Harry gazed around him, a mysterious not-all-there expression on his face. It was strange, how his Death-given, he loved saying that, Seer abilities had changed him. He went from a scared 10, almost 11, year old little boy trapped in a cupboard to a too old to say war veteran with the ability to See everything about a person. Their entire lives at his fingertips!
When he had awoken, he had looked down at his body to see all the scars his old one had littering the deathly pale skin and emaciated form.
It was only now that his mind, that once had been merely a child's, could comprehend exactly how close to death he had been.
But now he had a plan. He understood, everything flashed before his eyes and by god he knew the truth. Everyone's truth.
He understood the dark truth about the light, Voldemort's life, the Malfoy's and their attempts, along with Snape and the Dark Lord, to try and keep him out of Dumbledore's grasp.
But to no avail.
Harry visibly shook himself. Dwelling on the past did no one any good. Not ever. He looked down at his body.
He had, admittedly, taken advantage of his metamorphmagus abilities a little bit. He had changed his features, giving himself a unique look and almost no resemblance to James bloody Potter at all.
As it turns out, his father was not as nice as he liked to think.
His hair was now black and thick and silky, rather than very dark brown, falling to his shoulders softly, his skin was ethereally pale rather than deathly so, his cheekbones high and pronounced, his face heart-shaped, his eyes and a luminescent avada green.
But, for the sake of his plan, he had not been able to change drastic things, such as his thinness and scars, the ones from his previous life littering his body and standing out, the horrors they showed something that would give anyone who looked upon them a heart attack, but years of war did things to a person, but he wore them proudly. To him they, no matter how they stood out and made him seem to others, represented all the things he had survived, his strength and never-ending will to go on that had allowed him to become Gryffindor in his other life. He did believe that were it not for that aspect of his person, he would have been a Slytherin.
But if he gave himself longer limbs with graceful, unearthly movements, who was to know?
He steeled himself, taking a deep breath that sighed through his individually visible ribs and concave stomach beneath the baggy, dirty and ratty clothes he wore from the Dursley's.
That morning he had received his Hogwarts' letter, complete with his Gringott's key in the suspiciously empty kitchen.
He pushed open the door to the Leaky Cauldron, having left number 4 Privet Drive with every intention of never returning and glanced around, all his war-tuned instincts running on high at all the people surrounding him and the noise.
That was another thing. All his training had stuck with him, and he seemed incapable of shaking the shadows of his past life off of him, resulting in one incredibly paranoid, sensitive, combat-capable almost 11 year old.
Not a good mix.
"Excuse me, are you lost?" Tom, the barkeep asked him and he, already aware of the other's presence, turned to face him, smiling kindly in the way old men smile at teenagers, kind and gentle, but secretive and amused, as though humouring them softly.
Now, let's see here, Tom Fableman, born 1938 in, oh my! A small wizarding town in Wales by the name of Cauldron Keep, can't imagine where he got the name for this place, weighing in at 7 pounds 11 ounces…
Harry's mind swiftly supplied him with both images and a running commentary, in a voice suspiciously like Death's, of the man's past and present, Harry blocking his possible futures. They always gave him a headache, how every tiny thing determined the fate of the world. The saying kill a butterfly in the past, change the future had a lot more truth to it that people think.
The whole thing took less than a second.
"No, Tom…" Harry replied dreamily, loving acting this way and seeing why Luna behaved in such a manner. It really was fun! "Can you please open the way to Diagon Alley? I am shopping for my first year at Hogwarts and do not yet have my wand."
"Sure…" Tom replied, gazing at him suspiciously. "How did you know my name?"
"Oh, I know a lot of people's names…" Harry replied whimsically, skipping through the now open brick wall and into Gringott's.
"Strange boy…" Tom muttered as he waved his wand to close the entrance, shrugging and returning to his counter, putting from his mind.
Harry skipped right up to Griphook and stared up at him, nose poking over the counter.
He huffed softly as Griphook seemed to take 'extra care' with finishing whatever he was writing before placing the quill ever so softly into its stand and folding his clawed hands, raising one eyebrow and smirking softly at Harry over the counter.
"Good morning, Griphook." Harry greeted in flawless gobbledegook, drawing the shocked and awed stares of every goblin in the otherwise empty bank. One in particular, fainted while several dropped their quills.
