DISCLAIMER: I don't own Harry Potter or anything you recognize.
Part One: Curiosity Killed Jacob Smith
Jacob scowled in annoyance as yet another twenty dollar note was snatched from his hands by the greedy wind. If he didn't catch this one, it would be the second one he'd lost today at that this stage he couldn't really be affording to lose money. He groaned as the money fluttered around before him, like the note was teasing him. Jacob sighed, and broke out into a jog running after the twenty rubbing his cold arms as he went. He cursed the fact that he had forgotten to bring his favorite jersey on his trip to the bank this evening. Not like he had huge amounts of money to bank, just his lasted measly pay check.
The money was being flung this way and that on the arms of the churning wind; as he chased it Jacob made several grabs for it but missed and collided with a cluster of well-to-do looking ladies. He apologized over and over again, backing away from the unhurt but obviously disgruntled elderly women. Old hags, he mumbled to himself, hogging the entire fucking footpath. He had chased the money around corners and bends and was beginning to tire from the chase, he was seriously thinking of giving up. But he needed the money.
'Hah!' he cheered in triumph as the note finally settled on the ground. He jogged over and picked up the money. He set to work getting all the crinkles out of it, trying to make it look acceptable for the bankers and not bothering to look where the mad chase had led him. Jacob pocketed the note, yawned, and scratched the faint prickle of stubble on his chin and reminding himself he needed to shave set off down the street.
A small way down Jacob stopped, looking back in confusion. Had that building always been there? He retraced his steps, walking backwards, and stared at the structure before him. Cocking his head to one side, he surveyed the building before him. It was old, very old. The wood was dark enough to be called black or 'soot stained' and had two small windows facing out onto the street. His grey, border line blue, eyes finally reached the sign hanging above the building. It was made of the same wood as the rest of the place, but the words carved into it looked to be made of some kind of golden material. The sign read 'the Leaky Cauldron.'
'The Leaky Cauldron,' Jacob repeated to himself, still staring at the building with a quizzical expression on his face. 'New pub?' he wondered. 'Can't be! The wood looks so fucking old.' Not that he was an expert on wood anyway, not that kind of wood.
There were lights on in the Leaky Cauldron, he noticed. Dim lights flickered behind the drawn curtains. Jacob stepped closer. It wasn't light emitted from a bulb, it was candle light. Jacob licked his lips, suddenly realizing how parched he was and decided he could do with a good cold glass of beer. Jacob nodded, this was exactly what he needed, so he walked towards the pub door and pushed it open.
His eyes widened at the sight before, and his mouth dropped open too, he was sure if he'd been carrying anything he could have dropped that also. A series of the most bizarre looking people Jacob had ever seen in his life were gathered around tables, alone of in groups. Some had hoods pulled over their faces so their features were hidden, one woman even wore a purple pointed hat – like some kind of witch out of a fairy tale. All people gathered wore billowing cloaks of assorted colours.
Costume party? Jacob thought to himself and tugged self consciously at the bottom of his normal shirt. It has to be. Even though there were only five candles and a fire place burning dimly in the corner the Leaky Cauldron was well light, but held a gloomy look. Jacob glanced around, careful not to make eye contact with anyone. Aside from the people there was really nothing interesting about the pub. He did see a set of stairs that led to another level.
'Oi, Sir!' a wheezy voice called from behind the bar. 'Are you just going to stand there all night and let the cold air in?' The person behind the bar was man of medium height, but a hunch in his back caused him to stoop over like he was frozen trying to pick something up of the ground. He smiled, revealing a few missing teeth.
'Sorry,' said Jacob, feeling flustered and out of place. If this was a costume part it didn't seem like much fun. He stepped forward into the room, shutting the door behind him. But he halted a small amount of steps in, unsure what of what to do or if even still wanted a drink.
'Come sit down!' the hunched over man that Jacob had to presume was the bartender beckoned him over to an empty seat. 'You must be freezing,' he commented, but before Jacob could reply hurtled on. 'Can I get you anything, lad?'
'Uh,' Jacob blinked, he couldn't see a bar list on show of any kind. 'Just an ordinary bottle of beer thanks, don't care which brand.'
