I replaced "God" with "Hamgod" as usual, and fixed a couple of typos,
Henry Putter and the Stone of the Sorcerer
The Boy Who Lived
Written by Reida Wentworth
Mr. and Mrs. Dunsly of Number Four Drivel Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal in every single way. They owned a brand new home--so new the trees surrounding it were as small as shrubs and their lawn was mowed so frequently it was bald. Their house proudly stood among all the other bland houses and if you didn;t know the house number you could easily find yourself parked at your neighbor's house ten houses down. There was no way of telling which house was yours since they all looked the same. Nothing unusual or eyecatching was in their flower beds, either, just the usual daisies and marigolds, and the Dunslys were quite content that they drew no attention to themselves whatsoever. That was what normal people did, you see. They blended in, they never stood out of the crowd.
They also owned a new SUV the size of a battleship with a T.V. especially selected for their son, Doodly where a entire library of DVD's were tossed on the floor in the backseat as soon as Doodly was finished with them--which was usually after the first viewing. They had just purchased the newest Xbox 720 which replaced his Xbox 360, his Playstation 2, 1, Nintendo 64, Nintendo 25, etc., etc. Doodley also had a Blackberry, an Ipod, a cell phone that cost a whopping 700.00. Doodley was easily bored so they had to furnish him with the latest technology as soon as possible less Doodly throw a fit and break his hand upon smashing his "toys". There wasn't much for a 14 year old precocious child to do for fun in the suburbs. If they didn't try to entertain him, Doodley was bound to get in trouble. He was adverse to all clubs and to any sports that required walking, lifting, or standing, for that matter. His favorite pastime was lying on the sofa and twiddling his fat fingers across the controller of his Xbox, and sometimes rising heavily to swipe at his mother for getting in front of the screen.
"Hamgod demn it, you stupid moron, get out of the way!"
They were all very happy in their unspectacular house very close to the Mall, with the giant SUV in the driveway and their bald lawn shining brightly-if barrenly-in the sunlight. No one could possibly guess that they were hiding a secret, a secret so terrible that the Dunsleys did everything they could to keep it hidden. Even peculiar things.
However, the Dunslys did have a dark secret. A dark secret so frightening that if it ever got out, the Dunsly's would be ruined. It was very important that it was never discovered that they had any relation to the...Putters. They were so paranoid about it, in fact, they would leap out of their chairs if they a head a car coming up the drive or they'd look at each other in horror if the phone rang. Of course, the Putters hadn't come to visit--ever. But there was that off chance that they might and if they did, and the neighbors saw them, it would be the end of their respectability. The reason why is that the Putters were oddballs. Weirdos. Worse than anything you might imagine about people who attend UFO conventions or dance around trees or smoke wacky tabacky or go into trances to contact the dead. Yes, the Putters were even worse than that! And that was scary. But, on Tuesday morning when our story begins, the Dunslys weren't thinking about that, at all. It was a perfectly normal morning. Mr. Dunsly was busy clipping his toenails upstairs and downstairs Mrs. Dunsly was busy trying to feed Doodly, who kept tossing everything against the wall that she offered to him.
"You friggin idiot--did I say I wanted oatmeal with cinnamon? Get me the Peaches and Cream!"
"But there isn't any left! You ate it last night for a snack, Doodly darling!"
He started screaming at her, banging the table with his fat fists. Tears sprouted in Mrs. Dursly's eyes and she was overcome by emotion, not knowing how to appease him.
She frantically went over her mental list of cereal, snacks, treats, chips, and realized that Doodly had thrown them all against the wall.
Except the Ho Ho's. Dear Hamgod, let him be pleased with the Ho HO's, she thought in a panic as she searched for them in cupboard. It was all she had left.
"Would you like your Ho Ho's?" she asked, meekly, waving them in the air.
He stopped screaming and grabbed the whole box which held about twenty. Immediately, he set to work tearing open the wrappers and stuffing the chocolate cakes into his mouth. Mr. Dunsly came in just then and patted Doodly on the head, affectionately. Mrs. Dunsly breathed easier now, and smiled at Doodly as her husband gave her a peck good-bye. Mrs. Dunsly watched as he walked down the cobbled path which was really just a bunch of cheap plastic stones made to look like a cobbled path.
He got in his SUV and drove away.
Neither one of them had noticed a very large owl flying over the neighbor's house.
At a quarter to eight, Mrs. Dunsly had to leave Doodly to go to the market to replace all the food he had destroyed. While at the wheel, something suddenly struck her attention. Across the street. On the Corner. A cat reading a map. Oh my. She blinked and looked again. The map was gone but the cat was still there, staring back at her. She drove on, trying to get the ridiculous image out of her head. A cat reading a map! That was about as absurd as Doodly reading a book! Oh dear. Did she just say that? Oops.
