Because this blog is used to post literary works in installments, I highly suggest consulting the BLOG ARCHIVE to the right side of the screen, which will enable you to start at the beginning of whichever piece you care to read.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Petunia's Redemption

Petunia Dursley looked up sharply at the sound of a knock on the front door. She wasn't expecting any packages or visitors today; unconsciously smoothing her apron, she dried her hands on the dish towel folded precisely over the oven handle and went to answer the door. Vernon hadn't moved from his spot on the living room sofa-- it was Saturday, so he wasn't likely to budge until she called him for supper. Petunia patted his shoulder affectionately as she went past, and he mumbled a quick “hello, dear.”

Petunia didn't look through the peep hole before opening the door-- this was Little Whinging, after all, it wasn't like there were any bad sorts here-- and so had no warning at all when she looked out onto the stoop and saw her sister.


Petunia gave a silent gasp, her hand flying to her mouth. “L- Lily?” She whispered.

“Oh!” The girl said, smiling. “And here dad told me you wouldn't know who I am. Only, are you all right? You're pale as a sheet.”

Petunia forced herself to take a deep breath and look closely at the red-headed girl on her step. Of course it wasn't Lily, it couldn't possibly be Lily-- aside from the fact that Lily was, of course, gone, this girl couldn't be older than ten. Lily had been years older when she had... and yet, this girl looked so very much like her. But looking closely, there were little differences-- the shape of her nose, the tilt of her eyes. This wasn't Petunia's sister.

At the sound of a throat clearing, Petunia jumped and tore her eyes away from the girl who so resembled Lily Evans.

There, standing just behind the girl, bold as brass, was the boy. Only, he wasn't a boy now-- of course he wasn't, he was less than a year younger than Dudley and Dudley was married with a family. And so was Harry, clearly-- Petunia's jumbled thoughts fell into line and she realized who this girl must be.

“Petunia?” Vernon called from the living room. “Who's at the door?”

“No one,” Petunia replied without thinking, her voice sounding hollow in her own ears. “Just from the gardeners association.” Stepping shakily out onto the stoop, she pulled the door shut behind her.
The boy spoke before she could. “Aunt Petunia, this is your great-niece, Lily.”

“Lily?” Petunia said again, softly, biting her lip to keep it from quivering. “Of course, of course.” She took another shuddering breath and composed herself briskly. “Well, what are you doing here?”

Lily replied, “Yeah, dad said you mightn't be too pleased to see us. But I know all my mum's family, and no one at all from dad's side, so I badgered him until he agreed to bring me to meet you.” She was speaking quickly, like Lily Evans always had when she was nervous. Petunia noticed the girl's hands fussing with the hem of her t-shirt, too-- just like her sister. “I hope it's not too much bother.”

Petunia swallowed, refusing to look at Harry-- which was all too easy, since she couldn't take her eyes off of Lily. “What else did your father tell you about us?”

Little Lily glanced up at Harry quickly, then back to her great-aunt. “He told me you took him in when he didn't have anywhere else to go. He said-- well, he's famous, you know, with our lot-- oops, he said not to mention that-- but he said that growing up with you and his uncle and his cousin taught him to be humble, taught him to be just a normal person, instead of expecting everyone to fawn over him because of him being famous. He said you taught him to look at what people do more than what they say, because that tells how they really feel about you...” She trailed off, shrugging.

Petunia found herself staring at Harry, her throat and eyes burning as she took in the man he had become. Still that ugly scar on his forehead, still the same untidy black hair, and yet he had the broad shoulders of a man, and somewhere over the years he had grown taller than she was. He looked back at her steadily, returning her gaze with those eyes, those green eyes that were exactly the same as her sister's. Hesitantly, afraid he would shrug her off, Petunia took a step towards him. When Harry didn't move, she very suddenly flung her arms around him. Quite unaccountably, she was crying onto his shoulder.

“I'm so sorry,” she whispered. It was the only thing to say. And then he was hugging her, too, patting her gently on the back.

“It's all right, Aunt Petunia,” he whispered back. After a long moment, she pulled away, wiping at the tears that still streamed from her eyes, and turned back to Lily.

“Your dad was a good boy,” she said, the words spilling from her mouth like they had a mind of their own, and she realized she had waited years to say them. “He was a good boy, and very kind, and very brave. I'm so glad we took him in.” She looked back to Harry. “I just wish we had done more for him-- taken better care of him, loved him--”

“It's all right,” Harry said again. He gave a slight nod, reinforcing his words.

