Disclaimer: Harry Potter copyright J.K. Rowling. No copyright infringement is intended. This story was created for entertainment purposes only and if requested to be removed, it will be done immediately and without complaint.
Note: The first chapter takes place sometime during the seventh book and will be completely in Petunia's perspective. Every chapter following this will be in Harry's perspective and the pace will definitely pick up by chapter three so please bear with me until then if it seems boring.
A Wrinkle in Time
Harry gulped as the full reality of what he had to do hit him. He was to allow Voldemort to kill him; not something he put first on his list of priorities. However, according to the prophecy there was to be only one winner, one survivor. He clenched his fists as he marched slowly and steadily through the forest to where he knew Voldemort to be and hoped that it wouldn't hurt too much. Just as the thought ran through his head, it was over and all Harry could see was a sea of blackness and a numbness he didn't know if death was supposed to bring. After all, it wasn't as if he had ever died before.
Petunia Evans ran a hand through her hair messily and slumped onto the sofa as exhaustion took over. Due to not attending any sort of college or university, there were not that many job opportunities for her. Currently she was working at a local supermart as a cashier and her shift had been incredibly long, stuck amongst annoying customers and co-workers.
She didn't know where things went wrong. During the later years of high school, she had dated a boy a few years older than she who attended the nearby university and they had hit it off great. They even married, had a house together and everything. But it just seemed as if luck was not meant for her because shortly after she married her mother had been diagnosed with cancer and her chances of survival was slim. Petunia's father had actually died in a car accident not long after her mother had passed away. The only family she had left was Lily and there was no way she would ever talk to her again, not after how queer she had become from that freakish school. Any post she received went straight into the trash bin and any telephone calls were ignored.
Vernon had actually been hoping for a child (Dudley, he wanted to name him) and when he learned that she was having trouble conceiving, they tried for a long time until finally they grew apart. Petunia had found Vernon cheating on her with another woman one day when she had come home early from a friend's house due to not feeling well. It didn't take long afterwards for them to file the divorce papers.
She hoped that Vernon and his Dudders were having the time of their lives, she thought bitterly to herself at the memory.
As she closed her eyes, she wondered just when her life was going to get better. After that fiasco with Vernon, she had found herself almost wishing for a child and that emptiness at not being able to have one clawed at her heart. She found out that Lily recently gave birth to a son; something Petunia had caught a glance at from one letter, amongst the letters she had started keeping after the divorce for some reason unknown to her. Most of them were unopened and unread, merely sitting on the counter taking up space. She almost wanted to reconcile so that she could see her nephew for herself and to see what holding a baby was like before she snapped out of her thoughts. Petunia sighed to herself, berating herself for allowing her thoughts to even go down that path again and was about to go wash up before making dinner when the doorbell rang.
Petunia caught a quick glance at the clock hanging on the wall and wondered to herself who could possibly be visiting at this hour. Curiously and suspiciously, she edged toward the door and looked out the peephole. There was no one there. She entertained the idea of the neighborhood children playing a prank on her, but even then the idea didn't make sense since most of the children would've been in bed a long time ago. Not knowing where the compulsion to open the door anyway came from, Petunia opened the door and looked down the empty hall of the apartment building carefully before her sights finally fell on the bundle on her doorstep.
In a small basket was a beautiful baby boy with thick black hair and a chubby face wrapped in a warm blanket. On top of the basket lay a small note, but what really caught Petunia's attention was the fresh wound (which would no doubt turn into a scar) on the baby's forehead. As she gingerly picking up the basket with the baby into her flat, her thoughts were running like crazy in her mind. Who could've left a baby on someone else's doorsteps? Who would even do such a thing?
Petunia placed the basket carefully on the table and then extracted the note, anxious, suspicious, and nervous about what it contained. After reading the note, tears sprung to her eyes as she realized just what happened and what it meant.
Sleeping in the small basket now lay her only family member left, Harry James Potter, and her heart clenched for not reconciling with her sister sooner.
For a long time Petunia remained still as she watched the baby inhale and exhale in his sleep, the tears long dried on her face, leaving traces on her smooth unblemished skin. How could anyone leave this child to her? After how Petunia had treated Lily, she was the last person she ever expected to be given custody of what meant the world to her sister. Then came the next dilemma; would she even be a suitable caretaker? She'd never taken care of one let alone held a baby before and she worried more than she had ever in her life. So lost in her thoughts was she that she failed to notice when Harry had stirred and woken. He was quiet for a while and then slowly started to cry as confusion and fear washed over his little features.
