Hello friends and fans, Kairomaru here with chapter two of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy. This chapter Harry gets his letter to Hogwarts and the Dursleys have to admit that they have known that he was Magical the whole time. Harry is able to send his reply and a friendly, if hairy, gentle giant shows up to take him shopping. How will our budding Artificer react to the hidden Magical World? Perhaps a better question, will the Magical World survive Harry's curiosity?
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Chapter 2 – Diagon Alley, Testing, Heading for Hogwarts
Harry stared at the thick parchment envelope with some shock. He'd gotten a letter from Hogwarts, but why? Did they somehow find out he'd been doing Magic? How? He'd have to read it to find out, he surmised.
"Harry? What's taking so long with the mail?" Vernon questioned from the kitchen where the Dursleys where sitting down to breakfast.
"Coming, Uncle Vernon." Harry responded as he separated his letter from the rest of the stack of mail and walked into the kitchen. Harry passed the mail to his Uncle before going to sit in his chair. Vernon flipped through the stack muttering about junk mail and bills before pulling out a postcard and reading it.
"Seems Marge is feeling unwell, apparently ate some bad tripe on her trip." Vernon commented as he put the postcard off to the side.
"Dad, Harry has a letter." Dudley pointed out as he brought another forkful of food to his mouth.
"What's this?" Vernon questioned as he looked over at his nephew to see him opening a large parchment envelope. His eyes went wide as he recalled Petunia telling him about just such an envelope being sent to her sister when she was turning eleven.
"It's from Hogwarts, apparently I've been accepted to go there starting this school year." Harry replied as he read over the first page of the letter. A heavy sigh from both his Aunt and Uncle caused him to look up at them. "What?"
"You're Lily's son so I guess it was bound to happen." Petunia sighed again as she held out her hand for the letter. Harry handed her the first page and Petunia's eyes skimmed over it. "Just like hers."
"Wait, you both knew I was a Wizard?" Harry asked shocked. He'd hidden his Magical studies from his relatives because both the Charms and Transfiguration textbooks had mentioned the Statute of Secrecy. Harry didn't want to break what seemed to be an important law even if he hadn't met another Wizard or Witch. He'd also been unsure how his relatives would take his Magical displays considering they seemed proud of their successful normal lives.
"Of course we did, Harry, your mother was a Witch so you being a Wizard was very likely. We were simply waiting to see if you actually received the letter before we told you. If it didn't come then we didn't feel it needed to be brought up." Vernon informed his nephew with a sigh while Dudley sat in his chair looking back and forth between his parents and his cousin in shock and confusion. From there it was a conversation about the means to get in contact with Hogwarts and accept his invite to study there. Vernon and Petunia were uncomfortable around Magic and were hoping to have a staff member from Hogwarts take Harry to the Magical shopping center in London.
"It says they 'await my owl' what does that mean?" Harry asked confused as the letter had come through the normal post.
"Once you write your acceptance response there should be an owl perched somewhere near the house. Just hold it out to the bird and it should take it before flying back to them." Petunia informed remembering how Lily had sent her own acceptance letter back. With some help from Vernon and Petunia to make the acceptance letter at least partially formal, Harry sealed it up and headed out to the back yard. After looking around and not seeing an owl Harry got an idea.
"This could be a good time to try out my prototype." Harry mused to himself as he pulled his Magic Quantifier out of the waistband of his pants. "I really need to find a better place to keep this." He muttered before holding it against his head so that he could look through the lens of his trinket. A small bit of mana to the trinket and Harry started looking around the trees and even on rooftops within his line of sight. He didn't get any readings of mana as he looked around but surely an owl that delivered magical letters had to have some mana of its own, right? A sudden blip on the lens and the number '5' appeared causing Harry to stop his searching and notice an owl perched on the edge of the neighbor's fence with a tree branch shading its perch. It was no wonder he hadn't seen the bird. Its darker feathers and the shade it was perched in made it blend in. "Score one for my prototype though." Harry chuckled as he walked towards the owl slowly. 'At least I know I don't have to be aware of a Magical Being to get a reading on their mana.' He thought to himself as he stopped in front of the owl and held out the letter.
"Could you take my response back to Hogwarts?" Harry carefully asked the owl when it looked at him. There was something about the bird's eyes that led Harry to understand that the bird had more intelligence than normal. With a soft hoot the owl held out one of its legs. Harry noticed a piece of string tied around the leg and gently set about rolling his letter up and tying it to the owl's leg. With another hoot the owl took off and started flying in what Harry thought was a northern direction. "Guess I just wait now." He mumbled as he headed back inside. "Since my prototype works maybe I should come up with a name for it now? But what to call it, maybe I should use an acronym?" With a chuckle Harry walked back into the house and went up to his room to ponder names for his Magic Quantifier.
By the time next morning rolled around Harry had come up with a tentative acronym name he'd liked. Spell Crafted Ocular Unit Total Energy Reader or S.C.O.U.T.E.R. for short. Saying the full name was a mouthful but calling his Magic Quantifier a Scouter made some sense. Any Magical Being within thirty meters of Harry could have their total amount of mana 'scouted' by him so he would at least know their relative magical strength compared to his own. Plus he'd broken down his prototype's main features to come up with the words used in the acronym. Spell Crafted for how it was made, Ocular Unit because it was used by the eye, and Total Energy Reader because it told him the total amount of mana, which is what he called magical energy, a Magical Being had at their full strength. There were definitely still adjustments and improvements that could be made to his Scouter but for his first totally original design Harry felt that he'd done well.
A loud knock on the front door alerted everyone in the Dursley's home that someone had arrived. Harry made his way down stairs from his room only to see Vernon at the door looking gob smacked at the large, hairy man standing on his doorstep. This was probably the staff member from Hogwarts and Harry was already too curious to hold himself back. With a quick movement he had his Scouter at his eye and was scanning the huge man for his mana amount. Harry's eyes tried to follow the rapidly growing number on the lens but lost track quickly. When the number came to a stop Harry almost stumbled back in shock. There on the lens was the number '7,062'. Harry almost burst with questions just from the number alone. Was this an average reading for Magicals? Was it higher or lower than normal? How had the large man gotten such a high amount of mana? Why was he so large? Was it because he had so much mana? Question after question appeared in Harry's mind before he settled on a single realization to try and calm himself down. His '270' mana wasn't very much when compared to this man's. He'd need to look into becoming a bit more magically powerful in the future; it never hurt to be prepared after all. Quickly putting his Scouter back at his waist he walked down the stairs catching the large man's attention.
