Sorry about that! I had to get out of my house for the cleaning lady and...blahblahblah excuses. I still can't believe how well this story has done. And I'm really surprised that not one, but two people answered that they would want to see the founding fathers (for America) in enchanted portraits...which is a brilliant idea. I do have a new poll up, which you guys can check out after you read this! Enjoy chapter 13 of New Leaf to Turn!
"You look so good Will!" Diane cooed when she returned home from work.
Will had been standing on the living room coffee table, showing off his wizarding robes to Mari, Petunia and Dudley when he spotted his mother, "Hey Mum! Look it!" The blonde wizard spun around on the Dursleys oak table, his robes spinning around him like a skirt.
For once, Diane ignored the fact her son was standing on the furniture as she set her purse on the floor, "You look stunning Will." She chuckled, tugging on the hem of Will's black cloak, "But do wizards really wear the pointed hats?"
Will pouted when his mother pointed out the pointed at on his head, not appreciating the humor as much as the rest of his family, "Yes, we do. It even says in my letter 'One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear'."
At this, Dudley laughed, "He's right Diane." As proof, the older blonde held up Will's list of requirements for Diane to read.
The tired brunette sat next to her husband, taking the letter from Dudley, "…Where on earth did you get this stuff again?"
Dian rolled her eyes at Dudley, "That helps a lot. Where was this place anyways?"
Apparently, this was enough to send Will into an overly detailed account of Harry's arrival with Al and how Al had lost his eyebrow, and how Harry had taken them to an alley in London and how Will could see the Leaky Cauldron when Dudley and Petunia couldn't, and how Harry had attracted everyone's attention in the Leaky Cauldron, and how they had met Teddy again, and how Harry had made a brick wall turn into the archway to Diagon Alley…
Will was still rambling when Diane gave a tired look to Dudley, "Next time, you go work a full shift and I'll go have the magical shopping spree."
Mari giggled, tugging on Dudley's trousers, "Me too! I want to shop and get a wand too!"
Dudley and Diane shared a look, not wanting to tell their daughter that Mari wouldn't be getting a wand. Luckily for them, Will provided enough distraction to Mari that she promptly forgot what she said.
"Well at least now we can relax until he goes to school." Diane gave a tired chuckle, leaning against Dudley.
Out of habit, Dudley began to play with Diane's hair, "Until we take him to the train."
"Hmmm, at King's Cross?"
Dudley nodded, "Yes…but at Platform 9 ¾."
"…Of course it would be something outrageous." Diane rolled her eyes, "This time I will figure out where it is, it can't be too hard, right?"
"Are we there yet?"
"No Will, not yet."
"…Now are we there?"
Diane groaned, "I expected this from Mari, not you Will."
Dudley chuckled, "Just be glad Mum took Mari to school instead of her riding with us."
"I don't even want to think about this car ride with both of them whining."
"Mum!" Will pouted, "I am not whining."
"And what do you call that? That's whining!"
"I'm just eager!"
It was at this time that Dudley rolled his eyes. Will may have looked like Dudley, but the boy had received his mother's determination and stubbornness.
Apparently, neither Will nor Diane heard Dudley as they continued to bicker. The blonde man sighed before getting out to unload Will's trunk from the car, taking special car to avoid moving Will's owl too much. For some reason, the bird still gave Dudley the chills, especially after he has supposedly insulted her on the day Will had named her.
"I've decided what to name her!" Dudley could remember the day that Will had announced to the family that his owl finally had a name besides 'owl'.
Diane was oddly alright with the owl, once she learned that the owl was smart enough not to bring dead things into the house. "Oh? What did you think of?" She had asked.
Will had grinned, proudly declaring, "Nike!"
Dudley, who had been half asleep at the time, mumbled stupidly, "Like the trainers?"
It had been at this point that Nike began to screech at Dudley, flapping her wings violently against her cage. It had been the first outburst the bird had had and it nearly scared the entire family, including Petunia, who's curlers almost fell out of her hair. The bird had only calmed down when Will had rushed to her cage and talked her out of her temper tantrum.
"Dad, Nike is a Greek deity! She's the Grecian goddess of victory."
Needless to say, Dudley had been embarrassed that his 11 year old son had known that and he hadn't.
But now Dudley could see that Will and Diane had stopped bickering and had finally gotten out of the car. Thankfully, Will was holding Nike.
"Is this everything?" Diane asked Will, double checking that there were no more bags in the car.
Will nodded, "Yes mum."
