I was pretty bored the other day during work, so I started writing this story… and well this is what happened. I don't know if anyone will be interested in this, but I personally don't see why there's only two Howl's Moving Castle and Harry Potter crossovers. They're both about wizards! Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this. Let me know if you think this should continue!
Dobby's Imaginary Sock
The Seventeen Year Gap
James really liked it when his Uncle George told him stories. Every afternoon after he finished tinkering with whatever new product he was working on (recently it had been a Jawed Jump Rope- the cousin of the Fanged Frisbee) he would sit down on the front porch and tell the most wonderful stories about his days in school. Uncle George knew how to word a phrase so that James, his brother Albus, and their other cousins would huddle together in fear or roll on the ground laughing. He was almost convinced that Uncle George must use magic to capture their imaginations, but his mother said that his uncle had always been that way.
Today's story was about the Chamber of Secrets.
"So there I was, sitting in McGonagall's office just waiting for Professor Dumbledore to do something," said Uncle George. His hands were held out in front of him, flexed, and his shoulders hunched forward. James saw Albus lean in closer to his uncle, eyes alight in excitement. "He finished talking to my parents, and then he was about to start twiddling his thumbs. I was so mad! I couldn't believe that Professor Dumbledore would just sit there instead of ordering an immediate search of the castle. I mean, your mum was down in the Chamber of Secrets with a monster!"
James shivered involuntarily. He'd heard this story hundreds of times already, but it still gave him the chills every time he heard about just how close his mum had been to dying.
"Suddenly, the door to the office swung open and there stood your mum, Gilderoy Lockhart, Ron, and Harry! Your grandmum started crying- I think Dad did as well. A red and gold bird flew off of Harry's shoulder and landed on the desk by Professor Dumbledore. Apparently he knew that Harry and Ron had found the chamber and sent Fawkes- his phoenix- to help them. They were all pretty wet seeing as they'd come out of a bathroom pipe. Harry, however, was covered in blood just like those pictures you see of the Muggle gladiators. I thought McGonagall was going to faint! She turned so pale when she saw Harry walk forward with the sword of Godric Gryffindor and the Sorting Hat. He just laid them on the desk like he had borrowed them! And do you know what Dumbledore did then?"
"What?" asked his cousin Louis.
"He went into this long speech about how many rules Harry and Ron had broken in the past few hours!" exclaimed Uncle George, swinging his arms open. His face was the painting of complete comical disbelief. Everyone began to laugh. "I mean, Harry had just slain the most evil creature residing in the walls of the school- not including either of the Malfoys- and he wanted to talk about regulations?! It was completely ridiculous! Of course, Harry and Ron got off with only a mild warning, some added house points, and special awards to the school. There was this huge feast afterwards with all the sugary treats you could ever think of- this was at two in the morning, mind you. We needed something to keep us all awake. Everyone came down in their pajamas and celebrated as those who had been petrified were returned to normal. I think Uncle Percy was especially glad when the Ravenclaw Prefect Penelope Clearwater came into the hall. Don't tell him that I told you that though. He'd have my head for that one. Hagrid even came back from Azkaban! And so, Harry Potter once again saved Hogwarts."
James, Albus, and his cousins clapped loudly as Uncle George took a bow. It truly was a good story. There was, however, one story that James wanted to hear even more...
"Uncle George," began James tentatively.
"Yes?" asked his Uncle, spinning to face the red-haired boy.
"I was wondering- I don't mean to be rude, but-"
Uncle George laughed at his suddenly timid nephew. "Just say it, Jamie!"
"Well, what really happened to Harry?" inquired James. He immediately regretted asking the question, for Uncle George's face fell from his usual charming grin to a straight line, a sad line. He now truly looked like he was thirty-six years old. His cousins began to mutter things behind his back like 'nice going, Jamie' or 'how about you pour more lemon juice over open wounds'.
