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Encounters

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Summary: Series of FFA one shots. 2 - Anya / Hermione. The Grangers encounter a darker sort a magic, long before Hogwarts.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > GeneralLenaMariaFR1521,809062,3521 Oct 0629 Oct 06No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: It all belongs to Rowling and Whedon. I don't own anything.
A/N: FFA Pairing – Joyce Summers and Harry Potter

Chapter One: Hello Tomorrow

It was dark out, and the weather wasn’t helping any. Rain fell in sheets over the windows, and the windshield wipers were working overtime, squeaking back and forth as the driver grimaced and peered out the window.

“Vernon, please, stop that infernal racket!” the passenger beside him complained tetchily. She turned and leaned over to the backseat where a chubby baby was fussing. “It hurts poor Duddykins’ ears!”

“Bloody hell, woman,” the fat man answered angrily. “It’s raining cats and dogs, I need them to see the road!”

The blonde woman only made a small noise of dissatisfaction before glancing down at the map held in her hands. “Vernon, are you sure you know where you’re going?”

“Of course I’m sure!” he growled.

“Well I don’t even know what street we’re on,” the woman said petulantly. “It seems to me we’re going in circles. Vernon, let’s just stop and ask for directions!”

“I do not need directions!” Vernon snapped, taking on a purplish hue. “I’m sure their house is just a bit further down, Petunia.”

“It better be,” Petunia replied crossly. She glanced at her son in the rear-view mirror. “I think Dudley needs a change of nappy, and I’m sure Mrs. Figg is getting tired of watching over the boy – ”

In the distance, yellow headlights cut through the darkness.

“Look, there’s another car,” interjected Petunia. “Try to flag them down and ask for directions when they pass.”

“I don’t need directions,” Vernon said dangerously, but complied as the car approached.

“They are coming up awfully fast,” Petunia commented.

Vernon grunted. “Bloody teenagers, think they’re invincible – ”

“Vernon,” she interrupted nervously as the car crested the hill in front of them and came even closer, “They’re not slowing – ”

She never finished her sentence.

---

“I’m so glad you could come,” Marge Dursley said brusquely, not at all sounding like it.

“Oh, it was the least I could do, after the accident,” Joyce replied, trying to sound sympathetic. Marge was Vernon’s sister, but she was only their cousin. Joyce hadn’t been the one to get the first phone call, hadn’t been to watch the news reports (“Drunk driver kills family of three.”), and hadn’t been the one to read the wills.

“Yes, the accident.” For a moment Marge looked gloomy and disheartened. “But most of their affairs have been put in order. But there is still one thing left.”

“What?” Joyce asked, wondering why Marge had dragged her all the way from L.A. for this.

They turned a corner and stepped into a room. “Him.” Marge said shortly, pointing.

He was a tiny, scrawny boy, with too-big clothes and messy black hair. Despite the toys scattered around the waiting room, he was sitting on a chair silently, swinging his legs and looking at his feet. He looked up when they entered, soulful green eyes meeting her gaze for one moment before returning to the floor.

“Him?” Joyce asked incredulously. All she saw was a young boy, maybe four years old at the most.

“Petunia’s nephew.” Marge grunted. “Orphan. She took him in.”

Joyce wondered how the boy must feel – first his parents died, then the closest people he had to parents were killed. Her heart went out to him, but he showed no outward signs of sadness, only a quiet seriousness.

“Where will he go now?” Joyce asked her cousin, lowering her voice, though she knew he would hear her perfectly well. He didn’t react at her words, seemingly absorbed in the floor.

“I can’t possibly take him.” Marge said with no pretence of quietness. Her voice was strong with an undercurrent of – what? Was that fear…hatred?

The realization dawned upon her. “You want me – ”

“To take him in, yes.” Marge finished for her. “I assure you he’s no problem. He’ll do any chores you ask of him.”

He’s only four, was Joyce’s thought, but she didn’t voice it. “I don’t know – how could I possibly – I already have a daughter, and I’m not sure what Hank would think…”

But her gaze was drawn back to the little boy. His shoulders were hunched and tense, and his eyes seemed to be glued even more to the floor. A wave of compassion hit Joyce. How could she leave him in this unforgiving place? Her mind already half-made up, she walked towards him and kneeled in front of his chair.

“Hello, I’m Joyce. What’s your name?”

Slowly, slowly, his gaze moved upwards to her face. “I’m Harry,” he said finally.

---

Hank had agreed with little complaint. Joyce knew that while Buffy was daddy’s little princess, Hank had always longed for a son. Buffy had a fondness for the dark-haired boy, she soon announced to everyone that he was going to play magical fairy princesses with her, and he would be her magical fairy princess pony.

“I suppose this is it,” Marge said abruptly. The family stopped in the airport.

“Do you want to say goodbye to your Auntie Marge?” Joyce asked, kneeling down to face Harry.

Harry tilted his head upwards and chewed his lip. “Do I hafta?”

Joyce laughed softly. “This will be the last you ever see your Aunt Marge, at least not for a long time.” Behind her, Marge looked supremely uncomfortable.

Harry’s eyes lit up and he turned to his aunt. “Goodbye, Aunt Marge.”

Marge grunted. “Goodbye, boy.” She sneered, and then she disappeared into the crowd.

Joyce was taken aback. She knew her cousin had a bit of abrasive personality, but did Marge really hate her own nephew that much? She turned to Harry, who was watching Marge leave with not one bit of sadness, only a small bit of satisfaction.

Did Marge blame poor Harry for the deaths? She scooped up Harry with her arms. “Come on. We have a plane to catch.”

Hank picked up Buffy, who giggled wildly. “ ‘m flying! We’re all flyin’! Harry, you’re flyin’ too!”

But Harry only gave a small smile as Joyce ruffled his hair, his sharp green eyes watching as they walked through the airport, leaving cold, dark Britain behind for the brighter skies of California.

Things will be better there, he told himself.
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