Vernon Dursley pulled up before the
nice, shaded lawn of the pretty little suburban house, his mind set. Today he was going to settle this. Today he was going to speak to Lily Evans and
discover what it was about her that drove her sister so insane with jealousy
that she would throw about wild accusations.
if I can’t still have the woman I love,” Vernon
mumbled to himself as he glanced at himself in the rearview mirror. Yes, he was doing this for his Petunia. After all, he didn’t really want anyone
else. And what would his mother say
after all this fuss over her. No, he
couldn’t take a lecture from her on how he couldn’t fight for his woman. He’d get to the bottom of this, even if he
had to take care of Petunia himself.
With this new
resolve in mind, he stepped out of his new, company provided car, and stepped
up the Evans walk. He kept his sights
firmly on the front door, with it’s neat trim, took a deep breath, walked up to
it, and quickly rung the doorbell.
pretty, auburn haired girl arrived on the doorstep. She looked at him rather quizzically.
must be her sister, Vernon
thought. Rather attractive, if you liked
that red haired sort. He smiled in what
he hoped was a friendly way, and cleared his throat.
Lily Evans?” He asked politely.
eyes narrowed then, and she reminded him greatly of Petunia when she suspected
something was afoot. “Why,” she said
coldly, and Vernon felt his face
flush. How rude, it wasn’t as if he was
here to abduct her or anything? Still,
with all these strange things going about of late, perhaps he should just humor
her. After all, he was harmless enough.
here on behalf of your sister. Well,
actually I’m a close friend of to her, and was just curious about…”
my sister?” The girl’s face went
white. “Is she all right?”
yes…at least she was last I knew about.”
Vernon frowned in
perplexity. What was this young woman
getting worked up about?
haven’t done anything to her?” The girl
was backing up then, placing hands on her hips.
Behind her, there was a shadow moving.
In the bright sunlight, it was hard for Vernon
to tell who it was. Whoever they were,
they were tall and thin, and Vernon
thought perhaps they would be a calmer person to address.
sir. I was just wondering if I could
speak to Ms. Evans a moment.”
something has happened to Petunia, and he isn’t telling me about it.”
eyes went wide then, as he shook his head.
“No, no, I just came here to ask you about Petunia, you see, I’m a
friend of hers. Look, I’ll get you my
his hand inside his suit coat. The calm,
almost steely voice of the person who Vernon
assumed was James, sounded from the shadows behind Lily.
your hand, or I’ll be forced to react.”
There was something pointed at Vernon. He felt cold sweat bead on his forehead, and
his heart began to pound painfully in his chest. These people were mad. They couldn’t carry guns could they? And turn them on decent minded citizens such
don’t be h-h-hasty.” Vernon
felt himself stutter. “I’m perfectly
honest here, please just let me…” He
went to remove his hand from his jacket, but before he could even clear it,
there was a cry from the house, and he felt as if he had be smacked in the face
with a sledgehammer. Grunting, he felt
himself topple backwards, as his head hit the cement of the front walk, and the
world went black around him.
He awoke to
voices and a cold cloth on the front and back of his head.
great prat,” a girl hissed. “What did
you think you were doing?”
you,” he hissed back. There was a gentle
hand to his face, and Vernon tried
to open his eyes.
groaned as he felt a painful twinge run through his brain.
waking up. Mr. Dursley? Mr. Dursley?”
moaned. God, had he been shot? He reached a shaky hand to his face. He felt the damp rag there and pressed it
tight to his throbbing cheek.
“What happened?” He groaned.
well my anxious boyfriend decided you were a threat, and decided to attack you
rather than get your story.”
the one getting hysterical about your sister!”
This was a male voice, perhaps this James?
tried to shake his head, but it hurt too much.
There seemed to be a lump on the back of his head. “No, I’m Petunia’s boyfriend!”
girl, Lily shot back at James. “Oh dear,
she will be furious!”
opened his good eye then. The other was
swollen shut by his bruised cheek. He
glanced up at the worried face of Lily, the concerned face of dark haired,
bespectacled boy he assumed was James, and at the ceiling of the Evans’s living
did you attack me?” Vernon
frowned, or tried to as best he could with his face.
a rather long story,” Lily smiled nervously.
