Chapter 1 - A New Home

Morning light shone through a gap in the blinds and Petunia Dursley blinked. She'd been awake for some time now. She'd sat up for several hours reading the book Vernon had bought her for her birthday, made herself a glass of warm milk and even tried counting sheep but nothing had helped her go back to sleep.

The problem was that, try as she might, she could not stop thinking about her younger sister, Lily.

She was certain that it was Vernon's fault that she hadn't slept well; after all he was the one who'd mentioned Lily for the first time in years and had then spent all of last night tossing and turning, muttering about 'bloody cats' and Harry Potter.

This was not only unexpected but, Vernon bringing up Lily so casually in conversation made Petunia feel terrible. She had spent the last few years of her life trying to forget that she even had a sister. It just hurt too much. Of course she would like to reconcile with her sister but, it was too late now, she had Dudley to think of. Having people like the Potters around would be far too dangerous and even if it weren't, Petunia would never apologise; it was a matter of principle, she done anything wrong.

Petunia would, of course, not back down. However, if Lily turned up on Petunia's doorstep apologising for the wrong she'd done, and begging for her sister's forgiveness there was no doubt that Petunia would have accepted the apology immediately.


The cool morning air took Petunia by surprise as she opened the front door; she pulled the neck of her dressing gown tighter, and holding the door only a fraction of the way open; she glanced up and down the street, checking that no one was around to see her in her pyjamas. Satisfied that none of the neighbours were up she opened the door fully and bent to place the empty milk bottles on the doorstep.

Being so preoccupied with not being seen her in her pyjamas, Petunia didn't notice the small bundle on the doorstep at first. It wasn't until the baby rolled in its blankets that Petunia looked up and let out a small shriek of surprise.

The baby opened its eyes and blinked up at her in bemusement.

Petunia shrieked again and dropped a milk bottle which shattered on the doorstep. There was a long, drawn out silence as the glass tinkled against the pavement and then the baby let out a loud cry, thick tears rolling down its cheeks as he squirmed in his blankets, bawling louder and louder.

Petunia looked up and noticing that one of the neighbours had switched on their bedroom light, she scooped up the bundle and rushed into the kitchen where she set the child down on the table.

Not wanting to wake Vernon or Dudley, Petunia hurriedly un-wrapped the child from his blankets and rocked him in her arms, making quiet, soothing noises. The baby smiled, stopped crying and, almost as though he had been told what to do, he held out a letter clasped tightly in his fat fist.

Petunia took the letter and gently put the child in her son's highchair. The envelope was addressed in green cursive handwriting to a 'Mrs. Petunia Dursley'.

The writing seemed oddly familiar and whilst she was sure she had seen it before, Petunia couldn't remember when or where, as though she was trying to put a name to a face she hadn't seen in years.

She opened the envelope pulled out a thick, heavy parchment.

Unfolding the letter Petunia began to read;

Mrs. Dursley,

I sincerely hope that you have received the dreadful news prior to your receiving of this letter. However, if you have not then it is my regrettable duty to inform you of the death of your sister and brother in-law.

Lily and James have, for some time now, known that their lives were in danger and, sadly on the night of the thirty-first of October Lord Voldemort forced his way into their home and killed them both. However, when Voldemort turned his wand on your nephew, Harry, the spell rebounded, destroying Voldemort in Harry's place.

The reason that Voldemort could not kill your nephew is, I believe, because Lily offered up her life in exchange for her son's. At present, many supporters of Voldemort will most likely be plotting to do terrible things to your nephew and I beseech you; do not let them harm him. When your sister died she invoked an ancient and powerful magic, Harry will be safe as long as he can say that his home is with you, his true family.

The magic invoked by your sister will protect everyone who has blood ties to Lily, however when the day comes that Harry can no longer say his home is with you, the wards will fail. Harry will no longer have protection and nor will you or your son.

I trust you will treat Harry as you would your own son. If you cannot, or will not, take your nephew in out of the goodness of your heart, then I implore you do it for your sister. What would Lily have done were your roles reversed? Removing the boy from your household will not stop you from becoming a target for dark wizards, you and your family are already in grave danger and have been ever since Voldemort set his sights on the Potter family.

