"I am not young enough to know everything."
― Oscar Wilde
William Dursley hugged his knees as he sat on the bed in a white room of one of the many hospitals in London. The eight year old tried to focus on the cartoons that were playing on a TV in the corner of the room, but he couldn't keep it for too long. The sound was low enough for his six year old sister to sleep peacefully next to him. She refused to sleep in her own bed for the past few days. It wasn't really her bed, though. They had been at the hospital for six days and seven nights now, ever since the accident on the motorway occurred.
It had been the fault of the other driver. It had been raining that evening and the man lost control of his lorry on the slick tarmac. The police and the doctors weren't sure why the two children came out of the accident baring only scratches, but they decided to call it a miracle and closed the case.
Of course, William wouldn't tell them that he knew how they had survived. At the age of five, his father had taken notice of the strange occurrences happing around him whenever he was emotional. When he was six years old, Dudley Dursley had sat his family down in the living room and told them the story of a boy-who-lived-under-the-stairs.
Dudley hadn't told them much because he didn't know much to do with magic, but over the years he caught on to the basics: magic is real, an entire community exists full of people with the ability to wield it but it was well hidden, and a special school existed to teach their children how to control it. When he was seven, his father had finally consulted grandma Petunia, under a lot of pressure from his mum. The outcome was far less then desirable. His grandma had gone on silent mode when she understood her son's words, and it didn't help that grandpa Vernon had just come home from work and had listened in on the conversation. It hadn't ended well, to say the least.
That was the reason the children were still at the hospital. In three days they would both be taken into state custody, as no one else seemed willing. Grandpa Vernon unapologetically disowned his grandchildren that night, even his sister Violet, whom William suspected didn't have an ounce of magic in her. That didn't matter to Vernon though, and even grandma Petunia had not shown up in the aftermath of the accident. From what he overheard the nurses say, she had refused to take custody over them.
His mother had also been an only child. She never had a father and her mother was an elderly woman now, suffering from a disease William couldn't pronounce the name of the disease. Yet, it meant she was unfit, despite being willing, to care for them. Thus, William and Violet were left with no options.
William was usually a good boy, but he had lied to the nurses when they asked if he had any extended family. He knew of the existence of his dad's cousin, Harry Potter, but after hearing all the terrible stories of Harry's life around his grandparents, and suspecting that his father was not even telling his family half of it, William wasn't sure if he wanted to even know the man.
Even after his mum argued that Dudley should contact his cousin, if only just for a short chat, his father had refused, saying that Harry would probably want nothing to do with them- he wouldn't if he were in his place.
Knowing his sister was not magical, William worried that should the man know about them, he could potentially take revenge.
William pulled himself from his thoughts, turned off the telly and hugged his sleeping sister, trying his best to just fall asleep without crying.
You probably never expected to hear from me again, especially after I returned the Christmas card you sent me all those years ago, but please read this to the end.
Dudley married ten years ago. He has an eight year old son, William, and a six year old daughter, Violet. William has magic. Dudley had changed a lot since you left. He and his wife have accepted his son's magic. A week ago there was a car accident in which I lost both my son and daughter-in-law. Ironic, isn't it?
I cannot take them in. I don't know how to act around William, and your uncle has not changed at all in his views on your abilities. They have a grandmother on their mother's side, but she is far too ill to be of any help.
I write this letter to you because soon the state will take charge of them. I cannot stand the thought of those two in an orphanage, separated or in an adoptive family that would mistreat them.
As I look back on the years you were with us, I know there is nothing I can do to make up for all the pain we caused you, and though it is worth nothing, I am sorry.
I have no right to ask anything of you, but Dudley told them about you so that if one day you would ever cross paths with them, please be better than me. I need to ask you to be for them what I failed to be for you. I know that is asking a lot, and should you decide to ignore this, I will understand.
Harry stared at the letter in complete shock.
''Harry?'' His wife soft voice came from the side, as she took the letter both of them had been astonished to receive.
''She's desperate. Aunt Petunia never says please, especially to me.'' The man replied in monotone.
''Harry? Love, look at me.'' Ginny urged him until he met her gaze. She could see the conflict in his eyes. ''What are you thinking?''
''I can't believe Dudley accepted his son's magic. I mean, he once told me I wasn't a waste of space, but well… I always thought he would turn out only slightly better from Vernon. I still can't believe he's gone.''
The Head of the Auror Department wondered briefly if he could have reconnected with his cousin. He loved his huge and wicked family with all his life, but he couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like having positive contact with a real blood relative.
''Poor kids.'' Ginny muttered as she re-read the letter, her motherly instincts kicking in. ''I can't help but be angry at that woman for not throwing her waste of a husband out, and doing what is right by those children.'' The red haired woman continued angrily.
