Disclaimer: I am not Rowling. I am a beautiful and unique snowflake! I do not own Harry Potter, but I do own this lovely padded helmet! Mummy says it keeps my face beautiful.
Chapter 3: Plans
Harry looked down at his short but important list. He'd finished it late the previous night and stashed it in the small space under the loose floorboard beneath his bed. He couldn't take the chance that someone might find it, however unlikely that might be. This short, nine point list would enable him to get out from under Dumbledore's rule and get him some of the training he needed. Or so he hoped. He just needed to get to point nine first.
Following step one, he sat down at his desk, inked his quill and started scratching out a letter. A few minutes later he nodded and called his oldest friend over to him.
"Hey girl," he mumbled, stroking his owls soft breast feathers, "Up to delivering a letter for me?"
Hedwig gave a low bark followed by a stern look, making him chuckle.
"Of course you are," he smiled, "Silly of me to even ask isn't it?"
Hedwig barked again and bobbed her head several times, making Harry laugh. He stroked her for a few more minutes and gave her an owl treat before carrying her over to the window and sending her on her way.
"Step one, complete." he said to himself with a grin.
Walking over to his desk he grabbed his new black cloak from the back of the rickety chair and slipped it into his now empty backpack which was then slung on his back. Next he kicked his trunk open and rifled through it until he pulled out his invisibility cloak which he tucked under his arm before slipping his money bag into his pocket.
Consulting his list one last time he nodded to himself, took a deep breath, then left his room. He quietly crept downstairs, avoided the creaky bottom step and listened carefully. From the sounds the TV was making in the living room, Dudley wasn't in and Aunt Petunia most certainly was not watching 'those dreadful soaps everyone is always making such a pointless fuss over.' Uncle Vernon would be at work by now so the only person he had to sneak past was whoever was on guard outside.
"I really hope it isn't Moody." Harry thought as he slipped his invisibility cloak on and tiptoed towards the kitchen. Reaching the back door he crossed his fingers and eased it open just enough for his slim frame to slide through.
He held in place by the back step to see if the guard would check and see why the door opened without anything going in or out. A minute passed, then another. As the third minute passed with no sign of any Order members checking the door, Harry slowly walked along the path towards the back fence, careful not to step on the grass where his footprints would have been visible.
Harry carefully made his way around to the back of the shed and into the foot wide gap between it and the back fence. Taking a quick look back into the garden to double check for guards, he pulled out a loose nail from the bottom of the fence panel. He pushed his foot against it and grinned when it silently swung away, hinging on the top two nails like a huge cat flap. With one last check of the garden, Harry crouched down, pushed against the panel and slid out of the gap into the back garden of the house in the next street over.
Having done this many times when younger, Harry knew how to sneak through the back garden of Mrs. Wiltbloom's house without being seen. However this task was made even easier now he was using his Invisibility Cloak as he was through the garden, out of the gate and walking quickly down the road in under thirty seconds.
Harry chuckled to himself as he remembered how angry Dudley and his gang would get when he managed to escape through the fence like that during rounds of 'Harry Hunting'. He never did manage to work out how Harry could escape from an enclosed garden.
Still under the cloak, Harry walked towards the local shops where he knew he would be able to get a bus to the train station, then a train into London. He didn't trust Dumbledore to not have people watching for the Knight Bus being called close to where Harry lived, not after his shopping trip the other day. As uncomfortable as it was, Harry wished he could Apparate as it would make things a lot easier.
"Maybe Tonks would teach me?" he mused as he slipped into an alley and took the cloak off, "I doubt she'd tell the headmaster, not if I asked her not to."
"So, are you going to tell me who this mystery man is or am I going to have to torture it out of you?"
"Mum!" Tonks groaned, "I've told you already, there is no mystery man!"
"Mmhmm." Andromeda Tonks née Black hummed. "I am not your father, Dora. You may be able to fool him but you've never been able to lie to me. Spill!"
Tonks sighed and chewed her lip. She loved coming to visit her parents... Unless her mother got it into her head to badger her about her love life, or lack thereof, as she had obviously done today.
"I don't have a boyfriend." Tonks sighed, wishing she could sound more nonchalant than she did.
