Disclaimer: Anything in bold belongs to J.K Rowling
Dumbledore began in a loud clear voice, “Chapter 1, The Boy Who Lived”
Harry scowled at the name of the chapter.
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
“Well they don’t sound like much fun then”, reported Fred whilst George nodded in agreement. McGonagall rolled her eyes. This was going to take a long time if those two were going to keep commenting.
“They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.
Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills.”
Arthur spoke up and asked, “What’s a drill?”
“A drill is an electric devise which can create holes in walls, “Hermione quickly answered. And when Arthurs face lit up and he opened his mouth, she continued, “We can talk about it later.”
“He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours.”
“You haven’t changed at all then I see”, Snape thought to himself
“The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.”
Harry gave a great snort at this and ignored all the questioning looks coming his way.
The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.”
Sirius growled, “There was nothing wrong with James and Lily you…”
“Sirius”, Remus warned.
Neville looked quite alarmed at this as he hadn’t actually been told that Sirius was innocent, but Luna just stared at him dreamily.
“Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years; in fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister,”
“Yes”, thought Snape, “Lily did the same thing.”
“because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband”
Sirius suppressed a growl with difficulty.
“were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley mixing with a child like that.”
Ron spoke up for the first time, “What does he mean, ‘a child like that?”
“He means someone who is magical”, Harry replied.
Realisation dawned on his face and he flushed slightly.
“When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work,”
Fred and George gave great gasps of shock at these words and started muttering to each other earning worried looks from the others.
“and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair.”
Mrs Weasley tutted. “Awful behaviour.”
“None of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window.”
“Constant Vigilance”, barked Moody, making everyone in the room jump except those who had had him for DADA during the Triwizard tournament. Well, someone who had looked like him anyway.
“At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls. "Little tyke," chortled Mr. Dursley”
All the Weasley children shuttered as they thought of what their mum would have done to them if they had done that.
“as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of number four's drive.
It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar -- a cat reading a map.”
A few heads jerked suspiciously towards McGonagall.
“For a second, Mr. Dursley didn't realize what he had seen -- then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a map in sight. What could he have been thinking of?”
“He thought?” began George,
“Oh, the world is ending!” finished Fred
“It must have been a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive -- no, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs.”
A few people smirked.
“Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out of his mind. As he drove toward town he thought of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day.”
“That guy has a one track mind”, muttered Tonks.
“Tell me about it”, Harry murmured.
“But on the edge of town, drills were driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about.”
Some of the older generation, including Sirius, Remus, McGonagall and Snape, paled slightly. Could it be that day? Moody however commented, “The obviators were busy that day.” Some of the younger generation were slightly confused as to what day he was referring too.
“People in cloaks.”
“What’s wrong with cloaks?” Neville asked, and then turned furiously red as everyone looked at him.
Hermione saved his embarrassment by explaining, “Muggles don’t wear cloaks, they went out of fashion about a hundred years ago.”
“Mr. Dursley couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes -- the getups you saw on young people! He supposed this was some stupid new fashion. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and his eyes fell on a huddle of these weirdoes”
Sirius huffed angrily, “You’re the weirdoes, not us!”
“standing quite close by. They were whispering excitedly together. Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and wearing an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him! But then it struck Mr. Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt -- these people were obviously collecting for something... yes, that would be it. The traffic moved on and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in the Grunnings parking lot, his mind back on drills.”
Tonks snorted again.
“Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he might have found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning. He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight,”
“Why on earth-“, began Hermione, then trailed off. “Oh! I see.” Not answering the questioning glances she was receiving from Ron and Harry.
though people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open- mouthed as owl after owl sped overhead. Most of them had never seen an owl even at nighttime. Mr. Dursley, however, had a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. He yelled at five different people.”
Harry laughed, “Sounds familiar.” Sirius was slightly concerned as to why this was familiar and frowned at his Godson thoughtfully.
“He made several important telephone calls and shouted a bit more. He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he'd stretch his legs”
Harry mock gasped, “He walked?”
“and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from the bakery.”
“Explode”, finished the twins together. A few laughed at them, but they got a glare from Mrs Weasley and McGonagall for interrupting again.
“He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. He eyed them angrily as he passed. He didn't know why, but they made him uneasy. This bunch were whispering excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying.
"The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard yes, their son, Harry"”
The whole room went silent as everyone who hadn’t already worked out what day it was, realized. There was a moment of silence in which sympathetic looks were shot at Harry, before Dumbledore continued to read.
“Mr. Dursley stopped dead.”
“YES”, exclaimed Fred and George, but there faces fell again when Remus explained that it was just a saying. It helped lighten the atmosphere in the room though.
“Fear flooded him. He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but thought better of it.
He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office, snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone, and had almost finished dialling his home number when he changed his mind. He put the receiver back down and stroked his moustache, thinking... no, he was being stupid.”
“Well at least he realizes it”, mumbled Harry quietly. Snape heard him and scowled, Potter didn’t even seem to appreciate the Dursleys.
“Potter wasn't such an unusual name.”
“Actually, it is in the Wizarding world”, Sirius informed everyone in the room.
“Wow, you knew that?” replied Remus.
Sirius scowled at him, “I’m not that stupid.”
He got a few raised eyebrows at this.
“He was sure there were lots of people called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come to think of it, he wasn't even sure his nephew was called Harry.”
“He doesn’t even know your name?” Molly seemed outraged.
“Actually”, Harry informed her, “I still don’t know if he knows my name.”
“He'd never even seen the boy. It might have been Harvey. Or Harold.”
