Under Heaven and Earth

Chapter One: Freak

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your Philosophies" Hamlet Act I Scene V


1981 Privet Drive

Once, in an ordinary neighborhood, in an ordinary house with an ordinary lawn, there were two ordinary adults, an ordinary man and an ordinary woman, sitting in an ordinary living room with two children, only one of whom could in any way be described as ordinary.

"Well that's just it then..." The Man, Vernon Dursley grumbled, "Don't seem right just leaving him on the doorstep without so much as a by your leave, but there's nothing for it." He sighed and looked to his wife and son, then back to the infant laying on a bundle of old clothes, staring back at him with the most unnerving green eyes.

His wife, Petunia Dursley nee Evans looked up briefly from her nursing baby boy Dudley, quietly sucking on a bottle. Her thin face was pinched with worry and fatigue, caring for two children, both infants, wouldn't be easy. Vernon had just been promoted at work, inspired by the noisy children at home to take overtime....a decision that had made things tense between the couple, never mind that it had been Petunia's insistence on keeping their newest resident, after the much more welcome Dudley.

"Vernon..." She began hesitantly.

He cut her off confidently, as if she, his wife had never sat him down after corresponding with the joker that had dropped off his nephew and said in a voice that brooked no argument; "We will keep this child." And that was that.

Petunia very rarely stood up to Vernon in such a manner, preferring much to his delight, to embody the very spirit of a faithful, humble loving housewife. She had been a member of the secretary pool at his last job when they had started dating. He, a confident young salesman, courted her in a proper fashion and in less than a year had married her upon finding a job as a junior manager with Grunning's Drills and Bits Inc.

Finding out about his in-laws had been a bit of a turn, but no one was perfect. His wife was completely normal, and had given him no cause for complaint. A year and six months after their marriage young Dudley Dursley came into the world, Vernon was chuffed.

And then...

"S'not his fault that his parents got themselves blown up, he's a right looking blighter, only..." The man paused, looking at his wife significantly, "I won't tolerate any of that abnormality under my roof." He said gruffly.

"Of course not Vernon..." Petunia readily agreed, wiping a burping Dudley's chin.

"We won't have him turn out like one of them." The sentence was finished in a whisper, Vernon's one true brush with the unnatural, that he was cognizant of, had involved a large black dog, a dark corridor, and a charm that filled the air with creepy, haunting music. Suffice to say that after that he hadn't ever made a pass, no matter how innocent, at another man's wife again.

"We'll raise him right and proper," The man huffed, "And stamp out any unnatural behavior right out of him!"

Pet, his dear and loving wife, seemed doubtful as to the success of such an endeavor but faithfully parroted another 'Yes Dear'.


At this point it should be noted that the Dursleys had every noble intention toward Young Harry Potter's welfare as they saw it. He has a helpless, homeless, orphaned boy with no one to look after him save for the Dursleys.

If at that point, the Dursleys had taken Harry as truly one of their own, adopted him, moved him into their son's own nursery and raised the two as brothers, why Harry might just have refused his Hogwarts invitation, preferring to pursue study at Smeltings and grown up to be an accountant. Granted, giving nature vs. nurture its due, a rather unusual accountant, but an accountant none the less...


"Right then, in you go..." Vernon sniffed, as he deposited the green-eyed child in the cupboard under the stairs.

In the darkness of the small musty space, the toddler began to become agitated by his confinement. The faint light from under the door caused strange shadows to be cast on the wall he sat facing, odd shifting forms cast by Vernon's coat and galoshes.

Suddenly a bead of white light began to form, in compliance with the young man's ardent wish, then another and another to his delight. They banished the shadows and illuminated a couple of spiders that had been crawling along the wall, startling the arachnids into stillness. Then the-

The door to the cupboard opened with a snap. Vernon stared at the back of Harry's head; not seeing the child's smile, or the source of the lights that he had noticed under the door. Mustache twitching, eyes narrowed in suspicion he slowly closed the door. Then, after hesitating a moment, walked away, already beginning to regret his decision, though not the right one, of which he was unaware.

From out of a shoe came one, and another from out of a boot, a third descended from the inside of a sleeve, while a fourth pooped out from the toddler's mouth. They circled and looped through the air, a dance of light and shadow upon the wall, this was his reality now....

