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Divination- The Marauders and the Philosopher's Stone by MeNuncle

Format: Novel
Chapters: 4
Word Count: 30,459
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Mystery, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Sirius, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Pettigrew
Pairings: James/Lily, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione

First Published: 05/18/2008
Last Chapter: 10/05/2008
Last Updated: 10/05/2008

Summary:
Photobucket

“Hey, Lils, you dropped this book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling.”

“What,” Lily said impatiently. “That’s not mine,”

“Maybe we should read it. I have to read a book for Muggle studies anyway. Come on, Evans, I’ll make you a deal, you read the book with us and I’ll make sure your hair and eyes are returned to its normal colour.”<


Chapter 1: Chapter One- The Boy Who Lived
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I know that this Story has been done a few times before but this is my version of how the marauders and Lily read the Philosopher's Stone so please read and review and tell me if you would like me to continue! 

Disclaimer: Everything in bold is the Philosopher's Stone written by JK Rowling. The story is not mine- the reactions to the story are mine. The characters belong to JK Rowling also! 



Chapter One- The Boy Who Lived 


Lily Evans, age seventeen was angry. In fact angry was an understatement- she was fuming. In all her years at Hogwarts, of all the embarrassing things she had endured, this had to be the most humiliating, and she had, had her fair share. And as always, in circumstances such as these there was only one culprit at the base and that was James Potter.

 

James Potter, the unofficial ringleader of the Marauders, as they called themselves, had made it his number one aim to get her, Lily Evans to give him a chance. But no matter what he did to impress her, it always resorted in a crowd of people pointing and laughing, or a group of girls swearing their revenge because after all James Potter was always considered, in their eyes, as their “possession.”

 

As Lily Evans stormed through the corridor, her beautiful red ringlets, now a hideous shade of luminous green and her normally almond-shaped emerald eyes, now purple, she swore revenge. He had taken it too far this time. Heads turned as she made her way to the heads common room. She heard people muttering “What’s Potter done now?” behind their hands. It had taken her all day before she had managed to make her face turn back to its usual colour; it had been metallic pink until a few moments ago. Alice Spencer, her best friend, had tried to calm her down, but after half an hour of telling her it really didn’t look so bad, Alice found herself trailing after Lily down the corridor her brown hair flicking in and out of her faces as she jogged after her.

 

“POTTER YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR, THIS TIME,” Lily Evans screamed, entering the Heads Common room along with Alice. Lily was usually a very calm and level headed person, but when it came to James Potter she found it extremely difficult to form any rational thoughts.

 

“And to what do I owe this pleasure, Evans,” A boy with untidy, jet-black hair, deep hazel eyes, framed by round rimmed glasses and a mischievous grin entered the room. Behind him were his three friends Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and off course Sirius Black.

 

The four friends had been inseparable since the first week they had started Hogwarts, causing more trouble in their first week than most in a lifetime. The four handsome boys had been described as the most eligible bachelors, and most humorous because of their frequent, yet funny pranks. Even Peter, the less popular one of the group managed to get the girls, even if he wasn’t as funny, smart or good-looking as the rest. Lily, however, was the only one, aside a few Slytherins, who seemed to dislike the infamous four. In fact it was only Remus she could stand. The only one she could ever truly be friends with. The sandy haired boy was by far the more sensible and hardworking. 

 

James found himself pined back to the wall, a emerald steleto digging into his chest and wand directed at the neck. He looked at the female in front of him, the one that had stolen his heart but only six years ago.

 

“LOOK AT ME- IS THIS YOUR IDEA OF A JOKE?” Lily Evans screemed at him. He loved her fiary temper. It was one of the things that made her different to all of the other girls in the school. He recalled the moment he had fallen for the red-headed girl when he was just eleven; he vowed that he’d never give up that one day she’d give him a chance and after six years of on going rejection, he kept the promise.

 

It had started of as a small childish crush but now he knew it was more than that, he had been out with too many girls not to know that Lily Evans was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

 

“No,” He corrected, still under her wand and steleto. “It is not my idea of a joke but I can think of a couple of other people who may have done it,” He then looked pointedly at Sirius who jumped to his defence, instantly putting on a face of fake innocence and pointing to himself in the chest as if it was the most rediculous thing he had ever heard.

 

“Me?” He said blamelessly. “I would never perform such a prank, on Lily Evans of all people!”

 

“Whatever, Black,” Lily said, turning her iritated stare onto him instead. “I don’t doubt you were behind this, at all,”

 

“I knew you loved me, Lily,” James said arrogently but this only caused Lily to glare at him again, hatred shining in every ounce of her eyes.

 

“Doesn’t mean I don’t think you were behind it as well, Potter!”

 

“Could you please take that wand away from me,” James asked carefully.

 

“Not a chance, Potter,” Lily protested, jabing it a little into his side.

 

“Oh well, if you wanted to pin me to a wall- you could have just asked- no wand needed,” James said in a concieted fasion. “Believe me, I have no objection to being pressed up against a wall by you Evans, all you had to do was ask nicely.”

 

That got her to let go. She had jumped so far back that she almost crashed into Remus.

 

“Don’t flatter yourself,”

 

“Then don’t flatter me,” He was grinning like a mad man now, only adding to an already thuderous Lily.

 

“YOU DISGUST ME!”

 

“I love you too,” He said smoothly, in a sickly sweet voice that made him cringe at the sound. Why was it that he acted like a prat whenever Lily was close? “Will you go out with me,”  

 

“ARGH, I hate you, James Potter, I would rather jump into the Black Lake and drown than spend a second of being your girlfriend,”

 

“Oh harsh,” Sirius resisted the temptation to laugh, it would have been hilarious if he hadn’t known the extent of James feelings. But James’s five hour rants about her hair, eyes and personality had driven the young Black into near insanity and it was because of all these rants that Sirius knew it wasn't just the thrill of the chase.

 

“Shut up, Padfoot,” Remus whispered, nudging an insensitive Sirius in the ribs. It was at that moment that Lily had, had enough. She picked up her bag, flung it over her shoulder when a red book had fallen out. Alice slowly picked it up, on it was a picture of platform nine and three quarters with a boy who looked remarkably like a cartoon version of James.

 

“Hey, Lils,” Alice called after her, she stopped on her way to the door and spun around. “You dropped this book. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling.”

 

“What,” Lily said impatiently, clearly not being able to stand a moment longer in the presence of James. “That’s not mine,” She looked at it quizzically before reading the back of the book aloud.

 

"Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man, enrols at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and battles in a deadly duel. The Reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD! No seriously Alice, I have never seen this book in my life."

 

“But it fell out of your bag,” James persisted, also stepping closer to the book and staring into the animated drawing of himself. “Harry Potter, no one in my family called Harry, even if he does look like me,”

 

“That’s because,” Lily said coolly, looking at James directly, ignoring the rest of the inhabitants of the room. “It’s a fictional story book and there are plenty Potters in the world who have black hair and glasses.”

 

“The pages look sort of funny,” Peter piped up, he had been quiet until now but he addressed the other five in his usual squeaky voice, his head slightly down, fingering the pages of the book carefully. “The pictures are still and everything.”

 

“That’s because it’s a muggle book, you idiot,” Sirius smacked him playfully on the side of the head, however Peter didn’t seem to notice Sirius’s jokey tone and muttered a ‘sorry’ before quieting down.

 

“A Muggle book in Hogwarts and in your bag?” It was Alice who had asked this question. “What’s a muggle book, that you Lily Evans, a great bookworm, doesn’t even know about doing in Hogwarts?”

 

“Maybe we should read it,” James suggested. “Maybe it was sent by some great force who wants us to read it,” James said dramatically, before laughing hysterically.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous, Potter, why on earth would you want to read this book,” Lily said tartly, pursing her lips, a habit that apparently ran in the family.

 

“Because any book with the name Potter on the front can’t be that bad,” James smiled arrogantly, running his fingers through his untidy hair, undoubtedly because he thought it wasn’t messy enough.  

 

“You are so up yourself that I’m surprised you know what sunlight looks like,”

 

“Really, original, Evans,” James said sarcastically. “Besides it’d be fun to read something from a muggles point of view- I have to read a book for Muggle studies anyway- couldn’t find one so might as well read this.”

 

“No you will not,” Lily protested, snatching the book from his grip and embracing it protectively. “It’s my book,” 

 

“You said you have never seen it before,” Sirius said incredulously.

 

“My bag, my book and there is no way I’m handing it to you lot,”

 

“What why,” It was a stupid question, even in James’s head it sounded like a pathetic question to ask, it was obvious. “Come on, Evans, I’ll make you a deal,” He continued before she could answer his previous question. “You read the book with us and I’ll make sure your hair and eyes are returned to its normal colour.” He held out his hand but Lily refused it.

 

“Or I could take the book and tell a member of staff,” she replied dangerously.

 

“You could but it’s a spell Sirius and I invented ourselves, we’re the only ones who can lift it,” Lily didn’t know whether or not to believe him; it was possible but then again it was just as likely to be a bluff.

 

“What if I keep the book, hex you and make you change my hair and eyes back,”

 

“And go against everything you’ve been saying is wrong to me for years- it’s either read the book or go out with me.” James had done it and everyone in the room knew it, however, it didn’t go unnoticed that Lily was also an extremely stubborn and competitive individual and would stop at nothing to prove she was right.  

 

“Oh well,” She said finally after what seemed like hours. “I kind off like my hair like this anyway,”

 

“You have no choice you know; you’ll help us in the end…” James chuckled softly; only Lily seemed to ignore him, muttering ‘Muggleborn’ under her breath as the door to the corridor presented itself. She stalked out, head in the air, Alice trailing behind her- it was this moment Remus turned to James.

 

“She’s not going to help us mate,” Remus concluded turning on his heel, only to stop when his best friend grabbed his shoulder.

 

“No, no, she will, trust me- I had a feeling she might refuse but I’m sure she’ll reconsider,” James smirked again and Remus gave him a questioning yet impressed look. “Five,” He held out five fingers and put one down before, “Four,” He put another finger down. “Three, two, one” He pointed to the Common Room door. Lily appeared instantly, a defeated expression covering every inch of her features.

 

“One chapter and that’s it,” Lily said through gritted teeth as though it physically pained her to give in to James Potter, of all people.

 

“Deal,” Lily handed him the book reluctantly and they all sat on the sofas by the blazing urban fire. Remus and Sirius took each of the armchairs and Peter and Alice lay on the heath rug. To Lily’s discussed she ended up sitting with James on the sofa and even though James plonked himself inconveniently in the middle, Lily sat as far away from him as possible. “I never thought I’d see the day when you, James Potter, had to convince me, Lily Evans, to read a book,”

 

“Believe me; I’m just as surprised as you. But I’m James Potter, full of surprises.” He winked at Lily before opening the pages of the book, carefully, and began to read. “Ok then, CHAPTER ONE James read, clearly. THE BOY WHO LIVED

Sirius started to pretend to snore loudly, letting his head fall back, eyes closed like he was pretending to be asleep, until a pillow made contact with his head. He looked around to find the culprit and saw that it was Alice.

 

“Hey!” He said loudly.

 

“Stop being a prat and listen,”

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.

Sirius yawed loudly.

“Shut up Padfoot, it’ll be good.” Remus said getting a little annoyed.

“Good my arse,” he muttered so that no one could hear.

Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills.

“You can already tell a muggles written it,” Remus commented. “Its already mentioned Muggle tools,”

“Sounds Boring to me,” Sirius intervened, looking bored already. “Starts of with what sounds like the most boring people on the planet- remind me, again,” Sirius said questioningly, like a small child waiting to open his presents on Christmas day. “Why are we reading this?”

“Muggle Studies remember- don’t you want to pass NEWTs?” James retorted before motioning them to quieten down before carrying on with the story. 

He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours.

“Sounds like a right barrel of laughs to me,” Sirius said sarcastically, wishing that they were out inviting pranks and not stuck indoors with a book by the fire.

The Dursley’s had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

“Not that there opinion sounds like it counts for much,” Sirius added, again.

“Shut up Padfoot, stop interrupting,” Remus snapped in a rather fatherly fashion, Sirius immediately quietened down, there was no one else in the world other than Remus Lupin, who could control him even a little bit.

The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.

“Dursley,” Sirius barked. “I mean really, what kind of name is that?”

“Hey, Lils,” Alice said, suddenly, looking as though she was remembering something. “Isn’t your sister’s boyfriend called Dursley?”

“What, that lousy excuse for a man, Vernon,” Lily said bitterly, still not warming to the idea of another half-hour or so in the company of the Marauders. “Merlin, can only guess what Petunia sees in him,”

Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years: in fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be.

“Damn!” James said stopping suddenly. “Can’t be any relation of mine, I’m a pure blood- I don’t have any muggle relatives that I know off and by the sounds of this Mrs Potter is a muggle-born,”

“I did tell you,” Lily said, her voice was very matter-of-fact, James had chosen to ignore this comment.

The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley mixing with a child like that.

“Sound like a right, horrible, prejudice lot,” James said angrily. “There’s nothing wrong with wizards.”

“Could we stop with the commentary please, I’m a bit busy- places to go, people to see, hair and eyes to change back,” She addressed her last point to James, pointedly, raising a brow as if to say that he should get a move on. James didn’t argue but turned back to the book, trying to find where he had last left.

When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair. None of them noticed a large tawny owl flutter past the window.

At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek and tried to kiss Dudley goodbye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing cereal at the walls.

"Little tyke," Chortled Mr. Dursley as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of number four's drive.
It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar - a cat reading a map.


“It must be an Animagus, what animal would be reading a map otherwise,” Remus pointed out, sitting up in his chair and brushing a way some hair out of his eyes.

For a second, Mr. Dursley didn't realise what he had seen -then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a map in sight. What could he have been thinking of? It must have been a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive - No, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs.

“This is stupid, doesn’t he realise that she or he’s and Animagus,” Sirius looked put off now, he felt like he rather not read anymore, and for the first time in his life his bed seemed inviting at seven thirty.

Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out of his mind. As he drove towards town, he thought of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day. But on the edge of town, drills were driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks. Mr. Dursley couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes - the get-ups you saw on young people!"

He supposed this was some stupid new fashion. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and his eyes fell on a huddle of these weirdoes standing quite close by. They were whispering excitedly together. Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and wearing an emerald green cloak! The nerve of him! But then it struck Mr. Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt - these people were obviously collecting for something ... yes, that would be it.

“THEY’RE WIZARDS,” Sirius shouted impatiently at the book.

“He’s a muggle, he doesn’t know about this world remember,”

“Seems like he knows enough to me,”

The traffic moved on, and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in the Grunnings car park, his mind back on drills. Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he might have found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning.

He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though the people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open-mouthed as owl after owl sped overhead.

Most of them had never seen an owl even at night time. Mr. Dursley, however, had a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. He yelled a five different people. He made several important telephone calls and shouted a bit more. He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he'd stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from the baker's opposite.

He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. He eyed them angrily as he passed. He didn't know why, but they made him uneasy. This lot were whispering excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying.

"The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard -"

"- Yes, their son, Harry - "

“Finally, we’re getting somewhere,” Everyone glared at Sirius warningly, before James continued to read.

Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but thought better of it.

He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office, snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone and had almost finished dialling his home number when he changed his mind. He put the receiver back down and stroked his moustache, thinking...

No, he was being stupid. Potter wasn't such an unusual name.

He was sure there were lots of people called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come to think of it, he wasn't even sure his nephew was called Harry. He'd never even seen the boy. It might have been Harvey. Or Harold. There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley; she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn't blame her - if he'd had a sister like that... but all the same, those people in cloaks...

He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon, and when he left the building at five o'clock, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door.

"Sorry," he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell.

It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realised that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice that made passers-by stare: "Don't be sorry my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like your self should be celebrating this happy, happy day!"

“You-Know-Who gone at last?” Peter exclaimed in shock. “B-but how?” Even Lily seemed to be interested now. It wasn’t everyday you heard that you-know-who was gone at last, everyone just exchanged gob-smacked looks.