Her mother was quick to pick up on the slight wistful tone that her daughter had almost succeeded in hiding. "But you do have someone in mind." Seeing her daughter about to protest she continued. "Don't even try to deny it Dora! You've been mooning over someone for months and I want some answers or so help me, I'll tell your father what really happened to his Star Wars action figures!"
Tonks hung her head and stared into her cup of coffee. Her mother really was far too observant. And she was right, Tonks never could lie convincingly to her. And that threat was really below the belt! How was she to know you shouldn't open first edition toy packaging? And it wasn't really her fault that she had swallowed one of their heads. Stupid things shouldn't break so easily. Or be so easy to swallow. Or taste so nice.
"Come on Dora, tell me!"
Tonks chewed her lip. She couldn't tell her mother who it was, but maybe she could get some general advice without giving too much away.
"There might be someone I have my eye on." she said and braced herself.
"HA! I knew it!" Andromeda cried as she engulfed Tonks in a hug. Sitting back down she leant closer and propped her chin on her hands. She really was far too excitable. Maybe it was a curse of the Black family to never grow up? "Come on Dora, tell me everything about him! Is he cute? Is he an Auror as well? How did you meet him? Is he interested? Have you kissed? How long have you known him? Where did you meet? Do I know him?"
Tonks couldn't help her lips twitching up into a quick smile at that last question. Of course her mother knew him. Everyone did. Or rather, knew of him. Tonks thought she knew him fairly well though and not many people could claim the same thing.
Andromeda drew in a long breath and looked like she was about to start bouncing in her chair. "I DO know him! Who is it? Is it your partner, Kingsley? Or someone you met at your fathers work party over new years? Was it that nice Jacobson guy? You know he had a really cute butt!"
"What?" Andromeda said with an innocent smile. "He did! Now tell me, was it him?"
"No mum, it wasn't him and you haven't met them. And King is just a friend. Partners in work only." Tonks chewed her lip again while debating her next question. "Mum, how would you say I act most of the time?"
"Badly." her mother said immediately. "We still have the video of you playing Dorothy when you were seven. Never seen such bad acting in my entire life. Your teacher was almost in tears."
"Muuuuum!" Tonks whined. She hated that video but she had never been able to find where it was hidden. "Be serious! How old do you think I act?"
"Have you fallen for an older man?" Tonks winced and shook her head. "A younger man?" Tonks nodded and stared firmly at her cup. "How much younger?"
Tonks mumbled something unintelligible.
"Dora," Andromeda said softly, "I can't help if I don't know the problem."
"Cuplayrs." Tonks mumbled.
"Once more for those of us who are not able to speak Doraonian?"
Tonks growled softly and muttered, loud enough to be heard this time, "A couple of years."
"How many is a couple? A couple as in two or a couple as in your fathers idea of 'a couple of minutes'?" Andromeda asked shrewdly.
Tonks giggled at the jab at her father. His timekeeping was atrocious.
"A few more than two." Tonks said, avoiding her mothers gaze by having a staring contest with the table.
"How many is 'a few more than two'?"
Tonks closed her eyes before whispering her answer, "Seven."
Silence. That wasn't good. Tonks pictured the room in her mind and cursed. The door was behind her mother, no escape that way. No one could apparate out unless they were in the small entrance hall, so that was out. Dumbledore would likely throw a hissy fit if she used the emergency portkey each Order member was given.
"Seven years." her mother stated in a neutral tone. "I did hear that right, right? Seven years younger than you?"
Tonks winced and nodded, wishing she had kept her mouth shut.
"So the man you have your eye on isn't so much of a man, but a boy?"
"He's very mature. He isn't exactly a boy." Tonks protested weakly.
"He's fifteen years old! Still a child!"
"He'll be sixteen soon!"
"Nymphadora! He's still in school! He's a child. You are an adult. How on earth did you even meet him?"
"He isn't a child. He's grown up far too fast to be a child. He's more mature than the newbie Aurors we got in last month. And can you honestly say that I act my age?" Tonks demanded, now scowling. Why couldn't she have kept her mouth shut? Why?
"No, I can't." her mother said, a smile twitching at her lips. "But honey, can't you see that this is a little... It's... Well it's not right. No matter how mature he acts or how immature you act he is still a schoolboy. And you haven't answered how you met."
"Look mum, I need to be in work soon, we can talk la-"
"Oh no you don't!" Andromeda cut in. "I know you don't need to be in for another two hours. You're not getting out of this that easy. Spill."
