Contains slight homophobic language and dream sequences are styled in bold italics.
He'd had a good day. Pummelling both in the video game world and reality was very satisfying to him and Dudley closed his eyes, a faint smirk tugging at his lips. That same smirk disappeared a few moments later as his breathing deepened and he relaxed into slumber, a mixture of a recent memory and a dream coming together.
Gordon, wicked glint in his eyes, angry scar on his right cheek and jeans sagging, pointed to the stray figure on the outskirts of the park. Dudley grinned. His favourite victim, presented to him on a silver platter. All he needed was for the boy to be wrapped up with a giant bow.
Shoulders back, chest out. It was time to intimidate.
"Look here, lads! A stray retard has flown from its nest!"
Laughter all around him. It made him feel euphoric and the hairs on the back of his neck rose up in anticipation. As he loomed over Evans, the excitement around him built to a crescendo. It was time to put Evans into his place.
Even at that greeting, the boy was begging and cowering at his feet, Dudley throwing his head back and laughing in triumph. This was so liberating, so exhilarating. Such a power rush. He honestly wanted to relish this moment for as long as he could.
"Please Dudley, stop!"
"I h-h-haven't done anything to y-you!"
At this last desperate exclamation, Dudley snorted. "Yeah you did, you gave me cheek. Remember? Said I was a big, dumb animal." He cupped his ear. "What's that? Is it… silence I hear?"
Evans opened his mouth, but he was quicker to the punch. "Don't bullshit me, Evans. You insulted me, so this is payback."
"I-I-I… am a faggot." Another round of laughter rapid fired behind him.
"That's a b-b-bad word."
"Oh, is it? My apologies." Dudley sniggered. "You saying that cause it's the truth?"
"Like girls then? I'm surprised. You fingered anyone yet?"
At his look of disgust, Dudley rolled his eyes. "Thought so. At your age, I was doing two birds at one time!"
"Uh, that never happened, Dud." Malcolm piped up from behind him.
"Shut it." Dudley snapped out the side of his mouth.
"L-Look, can I go? M-Mum's expecting me home-"
"Hey Evans, when did I say that you could leave? Don't you know," Dudley stretched his lips into a nasty grin. "It's not polite to walk off without finishing a conversation. Now, you fucking stand there. I'm the one who tells you when you're allowed to leave. Yeah?"
Evans nodded, his shoulders slumping. He could risk running away, but he would never be able to outrun the older boys. Malcolm, Gordon and Dennis, maybe, but definitely not Piers. He was always the fastest one out of the five of them, and if the others tired, he could keep running ahead and eventually catch up to their latest victim. Even Dudley, now that he had lost all of that weight, could catch up to him. Mark realised it was safer for him to obey Dudley, otherwise he would be in for a bigger 'pounding' if he fled.
"D? Want me to hold his arms behind his back? Just like old times?"
"Good idea, we'll see what the little nancy does first though."
"Huh yeah! It's the same when we used to beat up your cousin!"
"Harry? You beat up H-Harry?" Mark looked aghast. "You beat up a c-c-criminal?"
Dudley wanted to brag about beating up Potter, but the mention of his cousin's surrogate school touched a sore nerve. More mentions of it only made it clearer how much of a freak Potter was. Why couldn't he have been a criminal? Would have been better than being a… magician!
"I'm still tougher than him." He snarled at Evans. "He's a puny runt. Just like you."
Evans cowered again, and Dudley briefly turned his head to share a laugh of triumph with his friends. The gleeful faces of his friends fuelled his laughter fit and he turned his head back, feeling on top of the world.
Until he caught sight of the boy in front of him, and his whole world stopped.
Mark Evans was no longer cowering at his feet. No, he was standing up straight and staring at him. Eyes widening, Dudley's lips quivered, his laughter dying in his chest. This was too surreal.
"Why the fuck aren't you scared?" He blurted out, mind whirring at the change in front of him.
Evans tilted his head and what happened next sent Dudley's blood pressure crashing. Bruises started to blossom all over Evans's skin, darkening his eyes and saturating his mouth.
And what was even creepier was that they had all appeared on the boy's skin without him even laying a finger on Evans.
An uncomfortable heat started to slide up his spine and he slowly shook his head.
'This is some demonic shit. What the hell? Evans has never acted like this before.'
"Uncomfortable, are we?"
