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?
After spending the day looking round Muggle London, I caught the train back home to speak to Mum about my meeting with the Minister for Magic and progress in my quest to renew my friendship with Harry. She was disappointed for me that I hadn't got a definite answer, but hopeful that the Minister would grant my request. We stopped talking about Harry and magic as we heard Dad's car pull up outside. He was still being obstinate in his views about anything to do with those topics. I don't think there is any way to change his attitudes, but we could live in hope.
I waited several days with no news from the Ministry and my hopes were beginning to fail. It seemed my quest was doomed to failure. I was getting despondent that I would never get to apologise in person to Harry or see him again. But finally I was called downstairs by Mum on the Monday morning two weeks after my visit to the Ministry. I made my way downstairs to find an owl sitting on the windowsill outside the kitchen window. As I walked into the kitchen, the owl hooted and took wing towards me. It stopped on the back of the kitchen chair and held out its leg. There was a parchment envelope tied to its leg. I untied the parchment and the owl flew quickly out the window and away.
I looked anxiously at Mum and opened the envelope. Two small wooden cards the same size as acredit card fell out and landed on the table. I quickly read the letter
Ministry of Magic
Muggle Technology Department.
Dear Mr. Dursley,
I am pleased to issue to yourself to and Mrs. Petunia Dursley the first of a special kind of identity card. This card will allow you to see through illusions that hide parts of the wizard world from Muggle eyes. It will also allow you to interact with certain aspects of the Magical world, for example the Knight Bus and the entrance to Diagon Alley. It is hoped that you find the card useful and are successful in your quest to re-unite with your cousin.
I must inform you that if you wish to visit Diagon Alley, you must make your way to the Charing Cross Road in London and visit 'The Leaky Cauldron,' the barman, Tom, will be able to show you into Diagon Alley. After you are shown this, you should be able to use the card to enter yourself.
I must add that the letter you had delivered to our house by Muggle post was eventually forwarded to your cousin after the battle of Hogwarts, by our family owl. I do not know his response to the letter as unfortunately our family owl, Errol has not made it back yet.
Minister of Muggle Technology.
PS. I understand I have you to thank for my promotion to the head of a new Ministry department.
I finally had what I was hoping for, the chance to try and speak to Harry and try to make up for the mistakes of the past. I picked up one of the two cards, but it felt wrong in my hand. I turned it over and written on the front was 'Mrs. Petunia Dursley, Muggle Relative.' I handed it to Mum and picked up the other. It felt different to the other, as if it was mine. On the front it read 'Dudley Dursley, Muggle Relative.' I would be able to try and make my way to Hogwarts and see Harry. The first obstacle in my quest was over. Now it was up to Harry. Would he want to have anything to do with me after the way I had treated him in the past. I hoped so.
I checked the date and saw that today was the 27thof July. It was Harry's birthday on Friday 31st. I was going to try and make it to Hogwarts for that. It would be over a year since I had seen him and I could give him the first proper birthday present he had ever received from me. I informed Mum of this and she agreed it would be a good start. I already had an idea what I wanted to get him for his birthday. It was something that he needed to communicate with others in the wizard community and Mum agreed with me.
If I was going to catch the Hogwarts express at 11am, and do some shopping I would need to be in London the day before. Even if Harry would not see me, and wanted nothing to do with me, I would be away for at least two days. How were we going to keep what I was doing from Dad, his attitude was still anti-magic and anti-Harry. I had no idea how my absence could be kept from him for several days or what excuse could be given so that his suspicions were no raised. It was Mum who finally had the idea that would give me the opportunity to sort the problem out. Iwould tell Dad that I had invited to go on holiday with Justin and his Mother; this would give me a reason to be out of the house for up to a week and possibly longer if I was successful. If Harry did not want anything to do with me, I could stop in a hotel for a few days, just to add verisimilitude to the story or come home as if I had had afight with Justin over something. I was desperately hoping this would not be necessary.
Dad was all for me, continuing to associate with Justin, after all an acquaintance that had gone to Eton and was a member of the aristocracy would be very useful to me in the future. Pompous prat. He was perfectly willing to take time off work and drive me to Justin's house there and then, but I said no, arrangements had been made and they would be meeting me in London at the station. I was on my way.