“It must have been written about the future,” Remus was the first to recover. “Maybe the person who wrote this, is writing how they think Voldemort will lose power,” He waved his arm as if to prompt James to continue.

And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off.
Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle, whatever that was.


He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set off home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination.

As he pulled into the driveway at number four, the first thing he saw - and it didn't improve his mood - was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It was now sitting on his garden wall. He was sure it was the same one; it had the same markings around its eyes.

"Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look.

“It’s a witch or wizards, shoo won’t bloody move it,”

“Sirius, the book can’t hear you,” Alice told him, getting a little agitated by his constant interruption.

“Not my fault this books a load of rubbish,” He said in his defence, yet he didn’t leave or move. 

Was this normal cat behaviour, Mr. Dursley wondered? Trying to pull himself together, he let himself into the house. He was still determined not to mention anything to his wife.

Mrs. Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner all about Mrs. Next Door's problems with her daughter and how Dudley had learnt a new word (Shan't).

Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living-room in time to catch the last report on the evening news:

"And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today. Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in daylight, there have been hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern." The news reader allowed himself a grin. “Most mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going to be any more showers of owls tonight, Jim?"

"Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it’s not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain that I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars! Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night early. It's not until next week, folks! But I can promise a wet night tonight."

“Remember, Moony, when we had a huge shooting star display on new years, last year?” James had stopped reading, recalling a particularly good memory involving Remus Lupin.

“Sure do, that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” And it was true it had been.

Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters...Mrs. Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He'd have to say something to her. He cleared his throat nervously. "Er - Petunia, dear - you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?"

“Wait, wait, wait a second,” Remus’s said suddenly, stopping James mid-momentum. “Didn’t you say your sister had a boyfriend with the surname Dursley?” He looked over at Lily who nodded.

“Yes, he’s the most awful man I have ever met and he looks like a beached whale,”

“And your sister’s called Petunia, right?” Remus continued.

“Right,” Lily repeated slowly, not sure why Remus was asking these questions, and by the look on everybody else’s faces they didn’t know either.

“Well this is from the future,”

“Going anywhere with this, Moony?” Sirius intervened suddenly, wanting to stop the talking so that the chapter would finish as quickly as possible.

“Well I just thought that it was strange that in the story it mentions the Potter’s, which, judging by the front, looks a bit like James and then they mention the Dursleys, who’s your sisters boyfriend. And then in the story there’s a Petunia Dursley and your sister’s name is Petunia. Also it sounds like Mrs Potter is a Muggle born and Lily, you’re a Muggleborn-”

“Are you seriously trying to suggest that this is a story about my future married to Potter?” Lily was thunderous at the mere idea and James was grinning behind his book.

“No, no,” Remus added, quickly. “Off course not- it’s a fictional book- I was just thinking it was a coincidence, is all.” Remus sank in his chair, wishing he hadn’t spoken up at all, however it was clear that everyone was starting to get suspicious of the book as well, as they all eyed it carefully.

“Do you think, it’s filled with dark magic or something,” James said. “If it’s got so many coincidences.”

“Nah, I doubt a dark wizard would ever do anything to a muggle book- it’s just a coincidence and that’s it,” Remus reassured, James turned back to the page. 

As he expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn't have a sister.

"No," she said sharply. "Why?"

"Funny stuff on the news," Mr. Dursley mumbled. "Owls... shooting stars... and there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today..."

"So?" snapped Mrs. Dursley.

"Well, I just thought... maybe ... it was something to do with ... you know ... her lot."

Mrs. Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley wondered whether he dared tell her he'd heard the name 'Potter'.

“Pursed lips,” Alice laughed. “Does sound like you,”

“I do not purse my lips,” She said covering her mouth protectively before becoming ver defensive.

“Don’t even try to deny it,”

He decided he didn't dare. Instead he said, as casually as he could, "Their son - he'd be about Dudley's age now wouldn't he?"

"I suppose so," said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.

"What's his name again? Howard isn't it?"

"Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me."

“Hey,” Lily said defensively. “I’ve always liked that name.”

“Oh, yes," said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking horribly. "Yes, I quite agree."

“Just because you’re a fat idiot,” Lily said interrupting again.

“Calm down Lily, it’s just a book,”

“I know but I really like that name and I don’t even like fictional characters talking about my favourite name like that- it offends me that there are some people out there who hat my taste.”

“Hot-headed red-head,” James mumbled.

“What was that?”

“Nothing,”  

He didn't say another word on the subject as they went upstairs to bed. While Mrs. Dursley was in the bathroom, Mr. Dursley crept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive as though it was waiting for something. Was he imagining things?

Could all this have anything to do with the Potters? If it did ... if it got out that they were related to a pair of - well, he didn't think he could bear it.
The Dursleys got into bed. Mrs. Dursley fell asleep quickly but Mr. Dursley lay awake, turning it all over in his mind. His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and Petunia thought about them and their kind ...


“Your sister sounds horrible, Evans,” James said, pausing for breath.

“She isn’t my sister- this is a fictional character that just happens to share the same name!”

“She does sound like your sister though and looks like her as well,” Alice commented, rolling onto her back and looking up with a now livid Lily Evans.

“Just because she has blonde hair with a witch for a sister and is a little prejudice against magic, doesn’t mean she’s actually my sister,” She huffed before gesturing James to continue.

He couldn't see how he and Petunia could get mixed up in anything that might be going on. He yawned and turned over. It couldn't affect them... How very wrong he was.

Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. It was sitting as still as a statue, its eyes fixed unblinkingly on the far corner of Privet Drive. It didn't so much as quiver when a car door slammed in the next street, nor when the two owls swooped overhead.

In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat moved at all.

A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground.

The cat's tail twitched and its eyes narrowed.

Nothing like this man had been seen in Privet Drive. He was tall, thin and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt.

“Sounds like Dumbledore to me,” Sirius butted in. “He always has his beard tucked into his belt,”

He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak which swept the ground and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.

“Told you,” Sirius said punching the air triumphantly as a few of the others rolled their eyes.

Albus Dumbledore didn't seem to realise that he had just arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome. He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for something. But he did seem to realise he was being watched, because he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, "I should have known."

He had found what he was looking for in his inside pocket.

It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop. He clicked it again - the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left in the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him.

If anyone looked out of their window now, even the beady-eyed Mrs. Dursley, they wouldn't be able to see anything that was happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street towards number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat.

He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.

"Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall."

“That’s right, McGonagall’s Animagus form is a tabby cat,” James gasped in shock, unsure how he hadn’t noticed it before. “The amount of times she’s caught me and Sirius red handed because she had turned into a cat- and then it makes sense that she’d be with Professor Dumbledore,” James paused. “You know, if there really are some characters we know in here it’ll make it more interesting. Still think it’s a coincidence, Moony, maybe Lily married me after all,”

He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe looking woman who was wearing square glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around its eyes. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled.“Sounds like Minnie to me,” Sirius said smirking, for the first time looking like this could be fun. “We might find out how You-know-who got defeated now,” Sirius smiled. “Bet it was me,”

“Yes, because you could really take on the most powerful dark wizard of all time, couldn’t you?” Alice said sarcastically as though it was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard. “Like Lily said, it’s fiction- Dumbledore and McGonagall are in it because they are quite well known- it doesn’t mean we’re all going to make an appearance.

“The books called Harry POTTER, POTTER!”

“Exactly,” Alice said. “HARRY Potter not JAMES Potter.”

"How did you know it was me?" she asked.

"My dear Professor, I've never seen a cat sit so stiffly."

"You'd be stiff too if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day," said Professor McGonagall.

"All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here."

Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.

"Oh yes, everyone's celebrating all right," she said impatiently. "You'd think they'd be a bit more careful, but no - even the Muggles noticed something's going on. It was on their news." She jerked her head back at the Dursleys' dark living-room window. "I heard it. Flocks of owls ... shooting stars ... Well, they're not completely stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in Kent - I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense."

“You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years."

"I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes swapping rumours."

She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on: "A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"

"It certainly seems so," said Dumbledore. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a sherbet lemon?"
"A what?" Everyone with the exception of Lily and Remus shouted in unison.

"A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet."

"A what?"

"A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of."

"No, thank you," said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment for sherbet lemons.

"As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -”

“He is,” Sirius screamed getting up to shake the book a little. “Get over it and eat a sherbet lemon already- and tell us what happened.”

“Calm down, I’m getting to it,” James said dragging the book out of his best friends reach and sending him to sit back down.

"My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like your self can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort".
Alice and Peter winced at the name; everyone had been too scared to say it, with the exception of a few brave (some say stupid) individuals.

Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was un-sticking two sherbet lemons, seemed not to notice.

"It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name."

"I know you haven't," said Professor McGonagall, sounding half-exasperated, half-admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the one You-Know - oh, all right, Voldemort was frightened of"

"You flatter me," said Dumbledore calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."

"Only because you're too - well - noble to use them."

"It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."
“Are- are they flirting?” Alice asked, slightly revolted by the idea.

“Doubt it, I don’t think Minnie has had any fun in the sack for a while, if you know what I mean,” Sirius laughed, nudging Remus in the ribs.

“Sirius,” Remus rubbed his arm. “We always know what you mean.”

Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing to the rumours that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what finally stopped him?" It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now.

It was plain that whatever 'everyone' was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. Dumbledore, however, was choosing another sherbet lemon and did not answer.

"What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter
“See, see, I told you it wasn’t a coincidence, Lily this is us about our future- Oh Merlin this is so cool,” Lily frowned but said nothing. “Now we can see what happens to us- hey Harry might be are our son,”

“Me reproduce with you?” Lily questioned, she snorted. “James I wouldn’t have a baby with you even if my life depended on it.

The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead.” “WHAT?” James and Lily screamed despite themselves.

“We can’t be dead, this is crazy- who’s written this book,” James said incredulously, his face red with rage already, Lily on the other hand looked slightly hurt.

“I can not believe you’d do this to me Potter,”

“Do what?”

“Write this pathetic book as a means to win me over,” Lily said sticking her nose into the air.

“Oh yeah” James said sarcastically, running his fingers through his hair yet again. “Because that’s exactly how I envisioned our future- us two dead,” Lily opened her mouth to reply with something witty but shut it again because she knew he was right. It took a few moments before Lily had the courage to talk again.

“Well then somebody else did to trick us; I don’t think I want to read anymore,”

“Come on Lily, aren’t you just a little bit curious, about how you died,” Alice said pleadingly, getting into the book herself, however Lily’s response made her wish she’d kept quiet.  

“Alice Spencer- this book is not about my future, ok?” She said through gritted teeth. “It’s someone’s idea of a sick joke and I’m not falling for it.”

“You’ve made a deal, Lils, let’s stay until the end of the chapter at least.” Alice persuaded and hesitantly Lily sat back down, not sure whether she really wanted to hear anymore.

Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.

"Lily and James ... I can't believe it ... I didn't want to believe it ... Oh, Albus..."

Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I know ... I know...” He said heavily.

“At least they seem upset,” James said lightly. “Even McGonagall and I thought she hated me,” 

Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry.
“That bastard killed my son as well,” James didn’t appear to be taking the book well either and the book had suddenly become more glum yet intriguing since the beginning.

But - he couldn't.“Thank god,” Lily breathed but hushed when she saw James giving her a small knowing smile.

He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone." Dumbledore nodded glumly.“My son defeated Voldemort, that is so cool,” James gasped.

“James Potter, dead in the future,” Lily said imitating James’s voice. “That is so cool,” James ignored this comment and continued to read, he knew that some student probably wanted to play a trick with this book, but he didn’t care. If it got him to spend time with Lily Evans it was worth it. 

"Its- its true?" faltered Professor McGonagall. "After all he's done ... all the people he's killed ... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding ...of all the things to stop him ... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"“Because he takes after his dad, that’s why,” James said proudly, earning him a snort from Peter. “What is so funny, Wormtail?”

“Just that he couldn’t have taken after you if you got killed,” He smirked. James gave him a glare to silence him. 

"We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know."

Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took out a watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"

"Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"

"I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
“He can’t leave Harry with them,” James said incredulously. “Is he crazy?!”

“Where are we,” Sirius said weakly, looking a little upset himself. “Shouldn’t we be looking after Harry?”

“In the real world, maybe” Lily said tiredly, trying to resist walking out of the room all together. “But this is a FICTIONAL book, for the last time!”

“You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore - you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"

“Go on, Minnie,” Sirius said enthusiastically. “You tell him how it is,” 

"It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly.

“Best place,” James yelled. “They hate wizards for crying out loud,” 
“That’s my sister you’re talking about,” Lily said angrily, crossing her arms around her chest. “Show some respect,”

“I thought you said this was fiction,”

“It is but my sister is still a character and I don’t appreciate you insulting her, even if it’s in a fictional context and even if I hate her guts,”

"His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."“Why can’t I just take him, I don’t understand,” Sirius said, genuinely confused looking terribly upset.

“Because it’s someone’s idea of a sick joke,” Lily said slowly thins time, through gritted teeth, they couldn’t honestly believe it was really about their futures, could they?

“Lily, stop it- it’s written in 1997, that’s the future,”

“Alice, a simple transfiguration charm could have easily changed the date,” Lily persisted, not understanding how anyone of them could believe a book that told them her and James weren’t only married but going to die in order to protect their only son Harry.

“Who else, other than me, knows what Petunia looks like and the way she is- who else knows this much about you,”

Severus Snape was the only person who sprung to mind. Not even Mary Dashwood had met Petunia.

But Sev wouldn’t do this and even so, he doesn’t know anything about the Dursley’s and even if he did he wouldn’t have written about the downfall of you-know-who. Isn’t that why they stopped being friends, Because of his love for the dark arts and the rising power of Voldemort?

No he wouldn’t she was sure of that only this made her confused because that would mean it really was from the future. 

"A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"“Wow,” Sirius mumbled softly. “Merlin if this wasn’t a story that would be wicked- your son would be safe and so famous,”

“Then maybe it is best he lives with those people,” Remus said instantly but everyone gave him a sharp look. “Well if he’s that famous he’ll never live a normal life- its better for him to live with people who will never fully understand how famous he is,” He explained trying to explain what he had thought was a valid point until he saw Sirius continuing to glare; as if he had committed a crime. 

"Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"“See I told you, Pads,” Remus said, chuckling slightly, Sirius simply turned away.

“Still think he’d be better with me.” James rolled his eyes at his best friends comment and then looked back at the book and read.

Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed and then said, "Yes - yes, you're right, of course. But how is the boy getting here Dumbledore?"

She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.

"Hagrid's bringing him."

You think it - wise - to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"
“Well I’d trust him and it is my son we’re talking about,” James said pausing.

“You’re fictional son.” But even Lily wasn’t so sure on that now. So many questions filled her brain. What if it was true? What if she did marry Potter? What if they did die to save the life of their little son Harry?

Not even Alice knew this but she had always wanted to call her son Harry. If no one else knew this then it was real. Or maybe just a coincidence- one of many strange coincidences.

"I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.

"I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he's not careless. He does tend to - what was that?"

A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky - and a huge motorbike fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.
“Oh wicked- just like I always wanted,” Sirius said interrupting the story yet again. “Prongs, remember the one I wanted to by in the summer” James nodded smiling fondly at the memory.

“Yeah but old McMillan said he wouldn’t sell it to someone who kept peeing on his flowers,” James said reciting his memory aloud.

“Yeah, so I peed on them anyway to get back on him,” Sirius finished. Remus and Peter were laughing as well now and Alice’s lips twitched. Lily however, looked positively disgusted; honestly wanting to continue reading the book, as a strange sence of curiosity washed over her.   

If the motorbike was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild - long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of dustbin lids and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins. In his vast muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.

"Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorbike?"

"Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir," said the giant, climbing carefully off the motorbike as he spoke. "Young Sirius Black lent it me."
“W-what, really,” Sirius said, eyes wide and a large smile spread over his face as he’s eyes lit up. It wasn’t long however until his grin slid into a sly smirk. “Looks like old McMillan liked me after all.”

