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Chapter 1: How It All Begins
A/N: Hi! This is my first story that's ever been posted. It may just be a huge bag of suck. But, you know, you could still give it a shot. Wink, wink?
Oh, and I don't own anything. Well, I do. Just the plot and a few of OC's. But, that's all. The rest is JKR's. Read on!
How It All Begins
Dursley. Before all the hype, I thought it was a decent surname. Not too common and not too strange. In the end, it was a surname not unlike any other. Except, it was.
To be a Dursley, I soon found out, was not the best thing you could do in the wizarding world. But I had no choice. I was the daughter of the boy who, for years, tortured the Harry Potter, who also happens to be my uncle. It wouldn't be so bad if I stayed in the muggle world, living my muggle life. But no... Someone, or something, had a different plan for me.
I, Dora Dursley, am a muggleborn witch. Life just loves me.
Wondering how it all started?
You know how all the muggleborn wizards and witches say that they always felt different? Special? And when they finally got their Hogwarts letter, it was the answer they were waiting for. The answer to why they felt like they didn't belong, the answer to who they were really supposed to become.
Well... It didn't really work out like that for me. No, scratch that. When I got the bloody thing and later read it, my first thought was to rip it apart and make our dog Yellow eat it! And I'm the rational one in our family!
I actually liked my muggle life. I liked being normal. Being average... Ok, maybe not that much. But really, NORMAL was my thing. I felt at peace with myself. I didn't need any stupid letter to "open my eyes to a whole new world of different possibilities". I loved my muggle life (Minus the fact that my only friend was Yellow.). But as it turns out, it wasn't my life to live after all.
It happened when I was ten. Out of nowhere. Well, that's what I originally thought. Dad was doing some exercises, trying to live a healthier life, or rather pretending to for mum and me. I just returned from school and a highly stressful day. Mary White called me a heartless beast. The teasing and the name calling started from my first day at school. I was focused on my lessons and soon became a top student. The other children didn't like this. Ok, maybe I was also a little rude to them when they asked for help. But that doesn't give them the right to torture me! I had no time for them. I needed to focus on my future.
Man, I really was a heartless beast, wasn't I? Not to mention that I may still be one.
Needless to say, I was not in my best mood. But dad most certainly was. Even though he was sweating like a pig, doing the most simple warm-up exercises.
"How was your day, sweetie?"
"Goodie! Oh, can you get me a bottle of water? It’s in the fridge, on the top."
I was too frustrated to walk all the way to the kitchen. But, I had a soft spot for my dad. So, I began my way to the bottle's residence, all the way thinking: "If it could just fly to me... Now that would be goodie."
And just like that... it did.
The small bottle of water flew all across the kitchen, throughout the dining and living room, right into my face. It knocked me down! Not to mention unconscious.
It was one of those freak accidents, I thought.
Except, it wasn't.
* * *
"Wake up, sunshine,
wake up, my love,
wake up darling
to the sun above."
My hand launches itself on the small clock that is singing an all too happy tune. My mother thinks it's a great idea to start the morning with a nice song. Seriously? I love my mum, but she has no musical taste.
Ahhhh... Silence at last!
"Sweetie, are you up?"
Well, there goes that.
I put the pillow over my face, trying to at least pretend that I'm still sleeping.
"Come on, Dora. You have to get up." My mother takes away the pillow and crushes my dreams.
I take a glance at her. She is in her usual 'working' clothes-trousers and a flowery shirt. My mum's a painter. Aside from being a History of art teacher, that is. That should somewhat explain her attire... or not. She does have too many yellow shirts.
"Mum, he'll be here at four o'clock. I don't have to get up."
"But you need to pack."
"Which takes, like, five minutes."
"That's what you think. Because I always pack you. And trust me, it takes more than five minutes."
When I do it at Hogwarts it takes just five, thank you very much.
"Why do I still have to go every summer?" I groan.
Mum looks at me as if I'm not even speaking her language. Which, most of the time, it appears I'm not.
"Dora, you make it sound like it's the most awful thing in the world." Her face suddenly falls.
Argh! I hate it when she does that! It makes me feel like I'm a terrible, terrible person. Which I'm not... entirely. Oh, come on, who doesn't slip far too much salt in their parent's food from time to time?
"Muuuum, don't do that!"
She sits on the edge of my bed, examining my face.
Everyone says that, physically, I'm just like her. Have her height, her skinny body, her wild curls and blue eyes. The only difference is, my hair is blond and hers is deep-brown.
