Yes, it's a sequel. Please read Harry the Hufflepuff first. Thanks to the guys at AFC yet again for helping this story happen.
For the first time in months, a loud argument broke out at number four, Privet Drive.
The neighbourhood gossips, always ready to discuss even the most trivial of happenings, had become so used to not hearing Petunia Dursley's hideous early morning screeching and regular daytime outbursts, that the sudden noise caught them all by surprise.
It did of course involved Petunia's rogue nephew, Harry Potter, who's much anticipated and speculated return from boarding school provided a brief flurry of gossip a few weeks earlier, but the lack of any noticeable change in the peace and quiet when he finally did arrive lulled them into almost forgetting about him.
The most unusual thing about this half-expected argument was not that it was directed at Harry, but that it was coming from him.
"You can't stop me doing my homework," yelled Harry, uncharacteristically expressing his anger loudly. "I'll get into trouble when I get back."
"You'll do exactly what I tell you to, you ungrateful brat," shouted Vernon, the wobbling of his triple chins making him resemble an over-excited walrus eating a particularly recalcitrant penguin. "Now get outside and finish the gardening and then I want you inside your room before I get back with the Masons."
"Fine," said Harry, snatching up a half a dozen slices of fresh bread and the whole lump of cheese he was sure Petunia planned to only give him a small slice of. "I'll sit up there being bored and pretending I don't exist, but not doing my homework, which would definitely keep me busy and out of the way."
Then he stomped outside, muttering noisily while trying very hard to keep the smile that threatened to give him away under wraps.
"And make sure you keep that ruddy bird quiet too!" snapped Vernon at Harry's retreating back.
Harry had absolutely no intention of doing any homework over the holidays, but it was nice to have an excuse. Should any of the professors ask, he could honesty answer that he had been forbidden to by his ignorant Muggle uncle who also locked his trunk away under the stairs
Chewing on a bit of the cheese as he walked to the most secluded corner of the garden, Harry contemplated how best to give the illusion of working. The weeds Vernon wanted gone were already on their way out, courtesy of a spray bottle of potent weed killer secretly bought out of his own money.
Petunia steadfastly refused to allow any sort of chemical or poison to go near her precious garden, but what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her, and by the time she bothered to check, probably once Harry was back at school, the weeds would all be gone, reabsorbed into the beds.
Likewise, he booked a local garden service to do the old 'fifteen minute trim' of the hedges and run a mower over the lawn every couple of weeks while Vernon was at work and Petunia was on one of her regular shopping trips to London with Dudley-the-miniature-man-mountain.
None of the Dursleys noticed. What they did see was Harry dragging the gardening tools out of the shed each morning as Vernon was leaving for work, and him putting them away each night before he came inside, usually covered in dirt and looking like he had been working hard all day.
Thanks to some subtle, meant-to-be-overheard muttering and complaining by Harry, Petunia thought Vernon was responsible for giving Harry a long list of chores, and Vernon thought it was Petunia assigning the chores.
Dudley didn't think anything at all, as far as Harry knew.
Lying down on the lawn in the last of the afternoon sun, Harry munched on his pilfered bread and cheese and wondered why, when he was having the best summer break of his life, he was not feeling happy. Well he did know, but he had avoided thinking about it too deeply, until now.
The momentary thrill of outwitting the Dursleys was not a good trade for the ability to do magic - Harry was bored.
For a year, he had a wonderful time at Hogwarts learning how to do the most incredible things. He spent an amazing time discovering magic, only to return to the mundane and boring existence at number four Privet drive. To say he was missing school a bit, despite the ridiculous amount of extra work required while there and the fact he could not use it the way he wanted until he turned seventeen, was like saying Dudley not getting thirds left blubber-boy "a bit upset".
Sure, Harry did manage to smuggled a few hastily enchanted bits and pieces into the house, mainly thanks to some very deep magical pockets on his pants, but a fork that automatically beat eggs, and a semi-intelligent cleaning sponge that never got dirty or left marks, was not enough to keep him happy, not when magic had so much more to offer.
Staring at the neatly trimmed bushes, Harry again contemplated the idiocy of the rules that said underage wizards could not perform magic outside of school, when he suddenly realised that the hedge was staring back at him.
Two slightly familiar looking, tennis ball sized eyes were staring out of the bushes, and they did not appear to be attached to a head of any kind, or to be peeking through a hole in the greenery.
