Chapter 4 : Galleons, Books, Wands, and Jokes
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Once they got to Diagon Alley, they first went to Gringotts Bank to get money out of his parent’s vaults. He had never actually been to Gringotts, his dad had always got the money while his mom would wait outside with James, Lily, who was his younger sister, and Albus. Today, however, curiosity overpowered him.
“Hey Dad?” Al called, catching up to him.
“Yes?” he asked, turning around.
“Can I come into Gringotts with you?”
His dad looked surprised at first, but then replied, “Sure.”
Al's dad informed his mom where they were going, and then they started walking towards Gringotts.
Even though Al had never been inside Gringotts, he knew a lot about it. It was the wizard bank, first of all, and it was run by goblins. He also knew it was very, very, hard to break into, unlike muggle banks where you heard of break-ins all the time.
He gaped at everything when he went inside though. It was huge, bigger than he expected. There was a large crystal chandelier, and everything was so fancy. He also thought the goblins looked odd; they had pointy ears and which were very short. They sat on very high desks, but not wooden desks. Albus had never seen a goblin, although he knew his Uncle Bill were friends with some.
His dad nudged him, and whispered, “It’s rude to stare.”
Albus bit his lip and attempted to look like he walked through Gringotts everyday, but it was hard. He found himself glancing at the goblins every few seconds.
They approach one of the desks with a goblin and his Dad said, “I would like to enter my vault.”
The goblin stopped looking at the papers on his desk and stared at his father, as if he expected his father would do something wrong.
Finally, he said, ”Do you have your key?”
“Yes,” his dad said, and dad pulled out a key from his pocket. The goblin took the key and stared at it, as if he thought the key would start yelling, “Forgery! Forgery!” Al shuddered, because he didn’t think he liked goblins very much.
The goblin said, “Follow me,” and started walking. Al and his dad followed, and they approached a cart. All three of them, Albus, his dad, and the goblin, climbed into the cart. It started zooming across the track, with Al’s hair whipping across his face. It was almost as if he were riding one of those muggle roller coasters Aunt Hermione had talked about a few times, even though he had never ridden one.
The cart slowed to a stop, next to a vault. They all climbed out, and the goblin took the key and opened the vault.
Albus gasped. He stared all around the vault, awestruck. There were piles and piles and piles of gold galleons, silver sickles, and bronze knuts. He could probably buy everything in the shops in diagon alley and still have dozens of galleons left. Although muggles paid with pounds and pence, wizards paid with galleons, sickles, and knuts. 29 knuts made up a sickle and 17 sickles made up a galleon.
His father grinned at Albus’s face, and whispered in his ear, “That’s how I looked the first time I saw my vault too.”
“What do you mean?” said Al, confused. “You didn’t have any money. Weren’t you raised my muggles?”
“I was, but my mum and dad left me some money. It wasn’t this much, though. But they still left me a small fortune.”
His dad got some money out and they zoomed on the cart back out of Gringotts, leaving Albus to his very confused thoughts.
They first went inside Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore in Diagon Alley, and James and Albus bought all of their schoolbooks. Lily tagged along beside them, enviously staring at their books. Albus took a bit longer than James, since he needed a lot more things. James spotted Lily staring at Al’s History of Magic book.
“What do you like about history?” teased James. “It’s got to be the most boring subject in the world. Shame we can’t get rid of Binns. He’s a ghost, and also the most boring teacher. I can’t believe you like that stuff.”
Lily looked on the verge of tears when James said that, but then his mom exclaimed very sternly, ”James! Everyone has their own personal interests.” Lily looked a little better after that, but she still looked a little downhearted.
Next, they went to Eeylops Owl Emporium, and Al bought his owl.
Lily kept asking, “Oh Mum, can I please have an owl, oh mum please?”
“But who would you write to?” his mom pointed out. Lily had no answer to that question.
Albus looked around for a little bit, and a small, but not very small, gray owl caught his eye. It hooted at him, almost like it was saying, “Take me! Take me! Take me!”
So Albus did take him. It was very cute, and stared at Albus lovingly. It was hard not to like that owl.
They started walking towards Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, and James started whining, “But it’s so boring there, why do we have to go there?”
