Books rewrite. Harry may not have defeated Voldemort, but that doesn't mean that his jump into the Wizarding world is going to be any less interesting - or dangerous. SSHP
Pairings: Harry/Severus (main, eventual), Harry/Cedric (small), Harry/others (small), Draco/Blaise (side, eventual), Draco/Hermione (small), Neville/Luna (side, eventual), Ginny/Hermione (side, eventual), Remus/Sirius (side, eventual), mentions Lucius/Narcissa (present). (Note: Most of these pairings won't happen for quite some time; I'm not a pedophile, and the main characters are only 11.)
Disclaimer: I own nothing of this story but the plot. The characters themselves (except for possible OC's I may create) belong to J.K. Rowling. I just like to play with them. Rest assured she'll get them back safe and sound. All quotes, lyrics, and music belong to their original authors; I just borrow their words from time to time for my own purposes. I claim nothing, and thus you don't have the rights to sue me, so there XP.
Warnings: This story will contain SLASH pairings, which means guys on guys and girls on girls. Just to be fair……This story will contain HET pairings, which means a guy on a girl. There will be mentions of child abuse, and manipulation. There will some of violence, swearing, and mature content (because Potions Masters are closet perverts) later in the story (when Harry is older, 'cause Unwritten isn't into pedophilia). There will be some Dumbledore bashing, but nothing too drastic. Unwritten will be re-writing canon events to suit her whims, making this story blatantly AU. If anything of the above irritates/disgust you, then leave.
Author's Notes: This will be a series that goes through the entire seven books if I can make it that far (lord help my laziness) and the events of canon will be followed extremely loosely; as in so loosely that they might not even seem like canon events anymore. I changed a lot of the history, added a lot of my own traditions as well as a lot more and I'm happy with how it's turning out so far. Some of this chapter was taken directly out of the book (see bottom). Please enjoy and leave a review!
"Talking" 'Thoughts' "Spells" /Letters / (Beastspeech)
Harry Potter and the Chosen of Hogwarts
Chapter One: Harry James Potter
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. (Lao Tzu)
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." (Bilbo Baggins to Frodo Baggins)
July 23rd, 1991, 6:30 AM
Privet Drive, Surrey, England
Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey was a place of poise. People who lived there were well off, respectable, married couples that drove minivans. There weren't any people who had been married in Vegas, or had went to jail, or had even gotten a speeding ticket. The men all had high paying jobs and the women stayed home to take care of the children of the house, who were all well-behaved little snots.
The families of Privet Drive prided themselves on being normal. However very few people were aware of the very abnormal person living in the cupboard of Number 4 Privet Drive. The neighbors did, of course, know that there was a boy called Harry Potter living with the respectable Dursley family. However nobody had spoken to the boy besides Miss Figg, the crazy cat lady who lived at the end of the road, and even that only happened rarely.
Currently Harry Potter was in his cupboard underneath the stairs, legs pulled into his chest, chin on his knees, watching the spiders crawl over his walls. He would've liked to read, but he had just finished his last book an hour ago, and he had to wait for Aunt Petunia to let him go to the Library that afternoon until he could get anything new.
If anyone had asked Harry who his favorite person in the Dursley household was he would have answered wholeheartedly and without hesitation; his Aunt Petunia. While the tall, horse-like woman wasn't always the nicest to him, she respected his love of reading enough to allow him to go the library for new books when his Uncle Vernon and Cousin Dudley were out. Harry had tried to thank her, a long time ago, but she had waved it off saying that her sister would have wanted her only child to be literate. Harry had gotten the feeling that his Aunt didn't hate his mother as much as she said she did.
Uncle Vernon, on the other hand was someone Harry tried to avoid. The man usually liked to hit Harry when he was in a bad mood – something that happened at least three times a week, if not more. Thankfully Dudley wasn't as bad his father, though he was a bully to both Harry and the rest of the kids in the neighborhood.
Harry was drawn from his study of the spiders on the wall when a yell of, "BOY! MAIL!" came from the hallway as Uncle Vernon pounded through it. The large man only stopped long enough to unlock Harry's cupboard before rushing in to get his breakfast. Harry quietly got out, heading for the front door.
He picked up the small bundle by the door and quickly shuffled through it, prepared to throw out any junk mail so Uncle Vernon wouldn't have to. He passed through a couple of bills, a postcard from his 'Aunt' Marge, and a letter from Dudley's school. Harry stopped at the last letter and was about to enter the kitchen to give the bundle to Vernon when the address caught his eye and he gasped. For there, clearly printed in green ink was:
Mr. H. Potter
Cupboard under the Stairs
4 Privet Drive
He continued staring until another yell of, "BOY!" echoed through the hall. Blinking out of his amazed stupor, Harry quickly tucked the envelope into an oversized pocket and hurried into the kitchen. Uncle Vernon was sitting at the table, eating eggs, while Aunt Petunia shuffled around the kitchen counter. Harry quietly handed the bundle to Uncle Vernon, who shuffled through them and set them down on the table. He motioned for Harry to return to his cupboard until Aunt Petunia had need for him. Harry slipped out of the kitchen quietly, leaving Uncle Vernon to talk about Marge's postcard.
Back in the safety of his cupboard, Harry waited for the slam of the front door that signaled Uncle Vernon's leave before he even dared to try to take out the letter. His Aunt Petunia would clean the table before fetching him to do his chores, so he had some time to take a look at the mysterious post.
Harry pulled out the letter from his pocket, staring at it for a minute or two. The envelope was made from a heavy, creamy paper, and the deep green ink stood out vividly even in the dim light of the cupboard. Harry turned the envelope over and raised an eyebrow; there was seal on the back, pressed in red wax, of a lion, a badger, a snake, and a raven surrounding a large H. He had heard of such seals being used in the medieval days, but he wasn't aware that people even still used them anymore besides, perhaps, the queen.
Harry carefully broke the seal, and pulled out the first letter, which was made from the same thick and creamy paper as the envelope. When he unfolded it, vivid green ink once again shone up at him.
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins September 1st. We await your owl no later than July 31st.
Deputy Headmistress (2)
Postscript: Mr. Potter, due to your unique circumstances, one of the Hogwarts Professors will be arriving at your home on July 31st. Therefore there is no need to send an owl, as you can tell the Professor if you wish to attend Hogwarts or not. Please inform your guardians and expect them at 11:50 AM. We look forward to seeing you at Hogwarts.
Harry stared at the letter, unable to believe that he was holding an acceptance letter to a magic school. It had to be a trick, something Dudley had thought up. But a part of him pointed out that Dudley wasn't smart enough to use old fashioned paper and a seal to make it look authentic. Harry carefully placed the letter in a secret niche he had made when he was 7 and lay down on his bed, his arms tucked beneath his head. He didn't really believe that there was such thing as magic, but he would wait until the specified date to see the 'Professor' from this Hogwarts place before deciding if it was real or not. He refused to acknowledge the bubble of hope that has risen up in his chest that he may be getting away from the Dursley's; hope was such a dangerous emotion.
Harry sighed as Aunt Petunia called for him to start his chores and got out of his cupboard, his mind still on the mysterious letter.
July 31st, 1991; 11:55 AM
Privet Drive, Surrey, England
Severus Snape stared at the perfect looking houses of Privet Drive and snorted in disgust. The lawns were picture-perfect with thick green grass. All the houses looked alike; square, modern, and painted in dull colors. There were children playing happily in their gardens while mothers chattered at each other from the windows. It was the perfect suburban town and Severus hated it.
He could almost pity Potter for having to live somewhere like this all his life. This was a place with white picket fences, family game nights, and people who knew everything about you because they were snooping from their windows. Severus shuddered lightly as he walked up the steps of House Number 4 and rang the small white doorbell. He'd hate to live someplace like this, where everyone was so……nosy. Even now there were women staring at him from behind their curtains, and children peeking at him from the gardens.
