AN: As promised, here comes the sequel to "Harry Potter. For now, I will following a regular update schedule: I will upload something ever first and third Thursday of the month, beginning in July. For now I am alternating between the German and English version and I hope I wont catch up with myself too fast.

I know, perhaps one chapter a month doesn't sound much, but the chapters are considerably longer this time around. 5000 words at last.

I have aquired a whole staff of betas, so I will dedicate each chapter to one of them. But for now I want to thank DracaDelirus for translating the story for me (and you). She really is the greatest. Although I am a little sorry that she is loosing time she could use to write more for her own stories. I especially recommend patchwork wishes, since the chapters can be read as stand alones too.

As always, honest and constructive critisism is appreciated. Actually, good critism helps me to improve my writing and often gives me the inspiration I need, so don't be shy, I won't react grumpy. I will not always agree with you, but I would never call you a flamer for pointing out mistakes to me.


Prologue

Tap-tap-tap

For half an hour, the restless sound of fingers drumming on a wooden surface penetrated into Petunia's cell. Apparently, her guard today was not in favor of sitting quietly for a long time. She stepped to the cell door and peered through the iron bars, but in both directions, she could see nothing except a long hallway with grey stone walls.

Tap-tap-tap

Petunia changed positions and went to the window. Or rather, what looked like a window, but actually was not one. The rainy weather of England was proverbial, but an entire week of solid rain was still unnatural. One look had confirmed what she had already suspected. She could recognize nothing behind the curtain of rain. She didn't doubt that even should she manage to pry open the 'window frame', that she would find nothing behind it but a bare wall. Nevertheless, here too bars were attached. Pure harassment!

Tap-tap-tap

It could be worse. When these… Aurors… had attacked and abducted them she had initially believed they were taking them to Azkaban. In comparison to the horrors that image painted in her mind, this place was almost tolerable. Almost! Barbaric as these freaks were, they did not grant her even the smallest of comfort. If looks could kill, the tin chamber pot would have long since melted under her hateful glare. It was as unnatural as everything else was in this world. Although she was glad that it was immediately emptied after her (reluctant) use, she would have preferred a proper toilet. Abruptly she turned her back to the repulsive thing and emphatically sat down in a ladylike pose on her sleeping bunk.

Tap-tap-tap

She took the (extremely flat) pillow in both hands and tried to fluff it up. The worst part was that she could not stop brooding, her thoughts returned again and again to the most important person in her world: Dudley. Where might he be now? Was he also sitting in a cell? No, certainly not. They could not be so cruel that they would lock up her small Duddydums. He was still a child. Just a child.

Tap-tap-tap

She suddenly noticed that she was embracing the pillow tightly. Hastily she laid it aside. No, not like that, now it looked quite messy! And what else, she thought to herself, did she have to do here? She stood up, put the pillow back, and smoothed the bed again.

Tap-tap-tap

The school year in Smelting's would soon be over. Where would he go then? Who would look after him? There were no relatives to care for him. All of Dudley's grandparents had passed away before he was born, and Vernon's sister Marge had died four years ago. Their chauffeur at the time had picked her up to bring her to their estate, but a skidding lorry on the motorway had thwarted those plans. That had not been a nice Christmas for her poor Dudley.

Tap-tap-tap

No, these last movements of her hands had been too harsh. She had put more wrinkles into the bedspread in her distress than she had smoothed out. With more care, she repeated the process. Where would Dudley spend this Christmas? Petunia still remembered all too well, how they had dealt with all that Marge had left behind. Like the dogs – they had quickly found a buyer for all of them they could sell, then they unloaded the dirty creature Ripper on the indignant Colonel Fubster, and the rest they dropped off at the animal pound. Who would want to have Dudley? She had no more friends; even contact with Yvonne had broken off because she no longer fit into the circles in which Petunia moved. And the fact was that none of her new 'girlfriends' would look after the child of a now destitute couple, of that, Petunia was completely sure. Useless floozies, the lot of them. Barely capable of pouring tea for themselves. None of them could have made her bed as perfectly as Petunia had just done. Satisfied, she stood up and rubbed her aching back.

Tap-tap-tap

Would they take her son to an orphanage? And then what? These freaks had taken everything from them. They would certainly not pay school fees for Smelting. Dudley would not receive the education that corresponded to his talents. He would have to work his way up to the top from the lowest levels as his father had once done. And like he would do it still, if he hadn't be talked into dangerous ideas by smooth talking operators. Honest work - that was the key to success. Carefully she put the wooden chair at a ninety degree angle to the wood table and sat down.

Tap-tap-tap

She had warned him. She had warned Vernon that he shouldn't trust one of them. In fact, the further they stayed away from this world the better. But had that idiot listened to her? No, as usual, Vernon always thought he knew better. Petunia clenched her hands in rage, but then relaxed them immediately. It was not befitting a lady. And why had she put the chair in this direction? She showed her cold shoulder to this world, indeed, with pleasure, but she did not want to stare at this rainy weather.

Tap-tap-tap

She got up, turned her chair around exactly one hundred eighty degrees and sat down again. Her finger glided over the smooth wooden surface of the table and then she examined it sharply with a skilled eye. Clean! Perfectly clean! If only Vernon had been as clean in his business dealings if nothing else. And now she would have to pay the price of his stupidity, although she had done nothing at all wrong. She had always just wanted to take care of her son, as a mother should. She had kept her house clean, but Vernon had brought in dirt.

Tap-tap-tap

Dudley, her Diddykins, completely on his own. Virtually parentless at the tender age of twelve. What had he done to deserve such a heavy fate? Was there really no one then who would help her?

Tap-tap-tap

… to break that guard's fingers?