an: I wrote this like, 800 years ago. Forgive the wait. I want to thank all my readers, reviewers, people mentioned previously who helped me, life in general, I guess. Thank you to my real-life Sarahs, though you probably don't know who you are. I could say a lot about how writing this helped me deal with my own weird life but that would take too much time. J.K. Rowling, you were my idol up until the last two books but that has more to do with me growing up than you- thanks for letting us use your characters so freely. Yes, and if you knew me within this past year, you're probably in here somewhere.
-FIFTEEN YEARS LATER-
Dudley Dursley was thirty seven years of age, and although the years had not changed his appearance completely, they had sculpted him into an adult-type person. His blond hair was clipped short against his thick neck, going gray in one or two places around his ears. Years of weight lifting and sports had given him even larger muscles, and he did more than tower—he intimidated. The thing that saved him from looking completely ferocious was his token facial expression: a half-smile that could either be taken for sarcasm or uttermost confusion. It masked his temper, which mostly lay dormant, springing up only when he was annoyed or offended. At the moment, he was neither, sitting on the edge of the long gray couch, watching the end of a rugby match rerun on the television. Every so often, he would shout out in disdain. In the corner of the large room was a decked out Christmas tree with loads and loads of presents underneath it. The decorations were completely parallel, and all in white, as though straight out of a holiday magazine. It was obvious, in other words, that Dudley had had nothing to do with the decorating of the thing.
There were photographs of several children along the mantle, all blond and mostly broad. Mark was the eldest, at fourteen. Standing only a few inches under his dad, he definitely looked the most like Dudley around that age, though as with the rest of the kids, in much healthier shape. He was obsessed with sports, cars, weight-lifting, the worst girls, and had a very bad attitude. His most recent attempt at doing something "cool" was vandalizing the neighbors' lawn gnomes, which had resulted in heightening the feud between Dudley and Mr-Next-Door. Mark had three girlfriends, all of whom were, by some great or terrible coincidence, named Shelly. All three were banned from the house.
Joshua was next, at eleven. He was also large and stocky, attempted to be better at sports than his older brother, and loved whining about pretty much every topic known to man. He was especially talented at running into hard things like doors and breaking them.
Nine year old Colin, though still properly stocky in the Dursley boy fashion, was the smallest and youngest of the boys, and somehow, he'd ended up a nerd who liked playing handheld games and sleeping in the forts he liked to make. Dudley blamed Harry for all of these peculiarities and he often harped at Colin to "make something" of himself. Dudley's ideas so far regarding Colin "making something" of himself included: getting dirty, getting fresh air, getting lost somewhere outdoors, and not crying at sappy commercials. So far, none of this had panned out.
The last of the Dursley brood was Christine, who was five, skinny and so much of a girly girl that it was almost a joke. She was definitely Dudley's little princess, and she was treated as such at every possible moment. It is needless to say that Christine's future as a young woman was going to be a tough one— Dudley would definitely not be keen on her dating when the time came.
Also in these family pictures was a short, leggy woman with black feathered hair, who was Dudley's wife, naturally. Her name was Davan, and she was, first and foremost, a girl jock. She had met Dudley twelve years prior at a sporting match where she'd been cheering on England with her girlfriends in the front. Dudley had been encouraged to make a pass at all of them by a slightly drunk David, Piers' boyfriend, while Piers had looked on in amusement and humiliation for his friend. When Davan got over how stupid Dudley's pick-up lines were and picked up on the fact that he was an ex-boxer, a single dad, and in training for a high end position at a firm called Grunnings, she'd given him a chance. She was different from all of Dudley's exes in the way that she was financially stable, sharp, and wasn't out looking to be protected. She was a dietician from a fairly rich family, which meant that Vernon at once loved her, and Petunia hated her (first off, for stealing away her Dudders, and then for wearing much more expensive shoes than she'd ever worn even though she'd never really been a shoe kind of woman). Petunia's world had all ready turned upside down when Dudley had gotten Victoria pregnant, after a mutual decision (or so he claimed), and they had split up soon afterward. Though she'd hated Victoria immensely for her low class background and "chavvy dress sense", she hated Davan more for making it even more obvious that Dudley's first serious relationship had failed, particularly whenever it was brought up that Mark was her "stepson." As for their general well being, Dudley's parents were fine. Petunia was one of those women whose age had not affected her appearance. She still wore her hair in the same cut, and secretly dyed it blond. Vernon was still working at Grunnings and breaking household appliances.
