Who says nothing interesting happens during the summer holiday?

Harry woke up suddenly, feeling that something was wrong. He noticed it was still dark outside as he reached for his glasses and quietly slipped out of bed.

Across the room, he could hear Hedwig softly hooting in her sleep competing with Dudley's loud snoring which he could feel through the soles of his feet. Recently Dudley had been snoring so loadly that the neighbours came round and threatened to complain to the council. Of course the Dursley's blamed Harry (although how it was his fault, he failed to comprehend).

Moving to the window, he parted the curtains a crack and peeked through to see a tall thin man standing in the middle of the street. This man, he now saw in the half-light of the coming dawn, was dressed in a navy blue uniform and seemed to be reading a rectangular card.

Harry's heart gave a lurch as the man looked up and straight at Harry. He then began to walk methodically across the road, on to the pavement towards the house. Harry closed the curtain and searched for his wand. Quickly, pulling on his dressing gown, Harry tried to remember the words to the Impedimento curse. Only now he wished he had followed Hermione's advice and revised his work more during the summer holiday.

With a wand in one hand, Harry crept around his bed towards the door, but stumbled over an object at the foot of his bed. Looking down he saw it was a box. In fact it looked like a shoebox, but he knew it couldn't be since the Dursley's had never bought him new shoes, he always got Dudley's old worn out pairs (and since Dudley begain his latest phase of expansion, Harry had been regularly receiving pairs that looked almost new - as long as you didn't turn them over and look at the sole).

Forgetting, for a moment, the strange man in the street, Harry carefully opened the box to reveal some bunches of tissue paper which he now unfolded to reveal a beautiful silver mask that glimmered and shone in the dim light of his bedroom.

A strange compunction overtook him as he grasped both sides of the mask and pulled it from the box. It was as if one half of his mind was saying "of course I know I should never just go ahead and wear an unknown magical object" whilst the other, stronger, half forced him to place it over his face. He began to fight against the compunction - too late, it was already touching him, and seemed to become fluid as it flowed across his facce.

He decided he would have to write to Ron and Hermione as soon as possible, but before he could complete the thought, everything went blank.

With a loud bang, Harry awoke to find himself standing in the hall downstairs. His face stung and he noticed the mask laying at his feet. But what worried him more was realising that the man from the street was standing in front of him pointing a wand straight at Harry's chest. Then things happened together. First, Uncle Vernon began shouting "What is that racket out there? If that is you Harry, you've really done it this time...", Harry was more interested in grabbing for his wand to fend off the imminent attack. Too late! The stranger muttered a few words and a red light sprung from his wand and hit Harry square in the chest.

Instead of doubling over in pain, though, Harry found himself and the stranger back in his bedroom. His door was shut, but he could still hear the commotion in the house as Uncle Vernon shouted and Dudley (to judge from the tortured squeeking sounds) walked down the stairs.

He stared at the stranger. The stranger stared back. After a few seconds Harry broke the silence and asked "Who are you"?

"I'm the guardian of the mask - who are you"?

"Harry Potter". At this the strangers eyes widened and glanced at Harry's forehead. It seemed to help because the stranger immediately relaxed and lowered his wand (which all this time had remained pointing at Harry).

"So tell me, what does the Mask of Vymoon want with you"?

Having no idea what he was talking about, Harry began to think the stranger to be a little unbalanced, before he remembered the shoebox and it's contents.

"Oh, the mask in the shoebox, was that the Mast of Vymoon then"?

"Of course, didn't you read the letter that came with it"?

"No" Feeling slightly foolish, Harry looked down at the box and saw clearly in the dawn light, a small roll of parchment in the box next to the tissues. Before he could pick up the roll, the man began to explain.....

"Many years ago, a master wizard named Vymoon created the mask as a repository for his considerable magical skills and, as much as possible, his soul.

Vymoon thought that he could escape death by transferring his soul and powers into the magical mask. For a while it seemed to work, except that without the mask Vymoon's body was just a shell with no thoughts or life. He had to wear the mask all the time.

After a while, the news of what Vymoon had done began to spread. One dark wizard living nearby heard of this and decided to steal Vymoon's magical powers by taking the mask. One night he crept into Vymoon's darkened palace when everyone was asleep, and stole the mask.

Vymoon couldn't live for long without the mask, and soon after died a terrible death. Nobody knew what happened to the mask, except for the dark wizard. This wizard found that by wearing the mask, his powers were greatly magnified, but that something of Vymoon remained in the mask, and often he didn't remember everything that happened whilst he has wearing it.

One day, while he was wearing the mask, a strange thing hap..."

Bang! A loud explosion interrupted the stranger, followed by a piercing scream coming from downstairs. Harry suddenly had a very bad feeling about this - where did he leave that mask? The stranger must have thought the same thing as they both ran to the door, and opened it to reveal a huge hole in the front of the house where the front door used to be, and Uncle Vernon sat, red-faced, on the floor next to it. Harry's Aunt was standing behind him screaming, her face contorted with fright.

At that moment, Uncle Vernon caught sight of Harry, and his face darkened even further. Harry was sure his head was going to explode as he shouted at Harry "What have you done to our Dudley now?".

Harry didn't know what to say In fact he was more worried about the thought of a muggle - and Dudley at that, running around with power of a master Wizard....

What trouble does Dudley cause?

How can Harry solve this problem?

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