The Goblet and the Bag

by Polydicta

Summary:

Harry Potter discovers the less well-known part of Wizarding London. A crossunder with various films, books, radio shows, television shows, games etc. Warnings for iconoclasm, crossovers, quotes, clichés, slapstick, brain damage and some light bashing.

Disclaimer:

All fiction is derivative and fan fiction doubly so. I make no claim to own any part of any of the following, all I have done is an attempt to put together the elements in a novel fashion, using words and ideas like Lego ™ bricks.

There is no money involved – all I do is to share what I do for my own amusement.

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The Goblet and the Bag - 2 - Practically Perfect.

In which Harry explores Diagon Alley and its surroundings, and he discovers a different kind of magic.

Harry had been living at the Leaky Cauldron for a week, now. Since escaping from Privet Drive and the horror of an airborne Aunt Marge and her ground-shark, Ripper, he had become rather bored reading the school books that had been bought for him, so he decided to explore Diagon Alley properly.

Harry still shuddered when he thought of her being properly punctured and obliviated ... he should find out who took on the job so that he could thank them for risking their safety in her presence.

A trip to the bank had introduced him to the realities of the Goblins and their mine carts.

"One speed only ..."

"Are you sure you can't go any faster?"

Harry heard the goblin's neck crack as he spun to look at the young wizard. An evil grin lit up the bank employee's face and the lever was jammed hard forward.

As they passed one of the landings there was a bump and a voice yelled out ... "Oi! You just scored off my mechanic!"

The Goblin cart driver muttered something. "Shouldn't leave yer mechanic lying around then."

Most of the rest of the journey underground seemed to consist of gravity-defying drops and taking bends in the track on two wheels.

Twenty minutes later, two laughing though dizzy figures clambered out of the cart, and harry cheerfully plundered his vault ... well, he shovelled some gold, silver and bronze into his bottomless purse. He also took a small stack of the blue-black coins that were at the back of the vault as well as a handful of the small, dense, greyish coins piled in another corner.

A half-hour later, a dizzy Harry Potter staggered out of the front doors of Gringotts, grinning like a loon. He made his way to Florean Fortescue's for a sickly-sweet selection of ice cream.

.

After fortifying himself, he set of on his Great Tour of Diagon Alley.

Fearlessly, he forged forth, examining in minute detail the various shops and nooks and crannies of Diagon Alley. As he passed the entrance to Knockturn Alley, his nose was assaulted by the various ... scents and odours from therein.

Repelled by an air redolent of unwashed socks, boiling cabbages and a hint of sulphur and dragon dung, he passed by before he could pass out.

He passed Olivander's, noticing the sounds of mayhem as some rising first-year was fitted for his or her first wand. He ducked past the door, half expecting to have said door leap out and crush him.

As he ducked, he tripped. He tripped, flew and landed and, as he landed, he noticed the flagstone passageway between Olivander's and a boot-maker's. There was a sign.

PRACTIC ALLEY

There were no disturbing smells, no disturbing people and no shadows at all, disturbing or otherwise. The flagstones were smooth and well maintained, the street was spotlessly clean. Harry also noticed that there were a few gas lamps dotted along the way.

Harry wandered down, passing a wizarding solicitor's office, a small printing shop, a delicatessen that appeared to cater to the non-human palate and a wizarding carpenter's shop. Harry admired the trunks and armoires on display.

He passed a wizarding shop called 'Nancy's Domestic Appurtenances', though his mind barely registered the name. He recognised the carpet bags that he had seen wizards and witches occasionally carrying, along with a range of other luggage and small furnishings.

He spent a few minutes outside a furniture shop admiring the wonderfully intricate furniture, the seemingly low prices and the hypnotic motion of a self-rocking rocking chair. A very self-satisfied tailless cat sat watching him from the corner of the window.

A shop filled with fireplaces caught his eye next. The sign said 'Bert Screever Floos'.

A wizarding cobbler's shop grabbed his interest, the boots and shoes of strange leathers looked exceedingly comfortable. Later, he thought.

