Harry Potter fanfiction by Jill D. Weber/Jelsemium
characters copyrighted by J. K. Rowling and used without permission or intent
to make a profit
to David Gordon Rowling Murray
to Seldes Katne, my beta
One: Cat Morning
Harry Potter stopped at the foot of
the stair and debated the wisdom of bolting back to his room. He’d thought he’d
risen early enough to avoid the Dursleys, but he could hear Aunt Petunia in the
kitchen, crooning in that saccharine way that meant she was talking to Dudley.
Harry could not imagine what apocalyptic phenomenon could get his cousin out of
bed at six o’clock on a muggy July morning, but whatever it was, the crack of
dawn was too early to deal with it. He refused to contemplate the end of the world
while most of said world was still asleep.
He was just about to beat a retreat
when Aunt Petunia’s actual words became clearer. “Now little missy had better
finish her breakfast before Vernon and Duddy-kins get
up for breakfast.” Harry cocked his head. So, who was ‘Little Missy’ and why
did she have to eat before Uncle Vernon and Dudley got up? Curiosity piqued,
Harry tightened the belt of his colorless, shapeless dressing gown, and moved
silently down the hall. He paused, then gently pushed
the door open.
Aunt Petunia was talking to a
calico cat. Harry removed his glasses, rubbed them, rubbed his eyes, and then
resettled the glasses on his nose. Aunt Petunia’s companion remained a cat.
Harry couldn’t believe that his Aunt Petunia would do something so human as to
own a pet. Apparently the age of miracles was not yet over. Harry snorted and
turned to go back to his room. He didn’t think Aunt Petunia would appreciate
being spied on.
“BOY!” Uncle Vernon’s bellow caused
Harry to jump backward and fall against the door. Vernon’s meaty fist grabbed
the front of Harry’s robe and jerked him forward. “Fix my breakfast, you
good-for-nothing lay-about! I have to get in early
today.” He shoved Harry through the door.
Harry went sprawling onto the linoleum
that he had so vigorously scrubbed the previous day. Petunia Evans Dursley
leaped to her feet with a small shriek. The cat shrieked and leaped from her
lap. Then it bounded up to the kitchen counter, sending crockery crashing to
“What the devil…?” Vernon
sputtered. Then he spotted the cat. “What the devil is that CREATURE doing in
my house??” he roared. “Petunia, you know I’m allergic!”
“I… I didn’t…” Petunia, on the
verge of saying she hadn’t known Vernon was awake, trailed off.
Vernon put his own interpretation
on the words. “BOY!” as Harry gained his feet, he
aimed a swat at Harry’s head. “How dare you bring a filthy cat into my house!” His face was beginning to take on that peculiar
shade of puce it always did when he had to deal with Harry.
Harry ducked easily. “That’s not…”
he cut off his denial mid-sentence at Petunia’s pleading glance. He was never
sure why afterward. Perhaps because it was the first time his mother’s sister
had ever looked at him with anything besides loathing. Besides, Vernon wouldn’t
believe him anyway.
“That’s not what, Boy?”
Harry hunted around for a lie that
his uncle might believe. “It’s not… a cat.” he finished.
“WHAT!” Vernon cried. “Do you think
I don’t know…”
“What is it, then?” Petunia
blurted. “One of those nasty creatures like my sister had? A…” Now it was
Petunia’s turn to come up with some sort of believable lie. “A… pixie, was
“Yes, Aunt Petunia,” Harry said.
“It’s a pixie.” Of course, the calico cat looked nothing like a pixie, but
Vernon wouldn’t know that.
The color drained out of Vernon’s
face. For a moment, Harry wondered if he was going to have a heart attack. Then
Vernon got a grip on himself and the front of Harry’s ratty robe. “Boy, that…
THING had better be out of my house by the time I get back… or… or… it’s back
to the cupboard with you!” Then he stormed out of the house, muttering about
getting breakfast on the road.
Harry let out a sigh of relief and
adjusted his robe.
Now it was Harry’s turn to feel
like he was going to have a heart attack. He gaped at his aunt for several
minutes; never in fourteen years with the
Dursleys had he heard those words go from her mouth to his ears. “Excuse me?”
he said, voice somewhat higher than it had been five minutes ago. “Did you just
It was a ridiculous thing to say,
but Petunia actually looked abashed. For a long moment, she didn’t say
anything. “I’ve always wanted a cat,” she said. “But my parents were allergic,
and so are your uncle and cousin. I was hoping…” She shook her head and sighed.
“Obviously, I can’t keep her. My family has to come first. But where can we
“How about Mrs.
Petunia sighed. “I got her from Mrs.
Figg. Somebody gave it to her, but she said that Missy and her cats didn’t get
along. She’s too old to have to worry about breaking up cat fights.”
“Erm, I guess I could send her to
one of my friends,” Harry said. “Hedwig has carried heavier packages.”
Now it was Petunia’s turn to be
pushed the brink of cardiac arrest. “You wouldn’t let that creature eat Missy?”
Harry gave her a disgusted look.
“Of course, she wouldn’t. Hedwig’s not a creature! She’s my friend!”