The eyes blinked.
Harry blinked twice.
The eyes blinked back.
This went on for quite a while.
After a year in a magical castle with headless ghosts routinely floating through the walls, a blinking bush did not freak him out as much as it might have done a year or two before. Of course his normal tendency of rarely over-reacting to anything, since that wasted a lot of energy and took real effort, meant he would probably not have gone running off at top speed screaming like a little girl confronted by a peeping-tom anyway, but his casual acceptance of a plant sprouting eyes surprised even him.
Harry ate the last of his cheese and bread, and then blinked again.
So did the eyes.
Finally, Harry realised he was going to have to do something besides play tennis-blink, but then Dudley came to his 'rescue'.
That was even odder than the hedge-eyes really.
"What are you looking at?" asked Harry's morbidly obese cousin, although the mouthful of pre-dinner ice-cream actually made it sound more like "Wot arf oo ook'n at?"
Startled by Dudley's unexpected appearance, Harry glanced away from the eyes and towards Dudley. When he quickly looked back, the eyes were gone, of course.
"I am trying to work out what best to shape this hedge into," said Harry. "I was thinking a swan, but it won't really fit in with the rest of the garden motif."
'Swn? If's a 'ush," slurred Dudley, which Harry translated into "Swan? But it's a bush".
Harry sighed. He was no mental giant, but Dudley made most midgets look positively gargantuan.
"Are you lost again, or did you have a point in interrupting my work?" asked Harry, making sure to make his hands thoroughly blackened with dirt. "You know your mum gets upset if you interfere with my chores."
She didn't ever get upset at Dudley, but he was too thick to separate 'getting upset' and 'getting upset at Harry'.
"I know what today is," said Dudley, actually taking the time to swallow before speaking.
"Tuesday?" asked Harry.
Truth be told, Harry didn't care enough to know it himself. One day was pretty much like the next really, and calendars and schedules were for nutty people who took themselves way too seriously.
"It's your birthday," said Dudley, a smug grin on his ice-cream plastered face.
Harry automatically opened his mouth to reply, and stopped. Was it? It was! Damn!
"Holy crap, Dudders," cried Harry, jumping to his feet and grabbing Dudley's hand to shake it vigorously. "You remembered my birthday! What a great cousin. You are the best, Big-D. I've got to go celebrate! Thanks again. Bye."
Harry walked off leaving a stunned and gaping Dudley behind him. It was always fun to mess with his cousin's head. It would probably take a few minutes, but Harry knew Dudley wouldn't think to wipe his hands before he swapped which one was holding the melting ice-cream and consequently transferred a lot of black soil to it.
Lard-head probably wouldn't even notice that until his brain registered the crunchy bits in the sweet were a bit grittier than usual, not that that would stop him.
It was petty, but far too easy a trick to miss playing.
After washing himself off at the outside tap, Harry snuck inside, deftly avoiding Petunia, who was busy preparing for the big dinner later that night with some potential clients of Vernon's or something. He silently made his way up to his room, looking forward to a surprise birthday-nap.
The only problem was there was already somebody on his bed.
"Not another one of you," sighed Harry, stepping into the room and letting the door close automatically behind him. "I thought I told you all I can't help you while I am stuck here. I don't have the room and my guardians hate anything to do with Magic."
Seeing Harry, the House-elf stood up suddenly.
"Harry Potter-" it started to say, then stopped abruptly, its oddly familiar eyes going so wide and bulging so much Harry was half expecting them to pop out on stalks.
"What?" asked Harry, nervously looking over his shoulder to see what the elf might be looking at.
"Harry Potter is doing magic outside of Hogwarts!" said the elf pointing at the door behind Harry.
"Eh?" asked Harry, honestly confused.
"The door, sir. Yous is closing it by magic!" it said, thrusting its gnarled finger for emphasis. "Harry Potter is truly a great wizard, to get around the Ministry Trace."
"What? No, it's an automatic closer I scavenged off an old screen door and fitted here so I don't have to keep closing it myself," said Harry.
The elf looked even more impressed, although confused.
"Look, it's a Muggle thing, okay?" said Harry. "Now I told the others I can't help them and the same goes for you. I'm sorry, but you'll just have to find other work to do until I get back to Hogwarts. Besides I'm still stuck with crates of those damn socks and nobody has been able to explain what 'market saturation' means or why I can't sell any more of them to the shops in Diagon Alley. The last thing I need is to have more made."
