Harry licked the blood off his lip and smiled sadly with red stained teeth. “Sorry babies, no meat for dinner tonight.”
The six tiny baby bunnies stared at him with pink eyes. One hopped closer and started to lick at the blood dripping down his arm. When he didn’t push it away, the others followed. Harry ran a finger down each of their little backs. They were all so soft, with sleek black fur that shone different colours when the light touched it – a little bit like oil on water. He had found them huddled under Aunt Petunia’s rose bushes a few days ago. They must have run away from their owner, but Harry didn’t think anyone was looking for them. There hadn’t been any missing bunny posters or anything.
When one of the bunnies – the Ringleader, Harry thought of him as, with more of a green tint to his fur than the others – started climbing up his shirt in search of more blood, Harry pulled him away. “No, you’ve had enough.” They had all had enough – Harry was starting to feel a little lightheaded.
The bunnies’ nest was made out of a stolen towel and a pair of too-big jeans. It was tucked into the smallest corner of the cupboard, where the stairs met the floor. For extra protection, Harry had put all the chemical bodies in front of it like a wall. Now that the bunnies were relatively fed, he started to sit them one by one in the nest.
“Goodnight Ringleader,” he said to the green tinted kit.
“Goodnight Stormy,” to the fluffiest kit with a silvery tint to its’ fur.
“Goodnight lil’ Fighter,” to the kit missing part of one ear – Harry was pretty sure it had gotten into a fight before he’d found them.
“Goodnight Demon,” to the red tinted kit with deeper pink eyes than the others.
“Goodnight Shadow,” to the biggest kit. It was always following the others. More than once, Harry had to stop it from following him out of the cupboard.
“Goodnight Witchy,” to the darkest kit. It had an almost purple sheen to its fur, but it was also the quietest and most sneaky. Harry would be doing his chores, and suddenly find Witchy in his pocket, or climbing out of his shoes, or even in his hair. (If Harry was being completely honest, out of all the kits, Witchy was his favourite)
He didn’t want to get too attached to the kits – they couldn’t live in his cupboard forever – but he couldn’t help it. They were the closest thing he’d ever had to pets, or friends, in the seven years of his life.
Once they had all settled down in their nest, Harry started to wrap his wounds. Uncle Vernon had lost a drill deal of some kind today and blamed it on Harry and his freakishness. He hadn’t pulled out his belt, but he did accidently break a plate and then shoved Harry down on top of it, so there were pieces of glass ground into his back. He didn’t wince when he pulled them out. Even though Uncle Vernon couldn’t see him, he refused to react. To show that it hurt.
That night, curled up on his cot, Harry dreamed about the day when he would get Uncle Vernon back for every hit, every cut, every stripe of pain from his belt. In his sleep, Harry smiled.
As it turned out, that day came sooner than he thought.
It was a week later. Harry had just finished cooking breakfast for the Dursleys, painfully aware of the three raw sausages in his pocket. Like him, the bunnies preferred their meat rare, and they were getting hungry. Their last proper meal had been a couple of bacon rashers the day before last. As the Dursley’s ate, Harry started on the dishes. If he got them done fast enough, he’d have a few minutes of peace in his cupboard with the kits before chores.
Unfortunately, Dudley had not long since learned how to count. And he was very much aware of the fact that the sausage package held twelve sausages, not nine. “Where are my sausages!?” He cried out with both chubby hands banging at the table. “I want more sausages!”
Aunt Petunia immediately surged out of her chair to comfort him. “What’s wrong with your sausages, baby? Tell mummy what’s wrong.”
“There-there-there’s only nine sausages! There’s meant to be twelve!” Dudley screamed out at the top of his lungs.
Both Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon turned to look at the sausage plate. Indeed, there were only nine.
“BOY!” Uncle Vernon bellowed, “What the hell do you think you’re playing at?!”
Harry turned around at the sink, hand closing around the last dirty knife. “I don’t know, Uncle Vernon.”
The man’s face went red, and then purple. “Where are all the sausages?!”
Burning a hole in my pocket, Harry thought hysterically. He never should have tried to take the sausages – too many, too early, too much. He was just considering the merits of handing them over, maybe it would lessen his punishment, when a large hand connected with the side of his head.
Harry stumbled away from the sink, hand still clutching that knife, only to be sent to the floor by another blow. Uncle Vernon stood over him. He looked so much bigger from down here, completely blocking the light from the window, casting his face into shadow.
“How dare you steal from us! We took you in after your worthless parents went and got themselves killed, and this is how you repay us? Stealing food from your own family?! You greedy, ungrateful brat!”
With every insult, Uncle Vernon took another swing at Harry, kicking him along the ground until his was a huddled ball against the wall. Harry struggled to breathe. His ribs were creaking. His wrist was on fire. In his other hand, fingers curled around metal.
“I should send you to an orphanage, see how you like that. Do you know what they do to thieving little brats like you? They –”
Whatever they were going to do to him Harry didn’t know. He was too busy twisting his hand, sending the knife blade deeper into the meat of Uncle Vernon’s leg. The larger man had his mouth open in a silent scream, stumbling away from the attack. Blood ran thickly down his leg as Harry pulled the knife out.
Aunt Petunia hadn’t noticed. “Vernon, what –”
Harry stood up, unnoticed. His ribs didn’t seem to hurt as much. Reaching out, he grabbed another knife from the knife block. This one was getting slippery.
Aunt Petunia turned to him with a horrified look on her face. “What are you doing?!”
Harry grinned, showing off every bloodied tooth. “I’m getting even Aunty.” He had finally had enough.
