- Death-Minor Character
- Canon Divergent
Maybe they had a library she could access it might be more helpful than the elf who had been raised by magical people and couldn’t see how lost Petunia was. Not that Petunia didn’t appreciate Misty’s efforts it’s just she didn’t know what she should know.
She looked at the books on the shelves, it was unlikely they would be any help to her. Maybe a children’s book, like those she was reading to the boys, with the basics and pictures. She sighed and picked up another cake finding herself starving.
She’d had eaten little breakfast due to nerves. Although she’d had no idea what she was getting herself into. Whatever had happened early had just added to the hunger and the cakes while pleasant weren’t filling her as she’d hoped.
While finishing off a bun Sharrock returned. With him was a small crowd of wizards and goblins. Chairs appeared as if by magic before Petunia reminded herself it was magic.
“Help yourself to cake.” The new occupants gave Sharrock an odd look from where they sat around his desk but a few bravely took the closets items. “We are going to check the wards put up in a muggle neighbourhood, illegally placed and done by an amateur with no known history of ward forging or casting using sacrificial magic.” The assembled crowd muttered among themselves.
“How unstable are they?” a wizard asked one of the braver ones who had taken an unknown cake from the array. “Has there been any recorded fluctuations in magic in the locality?”
“Potentially very unstable and may be hostile to other magic users. There has been a possible fluctuation in local magic but that has yet to be confirmed.” Sharrock threw a glance towards Petunia as he said this making her swallow nervously. “The matter was brought to our attention by a local witch who lives within the warded zone. She has no training in curse-breaking or wards and brought the matter to the bank. The bank is involved due to the danger to a client.”
The rest of the group turned and looked at Petunia assuming she was the local witch and that was a term that she had never considered applying to herself. “When did the wards go up?” a goblin asked her.
“Early November I think it took a few days for them to be cast.” Petunia admitted remembering the was her skin had crawled at night and the flashes of light she had seen one night when settling the boys both of whom were not settling down for no apparent reason. Simon, from number nine, had also seen the lights but thought them Aroura Borealis and boasted about it for weeks.
“An amateur then, and only one person by the sound of it.” A different goblin muttered to nods of agreement from the rest of the group.
“Best to put up wards all at once lest the magic gets invested in doing something it shouldn’t when waiting for the rest of the levels to be brought up.” The same man from early explained on seeing the confused look on Petunia’s face.
“Some wards are too big and exhausting for one man through and they do it in stages, foolishness, if you’re putting up a ward like that it’s an investment and a team should be used, else the wards won’t be what’s expected. Best to use a team which know each other too else there could be conflicting magics at play to and that can throw things off. If the caster didn’t know the person who sacrificed their magic well that can also cause issues, the sacrifice may want to go in a different direction than the caster and with such a gap been castings it may have done so.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that.” Petunia said rather lamely, she didn’t know a lot about magic full stop.
“Most don’t. You didn’t commission the wards?” an older wizard asked.
“No, they went up without my consent but when I realised there wasn’t much I could do.”
“Exactly. Some do gooder trying to help and not realising what they’re doing.” He tsked and shook his head. “Best leave these things to the experts. Been far too many accidents in the past few years what with the war and people trying to DIY their safety. But if they’re fluctuating you did right to bring it to the bank rather than leave it in the hands of the ministry with the backlog they’re working through.” The first wizard responded, and Petunia nodded along.
“The house is unfortunately situated in a muggle area; the area will have to be cleared before we can make any assessments,” Sharrock said regaining the group’s attention. “We’ve got a plan to put in place, a feared gas leak that will clear the muggles out and then we move in. Mrs Dursley will return so as not to have her absence remarked upon and to allow her to gather her family and a few possessions for while the work is being done. What is the address?” They all turned to look at her once again.
“The children,” Petunia said instead.
“All the members of this room apart from you and your elf are bound by Gringotts confidentiality clause. They will not give away the information you fear.”
“Thank you. I’m sorry.” She said to the other occupants of the room. “The house its number four Privet Drive. Little Whinging in Surrey. Do you need the postcode too?”
