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?
Exams were finally over and I actually felt good about it. I had actually done well, or so Ibelieved. But the good was overcome with some sadness. Tomorrow I was leaving Tinworth and going back to Little Whinging. It would mean losing touch with my new friends Justin and Lisa.
I was at Justin's and the three of us were discussing our plans for the future. Lisa and Justin had plans to go back to Hogwarts to finish their final year. They had received owls from the ministry saying they were welcome back to study their final year. It was my plan to go to university and study to become a social worker, but I surprised them with other news. I was going to go to Hogwarts to try and speak to Harry. I was disappointed that I had had no reply from the several letters and various messages that I had sent. I wanted to make my peace with him. I hoped he would forgive me, but I had little hope. If he hadn't replied yet, I might be in for a disappointment, but I meant to try.
"When will you be going up to Hogwarts?"
"I don't know we have to move back home first and get things settled there. I understand from what I've been reading in the Daily Prophet that Harry is staying at the castle to help with rebuilding the castle. If he's not there, he would probably be at the Burrow staying with the Weasleys, but I'm trying Hogwarts first. I know how to get there. I intend to catch the Hogwarts express; it is still running every day from King's Cross Station. I know it runs from platform 9¾, I remember taunting Harry about that the first year. Dad just dumped him at the station and we went to the hospital to get that pigs tail removed. Dad said he was glad to be rid of him, meaning Harry, and when he couldn’t get to this nonexistent platform, he was on his own till his school year was over. He could live on the bloody station for a year. Of course, the platform really exists, we saw him emerge from there later when we collected him. I’m going to see his world.”
Lisa looked at me, “you won’t be able to get to the platform, you need to be magic. I remember when my parents took Richard and I there; they couldn’t get to the platform without my help. The barrier was just a brick wall to them. The way out was easy, but you need magic to get in.”
I was crestfallen, and then I had an idea. I took the card from my wallet. “I have this!”
“But they’ll probably take that from you when you get back home. It does access special services, probably some account in Gringotts, they won’t want you to have that after you’re safe.”
Oh no, all my plans were coming to naught. I desperately needed to do this for my own reasons. “I could catch a train to Scotland and get a bus or taxi to Hogsmeade.”
“No, won’t work, Hogsmeade is a completely magic village. I think there are muggle repelling charms around it. You’d never find it.”
“I'll get the Knight Bus...” I stopped and looked at the card in my wallet. “I need the card to get that, don’t I?”
Both Justin and Lisa nodded. They looked as crestfallen as me. “I suppose I could apparate to yours after you’re settled and take you to the station.”
“Thanks’ for that Lisa, but I think I need to solve this little problem on my own. If I can’t do this I don’t deserve to meet Harry again. I hope we don’t lose touch I wouldn’t want that, Lisa I can still write to you by muggle post at Hogwarts, my Mum sent a letter there when she was a girl, so I know that can be done. If you don’t mind I think I should go now. I’ve got some last minute packing to do.” With that I let myself out and walked slowly back to the only home I’d known for the past year.
I was passing the newsagent’s when I decided to buy a copy of the Daily Prophet, probably the last one I would buy. There was a tall ginger haired man with several scars on his face buying a copy of the prophet. Where had I seen him before? I paid for my paper and thanked the newsagent. I left the shop and slowly began the journey back to Marina Gardens. I had got about half way when I turned and ran back to the newsagents. “Excuse me, who was that red headed gentleman who left the shop as I came in. I think I know him, but can’t place him.”
“That was Bill Weasley; he lives locally, with his wife Fleur.”
“Of course, I met him on New Year’s Eve, with his younger sister Ginny. They were at the Happy Hippogriff. Would you be able to tell me his address, so I can speak to him? It’s in regard to a family matter.”
