The Nosy Tailor
Disclaimer: I do not own anything recognizable to the Harry potter stories. Some may come from the books, and same from the movies. None of that is owned by me. Nor did I create any of it. The only originality that is mine is the character Alexia Collingwood, her own background and her family.
A/N: Edit done on 7-24-15 changing Occultist to Oculist
Alexia hurried to put her shoulder length brunette hair in a braid that hid the red and blonde highlights upon seeing a blonde aristocratic woman she recognized as Lady Malfoy enter the store. She remembered, quite clearly, the dressing down the woman had forced Madam Malkin into giving her when she walked into work with it last week. She walked towards the front of the shop, easily weaving between the racks of wizard wear until she stopped a few feet in front of Lady Malfoy and a blonde boy who must be her son. She smiled pleasantly, bowing her head slightly in respect for Lady Malfoy and ignoring the boy.
"Welcome to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions Lady Malfoy. How may I help you?" She asked, doing her best not to fidget where she stood and badly tempted to run her hands smoothingly down the sides of the midnight blue over robe she was wearing. The temptations grew even greater as she saw Lady Malfoy sneering as she looked her up and down, taking in the black slacks and black leather loafers that were visible beneath her robe.
"My son, Draco, is heading to Hogwarts. He needs the full uniform." She explained stiffly before pushing lightly on his shoulder, causing him to take a step forward. As Alexia looked towards Draco, Lady Malfoy turned and walked back out of the door without another word.
"Follow me then please, young sir." She stated before turning and leading the way to the fitting station and waving him towards one of three standing stools in front of a mirror. Draco followed silently and quickly hopped up, standing tall and attempting to sneer as his mother had. Alexia smiled slightly in amusement at this before grabbing a robe from the nearby rack, filled with Hogwarts robes. She then pulled it gently over his head, grabbed the seamstress kit hidden beneath the stool and began to do up the hem, making sure it's the correct length for him.
"Aren't you too young to work here?" Draco finally demanded, though it was funnier than the intimidation he was going for in his young voice. Alexia made sure to continue looking down at what she was doing so he wouldn't see her smiling.
"I am still getting my education, if that is what you mean Young Sir." She admitted when she was certain she wouldn't show any of her amusement in her tone. "I am homeschooled, as have my ancestors before me. One way that my family has taught their children magic is by teaching them the practical applications of magic through part time jobs once they turn thirteen." She explained. "This year, Madam Malkin was kind enough to take me on and allow me to work on practical applications of charms, runes and art that one gets when working in a Wizarding clothing store."
Alexia then stood and began working on the length of the arms, only peripherally noticing the black haired boy taking the stool beside Draco. That is until Draco turned and addressed him.
"Hullo." He seemed to drawl. "Hogwarts too?" And it took all of Alexia's self control not to snort. She looked up and smiled encouragingly at the other young man when she heard his hesitance and uncertainty in the quiet "Yes" that he gave. He returned her smile nervously as they listened to Draco, "My father's next door buying my books and mother's up the street looking at wands," said the boy. He continued, not seeming to notice or care about the boys obvious nervousness and confusion. "Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don't see why first-years can't have their own. I think I'll bully father into getting me one and I'll smuggle it in somehow." Alexia noticed the boy didn't seem to like the way he was talking. "Have you got your own broom?" Draco went on. "No," was the boys own reply, and he didn't seem much interested in the conversation any more. "Play Quidditch at all?" No," He said again, clear confusion in his voice and on his face as he turned to Alexia, frowning. "I do – Father says it's a crime if I'm not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree. Know what house you'll be in yet?"
Alexia couldn't help it, she snorted in amusement before the boy could answer with what she was certain would be another 'No'. Draco turned to her, attempting to glare and sneer and just looking constipated. "What are you laughing at?" He demanded in as haughty a tone as he could manage.
"You, young sir. The young man is in muggle clothing, looking at things we consider normal in this store with amazement and with every question you ask, he answers no with obvious confusion. He is either muggle-born or muggle-raised and you are just making yourself look like a self centered braggart. Your mother may not approve of me, but I doubt she would not listen when I inform her of how you are speaking and acting. It is unbecoming of an heir to the Malfoy home to behave the way you are." She explained, standing straight and tall, and looking at him with disappointment. "When speaking with someone, you have to pay attention to what they say and how they say it so you can understand what they are thinking and how interested in the conversation they are. Otherwise, you might as well be talking to a wall." She offered. Her tone of voice was stern, yet soft. She and the two boys looked to the window of the store before he could reply to spot a large man on the other side, holding up two ice cream cones to indicate he can't come in.
"Who is that?" Draco sneered. "That's Hagrid, he's the Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts and is taking me around the alley." Harry explained, his happiness at knowing something clear. Draco was opening his mouth to make what appeared to be a rude comment and Alexia cut in. "That's nice of him. I've heard a few things about him over the years and have even talked to him myself occasionally. He really knows his animals." She explained, turning back to the boys and continuing her work on Draco's robes. "You need to be cautious though, Hagrid is a great person, but his also a simple one. He didn't manage to complete his education for some reason, and because of that he doesn't understand the ins and outs of the Wizarding world and politics as he should. Added to the fact he stands out so much in the muggle world he won't know all that you need to know. If Madam Malkin is willing, I'll join you two after I finish with Draco here. The last and most important thing both of you need to be cautious of is that because of his larger and stronger body, even as a young child about your age, he has a harder time differentiating between what dangerous animals you can and cannot handle. So you need to use your judgment, if you think he wants to introduce you to an animal or asks you for help for something you are uncertain you should or could handle, I want you to go immediately to Professors Snape, Kettleburn or Flitwick. No matter the time or reason he is asking you, they will know whether it is something you can actually handle or not." She explained. She looked each boy in the eyes for a minute to show how serious she was at the end.