“We use owls, postcodes have no value to us,” Sharrock responded and then quickly wrote out a note and gave it to another goblin who hurried out of the room. We should have everything in place before the hours over. Mrs Dursley, would you like to return ahead of the rest of us?”
“Take this,” he passed her a small golden token he had withdrawn from a drawer. It’s a portkey activation will occur outside of the bank. Activation phrase is home.”
“What about Misty?”
“She will come to wherever you call her. I recommend outside of your property; the wards may not take a house elf’s arrival well.”
“They’re that unstable then? That they won’t even take a bonded elf,” one of the men asked.
“Potentially. Considering the fluctuation seen its best not to risk it.”
“Damn, that bad. Best consider our approach then. Wizards first and then goblin, doubt the do gooder thought of you when casting and who knows how the ward will take to your magic. Best not risk it.”
“Absolutely,” agreed the man who had explained things earlier. “Best that you don’t do any magic either you, the elf or your children if you can help it.” He said the last part to Petunia.
“Of course.” Petunia agreed after all what magic did, she know.
She shivered as she walked out of the bank, guided by a guard from the corridor and soon was blinking in the light of the alley. It looked different. A slight shimmer ran across the buildings that she hadn’t seen before. The token hummed in her hand once she was clear of the bank.
She walked down the street a bit and felt her spine tingle when she went close to the shop fronts, wards. But unlike the one at home they didn’t seem as alive. It was bearable, not pleasant or something she wanted to be submitted to on a regular basis but not as wrong as it had felt on the way in.
The wizarding world tailored their magic to fit them and them alone. Ducking out of the way into a quiet courtyard with some tired looking shops she removed the robe. The neighbours would comment after all if she turned up wearing it at Privet Drive.
Taking a deep breath, she held the token in a tight fist so that the edges were digging into her palm. “Home,” nothing happened for an awful second and she considered maybe she didn’t have magic, and this was all an elaborate hoax.
But then a hook grabbed her deep inside and flung her spiralling through the air. She tried to scream but couldn’t find enough air to fill her lungs. The ground hit her, or she hit it nonetheless she found herself on her knees in the park. The park she took Dudley to, just a few minutes from their house.
“Petunia. I say Petunia are you, all right?” Gladys, little Piers mother, was rushing towards her. “Oh, dear I just saw you on the ground. Are you alright where’s Dudley and the other little boy your nephew?” She started to look around to see if she could spot the missing children.
“Doris. They’re at Doris’ house. I just got back from London.” Petunia managed to gasp out around nausea from her magical journey.
“Oh, you poor dear. Was it the train? They’re dreadful things. My poor Nigel was in bed after his last trip to Birmingham. Let’s get you home.” She prattled on as she pulled Petunia to her feet.
“Dudley, Harry.” Petunia managed to get out, the ground felt shaky under her feet.
“Oh yes silly old me. Nigel would say I’d forget my own head If it wasn’t screwed on. Now then off we trot.” And she pulled Petunia down the path by her arm.
“Oh dear, I am a frightful mess. Just stay here.” Gladys propped Petunia up against a tree as she turned around and hurried back down the path to retrieve her son from the swing.
While Gladys was distracted Petunia slipped the token into the bag concealing the robe before submitting to her neighbour’s attention as they headed back to Privet Drive. Doris on seeing how pale Petunia was offered to keep the boys longer but Petunia didn’t dare risk it, Harry showed magic near daily.
As she drew closer to her house Petunia could feel the heavy tingle of the wards. This time they rushed at her burning with intensity as she crossed them. She staggered again and only just managed to get the key to open the door, she collapsed on the floor just within the door but out of sight of her concerned neighbours. The boys crawled over to her.
“A Pet,” Harry cried as he poked at her, she smiled.
“Mama” Dudley cried as he too poked at her. “Mama up,” Dudley had been a demanding baby, but Harry’s arrival had been good for him. Harry had taught Dudley to share and given him somebody to play with freeing up some time so she could do the chores, but she had an elf now to do those.
