Harry awoke the next day to the sounds of birds singing their songs happily just outside his windowsill. It was a sight he had seen many times over the years and one he enjoyed immensely. He had always held a love for birds of all sorts. Big, small, exotic or fairly common it made no real difference to the boy. To him, his love for birds was just like his uncle's love for dogs or his aunt's love in gardening and cooking. It was just a part of who he was and he didn't see that fact changing anytime soon. The letter the other day had, of course, made him wonder about the school and magic as a whole but magic wasn't real. Magic was nothing more than sleight-of-hand and misdirection. The very notion that there was a school somewhere that existed to teach people how to use magic was to him about as laughable as expecting a broom to rise to ones command or the idea that a person would be able to turn themselves into a cat or dog or even a lowly rat. Magic was pure nonsense and that was that.
Walking downstairs Harry could see both his aunt and uncle watching the television. This had of course not surprised him at all considering they always watched the television in the afternoon hours. It was just one more constant in their lives that seemed unlikely to ever change. In a way, he liked that as it meant he wasn't surprised by anything too unexpected. Looking at it he could see it was a news story of a group of people who had somehow found themselves on a rooftop.
"Dumb kids nowadays have no care for their own safety...it's madness I tell you...pure and utter madness". His uncle said as he waved his hand in the air as if that would do anything at all. His aunt, however, seemed a bit off. It was as if she had an idea of how this oddity had happened but wasn't planning on telling. Thinking nothing of the strange look on her face he walked calmly into the kitchen and got himself a glass of orange juice. He was done with odd things for a good long while. Sadly he wasn't going to enjoy a reprieve in the strangeness as the television soon started to flip from one channel to the next in rapid succession. The speed was such that the numbers were not but a mere blur to the eye until it had stopped almost as fast as it had started.
"What in the blazes was that about"? Vernon said as he got up and looked the thing over for any loose wires or the like. He found nothing wrong and soon returned to his chair and watched the show as if nothing had happened. Harry had never seen such a thing in all his life and that fact made his mind race.
"Uncle maybe we should get a new tv". He said as he eyed the tv half expecting the thing to start going through the channels again. It, however, remained fixed in place much to his relief.
"Now why on Earth would I go do such a thing for? It's an old tv, boy. Old things act up from time to time. It's fine now so don't worry about it". Vernon said as he waved his concerns away as casually as one would swat at a fly.
"But...don't you think it's odd"? Harry asked.
"I find it odd why you care so much about an old tv acting up". His uncle said finally turning to face him.
"I...I don't". Harry replied taken aback at his uncle's outburst.
"Then drop it, boy. You have far better things to be doing than worrying about an old tv". His uncle said before turning back to face the television set. Seeing no point in worrying about it any longer he soon downed the glass and placed it inside the kitchen sink to be washed. His uncle was likely right. It was an old tv, nearly as old as his uncle was. He never saw much need to have a coloured tv seeing it as just a waste of money. Even so, what had happened seemed a bit more then an old tv acting up. After all, the numbers that flashed upon the black-and-white screen hadn't been the following channels but channels that were sometimes more than a dozen places apart. Thinking back on the numbers it had almost seemed to him to be a code of some sort but that, of course, was nonsense. With that thought in mind, he soon started to do his daily tasks of washing the dishes and cleaning the house and of course doing his assignments that his aunt would have him doing. All in all, it was a fairly normal day for him, aside from the oddities that were happening to him as of late.
Meanwhile in a dark room sat around a dozen or so individuals all dressed in dark-coloured robes and illuminated by the light of candles.
"It isn't working". Came the voice of a woman.
"The letter and the tv doesn't seem to be doing the job. We might need to send Hogwood to collect the boy". Came the voice of another.
"Oh goodness no Hogwood would likely make the boy run for his life. I say we send Hagrid. It was, after all, he who dropped the boy off. It would only be fitting it be he who collects the boy". Came the voice of Sirius Black. The group soon started to argue about the next course of action. It soon got to the point that the light of the candles were flickering due to the constant movement of the individuals.
"Enough of this! came the voice of Albus Dumbledore. We will hold off sending Hagrid for a bit longer. Until then you are to send more of the letters. If he still hasn't deciphered their meaning then and only then will we send Hagrid to the boy. Am I understood"? The aged man asked even though he knew he was.
"Yes, of course, I'll send out another letter out as soon as I can Albus". Came the voice of the woman.
"Good, then this meeting of the order is now done". With that said the room was soon emptied of its occupants. When the last of them left so too did the lights of the candles.
