CHAPTER TWO - AUNT MARGE'S BIG
The four Marauders and Lily situated themselves so
that they were comfortable and they all looked at
Remus again, waiting for him to continue.
“Okay, this chapter is called Aunt Marge’s Big
Mistake.” Remus said dramatically.
Harry went down to breakfast the next morning to find
the three Dursleys already sitting around the kitchen
table. They were watching a brand-new television, a
welcome-home-for-the-summer present for Dudley, who
had been complaining loudly about the long walk
between the fridge and the television in the living
James - ::glaring:: Spoiled brat.
Dudley had spent most of the summer in the kitchen,
his piggy little eyes fixed on the screen and his five
chins wobbling as he ate continually.
All – Ewwwww! Bad mental picture!
Harry sat down between Dudley and Uncle Vernon, a
large, beefy man with very little neck and a lot of
mustache. Far from wishing Harry a happy birthday,
none of the Dursleys made any sign that they had
noticed Harry enter the room, but Harry was far too
used to this to care.
All - ::glares::
He helped himself to a piece of toast and then looked
up at the reporter on the television, who was halfway
through a report on an escaped convict:
"... The public is warned that
Sirius – Snape!
James – Malfoy!
Lily – Fletcher!
Peter – Mrs. Figg!
All - ::stare::
Peter - ::shrug::
Remus – Black.
Sirius – Hey! I ain’t that bad!
Remus – No, that’s what it says…
Sirius – What?
Remus – Listen.
Black is armed and extremely dangerous. A special hot
line has been set up, and any sighting of Black should
be reported immediately."
Remus – See?
James – Damn, what did you do, Sirius?
Sirius – How should I know?
Peter – Maybe you murdered Snape.
James – If he did that, he would be honored not thrown
Lily – James!
"No need to tell us he's no good," snorted Uncle
Vernon, staring over the top of his newspaper at the
prisoner. "Look at the state of him, the filthy lay
about! Look at his hair!"
Sirius – My hair is just fine, thank you! It’s the
one thing I pride myself in.
James – Other than your “good looks”?
Sirius – Of course!
He shot a nasty look sideways at Harry, whose untidy
hair had always been a source of great annoyance to
Uncle Vernon. Compared to the man on the television,
however, whose gaunt face was surrounded by a matted,
elbow-length tangle, Harry felt very well groomed
Sirius – Hey, I resent that Potter!
James – I think you mean ‘resemble’.
The reporter had reappeared. "The Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries will announce today --"
"Hang on!" barked Uncle Vernon, staring furiously
at the reporter. "You didn't tell us where that
maniac's escaped from! What use is that? Lunatic could
be coming up the street right now!"
Aunt Petunia, who was bony and horse-faced,
Lily – Hey, you’re right. Petunia does look like a
whipped around and peered intently out of the kitchen
window. Harry knew Aunt Petunia would simply love to
be the one to call the hot line number. She was the
nosiest woman in the world and spent most of her life
spying on the boring, law-abiding neighbors.
Peter – Why spy on them if they’re law-abiding?
Isn’t that kind of… boring?
Lily – I believe that is the point, Peter.
Peter – There was a point?
"When will they learn," said Uncle Vernon, pounding
the table with his large purple fist, "that hanging's
the only way to deal with these people?"
All - ::muttering:: Slytherin.
"Very true," said Aunt Petunia, who was still
squinting into next door's runner beans.
Uncle Vernon drained his teacup, glanced at his
watch, and added, "I'd better be off in a minute,
Petunia. Marge's train gets in at ten."
Lily – Oh Merlin No!
Marauders – What!?
Lily – You’ll see later—
Marauders – You think, yeah, we know, we know.
Harry, whose thoughts had been upstairs with the
broomstick Servicing Kit, was brought back to earth
with an unpleasant bump.
"Aunt Marge?" he blurted out. "Sh -- she's not
coming here, is she?"
Sirius – She can’t be *that* bad, can she?
Lily – Well, lets just say that she is almost exactly
Sirius – Oh, never mind then.
Aunt Marge was Uncle Vernon's sister. Even though she
was not a blood relative of Harry's (whose mother had
been Aunt Petunia's sister), he had been forced to
call her "Aunt" all his life.
James - ::angrily:: You shouldn’t be forced to do
Lily – That’s my nosy sister and her fat husband for
Sirius – I *hate* them already!
