Written for kittyinaz’s June 2015 banner contest: Fairy Tales
Fairy tale: Cinderella
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy, Vernon Dursley, Severus Snape, Dudley Dursley, Claude Crane.
I do not own the original Fairy tale Cinderella in all it’s various forms nor do I own the rights to Disney’s Cinderella movie or the 1960 Jerry Lewis movie Cinderfella. I also do not own the rights to Southern Vampire Mysteries. Gee, if I owned all those rights I would be as rich as Eric Northman by now!
Warning: non-explicit child abuse and inference of sexual abuse.
It was the middle of October. The sky had been gray and overcast for what felt like weeks. The drizzly rain had been falling incessantly; never truly letting up, only changing the cadence on the steel roof of the not so modest cottage 17 year old Harry Potter lived in with his hateful uncle, his despised cousin and abusive godfather.
He was just turning the corner from his trip to the market onto their street, overloaded with bags and boxes, when he saw a carriage from the Royal house outside their cottage. Harry sighed and hurried up the street and around the back to the servant’s entrance, stumbling and slipping along the muddy path along the side of the cottage. He grimaced when the bags rustled and the box thumped as he put them down as gently as possible on the table. The noise would be sure to draw attention from the others, the last thing he really wanted.
“Potter!” His abusive Uncle Vernon bellowed, he never spoke, he bellowed no matter whom he was speaking to.
Harry scurried to present himself to his uncle and his company, not bothering to try to change his sodden clothes or dry his stringy wet hair since the longer he took the worse the beating would be later.
He moved quite nimbly for a gangly teenager and managed to present himself, head down and hands clasped behind his back before the bellow had finished echoing through the room. “Yes Uncle Vernon?”
“You’re a disgrace boy!” he bellowed, despite the fact Harry was less than half a meter in front of him, as he looked the boy over with a sneer on his lips. “You’re slow, dimwitted and rude,” he said as he kicked out, landing a blow on his nephew’s knee, causing him to fall to the floor, barely managing to catch himself with his hands before he fell face first in the ash bucket which was always sitting to the side of his uncle’s chair.
He heard the despised cousin Dudley snicker as he shoved Harry’s shoulder with is foot, causing him to plant his hands more firmly on the floor just in time for Severus, his godfather, to take a step forward and grind his foot into Harry’s left hand.
Harry wisely held in the cry that was trying to escape, instead simply staying where he was and gritting his teeth to help him bear the pain and humiliation.
He had seen the Royal Green of the Slytherin Royalty as he entered the room so he knew something big was coming up, most likely the annual Masquerade Ball on Hallowe’en.
Before he could gather himself Uncle Vernon bellowed, “Get us some of our best wine and be quick about it boy.”
As Harry straightened to do his uncle’s bidding one of the guests finally spoke up, “That will not be necessary Sir. We came to deliver the invitation to this year’s Ball and to tell you that this year all house occupants are expected to attend; the Prince is looking for his mate.”
Their heads whipped around and their eyes narrowed, trying to plan how best to put themselves forward and be chosen as the Prince’s mate. All except Harry who was shuffling back into the kitchen to get the requested wine, and the sparkling cider for Dudley.
As he poured the wine Harry thought about how nice it would be to attend a ball. To be decked out in finery, to dance and talk with people…he sighed. It would never happen; they would make sure of it.
Vernon, Dudley and Severus were all glaring at the door when he returned with their drinks. That meant only one thing: he handed each of them their goblet and bowed to each in turn before setting his tray on the table beside the only bare section of wall and stripped to his waist.
As he placed his hands against the wall in preparation for the punishment Vernon bellowed, “all of it boy!”
Harry groaned, earning himself an extra punishment, as he stripped bare and leaned against the wall.
“Ten from each of us for the embarrassment of your appearance I think,” Vernon bellowed as he looked around at his friend and his son who each nodded in agreement with an evil gleam in their eyes and a sneer on their lips.
“An extra five for making noise as he came in,” said Severus as he rubbed his hands together in glee.
A sharp blow landed on his kidney, “and that’s for giving me sparkling Cider. Again!” screamed Dudley. He really hated cider. He wanted to be grown and to be able to drink the wine but his Father forbade it until he turned 18; just a few more months.
