Chapter 6: Diagon Ally

AN: Ok guys, so I know that I haven't updated in almost like a year, so I'm sorry. There I said it. I was caught up in school and sports and girls that I didn't have any time to write this. However, now that it is summer, I'll be able to write more often! Yay! More Chapters I know right? So anyway, in the next two to three chapters I'll be making a second, alternate "Golden Trio" in Ginny's year. Alternate, as in there will be one boy and two girls, but the two groups will be close friends and stuff. And so yeah I feel like I owe you that much of info for the future as I haven't updated in forever. Well that's that, and always remember to review, as I will always take your ideas into consideration. And so . . . roll the chapter!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything

Molly Weasley was looking out at her youngest and only daughter with conflicting thoughts. On one hand she should be happy for her daughter, making a friend so quickly before going off to Hogwarts. And not just any friend, but with Harry Potter. THE Harry Potter. The boy who defeated the Dark Lord at age one and who stopped him again just last year. But he was also the boy of her dreams and Ron's best friend.

'She's too young for boys! She doesn't know what she's getting into! She could take him away from Ron! The whole family could be split up!'

'Or it could be brought closer together if Ron could just get over his jealousy problems.' The rational part of her brain said.

'Well, maybe it's a phase. Once she goes off to Hogwarts she'll be just fine, make her own friends, and Harry and Ron will go do their own thing, rescuing a damsel in distress or something from a legendary monster.'

And with that thought she went back to her cooking.

"I WIN!" Harry exclaimed as he burst through the door way, with Ginny hot at his heels.

"That's no fair, it's only because you're older! If we were the same age, I'd beat you easily."

"Doubt it. I've had so much experience from running, you'll never catch up to me. Besides, I was going easy on you."

"Easy? Pfft! don't make me laugh! But what do you mean you've had "experience"?"

At this Harry's mouth shut and he went completely still, the life draining from his face. "I's nothing. I just… ummm… I run a lot. Like every day. In the morning of course, when my relatives are asleep and stuff."

"Harry dear," Mrs. Weasley questioned, "why do you do it when your relatives are asleep?"

"Oh… ummm… because, well… because… they don't like exercising?"

"Of Course!" Fred exclaimed as he came in from the garden.

"One look at his uncle and you would have never thought he knew what a treadmill was!" George finished, coming in right after his twin.

But Ginny caught the look on his face. 'We're talking about this later.' She mentally said to him, in a tone that left no room for argument.

Ron followed George into the house but wasn't saying anything. Instead, he had a sour look on his face. But as soon as he saw all the food that was on the table, he immediately forgot everything that happened that morning. His face lit up like a light bulb and he practically dove into a chair, waiting for everyone to follow suit.

Harry took a seat on Ron's right, and Ginny sat down on Harry's. 'Maybe this won't be so bad after all,' Ron thought to himself, 'I mean Ginny and I can both be friends with Harry, as long as he's still my best mate and all.'

As the Weasley clan started digging in to their meal, the door opened to reveal the head of the pack.

"Dad's home!" George shouted.

"What a night," he mumbled as he sat down next to Ron at the head of the table. "Nine raids. Nine! And old Mundungus Fletcher tried to put a hex on me when I had my back turned. . ." Mr. Weasley took a long gulp of tea and sighed.

"Find anything, Dad?" said Fred eagerly.

"All I got were a few shrinking keys and a biting kettle," yawned Mr. Weasley. "There was some pretty nasty stuff that wasn't in my department, though. Mortlake was taken away for questioning about some extremely old ferrets, but that's the Committee on Experimental Charms, thank Merlin. . ."

"Why would someone bother making door keys shrink?" asked George

"Just muggle baiting," sighed Mr. Weasley. "Sell them a key that keeps shrinking to nothing so they can never find it when they need it. . . Of course, it's very hard to convict anyone because no Muggle would admit their key keeps shrinking – they'll insist they just keep losing it. Bless them, they'll go to any lengths to ignore magic, even if it's staring them in the face. . . But the things our lot have taken into enchanting, you wouldn't believe –"

"LIKE CARS, FOR INSTANCE?"

"W-what do you mean c-cars, Molly, dear?"

"WHY DON'T YOU ASK HARRY HOW HE GOT HERE?"

"Harry? Harry who?" At this Harry raised his hand and Mr. Weasley took a good look at him.

"Oh, sorry, sir. I'm Harry, sir, Harry Potter."

"Good Lord," came Mr. Weasley's reply, "are you really?" At this Harry nodded his head. "Well, Ron's told us all about you of course! When did he get here?"

