'I am going to lock your door.'
'We ought to double back for a bit, just to make sure we're not being followed!' Moody shouted.
Harry lowered his wand slightly but did not relax his grip on it, nor did he move. He had very good reason to be suspicious. He had recently spent nine months in what he had thought was Mad-Eye Moody's company only to find out that it wasn't Moody at all, but an impostor; an impostor, moreover, who had tried to kill Harry before being unmasked. But before he could make a decision about what to do next, a second, slightly hoarse voice floated upstairs.
'I want the truth about what happened tonight!' barked Uncle Vernon. 'If it was Demenders who hurt Dudley, how come you've been expelled? You did you-know-what, you've admitted, it!'
'How did you do that?' said Harry, gaping at her as she opened her eyes again.
'I'll come and help you,' said Tonks brightly.
'Petunia, dear?' said Uncle Vernon timidly. 'P-Petunia?'
The fifth owl zoomed down the chimney so fast it actually hit the floor before zooming into the air again with a loud screech. Harry raised his hand to seize the letter, which was in a scarlet envelope, but it soared straight over his head, flying directly at Aunt Petunia, who let out a scream and ducked, her arms over her face. The owl dropped the red envelope on her head, turned, and flew straight back up the chimney.
Harry had a fleeting vision of Uncle Vernon's face when he realised there was no All-England Best Kept Suburban Lawn Competition.
'Pointed his wand at me,' Dudley mumbled.
they'd been short-listed for the All-England Best Kept Suburban Lawn Competition. They're heading off to the prize-giving right now . . . or they think they are.'
'Bearing south!' shouted Mad-Eye. Town ahead!'
Harry had no particular feeling about the Dursleys leaving. It made no difference to him whether they were in the house or not. He could not even summon the energy to get up and turn on his bedroom light. The room grew steadily darker around him as he lay listening to the night sounds through the window he kept open all the time, waiting for the blessed moment when Hedwig returned.
'How are you?' he asked, looking closely at Harry.
'Lord - hang on,' said Uncle Vernon, his face screwed up, a look of dawning comprehension coming into his piggy eyes. 'I've heard that name . . . that was the one who - '
On the fourth night after Hedwig's departure Harry was lying in one of his apathetic phases, staring at the ceiling, his exhausted mind quite blank, when his uncle entered his bedroom. Harry looked slowly around at him. Uncle Vernon was wearing his best suit and an expression of enormous smugness.
'It's addressed to me,' said Aunt Petunia in a shaking voice. 'It's addressed to me, Vernon, look! Mrs Petunia Dursley, The Kitchen, Number Four, Privet Drive - '
'Go on, son,' said Uncle Vernon, 'what did he do?'