Chapter 1 : Chapter 1: Magical Experiences
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One Month Later:
The Ministry of Magic was alive and busy with chatter about the fall of Voldemort and the Death Eaters. It seemed that new life had been breathed into what was once a stale and uptight orderly place. Sure, there were still criminals on the loose and what not, but none compared to that of the most evil Dark Wizard to ever have lived. Many had lost their lives due to his return and after years and years he was finally vanquished for good.
And all of that was thanks to Harry Potter; a very well known young man who had been haunted by that villain for years. And in the end, he was able to have his retribution. Yes, it was a glorious day for the good wizarding people who have suffered because of the wickedness that had run amuck days before that fateful final day.
But all was well now; things were as they should be; back to normal and cheerful. Well, nearly everything was back to normal for everyone except for one family. One Muggle family. This family was none other than the Dursley family. It was composed of Vernon, a rather beefy, hot headed, pompous man who was also Harry’s uncle. He would absolutely forbid any mention of magic in his household and anyone who dared to would face his wrath. He was a level-headed, no nonsense type of person, and when he talked, he expected everyone to drop what they were doing to listen to everything he had to say.
Vernon’s wife Petunia was a horse-faced, scrawny woman that was not fond of Harry at all, and had gone to all lengths to spoil her own son with toys and everything he ever wanted. She cooed over her son all the time, many times to spite Harry who had lost his own mother and father at the hands of Voldemort.
Dudley was a rather tall, big boned young man who had been spoiled for as long as he could remember. He was Harry’s cousin and he had bullied Harry most of his life as if it were a sport. Through the years, he’d treated it as such and had gotten meaner and nastier with his insults to the point of making fun of Harry’s deceased mother. It was at that point where the strangest and most terrifying thing had happened to him. He had been attacked by a dementor and Harry had saved his life despite the cruel things he had said.
And as Dudley sat there with his parents in a cozy yet small, quaint room within the Ministry of Magic, he reflected on the past. He remembered that he and Harry had parted on civil terms.
“Alright, where is this ruddy Shackleybott?” Vernon’s irritated voice rang out into the room pulling Dudley from his thoughts. He blinked a few times, shook his head and lifted his eyes to meet the mysterious yet magical surroundings. From the moving and talking pictures to the floating, enchanted books that seemed to file themselves neatly away amongst the shelf; everything in the room was controlled by magic.
Petunia took a moment to breathe as she too was showing impatience but nothing compared to Vernon who was now on his feet pacing. “No wonder these magical people can’t be taken seriously,” he grumbled. “You’d think with all this hocus pocus nonsense that they could at least show up in a timely manner!”
At that moment, the door slowly opened and in walked a tall, bald wizard with skin as dark as chocolate and a pleasant smile that was calm and cool. In his left hand he held what looked like a stack of parchment folded neatly in half while in his other hand he clutched a small briefcase.
“About ruddy time!” Vernon snapped as he approached the newly appointed Minister of Magic; giving him little time to slide behind his desk down into his chair. As he did so, he placed the parchment on top of a mound of other parchments and sighed as he let opened the briefcase and pulled out what looked like more stacks of parchment though he continued to hold one of those stacks in his hand.
“We’ve been sitting here for two hours waiting for answers that nobody else will give us!” Vernon thundered causing both Petunia and Dudley to wince as he paced in front of Shacklebolt’s desk.
“I apologize for my tardiness but I was detained in a meeting. It is quite hectic around here today with meeting after meeting.” The Minister spoke warmly. ‘Won’t you please have a seat?” He asked as he gestured to a chair that pulled its self up behind Vernon, causing him to stumble back and land bottom first into it.
“That’s more comfortable, isn’t it?”
Vernon only nodded slightly, but was quick to overlook the enchanted chair to continue his tirade.
“Now see here, since that dark wizard is gone there is no reason for us to have to remain around this nonsense any longer! I have cooperated and resorted to hiding like a fox in a hole long enough, now I demand that you release us and let us go home!”
Petunia pursed her lips nervously as she and Dudley glanced from the Minister who didn’t seem the least bit upset, to Vernon whose face was almost beet red.
