All characters herein belong to the amazing JK Rowling. I have simply taken control of their minds and bodies through the use of powerful dark magic!
Petunia Evans loved her home. It was an old suburban house with beautiful wooden fixtures and royal red carpets that made walking barefoot rather pleasant. There was also a tangible order and rightness to the place that was a result of her mother’s constant cleaning frenzies. All except Lily’s room, of course. That was a complete shambles of freakish paraphernalia.
Petunia pointed this out on regular intervals to her mother who would always respond in the same way.
“She’s too much like her father, that one! Still, let her be, Petunia, dear. If she wants to live in a room that looks like a bomb site, then that’s her decision.”
It had only been worse since she’d turned seventeen and was able to do whatever magic she liked. Last summer Petunia had smashed a pretty china bowl full of muesli when her sister had ‘Apparated’ down for breakfast. Lily had apologised profusely and with a wave of her wand had promptly repaired the bowl. Petunia had not used that bowl since.
Thankfully, her younger sister had been more reserved this summer. She spent a lot of her time locked in her room feverishly studying books. Petunia didn’t understand why, as she had supposedly finished that freak school. Perhaps she had failed after all and was having to re-sit her exams in secret!
Petunia looked up from her magazine to see that it was almost six o’clock. It was time to head downstairs. As she left her room she couldn’t help noticing that Lily’s door was slightly ajar. Petunia thought she’d best take the opportunity to tell Lily to come down for dinner, so she peeked in through the gap. The room was cluttered with various odd looking objects; Lily, however, was not among them. Petunia took several steps inside. There was some book entitled “Advanced Protective Charms” open on her desk, surrounded by reams of notes in Lily’s disordered handwriting. There were also several items of clothing strewn around that Lily had clearly not bothered to put in the dirty clothing basket.
As Petunia leant over the desk to take a closer look at Lily’s notes, she caught the faintest burst of red light glint across the window. Petunia moved over for a better look. Her sister was stood by the old oak tree with her wand pointed at the solid stone wall at the edge of their garden. As Petunia watched, Lily fired several bursts of light at it, then did some kind of ridiculous roll across the ground and let loose several more of the light-bursts. She followed this by standing up gingerly and wiping her hand across her brow, before moving into an aggressive stance and beginning again.
How dare she? In their garden! Petunia immediately bustled out of the room and down the stairs. She ignored her father’s greeting as she hurried through the living room. She was going to give her little sister a piece of her mind. Lily had it coming to her. Finally Petunia was out the back-door and striding towards her sister.
She had just opened her mouth to call her sister’s attention to her when a loud ‘pop’ echoed around the garden. Simultaneously, a young man materialised a few metres away from Lily. He was frozen in a standing position for a moment and Petunia got the impression of a sturdily built man with rather nice hair. The next moment he collapsed to the floor in a heap. At second glance, his hair was horribly unkempt. Petunia put her strange reaction down to the strangeness of the situation.
“James!” Lily shouted out.
“I’m fine… you think I’d be used to Apparating after a year…”
The freak-boy seemed to be stuttering. How appropriate.
“You aren’t fooling me, Mr Potter. Come on, I’ll get you into the kitchen and then you can tell me what’s going on.”
Lily barely acknowledged her sister as she pulled the young man to his feet and led him past Petunia and into the kitchen.
“Mum! Dad!” hollered Lily in her usual uncouth manner.
Petunia curiously followed them into the kitchen and stood reticently to one corner as Mother and Father hurried in.
Her father was a rather curious man. He was a lawyer at a very respectable business firm and associated with the crème de la crème of polite society. However, he had a vulgarness about him that Petunia had grown to despise in her older years. It was most evident in his treatment of Lily whom he doted upon and in the disdain he showed for Petunia’s own accomplishments. Only the other day he had laughed uproariously when Lily ‘transfigured’ the TV remote into a large pink flamingo (for reasons that Petunia hadn’t understood and hadn’t really wanted to either) while his words of praise for Petunia’s sixth-form progress check had sounded notably hollow.
“James, this is my Mum, my Dad and my sister Petunia.”
The pathetic looking man smiled weakly at each of them in turn. Petunia was caught by a pair of deep hazel eyes before she turned away in disgust.
“Everyone, this is my boyfriend, James Potter.”
Petunia resisted the urge to snort with laughter. This boy was the best her sister could find. How unsurprising!
“Are you all right, son?” asked Petunia’s father.
“Tell us what happened, James,” added Lily.
Petunia watched disdainfully as Lily sought for and found Potter’s left hand. He responded with a sickeningly adoring smile. Petunia would never understand what people saw in Lily.
