I have always thought that a lot is left out of the books about Dudley. What did he see when the dementors attacked him? Why did he put that cup of tea out for Harry? Did he try to change himself...
A New Beginning.
Rating: K+ I think, slight bad language by Dudley.
Disclaimer: I have no rights to these characters, they being the sole property of JK Rowling and am making no money from said story.
I have always thought that a lot is left out of the books about Dudley. What did he see when the dementors attacked him? Why did he put that cup of tea out for Harry? Did he try to change himself because of it?
I am grateful to those who have already done so, especially madeyemarauder who has reviewed every chapter so far and reminded me of an incident I forgot in Prisoner of Azkaban. This might come up later.
I was particularly nervous the next day, I'd be going to the home of my new friend Justin and meeting his parents, it would be interesting to see how they had adapted to having a magical son. It should probably have been the attitude of my parents; I still didn't know the complete story of the split between Mum and Harry's Mum, my Aunt Lily. Why had Mum never mentioned her sister, apart from calling her a freak? I still didn't know what mum's attitude was to all this, she seemed to have mellowed a bit, but was that just an acceptance of it all? She could do nothing about it sort of thing, could she really have changed almost overnight and if she had what had sparked her change of attitude?
Walking into the kitchen I was surprised to see dad up, he hadn't bothered for two days, it even looked like he had attempted to have ashave. It was an improvement.
"How are you coping in this godforsaken place Dudders, not met any of those blasted freaks I hope? Shouldn't be allowed in decent society. Lock em all up I say."
"No dad, I haven't met any freaks," well not in my opinion, the wizards I'd met all seemed perfectly decent people to me. "Mainly I've been speaking to that boy Justin, the Eton one I mentioned a couple of days ago. I think we'll be doing our A levels together at the local school. He invited me to his birthday party, this evening. And please call me by name; I'm 17 not bloody 7 still."
"Language Dudley. Don't speak to your father like that," he bellowed.
"Do you ever wonder why I never brought friends round, I didn't want them to hear you or mum calling me Duddykins or Dudders or other rubbish. If they'd told anyone at Smeltings, my life wouldn't have been living." Of course that wasn't the real reason, I wanted to go out with my friends to bully the local kids and smash up the neighbourhood. I'd never admit that to Vernon Dursley however, he wouldn't believe I was a bully. No he saw himself as the perfect father. Ha. He'd led by example I'd been an ignorant bully, just like him. Hopefully I was changing for the better, Icouldn't get any worse.
"Now Dudders you know it's meant affectionately."
"Ok dad, I can see that, but could you try to see it from my point of view. I'm not a kid anymore, I would like you to try and respect that. I'm going to need your support and care, if I'm going to get good enough grades to go to a decent university afterwards. It belittles me. It might even be why I used to get such poor grades at Smeltings, feeling that I was still just a kid." Boy where was I getting this from, I was laying it on so thick. The reason I was so bad at Smeltings was because I was a lazy git, but it might do some good.
"Why do you need to go to university I told you I'd give you a place at Grunnings, I am the director after all. That's if we still have a company after this debacle. I mean how can they expect acompany to carry on working when their top man vanishes."
"Oh, Vernon, said mum from the kitchen door, "I wouldn't worry about that, according to THAT woman the other day, when we went shopping, the board is of the opinion you've gone on a long cruise for your health. There is someone perfectly capable working as your proxy." The expression on her face when she said THAT woman with a tone of such contempt didn't match the tone of her voice. "Even if everything works out all right and we can go back home, wouldn't it be better for the firm if Dudley actually had the qualifications for the job, instead of just being the director's son. Nobody could cry nepotism then, it would seem perfectly logical to be hiring a University graduate, the fact that he was your son would be a technicality."
"Good point, Petunia. Very good point. I still can't see how one of their lot could run the company properly."
"Well some of them seem to be very good at their jobs, isn't one chap guarding the Prime Minister, from that Lord Whatsisname's followers? Kingsley wasn't it?"
"Ok. Ok. I must say your attitude to these freaks and weirdoes seems to be changing, defending them against decent folk."
