Grandpa Dursley and the Schooling of Harry Potter
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters found within the books pages belong to J. K. Rowling. The rest of us merely worship her greatness. A large portion of this chapter is taken directly from the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, with the sole exception of Clarence Dursley who is a product of too many psychology classes and the desire to figure out why Vernon turned out the way he did.
Summary: Vernon's father was never what you'd call an ordinary muggle, so what happens when he moves in with his son only a few months before Voldemort's defeat on Halloween? And just what does the ex-military man think of all this hocus-pocus and the tabby cat that comes with it?
Pairings: Professor McGonagall/Clarence Dursley and all cannon pairings
Chapter 1 Blissful Retirement
Clarence Dursley didn't know what to expect when he first moved in with his son and daughter in-law, frankly he didn't expect much. His son, Vernon, His son, Vernon a low level flunky at a drilling company, hadn't amounted to much but then he wasn't much to begin with. A huge disappointment to the once proud military man. He blamed Vernon and Margaret's mother; he certainly wasn't around enough to make any kind of lasting impression. While his wife, traitorous female that she was, lounged at home enjoying her freedoms and eventually betraying him in the worst possible way, he was off serving Queen and Country in an elite service, code named...well he tried not to remember. After he put in his years, earned his gold watch, a gift few in his line of work ever earned, he was blissfully retired. Well, it was supposed to be blissful, relaxing, and all those other adjectives except he thought golf, and those ridiculous plaid trousers they wore, was for pansies, he didn't have the patience for fishing, and he'd been to all the countries he cared to visit and a few he never wanted to. So, after considering his limited options, despite his wealth (all off the record and even better non-taxable, black ops good for more than just picking up dames) he decided to right an old wrong and get to know his son and daughter.
His daughter, with her porcelain figurines and puffy lace things, drove him mad. No. It's wasn't so much her, as it was her cat. Ever since that Sheik sicced his leopards on him he couldn't stand cats. Well, at least he thought he didn't until he saw Her with that old man...but he'd get back to that. After his insanely brief visit with Marge and the Cat (maybe he should think about getting her a dog) he left to see if his son was in better shape.
Vernon. What was there to say about his son? He held a stable 9 to 5 job, married a Giraffe, and had a rather large one-year-old named Dudley. He was so bloody concerned about being normal and doing things only normal people did he seemed to completely forget all the fun he had as a kid traveling the world whenever he was given a new cover. Actually he didn't think either of his kids liked that bit. Which could explain why both of his kids were such sticks in the mud but at least Vernon didn't have a cat. So he figured he'd stick it out and see if there was anything redeeming about his close-minded son. As for the Giraffe, the only good thing about her was her redheaded sister and her husband that showed up at the wedding. Real shame Petunia had them thrown out; they seemed like a good couple, real potential for government work. And that James had the fastest reflexes he'd ever seen, catching a champagne glass seconds before it could shatter. They were sharp too. The both of them were constantly on the look out, keeping both exits in sight and everything.
Constant Vigilance. That's his motto.
Which is why when a suspicious tabby cat was snooping around the day after Halloween he knew it was up to no good. No cat has the smarts to read a map, and if it wasn't reading it he'd eat the damn sign it was looking at next. And then there were the owls; the damn things couldn't seem to realize that it was day out even though the sun was blazing hot. And the strange people in bathrobes outside the coffee shop whispering about You- Know-Who being defeated by a Potter boy. Perhaps if he'd been a normal bloke retired from a normal job he'd ignore them as weirdoes and move on about his day, but he wasn't normal and frankly he never had been, much to his son's chagrin. So when he returned home to number 4 Privet Drive and saw that same tabby sitting on Vernon's garden wall he was taking a stand. If the animals of Surrey were planning an invasion he was going to put a stop to it.
He marched right up to that cat grabbed it by the scruff of its neck and dragged it inside before it even had a chance to yelp. He placed it on the kitchen table ignoring the affronted look on its face and laid into it with his best interrogation face.
"Alright, start talking."
Now if anyone had looked into the kitchen at that moment they would have seen an attractive older gentleman still muscular despite his 50 plus years of age engaged in a complex staring contest with a tabby cat. His steel blue eyes unforgiving as the line of his mouth as he intimated the poor thing into blinking.
"I know you've been spying on my family and if you don't start talking soon I'm going to show the reason they say curiosity killed the cat. Do. You. Get. Me."
