"No Uncle, please, I beg you, no!" cried eight year old Harry Potter as his Uncle towered over him in a fit of rage, raining blow after blow upon the poor child.
"Silence freak!" bellowed the man. "How dare you use that- that freakishness at your school? You will be punished for this!"
For the next half an hour, little Harry Potter hoped and prayed for an escape, for someone to rescue him, someone who cared.
But no one was coming. They hadn't done so in seven years.
It was late at night when a faint golden glow appeared in the cupboard of number four, Privet Drive. It danced in the darkness, swirling delicately around the tiny sleeping form that lay on the worn down mattress. Carefully it lifted the child until he was hovering in mid-air. Then all of a sudden there was a brilliant flash of white, so bright it pierced the cracks in the walls and leaked out into the hallway.
The next second, as quickly as the flash had come, there was nothing but darkness. And in that darkness was nothing but an empty mattress and a few broken toys.
Harry opened his eyes, adjusting to the warm sunlight surrounding him. Where on earth was he? He rubbed his eyes and to his astonishment, his glasses were gone. But wait, he didn't need them! He tentatively felt the rest of his body and to his astonishment, he didn't hurt! He felt all over, and didn't feel pain at all, apart from a very dull ache that he didn't really count as pain. It was astonishing!
"I must be dreaming" he said to himself as he looked at his surroundings. It was a beautiful place where he would love to stay, but he hoped he didn't oversleep and make his Uncle mad. There was a warm green forest in front of him, with tall trees and beautiful plants. He realised he was sat on a beach (wow!) with soft sand and luscious waves lapping at the shore. The sunlight made the sea sparkle beautifully. Beyond the forest he could see hills and mountains, goodness knows how tall.
He stood up slowly, stretching the achiness out of his muscles. His pyjamas were still the same, old and tattered. This in Harry's mind proved he must be dreaming. "Never mind" he thought sadly. "At least I can stay here for a little while". After looking either side of him and seeing only more beaches in the distance, he decided to enter the forest. It was strange, most forests sounded scary but this one looked warm and inviting.
Harry was right. Once he entered the forest, he felt a change in the wind. Golden light seemed to swirl through the trees, breathing life into the surroundings and enchanting the eye. The plants swayed in the breeze, stretching up to the sky in a wonderful variety of colours. There were tiny insects burrowing in the trees, and the grass tickled Harry's feet as he walked. It was a fascinating place.
After some more exploring, Harry came across a clearing which housed a tall, golden archway. There were intricate patterns and curves along its edge, and it sparkled magnificently.
Out of nowhere, a voice spoke.
"Who are you?"
Harry jumped nervously. Was there someone watching him? He looked around frantically but couldn't see anything. After a moment, he calmed down. This was his dream, right? Nothing would do any damage to him.
"I'm Harry Potter" he answered timidly.
"Place your hand on this archway, Harry Potter" said the voice. "Then I shall know if you are who you say you are".
The young boy debated whether to do as the voice told him, but after a minute decided he might as well try. He placed his palm on the smooth edge of the archway, and watched with fascination as he felt it hum gently.
"Harry Potter, you are who you say you are" said the voice kindly. "Welcome home."
He was cut off abruptly as the previously empty archway shimmered, revealing a golden gate. The gate swung open, allowing Harry access to the path beyond.
Before he had time to think, a small creature with bat-like ears and bulging bright blue eyes appeared with a pop before him.
"Wh- wh- who are you?" he stammered nervously.
"I sir, is Acer the house elf!" said the creature. "Welcome home Mr Harry Potter sir!"
"Sorry sir, but you must be mistaken" said Harry. "I'm in a dream, and when I wake up I have to feed my family and do my chores".
"Oh no Mr Harry Potter sir, you shall not see those people again" said Acer with a grimace. "They is bad sir, very bad, and shan't mistreat Harry Potter anymore!"
"Wait, you mean this place is real?" said Harry astonishingly.
"Yes of course sir, we is in Scotland, not far from Hogwarts" said Acer.
"Sorry, what's Hogwarts?" asked Harry curiously.
"Mr Harry Potter sir does not know about Hogwarts!" said Acer shockingly. "Come inside sir, Acer will tell you everything!"
"But I can't go into someone else's house, the adults will be mad and might hurt me" Harry said with a frown.
"No sir, this entire place was owned by Master James and Miss Lily, your mother and father! Since they is gone now (he said with a small sniffle) it belongs to you".
"I – I own a house?" said Harry faintly.
"Yes sir, and this forest area too. Now come inside sir, don't be afraid! There is no adults here, just me and two other house elves. They are Memphis and Adelia. We will take care of you Mr Harry Potter sir, and you shall live here now. This shall be your home."
Still not quite daring to believe it was real, Harry allowed the elf to lead him up the path to a beautiful looking building.
Maybe dreams could come true after all.