With a sigh, Tonks started her tale.
"I spent a lot of last Christmas with... Friends, and Ha... He was there. We had a... Friend in common. We both spent time with that friend and so we spent a lot of time together. We got to know each other. We talked a bunch. Couple of times he'd have coffee or hot chocolate waiting for me when I had to be up early or came in late. He wasn't sleeping much at the time. And..." she trailed off and bit her lip again.
"And?" Andromeda asked, slowly getting excited again despite her reservations.
"And you know how I can sometimes be. I may have been a little... Flirty." Tonks told the tabletop.
"It wasn't my fault! Si... I was being egged on. It was just a joke. Playing about. Ha... the guy would get so embarrassed. He'd go all red and it looked so cute. We were just having a little fun at his expense."
"Only it was more than that." Andromeda said sagely.
"At the time it was just me playing about, but after... Well after he went back to Hogwarts I found myself missing him. More than is normal for a friend to miss another. I kept thinking about him, wondering what he was doing, if he missed me, when I'd get the chance to see him again." Tonks bowed her head and once again chewed her lip.
"Do you know how he feels?"
Andromeda sighed and swirled the last of her tea in it's cup. She had been happy that her daughter had found interest in someone again. Nymphadora hadn't shown any interest in anyone since her time in Hogwarts, claiming to be too focused on her Auror Training and then her job after. But interest in a boy who was still in school? Should she discourage her daughter or tell her to go for it? Was this a silly crush or something more?
"Do you love him?" Andromeda asked, making Tonks' head snap up quickly.
"I think it's a little soon to think about that, don't you? I don't even know how he feels about me." Tonks asked, looking back down at the table again.
"Good answer. At least you're thinking about this some." Andromeda nodded. "If you got together with him, would you be happy? If he is still in school you wont see him much. And he'll still be living at home. He wont have much money, not that money is all the important if it turns out to be love. Me and your father were near penniless when we married."
Tonks was slowly shaking her head. "Yes, he would make me happy. I'm sure of it."
Andromeda sighed and cupped her daughters cheek in her hand, gently forcing her face up to look into her eyes. "Then follow your heart. If he makes you happy, go get him. Just be careful."
Tonks' smile lit up the room and her hair unconsciously started swirling between blue and green. True, she was twenty two, an Auror, had her own apartment, but she had always been so close to her mother. She confided in her about nearly everything. Her endorsement on this subject was important.
"So," Andromeda said, looking Tonks straight in the eye, "Are you going to tell me his name yet?"
Tonks flinched and looked back down at the table.
"Oh... Well... About that..."
A short bus ride, an uneventful train journey and a quick trip in a taxi later, and Harry strolled through the door of the Leakey Cauldron, the hood of his black cloak pulled far over his face to obscure it from view. He slipped through the noisy pub and out into Diagon Alley without attracting more than a cursory glance from anyone. He quickly made his way down the street towards Gringotts to complete item number two on his very important list.
Upon entering the bank, Harry swiftly made his way over to an unoccupied goblin teller.
"May I help you sir?" the goblin asked with a trademark sneer. Snape had nothing on these guys.
"I need a way to withdraw potentially large amounts of gold from my vault to pay shopkeepers with." Harry said, keeping his voice low.
The goblin looked at Harry as if he were stupid.
"Is there something wrong with your chequebook sir?"
Harry looked at the sneering goblin with confusion. "What chequebook?" he asked.
The goblin sneered slightly wider. He really hated dealing with humans, especially stupid humans. He was starting to regret sleeping with the chief's daughter, getting stuck on Teller duty was far worse than the public flogging he could have chosen instead.
"Every vault owner is given a key and a chequebook when they open an account with us." the goblin explained slowly, as if to a young child.
Harry frowned. He would bet every last knut he had that Dumbledore was the reason behind his missing chequebook.
"Well it would appear that I have...misplaced my book." Harry growled, "How may I go about getting a new one?"
With a melodramatic growl (goblins would never do something so human as sighing) and an even deeper sneer, the goblin reached below the counter and pulled out a small, leather bound pad of parchment. Harry thought it looked very much like the chequebook's he had seen Uncle Vernon using.
"You understand that there will be a ten galleon fee?" the goblin asked.
