walk down the street dragging Dudley behind you and listening to
Vernon prattle on about his drills, your mind wanders back to a day
almost like this.
You are being dragged behind your mom, listening to Lily chatter on about this boy at school. One that she used to hate, but now he's changed and so everything is just peachy keen. You hear a fragment of the conversation that sets your mind on fire: "...and he's coming over for dinner tonight."
When you arrive home, you see that Violet has called and you call back and forget all about that strange boy from the 'freak' school.
The door rings but you ignore that too, someone else can get it.
"Petunia! Dinner!" you hear Lily yell.
You don't reply because ever since she started that school your friendship was never the same. You wish you could go back to when you were 10 and you could go play on the swings like you used to...and reprimand Lily for jumping off because "mum told you not to."
But things change and you haven't talked like that in years.
You descend the stairs and when you reach the dinner table you notice his back is facing you. You also notice he has hair that won't stay flat, sticking up in all directions. You think that he could have at least made an effort to look presentable before he came here. You take a seat at your spot and you're introduced:
"James Potter, nice to meet you Petunia."
You avoid his gaze until you hear him say your name. Never has your name sounded so good before; you think. You reply with a stuttered:
He just grins back and you notice that he has the most beautiful hazel eyes you have ever seen...not like the mud brown of Vernon's eyes, you think.
All through dinner he cracks jokes and regales everyone with stories of his adventures with his friends and the first time you laugh, your family pauses and looks at you in shock- because you never were a laughing type of person...until James Potter came along.
You frown when they leave for a quick walk after dinner. Your parents look at you strangely but you make it seem like you're just annoyed at having to clean up. They accept that because, what else could it be?
When James and Lily arrive back, you see how Lily's face is flushed and how happy she looks as she hands him back his coat. You feel jealousy surge inside you and you know you shouldn't feel this way; especially because they belong together, and you see Lily smile at home where she hasn't smiled in a long time, and most of all because you have Vernon.
Sure, you have Vernon, but he is nothing like James Potter. He isn't funny, kind, charming, or toned. Quite the opposite actually.But he is yours. Something that James Potter will never be.
Later on that night once James has left, Lily approaches you and shows you her hand. You see a small silver ring with an emerald heart in the centre.
"Isn't it beautiful Tuney?" asks Lily excitedly. "James proposed!"
There is a moment of shock and anger that pulses through your veins, and then:
You walk back to your room closing the door and shed tears for the man you'll never have. Truly, you do love Vernon, and deep inside you're happy for Lily.
But when the wedding invitation arrives, you make an excuse that you promised Vernon you would go to dinner and meet his parents.
You are happy for her. Really. You are. Is that why you don't attend the wedding?
After that, your relationship falls apart.
Until one day, a small bundle appears on your doorstep with a letter addressed to you- a letter that states you have full custody of the child wrapped in the blankets. You pull back the blankets and are in shock at what you see- a younger James Potter, with your sister's eyes.
Your relationship has fallen apart and can't be repaired- because James and Lily are gone forever.
As you lay Harry, as the letter states his name is, down in the crib with Dudley, you think about how you can make up for all the things you said and did.
So when Vernon is off at work and Dudley is with playing with her son Piers, you treat Harry kindly, and you play with him. He in return doesn't breathe a word, but as soon as Vernon arrives home, everything goes back to normal.
The day you treat him to a bowl of Vernon's ice cream, just happens to be the day Vernon notices that there is less ice cream in the tub than there was the night before. As soon as Harry steps in the room, you watch as Vernon accuses him of eating the ice cream.
"Vernon, leave the boy alone, I was the one that ate the ice cream." you say.
"It's the middle of winter, you never eat ice cream in the winter" says Vernon with an incredulous look on his face.
"Yes, well today I had a craving." you reply and Vernon doesn't argue because that isn't what a normal family does. He grumbles to himself and walks into the living room and you follow, turning to look at Harry. You wink at him and he smiles slightly.
And when you look at Harry in that moment, you imagine a seventeen year old James with his wonderful hazel eyes, grinning at you from behind his wire rimmed glasses as he sits beside Lily. As if you were still in that moment and Lily and James were right here with you.
And it may have been a trick of the light, but he swears that Aunt Petunia just winked at him.