A/N: This won't be a complete rewrite. Due to specific circumstances, I have decided that I will make this its own story, instead of a straight rewrite of the original Hidden Prodigy. It will still be built around the same basic idea as Hidden Prodigy, but I will be taking it in a slightly different direction than I had originally planned once we reach a certain point in the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything related to the franchise.
"I will tell your story if you die. I will tell your story, to keep you alive." - Laleh, Some Die Young
Prologue: Tragedy of 31rst October 1981
The rain fell from the sky in a heavy downpour over Godric's Hollow, as if the skies themselves were crying over the tragedy that had played out here just a few hours ago. The clock had passed midnight by now and the dawn of November 1rst was closing in, yet darkness was still weighing heavy over the little village. In a small alley to the side of the road, there echoed a low-pitched "bang", courtesy of a wizard apparating into the vicinity.
A second later, a hooded man appeared in the alley. His black robes were immediately drenched by the downpour, but he didnt' seem to pay it any mind at all. He only spared a quick glance up towards the skies before he left the alley and hurriedly walked down the street towards his destination.
The treck to the ruined building was short and already from a distance, he could see the smoke rising from the ruins of what had once been the house of the Potter Family. He shuddered. Just thinking the name left a bad taste in his mouth, but that was to be expected. He and Potter hadn't exactly been friends and if it wasn't for her, he couldn't care less what happened to him and his son.
Just as he thought it, he turned around a corner and finally, the entire Potter Estate was visible. And what he saw made him almost take back his previous thoughts about leaving James and Harry Potter to their fates.
The entire outer wall of the house and been blown away and the livingroom was clearly visible through the rain. If he had to guess, he would say that Voldemort had not felt the need to just knock and unlock the door. Most of the grass was either gone or scorched, except the parts that were at the opposite side of the little garden from the wall, suggesting that it had been an Explosion Curse that did the work.
Inside the house, Severus could clearly see destroyed furniture, scorch marks and holes in the walls that were still decently intact. The damage that had been dealt spoke volumes of the two wizards who had battled it out here just a few hours ago, especially one of them.
As he walked up the path that led to the house with slow and hesistant steps, Severus felt his throat grow dry. He knew that James Potter had been a powerful wizard. Even he couldn't deny that, no matter how much it hurt to admit it. But judging by the state that the building was in, the battle had been one sided. There was just no standing up against the power of Lord Voldemort. Both the Potters, Lily in particular, had been amongst the most gifted witches and wizards from their generation, and yet it looked like this battle had been nothing but a little schuffle from Voldemort's side.
As he stepped through the destroyed wall and into the livingroom, Severus found the first evidence of death. A few feet in front of him, the body of a young man with raven black hair was lying face down. There was no sign of any physical damage, courtesy of Voldemort's Killing Curse, but if the surroundings were anything to go by, James Potter had fought back against Voldemort with all his might and still gotten outmatched.
Looking around in the room, Severus felt his chest constrict painfully. If this much damage had been dealt down here, then what were the chances that Lily was still alive? Pretty close to none. While it gave him some hope that her body was nowhere to be found down here, he knew deep down that it was a fool's hope that he held. The Lily Evans he had known and loved since childhood would never have turned her back and run if someone she cared for was threatened. That was one of the many things that made her unique in his eyes. And probably, also one of the things that had made her special in Potter's eyes, Severus admitted begrudgingly.
Taking a deep breath, Severus did his best to try and collect himself. Was he ready for this? Since there was no sign of her down here, that meant that she must have fled upstairs when Potter was killed. If he was going to find out the truth, if he was going to find her, he would need to go upstairs and search for her. But was he ready for the truth? Was he ready to find her, no matter what state she was in?
The answer was that he simply wasn't ready and he probably never would be. Lily had been the most important person to him his entire life. No matter what he did and no matter who else he associated with, Lily had been willing to try and overlook it and done her best to remain his friend. During their years at Hogwarts, she had displayed an almost unnatural patience with him, hoping that he would go back to being the boy she used to know. And how had he repayed her? By joining the Death Eaters and sending Voldemort after her.
