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Flowers and Time: An Evans' Story

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Summary: An AU in which hard loss makes for a very different Petunia opening the door to find Lily's little boy on her welcome mat.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Non-BtVS/AtS StoriessmolderFR152818,5043537283,43320 May 137 Jan 14No

chapter twenty-six: distinct roots

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling.
A/N: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.

chapter twenty-six: distinct roots

Their first real argument isn’t over anything she would ever expect.

They have all of the usual little fights of course: he pouts sometimes over having to eat his greens, there are many times he wants to play instead of doing chores, she has to nag him insistently about finishing his homework. But these are very simple things (conversations that have gone on between children and parents for generations) and there usually isn’t much in the way of true anger.

But when Harry is eight there is an argument that starts to crop up between them again and again.

Tune,” he says and she can hear how frustrated he sounds. She has her back to him and fists her hands against the counter where he can’t see. She closes her eyes and tries to count to ten, to keep her patience.

(six, seven, eight….)

Tune,” he repeats, louder.

“Alright,” she snaps, turning around suddenly – only realizing from his startled expression that she has said that much louder than she intended. “Alright,” she says again, much softer, “we’ll talk about it. Let’s go sit on the sofa, Harry.”

It is a short way – their apartment is not large and both the “living” and “dining” area comingle. Harry refuses to relax upon the couch cushion, sits up straight, pushes up those gold frames and looks at her with utter seriousness. But after a prolonged moment of trying to figure out what to say his eyes just drop – and he slumps, energy leaving him abruptly.

It makes something in her give too, because – well, they never really fight. It’s no wonder neither of them is any good at it. And he looks so small now, slumped miserably liked that – he is small. Still so young, still her Harry.

And so she pulls him to her, gathers him up in her arms. Harry throws his small, thin arms around her neck instantly and cuddles against her. They just sit there for a moment and when he finally speaks, his voice is a whisper - but it doesn’t matter because they are so close.

“We – we go every year, Tune. To see them, to remember them. That’s what you always tell me - ,” he picks at the collars of her shirt, not looking her in the eye, “that the reason we go is to remember our family.” She says nothing, rubs his back soothingly and lets him talk. He bites his lip for before he begins again. “Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, and my cousin,” he stops after the recitation, smoothing out the fabric his fingers have been attacking and just staring at it. She watches his profile carefully, the way he is frowning, the tension she can see in his see in his shoulders - can feel all through him.

“When I go back to school and write ‘Harry Potter’ after that each year it feels weird, Tune,” he admits, even quieter than before. “The grave says Evans. Mom was an Evans. You are an Evans - can’t I be one too?” he pleads, looking her in the eye now.

“Your father,” she began haltingly because she felt it must be said. She has tried to tell him all she knows about James Potter over the years but that has never been much.

When she was younger – before she went off to vocational school to take typing classes - she only really remembers hearing Lily venting about him to their mother. Apparently there was something under that annoyance however or he simply grew into a person she liked better – loved. But she doesn’t really know any of the story of how that happened – and doesn’t feel it right to lie to Harry and make one up.

She only met him in person twice, neither went especially well. One was a double date between both recently engaged couples – and there really wasn’t a chance for it from the start (she is really surprised they even agreed to meet, to be honest). The women didn’t even have to do anything, didn’t even have a chance for their old bad childhood interactions to resurface; both men were proud and very very different and it had rubbed wrong. The night had ended with Vernon and her leaving in a huff and Lily crying.

The second was her wedding – she and had refused to have Lily be a bridesmaid and James had been there sitting in the pews holding her sister’s hand. But she wouldn’t feel guilty about it then, refused to be outshone by her sister again on this one day that was supposed to be hers. (And she never even attended their wedding at all.)

It is difficult to use these things to piece together a full person for a child, to tell him who his father is. But she tries anyway – ends up mainly expressing to Harry how much they loved each other, how much they loved him. Lily and James – and James, to her chagrin, has becomes more of an addendum to her sister. But she hasn’t really known what to do to fix that, doesn’t even have a picture of the man.

Now though, Harry doesn’t even let her try to defend the man she barely met. He is shaking his head even as she starts to speak. “James is my middle name, I have Dad with me right there. Please, Tune. You’re my family.”

And Petunia felt herself start to give into the plea so very similar to her own reasoning for returning to her maiden name – for returning to Cokeworth. The wish for distinct roots of some sort, for family - and he came to it on his own, had obviously been thinking about it for a very long time. She would feel hypocritical to deny him, especially since she has been trying to encourage Harry to make decisions from a young age. (Petunia really shouldn’t be as surprised by this, considering.)

“I’ll file the paperwork, Harry. But,” she warns him as she sees him light up with excitement, “these sorts of things don’t happen instantly. The government takes a while to process things….” Her warnings are for naught though, because she is rocked back on the couch by a sudden tackle hug from the boy who is her family.

HIATUS: My last few days of absence were partially forced due to a continued problem with the muscles in my dominant arm. I thought a few days would help ease this (that has been the case before) but it is worse this time. And so as not to continue to damage and cause unnecessary pain to my rather important limb, I am going to cease most of my typing/computer use outside of work.

What this means is that this story (and any of my others) are on hiatus for the time being - not abandoned, that is an important distinction. I have written a great deal of the chapters for future events already and have copious notes sprawling Harry's multiple year's through Hogwarts and how Tune will help him through. My interest in this story is not gone – far from it, it stays in my brain rather constantly - it is simply my body that is proving difficult. This is the first long thing I have typed in a while and it is quite painful to do so (it is amazing how many muscles you use in your wrist and arm, as well as how aware of them you are when they are screaming at you).

I also wish to apologize for not responding to recent reviews - I have tried, in the past, to answer each and every one. But, as I previously stated, typing has proven difficult. I can only say that I do appreciate your continued support and feedback and thank you once more.

Until I post again! Ta!

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