Today was the day that Poppy had been dreading for weeks, ever since she had gained custody and magical guardianship of Harry. Today she was taking him to Diagon Alley.
He had come on leaps and bounds in the last month whilst staying with her, so much so that she sometimes forgot he had had such a damaged upbringing thus far and had only recently recovered enough from a brutal attack to be able to get through more than one day on his feet. She had ignored his fame and just treated him as the little boy he was. Harry's favourite place was the park and he loved to play on the swings and slides just like any child. It made Poppy's heart glow every time they went.
She knew though that today would be different. It would be challenging for both of them, but Harry was physically recovered now and they could not hide forever. Harry needed to experience what would happen when he met other wizards before he entered Hogwarts, so that it didn't overwhelm him when he started. If she could siphon most of the attention off him onto her today, then so much the better.
Poppy turned around as she heard Harry come down the stairs of her Hogsmeade house and into the hallway. He had dressed in jeans and a grey polo shirt and had a robe in his hands.
"Auntie Poppy?" he started. He then paused, looking unsure if he could go on.
"Yes Harry?" she prompted. Another pause.
One of the things he hadn't quite come out of yet was his fear of asking questions. He still tended to blurt them out in one breath as if thinking that if he said them quickly he might not get punished for them.
"Slower Harry." she gently scolded. "Remember what I told you the other night. You are famous. Everyone knows you and your parents were very well respected as well as being extremely influential. People will expect you to behave as the hero they think they know and as the Potter they remember."
Harry's shoulders slumped and he looked dejected. "I can't." he said quietly "I'm not a hero."
"I know Harry. But they don't. Just be polite and we'll be fine." She put her arm around his shoulder and gave it a light squeeze. "Come on I'll help you put that robe on and then we must be off - we've got lots of shopping to do!" She grinned at him as he grimaced.
Coming out of the floo in the Leaky Cauldron, Poppy found the pub mercifully quiet. Her plans of slipping away quietly were dashed however when Tom, the barman, spotted them and called out "Bless my soul, it's Harry Potter!"
Silence fell in the pub as Poppy leant over and whispered to Harry "Show them you're proud to be my nephew and a Potter."
To Tom she said "Good morning Tom, I see you recognise my nephew. Harry this is Tom, the barman of the Leaky Cauldron. Tom, Harry."
Harry held out his hand. "It's nice to meet you Tom." he said, just as he had been taught.
Tom shook his hand with a "the pleasure's all mine Mr Potter. An honour it is to meet you."
After this introduction was over people started moving towards Harry and Poppy hoping to be introduced to their saviour also but Poppy stopped them short. "We have a lot to do in Diagon Alley today, so I'm afraid we must be off. Tom I think we'll want a private room for lunch." she finished before taking Harry's hand, manoeuvring them out to the back of the pub and tapping the correct brick on the wall above the dustbin.
Harry's reaction as Diagon Alley opened up was fantastic. His eyes were practically coming out of his face and his jaw was nearly on the floor as he looked out at the street that had just materialised in front of him. Poppy let him stare for a few seconds. After all, a wizard's first view of the Alley was something they'd always remember. She eventually pulled him out of his trance and they made their way through the throngs of people and down the street towards Gringotts. Harry was trying his best to appear unfazed by all the whispering and his Auntie Poppy having to frequently tell people that they were had a busy day ahead so couldn't stop but internally he was unhappy. He had never had to deal with crowds before and all of a sudden he was the main attraction.
"Great. Even amongst wizards, I'm a freak." he muttered to himself.
Poppy frowned. She had caught that and had thought the boy had got over his freak complex. Apparently the crowds were bringing it out again. Before she could do anything though the great doors to Gringotts arrived and she had to stop as Harry was gripped by the words he was reading on the door. When he had finished she steered him inside and went up to a goblin.
"We wish to go down to Harry Potter's vaults" she stated.