But he had to know. He wasn't ready for it, but he had to know. No matter how long he waited or how much he tried to steel himself for this, he knew that he would never be ready for this. But he needed to find out what had happened to her, to get some closure on this. He couldn't just turn back and run away from the truth. Ready or not, he had to see her with his own eyes one last time. He owed her that much.
Swallowing harshly to try and fight down the lump in his throat that was threatening to strangle him alive, Severus took a deep breath and headed upstairs. The walls up here were intact and most of the furniture were untouched, as if Lily had stopped resisting Voldemort and resigned herself to her approaching death when James had fallen. The mere thought of Lily, his Lily, resigning herself to death was heartbreaking and for a moment, Severus couldn't move. He just stood, frozen in place as he spotted the room that no doubt had been the last place where Lily Evans had set foot during her mortal existance.
All the signs were there. A few scorch marks on the floor just outside the room, the door had been blown off its hinges and was lying on the floor just inside the room. Judging by what he could see from out in the hall, that had to be the infant's chamber. Lily had spent the last moments of her life, trying to protect her son.
Slowly, Severus made his way towards the doorway. He felt like his steps echoed throughout his head, even though they were barely audible over the sound of the downpour against the roof. Judging by the sound, there was also a hole in either the roof or the wall somewhere inside the chamber. With almost painfully slow steps, Severus stepped into the room.
And that was when he saw her. Just in front of the crib rested the body of Lily Potter, née Evans. Just like with James, her body had not been exposed to any phyiscal harm. If he didn't know any better, he could've almost guessed that she was just asleep. On some subconcious level, that made it a little easier to bare, but at the same time he also felt his heart beat harder in his chest. What if she really only was sleep? A part of him couldn't help but hope that was the case, even though his mind and his entire being was telling him that it wasn't possible. Lily Potter was dead.
He didn't know how he did it or when, but during the time he tried to come to terms with the evidence that was right in front of his eyes, Severus moved over to the crib and fell to his knees in front of the body of his former best friend. He reached out with a trembling hand and stroked it across her delicate cheek. She was so cold...
For what felt like hours, he just sat there. He didn't know when the tears started coming or when they stopped, he didn't know when he let his hand silently find hers and clench it softly, trying to immitate the reassuring squeeze he used to give her when she was nervous about going to Hogwarts back when they were kids. It all felt so far away, as if he was just watching himself through a long telescope or something. It just seemed so surreal, yet he knew in the back of his head that it was really happening.
What could he do now? Up to this point, the only thing that had kept him going had been his resolve to protect Lily, but now that resolve was gone. Lily was gone... What could he do with his life now? Was it even worth living at all?
Looking down at the dead body of the person he used to love, Severus felt how his despair grew. No, there was no reason for him to live. He had wasted his entire life by joining the Death Eaters and pushing Lily away and his actions had ended up killing the person he loved more than anything. He had practically killed Lily himself!
Why was he still here?
His wand was lying safely inside his cloak. It was easy to retrieve and he knew more than enough curses that could easily put an end to his misery. All he needed to do was to reach inside his robes and pull out that little piece of wood and mutter a single word and it would all be over. He would be able to free himself from this living hell, he would be able to see Lily again and perhaps apologize to her for his many wrong doings...
Silently, he began to reach for his wand inside his robes... but then, his gaze fell on Lily again. What would she think of him if he proceeded with this? Would she want him to do this because of her death?
He swallowed, fighting back the urge to reach for his wand. No. She wouldn't want to be the cause of his death, no matter how distant she had been towards him since they ended their official friendship. But what would she want him to do? If he could somehow speak to her and ask her what she wanted him to do for her, as a friend then what would she ask of him? For some reason as he thought about this, his gaze lifted from Lily's body, to stare at the empty crib.
