254Sneak Preview of Para Bellum Ch1
- Oct 6 9:03 AMHere's a short scene from Ch 1 of Para Bellum.
Harry let out a contented sigh as he leaned back in one of the Dursley's kitchen chairs and sipped from a glass of lemonade. The summer following his fourth year at Hogwarts had been uncharacteristically hot and dry. Most of the lawns on Privet Drive were dead, but Uncle Vernon had been watering the one at #4 during the early hours of the morning, despite the water-use restrictions. Consequently, it needed to be mowed, and that was Harry's job.
Setting the lemonade down for a moment, Harry wiped his forehead and tried to fan himself to get rid of the beads of sweat that had built up at his hairline. Ironically, despite being in the cool house, he still felt hot.
Harry had just picked up the glass of lemonade again when the phone rang. Aunt Petunia, who was carefully dusting her treasures of trash in the front room answered it. Apparently, her hands were full or dirty because she punched the speakerphone button. The caller's voice echoed through the house.
"Hello. Is that Petunia Dursley speaking?" the female caller asked with a crisp, professional-sounding, English accent.
"It is," Petunia answered. "May I ask who this is?"
"Hello, Petunia. My name is Violet White," the caller said, sounding warm and friendly in the way that all salespeople sounded warm and friendly when a potential buyer was on the hook. "Petunia, I am conducting a one-question, yes or no answer, survey. Would you be willing to participate?"
Intrigued, Harry pushed himself off the chair in the kitchen and unobtrusively made his way toward the front room where Petunia was having her phone conversation with Violet White.
"I suppose I can answer one question," Petunia said, sounding very put-upon.
"Very good," Violet White said. "Now, here is the question. Mrs. Dursley, is your refrigerator running?"
"Why wouldn't it be running?" Petunia asked back.
"I need a yes or a no," Violet White said patiently.
"Yes, my refrigerator is running," Petunia snapped impatiently.
At her words, an enormous crash sounded from the kitchen. Harry, still somewhat close to the kitchen spun around and dashed back to the kitchen where he found the refrigerator gone and a massive hole where the backdoor should have been. As he looked through the window, he was just in time to watch the refrigerator, which had sprouted muscular, chrome legs, jump over the fence and run off.
Petunia arrived in the kitchen a millisecond later. "What happened?" she shrieked.
"Somebody stole the fridge while we were distracted by the phone call," Harry said quite honestly, though he omitted the involvement of magic while fervently hoping that this was not going to result in him receiving a letter from the Misuse of Magic office at the Ministry.
Petunia stalked back to the front room to give Violet White a piece of her mind, but it seemed that Violet White had already hung up. Undeterred, Petunia dialed the phone number of the police.
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