The last week had easily been one of the strangest in his whole life. Things falling for seemingly no good reason at all. Cats of all sorts sitting just outside their door eyeing them all quizzically. His uncle had done everything he could to be rid of the things but the next day they would once again be sitting outside their door. Birds of every sort resting on every light post, on every tree, and on every car that existed on the dead-end street of Pivot Drive. But at least that had ended a few days ago and it seemed like life could get back to normal. This hope soon died when a mountain of a man knocked on their door a full three weeks after the first of the letters dropped onto the soft carpeted floor of their house.
"Oh, Harry my boy it's good to see you doing fine in this here house". The man said as he walked inside the house knocking down a fair number of photos and paintings as he forced his sizeable body through the admittedly tiny door, well tiny for him at least. The man was easily over seven feet in size and had a massive unkempt beard that made it's way to the midway point of his stomach. He was truly an odd sight to behold as he stood in the hallway. His head being forced downwards due to the low ceiling.
"You know me"? Harry asked as he was sure he had never once met this man. He was sure he would have recalled such a meeting especially for the likes of him. One doesn't see all that many men who could be at eye-level with a basketball net after all.
"Oh goodness yes. I was de one who don dropped you off. We sent you de letters but when that failed we don tried that there box thingy". The man said as he pointed at the television that was now on mute. Even so, the show was still visible. The man paid it no mind. He was here for the boy, not to gawk at whatever the Muggles had invented in their spare time.
"You mean you're the one who caused our television to go all loopy a few days ago"? Vernon asked as his face slowly turned red in anger.
"Me...no. It was one of my order who did that. Hogwood Fletchling was the one to do that to your...television". The man said as he turned to face the sole woman in the house. Once he did his eyes grew wide in recognition. He had, of course, never met the woman but he had seen her face many a time in family photos that the boy's mother had shown to him many years ago.
"Wait a minute I know you". The man said before being stopped by Vernon who seemed about done with this unknown man standing in his house.
"I don't know who you are but I want you to go. You're making a mess and I'll have none of it". Vernon said as he pointed his finger at the intruder who seemed almost taken aback at the fat man who was pointed his fat little finger at him. Doing his best to stand at his full height, a deed that was made all the harder due to the low ceiling of the house. To him, it was far too small but he was a giant of a man and had spent far too little time in anyone else's house except his own and his family's.
"I'm Rubeus Hagrid. I'm the groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I'm here for don boy here". Hagrid said as he eyed Harry. A fact that took him totally by surprise.
"Y..your here for me. Why"? Harry asked the man.
"You're a wizard Harry. By the reports a fairly good one at that. It's not everyday one is seen speaking Parseltongue. That is a rare gift, even for a wizard". Hagrid said in a tone Harry hadn't heard being sent his way all too often. His family wasn't the sort to give out compliments willy-nilly. So hearing such praise was always nice even if it was coming from a man he didn't really know.
"What the hell is Parseltongue"? Vernon asked as he eyed the man.
"Parseltongue is the ability to talk to snakes; it's a very old skill. I doubt more then a dozen people can even do it. Harry here shows a real mastery of the skill". Hagrid said as he patted the boy lightly. Harry for his part felt like he was being squashed like a bug. It wasn't a fun experience, to say the least. In fact, he was more than happy when the man had stopped patting him like he was a lowly dog.
"So we best be off. We have much to do before you depart for the school". Hagrid said as he pushed Harry out the door and into the early morning air. Looking around he couldn't see the cats or birds or even people. Even at such an hour, he should have seen a few people as they got inside their cars to start the workday. Yet nobody seemed to be out and about. An odd sight indeed and one he was slowly growing used to seeing in the past few weeks.
"Where is everybody"? Harry asked as he turned to face the man now known as Rubeus Hagrid.
"Useful little thing timeturners. If you push this here button everything outside 30 feet or so stops. It does have the unfortunate effect of causing headaches but I'm told you have things for such things nowadays". Hagrid said as he pulled out a pink umbrella from his coat.
"What's that for"? Harry asked as he knew all too well it wasn't going rain anytime in the next three or four days.
"To call my ride of course. You don't expect us to walk to the shops...do you"? Hagrid asked before a small white light seemed to flash at the tip of the umbrella before being placed back inside the oversized coat. Seconds later a motorcycle equipped with a sidecar landed softly upon the asphalt.
"Do get in Harry my boy. We are running a bit late". Hagrid said as he lifted off the ground and into the sky. Harry holding onto the sides of the sidecar with all his strength fearful he would fall out. Hagrid for his part only shook his head in mild amusement at the boy's antics. No sooner did they disappear from view life once again returned to Pivot Drive. The only indication that anything was wrong was that everybody was holding their heads as if they all had a headache.