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Chapter 1: Runaway
AN: THIS IS HELEN's (AC_RULES) first and for ToujoursPadfoot's Gift It challenge. And then for everyone who wanted to read Chudley. So. This is for you.
The chapters are going to be short to start with so bear with me. :) Enjoy!
Dudley Dursley was always destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. After Sixth Form there would probably be no prospects of a university degree or of going to college. No, Vernon had never gone and neither had Petunia and they had turned out just fine, thank you very much.
Dudley was going to be just fine and he would lead a normal life. He would get a job of his own, he’d get a girlfriend, move out and then marry her, just as his parents had always expected of him and still did to an extent. Dudley was going to be normal and Vernon was going to try his damnedest to prevent anything weird or suspicious from happening.
The thing was that ever since that bloody war had happened and they had all gone into hiding, Petunia had just... gone off her rocker. Vernon didn’t understand what was wrong with her and soon enough she had packed her bags and gone back to live with that Muriel woman they had been staying with. Vernon wanted to be normal, and this behaviour was just weird and he didn’t understand and, frankly, he wouldn’t try to either. Even though he loved Petunia to some extent this was just going too far, therefore Petunia hardly existed to him nowadays and he expected Dudley to feel the same. Dudley was more Dursley-ish than his soon-to-be ex-wife’s loopy lot, Vernon knew, and that meant that he was going to turn out just fine.
So that was that. Dudley finished Sixth Form and then Vernon got him started at the worst and most boring place possible to work: Grunning’s.
Dudley answered phones, he watched his father yell at people whether they deserved it or not, ran silly, stupid errands for the world and his wife and all with a pained smile on his miserable face. All this running around meant less breaks to eat a snack and just about enough time for a fag, and that meant he was losing weight drastically again (since he had already shed a few pounds from running around his Sixth Form the previous year). Even though he had three square meals a day and managed to scrounge for a doughnut with the spare change that his dad’s co-workers gave him when he went on the snack run, it wasn’t at all what he was used to.
Still, he went round and made sure to say hello to everyone and shook senior staff’s hands respectfully and did everything right to make sure he got a pat on the head and a sticker at the end of his shift. He didn’t want his dad hearing that he was mouthing off or being disrespectful – Dudley already heard enough crap out of his mouth all day when he was in a good mood let alone a bad one.
Eventually his shift finished – he had an earlier shift than his father so that he wouldn’t be under his father’s thumb the whole time and the fact that it was “important to coerce with other employees that you may need to work with in the future” or bollocks to that effect – and he’d skip off home for a quick nap.
It was the awkward walk home that he hated the most, it was always the time where he would recognise classmates from years past who had either hated him, feared him, or was back from University for the day and had to do a double-take before engaging in the usual niceties. It always took so long and bored him to tears most of the time. Secretly he was a bit jealous at the studious types – they always seemed like they were having much more fun with their tales of odd people from different countries and being all independent and stuff. It was sickening.
After his nap, however, he’d managed to find a few custard creams somewhere and shove them in his gob before nervously checking the time to count the hours of when his father would be home. Usually there were at least three spare hours at which he would sneak to the side-cupboard and open up the – what was the word Harry had used before? Jinxed? Charmed? – draw that was perpetually stuck no matter how hard his father pulled on it. ‘A side-effect from when our house was trashed by those bloody gurglemmfs-!’ his father would always mumble after giving up on it and never bothered enough to tamper with it with some of the old tools he kept stored in the shed in their garden.
The draw had an endless supply of weird green powder in pouches that never seemed to run out at all. Dudley wrinkles his nose at the familiar musty smell before opening a plastic sandwich bag grabbing as much as he can without it falling onto the pristine cream carpet and slamming the draw shut.
He’d walk over into his fireplace, which was a fair bit cramped really – why couldn’t Harry have done something about that? – and readying himself for a moment before clearing his throat. “St. Mungo's.” he said loudly before dropping the Floo powder and was whisked off as if he’d never been there in the first place.