Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and his twin brother, Alex, are orphaned when the Dark Lord kills their parents, the Dark Lord tries to kill Alex when the curse backfires. They have to live with their only living relatives who hate Harry, and treats him like a slave. Harry is bullied by his brother and cousin, Dudley, who are spoiled by his relatives. When Alex and Harry receive their Hogwarts letter they both enter a world they never thought would be possible.
Chapter Two- The Vanishing Glass
Nearly ten years had passed since the Durselys had woken up to find their nephews on the front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. The sun rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number four on the Durselys' front door; it crept into their living room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night when Mr. Dursely had seen that fateful news report about the owls. Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-colored bonnets- but Dudley Dursely was no longer a baby- and now the photographs showed a large
blond boy and a smaller black haired boy riding their first bicycle, on a carousel at the fair, playing a
computer game with their father/uncle, being hugged and kissed by their mother/aunt.
The room held no sign at all that there was actually three boys that lived in the house, instead of two. Yet Harry Potter, the younger twin brother two Alex Potter, was still there, asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her shrill voice that made the first noise of the day.
"Up! Get up! Now!" Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again. "Up!" She screeched. Harry heard her walking toward the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the stove.
He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorcycle in it. He had a funny feeling he'd had the same dream before.
His aunt was back outside the door. "Are you up yet?" She demanded.
"Nearly," Harry said throwing an arm over his eyes, hopping that just this once she would let him fall back asleep, but he had no such luck, he never did. Not since he had accidentally made his bowl of cereal explode when Dudley and Alex had been picking on him about his glasses, that had been when he was five.
"Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday." She said and Harry groaned. "What did you say?" his aunt snapped through the door.
"Nothing, nothing..." Harry muttered, Dudley's birthday- how could he have forgotten? Harry slowly got out of bed and started looking for socks. He found a pair under his bed and, after pulling a spider off one of them, put them on. Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept. When he was dressed he went down the hall into the kitchen. The table was almost hidden beneath all Dudley's birthday presents. It looked as though Dudley had gotten the new computer he wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike. Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harry, as Dudley was very fat and hated exercise- unless of course it involved punching somebody, mainly him. Dudley's favorite punching bag was Harry, but he couldn't often catch him. Harry didn't look it, but he was very fast. But if Dudley couldn't catch him then he would have Alex catch him, and then the both of them would have fun using him as a punching bag.
Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley or Alex, and Dudley was about four times bigger than he was while Alex was closer to Harry's size, Alex's clothes were still to big for him and would fall off if not tied on properly. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair that came to his shoulders with a slight wave to it, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley and Alex had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his chest, over his heart that was shaped like a Snake in the form of and 'S'. He had had it as long as he could remember, and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had gotten it.
"In the car crash when your parents died," She had said. "And don't ask questions." Don't ask questions- that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys, well, at least for him, his brother Alex was able to ask all the questions he wanted, because he was not a freak like him. Uncle Vernon entered the kitchen as Harry was turning over the bacon.
"Comb your hair!" he barked, by way of a morning greeting. About once a week, Uncle Vernon looked over the top of his newspaper and shouted that Harry needed a haircut. Harry must have had more haircuts than the rest of the boys in his class put together, but it made no difference, his hair simply grew fast, there was nothing he could do about it.
Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley and Alex arrived in the kitchen with . Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large pink face, not much neck, small, watery blue eyes, and thick blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Alex looked a little like Harry, enough to see that they were twins. He had short black hair that grew all over the place, and blue-green eyes, he was skinny, but not as skinny as Harry. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley and Alex looked like a baby angels- Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig, which usually got him a good beating from either Alex or Dudley.
Harry put the plates of egg and bacon on the table, which was difficult as there wasn't much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was counting his presents. His face fell. "Thirty-six," He said, looking up at his mother and father.
"That's two less than last year." Alex said as he recounted Dudley's presents, knowing that what ever Dudley got was basically his too.
"Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, it's here under this big one from Mommy and Daddy." Aunt Petunia said pointing to the present, Alex lifted up the present from Aunt Marge and shook it.
