Disclaimer: Anything in Bold belongs to J.K Rowling
At least half an hour passed before Snape turned up with Draco. The young, pale boy looked extremely reluctant to be there and started glaring at everyone in the room as soon as he entered. Harry, who had been trying to keep a straight face after taking in what Draco was wearing(a black suit over a white shirt), burst out laughing when Tonks muttered, “He looks a bit like a pissed of James Bond”, then after a pause, “But with peroxide hair.” Hermione, who had also heard, had also collapsed into giggles.
Dumbledore, however, didn’t return with the Dursleys until a whole hour later. When he finally strolled through the door, it was quite a funny sight that followed. Vernon was sporting a bright purple face and a vein was throbbing dangerously. Petunia was somehow managing to look frightened and slightly in awe at the same time, whilst Dudley just looked plain terrified and had one hand over his bottom. He also let out a loud squeak after catching a glimpse of the twins. They immediately settled on one of the large sofas, Vernon and Petunia on either side of Dudley like a shield. Meanwhile, Draco had drawn up one the chairs and placed it next to Snape and was still shooting glares at the other occupants of the room.
“Now that we are all here”, Dumbledore began, “shall I continue?” Most people nodded so he opened the book and was about to read when he was interrupted by Vernon. “Why the devil do we have to sit here and read about that boy and his abnorm-?” However, he quickly sunk back into the sofa after being on the receiving end of many pointed glares.
After there seemed to be no more interruptions, Dumbledore began to read again.
“Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. It was sitting as still as a statue, its eyes fixed unblinkingly on the far corner of Privet Drive. It didn't so much as quiver when a car door slammed on the next street, nor when two owls swooped overhead. In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat moved at all.
A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground.”
“Apparition”, Hermione murmured under her breath. Harry and Ron, who had heard her, rolled their eyes.
“The cat's tail twitched and its eyes narrowed.
Nothing like this man had ever been seen on Privet Drive. He was tall, thin, and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak that swept the ground, and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.”
Everyone grinned apart from Harry who was still feeling quite annoyed at the old man.
“Albus Dumbledore didn't seem to realize that he had just arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome.”
“I realized, I just didn’t care”, Dumbledore announced.
“He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for something. But he did seem to realize he was being watched, because he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, "I should have known."
He found what he was looking for in his inside pocket. It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air, and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop. He clicked it again -- the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer,”
“Actually”, Dumbledore informed them, “It’s called a deluminator.”
“Where did you get it, if you don’t mind me asking Sir”, Bill asked.
“Not at all Mr Weasley”, Dumbledore replied,” In fact, I made it myself.”
“until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him. If anyone looked out of their window now, even beady-eyed Mrs. Dursley,”
Petunia sniffed loudly at this description. She was not ‘beady eyed!’
they wouldn't be able to see anything that was happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street toward number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat. He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.
"Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall."
“Told you”, chorused the Twins and Sirius.
“He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe-looking woman who was wearing square glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around its eyes. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled.
"How did you know it was me?" she asked.
"My dear Professor, I’ve never seen a cat sit so stiffly."
"You'd be stiff if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day," said Professor McGonagall.
"All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here."
Once again Dumbledore found himself on the receiving end of many glares.
“What on earth were you doing celebrating when James and Lily had just been k-killed and Harry was in a destroyed house?” Molly ranted. Then added as an afterthought, “How could you pass feasts anyway, I thought you apperated?”
He didn’t have a reply to that, so he carried on reading.
“Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.
"Oh yes, everyone's celebrating, all right," she said impatiently. "You'd think they'd be a bit more careful, but no -- even the Muggles have noticed something's going on. It was on their news." She jerked her head back at the Dursleys' dark living-room window. "I heard it. Flocks of owls... shooting stars.... Well, they're not completely stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in Kent -- I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense."
Those who knew Dedalus Diggle nodded in agreement looking slightly amused.
"You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years."
"I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumors."
Moody gave a sharp nod of approval. At least someone had their head about them that day.
