In the Realms of Jealousy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Harry Potter, anyone? This story follows Petunia's feelings about her freak sister. It does borrow a lot of dialogue from DH!

Submitted: July 16, 2012

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Submitted: July 16, 2012

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In the Realm of Jealousy

She had always been a jealous girl. Perhaps it was because she never considered herself pretty- her neck was much too long, and she had a horse-face. Perhaps it was because Mummy and Dad had always favored the other sister more so than she. But she knew that she was jealous of her sister- who was a ravishing beauty even at her young age, with deep red hair, pale skin, captivating green eyes. That wasn't all, though- her sister was magical. She somehow defied the laws of science. She could fly, for goodness' sakes! She liked to show off, launching herself off swings and doing tricks in the air only to land lightly on the ground, unharmed. Mummy told her not to, but Mummy didn't enforce that rule very much.

Today was just another day to be jealous. The two girls were on the swings, giggling, when she decided to show off again.

"Tuney, look what I can do!" she cried out, ready to let go and fly.

"Lily, don't! Mummy said not to!" Petunia warned her sister. But Lily didn't listen and she was suddenly soaring through the air, her red hair floating behind her gracefully. She landed gently on the ground and then took off running.

Petunia dragged her feet on the ground to stop her swing. Her envious eyes tracked Lily's movements, and she gave a disgusting sigh.

"Tuney, come here! Look!" Lily had picked up a flower, and she was motioning for her sister to follow. Petunia reluctantly came over, interested in spite of herself.

Lily opened her hand and the flower began to open and close its many petals, almost moving like a jellyfish in the water. It was bizarre, but Petunia had to swallow her longing. How she wished to be able to command such forces!

"Stop it, Lily!"

Lily shrugged. "It's not hurting you." But she let the flower fall back to the ground. Petunia watched its progression with a hungry look in her face.

"It's not fair! How do you do it?" Petunia could not hide her desperation.

"It's obvious, isn't it?" a voice sounded from the bushes, and suddenly a sallow and stringy child jumped out at them. Petunia screamed and ran back to the swings. Her sister, however, stood bravely, glaring at the boy who had scared them.

"What is?" Lily asked coolly.

Petunia felt a wave of jealousy hit her again, quite like nausea. Her sister hadn't been foolish enough to run! She struggled to hear what the boy whispered to Lily. But all she heard was Lily's affronted voice, "Well that's not a very nice thing to say to someone!"

She turned on her heel and began to walk towards Petunia. The silly boy rushed after her, babbling some sort of nonsense. Petunia gathered her courage; she realized that she had seen the boy before. She could not help but notice the way he gazed upon Lily's face.

"You are a witch! I've been watching you for awhile. But that's okay! My mum's one and I'm a wizard!" the boy said eagerly.

Petunia felt the need to be a little vengeful. "Wizard? Ha! I know who you are! You're that Snape boy that lives down on Spinner's End. Why have you been spying on us?" She said it with a tone of unmistakable disdain.

The boy looked uncomfortable at being caught. "Haven't been spying. Wouldn't spy on you anyway, you're a Muggle."

The word slapped her in the face. It sounded like a huge insult, and though she didn't know what he meant, she clearly did not care to stay any longer in this situation.

"Come on, Lily, we're leaving!" Petunia commanded her sister, and she watched with a sort of pride as Lily actually followed her and glared at Snape.

As they neared the gate, Lily gave her sister a quick glance. "What's Muggle mean?"

Petunia, still feeling spiteful, replied, "It's a nasty word, Lily. That boy is trouble! Wizard... Ha! There's no such thing!"

But deep down, Petunia felt the seas of jealousy swirl again. Witches and wizards used magic- and Lily certainly seemed to be able to do something similar. But there was no way that Lily was a witch, she convinced herself with a shake of her head.

---

Petunia happened to be strolling along the park's edge when she saw that Lily was talking to that Snape boy again! She crouched low near where they were actually swinging, and she heard them speaking about some odd things.

"And when you get to Hogwarts, they Sort you into Houses. I hope to be in Slytherin- it's where my mum was. And then we get trained with real wands!"

"Severus, how do I know that it's true? I'm a witch and you being a wizard..."

"You have to be, with talent like yours! Did I tell you about the time that I accidentally caused the lima beans we had to grow in school to shoot up ten feet? The professor was flabbergasted! And you, flying off the swings..."

"Why can't Petunia do it?"

"She's a Muggle! They don't have any magic whatsoever! My dad's a Muggle, too..."

Petunia gaped at them, watching Snape eagerly gazing at Lily, his eyes so full of childish love. An aching swelled her heart. Here it was again- people favoring Lily. An icicle had been driven into her bosom, and she almost wanted to run away, to stop spying.