"All right, thirty-seven then," Dudley said going red in the face. Harry, who could see a huge Dudley tantrum coming on, began wolfing down his bacon as fast as possible in case Dudley turned the table over like last time. Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger, too.
"And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that, popkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?'' Aunt Petunia asked quickly to try and stop the tantrum. Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work.
"So I'll have thirty...thirty..." Dudley stuttered looking over to Alex for help who looked like he, too, was trying to figure that math out.
"Thirty-nine, sweetums," Aunt Petunia said and Harry tried to keep from rolling his eyes.
"Oh." Dudley sat down heavily, Alex sat next him him, and they grabbed the nearest parcel. "All right then." Uncle Vernon chuckled.
"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. 'Atta boy, Dudley!" He ruffled Dudley's hair. At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry, Alex, and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a video camera, a remote control airplane, sixteen new computer games, and a VCR. He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone looking both angry and worried.
"Bad news, Vernon," She said. "Mrs. Figg's broken her leg. She can't take him." She jerked her head in Harry's direction. Dudley's and Alex's mouth fell open in horror, but Harry's heart gave a leap. Every
year on Dudley's birthday, his parents took him, Alex, and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks, hamburger restaurants, or the movies. Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs. Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away. Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and Mrs. Figg made him look at photographs of all the cats she'd ever owned. "Now what?" Aunt Petunia asked, looking furiously at Harry as though he'd planned this. Harry knew he ought to feel sorry that Mrs. Figg had broken her leg, but it wasn't easy when he reminded himself it would be a whole year before he had to look at Tibbles, Snowy, Mr. Paws, and Tufty again.
"We could phone Marge," Uncle Vernon suggested.
"Don't be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy." Aunt Petunia said. The Durselys often spoke about Harry like this, as though he wasn't there- or rather, as though he was something very nasty that couldn't
understand them, like a slug.
"What about what's-her-name, your friend- Yvonne?" Uncle Vernon asked.
"On vacation in Majorca," Aunt Petunia snapped glaring at Harry, as if -once again- blaming him for her friend being on vacation and not able to watch him.
"You could just leave me here," Harry put in hopefully (he'd be able to watch what he wanted on television for a change and maybe even have a go on Dudley's computer). Aunt Petunia looked as though she'd just swallowed a lemon.
"And come back and find the house in ruins?" She snarled.
"I won't blow up the house," Harry said, but they weren't listening.
"I suppose we could take him to the zoo," Aunt Petunia said slowly, "...and leave him in the car..."
"That car's new, he's not sitting in it alone..." Uncle Vernon snarled. Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn't really crying- it had been years since he'd really cried- but he knew that if he screwed up his face and wailed, his mother would give him anything he wanted.
"Dinky Duddydums, don't cry, Mummy won't let him spoil your special day!" She cried, flinging her arms around him.
"I...don't...want...him...t-t-to come!" Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs as Alex rubbed his back as if he was trying to calm him down while smirking at Harry. "He always sp-spoils everything!" He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap in his mother's arms. Just then, the doorbell rang.
"Oh, good Lord, they're here!" Aunt Petunia said frantically- and a moment later, Dudley's and Alex's best friend, Piers Polkiss, walked in with his mother. Piers was a scrawny boy with a face like a rat. He was usually the one who held people's arms behind their backs while Dudley or Alex hit them. Dudley stopped pretending to cry at once.
Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn't believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Durselys' car with Piers, Alex, and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His aunt and uncle hadn't been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they'd left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.
"I'm warning you," He had said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harry's, "I'm warning you now, boy- any funny business, anything at all- and you'll be in that cupboard from now until
"I'm not going to do anything," Harry said. But Uncle Vernon didn't believe him. No one ever did. The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry and it was just no good telling the Durselys he didn't make them happen.
Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barbers looking as though he hadn't been at all, had taken a pair of kitchen scissors and cut his hair so short he was almost bald except for his bangs, which she left "to hide that horrible scar." Dudley and Alex had laughed themselves silly at Harry, who spent a sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already laughed at for his baggy clothes and taped glasses. Next morning, however, he had gotten up to find his hair exactly as it had been before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off. He had been given a week in his cupboard for this, even though he had tried to explain that he couldn't explain how it had grown back so quickly.