Others – You hate everything!
Aunt Marge lived in the country, in a house with a
large garden, where she bred bulldogs. She didn't
often stay at Privet Drive, because she couldn't bear
to leave her precious dogs, but each of her visits
stood out horribly vividly in Harry's mind.
Sirius – I have a pretty good feeling that I’m
going to hate this woman.
Remus – Besides the fact that you hate *everything*,
I’d have to say that you’re right.
At Dudley's fifth birthday party, Aunt Margo had
whacked Harry around the shins with her walking stick
to stop him from beating Dudley at musical statues.
Lily/James – She *didn’t*!
Remus/Sirius – She *did*.
Lily/James – ::glares at Remus/Sirius::
A few years later, she had turned up at Christmas with
a computerized robot for Dudley and a box of dog
biscuits for Harry.
Sirius – Those are actually good, you know!
Lily – Do I even want to know?
Marauders – Nope!
On her last visit, the year before Harry started at
Hogwarts, Harry had accidentally trodden on the tail
of her favorite dog. Ripper had chased Harry out into
the garden and up a tree, and Aunt Marge had refused
to call him off until past midnight.
All – Definitely Slytherin!
The memory of this incident still brought tears of
laughter to Dudley's eyes.
"Marge'll be here for a week," Uncle Vernon
snarled, “and while we're on the subject" -- he
pointed a fat finger threateningly at Harry -- "we
need to get a few things straight before I go and
Dudley smirked and withdrew his gaze from the
television. Watching Harry being bullied by Uncle
Vernon was Dudley's favorite form of entertainment.
James - ::growl::
"Firstly," growled Uncle Vernon, "you'll keep a civil
tongue in your head when you're talking to Marge."
"All right," said Harry bitterly, "if she does
when she's talking to me.”
All – You tell him, Harry!
"Secondly," said Uncle Vernon, acting as though he had
not heard Harry's reply, "as Marge doesn't know
anything about your abnormality, I don't want any --
any funny stuff while she's here. You behave yourself,
"I will if she does," said Harry through gritted
Sirius – Good answer, Harry, but you won’t have to
do any of that, because I’ll come and get you before
she gets there! That’s why I escaped from wherever! I
wanted to save Harry from this hellhole.
Remus – If you wanted to save Harry, where the hell am
Sirius – In the middle of nowhere?
Remus - ::smacks Sirius::
"And thirdly," said Uncle Vernon, his mean little eyes
now slits in his great purple face, "we've told Marge
you attend St. brutus's Secure Center for Incurably
All – What!?
"What?" Harry yelled.
"And you'll be sticking to that story, boy, or
there'll be trouble," spat Uncle Vernon.
Harry sat there, white-faced and furious, staring
at Uncle Vernon, hardly able to believe it. Aunt Marge
coming for a weeklong visit -- it was the worst
birthday present the Dursleys had ever given him,
including that pair of Uncle Vernon's old socks.
Lily – I am so kicking Petunia’s arse when I get
Marauders – And we’re going to help!
"Well, Petunia," said Uncle Vernon, getting heavily to
his feet, "I'll be off to the station, then. Want to
come along for the ride, Dudders?"
All – Dudders? ::bust out laughing::
"No," said Dudley, whose attention had returned to the
television now that Uncle Vernon had finished
"Duddy's got to make himself smart for his
auntie," said Aunt Petunia, smoothing Dudley's thick
blond hair. "Mummy's bought him a lovely new bow tie."
Remus – I don’t think anything could make “Dudders”
Others – ::agree::
Uncle Vernon clapped Dudley on his porky shoulder.
"See you in a bit, then," he said, and he left the
Harry, who had been sitting in a kind of horrified
trance, had a sudden idea.
James/Sirius – Ooh! Idea!
Remus – It probably won’t involve explosives, the
color pink, or Snape; so don’t get too happy.
James/ Sirius – Ah man!
Abandoning his toast, he got quickly to his feet and
followed Uncle Vernon to the front door.
Uncle Vernon was pulling on his car coat.
"I'm not taking you," he snarled as he turned to
see Harry watching him.
Lily - ::darkly:: Like he’d want to go.
"Like I wanted to come,"
Lily – See?
said Harry coldly. "I want to ask you something."
Uncle Vernon eyed him suspiciously. "Third years at
Hog -- at my school are allowed to visit the village
sometimes," said Harry.
