Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Shadow Play

Diagon Dilemma

by Thor_Nairda 4 reviews

A trip to Diagon Alley holds a few surprises for Harry...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Harry, Hermione, Neville, Ron, Tonks - Warnings: [!] [V] - Published: 2006-10-08 - Updated: 2006-10-08 - 5700 words

When he deemed it early enough, Harry went down stairs and made himself a bowl of cereal - he didn't really eat a lot of food
Chapter 2: Diagon Dilemma

When he deemed it early enough, Harry went down stairs and made himself a bowl of cereal - he didn't really eat a lot of food anyway. Since his cousin had been boxing, aunt Petunia had been piling the plates with high protein food to build muscles for her whale of a son, and Harry got plenty of that - his muscles had also started to respond, as well.

He returned to his room to find several owls waiting for him - Pig, Errol, Hedwig (who had returned from delivering a letter to Hermione and now had a package), a Hogwarts owl (its letter sported the school logo on the parchment), and another owl that Harry didn't know who it belonged to. Pig carried a parcel the size and shape of a Honeydukes survival pack - a little bit of everything they stocked. Sure enough, it was just that, and Ron's card said little about what was happening with the order - Harry didn't resent it anymore, but it was still frustrating. Ron wished him a happy birthday and said that he would update him on Weasley events in a few days time when they met up in Diagon Alley. Errol's parcel was from Mrs Weasley, and she had sent him some homemade cakes and fudge with Errol, while Hermione had sent him a book on household magic (conjuring furniture, food, cleaning, etc.) to take his mind off of Voldemort for a bit. He interestedly looked through it for a few minutes and set it aside to pick up the last package, held by the Hogwarts owl. It had Hagrid's untidy scrawl on the address, and Harry ripped it open. It contained a letter and a small box. He read the letter, which told him to be careful and that Hagrid himself was fine, busy back at Hogwarts and hoping Harry was well. The box contained two books - one on magical creatures and their uses and one on higher level Defence Against the Dark Arts, which included spells that you could duel with as well as defend with. Fred and George had sent him some special dragon hide boots that looked very cool, along with a leather jacket charmed to fit the person it was being worn by, whatever their size.

Harry packed all the books except Hermione's one into his hideaway - he didn't feel much like learning how to defend against Voldemort or his death eaters just now. He turned onto the chapter on food and watched the wand movements to see how to make ham sandwiches and pumpkin juice. After he rehearsed the words in his mind, he took a breath, still enjoying the feeling of being able to do magic in number 4, and then said the spell. A platter of sandwiches and a goblet of pumpkin juice appeared on the table where he had aimed the spell and Harry smiled at his success. He put a sandwich in his mouth and tasted it - or tried to. There was texture, and it felt right, but there was no taste, which did defeat the point of it all in Harry's view. It was the same with the pumpkin juice - it looked right but tasted like water.

He tried again three times before he got it completely right and had lunch in his room. Throughout the day, he learned to make cooked meals as well, although those spells were much more complicated and once got half a cow when all he had tried to do was conjure a steak. He learned to make a pot of tea and mugs to drink it from, and how to make conjured items disappear again. He stopped at four o'clock because he needed a rest. He put the book away and munched on the last of the sandwiches and waved his wand properly to make it disappear, smiling softly as it worked.

Things came to him easier when he taught himself, he found, and the number of spells that he could learn in a day soon grew in number - he had learned to conjure a meal for four and to conjure all types of furniture in just one week and it tasted almost as good as Mrs. Weasley's cooking. Harry decided to go for a walk - he had spent too much time locked up in his room, and he missed the fresh air. He dressed in dark jeans and a black t-shirt (black was /really /his colour), slipped into his leather jacket (with his wand tucked into a sheath up his left sleeve) and announced to the Dursely's that he was going out.

He followed the same routes as he had the year before, moving slowly towards the park and waving to Mrs. Figg when she passed by on the other side of the road - she waved back. He ended up at the park and headed straight for the swings, knowing that one of the Order was probably still following. He made a game out of it - his eyes looked around as he sat on the swing and he looked for signs of an invisible person - something that most would think was stupid, but invisibility cloaks didn't hide the movement of grass, or the sound of footsteps on gravel.

A cracking twig caught his attention and the girl he had seen earlier in his holidays came into view from the trees, looked surprised to see him and smiled. She move confidently over from the trees and joined him at the swing, introducing herself.

