Harry Potter & The Thousand Mysteries
- Story Summary:
- When Harry returns to fifth year, he finds himself faced with a whole lotta problems- Voldemort, puberty, exams, Ron & Hermione to name but a few. A lot of characters enter into his life from his previous shenanigans, There’s a Christmas Ball, OWL exams, Sirius, Lupin, and more!
- Author's Note:
- This is my fic- bear with it, it gets better!
The sun dawned on Privet Drive, over the neat suburban gardens blooming with summer fauna, on large shining cars, designed to show off the intense wealth of the owner, on highly polished windows and pebble dashed walls, on ornamental flowerbeds and monoblock driveways.
As the cloud-dappled sky hanging above this quiet suburban street slowly turned from pale grey to pale pink, a fifteen year old boy looked through the window of Number 4, lost in thought- he was the only thing that didn't fit, in the sea of middle class bourgeois ornamentation.
Harry Potter surveyed the street with a heavy heart. Unlike most children who attended boarding school, he was most certainly not happy to be home for the holidays. His displeasure was intensified tenfold, however, when his Uncle Vernon, to whom Harry was no blood relation whatsoever, announced that his sister, Aunt Marge, would be staying at the Dursley Residence for the remainder of the holidays.
Harry sighed, as he turned around in his chair, and looked around his room. It would have to be tidied before Aunt Marge arrived that afternoon- Harry shuddered to think of the furor she would cause if she got her hands on his magic wand or broomstick.
So, as the hands on the clock on the bedside cabinet inched from half past five to seven fifteen, Harry packed his possessions in his trunk, put them in his wardrobe, or hid them under the loose floorboard. Once all this was done, he tiptoed out into the hall, and along to the bathroom
He emerged ten minutes later, with his towel wrapped around his waist, and drops still dripping from his soaking hair and face, to find his Aunt Petunia dusting like mad.
'You're up early,' he said to her, as he crossed the landing.
'Never you mind that,' she snapped irritably. 'Marge's train gets here about three, so she'll be here before you get home- so mind you make yourself smart!' She moved over to dust a different table.
Harry closed the door of his room and started to get dressed. He was to be at 17 Moray Place by half past ten. At the start of the summer, Aunt Petunia had enlisted Dudley as an employee of Greene's Removal Company. However, her plan went somewhat awry when Dudley stormed out after refusing to do any work at all.
So Harry had seized his chance, and taken the position left vacant by Dudley the Immense, and had been working for the Company all summer. The results were beneficial to Harry in three ways: Firstly, it got him out of the house, and away from the Dursleys. Second, it had an effect on his body- no longer was he a small, skinny boy who would've snapped like a twig, but now he was more of a man, with muscles and more weight. Thirdly, and most importantly, it had earned him some money. Finally, he could buy some clothes that weren't eight sizes too big for him, or have to wear baggy baggy baggy baggy baggy jeans.
So these three factors combined had made Harry's summer the most bearable yet with the Dursleys. But Aunt Marge, in her usual manner, had soon put a stop to that!
Harry trudged up the driveway of 4 Privet Drive that evening sweaty and tired. He had stopped and bought himself some a pizza and chips for dinner on the way home- not terribly healthy but it was better than bread and cheese from the Dursleys. As he entered through the kitchen door, he heard Aunt Marge's booming voice resonate like a foghorn throughout the Dursley household.
'Exactly Vernon,' she was saying. 'They're all the bloody same! If you hang them who do, the others don't! That's what I always say...'
Harry cringed- her voice cut right through him like knives. He crept up the stairs and into his room; terrified he might give away his presence before it was absolutely necessary.
The next morning at breakfast, however, he could have no such luck. After showering and dressing, he came downstairs for breakfast. Aunt Marge was sitting at the kitchen table, booming out her views on the Euro to Aunt Petunia, who looked less than happy.
'Damn wig-washed yuppies,' she said, banging her fist on the table, as that dratted monster Ripper growled at Harry. 'How dare they tell me what money to use? I never liked those bloody Europeans- The further we are from them, the better!' She said this as if it were solid veritable fact, rather than the ramblings of a middle-aged spinster. 'Aha!' she cried, spotting Harry slink in the doorway. 'I was wondering when I'd see you. I can tell from one glance you haven't shaped up a bit since I last saw you.'
Aunt Petunia laid down a plate of fried bread, fried sausage, fired potatoes and fired bacon, fried mushroom, fried square sausage, fired potato scones and fried onions in front of Aunt Marge. Harry helped himself to some Museli, while keeping his jaw clenched firmly shut.
