dudleys world

Diggle is far too righteous about the Dursley’s lack of interesting and knowledge about their hero they’d been housing for the last sixteen years for him to be interested in educating them at the this point, but Hestia does not think them beyond redemption. 

When Dudley, too tall and too big and too awkward, stands at the doorway of her makeshift bedroom in their safehouse flat and asks, “Who was Cedric Digory? I heard his name on Potterwatch tonight,” she finally gets the opportunity to teach him what she should have known all along. She starts with the Triwizard Tournament, and then goes back to the beginning, telling Harry Potter’s cousin all she knows about his accomplishments and trials, and all she’s heard from the rest of the Order about his heart. 

Dudley cries for much of it, but by the end, he’s grateful to finally have some semblance of knowledge about the boy he’s been hurting their entire lives. It’s what makes him decide to join the Wizarding World when the war is over, whether Harry survives or not. 

When the Healer at St. Mungo’s, whose long robes are bright pink and so wizard-y tells eleven year old Dudley that removing the pig’s tail curling out a few inches from the base of his spine is going to be incredibly painful, he can’t take it anymore. 

“Alright,” he says. “But can you wait outside, Mum?” 

After Petunia leaves, he looks at the Healer (why isn’t he just a doctor, again?) and whines, “No way are you going to do more magic on me, especially if it’s going to hurt. I’ll live with the tail.” 

And, true to his word, and to his inherited fear of the out-of-the-ordinary, Dudley does. He never gets it removed, just works around, never undresses in front of anybody, forgets about it most days, really. Until he touches it accidentally, or thinks about getting intimate with someone, it’s not an issue. 

lmao at anti-snape people who don’t realize that james and snape aren’t really foils for draco and harry (tho they can correlate) but more for dudley and harry. 

dudley hates harry for no reason - because his parents hate harry and harry’s easy to pick on. he picks on harry with his gang of friends, terrorizing him whenever it’s convenient. harry fights back against dudley (but does anyone call it “equal”…? lmao no bc it’s still not even tho harry fights back). dudley has the adults on his side, adults who won’t listen to and don’t care about harry. does this sound familiar at all? it should. 

do you honestly think harry saw that scene in swm and didn’t suffer an immediate flashback? if you think not, you’re kidding yourself friends. harry knows what snape’s going through - he went through it too. and yet fandom looks at dudley and harry and recognizes the power disadvantage, recognizes it’s bullying, but when they look at the marauders and snape, they’re all, “well that’s just what teenagers do!” okay. sure. 

Class and Harry Potter

“Quidditch is a rich man’s sport: like polo, in which the expense of horses limits participation to those with money or those sponsored by money, Quidditch players on old brooms can never hope to compete with those in possession of the latest technological marvels. ”
-Crowning the King by Sarah Mendlesohn

The most interesting thing about Harry Potter is that it initially appears to be a fairy tale in which troubled boy finds his place in the world and lives happily ever after. What it actually amounts to is lonely supposedly lower class boy discovers he is actually one of the aristocratic elite and spends the rest of the series enjoying the moral virtue afforded to the very poor while also gliding through the doors that are only open to the very wealthy.

Harry is a member of the privileged upper class, just like Draco Malfoy. He proves himself to be a mediocre wizard time and time again (incompetent in potions class, falling behind in classes, etc), while Hermione is the smartest witch of the year and Ron is not considered distinguished enough to try for any specific title, being of the lower class. Harry, unlike the typical scrappy orphan boy, is constantly receiving gifts to ease his way. Harry receives the invisibility cloak, the Marauder’s Map, a preternatural ability to cast a Patronus, Quidditch ability from his father, and a part of Voldemort within him that allows him to fight the Dark Wizard. There is not much personal choice implied in all of this. Harry is the Chosen One, respected for something he did before he could talk, something he barely remembers, whose prestige will carry him through life. (Interesting that when others receive or give out gifts it is not judged the same way, such as when Malfoy gives his entire team of fellow Slytherins new brooms this is unanimously condemned as cheating but when Harry receives an expensive new broom out of the blue no one questions it, though he will undoubtedly exceed the speed of the other Seekers. Furthermore, when Slytherin rightfully wins the House Cup at the end of Year 1, Dumbledore fixes the match to Gryffindor’s benefit, an act that if reversed would have been protested on all sides.) 

