Summary: What really happened to Dudley Dursley the summer of 1995. A one shot companion piece to The Blood Tipped Feather. Read this after chapter 2 of my story to keep continuity. Or not…up to you.


Witness.

It was summer once again.

And Dudley Dursley had returned from Smeltings with slightly higher grades, and a new boxing trophy. He had made some friends, at his school and in general people there were more accepting of him than before. This past year may have been the best of his life.

Oh he had been more excited before…. Before 'that summer', but he had never truly accomplished anything worthy of being excited. His teachers claimed it a fantastic turn around, the school nurse said he could eat some candy if he wanted to again with a sly wink, and he had been able to talk to a girl with out her insulting his weight. An actual civil conversation.

Dudley had an excellent year indeed. He had another three years of Smeltings left then Uni. Dudley had at one point been extremely excited to come home and show his parents all that he had accomplished.

Sure he was still fat, and his grades weren't honour role material; but he had brought them up from bare minimum to better than average. Next year he would accomplish so much more… maybe even something that would classify him as extraordinary.

'I don't… remember'

He had come home to an empty home and made himself a sandwich. He found a note for his dad letting him know his aunt was out for groceries. Dudley was looking forward to showing off his grades to his mum. She was always so excited about anything he did.

He decided he might make her some tea as even though he wasn't a fan of the watery drink, she couldn't get enough of it.

Dudley had really grown up this year.

'I can't… remember'
'There is a reason for that'

The kettle had just whistled and Dudley knew to wait one more minute as he had watched his mum and… 'The freak' make the tea this way a few times.

There was a scraping noise against the door and Dudley knew his mum was home. He quickly took the teapot off the burner…

"ow ow ow ow ow"

He resisted the urge to drop the hot and very fragile teapot as he quickly put it on the table, and placed his mums' favourite tea cup beside it. He sat in his normal seat and tried to look nonchalant as the door opened and his mum walked in.

He was disappointed she wouldn't be able to see him because of all the groceries she was carrying but didn't let that get him down. He got up and walked towards her as she was trying to juggle a particularly flimsy bag, and took the biggest one he could see.
"Hey mum"

His mother blinked her surprise and smiled a pleased smile, " Dudley! When did you get home? We were supposed to pick you up tonight."

His mum kissed his cheek as she was able to put the packages down and inspect him.

"My handsome boy"
She turned a troubled eye to her son.

"Are they feeding you Dudley, your so thin." She said this almost as if he was one of those starving children in Africa, and someone was dangling a roast out of reach.

"They feed me mum, I've just been …"
"Don't try to defend them Dudley, we pay them more than enough to make sure you get fed properly." His mum scolded lightly but passionately.

"When your father hears about this… oh they will get an ear full they will."
"Mum no… really I've been exercising is all!"

Dudley was a little disappointed his mum had not been pleased he had slimmed down. It was noticeable, it wasn't drastic, but Dudley could now be considered fat instead of obese. He had worked so hard in the gym and spent the whole year eating foods he hated, and avoided the foods he loved.

Petunia Dursley looked at her son with a patronizing smile. "Of course you have Dudley, but there is no need, remember what I've always said"

"you are big boned" Petunia Dursley did not notice her son mouth the words while rolling his eyes.

"Yes mum but…" what Dudley was about to say was interrupted by the scraping of keys on the door once more.

"Oh it's your father… where is my tea pot… I could have sworn I put it …"
"Mum I made you some tea… see"

Dudley proudly indicated the now luke warm tea that had cooled rapidly being buried under the frozen peas.

"Oh my sweet boy. Thank you… but it's too cold now I'll make a fresh batch."
Dudley watched sadly as his tea was tossed into the sink and his mother went about making a new batch. Dudley rubbed his slightly red finger tips against his brown jacket as he heard his father yell…

"Petunia… I'm home"

"In the kitchen!"

"Horrible day… Gellerman lost us the Sweeney clients; I've had to… Dudley? What are you doing back home so soon son."

"Hey Dad… I got an earlier train and took the tube." Dudley said proudly. He had never really been able to travel about on his own except in Surrey. Smelting being on the other side of the island and all he usually got picked up at kings cross, but this time he found his own way back.

