CHAPTER ONE – The Return to Privet Drive

*~*

It was almost impossible to see through the heavy blanket of mist that covered Privet Drive, and there was a strange chill in the air as well.

These conditions were most unnatural, and despite the local weatherman’s constant reassurances that sunny days and hot weather were on the way, the horrible days just continued. Sending the residents of Privet Drive scuttling into the safety of their homes, with their curtains drawn over their windows.

Everyday there came more and more reports of killings and mass destruction, and everyday there were copious reports of depression and helplessness seizing the nation. The days were shorter, the weather was colder, the stock market was falling and parents were beginning to take their children out of school to keep them safe at home.

Amongst all this turmoil, there was one shining ray of light. And that was the fact that everyone seemed to be minding his or her own business. Hence, Privet Drive was completely deserted, so no one even noticed when three figures suddenly appeared in the middle of the street. These figures of course were Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, fresh from their sixth year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

“This mist…” Ron Weasley muttered angrily, as soon as he had taken a good look around the area. He swiped at the air in front of him, “its everywhere.”

“The dementor’s have been breeding for a year Ron, what did you expect?” Hermione Granger asked as her wand tip ignited in her hand.

“Better manners and breeding patterns,” Ron muttered darkly.

“Quiet both of you,” Harry put in quietly as he started to walk purposely down the road, “The last thing we need is someone looking outside to see three kids waving wands around. We don’t need any more trouble from the ministry. Besides, I don’t want to be here any longer than we have to be.”

“How long is too long?” Ron asked as he hurried after Harry.

Harry sighed heavily as number four came into view through the mist, and he pulled his cloak tighter around his frame. “Stepping foot into this street is too long.”

“It wont be that bad Harry,” Hermione reassured him.

“That bad?” Harry repeated. “… Mass killings… unnatural mist… destruction… chaos… Do you really think the Dursley’s are going to welcome us into their home with open arms after that?”

“Well,” Ron said, his voice slightly higher than usual, “I guess there’s only one way to find out. What did Dumbledore say about…” Ron froze and glanced at Harry warily.

Instead of responding though, Harry’s face turned to stone and he continued walking as though he hadn’t heard a word Ron had said.

Ron and Hermione shared a concerned look before following Harry down the street, and up the driveway to number four Privet Drive.

The Dursley’s home wasn’t as Harry remembered. The garden was now overgrown and untidy, the house was boarded up with what looked like wooden shutters and Vernon’s car appeared to be locked away in the garage (as opposed to out on the driveway on display). Harry stared in amazement, “wow.”

“I thought you said your relatives were perfectionists?” Hermione asked as she stepped over the garden wall and looked at the massive tangle of weeds that was once a garden in confusion.

“I guess this war isn’t only affecting wizards,” Harry muttered as his eyes scanned the house slowly, “they want to keep someone out.”

“Who?” Ron asked.

“Me,” Harry replied grimly.

Not to be deferred, Harry took the final few steps to the porch. His eyes scanned over the mahogany doorway, taking in its intricate detailing and highly polished wood. How could something so beautiful be the entrance to something so horrible? He had a strange feeling that he would be encountering that feeling quite a lot over the next few months. Sighing heavily, Harry reached up and rapped sharply on the front door.

There was a scuffle from inside and a hurried whispered conversation.

Ron grinned in amusement, “This is going to be fun. Where in the world are Fred and George when you need them?”

Harry leant against the doorframe and waited impatiently as the hurried conversation continued inside.

Finally the voices stopped, and a voice asked, “whose there?”

“Your nephew.” Harry replied, “Let me in.”

“You have no business here boy.”

“I wish I didn’t,” Harry muttered under his breath. “Let me in or I’ll blast the door down.”

There was a muffled shriek from inside.

“Harry,” Hermione protested, “are you sure you…”

Harry turned his attention away from the door and glanced at Hermione, his green eyes shining bright in the dim moonlight, “I don’t want to be here any longer than necessary, remember Hermione?”

“I know but if the Ministry…”

“Screw the Ministry,” Ron cut in, “Its not like they’ve been any help…”

“More like hindrance,” Harry scowled before returning his attention to the door. “What’s the verdict?”

‘What do you want?” Vernon shouted through the door.

“I just need to stay a few nights,” Harry explained, “you wont even know I’m here.”

“Why?”

Harry sighed and raised his wand, “I’m blasting the door down now.”

‘No!” Petunia protested tearfully from the inside, “let him in Vernon.”

Ever so slowly the door creaked open a crack and Vernon’s eye pressed up against the crack, “I don’t want any funny business from you boy.”

Harry frowned, “I don’t think your in the position to be making demands.”

Vernon’s beady eyes narrowed and flew past Harry to land on Hermione and Ron, “who are they?”

“Friends of mine.” Harry replied shortly. “Now are you going to let us in or leave us standing here on your doorstep leaving the neighbours to wonder what we’re doing here.”