At length, Harry came across a pub (The Flying Monkey) opposite another narrow street.

The pub, well it looked rather boring though less run down than the Leaky Cauldron. In fact it looked almost normal, muggle in fact.

The narrow street, a sign proclaiming it to be EVERY WAY called to him like nothing ever had before. More specifically, an eccentric little shop on the corner, with its door in the side-street demanded his attention, but not before he noticed a large number of remarkably healthy looking pigeons pecking at breadcrumbs. In a city filled with the birds, he had never seen any that were this ... clean and healthy. Nor, indeed, did they seem to have left the usual residue in their wake.

He peered through the shop window and saw ancient furniture, stacks of old books, junk, objects, doodads and devices.

The door was open, so he wandered in, passing a brass sign that read

Practically Perfect

Mary P, Proprietrix

.

The first thing he saw was a box of old spectacles. Having squinted through his old ones for what seemed like forever, he tried them. The third pair gave him a brief tingle in the eyes and ... he could see - better than he ever remembered seeing.

He left them, on with the price tag (14 sickles) still dangling over his left ear.

A jar of old, though mostly serviceable quills (3 sickles and 2 knuts) joined his shopping along with a dirty but good quality potions balance (1 galleon six sickles).

A selection of books drew his eye. He recognised none of the titles, but they drew him in. At a few knuts each, they would be worth having, and sharing.

The Art of Warding by Petraxis Potter was a must-have, just in case he was a relative.

Mad Magic for Wacky Wizards looked like one to pass on to the twins.

A series of books on runes and arithmancy would interest Hermione.

More warding books. Harry flipped one open and found a bookplate inside. Johannus Potter. They went onto the stack.

The Ley of The Land - an introduction to magical surveying was next, just for curiosity value. This was closely followed by Wandless Wizardry for Wary Warlocks from the same series as Mad Magic.

A box of "tools" - probably junk, attracted his attention. They looked for all the world like wands, crochet hooks and wooden corkscrews along with a few small gadgets and doodads. A few more knuts wouldn't be missed for a box of interesting junk.

He noticed a rune-covered stone basin and was curious. He shrugged. It was obviously an antique, carrying a price tag of 100 galleons.

A modern, muggle telescope (2 galleons) and a brass astrolabe (5 knuts, and very decorative) joined the mounting collection. The fashion wasn't that widespread, but he did have a liking for what would later be called retro-science chic. A very attractive brass microscope was added to the collection.

Harry looked at the stuffed alligator and shook his head. The poor thing looked both shocked and somewhat mortified at its undignified fate.

A box of tatty books and old quiddich magazines (3 knuts) went onto the stack.

Then his eye was dragged, forcibly to two items. A sword, rather plain but clearly very old and a carpet bag.

This carpet bag appeared to be fairly new, the brocade exterior was a restrained, abstract design in a muted olive green and an autumn brown. It was spotless. The formed rattan handles bore a worn, pyrographed maker's mark that seemed to read "Nan..y... Dom..." where it was still visible.

He opened it and looked in. It seemed to be empty, but in the shadows of the shop, he couldn't be sure, so he reached in ... and reached in ... and in ... and ...

Like his money purse, this was a bottomless bag. He chuckled. Now he would be able to carry his newly acquired junk back to his room. It and the sword joined the growing heap of prospective purchases.

.

Mary P, Proprietrix was a very pleasant woman with a pleasant smile, a pleasant voice and an extremely pleasant and agreeable demeanour. Her pleasant clothes were of a late Victorian cut which accented her pleasant (and rather trim) figure. She seemed to be around 30, but there was an air of both older wisdom and yet a younger innocence about her.

When Harry asked about the stone basin, he was told that it was a pensieve, and what it was for. That, and a thin book on the subject, joined everything else in the carpet bag.

Two hundred galleons lighter and much richer in his opinion, Harry took his plunder back to his room in the Leaky Cauldron.

It was only when he got back there that he realised that Mary P, Proprietrix had addressed him by name without being introduced.

