Chapter " 3 " The Letter
23rd June, 1991
It was the crack of dawn when a pair of green eyes slowly opened, blinked thrice and looked around the room groggily. Harry Potter then rolled of his bed and dragged his feet to the bathroom to bath before Dudley woke up and finished all the water.
Fifteen minutes later he came back to the room all freshened up. He sat by the window sill thinking about the last three years and to observe the majestic sight of the sun slowly waking up from its little slumber.
Harry had been moved to the smallest room in the house over three years ago when he had finally learnt how to use and control his magic to a certain level without get exhausted. He had asked his uncle to let him move to the smallest room in the house as he felt the cupboard was becoming too small for him.
His Uncle had gone purple in the face and tried to hit him for asking such an absurd question but found that his hand flew over Harry's head. The reason for his miss was soon discovered as he was floating 4 feet above the floor. He was then flung across the living room and he crashed unceremoniously on the floor, breaking a few tiles in the process. That had gotten his uncle and aunt's attention and soon Harry found himself to be the proud owner of an actual room with a window and a bathroom.
Performing that piece of magic left Harry feeling lethargic for a few days but he got what he wanted and it also made life a little easier.
That little incident was enough for the Dursley's to start being civil to him whenever they saw him or just outright ignore him, which suited him just fine. His last three and half years were relatively peaceful but that didn't stop his aunt from giving him chores, but he didn't mind as long as they were letting him stay in a room with a window and allowing him to eat proper meals.
"Are you up?!" came the demanding voice of his aunt Petunia.
"Yeah, yeah I'm up, I'm up. Coming down in a minute," Harry grumbled.
"Well you better hurry; today's Dudley's birthday and I want everything to be perfect. I don't want you doing any of your... you know what!"
Today was Dudley's birthday! How could he forget? He knew he better be on his best behaviour or else he would be living on the streets before he could even make the slightest form of protest, magic or no magic.
He went downstairs to find all the Dursley's around a pile of presents all for his pig of a cousin named Dudley. He quietly sat on the table and ate his egg and bacon watching Dudley count his presents. His face fell. "Thirty seven," he said going red in the face "That's one less than last year!"
Aunt Petunia sensing a tantrum coming quickly said "We'll buy you two more presents while we're out today. How's that, pumpkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?"
Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work. Finally he said slowly, "So I'll have thirty ... thirty..." "Thirty-nine, sweetums," said aunt Petunia, her voice coated with an overabundance of sweetness that Harry found revolting.
"Oh." Dudley sat down heavily and grabbed the nearest parcel. "All right then."
Uncle Vernon chuckled. "Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. Atta boy, Dudley!" he ruffled Dudley's hair.
The phone rang and Petunia answered it.
Harry looked at her interestedly as her expression went from joyful to crestfallen.
"Bad news, Vernon, Mrs. Figg's broke her leg. She can't take the boy," she said jerking her head in Harry's direction.
"Well what about your friend err... Yvonne," he asked.
"On vacation in Switzerland," she barked back.
"Well looks like we'll have to take the boy with us then, we can't leave him in the house. God only knows what will happen to the house if we do that," she said looking at his uncle.
Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn't really crying- it had been years since he'd really cried- the last time he had cried was when Harry had blasted him back when they were six. But he knew that if he pretended to cry and wail, his mother would give him anything he wanted.
"Dinky Duddydums! Don't cry! Mummy won't let him ruin your special, special day!"
she cried, flinging her arms around his large waist.
"I... don't ... want him... t-t-to come!" Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. "H-he always sp-spoils everything!"
He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap of his mother's arms.
Just then, the doorbell rang " "Oh, good lord, they're here!" aunt Petunia said frantically " and a moment later, Dudley's best friend, Piers Polkiss, walked in with his mother and sneered at Harry. As soon as he walked in Dudley stopped pretending to cry at once.
Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn't believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Dursley's car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His Aunt and Uncle had not been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they'd left, uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.
"Boy I don't want any of your freakiness happening around today, do you hear me! You keep your nose clean and we won't give you any chores tomorrow, do you understand?"
"Yes uncle, but only if Dudley manages not to push me around," Harry said firmly.
Vernon's face turned blue in anger but he gave a short nod and stomped back to the car beckoning Harry to follow him.
On the way to the zoo his Uncle kept complaining about rash drivers and youngsters on motorcycles making Harry remember his dream about the flying motorcycle and how his life had changed after that.
Harry had the best morning he'd had in a long time. He was careful to walk a little way from the Dursley's so that he could watch the animals in the cages without being pushed or whacked in the head by Dudley who would then claim it was an accident.