Harry also has the exceedingly loyal Ron and the brilliant Hermione tagging along (another unflattering parallel to Malfoy’s sidekicks Crabbe and Goyle, who also look to Draco for their next move, rarely displaying any agency of their own) and Hagrid and Dobby (both troublingly infantilized and presented as ‘lower class,’ lacking intelligence and class, showing Harry’s brave tolerance in accepting them) and Sirius, Lupin, Dumbledore and even Snape, etc. Unlike the typical orphan hero, who must discovery the truth on his own, Harry has an entourage of helpers to assist him in his every move.

Hermione transcends the rigorous boundaries of class placed in the books (see narrator mocking the Malfoys’ pride at their pureblood status and then rushing to add that the Weasleys and Potters were some of the oldest magical families there were) by being a part of that elusive middle class. Hermione’s parents are dentists, they can go take Hermione traveling in the summertime, Hermione is comfortable purchasing her own textbooks and the like, but nowhere in the text is there any indication of her being wealthy. This would explain Ron’s implied resentment towards her, explaining it in terms of the lower class being jealous of the potentially for upward mobility the middle class has and the opportunities they are given. Hermione becomes attractive to the boys only after having plastic surgery, not an opportunity usually afforded to the lower class in the Muggle world and Victor Krum, the only adolescent in the book whose level of fame equals Harry’s, and thus the only male whose validation of her physically would stick, accompanying her to the Yule Ball. All of these things make Hermione much closer to the aristocracy than Ron is. As a woman in the wizarding world, intelligence seems to receive mockery but beauty allows one the innate ability to move in circles beyond one’s birth status.

This is why Ron rarely misses an opportunity to correct or criticize Hermione and her lack of wizarding knowledge (having grown up Muggle); Ron is looking for any chance he can get to prove himself worthy to Hermione, who is closer to him in status than the unimpeachably high class Harry, whom Ron rarely argues with. This is why Ron chooses to accuse Hermione at the Yule Ball of betrayal (unlike Harry, who admires Hermione’s makeover at the Yule Ball and thus validates her superficially as Krum did, both of them having the social authority to do so). This is actually the cruelest insult Ron can think of, implying that Harry Potter first made Hermione respected and now she is changing allegiances to another famous, aristocratic young man and turning her back on Harry, who allowed her to move up in status along with him. Ron, whose family is known for their poverty (hand me down robes, must be a Weasley) cannot even validate Hermione even if he were so inclined because he is too socially inferior for his opinion to matter. All he can do is attempt to shatter Hermione’s bubble of happiness and social acceptance with the harsh darkness of reality.

This also explains the trio’s attitude towards the house elves: Ron, being lower class, enjoys the pleasures of having a house elf when he can (ie whenever he is at Hogwarts), Harry in his upper class status is scarcely aware of the house elves because he is accustomed to that lifestyle (since the adoration he received in Year 1 and his discovery of his heritage and Gringotts, etc.) and therefore performs the symbolic (and self serving) act of freeing a single house elf (who will then accept Harry as his new master in everything but name, arguably a strategic move on Harry’s part, or a rare moment of sympathy for those with less but regardless this action is not repeated with Kreacher, Harry’s own property.) Hermione, as a member of the middle class, with enough money to pay for household help and enough time to focus on social awareness, is understandably the most liberal, practical and objective of the bunch, creating S.P.E.W. and attempting to make a difference. Hermione’s social radicalism is ridiculed by most for attempting to change the status quo of the deceptively rigid socioeconomic classes of the wizarding world.

