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?
It had been two weeks since Justin's birthday and we had continued to be friends, it was a good feeling to have a real friend.
We had had some encouragement from the Daily Prophet as odd as it would seem from the headlines. The news that Harry was 'Wanted For Questioning about the Death of Albus Dumbledore' while it showed that something drastic had happened in the wizard world it told us that Harry was still alive and free. His friend Hermione Granger was wanting for questioning by the Muggle Born Registration Commission, was also good news in away. She was also free. It was now compulsory for Pure and Half Bloods to attend Hogwarts, so we would not be seeing Hannah and Ernie for a while, at least until Christmas, if then. If they were being monitored by ministry officials to see if they met up with any mudbloods, then we wouldn't see them even then.
On Monday 1st September, the headline and subsequent story was one that had Justin crying out in horror. "'Severus Snape Confirmed As Hogwarts Headmaster', what happened to McGonagall? She was the new headmaster after Dumbledore died last year, Snape killed him according to Harry, he saw it. I remember the DA being called to fight for the school; there were Death Eaters in the castle. Luckily nobody except Dumbledore died, but Snape fled the school that night."
The paper went on to say about other appointments at the school, somebody called the Carrows for Muggle Studies and Defence Against The Dark Arts. Justin was enraged about this, apparently they had been known supporters of 'You Know Who.' Hogwarts was being taken over by his followers.
Our first day at our new school was nearly upon us, our year would begin that Thursday, we would be given our new timetables and get the workload, for our last year of A level study, I knew it would be hard for me. The grades I had got at Smeltings were not very good; I'd have to work hard to pass this year. I really did want to go to University after Ifinished school. Dad was also all for this idea, now, almost looking forward to the idea of me as a graduate working at Grunnings, I hated to tell him that I didn't want to do that after Igraduated. I had made some decisions based on the way my attitude had been altered by the dementor's and my realisation of what Harry had gone through with my family all his life. I wanted to do something about other children in similar circumstances, no necessarily wizards, but all kids who were abused by their families. Social work seemed agood direction for me to go in. I had even looked a few things up about it in the library. I needed a Diploma in Social Work to get me into that line of work, and although I had no idea which Universities offered this, it was something I was going to pursue.
On the Tuesday before school began, Justin had informed me that Harry and Hermione had vanished the day after his birthday, there had been a Death Eater raid at the wedding of Bill and Fleur Weasley, but Harry and Hermione were not found.
"Hang on, how do you know this, it's not been reported anywhere?"
"This!" Justin held a gold Galleon in his hand with a grin on his face. "It's got a Protean Charm on it. If you spell a message onto one of the coins it appears on all the others. We used them in the fifth year, to arrange meetings of the DA. It was Hermione who put the spell onto some fake galleons, that's magic way beyond N.E.W.T. level, I said she was clever."
"Who told you and how did they find out?"
"Hannah, she was told by Luna, who's a friend of Ginny Weasley, apparently her brother Ron is at home quarantined with Spattergroit."
"Spattergroit, are you having me on? That's sounds about as real as idleitus or the dreaded lurgy."
"No! It's a real wizard disease, you get covered in purple pustules, its horribly contagious apparently."
"Sounds awful! So, do you think Harry and Hermione are together, doing whatever they're doing?"
"I would think so. Hermione isn't going to be able to show her face in wizard society and if Harry is on the run as well, they can help each other."
"Well at least now I know that Harry didn't get the card Isent him."
"Well I realised his birthday had passed and I hadn't given him even as much as a Birthday card in all the years he'd lived with us. So I sent one by muggle post to him at the Weasleys' address, but he would have been gone before it arrived. I wrote a letter in the card basically saying sorry for all I'd done to him in the past and saying I wanted a fresh start. He won't get it now until this is all over. If he survives. I feel like I've left it too late to know someone who should have been my best friend."
On the Wednesday there was some good news:
'Break In At The Ministry, Muggle-borns Freed.'
The Daily Prophet can exclusively report that yesterday, there was a break in at the Ministry of Magic by person or persons unknown. The office of Dolores Jane Umbridge, head of the Muggle Born Registration Commission was broken into and several filing cabinets containing confidential material were broken into. It is unknown what information was accessed but it is understood that the commission keeps all records of muggle born witches and those pure blood families who have questionable attitudes to the new regime.
Further to this the Prophet can report that Dolores Umbridge was assaulted in the middle of her questioning of several persons undergoing questioning by the commission, including the wife and children of Ministry employee Reginald Cattermole were set free by the unknown intruders, and scattering the Dementors who were guarding them.
