A/N: Okay so I guess I left this sitting for a little too long… Um at least half a year now? I know, I know, but see, whilst writing, I'm usually trying to find more information about various mental disorders/illnesses to help me write this, as well as bouncing ideas off friends about the whole thing. Anyway, I printed the past eight chapters out and it comes to exactly 47 pages including the Author's Notes and Disclaimers… Honestly if this were a project for school and wasn't about Harry Potter, I probably wouldn't have gotten as far as I have… See, I have this problem where if I'm not really interested in it, or I'm given a specific deadline, I'm unable to get myself to write until the very last minute…
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter... If I did, I'd be extremely busy writing the seventh book right now… Oh and if you do decide to sue me for whatever reason, the only things I own are my computer, CD player, printer, ceramic head I made in art class, a broken ceramic dragon I got for Christmas, an ashtray with a funny saying on it, a few t-shirts, some pants, a pair of brown and pink converse sneakers, a cd fixer/cleaner, some pencils (colored and mechanical), nail polish, sunglasses, Sims 2 games, a pack of Cigarettes that I only smoke when under intense stress, A pen with the Microsoft Logo on it, a laser pointer/flashlight thingy, and some diet pills that I don't even take… So really, it wouldn't be worth the trouble to sue me anyway because I've also got a hospital bill and doctors bill that totals to more than 1,300 bucks… and a debt to the local library because I haven't had the chance to take a book and two CD s back… So that's just about what you'll get if you ever attempt to sue me… Oh and did I mention that my CD player doesn't work?
Chapter 9: Changes and a Teary Farewell
Remus Lupin had gone with Petunia that same afternoon to get Harry and Dudley from school and was rather impressed with the kid friendly environment the school had. He even had the pleasure of meeting Harry's teacher and discussing a few things with her. He had discovered that Harry was an exceptionally bright child, only hindered by the limits of his own mind. Not that he had doubted it, after all, he himself had overcome a great many obstacles in order to learn at Hogwarts.
For the nest few days, he had diligently helped Petunia prepare for the day when she and the boys would relocate to a nice little place in Hogsmeade, since Dumbledore insisted that they be as near to Hogwarts as humanly possible without actually living on the grounds or in the dreaded Forbidden Forest. Of course, Hogsmeade was supposed to be a village for wizards and witches only, but he'd pulled some strings and Petunia was welcome to stay there with the boys, and even during the school year. By the end of the week, Petunia, Dudley, and Harry would be saying goodbye to their apartment, and to their friends, a day that Petunia knew wouldn't be the best for Harry or Dudley. After all, the two boys had nearly lived there all their lives, and grown rather close to some of the neighbors, especially Carla.
Throughout the week, both Harry and Dudley voiced their wishes of not having to move away. After all, both boys had friends here, and neither wanted to just leave and go to somewhere where they might not make friends as easily as they had. Even harder to deal with was Harry's blatant refusal to pack up his own things, but that was easily solved by Petunia letting them keep the blue eyed puppy.
Moving day was now only a day away and Harry found himself in particularly high spirits, having been able to get through one of the harder books on his assigned reading list with little to no trouble, and on top of that, had aced his spelling test, even having gotten the bonus word right. He could only imagine the proud look on his Aunt's face when he got home with the great big golden star on his test. It almost seemed like nothing could ruin the way he felt that day.
Of course, that all changed when Harry was running out to meet his cousin in front of the school, not quite paying proper attention to where he was going and slammed into an older, bigger boy than him. It was quite obvious that the boy was a sixth grader or perhaps a seventh grader, and a rather scary looking one at that. He wasn't at all like the nice sixth graders who would come into Harry's class as their reading buddies. The boy had dark blonde hair that looked messier than Harry's ever did and the smudge of chocolate near his mouth made his pale freckled face seem even more intimidating. He wore a dirty blue jacket, jeans with rather bad rips in the knees, and worn out red tennis shoes that looked as if they had been dug out of a dump. It was then that he could only guess what his intentions were.
The older boy's fists were already clenched but before they could reach any part of his body, Harry took off running at top speed, only to be chased by the older boy and have Dudley left behind, looking quite stunned for a moment before chasing after both of them, not caring to know what would happen if he didn't keep his cousin from getting beat up. It was quite an odd thing because Harry had gone off in the wrong direction.
Harry just kept running, and the older boy kept chasing him until finally Harry had to get rid of his backpack because it was so hard carrying it and running at such a pace. It took another couple of blocks with odd turns and even a shortcut through an alley that Harry finally slowed down to a stop and finally got pinned down by the bully.
