Disclaimer: They aren't mine and I'm not making any money.
Notes: This is for The Cute Little Safe House Retreat and takes place in that universe. As such, the characters can be all the ages they will be at once. If you haven't been there yet, go now!
Also, Harry and Draco are five, but Draco is older and Severus is seven.
Characters: Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Draco Malfoy
FB: If you like. Kcdove1013@aol.com
Harry blinked owlishly and looked around. Thirty seconds ago he'd been in his cupboard and now he was...somewhere else. He wondered if his aunt had decided that he hadn't done anything after all, but figured it was hopeless. His family hated him.
He knew they hated him because they always blamed him for things he couldn't have done and then they wouldn't let him eat and locked him away under the stairs with the spiders and sometimes forgot to leave the vent open so it got stuffy and hot and hard to breathe before someone remembered him. He was pretty sure that wherever he was, it wasn't because his aunt or uncle had brought him here.
He pushed his sleeves over his hands and carefully got to his feet. His pants were too large, as was the rest of his clothing, but this pair fit better than most. They'd been Dudley's last year and Harry was finally catching up with them. He pushed his glasses back up to where they were supposed to be and looked around the room again.
He was in a room with a lot of beds, a few windows and an open door. He noticed almost all the beds had stuffed toys on them and suddenly remembered the black stuffed doggie he'd seen in a second-hand store the other day when shopping with aunt Petunia. He'd asked so nicely for it, and she'd been buying Dudley things all day, but she'd said no and they'd gone home after that and she'd been angry and he hadn't been allowed to eat. He wandered over to a dark brown teddy-bear and looked around again. There was no one else in the room to tell him not to touch it or yell at him and drag him to a cupboard...
He carefully picked up the bear and stared at it a moment, almost sure it'd disappear or break apart in his hands. That's what aunt Petunia said would happen, anyway, and why she said she wouldn't buy him any toys or even let him play with Dudley's old ones.
Finally sure it wasn't going to fall apart simply because he'd picked it up, Harry gently cuddled the bear to his chest. It was sort of nice, having something soft and furry to hold.
Harry gasped, turning around quickly to see two boys standing in the door and quickly dropped the bear, scrambling around the nearest bed. Once he had a little distance between him and the door he calmed down. He hated boys, but maybe that wasn't true because he only knew Dudley and Piers because they hit him and pushed him and pulled his hair, so maybe he just hated them. But he'd stay clear of anyone else until he knew for sure.
Warily, he watched the boys walk forward, ready to bolt around or even under another bed to get away if they got too close.
"You shouldn't have dropped him." The taller of the boys said, and picked up the bear. Harry guessed he must've been at least seven, two years older than him. He had black hair and black eyes and a big nose and he was bigger than Harry, but he didn't sound angry.
"I'm sorry." He apologized softly anyway, and took a second to size up the other boy up.
A little shorter than the first boy, he was still about an inch taller than Harry. He had light blond hair like Harry had never seen before, and pretty blue eyes. He shifted a little so he could keep both of them in sight.
The dark haired boy spoke again. "I'm not angry with you, I was just telling you. I don't mind sharing." He held the bear out temptingly but Dudley had played this trick on him before. He'd hold out a toy and tell Harry he could play, if he wanted, and then either hit Harry once he was close enough or yell for his mum and tell her Harry had stolen his favorite toy, and then it was back to the cupboard for Harry, even though his aunt knew Harry had never stolen anything in his life.
Harry watched silently as the older boy frowned for a moment before he set the bear down on the bed, then pushed it in Harry's direction. "You can play with him. His name is Ultimus."
Harry's eyebrows folded together in confusion at the name but he quickly snatched the bear up before the other boy could grab it back. "Thanks." He said quickly, quietly.
"That's okay. My name is Severus. This is Draco." He gestured at the silent boy.
Harry bit his lip and remembered that he wasn't supposed to talk to strangers, but really, uncle Vernon had been talking to Dudley when he'd said that, so it must be ok for Harry. "I'm Harry." He whispered, looking down at the bear. He suddenly bit his lip. "I won't- I won't beak him, will I? If I hug him?"
"Oh. Good." He clutched the bear to his chest and yawned. He suddenly felt very sleepy.
"We won't hurt you." He looked at the blonde boy, Draco, in surprise and bit his lip. They hadn't hurt him, yet, true...and Dudley had never waited this long before springing whatever mean trick he was going to play...
Harry decided to compromise. He crawled up onto the bed, holding Ultimus by a leg, and then curled up at the end of the mattress, staring at the boys.
Draco looked at Severus and then they both climbed up onto the bed. Draco spoke again. "We're here 'cause our parents were mean."
"I don't have any parents. Mine're dead." Harry curled up a little tighter around Ultimus. "Will I have to go back? I don't want to go back..."
Severus shifted until he was half-sitting propped against the headboard. "Probably not. It's not just if your parents are mean, it's if..." He bit his lip and his hands started playing with the hem of his shirt. "...if something bad happened to you." He finally said, and stopped tugging on his shirt.
"Oh...like what?" Harry bit his lip, but he couldn't take back the question. Aunt Petunia hated questions. "Sorry." He apologized quickly and buried his face in Ultimus' tummy.
"For what?" Draco asked curiously, scooting closer to Severus and then curling up against his side. "My father was mean." He added softly and then ducked his face into Severus' stomach much as Harry was with Ultimus.
"Did he-" Harry peeked up from the bear. "Did he put you in a cupboard and not let you have dinner?"
Draco shook his head against Severus and spoke with his face still hidden. "Mostly he tried to make me hurt things and got angry and yelled when I wouldn't." Harry inched closer, clutching the bear and trying not to do anything that'd make anyone mad. He finally got close enough to curl up again at Severus' feet. "Uncle Vernon yelled, too. Aunt Petunia was the one that threw things."
Draco peeked to the side and Harry smiled shyly at him before he laid down and hid his face behind Severus' foot. "Did your daddy yell, too?" He asked softly, looking way up at Severus from the bed.
Severus shook his head. "No. I don't want to talk about it."
"Okay." Harry agreed quickly and hoped Severus wasn't angry at him for asking. He looked away and hunched over a little farther.
"We're s'posed to be taking a nap." Draco said, after lifting his head from Severus' stomach and curling up farther around the older boy. Severus wrapped an arm around Draco and cuddled him protectively.
"Oh..." Harry mumbled sadly, "Sorry for getting in your way." He crawled to the edge, but before he could climb off the bed, his shoulder was tugged on. He flinched a little, and hoped he hadn't made the boys angry. They were the nicest people he'd ever met out of his dreams. Severus moved from his shoulder to his hand and tugged him up to the top of the bed. "You can stay."
Harry looked up, eyes wide. "I- I can? You don't mind sharing with a...a freak like me?" He asked softly, but he was already crawling back to Severus before the older boy could change his mind. Harry carefully curled up into a small ball against Severus' side, arms wrapped protectively around Ultimus.
"'least there's no spiders..." He murmured against his own arm. He jumped a little when he felt something settle around him, but when he peeked back up, Severus was smiling sleepily at him. "No, and you're not a freak."
"Okay," he said softly. "If you say so, Sev'rus." He wriggled closer to the other boy, yawned and quickly fell asleep.