James - ::sadly:: He doesn’t care, Harry. It’s no
snapped Uncle Vernon, taking his car keys from a hook
next to the door.
"I need you to sign the permission form," said
Harry in a rush.
"And why should I do that?" sneered Uncle Vernon.
"Well," said Harry, choosing his words carefully,
"it'll be hard work, pretending to Aunt Marge I go to
that St. Whatsits --"
Lily – Aw I see what he’s doing… Very smart, but a
Remus – Not dishonest, just sly.
"St. brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal
boys!" bellowed Uncle Vernon, and Harry was pleased to
hear a definite note of panic in Uncle Vernon's voice.
Lily – Of course he would be pleased! He *is* his
father’s son, after all.
James – I can’t decide if that’s a compliment or a
Lily – Just think of it as a little of both, dear.
James – If you say so.
"Exactly," said Harry, looking calmly up into Uncle
Vernon's large, purple face. "It's a lot to remember.
I'll have to make it sound convincing, won't I? What
if I accidentally let something slip?"
"You'll get the stuffing knocked out of you, won't
James/Lily – ::growling:: If you lay one hand on
him I will personally rip your head off and serve it
to you for dinner!
Others - ::back away from James/Lily::
roared Uncle Vernon, advancing on Harry with his fist
raised. But Harry stood his ground.
Marauders – Just like a Marauder would.
"Knocking the stuffing out of me won't make Aunt Marge
forget what I could tell her," he said Grimly. Uncle
Vernon stopped, his fist still raised, his face an
ugly puce. "But if you sign my permission form," Harry
went on quickly, "I swear I'll remember where I'm
supposed to go to school, and I'll act like a Mug --
like I'm normal and everything."
Sirius – Acting like a Muggle is *normal*?
Lily – It is to them.
Sirius – Why?
Lily – Because they’re *Muggle*?
Sirius – Huh? Oh yeah!
Lily - ::sigh::
Second part of chapter one:
CHAPTER TWO: AUNT MARGE'S bIG
Harry could tell that Uncle Vernon was thinking it
over, even if his teeth were bared and a vein was
throbbing in his temple.
"Right," he snapped finally. "I shall monitor your
behavior carefully during Marge's visit. If, at the
end of it, you've toed the line and kept to the story,
I'll sign your ruddy form."
All - ::cheer:: He did it!
He wheeled around, pulled open the front door, and
slammed it so hard that one of the little panes of
glass at the top fell out.
Harry didn't return to the kitchen. He went back
upstairs to his bedroom. If he was going to act like a
real Muggle, he'd better start now.
Sirius – I *hate* Uncle Vernon.
Others – You hate—
Sirius – Everything. I know, I know.
Slowly and sadly he gathered up all his presents and
his birthday cards and hid them under the loose
floorboard with his homework. Then he went to Hedwig's
cage. Errol seemed to have recovered; he and Hedwig
were both asleep, heads under their wings. Harry
sighed, then poked them both awake.
Sirius – What’s not normal about owning an owl?
Lily – Muggles don’t use owls.
Sirius - ::shocked:: Then how do they contact each
Lily – Remember that telephone earlier? That’s one
way. They also send letters through the mail.
Sirius – How does that work?
Lily – A lot of men go around handing out and
gathering letters from the mailboxes that are usually
in people’s yards.
Sirius – But why-
Remus – Can I read?
Sirius – Sorry, Moony.
"Hedwig," he said gloomily, "you're going to have to
clear off for a week. Go with Errol. Ron'll look after
you. I'll write him a note, explaining. And don't look
at me like that" -- Hedwig's large amber eyes were
reproachful -- "it's not my fault. It's the only way
I'll be allowed to visit Hogsmeade with Ron and
Sirius – His girlfriend.
James – You have no proof of that Sirius.
Ten minutes later, Errol and Hedwig (who had a note to
Ron bound to her leg) soared out of the window and out
of sight. Harry, now feeling thoroughly miserable, put
the empty cage away inside the wardrobe. but Harry
didn't have long to brood. In next to no time, Aunt
Petunia was shrieking
Peter – Maybe she’s part banshee.
up the stairs for Harry to come down and get ready to
welcome their guest.
"Do something about your hair!"
James – There’s no use in yelling at him for it! It
runs in the family. My father had this hair, and so
did my grandfather, and my great grandfather, and my
great-great grandfather, and my-
Remus – We get it, James. Everybody in your family has
James – Well, I wouldn’t put it like that.
