AN: Here is chapter 6, hope you enjoy, and please leave a review etc. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to PM me or if not join my discord.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Many thanks to Tree Licker for beta-reading the story.
( - )
Exiting the courtroom not long after, Harry was given a swift goodbye from Dumbledore, after which the man then quickly swept off down the corridor, claiming as he did that he had other matters that required his attention and that he would likely see Harry at the beginning of the school year.
Following on from that, Harry ended up accompanying Arthur back through the Ministry of Magic, passing the ever nasty and unctuous Lucius Malfoy and Fudge as they did so, both of whom gave both Harry and Arthur dismissive looks. With Malfoy attempting to prod and poke at them both to get a response, only to be summarily ignored.
Mainly because Harry wasn't in the mood to deal with Malfoy today. Not when he had other, more important things on his mind.
Which is why instead they headed for the Ministry's atrium, after which Harry used the floo to head back to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, after giving a swift thank you and goodbye to Arthur Weasley for his help.
( - )
( - )
(With Harry, at Number 12 Grimmauld Place)
Waking up in his bed the day after his Ministry Hearing, Harry couldn't help but smile to himself as he pushed himself up in bed and into a sitting position.
The whole mess of him being accused of underage magic was over with now, and what's more with little to no fallout for him.
He was in the clear and now had a relatively clean slate.
Which of course, meant that all he had left to do now this summer–aside from stopping the interminably annoying Weasley matriarch from destroying or throwing out his things–was to head to Diagon Alley for a new wand, and hopefully some new threads. Both of which were high up on his list of things to do.
After which, once suitably clothed and in possession of an appropriate wand, he could then finish stripping out the Black family library, and the many other trinkets and artefacts in the house. All of which he would then make sure to stash away safe and sound, and out of sight of any pestilential do-gooder, or thieving house elf. Following on from which, he would be off to Hogwarts.
Harry's smile faded slightly at that thought.
By the gods, it was going to suck being a student again, but still, he thought to himself, at least it was better than being stuck in Azkaban.
On top of that, he had also met with Dumbledore yesterday during the Hearing and had passed muster, which is to say, he had not been noticed as an imposter.
He was especially happy about that point, after all, if anyone was likely to notice him acting differently, it was the old man.
That being said, if he had noticed differences in Harry's demeanour then he could have just fallen back on the handy, and his now go-to excuse, of blaming the Dementors whenever someone noticed peculiarities in the way he acted. They were such a convenient scapegoat.
So yes, that was all well and good, and things for the most part were ticking along quite nicely in old Grimmauld Place.
Sure, he was still feeling a little uncomfortable with some of the company that was being forced upon him, especially at the celebratory meal last night. But the food, the food, had been worth the discomfort he felt at talking to people he knew to be dead, some of whom had fallen indirectly, or directly, because of him.
Stretching luxuriously in his bed for a moment, Harry then pushed himself to his feet and got dressed, using his Black family wand to alter and change a few of the alternate Harry's baggy, grungy clothes so that they actually fit him. After which he used a few basic household charms to tidy them up and repair them.
Seriously, how bad were these Dursleys that they let their ward leave the house in these rags? Did they have no sense of propriety!?
Harry had been raised in an orphanage and he had been better dressed than his counterpart.
Harry paused at that thought, after all, it was all well and good saying he had been well dressed when he had been a scrubby little orphan. But, considering he had, the moment gained access to his trust fund at Gringotts, somewhat indulged his more narcissistic and prideful side by blowing quite a bit of money on frivolous expenses like clothes and whatnot. It was possible he might be looking at his own past with rose-tinted glasses.
But hey, what was the point of having a fortune if you weren't going to spend it?
Or at least that was what the eleven-year-old Harry had thought before he had become far more mercenary as he grew older, more experienced and more jaded.
Smiling with a faint sense of accomplishment as he looked at his suitably sized and slightly newer, and dare he say, classier, looking clothing. Harry then quickly dressed himself in a standard getup of boots, jeans, a T-shirt and a zip-up hoodie.
Say what you will about muggles and their general powerlessness, obliviousness and ineptitude, but they at least had a better sense of style than magicals.
Seriously, robes were kind of awkward and shit.
Hiding his olive wood wand in his trunk, concealing it in the same enchanted bag he had squirreled away all the many other trinkets and treasures he had acquired from Grimmauld Place, Harry then headed off downstairs for breakfast.
It was an earlier start than he usually preferred, but considering he was heading to Diagon Alley today he could at least make some allowances.
Bouncing into the kitchen a minute or so later, Harry soon found he was one of the first to arrive, as at present only Molly, Sirius, Lupin and Tonks were all in the kitchen already. With Mrs Weasley already bustling around the kitchen making breakfast as per usual, whilst the other three just sat around the kitchen table chatting and drinking hot beverages.
