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                                   chapter one                                  
                                the boy who lived                               
        mr and mrs dursley, of number four, privet drive, were proud to say that
they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. they were the last people youd 
expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didnt
hold with such nonsense.                                                        
        mr dursley was the director of a firm called grunnings, which made      
drills. he was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a    
very large mustache. mrs dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the   
usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time
craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors. the dursleys had a small   
son called dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.         
        the dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and
their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. they didnt think they  
could bear it if anyone found out about the potters. mrs potter was mrs dursleys
sister, but they hadnt met for several years in fact, mrs dursley pretended she 
didnt have a sister, because her sister and her goodfornothing husband were as  
undursleyish as it was possible to be. the dursleys shuddered to think what the 
neighbors would say if the potters arrived in the street. the dursleys knew that
the potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. this boy was
another good reason for keeping the potters away, they didnt want dudley mixing 
with a child like that.                                                         
        when mr and mrs dursley woke up on the dull, gray tuesday our story     
starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange  
and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. mr dursley  
hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work, and mrs dursley gossiped  
away happily as she wrestled a screaming dudley into his high chair.            
        none of them noticed a large, tawny owl flutter past the window. at half
past eight, mr dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked mrs dursley on the cheek,
and tried to kiss dudley goodbye but missed, because dudley was now having a    
tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls. little tyke, chortled mr dursley  
as he left the house. he got into his car and backed out of number fours drive. 
        it was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of    
something peculiar... a cat reading a map. for a second, mr dursley didnt realiz
ewhat he had seen... then he jerked his head around to look again. there was a  
tabby cat standing on the corner of privet drive, but there wasnt a map in      
sight. what could he have been thinking of. it must have been a trick of the    
light. mr dursley blinked and stared at the cat. it stared back. as mr dursley  


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