When Dudley Met Harry

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I do, however, own Reynold the Revolting's goolies. Not that it makes me any happier...
Chapter 5: Cries from Chronic Alley

Harry and Dudley stopped in a secluded park between Magnolia Crescent and Butterworth Drive, each carrying one end of Harry's invisible trunk. Harry glanced around cautiously and attempted to draw his wand covertly. "Okay, Dudley," he whispered, "Now, no matter what happens, don't yell."

"Er... alright," Dudley replied warily.

"Right, then." Harry lifted his wand, and with a loud BANG, a blindingly violet triple-decker screeched to a halt in the rosebushes of one of the tidy houses lining Butterworth Drive. Dudley tripped face-first into the pavement in surprise, and started squealing loudly before Harry could clamp a hand around his mouth.

"Didn't I tell you to be quiet?" he whispered angrily.

"Yeah, you did," Dudley squeaked. "You seem to have forgotten to tell me a huge bus would appear out of nowhere and try to run me over!"

"Get over yourself, Dudley. It's just the Knight Bus."

After numerous loud exclamations from Stan ("Neville! I knew you'd come back!"), Harry and Dudley managed to get on the bus and take seats behind the driver. Glancing around, he noticed the lumpy beds that once filled the Bus were replaced with small wooden chairs that didn't look very sturdily anchored.

"What's the fare to Diagon Alley?" asked Harry.

"Hmm, 12 Sickles per seat, so 36 Sickles."

"Erm, we only have two people here," said Harry, confused.

"Yeah, that may be, but you've got three peoples' worth of meat." Dudley looked ready to cry.

"I'm—I'm getting better," he said, facing his shoes.

They moved to take their seats, Dudley sitting in two. After gaining his balance by planting his feet firmly around his heavy trunk, Harry took in his surroundings. A few wizards and witches were riding, hanging on either to the sides of the bus or to the light fixtures hanging from the roof, including a Madame Marsh that looked quite ready to be sick. You'd think she'd either learn her lesson or get used to it by now, thought Harry condescendingly.

Soon enough, the bus jerked to an abrupt stop in the back of the Leaky Cauldron, dropping Dudley and Harry off with a few others. Dudley appeared ready to wet himself in excitement.

"Ooh, Harry, can we go drink butterbeer?" he squealed excitedly.

"Erm, it's not exactly a good idea to drink something that rich so early in the morning. We can wander around and buy school materials, then meet up with the Weasleys and drink some together, but first I need to get some gold out of my vault."

"Yes," said Dudley enviously, "I want to see if the book over-exaggerated how much money you have."

Harry looked a little embarrassed. "Actually, I think it under-estimated, but you can see for yourself."

As they walked against the flow of people towards Gringotts, Harry noticed people glancing strangely at him, as if unsure of his sanity. They're probably wondering about Dudley, Harry thought, detachedly observing his cousin hop up and down excitedly in front of a broom display.

Soon enough, the boys were loaded into a small metal cart and wheeled quickly towards Harry's vault. With a twist of the key and the opening of the vault door, Dudley stared inside at the monstrous piles gold and silver coins and ruby-encrusted golden boxes of family jewels and promptly fainted.
Two hours later found Harry and Dudley in front of Ollivanders, a new trunk of school equipment between them. Dudley was in a state of nervous excitement as he entered in the shabby little shop. He stood by the counter as Mr. Ollivander made his way to the front of the store.

"I'm here to buy a wand," said Dudley proudly.

"Who the hell are you?" asked Mr. Ollivander, taking in the first-year supply list Dudley held clutched in his hand.

"Dudley Dursley."

"His friends call him 'Big D,'" Harry supplied helpfully. Dudley shot him a repressive look.

After taking a few measurements and staring at Dudley in confusion, Mr. Ollivander proceeded to hand Dudley box after box, thrusting wand after wand into his pudgy hands and throwing them into a growing pile after each disappointment. Dudley became more and more dejected as Mr. Ollivander became thoroughly excited.

"How about 15 inches, pine with a dragon heartstring core? Give it a swish." Nothing.

"Hmmm... 12 ½ inches, ash, phoenix feather?" Nothing.

"Let's try 16 ¼ inches, red oak, with core of manticore horn?"

Dudley swished the wand through the air, gibbering excitedly as violet and silver sparks flew out the end of his wand. "Didja see that, Harry? Bloody brilliant," he practically yelled, jumping up and down in excitement.

Mr. Ollivander peered closely at Dudley unblinkingly, seeming somewhat shocked. "Well, Mr. Dursley, a word of warning: all is not as it seems. I remember every wand I have ever sold. Safe journey, wherever your life may lead you."

As they walked towards Fortescue's, Dudley quietly asked Harry, "Is he always that creepy?"

Harry nodded. "Always."
Richest man, so full of pride
The best of brooms he always rides
He smiles and waves at those who stare
Not knowing that his bum is bare.

"Strange poem for a streetsign," Dudley commented thoughtfully.

"Ya think?" said Harry sardonically. "You know, I never noticed that before. It's hung at the intersection between Diagon Alley and Chronic Alley. What's Chronic Alley?"

