Pre-Hogwarts. The year is 1984.
Halloween. October 31. Samhain. It is a time when it is said that the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. It is a time when the souls of the departed can visit the living, sometimes to bring a blessing upon them and sometime not.
But all of that has been almost forgotten by our modern society. Halloween is seen as a day of tricks or treats, scares and laughs, children in costumes begging for candy and horror movies on the tele.
“So how was it? Did you get a lot of candy?” Petunia asked as Dudley ran into the house in his devil costume.
“Lots!” Dudley exclaimed running into the living room and dumping his candy on the floor.
“You would be so proud of our son, Pet,” Vernon said as he shut the door. “He made sure he got his candy before the other children had a chance. Once he had his share he was off to the next house. Actually had a hard time keeping up with him.” Vernon chuckled.
“He has the same competitive streak that you have, Vernon,” Petunia commented.
“No one gets in the way of a Dursley and what they want,” Vernon replied with pride. “Did you have any trouble while we were away?”
“None, what so ever,” Petunia told him.
“Did that ghost couple visit you, mummy,” Dudley asked as he sorted his candy.
“Ghost couple?” Petunia asked.
“A man and woman dressed up as ghosts. They said they wanted to see you and daddy,” Dudley said.
“I don’t remember them. Where did you see them, Dudley?” Vernon asked.
“When you were talking to that woman dressed in the cat costume. Some meany gave me a toothbrush,” Dudley glared at the offending object.
“What did the man and woman look like, Dudley?” Petunia asked.
“Like ghosts,” Dudley replied simply.
“Did you happen to recognize who they were?” Vernon asked. “Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Smith from next street over?”
“No. They were dressed like vampires,” Dudley said.
Vernon shook his head. “I’m sure whoever it was will apologise for not making it over, Pet. They probably had just as much trouble keeping up with their little one.”
“The ghost couple said that they would be around later,” Dudley told them as he stuffed a chocolate bar into his mouth. “Would be around after bedtime.”
“Dudley, don’t eat your candy so close to bedtime,” Petunia said.
“But I’m hungry,” Dudley whined around the candy bar.
Petunia sighed. “Alright but only two more pieces. You can eat some more tomorrow.”
Dudley nodded his head as he pulled out two of the biggest pieces of candy in his pile before shoving the candy he wanted to keep back into his pillowcase. “I don’t want that stuff,” he said pointing at a small pile of candy. “It’s gross candy. You need to throw it away, mummy.”
“Right you are, Dudley,” Vernon said with pride. “Don’t know who would give away cheap candy like that.”
“Some people just don’t know what good candy really is,” Petunia commented as she gathered up the few rejected pieces of candy before walking into the kitchen and throwing them into the bin.
The Dursley family soon settled into their nightly routine. Dudley watched the television as he ate his candy. Vernon read the newspaper while Petunia settled in with a novel that happened to have a picture of a scantily clad woman and a very handsome man on the cover.
After awhile, Vernon carried a sleeping Dudley up to bed while Petunia put Dudley’s candy away along with finishing up some other nightly chores.
“You seem a bit upset tonight, Pet,” Vernon said as he walked into the kitchen.
“It’s nothing,” Petunia said as she hung up the dish towel to dry. “Just feel a little off tonight.”
Vernon walked over and hugged her from behind. “You’re not coming down with something, are you?”
Petunia leaned back into her husband’s embrace. “No. I feel fine. It’s just… I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”
“Do you think it has something to do with the boy,” Vernon asked.
Petunia opened her mouth then closed it. “No,” she finally said. “No... I don’t know… It’s just something about today.”
Vernon kissed Petunia’s hair. “I’m sure you’ll feel better tomorrow.”
Petunia turned in Vernon’s arms so she was facing him. “You’re probably right, Vernon.”
A couple hours later the couple turned in to bed.
Most people are under the impression that Samhain aka Halloween, started at midnight on October 31st and ended at midnight on November 1st but in reality Samhain started at dusk on the 31st and ended at dusk on the 1st.
So many people crawl into to their bed believing that they’re safe from any visiting spirits… if they believe in them at all, after they locked the house up and turned the lights out. Most people will have sweet dreams of their departed loved one or nightmares of those they had wronged in life and for a very few either blessed or unfortunate souls… they get woken up.
“It’s two in the morning, Pet,” Vernon grumbled sleepily. “Turn the light off and go to sleep.”
“It is off,” Petunia replied around her yawn. “Turned it off before going to sleep.”
Vernon rose up on his elbow so he could glare at the bed lamp on his wife’s side of the bed. “Well, it’s on now. So turn it off, love.”
Petunia pulled her beauty mask off enough so that she could see through one eye. “Switch must be bad,” she grumbled before turning the lamp off once again and replacing her mask.
The couple settled back into bed and were on the edge of sleep when the lamp on Vernon’s side of the bed came on.
“What the…?” he exclaimed, glaring at the lamp before turning it off. As soon as he settled back onto bed, the light next to Petunia turned back on.
“It’s that boy!” Vernon snarled.
“What?” Petunia said groggily as she pulled her beauty mask off.
“The boy,” Vernon growled. “He’s using his freaky power to play with the lights.”
“We’ll never get any sleep at this rate,” Petunia said in disgust as she glared at the lamp.
“I’ll deal with it,” Vernon said as he tossed the blankets off of him and tried to get up only to flop back into the bed. “What in hell!” Vernon tried to get out of bed again only to find that he could get partly out before he was forced back into it. “I can’t get out of bed.”
Petunia tried to get out of bed only to experience the same thing. “I can’t either. The boy must be doing it.”
“When I get out of this bed,” Vernon snarled as she struggled against whatever held him in the bed, “that boy will pay for this!”
“And why should he,” a voice asked out of nowhere. “After all he’s not doing it. He’s sound asleep in the cupboard you locked him in”
“Lil… Lily,” Petunia gasped as she looked around with wide eyes.
“Ah so you do remember me, my dear sister,” Lily said as she slowly appeared at the foot of the bed.
“But you’re dead,” Petunia exclaim. “You shouldn’t be here!”
“And why shouldn’t we?” James asked as he appeared next to Lily, an arm wrapped around his wife. “Have you forgot what day it is?”
“November 1st,” Vernon snapped after a quick glance to the alarm clock, “and what difference does that make.”
Petunia nodded her head in agreement.
Lily shook her head sadly. ‘Did you forget what great grandmother Evans taught us, Petunia. I know I was very young when she taught us but I still remember.”
“That was stupid superstition! She was an old stupid woman,” Petunia shouted.
“She was smarter than you ever were,” James commented.
“What are you doing here? What do you want?” Vernon demanded as he once again tried to get out of bed.
“We came to talk,” Lily answered simply with a smile. “After all this is the only day out of a whole year in which we can visit our loved ones.”
“That’s not saying we didn’t watch over the rest of the 364 days,” James chimed in.
“Why haven’t you visited before,” Petunia asked nervously.
“You can blame Dumbledore for that. Every year he would cast a spell to prevent us from visiting you and other people,” Lily answered with a small smile.
“Of course this year he wasn’t exactly able to do it,” James commented with an evil smile. “He’s laid up in the hospital wing thanks to a nasty bump on the head. Dumbledore didn’t make as many friends as he thought he did. One of the castle ghosts was more than happy to make sure he had little accident.”
“So you arrange all of that just so we can have this little talk,” Vernon said.
“As great grandmother Evans taught us, this is the night in which the dead can visit their loved ones with either blessing,” Lily said as her smile twisted into a malicious grin, “or play some pranks.”
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