Chapter IV: A Shopping Trip and Transformation

Chapter IV: A Shopping Trip and Transformation

A Chapter by Ashleigh
"

With his new wealth, Harry hits Diagon Alley and gives himself a whole new appearance.

"

                Harry just finished packing all his belongings into his trunk. He grabbed Hedwig’s cage and went to walk out of his room, but dear cousin Dudley barred the exit.

                “Where do you think you’re going?” he sneered.

                “What’re you, uncle Vernon?” Harry snapped. “It doesn’t matter where I’m going. Get out of the way!” he reached into his pocket for his wand. It had the desired effect on Dudley. He squealed like a pig and bolted. Harry chuckled to himself as he dragged all his stuff down the stairs to the front door.

                “I suppose you’re not coming back, then,” Aunt Petunia said to him as he put his hand on the doorknob.

                “No,” he said simply before leaving Number Four forever. It would be ridiculous to try and fly his broom to Ottery St. Catchpole with his entire luggage he thought to himself. He’d take the Knight Bus. He got to the end of the street and held out his wand hand. Within seconds, the purple double-decker bus was parked in front of him. He climbed aboard.

                “Hey, Ern! It’s ‘Arry Potter!”

                “Hullo, Stan,” Harry replied. He liked Stan, but he could be rather annoying at times.

                “Where to today, 'Arry? Diagon Alley again?” he asked excitedly.

                “Actually, I was hoping you could stop at Ottery St. Catchpole first so I can drop off my luggage, and then take me to Diagon Alley. I can pay extra for it.” Stan shrieked with laughter.

                “’Choo think we are? Crooks? O’ course we can take you, no extra charge needed,” Stan declared proudly.

                “Thanks, Stan,” Harry said gratefully. He was glad he didn’t have to pay extra. He wasn’t sure he had enough wizard gold on him at the time to pay the extra fee. He smirked to himself, thinking of the vast riches that awaited him in Gringotts. It was enough to make Draco Malfoy's head spin. Come to think of it, he should probably find out about the marriage contract between Bellatrix and Rudolphus. That had been a shock to everyone, and his curiosity had always gotten the best of him. He'd check it out when he stopped by Gringotts. He was suddenly jolted out of his thoughts. The poufy armchair he was sitting in was slipping and sliding all over the bus from all the pops and bangs the bus was emitting regularly.

                "Here we are 'Arry!" Stan announced. "Ottery St. Catchpole. Blimey, tha's a big house, eh Ern?" Stan said in awe. "Wonder 'oo lives there." Harry turned to look out the window and his jaw dropped! Standing tall in the distance was the largest, darkest mansion Harry had ever seen; his mansion. Stan obviously didn't realize this was where Harry was going to drop off his luggage, and Harry did not let him in on the secret.

                "Thanks for the ride," Harry said as he dropped a few sickles into Stan's hand.

                "No problem, 'Arry! Anytime!" Stan declared. Harry stepped off the bus and slowly started dragging his luggage up the winding road to the vast mansion that was now his. As he got closer, he let out a low whistle. Not only was this house dark and massive, it was gothic as well. The entire house was covered in blackened, dead vines creeping over crumbling solid stone blocks. Large gargoyles in various poses looked over the entire property. Harry could tell they were magically altered, because they turned to look at him as he passed. He could see the backyard stretch on and on for acres, with a large cemetery just barely visible in the distance. The Black family graveyard, Harry thought. He would visit it once he came back from Diagon Alley. Hedwig gave a frightened hoot.

                "It's alright, girl," Harry reassured her, stroking her head. "I won't let anything happen to you." She nuzzled his wrist in appreciation. He slowly walked up to the massive stone door and pushed with all his might. The door gradually creaked open to reveal a massive front foyer, twice the size of Hogwarts Great Hall. "Wow, Hedwig," Harry whispered. He dropped his bags cautiously by the front door, and slowly started walking around the vast space.

                The walls were of solid oak on the bottom, with various gargoyles carved ornately throughout the rich wood. The top parts of the walls were covered in some sort of velvety wallpaper, which was peeling in some areas. The wallpaper was blood crimson, with decorative vines woven delicately along the crown moulding and chair rails. In each corner stood a massive stone statue of four women. Upon closer inspection, Harry could see that the first statue was of Druella Black (Rosier), as the plaque on the bottom stated. Harry didn't know who she was. The second was of Bellatrix Lestrange (Black). Although Harry did not blame her for Sirius' death, he still shuddered, thinking of all the terrible things she had done. He walked to the third statue, which depicted Narcissa Malfoy (Black). However, the statue that most caught his attention was of Andromeda Tonks (Black). This was because her head had been brutally blown off, rough jagged edges sticking out of the shoulders. This was where they must have lived as children, Harry thought. He wanted to explore the whole mansion, but he knew he'd be there for hours if he did. Besides, Stan was waiting for him outside, and it would take a few minutes to get back to the road.

