Thank you to Shadow Phoenix 16, aknight86, Carol542, marile15, Angel-Hime-Chan, Kari Suttle, Aiden Clearwater, Cherry Izumi (Guest), Sakura Lisel, kuroshiiroxp, domestic fanperson, animeromance1972, James Birdsong (Guest), Elfin69, Kuro Neko Kyoko, xDarklightx, MnMsRoK, Dark-Prince-of-Clowns, Juli Greenthorne, ftdm15, A happy reader (Guest), randomplotbunny, Hanii Seirios Slytherin, Silver-Knightmare, VibrantVenus, and Guests for reviewing! I love you all so much! (I also missed a lot of people, but it's been too long since my last update to keep up with all of your reviews)
I want to apologize to everyone who has been waiting for this update. I had a writer's block, which kind of descended into a depression and after that I had a shoulder infection. That's luckily all over and now I'm back to writing! Yay!
Out of all of his dealings, the ones with the Goblins of Gringotts were Harry's least favourite. Not because he was biased against their race. No, quite the opposite. He held the Goblins in high regard. The problem was that they were too good in their job. They intimidated the eleven year old Lord.
"Ready to head out, young master?" Sebastian questioned as he helped Harry in his clothes.
Today, Harry wore black flat front trousers, a light blue Gucci Embroidered cotton Duke shirt with above it with a bright blue waist coat with golden buttons and a black Chanel Silk Double-Breasted Peacoat. He finished his morning tea – an exotic blend of mango and oranges – as Sebastian tied his polished black Patent Leather Tuxedo Oxford Shoes from Salvatore Ferragamo.
"All done to be tortured at Gringotts," the pre-teen muttered as he set his cup on the bed, where Sebastian was quick to pick it up and place it instead on the silver tray on the bedside table.
The demon merely chuckled as he stepped back to let his charge stand up. At the demandingly stuck out hand of the boy, Sebastian hurried to take the walking cane from its spot next to the bedroom door and handed it over.
"Let's go, Sebastian," Harry ordered as he walked out of the door.
"Yes, My Lord," Sebastian replied amused, bowing to his master's retreating back.
. . . . .
The wizarding district in London was bigger than just Diagon Alley, though that was the street you needed to be if you wanted to shop for Hogwarts. Diagon Alley was a long, winding cobblestone street with shops on either side. The only large building in the entire street was Gringotts, which lay on the crossroads with Mystic Alley. It was a small alley, only about half a kilometre long with mostly obscure shops for divination and apothecaries. The rare magi-vet, antique shop and book store could also be found here.
Not so far from where the Leaky Cauldron was situated in Diagon lay Horizon Alley. This was mostly a residential area, which was largely filled with buildings that were three to four storeys high. About half of them had some kind of shop on the ground floor. There were a few bakeries and coffee shops, next to a few other quaint little family shops. There lay Harry's only real rival in the magical Toy manufacturing. Aunty May's Magical Toys were handmade toys made originally by an old lady named May Miller who had stayed childless. She had long since passed away, but her nephew had taken over and kept the name. The Wizarding World had several joke shops, but strangely no toy shops until Harry had reformed Funtum Co.
Horizon Alley split into Vertic Alley about halfway. Just like the former, Vertic was mainly a residential street. Only, instead of apartments, it held medium-prize terraced houses. The houses were relatively small, with either three or two storeys and only five to seven meters in width. Harry had never bothered going inside to find out if there was any kind of enlargement charm on it. All was done in in the same charming medieval style as the shops in Diagon.
Halfway through Vertic was the entrance to a small cobblestone street named Flor Alley. It was pretty much the same as Vertic Alley, but smaller and with an adorable little teashop next to a small bakery that was famous for its giggling gingerbread. Harry found them to be more disturbing than amusing, but he supposed that was due to his muggle upbringing.
