A/N: The world of Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling, I'm only borrowing them to take extreme liberties with them! Okay, here's my take on Harry's seventh year! (Heaven help me…). Song credits to ABBA and Shelley Faberes.
More Important Things
There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando
Though I never thought that we could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando
Petunia Evans hummed this song as she peered carefully into the mirror in front of her, expertly applying her blue shimmer eyeshadow. Her hair was in curlers and her make-up was scattered over the sink. She frowned at the reflection of the bright orange pantsuit behind her. She didn't want to wear it but her sister had somehow used that foul magic of hers to guard her closet and her clothes and therefore made them inaccessible for this emergency.
Glinda, her good friend, had called to inform her that Billy Conner would be at the roller rink tonight.
She sighed dreamily at the thought of the object of her crush. His blond hair and baby blue eyes. And that smile!
Petunia tossed down the applicator in frustration. She always felt a bit clownish when she dolled herself up like this. She could never get her make up just right like her sister could. Again, probably that blasted magic. The gift that, through some cosmic joke, was bestowed upon her sister, not her.
Giving up on the make-up, she left the bathroom to return to her own room, passing the closed bedroom door of her sister's on the way. Suddenly, she stopped. Muffled voices could be heard from the other side of the door, dotted with the giggles of her sister. Petunia's eyes widened and she burst into the room.
"Petunia!" Lily cried out as she and a dark-haired boy with glasses sprang away from each other. "What are you doing?"
Petunia smirked. "Taking advantage of the fact that Mum and Dad are away?"
"Get out of my room!" Lily ordered as she hastily buttoned her blouse.
Petunia leaned against the doorframe. "Forgot to lock the door," she sighed. "Too bad you can't do magic for another week."
The boy her sister was with suddenly spoke up. "But I can," he said as he slowly drew out his wand.
"James, stop it!" Lily scolded as Petunia eyed him nervously. "Petunia, what do you want?"
"Are you bribing me to forget what I've seen here?" she asked.
"Come on, Lily, just let me Obliviate her," James pleaded jokingly.
"What do you want?" Lily repeated.
Petunia's eyes fell on a poster on her sister's wall. Lily's beloved poster of David Cassidy. "That," she stated.
"Done," James answered.
"No, what!" Lily asked bewildered.
"He's an ugly git anyway," James shrugged. Lily gaped at him for a moment longer before shaking her head in defeat.
"Fine," Lily said grudgingly.
Seeing an opportunity, Petunia pounced again. "And your Vanderbilts," she added quickly.
"Why you little…" Lily stormed toward her sister but the boy held her back.
Petunia darted into her sister's room and grabbed the jeans off of the floor before quickly leaving the room, slamming the door behind her, leaving her fuming sister and her boyfriend that had to deal with her.
Johnny Angel, how I love him.
He's got something I can't resist,
but he doesn't even know that I exist.
Johnny Angel, how I want him.
How I tingle when he passes by.
Every time he says "Hello" my heart begins to fly.
"Oh, wow!" Glinda said as Petunia walked up to the rink. Glinda was wearing her drab jeans and a yellow halter. "Where did you get those?"
"Do they look alright on me?" Petunia asked as she modeled her "new" jeans and blouse.
"You look fabulous!"
Petunia beamed and stepped up to the rink, immediately spotting the blond head of Billy's. Hanging nearby him was the resident flake, Molly Bradley. Petunia and Glinda once again dove into the topic of how tacky it was to have a first and last name that ended in the same sound.
"She's so tacky," Petunia sniffed.
"Utterly hopeless," Glinda confirmed.
As if knowing the two girls were talking about her, Molly looked over at them. She muttered something to the group of girls around her and they burst into giggles. Billy, who had been privy to whatever Molly had said glanced at Petunia. The world suddenly seemed to stop as they locked eyes.
"Oh my God! He's coming this way!" Glinda said, grabbing her friend's arm.
Panic and alarm hit Petunia and she suddenly wished very much that she could sink into the floor.
"Petunia Evans, right?" he said in the most beautiful voice she had ever heard. But she suddenly seemed incapable of speech. Her friend, who was standing next to her, closed her mouth and gave her friend a sharp nudge.
"Y-yes," she managed to spit out.
"Right," Billy smiled sending butterflies into her stomach. "Well, I was wondering if you were free next Saturday."
"She is," Glinda answered right away and Billy smiled that smile again.
"Great. There's a new disco in town and I wanted to check it out. Pick you up at nine?"
"Y-yes," Petunia stammered out again.
