Petunia Dursley loved her life, as anyone in her position would. She had a fabulous, normal home filled with fabulous, normal things. She had a normal husband who provided for her in every way and made her feel comfortable and safe. It didn't matter that maybe she didn't really love him, because at the end of the day she could tolerate him. Also, he gave her a baby, something she would always be grateful for.
Dudley Dursley had turned one last June with a fabulous party with all of his family, well, Vernon's family present. Her sister Lily hadn't shown up, though Petunia couldn't remember if she sent an invitation and would be damned if she would call up and ask. However, the next month she had received an invitation for her nephew Harry's party, though she never met him.
Despite her internal battle, she went, sans Vernon and Dudley just to say hello to her sister and aunt, who they had lived with after the accident. Lily had been surprised, shocked and tearful when Petunia arrived at the house, a small package for Harry.
"You came, you came!" she cried in delight, wrapping her into a firm hug and rocking back and forth. Around her no one else seemed quite as pleased that she showed up, including her brother-in-law, James.
"Hello, Petunia, fancy seeing you here," he said casually.
"Well, I was invited so it shouldn't have come as big as a shock as it did," she said brittle-like. Lily laughed and ushered her to come sit on the couch next to her and a fairly skinny man with graying hair. On closer inspection she saw he couldn't be any older than her own sister, even if he did have premature hair coloring and wrinkles.
"Crème Puff?" he asked innocently, holding it out to her. If living with a witch for four years taught Petunia anything it was that accepting something given to you was a very foolish act indeed.
She turned to him and shook her head slightly, then turned back to Lily who was holding Harry.
"You should have brought Dudley, Petunia," she said, smoothing Harry's black hair. "I would have loved to meet him."
"Hmm, maybe sometime else," Petunia said, now regretting her decision to come at all. It was beginning to get boring fairly quickly and she felt as though any minute James Potter or his friend were going throw something at her, or turn her into something.
"Can I talk to you? In private," she added.
"Erm, sure," Petunia said, getting up off the couch and walking over to the back of the house where it was curiously silent. "I really must get going-"
"Pety, I'm in a lot of trouble," Lily said abruptly. "I just need you to make me a promise. I know that you've never really like me that much…" Petunia didn't even bother protesting. "But, I mean, after mum and dad died you became different, warmer almost.
"I just want you to promise me that if something happens to James and I you'll pop in every once in a while to see Harry. To tell him about his mother when she was younger, as no one else possibly could."
"Lily, I haven't the dandiest idea-"
"Like I said, I am in a bit of trouble, right now even. I just need you to promise me that. If I should die-"
"Lil! Don't talk like that-"
"Promise me," Lily said firmly. "If I die, you will look after Harry. You will tell him all about me. You will never let him forget that he had a mother who loved him more than anything else on this planet. Tell him that he brightened my day and turned my life around just by smiling at me. Please, promise me you'll tell him."
"Alright," Petunia said grudgingly. "I will tell him how wonderful his mother was."
"Thank you," Lily said, turning around to the table and plucking a goody-bag with Sirius scrawled on it. Petunia took it with her pointer and thumb, staring at it curiously. Lily shrugged. "I saw Sirius and James around your bag before. Trust me." She gave Petunia a hug, a firm, loving, forgiving hug, let go and went back into the den with everyone else, leaving Petunia to exit the party in silence.
Three months later Petunia Dursley woke up feeling nervous. She hadn't had a good night's sleep before that, tossing and turning all night feeling as though something had gone wrong. It was the same feeling she got before boarding a plane, a feeling of utter terror and helplessness as though everything was out of her hands.
"Wake up, Vernon, you're going to be late," she mumbled to her husband, shaking him awake. She paused for a moment to look down at him, then pushed herself out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. It was true; she hadn't married out of love, but rather convenience.
An hour later she sat at the table, feeding spoonfuls of apple sauce to her gorgeous son, Dudley. He giggled and punched his fist down on the table, demanding some more.
"Aren't you a little piggy," she cooed, smoothing down his gorgeous blonde hair. He giggled and nodded as though he understood everything. Vernon came into the kitchen, smiling and humming to himself. He kissed his son's head and then his wife's quickly downing a cup of orange juice.
"Well, I must be off," he said. Petunia stood up in protest.
"Have some breakfast," she said, walking over to the plate she had made up for him. He shook his head, going over to his briefcase. "Some toast at least? For the care ride there?"
He turned back to her with a smile and accepted the toast then walked to the foyer to pull on his jacket and hate.
"I'll be back before six, Petunia," he called.
"Drive safely," she called back, looking back down at her son. He was everything she could ever imagine; everything she could have hoped for.
