Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations
created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited
to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros.,
Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is
Author’s Note: I’d like to thank again my
beta-reader Silver Phoenix for her wonderful editing!
Uncle Vernon’s Worst Nightmare
Ever since Mr. Dursley had brought
his nephew back home for summer vacations he had felt decidedly uncomfortable
in his own house. He felt as if he were being watched. Whenever he wanted to
yell at the boy or comment on his general appearance, his poor manners, his
laziness, his good-for-nothing parents and his whole good-for-nothing kind, or
even just to look at him in a way that would make him feel unwelcome, it
suddenly seemed to Vernon Dursley as if there were secret video cameras or hidden
eavesdropping devices everywhere around him, and his every gesture was being
monitored. It was a very unnerving sensation, and one that he finally had to
share with his wife:
“Doesn’t a man have a right to say
what he thinks – at least in his own house?!” he exclaimed, frustrated beyond
Mrs. Dursley pursed her lips and said
darkly, “That’s not the worst. Wait till he turns seventeen.”
“Because that’s when their kind comes
of age, according to their laws, and can do you-know-what whenever they
please.” She shuddered at the very thought. “The feats my sister came up
Mr. Dursley felt suddenly interested
in the freakish behaviors his late sister-in-law had exhibited at this time, in
view of what might lie in wait for him, but the expression on his wife’s face
made it clear that it was best not to ask.
Needless to say, this conversation
did nothing to assuage his unease, and it was not at all surprising that that
night Mr. Dursley had some difficulty falling asleep. Whenever he closed his
eyes, he saw monsters with deeply scarred faces and protruding eyes the size of
tennis balls which kept rolling in all directions, freaks with bubble-gum pink
hair and young hoodlums in scaly green clothes who wore identical evil grins,
and he heard the voices, “…if we find out you’ve been horrible to Harry… and
make no mistake, we’ll hear about it.…”
Mr. Dursley groaned and rolled over
on his side. His wife sighed under her breath. He closed his eyes and tried
to fall asleep, but now he remembered her words, “That’s not the worst. Wait
till he turns seventeen…. The feats my sister came up with!” Visions of his
living-room fireplace blasted and bits of bricks flying everywhere, of his son
Dudley attacked by a giant python at the zoo, of Dudley’s tongue swelling like
a python itself and nearly gorging him, and of his sister swelling like a giant
balloon and flying off to the ceiling flashed in Vernon Dursley’s mind.
Carefully, trying not to wake up his wife again, he extended his arm, opened
his bedside cabinet and took out a bottle of sleeping pills. He spilled two
pills out onto his palm and swallowed them. Then he laid back and closed his
eyes again, waiting for sleep to claim him and trying to think relaxing,
pleasant thoughts…. Maybe that madman Volly-Mart would kill his nephew before
he turned seventeen!
Whatever scary images cluttered his
mind at night, they all disappeared in the morning, as bright sunshine filled
the room, promising another warm day. When Mr. Dursley came down to the
kitchen, he was greeted by the smell of coffee, the sound of sizzling bacon,
his wife’s smiling “Hi, honey” and the sight of his son – such a healthy young
lad – already digging into his breakfast. Mr. Dursley walked over to his
place, opened the fresh newspaper and accepted a cup of hot coffee from his
wife. He would have given a lot to have the morning continue in the same
happy, peaceful way, but unfortunately, the good things in life seldom last
long. Just as Vernon Dursley was going to start on his breakfast, he heard the
running footsteps on the stairs and his nephew ran into the kitchen with a
cheerful “Good morning!” He was dressed into a brand new pair of jeans and a
T-shirt that said MAGIC RULES!
Vernon stared at him, a piece of toast falling out of his mouth. These were
clearly not some of Dudley’s old things.
“Where have you got that
blasted getup?!” he yelled, pointing at his nephew’s chest.
“This?” Harry asked, touching his T-shirt.
