Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 13 March 2009
Joined: 20 August 2008
Chapter 11: The Knight Bus
That evening, two hours before dinner time, Dudley figured out it was time to work out his plan. He knew that his Uncle James wouldn't come home for another hour, Aunt Lily had gone to visit Mrs. Bathilda Bagshot, a very old lady who lived a few houses away, and wouldn't be home for another half-hour, Harry and Anne were visiting some friends and would be back in twenty minutes, Will and Emma were in Sirius's house, and Diana was in the library, immersed in a book. Dudley would have shared his plan with Diana, but he knew somehow that she would disapprove of it and might even tell Aunt Lily about it. Diana was so sickeningly friendly with the Potters, and seemed to love them already. Dudley was angry with her for betraying their parents' love already, so if she wanted to forget them, it would be just fine with him! He didn't care!
This kind of opportunity wouldn't come again, thought Dudley, quietly checking the third floor hallway before stepping out of his bedroom. None of the family might be here, but there were 100 house elves to contend with. After making sure the coast was clear, Dudley quietly but quickly went down the stairs to the second floor, where he had to cross the hallway again before going to the ground floor. As he passed the master bedroom, which was the only room with an open door, he quickly glanced in and then stopped in his tracks. There, on the bed, in plain sight, was a long but small opened box, with a wand in it. His attention diverted, Dudley went in and saw a letter next to the box.
Dear Mr. Potter,
As Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, has requested, we have sent you Mr. Peter Pettigrew's wand, which as you know was taken from him when he was sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. The Minister of Magic wants you to put a trace on it, so that it may tell us where he's hiding. He wants it done by next week. Good day to you…
Senior Undersecretary to the Minister
Dudley didn't understand most of the words in the letter, but it did tell him that this wand was very important, and taking it away would mean lots of trouble for his uncle in his office…
A smirk forming on his face at the thought of his uncle's reaction, Dudley snatched the wand and left the room quickly. In two minutes, he was by the front door and more nervous than ever. Threading as quietly as he could, Dudley very slowly opened the door and when no house elf appeared, quickly went outside and closed the door behind him.
Dudley then ran faster than he ever did in his life. Without looking back to see if anyone was following, he ran down the very long driveway and out the front gate. For one whole block, Dudley ran, but after awhile, he had to stop, as he was out of breath and felt like collapsing from all that running. Throwing himself down on the sidewalk, Dudley looked to see if anyone was following him, but no one was. Relieved and waiting five more minutes to catch his breath, Dudley slowly stood up and started running again, this time a bit slower. But now he was confused and scared. By car, his home was three hours away, so by foot, it was unimaginable to reach Privet Drive that night. Also, he had no clue in which direction to go, and who to ask for help. Finally, 30 minutes later, when an intersection came, Dudley had to stop. Which way should he go? Quite distressed and very scared, Dudley knew he had to make a fast decision. Aunt Lily and the kids would be home by now, and it was only a matter of time before Uncle James would, but which way should he go.
Grabbing the wand out of his pocket, Dudley looked at it. He was a freak anyway; maybe he could give it a wave and he would be home. Dudley waved the wand around foolishly, muttering, "Abra Cadabra!" but nothing happened, except the wand vibrating a little and dying down. Sighing, Dudley took a step back, wand in his had, but he tripped over a rock and fell backward. All of a sudden, there was a large BOOM and a purple triple decked bus appeared out of nowhere, stopping quite rashly in front of Dudley and opening its doors. Dudley, his mouth wide open, read The Knight Bus plastered in big letters across the windshield.
A young man who wore a purple uniform, had large protruding ears and quite a few pimples, appeared in the doorway. He looked about 14 years old.
"Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this evening," the young man said proudly. Being the conductor of the Knight Bus was probably his first job.
"So…where you have t'go?" he asked, looking at Dudley, who was still gaping. Quickly shutting his mouth, Dudley deduced that this was another magical transportation, and would sure come in handy for him. Quickly putting on an intelligent look, he said confidently, "#4 Privet Drive, it's in Surrey!"