Al's mother whispered to his dad, “I’ll take the two of them to happy mouth’s ice cream shop. You can meet us there.” James and Lily had heard this, and started to cheer.
“Can I have mine with whip cream on top?” Lily asked.
“I heard they have a new flavor that tastes like pepperoni pizza!” exclaimed James.
“We’ll meet you at the ice cream shop.” Mom said, waving and leaving the shop, James and Lily trailing behind her.
Madam Malkin, the owner, had him fitted up for his robes. She had lots of assistants though, since she was so old and the shop was one of the best places to get school robes. Still, she was a professional at work and gave Albus and his Dad cheerful waves once they were leaving.
His mom, James, and Lily already had their sundaes when they arrived and were eating them. Albus and his dad both got their sundaes, and Al admired his chocolate chips walking around his ice cream and talking.
Whenever you put them on a spoon, they would scream, “Don’t eat me, please!” Lily didn’t eat any of her chocolate chips because she didn’t want to hurt them.
“You can eat them,” said his mom. “It’s only a spell.” Albus ate them, because mom was right, they were only a spell. But Al could have sworn he saw Lily put hers in her pocket.
“You know,” his dad said suddenly, “When I visited Diagon Alley when I was a kid, this ice cream shop wasn’t here, but it was a different ice cream shop in the same exact spot.”
“What was it?” James asked through a mouthful of pepperoni pizza flavored ice cream.
“It was called Florean Fortescue’s, and he used to give me free ice cream sundaes every half an hour,” his dad replied.
“Every half an hour!” exclaimed James enviously. “Lucky!”
They finished up their ice cream, and walked to the Apothecary to get Albus’s potion ingredients. He saw really fascinating and disgusting things.
“Look, beetle eyes!” exclaimed James. He dragged Lily over there,with Lily looking horrified. Albus got his potion ingredients, and then they walked over to a store that sold cauldrons, and he got a pewter cauldron.
“Just Al’s wand left.” his dad commented.
“And Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes!” exclaimed James.
“And Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes,” his dad agreed.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes was the joke shop by Albus’s uncles that they visited all the time. It was so cool, and very popular.
As they walked to Ollivander’s Wand Shop, they admired the things in the store windows. His mom had to practically drag James away from Quality Quidditch Supplies.
They went inside Ollivander’s Wand shop, and they saw Mr. Ollivander, the owner, standing there.
“Hello Mr. Ollivander.” said his dad, shaking his hand. “How’s your father doing?”
“Not so great, I’m afraid. I’m surprised he even made it to one hundred years. When Voldemort tortured him all those years ago, he became quite weak. ”
Albus knew the older Ollivander was the wandmaker that had made his father’s wand and so many other adults, but after Voldemort tortured him, (Albus had no idea why) he had never resumed the shop and instead turned it over to his son.
Mr. Ollivander turned to James and said, ”I believe your wand was dogwood…eleven and a half inches…what was your core again?”
“Dragon Heartstring.” responded James.
“Ah, that’s right. I haven’t inherited my father’s memory I’m afraid. Well, well. I believe here to get young Mr. Albus Potter’s wand?” Mr. Ollivander turned to Albus, and he nodded.
“Very well. Mr. Potter, if you will please come over here.”
Albus knew how the routine went, because he saw James get his wand last year. James only had to try three wands until he found a match, but his dad said he tried nearly half the shop. He hoped he wouldn’t have to stay there that long. Everyone was told as children “the wand chooses the wizard”. You had to hold every wand in the shop until one ‘chose’ you.
“Hold out your wand arm.” said Mr. Ollivander, and Al held his left, because unlike most wizards, he was left-handed.
“Oh, a lefty?” exclaimed Mr. Ollivander. “Let’s see how this wand will do.” said Mr. Ollivander, holding out a wand. “It is ten inches, hawthorn, dragon heartstring.”
Remembering when James blasted part of Mr. Ollivander’s desk, Albus opened the box with caution. He put the wand in his hand and did a light flick, and it blasted a hole in the floor. Horrified, he placed his wand on the table.
“Oh dear.” sighed Mr. Ollivander, and he quickly repaired the floor with his wand.
“Now try this one, and it is twelve and a half inches, reed, and it has a unicorn hair….”
