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 spent the next few days looking into several diverse fields that I wanted to use as evidence that the wizard world needed Muggle help, or it was in trouble, that the wizarding world was in danger of making itself extinct, if it didn't change itself. I was going to hopefully shock Kingsley Shacklebolt into helping me complete my quest.
The jeweller called me on the second Wednesday after Idropped the gold Galleon off with him for assaying. He needed to talk. I made my way on the bus back to the shop wondering what the problem could be. Since I had handed back the wand, the Galleon looked like a nugget of gold rather than the coin I remembered it looking like before, with proper markings etc. More Magic!
The jeweller welcomed me into the shop, "I must ask where you got this gold? You are in no trouble about it, but it had the experts curious. 24 carat, or pure gold, is anything above 99½%. This gold is 100% pure gold and as a result should be soft, but it’s almost as hard as steel. Do you know anything about that?”
“I have absolutely no idea, perhaps its leprechaun gold? Maybe that’s why it’s different. Its magical,” I sniggered trying to make it sound like I thought the idea a joke.
“Hmm! I see, well at the current value of gold, your lump of gold is worth £420, I can give you that if you wish to sell it. Although I would still like to know more about its history.”
“No, thank you, if I could take the gold with me and if you could give me something in writing to inform me of the value.” I hoped he wouldn’t be too difficult about this. I needed this Galleon and the documentation to add to my file of evidence for Kingsley Shacklebolt.
I was slowly building a case to prove that I should have some sort of assistance to go to Hogsmeade and Hogwarts to see Harry, but more to the notion that the wizarding world needed Muggles and Muggle knowledge. I had seen from my limited interaction with the wizard community in Tinworth, that some wizard were lacking in knowledge about Muggles and their world. I had met the only wizard who seemed to have an understanding of Muggles and that had been four years ago, and I was terrified of him at the time. Arthur Weasley. He, according to Bill, was fascinated by us and our society and had even done some ‘mucking about’ with technology. His spell that enabled me to use my mobile phone in a magical environment was something to be used. Wizards could communicate using a fire, but what was the use of that if you were in transit, or in the middle of summer. Wizards didn’t need to carry mobile phones per se, they could mimic the actions of a mobile phone with magic I am sure, they had radios after all.
I was checking the note from Kingsley Shacklebolt every evening. It was over a week after I had picked the gold Galleon back from the jewellers on Friday evening that the note had changed. “Mr. Dursley, An appointment has been made for you to see Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic on Monday 13th July at 11am. You should leave the Muggle underground at St James Park; go onto Broadway, down Tothhill Street, and into Old Queen street. On this road you will find an out of order Phone Box. You should enter and dial ‘62442’. This will take you to the Ministry.”
I checked the train times the following morning, I would need to make a reasonably early start on Monday, but it could be done. I wouldn’t need to spend the night before in London. I had a large printed document that I would be taking with me with lots of facts and figures to help me and support my case on various levels.
I told Mum, that Saturday evening that I would be going to London on Monday. Dad was out of the room when I told her this and what time I would need to leave, between us we got our story straight so that Dad would not get suspicious about my leaving the house earlier than usual that day. In truth, he might not notice anything out of the ordinary, but we had to be sure. He was still not very happy about the way his firm had been run the past year and would make odd comments about amateur businessmen putting their nose in where it was not wanted. Mum and I knew that he was dying to talk about the ‘freaks’ that had interfered for the last twelve months in his firm. I didn’t see what he had to complain about to be honest. He was always saying that the workload had increased and he needed to take on more employees to deal with the extra work. It seemed as if these, Ahem freaks, had done him a favour, but would he admit it. Not if his life depended on the fact. They were wrong in his opinion and that was all that mattered to him.
I left the house after Dad that morning, he failed to take much notice of the fact I had woken and got up earlier than usual. He left just before eight that morning and I was ready and off by 8.30. Truth to tell I was allowing more time than in needed for the journey, but I wanted to be early. No point in turning up late that would be a major black mark on my efforts. I travelled by train to London and by tube to St. James Park, the connections all fell my way and I was there by ten in the morning. I bought a coffee to go and began to follow the directions I had been given to get to the Ministry.
I arrived in Old Queen Street with plenty of time to spare. I dropped the now empty cup into the nearest bin, how different that was from the old me as well. It would have been on the floor or chucked at someone’s car. I stepped into the broken phone box and dialled 62442 as I had been directed by the note. A voice rang out from somewhere in the phone box but not the handset. “Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business.”
“Dudley Dursley, appointment with the Minister for Magic.”
