Disclaimer: Anything in Bold belongs to J.K Rowling
“THE VANISHING GLASS”, Began Hermione
Sirius opened his mouth, looking confused, but Remus elbowed him and he quickly shut it again.
“Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys had woken up to find their nephew on the front step,”
Mrs Weasley glared at Dumbledore at muttered, “It wouldn't have taken a few more moments just to knock on the door.”
“but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. The sun rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number four on the Dursleys' front door; it crept into their living room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night when Mr. Dursley had seen that fateful news report about the owls. Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-colored bonnets”
The twins burst out laughing! “Please tell us that wasn’t you Harry”
“-- but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby,”
They sighed out in exaggerated relief whilst Dudley blushed.
“and now the photographs showed a large blond boy riding his first bicycle, on a carousel at the fair, playing a computer game with his father, being hugged and kissed by his mother. The room held no sign at all that another boy lived in the house, too.”
“You were still there weren't you?” Remus asked with a frown.
Harry just nodded reluctantly, looking uncomfortable. He really didn't want people to read about his childhood, especially not Malfoy.
“Yet Harry Potter was still there, asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her shrill voice that made the first noise of the day.
"Up! Get up! Now!"
Those who had heard her voice winced, whilst Petunia looked highly offended at being described as shrill.
“Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.
"Up!" she screeched. Harry heard her walking toward the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the stove.”
‘How could he have heard the stove from his room?’ Hermione wondered, Remus was also extremely puzzled.
“He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorcycle in it.”
Sirius smirked, “Not a dream Harry”
“Yes, I know that now”, Harry replied, rolling his eyes.
“He had a funny feeling he'd had the same dream before.
His aunt was back outside the door.
"Are you up yet?" she demanded.”
“Jesus”, Ron grumbled, “Give him a chance!”
"Nearly," said Harry.
"Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday."
“You made him cook?” shrieked Mrs Weasley. The Dursleys didn’t reply but cowered into the sofa trying to look small.
"What did you say?" his aunt snapped through the door.
Dudley's birthday -- how could he have forgotten? Harry got slowly out of bed and started looking for socks. He found a pair under his bed and, after pulling a spider off one of them,”
Ron shuddered dramatically.
“put them on. Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept.”
A very long silence followed this. Harry winced. He hadn’t wanted anyone to find out about his cupboard.
“You- you made my Godson sleep in a cupboard?” Sirius asked slowly. Remus, who had sensed that his friend was about to lose his temper, put a hand on his arm.
In fact, half the room was glaring daggers at the Dursleys. Dumbledore had gone very pale, he hadn’t realized he had been treated so bad, if only he had listened to McGonagall. Even Draco, who hated Harry, didn’t think that anyone deserved to live in a cupboard.
“Harry”, Hermione said in an almost whisper, “Why didn’t you tell us?”
He shrugged, feeling quite uncomfortable now. Then, in a quiet voice, without making eye contact with anyone, said, “Can we keep reading please?”
Hermione gave a small nod and continued.
“When he was dressed he went down the hall into the kitchen. The table was almost hidden beneath all Dudley's birthday presents. It looked as though Dudley had gotten the new computer he wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike.”
The muggleborns (and some of the half-bloods) looked quite disgusted at this, whilst Dudley had the decency to look down. He had been quite a spoilt child.
“Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harry, as Dudley was very fat and hated exercise –“
Petunia scowled. Her Dudley wasn’t fat.
“unless of course it involved punching somebody. Dudley's favourite punching bag was Harry,”
Sirius glared at Harry’s cousin then at Draco who had been smirking.
“but he couldn't often catch him. Harry didn't look it, but he was very fast.
Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age.”
“I’m afraid that was James’ fault”, Remus commented with a wry smile.
“He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley's, and Dudley was about four times bigger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes.”
‘Lily’s eyes’, thought Snape.
“He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.”
Dudley squeaked and tried to look small and insignificant.
“The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning.”
“You liked your scar?” Ron asked incredulity.
“Well I didn’t know it was”, Harry said defensively.
“He had had it as long as he could remember, and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had gotten it.
"In the car crash when your parents died,"
“WHAT”, roared Sirius, “JAMES AND LILY DIDN’T DIE IN A-“
“Yes, we know”, Remus interrupted, “Now will you please sit down.
“she had said. "And don't ask questions."
“Really?” McGonagall asked, “How is he supposed to learn.”
“Don't ask questions -- that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys.”
“A quiet life? What’s that supposed to mean?” Bill asked.
Harry didn’t answer and gestured to Hermione to carry on reading.
“Uncle Vernon entered the kitchen as Harry was turning over the bacon.
"Comb your hair!" he barked, by way of a morning greeting.”
“Not going to work”, the twins commented in a singsong voice.
“About once a week, Uncle Vernon looked over the top of his newspaper and shouted that Harry needed a haircut. Harry must have had more haircuts than the rest of the boys in his class put together, but it made no difference, his hair simply grew that way -- all over the place.
Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes, and thick blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel -- Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.
“DID YOU JUST CALL MY SON A PIG?” Everyone jumped; they had forgotten he was there.
“Yes”, replied Harry coolly, “I did.”
Vernon looked like he wanted to go on, but with so many ‘freaks’ in the room, he sat down again.
