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Chapter 4: Shopping for Life
Disclaimer: Ella and plot are mine, everything else to JK Rowling
I woke up tired, hungry and irritable, and I still have a headache thanks to wonderful James who insisted upon sitting next to me at dinner. I think I have a bruise on the side where he kept poking me. I stare up at the ceiling and begin to reminisce about the prank which Maxxie threatened me with expulsion for. Bet she’s ecstatic I won’t be coming back.
“Liddy, fermes la bouche! I don’t want to hear it. This is the plan and it will be followed. Do not deviate,” I snapped at the girl crouching behind me. She rolled her eyes and shook her head, but shut her mouth nonetheless. I turned back around to face the deserted hallway. I pulled out my merchandise from WWW (the advantage of having an English father who is friends with George Weasley... Even if he does call Papa a nazi quidditch captain) and like a ninja rolled across the hallway to my destination. I saw Liddy follow me (while leisurely strolling, the daft bint) to our goal, the massive beautifully carved wood doors to the commons. I silently cast a silent charm on the doors and we carefully opened them. When there was enough room between the two doors, we squeezed our bodies through the small opening and dashed into the large, empty room. We ran to the center of the room and placed the small package on the ground. I had already charmed the package to ‘detonate’ in four hours.
Liddy and I ran out of there and back up to our dorm before we collapsed on our beds laughing hysterically. The next morning, we shared a secret smile and prepared ourselves for the day.
“ELLA! GET OUT OF BED!” Damn Papa, must you be so loud? This does not help the sorry state of my poor head. I heaved myself out of bed and sluggishly made my way over to my closet. I pulled on a loose lilac shirt and pair of black leggings. I shifted through the massive shoe pile that I have yet to organize and found a pair of tall gray UGGS and pulled them on. I pulled my hair up and made my way downstairs.
I could smell delicious things coming from the kitchen. Henry and Allie are both sitting on the stools in the kitchen each eagerly trying to sneak as much pancake batter as they can without Alicia noticing. She knows, she is a mother after all... From the dining room I hear singing. Not lyrical, beautiful singing but the kind of singing that should not leave the bathroom. Lord knows I love Papa. I followed the singing and found him setting the table while dancing around like a ballerina, I’m honestly surprised he didn’t hurt himself.
I slowly backed out of the room and made my way back to the kitchen where I perched myself on a stool next to Allie. “Ella, honey, don’t forget we’re going shopping today as soon as Molly gets here. Oh, and put something on that’s a bit more presentable.” I just looked at her.
“More presentable? I wore this all the time when I was in Paris.” Merlin, I sound like I am five when I start whining. Note to self, stop.
“You’re not in Paris anymore and if you go into Diagon Alley looking like that, people won’t take you seriously.”
“Oh, are jeans alright?”
“Of course.” She smiled, obviously realizing I’m slightly unhappy about this turn of events. After the pancakes were made she carried them into the dining room and we had a strangely normal meal. Once done, I returned my plate to the kitchen and went back upstairs. I found my favorite pair of True Religion jeans and a pair of top siders to go with and went back downstairs. “Ella, she’ll be coming by Floo, so go wait for her over in the living room. She’ll be here soon.”
I grabbed cookie from the kitchen on my way to the living room and made myself comfortable in the massive buttery soft leather chair. I turned on the tele and started to aimlessly flip through all the channels. After a while there was a green burst of flame and a girl, I’m guessing Molly, walked out. She was wearing a white tee-shirt with a pair of dark skinny jeans and a pair of bright pink flats. Her reddish hair was twisted up in a knot, looking like she just rolled out of bed and she had the trademark Weasley blue eyes. “Alicia! She’s here!” I shouted and then looked back at Molly.
“Hey. You’re Molly right? I’m Ella.”
“That would be me! I am so excited that you are here, it’ll be a break from James and Fred. They can be a bit much after 17 years.”
I chuckled, “Do you know where Alicia is taking us?”
“Probably to Diagon Alley, everything is there and there is a great new designer boutique. It has one of the best selections of dresses and formal wear and since they’re all made by wizards, all the dresses have mystical qualities about them. She’ll probably also drag you to the shop where everyone buys there uniforms as it’s not usually crowded this time of the year. It’s a madhouse the week before school starts.”