Uncle George sighed and sat down. "No one really knows, Jamie," replied Uncle George. "If Ron wouldn't mind telling you, then he'd be the best one to ask."
"But he's never around long enough!" pleaded James. His brown eyes looked up at his uncle desperately. "Please, Uncle George!"
"Well..." trailed Uncle George. His nieces and nephews all leaned in curiously. "From what I know, Harry disappeared after the fight at Malfoy Manor."
"But wasn't he with Uncle Ron and Hermione?" asked his cousin Dominique.
"Yes," stated Uncle George, nodding his head, "but they became separated in the fight. Ron got over to where Hermione was on the ground with Dobby and Griphook close behind him. He said that Malfoy hit Harry with some kind of a curse, but before he could go help him, Dobby apparated away. Of course, Dobby went right back to get Harry, but when he got to Malfoy Manor... Harry was gone."
"He died?" inquired Louis.
"No," said Uncle George firmly. "Voldemort would have broadcasted it to the whole world if Harry had died. All we know is that he disappeared. No one has seen Harry since then."
James went into town later that afternoon with Albus. He liked his little brother but at the same time hated him. James looked down at his brother. It was annoying how similar he and Albus looked. If it were not for the fact that James was several inches taller, people would say they were twins. Both of them had their mother's flaming red Weasley hair and freckled faces. He had longer spidery limbs that caused him to trip often. Albus, being a bit more compact, was very graceful in comparison to James. His mum wouldn't let him go anywhere without Albus or vice versa. It was probably because she was afraid they'd get kidnapped by Death Eaters or something crazy like that. Uncle Fred had told him that the war had made their mum somewhat neurotic.
Sure, the Death Eaters had control of all of England and were slowly making little enclaves in other countries. They had not, however, been able to set foot in France. This little beacon in the dark world of magic was all thanks to the Order of the Phoenix. Two years after Harry had disappeared at Malfoy Manor, the Order had retreated to mainland Europe. There had been some big battle in the English Canal, but the Order managed to survive somehow.
They arrived there on invitation from the French Ministry. If there was one thing that the French Ministry was terrified of then it was You-Know-Who. The French decided they would rather deal with finding housing and jobs for a couple hundred refugees willing to fight the Death Eaters for the French Ministry than to run the risk of You-Know-Who taking them down, too. His mother said it was all a game of politics.
It was because of the Death Eaters and their stupid war that he couldn't go anywhere by himself and that he was a permanent house guest at Shell Cottage. His parents had never completely settled down themselves, being much too involved in the Order. Sure, his dad Neville had married his mum and they'd started a family, but they never got to the part of having an occupation, applying for citizenship, or buying their own home. James didn't mind these things too much, for to him there was a more pressing matter.
The thing that really bothered James Frank Longbottom was that he couldn't go to school. He was twelve years old, and he still had yet to sit in a classroom and learn spells like the rest of his peers. Uncle Bill and Uncle Percy's kids all attended Beauxbatton Academy. James didn't really want to go there. For starters his French was dreadful at best, and his uncles Fred, George, and Ron just didn't seem to respect the academy. Grandma Weasley would chide them for this often, muttering that they should be mature enough not to laugh at a name like Beauxbatton. James' dream was to attend the Hogwarts of his parents' youth. Hogwarts had been an exciting school full of friends and magic in the halls at that time. There were always adventures to be had within its stone walls, and you had complete freedom to pursue these wild journeys. If he could only go to the Hogwarts of back then he would really be able to learn magic instead of the brief interrupted private lessons from various members of the Order of the Phoenix. James would then show him that he could be a hero just like Harry.
Harry Potter was James' inspiration. He had saved Hogwarts and the entire Wizarding World so many times before. James was certain that Harry would save them all again. He just wished The Chosen One would hurry it up a bit. It had certainly been a long seventeen years for the Wizarding World.
"What did mum want us to get again?" asked Albus.
