Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: There are things Petunia doesn't think of.
Author's Note: Inspired by word #45 on the 15minuteficlets livejournal community, because I know about sisters, and I sympathize even if I don't agree. Any canon goofs, grammar mistakes, continuity errors, implausible characterizations, boring passages, and Americanisms are entirely my fault.
There are things Petunia doesn't think of.
She doesn't think of her childhood, when she and Lily played together, when Lily made balls of colored light that floated around the garden, when she washed and bandaged Lily's perpetually skinned knees.
Instead, she remembers the way the boys grinned shyly at her sister but called her horse-face, the way their parents lavished smiles on Lily's scribbled artwork and didn't mention her own careful efforts at baking. She always cleaned up after herself, never leaving flour strewn around the kitchen the way Lily left crayons and chalk all over the floor, but nobody noticed that either.
She doesn't think of Lily's eleventh birthday, when the owl came with the funny letter. She doesn't think of the stern witch who guided the family on a tour of Diagon Alley. She doesn't think of the way she longed to wave a wand, to brew a potion, to ride a broom.
Instead, she remembers the way Lily left, the way their parents seemed to lose the spring from their steps, the way none of her biscuits could cheer them up, the way they pounced on each owl-delivered letter, ignoring her own reports of daily life. She started to spend time away in the evenings, time with boys, and nobody objected. Nobody seemed to notice if she went with bad boys, even while their mother lectured Lily about that James Potter.
She doesn't think of the childhood pictures Lily charmed to move, the ones that show two sisters laughing together. She doesn't think of Lily's frozen face at their parents' funeral. She doesn't think of the way Lily leaned into James's side, the same way she herself leaned into the solid, tangible comfort of Vernon's arm.
Instead, she remembers the scraped, hollow feeling of coming home from the pub with Vernon only to discover the windows smashed, their father's corpse frozen in a silent scream, their mother's body bloody and twisted on the bathroom floor. She remembers the livid green skull, made of glowing smoke, that floated over the roof. She remembers that the wizard police came too late, that they shrugged off her questions, that they talked over her head as if she were less than human simply because she had no magic.
She doesn't think of the letter Lily sent before she and James went into hiding. She doesn't think of the desperate concern in Lily's voice when she spoke of her new baby. She doesn't think of what she'd want for Dudley should anything happen to her and Vernon.
Instead, she remembers a squalling brat left on her doorstep without so much as a single warning. She remembers a chilling, high-handed letter from that Dumbledore person. She remembers the fear of magic back in her home, the fear of the green skull, the knowledge that wizards are as petty and fallible as anyone else, but they can do so much more to hurt her than normal people.
And so she feeds her nephew, and dresses him, and hates him for Lily's eyes and James's hair and the way that she can't quite make herself throw him out. Because even if he brings death upon her home, he's her last link to her parents and to Lily.
But Petunia doesn't think of that.
She thinks of bright smiles, stolen attention, messy floors, and magic. She thinks of cold graves, terror, and death. And she makes Harry as little like Lily as she can.
AN: Thank you for reading, and please review. I appreciate all feedback, but I'm particularly interested in knowing what parts of the story worked for you, what parts didn't, and why.