                " 'Ey there 'Arry!" Stan called as Harry walked up to the bus, Hedwig on his shoulder. "What took ya so long, then, eh?"

                "Long trek," Harry answered. "I need to get to Diagon Alley now."

                "Right, right. I 'aven't forgotten," Stan answered. "Take 'er away, Ern!" Within minutes, the loud, lightning fast Knight Bus was parked outside the Leaky Cauldron. "'Ere ya are, 'Arry!" Stan announced. "Diagon Alley!"

                "Thanks," Harry said, reaching into his pocket for some sickles. Stan evidently noticed.

                "'Choo think you're doin' there? Ya already paid back in Ottery St. Catchpole, remember?" Harry suddenly remembered absent-mindedly stuffing some money into Stan's hand as he got off the bus near his mansion.

                "Oh right. Sorry," Harry replied. He got off the bus with Hedwig still perched on his shoulder and pushed open the door to the Leaky Cauldron.

                "Hello, there Mr. Potter. Come for a bite to eat or a drink?" Tom the barman greeted him.

                "Not right now, Tom. I need to pick up a few things. Maybe later," Harry replied with a slight smile. He proceeded to the back of the shabby pub and tapped the bricks outside with his wand to reveal Diagon Alley. The hustle and bustle of all the witches and wizards greatly cheered up Harry. His first stop was Gringotts, to get his gold and satisfy his curiosity about the Lestrange's marriage contract. Griphook was again at the front desk when he walked in. Harry wondered if the goblin ever took a day off. He walked up to Griphook and when he saw Harry, Griphook gave a very low bow.

                "Welcome, Mr. Potter. What can I do for you today?"

                "I'd like to make a withdrawal from one of my accounts," Harry answered. "I was also hoping to find out more about the marriage contract between Bellatrix and Rudolphus Lestrange." Griphook nodded attentively.

                "Of course, Mr. Potter. I would advise you to make your withdrawal first to save time, however."

                "That's fine," Harry answered. Before long, Harry was riding in one of the speedy carts underneath the bank where the vaults were until he reached the Black vault. When Griphook opened his vault, Harry almost fell to his knees in wonderment. This was more gold than he had ever seen in his life! It made his trust fund look like chump change. In fact, the entire chamber was so full to the brim with mountains and mountains of gold that there were piles of it cascading out the vault door. The vault was overflowing with riches beyond Harry's wildest dreams. He numbly walked up to the vault and scooped up all he could carry in his rucksack. When they reached the surface of the bank once more, Griphook went behind his desk and started rummaging around in his papers. After a few moments, he pulled out a rather aged, damaged document and handed it to Harry.

                "This is the original copy of the marriage contract between Bellatrix Black and Rudolphus Lestrange," Griphook explained. "Mrs. Lestrange was forced into a pure-blood marriage against her will."

                "Isn't that illegal?" Harry asked. Griphook shook his head.

                "At the time it wasn't. You see, Mr. Potter, back when Mrs. Lestrange was married, it was customary for a witch to be wed to whomever her parents chose for her, whether the witch in question agreed with the decision or not. That law has just recently been abolished by the Ministry of Magic due to discriminatory reasons. However, if you look closely at the agreement, you'll notice that Mrs. Lestrange also became her husband's slave once they were married. Anything Mr. Lestrange ordered of her must be obeyed. She was also forbidden from doing anything without Mr. Lestrange's consent, including the most basic activities, such as brushing her teeth or eating supper, as the law stated then."

                "This is disgusting!" Harry muttered, scanning through the agreement. "Hang on ... her signature isn't even on here!" he exclaimed.

