Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone

Chapter one

The Boy Who Lived

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Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were to say that they were perfectly , thank you very . They were the last you'd expect to be involved in strange or , because they just didn't hold such nonsense.

Mr. Dursley was the of a firm called Grunnings, which drills. He was a , beefy man with any neck, although he did have a very large . Mrs. Dursley was thin and and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her craning over garden fences, on the . The had a small son called Dudley and in their there was no finer anywhere.

The Dursleys had they wanted, but they also had a , and their fear was that would it. They didn't they could bear it if found out about the . Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't for several ; in fact, Mrs. Dursley she didn't have a , because her and her good-for-nothing were as unDursleyish as it was to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the would say if the Potters arrived in the . The Dursleys knew that the had a small son, too, but they had even seen him. This boy was good reason for the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley with a like that.

When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley up on the dull, grey our story starts, there was about the cloudy outside to suggest that and mysterious things would be happening all over the . Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his boring for work, and Mrs. Dursley away happily as she wrestled a Dudley into his high .

None of noticed a large, tawny flutter past the .

At half past , Mr. Dursley picked up his , pecked Mrs. Dursley on the , and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because was now having a tantrum and throwing his at the walls. "Little tyke," chortled Mr. as he left the . He got into his and backed out of four's drive.

It was on the of the street that he noticed the sign of peculiar -- a reading a . For a , Mr. Dursley didn't realize what he seen -- then he jerked his around to look again. There was a tabby standing on the of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a in sight. What could he have been of? It must have a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and at the cat. It stared . As Mr. Dursley around the and up the , he watched the in his . It was now the sign that said Drive -- no, looking at the ; cats couldn't read or signs. Mr. Dursley gave a little shake and put the out of his mind. As he toward he thought of except a large order of drills he was to get that day.

But on the edge of , drills were driven out of his by else. As he sat in the usual traffic jam, he couldn't help that there seemed to be a lot of dressed about. People in cloaks. Mr. Dursley couldn't bear who dressed in funny -- the get-ups you saw on young ! He supposed this was some new . He drummed his on the steering wheel and his fell on a huddle of these weirdoes quite close by. They were whispering excitedly . Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a of them weren't at all; why, that had to be older than he was, and an emerald-green cloak! The nerve of him! But then it struck Mr. Dursley that this was some silly stunt -- these were obviously collecting for ... yes, that would be it. The moved on and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in the Grunnings lot, his mind back on drills.

Mr. Dursley always with his back to the in his on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he might have found it to concentrate on drills that . He didn't see the swooping in broad daylight, though down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open-mouthed as owl after owl sped . Most of them had seen an owl even at time. Mr. Dursley, , had a perfectly , owl-free . He yelled at five different people. He made several important calls and shouted a bit . He was in a very mood until , when he thought he'd stretch his and walk across the road to buy a bun from the .

He'd all about the in cloaks until he passed a of them next to the baker's. He them angrily as he . He didn't know why, but they him uneasy. This bunch were whispering
excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few of what they were saying.
"The Potters, that's right, that's I heard yes, son, "