Disclaimer: All the usual fan fic rules apply. I don’t own it, JKR does. Thanks to her for allowing me to play with her creation.
Vernon Dursley slowly opened his eyes. Above him was a vast, white expanse that seemed to stretch into infinity. It wasn’t sky; it wasn’t a ceiling.
Where was he? What was happening?
He shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs wrapped around his brain. He then began taking in his surroundings. Wherever he was didn’t seem to have walls of any sort. As he rose from the clean, white floor, he noticed what appeared to be a series of mirrors suspended in thin air. How had he gotten here?
Suddenly a flood of memories poured into his mind: finding Potter in Dudley’s room, belting the scrawny black-haired boy on the cheek, ordering the bane of his existence from the house, the gaggle of dark-cloaked wizards on his front lawn… a flash of green light.
Vernon could feel his anger rising. The freak’s friends! Yes, the little runt must have summoned them after being thrown out of the house. They’d retaliated by playing some nasty trick, Vernon was sure of it. Toying with his mind, perhaps? Or sending him to some other… dimension?
For the first time, fear tickled the big man’s heart, but he tried to banish it. He couldn’t afford to let these… these creatures know they were getting to him. He’d get out of their little trap soon enough. And then, by God, he’d find some way to bring the authorities down on their backs.
Glancing around, Vernon cautiously made his way to the nearest mirror. He stared into its polished black surface for a moment before tentatively touching the cool glass.
“Looks like you stepped through the looking glass, Dursley, but I can assure you, this won’t be any wonderland for you,” a voice said from behind him.
Vernon spun around and found himself staring at a tall, lanky man with long dark hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He wore dark trousers, a white shirt and black boots. A midnight-blue cloak completed the ensemble.
“Welcome. I’ve been waiting so long to meet you,” the man said, a slightly menacing grin splitting his features as he slowly stepped closer.
Panic rose in Vernon but he forced it down. Showing fear would only give this freak an advantage.
“Who the hell are you, and where are we?” Vernon snapped, puffing out his chest.
“Language, Dursley,” the man replied with a smirk, drawing a polished wand from his robes.
Vernon blanched as the man lazily pointed the wand at him. “Scourgify!”
Vernon sank to his knees, gagging as soap bubbles filled his mouth and began dribbling down his chin. He spat and spat, but still the soap flooded his mouth. The man stood silently before him, a bemused expression on his face. Finally he raised his wand again. “Finite incantatem!”
The bubbles ceased. Vernon coughed and spat out the last traces of soap before shooting a murderous glare at his tormentor. Something about him seemed familiar, and Vernon studied his face closely. Suddenly the pieces of the puzzle came together.
“You… the freak’s godfather!” Vernon snarled.
“Sirius Black, at your service,” the man replied with an elaborate bow.
“Impossible. You’re dead,” Vernon said.
A smirk crossed Sirius’ face. “Yes, well, I guess that puts us on equal footing, doesn’t it?”
Vernon started at those words, but immediately shook them off. “Where are we? What have you done with my wife and son?” he roared. “I demand that you take me back to them immediately. You and your kind brought me here, now you can bloody well take me home!”
Again the smirk. “Where are we?” Sirius asked rhetorically. “We’re nowhere, of course. I thought even you would have worked that out by now. As for sending you back, well, I’m afraid that’s far beyond my power.”
Vernon’s face reddened. “Don’t play games with me! I want…”
But Sirius smoothly cut him off. “I think you’ll find you won’t be getting your way much from now on,” he said. “As for your wife and oafish son, take a look.”
Sirius gestured toward the mirror, which had begun to glow. Vernon stepped closer and peered into it. Slowly the darkness lifted, and he found himself gazing down at Number Four Privet Drive. It was still dark. Indistinct, cloaked shapes were sprinting across the lawn. Brightly colored energy bolts whizzed through air.
Suddenly, a fireball engulfed part of the house. “Petunia!” Vernon screamed.
He whirled to face Sirius, jabbing a beefy finger at the taller man’s chest. “Where are my wife and son? What have you done to them?”
“Manners, Dursley,” Sirius replied. He swished his wand, and what felt like a hidden hand lifted Vernon by the ankles and flipped him upside down. Sirius stepped closer, so that his face was only inches from Vernon’s.
“I wouldn’t waste time worrying about your family,” he said. “They’ll be joining you soon enough. The Death Eaters have just seen to that.”
Vernon twisted and squirmed, trying desperately to free himself from the invisible force. “Put me down this instant!” he shouted, swinging a massive fist at Sirius.
Sirius dodged smoothly. “As you wish,” he replied with a grin, once again flicking his wand. Vernon instantly crashed to the ground. He scrambled to his feet, fists raised.
“You namby-pamby weirdo,” he jeered. “You wouldn’t be so brave without your little stick to wave around. Try fighting like a man for a change!”
The grin vanished from Sirius’ face. “Just like you were fighting like a man against a sixteen-year-old boy?” he snarled.
Before either of them could move or speak again, a voice rang out behind Vernon.
“Dursley!” Vernon spun around in time to see a fist slam into his jaw. He grunted with pain and fell to the ground.
Rubbing his face, he looked up into the eyes of a slender, bespectacled man with messy, raven-colored hair. No, it couldn’t be! How had the twerp followed him here?
Vernon slowly rose, studying his new opponent the whole while. The man was clad in light-colored trousers and a deep green shirt, topped by a gold-trimmed crimson robe. As he gazed intently at the freak, horror dawned on Vernon’s features.
“Y-you blew yourself up with Voldy-moldy whatsis,” he whispered. “You can’t be back. Not even your kind can come back from the dead.”
James Potter laughed loudly. “You really are remarkably thick, Dursley,” he said. “I haven’t come back. You’ve crossed over.”
Vernon felt bile rising in his throat at these words. No, these goons were playing some sort of twisted joke on him. He couldn’t be…
“Of course, the irony is that if you’d treated my son well; if you hadn’t thrown him out of your house and canceled the blood magic that was protecting him, you’d still be alive…” James said. “As would your wife and son.”
The words sank in with awful finality.
“You killed my family!” Vernon bellowed, charging at James.
James deftly sidestepped the lumbering form and delivered a swift kick to Vernon’s mid-section, doubling him over. Gasping with pain, he stared at James with a mixture of hatred and … pleading.
“I want my family, and I want them now!” he blustered unconvincingly.
“Who do you think you are?” James shouted suddenly, ignoring Vernon’s demand. “I’ve spent the past 16 years watching you, that frigid martinet and your idiot son heap abuse on my child. I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to return the favor!”
James waved his hand, and Vernon felt himself jerked from ground. He tumbled end-over-end and then began to spin – slowly at first, but with increasing speed. His face paled, and his stomach began to churn.
James watched the massive blimp for a moment before shaking his head in disgust. He waved his hand again, and Vernon once more crashed spectacularly.
His chest heaving, Vernon slowly sat up. “Where are Petunia and Dudley?” he said through gritted teeth.
“Unless I miss my mark, they should be arriving… right now,” Sirius said.
No sooner had he said these words, than Petunia and Dudley slowly materialized on the ground a few feet away – both pale and unmoving.
A/N: Well, two down, six or seven more to go! Let me know what you think! Writing this was an interesting exercise in developing characters. Melindaleo has always made the Dursleys more menacing than in the books. I’ve always regarded them – at least partly – as figures of fun. Still, after reading her portrayal of them as utterly loathsome in “Curse of the Damned,” I couldn’t let them waltz into the afterlife without paying for their sins.
Thanks to Melinda for inspiring me and to Arnel for her superb beta work. And much thanks to all of you for reading and reviewing.