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?
We pulled up to a large wooden door that Hagrid knocked on three times and it opened in front of us. We were in a large entrance hall, like some huge hotel lobby; there was a large staircase at the back seeming to lead up forever in a series of landings and separate set of stairs. As I watched there was movement up above and one staircase was swinging across from one landing to another. "Oh, you'll need to be careful, the staircases move, but I don't think anyone has ever fallen off the end."
"Relax, I'm joking, there are spells that prevent anyone falling off. It's extremely safe."
A tall, strict looking woman in black robes with her hair in a tight bun came out of a room with two gargoyles guarding the door, "Hagrid, Horace, you're back did you get everything you needed in London?" she asked in a Scottish accent. "And who is your young companion; he's not a student here, or even a former one?"
"Erm Professor McGonagall, allow me to introduce Dudley Dursley, he's Harry..."
"Yes. I know, Harry Potter's cousin, I recognise the name. I must say you are one of the last people I expected to see here Mr. Dursley. You haven't got a good reputation in certain parts of this school. I believe some of your cousin's former dorm mates would gladly hex you into next week if they knew who you were! Why are you here and why do you have an owl?"
"It's a birthday present for Harry! An effort to make amends. I haven't got him one in all the time I've known him and Kingsley Shacklebolt told me his had been killed on the night he left Little Whinging. It's not much to make up for 17 years of neglect and abuse, but it's a start and something he might find of use. Please, I have to try!"
"Oh! I'm not going to stop you, but I will be ready to protect you if the situation gets out of hand. Your cousin will be through there in the Great Hall. There's no proper dining service at the moment, but everyone just asks for what they want and they get it. I suggest you make your way in."
I nervously walked into the Great Hall and looked around trying to spot Harry. Professor McGonagall tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a black head on the far table next to a couple of red heads and abushy haired brunette. I swallowed and with my packages made my way slowly towards them. The two redheads saw me and gestured to Harry who turned around to see what had caught their attention. The look on Harry's face was hard to read. Was he glad to see me? Was he going to turn me into a toad or something? I didn't know. I continued walking slowly towards him.
Harry stood up, "Dudley, what are you doing here in Hogwarts? I thought you, were in wizard protection?"
"I was! But, when you won, they came and told us we could go home. I wanted to try and apologise for the way I've treated you all our lives!"
"I know, I got the late birthday card you sent me. You had some interesting things to say, but it still doesn't say what you are doing here. This is the last place I expected to see you. If I admit it, probably the last place I wanted to see you."
"I know, but I had to come," I handed him the caged owl, and started to remove my rucksack to get the card I had secreted somewhere in there. "Happy Birthday Harry," I handed him the card, and stood waiting nervously for a reaction.
"Where did you get an owl and how did you get here? Hold it, Kreacher told me you'd managed to call him using some sort of wand. Did you keep it after they sent you home?"
"No, I went to London and spoke to the Minister for Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, pleaded my case for something similar so I could come and see you here, to try and apologise. Me and Mum have the prototypes of a special type of ID card." I handed him mine.
He looked at the card, "your Mum, I find that hard to believe. She's always been the most vocal about me being a freak, apart from your Dad."
"She's changed, we've been listening to Potterwatch over the past year, she cried when she found out you were alive. She's even been on the Knight Bus to Godric's Hollow."
"No. I've been there myself, took these photos." I searched in the rucksack for the photos I'd taken after Ernie had magicked my camera that day. There were several pictures of the monuments in the village to his parents and one particular one that showed me looking at the memorial in the village, Ernie had taken it for me. There were quite a few of his parents destroyed house and their grave.
I looked at Harry and he was crying, oh crap what had I done now? "Why did you take a picture of their grave and who put the new wreath on it?"
"I did. I may not have known them but they were still my Aunt and Uncle! Well technically, Ernie did, the driver off the Knight Bus. I wanted to buy some flowers but he used his wand to put it there! Hang on, new wreath? You mean you've been there too?"
"I was there on Christmas Eve, I put that wreath that was dead you can see in your photos, well technically it was Hermione with her wand." He laughed. "You and I both put a wreath on my parent's grave by proxy. How ironic is that?
I looked hard at him. What was he saying? Was he happy about this? Was he unhappy? What were his feelings concerning this? I couldn't tell! He sat back down on the bench he had earlier got up from. I stood watching him; Istill had no idea what he was feeling. He motioned for me to sit down next to him. I did warily. Was this to lead me into some false sense of security before he hexed me or something? He still hadn't given me any answer, would he forgive me.
"So, deny it or not Big D, I really think that dementor blew a new personality into you. You've changed over the past year in ways Iwouldn't believe."
"Please Harry, its Dudley, I'm not proud of the name Big D, that guy was a bully who had no friends, just some cronies who hung out with him in order to avoid being duffed up by him. I don't think I had any real friends until your people took us into protection."
"What about Duddykins or Dudders?" he asked with a laugh.
"Oh God please, not you too! I'm not five anymore. I shouted at Mum and Dad several times over the last year about that. Finally they stopped calling me by those stupid nicknames. I think the last time I heard it was the day Mum went to Godric's Hollow and I almost destroyed the kitchen making a curry!"
"Oh no! Come on seriously you in a kitchen. I didn't think you even knew how to use the toaster!"
"I wasn't quite that bad, I could do toast, tea and asandwich, but definitely not a curry. I cooked enough rice to feed and army and ruined one saucepan setting it on fire."
"You burnt a saucepan! And you're still alive. What did your Mum think of that?"
"Well she ate the curry, not with much enthusiasm it must be said. But she ate it all. She's been giving me cooking lessons since then. I think I've got better. I haven't destroyed any more saucepans and even Dad hasn't complained much lately about my cooking. Mum wants me to be able to feed myself properly when I go to university."