"What is it that bugs you so much about going to the Potters?"
Ok, people, here's the thing. I don't HATE the Potters. Well, not all of them, that is.
My uncle is great. He's funny, interesting and kind. I like Ginny, too. Yells all the time, that one, but I guess that's her thing. Albus is my favourite cousin (Yes, I know I shouldn't have one. But really, who cares?). Lily is sweet. But James... Well... Maybe hate is too strong of a word. Let's just say, we don't get along.
"James." I answer simply.
My mother rolls her eyes. “Dora, this is ridiculous!"
"What, that he makes me feel like I'm the offspring of the devil himself?!"
It pours out, before I even realize what I'm saying.
But it's the truth. I mean, I know dad wasn't the best cousin out there. But that's it. It's in the past. However, James somehow doesn't seem to understand the concept of time.
I sometimes feel like I was born just to pay for my dad's past sins. I know, it's an awful thing to say. It's not that I blame him. He's a great dad. I blame my karma. Well, Charlie blames it, anyway. She says I was Hitler in my past life. How she even knows about Hitler is beyond me. Especially considering the fact that the only subjects she's interested in are Potions, Divination and Astronomy. I have caught her sleeping in our Muggle Studies class, over and over again.
My mother sighs. She's generally a happy person. It seems that she isn't just when I start to dwell on my horrible fate. Not that I believe in fate.
"You should be the sane one. Try to have a normal conversation with him. I don't think it's that hard."
"Mum, believe me, it's more probable to find a goldfish flying with a black cat in the seventh heaven, than to have a decent conversation with James Sirius Potter. " I say darkly.
Mum rolls her eyes once again and then gets up. "I don't believe you."
She walks out the room but returns mere seconds later pulling my trunk behind her. Now I let out a sigh.
"Hear me out!" She interrupts holding her index finger up, as a sign for me to shut the hell up. "If... If you even try to talk to James this summer, I will..."
Now this is what I'm talking about. A reason for me to even bother with that dense self-absorbed idiot.
"I'll... I'll let you go to Paris."
Suddenly, an unusual noise comes from downstairs that ends my shriek. Like a glass shattering. No... It's not just like. Yup, dad dropped something. Why am I not surprised? Soon, he enters the room, panting, in the company of our dog Yellow, who is waving his... well, yellow tail.
"What's going on?! Why are you yelling?!"
Wow, I must have really scared him. He usually doesn't run this fast. I myself have inherited his non existent talent for any kind of sport and physical activity.
Yellow visibly relaxes as he spots me. He leaks my hand. I pat his head. I love this dog. If humans could be more like animals, the world would be such a lovely place. People are so unnecessary complicated, it frustrates me. All the secrets, lies, dissimulation, facades... Come on! Animals do it so much better. You can tell if they like you or not. And even if they don't give a damn. It is that simple, people! Watch and learn!
I shriek. “Mum said I can go to Paris!"
Dad turns to my mother, who manages to slip a small nervous smile.
Dad is not strict, per se. It's just that he loves having me around so much, that he hates when I have to go somewhere. I'm away from home for so long, that it breaks his heart if I want to spend my summer elsewhere and not with the family.
Mum mouths a sorry.
"Vicky, what's going on? Why does Dora think that she'll go to Paris?"
"Because I said so." Mum repeats my words trying to sound positive, even though it's obvious from her lip biting that it's just a facade.
And there she goes, trying to portray something that is not true. Why?
And, seriously, am I invisible or something? I just said the same darn thing!
"I’m sorry, what?" Dad's eye twitches.
Ok, maybe I do understand the facade now. Just a little bit, though. Dad's like a big bear who's actually a bunny inside. Err... Ok, that doesn't make sense at all. Whatever.
"She won't go to the Potters otherwise." Mum gives dad a serious look, like this is a matter of life and death.
"So she'll stay here. What's the big deal?"
Thanks, dad! I knew you'd make her see reason!
But... Wait... That means... No Paris.
Wow, who would have thought I'd rather choose James? Blimey, I must be growing up. Or dumb. One of those two, for sure. I ponder at my own thoughts, which I do, often.
"You know this is good for her. She needs to be with children her age more often. Or she'll end up as a social cripple."
"Thanks mum. I'm still here, by the way. And I have friends, thank you very much. So I'm not a social cripple!"
"Friends. How many friends do you have?"
Now, don't think my mum's rude. She's just a little... out there. She speaks her mind. I try to do the same. But when I do it, people don't really tend to respond positively.