The wedding had been ornate, obviously, and since Davan and Petunia were equally matched in their levels of perfectionism (though they'd never admit to being alike), it was appropriately nerve-racking, with tension at every turn. Dudley had wanted the wedding ceremony to be held in Privet Park "sort of", and so his opinion about everything was quickly disregarded. Davan had advocated for it being in her old church, so of course Petunia had voted for a church across town. What was lucky was the fact that Davan's mother had been dead for twenty years, and her father was an easy going man who simply liked pubs and a good time. Finally, it was decided that the wedding should take place in the Dursleys' back yard because no one was really coming, anyway. It turned out that Davan had been pretty spoiled in her youth, and hadn't really kept many of her old mates. She had three bridesmaids and Dudley had Piers, David and Sean, a friend from when he'd been working at the club. Mo attended with her roommate Sylvia and laughed when Petunia openly disagreed with her shaved head. Two year old Mark had worn a little tux and had fussed and sobbed in Petunia's arms throughout the whole thing, which everyone thought was really cute. There was a huge, expensive cake and tons of catered food. The next door neighbors were peeking over their fences the whole time.
"Mum! Where's my black jumper? I don't want to wear this stupid green one!" came Joshua's voice from out in the hall.
"You're not wearing black to a Christmas party. Honestly. You'll look like a rain cloud. Now, go on and get dressed. Breakfast is ready," Davan replied, and anyone who knew her would be able to discern that she was rolling her blue eyes to the ceiling. Dudley knew that right away, so he instead kept focusing on the television.
"You're wearing a black dress!" Joshua whined.
Davan was thwarted for a moment before she gave the end-all response: "I'm the mum!"
Joshua fake cried for awhile, until Mark strolled up behind him and slammed his fist into Joshua's arm. Then Joshua began to scream, and they started wrestling on the floor.
"STOP!" Davan hollered, tearing Joshua away from Mark, since he was slightly smaller. "Get dressed, Joshua. Go! And Mark, stop winding him up!"
Mark immediately stopped poking his brother. "I wasn't doing anything!" he snapped.
She sighed. "Just go and get started on breakfast."
"I'm not eating in there with you people," said Mark.
"You're not eating in front of the telly, either," Davan told him sharply. "I told you I was sick of you doing that, sitting like a lump all the time when you should be out training—"
"It's break for Christ sake!" Mark snapped.
"You're not to speak to me that way, I've told you!" she told him, shaking her finger.
"I don't give a shit, do I?" As soon as he said it, his eyes flickered to Dudley, who was no longer focused on the television.
"You better not have said what I just thought you said," Dudley said darkly, his voice loud.
"Oooh!" Joshua cheered, grabbing Mark by the arm and pulling him.
"I didn't. I didn't say anything," Mark lied, shoving Joshua away. Joshua began to cry, pretending of course.
"I didn't say anything," Dudley copied. "You said something, though. I heard it. And apologize to your brother."
"He isn't even HURT!" Mark exclaimed.
"Just go get ready for Uncle Harry's!" Dudley said, frusterated.
Muttering angrily, Mark stormed down the hallway, kicking various toys as he did so. When Joshua immediately stopped his crocodile tears, Dudley gave him a warning look before he tore away.
"What is this mess?" Dudley demanded. "Everyone was supposed to be dressed and ready—"
"Well, thank you for rousing yourself from your throne, we sure appreciated your help out here in the real world," Davan said, her eyes lowering.
Dudley kissed her on the forehead. "It seemed like it. Now let's see if I can get this house in order."
"Oh please," she said, but she was laughing.
"Colin!" Dudley said loudly, as they walked past their son's bedroom where he was at his desk with a book. "Are you dressed and ready?"
Colin jumped up to show that he was.
"That makes one. Get a move on to the kitchen, your mum has breakfast ready."
Wordlessly, Colin exited his room and walked in front of his parents. From the room to the left, Christine emerged wearing a pink, frilly dress complete with a tiara.
"I put out your outfit," Davan said, frustrated.
"I dressed myself!" Christine exclaimed, jumping into Dudley's arms.
"I don't see what's wrong with it. It's not as though we're going somewhere important."
"I just hope this phase is over soon," Davan said aloud, marching ahead.
Mark was trying to make off with a plate of eggs back into the television room, and so Dudley had to talk him into staying, which took a great deal of arguing. As Davan divided up fruit, egg white omelets and milk, the conversation was as explosive as ever.
"No one ever plays with me!" Christine was saying.