"There's Harry, look just like yer father, yeh do." The large man laughed as Harry came to stand beside Vernon.
"You knew my father?" Harry asked curiously. Vernon and Petunia had only heard about his father a few times from his mother, so neither of them knew the man personally. This could be a good chance to learn something about his parents.
"I did indeed, bit o' a prankster in his school days. Grew up ter' be a respectable wizard though." The huge man grinned; at least Harry thought so with the way his eyes crinkled upwards.
"Are you here to take me to get my school things?" Harry asked getting a nod from the large man.
"Aye, I'm supposed te' take ye up te' Diagon Alley ter' buy yer school things." The man grinned happily. "Name's Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and the Grounds of Hogwarts."
"Thank you for your time, Mr. Hagrid." Harry smiled back.
"I'll have him back in a few hours. Don't suppose he'll even be late fer' dinner." Hagrid nodded to Vernon getting a small nod back. With that Harry followed after Hagrid and the two made their way to the nearest bus stop. Throughout their trip towards London Harry asked Hagrid dozens of questions. Most of them were about his parents and the rest were about the hidden Magical World. Hagrid had been able to answer the majority of his questions so Harry had been mostly satisfied during the trip. When they stopped in front of a dingy pub called 'The Leaky Cauldron' Harry couldn't keep the unimpressed look off his face.
"This is the entrance to Diagon Alley?" Harry questioned Hagrid.
Hagrid chuckled at the confused tone in Harry's voice. He supposed that the Leaky Cauldron really did look a bit out of place when compared to the more modern surrounding buildings.
"Indeed it is, Harry." Hagrid nodded. "Remember what I told ye; yer quite famous in the Wizarding World. So we'll try ter' make our way through without drawing attention." Harry grimaced not sure a man of Hagrid's size could go anywhere without drawing attention. He was also a bit skeptical about this supposed fame of his, but would prefer not to cause a scene if possible. Quickly making sure his hair covered the faint scar on his forehead the two entered the Leaky Cauldron.
"Afternoon, Hagrid, the usual?" The man at the bar called as soon as Hagrid walked through the door.
"Not today, Tom, escortin' a new First Year through Diagon." Hagrid replied as he gently patted Harry's shoulder. The pat still almost sent Harry to the floor though. They were quickly able to pass through the Leaky Cauldron without incident and were soon in Diagon Alley proper. Harry had thought the brick wall that separated when certain bricks were touched was a cool trick. Diagon Alley itself featured a cobblestone road that was too narrow compared to a modern street and a variety of smallish buildings selling all sorts of strange things. It looked like something one might see in a history book about London by Harry's reckoning.
"Come along Harry, our firs' stop is Gringotts, the Wizarding bank." Hagrid whispered lowly, not wanting to give away the boy's identity.
"What are those?" Harry asked surprised as he saw a pair of obviously non-human guards while they were walking up the steps of the bank.
"Goblins, Harry." Hagrid replied. "They own and run Gringotts, their good with money, but not very fond o' wizards. Yeh'd be mad to try an' rob the place, full of spells and enchantments. It's a huge maze o' tunnels and even dragons if the stories are to be believed."
Harry almost stopped to stare at Hagrid in shock. Goblins as bankers of all things? That was quite the departure from the fantasy stereotype of stupid, smelly creatures that were found in the fantasy books at the library. They were probably more vicious though. According to Vernon's grumblings human bankers were the most cutthroat people in the world. Pairing that up with Magic and how these Goblins seemed to practically glare at everyone they saw didn't inspire confidence.
An inscription on the second set of doors caught Harry's eye and he quickly read it as they passed. 'Enter stranger, but take heed. Of what awaits the sin of greed. For those who take, but do not earn. Must pay most dearly in their turn. So if you seek beneath our floors. A treasure that was never yours. Thief, you have been warned, beware. Of finding more than treasure there.' Well that wasn't terrifying or anything, Harry thought to himself. Groundskeeper and soon-to-be student stepped up to one of the numerous goblin tellers shortly after entering the bank proper.
"Afternoon, we've come ter take some money outta Mr. Harry Potter's vault." Hagrid said. The goblin teller looked over the two of them before responding.
"Do you have the key?" The goblin asked getting Hagrid to perk up.
"Got it here somewhere." Hagrid replied digging through his many pockets. Within a minute Hagrid grinned as he held up a small golden key. The goblin took the key and looked it over carefully.
"This appears to be in order. You are aware that you may only withdraw from the trust vault, correct?" The goblin questioned getting Harry to start slightly. Trust vault? Didn't that mean there was another vault in his name?
"Yeah, I also have a letter from Albus Dumbledore about the You-Know-What in vault seven hundred thirteen." Hagrid replied as he passed a letter to the teller. The goblin took the letter and began to read over it. After a short moment the teller nodded.
"I'll have someone take you down to both vaults. Griphook!" The teller called out and another goblin came over.
"Excuse me you mentioned this was my trust vault, correct?" Harry interjected as politely as he could. "Does that mean that there is also another vault?"
"Of course, but you do not have access to it until you are of age." The goblin teller replied his tone laced with slight annoyance. Harry was much too excited by the idea of potentially learning about his Magical Family to care about that though, and pressed on with his questioning. "Would it be possible to discuss my account with the one managing it?"
"Is that necessary, Harry? I told yer Uncle I'd have yeh back before dinner." Hagrid asked him. "Yer trust vault should have more than o'nough for your school supplies."
"What's the You-Know-What?" Harry asked in response to Hagrid's comment.
"I can't tell yeh that! It's more than me job's worth to tell yeh." Hagrid replied quickly. Harry simply nodded. Obviously, they weren't going to tell a new student if they were being so secretive in the first place.