Petunia had always thought Lily had all the signs of being a freak. It was a wonder to her that her parents didn’t see it. Surely the obscenely long and glaring red-hair was a bit of giveaway. Then there were her grubby fingernails which were cut short and were always flecked with dirt. And her figure… Lily had the frame of a freak, replete with podgy curves. Petunia had dieted as much as any girl and she had a thin body that she was rightly proud of. But Lily had never dieted a day in her life and it darn well showed.
And then there were her eyes. Petunia hated them. They were a sickening green; filled with obsequious concern and a horrid form of laughter that Petunia knew full well was directed at her.
Petunia started as she noticed that the bespectacled boy was speaking.
“The Dementors… they’ve joined his side… Moony and I ran into them while running an errand for Dumbledore…”
Lily abruptly jumped to her feet. She hurried to a nearby cupboard and grabbed a package of chocolate biscuits and tossed them at her boyfriend, who caught them awkwardly.
“Errr… not that I’m not grateful, Lily… but why did you just chuck a package of Sainsbury’s chocolate digestives at me?”
Lily shook her head in exasperation.
“Honestly, James. Chocolate remedies Dementor effects. I should have known you’d be clueless but I’d have hoped that Remus might remember.”
The intruder began munching at the biscuits. Petunia couldn’t help noticing that more colour flooded his face.
“I’ll be sure to remind Remus of that in the future,” he said between mouthfuls before turning serious. “Don’t be too hard on him though. He saved my life. I couldn’t fight them at all.”
Lily’s face contorted into a look of grotesque concern.
“What did you remember?”
The Potter-boy shifted uncomfortably.
“You… that day…”
“Oh, James,” said Lily simply.
Silence reigned for brief seconds.
“Sorry to interrupt,” said Petunia’s father quietly. “But what exactly are these Dementors?”
“They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. Or at least they did,” began James. “Dementors are foul creatures who feed on happiness by dragging it out of people. They disable opponents by forcing them to relive the worst moments of their life.”
“Crouch was a fool,” spat Lily. “They dwelled disparate in the darkest places, but at least people knew to stay away. He had to try and use evil to fight evil, didn’t he.”
Potter sighed and continued the explanation.
“Our Minister for Magical Law Enforcement decided to unite the Dementors and to set them to work guarding the Azkaban. It had become a bit of a joke, you see – a Death Eater would be caught on Sunday, tried on Wednesday, imprisoned by Friday and be free again by the following Sunday. Bartemius Crouch wanted to change all that.”
“That’s horrible,” Petunia’s mother pointed out. “Don’t they have rights? What if someone happens to be innocent?”
“It’s a horrible war, Mum,” answered Lily quietly.
“We aren’t condoning his actions, Mrs Evans. Sadly, though, they worked for a short while and Crouch was hailed as a hero. However, the Dementors seem to have decided to switch sides – they appear to have been seduced by Voldemort.”
“You mean the dark wizard that Lily was telling us about?” asked Petunia’s father.
“So why are you here James? Shouldn’t you be reporting this to Dumbledore?” asked Lily.
“Moony is on his way there now, but there’s more; we overheard Snape talking.”
Lily looked bewildered.
“What’s Snape got to do with anything?”
“He’s a Death Eater, Lily,” said Potter with a gentleness that Petunia found extremely irritating. “We heard him talking about attacks on Muggle-borns. We need to improve your protection here. I’ve asked Remus to send Sirius and Peter along as soon as possible.”
“We are at risk?” asked Petunia’s father.
“I’m afraid so, Mr Evans.”
Petunia left the room unnoticed, thinking hard. It would be just like Lily to exaggerate this whole story to grab a little more attention from their parents. Now that she thought about it, she remembered other mentions of the ‘war’ and the mythical ‘Voldemort’. She had long ago learnt to tune out a lot of what Lily said. There was just no point in listening to stories that got less believable with every passing year.
But what if the Potter-boy was right? Petunia leant against the wall in the hallway and thought about that. What if her darling little sister had placed her entire family at risk? She would have to convince her parents to leave Lily behind and find somewhere safe to hide. It was the only way. Lily would kick and scream, of course, but then maybe her parents would finally see their daughter for the selfish little brat that she was. Petunia was preparing herself to walk back into the kitchen when the front door fell of its hinges.
Some vague corner of her mind reasoned that this was not something that a door should normally be doing, and certainly not a door in the pristine and orderly Evans house. However, these quite logical concerns were drowned out by the sound of her own screaming. She was screaming because a black-clad man wearing a hideous white mask had just walked in.
“Silencio!” uttered an oily voice from behind the mask.