"Vaults?" Harry asked, his eyes widening. "I have more than one?"
"Yes Mr Potter. There is your trust vault, which has your gold in, enough to last you until you reach your majority and then your family vault, which you receive full use of when you reach 17. You may go in, but there are only a few things which you may take out." the goblin replied. "If you would follow me Mr Potter, Healer Pomfrey"
They travelled first down to Harry's trust vault where Poppy instructed him to take a few gold, silver and bronze coins out for a little pocket money throughout the day. They then went to the family vault where Poppy picked up a ring and after the goblin's agreement, pocketed it. Another wild cart ride later saw a flushed and excited Harry leave the bank with a concerned Poppy, wondering if she had missed something with his condition and he wasn't fit yet for the crowds and the cart ride.
All Harry wanted to do after that was go to the Quidditch shop he had seen and look at the broom. Even the idea of getting a wand hadn't deterred him and it seemed as if he found Mr Ollivander scary, flinching back at any sudden movement and staying close to Poppy at all times. He was doing well with Poppy and Minerva but with anyone he considered scary he would still revert to old habits.
Eventually after giving him a long searching look Poppy gave in and with a muttered "too much like your father" she allowed him into the Quidditch shop. He gazed at the Nimbus 2000 for a long time and then started looking around. He spotted a "personal snitch - to improve seeking skills" with all the quaffles and practice bludgers and decided to ask his Auntie if he could buy it. He had heard quite a lot about quidditch from tales about his Dad, and he knew that seeker was the position he wanted to play. Poppy agreed almost immediately - Harry barely ever asked for things and since he wanted to spend his own money on it she couldn't very well say no! She just wished that he'd got into a less dangerous sport.
Whilst having lunch in the Leaky Cauldron, Poppy took out the ring she had taken from the Potter vault. "Harry, I'd like you to wear this" she said "It's the Potter family ring and is given to the heir just before he turns 11. Everyone knows you, but you are descended down a pureblood line and it is traditional for the heir to wear the family ring."
"I thought only girls wore rings" he said
"Not family rings. Most boys are proud to wear their family ring. It shows they belong, it shows they will have power when they reach 17 and they also make pretty good portkeys."
Harry burst out laughing at that. "You are determined to worry about me, aren't you Auntie Poppy! Alright I'll wear it, if only to keep you from summoning me every night to the Hospital Wing to run a check up on me!"
It was at times like these when Poppy could forget what Harry had been through. He was so resilient to have just bounced back from everything to laugh and joke in such a short space of time. It was wonderful to see.
"Come on, home time" was all she said however. No need to let him know how well he was doing.
The following morning Poppy was awake and up before Harry. Sitting down in the kitchen she leafed through the post finding a Daily Prophet with, as she expected, front page news of "The Saviour Returns" and pictures of her and Harry yesterday which led onto speculations on where he had been for 9 years and underneath the paper, Harry's Hogwarts letter. She sighed and put the newspaper aside. There would be time to deal with that later. She heard noises upstairs, proving that her nephew was now awake and so she called "Harry your Hogwarts letter is here!"
The noises came very quickly down the stairs to reveal an extremely excited 10 year old. "Is it Auntie Poppy? My Hogwarts letter? Where is it?"
She pointed to the table and watched the excitement grow as he got to the table, opened the letter and read it. She was ecstatic. She had a bouncy, healthy and above all happy nephew. After all he had been through, he was starting Hogwarts knowledgeable about himself, his parents, the wizarding world and proud to be who he was. Nothing could be better.
A/N I hope you all enjoyed this story. I thought there weren't enough Poppy/Harry stories on ff one day when procrastinating and then this plot bunny came to me. I tried to ignore it and failed! If I were to write a sequel would any of you want to read it? I have some ideas, but I'm not sure whether to put them into story form yet.
If you have any requests for things to appear in the sequel or any comments about this story - please leave me a review! Cheers guys, thanks for being so nice to a completely new author.