Neville, feeling embarrassed with everyone watching him, took the book from Remus. Although Harry’s encouraging smile made him feel slightly better.
“That evening when he got back from work, Uncle Vernon did something he'd never done before; he visited Harry in his cupboard.”
Fred and George looked extremely puzzled, “How big was your cupboard?”
With a snort Harry replied, “I honestly thought he would get stuck in the doorway”
Sirius and Remus exchanged dark looks at the mention of the cupboard.
"Where's my letter?" said Harry, the moment Uncle Vernon had squeezed through the door. "Who's writing to me?"
“Persistent as usual”, Ron teased.
"No one. It was addressed to you by mistake," said Uncle Vernon shortly. "I have burned it."
McGonagall’s lips thinned as she gave the Dursleys the evil eye. Burning a Hogwarts letter! Outrageous.
"It was not a mistake," said Harry angrily, "it had my cupboard on it."
"SILENCE!" yelled Uncle Vernon, and a couple of spiders fell from the ceiling. He took a few deep breaths and then forced his face into a smile, which looked quite painful.”
"Er -- yes, Harry -- about this cupboard. Your aunt and I have been thinking... you're really getting a bit big for it... we think it might be nice if you moved into Dudley's second bedroom.”
There was a pause before Remus said in a low voice, “Dudley’s second bedroom.” Taking a deep breath, he tried to calm himself, “He had two bedrooms…”
Sirius was seriously considering hexing them, but a look from Dumbledore stopped him.
Malfoy just curled his lip. Of course the spoilt muggle would have two bedrooms, it was typical of their kind.
"Why?" said Harry.
"Don't ask questions!" snapped his uncle. "Take this stuff upstairs, now."
Luna’s dreamy voice rang out, “You know, asking questions can be rather useful in life. I would highly recommend them, Harry”, she gazed at him steadily.
“Thanks, Luna”, grinned Harry.
“The Dursleys' house had four bedrooms: one for Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, one for visitors”
“You had… a guest bedroom as well as Dudley’s second room?”, Remus clenched his fists and tried to breath deeply.
Harry rolled his eyes and leaned back. Couldn’t they just read the damn book without having to comment on every single detail. It was rather tiresome.
“(usually Uncle Vernon's sister, Marge), one where Dudley slept, and one where Dudley kept all the toys and things that wouldn't fit into his first bedroom. It only took Harry one trip upstairs to move everything he owned from the cupboard to this room.”
Hermione felt slightly guilty. She wished she had something sooner.
Snape really wasn’t liking the parallels to his own childhood. No, Potter must be hiding something, lying perhaps. There was so way Golden Boy had been neglected and abused, the books were probably a hoax to trick them all.
“He sat down on the bed and stared around him. Nearly everything in here was broken. The month-old video camera was lying on top of a small, working tank Dudley had once driven over the next door neighbor's dog; in the corner was Dudley's first-ever television set, which he'd put his foot through when his favorite program had been canceled; there was a large birdcage, which had once held a parrot that Dudley had swapped at school for a real air rifle, which was up on a shelf with the end all bent because Dudley had sat on it.”
Everyone sniggered. Mad Eye shook his head, stupid muggle.
“Other shelves were full of books. They were the only things in the room that looked as though they'd never been touched.”
Hermione looked outraged, “Books are key to intellectual intelligence”, she paused, “actually, that explains a lot.”
After a moment of shock, everyone burst out laughing, apart from Dudley who turned bright red.
“Nice one Hermione”, Tonks called out.
“From downstairs came the sound of Dudley bawling at his mother, I don't want him in there... I need that room... make him get out..."
Harry sighed and stretched out on the bed. Yesterday he'd have given anything to be up here. Today he'd rather be back in his cupboard with that letter than up here without it.
Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather quiet. Dudley was in shock. He'd screamed, whacked his father with his Smelting stick,”
Molly tutted, “appalling behaviour.”
“been sick on purpose, kicked his mother, and thrown his tortoise through the greenhouse roof, and he still didn't have his room back. Harry was thinking about this time yesterday and bitterly wishing he'd opened the letter in the hall.”
