TJ3

Part 1 Chapter 21
Part 2 Chapter 28

Harry paused and wondered, "What would chef do?" He'd had few enough male influences in his last life that he could be proud of, but Chef was definitely the one who'd given out the best advice.

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"And what would you do with a time machine?" Kenny asked Chef as he collected his lunch.

"Blacks don't time travel," Cartman said from behind him.

"Don't be racist!" Kyle snapped back.

"No, he's right, children," Chef agreed.

"What?!" the surprised fifth graders exclaimed.

"Blacks don't time travel," Chef said. "What happens in all the stories about time travel?"

"You end up banging your mom or your grandma," Cartman said, stealing an extra jello cup while everyone was distracted.

"Exactly," Chef agreed. "If some cracker wants to go back in time and plant his family tree, fine, but ain't no black folk going to."

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Harry sighed. "OK, wing it, it is!"

"What was that, Harry?" Hagrid asked.

"I said you should get your drink," Harry replied. "I'll let the stores get geared up and ready for the new students before getting school supplies, but I do want to look around a bit and see what odds and ends most magic users use that muggles don't."

"That's right smart o' ya," Hagrid said, beaming at Harry.

"Thanks Hagrid," Harry said. "Meet you at the ice cream shop around noon?"

"Sure Harry, I should probably floo over to Hogwarts and back real quick anyway," Hagrid said.

"Have fun, I'm going to go see what kinda boots they got, mine are falling apart," Harry said gesturing to his old taped together trainers.

"Have fun," Hagrid said.

"I intend to," Harry said cheerfully, already heading for a shop selling dragon hide.

The Hidey Hole smelled a lot like a muggle leather working shop Harry noticed as he entered and saw the plethora of hides available. They had everything from dragon-hide, which looked like someone skinned a T-Rex for, to a thin jewel like material called Quetzalcoatl skin.

"Morning young sir, see anything you like?"

Harry turned and froze for a moment, causing the storekeeper to stiffen. She was half dwarven so she was used to dealing with bigotry from the purebloods, but she hadn't expected to see any from a muggleborn and hadn't been ready for it.

"I see a great deal I like," Harry said trying not to leer and failing. She was scarcely taller than him with coal black hair drawn back in a ponytail and smooth muscular arms. She was a bit stouter than he would normally go for, but under that leather apron was some very nicely formed muscles and a great rack.

"I'm old enough to be your grandmother," she said, both surprised and amused.

"Why granny, what great big-" he began.

"Let's just stop you right there," she said with a laugh. "You are far too young for me."

"I'll grow out of it," Harry swore fervently. "Promise!'

"Come back when you do," she told him, "until then all you'll find here is various types of hide for sale."

"Disappointing but understandable," Harry admitted. "I guess we'll just have to keep it professional... for now."

"Glad to hear it, now what can I do- sell you?" She said changing what she'd been about to say at the gleam in his eyes.

"I need some good solid armor," he told her.

"Quidditch?" she asked, as most boys his age only needed quidditch armor.

"Something like that," he said with a grin, getting ready to find out all he could about what was available so he could design his new Mysterion outfit.

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An hour later Harry walked out of the store with a new pair of gloves, boots and a set of 'quidditch armor' that he'd been told was definitely against league regulations.

His next stop was an optometrist. The Wizard's Eye looked almost exactly like its muggle counterpart only lacking the plastic counters and fluorescent lights. There was a chubby looking wizard in his mid forties running the place who, if not for his robes and wand, could have been his muggle counterpart as well, he even had a name tag on his robe saying Dr. Clarkson M.D.

"Ohh, I bet you were expecting boiling cauldrons and such, right?" Dr. Clarkson asked with amusement, seeing the surprise in Harry's eyes.

"A bit," Harry admitted.

"The muggles are experts in creating eye wear," Clarkson said. "Magic simply speeds up the process and allows for more options."

"Options?" Harry asked.

"It's where I make my real money," the doctor admitted. He tapped an eye chart and it changed into a large list of options covering everything from appearing on your face when desired to recording what you saw.

"How much would a half dozen of those cost?" Harry asked eagerly.

"Hundreds of thousands of galleons," the doc said cheerfully. "You see, all of these require tiny little runes be carved precisely with no errors, and the more options, the tinier the runes and the slightest mistake means you have to scrap it and start all over. So you can see why only the rich go for more than two, which costs a couple hundred galleons."

"Damn," Harry said with a frown, he'd seen a couple of them that he'd like to have.

"And you also have to figure out how the runes fit together, which can take some time even for an experienced rune master," the doc explained.

"And being a smart businessman you probably already have the most common combinations memorized and written down so you can charge for the time a runemaster would need to figure it out while already having the work done," Harry said.

The doc grinned. "I even offer a small discount on certain combos to encourage it. He gestured to a piece of parchment that was covered in runes that glowed slightly. "The combinations are nearly endless, so I'm always working out new ones in my spare time. This is a triple runic formula encompassing sunglasses, low-light vision, and heat. It'll cost nearly five thousand galleons and it'll take at least a dozen attempts to get it carved right." He tapped the parchment and it glowed red for a moment. "And I still don't have the runes perfect yet." He waved his wand and several sections rewrote themselves.

"What spell was that?" Harry asked, seeing a spell that would make fixing homework errors a snap. He'd always hated having to erase and rewrite sections because of ink blots or misspellings.

"That's not a spell, it's special ink," the doctor explained. "Until it dries you can alter it at will and it takes a spell to dry it. It's a bit expensive but invaluable for rune work. If the magic had flowed correctly it'd have glowed blue."

"And then you'd have dried it with a spell giving you another set of ready calculated options," Harry said.

"Exactly," the doc said cheerfully.

"Couldn't you enlarge the glasses to make carving the runes easier?" Harry asked.

"I could, but you get some distortion when you shrink it back down that makes it useless for fine details," the doc explained.

"What if you enlarge it and carve larger runes to minimize the distortion?" that way you make carving easier and reduce the number of failures rather than try and fit more runes on it?" Harry asked.

The doc froze for a moment before springing into action. He flipped the sign on the shop to closed and dropped the shades, before summoning a pair of glasses from the backroom and enlarging them. He seemed to have forgotten Harry was there as he checked and altered the rune set he'd been working on until it turned blue and he cast a drying charm on the parchment.

With a deep breath and a hastily muttered prayer he took out a number of large engraving tools and quickly set to work. Harry was amazed at how quickly and skillfully the man carved runes into the metal frames.

Tapping it with his wand, he canceled the enlarging charm and almost fearfully he charged the runes.

The glasses glowed blue.

Harry watched amused as the man danced and cheered.

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"Hey, Harry," Hagrid said. "I see you got glasses, boots and a robe."

"And a quarter of an optometrist's office," Harry agreed cheerfully.

"What?" Hagrid asked.

"Not important," Harry said waving it off. "Ready to go school shopping?"

"Got yer list right 'ere," Hagrid said cheerfully.

Typing by: Stephenopolos