Also, mum thinks it's unhealthy to have less than ten friends. She's a very out-going kind of person. That's how she managed to meet my dad. If she was more like me... Well, I wouldn't be telling you this in the first place.
"Mum, it's not the quantity that matters. It's the quality." I say smugly like that's something I just thought up.
"That is completely true." Dad stands by my side.
And again, he made her see reason. I love dad. This is why I'm rational, like him. It's so rewarding.
Mum trows her hands in the air. “Fine, I'm sorry for wanting you to be close with your family. I'm sorry I care about you!"
She picks up my trunk and storms out of my room.
Well, at least I've got Paris!
* * *
At four o'clock correctly uncle Harry appears in our living room. His black hair is messier than usual, which must be some kind of record really, his tie is wrapped around his neck in a way that, for a moment, makes me think he's suffocating and his glasses have slipped a bit down his nose. Yup, that's my uncle, no doubt about it.
"Oh no, I lost it again!" He looks at his glasses and that's when I realize one of their lenses is missing.
Lately, this has become a recurring event for him. He says it's his best friend Ron finally rubbing off on him.
He shakes the glasses a bit, like it will somehow make the lens reappear. Well, he's Harry Potter. If it ever does happen, I'm sure it'll happen to him.
Finally, he gives up, mutters a spell and slides his glasses up his nose, taking in the sight of us three.
"Hi guys! Ah... Little Dora... Not so little anymore, ay?" He ruffles my hair.
Ladies and gentlemen, Harry Potter, the messy hair lover.
"Wow, you're almost as tall as Albus." He continues.
"Really?" Albus is tall.
I mean really tall.
I manage a fake smile.
Uncle Harry grins at my parents instead. "Are you guys sure you want to let her go to Potter-land again? It's not always on the safe side, you know."
Dad opens his mouth in an attempt to say something, but mum gets there first.
"We're absolutely sure!"
FYI, my mum is some kind of a Harry Potter geek.
Ok, that was a shameless lie.
She's THE Harry Potter geek. After she found out about my "other nature" and that I'm Harry Potter's niece, she started digging up information about our world. Soon, her research took a different curse and my uncle became the main target. Not saying I'm jealous. Just... It's a little embarrassing, don't you think?
But, don't get the wrong idea. My mum loves dad. Uncle Harry is just her "He's famous!" crush. Dad has them, too (I won't say who they are, though. I'm too ashamed to admit it.). Well, we all do, right? And it doesn't bother either of them.
I'm not saying it isn't bothering me, though! He is my uncle, after all.
"And you'll meet us at the King's Cross station on September the first, to say goodbye? Like always?" He gazes at dad.
They don't really have that family bond. Dad was busy trying to live his life the way he wanted. Not the way his parents imagined for him. It took away most of his energy. I know he regrets it.
It's not that they hate each other. Oh no. Nothing like that. But...
In dad's words: "I like him the way you like your neighbors. You do it because it's the right thing to do. Not because you know or love them for real."
That's why deep down, even though he doesn't show it (Mostly to tease mum.), he wants me to go to the Potters, too. He doesn't want me to end up like him. With so little real family and friends.
Dad shrugs. I guess this is his surrender. Thanks dad.
"All right, then..." Uncle Harry returns to stand by my side. "Are you ready?"
He takes my trunk and before I even manage to say bye to dad and mum, he apparates us away.
An awful, hard feeling takes over me, as if the air is trying to rip me apart. But fast enough, my feet hit the ground. And the Potter house stands before me in all of its glory.
I look at my uncle's glasses. And sure enough, they have a gap in them. Again. I suppress a smile.
My gaze then takes in the house.
It's big, but not pretentious. It consists of two floors, one of them being the ground floor, that is. Even from outside, it has that home quality to it.
Then, on the first floor balcony, a face shows. Lily Luna Potter's lips turn into a gigantic smile, as soon as she spots us. She then disappears into her room and I can hear her yelling inside, "Someone open the door!". So, aunt Ginny's genes have finally kicked in, I see. Heavens help me.
Just as uncle takes the lock, we hear a small click. The door slowly (Almost painfully so.) opens...
And, of course, from all the people, reveals my arch enemy. Why wouldn't it?
No, actually, it's not James Sirius Potter.
A sick, twisted smile spreads across his lips as he glances up at my face.
Everyone, meet Drake Faldo. THE bane of my existence.
Why did I pick Paris, again?