Perhaps it was the old knife wound puckering his left eye or maybe the scar necklace wrapped around his throat, but for whatever reason the tabby cat suddenly found that it might behoove her position if the man couldn't pop her head off in one twist. She leapt to the floor, transforming mid air and abruptly found herself flat on her back with the man's hands wrapped around her neck.
Definitely not a good thing.
So, she did the only thing her brain could think of given her limited air supply. She apparated. And promptly lost three toes and one pinky, but at least she was alive and away from the crazy muggle with the gorgeous blue eyes.
Several hours later Clarence fortified the house preparing it as best he could, which was really good, for war.
He was still having a bit of trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that the tabby turned into a woman, and from his brief glance a really good lookin' one at that. Animals bent on taking over the world starting with Surrey he could deal with. Afterall, it wouldn't be the first time. In the 70's there was this pot smoking madman who tried to turn Scotland's sheep into deadly assassins intent on killing the Queen and – well lets just say that he learned to love haggis after that. But cats turning into humans well it was a bit out of his league.
And what if that meant they've already taken over the government?
Well shoot. That explains all the jackasses in parliament. No matter. They might have taken over the government but that didn't mean they were bringing down this house. Even if he was the last human in Surrey he wasn't going to give up without a fight, hopefully a really bloody one with lots of explosions, those are always good for some fun.
Hmm...maybe he needed a few more mice to bait the traps with?
A few hours later and a dinner laced with enough sleeping pills to knock them out for the night Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley were locked in the basement. He had to admit he was a little worried that Petunia was already taken over but he thought the chances of her really being a giraffe was a bit far fetched…he hoped.
Finally, a few more hours passed, a gallon of coffee, and many bathroom trips later the hair on the back on his neck rose signaling that an attack was imminent.
Well, not soon after midnight all the street lamps went out like dominoes down the line (good thing he remembered his night vision goggles) and an old man in a purple bath robe and a pointy hat showed up and that suspicious looking cat turned into a fine figure of a woman. Stately, with a real nice set of gams under her bathrobe.
He wouldn't mind being her scratching post.
Regardless of the woman or maybe because of it he paid real close attention to the muffled conversation he picked up via the hidden microphones he placed in the yard. Something about shooting stars, celebrations, muggles, and lemon drops. He quickly adjusted the receiver's volume hoping to catch more than the occasional words he was getting.
"What they were saying," Damn even catwoman's voice was nice, intelligent with a hint of a Scottish brogue making it utterly sexy, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumor is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead."
There was a brief pause where he wished he had a better view of them, one in which he could actually see them, and then Tabby gasped.
"Lily and James...I can't believe it...I didn't want to believe it...Oh, Albus..."
Lily and James Potter, he was sure he'd heard those names before. That's right, Petunia's good lookin' sister and her quick-handed husband. But that means...they're dead.
"I know...I know..." a tired old man's voice said. Must be this Albus character, the one in the purple bathrobe.
Tabby's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry. But - he couldn't. He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone."
Another pause then Tabby said, "It's - it's true? After all he's done...all the people he's killed...he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding...of all the things to stop him...but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"
"We can only guess," Albus said. "We may never know."
He heard a couple of sniffles, the kind you give when you're trying not to cry then the faint ruffling of cloth.
"Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"
He pulled out his notebook making a brief notation about Hagrid's upcoming appearance and how he obviously couldn't be trusted with sensitive intel.
"Yes," Tabby said. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"
"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
"You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" He could hear the horror in her voice accompanying he was sure some wild hand gesture. "Dumbledore - "
Dumbledore? Albus Dumbledore. At least now he had a name to go with the outfit. He flipped back a few pages in his notebook and wrote down the old man's full name above the fact that he liked muggle (whatever they are) sweets called lemon drops. Strange, but he was sure the candy store Dudley liked sold them too, in fact he thought there was a bag in the house right now. But this meant that the shape-shifting animals thought of humans as muggles. Terrible name if you asked him. But he'd have to come back to that since his Tabby was still talking.
"you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets." Yep, that sure sounded like Dudley. "And there's this man there. He dragged me into that house and he yelled at me. He knew I wasn't really a cat."
Well, that's good news. At least now he wasn't interested in an animal but that did leave him with the question of just what he was interested in.
"It's the best place for him," said Albus firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."
"A letter?" repeated Tabby faintly. "But Dumbledore, that man caused me to lose three toes and the pinkie on my left hand."
"Ah, so that was the reason you stopped in to see Madam Pomfrey. I had wondered. Apparating accident, Professor?" He could practically hear the twinkle in his eyes.