As he lay on the cushions he was allowed as a bed, next to the cold empty hearth in the cold basement, underneath the thin blanket he was allowed as a cover Harry dreamed about the ball. All the courtiers in their suits and tuxedos and gowns, the music and food and drink…He sighed wistfully. He would never be allowed to go, not if they had anything to say about it.
Harry closed his eyes and tried to sleep but it was no use, he was too sore and he only had an hour until he had to be up again. His uncle had assigned an extra chore a day until after the ball. He claimed it was to make sure their clothes would be presentable but Harry knew it was so he would be too tired and downtrodden to even think about going, let alone actually attend.
Already he’d had to shine every pair of shoes in the cottage whether they had been worn recently or not.
By the time All Hallow’s Eve arrived poor Harry was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open in order to sew on already perfectly placed buttons, hunt down forgotten cuff links, tie ties and do their bidding until finally, at 6:00 pm sharp, their carriage arrived and was soon going back down the street, leaving Harry behind.
He smiled a very weary smile, happy to be alone for the time being, as he collapsed onto the bench in front of the fire. He rested his face in his hands and let the tears finally fall. They had not let him have any time to himself since the Ball was announced, not that he ever had much any way, so he had been unable to vent his frustrations.
“What’s got you so down in the dumps Harry?” a soft voice asked.
Poor Harry actually squeaked and fell backward off the bench in his fright.
“Wh…wh…Who are you?” he stuttered.
The being scowled at him, “I,” he said irritably, “am your Fairy Godfather.”
Harry stared at his ‘Fairy Godfather’ incredulously for a few moments before remembering that he was on the kitchen floor with his legs up on the bench, showing the creature everything. Harry scrambled to his feet, still watching the being and trying to figure out just how cruel his uncle, cousin and godfather truly were. This sounded just like something they would do.
He had heard of Fairy Godmothers before but Godfathers? Harry shook his head to try and clear it but he was just too tired to be able to think clearly.
“If you’re my Fairy Godfather why have you not shown up before now?” he asked, sounding like he didn’t believe the fellow at all. After all, he had been used and abused most of his life; there were plenty of times before now when he could have stepped in and stopped what was happening before it got so bad.
The fairy snorted derisively, “If I stepped in every time you got in trouble I’d never get anything else done.”
“If you were any kind of Fairy Godfather I wouldn’t have been here in the first place!” Prat he thought. “What’s your name then?”
The creature smiled, showing a mouthful of very sharp teeth, “I am Claude.” He sounded all high and mighty, like he thought he was better than everyone else.
Harry laughed out loud; the first full belly laugh he had had since he had been pulled from school. “Claude? Claude! I thought fairies had cutsey names like Tinkerbelle or manly names like Samuel or Goliath! But Claude?!” Harry bent over, holding his stomach, he was laughing so hard.
When he finally managed to quiet his laughter he took a step forward and clapped Claude on the shoulder, “Thanks for the laugh mate but as you can see,” he waved his hand at the waiting dishes and mess the others had left for him to clean up, “I have plenty to keep me busy until they come back so having a conversation with an imaginary being, amusing as it has been, is not on my list of chores for the evening.”
Claude smiled toothily at him again, “I am here to grant your wish young sir so the sooner we can get about my business the sooner I can be out of yours.”
Harry’s mouth hung agape; grant a wish? He hadn’t wished for anything outside of the ordinary recently. Had he?
“Oh yes you have Harry. You are going to that ball tonight. You will enjoy yourself, you will get your fill of food and drink and as long as you are back here before the stroke of midnight your uncle will never know.”
Harry just stood there and blinked at Claude for several long minutes, “I can’t go to a ball! I’m wearing the only clothes I own and how will I get there? Fly?” He snorted. They lived at one edge of the large city and the Prince lived at the far edge it would take him most of the allotted time to get there, leaving absolutely no time to get back before Uncle Vernon discovered his disappearance.
Claude produced something that looked suspiciously like a stick and waved it in the air before him and muttered something under his breath. In less time than the blink of an eye Harry’s rags had been turned into a beautiful black tuxedo with white shirt, cuff links and shiny black shoes!
Harry was pleased with what he could see of his clothing but, “who’s going to clean up the mess then? Do I have house elves that will magically appear and do it all for me?” he scoffed. Claude nodded and several cracks could be heard throughout the cottage and some very short, squat, ugly things appeared, “Young Master, we are Dobby, Winky and Kreacher, sent here at the behest of Himself to do your bidding for the evening. We can see there is plenty to keep us occupied while you are busy elsewhere Master so go and enjoy your evening.” With those words the house elves turned and went about cleaning the kitchen and dishes as though Harry and Claude weren’t standing in the same room with them.