James broke out of his thoughts by tripping over a tiny rock in the road. After he stopped stumbling, he replied, "She wanted some Essence of Dittany and a new self-boiling kettle. Dad burned out the bottom again."
"Uncle Fred asked you something before we left," said Albus. "What was it?"
"Uncle George and him need another Fanged Frisbee to experiment with," responded James. "The last one got away."
"Oh." They walked in silence for a while. The little town below came into view. James could honestly say that he knew the entire place like the back of his hand. He'd lived here his entire life, and it was the only place he had ever been to besides his grandparents' house next to Shell Cottage and... well, Shell Cottage. The village was an adventure compared to those two places. "Where are we going to find the frisbee?" inquired Albus. "Mum told us to go to Strange Selwyn's Shop directly. He doesn't have Fanged Frisbees. All he has got is magic junk!"
"It isn't junk," retorted James. "It's just already used magical items, Al. He's the only supplier that the French Ministry has out here."
"What good is it?" questioned Albus. "We're out here in the middle of nowhere losing a war that keeps us locked inside all day, and we can't even buy a properly functioning kettle. It just seems like all this magic stuff is more trouble than it's worth."
"Al!" shouted James. He was very angry now. "Stop complaining about a little kettle! First off, you're not supposed to talk about magic outside. Second, if we don't use magic, then the Death Eaters will win. Third, if they win, then everyone dies! Magic is only troublesome because of the stupid Death Eaters."
"I hate them," muttered his brother. He clenched his fists and looked down at the ground. "I wanted to go to school this year."
"So did I," stated James. He reached out to pat his brother on the head as a sign of comfort, but decided against it. James had a bad record when it came to comforting others. Last week when he'd tried to comfort Louis his cousin had somehow taken offense. Louis had then stomped on James' foot, and climbed up a tree, and refused to come down for three hours. He didn't want to repeat that now. "We just have to keep believing that Uncle Ron and Hermione will find Harry."
They reached the village and stopped talking about magical things. There were a lot of Wizarding families that had fled with the Order that lived in this village, but there were more Muggle families. That's why there was a blanket order of no flying in the area, and magical families kept their blinds shut at all times. Strange Selwyn's Shoppe was on the other side of town, so James took his time wandering aimlessly through the narrow empty streets of the town. They weren't in a rush to go home, and frankly he didn't want to return just yet. He almost didn't notice that Albus had stopped walking.
"Al, come on!" he called. James turned to look at his brother.
"Look at this shop, Jamie," said Albus. His mouth hung open as he looked in the dusty display window. The little stone cottage was rather old looking compared to the other buildings around it. Inside the many murky panes of the display window James could see many intriguing trinkets such as a compass, an old sewing machine, a Muggle cork gun, and nibbling on the purple silk cloth under all of these objects was...
"A Fanged Frisbee," breathed James. He couldn't believe they had actually found one, especially since they had not reached Strange Selwyn's Shoppe yet. James craned his neck up to look at the painted wooden sign hanging over the door. "Caspari's Uncommon Market: Bringing you knick-knacks since 1652? I'm not sure this town is even that old."
"Well, we can tell Uncle Fred where to get it when we see him next," stated Albus. "Let's go."
"Wait, Al," replied James. His brother stopped walking and looked at him with inquisitive brown eyes. "I'm going into the shop to buy it."
"But Mom said-"
"What she doesn't know can't hurt her," retorted James. "We'll just say we happened to find it among the odd pieces at Strange Selwyn's Shoppe. I promise we'll go directly there and back after I buy the frisbee."
"We're going to be in so much trouble," groaned Albus. James led his brother into the store.
The only words he could think of to describe the place was as a beautiful mess. Every wall was lined with items of various sizes and shapes. Some things looked like they could have come out of a treasure trove, like the golden scepter leaning up against an old cupboard. Other things obviously were junk like the bin of neon colored kazoos on the front counter. Albus walked over to a crate holding various metal what-nots and began playing with a slide whistle. James looked around to see if there was someone around who could help them.
