-1A/N: Thank you to all my wonderful reviewers, thanks for the encouragement. I'm glad people are liking the story, it will probably be Harry/Ginny if I do any romance at all, and even if I do, the amount is undecided. Hope everyone enjoys, please read and review.
Chapter 3: Knockturn Alley
Knockturn Alley. Home to the vilest, most disgusting, least reputable men and women in the wizarding world. Home to vile villainy and shameless scoundrels. It reminded Harry of Mos Espa. It was his kind of place.
Sure enough right after stepping over the boundary he was assaulted by a woman selling fingers and a small man smelling slug repellent. Harry looked at them and tried to say no, but they wouldn't leave. Harry began getting a little annoyed and quickly shot a stunning spell at the two. They fell to the ground unconscious.
A passerby raised an eyebrow at this, and Harry continued on. An old man brushed by and pushed him down, without saying sorry. The man was gone before Harry could curse him. He passed all sorts of shops. A tattoo parlor, a salon, Madame Miler's Magnificent Maulers, a shop that sold spiders and snakes. Harry paused at the last one and after making an easy decision stepped inside.
The store was quite small, but housed a variety of spiders, snakes, and bats. The store had one single light, in the farthest corner and a small counter at the very back. At the counter was a man in his forties, with a black goatee, and glasses. He eyed Harry wearily as he walked in.
"I do believe you are lost. The exit is that way." The man said pointing back the way Harry came.
"No I am not lost. I am actually looking for a snake. Would you mind helping me find one?"
"A snake? Students are not allowed a snake at Hogwarts."
"Who said I was a student?" Harry asked the man who looked at him angrily.
"What do you mean 'who said I was a student?' The man mocked Harry.
"The name is Vincent Cross. I happen to be quite a bit older than I appear." Harry replied in turn.
"You say your older? Then do magic. If the Ministry doesn't come to haul you away I'll help you find a snake." The man said plainly thinking that Harry would either disagree or be carted off to Azkaban.
"Very well. I agree. Stupefy." The man behind the counter hit the floor with a thud. Harry smirked. "Enervate."
"What? What happened?" The shopkeeper asked confused.
"I stupefied you. Now do you happen to have any snakes of high caliber, preferably rare if you don't mind, and any cobras if you have any?"
"Cobras? Why cobras?"
"Let's just say I took a liking to them in my travels." Harry was thinking back to his time spent with the resistance group Avalanche. They had all been quite surprised when it was discovered he could speak to serpents. From then on, whenever he needed to travel he would call forth Midge; Harry's Midgar Zolom. It was one of the first times he had realized he could actually speak to snakes. Midge had been killed by Sephiroth.
"I see." The shopkeeper said obviously completely at loss. "We have a few selections this way, unfortunately cobras along with basilisks are unavailable. If you'd like a normal muggle cobra, we have a few of those, but a magical cobra, last one seen was a few thousand years ago. The name is Zoel Beech by the way."
"A pleasure." Harry replied before turning his head back to the snakes.
The snakes were in the dozens, all types, boas, coral, vipers, an anaconda, and even a black mamba, a few other snakes were hiding in various places throughout the store; many of them were not in cages. Harry was looking specifically for a magical cobra, but seeing as though they were believed extinct, another snake caught his attention. It was big, about six and a half feet, and unlike most of the snakes in the store, it had three heads. The scales were gray and gold and seemed to glisten. He had seen many types of creatures on his travel, but never a three-headed snake. The snake did not speak, unlike most of the other snakes who were hissing for freedom or warning. It stared into Harry's eyes and bowed.
'Speaker. It has been a long time.' The middle head hissed.
'You shall do for a master.' The right head hissed in confidence.
'A master? A speaker? A long time it has been.' The left head hissed mockingly. 'Why should we enlist the aid of a incompetent human? With our luck it will probably sit on us one day, and there goes that. Speaker, can he even hear us? Yo Neanderthal!'
'If you were talking to me, I'd have to say jolly good. Incompetent and Neanderthal are probably the biggest words in you vocabulary. Not to mention the Neanderthals are much more intelligent that they once were. Some would find offense being called that, I on the other hand take it as a compliment. As you would too if you visited their home world. They are much more advance now on their own planet. But if your snarkyness insists upon a spot of tea and a fight with words, a nice brewery is a few stores down.' Harry said replying to the left head in kind. Harry didn't notice the shopkeepers terrified expression.