On the Thursday morning, I said my goodbyes to Dad as he left for work, he was still trying to allow me to let him drive me to London, but no, I was grateful that he was willing to take the time off work, but arrangements had all been made and there was no need. Finally Mum and I got him out of the house and off to work. As I got up to leave and hoisted the large rucksack onto my back, Mum handed me a letter to give to Harry if I got the chance, it was her apologies to Harry. I kissed her on the cheek and set off on foot for the train station to make my way to London.
I walked once up the Charing Cross Road and could see no sign of the 'Leaky Cauldron,' or where it could be. So I removed the identity card from my wallet and looked around again. There was arather shabby looking sign over a doorway that had definitely not been there before. In fact it hadn't I recognised the two shops on either side of it, they had been next door to each other. Now the Leaky Cauldron was between them. I made way to the door and pushed it open.
A bald gentleman with a wrinkled face looked at me. "What can I get you Sir?
I remembered that Mrs. Figg had said Harry had stayed here in his third year after he blew Aunt Marge up like a balloon, so I hoped they could put me up for the one night. "I would like a room for tonight please, but first I must ask could you please show me how to get to Diagon Alley so I can change some Muggle money and make afew purchases."
"How do you not know how to get into Diagon Alley? You look old enough to have gone to Hogwarts?"
"I've finished school, thank you and I've never been to Hogwarts!"
"Ah foreign wizard school was it? Not as good as Hogwarts in my opinion, but there you are!"
"No, Muggle school, I'm going to visit wizard family at Hogwarts."
"How... What... are the charms failing on the pub? Muggles shouldn't be able to see it, unless they're with a wizard relation!"
"No your charms are still working correctly, I used this," I handed him the identity card from the Ministry. It let me see the pub, and I understand it will allow me to access Diagon Alley after I'm shown how to get there."
He looked at the card and examined it hard, waving his wand over it. "Never seen one of these things before, where'd you get it?"
"From the Ministry. I personally asked the Minister for Magic. I was provided with something similar whilst we were in hiding during the war and wanted to be able to continue the association with your world. I believe that this is one of the first issued. It may become standard for Muggle relatives of wizards!"
"Blimey! Who are you related to; to get to see the Minister and get yourself one of these things? Harry Potter?"
"Exactly, he's my cousin."
"Oh... oh right I see. If you'd like to take your stuff upstairs, room 4 is free," he handed me the card back and pointed up the stairs. "Oh... dunno if you could get in without a wand, the doors is locked by magic you see!"
I held the card up! "I believe this should help. It is supposed to act like a wand in certain ways. If it doesn't I'll be right back down."
"Ok! Up the stairs, second on the left." I put the card back in my pocket and made my way quickly up the stairs and proceeded to the second door on the left. The door looked like something from amedieval film, with a huge iron latch. I tried opening it without the card in my hand, but the latch wouldn't move. I once again took the card in my hand and it opened like magic. Inside there was a large four poster bed with another door leading off to a huge bathroom, and along one wall a wardrobe that could have easily been made into a studio flat in its own right, it was so large. I took my rucksack off my back, placed it on the bed, and made my way downstairs again.
Tom noticed my rucksack was absent. "It worked then? Whatever next, muggles with wands, what is this world coming to? If you'll follow me Mr. Dursley, I'll show you into Diagon Alley. You'll need to remember this in the future. He counted the bricks in the wall and tapped one of the bricks three times with his wand. The wall opened slowly from that point, revealing a long twisted street full of small shops. "You won't need the wand in here; there are no charms on any of the buildings in here. You'll need to change your money first, that's that building over there. He pointed out a large white building with bronze doors. That's Gringotts the wizard bank, run by goblins. I'll see you later, good luck in your shopping, he turned and left me to my own devices. I walked slowly towards Gringotts looking everywhere at once. Ollivander's Wands, Flourish and Blott's, Madam Malkin's Robes, and Quality Quidditch Supplies. Fascinating shops, which spoke of a whole new world.
I looked in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies; there was a broom, prominently on display in the window. 'The Firebolt, broom of Champions. Price on request! It looked like one of those old fashioned brooms that were made of twigs, but it was so sleek, streamlined, it was the jet age equivalent of the broom. I eventually left the window and headed to Gringotts, there was a creature about three feet tall stood at the doorway dressed in a red and gold uniform. I looked closely at him as I passed; his hands looked longer than normal, almost as if he had an extra joint to his fingers and his shoes were longer than expected as well, probably the same on his feet then! He bowed as I walked in the door. There in front of me were to massive silver doors with something engraved into the metal
'Enter stranger, but take heed,
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, your have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure here.'