“Thank you visitor! Please take the badge and attach to the front of your robes.” I pinned the badge that said Dudley Dursley, appointment with Minister for Magic to my leather jacket. “Visitor to the Ministry, you are required to submit to a search and present your wand for registration at the security desk, which is located at the far end of the atrium.” Suddenly the telephone booth was sinking down into the pavement. Was that all the magic involved in hiding the Ministry of Magic in London, it was just underground? Shattered one illusion then. The lift had hardly started moving when it came to a stop. I stepped out into an enormous lobby that looked to be three or four floors high at the least. I’d change my mind if this was all there was to hiding the Ministry of Magic I was impressed. It was bigger than I understood an aircraft hanger to be and that was just what I could see. I slowly made my way to the far end of the atrium to where a bored looking man in blue robes sat at a desk. All around me people were appearing in fire places and quickly making their way to various lifts and doorways and vanishing again.
“May I have you wand please?” asked the bored looking security wizard.
“No, sorry, I don’t have one! I’m a Muggle.”
“Really sir I must insist or I will have to call security... s’ sorry did you say you were a muggle?” Before I could answer, he looked at me and walked quickly to the nearest fireplace threw some powder in it and stuck his head in the flames. Whatever was said he was obviously quickly satisfied as he got back up and returned to his desk. “Someone will be coming to meet you Mr. Dursley, if you would like to take a seat.” He waved his wand and a reasonably comfortable looking chair appeared, I thanked him and sat down. I watched the lifts in the background to pass the time; they were going up down, backwards, left and right. How there wasn’t a collision I don’t know.
A red headed gentleman a few years older than me came up from behind and spoke briefly to the security wizard at the desk and came up to me, holding out his hand. “Mr. Dursley, I’m your guide, Percy Weasley, if you will follow me I will escort you to the Minister’s office.” I shook his hand and set out to follow him to the lifts. He took hold of one of the handles fixed to the ceiling and indicated that I should do the same. I grabbed hold of one of the handles and the lift shot backwards. The lift sped off, changing direction several times and I’m sure I left my stomach somewhere on the journey. After a fast and nauseating journey we came to a large room with several doors leading off from it. One door directly ahead had a large fist shaped hole out of it at eye level. Percy lead me to a door round to the right and knocked firmly on it.
“Come in,” said a deep and somehow comforting voice.
Percy preceded me in and spoke to a tall black gentleman I had seen before on the television standing in the background with the Prime Minister. “Mr. Dursley to see you minister!”
“Thank you Weasley, you may go! I will deal with the business here.” Percy looked a little put out by this, as if he expected to be needed, but he nodded and left the office closing the door behind him. The minister turned to me, “now Mr. Dursley, Dudley if I may what makes you think that we should change centuries of secrecy and relax the Statute of Secrecy so you can ease your guilt and visit your cousin? Your track record with him in the past has not been very promising. Why should we believe that it will improve in the future? You have never shown any sense of family to him in the past. Why now?”
“I know. I’m not proud of my past and for my attitude towards Harry, for some of my behaviour I plead ignorance and nurture. I was merely following the attitude of my parents in the way they treated Harry. I came to understand what sort of person I had been on the nigh we were both attacked by the dementors. It made me realise the error of my ways and try to change. I undertook to learn what I could about Harry and his schooling from a neighbour of ours, Mrs. Arabella Figg, a squib I believe is the correct term for her. It was a revelation to me, that I should have been a friend to Harry all his life, not because of his magic, that is incidental, but because he was my cousin and we should be friends. Further to this I must point out that the Statute of Secrecy has not applied to me for several years, since Harry got his first letter to Hogwarts, although I did not know that at the time as my father kept burning them. I have been no danger to wizard secrecy before; in what way am I now, because I wish to renew an acquaintanceship with Harry after he has left the home we grew up in together? I have been mixing with wizards for most of the past year and I cannot see in what way I have broken the Statute during that time either!”
The Minister indicated I should take a seat and looked hard at me, “I have spoken to many people you interacted with during the past year and in that you are right, you have done nothing to endanger wizard society, in fact you have been the very example of a well behaved young man. That is one of the reasons that I agreed to see you. I have also spoken to Mr. Finch-Fletchley and his house elf, Biskit, regarding you. I understand it was your idea that enabled her to wear clothing?”
I gulped wondering where this particular line of reasoning was going; I hoped it was not in the wrong direction. Was Kingsley Shacklebolt one of those wizards who believed in the enslavement of the house elves? “Yes Sir! I spoke with Justin and Biskit about this. Although she believed she was a slave to his family, he took my stance that she was a valued servant and friend and should be treated with some dignity and respect. It does nobody any good to subjugate and enslave other peoples. The muggle community enacted laws to that end centuries ago, although they were people similar to yourself, being black, not a different race, the principle is the same.”
