Disclaimer – Everything you recognise belongs to JKR. All the rest is simply me playing in her sandbox.


Hermione's Book Nook

Chapter 1

The gleaming silver car that slowly pulled out of the driveway was filled with three laughing muggles.

The fat walrus that was Vernon Dursley managed to contain himself just long enough for him to stare up from the driver's side to the second story window of his home. And then, seeing that marvellous sight once more, he roared with laughter, his large grey moustache bouncing erratically every time he opened his mouth.

Beside him, the long bony face of his wife Petunia was bent down close to the dash as she too kept a close eye on that all important window as she giggled with glee. In the back seat, Dudley, their whale of a son, punctuated his ecstatic glee with continuous points.

And it was all due to their having once again gotten something over their supposedly powerful freak of a nephew and cousin.

That 'freak' stood stony-faced at his window in the tiniest bedroom of number four Privet Drive. His emerald eyes flashed with anger as he watched his 'family' drive off, leaving him locked in his room for the next day or two or however long it was that they ended up being away.

He knew just as well as they did that he could be out of that room in an instant, never mind the bars that now adorned his window or the five overly-large locks arrayed on his bedroom door.

For Harry Potter was a wizard. One wave of his wand, together with an incantation or two would free him. But the consequences of that action would be another letter from the Ministry of Magic about the violation of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction for Underage Sorcery, resulting in his probable expulsion from his beloved Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, or even worse, the snapping of his wand.

Just two days before, coincidently on his twelfth birthday, Harry had received such a letter. The fact that said magic had actually been performed by the strangest creature that Harry'd ever laid his eyes on, a house elf called Dobby, was immaterial. Magic had been performed in front of non-magical muggles and, as he was the only registered magic practitioner in the house, he'd been blamed.

There'd been no quarter given for the fact that he was The-Boy-Who-Lived, one of the most famous wizards in Britain, simply because he hadn't died when the greatest Dark Wizard in a century, Lord Voldemort had tried to kill him when he was only fifteen months old. Not that anyone really knew what had happened that fateful evening. Lord Voldemort had simply turned up, killed both of Harry's parents and then, when he tried to kill Harry, the spell had backfired, leaving a scarred Harry behind with no sign of the supposedly vanquished Dark Lord.

But Lord Voldemort hadn't died that evening. Harry had been forced to face him once more barely six weeks ago and at his school, no less. His Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrel, had turned out to have Lord Voldemort living inside him, visible only as a disembodied face growing out of the back of his head.

After a fairly one-sided duel between Quirrel and Professor Snape which saw the Entrance Hall to the great Castle end up a mess of stone pieces and blast marks, Harry been able to defeat Voldemort again, this time simply with his touch.

But that little house elf had ruined what had been a perfectly tolerable holiday. The Dursley's hadn't known that Harry couldn't do magic until that fateful letter came. And then all hell broke loose.

Uncle Vernon had spent the previous day in demented glee as he worked away at imprisoning Harry.

First Uncle Vernon had confiscated everything of Harry's that was even remotely connected to magic: his trunk, his robes, his Nimbus Two Thousand racing broom, all his books, quills, ink and parchment. His owl, Hedwig had been locked into her cage with a brand new padlock. Another five padlocks had gone onto the door of his room. A cat-flap had been installed to allow food to be stuffed through it. And lastly, the bars to his window had been screwed into place.

And then that very morning, Harry'd been startled by the sound of the locks being opened before Uncle Vernon had burst in stating that Vernon's sister Marge had had a fall and that they were off to the country to see to her. They might be back in a day. Or two. Or not. Vernon's glee of delight was unparalleled as he stepped back through the door and snapped the locks back into place.

A short time later, the front door had slammed, they'd piled in the car and began to drive off, laughing all the way.

The instant that the silver car was out of sight, Harry's calm exterior broke.

An anguished cry ripped from his throat, his hands balled into fists at his sides. Suddenly, his fists came up and smashed against the window. The glass wobbled ominously but refused to break.

Spinning around, Harry kicked out at the tiny waste paper basket, sending it sailing across the room to smash into the door. His chair was snatched up and thrown viciously against the wall above his bed, eliciting a loud crack. Leaning forward, he shoved everything on his desk away, scattering pencils, pens, an old notebook and various scraps of paper across his floor.

Another spin brought him face to face with his bed. Reaching down, he grabbed the side of it and heaved, raising it a bare few inches before his strength gave out and it crashed back to the floor.

Still in a rage, Harry stomped across to the door, grasping the handle and rattling it violently before releasing it to punch the solid wood as hard as he could. Ignoring the sting of pain that had erupted, Harry completely lost control as he began kicking and punching the door with everything that he had.

Finally, his anger slowed, he flopped himself down onto the bed and let the tears come. Great racking sobs burst forth into his pillow, somewhat muffling his cries.

Eventually, the frightened barks of an owl cut through his pain and he lifted his head.

Hedwig, still in her locked cage was ruffling her feathers at him, her large eyes staring unblinkingly at where he lay. Pushing himself up, Harry crossed the room to the cupboard, reached up and stuck his fingers through the cage.

"Sorry, Hedwig," he said quietly as he stroked the owl's back, "I'm all done with my tantrum now."