Harry wordlessly fished the money from his bag and handed over to the foul tempered goblin, who snatched it from his hand like a starving man would grab a Big Mac.
"Please place the key to the vault you wish to link the chequebook to on top of the new booklet." the goblin said in a bored tone after quickly counting the money and stashing it away. Harry did as asked, or ordered, and looked at the goblin expectantly. He received another growl before the goblin spoke again. "Well? Are you going to cut your finger or do you expect me to to it for you? I warn you now, I may slip and end up cutting...your jugular maybe?" he smiled, showing his many sharp teeth.
"Why would I cut my finger?" Harry asked, confused and slightly intimidated. Those teeth looked sharp.
"Do you think we would just hand out new chequebooks to anyone who walked into the bank waving a vault key around?" the goblin snapped, obviously losing what little patience he had to start with, "How do I know you haven't stolen it? The key is linked to your vault, when it was created a single drop of blood would have been collected and used to bond it to you, the same as the chequebook. Seeing as you carelessly lost your last book, you now need to provide another drop of blood to bond the new chequebook to the key and thus, to you and your vault." the goblin grinned a sickly smile, "If you have stolen the key the chequebook's cover will turn black and I will quite happily drive my cutlass through your gut."
"May I please borrow your letter opener?" Harry asked, having nothing on him to cut his finger and noticing the item on the goblins desk. The goblin growled and thrust the letter opener, actually just a small dagger that happened to be laying on the desk, at Harry. Sighing, Harry took it and cut his finger.
A few minutes later Harry emerged from the bank with a small smile on his hidden face, a chequebook in his pocket and a bloody finger in his mouth. The goblin had given Harry such a glare when asked if he would heal the cut that the defier of Voldemort quickly snatched up his new chequebook and hurried from the bank.
He got to the bottom of the white marble steps and glanced down the street. Spotting a store he hadn't been in for years and having a sudden idea, he set off for it.
"Well," he muttered under his breath as he walked towards the store, "Logic says I should be able to buy one here."
Pushing open the door and entering the dusty shop, Harry breathed in deeply as the tingle of magic in the air washed over him, though it felt very different from the small prickle on the back of his neck he felt the last time he entered here. This was refreshing and invigorating and left him feeling like he had just woken up after a long nights rest.
"How curious." said a soft voice.
Harry snapped his eyes open and found himself looking at his reflection in a pair of large, silvery eyes. Finding himself standing within an inch of Mr. Ollivander, Harry gave a slight yelp and jumped backwards.
"Curious." the old wandmaker muttered again, still staring at Harry unblinkingly.
Harry got a strong sense of deja vu when he asked the obvious question, "What is?"
Ollivander stared at Harry a moment longer before heading back behind the counter and answering, "All the wands I sell in my shop were created in my workroom behind that door," he said while pointing to a door behind him, "I store numerous wand cores, wand woods and of course, completed wands, on the premises. As all are such magical items they tend to give off a slight...Well I would describe it as a 'glow of magic'. You could liken it to how a candle gives a soft glow in a dark room. It's not exactly the same as an aura as auras are left from active magic and can be sensed in numerous ways. This just an output of magic, totally passive and not something that can normally be sensed.
"Normally such items 'glow' is so small as to be undetectable, however with such large amounts in one place over such a long time... Well I'm sure you understand as Hogwarts is somewhat the same, though here it is more... Compacted."
Harry was unsure where this was going but nodded politely for the old wandmaker to continue.
"This shop has been producing, storing and selling wands for hundreds of years and as such the very air has taken on a slight magical charge due to the high amounts of magical items constantly on the premises. Some people are aware of it as a small tingling feeling, others may hear it as a constant soft humming or buzzing, I've seen a few people who felt chills or hot flashes and a few years ago a young metamorph's hair constantly cycled through a shocking array of colours until she left the store, it was most amusing." Ollivander smiled and looked distant for a second, obviously remembering the event. Harry thought he must have been talking about Tonks and made a mental note to ask her about it. Ollivander gave a slight cough and continued. "Where was I? Oh yes. One person even said they could smell marmalade, though I'm not certain it was the magic he was smelling as he seemed to have a large variety of foods in his beard. However, ninety percent of the witches and wizards who enter my shop feel, hear or smell nothing." Ollivander stopped talking and looked at Harry once again.
