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Black Mamba

Abstract Drama Fantasy


3.3  

Black Mamba

Abstract Drama Fantasy


Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone 3

Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone 3

8 mins 324 8 mins 324

CHAPTER TWO

THE VANISHING GLASS

Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys 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; crept into their living room, which was almost 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 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 bonnets — but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the photographs showed a large blond boy riding his first bicycle, on a carousel 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.

Yet Harry Potter was still there, asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her shrill voice that made the first noise

of the day.

“Up! Get up! Now!”

Harry woke with a start. His aunt rapped on the door again.

“Up!” she screeched. Harry heard her walking toward the kitchen and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the stove. He rolled onto his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one.

There had been a flying motorcycle in it. He had a funny feeling he’d had the same dream before.

His aunt was back outside the door.

“Are you up yet?” she demanded.

“Nearly,” said Harry.

“Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don’t you

dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy’s birthday.”

Harry groaned.

“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 and, after pulling a spider off one of them, put them on. Harry was used to spiders, because the cupboard under the stairs was full of them, and that was where he slept.


When he was dressed he went down the hall into the kitchen. The table was almost hidden beneath all Dudley’s birthday presents. It looked as though Dudley had gotten the new computer he wanted, not to mention the second television and the racing bike. Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harry, as Dudley was very fat and hated exercise — unless of course, it involved punching somebody. Dudley’s favourite punching bag was Harry, but he couldn’t often catch him. Harry didn’t look at it, but he was very fast.


Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked even smaller and skinnier than he 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. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that 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 Petunia was how he had gotten it.

“In the car crash when your parents died,” she had said. “And don’t ask questions.”

Don’t ask questions — that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys.


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.

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 much 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.

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 Darling, you haven’t counted Auntie Marge’s present, see, it’s here under this big one from Mummy and Daddy.”


“All right, 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 the case, Dudley turned the table over.

Aunt Petunia 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”

Dudley thought for a moment. It looked like hard work. Finally, he said slowly, “So I’ll have thirty...thirty...”

“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.

At that moment the telephone rang and Aunt Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Uncle Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a video camera, a remote control aeroplane, sixteen new computer games, and a VCR. He was ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Aunt Petunia came back from

the telephone looking both angry and worried.


“Bad news, Vernon,” she said. “Mrs Figg’s broken her leg. She can’t take him.” She jerked her head in Harry’s direction. Dudley’s mouth fell open in horror, but Harry’s heart gave a leap. Every year on Dudley’s birthday, his parents took him and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks, hamburger restaurants, or the movies. Every year, Harry was left behind with Mrs Figg, a mad old lady who lived two streets away. Harry hated it there. The whole house smelled of cabbage and MrsFigg made him look at photographs of all the cats she’d ever owned.


“Now what?” said Aunt Petunia, looking furiously at Harry as thoughh e’d planned this. Harry knew he ought to feel sorry that Mrs Figg had broken her leg, but it wasn’t easy when he reminded himself it would be a whole year before he had to look at Tibbles, Snowy, MrPaws, and Tufty again.

“We could phone Marge,” Uncle Vernon suggested.


“Don’t be silly, Vernon, she hates the boy.”

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.

“What about what’s-her-name, your friend — Yvonne?” On vacation 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).

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

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

“I won’t blow up the house,” 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.…”

“That car’s new, he’s not sitting in it alone.…”

Dudley began to cry loudly. In fact, he wasn’t really crying — it had been years since he’d really cried — but he knew that if he screwed up his face and wailed, his mother would give him anything he wanted.

“Dinky Duddydums, don’t cry, Mummy won’t let him spoil your special day!” she cried, flinging her arms around him.

“I…don’t…want…him…t-t-to come!” Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. “He always sp-spoils everything!” He shot Harry a nasty grin through the gap in his mother’s arms.

Just then, the doorbell rang — “Oh, good Lord, they’re here!” 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. Dudley stopped pretending to cry at once.


Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn’t believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Dursleys’ car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His aunt and uncle hadn’t been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they’d left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.

“I’m warning you,” he had said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harry’s, “I’m warning you now, boy — any funny business, anything at all — and you’ll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas.”

“I’m not going to do anything,” said Harry, “honestly…”

But Uncle Vernon didn’t believe him. No one ever did.


The problem was, strange things often happened around Harry and it was just no good telling the Dursleys he didn’t make them happen. Once, Aunt Petunia, tired of Harry coming back from the barbers looking as though he hadn’t been at all, had taken a pair of kitchen scissors and cut his hair so short he was almost bald except for his bangs, which she left “to hide thathorrible scar.” Dudley had 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 taped glasses.


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