'Young people these days,' she said, pouring salt over her already less-than-healthy breakfast. 'I don't know, eh? It was never like that in our day, I'm sure. They're all mixed up with the drugs and alcohol and caffeine and,' she leaned over to Aunt Petunia, 'and that contraception malarkey,' she whispered audibly. 'I can see how this one got mixed up in it. He's got that kind of look in his eyes.' She jabbed her knife in Harry's direction. 'Dudley,' she pronounced, 'My Dudley would never do anything like that, would you, Dudley me boy? You wouldn't get your old Aunt Margie all upset and worried by taking drugs, would you?'
'No, Aunt Marge,' said Dudley robotically, as he shovelled food into his mouth.
'I've got to go,' said Harry as he took his bowl to the sink. 'Bye.' He walked out of the room and straight out the door, not even pausing to breathe. He needed to be away from that awful woman as fast as he could.
The days edged past with less haste than they usually did during Harry's summer holidays, which was quite something. Aunt Marge had commandeered the entire house- Harry just managed to stop himself leaping across the Dining room table and strangling the beast several times. But he restrained himself- this summer, he was just going to grit his teeth and get through- no flying cars, or exploding fireplaces or house elves or inflating women, just a normal summer.
It was after Aunt Marge's first week with the Dursleys that Harry finally had some good luck. He returned from work that evening to find the rest of the family, minus Ripper, congregated in the living room, around a sobbing Aunt Marge. On the coffee table, there was a cardboard box, with a crucifix drawn on it.
'What happened?' he asked, when he entered the room. 'What's that?' he pointed to the box.
'It's Ripper,' said Aunt Petunia stonily. Aunt Marge's sobs grew louder, so much so that Uncle Vernon was forced to pour her another brandy.
'The poor thing!' she wailed. 'He was just sniffing around the kitchen! How was he to know Death lurked just around the corner!' She gulped the entire brandy back in a one-er. 'Pour us another brandy, Vernon. There's a good boy.'
'There, there,' said Dudley lazily, patting her arm as he sat beside her.
'Oh, Dudley,' she wailed, grabbing him into a bear hug. 'Dudley, you're such a good boy! Ripper always liked you! He could tell with folk, you know- a very gifted dog.' She shot Harry a dirty look before throwing back another glass of brandy.
'Come now, Marge,' said Uncle Vernon. 'Dinner should be ready in a few minutes. Why don't you go freshen up a little?'
'Yes, I suppose I'd better,' she said, heaving herself up off the couch, where she had left the impress of her massive backside. 'I think I will. You've all been so kind,' she told the Dursleys warmly, patting Dudley on the shoulder. She elbowed Harry out the way, and walked out the door.
Aunt Petunia began clearing up the many tissues that lay scattered around where Aunt Marge had sat. Several copies of the Daily Mail were left in an untidy pile beside the couch.
'Dratted dog,' she muttered. 'You,' she jabbed her finger at Harry. 'Go and set the table.'
'Yeah, but what happened?' he asked.
'The bloody dog was jumping all over the kitchen, and the sink was full of water. I turned my back for two minutes, and when I came back in the toaster was in the sink with it,' she said coldly. 'It'll take me weeks to get that smell out of there,' she moaned, and Harry left to set the table.
When Aunt Marge reappeared in the dining room, it took Harry everything he could not to burst into tears. She had changed, and had instead squeezed her large bulky mass into a black mourning dress. She had a black fur shawl draped over her shoulders, and her massive head was covered with a black veil. In her gloved hand she held a black tissue, and in the other was a crumpled photograph of Ripper.
'Marge, you look beautiful,' said Uncle Vernon softly as she sat down.
'I bring this outfit with me everywhere, in case anything should happen,' she said sombrely. 'This looks delicious, Petunia,' she said, as the rest of them began to eat. She, however, did not take a bit.
'What's wrong, don't you like veal?' asked Aunt Petunia.
'Oh no, it's just that I couldn't eat anything, not while I'm in mourning.'
Harry nearly sprayed the table with bits of shrivelled cabbage at this statement.
'Marge, go on, Ripper wouldn't have wanted it to be like this,' said Uncle Vernon.
'Yeah, he would want you to eat, Aunt Marge,' said Dudley, who obviously wasn't so devastated he couldn't eat. On the contrary, he was shovelling everything he could into his wide mouth, which was packed with half chewed food already.
'How could I refuse this little cherub?' crowed Aunt Marge. Dudley smiled. Harry didn't think there was anything remotely cherubial about Dudley- he rather thought he looked more like a beached whale.