“I don’t know if I can do that, but I will send him an owl. It’s only local, shouldn’t take long. What is your address?” I told him both addresses, the one we would be leaving tomorrow and 4 Privet Drive in Little Whinging if he replied after tomorrow. I thanked him and left the shop. I was going to get to Hogwarts and I needed all the help and advice I could get.
It was six o’clock that evening when an owl flew in through the open kitchen window with a letter tied to its leg. The owl hooted and stopped in front of me. I cautiously took the letter from its leg and read the address:
Mr. Dudley Dursley,
100 Marina Gardens,
The owl hooted and flew back out the window. “Bloody owls, should be a law against it. Dudley what have you been up to? I told you not to have anything to do with these freaks. What is the meaning of this?” Dad yelled, his face rapidly turning purple.
I opened the envelope and read the short note inside. ‘I’m not sure what you wish to talk to me about, but I admit to curiosity. We live at Shell Cottage, Lower Promenade, Tinworth. I look forward to seeing you later this evening, as I understand you are leaving tomorrow. I will be happy to give you any advice to you that I can. Bill Weasley.’
I put the letter in my pocket and got up to leave, “Mum. I’m going out. Won’t be back too late.” I ignored Dad and headed for the door.
“Dudley, you explain yourself. What have you been up to? Why are these bloody freaks contacting you? Explain yourself to me. DUDLEY, DO NOT IGNORE ME. I AM YOUR FATHER!” I closed the door behind me as the volume of his raving grew and set off towards the Lower Promenade.
As I was approaching a cottage covered in shells, I noticed something familiar about the area. I had been near here before. The house was totally unfamiliar I had never seen it before but I vaguely recognised the area. As I walked up the front path, something caught my eye. A large white stone lying in the middle of the lawn. I approached it slowly, why was this familiar? “Here lies Dobby, A Free Elf read the inscription on the stone. That was when I was here during the Easter holidays, but this was just dunes, no garden, no house. More magic!
I walked up the path and knocked on the door. It was opened by the extremely attractive woman I had seen in the pub at New Year. Mrs. Weasley, I’m Dudley Dursley, we met once before, your husband agreed to speak with me!” I held out my hand to shake hers.
“Oui, I remember now, you are ze cousin of famous ‘Arry Potter.” She rushed forward and kissed me on both cheeks. “Come in. Come in, Bill he is waiting in ze lounge.” I followed her into the house in a daze. The house seemed larger than I expected from the frontage, she led me down a short corridor and motioned me into a large room. “I will join you shortly, I go to make tea, yes.” With that she left me and turned into another doorway.
Bill was seated in a comfortable looking armchair he motioned me towards the sofa. “Please take a seat, Dudley. I remember you now! Harry’s cousin right? How can I help you?”
“It's like this Mr. Weasley.”
“Call me Bill. When I hear Mr. Weasley, I immediately look for my Dad.”
“Er! Ok! Bill. For most of my life I have been a complete and utter ba... rotter to Harry. When he saved my life from the dementors two years ago, it made me realise I needed to rethink my life. I have tried to make amends with Harry. Sent him apologies. I even asked your sister at New Year to tell him I was sorry for my past actions. I have heard nothing and wish to make my apologies to him in person. I understand that he is at Hogwarts and as a muggle I will be unable to get there. For the past year I have been able to interact with the wizard world through the use of this wand,” I handed him the wand I had been given by Dedalus. “I have been given to understand that I will need to return this tomorrow when I return to my old house. It has proved extremely beneficial to me, I have managed to learn a lot about your world and I do not wish to lose that connection. Is there any way you can think of that would enable me to continue to keep that connection?” Whilst Bill was examining the wand, Mrs. Weasley entered from the kitchen with a tray of tea.
“Milk? Sugar?” she asked.
“er! Just milk please.”
“Bon!” She waved her wand and the pot rose to pour tea into a cup which floated over to me. Another cup had 1 sugar and milk in it and floated to Bill. He grabbed it from the air as he continued to stare at my ‘wand’. I took the cup that was hovering in front of me and nervously took a sip.