'Oh,' the bartender smiled politely, baring his missing teeth. 'You ain't from round here, are you? We don't serve your "ordinary beer here"' he said, using gestures to illustrate his point.
Jacob's eyes narrowed in more confusion. The bartender must have noticed his look and silenced him with a shake of his head before he even had the chance to finish speaking. 'Not another word, Sir!' he said. 'I hope you had a pleasant trip coming to London, if you need any assistance getting into Diagon Alley, just give me a yell. The name's Tom,' he added, finishing off his well practiced speech.
Definitely not a costume party,' Jacob confirmed to himself. He opened his mouth to answer, but found himself speechless, lost for words. What he did want to say was 'Of course I'm from round here, I've lived in London for all my life, apart from the first ten years of my childhood, you great fucking retard.' But what came out was a squeak of surprise as a burst of blue light flew right over his head, singeing a few of his blonde hairs. He assumed the earth quake position, leaning across the countertop with his hands over his head.
'Neil, Oswald! Stop playing with my wand!' Tom barked, glaring at two young boys who shared no resemblance to him what so ever. 'Sorry, about that sir, my nephews are always getting their hands on my wand, they won't be playing with it until they graduate from Hogwarts, nothing to worry about,' he finished speaking as he pried the short wooden stick from the hands of his nephews.
Jacob stuck his head out from under his arms, coughed awkwardly and gave the best smile he could muster after being shot at by something he couldn't explain. He wondered what on Earth was going on. The blast of blue light, had it something to do with electricity? But then Tom had told his nephews to stop playing with his – his wand. And what the hell was Hogwarts? Jacob didn't know what was going, and he didn't want to stay and found out, or he'd probably get killed by another bolt of blue light. He stood from the table, his eyes wide with shock and walked towards the door with short stumbling steps not uttering a single word.
'Sir?' Tom asked, hobbling after him. 'Most foreign wizards, sir, like to see Diagon Alley before they go elsewhere.
Jacob turned around. Tom was now holding something in his hands that bared huge resemblance to wands he had seen in Fairy tales – though the creatures in those weren't as ugly. Tom pointed the wand towards the back door, and it swung open, all by itself, no one had touched it. Jacob's eyes widened even more until he was sure they'd burst from his sockets. He was in a small state of shock and didn't react until Tom had grabbed his arm and was pulling him out the door.
Tom was now holding something in his hands something that bared huge resemblance to wands Henry had seen in Fairy tales. He pointed it towards the door at the back of the room, and the door swung open, all by itself, no one had touched it. Henry's eyes widened even more, he felt as though he was in a state of shock; he didn't even react when Tom grabbed his arm and pulled him out that door.
'Nice clothing, sir,' Tom beamed in a toothless grin. 'You look exactly like Muggles around these parts.'
Muggles? He thought to himself, what the fuck were Muggles? Were they some kind of herb? This was all too weird, he couldn't even bring himself to turn around and walk back to the sane part of London. The part of London that didn't have hunched backed weirdoes and wands that fired blue sparks. He simply let Tom lead out the back into a small courtyard with a brick wall.
'Now, sir,' Tom instructed as though he was departing a big secret. 'You tap these bricks using your wand, here in this order -' Jacob wasn't watching of paying attention, ' – and then the wall opens up, and BANG, you're in!'
Jacob nodded distantly; his eyes fixated to the red bricks and thanked Tom absentmindedly as he left him to it.
'"Tap the bricks with your wand"' Jacob repeated Tom's words to himself. 'I don't even have a fucking wand,' he said. 'I don't know what the hell is going on, there is no way this is a trick, I'm not famous enough to be Punk'd and I'm freaking out a little.'
He sank to the cold stone floor of the courtyard, his head in his hands. I suppose I could just walk back out and say 'seen it!' and then leave. Jacob considered his thoughts. But then that Tom person would ask me what I liked about it, and then I'd be screwed all over again. Why don't I just go back out and leave? He pondered his thoughts and came to a sudden conclusion, 'because I'm too bloody curious for my own good.'
He stood to his feet and grazed a hand along the bricks. 'Like my ma always said,' he said to himself. 'Curiosity either killed Jacob Smith or screwed him over royally.' He laughed. It was true, he was always getting himself into situations where his curiosity had gotten the better of him and got him in a right mess.
