Memories & the Secret of Hogwarts
Chapter 2 — Back to Diagon Alley
Harry woke up early this morning he was excited because Ron, Fred, and George were coming over as they had been unable to make it for Harry and Neville’s birthday as originally planned. In fact both Neville and Harry had been a bit upset that they hadn’t received as much as a letter wishing them Happy Birthday.
It was actually the day after Harry’s birthday that they found out why the letter they did get were few and far. Harry had woke up after the ‘family’ get together Gran had thrown together to find a dirty looking house elf. At first glance Harry assumed it was one of the Longbottom elves, but the few times Harry had seen them they had been clean and less twitchy.
The house elf introduced himself as Dobby and proceeded to bang his head against one of Harry’s bedposts because he had been asked to sit down like an equal. Harry made the offhand comment that he must not have met some very good people because both he and Neville treated the Longbottom house elves with nothing but respect and care. When the elf agreed he once again started to hurt himself only this time he was closing his head in the door of Harry’s clothes cupboard.
Needless to say the entire conversation didn’t go very well. Dobby wanted Harry to not return to Hogwarts this coming September as there is expected danger. Harry wanted to laugh as his entire life seemed to be nothing but one danger after another and if he just stopped living he would never get anywhere. He explained that Hogwarts was his home and that not returning is not an option.
Dobby tried to stop him by preforming magic around him and disappearing before Harry could tell him not to. Harry stood there for a few minutes waiting for notice from the ministry for him using magic outside out of school. Later that day Harry told Neville and he laughed. Neville explained that the ministry had no way to determine who it was that preformed magic inside this house. That if he had been at the Dursleys he would have been blamed for the use of magic because there are no qualified witches or wizards at that place.
Harry couldn’t help that it sounded a bit unfair to muggle born children because students that lived with a magical parent could use magic outside of school. Neville shook his head and told Harry that it fell of the parent’s responsibility to enforce the law. Harry could see how that would work at least in Neville and his case as there was no way Gran was going to let then get away with magic outside of school.
Harry smiled as he reached the breakfast table. Neville held up a letter Harry recognized as his Hogwarts letter. Harry opened the letter and pulled out the book list. As Harry stared at the list he couldn’t help think of the dream he had last night which was more of a jumble of moments with one person and they didn’t depict a very appealing picture.
Harry was staring in line waiting with Ron and the Weasley’s. A reporter had just stepped on Ron’s foot and Ron said, “Big deal” to the reporter’s non apologetic reply about the picture being for the Daily Prophet. The blond haired man sitting at a table surrounded by winking pictures of himself and a sign that said ‘Book signing today! Gilderoy Lockhart’ looked up at Ron as if he couldn’t believe that someone thought he was anything other than a big deal. He looked at Ron and then Harry. When he saw Harry, Lockhart jumped to his feet and shouted for everyone to hear, “It can’t be Harry Potter!”
Before Harry knew what was happening Lockhart dived through the crowd and pulled Harry by the arm and to the front. Lockhart wrapped an arm around Harry’s shoulder and said, “Nice big smile Harry. Together you and I are worth the front page.”
Harry was then sitting the defense classroom trying to hide behind a stack of all seven of Lockhart’s books. Lockhart started to talk about himself and about all the things he had accomplished in his books. He then proceeded to hand out what could only be described as the most ridicules test had ever heard of.
Lockhart wanted to know who knew things like what Lockhart’s favorite color was or when his birthday was. After the test Lockhart proceeded to uncover a large cage. The cage held a swarm of Cornish Pixies. It wasn’t long after Lockhart released the pixies that there was nothing but chaos and when he tried the stop the pixies with a spell that had no effect at all that his wand was stolen from him and thrown out the window.
Needless to say when Harry, Hermione, and Ron were left to round up the pixies Ron and Harry had figured out that Lockhart was nothing but a fraud while Hermione seemed to give him the benefit of the doubt claiming some hands on experience.
Harry shook his head out of the memories and couldn’t help but think that this year’s book list was going to be nothing but a waste of money. Harry already a copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 so he wouldn’t need that and might even be able to talk Gran out of going to Flourish and Blotts at all when they went to get school supplies.
“Look at this list,” Harry said to Neville. “It’s not only expensive, I’d snap my wand in half if he did even a tenth of the things in claims.” Neville laughed before he saw how serious Harry was.
“Really?” Neville asked.
Harry told Neville that he was completely serious and that Harry couldn’t think of one thing about Gilderoy Lockhart that said anything other than that he was an attention seeking fraud.
After breakfast Ron, Fred, and George arrived and they headed outside to play a pickup game of Quidditch. Harry agreed to take both Ron and Neville on his team in a 3 on 2 game.