“I'm so glad you came,” Petunia whispered, pressing her fingertips to her quivering lips as she tried to hold back more tears. Harry seemed so calm, so at peace with the way she and Vernon had treated him-- she knew she shouldn't burden him by pouring her shame all over him. And yet, she couldn't help it. These were thoughts and feelings she had kept locked so tightly inside that she had barely acknowledged them herself, let alone made the colossal mistake of confiding them to Vernon. Ever since they had left Harry alone and run for their lives, all those years ago, Petunia had felt this little kernel of guilt dug in under her ribcage, lodged somewhere near her heart. Dudley had been able, that day, to find a few words-- something to ease the pain of everything they'd done. Petunia hadn't had the courage.

But maybe there was something she could do to make up for it.

“Wait here,” she said, her voice still a little choked, and darted back into the house. Grabbing a pen and a pad of paper from the table by the door, she dashed off a few lines and slipped back outside. “Here,” she thrust the note into Harry's hand. Then, voice quivering again, she looked at little Lily. “You look just like your grandmother,” she said. “She was a brave, loving, brilliant woman, and you will be, too.” She met Harry's eyes. “Goodbye, nephew,” she whispered. Petunia Dursley walked back into the house and shut the door.

Standing out on the front stoop where he had been left as a baby, Harry Potter glanced around at the hydrangeas along the house and the little brick walls dividing yards that looked like they had been cut using a ruler. Gleaming cars, meticulous flower beds, and lacy curtains in the windows of all the tidy little houses-- Privet Drive hadn't changed a bit. Well, Harry thought with a slight smile, perhaps some things about it had changed. He looked down at the paper his aunt had pushed into his hand.

Dudley, Charlotte, and Charles Dursley
9 Forsythia Place
Little Whinging

His smile widening into a grin, Harry tucked the paper into his pocket and took Lily's hand. “So,” he said, leading her back down the drive. “Are you glad you met my family?”

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cast of "Elise"

Using the Game of Thrones dollmaker on, I have created a reasonable facsimile of the five main-ish characters in my current book, working titled after the main character, Elise. The characters, from left to right, are as follows: 


It being a Game of Thrones-themed program (by the way, I highly recommend both reading the Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin and watching the TV adaptation on HBO), the clothing options were medieval and included cloaks. However, the program works well for this because of Elise's archaic clothing style. As for everyone else, I imagine this is somewhat the styles they wore at different points in their own history-- of course, in the present, they wear modern clothes. The swords three of the characters are holding represent their combat-oriented skill sets; if you could see Gregory's right hand, you would see that he, like Elise, is holding a book.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Writing Playlist

I've spent the last year working my butt off to finish my first complete novel, and I don't know about other writers, but to me having the right music to complement my writing process is paramount. Thanks to's invaluable aid in finding songs I wouldn't normally have listened to, I was about to compile this playlist on YouTube. I put it on repeat every time I want to work on this book (since I've been unable to come up with a satisfactory title, for the time being we're calling it "Elise" after the main character), and I often feel as if the music writes the book for me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Part IV: Excerpt from "Song of the Blood"

 By the morning of the fourth day, Geoff was confident that Hunter approved of his treatment of the girl. Geoff made a point of jerking her along behind him, remarking over his shoulder to Hunter that they wouldn’t make any time if she kept falling behind. Hunter just nodded, and when her skirts tangled around her legs and she stumbled, Hunter caught her by her arm and pushed her on.

That night, Hunter scouted for game to augment their rations, leaving Geoff to guard the girl. While he was gone, Geoff grabbed the girl by the bodice of her gown and slammed her against a tree, pinning her bound hands above her head. Leaning down, he growled into her face, feeling the sound rumble deep in his throat.
She just stood there, her eyes fixed on his chin and her breathing even. He could hear her steady heartbeat, could see the regular pulse in her throat. He hadn’t fazed her at all. Hissing in frustration, he grabbed her chin and forced her face up until he could look into her eyes.

Moments passed as he stood there, no longer aware of the way his body pressed against hers, seeing nothing but her dead, soulless eyes. No one was home in her head. Something was desperately wrong with this girl.