At the end of Vertic Alley, it flowed into the largest and widest street in Magical London. Colloss Alley was the only street that held modern buildings in either gloomy grey bricks or concrete and up to eight storeys in a few cases. This was the business street. It held three Law Businesses, as well as the main entrance to both the Ministry of Magic and St. Mungo's. It was also where the offices of Gringotts were stationed in one of the largest buildings.
This was where Harry and Sebastian were headed today. While they could take a quick route directly into Colloss Alley through a side door, invisible to the muggle eye to the Bank of England Museum in Bartholomew Lane, Harry decided to pass through Diagon Alley to visit his own shop for a quick check-up.
As before, Oliver drove Harry and Sebastian to the Leaky Cauldron. There the man would stay for a few drinks, followed by a Sobriety Potion before driving them back home after the young Lord had finished with his business for the day.
"Let's go. We don't have any time to waste," Harry muttered to his servant as they arrived at the Leakey Cauldron.
He nodded towards the bartender in greeting as they passed by and quickly moved on to the entrance to Diagon Alley. Once there, Harry resolutely walked towards his shop with his loyal demon at his heels and entered through the front door.
The shop was not all that big, about a solid 20 metres wide and 30 metres deep. It held toys of all kinds, board games, teddy bears, beautiful handcrafted dolls, both those without magic and those who were spelled to act as if they were alive.
His patented Nanny Bears were one of his best-selling products. Large stuffed animals who were partially sentient, making them able to care for small children. They were charmed to sing five different lullabies and could read from children's books. They even had tracking charms linked to their charge so they never lost the child they were meant to care for.
The Dancing Dolls were a definite favourite amongst young girls, just like his Warrior Wizards were the popular gift to young boys. They were modelled after muggle action figures and were capable of producing colourful sparks with their tiny toy wands to emulate duelling. Other popular toys were things like Singing Snitches, Weredolls – which turned into stuffed animals under the moonlight – and Flying Locomotives.
Harry's all-time favourite by far, however was definitely the Holo-Game Console. It looked like a simple box and came with two shiny toy wands. A gamecard, similar to the cartridge of a Gameboy, had to be inserted and the game would appear as a holographic above the box. The toy wands served as controllers to allow the players to enjoy the games. So far, he had brought out six different games for his Console.
Unfortunately, it was too different to what the wizarding world was used to, so most were wary of buying it. It didn't help that the Holo-Game Console was by far the most expensive toy in his shop.
"Master Lord Potter-Black, Sir!" an excited voice called out.
The seven browsing customers looked over as the House Elf that had seconds before been manning the cash register suddenly popped in front of Harry and bowed deeply, its hooked nose brushing against the clean floor.
"Good day, Bobby," Harry greeted with a soft smile. "How is the shop doing?"
"Shop be doing perfect Master Lord Potter-Black sir!" Bobby replied happily, wringing his thin, spidery hands eagerly wringing the baby blue shirt he wore above pink and white striped pants. "We bes selling four Dancy Dollies yesterdays, and two Magic Math-sets, and a Nanny Bear! And –"
"Thank you, Bobby, but I don't need the whole summary," Harry stopped him with a chuckle. "I just need to get the report from Mocha and I'll be on my way again."
"Of course, Master Lord Potter-Black sir!" Bobby agreed, nodding his head fast enough that Harry almost worried it was going to fall off. "Mocha bes in his office now, if Master Lord Potter-Black sir wants to go there now."
"Thank you, Bobby," Harry said before walking towards the back.
At the backdoor, another House Elf was waiting for him. She wore a similar outfit as Bobby, only with a pink blouse, a pale blue Lolita skirt and pink and white striped leggings. She had a nametag on her chest, stating her name was Lizzie, and listed her occupation as Head Customer Service.
"Good morning Master Lord Potter-Black sir!" she greeted joyfully. "We wes very happy to have yous visiting today! Can Lizzie bes doing something for you?"
"No need, Lizzie," he told her kindly. "I'm just here for the report from Mocha. I have a meeting with the Goblins in half an hour."
