Weasley's Wizard Wheezes opens. Harry moves in.
Use of Muggle Artifacts Office inspected it and pronounced them clean. The one magical object in
the store was a Sneak-o-scope which was connected to their shop in Diagon Alley.
The muggle branch of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was an instant success. The took the store's existing
line of stage magician supplies and added board games, card tricks, books, clothing and crystals. The
atmosphere was just the right mix of light humour and dark mystery.
Dudley didn't much like life as a shop keeper. His feet hurt at the end of the day. The purple robe he
had to wear was even more ridiculous than his Smelting's uniform. There was nothing to do in the
evenings except watch an old black and white TV. His father had forced him to sell his new colour
set to help pay his legal bill.
Dudley still had his debt to worry about. He was not saving any money. His flat above the shop was
rent free but it was expensive to live on take-away food. He had never learned to cook. His father
insisted that the only men who cooked were freaks and faggots.
He did not dare steal from the cash register. If he so much as thought about it, either Fred or George
was sure to walk out of the back room a few moments later.
Harry Potter scanned the crowd at King's Cross Station. For the first time, he did not dread his return
to the Dursley's. Hermione and Lupin had helped him research the bond of blood spell which
Dumbledore had cast when he was an infant. It was an immensely powerful magic. They found that
if the bond was reinforced with real mutual affection, it could even offer Harry some lingering
protection after he came of age. "Not that there's much hope of that, " he commented ruefully.
But the Dursley's were not there. He found Hermione and her parents agreed to drive him to Little
Whinging. Mrs. Figg told them about Dudley and explained that Vernon and Petunia had left for
several week's vacation.
"So what do I do now?" Harry asked.
"Well, Mrs. Figg has a key, you could stay in the house without them," Hermione replied.
"But Dumbledore said that the protection only exists 'while you can still call home the place where
your mother's blood dwells.'"
"Harry, even your aunt isn't at the house right now, she still dwells there. She's just on vacation. You
don't have to be at a place all the time to dwell there."
"You're not making sense, Hermione."
"You're not listening Harry. You don't have to live at Privet Drive all year to get the protection. Why
do the Dursley's have to be there all the time?"
Harry pondered. He could not see a flaw in Hermione's logic. The only problem was, it was too good
to be true. How could he expect to get blood protection from his aunt without actually seeing her?
"Hermione, stop it. This isn't an examination question. This is my life we're talking about it. I can't
take the chance. Dudley has my mother's blood too. Let's go and find him."