She stumbled back a step. Her mouth opened, then closed. Eyes flicked to where the phone was sitting on the hook. Harry’s grin grew wider. “Go ahead Aunty. The neighbours are going to love seeing all the policemen here. I can show everyone my cupboard. Or the belt.”
Apparently, the threat of having all the freakishness Aunt Petunia tried so hard to hide revealed to the neighbourhood wasn’t enough to stop her from stumbling towards the phone.
The screams of her child was.
Harry stepped to the side to see Dudley, still sitting at the table, a half-eaten egg in one hand, writhing in pain as four tiny black blurs darted across his body. One of them – Harry thought it was Ringleader – stopped on his neck and bit down. Blood sprayed across the room. Some of it got into Aunt Petunia’s wide open mouth.
Then there was another scream – Uncle Vernon thrashed as another two bunnies crawled up his body. Demon started to bite at his throat, stopping the screams. Witchy darted under his shirt, where a small lump reached his armpit. Red grew in a wide stain.
Aunt Petunia slowly turned to face him. It was like all the blood had been drained from her body. “What – what – what –”
There was a grin. A flash of sunlight off silver. Blood sprayed the kitchen splashback.
Later, Harry was watched by six attentive bunnies as he carefully carved up the Dursleys. “It’s not really that much different from the chicken Aunt Petunia had me doing last year,” he explained, “Or the goose at Christmas. It’s just harder cause Uncle Vernon’s so fat.”
Aunt Petunia had already been put into the garbage bin Harry had emptied earlier. “I don’t know how I’m going to get rid of them,” Harry grunted as he finally cut through Uncle Vernon’s rib cage. “Maybe I’ll just leave them here.”
“Perhaps I can help you with that, little one,” A smoky voice drawled. Harry shot up, throwing one of the smaller knives towards the woman standing in the doorway. A touch of freakishness helped it fly true.
She caught it. “Very nice shot, little one.” She didn’t seem to mind the stickiness of the handle, or the blood that dripped down onto her fine dress. It was black anyway, so it’s not like blood showed.
“Who are you? How did you get in here?” Harry was sure he’d locked the front door after emptying the garbage bin.
“A locked door doesn’t keep out an Addams for very long.” Blood red lips stretched out into a razor thin smile. “And I am Morticia. I have come for my family’s rabbits.”
Said bunnies were climbing Harry’s legs. Witchy hid in his hair, with Shadow following right behind. Ringleader stood on one shoulder. Demon, lil’ Fighter and Stormy cuddled into his arm, which he’d automatically curled around them.
“Oh. They belong to you?” Harry wasn’t sure how to feel. It was good that their owner had come to find them, but he’d miss them. They were his friends.
“Not to me personally. The Caerbennog rabbits have been familiars of the Addams for centuries. Their mother is quite attached to mine, and when her kits went missing, I came to find them.” Morticia seemed to only take one step but managed to cross the entire kitchen. Harry looked up at her.
“You have done marvellous work on these, little one,” she remarked, kneeling down beside the partially dismembered Uncle Vernon.
“I’m not little one,” Harry said quietly, “My name’s Harry.”
“Harry… Thank you for taking care of the kits. They seem to have grown up very nicely in you care.”
They were a bit bigger, Harry noticed. When he first found them, he could fit three of them in one hand. Now, they were each the size of his hand, with much thicker fur. “I just took care of them, Miss Morticia.” Harry shifted back a step and whimpered. His ribs were starting to hurt again – or rather, he was noticing his ribs again. He kicked at Uncle Vernon’s leg with a scowl.
Morticia raised a thin eyebrow. “Are you alright Harry?”
He went to nod, to lie, because she was an adult and no adult has ever been good to him, but lil’ Fighter kicked out at his ribs, making him hiss.
Something in Morticia’s face went dark and terrifying, as she brushed a hand across his face. He’d forgotten that Uncle Vernon had hit him.
“Little one, did they hurt you?”
“Do you want to come with me, Harry? The kits have become quite attached to you – you would be welcome in my home.”
“Can I – can I grab their nest first?” He whispered. His wrist was protesting the firm hold he had on the knife, so he let it drop.
“Of course you can. Collect all your belongings.”
Morticia followed him to the cupboard, where he had to put down the kits so he could crawl inside. When he emerged with the nest wrapped up in his only clan shirt and pants, she had returned to the kitchen. There were squelching noises, but when she stepped out, there was no blood. “Is that everything, little one?” He hands, when they clasped his, were ice cold and soft.
He glanced back. “Just one more thing…” It was hidden inside one of the stairs, but with his ribs, and his wrist, getting it out was going to hurt. Thankfully, he didn’t have to. The kits hopped out, Shadow, Demon and Witchy pulling a tattered sketchbook with them. Harry smiled, but couldn’t help the tears that started to fall down his cheek. That was his most prized possession – Harry had rescued it from the bin when Dudley threw it out, and it had since been used almost to capacity. Morticia picked it up carefully, Demon climbing her dress and hiding under the fall of her hair.
“You are very skilled,” Morticia murmured, slowly flicking through the pages. Harry held the nest bundle closer to his chest.
She looked up and smiled that razor thin smile. “Come, my husband will be delighted to meet you. Do you have any family?”
Harry glanced to the side. He couldn’t see their bodies anymore, and the blood was gone. “Just the Dursleys. My parents are dead.”
A cold arm wrapped around his shoulders. When Harry dared to lean in a little, it was like being cradled by a marble statue – cold, unyielding, sturdy, supportive. “Hmm. Harry… how does Harrier Addams sound?”