“From my bedside chair. Same thing as yesterday, Uncle Vernon, just conjured
it up a bit.”
“Yeah. You know, magicked it up.”
“B-but you’re not allowed!”
“Not any longer,” Harry smiled.
“I’ve turned seventeen today, in case you forgot.” He walked over to the
kitchen counter and poured himself a cup of coffee.
For once Uncle Vernon found himself
lost for words. But he soon found a few. And it wasn’t “many happy returns of
“I totally, absolutely forbid you to
wear such things at home!” he exclaimed, pounding the table with his fist for
emphasis. “I don’t care if you turn seventeen or seventy, there’ll be no
mention of this abnormality under our roof! This is still my house and
I won’t tolerate any M-words here!”
Apparently Harry didn’t intend to spend the rest of the
breakfast listening to this tirade, or, perhaps, he saw some justice in his
uncle’s demand, for he said,
“OK, OK,” and casually flipped his
wand. The offensive colorful message vanished and was replaced by another: “I
© MERMAIDS.” And a picture of a fishy-tailed female gradually appeared below,
while Harry was adding some cream and sugar to his coffee. She winked at Uncle
Vernon lasciviously, as Harry was carrying his steaming cup to the table.
“I won’t have it!” Uncle Vernon roared.
“You mean you’d prefer something more
conservative?” Harry asked conversationally, after taking a sip of his coffee.
As no reply was forthcoming from his silently mouthing uncle, he put down his
cup and flipped his wand again. The inscription and the picture disappeared,
but was soon replaced by the sign HOGWARTS, a picture of a medieval castle and an inscription underneath
the best school of witchcraft and wizardry.
Uncle Vernon gave his upper limbs
“Stop it this minute!” he screamed.
“Oh, you mean, no W-words either?”
asked Harry, as he was buttering his toast. “OK, how about this one?” The
picture and the inscription vanished to be replaced by a short message in
ornate black letters, Q is for Quidditch.
“It doesn’t give anything away, does it?” Harry explained, picking up his
toast again and applying liberal amounts of jam to it on top of butter.
“I won’t have you wear any such gibberish!” Uncle Vernon hollered
“It’s not gibberish!” replied Harry hotly. “It’s the best sport in the
world!” However, since Uncle Vernon was the last person in the world to
appreciate the joy of flying a broomstick, Harry decided to give it one last
try. He flipped his wand again, and the sign on his T-shirt was replaced with
the inscription, MARAUDERS
“Clear, isn’t it?” Harry said, as he put back the jam jar. “And this is
definitely my last offer.”
With that, he turned his whole attention to his toast and
Uncle Vernon had somehow survived
breakfast by barricading himself from his nephew with his newspaper, and spent
about half an hour recuperating in the living-room, with an extra cup of coffee
and an economics magazine, while his wife and son had both remembered some
urgent errands they needed to do. He had just read happily that the pound was
doing better than ever, when he was distracted by a cannon blast, and his
nephew appeared right in front of him. Out of thin air. Mr. Dursley dropped
his magazine. For the second time during this morning he was lost for words.
“Sorry, Uncle Vernon!” said Harry
breathlessly. “But it’s the first time I’ve managed it between walls!” he
“Oh, I’m learning to Apparate, you
know, the easiest method of transportation for our kind. Now that I’m of age I
can apply for a license.”
“Then why can’t you learn it in that
freaky place you call school?!” exclaimed a thoroughly frustrated Uncle Vernon.
“Because once I get there, I’ll be
too busy with studies and preparation for N.E.W.T.s – our Advanced Level exams,”
Harry explained. “Better get this out of the way while I’m on vacations.”
“And can’t you do this – thing – in
your own room?”
“But I’ve just told you, haven’t I?
I’ve already learned Apparating to somewhere I can see at Hogwarts. Now I’ve
got to learn to do it between walls. But don’t worry: once I get the hang of
it, it won’t be so loud.” With that and a roll of thunder, he Disapparated.