Bill handed me the wand back and I returned it to my wallet. “That is one beautiful piece of magic, both wizard and goblin work. It allows access to a special account at Gringotts, I don’t know who set this up, but they must have pulled some big favours in with the goblins. They don’t like wizards that much as a rule.”
“They believe wizards treat them as animals, not giving them the respect they feel they deserve. Goblins are forbidden to carry wands, and they resent that fact, they believe that it is another way of subjugating them. Their views on property ownership are different to ours; they think wizards are thieves for passing goblin made artefacts down to future generations. I personally believe that if wizards are not careful they could have another goblin war on our hands. And it’s one we’ll be hard pressed to win, so the level of co-operation in creating this wand for you is surprising.”
“I’ve read your history books and seen the goblin wars mentioned, but the history books don’t say all that, the goblins are portrayed as greedy, vicious creatures, with no respect for wizard values.”
“Of course, history is written by the victors. But it is an important factor to understand your opponents and wizards have not done that. They continue to make the same mistakes with magical creatures, all magical creatures.”
“I’ve only dealt with one magical creature, but I think I’ve got on well with her!” Bill viewed me with a curious expression. I removed the mobile phone from my pocket, “is it safe to use this around here? Or should I go outside?”
Bill took my phone, looked at it for a few seconds, “this is a fellytone? You can call someone with it, a bit like fire talking if I understand right?”
“Telephone, but basically that’s it. I understand that magic and technology don’t mix so I wouldn’t want to damage it or your home by using it in here. But I would like to speak to a friend about something and see if you can meet someone who I’ve interacted with and maybe changed their life for the better.”
“You’ve intrigued me, I’m curious to know how you think you could improve the life of a magical creature.” He looked again at my phone and waved his wand at it. It seemed as if for a second there was a ball of light round the phone which sank into it and vanished. “There, magical absorption shield. Spell of my Dad’s own invention. He’s always mucking about with Muggle stuff trying to make it work. That spell will make it safe for you to use in the house. Let’s see this magical creature of yours then.”
“Justin, hi, I’m trying to solve the problem we were talking about earlier and some points have come up in the conversation, could you be persuaded to allow Biskit to come here and talk to me and someone else. It won’t be detrimental to her or your family. But it will show that some negotiation is possible between magical species.”
“Hang on, I’ll speak to here and get her opinion on the matter.” For a couple of minutes I was holding a dead quiet phone to my ear, I could hear some muted conversation in the background. “Biskit is a little worried, she wants to help doesn’t know if she can, without help from me, could I come with her.” I asked Justin to hold the line for a moment and asked Bill and Fleur if it was alright for Justin to come along with Biskit. They were both looking intrigued now, so I told Justin to come along. Before I could tell him the address, there was a knock at the door.
Fleur looked at me and quickly went to the door and came back escorting Justin and Biskit. Bill looked at Justin and the scared Biskit dressed in a homemade dress of several clashing colours. “A free house elf, I thought the only one was Dobby!”
“Oh no sir, Biskit is not free. Binky is working for Master Justin and his family.” She looked fearfully at Justin to see if she had spoken out turn. Justin gave her a smile and motioned her to continue. “Biskit is proud to work as all house elves must, and Biskit is honoured that Master Justin allows her to be making her own clothes.”
“Making her own clothes?”
I looked at Bill and Fleur. “House elves have always been told that if they are given clothes by their masters, they are being set free, dismissed. But if a house elf is doing your washing are you not giving them clothes, albeit dirty ones. If something needs repairing, won’t a house elf do that? The first few times I saw Biskit she was wearing what looked to be an old pillowcase. After my talk with her and Justin about clothes, she was constantly altering this pillow case, one day t shirt and shorts, the next a dress. Then one day she was wearing a very colourful outfit, much like you see. I don’t know what she made it from, but it certainly was colourful.”
