"Hold still so I can finish! Then I can stop fussing!"
"Ow! Don't pull my hair!"
"Stop squirming and I won't pull your hair!"
"Mum! Where are my shoes?"
"They aren't in your closet?"
"Why didn't you check there first?"
Dudley watched the scene of chaos unfolded in front of his eyes. Diane valiantly attempted to tie Mari's hair up with a ribbon while Will struggled to find the rest of his outfit. To be honest, he felt that all their effort in their appearance would only be for nothing. Wizards didn't care if Mari was wearing her best dress, the one she wore that Easter, or if Will was in a suit. He knew that Diane had spent at least an hour styling her short hair and had tried on more than five outfits before settling on her favorite navy blouse and black pencil skirt. He knew that Will had double and triple checked his appearance after he had combed his hair and he knew that Diane would fight Mari until the little girl let her mother place the bright pink bow in her brown locks.
Dudley knew that the wizards didn't wear suits or pencil skirts and no matter what his family wore, they would look ridiculous.
Dudley knew this, but he didn't dare tell his wife that.
"Honey!" Shook from his thoughts, Dudley looked at his wife, who had finally managed to fix their daughter's hair. "Could you please check and see if Harry's here yet? It's almost 4:30…"
"I've got it mum!" Will shouted from the top of the stairway. Dudley could see the joy on his son's face as the boy slide down the banister, despite his mother's protests. The 11 year old wizard threw open the front door, half expecting Harry to appear in a cloud of smoke. With a sigh, Will turned back to his mother, "Not here yet mum…"
Diane set Mari down before inspecting her own appearance, "That's good…" she muttered; "Maybe now I can salvage my hair…" Dudley watched his wife run her fingers through her short hair, fluffing it in places, smoothing it down in places, picking at imaginary split ends…
Finally Dudley took Diane's hands, "Stop." A small smile spread across the Dursley man's face, "You look lovely."
"Says the man who has a cousin who disappears into thin air?" Diane said with a smirk, straightening Dudley's tie.
"Says the woman who has a son who causes bad hair pieces to combust?" Her husband retorted, pecking her nose.
"MUM! DAD! Knock it off!" The couple turned to look at Will, "He's here already!"
Mari was out the door before either of her parents could stop her, "MR. HARRY'S HERE!"
"Hey! Wait for me!" Will laughed, making his way out to the front door. Diane and Dudley looked at each other for a good moment.
"Shall we?" Diane asked her husband, though it was a rhetorical question than anything.
Dudley took his wife's hand as they walked out the door, "We shall.
To be honest, the car was plain; it was a simple black car that neatly sat five. Dudley was sitting in the passenger's seat next to Harry while Diane sat between her children to minimize bickering.
"I didn't know wizards drove cars Harry, to be honest." Dudley chuckled as he watched his cousin drive.
Harry smiled, "Well actually, a lot don't. There are some wizarding families that have no idea how to use some muggle items." At this, the dark haired man laughed, "You know, I spent almost 4 hours trying to explain to my brother-in-law that an escalator wasn't an enchanted staircase."
Will leaned forward, straining against his seatbelt, "Really? That's so weird!"
Harry adjusted his rear-view mirror so he could get a better look at Will, "Well to be fair, muggles don't know much about the wizarding world or how magic works in general."
Diane raised an eyebrow, "But what about the witch trials that went on during Medieval times? Were any of those witches real?"
The Dursleys in the back seat watched in the rear-view mirror as Harry furrowed his brow, "You'll have to forgive me, I only got a D in History of Magic, but I think that most of the women and men accused of witchcraft in those times were just unfortunate muggles. Anytime a real witch or wizard would have been caught, they could have easily have just used a fire freezing spell to make sure they weren't actually hurt."
Will wrinkled his nose, "I'm not too good at history."
Harry chuckled, "Neither was I, and the professor didn't help." The older wizard shook his head as he made a turn down a more secluded road, "Boring as could be."
"Maybe I'll have better luck with a different professor!" The smaller blond smiled, hopeful.
Harry just shook his head, "No such luck, Will. Professor Binns will never stop teaching."
