Mr. H. Potter
The Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
Harry stared at the emerald-green ink with a mixture of excitement and confusion. How did they know where he slept?
"Hurry up, boy!" shouted Uncle Vernon from the kitchen. "What are you doing, checking for letter bombs?" He chuckled at his own joke, although what was so funny about that Harry did not know.
Harry stuffed the letter into his pocket and gave Uncle Vernon the rest of the mail.
"Took you long enough, boy," was the predictable response. "Go to your room."
For once, Harry gladly obeyed. He climbed into the cupboard and took out the letter.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31. Yours sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress
Hogwarts. The very same school his parents had gone to. For the first six years, Harry had been told his parents were drunks that were killed in a car crash. Almost three years ago, however, Harry had found some journals with the names James Fleamont Potter and Lily Rose Evans in them. The journals had been a real eye-opener, talking about magic- a word that Harry's aunt and uncle despised- and even mentioned a few spells.
Looking back at the letter, Harry wondered how he was supposed to reply. Shifting around in the cupboard, he found a piece of paper and some pens and wrote down his response.
"Now how am I supposed to send this?" Harry whispered. He reread the letter. It said, We await your owl... And I'm supposed to find an owl where?
He received his answer later that day. His aunt had ordered him that morning to water the flowerbed, and as he was working, a tawny owl landed on the mailbox. "You here for my letter?" Harry asked it. It hooted in reply. "Do you carry it or...?"
The owl held out a leg. Harry clumsily tied his letter to it, and then the owl was gone.
When a giant man by the name of Rubeus Hagrid came to take Harry to Diagon Alley, both Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia went into a state a panic.
"I'm Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts- yeh'll know all about Hogwarts, o' course."
"I know some," Harry said with a shrug.
"What?!" Aunt Petunia screeched. "But how? We never told you-" She broke off, but Hagrid was angered.
"Never told yeh!" he boomed. "Then how do yeh know 'bout Hogwarts?"
Harry didn't want his relatives to know about his parents' journals, so he just shook his head slightly.
Thankfully, Hagrid seemed to understand. "Well, I suppose that doesn't matter right now. Let's go, Harry."
"Bless my soul," whispered the old bartender, "Harry Potter... what an honor."
How Harry wished he had disguised himself somehow. He nearly jumped when the bartender grabbed his hands. "Welcome back, Mr. Potter. Welcome back."
Harry actually did flinch when several people crowded him.
"Doris Crockford, Mr. Potter, can't believe I'm meeting you at last."
"So proud, Mr. Potter, I'm just so proud."
"Always wanted to shake your hand- I'm all of a flutter."
"Delighted, Mr. Potter, just can't tell you, Diggle's the name, Dedalus Diggle."
Harry recognized the man, but didn't say so. Instead, he smiled politely, secretly wishing Hagrid would stop standing there beaming and do something!
"Professor Quirrell!" said Hagrid to a pale, shaky man. "Harry, Professor Quirrell will be one of your teachers at Hogwarts."
"P-P-Potter," stammered Professor Quirrell, grasping Harry's hand, "c-can't t-tell you how p-pleased I am to meet you."
"What sort of magic do you teach, Professor Quirrell?" Harry asked, trying not to get irritated by the constant stuttering.
"D-Defense Against the D-D-Dark Arts," muttered Professor Quirrell. "N-not that you n-need it, eh, P-P-Potter? You'll be g-getting all your equipment, I suppose? I've g-got to p-pick up a new b-book on vampires, m-myself." He looked terrified at the very thought.
To his relief, Hagrid announced that he ought to be going. "Told yeh, didn't I? Told yeh you was famous. Even Professor Quirrell was tremblin' ter meet yeh- mind you, he's usually tremblin'."
"I didn't like it," Harry muttered.
"Wha'? Whaddya mean?"
"Too many people touching me." The only physical contact Harry had received was when Uncle Vernon hit him.
"Why didn't ya say anythin'?"
"Didn't want to be rude."
They stopped at Gringotts, where Hagrid showed off his terrible acting skills and subtlety as he removed a small, deceivingly bland package from Vault 713.
Hagrid still looked greenish from the cart ride when they came out and sent Harry into Madam Malkin's alone. Another boy was already there, standing on a footstool.
They exchanged polite words, though Harry was reminded strongly of his cousin.
"I really don't think they should let the other sort in, do you?" the boy said. "They're just not the same, they've never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families. What's your surname, anyway?"
"That's you done, my dear," Madam Malkin said before Harry could answer.
Harry nodded his thanks before turning back to the blonde boy. "You can't blame them for being ignorant of the wizarding world," he pointed out. "It's not like they can control their blood status."
The blonde boy pondered over his words. "You have a point," he conceded. "Well, I'll see you at Hogwarts, I suppose."
Harry nodded once before rejoining Hagrid.