Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 19 February 2008
Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 20 August 2008
Chapter 15: The Dursleys' misery: Part 2
When Vernon received an urgent call from Petunia telling him about the spell Lily had cast over their kitchen, he became extremely angry and felt like barging into the Potters' home, threatening them into reverting their home back to its normal state, but 1) he didn't know where they lived and 2) he knew his measly little threats would be nothing against their wands.
That night, he arrived home to see the kitchen in extreme disorder. After lunch, Petunia obviously couldn't wash the dishes again, so the pile was even higher and the dining table was out of limits for eating, being so grimy and dirty. For dinner, Vernon suggested ordering take-out, because there were barely any clean cooking appliances she could use to make dinner.
The Dursleys ordered Chinese food, and ate on the coffee table in the living room, which turned out to be a bad idea, because now, the take-out garbage refused to be thrown out, leaving the coffee table out of limits too.
"Oh, what shall we do?" moaned Petunia, deeply distressed. If this continued, the whole house would soon be tremendously messy, and there would be no way to clean it up.
So for three days, the Dursley adults suffered. They had to only eat take-out, which soon turned out to become boring, and the mess it leaved after was impossible to clean up, not that Petunia hadn't tried. In the afternoon of the fourth day, #4 Privet Drive looked as if a hurricane had hit it. To make it worse, right at 1:30 P.M., the doorbell rang, making Petunia freak out. How could they have guests now of all times? Oh, what should she do? Of course, she could do nothing but open the door. And of all people to come, it turned out of be Mrs. Roberson, the neighborhood's nosiest and cleanest house keepers. Mrs. Roberson was much feared around the neighborhood, and her style was to come over without warning, which was the main reason most people's homes were in perfect order at all times.
"Oh…Mrs. Roberson, please do come in," Petunia said nervously. Mrs. Roberson eyed the horrible mess and the bad odor which had started to develop from the littered food wrappers and un-cleaned dishes.
"I see I came at a very convenient time," said Mrs. Roberson, raising her eyebrows.
"Oh, no, not at all," said Petunia with a nervous squeak. "I…I was just…doing a thorough cleaning of the house!"
"Umhmm," said Mrs. Roberson in a tone that clearly suggested she didn't believe a word of Petunia.
"Well, in that case, I'll just drop by to Mr. Thomas. I have a lot to tell her!" With that, Mrs. Roberson went back out the door and down the driveway. Petunia smacked her forhead and gave up a loud wail. "Oh noooo!" she shrieked pretty girlishly, "Now I'll be the ridicule of the neighborhood!"
Just then, as if realizing Petunia had been embarrassed enough in front of the neighborhood's nosiest woman, all of the dishes, garbage, and litter cleaned itself and disappeared. Petunia stared around her house, which was back to its perfect orderliness, and gave up another wail. If only Mrs. Roberson had come now! Oh, drat her stupid sister!
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Joined: 20 August 2008
Chapter 16: The Dursleys' misery: Part 3
In the matter of two hours, the whole neighborhood knew about Petunia's "messy" house, and for a neighborhood so old fashioned, and not having anything better to talk about, thought this news very interesting indeed. For anyone else, they would have rolled their eyes and not cared a bit what others thought about their house, but for frivolous little Petunia, this was the worst thing that had happened to her for the past ten years, even counting Dudley and Diana becoming magical.
However, three days later, Petunia did have to accept the fact that she could do nothing about it, and soon enough, the rumors died down, having something more interesting to talk about. Mrs. Taylor's daughter had eloped last night, and what a scandal it had created! Petunia herself partook of this gossip, as she had heard it from Mrs. Thomas, her neighbor, and had in turn relayed it to Mrs. Gellert, her other neighbor. So for two whole days, the neighborhood of Privet Drive was buzzing with the news of Lorena Taylor's elopement.
One day, at the end of the tiring week, a woman stood behind a tree off to the side of #6 Privet Drive, quite hidden from view. This woman had long red hair and bright sparkling emerald eyes, and as she surveyed the neighborhood, a smile was forming on her face. Yes, the last part of her sweet revenge was all set, and what a sensation it would create! Thinking thus, Lily disapparated with a pop, but not before pointing her wand at #4 Privet Drive, and whispering "Sonorous!"