Justin laughed. “For Christmas I gave her a sample book of materials from the local robe shop. I told her that she was to use some of the material as cleaning cloths, but others could be used to make herself some real clothes. At first we had several bright cleaning cloths, but Biskit had no new clothes, so I told her that the rest of the material was to be used to make herself some clothes. When they wore out, she could use them as cleaning cloths. Since then she’s been the best dressed elf in Tinworth.”
“Interesting point, you’ve not given her clothes which would be tantamount to casting her out, but she’s still getting clothes. I like it. I don’t approve of the way house elves are treated, and Fleur is dead set against us getting one, for similar reasons. She’s part veela and is lucky that she is allowed to live as a witch. If the ministry had decided the other way, her and her sister would be living as nature spirits in the wild, but luckily it was decreed her mother was more witch than veela when she was born, so she was allowed to be brought up in human society. Of course the ministry have never seen Fleur in a temper. That’s when you need to fear her veela ancestry.” Fleur gave bill a violent stare. “Just kidding dear, you know I love you dearly.
Mum was prejudiced against Fleur to begin with, her ‘part human’ background, she may be liberal minded where muggle borns are concerned but half-breeds in her view were another matter. It wasn’t till the night that Dumbledore was murdered and I got these scars, that Mum finally started to accept her. Now of course she is eagerly awaiting grandchildren, that will be the point when she is really happy with my choice of wife. Mum loves kids, as you could probably tell, me being one of seven.”
“Seven! I think I’ve met most of them, there’s the twins, Ron, Ginny and you! Who are the others?”
“There’s Charlie, he works in Romania, looking after dragons and Percy, he’s back at the ministry after quitting during the battle of Hogwarts, he loves it there, born beaurocrat.”
“Perhaps I need to speak to your brother Percy then, if he works at the ministry? Maybe he could help me?”
“Oh you could try him, if you don’t mind waiting until Biskit here is Minister for Magic.” Biskit gave Bill an alarmed look and looked fearfully at Justin. “Sorry Biskit, what I meant was Percy is the born office worker, never do anything without instruction that haven’t been signed in triplicate, filed, lost and finally recycled as firelighters. Your best course of action would be to speak to Dedalus when he takes you home tomorrow and see if he can get you an appointment to put your case to Kingsley Shacklebolt, the new Minister, but I warn you, you’ll need to put forward a good case, bringing every resource you have to succeed. Kingsley is a fair man, but he’s also a strict one. No bending the rules without very good cause.”
“Thank you, Bill, Fleur, you have been most helpful.” I turned to Biskit and Justin, thank you both you’ve been very helpful.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a galleon, possibly one of the last I’d have. Glancing at Justin and getting a smile of approval I knelt before Biskit. “Thank you Biskit, you’ve been very helpful to me, this is a little present to show my appreciation of your help.”
Biskit looked nervously up at Justin. Take it Biskit, it is yours to do with or spend as you wish. Dudley is thanking you for your help and you deserve it.”
Biskit turned back to me and said with a bright look in her eyes, “Biskit is saying thank you Master Dudley.”
Bill laughed softly at this. “I wish you luck Dudley, let me know any final outcome won’t you.”
The three of us made ready to leave, Justin looked at me, “would like a lift back, I’m sure Biskit owuldn’t find dropping you off on our way home.”
“as long as you don’t mean dropping literally I’d welcome it. I think I’ve got a lot to do if I’m going to succeed.” I carefully took biskit’s hand and we fell into the pressing dark and emerged in front of 100 Marina Gardens, with a crack.
“good luck Dudley.” Said Justin just before he and Biskit vanished with another loud crack.
I let myself in, and ignoring the dirty look I was getting from Dad, went upstairs to start putting evidence together to support my case.
i} This little passage is taken from the late Douglas Adams ‘The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ not a direct quote, but done from memory, but it just summed up Percy’s character to me.