After an uncomfortable few moments, Harry spoke up, "And what exactly did you find curious?" Harry asked, prodding the old man to continue and cursing yet another thing that made him stand out from the crowd.
"I do not feel the magic, I do not hear the magic and I certainly do not smell the magic. I, like all those in my family line, am able to see the magic." Ollivander stated, "It is one of the reasons I can match a witch or wizard to a wand so well. Some people think it strange that I snatch a potential wand from their hand so quickly but as soon as I see the magic in the wand react to the holder I can tell if it will be a fit or not."
"And..." Harry said, brow furrowed in confusion, "What did you see that you found curious?"
"What I found curious was all the ambient magic in the room, which normally just swirls about like a very fine mist, suddenly rushed to you and started swirling around your body like an over excited puppy greeting it's master."
Harry blinked. Ollivander did not. Harry blinked again. Ollivander smiled.
"You are confused." he stated.
"I..err...It did what?" Harry asked.
"The magic in the air rushed to you and started to swirl around your body, it was like you were standing in a miniature tornado comprised of magic. In fact, it is still doing so now but at a lesser extent. Perhaps because you are now aware of it, hmm?" the wandmaker paused and cocked his head to the side, "I have never seen a thing like it in all my many years. The first comparison I could think of would be the one I gave; A young puppy greeting it's master, jumping around you and eager to please. Most curious."
Harry thought for a moment. "I felt a prickle on my neck last time I entered your shop, when I brought my wand, you didn't mention it then." he said.
"No. The same thing didn't happen. Though," Ollivander paused and did the classical upwards look of someone trying to remember something, "It didn't react the same as now, however I remember seeing it move slightly towards you. I thought it a trick of the light."
"So why didn't it do the same thing back then?" Harry asked.
"I am unsure. It could be any number of things. Of course, it might just be you are more in tune with your magic now than you were back then. Though... Something tells me it isn't that." Ollivander finished with a very thoughtful look on his face.
"So," Harry thought for a second, "What exactly does this mean?"
"Haven't the foggiest." Ollivander replied with an unblinking smile. "Never seen that happen in all my years."
Harry suddenly remembered something Dumbledore had said about Ollivander owling him as soon as Harry had brought his wand, the brother of Voldemort's.
"And you didn't see it happen, or me for that matter, today, no matter who might be interested in knowing." Harry said, his voice dropping an octave lower.
Mr. Ollivander's face lost some of it's friendliness. "There is no need to try and threaten me Mr. Potter, I would never betray you to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. That...Monster killed my granddaughter and her family during the last war."
Harry held back a flinch at in unintended insult he had given Ollivander. "I never thought for a second that you would. However," Harry looked Ollivander in the eye, meeting his unblinking stare, "Dumbledore would also be interested."
Ollivander considered him for a few moments before nodding and looking away. "I will keep this between us, Mr. Potter. However I would like to talk to you about it at a later date. Please stop by after I have closed for the day when ever you have time."
"I look forward to doing so. And please, feel free to call me Harry." Harry smiled slightly and happily blinked his eyes a few times before Ollivander looked back towards him.
"As you wish, Harry. I extend the same offer to you; please feel free to call me Octavius." Ollivander said with a smile. "Now what can I do for you today? In for some wand polish? Wand need a tune up perhaps?"
"I was wondering if you sold wand holsters. With things they way they are I think I may be needing one."
Ollivander nodded and looked at Harry for a few moments, considering something.
"I do sell them, yes." he said, after a pause he added, "I think you might benefit from one of my custom works."
"Are they different from the normal models you sell?" Harry asked.
"Oh yes." the old man said in an excited tone, "I have a great number of enchantments put on them. And they are dragonhide, not leather. I have only sold six since I first made them nearly fifty years ago."
"What enchantments do they have?" Harry asked, perking up. If Ollivander thought he would benefit from a rare item that he obviously only sold to select people, it must be good.
"When in it's holster, your wand is summon-proof and will not be lost due to any disarming charms. It is also short enough to comfortably fit on your forearm and will, without any damage, shrink your wand to fit inside of it. Unless you do it yourself, the only way for someone to remove the holster from your person would be to cut your arm off. It also has several protective spells on it to prevent general ware and tare. I also managed to enchant it to deflect spells away from it, however they would not stop a powerful spell directly so don't try it, the enchantment is meant to curve spells away from the holster to prevent damage." Ollivander said as he rummaged around in a large trunk under the counter. "I have also developed a unique spell that delivers and returns your wand from the holster with a just thought. It took me three years to work that one out. Ah, here we go!"