"Harry dear, you're up very early?" Molly piped up brightly the moment she saw him, her expression likewise brightening as she turned away from the hob and saw him enter. "I was actually about to send Tonks upstairs to chivvy everyone along, we do need to get an early start today after all."
"That was my thinking too, which is kind of why I'm down so early. Though to be fair to the others, when I was heading down I could hear some of them making a move too, so I am sure they will all be along shortly." Harry replied with a friendly smile. He had always liked Mrs Weasley, and not just because she was a damn good cook, but also because she was such a genuinely kind and caring person. It had almost been a shame that he had had to betray her like he had the rest of the Order.
"Morning kiddo!" Sirius grinned as Harry took a seat just to one side of him, his dark eyes locked on him as he then proceeded to grab a cup from the centre of the table and pour himself a cup of tea. "You seem pretty lively for this time in the morning?"
"Well it's a good day, isn't it? I'm a free man and am about to be heading off to Diagon Alley to get a new wand!" Harry grinned, adding a dash of milk into his tea now, after of course letting it steep for a suitable amount of time and taking the teabag out, he wasn't a savage after all.
"Yeah, I suppose that is a reason to be happy." Sirius nodded, his smile becoming a little bit more fixed as he said this.
Noticing this, Harry caught onto what was bothering the man almost immediately. He didn't need to use legilimency to read just what the older man was thinking at the moment. "Hey, cheer up old man, I'm sure we'll get your name cleared sooner or later. I mean, the Dark Lord is going to have to reveal himself eventually, and when he does, we just need to snag that nasty little rat, Pettigrew! And then you'll get your pardon, and we'll get our vengeance. It's a win-win situation if ever there was one!"
Sirius let out a bark of laughter as he heard that. "You make it sound so easy!"
Harry shrugged at that, before taking a sip of his tea. However, as he lowered his cup, he did catch Lupin sending him an odd look, a slight frown on his face as he watched him closely.
"Anything the matter, Lupin?" Harry asked, lowering his cup and fixing his emerald eyes on the former professor.
"Hmm," The werewolf hummed before he shook his head and sent Harry a wane smile. "No nothing Harry, I'm just a little curious is all. I mean, since when did you start calling 'You Know Who' the Dark Lord?"
Tonks and Sirius both blinked as they heard this, after which they both sent Harry curious looks of their own as if only just now clocking onto exactly what he had said.
Harry, however, didn't even blink at the veiled accusation, his mind moving a mile a minute as he easily came up with an excuse for his slight fumble there. "Well it's a recent thing, I can't bring myself to call the old, snake-faced git 'He Who Must Not Be Named' or any of that bollocks. But, at the same time, most people have a freak out every time I call him Voldemort. Calling him the Dark Lord I suppose, is a compromise."
"Hmm, that is a fair call." Sirius nodded, visibly appeased by Harry's comment. "Not everyone is comfortable saying Voldemort's name."
As if to emphasize this point Molly almost dropped her frying pan at Sirius's loud exclamation. With the matronly woman, only just catching it in time before it hit the floor, after which she then proceeded to give the ex-convict a sour look.
"Yes, I suppose," Lupin smiled slightly, tilting his head to the side as he did so.
"So anyway, Harry. Since you're here you might as well have a look through your Hogwarts letter." Tonks chipped in suddenly, gesturing vaguely over to a small stack of letters that were innocently waiting on the kitchen table.
"Oh, when did they arrive?" Harry asked as he put aside his tea and rifled through the letters looking for the one with his name on it.
"Dumbledore delivered them last night," Sirius replied nonchalantly, looking away from Harry as the sound of thudding was heard overhead. No doubt signalling that people were starting to come downstairs.
This was further reinforced when the twins arrived in the kitchen a few moments later with two loud cracks, both of them grinning from ear to ear when their mother, who once again nearly dropped her frying pan in surprise, then went on to loudly lecture them both about their immaturity and irresponsibility.
Molly Weasley might be a decent person and good in small doses, but Harry didn't think he could have stood having her as a parent growing up.
"Oh, I didn't realise he had popped by." Harry shrugged in response, barely paying attention to Molly's scolding now as he instead opened up his letter. His eyes almost glazing over as he glanced disinterestedly down the book list.
It was pretty much exactly the same as it had been previously, back in his world. Including, unfortunately, the asinine Slinkhard book that, that Umbridge cow, had doted on when she taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. Which, by the looks of it, was going to be happening here too.
"Well, you wouldn't have. All of you were in bed when he arrived." Lupin shrugged tiredly, after which he kindly greeted Fred and George as they finally sat down at the kitchen table, with Ginny soon entering the room too and taking up the seat directly next to Harry.
