Harry Potter - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Obligation ❯ Obligation ( One-Shot )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Obligation

Petunia Dursley woke up first that morning, not knowing it was the morning after, and that her life was soon to change. She just went about her business in the kitchen, setting up the kettle for tea, putting a pan on the stove for eggs and bacon, and placing slices of bread in the toaster slots. She hummed Tainted Love (poorly) under her breath.

It was an uneventful Sunday, the first day of November, and Vernon slept in, as he normally did at the weekend. Her sweet little man also slept soundly in his toddler's bed, as she listened in on his dreamy sighs with the baby monitor. This was not normal for Dudley, but definitely a blessing.

Pulling her robe tight against the chill of late fall, Petunia picked up the empty milk bottles from the counter and went out to retrieve the newspaper from the doorstep. She found her nephew instead, wrapped in layers of blankets, with a note clenched in his tiny fist. He was deeply asleep.

Exclaiming wordlessly at the surprise, adrenaline making her nerves so jittery that she nearly dropped the bottles, Petunia thought, `This is a trick.' She heard Vernon drowsily inquire if she were all right. She ignored him.

Petunia waited for her freak sister and horrid brother-in-law to emerge from wherever the bloody hell they were hiding. She had no doubt that they were laughing at foolish her for looking so shocked.

The gits didn't come out; not after one minute, or five, or ten.

Confused and irritated, Petunia knelt down, carefully standing the milk bottles on the first step, and pried the paper from her nephew's hand. `Hank, isn't it? No, no; Hansel? Or is it Harvey? Still doesn't quite sound right.'

Turned out his name was Harry, and that he was… “An orphan?” she whispered, horrified. The words sort of blurred together on the page. `Lily is dead, sorry to inform you, dead, dead, dead, died a hero fought bravely but a dead hero is still dead, oh, sis, oh, no, I'm sorry, dead, dead, dead, if I think it enough the word dead will lose meaning, oh, oh, LILY HOW COULD YOU AND JAMES DO THIS TO ME`

Through the hot tangle of her thoughts, Petunia realized she was dripping tears all over her nephew's rounded cheeks. Wiping her eyes, she stared at the baby. Harry looked a ringer for his awful (dead) father. The curve of his jaw, the bow of his mouth, and especially that unruly thatch of black hair, all screamed James. (She'd noticed the jagged scar on Harry's tender forehead, but was too angry at her world tearing apart to feel sympathy.)

Her lip curled over her teeth. Those plonkers—who fancied themselves wizards—had the gall to get her sister killed in their stupid war, and now they wanted her, Petunia, to RAISE this child? She had no doubt he would grow up to be every bit the no-account wand-waving delinquent his parents were—well, his father, anyway.

Petunia didn't need this… this inconvenience. She already had a child of her own to bring up, and this wouldn't be fair to him! She'd never wanted another child. Dudley was perfection, her darling strapping lad. Two boys under her roof meant divided attention, and less affection for the one who deserved it. Was she to deny her child for this one, who, from the look of him, probably wasn't even her sister's?

She truly knew better, of course; she had seen Lily, briefly, whilst they were both pregnant, and once more when Harry was a month old, a bitty blob of a thing. All the same, Petunia started building the fantasy in her head of his true parentage, of James and some witchy scrubber, warming more and more to idea of ringing child services and having them take him off her hands. `Let the local authorities foster him out,' she thought.

Then the baby opened his eyes.

Harry's large round eyes, exactly the same shade of green as Lily's, stared up at her solemnly.

“Oh,” Petunia said. `There you are, sister.' Then, with great weariness: “Well, smashing.” Tucking the note in the belt of her robe, she gathered up her nephew in her arms and rose, feeling her knees crack from cold and her spine stiffen with resignation.

“You're lucky you have her eyes,” she told the boy, feeling shirty, as she closed the front door behind her. “If they were blue, like his, I'd send you away.”

The tea kettle whistled, the sharp sound making Harry cry. She could hear Vernon and Dudley stirring upstairs, and knew it wouldn't be long before she had to contend with her husband's rage and her son's jealousy. “You are already making trouble for me,” she sighed, jostling her nephew to quiet him as she walked back into the kitchen to start breakfast. “I promise you this much, though: as Lily's son, I will give you a roof over your head.”

And she fulfilled her promise as literally as she could.



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