"You university! I thought you were going to work for your Dad at Grunnings? You don't need university for that, just a Dad who owns the company."
"I'm not going to work for Dad. I want to become a social worker. I want to help other kids who are being abused like you were. I have good expectations of my A level results. I have 3 provisional offers from the universities I applied to."
"What did you study; I didn't even know you could read."
"Harry, I was never stupid. Just had no motivation to do anything. I was always told I was the perfect son and I believed it. I got a bit of a kick in the pants when Professor Dumbledore picked you up last year. Him telling Mum and Dad that I'd been abused by them."
"Merlin, you have changed."
"I hope so and for the better."
"It certainly seems like a change for the better from what I've seen so far." He looked at the owl, "what can you tell be about the owl?"
"It's a Short Eared Owl. That's all I can really say. I brought it because the feathers on its face reminded me of your glasses!" I stopped, wondering whether I'd maybe said something stupid. I hoped he wouldn't be mad at me for what I'd just told him. It was true, but he might not see it as a compliment, it could be seen as teasing. Oh! Crap! Have I put my foot in it?
He looked into the owls face! He laughed! "You're right, its wearing glasses. It makes it look wise, how about mine, do they make me look wise?"
I laughed. "No, not really, they make you look my cousin. I don't think I ever remember seeing you without them. Although I'm ashamed to admit I must have broken them several times. Where did you keep getting new ones from?"
"Oh please Dudley! It's called magic."
"Oh right! Of course!" I laughed with him.
We both suddenly realised we had an audience; there were three stunned friends of his watching us. I looked at them. "Hello, I recognise Ginny and what must be Ron, you've changed a lot since the Quidditch World Cup. The other pretty one must be Hermione. Pleased to meet you. I held out my hand. Looking slightly bemused she shook my hand. Ron was glaring hard at me. What had I said wrong? Surely he didn't think he should be called pretty. He wasn't my type. I looked at him in bemusement.
Ginny laughed, "Ron, he's just being polite." I looked hard a Ron and he was slowly turning red, blimey that fellow could blush. I get it Hermione was 'his' girlfriend.
"Sorry, Hermione, Ginny, I prefer blondes. I wonder if one Iknow is here?" Hermione looked puzzled, but Ginny grinned and nodded. I stood up and looked around, but couldn't see any sign of her in this huge hall. I could make out a couple of blonde heads, but the hair was too short, they must be boys. Harry was also looking at me in a strange way. Who else did I know here? Ginny stood up and looked around. She sat back down at the tables, pulled a Galleon from her pocket and pointed her wand at it. She put the galleon back in her pocket and smiled at me. I turned to look around the great hall to see who stood up, but no one did.
Suddenly the large entrance doors opened and Lisa was standing there. She walked over to the table, sat next to me and gave me a kiss. Harry looked like his jaw was about to fall off and hit the floor. "I don't believe it. You have a witch for a girlfriend? What do your Mum and Dad think about that?"
"Mum and Dad don't know! Mum knows that Justin was a wizard, but not about Lisa. Hang on, Iforgot this." I rummaged in the bottom of my rucksack and eventually found the envelope Mum had given me and handed it to Harry. "Mum gave me this for you!"
Harry looked at it. "Your Mum sent me a letter! What's it say? Never darken her doorstep again?Don't corrupt my Duddykins? You don't seriously expect me to believe she's changed, do you?"
"Just reread her letter. It might surprise you!"
He opened the envelope and several photos fell out with the hand written note. Harry looked at the pictures with tears in his eyes. They were the same pictures I had seen on that night in Tinworth that I had burned acurry. He cried most when he came across the invitation to his parents wedding and the picture of his Mum tickling his chin. "I didn't know that your parents were invited to the wedding." He held the picture of his Mum tickling his chin to his chest, and wept. Eventually his tears subsided and he opened the letter from Mum.
I know you must hate me and I am sure you will never forgive me for the way I've treated you all these years. My behaviour towards you has been terrible and for that I am sorry, but I saw in you, all thathad been taken from me. You were areminder that Lily had been abandoned by the magical world and forgotten, left to die. You were, I felt, given to me to care for in some way by the magical community as some sort of apology for her death and I resented you for that reason.
I took all my frustration and rage on the wizard world out on you. I could have raised you and Dudley as brothers, and should have, but in my arrogance I could only see that Lily was dead and we had to look after you. I could have refused to care for you and let some wizard family look after you, but you were family, albeit family that reminded me of a tragedy.
I can only ask that you find it in yourself to try and be afriend to Dudley. He has no real blame to bear in this. He was only following the lead of his parents, wrong though it was. If you can't forgive him for his past treatment of you, please at least try to be a cousin to him. You're the only link he has with his Aunt and Uncle, and he your only link to your family.
I wanted to say some of this to you, the night we left. Your world was arranging for us to be safe, in spite of our abuse of you all your life. It made me understand that despite everything we had done to you, they still understood we were your family and Ican only hope that we can be properly a family at some point in the future.
Yours in hope,
Your Aunt if you wish it to be.
He read the letter and slowly put it down on the table, "I never understood why she treated me, like she did. Even after I found out about the charm protecting me, it didn't make sense. Now I think I can understand her a little better. I'm not ready to forgive her or you yet, but I don't think I want to cut you out of my life completely either. I think we should all have a new beginning here and see what happens..."
THE END for now
Please review: I know it seems a bad place to finish, but I believe this is the end of this tale. For now. It is literally A New Beginning! Thank you to all those lovely people who have read and reviewed my small work of fiction.
The Story continues in The Start of Something New, now on fanfiction, I will post it here on Ficwad soon.