I speak as a man who lost his sister and parents at a young age, when I say my thoughts are with you at this dark time. We, the entire wizarding community, are deeply saddened by the deaths of Lily and James; we have taken a great hit. They were loving, talented people who were taken from us long before their time, they will be dearly missed. We are taking measures to bring those responsible to justice. When the time of Voldemort's second rising comes, I assure you I will be on the front line facing the criminals that took the lives of so many young and innocent people.

I beg you to not let your sister's sacrifice be in vain.

If you ever need to contact me, send an envelope addressed plainly to 'Albus Dumbledore' by normal muggle post. Harry also has a small pot of powder on his person, the pot contains the amount needed for three Floo calls, simply throw a pinch of the powder into a lit fireplace and call the name of the wizard or witch you wish to speak to.

With Sympathy,

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,

Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Petunia re-read the letter three times before the information even began to sink in. Her sister's name echoed around her head. Lily dead?

How could Lily be dead? The day before yesterday she was alive, how could she now, so suddenly, be dead?

At first, Petunia refused to believe it. She would know if her baby sister had died, it would be impossible for her to not. She should have felt something, despite the differences between them. It was just too much to believe that yesterday she had carried on as normal, oblivious to the fact that her sister was dead.

Despite her adamant refusal to believe Lily dead, a traitorous little voice in the back of her head insisted that it must be true, why would Harry be here if not? Lily loved her son as much as Petunia loved Dudley; there was no way that she would leave Harry alone under any circumstance other than her own death. And what reason would Professor Dumbledore have to lie about it?

Petunia gulped, feeling a lump rise in her throat, her eyes stung but tears were refusing to fall. How could she not have known? Surely, she'd have felt something when Lily was killed, a pain in her heart or a sudden emptiness.

The emptiness came now; her heart felt heavy and her body hollow. Lily, her baby sister, was dead. Petunia hadn't told her in years that she loved her, not since Lily left school. What if she'd died thinking Petunia hated her?

Petunia could remember the day Lily was born as though it was yesterday; she'd always wanted a little sister. Her Father had taken her to the hospital to see the new baby and even then, Lily had been beautiful, with a small tuft of red hair, striking green eyes and a magical aura about her. Petunia had been young at the time, only three, and even then she'd promised to protect her baby sister at all costs.

Did this mean she'd failed? Failed as a big sister, Lily had died thinking Petunia hated her. No one hated Lily; even that awful Severus boy loved Lily.

Petunia made a strangled sobbing sound, but still no tears came. The baby was sleeping now. Harry James Potter, the reason her sister died. Petunia couldn't look at him. He looked too much like his father and yet somehow felt like Lily, Petunia knew, from the christening pictures her sister had sent only six-months earlier, that when he opened his eyes she would see Lily's eyes looking back at her.

Petunia clenched her fists, slamming them hard against the table. Why? She couldn't even begin to comprehend it.

The man that had killed her was dead; shouldn't she be grateful for that at least? Petunia just felt hollow, no amount of retribution would bring Lily back, and no torture could make Voldemort pay enough.

Petunia stared at the baby, Lily's baby. The baby her sister had loved enough to die for.

What should she do?

She'd always wanted to have a second child, a little brother or sister for Dudley but this child, Harry, reminded her so much of Lily, it would hurt to look at him day after day and yet to treat him as anything less than a son would be an insult to Lily's memory.

But he looked so much like James; the man who'd stolen Lily away. Could she ever look at the boy and not be reminded of how she had failed her sister?

Petunia was vaguely aware of Vernon coming into the kitchen. He said something to her but she didn't hear what. Her ears were ringing, the words from Dumbledore's letter echoing around her mind.

Vernon asked something again, Petunia didn't answer. She felt him take the letter from her hand and made no move to stop him. Her mind continued to whirl.

She felt her husband's hand on her shoulder, it squeezed tightly letting her know how sorry for her he was, how much he loved her, and something more mere words could not have conveyed.

The haze in Petunia's mind faded as Vernon bent and pressed a soft kiss to her cheek. "I'll phone work, they'll understand. I'll take Dudders out of the way for today, give you some time." He kissed her again and added. "Do you want me to take the boy as well?"

