Chapter 2: Smeltings

That year was the last that we were in the same school. We were ready to go into secondary school, I was accepted into Smeltings, a very nice private school. The only problem with this new school was that Harry’s fat cousin also got accepted somehow. I was told that Smeltings had all of the most recent technology available and that if you did well, they would teach you how to do all sorts of things on the Internet, which was just starting to get big then. I’ve always been a great student so I was confident that I could receive an excellent education and excel among my peers.

Once I started at Smeltings, I discovered that the school was a much more advanced school than I had thought. I started by taking many entrance exams, and as I suspected, I did really well and was shortly moved into the advanced classes. The computer classes that I was assigned to were very instructive and showed me how to do all sorts of amazing things on the computer. An entire new world was opened to me in my very first semester at Smeltings. In this semester, I found the Internet to be a marvelous world full of magic and mystery.

Things became very busy for me after I was settled in. I would sit in front of a computer and the hours just seemed to fly by. I was dissolved into a world full of programming and troubleshooting. I became so busy that a nearly forgot about Harry Potter, at least until Dudley Dursley crossed my path. Every time I saw that fat oaf I thought of his cruelty to Harry and that would just bring back the memory of the look in his eyes that afternoon in the classroom. The look seemed to linger in the back of my mind throughout all of that time.

In my third year at Smeltings, I found myself in a class with Dudley Dursley. Everybody has to take the same English class. Honestly, I was surprised that he was even still allowed in the school. He would beat people up so they would give him the answers so he wouldn’t fail, and the teachers just seemed to turn a blind eye. I mostly managed to keep clear. The year was progressing fine and I was even more engrossed in my computer training then ever before. One afternoon, however, I was paired with Dudley for an assignment. He just sat and sneered as I began working on the part of speech diagrams. I thought it was kind of weird to see a sneer like that on his big fat face; it seemed to be a look that would come from someone much smaller.

I finished the assignment fairly quickly. The stuff was cake because they had tailored the class to the dimwits. I pulled a book on hacking from my bag and sat quietly as Dudley chuckled as he threw bits of torn paper at his gang around the room. Just then the professor told him to knock it off. Another sour look passed over his face and he folded his arms while he slouched back into his chair. I looked up from my book and watched him for a while. Without anyone to pester, Dudley seemed vulnerable.

I looked down at the paper that I was about to turn in for the both of us and decided that he owed me. I looked up again and I could see that he was starting to formulate a plan that obviously involved the paper clip that was in his hand, and a girl that was sitting two rows in front of us. “Dudley”, I said, “what has become of that cousin of yours, Harry Potter?” His eyes got real wide for a brief moment and the paper clip fell from his flabby fingers.

“What do you care about my freak cousin?” I told him that I’d met him once and didn’t think he was that bad. “ Of course my cousin’s a freak. That’s why he goes to St. Brutus’s Institute for Hopeless Cases”. The way he spouted off the name of the school made me think that it had been rehearsed several times. I sensed that he was hiding something, and the way his eyes shifted around it seemed that he might get in trouble if he’d let something slip.

I looked down at the paper clip that he’d picked up again and watched him twiddle it in his fingers. I picked up my book again and delved into my world of hacking once more. One thing I knew was that I didn’t buy his story at all. I knew that Harry Potter wasn’t a hopeless case; I sensed it all those years ago. There were too many things that didn’t add up. All of the weird things that I’d seen around Harry when we were kids, those penetrating eyes and now the way that Dudley was obviously avoiding the truth. No matter how many solutions I tried to come up with, I couldn’t think of any rational way to explain the situation. The only other explanation I could think of was that I had wondered into something not yet explained by science.

That was about the time I became obsessed with finding out more information about the paranormal. I took to the Internet. I had become very comfortable looking up information on the web that it became my first solution for any problem that I was facing. I spent hours in front of the computer trying to see if I could find any information that would lead me to anyone who had met people like Harry Potter. It was an enormous task trying to sort through all of the different people who were paranoid, highly imaginative, or just plain crazy. One man said he saw some guy blow up an entire street corner, then turn into a rat and run away. I wasn’t looking for that kind of nonsense crazed stories; I just wanted to know if anyone out there could possibly have found people who made mysterious things happen around them.

It took me around two and a half months of searching when I started to realize that most of the people who showed up in my queries quite suddenly stopped posting. I would find one, possibly two posts by a person before that person had no more to say. I found that quite interesting because generally, people who become fixated on an idea only let that notion escalate in their minds until they have all sorts of different pages full of their stories. Except, not when it came to searching for real magicians. That’s what I’d figured they were at that time.

The main thing that I discovered in those first few months was that I needed to learn how to create a secure place to post my story or else become incapacitated in the way so many others had been. I was good at creating queries on the Internet and all, but creating a secure site was something with which I felt I would need a little extra help. I knew the teacher who just might be willing to help me out with that exact thing.

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