"That's good. Do you have your wa-" Diane started to ask her son, but Dudley quickly quieted her, casting a wary eye on the people around him.
Diane bit her lip sheepishly, casting a knowing look to Will, who nodded, patting his coat pocket to show that he did in fact have his wand on him.
Dudley nodded back to Will, "Right, shall we get going then? Will, what time does your ticket say you need to leave?"
The smaller blonde quickly retrieved his ticket from his pocket, "It says 11 o'clock sharp on Platform 9 ¾."
"9 ¾…" Diane shook her head, "I'm still trying to imagine how one would-"
"Good morning Dursley family."
The three Dursleys turned to face Harry, who was helping Albus and James with their own trunks.
"Al!" Will's grin got bigger than Dudley had ever imagined it could.
The smaller Potter boy smiled back at Will, "Hey Will! You ready for the train ride?"
Dudley could have sworn he heard Diane mutter beside him, "So they are going on trains?"
Ginny, who was holding Lily's hand, looked out to the road, "We're just waiting for my idiot brother and his family before we head onto the platform…"
The red haired woman trailed off, and Dudley could see why. A small red car sped into a parking spot in front of the station. Stepping out of the car was a tall and lanky red haired man.
"I told you we wouldn't be late Hermione!" He laughed, puffing out his chest in pride.
Hermione, a bushy haired brunette, was not amused, "You almost got us killed Ronald!"
"But I didn't" Ronald grinned stupidly, "Now come on, Harry and Gin are waiting for us."
After some bustling with a trunk and their two children, Ron and Hermione made their way to the group waiting for them.
Ron grinned as he clapped Harry on the shoulder, "Another year, another kid, right Harry?"
Harry laughed, "How would you know Ron, Rosie's your first one off to Hogwarts."
The red head rolled his eyes, "You forget I was the youngest of 6 boys, luckily I was able to be born before Ginny…"
"I heard that Ron!"
Ron winced at his sisters reprimand, then noticed the Dursley clan who had been watching the entire exchange quietly, "I didn't know you brought friends Harry."
Harry smiled, "They're family Ron."
There was something about the fact that Harry had so easily called him and Diane and Will family that made Dudley smile. It may have been silly, but they were after all…family.
The red head, on the other hand, quirked an eyebrow, "Wait…this isn't-"
"It is Ron."
"Get over it, everyone else has." Harry chuckled as he helped James, Al and Will move their trunks, Diane and Dudley close behind them.
Diane was finally sick of being ignored, "Harry, I know this is probably going to sound foolish to…someone like you, but how are we getting to…"
"Platform 9 ¾?" Ron supplied.
Diane gave an even glare at Ron. "Yes…"
Harry smiled as they approached platforms 9 and 10, "Don't worry, it's easy once you do it once." The dark haired wizard pointed at the barrier, "All you have to do is run right into the center of the divider between platforms 9 and 10."
There was dead silence as the Dursleys just stared at Harry, not sure if the older wizard had finally lost it.
Al leaned over to Will, "It's really easy, come on." The younger Potter grinned before taking off in a full sprint towards the brick divider. It only took Will a fraction of a second to decide before racing after his friend, ignoring the protests of his mother.
Will opened his eyes, not realizing that he had closed them, and promptly gasped.
They were no longer at King's Cross Station.
Will could see all sorts of witches and wizards on the platform, their cloak's varying in colors and designs. There was no one that looked the same.
Except for some of the students who were already in their robes, but even then, Will could see that there was some color in some of the older students ties, just enough to have the primary colors: red, blue, green and yellow…
"Hey Will, you better get out of the way before Rosie runs you over!" Al laughed, making his way across the platform.
Will had barely moved his trunk before a smaller red haired girl made her way through the barrier, followed by James.
"I can't believe you did that Al, I thought those poor muggles were going to keel over." The new red haired witch was already wearing her robes, making Will wonder if he should have changed his cloths.
James, on the other hand, started laughing, "Oh come on Rosie. I'm surprised that they haven't gotten used to everything yet. I mean, they met Teddy already…"
Rosie rolled her eyes, "You two have lived your entire lives in the magical world; they have not." The fiery haired witch turned to Will, "I'm surprised we haven't gotten to meet yet" She extended her hand, "I'm Rose Weasley."
Will paused for a moment, then took the girl's hand, "Will Dursley." It was definitely strange to shake a girl's hand. Girls were just…girls.
The group waited for the rest of their large party to make their way through the barrier, with Will's parents being the last people through with Harry, who almost had to drag them across.
