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Fic: Sisters (Gen, Petunia and Lily Evans)

Title: Sisters
Author: aggiebell90
Character(s): Lily Evans and Petunia Evans, with cameos from Snape and McGonagall
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Wordcount: ~2400
Summary: If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. -Linda Sunshine
Author's Note: Written for st_dl for the 2010 springtime_gen fic exchange. As always, I'm in debt to my betas, mollywheezy, queenb23more, and sherylyn, who once again helped whip this into shape.



Big sisters are the crabgrass in the lawn of life
-Charles M. Schulz

oOo


"Tuney, wait! Petunia! Please come back." Lily Evans watched her sister stomp off towards the house. She didn't know what she'd done wrong. One minute they were playing happily, and the next, Petunia had just...left.

Well, that wasn't exactly true. Lily had been showing Petunia the way she could make the petals of the daisies in the bed change from yellow to red and back again. Tuney had thought it a grand trick, until she'd tried it herself and couldn't make it work. Then she'd accused Lily of being mean and had run off in a huff, presumably to tell their mum that Lily was teasing her again.

But she wasn't. She didn't know how she could do these things, they just happened. She didn't mean to make the flowers open or the leaves flutter and fly around Petunia in a flurry of green, just like she didn't mean to shrink Petunia's favourite dress so it no longer fit her...but was conveniently exactly the right size for Lily. Petunia hadn't liked that at all. She'd only had the dress for three days, only worn it once, and now when she held it up against herself, the hem was three inches too short.

But it had to be her that had done it. There was no other explanation, no matter how hard she and Tuney searched their brains trying to find one. And they had, over and over again, more times than Lily could count.

She heaved a great sigh and scuffed her toe in the dirt, knowing she was going to have to go inside and face the music soon. Not that she'd get into trouble, not really. Mummy and Daddy would never believe Lily was changing the colours of the petals. It was impossible. Wasn't it?

Still, Petunia was angry, which meant she wouldn't talk to Lily, which meant Lily would have to find something to do on her own.

Well, fine. She didn't need her dumb old sister anyway.

oOo


"Please tell me you don't believe him," Petunia said, her lips pinched into a very unpleasant expression. For someone who was only thirteen, she sure looked old sometimes, Lily thought.

"It explains things, though," Lily said. "It explains those things I can do."

Petunia looked sceptical. "Only if you live in a fantasy book. There's no such thing as magic, Lily, and you know it. Besides, did you see how he dressed? That coat...and that smock. You can't believe anything anyone who dresses like that might say."

Lily looked at her sister in disbelief. Tuney was just deciding not to believe that Lily was a witch, despite all the evidence. "Just because he dresses funny—"

Petunia stopped and whirled around to glare at Lily. "It's not just because he dresses funny, Lily. It's because he's scary. And he's from Spinner's End. You better not talk to him anymore, or I'll tell Mummy."

Lily pulled a face. "You always tell Mummy. And I didn't do anything wrong, anyway."

"You talked to a stranger."

"He's just a kid, Tuney, like us."

"He's not either like us, Lily. He's nothing like us. He's a weirdo."

"Well, maybe I'm a weirdo, too, ever think of that?"

Petunia frowned. "Maybe you are," she said, stalking off, her blonde hair trailing behind her.

Lily stared after her sister, eyes narrowed. "I'm not a weirdo. I'm not."

oOo


"Are you okay?" Lily asked. "Is your shoulder—"

"Leave me alone, Lily."

"I said I was sorry, Tuney," Lily said. She had to jog to keep up with her sister. "I didn't know he was going to do something like that."

"I told you he was a freak," Petunia said, rubbing her shoulder as she walked. "I told you to stay away from him."

Lily sighed. "I know you did, but he's the only one who can explain how I can do…things. And he's usually nice." She gave Petunia a sidelong glance. "You weren't very nice to him, either, you know."

"That doesn't give him the right to throw something at me."

"I am sorry he hurt you, Tuney," Lily said, her voice tiny. "Does it hurt very much?"

Petunia stopped and looked at Lily. "If that's the kind of thing people do with magic," she said, her voice sounding hurt, "I don't see why you'd want to have anything to do with it."

Lily shrugged. She didn't really have an answer for that.

oOo


"Lily, dear, would you come in here, please?" Lily heaved a sigh and headed toward the door. She was going to get in trouble, even though she hadn't done anything; her mum's voice sounded funny, like she was upset or nervous about something.

"Yes, Mum," Lily replied, "I'm coming."

Inside the house, things felt even more strained. Petunia sniffed at her from the table, giving her a dirty look. Mum stood by the sink, filling a pot with water for tea. Dad was even home, something that gave her pause—he was never home at this time of the afternoon, at least not on a weekday—and there was a strange woman sitting at the table. Her heart gave a little flutter.

