A/N (26th July 2020):
For those of you who are still wondering if LDR will be finished, it certainly will. I've not forgotten about it— but there are things I need to write and set up in order to resume the epic journey.
With that said, welcome to Lightning Dragon's Roar, newcomers!
This is the story that started my path on becoming a published author.
I'd like to thank every single one of you for accompanying me on this journey.
With that said, let's begin!
Lightning Dragon's Roar
A Harry Potter Fanfiction
By Zero Rewind
Chapter 1 : Dudley's Apology
"Shit!" I bit out through gritted teeth, before sucking on my index finger in a futile attempt to relieve the pain. I was outside, weeding the garden on dear Aunt Petunia's orders- I mean at her request, of course. As per the usual course, the neighbours would pass by and glower at me for daring to look so scruffy in my clothes that are a few sizes too big for me.
'I swear, I'll never understand these people's obsession with normalcy, and looking proper. Do they expect me to wear a tux to dig my hands into the dirt to pull out these stupid weeds?' I thought to myself.
Which reminded me; a few more of these weeds left and I was done for the day. Then I could go rest up.
At least, I could've done that if it weren't for the stupid nightmares. Most of my nights have been restless. I'd wake up at random points of the night, feeling like shit. It's usually the same kind of dream, with variations here and there. One thing was always certain, though.
Cedric would die or was already dead in every one.
Now, you may think: "died or was already dead? What could you possibly mean?"
Well, my good man, I'd be quite happy to explain that to you, since my friends have been blowing me off all summer, sending me inane replies like "we can't tell you because it's secret", "we can't talk about you-know-what right now, stay safe", and my personal favorite, "we're quite busy but I can't give you details". I asked for assistance and they refused to share the sorely needed information, writing letters that made me feel like they're lording it over me. I only wanted to know what Voldemort was doing. Was that too much to ask for? The whole situation infuriated me.
'Everyone's so quick to keep information from me. If Remus had talked to me about Sirius' possible innocence, the whole situation that night could've been resolved.' I thought to myself. Hindsight was 20/20, I reminded myself. I just wished they would trust me more. All they did was push me away, thinking I was fragile and can't handle it. Only Sirius seemed to treat me as an equal; sucks that he's a fugitive.
But I digress. Where was I, again?
Ah, yes. You see, my tentative friend and fellow Triwizard Champion, Cedric Diggory, was killed last June during the Third Task. Wormtail— curse that rat to the ninth level of hell itself— did the deed, and then resurrected Voldemort himself. Remember that disembodied spirit that made Quirrell its bitch a few years back? It was the very same one. However, now it had an actual body. Voldemort was revived, but let's not get into that subject just yet.
On to the matter at hand. I've been having nightmares centering around Cedric's death. Sometimes the nightmare's simplistic. Cedric and I arrive to that wretched graveyard, and I watch the Killing Curse take him away from the land of the living. I stare at his blank and expressionless eyes for an eternity, before I wake up in a cold sweat.
Think that's bad? Sometimes, my nightmares become more creative. I could be in the Great Hall, having a simple lunch with Ron and Hermione, and Cedric would come by to speak to me about the second task, but something's off. Cedric's mouth isn't moving, yet I can hear his voice. I look into his eyes, and yet again I see those accursed blank eyes, haunting me. My mind can tell something is wrong, but I keep on talking to the floating, dead Hufflepuff, staring at me with those unblinking eyes. Then, all of a sudden, he'd latch on to me, with wide eyes and face almost pressed up to mine. His breath would smell rotten.
"Why didn't you save me?" He would ask, and I would wake up in my room, head pounding.
So to keep my mind off of my problems, I did an extraordinary amount of chores. I'd also been listening to the news, and reading every newspaper I could find to keep busy. Perhaps there would be a hint of Voldemort's comings and goings in the Muggle news. Perhaps an unexplained storm, or some disaster. In any case, it was helping me keep busy, and forget about Cedric for a while. My friends certainly weren't taking my mind off of it, and I didn't have anyone to talk to at Casa de Dursley. The Dursleys weren't exactly a loving family, if you catch my drift.
In fact, they're quite terrible people. For the first ten years of my life, I lived in the cupboard under the stairs, you see. I had to learn how to cook and clean for them because I had to "pull my weight around the house". I wasn't too well-fed, but they never deliberately starved me. They didn't physically abuse me either. Most of the things they did to me was petty at best. They spread rumors about me being a hooligan who attended a school for incurably criminal children. What was the name again? St-Brutus, or something.
All things considered, it could've been much worse. It didn't excuse their behavior, however, and I hate them for it. Once I was of age, I'd leave them behind forever, never looking back.
I quietly prepared a sandwich in the kitchen, and headed to my room, intending on getting some much needed sleep. Petunia and Vernon were out, doing something or the other. Never really cared to ask. Not that they cared to tell.
I ambled up the stairs, absently munching at the chicken sandwich that I made, before passing by Dudley's room. The ponce wasn't in there. I got to my room, and saw him quietly closing my door. My eyes narrowed dangerously.
"My, my," I said, making the not-so-fat boy— boy, was that surprising when I laid eyes on him this summer— jump in surprise at being caught. He absently switched into a fighting stance, before slightly relaxing when he saw it was me. Looks like that boxing thing was paying off. "What have we here?"
"P-Potter!" Dudley looked frightened for a second, before quickly switching to a cool look. "What do you want?"
"What do I want?" I replied incredulously, advancing. My wand was already out. "You just left my room, all quiet like. Take a guess at what I want to know."
