A giant thanks to my BETA to whatisthisnonsense who has taken her time to help me improve this fic with every new chapter, beta-ed chapter replacement that I will put up. It will be thanks to her that I believe this story shall prosper and be approved by readers who enjoy the experience of reading it.
The Vanishing Glass At The Zoo
Rose Lily Potter groaned grouchily as her aunt Petunia banged on the door of her cupboard under the stairs, ordering her to be up and about to help with the breakfast. For a moment she wondered why she still seemed unable to entirely hate her aunt. Dudley, was perhaps closer to hitting that mark. Her uncle Vernon was already at the top of her 'most disliked people' list. She just didn't know where she stood with her aunt, as the woman was often just as cruel as and heartless as her husband and son, yet at other times could almost be described as kind. On the whole, her aunt wasn't all that bad, if for the occasional times she could suddenly reveal herself to be as cruel.
Being the sweet and obedient servant girl-niece she had to play-act as, she didn't dare to complain aloud as she tossed and turned on top of the thin folded sheets that made up the cushioning of her 'bed' before throwing her itchy blanket off and sitting upright. Yawning loudly, she reached for her glasses on the shelf near her head, her fingers brushing and skimming over until she found them and slipped them on while brushing a tangle of her dark red hair from her face.
Soon, she heard the elephant-like stomping of Dudley running down the stairs above her, chanting happily about it being his birthday and calling out for his mother excitably. But when she didn't hear him run past her cupboard she knew exactly what would happen next and curled herself up so that her head was between her legs and arms were over her head. Just as she predicted and expected her cousin would, the chubby boy stopped right above where she slept and started to jump up and down, causing all of the dust and dirt collected in the boards above her to drift over her in a thin layer.
"Get up, Potty, we're going to the zoo today; the zoo!" he shouted, jumping twice more for good measure. Once she was sure he was finished, she straightened herself up and glared at the underside of the stairs before (he started to brush off the dust that had been sprinkled on the top of her head.
Once she was done cleaning herself off, she went to open the door of the cupboard and began to crawl out, only for Dudley to stop by and bully her by pushing her back into the cupboard and kicking the door shut as he past her before running through into the kitchen.
Getting herself together, she got up, not letting it bother her, although she had hit her head when Dudley pushed her back in her cupboard so roughly. Ignoring the dull pain at the back of her small, ten year old skull, Rose took a deep breath and stepped back outside of her little living space.
Once she was in the kitchen, she was greeted by her aunt's scowl as she was ordered to check on the bacon.
"And don't you dare burn any of it! I want everything to be absolutely perfect for my Dudley-kins on his special day!" Petunia cooed her last sentence as she went over to Dudley, covering his eyes cutely as she lead him over towards the living room like the over-affectionate mother she was where all his birthday presents were waiting for him.
"What's taking you so long, you stupid girl? Hurry up now, I want my breakfast!" grunted Uncle Vernon.
Rose did all she could not to roll her eyes at the fat man's orders and complaints, and instead replied back with the manners she'd been taught to use when addressing the family.
"Yes, Uncle Vernon, cried Rose putting the bacon on the plate and placing it in front of her uncle on the table. She went to pour the tea and coffee for him as well, and as she did that Dudley tried and failed to count his many presents before asking his father how many there were.
Thirty-six presents, thought Rose, and the piglet boy actually had the nerve to have a fit when she didn't get even a single present on her birthday; not one. And yet here her cousin was saying how he'd had thirty-seven gifts last year and this year he wanted more, whilst his father tried to explained that some of the presents were much bigger and expensive than last years whilst his parents tried to explain that some of the presents were much bigger than last years, and reminded him of Aunt Marge's present; hidden beneath a rather large one. Rose was in the middle of thinking what a horrible woman Aunt Marge was, whilst Dudley just wasn't having any of it; it just wasn't enough for him, and being the good mother Petunia was, she made a deal with her son; telling him they would buy him two more new presents when they went out later that day.
