FIC: "A Magical Moment in the Life of Petunia Dursley, Née Evans" for pauraque Recipient:pauraque Author ??? Title: A Magical Moment in the Life of Petunia Dursley, Née Evans Rating: R Pairings: Petunia/Snape, Petunia/Vernon, Petunia/Lily (of sorts) Word Count: ~ 3,200 Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): *Hints of unrequited incestuous attraction.* Summary: Sometimes at night, when Vernon's fast asleep, Petunia can't help but remember. Author's Notes: My undying gratitude to L for the initial idea, and to L and T for the lightning fast beta. Thank you, Beth, for running Beholder again and being the generous mod that you are.
Vernon is snoring before he even pulls out of her. Petunia pushes him off, taking good care that he lands properly on his side of the bed, and tucks him in. When she returns from the bathroom, freshly showered and smelling of her rose-scented body lotion, he has already settled into his sleeping position facing away from her. She contemplates the stack of glossies on the bedside cabinet, but eventually switches off the light; better to be well-rested for spring-cleaning tomorrow.
The street light in front of the house paints the ceiling yellow and black. She doesn't dare to close the curtains lest Vernon might be disturbed in his sleep. Having learned that a whole world of monsters exists right on her doorstep and in broad daylight, too, she isn't afraid of the dark any longer. Vernon's fears, however, fill her with tenderness. He is such a sweet and innocent man.
A car comes to a screeching halt outside the window. A door bangs and youthful voices chime their goodbyes. The car honks and drives away. First thing in the morning, Petunia will have to have a word with Mrs Lester of number three about her daughter. A sixteen-year-old girl shouldn't be out this late.
"Don't go," Petunia said as Lily already sat astride the windowsill. To convince her to stay Petunia would need a really good argument. "You promised to show me how to snog tonight."
Glancing down at her watch, a look of regret flashed across Lily's face. "I'm late." She hesitated. "All right. To wait a little while longer will only do him good. Come here."
Lily's eyes sparkled with mischief and Petunia immediately regretted her foolish attempt to spend an evening alone with her sister. What if Lily hexed her, as she had done the one time Petunia had demanded she teach her how to fly? True, Lily's spell had allowed her to hover a few inches above the ground, but in the end the broom had bucked her off and Petunia had broken her ankle. It had been a humiliating experience. Like so many other incidents that involved Petunia being at the wrong end of Lily's wand.
But snogging really should be safe. Pressing two sets of lips together didn't require magic. Or did it? One never knew with Lily and her sort, but even they couldn't be that weird. Petunia inched forward, keeping an eye on Lily's right hand that was reassuringly empty.
"Don't be scared. I promise, I won't bite." Lily beckoned her closer with that infectious smile of hers. As Petunia joined her at the window, she put an arm around her shoulder. "You mustn't think of kissing as a complicated task," she said. "It's not as if it's an exam or something where you need to get full marks." She chuckled and her breath tickled in Petunia's ear.
Petunia snorted. "Sometimes it feels like it." She could have told Lily about Danny Wilder and Oliver Burns at school with their not-so-secret rankings, and three or four years ago she would have done. She might have even told her today, but with Lily already on the sill, her broomstick hovering outside, the moment didn't seem right. Maybe later – if only Lily would stay. She closed her eyes and made a wish.
"A good kiss depends on many things," Lily said. "I like it when a boy is gentle and shows that he cares." She cupped Petunia's face with her hands and leaned toward her. "Like this."
Soft and dry like a feather, Lily's lips were lightly brushing Petunia's. It was over before Petunia could fully analyse the feeling.
"Of course …" Lily giggled. She was so close that the warm puffs of her breath touched Petunia's lips more intimately than her kiss had done. "… it doesn't hurt if a little bit of tongue is involved."
Flabbergasted and curious, Petunia opened her lips to Lily's tongue pushing against them. It was an odd sensation, wet and personal and something else that Petunia couldn't quite name. Something stirred deep down in her stomach and a flush of heat spread through her body. She gasped.
