His 'muggle' books were added into the library after registering them. Whether they would be any use to him in this new world he didn't know, but he saw no reason to throw them out, it wasn't as if he was lacking space. His new clothes were hung in the wardrobe, making sure that all shirts were together, as were all the trousers and all the robes. It may have been easier to throw everything in, but Aunt Petunia did have a point. It would probably save time later. Placing his good old clothes into the washing hamper in the room, he closed the fifth compartment. Intending to get all new 'muggle' clothes he had realised that at some point he would probably need some old clothes for doing messy jobs, but wanted to rid them of the dusty smell of the cupboard first.
He resorted the remaining things back into the first compartment. Potions kit and apparatus were organised into the accompanying carrier and placed in a corner with parchment and quills alongside. Making sure all the ink bottles were securely tightened and placed snugly along the edge he added the remaining school things in a way that made them easily reachable. Proud of his work he turned to his lunch that had arrived in the meantime.
After finishing the rather large lunch, he sat down to look over his To Do List. Putting a tick by Gringotts, he added notes to follow up on the progress regarding the Sirius Black case and to purchase books on Wizarding law, finance and government. Making a shopping list he divided the items he wanted into two, one normal (muggle) and one magical. Picking up his old school bag and placed in it the normal list he tapped his Gringotts key with his wand and stated
"Muggle, pounds sterling." Looking down at his hand that had been holding his golden vault key, he now held a credit card. Not completely trusting that the charms would work, he added a hundred pounds from his stash to his bag. Just in case.
Finding the directions through London to the nearest department store was easy, so was finding the right floor. But that was where his luck seemed to run out. Looking at all the surrounding displays he started to feel just a little overwhelmed. He was closed in on all sides by types upon types of clothing, where was he going to start?
Thinking quickly of a nice cover story, he found a kind looking lady employee. He did his best to look lost and asked for her help. Explaining that a house fire had destroyed the majority of his wardrobe, and that his parents were still busy with the insurance people down the road, he said he wanted to get a head start on replacing his things. Knowing that the charms on his 'credit-card' would allow for the purchase of the items with no-one questioning it, he still had to navigate his way through the daunting task ahead of him.
Working his charm had apparently paid off and it must have been a slow day because after handing over his list as a guideline he had three female employees choosing clothes and gushing over him. Admitting he had no clue on fashion but that money was no object he was gently herded into the dressing room by one of the employees. He was then handed piles upon piles of clothes leaving the ladies to discuss the colouring, cut and style.
Not sure what all the fuss was about as his previous experience of suitable clothes meant finding ones with the fewest holes in, he was still very appreciative that after only two and a half hours of time he had a large selection of clothes that could easily last him until next year. From boxers and socks, to five new pairs of shoes, he declared his shopping expedition a success. Now all he needed to do was get everything back to his room.
Thanking the assistants who had helped load him into a waiting taxi he directed the driver to the right road. After unloading just outside the Leaky Cauldrons entrance and paying the fare, he started to traipse the many bags up the stairs to his room. Luckily no one took much notice of him on his many trips. The previous work he had done organising his things seemed to have paid off. That or the inbuilt spells in his wardrobe compartment that sorted and stored clothes neatly were doing a fantastic job. After packing away all of his things he once again consulted his list. Ticking off one more thing on his To Do List he settled into his bed, selecting from his library the Introduction to the Wizarding World that Professor Flitwick had picked out for him, he immersed himself in the subject until dinner time.
For the next three days Harry stayed in his room most of the time reading through the Introductory books that gave him a broad understanding about this new world that he was to become a part of. He made another list of suggested book titles and areas where he wanted more information. And added to the list of things he wanted to buy.
His knew that the Wizarding World still used parchment and quills. And as charming as that may seem, he really did not see the value of having various different scrolls laying around, and aside from a basic pigeon hole system there seemed to be no way of organising them. Though willing to immerse himself in this new culture using quills and rolls of parchment seemed just a little silly, tradition for traditions sake.
After reading Hogwarts a History, Hogwarts Charter and Hogwarts Self Updating Rule Book and finding no rule against it he decided to organise his notes the way he had done all his life. With one notepad specifically designated for each subject, to stop his class taken notes becoming mixed up and loose lined paper for his final notes to be contained in an A4 folder. This would probably upset some of the more traditional teachers, and so he had decided to use a quill and parchment for handing in assignments only.
