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?
Mum had knitted me a jumper for Christmas; it meant more to me in some way than all the presents I had got before. It said she cared about me enough to make the effort to actually make something for me. I know she could have gone out and spent loads of money on me, the same as she and Dad had done in the past. But I must admit the best thing about this Christmas was no Marge slobbering over her favourite 'neffy poo' and no Ripper. Whilst Mum and Dad were mean to Harry because of his magic and fear of the neighbours finding out about it, Marge was just mean full stop and as for that vicious little monster of hers. I was ashamed to say I had enjoyed seeing Ripper tree Harry and keep him up there for hours. I wish Harry was here now to be enjoying Christmas with us. I hope he was enjoying it somewhere with friends.
A few days later, Justin, Lisa and I were sitting in the Happy Hippogriff, nursing butterbeers, enjoying the warmth of the roaring fire in the grate. The conversation turned to the upcoming party for the New Year, that was being held at the pub in a couple of days.
"You are coming, aren't you?" asked Lisa. "it'll be great fun.
"I'd love to, slight problem though; Mum and Dad will expect me to spend it with them. If Imention a party at a pub, they'll either want to come, or wonder why I've been going to a pub. I don't think Dad will appreciate a magical pub, still don't know about Mum, but she wouldn't come here without Dad anyway."
"No problem, just tell them that I've invited you to mine. We can get Biskit to make up the spare room, so you can stay the night. That should stop them wondering."
"Ok, thanks. I'll do that."
"Mum, Dad, Justin has invited me to his for new years!"
"But, Dudley we were going to spend it here, as afamily."
"Mum, I'm 17, I need to spend time with friends as well as with family, and I'm not your little Duddykins anymore."
"Alright Dudley, I understand. But you will be careful coming home that late at night. It is still a mixed town."
"Yes Dudders, we don't want any of those freaks having anything to do with you."
"Dad. Don't call me Dudders and I haven't seen any freaks in this town to my knowledge, if they are here, they keep themselves hidden. Any way I'll be staying at Justin's, you like him, remember, Eton."
"Yes, Dudley stay friends with that boy, good family. Good connections are always important in life."
"Yeah. Thanks for that Dad, I will. Anyway I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow."
Once in my room, I tried tuning into Potterwatch, without much hope of getting a signal."
'...Gornuk was also killed. It is believed that Muggle-born Dean Thomas and a second goblin, both believed, to have been travelling with Tonks, Cresswell and Gornuk, may have escaped. If Dean is listening, or if anyone has any knowledge of his whereabouts, his family and sisters are desperate for news.
'Meanwhile in Gaddley, a Muggle family of five has been found dead in their home. Muggle authorities are attributing their deaths to a gas leak, but members of the Order of the Phoenix inform me that it was the killing curse-more evidence, as if were needed, of the fact that Muggle slaughter is becoming little more than a recreational sport under the new regime...'
There was a gasp, from outside the door. I switched off the radio; there was the same creak of floorboards that I had heard before, and then the click of the bathroom lock. I was positive that someone had been listening at the door. If it had been Dad, I'm sure he would have been in here in a rage. But, what was Mum doing listening at my door, she must now that I had been listening to amagical radio programme, that was why she had gasped out, she must have heard about the Muggle killings. Why would she not talk about it? Was it my imagination that someone had been listening in? I really didn't know what to think.
The broadcast was over by the time I got back to the radio again, I'd have to catch up tomorrow from Justin.
I arrived at the Happy Hippogriff, hung up my coat and rucksack and made my way to the seat next to Justin. He was sitting next to a pretty red headed girl, and a stunningly attractive blonde woman.
"Hel... hello, are you friends of Justin's? I'm Dudley Dursley."
"Justin was just telling us, you're Harry's cousin. I'm Ginny Weasley, his girlfriend and this is my sister in law, Fleur, my brother Bill is getting us all a drink."
"Have I met Bill, I think I met some of your brothers, before the fourth year, two who gave me a sweet that grew my tongue to four foot and another about my age. I think that would have been Ron, who I'm told is Harry's friend."
"That was Fred and George; they've left school now, got their own shop in Diagon Alley. Doing very well. They got in so much trouble with Mum for that. They wanted to get you back for being a bully to Harry."
"Yeah! Well, I'm sorry for the way I behaved to Harry in the past, he proved himself the better man when he saved my life. Are your family spending the New Year here then?"
"Just Me, Mum and Dad are at home looking after Ron, he's got Spattergroit."
"And that's the story you're sticking to, eh?"