"Hi Harry!" Ginny said with a bright smile, flicking her long, red hair behind her as she did so. "And who arrived when we were all in bed, Professor Lupin?"
"Morning Ginny, Fred, George, he meant Dumbledore," Harry replied, speaking for Lupin, as he put his Hogwarts letter to one side. Noticeably, he had not been sent a Prefect's badge like he had been the first time around.
Obviously, the alternate Harry had either been a less than stellar student, or his many 'adventures', or at least the ones Ron and Hermione had told him about, had weighed heavily against him when it came down to choosing Prefects.
Not that it bothered him all that much. Perfects, from his experience, tended to have far more responsibility than they did power or authority. They were essentially unpaid lackeys that teacher's conned into doing the grunt work for them, all for the promise of a shiny badge, and some minor bragging rights.
It was not worth either his time or his attention. No, he had much better things he could be doing than playing nursemaid for a bunch of pre-pubescent shits.
"Why did Dumbledore come around so late?" Fred asked, as he and his siblings grabbed their own letters and began to read through them, even as Molly began to dish out the breakfast.
"For Order business, of course," Molly replied curtly as she continued to bustle around cleaning pots and pans with magic and dishing out yet more food onto the already groaning and overburdened table.
Almost immediately, the three Weasley children–and the just now arrived Ron and Hermione, both of whom shot Harry surprised looks at seeing him downstairs, dressed, and currently dishing himself out some breakfast already–sent the four adults in the room intensely curious looks.
"What Order business?" Ron asked, his gaze flitting between the four members of the Order present, as he looked to see whether any one of them would spill the beans on just what the Order had been up to of late.
"That's none of your business, Ron!" Molly shot back sharply before she glared around at the rest of her brood. "You're all too young to know, nor are any of you members of the Order!"
Almost immediately, the four Weasley children, and Hermione, started to complain and argue against Molly's response. With Fred and George being the loudest and the most vocal, even as all four Order members bluntly denied them the information they sought.
Harry, meanwhile, just took the opportunity, whilst the others were all distracted, to help himself to some of the choicer bits of the breakfast.
"You know I'm surprised, Harry. I would have thought you'd be wanting answers too?" Sirius asked a few minutes later after Molly had quelled and denied the other teen's demands for information, and in Fred and George's cases, their requests to be inducted into the Order.
"Well, I'm sure if I need to know anything I'll be told it. Besides, what's the point in trying when the rest of them did that and weren't told anything?" Harry shrugged, not mentioning the real reason he hadn't asked. After all, considering the similarities he had seen thus far, between his world and this one, he was pretty sure he already knew most of what the Order had been doing anyway, and more importantly what they were planning to do. Their worlds might be different, but there were still a lot of similarities, and he was willing to bet that also included the Order's initial tactics and priorities.
"Good for you, Harry. At least one of you is mature enough to know better!" Molly Weasley piped up with a smile, rewarding Harry, as she doled out the last of the food she had prepared, with a couple of extra rashes of bacon and sausages for his words of wisdom.
In response to his words, however, the four Weasley children sent Harry partly betrayed and partly confused looks, whilst Hermione just looked at him in confusion. The way she was looking at him, it was the look one would give a problem that they were struggling to solve.
"Well, near-death experiences do tend to give you a new perspective," Harry replied dryly as he saw their expression, shrugging nonchalantly as he did so.
A silence enveloped the table at that dark comment, his words swiftly quelling the other's complaints. With Tonks taking the opportunity this presented to dish out the rest of the Hogwarts letters to Ron and Hermione. Both of whom tore them open, only to find within them, a pair of Prefect badges. One for each of them.
The realisation of which was something that had Molly Weasley beaming and crowing about how proud she was of the now very red-faced Ron. Which also led to her offering to treat him to a present for his achievement. With Ron then requesting a broom, not a great one, but just a new one, in response.
All of which, Harry would admit, did make him smile a bit in spite of himself, especially when Molly said yes. It was actually a pretty sweet moment.
The rest of Ron's family and friends, however, reacted quite differently. With Fred and George, amusingly enough, exchanging looks of disgust at having another 'Prefect' in the family. Whilst Ginny just looked between Harry and Ron in confusion, her own thoughts were obvious to see for those who bothered to look. With Hermione replicating this look in spite of herself, as she too looked between Harry and the Prefect's badge, as if trying to work out how Ron had got it instead of him.
As for Harry, he just continued to eat his breakfast, congratulating Ron, and trying to hide his overall disinterest in the situation as he did so. After all, he had been a Prefect and knew it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, like seriously you had additional responsibilities and time-wasting expectations, in return for which you got a fancy bathroom and a slight bit more authority than an average student.