The elf she’d forgotten to call Misty, but there had been no way to do so with Gladys and Doris watching her every move. She had also promised not to bring the elf through the wards due to how unstable they could be. She hoped the little creature didn’t think she’d abandoned it.
Petunia sat there cuddling the boys, Harry was more clingy than normal, but Petunia could forgive him that. She didn’t know how long she spent sitting there but she soon heard sirens. She glanced at the clock in the kitchen it was ten to the hour. The bank was more effective than she thought.
There was a knock at the door. “Ma’am there’s a reported gas leak.” A man said once Petunia had opened the door, Petunia blinked at him in shock. It was one of the wizards from the bank dressed as a police officer and she could see the other wizards similarly dressed talking to her neighbours. A group of police cars, lights on, sat in the middle of the street.
“You were at the bank.” She whispered to the man hoping she wasn’t mistaken but think the phrase was innocuous enough to pass by unchallenged.
“Sure was,” the man who had answered her questions less than an hour ago grinned at her. “Let’s get you out of here. These wards are something else and not particularly happy to have me here either.”
Petunia grabbed the boys and followed him off the property.
“Oh, Petunia how frightening this is,” Gladys called out clutching Piers dramatically to her chest while looking rather thrilled. “Oh, but you’re so dizzy looking. It must be the gas,” Gladys gasped out while her other neighbours gave her concerned looks.
“Thank you for that information ma’am.” The wizard escorting her said to Gladys, while leading Petunia to the bench at the start of the street and sat her down with the children. “Please wait here until medical help can arrive,” he ordered her.
“Oh, I can stay too if you need me.” Gladys offered not wanting the excitement to end too soon or the chance for gossip Petunia guessed.
“Thank you for the offer ma’am but please follow the officers beyond the cordon for you and your son’s safety.” Looking slightly distressed Petunia watched the street empty of her neighbours until it was clear and just Petunia, the boys and the wizards from the bank.
“Excuse me, sir, what’s your name?”
“I’m Gervais Jones ma’am. Curse breaker for Gringotts bank.”
“Do you think it’s okay for me to call my elf? I don’t want Misty thinking I’ve abandoned her.”
“I don’t see the problem with her coming in down here. Should be far enough away from the wards.” He glanced over his shoulder looking at where even Petunia could see the air distorted like as if in a heat haze despite the winter weather. “You know how to call an elf, just they said you were new to this?”
She wasn’t sure if he meant magic of elf ownership so nodded. “I am new to this; some help would be appreciated.” Leaving what she was new at deliberately vague.
“It’s easy enough just call out her name with intent and a bit of magic. If it’s your first time summoning her try pulling on the bond, but she knows you’re going to call her, so she’ll turn up, elves are great like that.” He gave her an encouraging smile.
Nodding her thank she let the man go back to prodding the air with his wand. “Boys, we’ve got a new friend visiting us. She’s not like us but don’t be scared.” The boys looked at her curiously. “Misty,” she called trying to put as much intent as she could into the word unsure on how to pull a bond and not wanting to hurt Misty, she had promised to be a good witch.
The tell-tale pop sounded, and the little creature appeared before them. Dudley looked startled and grabbed her hand while Harry carefully observed the creature.
“Mummy.” Harry reached towards Misty.
“Oh no, darling that’s an elf.” Petunia corrected while pulling the still startled Dudley onto her lap.
“Mummy elf.” Harry corrected himself.
“Your mummy had elves? I don’t know darling.”
“Oh, they be the Potter elves. Very sad. Very sad.” Misty chimed in with the answer.
Rather than worry about the fate of the Potter elves Petunia decided to deal with the fact that Misty seemed to recognise her nephew. “You can’t tell anybody who Harry is, for his safety.”
“Family secrets,” the elf nodded, “I be keeping them.”
“Thank you, Misty, there’s are lots of people who would hurt him.”
“Like bad family,” Misty agreed. “Bad people kill all the Potter elves. Very sad.” She echoed her previous comment before Petunia could figure out how to respond to the statement Misty was talking again. “I take care of babies before and they not turn into bad peoples, maybe that’s why Misty not allowed to raise more babies, but they still all be gone now. I’ll help with your babies.”