“There have just been a lot of strange things happening, and well, James
over-reacted. We are awfully sorry about
with what, Vernon thought. He hadn’t even seen the boy move. “Well, mistakes are mistakes, I’m sorry to
have frightened you.” He tried to
chuckle, but it hurt too much.
me get you some tea then, something to ease the pain?” Lily said helpfully.
be quite all right, oohhh…” Vernon
winced as he sat up, his head protesting with a series of explosions right
behind his eyeballs.
keep an eye on him, I’ll be right back.”
Lily left in the direction of a door Vernon
assumed led towards the kitchen, and James, looking rather shamefaced, moved to
a seat near the couch where Vernon
about that, Mr. Dursley. I guess I was a
please, you can call my Vernon. No, it’s quite all right, I’m sure it’s was
all just a misunderstanding.” Vernon
would rather have screamed his head off at the boy. How dare he just attack a normal citizen like
that? But with his head already
pounding, and not wanting to agitate the family of his future bride, he at
least tried to act civilized.
it’s just that strange things have been going on for a while now, and I worry
about Lily and her family.” The boy
looked strangely intense then. It was
odd on a youth who looked as young as he did, why he couldn’t even keep his hair
straight. It was a mess, and got messier
still as he ran his hands through it in an absentminded gesture. It must be the new style of all the young
people nowadays. He had seen worse in London. Young people with crazy hair colors, hair
sticking up in spikes along their heads, this hair was at least somewhat
heard of some of the disappearances, right?”
James asked, looking at Vernon. “And the strange deaths, those are the
worst. One happened a week ago not too
far from here.”
head just didn’t want to think at the moment, not with it throbbing like
this. “Yes, I suppose I have heard of
some of them.”
you can’t be too careful nowadays.”
James murmured, looking towards the door that Lily left through.
really didn’t understand what the boy was prattling on about, but he supposed
it was important to him. “So, tell me,
you go to school with Lily?” Might as
well play nice with the boy, even if he did try to kill him with God knows
nodded. “Yes, we just finished
actually.” He smiled sadly. “Hard to believe it’s all over.”
you will be going to university, won’t you?”
Vernon reached around to the
back of his head to touch the growing goose egg there.
the boy sounded mystified. “Um, well
no. I was thinking perhaps a bit of law
explained the strange attack then, those police types always were
aggressive. “Not a bad profession. I had a great uncle who was a policeman. Served in the roughest part of London,
he did. You are seeking to join the
perhaps a group a bit more secretive than that.”
Oh yes, he
went to his ‘special’ school, probably would work for the Secret Service or
some such. “Well, I won’t prod too much
then, I know how you folk like your secrecy.”
shrugged. They lapsed into silence.
It was some
minutes, with James staring at the floor and Vernon
feeling his lump to see if it would perhaps explode on him, before either spoke
broke the silence.
“I do hope
I’m not inconveniencing Lily there, I could get by, you know…”
you’re not, Lily wouldn’t let you go until she was sure you were all right.”
perhaps I should…” Lily walked through
the door then, a tray in her hands, tea steaming from a pot set on it.
go, Mr. Dursley, this should fix you right up.”
The smell of the tea was pleasant, like lavender and chamomile.
would be nice, yes.” Vernon
smiled. Lily poured him a cup, and he
took it gratefully. “No sugar?” he
her head. “Sadly, it affects the tea if
you do. Chamomile is a rather delicate
flower you know.”
didn’t. Did you learn that in your
sipped from the cup. How pleasant. He could feel the pain in his head dull
you learn all sorts of funny things at Hogwarts.” Lily shrugged, chuckling nervously.
nearly choked on the gulp of tea in his mouth, but swallowed before he could
further embarrass himself. He tried to
regain his calm, before asking, “Hogwarts, what an unusual name.” He would remember that anywhere. Petunia had said that was the name of her
school, that they taught her witchcraft there.