"Who are you?" Griphook asked in shock, though he was obviously testing Harry's multilingual abilities. Harry smiled dazedly and placed his key on the counter,
"Harry Potter. I would like to visit my vault, if you please." He replied, still smiling absently and swaying slightly, rocking on his heels and humming a tune under his breath.
"…follow me." Griphook finally said, still appearing shell-shocked.
Harry threw his arms in the air and whooped the entire ride, urging Griphook to go faster around the grin threatening to split his face. He always had loved their method of 'transportation'. This time, once having arrived at his vault, Harry took three pouches and filled them with Knuts, Sickles and Galleons, respectively.
"This way, Mr Potter." Griphook said shortly after they stopped and Harry, curious, followed the goblin to a familiar office.
Just as Griphook went to open the door, Harry bounded forward, slamming it against the wall with the strength Death had said he was going to give him, and into the room.
"Ragnok!" He greeted the bank manager cheerfully as he once again found himself the subject of shocked stares.
"…and who is this?" Ragnok asked Griphook, peering around Harry's body to the other goblin, almost comically leaning sideways in his chair while Harry, who couldn't resist, leaned around and stared in the same direction at something behind Griphook.
"This is Harry Potter. I believe we need to go over some things with him." Griphook said seriously.
"Is he a-"
"A goblin friend, yes I believe so. He speaks gobbledegook and… knows us… it is rather unnerving watching a barely 11 year old wizard greet goblins left and right like he owned the place." Griphook whispered to him, Harry's advanced hearing picking up the words that no human's would.
"Well… technically…" Harry said, before sitting in the seat. "Now look, it is a long story that I cannot share with anyone, okay? So, you have my apologies on that but I'm afraid it's unavoidable. Yes, I know all of you, but you don't know me… yet. Come to your own conclusions on what I mean by that. Understand that I need Gornuk to return all the money Albus Dumbledore has taken from my vaults, with interest, and I demand my belongings back, understood?" he received very satisfying nods in reply. "I hate to break it to you, but… the light side isn't a good place to be. Bumble's shadow could drown you in evil-evil dark-light. Be wary."
And with those words, he parted, allowing the goblins to ponder the implications of his statement.
Harry grinned to himself as he walked into the shop selling trunks and bags. He bought a large trunk for school, with black dragon hide and a password lock on it, as well as a black leather bookbag, styled like a muggle-messenger bag that had a featherlight charm and bottomless spell on it, as well as two little pockets on the front under the flap, one for quills and ink and the other for parchment. His last purchase was a small, velvet, purple pouch with an undetectable extension charm on it.
His first two purchases were shrunk and put in a bag which joined his money pouches in the drawstring pouch hanging off his right wrist, the top of which held tightly in his hand, yet another habit from his previous life.
He walked into a familiar shop next. Madam Malkin's. He knew Draco Malfoy wouldn't be there for a good few hours yet, which was good because he fully intended on catching up with the boy in Ollivander's.
"Hogwarts, deary?" Malkin asked kindly, smiling as she closed the door and led him through the shop.
"If it's not too much trouble, Madam, I'm afraid I need an entire wardrobe." He said, gesturing up and down his body. Malkin's nose crinkled softly at the sight of his clothes and she nodded her agreement.
"Now, what type of clothes are you looking for?" She asked kindly.
"Umm… well… I'm not really good at this sort of thing." He admitted.
"That's quite alright, dear. If you could just step up onto this stool for me, we can get right to it." She said, several measuring tapes floating ominously behind her. Harry gulped.
Thankfully, it was over quickly. Honestly, whoever invented those things must have been a closet sadist. At the very least.
"Now, boxers or briefs?" she asked matter-of-factly.
"…briefs…" Harry blushed, selecting two white, two grey, two black, one blue, red, purple and green, still blushing softly the entire time.
