Houses Competition: Year 2, Round 2

House: Hufflepuff

Year: 3

Category: Short

Prompt: [Setting]: Wedding

Word Count: 1405

Beta: Zoe, Aya


Tags: OOC Petunia Dursley, OOC Dudley Dursley, OG Character, Post-Deathly Hallows


Acceptance


The heavy silence of the afternoon was broken by the shrill sound of the telephone at Number 4, Privet Drive. This wasn't unusual because the universe seemed happy to conspire to make sure that Petunia Dursley never got to take an afternoon nap often. Irritable, she trudged to the living room towards the telephone and held the receiver to her ear.

In what she hoped was a pleasant voice, she said, "Hello! Petunia Dursley, who, may I ask is this?"

"Mummy!"

"Dudders!" she exclaimed, annoyed. "How many times have I told you not to call in the afternoon?"

"Sorry, Mummy," he replied sheepishly and continued to speak nervously. "I only wanted to ask you if it would be alright if Jeanine and I went to Harry's wedding?"

To say Petunia was surprised would've been the understatement of the week. She knew that her son was trying to stay in touch with Harry, a sudden, unanticipated change in him since the night Harry and the freak folk had ushered them out of their home to "keep them safe". He'd even insisted on going on a double date with Harry and their respective girlfriends, but the fact that her nephew was getting married was shocking news to her; maybe because she hadn't heard from or of him for years now, except for Dudley occasionally mentioning how Harry's life was over the phone.

"Harry's getting.. married?" she asked slowly, saying the last part in a hoarse voice as her words seemed to get caught in her throat. She waited for a reply, anxiously tracing patterns on the small table the phone was set on.

"Um, yeah," he replied hesitantly. "Did the, er, owl not bring you the invitation?"

"No," she said curtly, lifting her fingers off and crucially examining the dust her finger had picked up from the surface of the table.

"Probably because Harry knows you hate owls," he said quickly. "Maybe he sent one through regular post or-"

"I honestly don't care, it's fine,and don't try to tell me it got lost in the mail Dudley," muttered Petunia, flicking the dust off her finger. After a few seconds, she said, "You can go. I don't even know why you're asking me. You're a grown man."

"Well, alright," said Dudley carefully. "Thanks, Mum."

Dudley didn't argue with her. He had asked because as far as he knew, his mother was still touchy about Harry and his people. Sure, they dressed strange and could make things float, among other things, but other than that, they weren't all that different from anyone else.

"So when's the wedding?" she asked casually,

"Next Saturday."

"Would you mind much if I came along?"

"Why, of course, I wouldn't mind!" exclaimed Dudley, genuinely surprised at his mother's eagerness to attend her nephew's wedding. "I'm sure Harry would love that!"

From the moment Petunia had stepped onto the peak of the hillock where the wedding was being held, she'd regretted her decision. No, in fact, she had started regretting it when Dudley had instructed her to hold a pen that had been glowing blue. She had known it was "magical transportation" or whatever, of course, but the feeling of being vacuumed into space had lingered with her for minutes after.

The moment they had arrived, Dudley had left Petunia with Jeanine to go meet Harry; Petunia herself had been reluctant to follow. Jeanine found them seats in an inconspicuous spot and she had only made her presence known to Harry when he was waiting at the altar for Ginevra. His eyes had widened slightly in surprise when he had spotted her in the seats. She had waved at him nervously and he'd waved back, a genuine smile on his face.

Since her arrival, every time she saw the slightest signs of magic, her heart would jump to her throat and she would grow increasingly nervous. She had seen so much magic by now that it made her head hurt because, despite having raised a nephew who had magic in him, she had never really seen quite so much of it in a single day.

After Dudley left, she found herself uncomfortably navigating the aisles of chairs to find herself an inconspicuous seat under the golden canopy, which Petunia had deemed pretty at first, but was horrified, if only for a second, when she had realized that it was floating overhead.

The wedding ceremony had finished a few minutes ago and after Harry and his bride, Ginevra, had exchanged their vows and stepped off the altar, a lithe blonde woman with a baby in her arms had stood up. When she turned towards the chairs, everyone stood up as well and started to make their into the main aisle and Petunia had followed suit hastily. And just when she had thought she'd seen enough magic for today, the blonde woman made the chairs vanish with a flick of her wand. Another swish, and tables and chairs had appeared on the edges of the canopy. The tables were covered in a powder blue table linen and decorated with bouquets of lilies and roses, tied together with gold satin ribbon. A glistening faux dance floor had made an appearance on the grass and music had started play from somewhere that Petunia hadn't quite managed to find the source of yet.

She had found a chair on the far end of the canopy, as far away from the dance floor as possible. From where she sat, she could see the rolling carpets of grass down the hillock, and in the distance she thought she could make out the outline of a funny looking house. She had stared out at the view for quite a while, sipping on some magic-folk drink that she quite liked. On occasion, her eyes kept darting upwards to take in the glittering canopy, her brain still wrapping itself around the idea.

Her eyes fell on Dudley, standing just a few meters from where she sat. She could see her son was engaged in conversation with a familiar looking red-haired boy, standing arm-in-arm with a young woman in a blue dress, her brown hair twisted into a chignon on the top of her head. She felt herself smile with pride as she remembered how at ease he was in this place. She could sense the reluctance, but he wasn't half as scared as her. And she was glad for the boy.

As she watched him, she saw Harry appear behind Dudley and gave him a hug. After a few seconds of conversation, she saw Harry say something to Dudley in response to which he pointed towards her. Patting Dudley on the shoulder, Harry walked towards where she was sitting, smiling slightly, but she could see the mild confusion in his eyes.

"It's a beautiful wedding," said Petunia, gesturing with her hand in the general direction of the crowd while taking another sip of her drink.

"All Fleur's doing," he chuckled, and on seeing Petunia's confused face, he explained that she was Ginny's sister-in-law.

"Oh, the pretty blonde with the baby?" she asked.

Harry nodded, and the two of them lapsed into silence for a few minutes until Harry said, "I'm glad you came."

"Me too," she said, smiling slightly, picking at something off one of the table dishes.

She wasn't sure what it was, but she'd had six of those golden, yellow-speckled sweets and fortunately, the supply seemed to never end.

"I'm sorry there's no muggle food," said Harry apologetically, eyeing the butterpop lemon crackle she was eating.

"Muggle?" asked Petunia, frowning before realization crossed her face. "Oh, that's what you frea-folks call us," she said amusedly.

"Yeah," he said, looking at her sheepishly, but noting that she had refrained from calling them 'freaks'.

"And don't worry about the food, Harry, it's great!" she admitted. "And whatever magic this is-"

"Firewhisky," laughed Harry.

"Right," she said. "Firewhisky. Send some bottles with Dudders next time, will you?"

"Will do," he said, grinning.

"Or you could bring it yourself," she said hesitantly, placing the glass on the table, nervously straightening the imaginary wrinkles out of the table cloth. "We could have it over dinner, or… something."

Harry blinked at his aunt in surprise, rendered speechless by her offer, and felt his eyes moisten just a little bit.

Shaking his head slightly as he cleared his throat. "I'd love to," he said, giving her warm smile.