it’s a quite an old school, almost 1000 years old. I’m sure they had funny names then.” Lily laughed it off, but gave James a nervous
nodded. “Yeah, it’s been around since
the time of William the Conqueror. I
heard that it used to be…a monks school?”
monastery!” Lily nodded. “It was a monastery till…Henry VIII banned
all of them, and then it became a school.”
had no head for history, he vaguely knew that there
was a Henry VIII and that he had reformed the Church of England. “Ahhh, well, that’s a lot of history then. So what else do they teach you in that school
Lily exchanged looks here. “Well…” they
“All I know
is that it’s a school for the gifted, Petunia never said much more than
felt they were avoiding something, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
There was a
crash from the kitchen, and Lily looked towards it with irritation.
be Scampers, the cat. He’s rather
agitated with me. James, do you think
that you could help me?”
James got up to follow Lily into the kitchen.
As he did so, Vernon’s good
eye glimpsed something in the back pocket of his jeans.
long, thin, and made of some sort of dark wood.
The end of it stuck out of his pocket, and it looked as if he had used
his t-shirt to cover it, but it had ridden up as he sat, and now a carved
handle could be clearly scene peeking out.
Vernon stared at it in
remembered suddenly, he remembered right before he was knocked out, seeing the
boy point something at him, he thought it was a gun. But it wasn’t. It was…
wand,” he cried in a strangled voice as he pointed towards James’s retreating
turned to look at Vernon in
WAND in your pocket, and you pointed it at ME!”
Vernon babbled, his face
suddenly going very, very white. “You
tried to…kill me!”
his head then, waving his hands to calm Vernon
down. “No, it wasn’t like that…”
from me!” Vernon
cried, as he scuttled backwards on the couch, “you, you…..MURDERER!” Vernon
felt his eyes bulge.
at the pronouncement, and green light flashed dangerously in her eyes. “James is NOT a murderer. He thought you were a Death Eater, that’s
“I’m a what?"
Now they were starting to use strange
words on him. Vernon
felt his heart skip. Death Eater, that
didn’t sound good at all.
people, and you aren’t, so please, just calm down.” Lily continued, but Vernon
true then, is it? You are a witch!” he
“Well….yes.” Lily said in a rather matter of fact manner,
which caused Vernon to pause in his
hysteria. “I suppose Petunia told you,
believe her,” Vernon shook his
head, which did feel amazingly better.
“I thought she had gone mad!”
Petunia,” James snorted, “She’s too busy being Ms. Proper to ever be mad.”
Lily glared at him, as Vernon stood
up to confront the slightly taller youth.
you know that you are speaking ill of the woman I intend to marry.”
not seem impressed.
Dursley, yes, it’s true, I’m a witch.”
Lily tried to step in between to two of them before they both did
something stupid. “James here is a
wizard. We both went to Hogwarts where
we learned how to use our powers. From
there we can take our place in proper wizarding society, getting jobs in good
careers and the like.”
there are MORE of you?” Vernon felt
of course,” James responded, looking somewhat puzzled.
“We live separate
from the Muggles, normal folk of course, and we try to keep it secret. That’s why you’ve never heard of wizard or
head was reeling now, not from the blows, which seemed to have gone away, but
from the thought that magic, real magic, existed in the world.
he said emphatically, crossing arms over his large chest. “Show me your magic!”
towards James, who shrugged. “I suppose
I could do something,” he muttered. He
removed his wand from his back pocket, and pointed it at the tea mug on the
tray Lily had brought out earlier. He
mumbled words at it while waving his wand in some sort of intricate pattern,
and the mug suddenly disappeared then, changing and shaping itself into a white
stared at it, one eyed, unable to speak.
He wondered if his injuries had perhaps addled his brains.
believe….I mean…what did you do?” Vernon
called Transfiguration. It has a lot to
do with your Muggle Physics and Biology, except we just basically change all
the stuff that once was one thing into all the stuff that is now another.” James shrugged.
blinked. He only caught about half of
you don’t mind, please return my mother’s china cup? It’s her favorite set,” Lily said as the
mouse began looking for ways to jump off of the tray and escape.
yes.” James once again waved his wand, mumbled words, and the cup returned,
just as it had been moments before. It
even still had its tea inside.
the pattern is out of place!” Lily
laughed as she picked it up.
expect less out of me?” James raised an
eyebrow in mock indignation.
merely stared at the tea cup. He reached
out a hand to touch it. “You mean,
it’s…back, normal again?”
to its normal state.” James
shrugged. “You can change anything,
really, if you know how to do it. Its
complex, but once you understand the basic gist of it…”
you could do with a power such as that!”