“She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on.”A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"
"It certainly seems so," said Dumbledore. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a lemon drop?"
Harry looked curious. “Do you mean that you thought Voldemort had gone for good?” he asked, ignoring the flinches in the room.
Dumbledore frowned slightly, “I don’t believe I did, but I honestly can’t remember.”
"A lemon drop. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of"
"No, thank you," said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment for lemon drops.
“It wasn’t”, the transfiguration teacher commented.
"As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -"
"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like yourself can call him by his name? All this 'You- Know-Who' nonsense -- for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort."
“Okay”, Hermione spoke up, “I think that we should all get used to hearing the name V-Voldemort because, if you have forgotten, this book is from Harry’s point of view and Harry says his name all the time. It’s going to be ridiculous if everyone flinches every time the name is said.” Then she relaxed slightly out of breath leaving the room looking slightly shocked and, in some cases, admiringly.
“Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was unsticking two lemon drops, seemed not to notice. “It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name.
"I know you haven't, said Professor McGonagall, sounding half exasperated, half admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of."
“And Harry”, Remus added.
"You flatter me," said Dumbledore calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."
"Only because you're too -- well -- noble to use them."
"It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."
Fred and George opened their mouths to comment, but they quickly snapped shut again after catching their mother’s eye.
“Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing next to the rumours that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what finally stopped him?"
It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold, hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now.”
All that had been on the receiving end of that glare at some point shuddered.
It was plain that whatever "everyone" was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. Dumbledore, however, was choosing another lemon drop and did not answer.
“It’s annoying when he does that”, Remus mumbled.
"What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are -- are -- that they're -- dead. "
Everyone in the room bowed their heads at this and had a moment of silence, even Malfoy. Quite a few looked teary eyed as the room held quite a few people who had known the Potter’s well. Harry felt slightly guilty as he wasn’t that upset. He often felt this way as he had never known his parents and therefore didn’t really miss them as he knew no different. However logical this was, it still left him feeling a bit guilty.
“Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.
"Lily and James... I can't believe it... I didn't want to believe it... Oh, Albus..."
Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I know... I know..." he said heavily.
Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry. But -- he couldn't. He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke -- and that's why he's gone.”
All heads turned to Harry who looked at his shoe.
“Dumbledore nodded glumly.
"It's -- it's true?" faltered Professor McGonagall. "After all he's done... all the people he's killed... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding... of all the things to stop him... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"
"We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know."
‘In other words’, thought Snape, ‘he knows.’
“Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took a golden watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge.”
Neville was a bit confused, his uncle had one of those, weren’t they normal? He kept quiet though as he didn’t want to look stupid.
“It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"
"Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"
"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
All the Dursleys and Harry scowled at hearing this.
"You don't mean -- you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore -- you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son -- I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"
Vernon quietly grumbled, “Would have been a lot better for us if you hadn’t left that freak with us” He obviously hadn’t said it quietly enough though as Remus and to restrain a murderous looking Sirius Black moments later.
“"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly. "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."”
“A letter”, Molly uttered in disbelief, “you really thought you could explain everything in a letter?”
Dumbledore couldn’t think of a reply to this, so he did the sensible thing and continued reading.
“"A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really, Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter?””
“You should have listened to her”, Molly spoke up.
“These people will never understand him! He'll be famous -- a legend -- I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter day in the future -- there will be books written about Harry -- every child in our world will know his name!"”
Harry asked, “There isn’t a Harry Potter day is there?” McGonagall shook her head in the negative smiling slightly whilst Harry looked relieved. The Dursleys, on the other hand, were just beginning to realize just how famous there Nephew really was.
“"Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can’t you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"
“Didn’t work”, Snape sneered. Luckily or him, no one heard apart from Draco.
Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed, and then said, "Yes -- yes, you're right, of course. But how is the boy getting here, Dumbledore?" She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.”
Quite a few looked queasy at this suggestion.
“"Hagrid's bringing him."