Dudley chuckled, "Old coot just won't die?"
"Oh no, he's already dead, he just won't stop teaching."
A thick silence hung over the car, each of the Dursleys trying to figure out if Harry was serious about his comment. Dudley realized that this was happening a lot with his cousin. When did Harry suddenly get the urge to start talking in riddles?
"Mr. Harry, you need to turn around, that road's closed." Dudley looked back at Mari, who was pointing at the road sign which Harry had just pasted.
Sure enough, Dudley and Diane were just able to catch a glimpse of the sign, enough for the sign to make it's meaning clear
BRIDGE CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION
Diane tapped on Harry's shoulder, "I think Mari's right, maybe we took a wrong turn…"
"Trust me, we didn't take a wrong turn." Harry said with a smile as they pulled up to the bridge.
The sound of the car idling was the only sound that anyone heard for a while. Dudley took the opportunity to look at the bridge. To say it was under construction would be an understatement. The structure they all were looking at couldn't even be considered a bridge. It was more of a ramp that led to nowhere, just stopping suddenly, leaving anyone that dared travel on it to an untimely drop.
Finally, Harry readjusted his mirror, "Alright everyone, I should warn you, this ride is going to get a little bit bumpy. Everyone's buckled yes?" The three Dursley's in the back seat nodded. Even Dudley found himself responding to Harry, "Right-o then, We'll just be on our way." Harry moved the car forward, but stopped again. The dark haired wizard turned to look at Diane, "Diane?"
The older Dursley lady blinked, "Yes?"
"Hold onto your kids, alright?"
Before Diane or even Dudley could respond, Harry had slammed his foot onto the gas pedal, sending the car forward at breakneck speeds. As the car barreled along the bridge and closer to the sudden drop, Dudley felt his entire life flash before his eyes. Oh no, Harry was still sore about their childhood. And now he was sending himself and his family over a cliff! Oh, why wasn't he nicer to Harry growing up? How could he have known that Harry would become a wizard and trap them in a car before sending them over a unfinished bridge? Why didn't he change sooner? Why…
"Dudley, you can stop screaming now."
Dudley's watery blue eyes opened.
Just in time to see their car rocket off the end of the bridge, soaring several feet.
10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet…40 feet? 50 feet?How far could a car go before crashing into the hard earth below?
But…the car didn't crash. At all. In fact, it didn't even move downwards. Instead, the little black car kept climbing higher and higher. Then it took a turn as Harry turned his steering wheel. The wizard was calmly still driving the airbound car. And that's when it hit Dudley.
The car was flying.
"Whoa!" Will exclaimed, looking out the window. Mari giggled as they passed a flock of birds, pointing to them out her window. Diane was torn between being in awe or being scarred for her life.
It took several moments before Dudley could look at his cousin.
The wizard was obviously trying to keep from laughing, "I'm sorry Dudley, but you have to admit that the look on your face was pretty brilliant."
"Well I'm glad I could be of entertainment Harry." The blonde dabbed his forehead with his sleeve.
Harry chuckled, "Would now be too late to tell you this is a magical car?"
Will was beaming, "I thought you could only ride on brooms?"
The older wizard smiled, "Brooms are our favorite way to travel, but that doesn't mean that we can't make other things fly."
It was almost 6 in the evening by the time that Harry put the car on four wheels again, driving along a dirt road.
"You won't be taking us off anymore bridges will you Harry?" Diane asked hesitantly, still clutching onto Mari for dear life.
Harry chuckled, "Don't worry Diane, we're done flying for now. In fact, if you look up ahead, you'll see our destination."
At this, all the Dursley's looked out the window at the house that they were quickly approaching. Surprisingly, the house they saw didn't look like the tower of a castle or a mighty fortress. It looked like a normal two story house with a garden and a garage. Just like any other house that the Dursleys might find on Chestnut Avenue. It looked like a relatively normal house, although by now Dudley was expecting the house to be anything but normal.
There was a still silence as Harry parked the car. Will was watching the house, waiting for something to happen, though what he was expecting no one knew.
"Shall we head inside?"
None of the Dursleys had noticed that Harry had not only gotten out of the car, but was halfway to the house before the family had gotten out of their seats.