Petunia was snapped out of her thoughts as she heard the wails of her nephew and immediately sprung to her feet. She had no idea what was wrong with Harry and the thought that he might be hungry flitted through her mind. Nervously and frantically raising her arms and holding her hands strangely, she wondered how and what was the proper way to hold a child. Gritting her teeth as she decided to just wing it, Petunia grabbed Harry from his torso, just under his arms and held him to her chest with his head resting against her shoulder. He was too big to hold like an infant from what she had briefly seen a few mothers do so she hoped and assumed that this was the correct way to hold a child of Harry's size.
The cries were not diminishing, if anything Harry started to thrash around in her arms and she worriedly tried her best to keep a good grip on the child. She tried to make some cooing sounds she heard a few mothers do to their children and wondered briefly if it would even work. Petunia had no idea why she started to bounce Harry lightly as she cooed and held him to her, but that seemed to do the job. Before long, Harry had started to quiet down and Petunia hesitantly moved Harry slightly away from her shoulder and sighed with relief to see that he had completely calmed down and wanted to curl up to her again.
Petunia let out a little sigh. "I assume that you weren't hungry, just scared and confused, right?"
Harry merely snuggled up to her shoulder.
Harry was now four years old and was growing up remarkably. Petunia couldn't believe how fast Harry grew, though after seeing the other children in the kindergarten she realized that that was not a bad thing. It meant that Harry was growing normally, though a tad bit on the thin side and Petunia was definitely glad for that, seeing as her meager funds from her job wasn't much to live on.
And today was just another day of the week where Petunia needed to spend her time at work while Harry went to kindergarten.
"But mummy!" whined Harry as he tried to follow Petunia out of the kindergarten.
"Harry, you know that Mummy has to go to work," Petunia told the sniffling Harry, using reason to persuade the boy to stay.
"I don't care! I miss you!" Harry responded indignantly and pouted as he crossed his arms.
Petunia let out a small sigh and an amused smile before she ruffled Harry's hair fondly. "But if Mummy doesn't go to work, how is she supposed to buy you that new toy truck for your birthday?"
Immediately the little boy's bright green eyes lit up. "Really?" he asked excitedly.
"It's the red one you showed me last time," Petunia said with a smile, remembering a time when she took Harry shopping and they briefly visited the toy store. They were low on money as they usually were, so Petunia had been unable to buy any of the toys Harry wanted, but Harry was such a good boy and very understanding that in the end he left the store with his mother without complaints even though Petunia could see the longing in the boy's eyes.
Harry immediately clung to Petunia for a quick hug and then said quickly before scrambling back inside, "Love you, Mummy! See you later!"
Petunia shook her head at the boy's antics but couldn't help but laugh at how adorable they were as well. She let out a small sigh, stood up and patted her clothes free from dirt before walking down the street to the closest bus stop.
There were times when Petunia wondered if she was a good mother or not. Most of the other children were all smiles and had new clothes and new toys whereas Harry only received new clothes when he outgrew his old ones or when she could afford them, which wasn't much of the time. Even the amount of toys that Harry had in his room was little compared to the other kids. She never knew that being a single mother would be this hard, especially since Harry lacked a father figure in his life unlike the other kids. But compared with having time for herself and going back to school to earn a degree for more money versus raising Harry, Petunia wouldn't give Harry up for the world, even if that meant they were living in poverty.
Petunia couldn't help but think how lucky she was to have such a special kid as Harry. He hardly if ever made a fuss and it wasn't often when he would ask for something, though Petunia could tell what he wanted just from his longing gazes as they traveled past certain stores. Usually Petunia stored that information for later when she saved up enough to buy Harry a great birthday or Christmas present. Another thing Petunia noticed was that Harry seemed to have an unhealthy attraction to the library. Although she did spot Harry playing with other kids his age and the neighborhood children, he went to the library more than the average child. Petunia smiled wryly as she remembered her own sister and her love of books.
Over the years her wages didn't improve by much even as she switched jobs, but it was enough to live on. It was only her thoughts of Harry that pushed her and energized her through the day just so she could go home all that much sooner. As soon as she was done for the day, she went straight home and came home to a great surprise.
Harry excitedly raced to his mum when she came back home and relieved the babysitter of her duties. "Mum! Look! Look!"
Petunia carefully grabbed the certificate and ribbon that Harry was showing her and beamed with joy and excitement at the boy. "First place in the school spelling bee! This calls for a celebration!" Petunia exclaimed as she picked Harry up and carried him to the kitchen. "Do you want to go celebrate outside?" she asked as she dropped her belongings off on the counter.
"No way! Mum's cooking is the best!" Harry exclaimed with a toothy grin that was not so toothy since he was missing his two front teeth.
A grin broke out on Petunia's face as she walked around the counter towards Harry. "You sure know how to flatter your mother!" said Petunia as she grabbed onto the boy and began a tickle attack as Harry laughed and shrieked happily through the tickles.
While it was not often, Harry occasionally gave her some trouble to stress over. This was one of those times.
