OOH THIS IS AWESOME
He first runs into Melissa at a hardware store.
Something went wrong with the flush on his toilet, and now he needs to get a snake, to fish all the disgusting gunk out. (He won’t say anything more on this matter, so don’t ask him.)
The last time he had anything to do with any of the wizard people was years and years ago— he’s already twenty-eight and he hasn’t seen Harry since he left, that day, right before Harry turned seventeen.
He just apologized to her, noticed her rather odd green eyes, and he left, the snake clutched tightly in his hand.
* * *
Then, the second time he sees Melissa, she’s shopping. At a clothes store.
(Of course, he doesn’t know her name yet. He just briefly remembers that he bumped into her once, and he doesn’t think about it again— he does notice the eyes, though.)
* * *
Then, he sees her at a store one day and she actually says hi to him, and he tells her his name and she tells him hers—
Melissa. For some reason, he wants to remember it, wants to feel it curling off his tongue and wants to hold it in his head forever.
What’s wrong with him?
* * *
He’s suddenly seeing her again, at the store (almost like she’s able to see where he is and find him and go there herself), and he’s saying hi again and he’s working up the courage and finally he asks her if they can meet each other.
And she says it would be great, Dudley.
And he says I’ll see you around, Melissa.
(He loves her name— also her eyes.)
* * *
But then he’s sitting there, awkwardly, at the cafe table and she’s not there. He’s starting to think that she’s just been messing with him, and, no, tears aren’t stinging at his eyes right now, and he slowly stands up before he hears a gasped, “Dudley!”
She’s standing there, panting, her shirt on inside out (he’ll let her know about that later), and she says, “I’m sorry, I… I woke up late. Slept in. I’m really sorry”, and the only thing he can think about is that she’s sincere and she’s really here and she doesn’t think he’s some fat, bumbling idiot and she really wants to meet him.
(He’s overjoyed— so blinded with his happiness that he doesn’t see her slip the long, slender object more firmly into her purse, doesn’t see the few untreated scrapes on the back of her neck, doesn’t see that there’s a glowing blue stain on the upper hem of her shorts.)
* * *
And then he’s in love.
It’s sudden, and he hates it, because he and Melissa have only been going on dates for a month.
(So what if it’s every day, and he knows practically everything about her, and they’ve kissed maybe twice? It’s not like he should be falling in love this quickly.)
* * *
It makes him overwhelmingly happy, being in love— he’s never felt this way before. He’s always checking on his appearance, making sure he looks good as he meets Melissa for the fourteen millionth time, and sometimes she’s late— apparently she’s got a problem with naps. And sleeping in.
But he loves her for it.
They are officially boyfriend/girlfriend, which makes Dudley feel amazing because for once someone other than some ugly, dirt-faced girl has feelings for him, and he has feelings for her, too.
He hasn’t told her he loves her, but one day when she comes to their informal dinner date at his house, her hair messy and her clothes rumpled, he still smiles at her and pulls out her chair for her and she grins at him, giggling, and she blurts out, “I think I might be in love with you,” before she claps her hand over her mouth as if she didn’t expect that to come out.
And Dudley’s got his one chance, and he grins and pulls her off the chair and towards him, kissing her once.
"I’m in love with you, too."
But then, her face falls. Her head dips down, in shame, and he places a hand gently on her shoulder. She pulls away from him to sit on his couch, though, and her head falls into her hands.
"I can’t believe myself," she whispers. "I’ve— I’ve been horrible to you."
He can’t believe his ears— no wonder she just said she loved him today, he’s probably dreaming about it! Again!
So Dudley pinches himself hard, but he doesn’t wake up, and he realizes that this isn’t a dream, that Melissa Wade (her last name) is completely in love with him, and she’s ashamed of herself because she’s apparently been terrible.
But he sits beside her on the couch, resting a hand on her knee.
"You’ve been amazing to me," he answers, gently, but she looks up at him, her face tear-stained.
"I’ve been lying to you, all this time," she exclaims, and Dudley’s eyes widen. Does she not love him? Was she pretending?
But she shakes her head. “I’ve been hiding something from you,” she whispers. “Something really important to me, that you ought to know, and that I should have told you much sooner.”
Dudley sighs. “As long as you’ve not been seeing someone else behind my back, or you’re not already married or something, then it’s all right. You can tell me.”
"I’ve— I’ve got to show you, then," Melissa whispers, and she covers his eyes with one hand.
"Close your eyes."
And he does.
He hears rummaging, hears her mutter something under her breath, and it sounds remarkably familiar, the small syllables, but he can’t hear it properly and can’t figure it out, and he sees a flash. Though he wants to instinctively look, he waits.
"Open your eyes."
And he gasps.
His dining table is now a teacup.