“Or you nicked it- that or you bought it of someone else.”

I've got him, sir."

"No problems, were there?"

"No, sir - house was almost destroyed but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we were flyin' over Bristol."

“Awwww,” Alice said smiling stupidly. “That’s so cute, Lils, isn’t that just adorable.”

“Women,” Peter muttered quietly, earning a nod of agreement from Sirius. 

Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

"Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.

"Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar for ever."

"Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"

"Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee, which is a perfect map of the London Underground.
Everyone laughed at this. Only Dumbledore could have such a scar, and notice it was a map of London underground.

Well - give him here, Hagrid - we'd better get this over with."

Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned towards the Dursleys' house.

"Could I - could I say goodbye to him, sir?" asked Hagrid.
“Awwww that’s sweet of Hagrid.” Lily said, getting lost in her thoughts. Everyone turned to her with confused looks, except James who was smiling fondly at her. “What, it is sweet,” Everyone looked away and turned back to James, beckoning him to continue.

He bent his great shaggy head over Harry and gave him what must have been a very scratchy, whiskery kiss.“Or not,” Lily said, slowly.

Then, suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.“I resent that comment,” Sirius said abruptly, looking offended. “That is an unjustified insult to every dog in the world,”

“Shut up, Padfoot, it’s not offensive,” Remus said whacking him in the arm.

"Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall. "You'll wake the Muggles!"

"S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off tar live with Muggles -”
“I love Hagrid, isn’t he sweet,” Lily repeated.

“I thought you said it was fictional, Evans,” James said still smirking at her.

“W-what?” She stuttered, unaware she had said this out loud. “O-oh right, yeah- fictional- still sweet though,”

“Whatever you say, Evans- admit it it’s our future, you marry ME! I win, in the end,”

“Bugger of,” Lily retaliated. “I will never marry you and for the last time this story is FICTIONAL!” She said sounding surer than she felt and she didn’t sound sure at all.

“Well I hope you’re right,” James said sincerely. “Because I hope neither of us dies.” He looked at her in the eye for a long time, as if trying to read her thoughts and understand exactly what she was feeling. The truth was she didn’t even know. She was sure it was someone’s idea of a joke and yet that didn’t stop the curiosity, the ‘what if’ questions or the achy feeling at the bottom of her stomach and the back of her that said- he’s dead, you’re dead, you’re son is alone, he’s going to your lousy sister.

After what felt like hours, James tore his hungry gaze away and looked back down at the book.  

"Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," Professor McGonagall whispered, patting Hagrid gingerly on the arm as Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry's blankets and then came back to the other two. For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid's shoulders shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore's eyes seemed to have gone out..

"Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."

Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice. "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir."

Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung himself on to the motorbike and kicked the engine into life; with a roar it rose into the air and off into the night.

"I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall," said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor McGonagall blew her nose in reply.
Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number four.

"Good luck, Harry," he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak he was gone.
“I can’t believe he’d actually give him to that family,” Sirius sulked. “What about me,” James ignored his friend and continued to read the last paragraph of the first chapter. 

A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley ...He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!" 
“That’s it, that’s the first chapter,” James said bluntly, looking disappointed because he knew that Lily would now leave.

 

“I call godfather,” Sirius said instantly, waving his arms in the air as if that was an end to the conversation. “And best man, I get best man,”

 

“You can just call godfather and best man- you have to earn it,” Remus said diplomatically. “Besides I at least get best man- Because of my- erm- problem I couldn’t be godfather so it’s only fair I get best man.” Sirius grunted at this and even Remus knew that he wouldn’t be best man. he had known his friends long enough to know that James and Sirius had the closest bond to brothers than anyone he’d ever know.

 

“Read the next one- read the next one,” Sirius said bouncing up and down like a small child wanting his bedtime story. James looked at him astonished.

 

“I thought you said that it was boring,” James aid raising an eyebrow and running his fingers subconsciously through his hair. 

 

“What are you talking about? It was Moony who was bored,” Sirius patted Remus on the back smiling softly for a moment.

 

“Was not,” Remus replied shrugging of his friends arm.

 

“No need to be embarrassed, Moony,” Sirius persisted, ignoring Remus’s warning glare.

 

“Sorry Pads, we told Evans it was just one chapter,” He looked at her glumly, holding out the book. Lily simply stared at it long and hard. After a while she took it from his hands and opened it. Not even aware of what she was doing herself. Her mouth seemed to be moving of its own accord when she began to read.

 “CHAPTER TWO THE VANISHING GLASS”

Chapter 2: Chapter Two- The Vanashing Glass
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I know that this Story has been done a few times before but this is my version of how the marauders and Lily read the Philosopher's Stone so please read and review and tell me if you would like me to continue! 

Disclaimer: Everything in bold is the Philosopher's Stone written by JK Rowling. The story is not mine- the reactions to the story are mine. The characters belong to JK Rowling also! 

Chapter Two- The Vanishing Glass 
 

“CHAPTER TWO THE VANISHING GLASS” Lily read slowly. The title only confused her as much as the idea of her carrying on reading a book that was about her fictional future. She paused for a while to look at the page, everyone giving her a mixture between bewildered and expected looks.   

 

Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursley’s had woken up to find their nephew 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 Dursleys' front door; it crept into their living room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night when Mr. Dursley 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-coloured bobble hats - but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the photographs showed a large, blond boy riding his first bicycle, on a roundabout at the fair, playing a computer game with his father, being hugged and kissed by his mother. The room held no sign at all that another boy lived in the house, too.

 

Lily looked up briefly and saw that James was glaring, slightly angrily, at the book in her hands. She felt it too. She felt a small wave of anger flit through her body, despite herself. Even though she knew it was all made up, she still felt something and was surprised how attached she’d become to her ‘fictional’ son in merely one chapter. 

 

Yet Harry Potter was still there, asleep at the moment, but not for long.

 

“Where am I?” Sirius demanded in frustration. “Why aren’t I looking after him?”

 

“Maybe you’re dead too,” Peter said casually, and before realising the words had slipped Sirius had punched him in the arm lightly.

 

“Shut up, Wormtail, I’m not dead, ok?” But he looked unconvinced. He seemed to be trying to come to some sort of silent agreement before he said, “I’m not am I?” He looked like an upset puppy; looking a Remus and James in turn, questioningly, as though what they said would determine whether he’d break down or laugh and joke.

 

“Nah, Pads,” Remus said finally, knowing his words would put Sirius’s mind to rest. “Hagrid borrowed your bike remember.” This seemed to have done the trick as Sirius brightened up considerably to the mention of his bike- he simply turned around smiling before letting Lily continue with her reading.   

 

His Aunt Petunia was awake, and it was her shrill voice which made the first noise of the day.

 

"Up! Get up! Now!"

 

“Doesn’t sound like a particularly nice way to get up? What ever happened to the polite ‘Harry, Darling, it’s time to get up,’?” James asked bitterly.  

 

Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again. "Up!" she screeched.

 

“Merlin, woman,” Sirius yelled at the book. “He heard you!”

 

“Just because you have an idiot of a son,” James yelled angrily at the book. “Doesn’t mean we all have!” The others laughed hysterically at James’s remark.

 

“Good one, Prongs,” Sirius replied, high-fiving him.

 

Harry heard her walking towards the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the cooker. He rolled on to his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorbike in it. He had a funny feeling he'd had the same dream before.

 

“It’s probably just the real thing, Harry,” Sirius commented quickly.

 

His aunt was back outside the door.

 

"Are you up yet?" she demanded.

 

“Does that woman ever shut up- she’d only given him five minutes- if that at all,” Remus said getting angry himself now; Remus was usually pretty calm but when prejudice came into it, he didn’t stand for anything. He had been on the receiving end of it and he wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. 

 

"Nearly," said Harry.

 

“Poor dear,” Lily signed, before continuing to read.

 

"Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon.

 

“Bloody hell, this is slave labour. He’s only eleven,”

 

And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday."

 

“Duddy’s?” Sirius laughed. “What is he three- is mummy and daddy going to make his day extra special,” Sirius’s lips twisted into a sly grin as though he was thinking up at least a hundred different pranks he could pull on the Dursleys. A thought that had been completely stopped, when Lily gave him a look that told him quite pointedly that he should forget pranks and let her read.   

 

Harry groaned.

 

“Don’t blame you, mate,” Sirius continued. “I’d groan and all, waking up to that little cow screeching in the morning.”

 

"What did you say?" his aunt snapped through the door.

 

"Nothing, nothing ..." Dudley's birthday - how could he have forgotten? Harry got slowly out of bed and started looking for socks. He found a pair under his bed

 

“Yeah,” Sirius said, as though he had just come a decision he’d been trying to make for a while. “Defiantly takes after you, Prongs- you and your disgusting hygiene issues,” Sirius Grinned but James looked offended. His offence seemed to grow when he saw Remus nodding in agreement. “Even Moony agrees with me,” He said patting Remus on the back in a brotherly manner of thanks.

 

“I have you know, that all those socks are clean, under my bed is immaculate anyway, because unlike you I clean my part of the room regularly,” 

 

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.

 

“WHAT?!” James and Lily screamed in unison, apparently more than a little angry at hearing this information.

 

“Evans, your sister’s a monster; I’ve got house elves sleeping in better conditions than that!” James said directing his anger onto Lily whose family it was to treat their “Fictional” Son in such a way. 

 

“I never said she wasn’t,” Lily said indignantly. “And before you start directing the blame onto me like you’re some pathetic little child, let me remind you that you can’t have had much of a problem with my family when you married me and it’s not my fault that someone else isn’t looking after Harry SO SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO THE STORY BEFORE I LEAVE!” James became instantly silent after this. Apparently wishing had never spoken at all. And Even as Lily continued to read, she still felt as though things seemed too coincidental to be just “fictional”. 

 

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 got the new computer he wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike.

 

“Sounds like a spoilt little brat to me,” Remus muttered.

 

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. Dudley's favourite punch-bag was Harry,

 

“That little brat can’t go around punching my son- Petunia really was never one for discipline unless it involved me,” Lily said scratchily, failing to notice the soft warm look James was giving her. Yes, He thought, if she realises this isn’t fictional, maybe she’ll fall for me.  

 

but he couldn't often catch him. Harry didn't look it, but he was very fast.

 

“Just like his old man,” James said proudly, Lily rolled her eyes but continued to read never the less.

 

Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age.

 

“Nah, just the Potter curse, he’ll grow out of that soon enough,” Remus said, laughing at the memory of an eleven year old James.

 

He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley's and Dudley was about four times bigger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair and bright-green eyes.

 

“Just like you, James,” Alice said eagerly, sitting up now and sitting closer to the book, her eyes were a light. “Except for his eyes, he has his mothers’ eyes,” Alice smirked and looked over at Lily who did her very best to glare, Alice however noticed the very slight smile on her face.

 

He wore round glasses held together by a lot of Sellotape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.

 

James glared at the book, Sirius growled, and Lily's eyes flashed furiously, as she muttered about all the things she'd do to her sister.

 

The only thing Harry liked about his appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead which was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember and the first question he could ever remember asking his aunt was how he had got it.

 

"In the car crash when your parents died," She had said. "And don't ask questions."

 

“Car crash” Lily said incredulously, pointing at the book in complete disbelief. “A car crash- we didn’t die in a car crash and Petunia knows this- and to think I’ve always tried to be so nice to her.” Lily suddenly became over come with guilt. “I knew she was horrible but I didn’t know she could be so evil- and telling him not to ask questions, well that’s awful- poor thing,” Lily continued to rant until James stopped her and told her to calm down.

 

His eyes told her, however, that he was burning with the same anger she was only chose not to show it.

 

Don't ask questions - that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys. 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 that way - all over the place.

 

“Another Potter curse,” James muttered. “Not even a taming charm will make our hair straighten out- it goes all over the place.”

 

Harry was frying eggs by the time Dudley arrived in the kitchen with his mother. Dudley looked a lot like Uncle Vernon. He had a large, pink face, not muck neck, small, watery blue eyes and thick, blond hair that lay smoothly on his thick, fat head. Aunt Petunia often said that Dudley looked like a baby angel - Harry often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.

 

“Has the Marauder charm,” James said proudly. “Shame we weren’t there to teach him a few tricks,” James was suddenly overcome with emotion; how could he not have been a part of his sons life? How could he have let him go with these people? There was absolutely no explanation for it.

 

“Don’t worry, James, me, Moony and Wormtail will save him soon,” Sirius said in an attempted to cheer his best friend up. “And we’ll teach him how to make proper trouble,”

 

“You will not Sirius Black,” Lily said shrilly. “I absolutely forbid you to teach my son- fiction or not- to cause Marauder trouble,” She said adamantly.

 

“Off course, whatever you say Lily Flower,” James said politely. Lily look satisfied and turned back to the book finding her place on the page. As she did so Sirius turned James questioningly while James mouthed ‘don’t worry you can’’ to a now grinning Sirius.  

 

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."

 

“Oh per-lease,” Lily laughed bitterly. “If he was my son I would have taken all his presents away for being so ungrateful, that’d teach him some respect.”

 

"Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, its here under this big one from Mummy and Daddy."

 

"All right then, thirty-seven then," said Dudley, 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.

 

Aunt Petunia obviously scented danger too, because she said quickly, "And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that popkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?"

 

“What,” James said incredulously. “But that’s pathetic, what parent has so little control over their child?”  

 

Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work.

 
“It’s probably painful and all,” Sirius said bitterly. “A great think lump like him,”

 

Finally he said slowly, "So I'll have thirty ... thirty ..."

 
“Blimey,” Remus interrupted, looking somewhat shocked. “He’s thicker than you Padfoot,”

 “Hey,” Sirius pointed to himself with a look of utter offence. Everyone else in the room however, sniggered, nodding in agreement to Remus’s comment. 

 

"Thirty nine, sweetums," said Aunt Petunia.

 

"Oh." Dudley sat down heavily and 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.

 
“How can anyone honestly be proud of that,” Alice said rather disgustedly. “I know it’s your sister and all, Lily but honestly she really is evil,”

 

“Don’t worry Alice, I’m beginning to agree with you,” Lily muttered bitterly, under her breath. She had always done so much to build the bond between her and her sister again but her sister was never one to see further than the end of her nose. “Lets just be glad this is fictional, eh?” But not even she was sure anymore.

 It was as if someone had taken everything about her family from her head and put it on paper. No one knew this much about her sister, not even Alice and Severus. Something was really very wrong about this book. She shook her head as if to dismiss the thought that this book was real, before biting her lip and continuing with the chapter. 

 

At that moment the telephone rang

 
“The tele-what?” Sirius, James and Peter asked in unison.

 

“Honestly, do you three EVER listen in muggle studies?” Remus huffed, but the bewildered looks they gave him suggested that they did not. “A telephone is a device that allows you to communicate with another person instantly and have a conversation in any part of the world. Sort off like the flu network, only you can’t see the other person,”

 

“But what’s the point that?” Sirius said rather stupidly. “What’s the point of a telephone when you can use the flu network?” He continued as if it was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard.

 

“They’re muggles you idiot- they can’t do magic,” 

 

and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a cine-camera, a remote control airplane, sixteen new computer games and a video recorder. He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from the telephone, looking both angry and worried.

 
“What do you think has happened?” Remus questioned looking mildly confused and interested.

 

“I don’t know but I hope its some bad news about her or her husband’s health,” 

 

“Sirius,” Lily gasped, her hands flying to her mouth in shock.

 

“Well, I do,” Sirius admitted sulkily, folding his arms like a six year old that hadn’t got his own way. “If anyone deserves bad news that family does,”

 

"Bad news, Vernon," she said.

 
“Yes,” Sirius plunged his fist in the air triumphantly and looked as though Christmas couldn’t have come sooner. He was, however, stopped by Lily’s sudden warning gaze.

 

"Mrs. Figg's broken her leg. She can't take him." She jerked her head in Harry's direction.

 

Dudley's mouth fell open in horror but Harry's heart gave a leap.

 
Sirius’s face dropped. “I meant the Dursley’s not some nice lady who looks after Harry,”

 

Every year on Dudley's birthday his parents took him and a friend to, adventure parks, hamburger bars or the cinema. Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs. Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away.