I nodded and Alicia came into the room freshly showered and smelling lightly of flowers. Her long blond hair was slightly damp but for the most part dry. She strolled over to the fireplace and took a handful of the weird dusty stuff and through it at her feet and clearly stated, “Diagon Alley.” I mimicked her actions and followed.
I landed on my face so I slowly heaved my body off the stone floor I landed on. The fire turned green again and I bolted over to Alicia at the same time Molly walked out. We were in a tavern of sorts and Alicia looked behind her to see my bemused expression. “This is the Leaky Cauldron. Diagon Alley is right this way.” Molly and I followed her to an unobtrusive door and when we finally made our way to the other side, my jaw
In Paris, the wizarding shops are interspersed with muggle ones and muggles can go in the wizarding shops but when they leave, they lose all memory of everything they witnessed. There was no unique street that was 100% devoted to the wizarding world.
The main street was busy but not crowded, and there were little side streets that lead to other stores. At the end of the main one, there was an overbearing white building with haphazard pillars that seemed to go on forever. Alicia started to head in that general direction. “Ella, since you’ve never been here, I’ll give you a quick run-down. The building we are going to now is Gringotts Bank, I need to deposit some money and at the same time pick some up so we can do our shopping. Molly, take her over to Malkin’s while I go there.” Molly nodded.
Alicia took off down the street, leaving Molly to guide me to Madame something’s. “It’s right over here.”
“Kay. Are you excited for this thing on Friday?”
“Since the twins will be there, definitely. Hopefully Alicia has invited some other random people to come so it won’t be just a Weasley-Potter thing because it always seems to end up that way.”
“What’s Hogwarts like? I’d ask James, but he’s a bit off.”
“Haha! Don’t let him here you say that, he honestly believes he’s God’s gift and his fan girls would agree with him.”
“Wait... He has fan girls? Why? He’s a pompous git who desperately needs a haircut.”
“I believe this is the beginning of a long friendship. You are definitely in the minority with that opinion regrading James. Most girls fall to their knees if he so much as talks to them. It’s a bit pitiful really.”
“I hate people like that. There was a playboy back at Beauxbatons who behaved similar to James and my foot seemed to find its way to a certain painful place on a bloke. Those moments were some of the most memorable.”
“Nice, I don’t know how much of a playboy James is. I know he has had a couple of girlfriends but I don’t think he’s the type of guy with one-night stands. When he loses his cocky attitude, he’s actually a really nice guy, but those moments of lucidity on his part are rare.”
“So, besides James, whose the eye candy at lovely Hogwarts?”
“You’ll be meeting them on Friday, the Scamander twins. They’re tall, dark, mysterious, and gorgeous. Everyone talks about them and every girl wants them. They’re in Ravenclaw and 7th years, like us. I’ve lived with the two of them for 6 years now and from what I gather they are a bit off their rocker as they are the prodigy of Loony Lovegood, Lorcan more so than Lysander”
“They have REALLY vivid imaginations but they only let up on it if you’re one of their friends, which I luckily am. They’re bloody gorgeous, but to me they are like an extension of my family and are like brothers. I also have a boyfriend who is the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain and his name is Luke Reid.”
“Haha, I’m now quite excited for this engagement on Friday.”
“If you use your French seduction skills, the twins will be eating out of your hands in no time. Oh here’s the shop.”
We walked in and were immediately ambushed by a short witch with greying hair dark hair. She had a wand but beyond that had a pincushion and a tape measure floating behind her, ready to be at service. She warmly greeted Molly (she was the usual to take all the younger Weasley’s and Potter’s to get there robes apparently) before turning to me.
“Hello miss! I am Madame Malkin and you are?”
“What do you need?” She pulled a notebook and pencil out of somewhere, wrote my name at the top and started tapping her pencil ready to take notes. Molly stepped in and answered her question.
“She needs three sets of black school robes and five or so Hogwarts uniforms.” She told Madame. She turned to me and continued with, “You always want extras. You never know what is going to happen. Once you’re sorted, she’ll send you your House paraphernalia, like ties, scarves, mittens, and house emblems that will be put on your robes.” I nodded and Madame ushered me to stand on a podium of sorts in front of three mirrors. She accioed yards of black fabric and start to fashion them into a set of basic robes for me to wear while taking my measurements at the same time. After five minutes, the first robe was completed and fit perfectly- the robe then duplicated itself so that by the end there were three robes nicely folded sitting on on a nearby counter.