By lunchtime both Dudley and Piers were bored and they decided to have lunch in the zoo restaurant. After lunch they went to the reptile house. It was cool and dark in there, with lit windows along the walls. Behind the glass, all sorts of lizards and snakes were crawling and slithering over bits of wood and stone. Dudley and Piers wanted to see huge, poisonous cobras and thick man-crushing pythons. Dudley quickly found the largest snake in the place. It could have wrapped its body twice
around uncle Vernon's car and crushed it into a trash can " but at the moment it wasn't moving at all, in fact it was fast asleep.
Dudley stood with his nose pressed against the glass, staring glistening brown coils. "Make it move," he whined to his father. Vernon tapped the glass sharply but the snake didn't budge at all. "Do it again," he ordered and his father rapped on the glass harder but the snake still didn't move.
"This is boring," said Dudley and quickly shuffled to a different window.
The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's.
Harry stared. Then he looked quickly around to see it anybody was watching. They weren't. He looked back at the snake and winked too. The snake jerked its head towards Uncle Vernon and Dudley, then raised its eyes to the ceiling and spoke to Harry, "I get that all the time."
"It must be really annoying." Harry murmured through the glass feeling a bitbewildered about talking with a snake. "Where are you from anyway?"
It nodded its head towards the sign board which read Boa constrictor, Brazil.
"Oh! How is it over there?" he asked.
"Never been there" the snake replied "I was born and grown in the zoo itself."
Harry was sympathetic to the snake's plight and replied "Oh that's sad, well I better get going before somebody sees me talking to you and freaks out cause I sure haven't heard of anybody ever talking to snakes before... ... bye then!"
"Adios Amigo... you are interesting one of your kind, I hope we meet again," the snake hissed back as Harry walked away towards uncle Vernon. He then saw Piers looking at him weirdly.
"You were talking to the snake weren't you? I heard you hissing at it," said Piers.
Harry just looked at him and slowly walked away pondering over what Piers had just said "You were hissing at." Was he speaking a different language or was Piers just pulling his leg like he usually did.
He heard his Uncle calling him and went back forgetting all about what Piers had just
said to him.
Two weeks later
There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next morning when Harry went in for breakfast. It seemed to be coming from a large metal tub in the sink. He went to have a look. The tub was full of what looked like dirty rags swimming in gray water.
"What's this?" he asked aunt Petunia. "Your new school uniform," she said. Harry looked in the bowl again. "Oh," he said, "I didn't realize it had to be so wet."
"Don't be stupid," she snapped. "I'm dying some of Dudley's old things gray for you. It'll look like everyone else's when I've finished."
Harry seriously doubted this, but thought it best not to argue. He sat down at the table and tried not to think about how he was going to look on his first day at stonewall high. He sighed and decided to go practice summoning little bigger things like toys and big books.
Dudley and uncle Vernon came in, with wrinkled noses because of the smell from Harry's new uniform. Uncle Vernon opened his newspaper as usual and Dudley banged his smelting stick, which he carried everywhere on the table. He really was a spoilt brat.
They heard the click of the mail slot and flop of letters on the doormat. "Get the mail, Dudley," said uncle Vernon from behind his paper.
"Make Harry get it."
"Get the mail, Harry."
"Make Dudley get it."
"Poke him with your smelting stick, Dudley."
Harry dodged the smelting stick and went to get the mail grumbling about pigs and jerks. There were three letters. A postcard from his Aunt Marge to Vernon, a brown envelope which looked like a bill and a thick letter with... his name written on it?
Mr. H. Potter
The Smallest bedroom
4 Privet Drive
The envelope was thick, made of yellowish parchment, and the address was written in emerald-green ink. There was no stamp.
Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger, and a snake surrounding a large letter H.
"Hurry up, boy!" shouted Uncle Vernon from the kitchen. "What are you doing checking for letter bombs?" He chuckled at his own joke.
Harry quickly stuffed the letter down his pants knowing his Uncle would want to read it first and took the remaining letters to the kitchen and handed them over to his Uncle quietly. He then slowly walked back to his room to read his letter, wondering who on Earth knew him out there.
Harry locked his room and pulled out his letter to read it not noticing the owl sitting just outside his window. He broke the seal and pulled out two thick parchments and began to read.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorcerer, Chief Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confederation of wizards.)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1st. We await your owl by no later than July 31st.
What the hell? Harry wondered. He took the other parchment and began to read that too.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
Three sets of plain work robes (black)
One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags
All students should have a copy of each of the following: The standard book of spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk A history of magic by Bathilda Bagshot Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginners guide to Transfiguration by Emetic Switch One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore Magical Drafts and Potions by Aresnius Jigger
Fantastic beasts and where to find then by Newt Scamander The Dark Forces: A guide to self-protection by Quentin Trimble
Cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
Set glass or crystal phials
Students may also bring an owl or a cat or a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS.