“Mr. Dursley, I understand your frustration and I assure you that you will be able to return to your home very soon. All I am waiting for is your clearance parchment to make sure your establishment is safe and secured and that there are no necessary repairs needed or curses needing to be removed. We’re making sure that there are no negative spells cast upon your house. After all, we wouldn’t want you to return and suddenly burst into boils or other unpleasantries, now would we?”
Vernon began to settle down with an uneasy expression as he heard that last part. Petunia looked unnerved from hearing it as well.
“Once we have confirmation that the investigation is over and that your home is safe; we will gladly let you return to it.”
“So, what are we supposed to do now?” It was Petunia’s turn to speak.
“Well, Mrs. Dursley, you and your family could take a tour or perhaps take a stroll in Diagon Alley. I can appoint a tour guide for you if you would like?” the Minister said slowly as he rose from his desk and moved towards the door.
Dudley thought for a moment. While he knew that he was not supposed to accept anything out of the ordinary; there was a small part of him that wondered what being a wizard might be like. And since they were here in the Wizarding world, he was intrigued by the idea of taking a tour of the place.
“You know, taking a tour could maybe make time go by faster.” Dudley began slowly.
“No! Absolutely not!” Vernon snapped as he jumped up from his seat. “We’ll just go back to that little cottage that we were swept off to; away from all of this magical nonsense!”
Dudley had expected that answer from his father but he’d secretly hoped not to go back to the rotting, smelly cottage in the middle of nowhere. He was bored there with nothing to do but sit around as his father and mother constantly complained about Harry and how much trouble that his ‘nonsense’ had caused. And he had to admit that at first, he had joined into those conversations; however after two days of it, he’d had enough and would just sit quietly unless one of his parents spoke directly to him.
“Well, suit yourself then. I will be sending someone to come get you and take you back to the cottage. You folks have a nice day.”
Dudley frowned as the Minister walked out f the room. And now that his father had doused any hope of escaping that boring cottage; he was dreading having to put up with it all again. How much longer would they have to stay there? He was ready to go stir-crazy at just the thought of it. He could feel a tingling in his toes and it was slightly painful and was the result of his foot falling asleep.
He stood up, stomping it slightly catching the attention of his mother. “Diddykins, what’s wrong with your foot?” His mother asked.
“It fell asleep.” Dudley replied irritably. “And I’m bored here.”
“Oh don’t you worry; mummy will make it all better later. Once we get back home we can all get back to normal and be happy just like none of this ever happened.” Petunia replied confidently.
“Yes, I look forward to that.” Vernon chimed in; his tone sounded calmer now and his face was relaxed.
A few moments later, the door reopened and a familiar man with red hair walked in. “Ah, hello. Don’t know if you remember me, but I certainly remember you.” He said rather cheerily as he offered to shake Vernon’s hand. “Arthur Weasley, at your service.”
The plump man just snorted and ignored the gesture as his eye twitched.
Arthur pulled his hand back and gestured to the window. “Lovely day, isn’t it?”
“So, are you here to take us back to the cottage?” Vernon asked raising an unimpressed brow as he looked over this familiar man with disdain.
“Yes, are you all ready?”
“No, I have to go to the bathroom!” Dudley suddenly blurted out interrupting his father.
“Duddy, be a big boy and hold it.” Vernon forced a big smile though he spoke through gritted teeth.
“I’m sorry, I can’t hold it!” the young man replied now standing up crossing his legs together almost dancing.
“Come lad, I’ll show you the way.” Arthur said as he put a hand on Dudley’s shoulder and quickly escorted him out leaving his father gawking after with a very irritated frown.
“Here we are, just go through this door and don’t use the toilet at the back end of the bathroom; there’s a nasty goblin who doesn’t like anyone using it but him.” Arthur called after him. Dudley gave a slow wave then disappeared through the door.
As soon as he was alone Dudley let out a sigh of relief as he walked into the first stall and closed himself in it. Finally, he could be alone; he could have space away from his parents. Away from everyone. He felt a bit guilty about lying to his parents but there was no way that he wanted to go back to that cottage. And while he knew he couldn’t stay in the bathroom forever; it would at least give him a breather.
