Harry and the Magic Factory
A/N: Harry Potter kills Voldemort as an infant…but then he disappears. A year, the glorious Potter Emporiums spring up throughout the magical world. No one knows how or why until 11 invitations fly out into the world years later.
A little borrowing of some of Roald Dahl's ideas from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And, just when you think you've guessed what's going on, I'll change the whole thing for you. It will deal with Voldemort and his horcruxes. It will deal with the whole wizarding world and its treatment of magical creatures and also muggles. There's a lot tucked away inside, just keep reading along! Enjoy!
November 1, 1981
Diagon Alley was crowded with jubilant witches and wizards. Voldemort was dead – no one knew how exactly – but it was true. His Death Eaters had all suffered unconsciousness and then a long letter, accompanied by wizard photographs, had made its way to influential people throughout the Wizarding World. The special editions of the wizarding newspapers had proclaimed the truth.
But while most of the Wizarding World was celebrating, a number of strange and marvelous things began to happen. Vast tracts of ancestral lands – Potter lands for several centuries – disappeared from every map and every Ministry of Magic record. Then house elves from England and all over Europe began to disappear as well. Then every Death Eater not in Ministry control disappeared over the course of the next four months. More and more of the Wizarding World disappeared from view, massive tracts of land that had belonged to the Blacks, the Lestranges, the Notts, and the Malfoys. It just all disappeared.
It was perhaps six months after Voldemort's fall that people began to really wonder about the initial details they'd heard. No one had seen James or Lily Potter or their infant child since that night. Sirius Black hadn't been seen since November First. And the goblins acted very, very strangely…even for goblins. None of them would say the first word about the Potters or any of the other disappeared individuals. Indeed, it seemed as though the goblins were scared to speak the name Potter.
Nothing scared a goblin, but something in this story did. None of the newspapers could figure anything out. The Ministry launched several investigations, but none of them revealed the first thing. In fact, the only thing people could tell for sure was that sometimes witches and wizards disappeared completely from the world. But within days or maybe months, they'd return. They'd have unexplained money, but wouldn't say the first thing about where they had been. Truth serums and legilimancy would reveal nothing. Not even the healers for botched memory charms could unravel what had happened.
The joy from being free from Voldemort's terror turned into something else. Fear, fear of the unknown. What had happened? Was Voldemort really dead? Where were the Death Eaters hiding and what were they planning?
The Ministry of Magic was particularly agitated. Nearly a quarter of all the lands owned by wizards had disappeared. Not only become unplottable, but completely gone. Most of the ancient noble houses were now reduced to a staff of two or three house elves. Where had the other dratted things gone? People were screaming about not having enough labor. Witches and wizards were having to prepare their own meals and clean their own clothes. They used magic, but still it was the honor of the matter.
Fear accompanied confusion. That all resulted in anger and distrust. But before the whole Wizarding World could lapse into another bout of civil war, a wonderful thing happened.
October 31, 1982
As families woke on Halloween and began to prepare for their days' work, a huge fleet of owls began delivering massive parcels to every home, manor, and apartment attached to the Wizarding World. Alice and Frank Longbottom were among the first to open the large box. Frank let out a small shout when he had the lid off.
Inside the lid was a brief explanation: "On the first anniversary of Tom Riddle's death, enjoy a sampling of Potter's Best."
Inside were things familiar and unique. There was a basket of freshly harvested salad greens, from Potter Farms, and a flagon of pumpkin juice, from Potter's Preserve. There were sweets of all kinds, from Potter's Confections, and an enchanted puzzle just perfect for little Neville. There was a wondrous bottle of Potter's Reserve Golden Mead and a set of cloaks, from Potter's Haberdashery. There was a music box for Alice that never played the same tune twice and an enchanted hat for Frank's mum, Augusta, that featured a dozen magical birds flying after each other. There was a box of delightful firecrackers, from Potter's Pranks, and a small pouch magically expanded to hold a half dozen books. It was a princely gift and Frank Longbottom had no idea why he'd received it.
But he was intrigued as to why it had the name Potter on it. Nothing had been heard from them in over a year. He'd presumed his friends had died in the war. But…maybe it wasn't so.
Across the Wizarding World, other people and families opened their boxes. In total, as the newspapers would recount, there were several hundred unique different items that had been sent out, many of which had never existed before. It was inexplicable. The Weasley family had received unexplodable cauldrons and enough food to feed a small army. The Patils had received duplicates of everything, but none in matching colors, perfect for a set of picky twins.