 
“Maybe now that Mrs Figg can’t look after Harry he will be able to go with them for once,” James said in sudden enthusiasm. “Plus Dudley would hate it, something to keep that smug look of his fat face.”

 

“James,”

 

“What? He is fat- Harry said it himself. ‘Pig in a wig,’”

 

Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and Mrs. Figg made him look at all the cats she'd ever owned.

 
“Oh I hate those types of people,” Alice said with a groan. “Don’t get me wrong I adore cats but my next door nabours takes it to the extreme she has ten cats and mum makes me visit, it smells of cats wee all the bloody time,” She embraced her pillow tightly and made a face of disgust as if recalling a particularly bad memory. 

 

"Now what?" said Aunt Petunia, looking furiously at Harry as though he'd planned this.

 
“Just let him come with you,” Peter shouted from the corner. “He deserves at least some happiness,”

 

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, My Paws and Tufty again.

 

"We could phone Marge," Uncle Vernon suggested.

 

"Don't be silly Vernon, she hates the boy."

 
“Oh yeah and you don’t,” Remus interrupted Lily again, staring at the book in absolute disbelief. In fact the entire inhabitants of the room were staring at the book as if it were alive, shouting at it as if what they said would change what was written on the page.

 

The Dursleys 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.

 

“Sounds like Petunia to me,” Lily mumbled shortly under her breathe so that no one but James heard her.

 

"What about what's-her-name, your friend - Yvonne?"

 

"On holiday in Majorca," snapped Aunt Petunia.

 

"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.)

 
“Should not have said that,” Sirius shook his head in dismay. “Should not have said that because now she will never let him get his own way.”

 

Aunt Petunia looked as though she'd just swallowed a lemon.

 
“Told you,”

 

"And come back and find the house in ruins?" she snarled.

 
“What do you think he’s going to do,” James said furiously. “Set the house a light- he’s an eleven year old boy!”

 

"I won't blow up the house," said Harry, but they weren't listening.

 

"I suppose we could take him to the zoo," said Aunt Petunia slowly, "... and leave him in the car ..."

 
“I swear to you Petunia, you leave my son in that car and I will haunt you!” Everyone looked at Lily in shock. It was her after all who had said it was a fictional book but there she was getting more into it than anybody else in the room.

 

"That car's new, he's not sitting in it alone ..." Dudley began to cry loudly.

 
“Never mind the car being new,” Remus spat. “It’s child abuse to leave a child in a car alone for a long time,” He continued. “There have been deaths where children have been so dehydrated in locked cars.”

 

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. "He always sp-spoils everything!" He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap in his mother's arms.
“What a spoilt little BRAT!” Lily said alarmed. “I can’t believe Petunia would let him get like that. She used to be so strong and independent.” 

 
Just then, the doorbell rang - "Oh, Good Lord, they're here!" said Aunt Petunia frantically - and a moment later, Dudley'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 hit them.

 

“That’s bad,” James’s expression became very serious.

 
“You want to hurt someone you have to make sure they have the same weapon as you in hand,” Sirius continued. “First Marauder rule of fighting- if you have a wand they have to have a wand- you use your fists, fists have to be handy by you opponent as well- anything less is bullying,” Lily had to stop her eyes from rolling. She doubted that two against one in a fight was Snape was fair.

 

“Snape is an exception,” James said as though reading her thoughts. “He looks for trouble, he gives as good as he gets don’t you worry about that.”

 

Dudley stopped pretending to cry at once.

 

“Typical,” Alice laughed bitterly.

 

Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn't believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Dursleys' car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life.

 
“If he thinks that’s luck then he can’t have had much luck,” Sirius commented, moving out of his chair and closer to Lily and James.

 

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 Christmas."

 

"I'm not going to do anything," said Harry, "honestly ..."

 

But Uncle Vernon didn't believe him. No ever did. The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry

 
“Because he’s a wizard,” James said happily, he was now so close to Lily that he could feel her body heat, this however was unnoticed by Lily much to James’s liking.

 

And it was just no good telling the Dursleys he didn't make them happen.

 

Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barber's looking as though he hadn't been at all, had taken a pair of scissors and cut his hair so short he was almost bald except for his fringe, which she left 'to hide that horrible scar'.

 
“There’s nothing wrong with a scar,” Lily shouted incredulously, stopping to express her anger.

 

Dudley laughed himself silly at Harry, who spent a sleepless night imagining school the next day, where he was already laughed at for his baggy clothes and his Sellotaped glasses.

 
Lily stopped dead, and the rest didn’t notice. She new what it was like to be laughed at, at a muggle school and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. She was laughed at because everyone thought she was strange. Things would always happen around her. She was nick-named Forever-cursed-Evans for her entire muggle education.

 

Next morning, however, he had got up to find his hair exactly as it had been before Aunt Petunia had sheared it off.

 
“Way to go, Harry,” Sirius beamed, by this time Remus, Peter and Alice were gathered around the sofa where James and Lily Sat, listening to Lily read intently.

 

“That’s my son,” James said proudly a smile spread across his lips that read nothing but fatherly affection.

 

“Your fictional son,” Lily reminded though her smile was even wider than his at this point.

 

“No,” James protested. “Our son,”

 

“Fictional son,”

 

Real son,” James corrected. “Far too many coincidences to be fictional,” But Lily gave him a stern look. “Fine, fictional son it is then,”    

 

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.

 

“I’m telling you this is child neglect; they should have been reported to social services years ago,”

 

“Social…what?”

 “It’s an organisation who make sure all families treat their children appropriately and in the right living conditions, they take the child away if they think they’re in danger,” Remus explained, fiddling with his hands, like he always did when he was explaining something muggle to the others.   

 

 Another time, Aunt Petunia had been trying to force him into a revolting old jumper of Dudley's (brown with orange bobbles). The harder she tried to pull it over his head, the smaller it seemed to become, until finally it might have fitted a glove puppet, but certainly wouldn't fit Harry.

 

“You can tell already that he’s going to be an exceptional wizard.” Alice piped up, she was no longer lying on her stomach but sitting comfortably by the rest of them, legs crossed, and head resting in her hands. “I never did anything like that, in fact for a few years my parents worried that I wasn’t magic at all.

 

“I remember doing something similar but all my magic was at school an only occasionally,” Lily added, before turning back to the book to carry on reading. 

 

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 got into terrible trouble for being found on the roof of the school kitchens. Dudley'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 marauders laughed.

 

The Dursley's had received a very angry letter from Harry's headmistress telling them Harry had been climbing school buildings. But all he tried to do (as he shouted at Uncle Vernon through the locked door of his cupboard) was jump behind the big bins outside the kitchen doors. Harry supposed that the wind must have caught him in mid-jump.

 
“Well no ones going to believe that,” Lily said. “But I bet Vernon knows he’s a wizard and Petunia this is just not justified.”

 

But today, nothing was going to go wrong. It was even worth being with Dudley 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 favourite subjects.

 

This morning, it was motorbikes. "... roaring along like maniacs, the young hoodlums," he said, as a motorbike overtook them.

"I had a dream about a motorbike," said Harry, remembering suddenly. "It was flying."

 
“Bad idea,” Sirius muttered worriedly.

 

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 beetroot with a moustache, "MOTORBIKES DON'T FLY!" Dudley and Piers snickered.

 
“See,”

 

"I know they don't," said Harry. "It was only a dream."

 

But he wished he hadn't said anything. If there was one thing the Dursleys hated 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 in a cartoon - they seemed to think he might get dangerous ideas.

 

It was a very sunny Saturday and the zoo was crowded with people. The Dursleys bought Dudley 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 lolly. It wasn't bad either, Harry thought, licking it as they watched a gorilla scratching its head and looking 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 Dursleys so that Dudley and Piers, who were starting to get bored with the animals by lunchtime, wouldn't fall back on their favourite hobby of hitting him.

They ate in the zoo restaurant and when Dudley had a tantrum because his knickerbockers glory wasn't big enough, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was allowed to finish the first.

 
“I can not believe this,” Lily was simply shocked. She rubbed her eyes and read the sentence again in her head. “I can not believe that Dudley get’s a new ice cream and Harry get’s his old one and is happy. It’s actually made his day getting an already half eaten ice cream while that fat lump of a boy gets another one!” 

 

Harry felt, afterwards, 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 here, 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 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 dustbin - 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," Dudley moaned. He shuffled away.

 
“Go back home then,” James huffed at the book.

 

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 people drumming their fingers on the glass trying to disturb it all day long. It was worse than having a cupboard for 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.

 
“Bless him,” Alice said sadly. “He’s so miserable that he’s comparing his life to a Snake in a zoo,”

 

“I’m not so sure I want to read this anymore,” Lily said suddenly.

 

“What, Why?” James got up so suddenly, as if she had committed a murder of sorts.

 

“I’m not sure I want to read what happens next that’s all- we should just figure out who wrote this book and give them a piece of our minds.

 

“Or we could carry on reading the book,” Sirius added hopefully.

 

“Until a few minutes ago you thought it was boring,” Lily turned back to James, who looked absolutely livid.

 

“Let’s at least read until the end of the chapter,” James tried.

 

“The deal was one and we’ve read one and a half,”

 

“Please, it’s nearly finished now- I’d be stupid to stop in the middle,” Alice was the one to speak this time, she looked at Lily carefully. She usually agreed with Lily but the look in Alice’s eyes told her that she was going to have do as everyone said.

 

“Fine,” Lily grunted. There was a murmur of triumph around the room but then Lily added. “But only until the end of the chapter and then we’re leaving.”

 

“That’s all I ask,” James said sitting back down grinning horribly to himself. 

 

The snake suddenly opened its beady eyes. Slowly, very slowly, it raised its head until its eyes were level with Harry's.

It winked.


 “Scary, I hate snakes,” Peter muttered quietly.

 

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 towards Uncle Vernon and Dudley, 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.

 
“Is he- is he a Pastlemouth?” Remus questioned slowly. “He’s talking to the snake.”

 

“Only ancient Slytherin decadence speak Pastlemouth- Voldemort himself is one,” James replied, shrugging the thought away with a mere shake of his head.   


"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.


 “See,” Remus laughed. “I told you- He’s talking to the Snake and the Snake understands him,”

 

“My son can speak to snakes!” James looked outraged. “Ok, whose sick idea was it to write this- my bets on Snivellus.”

 

“Just because he’s a Pastlemouth doesn’t mean he’s evil- it might have something to do with the scar- they say that curse scars can have side effects.” Remus said matter-of-factly.

 

“I guess you’re right- I suppose it would be fine if my son could speak to snakes.”


"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!"

 

Dudley came waddling towards them as fast as he could. "Out of the way, you," he said, punching Harry in the ribs.

 

Caught by surprise, Harry fell hard on the concrete floor.

 
“Oh Merlin,”

 

What came next happened so fast no one saw how it happened - one second, Piers and Dudley were leaning right up close to the glass, the next, they had leapt back with howls of horror. Harry sat up and gasped; the glass front of the boa constrictor's tank had vanished.

 

“Oh dear, oh dear, this can’t be good,” Alice whispered.

 

The great snake was uncoiling itself rapidly, slithering out on to 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.

 

“That confirms that he’s a Pastlemouth,” James said in a disappointed voice. “Oh well, you can’t have it all- let’s just hope he can play Quidditch.”

 

"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. 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 was telling them how it had nearly bitten off his leg, 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?"

 

“I’m really starting to dislike this boy- helping Dudley beat people up is one thing- but ratting someone out- that’s just plain disrespect,” Sirius folded his arms as though he was a little boy not getting his own way.

 

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.

 

“What a lazy, lousy excuse for a man,” Lily yelled. “You know what Potter,” She turned to James and looked at him straight in the eye. “I take back what I’ve been saying all these years- you aren’t the last person on this earth I will ever go out with- he is,” As she looked back at the book, he grinned.

 

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 Dursleys were asleep yet. Until they were, he couldn't risk sneaking in to the kitchen for some food. He'd lived with the Dursleys almost ten years, ten miserable years, as long as he could remember, ever since he'd been a baby and his parents had died.

 
Lily felt a lump forming in her throat, the thought of her son or anybodies son being treat so unfairly was enough to make anybody sympathise.

 

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 burning pain on his forehead.

 

This, he supposed, was the crash, though he couldn't imagine where the green light came from.

 

He couldn't remember his parents at all.

 
“That’s terrible,” Alice said glumly. “He can’t remember his parent and he thinks they died in a car crash- no one should have to go through that.

 

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.

 
Lily now had to stop herself from crying. This boy was so alone so miserable; she’d give anything to change what had happened.

 

When he had been younger, Harry had dreamed and dreamed of some unknown relation coming to take him away, but it had never happened; the Dursleys were his only family.

 

Yet sometimes he thought (or maybe hoped) that strangers in the street seemed to know him. Very strange strangers they were, too.

 

A tiny man in a violet top hat had bowed to him once while out shopping with Aunt Petunia and Dudley. After asking Harry furiously if he knew the man, Aunt Petunia had rushed them out of the shop without buying anything. A wild-looking woman dressed in all green has waved merrily at him once on a bus. A bald man in a very long purple cloak had actually shaken his hand in the street the other day then walked away without another 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 gang hated that odd Harry Potter in his baggy old clothes and broken glasses, and nobody liked to disagree with Dudley's gang.

 
“That’s the end of the chapter,” Lily didn’t look up she was too busy caught in her own web of thoughts. She had been sure this was a fictional story and yet it had her family down to every last detail. Petunia sounded like Petunia and Vernon sounded like Vernon-

Everything was pictured exactly, as if it had come from Lily’s brain. No one knew that much about her. “I don’t like this- I don’t like this at all,” Lily said with conviction shoving the book into Alice’s hands as though it was about to blow up in her hands. She backed away from it as if she was scared.

 

“It’s just a book,” James said in bewilderment.

 

“Just a book, just a book,” Lily was furious now, you could se it in her face, in her eyes. Her hair looked wild, and the effects of the spell seemed to be wearing of as her hair started to return to its ordinary colour. “A book that scares be- a book that knows every aspect of my life. Who knows my sister inside out? Her habits, action, and the things she does and says the way she looks. A book that knows exactly what her boyfriends like, his name his looks his obsession with everything normal and his hate for everything different. A book that knows that Harry is in fact my favourite name. The name I hand picked myself to name my son if or when I had one. It’s as though someone has taken my life made things up about the future and put it onto paper.”   

 

“What are you saying? That someone knows you really well and has written it?” Alice quizzed, confused by her best friends sudden outburst.

 

“I’m saying that nobody knows this much about me not even Sev- and he’s lived opposite me all his life. Not even you, Potter, know that much and you’re my own personal stalker. Its little things like Vernon Dursley is going out with my sister Petunia- which no one except Alice knows, like the name Harry being my favourite name- which I have never told anyone.”

 

“So you’re saying you think this is real- that you and I do get married and this does happen,” James said this quietly, because not even he really thought it was a true story.

 

“I’m saying that unless someone can read minds, that its all too strange for my liking- that this being a true story- as much as it pains me to admit- might be a huge possibility.” Lily said finally, looking nothing less than confused and upset. Lily and James stared at each other for a very long time, trying to digest all of the information, it seemed impossible, yet vary possible at the same time.

 

“What’s the name of the next chapter?” Remus said solidly.

 

“Chapther three,”
Alice read. “The Letters from no one,”   




A/N: Please tell me exactly what you think- if you want me to continue writting- the bits you liked the bits you didn't like- what i can improve your favourite line.

Chapter 3: Chapter Three- The Letters from No one
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I know that this Story has been done a few times before but this is my version of how the marauders and Lily read the Philosopher's Stone so please read and review and tell me if you would like me to continue! 

Disclaimer: Everything in bold is the Philosopher's Stone written by JK Rowling. The story is not mine- the reactions to the story are mine. The characters belong to JK Rowling also! 