"The morning," came the matriarch's reply, "Your sons flew that enchanted car of yours to Surry and back last night!"

"I was with them too!" came Ginny's response, eager to be included in things. "I saved Harry from falling out of the car!"

"Did you really? How'd it go? Did it fly alright?" At this Mrs. Weasley wacked her husband upside the head with a wooden spoon. "I mean, that was very wrong indeed boys, very wrong of you." At this most of the table was snickering to themselves, but Ron looked accused.

"But Ginny was with us too!"

"Oh yes she was wasn't she. Well, Ginny, good job on saving Harry, good job indeed." Ron looked like he was about to explode, but Harry put an arm on his soldier, which calmed him down immediately, knowing harry was still with him. "Now, Harry, you must know all about Muggles. Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?"

"Oh, um. . ." but Harry would not have a chance to finish his sentence, as a very old brown owl came crashing into the kitchen window.

"Oh that'd be Errol." Said Mrs. Weasley, "Go get him, will you Percy?"

Percy stood up and went over to the window where Errol had crashed. He stuck his head outside and reached down to pick up the bird off the ground. "Oh look, it's our Hogwarts letters! They sent us Harry's as well."

"Dumbledore must know you're here, Harry. Doesn't miss a trick that man."

'Except that he let a mass murderer teach at the school, almost killing you.' Ginny said to Harry.

'You don't like Dumbledore?!' Harry asked astounded, 'After all he's done?'

'You mean like leaving you with relatives you hate you and beat you, and letting Voldemort into the castle, and sending you into the forbidden forest on your own? What he did in the past was great, yes, but what he's doing now isn't so great.'

Harry didn't have a response to this, but it definitely gave him a lot to think about.

"This lot won't come cheap, mum," George said, "Spell books alone are very expensive. . ."

"We'll manage." Came Mrs. Weasley's less than confident response.

Just then an idea came to Harry. "Mrs. Weasley, I would like to thank you by letting me say here for the rest of the summer. . ."

"Oh think nothing of it Harry, dear. You're always welcome here."

"Yes, well thank you, but I would also like to thank Ginny personally for saving my life, so I would like to buy her stuff for her." At Mrs. Weasley's objecting look he quickly continued, "I have more than enough money just sitting in my account, and I'd rather spend it on my friends rather than just letting it sit there. You guys have been so great to me and I just want to be able to thank you guys as best as I can."

'Harry NO!' was Ginny's mental response.

"Harry, dear, that is so kind of you but I really think that we should –"

"Accept your most gracious offer!" finished Mr. Weasley from the other room.

Many reactions went off. Ron looked furious. Fred and George looked amused. Percy didn't care. Mrs. Weasley looked speechless but defeated, and turned around in a huff, not noticing Fred and George putting their wands away, and not realizing that Mr. Weasley was asleep upstairs.

"Well," continued Mrs. Weasley, "here's only one place where we can get all this. Diagon Ally."

The whole family stood up and started to walk towards the living room, and Harry, not knowing what to do, stood up and followed suit.

They all walked towards the fire place, where Mrs. Weasley picked up a cup with some kind of powder in it.

'Floo powder,' came Ginny's answer to his unsaid question, 'It lets you ravel from one place to another through the fire place.'

'Is it safe?'

'Of course it's safe! Do you think my mum would let us do something dangerous? Of course not! We'd have to go behind her back or something.'

"Alright. Harry, dear, you first."

"Mum," interjected Ron, Harry's never traveled by floo before. Maybe he should go with someone else?"

"But Ron, two people can't go at the same time. They'd be too big."

"But if he went with someone smaller like me…"

"No, no, no, Ron you're too big . . . Ginny! You're smaller! Why don't you go with Harry?"

"Ok mum!" Ginny replied happily, grabbing Harry's hand and dragging him into the fireplace. Ginny took some floo powder, and before Ron could object she threw the powder down on the ground shouting, "Diagon Ally!"

Harry felt as though he were being sucked down a giant drain. He seemed to be spinning very fast – the roaring in his ears was deafening – he tried to keep his eyes open but the whirl of green flames made him feel sick – something knocked hard into his elbow and he grabbed on to Ginny tighter – now it felt as though cold hands were slapping at his face – squinting through his glasses he saw a blurred stream of fireplaces and snatched glimpses of the rooms beyond – his bacon sandwiches were churning inside him – he closed his eyes again wishing it would stop, and then – he fell, face forward, right on top of Ginny so they were nose to nose. They then heard two successive whooshes and heard the familiar voices behind them.

"Well, well, well. . ."

". . . What do we have here?"

"Did you two lovebirds slip a little?"

