"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Dudley was quite nervous. There had to be something wrong with this, he was sure of it.
"It can't be worse than Quidditch, right? I mean, bludgers are flying at us and everything. Come on!" Harry pushed the abandoned shopping trolley they had found towards the top of Craven Hill Road. "What's the worst that can happen?"
Dudley thought about it. The hill was quite long and so far, the summer was boring. He had two more days before he would be going to summer camp. He and Harry spent most of the time outside; his mother kept trying to give him sweets and would make Harry do rubbish chores if either boy was inside too much.
Though there were still things to do inside; his birthday had just passed. He had been pleasantly surprised upon waking up; Fawkes had been snoozing next to him, with a wrapped parcel on the bed with an envelope in Al's neat handwriting. As any self-respecting twelve year old would do, Dudley had ripped both the card and gift open, revealing two kits to make a pendulum clock and a camera out of cardboard and paper. The card had been full of birthday wishes.
Of course, he had written back thanking Al… and asking when his birthday was. Dudley supposed he could have asked Harry, but he knew that would've led to awkward questions. Even with the different toys and games he had gotten, though, Dudley was spending more time outside this summer. He wasn't hanging with his old friends, who all had to do summer courses due to how abysmal they had performed in the school year.
Instead, Dudley was hanging with Harry, who seemed to be a bit of a daredevil… which led to the current situation.
"Come on!" Harry hopped in and, sighing, Dudley ran, pushing the cart, and, with no small amount of Harry's help, hopped in as it began moving quickly.
It was as if they were riding a very bumpy roller coaster with absolutely no safety gear. Every small bump on the pavement was felt as the trolley's loose wheels hit it. Harry whooped loudly, the wind whipping back his hair. Dudley couldn't help but laugh until the trolley hit a particularly huge hole in the pavement.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" both cousins shouted in unison as the trolley tipped over, hurling them into the air. Gravity took over, pulling them both down. Dudley's fall was mostly cushioned by Harry, though he did scrape his left elbow. Harry's fall was cushioned by grass, though his clothes earned quite the stain. Harry's glasses' fall, on the other hand, were not cushioned by grass, but by mud… which made no sense. Why would only a tiny spot the size of their hand be…
Dudley realized that it was not mud when he saw a dog and said dog's owners frowning at the two of them as they stood up.
"Boys will be boys," said the woman from Number Eight, Privet Drive with a slightly amused look
"Oh gross!" groaned Harry in realization as Dudley roared with laughter. There was no other way. Looking disgusted, Harry grabbed the tiniest, cleanest edge of the frame. The two cousins returned home, though Dudley had to be sure to instruct Harry when they were near curbs. His cousin's eyesight really was horrible.
Once they were insides, Harry rushed as quickly as possible to the bathroom to scrub his glasses clean. While he did that and went to his room to change his stained clothes, Dudley cleaned his elbow and put a bandage on it but before he could go to his room, the phone rang.
"Hello?" he said, picking up the phone.
"Dudley?" asked a voice.
"Yeah. Who's this?" asked Dudley curiously, leaning against the wall and messing with the phone cord.
"It's Jake," said his best friend. "I thought of some interesting stuff for what we've been working on."
Dudley grinned, "Awesome."
Within a few minutes, he was laying on the floor, a notepad and pen in his hand as he discussed ideas with his friend. His mother just sighed and shook her head every time she stepped over him and when his father came home from work, Dudley hung up since it was time for supper.
His father glowered at Harry during the entire meal, though Dudley supposed that was because of the fact that Hedwig could fly around now. His father had locked Harry's school things in the cupboard and kept Hedwig locked in her cage.
"But what if that man comes back?" Dudley had asked, thinking of Hagrid and not wanting that visit one bit. "What if they get worried when they don't hear from Harry?"
His parents had shared looks and reluctantly let Hedwig fly around. That didn't help much with Harry's school supplies, but Dudley figured Harry would tell his friends and they would help him with any summer assignments.
Finally, Vernon spoke.
"Were you near Craven Hill Road today?" he demanded, looking at them.
"Yeah," said Dudley, thinking quickly.
"Together?" His father looked very disapproving.
Dudley nodded and before his father could tell Harry off, he said, "I figured, you know, if those gits came around, Harry could magic them or something. If they'd scratch the car…"
Vernon didn't look happy, but he didn't shout or anything either. "Just be careful," he said finally.
"We will," promised Dudley. They finished dinner and Dudley had just begun to go up to his room to play with his computer when Harry peered up at up from the bottom of the stairs.
"Hey, I was wondering if you could help me practice a bit? Figured we could go to the park, you could toss a few of those hi-bounce balls around and I'll try to grab them."
"Sure," said Dudley, leaving the house with his cousin. Harry was very good, even if Dudley was throwing them in different ways and different directions. He began to mix up things by bouncing the balls and using more than one at a time, leading to a panting Harry and to Dudley's arms being a bit sore.
He supposed that it was helping him as well as Harry, to keep his arms moving! The two returned home, Harry telling Dudley more about Quidditch and his role as the Seeker.
As Dudley entered his room, he smiled as he lay on his bed, looking towards the ceiling. With a friend from school that'd be at camp and to talk to over the phone and his cousin now a friend, he knew the rest of his summer was going to be great.