Summary: Harry gets a lesson in playground warfare and turns from victim into a Lord. Grey possibly Dark Harry
Rating: PG (For now)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all characters found within the books pages belong to J. K. Rowling. The rest of us merely worship her greatness.
As a reader you should know this is probably just a oneshot to get my juices going again before I dive back into my long awaited second chapter of Grandpa Dursley and the Schooling of Harry Potter, its possible that I might continue this but I'd feel heartless if I didn't mention that my other story must take precedence.
Officer Laurence T. Panera would never be able to say what made him notice the little five year old standing in front of Stonewall Primary, the local elementary school for Surrey and the neighboring township. Later, he'll think about how the boy stood by himself in a sea of proud parents, all of whom were giving proud hugs and kisses upon their little ones, ushering them inside for their very first day of school. He'd think about how the little boy quietly followed a long-necked woman and her whining son, his green eyes hoping that this time he too would receive the hugs and words of praise that fell so easily out of the woman's mouth.
But because he did notice the dark-haired boy he saw the instant when hope died in those bright green eyes, the moment that the boy accepted that he'd never have a mother's kiss, her proud little hugs, he saw when the boy lost the innocence that comes with youth and something darker take its place. The kind of dark that doesn't appear from one misplaced kiss the kind that comes from touching death, the kind of death he'd seen in murder's eyes…and its survivors.
He didn't see the boy again until late that following day. The kindergarden teachers liked to introduce him to their classes in those first days, have him give his speech about not talking to strangers to tell them as a voice of authority to always approach an adult if they have a problem. Most of the kids would nod their heads solemnly and assure him that they would do the right thing. On the playground later he'd be sure to see a group of boys playing cops and robbers all of whom would want to be the policemen. But, in this class this little group of four and five year olds one little boy did not nod, he did not promise to speak to an adult. Little Harry Potter stared at him with those bright green eyes laughing silently, laughed at the officer's naivety.
God, how he wanted to pull him aside right then and there and demand to know who killed the light in his eyes, who made him loose all hope. But he didn't. He went to the next classroom and talked to them about strangers, speaking to adults, watching kids nod their heads solemnly, and then he patrolled the school and its grounds because that was his job, because he wasn't paid to see death in little bright green eyes.
It was several weeks before he saw the boy again and by that time he was already being teases about his clothes, his mushy peanut butter sandwiches, and the lightning bolt scar on his forehead.
Little Harry Potter never cried and he never went to any type of adult.
He took the pushes and harsh words of his peers like he expected them, like they were ordinary and to him, perhaps they were. Seeing that little boy taking it on the chin day after day made Officer Laurence T. Panera forget that he was merely bidding his time until retirement, made he remember why he first became a policeman. He was supposed to protect the innocent not turn his back on them. And he wanted to help this little boy with his bright green eyes so empty of hope.
The next day he was waiting on the playground for the other boys to start chasing little Harry Potter. It was like watching a pack of wild dogs chasing down a deer. Harry was obviously faster but the sheer number of the boys chasing him was bound to wear him down. And when he weaved a little too close to the largest boy Officer Panera was there to pick him back up.
"That was some amazing running." The Officer smiled his voice parting the boys enough that he was able to help Harry up. "We need to get you a football, with speed like that you could be playing for Manchester United." He grinned patting Harry on the back.
The boys who had been shifting guiltily at his presence now stared at Harry in awe. Because this man, an authority, said that Harry Potter was fast, because he said that he could play for Manchester United and that was, in the eyes of all the Surrey boys, the greatest team to ever play the game. And every boy staring at little Harry Potter wanted nothing more than to be him. They forgot about his nasty old clothes and soggy lunches, to them he was the coolest kid in school maybe even the whole world.
That is to all but one boy.
Little Dudley Dursley, who really wasn't so little, didn't like how his friends suddenly started to crowd around his cousin.
"He can't play football!" He screamed, stomping his overlarge foot. "He's just a freak with a stupid scar!" He knew that would make his friends listen to him now, his dad always said that and his dad was important.
Except, they didn't listen.
Instead the big policeman laughed at Dudley and soon all the other boys were laughing too.
"You know Harry, that scar sure looks like a lightning bolt to me." He waved the other kids over, "Don't you think boys? Must be how he got to be so fast." He smiled as the boys nodded in agreement each bemoaning the fact that they didn't have a cool scar like Harry's. The recess bell rang calling an end to their fun and the big officer stepped back, "Bolt, you and your friends better head in." He gave another one of his big grins patting Harry on the back before turning to look at Dudley. "Oh, you should probably follow Bolt and his friends inside too."