Ollivander stood up and held out a small, six inch piece of black scaly material with several straps dangling from it. Taking it, Harry pulled his right sleeve up and fitted it to the inside of his forearm.
"I thought you might like this one in particular as it is made from the skin of a Hungarian Horntail, the same breed you faced in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament. Now, lay your wand on top of it." Ollivander said. Harry did so and watched as Octavius waved his own wand over the holster while mumbling under his breath. With a final tap Harry's wand shrank down from it's normal thirteen and a half inches to just over five, at which point it seemed to melt into the dragonhide like water into a sponge, leaving only a slight five inch long ridge in the black skin.
"Now," Ollivander said, "Think of the wand being in your hand. Try and focus your thoughts on your wand as you do this. Pictu-" Ollivander stopped talking as Harry's wand was suddenly clutched in it's owners fingers. "Impressive, Harry. It took several minutes for me to first extract my wand and I was the one who invented the spell to control it."
"How do I get it to...Oh." Harry stopped talking, as in the middle of asking how to return it to it's holster, his wand was no longer in his fingers. He thought of holding his wand and it was suddenly in his hand, his fingers automatically curled around the grip in the way he felt most comfortable.
Ollivander found himself very impressed. Harry had grasped onto that much quicker than he had after creating the holster. The rare few people he had sold other's to had taken at least five minutes to learn how to extract their wand and a lot longer before it became an unconscious action.
"Oh yes, Mr. Potter," the wandmaker whispered softly as Harry continued to quickly move his wand from hand to holster, "I expect we shall see great things from you."
After trying, and failing, to pay Ollivander for the holster ("A small contribution to the good fight, Harry."), Harry made his way to Madam Malkin's to enquire about the possibility of buying the third item on his most important list. He entered the small shop and immediately pulled the hood of his cloak further over his face, making sure there was no way he could be identified.
"Shit!" he spat to himself, "Of all the damn people to run into..."
"Hello sir!" the bright voice of Cho Chang chirped from behind the till, "Welcome to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. How may I be of assistance?"
Harry thought frantically for a moment before putting on a deep raspy voice, "I wish to speak to Madam Malkin."
Cho frowned slightly, "I'm afraid she is out at the moment, sir, but I assure you that I will be able to provide you with just as much assistance as she could."
Harry thought for a moment. This wasn't helpful at all. For some reason Madam Malkin had taken a shine to him and, promised him that she would never tell a soul he had been there. He thought that the item he needed would have to be custom fitted and he had no intention of letting Cho fit him for something. Still, at least he would be able to find out if they sold what he was after.
"I'm looking for armour. Dragonhide. Do you sell it?" Harry rasped.
"The only dragonskin items we sell are the designer jackets and boots." she eyed him up and down, "Everyone knows that dragonhide armour is a Ministry restricted item. You need a permit for it."
Harry let several colourful descriptions of the Ministry of Magic flow through his head. He was getting sick and tired of the Ministry sticking it's nose in everything. He was sure that the Ministry of Idiots restricted it because they didn't want well armed people who might stand against them. Heaven forbid little John Smith might just want to keep his family protected where ever they went.
"Right," Harry rasped, "How silly of me. I must have forgotten. Good day." And with that, he left the shop before Cho could say a word.
Harry strode away from the robe shop cursing to himself. He had been hoping that he'd be able to pick up some body armour there as he had no idea where else he might be able to get it. He thought about checking Knockturn Alley for armour, but he decided he didn't trust anyone down there to get to close to him, let alone measure him for body armour. Besides, he would have to remove his cloak and that was a sure fire way to bring Death Eaters down on his head.
Mentally crossing another item off his list, even though he hadn't been able to get it, Harry started pushing his way through the thickening crowd towards Trunks 'R Us. He was determined that he would get this item. Without it, his plans would be totally screwed.
Half an hour later Harry was carefully walking through the entrance to Knockturn Alley. He wasn't looking forward to visiting the shops down here, but the Ministry had forced his hand. At least, that was what Harry told himself. It was true. Mostly. About some of the things he wanted anyway. The others... Well sometimes rules, and laws, just needed to be broken.