"That doesn't sound like a nice word," Lily was telling Snape.

"It's what we call non-magic people. Just like we are witches and wizards, they are Muggles."

Non-magic. An unnerving shudder shook Petunia's body. The air suddenly became too hot to bear, and she could feel a flush coming to her cheeks. Non-magic. The word curdled in her conscience, bland, yet bitter and sour. It pinched at her chest, constricting her lungs. Non-magic...

She couldn't take any more. She quickly began to stride away from the park, those three words continuing to echo in her mind. Not just the words, but even more the tone, as though it was her fault she was a, a... Muggle. She could feel tears pricking in her eyes. Why did Lily always get everything? She even now had a new friend. One more similar to her than she...

Petunia slowly walked around for the remainder of the day, not even stopping to eat. The ache inside her fed on her misery.

At dinnertime, Lily was happily telling her parents about her day. She had so far avoided telling them about the whole wizard thing, but it was pretty obvious that she couldn't hold it back any longer. Petunia saw that Lily was pretty much ready to spill the beans, as it were.

"Mum, I met a new friend today," she began.

"That's nice, dear," Mum commented, beaming at her daughter.

"His name is Severus, and well, he, he... He's like me."

Their dad raised an eyebrow. "Like you? In what way?"

"He's a wizard."

Taut silence filled the dining room, and Petunia felt a foreboding thrill, envy coursing through her veins, the ache so painful.

Lily's voice was small as she continued to speak. "And I'm... I'm a witch."

Mum began to laugh, easing the tension a little. "Playing around today, huh? Did you chance upon a dragon?"

Her tone was light and conversational, not at all condescending or sarcastic. Lily blushed deep to her roots.

"No."

Mum smiled. "Of course, you’re a witch, dear!"

She got up from the table and began to gather the dishes, chuckling at her child's imagination. Petunia tried to see it from her view, but her heart continued to pound fiercely, and real anger lit afire in her blood.

Lily began to cry softly. Her mum noticed and hurried over. "Sweetheart, I'm sorry. Did I hurt your feelings?"

Lily nodded and buried her face into their mother's sweater. Through her sobs, the family could barely hear, "It's not make-believe! Severus said that we get to go to a school to learn magic! His mum is a witch, too! He can do strange things like I can!"

Their parents exchanged a look. Petunia saw her father mouth the words, "Just a phase."

For some reason, her father's unspoken sentence made Petunia feel much better. It probably was just some stupid phase Lily was going through.

---

Petunia perched in a tree, glaring down at Snape and Lily, spread out in the meadows below. She watched Lily wave a stick, as though she thought she could really cause magic to come from it.

She heard them discussing their little game, and it truly hurt her when she heard:

"Petunia says there isn't a Hogwarts. It is real, isn't it?"

"It's real for us. Not for her. But we'll get the letter, you and me."

Petunia scrunched up her face in disgust. He had some nerve! She couldn't help but notice that he struck a somewhat impressive figure in the gloomy light, confident and eager. Biting her lip, she leaned in closer to hear the conversation, desirous to learn more of their game, to feel as if she belonged.

They were now talking about Azkaban, a wizard prison. And now Snape almost let slip something- Petunia leaned further, trying to catch his words- and lost her footing.

"Oof!" Petunia cried as she landed on the ground.

"Tuney!" How dare she use that nickname, as if Petunia was still a friend, as if she were welcome and a part of the group.

Snape jumped to his feet. "Who's spying now? What do you want?"

Breathless, confused, angry, and jealous, her eyes landed on Snape's shirt.

"What's that you're wearing anyway? Your mum's blouse?"

Snape appeared livid and there was a resounding crack in the air- a branch above Petunia suddenly fell and caught her on the shoulder. Lily screamed as Petunia staggered back and burst into tears that she could not hold back.

"Tuney!" Lily sounded concerned and sisterly. But Petunia couldn't face them- she ran off, nursing her shoulder and heaving with racking sobs.

When she could go no more, she collapsed against another tree and just let the tears stream down her bright red face, feeling pitiful and worthless.

Someone was suddenly next to her.

"Tuney, are you alright?" It was Lily. Trust her to do the right thing and try to act as if she cared.

"Tuney?" There was a real gentleness in her voice this time, and she began to smooth her sister's hair, quite like she had seen her mum do on occasions.

Petunia felt her anger dissolve slowly. Lily didn't say anything else, just smoothed her hair and gave her a hug. When a good amount of time had passed, Petunia finally found the will to look at Lily face to face.

"Why do you play that game?" Petunia asked.

