His pudgy, balled fists looked exactly like the dinner rolls she made so often. Except for the creases that marked ten spindly fingers, and little indents at the bends that hid minute knuckles. But yes, other than that. Just like dinner rolls.

He shifted the tiniest bit in his sleep, so slightly only a mother would notice it. His long eyelashes fluttered in some far off dream, so thin and pale they were barely there. She was struck by the sudden impulse to stroke that soft cheek. Smooth the dark hair, thin and flat on his pink head.

She forced herself to think of other things, so she wouldn't give into the urge and wake him. Her sister's face floated, unbidden, across her mind.


Oh, no.

Oh God, please. He couldn't be; there was just no way.

But it was in his blood...

No. Never.

She bit her lip. What would they do? She couldn't bear anymore pain. She refused to watch him grow up that way. Her fingers gripped the sides of the woven chair so hard that they creaked in protest. She eyed the blissful baby, so perfect, so serene...

The curtains at the window stirred. Had he caused it? Had the horrors already begun? But no, the window was simply cracked open, a gentle summer breeze trickling in. She let out her breath slowly, blinked a few times to clear her head.

She no longer yearned to stroke his round little arms. Now she wanted to dive headfirst into his veins, with her dishwashing soap and crisp yellow sponge. She would scrub his blood clean and his body would run on soap suds, fresh and vaguely lemon-scented. She would flush the magic right out of him. She would wring out the sponge, back in the kitchen, and only a bit of frog spawn would ooze out.

Then they would get on with their perfectly normal lives.

He would grow up happy, unaware of the narrow miss. She would give him anything he needed to substitute his lost magic. She would spend all her money on it, if she had to. Just to pull him away from a dangerous future.

She had the chair arms in a chokehold again. Oh, God, this was terrible! Her perfect little boy, so tainted. He would be dragged from her! And taken, no doubt, by a stringy boy with greasy black hair and sallow skin.

His eyes were squeezed shut intently. Oh, please, he couldn't do something now! What if the neighbors saw? What if her husband came home early?

She stood up and paced the room feverishly. There had to be something she could do. Something to halt the inevitable in its tracks.

The curtains shifted again, and her heart thudded frenetically. She strode to the window and slammed it shut, the action more than satisfying. But at the sudden noise, her baby began to wail.

"Oh, Diddykins," she cried, scooping him up. Then, realizing what she had done, put him back down immediately and backed off. Perhaps it would be best if she wasn't around him so much. It was, after all, her genes that had brought this on...

Tears sprung to her eyes. She would never be able to get away from it! She had half a mind to leap on a train, scream at her sister, slap the smirking new husband.

A rumbling car engine. The slamming of a door. No doubt a key in the lock, but she couldn't hear it over the howling baby. She threw a diaper and smug teddy bear into the crib, though what a newborn could do with either, she didn't know. She then clambered down the stairs as fast as her house slippers could take her.

"Petunia," her husband beamed, pecking her on the cheek from the doorway. "How's our little man?" He glanced up the staircase, in the direction of the cries. The poor baby sounded like he was ripping his throat in two. The noise sliced her ears.

"Oh, Vernon," Petunia gasped, clinging to his lapels. "I think our boy's a wizard!"

A bemused look stumbled across his face, then a frown. When she didn't take a step back, brush it off as a bad joke, his face began a slow descent from healthy hues to mottled rose. He tried to cross his arms, but missed.

I'm so sorry I dragged you into this.

A/N: The aim of ciararose's In the Moment Challenge was to write a one shot with no background information, just forward motion, and to get lost in the emotion of the moment. This is a little rough, and very short, as I wrote it the day before the deadline. Edits are to come.

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