Full Summary: In what could only be described as an act of god, Sirius manages to convince Dumbledore to let him take Harry out of the country for his summer vacation before fifth year. To get away from the dangers of Britain and see the world in peace, even if it's only for a couple months. A nice trip to Paris, perhaps a day in Berlin or Istanbul? With magic to help them, the world may be at their fingertips after all. But of course, nothing is ever so simple when your name is Harry James Potter.
Author's Note: Ever wonder what the rest of the magical world is like? Throughout the books, the story is, understandably, focused only on the UK and we only catch a brief glimpse of the possibilities during the TriWizard Tournament. But its left unpolished... unexplored after that. And there's so much potential! So join me as we explore what a World of Magic can really be!
~ Harry Potter and the World of Magic ~
It is said that a single thought can change the world.
That's all it takes.
A single thought.
Something so formless, insubstantial, and often times completely innocent and random that somehow takes hold of the thinker and forms new, bold ideas… Those ideas eventually change into desires, then plans, before finally becoming actions, which hold the potential to change lives, reshape nations, and topple even the mightiest Gods. And yet, despite its power, such thoughts often times take place in the most unlikely of places, within the minds of the most unlikely of people at the most impromptu of times…
It began on an ordinary summer day in the suburban neighborhood of Surrey, England. The late afternoon sun was unbearably hot today, forcing most of the town's residents to hide away in their air-conditioned homes. Only one person remained outside, relaxing under the shade of a somewhat secluded tree in the neighborhood park.
His name was Harry James Potter.
An unwanted resident of Number 4 Privet Drive, this fourteen, almost fifteen, year old teenager appeared totally and utterly unremarkable at first glance; he was a bit on the short side for his age, had messy raven black hair, a pale complexion and an overall skinny figure hidden underneath a set of overly large secondhand clothing. The only redeeming features he possessed, hidden beneath an absolutely hideous pair of glasses, were his sparkling green eyes and a lightning shaped scar upon his forehead. But all in all, not really someone you'd look twice at.
But, he did possess another unseen quality.
He was a wizard.
And he wasn't the only one. There existed an entire world, hidden from plain sight, filled with magical creatures and beings and so much more… and it was only in this past year, thanks to an international magical competition that he had been forced to participate in and the different cultures he had been exposed to as a result, did Harry realize just how diverse the world, both magical and normal, was.
The Tri-Wizard Tournament had awoken something within him.
A craving to see and experience a world of magic.
A desire to be free…
He could still remember all the conversations he had with the foreigners visiting Hogwarts during the Triwizard Tournament. Fleur Delacour, the Champion for Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, in particular had been much more open to him after the events of the Second Task. She had talked extensively and very enthusiastically about her home country… the food, the sights, the culture, and the people… Though the interest to see the world was already there, it was Fleur, in her lively talks of France, that sparked his desire to travel.
And that flame was only further fanned by his godfather, Sirius Black. Harry had exchanged several letters with him, discussing his newly discovered wanderlust and naturally, the man had given his wholehearted approval. He regaled Harry with many of his own adventures across the globe and had even sent him a journal filled with all his and James's exploits!
And with every passage he read in that treasured journal, Harry felt his desire grow stronger until he came to a single thought…
'I want to see the world."
Such a thought is common… What person on this planet didn't want to see the world? To travel across the planet and see new sights, experience new things, and become something more than what they were when they started. These thoughts… This desire… Harry could feel it surging inside him, as if a great beast was trying to break free! It roared for him to leave the prison that was his relative's home… To just up and leave.
And to be honest, Harry was genuinely tempted to listen.
After all, what good was there in staying in Little Whinging? The summer thus far had been absolutely dreadful. Voldemort was back and Harry knew he was at the top of his shit-and-kill list, and here he was stuck with his magic-hating relatives, unable to contact his friends (on Dumbledore's orders) or practice magic despite the decades of experience the mass-murdering psycho had over him. On top of that, he had been suffering daily nightmares involving the graveyard and Cedric's murder, which always seemed to get his scar tingling painfully for whatever bizarre reason. Oh, and did he forget to mention that the Daily Prophet had started a whole slander campaign against him, labelling him as an attention-seeking liar?