"If that's the case I can talk to the account manager while you retrieve the item you were sent to collect." Harry offered only to get a harrumph from the goblin called Griphook. Turning to look at the goblin both Harry and Hagrid were met with a glare.
"If you could decide your business quickly it would be most appreciated. Time is money and you're wasting mine." Griphook growled lowly at them.
"Please Hagrid, I just want to know what's in my other vault and if I can try and learn about my family." Harry pleaded with the gentle giant of a man.
"Alright, alright, Harry, no need ter start with the beggin' look." Hagrid relented with a sigh. "Look these Gringotts' carts make me queasy anyway. So I'll probably need a pick-me-up at the Leaky Cauldron afterwards. Once you're done with yer business and got yer money I'll be waiting for yeh at the bottom of the bank steps. If I'm not there come straight to the Cauldron, jus' knock on the bricks to open 'em from this side, and find me alright?"
"Of course, Hagrid, I still need you to show me around after all." Harry smiled back at the large man. Hagrid beamed back at him and they turned to Griphook. They were startled to find another goblin already waiting beside Griphook.
"This is Ripfang, he'll be taking you to vault seven hundred thirteen." Griphook introduced the new goblin. Hagrid nodded and followed the goblin. "Follow me, wizard, I'll take you to see Account Overseer Margok after we get your withdrawal taken care of." With that said Griphook set a brisk pace towards the same door Hagrid and Ripfang had left through only moments before.
One roller coaster-like cart ride later and Harry was standing in front of his trust vault. Griphook opened the door and Harry saw piles upon piles of gold, silver and bronze coins stacked inside the vault. Griphook pointed out a money pouch hanging in the vault and told Harry to use it to collect his withdrawal. Scooping in a large amount of all three types of coins, after having Griphook explain what each one was, Harry was confident that he'd have enough money to buy his school supplies and any other books or items that caught his interest. While on the cart ride back up Harry mentally reminded himself of the Wizarding currency, Gold Galleons, Silver Sickles, and Bronze Knuts. Twenty nine Knuts to a Sickle, seventeen Sickles to a Galleon. When they got back to the surface Griphook once again set a brisk pace as he led Harry to see his Account Overseer. Arriving at a door with a gold plaque that simply said Margok, Griphook knocked three times and a call of 'Enter.' was heard from within.
"Thank you for your help Griphook." Harry thanked the goblin for leading him with a nod. Griphook simply turned and walked away without another word and Harry entered the office.
"I must admit that I am rather surprised that you would want to speak to me already, Mr. Potter." Margok stated as soon as his office door closed behind Harry. "Since you cannot touch any of the Potter finances aside from what is in your trust vault until you are of age, something that I am sure you were already informed of by the teller." Harry felt that Margok was really asking 'Why are you here wasting my time?'
"I was simply curious about the state of my family's finances." Harry replied as he moved over to the plain chairs that sat in front of Margok's desk. "I would like an accounting of the Potter family assets." Harry was thankful that he'd learned these terms from listening to Vernon over the years as his uncle managed the Dursley family's bank accounts.
"Very well." Margok grumbled, taking some documents out of a drawer on his side of the desk. "The Potter family liquid assets amount to ten thousand galleons with another five thousand in your trust vault. The main vault also holds assorted heirlooms and other items acquired over the years."
"Is there an inventory of these items?" Harry questioned eagerly, his mind on what might be in there in regards to his family and their history.
"No. Gringotts merely stores the items of our vault holders. We do not care what they are, unless the item is goblin-made in which case our treaty with your Ministry allows us to reclaim ownership of said item." Margok informed the young wizard.
"I see." Harry disappointedly replied. He was hoping that there might be a family history or some mementos from his parents.
Margok paid him no mind as he continued. "The only land the Potter's still own is where Potter Manor once stood. It was destroyed by the Death Eaters shortly after the deaths of your paternal grandparents."
Harry was sad to learn that his family's home had also been destroyed. He'd learned about what had happened to his parents from Hagrid on their trip to London. Something was bothering him about all this though. The money to own a large manor and estate couldn't be coming from nowhere, there had to be some sort of business bringing a profit into the Potter vault.
"Does the Potter family own some kind of business?" Harry asked.
"Not anymore." Margok bluntly replied. "A small scale potion-making company called Sleekeazy's belonged to your grandfather, Fleamont Potter. But he sold the company upon his retirement. It did quadruple the Potter family's wealth but most of that was spent on the war effort against the Death Eaters."
"What'll happen to the lands if I have no money? Will they be seized because of taxes?" Harry asked having heard of repossession on the television before and having the basic premise explained by Vernon and Petunia.
"Not as such." Margok grunted. "The taxes on ancestral lands are fairly low, around a hundred Galleons a year for a property the size of the Potter estate."
"I see." Harry replied relieved, before frowning. He would have to find out some way to get some money coming into his family's vault. "I can do whatever I want with the money in my trust vault, is that correct?"
"It is." Margok stated clearly bored.
"Is the amount of gold in my trust vault a fixed amount or does it get periodically replenished?" Harry questioned trying to see if he could get to the money in the Potter family vault and use some of it to invest.
"The former, the trust vault is only refilled if its balance becomes zero." Margok informed.
"Could I move the contents of my trust vault to a new one, and repeat this until I have an appropriate amount of funds?" Harry asked his mind working to try and figure out his family's financial problem and fix it.
Margok sighed, while it wasn't all that hard to figure out this type of scheme, branch members of wealthy families thought of it often enough, it did show that the boy was trying to make plans for that money.
"There is a rather substantial fee applied to such services." Margok stated with a fanged smile.
"How much of a fee?" Harry asked suddenly suspicious.
"Twenty percent per transaction." Margok informed greed practically dripping from his tone.
"That's practically theft!" Harry gaped at the goblin.
"You could always wait until you are of age." Margok offered; smirking at the glare the young wizard was aiming at him. He may have been willing to go lower, but the young Potter seemed desperate enough for the money to agree to that exorbitant fee and Gringotts didn't do charity, especially not for wizards.
"I think I'll just leave the money where it is for now." Harry grimaced.