Lily hesitated. "Petunia, it's not a game. I believe him. I know what Mum and Dad think, but I feel like this is right. Like this is meant to happen. And who knows, maybe magic can be useful!"

She was all cheery and optimistic again. Good ol' Lily. Her spirit never seemed to dampen. Maybe that's why Petunia was jealous. Lily always seemed to know where she was going, always knew what to do, always brave and positive.

"Tuney, I'm sorry he hurt you. I'm sorry."

Petunia saw real regret in Lily's emerald eyes, and knew she couldn't hold it against Lily. She nodded to show she understood. The anger had abated, and she felt somewhat peaceful.

The two sisters hugged each other, and Lily smiled at Petunia. "Your shoulder alright?"

"Yes."

"Let's go home. Or do you want to go play in the park?" Cheerful Lily. Petunia gave her a watery smile.

"Home is fine."

The two sisters began to walk home, arm in arm, Lily animatedly telling her sister about some silly story...

---

It wasn't long until a man arrived on the Evans' doorstep, wearing a strange assortment of clothing- buckled boots, shorts, suspenders, a lime green vest and a bowler hat. Barely giving the family time to register his appearance, he swept off his hat. "I have a letter to deliver to a Miss Lily Evans." He held up the letter, which appeared to be in a heavy yellowing envelope.

"What for?" Lily piped up, before her parents glared at her for speaking.

"Your daughter has been accepted into a boarding school for witches and wizards- it is known as Hogwarts. If I may come in and explain?" He seemed nice and normal enough, except for the strange words and the clothes.

Lily squealed with excitement. "My letter, it came, it came! May I have it, Mummy, please?"

The rest of her family stared at her in shock. The man noticed, and he quickly brought out a thin wooden stick.

"Maybe this would help?" He waved it at a vase just inside the doorway and it began to levitate. Mum shrieked. Lily just smiled.

"It's real, Mummy, see? I'm a witch, just like Severus said!"

Petunia felt the truth of it all slam into her. She struggled to find something that would prove it all a hoax- but there the man was, doing things she had seen Lily do...

In a daze, their parents let the man in. He explained that his name was William Ackerby, and he had been sent to tell them about the situation surrounding Lily. He started off by saying that he himself had attended Hogwarts and it was a wonderful school that really engaged children and helped prepare them for the world beyond. It also helped them master their talents.

Lily kept smiling and smiling, and hugging Mum in excitement. But Petunia couldn't take it. She disappeared off to her room to sulk. So, it was all real? Lily would go off to that school with that boy and they would get to learn magic while she attended some public school and learned... math and history. Yuck!

---

Lily could tell that her sister was upset, and she tried to comfort her. She let Petunia read her letter, and said things like, "I'll write you every day while I'm there, and I'll send you all kinds of souvenirs, and you can read my books and I'll even let you swing my wand..."

She just kept babbling about what her future held. Petunia stared at the letter, remembering how Lily had told her about the Headmaster, Dummendur or something like that. Maybe, maybe... Maybe she could go to this school? She knew it was jealousy talking, not sisterly love, but maybe this man would let her come? She'd have to write a convincing argument...

---

And now she was watching her sister leave on the train. The claw of envy had taken over her entire being, and it had turned her nasty and unforgiving for the past month. Lily had just come back to say goodbye, and she noticed how waspish Petunia was.

"Petunia, I love you. You know that, right? You know I'll write you!" Lily tried to give her a hug, but Petunia pushed her away.

"Leave me alone!" she snapped.

"Tuney! I'm sorry, Tuney, I'm sorry! Listen-" she caught ahold of Petunia's hand and held on tight, while Petunia tried to pull away. "Maybe once I'm there- no, listen, Tuney! Maybe once I'm there, I'll be able to go to Professor Dumbledore and persuade him to change his mind!"

Petunia's voice shook as she responded, struggling to hide her longing, her envy. She pushed all of it away as she tried to hurt Lily, like Lily had hurt her. "I don't- want- to- go! You think I want to go to some stupid castle and learn to be a- a- you think I want to be a- a freak?" She spat the words at her sister and pulled her hand away.

Lily actually burst into to tears, and it felt so good to watch her cry for once, to not be fawned over, to be pitiful...

"I'm not a freak. That's a horrible thing to say." She was trying hard to pull it together in this crowded station.

Petunia kept rolling, exacting all her vengeance on her sister from months of torture and jealousy. "That's where your going. A special school for freaks. You and that Snape boy... Weirdos, that's what you two are. It's good you're being separated from normal people. It's for our safety." She took on an annoying superior look, as though she were better than her magical sister.

Lily's eyes narrowed fiercely after looking around at the station. "You didn't think it was such a freak's school when you wrote to the headmaster and begged him to take you!"