Yeah, it definitely wasn't worth it, especially for Harry as he knew of a handy room on the Seventh Floor which could become a spectacular bathroom in seconds, or anything else he could really wish for it to become.
It was with this in mind that he left Ron to the tender mercies of his mollycoddling mother, and instead conversed with Remus, Tonks and Sirius, all of whom at first attempted to comfort Harry in their own way, only for them to then stop when they realised he literally didn't give a fuck about being a Prefect.
After which, conversation just flowed like usual. With Harry this as an opportunity to speak to Sirius about his plans for the house. With him trying to direct his godfather to conservation and preservation as he did so, as opposed to just gutting the house like Sirius initially wanted.
Both Tonks and Remus, meanwhile, occasionally pitched in with their own thoughts and ideas as he did so. The conversation then drifting away from the house, as he also chatted with them too. Making small talk for the most part, as he didn't really have anything serious he wanted to discuss with them. Nor did he want to reveal the fact that he knew a lot more about them, and their lives, than he should.
Noticeably, Harry found, as breakfast continued, and all of the inhabitants of the house chatted and ate together, he invariably leaned towards lightly conversing with actual adults as opposed to the other teenagers. This was something he was sure one or two of his 'peers' might have noticed too if the odd looks Ron and Hermione were sending him meant anything.
And even then, he mainly spoke to Sirius Black, the only person at this table that Harry had never before had the opportunity to speak to or get to know, and so for him, the most interesting of the lot.
( - )
It was several hours later that the group made the trip to Diagon Alley. To get there, they were all using the floo network to get to the Leaky Cauldron, with Remus taking the lead. Once there, they would be meeting up with Moody, who was already in the pub and waiting for them by then, whilst Molly and a disguised Tonks brought up the rear. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred, and George were all travelling in between this apparent protection detail.
Which was something that Dumbledore had apparently insisted on as being necessary to ensure the safety of those going to Diagon Alley. From which Harry inferred, the security detail was there to keep an eye on him.
Not that Harry himself thought any of this extra protection was really necessary, after all, Voldemort would not risk revealing himself so soon just to have a pot-shot at the Boy Who Lived. Harry, due to personal experience, understood that much about the Dark Lord and his way of doing things.
Not that he could exactly tell that to any of the others or convince them of the futility of the added protection, not when they still believed him to be just a hormonal angry teenager.
Nor did Harry have anything to fear from the common wizard or even the Ministry either, as for one the Ministry was all rhetoric, they never actually acted, and even if they did, they would not so overtly attack Harry. Not even for perpetuating the apparent lie that the Dark Lord had returned. To do such a thing, would do nothing more than prove his point.
Still, he accepted the protection all the same and made no complaint. After all, he understood that despite his scepticism that there could still potentially be dangers, such as an opportunistic Death Eater looking for advancement, or a witch or wizard under the Imperius curse who might be forced into attacking him, or who knows what. But considering Harry's overall lack of experience of the whole 'Boy Who Lived' thing and being Voldemort's target. He was more than willing to bow down to Dumbledore's wisdom, or at least on this front he was.
Gathering together in a group around the fireplace of the Leaky Cauldron, Remus had them wait until everyone was gathered before he then led them out through the back and to the concealed entrance which led to Diagon Alley. With Lupin giving the hunchbacked barman, Tom, a curt nod and a nonchalant wave as he did so.
"Looks like we chose a busy day to come," Harry said nonchalantly as the entrance to the hidden magical alley opened up and the group entered the crowded high street en masse.
Looking around as he did so, Harry immediately noticed just how many Hogwarts students were in the alley with their families. Likely all of them had had the similar idea to get to the magical high street first to avoid the crowds, which was a common plan, as it had obviously backfired.
Seeing this, the still disguised Tonks and Moody took up positions at the rear of the group, both of them trying to look innocent even as they looked around at the passing people cautiously.
Remus and Molly meanwhile took the lead, chaperoning the group away from the busy entrance and instead over to a quieter area just off to the side where they could talk without getting in people's way.
"Right, well looking at how busy it is I think it might be best if we split up for now," Molly began as she looked around at the group. "Harry dear, I know you need to go to Ollivander's to sort out your wand issue, so, why don't you and Tonks head over to Ollivander's whilst I take the others with me to Gringotts to pick up some gold. Oh, and if you need any gold to be withdrawn, I would be happy to get some for you too?"
"Oh, no Molly I'm fine thanks, I still have quite a bit left over from last year," Harry replied easily, quite eager to take her up on her initial offer and get away from the others for a bit. Not mentioning as he did so, that the small amount of galleons, sickles and knuts that the other Harry had had previously, had since been supplemented by many other coins that Harry had scavenged whilst going through the house.