The door opened and Severus stared at the child that had opened the door. The child (he couldn't tell if it was a girl or a boy) had roughly waist length raven black hair that had deep red highlights streaked through it. Most of it was tied back by a cord, but a stubborn piece of bang hung over the child's left eye (1). The child had an oval-shaped face with pale skin, high cheekbones, and full coral red lips. The child's eyes were its best feature however; they were almond shaped and slanted like a cat's, the iris colored a deep, rich green.
Severus ran an eye down the child's body and frowned. It was short, petite, and extremely slender. Its dark gray pants hung in folds around its waist and the shirt came down to its knees, the sleeves needing to be rolled up several times to reveal a slim hand. Nothing revealed what gender the child was; it was pretty enough to be a girl, yet its looks had a masculine feel to them as well.
"I'm here to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Dursley about a Mr. Harry Potter," Severus said stiffly, hoping his observations of the child had gone unnoticed. The child raised a slim dark eyebrow and raised its chin, and suddenly Severus could see Lily Evans written all over it.
"You can speak to Mr. Potter about Mr. Potter sir," the child said clearly and Severus nearly gaped.
This small person was Harry Potter, the son of his worst enemy? Of course now that he knew this was Potter junior, he could see hints of James Potter on his face - in the smoothly arched eyebrows, the messy jet black bangs, as well as the sharp, stubborn jaw. But everything else looked so much like Lily it was a wonder he hadn't spotted it beforehand.
Severus recovered from his shock and nodded to the boy slightly, and was surprised to get a nod in return. He said, "Mr. Potter, I am Professor Severus Snape. I wish to talk to either Mr. or Mrs. Dursley before we leave to get your school supplies. May I come in, or shall we conduct this conversation on your doorstep?"
The boy gave a faint smile (one that reminded him too much of Albus' 'I-know-something-you-don't-nyah-nyah' smiles) and stepped aside to Severus could sweep into the hallway. He snorted in disgust at the long line of pictures of a fat blonde boy (Merlin did that child remind him of a pig). Sometimes he despised parents and their illogical love for their children.
Potter neatly closed the door behind him and led Severus into the kitchen where a thin blonde woman was standing at the stove. She turned when she heard them enter and her jaw dropped when she stopped Severus.
"Harry," she said carefully to the little boy, never taking her eyes of Severus. He inwardly rolled his eyes when he saw her hand inching towards the nearby frying pan. "Who is this?"
Potter gave her the same faint smile Severus has seen at the doorway and said, "This is Professor Severus Snape from a place called Hogwarts Aunt Petunia. He's come to take me to get my things for school."
Severus cocked an eyebrow. He hadn't realized that this was Lily's sister. She had looked different when he had last seen her (which, admittedly, had been 15 years ago). Her hair had been a dark blonde bordering on auburn, and her face had been kind and thoughtful. Now she had pale blonde hair and a sharp, almost unforgiving face.
"I suppose you'll be going to that fool school of your mother's than?" Petunia asked, her lips narrowing.
Potter's eyes narrowed as he nodded, his small chin lifting in defiance yet again. Petunia eyed him for a minute and then sighed, dropping into one of the chairs at the nearby kitchen table as if it was all too much to stand up. She said, "Vernon won't be happy, but I suppose this is for the best. Lily would have wanted you to have their kind of education."
Severus watched as nephew and aunt conversed, figuring out what to do for the holidays and then raised his eyes to the small clock by the stove. He stiffened when it read 11:59; he didn't have enough time to warn Potter about what would be coming. In probably seconds the Transition would begin. Severus mentally cursed; he knew that he shouldn't have started that experiment so close to when he had to leave……If he had gotten to the Dursley home earlier he would have had the time to warn the boy about what was going to happen. Annoyed at himself, he moved closer to Potter's chair, eyes on the slim red second counter as it whirled around the kitchen clock. He held his breath as the clock stopped at 12:00.
Then the screaming began.
Potter was convulsing in his chair, a high pitched wail tearing out of his throat. Severus hastily threw up a silencing charm and stayed where he was, keeping a hand on the back of the boy's chair to keep it from tipping it over.
He stopped Petunia from rushing to the child's side by saying, "This is normal foolish woman. Mr. Potter will be fine soon. Your sister went through the Rite of Transition too did she not?"
Petunia nodded hesitantly, her pale blue eyes locked onto her nephew's pained face, "I remember that. The Professor that was there at the time said that it was natural, but I was too young to understand. How long will he be going through this? And what is happening to him? Can I hold him down?"
Severus sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with his free hand, wondering why Albus had chosen him to be the one to come to Potter's home. He hated explaining anything magical to Muggles.
"Potter is going through the /Rite of Transition/, which happens at Noon on a Wizard's 11th birthday. In plain terms the child is getting his magical and creature inheritances from his parents. The pain of the process is because the magic is re-shaping Potter's body and personal magic to make way for his new gifts. Most children only have a half-hour long rite, but if he has more magical gifts it could take hours. Touching is forbidden during the Transition; it could disrupt a child's magic and send them into a coma," he lectured sternly, in his best 'Potions Professor' voice.
By the end of his speech Petunia had sunk back into her chair, eyes still on her nephew whose screams had become partially silent. The boy had fallen out of his chair during Severus' lecture and was now convulsing on the floor, fingernails swiping at his skin and leaving bloody red crescents behind. Severus could feel the magic swirling around the brat and settled down into the abandoned chair to wait and monitor.
Three hours and twenty minutes later and Potter was still convulsing on the floor. His screams had become completely silent an hour ago, but his mouth still opened as he screamed, giving his face an disturbing appearance. Severus was at wit's end - rarely did a child's Transition last outside an hour, or even two. The last case of a three hour or more Transition had been Tom Riddle, whose Transition had lasted three hours and fifteen minutes. Even Dumbledore's had only been an hour and a half.
Severus sighed in relief as the brat finally stopped shuddering and lay still on the floor, his eyes closed and his breathing heavy. Severus looked him over for the tattoos that marked his gifts – all wizarding children got them after their Transition to mark the Earthly gifts that they had inherited. However things such as Aura sight, wandless magic, and Animagus potential wouldn't show up on the boy's skin as they dealt directly with magic itself.
Potter had a medium sized eye drawn in deep red and gold inks on his right cheek - a phoenix eye if Severus was not mistaken. A small Egyptian Ankh was painted on his forehead in a dark crimson red and Severus raised an eyebrow in recognition. Severus tipped the boy's head to the side and the eyebrow rose further up when he saw the sign of Chaos painted in a pale, pearly gray.
Severus sighed and carefully extracted Potter from his overgrown shirt. He frowned slightly as he noticed the pronounced ribcage and backbone but then his attention was drawn to the symbols painted on Potter's chest and back.
A rich purple Ouroboros curled around the boy's neck, and on his left shoulder there was the Japanese Kanji character that Severus couldn't translate. His hands had a tribal looking light green spiral painted on the back of them that curved from his wrist to the tips of his fingers. On Potter's left hip there was a small moon shaded in dark greens and browns. Severus turned the boy over and noted the inky black cross on the boy's left shoulder blade as well as the set of stylized Arabic letters running across the base of his neck. And finally there was a medium sized Scythe drawn in black and gray inks on the lower left part of his back. (2)
Severus eyed the boy's body, turning him this way and that, and determined that there weren't any physical changes that he could see beyond the tattoos. He carefully re-attached the shirt to the brat, memorizing the symbols so he could look up the gifts they represented later on. He had never bothered to learn different gift symbols, but now he was interested to see what such a long Transition had produced.
"Where is Potter's room? He'll need to sleep for the rest of the day until his body gets used to the changes."
Petunia hesitated and Severus narrowed his eyes at her. She sighed and led him back into the narrow hallway before stopping at a cupboard halfway between the kitchen and the door. She opened it and Severus was shocked to see a small bed on the dusty floor with a thin blanket and a pathetic looking pillow. There were books scattered over the tiny room, with more piled in a tall hole made in the right side, making the entire picture look even more depressing than it already was.
