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The Wizard of Silence

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Immovable Object: Dursley meet Irresistible Force: Halliwell

Vernon Dursley was just about to pick up his fork and start on his dinner when the doorbell ran. Growling, he threw his napkin on the table and stalked to the door, muttering about rude, inconsiderate people.

He opened the door to find an older woman and young man standing on his front porch. Glaring at them, he growled, “not interested. Leave!”

He slammed the door and turned to head back to rejoin his wife and son at the dinner table, but a persistent knocking stopped him before he’d taken a single step. Furious, he flung open the door and shouted, “Do you not understand English? I told you we weren’t interested. Now bugger off!”

Slamming the door, he locked it, satisfied that they wouldn’t be bothering him anymore. He hadn’t gone more than a couple of steps back toward the kitchen when something heavy slammed into the wall hard enough to make some pictures fall off. Feeling a blast of cold air move past him, Vernon became enraged and forgetting that he had locked the door, turned back toward the open doorway, intending to drive the stubborn fools off his property for good.

Before he had a chance to utter a word, or take a step toward the people now standing in his hallway, the woman asked, “Didn’t your mother teach you any manners, Vernon Dursley? Your behaviour has been extremely rude so far.”

“I will not stand here and be lectured to by someone who has just broken into my house.” Vernon bellowed.

“I would advise you not to take that tone with me, Dursley.” While the woman’s voice remained calm there was a definite hint of a threat in it. “I am not someone you want to have angry at you. I am quite capable of and willing to make your life extremely miserable, especially since I know how well you treat your relations.”

To demonstrate her point, the woman waved her hand at the open door and it closed just as violently as it had opened, knocking more things off the wall.

######

Petunia Dursley, not used to hearing her husband slam the door that hard or that often, decided to take a look and see what was going on.

The sight that greeted her was Vernon, looking pale as he stared at the older woman standing front of him. Something about the woman seemed familiar, but Petunia couldn’t put her finger on what it was. Stepping into the hall, she asked, “Vernon, is everything all right? Your dinner is going to get cold.”

“Go on back in the kitchen. I’ll be back in, in just a minute, as soon as I get rid of these damn freaks.” Vernon growled, not taking his eyes off the woman.

“Vernon, Vernon, manners.” The woman chastised. “You should know better than to treat your relations like that.”

“We are not related.” Vernon growled.

“Oh, but we are,” she countered. “True, it’s by marriage, but we are still related. And believe me when I say I’m not any happier about the connection than you are.” She moved toward Petunia. “Hello, dear, you must be Petunia. I’m your Aunt, Penny Halliwell.”

While the woman had spoken politely, Petunia couldn’t help bristling at her attitude toward Vernon and announced loftily, “I don’t have an Aunt Penny.”

“Yes, you do,” the woman disagreed. “I was married to your mother’s brother, Alan, though as I told your husband, given how I’ve heard you treat those related to you, I’m definitely not going to be acknowledging the connection, once I get what I came for.”

“How dare you?!” Petunia screeched. “You have no right to criticise how I treat my family. I have never raised a hand to my son. I take very good care of him.”

“But what about your nephew, Harry?” Penny countered. “Have you raised your hand to him?”

Petunia paled, but said nothing.

Penny nodded as if her silence confirmed the accusation. “Did you think I didn’t know about him? From what I’ve heard, from very reliable sources, I might add, you treat him worse than a slave.”

“So what?” Vernon interrupted. “We didn’t ask for him to be brought here. He was dumped on our doorstep like an unwanted puppy. We damn well didn’t want him but we took him in, but was he grateful. No. Can’t even do his chores without mucking them up.”

“And do you treat your son the same way you treat your nephew?” The young man spoke up for the first time. “Do you make him do the same chores?”

“Of course not.” Vernon looked indignant at the very idea. “My son’s not an abnormal freak. He doesn’t need to have the freakishness beaten out of him.”

