Chapter 2 - Professor McGonagall

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 There was a yelp from the bottom of the darkened staircase as Al groped for the bannister, making her way down. The lights suddenly switched on, to reveal her Pa seething with rage - still entangled in a sleeping bag - facing a terrified looking Harry. Neither of them seemed to notice Al, who had been creeping down the stairs. They'd all had the same idea - get Harry's letter.

"You were trying to steal your letter, weren't you, boy?" Al's Pa spat at her cousin. She could tell what was coming; if only Harry would keep his mouth shut.

"It's not stealing if it's addressed to me!" Harry protested, doing the opposite of what Al had hoped. Before she could do anything, her Pa had seized Harry by his forearm and was forcing him back into his cupboard, throwing a kick towards Harry's leg as he did so.

"Pa, no!" Al shouted, clambering down the stairs in an attempt to make her presence known.

 He began kicking her cousin again, "I've had enough of this you ungrateful little-" But before he could finish the doorbell rang. A positive, simple note, that made everyone freeze in their shock. With one final surge, Al's Pa forced a still surprised Harry into the cupboard and hurriedly drew the bolt across.

"Pa!" Al hissed as he passed her to the door.

"You, be quiet," he warned her, pointing an accusing finger her way. He flung the door open, still slightly purple-faced, with an absurd sort of grin on his face. This however vanished when he saw the person stood there. Al peered round.

 A middle-aged lady stood on the threshold, her face firm and her mouth tight. She held a small bag in her hand and also a letter that looked remarkably similar to the one Al had received about a month ago. The odd thing, however, that had made Vernon Dursley's 'smile' falter was the hat that she wore upon her head. A pointed, witch's hat. "Mr Dursley?" she asked, "Of number four, Privet Drive?" He nodded a meek nod, far from the person he had been not a moment ago. He seemed strangely terrified. "Professor McGonagall," the lady announced touching her hand to her hat by way of greeting. Al instantly recognised the name as the one from the Hogwarts letter - she was the deputy headmistress. When her Pa still made no sound, the professor continued, "May I come in? Or were you hoping one of your neighbours might come round and introduce themselves?"

 This half-threat was the thing that now pushed Al's Pa into action. His face went a sickly yellow and he opened the door wider, "Yes, yes. You should come in, I suppose." McGonagall entered the house, peering around. Her eyes landed on Al, who gave her a small grin, but she seemed to be searching for someone else.

 "The living room is just this way," Al's Ma said, now awake due to the commotion, although Al had only just noticed her, intrigued by Professor McGonagall as she was. McGonagall sat down, at first with Al and Petunia while Al's Pa dressed. Then with just Vernon, which Al couldn't imagine had gone well. On her way back downstairs, Al stopped by at Harry's cupboard, where she could hear a faint sniffing noise.

"Harry?" she whispered through the gap in the doorframe. The sniffing stopped, which Al took as a sign to continue, "It's that McGonagall lady from the letter. I think she's got yours." There was a moment of silence between them.

"Can you let me out?" she heard from behind the door.

"Are you sure?" Al asked, remembering what had happened last time, "I'll try to take responsibility, but-"

"I don't care," Harry decided, so she happily withdrew the bolt across his door and took him into a big hug. After fetching some water each, the pair made their way into the living room. Al watched as her Pa went that purple colour once more, and sat down in satisfaction when he didn't say anything.

"Mr. Potter?" McGonagall asked in amazement, "And Miss Dursley?" she added as an afterthought. The pair nodded as McGonagall leaned over and handed Harry his letter. With shaky hands, Harry popped the wax seal and began to read it.

"Now listen here-" Vernon began, but seemed at a loss for what to say.

"I'm sure we'd all be glad to hear your opinion, Mr Dursley," said McGonagall tartly, "But we do have rather a lot to be getting on with, so I'd appreciate it if you could formulate your sentence now rather than later." Al was beginning to think purple would become the permanent skin-one for her Pa.

 When Harry finished reading his letter he looked up at Professor McGonagall in awestruck silence. "Well?" the Professor asked, "Will you be joining your cousin and I to collect your school supplies today?"

 Something gleamed behind Harry's eye that Al had never seen before. Then, with an unfamiliar grin, he spoke with confidence for the first time in Al's memory, "Yes, please."

Alexandra Dursley {Golden Trio}Where stories live. Discover now