"Not really Vernon, just making a point, they don't want to be shackled with us forever. I'm sure that when this is all over they'll allow us to go back into decent society and resume our lives."
Dad seemed to be accepting this statement of mum's as if she were just resigned to the situation and making the best of a bad job. Like the evacuees in World War II. I could remember her telling me that granddad Evans had been evacuated in the war. Thinking about it, I can only remember that, no other details that mum might have told me. Granddad Evans had died before I was born, so I never him, grandma just before my first birthday, so I can't remember her, but I do know that somewhere mum had a photo of her at my christening.
I wasn't too sure if this wasn't an act for dad's benefit, though; she seemed too assured of herself. Had her attitude changed? Damn. I really needed to speak to her about this, without dad being there. But not today. Today I had other plans.
"dad, I'll take a look at the library sometime in the week, there might be a golf course nearby, you always said you wanted to improve your game," maybe if he went out to play golf I could get a chance to speak to mum without him there. "That should be free of 'freaks', can't imagine a golf club letting that sort in." Of course the fact that his idea of freaks and mine were completely different didn't matter. As long as he thought it magic free, he'd be happy.
"Good thinking Dudley if those freaks are going to give me a 'holiday' why don't I take advantage of it. The only golf I've had time for lately is my Japanese golfing joke. It might do me some good."
I couldn't believe he taken the bait, I looked at mum still standing in the doorway, looking quite pleased at this development. What was she thinking?
I called the taxi, using the'coded instructions' that I'd got from Justin yesterday. I wanted try and arrive there as promptly as Icould, but not knowing how long the journey could take. I didn't know how Icould ask; not being able to give addresses out, but asked the operator anyway. "Hold the line Mr. Dursley, I'll just check for you." I don't know what she said to the drivers but was back to me a few seconds later, "the journey should take about five minutes maximum, Mr. Dursley, the taxi will be outside your house at five to. Nice doing business with you."
I thanked the operator and hung up the phone. Magic was amazing, how could they work out journey times from A to B when they couldn't say where Aand B were. I had about three quarters of hour to wait then for this taxi. I'd changed earlier, I was wearing my newest pair of denim jeans, which for once I grateful for the fact that mum insisted on ironing creases into them and a formal shirt with the collar open, didn't want to wear a tie, bad enough having to wear them to school, but I did want to look smart.
I sat downstairs in the lounge drinking a cup of tea, trying to avoid listening to the rubbish that was on the television. I didn't really want to get into a conversation with mum and dad again that could get too heated and Imight miss the taxi. Any way I knew from earlier that dad was just as prejudiced as he had always been, but I still wasn't sure about mum.
Suddenly there was the sound of a car horn from the street, my taxi was here, "I'll see you later, don't think I'll be too late, but I've got my key." I quickly left before they could ask me anything. I didn't want them finding too much out about Justin yet, until I was completely aware of their position on magic. I didn't want to tell them what I'd got him for his birthday either as that would have given the game away.
The taxi pulled up outside the house and I paid the driver, just £1.50, minimum fare, it seemed a bit daft th use a taxi to travel three streets, but it had been a necessity, I suppose, Justin couldn’t tell me his address and I couldn’t tell him mine. I wonder if I could find the house on my own, without the taxi if I needed to, or would the spell stop that as well. I’d realised I’d never completely understand magic, but at least I could see some of its benefits.
I walked up the front path and knocked on the front door. “Who is calling please?” came a high pitched voice that sounded a bit like someone on helium.
“I’m Dudley Dursley, I was invited by Justin to his birthday party.”
The door opened; there was one of those things like that ‘creature’ that Dumbledore had summoned last year, before he took Harry. It was wearing what looked like a dirty pillow case with holes for its arms. “I is Biskit sir, I is pleased to be meeting you. Can I be taking your cloak sir?”
I assumed it meant my coat. I removed my leather jacket and handed it to the thing, whatever it was. “Master Justin is in the lounge, sir, through this door, it said indicating to my left.” I thanked it and went into the lounge. Justin was sitting down talking to a pretty blonde girl, but looked up as I entered.
