Chapter 8 : Crossed Fingers
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10 August 1971
Unfair. The word had bounced around her head for the past two days, ever since the trip to Diagon Alley. Dad said people should be equal, and that when she saw inequality she should speak up about it. Lily going to Hogwarts when Petunia couldn’t wasn’t equal. It wasn’t fair.
At least maybe Dad would agree with her. She made her way to the living room, where he sat with a beer and the evening paper.
He hummed a reply, not looking up from the headlines.
“Daddy, are you listening?” She demanded.
He laid the paper down on his lap impatiently. “What is it, love?”
“People should be equal, right?”
“What do you do when things aren’t equal? How to you make it right?” She pushed the paper aside and rested on his knee, hoping he wouldn’t guess why she asked.
He sighed heavily. “That’s a big question. Lots of adults don’t have the answer for it yet, either. That’s why I’m in the union. The union lets us little guys work together, to protect ourselves from the big bad guys.”
“Oh.” She considered. “But, what do you do? How do you protect yourselves?”
“Well, you remember when I stopped working for a while last fall?”
Petunia nodded, and shifted into a more comfortable position on his lap.
“That was called a strike. We stopped working until the big bad guys agreed to treat us better. They needed us to work, so eventually they caved in. But we had to fight for it. We wrote letters to the big boss to explain our opinions, and we protested with signs. It’s a very complicated, grown-up thing.” He squinted worriedly at her. “Why do you ask? You’re not being bullied, are you?”
In truth she was sometimes bullied at school, but the summer was safe from that. “No, nothing like that. I just wondered. Thanks, Daddy.” She hopped up and kissed him hastily on the cheek before rushing out, wanting to avoid further questioning.
Safe in her bedroom, she lay on her back and thought over what he’d said. It didn’t seem very helpful. She didn’t have a union. Refusing to go to school wouldn’t change anything at all except that she’d be in big trouble with Mum and Dad. As for letters, who would she even write to?
She sat up. The day before, she’d stolen Lily’s Hogwarts book while her sister was out with Snape and read as much of it as she could before dinner. It had said something about the Headmaster. Walking on tiptoe, she snuck into the room across the hall. The book lay on the floor, open in the middle to a page titled “Lore and Legends.” Back in her own room, she flipped through the pages again until she found the section on modern times at Hogwarts. “Headmaster, headmaster,” she mumbled under her breath, searching for the word. “Aha!”
What a name! The headmaster was a man called Albus Dumbledore. Giggling a little at the sound of it, she pulled out a sheet of paper and a pencil, and sat down at her desk.
10 August, 1971
Dear Mr. Dumbledore,
Hi. My name is Petunia Evans. My sister Lily is going to start Hogwarts this year. I think it’s unfair that I can’t go too. We’re sisters, so we should be equal. I don’t see how you can know I’m not magic when I haven’t even had a chance to try and learn it. I know I’m a little old to be a first year, but I wouldn’t mind. I will even stay two extra years to make up for it! Please, please let me come! I will work harder than any other student and practice all the time if you just let me learn magic with Lily.
I’m sure Lily would be happy if I came with, too. I know usually normal people aren’t allowed, but that is wrong. You should let me go to the school if I want to. Please, at least let me try.
I want to go to Hogwarts more than anything in the whole wide world. I know if you make them, they will let me in.
Please help me, Mr. Dumbledore.
The next day, Petunia walked to the high street and mailed the letter, folded up in an envelope labeled simply “Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts” and bearing three extra stamps just in case. She watched it fall into the mailbox with crossed fingers and sent up a prayer. Please.
A/N: Thank you for reading. Another chapter should be up in just a few days.
Thank you to Aph for the read through :)
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