Two babies were switched at one by the vengeful Dursley's. Now, at Hogwarts, one is thrust into the role of a hero by chance, while the other, by destiny.
The Day After
Disclaimer: I own nothing, including the wonderful works of Harry Potter.
A/N: Hello everyone, guess what I've learned, I can't stop myself from starting another story, even though I haven't finished even one of the ones I already have. Sighs. I couldn't help it, this idea just came to me, and I don't think I've ever even read a variation of this. Anyway, I've been wondering if anyone noticed the significance of the names: Lann and Harry; if you figure it out, tell me! I want to see if any of you get it. So, if there are any questions or comments and criticisms, please review!
Summary: Two babies were switched at one by the vengeful Dursley's. Now, at Hogwarts, one is thrust into the role of a hero by chance, while the other, by destiny.
A lusty cry woke her as the car screeched to a halt. Looking benignly at her husband sitting in the driver's seat, she roughly jostled the small sobbing boy in her unloving arms, until he quieted out of fear. Moving sluggishly, Petunia yawned, covering her mouth delicately and shifted Harry to a more comfortable position.
Unhooking her seat belt, she unceremoniously placed Harry in her husband's arms and stretched, stretching her horrible pink dress shirt uncomfortably. She smoothed her hair, patting it back down into tidy waves. Then, after quickly checking her makeup in the mirror, she turned to look behind her, smoothing Dudley's tuft of blond hair happily.
Cooing at the sniveling boy, she said, "Now, dearest, Mummy will be gone for a little bit; you be good for Daddy, alright?"
Vernon Dursley snorted and dropped Harry into her lap, ruffling her pants. "Don't take too long in there. The longer we have him, the more likely, he'll rub off on Dudley."
Petunia shuddered. "Don't even think that."
Vernon kissed her clumsily on the cheek and unlocked the doors. Petunia opened the car door, letting it swing shut behind her and nestled Harry more firmly in her arms. She didn't want the brat to get another scar that could identify him.
Daintily, she walked towards the huge building, wrinkling her nose with disgust as she entered and the wails of crying babies and unchanged diapers filled her senses. The orphanage must be an awful place for a child to grow up. Thank god, she was taking one of them out of here.
Smiling at the receptionist, she purposely walked towards where the mayhem seemed to be coming from. Entering the hall, she stopped for a moment in shock. It was dirty and smelly and...well what had she expected? The children weren't going to be dressed in their Sunday best, lined up for her to pick one out. No, instead, cots lined the hall, filled with children, from newborns whining for their never-to-come mothers to moody teenagers steadfastly ignoring the world around them.
Petunia's mouth scrunched in disgust; children, in general, were horrible disgusting creatures, with the exception, of course, of her own Dudley. There was a chance that this unknown child she was trying to find was just like the rest, but as Petunia looked at the bundle in her arms, she knew she'd rather deal with whatever diseases and mood swings he brought along, than the...the thing in her arms.
Petunia strode down the cots of the orphanage with an air of briskness. She held the bundle in her hands with something resembling disgust, but smiled and hugged the sleeping green-eyed boy closer when a care-worker glanced over. Nodding at the overly inquisitive woman (at least in Petunia's opinion), Petunia turned her attention back towards the children in the cots.
He had to be the right age; he had to be black-haired and green eyed. The eye color was a must, if worst came to worst, she could always dye the hair. Oh yes, and most importantly, he had to be normal. No floating teacups or changing skirts into squirrels; she would have none of that. If he was only normal, she could like him; maybe, dare she say it, love him.
Petunia glared down at the innocent babe cradled in her arms, swathed in cloths. "You just had to be one of them," she whispered distraughtly, "You just had to be hers."
Suddenly, Petunia stopped and reached out to smooth a young boy's messy black hair away from his face. He woke plaintively, and wrinkling his nose, he stared disinterestedly at Petunia and Harry.
Disgustedly, Petunia pushed the sleepy child away and continued down the aisle, listening to the soft cries of distress that followed her. "This isn't my fault." she whispered into the sleeping boy's hair, "It isn't. It's yours and hers and his. You're so ungrateful that you can't even realize how good we're being to you. You blame me; you've always blamed me; how dare you do that"-Petunia shook the baby, making him shift restlessly-"Don't you do that! It's not my fault; it never was; it never will be. The blame is solely yours. It's your fault all this happened. It's your fault they're dead and we were dumped with you. This...this is just proper redemption."
Whether not Petunia realized the idiocy of placing the blame of his two parents on baby Harry's innocent shoulders, one will never know, because at that moment, Petunia found exactly what she was looking for.
"Oh, he's perfect!" Petunia gasped.
Lying on the cot was a little boy. He was struggling to sit up to peer curiously at the small world he had suddenly been confined to. Petunia stared at him.
Looking quickly from side to side, Petunia knelt next tot the one-year-old, reading the place card, "Lann."
At his name, Lann gurgled happily. "Gah!"
Quickly, Petunia lay Harry down next to Lann on the bed, removing the blankets. Lann, sensing a foreign presence of his bed, turned over to examine Harry's peaceful form with childlike interest. He reached out a hand...
-Would this create a lasting connection that would finally unite them when they would meet again, years in the future?-
...And pulled a strand of Harry's dark hair, giggling to himself...
...Harry woke quickly, bursting into sobs, tears rolling down his face. Petunia looked up from digging through her purse to try to soothe the disrupted baby, but to no avail. Harry continued crying, probably in defiance of this new mean-spirited woman in his life, which not only looked nothing like his mother, but also kept dragging him all over the place, interrupting his sleep.
Petunia continued vainly trying to quiet him, but it was Lann who finally did the job. Fed up of having his quiet space disturbed by a creature even smaller than him, he rolled over and fell straight on top of Harry, muting his cries. Harry kicked against him, but Lann, a happy child, giggled in fun and kicked back, lean legs wiggling.
Petunia sighed in relief, and paying no attention to the fact that Harry was about to be smothered to death, continued searching through her purse. Finally, she triumphantly pulled out a slightly moldy green blanket. Glancing suspiciously from side to side, she snatched Lann from the bed and quickly wrapped him in the blanket, muffling his cries of disappointment at being taken away from his new toy...er, friend.
Quickly, Petunia stood up, calling another care worker to her side. "I don't know what happened," she lied, inching away from the cot, "I was just leaning over him and he began crying. I'm- I'm so sorry, but I can't stop it."
"Well, I just don't know what happened." stated the care-worker curiously, scooping Harry up in her arms, "Lann's always been such a trooper."
Petunia shrugged helplessly as the cheerful care-worker soothed Harry or now Lann back to sleep. Petunia smiled unnoticeably and the second the care-worker's back was turned, she fairly flew out of the orphanage, never noticing a pair of eyes watching her moodily.
Quickly, Petunia sat in the car, nodding to her husband. He revved the engine and peeled out of the orphanage parking lot, Dudley squealing in delight at the sudden motion.
"His name is Lann." she said tenderly.
"No," Vernon shook his head viciously, "It's Harry Potter."
Petunia brushed the hair away from the scarless forehead once more to reassure herself and then hugged the small boy to her chest happily as he sleepily clung to her breast. Let the orphanage deal with Lily's mistake, she thought; this Harry Potter, her new Harry Potter, was going to be normal.
Back in the orphanage, a small black-haired child blinked opened his green eyes to unfamiliar surroundings and wailed, changing fate once and for all.
To Be Continued...