"Alright, now here we have three pairs of dark grey, torn stylishly at the knees skinny jeans, muggle styles but they look lovely and are very popular amongst purebloods," she added almost automatically, despite Harry's never having said anything, "one white and one black pair, you selected these tee-shirts, a few plain black and white long-sleeves to wear undernest, a hoody, a leather jacket, a jeans jacket and 3 pairs purple converses, on ankle high, one knee-high and another over the ankle. Then you have 3 pyjama pants, 3 pyjama tops and two adorable sets of footed pyjamas, if I do say so myself. Oh, and a brown leather duster. A warm, knitted coat in midnight blue and another thick coat in white. A black pair of dragon-hide gloves with cotton lining, a dark purple pair of mittens, so cute, with a matching scarf and beanie." Malkin read out almost an hour later, Harry sighing desolately at the thought of what other clothing shops awaited him. "And your Hogwarts robes. That comes to a total of "360 galleons, 13 sickles and 9 knuts." Harry handed her the money, and she shrunk the rather sizeable parcel for him to put in the unassuming, seemingly small pouch he held. He waved over his shoulder at her happily and walked over to the next shop on his agenda.
Twillfit and Tattings. The horror…!
"Excuse me, but are you lo-" a young girl, obviously an assistant knelt down to address him but was cut off by the raising of his hand.
"I am not lost, thank you very much. My name is Harry Potter and I need a wardrobe befitting of my status." He said with a look that would have made a Malfoy feel inferior.
"O-of course! M-my s-s-sincerest apo-ologies s-sir! Mr Twillfit!" She ran to the back of the shop, beckoning Harry through to the private area where the owner was staring down a mannequin.
"Yes, Ashleigh, what is it?" He asked tiredly, not bothering to turn away from his competition with the inanimate object.
"This is Mr Harry Potter-" The man turned around so fast Harry was surprised his head didn't just continue on without him due to momentum.
"Of course! Young Master Potter! Please, right this way and we'll get you started. A whole wardrobe, I assume?" He asked, dismissing the assistant back to the front of the shop to close it and giving Harry his undivided attention.
Kissing ass, are we? Harry sneered internally, though his outward appearance was full of the grace and poise of a pureblood.
"I am in the need of a wardrobe befitting of my newly found status, if you please, Mr Twillfit." He said airily, managing to stare down his nose at the man almost twice his size, who quickly stumbled over himself to grab multiple items and run back to Harry.
"Would the young sir be wanting some pumpkin juice, or perhaps a butterbeer? We also have-"
"A pumpkin juice would be lovely, thank you." Harry said, smirking softly as Twillfit snapped his fingers at Ashleigh, who was hovering in the doorway, and gestured wildly, spurring the girl to dart off and return with a tray of the requested beverage and numerous foods.
"Now, robes first?" Twillfit asked, clapping his hands together and smiling gleefully as both he and Ashleigh picked up and held robes against his body, his, admittedly rather limited and incompetent, for he was never good at shopping for clothes, opinion not seeming to matter.
"I think I prefer this one…" Ashleigh said holding up two robes. "…yes." she passed one on to Mr Twillfit.
"Oh no, dear, that doesn't match at all." Twillfit admonished, Ashleigh promptly agreed and discarded the robe over her shoulder. It was lost on Harry, who did not understand the 'rules of fashion'. Whilst performing his duties as fashion doll he did get a nice goblet of pumpkin juice though. They then went back to selecting more robes. After what seemed like and age Harry had a lovely selection of both casual and dress robes in colours silver, gold (or as he liked to call it, moon and sun), royal purple, midnight blue, emerald green to "match his eyes" and several in black to "go with everything".
"Why don't we see the waistcoats and trousers next." Suggested Ashleigh as she waved her wand and sent the reject pile back to the hangers and the other robes to a chair to make a neat pile.
"Excellent." replied Twillfit. They both got more excited the longer the tiresome activity went on. They selected more and more waistcoats and trousers to compare and more silk button than he could count ups in various matching colours already dominating their own over-stuffed chair in the corner.
"Look at his eyes, we definitely need some green," Asheligh suggested as she motioned towards the mainly rich blood red, purple, blue, black and white pile.
"Oh yes green of course…" muttered Twillfit as though he couldn't believe he had made such a grievous oversight. After the clothes came the shoes, which consisted of a pair of expensive looking dress shoes and a black pair of dragon hide boots.
Next came the underwear and underclothes.
"Boxers or briefs?" Ashleigh asked, his pants suddenly disappearing and Harry was ever-so-grateful for his quick magic casting a glamour over his scars.
Finally he was being asked something! It's amazing! "Briefs, thank you, Ashleigh." He replied, groaning internally at the muttered 'he knows my name' that escaped the girl.