Uncle Vernon groaned and wished that
maniac overlord would hurry up. And why couldn’t he just flop a mere boy in
all these years? Calls himself an evil dictator! Freaks and weaklings, all of
These frustrating thoughts were
interrupted by another blast, and Uncle Vernon screamed as his nephew
materialized astride the chandelier.
“Er…” said Harry, looking somewhat
dazed. “I’m sorry, but could you, please, try not to startle me so much? Or I
could get splinched.”
“Yes, like most of me would be here,
but an eyeball or a few fingers might remain there.”
Vernon Dursley shuddered as he
pictured his house littered with his nephew’s body parts. But before he could
say anything at all, Harry Disapparated with another resounding blast.
Five minutes and one more deafening
thunder-volley later, the lad Reapparated, this time in the arm-chair right
beneath the chandelier. Apparently, this went as planned, for he smiled and
laid back with a satisfied expression.
The chandelier creaked slightly, and
Mr. Dursley had a sudden bizarre wish to see it fall. The price of the
chandelier would be quite worth it.
However, as he surveyed his relaxing
nephew, another conspicuous fact again drew his attention.
“Where did you get these jeans?
Stole them with this trick of yours?”
There was no pleasure in his voice as
he said this. He knew full well that this wouldn’t be enough to have his
nephew locked behind bars, even if he got caught, and would most likely result
in some embarrassing and very suspicious talks with the store managers and
police, and might necessitate paying fines. Oh, for the Golden Age when people
could be hanged in this country for stealing a loaf of bread!
“No, just conjured them up like the
“You mean they are really the old
ones you’ve always been wearing?”
Strangely enough, this answer brought
no relief to Mr. Dursley: he didn’t like things to appear something other than
what they were.
“I don’t know why you have to do
this!” he exclaimed with exasperation.
Harry chuckled. “Because you never
give me anything normal to wear. And at school it’s always the plain
black robes uniform. I’m not a monk, you know.”
“And these idiotic inscriptions!”
“They are meaningful to me.”
Mr. Dursley suddenly remembered that
Harry’s godfather was wanted for killing thirteen people.
“Is it in honor of your godfather?”
That reply made Uncle Vernon think.
“I suppose your father also was a
“Yes, I bet he was a leader of a
whole gang of marauders!”
“How did you guess?”
“I met him only twice, but he had
‘marauder’ written all over him.”
Harry grinned, apparently taking this
as a compliment.
“Thank god, at least he died too
young to have had any more kids!” exclaimed Uncle Vernon. Harry didn’t find
what to say to this. “And this godfather of yours who was in prison, I suppose
he doesn’t have any offspring, does he?”
“No.” Harry closed his eyes for a
moment, then looked through the window in front of him. He still often found
it difficult to talk about Sirius, and talking about him in the present tense
was unbearable. And yet he couldn’t bring himself to tell his uncle the truth
and see a manic glee light his eyes.
“So I guess you’re the only heir of
these so-called marauders?”
“Yes,” replied Harry, still looking
through the window. After a pause he added more firmly, “But rest assured,
I’ll use all my talents to carry out their legacy.”
Uncle Vernon shuddered
involuntarily. He wondered suddenly how poor Petunia had managed to survive in
that insane family and grow up into such an upright, sensible and caring woman that
he was proud to be married to. He had done his best to create a normal, sane
life for her and help her forget her crazy past, and it had worked wonderfully
till…. He turned his head to glare murderously at his nephew, but the young
man in question had chosen that particular moment to Disapparate with a
particularly ear-splitting boom, not unlike that of a cannon ball shot across
great distance with gusto.
Uncle Vernon soon retired to his
room, but even there he could hear explosions carrying from his nephew’s room
about every five minutes. And, yet, he settled down behind his computer not
without some satisfaction: he felt that he had somehow upset his nephew, and on
his birthday too, even if he did not quite understand why.