"Right you are dear, so you two head off and let's say we'll meet back up at Flourish and Blott's in half an hour to pick up all of your school books?" Molly continued kindly, already shepherding the rest of her brood and Hermione away, with Moody stumping along after her.
Noticeably, both Hermione and Ron were sending Harry odd looks, as if they were surprised he had not wanted them to tag along with him too. That, or they were pondering just what issue he had with his wand. Unfortunately, before they could say anything, or do more than look at him oddly, they were chivvied along with the other Weasley children, Lupin and Moody.
Walking side by side, Harry and Tonks headed off in the opposite direction of the mob of redheads. Tonks had by this point taken on the appearance of a short, teenaged girl, with short chocolate brown hair and hazel eyes, one that was still noticeably pretty, but not enough that she would draw too much attention. Which, when combined with Harry's distinctly muggle attire, plus the glamour Lupin had put on his facial features, and the beanie he had decided to take with him and pull over his messy black hair and the unsightly scar on his forehead, meant that the two of them just looked like a normal pair of teenagers out for a spot of shopping.
"So… Tonks, is that short for anything or…?" Harry began, already knowing the answer to the question, but asking anyway. Mainly this was because he couldn't think of another, better, way of starting a conversation.
This in itself was mainly because, although he already knew a lot about Tonks, most of it was somewhat personal or not something a stranger would know.
No, instead, it was the kind of things that one would only know if you were a friend, and she had told you. Which, considering this was apparently their first real conversation, would be quite noticeable.
"It's my second name, but everyone calls me it. But that's mainly because I prefer it to my first name, though I don't think anyone can blame me for that. I mean, my daft mother thought it was a good idea to call me Nymphadora of all things." Tonks replied, rolling her eyes and snorting at her birth name. "I mean, can you blame me for not wanting to be called that?"
"It is a bit old fashioned, but it is not the worst I've ever heard." Harry shrugged, grinning slightly as he saw her roll her eyes.
"Oh, and what possible name could you have heard that is worse than Nymphadora?" Tonks replied sceptically, her eyebrow cocked as she sent him an expectant look.
"Hmm, Narcissa and Draco for one, I mean with names like that you're just asking to be mocked and thought of as evil! Oh, and then there is Rubeus, I mean Hagrid's a good guy, but I don't blame him for preferring Hagrid. Then there is Gilderoy Lockhart, that name is almost as stupid as the man himself. And let's not forget Remus Lupin, don't get me wrong I like him, but the name is ridiculous. I mean, Remus, like 'Romulus and Remus' the twin children raised by the wolf, Lupa, and then Lupin which is like lupine which literally means wolf! It's like the guy was born to be a werewolf. It's the same thing for Fenrir Greyback, I mean come on, that name has to be made up! Like, seriously, what is it with wizards and their stupid names?" Harry asked cheerfully, or rather ranted enthusiastically, getting a snort of laughter from Tonks in spite of herself as he did so.
"Wow, that was a borderline rant, but yes, I do see what you mean there are some silly names out there!" Tonks replied after a couple of moments of chucking, shaking her head as she did so.
"Meh, it's just a pet peeve. I mean, I don't blame the people themselves. I just blame the parents." Harry shrugged, grinning slightly. "What's wrong with nice normal names, like Harry, James, George and Daniel? Sure, they don't sound as fancy as Phineas, Xenophilius or Dedalus, but you're less likely to be openly mocked!"
"It's just wizarding culture I suppose, just like how all Goblins have bizarre names, most of which are bloodthirsty, a lot of old school wizards and witches have odd and old-fashioned names too." Tonks shrugged, even as they arrived at Garrick Ollivander's shop. "You've been in the magical world for what? Four years now? Five? Surely, you've realised how eccentric we like to be, give it time, and you'll be just like the rest of us!"
"Whatever you say, Nymphadora." Harry grinned back, dodging a playful swipe from Tonks as she attempted to cuff him around the head jokingly as he did so.
Entering Ollivander's shop, the duo immediately noticed that it was seemingly much quieter than everywhere else in the alley. Then again, considering it was mainly frequented by first years, or those in need of replacement wands, maybe that wasn't too surprising.
Still, it was a bit of an odd feeling to leave the hustling bustling high street and instead enter the dark, dusty and almost forbiddingly quiet wand shop.
Ignoring the small bell on the door as it jingled, sounding out louder than normal in the quiet shop. Both Harry and Tonks entered the main room and approached the desk at the front, both of them looking around in interest at the many dusty shelves and the boxes upon boxes of wands on them.
