A New Beginning.
Rating: K+ I think, slight bad language by Dudley.
Disclaimer: I have no rights to these characters, they being the sole property of JK Rowling and am making no money from said story.
I have always thought that a lot is left out of the books about Dudley. What did he see when the dementors attacked him? Why did he put that cup of tea out for Harry? Did he try to change himself because of it?
A New Beginning
Dudley was squeezed between his parents on the sofa staring at the old man who had come to see his cousin; the glass that he had conjured for him was hitting him on the forehead.
The strange creature that he had called to see Harry had just vanished with a loud crack, and the crazy old man was shouting at his parents about how much they had abused Harry and Dudley. It made him think about that night a year ago, when that Dementoid thing attacked him and he saw all the rotten things he had done to Harry, bullying him and making his life a misery. He had been a terrible cousin; they could have been friends with each other. He saw that he could become a clone of his father, an overweight bigot. He wanted to say something to Harry but the old wizard was taking him outside to take him to those red headed friends of his.
His parents were making a lot of fuss about rude people of the wrong sort and how ignorant that sort of people were. They shouldn't be allowed out in decent company. It was wrong, couldn't they see the wrong they had done to both the boys in their care. He was a fat, underachieving bully and Harry had been abused for years, by them, and he was ashamed to admit it, by him...
He made an exit and said he was going to bed, his mum looked at him. "Is my Diddykins alright, that weirdo didn't do anything to you did he? Vernon, maybe we should take him to the hospital, get him checked out?"
"What admit that some weirdo came into our house and might have done something to our son, they'd have us committed to a hospital for psych evaluation and put Dudley into care! No, Petunia, I'm sure that weirdo didn't do anything to him. He was too busy accusing us of abusing him; as if we'd abuse our wonderful son!"
Dudley went up the stairs to his room and lay on the bed, thinking to himself. He was going to change. He could make something of himself. He was not going to be a bully anymore.
That term at Smeltings, he spent more time in the gym, not just training with the boxing, but to lose some weight. He worked hard to try and do well in his classes, it was not easy, he was not the cleverest person in the world, but he was definitely not an idiot.
The teachers were impressed with his new attitude to school work, his new improved stance against bullying. The amount of bullying in the school had gone down, but that was mainly because the main culprit had stopped bullying.
His parents were so pleased that the teachers were finally 'realising the potential of their wonderful boy.' They just didn't realise that the change was all his own work. He was working hard at his schoolwork, probably for the first time in his life. They just couldn't see that their treatment of him had held him back. He had thought he was so perfect, his parents special boy. He really didn't know that much about his cousin, just that he was a wizard. He refused to call him a freak anymore. The trouble was that he had no way of finding out anything out about the world Harry lived in. There was nothing on the internet about that school of his, Hogwarts, he wasn't even sure if he had the name right. The only time his parents talked about the school, they called it 'that freaky place,' or something equally insulting. The last time that he had heard the school's name had been years ago when Harry read the letter and that giant bloke had given him a pigs tail.
He had no way to contact Harry, he couldn't write to him, because wizards used owls for post and he didn't know or where to find an owl anyway. Even if he did find an owl, what address would he put on it, how would he pay for it anyway, he was under the impression that wizards had their own currency. He had no way of finding anything out about Harry anyway. The lies his parents had told over the years had the neighbours thinking that he was an incurable criminal going to St Brutus' School for Criminally Incurable Boys or some such rubbish. His parents really were idiots. All he really knew was that his mum hated him for some reason, to do with her sister; he tried, but could not remember if he had ever heard his Aunts name. His mum just referred to her as her freak sister and his Uncle as that awful man.
He could have been friends with Harry all that time. It would almost have been like having a brother. In a way it made him envious of his friends who had brothers... Saying that, he wasn't really sure he had any real friends, they stayed in his good books because they were afraid he would beat them up if he didn't.
He woke sweating in the middle of the night, with one of the infrequent nightmares, he had about that night that Harry saved his life, but there was another detail in his mind. There had been somebody else with them as Harry helped him home. Someone he knew, who was it? It had to be someone local, he knew this person. Someone he could speak to about Harry, find out what had happened to bring him to their doorstep all those years ago.
