On Dudley's eleventh birthday, Harry learned that even if good things happen, bad things will likely follow. Harry normally wouldn't have had the privilege to accompany the Dursleys on Dudleykins special day. However, Mrs. Figg had broken her leg and Aunt Petunia's friend Yvonne was on holiday. While Harry had hoped they would let him stay in the house alone (he was ten after all!) so he could catch a show on the telly or get to use Dudley's computer, the Dursleys quickly shot that idea down. So, here Harry was, at Chessington's World of Adventure, trying to stay out of the way of Piers and Dudley (and their chocolate ice cream covered fists) and sucking on a lemon ice pop. It was sweet and tart and the first sweet Harry had eaten in a very long time.
The animals were fantastic. They were beautiful and interesting to read about. Harry thought the family of Gorillas looked similar to Dudley and Mr. Dursley. At lunch, Harry got to finish off Dudley's first Knickerbocker Glory since Dudley demanded a second Knickerbocker Glory which was more ice cream than anything else. When they all ventured to the Reptile House it was warm most of the snakes seemed to be sleeping. Although there were many signs saying ''Please do NOT tap on the glass!'' Piers and Dudley got Mr. Dursley to rap his pudgy knuckles against the glass of a Boa Constrictor. The snake didn't budge. Bored, the bullies left to look at other reptiles. Harry stayed and stared at the snake. He felt sorry for the creature having to deal with stares all the time. Suddenly, the snake looked up and winked at him! Harry winked back and the two conversed for a while. The poor fellow had been in captivity his whole life and just wanted to get to Brazil. Unfortunately, Piers and Dudley noticed that the giant snake was now awake and Harry was talking to it. They rushed over, pushing Harry out of the way. Somehow, another freakish accident happened and the glass disappeared. As the constrictor slithered away, Harry knew he was in deep trouble. This was a cupboard without meals sort of incident.
Thanks to Piers remarking that ''Harry had been talking to the snake,'' Uncle Vernon sent Harry to the cupboard, sans meals for an undeterminable amount of time. In the darkness of the cupboard, Harry waited for the Dursleys to go to bed so he could finally sneak something to eat from the kitchen. He was just so tired of all this. For ten miserable years, all he had ever known was the Dursleys, being a freak, a waste of space. Harry had dreamed and hoped and wished that he could get out. He kept hoping that the fire-haired person or any of the other strange folk who occasionally waved to him or shook his hand in public would rescue him. But no one ever did. Harry was tired of having to clean and cook and being everyone's scapegoat. He did the best he could, reading books to escape, doing his homework first correctly and then incorrectly, hiding himself as much as possible. Yet his best never seemed to be enough. Harry wasn't sure if he should feel sorry for not being able to actually disappear. As everything seemed to be his fault, he knew he probably should. But, Harry didn't really feel guilty for being here. It wasn't his fault that things were the way they were. He had a right to be Harry, just as Dudley, Uncle Vernon, or Aunt Petunia could be themselves.