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The Other Child

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The Other Child

The First Encounter

 

April 17th 1976

A year had passed since the day Petunia had left home - 366 days. One day longer than most years. On her sixteenth birthday, she had slipped out of the house. She clutched her grandmother’s brooch in her left hand, a battered leather holdall (also formerly her grandmother’s) in her right. She scurried along the dimly lit streets of Cokeworth, past the wolf-whistles and shouts of workers stumbling out. of pubs to catch the last train to London.

Her grandmother had breathed her last three days before. It hadn’t even taken three days for Petunia’s family to disregard her grandmother’s wishes. They took the money her grandmother had left aside for Petunia to go to university. Petunia understood at first. The factory, where her father worked, had warned of cuts, possibly even closure. Prices were rising The local factory which employed her father had just warned that there would be significant job losses. She passed the long queues of young men seeking jobs everyday. She doubted he could find another job easily. If that had been their only reason, Petunia would have understood, could have forgiven them.

Her parents made it all about her younger sister - as always. Why should Petunia keep the money to pursue her foolish dreams when they might not be able to afford the best supplies for her sister to attend a magical school. No-one in the family had ever attended magical school before. Petunia snorted at this. No-one in the family had ever attended university either.

When Petunia announced that she wanted to study astrophysics, her father had laughed and patted her hair. Who had ever heard of a female physicist? From Cokeworth, no less? Her sister had called her a selfish cow for wanting to keep the money and a freak for wanting to study astrophysics? What did muggles know about the stars? Her mother had always told Petunia that she should be more normal. A normal woman’s place should be in the home with her family. Petunia should settle down, find a nice man with a good job and raise a famly, as a normal woman should. Petunia had been tempted, briefly.

Then her younger sister Lily asked to have the brooches to remember her grandmother. Petunia could have forgiven her family over the money eventually. She could have, no she would have found a way to pursue her dreams. The brooches could not be replaced. Her grandmother had left both brooches to Petunia, and her necklaces to Lily. But what the lovely Lily wanted, she always received.

Petunia took the brooches that night. She placed the amethyst brooch and her clothes securely in her grandmother’s old holdall and clutched the Holloway broach in her hand. Then she slid the bolt out of the lock and left the Evans’ house without a backward glance.

The green and white enamelled broach had been a gift from Flora Drummond and the Holloway Broach a badge of honour for Violet Evans, nee Turner’s services to the cause of women’s suffrage. Violet Turner had been sentenced to six months in Holloway Prison for defacing a local council building and causing public unrest. When Petunia told Violet that she wanted to be an astrophysicist, Violet had not laughed or told Petunia to be normal. Violet remarked that it was about time and that Petunia better be prepared to fight for her dreams.

Petunia arrived at King’s Cross Station at eight minutes past two a.m. Nowhere nearby was open, most of the people walking about were drunk. She spent her first night huddled in a nearby park in Islington named after a clown buried there. The park was filled with grassy mounds, swelling up as if the earth was about to burst open and scream.

That was her first and last night on the streets of London. Her grandmother had always said that while Lily was good at being noticed, Petunia was good at noticing. Everyone had always seen Lily first. Petunia had waited and watched them. Then she would be what they wanted. It had let to her first job in London at The Mother Goose, not far from Grimaldi Park. That job had led to The Old Western and David. He had been the first person to truly see her. He hadn’t laughed when she said that she wanted to be an astrophysicist. He had dreams too. He wanted to become a lawyer. Petunia had spent the idle moments on the front desk dreaming about a life with David - perhaps she could study the stars and be a married housewife at once. She could be perfect and normal in a way that Lily had never been. She had planned to tell her mother about David tonight when her mother phoned to wish her a happy birthday.

As she walked down the hallway to her flat, she could hear voices from behind the walls. It sounded like David. Petunia’s heart fluttered. He had come to surprise her. She placed her key in the lock gently and eased it open. so the hinges would not shriek. The lights were off and the living room and kitchen were empty. Perhaps David had hidden. She turned on the light then walked over to the faded leather sofa. David did not jump up shouting surprise. There was no-one there. Then she heard David’s voice coming from Sarah’s room. Then she heard Sarah giggling and calling out in delight. Petunia froze, anger clawing at her body. Then the phone rang. Petunia grabbed it hastily.