"I will never get used to magic…" Dudley muttered.
Harry smiled, "You've been doing a pretty good job so far Dudley."
The Dursley man gave Harry a skeptical look, "You just had to drag me through a brick wall."
"Oh both of you shut up." Ginny rolled her eyes at the cousins before going back to watching Lily and Hugo have an animated conversation.
James spotted a group of his friends from the Quidditch team and waved at them eagerly, "I'll see you all at Christmas!" he yelled at his family before trying to take off towards his friends. Unfortunately for him, Ginny managed to get her hand on his collar before he got too far.
"Not so fast young man," Ginny said, "You have to give Mummy and Daddy a goodbye kiss."
"MUM! I'm 13, I'm too old for that. And why do I have to say goodbye to Dad? I'll see him at Hogwarts!" James tried his best to get out of his mother's request, but all who knew Ginny Potter knew that she didn't budge on anything. So reluctantly James gave both Ginny and Harry kisses on their cheeks before running off to get on the train.
The train whistle began to blow, and soon all the parents were saying their last goodbyes to the children as children began to board the train.
Will made his way to the train behind Al, but Dudley laid a hand on his son's shoulder.
The Dursley men looked at each other for a moment before Dudley finally found his voice again, "Will…I just want you to know that I really am proud of you. I may not be able to understand everything as fast as you will, but that doesn't change the fact that you're my son…" Dudley took a deep breath, trying to find the right words, "I knew you were always special, but I guess even I couldn't imagine how special you would be. You've grown so much just within the past few months, I'm almost afraid to see how much you grow at Hogwarts." Here he tried to laugh, but it came out as a halfhearted chuckle, "Will, what I'm trying to say is…I really do love you and I'm going to miss you."
Will looked at his dad for a moment before giving the older man a quick hug around his middle. Dudley eagerly returned the embrace, holding his son as long as he could.
"Dad…I have to go now."
"Right…right…" Reluctantly, Dudley released his hold on Will, who then boarded the train. He hadn't realized that accepting Will as a wizard and letting him go were two different things, and both were just as hard.
"It gets easier." Dudley looked at Harry, who was waving to Al as he boarded the train, "The first year, it's always an unknown, then after that, you know that they're in safe hands and that they're living the life they were born to live."
Even though he was still reluctant to let Will go, Dudley took comfort in the fact that Will wasn't alone. And as the train pulled away from the platform, Dudley knew that Will had plenty of family to watch over him, including the cousin that he should have watched over and cared for.
Yes, Dudley Dursley knew that Will would have the time of his life.
"What a long day." Diane groaned as she threw herself on the large master bed after they got back from the train station.
Dudley nodded, lying next to his wife. To be honest, he was exhausted after the events of the entire summer and he was ready for things to calm down.
"You know," Diane chuckled, rolling over to face Dudley, "If you had told me last year that you had a cousin that was a wizard and that Will was also a wizard and there was not only a wizarding school, but actually an entire magical world that I never knew about…I'd probably tell you to stop drinking."
This made Dudley smile, "And considering the fact I don't drink, I would have just checked myself into the loony bin."
Husband and wife shared a smile as Diane rested her head on Dudley's chest, who in turn wrapped his arms around her.
Diane sighed softly, "I missed this…"
Dudley nodded, giving his wife a peck on the lips. "Me too…" At the small gesture of affection, Diane gave a small giggle, cuddling closer to her husband.
But the tender moment between the two was interrupted by the sound of the phone ringing. Dudley groaned at the obnoxious device before moving to get up, only to be stopped by Diane holding onto the collar of his shirt.
"Let it ring."
A grin tugged across Dudley's lips, glad to ignore the phone and focus on more…important things. After all, the answering machine would get it.
"You've reached the Dursley residence; we can't come to the phone right now, so if you could leave us a message, we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you."
"Ah, Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, this is Alan Witherby from St. Thomas Primary. This is about Marigold, she seems to be causing quite a bit of commotion. It seems that she's turned her teacher's hair blue.
BWAHAHAHA! It's over! I'm so sad, but I'm also happy that I was able to finish this. Let me know if you loved the ending, hated it, or want to hold my cat hostage until I write more. I may not write for a little bit, I'll probably work on my beta-ing (which I did just set up...) or brainstorm new ideas.
And I guess there won't be a next time (for this fic)
ps: If you have a Harry Potter fic that you've been dying to read, but haven't found; feel free to message me. I may just make it my next project (along with Savior's Calling)