And now things start to get really interesting.
- So right off the bat - Harry’s punishment. Dudley’s birthday is the 30th of June and, according to Google, the summer holidays in Britain start on the 22nd of July this year. Assuming that it is around the same date every year that means Harry was locked up for roughly three weeks. Now, whether this means he was locked up around the clock for three weeks or before and after school - it’s still a ridiculously long punishment. It’s even noted to be his “longest-ever punishment”. I wonder if this is because Petunia knew his letter would be coming soon and was hoping to crush his magic beforehand.
- Mrs Figg required crutches for her broken leg. I wonder if St Mungo’s would treat squibs, or if squibs can even enter St Mungo’s? They can’t see dementors like muggles and muggles didn’t notice when Harry and co. entered St Mungo’s. So does that mean they are truly just like muggles? And yet, Filch can see Hogwarts…
- Mrs Figg’s changes her behaviour around Harry and while Harry thinks it’s because she’s no longer fond of her cats I think it’s something else. I’d say she lets Harry watch tv and eat chocolate cake because it no longer matters if the Dursleys think he’s having too much fun at her house. His letter will be there soon after all - the next morning in fact.
- We see the first of Harry’s infamous plans (how he fixed that alarm clock I don’t know) and Harry ends up stepping on Vernon’s face. Vernon then proceeds to shout at Harry for half an hour. This is of course, during the period of time in which Vernon was attempting to be nice to Harry. I would hate to see what Harry’s punishment would have been otherwise. It is interesting to note that this is our first example of Vernon’s fear of magic. It’s never outright stated but as soon as he realises they are possible being watched by wizards or witches he strives to be kinder to Harry; calling him by his name, giving him Dudley’s second bedroom, making Dudley get the post and he doesn’t punish Harry. Yes, he yell at him and sends him to his room but Harry isn’t starved or locked up which is, sadly, an improvement.
- Ironically, while running from Harry’s letters, Vernon takes the family to Cokeworth, you know, the town Petunia and Lily grew up in and where Severus Snape still lives. (That could make for an interesting fic…)
- I have many questions concerning the man who owns the hut on the rock. Why does he own it? Did he plan on fixing it and using it as a holiday home? Or did he buy it so he could live away from people? Is he impervious to the cold and genuinely loves his weird hut?
So here’s a quick outline of the timeline for this chapter:
Monday (23rd of July) - Harry at Mrs Figg’s, Dudley gets his new school uniform
Tuesday (24th of July) - the first letter arrives, Harry gets Dudley’s second bedroom
Wednesday (25th of July) - another letter arrives
Thursday (26th of July) - Harry’s plan fails, three letters arrive and Vernon nails up the letter slot
Friday (27th of July) - Twelve letters arrive, Vernon nails up the doors
Saturday (28th of July) - Twenty-four letters arrive, Vernon calls the post office and dairy to complain, the poor milkman is very confused
Sunday (29th of July) - No post on Sundays, the family flee from Privet Drive
Monday (30th of July) - wake up at Railview Hotel in Cokeworth, Vernon buys a gun and takes the family to the hut on the rock
Tuesday (31st of July) - Harry’s eleventh birthday
- Smeltings uniforms comprise of maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers and flat straw hats (yikes)
- Hogwarts letters bear a purple wax seal
- Dudley had a pet tortoise and had once had a parrot
- Dudley’s watch lights up
Favourite Quote: No post on Sundays.