This is set in the same universe as my Seeker Trilogy. It's a stream of consciousness pieceabout Petunia. I'll warn you, it's not the most uplifting thing I've ever written. In relation to the actual HP Universe, this takes place probably a few days after baby Harry comes to live with the Dursleys.

This is my first really heavy piece, so let me know what you think.

DISCLAIMER: I have no control over Petunia Dursley. Sorry to disappoint you all.

Mom told me when you were born that it was my job to protect you. Because I was a big girl of five, and you were just a little baby. I told my friends you were just a pest, but really, I loved it when you who come up and hug my thighs and tug on my skirt and ask to play a game. And we'd go up to the attic and dress up and play princess and fairy, when we had to rescue the prince from the dragon. The attic was our castle, and we'd pretend to fly around on old broomsticks and use sticks from the cherry tree outside the window as our magic wands. It was your favorite game, and mine. I still remember when you were eight and I was thirteen, you snuck into my room late one night and crawled into bed with me. Under the covers, we talked about magic and castles and wanting it all to be real until we both fell asleep, to dream of unicorns and magic and happily ever after.

And when the boy at school made fun of you for believing in it all and you came home crying, I tracked him down and told him exactly what would happen to him if I ever saw you crying because of something he said to you. Because it was my job to protect you. You were my kid sister. I loved you.

But then the letter came, and all I could think of was that all that you were getting was my wish, too, but it was too late for me. I felt a little pang in my heart because Mum and Dad were so proud of you, and I wanted them to be proud of me, too. I tried to be happy that you got your dream, but I kept remembering reading Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Snow White to you when you were still just a baby. They were my stories, my dreams. You got it all.

And you changed. You came back home and you were different. More confident, not as shy. And I was sixteen and I asked you if you wanted to go up to the attic, for old times sake. The attic, our castle. And you laughed and told me you had the real thing now. I realized then that you didn't need me. And if you didn't need me to protect you, I didn't know what to do. Because you had a real wand made of cherry, and all I had was a stick cut from a cherry tree in the front yard. You had lessons to learn to fly on a real broomstick, while I had to pretend. You had books of spells and real magic history, and all I had was a book of fairy tales. You got everything we ever wanted. And I couldn't share in it.

And magic was ruined for me, a little. It is worse to know that that world exists and I can't go there than to have it only exist in my imagination. Knowing it was all real, just as I had dreamt for years, should have been the best moment for me, but it wasn't. Because that world wasn't mine. I couldn't go there. You could, though. My kid sister could go, and she went without me, and she didn't need me to protect her anymore.

For years I watched as you grew farther and farther away from me. You wouldn't talk to me. You told me I wouldn't understand. I was angry then, for everything I wanted and couldn't have. For everything I had lost when I lost you. For my life that was painfully real that I couldn't escape.

You said you didn't know what I wanted from you. And for a long time, neither did I. But I know now, and it's simple to me. I want something you can't give. Something I can't reasonably ask for. I want my little sister back. I want you to need me to beat back the bullies. I want you to need me to read fairy tales to you. I want you to need to crawl under the covers with me to talk about magic and castles and wanting it all to be real. I just wanted you to need me again. I wanted to go back to the life we had before the owl came. When magic was just make-believe and broomsticks couldn't really fly unless we pretended. I wanted it not to be real for you, unless it could be real for me, too.

You said you wanted to know why I hated you. I didn't. Not really. I couldn't hate you. You were my kid sister. Somehow, I couldn't hate my kid sister, though there were times, dark times, when I wanted to. I was hurt. Because you left me behind and wouldn't let me in. I said I didn't want to be let it, but I was lying. I didn't even know it.

I thought magic could solve anything. I thought all the problems of the world could be waved away with a magic wand. Butthey can't. You tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen. So I learned the hard way. Because you're gone now. And I don't know what to do. Because there's so much I wanted to say to you. When I had the chances, I refused to take them, and now I've run out of chances. Because you're gone. In the end, I couldn't protect you. It hurts.

I never wanted you home because I could convince myself I hated you if you weren't around. But the minute you would walk in the door, it got harder to hate you. If I could just think you were wrong, if I could just pretend that you hated me, so there wasn't any point in talk, it would be so much easier. You're gone now. Forever gone. You'd think hating you would be the easiest thing now. But it's not. It just hurts. I want it to stop hurting. Can you wave your magic wand and make it stop hurting? Can you turn back the clock and fix what went wrong? Can you? Please, can you? You're my kid sister. I can't hate you. I've tried. Why can't magic fix everything?

Everyday I look at your son and I see you staring out of his eyes. He looks at me and wants to know where his mother is. What do I tell him? If I tell him the truth, will he grow up to be like you? If I teach him about your world, will he grow up to have what you had? Will I lose him someday, and so lose you all over again? I can't handle that. I can't love him, because I don't want it to hurt again, when someone else I love gets to go off to that world without me. He won't need me anymore, once that day comes. Just like you.

It would be easier to hate him. It would be easier to hate you. It would just be easier if I could. But I can't. I just can't. And I don't know why.

Once upon a time, I thought magic could fix everything, but I was wrong. There are so many things it can't fix. All the magic in world can't bring my sister back to me. Because it took her away in the first place. And all the magic in the world, that I wished my whole life could be real, left me alone and hurt. All the magic in the world can never bring my sister back to me.

I wish it could. I wish I could see you again. I wish I could talk to you again. I wish you could need me again. I wish you could have taken me with you. But more than all of these things, right now . . . I wish I could hate you. I wish I could hate your son. I wish that whatever inside of me keeps stubbornly loving you would go away. Because it hurts. And I don't know how to make it stop. I don't know how to make it go away. I can only guess how to keep from being hurt again, and that's to distance myself from everything that reminds me of you. My past, my memories, my life, the cherry tree in the front yard, the attic, your eyes, your son.

I don't want it to hurt anymore. So if I can't hate you, if I can't hate him, I'll make him hate me. And maybe, wherever you are now, you'll start to hate me, too. If you would just hate me, then I could hate you, too. But you wouldn't. With everything I did to you and said to you, all the times I tried to make you hurt like I did, you wouldn't hate me. You kept loving me. Why? Why?

Knowing hurts. All the things I've wanted to say to you for so long are locked up inside, and they hurt. I wish . . . but it's too late. For wishes, for dreams, for explanations, for understanding, for hope, for love. How can such things exist in a world where even magic doesn't work the way it's supposed to? This is the truth.

There is no happily ever after, in your world, or mine. The end.