"What, you think you can get away with that you little freak?" the older boy said before punching Harry in the nose. Harry forced himself to fight back and kicked out and punched in blind fury for what seemed ages. Harry wasn't even sure how many times he had gotten hit before he finally realized his nose was bleeding.
He dug into his coat pockets and thankfully found a small packet of tissues and cleaned his nose up as well as he could until there was only a stain of blood around his nose. He knew already he'd get into trouble for fighting but at that moment, that was the least of his worries.
Harry looked around franticly as snow began to once again fall upon the world, a feeling of intense dread in the pit of his stomach. The snow was getting thicker and thicker, it seemed to be getting colder by the second, his nose hurt badly and was possibly broken, and now that he wasn't busy running from the bully he realized that he was extremely lost and didn't even have his backpack or his spelling test. Boy was he in deep trouble.
Slowly, Harry forced himself to calm down. He had to be a big kid and work his way out of this or else he'd never get home. He had no clue how far from home he was until he found himself walking onto a main street where big snow plows were already going up and down the street trying to get as much snow out of the road as possible. He carefully looked both ways before crossing the street. It was already getting dark and he knew that he'd have to find an adult somewhere that could help him, even if it meant taking him to where the police were.
He inwardly shuddered, remembering someone once saying that when police found little kids that they'd take them to jail and put them in with robbers. Instead he decided he'd try to find his way home by himself, something that was much easier said than done. He wandered the area he had been in for what seemed ages and just as the street lamps started to turn on, Harry found his backpack buried in the snow, his perfect spelling test ruined as someone had obviously trampled it and it had ripped because it was wet from the snow.
His eyes watered, tears threatening to fall as he couldn't overcome the feeling of fear that it brought to him. Even though he had found his backpack, he was still as lost as ever. In an attempt to salvage his things, he got as much snow off of them and put them in his backpack, praying that they would be okay
Harry wandered around looking for someplace that looked familiar but it was all strange with the snow and he was getting quite hungry and was very tired. If anything, his only comfort was that he couldn't feel his nose so much in the bitter cold as he trudged through the snow, trying to find his way back.
When all seemed so terribly bleak, Harry finally caught sight of a car coming his way, and to his great surprise, he could just barely make out the police logo on the side. Remembering a movie where people would hail a taxi by waving their arms, Harry did the same and thankfully, the police car stopped and a tall African American officer stepped out and came to the boy.
"Hey, kiddo, shouldn't you be at home eating Dinner?" the officer asked, a warm smile on his face.
"Erm… I-I got l-lost…" Harry replied, shivering.
"Your name wouldn't be Harry, would it?" the officer asked, a hint of laughter in his voice. Harry seemed quite startled as he nodded in reply. "Well, Harry, my name is Officer Johnson."
"I-is my Aunt l-look-i-ing for m-me?" He asked, unable to hide the fear of how much trouble he would be in when he finally got home.
"Yes she is, Harry. She's been quite worried, but it looks like I'm going to have to drive you to the hospital to get your nose looked at. Don't worry kiddo, it'll be alright."
Harry could only stand there, fear keeping his feet from moving closer to the police car. Part of him screamed that the policeman was going to hurt him, like his uncle, but another part made him want to comply. He was emotionally torn in two.
"Look, it's okay. Your Aunt Petunia is quite worried about you. If she hadn't slipped and twisted her ankle she'd be out here with me looking for you." The officer said, kindly taking Harry's left hand as he knelt down to look him in the eyes.
"A-aunt Pet-tun-nia got hur-hurt?" Pure concern crossed his face in a flash.
"Yes she did, but it's not that bad. I'm sure she'll be more upset that you've hurt your nose, don't you?" Harry nodded and followed the officer into the patrol car and was allowed to sit in the front passenger seat rather than the back.
On the way to the hospital, another policeman was informed that Harry had been found and that Officer Johnson was taking him to the local Children's Hospital. It was once they were there that Harry was bombarded by his aunt and surprised to receive a rather big warm hug when he had been expecting to be reprimanded. She was crying and Harry couldn't quite understand why. Dudley was also there and was trying to read a children's magazine and ignore the waiting room television and the cartoons that were being played. It wasn't easy. Most of the children there were sick with the flu or something else and the younger ones cried. Not only did Harry not have any homework that he could do, what was showing on television was an old rerun of Bugs Bunny that he had seen countless times. It was getting quite warm so Harry shed his jacket and gloves revealing the evidence of his fight.