Harry sank wearily down onto the bench, head in his hands, “I’m so very tired Claude, so tired…” his words trailed off as if even forcing the air from his lungs in order to voice his thoughts was too much for him to handle.
Claude stepped forward and knelt down in front of Harry and pulled him into a hug. If any had been watching they would have seen a slight glow around the two of them as Claude healed Harry’s physical body and relieved the exhaustion that comes with physical and emotional abuse. Just before he got up Claude kissed Harry lightly on the lips.
Harry looked sharply at Claude, a slight blush adding colour to his wan cheeks, before his lips quirked up in a small smile. “Did you just kiss me Claude?”
Claude grinned unashamedly, “Yes and no.”
He chuckled at the confused look on Harry’s face, “Yes, I kissed you but it isn’t what you think. In addition to enjoying the touch and admiration from others we can temporarily heal whatever ails a person by simply breathing a bit of our own life force into them and that’s what I just did.
With my touch I healed your physical body and relieved your exhaustion. With my kiss I gave you a bit of my own vitality so you’ll be able to make it through the rest of the night.”
Harry’s mouth opened but only a slight breathy ‘ohhhhhhhh’ came out. “Do you not feel better Harry Potter?”
Harry took stock of himself, moving and doing an internal check, “I guess I do Claude, thank you. It’s wonderful to feel even the slightest bit normal even if it is only temporary.” He didn’t look as happy as he was implying though, he would almost rather have stayed sore and tired than to suddenly feel so wonderful then have to go back to the way things were.
“Well, come on then! It’s time to get you to the ball!” Claude exclaimed. If there was anything he liked more than sex it was anything shiny and a ball was bound to have plenty of shiny. He drug Harry outside and stopped abruptly, causing Harry to crash into him.
Harry looked at Claude, slightly dazed. Looking around the outside of the cottage Harry suddenly smiled at Claude’s oversight, “How am I going to get there Claude? I don’t drive and Uncle Vernon doesn’t have a car any way.”
Claude groaned as he realized how much of a mess this assignment was. He looked around at the surrounding area and finally saw something he thought he would be able to use and pointed his wand at it, flicked the wand, muttered something under his breath and suddenly the tin can morphed into a limousine. He looked back at Harry, grinning, but Harry was scowling. “I just told you…”
“We don’t have time for your bad attitude Harry!” Claude waved his wand at an innocent mouse and it turned into a chauffeur in full regalia just as suddenly as the tin can had morphed into a limousine! “Happy now?” he demanded.
Harry just nodded his head, dumbfounded.
“Good.” Claude grabbed Harry’s arm again and practically shoved him into the back of the limo. “Remember, you must be back here by the stroke of midnight,” he said as he faded from view.
The ride to the ball was new and exciting for Harry. Not only was this his first time in any sort of vehicle; it was the first time since he’d been dumped on his Uncle’s doorstep 16 years before that he’d been beyond the market. Everything was so bright and colourful.
Sooner than he could have hoped for Harry was ascending the steps into the Slytherin Palace and trying to quiet the butterflies in his stomach. He had never seen anything so posh!
He could hear the music as he approached the doors and once they were opened his butterflies became birds of prey! So many people! He tried to turn around and go back, to get out of sight but people were coming in right behind him so he hurried inside and found a nice quiet corner so he could watch everything; vowing to remember every moment so he could relive it in the years to come.
His eyes were roaming everywhere, taking in everything. Even when he spotted his uncle it couldn’t quell what he was feeling. Vernon didn’t know he was there and Harry planned to be back home in plenty of time so he would never know his nephew had even been there.
Eventually the tantalizing scents wafting over from the buffet table became too much of a temptation so Harry ventured out of his hiding spot and wandered over. Roast mutton, roast pork, roast beef, grilled vegetables, baked or roast potatoes with juice, water or wine to drink.
Finally he couldn’t take it any more and heaped a plate high with food and went back to his hiding spot to eat it all. It didn’t take long though for someone to find him.
Harry piled a plate high with food then went back to his hiding spot to enjoy his meal in the relative peace and quiet of the alcove he had been using.