Mr. Dunsly at the same time was in a traffic jam on the other side of town. He was thinking about slugs. Mr. Dunsly worked in a slug factory and he was wishing that he could be transferred to the basement job. The thought of slugs and basements were driven out of his mind, however, when he noticed some very odd people in purple cloaks. Young men and women. Children. An old lady. A monkey, for heaven's sake. He couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes. Hamgod! But this was outrageous--Hamgoddemn weirdos! He would have swerved to the left and smashed them into putty if he wasn't stuck between four cars. Mr. Dunsly was seething. The nerve of those wackos!
Finally, the cars began moving again and minutes later, Mr. Dunsly relaxed with his mind back on slugs.
He drove into the factory parking lot and ran up the steps to the factory, clocking in, and went directly to the conveyor belt where the odious slugs came rolling down. He had a dream once, a nightmare actually, that he woke up a slug. He could feel his cold, slimy, wiggly skin and and it gave him the bejeepers--it took Mrs. Dunsly three hours to convince him that he was not a slug. Hamgod, he hated these creatures!
As Mr. Dunsly preoccupied himself with his job, he was not aware of what was happening down in the street below him, which was quite unusual, indeed.
Owls swarming past, hundreds of them. Now, if it had been crows, that would not have been unusual at all, especially right before Winter when they were known to fly into town every year. They became such pests that you could see people chasing them down the streets, trying to swat them with their umbrellas and tennis rackets. And that awful sound--caw! caw!--policemen were actually taking out their pistols and blasting them out of the sky.
But, owls? That was very weird.
Mr. Dunsly was oblivious to this, upstairs having a perfectly normal morning at work. He found five very excellent snails that would earn him high marks as a slug detector. He was pleased with himself. At lunchtime, he decide he'd go to Big Boy's hamburger joint to order himself a triple-decker cheeseburger to celebrate his brilliance.
Selecting snails from slugs was no easy matter. It took a great deal of expertise. And to let you in on a secret, it had to do with the horns. Slugs have antennae, snails have horns. Isn't that clever of Mr. Dunsly? He didn't understand why he could not be promoted to the basement job since that would suit his temperament and the lighting was dark down there so he didn't have to actually see them. He could manage all right if he could just stop thinking about how much he hated the things. He couldn't believe the French really ate these horrid creatures! Weirdos!
At a quarter to twelve, Mr. Dunsly made his way out the front door of the factory. And only to find the most revolting scene! Those people wearing those funny cloaks again! They were now everywhere and what, with the owls, it seemed as if his little town had entered some sort of twilight zone. Owls swooping down and strange hooded purple-cloaked clowns--yes, even clowns! Mr. Dunsly could feel his temperature rising, his blood was about to boil. It was all he could do to walk past them without reaching out his hand to strangle them. Hamgod, they were ghastly! Whispering to each other, talking excitedly like a bunch of foreigners.
"If I don't hurry past," he said to himself, "I swear to the Hamgod I'm going to bash in their brains!" As he rushed past them with a rather stern expression on his face, he caught a bit of their conversation and it shocked him into nothing short of horror.
"The Putters--they have a son!"
"Oh, yes, Jimmy, I remember-"
"No, you're thinking of the Puggers. I mean, Henry--
"Henry? You don't mean they had a Henry. Why, my granddaughter's son is named Henry. How coincidental!"
"Yes, but I was saying that the Putters--"
"They don't play golf, by chance?"
"I wouldn't know, but, you see, the Putters--"
Mr. Dunsly tuned the rest out as he walked away in a horrified trance, gripping the fence beside him for support.
He was so distraught by the conversation that he skipped his lunch and ran to his car and drove home as fast as he could. When he scurried through the front door, he locked and bolted it and then peered through the peep hole to make sure no one was there. He only saw a tabby cat sitting on a garden wall, staring at him. He promptly sighed in relief and went into the kitchen.
Mrs. Dunsly was holding an icepack on her head. Her hair was a bit untidy as if she had climbed her way through a beastly jungle.
"Are you all right, my dear?" asked Mr. Dunsly, opening the refrigerator to grab a soda. He cracked it open.
Mrs. Dunsly nodded her head, smiling wearily. "Oh yes, I'm fine, darling. Just had a silly tussle with Doodly."
"Where is charming Doodly? he asked as he bent down to kiss her on her forehead.
"He's having his early afternoon nap. He had a rather large breakfast."