“Petunia Evans, speaking” she said.
“Your sounding awfully posh dear. Do you think your better than your family now?” her mother asked.
Petunia sighed “Not at all, mother. I’ve just finished my shift and some of the customers can’t understand my Northern accent.”
“I see” her mother said in a tone which suggested that she didn’t understand at all. “Lily’s term finishes on the 23rd July. We will be coming down to London to collect her, and I thought it would be lovely if we all went out for a nice meal to celebrate.”
Petunia was taken aback.
“That’s not for another three months.”
“It never hurts to be prepared dear. Maybe you could spend the time doing something useful with your life like finding yourself a nice man. Your not getting any younger.”
“Has Lily found anyone yet?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, she is still at school.”
“Of course. How could I have forgotten, Mother.”
“Don’t take that tone with me. I’d have thought you would have got over this ridiculous jealousy by now.”
“Why should I be jealous of a witch? It’s not like she is ever going to be normal.”
“And you think you are Petunia Evans? With that attitude you’ll be alone for the rest of your life.”
“Of course, mother. Is there anything else you needed to speak with me about.”
“I can think of plenty. Your attitude for a start.”

Suddenly the door to Sarah’s room opened. Her best friend and boyfriend stepped out, naked and kissing.
Petunia hung up.
“Hello” she said “what a lovely birthday surprise?”
Sarah gasped in horror and ran back into her room.
“It’s not what it looks like, Pet” David spluttered.
“Really David? It looked very clear to me. Don’t bother with your excuses. We’re done.”
“But Pet -“
“No. Go put some clothes on or continue straddling Sarah. What should I care?” she shouted.
Petunia turned and stormed out of the room slamming the door behind her. She kept walking until she reached The Mother Goose, her day dreams scattered into the chilled April breeze.

 

As usual, the pub was crowded and its patrons were already starting to spread out onto Penton Street. Petunia strode through the crowd wrapped in winter coats and scarves and bustled into the pub. The jazz band was playing in the far corner, barely visible behind the throng of couples dancing. Petunia wiped a tear from her eye and pushed her way forward to the lacquered oak bar. John smiled when he saw her.

“Your man should be getting the drinks for you today Pet, not the other way round. Is he having a bad day?” John asked.
Petunia bit her lip, “I wish. He ain’t my man no more, John.”
“Bastard. It’s his loss - don’t you be forgetting that lass. Now what can I can I get for you. It’s your nineteenth - you should be celebrating lass. You’ll never be this young again. It’s not every day you turn nineteen.”
Petunia attempted a smile. “A White Russian, please. Make it strong. Maybe then I’ll see about the celebrating.”
“Right you go. Table nineteen behind the screen ought to be free. The band were using it before their set.”
“Thanks John.”
“Ach. Anything for my favourite server.”
“I don’t work here anymore John.”
“I don’t mind about that. How is it going at The Old Western?”
Petunia nodded. “Good. I think. It’s hard to tell at times.Tomorrow will be a busy. We’re hosting a large drill company, Grunnings.”
“You’ll be fine. Don’t doubt yourself, lass. You’ve always been good at reading the customer. Anyway here’s your drink and I’d best be dealing with that crowd over there hassling Nancy. Oi lads. If I catch any of that sort of behaviour again, you’ll be out of here afore you can say one pint!”

Petunia looked at the opposite side of the bar. The crowd from the University Drinking Society. She didn’t envy Nancy. She weaved her way through the crowd around the screen. The table was still empty. Petunia sat down, sipped her cocktail and peered at the bar through the screen. John was handling the students. She knew that twitch of his eyebrow meant the young men would be finding another establishment fairly quickly if they didn’t settle down.

The petite woman with black hair, Nancy she thought, was serving a rather striking gentleman. He wore a fitted black coat, wool if she was not mistaken. His long black curls draped across his shoulders down his back. Certainly a cut above the usual clientele at this establishment. Nancy’s eyes suddenly went wide and she turned to ask John for help. A new starter, Petunia thought. John briefly spoke with the man, his eyebrows suddenly raised. Petunia continued. watching. Then John pulled the bottle of Glencraig from the shelf and poured a dram. The customer turned around. Petunia felt the urge to look away, as if he could tell she was watching. She thought it seemed silly - surely he couldn’t have noticed her behind the screen. When she looked up again - the young man had gone. Petunia was intrigued - his face seemed too young for Glencraig whisky but there was something about his eyes that made her question that assumption. His eyes reminded her of the men who had been through the war.

