The Sugar Quill
Author: Aesop  Story: Dudley Dursley Saves the World  Chapter: Default
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VERNON DURSLEY SAVES THE WORLD

DUDLEY DURSLEY SAVES THE WORLD

By Aesop

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t create Harry Potter and the rest and I earn no profit in this. It’s just for fun. This really silly idea was born of an all night study session and a Rudyard Kipling poem. I’ll present a gilded no-prize to anyone who can tell me which one.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  This is set during the summer after Harry’s 4th year..

SUMMARY: Read the title.

 

"It is a brilliant plan, Master," Wormtail sniveled. His master ignored him, knowing precisely how risky the plan really was. He knew his limitations even if he didn’t advertise them. He could not attack the boy directly while he was protected in the home of his blood relatives, but it wasn’t necessary to attack him directly.

"Since it is Potter’s relatives that provide the protection, eliminating them will leave him defenseless." It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. The charm he had crafted would allow him to enter the house and cast minor spells, but he couldn’t actually harm any of them without having those spells turned back upon him just as the Avada Kedavra curse had been all those years ago. It was possible his plan could go very wrong, but he was willing to risk it.

"Knowing your enemies is the key, Wormtail, and I know Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter very well. Hogwarts’ illustrious headmaster will not have told Potter everything. He has always… what is the Muggle expression? Played his card close to his chest? Yes. Potter won’t know the limitations of his ‘protection.’ That is his vulnerability. In order to protect his family he will do exactly as I tell him."

"What if he does not come quietly? What if he resists?"

"Then his family will die," Voldemort waved off his minion’s concern as if it meant nothing. "There are ways around the ‘protection.’ I will still win, but it would be so much more satisfying to have Potter surrender to me."

Voldemort knew he wouldn’t have much time after entering the house. Dumbledore was certain to have placed safeguards around the house without the Muggles’ knowledge. The ministry would be alerted almost as soon as he arrived, but he had planned the attack carefully, to give himself as much time as possible.

After one last review of his preparations, he nodded to his Death Eaters. "I will return with the boy within the hour." There were nods from his closest supporters, and Voldemort drew his wand. With a slight twist of the wand he would barely be using, he Disapparated.

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Harry Potter was bored. This was nothing unusual. He was often bored during the summer. Summer break had never been a time of carefree fun as he had heard it should be, as it was for Dudley. Dudley always enjoyed his summers, but then Dudley didn’t have to lift a finger during his vacations. Harry had to work. He always had to work, doing his chores and those that should have been his cousin’s. There had never been any pretense there. Dudley didn’t have to bully Harry into doing his share of the work, as there never was any work for Dudley. It was all Harry’s.

He was having a rare break, locked in his room, as he usually was when his relatives didn’t require anything of him. He could have used the time to study if his trunk hadn’t been locked up at Uncle Vernon’s office. They were determined that he not get up to any ‘funny business’ during the summer. He was counting the days until he would be able to go to the Burrow to be with Ron and his family, and had considered marking the time on his wall with hash marks as he’d seen in comic strips about prisoners.  Aunt Petunia would throw a fit if he did, though. Might be worth it, he mused trying to calculate the punishment for such an action. Would they make him repaint the room? It could use it anyway.

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Vernon Dursley watched his wife fuss about the kitchen with a contented smile on his face. His son was listening to music in the next room, something quiet for a change, thankfully, and the feel of it all was wonderfully normal and domestic. He lived for moments like this, even as he settled in to work through the monthly finances. It was a chore he hated, but it was a normal chore. Nothing abnormal was in sight and he was as happy as he had been since his nephew had returned from school.

He quickly shoved the thought away even as it threatened to surface. Normal. Everything was normal, and he would not spoil such a lovely afternoon with thoughts of the boy. Harry had been unusually subdued since his return this year and seemed more than happy to stay out of sight, brooding in his room. None of them knew why Harry was acting that way, and none of them particularly cared. Vernon encouraged an ‘out of sight out of mind’ attitude in his family.

There was no way of knowing how long it would last. With Potter there was always something. Whether he was causing trouble himself or whether it was one of his freak friends from that school, there was always something. Despite his best efforts, he vividly remembered every unnatural incident, and no matter how domestic and peaceful the current scene was there was a small part of him waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Afternoon faded quietly into night without that happening. Petunia took Harry’s supper up to him. It had been such a splendid day that he saw no reason to spoil it by brining Harry to everyone’s attention. If the boy stayed in his room they would be able to ignore him; pretend, for a while, that he wasn’t there. That appealed to Vernon.

The knock at the door came as the Dursleys were sitting down to dinner. Vernon scowled briefly. He hated it when people dropped by unannounced, especially at dinnertime. "This won’t take a moment," he said, keeping his voice genial for the sake of his wife and son and the quiet evening they were having. "Begin serving, would you, m’dear?"

