Chapter 2 : Diagon Alley
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The first thing that Nathaniel did when Astrid walked into the house was introduce her to his wife, Leah Potter. She was a thin kind looking women with her brown hair up in a messy bun. Leah then lead Astrid up the stairs and showed her to her new room where the walls were painted lavender and the floor was made up of a white furry carpet. The silky bed was large enough to fit a baby dragon and tiny twinkling white orbs floated near the ceiling like fireflies.
After a nice warm shower, a good shave using Patricia's Witch Shaving Lotion (which instructed her to smear it on the desired hair removal area and the hair would vanish completely), and a hair cut that consisted of straight bangs and a foot of dead hair being removed, she was ready for bed. Astrid curled up in her large new warm bed and snuggled her many pillows. For the first time a very deep peaceful sleep overcame her.
Breakfast was made deliciously by Leah, eggs, toast, waffles, and orange juice. Astrid was biting into an exceptionally good piece of toast when there was a loud commotion outside of the kitchen door, closely followed by two teenage boys. Both were tall with black hair, James was easy to spot between the two because he had his father's untidy dark hair and his mother's hazel eyes. The other boy must've been Sirius Black, James's best mate, as Leah had explained.
Sirius stopped abruptly in the doorway, James crashed in behind him and peered over his mate's shoulder through his rectangular glasses.
“Boys, don't stare, that's rude!” Leah hissed under her breath at the two. They elbowed each other and then took a seat across the table side by side.
Nathaniel, who was reading The Daily Prophet, which had been owled earlier that morning, spoke up, “James, Sirius, this is Astrid Night, she'll be staying here for a while.”
The two boys mumured hello and ate their breakfast as if joined at the hip. Astrid hadn't eaten so much in her life that she was filled up after two pieces of toast and a portion of her eggs. Right after she finished her cup of orange juice a blur of feathers rushed through the open back doors. A brown barn owl fluttered onto the back of an empty chair and held out a roll of parchment with a sharp taloned foot. Leah reached her hand out and took the letter from the owl and then handed the bird part of some toast, which it nibbled on gratefully before soaring back out through the doors.
Leah let out an exasperated sigh, “Nathan, we're needed at the Ministry. There's been another attack, over in Oxford this time. Five dead. They have one survivor who managed to knock out a Death Eater. I'm sorry James, but can you and Sirius take Astrid to Diagon Alley? She needs her new things for school.”
So it was settled. When Nathaniel and Leah left for the Ministry the two boys introduced Astrid to Floo Powder. She enjoyed the bright green warm flames that roared to life when the powder was thrown into the orange fire. But the sensation of being sucked through a tight tube was very discomforting.
“So I suppose we go get your wand first? Prongs and I need to get our stuff too so we'll do that when you're done with your's.” Sirius said and looked down the cobble street of Diagon Alley. Being so near to September first, many young witches and wizards crowded the stores to get their possessions for their new year at Hogwarts.
But unlike the streets the store that belonged to the wand master, Ollivander, was empty. The old wizard himself was perched behind the counter, his bright eyes peering down into a thin long box. With a closer look Astrid noticed a very dark wand with beautiful engravings all over it was spitting out purple sparkles inside the box.
“Peculiar, very, very peculiar...” he was muttering under his breath. His watery eyes snapped upwards as she entered, James and Sirius at her heels. “It's you!”
Astrid stepped back anxiously as Ollivander hurried to her, he mumbled nonsense as he dragged her to the counter and handed her the wand he had been inspecting a moment ago.
“Give it a wave my dear.” he instructed. Astrid, whom has never held a wand before, gave it a gently swish. The room exploded with bright sparkling lights of many assorted colors.
James quickly gave Ollivander the money and ushered her out of the store with her new wand in a shopping bag.
“That was much quicker than I remember.” said Sirius, his gray eyes darkening. He shook his head and pointed at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. She was quickly fitted for her Hogwarts robes and then they proceeded down the street.
After the three got the rest of their equipment for their sixth year at Hogwarts they sat outside of the Leaky Cauldron at a vacant table eating lunch. Astrid was eating a few french fries with ketchup when she felt someone's eye on her. She looked up and across the street was a pretty girl with dark red hair. Her eyebrows were furrowed and she spoke to two girls beside her, one with short dark brown hair and a round face, the other was a tall blonde.
“Lily!” called James, his eyes brightening. “Come join us!”
The red head scowled and shouted, “I won't ever join you Potter! Enjoy your evening with your girlfriend!” she glared one last time and disappeared into a shop called Madam Primpernelle's Beautifying Potions.
Astrid reddened and lost her appetite, but Sirius continued eating like nothing had happened. James grumbled and ran a hand through his already messy hair.
“Who was that?” Astrid asked, her voice quiet from not being used often.
“Lily Evans, Prongs's true love. She's super smart but sometimes I think she needs to take that pole out of her arse.” Sirius snorted out his food as James smacked him upside the head.
Astrid turned her gaze back to the witch's shop and a thought came to her. What house was she going to be sorted into when she arrived at Hogwarts? She felt that she should be in Gryffindor because that's where James and his friends were in and they were the only ones she knew that attended the school.
“SIRI!” someone screeched, there was a clank of bangles and necklaces and someone threw themselves on top of Sirius.
Astrid was use to abnormal and annoying people in Azkaban. But this girl seemed to get on her nerves a lot. Her hair was dyed blonde and fried. The frizzy hair looked as if it had been straightened everyday of her life that it was completely dead. Her hair was large and was at least three inches wide from her scalp. It looked as if she had too many fake hair pieces, which she probably did. She wore a short teal shirt with a low cut tight pink top. Dozens of bracelets and necklaces that Astrid thought they must weigh her down a lot.
“Gretchen, hey.” grinned Sirius.
“Do you like my new boots?” Gretchen asked and kicked up one of her legs where a black boot was place over her foot, the heel was so high it looked as if she was standing on her toes.
Sirius let out a low whistle. “Those are something...”
Gretchen's eyes darted to her, they were very dilated and the bright blue looked fake. She was wearing contacts. Her perfectly arched eyebrows furrowed together and immediately thought of many flaws Astrid possessed.
“Who's this? Why are you hanging out with her?” she nagged. “I mean c'mon Siri look at her, she's like a skeleton and she looks as if she hasn't seen the sun in years! Black hair is so not in these days and straight bangs are diffidently last year! And who needs curly hair when you can have straight sexy hair like me? Ugh, and those boobs, I bet they aren't even real!”
James awkwardly sipped his drink while Sirius touched his smooth black hair in offense. Astrid pursed her lips and growled under her breath. She knew how to control her anger. What else was there to do in a prison besides work on your flaws? But appearance was never one of them. Astrid breathed out through her nose heavily and shot daggers at the fake blonde.
She shot up out of her chair and darted inside of the Leaky Cauldron where several fire grates were set up for quick Floo travel. She grabbed a hand full of the powder and flung it into the hearth. “Potter Manor!” Astrid stepped into the fireplace and closed her eyes tight. The terrible sensation of Floo travel felt way better than having to stomach being near Gretchen.
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