Hey everyone, this is my first attempt at HP fanfiction. And I don't have a beta either, so this chapter is raw and unedited in all it's glory! If anyone wants to beta for me though, feel free to send me a PM.
I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters. No infringement intended.
Full Summary: Only a month after the defeat of Voldemort, Harry is still settling into his new life with his friends, but at every turn he is bombarded by the attention that his unwanted fame is bringing him. Irritated, he goes to some extensive measures to ensure that he can go out in public peacefully. However, there is one person who can see through everything. Including his lack of aspiration. Enter Draco Malfoy, acquitted death eater and someone in a very desperate situation. He may get more than he bargained for when he goes to the only person who will hear what he has to say.
Anyway, enjoy. I worked hard on this first chapter!
Reviews are very much appreciated.
Chapter One: Glory, Unwanted
"Mr. Potter!" Harry rolled his eyes as yet another stranger called his name. Hermione was holding his arm just above his elbow and as she felt him stiffen in irritation her grip on his arm tightened. They were walking through the thick crowds that frequented Diagon Alley on their way to Flourish and Blotts to get Hermione new quills and parchment. She hadn't wanted to come alone, and without thinking Harry had volunteered to come with her.
Other people turned their heads as soon as they heard the name Potter and within seconds people started swarming around him. Harry and Hermione came to a stop, ensnared by a circle of overzealous witches and wizards. Some offered their thanks, others proclaimed their love for him, then there were those that simply screamed his name. He turned to glance at Hermione giving her a questioning glance, and she nodded in response. As soon as he saw the gesture Harry apparated them to the flat that Hermione, Ron and he shared.
They appeared in the sitting room, and Ron looked up from a copy of Quidditch Weekly that he was flipping through with a perplexed expression on his face. "That was quick, I thought you guys were going to walk back."
Harry sighed, and flopped himself on the couch. "Sorry," he said apologetically when he saw Hermione's irritated look. Then he laid his head back and rubbed his temples. "We sort of got swarmed by everyone in the alley."
Ron turned to him with a sympathetic look. "Mate, that's awful. It's been a month since you killed You-Know-Who, you'd think they'd calm down by now." Harry nodded, he really wished they would calm down and leave him alone. He didn't fancy the idea of becoming a hermit.
Hermione sat down in her reading chair and shook her head. "Fame doesn't die down that quickly, Ron. And Harry saved the entire wizarding world, something like that isn't going to go away anytime soon." She spared a look towards Harry that told him that she wished it could be different for him. "You're just going to have to find a way to deal with your fame." Harry groaned in annoyance, sometimes he really wished Hermione could be wrong just once. He already knew that it was the only solution though.
Suddenly, he sat up straight, an idea popping into his head. "Wait, Hermione, how hard would it be to cast glamours on myself whenever I need to go out in public?"
Hermione perked up in interest. "Well, you'd need to create an appearance that isn't too different than yours, the more different you chose to look the more complex the glamour is going to be. You don't want to accidentally leave a hole in your glamour, it'll be easier to detect." Harry took mental notes as she continued talking. "I think you could get away with something as simple as lightening your skin tone and changing your hair color. Oh, make sure to get rid of the scar though. You'll be a dead giveaway if you forget to do that." He nodded slowly when she finished.
"I'll be right back," Harry said. He got up off the couch and walked into the bathroom. He turned to face the mirror and pulled out his wand. He muttered some incantations under his breath and watched as his hair changed from it's normal dark color to a dirty blond, and his skin lightened a few shades along with making his scar disappear.
He stepped away from the mirror to take a look at his handiwork, nodding to himself in satisfaction. He walked back to the sitting room where Hermione looked surprised and Ron was grinning. "Bloody hell, mate," He exclaimed. "Reckon you're pretty good with glamour charms, yeah?"
This made Harry smile and he chuckled a little bit as well. "Guess so." He said.
The look of astonishment hadn't left Hermione's face, but Harry tried not to feel offended. Hermione couldn't have thought he'd be complete rubbish at using a glamour. "Harry," she started, "you've done brilliantly." Harry smiled, but he wasn't entirely reassured. "But I feel I should warn you.." Here his friend seemed almost hesitant. It was as if she was debating something in her head. "Don't get caught up in the freedom that using a glamour charm can give you. Remember to live your own life too." Before Harry could say anything to ease her worries about this she stood and walked rather briskly to her room, shutting the door firmly behind her.
Ron had watched her go, but turned back to Harry. "Don't worry about it, mate. She worries about both of us too much in my opinion." Ron said dismissively.
Harry shrugged. "You're probably right, but I'm going to go get the stuff she wanted earlier." Ron went back to Quidditch Weekly, and Harry went back out the door. He didn't say it to Ron, but he was also eager to test out the glamour.