He raised his eyes slightly about my comment of him being black, but nodded for me to continue. The point is Minister, that Biskit and others like her a valid part of your society, they wash, clean and cook for many families and have done for millennia, yet you treat them like vermin. They are a race of beings capable of magic, yet you deny them some of the basic rights that you allow yourselves. Clothing, freedom of movement, wands. Are they not entitled to their own dignity? Your history has also shown the similar lack of decency to some other creatures that you deal with on a regular basis.”
“What other creatures are you referring to?”
“Goblins, you use their services to look after your gold, you are perfectly happy to purchase the articles they produce, but again I understand they are denied an equal footing in your society.”
“Interesting do carry on!”
I removed the Galleon from my pocket, “this is one of your units of currency, and I believe you must be familiar with it. Do you know it’s worth in Muggle society?”
“About 5 Muggle pounds?”
“Partially Minister.” I removed the assayers report from my bag and passed it across. “The goblins have been in charge of wizard finances for several hundred years, you use their skill to make your coins and care for your money, but you do them an injustice. The Muggle value of this coin is £420 in gold value alone. Who has the benefit of all that wealth? No one, it is locked up and hoarded in wizard vaults at Gringotts. Do you not wonder at the anger of the goblins at wizards? You are keeping millions of pounds worth of gold in their bank and it just sits there, they make trinkets and jewellery that you buy and they see nothing in the transaction but a few gold coins back for it.”
“What do you suggest we do?” He appeared interested now in what I had to say.
“I believe the Muggle term is re-issuing your coinage. It happened a few years ago, that the amount of metal in the coins was worth more melted down that it was in face value. They changed the metal that the coins were made of and plated them in the appropriate metal to make them look the same. If you were to allow the goblins to re-issue your coinage and the gold that was left over was put into a trust that they could use to interact with Muggle banking institutions, with the interest that they made being theirs, I believe that could go a long way to making the goblins more charitable to wizard kind. If you gave them the right to use wands and even go to Hogwarts if they so wish, you would make some valued allies. Imagine what they could teach wizards at the same time as they learn from you.”
“Please do carry on; you certainly have some very interesting views! I cannot say I will agree with you, but please continue!”
I removed my mobile phone from my pocket and handed it to the Minister. “Are you aware of what this is?”
He looked closely and examined it. “It is a mobile telephone, it is of no use in a magical area, and they don’t work well with magic!”
I took the phone from him and dialled London Transport and made enquiries about train times for my departure later this evening. All the time on speaker, so the minister could hear both sides of the conversation, and see I was not some idiot talking to his own hand. The Minister watched this whole process with a look of bemused and perplexed amazement. “How were you able to do that, I understand they normally explode in close proximity to magic use?”
“The son of one of your own ministry employees enchanted it with I believe ‘a magical absorption shield’ he termed it. The fact that it works in a magical environment is one thing, but what it implies is another.”
“Do go on, I must admit you’re beginning to interest me now!”
“Minister, how does your office contact you when you are not here?”
“They use floo powder and fire talk me!”
“And how did they speak to you when you were guarding the Prime Minister, I am sure you didn’t carry a fire place round worth you? Or perhaps if you were out for a meal in a muggle environment, they couldn’t talk to you then?” If your research department could duplicate the technology used in this phone, you would always be reachable, no matter where you were, even in flight on a broomstick. I’m sure you don’t carry a fireplace there either!”
“No they cannot speak to me then. I see your point, but I can see occasions when I might not wish to be contacted by work. What about then?”
I switched my mobile phone off and looked at him, “exactly the same thing with your magical communication device. It shouldn’t be too difficult for wizards to duplicate this function and if they found some way of linking it to Muggle communications, it would enable non-magical relatives to speak to their kin in an easy manner too. You don’t get covered in ash either! There are areas of magic that could be of benefit to muggles as well. For instance medicine. I was told by Mrs. Figg that Harry had all the bones in his arm regrown after an accident playing quidditch in his second year. If this could be changed in some way so it could be used by Muggle medical authorities, it could generate a source of income for your society. You wouldn’t have to tell them it was magic, it needs to be put forward as a new discovery in their own field of medicine, but it can be done. There is probably some advances in Muggle medicine that may be of use to yourselves. The study of genetics may be of some interest to your medi-wizards too.”
“I’m sorry, what was that last term?”
