Harry Potter blinked a few times, shaking himself awake, and yawned. "Yes, Uncle Vernon?"
"Get up! I won't have you lazing around with chores to do before school!"
"Yes, Uncle," Harry replied, flexing to get the cricks out, then put his glasses on and turned the handle of his cupboard door. It opened, and he crawled out before curling his tail into a coil to prevent it from bashing into anything.
His wings stayed furled as he made his way into the kitchen, and began making breakfast for the whole Dursley family.
Sometimes, Harry wondered if perhaps his home life was a little bit odd, but it was a little hard to tell. Yes, he hadn't met any other dragons, and he could vaguely remember having not been a dragon at some point, but he'd almost never run into anybody who was the vaguest bit surprised. So perhaps he was a special kind of normal which everyone was used to?
He certainly wasn't like the dragons in the stories in the school library, either. Those dragons were usually big and scary and liked carrying off Princesses and stealing gold, and when they didn't do that and were nice they still grew up very quickly – but Harry was almost eleven, and he was still smaller than his cousin who wasn't even a dragon. He was like those story-book dragons because he liked to live in a lair, perhaps, but it was only the cupboard under the stairs.
As he thought about what they might be doing in school today – it was very nearly the end of their time at primary school, and that meant they might be allowed to do what they wanted – Harry absently ate the eggshells from the fried eggs he'd made, then tipped the eggs onto plates along with rashers of bacon and slices of toast.
Balancing one plate on his back and the other two on his wings, he made his way into the dining room and slid all three onto the table.
"Hm," Aunt Petunia said. "Don't forget to do extra for Dudley, he's a growing boy."
Harry couldn't dispute that – his cousin had certainly been growing for years, mostly outwards. So he nodded, furling his wings in case he knocked anything over. "Yes, Aunt Petunia. Is it all right if I open another packet of bacon?"
"Of course you should open another packet if there's not enough in the open one!" she told him sharply. "Now hurry up!"
Really, Harry summarized – landing in the playground with a thump ten minutes before the school bell – he could have had it a lot worse.
Oh, sure, sometimes his cousin tried to bully him, but Harry had long since learned that there wasn't really anything they could do to him. Dragons were tough enough that other boys couldn't really hurt him, and if Dudley was being annoying Harry could just fly up onto the roof and wait out the lunch hour there. It got him shouted at, but that wasn't really a huge problem either.
He wasn't really all that hungry, or uncomfortable in general, and somewhere his aunt and uncle had got the idea that shutting him in his cupboard without any food was a punishment – but they didn't like doing the chores themselves, so he was never shut in there long enough to actually become hungry.
Besides, flying was cool, and he could do a lot of that.
As Harry had expected, the teacher only spent enough time to take the register before telling them that they could do whatever they wanted for the day.
For a lot of the other children, that meant flooding out into the grounds to play ball games or run around having fun or sit in the sun, but Harry didn't like doing that much. He was pretty good at it, but it felt unfair to play a ball game because nobody else had a tail, and he had his eye on something else anyway.
It was a book from a couple of years ago which had just arrived in the school library, and it had a dragon on it. So Harry took it out and started reading, resting his head on his hands while a wing turned the pages.
It started off talking about someone called 'Carrot', which was a strange name for a person to be called, who had grown up as part of a family of dwarves in the mountains but who had just found out he was actually something else. That sounded sort of familiar to Harry, and he wondered whether there was a big city of dragons somewhere, but before he could go very far down that line of thinking his cousin interrupted him.
"Hey, Harry," Dudley sniggered. "How come you're reading that book?"
"Why not?" Harry replied, putting a talon in the book to mark his place.
"'cause only Nobby No Mates read books when they could be outside having fun," one of Dudley's interchangeable friends contributed.
"There's someone in this book called Nobby," Harry replied, getting up and heading for the door. "He does have a friend, though."
Dudley tried to grab at the book, and Harry blocked his hand with a wing. He pushed the doors open, spread both wings, and took off with a single powerful flap before landing on the school roof.
Sighing, he turned over to get the full benefit of the summer sun on his wings and belly, and continued reading.
It was quite a funny book, really.
Harry was still thinking about the book as he flew home.
There had been at least two kinds of dragons in the book, perhaps three, but Harry was quite sure he wasn't like any of them. He certainly wasn't a swamp dragon, those were all smelly and full of chemicals and they kept exploding, and Harry hadn't exploded even once no matter what he ate.
The second kind of dragon was the noble dragon, and those sounded a bit more like it but Harry was quite sure he wasn't one of those either. They sounded quite nasty, but more importantly they were all very big, and Harry wasn't nearly big enough.
The third kind of dragon was the silliest of all, and Harry was fairly sure he wasn't one of those either. If he was, he'd have blown the house up and achieved orbit some time last Christmas when he ate all the leftover Brussels Sprouts.
Still, those were story book dragons, and he was a real dragon. It wouldn't be surprising if real dragons were a bit different – like how real people were different to people in storybooks. After all, writing about real things was boring.
When Harry arrived back home, Aunt Petunia barely gave him a glance before telling him to sort out the garden. So that was what Harry did, cutting the dead-heads off the flower bushes (and eating them) and trimming the hedge (by eating it).
It was one of his favourite chores, and he sometimes thought it was a bit of a pity that he didn't have that job in winter. The cold had never really bothered him, and nor had the heat, but plants grew more in the summer so there wasn't as much point doing the gardening in the winter.
That done, and with the whole garden looking pristine, Harry moved on to cleaning up the inside of the house. All the things that Dudley had dropped but somehow not broken went up into the smallest bedroom, which currently served as Dudley's overflow for his hoard – or, rather, his possessions, though Harry thought of it as a hoard and had consequently found himself feeling quite empathetic with his larger, less-reptilian cousin.
The things which had actually broken and which weren't repairable, Harry followed a scrupulous pattern with. He took them to his aunt, asked what he should do, and then – when she inevitably told him to throw them away – ate them.
Funny little electronic games were actually quite tasty, with all sorts of flavours, and even a wooden toy could be appetizing. It was probably a valuable supplement to his diet or something, though Harry had never seen a version of the Food Pyramid which applied to dragons so he wasn't quite sure.
Then it was time for dinner to be prepared, and Harry did a lot of that as well – fetching, carrying, stirring for long boring periods, chopping things up with the knife… it only made sense for him to do the chopping, because the knife was sharp and his skin was essentially impervious to damage with a stainless steel knife (Harry had tried an experiment when he was nine, to see if his talons could be trimmed) so he was less in danger than Aunt Petunia would be. He was also learning a lot about cooking, as well, which was nice – even if he didn't use it for himself, being able to eat pretty much anything he'd ever tried, it would be good to be able to provide food for more human friends in future.
That, then, was Harry's general routine. In the holidays there was less school and only the same amount of chores, which usually meant more flying practice; he was quite good at it now, and it was something he was sure other dragons practiced a lot as well so it would be good to stay in shape for it.