She gave me a piercing look, "what do you mean by that?"
"The raid at the ministry, three distinct Patronuses were seen, a stag, an otter and a terrier. According to Justin, that's Harry, Hermione and Ron's Patronuses. He's travelling with Harry and Hermione, doing whatever it is they're doing?" I suddenly found myself looking at the business end of a wand. "Hang on; I don't care if your family are lying to protect yourself and Harry. I'm doing the same thing here, hiding from the Death Eaters for protection. I just want Harry to be safe, and if your brother is with them, that means he's better off."
We were interrupted by the arrival of a ginger haired man with a nasty pattern of scars on his face. "Hello, you must be Dudley; Justin said you'd be joining us. I'm Bill." He handed Ginny, Justin and myself a butterbeer, a fizzing drink with acherry in it for Fleur and had what looked like a whiskey for himself. "What have I missed, why has Ginny got her wand out? If you've been rude to her, Iwill be asking you to leave."
"He's been saying things about Ron and Harry. He's worked a few things out for himself. Not as dumb as Harry said he was."
"I hope you realise, that's dangerous information you've worked out. It could be a risk to our family."
"I'm at risk anyway, I'm the cousin of 'You Know Who's'greatest enemy, I don't think they'll worry about your brother if they caught me, but you can Obliviate my memory of that if you want. I have no proof, only hearsay. I'm only a muggle after all, what do I know of Patronuses. I just want Harry to be safe. He's the only cousin I've got. I don't think I'll get any cousins through my Aunt Marge, first I think she's too old, and from what Justin's told me of your world, I think the only hope she'd have is a troll, and probably ablind one at that."
"Blimey, what must she be like? A blind troll?"
"Trust me; you don't want to meet her. I hated her slobbering over me, and the vicious little pests, sorry dogs, she dragged everywhere. I rather enjoy thinking back on her comeuppance from Harry, pity she can't remember it."
"She was insulting his Mum and Dad; he blew her up like aballoon. I understand that accidental magic like that can happen. But I almost wish he'd done it on purpose." Our conversation was interrupted by another arrival, Lisa. She joined us all at the table and another round of introductions began.
She looked at Fleur, after she'd been introduced, "were you the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard tournament?"
"Oui, c'est moi. Sorry, that was me."
Lisa giggled looking at Ginny. "Sorry, I just remember your brother, Ron, asking Fleur to go to the Yule Ball with him, he looked so flustered. I don't know which answer he dreaded the most, yes or no."
Ginny laughed, "I remember him coming back to the common room after that, he looked white as a sheet. It was quite funny at the time. He went with Padma Patil in the end, Harry went with her sister Parvati, neither were impressed with them as dates if I remember. I went with Neville Longbottom, I felt sorry for him in a way when he asked me to go with him, but he was a gentleman, even if I should have worn steel toecaps in my shoes."
"I remember Padma, talking about your brother's dress robes after the ball, said it looked like they were over a century out of date. She definitely wasn't impressed with him. Ithink she said he had less maturity than a first year, or something along those lines. I know she didn't finish the evening with him. Left him about half way through the night."
"That's Ron alright, I remember last year, he was going out with Lavender Brown, about as subtle as a herd of centaurs. In a way, I was glad when he broke up with her. He's fancied Hermione forever, but just didn't realise it. Clueless."
The evening went well, Justin and I danced a few times with Ginny and Lisa; I even danced once with Fleur, a most disconcerting experience I felt like I should challenge Bill for her, a feeling which evaporated as soon as the dance ended. I wasn't eager to repeat the experience and limited my dances with her to just the one.
As it was nearing midnight I made my way to the bar to get a round of drinks for us all to toast in the New Year, four butterbeers, acherry Gillywater for Fleur, and an Ogden's Firewhiskey for Bill. "1 Galleon, 11 Sickles, 17 knuts," said Alan, the barman.
I handed him 2 Galleons, "thanks. Keep the change; get yourself one in for the New Year."
I made my way back to our table, Lisa and Ginny were giggling together. Justin looked like the cat that had just caught the canary. "Boys." Said Lisa and started giggling even harder if that was possible
I looked at Justin, but he just smirked, as if he knew something I didn't. Suddenly there was the sound of a clock ticking in the bar, I looked around, but there was no clock in sight. Then the sound of bells getting ready to sound the chimes of Big Ben for the New Year, but I couldn't see any radio to broadcast it. I looked at Justin, eyes raised in query. He just whispered "magic" under his breath and left it at that.
