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Chapter 1 : The Phone Call
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It was a chilly winter morning towards the end of December and Ginny Potter was in the kitchen cooking breakfast for her family. She heard a commotion by the front door and walked out to see a man standing on the other side of the glass.
“May I help you?” she asked politely after opening the door. She shivered when a strong gust of wind blew into the house.
“Um, you have mail, ma’am,” replied the postman. “I’m sorry to bother you, but you don’t seem to have a letter box.”
“Oh,” replied Ginny, taking the letter off him. She made a mental note to make Harry buy a letter box later to prevent the muggles getting suspicious. “Thank you very much.”
She smiled at the postman and closed the door before sitting on a kitchen chair and opening the envelope addressed to Mr and Mrs Potter. Inside was a Christmas card with the words ‘Seasons Greetings from the Dursleys’ printed on the front. She thought the name sounded familiar but couldn’t think who it was. She opened the card and resumed reading.
Dear Harry and family,
May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Katrina, Dudley and Gregory
Ginny immediately recognised Dudley Dursley as Harry’s cousin, the one who made his childhood a living hell. She hadn’t seen him since her wedding day but seemed to recall he seemed pleasant enough. Harry said he had definitely matured and got over their differences. She remembered his wife, Katrina, and thinking that she was pretty but dim- the fire’s lit but the cauldron’s empty. Katrina was a Squib whose older sister shared Ginny's dormitory back at Hogwarts.
Nevertheless Ginny thought it was silly that the cousins hadn’t spoken face to face in over ten years and only communicated through Christmas cards. Family is the most important thing, after all.
She brought this to her husband's attention once he came down to breakfast ten minutes later. “We got a letter from your cousin earlier,” she said. “He wishes us peace through the year, or something.”
“Typical Dudley, sending our Christmas card three days late,” said Harry, rolling his eyes.
“You should invite them over,” said Ginny suddenly, causing Harry to look up in alarm. “We haven’t seen them in years and little Greg is bound to be big now. He’s Al’s age, isn’t he?”
“A year younger, I think,” said Harry. “But, er, why do you want them over now? You’ve never mentioned them before.”
“Family is the most important thing in the world,” she said, voicing her earlier thoughts. “The kids should get to know their cousin. They see their Weasley relatives all the time but never their paternal ones.”
Harry couldn’t argue with that one. “But, Ginny, it’s Dudley we’re talking about,” he moaned.
“Harry, I want you to stop acting like a child and invite them round,” said Ginny sternly, getting up and clearing her plate.
Harry did as he was told, albeit grudgingly, and found the phone book. He dug into a cupboard and found the mobile phone that was seldom used. He had to go outside to use it as there was too much magic inside the house which interrupted with the signal.
Once he found the Dursleys’ number he tapped it in and waited for them to pick up. After seven rings a woman’s voice answered, “Hello, Katrina Dursley here.”
“Hi, Katrina, it’s Harry, Harry Potter,” he said a little nervously.
“Oh, hello, Harry! How lovely to hear from you. How’s the family?”
“Great, thanks, Katrina. How’s Dudley and Greg?”
“Both are splendid. Gregory’s just come back from a chess tournament and he won first prize!”
“Oh, er, tell him congratulations. Anyway, I was wondering whether you lot would like to come over for tea one of these days? We haven’t seen one another in so many years and it’d be nice to catch up.”
“That would be fabulous!” replied Katrina. “Is tomorrow noon okay?”
Harry was taken aback. He hadn’t expected her to accept, let alone set a date and time so soon.
“Er, that’d be great,” he said. “See you then, Katrina.”
“Harry?” asked Katrina suddenly sounding timid.
“There’s something strange going on with Gregory...,” she said in a whisper. Harry had to strain his ears to hear. “He blew up a classroom last month. And the other day I put a bowl of pudding on top of a very high cupboard out of his reach, but I came back less than a minute later to see it in his hands, wolfing it down! I’ve tried talking about it with Dudley, but he won’t hear it. Just keeps changing the subject. I apologize for offloading all of this onto you, but I don’t know what to do!”
Harry was speechless. All these incidents were similar to what was going on around Al at the moment. But Dudley’s son? Magical? Harry doubted it. Any more surprises today and he would surely have a heart attack.
“You never know, those things might have been a coincidence, although I can’t really explain blowing up the classroom… however, feel free to contact me again if something else happens. Odd things keep happening around Al, too.”
“Really?” said Katrina. “Oh, well, it’s probably just an age thing then. Thanks, Harry. Goodbye!”
Harry ended the call and walked back inside his house, feeling confounded.
“How did it go?” asked Ginny eagerly.
“They’re coming tomorrow at noon,” he replied dazedly.
“Great!” beamed Ginny, happily setting to work on the laundry.
A/N: The next chapter will be longer. Reviews would be greatly appreciated as always! :-)
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