"Dobby is not being here to work," said the elf apparently named Dobby.
"Eh?" said Harry, again eloquently expressing himself.
"Dobby is here to warn Harry Potter," said the elf. "Harry Potter must not go back to Hoggywarts."
"Why not?" asked Harry. "The elves aren't angry at me are they? I mean I was trying to help them, not just use them like what's-her-name accused me of doing. Well, okay, I was using them a bit, but it wasn't like I was trying to hurt them or anything-"
"No, sirs," interrupted the elf. "Dobby is not talking about elves at Hogwarts, who even now sneak around Harry Potter's house doing jobs when he is not looking. Dobby will be punishing himself most severely, but he is needing to warn Harry about a wicked plot he has know of for months-"
"Elves? Here?" asked Harry. "Where?"
He looked around the room, trying to catch any signs of a House elf.
"Yes, sirs. Elves being doing things like trimming trees and lawn-"
"I thought that service was doing too good a job for the tiny amount I've been paying them," said Harry thoughtfully.
"- and cleaning Harry Potter's room -"
"So my enchanted brush isn't working that well?" asked Harry catching a glimpse of the small brush as it guiltily scurried under the bed. "Bugger. I thought I was on a real winner with that. I've even been patting it for doing such great work."
"- and keeping nasty fat boy from putting naughty sticky things in Harry Potter's unmentionables while they are on the clothes line."
"What? That bastard. And here I've been leaving him alone all summer. Well, time for some 'unnaturalness' to visit Dudders I think," mumbled Harry.
"- and misleading evil dark wizards who is combing the neighbourhood looking for Harry Potter sir –"
"Hang on, just how long have you been watching me?" asked Harry starting to get angry.
The elf shuffled nervously on his feet for a moment before continuing.
"Long enough to know Harry Potter is a too important to be lost to wicked wizard plot at Hogwarts," it said excitedly, getting back into the vigour of things. "Harry potter must not be going to Hoggywarts!"
In the sudden silence, Harry heard the front door of Privet Drive close and several muffled voices exchanging greetings. Presumably it was Vernon and his guests.
"So is this plot aimed at me or just the school in general? I mean, are my friends going to be in danger?"
"Harry Potter is a great wizard to worry about his friends – friends who don't write to Harry Potter." asked the elf.
"Write? Who writes while they are on holidays? It's not like I wasn't going to see them soon enough anyway."
"Harry Potter mustn't be angry with Dobby," said the elf, taking a large pile of letters out from under the filthy pillowcase that Harry realised was the small creature's clothes.
Harry really hoped it wore underwear.
"Dobby will give these to Harry Potter if he promises not to go-"
Despite his disgust at the thought of where those letters had been sitting, Harry's sudden intense desire to get them overrode his normal easy-going temperament. For some reason he would likely never bother to think deeply about, he was furious.
The elf move quickly, leaping out of Harry's grasp and up onto the bed, but Harry was fast too, and threw himself at the elf again, colliding into him and pinning him against the wall with his shoulder while they fought for possession of the letters.
Growing up with Dudley gave Harry a lot of experience in grappling like this. Combined with his slight weight advantage, Dobby didn't really stand a chance at escaping, and resorted to trying to bite Harry's ear off while wrapping his legs around Harry's waist, once his punches and blows proved ineffective. Shoving off the wall, they tumbled onto the bed.
Unfortunately neither realised how much racket they were making until Harry's door flew open and Vernon burst in, red faced and ready to tear Harry a new one.
The sight of his freak nephew cavorting on top of a bed with a half naked demonic looking thing wrapped around him completely stunned Vernon, leaving him absolutely speechless.
Harry and Dobby froze, both turning to look at the intruder.
"Do you mind?" Harry asked Vernon in a perfectly mild voice. "I'm a bit busy right now."
"Well that worked out well," said Harry, holding a cloth to the side of his head. "You know you've probably gotten me thrown out of the only place outside of school I have to stay, and I reckon you might have cracked a tooth."
"Dobby is saying sorry, Mr Harry Potter sir," said the elf, spitting out another mouthful of blood into a hanky, "but-"
"Yeah, yeah, I know," said Harry, dabbing at his various wounds with the cloth. "If I don't go, is it still going to happen?"
Dobby pulled on his long ears in obviously conflict.
