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Chapter 2 : Diagon Alley
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Then she came across of familiar envelope she had not seen since youth. It looked old and worn yet new at the same time, as though it hadn't been touched. She twisted it in her smooth, fare hands. She knew what it was. Her heart pounded excitedly. It was like she was a child again.
Lily turned the letter so as to read the address on the front. Her heart leapt again. It was addressed to her son. Right down to the writing stating: Second Bedroom
Above her, four year old Ella began to cry. She had put her to sleep in the hope that Lily could gain some peace and quiet for a couple of hours. It clearly had not worked.
Ella had her mother's auburn hair and her father's hazel eyes but other than that there was no way of telling which she looked more like. She was much like her brother, Harry and from a young age had developed a flare for Quidditch. She, however was more reverent and didn't seem to nag as much as him.
Lily slowly made her way up the stairs, Harry's letter in her hand. She stood on the platform and could hear the crying coming from the room to her far right. Lily swiftly made her way across the wall and into the room.
She was on shock when she found her son staring up at his sister curiously as she twirled in mid-air. Harry noticed his mother and ceased gazing at his sister. Immediately she tumbled down on top of the bed and started crying again. Lily ran over to her, glaring at Harry.
“I didn't mean too!” he protested as she began to scold him.
“Clearly you did something!” Lily said, kissing Ella on top of the head as soft tears dripped onto her shirt.
“She came into my room and completely destroyed it!” Harry shouted, pointing at his sister.
“Maybe you could stop making conclusions because it was me who came into your room to find my wand which you hid!” Lily said appraisingly.
“And what, you don't clean it up?” Harry said, indicating outside the room and across the small landing where the contents of Harry's room could been seen looking as though a Niffler had been through them.
“You know I was actually going to but now that you said that, you can clean it up!” she shouted.
As Harry began to stomp out of Ella's room and into the other he did a double-take. “What's that?” he asked roughly, pointing at the letter in Lily's hand.
“You can have it when you learn to be a responsible wizard,” Lily said as she picked up Ella and led her downstairs.
James arrived home late that night. He looked much more strained and stressed than ever before. Lily constantly worried about him. She thought he might be overworking himself and he looked as though he would prefer to be anywhere but Quidditch.
“How was practice?” she said as she passed the roast lamb around the table.
“Average,” he replied, pouring gravy over his food. “Coach is overworking us way too much,” he explained.
“I honestly don't see where the stress comes from for him,” Lily said, kissing her husband on the cheek and sitting down.
“Neither, we're winning, what do we need to train that hard for?” James wondered aloud.
“He'll have his reasons – Harry!” Lily shrieked as he accidentally split the gravy all over himself and the cat.
“I'm sorry!” Harry said, trying but failing to scoop up the murky brown sauce. Lily rolled her eyes at James.
“Here,” she said, getting her wand out and pointing it at Harry and the cat in turn while saying “Scourgify”.
“Thanks Mum,” said Harry sheepishly, clearly remembering his bad temper earlier in the day.
“Well now that you've used your manners you can have this,” she smiled, passing him the envelope which she had placed in her pocket for safekeeping.
“Hogwarts!” he said excitedly as he ripped it open and read the contents. “What animal can I get?” he asked his parents.
“Why don't we have a look when we go to Diagon Alley,” Lily said gently, trying to calm her son down. “You won't be able to come will you James?”
“Probably not,” James answered, looking downcast.
“Oh well,” said Lily. “I don't have time this week but we'll go down maybe next Monday?”
“Yes!” Harry said, excitement mounting. Lily felt a small pang in her heart at the thought of her son leaving her.
It had been a very busy few weeks at the Potter's home. The Order had been frantic as they heard of Voldemort being back in Britain.
“What are we going to do?!” Dedalus Diggle had wondered shrilly during the rather noisy meeting at Moody's house one evening.
“We'll do a right lot more if you stop asking that bleeding question,” Moody said warningly to restore peace to the room. It had been a long night.
From what everyone gathered, people were disappearing more often than they really should have. Everyone was once again scared to go out in public at the thought that Voldemort might kill them. The Order had decided to just try and keep peace in everything they did; to not act any different to how they normally would.