"Where you buy magical timepieces, o' course," said a familiar voice directly behind Harry.

Harry whipped around quickly, then cranked his neck up, "Ron! You're huge!"

"Er, thanks, I think," replied Ron, grinning. "How's it going, Harry? Things have been... interesting lately, haven't they?"

"You can say that again," replied Harry. "I'm actually not all that bad, considering I have to go straight back to my aunt and uncle."

They walked into Chronic Alley, searching for a watch to replace the one Harry ruined the year before during the second Task. Varying sizes of brightly-coloured shops all filled with timepieces of different sorts lined the narrow, cobbled sidewalk.

"So what was that poem back there all about?" asked Dudley, tiring of hearing endless Quidditch discussions of which he could take no part.

"Yeah," added Harry, somewhat confused, "that was weird even for the wizarding world."

Ron peered down at Harry, eyebrows raised. "Please tell me you've heard of Reynold the Revolting."

"Sorry, mate, can't say I have."

Ron rolled his eyes, grumbling something having to do with "Muggles" and "stupid ignorant git."

"Okay, so a long time ago—"

"Everything's a long time ago here," Dudley interrupted, holding open the door to Wimbleton's Wizarding Watches which read "Serving Chronic Alley since 122 BC".

"—there was this guy named Reynold the Revolting. He was really rich. In fact, he was actually Malfoy's ancestor."

"Explains the 'Revolting,'" interjected Harry.

"You're telling me," Ron shuddered, "and it's even alright to be somewhat revolting under a decent set of robes, but Reynold didn't have that luxury."

"I have the feeling the last line of that poem is soon going to make sense."

"Shut up and let me tell the story," said Ron in a pleasant tone. "He was a real jerk, Reynold was. He murdered his best mate's wife for not marrying him." Dudley whistled while Harry rolled his eyes, clearly wanting to say something about bloodlines.

"In the end, his friend decided not to kill him, but to do something much, much worse. He ordered a tailor to make the finest set of robes. They were absolutely spectacular. But they were enchanted to be invisible to all but the wearer."

Harry gasped, "He didn't!"

"He did. He gave them to Reynold as a birthday gift. The man would sweep through Diagon and Chronic Alleys on broomstick every to weeks or so wearing them and a gold wristwatch. He never figured it out. Always thought people were struck silly by his amazing robes instead of his grotesque goolies."

Harry sniggered, red faced. "Where the ruddy-hell do you hear these things?"

"What, it's what lots of witches tell their kids about before bed. Kind of a lesson—never kill people or something rubbishy like that."

They turned their attention back to the watches. Harry was about to pick a normal one with a nice steel chain, when Ron plucked it out of his hands and tossed it back into the pile.

"You can't go around with a useless watch like that! Here's a good one." He thrust another metal-chained wristwatch he had been favouring at Harry. The face was completely blank. Harry raised one eyebrow at Ron.

"Go on, try it out!" Ron insisted. Harry clasped it around his wrist, relishing in the smooth feel of well-tempered metal on his wrist. He glanced at the blank face which suddenly swirled with letters, resting when the message read, "Five minutes to death and destruction."

He ripped it off and glanced at the brand-name. "What is this, some kind of Trelawny watch?"

Dudley walked slowly towards Harry, pale-faced. "Um, Harry, what's a deatheater? Only that doesn't sound so good."

Harry turned voice quivering slightly, "What are you talking about Dudley?"

"Well, this pocket-watch here is telling me we have two minutes to get the hell out of here before deatheaters arrive. I take it it's not referring to anything that feasts on carrion."

Harry quickly paid for the Trelawny wristwatch at the back of the store and strode hurriedly towards Diagon Alley flanked by Ron and Dudley, hoping ever-accurate wizarding watches had been incorrect for a change.
Hey everybody! I want to apologise deeply for my absence. So much has happened recently, and I spent quite a long time planning out what would happen in this story. I'm pleased to say it will soon develop a semi-decent plot, the beginnings of which are becoming evident in this chapter.

Thanks to all of my wonderful reviewers! I like you! I love you! I want more of you!! Here's everybody who was awesome enough to review (you all have my deepest gratitude):

Comment-less:

bk, FuNnY cIdE (funny name), Gryphonmistress, Hermionewexa , JamieBell, JeanieBeanie33, jennifer, maria, McCallM.Daneils, missgiggles12087, red- jacobson, Sirius1Fan, and SweetiePye2332,

Commented:

duke20104: You are awesome! No, he hasn't read the second book. This is a very important fact later on in the fic.

Legendary DigiTamer Lee: Gee, I think my ego has fallen in love with you. :D

preety-lady-serenity: I love your HP story!!!! Everyone, go read it now. It's awesome!

MikiBaby: Yeah, that's a detail I haven't made clear yet. It isn't really published in the Muggle world. It is, however, the only book that Dudley, or any Muggle, has had access to.

ShortyFaillace: I bow before the greatness of milk-duds.

jc 2021: Okay, I just got a laptop and the review button is blue on it. Hmmm... I think it's a conspiracy. What do you think? ;)

A special thanks to tansy1354 for making me get off my lazy bum and polish off this chapter. Thank you.
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