This threat seemed to do the trick, because finally the door opened several more feet and Harry, Ron and Hermione were able to slip inside into the warmth of Harry’s childhood home for the last time.










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Ratings and Comments

#1Josh Sugartoast's AvatarJosh Sugartoast (rated this 5)

I enjoyed it eminsly but it is under 1000 words

#2Emilor MacKinnon's AvatarEmilor MacKinnon (rated this 9)

Very intriguing! I like the reference to the dementors, and the specificity of the mahogany door especially

#3Lera Kamerat's AvatarLera Kamerat (rated this 10)

warry exiting,
sounds just like somhing J.K.Rowling would write. (Real talant)

#4Catriona Watson's AvatarCatriona Watson (rated this 6)

Quite an interesting read this one, though there still need a few more words to reach the minimum.

#5India Jolly's AvatarIndia Jolly (rated this 8)

I think this creates a really good atmosphere and the descriptions are well-written.

#6Molly Pegg's AvatarMolly Pegg (rated this 7)

This is a really good start but I felt like there could have been more to it then just Harry returning to Privet drive again.

#7Isis Wingedbee's AvatarIsis Wingedbee (rated this 8)

#8May Moon's AvatarMay Moon (rated this 7)

This is really good. I love this part:Screw the Ministry,” Ron cut in, “Its not like they’ve been any help…”

#9Ayahzy Nahki's AvatarAyahzy Nahki (rated this 8)

If the neighbors are all inside, how are they going to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the doorstep? Other than that, I liked the ending paragraph. :)

#10Rosanna Gullveig's AvatarRosanna Gullveig (rated this 8)

Great first chapter... it has nice descriptions, good vocabulary and seems plausible. Main nitpick is that there are some spelling and grammar mistakes... but other than that I really like this.

#11Meara OBannon's AvatarMeara OBannon (rated this 9)

It's like a return to angst!Harry a la OotP. And I can definately see Vernon hiding behind his door and then letting in the "freaks" in to keep the neighbors from talking. Seems very like him.

#12Chryseis McSylvester's AvatarChryseis McSylvester (rated this 7)

#13Rorey Padfoot's AvatarRorey Padfoot (rated this 6)

Some grammar errors, a little repetitive, but over all a good story.

#14Belle Black's AvatarBelle Black (rated this 4)

#15Gypsy Ardor's AvatarGypsy Ardor (rated this 8)

I loved it all except for the final line about the "warmth" of Harry's childhood home. That home isn't warm in the least bit, but perhaps you were being sarcastic?

#16Layla Wolf's AvatarLayla Wolf (rated this 7)

The Dursleys reaction, to Harry, Ron and Hermione, certainly seems realistic, and the way the charecters talk and act, seems like how they would really talk and act, but I dont think dementors breed, since I'm pretty sure they say in the third book, that to become a dementor, or like one you had to have your soul taken.

#17Raphaela Guoan's AvatarRaphaela Guoan (rated this 8)

Hmm...well this definetly makes me want to know why Harry, Ron and Hermione are at Privet Drive...
Very well written, I didn't find any mistkakes myself.
I'm definetly intruiged, well done.

#18Amelia Ritter's AvatarAmelia Ritter (rated this 6)

#19Kath Snape's AvatarKath Snape (rated this 8)

Very good first chapter, but I disagree with "warmth of Harry's childhood home". Never was there warmth there.

#20Holly Molly's AvatarHolly Molly (rated this 8)

It said you had to have at least 1000 words.

#21Annabelle Pollifax's AvatarAnnabelle Pollifax (rated this 7)

The beginning of the story is a little overdone on "doom and gloom" happening in the "muggle world" which it seems to imply is the result of the wizardry world. Harry's actions and comments make me envision him more as a "thug" than a young man out to help his fellow witches and wizards. He does not address Vernon as his "uncle" which I find disrespectful. The word ‘wont’ does not convey the correct meaning without an apostrophe. The story does keep my interest and make me wonder what is going to happen. It is a nice start to the final escapades of Harry Potter.

#22Prof. Mallory Reynolds's AvatarProf. Mallory Reynolds (rated this 8)

I thought it was wonderful! The characterizations were spot on, and the dialogue was great! Great job!

#23Jenna Hathaway's AvatarJenna Hathaway (rated this 7)

It's really good and believable, although.. why aren't Ron and Hermione returning to their own houses?

#24Emily Aca's AvatarEmily Aca (rated this 10)

Wow, that was amazing! I wish you could write a book or series of your own! It was really good and it drew me in from the very beginning! But, you wrote whose instead of who is. No big deal though! Great job!

