A/N: I think the first chapter came off as a bit serious. Harry is still young, albeit matured through his contact with various old things. Enjoy.
Chapter 2: Diagonally
We sit in the hospital café with a tuna sandwich each.
"Peter was a dear friend of your parents." Dumbledore says, somewhat sadly. "Your parents were forced to go into hiding when Lord Voldemort began to gain more power. I assisted James and Lily in creating a protection over their property called a Fidelius charm. Some of the ingredients needed to perform to ritual were not easy to come by, even more so in a time of war, so I was able to procure them." He explains. "The Fidelius charm hides wherever it is cast upon, only those who know the 'secret' are able to find and gain access to the property."
"The secret?" I ask, taking another bite.
"Think of it as a password, without it you cannot even comprehend the location. The plan was that only the Potters and their 'Secret keeper' were to know the secret, the secret keeper being the only one able to pass on said secret."
"Sounds … secretive." I say, he smiles a little.
"Indeed." He nods. "Your parents entrusted the secret with a man named Sirius Black, to all the world it seemed for years that James and Sirius were inseparable. At the end of the war, Sirius was to simply visit James and Lily to tell them it was safe to come out of hiding."
"So what happened?" I ask.
"They placed their trust in the wrong person." He says gravely. "Sirius passed on the secret the Lord Voldemort, who stormed the village of Godric's Hollow and cut down James and Lily before he was destroyed by you."
"Destroyed?" I frown.
"Some, including myself, Do not believe that he is truly gone." He watches me as I steeple my finger, placing the tips against my lips.
"And Sirius Black? What became of him?"
"After Lord Voldemort was defeated, Sirius was reported to have been found Peter Pettigrew, who was attempting to detain him, but sadly Sirius killed Peter, along with 12 muggles."
"Non-magicals humans, as you called them. Sirius was sent to Azkaban. The foulest place of Earth, the wardens are called Dementors. Something to look up in future." He says. "Peter was posthumously awarded an Order of Merlin, First Class. A medal of bravery." He supplies.
"And if I were to tell you that Sirius Black was not my parents secret keeper? What then?" I ask. Dumbledore stares at me.
"The wands." He says, withdrawing the couple. I take My Mother's wand from his hand.
"A big spell that stands out, is your Fidelius charm." I explain, running my fingers across the smooth wood. "The Keeper's name is part of the incantation, correct?"
"Peter Pettigrew was the keeper." I say quietly. "Somebody vomited on this table yesterday too."
"Are you absolutely sure?" He stresses. I nod.
Dumbledore draws out another wand, his own by the looks of it. He holds the tip to his temple and slowly draws out a wisp of silvery strands, depositing it in a small glass phial.
"That was weird." I comment.
"I have much thinking to do, perhaps a trip to Diagon Alley?" He offers with a smile.
"I thought you'd never ask." I grin.
"It's a stupid name for a pub." I say after being assaulted by grubby hands.. I thought Dumbledore was exaggerating. "And it smells funny." Nothing to dampen my mood like people scrambling to put their dirty mitts on me. "Somebody trod on my foot too." Dumbledore chuckles as we arrive at a brick wall.
"I did offer you shoes, but it was you that insisted on being bare foot." He reminds me.
"Do people still shake your hand wherever you go?"
"That depends on the company." He taps the bricks in a practised order causing them to fold into themselves, creating a rough archway. Marvellous to behold.
"At least it doesn't smell." I say, determined not to look too excited. He laughs and starts to walk.
I crane my neck and spin as we walk. People of all shapes, sizes, and colours darting between the shops and trying to get their voice heard above the others. Several owls perched upon the same lamppost. A man with two peg legs and a parrot on his shoulder. The cobblestones tell another story. Centuries of daily visitors walking around, yet they haven't worn at all. A handy thing this magic.
"I believe a trip to the bank is in order, nothing is for free after all." Dumbledore says, he still seems distracted.
"So the money, you obviously don't use pounds." I prompt.
"Ah. There are Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts. 29 Knuts to a sickle and 17 Sickles to the galleon." He says, handing me a small golden key. "This is the key to your vaults. The Goblins of Gringotts are tricky to understand to most. They are fiercely noble to the bank and are a proud race. Many spend their entire lives studying the Goblins with hopes of understanding them better."
"That makes them sound like animals." I frown.
"And that is the hurdle that many will never jump. A simple conversation would save them years of research. You would do well to not insult them. Speak clearly and loudly."
"This key is the exact same age as me, right down to the second." I tell him as we cross the threshold of the bank. "Can't be a coincidence." I look up and have to stop myself from staring at the Goblins. They look like how I'd imagine Dumbledore's knee would look if it were green.
