Dr. Lily Potter
Once Upon A Time Characters Category Challenge-tition - Competition: Archie/Jiminy Cricket - "Write a therapist!AU."
- age nine -
Lily Evans watched silently, green eyes wide in awe, as her older sister carefully wrote out her application letter to Hogwarts, the most prestigious boarding school in London.
Petunia was sitting at the kitchen table, her pale hair falling in ringlets around her face, nose scrunched in concentration.
"There," she said finally, setting down her quill and picking up her paper. Her dark eyes roamed the looping ink. When she was satisfied there were no mistakes, she carefully folded the paper into a square. "It's finished."
"Do you think you'll get accepted?" Lily asked eagerly, twirling a lock of her red hair around her finger.
Petunia smiled at her. "Of course. And then, next year, when you write your application, we'll be able to go to school together."
Lily beamed at her older sister. She couldn't wait to turn ten so she could finally apply to the school.
Boarding school with Petunia sounded like a dream come true.
- age ten -
Lily was writing out her own Hogwarts application when Petunia entered the kitchen.
"You're still applying?" Petunia cried incredulously.
She hadn't been accepted, and it was obvious that the wound was still raw. Seeing Lily attempting to apply must've been a painful reminder of what she had missed.
"Yes, I'm applying," Lily replied. "Maybe I'll get in, even though you didn't."
Petunia snorted. "That's impossible," she scoffed, but Lily didn't miss the hurt that flashed through her eyes.
- age eleven -
Lily bounced excitedly on her toes, the wooden train platform creaking slightly beneath her boots. The cold September breeze ruffled her long hair.
Her father came up beside her, carrying a large, overfilled trunk.
Lily's mother approached right behind him, smiling at her youngest daughter.
"Are you ready, love?" Mr. Evans asked, setting Lily's trunk by her feet.
"Yes, Dad, I'm ready," Lily laughed.
Mrs. Evans reached forward, adjusting Lily's scarf. "Are you sure you have everything? Clothes, vitamins, books-"
"Mum, I'm fine," Lily interrupted, but she was grinning fondly.
The train whistle cut through the air.
"Well, it's time," Lily said, sighing happily.
As she dragged her trunk onto the train, she was vaguely aware of her mother, shouting, "Don't forget to write!"
Lily found an empty compartment and sat down.
She ignored the fact that Petunia had refused to come see her off.
- age twelve -
Lily was back at home for the summer holidays. As the family gathered around the dinner table, Lily couldn't stop chattering excitedly about school- about her new best friend, Alice, and about the absolutely infuriating James Potter.
"Lily!" Petunia screeched suddenly.
All conversation at the table stopped.
Petunia's eyes flashed with burning hatred. Lily swallowed hard- she had never seen her sister look at her like that.
"I need to be excused," Petunia spat coldly, bitterly.
She left the dining room without another word.
There was a moment of stunned silence.
Mrs. Evans jumped up from her seat, rushing after Petunia.
Lily poked the food around her plate.
She was no longer hungry.
- age seventeen -
Lily stood proudly in the Hogwarts dining hall.
All around her, parents and families had gathered to watch the graduation ceremony.
Holding her head and her rolled-up diploma high, Lily beamed at the crowd. Her green eyes sought out the faces of her parents. They smiled radiantly at her, joy glowing in their faces.
Then Lily noticed the empty seat next to them. A seat that they had probably reserved for Petunia…
… Petunia, who hadn't showed up.
Lily's grin faltered. Her sister hadn't even come to see her graduate.
She swallowed hard. It didn't matter. It wasn't like she had spoken to Petunia even once in the last five years.
The last hope she had in her heart that her sister still cared was snuffed out for good.
- age twenty-three -
Lily held her newborn son in her arms. The hospital room was quiet as she watched him with a smile.
"Hello, Harry," she whispered.
Just then, the door to the room burst open, and James was standing in the doorway, glasses slightly crooked, grinning at her.
"How are you feeling, love?" he asked, taking a seat in the chair beside the bed.
"I'm doing great," Lily replied, beaming back at him. "Harry's been asleep this whole time."
"Your parents are waiting outside," James told her. "Should I tell them they can come see you?"
"Is Petunia with them?" Lily blurted.
James stopped smiling and looked down at the floor. "Sorry, love," he whispered finally.
Lily felt tears prick at the corner of her eyes, but she blinked them away.
"Tell Mum and Dad to come on in. I want them to meet Harry."
- age twenty-nine -
Lily rubbed her eyes as she stared down at the stack of papers in front of her. She loved being a therapist, she really did, but sometimes, the paperwork was a little overwhelming.
She focused back on the files on her desk. She was going to be meeting with a new patient today, a woman by the name of "Mrs. Dursley." According to the files, she had requested counseling due to family problems.
Lily chuckled dryly. She could relate.
There was a knock on the door to her office.
"Come on in," Lily called.
Her secretary poked her head into the room. "Dr. Potter? Can I tell Mrs. Dursley to come in now?"
"Yes, thank you," Lily replied with a tired smile.
Her secretary nodded and left, shutting the door gently behind her.
Lily ran her hands through her hair, trying to smoothen it out a bit, when she heard the door open once more.
"Dr. Potter?" a voice asked.
"Have a seat," Lily began kindly, glancing up.
Then she froze.
Standing in her office was a woman, tall and elegant and desperately familiar.
Lily gasped. Someone who she hadn't seen, hadn't spoken to, in over a decade.
Her voice was barely a whisper.
Petunia swallowed hard, nodded once. "Lily."
Lily blinked harshly. She hadn't heard that voice in years.
"I-" Lily stammered, words failing her. "I suppose you should sit down, then."
Petunia perched regally on the edge of one of the numerous plush couches in the room.
Neither sister spoke.
It was Lily who finally broke the silence. "You… You requested therapy. To discuss… family issues."
"What-" Lily stopped, taking a deep breath. "You're married."
Petunia raised an eyebrow.
"Your last name," Lily hastily explained herself, words tumbling out of her mouth, spilling over each other. "It's- It's Dursley."
"That it is," Petunia sighed. "I have a husband. And a son."
"A son?" Lily squeaked. "What's- What's his name?"
"Dudley," Petunia said with a fond smile. "His name is Dudley." She paused, eyeing her younger sister. "And you have a son as well, I believe."
"Yes," Lily replied faintly. "Harry. His name is Harry."
"You do?" Lily felt her shock fading quickly into anger. "Why, Petunia?" she demanded. "Why did you suddenly act like I didn't exist? Why did you completely shut me out of your life? You just weren't there, anymore, Petunia!" She was shouting now. "Why did you come back now?"
Lily stood, slamming her hands on her desk, rage boiling in her blood.
Petunia, however, seemed completely unfazed.
"To be fair," Petunia said after a moment of silence, "I had no idea that you were 'Dr. Potter.'"
Lily collapsed back into her seat, feeling exhausted.
"I don't know what to say, 'Tuney," she whispered, using an old childhood nickname for her older sister.
Lily glanced up, meeting her sister's eyes.
"How about-" Petunia paused, as if gathering her courage. "How about we go for lunch? And maybe… maybe we can talk, for a bit. And then you can help me. With… with therapy. You know. Like I signed up for." Petunia hesitated awkwardly, wringing her hands.
Never before had Lily seen her sister look so nervous, so… vulnerable.
Maybe that was what prompted her to give Petunia a second chance. To maybe try to start things over again.
"Okay," Lily said, standing once more. "But you're paying for lunch."
A ghost of a smile flickered across Petunia's face.