Aunt Marge, however, was having difficulty eating while having to eat with her veil on. After splattering the area around her with food, she eventually settled on tucking it behind her ears, so that her mouth was exposed, but the rest of her vast face was still shrouded by the black veil. This gave her the appearance of some horrific monster out a horror movie; a huge mouth in a sea of black, chomping continually.
When Harry returned home the next day, however, it was to find Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon running around the house frantically, carrying plates and cups of tea hither and thither from the kitchen to the living room.
'What's happened now?' asked Harry in dismay.
It transpired that Aunt Marge had invited three of her dog-loving conservative spinster friends up from where she lived, to attend Ripper's funeral, which would be tomorrow at ten o'clock.
'Do I have to be there?' asked Harry, dreading the answer he was going to get.
'Of course you do!' snapped Uncle Vernon. 'Now take this cup of tea through to Miss. Hartnell!'
So as the sun rose once more over a much more sombre Privet Drive, Harry was once again in the worst of spirits. He didn't own a suit, but he did have a black jacket, shirt and trousers that he has bought with his pay.
He was waiting in the Living room with cups of tea and sandwiches when the taxi containing the three spinsters, who had stayed at the Whinging Hotel, pulled up outside the door. Aunt Marge greeted them in the hallway, before they all went into the living room for a quick bite before the ceremony.
Harry, Aunt Petunia, Aunt Marge and her three friends walked into the back garden, Harry's jaw dropped when he saw how much trouble had been gone to over a small dog. There was a freshly dug grave at the head of the garden, complete with gravestone (covered in black veil), a small pulpit, draped with black, chairs which had been split into two sections with an aisle running in between, and on a table nearby, which had a black tablecloth with a small statue of Jesus, along with about thirsty bunches of flowers. Aunt Petunia looked very unhappy about having to mess up her garden for 'that dratted dog'.
The congregation were seated, and somewhere someone pressed the on button on a tape player, and some funeral music began to play. A vicar came up the aisle, followed by Uncle Vernon and Dudley, who had shouldered between them a small coffin, containing the body of Ripper.
'Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to honour the life of Ripper...' began the vicar, but Harry wasn't listening. He allowed his mind to wander freely as the vicar talked about Ripper's life, his loves, and his untimely death. All through the preposterous service, Aunt Marge's immense figure quivered as she cried, like a huge pile of blancmange.
When the coffin was lowered into the ground, she let out a huge wail, and collapsed into the arms of Uncle Vernon.
'And now, let us unveil the gravestone. Let it stand as a lasting monument to Ripper's life, and his wonderful legacy.' The vicar pulled the shroud off the gravestone, and revealed a marble statue of a dog, just like Ripper, sitting on a plinth. Below it was a plaque.
The Winds of time may diminish this statue,
But the Legacy of you lives on
One by one, the congregation selected a bunch of flowers from the table and laid them at the graveside. Harry, last in the queue, was left with a simple dandelion to lie among the many lilies, roses and hyacinths. It didn't bother him; Ripper's 'untimely passing' didn't particularly upset him- he just thought it wasn't soon enough.
As soon as was decent, Harry excused himself from the reception of brandy, claret and sherry, and, under the guise of being inconsolable with grief, escaped to his room.
When he entered, he found a tiny owl whizzing about his room. It started hooting as soon as Harry entered.
'Shh! Pig- be quiet!' he said, snatching the minuscule owl from the air and pulling the letter it carried from it's claws.
He opened the letter, and began to read Ron's untidy scrawl.
Hermione and I are meeting at 10 on the Monday Morning before we go back to school in the Leaky Cauldron to buy our things. Can you make it?
Hope you got my last letter- you didn't reply. Are the muggles getting you down? Hope not.
See you in London
What letter, thought Harry, as he scribbled See You There! On the letter, and gave it to Pigwidgeon, who flew out the window.
Harry changed out of his clothes, before setting off out the house to a half-day of work. As he stopped to buy himself some lunch, he felt very contented. He would be getting one week less of Aunt Marge, and instead would be spending it in London with his friends.
So Harry waited, looking forward to the coming Monday, as he suffered Aunt Marge. She finally stopped her mourning rituals of spending the morning moping about Ripper in bed, and then spending the rest of the day sitting by his grave or reading the Daily Mail in the living room. She still dressed in black every day, before finally reverting back to her true self. Harry wasn't sure he liked her more when she was in mourning or when she was normal.
'Can't you make that hair of yours lie flat?' she barked at him from across the kitchen table on the Sunday morning.
'Tell me about it, Marge,' said Uncle Vernon. 'I spend my life telling him to get a haircut.'