'I'll right,' Jacob muttered. 'I'll go in, see what the old nut is talking about and then get out of here, go home and have a beer! Damn this! Why I am even bothering.' He frowned. I need a wand.
Looking around, he found one that was leaning against a grey trashcan. He held it up and ran his hands along it, feeling the smooth and polished edges of the dark mahogany wood. 'What a stroke of luck,' he said sarcastically. 'Someone wants me to go in there. No what?' he wondered. Do I tap the bricks?
He tapped the wand against his palm, staring at the wall speculating if 'HOCUS POCUS!' was an acceptable thing to shout. Jacob knew now that his state of shock and confusion had definitely passed, and his normal intense curiosity had settled in. Before he'd even moved the wand to the wall, the bricks had crunched in on one another and then disappeared. He gaped in new found shock as the wall vanished and a tall woman stood in its place. The background behind her was bustling full of life. And she just smiled at him and walked through into the pub like it was the most normal thing in the World.
Jacob quickly side stepped through the magically brick wall as it began to churn shut. He brushed himself down, a habit of his, and stared out around him. His breathe caught in his throat and his gazed unblinkingly at the sights around. All the colours, smells and sights were so different from any he'd ever seen or smelt before. His senses were tingling with anticipation for more. For some long moments he just stood, staring like a child before a candy store. People of all ages were milling around the entrance to what must be Diagon Alley. These people – who must be wizards and witches – were dressed in unusual and elaborate clothing, much like the kind he had seen in the Leaky Cauldron. Men, women and children all wore robes of some kind and he saw the occasional pointed hat bobbing along in the crowd. He looked down at his own clothing, a pair of tight fitted jeans, his favorite shoes and an old blue shirt bunched around the elbows, he felt very out of place … again. As far as he could tell only a few people were wearing attire similar to his. Ignoring his different clothes Jacob breathed in, a range of smells hurtling towards his nose. The smell of ink and sugar was all he could clearly distinguish. He hurriedly placed the want back where he found it in case someone came looking for it.
Suddenly he heard a grinding sound like sand paper over stone. He turned around and saw the last of the stones forming the wall, separating him and this whole hidden sub-culture from the Leaky Cauldron. Jacob had absolutely no idea what so ever how to get back through into London, and right now he didn't care. All he wanted to do was look around this new and exciting place. Jacob shuffled forward nervously, looking around for something that caught his attention. But all he saw where the people, especially the men. Jacob had always known he was gay; but he hadn't come to terms with it at first. He had told his mother and father by showing up on their doorstep after a hard night and told them straight up he was gay. The look on his mother's face was really quite comical; Jacob had struggled hard to stop himself from going into hysterical laughter. His father – on the other hand, didn't question him, didn't argue with him or try to tell him he wasn't and to go find an attractive looking chick and do her brains out. His father simply accepted him, after all, his father's sister was also gay, and so he understood. Jacob's old man was pro-gay for the sake of his son and sibling.
Jacob started to walk forward again, trying to stop himself from thinking about magic men waving their wands about. He walked this time with determined strides, hoping to look like he fitted into this world even when he knew nothing about it. He stuck out like a sore thumb amidst the colourful cloaks, robes and hats, and he began to wonder how long it would take before someone noticed he didn't belong here. I'll make the most of my time until someone does realize, Jacob decided. He started to look around for something other then the people that caught his attention. He suddenly noticed a large looming building. It was huge, and Jacob wondered why it wasn't the first thing he saw when he stepped into this strange place. The snowy white building seemed to be on an intersection to another street and the building leant a little awkwardly to one side, as if there were too many people in one side of it. The beautiful construction had the words Gringotts Wizarding Bank carved into the door above the entrance, and the title shone proudly out to passersby.
So his thoughts had been right. He grinned as excitement and adrenaline started to control his body again. This is incredible like something out of a fairy tale, expect Wizards aren't like Merlin after all. Fuck! This place is really smack bang in the middle of London. How come I've never noticed it or heard about it before?
Review please! Takes about thiry seconds and I really appreicate it!