''She wouldn't be able to.'' Harry replied quietly as he glanced at the letter. ''It seems Petunia has some humanity for magical folk, as she feels guilty, but she treats magic like a disease. I don't think I would let her take care of even a non-magical child if she wanted to.''
Ginny smiled softly as she watched her husband stare at the letter intensely as if it were written in Gobbledygook. ''So which room are we going to give them?''
''Huh?'' The famous wizard blinked dazed.
''You are easy to read, Harry, and since you still have your hero complex, I know that you thought of bringing them here the second you finished reading that letter the first time.''
Harry just stared at the woman he loved so dearly, and felt like he was falling in love with her all over again. ''Thank you.''
She leaned in to kiss the man of her life, before they both settled on the sofa in each other's embrace.
Harry's moment of bliss was suddenly clouded by worry. ''Are you alright though, with Violet not having magic? It will be different raising a non-magical child. Boarding schools are regarded differently in the muggle world since the day-schools are so easily accessible. It's something we'll have to think about. She may also feel excluded on half of the things in the house.''
''Then we'll adapt. We'll buy more muggle devices. Besides, James and Al are into muggle technology like cell-phones and computers. It will be pretty interesting to learn about technology and their culture anyway, as for magic… we can create a talisman for her to be able to activate some stuff around the house. We'll make it work Harry.''
"What if…what if I turn out like Vernon?'' The wizard voiced his fear with apprehension.
Ginny's gaze hardened at that. ''Listen to me Harrison James Potter. You have helped to raise Teddy since he was a babe, and then adopted him when he was four. You have a great relationship with all four of your children, and they love you and trust you with their entire hearts. You are the opposite of what that monster was to you. For the most powerful Wizard in the world, you really lack self-esteem when it comes to parenting. Something you are simply brilliant at, by the way.'' Ginny held her hand up as he was about to interrupt her. ''And if you still don't trust yourself, then trust me. You are not alone in this Harry, alright?''
''Alright.'' He agreed finally. ''It's been quiet around here anyway. With Ted getting married and permanently moving out, James trying to be on his own now after ending Hogwarts, and Al and Lily at the school.''
''Yes, it's been quiet the seven months we don't have that group running around from dawn till twilight. But you should know, that out of the three days in the week James doesn't come here for dinner, he goes to steal food from mum or Teddy.''
''Oh, I knew. I caught him flooing in here few days ago to get breakfast in the morning before you woke up.'' He informed her.
''He makes me think that we never taught him to cook.''
''Oh, he knows how to cook alright; it's getting the food organized that's the problem. Apparently Fred is supposed to do that, and he constantly forgets.''
''Right.'' The red haired rolled her eyes. There was a pause as their thoughts went back to the letter.
''She didn't mention which hospital they are in.'' Ginny commented.
''There's only one hospital Aunt Petunia ever set foot in in London, so I'll assume it's that one.''
''Do you want me to go with you?'' She asked as she saw her husband going upstairs to get out his muggle winter coat. Harry always wore muggle clothes beneath his robes.
''I think I'll be alright. I don't think they will let me take the kids immediately since they must have been wounded in the accident. I'll go and see how it goes. But I may stay with them for the night.'' He thought out loud as he put his shoes on. It all depended now on how the children reacted to him, and considering he had no idea what Dudley had told them about him, he didn't know what to expect.
''I'll get the guest room ready, just in case.'' Ginny replied patiently. She could see how big a deal this was for her husband, even if he was trying to hide his emotions behind a mask of stone.
''You're an angle.'' Harry replied looking at his wife with a warm smile, and after giving her a short kiss, he apparated to the hospital.
Harry walked steadily through the hospital hallways. He had to admit that he really liked the fact that strangers didn't instantly recognize him, even though his scared face had earned a few curious looks along the way. The wizard caught his sight in a window reflection, and although the scar on his cheek looked to him to be barely noticeable, he still decided to put a small glamour on it. He kept the lighting scar on his forehead, since the kids may have been told he had it.
With his face looking much smoother than before, Harry continued his way down the numerous corridors trying to find room 649. One of the nurses looked immensely relieved and glad that there was finally someone there for the children. Since the green eyed wizard had lived and attended primary school in the muggle world, his relation with the Dursleys was easy enough to verify. As a family member, the nurses rushed to explain how it was a miracle the kids were fine, and how heart-breaking it had been to learn that their grandparents had refused to take them in. She informed him that the kids claimed to have no extended family; however it seemed that Petunia had made mention of having a nephew that she would contact when she had refused to see the children.
From what he gathered from the nurses, the kids were healthy and could technically be released home the next morning, but since the two little Dursleys were supposed to be taken by child services, they had preferred to keep the kids until they were completely healed. Once again Harry was thankful Ginny had agreed to marry him.