“Hi Dudley, glad you could make it, this is Hannah a friend from school. We’re in Hufflepuff together. Hannah this is Dudley Dursley, the new friend I was telling you about, bet you can’t guess his famous relative.”
While Hannah was looking at me, trying to figure I was related to, I handed the present to Justin, “Happy Birthday, I know you said I needn’t get anything but I wouldn’t feel right without bringing a present.”
“Thanks,” he opened the parcel and raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Where did you manage to find wizard sweets in this town? I’ve been looking but not noticed myself. Are you sure you’re not a wizard yourself?”
“It was easy, I asked a mutual acquaintance,” I replied cryptically. If he was going to give his girlfriend a hard time about me, I could do the same to him.
I looked at over at Hannah, “worked it out yet?”
“No, sorry I don’t have any idea; I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any famous Dursleys’, sorry.”
“Well if that’s how you’re trying to work it out, you’ll be here forever. My relative isn’t a Dursley; we’re related by the name Evans. Does that help?” She looked at me in a perplexed manner and obviously started trying to think of all the Evans’s she could.
I heard a new voice behind me, “Happy Birthday Justin.” It was a blonde boy about the same age, bit pretty looking, just the sort I’d have tried to beat up before, calling him a puff, or some such. He held a hand out to me, “hello, I’m Ernie Macmillan, I’m in Hufflepuff with Justin. What house were you in, I don’t recognise you.”
“I’m a muggle; I’m here because of a famous relative. Hannah is trying to work out I’m related to.”
“Oh! Ok! So what’s your surname?”
“Dursley, but that won’t help you, we’re related by the name Evans, but that might not help unless you know your history.” I was quite enjoying this game, so apparently was Justin, he looked at me, thumbs up and a wide grin. Ernie went and sat down on the sofa next to Hannah and planted a quick kiss on her cheek. She smiled back at him, oops, I was wrong she wasn’t Justin’s girlfriend, but I still didn’t have a chance. Just my luck.
I looked at Justin, a grin on my face, “shall I give them another clue? They’ll have to leave for school soon.”
“Go on, if you can think of one without giving the game away completely.”
I beckoned to him and whispered in his ear. He gave me thumbs up. “My relative first came to fame nearly sixteen years ago, but is still famous today.” They were racking their brains but were still not getting it; they were still thinking of muggles, must be. I could see that Justin was enjoying this as well. “They’ve got fixated on the fact I’m a muggle. Next clue Godric’s Hollow, then Halloween 1981, then we tell them.” I whispered in his ear. He grinned broadly at me, nodding his head.
“No sorry,” said Ernie looking at me. “You’re not telling us the whole story, are you?”
“No, where’s the fun in that? Your next clue is Godric’s Hollow.”
“Hang on, is your relative a wizard?” Hannah asked looking hard at me.
“That would be telling, but isn’t Godric’s Hollow a mixed town, like Tinworth?”
“Hey, Godric’s Hollow sixteen years ago. Are you related to Harry Potter?” asked Ernie as Hannah nodded at his side, as if she had worked it all out herself.
“Yeah, he’s my cousin, his mum and mine were Petunia and Lily Evans. My mum married Vernon Dursley and her younger sister married James Potter.”
“It’s not fair, you don’t look like ‘A pig in a wig’ at all, you’re not bad looking,” said Hannah. Ernie looked aside at her when she said I wasn’t bad looking. I felt a certain surge of pride and curiosity.
“Pig in a wig! What is that supposed to mean?”
“I’m friendly with Luna Lovegood, who’s a year below me; her friend is Ginny Weasley, the brother of Ron, who is Harry’s best friend. She told me that Harry referred to you as a pig in wig when he was at their house.”
“Ok! I don’t like it. I can see where it comes from though. I used to be a lot heavier; I’ve lost at least 28 pounds. And to be fair I was an absolute pig to him. I’d bully him every chance I got.”
There was a cough from behind me. “My lord, young masters, mistress, dinner is served in the dining room.”