Thankfully, since underwear was a rather personal garment and hardly anyone else would be seeing them, Harry was trusted with the desperately important task of choosing the designs he liked.
Naturally, the briefs were made from a combination of the highest quality, translating as the most expensive and imported, cotton and silk, and after seeing the price he didn't doubt it.
He picked out ten pairs of briefs, because according to his 'helpers' "one can never have too many undies!"
He selected a blue pair with Puddlemere United's crest, his favourite quidditch team, a red pair with a large silvery-blue dragon, six pairs in various colours, one with snitched and one with a snake, because he was a Parselmouth.
Ashleigh and Twillfit then picked out some white silk nightshirts that looked very comfortable, admittedly. Twillfit added some thermal long johns for winter and some silk pyjamas in green and black, as well as some socks made out of rich cotton. He was given multiple belts in black, brown and even silver and gold!
"Will you be needing riding wear-?" Ashleigh asked.
"Ah yes of course I almost forgot!" Twillfit said before Harry had a chance to answer, leading him to yet another section.
By this point, Harry was wishing he had sent a doppelganger, which he could create through an extremely obscure and 'dark', so sayeth Dumbledore, blood ritual, in his stead while he hid in his cupboard.
He really should have stayed in his goddamn cupboard.
The amount of times he has said/thought that in his past life, and now this one, we innumerable.
"Riding… wear…?" He asked hesitantly, warily eying the racks of clothes as his young heart and self-control battled with his old and disciplined mind.
"For horse and broom riding, dear." Ashleigh whispered. They arrived in a section which contained padded breeches for broom riding with matching high top boots.
He was given an off-white, creamy coloured pair with rich brown boots as well as a midnight blue jacket, they had them in colours of all the Quidditch teams as well, so he grabbed a Puddlemere united one also, that was made to cushion falls and prevent injuries, as well as keep him warm and protect him from weather such as snow or rain.
They moved onto the riding wear, Harry completely out of his league. Don't get him wrong, he had ridden before, but never in… this!
He observed the riding jackets and then what he could only describe as tights. "Jodhpurs… yay…" He muttered under his breath.
He was given two black riding jackets and two cream coloured jodhpurs, as well as some white, midnight blue, dark purple, emerald green and blood red shirts designed to wear underneath and yet another dark brown pair of paddock boots. He was, however, allowed to thankfully, choose his own chaps, which were a dark, almost black purple leather/crushed velvet.
"Have we missed anything Mr Twillfit?" Ashleigh asked after what seemed to be ten years, though it was more like ten minutes.
"Hmm, robes check, waistcoats and shirts check, trousers check, shoes check, underwear, socks and nightwear check, riding wear check, ah cloaks! We need cloaks!" Twillfit snapped his fingers in the air in realisation. "Come along!" he lead the way with purposeful strides.
Harry quickly selected a black cloak with gold fastenings, but was quickly informed that this was "wrong".
"Here, that black cloak is a mild weather one, good for whenever, this grey one is for summer, and this white one is for winter." Twillfit explained.
"Does that mean we are finished?" Harry asked.
"Yes, I do believe that's everything…" the other two muttered in unison, Harry releasing his breath in a sigh of relief as they made their way to the counter.
"That will be 1320G, if you please." Ashleigh said chirpily as Harry quickly wrote the magical equivalent of a check, accepting the shrunken clothes gingerly and almost running out of the shop.
He came screeching to a halt as he spied and all-too-familiar shade of blond coming for him in threes, and he ducked into the nearest shop as fast as possible without even looking at the name of it.
"First wand or second wand, dearie? Or perhaps third… yes… you possess a unique ability to wield and use multiple wands at once, very impressive… though I would suggest getting your primary wand from Ollivander's to fool Buzzy Bee-bee…" an old woman, apparently either senile and knowledgeable or knowledgeable and mad said from behind him.
Harry jumped and spun around, staring in shock at the woman who was now perusing the shelves.
"Yes, this one and this one and…" she muttered to herself as she lay multiple wands down on the counter.
"Um… excuse me bu-" Harry tried to say, but was cut off by the woman holding out a wand to him.
"Here, try this for your left hand, blackthorn and dementor's cloak, 16 inches, sturdy, good for a fighter, nice and loyal." She crooned, smiling in a way that showed more than one missing tooth, though her eyes glittered with life.