Violet woke up an hour after her brother had finally fallen asleep. She looked around the white room, silently hoping that it was all a bad nightmare. As the girl became more aware of her surroundings she knew that, just like all the previous times, it wasn't so. The blue eyed girl took the extra blanket from her bed and gently placed it over her sleeping brother before taking the yogurt the nurses had left for them.
She slowly got herself into a cream colored jumper one of the nurses had given her which was much too big for her. With bare feet, the girl went outside their room and sat slowly on a wooden bench just outside the door.
With her yogurt, she had also taken a bottle of water, but the plastic cap was sealed too tightly for the little girl to open. Giving up after few minutes, she angrily kicked the air with her legs as she tried to satisfy her dry lips with the yogurt. The blonde girl didn't want to wake up William, as the eight year old needed his sleep too, but she could not see a single nurse in the long corridor either. So, Violet just stayed sitting and slowly consuming her dessert.
Her feet felt cold, but she ignored it. She swung her pale legs back and forth, completely missing the cautious steps of a certain dark haired man. It wasn't until the stranger was standing in front of her that her legs froze mid-air, feeling self-conscious as she looked up to meet a pair of green eyes.
''Hello.'' The girl said immediately in a high pitch voice.
''Hi,'' The man replied. Violet had to admit that he looked something between amused and shocked as he watched her.
The six-year-old girl started with wide, innocent eyes. She took the clear plastic bottle full of water and held it out to the man. The green eyed stranger looked slightly confused at that and it looked like he had to force himself to place a gentle smile on his face.
''Could you open it, please?'' The girl asked with her hand stretched out toward the man with the funny looking coat.
''Sure,'' The man opened the bottle for her, and his smile didn't look strained anymore. "There you go."
''Thank you.'' She quickly said before drinking savagely from the bottle.
''Hey, take it easy. The bottle won't run away from you.'' The man chided gently.
''Sorry, I couldn't find a nurse and I didn't want to wake my brother, Will.'' Violet replied quietly, not sure if she should stay or go back toward the room now. Her mum warned her not to talk with strangers- but he opened her bottle- so he should be nice. Right?
''Who are you?'' The girl asked suddenly breaking the silence.
Whatever trance the man seemed to be in before, the question brought him back to earth. He kneeled down to be on the eye level of the girl as she unconsciously stopped swinging her legs in anticipation.
''My name is Harry. I was- am your dad's cousin.'' Harry told her slowly, trying to judge her reaction.
The blond girl seemed to freeze at the news, staring unblinkingly at the man in front, which after a dozen seconds started to make the green eyed man anxious.
''Harry Potter?'' Violet squeezed all of the sudden, almost making the man in question jump in surprise.
The wizard nodded slowly, not sure what to make of the girls reaction. ''May I join you on the bench?''
He didn't receive a response before the girl asked quickly. ''You are not going to put me in a cupboard like grandpa did with you?''
The green eyed wizard was extremely taken aback by the question. Very few people, even today, knew of the neglect and abuse he had suffered as a child, but Harry managed to respond regardless of his shock at the girl even asking such a question.
''Never.'' He promised the girl as he looked at her seriously.
''I don't have magic like Will.'' She quickly returned.
''Then it makes you quite special between wizards and witches, doesn't it?'' He told her with a comforting smile, trying to communicate that her lack of magical abilities didn't and would never bother him.
All of the sudden Harry found himself in a death grip from the child. Her small hands were encircled around his neck tightly and only continued to tighten until he hugged the small girl back. He felt her shaking against him in silent sobs, and the wizard tried to reassure the girl as much as he could by stroking her hair and muttering comforting words.
''Are you… ar-r-e yo-u goi-n….'' Violet tried to ask something, but she couldn't get her voice under enough control.
''Shh… Breath, it's alright, Violet.'' He softened his voice for the crying child.
''How do you know my name?''
''Your grandma wrote to me, but it took a while before I received it.''
''Why didn't she call you?'' The girl continued her interrogation. Harry preferred this as it seemed to help the girl calm down, albeit slowly, though she still wouldn't release the grip she had on his neck.
''I don't think she had my number.'' The wizard replied finally. They did have a muggle phone after all, even though they rarely used it. Harry had insisted to send his kids to a muggle primary school so they would be able to feel comfortable in both worlds, but now the phone served little purpose.
The green eyed wizard was suddenly aware how cold the girl's limbs were despite the heavy jumper. Obviously the lack of shoes or socks had something to do with that.
''You're freezing; let's get you in bed under some blankets.''
''No!'' The girl shrieked all of the sudden as she buried her face in Harry's shirt.
''What's wrong?'' He asked alarmed but he tried to keep his tone gentle.
''The nurses always do that before they leave us alone. Please don't go yet… please…'' The girl started to sob again.
