A/N: I'm very enthusiastic about all the reviews I've gotten for only one chapter. I don't think I've actually ever seen a story of one chapter with so many and I've really enjoyed reading them all. Just one thing though, I really hate the way that you can see that you have reviews on your login page, but can't read the actual messages themselves yet, it's like a present lying right in front of you, but you're not allowed to open it yet. ^_^
Many thanks to everyone who reviewed and yes, I will be writing more about Harry's live, it's one of the reasons why I wanted to write this story.
asdf ~#~ athenakitty ~#~ Atticus J. Finch ~#~ blackenedsoul ~#~ Drea ~#~ Eden's Echo ~#~ Hotaru99 ~#~ Iori Shadow ~#~ Isis-mystic ~#~ Joe ~#~ pink-fogg ~#~ Pip3 ~#~ Purity-in-Black ~#~ Rin DeRomanus
Damia - Queen of the Gypsi's: Yep, different is definitely good. I'll make sure to keep it that way.
evon: I know what you mean, I ran into some like these myself and they were never finished. I'm definitely planning on finishing this, so I hope you'll like it.
Ketami: Thank you, that's a great compliment.
Kiddo: I purposely described him more in this chapter, but it's a bit hard to do when it's from his perspective without getting too elaborate or mushy. I always hate long descriptions of someone in a story, so I tried to integrate it into normal happenings. I hope I'm making sense and I hope even more that I did it alright.
Miss-Aurelia: I would never get tired of you, you're my most loyal reviewer. :) And I will work on my other fics too. I just started all these so I can update whatever I feel like, so when I'm in a depressed mood it will be Rifts, pissed off will get you a chapter of Reality, dreamy is for CoP and ADD is all that and everything else. Although I'm afraid all these new fics will get in the way of ADD somewhat, but I'm definitely not abandoning it.
Really Now: Yes, I'm afraid I am making this a H/H story, but maybe you'll like my Mione. As this is an AU, she's definitely not going to be completely canon, after all she never knew Harry.
Serpent of Light: Thank you for the wonderful compliments, especially since they're actually about my writing style.
Sweetpup: Oooohhhhh, violence, threatening and a beating stick. That's my kind of reviewer.... not the physical harm to me part, but the fact that your kind are the most likely to like my stories. :p
Who wants to know?: Thank you for answering the question and I'm pretty certain that I'll continue them all, although I'm planning on letting At Death's Door be for now, unless an idea really hits me in the head and needs to be let out.
Chapter 2: Magic and Muggles
"I never said you-know-who was death, only that he was removed from his body. The deatheaters have resurrected him and now the headmaster wants you back as his back up plan."
Harry stared at Snape in shock. That certainly was a straightforward and honest answer, but he should really have come to expect this from Snape, even if he had known the man for only a few hours.
"What do you mean back up plan? What's the first plan?" He asked, looking at his three guests in confusion.
Malfoy snorted loudly, earning another glare from Hermione, before answering. "Neville Longbottom."
At Harry's even more confused look, Snape quickly elaborated. "For a long time Dumbledore believed you to be the one this prophecy spoke of, but when you didn't come to Hogwarts he thought it was a sign. So he appointed the task of saviour to the only other person that could be meant by that very same prophecy, Neville Longbottom." Snape sounded like this Neville was the dirt under his shoes or something.
"What's wrong with this Neville guy?"
"There's nothing wrong with Neville." Hermione countered in a harsh voice, but it sounded very much like it had come out automatically, like she had to defend him all the time. Something that didn't seem all that unlikely to Harry if everyone thought about Neville the same way the other two wizards did.
Malfoy snorted again. "Oh please, I hardly believe he can defeat the Dark Lord, especially when the only thing he's actually any good at is herbology."
"He's a nice guy, if a bit clumsy, and it shouldn't matter what grades he gets. He could still...." She was cut off mid rant by Harry, whose face had gone frightfully blank and his tone was as cold and hard as ice.
"First I was left with my relatives, written off as unimportant, and now you're telling me that because your believed saviour hasn't got the right grades, I'm suddenly needed and all that shit?"
"Exactly." Well, that certainly proved his thoughts about Snape being painfully honest.
Harry's cold look quickly changed into one of anger. "Then why the fuck should I fight for you people? It's not like you ever did anything for me." At the last word the lights suddenly started flickering and Harry quickly forced himself to calm down. He hated when that happened.
"Potter, there are a lot of lives at stake here and they might all depend on you." Snape unsuccessfully tried to placate the furious young man. "Muggle lives too and...."
"Don't you dare blackmail me." Harry hissed at him.