"Yay! We're at a wizard's house!"
Leave it to Mari to lighten the atmosphere.
"Ginny! Kids, I'm back!" Harry called into the house as he shut the door behind Dudley. The wizard looked back at his cousin's family, "Welcome to my home. Ginny should be in the kitchen cooking-"
"Cooking doesn't even begin to cover what I'm doing, Harry!" A voice ripped through the house. Harry visibly winced, an action that Dudley noted.
A sheepish grin crossed Harry's face, "I think she wants us to come to her. Come one, I'll try to give you a quick tour of this floor before we see what my wife is up to…" The wizard took off, Will and Mari close behind with Diane on their heels.
Dudley almost fell behind as his cousin led Dudley's family through the various rooms of the house, pointing out several photos that made him laugh. Dudley tried to pay attention, he really did, it was just so much to take in. The blonde's eyes drifted to a grandfather clock that stood in the hallway and a small smile drifted across his face. It was very similar to the one Dudley had in his own home. But as Dudley got a closer look, he noticed that the clock didn't tell time. Instead of having two hands, it had multiple hands, each one with a picture of what Dudley could only guess were members of Harry's family; and instead of having numbers, there were several different places surrounding the clock face…
"Neat clock isn't it?"
Dudley jumped, not aware that he was being watched. The blonde man turned to face who he suspected was Harry's older son, James.
"Erm…yes I suppose…what does it do? It obviously can't tell time…" Dudley felt like his question my sound foolish to the adolescent wizard.
The auburn haired boy looked at Dudley, then the clock, then at Dudley again, "Yes, well it obviously doesn't tell time. It tells where your family is at of course." The wizard tapped the glass over the face of the clock, "See? All of us, meaning mum and dad, Al, Lily and I are all pointed at HOME." Dudley saw the arms with Harry's picture, as well as the others pointing at the word 'HOME' on the clock, "Uncle Ron is still at work, while Aunt Hermione and Rose and Hugo are visiting Grandmum and Granddad Weasley."
Weasley…Where have I heard that name before? Dudley pondered for all of two seconds before looking at James' red hair again. Oh… The same Weasleys that gave him those hexed sweets.
"There you are James, Dudley! I wondered where you got to." Harry said with a smile as he joined his cousin and his son in front of the grandfather clock. "Lily and Mari are playing in Lily's room while Al took Will to the attic to show him some other books to read."
"And Diane?" Dudley asked, hoping nothing bad had become of his wife.
Harry chuckled, "She's in the kitchen helping Ginny with dinner."
"Oh, alright…" Dudley said, relieved.
"So…" Harry looked back at the clock, "What do you think?"
"This room is incredible!" Will's eyes were wide as Albus took him into the attic. The room wasn't so much of an attic as it was more of a library, filled with magical books on every topic.
Al smiled, green eyes twinkling behind his glasses, "I know. Dad let me turn the attic into a place to put all my books and everything. He even got me a few chairs to put up here when I just want to read." The smaller boy sat in one of the overstuffed chairs in the miniature library. Will eagerly sat with him.
"What's it like being a wizard?" Will had to ask, eager to learn.
Al chuckled. "What's it like being a muggle?"
The two stared at each other before they started laughing.
"I asked you first!"
"Well I don't know, I only just got my letter you know!" Al chuckled, sitting on his knees.
Will tilted his head to the side, "You mean you haven't been doing magic all your life?"
Al shook his head, "I haven't gotten my wand yet, Dad's taking me to Diagon Alley to get-"
"We need wands?" Will's eyes got even wider.
Al blinked at him, then laughed. "Of course we need wands, how did you expect to do magic?"
Will could feel his cheeks redden in front of the ebony haired boy, "I…I dunno…"
Seeing Will's discomfort, Al smiled softly, "If you look on your letter, there's a list of required things that you'll need for the new term at Hogwarts."
"Will I be able to get all the stuff I need? I don't know any stores that sell wands…" Will trailed off when he saw Al starting to grin again.
"Well, my family likes to shop on Diagon Alley, but muggles aren't able to get there without a wizard's help. Maybe my dad can take us, and then we can get our books and everything together."