As soon as Petunia caught sight of a rather large bruise on his arm, she gasped.
"Harry, how did you get that bruise?" she asked suddenly, making her nephew jump in surprise.
"I…" Harry immediately stared down at his shoes.
"Harry, sweetheart, was it that boy that was chasing you? Dudley told me that much." Petunia asked. Harry could only nod sorrowfully. "Do you mind telling me what happened?" Petunia pulled Harry into a hug and listened as Harry began his story of the afternoon.
"I-I g-got out o-of sch-chool and… and M-miss Hart… sh-she gave me m-my spe-spell-ing test… I g-got th-the words a-all right…and-and I want-wanted to show yo-you s-so I ran-ran out-outside b-but then I bum-bumped in-into that-that boy and he-he scareded me… S-so I ra-ran a-away b-but he was-was still run-running too… a-and th-then I-I got ti-tired and l-lost m-my b-bag i-in the-the snow… and I-I ke-kept run-running b-but the b-big boy g-got me…" Harry sniffled, trying his best not to cry. "a-and then… Aunt Pe-Petunia… I-I got lo-losted an-and I wa-was g-gonna f-find hel-help b-but I was-was sca-scared of-of the po-police…"
"It's okay sweetie… but you know if you ever get lost again you should go to a police officer… Officer Johnson didn't hurt you. The police won't ever hurt you unless you do something really bad like steal or hurt someone else."
"Y-yes Au-aunt Pet-Petunia…" Harry hugged his aunt tightly. "I praw-promise…"
"Well at least you're here and for the most part, safe." Petunia said just as a nurse called Harry's name.
The whole ordeal seemed to last ages until Officer Johnson escorted a rather tired Petunia Evans and the two ten year olds home in his patrol car. Harry was already sound asleep and Petunia didn't bother to get him in his jammies when she tucked him into bed and went to do the same with her own son who had just been barely awake enough to walk up the stairs and into his room.
Sighing heavily, Petunia got out her tea bags and made a cup of tea before she sat down in the living room, where both Dudley and Harry's school things had been discarded on the floor. It was so much more empty than it had been not more than a month ago, seeing as most of the things the family owned had been packed away. From the kitchen came a few soft whines from the remaining puppy of the ones they had rescued from the cold not so long ago. She found her self wandering back into the kitchen for more tea but stopped and picked the Puppy up and held it securely. It was the same one with blue eyes. Although still unnamed, the pup was definitely part of the family now.
Two cups of tea later Petunia found herself looking through Harry's school things, the blue eyed puppy laying right next to her. She even taped the spelling test pieces together and set it out to dry, a proud smile on her face before she turned to the many boxes that lay about.
"Come here you…" she picked the pup up from it's place by her lap and gently stroked the fur on it's back and scratched behind it's ears. "Do you think I'm doing the right thing? Moving Harry and Dudley away from here?"
In response, the pup just looked up at her and gave out a small bark.
"It's just Harry has been doing so well this week… Especially today… although I can't say I'm happy he got into a fight… but still, going back… I can't even imagine what would happen. What if that wretched man that I made the mistake of marrying were to find us? I'd hate for that to happen… But those Wizards did promise… and they are so much nicer than I would have expected… After all, Harry seems to be okay with them and he's usually terrified of other men… Perhaps I am doing the right thing, after all… " Petunia said finally as she held the pup and a sense of calm washed over her. She needed all the sleep she could get before dawn.
Moving Day finally came and Petunia found herself woken by a squirming puppy and the sounds of Harry and Dudley bickering over what they wanted for Breakfast.
"B-but I wan-wanted toast!" Harry shouted.
"But Harry, we already packed away the Toaster, we can't have toast. Besides, I want cereal and that's what we have!" Dudley cried back, exasperation in his voice. :
"Boys… what is going on?" Petunia asked, shaking the cobwebs from her mind as she sleepily walked into the kitchen.
"Harry won't shut up about having toast for breakfast!" Dudley replied crossly, his brows furrowed.
"Well we'll have toast, and pancakes, and whatever you want. We'll be going to the buffet with Carla, after all, this is our last day here." Petunia had made the plans with Carla for such a thing only yesterday, knowing that it was best the boys spend a little time with their long time care-taker before Remus Lupin would come and help pack up their few remaining belongings before they'd be departing. Albus had visited earlier the day before, explaining the different ways that a Wizard or Witch traveled, and they had come to an agreement that the use of a Portkey would be the safest way to go. After all, they would be transported directly to their new home.