Severus had already turned a dangerous look at Petunia whose head was lowered. She sighed as she felt his glare and said quietly, "When Harry first arrived I hated him because he was the son of the preferred sister. Vernon hated him because he was the son of the people he considered freaky. I learned to be kind to Harry but Vernon has always been cruel to the child. I live in this house only because of my husband Professor Snape, and I cannot say a word against him for fear of getting thrown out on the streets. I have no family and no friends to go to and if I left Harry would still be here suffering from abuse. What would you have me do?" Her eyes were distant, but her voice was strong and steady.
Severus sneered at the woman but said nothing. Carefully he placed the boy on the thin bed made of blankets and covered him up, backing out of the dusty cupboard immediately. He spared another glare for Petunia and then said curtly, "I will return tomorrow to bring him to get his school things. If you do not want your husband to learn of it, I suggest you make sure he is out of the house. Good Day Mrs. Dursley," and then proceeded to swirl around and stalk towards the door in his usual dramatic fashion.
"Thank you coming Professor Snape," Petunia called at the man's back. She sighed again and stared at the small figure on her bed. She didn't love this child like she did Dudley, but she felt responsibility for him. Lily had been her sister, no matter how much Petunia disliked her, and she was responsible for the child's welfare now that she had died. Harry needed to go to Lily's school - it would be away from Vernon - and he would be among people who were like him.
Petunia Dursley vowed, as she closed the door to Harry's cupboard, to make sure that the boy got that chance.
When Harry woke, he felt like he'd been through hell and back.
Every bone in his body felt like it had been pulled too far. He imagined this is what it would be like after being on one of those rack things people used for torture in the Medieval era. Behind his eyes, he had a throbbing headache and moving even an inch made him wheeze and wince. He slowly opened his eyes, fighting back the urge to just drift back into unconsciousness. He blinked, his eyes adjusting to darkness of his cupboard, and then his mouth opened in a soundless gasp. All around him there were /colors/.
Bright bursts of golden and light blue colors swirled around him, mixing with red, purple, and light silver. They traveled in through the vents of his cupboard, and then moved out again, swirling around and around in an endless circle. It made Harry's head dizzy to even look at it. He carefully and slowly sat up, wincing as every inch he managed to make made his head throb even worse. Leaning heavily against the wall, he stared at the dim lights in his cupboard with wonderment.
The last thing he could remember was the pain and screaming. He hadn't known how long it had went on, as he had lost all sense of time after the few agonizingly slow minutes of the /hurting/. He briefly remembered when it had stopped, but then he had been overcome with the darkness.
Harry slowly inched upwards until he was standing on his wobbly legs. He reached blindly in the dark for the cupboard handle, and pushed his door open, peering into the brightly lit hallway. He was surprised to see that the lights that had danced inside his small room were out here as well, though the colors had changed to a dirty brown and blood red. Harry stumbled into the kitchen and was relieved to find only Petunia inside, making something in the oven. As soon as she heard the door open she turned and gasped with surprise when she saw Harry standing there, looking ready to collapse at any moment.
"Harry!" she scolded, grabbing his arm and hoisting him into a seat. "What are you doing up already? You should still be in bed, recovering!"
Harry gave her an innocent look and Petunia sighed in exasperation. Her nephew would be a menace in that school of her sister's that was for sure. She had never seen a child so stubborn.
"What happened to me yesterday, Aunt Petunia?" Harry asked quietly.
Petunia put a hand over her face and sighed again, "It's a tradition your kind go through at noon on their 11th birthday, according to that Professor of yours. The gifts you get from your parent's heritage were manifesting. The Professor said it was so painful because it was re-shaping your body to make room for the gifts you would be using."
'Well' Harry thought weakly 'that explains why I can see colors now.' He was shocked; it was a large change to go from thinking that magic wasn't real to having a whole community of wizards, magical traditions, and gifts he'd inherited from his parents.
"Is Professor Snape coming back?" he asked, still quiet. Talking even this softly was giving him a headache.
"Yes," Petunia answered wearily. "He said he would come back to get your school supplies today. I suppose he didn't know that you would pass out, or he would have taken you yesterday."
Harry nodded thoughtfully, settling into a nearby chair so he could rub the migraine away from his temples. Petunia clicked her tongue smugly, making Harry shoot a glare at her through his bangs before resting his head against the cool, slick surface of the table. He sighed in happy relief as the headache began to fade.
Petunia smothered a smile as she watched her nephew doze on the table – he really had no idea how……cute he looked with his long hair draped over his neck and his nose scrunching every now and again in thought. He really was Lily's child – she had looked just as adorable as a child, which Petunia had taken good naturedly back then and despised as she had gotten older. Shoving such thoughts into the back of her mind, Petunia jumped when she heard the doorbell ring and hurried to see who it was.
Harry opened his eyes when he heard his Aunt leave and stared at the wall in front of him thoughtfully. He had felt something when Petunia had been watching him – a sort of furry feeling, as if he was rubbing his hand against a teddy bear and the feeling of raindrops and cool autumn air against his skin. It had been very faint, and he wondered what had caused it, or what he had been feeling.
"Harry!" he heard his Aunt yell. "Professor Snape is here!"
Harry hurried into the living room, smiling lightly when he saw Professor Snape sitting uncomfortably on the couch. He understood the man's discomfort – the couch was stiff and straight-backed, meant more for tea parties than for guests to relax on. He watched, fascinated, as the colors he'd been seeing since he woke up swirled brightly around Snape, changing rapidly from dark blue to green to black and then blue again. However, they were very distracting……Harry sighed and squinted at the lights, hoping that if he concentrated on willing them away, he wouldn't see them anymore. Just when he was about to give up the colors faded from his sight and everything was normal again. Surprised but happy he returned his attention to Snape.
"Hello Professor," he said pleasantly, and was a little puzzled when Snape's black eyes narrowed at him.
"Mr. Potter," the man greeted his voice startling neutral. "Have you been feeling any effects from your Transition yesterday?"
Harry supposed he meant the painful process Petunia had explained to him and hesitated. He wasn't sure if he could trust this man, and he really didn't want to tell him about the colors and the strange feelings. He lied with a straight face, "No sir, none at all."
He thought he must have dreamt up the smirk Snape gave at his answer, for it was gone within seconds, and how would the Professor even know he was lying? Harry smoothed the suspicion in his mind, but didn't stifle it completely; he had no idea if wizard's could read mind's or detect lies, so it was entirely possible that Snape had known he had been fibbing.
"Come, Potter, I want to get back to Hogwarts before sunset," Snape said, holding out an arm. With some doubt about Snape's mental health, Harry took it and looked up at the much taller wizard.
"Hold on," Snape said and then all Harry could feel was the extremely unpleasant sensation of being squeezed through a small tube at lightening fast speed. In seconds it was over, but even that short amount of time left Harry breathless and sick. He leaned heavily on Snape's arm, and breathed in deeply for a minute before looking up at his teacher.
"Sorry," he said quietly and Snape opened his mouth as if to make a caustic remark but paused when he saw Harry's sincerely apologetic face. Sighing he grabbed the boy's arm and turned the child to face him.
"Hold on a minute Potter – I want to cover your markings……" he muttered and Harry frowned, confused. He looked down at himself and was shocked to see that his hands were covered in a light green spiral. Blinking furiously he looked up at Snape.
"Do I have more?" he asked hesitantly. Snape just nodded and whirled his wand. Harry shivered when the feeling of something cool and slimy drifted over his face and hands. "What are they?"
"They are markings of your gifts, Mr. Potter and the result of your prolonged transition yesterday," Snape said curtly, dragging Harry behind him as they made their way into the Leaky Cauldron barroom.
Harry felt dizzy from the overwhelming wash of feeling he was getting front the bar; he was able to make out the feeling of cool summer rains, the smell of a thunderstorm, and the feeling of dry desert heat before the ability was abruptly cut off. Harry sighed with relief; as interesting as this new……thing was, he'd started to get a headache from the overdose. He looked up and frowned in puzzlement when he saw that Snape was smirking down at him. 'What's he so happy about?' he thought, and he opened his mouth to say it aloud but Snape's attention was draw from him when the old man minding the bar called his name.
"As I live and breathe!" the old man said, smiling through a mouth of crooked teeth. "If it isn't Severus Snape! I haven't seen you in these parts for years, Professor."
