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The Forked Tongue

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Petunia Dursley was a perfectly normal woman, thank you very much.

She had a wonderful and loving husband, her little boy Dudley (already 1 year old!) and an amazing life.

Nothing could go wrong.

She cursed herself for thinking that, as she held the baby she found on her doorstep. Petunia read the letter that was on top of the baby and tears sprung to her eyes.

Her sister…

Her little sister was dead?

As much as she hated magic and Lily’s world, she didn’t want to see her darling little sister dead. The hole Lily created when she left for that disgusting school was never healed, even after marrying and having a child. And now, really nothing could repair it. The only being that was capable of fixing it was dead and the only remains of her was the boy she held in her arms.

The boy – Harry – looked at her.

He was very still for a kid his age. That was the first thing she noticed on him. Next, her eyes scanned his face, that wasn’t really resembling Lily in almost any way. But what made her gasp was the bloody scar on his forehead. It stretched from his forehead to his cheek, through his eye (that was okay) and was bleeding a little. The sight of the scar scared her. There was something so wrong about it. Her eyes hurt as she traced her finger along the irritated skin and followed it with her eyes.

And oh god. His eyes.

The toxic green stared at her without blinking. The eyes scared her the most. After a long while, the baby still stared at her and Petunia was getting hysterical as the eyes still. didn’t. blink.

She already hated the child.

 

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The first thing Harry remembers is a strange man, a woman screaming and green.

So much green. In his eyes, on the woman.

The second one is when he was younger, but not too young.

You see, little Harry wasn’t really allowed to talk. when he did, the English was tainted by prolonged s’s. His relatives thought that he was making fun of them, but really, Harry wasn’t!

He couldn’t really talk in any other way. In his ears, the words sounded perfectly normal. Yet, his aunt and uncle Vernon were angry with him whenever he opened his mouth. The words that had any s’s in them very basically banned and every time Harry said them, he was glared at, slapped, pinched, yelled at and went to his bed without any proper meal. After so many times and tries on his part to say them normally, he stopped trying. Since he was young, his family has always given him a hard time.

Especially his cousin Dudley.

The child was a spoiled, rotten brat. He was so used to everything being his way, even though he was only eight. He pinched, punched, tripped and made Harry’s life miserable in any way he could and he always got away with it. Harry hated it.

Harry also hated his school because of Dudley as his cousin scared away any child that was willing to talk to him and wasn’t fazed by his lack of response. The teachers were also horrid – they didn’t care one bit about Harry and every time he was asked to answer and he didn’t, they yelled at the silent boy. Only one teacher ever cared to ask Harry what was wrong. The teacher was a kind woman and Harry really liked her. But after Dudley cried to his parents about how Harry was receiving the attention Dudley himself didn’t have, they complained to the principal, who was forced to fire her. Not only has Harry lost his favourite teacher, he also got screamed at and slapped so hard, his face still hurt for two more days.

The only thing he liked about his life with the family was the time he could spend outside in his aunt’s garden. The sun was wonderful and his always tired body was so much better in the sunlight. He loved taking care of the garden and of the various flowers. Inside his little cupboard, there was little to no light, so the time he spent outside Harry soaked the light up. Even though Harry spent so much time outside, he didn’t get tanned. His skin was very light and, in the winter, it looked downright sickly pale.

But that was okay right?

 

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“Get out of my way before I kill you, little human.”

Harry looked to his side (ignoring the way his neck bent at a different angle than what was considered normal) and stared in horror at the bush he was supposed to take care for next. The normal bush now appeared scarier the more Harry stared at it.

“H – hello? Anyone there?” Harry asked cautiously, with fear present in his voice.

The wind made the leaves rustle and in a second, a sleek body rushed at the boy.

“You are the human child that takes care of the flowers, right?”

Harry stared at the tiny snake that threatened to kill him just a few seconds ago. It was green with some brown mixed in and didn’t at all look threatening to Harry. He knew that his aunt would scream the moment she saw a snake and his uncle would probably kill it. Dudley would probably cry to his mother and she would either send Harry to take care of it, or she would simply send Vernon.

If anyone saw the boy right now, they would see a child hovering over a snake in a way that wasn’t really… human. There was something strange about how the child looked at the tiny reptile. Whether it be the way his neck bent at just the wrong angle, the way the snake looked so little in comparison to the young child. Maybe it was the way Harry’s eyes had a split pupil instead of the perfectly normal human one?

In this light, Harry appeared somehow more royal than the tiny serpent.

 

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“Hm. They say you wizards are supposed to be smart. Have my Brothers and Sister lied to me? They said that a wizard has a special aura to them. But you? Your magic wraps around you the way not even a serpent could. Even amongst the magical humans, you are an exception. Tell me, how do you do it?”

Harry stared at the small Grass snake with wide eyes. His aunt said that only humans are able to speak! The child doesn’t understand and stays still, hoping that the snake will go away.

Receiving no response to its question, the snake narrowed its eyes. It curled to itself, with only its head peeking out of the coils. To Harry, the serpent seemed angry, but in reality, it was more curious about the magical human? Humanoid snake? Whatever.

“Do you not understand me? My siblings told me about human Speakers you know? It is said that They have a serpent like magic. You have one. Why don’t you talk to me?”

Just as Harry was opening his mouth to answer, he heard his aunt’s voice screaming at him to come back inside.

“I should go-“

At that, he turned and sprinted to the house, leaving the coiled serpent thinking.

“My siblings were right after all. You are a speaker. Such a young child you are. Why aren’t you with your own kind? The people here have no magical blood, so why do you hide here?” the snake mused to itself and stretched its small body. Its original goal changed, as it headed to the animal keeping building to talk to the Wise one. Maybe it could have some answers about the youngling.