Lily – I would, especially when you ruffle it to make
it even more untidy!
Aunt Petunia snapped as he reached the hall.
Harry couldn't see the point of trying to make his
hair lie flat. Aunt Marge loved criticizing him, so
the untidier he looked, the happier she would be.
James - ::muttering furiously under his
All too soon, there was a crunch of gravel outside as
Uncle Vernon's car pulled back into the driveway, then
the clunk of the car doors and footsteps on the garden
"Get the door!" Aunt Petunia hissed at Harry.
Sirius – All this hissing… wonder if she’s part
Lily – She looks more like part horse to me.
A feeling of great gloom in his stomach, Harry pulled
the door open.
On the threshold stood Aunt Marge. She was very
like Uncle Vernon: large, beefy, and purple- faced,
she even had a mustache,
Peter – She should enter the circus as the
Lily/Remus - ::laugh::
Sirius/James – Huh?
Peter/Lily/Remus – Muggle thing.
Sirius - Peter, how do *you* know Muggle things?
Peter - I know *some* things... My mother was a Squib,
though not as bushy as his. In one hand she held an
enormous suitcase, and tucked under the other was an
old and evil-tempered bulldog.
Lily – I don’t like dogs.
Sirius/Remus – You don’t!
Lily – Nope! Every dog I have ever come across has
been either mean or disgusting.
Remus - ::muttering:: With Sirius you get both.
Sirius - ::smack Remus::
"Where's my Dudders?"
Marauders – Dudders? ::laughs::
roared Aunt Marge. "Where's my neffy-poo?"
Marauders – Neffy-poo? ::laughs::
Dudley came waddling down the hall, his blond hair
plastered flat to his fat head, a bow tie just visible
under his many chins. Aunt Marge thrust the suitcase
into Harry's stomach, knocking the wind out of him,
Lily/James - ::glare::
seized Dudley in a tight one-armed hug, and planted a
large kiss on his cheek.
Harry knew perfectly well that Dudley only put up
with Aunt Marge's hugs because he was well paid for
it, and sure enough, when they broke apart, Dudley had
a crisp twenty-pound note clutched in his fat fist.
All - ::glare::
"Petunia!" shouted Aunt Marge, striding past Harry as
though he was a hat stand. Aunt Marge and Aunt Petunia
kissed, or rather Aunt Marge bumped her large jaw
against Aunt Petunia's bony cheekbone.
Uncle Vernon now came in, smiling jovially as he
shut the door.
"Tea, Marge?" he said. "And what will Ripper
Lily – ::disgusted:: Nothing! He’s just a dog! Give
him some water and be done with it!
Sirius - ::pouting:: Dogs deserve respect too.
James – Not this dog.
"Ripper can have some tea out of my saucer," said Aunt
Marge as they all proceeded into the kitchen, leaving
Harry alone in the hall with the suitcase. but Harry
wasn't complaining; any excuse not to be with Aunt
Marge was fine by him, so he began to heave the case
upstairs into the spare bedroom, taking as long as he
James – Shoot. I would too.
by the time he got back to the kitchen, Aunt Marge had
been supplied with tea and fruitcake, and Ripper was
lapping noisily in the corner.
Harry saw Aunt Petunia wince slightly as specks of
tea and drool flecked her clean floor. Aunt Petunia
James – She does? But what about that black cat
that you have?
Lily – Petunia tried to drown Shadow the first time I
brought her home.
"Who's looking after the other dogs, Marge?" Uncle
"Oh, I've got Colonel Fubster managing them,"
boomed Aunt Marge. "He's retired now, good for him to
have something to do. but I couldn't leave poor old
Ripper. He pines if he's away from me."
Ripper began to growl again as Harry sat down.
This directed Aunt Marge's attention to Harry for the
Peter – Hey! He’s not invisible!
Remus – I don’t think that’s a good thing.
"So!" she barked. "Still here, are you?"
Sirius - ::as Harry:: No. You just think I am. You
see you are schizophrenic.
Others - ::laugh::
"Yes," said Harry.