"If you're sure." Margok replied with his fanged smile, it was unfortunate that he wouldn't be making a profit off this meeting. But it showed the Potter boy was smart enough to bide his time when it came to his inheritance. Good money sense was a rare trait in a lot of wizards now days.
Hagrid's good mood was greatly appreciated when Harry came out of Gringotts. He got the feeling that Hagrid was a man of humbleness and was able to enjoy the simple things. Harry decided that he should probably learn to take a page from the large man's book and enjoy what he could with what he had. His financial situation may demand it until he reached seventeen. But Hagrid's good mood was infectious and it helped lift Harry's own mood since it wasn't exactly sunshine and daisies after his meeting with Margok.
Their first stop after Gringotts was Madam Malkin's Robes for all Occasions. Even after Hagrid's warning about people seeing his scar, Madam Malkin stayed professional, though it could be that she didn't notice the faint scar. It gave him hope that it wouldn't be as bad as Hagrid claimed. While waiting for the rest of his robes to be adjusted and then bagged up, Harry pulled out his Scouter and checked Madam Malkins' mana amount. Harry didn't know how to feel about the '3846' that appeared on the lens. It suggested that mana varied significantly from person to person. But while he waited he looked out the large window of the shop at all the Witches and Wizards moving about.
'Well, this is as good a chance as any to experiment a bit.' Harry thought with a small grin as he started scanning mana amounts from as many people as possible. He'd try and remember as many of them as he could to come up with the best average back at Privet Drive. '2270' from a wizard selling something out of a stand on the side of the alleyway, '5538' from a witch that looked to be wearing some type of uniform robe. A reading of '896' from a boy that looked to be two or three years older than Harry, '1820' was from the older witch leading the boy through the alley. '6708' came from another person wearing the uniform robe, an older wizard this time, '1350' from a witch that looked about the same age as the boy from earlier.
"Grab yer bag Harry. Still got more things ter buy." Hagrid called getting Harry to put his Scouter away and walk over to grab his bag of new robes. He came out of the robe shop in one of his new robes feeling a bit silly, but he did blend in now and he was sure he'd get use to wearing them with some time.
The trunk shop and apothecary were next, both of which passed without incident. Though Harry did spend a few extra Galleons on a trunk enchanted with a permanent 'Feather Light' Charm and an Expanded Interior that essentially quadrupled the amount of space inside. Pulling on the small handles inside the trunk literally pulled another trunk space out of what was basically thin air. Harry really wanted to figure out enchantments like this! So many possibilities were running through his head already! It was in the book shop that he once again cut into their shopping time getting a fond sigh out of Hagrid.
"Yer definitely yer mum's son alright; curious 'bout everything and wantin' to learn it all." Hagrid chuckled. "Always surprised everyone she wasn't a Ravenclaw."
"She was in Gryffindor, right?" Harry asked to confirm what Hagrid had told him on the trip to London.
"Aye, both yer parents were." Hagrid nodded.
"Well, maybe I'll end up in Ravenclaw like mum should have been?" Harry asked with a grin getting a chuckle out of Hagrid. Harry continued browsing the shelves of Flourish and Blott's grabbing all of his required texts. It was when he noticed the sign for Ancient Runes textbooks that Harry quickly realized he could buy more than required and expand his knowledge.
"Ancient Runes and Arithmancy are electives that start in Third Year, Harry. You won't be needed them just yet." Hagrid said as he saw Harry picking out books on both subjects.
"I'm buying them now. They're interesting subjects and I want to learn." Harry stated. "Besides I've not had much chance to explore Magic, Hagrid, I need to learn what I can before school starts."
"I guess yeh have a point, Harry." Hagrid conceded as Harry smiled and pulled a few more books off the shelves before they made their way towards the checkout counter. After all Harry wanted to learn about all sorts of Magic and with titles like, 'Magical Crafting', 'Advanced Magical Crafting', and "Esoteric Magics from Around the World' how could he not buy them?
Harry had long wanted a pet, so the Magical Menagerie was their next stop. Looking around for a while, Hagrid suddenly pointed out a beautiful Snowy Owl with luminous yellow eyes. Harry thought the owl looked amazing.
"She's a real beaut' isn't she Harry?" Hagrid asked with a grin as they walked over towards the owl.
"She's brilliant." Harry agreed as they stood in front of the owl. The owl looked them over and Harry slowly reached out to pet her. The Snowy Owl allowed Harry to gently run his fingers over her pure white feathers.
"I think she likes yeh, Harry." Hagrid chuckled. "How 'bout I buy her for yeh as an early birthday present?"
"Hagrid, you don't have to do that." Harry replied not having expected to be bought a gift.
"But I want to, Harry. Just think of it as a birthday gift from a family friend." Hagrid smiled getting a beaming smile back from Harry. They quickly picked out a nice cage for the Snowy Owl and purchased some food and treats for her before leaving the Magical Menagerie.
Their last stop of the day was the wand shop, Ollivander's. Harry couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was some kind of unidentifiable feeling in the air. Almost like static to his senses.
"Good afternoon." The soft greeting came from behind, causing Harry to almost jump from the sudden sound from behind.
"Hello." Harry replied with caution. There was something about the man and his silvery eyes that was definitely odd.
"Ah, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you here soon, Harry Potter." The man continued, seeming to ignore Harry's discomfort.
"Must yeh do that every time, Ollivander?" Hagrid asked with a sigh his own huge hand over his heart.
"Rubeus, Rubeus Hagrid. Oak at sixteen inches and a Unicorn tail hair core, rather bendy." Ollivander rattled off as he looked at Hagrid. "Good wand, that one. But I suppose they snapped it in half when you got expelled?"
"Yes, but I've still got the pieces though." Hagrid sighed.
"But you don't use them do you?" Ollivander inquired getting Hagrid to grab one side of his large coat while shaking his head.
Harry had to suppress his curiosity at the conversation between the two men. How had Hagrid gotten expelled? The old wand maker apparently knew about Hagrid's wand and what it was made out of as well. Did he know about a lot of people's wands?
"Well then, Mr. Potter, let us find your wand." Ollivander said, handing him a wand. "Try this one. Its Beech wood and Dragon heartstring. Nine inches exactly. Nice and flexible. Give it a wave."