Yeah, needless to say, Harry was feeling pretty pissed off at the whole situation. And it had only been two weeks since the summer started. If he didn't do something soon, someone or something was liable to explode! Even just thinking about it was starting to make him boil…
"Calm down, Harry. Nice deep breaths," the wizard muttered, feeling his magic flare a bit with his rising anger. No need to have the Ministry on his back for accidental magic or some other kind of bullshit.
A rustle to his left snapped him out of his thought as Harry immediately pointed his wand at the noise. "Who's there?!" he demanded, his body tense and ready to face whatever was hiding in the shrubbery. Could it be a Death Eater? Or some hired mercenary? Or maybe-!
"Wha! Bleh! Pth… Yuck! Stop licking me, ya stupid mutt! Gah!"
Padfoot merely barked happily.
"Blimey, that's disgusting…" Harry muttered, wiping the slobber off his face before turning his attention to the tail-wagging dog that could only be one person. "Sirius?"
"What are you doing here?" Harry whispered furiously, before adding, "Is it even safe for you to be outside?"
In an instant, the shaggy black dog had transformed into his equally shaggy godfather. Although he was still thin and showing signs of his stay in Azkaban, Sirius looked significantly healthier than he had the previous year. Gone were the ragged robes, unkempt beard, and long matted hair, and in its place was a happy man sporting a wide smile for his godson.
"Hey there, kiddo!"
"Sirius, what are you doing here?"
"Fulfilling my duty as godfather. I have an awesome surprise for you. You'll love it! And I'm pretty sure with this, I qualify, if not outright win, the award for most awesome godfather of the year," Sirius boasted, his smile now stretching into a large cheshire grin. Kinda weird to see it on someone who could transform into a dog at will.
"As curious as I am, you'll have to tell me later. And you can bask later too," the teen retorted, his brow twitching at the antics of his godfather. He also couldn't help but notice that the man's personality had changed drastically since last Harry saw him… He seemed almost… normal, if a bit excited. To be honest, it was a bit disconcerting. What on earth had happened in the last few months that could cause such a change? Curious as he was though, Harry was more interested in what was going on with Voldemort. "Mind telling me what's been happening? I've been trying to keep up with the news, but there doesn't seem to be much going on."
Almost instantly, Sirius became… well, serious. "That's because for the most part, nothing has been happening. Voldemort has been laying low. Probably gathering followers and stuff."
"Wait, really?" Now that threw Harry for a loop. "That's it?"
"Yeah. Why do you look so surprised?"
"I figured Voldemort and all his Death Eaters would have immediately start blowing up buildings and murdering muggles."
"Not if he wants to fight and win a war. And the Order won't let him get that far, hopefully."
"Sorry, kid. Classified," Sirius said with a smile, clearly enjoying the fact that he could act like some kind of secret agent. "Its better you don't know anyways. Besides, aren't you at all interested in my surprise?"
Harry narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "It's not some kind of prank, is it? Cuz, I'm really not in the mood."
"Would I really do that to you?"
"Yes," Harry deadpanned with absolutely no hesitation.
"You are absolutely right, but this, I promise, is not a prank. You'll love it!"
"How about you quit with the suspense building and just tell me already."
"Alright, I'll stop beating around the bush. You and I…" Sirius began, pausing for dramatic effect and also just to screw with Harry further. He was rewarded with another twitch from his godson's brow. "… Are going on a trip around the world for the rest of the summer!"
"I know! Awesome right?!"
"Stunned speechless? Can't say I blame you, really."
"I know it's a lot to take in. Take your time, gather your thoughts… Well, don't actually. We're leaving tonight and we still need to get to Diagon Alley for some last minute stuff and then meet up with Dumbledore at Hogwarts to get the portkey, so do you think you could hurry this up?"
"Harry?" Sirius snapped his fingers at his godson's eyes, but still got no response. "Anyone there? Hello?"
Still more silence… then, "What did you do?"
"Oh good, you're back! Merlin, Harry, don't scare me like that."
"Sirius, what did you do?"
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean."
"No, kiddo, I really don't."
"What did you do to Professor Dumbledore?! There's no way the Headmaster would've agree to this, especially now with Voldemort out there. Did you blackmail him? Threaten him with pranks? Or… Please tell me you didn't use your pathetic puppy dog face."
"Okay, first, my puppy dog look is irresistible. I can transform into a dog after all. Secondly, no, I didn't blackmail or threaten him with pranks. I'm just that good. He's even supplying us with legal passports and everything. All we need to do is do some shopping and pack. Face it, kiddo, your godfather is simply that awesome!"