Spotting what he was after, Harry quickly made his way into a dingy looking book store called Paper Cuts. He peered around, letting his eyes adjust to the gloom, taking in the rows, shelves, cases and piles of books.
"What do you want?" a high, nasal voice demanded from behind the till.
"Books." Harry rasped, "Problem with that?" he demanded back. He had decided that being rude and abrasive in his dealings would probably help him greatly.
"The problem comes if you don't have the gold to pay for them." Mr. Nasal-Voice said, sticking his long, upward curving nose in the air and glaring at Harry.
"I have plenty of gold." Harry rasped, then thought for a second, "I presume you take cheques?"
"If it ain't no good then it'll be very unpleasant for you." the store owner spat.
Harry grunted and moved into the bookshelves. He pulled out yet another list and consulted it.
wards (stupid m.o.m)
real duelling (not competition crap)
potions (poisons and stuff)
transport (portkeys especially – dumbledore can make untraceable ones, must find out how)
anything that might be useful
Glancing over the list and nodding to himself, he headed in the direction of stack labelled 'Warding'.
"Now this is more like it!" Harry muttered to himself, seeing at least twelve books, none of them with titles containing 'Ministry'. He saw a small, beaten up basket close by and dumped five of the best looking books into it. The basket gave a feeble attempt at floating before dropping back to the floor. Harry sighed and picked it up before heading towards a label with 'Curses' on it. Seeing as this section seemed to take up about one third of the shop, he was going to be here for a while.
Some time later Harry thumped the basket down in front of Mr. Nasal-Voice and waited while the man added up the total.
"Five hundred and sixty four galleons, eight sickles and three knuts." he said.
"What?!" Harry exclaimed, forgetting himself. "I'm not paying that much! There are only eighteen books there!"
"Several of those books are restricted by the Ministry." the man snapped.
Harry, recovering from his shock and trying to slip back into character, suddenly had an idea.
"And I doubt very much that you would want them knowing that you sold them to me." he growled.
The man gulped. It was true, he didn't. One of those books would land him a year in Azkaban just for owning it, selling it would be much worse.
"Five fifty even." he snapped.
"Three hundred." Harry countered.
"Never! I had to do a lot to get a copy of that portkey book. It's the only one I have! I don't even know why it was on the shelves. Five hundred."
"Four twenty five or I walk out, talking loudly about what a wonderful selection of interesting books you have!" Harry insisted, unsure just how far he could push the man.
"Four fifty and not a knut lower!" the pointy nosed shopkeeper said quickly.
Harry thought for a moment before nodding and pulling the chequebook from his pocket, he probably wouldn't get the man to go lower. "Done."
"I'll know right away if that cheque isn't good you know." the shopkeeper said, patting a metal box, slightly bigger than the chequebook in Harry's hand.
As he had left the bank without asking the goblin, the kind old man who ran the trunk store explained how the cheques worked. A good thing he did because the owner of this store didn't look best pleased at the moment. He quickly snatched a quill from the counter and scratched the total into the correct box, then pressed his thumb hard into the bank seal in one corner. A tiny jab of pain, a small flash of white then a larger flash of green and he ripped the cheque from the book and handed it over.
The shopkeeper snatched it from his hand and opened the box he had been tapping. Mr. Nasal-Voice shoved the cheque inside and pressed a finger to the Gringotts seal on top of the box, a few seconds later there was a dull blue flash from it.
"Well go on then!" the shopkeeper snapped, "Take your books and clear out!"
Harry quickly crammed his new books into his backpack and left the dreary book store with it's miserable owner. Harry thought he and Snape could have been friends, or at the very least, share tips on sneering.
Glancing down the street he spotted the next thing he was after. This was going to take even more acting than the book store.
Harry pushed the door open and arrogantly swaggered towards the counter. The small, thin man behind it eyed him coolly.
"May I help you sir?" he asked politely, though his eyes were as cold as ice chips.
Harry grunted. "For your sake, you better hope that you can." he rasped.
The man stiffened and glared angrily. "What do you want?" he bit out, any politeness gone.
"It is not what I want but," Harry slowly and deliberately placed his right hand on his left forearm, "It is what my Master wants."