The Dursleys had set Harry on a path to discovering the very thing that they had hoped to keep from him, Magic...


A Parent's Legacy by Leigh MacKelvey

dreamed cartoons, Goodnight Moon,
frogs and snails, diaper pails,
Little Bo Peep.
You got bathed, lock snipped to save,
made Daddy rave, bubbled, burped,
nestled down with angels off to sleep ...

You await your legacy.--

I felt glowed warmth of Heaven's
blanket swaddle me through the night.
Morning comes, Oh, radiant Light,
now I know each special word
my pen on paper I must write,
and give to you my legacy.


Nine Years Later…


"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

My name... is Vernon Dursley...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

It has been, nine years, five months and seventeen days since...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

HE came...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

I wish that I had known back then just what it meant to take HIM into my family, if only...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

By HIM, I am of course referring to He-Who-Is-Best-Left-Unnamed...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

It should tell you something about HIM that HE was the one who asked to be referred to as such...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

He did something to me...to all of us, my family life is just not the same, I...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

The first years were a blessing compared to what followed, there were always little things, toys that shifted when you weren't looking, things that scuttled up behind you in the dark, strange people that would greet HIM in the street....

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

We thought being firm with the boy was the best, under the circumstances...we should have just drowned him and been done...

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

...oh...

Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma, ma.....

A harsh breathy voice disrupted Vernon's inner monologue, as the pudgy thirty year-old's pink cheeks and ruddy complexion paled.

Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma, ma.....

Vernon paused only briefly as he brushed his teeth, inured to what was happening, only a slight tremble of his fist and a white trail of paste that marred the surface of the bathroom mirror betrayed his utter terror.

Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma, ma.....

Slowly, he continued, as best he could ignoring the horrific vision dressed in bloody clothes, wearing a hockey mask and carrying a massive knife.

Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma, ma.....

He already knew that the nightmare would be haunting his reflection for the next few days, a consequence of his thoughts treacherously straying into dangerous territoy.

Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma, ma.....

The phantom murderer would eventually fade away, leaving Vernon drained and with an aversion of mirrors.

"Oh, Please..."

The man twitched violently, had he been shaving like the last time this had happened to Vernon the breathy whisper at the back of his neck would have would have resulted in copious amounts of blood being shed.

"Oh, Pleeeease..."

Usually Pet was the one being followed around by the disembodied voices, pleading, begging, promising unimaginable things...

"Oh, Please...Let me ouut"

Becoming a little wild eyed he rushed his morning rituals as much as decency allowed and hurried downstairs. He met with a harried wife preparing breakfast, and with dawning horror noted the HE was not at the table.

"Oh, Pleease..."

"Go wake him up Vern..." Petunia said without looking at him.

Deliberately misunderstanding her, he simply nodded, "Yes Dear!" and tried to head back up the stairs.

"Not Duddykins, Vernon..." She said crisply, with the air of a nurse saying, 'We'll just have to amputate, sorry.'

"Duddykins is resting after that sleep over party at the Polkiss house in case you've forgotten, wake HIM up." Petunia snapped, brooking no argument and hoping that her husband did not realize that she had long ago been finished cooking and was merely waiting for him to come down the stairs and be the one to awaken that freakish- Ki, ki, ki- darling child from his slumber.

Needless to say, there was something odd about Number 4, Privet Drive.

Upstairs in the second largest bedroom of the house, another darling child was having problems of his own.

Dudley Dursley had always had the best of everything within his parent's means. Every need, every want was granted, sometimes without even having to vocalize a request, and no matter how unreasonable the demand, a little tearful crying went a long way…

Originally, he hadn't spent much thought upon his freak of a cousin, past experiences as a guide, the weird little boy that was his cousin barely even registered as a proper bunching bag. Apathetic to Dudleys taunt's about the boy's 'good-fer-nuthin drunken parents' there just wasn't any satisfaction to be derived from it, and Dudley always seem to get turned around somehow, whenever taunts strayed to physical blows…

All that had changed on the Day-That-Was-Best-Left-Unmentioned, or in Dudley mind, the day that his cousin's sanity pulled a stunt from Mission Improbable, opened an airplane hatch at 3,000 meters, stripped naked and leapt howling into the wind without a parachute.