Mr. Dunsly laughed. "He's a growing boy!"
Mrs. Dunsly nodded as if she couldn't agree with him more, as if Doodly really couldn't get any larger and if he did, they would need a larger house to put him in.
Mr. Dunsly walked into the den and heard a news report coming from the television.
"...One thousand owls have been spotted in this area alone. If you see any in your neck of the woods, please, we ask you to stay calm. This is not usual behavior for owls, but the experts have as yet to tell us what's going on with our feathered friends. And, please, it is very important not to panic if you happen to see an explosion of shooting stars. We'll have an up-to-date report as soon as we can locate specialists who can explain this odd phenomena. But, in the meantime, go on with your day, as usual. Please do not phone your government officials. The lines are all tied up..."
Mr. Dunsly's mouth dropped to the floor. So, it was real! And shooting stars, too! Mr. Dunsly chewed his fist, he was so beside himself. Something was definitely not right. And there was that whispering about the Putters...
"O, Petulia!" yelled Mr. Dunsly. "Come here, darling. I want to ask you something."
A moment later, Mrs. Dunsly peeked her head in the doorway. She still had the icepack, this time holding it over her bruised eye.
"Have you heard from your sister lately?"
Mrs. Dunsly's face went pale. "You know you're not supposed to ask me that!" she screamed. "Don't ever ask me that!"
Then she ran up the stairs in a flurry, Mr. Dunsly could hear her stomping on the stairs as she went. Three doors slammed. And then silence.
Hmmm, thought Mr. Dunsly. It was as if he were asking if her sister were a vampire! Which,, if he considered it, he didn't really know for certain
WHAT her sister was only that she disgraced the family by being a weirdo. It was so annoying that he couldn't ask his wife what the story was, but every time he asked her a question, it was the same reaction: a scream, stomping off and sulking for three days.
For Pete's sake, he had a second cousin who was a ventriloquist who dressed in little boy puppet clothes and liked to take baths in cake--he didn't mind when she asked him about him, and he knew the Putters couldn't be any weirder than that. Sometimes, he wondered if his wife could be a little overly-touchy.
Later, when Mr. Dunsly went up to bed, Mrs. Dunsly was sitting on the bed, her head against the headboard, her arms folded. She watched him as he crossed the room, but when he turned to look at her, she jerked her head away, her nose in the air. O, boy, thought Mr. Dunsly, I really shouldn't have mentioned her sister. He went to the window and peered down into the street. That strange tabby cat was still sitting there on the garden wall, this time sticking its tongue out--at him! Was he imagining things? Mr Dunsly rubbed his eyes and looked again. Not only was the cat sticking its tongue out at him, but now turned itself around and was thrusting its rear end out, shaking its little tush at him.
Mr. Dunsly had had such a weird day that he just snapped the shutters closed, while the cat below continued to use any gestures it could come up with to annoy Mr. Dunsly until it noticed Mr. Dunsly was no longer watching.
The tabby cat went back to its previous pose, sitting on the wall as still as a statue, except its eyes roamed about as if it were looking for someone. It wasn't but a few moments later when a man appeared walking down the lane and unlike any man ever seen before on Drivel Drive. For one thing, he was nine feet tall, as skinny as a rail, with a long silver beard which he tucked in his pants because it was always getting in his way. He wore one those funny cloaks that had enraged Mr. Dunsly so, it went to his kneecaps. This looked rather strange because he wore big black boots with brass buckles. He had a long thin nose, no lips, and wispy eyebrows. His spectacles hung low upon his nose, right at the very tip. This fellow's name was Albert Dumbbelldoor.
It seemed he caught sight of the orange tabby cat because he smiled suddenly, and said, "Well, I'll be darned. Funny seeing you here." The cat was about to open its mouth when Dumbbelldoor shushed it to silence and pulled out something looked like a cigarette lighter. He flicked it open and clicked it. Every light in the street suddenly went out.
The cat stood up on its legs, placing its paw on its hip. "Was that necessary?"
"Snuffing out all the lights. You know you've always been a bit of a show off."
"Nonsense. You want people to see us?"
"See what? After everything that's gone on today, I hardly think you and I sitting here will cause any suspicion. Good grief!"
"Well, you talking to me as a cat is highly irregular. Not to mention unnerving."
"Yes, well, it's not the best disguise, but it's the only one I could think of. Besides, it attracts less attention than the get-up you're wearing. And I think you ought to have selected a cloak that covered your feet--you might as well be wearing a mini skirt, and with those awful boots!"
"O, really? Easy for you to say talking to me as a cat! Let's see your taste in clothes, Professor McGoneagain, if you dare to reveal yourself."