Severus had only met Harry James Potter once so far, during an meeting with the Order of the Phoenix where the Potters had been forced to bring him along because their neighbour, Bathilda Bagshot, who usually took care of Harry when they were away doing something, was down with a nasty flu and was unable to care for the boy. His first impression of the boy had been rusty at best. That blasted boy had been the reason that Lily was driven into hiding and he was proof of all the wrong doings Severus had made, that had eventually driven Lily towards James Potter and away from himself.
But now, Harry was all that was left of Lily. He might be James Potter's son, but he was also Lily Evans' son. And if it was something positive he had noticed about Harry, it was his eyes. He had Lily's eyes. Those same eyes that had entranced Severus since the first time he saw them. Despite himself, Severus had found himself staring at the boy several times during the meeting, glancing at his innocent eyes, the eyes that reminded him so much of the Lily he remembered, the one that had been his friend on equal terms and had been looking at him with care and happiness, rather than the strain, insecurity and later displeassure that she had when they came to Hogwarts.
It took a few moments for Severus to put two and two together in his mind, because he wasn't really sure if he wanted to get this resolve or not. Harry was still James Potter's son, the son of his worst bully and the person he hated over everything else. But then again... Harry was also still the last living relic of Lily Evans, the person he loved over everything else. What would Lily think of him if he just left her son to die because of a school grudge?
He cringed inwardly at the thought. No doubt Lily Evans would be turning in her grave if she knew that he just abandonned her son, Death Eater or not. Lily had died to protect Harry, wouldn't just leaving him to his fate be kind of like spitting on her sacrifice?
Clenching his hand around Lily's, Severus felt warmth return to his body and the semi-entranced feeling he had been under ever since he entered the building floated away. He had to find Harry. He had failed to protect Lily, but he still had the chance to protect what she had died to protect. There was still a chance for him to redeem himself and honor his friendship with Lily and he wouldn't make the same mistakes twice.
Slowly, he let go of Lily's dead hand and stood up, taking a deep breath to try and collect himself. He would have time to grieve later, right now finding Harry and ensure his safety took first priority.
'Don't worry,' he thought as he cast one last glance at Lily. 'I'll make sure that your son is safe.'
With that, he turned on his heels and left the room. Walking out of the room and leaving Lily's body behind felt almost as hard as it had to walk in there and see it, but at the same time it felt good to be able to leave that room behind. He had something he needed to do again, a purpose. And to fulfill that purpose, he would need to find Harry. The first step towards that was to try and figure out who could've taken him. Death Eaters were probably out of the quesiton for now. He doubted that Voldemort would've trusted anyone, except maybe Lucius and Bellatrix, enough to tell them something so important. And neither of those two were likely to come here first thing when they heard about the Dark Lord's demise.
That left only a handful of people, none of which were a direct threat to Harry. Even though the Fidelius Charm had worn off, people would still need to be told about the location by someone who had been aware of it while it was still under the charm to know where to look, because he doubted someone would just randomly walk in here and find Harry and decide to take him with them.
So, who had known of the Fidelius Charm and the Potters' location? Bathilda Bagshot knew, since she had been Harry's caretaker when his parents went to meetings with the Order. Obviously, Albus knew since he had been the one to suggest they use the charm in the first place and he thought that maybe Professor McGonagall knew as well, since she had been particularly close to the Potters. Then, there was the Marauders and the Longbottoms, both of which would most likely be first in line of both Lily and James' list of trustworthy people. Aside from those, there was always Hagrid, whom both Potters had been very fond of and Severus suspected that Professor Flitwick might have been the one to cast the charm, since he was the most skilled charms expert in the Order's ranks.
As he exited the building and felt the rain soaking through his cloak again, Severus came to a stop. All those were potential candidates to have known about the Potters' hideout and that in turn made them possible as candidates to have taken Harry away from here. However, it was unlikely that Dumbledore had agreed to share the secret between so many different people, because the more people who knew, the greater the risk that the secret was revealed.