Petunia shook her head numbly and choked out a word sounding vaguely like, "Thank you."

Vernon patted her on the shoulder once more and made her a cup of tea before leaving the room to wake their son.

Petunia gripped the mug, not caring that it scalded her hands. How could Vernon be so understanding? After everything she'd done, how could anyone forgive her? She'd cast away her baby sister, let pride get in the way of family love, and now look; Lily was dead.

Tears still wouldn't fall; Petunia felt anger bubbling up inside her. How could Dumbledore possibly understand? She'd deserted her own sister, the sister she'd vowed to protect. How could anyone understand what that felt like?

Why did Lily have to die?

Petunia had always heard that the best way to deal with grief was by talking to people, but who could possibly understand what she was going through. They'd sit and nod their heads offering empty sympathetic words, but not really understanding.

Only two other people could ever claim that they knew Lily as well as Petunia, James Potter and Severus Snape. Petunia grimaced, letting out another broken sobbing sound.

Dumbledore had asked her to look after Harry but she didn't have to love him. If she told Vernon that the boy was a danger to their family, he wouldn't condemn her. He would probably even agree with her that Harry should be kept at a distance, but Petunia wasn't sure if she could do it again. Not after how she'd treated Lily, Harry might be her last chance to make it up to her.

Harry opened his eyes and began crying again, the cry was the same as Lily's when she was that age. Before she even knew what she was doing Petunia had the baby cradled in her arms, gently rocking him. "Don't cry, don't d-don't, please shh, shh, shh."

"Ma? Mummy?" The baby began to scream for his mother, his voice getting higher and louder.

Petunia wanted to scream, to hit something.


"Shhh, Harry, I've got you."

"Where mummy?" Harry kicked his legs, and his screams rose, his face turning red.

"Shhh, shhh," Petunia rocked him. "Shh, Harry, be quiet." Petunia fell to her knees, putting the baby on the floor next to her and clamping her hands over her ears. He just wouldn't be quiet, his cries seemed echo around the room, sounding so much like Lily's as a baby. Petunia began breathing jaggedly. "No, please, no just shh. Please."

Harry stopped screaming but Petunia kept her hands clamped over her ears, her head against her knees still muttering her mantra, "No, no, shh, be quiet."

Petunia felt a small hand touch her knee. "Mahwee."


Harry looked up at her, tears glistening in his green eyes, so much like Lily's. "Me Hawee"

"You're Harry." Harry nodded. "I'm your Aunt Petunia, Harry; I'll be looking after you from now on." Petunia picked up Harry, once again cradling him in her arms.

A small purple box fell from one of the blankets; Petunia picked it up and slid the lid off. Inside was a small amount of silver powder. Petunia felt her heart begin to race, still cradling the child she ran to the living room and lit a small fire in the hearth, then grabbed a pinch and flicked it into the fire, calling out, "Severus Snape."

Petunia leapt away as the flames rose, and stood watching the fire from across the room; Harry glanced over at the flames and screeched in delight, "Pafoo'? Mooey? Wommy?"

Petunia couldn't understand what Harry was saying so didn't respond, instead staring intently at the fire. The flames whooshed again and a figure fell from the hearth.

The man stood up and brushed his robes, looking anywhere but at Petunia. His face was paler than usual, his features more gaunt, his black eyes looked hollow and a steady stream of tears rolled down his face. He hadn't change, the same boy she'd hated all those years ago for taking Lily away.

Now Lily was gone and here he stood, the only living person who had ever known Lily as well as Petunia.

"Severus." Petunia gasped, falling into the younger man's arms. "You've heard?"

He opened his mouth, as though he were about to speak, and closed it again. Instead, he nodded once and brushed the tears from his face with the back of his hand. Severus patted her awkwardly on the back and sucked in a deep breath. "I'm…" A strangled sob cut him off. "I'm s-so sorry."

Severus slumped onto the sofa and attempted to wipe the tears from his face while Petunia watched uncomfortably. Before her sat a man who could silence a room with a look. Even as children nothing had ever seemed to faze him, and yet here he was sitting on her sofa gasping for air. His face contorted in pain and misery, tears dripping from the end of his nose.