"O, boy, here I go!"
In seconds time, the cat had transformed into a pale, severe old woman with jet black hair tied in three braided buns round her head. She wore a purple cloak, as well, this one shimmering to the ground. her eyebrows were like two upside down V's, it gave her a harsh expression as if it would be scary is she ever smiled. Her rather large round black glasses made her eyeballs magnified so that her two eyes seemed to be enormous. Professor Dumbbelldoor jumped when he saw her.
"O, my!" he cried, "I've forgotten how you look. Perhaps it's better if you remained a cat."
"Very funny," she sniffed. "If you don't shut up, I'll turn us both into cats."
"Now, now," he said, suddenly grinning. "Let's not quarrel, old friend. Say, have you been to any of the parties? What a day it's been!"
"No, I haven't been to any parties. I've been sitting on this brick wall all day spying on the Dunsly's. And what is this I hear about owls and shooting stars--for Hamgod's sake, Dumbbelldoor, the Muddleheads are going to catch on to us!"
"O, come now," Dumbelldoor chided, it's a great day for us all. I think we ought to celebrate, don't you?"
"O, I suppose so," said Professor McGoneagain, attempting a grin which was making Dumbbelldoor suddenly queasy. But before she could lift her lips her expression drooped back into her familiar frown. "Do you really think You-Know-What is gone for good?"
"Oh yes, certainly, absolutely, no doubt about it. Well, at least I think so."
Dumbbelldoor absently tossed a whole lemon into his mouth and was choking when McGoneagain finally helped him to get it dislodged from his throat.
"For Heaven's sake, Dumbbelldoor, don't you know how to eat a lemon?"
"O, sorry, I go it confused with the lemon drops I have in my other pocket. Would you like a lemon drop?"
"No, I wouldn't," she replied, glaring at him. "Can we get back to the business at hand?"
"O, yes, indeed. About You-Know-What. Can we just say his name? I'm really getting sick of all this you-know-what-business. His name is Moldywart! Moldywart!"
"Shush, he might hear you!"
"He can't hear me because he's dead. Henry killed him."
"Ah, that's right. Our precious little Henry! Our little Henry may be the most powerful wizard in the history of wizardry. The flash of his eyes and Moldywart was killed on the spot. Imagine that. It comes from having two extraordinary wizards as his parents. It's a shame Moldywart murdered them. Poor dears. Now, we have to find Henry a home." Professor McGoneafain pulled out a handkerchief and furiously blew her nose. Dumbbelldoor sighed and pulled a gold watch out of his pocket.
"Why is HE coming?" asked McGoneagain, startled.
"He's bringing Henry...to come live with the Dunslys!"
"What? Are you out of your mind?," she cried, grabbing Dumbbelldoor by the sleeve. "Little Henry, the most powerful little wizard in the world, living with muddleheads like the Dunslys!. O, Dumbbelldoor, they've got this horrible fat son--I saw him kicking his mother this morning all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Henry should be reared in the finest home. He might grow up to be as evil as that wicked boy."
"Nonsense, the Dunslys will keep Henry's ego in check. He would grow up more of a monster if we took him back with us and raised him as a wizard. You know how famous he is now--imagine being treated like a young god. He would certainly be spoiled. No, this way, atleast, he will learn humility--a virtue for a wizard of his standing."
"And what if he doesn't? What if he learns to use his powers before we reach him?"
"He won't know what he's doing. It will be perfectly harmless."
"But what if they abuse our little lamb? They're horrible people!"
"Oh, I think Henry will be able to take care of himself."
Professor Dumbbelldoor smiled mysteriously, as if the thought amused him.
But Professor Mc Goneagain continued to pace, not convinced at all that this was the right thing to do.
All at once, a low rumbling sound interrupted their conversation. It was coming from the sky. Dumbbelldoor and McGoneagain looked up and out of the blue fell a humungous motorcycle! it made a terrific clang on the pavement when it landed right next to the two professors.
"Leaping lizards!" yelled McGoneagain, "what on earth...?" It was Haggard, sitting up on the Harley Davidson, looking pleased as he reared back, doing a wheely to show off.
"Turn that thing off, you big oaf!" shrieked McGoneagain. She turned to Dumbbelldoor. "Couldn't he arrive more inconspicuously? This is supposed to be a secret mission."
Haggard turned off the motorcycle, and stepped off the bike, carrying a little bundle with him.
"Is that Henry?" inquired Dumbbelldoor.