"The Tube!" Dudley cringed as his mum shrieked and dropped a dish towel she was using to dry the tea pot with.

" Dudley I won't have you associating with filth on that thing."

"It's diseased. Go take a bath this instant. I won't have you getting deathly ill because of the homeless animals that spread there filth on that thing."

"It wasn't so bad…" Ok it was bad but Dudley had been too distracted by his self independence to care much.

Dudley tried a different tactic since he was moments away from being shoved upstairs to take a bath.

"I won another Match." Dudley said this to his Dad as he was usually the most enthused by his boxing accomplishments. His mum was supportive but didn't like the idea of him fighting and getting hurt.

"That's my Boy!" His father gave him a number of manly pats on the back and guffaws of praise while his mother momentarily distracted by his accomplishment just turned a teary eye towards him and told him how proud she was of him.

'There it is.' Dudley had never really felt this good in his life. He had won those other bouts with people but those times he had only done it for the reason that he was aloud to hit people. But now, he had done something for the challenge and he had won. And now his parents were praising him for that and that alone. It was bliss.

"Wait till Jim hears, his son couldn't even get into the light division. Ha"

Suddenly Dudley didn't feel as good as before. 'Of course dad just wants to show the neighbours how accomplished I am. It's perfectly normal….'

Dudley knew this was reasonable… but couldn't get the euphoria he had before.
'I'll wait till they bring up my grades. There is no way they can't be proud of that'

It had been 4 hours since he had told his parents about his trophy and they had discussed it constantly with Dudley. His father had brought up strategies he had used in his day; his mum had told him about how her friends had admired the wrestlers so much.

But his grades were never brought up.

Dudley decided he had to get them to notice. He tip toed around his dads lounge chair and placed his report on the coffee table. The table was spotless and clutter free, the blaring white folded sheet stood out splendidly against the redwood.

'When mum comes into clean she will see it and she will be proud. Just wait.'

Dudley had dreamed up this moment for quite a while. His mum would take a glance at the sheet and would squeal excitedly about how brilliant he was. His Dad would say he had got his keen eye for numbers from him and would pat him on his back. He would get recognition for his hard work. He would get his moment. His happy memory.

The kitchen door started to swing open as his mum strolled through with a rag and a glass of brandy for his dad.

'Perfect'

She placed the drink in his fathers' large hand and made her way around the room dusting off things and using the rag to get any unsightly messes away from her pristine living room. It was more compulsive than anything as the room was… immaculate.

She made her way to the coffee table and stopped to pick up the white sheet. Dudley had taken it out of its envelope so his mum could see the Smelting logo, and the detailed title proclaiming his grades inside.

She looked at the cover and… put it aside. She scrubbed at an invisible smudge and placed the grades back where it was.

Dudley did not know what to do now so he decided he had to actually start the conversation.

"Mum, dad?"

His mum let out a little "eap" as she had not seen her son hiding in the cupboard under the stairs. Last year he would not have been able to fit in there… but this wasn't last year.

" Dudley… Oh I didn't see you… what are you doing in the frea…in the cupboard."

His dad tensed as his mum almost mentioned the freak.

"Aren't you going to ask about my grades?"

Apparently his mum took his nervousness for something else because he did not here the cry of how silly she was to forget but the soothing placations of Petunia Dursley.

"Oh Dudley don't you worry about what those people say. They can't judge how brilliant you are with their little tests." His mother comforted him unnecessarily.

"No mum it's not like that. I…"

" Dudley don't you worry one bit on what those fools think. When you graduate I've already arranged for you to get a place at Grunnings. Those fools at Smeltings will parade there degrees but you will be a working man!" His Dad said authoritatively.

"No but I did well this year." Dudley tried to get his parents to understand.

"Of course you did honey. You are my little genius and I know how smart you are. We don't need this silly piece of paper to tell us differently. "

Dudley watched horrified as his mum took his report, the one he had spent months looking forward to seeing, and watched as it was torn to shreds. Without even being looked at.

