“I suppose we should get you a wand first,” said Hogrod. “What do you think?” He took Larry’s excitable jumping up and down as a yes, so they made their way over to Ollivander’s wand shop.
A tinkling bell sounded as Larry pushed open the door of the dark, dusty wand shop. He walked gingerly up to the counter and called out, “Hello?”
A door to what Larry assumed was a store room, cracked open a, um, crack and a pair of bright blue eyes poked round the door. Not just the eyes, obviously, it was a whole face, or that would have been freaky. The eyes, the face and the rest of the body came in through the door, although it wasn’t human eyes, face or body. He was as tall as an average man, but his body was green and scaled. He had spikes running down his back and down his tail. It wasn’t a man, but a…
“DRAGON!!!” Larry yelled at the top of his voice. “Hogrod! Hogrod! Quick! Do something! There’s a dragon in the shop! DRAGONNN!!!!!”
He hurriedly flung open the door and ran back into the street, bowling Hogrod over in the process.
Hogrod stumbled up and followed Larry out of the shop. “Larry! Get back here! All the shops are run by dragons, that’s why it’s Dragon Alley. They’re just like people! Now get back in that shop and apologise!”
Larry walked back into the shop with his head bowed in shame. “Sorry, Mr Dragon,” he said quietly.
“That’s quite alright boy. It happens often. At least, that’s what Grandpa Ollivander said, I’ve only been working here for a day. He’s a bit too old and senile to run the shop now so I’ve taken over. He thinks he’s a rabbit these days. Not good, not good… I’ve made a few minor changes around here, but everything is essentially the same. Anyway! Enough chit-chat! You’re here to buy aren’t you?” He scrutinised Larry closely. “Ah, yes, I think I have just the thing for you.” He disappeared down one of the aisles lined with shelves and returned a few moments later with a long, thin box tucked under his arm. He passed it over to Larry, who just stared at it.
“Come on, Larry, open it! We don’t have all day!” Hogrod said, looking at his watch. Larry carefully lifted the lid, to find… a pink polka dot umbrella.
“Um, are you crazy or something? This is an umbrella!” Larry said to Ollivander Jr.
“Well of course it is, boy! What did you expect to find at Brolly-vanders?” replied the dragon.
“Brolly-vanders? It’s been Ollivander’s for as long as I can remember, and it has always sold wands!” Hogrod exclaimed.
“I told you I made some minor changes! I just haven’t got round to changing the sign outside yet. Well, if this doesn’t suit your needs,” he said, gesturing toward the umbrella, “I can find you something else.” He disappeared down a different aisle, this time for longer. He finally came back, armed with another box. “Here.”
Larry took the box and opened it. “This is another umbrella.”
“I know some boys are a bit wary of pink, don’t want to seem girly and what not, so I found this. The green lace will set off your eyes beautifully.”
“My eyes are blue.”
Ollivander Jr looked into his face. “Ah! So they are!”
Larry sighed. “Please sir! I don’t want an umbrella!” he said, exasperated.
“Say no more, say no more. I’ll find you just the thing” he disappeared once more, this time returning with a squarer box.
Larry opened the box and pulled out the contraption that was inside. “Okay, what is this?” he said, eyebrows raised.
“It’s an umbrella hat! See, just put it on your head,” he roughly forced it onto Larry’s head to demonstrate, “and it keeps you dry, but your hands are free to do jigsaws or whatever else takes your fancy!”
Hogrod had to bite his lip to keep the giggles escaping at the sight of Larry wearing this ridiculous umbrella hat.
“Hmm, I don’t think that’s quite right, I’ll see if we have it in a purple…” he turned to walk away but Larry’s shout stopped him in his tracks.
“Right! I have had enough! I don’t want an umbrella. I don’t want an umbrella hat. I just want…”
“How about a very fetching plastic rain hat? They come in an assortment of colours…”
“I DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO PROTECT ME FROM THE RAIN! Please!!! I just want a wand!!!”
“Oh, a wand! Well why didn’t you say! My grandfather used to sell wands here, before he though he was a rabbit. I have one or two wands left in the store room. Just wait there; I won’t be a minute…”
He returned one last time with a very long, very thin wand.
“Here, give it a wave.”
Larry gladly took the wand and waved it half-heartedly. A cluster of multi-coloured sparks appeared and whizzed around the room, brightening up the shop.
“I’m a wizard!!!” his grin spread across the whole of his face, and his eyes lit up. “I’m a wizard!”
Still reeling from the fact that he actually performed actual magic he paid for his wand and started to walk out of the shop.
“Hogrod? Are you coming?”
“Um, just wait outside for me for a minute Larry, I’m just going to have a word with this man,” Hogrod said hesitantly.
“Um, okay” Larry walked out, confused.
Hogrod joined him five minutes later, making an effort to conceal something from Larry’s view.
“Hogrod? What’s that? Behind your back, what are you hiding?”
The object fell from Hogrod’s grip and as it hit the ground the lid flung open.
He had purchased the pink polka dot brolly from the crazy, fire-breathing, shop-keeper.
“It was just so pretty! I couldn’t resist!” Hogrod attempted to explain.
“Hmm… well, come on, I still need lots of things for school.” He walked up the cobbled street, with Hogrod skipping beside him, proudly brandishing his new umbrella in the air.
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