Chapter 1 : Dudley, age seven.
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“BOY – COME HERE.”
Harry stumbled out of his cupboard towards the kitchen, where his uncle was undoubtedly going to yell at him for some reason or another. Upstairs in bed, Dudley smiled as he heard his father shouting at Harry to shovel a path outside through the snow “because it’s not going to do itself!”
Dudley rolled over, and decided that it would be a good idea to get up - his stomach was starting to grumble. Reaching the bottom of the stairs just as Harry was opening the front door – spade in hand – he smirked at his cousin, knowing that if he ever tried to respond then he would always be backed up by his parents. As if to prove this, as soon as he ambled into the kitchen he was greeted with praises.
“Good morning my Duddikins. I hope you slept well!”
“Morning son, it’s nice to see you up – you know I have a surprise for you today!”
Petunia smiled at her husband, her horsey features enhanced as the grin spread across her long face. Vernon had been teasing Dudley with this “surprise” for the past week, and she was relieved the day was finally here so that her son would stop getting wound up.
At the age of seven, Dudley was already the size of a young elephant, and his chair groaned under the sudden weight as he sat down, waiting expectantly for his breakfast.
“I’ve made you your favourite breakfast, because today is such a special day,” Petunia said, placing a full English breakfast in front of him, “Eat up!”
She didn’t need to worry about him eating it all. Within five minutes his plate was empty, and he was asking for more. She placed a couple of sausages and some bacon on his plate, as Vernon looked on proudly.
“That’s my son – he’s got such a great appetite!”
There was another creak from Dudley’s chair, and then it broke, the wood splintering, throwing him to the floor. He landed hard on his knee and was immediately encircled by his parents, who helped him up quickly. Petunia dusted him down, muttering about how old the chair was and how it was going to break sooner or later, as Vernon ruffled his hair and retreated to his seat.
“Does it hurt anywhere? I think you deserve a nice long bath after that nasty tumble,” Petunia said, ignoring the crash from outside, indicating that Harry had fallen over in the snow.
“My knee hurts,” he whined, “I think I have broken my leg.”
Petunia went deathly white, and stood up immediately, telling her husband to phone the doctor whilst she helped her son up. Being far too large for her to pick up, she flung Dudley’s arm over her shoulder and slowly walked him to the sitting room, murmuring reassurances into his ear as he complained about the agony he was in.
As they passed the front door, it flew open, almost knocking them both over. Too weighed down to yell at Harry, Petunia settled for a short “Get out of my way!” as Dudley glared at him.
Limping, Harry followed his aunt and cousin to the sitting room, where he sank into the nearest chair that was not already occupied, and started to examine his leg. It was bent at an odd angle, and he winced as he tried to force it into a normal position.
“The doctor has just left, but he said it might take him a while to get here because of the snow. I told him I didn’t care if he slipped on ice, he had to get here soon or we wouldn’t be using him anymore!” Vernon caught sight of Harry hunched over his leg in the corner of the room, “You can’t have finished already! You only started five minutes ago. Get out there again, the doctor is coming soon!”
“I’ve cleared all the snow,” Harry grunted, “I fell over when I was coming back in.”
“Finished? And pigs can fly, I suppose, boy?” Vernon grumbled as he went to look out of the window. His front garden stared back at him, completely free of snow, apart from two large piles. Vernon struggled to find words to say.
“That – that should have taken you hours...I suppose you think I’m going to fall for this, boy?” His voice rose an octave as he slowly grew more purple. “Go back out there!”
“DON’T ARGUE WITH ME! And don’t expect any special treatment just because you’ve twisted your ankle. Dudley has been seriously injured, and if there isn’t a clear path for the doctor to come up...” He let the threat hang over his nephew, for at the sound of his name, Dudley had started up a new chorus of wailing and whimpering.
“What do you want me to do? It’s already cleared up”
Vernon chose to ignore Harry’s question, and made his way over to Dudley - who was still wailing, but had stretched out on the largest sofa, with one eye on the television.
“I want some chocolate!”
Petunia jumped and made her way to the kitchen quickly; glancing over her shoulder every few seconds to make sure her son didn’t fall off the sofa or damage himself in any other way when she wasn’t next to him. Dudley’s screams had quietened down after his mother had left the room, and he had been given room to watch the television without her bothering him.
