A/N: Don’t you just love shopping? So what if it’s different in the magical world, at least you get to meet new people and explore a world where money can be spent. Enjoy this delightful chappy!
~*~ Chapter 3 ~*~
Yes, shopping. Wonderful thing if you’re a girl like me, you get to explore a magical world in itself where you can spend money on anything you want or need. But where my sisters and I were going to shop, we didn’t know.
“Shopping… how exciting!” Eleora was jumping up and down on her seat. She loved shopping. Heck, all of us did.
But this adventure was something different, and like all twists and turns in this story it comes with a price; literally. Everything in this world; magical or not, has a price, even the offers like buy one get one free in supermarkets have there hidden scams.
And like the shopping centres we were about to go to, we knew that it wasn’t what we had dreamed of. It was something totally different; a whole different bargain. And with this bargain, come new and exciting people.
“Oh, we get to introduce them, don’t we?” Madison muttered under her breath. Yes, the delightful characters of whom we have grown to love. Even though we’ve had rough times with them, we have respect for them as they give in return.
Our friends, our companions and our all time lovers have come to us in a weird kind of way. We are still with them, except that they feel that their job is worth something more than writing a book…
Our mother came into our bedroom at the crack of dawn the next morning. She opened our curtains and the blinding sun came through our closed eyes, making Kenny fall out of her bed and the rest of us to hide under our covers.
“Come on, breakfast is ready!” our mother called out to us, “I want to leave this house by no later than nine, got that?!” and she ran back down the stairs.
“If she’s saying that she doesn’t want us go to this place,” Eleora said in a muffled voice from under her quilts; just loud enough for us to hear, “then why is she rushing about to get us out of the house to get all the stuff we need?”
I got out of bed and got changed for the day ahead in t-shirt and jeans; my sisters followed my idea, and then we were soon munching our way through an English breakfast.
We were out before nine; half eight in fact, and that’s when it dawned on me. I jogged to keep up with mother while my sisters followed close behind as we went to catch a bus.
“Mum, do you know where we’re going to buy all this stuff?” I shoved the list of equipment under her nose and she took it from me and gazed down at it. My sisters seemed to have woken up properly as their ears caught wind of my curiosity.
“Of course I know where we’re going! What do you think I am, stupid?” she handed me back the list and I put it in my pocket. I looked at my sisters who all yawned and shrugged their shoulders in mother’s wake.
“She must be stupid if she woke us up at six o’clock in the morning,” Eleora mumbled to herself. Unfortunately, mother heard her and she hit her on the back of the head.
We got on the bus and mother asked the driver for a fair to the train station. “Is it that far that we have to get a train?” Kenny asked stupidly. Mother eyed her again and nodded while she sat down on a stained seat.
“Where are we going?” I repeated to my mother. I was getting really annoyed with her secrecy, and I hated those who kept talking behind my back.
“You’ll see,” she had a very wide smile on her face, which made her cheeks full and red. Her eyes were sparkling with what seemed like mischief and of which I only see in the eyes of my sisters when they were up to something.
“You’re keeping something from us, I can feel it!” Eleora whispered in her ear. Mother turned in her seat and gave her an angry look. But she never answered and went back to text someone on her mobile phone, (a device where you can talk to people by ringing them or sending them instant messages).
We reached the train station and mother bought tickets to take us to London. I had never been to the capital before, but I had seen it on television before because of parliament issues and such.
“Will you please tell us where we’re going?” Madison asked through gritted teeth; hoping to get an answer from mother this time, seen as we hadn’t talked to her on the bus journey and we hoped that this would catch her out by surprise.
But she shook her head again and simply said, “London.” Mother was getting on all of our nerves, especially mine. But I soon forgot about the journey as the lack of sleep dawned on me, and my head fell against the condensed window of the moving train.
It was a dreamless sleep, just like the sleep of where I had been woken up from only hours ago. And yet, I was being woken up from this one as well.
“Wake up, April! We’re here!” It was Kenny’s excruciating poking that made me open up my eyes and made me jump at the sight that was now outside my window.
“We’re in London, already? How long have I been asleep for?” I asked as I rubbed my eyes so that I could see clearly that I wasn’t dreaming.
“For the whole journey… a whole five hours! At one point we thought that you wouldn’t wake, until Eleora flicked your ear and you slapped her around the face. She didn’t expect that at all,” she laughed and I laughed as well.
