Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 2 - The Vanishing Glass
Ten years pass and everything around the Dursley house remains the same. Nobody would be able to tell that Harry lives with them, for he sleeps in the cupboard under the stairs, in a small dark space infested with spiders. Because of this, his appearance is left slightly less than empowering:
"Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. HE looked even smaller and skinner than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley's and Dudley was about four times bigger than he was. Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Sellotape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead which was shaped like a bolt of lightning. Chapter 2, pg. 20
Aunt Petunia tells Harry that his parents died in a car accident years earlier and that he should never ask any questions. This statement is a rule that must be obeyed. One morning, Harry is woken up early in celebration of Dudley's birthday. The Dursleys buy him dozens of expensive presents - none necessary items - and prepare for a birthday extravaganza including a trip to the zoo. Harry goes with Uncle Vernon, Dudley's friend Piers Polkiss, and the Dursleys because the sitter, Mrs. Figg called to cancel. Dudley does not want Harry coming on the trip, for he thinks he will ruin everything. However, when nobody can stay with Harry, he comes along, after a serious threat from Uncle Vernon not to do anything crazy. Harry can never explain the weird things that happen to him, for example when his hair grew back overnight, when he suddenly appeared on the roof after being chased by Dudley's gang, and when he shrunk a horrible jumper that Aunt Petunia tried to get him to wear. However, he fully believes that nothing funny and bizarre will occur this day at the zoo. Yet, at the zoo, Harry looks at the poor snake, enclosed in his own cupboard-type of prison, behind the glass, sitting all day while annoying visitors like Dudley tap their fingers against the glass. The snake winks at Harry, opening the conversation of breeding and history. Harry sees a sign that first says the snake is from Brazil, but lower says that it was bred in captivity. Harry feels sorry for the snake and hurt that Dudley keeps punching him in the stomach. Suddenly, the glass disappears between the boys and the snake, allowing it to wrap itself around Dudley and Piers, and eventually escape to Brazil.
On the car ride home, Uncle Vernon Dursley blames Harry and vows to put him back in the cupboard, while Dudley complains and reports that Harry was talking to the snake. Meanwhile, Harry is confused and sad, for he has no friends, everyone at school makes fun of him for fear of Dudley and his gang, and he knows nothing about his parents. He recalls a strange vision from his childhood and simultaneously feels a tingle in his scar. Furthermore, Harry often sees people that he recognizes, but never gets close enough to them to start a conversation. He is alone and hopes to be rescued by some imaginary unknown relative.