The Sugar Quill
Author: Beshter  Story: Meeting Lily  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.

Vernon Dursley pulled up before the nice, shaded lawn of the pretty little suburban house, his mind set

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.  Today…

            “I’ll see 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.

            A lithe, pretty, auburn haired girl arrived on the doorstep.  She looked at him rather quizzically.

            So this 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.

            “Are you Lily Evans?”  He asked politely.

            Her green 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.

            “Err... I’m here on behalf of your sister.  Well, actually I’m a close friend of to her, and was just curious about…”

            “What about my sister?”  The girl’s face went white.  “Is she all right?”

            “Yes, yes…at least she was last I knew about.”  Vernon frowned in perplexity.  What was this young woman getting worked up about?

            “You 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.

            “Excuse me, sir.  I was just wondering if I could speak to Ms. Evans a moment.”

            “No, James, something has happened to Petunia, and he isn’t telling me about it.”

            Vernon’s 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 identification.

            He reached 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.

            “Put down 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 as him.

            “N-n-now…l-l-let’s 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.

            “James, you great prat,” a girl hissed.  “What did you think you were doing?”

            “Protecting you,” he hissed back.  There was a gentle hand to his face, and Vernon tried to open his eyes.

            “Uhhh…” he groaned as he felt a painful twinge run through his brain.

            “Oh, he’s waking up.  Mr. Dursley?  Mr. Dursley?”

            “Yes,” he 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.

            “Oh dear, well my anxious boyfriend decided you were a threat, and decided to attack you rather than get your story.”

            “You were the one getting hysterical about your sister!”  This was a male voice, perhaps this James?

            “No, no…”  Vernon 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!”

            “See…” the girl, Lily shot back at James.  “Oh dear, she will be furious!”

            Vernon 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 room.

            “Why…why did you attack me?”  Vernon frowned, or tried to as best he could with his face.

            “Well, it’s 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 this.”

            Over-reacted 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.

            “Here, let me get you some tea then, something to ease the pain?”  Lily said helpfully.

            “No, I’ll be quite all right, oohhh…”  Vernon winced as he sat up, his head protesting with a series of explosions right behind his eyeballs.

            “James, 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 lay.

            “I’m sorry about that, Mr. Dursley.  I guess I was a bit jumpy.”

            Vernon, 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.

            “Yes…well Vernon, 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 normal.

            “You’ve 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.”

            Vernon’s 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.”

            “Just…well you can’t be too careful nowadays.”  James murmured, looking towards the door that Lily left through.

            Vernon 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 what.

            James nodded.  “Yes, we just finished actually.”  He smiled sadly.  “Hard to believe it’s all over.”

            “Yes, well 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.

            “University,” the boy sounded mystified.  “Um, well no.  I was thinking perhaps a bit of law enforcement.”

            That 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 force?”

            “Well, 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.”

            James 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 again.  Vernon broke the silence.

            “I do hope I’m not inconveniencing Lily there, I could get by, you know…”

            “I’m sure you’re not, Lily wouldn’t let you go until she was sure you were all right.”

            “Still, perhaps I should…”  Lily walked through the door then, a tray in her hands, tea steaming from a pot set on it.

            “Here you go, Mr. Dursley, this should fix you right up.”  The smell of the tea was pleasant, like lavender and chamomile.

            “Well, that would be nice, yes.”  Vernon smiled.  Lily poured him a cup, and he took it gratefully.  “No sugar?” he asked.

            She shook her head.  “Sadly, it affects the tea if you do.  Chamomile is a rather delicate flower you know.”

            “Oh, I didn’t.  Did you learn that in your school?”  Vernon sipped from the cup.  How pleasant.  He could feel the pain in his head dull almost immediately.

            “Well, yes, you learn all sorts of funny things at Hogwarts.”  Lily shrugged, chuckling nervously.

            Hogwarts!  Vernon 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.

            “Err, well 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 look.

            James nodded.  “Yeah, it’s been around since the time of William the Conqueror.  I heard that it used to be…a monks school?”

            “Yes, a monastery!”  Lily nodded.  “It was a monastery till…Henry VIII banned all of them, and then it became a school.”