Will grinned, "Great!"
"I'm guessing you're excited for Hogwarts?" At Will's eager nodding, Al smiled, "Me too, but I'm a little nervous about being sorted."
"What's that like? Is it hard?" Will leaned forward in his chair.
Al shrugged, "I don't know. James told me that you have to do lots of hard spells, but Uncle Ron says he's lying. I just hope I get into Gryffindor."
"Why's that?" Will asked, trying to remember which house that was.
Al shrugged again, looking at his hands, "Everyone in my family has been in Gryffindor, I would hate to be the weird one..."
"I already am the weird one."
Al looked up at Will. The two looked at each other for a long time. Finally, Al started to smile.
"I guess you are."
"BOYS! DINNER'S READY!" Not one but two voices rang out through house, reaching the boys all the way up in the attic.
"I guess our moms get along nice enough." Will joked.
Al laughed, "And here mom thought she'd never meet a muggle she liked."
Dudley looked around at the table. He could have sworn that when he first saw it, the table had been only big enough to fit 5 comfortably. But now there were 9 of them seated around the long table, and there was still plenty of room for the massive amounts of food that Ginny had made. Although he was puzzled, Dudley was glad that Diane was chatting amiably with Ginny, Harry's wife. James and Harry were debating heatedly over something Dudley couldn't even begin to understand, although he thought her heard the word 'Quidditch' thrown around, whatever that meant.
The sounds of feet making their way down the stairs could be heard as Will and Albus finally came into view. Dudley turned to look at them.
And almost forgot to breathe.
Albus looked more like his father in real life than he had in the picture. They had the same unruly hair that stuck out at funny angles everywhere, the same scrawny arms and legs, the same wiry build, the same tiny glasses. They even had the same bright green eyes that lit up a room wherever he was.
And Will…everyone always said that Will looked like Dudley, although Dudley knew he was much larger than Will at his age. But the same basic features were there, such as Dudley's blonde hair and blue eyes were also on will. They both also had small dimples on their cheeks when they smiled just right…
That's how Al and Will looked. Just right. There was no imbalance of power between them. One wasn't spoiled while the other was ignored. One wasn't skin and bones in hand me down cloths 4 sizes too big while the other was almost too big for normal cloths that received everything he wanted and still wasn't happy.
No, there was none of that.
They were just right.
"Hey dad, you can stop staring at me."
Dudley blinked. He hadn't realized he had been staring at his son until he was seated across from him. Will was sitting next to Al, who was still eagerly telling Will all he knew.
"Alright boys, that's enough talking for now." Harry chuckled as Ginny served everyone, "Why don't you thank your mum for the meal Albus? She made your favorites."
The black haired boy blushed, "Thanks mum…"
Ginny grinned, kissing her son on his cheek, "You're very welcome Al." Both Ginny and Diane shared a grin, which made Dudley chuckle quietly.
James rolled his eyes, "Can we eat already?"
Harry laughed, "Oh alright James, You ca-" But Harry was interrupted by the sound of a car backfiring.
Wait...that's the same noise Harry made when he-
"GOOD EVENING POTTER FAMILY!" A loud and boisterous boomed as it made its way to the dining room.
Dudley and Diane couldn't help but stare.
The man that had interrupted their dinner looked like everything that would have given Vernon Dursley a heart attack. For one, he wore pants far too tight for him, not that it mattered, they were so torn up it was hard to tell if he was trying to make a fashion statement or if he was a vagabound. Petunia Dursley would have tried to tear the poor excuse for pants right off the man and burned them, if she had a chance. This man also wore brightly colored robes. Dudley had expected wizards to wear robes or something of the sort, but nothing as bright as what he saw. He didn't even know purple could get so bright, it was like seeing a light show. And of course the eyebrow piercing over his left eye didn't help the man's unsettling appearance. But to top it all off, the newly arrived wizard had bright turquoise hair.
Dudley opened his mouth to ask what was going on when the three Potter children beat him to the punch.
Write a Review New Leaf to Turn: Chapter 7: We're Off to See the Wizard