'Young get-em-ups,' she said, tucking into her steak. (Aunt Marge had taken to having steaks for breakfast every morning after the funeral, something that disgusted both Harry and Aunt Petunia). 'If you ask me,' she said, for what felt like the twelve-thousandth time since se arrived, 'It's those communists who're to blame.' She looked around the table. No one was particularly surprised by this- every morning she had taken to slagging some kind of people off- Yuppies, Hippies, the Welsh, the French, the Americans, the government, liberals, animal rights campaigners, the Europeans.
'They go around mixing it! I once had one of them come up to my door, you know!' she exclaimed, as if canvassing were totally inappropriate. 'A Russian, I think. Started on about the Poll Tax, you know, and then on about getting rid of the Queen! In my opinion, that's treason!'
'What did you do,' asked Dudley stupidly. Everyone at the table knew what answer was coming, and knew that it would take Marge ages to stop crying, by which time her steak would be ruined, and a new one would have to be made.
'It was Ripper who saw to him,' she said, her gargantuan chin wobbling grotesquely and her piggy little eyes filling with tears. 'He chased that hippie round the garden for a near half hour before he finally escaped.' She dissolved into sobs, and began to blow her nose audibly on a paper hanky.
'Excuse me,' said Harry, as he stood up and prepared to leave.
'Typical,' cried Aunt Marge through her tears. 'Typical of that kind! No compassion! Poor Ripper barely cold and me in this state, and he slinks off. Off for another heroin shot, I daresay.'
Harry ignored this comment and left the house. This was to be his last day of working for the year- he was going to catch the Knight Bus to London at four o'clock in the morning.
When he finished work, he slipped into the house, and up to his room, where he began to pack all his belongings into his trunk, before setting off downstairs for dinner.
'Ah, there you are? Back to apologise, are you?' asked Aunt Marge.
'No,' said Harry. 'I'm down for my dinner.'
'You'll be getting no dinner if you speak to me that way, boy!' she shrieked.
She hauled herself up out of her chair. 'I'm going down to the grave, to say a prayer for Ripper,' she announced, and pushed Harry out the way.
'Charming,' said Harry, sitting down.
'Go on then, Vernon, I'll have another glass, if you insist,' said Aunt Marge, as Uncle Vernon poured her another glass, draining the third bottle.
Aunt Marge had chosen tax inspectors as the topic for this evenings rant, and gave the family a colourful and detailed account of her previous meetings with them.
'So I said to him, don't you try and take no tax of me!' she stammered, trying to sit up straight.
Uncle Vernon yawned very obviously and very loudly. 'By Jove,' he exclaimed, 'I'm tired. You certainly are great company, Marge, but I think I'm going to have to hit the hay!' He stood up. 'What about you two? He asked his wife and son.
'Yeah,' said Dudley.
'Let me do the washing up first,' said Aunt Petunia as she gathered in the glasses and disused cutlery.
'Don't be silly, Aunt Petunia,' said Harry. 'I'll do it tonight. You go up to bed.'
The Dursleys all looked at Harry in shock.
'I don't know...' said Aunt Petunia hesitantly.
'Nonsense, Petunia!' roared Aunt Marge, her face beetroot red. 'Have the boy do it! You've been working you're fingers to the bone. I think I should get up to bed as well,' she said, struggling to pull her immense frame to it's feet.
'Easy there, Marge,' said Uncle Vernon, as he reached out to catch her as she lurched towards the ground.
'Excellent!' she barked, and stumbled dizzily out the room.
'Lock up, mind,' sniped Aunt Petunia. 'And don't forget to turn out the porch lights! And the door to the garage! And the garden lights!'
'Don't worry,' said Harry, checking the clock on the wall. 12.10.
He began to clear away the dishes, and when he had finished tidying up, it was 03.15. He tiptoed upstairs to fetch his trunk, and quietly tried to haul it downstairs. He could hear the tremulous snores of Aunt Marge, dwarfing Dudley's and Uncle Vernon's, and Aunt Petunia's horsy whinny, as he crossed the upstairs landing.
By the time he finally had his trunk downstairs, it was 3.45. He hurriedly scribbled a note to tell the Dursleys where he was going to be, and that he'd see them next year.
He pulled his cloak on, and began to haul his trunk out the garden, and down the path. A tabby cat was sitting on the garden wall, looking straight at him.
'Hello,' he said, patting it around the ears. 'I'm Harry.'
He put his trunk down, and was preparing to stick out his warm arm to summon the Knight Bus, which he would be taking to London, when he heard a voice behind him.
'And just what exactly do you think you're doing?'