Hearing that, Harry finally succumbed to the grin that tugged at his lips. A trip around the world with Sirius and everything that came with it… Now, that wasn't anything to sneeze at, especially with his recent obsession with wanting to get out and explore. He could only imagine how long his godfather had been working on this. Maybe that was why he was acting so different? But still, it begged the question, "What's the catch?"
"Why do you think there'd be a catch?"
"There's always a catch to something like this… I mean, how does this help us fight Voldemort?"
"Well, for one, you're going to get trained. Its pretty clear that Voldemort has an unhealthy interest in you and as you are now, you don't stand a chance against him or his Death Eaters. So, we're going to take the initiative and get you properly trained." A borderline maniacal gleam began to sparkle in Sirius's eyes as he continued. "You're going to learn all kinds of magic! Every country has something different to offer and maybe, just maybe, you'll find the perfect weapon against Voldemort and his thugs. And even if you don't, you'll still have loads of different kinds of magic to throw at him that I'm sure he hasn't seen before. Surprising your enemy is always a good way to go in a fight."
Now that sounded like one hell of a deal. And it sure beat sitting around on his arse all day, twiddling his thumbs. Harry could already feel the excitement beginning to well up in him.
"There are a couple other things we will be doing on the side though. I'll tell you about them later. We've got a lot to do before our trip!"
"Shopping, packing, getting the portkey from Dumbledore. I told you all this while you were zoned out."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I take it we're going to Diagon Alley?"
"Yup! Oh, and before I forget, there is one more reason behind all this."
"It's the most important reason of all…"
"This is literally world-changing in how important it is."
"I hope you're ready to hear this, kid."
"Blimey, Sirius, out with it!"
A perverted fire suddenly roared to life in Sirius's eyes as he shot up and thrust his fists into the air. "I'm going to get laid, baby! Do you have any idea how long it's been for me?! Twelve years! Twelve fucking years! All the poor beautiful ladies of the world must be weeping at the absence of all this sexiness, but don't worry, my lovelies! The rugged sex god is on his way!"
"Shit, I think I broke him."
~ Scene Break ~
An hour later, Harry and Sirius found themselves walking through the empty corridors of Hogwarts toward the Headmaster's Office, having just finished a quick trip to Diagon Alley where Harry got new glasses. It was also, at this time and in the silence that echoed throughout the castle, that things began to sink in for the teenager… He really was going on a trip around the world with his godfather!
"You okay, kiddo?" Sirius quipped. "You've been pretty quiet since we left Diagon Alley."
"Yeah… I'm just still trying to wrap my head around all this. Its a lot to take in."
"I know how you feel. I still remember when your grandfather, Charles, told me and James that he was taking us on a trip around the world on the summer before our sixth year. I didn't believe him for weeks until he showed us the international portkey."
"Weeks? Then why the bloody hell did you decide to tell me today?! You said we're leaving tonight!"
"For security reasons and it also gives you less time to doubt me. I'll explain more once we're out of the country."
Harry frowned, but nodded his consent. Still, it did raise one other question. "So, where are we going first?"
"That's a secret," Sirius said with a devious smile.
"What? Oh c'mon! You can't do this to me!"
"Oh really? Then what is it am I doing right now then?"
"Being a colossal arse," Harry snarked back. "C'mon, tell me!"
"You'll find out soon enough."
"And when's that going to be? When we've actually left?!"
"You know, I was thinking once we were in Dumbledore's office, but I like your idea better! We'll go with that!"
Harry could feel his eye starting to twitch again. At this rate, it would become a permanent tick. And the desire to strangle or curse his godfather into oblivion was sounding more and more tempting by the second. Especially since the insufferable man was giving him a really smug look. But what spell to use… Oh, the possibilities… Unfortunately, or fortunately in Sirius's case, the two arrived at their destination before Harry could actually decide.
"Sherbet lemon… You know, I don't get how Dumbledore can eat so much of those things," Sirius quipped as the gargoyle moved aside, revealing the spiral staircase leading up to the Headmaster's Office. "They're really sour."
"When did you have one? You don't seem like a sweets guy."