"Petunia, dear, could you come out here please?" Vernon sounded nervous and furious. She pushed herself up from the table and quickly walked to the door where Vernon was standing, staring down in horror at a small, blue bassinet.
"What is it, Vernon?" she asked curiously.
"Here," he barked, "it's addressed to you." She didn't take it immediately, instead walked over to the other side of the bassinet and peered into it.
"Why, Vernon, it's a baby!" she cried.
"I know what it is, dear, I am wondering why it's here and why it came with a note addressed to you," Vernon snarled. Petunia looked up at him and accepted the note while motioning him to pick up the baby and bring him into the kitchen. Vernon did as he was told and placed the baby on the kitchen table, next to their son.
Petunia slowly began to read the note, a cold feeling seeping deeper and deeper into her as she did. When she finished the letter she crumpled it in anger, her face white, hands clenched. Her breathing was short and gaspy, making the hair that had gotten into her face puff out and then back in.
"What is it dear?" Vernon asked impatiently. "Petunia-"
"My sister, Vernon," she snarled at him. "My sister is dead."
There was silence in the kitchen, broke only by Dudley's grunts in exertion as he tried to peer at the new baby taking his attention.
"Well," Vernon said, clearly thrown, "what does this mean?"
"I have been instructed to keep this child, as I am the last of it's relatives living," Petunia said through clenched teeth. "It says here that I am to raise him and keep him safe until he is eleven and will be brought to that school." She spat out the last words with venom and peered down at the baby. Never in her life had she been more angry with anyone.
"Well, we won't keep him, surely!" Vernon cried. Petunia rounded on him.
"What are you saying Vernon? That we should toss the baby off the nearest bridge and wish him well in the afterlife?" She didn't wait for a reply as she advanced on her husband. "This is my sister's child, Vernon Dursley, and I will not listen to anything else about him! We will keep him and raise him as a nephew. His parents died in a car crash. Magic does not exist. When the letter comes in eleven years I will destroy it and he will grow up to be a business man or a foot doctor or something. That is how it's going to happen." She was breathing heavily as she walked from the room to the foyer where she grabbed her coat.
"Where are you going?" Vernon demanded.
"He needs somewhere to sleep, Vernon," she barked, opening the door and closing it with a slam. She strode over to the new company car and got in, feeling the cool leather against her khaki clad pants. She started the car and backed out of the driveway, pretending she didn't hear Vernon calling her name.
As she got onto the highway her anger had finally found a proper way to vent itself. Roadrage. She darted around cars, beeped furiously at the people slowing down at yellow lights. Then, she started to cry. She cried for his little sister, the one she hated so much. She cried for her nephew who would never know his wonderful mother and who was now stuck with her, his dull aunt. And finally, she cried for herself. For everything she should have had, but didn't have to nerve to get it. She cried for the loveless marriage she got herself into and the idea that love would never, ever be an option for her.
As she pulled into the parking lot the baby shop, her tears reached a new level of sobbing as she walked through the sliding doors. It must have just open because there were not many people in there at that time. She walked over and crabbed the largest push she could find. It was long and didn't have any sides. Much like one would find in a home improvement store.
She walked around in a daze, yanking small clothing off the racks and throwing them into her carriage. She got him some bedding and some sheets and some toys. Everything he would have had at home.
"Hi," someone said, coming up to her with a smile. "My name is Ashley, can I be of any help to you right now?"
"Um, where are the cribs?" Petunia asked dazedly.
"In the back, can I show you any of our newer models?" Ashley asked leading her around. The store had gotten more crowded in the half hour she had been walking around furiously. "We have this beautiful sleigh crib-"
"Listen," Petunia burst out, her voice ringing around the store, "my sister is dead. Someone left her kid on my doorstep this morning and now I am have to take care of him. So, Ashley, if you want to help me you can point me the cheapest crib you have and then leave me the hell alone!"
"Um…t-this is our cheapest crib," Ashley said, pointing at a rickety wooden one. Petunia surveyed it for a moment before turning back to Ashley.
"Well, what about the second cheapest?"
After spending more than she had in a very long time, Petunia arrived back at home and tugged everything out of the car and stumbled into the house.
"Where have you-"
"Go get the crib out of the car, please," she said immediately. Vernon gaped at her and she lost her patience. "Right now, Vernon!"
Four hours later she had finally managed to get Vernon to go to work and put the crib together. Dudley was napping peacefully in his crib while Harry sat up in his, looking around curiously. He looked up at his aunt who was glaring down at him.
"Pafut?" he asked.
"Not quite," she replied, smoothing down his untidy black hair. "I am you aunt Petunia." His green eyes, ones she knew so well, looked up at her again. "I was your mother's sister."