About a week later, as he was leaving
the kitchen for the living-room, Mr. Dursley was greeted by the sight of his
nephew doing very odd things with a TV remote control. Harry had pointed his
stick at the remote, and before his uncle could say a word, the remote had disappeared
and in its place sat a mouse, turning and sniffing around; but before it could
run off, Harry had pointed his stick at it again and uttered some gibberish,
and it turned, right before Mr. Dursley’s shocked eyes, into a tennis ball with
wings. Mouth wide open, Uncle Vernon watched, horrified, as the unnatural ball
turned into an even more unnatural vivid-blue spinning thing with a propeller
on top, then into a flaming candle, and finally into a chocolate bar. Harry
left out a deep breath and sat back, looking pleased.
“What the hell are you
doing?!” erupted Uncle Vernon, taking advantage of the pause.
“Practicing Transfiguration – for my N.E.W.T.s,” replied
Harry. “See,” he pushed a book lying open on the sofa towards his uncle and
pointed where it said under “preparatory exercises”: “transfigure a small
object into other objects no less than five times in a row, including at least
two live creatures.”
“But you said you’d be doing that at
school!” exclaimed Vernon Dursley.
“Yes, but I later decided I’d better
start now. You see, I have quite a few extra-curricular activities – playing
Quidditch, being the President of the Dueling Club, saving the world. That
doesn’t leave enough time for day-to-day studies, plus N.E.W.T.s
preparation,” Harry explained. “But don’t worry, I’m not going to practice
with large objects here.”
“Yeah, like sofas into tigers, that
kind of thing.”
“S-sofas into… I’ll call the police
Harry chuckled. “OK, and what will you
tell them? That your nephew turns sofas into tigers? They’ll more likely have
you locked up if you continue insisting on that.”
Vernon Dursley breathed hard as he
looked at his nephew’s laughing face.
“Do you do all this specially to
irritate us?” he finally managed to say, his voice hoarse from fear that the divine
retribution had come.
“Not at all,” replied Harry, in as
reassuring a tone as he could manage. “I’m just practicing for an Apparition License
and preparing for my advanced exams, the N.E.W.T.s. And wearing… somewhat more
personable clothes that fit me.”
Mention of clothes drew Uncle Vernon’s attention to the
ones his nephew had on at the moment: a pair of black trousers and a sky blue
T-shirt with an ornate inscription “The World Werewolf League.”
“God, why would you wear this
stuff about monsters?”
“Why would you call them that?!”
exclaimed Harry, clearly picked. “Do you even know one?”
“I’m relieved to say that I do not.”
“You do not know what you
miss,” said Harry with conviction.
This reply seemed a bit odd to Uncle
Vernon, but just then another thought struck him.
“Aren’t they dangerous?” he asked
Harry chuckled. “Yes, but only on
full moons. And not even then if they drink a potion that’s been invented
recently. But there’s no need to look so disappointed. Look, in the worst
case scenario, you’ll have to tolerate me for another three weeks; then I’ll be
gone for good, and you’ll never hear another word about me. But if something
happens to me, well, then, there might not be anything else to stop Voldemort.”
“And why on earth would he be
interested in us? We’re not a threat to him.”
Harry let out a hollow laugh. “If he
were only interested in people who’re a threat to him… Half the people he
murdered were killed just for fun, especially Mug– non-magical people. But
that’s even not the main danger for you: I don’t think he’ll care to go after
you specifically – heck, if he has any idea of the kind of life you’ve been
giving me all these years, he might even give you a prize! But the point is, if
he overpowers our Ministry and becomes the master of the country, he’ll most
probably proceed wrecking plants and airports and crashing communications.”
“You think he’ll do that?”