Vernon whispered in awe. He felt a faint sense of horror at the
thought. One could create gold out of
nothing, perhaps even money, weapons, and all sorts of awful things. One wizard could control the world with it!
not all Transfiguration is permanent; you know one can’t create vaults full of
money or never ending supplies of food.
Everything has to come from somewhere and…”
shook his head and turned to Lily.
“You…you can do this too?”
slowly. “Well, yes, but not as well as
better at Charms.” This statement caused
the girl to blush.
basic spell work, like making things fly or something.” She pulled out of her own back pocket a long,
thin, pale wooden wand, and much as James had, mumbled some words, waved her
wand, and the same cup and that James had transfigured flew up and levitated
into the air right in front of Vernon’s
nose. He watched it, wide eyed, till he
felt his own face drain and his eyes begin to cross.
he’s going to lose it again, Lily,” James mumbled.
set the cup down and turned to Vernon. “Are you all right? Can I get you anything?”
his head, his mouth still hanging wide open, speechless.
feeling ill are you? That tea I made had
a bit of something in it to relieve the pain.
You shouldn’t have a reaction, but…”
dazed senses snapped to full attention then.
He bellowed. “You…you tried to
poison me as well as kill me?”
time became angry. “How dare you, Lily
was only trying to help.”
“Help! What did you
give me girl, some freak potion of yours?”
Vernon shouted, reaching for
his throat then. Nothing seemed to be
tightening, and his head did feel better.
Oh, bother this all.
it’s a basic healing potion, like an aspirin or something, nothing special.”
me some sort of weird concoction without permission? In hospitals we could sue for that!” Vernon
quivered with anger. “I don’t know who
you two are. You have strange powers, I
don’t understand it, and they are abnormal and frightening. But I want you to stay away from me, do you
hear! Stay away from me, with
those…wands, and your potions, and never, ever speak to me again! You are mad, mad I say. Tried to kill me, TWICE even, I can’t believe
this is happening to me!”
Babbling incoherently, he ran for
the door before either teenager could stop him, and threw it open. He was across the street and into his car as
fast as his large frame could carry him, and starting the engine. He looked back at the Evans’s house then, the
girl Lily standing there at the door with her smirking boyfriend, and shuddered
with a deep, painful feeling of the un-rightness of this whole situation, and
stepped on the gas. He drove as fast as
he could out of that neighborhood, down that street, and to the comfort of his
home back in London, where he could hide and pretend that witches and wizards
Petunia had tried to call Vernon
all day, and hadn’t been able to reach him.
He wasn’t at his office, which was rather unusual for him, as Vernon
was always insanely punctual about his work.
He rarely took a day off for anything, the idea that he wouldn’t be
there seemed odd.
He wasn’t at home either. Vernon not being at home if he wasn’t at work
was equally as odd, as outside of the pub, where he occasionally went, he had
no real social life outside of Petunia.
She wondered for the briefest of moments if he had perhaps gone off to
find someone else. But that was silly. Vernon
wasn’t the type to flit off with a new girl just because of a bit of a
Perhaps he was at his mother’s. Yes, that might be it. He had yet to tell her of his new
promotion. But he wouldn’t take off a
day for that, he hated his mother.
Perhaps she had taken ill then, she was always suffering from something. Oh dear, that would be awful. Poor Vernon,
she wondered if she could do anything to help.
Absently, she tried dialing his number again. Perhaps he might be home
and would speak to her, and perhaps he would accept her gestures of help and
She was still rather surprised to
hear his voice when he picked up the other line. “Hello?”
He sounded faint and rather frightened.
“Vernon?” Petunia asked her voice unsure.
