The Girl in the Tower Chap 4

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The Girl in the Tower

Chapter Four: A Hard Day’s Night

His little room looked even more uninviting than Harry remembered. It was drab, hadn't been painted in years, and was no more than a bad memory. His things looked rummaged through and, no doubt, they had been, although he had no real belongings here. Just some old clothes, which were still too big, and a scattering of junk he’d once cherished. All he needed or cared about was locked in his trunk.

Harry opened the room's only window and placed Hedwig's cage next to it, opening the door for her to stretch her wings after the long journey. "Don't go far, girl. You'll have a letter to carry soon."

Hedwig hooted and flew only into a neighboring tree.

Harry opened his trunk, which he no longer kept under the stairs, and pulled out the little box he'd found on his Hogwarts bed. Inside were a quill, an ample supply of parchment and a note, which he unfolded and re-read.

Dear Harry,

I assume you and Sara will be putting the owls to good use this summer, however, I insist you use this special quill and paper. It is equipped with a spell that will not allow your letters to be read by anyone other than Sara, as we cannot risk an interception.

Enjoy the summer,

Professor Dumbledore

He could hear the Dursleys downstairs, arguing about Harry's return. Dudley wanted his father to put the locks back on Harry's door so they wouldn't have to fear his magic in the night. Vernon felt that Harry was old enough to be on his own, he was almost seventeen, after all. Harry couldn't hear Petunia's words, but her hateful tone reached his ears just fine. Harry had had enough.

He went only halfway down the stairs, just far enough so he could see them and they could hear what he had to say. It was his uncle he spoke to, but he wanted them all to listen. His voice was loud and angry as he addressed them. "Do you think I want to be here? Well I don't but I haven't anywhere else to live. I'd stay at school all year if they'd let me."

Vernon narrowed his eyes in warning.

Harry lowered his voice. "I need a job, Uncle Vernon. I need to save enough money so that, when I leave school next summer, I can get a place of my own. I need to learn to drive a car. I don't ever want to come back here again. If you want the same then help me."

Vernon's expression did a full reversal. "In that case, Harry, I'll see what I can do for you. I have a friend that hires summer help. I suppose I could give him a call. Driving lessons start tomorrow." His tone was almost pleasant, knowing he would soon be rid of his freakish nephew forever.

"Thank you."

Harry went back to his room. He pulled out the enchanted quill and a bottle of ink, and then sat at his desk to compose his letter.

Dear Sara,

I miss you already. I got here only to find that nothing had changed. There is nothing here that I love. I would rather be back at Hogwarts, with you in your tower.

Uncle Vernon thinks he might be able to get me a job. I hope so, even if it doesn't pay much. At least it will get me out of here. I know you asked me not to work, but how can I not? If I'm going to have any hope of being on my own after next year, I have to arrange everything now. I hope you understand why.

Uncle Vernon has also said he will teach me to drive, which is something I look forward to. I know he’d rather be skinned alive than teach me to drive but I knew the idea of getting rid of me might compel him to agree. I was right.

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