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Harry Potter: Simology

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Congratulations you have aged up. You are now a child. You will need to go to school each day and complete your homework. Try to reach level 10 in each of the 4 basic skills to gain a bonus when you age up to teen. You are sad because nobody arranged a birthday party for you.

Harry looks uncomprehendingly at the white box with blue text that greeted him after the third day straight of being confined to his cupboard for freakish behaviour. The large green tick in the bottom the only thing that makes sense to him at the moment.

“Boy! Get out and start cooking.”

Petunia Dursley has asked that you cook with her. Go into the kitchen and stand at a counter to help.

As Harry scrambles out of his cupboard, he notices that each box disappears up to the top right-hand side of his vision where there is little button with three lines on it. It takes him a few moments to realise that it moves with his head, but not his eyes. During this time Aunt Petunia comes out and grabs him by the ear and into the kitchen. Once he’s put on his stool a mixing bowl with red sauce appears in front of him with a wooden spoon sticking out. Petunia doesn’t seem to notice this, as she goes back into the dining room to tidy up and set the table.

Congratulations your Motor has increased to 3.

Another message box appears, before going up to the thing in the top corner again. While he’s doing the mindless task of mixing he moves his head and eyes around to see what else is there. At the bottom right hand corner there’s an icon that’s showing an angry red colour. To the left of that is a little head, then something that looks like one of those file boxes Uncle Vernon brings home sometimes, a picture of two people, a light bulb, an open envelope, and a picture of three yellow boxes – one on top of the other two -  in a circle. When he focuses on the red picture he tries to step back in surprise only to find his hands continuing on their own as a message box pops up and disappears. A small panel pops up with 6 words on it, each one above a bar with a picture next to it. On the left hand side is a picture of a toilet roll, crossed knife and fork, and zZ. On the right hand side is a picture of a smiling face, two speech bubbles, and a smelly sock. Apart from the zZ, all the others are showing red with little red arrows flashing in the bar. The zZ bar is yellow with a red arrow pointing to the left.

When he finishes stirring, he picks up the bowl and pours it on the counter top before he can stop himself. Instead of making a mess a large plate of bacon, eggs, and mushrooms appears on the counter. Petunia comes in and takes the plate into the dining room before shooing him off to the bathroom as Vernon and Dudley come down to breakfast.

Looking in the mirror over the sink causes four more words to appear in different places around the mirror. While Petunia and Vernon had tried very hard to starve Harry’s curiosity and assertiveness out of him, there was still enough that he focused on one of the words trying to puzzle out what it meant. When he found himself looking at himself standing in his pyjamas in a grey space he was most surprised, a little diamond picture in the top left hand corner of his vision attracted his attention by pulsing. When he focused on it a nice woman’s voice spoke out.

“This is where you can customise your sims. In this panel you can choose your gender, age stage, speaking type, and walking gait, and traits. For those that wish to customise genders further the button below the gender icons will allow you to make changes to the standard genders.”

Looking at the pictures he can see that three of them are green, a picture of a circle with an arrow sticking out up and to the right, a picture of a child, and a picture of a campfire symbol. When he tries to change one of the pictures on the top row to another picture, the voice says, “You cannot change the details on an existing sim.”

Looking at the bar below the first two pictures a panel opens up with more text with three groups of circles,  the first two with two circles each, the third with 3 and the last with two again. The only words he recognises are at the bottom where they say yes and no. He tries changing these options, and to his surprise is able to, though it feels really odd when he changes the first option. Quickly he undoes the options and tries to leave that panel. When he’s back at the grey world with just himself standing there, he looks around and sees four pictures at the bottom left, these hold head shots of Vernon, Petunia, Dudley, and himself. His picture has a green background while the others have a grey background. Focusing on Dudley, the person standing in front of him changes. Feeling vindictive, he goes into the same panel that made him feel odd, and switches all of the two choices things to the other choice. He also changes the trumpet to a song bird. At the bottom right he finds a tick and a cross, so he focuses on the tick and finds himself back at the sink where he started.