"Besides chocolate, you're right. I don't really care for sweets, but Dumbledore offered me one last I saw him and I always see people refuse whenever he does that, so I figured I'd give it a try. Just to be nice, ya know?" The Marauder made a face as he knocked on the door. "Not my best idea…"
The two stepped inside to see Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, smiling at them in apparent relief from behind several stacks of paperwork. Clearly, the old man was in desperate need of a break. "Ah! Harry, Sirius, do come in, come in," Dumbledore said, banishing the stacks of paper to a corner of his office.
"Sorry for taking so long, Professor," Sirius said. "We had to drop by Diagon Alley to get Harry his new specs."
"I can see that. They suit you, my boy."
"I take it Sirius had informed you of what's about to happen?"
"To an extent, sir."
"Were you able to get everything, Professor?" Sirius asked, purposely cutting in to prevent the Headmaster from revealing too much.
"Indeed I was. It is a good thing we planned ahead for much of these items. Here is your international portkey, yours passports, and the papers confirming Harry's exemption of underaged magic usage for the duration of the summer," Dumbledore said, handing over the thick packet to Sirius.
Harry's eyes widened. "Wait, an exemption? So Sirius wasn't kidding about me being able to use magic over the summer?!"
"Indeed. All you need to do to activate it is press the tip of your wand on the papers so that it registers you as the designee of the exemption."
"Brilliant!" The teen wasted no time whipping out his wand to do just that. The paper glowed blue, signifying its acceptance while Sirius perused through the rest of the papers Dumbledore had given him.
"Everything looks to be in order," the Marauder muttered. "When's the portkey set to leave?"
"As you requested, it is set to 7:30 PM."
"Excellent. That gives us about thirty minutes, so we're right on schedule!"
"You will recall that portkeys generally do not work in Hogwarts unless created by the current Headmaster, and I most certainly did not make this one, so you will have to exit the wards before it activates."
"Plenty of time. We're heading to the Shrieking Shack."
"Ah yes. An excellent idea. I would remind you, though, that the Shrieking Shack is warded against apparation. I'd hurry if I were you," Dumbledore said.
"Oh, you're right! C'mon Harry! We're going to have to leg it if we want to make it on time."
"Thank you so much for this opportunity, sir!"
"Its my pleasure, my boy. Safe travels!" Dumbledore said with a gentle smile as the two left his office. 'This will be a good experience for Harry… He deserves it after everything he's been through. Sirius too, for that matter.' And to think, only a couple weeks ago when Sirius had first approached him with the idea, Dumbledore had been about to shoot them down.
It was luck… Or perhaps fate that changed his mind. For had Dumbledore's eyes not, in the very moment he had about to tell Sirius no, fallen upon the small picture of his sister, Ariana, on the cabinet across the room, Harry would still be with his relatives right now.
His voice had died in that moment and memories began to flash before his eyes. And then he remembered… He remembered how Ariana had felt being trapped in her own home, secluded from the outside world for her and everyone else's safety. He remembered her many requests to leave the confines of their house. How many times had Ariana come to him, begging for her older brother to take her outside and let her see more than just Godric Hollow? She wanted to be free and see the world, and she would always promise to do her best in reigning in her uncontrollable magic.
But every time she asked… he had refused.
And then she had died.
His grief… His regret… Words can never describe the magnitude in which he felt these emotions. And to this very day, Albus Dumbledore did not know why he always refused… Or perhaps, he just didn't want to admit the ugly truths. That perhaps, having been denied his chance at a world tour because of his sister's condition after their mother's untimely death, he felt vindictively justified in denying her a chance as well? Or perhaps it was out of shame that his own sister was unable to control her magic. Especially since, at that time, he had been praised as one of the greatest upcoming magical talents of his generation!
Whichever reason it may be, as it could very well be both, Dumbledore felt something shift in him when his eyes connected to the still picture of his sister. It was as if she was telling him that this was his chance at forgiveness. To not make the same mistakes again with another hopeful soul.
And though he had made many mistakes throughout his lifetime, Dumbledore made it a point to never make the same mistakes twice.
"I hope you have a wonderful time, Harry."
~ Scene Break ~
"You all set, kid? It's almost 7:30. We're leaving in a couple minutes," Sirius said, taking out the portkey, which just so happened to be a folded world map of all things. How fitting.