I did the most amazing things while I was asleep. One time, I got up and my sisters thought I was sleep-walking as I went into the bathroom and I washed my hands for no apparent reason. And the next morning they asked me about it, and I didn’t know that I had done it. Just like now.
Kenny pulled me up from my seat and dragged me off the train where mother, Madison and Eleora stood on the platform waiting for us.
“Where do we go now?” Eleora asked, as she cast her surrounding scene with perplexity and wonder. We were all excited to be in London, standing in King’s Cross station was like a dream come true and we couldn’t wait to explore the rest of this new world.
“Follow me,” mother said, and she led us out of the station and on to a busy street of market stalls and shoppers. Big Ben rang through my ears, it was so close and so loud and the time showed two o’clock.
We walked through the market stalls and then down some alleyways to get around some of the most busiest streets and where the real shopping centres were. We had to drag Eleora away by force.
We then went down a flight of steps and came across the London Underground. Mum said we needed to be on the outskirts of London and that this was the easiest and fastest way to get there. We paid for tickets and then we were zooming off under the dim-lighted earth.
The ride ended on a screech which rattled my bones making me feel sick; however, Kenny was complaining that she wanted another go. We were now standing on a quiet little street with not as many people but still some approached the market stalls.
“In here,” our mum gestured to a manky-looking pub with a sign outside the door saying The Leaky Cauldron. Passer-bys ignored the pub which was disgracing the clean streets, but mother opened the door and we stepped inside.
It was cold, even though fires were crackling in their grates. Many tables were dotted about the place and sat at them were oddly-dressed people. Their was one man with long, grey hair in a pointed hat decorated with silver moons, and there was a young woman with blonde hair who was wearing magenta robes; her mouth was sucking on an acid-green feather.
The magenta-robed woman turned in her seat, and the feather wriggled free of her grasp and quickly wrote on a piece of parchment automatically. The woman wore jewelled spectacles and her eyes bore down at us, as if we were disease carrying rodents. Then she went back to writing with her quill.
“Come on,” our mother pulled myself through the pub; Kenny was holding on to me, whilst Madison held on to her, with Eleora in toe. We stepped outside through a back door and came into a small courtyard lined with dustbins and weeds sprouting from the cobbled stone beneath our feet.
“It’s a dead end, mother!” Eleora pointed out sarcastically. Mum scowled and then sighed, she leaned against the tall, brick wall opposite us, as though she was waiting for someone.
Suddenly, the brick wall jumped aside to reveal a way to a dazzling street beyond, but how was the wall opened? The answer came soon enough when a tall man with long blonde hair, piercing icy eyes and a sneer plastered across his face walked through; his black cape billowing in the gentle wind around his feet.
He stopped abruptly when he saw us standing there, then doubled back as though in shock to actually see us. “Watch it, dad!” came a high voice from behind the man.
Out stepped a boy, who was tall but was around the same age as my sisters and myself. He had deep hazel eyes and he had short, brown hair. If this was the man’s son, then who or where was his mother?
“Thank you,” our mother spoke up; she seemed unfazed by the arrival of the two strangers, as if she knew them anyway. The man bowed to her in a courteous sort of way, then dragged the boy through the back door of the pub.
The boy turned his head to look at us again but when his eyes connected with mine, he smiled at me and a jolt of happiness sprung in my heart, making me smile back at him.
“Did you know that man?” Madison asked as we stepped into the brightly lit street. Mum ignored her and we travelled down the street, our eyes widening at things we passed.
The shops were lined in odd angles and sold many strange things like cauldrons and ingredients too ghastly to describe. One sold books; and if I was mistaken, broomsticks and robes of different colours. Hoots and meows came from an animal menagerie along with squeaks and croaks. My stomach gave a rumble when we walked passed an ice cream parlour where a customer was being served a dish of towering ice creams of every flavour imaginable. There was a clothes shop and hanging at the window were more robes of different colours and tape measures running along side them, and scissors cutting to and fro.
Mother stopped and we walked into her. We looked up at her angrily but we saw her pointing to a large, white building before us. Our mouths opened in wonder as she led us up some marble stairs and to where we stared at a funny creature wearing a scarlet and gold uniform. It opened the bronze door for us and we stepped in side. But we came to another pair of doors; silver this time, and a plaque was borne upon it. It read:
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
A pair of goblins; for that’s what Madison thought they were, bowed to us as they opened the silver door and we walked through into a high-ceiling room, where hundreds of the same creatures were weighing jewels on scales, or sorting through paper work, or counting gold, sliver and bronze coins, not usually found in your normal purse.