"Alright then, see you there!"
"Well, then? What did you say?" Lily asked eagerly as she sat on her sister's bed.
Petunia groaned and covered her head in her hands. "I said yes."
"Well that's great then!"
"No. Yes was the only word I spoke to him to every question he gave me."
"Oh. Well did you not want to go?"
"Of course I do!" Petunia bit her lower lip in uncertainty. "But he's picking me up at nine. How do I get past curfew?"
Lily smiled and waved her wand in front of her. "Leave that to me."
So the longest week of Petunia's life passed so so slowly. At last, Saturday arrived and Lily let her borrow another one of her dresses.
"You look beautiful," Lily said as she tried on a dress.
Petunia turned to look at her sister. "I know we don't always get along but…thank you."
Lily looked at her for a long time. "You're welcome."
And with her parents so distracted by whatever Lily had done, Petunia snuck out of the house.
Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music's high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You're in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance
You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine ohh yaaa
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
Ooo.. see that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen
"Is this the place?" Petunia asked as Billy stopped the car by a park.
"No, we're making a little stop here," Billy said as he opened his car door. He walked around to her side and opened her door.
Billy suddenly darted away from her as someone ran up to her and splashed an entire bucket of water over her, ruining her hair and dress. There was more laughter from all sides of her as horse dung was thrown at her.
"Did you really think he wanted to go out with you, Horseface?" Molly's voice rang out and everyone laughed. Including Billy.
It was Lily who found her outside their front porch, high heels broken, dress wet and clinging to her as she shivered and smelled horrible.
"What happened?" Lily asked softly.
Petunia collapsed into her sister's arms. "Don't tell mum," she sobbed.
Lily sat and cried with her.
She left a week later for Hogwarts, a place where Petunia couldn't follow. A place where she didn't belong and couldn't be with her sister. She had to be brave for her own first day at school. No doubt, everyone by now had heard of what happened to her that night.
But from when she walked into the school doors until she came back home at the end of the day, not a word was said about the incident. In fact, Billy and Molly were nowhere to be seen. Glinda had informed her of their fates.
"Oh my God! Molly didn't show up for school today. Rumor has it that she has come down with a terrible case of acne. Her face is all spotty. Her parents have taken her to every doctor in town and no one can help her!"
Petunia was speechless.
"And Billy! Billy didn't come to school either because he has lost all his hair! Well almost all of it. There's a bunch of it growing out of his ears!"
"Oh gross," Petunia wrinkled her nose.
"I know! He tried to trim it but it kept growing and growing!"
As soon as Petunia arrived home, she ran up to her room and shut the door. She went to her desk and began to write a letter to her sister. A week later, her reply came.
Of course I did it. You didn't think I would let them get away with what they had done? Anyway, let's just say I know some people who are really clever with this kind of stuff.
Present Day: Summer Before Seventh Year
Petunia stood at her sink, lost in reverie as the dishes in front of her soaked untouched in the soapy water. She lifted her hand and clicked off the oldies station on the radio. A profound sense of loneliness had settled upon her ever since her nephew had delivered the news to her.
"Dumbledore is dead," he had said.
Dumbledore, the powerful wizard that Lily had spoken so reverently about. The wizard who had made her swear the night her sister was murdered that she would care for her son.
Petunia despised Harry. He represented the world that had taken her sister from her, he held a power that she so coveted. But she always thought that a greater power, Dumbledore, would always look over him.
But he was gone now.
And now it became very clear to her that she was alone in this battle. A dangerous and powerful wizard who had murdered her sister would soon come to finish what he had started. And the burden of her task was suddenly illuminated. Harry was protected here because of the bond of blood, her sister's blood that ran inside her nephew and ran inside her own. But that protection would end at her nephew's seventeenth birthday, only a few weeks away. And Petunia was frightened, afraid suddenly that the boy would not make it on his own after that. Lily gave her own life for her son, it was Petunia's job to watch over him. At the time her sister needed her the most, Petunia had failed her in the worst way. And now the boy would die, taking the last of her sister with him.
Petunia gripped the edged of the sink and let out a loud sob. She cried for her sister and for her failure to protect her only son. She sank to the kitchen floor and let her body shake with her sobs. She didn't care, she was alone in the house. Vernon and Dudley were not at home and her nephew was holed up in his room upstairs. So she cried and cried and cried.
But she was not alone.
Harry wasn't in his room. He was sitting against the wall in the hallway, hidden from sight, listening.
Song credits to ABBA and Shelley Faberes.