Vernon settled himself slowly onto the sofa nearest to Dudley, shooting Harry a look of disgust.
“Go to your cupboard then boy, if you’re not going to do anything useful. Dr Jameson is going to arrive any minute, and you will be well out of his sight when he does. Right, Dudders,” he turned, his face twisting into what looked like it was meant to be a comforting smile as he turned to look at his son, “I’m afraid it looks like that injury is pretty nasty – and it will take a while to recover from.”
Dudley suppressed a grin. At this rate, he would get at least a week off school, and then there were only a few left until the Christmas holidays. However, Vernon wasn’t finished.
“I think I’ll have to re-arrange your – er, surprise, for another time. Perhaps in a week or so, you’ll be well enough to go.”
“WHAT? No, I want to go to my surprise! My leg doesn’t hurt! I WANNA GO.”
Petunia rushed to Dudley’s side, having just walked in with a large slab of chocolate. Pressing it in his chubby hands, she murmured praise and reassurance in his ears.
“Here’s the chocolate you wanted, sweetums. You’re so brave, willing to go to the – I mean, to have your surprise anyway, with your leg the way it is,” her voice rose, blocking out his wailing, that had begun to rise in volume. “I wish there was another way to do it, but this is for the best, sweetums. You will enjoy the th- I mean- actually, we can tell him, can’t we Vernon? If he can’t actually go, then he should at least be able to know what it is.”
“Yes, I think that’s a good idea.” Vernon said from the sofa, lifting his eyes briefly from the newspaper that he had picked up.
“Diddykins, we were- we are going to take you to the theatre. Do you like that idea? We can have a nice day out in London – he will be at Mrs Figg’s, of course -” she nodded at Harry, “And it will be just the three of us. We will go out for dinner, wherever you want, and then to the theatre. You see, it will be so much more fun when your leg is fixed. Just eat some of your chocolate and we can sort it all-”
“ARGH!” Harry’s yell punctuated Petunia’s voice, and even stopped Dudley’s screams for a split-second, before he resumed his wailing, louder than before. Harry had finally mustered the courage to stand up, to make his way to the cupboard, when he had put his weight on his twisted leg; promptly collapsing on the carpet.
Vernon looked up from his newspaper, his face going purple.
“NOW YOU LOOK HERE BOY! YOU THOUGHT THAT YOU’D GET SOME SYMPATHY BY COPYING DUDLEY AND PRETENDING TO INJURE YOURSELF, DID YOU? WELL IT’S NOT GOING TO WORK. DR JAMESON IS ON HIS WAY, AND I SUPPOSE HE’LL HAVE TO SEE YOU TOO,” Vernon glanced at Harry’s leg, and then continued, slightly calmer. “You’re going to spend a week in the cupboard for costing me double the amount of money, and you will be doing extra chores for your Aunt.”
Dudley’s wails had lost their volume. The corners of his mouth trembled. This was almost as good as the surprise – after getting privileges that Harry didn’t, and using him as a punch bag, watching Harry getting told off was one of Dudley’s favourite things – and from the way Vernon’s moustache was twitching, this one promised to be good.
Harry however, wasn’t listening to his Uncle’s yells, and was instead concentrating on trying to get his leg back into a normal position. Suddenly, there was a loud pop, and Harry’s leg looked perfectly straight – it didn’t look injured at all. Confused, he placed it gingerly on the ground, and then slowly pushed himself up, without grimacing or wincing – his leg was fixed!
Vernon’s face swelled with anger.
“CUPBOARD, NOW. Forget a week – make it until Christmas.”
The doorbell rang, making everyone jump. Vernon raised his eyebrows at Harry, who stumbled out of the room and into his cupboard under the stairs. Dudley jumped, realising that he hadn’t made so much as a whimper since the pop, which had echoed around the room. He screamed again – reaching new volumes as if to make up for lost time. Through his yells, he could make out the doctor saying something in the hall.
“Your front lawn’s cleaned up very well – I haven’t seen a garden that clean all throughout Surrey!”
Dudley couldn’t see him, but he knew that Vernon was bristling with anger.
“Yes. Well, my son’s injured his leg, can you look at it?”
“Of course I can. Where is he?”
A/N: Thank you very much for reading! This is my first story, so I hope it wasn't too bad. A big thank you to StEpHM for being a lovely beta - please review if you liked it! :-)
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