Of course the Dursley's and Dudley in particular could attest that Harry hadn't gone completely starkers, they very much doubted that they would have survived the Day-That-Was-Best-Left-Unmentioned otherwise, but still…

The problem was that Big D was very much the top dog in the neighborhood, a position enforced by throwing his weight around, an effort of dubious success considering that that Dudley at the age of ten, outweighed his mother by three stone and was the general size and shape of a baby manatee. However; as an equal opportunity bully young Dudley was inevitably required to confront his cousin…

Dudley- Age 2

Fweek! Gyhahaha! The toddler Dudley pounded a rattle against a two year-old Harry's skull. The green-eyed child was trying to color in one of Dudley's discarded color books when a harsh blow from the rattle jarred his hand.

-Snap- -Crack!-

Wahhhhhhh!

Petunia found him hanging from the chandelier. Henceforth Dudley gained a fear of heights.

Dudley- Age 3

Fweeky! Gyhahahaha! The toddler Dudley pounded a rubber mallet against a three year-old Harry's skull, making the most delightful squeaking noise. The green-eyed child was trying to play with a worn out old washer, The Dursleys had given the gift, half in the hope that he would choke to death, Irritated green eyes focused on the other boy when a harsh blow sent the washer spinning away, lost.

-Snap- -Ker-crack!-

Wahhhhhh

Vernon came into the living room only to discover that his son needed to be potty-trained all over again, having somehow forgotten…

Dudley- Age 5

Uninterested in the Paper Marché doll filled with candy, Dudley, his best bud Piers and most of his gang had given chase after his more nimble cousin. Cornering the boy in an alley Dudley suddenly realized that they'd given the rest of his friends the slip. And that he, Piers and Harry were now alone…

-Snap- -Crack!-

Hsssss!

Baleful yellow eyes glared at the pair of boys then another pair opened to their left, then another…
Piers laughed nervously, "C'mon Big D, It's just a cat…"

Kneazle actually…

"Y-yeah…" Dudley replied, uneasily eyeing his cousin, standing in the shadow of the alley, absentmindedly stroking the tail of a housecat.

The size of a baby tiger…

Another pair of glowing eyes focused on them, this time the milky, sky-blue of an older female Kneazle, the unpleasant presence of the two boys who thought smacking dumb animals, and Harry, with a stick was fun; riled up the elder feline.

And more eyes appeared and more…

Batty Ratty Figg couldn't possibly have this many cats….

"Umm," Dudley, felling a faint sense of déjà vu, not that he knew what that was, decided that discretion was the better part of valor and slowly backed away from the writhing mass of felines.

…And the unblinking gaze of harsh green eyes…

"But!" His, friend Piers protested, only to trail off as-

"Yyyoooorrrrllll!!!"

"Waaaaggghhhh!!!"

Dudley would forevermore have an aversion to cats…

Of course, that had not been the end of it, or even the worst, that dubious honor was tied to the fact that Auntie Marge would never again willingly step into her brother's house and the slight discoloration in the drawing-room floor….

Dudley shuddered….

He of course had never truly been harmed by his cousin, only lost bits of memory, hair, teeth and skin… Normally he wouldn't go near the Fre-- weirdo, if he could help it, but Big D needed to be the top dawg, and that meant that once a month he would have to, in a public with lots of witnesses to avoid immediate retaliation, pick on his cousin.

This was why, on the 25th of June Dudley lay in bed, doing his utmost best to pretend, that the bogey-man didn't exist and wasn't hiding under his bed, just waiting for him to fall asleep so it could nibble on his toes. His Dad of course had gamely reassured him that there was no such thing, even going so far as to bemusedly look under the bed and into the closet, before saying, 'That's nonsense Champ, see! Nothing's there."

It would have helped if his father's face hadn't been so wooden…

"I want my baby back, baby back, baby back; I want my baby back, baby back, baby back. Baby back ribs, baby back ribs….C'mon you fat sack o'blubber, get down off that bed!" –Thump- -Thump- "I'mae gonna slather you in ranch dressing and honey! Sweet thing! Plump butt! Get in my belly!"

...And if Vernon hadn't been speaking over the voice of an apparently Scottish Bogey-man….

"Oh Please let me out, oh pleaseee…"

…And whatever the heck was in the closet.

Dudley slept in on Saturdays…

Meanwhile Vernon was approaching a dreaded door, under the stairs…

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

"I am not afraid of a ten year-old boy."

