The Sugar Quill
Author: Beshter  Story: Blind Date  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

(A/N: I don’t own them, else they’d have to live in my messy house and Petunia could never abide by that

(A/N:  I don’t own them, else they’d have to live in my messy house and Petunia could never abide by that.  This is one of those ‘haven’t you ever wondered’ stories…enjoy!)

           

Vernon Dursley admired himself in the mirror above his bathroom sink.  “My, Vern,” he thought to himself, “what a splendid figure you cut there.” He had to admit, the pale blue of his polyester coat did set off the reddish glint to his hair and the sparkling blue of his eyes.  And the cut accentuated his broad shoulders and broad chest, making him look every inch the rather sturdy, barrel chested rugby player he had been first at Smelting, then at university.  Yes, he did look rather splendid.  He hoped that this blind date he was going on would admire him half as much.

            Vernon frowned at the thought.  He hoped this one wasn’t another loony like his last girlfriend, Essie had been.  Essie, or Esmeralda as her God given name was-who on earth would name their child such a horrid and impractical name-had been one of those free thinking, ‘hippy’ types.  Not his usual flavor at all.  He had met her at university in one of those silly modern sociology courses that were all the rage now.  He didn’t see what it had to do with a degree in business, to be honest, but he had taken it in order to graduate, and she had helped him through it.  He had believed he was paying back the favor taking her out.  Instead, she had been nothing but a headache, always demanding to be treated fairly, discussing the rights of women and how men always trampled on them.   She would carry on and on about things like the rich getting richer, and down with unnecessary warfare.  It had all gotten to Vernon in the end, and while his time with her had been all right, he had been pleasantly relieved when she had declared him an ‘unenlightened brute’ and had summarily left to join an artist commune somewhere in Cornwall.

            That had been a year ago, and while Vernon hadn’t wanted for company, as the local girls at the pub often found him amusing enough, he had recently had a complaint from his mother.  Aged and ailing, she lived in the country on an estate left to her from a wealthy aunt, and kept with her his only sibling, Marge, who tended to her every whim.  As far as Vernon was concerned, Marge was a saint for doing it.  Mother was insufferable in her demands at times, and this letter was no different.  “Why haven’t you come to see me, you never write?  Look at your sister; she’s so attentive, gives up her hopes of happiness to perform her filial duty!  And where is your duty, then, Vernon, if you aren’t here to see me?  Where are a wife and a grandchild to make my last days more pleasant?”

            Bah, wife, children, he hadn’t wanted to saddle himself with that nonsense right off.  Vernon had only left university two years before, and he was not even that long at Grunnings, the drill company he had been hired by.  He was just starting to get comfortable in his position as ‘part quality supervisor’, and with the paperwork and detail involved in ensuring that their factory up north gained even the smallest screws necessary was quite consuming.  He had just this week had to call someone in Japan and threaten them with all manner of ghastly bodily harm in order to ensure the right electronic bits were shipped.  But then again, he supposed the man wasn’t all that frightened, as he didn’t seem to speak much English.

            He’d have to work on that a bit.

            But Vernon’s mother had always been a rather persistent and nagging presence, and even in his silence he could hear her needling him about ‘wife and grandchildren’.  It was rather annoying every time he left his flat to the train and caught sight of a pretty, youngish thing with her squalling brat, wandering down the street in front of him as if to taunt him.  It was almost vulgar how they persisted in reminding him of his affront of not providing for his mother’s happiness.  How rude they all were.  Still, it had bothered him enough for him to say something to his flat mate, Roger about it.

            “Well, old boy, time for you to meet a nice girl then, wouldn’t you think?” Roger said.

            Vernon had snorted at the idea.  “What?  I meet plenty enough nice girls’ down at Jerry’s.”

