Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter novels or any of the characters created by J K. Rowling. I am not making any money from this story.
Summary: Harry, Dudley, and Petunia visit the toy store. One-shot.
A/N: Well, this is my first Harry Potter story ever, yay! I have some others on the way as well. Enjoy. :)
Big Black Dog
“I want the red car. No, the yellow one. I want both of them!”
Eight-year-old Harry rolled his eyes, but neither Dudley nor Petunia noticed for once. “Duddy, you already have a yellow truck at home,” said Petunia, flinching when Dudley scraped a box away from the shelf. “Wouldn’t you like a nice teddy instead?”
“Teddy?” Dudley echoed derisively, yanking another box off of the shelf to add to his growing pile of toys. “Only girls have teddies! I want a car. A fast one.”
Petunia smiled, but it was pinched and hollow, and Harry knew that she was probably remembering the damage inflicted by Dudley’s last remote control vehicle, which left nicks along the feet of her dining room chairs and had – on purpose, Harry thought – crashed into her china cupboard, home to her grandmother’s rose-patterned tea set with service for twelve. Harry remembered the pained expression on her face when she saw the cups sprayed along the floor in pieces, almost as vividly as he remembered the way the slices of china cut into his fingers as he swept them up.
“But you already have a fast car, Dudders,” Petunia reminded him sweetly.
“This one’s faster.”
Petunia sighed and cast a wistful glance at a display of stuffed animals behind her, and Harry did the same, letting his eyes trail one by one over the rows of toys. There was a giraffe and a zebra and a hippopotamus, and three different kinds of cats with collars the color of lime-flavored popsicles. And then, on the very front row, beside the cat with the bright orange and white stripes, sat a large black dog with eyes like big brown marbles.
Without thinking, Harry stood up onto his tip-toes and grabbed the dog by one of its ears. It fit comfortably in his arms, soft and padded and just the right size for hugging. He ran his palm over the dog’s silky black coat, nudged a fingertip over a glassy brown eye. A long pink tongue draped lazily out of the side of its mouth, and for a moment Harry was overwhelmed by the scent of dog breath and the taste of vanilla icing.
“Yes, Dudders, we’ll get both of them. Now come along, let’s go pay for them so that we can get some ice cream, would you like that?” Dudley nodded so enthusiastically that he almost dropped one of the four boxes he’d stuffed under his armpits, and Petunia turned to look at her nephew. “What are you doing?” she demanded, casting a suspicious eye upon the stuffed animal he had cradled in one arm. “Come on, let’s go!”
“Can I have this dog?” Harry blurted.
Petunia blinked stupidly, possibly because it had been many years since her nephew had asked for anything and she had forgotten the sound his voice made when it was dry with longing. “No,” she said harshly, snatching the dog out of his arms, and Harry managed not to whimper as it slipped away. She dropped it back onto the display shelf and looked back to find him staring wistfully at the stuffed animal. “Well, let’s go!” she said impatiently, and reluctantly he turned to follow her.
That night, Harry dreamt of broomsticks and birthday cake and deep, barking laughter, and when he woke his cheeks felt warm and raw and damp, as if they’d been scrubbed with wet sandpaper.
A/N: Thank you for reading. Please let me know what you think.
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