The portly woman sat with her legs crossed studiously underneath the table, a glass of brandy in her right hand and a small Polaroid picture grasped in her left. She examined the weathered Polaroid carefully, taking in each detail of the old, crinkled photograph. It depicted a casual scene of two young girls standing side by side in front of a shabby looking spruce tree. The small tree was decorated in golden tinsel and several homemade ornaments of various colors and sizes, but the focus of the picture was the youngest girl. She appeared to be about eleven with shining vermilion hair, dazzling green eyes, and a light sprinkle of freckles dotting her nose and cheeks. Her bright smile seemed to light up the room, and she had her arms thrown around the slightly older looking girl, who stood rail straight looking slightly uncomfortable. The taller mousy, brown-haired figure stared into the camera's lens with neither a smile nor a frown. She appeared quite plain in comparison to her younger sister, and the photograph seemed to capture her contempt for the vivacious little girl.
"Even then, you can see it." The woman spat. "It's just like with my dogs, you can tell when they're young if they'll amount to anything. It should have been obvious that she'd end up a whore," She stated, dropping the photo back inside an old shoe box filled with newspaper clippings and mementos.
Across the table from the fat woman sat an equally overweight man who chuckled at her declaration. He nodded in affirmation, and then poured himself another glass of amber liquid from a tall crystal bottle. "That's what I tried to tell Petunia about the boy!" He bellowed, taking a swig. "From the second she brought him in off the steps, I knew!"
At his words, a thin woman emerged from the kitchen, carrying a beautifully decorated cake on a platter, nodding at his words. "I know, Vernon. Back then, I didn't see it, and I hoped that he would be different, but I should've listened. It would have saved us years of trouble."
"It's like I always say about buying a dog, If there's something wrong with the bitch, there'll be something wrong with the pup!" The fat woman guffawed again, spilling a bit of brandy onto the front of her shirt.
Soon, the whole table of adults were laughing, and a plump child joined in, grabbing a large mound of cake from the serving platter on the table and shoving a handful into his mouth. Just around the corner in the kitchen, a young boy stood silently watching the scene, his hands shaking in anger.
It was his mother that they spoke about. They called her a whore, a bitch, a freak, but she hadn't been any of those things. She had been a great woman, revered for her beauty and wit. She was a brilliant witch, friend, and mother. He couldn't even remember her voice. But there they all sat, mocking her; laughing as though the deceased child in the photograph hadn't once been a kind, brave, amazing person.
Harry Potter had lived with this family, the Dursleys, since he was only fifteen months old. He had grown up unloved and unwanted in a home where he was treated more like a slave than a child. He was given countless backbreaking chores and tedious tasks to accomplish each day, and he was punished for the smallest transgressions. He wanted to be good; he always tried to stay out of trouble, but he could never quite manage it. Harry was often beaten for his blunders, earning vicious whippings with a belt for failing to live up to his uncle's standards. He was used to the pain. When he wasn't being injured by his uncle or doing chores, he was being hunted down by his cousin Dudley and beaten for simply existing.
He had grown up in a small cupboard underneath the stairs, filled with spider webs and dust. When he was much younger, he would stare up at the ceiling of his cupboard wondering about his parents. He envisioned what they would have looked like; what kind of people they would have been. He wondered if they would love him, or if they would think he was a freak too. He had vivid daydreams about the couple, yet he didn't know much about them. His aunt and uncle would tell him that they had been worthless. His father had been a good-for-nothing drunk. His mother had been a cheap-whore. He had been the accidental product of two worthless people who had gotten themselves killed in a drunken car crash.
It wasn't until Harry was eleven that he found out all the hate fueled speech that spewed from the mouths of his family was completely false. His parents had been wonderful people who were murdered under unusual circumstances. He was shocked to find out that his parents had been magical and that he too was a wizard. Now he spent ten months out of the year at a wizarding school called Hogwarts where he had friends and people who cared for him. He had finally found a home, and it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to him, but he still would have given anything to have known his mother, Lily; To have seen her smile in person, to have spoken to her even once, to have hugged her. But he would never get the chance to do any of those things. She was dead.