She heard someone leaning against her table. She turned around suddenly. It was him.
He grinned then spoke “Hello angel, you look too lovely to be sitting all alone. Did you hurt yourself when you fell from heaven?”
Petunia schooled her expression and snorted . How had John not noticed that he was a child? She had gotten away with lying about her age but she looked older. This boy barely looked a day over sixteen.

“And you look rather young to be in this establishment. Certainly rather young to be drinking the finest whisky in the house.”
The boy smirked.
“I like them strong and I have taste”
“Your flirtation skills need work, son.” Petunia retorted crossing her legs.
He sat down on the other stool.
“I’ll have you know that my associates consider me rather smooth”
“For a child, perhaps. I would be surprised if they are much older than you.”
He huffed. “ The lady doth protest too much methinks. I’m fifteen. Besides you don’t look all that old yourself. Barely old enough for vodka and … why would you drink vodka with cream?” he spluttered.
He stared at her in bewilderment.
Petunia laughed.
“You don’t go out often do you? It’s a White Russian - rather popular these days.”
“It’s an abomination, that’s what it is. Regardless I don’t think you’re much older ma’am. Eighteen? I’m right, aren’t I. I’ll buy you a drink if I’m wrong.”
She grinned and bared her teeth.
“Seventeen actually. My birthday’s today but didn’t your parents every tell you it was rude to ask a lady her age?”
“Didn’t yours ever tell you not to talk to strangers? So what’s the problem with your family?”
She glowered at him.
“You’re all alone in a crowded pub on your birthday. You’ve lied about your age and given that you and John are rather familiar, you’ve been lying for sometime. What? I’m good at observing the small details.”
“Are you always this precocious Mr Holmes?”
“That’s not my name.” The boy looked perplexed “What did you get Mr Holmes from?”
Petunia frowned. “You can quote Shakespeare but you don’t know Sherlock Holmes?”
“My family have” he paused “peculiar tastes. Might I assume that Mr Holmes is renowned for his prowess in observation?”
“Observation, my dear Watson. As he would say. Sherlock Holmes is a literary detective.”
“Interesting. I might look him up. But you’ve avoided my question.”
“It’s complicated. And yourself? You don’t seem like the type for a wild night on the town.”
“ Family. I needed to get away.”
“I know the feeling. I left home a year ago.” She took another sip of her cocktail.
“I’ve not run away.” the boy huffed. “Yet. Although now that I think about it, it may be necessary to avoid murder or witnessing one. You think I’m joking, don’t you.”
He gulped down his whisky.

“You seem fairly serious although I get the impression your family are unlikely to go that far. If they put the same amount of effort as you do into your appearance, I’d infer that they are keen to avoid a scandal.”
“True. It wouldn’t surprise me if my brother left home. He is fighting with my parents, again. I think they all like the opportunity to scream at each other. They want me to be their dream child; he thinks I am their dream child and hates me for it. Both of them think I should be supporting them against the other. None of them have actually considered that I may think differently to their expectations.”
“Have you told them that?”
The boy laughed. “Do you expect that they would listen?”
“Fair point but I don’t think this is just about today’s fight is it?”
The boy sighed. “Do you ever get that sense that other people are only interested in a fantasy of you. My parents only love me if I fulfil their expectations of what a perfect son should be and I don’t think I want to be that person. My brother wants some fantasy little brother who will adore him for everything he says or does yet he and his friends take every opportunity to humiliate my friends and I with their pranks. Even if I try and be a good brother and help him, it just gets thrown back in my face.”
Petunia nodded sympathetically. “Sounds tough.”

“I don’t know why I’m telling you this. You’re a complete stranger. It’s freeing though. I’m not ever going to see you again am I.”
“Probably not. Unless you start haunting The Mother Goose.”
“I think it’s probably the whisky and the fact you can’t throw any of this back in my face. Same for me to you. No obligations if we are not going to see each other again.”
“True.” Petunia replied. He couldn’t hurt her, not like David and Sarah, Petunia thought to herself. Or her parents. Or Lily.

