The summer is terrible. The Dursleys are the same sneering, self-righteous, awful people he’d happily left at the beginning of the school year, and Ms. Figg is busy often with secret things she can’t mention to him. There is an instance where the Prophet arrives in the mail and her face whitens as she reads it; that is the only time she will ever tell him to go home early so that she can use the floo.
Aunt Marge comes to visit near the end; she brings with her one of her prized dogs, Ripper, who delights in chasing Harry into trees, and her belligerence and general distaste for anything Potter, which she loudly and unashamedly announces every time they meet. This time, however, Ripper quails before Lilla’s mechanical skeleton and large, predatory, slow-blinking eyes. He growls for show, cowers a moment, and goes to hide under Marge’s seat at the table. Harry’s half afraid and half hopeful he’ll be crushed if the chair fails her.