Panicking that he’s been standing there for ages he hurries through the rest of his ablutions before rushing downstairs.

Petunia looks at him sharply from the dinner table, “Good, you were quick. Your school uniform is in your cupboard. Once you’re changed there’s a bowl of cornflakes on the counter. You can have it once you’ve finished cleaning away the breakfast.”

While he’s getting changed he hears Dudley stomp up the stairs, then there’s the screech that he knows and hates, “MUM! I don’t want trousers, I want a skirt.”

From the dinner table he hears Vernon sigh loudly, “Any idea what this is about pet?”

“No honey, have a good day at work and I’ll sort it out once the freak is tidying up down here.”

When he hears his uncle leave the house, he puts on the first and probably last set of new clothes he ever remembers having. He then gets out of the cupboard and begins to tidy up. Once she can see that he’s doing this correctly Petunia heads upstairs, so he sneaks himself a portion of breakfast while he’s tidying up. An activity that seems suspiciously easier than it used to be.

A yellow flash appearing at the bottom right of his vision drawing his attention to the open envelope picture, that now has a yellow background, as the female voice says, “Sims with a job or children and teenagers need to go to work or school. The job information icon will turn yellow when it’s time to leave, and red when they’re running late. If you look at the Job Information Panel you can see what the sim needs in order to be promoted to the next level as well as their performance in the current level.”

True enough as he focuses on the yellow icon it turns into a panel with more incomprehensible writing on it. Along with a bar with six segments on it that go from red on the left to deep green on the right, a small arrow sits in the centre.

The icon has just turned red when Petunia finally comes down with a sulking Dudley wearing his school uniform with trousers, “Come on we’re running late.”

School is, interesting, especially as because they’re running late he finds out at the front desk that his name is Harry Potter. He also hears her tell the receptionist that he’s a troublemaker, and a known liar. He’s sure that he wasn’t supposed to know that just like he’s not supposed to know the things he overhears in his cupboard. The receptionist then shows the two of them around the school, including the small library that is shared with the junior school that’s in the other building. Not being familiar with a library, and also only been with Dudley and a strange adult, Harry feels emboldened to ask what it’s for. While the answer doesn’t make too much sense to him, the fact that it’s where you can learn about things to do with the world around you, and that it’s open during the lunch hour mean he wants to find out more. Their class is fun, as they are taught how to write letters, number, and get to spend time playing too. All things that he didn’t get to do growing up while Dudley was taught to read and write, and had more than enough play time.

At lunch time he wanders back to the library rather than play with the other children in the playground. Once there he walks up to the librarian. Four different options appear around his head, that he can’t read yet, as he approaches.

“Excuse me mister.”

The librarian looks down at him, “Yes sonny?”

“Do you have any instructions on how to use the pictures that are around the edge of my vision?”

The man laughs, “You’ve got an active imagination, people don’t have pictures around their vision.”

In the centre of his vision a panel appears with the man’s portrait and some text below it. The picture has a purplish red background to it.

Harry frowns at him, opens his mouth to argue but instead asks, “Do you have any books that will help me learn to read faster?”

“Sorry kid, we don’t. We do have a ‘speak and spell’ over here in the primary school part of the library, along with plenty of picture books though.”

Harry then spends the rest of the hour until the bell playing with the speak and spell, learning what each letter looks like and sounds like. It was much, much, harder than the letters they were just learning to draw in class. However, Harry persevered as he had a reason to learn to read beyond the reason that his class mates had. Throughout the day messages appeared and went up into the top right corner and he became adept at ignoring them when they turned up if he was doing something else.

Throughout the rest of the day, there’s the occasional outburst from Dudley about wanting to wear a skirt like the girls are.

