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?
Everything was packed and ready to move back to Privet Drive. Mum and I were seated calmly waiting for the wizards to come and take us home. Dad was sitting upright in the armchair, mumbling under his breath about bloody freaks and the disruption they had caused to the live of decent, honest people. Mum and I were ignoring his rant. I had spoken to Mum earlier and told her of my plans to speak to the Aurors about the wand card and the possibility of getting something similar to help me in my quest to make amends with Harry. She was fully supportive of what I wanted to do.
We had made sure that everything was secure. That everything was unplugged or disconnected. All doors and windows were locked, which was probably caused our surprise at the sudden knock at the door. We had been unable to hear the apparition of our escort. To my surprise, we were greeted by Hestia Jones and Bill Weasley.
"Hello again, Mr. Dursley, Mrs. Dursley, Dudley, for those of you who aren't aware this is Bill Weasley. He volunteered to help me get you home. Dedalus is busy rebuilding someone's house at the moment. Someone else who was under protection during the war. It's a very busy period for the Auror Office and The Order of The Phoenix, trying to put everything back together."
"What's the Order of the Phoenix?" asked Mum.
"It was an organisation set up by Dumbledore during the last war to combat 'You Know Who' and reformed when he raised himself from the dead. It was doing its best to protect all muggleborn families and blood traitors."
"Families like mine," replied Bill, "families who do not have the correct attitude to pureblood purity. We were just as bad as muggleborns. His followers would love to have had an excuse to do away with our entire family. Luckily most of us survived, my brother Fred died at the battle of Hogwarts, it's affected George pretty badly. The rest of the family are doing their best to help him cope."
"I'm sorry to hear about your brother, would you pass my condolences to your family."
"I will, but I have other news to pass on to you. Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic has agreed to meet with you. You will need to present your case to him, and you should put a good argument forward. Kingsley is not likely to just grant you the wand you ask for. You must give as much supporting evidence as you can. He is going to need a lot of convincing." He handed me a handwritten note, "it's written instructions for how to get to the Ministry but they are spelled so you can only see and use them when needed. This is for the protection and security of the wizard world. I'd suggest you check the note every night until it can be read."
"Ok, thank you, I made some notes from books I read whilst in Tinworth. I'll use those to help me in my quest, your views on the goblin wars also made me look something up in those notes last night and I have some views that the Minister might find interesting."
"I wish you luck. Now shall we get you home?" He waved his wand and the two large boxes we had packed to take back with us vanished. "Those have gone back to your home in Little Whinging. Your neighbours believe you have been abroad on Sabbatical. All correspondence will magically be re-addressed back to your home there and if they have already been in correspondence with you, they will believe that is the address they have always dealt with. So your universities will not notice anything untoward Dudley. Now Mrs. Dursley, Dudley if you will take Hestia's hands, Mr. Dursley if you will take mine." We took the indicated hands and Bill waved his wand. Our suitcases floated to Bill's outstretched hand. Then with a sickening feeling of going through a dark straw we apparated again.
This time I managed to stay upright, the feeling of sickness that I had experienced the first time was not so bad this time. I looked around to slightly familiar surroundings. We were at the same motorway services we had left from our first day in hiding.
Hestia opened the boot of a new car, the latest model of the car type we had abandoned here nearly a year ago. She handed some papers to Dad. "This is your new car Mr. Dursley; all legal documentation has been sorted. It is in compensation for the loss of your last vehicle. It was destroyed by Death Eaters two days after we left. Now if you will drive us back to Privet Drive, there are a few more things we need to discuss."
"I'll leave you in Hestia's capable hands!" Bill said and with a final shake our hands vanished with a crack. Dad jumped at the sound of his apparition and looked at Hestia in fear.
The drive back to Privet Drive was uneventful; Dad was looking around at the new car, checking out the equipment that had been supplied with the car. He looked pleased with this part of the deal. This car was top of the range. It had all extras as standard; surely this wasn't going to be the thing that made him easier with magic. Hestia looked at him out of the corner of her eye and glanced at Mum and I with a smile.
We carried the luggage into the house which Hestia opened with a wave of her wand and stood back to let us in. The house looked just as we had left it, with the exception of Mum's box sitting on the mantle above the fireplace. The house looked as if it had just been cleaned, there was not the slightest sign of any dust to say that the house had been damaged, rebuilt or abandoned. We could have just gone out of the front door minutes ago.
