My first story - I have been looking for a fan fiction about this but not really found much. So resorted to writing my own. In fact the first story I have written since I was in primary school most likely! Please review with any tips / advice. Thanks.
'Get the post, Harry.'
'Make Dudley get it.'
'Poke him with your Smeltings stick, Dudley.'
Harry dodged the Smeltings stick and went to get the post. Four things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, who was holidaying on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a bill and two identical heavy letters made of yellowish parchment, sealed with purple wax seals which bore a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'.
Harry turned these envelopes over, curious as to what they may be, and was surprised to see his name staring back at him, in emerald green ink, from the front of the first envelope.
Mr H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
He slid this envelope to the side to see the second one was addressed to:
Mr D. Dursley
The Largest Bedroom
4 Privet Drive
'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, staring at the letter addressed to him. He handed the postcard and the bill to Uncle Vernon, and, keeping hold of his own letter, placed the other one in front of Dudley. Harry then proceeded to sit down and begin opening his letter. Having never received a letter before, he wondered who would be writing to him.
Dudley looked up briefly from his bacon and eggs, clocked the letter in front of him, and glanced around the room, wondering where it had come from. He spotted Harry opening an identical letter and piped up immediately.
'Dad! Harry's got something!'
Uncle Vernon, who had been midway through reading the postcard from his sister, looked up. He saw Harry about to unfold the letter and leant over and snatched it from him.
'That's mine!' said Harry, trying unsuccessfully to snatch it back. 10 years in this house had taught him that trying to snatch anything back from anyone would be unsuccessful, be it now, with Uncle Vernon and this letter or 7 years ago with Dudley and the teddy bear that he had discarded. Harry had managed to play with it for a whole five minutes before Dudley had seen him and decided that, actually, it was his favourite toy and he simply must have it back.
'Who'd be writing to you? Sneered Uncle Vernon, bringing Harry back to the moment, shaking the letter open with one hand and glancing at it. His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights. And it didn't stop there. Within seconds it was the greyish white of old porridge.
'P-P-Petunia!' he gasped.
As Petunia curiously looked around from the kitchen counter, Dudley read aloud:
'Dear Mr Dursley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
As you are not of Wizarding parentage, I shall visit you and your family at 6pm this evening to discuss this matter further.
Dudley looked up from the letter, first at his father, then at his mother. 'What is this Dad? Mum?'
If there were a paler colour uncle Vernon could have gone, this was the time he would do it. He looked as if he was about to faint. Aunt Petunia clasped a hand to her mouth and gasped. She snatched the letter from Dudley's hand and shepherded him and Harry towards the kitchen door, taking a crisp twenty pound note from her favourite beige purse and thrusting it into Dudley's hand. 'Both of you, out! Go to the cinema, or to the amusement arcade.'
'But mum, what did that letter mean?' Dudley questioned her.
'I want to see my letter!' Harry demanded, frustrated with himself for not having opened it in the hallway where no-one was watching him.
'Out!' Aunt Petunia repeated sounding panicked, yet still speaking very quietly, after all, she didn't want the neighbours to hear raised voices. She nudged them out of the door and closed it with a click.
Harry and Dudley looked at each other, stumped. Harry had never been told to go anywhere with his cousin, nevermind with money. He half expected Dudley to ditch him and go and find Piers to spend the money with. Dudley, however, looked shocked and confused. It was often Harry kicked out of the house to 'go somewhere' – never Dudley! This was a first for him and he didn't like it one bit. He looked back at the house angrily, then at the twenty pound note in his hand, shrugged and began to walk towards the town. Harry, being much smaller than Dudley, had to jog slightly to keep up. It was he who broke the silence first.
'Do you think my letter said the same as yours?' He panted, slightly out of breath.
'I don't know. Dad read it and was really shocked. But mine said I am a wizard. I don't know why dad would be shocked about that – he would be proud. I imagine he is angry because yours said you are a bad wizard. Or a witch.' Dudley guffawed at his own joke.
'Well I think they would be the same, I mean, the envelopes were the same' Harry pointed out reasonably, ignoring Dudley's joke.
