Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampier Slayer. This was written for fun and no money will be made.
Petunia was shocked. She had just found out that her mother had been pregnant again. That wasn’t the bad part. Her mother had died shortly after her sister was born. A sister that was 22 years younger than her and 24 years younger than Lily.
Her father had died while her mother was pregnant, so he couldn’t take the child. Lily and James were of God knew where and couldn’t take her, so Petunia was called to the hospital and asked what was to be done with the child.
Her sister was lying in one of those plastic cribs in the nursery. She had no parents anymore, just two sisters. Vernon knew about her sister Lily, what would he say about the new sister that didn’t have a name?
Petunia looked down at her belly. She herself was 3 weeks pregnant. Could she take care of two children so young at the same time? Did she want to?
She was gazing at her sister, not sure what to do. Part of her was angry with her parents. Why were they even trying for a child when they both were in their sixties? Part of her was scared that she would suffer her mother’s fate.
The baby shifted in the crib, opening her eyes for the first time since Petunia had stood in front of the window, looking in at her from the glass outside. Petunia noticed that she had her mother’s eyes and her father’s bright golden hair. Her nose had the slightest upturn.
“She’s beautiful,” Petunia whispered.
“Yes she is, Petunia,” a voice said from behind her. She turned around and saw her other sister, Lily. Slightly behind her was her husband, James. “We came as soon as we heard.”
‘Lily, what are we going to do about her?” Petunia asked, her usual hostility gone.
James walked up to her and took her into his arms, something he never tried to do before. “Don’t worry, Petunia. We’ll come up with something.”
Petunia latched onto James and started to cry. She felt so lost. Dying was always a part of being pregnant, a part that had become less likely as the years progressed until it was a rarity, but it still happened. Her mother was proof of that.
Petunia cried for a long time, not noticing when James led her into a hospital room, or when Lily asked to be allowed to take the baby out of the nursery. She had never forgiven Lily for leaving her behind at home while she went off to learn magic.
Lily was so excited to get a letter to Hogwarts. Petunia was excited with her and could barely wait until she got her own letter and got to go with Lily on the big red train. But no letter ever came for Petunia. A letter came every year for seven years for Lily and none came for her.
Each year Petunia hated the sister she idolized a little more. She had desperately wanted to be like Lily. Her parents had always sung Lily’s praises. Lily was a witch and could do all kinds of magic.
What could little Petunia do? She could cook, but her parents never mentioned it. She could paint, sing, repair small gadgets and grow a tasty garden, but did anyone care? Her parents didn’t.
It was a lifesaving grace when she met Vernon. He noticed her, noticed everything about her. He loved her cooking and encouraged her painting. He showed her how to build things, not just fix things. He showed interest in her garden, listened to her complaints about her parents and comforted her when she needed it.
Her parents naturally didn’t like him. They wanted her to find someone like James Potter, Lily’s love interest and the guy that Lily had written and complained about for seven years. James was nice enough, but he was too focused on Lily to worry about Petunia. Petunia didn’t want any one like him, because when her parents meant like him, they meant magical. Vernon wasn’t a wizard, so they didn’t like him.
She told Lily how her parents treated her in letters while Lily was at school. Lily saw what it was doing to her while she was at home, but Lily never did anything permanent about it. She couldn’t, Petunia knew.
As soon as Petunia could, she moved away from her parents, she moved in with Vernon. Her life had gotten better when she was no longer second best in everything that she did, wasn’t second best just by existing.
Petunia cried for never getting her parents’ approval for just being herself. She cried for the little lost girl she still was in many ways. She cried for the new sister that would never have the opportunity to earn her parents’ love. She was being deprived of what she wanted most and lost the July she turned eleven, the love and acceptance of her parents.
Petunia noticed that she was sitting on James’s lap on the hospital bed when Lily tapped her shoulder. She looked up into the face of her older sister, the one indirectly responsible for all her problems in life. Lily’s face was in just as much pain as hers was. In her arms was the baby, the new sister. Lily pushed the baby into her arms. “She looks like you, Peti.” Lily whispered.
“She has your eyes.” Petunia’s voice was harsh from crying.
“I saw. She’ll be beautiful when she gets older. Boys everywhere will be after her.” Lily answered. There was silence for a while. James got off the bed and walked into the bathroom. Lily took his place on the bed.
“What are we going to do, Lily?” Petunia asked again, clutching the baby slightly.
“We are going to do whatever you want to do. Mom and Dad overlooked you. I’m trying to give the spotlight to you. If you want custody, then all I want is to see her from time to time. You can raise her as you want. I love you, Peit. I don’t think I ever told you that enough.” Lily said, keeping her voice calm and soft and her eyes on Petunia’s face.
“All they ever said to me since I was eleven was ‘Why can’t you be more like Lily?’ ‘Lily can make objects turn into other things, why can’t you?’ ‘Where is your wizard boyfriend?’ They never saw me as me. They saw me as a cheap, unsatisfactory copy of you. Why couldn’t they love me for me?” Petunia asked, tears falling down her face.
“I don’t know the answer to that, Peti. What I do know is it takes a strong person to survive something like that without being broken completely. Vernon is good for you, even if he doesn’t like me that much. In fact, it’s a good thing. You’re first in someone’s life, Vernon’ s life. You can be first in her life too. She’ll love you for you.” Lily said. “It’s not Mom and Dad, but it’s the best you can get. Both James and I care for you. This child will too. You have the care and support of your family.”
Petunia was deeply touched by Lily’s declaration. “Did Mom live long enough to name her?” she asked, wiping off the tears on her face.
“Yes. Rose Elizabeth Evans. She’s to be called Buffy.” Lily said, hugging Petunia.