Hermione, seeing that Harry wasn't going to calm down like this, tried another approach. They wouldn't be able to convince him to become their so-called saviour tonight anyway, if ever. "Look, you're not obligated to do anything, but wouldn't you at least like to see the magical world. The world in which your parents lived."
"Besides, since you're almost seventeen now, you'll get your inheritance and the Potter vaults are anything but empty. You need to go to the Gringotts bank to put them on your name." Malfoy pointed out.
The anger was immediately drained out of Harry. "Inheritance? They left me money?" He stared at the blond in shock.
"And quite a lot of it too."
Harry rubbed the bridge of his nose, he was getting a headache. "I need to think about all of this, and I need to sleep seeing as it's four in the morning. If it's alright with you, we can talk more tomorrow."
The fight had completely left him, along with his anger, now he just felt drained and exhausted.
When he was finally alone, he immediately called Jay, who had thankfully sobered up some, and they talked for over an hour. He told his best friend everything, about being a wizard, about why they had come now and even about how he felt about the whole deal. Jay wasn't his best friend for nothing, the man was his lifesaver.
After the call he felt better, much calmer at least, and he could finally go to sleep.
The next day he made his way to a place called The Leaky Cauldron, where he had agreed to meet with them. Luckily it was a beautiful sunny summers day, because he had taken two wrong turns before he found the place. It was really well hidden.
He pushed open the door and walked into a busy room filled with the strangest people, it smelled of tobacco, food and something he couldn't really identify. He spotted the three of them easily, as Malfoy's blond hair actually reflected the sunlight streaming in through the grimy windows.
He noticed that everyone was wearing these kinds of robes and he felt a bit self-conscious in his black jeans and tight dark green shirt, his normal summer clothing, but he shrugged it off. He quickly wiped some hair over his scar and avoided eye contact with everyone; he really didn't want to be recognized. Snape had told him about his fame and how people would recognize him. He didn't like it one bit.
"So, where are we going?" He asked when he reached the table.
"You're late Potter." Snape glared at him over a cup of coffee.
"Yeah well, it wasn't easy to find to place. Just be glad I came at all."
"I'm overjoyed." Snape answered dryly, before finishing his drink and standing up.
"We're going to Diagon Alley." Hermione said as she also stood up, picking up her bag. "It's on of the main wizarding streets in London and the best place to buy supplies. It also has the main Gringotts branch."
The young witch gestured for Harry to follow her as she walked past the bar and through a barely visible door.
Once all four of them were through the door and standing in a small walled courtyard, Harry stopped her from going any further.
"Is there anything you can do so I won't get recognized? You know like a spell, or something?"
"Well.... I could change the colour of your hair." She said, pulling on of the longer strands hanging in front of his eyes. "Or maybe your eyes. What about glasses? That would certainly change something."
"No, no glasses." He said vehemently. "I used to wear them, before I got contacts, and I hated them."
"And he would look far too much like his father with glasses, not that he doesn't already." Snape added viciously, earning a curious glance from Harry.
"I was more thinking along the line of hiding my scar actually, but my eye colour might also be a good idea." Harry said, turning back to Hermione, who apparently was in charge of his looks right now.
"He needs robes, he can't go into the wizarding world looking like that." Malfoy, who had stayed out of the conversation until then, sneered, looking at him with unhidden disgust. "And is that an earring?"
Harry's hand shot up to the little silver snake that hung from his right ear. "Yes it is and there is no way in hell I'm gonna remove it, not for anyone."
"Don't mind him Harry." Hermione said, glaring at Malfoy. "I actually brought one of Terry's old robes with me, so you don't attract too much attention and as for your scar, I don't think a glamour would work on a curse-scar, especially one so strong as yours."
She threw a questioning glance at Snape as she said this and he nodded in affirmation. "It would never hold, if it even works at all."
"Can't you just place a glamour in front of it?" Harry asked as he put on the black, slightly worn and too large robe over his clothes.
Snape rolled his eyes at the question. "And how would it stay in place when we can't attach it to you?"
"Jeez, sorry for asking." Harry rolled his eyes right back at him.
"Wait, that's it." Hermione exclaimed and immediately started rummaging through her bag. "Here it is." She held up a small black box.
"What's that?" Malfoy asked, confused. "Granger, you just said it yourself, no magic can hide that scar."
"Who said anything about magic." She countered.
But Harry had recognized it and smiled. "That's a great idea Mione, but I don't think it's my colour. You're skin is a whole lot darker than mine."
"Oh don't worry, this is my winter pack." She answered automatically, but then caught herself and started laughing at him. "Just come here, it'll only be for this afternoon."
"Oh, I'm not bothered by it, I use it myself sometimes." He said, earning a surprised look from her as she pulled him to the side and wiped his bangs from his forehead.
"You do?" She opened the box and pulled out a tiny sponge.