He decided to start working with those he knew for sure had known of the hideout: Professors Dumbledore and Flitwick, the Marauders and Bathilda Bagshot. Out of those, he could definetely exclude Flitwick as the one to have taken Harry away, since he had seen said wizard in the Great Hall just shortly before he departed for Godric's Hollow himself. He couldn't completely exclude that any of the Marauders had been the one to take Harry away, but except for maybe Black, they would just have brought him to Dumbledore as fast as they could anyway, so Dumbledore was probably the best place to start.
His course of actions made up, Severus disapprated, his mind set on finding out where Dumbledore was and where he was keeping Harry. He remembered that the Headmaster had been absent from the feast that was being held in the great hall, so that meant he was most likely not at Hogwarts. But if that was the case, then where could he be?
It was later than midnight and the moon had already fallen, leaving the street of Privet Drive in darkness, save for the light that was given by the lampposts. On the stone wall that was next to Number 4, a cat was sitting very stiffly and watched the house intently. It had been present the entire day, studying the inhabitants of Number 4 with unnerving intensity. Now however, it seemed to be waiting for something.
Suddenly, the light in the lamppost just outside of Privet Drive Number 4 went out of the lamppost and flew of towards the end of the street. The cat immediately turned its head in the direction where the light had flown off, spotting a tall silhouette walking down the street. The man was holding his hand high in the air, holding something out, into which the light that went out of the lamppost seemed to have disappeared. A second later, the light in the next lamppost followed after the other and flew into the strange device in the man's hand.
This kept up until the entire street had been covered in darkness. By then, the man had made his way down the street and come to a stop just outside of the gate to Number 4, not too far away from the cat. He was a strange man, wearing a dark blue robe covered in stars and moons, making him look like he was a dressed in a piece of the sky itself. As his eyes found the cat, sitting atop the stone wall watching him, the old man's lips were curled into a smile.
"I should've known that you would be here." he said as he nodded towards the cat. "Professor McGonagall."
The cat's eyes narrowed at being spoken to. She should've known that Dumbledore would recognize her, even in the dark. There was just no way of getting around that man. Sighing inwardly, Minerva jumped off the stone wall and transformed back to her human form. A second later, a stern, strange-looking woman with glasses was standing next to the equally strange-looking man.
"Professor Dumbledore." Minerva offered as a greeting.
Dumbledore bowed ever so slightly in response before straightening up and pulling out a strange watch with stars and moon instead of numbers, studying it intently. Minerva cast a glance at the watch, but quickly just shook her head and looked back up at Dumbledore. Even she couldn't completely understand that watch, even though Dumbledore had tried to explain it to her many times. How the man himself understood it would forever be beyond her understanding.
However, she hadn't come here to just hang around. She had come here for answers, answers that she knew Professor Dumbledore held. For a moment, she just stood there, watching as Professor Dumbledore studied his watch, then looked up towards the nightsky, then lowered his gaze back to the surface of the watch again. When it became apparent that Dumbledore wouldn't initiate a conversation, Minerva spoke up.
"Albus... are the rumors true?"
For a moment, Dumbledore didn't give any indication to have heard her, instead opting to look up towards the star filled sky again. However, just as Minerva was about to repeat her question, Dumbledore finally spoke up.
"I'm afraid they are. Both the good... and the bad."
Hearing Dumbledore's confirmation, Minerva completely froze up. She had half expected the rumors to be just that, rumors. It just sounded so incredibly unbelievable, so completely illogical.
"So he's really gone? He's really been stopped?"
Minerva inwardly cursed when she heard her voice tremble. It wasn't like her at all to be so unsure of herself, but right now everything just felt so uncertain that she couldn't quite keep her emotions in check.
"Well," Dumbledore said, "he's gone for now."
"And the boy?" Minerva kept pushing for answers, ignoring Dumbledore's cryptic answer. "Is it true what they say? That after all the people he's killed, an infant boy was the one to stop him?"