"Hey, I'm Gina," she said with a pleasant smile. "My family moved into Surrey last week. You're Dud's cousin, aren't you?" Harry nodded. She waited for some verbal response, and when she didn't get one she rolled her eyes. "Can I get your name then, or are you so cool I have to make an appointment?"

"My name is Harry," he said. He looked at her arm and noticed something strange... a thin bulge at the wrist of her top and running up for... oh, about 9 inches. Wand, he thought immediately. Last year, it would have been a welcome sight, but he didn't know which side - if any - this girl was on. Play it safe, Harry, he told himself. "How come you moved to Little Whinging? Dull place, this is." She laughed and sighed.

"Dad got some security job here with mum - they were given the house to live in for as long as they like. Pretty cool, I guess, and there are a couple of fun people around here." He nodded, watching her hands out of the corners of his eyes. She was wearing black leggings and a white, long sleeve top that exposed her trim, tanned stomach - suitable clothes for muggle town, but also they were manoeuvrable if she had to duel - a smart choice, in Harry's opinion. Her hair was tied in a ponytail which stopped between her shoulder blades, and her dark hair had some blond highlights. She was a little taller than the girl called Dee, Harry noticed, and also noticed her more athletic physique. She wore dark nail polish and a couple of rings, nothing too fancy - he didn't know much about makeup, though. She didn't look like a death eater, but neither had Barty Crouch Jr. He had to be careful. And quick.

"Well, I should be getting home, it's nearly dinner time," he said, standing. "It was nice meeting you, Gina." He held out his left hand to shake hers, deliberately faking being left handed. She grasped it and as he let go, he snatched the hidden wand and stepped back as her eyes widened in surprise. "Make one wrong move and I will hex you into next week," he said as menacingly as he could. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" her eyes widened at the threat and she shrank back from him.

"M-my name is Gina Mathews, I just moved here with my parents and they are supposed to be looking after a wizard - wait, that's /you/!" She said. Harry heard breathing - behind him. He jumped back and kicked the person under the invisibility cloak to knock them backwards while he used his left hand to grab the cloak and yank it off them. Moody lay on the floor, surprise (and pain) covering his face.

"Alright, Potter, how did you know I was there?" he wheezed, annoyed. No one had done that to him before.

"You breathed, it was enough," Harry said. "Tell me, what is inside the order of phoenix head quarters that no one can remove?" He had to be sure. Moody chuckled.

"Constant vigilance, Potter - you've definitely been learning. It's the portrait of Mrs. Black. Now, what for does your Patronus take?"

"Stag," Harry said and Moody nodded. Harry helped Moody up and sighed. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting you to be a death eater, but I had to be sure." Moody nodded and grinned.

"Glad you take threats seriously. Now, would you mind returning the wand to Miss. Mathews? Her parents are in the order, they're here to be your link to Dumbledore." Harry's eyes widened in surprise, and he handed the wand back to Gina.

"Sorry about that," he said, blushing. "I've had a few brushes with death eaters recently, I had to be sure." She nodded and grinned.

"You're good, I didn't see that one coming at all!" she slipped her wand back up her sleeve. "Hey Alastor, how're you doing?" she asked and Moody laughed.

"Hurt like hell after he tackled me," Moody nodded. "Well, I'm supposed to be undercover, so I'll bid you both good night." He flung the cloak back on and disappeared. Gina looked at Harry and grinned again.

"So you're the one that Dumbledore wants us to look out for," she said. She gave him an appraising look. "Can't see why, you seemed pretty capable of taking Moody there." Harry chuckled and sat back on the swing.

"Sorry about that - I'm a little paranoid, I guess. Keeps me alive..." He looked at the floor and didn't add that it didn't save anyone else.

"That's ok," she said, sitting down next to him. "Moody's been giving me some advice about being an auror, and he said paranoia is an excellent policy when fighting dark wizards." He nodded.

"Constant Vigilance," he muttered, making her giggle.

"Yeah, that's the one," she said. She perked up a bit and he noticed how a like to Dee she was with her smile. "Dudley's parents invited my parents around for dinner at your place for tomorrow night - if they already know about magic, we won't have to pretend we're Muggles!" Harry barked a laugh and shook his head.

"My aunt and uncle hate everything to do with magic - just pretend you're all Muggles and don't know better, and compliment him about how successful his business seems to be - he'll love that." She quirked an eyebrow.

"They hate magic? What about you, then?" She then seemed to realise how rude that was, but couldn't apologise before he responded.

"They hate me too. If it wasn't for Dumbledore's... well, he basically told them to take me in. They didn't have a choice, after my parents died."

