As I waited and hoped that Marge would somehow be able to do something, I remembered the early days with Petunia. The woman had been one of the few girls that would actually pay any attention to me, and I had been smitten. My mother had warned me about her, saying that she wasn't the sort of girl I should be with, but I had been in love with her, and she with me, or so I thought.
Now, I wonder if she ever loved me at all or had been more in love with the idea of a man who had loved her and was willing to work hard in order to give her anything and everything she wanted. What Petunia wanted at the time we married was a normal life, or rather the illusion of a normal life. I think I was just the means to what she thought she wanted.
My mother must have seen it long ago, in the final days before she died. Mother always did say that Petunia was a two-faced bitch and that she would get me in trouble someday, but I had refused to believe her. Petunia had been the nicest and sweetest woman I had known in those early days. It was very slowly and gradually that she had revealed her true nature to me, and by the time she finally did I had become so accustomed to it to the point that I hadn't even realized she changed until after the fire.
It had gone from the point where she was the sweetest girl in the universe, to the point where I feared upsetting her, but it had gone so gradually, from little things until I was accepting her destroying the house and willing to blame the boy in order to preserve marital harmony. By the time the fire came, I had thought things were completely normal, when they couldn't have been the farthest from. My wife had been very, very sick, and I hadn't seen it. My mother had however, and probably my sister as well, considering the fact that she rarely visited even though she didn't live all that far away.
I was torn from my musings when some young punk came up to me looking for a fight.
"Do you know what I do to assholes who beat their wives?" the punk who had oddly colored hair asked in a threatening manner.
"I don't know, but I'd like to know what you'd do to women who hit their nephews with frying pans right in front of you." I countered calmly. I'd seen and dealt with worse in prison after the fire.
Instead of hitting me, the young man stood there staring at me at a loss for words. Apparently, he'd gone after me because he really hated wife beaters, rather than because I looked like an easy target in my current state, and my supposed crime gave him a good excuse to do so.
"I didn't even hit her, but I was the one who ended up here after I finally decided to do the right thing by the boy and stop her from hurting him." I continued when the little punk didn't move, I'd wanted to get this off my chest for a while now.
"I'm partially to blame for the situation since I didn't treat the boy right either, but I wouldn't have gone so far as to use a frying pan. The worst I considered using on the boy was a belt like my father used on me. I considered using it before when the boy misbehaved, but Petunia said "No, that's child abuse, someone will notice.", and it turns out that she's been whacking the boy in the head with a frying pan behind my back." I continued as the punk sat down, having decided not to challenge me.
"In many ways, I brought this situation on myself since I've been letting my family get away with whatever the hell they wanted, and had even encouraged them sometimes thanks to a skewed idea of reality that I'd been forced to reconsider due to some recent events. I hadn't wanted the boy there in the first place, and made him know he wasn't wanted. I was verbally abusive and worse to the boy, and never acknowledged it, since in my view it couldn't have been abuse if I wasn't hitting him. I'd known that Dudley had been bullying him and having his little gang chase him, and suspected that Petunia had been getting him into trouble just to watch me yell at him, but I hadn't cared." I continued, letting it all out, knowing that I deserved to have the crap kicked out of me because of how I treated a member of my family who I'd determined to be an outsider since he wasn't my blood, and Petunia hadn't wanted him.
"I saw my wife hit the boy with the frying pan, and it was finally one step too far. I finally decided to do the right thing and report what was going on. Petunia however managed to turn the tables on me. She'd always been good at that. That, and getting people to believe she was the victim when she wasn't." I said. That wasn't the entire truth, but it was close enough. This time the frying pan had been one step too far, but last time I had been so inured to my wife's behavior that it hadn't even fazed me. Now that I knew what could happen to the world with the boy gone, I knew that I had to do everything in my power to protect him and ensure he survived so he could fulfill the prophesy and keep Our Lord Voldemort from destroying the world.
"Damn, that's messed up." the punk said, clearly at a loss for what to say or do.
Yes, it was messed up. The entire situation was messed up, and I was the only one who could fix it. I'm not sure how though, especially since I was facing jail time and anything could happen to the boy while I'm in here. Marge, who was far more conservative than me wasn't the best choice for Harry, but she was the only option I had. I had very few friends, and I couldn't call my coworkers or boss and ask if they could drop by my house and rescue my nephew whom I and my wife had been abusing, especially since they had been unaware of the fact that I had a nephew.
I could only hope that Marge could get down here and rescue the boy in time.