            “Yeah, but Jerry’s is a pub, mate, and the girls there are nice, but they go there to have fun and have a good time, not to marry for life.  No, you need a good girl, a nice one, one who will keep a good house for you and not fuss too much.  Nothing like a nagging wife to make a gent feel miserable…you know, I’ll talk to Andi.”  Andrea was Roger’s girlfriend, and Vernon suspected he wanted to marry the girl, but was rather disinclined in leaving his mate alone and unfixed.  “I bet she knows a nice girl from her university days.  I bet she could fix you up right!”

            And so tonight, Vernon was going on this dubious date.  He didn’t know a thing about her.  Questioning Roger’s girlfriend was like trying to pump information out of brick, she would only giggle and shake her head.

            “No, no, Vern, not this time.  Don’t want you going making up excuses as to why you can’t see her.  She’s a perfectly nice girl, and I’ve known her for years, and I won’t have you go messing things up by being a man.”

            Being a man!  Well what else did she think he was?  She was sometimes disturbingly like Essie in her use of those ‘free thinking ideas’.  He wasn’t so sure he approved of her for Roger, or her friend for himself.  But, Roger was his mate, and he had never led him astray so far.

            “Hey, Vern, you plan on leaving the loo anytime soon? Man’s got to look nice for his lady you know!” Roger called.  Vern took one last chance to smooth out the newly grown mustache with a fine little comb.  Not that it was much at the moment, it was rather new.  He though it would make his rather round face a little more adult with it on.  Besides such splendid mustaches were all the rage now.

            “Right, all ready.” He left his preening and allowed his roommate the chance to fix himself up.  What would this night hold in store for him, he wondered?

 

 

 

            Petunia Evans yanked on her pale blonde hair viciously with a comb as she tried yet again to un-rat the fifth hair style she had tried that evening.  Oh this was never going to work; this man would think she was horrible, absolutely horrible.

            “Petunia, darling, it will be all right, and you look lovely.  Stop fretting on you hair,” Andi called from her seat in Petunia’s bedroom, where she was idly flipping through the channels on the telly.  Petunia could hear her impatience to leave, but she would just have to wait.  Andi was always the impatient one.  She had been since they met at university, and Petunia felt she was constantly bringing the girl back down to earth.

            “Really, Andi, if you have nothing better to say at the moment than platitudes, then kindly find out what the news of the day is, would you?”

            “Right, Petunia.” came the response, and Petunia returned to managing her hair.

            If you were Lily, a nasty voice whispered in her head, you wouldn’t be fussing with all this.  Of course not, she responded mentally, because it was always easy for Lily.  She was a freak, she could just whip out a wand and make this all go right, her with her strange powers.  And besides, it wasn’t like SHE had insipid, pale locks, no she had glorious auburn tresses, deep russet ones that always seemed to fall just into place.  And she never had to worry about looking too peaked and pallid, as she always looked…perfect.  Perfect, perfect, Lily in her perfect little freakish world, always getting it her way, the good and wonderful things in life always happened to Lily.  Petunia glared at her reflection in disgust.  Ever since she was born Lily had gotten it all, and Petunia was left to suffice.  The looks, the friends, the attention…and even magic, she had gotten that as well.  Petunia had thought it horrible that her parents would be so delighted that all the strange things Lily did were a gift!  Why, with powers like that, Lily could do any number of things…even horrible, cruel things  Didn’t they see that?  Of course, they never saw the wrong in Lily.

            And now she even had the boy too.  Petunia had met this Potter boy she had brought home from school last Christmas.  She couldn’t see what Lily saw in him, really.  OK, well he was attractive, if you liked those sort of wiry, devil-may-care sorts of boys, and he did have a rather charming smile.  But he was a freak, like all the rest of them.  And to think, when her parents had asked him how he planned on supporting her sister, he had said he would play that silly game of theirs.  What was it, Quick Ditch?  Whatever it was, he wanted to be one of those players someday.  Hardly a fitting way to support a wife, as far as Petunia was concerned, and her parents had voiced some reservations as well.  But Lily insisted he had his own means in the world, and that he would inherit a great deal when he came of age.  Ahhh, inherited money to squander, so there was wealth amongst those freaks even if they seem to have no normal or even reputable jobs.  Petunia didn’t want to know what they did to get it.  But she was certain those two would spend it all before they even had a chance, and she’d be sure to see them penniless on her parents’ doorstep at some point.