“Petunia…I…well…err…I can’t talk
right now, something awful has happened, got to go.” He clicked off the line so fast,
Petunia hadn’t a chance to ask what was wrong.
“Odd,” she murmured, staring at the
phone in confusion. “Something really
must be wrong then. Oh dear, perhaps I
should go and see to it…”
Mind made up, Petunia put down the
phone, gathered a sweater and purse, and for the first time in her life, made
to go to another man’s flat. It didn’t
occur to her that she had never even BEEN to Vernon’s
home. He had taken her by there once, she felt it was unladylike to visit the home of one’s
boyfriend until things were more serious.
She just knew that Vernon
was upset, Vernon needed her, and
that she needed to do something to make this better.
It took her twenty minutes to
arrive by the Underground to his house, and another ten to get up the courage
to knock on his door. His flat was in a
rather nosy part of town, she noticed, old women tended to poke their noses out
of their windows as she passed. What
would they think, seeing a perfectly respectable young woman such as herself
passing up to a gentlemen caller’s room?
She knocked on the door she thought
was his. A muffled, “Who is it?” sounded
from the other side.
“It’s Petunia, Vernon,
let me in!” she called, trying to not look at Mrs. “I’m so curious, what is it
going on there” looking out her door across the way.
The door opened just a crack, as it
was attached to a chain, and half of Vernon’s
pale face showed around the corner.
“Petunia…well, I’m all right, see, nothing to worry yourself
about.” He chuckled nervously. “Why don’t you go on home then, I’ll give you
what is it, what’s wrong?” Petunia whispered
so as the neighbor woman, who had now come out of her flat, conveniently
fetching her mail just then, wouldn’t overhear their conversation.
“Nothing dear, nothing at all, now
if you will…” But Petunia, in a moment
of rare bold behavior, put her hand in the door before he could close it, and
shook her head firmly.
you haven’t spoken to me in a week, not about us, not about your question, not
about my sister.” At the mention of her
sister, Vernon jumped, and Petunia
nearly felt her heart fail her. But she
continued on. “If you are going to dump
me, Vernon Dursley, at least have the decency to say why!”
blinked at her with his one eye, and then let his face fall in defeat. “Just a moment then, I’ll undo the
door.” He closed the door, and she could
hear him undo the latch. He opened it
more fully to let her in.
She stepped inside cautiously,
looking over her shoulder at the rather interested lady, glaring at her as if
to warn her that this wasn’t what that evil minded old biddy thought it
was. She had just turned around to look
at the rather sparse and a bit untidy place, when she noticed the shining,
black bruise on Vernon’s rather
pale and guarded face.
“What happened to you?” she gasped,
rushing over to him. He took five large
steps back, stopping her before she even touched him.
“I did something very foolish,” Vernon
whispered. “I doubted your word about
your sister. I didn’t think it was
possible. I thought you were quite mad. I even considered breaking up with you over
it. But I realized something very
He looked back up at her with soft,
sad eyes, and sighed in a rather resigned way.
“I realized I was rather in love with you, whether I liked it or
not. You are rather a perfect fit for
me, Petunia. You are polite, kind, neat,
and well mannered. You are everything
I’ve ever looked for in a proper wife.”
Petunia felt her face warm then,
and she smiled shyly at him. “Why Vernon,
I don’t know what to say…”
“But…I had to know if you were mad
or not,” Vernon continued, turning
away from her. “I mean, really, witches,
in this day and age? Magic wands and
silly owls, it sounded so…so…unbelievable.
So I decided I should go out and see about all this myself. So I coerced Andi to give your parents
Petunia felt a sick sense of dread
wash over her, and an iron hold take over her stomach. “You didn’t…”
Her lips felt rather numb as she said this.
“I went out to see your family,
perhaps clear all this up, and then I would just tell you I wanted to marry you
anyway, and we would work it out. I met
your sister…and her boyfriend.”
“Oh…” Petunia couldn’t manage much more, but she
felt the tears sting her eyes. This was
not going to be good.