"Yeah, just gimme a sec to make sure Hedwig's secure," Harry said, recalling his last experience with the magical transport as he transferred the snowy owl into his arms for her protection. He did not want her to be flung out of the vortex when the portkey activated, especially since they'd be travelling to a different country. Who knows where she'd end up?
"Did you already attach the band?"
"Yup," Harry said, presenting the golden band on Hedwig's leg as proof. According to Sirius, the gold band would prevent anyone non-magical from noticing the owl's presence. A nifty way of ensuring no questions were asked as to why he was carrying around a snowy owl.
"Great. Just another minute before we're off." A devious smile spread across his face as he glanced at his excited godson. "You need to calm down, kiddo. You'll piss your pants at this rate."
Harry, who had literally been quivering in anticipation, immediately stopped and glared. "Oh, stuff it. This is my first trip outside the country and you only just told me we were leaving this afternoon. I'm still probably trying to absorb all this! Can you blame me for being excited? Especially since you still refuse to tell me where we're going first."
"Doesn't change the fact that you look like you're about to piss yourself. I'm sure it'd be a great first impression to the locals though, so if that's what you want to do…"
"… Do I really have to put up with your antics all summer? Why couldn't Moony come along?" Harry groaned, knowing that the mild-mannered man could have somewhat mellow out his insane godfather.
"He has an assignment from Dumbledore in Norway. Top secret stuff, so yeah, you're basically stuck with me."
"Way to show the love, you ungrateful brat."
"I try. How much longer?"
"Just a few more seconds… Oh, by the way, we're arriving in a non-magical area, so remember the statute. Okay, here we go in three, two, one… Now-WHOAH!"
Almost without warning, the portkey activated, whisking the duo (trio actually if you count Hedwig) off to their destination! A rainbow of colors swirled around them as Harry, Sirius, and Hedwig travelled through space, time, and magic at speeds beyond anything a jet or airplane could hope to match… and it felt bloody awful.
After a nauseating two minutes of travel, Harry finally felt the deceleration kick in. With stone pavement rapidly coming into view, the teenager quickly kicked out his legs to take an upright position and landed hard onto the ground with Sirius right beside him, though in a far more graceful manner. Thankfully, Hedwig was still safely held in his arms, albeit somewhat disoriented.
Knowing that his familiar would need a moment to compose herself, Harry straightened and looked around. He realized that they had arrived in a dark secluded alley, no doubt to avoid being seen by muggles. Deciding he needed to see exactly where Sirius had taken them, he quickly hurried out into the open, letting everything wash over his senses with a feeling of awe.
And what he experienced in the first few seconds nearly overwhelmed him.
Despite the late hour, the city was in an uproar of chatter, music, and laughter as thousands of locals and tourists enjoyed the city's nightlife to its fullest. Musicians and performers could be seen entertaining captivated crowds at every street corner, wowing them with breathtaking melodies and jaw-dropping acrobatics. Dozens of little stalls, stands, and outdoor cafés lined the crowded cobblestone streets, each packed with interested customers, though the majority of them were gathered at the cafés enjoying a wide assortment of pastries and beverages. Even at a distance, Harry could smell the mouthwatering confections that had many kids begging their parents for sweet indulgence. Directly behind him was a vast river with many of the city's lights reflected off its surface. With such a beautiful sight, the young wizard was not surprised to see several artists attempting to capture its beauty on their canvases.
It was then, as Harry looked beyond the buildings and into the night sky, did he see the iconic structure that told him exactly where Sirius had decided to take him for the first part of their journey…
"Harry! Over here!"
The teenager jumped. So wrapped up was he in just taking in his foreign surroundings that he completely forgot about his godfather. Surprisingly enough, Sirius was actually animately talking to someone, a local by the looks of it. Curious. Harry quickly scurried over.
"Harry, I'd like you to meet a good friend of the Marauders, Léon Braille!"
"It is a pleasure to finally meet you, Monsieur Potter. Sirius has told me much about you in the past few months," the man greeted with a smile, shaking Harry's hand in a firm grip. Tall, well-dressed, and handsome in a way that no doubt made ladies everywhere swoon, Léon was a middle-aged man with permed brown hair, sky blue eyes, and glasses. And yet for some reason, despite knowing they had never met before, Harry couldn't help but feel as if the man seemed somewhat familiar.
Shaking the peculiar thoughts off, the young wizard returned the smile. "Nice to meet you too. Call me Harry."