"How about I get you a big bowl of Ice cream and you can watch the telly in the kitchen while I finish dinner" His mum didn't even notice the crestfallen face of her son as she tossed the torn pieces of papers into the fire. His father was already focused on a news report of how an unprecedented number of foreign dignitaries were converging not too the United Nations but to Singapore of all places for a mystery session.

"Actually mum… I think I'll go to bed. I'm not hungry." Dudley trotted upstairs ignoring the disturbed and surprised looks of his mum and dad.

As Dudley got ready for bed he could hear the hushed conversation going on downstairs.

"I think he got sick from that filthy tube ride." A distressed whisper spoke.
"He'll be fine petunia, he's a strong lad. No we have to worry about that little freak though. He comes home tomorrow." His father growled.

"We should make him take the Tube. No doubt he has some money, probably from stealing. I know we don't give him anything for his 'schooling'. Maybe even freak welfare."

His uncle seemed particularly disgusted by the thought.

"We can't Vernon; the rest of the freaks will get angry. Remember the letter! Think of what they will do to us. We have to go pick him up."

Dudley closed his bedroom door and muffled the rest of the argument as he crawled under his sheets.

He did not get the sweet escape of a pleasant dream as he had hoped for, but the terrifying memory that had made him feel so distraught in the first place.

::::::

"I'll hit you" Dudley did not hear his cousins' response as he felt a chill freeze his core deep down. The chill seemed to pulse as it searched deep with in him for something.

Dudley was terrified by what his cousin was doing to him. He did the only thing that ever worked; he punched his cousin. Unfortunately it seemed to make the chill worse as he started to feel memories being dragged up deep within his soul. They were upsetting events, him getting a tale from the man who was taller than his dad, the time his tongue was grown and he almost choked, and the time the snake had escaped and he was trapped in a glass prison.

'Where are your joys…?'

There was a voice in his head and he did not like how upset it was.

'Leave me alone you freak' Dudley wanted to scream this but he could not move his mouth.

'I am not the magic one… I am his executioner.'
'Where are your joys?'

'What do you mean?' Dudley whimpered in his mind as he tried to escape the presence that was no longer angry but curious.

'You are different than most. I have very rarely seen souls as bleak as yours. You have no joys. You have no happy memories.'

Dudley was not sure why but he felt the need to justify himself. He was backed up against a wall and time seemed to stand still around him.

'I have happy memories. My parents got me more toys this year than ever before….42.'

The voice laughed a disturbing laugh as he found his memory pathetic. Dudley watched the memory unfold in his vision and wither away as if it were nothing more than a dried up fruit… rotting away to become dirt once more.

'This is not Joy. I can not feed of this pittance. You have none.'

'I do have joy.'
'Oh...Try and find one. You will find you are lacking.'

'What about when…' Dudley brought up memory after memory of his happiest times. From chasing his cousins friends away in preschool to the times his gang helped him steal a hundred pounds from a group of kids in a back alley.

'You have none… little one. You are like us.'

"Like you' Dudley did not want to be like this… whatever this was. His mind quaked in terror.

'We were once like you little one. Mere mortal men, devoid of the joys of the rest of our kind. Our lives were filled with moments of contentment and victory over the weak but we found no true joy. We discovered a way to take what was denied us by being turned into the shrouded. We steal the joys from the mortals, we take their souls and we live forever more on their accomplishments and their love.' The voice sounded proud of his accomplishment.

Dudley was sickened by the creatures life. He was even more terrified that he shared anything in common with these things.

While time seemed to stand still Dudley's vision returned as he saw before him a hovering black hooded man with bony hands extended towards his jaw. To his right his cousin had his stick pointed at the other gliding shroud and a faint blue light was enveloping the tip as if it were trying to escape the piece of wood. Nothing moved and no sound was made. Time did stop for Dudley as he was given a choice.

'I can make you like us little one. You will be shrouded and you will take the joys of others. You will steal their souls and you will be immortal. You will forever be superior and feel love as you live off of your meals emotions.'

'I'm loved now!'
'Are you? Find me a memory of the love you have felt.' The monster challenged.

Dudley brought up a memory of his mum codling him and his dad patting him on the back after his eleventh birthday after Potter had to come with him to the zoo.

