Disclaimer: This story contains elements created by J.K. Rowling. I'm not making any money of it. I'm just having fun in the world she created.
Author's Note: Many thanks to my wonderful beta reader Arianrhod. Special thanks to Porlock, who created a plot bunny that is incorporated in this story. Large parts of this chapter are inspired on Porlock's bunny.
Artists and Scientists
Chapter 3 – The House
Mark stared at the perfectly
normal house. Despite the late-night talk with his father, he had
woken early this morning. After breakfast he had gone outside, and
although he didn’t remember telling them to, his feet had
walked him to Privet Drive. Now he sat on a stone wall, watching
number four. It was only half past eight, but the sun was shining and
Mark was perfectly warm. The summer had began, although there was
still a week of school to go before the holidays started. It would be
the very last week Mark would spend at this school. In September, he
would go to Stonewall High. At least, he presumed he would. His
parents had never spoken a word about his new school.
But today was Saturday,
and there was nothing to worry about. Except that Mark couldn’t
get the thought of Harry Potter to leave his head. The way he had looked when he
came home – although Mark was fairly sure that while Harry had
looked at him, he hadn’t seen him – had been all Mark
could think about for two days. He had tried to tell his father about
it yesterday night, but he had found he couldn’t explain it
So now he was watching Harry
Potter’s house. Not that much interesting was to be seen. The
house seemed identical to number two and number six. Still, Mark
didn’t want to go away. He sensed something Artistic around the
Suddenly, movement caught
his eye. Something white was flying above his head. Mark looked up,
and saw Harry’s snowy owl soaring towards one of the windows of
number four. Nothing out of the ordinary, as owls liked to hunt at
night. Mark just wanted to turn back to watching the house when he
spotted something strange about the owl. He narrowed his eyes, and
when the owl slowed down before flying through the open window, he
saw it very clearly. A roll of yellowish paper was attached to the
owl’s leg. Harry’s owl was carrying a letter.
Mark was fascinated. How
brilliant, to use owls to deliver post! Maybe it was something
practised by all Artists. Mark never saw many owls flying around in
Little Whinging, but then, it was a very Scientific town. He tried to
remember about the house in the only other town he had lived. The
house with the dragon statue on the roof.
Mark cried. “That house over there, it has a dragon on the
“Mark, no! Come
But Mark was
already running to the house. It fascinated him, and he had to
get a closer look. Daddy’s footsteps were pounding behind him.
Mark tried to run faster, but it was too late. Daddy’s strong
arms closed around him, and he was lifted from the ground.
Mark tried to kick him.
“I want to see, Daddy!”
not, Mark,” Daddy said. “Stay away from that house!”
smiled when he recalled the memory. His father had been showing him
the town, and this had been the very first time he saw that house. He
had felt connected to it immediately. It had always attracted him,
and he had been back to it many times, until they moved to Litttle
was started out of his memories when a clattering noise broke the silence in Privet Drive. He
looked around, and spotted the dustbin of number three lying on its
side. But there was no one around except Mark. Did he do this? He
walked slowly to the dustbin, trying not to attract attention. When
he was almost there, he felt his foot connect with something. There
wasn’t anything in sight, but he clearly heard a thud and
stood very still for a moment, then he walked back to the wall and
sat down again. The person who had knocked the dustbin over was
probably the same as who had tripped over his foot. And as Mark
couldn’t see anyone, the culprit was invisible. Now he knew
what he had sensed around Harry’s house. There was another
Artist around here, and a rather clumsy one.
Mark was sitting on the
ground, watching the house with the dragon on the roof. He sat here
often. He had now watched the house for almost half an hour, but
nothing had happened. The house had been silent, most probably empty.
Mark scrambled to his
feet and crossed the street. He was going to do something he had
never done before, and which his father had forbidden him the very
first time he had seen the house. He walked to the garden fence and
carefully climbed over it. He was sure the house was empty, otherwise
he wouldn’t have dared. He walked through the large garden. He
didn’t go to the front door, but to a window to the right of
the door. He checked the road – no one was there. Then he looked
At first glance, it
looked like an ordinary kitchen. Then he noticed there was no cooker.
There was no cooker hood either, and no oven.
Mark moved to another
window. This was the living room. But there was no television. And
something else was missing. There was obviously something missing, but
what was it? Mark tried to picture his own living room in his mind.
Then he realised that there were no lamps.
Suddenly, someone entered
the room. Mark ducked immediately and crawled away from the window.
How could there be someone at home? The house had been empty, he had
been sure, and no one had entered through the front door. Mark was
scared. He quickly walked back through the garden, jumped over the
fence, crossed the street and sat down on his usual place on
He saw a light go on.
It shone through the window where Mark had been standing a few
minutes ago. At once, Mark wasn’t scared any more. He felt at
Someone shouted, and to
Mark’s surprise, there was someone lying on the street in a
heap. The man was wearing violet robes. Not very handy, as he seemed
to be entangled in them. Finally he managed to get to his feet.
He looked around, and cursed.
feet astray! Again!” he yelled angrily.
Then the man spotted
Mark. They stared at each other until the man turned around and
walked to the house with the dragon on the roof. He seemed to shout
out a greeting to the dragon, but the dragon didn’t move. The
man knocked on the door, which opened of its own accord. He went
waited a couple of minutes, but nothing else happened. He went home,
happy, because he had learned a lot of things.
Mark kept watching Harry Potter’s
house, just as he had often watched the house with the statue of a
dragon on the roof. But nothing at all happened. When finally a big
face appeared behind one of the windows, and Mark decided he’d
better go home in case Dudley had seen him and marked him as his
next target, Mark was no nearer to finding out what had
happened to make Harry so miserable.
While he strolled home, he
tried to recall the look Harry had had in his eyes when he arrived
home two days ago, but the only face that appeared was that of his
father’s, looking equally miserable. That was the way his
father looked every time Mark asked him about his family. His father
never told him anything else than that Mark’s grandparents had
died and that no family was left, and the look in his eyes always
made Mark regret that he had asked. But why was Harry looking the
same way? Did Harry’s parents also die? Yes, of course they
did, otherwise Harry wouldn’t be living with his aunt and
uncle, but that was not what happened between this summer and the
last one. Maybe Harry lost someone else he loved. But then it would
have nothing to do with the Artistic World.
On the other hand, did all
people who lost someone look this way? Mark didn’t know.
Perhaps dying in a Scientific way was not the same as dying in an
Artistic way, and the latter made you have this look. No, that was
impossible, because Mark’s grandparents had been Scientists. Or
hadn’t they? But if they had been Artists, why hadn’t
Mark’s father ever told him?
Mark was totally confused.
He just couldn’t solve this on his own. He would have to ask
But when he stepped inside
his house, the smell of lunch drove it all clean out of his mind.
To be continued...