Snape sneered again, but Harry noticed that this one was much colder and deeper than the ones he'd been shooting at him since they'd met.
"There wasn't much to come around for, Mr. Tom," he said, looking around disdainfully. The barman, now known as Tom, stiffened but didn't say anything. Instead he re-directed his attention the small boy by Snape's elbow.
"Ah, and who might this be?" he asked kindly, bad mood vanishing in the light of the big, childish green eyes staring up at him solemnly.
"Harry Potter," Snape bit out. "I'm taking him school shopping."
Tom eyed the boy for a minute longer and he breathed out, "He's James and Lily's, ain't he? Damnation, he looks just like Lily……Poor kid," he ruffled Harry's hair, making said kid glare up at him. With a chuckle Tom made his way back to the counter. "You know your way Professor!" he called out over his shoulder. "Diagon hasn't moved in the past 10 years!"
Snape muttered under his breath about cheeky barmen but instead of retaliating he made his way to the back of the dingy barroom and stopped in front of a brick wall and took out a long, slender stick of wood; Harry supposed that this must be his wand. Eagerly the boy watched as Snape tapped three bricks in a specific order with the tip of his wand.
Suddenly, the bricks started to move.
Harry watched with wide eyes as the bricks began to slide against each other until there was a doorway standing in front of the wizards instead of a wall. And beyond that doorway was the most chaotic, busy, messy, wonderful place Harry had ever seen in his short 11 years.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley," Snape said next to him grumpily, spoiling Harry's good mood. However he just ignored the older wizard as he cautiously made his way through the doorway and into the interesting place he now knew to be called /Diagon Alley/. Snape harrumphed but followed close behind him.
"You have your school list, correct, Mr. Potter?" Snape asked soon after they had started walking down the streets of Diagon Alley. Harry nodded and pulled out the letter, which he had kept close to him ever since the day that it had arrived on the doorstep. Carefully he pulled out the original letter and then the second sheet of parchment, which he hadn't looked at yet, too busy with chores and reading.
of WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags (3)
Harry's amazed eyes traveled down the rest of the list, which contained books he'd never heard of with the most unusual titles (/One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi/ by Phyllida Spore, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by Newt Scamander, and so many more), strange equipment that he wasn't sure where to go to buy (1 wand? 1 cauldron?) and the permission to buy either a cat, toad, or owl. Harry felt dizzy.
"And……we can buy all of this in Diagon Alley?" he asked Snape quietly, his eyes still focused on the list of school supplies. Snape snorted impatiently.
"Of course, you fool! Diagon Alley is a magical alley. It's here specifically for the purpose for Wizards to buy supplies without being noticed!" He looked down at Harry and sighed when he saw the awed face that clearly wasn't listening to a word he was saying. "Never mind Mr. Potter. Come, we need to go to Gringotts."
Harry followed Snape happily and asked, "What's Gringotts, sir?"
Snape sighed (Harry recognized the tone; it was the sigh Petunia gave whenever he was being particularly troublesome and she was asking God for guidance) and answered, "It is a Wizarding bank Mr. Potter; in fact it's the Wizarding bank."
"But……" Harry started with a frown, "I don't have any money to get from a bank."
"Mr. Potter your parents, despite their many shortcomings, were not stupid enough to leave you without any money after they died," Snape said shortly. "Now /be silent/."
Harry smiled slightly but stayed quiet according to the Potions master's wishes. However he couldn't hold in the awed gasp at the sight of the huge, white bank glittering in the sunlight and surrounded by people. Snape smirked at his reaction, but said nothing about it, which Harry found strange. However his attention was distracted when they walked past a tiny creature dressed in rich red and gold clothes (3) standing next to the giant bronze doors. Snape, seeing his confusion, bent lower to speak softly in his ear.
"That is a Goblin, Mr. Potter; they are the bankers of Gringotts."
Harry nodded, but didn't take his eyes off of the creature. It had a clever, dark face, a pointed beard, and very long hands and fingers. It even bowed as Snape and Harry swept by it through the bronze doors. Harry was surprised when they reached another set of doors, this time made of silver. He blinked when he realized that there was writing engraved into the shining metal and squinted to make out the scripted words.
Enter stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there (4)
Harry blinked up at the letters, torn between fear and awe. However Snape just snorted at the silly words and said, "No one would try to rob Gringotts, even if they didn't have their silly little /ditty/," he sneered, sweeping through the doors, Harry following closely behind.
Harry felt dizzy from all the awe-inducing shocks he'd been getting lately and the giant marble room full of both goblins and stately looking wizards in proper robes didn't help matters very much. The hall was made of white-gold and the floor shone brightly enough to reflect Harry's face back up at him. The goblins were all dressed in very proper little suits, all in various shades of color, and they were all busy at work. Snape approached one of the only empty desks and leaned forward over it to talk to the stately looking goblin scribbling on parchment behind the shining oak surface.
"We're here to extract money for Mr. Potter," he said with a sneer. The goblin looked up in surprise then peered over the desk to look at Harry, whose head didn't even reach over the top of the counter.
"Does he have his key?" the goblin asked in a curiously flat voice, though he never moved back and continued to eye Harry thoughtfully.
Snape pulled out a tiny golden key from his large robes and placed it on the desk. The goblin finally turned his attention away from Harry, who had started to feel uncomfortable with that dark, assessing stare boring into his lowered head.
"May I have a word with Mister Potter, Lord Snape?" the goblin asked politely. Snape's eyes sharpened.
"Why would you need to do that?" he asked silkily.
The goblin's eyes were steady as he looked up at the intimidating figure that Snape made, "I need to discuss his inheritance with him."
Snape's expression didn't change but his voice had a note of confusion as he said, "His inheritance?"
"I cannot discuss it with anyone other than Mr. Potter unless they are his legal guardian or spouse," said the goblin solemnly. He saw the stiff look on Snape's face and his lips twisted up in a way that suggested a smile. "He will be kept safe; there is no need to worry Lord Snape."
Snape examined the face of the goblin for something that Harry wasn't sure of and then nodded his consent.
The goblin immediately bowed and called out, his voice loud enough to hear even in the bustling bank, "Griphook! Bring Mr. Potter to Master Ramadi in the Third Back room. Tell Master that he's to be told of his inheritance." A tiny goblin dressed in black and silver instead of red and gold hurried his way across the room and bowed lowly before Harry before gesturing for the boy to follow him. Snape remained at the desk, but his eyes never left Harry as the boy left the main hall.
Harry hurriedly followed the impatient, quick goblin out of the main hall and into a set of back rooms that were just as finely made as the main room was. They were made from black marble and had thick tapestries hung on the walls showing battles of goblins versus various creatures, the main enemies being human wizards. Harry was fascinated by the artwork but couldn't stop to examine it as Griphook rushed him onwards into one of the many rooms connected to the winding hallway.
The room was quiet and medium-sized, decorated in various shades of brown and blue. A large, shining brown desk stood in the back of the room with a plush chair pushed behind it and a long dark blue couch pushed in front of it. A fireplace stood in the corner and held the dying embers of a recent fire and some wood stood nearby to replenish it once the fire burned out.
Harry would notice all these details later; however at the moment his attention was drawn to the tall-ish goblin seated in the plush chair behind the desk, his beady, dark eyes fixed on Harry alone. He was dressed in blue velvet and he had tiny round spectacles perched on the edge of his pointed nose. The goblin looked at Griphook and the shorter, younger goblin bowed hastily.
"This is Mr. Potter, Master Ramadi," he said quickly. "He's to be told of his inheritance." Ramadi's eyes widened and he nodded to show he understood. With a final bow towards both goblin and wizard Griphook disappeared from the room, leaving Harry alone. Ramadi gestured for the boy to take a seat and he did so gingerly, as if afraid the couch was going to bite him.