The black haired boy looked ready to protest when she first stated Hagrid was simple, until he heard her reasoning. Remembering how he acted in the muggle world on the way to Diagon Ally, he nodded in understanding and smiled in appreciation both at her offer and Madam Malkin nodding her head in approval to Alexia coming with them. Both boys nodded seriously at her warning and committed the names of the professors to memory as Madam Malkin and her finished the last of the uniforms. They packed up the uniforms as both boys walked to the counter. The young boy paid for his own but waited as Lady Malfoy walked in and to the counter to pay for Draco's.
"I'll explain what occurred to Lady Malfoy dear, you go on and help this lad out." Madam Malkin said before Alexia could even open her mouth. She nodded gratefully before grabbing the boy's package of uniforms and walking outside with him.
Hagrid looked confused as he handed one of the ice cream cones over. "Hullo Alex, I see you met young Harry here. Ever'thin alrigh'?" He asked worriedly.
Alexia nodded and smiled up at Hagrid while ruffling Harry's black hair, choosing to ignore for now his flinch and tensing. "Young Harry here is a muggle-raised wizard yes?" She asked, quickly and easily putting two and two together to realize he was Harry Potter, aka The Boy Who Lived. Hagrid nodded as he watched on in confusion as Alexia unbuttoned the over robe to show off her black trousers and black cotton shirt before shoving her thumbs in the corners of her trouser pockets. "No offense Hagrid, but you don't know the muggle world, and Harry doesn't know the wizard world. He needs to be treated as a muggle-born, which you can't properly do alone without the proper knowledge." She pointed out, smiling kindly to take any sting out of her words. Hagrid thought for a few seconds before nodding, looking ashamed. "I reckon yer righ' abou' tha'. I can' believe I didna' think o' it meself. I'm sorry Harry." He stated sadly, looking down at Harry. Harry just smiled at him over his ice cream cone.
"That's alright Hagrid. It's not your fault." Harry consoled. "Remember what you said last night? That Dumbledore had warned you that you might have to explain some things but that you never realized you'd have to explain everything." He explained.
Hagrid smiled and nodded. "Tha's right." He agreed happily. Alexia just frowned at the two of them for a second before shaking her head.
"So, what all have you gotten so we know what all you need?" She asked. Harry turned to her, taking the final bite of his ice cream cone and Alexia automatically pulled a cream colored handkerchief out of her pocket, nodding to Lady Malfoy and Draco as the passed on their way out of the shop. She then squatted down, grabbed Harry's chin lightly and wiped the ice cream from his face. She then smiled at him as she stood, shook her handkerchief in front of Harry to let him watch as the enchantments on it caused the ice cream to disappear off it. Harry looked at it wide eyed before Alexia put it back in her pocket.
"He jus' got his robes an' tha' be all so far Alex." Hagrid explained, chuckling at Harry's reaction. Alexia nodded and headed down the alley, Hagrid and Harry automatically following her into the trunk store. She waved at the elderly gentleman who was behind the counter before walking past the pile of steamer trunks labels Hogwarts Student trunk and instead to the left back corner. These trunks were made of what looked like leather rather than the wood of the student trunks and had multiple locks on them.
"Now, I believe it best we get a trunk that can hold enchantments to avoid any muggle friends from accidentally discovering your magical things in curiosity as kids are won't to do." She explained, looking down at Harry as she did so. "I don't have to worry about friends, but it would be nice if my cousin Dudley can't get into it and destroy anything." Harry responded quietly, frowning down at his ill fitted and falling apart trainers.
Alexia nodded to him before looking over the trunks. "Well, added to that, we also have to take into account your celebrity status Mr. Potter. I don't know if it will happen this year, but there is a good chance you will have trouble as you get older with people wanting things that belonged to a famous person and therefore stealing from you." She explained, smiling sadly as Harry looked up at her in horror, recalling instantly how muggles are with their celebrities. It somehow hadn't hit him properly when he was practically mugged in the Leaky Cauldron as everyone wanted to shake his hand and welcome him back to the Wizarding world. He shivered as he could easily picture what she was hinting at and nodded decisively before turning to the trunks.
"What would you suggest?" He asked, looking to her uncertainly as Hagrid walked over to talk with the proprietor, knowing he could trust Alexia. She looked down at him, frowning and then back at the options. "Well, I'm afraid we should avoid the Slytherin house colors of green and silver as that house has a dark reputation and everyone expects you to be the epitome of all things light. I fear they have quite a lot of preconceived notions of you and if you fail to meet them, the public will not be happy. I don't want you to pretend to be someone you are not, but we must be careful on slowly showing them how wrong or right their notions are.' She explained. Harry looked up at her in horror, once more his mind supplying him with memories of how his Aunt Petunia reacted when one of the celebrities did something she didn't think they should do. Alexia continue perusing the different trunks until she walked forward and pulled down a metallic silver colored trunk with a humpback top and four deep red locks, one on each of the four sides of the trunk.