Harry managed to keep his team from being completely destroyed but only barley. Harry could tell that Neville would one day come to enjoy a good pickup game but he would never play with the competitive edge Harry truly enjoyed. Ron on the other had didn’t have much in the ways of a talent but he made up for it with a general knowledge and love of the game. He could already tell that Ron could one day play on the Gryffindor team with a bit of hard work. He also made sure to point out to the twins every little mistake they made.
As they were leaving that evening they all agreed to meet up next week in Diagon Alley to get supplies.
The morning of the 19th Gran gathered Harry and Neville around the fireplace in the entrance hall. She was explaining to Harry how the floo worked. Harry was a bit nervous but tried not to show it. Neville went first and then Harry climbed into the floo, threw the powder, and very clearly said “Diagon Alley.”
It was an experience like nothing he had experienced before. Harry wasn’t sure which method of wizarding travel he preferred less the floo or apparition. They both were rather unpleasant ways of travel but Harry could also see how the convenience could make up for the unpleasantness.
Harry managed to make it to the Leaky Cauldron’s floo exit without any issues. Staying on his feet upon exist was an entirely different situation. Harry did manage to not break any bones or his glasses but he did land on someone.
Harry saw nothing by flowing red hair and smelt the most pleasant flowery smell. He heard a small squeak almost like a small mouse. Harry pulled himself up on his forearms and looked down at the person and even with her panicked expression he could see that she would grow up to be the most beautiful person both inside and out.
As he looked down at her he could feel a connection unlike anything he had ever felt. He could tell that his world would one day soon revolve around her very person. It was then that he realized he was lying on top of her just staring. Harry felt his checks redden and he quickly climbed off top of her. He held out a hand to help her to her to her feet.
Harry helped her to her feet and said, “Sorry for falling for you.” Her face seemed to become even redder than it already was. Once she was on her feet Harry’s brain finally caught what his mouth had said and stuttered a correction. “I… meant sorry for falling ON you. I’m Harry.”
“I’m Ginny.” She replied and stuck her hand out. Harry took her hand and he felt a shook enter his body. It was almost like the world had stopped and everything that mattered before her was not as important as it was previously.
Harry could see a future with her when he caught a brief glance of her when he was getting on the train back when he was getting off the train back in June. Now holding her hand everything made perfect sense. Her laughs filled his mind and he found himself in a completely new place. Looking around, it was wasn’t anywhere he had ever remembered being but it felt like home. More home than Hogwarts, the Dursely’s, or Longbottom Manor ever felt. It was warm and he had a feeling of peace he had never experienced before.
Harry was broken from his musing when Ginny, whose hand Harry suddenly realized he was still holding let out another squeak. Harry let go of her hand and mumbled another apology. Harry looked over at Neville and found him hold in a laugh. Harry smiled at his friend and let out a laugh. At first Ginny was surprised about Harry laughing at the situation but as soon as she looked at the people around them she to let out an amused giggle. Laughter filled the room around them. Harry still laughing looked at Ginny and thought she couldn’t look any more beautiful.
After they calmed down they all headed out into the alley. The first stop was Gringotts. Mrs. Weasley, Gran, Neville, and Harry all headed inside the Bank while Mr. Weasley stayed outside with the rest of the Weasleys. Harry was a bill surprised that Mrs. Weasley didn’t insist that the others come into the bank like Gran did with Neville.
After the bank Mrs. Weasley said that she was going to take Ginny to get her robes and other school supplies saying they would all meet up at Flourish and Blotts. Harry had no desire to make his way to the book store and meet the blond haired idiot. Harry stopped at the apothecary and refreshed his potion supplies as well as some that weren’t on the normal list. Harry and Neville both needed to be refitted for robes as they both had grown a bit since the previous year. After they were fitted for robes they stopped for ice cream. Harry told them that he needed to get some new gloves for Quidditch.
Ron stood outside staring at the Chudley Canon robe in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies while Harry, Fred, and George all headed inside. Harry immediately walked over to the gloves and started to try some on to find the right fit. It took him almost a full ten minutes to find a good fit. When he was done he saw both Fred and George over at the brooms discussing the pros and cons of the new Nimbus 2001.
Harry walked over and looked at the new broom. He called over the sales rep and asked to see the broom. The witch looked at him for a moment or two before taking the broom down. Harry looked at the broom. Harry ran his hand along its sleek handle. He could feel that it was faster than the 2000 but Harry didn’t care for the brooms coloring. He didn’t mean to be picky but if the broom had more natural coloring like the 2000 he would have been tempted to buy one but its black and silver design reminded Harry of Slytherin house colors with their green and silver.
Harry handed the broom back and thanked the witch. He headed over to the register. Harry paid for his gloves and headed out with Fred and George closely behind him. Everyone laden with supplies met up in front of Flourish and Blotts.