It was a bank, our mother explained out of our own curious looks. But she didn’t say the name when we questioned her further. Instead, she walked up to a tall counter where a sleeping goblin snored, blowing his paper work on the floor.
Our mother issued a cough to let him know that we wished to be served. The goblin looked up at us anxiously and asked how he could be of service. Our mother leaned in closer to him and I only caught some of what she said. “Vault nine hundred and three, please.”
The goblin clapped his hands, and another goblin took us down through a maze of tunnels of which we went through on a mining cart. After five minutes of unbearable nausea, the cart stopped and we stepped on to a cold, stone platform, lit by flaming torches in brackets.
The goblin led us to a large, steel door. It had many bars and locks on it to stop penetrating robbers. “Do you have your key?” the goblin asked our mother.
Mother bent down to whisper something to the creature. He shuffled on the spot then approached the vault. He whispered something to the door and a clang of metal on metal indicated that it had been unlocked.
We looked inside and there was a large amount of the same gold, sliver and bronze coins we had seen before. Mum brought out four individual bags and picked up equal amount of coins and placed them inside.
We were amazed at the small fortune we supposedly had underground, but nothing could stop us from spending this money on what we wanted. “Spend it on what you need only,” mother explained to us, “meet me at the brick wall before six o’clock please,” and she walked off. She left my sisters and I to explore the street, which we had heard the name of from a passing couple, known as Diagon Alley.
“So, where do we go first?” Madison asked us all in unison. To be quite honest, I had no clue of where to go so I took out my list and looked down it to find something appealing to buy.
“How about our robes? It’s no good getting cold in a castle is there?” I answered and we set off for a shop called Madam Malkin’s Robes For All Occasions.
“You don’t think mum will let us buy an owl, do you?” Kenny asked as we stepped into the shop and a woman with curly grey hair and glasses bustled over to us to help us try on our school uniform.
“What? With the owl yesterday, I don’t think she’d be happy if we even had a single feather on our head!” Eleora said, a bit of disappointment in her throat.
The tape measures measured us all over as we stood on individual stools each. Kenny couldn’t help herself from laughing when the tape measure measuring Eleora happened to measure the width between each buttock.
We soon left the robe shop carrying two bags between us each, each holding two sets of plain work robes, a pair of dragon hide gloves, a pointed black hat and a winter cloak.
Madison, who liked to read as I said before, dragged us to the book store under false pretence of delight; we were groaning under our breaths. The store was Flourish and Blotts and unlike any of the other stores, it was practically full.
There were shelves upon shelves of thick leather-bound volumes and tables piled high with books with curly-gold writing on the covers, and in the window stood a cage with books which opened to reveal a row of snapping teeth and a grotesque tongue.
“How can I help you ladies?” asked the man behind the counter. He was no more than twenty and he was in good shape. Eleora eyed him up in fascination.
“Erm…” Madison began and she snatched the list out of my hand, “could we each have a copy of these books, please?” she handed the man the list and he smiled down at it.
“First year at Hogwarts, are you? Wonderful! I won’t be ten minutes,” and he began to search the shelves for the appropriate books.
Madison gazed around the shop in wonder and Eleora caught her stare in amusement and began to giggle loudly. “It’s like a palace to you, isn’t it, sis?” Eleora guessed, making Kenny and myself choke back our laughter. Madison glared at her, but shrugged the comment away.
“But dad, I don’t want books. Books are for smart people like aunt Hermione… could I have a racing broom instead,” it was a boy who spoke and he was being dragged into the shop by what seemed like his father; his mother in toe.
Madison spun on the spot and then turned back to face me. She clicked her tongue in disparagement as if he was taking offence on her.
“You’ll do as you’re told! Now, give me your list?” the woman; undoubtedly is mother, had long, red hair and deep, brown eyes. She was smiling slightly and she was holding hands with the boy’s father. The father had untidy jet, black hair and electric green eyes behind his glasses. He was tall and broad shouldered and under his fringe I could distinctly see a scar of some sort.