However, just then the door of the bathroom opened and closed signifying that someone else was now in there with him. Most likely it was that red headed man that had escorted him there. And now maybe he was waiting on him so that he could take him back. He wanted to stall so he turned around and sat down on the sparkling, mirrored toilet seat. “Um, I am going to be a while!” He called out hoping that Arthur would go away.
“I don’t really care to know your business.” A voice replied that was clearly not Arthur’s.
Dudley felt foolish immediately and stood up, flushed though he had no idea why, and slowly opened the stall door. He peeked out to see a tall, young man in green and black robes with bronze skin washing his hands at one of the sinks. Not wanting to look stupid, Dudley casually walked over to a sink on the opposite side and started washing his hands as well though he gasped when the water turned its self on and off.
“Problems?” the young man in the green and black robes asked as he walked over.
“Uh, no.” Dudley squeaked.
“Are you new around here?”
“Um, yes. Yes, I am. In fact I uh just started here.” What a wallop of a lie that was but Dudley was usually good at getting people to believe his lies and this wasn’t like a big one. No, it was just a small one. No harm could come out of it; after all he’d be out of this place in no time. And besides he was able to talk to someone else besides his parents so that was perhaps a blessing in disguise.
“Department?” Dudley raised a brow and then added. “Oh you mean the department I work in?”
“What other department is there?”
“Right.” Dudley swallowed then trying to sound rather important he lifted his head high and proudly said, “I am with the Department of Magic.”
“Oh you mean the Department of Magical Law Enforcement?”
That sounded like a big, important title so Dudley nodded quickly. “Yes, that is my department.”
“That’s really amazing!” the face of the young man before him lit up.
“I know, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.”
“Yeah, that’s true. Believe me, I have seen my share of crimes go unsolved and I am just glad to be able to help solve some of them. By the way, I’m Zabini; Blaise Zabini.” He held out his hand.
“I’m Dudl- Big D…Just call me Big D.” Dudley replied as he shook his hand. Then he led the way out and back into the busy hallway where all sorts of magical folks were hurriedly rushing to their destinations.
“Well then, Big D, I will catch you later, got to get back to work delivering files for the minister.” Blaise said as he began walking away.
“Yeah, me too. I mean I have to get back to work; lots of criminals to lock up and handcuff and read their rights too and you know put in the magic jails.” Dudley called out as the bronze young man sported an awkward smile while nodding and then turned and disappeared around the corner.
“Making new friends, eh?” Arthur’s voice came from behind him. Dudley grinned sheepishly as he turned around to see the red headed man with his arms folded looking rather amused.
“I uh…” Dudley couldn’t figure out how to respond to that but Arthur Weasley had no problem continuing on. ‘It’s quite alright to be curious about us, you know?” He said as he began walking with the rather embarrassed Muggle teen. “I’ve been fascinated with you muggles for years. Your amazing technology just blows my mind.”
Dudley nodded slowly.
“I like to collect muggle items and I’m always anxious to discover new electronic devices that you Muggles use for enjoyment.” Arthur added in an upbeat tone.
“Do you mean like Playstation?” Dudley slowly asked as he ventured into the conversation.
“Playstation? What is that?”
“Well, it’s a game system; you play video games on it and you use controllers that you hold like this.” Dudley held out his hands demonstrating as he continued. “And you plug the Playstation into the television where the game shows up and you just play.”
“Interesting, I will have to aquire one of those to test it out someday.”
“I’ve got one back at home; but I’ve beat every game that I have for it and so now I’m bored with playing it.”
The walk back ended too soon as they had returned to the Minister’s office. Dudley frowned as he followed Arthur in and was immediately embraced by his mother.
“What took so long?” Vernon demanded.
“Vernon, don’t yell at him! You know Dudley has problems with his hemorrhoids and that he has to take his time!” Petunia snapped.
Dudley’s face flushed red and he pulled away from his mother’s embrace, staring down at the floor. Sometimes his mother talked way too much!
“Right then, are we all ready to go?” Arthur asked, trying to lighten the mood.
“Absolutely. I can’t wait to get out of this place.” Vernon announced as he marched to the door that now stood wide open.
“Alright then, I have my car outside so please follow me.” Arthur said as he led the way.
“Come on, Diddykins.” Petunia coaxed as she held Dudley’s hand and followed her husband out the door.