“Well, I’m not privy to his plans, so
I can’t vouch for it, but, unlike his supporters, he grew up in the non-magical
world, so he knows its infrastructure. He knows that technology makes it
strong, that without it its leaders will be lost. Consider also that wizards
don’t need technology for anything – we’ve borrowed a few things, but none of
them are really essential. So for the magical folk, technology is just a useless
source of pollution, and I’m sure quite a few would be glad to see it gone; and
even more will be happy if they don’t have to go secret anymore and if there
aren’t as many Muggles around…. So the non-magical people would start
emigrating en mass, but you won’t be able to take your company with you or sell
it, for there’ll be no buyers. And you won’t even have that much money in the
bank, because with everyone crazy to withdraw, they won’t be able to return
everybody’s money and will set very strict restrictions for a few days, and by
then the pound will be worth nothing.”
Mr. Dursley was looking at his nephew
mouth agape; for once he was seriously concerned.
“And the stocks will plummet too, I
imagine,” added Harry.
“They will,” agreed Uncle Vernon
quietly. “By hell, someone must stop this… this monster, and do it soon!” he
exclaimed, pounding his fist on the table.
“Well, we’re doing all we can,” replied
“And how on earth can you stop
him?” asked Uncle Vernon surveying the slight figure of his nephew, for the
first time with concern rather than scorn. “Or are you powerful with– ” he
gestured at Harry’s wand.
“By no means as powerful as he is,”
Harry admitted. “Although I am quite good at it for my age and will probably
become more so later on. But that’s even not the point, for… we have reliable
info that there’s a strength I have that he hasn’t, which will allow me to
“And what kind of strength is that?”
asked Uncle Vernon curiously.
Harry hesitated a bit. The truth was
that he didn’t really know himself, for the prophecy didn’t mention it. His
headmaster Professor Dumbledore thought that it was love, but Harry doubted
that this would sound convincing to his uncle. In fact, he didn’t even find it
particularly convincing himself. He couldn’t possibly love Voldemort to death,
so how could he vanquish him? Harry began thinking over all the instances when
he had miraculously escaped death, except for the first time when his mother’s
love saved him. In his first year he was so shocked to see Voldemort’s face
sticking out of the back of Professor Quirrell’s head and to realize that Voldemort
could read his mind that he lost his voice and his legs wouldn’t move. But
when Voldemort spoke insultingly of Harry’s parents, Harry had somehow found
both his voice and full command of his limbs, bringing him immediately on the
offensive. In the Chamber of Secrets he was thinking of Dumbledore, which
brought Fawkes to his aid and saved his life. At the end of his third year,
when he had to dispel a hundred dementors, he was thinking of his father and
Sirius, which allowed him to succeed. In the graveyard, when Voldemort was
“dueling” with him, Harry was totally sure that there was no hope at all for
him, and as he was waiting for the end to come, he was thinking of one thing
only, that he was going to die upright like his father, trying to defend
himself, even if no defense was possible. And that decision basically saved
his life. And at the Ministry he was thinking of Sirius, then of Ginny, other
friends in trouble, which left him no time to be afraid, and then back to
Sirius, which, according to Dumbledore, saved him once again. Unlike Voldemort
who didn’t have anyone other than himself to think about, he was never truly
alone. Maybe that was what Professor Dumbledore had meant when he said that
love was the strength that Harry had and Voldemort lacked that would make Harry
stronger in the end?
“I’m never truly alone,” repeated
Harry, almost unconsciously.
“Ah! That explains it,” said Uncle
Vernon. Now he understood why he often felt so uneasy in his nephew’s presence
of late, as if he were being watched. It was just as he had guessed: they had
stuffed the boy with secret video cameras and eavesdropping devices, and were
always monitoring what was going on with him, ready to Apparate and kill anyone
who so much as touched a hair on his head, a gang of ruthless marauders that
they were. They probably owed him allegiance as the son of their slain leader:
gangs were a very undemocratic society.
“Stop!” Harry suddenly exclaimed.
Uncle Vernon shuddered, just as his nephew pointed his wand and shouted, “Accio
chocolate.” The chocolate bar flew out from Dudley’s hand, and Harry caught it
“Sorry. That’s just a conjured remote. You don’t want
bits and pieces of that in your stomach, once the magic wears off.”
