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Chapter 1 : The Sorting of Dudley Dursley
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“Dursley, Dudley”, the deputy-headmistress called.
Dudley nervously approached the stool, picked up the hat, and sat on the stool. He put the hat on his head. As with every other pupil, it flopped down to pretty much his eyeline, being sized for an adult rather than an eleven year old.
Oh-ho! And what have we here? A voice said in Dudley’s head. Either we have an unbelievably potent natural occlumens, or else I fear the headmaster is playing some sort of prank on either me or the school. No, don’t speak back to me, boy. Just think your answer, and I’ll be aware of it.
Please Mr. Hat. Don’t send me away. My mum sent me to Hogwarts and it’s one of the proudest moments of her life.
Nevertheless, you appear not to have a single drop of what they regard as magical talent around here in your body. Dudley got the impression that if the hat could sigh, it would be doing so, right now. Does this esteemed matriarch have a name?
Matriarch? Dudley panicked for a moment, before realising the hat meant his mother.
She’s Petunia Dursley, Sir, Mr. Hat, Sir.
Still not ringing any bells. Do you have any other relatives?
There’s my dad, Vernon Dursley. And then there’s my Aunty Marjorie on my dad’s side, and my cousin Harry, and his sister Celia and their mother my Aunt Lily on my mum’s side…
Wait! Dudley had the impression the hat would have just drawn its breath in rather sharply, if it could breathe. Lily who?
Oh, Lily Snape, Sir. Formerly Lily Potter. She was married to someone else before her current husband but her first husband was killed in a battle, and so she married Uncle Severus. I think she must have been Lily Evans before that, because my mum was Petunia Evans before she married…
‘The Woman who Lived’. Oh Albus, what games are you playing, that Lily doesn’t send her own son this year, but you needs must entice her sister to send this poor lad? No, don’t worry about answering that, Dudley. I was lamenting the latest schemes of our school’s current esteemed headmaster. Forgive an old hat its foibles, if you will… There was a short pause, as the hat apparently considered the situation. Okay, Mr. Dursley. So: in the shape of your Aunt Lily you have a very accomplished witch in your family. I don’t get out and about much, and by the sound of it I’m unlikely to encounter any children immediately associated with her other than your good self. Can you tell me much of what she does these days?
She looks after their house for her husband, and home-teaches my cousins Harry and Celia. And she reads books and scrolls my dad finds for her. He spends a lot of time going away to places like Baghdad or Tibet or Indonesia, though he occasionally goes to other parts of the world; there was this time once when he went to South America, and he says it was all running through the jungle and fighting basilisks and exploring lost cities of the Incas. And Indiana Jones dresses just like he does some of the time…
Right. So you do have some experience of at least of tales of the magical world then. No, don’t answer that, Dudley, that was me thinking aloud, so to speak, again. Hmm. Dudley had an impression that the hat would be screwing its face up in concentration at this point if it were a living person. You have some knowledge of Hogwarts from your Aunt Lily, and her husband. Interesting that I can’t see much of her in your thoughts. Do you have any preference as to which house I should place you into, Mr. Dursley?
Mmm. Also interesting. I do believe that the headmaster and his heads of house expect me to do something such as place you into Hufflepuff. Well. We shall just have to disappoint them on that count, won’t we, Mr. Dursley? At this point, Dudley got the distinct impression from the hat’s mental equivalent of tone of voice that it would be starting to grin in an exceptionally evil manner if it had at all possessed the face necessary to do that. I strongly dislike being placed in this position by the headmaster as part of one of his political games, and besides, I feel that with the sheer number of questions you are bound to be asking, you will make an ideal Socratic foil, and therefore, I shall place you in:
“RAVENCLAW!” shouted the hat out loud.
Mind how you go, Mr. Dursley. The hat commented as Dudley hesitantly got to his feet, and a stunned silence fell on the hall.
The silence was disturbed only by the thump of the deputy-headmistress fainting clean away, and then by the at first rather weak and timid clapping of the little man who was the head of Ravenclaw. Then, the clapping slowly gained in strength and spread to the other Ravenclaw members as Dudley took the hat off and put it back on the stool, and the headmaster hastily got out of his chair and came forwards to poke the deputy headmistress with his wand and murmur what sounded to Dudley like “enervate!”
The deputy-headmistress came around, with a groan, as the headmaster started to help her back to her feet.
“Well go on, Mr. Dursley.”, the headmaster said to Dudley, his eyes twinkling. “Your house is waiting for you.”
Author Notes: Well, this is a brief glimpse into some of the chaos which entailed from events in this alternate universe from events in 1980. Dudley Dursley is still a bit slow, still with no absolutely magical ability (in terms of using witch/wizard wand magic) whatsoever, but due to the conflicting machinations of Albus Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy, and Lily Snape has ended up at Hogwarts. Given that in canon it's indicated that Petunia was once desperate enough (as a girl) to want to go to Hogwarts that she wrote to Dumbledore asking, that she might not take too much persuasion from Dumbledore to agree to send her son there. As a note, Lily Evans/Potter/Snape is very much still alive in this universe and has a working relationship with the Dursleys, not least because she employs Vernon to run around the world carrying out errands for her. (I figure that if she occasionally equips him with a charmed device so that he can handle basilisks or shoggoths, that with Vernon being her brother-in-law (and the fact that she did dispose of Voldemort) if the Ministry do ever hear about it they certainly don't bother to take any action regarding the statute of secrecy.)
Oh, and sorry about the broken up text, but this is my first fanfiction attempt, and I'm still getting the hang of this formatting stuff...
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