Harry Rotter

Harry Potter? No, silly, it’s Harry Rotter! HARRY – Oh, she is a ROTTER! I wrote this story, this skit, for a bit of fun, that’s all, but so many of you asked me to publish it, I felt obliged to do so. Who am I to say no to such desperate pleas? Harry is a girl and a bad one at that! Her real name is Harriet. From an early age she insisted that everyone call her Harry. She has lost her Magical Marbles and enlists the help of her cousin, Box Privet, to retrieve them. At her behest, Box, who is a wizard with all things electronic, makes Harry an electro-magical wand, melding magic and electronics. Pandemonium ensues...


5. Are you coming?

A week later to the very day, in the morning, early, before it was even light, Box heard someone tapping on his bedroom door.
“Who’s there?” he whispered, fumbling for his glasses, to see what time it was.
“It’s me, Harry.”
“What do you want?”
“I want to talk with you.”
“Can’t it wait until morning, when I get up?”
“Why not?”
“I said, why not?”
“Let me in.”
By now Box knew only too well when his cousin, Harry, had something on her mind she persisted, until she got what she wanted. In this case it was an ear. So climbing out of warm bed, he unbolted the door and let her in. Jumping back in bed, he asked, “Well, what’s so important that it couldn’t wait until later?”
Remaining uncharacteristically quiet, Harry searched for words, the best words to use. Finding them, she said, “I am leaving.”
“Leaving? When?”
“Today,” said Harry, “And I wanted to ask…if you would consider coming along with me?”
“Me? Why? Where are you going?”
“To Hagswords…”
“Hagswords!” he said, absolutely stunned by this revelation. “I thought you had escaped from there? I never thought for one instant that you’d ever want to return.”
Again searching for words, enough to tell him what she was doing but not so many as to divulge her plan, Harry said, “It’s only a matter of time until the school authorities find me… If I take the initiative, if I leave before that happens, I am in with a chance to find it...”
“To find what?”
“Something that I forgot, that I left there…”
“And you must return for it?”
“It’s that important?”
“What is it?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“Can you give me a clue?”
There was another silence, much longer than the previous one. The sound of Mr and Mrs Privet’s snoring in the other room could be plainly heard.
Although Box knew only too well what his cousin was like, that her own agenda always took precedence over everything else, that she was most certainly hiding a great deal more than she was telling him, he had actually grown used to her in a peculiar sort of way. Because of this, and also because he wanted to see what the new electro-magical wand was really capable of doing, he agreed, saying, “All right, I will come along. But I am not going to do anything that’s illegal – is that clear?”
Smiling, Harry nodded. She was happy; for the first time in her life she was happy to be with someone, even a tall, whimpishly thin Muddle such as Box.
“Can’t we say goodbye?” Box asked, as he stepped through his bedroom window, onto the trelliswork supporting the white flowering rambling rose bush.
“No. I’ve already told you!” Harry whispered. “The less your parents know the safer they will be. Now hurry up, I’ve a bad felling…”

