Chapter 5 : Chapter Four
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I walked into the magical gift store, looking around at the various things on the shelves with care. I knew that if I saw something that would fit anybody on my list I would realize it when I saw it. After a few minutes of looking I had to stop dead in my tracks as I gazed at the bright orange box that was sitting in front of me. Inside the box was a miniature version of the Chudley Cannons. The image of Ron’s face when he opened his gift to see it floated to the front of the mind without me consciously thinking about it. I grabbed the box before one of the other customers in the store could see it and want it and tucked it under my arm, protective due to the fact that it was the last of them.
I continued walking through the aisles, finally reaching the shelves covered with beauty products. I knew that I would probably end up getting Ginny something that she already had but I didn’t care, I was going to get her something that I knew she would like. Looking at the different products I couldn’t find anything that really said Ginny to me. After a few more minutes of searching I had just about given up but then I then I spotted a bottle with a broomstick on it. Grabbing the bottle I glanced at the label, ‘Style Keeper: Never have Quidditch hair after playing again!’, and decided that I would get the line of products for her so that she wouldn’t have to deal with tangled and messed up hair anymore after she played Quidditch. I filled my arms with the four different bottles and debated in my mind whether or not I should get presents for the rest of the Weasleys. I knew that I was going to get Harry’s present at Quality Quidditch Supplies. I stood in the middle of the aisle in thought for a few moments before deciding that it would only be polite for me to get presents for the rest of them considering I was going to be spending my Christmas at their house.
After another half-hour of shopping I finally had my arms completely full and a present for each of the Weasleys. I walked quickly over to the counter and dumped all of my items onto it before anybody else in the store could get in front of me. I knew that with Christmas being as close as it was, everybody would be in so much of a hurry that if I got stuck behind them they would probably get in an argument with the sales clerk and I would be there forever.
“Good morning miss,” the woman behind the counter said, sorting through my purchases to calculate the cost.
“Good morning,” I replied, ignoring the fact that it was almost noon already.
“Doing some Christmas shopping I see,” the woman said, folding up the matching orange and black shirts that said ‘Mr. Trouble’ on them that I had picked out for Fred and George.
“Yeah,” I said, watching the presents stack up. “I made Christmas plans this morning and then realized that I hadn’t gotten any of my gifts yet.”
“I see, “ the woman said, placing the last present onto the pile. “Your total comes to thirty-three Galleons, six Sickles and two Knuts.”
I fished the money out of the pouch that I kept my Wizarding money in inside of my purse and putting it into her outstretched hand. Tucking the pouch back into the corner of my purse I zipped the purse back up and grabbed the bags full of my purchases. It took me a moment to get the bags situated on my arm before leaving. I opened the door and hurried through the cold, wanting to get to the rest of the shopping done quickly so that I wouldn’t have to carry the heavy bags any longer. It was only moments before I reached Quality Quidditch Supplies and got into the store quickly so that I could get Harry’s present.
The racks of Quidditch gear surrounded me for a moment before the shop opened up and I could see the many broomsticks on the walls and the accessories on the shelves. It only took me a minute to locate the wooden boxes that held sets of Quidditch balls. Sorting through them I found one that was made of holly and tucked it under my arm. I made my way up to the counter and waited for a moment as a wizened old man bought a broomstick for his granddaughter. It took only minutes and before long I was setting down the box onto the counter.
“Good morning,” I said as I unzipped my purse and brought out the pouch that held my Wizarding money once again.
“Hermione, is that you?” the man behind the counter asked.
Looking up from my purse I found myself staring at the face of Lee Jordan. I recognized him from when we had been at Hogwarts together and I was pretty sure that he had been at some of the Weasley parties that I had gone to with Ron. He had mostly hung out with the twins but that didn’t keep me from recognizing him. I was surprised that he recognized me.
“Lee, how have you been?” I asked, trying not to show how surprised I was that he had recognized me. “Last time I saw you was at Fred and George’s birthday party wasn’t it?”
“Yes, I have been quite busy lately so I haven’t been able to stop over at the Burrow for dinner as much as I would like to,” he said. “Usually when I do have free time spend it attempting to get a girlfriend. I can’t be in neglect of my social life and not go out with my friends when I have the time.”
“Understandable,” I said, nodding. “How’s the whole girlfriend hunt going?”
“Eh, not the best,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Whenever I do get one they break up with me because I am so crazy busy and can’t spend time with them.”
“Well that is kind of a pain isn’t it?” I said, zipping up my purse.
“Yeah it is,” he said. “No worries though. I know that if I become an old bachelor I will always be able to find a wonderful meal at the Burrow. Anyway, your total is eighteen galleons and a sickle.”
“Here you go,” I said, dropping the coins into his hand. “It was nice seeing you again.”
“Nice seeing you too Hermione,” he said as he dropped the money into the register.
Putting the bag on my already laden arms I headed toward the door and out into the cold once more. I leaned against the wall of the shop and debated in my mind whether I wanted to just Apparate home or whether I wanted to go get a hot drink in the Leaky Cauldron. Figuring that I deserved to be able to have a nice hot drink I started to head toward the Leaky Cauldron, kicking up snow wit my quick decisive steps. By the time that I reached the wall to get into the Leaky Cauldron I was shivering despite my coat. With a shaking hand I tapped out the sequence on the bricks, thankful when they melted into the archway and I was able to walk into the warm noisy bar.
Walking across the floorboards whose creaks couldn’t be heard above the din of the bar I started heading toward the bar to talk to Tom. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a head of red hair however and couldn’t keep myself from turning my head to see who it was. My eyes locked with the familiar blue ones that I was so used to seeing every day and I quickly broke the contact, knowing that it was over. Forgetting the drink that I was going to drink I Apparated on the spot back to my apartment, inner turmoil flooding my mind.
The squeezing dark feeling finished and I found myself in front of the table covered with books for my research to help Harry. Dropping the bags on the floor I dropped myself into one of the chairs, opening the books and taking up a quill in hand, hoping to get rid of the thoughts about Ron and more importantly, new thoughts about Charlie.
A/N- Here you go everybody, an update. Not very much action in this chapter but believe me, there are very action-filled chapters ahead. Hope that you liked it. Thanks for reading. Please leave a review!
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