Petunia’s screaming was abruptly cut-off. Horrified, she tried to scream again, tried to say anything at all, but found that she had been struck mute.
Suddenly she was pushed to the side by strong arms. She heard a low voice whisper, “Get them out of here, Lily.”
James Potter was stood in front of her, confidently facing down the aggressor.
“Always the hero, Potter. Oh, how I hoped you’d be here.” The man removed his mask to reveal a sallow complexion draped in greasy locks of jet-black hair. “Unfortunately, you will find yourself quite outnumbered.”
As if by signal, his words were followed by a noise that sounded like one of the shell barrages in the World War II epics her father liked to watch. The sound coincided with the destruction of the front wall of the Evanses’ house. In through the rubble and the rising dust stepped five more men, all wearing the black robes and masks that Petunia had seen on the leader.
“I feel like I should gloat properly, Potter, perhaps to say that your arrogance has finally led to your own demise and that of your Mudblood girlfriend. Or maybe point out that I was the better man all along.” The yellow smile that pulled across the man’s face was tentative as if he wasn’t quite sure how to use the correct muscles. “But we all know that you’ve never been able to see the obvious, so I think I’ll just kill you instead.”
Potter opened his mouth to retort.
The attacker raised his wand and began to speak. “Avada…”
And from behind her Petunia heard Lily shout, “Englorio Residus!”
A bright azure light suddenly flooded the house and the men in black robes inexplicably fell to their knees with their hands over their ears. Potter, too, fell to the floor in similar fashion.
Lily grabbed her boyfriend and pulled him backwards towards the kitchen.
“Come on, Petunia!”
Then she dropped Potter and muttered another spell. Abruptly the rubble lying around flew up in the air and began to work itself together to form a wall between them and the fallen opponents. Finally, she turned to Petunia and levelled her wand at her.
She found she could speak again. Unfortunately, she was too numb to think of anything to say.
Petunia’s parents were still in the kitchen, looking shell-shocked.
“We couldn’t get out, Lily!” shouted her father. “There’s some kind of invisible wall in place!”
Lily cursed. She shot a hasty spell at the newly formed wall that caused it to glow red.
“Get up, James!” she shouted to where Potter was moaning quietly on the floor. “The charm should have worn off by now.”
“Whas… whas was sat?” mumbled the young man as he pulled himself to his feet.
“Residus Protectum charm. It affects all but the residents of a home. You didn’t think I’d been sunbathing all summer did you?”
James mumbled something inappropriate about ‘fantasies’ but drew his wand and moved to stand by Lily.
“Death Eaters on the other side of that?” he asked.
“And I assume there’s some kind of entrapment spell keeping us in?”
Lily nodded again.
A loud smash punctuated the silence.
“I’ll keep the wall up; you try and take down the Entrapment Charm. I was always better at transfiguration than you.”
Lily laughed. It was a horrible sound. Didn’t she realise that this was entirely her fault?
Behind her the wall had taken on a silvery metallic sheen as the Potter-boy screwed his face up in concentration.
Petunia found herself watching him as he struggled. There was no visual clue of the magic he was working and she could almost for a moment believe that he was defending them using normal means; perhaps that the changing colours of the wall were due to respectable technology of the kind she had heard the boys at her school getting all excited about. Certainly she herself could never get too excited about computers or drills, but at least they were regulated and civilised.
“That’s it!” shouted Lily. “It’s coming down!”
The surge of reluctant hope that filled Petunia was instantly broken when she heard her second loud ‘pop’ of the day and suddenly there was another stranger standing in their kitchen. The young man appeared to be about Lily’s age, and his face had all the characteristics of the rugged film stars from Petunia’s favourite magazines.
“Padfoot?” said Potter stunned.
“Prongs!” replied the newcomer cheerfully. “I’ve been trying to Apparate in for several minutes now. Is something wrong?”
It was at that point that Lily’s wall blew apart.
Potter and ‘Padfoot’ reacted instantly, conjuring ethereal blue auras in an attempt to deflect the debris. Then in almost telepathic tandem they hurled themselves through the curtains of dust.
Petunia thought she saw several figures being knocked down by the barrage of spells issuing from the two men’s wands.
“Mum! Petunia! We need to get out!” shouted Lily.
That was when she saw her father. He must have been hit when the wall exploded. He was unconscious and a horrible wound had been cut across his skull. Lily knelt beside him and muttered something that seemed to lessen the amount of blood escaping. Then she pulled him up and dragged him out.
Petunia was pushed out of the door by her sobbing mother, who seemed to be acting on an instinctive impulse to follow Lily.