“I think I frightened her, I didn’t
mean to, but I did. Her boyfriend
attacked me with no provocation, next thing I know I’m being fed strange potions
for my ‘injuries’ and watching tea cups being turned into rodents!” His voice sounded rather awed,
unbelieving. The worst that Petunia
feared could happen had indeed occurred.
“They really are a witch and
wizard, aren’t they?” Vernon
asked, turning to look back at Petunia.
She nodded tearfully at him.
“Just…the idea of it is horrifying
to me. Imagine someone who can just
ignore all the laws of normality like that and do whatever they want. The idea is terrifying!” He shook his head. “I…I couldn’t live with that Petunia. I just couldn’t. I know you don’t live with your sister, I
know you are normal, that you have tried to escape, but family is family. Your sister loves you very much, that is
clear. And I know you probably care
about her, but I can’t live with that Petunia.
Not with shape changing tea cups and things flying at me! No…I love you, but…even I have my limits.”
“But…I don’t want to have to live
without you, Vernon!” She wailed as she ran over to him, grabbing
his arm and looking him in the eye. “You
are the first person who ever, ever liked me, plain, boring, normal me. It was all my life Lily, beautiful, talented,
magical Lily. Who would ever care about
plain, respectable Petunia? But you
do! If you went away…who else would I
“Petunia,” he began, but Petunia
shook her head.
“Listen to me, I’ll cut off contact
with my family, I’ll stop speaking to Lily.
They will be angry with me, but really, the time has come. I’ve given it a lot of thought. I can’t deal with the strangeness and the
uncertainty anymore. The more and more
she gets into that world, the stranger it gets.
Soon she’ll be just as weird as they are, and I…I don’t want to live
“But they are your family,
Petunia. I couldn’t ask you to just stop
talking to them!” Vernon
“Why, you hate your mother, don’t
you?” she asked simply.
“Yes, but that’s different, and I
avoid her, I haven’t cut off contact. Besides,
I love my sister. Marge and I are quite
“Lily and I haven’t been, or we are
less so now that she has gone off to that school. We were at one time.” Petunia sighed sadly. “But we are both adults now, we have to live
our lives in ways that make us happy, we can’t live for each other. And this is what makes me happy, Vernon,
and if that means I must never speak to Lily or my parents again in order to
keep that world far, far away from us, I will.”
smiled at her softly. “You would do that
Petunia smiled back. “I suppose I love you too.”
Some two weeks later in the paper,
a small wedding announcement appeared that perhaps no one in particular noticed
except for the two people involved.
P. Evans, London, wed to Mr. V. Dursley, London, 1 July 1978.
Witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. R. Ludley, London…
our wedding announcement!” Petunia
called from the kitchen as Vernon
fiddled with the radio in her apartment, looking for news stations. She had gone to make breakfast, but had
stopped to glance through the paper in an idyll fancy, wondering if anything
was said. She didn’t tell him she
secretly hoped her family had noticed.
“Really, dear, that’s nice.” He was rather engrossed in trying to tune the
radio, and Petunia only chuckled to herself.
It was going to be strange having a man about the place, yes it
was. She would have to get used to this
idea of doing things for him, and living together, and…
“Another strange gas explosion,
Petunia, this one not five blocks from here.
Took out an entire bookshop, oddly enough, I didn’t think books shops used
much gas.” Vernon
called as he fiddled again. “Just heard it on the news as a matter of fact. By the way, it seems there are more strange
deaths going on.”
“Yes, I know. I wonder if anyone is bothering to
investigate this. Gas leaks seem so
common nowadays. I wouldn’t be surprised
if it was something that the government didn’t want us to know!” Petunia set about gathering tea things,
“You know, it wouldn’t surprise me,
the way the government is, what with all the Russian stuff going around. I bet it is some experiment they were running
to form against the Russians, and it’s gone horribly wrong,” Vernon
muttered. “The strange things in this
world…thank goodness we have each other, and the two of us are perfectly
Petunia smiled happily as she
brought out the tray, set it down on the coffee table, and crossed over to her
husband to hug him close to her.
“I know, isn’t it remarkable that
two, perfectly normal people like us found their way to each other?”