Harry took the wand, feeling his skin tingle when it came into contact with the wood. He gave it a wave as instructed, feeling a little foolish since he knew he could do Magic without it. A weak stream of multi-colored sparks came from the end of the wand.
"A match on the first try?" Hagrid asked in surprise.
"No, no, I don't think so." Ollivander replied as he snatched the wand away, his eyes taking on a calculating glint. "Try this one Mr. Potter. Maple and Phoenix feather at eleven and a half inches."
Harry tried it, getting a similar result as the first. Ollivander suddenly looked as if he was suspicious of something and Harry wondered if it was about his ability to use Wandless magic. Thankfully, the old man didn't comment on it.
Many wands came and went, producing varying results, some stronger and others weaker. Eventually they came to a Holly wand with a Phoenix feather core that had a stronger reaction than any of the others so far. He felt something connect to his magic and seemingly fit with it, the wand releasing a great stream of sparks without any movement until it settled down a moment later.
"Curious, very curious." Ollivander muttered as he gazed at the wand in Harry's hand.
"What's curious?" Harry questioned as he looked back at the wand maker.
"I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr. Potter." The wand maker stated. "Every single one, I find it odd that the Phoenix who donated the feather for that wand gave another feather, just one other. That other feather was used to make the wand that gave you that scar." Ollivander explained as he pointed towards Harry's forehead. "It is very curious that you would be chosen by the brother wand to that of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
Harry tried really hard not to think it, but it was useless. That sounded undeniably like an important part of the plot for a few of the fantasy books he'd read over the years. Hagrid had even mentioned that Voldemort might not actually be dead, merely severely weakened and barely holding onto life somewhere in the world.
"I think we can expect great things from you, Mr. Potter." Ollivander nodded. "After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things, terrible yes, but great."
Somewhat unnerved by the creepy tone the old man used, Harry was still getting that feeling of an 'important plot point' just being revealed from his books. But his innate curiosity eventually overwhelmed him and he had to ask Ollivander a question.
"You made all of these wands, Mr. Ollivander?" Harry questioned.
"Hmm? No, not all of them, a great many of the ones here are my work. Some, however, are my father's and one or two still remain from my grandfather's time." Ollivander answered.
"How do you make wands?" Harry asked before he could stop himself.
"Ah, I'm afraid the secrets of wandlore aren't so easily acquired, Mr. Potter." Ollivander grinned getting an embarrassed flush to take over Harry's cheeks. "Though, I must admit my own curiosity about that trinket in your robe pocket." The old man stated as he stared directly at the pocket that held Harry's Scouter. Harry quickly put his hand over the pocket as if to protect his creation.
"How did you know about that?" Harry questioned staring back at the wand maker. Hagrid merely looked confused at the back and forth between the two.
"I've been crafting wands for decades, Mr. Potter. I'm rather in tune to the magic given off by Enchanted Objects." Ollivander explained calmly. "Might I have a look at your trinket?"
"I guess." Harry agreed after giving the wand maker a long stare. He pulled the Scouter out of his robe pocket and let Ollivander look it over.
"I see, yes a simple counting runic sequence, followed by a permanent unit of measure outlined by the second half of the sequence. But I'm not sure what it is that's being counted. This combination in the second half is new to me." Ollivander mumbled to himself as he looked over the Scouter. "Would you care to enlighten a fellow craftsman, Mr. Potter?"
"It counts mana." Harry replied after a moment of indecision. "Aren't there ways to measure someone's magical strength?" Ollivander's eyes widening immediately clued Harry into the fact that, no, apparently there wasn't a known way to quantify a person's magical strength.
"Are you saying you've come up with a reliable unit of measure for Magic, Mr. Potter? That's been debated for centuries without anyone coming to a consensus. I dare say this little trinket of yours could upend the way many Magicals view Magic as a whole." Ollivander breathed out as he looked over the Scouter with newfound respect. Harry flushed embarrassed but also incredibly proud of himself at the same time.
"Would you like to give it a try, Mr. Ollivander?" Harry asked getting a surprisingly energetic nod from the old wand maker. Harry showed him how to hold it so that the lens went over his right eye and Ollivander instantly figured out how to activate it. With a hum of enjoyment Ollivander scanned Harry and then a moment later Hagrid.
"So a reading of '270' for you Mr. Potter, and Rubeus has what I can only imagine is an impressive '7,062'. Is it possible to scan myself?" Ollivander asked while Hagrid sat down and smiled at the number given to him. He'd always wondered if he'd be a strong wizard if he hadn't gotten expelled. Harry's trinket seemed to answer the question in a positive way, at least when it came to magical strength.
"Sorry, Mr. Ollivander, shortly after you stop focusing the lens on a person the number disappears." Harry explained. "I can give you a reading though." Ollivander gave a quick nod as he handed the Scouter back to Harry. With a quick scan Harry gave Ollivander his reading. "You have a mana amount of '4196', Mr. Ollivander."
"Hmm, I see, I wonder if my age affects the reading or if it's because I've never been a combative type of person?" Ollivander mused to himself as he thought about the number. Had it been higher when he was younger and shrank as he aged? Was it continually growing? Did his constant work on wands make it higher or lower? There were so very many questions. "I would advise you to not show your runic sequence to anyone else, Mr. Potter. There are many who would steal your work just to make a quick Galleon."
"Oh, right, I hadn't thought about that." Harry muttered to himself. He was sure that someone would have come up with something similar before him and hadn't thought he'd literally made something potentially revolutionary. Mr. Ollivander seeing his expression quickly went over and wrote something out on a piece of parchment.
"Here you are, Mr. Potter. This runic sequence should help protect your work." Ollivander stated as Harry took the small piece of parchment. "That's a self-destruction sequence that can be placed against another runic sequence. If the two sequences ever physically separate the self-destruction sequence destroys both of them rendering them unreadable to anyone."
"Thank you, Mr. Ollivander; I don't know how I can thank you for this." Harry stated while giving the old wand maker an actual bow of gratitude.
