This year, DracaDelirus made me the very best Christmas present a writer can get: A translation of my German story "Harry Potter empfiehlt". Technically, the story is still a WiP, but I only need to write one chapter to finish it, and she has translated everything I have written so far. So I decided to post one chapter each day for the next three weeks. I am fairly optimistic that the story will be completed until them.
A special note: I know that ff-readers (myself included) are very wary of OCs. Therefore it is not very endearing to begin my story with one. But I promise you that Midas will become less important from chapter to chapter. I simply needed him because I had to give the Dursleys some magical help.
Harry Potter Recommends
What if the Dursleys realized that they could use Harry's fame to their advantage? An encounter in a toy shop changed Harry's whole childhood, and makes him a prisoner in his own home.
Disclaimer: The usual: I'm not JK Rowling, therefore the characters in this story do not belong to me, with the exception of Midas Fox and some other minor characters.
Note: Well, I actually never intended to write FanFics, but I finally decided that I couldn't grumble about others if I didn't write one of my own.
Chapter 1: The Encounter
Midas Fox was an opportunist. Growing up as the son of a wizard and a muggle, he had always had the best from both worlds. After he left Hogwarts, he quickly made a name for himself as the inventor of fantastic toys – by taking the newest ideas from the muggle world and adapting them for the wizarding world. On this day he had gone back again into the muggle world. After He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named was defeated the year before, toys for babies and toddlers were very much in demand.
The end of the war brought not only a sigh of relief to the wizarding world, but economic relief as well. Quite a lot had to be rebuilt, and the overall celebratory mood made the Galleons flow more generously than they might have otherwise. Now that the danger was over, the wizarding world was ready to start having children again, children who in light of the horrors of the past few years, would more than likely be hopelessly spoilt.
Midas stared thoughtfully at a shelf that held battery-operated plastic toys. He guessed that soon there would be more and more of this type of toy, toys that he could not easily adapt to the magical world, because of its general incompatibility with electronic devices. And then he would be looking for another job.
A loud whining jarred him from his thoughts. In the corner of the toy shop sat probably the fattest baby he had ever seen. Blonde curls stuck out all around his red face, while thick arms swung back and forth hurling wooden forms everywhere, instead of putting the blocks into holes cut into the same shapes were they were intended to go. One of the blocks hit a horse-faced woman, who judging by the blonde hair was probably baby's mother, but this did nothing to stop the baby from throwing more blocks.
"That's alright, my little Duddykins," she calmed him. "That is a very stupid toy, much too easy for such an intelligent boy."
The 'intelligent' boy calmed down only slightly before he began pointing to an enormous teddy bear, in the stuffed animal display. "Gimme! Gimme!" he roared. Midas was happy when a large stocky man with a moustache, apparently the father, finally came forward to intervene, hoping he would be able to end the baby's screaming and bring peace and quiet. It was obvious that the mother hopelessly spoiled the child. But instead of quieting the child, he simply pulled a thick wallet from his pocket and waved to a salesclerk. Disgusted, Midas turned away. It was then he saw the large double stroller parked next to the shelf. The only couple within sight was with the fat baby – but why a double stroller? The baby was big, but not so big that he needed a double stroller, at least not yet.
Midas decided that he couldn't stand the crying any longer. He would have cast a 'Silencio' spell, but Muggle-protection laws prohibited it, so he decided to look at the rest of the toys some other time. From idle curiosity, he glanced in the double stroller as he passed by. In one of the two seats sat a small toddler with black hair who looked at him with big green eyes. Midas froze. After a hurried glance to make sure the couple was still busy catering to the whims of their 'Duddykins', he bent furtively forward and parted the hair of the child's forehead. Yes, he had seen correctly. There it was, the lightning bolt scar, known to everyone in the wizarding world. There before him was Harry Potter himself.
All of a sudden, an idea came to him. If he handled this well, a golden future lay before him. Then he would no longer have to look in the muggle world for good ideas. Instead, he would be swimming in Galleons. Once again, he looked the couple over, but this time more carefully. Although it was quite chilly outside, the woman wore a fashionable blouse instead of a coat, and with her carefully styled hair, she presented the very picture of a doting wife. The man wore a dull gray suit, with an equally boring tie, and a shirt bearing his company's logo, which he proudly puffed out his chest to show off. Importantly he waived his money under the nose of the nearest salesclerk and announced loud enough for the entire store to hear that only the best was good enough for his "Dudders".
