Chapter 1: Muddy Blood
If one were to ask Petunia about her decisions during that time she would have stared with dead eyes. It was a time she didn't want to remember. One that she refused to remember. It went against her being and thought process. The whole entire affair was unnatural. They were at war and she just felt like an inevitable concomitant of the process.
If she were to start at the beginning there would be two points to start. The first point was the birth of Lily, her younger sister and the brightest star in all the Evans' lives. Petunia prayed hard for a sister and then on the long, stormy night outside the waiting room of the tiny hospital. It was magical, life felt magical and in that small moment, the lives of the Evans were changed.
Two daughters and no sons made Mr Evans a sometimes-unpleasant man. Mr Evans decided very objectively as the two girls grew with not a son insight that Lily was made for greater things than their tiny town of Cokesworth had to offer. Petunia on the other hand would have to adjust.
Petunia was the agreeable sort. She had to be because from the day Lily took her first breath, she was demanding. A baby who refused to eat or sleep then later a toddler that called to a disaster like a tropical cyclone. Not that Petunia knew what any of that meant during that time.
When it was time for Petunia to bow to the roles placed upon a daughter, she did. Until her dad wanted a son. No, it was more like they needed a son. Petunia had wanted what they wanted because those were some of the coldest years of her life. They buried three boys in those years. Dad became more angrier and Mum quieter. They blamed both themselves and each other for their lack of ability to produce a live son.
They tried until Mum could no longer stand another miscarriage. Two was enough, it was sometimes more than they could afford. Dad was not a factory worker but his weekly wages only covered enough for the four of them no matter how many pennies mum forced the family to pinch.
Maybe that is why when Petunia asked what season to define Lily, she would always say winter even if Lily had not been born in the warmest parts of a very cold season. Lily made the coldest winter in their lives bearable for their parents. Lily made Petunia feel empty and inadequate. Yet, in spite of all those reason Petunia could never hate her sister. Their younger years meant that Lily didn't remember much. She aware of the day their Dad took Petunia aside and told her she had to be strong for the rest of them. That good little children were seen, not heard and obeyed their parents. That it was her duty beyond anything else they asked from her to be there for Lily.
So she took her place in life to be the fairy godmother to Lily. A duty she took seriously. Petunia was seen, not heard and she very rarely fussed, threw tantrums or talked back. She soothed the chaos of Lily's cyclone and made sure that everything around them remained as normal. She thrived on the rules, patterns and demands of normalcy.
She let life be enchanted by Lily even as she first lost her to Severus. The Snape's were a family the poorer side of an already poor town. There was something about them, it started when Mrs Snape practically ordered Petunia to come by after they had dropped Lily and Severus off at the train station.
Petunia felt empty when the train left. She felt like the coldest part of winter. The bone-deep chill had no place in the end of the summer. The summer had been tinged with regret, Petunia knew that someday Lily would leave her, but Lily was never really supposed to leave this early. She was not ready to let go of her sister. Lily had never belonged to her, but without Lily, Petunia did not know what else to do. There was no chaos to draw the lines of order on.
Petunia in all honesty, did not know what to expect of that night. Mrs. Snape was 'odd', for the lack of a better word. Her and Mr Snape were both difficult taskmasters to please. They communicated differently than her parents. It was like not a moment between them was wasted. A sense of equality existed in their marriage. A marriage not of roses and castles but made of rough hands and backbreaking work.
Their silences screamed out. They screamed loudly at each other only to reach conclusions quietly afterwards. There were unspoken rules in their house like in most places. The kitchen was split into two parts and unlike most houses surrounding them the Snape's owned 4 gas hobs. Two for cooking and two for potion brewing. It was not that Mr. Snape detested magic; he had a healthy fear of it. One had to when they decided that they were adamantly going to marry the Prince's daughter.
Mr. Snape took one look at Petunia and in her found a kindred spirit. Petunia didn't how it started but she refused to go back home after school and would instead run with all the other girls who lived close to Spinner's End. Those years defined a lot of what she learned outside the classroom. While Lily and Severus spend hours at Hogwarts learning to cast spells. Mr. Snape drilled her in maths and insisted she learned how to fix an engine or hotwire a car. Mrs. Snape made her stand and brew potions for hours on end until her hair was greasy and the sweat poured out.
Petunia turned thirteen when they made her learn what it was like to be wanted. They taught her that although chaos existed, her job was to draw lines of order within them. Her mother stopped questioning why she refused to listen. Her father pinched his lips tight at what he considered rebellion. Mr. Snape for all his bad habit tended to be a more present father than her own had been; while Mrs. Snape never for a moment wanted to be her mother.
Life found itself at a monotony in those early years. There was school, Spinners End and home. She shot up like a beanpole and started to pick up netball. The fast-paced action and the rough games exhausted her and she grew popular because of it. When Lily wasn't there people tended to look at her. The other Evans' girl with the blonde hair and long limbs. The one who never talked back and wore a skirt a tad shorter than the regulation demanded.
Petunia picked up injuries, only to have Mrs Snape look at them after she cruelly commented that her mother knew nothing of how to take care of her present daughter. It was Mrs Snape she went to when she got her first period. The Evans paid a price for not caring enough about their first daughter and by the time they had woken up she found another family to take her in.
Before Petunia knew it four years had passed. Four years of growing and that meant that Lily and Severus would be home for the summer. It meant no more potion lessons or having Mr Snape walk her home after his shift at the factory. Summer meant long days were Petunia would tan like a sailor and Lily's pale skin would turn red and blister. Severus would be there too, he would taunt her then slip an interesting book about wizarding history, maybe they would be able to sneak off to London again where Petunia would wonder into Gringotts and pester the goblins until they threatened to decapitate her.
She waited eagerly between platform 9 and 10, while Mrs Snape waited for Lily and Severus on the other side of the barrier. Her summer had already started and her skin had already turned tan with the amount time she played outside. She smiled and ran to Lily as she walked out the barrier. Severus had once tried to explain to her that Lily was like the sun, but all Petunia saw was winter and chaos. She hugged her sister and squashed down the jealousy. Lily was her sister and she vowed to protect her the moment her green eyes focused on Petunia's face for the first time.
"Mudblood." Petunia heard the hissed words, from a boy much older than her.
Lily tightened her hold on Petunia and Petunia's blood boiled. She knew from the way it was said that it was an insult. Any jealousy Petunia felt on that day spluttered down until the embers of it burned hot as she turned around to take a good look at his face. Robes that had to be made of expensive material and the smirk of somehow who thought he was better than the average human. Petunia hated people like that. They reminded her of the Dursley family who sent their oldest to Smeltings.
Petunia was not a fan of people who looked down on her family. Lily pulled Petunia for a hug. Her red hair hung loose and she forced Petunia to lose herself in a sea of cold red.
Lily let go and grinned at her sister. It was as if the insult had been forgotten. The words rang in Petunia's ears though. She was no stranger to rough language but there was something about this particular insult that did not sit well with her. They reminded her too much of the skinheads that popped up around town. The one's who thought that they had a right to hurt people just because they themselves couldn't stay afloat.
Maybe Petunia wouldn't have been so worried if Mr Snape had not insisted on walking them home that night with his gun tucked into his jeans. Mr Evans then proceeded to quietly tell them that there would be a curfew this summer and that they would have to be back home before the streetlights came on.
The world was changing and that summer sparked the change that would probably define the rest of their lives.