For the first time since he arrived, Dumbledore showed an emotional reaction to something Minerve had said. However, it was an emotion she had not expected: annoyance.
"Please Minerva," Dumbledore said with a slight hint of exasperration in his tone, "why can't you just speak of him by name? I've never had any problems calling him by his rightful name: Voldemort."
Hearing the name of the acknowledged strongest dark wizard of all times, Minerva flinched. Even though Voldemort was supposedly gone now, she still didn't feel too comfortable hearing or speaking his name. There weren't many things that Minerva McGonagall feared, but Voldemort was definetly one of them and like for so many other wizards and witches (practically the entire Magical World), the name alone was enough to make her feel extremely uncomfortable.
"That may be, but that's you. You're different from the rest of us." she said to her defense.
Dumbledore just sighed in slight disappointment. Minerva knew all too well that he didn't like being singled out as someone special, but in this case he only had himself to blame. He was someone special, someone extraordinary compared to most of them. The most powerful wizard since the Founders of Hogwarts themselves and the strongest since his own generation. Lord Voldemort was the only one who could even consider challenging Dumbledore to a duel and expect to come out victorious.
"Well, as far as I know, and I admit I might still be wrong, the rumors are true down to the slightest detail." Dumbledore answered nonchalantly.
Minerva sighed in shock. So it really was true. Lord Voldemort had finally fallen at the hands of an infant boy, Harry Potter.
"I can't believe it..." Minerva whispered in shock, too stunned to think straight. The implications of what Dumbledore had just told her were overwhelming, even if it were just a few words. If all rumors were indeed true, that meant Minerva had lost some of the best friends she had gotten to know since her family was killed. At the same time, the world had finally been freed from the horrors and darkness that was Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard of all times.
For a moment, none of them let out even the slightest of sounds. Dumbledore opted to keep studying the nightsky, still looking for... whatever it was he was looking for. Minerva didn't really care. She was too lost in thought, too stunned to even completely register what was going on around her. Lily and James Potter were dead, and their son Harry had become the savior of the wizarding world. It all just sounded too bizarre for her to really comprehend.
However, both Minerva and Dumbledore were brought out of their thoughts by an all too familiar sound that caused both of them to jump in surprise. Someone apparated to the end of the street, causing a loud bang to echo throughout the blockby the rushing air that was forced away from the space it had occupied just a moment ago by the sudden appearence of the stranger. Acting on instinct, Minerva had her wand in her hand within a second and had it aimed towards the dark silhouette.
Dumbledore didn't reach for his wand, but his light and carefree demeanor was gone in an instant and his face hardened into that of an experienced warrior, ready to draw his own weapon at the least indication that violence would follow. His eyes lost their happy twinkle and became cold as ice as they focused on the newcomer, who by now had spotted them and began moving down the street.
"Who's there? Show your us your face!" Minerva called with a steady voice, slowly pulling back her wand in case she would need to use it quickly.
The stranger slowed his steps and pulled out his own wand, Minerva's breath caught in her throat and she was just about to cast her curse before the stranger could draw his wand, when Dumbledore raised his hand and made a lowering motion. Minerva cast a quick glance over her shoulder at the headmaster, taking in his relaxed and relieved look, and then hesistantly lowered her wand.
"Lumos!" the stranger spoke up, causing the tip of his wand to lit up like a torch so that he could show them his face, as per Minerva's request.
Hearing the voice of the stranger, Minerva felt herself relax a little more. She recognized that voice and sure enough, when the wand lit up to show off the stranger's face, she could easily make out the face of her former student and current colleague, Severus Snape. He didn't look happy, but Minerva didn't think much of it. After all, he never looked happy.
"Ah Severus, what brings you to this part of Britain?" Dumbledore asked casually, now much more relaxed and the twinkle back in his eyes.
