It was raining in Privet Drive, as the Dursleys waddled up their driveway, soaking wet. Harry Potter however, remained perfectly dry with a wry smile – for he had remembered an umbrella. As they entered the house, Uncle Vernon threw his wet coat at Harry and growled “Come on boy, put the groceries away.” To help the chore go faster, Harry muttered his secret words, and put the groceries away. To an outsider, the job would have appeared to take place at normal speed,but in Harry’s head he was a rich debutante aboard the Titanic, and the task seemed to be done in no time.
After doing the chores, Harry walked up the stairs to his room, where he could hear the shrieks of his illegally large barn owl. The local council had sent several representatives to remove Hedwig, named after Harry’s favourite name for an owl, so she was confined to Harry’s room. Harry wandered into his moderately sized room and moved aside some of his dusty old tomes, which looked like they’d be of no interest to anyone. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t.
Seeing that everything was, as usual, perfectly normal, Harry headed back downstairs. Upon the kitchen counter sat a yellowing envelope, with words written on it in a green ink that seemed to jump from the paper. Harry reached for the letter, but it was quickly snatched away by Aunt Petunia, to whom it was addressed. Harry’s first impulse was not to ask his aunt about her private correspondence.
Later in the day, on one of Harry’s frequent, solo trips to the zoo, he found himself standing outside the Reptile House. He spent a little time in front of each animal – the snakes, the lizards, the turtles – trying to talk to them through the glass. He knew it was futile for two reasons; the first being that they were behind thick sheets of double glazing, and the second being that reptiles lack an adequately developed central cortex and thus no language processing skills. Still, it helped pass the time before Harry had to go home to visit his abusive relatives and watch Coronation Street on the telly.
As the stars faded into glimmering obscurity overnight, Harry huddled himself beneath his blanket and let his fingers trace the jagged scar on his forehead. He couldn’t remember how he’d got it, since it had happened when he was a very young child, but his aunt and uncle had said that he’d bumped his head against a table, and shown him the medical records to prove it. He sighed, and turned over in his bed. A supernatural feeling seemed to sweep in over his skin, but he got up and closed the window so he didn’t feel the chill.
Could it have been real magic?