Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor am I attempting to make any personal gain from this story.
Harry Slithers-in; Prisoner of Azkaban: Chapter 1: The Escaped Mass Murderer and Marge
It was the morning of Harry's 13th birthday. During the night a flock of owls had arrived at his bedroom window. Fortunately he had been up finishing some of his holiday assignments when they had arrived. He had received birthday presents from Daphne, Theo, Blaise, Draco and even one from the Weasley family. Apparently they felt he deserved something special for the help he had given them during the school year with regard to Ginny.
It was the last letter, sent from Hogwarts and containing his new book list, that had given him the most reason for thought. It contained a form that the Dursleys would need to sign if he was to be allowed to visit Hogsmeade village. He seriously doubted that either Vernon or Petunia would allow him to do something enjoyable and he was wondering if he should contact Mrs. Davis, a Ministry of Magic official who worked in the Ministry's Child Welfare Office and who also happened to be the mother of his girlfriend Tracey, to ask her to force the Dursleys into signing it.
Thinking about it as he went to sleep he still hadn't decided if that was what he wanted to do and even when he awoke the next morning he still hadn't decided. He got up, dressed and went to the kitchen where the Dursleys greeted him with his usual birthday cheer; "Make the toast, boy."
"Yes, uncle Vernon," Harry mumbled.
The dining room featured a brand new TV that the Dursleys had bought for Dudley as a welcome home gift. On it was a news story about an escaped prisoner. The picture showed a gaunt figure with hollow, sunken eyes and a mass of unkempt black hair. Harry listened as the reporter described him.
"We remind our viewers that Black is extremely dangerous and is believed to have access to a firearm. He should not be approached under any circumstance and any sighting should be immediately reported to your local police or you can ring the hotline." Across the bottom of the screen was displayed a phone number.
"In other news…"
"Hang on," Vernon shouted over the TV, "you never told us where this maniac escaped from. For all we know he could be walking up the street right now."
As he spoke Petunia looked out the window as if expecting to see him. Harry knew she would be delighted to be the first person to see him and thus claim the reward.
With the end of the news broadcast Vernon turned to the room. "Marge's train is arriving at 10 o'clock and she will be staying for a week."
"Aunt Marge is coming to stay," Harry said in a startled voice.
"That's right," Vernon said, glaring at Harry. "And while she is here you will keep a civil tongue at all times. She doesn't know about your 'abnormality' and you are not to go do anything freakish while she is here. Understand?"
"Yes, uncle Vernon," Harry replied.
"We have told her attend St. Brutus' school for Incurably Criminal Boys and that is what you will say if she asks you. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, uncle Vernon."
"Good. Now go clean yourself up." He turned to Dudley. "Dudley, would you like to come with me to pick up Marge?"
"No thank you," Dudley replied as he turned back to the TV.
As Vernon got up to leave a thought occurred to Harry. Finishing his toast he got up to follow Vernon who noticed him immediately.
"Don't think I'm taking you to meet Marge, boy."
"As if I want to go," Harry muttered.
"Then got lost."
"Uncle Vernon, third years at my school are allowed to visit the nearby village on certain weekends. I have a form that my guardian needs to sign to allow me to go on these visits and it will be difficult to remember the name of that school you send me to…"
"You will remember it or else," Vernon snarled.
"But if I accidentally say the wrong thing…"
"If you do I'll thrash the daylights out of you," Vernon threatened while making a fist.
"But that won't change the fact it happened. If you sign my form I will promise I will behave while Marge is here."
Vernon thought it over before finally saying, "Very well, I shall monitor your behaviour during Marge's visit and if, at the end, I am satisfied with your behaviour I shall sign that ruddy form."
"Thank you," Harry replied.
As Vernon pulled out of the drive way Petunia made Harry mow the lawns, threatening that if they weren't finished when Marge arrived he wouldn't get any lunch. In fact Harry had only just got the mower out of the shed when Mrs. Davis arrived.
"Good morning, Harry. Isn't it your birthday?"
"Good morning Mrs. Davis. Yes it is; not that it makes any difference to the Dursleys'", he replied.
"I see. Well, in that case I think I should have a word with them," Mrs. Davis replied.
Harry let her into the house. When Petunia saw her she shrieked, "What are you doing here?"
"In case you've forgotten it is Harry's birthday today. I am here to personally deliver Harry's present from my daughter. I'm glad I came too considering you clearly have forgotten that fact," Mrs. Davis replied in a pleasant voice.
Petunia huffed and returned to the kitchen. Mrs. Davis turned to Harry and gave him a large parcel. "Happy birthday, Harry," she said.
"Thank you Mrs. Davis, and can you pass on my thanks to Tracey as well?"
"Of course. How are they treating you?"
"Same as always," Harry replied. "Only Uncle Vernon's sister is coming today and she even worse. She treats me like a slave."
Mrs. Davis looked particularly annoyed with this. "Unfortunately I can't do anything more for you at the moment. I don't know if you've heard yet but Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban yesterday…"
"Wait a minute," Harry interrupted, "That escaped murderer on the muggle news is a wizard?"
"Ah, you have heard part of the story then. Yes, he is a wizard, in fact he was one of You-know-who's most loyal followers. He murdered 13 people with one curse a few days after you defeated him."
Harry was shocked. "One curse, and he killed 13 people?" he whispered.