"Then that would mean that I would have ... have..." Dudley seemed stuck, unable to even add two to thirty-six, but Rose knew better than to say anything out loud. He'll have thirty-nine presents by the end of the day, she thought, bitterly. He really was the most stupid boy whom had ever lived, with nothing bright about him at all.
"Thirty-nine, sweet-ums, you would have thirty-nine presents," Petunia said, helping her son and smiling when she saw his face brighten and he jumped around the place in excitement.
This time, Rose did roll her eyes.
"Well, what are you waiting for? My Dudley-kins is all ready for the zoo! Go on now, get changed and hurry up about it so that we can go!"
Riling from getting scolded, Rose made no hurry in getting back to her cupboard to change into one of just three outfits she owned. The three outfits consisted of some pajamas, casual wear and formal wear for when important people came over and she had to make an appearance, all of them hand-me-downs of Petunia's from when she was a girl. All of them were either to big or too small and all were terribly itchy. Struggling in her tiny cupboard to get changed, she managed to worm her arms through the holes of her wrinkled and stained blouse. Next to put on was her terribly itchy and tattered cardigan. It was her bottoms that were the real problem and more than once found herself bumping her head around the cupboard. Who knew putting on a skirt that had to be held up with a belt could be so difficult? At least her socks and shoes weren't as much of a task to put on.
"Are you done yet, girl?" Petunia slammed her palm on the door, just as impatient as her son and husband.
Rushing with her hair, Rose quickly brushed through it with her fingers, struggling with a few knots before she decided it was good enough. Should her aunt and uncle ever allow her hair to grow past her shoulders, even she could admit that she looked awfully pretty, but right now it was kept shoulder length.
Whenever her Uncle Vernon would get fed up of seeing her unruly hair, (which was actually their fault as they had never given her a hairbrush) after it would grow out past the length it was now he would have it chopped off. Her Aunt was usually the one to do the job since they didn't have to spend a penny on it, but at least her aunt didn't make her look like a boy by trying to cut off as much as possible without a thought about the style.
Rose actually didn't mind having short hair, though she would have preferred it to be long. Her last haircut had been by the barber but for once he hadn't cut her hair as short, where it would be cut until it was barely three inches in length. When that happened, her hair would suddenly grow back by the next day, and then her Aunt would cut it again, this time to a decent length and the style would remain intact.
Taking what little hair she had Rose pulled her hair back into a ponytail at the nape of her neck and tied it with string. With everything finally done Rose found her uncle, aunt and cousin nowhere to be seen as she stepped out of her cupboard. Running to the door she opened it and exited the house to find them already in the car, the three of them giving her stern looks.
"Now you listen here, girl. I want no funny business while we're out, do you understand? You'll behave yourself or you'll get no food for the next week and we'll leave you to rot in that cupboard until Christmas," Vernon warned her, coming from where he had stood next to the car, leaning far too close for comfort.
As he cornered her against the wall She nodded her head in nervous understanding, trying to end the little talk so that he would hopefully move away from her and she would no longer have to smell his horrible breath or have him spit on her as he talked.
It seemed to be enough for him at the moment as he leaned back from her and stood up straight before motioning her to the car so he could lock up the house behind them.
The car ride in the backseat with Dudley was horrible as they made their way to the zoo, with him bouncing in his seat, and nudging and pushing her into the window and door. But he never went any further then pushing, as he had been taught not to hit girls, so he found other ways to physically abuse her. But since she had grown up with it, Rose was tougher than her small body would suggest.
Rose would have put up more of a fight if it weren't for Dudley's parents in the front, both of whom were ready to catch her and add another thing to the list of things they felt were wrong with her. So instead, she kept quiet and was more than grateful when they finally got to the zoo.
'Definitely going to get a bruise' Rose thought as she rubbed her arm where Dudley kept shoving her, wincing a bit as she followed the Dursley's into the building.
After having wandered around looking at all the different animals and attractions, they made it inside to the reptile exhibit where they now stood in front of the glass barrier between them and a peacefully sleeping python snake on the other side, That is, peacefully sleeping until Dudley got bored with waiting for it to move when it clearly had no plans to do so.