 

“How about your own happy family?” the boy asked.
Petunia knocked back a mouthful of her cocktail.
“What the hell! As you said, we are not going to see each other again. I think that I’ve finally realised that my parents will never be happy with me. My sister is beautiful, and … talented and nothing I will ever do can compare. So what if I achieved the highest scores in all my exams, so what if I could make it to university? Beautiful Lily is talented, never has to work for it and everyone hangs off her every word. She doesn’t need to be normal; she can do whatever she desires. But my mother would like normal me to be the perfect housewife”
“Normal’s underrated” Regulus interrupted “Besides even if you get married, your parents will only be happy until their golden child finds someone better.” He gave a barking laugh.
Petunia nodded. “That and I just found my boyfriend and my flatmate meeting biblically.”
“I’m presuming that means the same as a carnal engagement in the broom closet.”
“You don’t know … never mind” Petunia said surprised.
“Eclectic family but my brother likes to brag about his exploits. Life’s never fair. I’m starting to think that family isn’t worth it..”

Petunia raised an eyebrow. “Your giving me life advice and yet you don’t even know my name.”
He smirked. “Whose fault is that?” He held out his hand for her to shake “Regulus Black, a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
“Petunia Evans. Also a pleasure. So are your parents fond of the constellation of Leo, the Romans, the monarchy or the Bible?”
“All of them, I’m impressed. Most people just comment on the strange name, or they already know my family likes naming children after stars.”
“Stars?” Petunia asked.
“Sirius, Andromeda, Bellatrix, Pollux, Cassiopeia, Arcturus, Orion, need I go on?”
“I like to read. Don’t worry my family has an equally ridiculous tradition about daughters and flower names. My sister likes to remind me that petunias are a symbol of anger and resentment.”
“And of comfort and making one’s partner happy. My mother believed that a proper education ought to include knowing the language of flowers. If it makes you feel better my brother likes to call me the baby king and the cowardly lion. I don’t know why my parents chose such a pretentious name. Little king? Actually I do know. They thought it was appropriate for a Beltane baby, especially a Beltane baby born in the early days of the year. Beltane is-“
“You were premature?” Petunia interrupted.