He lay awake in bed for the rest of the night trying to remember more details from his nightmare, who was that person who came back with Harry and him? It must be someone that knew the truth about Harry. They had told him not to put his wand away. They had seen Harry and him home. They had cussed about someone who was meant to be watching Harry. They had said that someone should contact somebody called Dumbdore or something, who was it? Then some smelly old tramp type had arrived with a clap of thunder and they had started hitting him with an umbrella, who was it? The tramp had disappeared with a bang again and Harry had supported him back into the house. Mum and Dad had taken him to hospital. Who was it? There had to be some way to remember who it was.
Eventually he got up and went downstairs to do himself some breakfast, still trying to remember who had been with them that night. His Mum was in the lounge, cleaning the carpet where that thing had been screaming on the floor. 'Creature' was that what Harry called it before it disappeared with a bang. That wasn't important though, he needed to figure out that link to Harry. "I'm going out Mum," he called as he walked out the door.
He walked round the estate racking his brains trying to figure out who had been with them that night. As he was nearing home again he saw something out of the corner of his eye. There was a cat sitting in front of the neighbour's car. A cat! Why did that mean something? Why was there a cat under their car, they didn't have a cat? The cat seemed to be watching him. What was it with that cat?
As he reached the door and was getting his keys from his pocket, he saw the cat get up and stretch and start to go somewhere else. Then it struck him, 'Mrs. Figg,' was that who had been there that night? Mad old Mrs. Figg with all her cats, she had looked after Harry when he was smaller and Mum and Dad had taken him out for some treat or another. No, he must have it wrong, Harry had hated Mrs. Figg's, and he remembered him moaning at some point about the smell and all the cats. It couldn't be her...
As Dudley sat eating a healthy sandwich for his lunch, he thought about the connection he had made earlier, was it really that odd old lady? His mother was trying to persuade him to let her cook him something proper for his lunch, a growing boy like him needed proper food, not the rabbit food that had been imposed earlier in his education by the school nurse. With a look of partial contempt towards his Mum he put his plate in the dishwasher and went outside again to work through his dilemma.
He had been walking round the estate before lunch, but decided now he needed to up his ante and put a bit of proper exercise under his belt for today, so to speak. He had been jogging for maybe ten, fifteen minutes when he noticed a familiar figure walking down the road, some distance in front. It was Mrs. Figg; she had obviously been to the local store and was going home to feed her cats. Dudley picked up his speed and tried to get near enough to speak to her. He called her name, and she must have heard him as she quickened her pace into her front door, which was quickly shut behind her. Locking him outside.
Damn! Was she that afraid of him? He didn't think that he had ever beaten her up, but was sure he had probably called a few bad names in the past. He really had been a prat. He sat outside on her wall for a few minutes trying to think about how to proceed from here. He really wasn't sure if it had been her that night. He didn't want to talk about Harry's world if it hadn't been her. He could remember when Harry had made a cake hover and fall on Mrs. Mason's head before his second year. He had got a talking letter about under age magic in front of a 'Muggle?' Whatever that was?
He decided to knock and ask, being as vague as he could, but still showing that he knew what he was talking about. "Mrs. Figg, I really would like to talk to you about my cousin Harry and the night you helped him get me home last year!"
He heard Mrs. Figg, speaking through an open window, "Go away, I don't know what you're talking about!"
Something in the tone of her voice gave her away; he knew she wasn't being truthful about this! It had been her...
"It was the night I was attacked by that dementoid thing. You told Harry not to put his wand away and were swearing about somebody who should have been guarding Harry. Then you attacked some smelly wizard who appeared at our house and he vanished again. Please could you help me understand all this?"
"Go away, or I'll call the police."
This was not going to be easy, she was obviously still afraid of him; he had to admit it was his own fault. He hadn't been the nicest of boys of the area and she just didn't trust him. What was he to do? Obviously his running to catch her up had been taken as a threat, he was going to make a change to his approach to this.
Two days later, he was back at Smeltings with no further progress made; he had not seen Mrs. Figg doing her shopping or any sign of her cats. He was sure no that it had been her that night. She could be the only person that could help him understand all about Harry and his world. He had no way to talk to her now until Easter, when the school next broke up. That was far too long, what was he to do?