"While it's silver, it is completely silver, where as the house colors of Slytherin are mostly green with silver lining and should therefore be fine. This is from a Ukrainian Ironbelly Dragon. It's automatically highly flame resistant because of that, added to the fact The Ironbelly has scales and skin more reminiscent of steel, it will be much harder to destroy by force. Four compartmental trunks typically come with a regular trunk compartment that is only slightly enlarged on the inside, a secondary compartment with a retractable desk top to hold your parchment, ink, quills and paperwork. The third compartment will be a retractable set of drawers to contain your footwear, clothing, robes and cloaks, and ties. The final compartment is like a muggle rotating address book, except it is book shelves rather than to store sheets of paper for addresses. Finally, the humpback has a similar rotary container for inside of it, a differing set for each of the four compartments. I would suggest using the general compartment to store small and/or breakable items, the desk compartment to contain filled potions vials, the clothing compartment is typically used to carry jewelry, cufflinks and I would suggest spare muggle and Wizarding cash. The final compartment, for the library, is actually a filing system for folders and/or binders that I would suggest you use to keep your assignments organized by class and year. Now, the card attached to the top here explains the different enchantments carved via runes that were placed on it. There are anti-theft, a weight enhancer to ensure that no matter how full it is the trunk will always weight exactly 1 clove or 7 pounds. There is a modified muggle repellant which means that all muggles who see it will think nothing on it and will ignore it. Lastly is water repellant to ensure it is not damaged by water in the rain. It's a bit on the expensive side, but well worth it. Add that to the fact everybody from the Wizarding world knows that today is your birthday I will pay half as your birthday present from my family and I." She offered, giving Harry a look that stated it was non-negotiable when he appeared ready to protest at the last bit. Harry just nodded and smiled gratefully to her as she brought the trunk to the counter.
"That will be 60 Galleons." The proprietor informed them. Alexia pulled out a slim black cloth pouch with a gold G etched onto it, which she reached into and focused on the number 30 before pulling out handful and handful of galleons until they counted 30. Harry shuffled nervously and began to hand out his own from the plain brown bag Hagrid had given him earlier. The proprietor handed him a silver ring with four dark red keys that matched the locks on the trunk. Harry placed the ring into his pocket as well as his money pouch. Alexia frowned at the pouch, shaking her head before sighing and turning to the trunk. She gripped the lid on the back before lifting up the lid to reveal a set of 3 deep red drawers.
"There are a total of ten, which you keep pulling up and up until you get all out if you wish." She explained as she pulled the robes he had purchased out of the brown packaging they were wrapped in and set them into the top drawer before closing it once more. "You can organize the clothes however you wish later." She stated, standing and grabbing the left side handle before lifting it and heading for the exit. "Hagrid, Harry will be needing a proper coin bag from his vault so we have to return to Gringotts. Would you mind getting his telescope, double the amount f potions supplies required and we'll meet you at the book shop afterwards?" She asked. Hagrid nodded, looking sheepish that he'd messed up again and left after Harry handed him the coin bag from his pocket to pay.
Alexia shook her head once more, "A child should never have to pay for their own school supplies, even if they can afford it themselves. I will be buying your wardrobe from here on out, no argument as you will be looked down upon for what you currently are wearing and I will be damned before my new adoptive brother goes around in such clothing." She stated, smirking at Harry's look of awe when she declared him her adoptive brother. "You need someone to look after you kid, and as my family has been Neutral for generations and I am a home schooled half-blood living in a mixed wizard-muggle village, I figure I'd be the best to look out for what you need rather than what the politicians and purebloods of both the light and dark factions think. If you do not like something I say or do, tell me and we will discuss and negotiate. If you do not understand something, ask and I will explain." She stated decisively as they walked up the steps to the bank, nodding her head respectively towards the goblins as they bowed her and Harry inside. Harry followed her lead and nodded his head before scampering after her, looking up confusedly.
"The goblins take care of our money, you never want to anger someone in charge of your money or they could very easily screw you over legally without you having a clue about it." She explained, stepping forward to an unoccupied teller. The goblin smirked, hearing what she stated and nodded his head in response to her own nod of respect. "This is Harry potter, he is muggle-raised and somehow had absolutely no idea of the Wizarding world. Considering his status as a celebrity, I suspect foul play. Whether for protection or manipulation, I do not know. While a goblin fetches a coin bag directly attached to Mr. Potter's vault for us to purchase, I would like another to fetch a list of all bank statements and other letters or information he should have received since the deaths of his parents. Additionally, I would like to hire one of your curse breakers currently on staff to come and examine him to determine if the problem is magic cast upon him personally. Lastly, I will pay the fee and take the oath of silence for the recipe of the Meae Familiae Arbor potion." She stated.
The goblin nodded and started barking out orders in the guttural language of Gobbledegook. He was frowning and it was very obvious he was not pleased when she informed him Harry would need all past correspondence as he realized she was stating he never received them. A tall red headed boy, his skin tanned, face covered in freckles, hair pulled in a short ponytail, and a fang dangling from his ear approached, a frown on his face as he looked between the three.