"Or did you just lose yourself in one another?"

Fred and George. Of course they had to follow them.

Just then two strong hands grabbed Harry by his shirt and lifted him up. Looking around he realized he was in the upstairs section of Flourish and Blotts. Turning around he saw Fred and George standing there, smirks on their faces. "As much as we would love for the two of you to get to know each other better…"

"We think mum should be here soon, and her seeing you like that would be bad for us."

"Yeah, she would yell at us for not looking after you properly, and for letting you get into this situation."

"And right in front of the whole store? Gosh what would that do to our reputation?"

"Best not to think about it, Forgie."

"Right you are Gred."

Just at that moment Mr. Weasley came out the floo, followed by Percy, Ron, and the finally Mrs. Weasley. "Oh Harry! Ginny! Thank goodness you're alright! Now, quickly, quickly, it's about to start."

Before Harry could question what was going on, he found himself being pulled once again by Ginny down the stairs and to the back of the store. There, a display of books about one man was set up, and that wizard was coming out from the back now. He was a tall man with blond hair and blue eyes that matched his robes. His name was Gilderoy Lockhart.

A short, irritable-looking man was dancing around taking photographs with a large black camera that emitted puffs of purple smoke with every blinding flash. "Out of the way, there," he snarled at Ron, moving back to get a better shot. "This is for the Daily Prophet –"

"Big deal," said Ron, rubbing his foot where the photographer had stepped on it.

Gilderoy Lockhart heard him. He looked up. He saw Ron – and then he saw Harry. He stared. Then he leapt to his feet and positively shouted, "It can't be Harry Potter?"

The crowd parted, whispering excitedly; Lockhart dived forward, seized Harry's arm, and pulled him to the front. The crowd burst into applause. Harry's face burned like mad as Lockhart shook his hand for the photographer, who was clicking away madly, wafting thick smoke over the Weasleys. "Nice big smile, Harry," Lockhart said through his own gleaming teeth. "Together, you and I are worth the front page."

When he finally let go of Harry's hand, Harry could hardly feel his fingers. He tried to slide back over to the Weasleys, but Lockhart threw an arm around his shoulders and clamped him tightly to his side.

'Having fun up there?' came Ginny's mental voice.

'Oh shut it you. You'd love this right now if you were in my position, wouldn't you?'

'Oh Merlin no. hat mans a fraud through and through. However I do have my eyes set on the other young man up there.' And with that Ginny gave him a wink from the crowd, causing Harry to blush furiously.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Lockhart said loudly, waving for quiet. "What an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I've been sitting on for some time!" Harry saw Hermione slip in next to Ron, who brightened up immediately after recognizing her. "When young Harry here stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, he only wanted to by my autobiography – which I shall be happy to present him now, free of charge –" The crowd applauded again, Hermione and Mrs. Weasley the most excessively. "He had no idea," Lockhart continued, giving Harry a little shake that made his glasses slip to the end of his nose, "that he would shortly be getting much, much more than my book, Magical Me. He and his schoolmates will, in fact, be getting the real magical me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September, I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

The crowd cheered and clapped and Harry found himself being presented with the complete collection of Gilderoy Lockhart. Staggering slightly under their weight, he managed to make his way out of the lime-light to the edge of the room, where Ginny was now standing next to her new cauldron. "You have these, I'll buy my own."

Just as they were making their way to the back, Harry heard a voice that he had no trouble recognizing. "Bet you loved that, didn't you, Potter?" Draco Malfoy's usual drawl came from the staircase. "Famous Harry Potter, can't even go into a bookshop without making the front page."

"Leave him alone, he didn't want all that!" Ginny growled at Malfoy.

"Oh look Potter, you've got yourself a girlfriend!"

"Better than anything you could pay for." Harry retorted at him. At this Malfoy's face went from German pale to Weasley red.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't the Weasleys." It was Mr. Malfoy. He came up behind Draco and put his hand on his son's shoulder, sneering in just the same way.

"Lucius," said Mr. Weasley, coming up behind his own children.

"Busy time at the ministry, I hear," Continued Mr. Malfoy. "All those raids . . . I hope they're paying you overtime?" He reached into Ginny's cauldron and extracted, from amid all the brand new Lockhart books, a very old, very battered copy of A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration. "Obviously not," Mr. Malfoy said. "Dear me, what's the use of being a disgrace to the name of a wizard if they don't even pay you well for it? Hmm, shame." And with that he put Ginny's book back into her cauldron. "I'll see you at work." And he left the shop

"I'll see you at school, Potter." Sneered Malfoy as he stormed out of the book shop.