A pale young man with a pointy face, almost white blond hair and wearing the colours of Slytherin Royalty wedged himself into the alcove behind the bust of Salazar Slytherin with Harry.
“I’m glad to see you’re enjoying yourself,” the young man said with a smile.
Harry swallowed his mouthful of roast pork and stuttered out, “Thank you Sir.” He looked away for a moment, scanning the crowd. It wouldn’t do to have his uncle hear him.
“I despise these things!” the young man exclaimed. “My father is expecting me to choose my mate tonight. He says I’m old enough to take over the Slytherin mantle now.” He did not look very pleased at the prospect of finding a mate or taking over the mantle.
“You’re the prince?” Harry whispered.
The young man nodded, “Unfortunately. I never wanted any of this.” He swept his arm out toward the crowd in the room. “I want a chance to be a teenager, to learn who I am but Father won’t hear of it,” he sighed.
Harry could empathize. He would love to have a normal life, to be able to come and go as he pleased, have friends, travel, “I know what you mean,” he said with a sad look in his eyes and he took a bite of roast potato.
The young man stuck his hand out, “I’m Draco Malfoy, Prince of Slytherin and heir apparent.” He didn’t sound at all proud of his place in life. He actually sounded rather resentful.
“Harry Potter,” he said shyly as he shook Draco’s hand.
They sat there in companionable silence as they watched the dancers and Harry finished eating.
Draco kept watching Harry out of the corner of his eye. He liked the looks of the young man and the sadness in his eyes sang to something in his own soul; telling him Harry could be worthy of him if he would only take the time to get to know him. To that end Draco stood and offered Harry his hand, “Would you care to dance?”
Harry looked shocked! He had never danced in his life! When he looked out to the floor his doubts began eating away at him, “Are you sure Mr. Malfoy?” he asked uncertainly. “It’s men and women dancing together. At least I think that’s how it’s done.”
Draco could hear the doubt and uncertainty in Harry’s voice, “usually, yes but see,” he said as he pointed to other couples on the dance floor, “there are other male and female couples dancing as well. Please?” That one word, please, conveyed everything Harry needed to know as he took Draco’s hand and was led to the dance floor.
It only took a few beats of the music for talk to all but stop and all eyes to turn to them, causing Harry’s cheeks to blush the most beautiful shade of pink, standing out in stark contrast to his otherwise pale skin, white shirt and black tuxedo.
He faltered for a few steps before Draco pulled Harry closer to him and placed their hands correctly, leading Harry in a waltz which left both of them breathless with anticipation of the next dance and with the nearness of the other.
The other party goers ogled the couple for a few beats then turned back to what they had been doing before the unusual spectacle of the Prince dancing with an unknown partner.
Harry was having a perfectly lovely time, even laying his head on Draco’s shoulder for most of the fourth song they danced to when he heard the gong of the clock in the tower start to chime the witching hour. He stepped back hurriedly, looking panicked. His mind was a whirl of unpleasant thoughts of what would happen when his uncle found out what had happened and where he had spent the evening.
He turned and ran for the grand entrance, ignoring the blatant stares and the calls of the prince for him to stop, to tell him what was wrong, what he had done to make the young man rush away as he was.
The clock was chiming for the sixth time as he reached the doors and his heart plummeted into his feet as he realized he would never make it home in time. His vision went blurry as he realized his predicament and tears threatened to fall.
Just as he reached forward to throw the door open the prince reached him and grabbed his elbow, “Please Harry, what did I do wrong?”
“N…n…Nothing Sir. It is I who was wrong. Please, I must leave!” His voice grew more and more panicked with each gong of the tower clock; it was already at seven!
Harry jerked his elbow from Draco’s grasp and flung the door open, dashing through it and down the stairs as fast as his feet would carry him, all the while feeling the magic which had made the evening possible quickly evaporating and leaving him just plain Harry, the scullery maid and punching bag.
He was dashing down the stairs as his clothing started to revert to the rags he normally wore, leaving behind one solitary shoe and a confused and heartbroken prince as he ran for the limousine, hoping it would stay a limousine long enough to get him home.
“Please, take me home!” he panted as he slammed the door and tried to catch his breath.
The limo pulled smoothly away from the curb. With each kilometer between him and Draco Harry slowly calmed down and hoped he would make it home before Uncle Vernon, Dudley and Severus.