"All your bank accounts and details with local companies have been re-established. The authorities believe the house has been empty for the past year. That is why they have not made any enquiries as to why the utilities were cut off. The damage done was repaired by Ministry officials in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Your muggle authorities believe they repaired the damage, but as it was caused by wizards that was our responsibility and we sorted it for you.
"I should bloody well think so..."
"Dad shut up!"
"I agree Vernon. After the terrible way we treated Harry all the years he lived with us, I am grateful that his people agreed to protect us and I will not tolerate that sort of language any more in this house. You have been warned." I looked at Mum in surprise, she really meant that. What could it mean?
Hestia looked a little surprised at the turn the conversation was taking as well. "I must now relieve you of the cards you were given when you went into hiding. I have non magical replacements for you that are all set up and ready for use. Your bank accounts have earned interest during the past year, whilst they have been in the care of Gringotts, the wizard bank." We handed her the wand / cards, myself a little reluctantly, Dad was extremely eager to get rid of his, and he almost threw it at her. "Thank you! I hope your quest is successful Dudley, I've heard good things about you from the magical community in Tinworth. I wish you luck." She shook both mine and Mums hands, visibly ignoring Dad, walked out the door and down the path. As she closed the gate she vanished with a loud crack.
"What's this quest of yours Dudley, and what contact have you had with the magical community in that tiny tin-pot town they dumped us in?" Behind him I could see Mum looking a little apprehensively at me, so I decided to tell only a small part of the truth.
"I want to speak to Harry again Dad, I meant what I said when we left. I don't think he's a waste of space and he was responsible for saving my life, I'm grateful for that. You haven't raised me to be ungrateful." And that was a downright lie, they'd raised me to be an ignorant bully, but I wasn't going to say that to him. "As for the magical community in Tinworth, I must have met some wizarding folk and not known it, I tried to be polite to everyone I met. I didn't want another tail." Again part truth, I am sure there were wizards I met that looked like ordinary muggles, and if there were I was unaware of it. I noticed Dad cringe at the memory of that tail, I still remembered it, but I had gained a little appreciation of the meaning behind it when those dementors attacked me. I still didn't like thinking about it, but it made a point to Dad. I could see Mum smiling behind him and she nodded at me as if to say I'd done right.
I grabbed my suitcases from where they had been left and made my way upstairs to my bedroom. That didn't look like I'd left it. Toys that I'd broken and thrown under the bed were mended and stacked neatly on shelves. the bookshelves had all the books that I'd had in them before, but whereas they'd been covered in food, or tea where I'd used them as cup stands before I left, they now looked as if they'd just come from the printers. Although the wallpaper was the same pattern as I remembered it looked like it had been put up yesterday and not a few years ago. The bed had even been repaired; I'd been so overweight that I'd broken some of the struts in it. But now it looked like it was fresh from the shop. When they said they had repaired the damage that had been done, they weren't kidding.
I sorted all my clothes out into the proper places and sat at the once familiar desk. I had alot of work to do and I needed to be as quick and as thorough as I could. I had no idea how long before I would get my appointment to see the Minister for Magic.
I worked solidly over that Sunday and Monday, checking the notes I had made from the wizarding books in Tinworth and collating it into several pages of information in a new document. Then I checked some data on the internet and added this too.
I did take a break on the Monday to go into the town, Itook one of the last of the Galleons I had in my pocket to a jewellers to see what he could tell me of it. After he had made some checks, he said he needed to get the gold assayed to know its purity. I had several documents to sign to say it was mine and to prove my identity. He assured me that it would only take about ten days to get the information back. I hoped I would be lucky and that I didn't get called to the ministry before that. To be on the safe side I inquired how much the gold would be worth if it wasn't that pure.
"Well if that particular piece of metal you gave me is gold and only 9carat gold, I would say the value at today's prices would be about £200, it weighed about two ounces and pure 24 carat gold, or bullion standard is worth about £200 an ounce, so it could be worth more.”
“Thank you, could you call me when you get the results through, please?” I gave him my mobile number and left the shop. Blimey these wizards were not up with the modern world at all. A Galleon was worth about five pounds; street value in a shop, and if as I suspected it was pure gold, at two ounces in gold weight the coin was worth about £400. Now if they were ignorant of this fact, they could use this as a way of placating the goblins, if they were also unaware of the same fact, they might not be. From what I had heard they were pretty shrewd, but it could be of advantage. All of this was put into the document I was creating. I was going to use everything I could think of to help me.