For Harry, it had been over eleven years since he had last been here, or at least a version of it. But despite that, he still remembered it like it was yesterday. Back then he had been so eager and excited when Professor McGonagall had first brought him here, after delivering his letter.
After all, this was where it was all supposed to begin, all those years of strange occurrences that happened around him. The feelings of disconnection and dissociation he felt with the other orphans and the nuns that ran the orphanage. Finally, he had an explanation. He could do all that stuff because he was a wizard, like his father before him, and soon enough he was going to be trained in the magical arts at Hogwarts just like his parents. Plus, once there he would be able to discover just who he was, his heritage, family lineage and his potential.
Standing here in the dusty shop all these years later, Harry couldn't help but wonder what his younger self would say if he knew how his life would turn out. That he would rise to prominence as a prodigy, one of, if not the best, of his generation. Probably one of the most skilled, and the most talented wizards to graduate Hogwarts in decades. If he did say so himself, in his most humble of opinions.
That he would then join and fight in a resistance against the Dark Lord, at which point he would avenge his parents by killing two of their killers and win himself a small measure of fame for his feats.
Only for him to then change sides when the tides turned, and Voldemort's victory looked all but complete. Harry doing the logical thing and joining the enemy, which of course led to his growing fame turning into notoriety. After all, this decision had of course led to him setting himself against those he had once considered friends and allies. Which in turn led to him killing some of those very same people with, looking back at it, a hint of remorse.
After which the Dark Lord would fall, the flagging resistance would get a resurgence as the Boy Who Lived proved himself to be more than a hapless buffoon and support from other countries in Europe arrived. Following on from which, he would be consigned to prison for the rest of his life.
Yes, standing here in a place so similar to where his journey had first begun, Harry could only wonder what the younger, more naive, and more innocent Harry would think of what his future held.
He didn't think it would be good.
"Hello, Harry Potter, I had heard you would be returning to my store." Ollivander's soft, wispy voice suddenly sounded out from behind one of the shelves. The suddenness of it, caused Harry to twitch slightly and Tonks to go for her wand as they both twisted around and looked at the frail, old-looking man, even as he surveyed them with his penetrating grey eyes.
"Ollivander." Harry nodded calmly, shifting himself so he was now fully facing the man, even as his gaze surveyed him. The older man was able to somehow see through the glamour that covered Harry's face.
"Holly, eleven and a quarter inches, Phoenix tail feather," Ollivander replied softly as he came out from behind his shelf and approached Harry. "That was your wand, your partner. Was it not?"
"Yes," Harry nodded curtly, drawing out said wand as he did so.
"May I?" Ollivander asked, looking at the wand now and reaching out as he did so.
"Sure." Harry nodded, his previous good cheer rapidly fading now as Ollivander took his wand into his long-fingered, spindly hands and started examining it with minute detail. "It was not even a year ago that I last examined this wand, at the Weighing of the Wands. Back then, all those months ago, your compatibility was as strong as ever! I do have to wonder, just what it was that has changed your connection to the wand in between now and then?"
Harry shifted uncomfortably as he heard that, even as Ollivander continued to toy with the wand, before handing it back to Harry.
Taking the wand, Harry restrained a grimace at the unfamiliar grip and the cold, empty feeling he received from it.
"If you would give it a wave Mr Potter." Ollivander pressed, his gaze intense, though for once his eyes weren't on Harry, but instead on the wand in his hand.
Harry cocked an eyebrow as he heard that before he looked over to the disguised Tonks, who in response merely shrugged. "But couldn't I be accused of underage magic if I did that?"
"No, not unless you cast a recognised spell. Besides, there are known Ministry exceptions for underage magic that is detected in my store, and in my presence." Ollivander replied softly, his gaze straying over to Tonks, curious for a moment before his lips twitched upwards in amusement. "Besides, I am sure Ms Tonks here would speak up on your behalf if anyone did accuse you of doing anything untoward in her presence."
"Of course you would have noticed," Tonks grumbled, not shifting her form but sending Ollivander a sour look anyway. "You always were overly observant if you ask me…"
Smiling lightly, Ollivander didn't reply to Tonks, instead, he turned back to Harry expectantly. "If you would, Mr Potter?"
Nodding as he heard that, Harry waved the wand.
"Hmm, very curious," Ollivander muttered, his gaze on the wand for a moment, before it flickered up to Harry's covered forehead. "But perhaps because of a traumatic experience… But also, the unfamiliarity of the grasp, perhaps it is not the wand that has changed, but the wizard..."
Harry frowned as he heard this, was Ollivander talking about Voldemort's return or the Dementor attack right now? And what did he mean that the wand had not changed, but the wizard? The man might be observant, but there was no way he could possibly infer that much from a simple wave of a wand.
