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It had all been so very normal, boringly so in fact, and Dudley was nearly out of his mind with the sameness of it all. All that he did was sleep, get up, eat, watch the television, go to work and then go to bed to get up the next morning to do it all over again. The worst part of it all was the way that his parents hung all over him constantly. At least his cousin Harry was brave enough to let them know how he felt about the way things were at Number 4 Privit Drive.

‘He’s such a bloody dolt, but at least he’s brave enough to stand up for himself,’ he thought to himself as he sat in his room. ‘But I wonder if he would be so brave if he didn’t have that wand of his to keep Dad in check.’

He winced as he heard his mother calling his name from downstairs, which meant that it was time for breakfast, which he had come to hate. His mother, for all her appearances, was a terrible cook and that had led to terrible bouts of indigestion for Dudley and his father. He paused long enough in going down to the dining room that his mother called for him once again.

‘Why can’t she just quit talking for a day or so? Her voice grates on me terribly sometimes and Dad isn’t much better.’

Dudley got up from his bed where he had been sitting and walked down the stairs to find his parents already at the table. Something was different today as he watched his father fussing about around his mother, who looked rather frightened.

“What’s going on with Mum?” he asked his father.

Vernon Dursley looked up at his son, his face redder than normal as he surveyed his wife. She had been perfectly normal until a moment before when she had abruptly stopped talking and this confused him. Petunia hadn’t been angry with him, in fact they had just been talking about replacing the furniture and she had been extremely happy about the whole thing.

“I can’t figure it out at all, she just suddenly stopped talking. Her mouth moves, but nothing comes out,” he answered briskly as Dudley sat down at the table to begin filling his plate with sausages, eggs and fried potatoes. They were among the few things that his mother could cook without ruining them.

“This reminds me of the mischief that your cousin Harry used to pull and, in fact, I wouldn’t doubt that he’s involved with this. He or one of his freaky friends have got to be involved in this somehow.”

Dudley nodded as he shoveled another fork full of sausage into his mouth and his jowls shook as he chewed. He was much more interested in the show on the television than considering what was going on. It never occurred to him that what he had wished for had happened or even why it had happened. He really never even thought about HOW it had happened, he was much more interested in the fact that his parents weren’t filling their plates which left more for him.

“Dudley, will you put that bloody fork down and help me with your mother? I have to take her to the doctor and find out what has happened. She’s gone totally wonky.”

Dudley put down the fork and advanced on his mother, but not before picking up another sausage link and stuffing it into his mouth. He remembered another meal where something strange had happened, a meal where his Aunt Marge had gone floating out of the house after being inflated like a balloon. She didn’t remember it for some reason, but he remembered the whole chaotic scene as though it were yesterday. He reached his mother and hesitantly assisted his father in helping his mother out to the car. The young man stood and waved farewell to them before walking back into the house and finishing the breakfast, there was no use in letting it go to waste.

He ignored the mess on the table as he made his way to the couch and the television that he switched on with the remote. A moment’s glance once again at the dishes on the table brought a frown to his face, he would probably be expected to clean them and wasn’t looking forward to it.

‘Too bad Harry isn’t here, he could just wave his wand and they would be clean.  I wish that I could just think about them being clean and they would be.’

He turned his attention to the television and was soon involved in the show that was playing. The comedy made him laugh and he failed to pay attention to the passage of time until his parents walked back into the house, his mother sucking on a frozen treat. That alone caught his true attention, that and the fact that his father was carrying a sack which obviously held more of the same. His parents glanced around the room and it was then that he remembered the dishes that he would have been expected to wash.

“Good job, Dudley, your mother and I appreciate the fact that you cleared the table, washed the dishes and straightened the kitchen.”

Dudley whirled to find the dishes absent from the table and sitting neatly on the drain board. He managed to conceal his surprise, but wondered just how this had happened.

‘Did I do those and just don’t remember it? Am I going wonky too?’

He cautiously sat back down on the couch as he considered what had happened to the dishes. Finally he put it out of his mind and walk to the freezer to reach into the sack to pull out one of the frozen treats, pull the wrapper off and stuff it into his mouth where he sucked pleasurably on it. He walked out of the room and returned to his bedroom where he sat down at his desk to consider what had happened.

‘This is so weird, things are just like they were when Harry was here, but he isn’t and hasn’t been here in two years. I wonder what he’s doing now, something odd no doubt. He vanished that night and good riddance to him, I got my second bedroom back and he isn’t here to eat the food. I do miss him though, he was a better cook than Mum and had to wash the dishes instead of me.’

He lost track of time as he considered the happenings of the morning and as he thought about them he became aware that he was hungry once again.

'I wonder if we have any fish in the refrigerator.  I really want some fish and chips.'

He started to rise to go back to the kitchen until he noticed the plate of food sitting on the bed next to him. He looked around and was startled to find that he was alone in the room. Dudley wondered if one of his parents had brought the plate of food up to him and he hadn’t noticed them.