She had never seen a more broken man; his sobs were choked and throttled, his entire body shaking. He looked completely deflated; his eyes a bloodshot red colour his face still pale and twisted in pain.

Petunia moved over to him and patted him on the back, he shifted away uncomfortably, "I don't… deserve your sympathy it's my fault all… all my fault."

"No, it was that man, Voldemort, he… did this." Petunia's voice cracked

Severus flinched when Petunia said 'Voldemort' but continued to sob. "No… No, my fault, all mine… I told him about the prophecy… that's why he wanted her."

"You what?"

"It's my fault… all my fault."

"PAFOO'." Harry bellowed.

Snape glanced at Harry and growled. "I'll kill him too… she trusted him… she trusted him… that… that bastard was worse than me… he knew… he KNEW… he let her die… I'll kill him… I'll kill him then throw myself… o-off of the astronomy tower."

Anger flashed across Petunia's face. "My baby sister has just been killed…" She gasped and slapped a hand over her mouth, realising that this was the first time she had said it aloud. "She's dead… she's dead. Oh, Lily."

Petunia's throat started hurting more than ever, her lip trembled and she took in another jagged breath. "Lily, my little sister, she's dead."

The damn burst. Petunia felt all of her bottled up feelings come out at once. Hot prickly tears flowed quickly down her face, down her nose, dripping from her chin and staining her pyjama top. She had the strangest sudden thought that she should be embarrassed by the thought of entertaining a houseguest in her pyjamas, which was immediately followed by a horrible guilty feeling that the thought would even occur to her at a time like this. What did it matter if she was still in her nightmare, her sister was dead, her baby nephew orphaned.

She could feel each sob, each jagged breath shaking her body. Petunia couldn't decide what was worse, the hollowness or the overwhelming grief.

She sat next to Severus on the sofa, clasping Harry protectively to her chest, sobbing desperately into the baby's thick black hair. Harry made no move to get out of the way of his aunts tears; he wrapped his small arms around Petunias neck and leaned forward, snuggling against her chest.

Severus and Petunia sat together on the sofa for several hours mourning the death of Harry's mother, whilst the orphan slept comfortably in Petunia's arms. The two once-enemies, united by the loss and sorrow they felt at the death of Lily Potter.

Harry opened his eyes again and began screaming. Petunia and Severus both looked up at once. Harry glanced between the two crying adults and held his arms out to Severus. Confusion crossed his face as Petunia held Harry out to him. Severus shook his head a fraction and Petunia frowned. "Look at his eyes, Severus. You remember… Lily's eyes don't you?"

"I know, Albus told me. How… how can you bare to look?"

"I have a choice, Severus, I don't have to raise him as my son. I can ignore him treat him like a freak… like… like how I treated her… when she went to school."

"Can you go through this again? He will go to Hogwarts… there's no doubt about it… but can you do that to… Her son?"

Petunia sniffed. "If it had been you… If he had been put… on your doorstep, would you take him willingly?"

"He's Potter's son." Severus rubbed his eyes. "You don't understand, I hate… hated Potter, more than anything… more than even Black."

"He's as much Lily's as he is James'." Petunia argued stroking Harry's hair.

"You don't hate him, though."

Petunia laughed mirthlessly. "I hated James more than you could know, Severus. He took my little sister into a war, and let her fight Voldemort. She died protecting his son."

"And you'll raise him as your own?"

"He's Lily's baby. I won't let her sacrifice be in vain, I'll bring him up to know how wonderful his mummy was. I'll tell him bedtime stories about Lily Evans, how she conquered evil and bravely gave her life so her son could live. We'll drink toasts to her, celebrate her life I won't let him forget her." Petunia wiped tears from her cheek again and blew her nose on a hankie.

"I don't know if I could ever do that."

"If you truly loved my sister, you would." She insisted.

"That's what Dumbledore said… but how? It hurts so much… I can't even bare to say her name."

"The pain is good, Severus. It shows you how much you loved her… you wouldn't feel like this for just anyone."