Harry shrugged and chalked it up to being The-Boy-Who-Became-Hyphenated.

.

On returning to his room, he reached into the bag. He couldn't feel anything, so he opened it up wide and, to his shock, found it to be empty.

As he peered into the empty bag, he asked out loud, "how in Merlin's name do I get out what I put in there?"

As if in answer, a small pamphlet seemed to melt out of the fabric wall of the bag - an instruction manual. Now he knew what the print shop in Practic Alley printed, as their name was on the bottom of the front cover.

An instructive ten minutes and a productive half hour had Harry's room crammed with assorted junk, not all of which had been placed in there by himself.

He wiped the leather and brass exterior of the three-compartment trunk that he had found lurking in the bag. How it came to be in there and how he managed to extract it was beyond his understanding - he just grinned and declared that he loved magic.

He spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up his purchases, in particular the potion scales, the microscope and the telescope, all three needing a good clean and some slight adjustment.

After supper, he started sorting through the boxes of "stuff".

.

The next few days were taken up with sorting out, cleaning and packing away.

The quills were sorted and, where necessary, re-cut and prepared for use; the boxes of bits and pieces were tidied up, and the bits of dried grass, dead leaves and mummified spiders were banished (well, swept into the fire-grate); the now orderly boxes he put neatly back into storage in his new trunk.

The magazines were sorted and stacked; the books were arranged for further investigation. Finally, the sword was taken out and given a few experimental swings. Harry found that he liked the feel of his 'new' sword.

.

The books, oh, how he revelled in them. Not the dry, pedestrian stuff of his school books. No, these text books sang of the possibilities of what Harry thought of as real magic. These books talked of enchantment, of applied runes, of wards and of the building of magical things. The most peculiar was a handwritten book, well, half a book, at least. The Spells of Astaroth was old, very old, but the information was well presented, quite unlike most of the books that Harry had opened in the library at Hogwarts. It had two loose pages where it had been ripped and later repaired.

Harry realised that, whilst he was no slouch at the theory (when he could be bothered), his delight in magic was in the doing.

He also realised that if he wanted to be doing the 'doing of', at least of what he was reading about, then he needed to work harder at the theory.

And then the thought crossed his mind that he no longer needed to hold himself back so as not to beat Dudley's academic record.

Satisfied with his realisation, he cheerfully went back to reading some of the century-old back issues of Quiddich Review.

.

Sat in the bar the following morning, Harry looked up from his breakfast in time to notice one of the residents reading the Daily Prophet whilst idly stirring his coffee wandlessly.

"Tom? Could you answer a question for me, please?"

The old barkeep nodded. "What is it Mr Potter?"

"I noticed that a few people use bits of wandless magic, and I wondered if it could be tracked by the Ministry if I were to try and learn?"

Tom grinned his gap-toothed grin. "I probably shouldn't tell you this, but The Trace, as they call it is applied to your wand when you first buy it, so no, the Ministry wouldn't notice you using wandless magic."

Harry's eyes went wide, and Tom continued, "most of us have one or two things that we can do wandlessly, mostly just controlling charmed stuff, but a few have real talent with it."

Harry smiled and thanked Tom for his help. The rest of the day was spent trying the exercises in his Wandless Wizardry book, with some quiet success. Indeed, quiet was precisely what it was, as he found it easier to remain silent when casting wandlessly.

.

Harry made another visit to Practic Alley to order a pair of the comfortable looking boots. When he came out, sporting his first pair of shoes that actually fit his feet, he noticed a shop he had overlooked during his first visit.

The rather faded and indistinct sign over the shop's dusty and age-grimed window read Portobello Road.

Below those words was written 'where the riches of ages are stowed.'

The second-hand shop was small and rather dingy, in a comforting kind of way. It gave to feeling that Harry imagined a favourite uncle's attic might feel, not that he actually had a favourite uncle, just the bombastic bag of bullying and bluster that was Vernon Dursley.

The shop was cramped and crammed with old, well, frankly it was junk.