"I'll take that as a yes. Are you going to try and stop it even if I don't go then, because I really don't like the idea of leaving my friends to whatever it is that is happening?"
Dobby's ridiculously large eyes grew even wider.
"Harry Potter sir is indeed a great wizard to care for others. Dobby will try, Harry Potter sir, but his first priority is to keep Harry Potter from harm!"
"So if I say I won't go, will you nick off and stop pinching my letters and stuff then, but keep trying to stop whatever it is?"
"Yes sirs," said the elf, nodding vigorously.
"Right, I guess I won't be going back to old Hoggywarts then," said Harry with badly faked sincerity. "Okay?"
The elf gave an excited squeal and leapt off the bed before disappearing.
Harry laughed sourly and shook his head, tenderly poking the sore spots in his cheek with his tongue while thinking some very uncharitable thoughts about lunatics in the Wizarding world.
"What a birthday, eh?"
On the floor where he toppled in a faint, the unconscious Vernon left out a moan.
Several days later, Aliens attempted to kidnap Dudley.
At least that was the best explanation anybody could come up with. Old cars simply did not fly around Surrey late at night, red-headed clones did not tie ropes around the bars of Dudder's bedroom window to yank them out of the wall, and car and clones definitely did not suddenly disappear when Dudley overcame his terror to start screaming like a teenage girl in a horror movie.
Vernon predicably tried to blame Harry, but he had pretty much slept through the whole abduction attempt and ensuring ruckus.
Calmly pointing out that Vernon should probably have put the bars and locks on his room to keep him in rather than on Duddley's (to keep Harry out), ended up getting him a 40 minute incoherent rant and a ban from setting foot inside the house or the yard during the day for the rest of the holidays.
Which was fine by Harry, since he was running out of things to pretend to be busy doing anyway.
He spent a few pleasant days tending Mrs. Figg's cats, and another few trying to find the perfect snoozing tree in the neighbourhood, but eventually he got to the point where he had nothing better to do than read the various letters Dobby had kept from him.
Most of them were from Hermione and were so full of enthusiasm they made Harry tired just reading them. Several were from various students in his house, Hufflepuff, and one was from the school listing all of the supplies he was going to need to pick up before returning.
Putting aside his annoyance at the need to go to London, Harry realised a visit to Diagon Alley was the closest he was going to get to the magic he loved before getting back to school.
The choice between expending the energy to somehow convince Vernon to take him, or making the effort to undertake the journey on his own was a close one, but eventually Harry decided to fall back on one of the many new things he had discovered attending Hogwarts:
"Come on girl, time to earn your keep," said Harry lifting the top of the cage off his sleeping owl.
Why Vernon thought putting a padlock on the door of the cage was going to stop him from letting his owl out eluded Harry. Unscrewing the bottom of the cage and setting her free every night was a hell of a lot easier than bringing her food, especially since the cage was designed that way for easier cleaning.
"Got a letter for you to take to Sue," said Harry, strapping the rolled up note to the owl's leg with a piece of Velcro. "No hurry or anything."
Some might have considered it a bit rude to only reply when he wanted to ask something, but Harry didn't. Besides, he had written at least six extra sentences specifically in response to her letters that Dobby had tried holding to ransom.
Sue's reply, arriving the next day, contained five pages of exhausting-to-read writing, and a short description of something called the Knight Bus and how to summon it.
Harry sighed to himself, regretting encouraging the girl with his extra lines. Now she probably thought he was going to be a pen pal or something.
"Lucky I didn't write to Hermione."
"Beds, on a bus," said Harry in wonderment as he handed over the full fare to Stunfish-zits-or-whatever-his-name-was the conductor. "Brilliant."
"Oh. Sorry, mate. Forgot to switch over to day-mode," Stunfish said.
He pulled a chain dangling from the roof and the beds, candles, and curtains disappeared - dropping Harry painfully to the floor. Stunfish then pulled an over-sized, ridiculous looking lever, and wooden chairs appeared. Excessively cheery yet off-key music began blaring from somewhere near the roof.
"Put them back," growled Harry, standing up. "Put them back now!"
"Er, I can't - rules, you know?"
"No," cried Harry falling to his knees and banging his hands dramatically on one of the seats. "Nooooooooooooo!"
Stan backed away, slowly.
The alley was as exciting and interesting as ever, with too many fascinating shops for Harry to explore, so he decided to concentrate on getting his school supplies first and then maybe seeing the sights a bit more.
