The Sugar Quill
Author: birgit (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: A New Home  Chapter: Chapter 3: A Nasty Family
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: This story contains elements from the Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling. I’m not making any money of it; I’m just borrowing a few characters from her.

Author’s Notes: Thanks to my amazing SQ beta reader Arianrhod.

A New Home

Chapter Three – A Nasty Family


Minerva clearly remembered that day, now fifteen years ago, when she had also trotted through this town, watching the Dursleys of number four, Privet Drive, and waiting for Albus Dumbledore. It had been a sad day.

Now she wasn’t here to watch the Dursleys, and she was most certainly not waiting for Albus Dumbledore. No, she’d rather that Albus stayed far from Little Whinging today. Albus had decided that Mark Evans should not be warned, and that no wizards or witches should disturb him and his father at this time. But Minerva didn’t entirely agree.

She wasn’t planning to disturb the Evans family, not yet. She was perfectly disguised, and although she doubted Tom Evans would recognise her cat form from his Hogwarts days, she would try to stay out of his sight. She just wanted to watch, like she had watched the Dursleys so many years ago. She wanted to know how Mark and Tom were coping, now that they had received the Hogwarts letter.

One could call it spying. Minerva rather thought of it as taking care of one of her students.

She was walking through Privet Drive. She hadn’t needed to, but now she was back in Little Whinging, she couldn’t resist having a look at the place where she had once spent a whole day, the place where Harry Potter lived. The memories came back immediately, because the place hadn’t changed at all. The same houses, the same carefully tended gardens. Only the car of the Dursleys had become much bigger.

When Minerva turned left at the end of Privet Drive, she caught sight of a young boy and his father, who were walking straight towards her. They were still about a hundred feet away from her, but she thought she noticed something familiar about the man. She quickly crossed the street and waited, lurking in the shadows, for the two people to come closer.

Two minutes later, she was sure. There was no mistaking the way the man repeatedly pushed his brown hair – now with a few streaks of white, which hadn’t been there before – out of his eyes. His son had inherited the hair as well as the habit, although the colour of the boy’s hair was somewhat darker.

Tom and Mark Evans turned into Privet Drive. Minerva quickly crossed the street and followed them, wondering if it was a coincidence. They lived nearby; there was no reason why they shouldn’t walk through Privet Drive on a sunny morning, but Minerva still found it suspicious.

And she was right. Tom and Mark walked up the garden path of number four. They had barely touched the doorbell when the door opened, revealing a smiling Petunia Dursley. Minerva walked closer and caught a glimpse of Vernon Dursley, who was wearing a clearly expensive suit and was greeting the Evanses exaggeratedly friendly.

Minerva would have frowned if she hadn’t been a cat. Something was wrong. When the front door closed, she abandoned all her good manners and quickly jumped into the garden. She lay down under the open living room window and listened.

“Mr Evans, please sit down,” said a man’s voice that Minerva assumed was Vernon Dursley's. “My wife will bring in the tea.”

There was a clattering sound of teacups being placed on the table and a few formal exchanges were made.

Then Petunia Dursley asked, “I can’t remember meeting you before. Have you lived here for a long time?”

“Four years, now.” That was Tom.

“That’s rather short,” Vernon said, making clear that he considered himself superior to his guests. “We’ve been living here for ... what is it again, Petunia?”

“Twenty-two years,” Petunia said in a sweet voice. “This is my parents’ old house.”

After a few seconds of silence, Tom said, “May I ask you the name of your father?”

“What?” shrieked Petunia, the sweet voice suddenly forgotten.

“I think,” Tom continued calmly, “that we might be related.”

“How would that be possible?” Vernon asked. “You don’t have any family left, have you, Petunia?”

“No. No family at all. No family left.” Petunia sounded scared.

But Tom didn’t seem to notice. “If I’m correct, you are one of the two daughters of Roger Evans, my father’s brother.”

“You – you are a son of Charles?” Petunia shrieked.

“I am.”

“But then –”

“Petunia, wait!” Vernon said, suddenly angry. He muttered something, and Petunia gasped.

“Excuse me for a moment,” growled Vernon.

A door was opened. Someone yelled.

“HOW DARE YOU, BOY!” Vernon bellowed. “LISTENING IN ON OUR PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS! IN HERE! AND NO FOOD TODAY!”

Another door slammed, and then a boy started shouting. With a gasp of horror, Minerva recognised Harry Potter’s voice.

“LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT OF HERE!” A loud crash followed those words, and then another one. But the door didn’t seem to give in. “LET! ME! OUT! YOU –”

Vernon slammed the living room door shut, and Harry Potter’s voice was reduced to a muffled sound. Minerva thought it might be a good thing that she couldn’t distinguish the words Harry Potter was now calling his uncle.

“Is that Harry Potter?” a high-pitched voice asked.

“Mind your own business, boy,” Vernon growled.

“Harry Potter is your nephew, isn’t he?” Tom asked, still politely. “Is he your sister’s son?”

“I don’t have a sister.” That was Petunia again.

Silence.

“You’re wasting our time,” Vernon finally said. “Why don’t you just go and leave us alone?”

“Hold on,” Tom said. “We’re family, you know.”

“We don’t want you!” Petunia shrieked hysterically. “You and your freak family should leave us alone! You will all get us dead, as you did with my parents!”

“I beg your pardon?” Tom said in a dangerous voice.

“My parents were killed because they went looking for that freak, Charles! My grandparents were killed by those freaks! My sister was killed because she married a freak! And last summer, my son almost had his soul sucked out because of my freak nephew! I DON’T WANT MORE FREAKS! STAY AWAY FROM ME!”

“Petunia,” Vernon tried in a soothing voice.

“NO! VERNON, SEND THEM AWAY!”

Vernon obeyed at once and changed his voice to something he clearly thought was authoritative. “I suggest you leave now. Because of your precious father Charles, my wife’s whole family was killed. Charles was nothing less than a murderer, and you’re just like him.”

A loud explosion followed. Someone started screaming, someone else started yelling.

Minerva jumped on the window-sill and looked through the window into the living room. Young Mark was standing closest to her, shaking. His father was trying to comfort him. At the opposite side of the room, Petunia Dursley was sitting on the floor, screaming. She was covered in dust. Next to her, Vernon Dursley was standing, yelling at the Evanses. Fragments of wood and glass were all over the floor. The far half of the living room was totally destroyed.

Accidental magic. Minerva realised at once what that meant. She jumped back on the ground, at the same time making sure that there were no Muggles in sight. She transformed and Disapparated.


To Be Continued...


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