In the middle of the floor was an enormous blacksmith's anvil sat atop a flat-bottomed stone. There seemed to be a diamond-shaped hole through the anvil and into the rock. Harry shrugged.

He found a belt, faded with age, but bearing an embroidered legend, seven with one blow.

There was a beautiful, red-varnished wooden box with an inlaid brass panel sporting an etched picture of a winged monkey carrying some kind of bugle and wearing a postal pouch and a pillbox cap with a peak.

Even if he didn't know what it was, a few sickles would buy him a rather handsome box to keep his writing things in on his desk.

There was, under a glass bell-jar, an irregular, green stone that glowed with an eerie and disturbing light, beside which was a book with the title one hundred family recipes using scarab.

A large, bronze doorknocker in the form of a somewhat fat-faced grotesque was sat on a low table. The ring was mounted in the head's ears. Alongside, on the table was a jewelled dog collar with a name embroidered in gold and bright silver: Garm.

As he walked past a stone urn which supported half a dozen old umbrellas, Harry heard a voice.

"Ha! Another one who doesn't want a brolly!"

Harry turned and eyed the umbrellas.

"It heard you," another voice hissed urgently.

"I wonder if he speaks, too?" A third voice, and slightly more refined than the others.

"... what ... ?"

A shocked silence followed by a clamour of quiet voices.

"A parasolmouth!"; "It speaks!"; "Someone say something!"

Harry looked at the umbrellas. Most, he now saw, had handles in the shapes of creatures' heads.

"A parasolmouth? Someone who can speak to umbrellas?"

The refined voice replied, "yes." it was a rich ebony handle in the form of a Chinese Dragon with inlaid silver and gold.

"Not as rare as Parselmouths," the dragon continued, "and certainly not seen as dark either. No, Parasolmouths are generally seen as ... eccentric."

Harry thought to his friend Hagrid, his snapped wand inside the shaft of his pink umbrella. Suddenly, an umbrella seemed less strange.

In the end, Harry bought an umbrella with a gryphon-head handle. It seemed well-versed in the ways of the British Wizarding World, unlike the dragon which hailed from magical Szechwan. Also unlike the dragon, this one spoke with a neutral British accent which didn't put Harry in mind of Percy Weasley.

As he went to leave the shop, his new umbrella said, "do you really want to go out that way?"

Harry looked at the gryphon. "Why?"

"That's a way out into the muggle world."

Harry grinned. "There's another way into the alley?"

"Oh yes, this one comes out in the Portobello Road in Notting Hill."

"I'd better not then."

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Outside the printer's shop there was, today, a low table piled with old and rather tattered books. Harry went and sorted through them, finding a couple of ancient and coverless books on parasolmagic.

The sign said that these books were one half-iotum each. Shrugging, harry entered.

"I'd like these please, but I'm not sure what an iotum is?"

The woman smiled at him. "Not many people do these days. It is a small lead coin which is worth more in the value of the magical lead than the face value. We use the lead to make our printing plates, but it is getting quite difficult to find these days - the only source is iotum coins."

Harry reached into his coin purse. "Are these iotums?"

The woman's eyes lit up. "They are indeed iota. How many do you have?"

Harry checked. There were 23 to hand.

"I've twenty three here, but there is a big pile of them in my vault. Why?"

"For more than the odd one or two, we pay per ounce of enchanted lead, as I say, it is getting difficult to obtain. An ounce is worth about twelve sickles at the moment."

"Are there any other uses for them?"

She nodded. "Some families use them for sealing official documents. The lead takes an impress from a suitable seal-ring."

Just before Harry handed over the coins, he asked the woman if she had any idea about what the box he had was.

"Oh, my dad had one of them. It's a Post Box. You put your letters in there when they are ready to be sent, and they are delivered magically. Marvellous for long distances and urgent delivery, but a bit expensive compared with an owl."

Smiling, he thanked her and left picking up a selection of other books to take away, including a couple that seemed to be readable if somewhat archaic in style.