They had fallen more in step with each other by this point, Harry on Dudley's left hand side, in Piers Polkiss' usual spot. This would have seemed very unusual to Harry, and to Dudley as well, had they not both been so pre-occupied by the letters they had received in the post that morning.
They walked towards the town in silence for a few more minutes until Dudley spoke up.
'I always knew there was something special about me. A wizard sounds about right!'
Harry snickered at this, Dudley was always so vain.
'What are you laughing at Potter? I suppose you think you'll make a better wizard than me?'
This did make Harry stop laughing. A wizard. Him? He couldn't be.
'Perhaps this is some trick your parents are playing on us?' He ventured, almost hopefully.
Dudley thought for a moment. 'I don't think so, they have never played a trick before – in fact, Dad hates magicians. He definitely wouldn't. Maybe that's why he is so angry. He hates magic. Remember the time you told him you had a dream about a flying motorcycle? He nearly crashed the car, he was so angry. That was quite funny though, he was so mad with you!'
'Yeah, it was a riot.' Harry said, sarcastically.
They had reached the amusement arcade by this point and Dudley had dashed inside to change the twenty pound note into twenty pence pieces so he could play the shooting games. Harry didn't hold out much hope of getting a go himself, so he sat down on an empty car racing seat next to Dudley. Dudley seemed to have forgotten the mornings events the moment he walked into the amusement centre. Harry hadn't.
Meanwhile, back at number 4 Privet Drive conversation was struggling between Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon.
'But why not Vernon?' Petunia almost pleaded.
'You said they are freaks Petunia!' He retorted. 'You told me so yourself! Why else have we been trying to stamp this out of Harry all these years?'
Petunia didn't know what to say. She couldn't tell Vernon the real reason. She was jealous. She always had been jealous of her sister Lily, since the day she had received her Hogwarts letter. But she had never considered that Dudley might be the same. It had never even crossed her mind. But Dudley could go to Hogwarts, he had even been sent a letter of his own, just as she had wanted for herself all those years ago. It went against everything she had believed in the last 20 years, but she almost wanted Dudley to have what she was never able to have.
'I- I think I want Dudley to attend that school Vernon.' She stammered out. Petunia wasn't a strong woman, and had never opposed anything Vernon had said in the past, but she had to try this time.
'It's out of the question!' He roared in response. Petunia tried not to shake so visibly, she had never seen him this angry, or rather, she had never been of the receiving end of his anger. It was terrifying. Did he ever get this angry with Harry, she wondere. No, she quickly reassured herself that he didn't, and if he did, it was because Harry was such a naughty child and needed a firm hand to discipline him.
Vernon was still ranting and raving. 'He is going to Smeltings! Finest school in the country! It was good enough for me and it's good enough for Dudley.'
He looked again at the two letters lying on the kitchen top. Slightly different in their text, Harry's said nothing about anyone coming to visit them. He briefly wondered why that was before realising Petunia was speaking.
'…and my sister did always seem so happy when she was a student there.' It pained Petunia to say this, as for years she had pretended she didn't have a sister. But it was true, she knew it deep down but the jealousy had always caused her to cover it up and pretend she knew nothing of that world. Not an easy feat when Harry himself had eyes so similar to those of her sister and she had to see those eyes every day.
Vernon spoke, his voice somewhat softened, almost pleading, 'But love, our Dudley isn't a freak, he's a good lad! Not one for this nonsense at all! You saw how fine he looked in his new school uniform last night.'
'I know Vernon, but perhaps we should just meet this – this,' she squinted at one of the letters 'McGonagall, and hear what she has to say?' Petunia looked hopefully up at Vernon. 'Please Vernon?'
'I don't like it Petunia, I don't like it one bit – you know I don't like this nonsense.' He looked down at her face, peering up at him hopefully and remembered briefly why he asked her to marry him all those years ago, 'But I suppose we can just meet her if it will make you feel better?'
Harry and Dudley returned home just before 5pm. The money all gone, they had decided they ought to go home and demand to know where their letters were now.
'Mum!' Dudley yelled upon walking into the house, Harry just behind him, hidden by Dudley's vast size.
'Oh good, you're back.' Petunia walked down the hall to greet her son.
'Where's my…' Dudley started before his mum cut him off mid sentence.