"Do the potion supply lists change much each year?" asked Harry.
"Nope," answered the surly apothecary worker.
"Then give me all seven years now," said Harry. "Saves having to come back again each year."
"Some of it will go off," said Surly.
"Oh. Well, can you put those ones in these jars then?" asked Harry, digging out a box of his charmed jars from his pocket. "They all have stay-fresh and preserving spells on them."
"That 'aught to do it," agreed the man, no longer quite so surly after inspecting the jars. "Good idea that. I should probably stock a few dozen myself, for other people. Could be very useful to have one of those on hand."
"You have no idea," agreed Harry, briefly thinking about pickled Dark Lords.
Harry looked in disgust at the pile of books that made up the entire Hogwarts book list.
"There is no way I am reading all of this," he said to nobody in particular.
"You should come back this afternoon," said a passing salesman. "Mr Lockhart himself will be here signing copies. Going to be quite a day."
"Yeah, right," said Harry, still eyeing the huge stack of books and wondering if buying all seven years wasn't such a great idea after all. "Say, you don't have them in something like an audio-book, do you?"
The blank look answered Harry.
"Didn't think so," said Harry thoughtfully. "I wonder what passes for a tape recorder around here anyway?"
"Look," he said, verging on running out of patience not for the first time that day. "I live with Muggles, right? I can't have a trunk floating along behind me or running about on hundreds of tiny little legs, got it? All I want is a set of luggage wheels I can attach to the bottom of my trunk so I don't have to carry the damn thing or drag it along the ground. Muggles have been doing it for ages, so surely you magical folk can come up with something at least as good, right?"
The trunk maker and his assistant looked outraged and sceptical, but they didn't again immediately protest, so maybe he was getting somewhere.
"Of course it would be a hell of a lot easier if I could just dump the trunk all together and stick to my deep pockets," explained Harry. "But I need something a bit more solid, since I've been buying a lot more stuff this year and I've hit some sort of limit on how much I can stuff into the expanded spaces I've got."
"Oh, we can make you a trunk that's got practically unlimited space inside of it in several compartments," piped up the assistant, latching onto that idea instead of breaking new ground with Harry's request for wheels. "No problem there."
Harry felt close to crying in frustration.
"So all I have to do is touch my wand to the collar of the robes, say muto pingo and the colour name, and it will change, right?" asked Harry.
The teenage saleswitch nodded, obviously bored to tears and not at all impressed by serving the boy-who-lived. She had offhandedly demonstrated a few times already, but Harry wanted to be sure.
"Yeah, that's about it," she said. "Anything else?"
Harry was quite pleased to discover a shop selling clothes a bit more magical than the usual mundane robes. They still didn't have half of the things he thought should have been available, like built-in automatic cleaning and ironing charms, but it was better than nothing.
"How much?" he asked, painfully aware his bag of gold was starting to get a bit on the light side.
A trip back to the Goblins might be in order. He wished they had something along the lines of how he imagined credit cards worked, or even an old-fashioned chequebook, but apparently the magical world didn't trust in currency substitutes.
She told him.
"I don't suppose you can point me to somewhere that might be interested in buying my old robes?" he asked, digging several of the large coins out of his money bag. "Some of them need a bit of fixing, up, but they should be good enough for a second hand store."
"Curiosities and Collectibles at this end of Knocturn Alley is probably your best bet," she said, taking his money and giving back a handful of change. "There are a few other places along the alley, but that's where you'll get the best prices for collectables. Anything else?"
Harry paused, not sure if she was the best person, or if it was even the right place, to ask his next question. Then again, she was here, he was here, and going looking for somewhere else when what he what he wanted was right here in front of him was a bit redundant – and he hated wasting time or effort.
"Er, do you know where I might be able to buy a mannequin like the one you have modelling my sized robes over there, but something a little more, er, life-like?" he asked.
For the first time since Harry set foot in the shop, the saleswitch didn't look bored.
The shop at the head of Knockturn Alley turned out to be a bit of a gold mine. They gave him quite a lot more for his old robes than he expected, especially considering the condition of some of them. He ended up making considerably more than he had paid for the new robes.
The only things they wouldn't take were the excess elf-made socks, citing something about over commercialisation and factory goods or something, and Dudley's cast offs, which was fair enough considering they really didn't suit the boy-who-lived image.