"I'm Curse breaker Weasley, I'll be the one doing the exam, please follow me to a side room." He explained before turning and heading down a side corridor for a few feet before entering a wooden door to the left. It was a conference room with a long table that seats 10. There, h placed a contract that Alexis walked forward and read through before sighing. She then turned to Harry, who was looking nervously between the two.
"Harry, as I stated before, you are a celebrity. People have been sending you fan mail for years. The fact you haven't received any of that, nor knew to ask for the coin pouch indicated you have not been getting the mail like you should have. Dumbledore is said to have placed you with your family, and he very well could have done something so you weren't bothered by mail all through your life and the dangers of someone who sees you as an enemy sending you something harmful. It could very well be a good intention that just went overboard. Wizards are well known for not thinking things logically as magic defies most all logic." She explained quietly, once more having squatted in front of him so that she was at his level. Harry nodded, frowning as he thought on what she said before turning to Curse breaker Weasley. Weasley smiled encouragingly and then pulled his wand from a wrist holster and began casting silently, frowning at results only he could see and casting more.
This went on for about ten minutes, in which time a goblin came in and handed Alexis a coin pouch similar to her own a stack of bound parchment and a scroll. She nodded to the goblin before it exited, put the coin pouch on the table, the scroll into her robe pocket and the stack of parchment into the trunk's desk drawer. She turned to Weasley when he sat down, sighing explosively as he did so.
"We need to meet with Hagrid, he's probably wondering what's taking so long. Will it be all right if we leave you to determine what your scans told you and what needs to be done about it while we finish up Harry's shopping?" She asked, nodding as Weasley waved her on as he pulled a sheet of parchment, quill and ink from the center of the table and beginning to scribble things down. Alexia gently steered Harry out of the bank by the shoulder after handing him his coin pouch, whispering to him the instructions on how to work it as she did so.
They made it to the parchment store to find Hagrid just coming up himself. She opened up the general trunk and placed the cauldrons, stirring rods, scales, telescope and two boxes of potions ingredients into it as Hagrid handed Harry back the pouch.
"This trip is takin' longer than I 'spected it ta an' I have ta get to Dumbledore soon. Would you be ok takin' care of Harry the rest of the way?" He asked. Alexia nodded, looking at him in confusion as he held one hand behind his back before he turned to Harry and pulled forward a cage with a beautiful snowy white owl. "Happy Birthday Harry. She' ah great companion ta 'ave. Righ' useful fer carryin' yer mail and stuff. Write ta me if the muggles give ya any trouble, she'll be able ta find me." He explained, clapping Harry on his shoulder in farewell before walking off. Alexia shook her head, smiling down at Harry as he stared transfixed at his new owl.
"We'll have to make a stop at the store for more supplies as it seems he didn't think about that." She commented before pushing him into the parchment store. She allowed Harry to look around at the different inks and quills for sale as she selected multiple rolls of parchment, bound precut pieces of parchment, 12 notebooks with an image representing the 6 subjects he has to take on two each, a homework planner with the Hogwarts crest on front and a list of the code of conduct and a set of tips on surviving and maneuvering through the castle just inside. Lastly she grabbed a set of workbooks designed to teach young children to write with a quill before she headed over to join Harry at the inks.
"I will be grabbing the typical black ink for your assignments but I see no reason why you couldn't get other colors. I'd suggest perhaps a different colored ink for letter writing so that you don't accidentally use up you school ink and a different colored ink for your notes so you can tell at a glance which parchments are notes and which are essays or homework." She stated as she grabbed up a fair few bottle of black ink to add to the basket as well as two boxes of typical quills, a box of simple silver nibs and a pen knife before walking up to the counter and paying for them from her own pouch while Harry was distracted with trying to pick out his two extra inks. He finally decided on two bottled of dark purple ink for letter writing and a four bottles of dark blue for note taking. He went to the counter to pay and was surprised at how cheap the price came to until he realized Alexia had already paid. He frowned, wanting to complain that she didn't have to but held himself back as he remembered her statement that he shouldn't have to. The memory of her calling him her adoptive brother made him smile happily again as he watched her put everything away in his trunk.
As they were leaving the store, Harry looked at her curiously, "How old are you Alex?" He asked, having picked up that that was what Hagrid had called her. She smiled as she led him into Flourish and Blotts bookshop. "I turn seventeen come August. I'm afraid you won't see me at Hogwarts as I am homeschooled, so I expect loads of letters from my brother, yeah?" She answered, smiling at him. Harry smiled and nodded back happily as he followed her from shelf to shelf as she picked up one book after the next. "Do you have your book list? I don't know if any of the ones I grabbed are on it but felt they were ones you would need." She explained and Harry pulled it out and handed it to her. She read down the list and then went in search of those as well.