            Petunia was a rather independent sort.  She didn’t want to be beholden on her parents.  That’s why she had gone to university, received a teaching credential, and took to primary education.  She was a firm teacher, who had an impeccably neat classroom, an immaculate student body, who all remembered their manners, behaved properly, and above all were blessed normal.  Not a freak or a weirdo in the bunch.  Petunia kept her eyes out for them  While she may be bound by that silly law on secrecy those other freaks kept, she would take action while she could to cultivate that child, turn it away from flights of fancy and too much imagination.  Yes, those only made it worse.  Perhaps she could force the magic out of them before it was too late.

            Petunia hadn’t realized she was holding the tube of lotion so tight till it squirted the cap off and covered her in cream.

            “Oh….bother.” She grumbled, refusing to stoop to swearing.  No, proper ladies don’t swear.  She reached for a tissue and wiped it off furiously.  Look at her, all worked up over a silly date.  You would think she hadn’t had one before.

            Well, truth be told, she hadn’t really ever been on that many dates.  There was a handful, mostly friends of boys her friends had dated.  Just like this one, she thought ruefully.  Boys never seemed to want to ask her out.  She was too thin; too pale, too, ‘practical’, in other words not one of ‘those types of girls’.  Boys didn’t like Petunia with her prim manners and her obsessive neatness, her formalities and distaste of vulgarities.  As one boy said, Petunia was like, “dating your maiden aunt, only better looking.”

            Of course, Petunia had heard all the stories of that boy later, and if rumor had it, he got himself in a spot of trouble with a pretty young American girl studying overseas.  Oh, well she had hoped he had gotten in a right proper mess.

            No, Petunia didn’t want one of THOSE sorts of boys, the ones who wanted to have a girl and then laugh about her behind her back, and she didn’t want anyone like that boy that Lily brought home, a dashing, dangerous fellow who could lead to no good.  Rather, she wanted a down to earth fellow, rugged, someone who could hold a steady job, who could do his work and know his place, provide a good home for her and their children, and who would be above all things, normal.  She needed that, craved it.  She wanted normal.

            She wondered if this boy would be like that.  Andi hadn’t said a thing about him, not even his name.  She only said he was a friend of Roger’s and would ‘suit her’.  Petunia didn’t think she liked the sound of that.  Roger was one of those hopeless romantics, a bit like Potter in that he had big ideas and thought he could carry them off.  Well, he could fall flat on his face too, and Petunia hoped this friend of his wasn’t one of that sort.  Really, she couldn’t be bothered with it.

            “Oh dear, how awful!” Andi cried from the front room, “Petunia, a family in Kent, all killed, a full twenty of them, in some sort of explosion.  Seems they were there for a birthday party and something went on with the gas.”

            Petunia poked her head around the door of the bath and glanced at the telly.  “Well, serves them right for not checking those things, she said firmly.  Not that she didn’t feel bad for such a tragedy, but really, she didn’t know these people, and it was no use getting worked up.  Probably someone forgot to turn off the gas and then lit a match for the cake or something.

            “Oh, Petunia, don’t be so harsh.  It’s truly sad; it was one grandmother’s 80th birthday.  Well, I hope they investigate.  There have been an awful lot of these funny accidents happening.  Remember two weeks ago in Surrey? Bet there is something wrong with all that old piping and no one is fessing up!”

            Andi loved to get worked up, especially over politics.  Perhaps it was good then that Roger wanted to go into Parliament.  “Yes, well Andi, I’m sure it will figure itself out.  Want to zip me up then?”