"You showed me your unique work, Mr. Potter. It's only fair that I should part with my own. I've been using that self-destruction sequence to protect the secrets of my own style of wand crafting since I was a young man." Ollivander smiled at the young Enchanter. "It seems we won't have to wait for you to do great things, Mr. Potter, you've already started doing them. I look forward to what you'll do in the future. You may be the best Enchanter we've seen in decades or, dare I say, the first Artificer in well over a century." Harry found he liked that word, Artificer. It sounded like a title worth striving for.
After leaving Ollivander's shop Hagrid took Harry back on the train to Surrey. During the trip Harry asked Hagrid not to tell anyone about his Scouter, at least not until he revealed it himself. Hagrid had agreed instantly knowing that some people would try and take Harry's work for their own profit. Harry smiled and waved at Hagrid as the large man dropped him off at Number Four. The two had agreed to write letters for the remainder of the summer and Harry's new owl could take them back and forth. It was nice having a Magical friend he could talk to about all sorts of Magic. Hagrid seemed incredibly knowledgeable about Magical Beasts in particular and Harry was inclined to learn about them as well with how passionately Hagrid went on about them.
Harry sighed happily as he sank into the seats of the Hogwarts Express. Vernon had dropped Harry off at King's Cross before heading back to Privet Drive to enjoy the rest of the Sunday. Thanks to his 'Feather Light' trunk Harry hadn't needed any assistance getting his luggage onto a trolley; placing Hedwig's cage on top and wheeling it towards the barrier that separated Platforms Nine and Ten had been the easy part. Harry had actually stopped to admire the impressive metal archway after crossing through it. It was an Artifact created by his family after all. Harry's Great-Great-Great-Granduncle, Richard Potter, had been commissioned to create the archway back in Eighteen Fifty by the Minister of Magic at the time, Evangeline Orpington. It allowed only Magicals to pass through unless it was closed off, such as in an emergency, with the only way for Muggles to pass through being if they were escorted by a Wizard or Witch. Richard Potter had been the last Artificer of the Potter family, based on what the genealogy book Harry had bought at Flourish and Blott's said. He'd only decided to buy the book when he'd flipped to the 'P' section and found a history of the Potter family, or at least its most notable members, which was more than enough reason to buy the whole book in Harry's opinion. Finding out that there had been six well known Artificers in the Potter family since the Twelfth Century gave Harry another reason to go after the title.
Getting to spend ten months of the year for the next seven years learning Magic sounded almost perfect. Almost, because he'd learned that Magicals were technologically stupid and Harry had grown up with electricity, television, and the like. Living in a society where the greatest technological innovation that didn't require Magic was indoor plumbing was going to be very different. Heck, they still used parchment and quills for all their writing! He'd bought a couple of ballpoint pens as soon as possible since they were what he'd grown up with. He'd use them as much as possible until his writing with a quill improved. There was tradition and then there was being stupid, Harry didn't want to look stupid so he'd continue to practice with the quill while using the much simpler ballpoint pen until his penmanship was up to his standards.
While on the subject of things that Harry found weird about the Magical World, Harry took out his wand. It was Holly with a Phoenix feather core, eleven inches even, nice and supple. He wasn't sure what nice and supple had to do with anything but Ollivander had mentioned it. He was honestly a bit puzzled by the concept of wands. The wand did make his magic unquestionably easier when used, but from what he'd both read and seen so far, most Magicals seemed to think that magic was as good as impossible without one.
That just made no sense to Harry. The mana resided in the witch or wizard; otherwise a wand could even be used by Muggles to cast spells. With this thought in mind, Harry concluded that wands were just magical foci, designed to make the use of magic easier. That made sense, considering the better control allowed for fine detailed spell work, like healing spells. The near crippling reliance on wands to do any magic at all did not make any sense.
Harry was already determined to master his magic without the need of a wand. Much of this determination was based on his ability to already perform Magic without one. Not to say he wouldn't use a Magical focus if he absolutely needed to. Honestly he planned to make a few different types of them in the future. A wand was one of the most versatile foci to be created, but it certainly wasn't the first. Magical rings, amulets, swords, knives, staves, and armor had all been crafted at various points throughout history. If the focus in question was locked into fulfilling a singular spell it would output that spell not only easier than with a wand but with greater force as well. Harry already had a few ideas floating around in his head.
Another practical reason for his determination came from Hagrid reminding him not to cast any spells at home, as the Ministry of Magic forbid Underage Sorcery and could track it. But they had clearly not managed to track any of the numerous spells he'd performed wandlessly in the past couple of years, which meant that they were tracking the wand use rather than Magic use itself.
While his accomplishments hadn't been overly impressive, almost all of the spells he could do were in the First Year Charms curriculum, so none of them were considered great feats of Magic. But if the Ministry was tracking actual Magic use then they should still have registered considering he lived in a completely Muggle neighborhood. The Ministry may claim that they could detect any magic use, but they obviously couldn't.
Harry had read a lot of fantasy books in his search for inspiration while trying to figure out the ways of Magic. Some of these books featured the theme of a corrupt government in the narrative. The numerous instances of Restricted Magic that were mentioned in the books he'd bought at Flourish and Blott's further solidified his developing opinion on the Ministry. After reading more on the subject it honestly didn't take him long to develop a dislike of the Ministry of Magic and start to wonder if they weren't a bit corrupt. It just seemed odd to the young wizard that so many Magical topics were completely banned from study. All of them were usually just lumped together under the umbrella term of Dark Magic and forbidden to everyone. It made Harry want to find out what was so horrible about several of the subjects that had been banned. It wasn't like he planned to go around murdering and sacrificing people or anything. Besides, according to the Ministry's laws, he was constantly breaking the Decree about the Reasonable Restriction on Underage Sorcery. But he honestly didn't see any harm in breaking some of the Ministry's more silly laws in his pursuit of Magical knowledge.
A knock on his compartment door startled Harry from his thoughts and he looked up quickly as the door opened. The person on the other side was a girl at least five or six years older than Harry himself. She was wearing ripped jeans and a t-shirt with what appeared to be the 'Weird Sisters' band logo on it. He'd seen the logo in the Daily Prophet, which he now had a subscription to thanks to Hagrid, and knew them as a very popular magical music group. The most fascinating thing about the teen in question was her oddly colored hair and eyes. Bright pink hair with purple eyes wasn't exactly common even in the Magical World. She must have used a spell to make these drastic changes to herself.