He almost believed it…


"We don't tell children stories to teach them that there are dragons. Children know there are dragons; they meet them every day. We tell children stories to teach them that dragons can be slain."

G.K. Chesterton


Vernon Dursley once, though he would never admit it, in his youth while attending Uni attempted to experience a bit of culture. There was a bird involved, of course this was before his darling Pet, and he quite wanted to impress her...

In the end Vernon wound up in a museum stoned out of his mind staring at a painting done by some chap called Pavo Picadillo....or was it Vindent Vonago?

It was a landscape of a cityscape filled with people going about their business, a young man courting a damsel at her window, a clown entertaining a flock of children, a market place with a murder of crows on the wire washing lines looking on longingly at the produce while venders hawked their wares to pedestrians as a patrician in a carriage drawn by magnificent black horses rolled by.

It was a master piece, a thing of beauty in the sheer volume of detail and subtle nuance that drew the eye along its lines and painted features one after another, telling a story, a tale of life in Venico.

The problem for Vernon was that there seemed too much detail for just a small piece of canvas, barely larger than his head. To save space, the entire scene had been pinched and warped and twisted into a spiral. It held an unnatural depth, and in spite of the oddity of presentation retained a touch of realism while being utterly impossible.

It was as if someone had proven that the shortest path between two points in Euclidean space was not a straight line but a spiral. That up was down, that left was really right and that tomorrow had actually been yesterday...

As he felt himself slowly beginning to go insane, Vernon was only just able to break eye contact and stagger away, almost certain that those perfectly painted figures had been moving.

He swore from then on that he would henceforth be a bastion of the right and proper way, shunning the unnaturalness of the world that might seek to endeavor that cause and effect not make sense.

He made it out of the magical wing of the British Royal Museum minutes ahead of the first obliviator....

Years later, staring at the swirling mass of stars, space and time, never mind how he could even see time, that occupied the place that was supposed to be young Harry's sleeping chamber; Vernon felt a strange niggling that this was all too familiar....


What Really happened...

Vernon Dursley, 1972

"Wow, just, wow! So magic is real? This is so groovy baby! Just smashing! Fantastic! Bet you got the best kind of weed don't ya -snirk- Ma an Sis 'r not going to believe th-"

"Obliviate!"

"Whuh...?"

"Mr. Dursley, I know you must be confused, but listen to me. It seems that you've had a bad reaction to some psychotropic drugs and ended up staring at some paintings by Picadillo and Vonago while you were high. There is no such thing as magic and what you saw was just a bad dream. You will no longer do drugs and seek to become an ordinary upstanding member of society, working hard to seek out employment as a manufacturer of...of... drills, seeking a good salary and future promotion for you and whatever family you might one day have."

"Huh....?"

"Do you understand me, Mr. Dursley? Ther's no such thing as Magic."

"Huhwaz… magic…? O-Of course there isn't you freak! Get away from me weirdo, I'm not buying whatever you're selling! Screw this, Pomona Sprout's not worth a bad acid trip..."

.............

...

"Think I overdid it, Bode?"

"...Drills...You're an asshole Crouch, a right sodding bugger..."


Present Day


Vernon stood before the closed door, his wife peering from a safe distance around the corner. He breathed in, girded his loins and...

"Right..."

He tugged open the door again and yelled "BOY!"

"ROOOOooaaaaaAAAAAARRRRR...!!"

"Slam!"

A tentacle was in the way.

"Slam!"

"SCRREEEEEEEEEE!!!"

Whatever was on the other side retracted the appendage.

He just managed to lock the door from outside when.

"BOOOM!"

The hallway shook as the cupboard door bulged, it's outline glowing then...

nothing...

Vernon looked at Petunia, white-faced and trembling; He smacked his lips and said, "I'm going to get ready for work."

"But its Saturday!" his wife sputtered.

"This is a Leap Year, Pet, we have an extra workday to make up for it, it's called Strooblefast."

"What-"

"Hm- time to get ready!" And with that, he made a dash for the stairs, moving faster than a man his age and weight had a right to.

The thumping of feet was answered by the creaking of a door. A shock of dark, unruly hair topping the face of a young boy peeked out and glared in irritation.

"What's this entire racket about, Aunt Petunia?"


A.N. Read and Review TTFN