#25Bev Grey's AvatarBev Grey (rated this 9)

A few grammer mistakes, but I really liked it, it kept me reading on. Great job, it sounded like Rowling could have wrote it :)

#26Cheyenne Wyatt's AvatarCheyenne Wyatt (rated this 10)

This was great. It shows how the trio's aged, how they feel about the , how they feel about the Dursleys. And it shows what havoc this war is causing "isn’t only affecting wizards...", and what it's doing to the Dursleys. It shows how the teens feel about the ministry. It was written with a very 'Rowling' style. The only thing that amiss is the fact that it's about Harry. Of course, how do we know that's not how the book starts.

#27Zuvona Miska's AvatarZuvona Miska (rated this 8)

I like your beginning. It was very interesting and it left me wanting to know more.

#28Zia Stonebury's AvatarZia Stonebury (rated this 8)

Very nicely written. Really impressive.

#29Prof. Esmerelda Knotwise's AvatarProf. Esmerelda Knotwise (rated this 7)

I really like this. It sounds very JKR-like. I think 976 words is close enough to meet the criteria, but I think you could have expanded it a bit and made it a little longer. Surely something more could happen in the first chapter than to knock on the door and be granted admittance.

Remember that you have to write as if the reader doesn't know about any of the previous HP books, and that means repeating a lot of basic details about appearance and things that have led up to this point. An extra amount of detail is needed in the first chapter of any book. For instance, you did not describe what time of day it was. I thought it was the middle of the day since you were worried about being spotted on the street, but near the end you mentioned the moonlight, which threw me off. Also, what do the characters look like? JKR always mentions Harry's unruly hair so that the reader can imagine him better.

There were many spelling/punctuation errors, which accounts for the docking of points.

#30Mairead Falcourt's AvatarMairead Falcourt (rated this 4)

very good. Needs alittle more pazzaz. Also below the 1000 word minimum, having only 976 words

#31Olive Snitzberry's AvatarOlive Snitzberry (rated this 7)

Very good grammar. It stuck to the cannon. I can imagine all the characters doing and saying those things. I like how there isn't too much description. All in all a very good first chapter! Almost J.K Rowling standard!

#32Claire Sebastian's AvatarClaire Sebastian (rated this 5)

I would've liked to have heard more about what happens when Harry returns. I don't think you were anywhere near the word limit, so it could've been longer. Good, though.

#33Cindi Miles's AvatarCindi Miles (rated this 8)

I thought this was very good. The writing flowed smoothly. The description of the mood was wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this but it makes me hunger for Book 7 even more.

#34Lucas Thor's AvatarLucas Thor (rated this 8)

That was really good. I wish it was longer

#35Prof. Ulol Kimil's AvatarProf. Ulol Kimil (rated this 6)

Interesting start and follows the canon except for Harry apparating, he still doesn't know how to apparate alone and I doubt Ron or Hermione master it to make Harry apparate with them.
Ron is totally in character, even with his humor.
Just some grammar mistakes here and there and the end of the chapter felt kinda abrupt.

#36Rose Alstien's AvatarRose Alstien (rated this 8)

It seems accurate, but what's with all the spaces between lines.

#37Thoth Van's AvatarThoth Van (rated this 6)

It's good, but has some mistakes...

- Neither Ron nor Harry could Apparate ("…three figures suddenly appeared in the middle of the street..."), because Ron didn’t pass the tests and Harry didn't take them (unless they already did them and it's after July...);

- Harry shouldn't be worried with problems to the Ministry...;

- Harry isn't of age, so he couldn't (technically) "blast down" the door. Even if they could lie to the Ministry and convince them that it was an action from Hermione or Ron, it would still be magic done in front of Muggles and would certainly attract the Ministry agents...

#38Olivia Charm's AvatarOlivia Charm (rated this 8)

"and parents were beginning to take their children out of school to keep them safe at home."
I liked the analogy with the muggle and the wizzard worlds- in both Hogwarts and muggle's schools parents are taking their kids out.

'“Better manners and breeding patterns,” Ron muttered darkly.'- It's sounds just like Ron! You got the charcter well.

Screw- I don't think this word belong in here, don't you? (:

You used the word "boy" too much in Vernon's talking, but other then that, it's a good start.
It's really nice, though I'm not sure that it was interesting enough for a first chapter, not enough going on for me.
Good job!

#39Marcie Hobber's AvatarMarcie Hobber (rated this 6)

Very well written, with perfect grammar and spelling. I think this was a good blend of seriousness and humor, which I think fits the style of J.K. Rowling. However, in all of the other books Harry returned to the Dursleys alone and not with Ron and Hermione. I also don't think that Ron's parents would have let them go anywhere alone in these times of war.

#40Lorelai Lavington's AvatarLorelai Lavington (rated this 6)

This is a great start, but it should've been longer. You have 992 more words you could've used. Also, there were a few grammatical errors. Nice job, though.

#41Ashlee Sully's AvatarAshlee Sully (rated this 7)

It's shy of the minimum word count but I think it was real written. There were a few parts that I thought were out of touch with the books but overall I think its an accurate representation of what might happen.