"Come on, move !" Next to her, Dudley yelled at the snake, Petunia coming up behind him and her uncle at his other side. Her cousin's face was nothing but bored and angry as he glared at the snake, demanding it again to move until finally he turned to his father to do something.
'Why cant he just leave the poor thing alone?' were Rose's thoughts as she looked at the snake and then to the Dursley's.
"Daddy, make it move," Dudley asked or ordered his father, turning to look back at the snake as Vernon knocked his knuckles against the glass, demanding it to move and entertain his son. When that didn't work Dudley tried it himself, banging against the glass much harder and making it shake as he started yelling louder, his obnoxious voice ringing in Rose's ears and she saw even Vernon was taken aback by how loud his son was.
"It's sleeping, leave it alone," she snapped, turning to her cousin defiantly, but she wasn't even spared a glance as the snake was deemed boring by Dudley and he turned away from the creature to (go and) look at the lizards across from them whilst Vernon and Petunia left them for a moment to look around themselves.
"Sorry about that, my cousin can be a real prat sometimes," she apologized for her cousin to the snake with sincerity, leaning closer to the glass as she watched with interest (when) the snake seemed to rouse from its nap.
'Did it just wink at me?'
She didn't know snakes could wink. Wait, did that mean...?
"Can you understand me?" she asked it, watching as the snake lifted its head and nodded at her. Looking around to see if anyone else was witnessing this, Rose leaned in even closer until it seemed she would be pressing her forehead right against the glass.
"Wow, I've never talked to a snake before! Though I always felt that animals could understand more than people say but…," she said to it, watching the reptile with curiosity and interest as it watched her with the same curiosity as hers.
"I don't suppose you talk to people often, do you?" she asked another question, simply curious as she stared at the snake, and watched it move its head from side to side in answer to her question. She paused for a moment, before deciding what she would say next.
"So you are, from Brazil?" she said, looking down at the bronze plate screwed to the bars in front of the snake's tank. "Was it nice there? I bet you miss your family."
Looking up from the plate she watched as the snake motioned its head over to a sign inside the tank and at the bottom in big black letters it said "Raised in captivity" and she could empathize with this creature.
"Same with me, I never knew my parents either though I wish I could remember them," her voice was sad, matching the expression on her face before she was suddenly pushed away from the glass and onto the floor where she scraped her knee.
"Ouch!" she whined, seeing her bleeding knee then glaring up at Dudley as he shouted for his mother and father to come see what the snake was doing. She couldn't help it, she was just so mad. He hadn't needed to push her so hard that she fell over, and now he was sticking his ugly face to the glass, his chubby hands leaving prints and smears as he watched the snake with wonder while she was left, ignored on the floor. And then the glass was gone, completely disappeared as Dudley's fat ass fell over the bars and into the snake tank where he landed in the water.
When he resurfaced in a sputtering mess he began to tremble and shake, not from the water but from fear as the snake stared at him dead in the eyes before slithering its way out of the tank. All the while Rose watched with in shock, trying to make head or tails out of what just happened, and then the snake came to a stop in front of her and for a few seconds they just looked at each other. Before long, the snake spoke.
"Thanks," it hissed appreciatively as it gazed at her, almost smiling at her.
"A-anytime," she stuttered with a smile, though she felt a bit uneasy, and the snake began to slither away and past her while scaring the zoo's visitors as it's made it's escape. Still sitting on the ground, her attention was brought back to her family when Dudley started to scream as he tried to get out of the tank – only to find that the glass had reappeared. Drawn back to where she had left her son and unwanted niece, Petunia was the first to reach the tank and see her precious son trapped within it. With fear for her child she pressed her palms against the glass, crying out in horror and looking very near tears.
Rose couldn't help but laugh and giggle lightly. After all, Dudley deserved what he had got, but she immediately went quiet when Vernon turned to her, staring coldly down at her. She gulped, knowing that look could only mean bad things for her. And she realized that laughing had been a very big mistake on her part.
