Chapter 1 – The Worst Birthday
The second Harry Potter book begins at the Dursleys – Harry’s Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and Cousin Dudley. Harry, who is “home” for the summer holidays, desperately misses Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He misses the castle, and Hagrid, and Quidditch. But all his wizard stuff is locked in the cupboard under the stairs. The Dursleys, being non-magical Muggles, hate everything having to do with magic.
Today is Harry’s 12th birthday. Not only have the Dursleys ignored it, they are focused on a dinner party to be given for a business prospect of Uncle Vernon's that night. Harry is expected to sit silently in his room during the party.
Out in the garden, Harry thinks of his friends from Hogwarts - Ron and Hermione - who haven’t written to him all summer. He wants to send Hedwig with a letter, but mustn’t use magic outside Hogwarts.
Just as Harry is remembering his narrow escape from Lord Voldemort last year at Hogwarts, he sees two enormous green eyes in the hedge!! They disappear just as Dudley waddles over to tease Harry about his birthday. Harry scares Dudley by pretending to cast a spell, but is punished by Aunt Petunia with a slew of chores in the hot sun while Dudley lazes about and eats ice cream.
Finally Harry is given a pitiful meal of bread and cheese and sent upstairs just as the doorbell rings. Harry turns to collapse on his bed, only to find someone sitting on it!!!