Stopping halfway down the trelliswork, pricking a finger on a thorn, and then sucking it, Box whispered, “A bad feeling? What sort of a bad feeling?”
“I can’t explain,” she said, following him. “It’s something that I learned to do, during my time at Hagswords.” She laughed a little sardonically, before continuing; “At least I learned something useful while I was there.” Then looking down to him, she said, “Go on, what’s the hold-up?”
Box resumed his descent down the trelliswork, but then he stopped again.
“What’s the problem now?” Harry asked him impatiently.
Box pointed with trembling fingers to the eastern sky. CARPETS! High in the sky, and approaching fast, were two objects that looked incredibly like flying carpets!
“Drats,” Harry hissed. “They’ve found me!”
Jumping down the last few feet of trelliswork, Harry and Box dived for cover; Harry beneath the huge, spreading leaves of a Gunnera plant, and Box under the less exotic but equally large leaves of a Rhubarb plant (his father insisted on growing rhubarb in the flower beds, saying it was a much underrated flowing plant, whose majestic white flowers had no place amongst drab vegetables). From their places of concealment, the two cousins watched as the flying carpets, with their occupants sitting cross-legged upon them, passed overhead.
“They didn’t stop,” Box whispered across to Harry.
Creeping over, hiding under the same Rhubarb leaves as her cousin, Harry said, “That means they haven’t quite worked out exactly where I am. I might still be in with a chance. Then looking kindly at her cousin, she said, “You go back inside, it’s me they’re after – go!”
“Oh no you don’t,” Box replied vehemently. “We’re in this together
“They could return at any moment!”
“It doesn’t matter,” he insisted. “Now tell me this, is there anything we can do to get away from them?”
Undoing the fasteners on her shoulder bag, Harry opened it and began rummaging through its contents.
Watching her intently, Box said, “Can’t we use the new wand?”
“No, that will attract more attention,” Harry said as she continued searching through her bag. “Ah, I have it,” she said triumphantly, pulling it out.
“How did you get that into your bag?” Box asked, puzzled at how she had managed to get such a bulky article either in or out from her bag.
Ignoring the question, Harry began untying the brown coloured string holding the article together. It was only after she had done this, and unfolded it upon the ground did Box realise what it was. It was a carpet, a carpet so old it was almost threadbare in places, but of exquisite design.
Box was flabbergasted. “Is that…is that really? – No, it can’t be,” he said yet desperately hoping that it really and truly was a genuine honest to goodness flying carpet.
Harry smiled.
“You mean it?”
She nodded.
“It is, really is a flying carpet – I was right?”
The carpet, now completely unfolded, safely concealed beneath the canopy of rhubarb leaves, smelt of mustiness.
“Let’s get going,” Box urged his cousin.
Harry made no reply; she waited, silently watching the sky. Their departure had to be planned to the split-second, to avoid any chance of being seen by the men on their magical carpets up, above.
Plans don’t always according to plan, and this was unfortunately such an instance. Before they had a chance to act, to make good their escape, the two flying carpets returned and began circling overhead.
“They’re on to us,” Harry whispered.
“You must have really pissed them off, back at that school of yours, if they’d do all this just to get you back,” said Box.
Harry ignored this remark.
While one of the carpets, with a bearded man sitting cross-legged upon it, remained circling overhead, as a lookout, the other one, with two occupants, came to a smooth landing beneath the shelter of the large horse chestnut tree in the back garden. Walking away from the carpet, just leaving it there under the tree, the two men, dressed in long multicoloured robes, made their way across the short distance to the house.
Tapping Harry on the shoulder, Box asked, “What are they doing?”
Watching the men, Harry said nothing.
“Where are they going?” Box asked, yet fearing that he already knew.
“Inside? You mean to mum and dad?”
“I’m afraid so.”
Almost crying with fear, Box asked, “What do they want with them?”
“They’re in there, that’s why.”
“But they don’t know anything!”
“Shush,” they might hear you.”

Inside, Mr and Mrs Privet were still sound asleep, blissfully unaware of the strange goings on a few feet outside in their garden. However, when one of the men kicked in their back door, their troubles began with a start.
“Did you hear something, Laurel?” said Mrs Privet, sitting up in bed, her ears cocked.
“No, go to sleep,” Mr Privet mumbled.
Mrs Privet lay back in her warm bed, trusting in her husband’s reassuring words.
Clump, clump, clump, Mrs Privet’s ear cocked again. She heard the sound of heavy footsteps, downstairs, tramping across her polished floorboards, knocking things over and throwing them about, in their search for the troublesome girl, Harry. Prodding her husband, she said, “Laurel, there is someone downstairs, I am sure of it!”
“I already told you,” he mumbled, “there’s no one there. Now go to sleep, will you?” With those words Mr Privet fell asleep, again.
There was another clump, a much louder one, like the sound a television set would make if tossed into the corner of a room. Prodding her husband for a third time, Mrs Privet insisted that there was someone below.
“It’s probably Harry, getting up early, to make another one of her radios,” Mr Privet mumbled sleepily.
“LAUREL, GET UP!” his wife hissed, hoping the house invaders might hear her, and thus go.
He got up; Mr Privet finally dragged himself out of bed. After donning his dressing gown and slippers he sleepily opened the bedroom door and promptly jumped back in fright. A bearded man dressed in long robes was staring in at him, and he was wielding a small stick in a most threatening manner.
“I say, that’s not cricket,” said Mr Privet, eying the diminutive stick with some suspicion.
Despite the stick being so small, the man continued to wave it threateningly. Then pushing Mr Privet into the bedroom, he watched blankly as he fell clumsily backwards onto the bed – and his wife.
“My,” said Mrs Privet, her eyes opening with excitement, “and it’s not even Sunday.”
“Stop that, woman,” he scolded. “We have a problem.”
Opening her eyes, Mrs Privet saw the bearded man standing, and she screamed with fright.
“They’ve got mum and dad!” Box yelled. “I’ve got to go up and help them!”
The flying carpet, which had been circling overhead, suddenly changed course and began descending.
“Now see what you’ve done,” Harry hissed.
“What I’ve done? How did you work that out?”