That weekend he had it! He would write to her and apologise for scaring her the other day and tell her as much as he could remember about that night, asking for more information about Harry.
Dear Mrs. Figg,
I am writing to apologise for the other day when I ran after you, calling at you to attract your attention, I realise this may have been taken as hostile. I did not want to alarm you, but ask for your help.
That night last year when Harry saved me from that dementoid thing, you accompanied us home and were talking to Harry as if you knew what had happened. You told Harry not to put his wand away, then at our house you battered some smelly wizard who appeared in the garden and told him to speak to someone, Dumbdore was it? You mentioned you were something that like a squid although I know that can't be right.
Please could you help me understand what was and is going on? I want to know why Harry needed guarding? What happened so that he was left with our family? Mum won't talk about any of it. Whenever she mentions her sister, my aunt, she calls her a freak. I don't even know what her name was.
Please could you write and give me some answers?
The letter had taken most of the weekend to write and he didn't post it until late on the Sunday night. He thought it might get to her by the Tuesday and hopefully he would get a reply by the end of the week.
Two weeks passed, and still no reply. He was seriously wondering whether to write another letter or wait until term was over and try and speak to her again.
At the end of the second week, he had decided that he write another letter the following weekend, again asking for help. On that Wednesday he got a reply.
Sorry this letter has taken so long. I have been trying to decide what information to give you, there is obviously a lot you want to know and I really am not the best person to tell you, being a 'Squib,' not squid, a squib is a child born to magic parents who have no magic at all. You are a 'muggle,' this being what wizards call the general population who have no magic. Some information I have had to get from 'Dumbledore' who is the current headmaster of Hogwarts, the real school your cousin attends. Details in this letter will be skimpy; I will give you more during the holidays if you want it.
Around the time your cousin and you were born and earlier there was a period that is known as the Wizarding War. There was an evil wizard called Voldemort, who was trying very hard to take over the magical world. A prophecy was made that Harry, yes your cousin, was going to be the wizard to finally defeat him. He decided the best way to do this was to kill Harry before he could learn any magic and before he was a threat.
With the help of one of your parents supposed friends, Peter Pettigrew, he found out where your Aunt 'Lily' and Uncle 'James' lived and went there to kill Harry. He broke into the house, murdered your Uncle and went to find Harry. Your aunt tried to protect Harry and gave her life to try and save him. This special sacrifice was what made being with your parents the best protection Harry could have. It made Harry safe as long as he was with members of his family. Your mother and you were the only living blood relatives that Harry had. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry that protection acted like a shield and reflected the spell back at Voldemort and he died.
However, this was not the end of him, using very dark magic, Voldemort had split his soul into several pieces to try and become immortal. One piece was dead and that left many other pieces still around.
Around the time your cousin first went to Hogwarts, one of these pieces of Voldemort's soul had possessed a wizard called 'Quirrell.' This was professor Quirrell at your cousin's school. He was trying to get a magical artefact that would give Voldemort a proper body of his own again and allow him to continue his battle to take over the world again. He was defeated by an eleven year old wizard, called you guessed it Harry Potter. It was the bond of love that your aunt had protected Harry with that defeated Voldemort again.
In Harry's second year a secret chamber in the school was opened by a student who was being given instructions via an enchanted book. This chamber hid a magical creature called a basilisk, rather like a venomous snake that can also kill just by being looked at. Once again Harry was the hero; he killed the basilisk and destroyed the book that was at the root of the problem with one of the snakes fangs. Basilisk Venom is very very toxic and there is only one known cure, and that is extremely rare.
In Harry's third year his godfather who had wrongfully been imprisoned for the betrayal of your aunt and uncle and the murder of the real betrayer, Peter Pettigrew, Pettigrew was a special type of wizard who could change into an animal, and he was a rat. Sirius Black escaped from wizard prison determined to kill Pettigrew, the crime for which he was imprisoned. Everybody believed that he was on Voldemort's side and trying to kill Harry. In the end Harry proved to Dumbledore that Sirius was innocent, and helped him to get away. Unfortunately Pettigrew also escaped, so Sirius was still wanted by the authorities who still thought him an escaped killer.