Albus kept trying and trying, but he kept making a mess. He continued trying wands, and they stayed for well over an hour. James and Lily became fidgety and whiny. Finally, after trying at least a hundred wands, Mr. Ollivander pulled out a box that was a weird yellow color.
Ollivander said to Albus, “I usually don’t give this type of wand to many people, since it is hard to learn its loyalty, but I do give it to my tricky costumers. It’s elder, phoenix tail feather, nine and a quarter inches, and slightly bendy.”
Albus wondered when he would find a wand that matched. This one looked no different. To his surprise, however, he felt sudden warmth in his fingers and a few sparks flew out of his wand.
His family cheered for him, and his Dad paid for his wand.
His dad said to Mr. Ollivander as they were leaving the shop, “Elder? That’s surprising.”
Mr. Ollivander nodded. “That’s probably the rarest wood type I work with. Interesting, but not terribly surprising, because of your family’s history. I’ll see you soon when Lily comes!”
“Now can we go to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes?” James asked his mom as they walked out.
“Yes,” she said.
Albus wasn’t a huge practical joker, not like James, but he still planned to spend a few galleons there.
James, Albus, and Lily all ran inside Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. Al saw shelves and shelves of wonderful things, but he had no idea what he wanted to buy. Just then, Albus spotted Uncle Ron shelving some more Skiving Snackboxes, which were treats that looked like candy but actually made you ill.
“Uncle Ron!” Albus called, squeezing through the crowds of people towards Uncle Ron. The rest of his family heard him too, and they walked over to Uncle Ron also.
“Hello Al,” said Uncle Ron, hugging him.
“Oooh, I want a skiving snackbox,” said James, eying the shelf.
“Harry! How are you?” exclaimed Uncle Ron. Al turned around and saw his Dad.
“I’m fine, Ron. How are you?”
“I’m fine. Hermione and I are bringing the kids to Diagon Alley tomorrow.”
Albus wasn’t going to let his dad and Uncle Ron monopolize the conversation. Adults were boring.
“Uncle Ron, look, I got my wand!” Albus exclaimed.
“Wow. What type of wand is it?”
“Mr. Ollivander said it was elder and phoenix tail feather.”
“Uncle Ron!” exclaimed James, pushing Al out of the way, “Is Uncle George here?”
“Yes, he is, but he’s attending to some costumers right now.”
Albus began to walk around, and wished he could buy the whole shop. After much looking around and adding up of numbers in his head, he finally decided to get a reusable hangman and a shield cloak, and would still have money left over. Al thought it would be pretty funny if he challenged a wand duel to James while wearing a shield cloak.
James, meanwhile, had been saving a lot more money than Al. He saw James purchase one pair of extendable ears, two skiving snackboxes, five ton-tongue toffees, and one package of Weasleys’ Wildfire Whiz-bangs.
“Blimey,” said Lily, staring at all the things James bought. “You must have had a lot of money.”
James grinned and said, “I’m broke now.”
Lily only bought a pygmy puff, which is a small, fluffy pet. Lily named hers Pinkie, because it was pink.
“Aren’t they so cute!” Lily exclaimed, cuddling Pinkie.
“Stupid name,” James muttered, and it was lucky Lily didn’t hear or she would probably burst into tears.
His mom bought smart answer, self-inking, and spell checking quills for Albus and James, claiming that they were useful.
When the five Potters walked out with full bags, Lily asked, “Can we please walk around shopping some more?”
His mom and dad agreed, and they walked down Diagon Alley. They walked down the alley, peeking into shops. Lily finally convinced his mom to buy her a copy of History of Magic.
Finally, they arrived home by using Floo powder. Albus brought all the stuff he bought to his room. He admired it all while he thought of what to name his owl.
He thought he should probably name it after someone who had died in the Battle of Hogwarts, and he preferred they would be in Gryffindor house. Gryffindor? Suddenly, Albus had a wonderful idea.
Al sprinted down the stairs. “Dad, Dad!” he called. “I have the perfect name for my owl!”
His dad eagerly looked up. “Yes?”
“Godric. After Godric Gryffindor. Isn’t that the perfect name?”
Thanks to MaragaretLane for reviewing! I hope you liked my flashback.
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