The bizarre gifts had kept to the front of the newspapers until more bizarre news can in. The rest of the Wizarding World's house elves disappeared in a single evening. And empty store fronts in Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and a half dozen other locations seemed to disappear over night. They weren't empty…just gone.
Then a week after Halloween, the first major secret was revealed. A dozen different locations of Potter's Emporium were unveiled. Each one seemed like a tiny storefront, but inside was a wondrous world. Each store was larger than the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Each one had thirty-nine different departments: Pranks, Confections, Produce, Spirits and Liquor, Clothing, Toys, Muggle Eccentricities, and all the others. Beyond the unimaginable variety of items for sale, all bearing the Potter emblem, was the service staff. House elves were the only employees. One of them, in the Diagon Alley store, had formerly worked for the Malfoy family. Even the Ministry's tests showed that the elf was now freed and working for a wage inside the store. Unheard of, of course, which meant that purebloods refused to shop there publicly. Of course, they sent their newly hired squib servants into the stores instead.
Overnight, the Wizarding World changed. Hundreds of years of stagnation was upended. People could pay the exorbitant prices for robes at Madam Malkin's or they could buy cheaper, better, more interesting items at Potter's Emporiums. Malkin's responded by branching out into new fabrics and styles. Everyone began to compete harder. But no store, no entrepreneur, could keep up with the sheer variety of new products available at Potter's Emporium. They unveiled three dozen new things every week, it seemed.
"How is this possible," more than witch said in the opening weeks. Others were heard to say, "How did we survive before this all happened?"
Children loved to shop in the stores. Even husbands and fathers found things to interest and occupy them. Produce and butterbeer were stacked haphazardly next to the muggle contraptions. It was shocking how many wizards purchased a bunch of bitter greens to placate their wives while they trundled home with a muggle radio or some other piece of foolishness.
But, most beloved of all, were the confections and the pranks. Many confections, of course, were actually pranks. One could have chocolate in plain, milk, regurgitating, fire breathing, chameleon color changing, hollering, or fourteen other pleasant and pranking varieties. Every time people came in, the variety was different. The favorite of the week before was perhaps gone, replaced by three new items that could be equally wonderful. And every so often, favorite items from the past would reappear for a short while. Witches and wizards became almost fanatic in their devotion to monitoring what was available at Potter's Emporium.
There were a number of folks, spearheaded by one Mundungus Fletcher, who tried to purchase excess quantities of particularly prized Potter items. But they could never manage to resell anything. The goods would vanish just as soon as Mundungus or one of his cronies accepted the money. Didn't matter if it was a bag of lettuce or a family-sized pensieve, it all disappeared. Even Mundungus had to smile…it took a true scoundrel to out-scoundrel Mundungus Fletcher.
What no one could understand, though, was where the elves got all their glorious merchandise. Who made it and where? None of the wizard manufacturers had the first clue how much of it was made. None of the liquor distillers could reproduce the formulas. No one knew where all the produce was grown or who came up. No one knew where the ideas came from or where the money went. But the products were incredible and people continued to buy them.
On and on it continued. The mystery died down, but the new products kept rolling out. About twelve years after the stores emerged, the first lines of brooms came about. They were fast, maneuverable, and inexpensive. Everyone could play Quidditch at that price.
Of course, the newspapers and various books tried to explain what was happening. Why had all the house elves abandoned their houses? Where had all the country's werewolves gone? Who grew the food and why?
The Quibbler kept trying to prove that a cabal of Crumple-Horned Snorkacks was behind it. Unfortunately, no one else had a better answer. There were continual reports of which people had disappeared from society and when they had returned. Charms experts or herbologists. It was a matter of weeks or months from these people's reappearance that new products appeared in the stores.
The Potters seemed to be kidnapping people, getting them to help with special projects, and then sending them back with a substantial amount of gold. It had happened to dozens of witches and wizards, but none of them had ever explained where they'd gone or why.
In fact, it was nearly sixteen years to the day when twelve fast, vicious falcons appeared out of nowhere clutching letters. No one used falcons for mail delivery, but someone had figured out how to do it.
The first one arrived at the shared desk of Fred and George Weasley. They were buried in their entry-level job at the Ministry of Magic disapproving requests to perform experimental charms or potions. They didn't have the authority to approve any requests, just to disapprove them. They hated the work, but needed the galleons if they were ever to get a start on their joke shop. They planned to give Potter's Emporium and Zonko's a run for their gold.