So, like Lily promised, she brought Harry to Diagon Alley the next day. They look the London underground and after many complaints from Harry of it taking too long, they found themselves outside the Leaky Cauldron.
“Is this it?!” Harry asked excitedly.
“Yup,” Lily said, smiling at her son's extraordinary enthusiasm. They marched inside.
“Mrs Potter!” Tom the barman exclaimed as she entered the bar with Harry. Everyone turned around to stare at her as she made her way to the courtyard leading to Diagon Alley,
“Hello Tom,” she said kindly, ignoring the stares as they left the bar. Apparently being a famous Quidditch player's family made you famous too. They found the courtyard was not empty. Standing in front of them were four people. Lily recognised one of them from the sharp bun at the back of her head.
“Minerva!” she said, before the lady had time to touch a brick on the opposite wall with her hand. The four of them turned around. They looked like muggles except for the one lady in witch's robes.
“Mrs Potter!” the lady said in turn, as she went up to her to say hello.
As his mother and the rather sharp looking lady exchanged news, Harry stared at the three muggles at the other end of the courtyard. They looked rather friendly. It was clearly two parents and their daughter. The parents looked kind enough, though they dressed rather neatly. Their daughter had bushy brown hair, prominent front teeth and wore a neat little dress and coat.
“Hello,” she said brightly, bouncing over to Harry and shaking his hand.
“Hi,” Harry said, rather bewildered.
“What's your name? I'm Hermione Granger,” she said quickly.
“Harry,” said Harry, “Harry Potter.” Hermione smiled.
“Come on Hermione darling,” said her mother as Lily turned to Harry and went to tap the brick.
They entered Diagon Alley. Extraordinary was an understatement. Diagon Alley was lined with all sort of interesting buildings. There was a Quidditch supplies store and an apothecary. There was place to even get ice cream. Harry stared in awe at everything in front of him. He could see at the very end of the lines of shops, a great white marble building which towered over everything else.
“Are we going there Mum?” he asked, pointing to the great building at the far end.
“No I don't think so darling,” she said, dragging him to the nearest apothecary. Harry and Hermione mumbled quick goodbyes.
“I'll see you at Hogwarts,” she called, waving her hand at him.
“Why aren't we going into that building Mum?” Harry asked.
“Oh that's Gringotts, the bank,” she answered. “I've already got enough gold on me.”
It was a rather long process, buying everything. It seemed to take forever, buying robes and different supplies. All Harry wanted was to get his wand and an owl but according to his mother, they needed to get his school books and robes first.
It felt like forever, therefore when they finally entered the small building, it's shelves lined with wands. Harry held a great snowy white owl in his arms as he made his way into Ollivander's wand shop.
Mr Ollivander was a rather confronting man and was in his element. He whipped out a tape measure faster than anyone could say “wand” and he seemed to have measured every inch of Harry's body in under five minutes. Soon Mr Ollivander came out with a wand.
“Give this one a wave, Phoenix Feather, Willow, Twelve and a Quarter Inches,” he said, staring at Harry in anticipation. Harry lifted the wand gently from its silk casing and held it in his hand. It felt warm and somewhat comforting.
He waved it.
Everyone gasped in shock as a beautiful cascade of colours bursted from its tip and lit up the small dingy shop. Even passers-by outside stopped to stare at the going-ons inside the shop.
“Incredible!” Mr Ollivander muttered when the sparks had died down. “No one's ever gained their wand on their first trial.” Harry turned to look at his mother who smiled at him encouragingly. Harry beamed. It felt like he really did have something special.
Harry and his mother took a seat in Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour and she enthusiastically crossed off the wand from the list. Harry smiled even more than in Ollivander's shop.
“So are you excited?” she said as their ice creams arrived and they began eating.
“Yeah,” said Harry, grinning.
“What do you reckon your favourite subject's gonna be?” she asked him.
“Probably flying lessons,” he said excitedly.
“Flying lessons?” his mum inquired.
“Yeah, I wanna be a famous Quidditch player like Dad!” said Harry proudly, accidentally smearing chocolate ice cream all over his face.
“Those are quite big shoes to fill,” she said.
“Dad'll train me!” he said excitedly.
“Oh he will will he?” Lily laughed.
“Yup,” he said, licking his ice cream.
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