Petunia was awakened from her deep sleep by a scream coming from Harry’s room.
She sat up and looked at Vernon who was looking back at her with an angry glint in his eyes, “It’s that damned boy again,” he said, “I swear to god if he keeps this up, I’m going to kill him.”
“Wait,” Petunia said putting a hand on her husband’s shoulder who was getting out of his bed, “Let me deal with him. I’ll get to the bottom of it.”
“Ok,” he said, “but if he keeps it up, he’s out of here or it’s back to the cupboard with him. I’m getting tired of always being woken up at 3 in the bloody morning by him.”
Petunia slowly got out of bed. She walked to the bedroom door and opened it. She looked in to the hallway which was dark and quiet. She closed the door and began walking to his room.
She stopped at his front door. What was she going to say to him? What was she going to do? He had been doing this for almost a month now. He would always begin screaming and wake them up. She had been right to think that something bad had happened to him when they went to pick him up from the train station. She could hardly stand looking into his emotionless eyes. It unnerved her. She began to think about what had happened to him and concluded that that was probably the reason why he woke up from what she assumed were nightmares, screaming.
Thinking about it she thought it might have something to do with the prophecy and shuddered. She felt even sorrier for him as she turned the doorknob.
When she walked in he had just moved his hands from his face, which meant that he had just put on his glasses.
She looked at him for a second before asking, “Why were you screaming?”
“I had a nightmare,” he replied, “it doesn’t matter though; I’m going back to bed.”
“Wait tell me what it was about,” she said
“What?” he said. She could hear the astonishment in his voice.
“Tell me what it was about,” she said again.
“Why should I tell you,” he asked.
“Because you have kept Vernon and me up since you got back. Every night you wake up screaming and I want to know why.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said.
“Why don’t you,” she asked.
“Because, I'd rather forget what haunts me in my nightmares if it's all the same to you," he replied.
She was right after all she thought. Something had happened to him, something bad. She knew that when she saw his eyes that something was terribly wrong. The pain and hurt in his eyes made Petunia break and she finally saw Harry in a new light. She finally realized what all he's been through and what yet he has to go through. It was weird that after all this time, she was finally now starting to feel compassion for the boy that she had neglected for the past almost 16 years.
“I would like for you to at least try," Petunia said, "I know I haven't been the best to you these past years but if truth be told, the way your eyes looked when you got off the platform is enough to give me nightmares. "
“There's things that go on in my world that you couldn't possibly understand," Harry started. He tried to recollect a similar events in the muggle world that would help her understand and vaguely recalled Hitler from his history books in grade school, "You remember how Hitler persecuted the jews right?"
“Yes, of course," Petunia replied.
"What's happening in my world right now, is just like that but on a smaller scale. There's this guy that thinks that non magical people and half bloods deserve to be exterminated. He thinks that pure bloods deserve to rule the world. He kills people he deems unworthy just for fun. People disappear all the time. Our government is in a state of constant turmoil and fear. He tortures people, usually in front of someone you care about. If he hates you enough he'll torture and kill people you love in front of you just to break you down more. The only thing that's stopping him from a full takeover is me," Harry finished.
She saw Harry thinking to himself and waited a while before saying anything, “Does this have something to do with the prophecy?”
“What did you say,” he asked.
“I asked if it had anything to do with the prophecy,” she said.
“How do you know about the prophecy,” he asked.
Dumbledore told us after your fifth year,” she said, “Vernon didn’t believe him.
“So you know what the prophecy contains? You know what I have to do? You know what I have to become,” he asked.
“Yes I know it all,” she said. She couldn’t stop it this time. All the sorrow and pity she felt for him now showed, and she bet that he could see, “I know that you and only you can defeat that evil guy. One of you will end up dying, or both. Both of you cannot live while the other survives. I think that is what the prophecy said. You have to kill or be killed in other words.”
He recited the prophecy to her then looked out his window.
“Aren’t you scared at all,” she asked.
“I’m terrified,” he replied, “I’m terrified that I have to become a murderer. I’m terrified that the whole world is resting on my shoulders. I’m terrified that I’ll fail, and if I fail no one can stop him. But most of all, I’m terrified of leaving behind the ones I love. I am almost 17 years old and I have seen more death than most people have in their whole life.”
She couldn’t believe that Harry had just opened up to her like that. He hadn’t ever done that before.
“I’m not trying to make you upset or anything but who have you lost?”
“There was my mom and dad, Sirius my godfather, and Dumbledore.”
That was weird she could have sworn he said Dumbledore. “What did you say, no that last bit?”
“I said Dumbledore,” he said and she could see the tears he was trying to hold back.
“What? Dumbledore is dead? That can’t be. Wasn't he supposed to be like the strongest alive or something?”
Harry explained to her how he died. He tried to hold back the tears, willing them not to fall, but with the events still fresh in his mind, he began crying in the middle and by the time he was done she was feeling so sorry for him, that what she did next surprised her as much as him.
She pulled him into a hug, “I’m sorry,” she said, “If I would have known how much you had been through I would never have given you a hard time. You have been through more than any grown person and you’re only sixteen. How you put up with it all I don’t know. I don’t know how you put up with me and Vernon. I’m sorry.”
He looked at her like she was crazy.
“I really meant what I said,” she said after a minute of silence.
“Why now all of a sudden? Why not earlier? Why make my whole life a living hell,” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she replied, “I am sorry though for all that we did to you. I want you to understand that.”
“Yeah I understand I guess,” He said, “I guess I can forgive you for all the hell you put me through.”
She knew that that was as good of an acceptance to her apology as she was going to get from him, “Well I better get to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow, or in the morning in this case. Goodnight.”
She opened his door and walked out of his room. She walked to her’s and Vernon’s room and slipped into bed. Vernon was already asleep.
She can’t believe what he had just told her. All this time, and now this had to happen. She was feeling sorry for him, and now she knew why he hated them so much. She would hate herself too if she was in the predicament. She can’t believe what she had just done though. It was all of a sudden and she didn’t know what she was doing until it had already happened. Maybe this was for the best though.
“For better or for worse,” she thought, “I will deal with this.”
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