"I've never felt like this, not even when my own mother passed. The Dark Lord is gone, we should be rejoicing, but I can't. I don't know if I'll ever be happy again. I don't know if I can stand the pain."

"If you want to redeem yourself, Severus, then you must. For Lily… she wouldn't want you like this… you need to stay strong if you're going to protect her son."

Those two words cut through Severus like a knife, 'for Lily'. "She hated me, she wouldn't care."

Tears spilled down Petunia's cheeks and anger flashed through her. "How dare you? My sister could never hate anyone, especially not you, Severus Snape. Even now I doubt she hates Voldemort; there wasn't a hateful bone in her body."

"I called her Mudblood."

Petunia wasn't sure what the word meant, but from the way he spat the word out, in complete self loathing, she guessed it must mean something terrible. "When we were children I called her a freak, unnatural, a monster. But she still sent me a Christmas card every year, still sent me a gift for my birthday, she was there at the back at my wedding, and Dudders' christening, and I never even acknowledged her. I treated her like I hated her, and she still forgave me, so don't you go away with the idea that my sister hated you."

Severus blinked in surprise and for the first time, since he had heard the news of Lily's death, stopped crying. He nodded once and took Harry from Petunias' arms. "This boy is hungry, do you have any food for him. I'll not allow… L-Lily's' son to go hungry."

Petunia blew her nose on her sodden handkerchief and nodded. "Go into the kitchen, Severus, I need to change out of my pyjamas, I'll join you shortly."

When Petunia walked into the kitchen five minutes later, she found Harry in Dudley's highchair and Severus sitting opposite him, feeding him from a small bowl of mashed banana.


Petunia smiled at the two men who sat at the dining room table, arguing over who was going to pay for their takeaway when it arrived. Vernon was adamant that guest shouldn't have to pay, but Severus was refusing to allow it, "You've been excellent hosts, it's the least I can do."

"I'm taking the boys up to bed." Petunia announced.

"Where's Harry sleeping?" Vernon asked.

"I've put him in with Dud for now. Severus conjured him a bed."

Vernon nodded, immediately accepting the blatant use of magic in his home. That was one of the reasons she loved him, not the acceptance of magic, if anything when they'd first met that would have put her off him; but the way he always acted in the best interests of his family. When he'd come home from his day out with Dudley he hadn't questioned Severus' presence, he'd just introduced himself and asked if the other man wanted to stay for dinner. "Do you need any help?"

"No, I won't be long. Dudders has had it; he can barely keep his eyes open. And I bet Harry's tired out too, he's had a long day."

"Just shout if you want me to come up."

Petunia smiled and picked up the two boys, one cradled in each arm.

As Petunia made her way out of the room and up the stairs, Dudley yawned and Harry blinked tiredly up at her. She couldn't stop the sobs this time. It should have been Lily who was taking Harry up to his room, tucking him in, giving him a kiss and singing a lullaby.

How could so much change in two days? Just two days ago Harry was a normal boy living at home with his mum and dad, and within forty eight hours, he'd gone from Normal-Harry Potter to Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, world famous orphan.

Petunia kissed Dudley's forehead and pulled his blankets up. "Night, night sweetie."

She turned to Harry's crib and laid the boy down. "Sleep tight Harry, your Mummy and Daddy are up there watching you now." She kissed him on the forehead and turned to close the curtains.

Harry mumbled something, smiled and then murmured. "An Tuney"

Petunia felt her eyes well up again, no one had called her 'Tuney' since Lily had gone to Hogwarts. She tenderly brushed Harry's hair away from his face and kissed him again, reaching out with her other hand to stroke her son's head.

She took the hands of her two sons and sadly began to sing them to sleep.

Once they boys were asleep she crept from the room, wiping the tears from her face as she descended the stairs.

Vernon stood as she entered to room, walking over to the sideboard and pulling out a decanter and three glasses, he poured a generous measure of whiskey into each one.

"Here." He said handing a glass each to Petunia and Severus, holding his own aloft. "to Lily."

Petunia smiled, loving her husband more in that moment than she ever had and repeated "Lily", before swallowing the contents of her glass.