“Dad must have brought this up to me while I was thinking and didn’t say anything to me,” he said to himself as he ate a piece of the fish that had been on the plate. “How did he know that I was hungry for fish?”

Downstairs, Vernon was sitting on the couch as Petunia slouched back in a chair with a cooling cloth over her eyes. The morning had been very curious, his wife had been talking to him and had just called Dudley down for breakfast when she suddenly lost her voice. She hadn’t gone hoarse or complained of a sore throat before that, she had simply stopped talking. Her mouth was still moving, but there was no sound coming out. The bloody doctors at the hospital couldn’t find anything wrong and yet would still bill him for nothing. He huffed his indignity and thought once again about the events of the morning, becoming more confused with every moment.

‘What the bloody hell is going on?’

He rose from the couch and regarded the dishes that were sitting where they had been placed to drain. It wasn’t like Dudley to get motivated enough to wash the dishes without being nagged, in fact, it wasn’t like Dudley to do much of anything. He huffed once again as he shook his head then walked out into the kitchen just as Dudley walked into the room with an empty plate in his hand.

“Haven’t you been told about eating up in your room? Remember the time that you left sweet rolls up there and it drew mice, getting rid of them required an exterminator and was damn bloody expensive.”

“But I didn’t take it up, I found it laying on my bed.”

"Don’t lie to me, boy. You’re beginning to sound like Harry Potter, and don’t even think about saying that it was like magic. He’s gone and so is that nonsense and I won’t hear about it again,” Vernon said as he snatched the plate from the hand of his son.

Their lives had returned to a somewhat more normal status after Harry had vanished the night that they had moved out of the house in fear of their lives. The only communication that they had received from their nephew was that it was safe to return to their home and that he would be back to retrieve his belongings. Since then, there had been nothing and he had been extremely grateful for it. He had managed to gain a certain amount of success and respectability in his career, and he wanted nothing to jeopardize that.

He remembered the account that he had lost because of the floating cake incident, it had taken a lot of frantic explaining to smooth the ruffled feathers of the client and his wife. They had maintained the account, but he had no part in it as his manager had handed it to another representative. While it had angered Vernon, at least he had managed to keep his position and enough time had passed that the incident had faded into oblivion.

Vernon carried the plate to the counter and placed it in the sink. He was rather confused by the fact that the remnants of fish were on the plate. Where in the hell did Dudley get the fish? He was certain that there was no fish in the house and the boy had not had enough time to fry it. There was also the fact that there was no evidence of him preparing the food and he wasn’t even sure that Dudley knew how to fry fish.

Dudley, feeling a little miffed, stomped back up the stairs to his room and flopped onto the bed to stare angrily at the ceiling. His mother NEVER would have spoken to him in that manner, but his father often did. Sometimes he had the idea that his father would like it if he moved out of the house, the nerve of it, wanting him to move out of the house that he had called home for twenty-one years. He was holding a job and paying some of his bills, but surely his father understood that you didn’t make much working at a shop selling newspapers to stodgy old men and candy to noisy, snot-nosed children. A quick glance at the clock told him that it was time to go to work and he knew that it was unlikely that his father would take him. That meant that he would have to walk to work and he wasn’t looking forward to it.

He looked around the room once again and noticed, not for the first time, the state of it. When Harry had been here it had been easy enough to bully him into cleaning the room. Then Harry had discovered that he was a wizard and it had become impossible to get the smaller boy to do his cousin’s bidding. It had rather frightened Dudley when Harry had threatened to give him ears to match the tail that had been put on his backside by the giant, whatever his name was. That threat had put an end to the bullying of Harry and Dudley had found life a lot more difficult.

He rose again and stomped out of the room to make his way to the bathroom, but not before looking back at the room and the mess that it had become.

'I wish that all that I had to do was think about my room being straight.  We need to hire a maid, but Dad's too cheap to even think about it.  I can just hear him if I suggest it. What a row that would cause.'

When he left the bathroom he walked downstairs and then out through the front door to glare up at the midday sky. It was so tiring, he thought as he walked down the street to make his way, having to go to work was for other people. Too bad he couldn’t be more like Harry and not have to walk everywhere, it wasn’t his fault that he had failed to gain his driver’s license even if he had failed the exam four times.

Petunia sat in her chair as she held the cold cloth to her face and wondered once again what had happened to her. She had been calling to her son and suddenly she could no longer talk, it had all been so quick and without warning. She felt wonderful otherwise and the doctor had been unable to find anything wrong with her.

