Fic: The Only Answer (Harry Potter: Petunia Centric) Title:The Only Answer Author:dani_meows Pairings or Characters: Petunia, Dudley, Vernon, Harry and Lily. Word Count:800 Rating:PG-13 (Angst) Warnings: (if any) Major Character Death * Challenge: Prompt: Quest forsyfy_fantasy100
Petunia Evans Dursley was on a mission, find one green eyed wizard and apologize profusely for the way she had treated him. After the way he'd left, after they had been told that it was safe to go home, after Dudley had yelled and screamed, things had changed in the Dursley household.
She still remembered all too painfully, her son's shouts. “All of my life, I watched you push, pinch, hit, starve, or shove my younger cousin into a cupboard, I was praised every time I hurt Harry, who you dubbed a freak, you want to know why I have no friends and the cops are always picking on your poor Dudders? It's because I'm an overweight, over-indulged bully, and it's because of you!” It had echoed through her head even as she had tried to calm Dudley and Vernon had turned various shades of purple and pink while yelling. But there was no way with arguing with the truth.
And so therapy of sorts had begun. She had begun by questioning her own behavior and motives. Her younger sister who she'd adored had received a letter to attend a special different school and when she'd tried to arrange to go too, so that she wouldn't be alone, she'd been told that she wasn't special enough to attend. Then her parents who would already brag about how pretty and kind Lily was had a new thing to be proud of, meanwhile she worked hard to get their attention but never seemed to get any. The only family member who had loved her in a way that she could see and feel, had been her sister. Who had left her.
For that she had alienated first her sister and then herself from the family, until her parents death, when she'd encountered Lily at the funeral. Then one rainy day in early November she'd learned of her sister's death through a letter left on a basket with a young toddler and despite being a mother herself had looked into her nephew's bright green eyes (so like Lily's!) and hated him. She had loathed him, abused him, all because like her sister, he was born special.
She was a child abuser. She had over indulged her son to the point of madness, all so that he never felt unloved or like he didn't belong. She was the one who allowed the treatment of her nephew to continue, who added her own versions of neglect, verbal abuse and the occasional smack, and had almost never stepped in to stop it. She who should have cherished this link to her sister who had been loved and lost, had abused it and neglected it and never gotten to know Harry.
With all of the soul searching and realizations, change came to the Dursley household. Dudley lost weight, went back to school with more enthusiasm and skill then he'd ever shown before. Petunia began leaving the house, volunteering her time and energy to charities and other beneficial things rather than gossip and Vernon, well Vernon had been caught by his boss, sleeping with the boss's wife, and Petunia had filed for divorce and he'd had to leave town in order to save his career.
Today, she was ready for the final step. She had found him. She was ready. She reminded herself that forgiveness is a process and just because she was going to apologize and seek it did not mean that Harry had to give it to her. She would not pressure him. She would let him rage if he needed it and just give him her number and tell him that he could come by any time that he wanted to talk.
She walked to the place where she had been told he would be, a box of Lily's things in her hand. She should have given him that box when he was a child, how he would have cherished a box of his mother's things.
There were graves everywhere. It struck her as an odd place for a meeting. Then she saw the names and for a while nothing struck her at all.
Lily Evans Potter... Harry James Potter... he hadn't yet been 18 when he had died. Two stone and granite graves that proclaimed the goodness of her sister and of her nephew. Collapsing to her knees, Petunia wept among the dirt.
The grave called him a hero, a champion of Hogwarts, the one who had saved them all but he was dead and all Petunia could see was a little boy giving her a flower on her birthday in the hopes that she would finally love him. Instead she had punished him, and tossed the flower out onto the dirt.
“Forgive me, Harry,” Petunia whispered. Silence was her only answer.