Petunia felt the floor open up beneath her and her face heated up a dark scarlet. "Beg? I didn't beg!"

"I saw his reply. It was very kind."

Petunia was livid with rage. "You shouldn't have read- that was my private- how could you-?"

Her worst suspicions were confirmed when Lily's eyes half-glanced towards that wretched boy who gave her too much attention.

Petunia gasped in horror, and she suddenly wished to disappear. "That boy found it! You and that boy have been sneaking around in my room!"

"No!" Lily was defensive, shaking her head. Perfect Lily! "Not sneaking- Severus saw the envelope and he couldn't believe a Muggle could have contacted Hogwarts, that's all! He says there must be wizards working undercover in the postal service who take care of-"

Petunia snapped. "Apparently wizards poke their noses in everywhere! Freak!"

She whipped around and headed off from her distraught sister, pale, determined, and every bit tasting the victory of hurting her sister- her perfect sister.

---

The night was pretty much like any other, but Petunia found herself focusing on those memories. She still felt extremely bitter towards her dead, freakish sister- especially since she now had to take care of the mess Lily left behind! A baby boy! But the bitter resentment refused to stay in her mind this night- this Halloween night.

Dudley had been put down in his crib, and that Potter boy had been left to fend for himself under the cupboard. Vernon had settled down for an early night, but Petunia lay curled up on the sofa, thinking about her sister. Real regret settled in her heart. She had never tried to make amends with Lily, even though Lily had continued to be kind, optimistic, and had even kept her promise of mailing Petunia practically every day while at Hogwarts. It was because she had been jealous, and a little disgusted that she, Petunia, could not be like her perfect sister. But now she could see that her sister was not perfect. She had died, been murdered, when she had tried to save her son. Petunia didn't doubt it- it seemed such a Lily-thing to do, to strive to protect someone, even if she couldn't. It rattled her conscience that Lily, who had magic on her side, was still unable to lead a long life, unable to protect herself from danger. What had Petunia been jealous of? Joining the magical world meant she could have been killed...

But the truth of the matter was that Petunia knew she couldn't make amends anymore. Sure, she had always felt slightly guilty at hurting her sister, ignoring her, putting her out of her life, but she had always known that she might be able to make up with Lily, and become best friends again. Foolish, really. Lily had let herself get blown up! Now, now they couldn't ever be friends again.

Perhaps taking in Potter had been Petunia's guilt, trying in vain to somehow make up for everything. But she knew she never could, knew that Lily had died never knowing the truth, thinking that her sister hated her...

Jealousy. She was sick of it. But she couldn't control it. It continued to reign, even though Petunia knew she shouldn't be jealous that her sister was dead! But sometimes she was. Sometimes, she felt being dead might have been easier...

She glanced at her pristine home around her, made this way so nobody could ever think that there was a bad bone or guilt messing up Petunia- they would see an orderly house, orderly person, perfect family. Perfect... It's what she had been striving for, to be perfect like Lily. But it wasn't the same... Petunia wasn't like Lily.

Small tears of regret wet her face. Jealousy. Pride. Anger. They had stopped her from having what she really wanted- her sister's friendship. Why had she pushed it away? Why was it that even now, resentment still stirred in her hardest of hearts at the very thought of Lily? The pain was almost too much... It sliced through her as though she were a flimsy plastic, unable to resist its torment. She mused that Lily might have been able to help her, whip up a potion or other, while explaining the process eagerly and cheerfully- she missed that optimistic smile. It had been years since Lily had seen fit to grace her sister with its presence, and Petunia found herself truly reminiscing about those days when that smile would lighten everyone's day, even her own. An icy cold engulfed her bosom, and left her empty, sick...

The clock in front of her, hanging so pristinely on the clean walls, ticked on, marking each passing second, marking the built up time since Lily's untimely demise. Petunia felt herself shrink from within, curl further more into the couch, and hug her knees closer. The pit in her stomach hardened, expanded, emitting the most awful, depressing emotions that caused her mind to choke on those memories. What she wouldn't give to numb this, to take it all away! But, she reasoned, she would never be able to. And the only way to just get on by was to act as if nothing affected her... Vernon needn't know of this weakness.

But she knew that each time she looked into Lily's son's eyes, those memories would wash ashore, clamoring to be heard and reviewed.

Her eyes drooped so low in exhaustion, and the jealousy seeped out of her as her body relaxed, gave in to the beauty of sleep, gave in to the wear and tear of rough life, gave in to slumber and the dreams it brought on silent devil wings.

And Time just kept slipping on, ever so cruel in his little games...


© Copyright 2017 Nagini Riddle. All rights reserved.

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