Author's Note: I sincerely apologize for how delayed this update is and how short. I have been busy the past few months with a few too many different projects and I didn't have much time to formalize how this chapter would go. I had a few too many ideas of which point of view to start with until a gentle nudge from Petunia said to start with her point of view. This came out and it's a bit - well sweet. Really and she'd glare me to Hades if she knew I said that. Ah well, the amazingness of one-shot times with characters.
The Start of Something Different
Petunia Evans, once Dursley, hated this. She had wanted to stay in Surrey. She had wanted to remain in the neighbourhood she had come to call home instead of this village in the middle of almost nowhere.
But then there was Harry.
That poor little boy, who'd somehow wormed his way into her heart and remained there. He'd been so frail in the hospital. He'd looked so tiny, so cold and so much reminded her of Lily in his sleep. He had her eyes for God's sake!
She remembered the day of the accident. She remembered how strongly Duddy had fought to stay by his cousin's side as the medics came to the scene. She remembered how she had been torn for her cool hatred towards the boy for merely existing and her worry that she'd never see those brilliant verdant eyes again.
She had lost her sister. Lost her and felt no remorse for losing her.
Having seen the damage done to the child and how staunchly Dudley stood by his cousin's side – how defensive, protective and almost grateful…she couldn't help but be forced to look on at her mistakes. She hated what she saw then hated what it done to her relationship with Vernon.
The world was a cruel place.
However, she was a practical woman. She listened to the Nurse, Andy Tonks, day in and day out whenever she visited her comatose nephew; listened to the progress, listened to the stories of Lily. She listened because of that old nosey codger.
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of that school that took away her sister and yes she still blamed him for that loss; blamed him thoroughly because she didn't carry the magic in her veins. It had been days, then weeks then months until finally Petunia understood.
She understood the dark parts of her soul. She understood what she put her family through with her distance and insensitivity to what wasn't natural. She understood and hated that part of herself.
After coming to that realization, things progressed for the worse. Her relationships strained, her heart was in chaos but all for that little hope that the boy would at least wake up.
When Harry did finally wake – she'd been in the middle of a loud argument with her soon to be ex-husband.
She remembered it all too well.
They had come to the hospital to visit the nephew. For Petunia it was a sincere look at the child, for Vernon – it was a horrible core.
"Why are we visiting the little freak of a boy?" He grumbled as he threw himself in the chair farthest away from the hospital bed. There were about three other families in the room and the curtains separating each patient weren't thick enough to block out all the noise.
"Vernon," She hissed, looking around. "He's my sister's child. He can't be faulted for his parents' freakishness. We've been over this."
An electric silence filled the air and only the muffled conversations spread across the room could be heard in the background. The tension palpable until it was broken by Vernon standing up with a scrape of the chair.
"I've had it up to here with this!" The last word Uncle Vernon stuttered. Petunia watched his skin turn the unattractive colour of puce and his handlebar moustache quiver.
"He's a child. If it was Dudley…"She whispered frantically – wondering what the others thought of them.
"He's not our son!" Vernon nearly roared. There was a pause as the families of the other patients in the room looked at them in shock. Petunia watched with an entranced mortification as they glared at their direction. "You – said…you said that the best way not to let his freakiness to affect us is to stamp it out of him! You said that if we took him in…gave him a place to sleep, some clothes, some things to eat and taught him his place…you said it would not have to change things for us! That those freaks like his parents – like your bloody sister – wouldn't do anything to us! Now look at where we are Petunia. I should have listened to my mother when it came to you and your family!"
There was a gasp and a loud smack against skin. In that moment, Petunia acted before he finished the last sentence.
"Get out!" She whispered with barely contained temper. Vernon realized what had happened and in his shock he looked at her feeling his cheek.
"I said get out!"
After that moment Vernon turned vile; almost violent but never in front of Dudley, thankfully. Things had become so bad that he left two weeks before Christmas. He'd left for Majorca with his sister for a vacation and not once looked back. She let him go, knowing that there was nothing left for them.
She threw herself into looking after Dudley and Harry. She made certain she got into discussions with Andy Tonks, the nurse who'd been assigned specifically to Harry by Dumbledore. She knew that the Nurse had to be magical somehow but she was finally done with her prejudices. She wanted something genuine, a friendship – maybe not as close as she had been with her sister – but having someone to talk to who didn't know anything.
Andy helped especially after the divorce papers came in. Petunia came to the painful conclusion as to what an ape of a man she married. Things then shifted afterwards. They were coming to blows over who owned Number 4 Privet Drive and a boatload of other things.
With Andy helping her muddle through everything – came Dumbledore's "assistance". Vernon was allocated the house while Petunia kept Dudley.
This led to her having to find a place to stay, a job and a multitude of other responsibilities that overwhelmed Petunia but her practical, pragmatic nature wouldn't allow her to fall into darkness.
With Andy and Dumbledore – she was allocated into a small village with an office position. She shuddered at the fact that it was the Headmaster of her sister's…odd…for better lack of a word that wasn't derogatory helping her. Well, helping because of Harry's presence and not really for her.
Either way, in time of need – she was grateful that at least someone was doing something to get some of the confusion out of the way. She was still unhappy and wished that all this heartache would end.
"Aunt Petunia, Mr. Weasley is looking for you. Aunt Petunia?"
Startled out of her thoughts Petunia looked towards the little boy who had changed her world for better or for worse – hopefully the first. His verdant eyes so like her sister's returned her look with ever brimming curiosity and a strange, ethereal wisdom. Midnight black hair swept across his brows and his translucent skin almost reminded her of what she thought a lost boy could look like. By letting him into her life she was getting that second shot at something…innocent.
"Harry," She whispered with a faint smile, glad for once she followed her heart. "I'll be down in a moment."
"Alright, is everything alright?"
A pause then her smile deepened a little. "Yes my dear, everything is alright now."
"Good. Dudley and I are sorting out our rooms let us know if you need anything."
She nodded and sighed. That dear, sweet boy – how could she have ever treated him so poorly?