"Yes. It's because he is so dangerous that I am unable to arrange alternative accommodation for you at the moment. All of us at the Ministry have been seconded to process information on his whereabouts which means long hours and very little time to relax or even do our regular jobs. I am afraid you'll just have to do your best until probably the last week of the holidays."
"Wouldn't I be safer somewhere there are wizards?" Harry asked. "I mean, if Black can kill 13 people at one time I doubt any muggles would stand a chance against him."
Mrs. Davis sighed. "I asked that exact same question but Albus Dumbledore said you would be safe here. I don't know if you're aware of this but this house is protected by magic and this magic is specially tuned to block anyone who possesses the Dark Mark from coming within 100 yards of this place. We found that out last year when Lucius Malfoy tried to visit you after his family elf was caught stealing your mail."
"What is the Dark Mark?" Harry asked.
"It's You-know-who's symbol. It's like a tattoo in that it is burned into the skin his followers. Apparently it also acts as a way for him to summon them."
"And Mr. Malfoy has the mark?"
"He claims he was bewitched to do You-know-who's bidding but many people don't believe him. However, he was able to convince the Wizengamot of this at his trial. The Wizengamot is wizarding worlds' highest court, by the way," Mrs. Davis explained.
"I know there are house elves at Hogwarts, is the Malfoy's elf the same?"
"Yes, although the Malfoy's elf is apparently something of a rogue; he wants to be free whereas most house elves are happy working for their master."
Harry thanked Mrs. Davis once again for the present and the information about Black and the other things they had discussed before she left. Rather than do the lawns Harry took his present up to his room and unwrapped it. Inside he found a large box of chocolates and a small book about the hidden meanings of numbers. It was clearly a muggle book but it would still be an interesting read.
Later, when Vernon returned with Marge Harry found himself having carry her huge suitcase up the stairs to the spare room. When he came down stairs again he heard Petunia telling Vernon about Mrs. Davis' visit.
"I told the boy to do the lawns but then his 'social worker' turned up," Petunia said.
"Not that Davis woman?" Vernon growled.
"Yes, that's the one."
"What's this about a social worker?" Marge bellowed.
"Just some woman who is assigned to his case. You know how he is an incurable criminal. She is supposed to keep an eye on him outside school," Vernon explained.
Over the course of the next week Harry tried hard to behave himself. In the excitement about Mrs. Davis' visit he had for gotten to ask her to put pressure on the Dursleys to sign his Hogsmeade visit form and now he had to behave himself if he wanted to be allowed to go. Everything was going well until the last night of her stay, when everything went wrong.
Over the week the level of Harry's frustration had been building up. At dinner on the last day of Marge's stay, when there was a large amount of alcohol being splashed around, Marge started on about how Harry's parents were no-good layabouts who never did a day's work in their lives. This was finally too much for Harry and he snapped at her, "My Parents were not lazy!" he shouted.
"More Brandy," Vernon said just as loudly.
"No need, Vernon," Marge began. She turned to Harry. "So, you liked your parents did you?"
"Yes, even though I hardly remember them, they were my parents."
"So you like the fact they got drunk and were then killed while driving?"
"They didn't die in an accident," Harry snarled.
"Yes they did," Vernon shouted. "That's what we told you and that's what happened."
"Liar!" Harry shouted.
"How dare you accuse your uncle of lying you ungrateful little…" Marge began but then she stopped.
At first Harry thought she was imply lost for words. Then he realised she was swelling, puffing up like a balloon being inflated. Several buttons burst off her waistcoat and pinged around the room. Ripper, Marge's pet bulldog, started barking madly as Marge floated out of her chair. Vernon grabbed her and Ripper bit Vernon. Petunia shrieked and Dudley stared wildly around the room as Harry ran for the door.
When he reached his room Harry grabbed everything he owned and threw it all into his trunk. He then dragged it down the stairs where Vernon met him.
"You put her right this instant," Vernon bellowed.
Harry pulled out his wand and pointed it at Vernon. "She got what she deserved, now get out of my way." Harry didn't say it loudly but every word was clearly audible.
Vernon took a step back. Harry ran past him and out into the night.
Several minutes later, once the worst of his anger had subsided, Harry found himself several blocks away from Privet Drive. He sat down on a low wall and thought about what had happened. He knew he was in serious trouble. As an underage wizard he was banned from using magic outside of school but he just turned his muggle aunt into a balloon. That was a serious bit of magic. Even though he guessed the Ministry of Magic would reverse is spell and repair any damage he wondered what would happen to him. Would he be expelled?
Movement in a nearby alley caught his attention. His wand was still in his hand so he pointed it at the alley and said "Lumos."
The beam from the wand fell on the largest dog he had ever seen. It was a huge, jet black animal with empty looking eyes that stood there, staring at him. Harry stepped back, tripped over his trunk and fell into the street. He threw his wand hand out to break his fall, dropping his wand when his hand hit the ground. Suddenly the whole street was bathed in bright, white light. He grabbed his wand rolled away just in time to avoid being run over by an enormous, purple three decker bus as it pulled into the kerb next to him.
A young man with many pimples stepped out of the bus and said, "Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. My name is Stan Shunpike and I will be your conductor tonight."
Author's Note: Does anyone have any suggestions as to what the Slytherin student's boggart should be. I already have ideas for Draco and Tracey but would appreciate suggestions for the others. Either post your reply in a review or as a PM. Any suggestion received before 8pm on Wednesday 10 August NZ time will be considered and I will credit anybody whose suggestion I use in an Author's Note.