"Harry!" yelled Petunia as she followed the dark hair boy stomp to his room. "Harry! Get back here this instant, young man!"
Harry didn't deter in his path and continued to walk down the hall. Not too long after a loud SLAM! was heard.
Petunia let out a weary sigh and ran her hand tiredly through her hair before marching to her nephew's room and reached for the doorknob, only to discover that the door was locked. Banging on the door, Petunia called out, "Harry James Potter-Evans! Open the door this instant!"
Instead of getting a response, Harry remained infuriatingly silent.
"Harry!" she yelled again. When that didn't work, she went to grab the key and burst open the door the moment it was unlocked.
"Harry James Potter-Evans! Don't ignore me when I'm talking to you!" she scolded as she walked up to the boy who was sitting on the bed with his knees hugged to his chest.
Harry purposefully huffed and turned away from her, but all it managed to do was highlight the nasty bruise on his cheek.
Petunia shook her head in dismay at his behaviour. She sat down at the edge of his bed and placed a hand on his arm, but he merely flinched and scooted farther away. Deciding that being angry with him was not going to work, Petunia counted to ten slowly in her head and then asked in a calmer voice, "Harry… Harry, sweetie. Why aren't you willing to tell me about why you got into a fight?"
Harry's face scrunched up in anger for a brief few seconds before it disappeared, but he still refused to say or do anything.
"Aren't you going to at least give me a reason to not ground you?" she tried, tilting her head sideways to look at Harry even though he kept shifting his gaze away from her.
"No. As far as I'm concerned, they deserved it!" Harry spat.
"They did!" he exclaimed as he finally turned to face Petunia, eyes full of tears, shining behind his glasses. "They've been making fun of me the whole year about how poor we are, how you and I don't look alike, about how my real parents probably don't want me or love me…"
Petunia's eyes suddenly softened as she realized the implications of Harry's confession. "Oh Harry…"She reached out and pulled Harry to her in a comforting hug, running her hand comfortingly through his messy hair. "Oh Harry… just because I'm really your aunt doesn't mean I love you any less. I'm still your mum and you meant the world to your parents! If they hadn't gotten into an accident, they'd be showering you with so much love you'd be hiding from them to avoid all the hugs and kisses…"
Harry gave a watery smile and a small laugh at the comment as he imagined himself hiding in the closet waiting for his parents to walk past him in their search around the hour for him. "Do you really think so?"
"I know so," answered Petunia as she kissed the top of Harry's head. They remained in the embrace for a few more moments before Petunia said with an amused smile, "But I'm still going to ground you."
It wasn't that long ago that Petunia entrusted Harry with his unsupervised walks home. Usually he'd be dropped off by the school bus or the neighborhood babysitter would pick him up, but after Harry proved his maturity and his ability to take care of himself, Petunia had reluctantly granted him permission. That still didn't put her heart at ease though because most days she found herself staring at the clock when school was supposed to let out, wondering if Harry had made it home safely or not.
Tears streamed down Petunia's cheeks as she clutched Harry's limp and cold hand in hers. It was only a few hours ago that Harry had gotten into an accident and was hit with a car on the walk back home. The hospital contacted her immediately and she rushed to the hospital as fast as her legs could carry. Luckily the doctor told her that the injuries weren't too serious. Harry had a few bruised ribs, a fractured arm, and a mild concussion, but that did little to ease her worries since Harry had yet to wake up. She highly doubted that she would be able to stop worrying even after the boy woke up.
"Harry… wake up! Don't make me any more worried than I already am… so just wake up!" Petunia cried as she clutched tightly to Harry's hand and buried her head against his chest.
There was no response for several long minutes as Petunia continued to weep until finally, she felt his fingers twitching in hers. Surprised and elated at the sign, Petunia lifted up her head and waited anxiously for Harry to open his eyes.
It was several long moments before Harry fully gained consciousness. His eyes crinkled and then blinked several long times before finally, Harry turned to her quizzically as if seeing her for the first time in a long time and asked confusedly, "Aunt Petunia?"
Petunia's heart felt as if it stopped and her grip slacked a bit at the unusual greeting. Harry never called her Aunt Petunia. Something was wrong and she didn't like it one bit.
"Where am I? Last I remember, I was in forest and was heading to Voldemort," he said weakly, his voice hoarse and scratchy.
A/N: This is my first ever Harry Potter story and it feels more difficult that I thought to write it out. After looking around at sea of time travel stories, I wanted to have my own go at it. I don't want to follow everything from the books down to the nitty gritty details so there will be some discrepancies (fair warning!) here and there.
Also, I am currently looking for a beta reader for this story for those who are interested. As listed, this is a Harry/Hermione story so those that are a fan of this couple are preferred. Neutral pairing could work as well. Thank you for your time and I hope that this doesn't blend in with all the other time travel stories.