When they returned to the Dursley's home, Petunia and Dudley were the first inside followed by Vernon and Rose. Grabbing a fist full of her pretty red locks, Vernon tugged harshly, forcing her to look at him.
"What did you do?" he screamed at her, tugging again on her hair and making her give a small yelp of pain as she lifted herself on her tiptoes to try and lesson the strain on her scalp.
"I didn't do anything, I swear!" she cried out, pleading with him to let go of her and believe her, but he was having none of it as he yanked again.
"Liar!" he called her, not believing her at all like she wanted.
'This isn't fair at all,' she thought as she winced again from the abuse on her hair and head, not caring at all about the mess of her hair he was making but about the sore and stinging pain of her scalp from the abuse it was presently suffering.
She was supposed to be submissive and just take it, and she usually was very timid but there was a feeling stirring inside of her, something that told her to stop letting it all happen and do something. So kicking and screaming she tried her best to escape. Something inside her, something that had been telling her she didn't deserve this – any of it, was surfacing.
"Let me go you big, fat monster, let me go I told you already I didn't do it!" Biting her own lip in frustration, Rose wiggled about, lifting herself higher on her toes and scratching at his elephant size arm.
He was getting close to ripping her hair out as she tried to kick at his knees and shins, getting him good once before he purposefully banged her head against the wall.
"You rotten little bitch!" he swore at her, doing so now that Petunia was not in the room. Swearing and cursing was something Petunia was never very fond of to a high degree, and even if it were at Rose she would still scold her husband and child.
"Not only are you a filthy and ungrateful bastard child, but you are also a liar!"
Rose screamed as she felt what must have been a good chunk of hair rip from her scalp as he practically held her off the floor, shaking her like a rag doll. Tears spilled from her eyes from the terrible burning pain, and she believed herself to be lucky that he hadn't beaten her for kicking him and talking back.
"I'm not lying, one minute the glass was there and then it was gone. It was like magic!" she told him, but for some reason her words only seemed to make him angrier as he tightened his grip on her hair. That's when Petunia decided to step in after warming Dudley up.
"Vernon, that's enough. I think she's starting to bleed on the walls, you're hurting her too much," she told her husband, taking pity on her niece as she looked upon the girls tear stained face from the doorway of the kitchen with worry, though not daring to move any closer to the scene.
Not making any sign that he had heard his wife, the fat man began to unlock the cupboard that Rose slept in.
"You should be grateful to Petunia this time, Potter," he told her before opening the door and shoving her inside, locking(it as he slammed it back shut. Opening the little vent her spoke right into, practically spitting the words out with venom and disgust:
"And, there. Is. No. Such. Thing. As magic!" And with that he stormed off, brushing past his wife and into the sitting room to sulk in front of the fire. Rose knew that he had always found it hard to understand why Petunia, if rarely, defended her.
Trying not to cry and failing miserably, Rose began to sob from the abuse she had just suffered, barely hearing her aunt's apology.
Alone in her little cupboard, sniffling as she nursed her injured head, feeling the sticky blood at the roots of where he had pulled her hair from her head, which was now even starting to run down her neck. Tearing the rest of her hair out from it's now messy hold from it's string, with great pain, she brought her hands back to lay on her lap. Blood coated most of her fingers and hands, some dry already and some of it still wet and drippy down her fingers.
"I hate this," she said to herself as she kicked the shelf across her. This caused her to knock down the small things from it, mostly tiny broken toys and a small box that was from her parents that she could never seem to open before.
And then something amazing happened. ";" Before the box could even touch the dirty floor it began to float until it was right in front of her face. Startled, Rose jumped back which in the tiny space around her was nearly impossible, and she hit her head again right on a sore spot causing her to give a good yelp of pain and a few more tears escaped from the worsening of her already bad injury. Looking back up, she took off her glasses – she really only needed them for distance - and stared with frightened curiosity at the box. She knew it had to be her mother's as she was sure her father wouldn't have had a pink box with flowers, butterflies and rainbows painted on it, and if he had she was rather worried as to what could be inside. But she knew it was her mother's, because her Aunt Petunia told her so, and she was more than a little excited. But she had never been able to open it. It wasn't a jewelry box but more like a painted-over shoebox, with no lock to keep it closed or any such thing to keep someone from opening it unless the lid had been glued down.
