Disclaimer: All honor and glory belongs to the great J.K. Rowling who created this wonderful world. All characters are owned by J.K. Rowling. No profit is being made, no credit is claimed…I am merely a trespasser playing for my own enjoyment, and hopefully yours.
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Monday 8, July 1996
Dear Ron and Ginny,
I'm writing to both of you because this day has been unbelievable. Let me start at the beginning. Dudley had his birthday party last night, as all of his friends were still in different schools when his real birthday in was in June. Vernon and Petunia went out to tea at a friends' house. (I know, hard to believe that sort has friends!) and Dudley threw himself a party. There were about twenty boys, and all of them were drinking. If that wasn't bad enough, they were also smoking cigarettes in the back yard, and doing rails of cocaine off of the edge of the sink in the bathroom. (that's a seriously hard drug in the Muggle world.) The music was loud, and the police came to tell them to turn it down, and instead they arrested Dudley, and Piers, his friend. They tried to blame it on me, but as I had been locked in my bedroom with no way out, the police didn't buy it. Today Aunt Petunia had to take a pill and lay down in her room with the lights off, Dudley is in custody, and Vernon had to stay home to make phone calls to very expensive lawyers to get Dudley off of charges. From what I've heard he could be facing five years in jail! Two reporters have shown up at the door, and the neighborhood garden club president actually yelled at Petunia.
Having the greatest laugh of my short life,
Monday 8 July, 1996
Ron's laughing too hard to write so I'm taking over for him. Dad said that Tonks called the police on Dudley. She said it was too good an opportunity to pass up. She said that cocaine is a class A drug in the Muggle world and a heavily restricted potion ingredient in most of the world. She said it's an incredibly serious offense. Our fingers are crossed that Dudley winds up in jail a long time. Let us know as soon as you find out! Fred and George will be happy to send him 'care packages'. Have you heard from your Aunt Marge? How is her health, by the by?
Having a good laugh,
P.S. Dad wants to know if you remember what the police had worn on their belts.
The second Saturday of July was perfectly sunny and bright. The heat had returned, and it was unbearable. Other than that, things were perfectly normal at Number Four, Privet Drive. In fact, it had been so normal that Vernon Dursley could be seen snoozing behind the paper in the living room window. His spoiled son Dudley had his PlayStation hooked up to the television and had been gleefully killing aliens all afternoon. That is, until he found out that his cousin was working in the yard, where usually he loved to waddle by, intending to torment Harry with cold, frosty drinks, nifty toys, and other such things that Harry had no hope of having.
Today, however, Harry had noticed that Dudley was in an unbelievably foul mood. Apparently the community service was getting to him.
For the last week, since "the incident", Dudley and Piers could be found cleaning the local park on community service, and an officer from the local police station was always there to supervise them. At home Aunt Petunia had been forced to place him on restriction: he was unable to see any of his friends or torment any of the neighborhood children. As a result, Dudley couldn't help but resort to torturing his cousin as much as was humanly possible, given that he had only 20 hours in a week for leisure, which was generally spent eating. The greatest piece of justice to the situation, Harry thought, was the fact that Vernon had had to call in every single personal favor he had for Smeltings to allow Dudley to return to classes in the fall.
The best moment by far, though, had been the call from Aunt Marge, who was stuck reading the news paper in a hospital on her honeymoon. Harry had remembered it was rather odd that Ron and Ginny would write to him the day after the wedding, curious about his Aunt's health. That was until she had called to speak to Vernon the day after Dudley had spent in the clink. She had seen Dudley's name in the paper, and had called to make her opinions on the matter known. .
Aunt Petunia handed a rag and spray bottle at Harry. "Dust in here, and then come and see me when you've finished." She turned to go when the phone rang; Vernon struggled out of his easy chair and stomped over to the receiver to answer it.
"Dursley residence," he said gruffly. "Oh, hello Marge!" Harry stood in the doorway to the parlor, debating whether to dust as his Aunt had asked, or whether to go upstairs and see if Hedwig was back from her hunt.
"What's that? You're ill? What's wrong?" Vernon's face drained of color in a most unnatural manner and he clutched the telephone. "Your stomach was pumped? What the devil did you eat?"
Harry decided to pretend to dust the windowsill.
"You were poisoned!!?"
At this, Vernon had gestured to Harry, pantomiming that he wanted to write something down. His uncle was not very talented in this, being so large that his arms could not meet in the middle without serious strain, but managed to get his demand across any how. Stifling a laugh, Harry pulled a piece of paper and a pen off of the coffee table, brought it into the hallway and handed it to Vernon, who began scribbling on it rapidly.
Reading from where he stood was a bit of a trick in his glasses but he managed to make out the words "SonDuretaFoundationHospital'. Harry's mind clicked again. Were Ron and Ginny psychic? How did those two know Marge would be sick? Harry tuned back into Vernon's voice, which had taken on a rather panicked tone. He had written "Dog- minder" in big letters with a telephone number beside it on the paper.
'Yes, yes I know. I'll let them know….Of course. I'll go see to it myself.'
There was a moment of silence while Vernon continued writing on the bit of paper. Harry had become very interested in dusting the mantle piece, as Vernon began sputtering.
'Well, he's just a boy. Boys will be—' He fell silent again, pulling at his moustache. 'Yes, Marjorie, you're quite right, as usual. That's why Mummy always put you in charge of—'
This was worthy of note. If Marge was so sick on her honeymoon as to be hospitalized with surgery a possibility, and heard about Dudley all the way down of the coast of Spain…Harry suppressed a grin, and looked for something truly in need of cleaning. This was going to be good. He could feel it down into his toes.
Vernon put the telephone down, went over to the stairs and called to Dudley, in a stern voice. "Your Aunt has a few words to say to you and I expect you'll listen well if you know what's good for you."
Harry spotted the mantle piece over the fireplace, covered with photos of Dudley and Vernon. It was perfectly dusty and in need of attention, although what followed was a disappointment. There was great deal of silence on Dudley's part, some shifting of his considerable girth back and forth from foot to foot which made the floor creak beneath his fat feet, and considerable repetition of "I'm sorry" and "yes Ma'am".
Harry finished his chore and ran upstairs quickly, grabbing the daily paper out of the bin on his way by. Once in his room he took a bit of parchment and penned off a quick note to Ginny.
Tuesday 9 July, 1996
Tell Tonks that this article is for her scrap book. Also tell your dad that I didn't see anything on the police other than the usual get-up. Vernon's still on the phone, only this time to a lawyer who can get Dudley off. I don't know how much, but they're paying a lot of money to fix this. Dudley's in court today, I'll write more later, as soon as I find out.
Oh, and as it turns out, Marge had to get her stomach emptied at the hospital today…. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?