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said, looking at the grass, her smile gone.

"Don't worry about it, you didn't know." Harry stretched and stood, realising how strange it was that she didn't know who he was, but then realised she hadn't seen his scar yet, and it was her parents that were in the order, after all. She stood as well and they heard an apparition crack as Moody went off duty and someone else (Harry guessed Mundungus from the smell of tobacco) came on. "Hey Dung," he said, and then looked at Gina, listening.

"Err... hey, Harry!" came Mundungus Fletcher's voice from beside a slide. Harry grinned.

"I'm getting quite good at that," he said to himself, Gina now smiling too. "I'm headed back to the Dursely's for real now, I'll see you round." She nodded as they began to walk out of the park.

"I'll see you tomorrow at dinner, 'k?" he smiled and shook his head.

"Doubt the Dursely's will want me there, but if I am I'll see you. Bye,"

"Bye!" Harry began jogging towards Privet Drive, wanting to get back before Dudley - he remembered his aunts rule that any time after when Dudley came home was too late for Harry to 'waltz back in'. He noticed as he entered that his aunt had just finished cooking and was setting the table. He sat in his place silently and Dudley waddled in half an hour later, a smell of tobacco lingering around him almost strong enough to rival Mundungus' own.

Harry lay in bed and slept somewhat peacefully that night, for the first time in several days. He cooked breakfast the next morning and ate his own in his room, continuing his practice in transfiguration and charms, and reading up about everything and anything he could find that was magical and had nothing to do with fighting.

At lunch time, Harry's aunt came up and knocked on his door before entering.

"Ahem," she said, looking around the room. "We are having guests around for dinner tonight, and I would appreciate it if you would stay in your room while they are here," she said, forcing herself to be courteous. Harry nodded and shrugged.

"Of course I can stay up here, and I won't make any noise." She nodded in relief and opened the door.

"Would you like your lunch up here or downstairs?" Harry shook his head.

"Don't worry about that, I'm not really hungry. I'll grab a sandwich before your guests arrive so I don't starve." She nodded her approval and went downstairs, shutting the door behind her. Harry laughed to himself and conjured a steak for lunch. He practised plenty of spells and decided to redecorate his room - the Dursely's would no doubt hit the roof when they found out he was able to do magic at home, but he hardly cared. He cleaned his room, transfigured his lumpy bed into a much more comfortable one and changed the sheets to silk. He sorted everything and made bookshelves to put all his books into, then he altered his trunk so that there was twice the space there was supposed to be. He loved being able to do magic, it made him feel more at home. He fixed all the broken things in his room and finally decided on the walls - they were too... /boring/. He used a simple charm to change the colour of the walls from grubby white to baby blue and the ceiling received a fresh coat of white.

He looked around, satisfied at his handiwork, and read some more.

The doorbell rang at seven thirty, and Harry cast a silencing charm around the room and continued to read, conjuring himself a dinner of roast chicken with all the trimmings and a pot of tea afterwards. He had sent Hedwig with a letter to the order saying he was fine earlier that morning, but she wasn't back yet.

Harry could hear that dinner was just getting underway downstairs, and Harry clearly heard Piers Polkis' voice over the din, telling a rather tasteless joke. Harry stretched and transfigured a candle he had conjured into a snake and started speaking to it in parseltongue. To say the least, it was more interesting than speaking to his cousin or Dudley's friends - well, most of them, anyway.

About an hour later there was a soft knock at his door, and Harry, curious, turned the snake back into the candle and opened the door, wondering what could be wanted of him while they had guests. His eyes widened in surprise when Gina stood there, grinning at him.

"Heya, Harry!" she said, looking cheerful. "Thought I'd find you up here. You gonna invite me in or am I gonna have to stand out here all night?" He opened the door and was thankful he had cleaned his room earlier, and she gasped when she saw the bed. "Oh wow!" she said, feeling the silk. "That's cool, did you use magic on it?" He nodded.

"Yeah, did it this afternoon - the whole room, in fact - I was sixteen a couple of days ago, I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm allowed to do magic outside school."

"Cool," she said. "So why the silk sheets? Expecting company sometime soon?" she smiled coyly and Harry blushed.

"Err, no... actually, I thought I'd see if it was comfortable." She sighed dramatically.

"Ah well, there go all my hopes and dreams..." She giggled at his blush and sighed. "You're too easy to embarrass. Don't worry, I'm kidding around - I don't sleep with a guy on the first date... well, not often." He was unsure whether she was joking or not, so just kept silent.