He did make it, with barely time to spare. When he finally thought to look at his driver he smiled, “Thank you Claude. I had a wonderful time but please, don’t ever do that again! It was nerve wracking!”
Claude simply winked and faded from view as the limousine reverted back to a tin can and Harry rushed through the servant’s door and stopped short, marvelling at what the house elves had managed to get done during his absence. The place was immaculate! He knew he would be expected to keep the place up to those standards from there on in but he could live with that since he now had that one night of perfection to dream about.
The days that followed were not easy. Harry had been correct, they did expect him to keep the house immaculate now since he had proven that it was possible and he did try but he was only one person while his helpers had been three but he had his night of perfection so he took what came and kept on going.
One week after the ball Harry was surprised to see the royal carriage in front of the cottage again; he couldn’t fathom why it was there though since the Hallowe’en ball was over for another year and it wasn’t time yet for the Christmas ball invitations to be sent out. He slipped in through the kitchen door as quietly as possible, putting his purchases down on the table and filling goblets with the best wine and sparkling cider, putting them on a tray and calmly walking out to the sitting room to serve the guests since he knew none of the others would have lowered themselves to offer refreshments, let alone actually be useful enough to pour even a glass of water.
He stopped short in the doorway at the strange spectacle before him. The prince himself was on his knee before Uncle Vernon, trying to squeeze his too big foot into the shoe Harry had been wearing the night of the ball!
Harry’s breath caught in his throat. Had he really made that much of an impression?
Uncle Vernon was swearing vehemently as he tried to squeeze his foot into the too small shoe but eventually had to give it up; his foot would not go into the shoe.
Severus was next. He took the seat where Vernon had been sitting and placed his foot up on the stool, looking at the shoe with trepidation. His foot was even bigger than Vernon’s but he still tried. He even tried a shoehorn to no avail.
Dudley, being the spoiled brat he was was certain his foot would fit and tried cramming his too fat foot into the shoe over and over again but, alas, his foot didn’t fit either. With a resigned sigh he got up off the chair and sent a glare Harry’s way: He wasn’t supposed to have returned yet.
The Prince and his two companions glanced up at him and waved him forward. “Wh..wh..what’s going on,” he stammered as he took the first step toward his future.
Harry stopped after that first step and looked around the room at the faces of his tormentors. Uncle Vernon looked fit to be tied. Harry grinned mentally at that image. Vernon would most certainly throw a fit just for the suggestion that Harry be allowed any freedoms, much less to sit down and try on something as mundane as a shoe.
Harry wasn’t disappointed, “What! He wasn’t even there that night! He was here. Cleaning, All night!” The prince and his companions glanced at each other; they had the census results from the last voting period and only three persons had been registered as living at 4 Privet Drive, two of whom were old enough to vote.
The companions, henchmen, guards, constables advanced on the uncle, eyes gleaming with the realization that they had an opportunity to pay some back for the people. Vernon backed away, panic written on his face and in his stance, quickly running out of room as his back hit the wall.
Vernon looked at the rest of the room’s occupants: Harry was smiling, happy to see his tormentor getting even a fraction of his own back. He was still scared inside that he would be punished for something that wasn’t his fault that night but, for the moment, he was happy.
The despised bully Dudley was frozen in place, too terrified to move or speak. His eyes held the certain knowledge that he would be next but he was powerless to do anything about it.
Severus. Severus was nowhere to be seen, having slipped out of the room as soon as everyone’s attention was focused on Vernon.
The prince looked smug, like he knew something the others didn’t; he probably did.
He looked lovingly at Harry and walked up to him, took the tray and set it aside and led Harry to the most comfortable chair in the room where he knelt in front of his kinsman and slipped the shoe onto the foot of the man he wanted to be his.
As soon as the shoe was in place something strange and magical happened. The air around Harry shimmered, he sat up much straighter, his clothes morphed themselves into something much more appropriate and comfortable, his aches and pains disappeared and the prince? Well, the prince smiled at him and winked–the most un-royalty-like thing in Harry’s opinion.
Prince Draco stood and turned to the others in the room, “It is by Royal Decree that Harry James Potter be returned to his family. Arrest warrants have been issued for Vernon Dursley and Severus Snape and young Dudley will go to a detention center until family can be found and come gather him.”
Harry gasped and felt the tears he had held in for far too long start trailing down his face.
Draco pulled him from his seat and put an arm over his shoulders, “Come, there is a whole new life waiting for you.”