“The Family Evans” by dirgewithoutmusic
Word Count: 3,529
What if, when Petunia Dursley found a little boy on her front doorstep, she took him in? Not into the cupboard under the stairs, not into a twisted childhood of tarnished worth and neglect—what if she took him in?
Petunia was jealous, selfish and vicious. We will not pretend she wasn’t. She looked at that boy on her doorstep and thought about her Dudders, barely a month older than this boy. She looked at his eyes and her stomach turned over and over. (Severus Snape saved Harry’s life for his eyes. Let’s have Petunia save it despite them).
Let’s tell a story where Petunia Dursley found a baby boy on her doorstep and hated his eyes—she hated them. She took him in and fed him and changed him and got him his shots, and she hated his eyes up until the day she looked at the boy and saw her nephew, not her sister’s shadow. When Harry was two and Vernon Dursley bought Dudley a toy car and Harry a fast food meal with a toy with parts he could choke on Petunia packed her things and got a divorce.
Dirgewithoutmusic writes a series of Harry Potter fics which are a collection of “What Ifs?” They cover everything from Neville being the one, to Harry being a girl (both cis and trans), and various members of the trinity being sorted into Slytherin. I haven’t had a chance to read all of them, there are currently 17 works and counting, but the ones I have had a chance to read have been really interesting to imagine how the famous story plays out with a small, or large, twist of fate.
“The Family Evans” is a short, one-shot which says so much and it gets me right in the feels every time I go back and read it. This fic really highlights just how ridiculous J.K. Rowling made the Dursleys in the first few novels. I always felt like we spent less time with the Dursleys as the plight of Harry got darker and more dangerous due to the cartoonish nature of his extended family. Rowling couldn’t match their absurd tone to the realism of the danger.