A long pause occurred where he was sure Professor (of what he didn't know yet) was blushing.
"That man's a menace." He rather liked the sound of that, especially when his Tabby said it with that slightly schoolgirl tone. "These people will never understand Harry! He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future - there will be books written about him - every child in our world will know his name!"
Our world? What does that mean?
"Exactly," said Albus, sounding very serious. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?
He does make a good point. But this Dumbledore character sure didn't know what lengths his son would go for normalcy. He'd probably lock Harry up in the cupboard under the stairs, make him a slave in his own home, and tell everyone he went to a school for the criminally insane. He'd never understand how he could have raised a son like Vernon. But that could be because he didn't raise him, and it was a times like these he realized just what his absence, even if it was for the best of reasons, did to his children.
"Yes - yes, you're right, of course." Tabby said even though she didn't sound like she believed it. "But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?"
"Hagrid's bringing him."
"You think it - wise - to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?" The Scottish lilt in her voice intensified as she spoke, probably trying to conceal the fact that she wanted to knock some sense into the old man.
Clarence flipped back to Hagrid's page writing untrustworthy under his name and then had to promptly cross it off when Albus said he'd trust Hagrid with his life. Even if he did go around wearing a purple bathrobe he got the feeling Albus didn't give that kind of trust lightly.
"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor Tabby grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he'd not careless. He does tend to - what was that?"
The sound of a motorcycle broke into the conversation and Clarence tried to carefully maneuver behind the window so he could see where it was coming from. But the street was empty, still darkened from when Albus turned out the streetlamps. Suddenly, a huge motorcycle fell out of the air its headlights blinding through his night vision goggles. He spent the next few minutes blinking wildly alternately rubbing his eyes as the conversation picked up again with the mysterious gruff voiced Hagrid joining them. He vaguely heard Hagrid call Albus a Professor, someone named Sirius Black, a house being destroyed, and a baby who fell asleep while flying over Bristol.
When his eye sight returned he found himself staring at a giant of man with long wild black hair and a beard that hid most of his face. He cradled a black haired baby in a blue blanket in his arms, the gentleness at odds with his gruff appearance.
"Is that where - ?" whispered Tabby as she pushed back the boy's black hair to reveal a vicious looking scar shaped like a lightning bolt.
"Yes," said Albus. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?" she asked softly as to not wake little Harry.
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground."
Damn, that would have been handy to have back in '67. Of course one does have to wonder how the old man knew it was a perfect replica of the Underground since he didn't seem the type to trek through the dangerous place. But perhaps he shouldn't let the bathrobe fool him; it wouldn't be the first time a willy old man got the better of him.
"Well - give him here, Hagrid - we'd better get this over with." Albus told him holding out his arms for Harry.
He took Harry in his arms and turned toward the house. Clarence quickly ducked behind the curtain that had kept him hidden for most of their conversation.
"Could I - could I say good-bye to him, sir?" asked Hagrid. A loud noisy and probably scratchy kiss occurred before Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog. Clarence jumped back leaping toward his receiver and lowered the volume before he could be discovered. He waited a few moments until Hagrid's howls turned into muffled whimpers before turning the volume back up.
"Lily an' James dead an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles - "
There was that word again. And he was sure it did refer to his family this time. Well, he wasn't havin' it.
"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found." Too late Tabby girl, cause he wasn't going to let you just drop Harry off on his doorstep without more than a letter of explanation.
Clarence sped to the door opening it just as Professor Albus Dumbledore tucked the letter inside Harry blanket on the Dursley's doorstep. Five seconds later the greatest wizard alive found his wand in the hands of a muggle. A very pissed off, extremely caffeinated muggle, who was threatening to snap the thing if he wasn't given answer immediately.
This was definitely not what Dumbledore expected when he showed up at number four Privet Drive, no not at all. And he had a feeling if he were to go by Minerva's muttering it was about to get worse.
Hello again Everyone I'm back!
I know it's been 3 years since you've last heard from me but even though my life hit the worst kind of bad spot I haven't forgotten you and the craziness that is Clarence Dursley. I wanted to thank everyone for all their continued support (and threats) that motivated me to pick this back up and start typing again. In recognition for this and since Clarence is determined to introduce Harry to some old friends and enemies I was hoping you would allow me to use your pennames to name some future characters. Now I can't guarantee that everyone's name is going to be used or even used with the correct gender as Princess (poor guy) can attest so if there's anyone who'd rather I didn't just say so in your review. I look forward to hearing from you again, please enjoy the changes in this chapter and see ya in the next.