"We're going to Clarice's house this coming weekend," Davan explained, "and you and Rebecca can have a play date." Clarice lived just about an hour away and had two very pristine little girls, and an equally perfect husband. They were always polite but mortified when the Dursleys came to call. It was sort of obvious that Clarice's husband had a thought or two about Dudley ("bloke always looks like he's just left the pub!").
Christine looked satisfied.
"I told you, no books at the table!" Dudley hissed at Colin, who made a face.
"If you had your way," he said darkly," there would be no books in the world at all."
"Are you trying to insult me?" Dudley asked dully.
Colin sighed. "No, Dad."
"Do we really have to go to Uncle Harry's? They're weird over there," said Joshua.
"Yes, we really have to go. And I couldn't agree more."
"Dudley," Davan said bitterly. She didn't really like Harry or Ginny either, but she didn't tolerate negativity very well.
"I could beat James up so easily," Joshua shrugged.
"No one's beating up anyone, Josh," Davan said," isn't that right, Dudley?"
"Yeah, that's uh… right."
"You used to beat people up all the time!" Joshua said. "And you were great at it! Tell us the story where you knock that boy's teeth out!"
Dudley gave him a Look.
"Wasn't that Uncle Harry?" asked Christine.
"I don't recall," Dudley said, overly interested now in his coffee.
On the other end of the table, Davan was trying to make peace with Mark, who wasn't biting. "I know you've been missing your mum lately," she said lightly, "and sometime this week, we'll be taking you over for a stay with her."
Mark nodded, hardly listening.
"You know, it's just as hard for me sometimes," she said. "Your mum's a good person, though, she's—"
"STOP TALKING ABOUT HER!" Mark yelled, standing up. "You don't even know her! Why are you always trying to talk about her?"
"I WILL NOT TAKE ANY YELLING AT THE TABLE!" Dudley yelled.
Christine began to cry. Joshua looked horrified. Colin picked up his book again and read the page he'd left off on. Davan moved to Christine and comforted her, all the while giving Dudley the evil eye.
Mark's eyes brimmed with tears, though he quickly blinked them away. "YOU'RE NEVER ON MY SIDE! YOU'RE AN IDIOT!"
"I swear, Mark, if you keep talking, you'll be in huge trouble!" Dudley boomed, standing up, all six foot five of him.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you? If I just quit talking forever!"
"It would be a lot nicer around here!"
Mark picked up his plate and stalked into the kitchen, dropping it into the sink. He walked off to his room and slammed the door, which shook the house.
"Well, at least he's being quiet," Dudley shrugged. This evoked a long, hard stare from his wife.
When the family went searching for Mark and found him at the park across the street, they finally took off to Harry's house, a strange, many-layered freakshow that was filled with magical Things and crazy contraptions (and much quieter children). It was always nice to get back home, where everything was just as it should be.
Piers Polkiss works as a special effects artist on independent films, specializing in gore and macabre in the horror genres. He's known for his keen recipe for surprisingly life-like guts. His most celebrated film to date has been a zombie movie entitled "Carnage Moonlit Heat", which received mixed reviews and began a cult following. He lives with his partner, outside of Surrey. Though he and Dudley never fully reconnect, they will meet time and time again to reminisce about Privet Drive.
Clarice Ryan is happily married to a man named Charles who is possibly the nicest bloke of all time. He is shy, pleasant, agreeable, and co-owns a bookstore. They have two daughters. Clarice works as head buyer for a boutique in London, and often thinks about Dudley when she sees the leather displays, and every time some good for nothing chavvy tries to steal from the jewelry department. She and Dudley set up play dates for their children, though none of them get along very well.
Carly Conner, Malcom's sister, spends her free time as a censorship activist, and is the head mistress of an all girls' school.
Colin Bard used his scholarship to obtain a degree in the History of Anthropology. He's written three books concerning human nature, and currently lives in France with his equally brilliant (and equally hoity, truth be told) wife Fiona and their two sons. He is fluent in ten languages, including Latin, and he plans to "revolutionize the way people think about other people."
Malcom Conner finally got laid.
Dennis Clarke is in prison, held for charges of robbery, possession of a firearm, and rape. He will be let out the day after his thirtieth birthday.
Gordon Trout works as a police officer.
Harry Potter, Dudley's cousin, married a childhood friend, and resides happily with his magical children. He sees Dudley only on holidays.
Sarah Cleelvans got released from jail at age twenty-six and now lives in Surrey with her mother and son Jonathan. Sarah is trying to get a job as a clerk in a grocery store, but she still struggles with her habits. She isn't sure who Jonathan's father is. She will see Dudley again, many times, but he will not see her—she always makes sure she's hidden whenever she spots him in London.