Selling his old underwear seemed really weird, but the price they offered was ridiculously huge, even if it did mean he was going to have to stop at a Muggle shop and restock before heading back to school. Then again, many wizards apparently went 'au naturale', so maybe that was an option? Nah, he stood to make too much money next year and he didn't feel comfortable with the idea of being 'open aired' – probably the Muggle in him.
Flush with new cash, Harry amused himself browsing the various shelves of second hand shops. Never having owned much before Hogwarts, and nothing at all new, second hand cast offs were a source of fascination for Harry. The money he had made could buy him a ton of things he couldn't possibly afford to own otherwise, and all that most of it required was a bit of cleaning up and repairing.
He was a bit annoyed at having bought new robes when he probably could have saved a fair bit getting second hand ones, but there was enough interesting knickknacks that had some real potential to keep him from brooding for too long.
"So if you can't fix a broken wand, why sell them at all?" he asked.
"Some people still get a bit of a response out of them," explained the helpful clerk.
Fascinated, Harry bought several of the wands, including one that gave out a spark when he secretly waved it. Maybe Muggle wood glue could do what magic could not.
Several tarnished cauldrons looked like they were made to survive a Neville-level explosion, and one was shiny enough for Slick to use as a mirror while he brewed. Knowing Greasy, Harry wouldn't get away with anything except a bog-standard one though.
A long rack in one store held a series of blades raging from penknife through to bastard sword, sometimes with supposedly authentic bloodstains of famous people and creatures, according to the labels. There was no chance Harry could get away with using a cutlass to chop up his ingredients, but it could be fun to try, if only to see how snarky he could get Greasy to be.
The thing he found the most exciting was the broom.
It was very old, cheap, and had obviously seen better decades, but it sort of flew mostly straight, and it had a lot of potential, since Harry wasn't going to mind as much if it broke while being experimented with, unlike his proper broom.
Struggling to drag his new trunk out of the second hand shop, Harry accidentally bumped into somebody.
"Oops," he said, fighting to stay upright and keep the trunk from spilling all of its contents onto the road. "Sorry about that."
Surprised, Harry half turned around and nearly lost his hold on the precariously balanced trunk. The lid sprung open as if it was trying to disgorge more of its cargo.
Harry was starting to think the trunk was purposely been difficult, much like its creators.
"Heya, Slick," said Harry, catching sight of Draco Malfoy. "Give us a hand will you?"
Draco stood back, staring at Harry with a mixture of disgust and confusion on his face.
"Draco," said a silky smooth voice that sent shivers of unpleasantness up Harry spine. "Introduce me to your little friend."
Standing behind Draco was his clone. Well, a bigger, older clone. Actually that probably meant Draco was the clone and standing behind him was the original, thought Harry.
"He is no friend of mine," said Draco nastily, then his face paled as he caught a glimpse of something inside Harry's trunk. "Wait, is that a body in your trunk? Is it Weasley?"
His tone was a mixture of awe and excitement.
"Shush," said Harry, finally managing to get control of his misbehaving trunk and slam the lid completely closed, after pushing what looked like a hand back inside. "No need to yell it out, Slick."
It was actually a mannequin from the dress shop, but it would be far too much trouble to explain, and he really didn't feel any need to. Besides, it was fun to mess with gits.
"Draco," said Mr Malfoy, the slight tone of rebuke sending another shiver along Harry's spine and raising the hairs on the back of his neck.
It nearly made Harry laugh to note Draco reacted as if the voice affected him the same way.
"Enough, Draco," said Mr Malfoy. "I asked for an introduction, not a violation of Mr Potter's privacy."
"That's okay," said Harry with a bit of a nervous giggle. "It's amazing what you can buy in some of these places, isn't it? Anyway, pleased to meet you Mr Malfoy. Draco spent most of last year talking about you."
"Indeed," said Malfoy senior, raising an eyebrow at his son.
Draco had the good sense to look a bit ashamed.
"Okay, well I'd better not hold you up anymore. See you at school, Sli-erm Draco," said Harry, hurrying to drag his trunk away from them. "Nice to meet you, sir."
Before he disappeared around a corner, he looked back, but Draco and Malfoy senior were nowhere in sight.
It didn't take much realise they had headed down into Knockturn alley, and Harry didn't want to think about what they might be doing, or if it might be tied up with the plot the house-elf warned him about.
He really needed to get around to writing that letter to his head of house too.