He just nodded slightly as she worked on him. When she had finished on his forehead, he felt her trace another scar on the side of his face, it was an old one, but he still shuddered at the touch. She immediately stepped back and admired her work.
"There, now we have to change your hair. Mutare Capillago." She pointed her wand at his hair and concentrated while saying the spell. "Now for your eyes. Mutare oculi." This time she pointed at his face. He really had to force himself to stand still, she was after all pointing a deadly weapon in the middle of his face.
"All done. Here." She handed him a small mirror from her bag and he looked at the changes she had made. Even though she had done nothing major, he still looked very different. His eyes were now a dark brown, as was his hair, but she hadn't changed the style, it was still short, with longer pieces in the front, hanging in his face and completely hiding his already barely visible scar."
"What did you do to the scar, I can't even see it anymore." Malfoy said, while gazing at where it used to be.
Hermione gave a triumphant smile. "Simple. Muggle make-up."
Draco gave a short laugh. "Make-up? And you actually use that." It wasn't clear whom he was asking, but it didn't really matter since both Harry and Hermione ignored him. Instead they followed Snape, who in the mean time had made the stones of the doorway fold aside by tapping them with his wand.
"Welcome," Hermione exclaimed happily. "to Diagon Alley."
But before Harry could comment on the amazing sight, Snape hastily bid them a goodbye and went his own way, most likely to the apothecary's Hermione muttered to him.
As the three teens made their way to the goblin's bank, Hermione started commenting on the stores and telling him some of the habits in the wizarding world. Harry found it all fascinating, but Malfoy quickly grew bored.
"I need to get some stuff myself, I'll be in the Leaky Cauldron later." And with that he took off in another direction.
"Not a real social type, is he?" Harry asked as he and Hermione resumed their walk.
"I wouldn't know. We don't interact unless we have to, like in classes, but I guess we'll have to next year, since we're headgirl and boy." Hermione explained. "You see, he's a pureblood and like most purebloods he's taught to look down on muggleborns, like me." She sounded sad as she said this and Harry realized that she must've had a hard time at school if this was the attitude of so many wizards and witches.
"It seems to me that muggleborns, or muggle raised for that matter, actually have many advantages over the pureblood." He said and continued at her startled look. "After all, we have the knowledge of both worlds. Take Malfoy for example, he didn't even know what make-up was."
She gave a small smile. "True, but it still isn't fun to be looked down upon like that."
"No it's not."
When they finally reached Gringotts, Harry had to hold back a gasp at the sight of those strange creatures. Unlike the beings he had seen in the Leaky Cauldron, these goblins didn't even look remotely human.
"Don't stare at them, they don't like that, and they're not all that friendly to start with." Hermione whispered.
Harry nodded and tried to look around a little more inconspicuous as they made their way to one of the employees behind the very long marble counter.
"Good morning." She said to the goblin. "We're here to withdraw from Mr Harry Potter's safe."
"Does he have his key?"
"Oh, yes, I have it right here." Hermione opened a side pocket in her bag and pulled out a tiny golden key.
While the goblin examined it, Hermione turned to Harry, who was watching other goblins weigh emeralds the size of eggs. "Professor Snape gave me your key this morning, when we get back from your safe, it'll belong to you."
"This seems to be in order. Griphook!" The goblin called and another goblin walked over to them.
They followed Griphook to one of the doors leading off the hall and instead of marble, there was now only a narrow stone passageway with flaming torches hanging from the walls. It was sloped downwards and after a short walk down, they reached little railway tracks. Griphook whistled and a small black cart came racing up the tracks towards them. Once all three of them were inside, they were off.
After an amazing ride through many caves and over a lake, (Harry thought he might even have seen a dragon), the cart stopped. They had reached his vault. Griphook opened the enormous door with the small key, which he gave to Harry when he was finished, and Harry finally got his first look at his inheritance.
He was speechless.
There were mountains of gold, silver and bronze.
A sudden pain stabbed through his heart and he could feel tears threatening to fall.
How many things would have been different if they had come to check up on him when he was eleven, if he had been given access to his vault sooner?
He would never know.
"What's wrong?" Hermione asked him gently as she looked at his sad and pained expression.
"Just wondering about what could have been."
She nodded. "Don't think about it too much, you can't change it anyway."
"You're right. Lets just get the money and leave." He quickly pushed his pain filled thoughts away and took the bottomless and lightweight pouch Hermione handed him.
Hermione had already told him about money in the magical world, but he still had no idea how much to take. She saw his indecision and immediately came with a solution. "You can exchange some of it into muggle money, so take a lot. That way you won't have to come back until you actually turn seventeen, which is in July right?" At his nod she continued. "You'll have to come here for the Potter estate to be signed over to you."