"Come and sit down, Lily," her mum said, placing a tray of biscuits on the table.

"What's going on?" she asked, her eyes shifting from her mum to her dad to her sister to the stranger. "I didn't do anything wrong."

"We didn't say you did, Lily," her father said. Petunia sniffed again and turned to glare out the window.

"Then—?" She gestured to the table.

"Petunia," their mum said, "why don't you go into the sitting room and find a book to read? You can take some of the biscuits if you'd like."

"But I want to stay."

"Listen to your mother, Tuney," said their dad.

"But, Daddy…" Her mouth set in a firm line. "How come she gets to stay?" she asked, pointing at Lily.

"Now, Petunia." His voice brooked no argument.

Petunia huffed and pushed the chair back, almost toppling it over as she stood. "She gets to do everything," she said and stomped out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

"I'm sorry about that," Lily's mum said to the strange woman. "She's a bit—"

"That's all right," the woman said briskly, as if she'd seen similar scenes before. She turned to Lily. "Miss Evans, I am Professor McGonagall, from—"

"Hogwarts," Lily breathed. She looked curiously at the woman—the professor—in front of her.

The professor looked surprised. "You've heard of Hogwarts?"

"Erm, yes," Lily said, "from a…friend."

"Hmmm," said the professor. "Interesting." She reached into her travelling cloak and pulled out a letter, which she handed to Lily. "But that's not why I'm here. I'm here, Miss Evans, to deliver this letter and to answer any questions you or your parents might have."

Lily reached out and took the letter from the Professor. It was written on thick parchment in green ink and addressed to her, and her hands trembled a bit when she opened it.


Lily Evans
The Yellow Bedroom
Number 7 Winding Way
Riverton,
Derbyshire

Dear Miss Evans,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary supplies and equipment.
Term begins 1 September. We await your reply no later than 31 July.

Yours sincerely,


Minerva McGonagall

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress


"It's true, then?" Lily asked when she'd finished reading. "I'm a witch?"

"Yes, Miss Evans, it's true." Professor McGonagall turned to Lily's parents. "I know this must come as something of a shock to you, but I guarantee that Hogwarts is the best school of its type, and that your daughter would benefit greatly from attending."

Lily watched her mum sit heavily in a chair. "A witch? But aren't they—" She gestured feebly.

Professor McGonagall smiled slightly. "Oh, no, Mrs Evans. We're quite real."

"But why haven't we heard of them—you—before?" her dad asked.

Lily stopped paying attention as Professor McGonagall answered her parents' questions; she didn't really care why nobody in the regular world thought magic and witches and wizards were real or had never heard of Hogwarts. All she knew is that she wanted to go.

"Can I go?" she asked suddenly. "To Hogwarts?" Her parents looked at each other; Lily could tell they were doing that thing when they talked without actually ever saying anything, and she could tell when they'd come to their decision.

"Is this what you want, Lils?" her mum asked, and Lily felt her heart beat faster. They were going to let her go.

"Yes!" she said emphatically. "Yes, I do. I have to go, Mummy."

Her mum gave her father one last look. "Of course you can go, sweetheart." She turned to Professor McGonagall. "Do you need a formal acceptance from us, or will our just telling you to expect her be all right?"

The professor pulled out another piece of parchment. "If you could indicate your preference and sign here, that will do nicely," she said. "I'll be taking a few other Muggleborn students through Diagon Alley, the wizarding shopping area, where you can find your supplies, on the twentieth of August. You're welcome to join us, if you'd like."

Lily turned and looked excitedly at her parents, who smiled back. "Of course we'd like to come, Professor." Her dad looked at her and her mum for affirmation.

"Excellent," Professor McGonagall said. "I'll send an owl by the fifteenth with directions." She turned to Lily, who was so excited she felt like she was about to fly off her seat. "I look forward to having you in my lessons at Hogwarts, Miss Evans." She extended her hand and Lily shook it, grinning madly. "It was very nice to meet you Mr and Mrs Evans." She handed them a piece of parchment with her name and address written on it. "Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Your regular way of posting letters will get to me."

Lily sat reading and rereading her letter while her mum and dad escorted the professor to the front door. A slow smile broke out on her face. It was true, she was a witch, and she was going to a school especially for witches and wizards. She was so excited she didn't notice when her sister came into the kitchen.

"What did she want?" Petunia asked.

Lily turned, her face hurting from smiling so much. "Look, Tuney! Severus was right…I'm going to Hogwarts." She showed Petunia the letter. "Professor McGonagall said she'll take us shopping in August at Dia…Dia…some alley so I can get my supplies."

