A/N: This is a one-shot. I will not be writing any more for this. However, if anyone would like to adopt this to create a longer story, you are welcome to do so as long as you notify me and give me credit for the original idea in your story.
"Up! Get up! Now!" Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.
"Up!" she screeched. Harry heard her walking toward the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the stove.
"Are you up yet?" She demanded, walking back from the kitchen.
"Nearly," said Harry.
"Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday."
"What did you say?" his aunt snapped through the door.
Of course, it's Dudley's birthday. How could he have possible forgotten? He'd meant to get his cousin a gift on the way home from the market, but had forgotten in his hunger. He was too busy contemplating eating a piece of fruit before he got back home.
You see, his aunt and uncle often neglected to feed him when anything "freaky" happened. Harry didn't know why they blamed him when "freaky" things happened. He knew Dudley caused just as many of the "freaky" things to happen as he did. But Dudley never got blamed.
Because he always took the fall, Dudley would sometimes sneak him food after Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were asleep. It was rather nice of his cousin, and Harry did his best to give him a gift every year.
He would pick up any coins he found on the ground whether at school, or outside, or at stores. Once he even found a full £1 note. That has been a major find. He usually accumulated approximately £15 over the course of a year, which was enough to get a small gift. This year, he had £18, and he mourned the lost opportunity to buy something for Dudley.
Maybe he could give him the money itself. It would have to be when his aunt and uncle weren't around, or he'd get accused of stealing, but he'd make it work.
Harry was pulled out of his thoughts as his aunt led Dudley into the kitchen. "Here's the birthday boy!" she shouted.
Harry shot a quick glance over his shoulder. He saw Dudley's greedy look as he took in the gifts. Harry started plating the breakfast as Uncle Vernon came in. He had to work hard to fit the four plates on the overflowing table, but was just barely able to do so. Thankfully, Aunt Petunia had already laid out orange juice for them all and cups of coffee for herself and Uncle Vernon.
Dudley was busy counting presents. "Thirty-six," he said, looking up at his mother and father. "That's two less than last year."
"Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, it's here under this big one from Mummy and Daddy."
"All right, thirty-seven, then," said Dudley, going red in the face. Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley turned the table over.
Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too because she said quickly, "And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that, popkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?"
Dudley thought for a moment. Harry had to work hard not to grin with how hard Dudley managed to make thinking look. Finally, he said slowly, "So I'll have thirty…thirty…"
"Thirty-nine, sweetums," said Aunt Petunia.
"Oh." Dudley had never been very good at maths. "All right then." He sat down heavily and grabbed the nearest parcel.
Uncle Vernon chuckled. Harry had to suppress a sigh. He knew he would never be allowed to get away with that kind of behavior.
"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. 'Atta boy, Dudley!" Uncle Vernon ruffled Dudley's hair. As he started eating, the click of the mail slot and the flop of letters on the doormat could be clearly heard.
"Get the mail, Harry."
Knowing better than to argue, Harry stood and made his way to the entrance hall. Several cards of various shapes, sizes and colors were obviously birthday cards for Dudley. There was a brown envelope that was most likely a bill, and an odd looking envelop that was thick and heavy, made of a yellowish parchment. The address was written in emerald green ink.
Mr. D. Dursley
The Second Bedroom
4 Privet Drive
There was no stamp on it. Turning the envelope over, he saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H.
"Hurry up, boy!" shouted Uncle Vernon from the kitchen. "What are you doing, checking for letter bombs?" He chuckled at his own joke.
Harry went back to the kitchen and handed Uncle Vernon the bill and Dudley all of his birthday cards. Dudley gave Harry a quick nod of thanks unseen by his parents before he stared between the cards and the presents for a few minutes, obviously trying to decide what to open first. The cards won, most likely in hopes that there'd be money.
Unsurprisingly, he opened the large parchment envelope first. Harry watched him curiously as he read it. Dudley's eyes grew wide in surprise and delight, before narrowing in skepticism.
"Mummy, Dad, did one of you send this as a joke?"
"Send what, Diddy?"
"This letter. Look, it hasn't even got a stamp. It must be from one of you."
"Let Mummy see it, Diddy. I can't know what you're talking about if I don't see it."
Dudley handed the letter to Aunt Petunia, who took it curiously and read the first line. For a moment it looked as if she might faint. She clutched her throat and made a choking noise.
"Vernon! Not our boy! Not our wonderful little boy!"
Vernon, looking scared, jerked the letter out of Petunia's hands and glanced at it. His faced turned red, then green, then an ugly shade of greyish white. "P-P-Petunia!" he managed to gasp out, before fainting.
As Petunia covered her face and began to cry, the letter fell, forgotten, onto the table. Harry chanced a quick glance at Dudley, who was sitting, frozen in shock. Harry reached out and took the letter.
He looked at it, skipping over the long header, in favor of reading the actual letter.
Dear Mr. Dursley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins September 1. A representative of our school will visit at 5pm this evening to answer any questions you may have and provide instructions on buying supplies and integrating yourself in the wizarding world.
At 5pm sharp, a knock sounded on the front door. Harry looked to his Uncle, unsure if he should answer the door. There had been a lot of yelling all day, with Uncle Vernon swearing he'd never let "a freak" into his house.
Aunt Petunia, however, suggested that they at least let the person in so they could set him or her straight about Dudley's lack of freakishness.
"I'm sure we could reason with them, Vernon. And perhaps we can ensure we don't hear from them again." At that comment, she had glared at Harry, causing Dudley and Harry to look to each other in confusion. Am I a wizard too?