"Aren't they going to get a little suspicious if you're gone too long?" he asked and she sighed.

"Trying to get rid of me, are you?" she laughed. "You're right, I'm heading down now - just wanted to say hi. I'll see you 'round, ok? Maybe you can hang out with Dudley and Piers' group with me and my sister Dee - she fancies you, you know!" she winked and left again, leaving Harry feeling confused and the heat in his cheeks was also there.

Gina went back downstairs and sat next to her sister, who tried not to scream at Dudley for eyeing her up all through the meal, and Piers smiled at Gina in what she thought he must mean in a seductive way. She really wasn't that interested in him - she'd hardly call him her boyfriend, as they had pulled a couple of times but nothing more, and he really wasn't as interesting as she had originally thought.

"So, Mr Mathews," Vernon said, making conversation at last about something other than Grunnings, his drill company. "What do you do for a living?"

"I work for a security company, doing accounts and such, and please, call me Ted." Vernon nodded approvingly. There was nothing abnormal about an accountant, after all.

"Ah, so you control the financial assets of the company?" Vernon asked, liking the man more and more every minute.

"Oh, yes - it's quite demanding, but I have always been talented in finance. It's something I got growing up with my father - it's his company."

Ted Mathews' wife, Sara was swapping recipes of cooking and talking about the newest gossip in the news about a celebrity, while the two Mathews sisters whispered quietly to each other.

"Where did you go off to, you were gone way too long to have just been on the loo," Dee said, and Gina giggled.

"I went to see Harry," she whispered back. "His family don't like him much, he's been told to stay upstairs and not see us." Dee smirked.

"You fancy him, don't you?" she said, and Gina also smirked.

"Yeah," she said, biting into her desert. "But so do you," she said, and Dee nodded, as if to say touché. Gina's smirk grew and she whispered, "And I told him you do!" Dee almost choked and took a sip of her coke before breathing again.

"WHAT?!?!?!" she hissed, making Gina giggle. "Gina, you had better be joking," she whispered, and Gina tried to stop a full blown laugh.

"Afraid not, sister dearest," she said. "And it may interest you to know - he has silk covers on his bed." Dee dropped her fork and blushed crimson - they were sisters, but it was a constant war between them. While they were both very pretty, Dee was more petite and less athletic looking than her sister, and she got boys on her 'cuteness' more than anything - and she certainly /was /cute, and also funny and had a bouncy attitude. Dee liked to show off her body and wore more revealing clothes than her sister, who felt more reserved about it and wore practical trousers and shirts more often than not, although she wasn't a stranger to miniskirts at all.

"I'm gonna get you for that," she growled. Dudley was smirking - he thought he had caused her to blush, and was throwing suggestive glances over her way whenever he caught her eye. It was really starting to annoy her.

"I'm sure you will, Dee," she replied, taking a sip of her own coke. "But we'll see who snags Harry first, ok?" she giggled. "I like him too, even though neither of us know him - he's still cute..." Dee nodded and giggled too.

The time came for them to all leave, and Gina and Dee walked down the road to their house with their parents in tow. They both talked about Harry on a cuteness scale - Gina said he was 8 out of 10, Dee said 9. They talked about what houses they hoped to be in when they got to Hogwarts - they would both be sixth years when the new term started, just like Harry, and both hoped all the boys were as cute as he was.

Gina 'broke up' with Piers the next day, and pointed out that they had hardly been going out in the first place. He grudgingly accepted, and they still hung out together with her sister and Dudley's gang. A couple of days later they slept over at number four again, and were all in Dudley's room as usual, drinking and telling jokes. It was Piers, Dudley, Gina, Dee, a guy named Harrison and his girlfriend Karen. Between them, they put away three bottles of vodka. They were royally pissed and watching a film on Dudley's TV on the BBC, but they were so drunk they didn't know what was going on. Dudley passed out while having a drinking contest with Piers, who had enough time to raise his hands in celebration before he himself passed out. Dee crawled into her sleeping bag at about 3am and Harrison and Karen were making out continuously over the duration of the night. Gina, still drunk, left the room for the bathroom.

On her way back, she remembered Harry's room was closer, and she giggled to herself and quietly ducked in, shutting the door behind her quietly. She crept over to the bed and erupted into silent giggles when she saw Harry was asleep - he was cuter when asleep, and he slept without a top on, giving her a glimpse of his well muscled chest. She slid the covers back to get a better view and he shivered as they brushed against his skin, making her giggle drunkenly again.