"I grabbed Famous Witch and Wizards of the 20th Century so you'd have an idea on who is who that you are expected to know, also so you can read up on how the British Wizarding world views you and the Dark Wanker." She began explaining, "There's an etiquette book as customs, way people speak and behave are different hear than the muggle world. For example, it is considered a great offense not to shake a hand offered to you, even if it is by someone you despise. Then there is The Tale of Beedle the Bard, a children's book similar to Muggle Fairytales that teach morals and magic, folklore and tradition without the kids even realizing they are being taught a thing. We have a book on the traditional holidays, another on the Common and Uncommon Gods and Goddesses of the world, a compendium on common potions ingredients, Quidditch Through The Ages, a compendium of all the magical plants and another on all magical creatures, beasts and beings. These are a lot of books, but they are all important to understand the five W's. The who's, what's, when's, where's, why's and even the how's on the traditions, holidays and beliefs of the Wizarding world to understand the 5 W's of potions making. I've heard from neighbors of the Potions Master Snape. He's the youngest Potions Master in a long time and a veritable genius. The typical and common problem with genii though, is that they can't understand why nobody else understands things as easily as they do and considers them all complete idiots. They either make the best teachers or the worst and I hear he is unfortunately the worst." She explained as they made their way through the shop and then to the counter, where she offered half the cost of the books and Harry quickly caught on and paid the other half. They then stood to the side as she loaded the books into his book shelf compartment. Closing it with a snap, she turned to him and suggested he lock them with his keys before they headed back to Gringotts.
Curse breaker Weasley was waiting for the two of them when they entered the bank and waved them to follow him back to the room they had been in previously. He then sat and they followed suit.
"It would seem that there is a partial block on Mr. Potter's magical core." He began seriously, looking at his notes. "I'd say, judging from the way it is blocked and no spell residue around it that it is completely subconscious and all that can b done to unblock it is find out why Mr. Potter felt the need to block his magic and have him realize it isn't the case. Secondly, there are three wards his magic are connected to; a blood based ward for protection that is very strong and I would suggest remains, an owl redirection ward we have tested and found leads to one of Gringotts large mail vaults and finally a notice-me-not ward. Both the notice-me-not and owl redirection wards are draining and unnecessary. The suggestion is the removal of the notice-me-not ward and the transference of the mail redirection to a piece of jewelry that will absorb the ambient magic around it for Mr. Potter to wear himself and modified to allow Gringotts owls and letters that Mr. Potter's magic recognizes as friend." Bill looked up at that to watch and wait as Harry thought it over. Alexia just sat back and watched, ready to answer questions if he had any. Harry nodded, "I'll agree with those suggestions."
He stated finally and Bill nodded before looking back at his notes, swallowing thickly before turning to look at Alexia, anxiousness and distress clear in his eyes. "One last thing was found, the blood ward is protecting him from it for the most part but it is also siphoning off magic from Mr. Potter." He began slowly. "We come across it often in the pyramids of Egypt, though never before in something living." He closed his eyes and took a deep fortifying breath before opening them and looking at Harry sadly. "There is a soul fragment embedded in your curse scar Mr. Potter." He stated quietly. Harry gasped and looked between the two in fear. "Mr. Potter" Weasley stated, quietly still yet with confidence and Harry turned fearfully to him. "We do not know how this came about, but as I said, we've come across this before. The goblins teach all their curse breakers how to cast the spell to transfer the soul piece to a different object as the objects they are usually in are antiques and therefore valuable and we destroy them after that. We see no reason why it shouldn't be possible with you and will actually be easier because yours does not have the protections they typically have." He explained, compassion and determination shining through his eyes. Harry nodded his head, taking a deep breath to center himself, and then a few more when that didn't work.
Alexia slid off her chair to kneel next to Harry and wrapped her arms around him in a hug. He tensed at first before sighing and relaxing into it. " I want it out. I don't want anyone else's soul in me. G…Ge…Get it out" He said quietly into her shoulder. Alexia nodded and looked over at Weasley as he stood and walked to their side of the table, placing down multiple contracts onto the table apologetically. She sighed and held Harry for a few more minutes before she squeezed him lightly, pulled away and stood up to read the different contracts.
"What are those?" Harry asked curiously, trying to get his mind off the news. "They are contracts about the different options given for the wards on your person and the soul fragment. This will make everything legal to do. I will be signing as the adult, Weasley as the one performing the services and you will need to sign agreeing that this is what you want." She explained. She signed them after she read everything, seeing Weasley had already signed where he needed to. "You never, ever sign anything without reading it three times through to ensure you understand everything." She informed him seriously as she handed them to him. He nodded as he took them but looked at her in confusion.
"How can you sign as the adult when you are only sixteen?" He asked. She smirked and her eyes showed with pride at the fact he not only caught that but that he questioned her on it. "Because I will be paying for the services. It will cost all of my summer income, I won't lie, but I feel it is well worth it. If it turns out, after we go through your bank statements, that you can afford it without cutting back on necessities than I will except partial repayment for them as I have with most of your things." Harry nodded at her explanation and then read the contracts, occasionally asking what this word or that term meant. Neither Weasley or Alexia minded the wait as he read each three times before signing his permission. The contracts were then placed in the center table to be filed later and Weasley pulled a block of dark red stone. "This is carnelian, it will be the new container of the soul fragment until it is destroyed." He explained before starting to perform spells, these ones he had the state out loud rather than silently. Alexia grabbed one of Harry's hands, rubbing her thumb in calming circles on the back as they watched a black cloud of something be pulled slowly out of Harry's scar and then pushed into the stone.