 

            The restaurant that Roger and Andi had chosen was a simple, quaint, Italian one.  It was impossibly predictable for first blind date settings.  It was just the sort of place Vernon hated, he disliked kitch.  Found it silly, sentimental.  Of course, this was supposed to be about ‘wooing’, which in and of itself was silly and sentimental when you thought about it, and he supposed there was a proper time and place for it.  He hated ostentation, and as he eyed the man with the violin in the corner with a dubious eye, he leaned over to Roger who sat beside him at the dimly lit table.

            “So, mate, who is this girl anyway?” Vernon muttered for the fiftieth time.

            Roger grinned at him.  Roger was one of these pretty boys, the kind that made girl’s heart  a’flutter, and Vernon was always a bit annoyed with him whenever he smiled.  “Don’t know which one, Vern, Andi has quite a few friends.  She didn’t even tell ME who she was supposed to be bringing.”

            “Right…well, let’s just hope she isn’t, well…too free spirited,” Vernon mumbled and turned to watch the door quietly.

            When Andi appeared, he felt his heart quicken.  Vernon rarely got nervous, except when he was in a situation he couldn’t explain.  Those always made him feel nervous.  And this seemed to be very much one of those nerve wracking situations where he couldn’t explain it and he couldn’t just make it go away.

            Andi came up to the table alone, and Vernon looked at her questioningly.  She laughed at the look on his face.  “Oh, Vern, don’t worry, she didn’t leave, she’s outside checking her appearance.  She’s rather nervous you know.  S.  S.  he spent two hours getting ready.”

            Vernon wasn’t so sure he liked this idea of a woman preening herself.  Might be some self-absorbed twit.  “Oh, she look as bad as all that?” he grumbled.

            Andi rolled her eyes.  “Of COURSE not, she’s just nervous.”  She glanced back out the door, “oh, look, there she comes now!”

            Vernon glanced back out the way Andi had come in searching for the mystery woman.  He felt his pulse race inexplicably, and his blood pressure rise.  How silly!  It was just a girl!  He had known many since he was old enough to realize they were good for something other than taunting and teasing.

            She wasn’t bad looking for a girl at that, either.  Perhaps a bit on the thin side, but coming from a family of healthy, robust people, thin wasn’t all together bad.  She had rather lovely hair though, and a shy, pleasant smile.  No, Vernon thought she wasn’t as bad as all that.  In fact he sort of rather liked her.

            The girl met his eyes and blushed.  Yes, a rather fetching thing that, he hated it with these modern women, bold as brass.  And neat too, her appearance was spotless.  Yes, an all together well put together women.  He was sure that mother would approve.

            Already he was thinking that far.  The idea sort of surprised him.  He hadn’t even gotten her name yet and he was considering mother.  He smiled.

            “Errr, name’s Vernon Dursley, you are?” He held out his beefy, rugby scarred hand out to her delicate palm.

            “Petunia Evans, thank you.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.” She had such a melodious quality to her voice.  Yes, he rather thought he liked her.

            Andi seemed pleased, grinning at Roger.  “Yes, shall we eat then?  I’m starving!”

 

           

            Dinner was pleasant enough, and Petunia felt herself quite enjoying it when she overlooked the worn tablecloths and dust on the floor.  Roger and Andi were a bother, continually bringing up trite topics, like politics and economics, something that Petunia cared little for, but which seemed to interest Vernon, as he made very clear and bold his opinions on each topic they brought up.  He’d glance at Petunia every so often as if to see if she approved.  Petunia would smile demurely, would make a vague comment, and Vernon would return to his commentaries with Roger, arguing till he was practically red in the face on the idea of mayoral elections in London, of which he was against.  Petunia couldn’t care really, she had no interest in politics, well at least nothing that one couldn’t read in those tabloids she was always picking up at the newsstand, and nasty things that she couldn’t help but purchase.  But she couldn’t fault Vernon in his interest in it; in fact she found it strangely comforting.  A man who was involved in normal activities, who liked normal news, and normal issues, and was passionate about how he felt about them.  She appreciated that. 

