrent that was to come.
She started bawling.
"MOOOOMMYYYYY! The mean boy says he's gonna beat me up!" she wailed explosively, loud enough for the entire street to hear, thus causing her parents to rush over in record time and sweep her up.
"Oh honey, which one?" her mother cooed comfortingly, though this did nothing to stop Haruhi's noise. Harry, curled up on the ground with his hands over his ears, managed to crack an eye open to glance up at the girl.
"That one!" she cried pitiously as she pointed still at Dudley, who was too stupid to register the pain his ears were in.
"Don't look at me!" he protested, pointing at Harry, "I'm just trying to stop her from being friends with him!"
Well, this sentence proved to hurt to Dudley's defense more than help it, which he of course thought it would. It worked with his parents, so why shouldn't it work with these people?
Instead of dismissing the infraction as he thought she would, Haruhi's mother's face clouded with anger more intense than a double rainbow, making Harry screw his eyes shut in fear. Her husband would not save his relatives this time, it seemed.
"Where are your parents?" she asked demonically, voice gutteral and growling out, and when Dudley pointed behind him at the house, both parents strode past him quickly and rapped on the door at the same time.
A few moments later a severe-looking Petunia answered the door with a clipped, "What?" and though this behavior normally discouraged anybody from saying anything bad about anybody in Petunia's household (besides Harry, of course), Haruhi's parents was not so easily cowed.
In fact, they were rather loud in their protests.
"YOU LOCK YOUR NEPHEW IN A CUPBOARD, WHO IS OBVIOUSLY STARVED, AND YOUR SON THREATENS TO BEAT UP OUR DAUGHTER FOR WANTING TO BE FRIENDS WITH HIM! WE'RE CALLING THE POLICE!" Haruhi's mother shrieked as her father dialed the police on his mobile.
Petunia paled considerably and tried to stutter explanations to the furious pair, but they wouldn't be persuaded. Calming herself for a split second, Haruhi's mother turned to her daughter with a sweet smile on her face.
"Haruhi, honey, go take Harry to the park," she advised in a motherly tone, turning back to Petunia and screaming in her face, "I HAVE TO HAVE A TALK WITH THESE ANIMALS!"
"Honey, that was uncalled for," Haruhi's father reprimanded her, "You shouldn't insult animals like that."
And with that, he and his fuming wife waltzed into the Dursleys, the slamming door echoing down the street.
"Mommy's gonna take care of it," Haruhi said cheerily, all traces of her earlier crying gone, as Harry and Dudley twitched from the display and shouting. They were so unresponsive that Haruhi was driven to rolling her eyes and grasping Harry's wrist to pull him up and away from the house.
"I don't know where the park is, so you'll have to lead the way," she told him, but Harry merely gurgled.