'Dudley, go and get showered and put on your smartest outfit, the lovely little suit you wore to Mr and Mrs Jacobs wedding,' she pulled him into the house revealing Harry standing behind him, in his baggy t-shirt and jeans held up with a belt he had had to make extra holes in to fit him.
'Oh, Harry, perhaps you should, erm, well, go and sort out your hair and I will find you something smart to wear as well.'
Harry was taken aback by the whole sentence his aunt had just spoken to him. Firstly, she called him Harry, something she only usually did for appearances sake when they had company. Secondly she had told him she would find him a smart outfit. Harry had never had a 'smart' outfit before, so was intrigued what she had got hidden away which could possibly look smart on him.
He thought back to the morning, 'I shall visit you and your family at 6pm this evening to discuss this matter further.' The letter had said. Harry assumed that they would be having a visitor, and not just any visitor, but a witch! So he dashed upstairs not far behind Dudley to try and dampen his hair into order before Dudley could get into the bathroom.
Petunia went into the spare room and pulled out a bin liner filled with clothes of about Harry's size which had been given to her only the week before by a lady at the school PTA which she was a member of. The lady, Carole Jones', son had just had a growth spurt and couldn't possibly fit into the clothes anymore, and she had kindly thought of Harry, so much smaller than the other boys in their class at school. Petunia had graciously accepted the cast offs whilst being mortified that someone thought that she, Petunia Dursley, was someone who needed cast off clothes to get by. Harry didn't deserve such nice clothes anyway, so she had put them up there meaning to get rid of them at the earliest opportunity. But now she thanked her stars that she hadn't gotten around to it yet. She rifled through the bag and found a pair of black school trousers and a pale blue shirt which looked as though they should look smart on Harry.
She took the clothes downstairs to Harry in his cupboard and told him to get dressed quickly and them come to the kitchen to help her prepare some snacks for the evening. As much of a epiphany she had had earlier in the day in regards to her sister, it would take some time to change old habits when it came to Harry.
6pm approached and Petunia had changed into a pale green cocktail dress and pinned her hair up as best as her shaking hands allowed. She couldn't explain it to herself, but the anticipation of this guest was almost akin to excitement. Perhaps this was how Lily had felt all those years ago when she was visited by a member of the school, in fact…Petunia tried to think back, may it have been the same witch? McGonagall? Perhaps she would remember upon meeting her.
Vernon had changed as well, grumbling all the while about not needing to impress anyone, yet he certainly dressed to impress, wearing a navy blue suit, with a crisp white shirt and red tie.
Petunia looked everyone over, feeling a surge of pride at Dudley in his suit, checked shirt and black tie. Such a little gentleman he looked. Then her eyes fell on Harry, hair all over the shop and looking uncomfortable in such well fitting clothes. No tie. He wasn't wearing a tie! He didn't own a tie of course! She glanced at the clock – 17:56 – they had time. She didn't want anyone thinking Harry was treated differently to Dudley.
'Diddykins, run upstairs and fetch me one of your ties, a navy blue one.' she all but screamed out.
'But I like the black one mum,' Dudley whined.
'It's not for you, it's for Harry.'
Harry looked startled, a tie? Wow, they did want to impress this lady!
'I'm not letting Harry wear one of my ties! He'll get germs on it!' Dudley complained.
'Do as your mother says Dudley,' barked Uncle Vernon impatiently from his spot pacing in the hallway.
Dudley trudged upstairs to retrieve the tie whilst Aunt Petunia dragged Harry into the kitchen to try and flatten his hair a bit with some water from the tap. Harry's hair had always been this way – awkward. She held him back and sighed – it would have to do. As she lead him back to the hallway, Dudley lumbered down the stairs, 'I could only find a green one.' He offered the tie to his mother.
'Oh it'll have to do,' snapped Petunia, sounding exasperated, but snatching the tie all the same. She tied it quickly and expertly and was just straightening it when there was a knock at the door.
Petunia straightened up and headed for the door, when Vernon stepped in and said 'I'll get it love, stand back. We don't know what we're dealing with here.'
The door opened and a tall lady was standing there, she was wearing an emerald green cloak and a pointy green hat. Vernon recoiled slightly, was this too much for him? There was silence for a moment.
'Please, come in.' Petunia ventured.