I contemplated these words for a few seconds. You would have found more than treasure there, but Harry and escaped on the dragon they had kept confined under the floor. The line 'for those who take, but do not earn' could be said to be the goblin's justification for their wars on wizards. Their cultural background was completely different to wizards, who arrogantly wanted to impose their views on the goblins. How typically human of them.
I was in a hallway filled with desks at which goblins sat on high stools working diligently away at whatever it was that concerned them. There was a notice prominently in the middle of the floor, right in front of me as I walked in. You couldn't help but notice it. You had to move around it, it was deliberately placed in the way.
"Replacement of Coinage. It has been noted by the Gringotts goblins that a large number of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts are showing distinct signs of wear. In an effort to maintain our usual high standard, all coinage in your vaults will over time be replaced with new coins, this in no way affects the value of your gold, and there is no charge for this by the bank. You can at all times trust Gringotts. It is our honour to serve!" Good grief, it seemed that Kingsley Shacklebolt wasn't wasting time in implementing reforms, if that was what I thought it was and the goblins were reissuing the coinage, it had only taken two weeks to set up. He moved with astonishing speed when it suited him.
I made my way to a desk that displayed a sign saying 'Muggle Money Exchange' plainly in view on it. I handed over my money and watched as the goblin carefully examined every note then handed me a sack of Galleons. I was sure that in changing a hundred pounds into wizard money I had far too much, but I wanted to be sure. I thanked the goblin and made my way back out of the shop. In the distance at the far end of the alley I could see a sign that read 'Weasley Wizard Wheezes', I had to have a look, that was the shop owned by the surviving twin who had given me that damn sweet.
There was a note on the door in multicoloured lettering that kept on changing as I looked at it. 'Grand Re-opening 30th July.
Do you need cheering up?
Is the magic gone from your day?
Weasley's Wildfire Whizbangs.
The only way to throw a party!
I entered with some curiosity. I had heard a lot about this shop from Justin and Lisa; it was supposed to supply every type of joke item imaginable and then some. I was approached by an attractive witch in lavender robes. "Can I be of assistance to you sir? What are you looking for?"
"Actually I was looking for the proprietor, I was wondering if I could reciprocate a favour he did me? She looked at me in a slightly puzzled manner. I carried on, "I merely wish to make him choke on his own tongue as he did me!"
She looked at me in horror and called out "Mr. Weasley, Ibelieve we've got a trouble maker in the shop." Her wand pointed quite steadily at my face.
A tall red haired gentleman came with a slightly lopsided haircut came quickly from the back of the shop. Wand in hand. "What is it Verity? Is this the troublemaker? He doesn't look like much trouble?"
"Hello, its George Weasley? Isn't it?" I held out my hand to shake his. "I was hoping I could give you some of your own sweets, preferably 'Ton Tongue Toffee' I believe it was, Ithink I was the first victim of your jokes." He looked at me hard, as if trying to put a name to the face. "The name is Dudley Dursley in case you've forgotten! I was sorry to hear about your brother, you have my condolences." He looked puzzled, unable to make the connection. "You came with your father and brothers to collect Harry and take him to the Quidditch World Cup and practically destroyed the living room. You dropped some toffees, which caused my tongue to swell until was almost bigger than I was."
He looked at me with dawning comprehension in his eyes. "Oi, Gred, you'll never guess who this is?"
I looked around in confusion, who was this 'Gred' and where was he? Suddenly a portrait draped in black, of someone that was obviously the first man's twin yawned and looked at me, "blimey is that really Dudley Dursley? Where's the rest of him? Forge, have you been working on some new shrinking potion without me?"
I looked up at the portrait, "no he hasn't; do you really think I'd allow either if you to test another product on me?" I said laughing. I still can't face toffee to this day. Every time I see one I think of my tongue that day, it was probably the first diet strategy that worked."