She bent down and kissed him.

Harry awoke to the feeling of someone kissing his lips, and he opened his eyes in surprise. Gina crawled on top of him and wrapped her arms around his neck, running her fingers through his hair. 'Well, this was unexpected' he thought, responding to the kiss. It was a hell of a lot better than the one he had done with Cho the previous year. He could now taste the bitter vodka on his lips and realised that she was drunk.

"Good morning, Harry," she purred, her voice slurring her words slightly. "I'm just gonna rest my eyes a bit..." she closed them and fell asleep straight away, spooned against him. He sighed, gently shifted her so he could get out of the bed and shook his head. She was wasted, he could taste the alcohol on his own tongue. He conjured a blanket and slept on the floor, waiting for the sun to rise before getting up again and bringing in some aspirin for Gina - from the way she was acting earlier, she was going to need it.

And she did. She awoke with a whimper and clutched at her head. 'Did I really just jump into Harry's bed?' she thought, and then felt the smooth silk and her eyes widened. 'That would be a yes then.' She opened her eyes and saw Harry on the floor, starring at the ceiling.

"Um... morning, Harry," she said, feeling awkward.

"Hey. If you're hung over, there's a couple of aspirin next to the table for you." She nodded gratefully and swallowed them quickly, washing them down with a glass of water.

"Sorry for... well, barging in here last night and jumping into bed with you." Harry laughed and sighed.

"Don't worry about it. I let you stay in the bed anyway, I don't mind the floor." She nodded and decided she better get back to Dudley's room before anyone noticed she was gone. She said goodbye to Harry and tried not to blush when he smiled at her. She slipped into Dudley's room and crawled into her sleeping bag (noticing that Dudley, Piers and her sister hadn't moved at all since she was gone) and fell back to sleep with a smile on her lips.

The days passed quickly for Harry, with Gina and Dee not coming back to 4 Privet drive for several days, and the day came to go to Diagon Alley. Five members of the Order were going to be lookout while he went shopping, and he was only going to be given a maximum of two hours to keep the possibility of a planned attack down in the lower figures. An unmarked ministry car would be driving him to and from the Leaky Cauldron, and he would be surrounded by people as he went in so people in the Pub would not know it was Harry Potter walking in.

The car arrived at eleven, and Tonks greeted him at the door with the usual, "Wotcher, Harry!" and a smile. She would be in the car with him at all times and would tail behind him throughout the shopping. Harry jumped into the car and waited. This trip was mainly to go to Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore, and the apothecary. He didn't really need new school robes or Quidditch supplies, and his wand was just fine.

"What sort of things have you been practising then, Harry?" Tonks asked as the car sped between traffic.

"Mainly conjuring spells," Harry admitted. He had tried some of the DADA spells in Hagrid's book, but not nearly as many as he had with Hermione's. "I didn't really want to think of the war. But I have started some DADA spells from a book Hagrid gave me for my birthday." Tonks nodded understandingly and watched the traffic for a bit. Harry did the same - he didn't want the topic of conversation to go to where it would eventually end up - Sirius. He had planned to go to Gringotts to see what he had been left - he was more interested in the artefacts than the gold, but he didn't want to dishonour Sirius's wishes. He wouldn't throw it away, and he was sure that Tonks wouldn't, either. The car stopped further up the road and the horn sounded. Harry caught a glimpse of Gina and Dee as they bounded for the car and jumped in next to him and Tonks.

"We figured it'd be easiest and safer if we took all of you to Diagon Alley at the same time," Tonks said, responding to Harry's questioning look. The girls chatted about girl stuff while the car drove into London - this comprised of fashion, boys, fashion, witch weekly, fashion, makeup and /fashion/.

They arrived at eleven thirty and Harry saw Mad-Eye Moody, Remus Lupin, Mundungus Fletcher and Kingsley Shaklebolt waiting for them. Being slightly shorter than all of them (Tonks had made herself taller for this), Harry was clustered around and hidden from direct view as they passed through the pub and into the alley, Remus signalling to Ron and Hermione (who were sitting with Neville and Luna) to follow. In the alley, the group let Harry walk and he greeted his friends.

"Lookin' good, Harry!" Ron said as he greeted his friend. Harry smiled and hugged Hermione, Ginny and Luna. They headed for Gringotts first, where they split up - Hermione was changing Muggle money, and Neville and Luna had already retrieved their money, so it was Harry, Ron, Gina, Dee and Ginny going down to the vaults. Gina and Dee grabbed some money from a modest vault of gold, while Harry felt sick, seeing the pile of gold that now sat in his vault (which had been upgraded due to the sheer amount of money it contained).