Another sales man came out to greet and serve them. They stood talking for some time and then the sales man went off to get the books which the boy needed.
The boy was the exact replica of his father. Tall and thin with untidy jet, black hair and electric green eyes, but no glasses were visible. He wandered around the shop, picking up books at random and reading the blurbs on the back.
“For someone who doesn’t like books, you seem interested in them!” Madison blurted out. She went red in the face when the boy looked up at her, but Kenny was out of sight in a flash. She hid behind me and I could feel the heat radiating off from her.
“It’s not nice to nose into other people’s business, you know? It could get you into a lot of trouble,” the boy said, a smile was creeping up on his bright face. He held out a hand for us to shake. “The names Devlin… Devlin Potter.”
I choked on the air and I thought to myself; if he was Devlin Potter, than that could mean that his father was Harry Potter, the headmaster of Hogwarts; the man who would be teaching my sisters and I about magic, and the man who could hopefully help me.
We each shook his hand but before we could introduce ourselves, his mother and father walked over to him and told him that it was time to go home. His father; on the other hand, looked at us each in turn, gave us a wide smile then he followed his wife and son out of the book shop.
“Here’re your books, ladies,” the man handed each of us a heavy bag full of books and we paid him the right amount of money and then we too, left the shop.
“Where to next?” Kenny asked enthusiastically as we wandered down the street and as she cast each and every shop for a glimpse or a sign of Devlin Potter.
I shrugged but we went into an apothecary, which had mixed smells and aromas set all around the inside of the shop, and they seemed to be coming from barrels along the walls, each filled with disgusting ingredients for brewing potions.
We each bought, as the salesman provided that we should, a basic ingredients set for potion classes. We also left the shop with a set of brass scales each and a standard size, two, pewter cauldron each. On the way to find the wand shop, we also bought a telescope each and a book to tell us which constellations we could find and look out for.
“Look! There he is again!” Kenny pointed out Devlin coming out of the broomstick shop with his parents. She was getting overly excited as she began to jump up and down as he walked past her. I looked back once we had moved on and I caught sight of Devlin smiling at the back of Kenny.
Ollivander’s Wand Shop was dark and shabby and it was the oldest store of them all in Diagon Alley, but a woman said it was the best place to buy a wand as she walked by. So we went inside.
A bell rang throughout the shop when we walked in. We placed are already purchased items on chairs by the door and waited to be served. The shop contained many shelves with thousands of boxes upon them, each; we all guessed, contained a wand.
“Hello there!” We all jumped as an old man with a toothy grin made himself known, “Sorry if I frightened you… Hogwarts, are you?” We all nodded. Then he began to measure our arms; finger to wrist; wrist to elbow; elbow to finger; shoulder to finger. “Right, who’s first?”
We all looked at each other, none of us wanted to move. We were scared of what might happen next, we didn’t like the sound of getting wands because this meant that we wouldn’t be who we were now.
“Don’t be scared… it’s the wand who chooses the wizard anyway,” he pulled me forward and then went to pull down as many boxes as he could.
He handed me many but most he snatched straight out of my hand as soon as he placed them. He told we to wave the wands which I though was highly stupid and embarrassing, but my sisters thought it was highly amusing. “Don’t worry… it’ll be their turn soon,” he gave me a hearty wink and my sisters stopped laughing; I then grew a smile.
“Try this one,” Mr Ollivander placed my eighth wand in my right hand, “mahogany, eight and a half inches, and good for defence work but very firm. Has one phoenix feather inside.” I didn’t need to swish or flick the wand. Instead, I felt a warm and tingly feeling run though my veins.
“Guess this one’s for you,” Ollivander took the wand from me and placed it back in its box, “… next!” and Kenny stepped forward.
She stepped back fifteen minutes later with a wand made of holly, was ten inches long and had one unicorn hair inside and, according to Ollivander, it was supposed to be very good for transfiguration, what ever that was.
Eleora stepped forward next and was no sooner back beside me holding a wand made of oak, nine and three quarter inches long and had a dragon heartstring core. Supposedly said that it was good for charms work.
Madison was up last and it took her twenty minutes to find the perfect match. We soon paid for our wands while Madison tried out the match of her dreams, a wand made of maple, eleven inches long. It had one unicorn hair inside and was quite supple, and was supposed to be good for charms work as well.
“Thanks again, Mr Ollivander,” I said politely and we neared the door, our wands in their boxes, hidden amongst our robes.