There were no more screams heard from the Privet’s household, Mrs Privet and her husband, having been tied up and gagged by the bearded men who had invaded their home, were in no position to do anything.
Having had a bad experience with a wand many years earlier, Mr Privet now hated them. He was convinced they were detrimental to one’s health. Staring despairingly at the two men, he would have gladly kicked himself if he had been able, having failed miserably to recognise the stick for what it really was – a magical wand, albeit a very one.
While keeping an eye fixed firmly on the flying carpet that was still descending, Harry said, “We’ve only a minute, at best. We must leave NOW.” She began dragging the carpet from under the rhubarb, to a clear bit of lawn.
“We can’t just leave them,” said Box, fretting for his parents. “We must do something!”
“Well...” Harry mused, mulling it over. “I suppose we could use my new wand…considering we’re leaving.” She watched as the carpet above continued to lose height.
“Use it then, USE IT,” Box pleaded.
“All right, but get on the carpet, like me,” she said, sitting cross-legged upon the frayed article.
It was a tight squeeze, Box having such long legs and all, but in the end he managed to tuck himself behind his troublesome cousin.
“Now what?” he asked, listening for signs of life from his home. There were none.
“Just a few words should do it,” Harry whispered.
“Say them, SAY THEM!”
Producing her newfangled electro magical wand, waving it from left to right and then left again, harry said; “Loosen up the cords that tie, free those souls from binds so tight.”
“Is that it? No flames or floods or pestilence, just a few words?” Box asked, brutally disappointed with the performance.
“It’s best that way,” she said. Then with another wave of her wand, she said, “Up, up and away.”
With those words having been said, the threadbare old carpel began trembling, shaking and quivering in a most alarming manner. Then raising from the ground it shot off heading straight for the back door of the house.
“What are you doing?” Box yelled.
“Hold on,” she shouted, “it’s been a while since I used one of these...”
“A while? How long is a while?”
“Like – never?” Harry coyly admitted.
The man on the carpet above, spotting the commotion below, set off in hot pursuit.
Bursting through the caved in door, the magical carpet, with Harry and Box sitting cross-legged atop, shot into the kitchen at breakneck speed, then down the hallway as equally fast before smashing through the front door and into the garden. The old door was shattered to pieces, with splinters of wood flying about everywhere.
Seeing the man on his carpet fast approaching, Box yelled, “Go in, go back inside!”
Steering the carpet like crazy, Harry guided it into the house. Whizzing its way through the debris-strewn sitting room the old carpet gave them the ride of their life, followed closely behind by the pursuing carpet and its bearded and angry occupant.
Exiting the sitting room Harry turned her carpet a sharp right, into the front room, the room where Mrs Privet’s beloved hand-painted fine bone china resided. In a blaze of anger, the bearded man, now wielding a sword, steered his into the same small room. As each carpet vied for supremacy, flying round and round, they did as much damage, if not more, than the two other men had perpetrated, earlier. With a growing dexterity Harry guided their carpet safely out from the room, just as the other one collided with the cabinet containing Mrs Privet’s precious china, smashing it all to pieces, and thankfully knocking the man out in the process. Without wasting even a second, Harry steered her carpet up the stairs so fast Box almost slid off, in fright.
On reaching the landing, the magical carpet smashed through the door of the Mr and Mrs Privet’s bedroom, then colliding head-on with the two men lurking inside, it knocked them unconscious.
Seeing his father untying himself and spitting out his gag, Box yelled, “Dad, are you all right?”
Giggling,” his father replied, “Hmm, another one of Harry’s radios blowing up, if I’m not mistaking. Yes, yes, those radios can be dangerous things, hee, hee.”
Turning to Harry, Box asked, “What’s wrong with him?”
“Shock, seen it before – in Hagswords…”

Turning to his wife, helping to free her hands, Mr Privet said, “Come on, dear, I think the vicar’s coming to tea this evening, and you promised to make him some of your special scones, hee, hee.”
His wife, however, said nothing; she just sat there on the floor, her eyes glazed over, listening to strange voices inside her head, telling her that everything was going to be all right, but only if she kept on listening to them…


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