And Dudley Dursley had to watch as his friends followed Harry inside, listen to them call him Bolt like he was important, like he was somebody special and not him. He didn't like being on the outside with no friends.
Later, when it was time to color everyone crowded around Harry, they drew picture of him and no one wanted to talk to Dudley. No one sat at his table and told him how great his pictures were. No one wanted to be his friend, all because he called his cousin, the football star, a freak.
He didn't like it at all.
When they got home Dudley broke his mother's favorite vase and blamed Harry. He laughed when Harry was sent to his cupboard without supper. It made him happy, he knew that everything was how it was supposed to be and he was sure that tomorrow all of his friends would like him again.
The next day he was sure things were back to normal. Piers sat beside in class and even helped him color his picture of his house. But on the playground things didn't seem so great after all. He saw the policeman talking to Harry again but it didn't matter because some of the other boys shouted for him to play and he was positive everything was how it was supposed to be.
That is until Harry joined.
Dudley could never be sure how it happened but first one boy called him slow, then another fat, until they were all pushing him around calling him a football as they kicked him. They were all laughing at him, everyone that is except for Harry. He was watching, watching and smiling.
"Hey guys," Harry called, "the bells about to ring." Harry was staring at him, that twisted smile still on his face, and he knew the only reason they stopped was because of Harry. He never realized Harry was also the reason it started.
Piers didn't sit with him after recess; he wouldn't even look at him. He was too busy trying to get his chair added to Harry's already crowed table. Dudley couldn't hear what Harry asked Piers but he heard his response.
"No way!" He shouted. "I'd never be friends with that lardball."
Dudley knew Piers was talking about him. He didn't notice Harry allowing Piers to sit with him afterwards; he was too blinded by his tears.
After school Dudley stayed in his room playing with his toys. And at dinner when his Mum allowed Harry to have the remaining scone he never said a word, not even when Harry accidentally spilled some of his water.
Back at school he drew a picture of Harry during art. Harry even said it was good. Harry's friends even agreed, because even if they didn't think so if Harry said it then it had to be true. They didn't push Dudley on the playground that day. So Dudley decided to draw more pictures of Harry hoping he would like them too.
At home he helped Harry do the dishes without being asked, Harry even thanked him. And the next day no one called him fat or pushed him at recess. He liked that. He helped Harry weed the garden after that; he even admitted to his Mum that he was the one to pulled pulled a flower out by mistake.
However, Dudley's newfound accountability wasn't to last. The next week he broke the VCR. He didn't mean to, he knew better than to use it by himself, but it was an accident and he didn't want to get in trouble. He told his parents he saw Harry break it.
That was the last time he'd blame Harry for anything, and he'd never play dodgeball again either.
Months went by following in the same pattern and then it was finally time for the dreaded parent/teacher conferences. The Dursley's found out about Dudley getting teased and pushed on the playground, his teacher told them that if it wasn't for Harry it might even have gotten worse. They were told how wonderful a job they must be doing to have two such bright boys, so willing to stand up for each other.
Harry got his own room after that, his dad even patted him on the back and let them both choose their own ice cream cones for a treat. Vernon even bragged to the neighbors about what good kids he had, even if Harry's parents were no good layabouts. Dudley was proud to, he liked it when people realized that Harry and him were related, he just wished they were really brothers, maybe even twins like the Bruggle brothers down the street cause that would be really cool.
He even convinced his Mum to buy Harry new clothes. Dudley didn't think Harry should have to wear his old things. Harry said they slowed him down when he ran and he certainly didn't want to be the cause of that. Even better was that the day Harry went to school in his new things he let Dudley sit at his table. Not next to him of course, in fact he had to sit at the far end but it was Harry's table and Piers even helped him color that day.
Dudley liked that and he knew it was only Harry that could make it happen. He knew Harry would protect him from the other boys. That it was because of him that he wasn't teased or pushed on the playground anymore. Dudley never realized that it was Harry, Harry and an Officer waiting for retirement that changed his world around, that changed the would be bully into a victim and gave a little boy with a scar his first lesson in warfare.
Whew. Hope you guys enjoyed it. It was a little different from my usual style and by the end of it I was actually feeling kinda bad for Dudley…go figure. I'd love to hear your responses and ideas if I should continue something of this nature.