In Harry's fourth year there was an international competition between three European schools of Magic, Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons. According to the rules this only open to wizards over 17, but an agent of Voldemort in the school, magically disguised as a teacher entered Harry's name into the competition. You should be very proud of Harry, with a little prompting from his teachers he got to the final challenge in second place. He and the other Hogwarts student, Cedric Diggory, reached the cup and were magically transported to a graveyard where Cedric was killed and a complex spell was performed by Pettigrew who had rejoined his old masters side and Voldemort was back. Voldemort tried to kill Harry, but he managed to get to the cup and return to the school warning everybody that Voldemort was back. Of course, no-one believed or wanted to believe him, with the exception of Dumbledore and a couple of Harry's friends.
During that summer is of course when you and Harry were attacked by the Dementors. There had been wizards set by Dumbledore to guard Harry at all times in case Voldemort tried to kill him. The wizard guarding him that day was Mundungus Fletcher, a petty criminal, who had skived off to make a dodgy business deal. In case you don't remember Harry had to go before the wizards' court on trumped up charges because he had used magic in your prescience to get rid of the dementor. Again, you should be proud of Harry, this spell called a Patronus, which he mastered at thirteen, isn't usually taught until you are sixteen. I myself testified on your cousins behalf at this court case and he was eventually let off.
During all this period the wizard paper was trying to make Harry out as a publicity seeking liar and Dumbledore out as incompetent and senile. There was a new teacher, teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts, this year. A ministry crony whose real purpose was to get Dumbledore fired and make sure the students didn't learn any defensive magic as they wrongly thought that Dumbledore would stage a revolution against the wizard government.
Some of the students in Harry's year decided they needed a better teacher in this subject and asked, you'll never guess, Harry. In the course of his years at school he had learnt a lot of strong defensive magic. Reluctantly he agreed. Harry was a very good teacher and managed to teach his fellow students some very good defensive spells. During this year Voldemort was trying to get a copy of the original prophecy that had said Harry was the only wizard who could kill him. He had only got part of it from his spy when he had tried to kill Harry as a baby. Copies of prophesies are kept in a special vault at the ministry and can only be retrieved by the person about whom they are made. He tricked Harry into believing that Sirius was at the ministry and being tortured to make him get the prophecy. Harry being the boy he is decided to 'rescue' Sirius from the ministry by himself. Some of his fellow students that he had been teaching decided to go with him. Whilst trying to find out if Sirius was really at the ministry, Harry and his friends were caught by Professor Umbridge, the useless defence teacher and ministry agent that had been foisted on the school. They managed to convince her they were trying to tell Dumbledore that 'his secret weapon' was ready. There was no weapon. The led Umbridge into the forest where she was captured by some centaurs and Harry and his friends went to the ministry to rescue Sirius. Of course what they found was a trap. Seeing the prophecy about himself and Voldemort, Harry removed it and immediately lots of Voldemort's followers appeared. During the fight that followed the copy of the prophecy was destroyed before Voldemort could hear it. Voldemort came to the ministry to fight Harry and to retrieve the prophecy and in the process was seen by the Minister for Magic and a lot of other Ministry employees. Finally Harry was seen to have been telling the truth.
I know this is missing a lot of detail, but it is all true. If you want to know more, I will tell you when you come home at the end of term. Please write and let me know.
I await your reply,
This was a lot to take in, his scrawny cousin was a lot more than he appeared, he was grateful that Harry was not allowed to do magic outside school. Just thinking of all the things that he had heard that magic could do was frightening. Harry could have turned him into a toad, or blown him up like he did Aunt Marge at the start of his third year. Thankfully, she had forgotten that, probably more magic. Who had done that? There was still a lot he didn't know, but now he knew a lot more than he had. He was determined that he was going to make up for what he had done to Harry. Harry had risked prison to save his life? If it had been him in that position when those dementor things attacked he wouldn't have done what Harry did.