"There, not so difficult after all, is it?" Lily didn't sound breathless in the least, and Petunia almost hated her as she watched her climb off the sill and mount her broom, cool and composed as ever. "Tell you what," Lily said, leaning her head back through the window, "it's not the technique that matters. It's really all about the boy you're with and how you feel about him. You'll see." Smiling, she pointed her broom at the sky.
"Don't go!" Petunia pleaded. "I thought we could spend the evening together. Like we used to do before …"
"Another time, promise." Lily pushed off the wall. "But now I really don't want to keep him waiting any longer."
"What if the neighbours see you?" Petunia called after her, fully aware that her voice was too shrill and for once not caring.
"They won't, silly. There's a charm to prevent that." Waving a cheerful goodbye, Lily soared upwards and was gone.
Infuriated, Petunia slammed the window shut. Lily's kiss still tingled on her lips and she breathed heavily, feeling hot and sweaty all over. She had the sudden urge to undress and ride the arm of their old couch like she had done as a little girl playing horse. She had undone the three topmost buttons of her blouse when it dawned on her. Her fingers froze. How could she have failed to notice?
Damned be her freak sister and her stupid wooden stick! She had done it again! Had hexed her behind her back when Petunia had been too preoccupied to realise it. They were probably laughing about her right now, she and that horrible boy. But Petunia had been the butt of the joke one time too often. This time, she'd get back at her!
She squeezed her thighs together to make that throbbing ache go away and balled a fist. "I'll show you!" she promised.
Riding her bicycle in the cool evening breeze had somewhat calmed her, but her anger flared up again when she turned the corner to Mill Street where a bridge spanned the railway track and the river. Crossing it meant leaving the respectable part of town and venturing into the dirty narrow streets of the poor – the world of the Snape boy. With grim determination, Petunia pedalled on.
She dismounted on the other side and, locking her bike to the railing, climbed down the bank. Here, among rubbish and heaps of debris, was where they met. Petunia spotted him immediately. Smoking a cigarette while leaning against a concrete pipe, he cast a long shadow in the evening sun. But Lily was nowhere to be seen.
Petunia thought that she was probably waiting for him inside that pipe. She had seen the tent they had taken on their camping trip last year and could imagine a whole house hiding within the pipe, complete with front lawn and garage. Or maybe they only had need for a single room with a king size bed. Petunia shuddered at the thought and the odd tingle was back.
She had been so enraged that she had left home without a clear-cut plan, but she knew an opportunity when she saw one. If only she managed to surprise them at "playing house" she would have blackmail material for years to come. Imagining the shock on their faces at being found out, she crept closer.
"What are you doing here?"
Petunia spun on her heel. Severus had sneaked up on her and she hadn't even noticed him moving. Irritated, she said, "What do you think?"
"Do you have a message for me?" His voice sounded urgent, pleading almost, and he didn't regard her with his usual disdain. But Petunia wasn't to be fooled. She saw right through his forced smile and the impolite stare. He wanted to keep her away from their secret hiding place.
"Do I look like an errand-boy to you?" She pushed him aside and quickly descended the bank, but he caught up with her before she could sneak a peak into the pipe.
"What then do you want?" His grip was painful on her arm and Petunia screamed. Why didn't Lily come out to help her?
"Where's Lily?" she demanded to know.
He released her immediately, his hands falling to his sides. "Lily?" He did an excellent imitation of gobsmacked boy, Petunia had to give it to him. "I haven't seen her since getting off the Hogwarts Express."
"Good one." She snorted. "I have it on first hand authority that you two not only meet every evening …" Pausing to calculate her next move, she took in his shabby appearance. The bare feet, black with grime, the ragged jeans and ugly chequered shirt, and the curtain of greasy hair that was currently obscuring his face. To imagine that Lily enjoyed touching someone like him. Petunia shuddered with disgust.
"… but that you also have regular snogging sessions." She didn't wait for his reaction but dodged him and dived into the pipe.
