Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
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Harry Potter #1
"Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'."
Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
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Harry Potter and the PhilosopherвЂ™s Stone
for Jessica, who loves stories, for Anne, who loved them too, and for Di, who heard this one first.
вЂ“В CHAPTER ONE вЂ”
The Boy Who Lived
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people youвЂ™d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didnвЂ™t hold with such nonsense.
Mr Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.
The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didnвЂ™t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters. Mrs Potter was Mrs DursleyвЂ™s sister, but they hadnвЂ™t met for several years; in fact, Mrs Dursley pretended she didnвЂ™t have a sister, because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didnвЂ™t want Dudley mixing with a child like that.
When Mr and Mrs Dursley woke up on the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. Mr Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work and Mrs Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair.
None of them noticed a large tawny owl flutter past the window.
At half past eight, Mr Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs Dursley on the cheek and tried to kiss Dudley goodbye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls. вЂ?Little tyke,вЂ™ chortled Mr Dursley as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of number fourвЂ™s drive.
It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar вЂ“ a cat reading a map. For a second, Mr Dursley didnвЂ™t realise what he had seen вЂ“ then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasnвЂ™t a map in sight. What could he have been thinking of? It must have been a trick of the light. Mr Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive вЂ“ no, looking at the sign; cats couldnвЂ™t read maps or signs. Mr Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat ou