And he turns to Melissa, who’s now holding a stick in her hand, that Dudley recognizes, and he remembers his father’s repeated words, that Harry’s demented, that Harry and his whole family are insane, that Mum is lucky that she wasn’t a freak like her mother, and that magic is bad, magic is bad, magic is bad, stay away from wizards, they’re odd, stay away from wizards, they’re odd, stay away from wizards—
But he’s in love with a witch.
"You’re a witch!" he finally exclaims, and Melissa’s eyes bug wide.
"You— you— how did you know? You’re not a— wi—"
"No, I’m not a wizard, no matter what, but you’re a witch! You went to Hogwarts, you learned magic, with all this Dumbledore and Dark Lord and all that insanity!"
Her face falls. “My guess is that you’re a Muggle who somehow knows about wizardry.”
"Somehow knows? Somehow? My— my cousin is Harry Potter!”
And his secret is out.
But she stares at him with wide eyes, too. “Harry Potter? He’s your— your cousin. And— oh God, I’m so sorry, I should never have even talked— I’m so sorry, please don’t worry about me, I’ll be all right, I’m sorry if I ever bothered you, I didn’t know you— you hate me now, right?”
Her face is so desperate, so sad, as she stares at him, wrinkling her nose slightly (she does that when she’s about to cry). Her beautifully odd green eyes are alight with tears, and she shakes her head slightly.
"I’m sorry I ever— I shouldn’t have— I mix myself up with Muggles, and I think it’s going to turn out great, like it did with Mum and Dad, but instead I only make them— I’m so sorry, Dudley, I mean, I understand if you want to break it off, because I’m a witch, and— oh, I feel so bad, I shouldn’t have manipulated you like that, I’m so sorry I lied, truly— I’ll get out of your hair now.”
And though Dudley’s been raised to hate these people with a passion, he finds himself moving to block the door. He finds himself grabbing Melissa’s arms gently, he finds himself holding her closer to him, wrapping her in his embrace.
"I love you no matter how you are," he says, and Dudley suddenly remembers a science article he read once, saying that with a study of identical twins, the way parents raised a child had absolutely no effect on the way the child would end up being when they left the house, and Dudley only thinks about this, about how his parents hate wizards, and he grew up hating wizards, but he still doesn’t, he’s still in love with a witch, and he’s still ecstatic about it.
"Really?" Melissa whispers up at him, her grin stretching to her forehead, and she holds his face in her hands (he’s more than a head taller than her, and she’s standing on her tiptoes, and her lips are pressing to his feverishly, frantically, and her arms wrap around his neck and he holds her up by her waist and he’s goddamn in love with a witch and he’s still kissing her to the darkest oblivions and he feels wonderful about it; so, so, wonderful.
She’s giggling against his lips now, and he’s grinning back, and she whispers, when they’ve stopped, gasping— “I thought you’d hate me.”
"To be honest, I thought I’d hate you, too," he says, voice rough. "Because my dad raised me to hate wizards, because Harry was around, and then I hated wizards for a while and was bloody afraid of them, but now… I don’t."
She rests her feet on the ground and hugs him, so tightly. “I love you so much.”
Dudley smiles, rubbing Melissa’s back gently, and he kisses the top of her head, silently thinking about how if they actually got married and had kids they’d be bloody wizards and witches. He’d have those magic blokes running around his house, with wands and spells and he shudders a bit with memories of a pig’s tail, but he’ll tolerate it, through and through, for Melissa.
(Besides, if any of that junk did happen, she’d set it right in a jiff, so he wouldn’t have to worry.)
* * *
(And that does happen, except there’s two wizards and a witch— the girl is exactly like Melissa, named Heather, and he won’t tell anyone that she’s his favorite. The two wizards are strapping little twin copies of Dudley, and he’s so happy with his family, that he knows that if he could make a Patronus, he’d imagine his family of magic and Muggles, and no, he’s never a bit jealous that they’re able to make water squirt out from nowhere, or can open locks— because he just holds onto Melissa’s wand as she grabs his hand over hers and he waves it around as she mutters spells, and he feels like he’s doing it, too.)
* * *
(She says his Patronus would be a frog. Hers is a deer. Heather’s is a hummingbird, and Jack and David, both their Patronuses are the same— elephants.)
* * *
(Once, he does take Melissa to meet Harry— the first time he’s seen his cousin in twenty years. When Harry’s wife, that redhead, Jenny or something, sees Melissa, and Melissa’s cloaks, she lifts an eyebrow and calls for her husband. He’s shocked, too, but welcomes both with open arms, as he always does.)
* * *
(Dudley’s never been happier at the fact that he’s married to a witch— even though she has her Auror missions that leave her gone for days on end and worried sick, he’s got Jack, David, and Heather to worry with, and they can all swarm around her and hug her silly when she gets back, and Dudley can gently kiss all over her body, late at night, to make sure she’s whole, and not hurt. He’d never marry a Muggle. Especially not after this.)
* * *
(He’s in love with a witch and he’s still happy)
HOPED YOU LIKED IT, TONKSIES! lxrrypxradise