Chapter 1 : Daddy's Little Flowers
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Daddy's Little Flowers
30 January 1960
Petunia’s feet swung from the chair. It was far too tall for her. She squirmed, trying to find a comfortable position on the hard wooden seat where Nana had left her. The room was big, brightly lit, and full of blue curtains. It was the sort of place where talking didn’t feel allowed, but there was plenty of noise. Hushed words, and clicking footsteps and, just behind the nearest curtain, shrieks of pain and heavy, desperate breaths. The baby is coming.
It was an eternity of waiting.
A lifetime later: “Sweetheart, you can come in now.” Petunia didn’t know the lady, but her voice was kind. She wore a white lace cap and a white smock. Briskly, she took the tot’s hand.
“Where is Mummy?” The little girl popped her free thumb into her mouth. She hadn’t seen Mummy or Daddy for hours.
“She’s just in here,” the lady said. She pulled Petunia behind the curtain, and there was Mummy, propped up in bed with her hair splayed out behind her like a queen. Daddy sat on the bed, on Mummy’s feet. He was holding something, looking at it like he didn’t remember anything else. Baby.
Mummy smiled at her daughter, who ran to her. But the nurse put a hand on Petunia’s shoulder. “Mummy needs rest,” she said. “Why don’t you meet your new sister?”
Petunia turned back to daddy. He looked at her now, smiling. “Climb up here Pet, and you can hold her.”
She scrambled onto the bed and climbed into Daddy’s lap. He placed her arms gently along his own, and together they cradled the sleeping baby. She was heavy in the little girl’s arms. They sat that way for a few minutes, daddy making sleepy time sounds at his daughter’s back.
Slowly, the baby opened her eyes. They were a startling green, wide in her small face. “Hi, Lily,” Daddy cooed. “Pet, can you say hi to your sister?”
“Lily.” The word was slippery in her mouth.
Lily blinked. Petunia’s stomach wiggled, and a sweet, honey scented feeling burst in her chest. Sister. Petunia bent down and placed her lips against her sister’s squishy hand. Baby Lily. My sister.
“Good girl,” Daddy said. Petunia felt the soft weight of a kiss on her head. “My two flowers.”
“Bring her here.” Mummy’s voice was warm and tired.
Daddy took Lily’s full weight, scooped her up, and placed her on Mummy’s breast. Petunia crawled up the scratchy quilt to her mother, curling against her. Mummy and Daddy were cooing again, laughing softly and full of smiles. “Who’s Daddy’s little flower?” he was saying, his voice a song. Daddy always called Petunia his flower. She didn’t like Lily to be his flower, too. She buried her face in her mother’s side.
“Oh, sweet. I love you,” Mummy said. Petunia peeked out, expecting a cozy squeeze, but Mummy was talking to the baby, her nose nuzzling the soft, bald head. “Yes I do,” Mummy murmured. “I love you so much.” Petunia watched her mother’s lips form the words, and a slow chill of dread stilled her heart for a moment.
Then the squeeze did come, and Mummy loved Petunia again, and the moment passed.
AN: I hope you liked the story! More coming soon. And a HUGE thank you to HeyMrsPotter for helping me out as a quick beta and giving me the confidence to post this story. You're the best!!
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