Sunlight poured through the window, casting its shining rays on the pages of the newspaper between Dudley Dursley's fingers. He sighed as he carefully folded it up; the government was up to its usual nonsense and his patience for it evaporated quickly. He stood up slowly and stretched before going over to the window. Through the thin layer of glass he could hear his daughter's shout of delight as she tagged her sister. He stood there for a while, watching his children with a smile on his face.
Dudley Dursley led a simple life, without excess drama or danger. He lived in a nice house with his wife and two children. He worked from nine to five, Monday to Friday. You could say that his life was the embodiment of normalcy. Yet in the back of his mind, there was always the tugging of the secret that he held, for Dudley Dursley knew that the world wasn't nearly as simple as it seemed. He knew one of the best-kept secrets of all time. He knew of magic.
One might say that everyone knew of it, but he knew how real it really was, having experienced it several times. In fact, he grew up with a wizard, although he wasn't very kind to him.
At the memory of his cousin, Dudley's face fell. He would always remember the vile person he used to be before that dementor attack when he was fifteen. He was mean – even cruel – to everyone smaller than him. He was a bully, but he was also a coward. When he saw what other people saw in him, it shook his foundation to the point where he began to question everything that he used to take for granted. Was magic really so evil? Was it right to talk behind people's backs? Was it okay to beat up people that stood no chance against you? Before that night he would have said yes without a second's hesitation.
But something changed in him in that moment and he began to see the world in an entirely different light. His cousin went from the freakish, orphaned punching bag that Dudley had used him as for so long to a person whom Dudley respected. After he went through his maturity spurt, as he called it, he realized just how hard of a childhood Harry had had. Yet he never took in out on people with violence. He might've lost his temper a few times, but considering the load he was under, he could've done a lot worse. To this day, Dudley knew he didn't fully understand what Harry was going through. He knew that the wizarding world placed a lot of expectations on his shoulders, but he never knew the details. He wasn't sure if he wanted to – it would only make him feel like more of a prick for treating Harry the way he did.
He would never forgive himself for what he did.
Dudley Dursley spent the past twelve years of his life trying to bury that all behind him. He liked to think that he wasn't hiding from it – but in the back of his mind he knew a part of him was.
Feeling melancholy, Dudley watched as the bottommost tip of the sun touched the horizon, turning the light orange and blasting out as much heat as it could before it disappeared entirely. The surrounding sky turned a myriad of different colors. It was nature in all its glory. The beauty of it all was not lost on Dudley. He loved the sunset: He watched as many of them as he could.
The past would haunt him forever, no matter what he did, but when he looked at the beauty of the world he couldn't help but feel like he'd been forgiven; that's why everything was beautiful now. God had seen fit to show him how glorious everything was if he stopped to appreciate it. Standing there, taking in every detail of the spectacular sky, Dudley felt at peace with the world. The past was behind him and he had a new, better life. He wasn't greedy anymore, he learned that you had to give to get. He also learned that everything had to go away sometime. No matter how good something is, it will never last forever. As perfect as his life seemed now, fifteen years from now it wouldn't be the same. It might still be good, but it would be very different. Change is in everything. You can't go anywhere without feeling its affects. Dudley learned that change can happen to the most steadfast of characters.
The sun sank completely below the horizon, sucking the last remnants of light with it. What he'd just witnessed was change – the transition from day to night. Change wasn't bad; it was what kept the world going. Without change, nothing would ever happen. Change is in love, in life, and it is also in death. But Dudley had learned that death was a part of life. Without it, nothing could ever end. When he was younger, he would have said that that was a good thing. But some things are meant to end. What makes it all worthwhile is that in every ending there is a beginning. Every time one chapter finishes, a new one starts. Every time a door closes, another one opens. With ever person who dies, a new one is born.
Dudley felt like he'd had his own life circle. His old self had died, making room for the person he was now.
Dudley Dursley would never again be that bullying, spoiled rotten child.
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