Chapter Three- The Letters from No one

 

“Chapter three,” Alice read. “The Letters from no one,”  

 

“Sounds like he’s going to get his letter,” Sirius said quietly, underneath his breath. James and Lily were still staring each other carefully. James had always known it would be Lily in the end. It was always Lily for him and yet there Lily was, thinking this story was true and terrified at the mere thought of ever being with him. One second he’d been single and then the next he was married, with a kid and was dead; his entire future planned before him.

 

“Do you want me to read it?” Alice asked carefully, not wanting to speak completely out of turn. James and Lily turned to look at her but said nothing. “We don’t have to if you don’t want to,”

 

“No- no,” James said suddenly. “I want too,” He held his hand in the air before looking back at Lily. “I’m just not sure Lily does,”

 

“Well aren’t you scared?” Lily cast her gaze around the room and traced everybody’s expressions before resting her eyes on James. She didn’t understand how anyone could be so calm about this. Did they not see it, did they not see the similarity, the coincidences. 

 

“Scared, why would I be scared?” James asked, bewildered. “What, because you think the book is not fictional anymore and suddenly I should be scared?”

 

“Aren’t scared of what will happen- what we’ll find out?”

 

“Evans, you’re the one that’s scaring me,” He looked at her up and down, with a look of confusion on his face. “You’re the one telling me we’re both dying in the future- you might think it’s not fictional but I still do.” He paused; she looked at him in disbelief. “So someone knows a lot about you- there’s no proof this is real and even if it was- I don’t think that even magic could conjure up something like that, knowing the future is impossible, just look what we’ve learnt in class- you should know you ‘O’ almost every one.”

 

“Someone just doesn’t know a lot about me,” She spat bitterly at him, moving a step closer. “Because I’ve told know one about me- I keep myself to myself, my family to my family and live my life the way I can.” She paused. “Do you think it’s easy for me to admit that I might marry you?” James didn’t answer and everybody else looked awkward, as if they felt they were listening in on a very private conversation. “Do you think I would freely admit to marrying you in the future, something I’ve been against for so many years, since we first met, unless I was absolutely, nearly one hundred per cent sure on the facts?”

 

James stared at her long and hard while he racked his brain for a witty reply; but she was right- she wouldn’t have said anything unless she was sure, she wouldn’t be this terrified if she we this sure. Lily was always a person who would get her facts straight before accusing; even with the marauders she wouldn’t accuse them of anything unless she knew it was them.

 

“I don’t know if it’s true,” James said finally. “I know you wouldn’t accuse with out knowing completely that it was but we all make mistakes sometimes.” Lily narrowed her eyes a little before softening them but other than that there was no change in her expression. “Have I ever thought about marrying you? Yes. Have I thought about starting a family one day when I was responsible? Off course I have, but do I want this to be real, is this how I imagined my future, envisioned it, our future? Not in a million years. I guess I don’t want to believe that it is the future.” 

 

And it was all true right down to the very last letter. He always wanted to be with lily but not like this- he didn’t believe it was true because he didn’t want to believe it was true.

 

“So what do you suggest we do about this- how are we going to figure out if I’ve made a mistake or not,” Lily asked in a voice that was solely made for head girl.

 

“I suggest,” He said in his head boy voice, trying to raise his tone to the same level as hers. “That we carry on reading the book and see where it’s leads us,” He then quietly and silently sat back down in his previous seat looking at Lily expectantly, grinning as if she knew she would give in, as if he knew her fear of the book wouldn’t over ride her curiosity of it. Lily was thinking exactly that.

 

She didn’t want to read it she was to scared to and knew that she shouldn’t read anymore. That by reading it, it could ultimately change the future, even wreck it. But then again she couldn’t find anything worse, worse than what she’d read already, surely it’d get better. After a long while she went to sit next to James, looked at him and smiled a shaky smile. James took her hand, not in a romantic way just in a way that told her that he was there that she shouldn’t be scared when he was there to protect her. She squeezed it to say thanks and then turned to Alice to read it.

 

“Chapter three,” Alice read, again. “The Letters from no one,”                

 

The escape of the Brazilian boa constrictor earned Harry his longest-ever punishment. By the time he was allowed out of his cupboard again, the summer holidays had started and Dudley had already broken his new cine-camera, crashed his remote-control aeroplane and, first time on his racing bike, knocked down old Mrs. Figg as she crossed Privet Drive on her crutches.

 
Lily sensed that someone wanted to comment- especially Sirius. She thought that they must be holding back because they wanted to ease her back into reading.

 

“Stupid spoilt, little brat,” Lily laughed weakly, but this made a wordless confirmation that it was ok for them to speak if they wished.

 

“Yeah,” Sirius agreed, in confirmation that he understood.

 

Harry was glad school was over, but there was no escaping Dudley's gang, who visited the house every single day. Piers, Dennis, Malcolm and Gordon were all big and stupid, but as Dudley was the biggest and stupidest of the lot, he was the leader.

 

The rest of them were quite happy to join in Dudley's favourite sport: Harry-hunting.

 

This was why Harry spent as much time as possible out of the house, wandering around thinking about the end of the holidays, where he could see a tiny ray of hope. When September came he would be going off to secondary school and, for the first time in his life, he wouldn't be with Dudley. Dudley had a place at Uncle Vernon's old school, Smeltings, Piers Polkiss was going there, too. Harry, on the other hand, was going to Stonewall High, the local comprehensive.

 
“No you’re not, Harry,” Remus smiled. “You’re going to Hogwarts- it says so on the back of the book,”

 

Dudley thought this was very funny.

 

"They stuff people's heads down the toilet first day at Stonewall," he told Harry. "Want to come upstairs and practice?"

 
“How horrible,” Lily gasped. “Petunia really doesn’t know how to control and bring up a child,”

 

"No thanks," said Harry. "The poor toilet's never had anything as horrible as your head down it - it might be sick."

 
Everybody in the room laughed, including Lily whom still looked a little sick herself.

 
“Signs of a true Marauder, Prongs,” Sirius said, turning to his best friend. “A good sense of humour, he’ll go far with that, from now I’m calling him my little Prongsette.”

 

Then he ran for it before Dudley could work out what he'd said.

 
“Sounds like you, Pete,” Sirius said looking at Peter in the corner, he looked very distant to the others. “If it wasn’t for the amazing similarity in looks that James has with Harry I might have questioned whether or not Lily had an affair,” Everyone laughed except Lily who looked nothing but deeply offended by the joke. Soon Sirius silenced allowing Alice to carry on reading. 

 

One day in July, Aunt Petunia took Dudley to London to buy his Smeltings uniform, leaving Harry at Mrs. Figg's. Mrs. Figg wasn't as bad as usual. It turned out she'd broken her leg tripping over one her cats and she didn't seem quite as fond of them as before. She let Harry watch television and gave him a bit of chocolate cake that tasted as though she'd had it for several years.

 

That evening, Dudley paraded around the living-room for the family in his brand-new uniform. Smeltings boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers and flat straw hats called boaters. They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life.

 
“Sounds like anyone would look really handsome in that uniform,” Remus commented sarcastically, smirking along with his three best friends.

 

“I think I’d sooner snog Filch than wear that,” Alice looked positively shocked at the sound of it.

 

“I think I would as well,” Sirius laughed. “And I’m as straight as you get,” He then heard Remus cough something that suspiciously sounded like ‘up for debate’ but was interrupted When Alice turned back to the page and started reading.

 

As he looked at Dudley in his new knickerbockers, Uncle Vernon said gruffly that it was the proudest moment of his life. Aunt Petunia burst into tears and said she couldn't believe her Ickle Dudleykins; he looked so handsome and grown-up.

 
“Handsome, Right…” Sirius said disbelievingly. “And I’m, ugly, I’m sure,”  

 

Harry didn't trust himself to speak. He thought two of his ribs might already have cracked from trying not to laugh.

 
“Don’t blame you Harry, I don’t blame you at all,” James spoke this time, looking at the book and talking as if the situation was really happening in front of him. That Dudley was in the common room in his new uniform with his mum and dad and Harry in Alice’s place trying not to laugh. Lily however, sat silently- her mind still being boggled. The book knew about Smeltings and it knew that Petunia had always wanted to send her son there, if she were to have one.  

 

There was a horrible smell in the kitchen the next morning when Harry went for breakfast. It seemed to be coming from a large metal tub in the sink. He went to have a look. The tub was full of what looked like dirty rags swimming in grey water.

 

"What's this?" he asked Aunt Petunia. Her lips tightened as they always did if he dared to ask a question.

 

"Your new school uniform," she said.

 
“Petunia, if that goes anywhere near Harry,” Lily said threateningly. “ I swear on my life, I’ll brake every record you have!”

 

Harry looked in the bowl again.

 

"Oh," he said. "I didn't realise it had to be so wet."

 

"Don't be stupid," snapped aunt Petunia. "I'm dyeing some of Dudley's old things grey for you. It'll look like everyone else's when I've finished."

 
“What is your sister on, Evens,” Sirius shouted at her accusingly, his eyes wide with shock. “Is she smoking pot or something,” 

 

Harry seriously doubted this, but thought it best not to argue. He sat down at the table and tried not to think about how he was going to look on his first day at Stonewall High - like he was wearing bits of old elephant skin, probably.

 
James, Lily and surprisingly Sirius, glared at the book as if it had committed an unforgivable curse on them all. Lily felt a serge of indescribable anger and guilt flit through her body.

 

Dudley and Uncle Vernon came in, both with wrinkled noses because of the smell from Harry's new uniform. Uncle Vernon opened his newspaper as usual and Dudley banged his Smeltings stick, which he carried everywhere, on the table.


They heard the click of the letter-box and flop of letters on the doormat.

 

"Get the post, Dudley," said Uncle Vernon from behind his paper.

 

“Get it your self,” Alice ordered, pausing, she was too now glaring furiously at the book in her hands.

 

"Make Harry get it."

 
“You get it you fat lump,”

 

“Alice!”

 “Well,” Alice turned to Lily. “That’s exactly what he is- a big, ugly, lazy fat lump like his father.”

 “You forgot spoilt,” Sirius tried but Alice gave him the same look she was giving the book.

 

"Get the post, Harry."

 
“You get it, Merlin damn it,”

 

"Make Dudley get it."

 
“That a boy,” James said, sitting up straight. “Stick up for yourself.”

 

"Poke him with your Smeltings stick, Dudley."

 
“And it gets more abusive, isn’t mental abuse enough but no now he has to poke Harry with a sick as well,” Remus sneered, dangerously. Child abuse was something he had always felt strongly about, no matter how minor. He knew about it all too well- the usual level-headed Remus Lupin had completely lost all level-thinking when his friend Sirius Black was mentally and physically abused by his family. It had taken his friends four hours to calm him down when he found cuts all over his arm forming the word ‘Black’ in blood. 

 

Harry dodged the Smeltings stick and went to get the post.

 

“They’re monsters,” Alice exclaimed, holding the book at a distance before moving it close again.

 

“Compared to my parents,” Sirius added. “They’re saints,” They looked at him sympathetically, Sirius’s face suddenly saddened. “I should be there with him, not them,”

 

Three things lay on the doormat: a postcard from Uncle Vernon's sister Marge, who was holidaying on the Isle of Wight, a brown envelope that looked like a bill and - a letter for Harry. Harry picked it up and stared at it, his heart twanging like a giant elastic band.

 

“Hogwarts Letter, Whoop!” Sirius said excitedly, his whole face suddenly brightened. 

 

No one, ever, in his whole life, had written to him. Who would? He had no friends, no other relatives - he didn't belong to the library so he'd never even got rude notes asking for books back. Yet, here it was, a letter, addressed so plainly there could be no mistake:

 
Mr. H. Potter
the Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging
Surrey


 

The envelope was thick and heavy, made of yellowish parchment, and the address was written in emerald-green ink. There was no stamp.

 

Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'.

 
“Defiantly a Hogwarts letter,” James beamed at Lily. “Kind off makes you proud, hey Lil,”

 “Yeah,” Lily looked at James’ gleaming smile with soft eyes and smiled at how happy James looked, he’d be a great dad one day. “Yeah it does,”

 “Hey,” Sirius said his mouth dropping open in shock. “You didn’t yell at him for calling you Lil,”

 

“You’re right,” Alice grinned, pointing at her with a look that plainly said you’re-falling-for-James-Potter.    

 

“Don’t get any ideas,” She protested putting a halt to Alice’s insinuations, Alice responded by continuing to grin and then turning back to the book.

 

"Hurry up, boy!" shouted Uncle Vernon from the kitchen. "What are you doing, checking for letter-bombs?" He chuckled at his own joke.

 
“I’ll send him one if he’s not careful,”

 

Harry went back to the kitchen, still staring at his letter. He handed Uncle Vernon the bill and the postcard, sat down and slowly began to open the yellow envelope.

 

Uncle Vernon ripped open the bill, snorted in disgust and flipped over the postcard.

 

"Marge's ill," he informed Aunt Petunia. "Ate a funny whelk ..."

 

"Dad!" said Dudley suddenly. "Dad, Harry's got something!"

 
“I swear its taking all my will power not to beat up that kid,” Alice cursed, tugging at her hair irritably.

 

Harry was on the point of unfolding his letter, which was written on the same heavy parchment as the envelope, when it was jerked sharply out of his hand by Uncle Vernon.

 
“That’s his,” James snapped.

 

"That's mine!" said Harry, trying to snatch it back.

 
“Yep, defiantly you’re son, Prongs,”

 
“Why thank you, Padfoot,”

 

“No Problem, not much like you, Evans,”

 

“Hey,”

 

“Well its not, right Prongs, takes after you?”

 
“Absolutely,”

 

“Except for the green eyes,”

 

“Except for the green eyes,” James clarified.  


"Who'd be writing to you?" Sneered Uncle Vernon, shaking the letter open with one hand and glancing at it.


 

His face went from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights. And it didn't stop there. Within seconds it was the greyish white of old porridge.

 

"P-P-Petunia!" he gasped.

 

“He knows what it is then,” Remus said.


Dudley tried to grab the letter to read it, but Uncle Vernon held it high out of his reach. Aunt Petunia took it curiously and read the first line.


 

For a moment it looked as though she might faint. She clutched her throat and made a choking noise.

 

"Vernon! Oh my goodness - Vernon!"

 
“And so does my dear sister by the looks of things,” Everyone was now huddled into a small circle on the heath rug, looking at the book with interest. It was only Peter who hadn’t talked in a while, Remus eyed him carefully, he was acting stranger than usual- in fact he had barely spoken since they found out about Voldemort’s down fall.

 

They stared at each other, seeming to have forgotten that Harry and Dudley were still in the room. Dudley wasn't used to being ignored. He gave his father a sharp tap on the head with his Smeltings stick.

 

"I want to read that letter," he said loudly. "I want to read it," said Harry furiously, "as it's mine."

 

"Get out both of you," croaked Uncle Vernon, stuffing the letter back inside its envelope.

Harry didn't move.


 

"I WANT MY LETTER!" he shouted.

 

"Let me see it!" demanded Dudley.

 

"OUT!" roared Uncle Vernon, and he took both Harry and Dudley by the scruffs of their necks and threw them into the hall, slamming the kitchen door behind them.

 

Harry and Dudley promptly had a furious but silent fight over who would listen at the keyhole; Dudley won, So Harry, his glasses dangling from one ear, lay flat on his stomach to listen at the crack between the door and the floor.

 

"Vernon," Aunt Petunia was saying in a quivering voice, "look at the address - how could they possibly know where he sleeps? You don't think they're watching the house?"

 

"Watching - spying - might be following us," muttered Uncle Vernon wildly.

 

"But what should we do, Vernon? Should we write back? Tell them we don't want - "

 

Harry could see Uncle Vernon's shiny shoes pacing up and down the kitchen.

"No," he said finally. "No, we'll ignore it. If they don't get an answer ... yes, that's best ... we won't do anything ..."


 

"But -”

 

"I'm not having one in the house, Petunia! Didn't we swear when we took him in we'd stamp out all that dangerous nonsense?"