            Vernon 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 of yours?”

            James and Lily exchanged looks here.  “Well…” they both began.

            “All I know is that it’s a school for the gifted, Petunia never said much more than that.”  Vernon 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.

            “That would be Scampers, the cat.  He’s rather agitated with me.  James, do you think that you could help me?”

            “Um, yeah,” 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.

            It was 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 amazement.

            He 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…

            “A magic wand,” he cried in a strangled voice as he pointed towards James’s retreating figure.

            They both turned to look at Vernon in confusion.

            “That’s a WAND in your pocket, and you pointed it at ME!”  Vernon babbled, his face suddenly going very, very white.  “You tried to…kill me!”

            James shook his head then, waving his hands to calm Vernon down.  “No, it wasn’t like that…”

            “Get away from me!”  Vernon cried, as he scuttled backwards on the couch, “you, you…..MURDERER!”  Vernon felt his eyes bulge.

            Lily gasped 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 all!”

            “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.

            “Very bad people, and you aren’t, so please, just calm down.”  Lily continued, but Vernon wouldn’t listen.

            “So it’s true then, is it?  You are a witch!” he shrieked.

            “Well….yes.”  Lily said in a rather matter of fact manner, which caused Vernon to pause in his hysteria.  “I suppose Petunia told you, did she?”

            “I didn’t believe her,” Vernon shook his head, which did feel amazingly better.  “I thought she had gone mad!”

            “Mad, Petunia,” James snorted, “She’s too busy being Ms. Proper to ever be mad.”

            “James!” Lily glared at him, as Vernon stood up to confront the slightly taller youth.

            “I’ll have you know that you are speaking ill of the woman I intend to marry.”

            James did not seem impressed.

            “Look, Mr. 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.”

            “You mean there are MORE of you?”  Vernon felt suddenly faint.

            “Thousands, 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 witches.”

            Vernon’s 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.

            “Show me!” he said emphatically, crossing arms over his large chest.  “Show me your magic!”

            Lily looked 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 mouse.

            Vernon stared at it, one eyed, unable to speak.  He wondered if his injuries had perhaps addled his brains.

            “I can’t believe….I mean…what did you do?”  Vernon spluttered.

            “It’s 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.

            Vernon blinked.  He only caught about half of the explanation.

            “James, if 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.

            “Oh, well, 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.

            “Not even the pattern is out of place!”  Lily laughed as she picked it up.

            “You’d expect less out of me?”  James raised an eyebrow in mock indignation.

            Vernon merely stared at the tea cup.  He reached out a hand to touch it.  “You mean, it’s…back, normal again?”

            “Yep, back 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…”

            “The things 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!

            “Of course, 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…”

            Vernon shook his head and turned to Lily.  “You…you can do this too?”

            Lily nodded slowly.  “Well, yes, but not as well as James.”

            “She was better at Charms.”  This statement caused the girl to blush.

            “Charms,” Vernon mumbled mystified.

            “Well yes, 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.

            “I think he’s going to lose it again, Lily,” James mumbled.

            She quickly set the cup down and turned to Vernon.  “Are you all right?  Can I get you anything?”

            He shook his head, his mouth still hanging wide open, speechless.

            “You aren’t 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…”

            Vernon’s dazed senses snapped to full attention then.  “It WHAT?”  He bellowed.  “You…you tried to poison me as well as kill me?”

            James this 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.

            “Well yes, it’s a basic healing potion, like an aspirin or something, nothing special.”

            “You gave 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 didn’t exist.

 

 

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 misunderstanding.

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 assistance.

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 a ring.”

Vernon, 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.

Vernon, 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!”

Vernon 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 important.”

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 address.”

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 have?”

“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 like that.”

“But they are your family, Petunia.  I couldn’t ask you to just stop talking to them!”  Vernon protested.

“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 close.”

“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.”

Vernon smiled at her softly.  “You would do that for me?”

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.

Ms. P. Evans, London, wed to Mr. V. Dursley, London, 1 July 1978.  Witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. R. Ludley, London

“Look, Vernon, 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, humming quietly.

“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 normal!”

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?”  

 

//
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