"You are Mr. Harry James Potter, are you not?" he asked, folding his long fingered hands and placed his narrow chin on top of them. Harry nodded hesitantly. "Hm. Well this day had to come sooner or later," the goblin muttered to himself before bending low to get a stack of papers from the drawers of his desk. "Since you are a child, I very much doubt you'll understand much of this, Mr. Potter," he said stoutly. "However you have a right to know of your heritage, and it is not my place to deny it to you."
He slid the documents over the desk and Harry leaned forward to take them. His eyes widened when he saw a list of numbers on the first page.
"That is a list of the vaults you own as the last heir to Potter, Gryffindor, Black, and Le Fay families," Ramadi explained. "The Potter inheritance came from your biological father, James Potter, and Gryffindor blood has been in his family for generations. The Black you inherited from your," he paused and checked a paper before continuing, "godfather, a Lord Sirius Black, I believe. The Le Fay family has also been intertwined with the Black family for generations."
Harry blinked, feeling more than a little overwhelmed. He was just getting used to the idea that he was wizard and now he had all of this to deal with as well? Ramadi must have seen his confusion for he tried to give a sympathetic smile. However goblin faces weren't meant for smiling, so he ended up just looking constipated instead. Harry gave him points for the effort.
"I know this must be overwhelming for you, Mr. Potter, so that is all the information I will give you currently. The next time you come back ask to see me and I will bring you down to your vaults. However, take that stack of papers," he nodded to the pile he had handed to Harry recently, "and look them over before you come back. If there isn't anything else you wish to ask, you are free to go and collect money from the vault your parent's set up for you in case anything should happen to them."
Harry nodded vaguely and with one hand tightly grasping the given papers and the other curled into a fist he left to the room and made his way back into the main hall to Snape.
Snape and Harry left Gringotts quickly after collecting his money – Harry was still in a daze that he had /that much money/, not to mention more if what the goblin was talking about was true. It was unbelievable to someone who'd never even had so much as a penny to his name his entire life. Snape had told him curtly that they were going to get Harry's wand first as it would take the longest of all the stuff he needed to buy. Harry had been looking forward to this. If there was one magical object that fascinated him completely, it had to be the wand.
Snape led him to the wand shop Ollivanders and they entered the silent, empty shop quietly. Sunbeams entered through the single, dirty window, shedding light on the dusty walls and countertop. The only piece of furniture was a single chair covered in worn red velvet sitting in the corner.
"Hello?" Harry called out as Snape settled into the chair, watching everything was his dark eyes. "Mr. Ollivander, are you in there?"
"Ah, Mr. Potter," Harry turned to see a white-haired old man with eerie, moon-like eyes watching him curiously from behind the counter. He was dressed in plain workman's clothes and a long brown frock and he was rubbing his old, worn hands down with a dirty handkerchief. "You came just on time."
"Are you Mr. Ollivander?" Harry asked calmly, eyeing the strange man with interest.
The man smiled slightly, "Yes……yes I am. It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Potter. I have been waiting for a very……long time." Harry frowned in puzzlement at that statement but shrugged it off as Ollivander continued to talk. "You have your mother's eyes and face – it seems like only yesterday that she was in here, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches, swishy, and made of willow; it was a wonderful wand for Charms." Harry blinked at the sudden information about his parent's and the sad tone in Ollivander's voice.
"You father on the other hand preferred a mahghony wand. It was eleven inches and pliable, an excellent choice for Transfiguration, which I'm told he was particularly good at," Ollivander continued, turning away from his customers and heading into the dark depths of the long shelves behind his counter. It was silent for a long moment until he reappeared, a stack of boxed in one hand.
"Try this one first, Mr. Potter," he said calmly, sliding one box across the counter-top to Harry. "Nine inches, Beachwood and dragon heartstring. Nice and flexible." Harry hesitantly took out the wooden stick and it hung in his hand uselessly for a moment until he gave it a soft wave. He was shocked a large blast of something came out of the wand and Ollivander immediately snatched it out of his hand. He looked over at Snape and was surprised that the man didn't seem disturbed by whatever had just come out of his wand. Frowning he turned back and found Ollivander giving him a curious look. However the man just shook his head and kept showering Harry with wands.
Every time he picked one up and waved it, he noticed the shock-wave of that silent, pressuring something came out of the end. However it always felt wrong, like playing a bad chord on a piano or singing a note terribly off-key. Ollivander must have noticed it, for every time it happened he took the wand out of Harry's hand straightaway. Snape, however, never seemed to notice and Harry found that strange. Was this another one of his powers? He made a mental note to look up everything thing he could on the Transition that Snape mentioned before they left and to take a look in the mirror to see those markings the Professor had told him about.
Ollivander looked more and more excited as the wands kept flashing by and Harry came no closer to finding his own. He rubbed his hands together and his moon-eyes sparked gleefully, "A tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find you your wand Mr. Potter……Here try this one……"
And on and on it went.
"Try this last one, Mr. Potter, and if it doesn't work for you we'll have to make a custom wand," Ollivander said, looking delighted at the prospect. "Nine and a half inches, Holly, and Phoenix Feather."
Harry picked it up and felt a wash of something but unlike the previous wands this something was warm and comfortable. However……Harry frowned. It felt alright, but still slightly off, as if it could work but it wasn't the best wand he could have. He put it back on the desk before Ollivander could say anything.
"It's not right," he said quietly when the older man looked down at him in question. Ollivander seemed startled for a moment before he smiled.
"No, I suppose it's not," he said softly. Louder he added in, "I suppose it shall have to be a custom wand then Mr. Potter. Come with me." He lifted a section of his desk and let Harry slid through and they both went to the back, leaving Snape behind in the dingy front room. Harry was surprised to see that behind the rows of shelves containing the pre-made wands there was a huge cabinet. Ollivander walked up to it and flung it open, revealing jars upon jars of ingredients and dozens of shelves filled with various woods. Harry stared in slack-jawed awe at the sight.
"Now, Mr. Potter," Ollivander said briskly, "I need you to close your eyes and reach out with your magical senses; it should come instinctively so don't try too hard boy. When something feels right to you – and you'll know what I mean – you are to pick it up and set it over there," he pointed at a small, low table nearby the cabinet that Harry hadn't noticed before. "Now – close your eyes Mr. Potter!" he clapped his hands impatiently, a happy gleam brightening his eerie eyes.
Harry did as he was told and soon his world was dark. He frowned as he realized he still couldn't feel anything. Carefully he stretched out his fingers and concentrated. Suddenly his world burst into color and he could see the lights dancing around him in twirling loops and lazy swirls. Harry watched, fascinated, as the colors began to organize themselves – some (mostly those of white and blue) went to swirl tightly around the blank shadow that Harry assumed was Ollivander. Other protected the small, shadowy outlines of the magical wand materials. And a few – only four – came straight at him, unraveling like the line of a long thread.
He eyed them for a moment; the colors that had chosen Harry were a bright, fiery crimson, the cool blue of an autumn day, a deep, rich purple, and a grassy green two shades lighter than his eyes. They were connected to his chest – directly to his heart if Harry wasn't mistaken – and led, like a piece of string, to a certain object in the cabinet. Confident, Harry followed them and carefully picked up the objects in order – red, blue, purple, and green. Then he felt his way to the table and set them down carefully before opening his eyes.
The colors had disappeared.
Confused Harry didn't notice at first the ingredients that he had chosen. However he soon got over his shock at suddenly losing the colorful world he looked down at the bottles in interest.
The first bottle (the red one, Harry absently noted) held a wood – what kind, Harry had no idea, but it was multiple colors, the most prominent being a becoming dark-red that also had thick stripes of ebony black, dark brown, and light gray swirling down it. The next bottle held a black feather that had glossy blue-green streaks running through it that seemed to take over the entire bottle it was so big. The third bottle was small and filled with a liquid that Harry was sure was blood, even though the color wavered between black and red. And the final bottle held a thin, curved, white bone-like object that looked like some sort of tooth to Harry's inexperienced eyes.
He looked up at Ollivander, who looked both pleased and confused by the combination of objects that Harry had managed to pick. Noticing the boy's stare, the old wizard started to explain the ingredients.