“Harry put the plates of egg and bacon on the table, which was difficult as there wasn't much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was counting his presents. His face fell.
"Thirty-six," he said, looking up at his mother and father. "That's two less than last year."
“What a spoilt-”
“Brat”, Fred finished
“BOYS”, Mrs Weasley shouted, though she agreed with them.
"Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, it's here under this big one from Mommy and Daddy."
"All right, thirty-seven then," said Dudley, going red in the face. Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley turned the table over.
“Well”, Hermione mumbled, “At least you have an excuse for your terrible manners.” Then she fixed her gaze on Ron, “I can’t say the same for everyone.” Then, before Ron could snap back, she read on, leaving Ron with an indignant look on his face.
“Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too, because she said quickly, "And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that, popkin? 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..."
Even Draco could see that this boy was incredibly spoilt, not even he had that amount of presents.
"Thirty-nine, sweetums," said Aunt Petunia.
"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.
“You shouldn’t be encouraging his behaviour”, Mrs Weasley said sternly.
“At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a video camera, a remote control airplane, sixteen new computer games, and a VCR.”
Mr Weasley looked positively ecstatic at hearing about all of these new muggle inventions.
“He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone looking both angry and worried.
"Bad news, Vernon," she said. "Mrs. Figg's broken her leg. She can't take him." She jerked her head in Harry's direction.”
“He has a name you know”, Ginny snarled.
“Dudley's mouth fell open in horror, but Harry's heart gave a leap. Every year on Dudley's birthday, his parents took him and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks, hamburger restaurants, or the movies. Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs. Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away.”
“Arabella Figg?” Sirius asked?
Dumbledore gave a nod.
“Wait”, said Harry, “How do you know her?”
It was Moody that answered, “She works for the Order.”
Harry was about to ask what on earth the order was, but Hermione cut across him and continued to read.
“Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and Mrs. Figg made him look at photographs of all the cats she'd ever owned.
"Now what?" said Aunt Petunia, looking furiously at Harry as though he'd planned this. Harry knew he ought to feel sorry that Mrs. Figg had broken her leg, but it wasn't easy when he reminded himself it would be a whole year before he had to look at Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty again.
"We could phone Marge," Uncle Vernon suggested.
"Don't be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy."
“The feelings mutual”, Harry muttered.
“Hey, isn’t that the one you-“
“Blew up?” asked Fred and George.
Harry nodded whilst the Dursleys glowered at the memory.
“The Dursleys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he wasn't there -- or rather, as though he was something very nasty that couldn't understand them, like a slug.”
Ron wrinkled his nose. He had never liked slugs since his second year.
"What about what's-her-name, your friend -- Yvonne?"
"On vacation in Majorca," snapped Aunt Petunia.
"You could just leave me here," Harry put in hopefully (he'd be able to watch what he wanted on television for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley's computer).”
“Good thing we didn’t leave you there”, snarled Vernon.
“Aunt Petunia looked as though she'd just swallowed a lemon.
"And come back and find the house in ruins?" she snarled.
"I won't blow up the house," said Harry, but they weren't listening.
“No”, Ron snickered, “You’ll just blow your aunt!”
"I suppose we could take him to the zoo," said Aunt Petunia slowly, "... and leave him in the car...."
“He’s not a dog”, said Ginny hotly.
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dogs”, Sirius said, faking a hurt look.
"That car's new, he's not sitting in it alone...."
“Oh, sure, worry about the car”, Remus remarked.
“Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn't really crying -- it had been years since he'd really cried -- but he knew that if he screwed up his face and wailed, his mother would give him anything he wanted.”
"Dinky Duddydums, don't cry, Mummy won't let him spoil your special day!" she cried, flinging her arms around him.”
Dudley was feeling quite embarrassed now, he knew he had been an awful, spoilt child, but it was worse when hearing it from Harry’s point of view. He cringed, not looking forward to the rest of the books. He had been quite a git to Harry. Meanwhile, Snape was starting to think that perhaps he had judged Potter too soon. But he quickly put that thought to the side and carried on listening to the story.
"I... don't... want... him... t-t-to come!" Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. "He always sp- spoils everything!" He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap in his mother's arms.
Just then, the doorbell rang -- "Oh, good Lord, they're here!" said Aunt Petunia frantically -- and a moment later, Dudley's best friend, Piers Polkiss, walked in with his mother. Piers was a scrawny boy with a face like a rat. He was usually the one who held people's arms behind their backs while Dudley hit them.”
Petunia gasped. Her little baby wouldn’t do that! No, it was probably just that freak making up stories again.
“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 Dursleys' car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life.”
“You’d never been to the zoo before?” Hermione asked in disbelief.
Harry shook his head.
“His aunt and uncle hadn't been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they'd left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.
"I'm warning you," he had said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harry's, "I'm warning you now, boy -- any funny business, anything at all -- and you'll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas."
“You’d better not”, Sirius warned. No one pointed out to him that Harry had been at Hogwarts then, so he couldn’t have been.
"I'm not going to do anything," said Harry, "honestly..
But Uncle Vernon didn't believe him. No one ever did.”
Hermione paused in reading. “Do you think someone else could read for a bit?”
Ron nodded and said, “Sure, pass it here.”
After clearing his throat, he started reading.