That's when he noticed the girl at the counter. She had long blonde straight hair that reminded him of his Aunt Fleur. On the other hand, her ears each contained at least two piercings like Uncle Bill. He started to get the vibe that the girl must be somewhat wild- the same kind of wild spirit in his Uncle Fred and Uncle George. The girl appeared to be in her late teens. Her age, however, was not keeping her from taking an afternoon nap on the counter. She was slumped over with her head on top of a thick book.
"Um... excuse me?" asked James, inching closer and closer to the sleeping girl.
"Yes," said the girl. She didn't even look up or crack open an eye.
"I am interested in the frisbee in the front window," said James.
The girl finally cracked a baby blue eye open. "Does it have to be that specific one? There's a whole bin of them by the front door."
"Um..." trailed James. He looked at the bin by the front door. All the frisbees there appeared to be the normal Muggle toy. "I kind of need it to be-"
"Oh!" exclaimed the girl loudly. James jumped back in surprise. Somewhere in the shop he heard is brother jump as well and drop the slide whistle. She sat up and smacked the heel of her palm against her forehead. "You want a Fanged Frisbee!"
"Yes," replied James. He was relieved that the girl finally knew what he was talking about.
"Well in that case, you want the box on the other side of the window," stated the girl. She began twirling a long strand of blonde hair around her pointer finger. "Those ones are a bit younger. Be careful to bear your teeth first, otherwise they'll bite you."
"Okay," he responded. He walked over to the specified box, and sure enough it was full of Fanged Frisbees. He opened his mouth wide, showing off all his teeth to a green one on the top of the pile and then picked it up. On his way back to the front counter he found his brother staring at a bookshelf.
"James, look at this," stated Albus. He was about to point something else when the front door opened again. A little brown haired girl walked tentatively inside, much like they had.
The girl at the counter looked down at the new customer and smiled. "Anything I can do for you, Miss?" she asked.
"I-I-I heard that t-this shop s-s-sells medicine," stammered the girl. She scuffed her brown shoes against the wooden floor.
"We do. Would you like Advil, Tylenol-"
The little girl looked up with tears in her eyes. "Papa has been very sick for the last week," she sniffed. "The doctors don't know what's wrong with him. One of my friends said that you might be able to help. She said this store is m-m-m-magical."
The blonde girl behind the counter gave the little brown-haired girl a long, hard look. "That's Granny's area of expertise. Would you like me to call her?" she inquired.
"Yes, please," said the little girl.
"Granny!" shouted the blonde girl.
A very short wizened-looking old woman came out of a door behind the counter. James couldn't even see her behind it. A couple seconds later she climbed a step ladder so that the top half of her body was visible. She wore a tiny, navy-colored long-sleeved dress with a white babushka shawl tied tightly around her face. The old woman looked down her pointed nose at the little girl. "You would like some medicine, I presume?" questioned the woman in a gravelly medium-pitched voice.
"Y-yes," replied the little girl.
"Could you describe the symptoms," stated the woman.
"Well, he has a terrible rash on the left side of his body, a bad cough, and the whites of his eyes are bloodshot and a bit off color," explained the little girl.
"Does he have a fever?" inquired the old woman.
"Do you have a garden in the front yard?" asked the blonde girl. She leaned forward on the counter and rested her chin on her right palm.
"Does it have a fence?" questioned the old woman.
"Do you grow sugar beets?" inquired the blonde girl. James was having trouble seeing the point of this conversation. He couldn't fathom how this dealt with any sort of a disease.
"We do," responded the little girl.
"Sounds like a Snorkack allergy, Granny," said the blonde girl, turning to look at the old woman.
"I thought I saw some the other day," mused the old woman. She hopped off the step ladder and scuttled into the back room. Moments later she returned with a brown glass bottle and an orange thing resembling a wind chime. "Hang this charm outside your house, preferably the side closest to the garden. Give your father three drops of the medicine at dinner for the next week. This should make the rash disappear and the charm will scare away the Snorkacks. I'd suggest building a fence around your garden in the near future. Then they won't want to graze on your sugar beets."
