A Beautiful Friendship

On the way home from Little Whinging, Dudley stopped for Chinese take-away. It wasn't the German chocolate cake his mother had prepared for dessert, but it didn't require him to listen to any more of his parents' complaining either. You'd think in the years since he moved out they would change the tune of their griping, but no...

Vernon Dursley's customary rant, condensed: "I spent a fortune ensuring that you'd recieve the best education that money could buy so the least you could do is come to work for me at Grunnings! Who do you think paid for all your expensive hobbies, boy?"

Petunia Dursley's usual whine, in short: "Oh Duddiekins, I know you're a young man who needs to sow his wild oats but shouldn't you be thinking of finding a nice girl, settling down, and giving me cute ickle grandchildren. If you're still confused, sweetie, I know a specialist that can help you."

Dudley snorted. He wasn't confused - he was queer. An Orson Wells-sized computer programmer and late night hacker with a taste for Hawaiian shirts and the beautifully androgynous. And, right now, with an over-powering hunger for orange chicken and barbequed spare ribs.

As he added Szeschuan Beef to his order at the last minute (in a case he got peckish in a few hours), Dudley noticed the man who was slowly covering Shin Hoo's windows with posters. Or rather, he noticed the man's hair, which was long, blonde and wavy. The man turned his head and Dudley got a glimpse of rosey cheeks and sparkling blue eyes.

Dudley was in lust already. He stared as the man methodically taped one after another from his stack of rainbow posters. Watched the baby-blue sequined suit that couldn't hide the slender strength inherent in his graceful form. That wouldn't be able hide a burgeoning erection, unlike Dudley's Bermuda shorts.

He almost didn't notice the cashier handing him his bag of take-away. Chinese cuisine in hand, Dudley mustered his courage and strode over to examine the posters. Or at least that was his pretext for any flirtation to come.

There was a largish photograph of the man beside him, then underneath were the words: WHO AM I? A ONE MAN SHOW PRESENTED BY GILDEROY LOCKHART!

"So," Dudley said conversationally to the now named Lockhart, who was finishing blocking out any source of natural light from Shin Hoo's, "who are you, Mr Lockhart."

Lockhart turned to face Dudley and shrugged. "They tell me I used to be a wizard, but I can only remember the last ten years, so who knows if that's true or not? But right now I'm an actor."

"Maybe you really were a wizard," Dudley said, not really sure why he was being so forthcoming. "I've got a cousin who's one, so they do exist. When I was eleven I spent most of August with a corkscrew pig's tale stuck to my arse."

Lockhart laughed. It managed to sound melodical and hearty at the same time. "You must have looked so cute like that!"

Cute wasn't exactly the word he was looking for. Nearly as ridiculous looking as his old Smeltings uniform was more like it. But Dudley would take "cute" as the complement it was meant to be.

It meant that Dudley dared to hope that this china doll might find its way to his bed tonight. "Do you like Chinese food, Mr Lockhart?"

Puzzlement showed on Lockhart's face. "Of course I do. Why else was I decorating this delightful establishment with posters of my face?"

Time to move in for the kill. "I was wondering if you'd like to come with me to my flat and share some." He held up the bag of take-away. "Maybe we could pop in a movie, make popcorn, shag - you know, that sort of thing. What do you think?"

Lockhart grinned, showing off his iridescent teeth. "I think, Mr... oh dear, I don't even know your name, do I?"

"Dudley. Dudley Dursley," he replied, grinning nervously back.

"Ah yes. I think, Mr Dursley," Lockhart said as he linked his arm with the one that wasn't carrying the take-away, "that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."