            Petunia had never been the outgoing sort; Lily had inherited all of that, much to the chagrin of Petunia.  Lily had never been unable to make friends, to talk to strangers, or to have firm opinions.  Petunia had only known one thing in her life, and that was that Lily and her kind were strange, a danger, a threat to all the normality Petunia craved.  She didn’t want to change the world; Petunia only wanted her world in a happy little place.  This man seemed to be the type who liked that too, and under no uncertain terms told everyone how he wanted it to be.

            He wasn’t so bad looking as all that.  Athletic at least, but not in the thin and rakish way of that Potter fellow Lily was bringing home.  No, he was stout, toughly built like a bulldog, and must have been a rugby player.  That was a normal sport, not like that silly game Lily’s kind played.  And while Vernon didn’t have the looks of Potter or that one friend of his, the other dark haired one with the impish manners and deep blue eyes…lord, that boy would have charmed the Queen if he wasn’t a freak…Vernon was rugged in his features.  Not a pretty boy, but not awful either.  And that mustache, she had this urge to touch it just then.  She had never dated a boy with one; she wondered what it would be like to kiss…

            Good heavens, what thoughts!  She blushed furiously and Vernon, who had turned to her, seemed to notice.

            “Anything wrong then, Ms. Evans?” he asked, frowning.

            “Oh no, Mr. Dursley, it’s a bit warm in here, don’t you think?”  She picked up her napkin then and fanned herself briefly, trying hard not to smile.  He had noticed.  Perhaps he liked her as well.

 

 

            “And so you see, Roger, with all these Labour Party changes, we’ll just fall into economic ruin soon.  Fiscal responsibility is what’s needed, I say, and soon, before this country falls into a…”

            “Well, Vern, I know it’s getting late, and Petunia looks as if she might fall over there in a bit,” Andi piped up, casting him a meaningful gaze.

            Vernon blinked at her in surprise, he hated being interrupted, and didn’t get her pointed look right away.  “Well, Andi, I’m sure if Ms. Evans is tired, she would…”

            Roger, seeing Vernon wasn’t getting the hint, nodded at Andi.  “Yes, I bet she could use an escort home then, Vern, I know Andi could.  You want to see to that then, while I make sure Andi gets home safe and sound.” He jerked his head towards Petunia, who seemed rather muddled by the proceedings herself.

            Finally cottoning on, Vernon turned crimson.  “Ooooohhhh….yes, well.  Errr, Ms. Evans?” He turned to Petunia abashedly.  “Could I do you the honor of…escorting you…”

            “Yes!” Petunia said breathlessly, and then turned her eyes down to her clasped hands sitting in her lap.  “I mean…if you don’t have anything better to do…”

            Roger piped up.  “No, he doesn’t, now get along old boy, make sure the lady gets home in one piece.” Grinning madly at his roommate, he grabbed his own date, and the two hurried towards the restaurant door, tossing a handful of notes down on the table as they went.”

            Perfect, Vernon thought, they probably forgot the tip besides.  But then he looked at Petunia, who was still blushing furiously at her lap, and smiled.

            “How about I finish paying this up and we’ll be on our way then, shall we?”

            She smiled shyly and nodded.  Ahh, that was such a pretty look on her.

            Vernon settled the bill quickly, and then returned to Petunia, reaching for her jacket.  “Mind if I help you into this?” he asked gallantly.   She shook her head, and waited patiently as he helped her into her jacket, then stared wide eyed as he took her arm.  Apparently she wasn’t used to this sort of attention.  Good, he thought.  Means she’s not the type who normally runs around with boys.

            As they reached the sidewalk, he looked both ways.  “Which way to your place then?”

            She pointed right.  “Oh, just five blocks or so this way, it isn’t far.  I don’t like roaming London at night.”

            Ahhh, smart too, he liked that.  London wasn’t too safe of a place.  “Good idea, that.  Good thing I’m here can make sure you get home all right!”  He puffed up his chest ever so slightly to make himself appear bigger.  Petunia noticed, and smiled.  She at least admired his ability to fend off those who intended them harm.