While they’re waiting for Petunia to pick them up after school, Dudley pulls his drawings out of his backpack and pushes him over. By the time he’s stood up all that’s left of them is confetti scattered around the playground, and Dudley is putting on his best innocent impression.

When he got home after school the woman’s voice speaks up again, “Your sim has just returned home from school. In order to progress they need to do their homework. This can be found in the inventory, accessed through the box icon in the toolbar. If you select the homework they will start doing it. Remember, the higher their basic skills the faster their homework will be completed.”

A pulsating green circle around the box picture drew his eyes. Focusing on it a panel opens with two pictures inside it, the first is a picture of a colourful yellow book. The second is a crystal. When he focuses on the book there are two options with a white background. The crystal also has two options that are different, but one of them is almost see-through. Deciding to avoid that item until he knows what the words say, he tries the bottom option on the book. Suddenly he’s holding the book in his hands. Panicking he tries to get the book back into that panel. It’s not until he focuses on it specifically that he gets two opens over the book. Choosing the top option he panics as he unconsciously opens it and starts looking at the problems on the page and doing each problem. He has enough presence of mind to try to draw his focus away from what he’s doing even as he’s struggling with the basic numbers and letters in the homework. As his focus pulls back, he closes the book and resists the urge to put it down. Staring at the book again he focuses on the other option and breaths a sigh of relief when it disappears. A sigh that chokes off into a whimper when he sees Dudley staring at him.

“Mum! Harry’s doing freaky stuff again. He made a book appear and disappear.”

“Right! That’s enough out of you boy, no dinner tonight. Now get into the garden and start weeding!”

A message appears in his vision that disappears into that top corner again. Grudgingly he walks out to the back garden and starts weeding and watering the flowers. When he goes to dead-head the roses, all of the flowers disappear. Panicking he holds himself still before moving onto the rest of the garden being careful not to pick anything. By the time he finishes the plants all look absolutely pristine, though there is a faint green smoke rising from him and he stinks, which probably has something to do with the red dirty sock in the corner. Petunia comes out and looks at the garden before huffing, “At least your freakishness was finally useful for something. Just don’t use it in the front garden.”

“Yes Aunt Petunia.” Harry says obediently.

“Well get inside and get the stuff for dinner out. It’s sausages and mash, so I need you to peel the potatoes.”

“May I wash first, please?”

Petunia looks at him critically, “Yes, but be quick about it.”

Taking off at a run, he heads up to the bathroom and has the fastest shower he can that also leaves that smelly sock bar full and green. Feeling energised, he runs back downstairs and opens the fridge before he recoils at the smell that assaults his nose. The milk has that faint green smoke rising from it, and seems to be the source of the smell. Taking the bottle out to the dining room, he walks over to Aunt Petunia.

“Aunt Petunia, I think there’s something wrong with the milk.”

“Let me see that!” She takes the bottle from him and looks at the numbers on the top. Frowning she opens the unopened foil lid of the bottle and takes a sniff before frowning again. She then frowns at Harry before getting up and marching to the fridge. After checking one of the other bottles she frowns at him again before pouring the first bottle down the sink, rinsing it out and putting it out for the milkman.

Just like the morning, he sort of goes into an autopilot as he helps prepare dinner, and the actions that he makes seem to have no bearing on the meal in question. Once he is sent to his cupboard with just a jam sandwich for dinner, his crossed knife and fork bar is red again, as is the zZ bar. Forcing himself to stay awake, he focuses on the box icon and bangs his head on the wall as he sees six roses in there along with the book and the gem. Focusing on the rose and choosing the option that the book has as well, the rose appears in his hand perfectly trimmed and cut. Focusing on the rose he manages to get it back into that panel before doing the same thing he did before with the homework. His brain feels like it’s on fire as it’s forced to work through the problems in the book, but he allows it to persevere so that it’s completed. It takes a long time, and his zZ bar is virtually empty by the time it’s finished and he allows himself to sink into sleep.