Dudley merely let out a squeak and
ran to his room.
“Do you need to practice this
here?” asked Uncle Vernon. “I think that this thing at least you can do just
as well in your own room, can’t you?”
“Yes.” Harry was actually a bit
tired from having to always sit in his room, as if he were sick, but he found
his uncle’s request reasonable enough. He was just about to Disapparate when
Uncle Vernon said,
“Hey, leave that here. And put it
back to what it was!”
“Er… yes.” Harry realized he was
still holding the former remote. He put it back on the table and pointed his
wand at it. “Finite Incantatem!” The chocolate bar disappeared and
there was the remote lying in its place.
“Is-is it OK to use it?” asked Uncle
Vernon uncertainly, extending his hand to it, but not quite touching it.
“Sure.” Harry picked up the remote and turned on the TV.
Then he picked up his textbook and, with the sound of a very loud car exhaust,
Mr. Dursley sat there for a few
minutes, staring at the TV screen, but not understanding a word the man was
saying. Then he turned off the TV and went to his room. He laid down on his
bed, something he hardly ever did during the day, and began to think.
Something had to be done about all this. Voldemort. And three weeks – he’d be
in a madhouse in three weeks, together with his family.
About half an hour later, he got up,
went into the corridor and knocked on his nephew’s door. There was a sound of
footsteps, but just as Harry opened the door, a big black rabbit hopped out of
the room and ran nimbly down the stairs. Harry banged the door closed and
raced after it. Mr. Dursley suddenly heard his wife scream, a heavy pan fall
with a crush, and his nephew’s cheerful,
“Don’t be afraid, Aunt Petunia. Just
an innocent bunny, it won’t hurt you.”
Vernon Dursley closed his eyes for a
second: his wife hated animals.
Slightly panting, Harry ran up the
stairs, bunny in arms.
“I hope that’s not the VCR?” asked
Uncle Vernon suddenly.
“No!” laughed Harry, “just my
He opened the door into his room to
return the escaped rabbit, and as he did so, Uncle Vernon could see that the
room was full of hopping bunnies in fantastic colors.
“That’s a herd,” he said weakly.
“Yeah, I take a lot of subjects.
They afford an excellent exercise in wand aim,” Harry explained
“Well… er… I wanted to ask… do you
know the normal street address of those freaky friends of yours… the Weasels…
because I could drive you there if you wish.”
“Oh!” For a second Harry just stood
there, looking at his uncle with complete astonishment; it was a good thing he
had already returned the rabbit to his room, for otherwise it would have
undoubtedly escaped again. Then he sighed and said, “Unfortunately, I can’t go
there now. The situation is very tense right now, and Dum– my headmaster
thinks it would be best for me to stay here. They are working on it, but they
are afraid to put anything in letters in case they get intercepted, so I don’t
know when to expect them. It may happen very soon, but it’s possible that I’ll
have to stay here till September 1st.”
Uncle Vernon nodded, accepting this.
“Hey, for all I know, I might be gone
by morning,” said Harry cheerfully.
“If you do… and if you meet this guy
later,” said Uncle Vernon suddenly. “Will you tell him…. tell him that we…”
“Don’t worry – I’ll tell him that you
hate me from the bottom of your hearts,” Harry promised seriously.
“And if he does take over your
government… will you let us know… so that we can do what’s necessary.”
“OK, but I might have to write by
owl, if I’m at Hogwarts.”
Mr. Dursley stood there for a while after
Harry had nodded and closed the door, just looking in front of him and not
seeing anything. The flames of the candles on the wallpaper suddenly seemed to
move. He did not know if it were a spell or if it were in his head.