"Hear that, Ern?" Stan cackled, "It's in Surrey!" The bus driver, someone named Ernie Prang, laughed along with him, although Dudley didn't get what the joke was. Suddenly, he was a little creeped out by the two strange people. Were all freaks like this?
"Uh, how much is the ride?" asked Dudley.
"Eleven Sickles," said Stan, "but for firteen you get 'ot chocolate, and for fifteen you get an 'ot water bottle an' a toofbrush in the colour of your choice."
"Uh…I have five pounds," stammered Dudley, who had no clue what Stan was talking about.
"One pound'l do," said Stan as an answer, "But what is a wizard lyke you doin' with muggle money? It's useful t'carry our own money, man!"
"Sorry, I forgot it at home," Dudley quickly lied. After paying Stan one pound, he quickly got on the Knight Bus.
There were no seats; instead, half-a-dozen brass bedsteads stood beside the curtained windows. Candles were burning in brackets beside each bed, illuminating the wood-panelled walls. A tiny wizard in a nightcap at the rear of the bus muttered, "Not now, thanks, I'm pickling some slugs," and rolled over in his sleep. A.N. (This excerpt and Stan's speech was taken from J.K. Rowling's PoA, so just to let you know, I don't own it.)
"You 'ave this one," Stan whispered, and then said, ""Take 'er away, Ern," sitting down in the armchair next to Ernie's.
There was another tremendous BANG, and next, Dudley found himself flat on his bed, thrown backwards by the speed of the Knight Bus. "I hate magic," he thought to himself again, although the Knight Bus did just save him. As the evening progressed, it rolled through the darkness, scattering bushes and bollards, telephone boxes and trees, and Dudley sat on his bed, restless and nervous. Soon, one by one, wizards and witches in dressing-gowns and slippers descended from the upper floors to leave the bus. They all looked very pleased to go. "I don't wonder why," thought Dudley to himself, hoping his stop would be next.
One hour after Dudley boarded the Knight Bus, they arrived at Surrey. As the Knight Bus drove crazily into Privet Drive, Dudley's stomach fluttered with nostalgia, and his face broke into the first smile since two months. Oh, how he missed Privet Drive! Even cranky old Mr. Gareth's house, which Dudley used to hate when he had lived in Privet Drive, was beautiful and welcoming to him. As the Knight Bus passed Piers, Dennis, and Gordon's houses, Dudley's face became so happy that Stan was surprised at the change of demeanor in his passenger. Finally, the Knight Bus stopped with a bang in front of #4, and Dudley jumped up.
"Thanks a lot!" he happily told Stan and Ernie. They weren't so bad after all, were they? "But…can't, can't anyone else hear the bangs of this bus?" he asked doubtfully. Now that he was home, he didn't mind talking.
"Don't notice anythin' do they, muggles?" was Stan's reply. Dudley stared at him for a second before jumping out of the bus.
"Bye!" he cheerfully bid Stan and Ernie, waving his hand enthusiastically. Stan waved back, but soon disappeared around the corner as the Knight Bus left with another BANG. Dudley turned towards the neat and clean lawn of Privet Drive, a warm feeling developing inside. This was home, his home. Right now, his mum, dad, Duncan and Delilah, were probably eating dinner, and then they would all watch a family movie together, munching on a fattening dessert his mother would make. Duncan and Delilah! Dudley couldn't wait to see them. No matter how spoiled or annoying they were at times, he still loved them and couldn't wait to see them! And school…his beloved school with all his friends. No stupid Oakvale could compare with it, with its old bat of a headmistress, Mrs. Maywood.
Walking, no, more like running, up the driveway, Dudley happily jumped onto the porch step and rang the doorbell.
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Joined: 20 August 2008
Joined: 20 August 2008
Chapter 12: A Dursley you are not
"Mummy, I want more ice cream!" screamed young Duncan Dursley to his mother, though his eyes did not stray from the movie on the TV.