This woman was more than she appeared.
Harry gingerly took it and was surprised to feel the warmth rush up his left arm and the black sparks that shot out of the wand's tip.
"Okay, well, that's all well and good-"
"Now, this one! Same hand, dearie, vine with dragon heartstring, 12 inches, good for a personality with hidden depths and vision, very trustworthy…"
"Y-yes, of course, but-" He started as he did so, and the sparks were white this time.
"Yes… yes…" she hissed to herself as though replying to a voice within her head. "…this one! Here, dearie!" he held out a third wand to his right hand. "Hawthorn with a thestral bone core. 13 inches. Strong." She said, her grin widening when the wand also accepted him, gold and silver sparks shooting from the tip.
"How did you-" Harry started, more than a little perturbed.
"Come now, dearie, if every wizard only had one wand destined for him, wouldn't he be, as they say, screwed? No, they have between 3 and 8, typically, really depends on how clumsy the wizard is but it's the same for wands, you know, they have more than one compatible wizard, and just choose the best. Hawthorn though, that is interesting…"
"Why is it interesting?" Harry perked up, staring at her in a slightly challenging way, his first two wands sticking through the two spaces between his middle three fingers, giving him a look like a wolverine-wannabe while the hawthorn wand was resting comfortably in his right hand, ever so slightly pointed at her.
"Hawthorn makes a strange, contradictory wand, as full or paradoxes as the tree that gave it birth, whose leaves and blossoms heal while its cut branches smell of death. It is just as well suited for healing as it is for curses. A very good wand, indeed…" she said softly. "Now, just give this one a wave."
Harry waved the final wand, slightly confused while his mind span with the information.
"That's it, dearie!" he was jolted back to the present by the purple sparks shooting from the wand. "Yew, 9 inches, darcorn hair core! Now, off with you!" she announced, waving her hands at him.
"But, but, but, but, but, but-" he was pushed by some invisible force out of the shop and back onto the street, where he stood stammering before the slammed shut door that brandished a "we are closed" sign smugly for several seconds as his mind tried to, and failed, to process what on god's green earth just happened.
He shook his head in wonderment as he tucked the apparently free wands in his pouch and turned away to walk down the street. When he turned to glance back and shake his head in bemusement, however, the shop was gone.
His eyes widened in shock, but all that was there was the wall behind it which proudly held a clock.
Oh my god! He was late!
Harry sprinted over to Ollivander's, grinning as he realised just how fast he was and stopping with his nose barely an inch from the doorjam. That was a close one.
He stepped in carefully, keeping an air of otherworldliness about him as the bell jangled to announce his arrival.
The other four inhabitants of the room turned to stare at him, and exhaled in shock as one when he brushed his hand through his hair in a practiced manner that casually revealed his lightning bolt scar in a way that seemed accidental.
"M-m…" Lucius stammered, Draco's hold on the wand limp as it fell back to the counter.
"Have you tried Silver Lime? Eleven and a half inches, dragon heartstring." Harry suggested to Ollivander in a decidedly Luna Lovegood-esque way, swaying slightly on the spot with an absent smile on his face.
Ollivander gazed at him thoughtfully before pulling the wand from the shelf and handing it to a still shell-shocked Draco who waved it with automatic motions.
Everyone gaped as the wand let out green and silver sparks.
"How did you- but I thought- and then you- so where- but I-" Narcissa stammered, the only one capable of speech.
"I just know these things, Narcissa Malfoy neé Black." He smiled, walking up to Ollivander with three gaping Malfoys behind him. "Eleven inches, Holly and Pheonix feather, brother wand to Tom Riddle's." he requested, smiling as Ollivander's eyes widened and Draco let out a soft squeak.
So the boy was aware of who Tom Marvolo Riddle was, or is, rather. Harry paid for his wand, after delighting in the familiar sense of warmth and the red and green sparks shooting from the tip.
"Are there tidings of war, young Seer?" Ollivander asked him so quietly that the others couldn't hear.
"I won't lie to you and say there isn't, though I will do my best to end it before it begins, but I will say that I know the bee hive isn't somewhere I would want to be. The Queen is very cruel indeed." He said, smiling mysteriously at the curious glances from the other four as he stepped out of the shop and into the street.