“And that, Harry, is why you’re not in Ravenclaw!”, Fred commented, high fiving George when Harry glared at them and crossed his arms.
“Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia kept looking at each other darkly.
When the mail arrived, Uncle Vernon, who seemed to be trying to be nice to Harry, made Dudley go and get it.”
Sirius raised an eyebrow, “I didn’t realise ‘nice’ was in his vocabulary.
“They heard him banging things with his Smelting stick all the way down the hall. Then he shouted, "There's another one! 'Mr. H. Potter, The Smallest Bedroom, 4 Privet Drive -- '"
“Dumbass”, sneered Malfoy, “Should have opened it in the hallway.
“With a strangled cry, Uncle Vernon leapt from his seat and ran down the hall, Harry right behind him. Uncle Vernon had to wrestle Dudley to the ground to get the letter from him,”
Bill called out, “Blimey, I’m surprised the great oaf could be toppled.”
Molly sighed, but said nothing. Quite frankly she didn’t want to defend the Dursley’s for anything.
“which was made difficult by the fact that Harry had grabbed Uncle Vernon around the neck from behind.”
Ron laughed, “Practising for the troll are you?”
“...troll?”, Sirius asked?
Harry interrupted before Ron could explain, “It will probably be in the book.”
After a minute of confused fighting, in which everyone got hit a lot by the Smelting stick, Uncle Vernon straightened up, gasping for breath, with Harry's letter clutched in his hand.
"Go to your cupboard -- I mean, your bedroom," he wheezed at Harry. "Dudley -- go -- just go."
Harry walked round and round his new room. Someone knew he had moved out of his cupboard and they seemed to know he hadn't received his first letter. Surely that meant they'd try again? And this time he'd make sure they didn't fail. He had a plan.”
Almost everyone groaned. “Not one of Harry’s plans, please.”
Mad Eye nodded in approval, “Always good to plan ahead”, he said gruffly.
“The repaired alarm clock”
“Accidental magic?”, Tonks asked curiously.
Harry shrugged, “Honestly I can’t remember, this was years ago.”
rang at six o'clock the next morning. Harry turned it off quickly and dressed silently. He mustn't wake the Dursleys. He stole downstairs without turning on any of the lights.
He was going to wait for the postman on the corner of Privet Drive and get the letters for number four first. His heart hammered as he crept across the dark hall toward the front door --”
Neville took a deep breath.
Sirius groaned, “You have the worst luck, Harry.”
“Tell me about it”, Harry mumbled.
“Harry leapt into the air; he'd trodden on something big and squashy on the doormat -- something alive!”
Draco sneered, “You’re so dramatic, Potter.”
Harry just rolled his eyes, “Yeah, if I’m dramatic, what does that make you?”
This caused a few giggles throughout the room. Draco just scowled and flicked a piece of hair out of his eyes.
“Lights clicked on upstairs and to his horror Harry realized that the big, squashy something had been his uncle's face.”
Vernon glared at the memory.
“Uncle Vernon had been lying at the foot of the front door in a sleeping bag, clearly making sure that Harry didn't do exactly what he'd been trying to do.”
Snape raised an eyebrow and said dryly, “More paranoid than Moody.” The students stared at him in shock and exchanged looks while Mad Eye scowled, “Constant vigilance keeps me alive lad.”
“He shouted at Harry for about half an hour”
The twins winced, “Jeez, that’s worse than mum.”
Molly opened her mouth to reply, but Neville quickly carried on reading.
“and then told him to go and make a cup of tea. Harry shuffled miserably”
Sirius shook his head sadly. If only he hadn’t been so reckless and rash, he could have spared Harry from all this pain.
As if sensing his thoughts, Harry shot him a small smile and shrugged slightly. What was done was done.
“off into the kitchen and by the time he got back, the mail had arrived, right into Uncle Vernon's lap. Harry could see three letters addressed in green ink.”
Neville stopped, feeling slightly self conscious, he said, “Would someone mind reading?”
George grinned, “Sure mate, pass it over.”
A.N: An update this year and it's only February! I know! I feel like this story is getting worse and worse... x