Harry was shocked ... He could not believe his eyes. There was actually a school for wizards like him! Hell, there were more wizards and witches out there and here he thought he was the only one with such powers! He was trembling with excitement and read the letter again and again. It was like a dream come true.
Hold on, he thought suddenly. What was the part which said they await his owl no later than 31st July? "Do I have to write a letter to them or what?" he thought out aloud.
Suddenly he heard a taping noise on his window and spotted the owl outside. He jumped up from his bed and fell on his knees. He went quickly and opened the window with one hand and rubbed his knees with the other. The owl flew in and stood on his table and stuck its foot out.
Harry looked at it strangely and asked, "Do you want me send them a letter right now?" A hoot gave him all the confirmation he needed. He quickly took a sheet of paper and a pen and wrote:
Dear Professor McGonagall,
I received your letter and will be very happy to attend Hogwarts from the 1st of September. However I do not know where to get my uniform and the rest of the equipment.
I would be glad if you could send someone over sometime tomorrow so that I can go and buy my school items.
Harry James Potter
"Yep, that looks alright," said Harry re-reading the letter. He then rolled it and tied it to the owl which immediately flew out into the open sky.
He stared outside the window and suddenly burst out laughing. Happiness radiated
out of him. "I'm going to learn more magic. And who knows, I might actually make friends for once in my life! And best of all, no Dursley's! What else could I ever want?!" he said to himself, still giddy with excitement. All he had to do now was announce the news to the Dursley's and convince them to let him go, hopefully without him having to use his magic against them.
He took deep breaths, counted till ten and calmed himself down. He reached out to his magic and willed it to flow through his body feeling the rush of power that always came with it, knowing that he was going to need it if his talk with his Aunt and Uncle was to go well without him getting any major injuries.
Harry put the letter back inside the envelope and went downstairs. All the three Dursley's were sitting by the television set watching a movie.
"Ahem. Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon?"
He got no response, so in a still louder voice he said again, "Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia!"
"What do want boy," grunted his Uncle still staring at the T.V. "Erm I... umm got a letter today."
The reaction was spontaneous, immediately his Aunt gave a strangled gasp and his Uncle fell off the sofa while Dudley still stared at the television as if nothing had just happened.
"What did you just say," Vernon growled.
"I got a letter today, accepting me into Hogwarts School of magic" Harry stated bluntly.
"Wha... wha... WHAT?!" spluttered his Uncle.
"And," Harry said raising his voice a bit, "Somebody is coming to pick me up tomorrow." That said he handed over the letter to his Aunt who didn't say a word but just stare at the envelope like in a trance.
"How dare you! HOW DARE YOU COME DOWN AND PRESSUME THAT WE WILL SEND YOU TO SOME CRACKPOT MAGIC SCHOOL AND LEARN HOW TO TURN US INTO GOD KNOWS WHAT! YOU WILL GO TO STONEWALL HIGH LIKE ME AND YOUR AUNT TOLD YOU, DO YOU HEAR ME?!"
Harry just stood there waiting for his Uncle to finish his rant. "Are you done?" he
"What?" asked his Uncle still huffing and panting after that rant.
"I said are you done yelling because no matter what you do I am going to go and if you try to stop me... well I'm sure you remember what happened almost three years back don't you Uncle Vernon and you Aunt Petunia," Harry said with the threat clear in his voice.
Both his Uncle and Aunt just stood there watching him with their mouths opening quite stunned and didn't know what to say. "Now you look here boy," growled his Uncle, but Harry just raised his hands and levitated the two adult Dursley's and said "You were saying dear Uncle."
Both his Aunt and Uncle were now looking terrified at Harry feat of magic, but Dudley still hadn't realized what was going on as he was quite enjoying the movie he was watching. Harry just stood there waiting for his Uncle to say something while he started sweating slightly knowing that he wouldn't be able to hold on much longer.
"Alright, ALRIGHT," yelled his Aunt panicking and finally finding her voice.
"Petunia?" whimpered his Uncle.
"Please put us down and you can go to that ... that freak school of yours!"
Harry smirked in victory and dropped the two Dursley's down. His Uncle now back on the ground got his courage back and came stomping towards Harry but found himself unable to move when Harry raised his hands and pushed outwards towards him again making him slam into the wall. His Uncle crumpled into a heap on the floor moaning in pain.
"Tomorrow a professor will come to take me to buy some stuff. I'll leave on the 1st of September and you won't see me until next summer," Harry said looking straight into his Aunt's eyes knowing that they would be really glad to get rid of him.
She quietly nodded her head and hurried to Vernon to see if he was alright.
Harry then turned and started walking back to his room, knowing that he had just won an important battle. He wiped the sweat dripping from his forehead due to all the magic he just exuded and went to lay on his bed, knowing that tomorrow was going to be the greatest day of his life.