Looking down at her hands, Rose wiped the blood off on her blankets as she didn't want to get blood on the box. Once she had cleaned her hands off enough she moved to take the box from the air into her arms. With one hand hovering at both sides she readied to pluck it from the air when a pop was heard and the lid came off, floating just above the box as a gust of shimmering light green air; like the color of a leaf on a branch when the sun light shines through it, blew out from it, brushing her cheeks and drying her tears and feeling so incredibly warm that she couldn't help but close her eyes. When the feeling was gone she opened her eyes to see lilies drawn in shimmering white light floating all around her, swirling like they were dancing and all of a sudden she felt that warmth again and the box, all except the top which still hovered in the air, before finally dropping into her lap.
Taking a deep breath Rose watched as something square floated out from inside the box, swirling until the front was facing her. It was a picture, of her as a baby, sitting in a person's lap and smiling with her arms extended out towards the camera, but the picture was moving, the baby's fingers flexing and little arms waving about in front of her as she smiled and bounced in the lap of the person holding her.
The baby Rose was wearing a purple dress, little white socks, and matching purple shoes that shined. Some of her little red wisps of hair were tied atop her head in a little green bow. You couldn't see the person's face, but from the big hands around her and the pant-clad legs she figured that it had to have been her father holding her, and her mother behind the camera that she was reaching for.
With shaky hands she took the picture of herself from the air and just held it to her heart for a while, trying not to cry. The flowers were still floating around her, swishing and making shapes as if they were trying to distract her from the sad thoughts the picture brought with it. Looking up again, she saw a pressed lily that must have been in the box floating above it and she smiled a little at the pretty flower and all the others, though it didn't stay there long and soon dropped back into the box. This time it seemed it was up to her to see what was left in the box. Putting the picture back she looked inside. There were some more photos of when her mother was younger, some even had whom Rose guessed was her aunt in them – actually looking happy in a few, but most of them were of Lily and a dark haired boy with slouched shoulders and a hooked nose, and the rest with whom she guessed was her father when younger and a few other boys she didn't know.
There was some ribbon, some jewelry, a bunch of letters tied together with string, a doll, a worn out paperback novel, a silver mirror and brush, some drawings that looked like her mother must have drawn them when she was a little girl, a piece of cut rope, a funny but pretty looking stick, an old wedding veil, what looked like recipe cards, and so many more things that it felt like the box had endless depths of treasures and memories. She hadn't realized how much time she had spent crying and looking in the box when she began to yawn, looking at the small clock she had telling her just how late it was.
"Amazing, it barely feels like two hours since we returned from the zoo," Rose said idly as she yawned again. The dark cupboard was only lit by the glow of the white lilies above her; the gentle light never fading from when they first appeared. Rubbing her tired eyes, Rose placed the box back on the shelf and changed into her nightwear; an old shirt of Dudley's and sweatpants all of which were too big for her. Sparing one last glance at the box, she crawled beneath the covers of her makeshift bed and she wondered if her father knew about the box, and the same magic her mother did like the glowing flowers. She wanted to know more, and her mother's box was only the beginning of her questions.
Closing her eyes, the soft light above her fading from the flowers as she began to drift to sleep, Rose muttered one last thing to herself: "Uncle Vernon is wrong, there is such a thing as magic, It is real and it's beautiful."
Someone made a very valid point with Rose's whole name. Her name was probably the hardest thing to decide and I wanted to continue Lily's family tradition of naming girls after flowers but I didnt want it to be so common so I thought of Primrose but the review was right in saying that it is a very old fashioned name at that since they had given Harry his fathers name as his middle then the same should apply here. Even if having two flowers in the name doesnt flow as well. Either way I decided to take their advice so I went to my doc manager edited the name and reposted the same chapter a second time. I will now go through the other chapters to make the correction of her name.
If any others are HAPPY with this decision let me know so I know I didnt make a mistake over one persons review.