"Of course, dear," Petunia smiled, almost pitying whoever was foolish enough to be interrupting her Vernon at his dinner. He hated to have ‘family’ time interrupted, and would most likely give whoever was at the door a good chewing out. She spotted Dudley’s smirk and knew her son was thinking the same thing. It might be best to admonish him for taking any pleasure in another’s discomfort but, as Vernon pointed out, boys would be boys.

Vernon opened the door to find one of ‘them’ on his front step. "I’ve come for the boy," his unwanted visitor said without preamble.

"What would you want with him?" He didn’t bother asking what boy. There was only one it could be.

"That does not concern you." Vernon suppressed a cry of alarm as he was lifted off his feet and moved backwards through the air so the stranger could enter. "Ask him to come down, if you would be so kind. We will be out of your way soon."

Just as his relatives protected him, Harry Potter protected them. That was the nature of the charm. While Harry was under the Dursleys’ roof, under their protection, Voldemort couldn’t lift a finger against any of them. If, however, Potter left, for whatever reason, of his own volition, his family would be left defenseless.

"How dare you!" the Muggle raged as he floated before Voldemort like a particularly ugly balloon. "You dare burst in here with your vile party tricks and make demands of me?!" He grasped a doorframe as he floated by and shoved his feet to the ground. The Muggle’s antics, Voldemort mused, might be entertaining under other circumstances. This insignificant creature had a backbone, it seemed. It would be fun to break it.

Vernon, for his part, was determined that he would not quail before this stranger as he had before that Weasley character. This one was much scarier, though. Cooperation for the sake of his wife and son would be best but he would not show this…creature fear. Petunia and Dudley came out of the dining room at the disturbance. He heard her gasp of shock before he saw her. He turned to her. "He’s come to pick up Harry. They’re a bit early is all this summer. Good to be rid of him a few weeks early eh?" Petunia took the hint and nodded, hiding her nervousness admirably. "Dudley, go upstairs and send Harry down, would you?" He stressed the word ‘send’ hoping that his son would have enough sense to stay upstairs himself.

Voldemort turned his attention to the fat little Muggle, who cast him a terrified look before bolting for the stairs. No doubt that one would soon be hiding in a cupboard somewhere, but it didn’t matter as long as he sent Potter down.

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The sound of Dudley running up the stairs was very distinctive. It didn’t happen often, but the sound, not to mention the vibration that could practically be felt throughout the house, unmistakable. The last time Dudley had run up the stairs, Harry had thought a mountain troll had found its way to Privet drive. The doorknob rattled as Dudley tried to open it without the key, and Harry wondered if he should be concerned. More likely he should be happy. If the Weasleys had come to pick him up early, that could explain his cousin’s apparent panic. Harry tossed aside the book he’d been reading and rolled to his feet. It was quite a bit earlier than expected, but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

The knob rattled again and Harry frowned, realizing that Dudley didn’t have the key. He smirked suddenly and stepped forward to grasp the knob.  The previous summer, Harry had learned how to get out of the room if he had to. Since Uncle Vernon insisted on locking him in at night it seemed best to have a way out in case of emergency.

A little study and experimentation had shown that he could open the door with the proper movements of the knob. He knew he would regret giving away the secret, but the thought of seeing the look on Dudley’s face was too much for him. Before he could think better of it he grasped the knob and gave the appropriate series of jerks and twists before yanking it open. Seeing his frantic cousin fall face down on the carpet was, he decided, worth the trouble it would cause him.

At least it was worth it until the pain hit. His scar started to burn in an all too familiar way. "Voldemort!" he gasped, grabbing the doorjamb. "He’s close." Or possibly, Harry realized, just feeling especially murderous. Or both. No sooner had the thought occurred to him than he realized it was the truth. Voldemort was close, in the house.

Dudley scrambled to his feet, looking terrified. "Dad says you need to get downstairs. Someone’s come to pick you up."

Harry paled visibly. How could Voldemort be here? Dumbledore had said he was protected. Voldemort himself had said it. Obviously there was a way to get around that protection, and the Dark Lord had found it.

"Stay up here, Dudley." Steadying himself carefully, he made his way to the head of the stairs.

It was Voldemort, making himself at home in the Dursleys’ living room. Uncle Vernon was stationed in front of the kitchen door, and Harry didn’t need to look to know that Aunt Petunia was cowering behind him. Vernon glared at his visitor who only smiled thinly at the implied threat.

Mustering his courage, Harry addressed their visitor. "Hello, Tom," he greeted the older wizard in a surprisingly calm voice.

A flicker of annoyance crossed Voldemort’s face. "Do not call me that. Are you prepared to leave?"

"You want me dead. Why would I go anywhere with you?" In answer, the Dark Lord drew his wand in a heartbeat and pressed the tip against Vernon Dursley’s throat.

"Any more questions? It should be obvious, even to a lack-wit like you that I have overcome Dumbledore’s feeble defenses. I offer you this chance to spare your relatives, but I am not a patient man."