Geoff was barely conscious of releasing her arms, and came back to himself only when he heard a stick snap behind him. He gasped in a breath, and with that came the knowledge that it was Hunter, returned from his hunt—knowledge that kept Geoff from whirling and decapitating the interloper.

“What are you doing?” Hunter’s voice, low with anger, rumbled through the little clearing.
Geoff slowly looked back over his shoulder, noting vaguely that he was trembling. The absolute emptiness in the girl’s eyes had frightened something deep inside him.

“She,” he croaked quietly, swallowing twice before he could get more words out. “Something’s wrong with her.”

The fear in Geoff’s tone alerted Hunter that what he said was true, and the larger man strode over, pushing Geoff out of the way, and without missing a beat grabbed the girl by her throat and lifted her off her feet, slamming her back into the tree. With his free hand, he grabbed her hair, pulling her head back and forcing her to meet his eyes.

Geoff watched his companion closely as the man stared into the girl’s eyes. Both of them were shaking, but their eyes were locked. The girl’s bound hands were balled into fists, and from her short, thin gasps, it seemed that Hunter’s fist was cutting off her breath.

Time passed, and to Geoff it seemed like forever. Neither of them moved or blinked, seeming spellbound. Finally, though, it was the girl who closed her eyes. Tears were running down her cheeks, and she sagged limply in her bonds and Hunter’s restraining hands.

He turned to Geoff, pulling the girl so that she was pressed against his side. She was still crying and shaking, and Hunter was breathing in deep, shuddering gasps. “Nothing is wrong with her,” Hunter growled. “She’s just made a fool of you. Haven’t I taught you enough to know when someone’s shielding?”

Geoff nodded, a little awed in spite of himself. He had rarely seen Hunter exert as much power as it had taken to crack this one little girl’s shield. He wondered who she was, to be so strong—surely not a mere gypsy. She sniffled, and almost against his will, he reached out and stroked her hair, longing suddenly to comfort her. He rationalized that now that one of them had finally gotten a response from her, he could treat her like a human being, at the very least.

Abruptly, Hunter swung her away from Geoff by her arm and slapped her hard across her face. The brutal sound echoed through the small clearing, and Geoff gasped, choking just a bit.

“What did you do that for?” He cried. Hunter ignored his companion and raised his hand again, threatening.
“Stop witching him, girl, or it’ll go worse for you!” The girl gazed up at him, deadpan again.

“Do you really believe you can frighten me?” She asked quietly. “The fate to which you escort me is far worse than any punishment you could inflict on me.” Her voice was clear and melodious, and both men shuddered hard as they heard it for the first time.

Hunter recovered first. “Look, wench,” he began, shaking her hard. He never got to finish his sentence.

The girl drew herself up, pressing her body against Hunter’s. Both men suddenly felt warmth flood though their bodies as an electric prickling swept over their skin. Her eyes, Geoff noticed vaguely, had changed from light brown to deep gold. His gaze was most drawn, however, to her full lips, and to the way her gown hugged the modest curves of her body. He moved towards the girl with hesitant, shuddering steps, reaching out to touch her as he moved. Hunter growled possessively in response, tightening his grip on the girl, but Geoff couldn’t stop himself. He kept moving forward, reaching for the girl, until Hunter’s steady growl rose to a roar and he shoved her behind him, sending her hard into the ground.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Part II: Harry Potter Fic "Magical Dursley"

Dudley Dursley, Hogwarts, and all other characters, settings, and content from the "Harry Potter" series are the property of the J.K. Rowling estate and their respective copyright holders; don't mind me, I'm just playing with her toys.

The morning after the Dursley family received Charlie's letter, Charlotte woke thinking the whole thing had been a strange dream. After all, a wizard school? What a very odd concept, and whoever heard of such a thing? However, she couldn't put her normally level-headed husband's behavior out of her head. It hadn't just been his uncharacteristic hesitation and silence, or the slight tremors she’d seen running through his hands as he read the letter—it had also been the pasty, greenish tint to his skin as he'd trudged up the stairs.

It had also been that he hadn't come to bed until nearly four in the morning.

This last bit was, in particular, why Charlotte was so surprised to find Dudley already awake and downstairs by the time she got up. Dudley always slept in on Saturdays, never mind going to bed at such an ungodly hour. But when she walked into the kitchen to get the pancake batter started, there was Dudley, fully dressed and rummaging loudly through the junk drawer.

