Disclaimer: J.K.Rowling is the owner of these little people down below - I'm just messing around with them


In Silence

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, the smell of freshly mown grass scenting the thick summer air of Privet Drive, where the cars sat smugly upon their driveways, gleaming of affluence.

No one noticed the man suddenly appear on the corner of the road, and certainly no one noticed the narrow strip of wood he discreetly tucked into his pocket. At first glance, he was a fairly ordinary figure, rather tall and athletically built, with jet-black hair that was ever so slightly mussed, and hints of shadow beneath his eyes. But at second glance, there were hints about him that appeared more than simply eccentric – the miniature broom in one hand, the strange noises that sounded as he moved.

James Potter surveyed the road with a slightly quizzical air. The houses lining the street all appeared perfectly identical to him. All that identified one house from another was the small brass number plaque fixed upon each door.

He looked at the small slip of parchment in his hand. An address was written on it, in bold flowing script, identifying one house in particular. Number four, to be precise.

James looked up, to be greeted with numbers 3 and 5 respectively. He sighed in frustration. Where on earth was that house? Was it some kind of secret-kept place? Surely muggles didn't know that sort of magic?

He turned round in exasperation.

Ah.

The brass number four winked innocently at him, from an immaculate red-painted front door.

Feeling rather stupid now, James wasted no time in unlatching the front gate, and striding up towards the house. He knocked several times, then waited. Only the jingling of his pockets betrayed his nervousness and impatience.

It was Petunia Dursley who opened the door.

"Yes?" she said rather brusquely, and looked the man up and down with a rather disdainful air, immediately taking in his cheap corduroy trousers, and the old baggy jumper. She was certain that the man standing on her doorstep looked vaguely familiar, but along with that familiarity came a feeling of deep unsettledness. Petunia was sure she had seen him somewhere before.

"Er- I'm looking for a –er Harry Potter?" the man asked tentatively.

"There is no Harry Potter here!" Aunt Petunia snapped, and slammed the door shut.

"Get back into your cupboard!" she screeched at Harry, as she espied him, peeking timidly around the corner of the kitchen door.

Harry was quick to comply, and in minutes, the house seemed entirely as though it was uninhabited by a fourth occupant.

Petunia frowned at his cupboard door, as though any minute it would burst open, unleashing a torrent of disgusting objects.

The next day there was another knock. This time, it was Vernon Dursley who answered the door.

"This is the residence of Vernon and Petunia Dursley, is it not?" the man asked sternly.

"What's that to you?" Uncle Vernon said rudely, looking at the odd black cloak the man on his doorstep wore. "We don't know any riff-raff like you."

"Well, it might be of some interest, see, as I'm here to claim my son."

Minutes later, a small child was pushed out of the house.

"Say hello to your father Harry," Aunt Petunia said hastily, and slammed the door shut.

James found himself looking down at his son. Despite the chubbiness of childhood, Harry was oddly thin, as though he hadn't been fed properly. He wore a pair of wire-rimmed glasses that had been taped in the middle. The boy stared curiously up at him.

"Aunt Petunia said my mum and dad died in a car crash," Harry said, looking very small indeed.

"Er – not quite," James said uncomfortably.

"Is mum still alive then?"

The hope in his childish voice was painful.

"No, Harry."

Harry's face fell.

"Oh."

James looked around at his surroundings uncomfortably.

"I suppose we'd better tandem apparate," he said.

Harry blinked.

"What's that?"

James started, and then stared in disbelief at his son. Surely he knew what apparition was! Every little wizarding child did...but then Harry hadn't been brought up by wizards, had he? James' eyes darkened, and he looked towards Number Four Privet Drive, with more than just loathing in his eyes.