 
“Sounds like its Vernon at the root of the problem,” Alice reasoned, curling a cascade of mahogany hair around her ear. “IF it wasn’t for him then maybe she wouldn’t mind Harry being a Wizard so much- she’s only Jealous of you Lily, once upon a time didn’t she write to Dumbledore asking if she could go to Hogwarts as well,”

 

“Whoa, Evans, you’re sister wanted to come here,” James looked shocked.

 

“Yeah, that’s why she’s always been so bitter,”  

 

That evening when he got back from work, Uncle Vernon did something he'd never done before; he visited Harry in his cupboard.
"Where's my letter?" said Harry, the moment Uncle Vernon had squeezed through the door.


 

"Who's writing to me?"

 

"No one. It was addressed to you by mistake," said Uncle Vernon shortly. "I have burned it."

 

"It was not a mistake," said Harry angrily. "It had my cupboard on it."

 

"SILENCE!" yelled Uncle Vernon, and a couple of spiders fell from the ceiling. He took a few deep breaths and then forced his face into a smile, which looked quite painful.

 

“Er – yes, Harry – about this cupboard. Your aunt and I have been thinking...you’re really getting a bit big for it … we think it might be nice if you moved into Dudley's second bedroom.”
 

“He’s scared now,”

 

"Why?" said Harry.

 

"Don't ask questions!” snapped his uncle. “Take this stuff upstairs, now.”

 

The Dursleys' house had four bedrooms: one for Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, one for visitors (usually Uncle Vernon's sister, Marge), one where Dudley slept and one where Dudley kept all the toys and things that wouldn't fit into Dudley's first bedroom.


It only took Harry one trip upstairs to move everything he owned from the cupboard into his room. He sat down on the bed and stared around him.

 

Nearly everything in here was broken. the month-old cine-camera was lying on top of a small, working tank Dudley had once driven over next door's dog; in the corner was Dudley’s first-ever television set, which he'd put his foot through when his favourite programme had been cancelled; there was a large birdcage which had once held a parrot that Dudley had swapped at school for a real air-rifle, which was up on a shelf with the end all bent because Dudley had sat on it.

 

They all laughed at this, even Peter who still looked a little shaky.

 

Other shelves were full of books. They were the only things in the room that looked as if they hadn't been touched before.

 

From downstairs came the sound of Dudley bawling at his mother: "I don't want him in there ... I need that room ... make him get out ..."

 

Harry sighed and stretched out on the bed. Yesterday he'd have given anything to be up here. Today he'd rather be back in his cupboard with that letter than up here without it.

 

“Don’t worry, Harry,” Lily muttered. “When I got my letter I totally freaked out even if Sev convinced me and so I kept getting rid of the letters and the more I got rid the more came- Dumbledore doesn’t give up- you’ll get the letter one way or another.”

 

Next morning at breakfast, everyone was rather quiet. Dudley was in shock. He'd screamed, whacked his father with his Smeltings stick, been sick on purpose, kicked his mother and thrown his tortoise through the greenhouse roof and he still didn't have his room back.

 

Harry was thinking about this time yesterday and bitterly wishing he'd opened the letter in the hall.

 

Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia kept looking at each other darkly.

 

When the post arrived, Uncle Vernon, who seemed to be trying to be nice to Harry, made Dudley go and get it.

 

They heard him banging things with his Smeltings stick all the way down the hall. Then he shouted, "There's another one! Mr. H. Potter, The Smallest Bedroom, 4 Privet Drive - "

 
“Told you,”

 

With a strangled cry, Uncle Vernon leapt from his seat and ran down the hall, Harry right behind him. Uncle Vernon had to wrestle Dudley to the ground to get the letter from him, which was made difficult by the fact that Harry had grabbed Uncle Vernon around the neck from behind.

 

After a minute of confused fighting, in which everyone got hit a lot by the Smeltings stick, Uncle Vernon straightened up, gasping for breath, with Harry's letter clutched in his hand.

 

Go to your cupboard - I mean, your bedroom," he wheezed at Harry. " Dudley - go - just go."

 

Harry walked round and round his room. Someone knew he had moved out of his cupboard and they seemed to know he hadn't received his first letter. Surely that meant they'd try again? And this time he'd make sure they didn't fail. He had a plan.

 
“Like a true Marauder,” Sirius said proudly. “If you’re right my little Lily-flower and this is real I couldn’t be more proud of my godson.”

 

The repaired alarm clock rang at six o'clock the next morning. Harry turned it off quickly and dressed silently. He mustn’t wake the Dursleys. He stole downstairs without turning on any of the lights.

 

He was going to wait for the postman on the corner of Privet Drive and get the letters for number four first.

 

His heart hammered as he crept across the dark hall towards the front door –

"AAAAARRRGH!"



Harry leapt into the air - he'd trodden on something big and squashy on the doormat - something alive!


 

Lights clicked on upstairs and to his horror Harry realised that the big squashy something had been his uncle's face. Uncle Vernon had been lying at the foot of the front door in a sleeping bag, clearly making sure that Harry didn't do exactly what he'd been trying to do.

 

He shouted at Harry for about half an hour and then told him to go and make a cup of tea. Harry shuffled miserably off into the kitchen, and by the time he got back, the post had arrived, right into Uncle Vernon's lap. Harry could see three letters addressed in green ink.

 

"I want - " he began, but Uncle Vernon was tearing the letters into pieces before his eyes.

 

Uncle Vernon didn't go to work that day. He stayed at home and nailed up the letter-box.

 

See," he explained to Aunt Petunia through a mouthful of nails, "if they can't deliver, they'll just give up."

 
“You kidding me,” James said incredulously. “You think a wizard can’t think past a letterbox,” 

 

“I’m not sure that’s going to work,” Lily said uncertainly.

 

"I'm not sure that'll work, Vernon."

 

“Sister like sister,” Alice laughed.

 

"Oh, these people's minds work in strange ways, Petunia, they're not like you and me," said Uncle Vernon, trying to knock in a nail with the piece of fruit cake Aunt Petunia had just brought him.

 

On Friday, no fewer than twelve letters arrived for Harry. As they couldn't go through the letter-box they had been pushed under the door, slotted through the sides and a few even forced through the small window in the downstairs toilet.

 
“That’s more like it,” Sirius said rubbing his hands together, Harry’s bound to get one of those, like a true Marauder would,”

 

Uncle Vernon stayed at home again.

 
After burning all the letters, he got out a hammer and nails and boarded up the cracks around the front and back doors so no one could go out. He hummed 'Tiptoe through the Tulips' as he worked, and jumped at small noises. 

“Maybe Harry’s more like Lily than we thought, I’d have thought he’d get the letters this time round,”

 

On Saturday, things began to get out of hand. Twenty-four letters to Harry found their way into the house, rolled up and hidden inside each of the two dozen eggs that their very confused milkman had handed Aunt Petunia through the living-room window. While Uncle Vernon made furious telephone calls to the post office and the dairy trying to find someone to complain to, Aunt Petunia shredded the letters in her food mixer.

 

"Who on earth wants to talk to you this badly?" Dudley asked Harry in amazement.

 

“Even Dudley is smarter than his father and Dudley has the intellectual capacity of a twig,” Everyone glared at Lily in amazement. “What so when I say something insultive and its suddenly a crime, is it?” No one said a thing but turned to Alice who carried on reading.

 

On Sunday morning, Uncle Vernon sat down at the breakfast table looking tired and rather ill, but happy.


"No post on Sunday's," he reminded them happily as he spread marmalade on his newspapers,



"no damn letters today -"

 
“In his dreams maybe,” Remus coughed.

 

Something came whizzing down the kitchen chimney as he spoke and caught him sharply on the back of the head. Next moment, thirty or forty letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets. The Dursleys ducked, but Harry leapt into the air trying to catch one –

 
“Come on Harry, you can do it,” Sirius said encouragingly. “Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry,” He chanted, to which all the Marauder’s joined in.

 

"Out! OUT!" Uncle Vernon seized Harry around the waist and threw him into the hall.

 

When Aunt Petunia and Dudley had run out with their arms over their faces, Uncle Vernon slammed the door shut. They could hear the letters still streaming into the room, bouncing off the walls and floor.

 

"That does it," said Uncle Vernon, trying to speak calmly but pulling great tufts out of his moustache at the same time. "I want you all back here in five minutes, ready to leave. We're going away. Just pack some clothes. No arguments!"

 
“It’d not going to work,” Alice said in a singsong voice.

 

He looked so dangerous with half his moustache missing that no one dared argue. Ten minutes later they had wrenched their way through the boarded-up doors and were in the car, speeding towards the motorway. Dudley was sniffling in the back seat; his father had hit him round the head for holding them up while he tried to pack his television, video and computer in his sports bag..

 

They drove. And they drove. Even Aunt Petunia didn't dare ask where they were going. Every now and then Uncle Vernon would take a sharp turning and drive in the opposite direction for a while.

 

"Shake 'em off ... shake 'em off," he would mutter whenever he did this.

 

They didn't stop to eat or drink all day. By nightfall Dudley was howling. He'd never had such a bad day in his life. He was hungry, he'd missed five television programmes he'd wanted to see and he'd never gone so long without blowing up an alien on his computer.

 

Uncle Vernon stopped at last outside a gloomy-looking hotel on the outskirts of a big city. Dudley and Harry shared a room with twin beds and damp, musty sheets. Dudley snored but Harry stayed awake, sitting on the window-sill, staring down at the lights of passing cars and wondering...

 

They ate stale cornflakes and cold tinned tomatoes on toast for breakfast the next day. They had just finished when the owner of the hotel came over to their table.

 

"'Scuse me, but is one of you Mr. H. Potter? Only I got about an 'undred of these at the front desk."

 

“Just give it up- he’s going to get one eventually,”

 

She held up a letter so they could read the green ink address:

 
Mr. H. Potter
Room 17
Railview Hotel
Cokeworth


 

Harry made a grab for the letter but Uncle Vernon knocked his hand out of the way. The woman stared.

"I'll take them," said Uncle Vernon quickly, standing up quickly and following her from the dining-room.


 

"Wouldn't it be better just to go home, dear?" Aunt Petunia suggested timidly, hours later, but Uncle Vernon didn't seem to hear her. Exactly what he was looking for, none of them knew. He drove them into the middle of a forest, got out, looked around, shook his head, got back in the car and off they went again.

 

The same thing happened in the middle of a ploughed field, halfway across a suspension bridge and at the top of a multi-storey car park.

 

"Daddy's gone mad, hasn't he?" Dudley asked Aunt Petunia dully late that afternoon.

 

Uncle Vernon had parked at the coast, locked them all inside the car and disappeared.

It started to rain. Great drops beat on the roof of the car. Dudley snivelled.


 

"It's Monday," he told his mother.

 

"The Great Humberto's on tonight. I want to stay somewhere with a television."

Monday.


 

This reminded Harry of something. If it was Monday -and you could usually count on Dudley to know the days of the week, because of television - then tomorrow, Tuesday, was Harry's eleventh birthday.

 
“Happy Birthday Harry” Peter said nodding at the book.

 

“It’s tomorrow you idiot,” Sirius said smacking him across the head gently.

 

“Ow,”

 

Of course, his birthdays were never exactly fun -last year, the Dursleys had given him a coat-hanger and a pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks.

 
“Just what I’ve always wanted,” James said sarcastically. “And maybe next year, I’ll want a bridge so I can jump of it and die,”

 

Still, you weren't eleven every day.

 

Uncle Vernon was back and he was smiling.

 

He was also carrying a long, thin package and didn't answer Aunt Petunia when she asked what he'd bought.

 

"Found the perfect place!" he said. "Come on! Everyone out!"

It was very cold outside the car. Uncle Vernon was pointing at what looked like a large rock way out to sea. Perched on top of the rock was the most miserable little shack you could imagine. One thing was certain, there was no television in there.


 

"Storm forecast for tonight!" said Uncle Vernon gleefully, clapping his hands together. "And this gentleman's kindly agreed to lend us his boat!"

 

A toothless old man came ambling up to them, pointing, with a rather wicked grin, at an old rowing boat bobbing in the iron-grey water below them.

 

"I've already got us some rations," said Uncle Vernon, "so all aboard!"

 

It was freezing in the boat. Icy sea spray and rain crept down their necks and a chilly wind whipped their faces.


After what seemed like hours they reached the rock, where Uncle Vernon, slipping and sliding, led the way to the broken-down house.

 

The inside was horrible; it smelled strongly of seaweed, the wind whistled through the gaps in the wooden walls and the fire-place was damp and empty. There were only two rooms.


Uncle Vernon's rations turned out to be a packet of crisps each and four bananas. He tried to start a fire but the empty crisp packets just smoked and shrivelled up.

 

"Could do with some of those letters now eh?" he said cheerfully.

 
“Ha, ha, ha,” Lily spat bitterly. “Trust him to be happy at others misfortunes- I really don’t know what Petunia sees in him.”

 

He was in a very good mood. Obviously he thought nobody stood a chance of reaching them here in a storm to deliver post.

 
“You’d think that, wouldn’t you but knowing Dumbledore he’ll have a few tricks up his sleeves.”

 

Harry privately agreed, though the thought didn't cheer him up at all.

 

As night fell, the promised storm blew up around them. pray from the high waves splattered the walls of the hut and a fierce wind rattled the filthy windows.

 

Aunt Petunia found a few mouldy blankets in the second room and made up a bed for Dudley on the moth-eaten sofa. She and Uncle Vernon went off to the lumpy bed next door and Harry was left to find the softest bit of floor he could find and to curl up under the thinnest, most ragged blanket.

 

The storm raged more and more ferociously as the night went on. Harry couldn't sleep. He shivered and turned over, trying to get comfortable, his stomach rumbling with hunger.

 

Dudley's snores were drowned by the low rolls of thunder that started near midnight.

 

The lighted dial of Dudley's watch, which was dangling over the edge of the sofa on his fat wrist, told Harry he'd be eleven in ten minutes' time.

 

He lay and watched his birthday tick nearer, wondering if the Dursleys would remember at all,

 
“That’s so sad,” Alice said glumly. “That time when you, Lily, and Mary were organising my surprise party but you all pretended to forget- I was heart broken, I couldn’t imagine what I’d be like to feel that every birthday. No kid should have to deal with that,” 

 

He lay and watched his birthday tick nearer, wondering if the Dursleys would remember at all, wondering where the letter-writer was now.

 

Five minutes to go. Harry heard something creak outside.

 
“Oh Merlin what if it’s me,” Sirius said excitedly.

 

“It’s not you, you’re dead, remember,” Peter explained, crossing his legs and resting his hands on his knees.

 

“I’m not dead, Hagrid used my Motorcycle, we’ve been through this.”

 

“It’s still not you, it’s probably a rat or something” Remus said agreeing with Peter.

 

“Like me,” Peter shouted, forgetting Lily and Alice’s presence who was mildly confused by this comment.

 

“It’s not you Peter and defiantly not you Sirius, How would you know where they were?”

 

“I bet you ten galleons that it’s me,” Sirius proposed finally holding his hand out to shake on the deal, Remus took his hand and grinned.

 

“You’re so going to loose,”

 

He hoped the roof wasn't going to fall in, although it might be warmer if it did. Four minutes to go. Maybe the house in Privet Drive would be so full of letters when they got back that he'd be able to steal one somehow.

 

Three minutes to go. Was that the sea, slapping hard on the rock like that?

 
“No it’s me,” Sirius smiled.

 

“Not you,”

 

And (two minutes to go) what was that funny crunching noise?

 
“Me again,”

 

Was the rock crumbling into the sea?

 
“Still me,”

 “SHUT UP!” James shouted. “Or it will be you crumbling into the sea and not a rock,” Sirius silenced.

 

One minute to go and he'd be eleven. Thirty seconds ... twenty seconds ... ten - nine - maybe he'd wake Dudley up, just to annoy him -three - two - one -BOOM.

 

The whole shack shivered and Harry sat bolt upright, staring at the door. Someone was outside, knocking to come in.

 
Alice stopped.

 

“Why have you stopped I want to see me,” Sirius moaned, crossing his arms like Dudley would have done, if he hadn’t got his own way all the time.