            “So…tell me a bit about yourself then, Ms. Evans.  Where are you from, what do you do?” Vernon thought these could be good conversation starters.

            Petunia stiffened a bit at this.  “Why?” She asked a little too harshly.

            Surprised, Vernon faltered.  “Err…well, because I know nothing about you…and, well…I’m interested.”  Wasn’t she?

            Petunia reddened, and then stammered.  “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply…it’s just…well, you see, I’m not used to going out that much, you know.”

            Vernon relaxed a bit.  “Ahhh, yes, well it can be a little nerve wracking.” He usually wasn’t this nervous but even his own heart was beating fast.  “So, where are you from?”

            “Oh, the suburbs south of town, nice little comfortable houses, the you know how those are.  It’s very…normal.” She giggled a bit at this.  “My parents moved there when I was little, from here in the city.  They still live there…with my sister.” Her voice tightened a bit at this.  “Well…most of the time without my sister.  She attends boarding school up north, and isn’t home much.  But they are happy there.” Petunia nodded firmly, as if confirming this to herself.

            Vernon nodded.  “Yes, I have a sister as well.  She lives with Mother on an old country estate some rich, batty aunt left to her eons ago.  It’s convenient for Mother, she hated the city, and when Father passed, it was a good place for her to retire.  Marge, my sister, takes care of her and raises dogs.  Fine too.” He smiled.  “Do you like dogs?”

            “NO!” Petunia said sharply, and then laughed nervously.  “Uhhh…no, rather I am not fond of them.  My sister has a pet…bird, but it goes to school with her.  I’m not an animal sort of person.”

            Pity, Vernon thought, he rather liked dogs.  But he surmised he could get by for now with a woman who wasn’t so fond of them.  At least she didn’t like cats.”

            “So, what do you do then, Ms. Evans?  I work at Grunnings myself, in a managerial position.”  He wasn’t telling a lie, in fact he hoped to be up to a manager in a year or two, it was just that part quality control didn’t sound nearly as exciting.

            “Oh, I work in education, I teach at a primary school just over there.” She smiled.  “I rather like it for now; it’s not bad work, but…”

            “But what?”

            She blushed again.  “Well, I don’t see myself staying in it forever.  I rather plan on marrying sometime, and would like to stay at home then.”

            “Not a career minded woman than?” Vernon was pleased.  He wanted a wife who was there to please him and take care of his children, not out to make a name for herself in a man’s world.

            “Oh, no, I think the best place for me is at home.  I rather like homemaking, always did.  My mother was one, why shouldn’t I be?” She stated it so matter of factly, Vernon couldn’t help but smile.

            “I couldn’t agree with you more, Ms. Evans.”  He rather appreciated that in a woman, one who knew her place.

            “So, how did you end up at…Grunnings, was it?” Petunia inquired politely.

            “Well, I went to university after I finished up at Smeltings.  That’s a private school for boys, rather distinguished.” Vernon puffed himself up a bit.  “My own father went there.  Anyway, I went to university, took a business degree, and they discovered my natural born leadership qualities and hired me on to management.  I’m hoping to be promoted in the next year or so.”  He hoped that was sufficiently impressive.

            Apparently it was, as she opened her eyes wide.  “Well, it seems you have a rather nice life then.  How did you fall in with Roger then?” The tone of Petunia’s voice hinted she didn’t think so much of Roger.  Vernon had his issues with Roger as well, he was a bit of a gad about, a hopeless dreamer, liked to get lost in visions and schemes.  But he liked Roger well enough, he was going into politics, which Vernon felt might come in useful to himself someday when he was climbing the corporate ladder.  Roger was a rugby mate, a rough and tumble sort of fellow, not one of these namby, pamby rich boys, pampered and groomed to take the reigns of office someday.

