Chapter 2: Chatting with the Neighbour
Remember what I said about my situation not being as bad as I thought?
Turns out I was wrong. Terribly naive and wrong. My life is absolutely horrible, for one reason that I haven't accounted for at all.
I swear, that woman hates me. The moment she noticed I wasn't the completely obedient servant she locked in the cupboard yesterday, she started screaming at me for being a worthless freak.
On the positive side, I did my first accidental magic. I memorised the feeling I got when I exploded the ceiling light as best as I could. Getting my magic under control is something I need to do ASAP.
On the negative side, Vernon (who didn't really care about me before) immediately started beating me up and now I'm locked in the cupboard again.
They had me locked in the cupboard until evening and then gave me some dinner leftovers. The next few days were a bit better but I had to do a ton of chores. Isn't child labor illegal? I guess it is, but since I wasn't British in my original life I have absolutely no clue about the legal system here.
Luckily they didn't talk to me enough to notice that I developed a rather strange German/American accent overnight. They did notice, however, that I seemed to have forgotten how to do my chores correctly. and that I seemed to be unusually clumsy. The result of all your body parts being way smaller than you're used to. I totally understand how Tonks must be feeling all the time.
I really should find a way to get out of here, but I fear that if I try to run away Dumbledore might just put me back and Obliviate my memories of the escape attempt. I don't know if he's evil in this universe. And if he obliviates everything of the past few days he might obliviate, well, me.
Unless... I could prevent him from finding out. I'd need to convince his Spy to help me though.
Finally! The Dursleys are with Dudley at the playground and won't be back for a while, and they allowed me to stay in the garden unsupervised, as long as I wasn't going to annoy the neighbours. Well, I'm about to break that rule, but I have no intention of letting them know. So here I am, walking over to the fence behind which Ms. Figg was watering her Tulips.
"I know you're here to keep an eye on me, Ms. Figg. My relatives won't be back for another hour or so, we can talk."
The startled Squib nearly dropped the watering can. "Excuse me, what did you say, Boy?"
"I know I'm not normal. I noticed a while ago that you're trying to keep an eye on me, probably because of my... abilities."
"How...how did you find out?"
I knew from reading Harry Potter, but I can't let her know that.
"Just a guess. So I take it you can tell me more about what my relatives call my freakishness? I know it makes strange things happen, and they said my parents had it too. Were they superheroes like in the comics? Did they die fighting a supervillain? I never believed the car crash story! And who's behind you spying on me? The MI6? Are you a secret agent like James Bond?"
"No, no! It's not freakishness, your parents weren't comic book superheroes, and I'm not a spy like that! You got it all wrong!"
"Yes. Listen, Harry, I'm not really supposed to tell you, but you're a wizard. You can do magic. You can't control it yet, that's why it always causes a mess. Your parents, Lily and James, died fighting a dark wizard. You survived, and Dumbledore wanted you to grow up like a normal child, which is why you're here."
"So you're a witch?"
"No, I'm a Squib", she sighed. "I'm from a magic family, and I can see magical things, but I can't do magic myself."
"Oh. So, who's this Dumb Eldor? Why did he want me to grow up here? Honestly, it's awful!"
"I know, and I tried to convince him otherwise, but he wants you safe. The thing is, when the dark wizard who killed your parents tried to kill you, he couldn't do it for some reason and disappeared. Nobody knows why, although I guess Dumbledore has some theories. But because you made the dark wizard disappear, you're famous in the magical world."
I do my best clueless-8-year-old impression: "Isn't being famous a good thing?"
"Dumbledore said he wanted you to grow up without fame, and I understand that. But much more importantly, Dumbledore thinks the dark wizard could come back, and then he would attack you. He says you're safe with your family."
"But... if a wizard attacks I'm not safe! I'm the only one with magic here and I don't know anything about it!"
"Dumbledore says there are magical protections on the house of your family, but they only work if you're actually there. So I'm sorry, but you can't be safe anywhere else."
Yeah, my mother's protection and everything. Not that it protects me from Vernon trying to beat the magic out of me. Also, I have no clue if it protects me, since I'm not the real Harry Potter..
"Can you teach me magic? If the evil wizard comes after me when I'm at school I will need magic to defend myself!"
"While you're at school... Oh, you mean muggle school. I didn't think of that. Yes, it might be a good idea if you know a little bit to defend yourself. The thing is, there's laws against kids doing magic without a teacher, and I can't teach you anyways because I can't do magic."
"Petunia doesn't give me any pocket money, otherwise we could maybe hire a teacher to teach me magic!"
"Money isn't an issue, but I don't think we can hire a teacher, Dumbledore wants as few people as possible to know you're here. Safety and all."
"Couldn't you find someone you trust and ask them to become a teacher? Maybe someone who was a good friend to my parents?"
"I could, but I don't think Dumbledore would approve. He's probably going to be mad enough at me for telling you about magic. He insisted that I should just observe and not do anything."
"Then don't tell that stupid Dumb Eldor!"
Apparently she didn't take my insult to the great Dumbledore that well, as she's almost screaming at me.
"Don't talk about Dumbledore like that, he knows what he's doing! He's the best wizard in the world and the Supreme Mugwump and the Chief Warlock and the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the magic school!"
"Ah, I see. He wants to be the one who teaches me about magic!"
"DON'T BE STUPID! HE JUST WANTS THE BEST FOR YOU!"
Yeah, right. Of course he wants the best for me, dropping me off at the Dursleys doorstep in the middle of the night. Of course it's no problem that I grow up in an abusive household as long as it's for The Greater Good™.
"WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT BOTHERING THE NEIGHBORS FREAK!"
Oh great, Petunia is back.