 

“It’s the end of the chapter,” Alice explained. “I just thought that maybe someone else would like to read,”

 

“I will,” Sirius called, raising a long arm into the air like and excitable puppy. “That way I can read myself,”

 

“That way,” Remus interrupted. “UI can laugh even more when it turns out to be someone else. 

 

“Like me,”

 

“No, not like you Wormtail,” Sirius grabbed the book greedily and slowly, he turned the page and took a deep breathe.

 

“Chapter four,” Sirius read. “The Keeper of keys,”  

 

 
A/N: Hello, readers, hope you enjoyed it, someone commented that this story wouldn't do well, so I apologise if it's not all that great but I just though it'd be good to write. Two questions:

What was you're facourite reaction line? 

And

Do you think I should go straight to Prizinor of Azcaban after this or to chamber of Secrets first? Or just stop all together??

Chapter 4: Chapter four- The Keeper of Keys
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I know that this Story has been done a few times before but this is my version of how the marauders and Lily read the Philosopher's Stone so please read and review and tell me if you would like me to continue! 

Disclaimer: Everything in bold is the Philosopher's Stone written by JK Rowling. The story is not mine- the reactions to the story are mine. The characters belong to JK Rowling also! 


Chapter four- The Keeper of Keys

 

“Chapter four,” Sirius read. “The Keeper of Keys,”

 

“Keys,” Sirius said questioningly. “It should be called ‘Sirius Black’ I’m far too important,”

 

“It’s not called Sirius Black because it’s not you for the last time,” Remus said tiredly, he held the temptation to roll his eyes. Sirius was being really very stupid.

 

BOOM.

 

“So exciting,” Sirius squealed excitedly.

 

“Well it would be if you shut up two minutes,” James laughed. “I knew it was a mistake to let Sirius read,” Sirius gave James a long hursh look, his expression nothing less than annoyed. He looked as though he was going to say something but changed his mind the last minute and turned to the book in his hands. Lily thought she heard him say something like ‘I’ll show them,’ but nobody else seemed to hear this so she let it go unchallenged.

 

They knocked again. Dudley jerked awake.








"Where's the cannon?" he said stupidly.

 

“Think-o,” Alice coughed.

 

There was a crash behind them and Uncle Vernon came skidding into the room. He was holding a rifle in his hands. Now they knew what had been in the long, thin package he had brought with them.

 

"Who's there?" he shouted. "I warn you - I'm armed!"

 

Sirius sniggered. “A fat lump like him doesn’t need a weapon,” He said raising his brows. “All he has to do is sit on them and they’ll be as good as dead,”

 

There was a pause. Then -

 

SMASH!

 

Sirius made a small paused, so small that no one would have noticed his slight hesitation.

 

The door was hit with such force that it swung clean off its hinges and with a deafening crash landed flat on the floor.
And a ravishingly handsome, young man with dazzling wit who was named Sirius Black stood in the doorway.” He finished.

 

“It does not say that.” Remus interjected angrily, pointing accusingly at his best friend Sirius Black.

 

“Does too,” Sirius said defensively, embracing the book tightly. 

 

“Does not Sirius, stop lying!”

 

“I’m not lying that’s exactly what it says,” He spoke like a small child looking up at Remus with wide puppy dig eyes. Remus smirked.

 

“Prove it,” He spoke calmly and rationally with a small grin of the corner of his lips.

 

“Proof? Proof? I’m insulted moony,” Sirius said feigning hurt and sadness. “I’m mentally and physically hurt that you would so much as insinuate that I’m lying, How could you even ask for proof? I thought we had a bond of trust, trust of that of a brother,”

 

“Oh put a sock in it Padfoot,” Remus interrupted. “Don’t try and use that trick on me. I invented that trick,”

 

“Oh, oh, I see what’s going on here,” Sirius said knowingly. “You’re just jealous,”

 

“Jealous?” Remus laughed, throwing his head back, “That’s ridiculous.”

 

“Ridiculous because it’s ridiculous or ridiculous because it’s true,”   

 

“That makes no sense,”

 

“Makes no sense because it makes no sense or makes no sense because you don’t want it to make sense because you are jealous.”

 

“I’m not jealous,” Remus persisted. “Why would I be jealous,”

 

“Because I won the bet and you made a fool out of yourself,” Sirius explained, turning to Alice and Lily as he did so as if he were waiting for them to chorus in agreement.   

 

“You haven’t won the bet because the book would never say that you were, and I quote, ‘a ravishingly handsome, young man with dazzling wit,’”

 

“How do you know,” Sirius protested. “How would you know that’s not what it said?”

 

“I just do,”

 

“How can you be so one hundred percent sure,”

 

“I just am,” Remus said easily still smirking. Lily could tell what was coming, she looked at the others and realised that even Peter could tell what was coming.

 

 “You know you’re going to look so stupid when you find out you’re wring,” Sirius said smugly to himself.

 

“That’s not going to happen,”

 

“And you’re sure?” Sirius said equally as smug as his friend.

 

“Absolutely positive,” Remus smiled.

 

“How can you be one hundred percent positive?”

 

“Because at the back of the book it says Harry was saved by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and the keeper of keys at Hogwarts would be Hagrid, hence the title and would you look at that he has beetle eyes and he’s literally a giant of a man.” Remus folded his arms grinning widely; it was all Sirius could do, James noticed, not to punch Remus in the mouth. He looked absolutely mortified.

 

It looked as though there were about one hundred thousand swear words he could have said to Remus but instead he bit his lip and gritted his teeth. 

 

“Damn you, Moony and you’re logic,”

 

“That’s it Paddy, quit while you’re behind,” James laughed.

 

“We’ve taught you well my fine friend,” Peter added.

 

“Yes you have,” Alice giggled, along with Lily. “And it’s not his logic Sirius, it’s common sense something that most human beings, not including yourself, have,”

 

“Ha, ha very funny, Spencer,” Sirius looked defeated, Lily thought that his ego had reduced in size the last few minutes.     

 

A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. Sirius continued grudgely, ignoring a smug Remus sitting happily next to him.

 

His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair. The giant squeezed his way into the hut, stooping so that his head just brushed the ceiling. He bent down, picked up the door and fitted it easily back into its frame. The noise of the storm outside dropped a little. He turned to look at them all.

 
“Definitely Hagrid,” Lily smiled, beaming at Remus.

 

"Couldn't make a cup o' tea could yeh? It's not been an easy journey ..." He strode over to the sofa where Dudley sat frozen with fear.

 
“He’s a coward as well,” Alice looked at the book in disbelief. “Surely there’s one nice thing about him,”

 

"Budge up, yeh great lump," said the stranger.

 
“You’ve got to love Hagrid, even he can see that Dudley’s an idiot,” Lily looked up at the sound of James’s voice, he hadn’t been so horrible now that Lily had stayed with him longer than five minutes, he was actually being quite sweet to her.

 

“What?” James said, feeling Lily’s eyes bore into him.

 

“Nothing,” She insisted, blushing at being caught before beckoning Sirius to continue.   

 

Dudley squeaked and ran to hide behind his mother, who was crouching, terrified behind Uncle Vernon.

 

"An' here's Harry!" said the giant.

 

Harry looked up into the fierce, wild, shadowy face and saw that the beetle eyes were crinkled in a smile.

 
“Not the most flattering description is it?” Sirius commented, stopping to look at the others.

 

“No not really,” Alice agreed. “Sort of makes him sound a bit creepy,”

 

"Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby," said the giant. "Yeh look a lot like yeh dad,

 

James’s face lit up, his eyes were sparkly as he stuck out his chest proudly.

 

but yeh've got yer mum's eyes."
 

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” James said before he could stop, Lily said nothing but covered her mouth so no one else could se her smiling.  

 

Uncle Vernon made a funny rasping noise.

"I demand that you leave at once, sir!" he said. "You are breaking and entering!"


 

"Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune," said the giant. He reached over the back of the sofa, jerked the gun out of Uncle Vernon's hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room.

 
The Marauders laughed.

 

“You know he would have been a great Marauder had he been forty years younger,” James stated.

 

Uncle Vernon made another funny noise, like a mouse being trodden on.

 
“I object,” Peter protested. “That’s offensive to rats,”

 

“How is that offensive to rats?” Remus asked incredulously. “The author was talking about a mouse,”

 

“Mice and rats are the same and I’m offended by the comment,”

 

“Calm down Peter, I never had you for a rat lover,” Alice interjected, raising her left eyebrow.

 

“Oh yeah,” Sirius’s grin broadened. “Pete here loves his rats had thirty-six at his house,” He said before continuing to read.

 

"Anyway - Harry," said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, "a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here - I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right."

 
“At least he remembered Harry’s Birthday,”

 

From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing?

 

Harry looked up at the giant. He meant to say thank you, but the words got lost on the way to his mouth, and what he said instead was, "Who are you?"

 
“Harry Potter, mind your manner’s,” Lily snapped in a motherly tone.

 

“Lily, don’t be too hard on him,” James tried. “Look at it from his perspective a giant stranger has appeared out of no where and is giving him a present I think it’s understandable and besides it did say he meant to say thank you,”

 

“Yeah well,” Lily stuttered, she liked it when James called her Lily. “I suppose you’re right.”

 

The giant chuckled.

 

"True, I haven't introduced meself. Sirius Black”

 
“Sirius,” Lily scolded.

 

“Oh fine, you guys are no fun,”

 

 Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts." He held out an enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm.

 

"What about that tea then, eh?" he said, rubbing his hands together. "I'd not say no ter summat stronger if yeh've got it, mind."

 
“Trust Hagrid to want something stronger,” James smirked, recalling a particular memory. “The first thing he said he did after getting us four out of the lake on our first day was open a nice bottle of fire whisky,”

 

His eyes fell on the empty grate with the shriveled crisp packets in it and he snorted. He bent down over the fireplace; they couldn't see what he was doing but when he drew back a second later, there was a roaring fire. It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and Harry felt the warm rush over him as though he'd sunk into a hot bath.

 

The giant sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a squashy packet of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs and a bottle of some amber liquid which he took a swig from before starting to make tea.

 

Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausage.

Nobody said a thing while the giant was working, but as he slid the first six fat, juicy, slightly burnt sausages from the poker, Dudley fidgeted a little.

 

Uncle Vernon said sharply, "Don't touch anything he gives you, Dudley."

 

“I suppose he thinks he’s put some sort off potion on it,” Lily snorted. “Always a bit thick that one- seriously, besides the fact that Hagrid would never hurt a fly, especially flies, he wouldn’t even know how to brew a potion.”

 

The giant chuckled darkly.

"Yer great puddin' of a son don' need fattenin' any more, Dursley, don' worry."


 
The marauders laughed, Sirius had almost dropped his book because of the laughter. 

 

 He passed the sausages to Harry, who was so hungry he had never tasted anything so wonderful, but he still couldn't take his eyes off the giant.

 

Finally, as nobody seemed about to explain anything, he said, "I'm sorry, but I still don't really know who you are."

 
“Poor boy,” James said, looking suddenly glum. “Doesn’t even know about the world he comes from, the people, who obviously care about him,” He turned to look at Lily who was looking at James still as if mentally asking for confirmation he believed it was true. He knew she thought it was true but James still refused to believe it because he didn’t want his son to grow up in a world where children had no parents. It took every ounce of his will power to pull his gaze away from her but he knew that he couldn’t lie, not to Lily. 


The giant took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.


 

"Call me Hagrid," he said, "everyone does. An' like I told yeh, I'm Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts - yeh'll know all about Hogwarts, o' course."

 
“No, he doesn’t,” Alice huffed, crossing her arms like an angry three year old.

 

"Er - no," said Harry. Hagrid looked shocked.

 
“Yeah,” Sirius said as if there was a particularly disgusting taste in his mouth. “Because those lousy excuses for human beings are absolute idiots- with stone cold hearts,” 


"Sorry," Harry said quickly.


 “Why is my son flipping apologising,” James screamed at the book before he could stop himself. He felt Lily shift with shock beside him; he hadn’t realised how angry he was until the room literally quivered around him.

 

"Sorry?" barked Hagrid, turning to stare at the Dursleys, who shrank back into the shadows. "It's them as should be sorry! I knew yeh weren't gettin' yer letters but I never thought yeh wouldn't even know abou' Hogwarts, fer cryin' out loud! Did yeh never wonder where yer parents learnt it all?"

 

"All what?" asked Harry.

 

“Oh Merlin,” Lily buried her face in her hands as if it was painful to listen too.

 

"ALL WHAT?" Hagrid thundered. "Now wait jus' one second!"

 

He had leapt to his feet. In his anger he seemed to fill the whole hut. The Dursleys were cowering against the wall.

 
“Good, they deserve it the good for nothing prunes,” Remus held.

 

"Do you mean ter tell me," he growled at the Dursleys, "that this boy - this boy - knows nothin' abou' - about ANYTHING?"

 
“That’s exactly what he’s telling you,” Peter clarified, feeling the need to speak up, as Sirius hesitated to allow a comment.

 

Harry thought this was going a bit far.

 
“Far? FAR? He knows nothing about his heritage and he thinks Hagrid is going to far; they flipping torture you Harry,” James said incredulously. 

 

He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren't bad.

"I know some things," he said. "I can, you know, do maths and stuff.”


 
Sirius slapped his forehead and Lily thought he heard him say something along the lines of ‘a hopeless cause’ but ignored him. 

 

But Hagrid simply waved his hand and said, "About our world, I mean. Your world. My world. Yer parents' world."

 

"What world?"

 

Hagrid looked as if he was about to explode.

 

Which was just what Sirius and James looked like.

 

"DURSLEY!" he boomed.

Uncle Vernon, who had gone very pale, whispered something that sounded like 'Mimblewimble'.


 

Hagrid stared wildly at Harry.

"But yeh must know about yer mum and dad," he said. "I mean, they're famous. You're famous."


 

"What? My - my mum and dad weren't famous, were they?"

 

“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Sirius said hysterically. 

 

"Yeh don' know ... yeh don' know ..." Hagrid ran his fingers through his hair, fixing Harry with a bewildered stare.

"Yeh don' know what yeh are?" he said finally.


 

Uncle Vernon suddenly found his voice.

 

"Stop!" he commanded. "Stop right there, sir! I forbid you to tell the boy anything!"

 

A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the furious look Hagrid now gave him; when Hagrid spoke, his every syllable trembled with rage.

 

"You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left fer him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An' you've kept it from him all these years?"

 

"Kept what from me?" said Harry eagerly.

 

"STOP! I FORBID YOU!" yelled Uncle Vernon in panic.

Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror.


 

"Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh," said Hagrid.

 

"Harry - yer a wizard."

 
“Finally,” Sirius said, flinging both hands in the air with moth triumph and relief. “I was seriously going to chuck this book in the fire then and there.”

 

There was a silence inside the hut. Only the sea and the whistling wind could be heard.

"I'm a what?"


 

“And here we go again,” Sirius huffed.

 

"A wizard, o' course," said Hagrid, sitting back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower, "an' a thumpin' good'un I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be? An' I reckon it's abou' time yeh read yer letter."

 

“Yeah about time!” The room chorused.

 “Seriously, who’s up for hunting down Vernon Dursley and hexing him?” Sirius looked around the room expectedly her got a few ‘here, here’s’ from the Marauders but the look on Lily’s face told him it would be wise to shut up.

 

Harry stretched out his hand at last to take the yellowish envelope, addressed in emerald green to Mr. H. Potter, The Floor, Hut-on-the-Rock, The Sea. He pulled out the letter and read:

 

HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY

 

Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore

(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chr. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Mr. Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.



Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.


Yours sincerely,

 
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress


 

Questions exploded inside Harry's head like fireworks and he couldn't decide which to ask first. After a few minutes he stammered, "What does it mean, they await my owl?"