“Genetics. The study of passing abilities and traits down the generations. For example my mother has no magic, but her sister who is a child of the same parents had. Why not both of them? It is probable that somewhere in our past, we had a squib in our family tree and the magical genes have resurfaced again or it could just be a random chance.”
“Sorry, you’ve lost me? What have jeans, which I believe are an item of Muggle clothing got to do with you having or not having magic?”
I explained the difference between ‘genes’ and ‘jeans’ along with my limited understanding of DNA. “It could help you find out why squibs are born and why Muggleborns wizards happen. I understood from Mrs. Figg that when a squib is born they are often cast out of the family; the wizard world loses all contact with them. They are helping your world partly in bringing new blood into the gene pool. I understand that most wizard families are related, often cousins, sometimes many times removed. By marrying your cousins, you are reinforcing bad genes in the mix as well as good, so more wizard children will be born without the gene that allows them to do active magic, but still able to pass this on to their offspring. Similar things have been studied in certain closed communities in the Muggle world where people married their cousins and second cousins; children were born with genetic anomalies, missing limbs, etc. If your interaction with Muggles was greater, the number of wizards would increase I am sure. Justin told me that the dormitories at Hogwarts were somewhat emptier than they could be, so it seems the number of wizards was larger when the school was first built. You are dying out!”
“You certainly have some very interesting views Dudley, but why should I grant you continued use of a very sophisticated piece of magic?”
“I don’t want or need the functions that that card offered. It enabled me to interact with your world, opened my eyes to things that were often hidden in plain sight. That is what I would like to continue! I want to be able to visit my cousin and try to make amends and atone for the mistakes of our collective past. I want to be able to find where I could get access to an owl so I could send him a letter, to try and make him see I’m a reformed character. I sent him a birthday card by Muggle mail to his friend Ron’s house. I don’t know if he got it, or if not, I would gladly welcome his owl if it was bringing me a reply to that card.”
“I see your point, but Harry’s owl was killed on the night he left your house and there are no owls at Hogwarts at present. They were either killed by Death Eaters or got into the wild and eaten by Thestrals. He could not reply to you that way at the moment. The only method of communication with Hogwarts at the moment is fire talking and that is reserved for emergencies etc. But if you do not want all the magical properties that the card had, what would want it to do?”
“Enable me to see the things that are hidden, I learned a lot from being able to read some of your history books in the library at Tinworth. I got used to reading the Daily Prophet; I can no longer do this, now it is gibberish to me. What I would like is some form of identification that allows me to continue that interaction. It needn’t have any charms on it, but it was useful in allowing me to call the Knight Bus and getting to Godric’s Hollow. I was able to see a part of my family’s history that I was unaware of. I think it helped my mother as well in that way, she told me that she felt her sister’s sacrifice was all for nothing, seeing that monument has helped her see how badly she treated the one connection she had to her sister.”
“I have heard everything you have said Dudley. You have raised a lot of good and valid points in your favour. I cannot give you what you want...” My face must have shown my disappointment. I was getting ready to protest, but the Minister continued. “...yet. I must talk to some of my colleagues, but in my opinion, you should get what you want. It could be that similar access is given to all Muggle relatives of witches and wizards. I hope to give you good news shortly. I will send you a reply by owl in the next few days.” He waved his wand and a silver lynx leaped from the end of it and shot through the closed door. There was a knock and Percy Weasley came in. “Percy could you show Mr. Dursley back to the atrium and then return here with your father, there are a few things we need to discuss. He winked at me as I was leaving which made Percy look at me in surprise.
Percy took me back to the lifts, and we both grabbed hold of the handles. “What did he want my father for? Do you know?”
“I believe it has to do with my mobile phone,” I said as we left the lifts and I handed the badge back to the wizard at the desk. “Goodbye Percy, it was nice to meet you! My condolences on the loss of your brother!” He looked at me in a surprised manner and showed me to the telephone box that was sitting on the floor of the atrium. He told me to dial ‘684453’ and it would take me back to the street.
I left the Ministry of Magic with a sense of hope. It seemed I may be able to see Harry and his world again
Author Note; Please review. I value your opinions of my little fic. This chapter is slightly longer than usual. Who would have believed that Dudley could be so wordy? I hope you agree with what he said to the Minister and can see the importance of some of the things he said.
The Rough directions I have given Dudley to the Ministry of Magic would take him below London in approximately the area of the Houses of Parliament and the Wartime Cabinet Rooms. On the understanding that the Magical Premises would most likely be near to the Muggle ones! JK Rowling informed us how to get into the Ministry by the visitors entrance ‘62442’ spells magic on a phone when you type it in, ‘684453’ would spell muggle if your phone recognised the word.