Harry had to fight to hold himself still and not tremble. He didn’t believe a word of it, but there was nothing he could do. It was likely that Voldemort would kill the Dursleys anyway, so why hadn’t he? Maybe it was a bluff of some kind? Harry’s right hand itched for his wand. He really couldn’t take the chance that it was a bluff. As much as he despised the Dursleys, he didn’t want them dead, and he certainly didn’t want to watch them die. "You’ll leave them alone if I come with you, don’t put up a fight?" He dared not push very far. If it wasn’t a bluff, then Voldemort was amusing himself, making Harry surrender to him.

"If you ask politely. You kept me waiting, Potter." His tone dripped honey and Harry gritted his teeth. Now he had to ask Voldemort not to kill them? He really wasn’t bluffing.

Swallowing his pride he spoke in as polite a manner as he knew how. "Please. Don’t hurt them. I’ll come with you." The Dark Lord’s smile widened. "You won’t harm them?"

"You have my word."

That and two sickles will buy you a butter beer, Harry thought glumly. Still, it was the best he could do for his family. "All right." He saw Uncle Vernon’s eyes widen in surprise, but he didn’t say anything, and he certainly wasn’t trying to prevent Harry’s departure.

Satisfaction welled in the Dark Lord’s chest as the boy walked past him toward the door. Potter had believed the lie. The boy had actually pleaded with him not to hurt the Muggle scum. Potter’s crawling, he promised himself, was only just beginning. With a final, contemptuous look at the bloated Muggle, he turned toward the door and followed. As soon as Voldemort had passed the threshold, he rubbed a small charm tucked into his sleeve, sending a silent signal to his servants. Time to send a message to the Ministry.

********************************************************************************************** 

Dudley Dursley wished he were braver. He wished he had enough courage to snatch that fancy stick out of the freak’s hand and break it in front of him. The only thing that stopped him, or so he told himself, was the memory of what those ‘fancy sticks’ could do. He still shuddered when he thought about that horrid giant and had a permanent reminder of the tail the man had given him. It had had to be surgically removed. The closest he could bring himself to the stranger was the hallway a few feet from the head of the stairs. Dudley listened in amazement as his cousin actually agreed to leave with the man to keep the freak from killing his father. Why would he do that? Why hadn’t he run off? Dudley shoved aside such riddles and listened as Harry and the other freak left the house. The front door had barely closed when he heard the back open and Mummy scream.

Get out now! He didn’t need to hear Daddy’s shout to know he should run. Going down the stairs wasn’t an option; he’d be seen for sure, so he did the only thing he could think to do. Heaving himself to his feet he made his way, quickly as his bulk would allow, to his bedroom. Closing the door as quietly as he could, he went to the window and tugged it open.

There were footsteps on the stairs. Hurry! Hurry! Hurry! First one leg and then the other through the window, while trying not to remember that he was on the second floor, he pushed himself through. At least, he tried. The window wouldn’t go up quite far enough, and he became stuck. Sucking in his substantial gut as much as he could and heaving with all his strength, he slid a few more inches through and felt gravity take over.

**********************************************************************************************

Harry heard his aunt’s cry seconds after the door closed behind Voldemort. Rounding on the dark wizard he started to protest. "I said I wouldn’t harm them," Voldemort allowed a thin smile as he leveled his wand at the boy to keep him from bolting.

Knowing he’d never make it back inside, he tried another route. "There’s no need, besides you do have some things in common." He saw Voldemort’s face darken in anger. "They hate me almost as much as you do." That brought Voldemort up short.

"Indeed? Then why would you bargain for their lives?" He was truly perplexed, and forgot, for the moment, that Potter had suggested he had anything in common with Muggles. "Idiotic Gryffindor nobility," he scoffed. "What did you expect to-" A sound from above distracted him, and he glanced up, just in time to receive Dudley’s 220 lbs. full in the face.

Harry could only gape in astonishment, as Voldemort seemed to fold like wet cardboard under his cousin’s weight. There were several audible and rather sickening snapping noises before Dudley came to rest. Groaning, his fat cousin rolled over and found himself face to face with the most evil wizard the world had seen in centuries. Voldemort mustered one final glare as his life-breath hissed out in Dudley’s ear.

With a shriek, Dudley clambered to his feet. Harry wrinkled his nose. One of them, it was impossible to tell which, had lost control of his bladder. He guessed it was Dudley, as the smell seemed to fade as his cousin made his ponderous way down the walk crying and gibbering in fear.

Harry looked down at Voldemort. He had seen dead, and this was definitely dead. A glance toward the street showed him Dudley moving faster than Harry had ever seen him move, apparently unaware that no one was chasing him. This changed everything. Voldemort was dead. He should have been celebrating. He no longer had to live with the Dursleys. No one was trying to kill him. His whole life, a whole world of possibilities lay before him without a single dark cloud in sight, but all he could think when he looked down at his nemesis was, “what a way to go.”

THE END

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