- Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt -- these people were obviously collecting forsomething... Yes, that would be it. The traffic moved on and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in theGrunnings parking lot, his mind back on drills. Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he mighthave found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning. He didn't see the owls swoop ing past in broaddaylight, though people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed openmouthed as owl after owlsped overhead. Most of them had never seen an owl even at nighttime. Mr. Dursley, however, had aperfectly normal, owl-free morning. He yelled at five different people. He made several importanttelephone calls and shouted a bit more. He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thoughthe'd stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from the bakery. He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. He eyedthem angrily as he passed. He didn't know why, but they made him uneasy. This bunch were whisperingexcitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a largedoughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying. "The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard yes, their son, Harry"Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to saysomething to them, but thought better of it. He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office, snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone, and had almost finished dialing his ##### ###### when he changed his mind. He putthe receiver back down and stroked his mustache, thinking... No, he was being stupid. Potter wasn't suchan unusual name. He was sure there were lots of people
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- called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come tothink of it, he wasn't even sure his nephew was called Harry. He'd never even seen the boy. It might havebeen Harvey. Or Harold. There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley; she always got so upset at anymention of her sister. He didn't blame her -- if he'd had a sister like that... But all the same, those people incloaks... He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon and when he left the building at fiveo'clock, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door. "Sorry, " he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell. It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realized that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almostknocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice thatmade passersby stare, "Don't be sorry, my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like yourself should be celebrating, this happy, happy day!"And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off. Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought hehad been called a Muggle, whatever that was. He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set off for home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve ofimagination. 3As he pulled into the driveway of number four, the first thing he saw -- and it didn't improve his mood --was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It was now sitting on his garden wall. He was sure it was thesame one; it had the same markings around its eyes. "Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look. Was this normal catbehavior? Mr. Dursley wondered. Trying to pull himself together, he let himself into the house. He
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- was stilldetermined not to mention anything to his wife. Mrs. Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner all about Mrs. Next Door's problemswith her daughter and how Dudley had learned a new word ("Won't!"). Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living room in time to catch the last report on theevening news:"And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving veryunusually today. Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in daylight, there havebeen hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable toexplain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern. " The newscaster allowed himself agrin. "Most mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going to be any more showers ofowls tonight, Jim?""Well, Ted, " said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it's not only the owls that have beenacting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire, and Dundee have been phoning in to tell methat instead of the rain I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars! Perhaps peoplehave been celebrating Bonfire Night early -- it's not until next week, folks! But I can promise a wet nighttonight. "Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over Britain? Owls flying by daylight? Mysteriouspeople in cloaks all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters... Mrs. Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He'd have to saysomething to her. He cleared his throat nervously. "Er -- Petunia, dear -- you haven't heard from yoursister lately, have you?"As he had expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn'thave a sister. "No, " she said sharply. "Why?""Funny stuff on the news, "
paige is cool