"Here you go, darlings," Petunia lovingly said, placing two plates of homemade fries and pizza in front of Duncan and Delilah. It was a bright sunny Saturday, and lunch time at that too. Thinking to herself that the events of the past week hadn't been that bad, Petunia, once again cheerful, hummed to herself as she started to wash the dishes. Suddenly, the phone rang, and Petunia picked it up.
"Oh, Yvonne! What a pleasant surprise! How was Australia?" Petunia exclaimed. Yvonne Summers had been her best friend since primary school, and lived in Privet Drive too. She had gone to Australia for the summer.
"Uh huh? Yea, Lorena Taylor eloped a few days ago. I know! What a scandal!" Petunia loved nothing more than to gossip about other people on the phone, and she did so while looking out the kitchen window, just in case she saw something interesting.
"What? I didn't know Mrs. Gordon's nephew was put in jail! What a delinquent!"
"Oh, and did you know that Mrs. Carlson's son got mugged in London last week while out doing some errands? He came home with more than a black eye!"
The gossip didn't stop here. After a few more minutes, Petunia starting talking spitefully about some of the ladies in Privet Drive, and told Yvonne how "horrible" they were, or how "gossipy" and etc, when in fact those aforesaid ladies were in fact respectable and nice people. What Petunia didn't know was that the sonorous spell Lily had cast was being heard right at that moment all around the neighborhood, as if some invisible speakers had been installed on all the light poles.
"Well Yvonne, it was wonderful talking to you, but I better go before sweet little Duncan and Delilah demand more lunch. See you later!"
It was a happy Petunia who put the phone down, but what she did not know was that in a few minutes, everything would change.
Five minutes later, loud knocks were heard on the front door and Petunia jumped in surprise. No one in this neighborhood knocked that hard! Who was it? Her curiosity unable to wait any longer, Petunia practically ran to the front door like a younger girl and yanked it open. It was Mrs. Gordon. A very fuming, angry Mrs. Gordon. Petunia looked with surprise and said, "Why, Mrs. Gordon, what a pleasant surprise. Do come in."
"Pleasant surprise my !," swore Mrs. Gordon, marching into the immaculately and irritatingly neat house. Petunia looked with surprise at the usually pleasant faced, polite woman. What had overcome her? What tried to recall any incident which would anger polite Mrs. Gordon.
"Why, Mrs. Gordon, what's wrong?" she asked worriedly.
"Don't you act all nice to me, Mrs. I tell everything to that abominable Miss Summers!" Mrs. Gordon replied accusingly. Petunia's face became pale. How did Mrs. Gordon know what she had told Yvonne? That didn't make sense at all.
"I…I don't know what you're talking about, Mrs. Gordon. You must be hallucinating. Please…take a seat, and I'll make you a hot cup of tea to cool your nerves," said Petunia, trying to cool down the angry woman.
"Enough!" shrieked Mrs. Gordon, making Duncan and Delilah look up in surprise. "Enough of your outward niceness! Because that's what it is, outward niceness! I heard what you told Miss Summers about me…and all the women in this neighborhood! It was very rude and not etiquette at all! Plus, it was none of your business! And…and how dare you tell Miss Summers about my nephew! That piece of information was told to you with your promise of secrecy. Now everyone knows that he…he was put in jail! I will never be able to show my face in society again, thanks to you! Now…now I know never to tell you anything again, and I'll make sure no one else does either! You are not to be trusted…Petunia Dursley! Good bye!"
With that, Mrs. Judith Gordon stormed out of the door with a huff. Petunia stood, staring after her retreating form, her mouth open. What in the world had just happened? "Oh…my…god!" Petunia said, slumping into a chair. Had Mrs. Gordon, one of her closest friends in the neighborhood, just accuse her of talking behind her back? Well, she had, but Yvonne was all the way in Australia. There would be no way she could have told Mrs. Gordon that she, Petunia Dursley, had been bad mouthing her, in five minutes! What had happened?
