Anonymity wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
All he had wanted to do was find a spell to take away the legendary status. He didn't want people to hear his name and gasp, stare, or suck up to him with grasping insincerity. He didn't want people to see him, see his scar, and know his life story. He didn't want to have to fulfil obligations as all good heroes do.
He lived his life with no expectations for it to matter to anybody, not until he turned eleven years old and found out the truth, and then he had known that he would most probably not have a life outside his battle with Voldemort. He lived his teenage years expecting to die and hoping he could take Voldemort with him when he did.
All he had wanted to do was to walk down the street and feel safe. Safety was there but it didn't feel the way he thought it would. It was hard to relax and enjoy your safety and freedom when you were being mobbed by giggling girls, bawdy men who wanted to slap you on the back, and obligated to make each and every child who was in awe of you feel special. The second he didn't make time for a wide eyed youngster he was rumoured to be big headed and then he was glared at or snapped at in the street instead of mobbed and adored.
He was public property and desperate enough to look up a spell that would make him, his image, his legend, something like Robin Hood. People knew the story but nobody expected to bump into the man from Sherwood on Diagon Alley. Harry introduced himself as Harry Potter now. The flicker of recognition would pass over the face like a blink of an eye, the name was registered but meant nothing more than a Muggle introducing himself as James Bond.
"What can I help you with, sir?" The salesman smiled.
He smiled back as he picked up a box, "What can you tell me about this, do you recommend it?"
The man tilted his head and took the box from his hand and began to discuss pitfalls and side effects before grinning widely and explaining how despite all those things it was well worth the money. He even threw in a couple of sachets of magical roots to counter the side effects that he told Harry he could have for half price.
"Why would you do that for me?" Harry said, feeling the swell of happiness inside him as he saw the genuine nature of the man standing beside him.
He was kind and warm to Harry even when he was just a bloke in a shop and not somebody to suck up to, impress, or be associated with to make a name for yourself.
This man would have been a true and genuine friend to him in the days before the anonymity spell. This wasn't an opinion, this was a fact that Harry knew, and while it warmed him it also broke his heart.
"I'll take it," Harry smiled, "and here, for your time."
Harry pressed a whole pouch of Gold Galleons into the salesman's hand and his eyes widened as he tried to hand the money back.
"I wasn't trying to get a tip," he said, looking concerned that he'd come over as insincere during the transaction, "I can't take this, it's way too much."
Harry nodded to the man's left hand.
"I see a ring, and two big dark ones under your eyes too. Baby?"
"Well this is for the baby then," Harry said with a firm nod, "and congratulations."
"Thanks," the man smiled, still uncomfortable to be taking so much money from a stranger, "maybe I'll open little Harry a vault at Gringotts for when he goes to Hogwarts."
"Harry? Your baby's called Harry?"
"Yeah," the man nodded, "it's funny how we didn't feel complete 'till we had him. The three of us...it feels right, like we were missing a Harry-shaped piece and now we have one!"
Harry felt himself getting choked up and he nodded and turned to leave.
"Hey wait," the salesman grabbed him by the arm, "if you come back for anything else make sure to ask for me, I'll see you get a good deal."
Harry nodded his head and forced a smile onto his face.
"I mean it," the man said, "and not just because of this," he held up the pouch of Galleons, "I'm a partner in this place and I get to give discretionary discounts. You remember to ask for me, Ron Weasley."
He held out his hand for Harry to shake and he did with intense pride.
"It's a pleasure, Ron."
"And your name is?"
"Robin," Harry smiled, "Robin Sherwood."
"Really? Like Robin Hood?" Ron said, face lit up with glee, "You're telling me I have to go home and tell my wife that Robin of Sherwood gave me a bag of gold for the baby?"
"Nah," Harry chuckled, "she'll never believe you. Tell her it was Harry Potter."
Ron rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"Yeah, right, Robin Hood's more believable than that!"
Harry nodded, waved and left Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, heart aching in his chest.
Anonymity wasn't all it was cracked up to be.