They glared at each other, then looked away. There was a long silence. Suddenly, they
were both tired of this game, but neither really knew how to end it, nor what
to replace it with.
“How will your owl carry her
without hurting her?” Petunia asked finally.
“I have no idea,” Harry confessed.
That was followed by another long silence.
“If you clean up the kitchen and
fix Dudley’s breakfast, I’ll buy a cat carrier when I do the shopping,” Petunia
“Deal,” Harry agreed.
Petunia returned that afternoon
with a soft-sided cat carrier. Her Duddydums was at
the cinema with his friends, so he wouldn’t see his mother consorting with the
enemy. Petunia’s mouth thinned as she thought about her disgraceful behavior
that morning. Imagine, she’d actually felt kindly toward that unnatural
brat of her sister’s! She marched upstairs to the bedroom they’d been forced to
let Potter use and barged in without knocking. For the second time that day,
she almost had a heart attack.
Potter was sitting at Dudley’s
spare desk, stroking Little Missy and writing something with a feather. Little
Missy, that traitor, was rubbing her head against Potter’s hand, trying to get
his full attention. The white owl was watching them benignly. Petunia snorted.
Like an owl could have benign emotions.
Two pairs of jade green eyes and
one pair of autumn gold eyes turned toward her.
“Good, you got it,” Potter said. He
stood. “I was just writing to Mrs. Weasley. She’s the red-headed woman you’ve
seen at the train station.”
Petunia snorted again. “You think
she’ll take Little Missy in?” she asked, hardening her heart. The cat obviously
liked that freakish boy. She’d probably be just as happy with the freak family.
Stupid to get attached to an animal, especially something as
vaguely unnatural as a cat. She held out the cat carrier. “You’re sure
the owl can carry her?” she added.
The owl hooted scornfully. (No,
animals cannot feel scorn, Petunia Evans Dursley. That was just a fancy of your
“Yes, Aunt Petunia,” Harry said.
“Hedwig can easily carry a small cat like Pixie. Mrs. Weasley will be sure to
find a home for her.” A note of irony entered his eyes and voice. “Molly
Weasley is very kind to strays, as I should know.”
Petunia felt a flash of shame, then she stifled that emotion. It wasn’t her fault that her freak
of a sister had got herself blown up! She dropped the cat carrier. “Good, and you can consider the cat carrier your birthday AND
Christmas present this year.” She stormed out of the room without a backward look.
She blinked a few times, but refused to let any liquid stream from her eyes.
She had no time for cats, owls or freaks. She had work
“Ginny? Ginny, dear! You have an
Ginny and Ron exchanged incredulous
looks. “I do? From who?” she called as she ran down
ickle Ginny-kins is a poet!” Ron jeered after
Any reply Ginny might have made was
forgotten when Mrs. Weasley answered. “It’s from Harry, dear.”
“Hey!” Ron protested, following
Ginny. “Why’s he sending her an owl! He’s my
“Hedwig brought a package,” Mrs.
“That doesn’t answer my question,”
Ron replied sulkily.
Freed from her burden, Hedwig flew over
to a perch. Absently, Ron filled the water dish and stroked Hedwig’s snowy
feathers. “What is it?” he asked.
Ginny opened the cat carrier, and
Pixie answered for herself. “Awww!”
Ginny cried. She picked the calico up and began cuddling her. Pixie began to
purr. “Hello, kitty!”
adorable! How sweet of Harry to send her!” Mrs.
Weasley said, coming over to pet the cat.
“Why’d he send you a cat?” Ron
demanded, but he was more curious than sulky by now.
With some reluctance, Ginny set the
cat down and read the letter. “Dear Ginny, I need your help. This is Pixie,
and she needs a home. I’m hoping you will want to keep her or that you can find
a home for her. I appreciate your help. Cheers, Harry. P.S. Tell Ron to stop
scowling, I’ll send him a letter as soon as I have an owl available, this was
an emergency. -- HP.”
Ginny picked up the cat again. “Oh,
can I keep her, Mum? Please?”
“Yes, please let her keep the cat,”
Ron said, grinning now. “Our reputation as kind-hearted rescuers of orphans is
at stake.” He came over and stroked the calico’s head.
Ginny shot him a sideways look, but
Ron looked sincere.
Mrs. Weasley was smiling. “Of
course you can keep her, dear. Why don’t you see if she wants something to
eat?” She shook her head. “I wonder why he named her Pixie?
She doesn’t look anything like one.”
“Since Hedwig’s here, I’ll write
Harry a note,” Ron said, ignoring the question. He bounded out of the room and
thundered up the stairs, ignoring the abundance of quills and parchment that
were scattered around the rooms downstairs.
Ginny shrugged. “Who can figure
boys?” she told her mother, striving for a casual tone. She carried Pixie into
the kitchen. As soon as she was alone, she sat down and gasped for air. This
was a cat from HARRY POTTER! She felt like her heart was going to
explode from sheer happiness. He had thought of her! She tickled her new
cat and said: “Hello, little Pixie. Can you use your pixie magic to make Harry
interested in me?”
Pixie bumped her head against
Ginny’s knee and purred.