When they reached the end of the garden Lily lowered her father gently and aimed her wand at the wall, knocking it to pieces. She was reaching down to their father once more when a cold voice uttered a word Petunia did not understand.
Lily’s wand shot from her hand. Petunia numbly followed its trajectory and watched it land in the pale hands of the man who had silenced her. He had been hiding in the shadow of an old oak tree.
“I wouldn’t bother with the Muggle, Evans. He’ll be dead in minutes anyway.”
Petunia felt betrayed by the shocked helplessness that flashed across her sisters ugly features.
“Surprised, Evans? You think I didn’t know that Saint Potter would fight the good fight in order to give you the chance to escape? And since you kindly brought down the Entrapment Charm it was a simple matter to Apparate here after you.”
“You always were smarter than they gave you credit for,” said Lily sadly.
The man looked taken aback.
“Tell me, did you beg for this assignment? Did you plead with your master for the chance to hurt James by killing me?”
Petunia’s mother was curled next to her husband whispering to him. She seemed completely oblivious to the dire situation. Petunia turned back to stare horrified at her sister as she spoke so casually about her own demise. Perhaps she could afford to be selfish. Perhaps she didn’t care about death. But Petunia did, and she desperately wanted to run as far and fast as she possibly could, but her legs simply wouldn’t work.
“Well, Severus, go on then. Kill me.”
The man did nothing. He continued to stare at Lily with unfathomably black eyes.
“You can’t do it, can you?” said Lily quietly.
Finally the man called Severus spoke.
“If only Potter were watching. Then perhaps I could.”
And with the loud noise that Petunia had come to dread that day the sallow faced man was gone.
Lily stared after him for a long silent moment.
The next sound to be heard was a woman’s wail. It was coming from her mother who was still curled at the fallen body of her husband.
“He’s dead! He’s dead!” she cried.
Then her mother’s shrieking was drowned out by a symphony of ‘pop’s as more wizarding freaks Apparated in all around her.
Petunia heard another voice shouting.
She felt her head spin out of all control and, as her sight rested for an instant on the pale face of the father she so resented, Petunia Evans finally surrendered to oblivion.
She heard voices faintly in the far-off distance. They were slowly getting closer and more audible. Petunia took a moment to figure out that she was lying down for some reason and that her head was hurting, before following her instinct to listen in.
“You don’t have to stay here, James.”
“I have to. I’m just so sorry that this happened – so sorry that I left you.”
“There was no way to get him to help in time, James. There was nothing you could have done.”
“I’m going to kill Snape.”
“You can’t, James.”
“The attack would have happened whether he’d led it or not. And James, I need you. You just can’t go after Snape. And you can’t tell Sirius he was there either. Dumbledore agrees with me.”
Petunia opened her eyes to see the boy with the unkempt hair nod reluctantly. He noticed her and turned to face her.
“Hi,” he said simply.
“Oh, Petunia! You’re awake.”
Lily hugged her.
It had all come back to Petunia now, everything that had happened that night.
“You killed him.”
Lily froze for a long moment and then slowly pulled away.
“You’re a bloody freak!! And it wasn’t enough to get all their attention – to steal it all from me – you had to get him killed!”
The couple stared at her, stunned. Petunia took a deep breath.
“Mum is… Mum is…”
Petunia saw tears begin to stream down her sister’s face. She watched James place an arm around Lily. Then he met Petunia’s eyes.
“Your mother is unwell. She won’t eat or drink or respond to anyone. The Healers don’t know if she’ll recover. I’m sorry.”
Petunia closed her eyes against the information.
“Petunia, please, I’m sorry.”
It was the final straw. How dare she be sorry?
Potter pulled Lily away as if to shield her from her sister.
“And don’t come back,” shouted Petunia hysterically. “I want out! Out of your life, for good. I don’t ever, ever want to see you again! You understand me?”
Lily pushed herself apart from her boyfriend.
She stared at Petunia with those sickening green eyes. Petunia hoped desperately to see pain, but all Lily could give her was pity. Her sister didn’t care – she had everything she needed – and it was Petunia, as always, who was left with nothing.
“I hope that one day you will change your mind.”
Then she pulled James Potter back to her, and walked away with her head resting on his shoulder. And as she followed them away with her eyes, Petunia realised just how alone she was, and with that thought she fell back on her bed and allowed herself to feel the grief that was welling up within her.
A/N: It's hard to know who to begin to thank with this one. Obviously, thanks to birgit for dealing with my severe allergy for commas and my penchant for making up imaginary words. Thanks to prplhez for her constant encouragement. But, also thanks to the amazing members of Sugar Quill, whether they be writers, betas, ghosts, posters or lurkers - without the SQ I would never have written this story, let alone posted it.