"I wish he hadn't done that," Harry muttered, and gained an inquisitive look from the four around him. He looked pointedly at Ron and Ginny and they both shuffled uneasily - they both knew who he was talking about.

Harry grabbed a bag of gold and told himself he was going to spend it on as many of his loved ones as possible. He hated being so rich - especially when the Weasley's, who he would gladly give all his money to, were poor and refused his money when he asked them to take it. He probably wouldn't ever need to work when he left Hogwarts, but he wanted to - he couldn't imagine himself like Malfoy, living off of money earned by other people. He felt sick when he remembered what the goblin had told him at the front desk.

"Ah, Mr. Potter," he said, looking at his record books. "Yes, we were just about to contact you about your inheritance." Harry suddenly felt a little sick.

"What inheritance?" he asked politely, or as politely as he could while sounding very stiff. The Goblin checked his records and cleared his throat and took on a formal sounding tone as if taking part of some ceremony.

"As of the thirty-first of the seventh month of Harry James Potter's sixteenth mortal year, all assets of both financial and otherwise held under the name of Potter are to be passed on to Harry James Potter - this includes three medium security vaults and a total of fifteen million galleons, seven hundred and thirty sickles and twenty knuts. There is also the inheritance of the Black family vaults, which are split between yourself, one Remus Lupin and one Nymphadora Tonks." Harry tried not to feel a great sorrow, but couldn't help it.

"I'll take the notifications you were about to send me now, if that's alright with you," he said to the Goblin, who nodded and passed the letter over the counter before calling a lower Goblin to take them to their vaults.

The cart sped towards the Weasley vault now, and Harry was relieved to see a large pile of gold waiting for them. Ron grinned when it was Harry's turn to look inquisitive.

"Dad got promoted," he explained, indicating the gold. "Fred and George have also been really successful - they've been pumping something like five percent of the shops earnings into here. They also mentioned something about wiring in some to your accounts, but don't tell them I told you because they know you'd tell them to keep it." Harry sighed.

"They're bloody right, as well," he said. "I gave them that gold to start up their shop, not become a share holder." Still, Harry was glad the Weasley's were getting richer. "What's your dad doing now then?" Ron sighed.

"Fudge has him working as a go between with him and Dumbledore - it's great for us, because dad is working for both the ministry and the order, and gets paid as such, but Dad doesn't really like Fudge, and this means he has to spend a lot more time in his presence." Harry nodded, wincing at the image.

"Glad it's not me," Harry said. Ginny sniggered with laughter.

"Harry, if it was you, he'd have found another way to put you on trial by now," she said, making Harry laugh. Gina and Dee didn't ask why - they had kept pretty quiet since they realised no one was telling them about the in jokes shared between Harry and the Weasley's.

They came out of the bank with heavier purses and headed off to buy their various books and materials for the upcoming school year. Harry paid for Flourish and Blotts to deliver all their books ("No point in lugging them around with us now - we won't look at them until we reach Hogwarts anyway - except for you, Hermione.") to their addresses and then treated everyone to an ice cream.

As Harry was finishing his chocolate sundae, he suddenly caught sight of someone with pink hair streaking towards them. Tonks had time to shout at them before it happened - "RUN!" she shouted, just as the death eaters came into view, firing curses directly at Harry's group. Harry had time to pull Gina down with him before the first curses flew overhead, singing hair as they went. Had he not reacted, Gina would have been hit by the killing curse. Harry's wand was in his hand and was rapidly firing stunners down the alley, along with Neville, who's eyes burned with determination, and Ron, who had reacted just as quickly as Harry had, pulling Hermione down when she didn't react quick enough.

"Run, you lot - Aurors are coming to take care of them! Get out of here!" Tonks yelled, firing stunners into the group. The Death eaters ignored her, keeping focussed on their target. Harry, Ron and Neville fired three more stunners each before following the girls further down the alley. They took cover from a barrage of spells and they found a way into a building. Ron and Neville jumped through the door the girls had taken with Harry not far behind, just as the death eaters closed in on the door they had piled through.

Down a corridor the students ran, and they came to a dead end with a door on either side, one a little closer to the entrance than the other. They all got through the door that was open but Harry, who was forced to dive through the other door by a hail of dark curses' hit the door he was headed for.

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