This was a huge gamble. Harry seriously hoped he wasn't going to be stunned and handed over to the Ministry. However it seemed his fear was unfounded as the thin man behind the counter paled suddenly and nodded.
"Of course! Anything for him, anything at all. Smithe can provide what He needs, just like always!" the man, Smithe, babbled.
Harry thought that Smithe's last words were interesting. It sounded like Voldemort often got items from him.
"Shut up and start providing then!" Harry snapped. He felt bad when the man jumped but he had to keep up the Death Eater act now that he had started. "He wants an untraceable wand suitable for an underage wizard. I assume that is not too much for you?"
"Why would He want that?" Smithe asked curiously, briefly forgetting himself.
"I do not question His orders and you should know better than to do so!" Harry snarled. Smithe jumped again and shrank away.
"O-of course n-not!" Smithe stuttered, "But if I m-may make a suggestion, sir?"
"If He needs a young Wizard to be able to preform magic without the Ministry knowing, I may have an item that would better suit His needs." Smithe said, leaning back as if preparing for something to strike him.
"Explain." Harry drawled in a bored tone, though he was now very interested.
Smithe slowly walked over to a bare stretch of wall and tapped his wand in a quick pattern against it while whispering what Harry took to be a password. A small safe door appeared and the nervous store owner quickly opened it, reached inside and pulled out something too small for Harry to see. Smithe turned back to Harry and cautiously stepped over to him.
He opened his hand and showed Harry a small black object. It looked somewhat like a small rubber band and had a slight dark purple glow to it.
"This fits onto a wand, around the grip." the shopkeeper said, "It will mask any tracing spells on the wand. The user could stand right next to the Ministry's monitoring equipment and preform any spell without it being picked up. It is better than you buying an unregistered wand as the Wizard is still able to use a wand that chose him.
"Additionally, once it has been fitted to a wand it will match it's colour to that of the wandwood. It can be passed off as a lump in the handle to help with grip."
This was great! Harry had been wanting to get a secondary wand that the Ministry couldn't track. It was just as vital, if not more so, than the trunk he had ordered earlier. Without being able to do magic Harry was so badly limited he might as well just bow to Dumbledore's wishes. With this thing he would be able to use his own wand.
Harry picked up the glowing rubber band and slipped it into his pocket. "If this does not work exactly as you say..." Harry threatened.
"It will!" the man said shrilly, his skin ghost white.
"Very well." Harry turned to leave.
"Erm...Sir?" a very quiet voice said from behind him. Harry turned around and saw Smithe looking even more fearful.
"Yes?" Harry drawled.
"Those are not exactly cheap or easy to make..." Smithe said quietly.
Harry wasn't sure what to do. Would a Death Eater pay? Would they just walk out? Would they curse the man?
"Very well." Harry growled. He strode over to the counter and tossed a handful of Galleons onto it. Smithe's eyes widened in surprise. Harry stiffened. Maybe he shouldn't have paid.
"Sir t-this is too much!" Smithe said, looking panicked.
Harry thought quickly. "Payment for the item and a little extra to help you forget I was ever here."
"Yes sir." Smithe nodded as he scooped the gold away. "Good day sir."
Harry strode out of Smithe & Bratt Wand Shoppe and shook himself. Acting like a Death Eater was very unpleasant.
"Time to go home and have a shower I think." he muttered to himself.
A/N: Hey all! I'm sorry I'm late in posting. My computer decided to break and all my files and notes were on it. Obviously it's fixed now and I'm back writing with no file loss! This chapter is shorter than the past two and following chapters could be more this length. Update times may also be a little more...flexible than I wanted as well. Reality has decided to heap a load of things on me lately.
I know this chapter is more shopping but...well tough to be honest. Has to be done. Next chapter will have our first fight and you (or those who can't already guess) will find out what Harry's plans are.
Oh and what did you think of the name I gave Ollivander? I looked around but nowhere gave him a first name. I thought Octavius Ollivander had a nice ring to it and it fits in with Rowlings like of alliteration in character names.
Thanks go to everyone who has left a review. I've tried replying to as many as I can but I lose track. I appreciate all reviews and take (nearly) all suggestions on board. Special thanks go to David305 and his profile.
No thanks go to my damned computer. Stupid thing.
Not sure when I'll be posting next as I barely have any of CH4 done.
Cya next time!