"Wotcher, the name's Tonks. Don't suppose you'd mind if I sat with you, right ickle Firstie?" Tonks asked with a playful grin.
"Uh, no please come in." Harry invited the older girl. Tonks gave him a brief smile before stepping into the compartment with her trunk and with a quick wave of her wand had it levitated into the overhead rack. With that out of the way the older teen sat down across from Harry and got comfortable.
"So, you know my name, what's yours?" Tonks asked once she'd gotten herself situated.
"Oh, right, I'm Harry, Harry Potter." Harry introduced himself. Tonks eyes widened slightly before she snorted in laughter.
"That's funny and all, since Harry Potter is supposed to start Hogwarts this year, but you won't fool anybody without the scar on the forehead." Tonks chuckled only to choke slightly when Harry lifted up his bangs and showed her the faint scar. "Blimey! You weren't kidding!" She stated as she traced the scar with her eyes. "Sorry about not believing you. Just the rumors all say the scar was bigger and more noticeable because it was made by Dark Magic, you know?"
"I'm afraid I stopped listening to most of the rumors when I heard some of them say I rode Dragons at five years old and fought Vampires and Werewolves across Europe when I was nine." Harry sighed while shaking his head. Tonks chuckled at his clear exasperation with Wizarding Britain's rumor mill.
"Well you're here now so you'll only have to deal with Hogwarts' rumor mill for a while." Tonks grinned getting another sigh from Harry.
"I'd rather be able to study Magic in peace." Harry replied as he patted the book next to him. He'd been planning to crack it open when the train departed.
"What's that you're reading?" Tonks asked curiously. Harry showed her the cover of the book and she read the title in her head. 'Advanced Magical Crafting: Create Spells and Enchant Objects' by Wren Strix. "Harry that's like Sixth or Seventh Year material and you haven't even been sorted yet. Surely you aren't telling me you understand any of that." She reasoned as she looked back at him.
"What's not to understand? It's just Runes and Arithmancy and how to get the desired effects from them. Materials are important of course but I'm told you can order most anything through Owl Order. Shouldn't be hard to get what I need when I'm ready to start experimenting." Harry replied as he looked over his book for any reason Tonks would think it was difficult to understand.
"Nerrrrrrrd!" Tonks exclaimed as she pointed at him. Harry's eyes went wide at her loud proclamation causing Tonks to burst into laughter.
"What's so funny?" Harry demanded a little incensed at the older girl's teasing.
"Nothing, Harry, don't worry. You might be a nerd but Tonks will still be your pal!" Tonks replied as she got her laughter under control.
"Oi!" Harry called out getting another round of giggles out of Tonks.
"Oh, don't pout Harry, I'm just teasing." Tonks smiled as she leaned back into her seat. Harry didn't think he was pouting at all! "So, if you can understand all of that, does that mean you've made a spell or Enchanted Object before?" She asked curiously and almost burst into giggles again when Harry perked right back up at her question.
"Yeah, I've made two so far. I probably could have made a few more if I'd stuck to simpler trinkets like my first one; but I got really invested into my second project and ended up spending almost a year on it." Harry explained as he reached into his pockets and pulled out his Hiding Stone and his Scouter. Tonks pulled the drop down table up and locked it into place so that Harry could set his trinkets on it. Looking them over Tonks saw a small flat stone with thick twine wrapped around it with a loop of twine left on top. It looked like it was meant to be hung from the twine and had four Runes etched into it. The other was a thin metal bar with a glass lens attached to it. A small plank of wood no thicker than a popsicle' stick was attached to one side of the metal as well.
"So what's this one do?" Tonks asked pointing at the stone. It seemed the simplest so she figured it was probably his first creation.
"That's a Hiding Stone. It makes the one holding it less noticeable. Alternatively you can hang it on something to make the other object less noticeable. It's not very strong, since people that want to find you can see through it, but no one will notice you 'out of the corner of their eye' as the saying goes." Harry explained. Tonks whistled impressed.
"That's still pretty neat Harry. I can think of a few times I would've wanted something like this. Plus you made it before even coming to Hogwarts, so that's doubly impressive." Tonks grinned getting an adorable blush out of the First Year. "So what's this other one do?"
"That's my current best work. I call it a Scouter, it's short for Spell Crafted Ocular Unit Total Energy Reader, and it reads a person's total amount of mana." Harry explained.
"That name would've been way too long if you hadn't shortened it." Tonks chuckled getting a bashful grin from Harry. "One question though?"
"Sure, what is it?" Harry asked.
"What's mana?" Tonks asked confused.
"Right, I borrowed the term from Muggle fiction. I guess most Magically-raised people wouldn't have heard of it." Harry stated as he scratched the side of his head. "Mana is what I call Magical Energy. My Scouter uses a base unit of measurement to calculate a Magical's total Magical strength." He explained.
"Wait, wait, and wait! You've made something that can tell you a person's Magical strength?! No one has ever agreed on a way to truly measure Magic! How the bloody hell did you do it?!" Tonks asked shocked. This was considered impossible for as long as anyone could remember! How had Harry done it before even coming to Hogwarts?!
"I used the Lumos Charm as the base." Harry spat out quickly shocked by Tonks' reaction. "I just kept using less and less mana to cast it until I found out the absolute minimum amount required to get the spell to work."
"So how does it work?" Tonks asked once she'd calmed down slightly. "I see a lens so I'm assuming you look through that."
"Correct, here I'll scan you as a demonstration." Harry offered getting an enthusiastic nod from Tonks.
"Scan away, nerd." Tonks grinned, getting a sigh from Harry at her teasing. Harry held the Scouter up to his eye and added the small amount of mana to activate it. The numbers climbed rapidly before settling on '4460'.
"Wow, you've got quite a bit of mana, Tonks. You rate in at a '4460' on the Scouter, that's stronger than a few of the Witches and Wizards I've seen so far. Tonks looked pleased with herself before turning to face him.