            “Oh, Roger, friend from university, he’s a straight sort of fellow.  Played rugby with me there, rather a flighty chap, but nice enough.” Vernon had hoped that he talked up Roger enough to Petunia that she would at least tolerate him.

            “Oh, well, I didn’t say he wasn’t nice, just…well he is an awful sort of romantic fellow.  Given to all sorts of ridiculous things for Andi.  Why, I remember when we were out to lunch, he arrived with a bouquet of balloons the size of a small auto, and then presented them to her as if they were solid gold.  I’d have been mortified by it, but Andi just laughed.” Petunia wrinkled her nose as if such disgusting displays of affection were so reprehensible, she wouldn’t be caught alive or dead in such.

            Vernon made a mental note of this.  “Oh, well, Roger is a bit head over heels for the girl.  But Andi is nice enough, isn’t she?”

            “Oh yes, rather, she’s been a friend of mine since university as well.  She’s madcap, I admit, but it’s nice to have one of those types of friends, as long as they aren’t…”

            “Bizarre?” Vernon finished.  Oh, yes, Essie, his last girlfriend had been that type.  He was glad to see Petunia had her head on her shoulders.

            “Yes, that’s it.” She smiled brightly at him.  He suddenly felt rather warm all the sudden.

            “Well, this is it.” She pointed at a brown, brick building, quaint, proper, and rather bespeaking of Petunia Evans.  Vernon nodded and turned to her.

            “Well, I guess I’ll see you off here then.” This girl was far too proper to ever ask him up.

            “Yes.” She seemed to want to say something, but then closed her mouth and blushed.  “I suppose I’ll see you around then?”

            Vernon nodded, a little tongue tied.  What to say now?  “Yes, I suppose.”

            Petunia turned to go.  “Well, good night then.”

            He placed a hand on her elbow.  “Wait…”

            She looked back, surprised.  “Yes.”

            “Could I have your number then…you know, give you a ring.  Perhaps just you and I could go out sometime then?”

            “You and I?” Petunia let these words fall out between them with an air of disbelief.  Vernon felt his face turn red then, and he quickly removed his hand.

            “Well, I mean, only if you want too…” he began.

            “I WANT TO!” she fairly shouted, then smiled.  “No, I want to…just…no boy has ever wanted to before.”

            Odd, thought Vernon, how could they not.

            Petunia reached into her purse, pulled out a pen and paper, and wrote a hurried number down.  She pressed it into Vernon’s palm, and then leaned ever so slightly, and grazed his ruddy cheek with the lightest of kisses.

            As if shocked by her own boldness, Petunia stood straight up, stared at him and without thinking, turn and ran for her own door.  She was out of sight before Vernon could stop her.

            Grinning in a silly fashion, he reached a hand up to his cheek.  Ever so lightly he could feel the burn of her lips against his skin.  What daring it had taken that girl to do that!

            Above him, a light came on.  He looked up to what he surmised was Petunia’s flat.  In the window’s gauzy hangings he could see a shadow, and surmising it was her, he waved, ever so slightly.  Then, with a happy smile, he turned, and began walking down the street, humming to himself.  Yes, what a lovely evening this turned out to be, Vernon Dursley, and what a wonderful date you turned out to be.

 

            High above his retreating figure, Petunia Evans stood just out of shot of her window watching Vernon walk jauntily down the street, her cheeks still burning with what she had done.  She had never initiated a kiss with a boy, let alone out in public.  And yet, there she had done it, right in front of her own house.  My, she shocked herself.

            Could this man be the one then?  She wondered.  At last, she had someone in her life too, and Lily couldn’t be the only one to claim she had a beau.  Petunia had this mad desire to sing, to shout…but that wasn’t the way Petunia acted.  No.  Instead, she reached for her phone, and without thinking, dialed the familiar number of her parent’s home.

            “Hello, Mother, I have some rather delightful news.  Yes, you see, I met this boy…”

(Thanks to Moey for being a great Beta, even despite my errors, and to my mother who reads them all and tells me they are wonderful.  LOL)

               

//
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