"Then I must insist you call me Léon," he replied with an easy smile. "Would I be correct in assuming that Sirius has, predictably, neglected to tell you anything about me?"
"Yup," Harry said with a scowl at his godfather as Leon laughed.
"Yes, that sounds just like you."
"It's more fun that way," Sirius replied with a cheeky grin.
"For you, perhaps."
"Isn't that all that matters?"
"Pft… heh heh, you haven't changed one bit, Sirius. Come on, we have a lot to talk about and I'm sure you're both hungry."
The two Englishmen nodded their agreement before joining the crowds among the busy streets. As they walked, Harry took the opportunity to take in more of the city's sights, marveling at the hectic nightlife the people here led. 'Quarter before eight and the streets are completely packed… So different from England,' thought the teenager as they entered a public square. There were dozens of tourists milling about, most of them busy admiring a decorated fountain at the square's center. Two identical-looking buildings stood on either side of the square, both of which were lit with golden lights that accented the beautiful stone architecture. He'd definitely be taking some pictures later.
"Ah! Here we are! My favorite place to eat and chat: Le Zimmer!"
Upon stepping inside the crowded café, Harry's nose was immediately assaulted with mouthwatering aromas. So wondrous were these intoxicating smells that it literally took all his self-control to not outright drool right there and then. As for the restaurant itself, it was beautiful, to say the least. The interior was painted with rich earthy colors and decorated in an overall traditional design. Smooth jazz music played in the background, completing the historic atmosphere in which Harry lost himself in as Léon and Sirius placed their orders with the waitress, with his godfather ordering for him seeing as he couldn't read the language on the menus.
"Now then, I imagine you have quite a few questions for me, Harry," Léon said, shedding his jacket for comfort. Even at night, the summer heat could still be felt. "Perhaps things would be clearer after I explain my role in your stay here."
"I'd appreciate that. Sirius only told me about all this a few hours ago," the teenager replied, shooting another glare at his godfather as he did so.
"Oi, don't give me that. We were still in England. I'm a wanted fugitive and the Ministry is doing everything it can to discredit you and Dumbledore. It was safer for the both of us that I waited until the last minute and didn't say anything until we were out of the country."
Harry couldn't argue that, so he just stayed silent and looked at Leon expectantly.
"Well then, where to begin?" the man muttered, taking a moment to collect his thoughts. "To start, Sirius and I have actually been in touch for several months now, so I know a little of your situation. You have my sympathies for everything you've been through… especially what happened just a few weeks ago."
The man got a strained smile in return. "Thank you."
"Yes… Anyways, when you told Sirius about your desires to see the world, he saw that as the perfect opportunity to get you out of the country and away from all the fighting… Though, admittedly, his original plan also included hiding you away on some uncharted island in the middle of the Pacific, but he knew that you'd never accept such an arrangement, especially if your friends were in danger." Harry nodded in agreement, though he couldn't help but feel a surge of affection for his godfather. "So instead, we're doing this! By taking you on this worldwide expedition, you'll get the chance to see the world, make new friends and allies, and learn all kinds of different and powerful magic… You'll basically get the best damn chance at surviving and coming out on top. And should you choose to stay abroad and never return to England, I'm sure Sirius wouldn't object."
"You got that right…" said man grumbled, looking almost hopeful that Harry would consent right there and then to do just that, but knowing at the same time that his godson never would.
"You know I can't do that, Sirius."
"I know… Its just…"
"I get it… Really, I get it," Harry mumbled. How many times had he wanted to do the exact same thing with his friends? To keep them safe and hidden away from the danger he seemed to constantly be in? Too many to count… Because just like him, he knew they would all refuse to abandon him… Bloody stubborn and loyal idiots, the lot of them. Shaking his head, Harry returned his attention to Leon. "So, how do you come into all this?"
"I will be your foundation builder. Sirius has been indisposed for twelve years and a lot has changed in that time. And given my, uhm… profession, I have seen and visited more than my fair share of the world, so we felt it would be best that I teach you everything I know about travelling instead."
"Oh… Thank you," Harry said graciously, touched and relieved that Léon would be contributing so much to their journey. Especially since he knew next to nothing about travelling. Hell, he didn't even know how to book a room at a hotel!... Speaking of which, "Uhm Sirius? Shouldn't we have checked in to a hotel or something first? Its getting late."