"Coming, sweetums!" came the happy voice of Petunia Dursley, who then brought over five scoops of chocolate fudge ice cream to Duncan.
"Deli dear, do you want some more?" Petunia asked with a sickeningly sweet voice to Delilah.
"No! I want more chips, now!" screamed Delilah in a snobby voice.
"Coming, diddy darling!" was Petunia's reply, as she turned to go back into the kitchen.
"Petunia, get me some soda," ordered Vernon, who was sitting in between Duncan and Delilah.
"Yes dear," said Petunia in a sing song voice. Just then, the doorbell rang, and as everyone else's eyes were glued onto the TV, Petunia went to get the door. When she opened it, her mouth opened in surprise and she croaked, "Dudley!"
"Mum…Mummy!" said Dudley, his eyes looking at her lovingly as he ran into her arms. Petunia was shocked for a moment, and then, her mind went back nine years, to the birth of Dudley.
Flashback nine years ago
Petunia Dursley held the chubby bundle lovingly in her arms. "My baby," she whispered, as she kissed his soft fuzz of blond hair. The baby looked just like Vernon, and when Petunia kissed him, opened his eyes and gave her a small smile, so small that only she could see it.
"What should we name him, Vernon?" Petunia asked, not letting go of the baby. The nurse smiled at the new mother and quietly left the room, so that the small family could have some privacy.
"Dudley of course," Vernon joyfully answered, looking at his first born with pride. "After my grandfather."
"And John," Petunia continued, "after mine. Dudley John Dursley…I love it. Oh, he's so perfect Vernon, just look at his little tiny hands and feet!"
"Of course he's perfect. He's my son!" was Vernon's reply. That day had been Petunia's happiest day of her life, second only to her wedding to Vernon.
One year and two months later
Petunia was tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, and looked over at Dudley, who was playing in the playpen. Baby Diana, two months old, was still sleeping upstairs, and when Petunia put the last dish in the dishwasher, she couldn't help but feel as if her life was perfect. She had two beautiful darling children, and Vernon had gotten a promotion just last month. Yup, life was perfect.
"Mama!" came a voice from the playpen, and Petunia nearly dropped the dishcloth in shock. Whirling around, she asked Dudley with happy tears in her eyes, "What did you say?"
"Mama!" repeated Dudley proudly. Petunia ran over to him and kissed his chubby face all over, "Oh, you little darling!" she proclaimed, "You…you said your first word, and…and it's…it's Mama! Oh, Dudley!"
Six years before present day
Petunia crumpled the piece of paper she had been reading and threw it into the garbage. The paper had been a letter from her estranged sister Lily, who had just given birth to two twins three days ago.
Although Petunia and Lily weren't on talking terms, they sent letters and pictures to each other whenever a baby was born to them, just so they didn't lose touch completely. The letter Lily sent now had the twin's pictures, and as Petunia looked at the baby boy and girl, her heart filled with hate, because she knew…knew so well that they too would be freaks, weirdoes. This wasn't the main reason she was angry at Lily though. It was because Lily had given their parents names to the babies: William Henry and Emmeline Audrey. William and Audrey, Audrey and Will, her beloved mother and father, who had died because of Lily's freakishness! Yes, they had died in a car crash, but her parents hadn't been bad drivers, and it wasn't like them at all to just drive into a tree! Not at all like them! It had to be because of Lily, it just had to be!
Petunia was pregnant, and she knew it was going to be a boy. She had badly wanted to name him William after her father, but now Lily…how could she? She had no right to take that name!
"I hate Lily," Petunia whispered to herself harshly, before tearing the pictures of Will and Emma into small pieces and throwing them into the garbage. The pictures of Harry and Anne were up in the dusty attic, somewhere in a small box, but the pictures of Will and Emma would never join them, never.
"Mum?" questioned Dudley, confused, looking up at his tuned out mother, who still had that faraway look one gets when recalling old memories. Petunia suddenly came back to her senses with a start and jerked away from Dudley, disgusted.