Harry quickly dismissed that notion. After all, if he were a wizard, wouldn't Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon have been turned into frogs every time they threatened him?
Vernon had sent both Harry and Dudley outside when he saw the speculative look on Harry's face. He and Petunia had continued their discussion for hours before they let Harry and Dudley back inside. Dudley had spent most of the time speculating on what it would mean to be a wizard. Harry had been happy for his cousin, but also rather jealous.
Six hours later, here he stood, looking fearfully at his Uncle as he waited to know if he should open the door. The person at the door knocked again, louder this time, and Uncle Vernon grudgingly looked at Harry and jerked his head in the direction of the door.
Harry hurried to let the person in, not wanting to incur the wrath of his Uncle. Upon opening the door, he was met with an incredibly unusual sight. A tall, black-haired woman in an odd, emerald green dress-like outfit and matching pointed hat stood on the doorstep. She had a very stern face, which broke into a smile when she saw him.
"Hello, ma'am, are you here to see my cousin about being a wizard?"
"Yes I am, Mr. Potter. My name is Minerva McGonagall. I am Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts. May I come in?"
Harry shook his head and stepped back. "Of course, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting."
"Not at all Mr. Potter. You asked a valid question, which I answered. Now, please lead the way to your Aunt, Uncle, and cousin."
Harry led Minerva down the hall and into the sitting room. Before he could say anything, Minerva swept past him to say hello to Dudley. "Mr. Dursley, welcome to the wizarding world. I'm not certain how much your parents have told you about the magical world, so feel free to ask any questions you may have. Now, before we start," she turned to Harry. "Mr. Potter, I have been authorized, considering the somewhat unusual circumstances of having two new pupils living in the same house but having separate birthdays, to give you your letter a month early. It was thought this would make it easier to purchase all of your supplies."
"M...My l…letter, ma'am?" Harry tentatively reached out a hand for the envelope Minerva was holding out to him. However, before he could grasp it, it was wrenched out of Minerva's hand by Uncle Vernon.
"They'll not be going! We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish. Swore we'd stamp it out of him! And now we're to be told that our own son is a freak! Wizard indeed! We'll tolerate none of this."
"You knew?" asked Harry. "You knew I'm a…a…wizard?" He found it difficult to say the word. After all, he wasn't entirely sure he believed it yet.
Minerva turned to the Dursleys. It was obvious she was about to speak, but she was cut off by Aunt Petunia's tirade.
"Knew! Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter as well and disappeared off to that – that school – and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was – a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!"
She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went on. It seemed she had been wanting to say all this for years.
"Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as –as – abnormal – and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!"
Harry and Dudley had both gone very white. Dudley's thoughts echoed Harry's words. "Blown up? You told me they died in a car crash!"
"NOW JUST ONE MOMENT!" Minerva had finally had enough. Her sharp, cat-like senses had been taking everything in. She had noticed the lack of photographs of Harry on the wall; the horrendous size of Dudley; the second-hand, overly large clothes that Harry wore; the pinched look of his face; and, last but not least, the way he flinched when she had yelled.
She had put two and two together, and had easily gotten four. This was not a proper place for wizarding children. "Now see here, Dursleys. I had reservations about leaving young Harry with you ten years ago and was overruled. I was also assured that Harry was well looked after these past years. Clearly, I was in error not to check on him myself! The way you have abused both of these poor boys is atrocious. I have no idea how you can even call yourselves human beings!"
"Us, abuse Dudders? Well I never! I have never been so insulted in my life. You are in my home, and choose to vilify myself and my husband? You dare to falsely accuse us of abuse?"
Minerva drew herself up to her full height. "Falsely? FALSELY?! Either you are blind or you are mad! Your son is grossly overweight, and your nephew is grossly underweight. Clearly where you starve one, you overfeed the other. I can assure you that these boys will not remain here past this evening!"
In her anger, Minerva decided to take the easiest approach and stun the entire family, Harry included. She then Apparated to the Ministry of Magic to gather Amelia Bones, Head of the DMLE, and Cassandra Perkins, Head of the CWD (Child Welfare Department). As soon as she had both with her, she quickly explained the situation, and they all Apparated to the Dursley's home.
Harry and Dudley were both feeling like a whirlwind had swept through their afternoon. When Minerva had woken them up, she was standing with another two witches. After everyone was introduced, Minerva had awoken Vernon and Petunia, who, simply with their yelled threats, earned themselves a nice, long stay in a Ministry of Magic holding cell. It was practically a given that once the case was fully investigated, they would find themselves the first ever Muggles incarcerated in Azkaban.
Harry and Dudley were taken to the CWD to be taken care of until a permanent home could be found for them. They now sat in a nice playroom with an assortment of wizarding children's toys that they had no idea how to use.
"Dudley, why are there brooms? Are we supposed to clean?"
"I don't know, Harry. I don't think so. No one said anything about chores. But look, they have marbles."
"Alright, I'll play you." They sat down to play, but quickly got up screaming when Dudley was squirted with a foul smelling liquid. A middle-aged woman came running in.
"Whatever is the - oh, dear, I take it you've never played gobstones before."
"Wh...what are gobstones? We were trying to play marbles and they squirted!"
"Poor dears. That's how gobstones go. If you lose a point, you get squirted. But don't worry, I'll have you cleaned up in a jiffy." She waved her wand and the boys were both completely clean.
"Wow! How did you do that?" Harry shared his cousin's curiosity and looked up at the woman eagerly.
"It's magic, boys."
"Dudley, I think I'm going to like magic."