When he reentered the alley, everyone seemed to have calmed down from today's 'Potter Sighting' as the Daily Prophet liked to dub his appearances. He walked through the throngs of people, more than a little nervous that someone would figure out who he was anyway. He strode as quickly as he could to Flourish and Blotts and slipped inside. After so many trips to this shop with Hermione over the years and coming here himself for school supplies he knew instinctively where the quills were. There was a shelf near the back, where the counter was, and right in the center was the selection of quills. He took a moment to look through them, settling on a short modest set for Hermione. He could remember her using them at Hogwarts, whereas Ron and he had preferred the longer quills with the large feathers. He grabbed a few rolls of parchment and paid for everything before leaving the shop.
Harry hadn't been gone very long at all, and their flat was rather close to Diagon Alley. Hermione wouldn't leave her room for at least an hour more than likely, so Harry decided to walk around some more before heading back. He debated visiting George at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, but he had been rather depressing company as of late. Understandably so, but still. He turned his head and saw Quality Quidditch Supplies, and featured on a display inside was a new broom model. Intrigued, Harry walked towards the window, and he could barely make out the inscription on the brooms handle: Featherlite '98. There was an information card next to the display as well.
The Featherlite '98, the first in a new line of elite brooms. Do you think other brands like the Firebolt or the Nimbus series are fast? Then you have not seen the Featherlite '98 in action. With the previously unheard of combination of a permanent feather light charm and the slimmest design ever seen, the Featherlite '98 is the fastest broom yet! Reach speeds you've never dreamed of, only on a Featherlite.
Harry was intrigued, but he didn't have enough galleons on him to buy it, and he knew if he tried to do a test flight he would want it even more. He wasn't in the mood though to drop the glamour and go to Gringotts, so he grudgingly tore his gaze away from the window. Hermione would have been shaking her head and telling him that he should decide on a career before he ends up spending the entire Potter fortune. Harry barely managed to refrain from rolling his eyes as another wizard looked at him as he walked past. He headed back towards the Leaky Cauldron, choosing to go back home and think the whole career thing over while he played chess with Ron.
"You cannot honestly tell me you have the authority to do that." The voice was oddly familiar, and caught Harry's attention. He turned around, and was caught so off guard that he was glad he was wearing a glamour.
"Go ahead and tattle to the Ministry, Malfoy. It's not like they'll do anything for your lot." The other person said angrily, hate filling his voice.
Draco Malfoy looked as if he had been horribly wronged, and based on what he'd heard so far that may just be the case. "No, they won't. That doesn't mean I will stand here and tolerate this treatment though."
Harry realized he was starting to get in the way by just standing there and watching, so he found a nearby bench and sat down to listen further. It wasn't as if he and Malfoy were friends, but he was curious as to why he was getting so upset in the middle of the alley. It didn't seem like something he would do. Then again, a lot of things had changed since they left Hogwarts, so maybe this was normal and he didn't know it.
"I'm just here to ask for a job, I never insulted you, never attacked you, and I definitely haven't done anything to deserve this." Malfoy said in a level tone. Harry could tell by a slight wavering in his voice that it was a struggle for him to keep his voice that calm.
"Just get out of here, Malfoy. I'm not going to give you any work, and I'm bloody well not going to let you close enough to slap a killing curse on me!" The man, a shop-owner from what Harry could tell, was bellowing now. It had started to attract the attention of other people walking around, and group was starting to form around them. Harry got up, ready to leave, up as soon as he stood Malfoy's eyes shot over to him, and his eyes narrowed. Harry knew there was no way that Malfoy could know who he was, so he just turned and started walking away. He made it as far as the back door of the Leaky Cauldron, which led to Diagon Alley, when several things happened.
Harry felt the magic that dissolved his glamour, then there was a hand on his shoulder turning him around. Behind him, had been Malfoy. "Potter." He said, the usual distaste absent from his tone. Harry looked up at him, speechless, because of all people to see past his glamour why had it been him?
He wrenched himself out of Malfoy's grip a moment later, and put some distance between them. "What the hell, Malfoy?" He said, quite irritated.
"Why were you wearing a glamour?" Malfoy ignored Harry's outburst, but didn't bother to apologize for his rudeness or for following him for that matter.
Harry shook his head. "That's none of your business. How did you know who I was?" Harry asked , concerned that if Malfoy could see past it, then maybe others could too.
Malfoy continued to look at him, but his face had a look of skepticism, as if he was wondering if Harry was serious. "Your hair." He said simply, as if that should tell Harry everything he needed to know.
Harry raised an eyebrow in question. "My… My hair?" Harry was confused, he'd seen for himself that his hair had changed color, so what about his bloody hair had given him away.
Malfoy sighed. "Potter, your hair is so recognizable that I'd be able to tell it was you even if I was obliviated." Self consciously Harry reached up to touch his hair. "If you're going to go through the trouble of using a glamour in the first place, at least to something with your hair." Harry dropped his hand and stared at Malfoy, an idea slowly forming in his head.