But the letter they received that Halloween would change everything for them. And for several others, eleven in total. Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, the fifteen-year-old Snape child, and the rest would all have the opportunity of a lifetime: a visit to what was called Potter's Magic Factory.
Two of the falcons went out to the Ministry and the Daily Prophet. This would be a show for all to remember. They were to be given the rarest of glimpses into the utterly secretive Potter Family.
It was all planned for the 22nd Day of December. The Chosen would appear, be admitted to the invisible Potter Estate, and then their journey would begin.
December 22, 1997
The Chosen, as the papers began to call them, stood waiting outside a decrepit looking heap of stone. It looked to be the remains of a once great manor house.
George and Fred Weasley, wearing their best robes, were quite cold. Their best were still quite tattered. But neither had been able to sleep more than three hours at a time since they'd received their golden letters. They'd been planning, and scheming, and plotting. Potter money…that was what they needed to start their shop. Potter money.
Neville had his arm linked with Luna Lovegood's. They'd been a couple now for nearly a year. In fact, Luna was wearing Neville's promise ring on her littlest toe. Neville had just laughed when she'd done that. But it kept away speculation for now. Longbottom was the heir to one of the great old fortunes, one of the few left after most of the Death Eater families and properties disappeared.
Bracus Snape stood far away from anyone else. He looked like the youngest person in the gathering. He was also the angriest looking. His father had literally tore his arm from its socket when he told Severus that he was coming to this grand opening. Bracus had snuck into Potter Emporiums as often as he could, even though his father had banned the mere mention of the word.
Blaise Zabini was taking in the whole ambience without saying a thing. He had refused to comment to reporters and was pretending to be deeply neutral about the whole experience. Of course, with his family's Italian heritage, it was always hard to tamp down natural emotions, like joy, excitement, and sheer pleasure. But Blaise was good at hiding for now.
Susan Bones, Colin Creevey, Lisa Turpin, Fenecule Moody, and Cormac McLaggen all stood in a tight group and tried to not look terrified. They'd each been grilled by the reporters washing up against the barrier behind them. They were each curious at to why they'd been selected and totally overwhelmed about what they might be seeing today.
The reporters were gnashing and snarling. So far no one had much of a story. The eleven chosen weren't saying much of anything at this point. The pile of bricks in front of them looked singularly unimpressive, too.
But, suddenly, the situation changed. The horrendous ruins shimmered for a few seconds and then were gone. In their place was a soaring tower, massive and wonderful. It's base was as large as the largest wizarding mansion. But then the building began to rise through the sky, a hundred levels? Maybe more. Reporters were straining their eyes to see exactly where the building did stop.
The entire building shimmered and glowed. Parts of its seemed faintly silver, others seemed blue. It was like the building couldn't maintain a single color, it was too busy to be ordinary.
Then the small single door in the front of the building opened and a small person walked out from it. He looked remarkable, without a doubt. His dark black hair seemed to fly in every direction. And his piercing green eyes shown with an intensity unmatched by any words.
But it was the smile on his face that made him seem larger and fuller than he was. Objectively the young man was quite short. But he seemed larger than life. He walked quickly to the ornate fence separating the eleven Chosen from this marvel of invention on the other side. When the young man was within five steps of the gates, the thick iron gates just melted away, a true display of the glories of magic.
The young man reached his hand out and vigorously shook the hands of each of the Chosen. None of them had the slightest idea who the young man was.
Finally, he tugged at each of them, trying to get them to step through into the gated world hid by illusion. One of the Chosen, Lisa perhaps, asked, "Who are you" in a rather loud voice.
So the young man turned around, facing the reporters, and proclaimed, "My name is Harry Potter and welcome to my Magic Factory." A flurry of flashes went off. The name was distantly familiar, but the Potter part of it made a lot of sense. Harry dragged his new companions into the space just as the barrier holding back the reporters broke. But the gates shimmered back into existence just then.
And a massive display of magic erupted all around everyone. A hundred thousand magical birds swooped from each part of the massive building in front of them. And each one proceeded to drop a couple of enchanted flowers. Within seconds, the ground was covered in inches of tremulating, pulsing flowers of every hue and size. The fireworks started just seconds before the massive shimmering wall that had guarded this place came back into view. Then the whole place was blocked off, the image of a decrepit manor house the only thing left standing.
The Chosen plus this Harry Potter and his Magic Factory disappeared from view. No one knew what to say. It was magic none of them had ever seen before.