Harry had almost forgotten that the exam results were still to come, but come
they did. To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione,
of course, had the best grades of the first years. Even Neville scraped through,
his good Herbology mark making up for his abysmal Potions one. They had hoped that
Goyle, who was almost as stupid as he was mean, might be thrown out, but he had
passed, too. It was a shame, but as Ron said, you couldn't have everything in life.
And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Neville's
toad was found lurking in a corner of the toilets; notes were handed out to all
students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays ("I always hope they'll
forget to give us these," said Fred Weasley sadly); Hagrid was there to take them
down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake; they were boarding the Hogwarts
Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier; eating
Bettie Bott's Every Flavor Beans as they sped past Muggle towns; pulling off their
wizard robes and putting on jackets and coats; pulling into platform nine and three-quarters
at King's Cross Station.
It took quite a while for them all to get off the platform. A wizened old guard
was up by the ticket barrier, letting them go through the gate in twos and threes
so they didn't attract attention by all bursting out of a solid wall at once and
alarming the Muggles.
"You must come and stay this summer," said Ron, "both of you — I'll send you
"Thanks," said Harry, "I'll need something to look forward to." People jostled
them as they moved forward toward the gateway back to the Muggle world. Some of
"See you, Potter!"
"Still famous," said Ron, grinning at him.
"Not where I'm going, I promise you," said Harry.
He, Ron, and Hermione passed through the gateway together. "There he is, Mom,
there he is, look!"
It was Ginny Weasley, Ron's younger sister, but she wasn't pointing at Ron.
"Harry Potter!" she squealed. "Look, Mom! I can see
"Be quiet, Ginny, and it's rude to point."
Mrs. Weasley smiled down at them.
"Busy year?" she said.
"Very," said Harry. "Thanks for the fudge and the sweater, Mrs. Weasley."
"Oh, it was nothing, dear."
"Ready, are you?"
It was Uncle Vernon, still purple-faced, still mustached, still looking furious
at the nerve of Harry, carrying an owl in a cage in a station full of ordinary people.
Behind him stood Aunt Petunia and Dudley, looking terrified at the very sight of
"You must be Harry's family!" said Mrs. Weasley.
"In a manner of speaking," said Uncle Vernon. "Hurry up, boy, we haven't got
all day." He walked away.
Harry hung back for a last word with Ron and Hermione.
"See you over the summer, then."
"Hope you have — er — a good holiday," said Hermione, looking uncertainly after
Uncle Vernon, shocked that anyone could be so unpleasant.
"Oh, I will," said Harry, and they were surprised at the grin that was spreading
over his face. "They don't know we're not allowed to use magic at home. I'm going
to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer...."