Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
Petunia would never have normally dared to go into Harry's room while he was back for the holidays, as she was sure that her freakish nephew, not that she ever acknowledged the boy as such, would probably curse her as soon as she set foot in there.
Today was different, however, especially after what she had found in the attic. It was of little interest to her any more, but to him it would be one of the most fascinating things ever. Normally she would not have cared about her nephew's feelings, but even Petunia Dursley knew where to draw the line with things like these.
She didn't bother to knock on the door – there was no point, he would just tell her to leave if she did – and stepped into the room to find her nephew sitting on the windowsill, those piercing emerald eyes of his staring off into the depths of oblivion, or so it seemed, as he clearly hadn't noticed her come in.
Petunia cleared her throat and Harry turned around, startled to see her in his room. He looked away again, clearly not interested in why his Aunt was there; she couldn't really blame him for acting like that.
While Harry continued to stare vacantly out of the window, Petunia allowed herself the liberty to look around the room. It was far neater than Dudley's, something she put down to the fact he only lived there for a month or so each year now, other than the piles of parchment and odd-looking books scattered around his desk. More books lined the shelves on the wall, and next to those were numerous photographs of people she presumed were his friends.
The people in the photographs were moving, something normal photographs would most certainly not do and which would, under normal circumstances, have caused Petunia's thoughts to inadvertently drift to her late sister and her abnormalities. Her mind barely registered this though, as she was too shocked by what she saw. In one of the photographs stood two uncannily familiar people, one a boy with horribly messy jet-black hair and round glasses perched on the end of his nose, the other a smiling girl whose hair was the colour of fire.
Lily and James, Petunia thought, but then she noticed the lightning-shaped scar on the boy's forehead and the fact that the girl's eyes were not green as her sister's had been, but a rich, warm shade of brown.
"Who is that?" The question caught Harry as much by surprise as it did Petunia herself; after all she had hated questions of any sort, especially from Harry, and now here she was asking him about his 'freakish' life and his 'freakish' friends.
"That's Ginny Weasley, she's a friend of mine," Harry replied, his tone of voice clearly indicating that he didn't want to discuss it further.
"She looks like Lily," Petunia said. Harry nodded in agreement then looked up in shock; not only was his aunt addressing him like she would anyone else, this was the first time Harry could ever recall her referring to his mother by her first name… the first time he could actually remember seeing tears in her watery-blue eyes.
"What is it, Aunt Petunia?" Harry asked, shocked.
"I found this," she replied, dropping something onto Harry's bed. "I thought you might want it." She stopped momentarily and turned to him, "When you leave at the end of July, just be careful not to get yourself killed like my sister did."
With that she hurriedly left the room, leaving Harry alone and more than slightly confused. He picked up what he assumed was a book, but which turned out to be a photo album, one faded and covered in the dust of time. They were all muggle photos of course, as he doubted Petunia would have been able to bear looking at anything magical, but what shocked him were the subjects of the pictures.
His aunt and uncle were of course in every one of them… along with his mother and father. Uncle Vernon didn't look too happy about this, but then again neither did his father, Harry noticed. His parents looked very young, perhaps only two or three years older than he was now, and neither had the haunted look in their eyes after seeing the horrors of war: they were probably still training as aurors at that time.
Of all these strange, unmoving muggle pictures, one caught Harry's attention the most. His mother and Aunt Petunia were standing side-by-side, smiling at the camera and looking, despite their completely different colouring, like the sisters they really had been, green eyes and blue eyes sparkling with identical happiness.
He took the photo and turned it over to see if there was anything written on the back of it. There was. 'Petunia Dursley and Lily Evans.' Next to it was a date; a date that Harry soon figured out was just before his parents would have fully joined the war effort against Voldemort.
It was then that he realised something. Petunia had never hated her sister; she had only severed ties with her because she knew she was going to lose her eventually and, in Petunia's strange reasoning, better for you to last see someone alive and hating you then to see someone who loved you cold and dead. She didn't want to lose her to the war, so she cast her away herself. Petunia pretended she didn't have a sister… because she just wanted to forget.
Perhaps Petunia Dursely hadn't hated her sister as much as he'd always thought… and, he mused, the realisation hitting him with the force of a particularly unwelcome dark curse, perhaps she had never really hated him either.