The real prize, though, turned out to be a coverless copy of an American book called 'Enhanced Enchanting: Encapsulated Effects with Runes.'

.

Harry asked Tom how he might find out who sorted out Aunt Marge so that he could thank them in person. Tom said that he would contact the accidental magic reversal squad to find out.

That evening, Harry met two of the obliviators. The two men wore the haunted expressions of those who have seen too much.

"I believe that you dealt with the results of my blowing up my aunt?"

The men nodded.

"I wanted to thank you personally for taking on such a risky job. Can I ask Tom to get you anything?"

The younger man shuddered.

The elder closed his eyes. "An obliviator would be best ..."

Tom, knowing about these men, simply put a bottle of Fire Whisky in front of them with two glasses. Harry had already agreed that he would pay for them tonight.

"It was horrible. I can understand why people don't want anything to do with muggles ..."

"We had to do ... something about ... her ..."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "Whatever you did, I thank you. I ... take issue with her ... and her ... um ... dog."

The obliviators looked at him.

"A dog? Is that what it was? I thought it was one of Hagrid's ... pets."

The other shuddered and murmured, "... the teeth ... so many horrible teeth ..."

When the two had finally staggered out of the pub, Harry asked if all obliviators were like that.

Tom's reply was, "only the ones willing to take the most dangerous assignments."

Obviously, thought Harry, his relatives were considered high risk by the wizarding world.

Harry sent a polite letter to the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad thanking them for dealing with his relatives.

.

One morning saw Harry sat outside Fortescue's, enjoying an ice cream (chocolate, coffee and wavelnut - a magical hazelnut-walnut hybrid), when the petulant tones of one Draco Malfoy caught his ear. The boy was whining for an ice cream and whinging about the presence of mudbloods and blood traitors in the alley.

An idea for a prank drifted into Harry's mind. It may even be true, he thought.

Back at the leaky cauldron, Harry wrote an anonymous letter to the Auror office.

To whom it may concern,

This afternoon, I encountered one Lucius Malfoy and his son Draco in Diagon Alley.

Whilst this is of itself of no consequence, I did note that the boy was acting in a manner rather unlike his usual self, and more like someone trying to behave like the boy.

I wonder whether this may have been Sirius Black under Polyjuice, as Mr Malfoy has been known to associate with known Death Eaters.

Yours,

A Concerned Citizen

The letter was placed in an envelope and then put into the Post Box.

A flash of silver, and the letter was on its way.

.

Amelia Bones, head of the DMLE was surprised when a silvery, flying monkey wearing a peaked cap appeared in her office and handed her a letter. The monkey disappeared in a cascade of sparkling, dispersing magic.

She read the letter and summoned the one senior investigator she knew she could trust, Connie Hammer.

An hour later Lucius and Draco were sat in magic-suppression manacles, oozing truth serum and answering a lot of embarrassing questions.

They were thrown into a holding cell while the rest of the team tore apart Malfoy Manor, looking for Sirius Black.

While Sirius Black was not forthcoming, a large number of illegal, dark items were retrieved, and subsequently confiscated. Lucius was charged with possession with intent to supply, as no one could possibly use that many incompatible cursed objects.

Harry's letter, while pranking Draco and Lucius, was considered to have been a good thing by the Aurors' office. It was also considered a rather expensive thing by Malfoy senior by the time he paid off the fines and bribes to prevent a stay at Hotel Azkaban.

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By the time that the Weasleys and Hermione arrived at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry had read a few of the more interesting books in his new collection, discovered the art of parasol magic and found an interest in both runes and arithmancy.

A letter to Professor McGonagall had changed his selections for his elective courses to drop Divination in favour of Ancient Runes and Arithmancy - the latter seemed no more complicated than the maths he had studied at muggle primary school.

Ron was livid, claiming that Harry had betrayed him. Hermione was delighted.

The twins were pleased, but certainly not with their younger brother. They were delighted at breakfast when Ron was spouting off at Harry and Harry simply waved his hand and Ron was silenced.

.

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