Reports from eye witnesses report three separate Patronuses, a silver stag, an otter and a terrier. It is not known who the intruders were, but the Patronus of wanted fugitive Harry Potter is known to be a stag. It is speculated that one of the other intruders may be wanted muggleborn witch, Hermione Granger. It would be assumed that the third was Ronald Weasley, a known friend of both persons, but Ministry sources have confirmed that Ronald Weasley is currently quarantined at home with Spattergroit. All Possibilities are being looked into; and a Ministry spokesman said 'at this time, no possibility is being ruled out.'
Meanwhile Reginald Cattermole and his family along with the families of the other muggle-borns freed cannot be found. It is to be assumed they have fled the country.
Meanwhile if you have any details of the whereabouts of these dangerous criminals, please contact the Ministry by owl or floo.
Orion Tweet Reporter.
"Harry's Patronus is a stag, Hermione's was the otter, and if I remember correctly Ron has a terrier for his, so how he is as home with Spattergroit, I don't know, but I suspect his family are in on it as well," said Justin as we read the article. "What would Harry want in the ministry? Why attack Umbridge? Personally I'd like to kill the woman, but to do it in the ministry. It's got to be the most dangerous place for him to go. It doesn't make sense."
"You're missing the point. This is good news. They are alive, they escaped. And the ministry don't know for certain it was them. They're only speculating it was them. I'm sure they had a very good reason for doing whatever it was they were doing."
"Good point! Ok, let's put it this way, good luck Harry Potter and friends, wherever you are, hope you succeed in all your tasks."
The next morning was our first at our new school, 'St. Piran's Comprehensive' apparently St Piran was the patron saint of tin miners and one of the patron saints of Cornwall, the area of the country where Tinworth was. Interesting if you were into that sort of thing. I was expecting a chat from the Headmaster about my grades for the end of last year and the extra work I would need to bring myself up to the required standard to continue to my exams, but either their standards were lower than at my old school, or there had been some tampering with my school records. I suspected the latter. It wasn't that I was stupid, I wasn't, and Iwas just lazy. Justin and I were given our timetables the classes we were taking, I had more free time than Justin, who was taking a greater number of subjects than me. The time we had free was meant to be used for study and homework. But on the first afternoon of school I had no homework to do, I had no reading that I wanted to do, either school or magically related, so decided, to go to the gym and use the pool for a swim.
Justin and I had used the gym a few times, always looking out for cute girls to chat up, but had no luck; the only girls we had seen were just out of nursery school, nowhere near old enough to interest us. It seemed there were no girls our age in the area. So, imagine my surprise when there was a girl about 17 swimming lengths in the pool.
She seemed to be swimming a bit oddly, as it her left leg wasn't bending properly, but she was certainly putting an effort into it. I got into the pool and started doing my own lengths, I thought I was a reasonable swimmer, but whoever this girl was, she was putting me to shame despite her 'gammy' leg. I concentrated on my own swimming, trying not to think about the girl, just do my own exercise. Swimming was agood exercise for muscle tone and a good cardiac workout; I remembered that from the Smeltings boxing coach.
To my disappointment, when I finished my own regime of lengths, the girl was gone. Just my luck. I left the pool, showered and dressed and headed to the cafe area. The girl was seated in one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs, that all these public institutions seemed to suffer from; there was some sort of metal brace on her left leg and a crutch by her side. I got myself a bottle of water from the vending machine, and sat down to glimpse through one of the text books I'd been given this morning. The sections I needed to read were clearly marked. This subject was going to be easier than I'd thought; I'd studied most of this material in the last term at Smeltings. I read the notes left in the book by the teacher; I was at least three months ahead of the curriculum here. Was Smeltings that much more thorough or was I really not as thick as I thought?
I looked up as I heard the sound of a chair moving on the hard stone floor, the girl was getting up awkwardly to leave. Suddenly, her crutch slipped on something, maybe a wet patch on the floor. Before Irealised what I was doing I was out of my seat and catching her, before she could go face first into the hard tiles.
"Thanks, I really don't need to break any more bones."
"Are you alright, now? If I let you go, you're not going to attempt another nose dive at the floor?"
"I'll be fine, thanks. I'm Lisa. And..."
"Thanks' for the rescue Dudley; I'll see you in school tomorrow."
"How do you know I'm going to school?"
"Oh nothing really. Just that text book, you've been trying to read for the last ten minutes. I would have been there myself, only I had a visit to the fracture clinic this morning and physiotherapy this afternoon. That's where you were trying not to stare at me in the pool."
"Oh, so you noticed me."
"Yeah, and noticed you noticing me as well!" Our conversation was interrupted by a mobile phone ringing loudly from her bag. "Ok, thanks Richard, I'm on my way down." She turned and looked at me. "Sorry, that's my lift home, see you tomorrow at school." She went to the lift and went down to the main lobby. I watched through the glass window as she went and got in the passenger seat of an open top car. The driver looked about the same age as us, so definitely not her dad. Damn, another girl already with aboyfriend.