Mr. Dursley woke up suddenly at the
buzz of the alarm clock. He shuddered, not understanding for a second what was
going on. He was lying in his bed; it was half past seven on the clock, and
the sun was already sending heat waves, this day promising to be as suffocating
as the previous three. “Thank god we’ve installed air-conditioning after the last
summer,” thought Vernon Dursley. He had realized with great relief that he had
only dreamed about his nephew coming of age and starting doing it whenever
he pleased. And, yet, this nightmare had been so real. Mr. Dursley seldom
remembered his dreams when he woke up, and on those rare occasions when he did,
in a vague sort of way, they did not make any sense to him, and so he quickly
forgot them. Therefore, having had a very clear and long dream was
However, Vernon Dursley was a man of
strong character. He got off his bed, resolutely determined to get this
nonsense out of his head and to ask his physician for some other sleeping pills
if anything of the kind ever happened again.
A few minutes later, as he came down
to the kitchen, he was greeted by the smell of coffee, the sound of sizzling
bacon, his wife’s smiling “Hi, honey” and the sight of his son – such a healthy
young lad – already digging into his breakfast. Vernon Dursley walked over to
his place, opened the fresh newspaper and accepted a cup of coffee from his
wife. He sincerely hoped that the morning would continue in the same happy,
peaceful way. When he heard the footsteps on the stairs, Mr. Dursley
involuntarily shuddered. He looked up, as his nephew walked into the kitchen.
The lad was dressed in a worn out T-shirt with the name of the local football
team and a very shabby pair of jeans twice his size. Vernon Dursley smiled
with satisfaction, as he looked his nephew up and down.
Harry gave him a puzzled look, as he
sat down to breakfast. However, he did not think much about this strange
behavior of his uncle’s and he scarcely listened as Uncle Vernon talked of buying
some foreign stocks and possibly opening a bank account abroad, so as “not to
put all the eggs in one basket.” Harry had had a very strange dream that
night. He had been thinking back to parting with his friends on the Platform 9¾
before falling asleep – always a reassuring thought, which usually helped keep away
the nightmares of Voldemort, the eerie Department of Mysteries, and Sirius’
death. He did not remember what he was dreaming about later – it was all rather
vague, but he clearly remembered himself suddenly sitting on the sofa in the
living-room and somebody asking him the very question he had been pondering
ever since he came back from Hogwarts: what was the strength that he had and
Voldemort did not, that might allow him to vanquish the dark lord. And, then,
suddenly a comprehensible answer came to him. It was like one of those cases
he had heard about when a person had been banging his head with a problem for
days, and then “saw” the answer in a dream and woke up knowing it. It was true,
in retrospect, that he had always ended up saved, in one way or another, by the
love he felt for somebody, but somehow he had not realized this before.
“Do you hear me?”
“Eh?” Harry automatically took the L15
that his uncle was proffering him.
“Take it to the gas station on the
corner. I owe them L13.75 for the gas.”
Mr. Dursley watched, as his nephew
finished his breakfast, and then rose from the table and walked to
“You can keep the change,” he heard himself
saying. Harry turned and stared at him, mouth agape. “And wipe that idiotic
expression off your face – there’s no point making the neighbors think you’re
even more abnormal than you are.”
Harry chuckled and left the kitchen, banging the
Most of the story, except for the first and the
last sections, are two of Uncle Vernon’s dreams which happened on the same
night, but were separated by a period of non-dreaming (he thought about a week
had passed). Because he happened to be thinking obsessively about Harry just
before he fell asleep and because Harry is a powerful wizard and was physically
close (according to JKR, distances matter in magic), a (mostly unconscious) part
of Harry’s mind connected to Mr. Dursley’s and was providing some responses,
although most of Harry’s behavior in Uncle Vernon’s dreams is Vernon’s projection
of how Harry would behave if he were allowed to do magic at will. It was not
before Uncle Vernon had accidentally asked the very question that Harry himself
had been pondering, that Harry became fully involved. He did not remember
afterwards that it was Uncle Vernon who asked the question (because Harry
is not particularly interested in him), but he remembered his thoughts on the