A/N: Harry Potter and the Heir of Slytherin is complete! Today begins the next chapter in our tale, Harry Potter and the Dementors of Azkaban. Click through my profile to get there!
And if you just can't wait, here's a preview of the first few pages of Chapter 1.
Harry awoke disoriented, unfamiliar with his surroundings. After thrashing about in bed, the events of the previous night came back to him in a rush: blowing up his Aunt Marge, being stalked by an enormous black dog, escaping on the Knight Bus, and meeting the Minister of Magic in Diagon Alley outside…
The Leaky Cauldron. That's where he was. Harry relaxed slightly. Even though he had just performed underage magic, and even though he had just run away from his (ostensible) home, Harry felt relieved. His feet were light as he got dressed. A quick trip to Gringott's would give him enough money to finish the week at the Leaky Cauldron. By that time, he should receive his second notice of underage magic usage, and he would need to secure a solicitor to fight against his expulsion from Hogwarts.
Harry had promised the Minister that he wouldn't leave Diagon Alley, but it was an easy promise to make. Harry had no plans of returning to the Muggle world any time soon.
Stepping outside the Leaky Cauldron, Harry found himself in the midst of magical London's most popular shopping district. Diagon Alley held a special place in Harry's heart, as it was the first place that Harry had truly entered the magical world. Hagrid had purchased Harry's owl, Hedwig, during Harry's first trip to Diagon Alley. Harry met his closest friend, Draco Malfoy, in Diagon Alley. Later, Draco's father Lucius bought Harry his first broom at Quality Quidditch Supplies in Diagon Alley.
For Harry, a trip to Diagon Alley meant leaving the Dursleys and returning to the magical world. His world. His parents' world, before they died.
Harry's trip to Gringott's was uneventful. As always, the goblins were curt and grouchy, but they did give Harry a limited amount of respect. Partly for his status as The Boy Who Lived, and partly for his status as the heir to an enormously well-stocked vault. Harry had a feeling that, unlike everybody else in the wizarding world, the goblins respected him more for his vault than for his scar. It was refreshing to be treated just like any other (enormously rich) wizard would be.
He left the bank with pockets full, but stomach empty. He decided to stop back at the Leaky Cauldron to pay for his room and eat breakfast. Harry approached the innkeeper, but was told that his room had already been paid for.
"Already paid? By who?"
A voice spoke from behind Harry. "By me."
Harry turned and saw Lucius Malfoy approaching from across the dining room. "Minister Fudge contacted me this morning. Couldn't stand another day with those muggles, Harry?"
Harry smiled. "You've met my Uncle. Would you want to?"
Lucius nodded. "Quite right, quite right."
Before Harry could say anything else, his stomach rumbled.
"Why don't we have breakfast," suggested Mr. Malfoy. "You can tell me why you left while we eat."
Several minutes later, Harry found an enormous stack of pancakes sitting before him. Mr. Malfoy had selected a large plate of fresh tropical fruits, most of which Harry failed to recognize.
"So, Harry… why last night? Your trip to Malfoy Manor was only a week away."
Harry looked down at his lap. "I blew up my Aunt Maude."
Lucius's raised his eyebrows. "Blew her up, Harry?"
Harry's voice was quiet. "She was saying the worst things about my mother and father. I couldn't stand to hear it. It's been years since I did accidental magic, but I just couldn't control myself. I blew her up like a balloon and she floated out of the house and down the street." Harry took a deep breath. "It won't be long until I get my second notice for underage magic. If you could recommend a good solicitor, I'll need it, or else I'll be expelled from Hogwarts."
Lucius burst out laughing. "Harry, please don't sound so despondent. People don't get underage magic notices for accidental magic."
"But last year…"
Lucius held up a hand. "More importantly, Harry, is that YOU don't get underage magic notices for accidental magic. I will speak to Minister Fudge and inform him of the circumstances. Exceptions can be made, and one can certainly be made for Harry Potter, a dear friend of the Malfoy family."
Harry smiled. "You really think so?"
"Of course. Even if your second notice has already been drafted… well. Documents are lost so frequently in the vast bureaucracy of the Ministry of Magic. I wouldn't be surprised if your notice were to be similarly lost." Lucius carefully cut a piece of fruit on his plate. "Never forget, Harry, that the advantages of being in Slytherin last long beyond your years at Hogwarts."