Author's Note: Drop me a review, please, if you read this. I like to know that my stories actually get read. Considering that I've never really read a Dudley story myself, I assume this won't get a ton of traffic, so every review counts! Depending on how well this takes, I may or may not add more chapters.
Also, if you want to drop by my other stories, they like to be read too.
In the eyes of Dudley Dursley
Most people eat to stay alive.
Dudley, however, ate to die.
He had known from a young age that there was something inherently wrong with him. He lacked the natural, inborn happiness that so many around him seemed to possess.
How else, he had asked himself, could they be so nice and still have energy left to want to stay alive?
Dudley, as it quickly became apparent, had the energy for neither task. He suspected that it was a gene –the one that created the desire for nice, happy living– that he simply did not contain. As proven by his cousin, even a good beating could not diminish the trait.
The skinny twerp had jumped for the letters like a child experiencing his first fall of snow.
No, Dudley was neither nice nor happy as a child. Furthermore, his future looked bleak. As he had learned from his father's rants, he could never be truly happy as an adult without large quantities of money. Seeing as he was neither smart nor talented, this seemed to be too high of a hope for his future.
The solution came to him when he was ten.
Young Dudley had stolen the plastic bag from the groceries and was filling is with pebbles from the garden. He planned to use it to terrorize Harry, somehow, but was unsure of the final plan yet. Perhaps he would use the weight to sink something in the pond…
Ideas continued to swarm through his mind as pebble after pebble strained the plastic. He had long since lost count of how many he had taken when the plastic finally gave. He winced as the defeated bag noisily dropped its contents onto his feet.
Suddenly, the implications of the ripped bag hit him.
He could be the bag.
And, even better for a boy partial to laziness, he was already partway there.
If he ate too much, he would burst like the bag and die in peaceful fullness. He had plenty of experience in eating and would certainly be able to continue the trend.
Nobody could call him a coward for such an action. He would not appear to have taken his own life, but rather, his parents would be blamed. Perhaps there would even be a news report on the telly. "Young boy dies from too much food. Parents are the prime suspects due to overfeeding the sad, mean boy."
He could be the bag…
By the time his school instigated a diet for him, he knew his plan was failing. He was not dying, but his state of living was increasingly pathetic. The only time he felt happy was when he was eating.
And Harry, that damn cousin of his! Why should he get all of the happiness? True, he had seemed miserable each summer at Privet Drive, but he certainly must enjoy attending a school for magic. Surely friends that rescued him by car, blew up a fireplace to get him, and sent him letters by owl made him happy.
By the summer of his fifteenth year, still an eater but also a champion, Dudley didn't know if he wanted to be alive or not.
That was, perhaps, the most frightening feeling of them all.
Cold hands clamped down on Dudley's wrists, pulling them away from their newfound purpose of sheltering his head.
His mumblings and moanings were habits formed throughout his lifetime, but there was no familiarity in the freezing terror latched in his wide-set chest.
An invisible monster is attacking me, he thought miserably. Damn cousin and his damn magic-
His thoughts were abruptly cut off as he saw a frightening scene play out in his head, set to the soundtrack of the monster's rattling breath.
"What a shame," a faceless neighbor mumbled at the foot of the wide casket. "He was, erm, such a…I'm so sorry for your loss."
Petunia nodded graciously, but without any real grief. Vernon was talking animatedly to a businessman in the corner. There were few other people in the cold, dark room.
Turning to face the open case, he saw his own face, ugly and contorted by the weight of his life, as well as the recent weight of death. Fatter than he had ever been, dead by his own eating, and nobody cared.
Not a tear was shed in the room.
The invisible monster was summoning the images into his mind, twisting his heart uncomfortably. It seemed to know the pain that had been terrorizing him for months.
"I don't want to die anymore," he murmured, although he was not sure if the words ever made it past his mouth. "I…I just want to be…"
The cold hands tightened, stealing his breath before he could form the word "happy."
More thoughts flooded his head.
Harry, grabbing the letters, leaving for school, being happy. Dudley, stuck at home, not happy.
He began to feel sick as older memories were dredged up, filled with pain and fear.
The skinny, orphaned cousin being abused, and young Dudley feeling like something was not-quite-right about it.
The teachers in school murmuring in soft voices to his parents about the two of them. Something was wrong with Dudley and his cousin.
Knowing that other people were happier than him, and wanting their happiness to go away.
The sick feeling envy gave him as he watched others enjoying their happy lives.
The Junior Heavyweight Champion was not feeling very tough as these memories swarmed around his head. Loudest of all the memories, he heard the words that started his quest to overeating. "Most people eat to stay alive. I will eat to die," the young boy said to himself, sealing his plan with himself.
A flash of white illuminated the alleyway, taking the form of a charging animal. Dudley stared at the creature as it cantered past him, taking the invisible monster's coldness with it. Eyes rolling as he slipped into unconsciousness, he saw his damn cousin with his damn wand aloft. Saving his life, or attempting to take it?
Either way, he decided, warranted the same response.
"Thank-" he murmured inside his head, before everything went dark.
Footsteps moved toward his unconscious body in the alleyway, bringing his savior toward him.
Harry Potter, the skinny and abused cousin of the Junior Heavyweight Champion, wondered what possibly could have haunted Dudley Dursley so much.