We all followed Justin to an adjoining room, there was a table with a fresh cloth on it, and it was covered in the usual sort of food you saw at parties, sausage rolls, chicken legs, everything you could think of. “I thought this might be better, we can talk about things and just help ourselves to what we want. It’s not going to get very rowdy with just the four of us. I did invite a couple of other friends, but they couldn’t make it.”
We all picked up plates, what looked to be the best china, and helped ourselves to what we fancied form the table, I also poured myself a glassful of what I assumed was orange juice from a pitcher on the table. I wasn’t going to drink that butterbeer, it was good, not alcoholic, or at least it didn’t strike me that way. But if it was some sort of ‘beer,’ it was probably full of calories. We all made our way back to the lounge, this having more comfortable seats and sat down to eat and talk.
“So Dudley tell us what was Harry like as a cousin, he doesn’t talk much about his family?”
“If you can call us family. I’m ashamed to say that until Harry got his first Hogwarts letter he slept in the cupboard under the stairs. He was an outcast in the house, anything strange happened and he was even lock in there for days on end. I do remember him getting into trouble at school for climbing on the roof, although in truth I’d seen what really happened. My friends and I were chasing him in order to beat him up. It was our favourite sport, ‘Harry Hunting’; we made his life a misery. Anyway he jumped to try and hide behind some bins and landed three floors higher than he planned on the roof. He spent a week locked in the cupboard for that I think.”
“Was that the only weird thing he did, he sounds like he had good control.”
“What do you mean, good control? He did do a few other odd things though. My mum hated how his hair always stuck up, the one day she got the scissors out and cut it all off, leaving, just a fringe to hide ‘that awful scar’ as she called it. The next morning his hair was back o normal.”
“As a young wizard, your magic starts show about 7 or 8, you do magic by instinct, so his leap to the roof was to get out of your way, and I suppose the hair growth was to avoid more bullying.”
“I didn’t know that, what would you say about making the glass disappear in the reptile house at the zoo then? It was my 11th birthday and my parents were taking me and a friend to the zoo. Usually Harry was dumped on a batty old neighbour with loads of cats, but she fell and broke her leg just before this. So Harry had to come with us. I thumped the glass to try and get the snake to move, got bored and moved to another animal, Harry stayed there and it looked like he was talking to the snake. The snake was all risen up, its hood flared, I knocked Harry to the floor and peered through the glass at the snake. Suddenly the glass was gone and the snake was out in the reptile house, I don’t know if they ever recaptured it I just remember this snake free and I ran.”
“He was talking to the snake, he’s a Parselmouth,” said Hannah. Everyone in school thought he was the heir of Slytherin in the second year.”
“What’s a Parselmouth? All I was told about his second year was that he rescued a student from some secret chamber and killed a basilisk and destroyed some enchanted book that was giving instructions to another student with one of its fangs.”
“I heard about him killing the basilisk in fifth year, when Hermione Granger was organising what eventually became the DA,” responded Hannah. But I didn’t know about the book. The student involved was Ginny Weasley, Harry’s girlfriend. She was taken to the ‘Chamber of Secrets’ and a message on the wall said something about her skeleton lying there forever, but Harry rescued her and killed the basilisk.”
“Wait, Harry has a girlfriend; I can’t even get a girl to talk to me. No disrespect Hannah, but you’re only speaking to me because I’m Justin’s guest.”
“Not particularly, I would speak to you anyway; I wouldn’t go out with you, because I have a boyfriend at the moment.”
“Just my luck! Ah well I can hope. What’s this got to do with Harry being a Parselmouth anyway?”
“That’s my story, said Justin. Professor Lockhart set up a duelling club in the second year. He set up a match between Harry and Draco Malfoy a student, from Slytherin, who during the duel conjured a snake onto the duelling field. Harry lowered his wand and looked at the snake, Lockhart seeing this shot a spell at the snake which sent it flying where it landed near me. I’d told Harry earlier in the year that I was muggleborn, so with all the messages that been scrawled on the walls about the heir of Slytherin going after muggle born students; everyone present was shocked when Harry started speaking to the snake in Parseltongue. Salazar Slytherin was known as serpent-tongue, he could speak to snakes. Everyone including me thought Harry was ordering the snake to attack me. Professor Snape incinerated the snake, but the whole school was now convinced it was Harry who had opened the chamber and threatening to kill all the muggleborn students. I was told by the rest of my classmates to hide in our common room, because Harry knew what I was.” On the way to the common room, I saw the basilisk through the ghost of Sir Nicholas and was petrified, turned partly to stone, but not killed. I was later revived with a special potion and I’ve made friends with Harry since then. But that’s another story.”