Unsure if he wanted to leave the castle at all during the holidays, that meant another trip to London for stationary to last a year. This time he remembered to take his trunk with him. A year's supply of paper weighed more than you might think. Stocking up on paper, notepads and folders was only one part of it. He brought himself a luxury fountain pen with additional nibs with the choice of using disposable or refillable cartridges. Choosing to buy both he also stocked up on biros, highlighters, pencil pens and coloured felt tips. Hogwarts was in for a shock.
Six days after he had received his Hogwarts letter, he was sitting down in the main bar area of The Leaky Cauldron eating breakfast and watching the different sorts of people coming and going. Flipping through an abandoned Daily Prophet he found his eyes drawn to a particular article, for there on the third page was his name. In large letters the headline of the piece reminded the reader that this year Harry Potter was going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It continued on by reviewing what had happened ten years previously, along with some rather imaginative speculation of where he had been all this time and what he had been doing. What a brilliant birthday present.
After finishing his meal he made his way to the corner of the bar. Propped up in the corner Tom the bar owner was finishing his own meal while keeping an eye on his establishment.
"Ah young Harry. I believe many happy returns are in order. Happy Birthday."
Years of being a publican meant that Tom knew quite a lot about anticipating his customer's needs and their requests. So though he was truly happy to wish The-Boy-Who-Lived a very happy birthday, he did so in a rather quiet circumspect way with absolutely no mention of the name Potter. Even the Guest Book listed him as Harry Evans.
"Thank you Tom, I was hoping to go into Diagon Alley but as you can see I'm not sure that is wise today," Harry said gesturing to the open paper.
"Well why don't you come to the office, I'm sure I could do something to make you a little less recognisable, haven't needed to in a long time mind you, but I am sure I'll be able to manage a glamour or two."
And that's how Harry Evans, with brown hair blue eyes and a nice tan, came to be walking down Diagon Alley with barely a care in the world. After wandering through Flourish and Blotts for a while and placing an order of extra books he wanted, to be delivered to his room at The Leaky Cauldron, he found his way to Eelops Owl Emporium.
Entering he felt a hush descend like that in a really strict library. He had been debating within himself ever since he had gotten his letter whether he should get a pet. The Dursleys would never have let him have one, and he was just getting used to being on his own and making his own decisions that he wasn't sure that he was ready to take care of one. Thinking on his choices he really didn't fancy a toad. So that left a cat or an owl. Remembering Mrs Figg and all her cats decided it for him, an owl it was. So Harry, though decided, had waited for his birthday. He had never received a birthday present, though he couldn't remember his first birthday he assumed he had gotten presents then, so he decided to wait and mark his first birthday in the Wizarding world with something special.
The shop was dark, filled with rustling and glittering jewel like eyes peering from the gloom. Careful not to disturb any of the creatures he gently closed the door and made himself walk slowly deeper into the shop. He had read about post owls in A Guide to Magical Communication another one of those handy little pamphlets. Different from an ordinary owl, they can sense the recipient anywhere in the world (as long as they were not hidden), flying faster and for longer they were one of the most secure ways to deliver mail. The pamphlet had mentioned that a well chosen owl, one that matched with their owner was almost like a well chosen wand in that a bond would form.
And that was what Harry was looking for. A pet that he had a connection with. After looking around, he closed his eyes and 'felt' with his magic, searching for that one pull that called him. After a second or two he took a few steps in the direction of the pull and held his arm up ready. He pushed with his magic a feeling of welcoming acceptance. A second later he felt a weight landing on his arm. Compensating for the landing motion he opened his eyes to a beautiful snowy owl with dark amber eyes appraising him.
"Hello. Would you like to come with me?" He gently brought his other hand up and petted what he was sure was a she. In answer to his question his new owl bobbed her head and let out a soothing hoot.
"Well alright then, I think I'll name you Hedwig." After making his way to the counter, and paying for Hedwig, a cage, perch and assorted food items along with some recommended reading material he made his way back to The Leaky Cauldron with his birthday present.