"You think it -- wise -- to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"”
“I would trust Hagrid with my life”, Harry firmly said.
““I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.”
Ron snorted whilst Harry blushed slightly.
“"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he's not careless. He does tend to -- what was that?"
A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky -- and a huge motorcycle fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.”
“My motorbike!” Sirius exclaimed. Then carried on in a more thoughtful voice, “I never got that that back, I wonder if Hagrid still has it?”
The twins, on the other hand, were looking at each other with expressions that worried all the others. Who knew what would happen in the twins managed to get themselves a flying motorbike? It was probably best not to dwell on that thought for too long.
“If the motorcycle was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild - long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of trash can lids, and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins.”
“You’ve made him sound completely wild”, Ron said.
“Hey”, Harry protested, “I didn’t write this book.”
“ In his vast, muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.”
“Awww”, cooed Ginny mockingly.
Harry felt the heat rush to his face again.
"Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorcycle?"
"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sit," said the giant, climbing carefully off the motorcycle as he spoke. "Young Sirius Black lent it to me.”
Sirius smiled at the mention of his name.
“I've got him, sir."
"No problems, were there?"
"No, sir -- house was almost destroyed, but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we was flyin' over Bristol."
“That must have been a busy time for the obliviators”, commented Hermione.
“Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.”
“Awwww”, Ginny repeated. Once again, Harry felt himself blush and glared at her.
"Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.
"Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar forever."
"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"
"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground. Well -- give him here, Hagrid -- we'd better get this over with."
“Really?” asked Fred.
Dumbledore nodded and smiled slightly. The scar wasn’t actually that useful though as you couldn’t start looking at your knee whilst on the tube.
“Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned toward the Dursleys' house.
"Could I -- could I say good-bye to him, sir?" asked Hagrid. He bent his great, shaggy head over Harry and gave him what must have been a very scratchy, whiskery kiss. Then, suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.”
Sirius looked slightly offended at the phrase.
"Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall, "you'll wake the Muggles!"
“Surely it didn’t matter if you woke the muggles, I mean, you were about to give them a baby”, Ginny stated.
Dumbledore and McGonagall just kept silent and didn’t quite look anyone in the eye.
"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large, spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. "But I c-c-can't stand it -- Lily an' James dead -- an' poor little Harry off ter live with Muggles -"
"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," Professor McGonagall whispered, patting Hagrid gingerly on the arm as Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry's blankets, and then came back to the other two.”
The room went silent. Then, as in unison, everyone turned to look at Dumbledore who had the decency to look slightly ashamed. After a few long moments, Mrs Weasley broke the silence. “You left him on a door step?” She began in a deathly whisper. “In October, a baby, who had just defeated You-Know-Who. Are you insane?” She shot another glare at Dumbledore that clearly said, ‘we will talk later.’ As a matter of fact, Harry himself was feeling slightly indignant. Who left babies on doorsteps? After receiving a few more disapproving glances, the Headmaster continued reading.
“For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid's shoulders shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously, and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore's eyes seemed to have gone out.
"Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."
Sirius looked like he was going to explode as he had gone bright red in the face. This wasn’t a good sign as he hadn’t said anything for ages.
"Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice, "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall -- Professor Dumbledore, sir."
Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung himself onto the motorcycle and kicked the engine into life; with a roar it rose into the air and off into the night.
"I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall," said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor McGonagall blew her nose in reply.
Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once, and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number four.
"Good luck, Harry,"
“Thanks, I’ll be needing it”, Harry said with a small frown.
“ he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak, he was gone.
A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles,”
Petunia wrinkled her nose at the memory.
“nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley...”
Dudley cowered and tried to look innocent.
“He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter -- the boy who lived!"
There was a long pause before anyone said anything. “Please may I read next Sir?” Hermione asked in an eager voice. With a small nod, the book was passed to her and said, “After this chapter, we should take a break”. A small smile played on her lips as she saw the name of the chapter.
“The Vanishing Glass”, she began.