In Minerva's opinion, her headmaster was a little too quick to trust that this really was Severus Snape, considering that just yesterday, a war was still being raged where Polyjuice Potion was a common element for espionage and sneak attacks, but then again she felt pretty certain that Dumbledore would be able to tell if this really was Severus or not.
"I could ask you the same question." Severus replied coldly. "It wouldn't be because Harry's relatives happen to live in the house you're standing by?"
The venom and coldness of Severus voice caused Minerva to shiver slightly and she immediately tensed up. Severus was never one for social interraction, but his voice was usually very even and emotionless, not cold or threatening like it was now. However, something else also registered in her mind, causing her to remember why she too had chosen to come here of all places to wait for Dumbledore.
"I think the mere fact that I'm here answers that question pretty nicely." Dumbledore commented tiredly.
This was apparently the wrong thing to say, as Severus let out an angry growl and grit his teeth to show just how much he disapproved of Dumbledore's being here, and the reason for it.
"You can't seriously be thinking about leaving Harry with Petunia!? Do you know how much Petunia hated magic? Or how much she hated Lily?!" Severus growled, though he still tried to be as quiet as possible as to not wake up anyone.
" For once, I agree with Severus." Minerva added her point of view. "I've been watching them for the entire day! They're the worst kind of muggles imagineable! They really are..."
"... the only family he has left." Dumbledore said with finality in his voice. He usually didn't get annoyed when people gave him their opinion, but enough was enough. Minerva heard the underlying tone of warning in his voice, leaving no room for arguments. Reluctantly, Minerva began to back down. Maybe Dumbledore knew something about this that she didn't? But then, why wouldn't he just tell her?
Both Minerva and Severus opened their mouths at the same time to try and get some answers out of Dumbledore, but they were interrupted by a terrible noise coming from somewhere above. Looking up in confusion, they spotted a sphere of white light that grew bigger by the second, soon revealing a flying motorcycle coming down towards them. Once more, Minerva's hand twitched towards her wand but just like before, Dumbledore raised his hand in a calming gesture, signaling that he did not think that the man, or woman, riding the flying vehicle meant any harm.
The three Hogwarts Professors watched as the vehicle landed clumsily on the ground and slowed to a stop in front of them. The man riding the motorcycle had a huge build and was easily three times the size of a normal human being, giving Minerva a pretty good hint as to who the man was. It also calmed her nerves tremendously and made her relax, as the man question could not be impersonated by any means she knew of, since he was a half giant.
"Good evening, Hagrid. I trust everything went well?" Dumbledore greeted the newcomer.
"Aye sir! The little one fell 'sleep just as we flew over Bristol!" Hagrid offered as a greeting, while nodding towards the other two Professors present.
Minerva nodded in greeting, but didn't say anything, while Severus just scowled towards the man who had brought Harry to Privet Drive. While neither of them held anything against Hagrid, he was just following Dumbedore's orders after all, they still felt like leaving Harry with the Dursleys was a really, REALLY bad idea.
The half-giant closed the distance between himself and the Professor trio before carefully and gently handing Harry over to Professor Dumbledore. Minerva anxiously stared at the little bundle in the headmaster's arms, almost as if she expected it to do something spectacular without warning, like lighting up in some strange color or set off a bunch of Doctor Filibuster's Fireworks. But nothing strange happened, nothing out of the ordinary. If she hadn't known it beforehand, she would've never guessed that this was the boy that had brought down Voldemort.
"C-can I... Can I say g'bye to 'im?" Hagrid hiccuped as Professor Dumbledore turned towards the Dursleys house and walked over towards their doorstep.
Dumbledore didn't answer right away, instead putting unnescesarily much focus on placing Harry on the Dursleys doorstep, before standing back up turned o Hagrid, who had begun to sniffle and shake uncontrollably.
"There, there Hagrid. This isn't a farewell, after all. Harry will be back with us before we know it." he said, though his trademark twinkle was gone form his eyes.
