It was the choice to use blue wax to seal a letter that changed everything.
Of course Albus Dumbledore was not, nor could he be, aware of the consequences of his choice. Indeed he was actually going out of his way to be considerate. After spending over an hour carefully balancing out just a hand full of paragraphs, a most time consuming endeavour when one took into account his prodigious intellect, Albus had elected not to use the standard shade of deep red to seel this most important letter.
He remembered well his brief yet heartbreaking exchange with Lily Evans’ sister. How he wished he could have granted her request all those years ago. But it seemed the touch of magic was destined to pull the sisters apart. He hoped they had been strong enough the bare it; family was to be cherished. He had learned that at terrible cost.
No, it would do no good to remind Petunia of her rejection anymore than was already likely to happen. Especially in light of the burden he was asking her to bear. So Albus changed the colour of cooling wax to blue.
It might not have had such drastic consequences if an exhausted Zoologist hadn’t let a number of his charges escape some weeks prior.
A Male Satin Bowerbird was lost. It didn’t know that, but it was nearly 17,000 kilometres from home. All it knew was that it had been trapped and now it was free. Unbeknownst to its captors, the poor avian had been increasingly distraught over its inability to build a nest in the hopes of enticing a mate and so, even though it was not yet season, the Bowerbird’s sharp eyes were on the lookout for anything and everything to line a nest with.
It just so happened that as he was sweeping low on a cooler current of air that the night lit up once more and down below him, something glossy and blue winked up at him.
Harry Potter was sleeping deeply in his blankets, ensconced within a warming charm atop the Dursley’s front step. So it was quite understandable that he didn’t take any notice of the thief that swooped in and stole away with his letter of introduction, blue wax and all.
A figure moved between the pools of light offered by the street lamps with a strange rolling gait. The figure’s face was obscured by the heavy black fabrics draped over its hunched form, in stark contrast to the other magicals that had graced this area only hours before.
The figure brought its pale, rake thin arm to its breast, its unnaturally long fingers, each sporting an extra joint, twined through the messy ends of long multi tonal hair for comfort.
This ‘Surry’ was hideously uniform. Each house, each street, each block poured from the same mold. It disgusted the artist within her; and she was an artist, no matter what the plebeians might think. Yet that disgust was useful to her. For in the face of this awful conformity, she would bring forth something new and unique in challenge. She immersed herself in the drab world of the mundanes from time to time, for even the teeming hordes of Dull Bloods had their use in offering contrast. But this night, they had produced nothing but a growing feeling of contempt.
A forked tongue slipped free between cracked lips and tasted the air. It told her that the night tasted of that most unexpected of things for a place like this, Magick. So she followed the tongue as it thrashed this way and that, as if it were trying to pull itself free from where she’d grafted it to the jagged root of her original tongue.
Soon she stood outside Number 4 Privet Drive. One hand still playing with her hair, a second guided the gate open carefully and the third arm clutched the fence post to help heave her heavy, stooping form up the single, blue stone step.
A patch of hair on her scalp tingled as she crossed the threshold, letting her know that the air around this most odiously ordinary house was teaming with power. There was a ritual afoot, not yet complete, still waiting for the catalyst. The moment roiled with potential, the cusp before climax.
And there, upon the doorstep, lay a child swaddled and left in a wicker basket to await the coming of a new day. It slept deeply, safe within the eye of the storm, ignorant of the churning blood magics that whirled around it.
Oh how it made her chest ache to know that someone out there still knew of the old ways and was trying to invoke the Law of Surprise.
She bent down and gently drew the basket into her embrace while her third hand pulled the shawl free from around her neck to reveal a single eye blinking from within the hollow of her Suprasternal Notch. She dabbed at the tears that constantly fell from the organ she’d liberated from a particularly vicious Likho.
She turned the eye to the child and gasped.
It was said that a Likho’s eye let them see the strings that fate wound around a soul. Her own brain, incredible though it was, would never be capable of interpreting the sensations properly but she was still able to discern a glow to those so marked. It was a rare Dull Blood who might have the slightest flicker, while the common witch or wizard might appear like a candle across a dark room. The Foundling in her arms glowed like a small sun.
Here stolen eye winced and she quickly covered it again, and as the eye recovered from the glare, the afterimage that had burned itself into her ill gotten retina coalesced into the shape of a lightning bolt.
With growing excitement, she opened her mouth and began to sing words long forbidden into the stillness of the night. She knelt there, rocking back and forth, the Foundling held to her bosom in a grim parody of motherhood.
The front door opened slowly and a Dull Blood step onto the front step, clad only in thin nightclothes. Hair, dyed to stave off greys, was trapped in pink rollers. Blank eyes stared out of a hard face. Her thin arms we dotted with goose-pimples from the cold but the crooning of her visitor washed all that away.
The muggle stiffly held out her hand, palm open to the night sky. The stranger ran a long fingernail over the wrinkled flesh, drawing blood which she collected quickly in a vial.
Then the singing stopped, and the horse-faced Dull blood returned to her senses. She gasped, then her eyes met the monster that stooped on her doorstep. She let out an almighty shriek and frantically swung the door closed.
The stranger chuckled softly to herself.
“So Foundling, it appears you’ve been rejected by your blood. No matter, we can change that.” She heaved herself to her feat, “We can change everything.”
And between steps, the monster that would forevermore haunt Petunia Dursley’s nights disappeared from Surrey.