She rose from the chair and made her way to the freezer to get another treat, life was so quiet now that Harry was gone.  Petunia didn’t miss the boy, he had created so many distractions and problems like his mother had. The fact that she and Vernon had raised the boy had caused no end of problems for the couple as they tried to hide the fact that he was in this house. He had proven to be frightfully strange and it had taken all of their efforts to conceal his presence. She had known that he would be like his parents and feared the response that their neighbors would have if they had ever found out. She tried once again to talk and was pleased to be able to whisper again, hopefully she would be able to talk soon.

Dudley reached the bus stop and was about to climb aboard when he was shoved from behind, he whirled to find Arnie Craig standing behind him. They had been enemies since primary school after he had stolen the boy’s lunch and the boy had proven tougher than he was. Since then, they had been constant antagonists and Arnie was one of the few people that weren’t afraid to tangle with Dudley.

“Hey, Dudley, where are you going so fast? Got somewhere to be?”

“Headed to work, if that’s any of your business.”

Arnie flushed red and drew back his fist as Dudley clenched his teeth and prepared to be punched.  This was going to hurt and he really hoped that Arnie would maybe trip on something or someone would push him around to teach him a lesson.

A moment later, he was watching as Arnie was flying backwards through the air to crash into a trash bin that stood on the corner. The strangest part was that no punches were exchanged between them, Arnie had simply been thrown through the air as if tossed by invisible hands. Dudley stared in amazement as the smaller, but tougher man lay senseless as the other passengers on the bus looked on with incredulous expressions at what they had seen. The victor in the strange contest climbed onto the bus and found a seat to watch out through the window as Arnie rose from the ground and stood shaking his fist at the man who had somehow bested him.

Dudley sat down in his seat as he considered what had just happened, it was just the latest event in what had been a very strange day. He tried to make sense of it all and couldn’t, it was almost as if something that he didn’t understand was making these strange things happen, strange things that he could only equate with what his cousin did.

‘It’s got to be him, Harry has to be doing this somehow. It’s like that day in the park when he made it storm and then I ended up all loopy. He had better hope that he has that stupid wand with him when I catch up with him or I’ll show him a magic trick of my own. I’ll transform his face into something a little less recognizable with my fists.’

The bus ride into town took very little time and he was soon standing behind the counter selling candy, newspapers and the other boring items that the shop dealt in. What amazed Dudley was the fact that the chores that he was assigned seemed to do themselves at times, he couldn’t explain any of it and really didn’t want to. No one would have believed his stories if he had tried and he didn’t want to be taken as daft, that could lead to his dismissal.

The day at the shop ended and he soon was walking out through the door to make his way to the corner bus stop. He was very worried that Arnie might just be waiting for him with some of his chums in tow and wondered if he could bluff his way past them. But, to his surprise, they were nowhere to be seen and he gratefully made his way home to 4 Privit Drive where he found his mother quite able to speak and everything else quite boringly normal. He vaulted up the stairs and was stunned to find his room spotless, just one more thing to add to the list of strange occurrences for the day.

“Dudley, dinner is ready!”

He winced again as he heard his mother’s voice call him to the evening meal, the aroma of something else burning made him cringe and he reluctantly made his way down to the dining room to find his father already at the table. His mother was serving the meal and he gulped as he recognized what had been a pot roast complete with over-done vegetables. He sat down at the table as she filled his plate before moving on to his equally unenthusiastic father. They didn’t eat out often enough, in Dudley’s opinion, and it was a wonder that they weren’t all underweight.

When the plates were full, Petunia sat down with her son and husband to begin eating. Dudley described his day at work to the parents that flanked him and neither of them reacted strangely to his tale. The meal which was proceeding normally stopped abruptly when Dudley asked a question that had been puzzling him.

“Mum, Dad, who cleaned my room while I was at work?”

Both of his parents paused with forks nearly to their mouths as they looked at their son with curiosity.

“Neither of us cleaned your room, boy! That’s your job,” Vernon answered.

“But if neither of you did, then who?”

While Vernon blustered and tried to respond, Petunia was staring at the garden door with wide eyes and a mouth hanging open with horror. Vernon noticed the silence and turned to see what was happening, it was only then that he too noticed the elderly man dressed in bright purple robes standing inside the threshold of the room. The old man smiled at them as he advanced on the spellbound family who all regarded him with stunned expressions. It was Vernon who broke the silence when he roared his outrage at the unannounced visitor.

“I demand to know who you are and why you are in my home!”

“My name is Magnus Wellington, Deputy Minister of Magic, and I am here to inform you that were are very sorry that we missed your son when he turned eleven. His abilities are very undisciplined, almost to the point of nonexistence, but we are aware of them just the same.”

“Do you take us for fools, you crazed old lunatic. He is not one of your kind and I demand that you leave this house immediately,” Petunia said with menace.

“Ah, Mrs. Dursley, I knew your sister well and I assure you that your son IS your sister’s nephew!”

Petunia Dursley had no response but to scream as the envelope with green writing on it was handed to Dudley who looked at the wizard before him with an astonished look on his face.

"You only thought you were a Muggle."

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