After it was finished, Weasley sat down and poured himself a goblet of water from the pitcher on the table, before doing the same for Alexia and Harry then drank deeply from his own goblet. Alexia sat down herself, then surprised Harry by grabbing him by the underarms and pulling him off his own chair and sideways onto her lap, resting his head against her shoulder. "You look tired, Harry." She offered in way of explanation. "We'll get the two wards taken care of and then floo, which is fire travel, to my parents' home. We can use the phone there to call your relatives and ask permission for you to stay the night since we still haven't gotten your everyday wardrobe or wand." She explained. Harry just nodded, closing his eyes and basking in the feeling of being cradled by her.
Weasley smiled sadly at them before getting to work to remove the notice-me-not ward. That took roughly five minutes before he pulled out a leather rope necklace from his pocket, dangling from it was a bright bluish-green stone that resembled a small skipping stone. It was tied to and wrapped in thinner, strings of the leather and had small carvings all over the back. Weasley tied it around Harry's neck, the stone sitting easily between his collar bones before he once more began to cast, transferring the owl redirection ward. When he was finished, he leaned back and drank deeply once more from his water goblet. Alexia smiled, nodded her appreciation and slowly stood, carrying Harry bridle style as he had fallen asleep. She then walked out of the room and towards the public floo room within the bank. A fellow customer, coming out of the floo, spotted her and tossed the floo powder into the fire for her, she nodded gratefully to him before stepping into the now bright green flames. " Collingwood Shanty" She stated quietly and then held tight to Harry as they began spinning quickly, stumbling as she was pushed out of the fire and onto a patio that acted as a hearth to an outdoor fireplace. They were in the backyard, a privacy stone wall surrounding the property line and a covered pathway leading from the patio to the sliding glass back door. She walked there, smiling as her father opened the door for her, merely raising an eyebrow at the boy in her arms. She walked through the simple dining room, into the sitting room where she lay Harry down gently onto the crème colored sofa. She shook him gently to wake him. "Harry, I need you relatives phone number." She whispered, smiling in amusement as Harry mumbled out the number before turning on his side, curling into a ball and going back to sleep. She walked to the telephone in the hall as he father came in with a brown wool blanket and tucked Harry in, removing his glasses to be put on the tea table in front of the sofa.
"Dursley residence, this is Petunia." Was heard after the third ring of the phone. "Hi Mrs. Dursley, my name is Alexia Collingwood. We don't know each other but I ran into and helped young Harry with his.." She began, though that's as far as she got before she was interrupted by yelling. "You…You freak! How dare you call here. The little brat took off this morning and hasn't been back. I don't care what he's done but I don't want to hear from any more freaks do you…" Petunia shouted hysterically down the line. Alexia's father grabbed the phone gently from her hand, winced as he put it to his ear and cleared his throat. "This is Constantine Collingwood, you will not refer to myself or my daughter as a freak again. I cannot stop how you refer to Harry when he is under your roof, but in my presence it will not happen. Harry is at my home at the moment as he wore himself out too much to make it back to you. He will be remaining with us for the night." He interrupted, his voice stern and determined. "Keep the little freak for the rest of the summer for all I care!" Was shouted before the line went dead.
Alexia frowned as she watched her father set the phone down and turn to her. "I expect an explanation later tonight when your mother gets home, until then I believe it is your turn to make the meal so get to it. I will watch over your new friend." Alexia nodded and hurried down the hall and into the kitchen to being cooking, using her wand and magic to prepare the ingredients but doing everything else the muggle way once it went on the stove.
Constantine walked into the living room, sighing as he took in the site of the boy on his sofa before sitting in one of the two matching arm chairs, grabbing a book from the tea table and continuing to read from where the bookmark marked his last page.
Harry stirred in his sleep, before sitting up, rubbing at his eyes sleepily and looking confusedly at the blanket that pulled at his waist. He turned around and looked at the living room he was in and the dining room beyond with two blobs moving around what looked like a table and the clinking of dishware being put down. He noticed his glasses nearby, grabbed them and put them on before looking back to the dining room to find a tall, thin man with dark brown hair and kind greenish blue eyes, a shorter woman with grayish blue eyes and curly black hair pulled into a messy bun standing next to him and both of them watching him silently. He was just beginning to fidget, trying to think of what to say when Alexia came into view carrying a big bowl of steaming something and set it at the center of the table before turning to him, smiling.
"Glad to see you up Harry, this is my mother and father. Mom, dad, as I explained earlier, this is Harry Potter. Now everybody sit down, I'm starving." She stated before taking the seat along the side of the table with her back to the window. Her father took the head of the table and her mother the foot and they all looked at Harry expectantly until he clambered off the sofa and rushed to take the last remaining seat across from Alexia. Alexia smiled gently at him and dished out a bowl of Lancashire Hotpot stew for her father, then her mother, Harry and lastly herself. Every place setting already had two slices of thick butter bread and a glass of water each. As she dished the food, she introduced everyone.
"My father Constantine, he's an herbologist, we have another property that has five greenhouses on the property rather than a house that he tends to. We get our food, herbs and potions ingredients from there and sell the rest to other families who live in town here." "My mother Alya, she's a counselor for the muggle schools nearby. She's a squib from the Black line I'm afraid, which means she comes from a magical family but has little to no magic of her own. She may not wave a wand but she makes a mean potion." "This is Harry, my beloved baby brother" She ignored her parents' silent laughter and Harry choking on the sip of water he had just taken. "He is a soon to be first year at Hogwarts, brave boy for daring to break the family tradition of homeschooling like he is." Again, she ignored the snort from her father and the fact Harry was looking at her like she'd lost her head. "He is teeny, and tiny, and all miney." She finished in a sing song voice. "And of course, we can't forget there is me, the awesome older sister who plans to stuff as much information as she can in her baby brother's head before he goes off to Hogwarts by bringing him to work with her from here on out." She finished before she began eating her dinner without another word.