"They were once a warrior race, now they focus on banking." Dumbledore says casually. "Good morning." He greets the Goblin at the desk. "Young Harry here would like to visit his vault."
"And does 'Young Harry' have his key?" The Goblin asks in a gruff, mocking voice. I hold my key up, barely reaching the desk. Curse these tiny legs. He snatches it from me and scrutinizes it intensely. I look down and brush my foot on the metal tile at my feet. Many frustrated wizards have stood here, waiting. "Everything seems to be in order." He says reluctantly. "Griphook!" A younger looking Goblin rushes over. "Vault 687." He then says something that might register as another language if it didn't sound like sandpaper against another piece of sandpaper.
"This way." 'Griphook' says. We follow him to a rickety looking cart attached to an equally frail looking track. I sit down and feel the fear imprinted onto the cart.
"What-" I get cut off as the cart lurches forward. I can't help but scream a bit. That explain the fear. Dumbledore seems to be enjoying himself. We stop just as suddenly as we started, I climb dizzily onto the walkway.
"Key." He holds out his hand, I put the key in this hand, taking care not to touch him. He opens the large door.
"Cor." I say, staring at the money. "What am I looking at? What's the exchange rate to pounds?" I ask Griphook.
"I would have to consult my superiors for an accurate exchange rate." He says, not so helpfully.
"Just a rough figure, I won't hold Gringotts to it." I say.
"Approximately five British Pounds to the Galleon." He says. I look back at the vault.
We surface a while later. I'm now the proud owner of my first wizard pouch, although Dumbledore insists on calling it a coin purse, I know a wizard pouch when I see one.
"Can I get my own wand now?" I ask the elderly man. "Will it be second hand? I don't really like the idea of that."
"Very rarely will a wand choose another witch or wizard. Yours will no doubt be brand new." He says. "But first we must get your uniform and other supplies." I look down at my list.
"Cauldrons?" I ask in disbelief. It's like the whole community is from a bad T.V show.
"Professor!" I look up, I've followed Dumbledore into a shop without realising. The woman looks over his robes. "You've not burnt another hole anywhere have you?" She steps around him.
"Not today my dear." He smiles and looks over at me.
"Another one for Hogwarts?" She asks, Dumbledore nods. "I don't think I've ever seen you escort one yourself." She says.
"I've made an exception for Mr. Potter." He says, patting my shoulder.
"Harry Potter?" She looks down at me for a while. "So much like your Father." She shakes her head slightly. "Arms up." She says sharply. I daren't disobey now that she's in what appears to be 'measuring-mode'.
The tape measure has been used 30 times today already and hundreds of times since it was made 17 years ago.
"13 galleons for the set, Where should I send them to?" She asks, looking between Dumbledore and I.
"4 Privet Drive in Surrey." Dumbledore tells her.
"...vet drive." She writes. "There we go." I fish out 13 gold coins for her. We exit the shop. There is chatter about us.
"The wand choosing is a somewhat ceremonious occasion." Dumbledore tells me. "Best experienced by ones self." He points out the wand shop. "I do like to visit old students from time to time, I shall collect your other items." I quickly make way to the wand shop. The bell tinkles faintly as I push the door open to the empty shop.
The excitement and wonder from the countless numbers that have come here for their wands are heavily imprinted onto the hard wood floors. The whole shop seems to be whispering with hidden magic.
"Ah, Mr. Potter. I thought I'd be seeing you soon." An old man slides into view from behind a stack of long boxes.
"Err ... right." I say, barely holding in my excitement.
"I see that Albus was with you outside. A very tricky customer." He nods slowly. "Tricky indeed." He produces a wand from nowhere and holds it out to me.
As my fingers close around the wood, it rapidly heats up, I throw it back to him with a yelp.
"No, no. Not even close." He scratches his beard and vanishes again. He reappears with a new wand. "9 and a half inches, yew and a single hair from a unicorn's tail."
A very old wand, nearing 70 years and passing through hundreds of hands, but never quite finding it's match. It seems disappointed to have failed again.
"I think I've upset it." I say, handing him back the wand.
"Quite." He regards me curiously.
Six wands and a smashed vase later, he comes back with a dusty box. "Perhaps this one. 11 inches, holly and phoenix feather."
Just like my key, the wand is the same age as me, right down to the second. The tree was 47 years old when he cut from it. The phoenixes feather is a similar age to the tree, very vague somehow, I couldn't place it's exact age. Rather than talk, this wand sings to me.
"There it is." Ollivander smiles. "A perfect fit, curious. Very curious."
"The feather. It belongs to-"
"Albus Dumbledore's familiar." He nods with piercing eyes. "He gave two feathers, just two. The wand in which the other resides, it's brother in some respects, was the weapon that gave you that scar." He points to my forehead and fixes his eyes on my 'trademark'. Wonderful.