The deep voice that emerged out of Evans's mouth was so unsettling that Dudley jumped back, his heel grinding deep into one of his gang's feet. He didn't even notice that there was no yell of pain at the contact, too entranced by the sight before him.
As well as being covered in bruises, Mark Evans's posture was stiff, as if he were an android. Past glimpses at Doctor Who on the telly sent alarm bells screeching in Dudley's head. Any second now, a Dalek would come whirring out of the shadows, like one of those Dementoids.
"Why are you talking like that?"
"Talking like what?"
"Like… that." Dudley shuddered. The voice replying to him was cold and creepy.
'Just like those Dementoid things… Oh shit.'
Evans smiled, and it was the most horrifying twisted smile Dudley had ever been on the receiving end of. "Why Dudley, I'm little Marky Evans. Who else could I be?"
"D-Dunno… You could be one of those freaks Potter hangs out with."
"You know nothing." Evans snarled, causing Dudley to jolt back. He then smiled again. "Ah, how is your cousin?"
"D-Dunno… doesn't matter. Why the hell are you talking like that?! Tell me!"
"Insufferable little brat, you are." Dudley floundered, it was like the Crazy Cat Lady was speaking to him, she always spoke down to him as if he were nothing.
Evans jutted out his chin and stared hard into the taller boy's eyes. "I am not scared of you."
A beat of silence as Dudley processed the new information, before he bellowed:
"WHAT?! BUT YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN SCARED OF ME!" He gestured widely with his hands, his mind confused by the words he had just heard.
"Seems you were wrong. As per usual."
Growling under his breath, Dudley muttered scathingly: "All that time I've ruddy wasted on tormenting this freak and now he says he ain't scared of me? Won't be saying that when his arm is broken. Stupid cu-"
Suddenly, Dudley stopped speaking, ears attuning to the silence that had been settling for the past few minutes. His friends, they weren't laughing. In fact, they had made no sound at all. Slowly, he turned around, eyes bulging at what he saw.
Black floating things… They looked as if they had come straight out of a supernatural movie…
He began to shake, eyes darting up and down, sweat sticking his blond hair to his head.
"They have no eyes… no legs or arms… What the hell are these things? They're making me feel cold… Oh god… Are these those Dementoid things?! FUCKING HELL!"
He fell backwards in sheer terror, arms and legs desperately moving in a scrambling motion, scream pitching to the highest octave it could reach. The creatures, four of them, swooped in and the cold intensified. He heard his scream become distorted as memories seemed to surface, but one thought floated to the top of his mind.
Had his friends been replaced by these Dementoid things? Or had they… become them?
Evans was laughing in the background, making Dudley want to hit him. Hit him in his pathetic face. Hit him so hard he bled. Hit him until his skull caved in.
He really wanted to bloody hit him.
Dudley reeled back in fear as one of the creatures loomed over him and he snapped his eyes shut, body tingling with the feeling of gloom and goose bumps erupting over his skin from the cold. His scream tapered off as the Dementoid closed in on his mouth…
Dudley bolted upright in his bed, panting in exertion. He slowly glanced around his bedroom. It was shrouded in darkness as expected and apart from a growing pile of washing in the corner, it was still clean and tidy from his mother's habitual cleaning. There were no Dementoids, no laughing Evans, no vanishing friends.
He exhaled a deep breath, hand clutching his chest. Evans's skin had bruised so easily, like a fruit. Those bruises would have only looked good if he had applied them, not that weird freakiness that had made them abruptly pop up.
He shook his head, easing himself back so that he was lying down once again. Staring up at the ceiling and feeling very uneasy, Dudley closed his eyes, his face relaxing out of his worried features as he drifted off to sleep.
In the Malfoy Manor, Voldemort watched the boy sleep courtesy of the mirror. The little spell that Wormtail had placed on the Muggle on his behalf was very handy in worming his way into the boy's mind, particularly the brat's dreams. Taking the form of the child Dursley tormented in reality was an intelligent tactic. It had caught the stupid boy off guard. One moment, he was dreaming of his actions the day before, the next he was dealing with the most powerful wizard in the world in the form of a Muggle ten year old boy.
In reality, he may not be able to get close to the boy because of those cumbersome Order people, but dreams… No one could protect Dudley Dursley there.
For now, he would let the boy rest, but his work had begun.