"The wood," he said, pointing a long finger at the bottle containing it, "was an experiment of mine a long time ago. The base is made of Redwood, and I mixed Ebony, Ash, and Yew in with it – you'll notice the streaks that make. I never thought it would work, so I put it in the back until I had a special customer I could try it for. The first core you chose is the feather of a Thunder Phoenix – they're very rare to find these days, and I only got that feather by luck and chance. The Thunder Phoenix is a phoenix that represents not only life and rebirth but passion, beauty, and grace," Harry shuffled awkwardly under Ollivander's curious stare. "The second core is the blood of a Thestral – very interesting because that core is the complete opposite of the feather. It represents death, apathy, and disdain, but also wit, a keen mind, and loyalty. And your final core is a fang of a Basilisk – it took a lot of courage for me to get /that/, I assure you. The fang represents cunning, deadliness in a fight, cold passion, and a ruthless mind." Ollivander picked up the glasses Harry had set down and took out his own wand – 14 inches, Holly wood with a faerie hair as a core – and began making preparations. "All in all," he muttered, "this will make a very interesting wand."
Harry watched with fascination as Ollivander took out his wood and began to speak in a stream of seamless Latin, the words changing so fast that Harry couldn't make them out. Slowly the wood began to morph, changing from a solid block of wood into a long, slender stick with a narrow handle. Carefully Ollivander picked out the feather and the fang from their bottles and started to murmur again, this time waving the wand in his free hand once or twice. The two cores vanished in a shimmer of light into Harry's wand and Ollivander picked up the final core. Carefully, using a spell, he pulled the blood out of the bottle and hung it suspended in the air while he did the same spell he'd been using before to make it vanish into the wand.
Ollivander stopped speaking for a minute and eyed the wand before muttering a soft spell in Latin that glossed the wood until it shone beautifully. Then, with some reverence, he handed it to Harry to test. Harry took it into the palm of his hand and waved it, smiling when the something came out warm and comforting, with none of the slippery uneasiness of the holly wand behind it. A shower of blue and gold sparks floated out of the wand, showing that Harry had indeed found his match and Ollivander clapped happily.
"Good, good! I'm very happy you found your wand Mr. Potter – or should I say your wand found you? After all, it is the wand that chooses the wizard, not the other way around," he muttered to himself, ignoring Harry's bemused look. "Well; your wand is 13 and a half inches, a mixture of woods, with a Thunder Phoenix feather, Thestral blood and a Basilisk fang as your core. However we'd better be getting back to Lord Snape – he's hardly a patient man, or so I've heard, and doubtless he is wondering what might be taking us so long." Harry smiled and made his way out of the back room. With his back to the old wizard, he didn't notice when Ollivander's eyes glazed over in thought.
'That wand……' the wandmaker thought, glancing at the slim wooden stick clasped in the boy's right hand. 'I was right about this boy. He is most unusual. That wand is full of contradictions – death and life, light and dark, love and hatred, peace and war……It will be interesting to see him grow.'
Tucking his wand away in one of the large pockets of his baggy clothing, Harry turned up to look at Snape, who understood his silent question and gave a sigh.
"Next we'll go to Madame Malkin's; hopefully she'll help you look less like a street urchin and more like a respectable wizard," he sounded as if he doubted that she actually could.
Harry smiled slightly and shook his head; Snape was weird but in a good way – a way that Harry liked. Had he gotten someone else as his guide into the wizarding world, he wasn't sure that it would've nearly turned out as well. Snape didn't hide anything from him, and when Harry asked questions he answered them – reluctantly, of course, but he answered them nonetheless. Plus Harry didn't really……/like/ regular people anymore; not to say that he hated happiness, but more that the way he'd been raised had given him a more bitter view of the world compared to normal children. He appreciated that Snape didn't coddle him and was strict with him.
The twosome made their way down the busy streets of Diagon Alley, occasionally talking when Harry had a question that needed answering, but otherwise staying quiet. Eventually they came to a stop in front of a down-to-earth looking shop with the plain sign of 'Madame Malkin's' hanging over the doorway. Snape entered first, Harry following cautiously behind, and thus was the first to see the only other two people shopping at the moment: Lucius and Draco Malfoy.
Inwardly Severus groaned. Since he was such good friends with the Malfoy family he was aware that soon Lucius would become curious about his young charge and inevitably come over for a chat and a chance to be insufferably nosy. And he had no doubt that he would become more curious about Potter as they talked and would most likely end up joining their little shopping spree.
Sure enough as soon as he completed his train of thought Lucius looked up and spotted him and Potter and instantly his mercury eyes lightened with excitement and curiosity. He quickly made his way over to them, Draco at his side, and stopped in front of Severus with the slight twitch of the lips that constituted as a warm smile for Lucius Malfoy.
"Hello Severus," he said in a warm tone. "Who is this?" he added in, peering down at Harry who stared up at him with calm green eyes.
Sometimes Severus thought he knew his friend too well.
"Lucius," he breathed out wearily, "this is Harry Potter. Headmaster Dumbledore persuaded me to bring him around Diagon to get his school supplies."
Lucius' lip twitched and Severus knew that his friend would be imagining exactly how Albus got him to agree. Well he wasn't going to say anything about being stuffed with tea and then talked to until he just agreed so he could get out of the room and away from the bloody lemon drops. There was no need for Lucius to know such details.
"Would you like us to accompany you?" Lucius asked his face guarded again. He had good reason; Harry Potter was a Light wizard's son, and had he been raised in anything other than a muggle home the boy would likely hate the Malfoy's as passionately as the Weasley family. Now though……if Lucius and Draco didn't manage to muck it up somehow, they might have Harry Potter on their side. And considering the large and varied amounts of gifts the brat had received, he had no doubt that being friends with Potter was a good thing indeed.
Oh yes, he knew about the gifts. He'd stayed up late into the night, researching the marks that had been tattooed into Harry Potter's skin, and had been astounded at what he'd found. He'd been amused when the brat and lied straight to his face about the gifts: if Potter truly had some of the abilities Severus thought he did, than he would have started using them immediately. Though, the fact that a Potter was Slytherin enough to lie about having his gifts because he didn't know if he could trust Snape……it was more than a little bit astounding.
"I wouldn't mind. Does it matter to you, Professor Snape," Potter's voice pulled him out of his thoughts and large green eyes looked up at him in pure innocence, making Severus sighed. No matter how abrasive a man he was, even he couldn't deny the power behind the cuteness of that look.
"If you don't mind following us around like mindless puppies, Lucius, then you are most welcome to join," Severus said, his usual sarcasm falling flat in the presence of his friend. Lucius laughed and placed a hand on an uncomfortable looking Draco's shoulder.
"Mr. Potter, this is my son, Draco Malfoy," he said, giving the blond boy a little push to Potter.
The brunet gave him a measuring look before sticking his hand out for Draco to shake. The young Malfoy blinked at it for a moment before hesitantly taking it in his own, smiling a bit. Despite himself, Severus relaxed. Draco wasn't the best at making friends; most of the pure-blood playmates he'd had as a child thought him to be too spoiled to play with. They weren't wrong, but they never looked for the side of Draco that was more than the spoiled Malfoy prince; the side that Severus and Lucius saw everyday. It was heartening to see how easily Potter could accept his godson.
"It's nice to meet you, Draco," Harry said quietly as their handshake ended.
"Likewise, Harry," Draco drawled, a skill he'd obviously learned from his father. Then he looked up me with a bright smile. "Hello Uncle Severus," despite being told that Severus was his godfather, Draco persisted in calling him 'Uncle' whenever they were together. It was both annoying and endearing to Severus, something Draco managed to pull off quite often.
"We were just about to get some robes for Mr. Potter," Severus said, putting a hand on Potter's shoulder and steering the child further into the shop. Soon an elderly looking witch appeared from the back and raised an eyebrow at seeing the foursome there.
"Lord Snape, Lord Malfoy, Heir Malfoy," she said and then turned to Harry. "Who might you be then child?"
"Harry Potter, ma'am," Potter said before Severus could intervene and introduce the brat himself.