“Thank you.” Sirens filled the air once more as an ambulance turned up. Petunia didn’t know where it had come from, had one of the neighbours called it. She didn’t have gas poisoning, but the paramedics were likely to notice something wrong with how wobbly she was.
The ambulance was let through the police cordon the wizards had put up and pulled around the corner where it would be out of sight but not yet within the wards. The doors at the back opened but instead of a paramedic, several goblins hopped out including the Potter account manager.
“Those are some interesting wards,” Sharrock said by way of greeting. “Hello again Heir Potter,” he frowned at the boy. “When did you say he was given to you?”
“November the first. We found him on the doorstep so he must have been left the night of the 31st.”
“The Potters died early on the 31st. He was given to you less than 24 hours later then. Not enough time to be checked out properly by a healer,” Petunia reached for Harry taking him from Misty and bringing him onto her knee beside Dudley.
“Is he all right what’s wrong with him,” she was fussing over him but not seeing any sign of ill health apart from the poorly healed cut on his forehead.
“He has an echo of dark magic on him,” Sharrock answered while looking at Harry’s head.
“It is on his nasty little cut.” Misty agreed with the unspoken diagnosis.
“Can you heal it?” Petunia asked, “I’ve tried but it just won’t get better, I think it irritates him I’ll find it all bloody in the morning, he must be scratching at it.”
Sharrock gave her a sharp look at this. “Misty can you do anything?” he asked.
“Misty not be a nanny elf even if she raises babies. Misty just watch babies when nanny too hurt. She can try though.”
“No. Let it be for now. We will check it out more thoroughly back at the bank.” Sharrock answered for Petunia, but she nodded in agreement, so Misty knew her thoughts on the matter.
“Will it hurt him leaving it on him?” She asked instead.
“Not for a little bit at least. You said he’s been lashing out magically?”
“Then he’s fighting it. Means we stand a decent chance at getting the taint from him.”
“Will it be possible to go back to the house tomorrow. He grows more unsettled the longer he’s away from his routine and lashes out more.”
“Madame with the state of those wards you won’t be back in your house for a while,” Sharrock replied. “I can tell you that and wards aren’t my speciality.”
“It’s that bad?”
“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. You’re lucky to not be on ley lines or else the consequence… I shudder to think, and Madame goblins do not shudder often or easily.”
“Where will we stay? What of my husband?”
“You will be put up. The magical signature of Dumbledore is all over these wards and as the caster, he will, of course, pay all the expense of having them fixed,” Sharrock said with a vicious smile. “After all it is his fault you are being evacuated. I think I’ll get him to pay for the cost of all the muggles expenses too, he does claim to be so very fond of them.”
“Won’t that tell him about what we’re doing, he’s likely to interfere?”
“Bank statements go out every quarter, the next ones aren’t due till the end of January. Plenty of time to tie up loose ends.”
“What loose ends?”
“The Potter accounts for one.”
“I don’t understand?”
“I originally thought that is why you were at the bank today. The Potter wills have been sealed by the Wizengamot. Unless the heir or a guardian of the heir, if they’re underage, acts on them within three months they become sealed in the bank also. In the case of large vaults, that’s a significant loss of profit to the holder and the bank. It can also mean the loss of the family magics if left too long.”
“Old families like the Potters have wells of ancient magic that go from one generation to the next. They need maintained and leaving them untouched for a decade is considered the upper limit of neglect.”
“Harry would have lost his magic then.”
“Maybe. We can’t predict the future. Not reliably at least. On the other hand, I do think that the Potters magic is here already and unwilling to be forgotten or as they say go quietly.”
“Here.” Petunia glanced around as if she could see the magic before looking at her nephew, “Harrys got it already then?”
“Possibly. That old fool of a headmaster is from a new magic family and shouldn’t have dabbled in things he didn’t understand. But then it’s not the first time he’s done things he shouldn’t have.”
“The wards. Do you think it’s the Potter family magic? Not just Lily’s sacrifice.”
