A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts

Chapter 331: The Best Birthday



When Harry appeared in the kitchen, the Dursley family of three didn't even look at him. Nobody mentioned his birthday, which suited Harry just fine. He didn't want any of Uncle Vernon's smelly socks for birthday presents; that awful gift had been more than enough for one time.

Uncle Vernon was reading the newspaper, Aunt Petunia was cutting a dry grapefruit, and Dudley—placing his chubby arm flat on the table—had a sulky expression on his face.

Ever since Dudley had returned with a humiliating report card and his extra weight, his good days were over. He could still put up a struggle, shedding a few tears to gain sympathy from Aunt Petunia. She'd cry along, then swiftly compromise, agreeing to all of Dudley's demands.

This was his signature move. However, beneath the report card, a few lines had been carefully penned by the nurse from Smeltings School, gently reminding the two parents that Dudley's health was at risk if he continued gaining weight. The school's clothing supply had no clothes left in his size.

The nurse had thoughtfully attached a diet plan. Thanks to Aunt Petunia's insistence, the whole family had to follow this new diet regimen to cater to Dudley's emotions. The effects were quite evident—Uncle Vernon's chin had shrunk a bit, making his beard look a bit more elegant and fluffy.

But Harry couldn't care less. Even before receiving any birthday presents, he was planning to join Sirius for breakfast. Now he was eagerly imagining what Sirius would have in store for him. Sirius had recently acquired a motorbike, and in his godfather's enthused eyes, Harry saw a hint of Hagrid's spirit.

"More grapefruit!"

Dudley exclaimed angrily, inheriting Uncle Vernon's small eyes and his physique perfectly.

Harry cheerfully thought to himself, sniffing at the tasteless contents on his plate. He couldn't help but burp; just a while ago, he had consumed two large pieces of creamy cake and was now feeling quite full.

"Dear?" Aunt Petunia said patiently, "We agreed to follow the diet plan the school nurse sent—"

But Dudley wasn't listening at all. He quickly finished his own portion and stared at Harry's plate, although the piece of grapefruit on it was much smaller than his own. Then his gaze settled on Harry's lips, where suspicious traces of food were present.

"He's hiding food," Dudley declared, extending his carrot-like fingers with certainty.

Harry hurriedly wiped his mouth, realizing he had been careless after touching the sticky cream.

"What?" Aunt Petunia asked, puzzled.

But Dudley's greedy eyes remained fixed on Harry, as if he were a piece of cake or something. A shadow fell over Harry's heart. He faced a difficult choice—should he threaten Dudley with his wand if he tried to steal his cake?

‘There's no Sirius here, no spare wand, and definitely no excuses. If I use magic, the Ministry will trace it directly to me…’

Just then, a loud trumpet sound echoed from outside the door, followed by the roaring noise of a motorbike's engine. Uncle Vernon exploded instantly. He angrily shouted, "It's that damn murderer, that scum… can't he ever stay quiet?"

Aunt Petunia looked around in shock, anxious and worried that the neighbors might have noticed this scene.

"Sirius isn't a murderer," Harry said coldly.

"Then make... that damn... guy... stop!" Uncle Vernon gritted his teeth, his veins popping out on his face. Harry felt a bit scared. He walked up to the window, his face stern, and waved at Sirius.

The trumpet sound ceased.

Aunt Petunia was panting, as if she had been holding her breath all along. Harry hesitated, standing still, unsure whether to mention his birthday. He felt it wasn't worth the trouble. Aunt Petunia shot Harry a harsh glance, while Uncle Vernon couldn't contain himself any longer. "What are you waiting for? Disappear from my sight this instant!" he roared.

At this moment, Dudley chimed in, "Your godfather... that Sirius is waiting for you."

This statement seemed to carry more weight than even Sirius' motorbike horn. Both Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia looked at Dudley in astonishment. They never mentioned Sirius' name; if they had to, they'd use "that prisoner," "murderer," or simply refer to him as "the hippie guy who's come for you."

Harry's mind raced. His eyes locked with Dudley's, and suddenly he understood Dudley's scheme. He quickly said, "I need to go upstairs to get something—"

Back in his room, he stashed the books he had brought back from school and his belongings under the bed. Then he gazed at the pile of candies and snacks on the bed, feeling anxious. Three large cakes sat side by side on the table, with one already opened.

After a few seconds, Harry came up with a plan. He took out the Golden Snitch Sirius had given him from his pocket and packed all the snacks and candies into it. However, he encountered a problem while trying to fit the cake; he could barely squeeze one piece inside.

He had to stash the remaining two cakes under the bed, hidden behind his trunk. Satisfied with his efforts, Harry clapped his hands. If Dudley sneaked in, he wouldn't get anything. Normally, he wouldn't have such concerns because the Dursleys treated his room as a breeding ground for contagion, and they even quickened their pace while passing by it.

However, he knew that hungry animals were the most dangerous and irrational. In other words, the same logic applied to hungry pigs.

Just before leaving, Harry hesitated. Uncle Vernon was already shouting downstairs, and he didn't have much time to think. He opened the Golden Snitch and shook out a handful of snacks—a Treacle Tart, a Buzzing Bee Candy, and various odds and ends. Without examining them closely, he placed these treats conspicuously.

Hurrying downstairs, Uncle Vernon pointed at the open door, not saying a word. As Harry passed by the dining table, he saw that a quarter of his grapefruit had disappeared from his plate. He grinned, walking out the door.

Sirius had been waiting for a while already. He leaned against an impressive motorbike, its exhaust emitting a deep growl. Harry took a seat at the back, and Sirius revved the bike's engine. The speed quickly increased as they zoomed away, the wind wildly tousling Harry's hair. Privet Drive receded into the distance as they sped on, and Harry couldn't contain his excitement. "Where are we going?"

"London," Sirius bellowed, "I've got a comprehensive plan."

...

They had a thrilling day, exploring almost half of London. As evening approached, Sirius took him for a ride along the Thames, the water reflecting the golden hues of sunset. Harry's stomach was also filled with steak and oysters.

By seven in the evening, they returned to Sirius' rented house. But Harry didn't want to go back so early. When Sirius invited him to play a game of wizard's chess, he readily agreed.

Mercilessly, Harry won three games in a row against his godfather, forcing Sirius to overturn the chessboard in protest. So, they ended up lounging on the couch, watching TV together.

It wasn't until almost ten o'clock that their neighbor, Mrs. Figg, knocked on the door, complaining about the noise. That's when Harry realized he should head back.

The light was still on at Number 4, Privet Drive. This puzzled Harry. As he pushed open the door, he saw Uncle Vernon and Dudley squeezed together on the sofa, watching a football match. He breathed a sigh of relief; at least it wasn't what he had feared. Harry purposely studied Dudley's expression, avoiding his guilty gaze.

"Get back to your room and don't disturb Petunia," Uncle Vernon muttered.

Returning to his room, Harry opened the door. The pile of snacks had indeed vanished. He hurriedly checked under the bed. The cake was intact.

He had overthought it...

Harry suddenly realized that Dudley couldn't bend low, let alone squeeze himself under the bed. He'd get stuck. Lying on the bed, Harry couldn't help but reflect on the memories of the day. He had to admit, it was the best birthday he'd ever had.

This chapter not only depicts Harry's life with the Dursleys and his birthday celebration with Sirius, but also delves into Dudley's character. I'd like to hear from everyone about their perception of Dudley.

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