Madame Malkin nodded, not at all ruffled by this information. "You're both first year Hogwarts students, yes?" she questioned, gesturing for the foursome to follow her into the back of the shop. When the two adults answered in the affirmative she nodded decisively and herded the children onto two stools before sweeping black robes over their heads and calling for an assistant. A younger, taller witch swept over to them and immediately started on Draco's robes without even needing telling. Severus watching with approval and made a mental note to find an apprentice like that.
Potter listened to Malkin's constant stream of conversation as she babbled on about Quidditch, Hogwarts, and every other subject that she could think of that would make no sense to the child. Shaking his head in annoyance, Severus spoke up to keep the woman from confusing his charge even more than he already was.
"Madame," he said silkily, drawing Malkin's attention to him immediately, even as her hands continued to expertly pin and place. "I would be grateful if you could also add in some informal and dress robes for Mr. Potter; this is the first time he's had any." Instantly Potter had her sympathy and she cooed over him as she tried to figure out what fabrics and styles she should try on her new doll, still pinning the black Hogwarts robes to the boy's small body.
Draco whined to his father and eventually managed to convince the man to buy him new robes also, despite the fact that the blond had more than enough of them in his closet at home. Thanks to Draco's insistence, the group of wizards stayed in Madame Malkin's for an extra half-hour. Eventually they all left the shops, the adults with shrunken packages in their pockets and their gold bags somewhat lighter.
"Have you already been to Ollivanders Severus?" Lucius asked idally, his eyes focused on Draco who was chattering happily at an intently listening Potter.
"Yes, that was the first shop we went to, other than Gringotts," Severus answered.
Lucius nodded, "We were just there as well. Well……that leaves only their books, equipment, and pets to get. We should also stop at Rosethorn's," he added, with a thoughtful look at Potter.
Severus' eyes narrowed, "Why would we need to stop there?" Rosethorn's was an expensive and excellent shop for formal and casual wear for the fashion-conscious wizard. Or, at least, that's what they said in their ads. Severus had never been in the shop himself, but he'd seen the clothes Draco and Lucius wore from there and he had to admit they were stylish. However Rosethorn's didn't just sell robes – they also had muggle clothing for all ages and gender in their shop as well.
"Draco seems determined to become attached to Mr. Potter," Lucius said with his usual sneering honesty. "My son will not become……friends with anyone that looks like a ragamuffin. Where did he get those clothes?"
Severus sighed, "They most likely belonged to his cousin who is two times his weight, Lucius. He hasn't had a……happy childhood." Severus didn't say anything more; if Potter wanted the Malfoys to know of his sob story, than the brat could tell them himself.
Lucius raised an eyebrow but didn't question. Instead he tapped his cane on the ground briskly and said, "Well, I believe our next stop will be Flourish and Blotts. Boys!" he called and the two children hurried to his side. Severus just sighed; he had a feeling this was going to be a long day.
Harry stretched tiredly as he, Snape, and the two Malfoy men made their way to Magical Menagerie. They'd spent the last hour walking around Diagon, getting the two newest Hogwarts student's their supplies and now, finally, they were at their last two stores. Harry wasn't sure what he'd been expecting the shopping trip to be like, but it hadn't been anything like this.
He gave a side-long glance at their two guests and his forehead furrowed in thought. Draco was……nice, although he was a bit on the spoiled side. Harry would've been reminded of Dudley if he hadn't spent the last hour with the boy and realized that despite being rich he didn't have very many people his own age to spend time with. Mr. Malfoy, on the other hand, was harder to read. He looked like a snobbish, stuck-up man but Harry had seen him cave quite easily to Draco's puppy-dog eyes when the younger blonde had wanted a more expensive cauldron. Surely a man made of ice wouldn't be wooed by /puppy-dog eyes/?
Harry was cut from his musings when Draco gave his shoulder a little shake to tell him that they were there. Harry shook his head, trying to clear cobwebs, and then followed his three companions into the small, dark shop.
Instantly he clapped his hands over his ears; the store was loud; every animal was yelling and screaming from their own corners and Harry could still hear them even through his plugged ears. He blinked in surprise when he realized that he wasn't just hearing animal noises like his companions, but actually /words/……
"(Stop!)" he said weakly and was relieved when the nearest animal to him (a large tabby cat) started and was instantly silent, its wide green eyes staring at him in shock. Instantly the cat turned to its neighbor and began to meow urgently.
Harry, still able to understand the animal's words, heard a low whisper of, "(……boy……can hear……tell everyone……)"
"(What……)" Harry winced, his head throbbing as the noise deafened around him, "(are you talking about?)"
The cat's shocked yowl made Harry tighten his hands around his ears. By now Snape and the Malfoys had noticed his pain and were giving him worried looks (or as worried as Slytherins can get). Snape had a hand on Harry's shoulder and the pressure was comforting against the dizzying chaos around him. Harry concentrated on the hand, trying to ground himself, and suddenly the noise quieted and then, eventually stopped. Panting as if he'd just run a mile, Harry lowered his hands from his ears and stared around the now quiet shop, unnerved. Every animal was staring at him.
"Sweet Merlin, Severus……" Lucius breathed. "He's a Beastspeaker?"
Severus gave Lucius a sharp look but the awe in the other man's eyes had him sighing. "Yes he is a Beastspeaker," he muttered, reluctant to tell his friend about Potter without the boy's permission. If there was one thing Severus valued it was privacy.
Harry, who had been recovering from the over-dose and ignoring their conversation, suddenly burst away from Snape's side and moved to deeper into the now silent store. Animal eyes followed him as he walked, making Harry somewhat nervous but also determined. He could feel a pulling at his heart and with every step he took it got harder and harder. Eventually he stopped in front of a cage of a bird.
It wasn't an owl, Harry thought as he peered in through the bars. It was a medium sized bird with pitch black feathers and sharp golden eyes. It looked like a raven or a crow, in fact. Harry reached out a hand and the bird looked surprised before hesitantly moving forward to touch his beak with Harry's palm. When skin met bone, Harry felt a zap of energy and suddenly he could feel something tugging at him again. He walked away but gave the bird a reassuring look over his shoulder; he would be back for it.
The cage he stopped in front of this time was a cat carrier; Harry recognized it thanks to the crazy cat lady that lived nearby him who always carried her precious animals inside of them. Harry bent down slightly and blinked when he came face to face with large, teal kitten eyes.
The tiny cat was black all over, like the raven, except for thin white bands around the wrists of its paws. However the most fascinating thing about the kitten was the small, folded black wings on its back. Harry reached out a hand, wanting to touch them, and the kitten pushed its nose into his palm, causing another zap of sensation. Harry nearly groaned when he felt another animal tugging at his heart and with one final longing look at the kitten's wings he got up and followed the tugging.
This cage was made of smooth glass with only a few holes drilled through to give the animal air. Harry peered down into it and raised an eyebrow when he realized that it was a snake. It wasn't that big – Harry thought maybe it was about 3 feet in length and probably about a half-foot or so in diameter – and its scales glistened a lustrous black under the dim lighting (absently Harry wondered if he just attracted black things – it seemed like all his future pets were to be of that color) and when it turned Harry could see that it had a dark red underbelly. It had a hood, like a cobra, and its cunning serpent eyes were a dark silver color.
Harry, knowing what to do now, cautiously opened the top of the box and held out a hand for the snake to touch. The snake uncoiled itself instantly and lifted its head to Harry's palm, igniting the zap of sensation like the two previous animals. Harry was relieved when there was no immediate tugging on his heart and took that to mean that he'd found all of his animals. Carefully he closed the box again and picked it up in one arm before heading back for the kitten and the raven. He had a hard time managing all the boxes and cages but he managed to make it back to the front desk, where the manager of the store was still frozen in shock.
"Excuse me," he said quietly, setting down the cages with relief. The manager snapped out of her daze and stared down at Harry with something bordering on awe. "I'd like to buy these three."
The woman raised her eyebrows but didn't say anything against it, instead opting to ring the three animals up. Snape, however, placed a hand on Harry's shoulder.
"Mr. Potter, you cannot bring all of those animals with you to Hogwarts……" he started to lecture. Harry sighed.