"I is understanding, Master Lord Potter-Black sir," the elf squeaked, stepping aside to let Harry walk into the back of the shop. "If Master needs anything, just call for Lizzie and Lizzie will come."
"Thank you, Lizzie. I will," Harry replied.
With that, the elf beamed at him before popping further into the shop to help a small family of three decide on which toy they wished to buy.
As Harry and Sebastian passed through the toy workshop to get to Mocha's office, they were greeted by all of Harry's employees. Aside from Mocha, Lizzie and Bobby, Funtum Toys employed six more elves. Annie, who was surprisingly creative, was Head of Development. Her task was to come up with new ideas for toys, as well as to oversee the five toy crafters in the workshop. It was also her idea to dress her subordinates up as Christmas Elves, and the other five had taken to the uniform with gleeful excitement that House Elves were known for.
Unlike talking with the other elves, Mocha was quick and to the point. He was a very serious and professional elf, with a few frown-lines on his old face. He was a whiz at mathematics and bookkeeping, having served under a wizarding business mogul before being hired by Harry a little over a year ago.
Once Harry had gotten the report from the old, grave elf, he thanked his employees for all their hard work and left the shop again, this time heading straight to Colloss Alley. He ignored the stares he got for his limping gait as he made his way towards the entrance to the Gringotts Offices. The Goblin Guards checked his ID and his invitation before sending him up to the sixth floor to the office of his liaison, Larkoff Irontooth. Of course, before being allowed into the room, two more guards searched them both for weapons, which of course they did not find.
Like all of Goblinkind, Larkoff was a gruff, unfriendly man. His dark grey hair was thinning and he had several liver spots on his wrinkly face. He greeted Harry with the minimal respect required from Gringotts employees towards their clients and went straight to business.
"Your shop is doing remarkably well this year, Lord Potter-Black," Larkoff spoke in a deep rumble. "Funtum has earned as much as Zonko's and Jambol and Japes combined. According to our correspondence, you are not interested in joining with either of them. Correct?"
"They have nothing of interest to offer me," Harry replied coolly. "Now, I believe that if I were to be able to become partners with Sugarplum's Sweets, that would be a business venture worth its while."
Larkoff smirked at Harry's words and put the papers down.
"I will contact their liaison and set up a meeting between yourself and Madam Sugarplum, then," He stated. "For, of course the usual fee of five Galleons, and for another fifteen, we will even let this meeting take place here at one of our offices."
As always, the Goblin took every opportunity to get some more gold from Harry. The pre-teen just nodded along passively in his consent.
"Please do so. Thank you for your hard work, Larkoff," Harry spoke as he stood up from his seat.
The Goblin inclined his head, his beady eyes glittering in cold amusement.
"A pleasure doing business, as always, Lord Potter-Black," he replied.
. . . . .
"I believe this would be a good time to get your school shopping done, Young Master," Sebastian spoke up as they exited the building.
"I will be visiting Madam Malkins and Ollivander's, then," Harry replied in agreement. "I expect you do purchase everything else on the list for me while I do so."
"Of course, My Lord," the butler replied, bowing slightly.
Sebastian left Harry in front of Madam Malkins to buy his books and other school supplies, leaving the pre-teen lord to enter the shop by himself.
Madam Malkin was a squat, smiling witch dressed all in mauve.
"Hogwarts, clear?" she asked, when Harry started to speak. "Got the lot here. Another young man being fitted up just now, in fact."
In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it to the right length.
"Hello," the blond boy greeted "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes," Harry answered curtly, not really feeling like talking with the boy.
"My father's next door buying my books and mother's up the street looking at wands," said the boy in a bored, drawling voice. "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."
Harry already didn't like the other kid, but simply nodded. He had manners after all. No need to make a potential enemy out of a future classmate.
"Have you got your own broom?" the boy went on.
"No," Harry replied, refraining from rolling his eyes.
"Play Quidditch at all?"
"No," Harry said again, getting increasingly annoyed.