Another time, Aunt Petunia had been trying to force him into a revolting old sweater of Dudley's (brown with orange puff balls). The harder she tried to pull it over his head, the smaller it seemed to become, until finally it might have fitted a hand puppet, but certainly wouldn't fit Harry. Aunt Petunia had decided it must have shrunk in the wash and, to his great relief, Harry wasn't punished.
On the other hand, he'd gotten into terrible trouble for being found on the roof of the school kitchens. Dudley's and Alex's gang had been chasing him as usual when, as much to Harry's surprise as anyone else's, there he was sitting on the chimney. The Durselys had received a very angry letter from Harry's headmistress telling them Harry had been climbing school buildings. But all he'd tried to do (as he shouted at Uncle Vernon through the locked door of his cupboard) was jump behind the big trash
cans outside the kitchen doors. Harry supposed that the wind must have caught him in mid-jump.
But today, nothing was going to go wrong. It was even worth being with Dudley, Alex, and Piers to be spending the day somewhere that wasn't school, his cupboard, or Mrs. Figg's cabbage-smelling living room.
While he drove, Uncle Vernon complained to Aunt Petunia. He liked to complain about things: people at work, Harry, the council, Harry, the bank, and Harry were just a few of his favorite subjects. This morning, it was motorcycles. "... Roaring along like maniacs, the young hoodlums," he said, as a
motorcycle overtook them.
"I had a dream about a motorcycle," said Harry, remembering suddenly. "It was flying." Uncle Vernon nearly crashed into the car in front. He turned right around in his seat and yelled at Harry, his face like a gigantic beet with a mustache
"MOTORCYCLES DON'T FLY!" Dudley and Piers sniggered, surprisingly Alex didn't laugh, but he did give Harry a weird look.
"I know they don't," Harry said, "It was only a dream." But he wished he hadn't said anything. If there was one thing the Durselys hated even more than his asking questions, it was his talking about anything acting in a way it shouldn't, no matter if it was in a dream or even a cartoon- they seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas.
It was a very sunny Saturday and the zoo was crowded with families. The Durselys bought Dudley, Alex, and Piers large chocolate ice creams at the entrance and then, because the smiling lady in the van had asked Harry what he wanted before they could hurry him away, they bought him a cheap lemon ice pop. It wasn't bad, either, Harry thought, licking it as they watched a gorilla scratching its head who looked remarkably like Dudley, except that it wasn't blond.
Harry had the best morning he'd had in a long time. He was careful to walk a little way apart from the Durselys so that Dudley, Alex, and Piers, who were starting to get bored with the animals by lunchtime, wouldn't fall back on their favorite hobby of hitting him. They ate in the zoo restaurant, and when Dudley had a tantrum because his Knickerbocker glory didn't have enough ice cream on top, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was allowed to finish the first. Harry felt, afterward, that he should have known it was all too good to last.
After lunch they went to the reptile house. It was cool and dark in there, with lit windows all along the walls. Behind the glass, all sorts of lizards and snakes were crawling and slithering over bits of wood and stone. Dudley, Alex, and Piers wanted to see huge, poisonous cobras and thick, man-crushing pythons. Dudley quickly found the largest snake in the place. It could have wrapped its body twice around Uncle Vernon's car and crushed it into a trash can- but at the moment it didn't look in the mood. In fact, it was fast asleep.
Dudley stood with his nose pressed against the glass, staring at the glistening brown coils. "Make it move." He whined at his father. Uncle Vernon tapped on the glass, but the snake didn't budge. "Do it again," Dudley ordered. Uncle Vernon rapped the glass smartly with his knuckles, but the snake just snoozed on.
"This is boring," Alex moaned. He shuffled away with Dudley and Piers following him. Harry moved in front of the tank and looked intently at the snake. He wouldn't have been surprised if it had died of boredom itself- no company except stupid people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It was worse than having a cupboard as a bedroom, where the only visitor was Aunt Petunia hammering on the door to wake you up; at least he got to visit the rest of the house.