He wasn't really happy about leaving Harry with the Dursleys either, Minerva realized as she looked into Dumbledore's empty eyes. He knew what the Dursleys were like, and he didn't want to subject Harry to that any more than Minerva herself or Severus did, but he still did it. Did he know something about Harry? Something that the rest of them didn't? Well, he had to, or he wouldn't leave Harry here against his will.
"Well, that takes care of that. Guess there's nothing left for us here to do, we might as well go join in the partying." Dumbledore said, though any enthusiasm was gone from his voice.
Minerva cast one last look at the bundle on the doorstep that was Harry, before she took a deep breath and turned away. Hagrid soon followed suit, not being able to stand the sadness he was feeling over having to leave Harry with muggles. Severus however, didn't seem quite satisfied yet.
"Oh no, you don't!" he growled at Dumbledore who stopped dead in his tracks and turned to look at his Potion's Master. "You've got a lot more to explain to me before you'll be going to any parties!"
For a moment, the tension from before rose into the air and Minerva could practically feel the aura radiating off the two wizards as they stared each other down. While she was not particularly fond of Severus Snape, she couldn't deny that he was a skilled wizard, probably one of the best ones from his generation, or he wouldn't have survived the war as far as he did. Despite that, she felt almost certain that Dumbledore would refuse his demand, but to her suprise the headmaster just let out a heavy sigh and shook his head.
"I guess you're right, Severus. Meet me in my office in 10 minutes." he said with a tired voice, suddenly appearing at least 20 years older, before he turned towards Minerva. "You're welcome to join us too if you so wish, Minerva."
Without waiting for an answer, the legendary wizard disapparated without warning. As the signature bang echoed across the street when the air rushed back into the spot that Dumbledore had occupied only moments ago, Minerva look up just in time to see Severus follow his headmaster barely a heartbeat later. It couldn't be more obvious that he wanted answers to whatever questions he had, and Minerva couldn't really blame him. She was quite curious to know the answers as to why Dumbledore would leave Harry with his muggle relatives.
Looking over towards Hagrid, just to make sure that he got away in time, she watched as he shook his head, probably to clear his thoughts in preparation for the journey ahead of him, before he kicked the motorcycle to life and hurriedly lifted off the ground. As soon as he was out of sight, Minerva cast one last look around he street to make sure that everything was as it was supposed to be, before she too disapparated.
To say that the Dursleys were unhappy to find the bundle containing their nephew the following morning would be a close contender for the yet-to-be-invented understatement of the century-award. The high-pitched shriek of horror that echoed across the streets of Privet Drive when Petunia Dursley opened the door to check if the Milk Carriage had been there yet would be the topic of many conversations in the local area for a long time to come. People speculated why the boy had been left with the Dursleys and why Petunia had reacted so badly to finding him on their doorstep.
While this was happening, a rift had opened up within the boundaries of the Dursley Household. Vernon Dursley had not been happy at all when Petunia's "Freak Sister" died and left their nephew with them, ruining his view on himself as "perfectly normal". Petunia on the other hand had been horrified, not by the fact that she had to care for her nephew but rather because her sister had just been murdered in cold blood, something that Vernon viewed as downright betrayal.
"I thought you promised that we would NEVER be disturbed by those freaks again if we married!" he roared at his terrified wife, his face purple with rage.
"I-I..." Petunia stuttered in fear and shock.
She honestly didn't know what to think or feel. While she had shared Vernon's despise of magic (heck, she was the only reason he even knew about it), she had never wished for her sister to die. True, they hadn't really gotten along since Lily got accepted into Hogwarts, but she was still her sister. The thought of someone murdering her little sister in cold blood unnerved Petunia greatly.
As time went on, the situation at Privet Drive Number 4 steadily grew worse with every day that past. Vernon's bitterness about the whole idea of having to care for a "freak child", regardless of the boy's connection to his wife, grew in strength, while for Petunia it went in the opposite direction. She hadn't initially been too keen to take care of the boy either and had originally wanted to owl Professor Dumbledore and ask that he arrange for different living arrangements for the boy, but for some reason she just couldn't bring herself to do it.