The baby didn't seem to think anything of this at all. She sighed and looked down at him again. He wouldn't like their world, the world she wanted him to live in. He didn't belong here, she knew that and deep down this baby probably knew it too. Maybe she would let him go to that school, the same school her sister went to, the one she should have gone too…though, she wasn't technically a witch, Lily had often asked for her help when concocting a potion or something to that affect. Because if Petunia was anything, it was an amazing problem solver. She had been top in her classes and Oxford bound when she met Vernon. He offered her stability and safety and a home, something she had always wanted. So, she accepted his proposal and convinced herself that she must love him to stick around for so long.
"You're not going to like me very much," she informed the baby. "I'm going to be cold to you, Vernon will be worse. I want to let you know that I am only doing this so you'll leave as soon as you can." The baby didn't say anything. She shook her head furiously and paced the room, trying to figure out her feelings. At one moment she was furious with the baby and with her sister and the next moment she was so sad.
"You know, you had a wonderful mother, Harry…"
Eleven Years Later
Petunia lay in bed, waiting for the alarm to go off. She had another weird feeling, which was never anything good. She knew what today was. She knew what would be coming for Harry today and she could only hope he went.
Over the years she had never exactly been unkind to him, as Vernon had, but have never really shown any love for him, because she didn't love him like a son. She had indifference for him. He annoyed her to her death sometimes, much like his mother, but she knew without him Lily's death would have been that much worse.
The alarm went off, waking her husband.
"Morning, dear," he grunted, waddling into the bathroom. She looked over at him and sighed. He had really let himself go, and she meant really. He used to be a fine looking man, a little handsome. He wasn't chubby, nor fat, but he wasn't exactly skinny. Now, he was just a wide, red man.
Downstairs at breakfast, after waking Harry, Petunia went into the kitchen and waited.
"Here," she said, handing him a plate. "Put that on the table."
"Yes, aunt Petunia," he answered immediately. She watched him over the rim of her tea and sighed, feeling as though maybe she could have done things differently. "Some more tea, aunt Petunia."
"No, go eat," she commanded. He did as she was told, flashing her with an almost grateful look. "Here, don't eat without a napkin, because I am not doing any more laundry today than needed."
"Mail's here," Vernon commented. "Dudley go get it for me."
"Make Harry get it."
"Harry go get the mail."
"Make Harry get it."
"Poke him with you Smelting's stick, Dudley."
The scrape of Harry's chair and the sound of his footsteps on the hall carpet were the only sounds in the room. He didn't return immediately, but when he did he had a confused, shocked expression on his face.
"He's got a letter!" Dudley cried. "Harry got some mail!"
"Give it back, it belongs to me!"
"Out." Vernon said weakly. "Dudley and Boy, get out. NOW!"
The boys scampered out, leaving Petunia to stand in front of her husband.
"What is it?" she asked.
"From that school," Vernon snarled.
Petunia had to make a quick decision. She could allow Harry to go to that school, or she could keep him from it as she had tried to do for so many years. She used to think how much she would have loved her sister if she had been normal. She thought that if she made Harry normal, maybe she could love him like a son.
"Well…" she said slowly. "He'll go."
"W-what?" Vernon bellowed.
"He'll go, Vernon," Petunia said firmly. "Pass me that lemon."
"He can't possibly go," Vernon cried. "I won't allow it."
"But I am," Petunia said furiously. "I've pretty much allowed you to squash it out of him, but no more, Vernon, if the boy so chooses he shall go. Now pass me that lemon."
"He won't go," Vernon replied. "I'll make sure of that. We'll get rid of the letter."
"Do as you wish," Petunia said. Her heart was beating so loud she was sure Vernon would hear it and realize her calm demeanor was about to crumble. "Rip it up then."
She got up from the table and opened the kitchen door, hitting something in the head. She stepped out and around the door to see Harry holding his head and looking apprehensive. He had realized a long time ago that Vernon was the one to fear, not Petunia.
She looked down at her nephew with an appraising look before gesturing to the living room where he was to go and get out of her way. He went quickly.
The next day three letters came.
The day after that a million letters came.
The day after that one letter and a giant, hairy man came. Harry went to Hogwarts, as Petunia wanted him to do. He learned about his parents and he is halfway to having the life his parents wanted him to.
A/N Please read and review.
Also, let me just explain a bit about this story. I was looking at the beginnings of the Harry Potter books and realized that it never really talked about how much Harry and Petunia hated each other. It discussed Dudley's hate, along with Vernon's, but never Petunia. And that is because I think she never really hated him, just resented him. I don't know if I got my point across here, in this A/N, but I hope you enjoy the story.