“Your sister was a Potter when she died. But there’s much more than her sacrifice here although it resonates. It may be why Heir Potter lashes out more when away from his mother’s protection. We must approach it with caution it would be a crime to lose these magics.”
“A crime you mean more than just, figuratively don’t you?”
“Yes. A crime against magic punishable by the ICW, the global magical court,” he expanded at her confused look. “As I said earlier until today magic couldn’t be gained but it could be lost and to deliberately destroy the magic of another is a terrible crime. We aim to get this magic back under control and settled. That said its presence and the strength of it might explain your new talents. Especially if you were on the threshold beforehand.”
“I’m not a Potter though. I’m a Dursley and was an Evans.”
“That’s the second time you’ve said that today. It’s also not I believe entirely correct. I imagine we’ll puzzle it out, but I think that the Potter magic saw your connection to its heir and with only him left to bear the legacy of the Potter magics it reacted.”
“It made me a Potter.”
“It made you a Potter witch,” he agreed. “Not the direct line I imagine but close enough to shoulder the burden until the heirs of age. Mind you it probably wouldn’t have been possible without the influence of the heir.” They looked at Harry who was happily sitting beside his cousin and babbling about nothing to Misty’s eager attention.
“He’s a baby how could he give consent.”
“Magic is innate, it follows the will of the caster, words and wands help direct it, but the potential is always there.”
“Exactly. He sees you as family enough to try and bind you to him, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of love. Your acceptance of him sealed the deal. Standing here looking at you both you have become the boys’ guardian physically and magically.”
“He’s mine,” Petunia agreed.
“What about Dudley, the boys get on, did he get magic too?”
“Oh, the babies both have magics,” Misty said, “two strong babies and a witchy for Misty to look after.”
“As the elf said. They are both young wizards although I would hazard a guess that the potential was already there within your son.”
“My mother said he would make all the plants grow when we visited them when he was a baby. I thought she was joking. We have a green thumb in the family that’s why we girls have flower names. Dudley’s a wizard but I’ve never seen any sign. What will Vernon say?”
“Earth magic how interesting, a quiet magic and sadly easily lost perhaps why it’s not seen much these days, most prefer the more flamboyant types. Foolish but then so are most wizards, the earth is rich and vast after all.” Sharrock grinned as he said this. “Your husband won’t be welcoming you think?”
“He hates magic, fears it, has since the wedding when he was humiliated by them. Potter and his friends that is.”
“That is unfortunate.”
“He isn’t as close to Harry as the rest of us, he’s suggested we keep Harry in the cupboard.” At the furious glare from the goblin, she flinched back tightening her hold on the boys. “I refused it’s not Harry’s fault. But he talks about suppressing magic.”
“A terrible thing to suggest harming a child. But it may be for the best that’s he’s not close to the boy. Better yet that you interceded. We don’t want an obscurial on the loose within those wards.”
“Obscurial?” yet another new term, Lily had obviously only told them the bare minimum in her stories.
“A witch or wizard who has suppressed their magic for too long and turned it into an uncontrollable malevolent force, depending on the strength of the host the obscurial can be devastating.”
“Dear God. Not Harry, that’s not what the darkness on him is, is it? I haven’t suppressed his magic I swear.” She was babbling but she didn’t want anything to happen to her nephew. She didn’t even care that she could be blamed she just needed them to tell her that Harry would be alright.
“No, the darkness is from something else. The boy is content with his magic. Look at him talking to the elf.” She slumped back exhausted but relieved. She knew the day was going to be exhausting but this was more than she could ever have imagined.
“Vernon can’t be around them. He will hurt them, turn them into obscurials if he could.”
“There is time yet to sort these things out, rushing now could result in a bad deal. The boys will be safe enough for now.” Nodding her head at Sharrock’s wisdom she cuddled them close and watched the curse breakers at work.
“Misty, it’s getting cold do you have some way to get us blankets and something warming?”
“I can be shopping but I need monies to do that.”
“Do you still have the money bag from earlier,” prompted Sharrock. Petunia checked her pocket and found the money she has exchanged earlier in the day. “Good give her a galleon it should cover all you need.” Passing the coin over to the elf she watched her pop away.