"But Mum, it's snowing like crazy outside!" Dudley cried out, pointing out the kitchen window where all that could be seen was a load of the fluffy white stuff. But not too far away, Petunia could just barely make out the Snow Plows going through the streets, clearing them of the snow that had fallen. Perhaps there would be time for Dudley and Harry to enjoy the snow, while last minute packing was done.
"Dudley, there are already snow plows going through the streets, we'll be at the Buffet in no time. Now Dudley, why don't you put on your slippers and go ask Carla over for some tea? And the two of you can fold up your bed things so that we don't have to do so much later when Mr. Lupin gets here."
"I'll go ask if Harry goes with me." Dudley announced, not even making a move to get his slippers.
"Only if that's okay with him. Harry, do you want to go with Dudley to ask Carla for some morning tea?"
"Okay…" Soon the two boys were bounding down the apartment stairs in their slippers, despite how many times Petunia had told them to go slowly and quietly so early in the morning in times before.
Carla had apparently been very awake, perhaps with worry over the move.
"I just can't believe that you three are moving so soon… But you know, I have a little something for the boys. I was going to save them for Christmas, but since you'll be gone… I thought it would be good to give it to them early. I've got them in my apartment so right before you three leave…"
"I can hardly believe it either but I promise that we'll write as often as we can. Maybe we'll even take some nice pictures to send to you." Petunia promised
Not even an hour later, the four were found, dressed quite warmly, at the local breakfast buffet. Amazingly Harry was handling himself quite well and was stuffing his face with toast and scrambled eggs, his favorite breakfast foods. Dudley on the other hand, constantly gazed towards the desert area where soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt could be found as well as other deserts like apple pie, and brownies.
"Mum, how come we couldn't just have cereal for breakfast?" he asked rather crossly. After all, Petunia wasn't one to spoil either of the boys with sweets this early in the day. In fact, she'd made it a rule years before that under no circumstance would they ever eat a dessert or treat at breakfast time. Of course, today was a very special circumstance indeed. After all, they'd be on another continent when they went to bed.
"Dudley, Cereal isn't very filling and we've got a big day today. Why don't you eat some of that sausage you've got there and then afterwards you and Harry can have something from the dessert area.
"Really, Mum? You mean it?" Dudley stared at her in surprise, his eyes wide as he licked his lips, day dreaming of having a delicious ice cream.
"Oh why not… Besides, I think you and Harry are handling today very well."
Before long, the two boys had had their fill and were now struggling to keep from getting sick from all the food they'd stuffed themselves with.
"A-aunt Pe-petunia, d-do we-we have to g-go to-today?"
"Yes we do, Harry… Did you eat too much?"
In response, Harry just nodded slightly.
"Well maybe you and Dudley can play it off outside before we leave. Do you like that idea?"
"Yeah…" Harry slowly replied as the four made their way to Carla's red truck.
On the way home, Petunia couldn't help but look at the familiar route they took and think that it would probably be the last time she'd ever see the area after today.
"C-Carla… Did Aunt Pet-Petunia tell y-you that my fav-favorite color is r-r-red? Like your t-truck?" Harry asked sheepishly, lightly biting his lower lip.
"Actually, Harry, I don't think she did… But you know, I'm sure that you're my truck's favorite too."
"Really?" Harry stared at Carla, a confused look on his face.
"Of course, didn't you know that everything, even the television, and the shoes on your feet, they all think and feel, even if they can't say anything!"
All too soon they arrived back at the apartment, and the boys joyously ran off to play in the snow, building some snowmen and like usual, snow angels, writing their names in the snow under the angels. Carla watched the boys play as Petunia packed a few last minute things and waited for the wizards to come.
Naturally Albus, Severus, and Remus had opted to walk in the snow, all the way to Petunia's place. As far as any muggle friend of the family knew, most of the family's items had already been shipped by air and would be awaiting their arrival at their new home.
"So, Severus, have you found anything that might help us yet?" Remus asked as they walked.
"Actually, yes I have. I was able to find a muggle book about a mental disorder called Autism. Now I'm not completely sure about it, after all, I have no experience in muggle mental disorders, but he does display some rather strong signs of the disorder."