Petunia's look turned sour. "That's great, Lily." She turned away, and Lily was left with the impression that Tuney didn't think it was great at all.

oOo


Lily couldn't believe her eyes. Diagon Alley was amazing. There were people in funny clothes everywhere and all sorts of children and teenagers, too, other kids who could do magic, just like her. She saw real live goblins in the bank and a shop where you could buy brooms that actually flew. The pictures in her textbooks moved, and the tapes in the robe shop measured her without anyone touching them.

And Diagon Alley was where she got her wand: willow, with a unicorn hair (unicorns were real too!) for the core. She loved the way her wand felt in her hand, how she could feel the magic when she first held it, how it had made flowers appear out of nowhere and fall to the floor when she'd waved it the first time.

Her mum and dad seemed to be enjoying themselves, too. Professor McGonagall taught them how to exchange their currency at Gringotts and the proper way to talk to the goblins (Lily thought they were a little scary, but her dad was clearly fascinated by them).

Petunia, on the other hand, spent the whole time either pouting or glaring sullenly. She didn't smile all day, even when they stopped and had some ice cream (Lily had tried the pumpkin fudge ripple, and it had felt like stars were exploding in her mouth with every bite). But Lily just ignored her; she was having too much fun to worry about her sister's foul mood.

Later that night, she lay in bed, replaying what had been, to her young mind, the best day of her life. She was just drifting off to sleep when she heard her mother's voice—and Tuney's—through the wall.

"Now, Tuney."

"But Mummy, it's not fair!" Tuney said. "I'm older, I should get to go. Not Lily. She's a baby!"

I am not, Lily thought angrily. She was so busy being angry she missed her mum's response, but Tuney's yell caught her attention again.

"But she gets everything!"

"You know that's not true, Tuney."

"It is true. You don't love me as much as you love her, just because she can do magic and I can't. Well, I'll show you. I can be special, too." The door slammed, and Lily heard her mother sigh before she went back down to the living room.

Lily glared at the wall separating her room from Petunia's, where a loud racket suggested she was throwing things against the wall.

Lily rolled over and stuck her hand under her pillow, grasping the wand she'd hidden there. The wood felt warm and comforting in her hand. Fine, she thought. If Petunia wanted to act like a baby, then there was nothing Lily could do to stop her. She wouldn't let her stupid sister ruin the best day she'd ever had.

oOo


Lily sniffled as she looked out the window of the train. Her mum and dad had hugged her and told her to write to them, but Tuney wouldn't even look at her.

Petunia didn't really think Lily was a freak, did she? Lily frowned and sniffled again, wiping her eyes on the arm of her jumper. She wished she'd never read the letter Professor Dumbledore had sent to Petunia, that she hadn't let Severus convince her that it was a good idea to snoop in Tuney's personal things, that she hadn't been so stupid as to tell Tuney she'd seen the letter in the first place.

She wished Petunia could do magic and could go to Hogwarts, too.

But what she really wished, most of all, was that she could have her sister back.

~Finis~

A/N st_dl mentioned that she's a bit of a "canon-whore," so I tried to make this fic as canon-compliant as possible, which meant I went back and re-read the bits of canon where Petunia talked about Lily, but also those bits from Snape's memories of her. While re-reading The Prince's Tale in Deathly Hallows, I was reminded that although I've always associated Petunia and her reaction to wizards in general and to Harry in particular with the word freak , she calls Snape a weirdo. Therefore, I specifically had Tuney use the word weirdo when she was talking about Snape (and later Lily) in this story.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sueatducksfoot
Jun. 11th, 2010 02:58 am (UTC)
This is awesome!! You have captured Tuney just right. She can't stand the fact that she's not 'special' so instead she's decided it must mean Lily is a 'weirdo.' You made me see it. Lily is torn between being a witch and having the sister she loved. I'm glad she decided not to let her sister spoil 'the best day of her life.' I'm posting this in the Peon thread.

*GLOMPS you*
aggiebell90
Jun. 11th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks, Sue! This was an interesting thing to write after writing Secrets, you know? I almost felt like I was writing a prequel, even though it wasn't really supposed to be one. It was fun to dig back into canon to find all those mentions of Petunia and what she said about Lily, and then going back through Snape's memories--I'd forgotten that so many of his early encounters with Lily also included Petunia.
asher_elric
Jun. 11th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
This is a really wonderful piece.
I feel really bad for Lily and Petunia.
This is well written and I loved every moment of it.
aggiebell90
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! I'm glad to hear you felt bad for both Lily and Petunia. Even though I pretty much despise the Petunia we see in canon, I can't help but feel sorry for her, especially as I've been digging into her character a bit more lately. I think they both lost so much when Lily went off to Hogwarts, you know? And I don't really think I can place for that the blame on just Petunia.
asher_elric
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I think you got it right in one.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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