"You!" she screeched, looking at her first born son with disgust. "Why are you here? If Lily kicked you out, too bad, I don't want you back here!"
Dudley stared with surprise at his mother. He had expected her to return his hug and exclaim how much she had missed him and how she was so happy he was back, but this?
"Mum," he started again, coming closer, but Petunia stepped back with so much revulsion, as if he was carrying some kind of contagious disease.
"I don't want you back here!" she screamed, "There was a reason I gave you to Lily! Why don't you understand? I DON'T LOVE YOU, DUDLEY!"
Dudley became as still as a rock, his face becoming pale and a sense of reality crashing down on him. His mother didn't love him. He had been wrong. She hated him, but why?
Just then, Vernon, Duncan, and Delilah came to the front door. "Petunia, why are you screa…" started Vernon, but stopped in his tracks at the sight of Dudley.
"You!" he said, with the same disgust as Petunia, as if Dudley was a piece of vermin. "I thought we got rid of you! Don't tell me that ungrateful daughter of mine is here too!"
"No," said Dudley, "Diana…she…she likes Aunt Lily and Uncle James, but I…I missed home, so I…I thought you missed me too, and…"
"Well we don't, freak!" cut in Petunia, "so don't darken our doorstep again!"
"But mum, you can't possibly hate me!" exclaimed Dudley, "You…you raised me for nine years!"
"So what?" screeched Petunia, "Lily grew up with me for eleven years, and yet she betrayed all of us, becoming a witc…a freak, of all things! Family means nothing Dudley, absolutely nothing, if you're different!"
"That…that's not true," whispered Dudley, as white hot rage suddenly filled his heart. He didn't care that many neighbors were now opening their doors and windows to see what all the noise was about. He didn't care that he was destroying the very slim chance of being a part of the Dursley family again. He didn't care that by disagreeing with his mother, he was sounding just like Lily had sounded many years ago, before she had left home. He didn't care anymore. He just didn't, because do you know why? Reality had just washed over him like a tidal wave over tiny sea shells, and it didn't feel good…at all.
"A family is supposed to support each other through anything. A family is supposed to point out each other's mistakes and help each other out, and most of all, a family is supposed to love each other no matter what," said Dudley, tears streaming down his face, but unusually sounding wise for his age.
"How do you know?" sneered Vernon, "You've never raised a family!"
"I've lived in a family like that for two months and it's enough to show anyone how dysfunctional our family is," said Dudley, finally realizing what a horrible person he had been to his aunt and uncle. "You know what?" he finally asked his mother and father, looking up and giving them a hard look. "I'm glad, no grateful, that you kicked my sister and me out. It's horrible to imagine how we would have turned out living with you two, probably fat, arrogant, stupid…"
"That's enough!" yelled Vernon, spit flying everywhere," That's enough! GET OUT! Get out, NOW! You are not a Dursley any more!"
"You're right," came a voice from behind Dudley, "He's a Potter." Dudley whirled around, and came face to face with his uncle, who looked kindly at him.
"Come on Dudley," said James, "Let's go…"
"Home," finished Dudley.
"Oh how sweet," sneered Vernon, "My eyes are tearing up!"
"Oh shut up, Vernon. No one likes you," came another voice from Dudley's right. It was Sirius Black.
Vernon's face became red again and Sirius said, "No don't, a red face really doesn't suit you."
It was at this moment that Dudley noticed his Aunt Lily sneaking into the house through the back door. A few minutes later, she came back out with a self satisfied smirk and disapparated from behind a tree.
Seeing Lily disaparate, James then said in a loud voice, "Come Dudley, the car is parked a block away. We really must get home.
When the trio was a good distance away from prying eyes, Dudley said, "Why did Aunt Lily go into…"
"Shush!" said Sirius, "Someone might hear you, but let's just say that you mother and father will be in for a big surprise when they enter their house!"
"And…" continued James in an undertone. "We will have a long talk when we get home, young man."
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