Harry is a legacy at Hogwarts. There is an unflattering parallel between the way the Dursleys fawn over Dudley and the wizarding world fawns over Harry. Harry is naturally gifted, unlike Hermione who must work to be the smartest, and Ron who was raised in the Wizarding World. Harry is cozily ensconced in his wealth, occasionally pausing to feel discomfort but for the most part disregarding it as a fact of his existence. Dumbledore, like Harry, is renown for his wisdom but displays very little of it in practice, choosing instead to characterize himself as a quirky old man who loves sweets. As a member of the aristocracy, Dumbledore is permitted to do this while still retaining the respect of his peers. Think of Kate Middleton designing a clothing that is objectively terrible. This information would not matter because of who she is wed to. There is a safety the upper class enjoy that allows them greater freedom in exploration, discovery and making mistakes.

The wizarding world is not a fairy tale. Pull aside the velvet curtain and you’ll find thousands of slaves sentenced to clean up after the students for life. Step outside of Hogwarts and you’ll see magical creatures criticized and discriminated against. Go to Diagon Alley and prepare to see the brutality of class separation in action. (See Hagrid, member of the lower class, who automatically takes Harry to Madame Pomfrey’s to get fitted for robes, the same location that the wealthy Malfoys buy their son’s garments, but stays outside the shop the whole time, fully aware of the difference between his status and Harry’s.) Pop back inside Hogwarts and witness deeply inbred interhouse prejudice. The wizarding world is a mess that Harry floats above, Hermione wades through and Ron sinks under. No wonder Ron quit being an Auror (a respectable job) to work in his brother’s candy shop (that Harry paid for); it’s likely the only place he felt he belonged.

And therein lies the message of Harry Potter: the wizarding world parallels our own in that it has nearly destroyed itself, but for all the Malfoy/Dumbledore/Harrys out there, there is a Hermione, naively, earnestly attempting to make a difference. And to do that would require some serious magic.

611. A week after the Dursley's left their home Dudley fell in love with a girl. After she confessed to him she was a muggle born wizard he  got into a heated argument with Vernon about being around magic. He ran away and took Petunia with him because, in her words, "I wanted to get reconnected with the thing I never had a chance to experience." They are wizard supporters now and couldn't be happier.

It had been fourteen years since the battle of Hogwarts. All was well in the world of Harry Potter. He had a perfect wife and three beautiful children. The perfect family, something that had always been just out of reach for our hero. Harry had woken every day with a smile on his face and a skip in his step. That was, after he had stopped sleeping with his wand clutched tightly in his hand, or when he had stopped flinching at every sudden movement, or maybe it had been when Harry had tripped over a crack in the sidewalk because he was too busy checking over his shoulder for incoming danger.

It had taken Ginny’s angry tears and threats of leaving him if he “did not leave that goddamn war!” to finally get through his head. The war was over, Voldemort was dead, his followers were dead and if they were not dead, then they were never going to come back. It had taken him a whole year to come to terms with that fact, until they had gotten married. After that, Harry had been too preoccupied with buying his new house, auror training, and helping to rebuild Hogwarts to allow his fears to take over his life.

James Sirius had been born in August of 2003, Albus Severus following three years after in April of 2006, and finally Lilly Luna in September of 2008. Harry now had children to raise and no time to worry about dark lords and horcruxes. Until, an 8 am phone call had woken Harry on a bright June morning in 2013. “Harry? Is that you?” the voice said. It took Harry a moment to place the familiar voice. “Big D? Is that really you?” Harry couldn’t help but remember the stupid nickname. “It’s me, I was wondering…If it were possible to meet sometime today? Maybe grab some lunch or an early dinner?” Harry had to take a second to wrap his mind around this turn of events. “Yeah, sure. How does 4 o’clock sound?” he asked. They made their plans and agreed to meet in muggle London that afternoon. 