“And what freakishness would that be?” Penny turned her attention back to Dursley.

Not realising the hole he was digging for himself, Vernon spat. “Magic! Unless it’s driven out of him, he’ll be like you, and his parents, an abnormal freak, not fit to be around the rest of us.”

“You should be aware Vernon that your son has just as much of a chance of being an... abnormal freak as Harry. After all it runs in the family.” Penny informed him.

“You’re a god damned liar.” Vernon roared. “My son is not a freak. He’s a good boy and has never hurt anyone. He’s not an abomination like that Potter brat...”

“Vernon, I warned you.” Penny interrupted, her voice taking on an icy tone as she recited, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then silence shall be the rule of the day.”

Petunia saw Vernon’s mouth continue to move, but nothing came out of it. She paled as she realized what Vernon meant when he called Penny Halliwell a freak. “You’re a witch! What did you do to my husband?”

“Of course, I’m a witch,” Penny agreed, “just like your grandmother was and your sister was as well as others before them. As for what I did to your husband, I’m teaching him a lesson in manners. Until he has something nice to say, that he really means, he won’t be able to say a word.”

“What do you want? We want nothing to do with your kind. Why bother us?”

“Your mother would be very disappointed to hear you say that. From what I remember of her, she was a very loving woman, who would always give a helping hand to anyone. As for what I want, I’ve come for Harry. You and your bigot of a husband have come very close to killing him and I don’t intend to let you continue to mistreat my grand-nephew.” Penny told her. “Where is he?”

Petunia’s eyes flashed briefly to the cupboard under the stairs with the padlock on it.

“You locked him in a cupboard!” Penny stared at the woman in shock. “Leo, keep an eye on her. I’m not done with her yet.”

Leo pulled Petunia Dursley out of the way, as Penny Halliwell knelt in front of the locked door and recited. “At my knock, remove the lock.”

She rapped once on the cupboard door and the lock vanished. Quickly opening the door, she pulled on the cord for the light. What she found shocked her. The boy was underfed and looked as if he were child of three and not five. She could feel the heat radiating off his body from the fever that was burning it up. Carefully picking him up, she took him out of the cupboard, while trying to insure that the oversized clothes didn’t fall off his thin frame.

Once she was back on her feet, she requested, “Leo, please take him. Do what you can for the fever, but leave the rest alone for now. If I’m going to get custody I may need to prove he was a victim of child abuse.”

Petunia paled when the young man’s hands glowed with a kind of blue-white light where they came in contact with the small boy he was holding. “You’re a wizard too. Get away from me you freak.”

Leo looked at her the expression on his face one of disgust, “Actually, Mrs. Dursley, I’m not a wizard. I’m a sort of Angel. I protect and help witches and wizards.” He looked at Penny. “I’ve brought his fever down, but he’s still very sick and the infection’s already done irreparable damage. We need to get him out of here.”

“We’ll be leaving in just a few minutes.” Penny Halliwell assured him. “Mrs. Dursley and I just have a few more matters to take care of, before we leave.”

“What matters?” Petunia stared at the woman huffily. “You’ve got what you wanted. Take that abnormal brat and get out of my house.”

“Oh, but we aren’t done yet Petunia Evans Dursley. For one thing, you are going to sign this.” Penny pulled a folded piece of paper out of her pocket and held it out toward the woman.

Petunia ignored the piece of paper and stated, “I’m signing nothing.”

“Yes you will unless, you want me to call the police. I am quite certain that given the evidence we have,” she pointed to the very sick little boy in Leo’s arms, “the police would be quite willing to arrest you and your husband for child abuse and attempted murder.”