Letting his hands go limp, he surveyed the ruin of his room. It'd already been messy to start with. Now, it was a complete disaster area. Raising his hands, he ran them through his hair making the black bird's nest of hair stick out every which way imaginable.

Right at that moment, he couldn't imagine life being worse than it was. He was locked in a small room. A room in which there was no food, no water, no bathroom and no signs of release for who knew how long. He had no means to contact anyone – the padlock on Hedwig's cage saw to that. He had nothing to feed Hedwig with either, when it came to that.

So much for 'trust Dumbledore'. Dumbledore will take care of it. Yeah, right. The Headmaster did nothing!he thought viciously.

Either Professor McGonagall had been lied to or had simply lied to him. Either way, neither his aunt nor his uncle had mentioned being visited by the Headmaster. And life at Privet Drive since he'd arrived had only been marginally better because everyone in the house thought that he could do magic.

At least Dobby'll be happy, he grimaced. He didn't want me to go back to Hogwarts, back to my friends. Looks like he got his wish.

Noticing the streaks of red on his bed sheets, Harry looked down at his hands and groaned. The skin on the back of his hands was ripped and bloodied. And simply looking at them brought the sting and ache in them straight into his consciousness.

Shaking his hands out, he danced around only to groan once more when he saw the state of the wall above his bed. Uncle Vernon was going to kill him. A diagonal crack the length of his arm radiated out from the tiny hole that had obviously been made when he'd thrown the chair against the wall.

Climbing up onto the bed, he peered through the keyhole sized hole. He was just able to make out Dudley's room beyond the wall. Getting back up, he spun around in a circle, his hands gripping and pulling at his hair. His mind was in whirl, trying to come up with some way to avoid the beating that he knew was coming.

His bed was already two foot out from the wall in his crazy plan to completely rearrange the room so that he could cover the hole with his wardrobe when he stopped. Still hunched over, he raised his eyes and stared at the hole and the cracks surrounding it.

Swivelling his head first one way and then the other, Harry took in the locked door with its tiny cat-flap and then the barred window. This was his prison. Even after school went back, he knew that Uncle Vernon would never let him out. The door and the window were the only two ways out of the room. For now.

An evil grin split his face as he bent to drag the bed further away. The instant that there was enough room, Harry snatched up the chair from where it still lay on the floor and rounded the bed. He braced his feet apart, looked from the wall to the chair and back to the wall again. Then with a determined grimace, he smashed the chair into the wall as hard as he could.


He did it again and again and again.


On the third blow, Harry stumbled as one of the chair legs tore right through the wall. Yanking it back out, he dropped the chair and ran his hands gently over the wall before plunging his entire arm through the hole that he'd just made.

Over the next hour, with many breaks to recover his breath and to let his arms have a rest, Harry managed to widen the hole to the point where he could wiggle his entire head and shoulders into the hole. The chair had suffered tremendously. Three of its legs were now scattered on the floor behind him, as well as half of its back.

"Don't worry, Hedwig, I'll be right back and then we'll have you out of there," Harry told the owl before dropping the remains of the chair and beginning to wiggle through the hole.

He slithered out on top of Dudley's desk, in the process knocking a large pile of video games to the floor.

Quickly regaining his feet, Harry crossed the room, yanked open the door and rushed out. After a quick stop in the bathroom, he raced down the stairs and into the kitchen. Ignoring the urge to find something to eat, Harry crossed to the back door, only pausing long enough to take the key that hung just inside the door off of its hook.

The small garden shed that hid in the back corner under the juniper tree contained the lawn mower and a small collection of tools. It was here that Harry knew that he could find exactly what he needed. The wire cutters hung in their place on the back wall, while the crow bar rested on a pair of hooks just above the door.

After gathering both tools, Harry raced back to the house. The key and crow bar were dropped unceremoniously on the kitchen table as he raced back towards Dudley's room, the wire cutters still in his hand.

"All right, Hedwig, let's get you free," Harry stated once he emerged back in his own room. The padlock, of course, was too much for the wire cutters, so in accordance with the plan that he'd made while bashing at the wall, he attacked the strands of wire that held the base of the cage in place.

Hedwig stayed perfectly still as Harry worked his way around the cage, not even letting out a single hoot to distract him. Finally, the last wire was cut and Harry dropped the wire cutters. Then, grasping the sides of the cage, he lifted up.

The instant the cage cleared her head, Hedwig spread her wings and flew around the room, soft hoots marking her pleasure.

"I don't think you really want to hop through that hole, so why don't you fly out the window and I'll meet you down in the kitchen," said Harry.

After stuffing the wire cutters in his back pocket, Harry once more slithered through the hole in the wall and made his way downstairs. There, he grabbed up the crow bar and approached the cupboard under the stairs.

It took some tapping, but Harry was eventually able to get the crow bar into the tiny space between the padlock and the latch that locked the cupboard shut. Then, with a small jump, he forced the bar down with all of his strength. The entire latch popped off and shot across the hallway before crashing to the ground.

With a mad grin, Harry pulled the door open. Against the far wall sat his old battered trunk, filled with everything that belonged to him. Everything that is, except for his Nimbus Two Thousand, which lay haphazardly across its top.