"No worries, kiddo. Léon is letting us stay at his penthouse. Our luggage is already there too," Sirius answered, thanking the waitress serving them coffee with a charming smile. It smelled simply divine and a sip of the creamy concoction had the escaped convict almost moaning in ecstasy at the rich flavors that assaulted his taste buds.
"Good, isn't it? Le Zimmer's gourmet coffee is among the best in the city," Léon chuckled, likewise taking a sip of the heavenly brew.
"I might have to live here just for the coffee."
"You wouldn't be the first to try. Anyways, yes, Harry. The two of you will be staying at my penthouse along with my sister's family. They'll be visiting sometime next week… I hope you don't mind."
"No! No, not at all! Thank you for your hospitality... Are you sure we won't be intruding on your family reunion?"
Léon waved off his concerns. "You'll be welcomed company, especially for my niece. I'm sure she'd appreciate having someone her age around, especially one whose magical like herself. The two of you could even visit the magical sector of the city."
"So, you're a wizard then. Did you go to Beauxbatons?"
"Not quite. I'm actually a squib."
"Really?" Harry said in surprise.
"I hope that's not going to be a problem."
Not wanting to offend his generous host, Harry quickly shook his head. "Not at all! To be honest, I haven't been very fond of magic lately."
"Based off what I've been told, I'm not surprised," Léon chuckled, agreeing with Harry's comment. "Don't worry. Until my niece arrives, everything we do will be non-magical. Tomorrow, I shall give you a tour of the city."
"Sounds great! Thank you so much."
"Like I said, it is no problem. Ah, and here is our meal!"
"About time!" Sirius groaned, already salivating as he was served his meal.
"For you, I ordered the Soupe à l'onion with some terrine on the side. I am sure it will be to your liking," Léon said, thanking the waitress as he added salt to his meal.
The trio immediately began chowing down and quickly finished off their delicious meals within a few minutes, but before they could even hail a waiter for the check, their attention was drawn to a commotion within the café. Curious, the three diners craned their necks to see what was going on… And what they saw got a wolf-whistle out of one, the creation of a new shade of red coloring the face of another, and an amused sigh of exasperation from the last.
Approaching their table was a curvaceous and absolutely gorgeous brunette. She was clad in a sinful wine red dress and holding a purse in her gloved hands. With long curly hair, hourglass figure, and a heart-shaped face… needless to say, her arrival had caught the interest of many interested suitors, but her amber-colored eyes, similar in shade with a nearby snowy owl that she did not notice (meaning that she was non-magical, something both Harry and Sirius noticed), were locked on the three of them… specifically… "Bonjour, Léon."
The man stood with a charming smile (Seriously though, how did he keep making his smiles so damn perfect?). "Raquel! What are you doing here? I thought we were going to meet tomorrow at noon."
"Well…" she said, drawing out the word in a sultry manner. "I saw you sitting here and figured we could get zis over with now." She then glanced down at a certain blushing teenager and allowed a seductive smile to spread across her lips. "Plus, I wanted to meet your cute companion. Aren't you going to introduce me, Léon?"
The man rolled his eyes. "Monsieur 'Arry Potter, I'd like you to meet Mademoiselle Raquel Duponte."
Raquel smiled, positioning herself alongside the teenager until their shoulders were touching. Bringing her lips close to his ear, she whispered, "Pleasure to meet you, 'Arry…" before planting a kiss on his cheek.
"T-The pleasure is mine, Miss. Duponte," Harry choked out, his face bright red. All the blood was rushing to his face and his trousers, especially when the beauty latched herself onto his arm, leaning her body against him in the process. 'Blimey, they're so big and soft… NO! Bad thoughts! Bad thoughts!' It was taking every ounce of effort and restraint the teenager possessed to not look down…
"Raquel, mon cher… call me Raquel," she replied, idly tracing her finger over the teen's bicep. Not once did she notice Hedwig perched on the opposite shoulder, looking at her with a healthy amount of curiosity at what this woman was doing to her master. She was also completely ignoring Sirius, who couldn't look more like a kicked puppy for being passed up by the gorgeous brunette if he tried. "Is zat an English accent I hear?" He nodded. "Fantastique! English men are ze best in bed… Always so strong and passionate…"
It was amazing that Harry didn't pass out right there and then…
"Oi! What about me?!" Sirius cried in indignation.