"Ah yes, Severus, at least now we know what to expect. Now, I was wondering if one of you would be kind enough to stay nearby Miss Evans and the boys while they get settled in? After all, I'm sure after living surrounded by Muggles, the three of them won't be very comfortable right off in a Wizarding Community."
"I'd gladly do it, Albus, but with the full moon approaching… I fear that I would be of no use and would only scare them…" Remus said, letting out a heavy sigh.
"Of course, m'boy… Severus, I know you're eager to get back to the school, but I need you to watch over them, make sure that they don't run into any trouble…"
"I suppose I can do just that, Headmaster."
Soon they were at the Evans family apartment and Petunia ordered a taxi while Carla brought the boys up as well as her surprise.
"Well boys, I'm going to miss you two… After all, it's not like I'll be able to drop in any time I want, or vice versa, but I've got something of a farewell present for you two. Here…" Carla handed the boys a mid sized square box covered with green wrapping paper and a red bow. "Go on, open them…"
Dudley tore into his like a ravenous animal, while Harry had a bit of trouble getting the paper off and the box opened, but he still did it. In the boxes were Walkmen and some various tapes of music that the boys liked.
"Woah, Carla, you're the best!" Dudley cried, having never been able to have a Walkman before.
"Yeah… Aunt Pe-tunia can you h-help me?" Harry asked, holding up his Walkman and a tape.
"Of course, here…" Petunia said as she put a tape in the Walkman and handed it back to Harry. There was one last thing to be done before the Taxi came, and that was to get the blue eyed pup into a crate so that he wouldn't be any trouble when it came to take the Key Port to their new home.
"Cool!" he cried out, as one of his favorite sing along songs played, a grin immediately crossing his face as songs from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and other Disney characters played.
"Well I'm happy you boys like them. I heard that they were all the rage for kids of all ages…" Carla replied smiling a bit sadly. "Now Petunia, you must send letters. I want to hear all about where you're going to live and how the boys are doing in school and such!" Carla said as she and Petunia hugged tightly
"Of course, I'll write you, Carla! What would ever make you think otherwise?" Petunia replied just as a bright yellow taxi van pulled up. Severus got into the van with Petunia, the puppy, and the boys while Remus and Albus both opted to stay behind and get the rest of the stuff packed up.
Petunia couldn't help but shed a few tears as they drove off, the boys turning in their seats to wave goodbye.
"B-bye..." Harry whispered, his teary emerald orbs still focused on Carla as he waved half-heartedly.
Severus cleared his throat as they got too far to see their old apartment. "I really do hope that the three of you will like your new home..." Of course this statement alone, from anyone who knew only about the dark, snarky, Slytherin side of the Severus Snape, would have found the words coming from his mouth very odd indeed. After all, he was perhaps, not very good at idle chit chat, mostly because he hated that time of conversation, but something had changed about Severus since the plane ride to this place.
"I'm sure we will." Petunia replied, her gaze on the snowy ground outside as they went down several streets until they finally made it to the motel that the Wizards had been staying in. Severus paid the driver and he led the family to the privacy of the motel room before taking out a rather small, golden colored Yo-yo. "
"I guess I should probably explain a bit to you... We will be using this here, Portkey as our transportation to your new residence. I want each one of you to grab hold of each other and if you can, hold onto the Portkey as well." They all, including Severus Snape, grabbed onto each other and the Portkey and in seconds they were gone.
A/N: Okay this is about 9 and ½ pages long, and it's very hot outside right now. I'm very sorry for not posting this chapter sooner but I had to work out kinks in it and, just as I had started it, I had to move back to Washington... which meant that I had to bust my butt taking care of my Sister's four kids... and they are quite the handful, but I do love them dearly. Anyway, this is dedicated to Emma Barrows, who has helped me get through writing this, Stephanie who took all the kids over to her house overnight so that I could finish this chapter, and of course, Mike, my brother in law who has kindly allowed me to have all the Pepsi and Fudgesicles that I can handle.
Anyway, I know people are still reading, but not reviewing. Please people, even if you don't have an account, you can at least review anonymously, and if that doesn't suit you, go ahead and register. It's free! Oh and I promise to get another chapter going soon... I should probably be hitting myself over the head for leaving this to rot for so long... but hey, now Petunia and the kids will be living in Hogsmeade... so tons of interesting things should start happening in Chapter 10 and on...
And another thing... My dog Blackie, died this past week... He's the one that the blue eyed pup was based on... after all, Blackie, such a charming dog he was with his human looking blue eyes... Sigh... Anyway, Read, Review, and Stay Tuned!