The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were on a level with Harry's. It winked. Harry stared. Then he looked quickly around to see if anyone was watching. They weren't. He looked back at the snake and winked, too. The snake jerked its head toward Uncle Vernon, Dudley, and Alex then raised its eyes to the ceiling. It gave Harry a look that said quite plainly: "I get that all the time."
"I know," Harry murmured through the glass, though he wasn't sure the snake could hear him. "It must be really annoying." The snake nodded vigorously. "Where do you come from, anyway?" Harry asked.
The snake jabbed its tail at a little sign next to the glass. Harry peered at it. 'Boa Constrictor, Brazil.' "Was it nice there?" The boa constrictor jabbed its tail at the sign again and Harry read on 'This specimen was bred in the zoo.' "Oh, I see- so you've never been to Brazil?" As the snake shook its head, a deafening shout behind Harry made both of them jump.
"DUDLEY! MR. DURSLEY! COME AND LOOK AT THIS SNAKE! YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT IT'S DOING!" Piers yelled, it seemed that he had come back to look at the snake while Harry was talking to it. Dudley came waddling toward them as fast as he could with Alex right behind him.
"Out of the way, you," he said, punching Harry in the ribs. Caught by surprise, Harry fell hard on the concrete floor. What came next happened so fast no one saw how it happened- one second, Piers, Alex and Dudley were leaning right up close to the glass, the next, they had leaped back with howls of horror.
Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa constrictor's tank had vanished. The great snake was uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out onto the floor. People throughout the reptile house screamed and
started running for the exits. As the snake slid swiftly past him, Harry could have sworn a low, hissing voice said, "Brazil, here I come. Thanksss, amigo."
The keeper of the reptile house was in shock. "But the glass," He kept saying, "Where did the glass go?" The zoo director himself made Aunt Petunia a cup of strong, sweet tea while he apologized over and over again. Alex, Piers, and Dudley could only gibber. As far as Harry had seen, the snake hadn't done anything except snap playfully at their heels as it passed, but by the time they were all back in Uncle Vernon's car, Dudley and Alex was telling them how it had nearly bitten off their legs, while Piers was swearing it had tried to squeeze him to death. But worst of all, for Harry at least, was Piers
calming down enough to say, "Harry was talking to it, weren't you, Harry?"
Uncle Vernon waited until Piers was safely out of the house before starting on Harry. He was so angry he could hardly speak. He managed to say, "Go- cupboard- stay- no meals," before he collapsed into a
chair, and Aunt Petunia had to run and get him a large brandy.
Harry lay in his dark cupboard much later, wishing he had a watch. He didn't know what time it was and he couldn't be sure the Durselys were asleep yet. Until they were, he couldn't risk sneaking to the kitchen for some food. He'd lived with the Durselys almost ten years, ten miserable years, as long as he could remember, ever since he'd been a baby and his and his brother's parents had died in that car crash. He couldn't remember being in the car when his parents had died. Sometimes, when he strained his memory during long hours in his cupboard, he came up with a strange vision: a blinding flash of green light and a loud scream. This, he supposed, was the crash, though he couldn't imagine where all the green light came from. He couldn't remember his parents at all. His aunt and uncle never spoke about them, and of course he was forbidden to ask questions. There were no photographs of them in the house.
When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of someone of unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Durselys were his only family, not counting his brother. Yet sometimes he thought (or maybe hoped) that strangers in the street seemed to know him and his brother. Very strange strangers they were, too. A tiny man in a violet top hat had bowed to him and his brother once while they were out shopping with Aunt Petunia and Dudley. After asking Alex and him furiously if he knew the man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying anything. A wild-looking old woman dressed all in green had waved merrily at him once on a bus. A bald man in a very long purple coat had actually shaken his hand in the street the other day and then walked away without a word. The weirdest thing about all these people was the way they seemed to vanish the second Harry tried to get a closer look.
At school, Harry had no one. Everybody knew that Dudley's and Alex's gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's and Alex's gang. Harry new he was alone in the world, no one would ever be his friend because of Dudley and Alex. And with that Harry turned over and fell into a restless sleep as his stomach growled, hungry for food.