Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Book Seven


Recently, a fan site I occasionally visit held a contest to write the opening to Book 7 of the Harry Potter series. I had just finished Book 6, thought it was the best of the lot, and was at the time looking for more things in the Harry Potter universe. So I wrote my opening.
I'm not a Potter nut. I could not tell you the titles to all six books, or name more than two or three spells, or more than the main characters. I like what JK Rowling has done simply because it's good fiction, and it's encouraging more kids to read.
It was fun writing the little peice, but I didn't win, place, or show. Drat. So much for a new broom or wand to display in the office. It would have went nicely with my Darth Vader coin bank, my Iron Giant, and my Munch blow-up statuette.
Here's the peice, if you interested (or even if you're not):
Hogwarts Express came to a stop in a whirl of steam and noise
at platform 9 3/4. Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione looked up at
each other for the first time in miles and miles. They hadn't
spoken much along the way. Ron and Hermione slept, and Ginny held
onto Harry, in one way or another, knowing that this was the last
time she would get the chance for awhile. Harry pretended to
sleep, but his mind was awash with visions of Snape, and
hoarcruxes, and R.A.B., and most of all Dumbledore, hanging
suspended beneath the Dark Mark.
"How long will you be staying? At the Dursley's, I mean?"
asked Ron.
"Depends," Harry answered. "As short as possible. Overnight,
maybe. I'll have to talk to your mum."
"I wish you could just come to the Burrow straightaway," Ron
said.
"One more time back to the Dursley's," Harry said.
"Dumbledore at least made that much clear. Then after the wedding
I'm off to Gringott's, then Headquaters."
"Headquarters?" asked Ginny.
"I guess I should say... my house, now." Harry answered.
He really needed information, everything the Order knew about
Voldemort and his followers, every spell and charm and jinx that
they could think to teach him. More than a home, that's what he
needed.
"Coming, then?" Ron said. While Harry had been woolgathering,
the rest gathered their things and were prepared to leave the
train.
They stepped out onto the platform. It was crowded with
parents and students, but without the usual joyous noises as they
greeted each other. There were hugs and tears to be certain, but
they were of gratitude for a safe return. Heads turned and
followed them as they walked down the platform, looking for the
Weasleys.
"Harry!" a voiced called from behind them. "Wait up!" They
turned and saw Neville Longbottom running towards them.
"Listen," Neville said, catching his breath, "I want in. I
know you're planning something, and I want in. I want to help."
"We're not planning anything," Hermione said, looking at the
others.
"C'mon. It's obvious, don't you think? There's a fight to be
faught, and with Dumbldore gone we'll have to fight it."
Harry looked at the others, thinking of Neville's parents in
St. Mungo's, and the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange that put them
there. "We don't have a plan, Neville. I'm not sure what is going
to happen. I've still got a lot of things to work out."
Neville looked Harry in the eye, not dejected but
determined.
"But if there's a chance, and time, we'll make sure you're
there." Harry said. "You deserve that much."
"Yes," Neville said, nodding. "Yes I do. Thanks, Harry."
Neville walked on ahead of them. "And good luck!" he called out
over his shoulder.
"You'll let him help, then?" asked Ginny.
"I have to. You know. He stood with us, him and Luna. They
were the only two. The both deserve to help, if that's what they
want."
"There they are," Hermione said, nodding ahead. Harry looked
down the platform and there was Mrs. Weasley, waving. Beside her
stood Petunia Dursley.
Harry blinked, and shook his head, and looked again. Still
there she was.
"Whose that with Mum?" Ginny asked.
"Don't know," Ron and Hermione said in unison. They all
looked at Harry.
"It's my Aunt Petunia," Harry said. They could not have been
more shocked to see Dumbledore or Siruis standing there. In fact,
Harry thought, I would expect them MORE than this.
"Right then," Mrs. Weasley said as they approached. "Everyone
got eveything?"
They all nodded, still too shocked to speak. Petinua stood
mute, wringing her hands.
"Harry, I had to let your Aunt know what happened, why you're
back early. She asked me to bring her here." Mrs Weasley and
Petunia exchanged glances. "To meet you."
Harry met his Aunt's gaze for the first time. "I have to come
back," he said. "You know that."
"Yes," Aunt Petunia said. "I know. I know you don't want to.
I can't say as I blame you." Harry wanted to go on about what the
Dursley's had done to him, and how they had treated him. He wanted
to tell them everything that Dumbledore told them the last time he
saw them, all over again. He wanted to tell her how terrible an
Aunt she was, how terrible a sister she must have been. But he
somehow didn't have the strength, or the energy, or the real
desire. I'll be shed of the Dursleys soon enough, he thought.
"I am dreadfully sorry about your Professor Dumbldore,"
Petunia said.
"You couldn't possible begin... you didn't know him." Harry
said. Why would she care? He didn't understand. Dumbledore gone
would only mean one less wizard mucking about in her affairs.
"I know he thought highly of you. I know what an honor that
must have been. And I know Lilly thought the world of him."
At the mention of his mother's name, Harry looked up.
"Right, then," said Mrs. Weasly. "Off we go! Harry, we'll see
you at the burrow whenever you're ready to come." There were hugs
all around, and Harry gave Ginny a quick kiss, feeling awkward
under the eyes of her mother. He was still reeling from seeing
Petunia standing there, reeling more from her demeanor.
Then Harry and Petunia were alone.
"I'll have to hold on to you to get back," Petunia said.
"Muggles can't pass."
Harry held out his arm.
"Where is Uncle Vernon? And Dudley?" he asked.
"I've sent them on holiday," Petunia said, stepping towards
the brick wall. "Come, we have much to discuss." She stopped,
looking back at Harry, who hadn't budged. "If you'll let me."
Harry thought about years under the cupboard, about being
treated as a servant and not as a nephew. He couldn't bring
himself to move.
"I was only trying to protect you," she said. "The best that
I knew how."
And together, they stepped through the brick wall and into
London.
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