Authors Note: Usually i put the Note after the chapter, but as this is the first one, i figured id put it at the begining.
I had this crazy idea, that years after they're out of school, Dudley meets a woman who's imagination spurs him to get to know Harry a little more.
I got the idea from Harry and Dudley's encounter in the 7th book when the Dursley's are fleeing the area for their safety.
Hope it works alright :) trying not to Mary Sue the girl in here, you'll see what i mean
Shes a recycled character. I just liked her too much to get rid of her.
Dudley Dursley wasn't an unattractive man, but he wasn't the greatest looking either.
He had finally lost the massive amount of weight he had carried as a child and early teen, and through a careful diet and exersize routine, he was able to keep in shape and sported a build similar to that of a rugby player.
He still had light blonde hair that he combed down, and while he had lost a substantial amount of weight, he still had a slightly round face, so he kept a short beard to keep the baby look away.
He worked in the same company as his father, now going gray, although in a different department. He had found himself to be different than his father in many ways at work He didn't yell so much as direct, and he got along with more people.
Sighing, he looked at the clock and then back to the mirror, straightening his tie. He lived on his own now, a two bedroom flat close to work. He was so close; he could walk, and usually only used his car to visit his parents.
This particular day was mild, with just enough cloud cover that the sun didn't beat down on him as he stepped out of the building. Businesses were just opening, early shoppers and individuals heading to work were heading down the street.
Today was a little different than any other. Today was his mother's birthday. He planned on visiting with a present, and as he turned a corner, a block or so from his building, he noticed a flower shop opening. Pausing briefly, he looked over what little they had out, and after a moment's thought he decided to come back after he was off. Just as he turned, he glimpsed someone in the back of the store.
It was a young woman, maybe a year or so younger than him. She had long, strawberry blonde hair that was tied back loosely and was dressed in a white ruffled skirt with a pale blue blouse tucked in, and wearing whicker wedge sandals with white straps.
He found himself wondering if his mother would approve. She was plenty pretty enough, seemed to have good sense. After he turned away, realizing he was nearly late for work, he found himself not caring what his parents thought anymore. Usually his relationships were based on their opinions. He was so struck with this woman, he didn't care what she was. Not even if she turned out to be.. like his cousin.
Frowning as he made his way to the elevator, he thought about Harry for the first time in months. The relationship had been tense for years, ever since they had been small. Even after they were both out of school and Harry now married and expecting a child, There was minimal contact. Harry and his parents remained polite to each other, but there were never visits. His cousin respected his parents to send letters and cards through the mail, and the only time he had ever brought another wizard over was his new wife, a witch who was very pretty. He had left the door open to them to attend the wedding, with a warning that it would be mostly witches and wizards attending, but Dudley had been on a trip and his parents still refused to be connected with that 'nonsense' as possible.
He and Harry had gotten a little closer, letters came and went every few months; they exchanged the usual news and even a photograph or two. Dudley kept the weeding picture he had hidden, because of all things… it moved. Of all pictures to send, it had to be a magic one.
The door to the elevator opened, breaking his thoughts off and he greeted his father as he passed his desk, ready for another day of the usual.
However, his day didn't go as planned.
He didn't get through all the drill he planned on, finding himself spacing out more than he should. He almost ran over his lunch break and he spilled coffee down his front so that he had to keep his jacket on and buttoned.
By the end of the day he was hot and cursing the girl he'd glimpsed through the window. She hadn't left him alone all day. He bid his father farewell distractedly, promising to see him shortly and began his walk home. He told himself he wouldn't stop for flowers like he had originally planned…
But he couldn't help himself.
His feet slowed as he neared the small shop, wondering if she was still there.
He entered the shop and was nearly floored. Not only was the prettiest thing he'd ever seen, she could sing too. He browsed through the flowers, wondering what his mother would like best but hardly paying attention; he was too focused on the woman.
Not long after he entered, he glanced over to see her heading his way. Time slowed for him as he watched her walk, the heels making her skirt swing and gave her hips a gentle sway.
"Can I help you?" She asked with a smile. Even in her heels she was a head shorter than him, and Dudley found he had to look down at her. "Are you looking for an anniversary bouquet? I have a few made up already if you would like to look." She said helpfully after he failed to answer. Annaversary? No, no, that's not what he wanted.
"Ah, no." He coughed awkwardly to clear his throat. "Single, actually. No, It's my mother's birthday, thought she may like some flowers." Was that a light of intrest in her green eyes?
"Oh, I see." She smiled brightly. "Here, I have some vases and bouquets over here, lets see if there's anything she would like. Whats her name?"
"Oh! I have a few hanging baskets of those, or, I could make up a gift basket. Does she like to garden?" Dudley nodded mutely in answer, pretending to be veery interested in a rose. "How about I make up a gift basket?" She asked. He looked over at her to see her smile and smiled back.
"That sounds wonderful." He said. "Thank you." She waved him off and went behind the counter, pulling out a basket and after a few awkward moments, he found himself enjoying picking different flower seeds and fruits for a garden.
They spent a good fifteen minutes on it, and in the end, it was rather impressive. A vase stood in the center of the basket with tulips and roses, a large red bow tied around the neck. The woman had placed fake green grass; witch looked more like long green plastic ribbons to Dudley, and all around the vase she put fake flowers and the seed packets. All this she wrapped in crinkly see through paper, tying another bow around this to keep it shut.
"Thank you very much… ah…" Dudley faltered. In all that time, he hadn't gotten her name.
"Annabelle." She smiled. "And your welcome…" She paused, looking for his name.
"Dudley." He said smiling. He glanced at the time and made a decision. It was now or never. "Listen, I know we just met, and I'm sure a woman like you has someone already, but I would like to ask for your number." He about died at the flush that lit up her face with her smile.
"No, single too." She laughed. She reached over the counter and as he counted out the bill, she scrawled some numbers down and her name. They exchanged what was I their hands, and Dudley, after staring at it for a moment, put her number in his jacket pocket where he knew it wouldn't get lost. She turned back around from the register and reluctantly, Dudley picked up the basket.
"Thanks again." He smiled. "It was very nice to meet you, Annabelle."
"It was very nice to meet you too, Dudley." She replied. "Talk to you soon?" She asked with a hint of suppressed hope in her voice. He nodded.
"Talk to you soon." He said, and turned to leave. Outside the shop, he paused to wave to her before he continued on to where his car was parked.
He arrived at his parent's house, still number 4 on Privet Drive, half an hour later than he had meant to. However, his parents never complained about anything he did, half the reason he'd gotten into so much trouble when he was younger. He flinched at remembering when he and Harry had been in their fifth year of school. He did not like to remember that summer, or the one before or after.
Petunia about cried at her present from him, and nearly fainted at the necklace Vernon had gotten her. All in all, it was a nice evening. No mention of Harry, or, best yet, his mother asking him about grandkids. He was only 24, plenty of time for kids.
He left the house late that night, after visiting his old room and for a moment, he paused by Harry's there were still a few random knick knacks left over from his stay. A quill, a roll of parchment. He didn't understand his cousins world very much. They had never gotten along well enough for him to learn about it.
On his way home, he patted his pocket to be sure Annabelles number was still there, and relaxed a little when it was. It was the only thing that let him know it hadn't all been a dream.