They both laughed with me, but there was uneasiness in it. The loss was still to raw, I could see the forced laughter behind the joking. "I had heard about your shop from some friends and wanted to see for myself. The first real encounter in my life with magic wasn't positive at the time, but it was one of the things I saw when I was attacked by those dementors and it showed me your reasons behind it. I learned the lesson from it, eventually. I always was a slow learner. It's finally dawned on me after 18 years that I had a cousin I bullied and picked on his entire life, and I'm going to do my best to put that right. So I really suppose I must say thank you both of you for the kick in the pants, or tongue, at least."
"Both of them laughed with me. So what are you going to do from here?" asked George. "You've got a lot of history to change. It's not going to be that easy."
"I know! I heard from Kingsley Shacklebolt that Harry's owl was killed on the night he left our house, so I thought I'd replace it. A birthday present tomorrow, to try and make up for missed birthdays in the past!"
"Right, I wish you success with that! You'll need Eeylops Owl Emporium." He gave me directions on how to find it. But I must say I'm surprised to see you in Diagon Alley at all. I can understand wanting to come to our shop when you saw it. But how did you find the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley in the first place?"
I held out the card, "this, it's one of the first ever, Igot it from the new Minister of Technology. I think you've met him?"
"Minister of Technology, never heard of it, who has Kingsley given that job to? Sounds like adifficult job. Dad would be in his element with a job like that."
I laughed. "I'm sure he would and will."
"The new Minister of Technology is a Mr. Arthur Weasley, I'm sure you've met him. In fact, I'm positive of the fact!
"Eh! You're trying not trying to pull a fast one on the world's best jokers are you?" Said the portrait and he walked quickly out of the frame."
I handed the letter that had come with the wand to George and he read it through, "Merlin, you weren't kidding. How are you, a Muggle, responsible for Dad getting a promotion to head of a new department?" I told him how I'd used a mobile phone in Kingsley's office and how that could work in a magical environment. "Blimey, Dad's muggle obsession finally did him some good. You must have been convincing with Kingsley. He's always been a bit leery with that part of Dad's life."
"That was easy; he could see the convenience of not getting on hands and knees to speak to a colleague, and having no soot on his clothes afterward. I also pointed him in the direction of helping muggle medicine. You wizards have some amazing cures and treatments, if you share them with Muggles, without revealing the magic behind them it could benefit both worlds."
"Yeah! I think Dad's obsession with Muggles went a bit far with that, he tried having a wound of his stitched up a couple of years back. So ridiculous!"
"Don't knock Muggle medicine, we've managed without Magic for years, they can do miraculous things with those stitches. Reattach limbs; attach new skin to bad wounds. Its an old technique but it works!"
"Reattach limbs eh?" Asked George pulling his hair back to show the lack of an ear on the one side. "Can they do anything with this?"
"Probably! You should see a plastic surgeon!"
"What's a plastic surgeon? Isn't plastic some Muggle material used in packing? What's that got to do with fixing my ear? Will he stick a box on the side of my head?" He laughed a little at his own joke.
"I'm not an expert but a plastic surgeon could make you afake ear and fix it to the side of your head, possible even get your own body to grow new skin that could be shaped into a new ear. It wouldn't help your hearing if there's aproblem with that, but it would look better."
Really! Ok, I'm going to look into that, thanks! Good luck with Harry!"
I shook his hand and quickly left the shop and headed for Eeylops, I wanted to buy this new owl for Harry. The shop had all sorts of owls sitting on perches. From huge great things that I'm sure could have eaten a small dog whole, complete with its collar and lead, to small owls no bigger than a tennis ball, which were labelled 'local deliveries only'. Eventually I settled for what the shopkeeper assured me was a Short Eared Owl. The markings its feathers made on its face reminded me of glasses, and consequently of Harry. I liked it. I purchased the owl, a cage to transport it and a packet of owl food that the owner said was enough for the next couple of days, until I could deliver the owl in person to Harry.
Carrying the new owl in it's cage I made my happy way back to the Leaky Cauldron, where after a good meal, I made my way to the room making arrangements for the morning. Tomorrow I was going to Hogwarts I could hardly wait.
Author note: this is a slightly longer chapter than usual, but I feel that it was needed; I particularly wanted Dudley to see the twins, for reasons that will become obvious in the next chapter. Can anyone guess why? I apologise if the conversation between the twins didn't quite gel right, never having had a brother, let alone a twin myself, I don't have the background to get the camaraderie right. I hope you enjoy the chapter and the story the way it's going. Please review and let me know. Special thanks again to everyone who has read and reviewed my story.