'Brat!' The left head of the snake hissed angrily.
'Serpent!' Harry replied in kind, the left head was becoming infuriated at being challenged even if it was kiddy-like, by a human.
'Enough! The one who looks behind sees ahead.' The middle head of the snake said. Both the left head of the snake and Harry looked at it confused.
'Don't mind him. So will you buy us?' The right head asked calmly.
'What? I am not going to serve this Cro-Magnon!' The left head sputtered angrily. The three heads began arguing. Harry was about to reply with a name of his own, but the storekeeper stopped him.
"Y-you? Your parseltongue!" The man eyed him in awe.
"If you mean I can speak to snakes, then you are correct. I would do well not to spread this around, if you value anything at all Mr. Beech." Harry said threateningly. Salazar did not know he had arrived, in three days he would, that was why he was meeting Dumbledore, the school would need protection, Salazar would be wanting to take back what was once his.
"Of course Master Cross. I'd do nothing but. So you are taking a liking to the snake there?"
"Yes. I have seen, heard, and fought many types of animals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, monsters, and serpents, but never in my traveling have I encountered a three-headed serpent."
"That there is a Runespoor, one of the rarest, most deadly, and most dead useful snakes in the world. If you want a runespoor you have to prepare to pay a hefty price." Mr. Beech said eyes glinting and full of greed.
"Really. I will take it, no matter what you say the price is, but if I find out you cheat me, I shall be returning, and you won't like the repercussions." Mr. Beech hesitated before nodding and giving a price, Harry left then with the new snake on his shoulders, the three heads had finally come to an agreement, and even the left head in the end was happy to go with him. The snake was currently under a notice-me-not charm.
Harry went to two other stores. A bookstore full of books on dark creatures and dark arts, as well as a few illegal books, he bought enough to fill a library, and he also went to Lupito's Lost Legends, where he bought a watch that sprouted out random pieces of information, a necklace that was said to protect its wearer from most spells, and a large seven room trunk. He put most of his purchases in the trunk, and then went to one last store.
The last store was called 'Borgin and Burkes'. It seemed to sell all sorts of dark artifacts, if Harry was lucky he might be able to find out how to contact Voldemort. Pausing for only a moment Harry thrust open the doors and strode inside.
Passing many of the dark artifacts including blood-stained cards, many bones, a hand of glory, rope, and masks he walked up to the counter. Two people were already at the counter talking to the man at the counter, who if the picture on the wall indicated anything, was Mister Borgin.
The two people one old one young, both obviously related were in the noble portions of the family. The old man had cold gray eyes, and pale blonde hair, his face was pointed and he was obviously getting quite mad at Mister Borgin. The younger man was obviously the son of the other man and looked pretty much the same except his blonde hair was more white than pale. He glanced behind him, when the door was thrust open and walked over to Harry.
"What are you doing here? This is Knockturn Alley, Diagon Alley is that way!" The boy said in an air of ignorance.
"Thank you for the directions, but I am where I want to be." Harry said with a slight smirk.
"Really? Do you go to Hogwarts? I do I'm Slytherin of course! The name's Draco, Draco Malfoy." The boy Draco said holding out a hand. Harry raised an eyebrow and begrudgingly shook it.
"No I do not go to Hogwarts, if all works out though I may be going this year. Please do not mind me if I do not know the importance of your name. I've been a way quite a while and have just returned, Malfoy is obviously important by the way you stretched it out."
"You haven't heard of Malfoy? What are you some filthy mudblood?" Draco spat the word mudblood in disgust.
"Mudblood?" Harry asked curious.
"You know born to muggles. You are obviously a mudblood by the way you are so ignorant."
"Funny, I could have said the same about you. I said I have been gone, but not I am not a mudblood as you so elegantly put. My mother and father were wizard and witch if that's what your asking."
"Oh. Sorry about that, but you never know these days. So what are you doing in Borgin and Burkes?"
"I could ask the same of you." Harry replied and before continuing the other boy spit out an answer to the question.
"My father is here conducting business for someone very important. But don't ask me more, I can't say."
"I see. I am here to talk to Mister Borgin. That business is of my own." Harry replied, the argument between Draco's father and Mister Borgin was quickly coming to a close.