"Mr Potter!" Lucius called after him. Harry feigned surprise as he turned around.
"…yes?" He asked softly, tilting his head.
"How did you know… what Draco's wand was?" the man asked slowly.
"The same way I know everything, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy." Harry said, smiling softly.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr Potter." Lucius said after a long pause.
"The pleasure is all mine, Lord Malfoy, please call me Harry, all of you." He added to the wife and son that stood just behind Lucius.
"Then I must insist that you refer to us by our first names." Narcissa spoke up, smiling in a way full of motherly affection so much that Harry almost visibly winced with the pain that jabbed at his heart.
"So… Harry?" Draco asked hesitantly, stepping forward to gaze up, by two inches, at the boy in front of him.
"Yes Draco?" Harry replied softly, smiling in a reassuring manner.
"Will you be my friend?" Draco asked, biting his lip softly as he held out his hand.
Harry's smile widened into a genuine one. "I would be honoured, Draconis." He replied, eyes dancing as he recalled the pride Draco had always held at being named after the constellation.
Draco's returning grin was blinding as he dropped all sense of decorum, as only an eleven year old boy could, and hugged Harry tightly, the aforementioned boy stiffening automatically.
"Draco!" Lucius hissed, reprimanding, though the fondness in his eyes ruined the effect. "Malfoys do not… glomp… in public." He told his son, who quickly released Harry and blushed softly apologising.
He was cut off by a hand ruffling his hair gently. "It is… quite alright. You will have to forgive my reaction I am not… very good with… hugs and such things." He reassured the other boy hesitantly, choosing his words carefully. He did not want anyone to know of his childhood if he could help it.
"So, Mr Potter, we were just going to Fortescue's, care to join us?" Narcissa offered kindly.
The four entered the shop, Lucius ordering coffee while Narcissa ordered tea.
"What would you boys like?" Narcissa asked warmly, her hands folded primly in front of her. Ah, Malfoys.
"Chocolate!" Draco grinned.
"The blood-pop flavour." Harry replied. "You needn't pay for it, it is my-" he started to add quickly as Lucius spoke his order, ignoring the peculiar looks he received.
"Nonsense." Lucius silenced him softly. "Honestly, child, you speak as though no one's ever bought you ice cream before-" he cut himself off at the sight of Harry's expression, in a smooth way only a Slytherin could, which flickered for a second before returning to what he could now recognise as a carefully constructed mask of a happy-go-lucky eleven year old boy. His eyes narrowed slightly, but he did not mention it, and if Narcissa noticed, which he had no doubt his beautiful, brilliant wife did, she did not say anything either.
Harry accepted the double scoop of ice cream carefully, almost reverently. It was true, in his past life, he had never had the chance to be a child, and hadn't even indulged in ice-cream bought by others for him, and definitely not in the company of others such as parental figures like the Malfoys and Draco. Kind of heart-breaking, now that he looked back on it.
"So Harry," Draco started excitedly, licking the chocolate ice-cream he held happily. "What house do you reckon you'll get sorted in?"
"Slytherin." Harry replied, much to the shock of his company.
"Slytherin? What makes you say that?" Narcissa asked in shock.
"Are you sure? Both your parents were Gryffindors, so…" Lucius spoke at the same time.
"Nature versus nurture, and all that. I do not believe that our blood, nor the actions of others, decides who we are. Our own choices make that decision." Harry replied, a little coldly.
"I suppose so…" Narcissa said, smiling a little shakily. "My apologies, Harry."
"No need, it is fine." He replied smiling benevolently.
The four spoke of lighter subjects, mainly quidditch for the rest of the meeting, and Harry silently cursed himself for obviously raising the suspicions of both Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy. Two people who had ways of finding information, should they be so inclined. Crap!
"See you at Hogwarts?" Draco asked after a quick parting embrace.
"You may owl be beforehand if you so desire." Harry replied formally.
"Great! I'll write tomorrow! Bye Harry!" Draco waved, walking away with his parents. Harry checked the clock to discover it was quite late in the afternoon. He sighed, before walking into the Leaky Cauldron and renting a room for the next five nights.
He would deal with the rest of the things to do in the morning.
He still had a month before September, after all.
And what could possibly happen in a month?