Darker With the Day

A Harry Potter story by Zillah

She is the curator
in the museum
of her own endless disappointments.
After a lifetime,
she has quite a collection.
  - from The Curator by Jack Conway


Rating: PG-13
Pairing: none; gen-fic


Vernon and Dudley were dead, eyes open and unseeing as Petunia stared down at them in shock. A man in a black cloak and a white mask had killed them with two words and a green light. The same man had his hands around her wrists, holding them behind her back.

Red eyes approached her and she tried to back away, but pressed up against the solid body behind her. A wand - a bloody wand - was slowly raised, her gaze focusing on that now.

Vernon and Dudley, red eyes, and a wand.

Whisper soft "Legilimens."

Petunia had barely a moment to wonder what the hell that meant but managed to register relief that it wasn't the same words the other man said to kill Vernon and Dudley. She heard laughter floating around her as white filled her field of vision.

Harry wet the bed until he was four. Dudley wet the bed until he was six, but Petunia didn't care about that. Her Duddlykins just slept deeply.

Petunia heard the padding feet and the sniffles when she awoke, Vernon's elbow catching her ribs. He snored on as she climbed out of the bed, wrapping a dressing gown around herself tightly.

Harry was talking softly when she peered into the wash room. He was sitting on the ground in front of the washer, talking to an old toy that might have been a bear. She never really paid attention to what Harry had in his hands as long as it wasn't Dudley's.

"We have to be quiet, Paddy," Harry whispered. "If Uncle Vernon hears us, we'll be in so much trouble. No supper for a week."

Petunia's nostrils flared and she stepped into the room, "At least put on a clean pair of bottoms. You'll catch your death and I haven't the time to fuss over you while you are ill."

Harry spun around, his eyes wide in horror. He looked down at his bare legs and ragged underpants. The old toy - she could see now that it was a stuffed dog - was clutched to his chest like she would take it from him.

Petunia forced down any sympathy she had for the boy, "Stop wetting the bed, boy. Children your age will get a spanking for that."

"Y-yes, Aunt Petunia," Harry pulled his legs to his chest. "S-sorry."

"Get back in bed soon," Petunia said sharply before stalking out of the room. Bloody child.

Harry stood in the kitchen scratching a large mosquito bite on his calf, his socks pooling around his thin ankles.

Harry dug in the garden, a streak of dirt on his cheek. The sun was hot and she could see sweat from her vantage point in the kitchen. Behind her, Dudley complained that his iced tea wasn't cold enough.

Petunia watched Harry wipe sweat off his forehead and squint at the sun. She turned away to get Dudley more ice for his tea.

Harry was bent over Vernon's knee, not making a sound as a large, meaty hand made contact with his bare buttocks. Dudley giggled from behind the closed door.

Harry looked up at her and Petunia thought of Lily.

Petunia was alone in the house with nothing to do. Harry's cupboard called out to her and with nary a thought, she opened the door and looked inside.

Filthy. Cobwebs in the corners and dust on the shelves. Books were crammed everywhere, socks on the floor, bed unmade. Petunia shuddered and started to back out of the cramped space.

A picture tacked on the wall caught her eye.

It moved.

Petunia let out a shuddering gasp and collapsed on the tiny bed as she watched the crayon horse gallop around the page. She pressed her face to the flat pillow and cried softly.

She had failed.

Later, when Harry got home, his picture was gone and his pillow was damp with tears. He looked at her sadly - understandingly - and just climbed inside, shutting the door behind himself.

"Sap!" A voice roared distantly. "I could care less about Potter's crayon horsy or his bed-wetting problems. Tell me where the boy is."

The boy. Petunia blinked sluggishly. Vernon called him the boy - that ruddy child - that blasted bird - the boy. James was the boy too. The boy that stole Lily. The boy that destroyed her family. The boy. The boy?

"Ruddy child!" Vernon roared, his face beet-red. Petunia patted his arm lightly, trying to calm him down marginally. Harry was long gone as were the blasted wizards who had fixed Marge and did something funny with her mind.

"He's gone, Vernon dear," Petunia ran her hand down his arm. "He shan't be back for quite some time."

