**A Note before we begin: I understand that JK Rowling has announced that although she considered giving Dudley a magical child, she decided against it based on the principle that no magical gene could get past Vernon's DNA. That being said, however, consider this an alternate universe setting if you must, but I like to pretend, for sake of this piece, that she never said that.**
Dudley Dursley, Hogwarts, and all other characters, settings, and content from the "Harry Potter" series are the property of the J.K. Rowling estate and their respective copyright holders; don't mind me, I'm just playing with her toys.
Mr. Dursley, of number 9 Forsythia Place, was enjoying a quiet drink after work while he watched the news. In the kitchen, his wife puttered away, contentedly wiping down every appliance she had used for dinner before she prepared for bed. She talked while she worked, ostensibly to her husband, but truth be told, more often than not Mr. Dursley only half listened.
"Talked to your mum, who said she and your dad are coming back from Spain to visit nearer the end of holidays," she was saying, perfectly aware that she had less than her dear husband’s full attention but not particularly bothered by it. "Charlie will be so pleased his gramma and grandpa will be here for his birthday. They always bring him the best presents." Though he was only partially aware of his wife's cheerful monologue, Mr. Dursley caught enough of it to chuckle appreciatively at this last statement. His Charlie did like to get the most out of his birthdays.
Mr. Dursley was so used to his wife's chatter that he barely even noticed a slight change in her tone. "Dudley?" She called out from the kitchen, sounding for the first time a little uncertain.
"Yes, Lottie?" he replied comfortably, hoping that Charlotte"s conundrum wasn't something likely to require heavy lifting, and therefore something that would require him to get off the couch.
"Charlie got a piece of mail today…" she trailed off, seeming quite unsure how to proceed. Dudley’s mind, well-trained to suppress anything out of the ordinary, skipped uneasily as he suddenly found himself dredging up decades-old memories.
"Mail?" He repeated, trying to sound nonchalant. "Not having trouble at school, I hope. I thought we'd sorted all that out."
"Well," Charlotte replied, still in her apron, as she came into the living room. "I haven't actually opened it yet. I wouldn't mention it, but it's just a little unusual…" She trailed off, and Dudley, with a thrill of foreboding, spotted an envelope in her hand. Even from here, he could tell it was addressed in emerald green ink.
Dudley's hand shook slightly as he held it out for the letter. Charlotte handed it over, and Dudley read the front:
Mr. C. Dursley
9 Forsythia Place
And on the back of the parchment envelope, as Dudley knew there would be, was a purple wax seal. Dudley, without a second’s hesitation, opened his son's letter. Charlotte read over his shoulder.
Dear Mr. Dursley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Dudley sat very still for several long moments. Charlotte, growing more confused and discomfited by the second, fidgeted and giggled nervously before finally saying, "But Dudley, this is some sort of joke, of course!" When her husband didn't respond, she paled. "This is a joke, isn't it?"
Dudley sighed heavily and heaved himself up from the couch, the envelope and its disturbing contents clutched tight in his large fist.
"Dudley?" Charlotte asked, her voice going slightly shrill. "Where are you going?"
Without looking back at her, Dudley Dursley lumbered towards the staircase. "Got to go give Charlie his letter, don't I?"