"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?"
"No." Probably Slytherin or Ravenclaw, but that was none of this boy's business.
"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they, but I know I'll be in Slytherin, all our family have been. Imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?"
Great. They were still talking about this drivel, it seemed.
"I'd be honoured to be in Hufflepuff," Harry replied coolly.
"Why's that? Not even the Hufflepuffs want to be in Hufflepuff. They're just a load of duffers," the boy asked affronted.
This time, Harry did roll his eyes and instead set to ignoring the bothersome blonde. Hopefully, he'd take the hint and leave him alone. Luckily, Madam Malkin took that moment to speak up, stopping any possible argument in its tracks.
"That's you done, my dear," and Harry, not sorry for an excuse to stop talking to the boy, hopped down from the footstool.
"What's with that walk anyway?" the obnoxious boy piped up again. "Are you some kind of invalid?"
Harry gritted his teeth as he payed for his school robes and accepted the package from the kind shop-owner. She gave him an apologetic look, which he ignored as he turned to pin the blond boy with an icy glare.
"Why don't you ask your father about it, Malfoy," he suggest in a dark tone before spinning around and hobbling out of the suddenly deathly silent shop.
With a deep sigh, Harry collected his turbulent emotions again and started walking towards the wand shop. The shop was narrow and shabby. Peeling gold letters over the door read Ollivander's: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window.
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 that Hagrid sat on to wait. 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.
"Ah yes," a mysterious voice suddenly spoke up. "Yes, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Harry Potter. You have your mother's eyes. The one that's visible anyway. It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work."
"I'm not interested in hearing about my mother's wand, Ollivander," Harry spoke up, glaring at the old man that slowly walked out of the shadows and crept towards him. "I can see it and my father's whenever I want back at my home."
Both wands lay in a glass display in the drawing room of the Cottage in Godric's Hollow. It had taken him well over a year, and several threats of lawsuits to get the deeds of the place back from the Ministry. After that, he'd hired a few House Elves to fix the place up back to its former glory. Now, he stayed there usually for the months October, November and December. He felt the most need to be near his parents during those times.
"Of course, of course. You want to know about your own wand," the old man whispered.
Mr. Ollivander moved closer to Harry. Harry wished he would blink. Those silvery eyes were a bit creepy. Still, he refused to show his discomfort to the man.
"Well, now, Mr. Potter. Let me see." Ollivander spoke as he pulled a long tape measure with silver markings out of his pocket. "Which is your wand arm?"
Harry stayed silent as he held out his right arm for the man. The man immediately got to work. He measured Harry from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit and round his head. It was annoying and invasive, but Harry let it happen for the sake of buying a wand.
"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."
Harry hummed, only half listening as the tape measure continued measuring the space between his nostrils on its own as Ollivander looked around the shelves of wands for the right one.
"That will do," he said, and the tape measure crumpled into a heap on the floor. "Right then, Mr. Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. just take it and give it a wave."
Harry took it and waved it. He'd barely done so before Ollivander snatched it back, shaking his head as he quickly grabbed for another wand.
"Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches. Quite whippy."
This time, Harry barely even got to lift his arm before the wand was snatched back.
"No, no. Here, ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. Go on, go on, try it out."
It went on like this for a good twenty minutes, where Harry tried wand after wand. He became increasingly irritated by his lack of progress. Ollivander, on the other hand, seemed to become happier and happier with each wand he forced Harry to try out.
"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 with a frown before 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 silver and gold sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls.
"Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well... how curious... how very curious..."
"Is there something wrong, Mr. Ollivander?" Harry asked annoyed.
Mr. Ollivander fixed Harry with his pale stare.
"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's eyes widened in shock at this confession and looked back at his wand.
"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 scowled as he handed the wand back to Ollivander, who replaced it back in his box and wrapped it up in brown paper. Harry then quickly payed him the seven Galleons and hurried out of the store with his new purchase. If he ever had to return there, it would be too soon.
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