Harry had told Ginny about the phone call and she had been supportive of their meeting. “He’s family after all, his parents may have been rotten but he was just a child. Look at Draco and Hermione; he was an absolute prat as a child, now? He’s absolutely perfect. He plays tea party with Cassie too. People change, dear. Let him show you the changes he’s made.” She said as she brought the children into the kitchen for breakfast. “Maybe you should have married Draco, since he’s so perfect.” Harry mumbled to himself. Ginny’s tinkling laughter followed him out the door.

At exactly 4 pm Harry sat in a small café Dudley had recommended, waiting to see his huge form walk through the door. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your outlook, the man that entered was neither as round nor as mean looking as Harry remembered him to be. Dudley had lost a lot of weight and it had made his normally pig like face much nicer to look at. “Dudley?! Where is the rest of you?” Harry stood up and clapped him on the back as he approached their table. “Gone, a long time ago.” He laughed and sat down. “I have to be honest here, Harry. There’s a reason I called you after all this time… well two reasons actually.” Dudley said. They were interrupted by a waitress who took their order and walked away.

“First, I wanted to apologize for everything I put you through when we were kids. For not standing up to my parents even though I knew how wrong their treatment of you was. Mostly for being an overall arsehole and making the entirety of your childhood unbearable.” Their beers had been brought out during Dudley’s apology. Both men took a swig to clear some of the awkwardness from the air. “We were kids, Dud. Did you really expect me to hold a grudge? Now your parents… Well that’s another matter entirely.” Harry couldn’t keep the bitterness out if his voice. Even after all of these years, it grated. “I don’t talk them anymore, I haven’t for quite some time.” Harry looked up. That was something he never expected to hear from little duddykins. “I married a witch, you can imagine how well that was received.” Harry choked on this beer this time. “That’s actually the main reason I wanted to reach out to you. We received a visit from a professor Granger last night.” Dudley looked up at Harry with a most peculiar expression. Harry smiled at him. Hermione was now the new muggle studies professor and Gryffindor head of house for Hogwarts, along with her husband, Draco Malfoy, new potions professor and Slytherin head of house. They were the perfect, shining example of house unity. Harry busted out laughing. This had to be some kind of karma, Dudley the super muggle, marrying a witch and producing a magical child? He couldn’t have written it better himself.

“Yeah Yeah, get it out. Cho said you’d react this way.” this time the beer made it’s way out of Harry’s nose. “You married Cho? How in the world?” Dudley smirked. “We met a month after the fall of Voldemort. At a bar in muggle London. We got married a few months later and Giselle was born about two years after that.” Dudley finished. So, Harry now had 3 whole new family members. “Giselle Dursley, huh? I hope she got Cho’s looks.” they laughed at Harry’s dig, any lingering awkward feeling dissipated and they spent the next hour catching up. Harry telling Dudley what to expect from a magical child and Dudley filling Harry in on the reactions of Vernon and Petunia to a witch daughter in law and grandchild. Needless to say, they had not been as accepting as Dudley had hoped, ultimately disowning their own son and granddaughter.

The the Dursley family had come over to dinner that night and every Sunday night there after. The children had become fast friends, James and Giselle becoming inseparable. When September first rolled around, platform 9 ¾ had been the site of a much unexpected scene. The Potter’s, the Dursley’s, and the Malfoy’s all talking and laughing and hugging their children. Scorpius Malfoy, James Potter, and Giselle Dursley. Hogwarts newest students, Gryffindors newest golden trio and the newest thorn in headmistress’ McGonagall’s side.

I’d really love an alternate universe where Remus raises Harry - but one thing all of the ‘Remus/Sirius/Snape/McGonagall/Ollivander/ElphiasDoge/whoever raise Harry’ fics miss out on is that living with Lily’s blood kin bestowed a unique protection on Harry, one that saved his life when confronting Quirrell in the summer of ‘92. They just have it so Harry is taken from the Dursleys’ custody in some way and pretty much everything else unfolds as it did in the books with the exception of Harry having loving guardians with Lily’s blood protection somehow still at play.