 

"Gallopin' Gorgons, that reminds me," said Hagrid, clapping a hand to his forehead with enough force to knock over a cart horse, and from yet another pocket inside his overcoat he pulled out an owl -a real, live, rather ruffled-looking owl - a long quill and a roll of parchment. With his tongue between his teeth he scribbled a note which Harry could read upside down:

 
Dear Mr. Dumbledore,
Given Harry his letter. Taking him to buy his things tomorrow. Weather's horrible. Hope you're well.
Hagrid.


 

Hagrid rolled up the note, gave it to the owl, which clamped it in its beak, went to the door and threw the owl out into the storm. Then he came back and sat down as though this was normal as talking on the telephone.

 

Harry realized his mouth was open and closed it quickly.

 

"Where was I?" said Hagrid, but at that moment, Uncle Vernon, still ashen-faced but looking very angry, moved into the firelight.

 

"He's not going," he said.

 
“Yeah and I suppose you are going to stop him,” Sirius told the book. “Sorry Dursley but I don’t think sitting on Hagrid will work.”

 

Hagrid grunted.

"I'd like ter see a great Muggle like you stop him," he said.


 

"A what?" said Harry, interested.

 

"A Muggle," said Hagrid. "It's what we call non-magic folk like them. An' it's your bad luck you grew up in a family o' the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on."

 

"We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish," said Uncle Vernon, "swore we'd stamp it out of him! Wizard, indeed!"

 

"You knew?" said Harry. "You knew I'm a - a wizard?"
 

“Of course they knew,” Lily was livid. “My sister’s lived with me and our world since I was eleven.”

 

"Knew!" shrieked Aunt Petunia suddenly. "Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that - that school - and came home every holiday with her pockets full of frog-spawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was - a freak!

 

Lily had never seen James so angry.

 

But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!"

 
“See I told you,” Lily looked at the others. “I told you it was blind jealousy- for once in her life she didn’t get mum and dad’s undivided attention and it destroyed her,”

 

She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed like she had been wanting to say all this for years.

 

"Then she met that Potter at school

 
“That Potter has a name!” Lily shouted furiously.

 

“Aww, Lily, I didn’t know you cared,” James smirked knowingly. “Since you never call me by my name.”

 

“Not the time to start scoring points, Potter.”

 

"Then she met that Potter at school,” Sirius repeated. “And they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you'd be the same, just as strange, just as - as - abnormal –

 
Lily took deep breaths to control her anger. It was only Petunia and James who could get her so wound up.

 

and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!"

 
“I’ll kill her,” Lily said threateningly, her eyes narrowing and her face becoming dark. “I’ll jinx her, hex her, kill her and then kill her again,”

 

Harry had gone very white.

 

As soon as he found his voice he said, "Blown up? You told me they died in a car crash!"

 
“And kill her again,” She added as if to make it clear to everyone that Petunia Evans would n longer be alive for ver long.

 

"CAR CRASH!" roared Hagrid, jumping so angrily that the Dursleys scuttled back to their corner. "How could a car crash kill Lily an' James Potter? It's an outrage! A scandal! Harry Potter not knowin' his own story when every kid in our world knows his name!"

 

"But why? What happened?" Harry asked urgently.

 
“Yes I think we’d all like to know exactly how it happened,” Alice said just as urgently.

 

The anger faded from Hagrid's face. He looked suddenly anxious.

"I never expected this," he said in a low, worried voice. "I had no idea, when Dumbledore told me there might be trouble gettin' hold of yeh, how much yeh didn't know. Ah, Harry, I don' know if I'm the right person ter tell yeh - but someone's gotta - yeh can't go off ter Hogwarts not knowin'"


 

He threw a dirty look at the Dursleys.

 

"Well, it's best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh - mind, I can't tell yeh everythin', it's a great myst'ry, parts of it ..."

 

He sat down, stared into the fire for a few seconds and then said, "It begins, I suppose, with - with a person called - but it's incredible yeh don't know his name, everyone in our world knows -”

 

"Who?"

 

“Voldemort,” Remus said in a low whisper.

 

"Well - I don' like sayin' the name if I can help it. No one does."

 

"Why not?"

 

"Gulpin' gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went ... bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse. His name was ..."

 

Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.

 

"Could you write it down?" Harry suggested.

 

"Nah - can't spell it.

 
Everyone laughed.

 

All right - Voldemort."

 

Hagrid shuddered. "Don' make me say it again. Anyway, this - this wizard, about twenty years ago now, started lookin' fer followers. Got 'em, too - some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power, all right. Dark days, Harry. Didn't know who ter trust, didn't dare get friendly with strange wizards or witches ... Terrible things happened. He was takin' over. 'Course, some stood up to him - an' he killed 'em. Horribly. One o' the only safe places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore's the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn't dare try takin' the school, not jus' then, anyway.

 

"Now, yer mum an' dad were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew. Head Boy an' Girl at Hogwarts in their day!

 

“Here that Paddy, best wizard as he ever knew,” James said proudly sticking out his chest.” Sirius snorted at this.

 “I think we’re all still shocked you made head boy,” James looked offended and he looked as though he wanted to reply but Sirius cut him of by pointing at the book

 

Suppose the myst'ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get 'em on his side before ... probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin' ter do with the Dark Side. Maybe he thought he could persuade 'em ... maybe he just wanted 'em outta the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Halloween ten years ago. You was just a year old. He came ter yer house an' - an' -"

 

Hagrid suddenly pulled out a very dirty, spotted handkerchief and blew his nose with the sound of a foghorn.

 
“Bless him,” Alice said sympathetically.


"Sorry," he said. "But it's that sad - knew yer mum an' dad, an' nicer people yeh couldn't find - anyway –


 everyone in the room was stone silent. Lily and Alice looked as though they were about to cry and James was shaking violently with fury.

 

You-Know-Who killed 'em. An' then - an' this is the real myst'ry of the thing - he tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I suppose, or maybe he just liked killin' by then.

 

“Disgusting, that’s what this is- absolutely disgusting,” Sirius looked appalled. “And to think my family support this monster- to think that they’re half responsible.” 

 

But he couldn't do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh -took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even - but it didn't work on you,
 

“Extraordinary” Remus murmured. “Absolutely extraordinary, not one person known to survive that curse- that’s probably why Harry’s so famous.”

 

an' that's why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he decided to kill 'em, no one except you, an' he'd killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age - the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts - an' you was only a baby an' you lived."

 
The inhabitants of the room remained silence.

 

Something very painful was going on inside Harry's mind.

 

As Hagrid's story came to a close, he saw again the blinding flash of green light, more clearly than he had ever remembered it before - and he remembered something else, for the first time in his life - a high, cold, cruel, laugh.

 
Lily really was crying now, silent tears slid down the side of her cheek. She stood up abruptly and made a run for the stairs. She felt James hand grip her wrist but she shrugged it off.

 

“I thought I could do this but I can’t.” She cried, unable to make eye contact with anybody. 

 

“Off course you can,”

 

“No I can’t, James,” She turned to look at him in the eye, emerald eyes met hazel ones. “Real or not real it’s still messing with my head- it’s not right to read it, it’s dangerous but most of all it’s hurting me!”

 

“But he’s going to be ok,” James tried, it was his last attempt of getting Lily to stay, her hair and eyes were completely back to normal now but whether or not Lily realised he didn’t know. “Hagrid’s taking him away.”

 

“Look Lily, it’s the end of the chapter in a minute- five more minutes won’t hurt,” Alice and Sirius exchanged worried looks as Remus said this but they knew she’d listen to him- she always did.

 

“Lily, please,” James looked at her with such longing in his eyes, and Lily found her self crying more, she buried her head into his shoulders in an attempt to stop the tears but came to no avail. James guided her to the sofa and held her tight around her shoulders he felt her arms slide around his waist. He took it to mean that she’d let Sirius read the chapter but one more chapter only.

 

Hagrid was watching him sadly.

 

"Took yer from the ruined House myself, on Dumbledore's orders. Brought yeh ter this lot ..."

 
“Unfortunately,”

 

"Load of old tosh," said Uncle Vernon.

 

Harry jumped; he had almost forgotten that the Dursleys were there. Uncle Vernon certainly seemed to have got back his courage. He was glaring at Hagrid and his fists were clenched.

 

"Now you listen here, boy," he snarled. "I accept there's something strange about you, probably nothing a good beating wouldn't have cured

 

The Marauders looked furious but chose not to say anything for they wanted to be tactful of Lily’s feelings.

 

 - and as for all this about your parents, well, they were weirdoes, no denying it, and the world's better off without them in my opinion - asked for all they got, getting mixed up with all these wizarding types - just what I expected, always knew they'd come to a sticky end - "

 

But at that moment, Hagrid leapt up from the sofa and drew a battered pink umbrella from inside his coat.

 

Pointing this at Uncle Vernon like a sword, he said, "I'm warning you, Dursley - I'm warning you - one more word ..."

 
“Go on hex him, he deserves it the great, fat, abusive bully,” Remus said through gritted teeth.

 

In danger of being speared on the end of an umbrella by a bearded giant, Uncle Vernon's courage failed again; he flattened himself against the wall and fell silent.

 

"That's better," said Hagrid breathing heavily and sitting back down on the sofa, which this time sagged right down to the floor.

 

Harry, meanwhile, still had questions to ask, hundreds of them.

 

"But what happened to Vol- sorry - I mean, You-Know-Who?"

 

"Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see ... he was gettin' more an' more powerful - why'd he go? Some say he died.

 

“Some say,” Peter said fearfully, it looked like his mind was about to go into overdrive.

 

Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die. Some say he's still out there, bidin' his time, like, but I don' believe it. People who were on his side came back ter ours. Some of 'em came outta kinda trances. Don' reckon they could've done if he was comin' back. Most of us reckon he's still out there somewhere but lost his powers. Too weak to carry on. 'Cause somethin' about you finished him, Harry.

 
“My son,” James mumbled. “Stopped the most powerful dark wizard of all time when he was only one,” It wasn’t a proud statement, more a statement of astonishment- like he wished it could have been some other family- like he wished Voldemort stayed away from him.

 

There was somethin' goin' on that night he hadn't counted on - I dunno what it was, no one does - but somethin' about you stumped him, all right."

 

Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his eyes, but Harry, instead of feeling pleased and proud, felt quite sure there had been a horrible mistake.

 

A wizard? Him? How could he possibly be? He'd spent his life being clouted by Dudley and bullied by Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon; if he was really a wizard, why hadn't they been turned into warty toads every time they'd tried to lock him in his cupboard? If he'd once defeated the greatest sorcerer in the world, how come Dudley had always been able to kick him around like a football?

 

"Hagrid," he said quietly, "I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard."

 
“Honestly Prongs, you’re son isn’t half stupid at times,” Sirius said shaking his head.

 

To his surprise, Hagrid chuckled. "Not a wizard, eh? Never made things happen when you were scared or angry?"

 

Harry looked into the fire. Now he came to think about it ... every odd thing that had ever happened when he, Harry, had been upset or angry ... chased by Dudley's gang, he had somehow found himself out of their reach ... dreading going to school with that ridiculous haircut, he'd managed to make it grow back ... And the very last time Dudley had hit him, hadn't he got his revenge, without even realizing he was doing it? Hadn't he set a boa constrictor on him?

 

Harry looked back at Hagrid, smiling, and saw that Hagrid was positively beaming at him.

"See?" said Hagrid. "Harry Potter, not a wizard - you wait, you'll be right famous at Hogwarts."


 “He’ll hate it,” Remus blurted out, while everyone gave him a questioning look. “Well he’s not like you two,” He pointed to James and Sirius. “He doesn’t like attention on him every second Merlin sends. It’s not like he’s used to it. Think of it like this, one minute he’s ignored continuously and then every person in the wizarding world will know his name- grown up knowing it- people will know more about him than he does- it’d be absolutely awful.” Even Lily had looked up at this point.

 

But Uncle Vernon wasn't going to give in without a fight. "Haven't I told you he's not going?" he hissed. "He's going to Stonewall High and he'll be grateful for it. I've read those letters and he needs all sorts of rubbish - spell books and wands and - "

 

"If he wants ter go, a great Muggle like you won't stop him," growled Hagrid. "Stop Lily an' James Potter's son goin' ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His name's been down ever since he was born. He's off ter the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world. Seven years there and he won't know himself. He'll be with youngsters of his own sort, fer a change, an' he'll be under the greatest Headmaster Hogwarts ever had, Albus Dumbled - "

 

"I AM NOT PAYING FOR SOME CRACKPOT OLD FOOL TO TEACH HIM MAGIC TRICKS!" yelled Uncle Vernon.

 
“Too far, Dursley, too far,” Alice warned. “Last time someone insulted Dumbledore in front of Hagrid he was in Hospital for a week,”

 

But he had finally gone too far. Hagrid seized his umbrella and whirled over his head. "NEVER -" he thundered, "- INSULT - ALBUS - DUMBLEDORE - IN - FRONT - OF - ME!"

 

He brought the umbrella swishing down through the air to point at Dudley –

 

There was a flash of violet light, a sound like a firecracker, a sharp squeal and next second, Dudley was dancing on the spot with his hands clasped over his fat bottom, howling in pain.

 

When he turned his back on them, Harry saw a curly pig's tail poking through a hole in his trousers.

 
Sirius’s laughter carried over everybody else’s- so simple, so genius yet something he would never have thought off.

 

Uncle Vernon roared. Pulling Aunt Petunia and Dudley into the other room, he cast one last terrified look at Hagrid and slammed the door behind them.

 

“What’s the matter,” Sirius said pretending to be sympathetic. “Don’t like you’re son with a pig’s tail because personally I think pink his just his colour.

 

Hagrid looked down at his umbrella and stroked his beard.

 

"Shouldn'ta lost me temper," he said ruefully, "but it didn't work anyway. Meant ter turn him into a pig, but I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there wasn't much left ter do."

 
“Too true,” Sirius nodded in agreement. “Hagrid seriously should have been a Marauder.”

 

He cast a sideways look at Harry under his bushy eyebrows.

 

"Be grateful if yeh didn't mention that ter anyone at Hogwarts," he said. "I'm - er - not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'. I was allowed ter do a bit ter follow yeh an' get yer letters to yeh an' stuff - one o' the reasons I was so keen ter take on the job -"

 

"Why aren't you supposed to do magic?" asked Harry.

 

"Oh, well - I was at Hogwarts meself but I - er - got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in half an' everything. But Dumbledore let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore."

 

“Expelled, I didn’t know that?” Remus interjected. “I wonder why.”

 

"Why were you expelled?"
 

“Read your mind,” Peter smirked.

 

"It's gettin' late and we've got lots ter do tomorrow," said Hagrid loudly. "Gotta get up ter town, get all yer books an' that."

 

He took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry.

"You can kip under that, he said. “Don’t' mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o' dormice in one o' the pockets."


 Sirius came to a halt.

 

“Well carry on then,” Lily said from James’s shoulder. “We don’t have all day.”

 

“The chapters finished.” Sirius said in a disappointed voice because he knew that Lily wouldn’t want to read any more. “Who’s going to read next?”

 

“Remus’s turn me thinks,” Alice said standing up and smiling.

 

“Yeah but,” Remus stopped and looked over at Lily. Her eyes were puffy and swollen her cheeks were red from exhaustion, she looked like she was holding James for dear life. She seemed to be physically and emotionally drained. “That’s enough for tonight- it’s getting late and we should turn in.”

 

“Moony,” Sirius whined, pulling at his arm as Remus stood, trying to get him to sit.

 

“Padfoot,” James stood also, still with a firm grip around Lily’s arms as if he was steadying her. “It’s been a long day- it’s a lot to get our heads around, we should have a rest.”

 

“We can read Chapter five tomorrow,” Alice reassured him. She took Lily’s arm from James a lifted it over her shoulders, while James regretfully watched them both go. As they acceded the staircase James watched the spot where she left. 

 

“Come on, mate,” Sirius said giving his best friend a manly pat on the back. “You can wish all you want- it’s not going to make her fall for you any quicker,” and as Sirius Black followed after Remus and Peter James found himself sighing. 

He’d never get Lily Evans, even if he tried…  



A/N: Love it? Hate it? What was your favourite quote? sweetest? Funniest? most realistic???? I want to know! ^-^

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