Inside, it was a different world. A dark, cavernous vault, lit only by flickering torches and several fires that burned under huge black cauldrons. The air was thick with fumes, and Petunia could make out the distinct smell of sulphur. It was hell. Hell right out of a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm. Oh, how she had hated these creepy foreign stories as a child, having always preferred Pooh Bear, and later Narnia, where she could count on Aslan to keep her safe. But Lily had asked for them again and again, not for the princesses, but for the penniless weirdos and down-and-out freaks who had nothing but their wits to depend on when they crawled into the stinking belly of the earth to steal fortunes that rightfully belonged to others.
She wondered if this infernal place was the true face of the wizarding world; if the singing teapots and dancing spoons were only the façade it showed to normal people that were unfortunate enough to have a witch for a sister. Were Lily's stories all lies and deception? Petunia shivered despite the heat. She wanted nothing more than to run away.
But the way out was blocked. Severus loomed in the entrance, closing in on her with his wand drawn. He had grown since last summer and towered over her by ten inches at least. "You can't leave now," he said, pressing his wand to her throat.
Petunia swallowed. Remembering something she had heard them talking about years ago, she summoned all her courage and said, "You can't do magic outside school. The Ministry will punish you."
"See if I can't!" He pointed his wand and Petunia's legs snapped together as if she had just completed an elegant dance step. As much as she tried, she couldn't move them apart. They were as if glued to each other and to the ground. When she started to protest, he pointed his wand again and her lips snapped shut, too. "You can wait here for the Ministry Owl," he hissed into her ear. "For all eternity, if you like. I have work to do."
He began to move between the cauldrons, adding ingredients here and stirring a ladle there. Frantically struggling against the hex that kept her from running away, Petunia didn't know how much time had passed when he finally returned. "And now," he said, pointing his wand at her once more, "tell me about Lily!"
"My legs," she sputtered as feeling slowly returned to her lips. "Make it so that I can move them again."
"Tell me about Lily first. Did she send you to spy on me? You can tell her that it's nothing Dark I'm doing here. Just trying out some new potions. Improving recipes and stuff."
"Oh really?" She pointed at the row of sooty cauldrons emitting sinister fumes. "Looks pretty dark and forbidden to me."
"That's because you're stupid." He turned abruptly and walked back to his cauldrons where he stood motionless for a second. He soon returned, lips clamped together in what seemed to be his version of a smile. "Listen," he said, fixing her with an intent stare, "tell Lily that she's welcome to join me. We could do some great experiments here."
He began to pace back and forth, talking so fast that Petunia could barely understand what he was saying. "She already knows about this place. I told her about it years ago. My dad took me here when he still thought I'd become a pitman like him. Wanted to show me the ropes. Now it's shut down for ages, and so deep below ground that the Ministry doesn't monitor it. Mum charmed the pipe to work as a gate between here and the river so that I would be able to practice magic during the holidays. Tell Lily that it's an ideal –"
"Aren't we inside the pipe?" Petunia asked, curious despite herself.
"You really are stupid." He had stopped pacing and stared at her as if he had completely forgotten that she was there. "How do you think all this …" He gestured at the vast expanse of space in the cavern. "… could fit into that pipe?"
"I've seen that tent of yours," she protested angrily. "One never knows with you freaks."
"Wizard space has its limitations. Not that a Muggle like you would understand. Anyway …" He took a deep breath. "Please tell your sister that I want to see her. I'll be waiting for her every –"
"I'll tell her that you hexed me," Petunia shrieked, clawing her still frozen legs. "If she hears about it she'll never want to see you again."
She didn't believe her own words – Lily had never much cared how Severus treated Petunia – but she didn't know what to believe any more anyway. Where did Lily go every night when she took off for her dates? Who did she meet? Petunia had been so sure that the boy must be Severus that she had never bothered to ask for his name. And Lily had deliberately kept her silence. Deeply upset about yet another sign of Lily's estrangement from her, Petunia only noticed that her legs were moving when she had nearly reached the exit. She stopped, eyeing the hole through which she had entered with distrust. She couldn't see anything beyond darkness. Would it really lead her back to the pipe and the river?