"O, yes, indeed. This is our little angel here," said Haggard, grinning. Haggard was as big as a house with untidy hair and huge dirty hands--his finger he was using to tickle baby Henry's little chin with was almost as big as Henry. It completely unnerved Professor McGoneagain who snatched Haggard's bundle away from him and pushed him aside.
"You're going to crush him, you big clumsy ox!"
She opened up the blanket and out peeped a beautiful baby boy with pink cheeks and black hair. She cooed and melted over him while Dumbbelldoor watched, fondly.
"O, dear," said McGoneagain.
"What is it?" inquired Dumbbelldoor.
"There's a gigantic lightning bolt across his forehead!"
"Ah, yes, he'll carry that scar with him forever."
"But Dumbbelldoor, it's hideous!"
"O, don't worry," he said, tenderly, "He can wear bangs. or a hat."
"That's right, ma'm," said Haggard, "my uncle once got bludgeoned in the head with an ax. He didn't mind. He wore it proudly."
"With the thing sticking out of his head?"cried McGoneagain. "You must be dense."
"O, no, not at all," said Haggard, wringing his hands. "It's not as bad as you think. Y'see, this is something our little Henry will be proud to show off. Like a battle wound."
McGoneagain reconsidered as she thought about what Haggard said. At least it wasn't an ax sticking out of forehead. And the darling was so very beautiful it probably wouldn't matter.
"Well, we better get this over with," said Dumbbelldoor with a sigh.
Dumbbelldoor took Henry in his arms and started toward the Dunsly's.
"Wait--couldn't I say goodbye to him, sir?"
Dumbbelldoor reluctantly waited as Hagrid bent over him and slobbered wet kisses all over his little head and told him how much he was going to miss him, how he would never forget him, how he would always remember him, how this was not really goodbye, how he would worry about him, etc., etc.,
Dumbbelldoor had to finally cut him off. "Haggard, please. This isn't going to get any easier."
Suddenly, Haggard let out a howl like a constipated wolf. He then began hiccuping because he was blubbering so much. He was making such a scene
McGoneagain was tempted to turn him into a bean. He was even embarrassing Dumbbelldoor who usually did not mind sentiment at all.
"Good Heavens, get a grip!" snapped McGoneagain finally.
"S-s-s-sorry. I've just had such a long day. It's been one thing after another. First, I had a bloody toothache and a sore belly. Then, I find out Lily and James have been murdered. Then I can't find my pants. Then I discovered Moldywort--ah, sorry--You-Know-What has vanished into thin air and no one knows where is, and then I ruined my tea by boiling it too long, then of all things, I've got a pimple on my backside the size of--"
What did you just say," cried McGoneagain. "You-Know-What has vanished?! Isn't he dead?"
"I don't know, " sobbed haggard. "I don't think so.
"Well, good grief, let's get out of the street. If he's alive, he will be looking for Henry. And your loud display of emotion will bring him right to us!" Haggard nodded and dried his eyes on the sleeve of his black leather jacket.
"Dumbbelldoor, maybe this is the best place for Henry," said McGoneagain, excitedly. "If You-Know-What is alive, Henry couldn't find a better hiding place that with the Dunslys. He would never think of looking there.
Dumbbelldoor smiled in agreement. "You see, it is for the best."
McGoneagain and Haggard watched as Dumbbelldoor took the sweet little bundle over to the Dunslys front door and placed it neatly upon the mat with a letter of introduction pinned to his little nightshirt.
"Well, that's that," said Dumbbelldoor. "We've no more business here. We may as well go hit some of the parties!"
"Honestly, you're a cold fish," said McGoneagain. "How can you feel like celebrating?"
"My dear," said Dumbbelldoor, placing his arm round her shoulders. "Of course, I feel like celebrating. That little boy there will grow up one day to be Moldywort's worst nightmare. He will be sorry the day he laid his hands on the parents of Henry Putter. I'm celebrating that day coming, and you should, as well."
"I suppose, since you put it that way."
The three of them patted each other on the back and Haggard tried not to blubber and finally after all the good-byes were said, Haggard threw himself onto his motorcycle and rode up and off into the night sky.
Dumbbelldoor turned and walked back to the the middle of the street. he used his silver Putter-Outer to replace twelve balls of light that he previously took from the lamp posts. All went back to normal now as he walked up the road. He turned back and saw the tabby cat standing guard at the garden wall. He could just barely see the little bundle on the front porch.
"Farewell, Henry. Good luck, my dear boy!"
With swish of his cloak, and a jangle of his boots, he was gone.
-- Heh, nice renaming. Dumbbelldoor? Roflol Hahahahaha! Moldywart. Roflol! Dunsly, or Dunsley - I probably would've spelled that 'Duncely'. Liked the golf joke too.
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