Once they had begun walking more quickly, Dudley pulled his hand away but still walked closely beside his mother. He looked around at everything that he could take in as he had the feeling he would never get the chance to see something like this again.
After taking one of the lifts up to Level Four that was on the fourth floor, Arthur continued to lead the family through the crowded hallways though he did stop at one point to tell them to be careful on this floor and to stay close by him as this was probably one of the most unruly areas of the Ministry. Vernon and Petunia were more than happy to follow this advice; however Dudley’s curiosity was heightened even more as they walked along.
Paying close attention to his surroundings, he saw several Goblins in suits walking the opposite direction loudly complaining about being overworked and having to adhere to a dress code. Two woman dressed in torn black dresses with white lacey trim stood at a door that was labeled ‘Pest Advisory’ and the door beside it read ‘Dark Creatures training 101-Now Accepting Acromantulas with proper license and can be no larger than-‘
Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to read the rest of the writing for moments later he was nudged roughly by something behind him. As he started to turn around; a flash of soft, brown fur brushed by him. He jumped back against the wall along with his parents as a tall, lean man leading a rather large Gryphon on a leash, casually walked by.
“Hello there, Stan!” Arthur called out to the man.
“Arthur, how are you doing?” Stan replied as the two shook hands.
“Doing better; still letting things sink in and what not.” Arthur then cleared his throat. “I’m actually just on my way to escort these Muggles back to their temporary stay until they are cleared to go back to the Muggle World.”
Stan turned a friendly smile to the Dursleys. “Muggles, eh? Nice to meet you, folks.” He greeted warmly.
Dudley was the only one who responded as he hesitantly waved with a slow nod.
“I’m on my way to take Wags here back to the creature healer. Poor beast, he got overly excited again wagging his tail and broke it on the side of another building. Crazy Gryphon; never thinks before he acts.” Stan said stroking his pet affectionately. Wags nuzzled his beak against Stan’s shoulder.
Gryphon? Dudley thought to himself as he looked at the creature before him. The front half of him was covered in feathers with even his wings and two front legs being that of a bird of prey. Wags looked like one from a front view except for the furry brown, pointy ears. Dudley then noticed that from his mid stomach back was covered in fur and even had a lion’s tail and back feet.
“Well, we must get going. See you later, Arthur; give Molly my condolences as well and you and your family are invited to dinner this Saturday! Tara is making her famous stew!”
“Wonderful! See you Saturday then, Stan!” Arthur called out as they parted ways.
Dudley turned and took one final look back at the Gryphon that was being led away before turning back around and following Arthur and his parents through a large metal door that had magically appeared.
“Ah, feel that breeze!” Arthur said happily as he led them outside to a rather large balcony where a dark blue convertible car had been parked.
Vernon and Petunia looked uncomfortable from the moment they had set eyes on it; but Dudley’s eyes were wide in awe.
“Wow!” he gasped as he watched the red headed man open the door and slide into the driver’s seat.
“Sorry for the long walk, but I like to park in the least crowded areas so in case my wife needs me, I can leave easily. Not to mention this is closer to my own office so that I can sneak in at times when I am late for work.”
The Dursleys didn’t speak.
“Yes well, I thought that this would be a good method of transport as it’s much like a Muggle car. I didn’t think you’d want to use the Floo Network.” The red headed man added though once again he was met with silence.
Vernon and Petunia sighed heavily as they hesitantly got into the back seats of the car. Dudley opened the passenger door and climbed into the front seat.
“Alright, shall we be off?” Arthur said as he started up the car. No one said a word so he put the car into drive, and then pushed a small blue button on the dashboard. There was a clicking sound that quickly faded away after a few moments and then slowly the car began to levitate off of the balcony.
Vernon and Petunia gripped onto the seats in front of them, but Dudley was too busy marveling at the view ahead of them. He looked up to see the clouds coming closer and closer to the car until he could almost reach out and touch them. Though he didn’t try to do that because while he was awed and fascinated by what was happening; he lacked the nerve to really interact with it.
“You folks okay back there?” Arthur asked as he pushed the pedal and the car began to pick up speed as they started off on their aerial journey.
“J-Just…drive.” Vernon’s unsteady voice grumbled from the back seat.