"Well I've got to go, hope to see you around. What's your name by the way?" Draco asked Harry.
"If I said Harry Potter, would you believe me?" Draco laughed in response.
"No really, what's your name?"
"Come Draco, we have concluded business here." Draco's father said walking out the front door. Harry called out to Draco right before he left.
"It's Vincent. Vincent Cross." Draco nodded and scurried after his father, Harry smirked in amusement, the boy had not yet grown up, he was still a kid. Harry had lost his childhood, and was more mature than anyone could ever know. Harry watched the retreating figures of Draco and his father before turning back to Mister Borgin and the business at hand.
Albus Dumbledore upon exiting Gringott's scurried as fast as he could to Ollivander's wand shop. He bumped into a man heading into Knockturn Alley with ruby red and emerald green robes, a sword was at his side, Dumbledore didn't even say 'excuse me' as he raced for Ollivander's.
Not bothering to knock Dumbledore rushed into the small shop and thrust the young woman inside out, locking the door behind him. He then turned to face the odd wizard.
"Dumbledore, what is the pleasure, wand doing okay?"
"Of course it is. I'm here on different and rather urgent business. Do tell me did a man come in here earlier?"
"Of course. Men come in here everyday, people always get wands."
"That's not what I meant! Did anyone with a lightning bolt scar come through here, or anyone mentioning trying out for the defense position at Hogwarts?" Dumbledore cried urgently.
"Not that I know of."
"How many people have bought a wand within the last hour?" Dumbledore began pacing.
"I have only five who bought wands this afternoon."
"Give me there names and floo address!"
"I'm sorry, but I can't." Ollivander said trying not to smirk.
"In accordance to my new rules no information will be disclosed about my customers, one of the customers earlier today gave me the idea to do better in business."
"Why would you ever do something like that? No matter. As Headmaster of Hogwarts school, as well as a dear friend, could you at least tell me the names of those who bought a wand?"
"Only because it's you. I'll give you the name, but no more. Once you have the names leave and apologize to the customer you threw out."
"Very well, I'll tell you. The latest one who bought a wand was Al Higley."
"Next was Erin Zabini."
"Yes, I heard, it's good that the Zabini's are staying neutral."
"Before her was Aberforth Dumbledore."
"My brother was here?"
"Yes, he said something about one of his goats mistaking his wand for licorice. His new wand is much better."
"I'm glad. Who else?"
"I believe your janitor Mr. Filch was in earlier, trying to get a wand again."
"He does so every year."
"Yes, you need to get him to stop, frankly it is a waste of my and his time. He does not have a wand that is compatible. Do prevent him from coming next year."
"I'll try. Is that it?" Dumbledore asked disappointed.
"There was one more. A man by the name of Vincent Cross."
"What prominent wizarding families have a last name of Cross?" Dumbledore asked himself.
"As far to my knowledge none. He already had a wand though, so I'm guessing he came from overseas."
"Hm. Thank you, friend. This has been most helpful."
"No problem. Hope you find what your searching for."
"So do I. So do I."
"Why don't you come out back we can look up records for this Al Higley, and Vincent Cross."
"Thank you, let's do that."
"Ah Mister Borgin. I have a few propositions to make you." Harry replied flipping a galleon on the counter. Mister Brogin who was angry at first with a teenager in his store greedily took the money and almost through gritted teeth asked what Harry would want.
"Propositions? You may know my name, but I do not know yours." Harry flipped another galleon upon the counter. "Right forget names. You said you had a few propositions for me?" Mr. Borgin looked at Harry greedily. If one would squander such money so needlessly, and wastefully, the more money that came to him the better.
"Yes. I did. First is not too hard for you, but I need a potion." Harry was cut off.
"If you want a potion, you've come to the wrong shop, try Pojo's Potions and Politics three buildings down." Harry glared at him, before speaking.
"I would kindly like it if you don't talk until after you hear what I need. Understood?" Harry flipped another galleon on the counter and Mister Borgin nodded. "Good. Now I need a long lasting aging potion, the longest lasting you have, and don't try to give me one of the cheap ones, only the best."
"An aging potion that is not illegal. You could get that anywhere."
