Disclaimer: All characters and settings of Harry Potter are the property of J.K. Rowling and her publishers. No money is being made.
Content: Disability

01 - Protection

It's not Dumbledore's letter that makes her defy her husband and take him in. She is not afraid of the old man, and she doesn't care for the fate of his world.

But she will never forget the moment twenty-two years ago when bright green eyes had opened to meet hers.

"You're a big sister now," her mother had said, placing the tiny baby on the three-year-old's lap. "You'll have to help us protect her."

She had failed then, but not this time. Once again, Petunia stares into green baby eyes. She holds the boy tight and closes the door.


02 - Care

Petunia is sitting in the rocking chair in the living room, holding Harry. Each night he wakes them, screaming and crying. Vernon is annoyed, but she is simply tired. Had she witnessed her parents being murdered, she'd have nightmares, too.

For a while, his crying and her singing echo through the room like an oddly matching melody, until he slowly falls silent. It will be no use bringing him back to bed, so she pulls the blanket around them tighter and closes her eyes. His little weight is warm and soft on her lap, and soon she, too, falls asleep.


03 - Contrast

At twenty-two months, Dudley is chubby and tall. He says "mummy" and "daddy", "Dudley" and "Harry", and some other words mostly centred around toys and food. Since half a year ago, he'll run to the door when he hears Vernon's car in the evening.

Harry is small for his age and doesn't eat well. He has made no move to get up from all fours, and he hasn't said a word. By now, it's too obvious to explain it away by saying all children are different. Petunia has made an appointment at the hospital. She dreads what they will find.


04 - Diagnosis

Two months and several hospital visits later, Petunia is sitting in the darkness of the living room with Harry once again. Expressions like "severe developmental delay", "brain damage", and "therapy" are echoing in her mind, and now more than ever does she hate the world that first took her sister, and now is responsible for this.

But what upsets and scares her more than the doctors' words on paper are the words her husband uses: "foster family", "adoption", "children's home".

Harry whimpers in his sleep, and she looks down at little fists clinging at her nightgown.

What will she do?


05 - Resentment

Looking at Vernon, she resents him for being so heartless. For wanting to abandon a child who has done nothing except needing a family and a home.

Looking at Harry, she resents him for not being normal, for making her lose her husband, for needing her so much.

Sometimes, she even resents Dudley, for showing her how Harry should be and never will.

More than anyone, though, she resents herself, for not being able to find a solution for all of them. She knows she will have to choose, and nobody can help her with it.

Decisions are always lonely.