“We didn’t abuse him or try to kill him.” Petunia stated flatly.
“Bull,” Penny contradicted her. “You left his illness untreated and he is almost at the point of death. I think that counts even in British legal circles as attempted murder. And I’m sure that if the police were to have a doctor check Harry out they would find all the signs of child abuse that I know, from unimpeachable sources, was inflicted by you, your husband, and your son. Then again even if the courts don’t try and convict you for attempted murder, they will get you and your husband for child abuse. Which will mean jail time for the two of you and if the prisoners in British jails are anything like the ones in American jails, they take a dim view of child abusers, which means you and your husband would be considered lower than the cockroaches to them. And your so-called ‘good boy’ of a son will wind up in state care. I wonder if the people to whom he will be fostered out, if he’s even fostered out, will treat him the same way you’ve treated your nephew. One can only hope so.” Penny smiled at a sudden thought. “And even if the British legal system is too short-sighted to convict either of you for your crimes, you may want to consider what the magical community would do to the three of you once I let them know what you did to Harry.”

Petunia paled at the thought of what those freaks might do to her precious Dudley in retribution for their treatment of that freak and grabbed the piece of paper. “What is it, any way?”

“It merely states that you as Harry Potter’s guardian are giving up custody of him to me and my daughter who is his only other living adult blood relative.” Penny smirked. “And that you will make no claims on anything he has or may have in the future.”

Petunia quickly read the short handwritten document and found it to be exactly what the woman claimed. Grabbing a pen out of the drawer in the hall table, she scrawled her name on it and handed it back. “There. You have what you wanted, now leave.”

“Not quite yet.” Penny shook her head. “There is still the matter of Harry’s belongings.”

“That brat has nothing unless you want to count that moth eaten blanket in the cupboard.” Petunia countered.

“Oh that’s where you’re wrong.” Penny disagreed once more. “You do have some things that don’t belong to you or your family and I intend for them to go with their rightful owner.”

Petunia crossed her arms looking at the woman defiantly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I am talking about the things that belonged to Harry’s mother and father that you now have in your possession as well as those things left to Lily by your mother that you never saw fit to give her.” Penny told her, causing her to pale even further.

“Anything that belonged to my freak of a sister and her husband was burned.” Petunia sniffed in disgust. “We weren’t going to have any of that bizarre stuff in this house. As for my mother’s things, they are mine, and you will not have them.”

“I know your kind, Petunia Evans Dursley. You wouldn’t have destroyed anything that was worth money or that you could take pleasure in knowing you were keeping from its rightful owner. You will either bring me ALL of the things that belonged to the Potters or were left to your sister by your mother, or I will get them myself. And if I get them, then I won’t guarantee that this house will still be standing when I’m done. They will take the most direct route to get to me, through floors, walls, …people.” Penny was tired of dealing with this woman. “Your choice, but you should know my patience is at an end, not that I had much to begin with.”

Realising this woman was deadly serious, Petunia quickly headed upstairs to the attic. She brought down several small trunks, placing them on the floor near the man holding her despised nephew.

“Is that all of it?” Penny asked.

Petunia nodded, not daring to say a word in case the woman took it the wrong way.

“Well let’s just make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, shall we.” Penny extended both hands. “From everywhere within this house, I summon to me anything that belonged to Lily Evans Potter or her spouse.”

There were the sounds of something falling from upstairs and the dining room. Several pieces of jewellery flew down the stairs and into her waiting hands along with several books, including one very thick black one with a locked clasp on it. A couple of figurines came floating out of the living room along with an intricately carved box that also had a lock on it.

Penny waited to see if anything else would show up, before saying a spell to send the things to the Manor. Then she moved so that she was standing next to Leo and the boy, but held up her hand to stop him, before he could orb them away. With a final look at the Dursleys, she said, “From now until your dying day, you will pay for what you’ve done to your sister’s son. The golden rule states; Do unto others as you would have done unto you. So it was written, so for the Dursley’s; father, mother, and son, let it be done.”

As Petunia and Vernon stared at her in horrified disbelief, Penny Halliwell placed her hand on Harry’s back, and the three of them vanished in a column of blue white light.