"What's the average so far? I don't know how many you've been able to get readings on but the more people involved the more accurate the average right?" Tonks asked getting Harry to sigh.
"I've only been able to get the readings of eleven people so far so it isn't very accurate yet. But the current average is close to thirty five hundred." Harry informed her.
"Well that means I'm still above average so I'm good!" Tonks smirked in triumph. Harry chuckled at her energetic personality. "You want to walk the train after we depart and try and get some more readings? It would only be of school age children but you could get an average for our age range at least." She offered and Harry nodded happily, the chance to collect more data was always welcome.
Before long the train departed and the two started planning their walk up and down the train. Harry was a bit confused about something and felt like he could ask Tonks about it.
"Hey, Tonks?" Harry asked.
"What's up, Harry?" Tonks questioned.
"Why did you decide to sit with me? You're fun to be around so I figured you'd have a bunch of friends to sit with." Harry wondered getting a grin from Tonks.
"Most of my closer friends graduated last year, so poor old Tonksie got left behind with only a couple of her underclassman friends. But they're already crammed four deep into their compartment and I like room to stretch my legs." Tonks explained as she stretched her legs out until they touched the seat beside Harry's.
"Oh that makes sense. It would be horrible to be uncomfortable for the entire six hour ride." Harry nodded. There was a knock on their compartment door and Harry brought his Scouter up to his eye to get a reading of the person's mana. The door opened and a bushy haired girl and a nervous looking boy stood in the doorway. Harry scanned the girl first getting a reading of '104' before quickly scanning the nervous boy and getting a '116'.
"Have either of you seen a toad? Neville here has lost his." The bushy haired girl asked.
"Nope, no toads here, though if you want to find it quickly I'd suggest getting a Prefect to try Summoning it with the Accio Charm." Tonks replied getting the girl's eyes to light up.
"That's an excellent idea. Come on, Neville, let's go find a Prefect." With that the two left without even introducing themselves properly.
"Bit of a headlong running type, right Harry?" Tonks grinned getting a nod back from Harry. Without any more interruptions Tonks and Harry started their trek up and down the Hogwarts Express. Stopping in on various people Tonks knew and only introducing him as 'Harry the Firstie' that Tonks was showing around. By the end of the walk and return to their compartment Harry had scanned what must have been half of the students on board. He had so many new readings to compile to get an average for the students that he immediately pulled out a ballpoint pen and a piece of parchment and began writing.
"Going to be done soon, Harry?" Tonks asked with some mirth several minutes later having taken out a 'Teen Witch Weekly' magazine from her trunk to amuse herself as she waited.
"Almost done." Harry replied not looking up from his parchment. Another minute or so passed before Harry looked up and spoke. "Alright, I've got the average for at least close to half of the students."
"Well, don't keep me in suspense, what is it?" Tonks asked eagerly wanting to know where she stood, Magical strength-wise, among the students.
"The average Magical strength of the students we scanned is '1535' so that should be a rough estimate of the average for students when accounting for everyone from First Year to Seventh Year." Harry stated as he looked over at Tonks with a grin. "Congratulations, Miss Tonks, you're almost three times stronger than the average student."
"Bloody right! Who's the Top Dog of the school now?!" Tonks cheered as she pumped her fist happily. Harry outright laughed at her reaction. Not long after the trolley lady came by selling sweets and snacks. Both Harry and Tonks got a few things; Tonks got her favorites while Harry got a few things to try out. It was slowly turning from afternoon into early evening when the next interruption to their trip appeared. Without so much as a knock the door to their compartment was pulled open and a blonde boy around Harry's age stood there with two larger boys standing behind him.
"I've heard Harry Potter's starting this year and I've been looking for him. This is one of the last few compartments I've left to check. So are you Harry Potter?" The blonde boy asked as he looked Harry over.
"Nice to see you too, wittle cousin Drakey." Tonks baby voiced at the blonde getting an affronted look from the boy.
"You're no cousin of mine, Halfblood!" The blonde hissed out getting an eye roll from Tonks. While the blonde and the two large boys were focused on Tonks Harry sneakily scanned each of them. The blonde had a reading of '90' while the boy on the left was an '82' and the one on the right was '84'. Harry quickly stashed his Scouter back into his robe pocket before the blonde turned back to him. "So are you Harry Potter or not?" He asked again.
"Yes, my name is Harry Potter; might I inquire as to yours?" Harry asked politely having been taught not to antagonize people when first meeting them.
"My names Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, this is Crabbe and this is Goyle. You'll soon find out that some Wizarding families are better than others. You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." Draco introduced himself and made his offer.
"While I appreciate your concern, Malfoy, I usually rely on my own experiences with a person to determine if they're the 'right sort' or not. I think I'm keeping good company with Miss Tonks." Harry replied getting a laugh from Tonks while Draco simply huffed.
"You'll see I was right eventually, Potter." Draco stated before turning and leaving taking Crabbe and Goyle with him.
"Bit of a prat that one." Harry commented getting a nod of agreement from Tonks.
"Most definitely, unfortunately he's my Aunt's son so we're related, but you can't choose your family." Tonks shrugged before standing up from her seat. "Now if you'd be so kind as to step out of the compartment I'd appreciate it."
"Huh? What for?" Harry questioned as he watched Tonks rummage through her trunk in the overhead rack.
"I mean unless you want to watch me change into my robes? You are about that age I guess." Tonks teased while giving him a wink. Harry's face flushed bright red and he practically scrambled out of the compartment shutting the door behind him. Tonks' laughter carried out even through the closed door.
"Tonks you're mental." Harry muttered as he felt his face burning hot.
"This is going to be a fun year." Tonks chuckled as she waved her wand to lock the door and pull down the shades.
So there's chapter two! Harry meets Hagrid, gets his school supplies, and even meets a new friend on the train. Bonus that his new friend is everyone's favorite lovable Metamorph! I simply reduced Tonks' age by a year and she becomes a Seventh Year when Harry is a First Year. What antics will these two get up to together at Hogwarts? Keep reading to find out!
Until I get your reviews, later!