Regulus gasped. “You know about Beltane? Not many do.”
“I find the old rites fascinating. It’s just surprising. I would not have expected your family to be Neo-Celtic or Wiccan.”
“What would you have expected, Miss Holmes?”
“Your family is rich, clearly upper class, very conservative and old fashioned tastes. You are clearly intelligent, more so than your peers and your parents encourage your education. Your vocabulary is very learned for your age and unusual in every day speech. Your parents are likely neglectful to some extent or you have undergone significant hardships that have led you to be more independent and mature than your peers. You try to blend in but also have particular eccentricities. You have a slight ink smudge on your sleeve and the callouses on your hands suggest that you write with quills. You also have a pet owl so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by the religion.”
“By Mer-vin, how did you work out the quills and my owl?”
“Observation, my dear Watson.”
“I definitely need to read these books.”
“Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s a series.”
“I’ve only really read Shakespeare and Tolkein, like The Hobbit Anna Karenna. Mostly borrowed from a friend. My mother she uh, hates fiction. Thinks it a worthless pursuit.”
“Anna Karenna is by Tolstoy?”
“You’ve read it?”
“No. but I do know it’s rather different to Tolkein.”
Regulus chuckled. “Rab bought it for Barty. Rab’s not really into reading, feels incredibly uncomfortable in bookstores and managed to mix the author’s up.”
Petunia laughed.
“You certainly mix with an interesting crowd. I guess Rab’s a nickname or a surname?”
“Short for Rabastan. It could be worse, his brother is called Rudolphus.”
“He must hate his name every Christmas.”
Regulus looked confused for a moment then quickly nodded. “But how did you work out about the owl?”
There’s a small owl feather on your shirt from a breed that isn’t common in Britain and it would be highly unlikely you would come into contact with a feather unless it was someone’s pet. You also mentioned that you had come here after leaving your parents’ house because your family were fighting.”
“Touche. You’re certainly very learned for someone from around Cokeworth”
“How?” Petunia spluttered.
“A good guess. You try to hide your accent but there are a few twinges and I know someone from the area.”
“From Cokeworth? I find that hard to believe.”
“At times, I do too.” Seeing the look on Petunia’s face, he continued “not because of the area but he is a, let’s just say, an interesting character.”
“Coming from someone with a pet owl?” Petunia asked.
“Coming from someone with a pet owl and good people skills. Even if my flirting skills may not be up to your standards, I at least know not to call my beloved a derogatory slur. Not that she’s a saint either, but no-one deserves to be called words like that.”
Petunia snorted.
“At least he didn’t have sex with friend in her flat on her birthday.”
“True. That’s something my brother would probably do and he wonders why his girlfriends don’t last.”
“He sounds charming.”
“He can be. That’s the problem” Regulus sighed. “Most people gloss over the less pleasant aspects of his character. Except my parents but then it has been brought to my attention that they have a rather peculiar way of looking at the world.”
“And you don’t agree?”
“I want them to be happy but”
“You don’t think it’s the best path for you?”
Regulus nodded and sipped his whisky, “Let’s just say, I don’t think I want to be that sort of person.”
“My mother wants me to get married and be the perfect housewife. I am tempted - almost. It seems the easier path”
“But you’re worried the cost is too high? Me too. Even if everyone around me is doing it, I just feel so uneasy.”
“And I’d have to give up on my dreams. Not that I’m exactly fulfilling them at the moment but at least there’s hope.”
“Your family doesn’t support you?”
“They think I’m daft for wanting to go to university, to study astrophysics of all things. I didn’t think I could put up with them for two more years. I’d have gone mad and ended up married just to please them, to make them stop, to make them notice me, for once.”
“I think about getting away too. Although I’m not really in a position to, yet.”
“I’m not sure if I have gotten away. My mother phoned earlier. Didn’t even wish me Happy Birthday. I’m not sure if she remembered. She wanted to remind me when my sister’s school ends, wants us all to go out for a nice family meal in London. Told me that I’m jealous of my sister and to improve my attitude if I want to find a husband.”
Petunia swigged her cocktail. Regulus nodded in sympathy.
“So what would your ideal birthday be?”
“Not this.”
“No, what would you like to do?”
Petunia looked at him.
“What? I don’t want to go back to my house yet. I’m sure you probably want to avoid your friends’ horizontal dancing and I feel like doing my good deed of the day. So what do you want to do?”
“Besides drinking my worries away?”
“Oh don’t be boring. It’ll be fun.”
“Won’t your parents be getting worried?”
Regulus shook his head. They probably won’t notice and even if they do they’ll assume I’ve gone to Barty’s or Rab’s and they won’t bother checking. I would have gone but I needed some fresh air, Barty’s away and Rab … let’s just say his family are more complicated than mine and he has a greater … incentive to please them. So what do you want to do?
Petunia frowned at his choice of words but didn’t push Regulus.
“We could go see a film?”
Regulus nodded. “Sounds good. I should let you know that my mother abhors films so I have absolutely no knowledge on the matter”
“You don’t get out much, do you?”
“Not really. I’m at an unusual boarding school most of the year. They don’t believe in electricity. I get out to the local village but it’s old-fashioned.”
“How can you not have electricity?” Petunia exclaimed.
“You wouldn’t believe what you can do with a bit of old-fashioned magic.” Regulus joked.
“Try telling my sister that “She’s obsessed with new-fangled magic but there’s nothing wrong with doing things the ordinary way. Although I’m not sure how much I fancy gas lighting.”
Petunia laughed and Regulus quickly joined in.