"Which is why I am going to you. Not many would think to ask for information of an aging potion in this shop. I will pay the price for the potion, and then we will sign in secrecy an unbreakable vow. 150 galleons will be your payment for doing so." Harry replied throwing a small bag of galleons on the table. Mister Borgin looked at him suspiciously before taking the bag and counting the galleons within, 151 were in the bag and he was satisfied he agreed. The potion was given from the secret storeroom and the unbreakable vow signed.
"Was that all?"
"No. There is one other matter I wish to discuss. Close your shop and then we'll talk." Harry said flipping four galleons on the counter. Mister Borgin wearily did so and soon the place was locked up.
"Now what is it you wish to talk about?"
"I wish to get into contact with someone whom I believe can lead me to a certain person. I know yourself is not one, but you are in contact with those who are."
"Death Eaters. That is the name Voldemort calls his servants is it not?" Mister Borgin winced sharply and started looking around in fear. "I need you to get into contact with one of the highest Death Eaters possible. I wish to speak with Voldemort." Another wince.
"Quit saying the Dark Lords name!" Mister Borgin yelled at Harry in anger, fingering his wand.
"Dark Lord? Very well, I shall call him thus in your presence. I will pay you 500 galleons for getting me into contact with someone who can get me a personal meeting with the Dark Lord. Once I have met and talked with Voldemort. Oh, sorry the Dark Lord. Then you will receive another payment of 1000 galleons." Mister Borgin's jaw dropped at the thought of how much money he could make, his eyes were dancing with galleons.
"What makes you think you are in position to speak with the Dark Lord?" Mister Borgin asked snapping out of his greed.
"Two things, and you shall tell both to whomever it is you get me in touch with. The first is that I shall have the Defense Position at Hogwarts, I can infiltrate the Order of the Phoenix, and more importantly, I can get him into Hogwarts."
"You're handing Dumbledore and Hogwarts to him on a golden platter if you do this."
"That my easily bribed friend is where you are wrong. I want you to also tell the Dark Lord these two things, the first is I wish to ally myself with him."
"You mean serve him?"
"No. I said ally."
"The Dark Lord will never-"Mister Borgin cut off as his windpipe was slowly being crushed, it was let go again a moment later.
"Trust me when I say, Voldemort will ally himself with me, and yes I did that without a wand. That is just a taste of my powers. The other thing is that I know the prophecy he seeks, and the location of Harry Potter."
"Impossible! Harry Potter is dead! And no one can do wandless magic!"
"Trust me Harry Potter is not dead, I and I alone know where he is. But you were correct, that wasn't wandless magic. Tell whomever that Mr. Cross is offering all this and more. Now I really must go." Harry sneered and threw another bag of galleons upon the counter and touched the portkey to Potter Manor, leaving a delirious with greed Mister Borgin behind, just in time to watch as Albus Dumbledore pounded upon his door.
Harry sighed in relief upon seeing that the portkey worked. He cut it close, Dumbledore had almost caught him, hopefully Borgin would not go and divulge any information. His act was also guaranteed to get him a meeting with Voldemort the only question was when.
Harry looked around the Manor, bits of dirt was here and there, but it was surprisingly absent of dust. The house-elf must have been doing a good job, even while a Potter was a way. Creak. A sound caught his attention, and he spun around….Nothing.
Shrugging, Harry cautiously walked up the stairs and to where he would make his bedroom, surprisingly all the doors were shut except two, the house-elf must have been in the process of cleaning them. Walking into the Master Bedroom, he took out his trunk, and unshrunk some of his clothes, packing it away in his trunk. Then he took off his robes until he was only in boxers and prepared to get some sleep.
The journey back home took a lot out of him, he was looking forward to a goodnights sleep. Right when he was about to get into bed, he noticed that the room was not quite empty. Young women's clothing was on the floor beside the bed, and unmentionables were sticking out from the dresser, the closet was full of dresses. He heard a door open behind him and without warning dropped to the ground as a stunning spell shot out of a wand. A man and young women were the last things he saw before falling unconscious.
A/N: As you can see many differences already and it is just going to become more so. So is Harry good or evil? Actually he's gray, but fights for good. Who are the people in Potter Manor, what Death Eater will contact Harry, how will his meeting between Dumbledore, and later Voldemort go? You will have to continue to read to find out! Hope you enjoyed the longer than usual chapter. Please read and review.