He visibly paled at the sight of the wand. "Y-You can't use that outside of your school! You'll get expelled!" He bravely said, or at least attempted to. Sounded more like when Malfoy was crying about his "broken arm" in Third Year. I briefly wondered if Dudley would've made Slytherin, what with his similarities to Malfoy. Both of them always ran to daddy when things got tough. Both of them were spoiled brats. I shook my head, and focused on the boy in question.
"You want to try me?" I gave a savage smirk, now pointing my wand at his face. He flinched. "You want to become a full pig, this time?" I let that particular threat hang in the air for a few seconds. "Just tell me what you did."
"A-Alright, alright, Potter." Dudley squeaked out fearfully. "There was too much stuff in my room, so I took all the stuff I didn't want and threw it in yours. Happy?"
I was about to say something rather foul, but paused halfway through the first word.
"Why didn't you just throw it away?" I asked instead, half curious and half angry at what he'd done without my consent. In a roundabout way, he seemed to be giving me stuff. That wasn't possible, though. This was Dudley we were talking about. The same kid who made fun of me at every turn. The same kid who looked for excuses to get me into trouble. The same kid who bullied anyone who tried to be my friend.
"I..." He hesitated, looking around for a way out. "Look. I don't know. Maybe I gave you that stuff." He admitted, quietly. He refused to look me in the eye.
"Why?" I was genuinely confused.
"Look, just stop asking, okay?"
"The hell I will!" I spat out venomously. "All my life, you've been nothing but cruel to me. Why change now?!"
He didn't answer.
"Answer me!" I almost yelled.
"It's complicated, okay!?" Dudley exploded, surprising me. His eyes had a nice, fiery glint to them. "Maybe I had some words said to me during my school year. Maybe I took a good look at the mirror and was disgusted by what I saw!" He blurted out, his face flushed with shame.
Words escaped me after his outburst. So I thought about it, instead. True, as far as I could tell, this summer, Dudley had stopped hanging with his old crew, often hitting the gym, or disappearing for hours on end on 'dates'. At first, I thought he was just messing around with his mates, but now..
"I- What-" I attempted to speak but couldn't concentrate. I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
"What brought this on?" I finally asked.
"I..." Dudley said unsurely. "I met this girl during the school year. We talked a bit, she seemed pretty cool to me, you know?"
I nodded, not really believing Dudley was sharing this with me. "Go on."
"Right, well I thought she was cool, but a lot of other students didn't like her because she was so good at her studies and a looker to boot. By other students, I mean the female population. Rest of us mates liked what we saw." Dudley chuckled mirthlessly. "I noticed the girls would play pranks on her. Thought they were harmless, really. But then I caught her crying in an empty hallway."
Dudley shook his head at the memory. "I don't think she saw me. But it got me thinking, you know?"
"Thinking about what?" I pressed on.
"You know, the stuff I did to you when we were kids." Dudley looked uncomfortable. "I didn't really know what it was I was doing to you, Harry. You never seemed to be affected by it. I didn't know. I just didn't know, alright!?" He sounded like he was pleading.
Half a minute ago, I'd thought he was a total jerk for trying to throw some shit in my room. Now I'm finding out that he really was feeling remorse over the things he'd done.
People can change, after all.
Sure, I'm still pissed at his treatment of me, but could I really blame him? We were both teenagers, we didn't know better. People were shaped by the environments they lived in. That's why, when most of those shootings I used to hear about as a kid happened, the people behind it had often been kids in their late teens living in poverty. They'd been lashing out at a world that treated them like garbage.
Which was why I found myself forgiving Dudley. I just hoped it wouldn't come back to bite me in the ass.
"W-wha?" Dudley sputtered disbelievingly.
"It's all right. Forget about it." I insisted. It was a few moments later I saw him sigh in relief, and reminded myself I needed to breathe as well.
"So, what did you put in my room?" I asked. Dudley scratched the back of his head, before entering my room once more. He beckoned me inside. I warily followed suit, still not really sure if this was all some sick joke or that Dudley was actually sorry. What I saw when I walked in beat my expectations by a mile. I figured he'd dump a bunch of stuff on my bed and leave me to sort it out.
Instead, I found a pair of headphones, and the MP3 player I'd seen Dudley use a few years back, on the bed. Dudley turned his attention to a previously empty corner of my room, which now had a desk with a computer on it. It was already turned on, showing the desktop of a "Windows XP", whatever that was.
"You can't possibly not need all of this."
"I really don't need it." Dudley disagreed with a wry grin. "I got a new computer last month, and I figured I'd give this one to you. It's not bad or anything, but mine's just better, and I wouldn't get much for the old one since it's not cutting edge any longer."
The previously fat boy took the time to show me how to use the computer. I'd used some back in primary school, so it was pretty easy to get back into it. Dudley showed me how to get on the internet, as well; said I could "learn a lot of shit" from it, both good and bad. He also showed me how to use the MP3 player, and then pointed behind my computer screen; there was a small box full of batteries to keep the music player running.
With all of that covered, Dudley apologized once more for the treatment he made me endure.
"It's fine." I rolled my eyes. "Go meet up with your girlfriend already. That's where you usually go around this time, no?"
Dudley froze, before shaking his head and leaving the room. I gave a smirk, plopped myself onto the rickety bed, and turned on the MP3 player, wondering what songs Dudley put on there. The song seemed to start partway through the song. Dudley must have paused it instead of stopping.
"I used to be the type of kid that would always think the sky is falling
Why am I so differently wired? Am I a martian?
What kind of twisted experiment am I involved in?
'Cause I don't belong in this world
That's why I'm scoffing at authority, defiant often..."
I smiled. This was going to be a different summer.
Lyrics taken from Eminem - Legacy.
I don't expect many people to like this story, since I don't really see eye-to-eye with a lot of people. Hopefully whoever reads this does like it. If not... meh.
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