"Then why don't you teach me how to properly use a glamour?" Harry suggested. Malfoy was not his favorite person, no, not even close. But Harry was tired of practically getting attacked every time he opened his front door. If using Malfoy was what he had to do to get it to stop though, then he would rather put up with Malfoy than the entire wizarding world. He had seen for himself that Malfoy wasn't all that bad.
That opinion came very close to shattering though when Malfoy started laughing softly at him. "Now Potter, why would I want to do that?" Harry could feel his face start to flush with anger, and partially with embarrassment. Of course Malfoy wouldn't help him, just because Harry saved his life didn't mean he was obligated to at least consider it or anything. He had been hoping that Malfoy would at least consider it, but honestly, there was nothing in it for him. What reason was there for him to accept?
Rather than humiliate himself again, Harry took advantage of the distraction he had provided for the git and slipped into the Leaky Cauldron. He kept his head down, and exited through the front door as quickly as he could. From there, he jogged the rest of the way to his flat. Ron had switched from reading to lounging on the couch levitating random objects. He looked up and the cup he had in the air fell to the floor and broke with a distinct crack. Hermione's door opened and she rushed out. "What happened?" She asked worriedly.
Ron had tried to kick the pieces under the couch, but he saw Hermione's expression darkening as she watched him do it. "Sorry?" He said meekly.
"Ronald! That's the second one this week. At this rate we'll have to drink out of bowls, one more and I swear I will take your wand away." Hermione reprimanded. Harry chuckled, and Ron turned to glare at him.
"Sorry, mate." He said between bouts of laughter. Ron didn't seem to accept this as an apology, but Harry sat down next to him anyway.
Hermione looked at him as if she had just noticed him. "Hopefully you haven't broken anything." She said, but there was doubt in her tone.
Harry smiled. "No, haven't broken anything, but I did go shopping for you." He held up the bag from Flourish and Blotts up to her. She took it, her face lit up with awe.
"Harry," She began, "you didn't have to go back. I was just going to go myself later on." She smiled though when she saw the quills, noticing that he had remembered which ones she preferred.
Harry shrugged. "I didn't mind. Ran into Malfoy though." Ron looked at him in shock.
"Malfoy? In Diagon Alley?" He asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, some shopkeeper was giving him a hard time. Something about a job." Hermione sat down when she heard this.
"Malfoy hasn't exactly had it easy since the war." Hermione's voice was colored by irritation. "In fact the Ministry took most of his money as reparations from the war. They did it with all the acquitted Death Eaters. It wouldn't surprise me if he was looking for work so soon after every thing has settled down." As Harry listened he was filled with disgust towards the Ministry. This hadn't been what he testified at Malfoy's trial for. He should have been able to live mostly burden free after it was all said and done.
Ron piped in as Hermione finished speaking. "I heard that Astoria Greengrass broke off their engagement when he lost his money. He wasn't up to standard anymore or something like that." He said.
Hermione nodded. "Yes, their parents had been planning the marriage for about a year."
Harry shook his head , revolted by what he was hearing. "Bloody hell," he whispered under his breath. He supposed this was why Hermione had decided to start studying magical law. She had said to them one night that she planned on becoming a lawyer. Possibly even opening her own firm. Ron hadn't understood the interest at all, and admittedly neither had Harry, but he thought he could see it now. Hearing things like this made him furious, as if he had saved part of the wizarding world and condemned the rest.
He tried to mentally shake off the feeling though. "Where you wearing that glamour?" Hermione asked him. He nodded in response. "So I suppose he didn't recognize you then." She concluded.
Harry lifted his head and met her gaze. "Actually, he knew exactly who I was." Hermione's eyes widened marginally, and Ron even looked shocked.
Ron spoke first, breaking the stunned silence. "But you looked completely different. How could he have known?" He asked slowly, as if he were trying to figure it out as he was asking.
Harry took a moment to think back on their conversation. "He said something about my hair."
"Your hair?" Hermione prodded.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, he said my I should do something with it next time I decide to use a glamour."
At this Hermione seemed stumped. "But you did glamour your hair…" She mumbled half to herself. Harry knew the first idea would be a hole in the glamour, but he knew that wouldn't come up with anything, since she and Ron had both seen how good it was. Beyond that, he had no idea what she would come up with.
He sat back and relaxed, thinking for the first time since the war had ended about how everyone else seemed to be moving on with their lives. He was content with the way everything was right now, but he knew it couldn't stay like this forever. Someday Ron and Hermione would start a family, and he really wanted to have his own place before that happened. He wanted a family himself one day, but he sort of needed his own flat first. The only thing he'd ever wanted though was to be an Auror, but he'd decided that he didn't want to fight dark wizards his entire life. And pushing papers was hardly exciting enough.
He supposed he had plenty of time to think about it, but he should get on it. A job, a family. Harry could remember a time when he hadn't dared to dream he would live that long. Now it seemed that the lack of planning was biting him in the arse.