Madison went in front of me and opened the door and she walked into a group of people who were obviously trying to get into the wand shop. Madison jumped back into me, her face a deep scarlet when she saw who she had bumped into.
It was a boy our age with red hair and blue eyes also tall and thin, just like Devlin was. He had a long nose which had a spot of dirt on the side of it. Behind him were unmistakably his parents. His father was the spitting image of himself but had broad shoulders as well, and like the long, blonde haired man before, he doubled back in surprise.
His mother had deep, chocolaty brown eyes and thick, brown curls for her hair which went passed her shoulders. She gasped when she saw us before her, but eventually moved aside when Eleora emitted an impatient cough.
It was the same with Devlin and the brown haired boy we had seen before. I looked around and he was looking right back, and I could distinctly hear him laughing under his breath about Madison.
“Boys these days! They have no manners what so ever!” Madison complained, her face still like a beetroot.
We walked up Diagon Alley and past the broomstick shop where a crowd of young boys stood gazing into the window. We took no notice of this as we strolled passed a dark alleyway just off the side of it.
“What do you reckons down there?” Kenny asked as she linked her arm through mine, protectively. I could see many people down their all wearing black cloaks. It was a foreboding place, filled with something dark and I didn’t fancy my chances down there. So I shrugged and we moved on.
Mother was standing beside the open brick wall talking to someone. We didn’t want to intrude on their “private” conversation, but the person who she was talking to was remotely familiar.
It was the man with the untidy, jet black hair. His electric green eyes shot on us when he heard our approaching footsteps and then he muttered a quick goodbye to our mother and pushed his son inside before Kenny had the chance to wave to him.
“Who was that man who you were talking to?” I asked, “Because we saw him in the book store before, along with his wife and that boy.”
“We just got talking because I was unable to open the wall,” she said in a shaky voice, “Have you got everything?” We nodded and then we followed her into the Leaky Cauldron. “I have a surprise for you all, sit down.”
She gestured to a table where soup was served and a cup of tea each, which smelled strongly of honey. She lifted the table cloth up and we saw; to our delight, four wicker cages and from inside, we could hear small cries coming from four tiny kittens.
“Aww! They’re so cute!” Madison cooed and she opened a cage door and picked up a small, ginger cat with bright, blue eyes. She rubbed her nose against the cats golden fur, making it meow with pleasure.
“Why couldn’t we have an owl instead?” Eleora complained; I hit her on the arm to stop her from being so rude, “They’re much more useful!”
“Because you won’t need an owl!” Mother spat, “Anyway, cats are more adorable and you can keep them in your rooms at all times, unlike owls.”
Without another word of complaint, Eleora went under the table and opened another door of another cage and picked up a tabby cat; its green eyes looked extravagant against its fur and it mewed for love.
There was a black cat with white paws and yellow eyes which Kenny happened to choose. The kitten licked her face and Kenny cuddled it close to her chest. And in the last cage, there was a grey tabby cat. I picked it up and looked into its silver-blue eyes and then it jumped from my grasp and curled itself upon my lap.
“Eat your soup, and then we’ll be on our way,” mother ordered. So we quickly gulped down our soup and drank our tea and we were soon out of the front door of the pub.
We were zooming under the ground in no less than five minutes of leaving the pub; or packages above our heads and the meowing cats in our laps, who didn’t seem to enjoy the ride that much.
Next we were on the platform in King’s Cross station ready to get on to the train back up to Durham, as that was where we had come from. And again, I fell asleep because of all the running about we had to do that day but it wasn’t just me, my sisters as well hand gone into dreamless slumbers as well; our kittens purring in our laps…
“The kittens were so cute, weren’t they?” Kenny sighed and wiped away a tear off her cheek. Of course, the kittens had grown and with growth came… well, you know what I mean.
The boys were still in our lives as I had said before, but nothing would ever make us forget the time when we first saw them, or the time when… well, I guess you’ll find out that point in time, either sooner or later.
But for now, we’ll leave this chapter and go on to the next part, shall we? Where we happen to take the mysterious journey up to Hogwarts and to wherever it was.
A/N: So, it’s the great journey next… how exciting! Aw, the kittens are so cute! Hope my friends don’t mind the names of which I will call them, you’ll find out in the next chapter. But for now, please review and tell me what you think!