"Master, are you sure it must be done this way?" asked the cloaked figure softly, kneeling in front of an armchair.
"Of course, I'm sure," came the raspy reply. "I have researched the magic involved. It is the only way. We must have him. That is where you come in. Are you ready?"
"Yes, I am."
"Good. Then let it begin."
The boy woke up, violently shaking and clutching his scar on his forehead in pain. He was soaked in sweat. This scar was no ordinary scar. It was the shape of a lightning bolt and it was Harry Potter who bore it. Harry, also, was no ordinary 14 year old boy. He was a wizard, and a famous one, at that. He had messy, black hair and brilliant green eyes, which were very unusual, but he was known for his scar.
Harry sat up and looked around. He reached for his glasses and slid them onto his nose. He was so lost in thought over the dream, still rubbing his scar, he didn't realize his owl, Hedwig, had returned from a night of hunting, until she landed on his bed.
"Hello, Hedwig. Enjoy yourself, did you?"
Harry picked her up and took her over to her cage.
"It won't be much longer. Mr. Weasley is coming to get us today and then you'll be free to fly anywhere you want. Just have a little more patience."
After looking at the clock, he decided he'd get an early start on breakfast so everything would be ready for the Dursleys when they got up. He got out of bed, picked out some clothes and took a quick shower. By the time he had the coffee brewing and the bacon and eggs cooking, Aunt Petunia had come downstairs..
"You're up early," she sneered. "Good. You'll have time to finish this list of chores I have for you to do." She plunked down a very long sheet of paper that contained every possible chore she could think of.
"Yes, Aunt Petunia," Harry said quietly.
"You about done with breakfast, boy?" asked Mr. Dursley as he entered the kitchen. "I see Petunia has a list of chores for you. You WILL finish them before you go anywhere with that freaky little bunch you call friends." Uncle Vernon then picked up the newspaper and began to read.
Just then an enormous boy the same age as Harry came downstairs, took one look at the list of chores, and started snickering. HE'D never been forced to do a single chore in his life. Harry's cousin, Dudley, sat down to eat.
Harry sat down to eat quickly before picking up the list of chores and walking away. He was completely ignored by the others, which was fine with Harry. He and the Dursleys had come to a sort of understanding. Ignore each other and no one got upset.
First on the list was cleaning the outside windows. Harry spent a long two hours being thankful it wasn't that hot yet. Next came weeding the flower beds. Another two hours gone, though now the sun was starting to beat down on him. Wash the car. Mow the grass. Water the grass. Trim the shrubs. On and on it went. As he worked, he kept replaying the dream in his mind. What could it mean? The last time his scar hurt, Voldemort was close by, but he couldn't be here now.
He had just finished the last chore on the list when Petunia called Harry in for dinner.
"Get in here. Hurry up and eat so when they get here, you can take your things and go. And try not to get dirt on anything. I just cleaned up."
Harry took the bowl of cold soup gratefully. He had worked through lunch and was starving. He finished in record time, drank his water, washed his dishes, then went upstairs to clean up and let Hedwig out of her cage before Mr. Weasley arrived. He was glad he had already packed, having suspected Aunt Petunia would have a chore list for him at the last moment.
When it approached the prearranged time, Harry went downstairs to wait. It seemed like the longest wait he'd ever had to endure. Suddenly, there was a crackling sound and a flash of green. There were Mr. Weasley, Ron, and the twins, Fred and George, coming out of the fireplace.
"Hello, Harry. Good to see you again. How has your summer been?" asked Mr. Weasley.
"Hi, Mr. Weasley, thanks. It's been okay."
There was a chorus of hellos from Ron, one of Harry's best friends, and the twins before they went to get Harry's trunk from his room.
"So. You're Harry's aunt and uncle. You must be proud of everything he's done. You should be. He's accomplished a lot for a wizard his age." There was a distinct note of pride in his voice.
The Dursleys could only stare speechless at their fireplace and then at the strangely dressed man in front of them. They flinched at the word 'wizard'. They looked as if they just wanted them all to go away.
There was a clunking on the stairs, which made Petunia and Vernon flinch again. Ron and the twins had Harry's trunk and were slowly getting it down the stairs.
"Oi, Harry! What do you have in here? It feels like--" started Fred.
"--the whole of London," finished George with a grin.
"No more than yours, I expect, and probably a lot less, knowing you two," replied Harry dryly. Out of all Ron's brothers, he liked the twins the most. They were so carefree.
Dudley chose that moment to come around the corner from the kitchen, took one look at the eccentric people gathered there and squealed, waddling back into the kitchen. The twins looked at each other and Harry knew, by the looks on their faces, they were up to something. They each put their hands in their pockets and walked around, edging their way towards the kitchen, pretending to study the house.
"Oh, look! It's one of those tellvisions," said George as he and Fred withdrew the hands in their pockets and sprayed the kitchen with brightly wrapped candies.
"Fred! George! Get those picked up, right now!"
"We are, Dad. So sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley. We didn't mean to make a mess of things." Yet, Harry saw they had mischievous grins and they gave Harry a wink.
Ron walked over to Harry and whispered, "They've been working on those all summer. Made them special to try on your cousin. If we're lucky, we'll get to see what they do."
Harry wasn't sure if he wanted to wait that long. He wanted to get back to The Burrow and away from Privet Drive. He couldn't help but be curious, though, at what the twins had cooked up this time.
"Fred, George, Ron, get Harry's trunk and take it home."
"Sure thing, Dad," they all said, though Ron didn't move.
Their patience was rewarded when Dudley let out a loud pig-like squeal. All eyes turned to him and watched as his nose became more like a pig snout. Every time Dudley screamed, it came out a pig squeal. All the boys thought this was hilarious, Petunia and Vernon tried to calm Dudley, and Mr. Weasley tried in vain to convince the Dursleys to let him put it right.
"Boys! Out! Now!" yelled Mr. Weasley.
Fred and George maneuvered Harry's trunk into the fireplace and disappeared. Ron stumbled his way to the fireplace, barely being able to see, he was laughing so hard. He stepped into the fireplace and was gone. With a quick good-bye, Harry, too, disappeared into the fireplace.
"I'm really sorry about this. My sons love a practical joke. I really can fix that if you'd just hold him still."
"Out!" spat Mr. Dursley. "Now! And don't ever return. Just GO!"
Mr. Weasley shook his head and followed his sons back through the fireplace.