The rest of the day was terrible for Petunia. Not only Mrs. Gordon, but nearly the entire neighborhood's housewives, marched up to #4 Privet Drive, and told Petunia exactly what they thought of her. One elderly woman, who had once lived close by to #11 Rosewood Drive, where Petunia and Lily's parents and they had lived when they were children, and moved to Privet Drive to live with her daughter, even dared to say, "You know what? Your sister and her husband are probably not drunks! I remember Lily Evans. She was the sweetest and most honest girl who lived in Rosewood, and there is no way she could have married a worthless drunk, as you claim! I saw her and her husband the other day when you came, and they looked very well off and respectable! You probably made everything about them up. You always were jealous of Lily! And the children you sent to Military School, I bet there's something wrong with that story too! I admit Dudley was a rough boy, but there is absolutely no way little Diana could have been doing drugs! You probably gave them away, because you couldn't afford to keep them! Or how else could Dudley have suddenly shown up at your doorstep the other day? I can see through your ruse now, Petunia Dursley! You are nothing but an unrespectable, gossipy, backstabbing…"
Petunia had shut the door in the elderly woman's face before she finished, her own face red. How dare that old woman rattle off her tongue, as if she knew her!
That evening, Petunia found out how everyone knew about Yvonne's call. How she found out was…Petunia was talking to Vernon, who was working late at Grunnings, at 6:00 that evening, when Duncan, who was out in the yard with Delilah, came inside and told his mother that everything she was saying was echoing outside, as if some speakers had been installed. Petunia, horrified, told Duncan to talk to his father, and while he did, went out herself and realized the truth. Immediately, Petunia realized this was all Lily's doing. She remembered a time long ago, in Lily's seventh year Christmas vacation, when one of Lily's friends, Diana Elliot, and her had been practicing their charm work at home. Lily was practicing something called the 'Sonorous" spell, and whatever she 'sonoroused' became ten times louder and echoed throughout the house. The girls had thought the spell hysterical and had giggled for a long time that day, but Petunia had not been amused. Now, Petunia realized that it was probably that spell that Lily had used on her telephone, and anger boiled inside of her when she thought of her sister. How dare Lily mess with her life like this, just because she was helpless! Dudley and Diana weren't even her children! Why was she so angry just because she had simply disowned them? "If Lily had disowned her children, I wouldn't have cared a bit about them," thought Petunia to herself.
By the way, Petunia wasn't the only one having a miserable day. Back in Grunnings, James, wearing his invisible cloak, had wreaked havoc in Vernon's office. All the paperwork he had done was "accidentally" found in the paper shredder, torn to tiny little diamond shaped pieces. Also, James had charmed the manager's office and made it a terrible mess, with papers strewn all over the place and files thrown hither and thither, leaving traces of "Vernon" all over the place. Not only that, James had gone to the CEO's office and had taken his most treasured and extremely expensive gold pocket watch, which had been passed down generations in the CEO's family, and left it in Vernon's office. After a thorough search of the building, the police had found the gold watch in one of the locked drawers in Vernon's desk, much to his surprise. This event, added to the previous ones, made Vernon's boss go over the edge, and Vernon got fired. It was a fuming and very livid Vernon that went home that day, and together with Petunia, they cursed the Potters and wished the rest of the Potters' lives would as terrible as their day had been. Their family, which had been one of the most popular and well liked families in the neighborhood, was now the most hated.
"Do you think we were a little harsh with Petunia and Vernon?" Lily asked James that night back in Potter Manor.
"What do you think?" James asked Lily.
"Nah!" was her reply. She felt Petunia and Vernon got what they deserved, after what they put poor Dudley and Diana through.
"Petunia will get over her un-popularity soon enough. Plus, it serves her right for running down her neighbors, and Vernon will find another job, but Dudley and Diana…the hurt in their hearts will never go away, because although we will love them forever, we are not their parents, and we can probably never take the place of the love Petunia and Vernon once had for them," finished Lily, brushing a tear away. James put a comforting arm around her shoulders, and they both sat in silence for awhile, thinking of the future.
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