A few days ago, Petunia had received a letter from her sister, whom she had not seen for the past three years. And while she often tore those letters up in an angry fit, Petunia decided that she did indeed miss her baby sister, albeit she would sooner bite off her tongue than admit it out loud. So she stashed the letter away in her dresser drawer as her baby angel had begun to cry in his nursery.
Lily Evans had been the perfect daughter when they were children. The perfectly special child and Petunia—the unfortunately not quite as special one. Believe it or not, there had been a special time in their lives where Petunia and Lily got on very well with one another. While they would occasionally have their rows over who was going to play the fairy princess, Lily would always come crawling back to Petunia with an apology and Petunia loved her for it. She decided then that she would always love and forgive her baby sister because she was Lily’s older sister and that was her job.
Petunia was used to always winning. As the eldest, their parents often sided with her because she knew best. Petunia didn’t blame Lily for her mishaps by any means, however strange things were beginning to happen around her baby sister and Lily had all of the sudden, stopped clinging on to Petunia. She didn’t like that. Where was her naïve, bright eyed baby sister?
Petunia decided she would be patient with Lily, often catching herself before she could knock on Lily’s bedroom door—something she’d never done before. So Petunia waited and waited – and waited.
Finally, Lily sought her out, she tugged on Petunia's arm and asked to go out to the field as if nothing had changed. Perhaps it hadn’t been too long for Lily, but Petunia wasn’t used to spending two whole days without Lily pestering her, but she agreed to accompany her to the field, however not before sighing loudly and making a big fuss out of the notion. Lily, however, remained optimistic. Which was normal, and that pleased Petunia immensely.
They ran and tumbled about on the field, laughing and giggling and just having a great time. They lay, sprawled on the long and prickly grass just staring at the cloud for a long time. It was just as Petunia began to doze off that Lily sat up with a flower petal tangled in her wavy red hair and urged her to do the same. Grumbling under her breath as she sat up, Lily gestured at her closed palm for Petunia to look. Curious, Petunia watched as Lily unfolded her fingers to reveal a bud and just like her fingers, the petals on the flower began to spread open, revealing a beautiful daisy in the bud’s place.
It was on that day that Petunia learned that magic was real and it was beautiful—and also not part of her. Angry and jealous, Petunia slapped her sister’s flower to the ground and seized her wrist in what she hoped was a painful grip. Because she wanted to hurt Lily. For being special. For getting ahead of her. For finally being able to play the fairy princess. Petunia didn’t want Lily to be different, so she would take her to their parents, maybe they could scold it out of her and make her normal again. Oh, she really hoped they could. But Lily broke free from her hold, her frightened eyes sent guilt throbbing in Petunia’s heart but she reached for her again, nonetheless-- Lily needed to get better.
But Lily ran from her. For the first time in Petunia’s life, her baby sister was running away from her. Now angry, jealous and hurt, Petunia wanted to inflict the same feelings to Lily, so she shouted at her; called her a freak and threatened to tell their mother on her, but she continued to run and Petunia came after her, shouting all the way. She felt horrid and sour as she spat all sorts of names at Lily, hoping that one of them would wound her. And that was when he showed up.
The thin and gangly boy with greasy black hair and sickly pale skin. He emerged from the hollow of the willow tree just next to the lake and Petunia instantly felt at unease. He was different as well, she could feel it. Frightened, Petunia ran, knowing that she shouldn’t have left Lily with the suspicious boy, but was too angry, too bitter to go back and get her.
That was when Lily began drifting and it was all because of that boy. Petunia told on Lily’s strange powers and her parents were instantly as proud as peacocks, calling them special gifts; fawning over their new favourite daughter. All was worse when Lily received a letter from Hogwarts, some sort of school for magical children. Petunia had written to this Dumbledore person, requesting that she be allowed to go there as well—perhaps they could teach her how to be special.
But a few days later, Petunia received a reply. She nearly tore up the letter while trying to get it out of the envelope but her heart sank when the awfully squiggly handwriting carried bad news. The worst thing was, Lily had found out about it, peering over her shoulder like the nosy child she was. Petunia snapped. She hated Lily! She hated their parents and she hated the stupid idea of magic. It wasn’t real! If it was then why couldn’t she do it too? If magic was so wonderful, why was it unfair?
She was afraid. Lily was going to drift even further away from her now and they already haven’t been on the best terms since the letter incident. She was already doing all sorts of amazing things and this time, it was going to be Petunia who couldn’t keep up. It was Petunia who was going to be left behind. While their parents were singing praises to their precious, magical daughter; Petunia, out of an act of rebellion, decided that if Lily was their favourite then she was going to dedicate her life to being her exact opposite. If Lily was magical then Petunia was going to be normal. She’ll be as normal as one could get and nothing was going to convince her otherwise.
Petunia hated Lily. At least she wanted to think so but deep inside, she knew she could never hate her only baby sister. She merely hated how she could no longer understand her. Her strange idioms and belongings; she became something Petunia could no longer understand—a freak, truly.
So even as she got married to the plainest man in London and Lily, to that ruffian called Potter, she pretended she didn’t miss her little sister. For years she tried and tried to convince herself that the little Lily in her memories no longer existed. But she couldn’t help but missed her dreadfully.
For years and years of stubbornness, Petunia Evans, now a Dursley, continued to throw away the letters that had her sister’s handwriting on the envelop. All but one.
On a quiet day after Mr. Dursley had left for work and her angel Dudley asleep in his crib, she pulled the letter from her drawer and began to read. She was surprised to find that Lily had given birth. And to a baby boy whom she and her ruffian of a husband decided to name: Harry. She wanted to scoff and tell her sister that it was a dreadfully common name and just what was she thinking? Naming her son Harry? But as she dug deeper into the letter, Petunia was soon crying for all the things that she wanted to say to her sister would remain unsaid. Because she had already decided that she would live a life of normalcy and there was just no room for her world in Petunia’s small life.
On Tuesday, the night of Halloween, Petunia had just tucked her precious little Dudley in when she remembered that she needed to set the milk bottles outside for the milkman to collect. Doing so, the alarming sight of a baby’s crib ripped a scream from her throat and Petunia quickly stopped herself before she woke her neighbors. Bending down and scooping the basket up to hurry inside, she was joined by her husband, who was equally shaken after hearing her scream. He had been none too pleased about finding an abandoned child on his doorstep but even more so when Petunia recognized those eyes.
She repeated the word like a mantra in her head as she tore open the envelope in the baby’s basket. With every word the letter brought upon only more pain in Petunia’s heart. Lily was dead.
Magic was a lie. If magic was so wonderful then why had it betrayed her sister? Why had Lily's life been taken by the one thing she loved most in the world? Magic was evil. Magic took away her only little sister and now it left her with the child who had Lily's eyes to taunt her. A bond of blood lasted a lifetime and Petunia meant it when she said she would love and forgive her baby sister forever. But Petunia could not forgive Lily this time. Not when she was no longer her older sister. Not when Lily was no longer of this world. How was Petunia supposed to forgive her when Lily’s left her behind for good?
Harry looked up at her aunt, his gleaming green emeralds looking all too familiar. Petunia’s heart squeezed painfully in her chest but she refused to cry. Instead, with a hardened heart, she decided that she would not love this child. Because he would remind her endlessly of the sister she would never see again. Why was he allowed to live when her sister had not? Why has it not been him in her place? Why was he Harry Potter—the boy who lived? Whose name will go down in history like a worshiped god? What has this boy done to deserve his life? What about Lily? What about her little sister?
Magic was unfair and wicked and dangerous—for it had taken away the only family she had left and would not give her back.