Harry continued looking at her in surprise for a few more seconds before peeking over to her father and mother, whom also had gone to eating as if nothing was wrong or off about the night. He frowned for a second before shrugging his shoulders and beginning to eat his own food.
After dinner was finished, Harry was lead up the stairs by Alya, Constantine following behind with his trunk. They brought him into a guest room at the top of the stair, pointing out the bathroom next to his room at the end of the hall. Alexia walked into the room across from his, closing the door behind her so it was obviously hers. There was a second room next to hers that Alya walked in as Harry sat on the bed and Constantine placed his trunk at the foot of the queen sized bed. There had been one more room at the other side of the stairs and end of the hall, he guessed was the master bedroom. He looked up as Alya came back in holding a potions vile in her hand.
"As Alexia explained, I am Alya and ,though a squib, I make very good potions. This is a nutrient potion, you will take one at night with supper and one in the morning with breakfast while you stay here. They have a stomach soothing quality and will help you keep your food down until your body can handle it on its own. At the end of the month, I will determine if I should give you more for you to take to Hogwarts or not." She explained, handing him the vial and waiting until he drank it down. It wasn't the best tasting thing, tasted like a mix of different vegetable put together. After he drank it, she took the empty vial back hugged him and left with naught but a "Sweet dreams" tossed over her shoulder.
Constantine smile slightly at him. "I'm Constantine, and if Alexia is to be believed, your dad. I won't be trying to replace your birth father and I don't have enough pull in the ministry to pull off adopting you. But I have no problem with you staying in my home as long as you follow a few simple rules." Harry nodded, looking at him wide eyed and internally bracing himself for the rules. "One; You will eat breakfast and dinner with the family, drinking your potions along with them and drink the smoothie my wife will undoubtedly have ready for you each morning for lunch. Two; You will be in bed at a decent hour of ten o'clock every evening. For every half hour you fail to be in bed, you will have to go to bed a half hour equally early the next night. Three; You will keep your room organized and if you take anything out of its place anywhere else in the house, you will put it back before you go to bed that night. Four; You will not enter the potions lab across the hall unless another member of the family is with you to ensure there are no accidents as potions can be horridly volatile over the simplest things. And finally, five; if you are feeling unwell, uncomfortable, or wish to ask a question, you are to come to one of us three and we will do what we can to help. Can you remember to follow those five rules?" He asked, smiling brightly at Harry slow nod. "I am glad to hear it. Your punishments for breaking them will not be physical, they will be the much worse kind (at least according to your sister) of which it is the boring repetitive kind such as writing lines, an essay or researching why you should not have broken the rule." He explained.
Constantine then walked forward, bent down to kiss Harry on the brow and headed for the door. "Get some sleep, Madam Malkin should have all of your measurements from today and I have little doubt your sister will be making a fair few articles of clothing for you during her down time tomorrow." He stated, laughter clear in his voice as he closed the door behind him and headed for his own bedroom.
The next morning, Harry was woken by a knock at his door. He sat up and rubbed at his eyes tiredly with one hand while groping for his glassed with the other. "Come in." He called as he slipped his glasses on. Alexia bounced in, already dressed in a new outfit of tan trousers, white blouse and dark red over robe. "Come on sleepy head. Time to take a shower, I managed to make up some trousers and a t-shirt for you that is waiting for you in the bathroom. We have to eat breakfast, go back and get your wand and then I have to get to work. You will be coming with me and sitting at the counter reading your etiquette book. It's the same one I learned from and I still have my old questionnaires I had to answer for each chapter that you will be working on." She explained before walking out to the hall. "We have half an hour and then we have to leave, so hurry up already." She called over her shoulder before heading downstairs.
Harry shook his head bemusedly, already getting used to her. He stood and went to the bathroom, blushing when he realized in addition to the trousers and t-shirt, he had a pair of light blue pants on top of the pile. He quickly shut the door and went about cleaning up, noticing and using a toothbrush that was still in its packaging to brush his teeth before dressing and heading down. He sat at the same seat as last night, downed the potion Alya handed him before starting on the bowl of Wheetbix and toast in front of him, occasionally taking a sip of the orange juice.
After breakfast was done, Harry helped Alexia wash and dry the dishes before she grabbed her messenger bag and lead Harry back to the fire place in the back yard. She explained the floo system to him but insisted he go with her the first time. Coming out of the floo in the Leaky Cauldron, they headed for the Alley and to Olivanders'. A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. It was a tiny place, empty except for a single, spindly chair. Harry felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library; he swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him and looked instead at the thousands of narrow boxes piled neatly right up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of his neck prickled. The very dust and silence in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic.