The bells of Big Ben rang midnight and everyone raised their glasses and wished "A Happy New Year," to each other. Suddenly there was the sound of fireworks from outside the pub. "Come on you need to see these," said Ginny, "They're Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-bangs. Fred and George's own special fireworks" she dragged us all outside to see the fireworks, and I must admit they were impressive. There were dragons, unicorns and all manner of magical creatures being created by the fireworks, and they all seemed to be interacting with each other. There was a centaur firing arrows at a dragon, a lion and a unicorn fighting, it was one of the best firework displays I'd seen. I told Ginny so, she looked pleased.
As the display was ending, Bill looked at Ginny, "come on, young lady, I promised Mum I wouldn't keep you out too late, it's time for us to go."
"Ginny, please if you see Harry can you give him my best wishes if you get the chance? Thanks!" There were several loud cracks as the patrons all begin apparating home. Ginny came over, kissed Justin and I on the cheek, wished us a Happy New Year and took Bill's arm, they vanished with another loud crack.
"Happy New Year, you two," said Lisa, coming over to us, she kissed Justin on the cheek, came over to me and kissed me on the lips. Inearly fell over with shock. I think Iunderstood the 'boys' comment from earlier in the night.
"Th... thanks. Happy New Year to you as well," I managed to stammer out. Lisa smiled at us both, turned on the spot and apparated herself back home.
Justin and I went to collect our coats and make our way to his, where I would be spending the night. I still needed an escort to his house, as not being the secret keeper; he couldn't tell me his address. He had told me that his secret keeper was professor Lupin from school, he'd been the wizard from the order that had helped move him into hiding, but that still didn't help me finding his house on my own. It was one drawback that I could see to magic, but I could live with it.
We let ourselves in to Justin's' a few minutes later and were met by Biskit, she was wearing her latest outfit. It looked like it had been made from another old pillow case, but she had done some clever needlework and was wearing what looked like a matching t-shirt and shorts. I don't think I'd seen her in the same outfit twice, since that night nearly two months ago, when we'd discussed the matter. For all I knew, she could have been wearing the same pillowcase all along and just altering it every day, but she seemed to feel very proud to be able to wear something that showed her status.
"Good morning, my Lord, Master Dudley. Can I take your coats?" She took our coats and my rucksack, "I'll be putting this in the third bedroom, and I has made it all up for you, Master Dudley, just as Master asked.
"Thank you Biskit. We'll see ourselves up. We won't need you till breakfast tomorrow. Happy New Year to you."
"Thank you Master, Happy New Year to you both as well." With a crack she vanished taking my rucksack with her.
"Where does Biskit sleep?" I asked Justin, "I know your Mum is in one room, you are in another, and you have two guest rooms, but where is Biskit's room?"
"When she first took service with our family, she made herself a room in the airing cupboard. We offered her a bedroom, but she refused, 'those were for Master, his family and friends.' Eventually we managed to persuade her to take the attic as her room, saying that could be her room. We even gave her a bed, though how she got it in there is anybody's guess. It's bigger than the hatch."
"That's easy, magic, you take it for granted in your life, but I bet Biskit is capable of a lot on her own. You've always said that house elves have powerful magic in service of their masters. It was master's wish, she have that bed in her room, she could probably have fitted an articulated lorry up there, if it was master's wish."
"Yeah, you're probably right, and reinforced the ceiling to hold it as well."
We both laughed at the idea of Biskit having a lorry in her room and hoped we hadn't given her any ideas. "I've been meaning to ask, why does she call you my Lord?"
"Since my Dad died I'm technically the 14th Baronet Fletchley and 432nd in line for the throne, stupid I know, but Biskit loves reminding me of the fact. Correctly I should be called Sir Justin Baronet, but I daren't tell her that, my lord is bad enough. It all a bit pretentious really. I would like to continue with the wizarding world if I ever get the chance"
"If my Dad found out you were a Baronet, he'd think, you were Crown Prince or something. It's something I'll keep in mind if ever I need to get on his good side in the future. He's a complete snob, thinks being a company director makes him almost royal himself. Pratt."
"Ok. But don't go telling Lisa or anybody else from the wizarding world. It means nothing there and it's not important anyway."
We stayed talking downstairs talking for a while longer and then made our way to bed. I hoped this New Year would bring a resolution to my desire to make up with Harry.
Author note: I know that Baronet is the lowest hereditary rank in the British Peerage, but Justin's rank is my own invention. No reference to any person is intended. Just wanted to give Vernon another reason to gloat about Dudley's connections.