They strode out of the pub into the cool night air.
“There is a cinema up along the High Street a bit but I prefer the one closer to the centre, it’s nicer. I sometimes go there after work.”
“What do you work as since you no longer work at the establishment back there?”
“You saw me talking to John?”
“I doubt many seventeen year olds know fine whisky brands, and I saw you talking to the bartender.”
“A hotel”
“Is it a good one?”
“It caters to the likes of your family.”
Regulus spluttered. “I doubt that but I understand what you mean. Front desk?”
Petunia nodded.
“And wherever else I’m needed. It pays well enough — The Old Western. What do you want to do?”
“My parents want me to go into … politics.”
“What a surprise.” Petunia said ironically “But you don’t want to?”
Regulus nodded. “I’m not sure what I want to do. Escape my family. Survive. Be normal. Maybe something money related or law related”
“You’ve got time yet.”
“I fear not enough.” Unconsciously he bared his wrist and checked it. Petunia looked at him curiously.
“So we have a choice. All the President’s Men about Watergate, that’s a political scandal in America, The Slipper and the Rose - that’s a retelling of Cinderella.”
“Who?”
“How can you not know Cinderella?”
“My mother.”
“I really want to meet your mother some day.”
Regulus gasped. “Trust me you don’t!” he almost shouted.”Sorry. What do you fancy?”
“I can give you my address if you ever need a place to escape to. Although I’ll probably be moving soon.”
“Thanks but I wouldn’t want to get you into trouble” Regulus said.
“I don’t care what Sarah thinks.” Petunia replied.
“She’s not the one I’m worried about causing the trouble. What are your thoughts on the films” he said.
“Watergate sounds interesting and I’ve seen The Slipper and the Rose before. David wanted to see it. Thought All the President’s Men might be too heavy for him.”
“All the President’s Men sounds interesting” Regulus muttered.
“You don’t know what it is do you?” Petunia asked.
Regulus nodded.
‘The former American president Nixon bugged - that means spied on - his rivals.”
“Sounds interesting. He was after Roosevelt, no he died, Truman I mean?”
“A few presidents after that. You’ve not heard of JFK? Do you live under a rock?”
“Something like that.”
“What do they teach in your school?”
“How to make pincushions from hedgehogs and other useless life lessons.”
“Really?”
Regulus nodded and raised his eyebrows grinning.
Petunia laughed. “Pincushions from hedgehogs? Whoever heard of such a thing? The leather would go mouldy soon enough. Ah here we are. The Picturehouse is just round the corner.”

As they turned the corner of the street, the art deco building rose up into the skyline above the other buildings. The silvery rectangular pillars stretched from the bustling crowds upwards until it disappeared into the dark sky.
Regulus gasped in amazement. Petunia took his hand and led him through the crowd into the building. Inside stone columns framed glistening laquered panels. Glimpses of jade green carpet could be snatched from between the crowd. The air was thick with the smell of salty popcorn. Petunia noticed Regulus staring around in amazement. “This cinema is one of my favourites. Just wait until you see the cinema itself.” Petunia said. Petunia led Regulus to the queue. They bought their tickets and walked into screen 3. Regulus gasped as he saw the large screen, framed by ivory walls with emerald panels. Petunia beamed at him and led him to their seats. Soon after they sat down, the lights dimmed and the screen lit up.

~~~

“That was incredible” Regulus exclaimed as they left the cinema.
Petunia nodded. “I’d read about it in the newspapers at the time, but I was quite young then.”
“Movies are incredible. I should take Barty to one of these. He loves mu … technology.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it.” Petunia said. “Thank you. Today has not been a complete disaster.”
“I would second that, milady” Regulus said. He smiled at Petunia. “I am glad to have made your acquaintance. Your presence was most agreeable.”
Petunia laughed.
“What?” Regulus asked.
“What you just said? Your presence was most agreeable. How many people say that?”
Regulus laughed. “Well that’s how us posh folk talk” he teased.
“Your accent’s rather good. Were your mimicking your acquaintance from Cokeworth.”
Regulus nodded.
“How he is when he gets angry. He tries to hide it most of the time. His friends tend to frown on those from poorer backgrounds.”
“He needs new friends,” Petunia commented.
“As do you, by the sounds of things” Regulus remarked. “You’re incredible, Petunia. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise and if anyone does not treat you like that, forget about them.”
Petunia blushed. “Thank you. I think I needed to hear that. You should take your own advice too, with your family.”
“It’s complicated,” Regulus said.
“Aren’t families always?”

 

They walked in silence for a few minutes. Petunia paused as they strode past Grimaldi park.
“Do you think we’ll ever see each other again?”
Regulus sighed.
“I wish we could.”
He trailed off.
“You’re returning to that boarding school without electricity, aren’t you?”
Regulus nodded sadly.
“I wish you all the best then.” Petunia said.
“And I wish you the same” Regulus replied.
He took her hand and their eyes met.
“This must be goodbye then.”
“I suppose. Take care of yourself Regulus.”
“And you Petunia. I hope to meet you again one day.”
“I think I’d like that. Goodbye Mr Black.”
“Goodbye Miss Evans.”
Regulus bowed and began to walk away.
Petunia watched him for a few minutes, before she turned to look up at the stars. Then once again, she walked away into the night.