Harry ended up taking about 150 galleons and a few handfuls of sickles and knuts. (I've done the math, 150 galleons is about 402 pounds, 723 dollars or 591 euros, thank you mugglenet.com and xe.com) There were other things in the vault, but they didn't have time to look through everything that morning and Harry knew he would be back anyway, so he left the boxes and trunks for another time.
After the rush of the ride back, it was pretty nice to be once again inside the marble hall. The two of them walked back to the counter to exchange their money. Hermione of course still needed to exchange her pounds into galleons and Harry decided to exchange about one hundred of his just collected galleons into pounds so he could buy some new clothes or anything else he would want in the muggle world.
Of course they exchanged with each other first, so they didn't have to pay extra as they would have with the goblins, but Harry still had to go to the counter to exchange the rest of his galleons.
A few minutes later they were seated in front of Florean Fortescue's Ice-cream Parlour, where they were having a nice cup of coffee and a Belgian waffle with cream before going shopping.
"Say Harry, I was wondering. Are you planning on attending Hogwarts, Dumbledore did invite you after all?" Hermione asked, just before taking a bite of her warm waffle.
"I don't know. I don't like the idea of becoming some kind of symbol, weapon, saviour, or something like that, and I think that's what would happen if I go to Hogwarts."
She chewed and swallowed before responding. "The headmaster's just trying to do what he thinks best, he wants the people to be safe."
"Maybe so, but he's willing to sacrifice me to do it." He glared at his blue-rimmed cup. He liked the wizarding world a lot, it was, in one word, Magical, but there were some very black sides to it.
"But you don't have to let that happen, you could just attend school, get your magical degree and leave, go back to the muggleworld." She waved her fork around enthusiastically as she said this, especially the part about getting his magical degree.
"True, and I must say that it sounds very appealing, learning magic, going to the school my parents went to." He finished his waffle and sipped from his coffee, letting himself really consider the possibility of going to Hogwarts for the first time since they had come to find him the night before.
"Of course you would have to catch up with everything that you missed, but maybe you could do that while you attend muggle school?"
"I don't attend a muggle school."
She looked shocked. She knew of course everyone was obligated to attend school until they were at least sixteen, so he would have been in school the year before. "You don't? But Harry, don't you want your diploma? You only have one year to go after all."
Harry smirked proudly at her. "I already have my diploma, I skipped a grade a couple of years back so I graduated last May, but I was planning on attending an university when I had saved up enough money, but I guess money isn't the problem now."
"That's great." Her look of surprise quickly changed into a bright smile. "And maybe if you work really hard this summer, you can join the fourth or the fifth years this year."
"You know, I might just do that."
When they finished their coffees and waffles, they visited several stores before ending in the bookstore Flourish and Blots and after spending over an hour inside, they headed back to the Leaky Cauldron where they were to meet Malfoy and Snape for lunch.
Seeing Malfoy sitting at a table reading a book, they walked over to him and sat down.
"Severus isn't coming, he has already gone back to Hogwarts." The blond told them as he put a piece of parchment in between the pages and closed his book.
"Alright, then what do you two say about a trip into London. I'll buy you both lunch in this little diner I know and we can go sightseeing or shopping. I could really use some new clothes now that I have the money to actually buy them." Harry suggested while smiling at them.
"You can buy clothes in Diagon Alley." Draco countered, looking a bit nervous at the thought of going into muggle London.
"Oh please, I've seen those stores and they're all horribly outdated." Harry jested.
Surprisingly Hermione also looked a bit flustered. "I don't know, it could be dangerous."
"Dangerous? I've lived in the muggleworld, as you call it, all my live and in this particular neighbourhood for almost three years, I know my way around, besides the muggles aren't the ones who want to kill me and can't you two do magic?" Harry smiled as he tried to change their minds. "Come one, it'll be fun."
"Alright, I guess a few hours won't hurt and you did promise lunch." Hermione said smiling back at him.
Harry looked at Malfoy. "You coming or are you going to entertain yourself here, with your book?"
"Fine." Was all the blond said.
"Then lets dump these awful robes and go have some fun."
End chapter 2.
Woohoo, 3300 words of story, finished. I tried to make it extra long for all my reviewers who had to wait for a whole week. I will keep writing, I just never know what story I'll be working on next. It's a surprise. :p
Next chapter: Muggle London, the summer, studying, tests, Hermione, much more about Harry's life and maybe even a glimpse of Hogwarts.
Well? What did you think? I like reviews, I always enjoy reading them and I spend quite some time on writing replies. I know some people find it annoying to have all those replies in a chapter, but you can just scroll past it and I certainly think they're time and space well spend.
So please review and give a girl something to do, in between writing fanfics of course.