Though the past few days had been nice, doing what he wanted when he wanted, Harry was starting to feel restless. He had practically memorised all the introductory books and Hogwarts a History. He had finished all of his shopping as far as he knew and had the pamphlets for owl order from the main shops. What he now wanted to do was get down and start working hard. No matter how many chores he had to do at Privet Drive he had always made time for his school work.
Following one of the suggestions into the Introduction to Hogwarts for Muggleborns pamphlet, he had read through the introductory chapters of all of his set school books to get a feel for the different subjects. Compiling a timetable for the next month until school started, he decided on five grouping that included his school subjects as well as three others he wanted to become more knowledgeable about. With five groups and a month to go that meant six cycles of his timetable. He hoped that that would be enough; he didn't want to be too far behind.
Studying one subject for a whole day could be boring, but in order to make any headway he wanted to study one thing for a few hours at a time. Grouping the subjects with one for the morning and one for the afternoon allowed for a change of pace, but also the studying of related subjects together. The groupings were:
Transfiguration and Charms
Potions and Herbology
Astronomy and History of Magic
Defence Against the Dark Arts and Voldemort/War
Finance, Law and Wizarding Government
After his experience of being locked away for days at a time, Harry knew that he needed a change of scenery every now and then. So after having an early breakfast he would walk around Diagon Alley just as the shops were opening. That allowed him to explore the nearly empty shops with little chance of causing a scene. He had taken Tom's lesson on blending into the background to heart, though not sure that it would be that bad, he didn't want to chance anything. He was determined to stay in control of his new life.
With that all figured out he decided on a timetable that allowed him plenty of time to eat, sleep and explore Diagon Alley. To his surprise this also left him with plenty of time to study!
0630 – 0700 Get up, shower
0700 – 0800 Breakfast, prepare for the day
0800 – 0900 Exploring Diagon Alley, shopping, AOB
0900 – 1300 1st subject
1300 – 1400 Lunch
1400 – 1800 2nd subject
1800 – 1900 Dinner
1900 – 2100 R'n'R
2100 – 0630 Sleep
The first of September dawned bright and early, and Harry with good intentions of taking the day easy had decided to have a lie in. Which is, of course, why he was wide awake at six in the morning. Blaming Sod's Law, he gave up and decided to have a long shower instead. After finishing his ablutions and packing away the rest of his things Harry made his way downstairs for his last breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron. A large breakfast later he picked up the packed lunch from the kitchens and after settling up with Tom made his way back upstairs.
Praising whoever invented the bottomless school bag he tucked away his packed lunch into one section while browsing through his books to pick a few for the ride to Hogwarts. Knowing that they left at 1100 and didn't arrive at Hogwarts until the evening feast, meant that he had to keep himself entertained for around seven hours. Choosing a few of his going away books he received from his teachers at Dunhill Primary made him realise all that had happened in the last six weeks. A lifetime indeed. Taking with him the Standard Book of Spells (Grade One), One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi and Magical Drafts and Potions. At least if he got board he could randomly test himself on the wand movement and incantation for a spell or the ingredients and procedure to make a particular potion.
After reorganising his first trunk compartment three times, checked his carryon bag twice and played with his never ending library (Looking for "Books with the letter Z in the title") he finally decided it was time to go. Checking his room one last time and after giving Hedwig the option to fly herself or to be carried in her cage (one look at the cage and she was out of the window before he had finished asking), he placed her cage and perch into the as of now empty fourth compartment of his trunk.
Carefully carrying his trunk down the stairs he faced the fireplace in the main bar. Holding his trunk close, he threw a handful of floo powder into the fire and watched as it turned green. After taking a deep breath he stepped into the fire and said
"Platform Nine and Three Quarters."
AN: In this story I decided that Blood Wards based on a love sacrifice need love to work. As such there are no such wards and the instruments Dumbledore has in his office are for existing wards on Privet Drive (same as they have been for the past 10 years) and health of Harry (better as of late). Flitwick reported nothing unusual and the Dursleys aren't going to say anything, in fact they probably have already moved. For these reasons Dumbledore has no idea that Harry has left Privet Drive, and Harry isn't about to tell him! One of Dumbledore's worst faults is that he assumes he knows everything.