"Don't you say yes' in that ungrateful tone," Aunt
Marge growled. "It's damn good of Vernon and Petunia
to keep you. Wouldn't have done it myself. You'd have
gone straight to an orphanage if you'd been dumped on
Lily – That’s probably why she doesn’t have any
Harry was bursting to say that he'd rather live in an
orphanage than with the Dursleys, but the thought of
the Hogsmead form stopped him. He forced his face into
a painful smile.
Peter – How can a smile be painful? Does he have
Remus – No, it was painful mentally, not physically.
Peter – Why would it be painful mentally, though?
Remus – Because he isn’t happy so he doesn’t want to
"Don't you smirk at me!" boomed Aunt Marge. "I can see
you haven't improved since I last saw you. I hoped
school would knock some manners into you." She took a
large gulp of tea, wiped her mustache, and said,
"Where is it that you send him, again, Vernon?"
All excluding Remus – Hogwarts! He goes to
Remus – You don’t have to yell at *me*! I’m only
reading what it says here!
"St. brutus's," said Uncle Vernon promptly. "It's a
first-rate institution for hopeless cases."
"I see," said Aunt Marge. "Do they use the cane at
St. brutus's, boy?" she barked across the table.
Peter – No they don’t, but they use to hang people
by their thumbs in the dungeon.
Uncle Vernon nodded curtly behind Aunt Marge's back.
"Yes," said Harry. Then, feeling he might as well
do the thing properly, he added, "all the time."
"Excellent," said Aunt Marge. "I won't have this
namby-pamby, wishy-washy nonsense about not hitting
people who deserve it. A good thrashing is what's
needed in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. Have you
been beaten often?"
James – Of course not!
Lily – He’s a good kid!
James – Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say
"Oh, yeah," said Harry, "loads of times."
Aunt Marge narrowed her eyes.
"I still don't like your tone, boy," she said. "If
you can speak of your beatings in that casual way,
they clearly aren't hitting you hard enough. Petunia,
I'd write if I were you. Make it clear that you
approve the use of extreme force in this boy's case."
Lily - ::eyes narrowing:: I’d like to see you try…
Marauders - ::back away from Lily::
Perhaps Uncle Vernon was worried that Harry might
forget their bargain; in any case, he changed the
"Heard the news this morning, Marge? What about
that escaped prisoner, eh?"
Sirius - ::as Marge in a high-pitched girly voice::
Oh yeah. I heard it. That Sirius black fellow was so
*charming*! He was just so ::over dramatic sigh::
James – Think highly of yourself, don’t you?
Sirius – Of course, it is me after all.
As Aunt Marge started to make herself at home, Harry
caught himself thinking almost longingly of life at
number four without her. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia
usually encouraged Harry to stay out of their way,
which Harry was only too happy to do.
James – Of course he is… I don’t think anybody
could stand that b—
Lily – JAMES! Don’t you dare say that!
James - ::sheepishly:: Sorry, Lily.
Aunt Marge, on the other hand, wanted Harry under her
eye at all times, so that she could boom out
suggestions for his improvement. She delighted in
comparing Harry with Dudley, and took huge pleasure in
buying Dudley expensive presents while glaring at
Harry, as though daring him to ask why he hadn't got a
present too. She also kept throwing out dark hints
about what made Harry such an unsatisfactory person.
Lily - ::sarcastically:: Oh, I wonder what she
thinks it is!
"You mustn't blame yourself for the way the boy's
turned out, Vernon," she said over lunch on the third
day. "If there's something rotten on the inside,
there's nothing anyone can do about it."
Harry tried to concentrate on his food, but his
hands shook and his face was starting to burn with
Remus – Calm, Harry, just stay calm.
Remember the form, he told himself Think about
Hogsmeade. Don't say anything. Don't rise Aunt Marge
reached for her glass of wine.
"It's one of the basic rules of breeding," she
said. "You see it all the time with dogs. If there's
something wrong with the bitch, there'll be something
wrong with the pup --"
James - ::jumping to his feet:: How dare she say
something rude like that about Lily! Lily is the most
wonderful person ever! She’s a hundred times better
than this Marge person!
Remus/Sirius – ::hiding a grin::dryly:: Oh yeah. We
James - ::realizing what he said blushes:: I think
I’ll sit down now.
Lily – ::blushing:: I think you’re wonderful to.
James - ::grins::
At that moment, the wineglass Aunt Marge was holding
exploded in her hand. Shards of glass flew in every
direction and Aunt Marge sputtered and blinked, her
great ruddy face dripping.
All – Harry did magic *without* a wand!