Ron snorted, “Can you imagine it, Harold Potter, The Boy Who Lived!”
“Isn’t Harold and Harry the same name?” questioned Hermione. No one had an answer to that.
“There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley; she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn't blame her -- if he'd had a sister like that...”
“A sister like what?” came the outraged cry from where Sirius was sitting. Snape was also silently fuming, Lily was the perfect sister.
“but all the same, those people in cloaks...
He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon and when he left the building at five o'clock, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door.
“"Sorry," he grunted,”
Harry gasped again, “He knows that word?”
“as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice that made passersby stare, "Don't be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last!”
A few people winced at the reminder of what day it was.
“Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!"
And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off.”
“I bet that was Dedalus Diggle”, commented McGonagall, “Sounds like him.”
Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle, whatever that was. He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set off for home, hoping he was imagining things,”
“I thought he didn’t approve of imagination”, commented Tonks. Then she blushed red (literally), as the next line was read.
“which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination.
As he pulled into the driveway of number four, the first thing he saw -- and it didn't improve his mood -- was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It was now sitting on his garden wall. He was sure it was the same one; it had the same markings around its eyes.”
“Defiantly you Minnie”, Sirius cried pointing at McGonagall. But he got such a glare from her that he sat back with his hands in his lap and trying to look innocent.
“Don’t ever call me that again”, she hissed back at him.
“"Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look.”
Sirius opened his mouth, but after glancing at the old witch, settled for a triumphant look.
“Was this normal cat behavior?”
“No”, chorused the twins.
“Mr. Dursley wondered. Trying to pull himself together, he let himself into the house. He was still determined not to mention anything to his wife.
Mrs. Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner all about Mrs. Next Door's problems with her daughter and how Dudley had learned a new word ("Won't!").”
Molly sniffed angrily at this.
“Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living room in time to catch the last report on the evening news:
"And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today. Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in daylight, there have been hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern." The newscaster allowed himself a grin.”
“That was my dad, Ted”, Tonks said, whilst Moody muttered something about breaking the decree and muggles.
“"Most mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going to be any more showers of owls tonight, Jim?"
"Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it's not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars! Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night early -- it's not until next week, folks! But I can promise a wet night tonight."
Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysterious people in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters...
Mrs. Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He'd have to say something to her.”
“Oh no, bad move”, came from Remus. He was sitting twisting his hands whilst Snape was horrified at having thought the same thing as him.
“He cleared his throat nervously.”
Bill had an input for the first time, “Well, it’s clear to see who is in charge!” Then sniggered loudly with his brothers(and sister).
“"Er -- Petunia, dear -- you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?"
As he had expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn't have a sister.
"No," she said sharply. "Why?"
"Funny stuff on the news," Mr. Dursley mumbled. "Owls... shooting stars... and there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today..."
"So?" snapped Mrs. Dursley.
"Well, I just thought... maybe... it was something to do with... you know... her crowd."”
“Her crowd?” Came the general uproar in the room. A few carried on muttering until Dumbledore cleared his throat loudly then continued to read.
“Mrs. Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley wondered whether he dared tell her he'd heard the name "Potter." He decided he didn't dare. Instead he said, as casually as he could, "Their son -- he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?"
"I suppose so," said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.
"What's his name again? Howard, isn't it?"
"Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me."”
“I don’t think it’s nasty”, Ginny scowled. The twins sniggered at her until she shot then the famous Weasley glare, at the same time gaining a pink tinge to her cheeks.
Harry awkwardly replied, “Um thanks Ginny”
“"Oh, yes," said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking horribly. "Yes, I quite agree."
He didn't say another word on the subject as they went upstairs to bed. While Mrs. Dursley was in the bathroom, Mr. Dursley crept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive as though it were waiting for something.”
Dumbledore and McGonagall shared a look at this.
“Was he imagining things?”
“But we thought-“, Fred and George began but were cut off by their mother.
“Yes, yes we know, now will you please stop interrupting.”
“Could all this have anything to do with the Potters? If it did... if it got out that they were related to a pair of -- well, he didn't think he could bear it.
“He doesn’t seem like a very nice person”, came a dreamy voice. Everyone started; they had forgotten Luna was there. When it seemed no one was going to reply, the Headmaster continued.
“The Dursleys got into bed. Mrs. Dursley fell asleep quickly but Mr. Dursley lay awake, turning it all over in his mind. His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and Petunia thought about them and their kind.... He couldn't see how he and Petunia could get mixed up in anything that might be going on -- he yawned and turned over -- it couldn't affect them....
How very wrong he was.”
“Unfortunately for me”, Harry added on, trying not to scowl and Dumbledore, so instead settled with glaring at the book. Remus and Sirius exchanged a worried glance.
Before Dumbledore could continue however, there was a small pop and flash and piece of paper seemed to float down towards the ground. Harry reached forwards and with quick reflexes, caught it. He then began to read, but didn’t look too happy about what was written.
Hermione’s voice seemed to remind him that other people were in the room, as he sighed then began to read the note.
I know that you aren’t going to be very happy about this, but I have thought of a few more people that need to hear the books. They don’t need to read what you have already read, just continue from where you are now. The people are;
Yes, I know, just try not to kill anyone and remember to be civil.
Everyone looked at each other for a moment then Snape stood up. “I will fetch Mr Malfoy”, he said, then swept out the room before anyone could reply. Dumbledore then did the same; however, he went to fetch the Dursleys instead. This left the others to wait around until the others got back. After a slightly awkward pause, Fred’s voice drifted over. “Anyone up for a game of exploding snap?”