Chapter 2 : Petunia
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Author's Note: First, I want to apologize for being a slow writer. Real life has just caught up with me, so I've been way too busy to write. Anyway, this chapter is dedicated to marauderfan, because I got the idea while reading her review on the last chapter. And once again, feel free to point out any mistakes.
Petunia was furious. A few hours ago, her father had expressed his worry over Lily’s expected arrival with the Potter-boy. “I am worried,” he had said, when she commented on his state of distress. Of course he was worried, Petunia had thought to herself. The only one he ever worried about was Lily, his little princess. When Petunia had informed him of Vernon’s arrival a few weeks ago, he hadn’t even responded. Instead, he had asked if the owl had arrived with a letter from Lily, ignoring her announcement completely. But Christmas will be better, Petunia had thought with a smile. Because this Christmas, Lily wouldn’t be around. So this Christmas, her father would be forced to acknowledge her and her date…. Or so she thought.
Then two weeks ago, a letter arrived from Lily. She was coming home for the holidays, just like she had promised she wouldn’t do. And if breaking that promise wasn’t enough, she wasn’t coming alone. She was bringing her sworn enemy, James Potter, because he was apparently her friend now. So as if one freak in the house wasn’t enough, Petunia would be stuck with two. Because Lily, that little freak, decided to once again outshine her. When Petunia finally thought she would be acknowledged, Lily came along and put her in the shadows. All because she couldn’t keep her promises.
This wasn’t the first time Lily broke a promise. When Petunia was ten years old, she had (and she could very well understand if someone didn’t believe her) been close to Lily. They weren’t just sisters back then, but also best friends… until Lily went and ruined it all.
It had been a beautiful summer day. Petunia was ten years old, playing hide-and-seek with her nine-year-old sister, Lily, in the garden. Lily was counting to ten, skipping a few numbers here and there, thinking her elder sister wouldn’t notice. Petunia did, but she never said anything. She was a good sister, after all.
“Ten!” Lily had shouted, instantly turning around to look for her sister. For a short while, she just stood there looking around the garden. Her beautiful red hair waving in the wind, as her emerald green eyes looked at the tree her sister stood behind. Petunia was ready to walk out, knowing her sister had already seen her. But instead of running over to her, Lily ran in the opposite direction, pretending to look for her elder sister behind a bush. Petunia had smiled, as she watched her younger sister running around looking for her in the strangest of places. Like herself, Lily was a good sister, Petunia thought.
Later that day, when Lily had finally admitted to seeing Petunia behind the tree, they had taken a picture, a picture Petunia now had on her night table as a reminder of what happened that day. Petunia was wearing her yellow summer dress, the one with white dots, and Lily her pink one. They had been hugging each other, both smiling widely to the camera. And afterwards, Lily had said those famous words that had made Petunia hate her all these years.
“We will always be together, Tuney,” she had pinky-promised.
That was Lily’s first lie. And those words still haunted Petunia, even now years later. She could never forgive her for that promise, the promise she broke only two weeks later. She could still remember it like it was yesterday. She had just gotten home from school, when Lily came running through the kitchen door. Petunia had just been giving their parents her school test, the one she got a perfect score on, when Lily came running in. “Mommy! Daddy! You’ll never guess what Severus just told me!” she had yelled, immediately capturing their parents’ attention. And then she had told them about her magical powers, making them forget all about Petunia’s perfect score. And as she showed them her magical powers, Petunia was filled with a rage she didn’t know she was capable of feeling, a jealousy for her younger sister. Why was it always Lily? Why did she always have to be so perfect! And why couldn’t Petunia be like her?
And though Petunia hated herself for it later, she had hoped they would hate Lily. She had hoped that they would send her to a science lab to be experimented on, or that they would throw her out of the house. She had hoped they would stop thinking of her as their perfect little daughter. Because deep down, she knew the promise was completely broken. She wouldn’t be with Lily forever, not anymore. Lily would be going off to a magical school, and Petunia would be stuck here in this small town to live a simple and boring life. Because she was, once again, the unlucky one.
Ever since that day, her parents hardly acknowledged her. They were so proud to have a witch in the family. They didn’t think about the daughter that was with them every single day, through the good and bad times. Who was there when their mother was diagnosed? Not Lily. She was at Hogwarts. Petunia had been there, comforting her father through the very hard year. She had visited her mother every single day. And she was the one that was with her when she eventually passed away. Where was Lily? She was having fun at that magical school of hers. Because apparently being a witch meant more to her then the family she had lived with her whole life.
But still after doing all of these things for her parents, they didn’t acknowledge her. At the funeral, the one she had organized, her father decided to hold a speech. “I know she was very proud of her two daughters,” he had said. And Petunia finally thought she would get some kind of attention, but found it disturbing that someone had to die for her to finally be praised. But then her father spoke again…
“She always spoke of so well of them. Petunia for taking up a typing course and getting an office-job, and Lily for attending the magnificent private school and being the kind, loyal and intelligent girl she had always hoped for.” And then Petunia had cried. It wasn’t tears of grief, but if someone had asked she would’ve said that was the reason why she cried. But in truth, it was because she was, even in her own mother’s funeral, living in the shadow of her younger, perfect sister.
Sometimes Petunia had wondered if she had done something wrong, something to offend someone that could control her life. Why was she always the unlucky one? Why couldn’t she be pretty like Lily, smart like Lily, loyal and brave like Lily, or magical like Lily? Instead, she was invisible, the minor character in a greater story.
“Petunia, you’re boyfriend is here!” her father called from downstairs. She sighed, throwing a quick look at the picture on her night table. If Lily had kept her promise, would things have been different? She wondered. Likely. But one couldn’t change the past, no matter how much one wanted to. The only thing Petunia could do was fight, fight for acknowledge, fight for love, fight for the things she believed in. And that was the very thing she was going to do this Christmas. Lily was not going to ruin her plans for a perfect Christmas holiday. Even if she had to push her sister out of the way, she would get her well-deserved attention. That was her promise, and unlike Lily, she actually kept hers.