Turning, Raquel looked at the pouting Englishman in surprise, as if only just noticing he was there. "Oh, je suis désolé! Et vous êtes?"
"You know damn well who I am, Raquel! That was not cool! You were supposed to do all the seductive stuff with me! Not Harry!"
At this, Raquel and Léon burst out laughing. Seeing Harry's confused (and still red faced) expression, the lady was quick to explain. "My apologies `Arry… In truth, Léon and I are lovers. Sirius here asked us to play a prank on you, but I saw zis as an opportunity to get back at him for all ze teasing he did many years ago."
"Yes and you nearly made the poor boy faint," Léon laughed, poking fun at his embarrassed guest even as Raquel giggled in agreement.
"I wasn't that bad…" the teen muttered, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment. "Wait, did you say this was supposed to be a prank on me?"
Rounding on his godfather, Harry immediately whalloped him hard on the shoulder.
"OW! What was that for?!"
"Seriously?! A prank?!"
Sirius rolled his eyes, even as he rubbed his now bruised shoulder. "You act like you weren't expecting this from a Marauder."
"We only arrived a couple hours ago! Let me guess. All that perverted boasting back in Surrey was the set up for this, right?"
"Yup! Give the kid a prize."
"I should hex y-mmm!"
His hand over Harry's mouth, Sirius hissed in a low voice, "The statute, Harry!"
Fortunately, Raquel didn't notice the slip-up or their following reactions as she was deep in conversation with Léon, who had just handed over a cylindrical container once they had left the restaurant. The city had become noticeably less boisterous in comparison to when they had first arrived… and it seemed like the night's privacy had been what the two locals had been waiting for if their conversation was anything to go by.
"Have you seen Alfred?" Léon asked, getting a nod in return. "Has he found a client?"
The woman hesitated before answering. "Oui… but zey client has given us a deadline. We have until ze end of next week."
For the first time since they had met, Harry witnessed his host sporting a frown. In fact, it was more than a frown… it was an expression of genuine annoyance from what he was just told. A glance at Sirius showed that he was also surprised. "Alfred knows we don't accept deadlines and we do so with good reason too. It complicates everything. Plus, I have plans for the next two weeks. I told him all this three days ago!"
"You can discuss eet with Alfred tomorrow. He wishes to speak to you."
"Fine. He better have a good explanation… Where will you be?"
"At zey studio. Where else?"
"Will you be coming over tonight?"
Raquel shook her head. "I do not think so. I need to get started if I wish to finish on time."
"Do you need help?"
At this, Raquel's face softened into a beautiful smile. It brought forth a whole new level of splendor to the beauty. "I shall be fine, mon amour. You are talking to zey best after all."
"Is everything alright? It sounds like you have some kind of problem," Sirius asked, stepping forward.
Léon waved the question off. "It's nothing. Just some business we have this week with our friend."
Raquel simply nodded to the man's response, too busy looking for her cell phone which, upon finding it, got the brunette to squeak at the late hour. "I must get going Léon! Time is of the essence!" She embraced her lover, kissing him passionately as she did so, before turning to the two Englishmen. "I must depart, but we will see each other again soon. Au revoir, Sirius, Au revoir, `Arry!" She swooped down and pecked the blushing teen on the cheek. "Eet was a pleasure meeting you!"
Blushing, Harry nodded in agreement as he committed this moment to memory… and who could blame him? He had finally escaped his prison in England and was now travelling the world with his godfather. The background held a magnificent scenery of amber lights that set the white stoned city aglow with the Eiffel Tower standing proudly in the night sky above... and now a drop-dead gorgeous woman had just kissed him on the cheek?… Seriously, who wouldn't commit this moment to memory? A wide smile broke out across his face as he looked up into the sky and immediately found the Dog Star. It twinkled at him… And Harry knew, as Sirius came up behind him and wrapped his arm around his godson's shoulders, that the stars were saying, "Bienvenue ne France (Welcome to France)!"
Oh, je suis désolé! Et vous êtes? ~ (Oh, I'm sorry. And you are?)
Author's Note: So here it is! The first chapter to my updated version of Harry Potter and the World of Magic. Special thanks goes to Shaydrall, the awesome author of another Harry Potter story, The Merging, and BETA for this story! Please tell me what you think and I am open to any ideas anyone might have for future destinations, adventures, and ideas!