"Harry! Stay here and watch the luggage
while I verify our tickets. And don't you dare move."
The black-haired teenager gave an inaudible sigh
as he stood by the three suitcases. His aunt had reluctantly agreed to take
him on the trip "Just because you should not be alone in the house."
Right. He might blow something up.
Ah well, at least an island vacation had to be
He turned. His friend Ron was running towards
him, carrying a large faded suitcase. "Ron!" Harry exclaimed in
disbelief, greeting his friend. " How… Why…What're you doing here? Is
anyone else with you?"
"Well," Ron said, sitting opposite
Harry, "it's kind of funny actually. Fred and George entered the family
into a Muggle contest, and we won a ticket to this place called Fantasy
Island. Sounds great, right? Well, notice we won only one ticket. Mum
and Dad couldn't buy another ticket, Mum can't leave us kids on our own,
neither Dad nor Percy can leave their job, Fred and George -- who everyone's
angry at -- would rather travel together, and Ginny is --" he put on a
falsetto voice "-- 'Too young to travel on her own.' So, by process of
elimination, I'm going."
"Good for you, mate!" Harry nodded,
patting his friend on the back.
"Now, Harry, why are you here? I thought
the Muggles never let you leave the house."
"Well, Aunt Petunia got one ticket for
herself, but the man she bought it from had apparently given her two tickets.
Dudley's going to this place called -- wait, I shouldn't mention it just now --
" he stole a glance towards his aunt, who was waiting in line " and
Uncle Vernon's going on a business trip to New York, so she decided to take
The two sat in silence for a minute, when Harry
exclaimed, "Oh, yeah! Any word from Hermione in Bulgaria? I hear the
Bulgarian post office is really strict."
"Yeah," said Ron, nervously glancing
from side to side. "She's having a good time. Listen, Harry, there's
something I have to tell you about Hermione…"
"Harry, get over here!" called Aunt
"I'll tell you later," said Ron hurriedly.
"Okay. See you on the plane!" And
Harry hurried off.
A white-haired man in a black suit was walking
down to the dock to await the coming of the plane. As he strode on the white
sands, the sounds of laughter from the people on the beach and in the small
drinking stand drifted to him on the breeze. The heavily forested mountain
that dominated the island rose behind the little blue painted hotels. As the
man stepped onto the dock, his black loafers smartly tapping on the wood, a
laughing dolphin jumped into the air not too far from where he stood. He
smiled and walked on. Finally he stopped, a few yards away from where the
sea-plane would land. A very pretty woman with brown hair and brown eyes walked
up to him. Her lavender sundress waved a little in the breeze as she stood
there next to him. "So, Mr. Rourke," she said, "what's the
lineup this week?"
"A very interesting crew, Ariel," Mr.
Rourke replied. "The short family that's getting off now -- those are the
Burnleys. Mr. Burnley wants to be a knight of the Round Table -- Lancelot,
preferably, but any one of them will do. Mrs. Burnley wants to star in the
greatest musical ever performed." He gave a rather wicked sort of grin.
Ariel cocked an eyebrow.
"She's never heard of the Ring Cycle, has she?"
"Nope," replied the man, grinning even
wider and wickeder. "Finally, completing the Burnleys, is young Jake
Burnley. He wants to be the main character in some video game -- Legend of
Zelda whatever-you-call-it." He indicated the three last figures getting
off the plane. "That black-haired boy is Harry Potter."
"Harry Potter?" Ariel repeated,
turning to look at him. "The Harry Potter? The Boy Who Lived?"
"The very same," Mr. Rourke assured
her. "Oddly enough, he wishes he had never defeated the Dark Lord. The
tall, blonde woman is his maternal aunt, Mrs. Petunia Dursley. Before Harry's
mother died, Petunia insulted her sister and the two never spoke again. She
wishes to be reconciled with her sister. And the tall, red-haired lad is Mr.
Ron Weasley. He feels overshadowed, and wants recognition and adventure."
By now all six people were on the dock. Mr.
Rourke walked up to them, smiling, and said, "Hello, my fine friends. I
am your host, Mr. Rourke. Welcome to Fantasy Island."
After being greeted by Mr. Rourke and his pretty
assistant, Harry, Petunia, and Ron were given a little tour of their hotel
area. There was a small, thatched bar on the beach not too far from the
beautiful hotels. Ron had a single-bed room all to himself, adjoining Harry
and Petunia's room. He put his suitcase on the floor and then collapsed on the
bed, stretching himself out. At last, he didn't have any brothers or sisters,
or anything. He was on his own.
"Oh yeah," he said, opening his
suitcase and getting out a copy of The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad
Muggle, "this is the life." He opened the comic book, and
suddenly felt of a pang of -- what? Loneliness? He'd never felt lonely in his
life, not really -- he'd always known that Fred and George or Ginny or Percy
was in the next room if he needed them. But now… yeah, he was alone. Closing
his comic book, he got up and suddenly noticed a folded sheet of paper on his
table. It read:
As the winner of our
exclusive contest, you are entitled to a Special Prize!
See Mr. Rourke in
the lobby for details.
Enjoy your stay on
Shrugging, Ron folded the note in his hand and
went down to meet Mr. Rourke.
"I'm going to get a drink at that little
stand we saw," Aunt Petunia had said, leaving Harry alone in the hotel
room. He looked around, enjoying his surroundings. For a minute he considered
visiting Ron but then a small package on the bed caught his eye. He picked it
up and looked at its label. It read:
For: Mr. H. J. Potter
- Who opens me shall get
what many men desire
- Who opens me shall get
as much as he deserves
- Who opens me shall
hazard all he has
opened the package. Although expecting a Ring of Doom or something of the
like, it turned out to be something quite different -- it looked like a closed
compass. He took it out. It was rather heavy -- Harry did not know this, but
it was made of electrum, a costly mix of gold and silver. Intrigued, the boy
took the item onto the balcony, its warning label lying unheeded on the floor.
as she sat down at the little beach's drinking stand. She ordered a Planter's
Punch and dully watched as the young man behind the counter mixed up her
drink. As he handed it to her, she was aware out of the corner of her vision
that a woman about her own age was approaching. Something about her -- that
way she moved, like it would be easier to fly than not -- reminded her of
someone. But who? Suddenly it hit her. Of course, Lily. Petunia had barely
thought of her sister in years, but she still remembered exactly what Lily
would order if she was at the drinking stand, always the same thing --
Shirley Temple with extra maraschino cherries, please."
started. That order had just been placed in spoken words. She looked around
her. The man was handing the woman the Shirley Temple, and she was handing him
a three-pound note. Before Petunia could barely think straight, a lock of dark
red hair caught loose from the woman's ponytail and caught in the frame of her
sunglasses. Petunia recognized that exact color of auburn -- that color she'd
envied for exactly 20 years, ever since she was a toddler. The woman was
walking away when Petunia came back to her senses, and she got up instinctively
to follow her. However, the young man said, "Ma'am, you've forgotten your
purse." Petunia snapped around for a fraction of a second to grab her
purse, but when she turned back, the woman was gone.