"Professor Snape, what does it mean when an animal calls out for you," he asked, interrupting the man mid-rant. Snape's eyes widened.
"It means that the animals are your familiars……and that by wizarding law no school institution or government is authorized to separate you from them. Is that what you felt with those three?" he added in, tilting his head to the three cages. Harry nodded.
"If that's true than these animals are my familiars and Headmaster Dumbledore won't be able to say I can't bring them with me, because he's bound by wizarding law. Right?"
Snape sighed and removed his hand, "That is correct Mr. Potter. You will have to inform Headmaster of this predicament, but he can do nothing to stop you."
Harry nodded and then turned his attention back to the manager, who had been waiting quietly to the side.
"Are there any details I need to know about taking care of them?" he asked politely.
The woman shrugged, "They should be easy enough to care for. The bird is a raven – it will likely be fairly independent, as will your winged cat. The snake will need to be kept warm and fed with some sort of live animal – mice usually work well. Mice will also work for your cat, but you can ask the House Elves at Hogwarts – that is where you're going isn't it? – to get the appropriate food. I'm sure that the raven will be able to find its own food if you let it out often enough." She finished ringing the animals up and added in, "The total comes to 24 galleons, 5 sickles, and a knut."
Harry nodded and carefully pulled the money out of the small pouch he'd been using to carry it around and pushing it across the desk. The woman gave him a smile and waved him towards the cages. Harry gave her a nod and then looked up at Snape, silently asking for help carrying the cages.
Snape sighed and directed the manager's attention to himself, "Madame, could you please look after these animals for a half-hour? My companions and I are going next door to Rosethorn's, but having the cages with us would only hinder us."
The lady raised an eyebrow but nodded, "Be sure to come back and get them by 3:30 then," she said and returned back to her work.
"Come, Potter," Snape said, with an impatient flick of his hands. "One more store and then I'm taking you back to Privet Drive. This is more shopping than I ever wanted to do in my life," he muttered under his breath as he led Harry back to the two astounded looking Malfoys. "Lucius close your mouth – it isn't befitting of a Malfoy Lord to look like a witless moron. Come, let's go to Rosethorn's."
Lucius closed his mouth with a snap and regained his usual snobbish posture, Draco following his example. With a haughty sniff in the direction of the clerk he swept of the store, Draco, Snape, and Harry following closely behind. Harry, walking next to Draco, turned to his friend questioningly.
"Why didn't you get anything Draco?" he asked.
The blond's mouth twisted into something between a smirk and a smile, "I already have an owl at home. Father gave it to me last Christmas."
Harry nodded in understanding and didn't ask anymore. Draco, however, couldn't stand the silence and began to babble about Hogwarts and his home life. Harry listened with half an ear; he processed the information but didn't give it much thought.
Rosethorn's was close-by to Magical Menagerie, so the foursome made it there quite quickly. It was a fairly large looking store with a fancy looking sign and glass window displays. Harry sighed but said nothing as Mr. Malfoy urged them through the front doors. He looked over his shoulder at Snape, the last one to enter the shop, and received a commiserating look from the man. He wasn't the only one that was going to hate this.
When they entered they were immediately waited on by a handsome looking blonde man with sparkly teeth and bright blue eyes. Harry personally thought that he looked like he was a stereotypical model but didn't voice it aloud – if the Dursley's had taught him anything, it was to hold his tongue. Snape, however, had no such qualms.
"Stop talking you twittering you buffoon," the man muttered, his arms crossed against his chest. "Leave us be if you don't have anything of importance to say and go to staring at yourself in the mirror to settle your narcissist tendencies." The man gave Snape an offended look before stalking off. Lucius just sighed.
"I can't take you anywhere," he told Snape who just gave him a look (Harry made a note to copy that look as soon as he could – it was very effective in shutting people up).
Soon a graceful looking man swept into the room, his dark eyes set on their little group. Harry stumbled a bit as Lucius pushed both Draco and him forward towards the man, who looked inordinately pleased at having two subjects to play with. Harry shivered at the alarming similarity to Madame Malkin and wondered despairingly if the torture would ever end.
"Welcome to Rosethorn's," the man said to Snape and Mr. Malfoy. "I am Hector Johnson, and I'll be working with you today." He paused, looking down at Draco. "Lord Malfoy, this is your heir, is it not?" he asked and Mr. Malfoy tilted his head in a slight nod. The man nodded to himself and looked down at Harry questioningly. "Then who is this? He doesn't look to be your child, Lord Snape……"
Snape glowered at Hector but answered in a low hiss, "This is Mr. Harry Potter."
Hector's eyes changed as soon as Snape said Harry's name – instead of being business like and calm they were now full of pity. Harry hated that and he stared up at the man without blinking, satisfied when Hector looked away with discomfort but none of that disgusting pity in his eyes.
"Very well, bring them this way and I'll see what I can do," he said, walking towards a series of stools. Harry felt like whimpering. Why had he ever decided to come to the Wizarding world……It was torture……
When they returned to Privet Drive it was with a trunk full of clothes and books, three cages, and Malfoy-less. Harry had promised to try and meet with Draco on the train to Hogwarts – he liked the blond and he was his first friend after. Living with the Dursley's didn't exactly give you an awesome social life, especially if Dudley was spreading rumors behind your back……
Harry looked up at Snape, who looked just as relieved to finally be done with shopping. "Well, Mr. Potter," he said as Number 4 drew closer. "The train leaves at 11:00 AM on September 1st – do not be late, because more than likely it will leave without you. The platform is 9 3/4 – you can get to it by going through Platforms 9 and 10. Here is your ticket," Snape handed him a scrap of paper that had the Platform number written in bright letters on it. "Do not lose that ticket; do you understand me Mr. Potter?" Harry nodded seriously. "Good. I will see you at Hogwarts then Mr. Potter. Have a……good day," Harry snickered at the pained look on Snape's face. Being pleasant obviously pained the man.
"I'll see you at Hogwarts, sir," he said quietly. "Thank you for helping with my shopping."
Snape nodded and turned to sweep down the road to a place where he could Apparate. Harry watched his dramatic leave with a smile before turning to face his door. With a deep breath he pushed open the door to what should have been called home.
"I'm back……!" he called out.
Author's Notes: I have so many stories going on other sites right now that starting a new series probably wasn't the best idea I've ever had. But when I finished this, I really wanted to post it, and I have the unfortunate habit of indulging myself. Now it's your turn to indulge me; leave me lots of reviews to get fat on so I can't leave the computer chair. I'll be forced to write a new chapter. Hope you enjoyed it!
The Rite of Transition (11th birthday): On a Wizard's 11th birthday they go through the Rite of Transition. This happens at exactly noon on a Wizard's 11th year of living. During the Rite of Transition the Wizard inherits all gifts that are passed down through his bloodline (i.e. Sorcery, Necromancy, Aura Sight, Animagus Potential, ect.) and any Creature Inheritances that are in his bloodline appear (i.e. Malfoy's with their Veela Inheritance and Zabini's with their Siren inheritance, ect.). This is the reason Hogwarts only sends for their children at 11 years of age. Pure-blooded families usually have a chamber for their children to go through the Rite of Transition, but Muggle-born children get a Professor from Hogwarts coming to their house a half-hour before the Rite starts. Usually the Rite only takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour; powerful children with more abilities passed down will take longer than weak children with less abilities. The only known rites that have lasted beyond three hours in history are Tom Riddle's and Harry Potter's.
(1) Think Vincent from Final Fantasy for Harry's hairstyle.
(2) Most of these symbols exist, and you can look them up if you can't picture them or want to know what they are. I just picked random symbols mostly - sometimes it has a definite meaning to it. I'll probably put up some pictures later on my homepage.
(3) The funny thing about this is that the goblin in canon is also wearing red and gold – were you trying to tell us something JK?
(1) Taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Page 34 US paperback edition
(2) Taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Page 51 US paperback edition
(3) Taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Page 66 US paperback edition
(4) Taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Page 72-73, US paperback edition