“Now for the uniform. The basic uniform is a white button down long sleeved shirt, a v-neck charcoal jumper, a matching skirt, stockings, socks, or tights of your choosing and black shoes of your choice. Everything comes in different fabrics so whatever is most comfortable for you will work.” She stared at me, pressuring me to make a decision.
“Molly?” I questioned softly to her.
“All of my shirts are cotton, my jumpers are cashmere and my skirts wool. I typically wear black tights and black flats.”
“D’accord. Er, I’ll have cotton shirts. I would like my jumpers to be cashmere and my skirt to be wool-wait, will there be a lining in the skirt?”
“If you would like one, yes.”
“Can I have a lining then, because wool is really itchy...”
“Will you need stockings or shoes as well?”
“No, I have that covered.”
We lapsed into a comfortable silence while Madame continued to shape my actual school uniform. In the process, Alicia walked in and began to observe the proceedings. Madame informed her of my decision and she nodded her agreement. Everything was soon finished and Madame wrapped up my new uniforms while Alicia payed. She then ushered us out of the shop and towards the other store where we will buy our dresses for Friday.
We casually walked down the street until we reached the new shop. From the outside, there was no difference from the rest of the Alley but once inside, there was a complete transformation. There were racks upon racks of dresses and mirrors on almost every surface. One of the employees approached us and asked what we were looking for. Alicia told her that we all needed dresses for a black-tie event but beyond that it was up to the individual. The employee’s eyes lit up and she called over two more people, one for each of us to work with. Mine turned to me.
“Hi, my name is Michelle. What would you like?”
“Uh, what is there?”
“We’ll start with the basics then. Floor length or short?”
I looked over to see the dresses that Molly and Alicia were looking at and noticed they both had gone long.
“I guess floor length.”
“Not yellow, orange, pink, any pastel shade, brown, or black.”
Michelle flicked her wrist and about half of the dresses seemed to disappear from view. The employee turned back to me and explained, “We charm the store according to what each person wants. You see the dresses you would like so that it becomes faster and more enjoyable to shop as you are not as distracted or flustered.”
“That makes sense. To narrow this down more, I was thinking a navy, purple or green dress.” More dresses disappeared.
“To tailor this more to you, do you know your measurements?”
“I’m 5’ 4” and have an hourglass figure, if that helps.”
Michelle took out a measuring tape and motioned for me to hold my arms out while she took my measurements. When she was done, the selection of dresses became noticeably smaller.
“Start browsing and I will open a dressing room for you.” I nodded and started to look at the dresses that were available. The more I flicked through the dresses, the more frustrating it became. None of the dresses seemed to stand out to me and most appeared to be continuations of a single theme. The dresses were color coded which, and I quickly made my way through the green and purple dresses and made my way to the navy ones. About halfway through I found it. It was a silk, navy blue dress that was simple yet beautiful. It had a sweet heart neckline, with a tight bodice that flowed into a long skirt that had silver threads woven into the fabric. It was beautiful. I brought it over to the door that Michelle was standing by and showed her the dress.
“I found it!”
Michelle looked at the dress, nodded, smiled, and opened the door to the changing room. I removed the clothes I was wearing and slid the dress on. It fit like a glove, it was perfect. I carefully took the dress off, put my clothes back on and exited the room. When I left the room, the store reverted to it’s original state. I saw Molly and Alicia both waiting for me over by the register, and I gave the dress to the person standing behind the counter.
Once the dresses were protected from the world in their bags, we made our way back to the Leaky Cauldron so we could floo back to our respective homes. I hugged Molly goodbye and then followed Alicia into the fire.
i could ramble on down here about unnecessary topics but first i would like to say this has been edited 6/26/10.
hope everyone likes where this is going, i'm having a lot of fun writing it and i keep changing my mind about how things are going to end so that's one of the main reasons i havent been updating but that will change.
if you'd like to leave a review, that would be stellar!!