''Violet, sweetheart, look at me please.'' Harry tried to gently raise the girls chin to make her meet his gaze before he continued. ''I am not going anywhere and I am not going to leave you, nor your brother. Do you understand me?''
She slowly nodded but barely loosened the grip she had on the supposed stranger. The girl examined closely the man's forehead as he carried her back into the room. She felt reassured when she saw the weird scar and felt relieved when Harry didn't force her to let go of him. Instead the man kicked off his shoes and lied down with the girl, making sure to cover her in blankets.
William was still sleeping on the bed next to theirs. Seeing by the dark circles under his eyes, Harry decided to let the blond boy rest. He studied the young boy and the little girl, deciding that the children took more after their mother then father. He could see few similar characteristics between his cousin and the children, though. Just like Lily had inherited her hair from his grandmother, Violet had obviously inherited hers from Petunia, though the wizard tried not to dwell on this.
''Umm… sir?'' Violet spoke up timidly.
Harry shifted his weight slightly to meet the girls gaze, though he was careful not to lose his grip on her. ''Yes?''
''May I call you Uncle Harry?'' She questioned.
''Of course.'' The green eyed wizard replied immediately. ''And do you have a nickname?''
''Well, I like it when my friends and-and mum called me Vivi. Daddy sometimes called me sun or sunny-bunny, cause I like the summer and my hair is golden, you know? Will calls me Vivi too, and a bunch of over names, but I don't always like them, like Letty, I really don't like that one. It makes me think of lettuce, and I'm not a rabbit!''
Harry found himself smiling and chuckling as the girl went on. He was rather amused at her antics, or her trying to explain to him what an X-box was. Harry didn't know how many hours he had spent chattering with the girl, but since they had managed to have a three course meal during this time he would assume he had been with her at least five hours. Finally, the girl started to show the first signs of being tired, which was quiet normal with the lack of sleep she had gotten in the past week. Yet the girl stubbornly refused to admit it, and every time Harry suggested that she should get some rest, her grip- which had comfortably loosened over time- became stronger.
''Sweetie, I am not going to disappear while you are asleep.'' He assured her gently.
''How am I supposed to know that? You're the wizard here.'' She returned with narrowed eyes, making the wizard in question smile.
''Vivi, if I am going to leave the hospital, it will be with you and your brother by my side. I am not going anywhere.'' The green eyed man said.
''Do you promise?''
''I swear.'' He replied seriously, and then tickled the girl gently on her side, making her giggle.
Harry finally managed to get the girl to lie down completely, though he was still next to her as she tried to fall asleep.
Violet was, for the first time in a week, feeling rather good and warm inside as the new uncle let her use him as a pillow, she smiled softly and mumbled before falling asleep:
''Will is going to like you. He always wanted to meet you, though he was scared to, you know? Cause grandpa and dad were mean to you. But you're really nice, like mum was; she always wanted to meet you. I wish dad hadn't been worried that…'' But the ending never came, as the girls breath evened out in her sleep.
Harry placed a soft kiss on the girl's forehead, slightly surprised at how quickly the girl had made her way into his heart. He reflected on how focused the child was on him, obviously missing the comfort she desperately needed after such a tragedy, that she didn't mind that a few hours ago the man had been a complete stranger to her. Harry didn't mind either, and for the first time he was completely lost at how Petunia and Vernon could have been so cold to a child. He didn't want to know what had been going on in their sick heads, so he pushed those thoughts away, vowing silently that he would do right by his cousin's children.
Harry's trained instincts after years of dueling immediately registered when the blond boy started to stir. By now Violet was heavily sleeping in his arms. He gently untangled the girl from himself, and tucked her in gently. Once he was assured that the change in position hadn't woken the girl up, Harry sat down on the chair next to William's bed.
The blond boy slowly regained awareness of his surroundings; however once he sat up and fully opened his eyes there was no mistake that he was fully awake. The eight year old started, bewildered at the man who was sitting next to him, and he uncertainly leaned away.
''Hello, William," Harry spoke up before his presence would frighten the boy. ''I'm Harry Potter, maybe you have heard of me? I'm your dad's cousin.''
The blond boy started widely at him, and silently looked toward the sleeping form of his sister, as if to quickly verify that she was still there. The older brother turned back to Harry with a conflicted and hesitant expression as he responded slowly:
''Hi, uhm… what are you doing here?''
The emerald eyed wizard gave him a kind smile. He moved to face the child more directly. His expression turned solemn, and in a calm and gentle manner he talked to the boy about all things magical, until 'Uncle Harry' ended up falling asleep with two blond children using either of his shoulders as a pillow.
At Privet Drive 4, Petunia Dursley calmly drank her tea. Alone.
This story was betaed by xXFor-The-Love-Of-FandomXx.