"Wait!" Severus ran up to her, breathing hard. "I'm …" He stared at his feet as if he could scrub them clean with his eyes. "Ishouldn'thavehexedyouI'msorry."
"You never much cared before," Petunia said in a voice she hoped sounded cold and superior. She turned to go.
"It's important that I speak to Lily," he pressed through clenched teeth. "Please."
"What the hell is wrong with you two?" Petunia swivelled around. "You don't talk to each other any more and Lily goes off snogging other boys. Every night. And doesn't tell me a thing."
She took a deep breath to rein in her anger. She shouldn't have let it all out. She didn't care so much that she might have betrayed a secret – Petunia didn't know what exactly was going on in Lily's life anyway – but it annoyed her that she had blurted out her own feelings so shamelessly.
A look at Severus told her that she needn't worry about having just worn her heart on her sleeve like the proverbial fool. Standing motionless with his head hanging low and his shoulders slumped, he radiated despair. "And I've never," he said, and it sounded suspiciously as if he was snivelling behind his greasy curtain of hair.
"You never have what?" Petunia asked, feeling better already.
"I've never even kissed her."
At this very moment, something shifted in the atmosphere. It was as if an invisible door had opened to let in a breath of fresh air. Her skin tingled with possibility. A benevolent deity had made up her mind and decided that here and now was the pinpoint of time that she, Petunia Evans, less-talented and less-loved, would finally get the opportunity to triumph.
When she circled her prey to pick the right angle for the attack, her feet seemed to float several inches above the ground. When she opened her mouth, her power over him ran through her veins like magic. Two simple words, softly spoken, but they worked like a dangerous hex.
"I have," she said.
After all these years, she can still feel his lips on hers. His bite. As if he wanted to tear Lily's kiss away from her.
Petunia's hand creeps under the blanket and pushes up her nightgown.
She can still taste the blood. Tears and spittle, despair and rage – Severus's kiss was different from anything she had ever imagined. And yet it was perfect. She clung to his lips as if now that he had surrendered to the superior powers given to her by Lily's kiss she would be able to suck up his magic.
Her lips are bitten now, too. From holding back her moans.
Severus never spoke to her again. Until the day of Lily's wedding. But Petunia knows for certain that she and Vernon didn't attend it. They spent the weekend at Marge's house, and it's ridiculous to think that she stole away in the afternoon heat to catch the bus to Cokesworth. Why would she have done such a foolish thing? To hide behind hydrangea bushes like a thief, watching out for another intruder like her? It's an impossible thought, and so this encounter with Severus can never have happened.
Thinking of Severus's hands all over her body, she bucks up into her own touch.
After that, she didn't visit her parents every weekend for the sole purpose of sneaking away to the river and looking for Severus. Her parents were getting on in years. They needed her more than ever, now that Lily was gone.
Vernon stirs beside her. She presses down on her clit to finish quickly.
It never happened like that, she assures herself, it's merely a fantasy. But whatever it is or was, it ended with Lily's death. She saw Severus for the very last time at Lily's funeral. He didn't spare her a single glance.
Her orgasm – or is it the memory? – leaves her in tears. She tiptoes to the bathroom to get rid of the dirty smell.
And yet, she wonders as the scalding water flushes away her shame, now that they had taken in Harry, wouldn't Severus come to see the boy, all that remained of Lily and her magic? Rubbing herself dry forcefully, she decides that this must never happen. She will do everything she can to squash Lily's magic out of her son.
But there's a tiny voice that nags her: The more vehemently she suppresses Harry's magic, the faster Severus might come to claim him for his world. She refuses to listen. Whatever she will do to Harry, it will be for Vernon's sake.
"Come back to bed," he calls from the bedroom, and Petunia hurries to obey.