The shrill laughter of his so-called family continued, and Harry felt fury surge through him. His face turned a dark red color, making his bright green eyes, identical to his mother's, even more striking than usual. He peered down at his hands. A few minutes earlier, his hands had hung calmly at his sides, to make himself seem docile and well-behaved, but now, his fists were clenched in front of him and his entire body was quaking ominously. The boy felt a familiar tingle travel from within him and move outside of his body. A peculiar expression flashed over his face. Harry Potter no longer resembled a small and non-threatening, twelve-year-old boy. Harry Potter looked possessed.
The lights in the chandelier exploded above them, and the fattest woman, Marge Dursley, let out a startled shriek and dropped her glass, sending shards of the crystal cup and dark liquid scattering all over the snow-white carpet. The screech faded out into silence, and the whole room grew tense and still. The family felt a sinister energy invading the room and goosebumps sprouted on their arms. Dudley Dursley let out a whimper, which caused his mother to reach for him, and she pulled the stout boy into her embrace, glancing around with fear in her narrowed eyes. Vernon stood up from the table, scanning the room, his pudgy face scrunched in consternation. He placed a worried hand on his wife's shoulder, and they shared an uneasy glance. The temperature of the room seemed to drop thirty degrees in an instant. Then, one by one, the glasses on the table shattered and all hell broke loose.
All around the room, plates exploded with a crash, pictures on the walls hurled themselves across the room where they smashed and fell to the floor. The doors opened widely and then slammed themselves shut. Vernon dove underneath the safety of the kitchen counter, covering his face with his hands to protect his eyes from the flying shards. Petunia and a screaming Dudley cowered beside him, taking shelter from the chaos.
Marge Dursley sat frozen in her chair, staring open-mouthed at the scene in front of her. She watched as the photograph that she had been discussing slowly rose into the air. The smiling face of the young child seemed to stare directly into her soul as it inched closer and closer to her. The picture drew nearer, and she leaned further and further back in her chair until she toppled out of it with a thud and scurried underneath the table. Her eyes, wide as saucers, peered around the room until she caught the gaze of the young, black-haired boy. His eyes were glowing inhumanly, and he glowered at her just before the table she was huddled beneath lifted into the air and slammed into the ceiling, splintering and sending wooden fragments flying in every direction. The pieces rained down on her, but she didn't take her eyes away from Harry's.
He stared into her fearful eyes, feeling no sympathy. She deserves this, he thought and sent a harsh smirk in her direction. He was filled with satisfaction at the terror that he saw on the faces of his family, especially Marge. But then, the light in Marge's grey eyes faded and she fell, face first, onto the hardwood floor.
Everything fell still, and the room grew silent. After a moment, Vernon caught a glimpse of his sister, from his hiding place, and deciding that it was finally safe, he crawled over to where she had fallen. Harry watched, wide-eyed as Vernon gently prodded his sister. When the chubby woman made no movement, the blood in Harry's veins turned to ice.
"She's dead," Vernon spoke softly. He looked around the room as if searching for something. Then he locked eyes with Harry. "SHE'S DEAD!" He bellowed, this time screaming. "YOU KILLED HER, YOU UNGRATEFUL SON OF A BITCH!"
Vernon jumped to his feet and advanced on Harry. The young wizard tried to move, but it was as if his brain no longer worked. His limbs were filled with sand; his feet were nailed to the floor. His vision blurred. Dead? No. She can't be dead. I didn't… Did I? Then his mind went blank and he started hyperventilating. He was a murderer. He had killed his Aunt Marge. He had hated the woman, but he hadn't meant for that to happen. Thoughts were racing through his head and he couldn't breathe. How was he going to get out of this? Would Dumbledore find out? Would his friends? Would the Ministry? Would he go to prison?
Harry thought too much about the future, and he hadn't realized exactly how serious the current situation was until his uncle was towering over him, with fury in his eyes. He had never seen so much rage and hatred on anyone's face before. It was all too much. His ears were ringing, and he saw Vernon roaring at him, but he didn't hear any of the words that tumbled from the man's mouth. Harry could imagine what he was saying though. He knew he was in serious trouble. He had killed her. Marge was dead, and it was his fault. As the giant man advanced on him with his pudgy fist held out in front of him, eyes blazing, Harry realized he only had one, real option: he had to run; So, he did.