Alexia looked around as well before whispering, "He's a bit jumpy Mr. Ollivander, please behave." Harry looked at her curiously, but she just shrugged and when he turned back, h jumped. There was an old man was standing before them, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop. "Ah, Mr. Potter, I was wondering if you would be stopping by today." He spoke, a mysterious, whispery, air to his voice. "With Alexia here, I take it that means you are a bit short on time. I refuse to be rushed, but we shall get started then." He offered, smiling a knowing smile before letting a tape measure come flying out of nowhere to measure Harry in all sorts of ways and places. "Which is you wand arm?" He asked, already perusing the aisles. "Err, well…I'm right handed." Harry answered nervously, looking questioningly at Alexia. All he got was another shrug of the shoulders as Ollivander snapped his fingers and the tape measure fell to the ground He walked back into site carrying multiple boxes of wands that he stacked onto the counter.
"Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance, Mr. Potter. We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tail feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same. And of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand." He explained in answer to Harry's questioning glance at the boxes. Try this one. Beachwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. Just take it and give it a wave." Harry took the wand and (feeling foolish) waved it around a bit, but Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once. Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches. Quite whippy. Try –"Harry tried – but he had hardly raised the wand when it, too, was snatched back by Ollivander. No, no – here, ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. Go on, go on, and try it out." Harry tried. And tried. He had no idea what Ollivander was waiting for. The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher on the spindly chair, but the more wands Ollivander pulled from the shelves, the happier he seemed to become. Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere – I wonder, now – yes, why not – unusual combination - holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple." Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls. Alexia smiled and clapped and Ollivander cried, "Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well... how curious... how very curious..."
Alexia frowned at Ollivander and rested a hand on Harry's shoulder when he opened his mouth to ask. "Mr. Ollivander, I know you like your theatrics…" She began sarcastically. "So I will indulge and ask, what exactly is so curious?"
Mr. Ollivander fixed Harry with his pale stare, Alexia gripping his shoulder a little tighter briefly to remind him of her presence, which helped his relax. "I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather – just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother – why, its brother gave you that scar." Harry swallowed, only the pressure of Alexia's hand keeping him calm. "Yes, thirteen and a half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember... I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter... After all, He Who Must Not Be Named did great things – terrible, yes, but great."Harry shivered. He wasn't sure he liked Mr. Ollivander too much. He paid seven gold Galleons for his wand and Ollivander bowed them from his shop. The early morning sun hung low in the sky as Harry and Alexia made their way back down Diagon Alley, Harry clutching his wand box tightly to his chest.
Alexia lead him into Madam Malkin's and to the stool behind the counter for his to sit. She placed both hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eye. "Now you listen to me Potter, and listen well. One; Ollivander loves his theatrics nearly as much as he does making his wands. He's a great guy, but highly eccentric. Two; a lot of wands have brothers and sisters, as a lot of the creatures donate multiple pieces for wand cores, as do multiple trees donate magical wood. Three; and this is the important one, the wand may choose the wizard, but the wad doesn't make the wizard. It is a tool wizards and witches use to access their magic just as a needle and thread are a seamstresses tools to make the clothes and a quill and ink are a writers tools to write a story. The difference in good and bad quality whether it's a wizard, an article of clothing, or a story, all depends on the person who wields the tool, not the tool itself. Do you understand?"
Harry thought for a moment about what she said, before meeting her eyes once more and nodding decisively, smiling in relief and gratitude. She nodded and smiled back before straightening, pulling the etiquette book, a folder of worksheets, one of the writing lesson packets quills and ink. "Work on your writing first, go through the whole packet and then read the etiquette book." She told him before walking off to talk with Madam Malkin, explain the situation and get to work.
And so a routine had been set. Harry would be woken in the morning, ordered to shower and find his newest outfit she made for him while he was at it. Eat breakfast after taking his potion, do the dishes, and leave to Madam Malkin's. Once there, he would read one of the books she assigned him to read and work on the essays or questionnaires she assigned him while Alexia worked. Occasionally during the day, she, madam Malkin or one of the other assistants would show him a bit of Magic. Come six in the evening, they would floo back home, eat dinner and he would get to play chess, gobstones or exploding snap with someone in the home, or simply read for enjoyments sake. The only break in routine was when he was taken to the Oculist two weeks in and given new, slimmer, silver, square glasses for his eyes that were protected against water, breakage and summoning and would autocorrect as he grew older.
When it September first came around, he was both excited and very sad. He couldn't wait to go to Hogwart's but he didn't want to leave his new family. And that is what they were, his new family. He didn't call Alexia's parents, mum or dad but he did call them Aunt and Uncle. Alexia was his big sister, rather than cousin though and he would miss her. He was surprised when the flood him to Platform 9 ¾'s. The whole family saw him onto the train, hugging him and insisting he remember to write. The thing that made him happiest though, was their demand that he tell them when the train would bring him home for Christmas so he'd be picked up on time. He didn't know it at the time, but Weasley had contacted them that he should have an inventory list of all the items and letter sent to Harry over the years from the mail vault checked over. He would only get an overview of the dangerous one's that had been forwarded to the Department of Magical law Enforcement. He didn't know, but even when he finds out, he wouldn't care, because he'd still be spending Christmas with family that cared.
A/N: Well, tell me what you think in reviews, whether you love it or hate it. But most importantly please tell me if you think I should continue. If I continue, it will mainly be letters exchanged back and forth between Harry and the family, mainly Alexia and small snippets of Summer break. Dumbledore will unfortunately stick his nose in for Harry's protection and insist he return to privet Drive so not too many changes to cannon, just little snippets here and there. Or so I'm thinking.