"Marge!" squealed Aunt Petunia. "Marge, are you all
"Not to worry," grunted Aunt Marge, mopping her
face with her napkin. "Must have squeezed it too hard.
Did the same thing at Colonel Fubster's the other day.
No need to fuss, Petunia, I have a very firm grip..."
Remus – Think they’ll buy that?
Lily – Unfortunately, no. Petunia and Vernon are too
suspicious for that.
Sirius – I *hate* those two.
but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon were both looking at
Harry suspiciously, so he decided he'd better skip
dessert and escape from the table as soon as he could.
Marauders – I would!
Outside in the hall, he leaned against the wall,
breathing deeply It had been a long time since he'd
lost control and made something explode. He couldn't
afford to let it happen again. The Hogsmeade form
wasn't the only thing at stake -- if he carried on
like that, he'd be in trouble with the Ministry of
Lily – And how many times have you all been in
trouble with the Ministry Of Magic?
Peter – Three times.
Remus – Six times.
James – Twelve times.
Sirius – Twenty-four times. And that isn’t counting
the times that they actually came instead of sending a
Lily – And you all are still in Hogwarts, how?
Marauders – Dumb luck.
Harry got through the next three days by forcing
himself to think about his Handbook of Do-It-Yourself
broom care whenever Aunt Marge started on him.
James – I so wish I had one of those!
This worked quite well, though it seemed to give him a
glazed look, because Aunt Marge started voicing the
opinion that he was mentally subnormal.
At last, at long last, the final evening of
Marge's stay arrived.
All – YAY!
Aunt Petunia cooked a fancy dinner and Uncle Vernon
uncorked several bottles of wine. They got all the way
through the soup and the salmon without a single
mention of Harry's faults; during the lemon meringue
pie, Uncle Vernon bored them A with a long talk about
Grunnings, his drill-making company; then Aunt Petunia
made coffee and Uncle Vernon brought out a bottle of
Remus – Uh oh… alcohol can do weird things to
people. I sure hope Marge doesn’t get drunk.
"Can I tempt you, Marge?" Aunt Marge had already had
quite a lot of wine. Her huge face was very red.
Remus – Too late.
"Just a small one, then," she chuckled. "A bit more
than that... and a bit more... that's the ticket."
Peter – That didn’t sound like a small one.
Dudley was eating his fourth slice of pie. Aunt
Petunia was sipping coffee with her little finger
sticking out. Harry really wanted to disappear into
his bedroom, but he met Uncle Vernon's angry little
eyes and knew he would have to sit it out.
Marauders – Bad idea.
"Aah," said Aunt Marge, smacking her lips and putting
the empty brandy glass back down. "Excellent nosh,
Petunia. It's normally just a fry-up for me of an
evening, with twelve dogs to look after...." She
burped richly and patted her great tweed stomach.
Lily – Eww! That’s just gross!
"Pardon me. but I do like to see a healthy-sized boy,"
she went on, winking at Dudley. "You'll be a
proper-sized man, Dudders, like your father. Yes, I'll
have a spot more brandy, Vernon...."
James – A drunken snob is not a good thing!
"Now, this one here --" She jerked her head at Harry,
who felt his stomach clench. The Handbook, he thought
quickly. "This one's got a mean, runty look about him.
You get that with dogs. I had Colonel Fubster drown
one last year. Ratty little thing it was- Weak.
James/Lily - ::glare::
Harry was trying to remember page twelve of his book:
A Charm to Cure Reluctant Reverses. "It all comes down
to blood, as I was saying the other day. bad blood
will out. Now, I'm saying nothing against your family,
Petunia" she patted Aunt Petunia's bony hand with her
shovel like one "but your sister was a bad egg.
Marauders – No she wasn’t!
They turn up in the best families. Then she ran off
with a wastrel
All – I/He (depending on who is talking) is/am not
and here's the result right in front of us."
Harry was staring at his plate, a funny ringing in
his ears. Grasp your broom firmly by the tail, he
thought. but he couldn't remember what came next.
Remus – Calm, Harry, just *stay* calm. You can do
Aunt Marge's voice seemed to be boring into him like
one of Uncle Vernon's drills.
"This Potter,” said Aunt Marge loudly, seizing the
brandy bottle and splashing more into her glass and
over the tablecloth, "you never told me what he did?"