And one of the things I’ve always thought is that the blood protection would stand if he lived with Lily’s blood - not her sister, her blood. And Dumbledore quite rightly pointed out ‘the appalling damage’ that the Dursleys inflicted on Dudley.

So, an AU where Vernon and Petunia are killed in a car crash sometime after taking Harry in - the very lie that they had planned to tell Harry when he was old enough to ask questions, becoming ironic truth. Marge Dursley, of course, demands her nephew, but utterly refuses to take Harry. So Dumbledore, left with no options, contacts James and Lily’s last remaining close friend, who is persuaded to move back home with his own father if it means he can have Harry.

And Harry starts to brighten. To feel loved, to know he’ll be cared for, encouraged in that little house out in the Welsh countryside to do his best for his own sake. When he learns simple kitchen tasks, or is given household chores, it’s within age-appropriate levels and designed not to shame him, but to help him grow.

And Marge does what Marge will always do - drink. Out of anger, rage, thwarted entitlement. Soon enough, Dudley (and her dogs) are taken from her, a shaken, neglected mess. And Dumbledore gets wind of it, learns that Dudley is facing an orphanage since he has nobody else - and Dumbledore knows how ill an orphanage can serve a child - and asks Remus and Lyall (and Harry) if they have room in their house and hearts for one more mistreated boy - a boy who may well help ensure Harry’s safety simply by living under their roof.

And the cousins eventually grow up as brothers, neither more loved or valued than the other. And it’s not easy, and it’s not perfect. Dudley has to unlearn a lot of bad habits. Harry has to learn to be gracious now he is the one sharing his home and school with a sudden interloper. Dudley, like his mother before him, is heartbroken that he is denied the magic his cousin, new uncle and new grandfather take for granted, and feels a little cheated even when he’s old enough to know better. He also hates that Harry gets many stories about his parents from Remus while he himself has nothing (Remus knows little of Vernon or Petunia and Lyall nothing at all, and little enough of that is anything they feel comfortable telling an orphan).

Remus and Lyall tear their hair out some days going through their finances, and Remus takes dodgy part-time jobs to make sure they always have food and clothes. The two Lupin men fight about that, sometimes. About how much it’s appropriate to tell Harry about the role he will play in his world, about how much it’s appropriate to tell Dudley about a world that will demand everything from his new brother and bar him completely. They only do so, though, when they think the boys can’t hear. (Of course the boys do. They always fight over the keyhole. Some things never change).

The boys have to get used to sharing a bedroom and eating lots of lentils and they’re living on much tighter finances than Vernon could have provided. But somehow they manage, and eventually the two eleven year olds head to different schools vowing to write every week. Dudley’s schooling, like Harry’s, is paid for by a fund left by his parents. Harry charitably refuses to laugh at the Smeltings uniform, because no matter what Harry remembers of Vernon, it matters to Dudley that he looks just like his father in the photographs. Time and fondness for Dudley have blunted his memory enough that he can be charitable, tell himself that Vernon would be glad that Dudley had people to care for him. Dudley, in turn, tries to smother his own laughter at the Hogwarts uniform, because really - robes? Robes, Harry? And for a moment Lyall and Remus look at their boys (because they are their boys, now) and forget that the path ahead will be anything but kind.

Headcanon that dudley’s daughter cries to sleep the night she gets her hogwarts letter because grandma thinks she’s a freak and grandpa wouldn’t want to visit anymore, but uncle harry calls her and tells her all about the magical world and everything she can do and all the adventures she will go through and that she will be with james and albus and they would make sure she’s okay all the time,then ron takes the phone and is like “don’t worry about what your grandma thinks, she though harry was a freak and he saved the world”.