"What's a Snorkack?" asked the little girl, tilting her head to the side.
"They're just misunderstood creatures," explained the blonde girl. She placed the charm and the medicine in a bag and gave it to the little girl. "That'll be 6,79 Euro."
The girl placed her money on the counter and after she received her change she ran out the door. "Thank you!" she called out before running home.
Albus looked like he couldn't believe what he had just seen. "Did you just give a potion to a Muggle?" he questioned.
"Maybe I did. So what?" inquired the blonde girl.
James felt all the color leave his face. "But that's against the law," he stated.
"Depriving medical treatment from people with Snorkack allergies should be the real crime," explained the blonde girl. "Besides I never said it was a potion, therefore it is medicine."
James felt something else bothering him. "How come I've never heard of this place if it's a magic shop?" he asked.
"It's because you've probably only gone shopping with your parents," replied the old woman. "You're one of the British wizards, no?"
"Ooh," tittered the blonde girl, "you're one of those people who buys everything from Strange Stinky Selwyn."
"He doesn't stink!" protested Albus. James couldn't figure out why Albus was defending Selwyn all of a sudden. Albus hated Selwyn, and the man did in fact stink. It was probably because of all the dead dungbeetles he kept with the old rotten dungbombs.
"Does too," retorted the blonde girl. The old woman cuffed her upside the head. "Ow!"
"Is there anything else you're looking for, dears?" the old woman inquired.
"No," muttered Albus, looking at the door. His brother was obviously ready to leave already. James had other ideas, though.
"Actually," said James. "We were looking for Essence of Dittany and a self-stirring kettle."
"You were going to buy that stuff from Selwyn?" asked the blonde girl. She chuckled a bit. "That sneak waters down his dittany."
"I knew it," mumbled James darkly. He'd always had suspicions, but to have someone else voice them (even if they were Selwyn's competition) made him more certain that the junk dealer was a conning them.
"He also wouldn't know a good kettle if he saw one," continued the blonde girl. She walked around the counter and wove through the shelves. The girl stopped at the shelf where he and his brother stood and reached for a bottle on the bottom shelf. "Here's Essence of Dittany. Would you like a copper, silver, brass, or steel kettle?"
About half an hour later they arrived home with the frisbee, the Essence of Dittany, and a new brass kettle. It turned out to cost the same as it would at Stange Selwyn's Shoppe. James was quite pleased with this find. Albus, on the other hand, kept muttering about how much trouble they'd be in if their mum found out they hadn't even gone to Selwyn's. His brother could be such a stickler when it came to their mother's rules.
When they arrived home they were pleasantly surprised to see Teddy on the front porch talking to their cousin Victoire. Teddy Lupin was the oldest of the three Lupin siblings. Emmeline and Alastor were closer to their age, but Teddy had always been the coolest. For James it was like having a big brother. Albus and he shouted at Teddy and ran up to the seventeen year old boy.
"Albus! James!" exclaimed Teddy. His hair turned a bright shade of red to match their hair and Victoire. "It's been a long time!"
"Only two weeks," protested Albus. "You live two hills away from us! What are you doing here?"
"Well, my family came over as soon as we heard that Ron and Hermione were here-"
"Uncle Ron?!" James and Albus both gasped.
"I told you they'd react like that," laughed Victoire, rocking back and forth on her bare feet.
"Where is he?" asked James.
"He's over at your grandparents' house," replied Teddy. James and Albus put the kettle and the Essence of Dittany down of the front porch.
"Victoire, could you give those to our mom? Okay thanks bye!" called James. He and Albus ran around the house, through the garden, and over the top of the cliff behind the house towards their grandparents' house. It wasn't every day that Uncle Ron and Hermione came to visit.
Well, that's chapter one. What do you guys think? Please review!