"Well, no matter, I suppose," Ollivander said, looking away from Harry now, which Harry took as a chance to slip the wand back into his hoodie pocket. "It's not common, especially for one so young. But it is not unheard of either for a wizard to lose compatibility with his partner, or for his partner to lose compatibility with them. Some wands after all can be quite finicky and withdraw their allegiances on a whim. Still, it is disappointing, and unexpected too..."
By this point, Harry was sure the man was talking to himself as he shuffled back behind the shelves, still mumbling and grumbling under his breath as he started grabbing several boxes down from the shelves.
"Still, it only means that I will have to match you up with a new wand." Ollivander nodded, bringing the last of the boxes he had selected to his desk before he sorted through them. "But first, if I could have your old wand back? I can then simply swap it with the new one. This way maybe I can find another partner for your old one."
Ollivander extended a hand expectantly as he said this, his unwavering gaze on Harry's face.
Harry paused for a moment as he heard Ollivander's suggestion. Weighing up his options, as on the one hand he was loath to give up anything that belonged to him. On the other hand though, the holly wand was just a useless stick to him at the moment. One which had no sentimental value. Pulling out the wand, Harry eyed it carefully.
"Alright, fine." Harry nodded, handing the wand over as he did so, and at least consoling himself that he would save a bit of money this way.
Taking the wand from Harry, Ollivander placed it under his desk, after which he began messing around with the boxes of wands again, opening them all up and then placing them in a line in front of Harry.
"These are the wands I believe would most suit you." Ollivander began, not going into detail on just how he had decided on these wands or what factors he had taken into account whilst selecting them. "Now due to you being older than my usual clientele, and therefore more in tune with your magic, I believe we can narrow down the choice quite simply through touch."
"And what do you mean by that?" Harry asked curiously, eyeing the line of wands as he did so, before his emerald eyes suddenly lit up as he saw a familiar one in the line-up. Twelve inches long and made of alder, with the core of Bicorn tail hair. It was a long, dark coloured, slightly curved and twisted wand with a delicate swirling like pattern running up the sides. This was the wand he had owned the last time around, he would recognise it anywhere.
"Just touch each of the wands in turn, and when you touch one that feels warm, or more familiar then point it out and we will set it aside for later. Once you've done that, then you can have a go at wand waving." Ollivander replied with a slight smile, gesturing for Harry to go ahead.
Nodding at this, Harry did as he was prompted to do, starting from one of the ends. Gently running his fingers along each one in turn. As he did this, Harry immediately noticed that quite a few of the wands he touched felt quite warm. For the most part, however, he ignored them as he instead continued down the line, none of them felt right. Plus, he already knew which one he wanted.
Eventually, he made it to his old wand, his eyes lighting up in spite of himself as he ghosted a hand over the length of wood. Already from just an inch or two away he could feel the heat from the wand. On top of which, as he moved to touch it he could literally see sparks flying from the wand to his hand.
In the end, Harry didn't even have to touch it, because the wand seemed to make up its own mind, as like a broom that had been called, it shot up out of its velvet-lined box and into Harry's hand a shower of blue and purple sparks flying out of the wand's tip as it did so, even as a warmth emanated from it right up Harry's arm.
Now it was just showing off.
For Harry, he likened it to a pet greeting its owner after a long time apart.
"Well," Harry said with a grin, twirling the wand through the air with ease and leaving a trail of sparks behind him, his gaze flicking up to the visibly surprised and delighted Ollivander now. "I think this wand has chosen its wizard."
"Yes, indeed Mr Potter, and most spectacularly so. I don't think I've ever seen one of my wands act in such a way." Ollivander mused, his gaze fixed on Harry as the wand in his hand seemed to calm down and stop showing off. "But well, like you say this wand seems to have chosen you; alder, twelve inches, with a core from the tail of a particularly dangerous and feisty Bicorn. A very odd combination, a very odd combination indeed, but one that seems to suit you perfectly."
Harry shrugged at that, ignoring the bemused smile Tonks sent his way as he once again inspected the wand. Like Ollivander had said, the wand was perfectly matched to him. However, there was one thing off. "Actually Mr Ollivander, I was hoping to ask something?"
Ollivander paused in his action as he finished putting the lids on the remaining wand boxes, stacking them off to one side as he did so. "Oh, and what might that be?"
"Well, it's about the wand's grip." Harry began, feeling the standard straight grip in his hand, a grip which felt oddly unfamiliar to him.
"Yes, it is a standard, straight handled grip. The one that all the wands I craft possess." Ollivander nodded, his gaze curious now.
From behind him, Harry could see Tonks looking at him curiously too.