Then he compared the picture of the fat baby with that of the small Harry. Duddykins wore a child's denim jacket, which must have been rather expensive indeed, particularly if you considered that the child would certainly outgrow it in only a short time. Underneath it, he wore a brightly printed T-Shirt that was stained all over with chocolate ice cream. He had stopped crying now that his father had given him the teddy bear, but he was no longer paying attention to his new toy. Instead, he was greedily grabbing every toy within reach and then immediately tossing them away.
However, little Harry was dressed in a washed-out baby's one-piece pyjama that was no longer appropriate for a child of two. The ugly yellow-pink garment fit in the length, however in the belly and shoulder area it was far too baggy for such a tiny figure. The only chocolate ice cream mark on his clothes was a suspicious looking fist shaped print. Although the stroller was parked directly in front of the shelf, Harry made no move to touch the toys, even though they were stacked directly in front of his nose. He also did not touch the smeared remnants of the ice cream on the seat next to him. Instead, as soon as he stopped staring questioningly at Midas, he started to play some mysterious game with his fingers. Every now and then, he giggled quietly, and then he looked around to make sure no one was disturbed by the noise.
"What is that boy doing now?" a voice suddenly thundered beside him. The man with the moustache pulled the stroller out of his reach and grumbled something to the effect that because of 'the Freak' they really couldn't go anywhere since he was constantly causing trouble.
It was at this moment that Midas was convinced he had stumbled on a gold mine. Hastily stepping forward he addressed the man, "Excuse me. May I introduce myself? My name is Midas Fox."
The man closed his mouth tight narrowed his eyes and looked at him suspiciously when he heard the unusual name. Distrustfully he scrutinized him from top to bottom. Fortunately, Midas knew how to dress quite well as a Muggle. He was not wearing wizarding robes, but jeans and a shirt. However, both were of good quality. His red-brown hair was parted neatly and his simple eyeglasses gave him a serious appearance.
"Vernon Dursley!" the man rumbled in a tone that clearly said that he did not put up with any nonsense.
"I am pleased to meet you. Mr. Dursley, are you aware that you are sitting on a small fortune?"
"If you are trying to sell me any nonsense, or want to sign me up for something, then you are wasting your time," growled Dursley. But his eyes held a greedy spark that Midas was quick to notice.
"Not at all," he assured him, "I was just wondering if you realized that there are some people who would be willing to pay money to have this child…" he gestured to the stroller, "…advertise their product."
Dursley snorted contemptuously.
"Who would be interested in this dwarf?"
"Here? Probably nobody. But…" Conspiratorially Midas lowered his voice to a whisper, "…in the wizarding world, people would fall all over themselves to buy anything that the boy-who-lived recommended."
Vernon Dursley took a horrified step back and with the same movement pushed his wife and son behind him. Midas knew now that it was time to make a grand exit. He fished a Galleon from his pocket and held it under Dursley's nose. As soon as Dursley saw the gold, his eyes immediately started flash again with greed.
"Think about it. There is a lot more of this where that came from." In a businesslike manner, he pulled out his calling card and handed it to Dursley along with the Galleon. Secretly he congratulated himself that he was one of the few Wizards that owned a phone. He certainly could not have suggested the Dursley's contact him by owl about his proposal.
Dursley stared at him in disgust, but in the end, his greed won. With sharp fingers, he took the calling card, and quickly pocketed the gold. The card he held hesitantly in his hand.
Midas nodded to him politely.
"It was my pleasure to meet you both. I hope to hear from you soon."
With these words, he started to leave, past the salesclerk who was busy keeping an eye on the rampart toddler trying to decide if the possible sale was really worth this kind of disturbance. In the concave mirror hanging from the ceiling, Midas observed the scene behind him. Dursley stood there rigidly at first, but then seemed to be having second thoughts. Hesitantly he put the calling card in his wallet.
Midas smiled in satisfaction as he left the toy store. He was sure they would call him by the end of the week at the latest. Now it was only a matter of making all the necessary preparations, and then Harry Potter would make him a very rich man.