“Will we need things for the night, or will we be able to go back into the house and pack a few things? I didn’t have time before you arrived the portkey, was it? Well, it took a bit to recover from.”
“Portkey is correct, they are an acquired taste but useful. Nothing has been done to the wards yet. If you’re quick you may retrieve a few essentials. I recommend you leave the children with the elf when she returns rather than risk them within the wards it may sense you plan to remove them and intercede.”
Misty was more than willing to watch the boys while Petunia packed, so she left them bundled up in blankets drinking hot chocolate and eating fruit. She was quick with her packing and focused on the important things, documents, photos, heirlooms. Everything else could be replaced although hopefully, the house would survive.
She wouldn’t be able to face the neighbours if the house collapsed. It was bad enough this afternoon with the fake ambulance. She froze, she was a witch. Would she still be living here in a few weeks?
“I’m not on the list, am I?” she asked when she got back to the bench. The goblin and elf gave her a confused look. “The Hogwarts lists. The witch who got Lily said there was a register that recorded all new witches and wizards.”
“Ah, that list. No, you’re not, it’s tailored to record immature magic, yours despite the newness is tempered by your age. Your son will be on it, but they won’t notice that for many years until it’s time to send his letter.”
“Oh, thank goodness for that. Here I got the letter the headmaster sent. I thought you might need to see it. It gives me guardianship of Harry so it could be used to unseal the wills.” She handed over the letter.
“Madame you may have made my whole year.” Taking the letter from her he inspected it. “Did you read it?”
“Yes, but my husband read it first I was too focused on Harry. Why?”
“There’s magic on this, it pushes you to claim the Heir but to treat him poorly.”
“What? Why would somebody do that? Was it intercepted by the bad wizards to make Harry an obscuial…? No, they wouldn’t have left him alive. The Headmaster did it then?”
“Good question. It would seem so, but the traces are faint, and I believe your awakening magic and the magic in the wards has removed the effects from you and the letter itself.”
“But not Vernon.”
“Not unless he’s also become more overtly magical. I believe that in reading it first he suffered the full brunt of the magic, as a muggle it will have severely affected him perhaps explaining his desire to put the child in the cupboard.”
“Why make it so powerful then?”
“Because it addressed to you and I’m sure that Dumbledore was aware you were more than muggle.”
“That monster he lied to me and probably Lily too and now he tries to hurt our Harry why can’t he leave well enough alone. Can you remove the magic from Vernon even if he hasn’t gained magic?”
“Possibly, it’s an insidious magic. Designed to twist and enhance negative emotions. It may not be possible to remove it, especially if the man is unable to let go of his fear. However, the letter works as an announcement of guardianship for you although your close bond speaks for itself. I will begin proceedings tonight.”
Petunia watched the goblin stride away. She sat back down on the bench. Misty the elf, who no longer was acting like her namesake, soon had her bundled up under another blanket and a glass of mulled wine in her hand.
“I didn’t expect this today,” she said to her elf.
“It being cold and Yule time. Mulled wine is good.”
“Thank you, Misty,” Petunia smiled at the elf’s response, “but I didn’t mean the wine. I meant everything, the magic, the wards, the babies, Vernon. I just intended to hire a doctor.”
“Some things happen like this,” the elf nodded sagely.
“Have you got everything you need Misty?”
“I be a good elf and not needs a lot.”
“Still you look cold. Sit with us and take a blanket, it will set a bad example to the boys otherwise,” looking conflicted the elf sat down and hesitantly drank some hot chocolate.
Petunia didn’t see Vernon that night and instead, she and the boys were bundled off to a hotel in the wizarding district after a goblin turned up telling them everything had been taken care of.
Thankfully the room was clean, unlike the room she’d walked through in the Leaky Cauldron so long ago that morning, so Petunia consented to spend the night. They took only one room and sent Misty to do the talking rather than risk exposing Harry to the wizarding world. Despite the questions, worry and the two little boys in bed with her Petunia fell fast asleep.