"Yes, well that's the thing. One problem I have and have had for a while is that the standard handle doesn't feel right in my hand. It just feels odd and awkward, and I feel it affects my spell casting." Harry began, holding his wand easily in his hand. Honestly, the grip wasn't too bad, it just wasn't what he was used to. "With that in mind, I was hoping to buy a moulded, dragon bone duelling grip for the wand."
Ollivander sent Harry a searching look as he heard that. "That's a very specific request…?"
"Honestly I don't think that a student would need something like that. But if you really want the handle adjusted and considering what you will likely be using the wand for in the future, I do not see why not." Ollivander said slowly, shuffling over to a nearby desk as he did so before he pulled the drawer open and plucked an ivory coloured handle from inside. "It will cost ten galleons though. Considering the charms on the grip and the material it is made of, it will not be cheap, and so shouldn't just be a frivolous accessory."
"Yes, I understand that much," Harry replied, pushing down his impatience.
"Very well then, if you would pass me your wand," Ollivander said, extending a hand.
Handing it over, Harry kept his attention on Ollivander, even as Tonks sidled curiously up to him.
"I didn't even know you could customise your wand?" Tonks asked the room at large.
"Well, it is not a common thing to do, or at least not nowadays. Though some Purebloods still request for their wands to be customised as to stand out or to look more impressive. In fact, it was only a few years ago that I had one client ask me to attach a silver snake head to the end of his wand so that he could keep it in his cane. Which I thought was a bit ostentatious, but then again to each their own." Ollivander replied absentmindedly as he slotted the dragon bone grip onto Harry's wand, after which he laid it on the desk in front of him and then drew out his own wand, casting a few spells on the grip as he did so.
Harry smirked to himself as he heard that little titbit, he knew for a fact that Lucius Malfoy was the client that had the gaudy, emerald encrusted snake head added to the handle of his wand, and ostentatious was a good word to describe that puffed up, peacock of a man.
"But there are other benefits, which is why I am doing it." Harry cut in, looking at Tonks as he did so. He kind of liked her, and as such he didn't want her to think he was only doing this for aesthetic reasons.
Tonks looked at Harry curiously in response to that, after which she merely shrugged.
"Yes, well Mr Potter, if you would like to pick up the wand, I have enchanted the wand to fit your hand," Ollivander spoke up, catching Harry's attention as he did so.
Nodding Harry picked up the wand, not batting an eye as he felt the handle moderately warm up before the bone material began to shift as the magic it was imbued with came to life. Soon enough the new grip was moulded perfectly, and seamlessly to both Harry's hand and the wand. Twirling the wand in his hand, Harry practised a few complicated wand motions, after which he nodded and sent Ollivander a smile.
"Perfect." Harry nodded, and it was. Just like the olive, Black family wand he had at home, this wand, his main wand, was perfect for him.
"Good now, to settle up." Ollivander smiled thinly, before he rang up the cost of the new grip, after all, it was a like for like exchange for the wand.
"Of course." Harry nodded, pulling out his money pouch as he did so, not at all concerned with shelling out for something like this.
( - )
Exiting the shop a few minutes later, his new wand safely stowed away, Harry had a slight spring in his step as he headed back into Diagon Alley, absentmindedly making small talk with Tonks as he headed for the bookshop where he was to meet up with the others.
Soon enough he would get all the books and supplies he would need for the upcoming school year, after which he would make sure to head to some clothing shops to pick up some new, and more suitable clothing.
Then, after that it was just a matter of heading back to Grimmauld Place, mail ordering some ingredients, and then waiting out the last week or so until the new school year started.
( - )
AN: So what did you think? Tonks is always a fun character to write, and I like to think having her along made the short shopping trip better to read, especially since it allowed me to play around with some more development. That said the prep is now over, and we'll soon be getting into the meat of the story as Harry heads to Hogwarts.
Also I did read a couple of reviews asking why Harry doesn't just run away and go his own way. Well the answer to that is because he isn't an idiot. An underage wizard with the ministry against him and a homicidal dark lord and his groupies after him, wouldn't last long by himself. Not once he shakes off his protective detail and alienates all those close to him. Why do that, and put himself at risk when he can instead go to nice, safe, comfortable Hogwarts, breeze through classes as he plots and plans to himself, all while making himself comfortable in his new life and taking advantage of his lack of scruples and apparent new fame and influence. He's selfish, a bit arrogant, and has somewhat of a chip on his shoulder, but he is not at all stupid, lacking common sense and humility at times maybe, but not at all idiotic. Nor is he reckless. He does what he has to benefit him, and at the moment he is in a pretty cushy position, homicidal dark lords aside. Hope that answers the question of why he doesn't just burn his bridges and run off, or start mindfucking everyone around him with impunity.
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Thanks for reading, and I'll see you later.