That night I checked the note I had been given by Bill Weasley, but it was still blank. I went to bed knowing that I would need to get more facts to support myself.
The following morning I was woken by Mum’s voice from outside the bedroom door, “is my special young man all ready?”
“Ready for what Mum? I didn’t get to sleep until four this morning. I was working on something.”
“Well, don’t blame me. Now get washed and dressed and come downstairs. Your father and I are waiting.”
What was so important about today, I didn’t even know the date, the last few days had been so hectic. I wish she’d have let me sleep in, I was exhausted. I washed and dressed and headed downstairs, yawning all the time.
“Happy Birthday Dudley,” chorused both Mum and Dad as I staggered into the kitchen. Huh, was today my birthday? I’d completely lost track of the days. Exams, packing and the move home. I was eighteen today!
There was a couple of envelopes on the table and a few small parcels. I sat down and yawned again. “Sorry there’s not so many as last year Dudley, but you know how it’s been. What with being in a strange town and moving and everything.” Apologised Dad.
“That’s fine Dad, I don’t mind I figure I’m too old to be counting presents anyway. It’s quality not quantity and whatever I’ve got it the thought that counts. I don’t need hundreds of toys like I had in the past. Speaking of which, there’s some old stuff in my room that got repaired while we were away, I figure it could go to charity.”
Dad appeared to be chewing his moustache in an effort not to say something nasty about who had obviously repaired the old broken toys in my room. “That’s not a bad idea Dudley; you don’t want old clutter in your room. I’ll help you to take anything to the charity shop if you can put it in boxes.”
“Thanks dad,” I mumbled through my cereal. I looked at the cards on the table. Both were postmarked Tinworth, Cornwall, I opened the first envelope. There were two cards inside. One was from Mrs. Turpin and Richard, the second from Lisa. It looked at first glance to have been written in fountain pen, but I suspected it had been might have been written with a quill. That piece of information would be hidden from both Mum and Dad though. I knew Mum’s attitude to Harry and wizards in general but what would be her reaction to a witch as a daughter in law, if it ever went that far. The second card was from Justin and his Mum, and again I suspected it had been written using a quill. Justin said cryptically that he was planning an extra year of study before deciding on university. Dad just looked perplexed as I read that little bit of information out, but from behind I could see Mum smiling and nodding at me, she understood what extra education Justin would be getting.
I moved on to the small pile of presents on the table. There was a nice gold watch and a signet ring. Another hand knitted jumper from Mum and an envelope. That surprised me, what could be in an envelope. I opened it slowly trying to figure out what could be in it as I did so. It was a Provisional Driving License and a voucher for lessons with a local driving school. “Sorry about that Dudley, normally we would have got you that last year, but well you know the problems we had then. When you pass your Driving Test, we’ll see about getting you a proper car, but in the meantime,” he held his car keys up. “You are going to need new clothes for when you go to university, come on.” He tossed the keys at me and got up to leave.
The drive to the Shopping Mall was a bit of a disaster, I stalled several times, broke the speed limit several time, unintentionally of course, and nearly hit a bus. Dad looked nervous the whole time. I was unsure of Mum’s reaction in the back.
I’m sure Mum and Dad would have bought the whole Mall for me, if I’d been of a mind to let them. There was an almost obscene amount of clothes, by the time we were finished, and then the day took a turn for the worse. Dad was taking us to Aunt Marge’s for tea.
After a thoroughly disagreeable evening with Aunt Marge slobbering over how I was her precious new man and that vicious little mongrel, Ripper, trying to shred my leg in an effort to get the food from the table, we were finally home. I had a wad of cash from in pocket from Aunt Marge and a pile of clothes in my room, some of which I was sure I would never wear. I ignored the pile of clothes sitting on the bed and checked the documentation I had so far compiled to show to Kingsley Shacklebolt. It was a start. But I was going to need more.
Author Note: in Britain you can get a Provisional (learners) Drivers Licence at 17, but you must have a fully qualified driver in the vehicle with you at all times and there are restrictions on the type of roads you can drive on.
Please review: thanks’ to all the lovely people who are reading and enjoying my story. I appreciate the encouragement I get from your reviews.