"Good morning, Dudley darling," Charlotte said, trying to mask her uncertainty with cheerfulness. Dudley grunted in response. His wife hesitated, but she hadn't been married to Dudley Dursley for fourteen years just to let him ignore her when strange things were afoot. She marched right up to her husband and exclaimed, "Dudley, for heaven's sake, what is going on? We get some funny trick letter and suddenly you're—"

"Where’s my cousin's last letter?" Dudley interrupted her. Charlotte couldn't have been silenced any faster if Dudley had put his hand over her mouth. Her jaw snapped shut and her eyes bulged in surprise as he, not receiving a response, turned back to the drawer. He sifted through papers, rubber bands, a broken noisemaker of Charlie's, paper clips, refrigerator magnets, and a few old Christmas cards, looking for one very specific letter.

Dudley had sat by Charlie's bedside until after three in the morning, talking with his son about the letter. Charlie had been, in turns, confused, angry, incredulous, and finally, excited. After leaving his son, Dudley had tossed back another strong drink, tried and failed to get a few hours of sleep, and finally admitted to himself that if Charlie wanted to go to that school, there was nothing for it. So now, despite the fact that Harry Potter hadn't been mentioned in his house for nine years, he was searching high and low for the last message his cousin had sent him.

Charlotte watched Dudley tear through the junk drawer with increasing frustration, until it gradually dawned on her that she wasn't going to get answers to any of her questions until her husband was through with whatever he was trying to accomplish. In hopes of ending his preoccupation, she went to the study and, thanks to her uncommonly efficient organizational skills, returned only a few moments later with the letter in question.

Dudley took the letter from his wife with a brief nod of gratitude, and sat down at the table with it. Looking over the birth announcement for Lily Luna Potter, suppressing a shudder as the picture on it blinked, he found what he was looking for: his cousin’s address.

Grabbing a pad of paper in a decidedly disgruntled fashion, Dudley penned as much of a note as he could stand:

This is your fault, you know.
Don’t suppose you've got a ruddy owl I can borrow before July 31st?

Hoping Potter would be confused by his brevity so he could, at least, get some amusement out of this bloody situation, Dudley trudged off to find an envelope and post the letter.

Part III: Excerpt from "Song of the Blood"

 It had been two days. With her hands bound before her, the other end of that short leash always held by one of the two of them, she had little choice but to walk. Her only other option was to be dragged, and she had the feeling that at least the smaller one would enjoy that.

The shorter man, compact but barely a few inches taller than she, had a loud mouth—at least when it came to her. He said little to his companion, and those few phrases had been respectful compared to the abuse he heaped on Sera. For her, he seemed to hold a special hatred. She got the impression it was because she worked so hard to deny him the sadistic pleasure of watching her kick and scream.

It amused her, that he was so invested in her reactions. He was like a schoolyard bully, only happy when he upset someone else. It would be pointless for her to cry and beg, and would only feed his sadism, so she concentrated on her plan and ignored him.

Her plan, if it could be called that, hadn’t made much progress over the two days she’d been with her captors. For while the first man was comically easy to bother, there was the matter of the second.

The taller man, larger built and with long, dark hair, posed a serious problem to any plan Sera might contrive to escape. He spoke little, but his grey eyes seemed to notice everything. Even now, as the shorter man jerked on the rope that bound her hands, she had barely stumbled before he was there. His hand closed around her arm—she hadn’t realized how much larger he was, that his fingers touched around her bicep—and he roughly kept her on her feet. While one might mistake his silence for stupidity, she could sense the power between her two captors. The large man was unmistakably in charge.


The girl’s silence was starting to grate on him. At first, Geoff had been glad not to have to hear the usual, “Who are you? Where are you taking me?” After two days of walking, though, it was becoming unnerving. They had removed her gag when they were far enough into the woods, but the girl still hadn’t said a word. She just walked obediently between him and Hunter, hands bound in front of her and eyes on the ground. If he wasn’t careful, he almost forgot she was there.

Geoff refused to think that she was so quiet because she dreaded their destination. Instead, he vilified her, convincing himself that she was trying to guilt them into releasing her. As time went on, he began to resent her more, telling himself that she was just pouting, that he shouldn’t give in to her childish behavior. He refused to start feeling bad for her.