We chatted away for the rest of the evening, talking about my memories of Harry as a kid, and about Hogwarts and Harry’s adventures there, occasionally helping our selves to something to eat or drink, I took 1 sip of that juice that I had poured myself, but it was so sweet, I stuck to butterbeer for the rest of the evening, that stuff was so sweet it might have been pure sugar. I learned sometime during the course of the evening that it was pumpkin juice; I wouldn’t be drinking anymore of that.
Eleven o’clock came, Hannah and Ernie said they had to get home, but would let Justin know of any Harry Potter news they could and he could pass it on to me. I thanked them and wished them luck.
They turned around on the spot and vanished with two loud cracks, Justin just nodded at this. I looked at him in surprise, “what was that?”
“They apparated home, they live miles from here. I can’t apparate myself, you need a licence for it and I failed to get mine, kept splinching myself.”
“Oh! I’ve been apparated but never seen it from the departure end. But what’s splinching?”
“Leaving bits behind, there’s a special spell placed on the practice grounds when you learn, so no permanent damage is done, but it could get nasty, if you leave your heart, liver or kidneys behind in real life. Anyway I failed to pass.”
“It's ok, I’ll get back to it if the war ends and I can go back to Hogwarts to finish my education.”
“I wish you luck when and if that happens, might I ask a question about something I’ve seen here today?”
“Sure, I’ll answer it if I can.”
“Who and what is Biskit? I’ve seen one of those things before, Dumbledore summoned one to our house in Surrey, last year, before he took Harry to his friends’ house!”
“Biskit is a house elf, they are the servant’s of magical families, basically enslaved; when my father was injured in a car accident in my second year, we tried to get magical help to fix his injuries, but they could do nothing about the brain damage, so we managed to get a house elf to help take care of him. He died just over a year ago, a result of complications from that accident and Biskit was now part of the family and she stayed.”
“Right, what’s with the pillowcase though? Can’t you give her something better to wear?”
“Unfortunately not! One of the ways to dismiss a house elf is to give it clothes, they won’t accept payment, don’t want to be freed. They enjoy looking after wizards. I only heard of one house elf wanting to be free, he was called Dobby, abused badly by his masters. Harry managed to trick his owner into setting him free at the end of our second year. He works at Hogwarts now, the only house elf among hundreds that is paid a wage. The rest of them, barely tolerate him. I’ve met him a couple of times and like him.”
“Oh right. That complicates things.”
“It does a bit. A friend of Harry’s, Hermione Granger is trying to change the conditions that house elves work under, but I don’t think she’ll have much luck. They like their lives and don’t want to change anything. I think she’s flogging a dead horse, but you never know with Hermione granger, if anyone can do it, it’s her. She’s the cleverest witch in our year, probably the school.”
I thanked Justin for clearing that point up for me, and said I probably should go. He asked if he wanted him to call a taxi and I answered no, I could walk from here. As I was saying this, Biskit appeared with my leather jacket; I thanked her and went out the front door. I got about halfway home and thought I would try to find my way back to Justin’s, just to see if I could. I turned round to head back there, but I had no idea of which way to go. I couldn’t find his house on my own, magic was so cool. I turned and continued home.
I had learned a lot about Harry; he had a lot of friends at school, was well liked and even been a good teacher. Would he want to be friends with me? I hoped so.
Please review. Hannah and Ernie will play a small part in my story, but at this time I don’t think we’ll see them again. I may be wrong. Can anyone guess what part they’ll play? Thank you to everyone who has reviewed my story and especially those who have put it as a favourite. I hope you continue to enjoy.