Albus Dumbledore sat in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts, which he had been quite lucky to inherit, considering that the previous headmaster, Armando Dippett, had bit the dust after being poisoned by Albus himself, due to his supposed involvement with a suspect character known to most as Jack Ballsacker. It was the holidays, so there would usually be lots and lots of preparations for the next school year to occupy his time. During his long time as headmaster, Albus had however come to realize, that it was far more relaxing having the remaining staff doing such tasks, and who could really blame him? Anyone who had any understanding on the workings of a social hierarchy, should, in his opinion, be quite aware that signing letters and organizing the time table was work best left for people somewhat lower on the social ladder, like, for instance, his deputy, Minerva McGonagall.

It was due to this line of reasoning that Albus currently was thumbing through the pages of a mostly irrelevant book, while enjoying a Sherbet Lemon.

Outside, the sun was setting. Albus sighed tiredly, as he closed the book he was reading. There really was no reason for him to continue reading it. Most of the information in it seemed to be based on his own research when it came down to it, and he had not yet grown as senile as to forget it. He made a mental note to put the book back in the library sometime.

He was in the midst of leaving his office for the comfort of his private chambers, when his fireplace suddenly flared to life. Albus was shocked. He had not expected any visitors to come so late in the evening. In the seconds it took for the person to appear, Albus found himself wondering who it could be. He had told the staff that they were only to disturb him, in the direst of situations, and he could simply not imagine anything so dire having happened.

Perhaps the visitor was his estranged brother Aberforth, who, when he was not busy serving Fire Whisky in the local inn, spent his time experiencing and enjoying the wonders of sexual bliss with the local goats. It would not surprise Albus, had his elder brother found himself in some trouble with the hit wizards, for his controversial hobby. Yes, that had to be the most likely case.

When the visitor came through, it was however neither Aberforth, as Albus had believed, nor was it his staff, insisting on bothering him with some silly question or other. It was Vernon Dursley. Albus was deeply shocked.

XXX

"Damn those unnatural fireplaces!", Mr. Dursley said as he entered the room. Gratefully, it seemed, he accepted the drink Albus offered, and then said: "Oh, well! What harm can it do accepting your drink, after already having wandered through that death trap of a labyrinth?" He laughed sardonically.

Impatiently, Albus asked him what was wrong. In reply, Vernon took a great big sip from his drink, and then said: "It's the boy.". Here he hesitated.

"Well, I figured as much!", Albus said, sounding slightly annoyed. "What about him?".

Vernon swallowed.

"Well, it seems that", he started, before cutting off once more.

"It seems that?".

"It seems that the boy… It seems that… Well, to put it bluntly, I think he suffered a quite severe beating!".

Albus was still with shock.

"I think it's best you tell me everything, Mr. Dursley", he finally said.

XXX

"And then… well, I think he might not last too long.", Vernon Dursley finally finished his tale.

Albus sat back, rage filling his navy blue eyes. There was no twinkle anymore. It seemed the Devil was the only being left with any twinkling whatsoever, in the world.

And then, Vernon did one of the stupidest things he'd ever done. He asked: "So, the reason why I came to you is, well, I wondered if we could get a compensation for the damaged clothing!".

Author's notes:

So, usually I really don't like authors who don't stick to their guns about oneshots remaining oneshots, but what can you do when inspiration hits you? I don't know about the rest of you, but my integrity certainly can't stand against the pleasure of writing a new chapter. So, here you go!