They, however, didn’t seem to be missing him at all. Neither of them had written to him all summer, even though Ron had said he was going to ask Harry to come and stay. Countless times, Harry had been on the point of unlocking Hedwig’s cage by magic and sending her to Ron and Hermione with a letter, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Underage wizards weren’t allowed to use magic outside of school. Native Harry hadn’t told the Dursleys this; he knew it was only their terror that he might turn them all into dung beetles that stopped them from locking him in the cupboard under the stairs with his wand and broomstick. For the first couple of weeks back, Harry had enjoyed muttering nonsense words under his breath and watching Dudley tearing out of the room as fast as his fat legs would carry him. But the long silence from Ron and Hermione had made Harry feel so cut off from the magical world that even taunting Dudley had lost its appeal – and now Ron and Hermione had forgotten his birthday. No cards, no presents, and he would be spending the evening pretending not to exist. He gazed miserably into the hedge. He had never felt so lonely. More than anything else at Hogwarts, more even than playing Quidditch, Harry missed his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
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From any witch or wizard? He’d almost be glad of a sight of his archenemy, Draco Malfoy, just to be sure it hadn’t all been a dream… Not that his whole year at Hogwarts had been fun. Native At the very end of last term, Harry had come face-to-face with none other than Lord Voldemort himself. Voldemort might be a ruin of his former self, but he was still terrifying, still cunning, still determined to regain power. Harry had slipped through Voldemort’s clutches for a second time, but it had been a narrow escape, and even now, weeks later, Harry kept waking in the night, drenched in cold sweat, wondering where Voldemort was now, remembering his livid face, his wide, mad eyes– Harry suddenly sat bolt upright on the garden bench. He had been staring absent-mindedly into the hedge – and the hedge was staring back . What wouldn’t he give now for a message from Hogwarts?
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Two enormous green eyes had appeared among the leaves. Harry moved gladly into the shade of the gleaming kitchen. On top of the fridge stood tonight’s pudding: a huge mound of whipped cream and sugared violets. A loin of roast pork was sizzling in the oven. Native “Eat quickly! The Masons will be here soon!” snapped Aunt Petunia, pointing to two slices of bread and a lump of cheese on the kitchen table. She was already wearing a salmon-pink cocktail dress. Harry washed his hands and bolted down his pitiful supper. The moment he had finished, Aunt Petunia whisked away his plate. “Upstairs! Hurry!” As he passed the door to the living room, Harry caught a glimpse of Uncle Vernon and Dudley in bow ties and dinner jackets. He had only just reached the upstairs landing when the door bell rang and Uncle Vernon’s furious face appeared at the foot of the stairs.