'No young one. This is not love. Love leaves a trace, something that can not be sensed by man through touch, smell, or sight. It can only be experienced deep within yourself. And you have never been touched by it. They have given you false love.'

'Liar! My parents love me!' Dudley was no longer afraid of the beast in front of him but of his words. He did not want his words to be true.

'They have spent your life praising you for accomplishments that truly disappoint them; they have used you to steal happiness from the magic one but have never truly cared for you.'

'They don't know how to love you. Only know that they must.'

'You don't know what you're talking about… It's not true.'

Dudley looked deep within himself for his happiest time, his one moment where he was loved.

It felt like an eternity as his mind searched, but nothing was found.

'I don't… remember'

Dudley wracked his brain for the one moment of happiness he thought had existed.

'I can't… remember'
'there is a reason for that…' The voice seemed sad as he told Dudley the truth about his life.

'... It is because there is nothing to remember'

The voice seemed to be trying to comfort him as it said.

'You are like the shrouded once was. You were never blessed with the touch of love, you never felt happiness, and those who raised you have failed you as we were once failed. Let me make you shrouded. You will feel the joys of your victims.'

'The magic one we were sent for…. He bleeds the touch of love. We can share him and become overwhelmed with his memories. Watch as my brother is moments away and yet he stands defiantly. We can absorb his soul and his joys and we will live off it for eternity.'

The most terrifying thing was that as Dudley watched his cousin in this moment of time he could feel the love radiating off him, it was like nothing he had ever felt. Whatever this moment in time was where the world stood still for everyone but he and the … shrouded, he could feel what his cousin had felt, and it was intoxicating.

'That's…'
'…that is love young one.'

Dudley never despised his cousin more than he did now. He had been the reason his parents had never raised him properly. It was the freaks fault why his parents never had time to really love him. 'And he gets to practically ooze with love!'

'Join me and feel his mind and soul empower you. Let yourself be loved young one' The creature leaned in as if to give him a kiss, but Dudley could feel the monster sending him dark powers that had made the chill evaporate and his body tremble as it started the decaying process.

'I could feel that…'
'…forever more my little shroud'

Dudley knew no more as an ethereal stag charged the being that was giving him a chance to feel happiness for once.

:::::::

Dudley Dursley woke calmly with a dead look in his eyes as he went down stairs to get breakfast from his mum. His mum who fawned all over him but never truly cared for him.

He would get in his dads car who would take a momentary detour to gloat to some of his neighbours about his sons accomplishment. His dad who used Dudley to make others envy himself; but never truly cared about what he boasted, his son did.

He would get out of the car and stand beside his parents as they were berated by Harry Potter's friends, and threatened to treat him well.

The worst part of it all was that ever since his cousin had interrupted him from becoming shrouded. He could feel what they felt. He felt the love that was directed at his cousin by the masses of strangers. He could feel the emotions of happiness and sorrow that swirled the group. He could taste the sadness the group felt for leaving the magic one with them.

Dudley Dursley could see, taste, and feel the love his cousin was given but he could not feel any given to him.

Dudley Dursley had become something worse than a dementor… He had become a living witness to love.

A witness, but never a participant.


AN: This is a companion piece to my first story The Blood Tipped Feather. I didn't include anything about Dudley but wanted to discuss what happened to him the summer before.

Since I can't see Dudley becoming best friends with Harry and talking about his experience, I figure this was the easiest way to go about it. Also I don't want Harry to have to be the one to find out the secret of what the dementors are. I find it funny that Dudley Dursley is the only living person to ever find out. So many times I have read stories where Harry finds out all these secrets that people have been pondering over for centuries. Harry will not learn all the nitty gritty details. But I will endevor to make sure the reader does by these nifty little one shots.

A little explanation I suppose. I am not writing this to gain sympathy for Dudley. He is a product of his up-bringing for sure, but he is also a product of his actions. He chose to take the easy route in his life and now that he can see what that has brought him he will spend the rest of his life trying to get what he is missing out on.

Something important. My blood Tipped feather story will not have the almighty power of love saving the world. I'm going for a more realistic story, and no matter how symbolic the sentiment that Harry's power is love is; I am not going through with it. Harry will have a much more mysterious and substantial power.

Expect more backstory one shots through out my story.