She didn't know why that was, but she felt a strange connection to the boy somehow. Maybe it was because he was her only living connection to her deceased sister?
'It must be his eyes.' Petunia thought as she absentmindedly studied the households two baby boys one evening after having finished cleaning the house and while she was waiting for Vernon to get home from work.
They were currently seated in the living room, with Petunia relaxing in the sofa with a cup of tea while the two boys were crawling around at the floor, minding their own business. Dudley was currently chewing on his favourite plush toy, occasionally taking it out of his mouth and waving it around in the air and laugh uncontrollably.
Meanwhile, Harry opted for a more calmer behavior, allowing his emerald green eyes to travel around the room and take in every single detail in it. As she studied her nephew, Petunia couldn't help but feel a little creeped out at how much his behavior reminded her of Lily when she was young. She could almost swear she could see the gears turning in the brain behind the young boy's eyes, and felt herself shift uncomfortably as his eyes swept over her, convinced she saw a shadow of her deceased sister watching her from behind her son's eyes.
'I'm going paranoid.' she thought as she shook her head to clear it of any recollection of Lily. Her sister was gone and there was no way she could be watching her through Harry. Given, she was a witch and was probably capable of a lot more than Petunia wanted to imagine, but she felt pretty certain that her younger sibling would not haunt her from the afterlife, no matter how rusty their relationship had become after she received that acceptance letter to that bloody school of hers.
Sighing to herself, Petunia lifted her cup to her mouth to take a zip of her tea as she heard the sound of the front door opening and closing as someone entered the house. She tensed as she heard her husband's call from the entrance hall and stiffly answered him that she was in the living room.
Things had been tense between them ever since Harry had shown up on their doorstep. Having a wizard child living under his roof had brought out a very dark side of Vernon and while Petunia knew she was partly to blame for provoking this by trying to protect the boy, she felt obliged to at least make sure that Harry was treated decently. Freak or not, Harry was their family, just like Lily had never stopped being her sister just because she was a freak. Somewhere deep down, Petunia had always felt a little regret over distancing herself from Lily. It really wasn't her fault that she was a witch and Petunia was not, just like it wasn't Harry's fault that his parents had died and he had been left at their doorstep. It wasn't like he had crawled his way from wherever Lily and James had lived to Privet Drive by himself.
Vernon however, didn't see it that way and truth to be told, though shamefully admitted, Petunia was surprised she was even considering taking care of Harry. If someone had asked her to do it without mentioning that his parents had died, she would admit she would've probably spit them in the face and told them to leave her alone. It was just... Lily's death had affected her worse than she would've ever thought it would.
"Petunia! Where's the whiskey?! I need something to calm down a bit!" Vernon bellowed harshly from the kitchen and Petunia noted bitterly that he didn't even call her "darling" anymore.
"Second cupboard to the right from the stove!" Petunia reminded him reluctantly.
Her ungrateful husband grunted something incoherrable in reply. Petunia rolled her eyes and tried to ignore him. She had found that ignoring her husband when he was in a foul mood made it all the lot easier to bear through. On second thought, maybe helping him find the whiskey wasn't a very good idea, but denying she knew where it was would only have resulted in yet another argument.
A few more peaceful minutes passed before Vernon joined his family in the living room, taking a seat next to Petunia. Even though his current glass of whiskey seemed to be only half empty, the stench of his breath hinted that he had taken down more than just one glass prior to joining his family, causing Petunia to wrinkle her nose in disgust. While Vernon wasn't normally alcoholic in any way, he tended to drink more when he felt pressured or under a lot of stress. For not the first time since Harry had arrived at Privet Drive, Petunia wondered if maybe Lily had been right when she had said that Vernon wasn't good enough to be her husband.
A/N: So there's the prologue. What did you think? Good? Bad? Let me know in a review!