James – I was either a Quidditch Champion or an
Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were looking extremely
tense. Dudley had even looked up from his pie to gape
at his parents.
"He -- didn't work," said Uncle Vernon, with half
a glance at Harry. "Unemployed."
James – I was *not* unemployed!
Lily – Yeah! I wouldn’t have married him if he
"As I expected!" said Aunt Marge, taking a huge swig
of brandy and wiping her chin on her sleeve. "A
no-account, good-for-nothing, lazy scrounger who --"
"He was not," said Harry suddenly. The table went
very quiet. Harry was shaking all over. He had never
felt so angry in his life.
Sirius/Remus – That’s right, Harry! Defend your
Remus - ::pause:: Er... but stay calm in the process!
Sirius - ::stare::
"MORE BRANDY!" yelled Uncle Vernon, who had gone very
white. He emptied the bottle into Aunt Marge's glass.
"You, boy," he snarled at Harry. "Go to bed, go on --"
"No, Vernon," hiccupped Aunt Marge, holding up a
hand, her tiny bloodshot eyes fixed on Harry's. "Go
on, boy, go on. Proud of your parents, are you? They
go and get themselves killed in a car crash (drunk, I
All – They/We didn’t die in a car crash!
Lily/James – And we were not drunk!
"They didn't die in a car crash!" said Harry, who
found himself on his feet.
"They died in a car crash, you nasty little liar,
and left you to be a burden on their decent,
hardworking relatives!" screamed Aunt Marge, swelling
with fury. "You are an insolent, ungrateful little --"
Lily – How *dare* you call my son a liar! You- you-
you sleaze bags of a woman!
Sirius – Sleaze bags of a woman? Okay then… Remus,
but Aunt Marge suddenly stopped speaking. For a
moment, it looked as though words had failed her. She
seemed to be swelling with inexpressible anger -- but
the swelling didn't stop.
Remus - ::wince:: Uh oh.
Her great red face started to expand, her tiny eyes
bulged, and her mouth stretched too tightly for speech
-- next second, several buttons had just burst from
her tweed jacket and pinged off the walls -- she was
inflating like a monstrous balloon, her stomach
bursting free of her tweed waistband, each of her
fingers blowing up like a salami –
All – Uh oh. This doesn’t sound good.
"MARGE!" yelled Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia together
as Aunt Marge's whole body began to rise off her chair
toward the ceiling. She was entirely round, now, like
a vast life buoy with piggy eyes, and her hands and
feet stuck out weirdly as she drifted up into the air,
making apoplectic popping noises. Ripper came skidding
into the room, barking madly.
Lily – Bloody dog.
"NOOOOOOO!" Uncle Vernon seized one of Marge's feet
and tried to pull her down again, but was almost
lifted from the floor himself. A second later, Ripper
leapt forward and sank his teeth into Uncle Vernon's
All - ::laugh::
Harry tore from the dining room before anyone could
stop him, heading for the cupboard under the stairs.
The cupboard door burst magically open as he reached
Lily – Ack! More magic! He has got to get under
In seconds, he had heaved his trunk to the front door.
He sprinted upstairs and threw himself under the bed,
wrenching up the loose floorboard, and grabbed the
pillowcase full of his books and birthday presents. He
wriggled out, seized Hedwig's empty cage, and dashed
back downstairs to his trunk, just as Uncle Vernon
burst out of the dining room, his trouser leg in
Sirius/James – Run, Harry! Run!
"COME bACK IN HERE!" he bellowed. "COME bACK AND PUT
But a reckless rage had come over Harry. He kicked
his trunk open, pulled out his wand, and pointed it at
Remus – Harry! Listen to me! This isn’t worth it…
just breath and get calm!
"She deserved it," Harry said, breathing very fast.
"She deserved what she got. You keep away from me." He
fumbled behind him for the latch on the door. "I'm
going," Harry said. "I've had enough."
And in the next moment, he was out in the dark,
Remus - ::sigh:: Too late to talk sense into that
boy. Just like his father. ::glare::
James – Who? Little ol’ me?
heaving his heavy trunk behind him, Hedwig's cage
under his arm.
Sirius – Yay! He ran!
James – No more Dursleys!
Remus – And he’s all alone! ::dryly:: How fun.
Peter – Well, that was surprising.
Lily – Continue, Remus.
Remus – That’s the end of the chapter.
Lily – Well, then go to the next chapter!