In moments, however, when he was less careful about his thoughts, he began to see that she had known someone was coming for her. She knew what they were bringing her to, and looked upon her fate with resigned dread. But he wouldn’t admit that he was taking her to torment and most likely to death. He preferred to think that she was manipulating them, and made himself angry with her for it.

To that end, he began to abuse her. During the day, he set the pace. Hunter’s silence when the pace became punishing encouraged him, and he would insult her when she fell behind him.

“Move that ass, slut,” he hissed on the third morning as she struggled to rise past the protesting muscles in her legs. She didn’t even look at him, and so he went on, refusing to admit to himself that all he wanted was a reaction from this unflappable girl. “What, bitch, you think you’re better than me? Well let me tell you, I’ll be there when the warlord knocks your little pedestal out from under you, and I’ll laugh. Oh, yeah, I’ll laugh my ass off.” She was finally on her feet, eyes on the ground, and he turned away, grinding his teeth. He missed the single tear that hit the pine needles at her feet.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Part I: Harry Potter Fic "Magical Dursley"

**A Note before we begin: I understand that JK Rowling has announced that although she considered giving Dudley a magical child, she decided against it based on the principle that no magical gene could get past Vernon's DNA. That being said, however, consider this an alternate universe setting if you must, but I like to pretend, for sake of this piece, that she never said that.**

Dudley Dursley, Hogwarts, and all other characters, settings, and content from the "Harry Potter" series are the property of the J.K. Rowling estate and their respective copyright holders; don't mind me, I'm just playing with her toys.

Mr. Dursley, of number 9 Forsythia Place, was enjoying a quiet drink after work while he watched the news. In the kitchen, his wife puttered away, contentedly wiping down every appliance she had used for dinner before she prepared for bed. She talked while she worked, ostensibly to her husband, but truth be told, more often than not Mr. Dursley only half listened.

"Talked to your mum, who said she and your dad are coming back from Spain to visit nearer the end of holidays," she was saying, perfectly aware that she had less than her dear husband’s full attention but not particularly bothered by it. "Charlie will be so pleased his gramma and grandpa will be here for his birthday. They always bring him the best presents." Though he was only partially aware of his wife's cheerful monologue, Mr. Dursley caught enough of it to chuckle appreciatively at this last statement. His Charlie did like to get the most out of his birthdays.

Mr. Dursley was so used to his wife's chatter that he barely even noticed a slight change in her tone. "Dudley?" She called out from the kitchen, sounding for the first time a little uncertain.

"Yes, Lottie?" he replied comfortably, hoping that Charlotte"s conundrum wasn't something likely to require heavy lifting, and therefore something that would require him to get off the couch.

"Charlie got a piece of mail today…" she trailed off, seeming quite unsure how to proceed. Dudley’s mind, well-trained to suppress anything out of the ordinary, skipped uneasily as he suddenly found himself dredging up decades-old memories.

"Mail?" He repeated, trying to sound nonchalant. "Not having trouble at school, I hope. I thought we'd sorted all that out."

"Well," Charlotte replied, still in her apron, as she came into the living room. "I haven't actually opened it yet. I wouldn't mention it, but it's just a little unusual…" She trailed off, and Dudley, with a thrill of foreboding, spotted an envelope in her hand. Even from here, he could tell it was addressed in emerald green ink.
Dudley's hand shook slightly as he held it out for the letter. Charlotte handed it over, and Dudley read the front:

Mr. C. Dursley
9 Forsythia Place
Little Whinging

And on the back of the parchment envelope, as Dudley knew there would be, was a purple wax seal. Dudley, without a second’s hesitation, opened his son's letter. Charlotte read over his shoulder.

Dear Mr. Dursley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Yours sincerely,
Penelope Clearwater
Deputy Headmistress

Dudley sat very still for several long moments. Charlotte, growing more confused and discomfited by the second, fidgeted and giggled nervously before finally saying, "But Dudley, this is some sort of joke, of course!" When her husband didn't respond, she paled. "This is a joke, isn't it?"

Dudley sighed heavily and heaved himself up from the couch, the envelope and its disturbing contents clutched tight in his large fist.

"Dudley?" Charlotte asked, her voice going slightly shrill. "Where are you going?"

Without looking back at her, Dudley Dursley lumbered towards the staircase. "Got to go give Charlie his letter, don't I?"