"But he'll be back," Vernon said morosely. "He always comes back."

"He has to," Petunia whispered. "I'm sorry."

"I don't know how it grew back!" Harry shouted from behind the locked cupboard door. "I didn't do anything!"

Petunia leaned close to the door, able to see Harry's eyes through the slats, but luckily, not his bloody hair, "I will not be made a fool, child. Never do it again."

"Please, Petunia," Lily grasped her arm firmly, green eyes looking up at her imploringly. "He's going to have a godfather, but just in case. Please."

Petunia tried to pull away from her sister, but Lily was holding on too tightly. She stopped struggling and just glared at her.

Lily let go and sighed, "I just want to make sure he?s taken care of."

Petunia looked away, saw Dudley squirming in his crib, "I have my own child to take care of. I don't want yours. Ever. Especially if he's your kind."

"Who are you?" Petunia stared at the old man with the long white beard who had appeared in her spotless kitchen.

"Albus Dumbledore," he bowed slightly to her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Dursley."

"Get out of my house."

"The child must be taken care of, Petunia," Albus stepped closer to her. "Promise me."

"I don't want him here," Petunia tossed the flannel in the sink. "I have my own child to take care of. I don't want hers."

"He is yours as well."

Petunia looked at him and met his gaze, "Then I give him to you."

"Aunt Petunia?"

Petunia looked down at the boy. Such a small, runty thing. His eyes looked so big behind his broken glasses. In his hand was a piece of paper.

"What is it?"

"It's a permission slip," Harry held it out to her. "My class is going on a field trip."

"I suppose you want me to sign that thing," Petunia took it from him. "They want five pounds! Whatever for?"

"There's a- a bus," Harry pointed at the form. "And a fee to get in the museum."

Petunia looked down at the form and read it quickly. The boy was wringing his hands as he always did when he asked for any money from them.

"Very well," Petunia said and reached for her purse, taking out a five pound note. She signed the paper and shoved it and the money at Harry. "Do not tell your Uncle."

Harry's face lit up with a smile and he hugged her around her waist tightly. She stiffened until he let go. He was still smiling though and he pushed his glasses up once more before running away with his permission slip and money.

Petunia watched him go. She couldn't even bring herself to be angry. Harry looked so happy.

"These Dementoid thingies," Vernon rolled over to look at her. "Will they come after Dudley again?"

"Harry can keep them away," Petunia didn't meet Vernon's beady eyes. "Dudley is safe."

"Rely on that boy to keep Dudley safe? I think not!" Vernon rolled back over and Petunia kept staring at the ceiling. The boy could keep them safe. She knew he could.

Harry was one of them.

Petunia was shaking when the man in the black robes let go of her. She fell to her knees with a hard crack, crying out softly. The red eyes moved closer to her and she cried again when she saw the white skin and flat nose.

"You know where the boy went tonight," the voice was raspy. "Tell me."

"Or what?" Petunia's voice shook. She touched Vernon's shoulder, shaking it. "Wake up, Vernon. Wake up."


Hazy again. White.

"Send the boy to Miss Figg's."

"Arabella will take him."


Harry's nose wrinkled at the mention of Miss Figg.


Petunia began to shake as a crystal clear image of Harry standing in front of her appeared. Vernon and Dudley were laughing behind her as Harry stared up at her defiantly.

"I'm going to Miss Figg's."

Dudley snorted, "Aww. Going to see your old girlfriend, Potter?"

"Shut up, Dudley," Harry glared at him. "I'll be back later, Aunt Petunia."

"No!" Petunia shouted, pushing away the memory. It didn't work and she watched Harry walk out of the house. Vernon and Dudley were laughing as Harry walked away.

A sharp cry again and Petunia saw the white face twisted in a smile. He turned to the men in black robes behind him. Where had they come from?

Petunia looked at the white face and red eyes through tears. Vernon was dead. Dudley was dead. And she'd just killed Harry.

Petunia leaned her head against Vernon's chest and closed her eyes tightly. Tears trickled down her cheeks.

As she was surrounded by a haze of green, Petunia wished fervently that Harry had never come into their lives.



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