The letter told him a lot more than he knew, but he still wanted to know more. Harry's parents had been murdered? His Mum and Dad had always told him and Harry that they had died in a car crash. Hang on though; hadn't Mom shouted something about them being blown up, on the night of Harry's eleventh birthday, when that giant bloke gave him the pigs' tail? How could Harry do magic that was not taught until he was older? He had no idea his cousin was so clever at school, that he had time to do extra work; he could barely keep up with the set work. It meant that he would have to write back to Mrs. Figg and see her over the holidays. It was something he needed. He wanted to understand everything.
It was odd talking to Mrs. Figg. He had learned quite a bit about his cousin. Harry's world was complicated, him being a hero of the wizarding world. He couldn't envisage Harry as a hero, but he could see that he had been through a lot. He didn't need to be bullied at home, he needed his family to support him, be there for him. However, his father wouldn't understand that, Dudley could see that. Vernon Dursley was a bigot, anything different was wrong. He would rant and rave at the television whenever anything went against his worldview, which was anything from bad weather to homosexuals, soap opera plots to magic. If Dudley wanted to reconcile with Harry he was going to have to do it behind his father's back. He didn't want to lose his family, and that meant Harry too.
He learnt from Mrs. Figg why Harry was placed with his family all those years ago, the magical bond of protection that kept him safe until he came of age, which would end before his next year at school started. What was going to happen to Harry then? What would happen to Dudley and his parents when this dark wizard came looking for Harry? Would the people in Harry's world just abandon them, because of the way that they had abused Harry? It was frightening to understand that Harry would soon be in danger of dying soon, that he would be as well. Mrs. Figg assured him that plans were being made to make sure the whole family would be safe, although she had no idea what they were. That was a little reassuring, but he wondered if it would be something like witness protection that he had seen on television, where all contact with former friends and family was lost. He didn't want to lose track of his cousin, when he was just coming to understand and care about him.
Dudley stood outside Harry's bedroom door wanting to go in and say he was sorry for how he had behaved all those years, but couldn't think how to begin the conversation. He had done this several times since Harry had come back from Hogwarts, but he lacked the courage. He could hear sounds coming through the door, several large heavy something's, books maybe, were being removed from Harry's school trunk and thrown on the floor or the bed. He heard movement downstairs again and Dad pausing at the bottom of the stairs.
"Boy, come down here now, I want a word."
Dudley moved quickly into his own room and pushed the door to. He had a vague idea what his Dad was going to say. He had been on the warpath for two days now. It was all a plot on Harry's part to get their house; they weren't going to move, blah, blah, blah. What did Harry need with their house anyway? He had inherited one from Sirius, his godfather, according to Dumbledore when he visited last summer. When Vernon Dursley go an idea in his head there was no changing his mind. He would not believe Harry didn't want their house if he had signed letter from God pointing the fact out. In his opinion Harry was a no good freak. Dudley had come to accept that they would be moving away from Little Whinging when Harry's magical protection ended. He understood that they were going to be living in the magical community. He quite looked forward to it. It would be a fascination to see another world that ran parallel to his own. His Dad would be an absolute nightmare. Nothing would be right with their protection, or the fact that they needed it in the first place.
Harry was coming back upstairs again and Dudley watched him through the crack in the door. These order people were coming in the morning. He was running out of time to speak to Harry, he was afraid that his offer of friendship would be rejected and he couldn't blame Harry if it was. He had to make his feelings known soon.
With a jolt, Dudley woke up on the bed; it was five in the morning according to his clock. He only had a couple of hours to speak to Harry before he and his parents were taken into protective custody by these order people. Listening at Harry's door he could hear snoring, Harry must've finished his packing or just dropped off like he had last night. He went to the bathroom, changed into the outfit his mother had decided he should wear today and went to get himself some breakfast. He decided to make a cup of tea for Harry, that could be a good ice breaker to get this conversation going.
He left the cup outside Harry's door, leaving his own ajar, so he could speak to Harry when he found it. About half an hour later, Harry came out with his finger wrapped in tissue, stepped in the cup and looked at it in disgust. "Some joke of Dudley's, he murmured under his breath."
Damn, that hadn't gone to plan!
As his father drove away from the house, Dudley thought to his himself that maybe he had said just the right thing to Harry. He had made a start, hopefully there could be more to come...
Please Review. First attempt at fanfic. May try later with sequel if liked, but at the rate I work could be a while.