Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter series. Like everyone else, I wish I did. But at least we get to borrow the characters for a little while!
This is just a short oneshot that came to me the other day. Just a scenario that popped into my head. I might continue it at some point if people really like it, but I'm focusing on "Reflections", which should have Chapter 4 up soon.
"Hello…hello?" Harry was about to hang up the phone when a soft voice spoke.
"Yes… Who am I speaking to?" Hermione walked into the room carrying their two-year-old daughter, Samantha Lily, and raised a brow in question. Sam was less subtle.
"Who's on the phone, Daddy? Is it Grandma? Can I talk?" She struggled to escape her mother's arms. Harry smiled at her and shook his head, putting a finger to his lips.
"Harry, it's Dudley. Please don't hang up." He sounded nervous.
"Dudley? Dursley?" He glanced up at his wife in surprise. "I'm not going to hang up. I am curious, though, as to how you got this number." Harry sank into couch, and Hermione took Sam into the kitchen to distract her with a snack. Their home was a mix of muggle and magical, but the little girl hadn't seen the phone used to speak with anyone but her grandparents.
"I asked Mrs. Figg, you remember her, the cat lady? I asked her if she knew how to reach you. Listen, I know you probably hate me, and my family… our family… for how we treated you, and you have every right to. But… I need your help." Dudley finished in a whisper.
"What happened?" Harry knew that the only reason Dudley would contact him was if he had a brush with the magical world, and something was wrong.
"Nothing! Well, nothing bad. My wife, Penny, and I have a son, Jake. He's three now, and he's been acting strangely…" Harry knew where this was going.
"You think he's a wizard. And you want me to take him."
"NO! He's my son, and nobody is going to take him from me while I'm still alive. I wanted to ask you to come and check him, to see if he's a, a wizard. I want him to have support no matter what. I… I don't want him to have the childhood you had. I…For the record, I'm sorry about the way we treated you. It's been a constant source of regret for me, and I refuse to let any child of mine be raised in that sort of environment."
"Ok." Harry could hear the sincerity in his cousin's voice, and truth be told, he had forgiven Dudley long ago. He was a product of his upbringing, and it appeared as though he had changed a lot since Harry left the Dursleys so long ago. And now there was a little boy who, if Dudley was right, was going to need his help adjusting to an entirely different world. Dudley and his wife would as well.
Harry knocked on the door at 5:00. Even though Hermione and Samantha had been invited, they had decided it would be better if he went alone, and the girls had gone to Hermione's parents' house for dinner. The door was opened by a pretty, rather plump young woman with dark hair and merry blue eyes.
"Oh, you must be Harry! Thank you so much for coming. Come in, come in." She ushered him inside and into a tastefully decorated living room, and reminded him a bit of Mrs. Weasley when she began immediately to ask if she couldn't get him something to eat before dinner. After being assured several times that he was fine waiting, she left to get her husband. Harry looked around at photographs of Penny and Dudley, and of their little boy. He was seized by a sudden urge to check the cupboard under the stairs for another child that didn't appear in the pictures, and quickly slapped himself mentally for such an uncharitable thought.
"Hello." Dudley stood in the doorway, looking uncertain. He was tall and broad-shouldered, but no longer was Dudley Dursley disgustingly fat. In fact, Harry barely recognized him.
"Hey Dudley. How are you?"
"I'm good, you?"
"Fine." The awkward silence continued as Dudley sat facing Harry, and Harry felt like he had to say something to break it, but everything sounded either lame or rude in his head. Just then, Penny came to their rescue, followed closely by the reason for Harry's visit. She sat on the couch next to her husband, and Jake clambered up to sit between them, looking curiously at Harry.
"So, Harry, Dudley tells me you're a, well, that you can do magic. I'll admit I didn't believe him until I saw Jake's teddy bear sail towards him from across the room last week. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it." She smiled at him and turned to her son. "Jake, this is Uncle Harry. Why don't you go say hi?"
"Hi," Jake greeted shyly, hopping off the couch to draw closer.
"Hey Jake! I heard you've got some special talents. I do too, actually. Do you mind if I do a quick test to see what you can do?" When Jake hesitantly gave his consent, Harry cast a wordless spell that made the young boy glow a bright white-gold. Penny gasped, and Dudley leaned forward to get a better look. Jake studied his glowing hands in awe. Harry smiled at them before letting the spell fade. "It seems, Jake, that you're a wizard."
"So I can do stuff, like, like what you just did? I can make people light up? Can I fly?" He lost all shyness and seemed ready to burst with excitement. Over dinner, Harry explained the basics of the wizarding school system, culture, and government. He told Jake about Hogwarts and Quidditch and answered an endless stream of questions.
"I can help you get into Diagon Alley and get some books for you both and maybe some wizarding toys and children's books for Jake. You should probably create an account at Gringotts as well." Harry hesitated for a moment. "If you'll let me, I'd like to pay for Jake's Hogwarts tuition. I have more money than I know what to do with." Penny burst into tears and hugged him, and Dudley thanked him profusely. Jake wanted to know how soon he could go to the "Magic School Castle". As Harry left late that night, after Jake had long been in bed, Dudley pulled him aside.
"Harry, I don't know how to thank you enough. I really hope you'll become a part of Jake's life, because I know it won't be easy for him when he joins your world. It won't be easy for us either, but I'll feel better if I know someone's looking out for him. And I'd really like for us to try to become friends. Since Mom died, you're the only family I've got."
"What happened to Marge?"
"One of her dogs turned on her." Dudley and Harry both winced.
"Of course I'll be a part of Jake's life. He's a great kid. And Dudley, we're family, and despite what has happened in the past, that's important. Friends?" He held out his hand, and Dudley took it, grinning.
"Friends." Harry hugged Penny goodbye, and walked down the steps to a black motorcycle parked in their driveway. They watched him drive off and Dudley whispered to his wife, "Is it just me, or did that motorcycle just start flying?"
"Of course it was flying, silly man. We have a magical family." They turned and walked inside, and Dudley stopped to look at a picture of himself, his beautiful wife, and his son, who was going to be the best wizard who ever lived.
"Yes we do, Penny. We certainly do."