Trying to persuade my son to enter the BBC Radio 2 500 words competition this year, I came up with this to show him how easy it is to write 500 words…
When I woke up this morning, I was Harry Potter. I knew that was my name before I even opened my eyes. When I did open them, the bedroom was all fuzzy. Someone had cast a spell that blurred the world. I took my glasses from the bedside table, then everything looked normal. Only it wasn’t. This was an ordinary bedroom in suburban house. A toy aeroplane hung from the ceiling. This wasn’t right. Not for a wizard. This was a house for muggles.
I reached under the feathery pillow. My wand. Once my fingers closed around the holly wood, I relaxed a little. I might not know what was going on, but at least I could defend myself.
There was a rectangular plastic and metal device there too. It lit up when I touched the front of it with my wand, but not even the relashio spell would make it give up its contents. It just flashed “swipe to unlock”.
I sat up. I was wearing pyjamas. They looked a bit like my quidditch uniform. There were muggle clothes – jeans, t-shirt, pants- in a heap on the floor. My school robes hung on a hook on the back of the bedroom door. I slipped out from the bedsheets and flung the black cloak of my uniform over the pyjamas. Again I felt better, more like myself.
I could feel eyes staring at me. “Homenum Revelio,” I muttered, waving my wand. Nothing happened. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. If that spell didn’t show it, a thing, not a person was watching me. I turned towards the door but as I did so, a flash of white caught my eye. An owl. A cuddly snowy owl was perched on the bedpost at the foot of the bed. I picked her up and stroked her smooth, silky wings. “Hello Hedwig.”
I had no idea why she had that name. It sounded like a mistake. Hello Bodyclothes, hello Footshoe.” Not my choice, but Hagrid knew his creatures and it certainly fitted her style.
I was expecting the door to be locked. All those years with Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had led me to expect this of muggles. It opened without even needing the alohomora spell.
“Henry Porter. I was wondering what had happened to you.” Downstairs in the kitchen, the witch was at the stove, stirring a pot of lumpy grains. Orange and green dots studded the mixture and a pile of chopped fungus lay on a wooden board. She added a handful. “It’s nearly lunchtime. It’s risotto,” she said.
I was beginning to think I had been hit with a confundus curse. Nothing was making any sense.
“You fell asleep as we left the studio tour. Daddy thought it was best to put you straight to bed.”
I felt my stomach drop with disappointment. “I’d better get dressed, then.”
She waited until she thought I had gone upstairs. “Finite incantatum,” she muttered.
Then I knew everything.