                "The witch's signature was not required. It was the parent's choice to sign for her," Griphook replied. Harry slammed the document down on the marble desk, too angry to do much else. If this were true (and there was no doubt that it was, since he had just read the original documents of marriage), then Bellatrix Lestrange had committed all those gruesome, horrifying acts against her will. It had been Rudolphus who had forced her to torture the Longbottoms into insanity, and fight Sirius before he died, and put Harry under the Cruciatus Curse. All of those terrible deeds had really been Rudolphus, acting through his wife. He actually felt sorry for Bellatrix now. He couldn't imagine how he'd feel if he had a daughter in that kind of situation. He thought of his friend, Hermione Granger and how angry he'd be if she were forced into those circumstances. He had to somehow get in contact with her. He had to make things right between them. After all, she was family now. He was the Lord of the Black Family.

                "I hope you have a pleasant shopping trip, Mr. Potter," Griphook said as he bowed Harry out of the bank. Of course; he had nearly forgotten. He was supposed to be shopping. Well, he'd figure out how to contact Bellatrix after. For now, he needed to buy new books, not school books, but powerfully advanced magic books. He was sure Flourish and Blotts carried those. He also wanted to have his wand completely redone to make it more powerful than before. He could do that at Ollivander’s. Hedwig's cage was much too small for her now. He needed to improve on that. He planned to convert one of the rooms in each of his mansions into a tropical aviary for her, so that she'd have a place of her own, no matter where they were living. He could order that at Eyelops Owl Emporium. A new watch would be nice; a magical one where he could change it to say the time, the position of the planets, and the well-being of all his friends. Harry wanted to get rid of his glasses, too. He wasn't the scrawny, shy, eleven year old Harry Potter anymore. He wanted magical contacts, but he had no idea where to get those. Come to think of it, he'd like a cool car, a tattoo and an ear piercing. He could get those in some muggle stores. He decided to hit Flourish and Blotts first.

                "Well, if it isn't young Harry Potter!" the shopkeeper greeted. "Come for your school books?" Harry shook his head.

                "No. I wanted as many books as you have on the Dark Arts and other kinds of powerful magic. You know, for light reading," he added unconvincingly. In fact he really wanted to use them for defeating Voldemort once and for all. He wasn't planning on facing him anytime soon, but it would be good to have a head start. He decided it was finally time to fight fire with fire. The shopkeepers face fell in puzzlement.

                "O- of course. This way..." he stammered. An hour later, Harry had three big bags full of books on the Dark Arts. His next stop was Ollivander’s for his new wand.

                "Ah, Mr. Potter," Ollivander said. "How can I be of assistance?"

                "I was wondering if it was possible to alter a wand to make it more powerful than before," Harry replied.

                "Why of course, but it doesn't come cheap. You may want to save up a little more for a few years, son," he chuckled. Harry pulled out his rucksack and dumped a pile of galleons on the front desk. Mr. Ollivander clutched his chest and gasped, his mouth hanging open.

                "Is this enough?" Harry grinned, Mr. Ollivander's reaction amusing him. Mr. Ollivander just nodded and wheezed slightly. The wand alteration took longer than his Flourish and Blotts visit. It was past noon by the time he left, with his new wand. It was shinier, sturdier, and more powerful than before. Harry's hand vibrated whenever he touched it. He liked the feeling. Now he needed to order those aviaries for Hedwig.

                "Hello there, dear," the woman behind the counter said to him as he entered Eyelops Owl Emporium. "Would you like some owl treats for that gorgeous owl of yours?" Hedwig ruffled her feathers proudly at the compliment. Harry chuckled at her.

                "Er, yes please, and I'd like to order several aviaries for her as well," The woman gave a tinkling laugh.

                "You're quite a joker," she smiled sweetly at him.

                "No, I'm serious. I want to convert the highest room in each of these properties into a tropical aviary. Here are the addresses, proof that I'm a legal adult, and the gold to pay for it." The woman looked over everything with wide eyes.

                "Well, I guess everything is in order," she said tentatively. "Very well. We'll send some workers over to each of these addresses to build right away. All of them should be finished within the week."

                "Thank you," Harry replied. He decided to set off to find his perfect watch and his magical contact lenses. After wandering the streets for a half-hour or so, he happened upon a small little shop he had never been in before. It seemed to be one of those shops that sold just about anything and everything. As he walked in, he noticed the shelves were stacked high with completely random objects, and there was a lot of dust gathering in some of the corners. A wheezy old man was sleeping behind the counter. Harry browsed until he found the watch he was looking for. It was silver with the time and date displayed brightly, and when he tapped it, it showed him the planetary movements. One more tap and it magically showed him all his friends and family and their circumstances. He could see that Tonks was at work, aunt Petunia was at her home and Hermione and Ron were travelling. He brought it up to the old man and gently prodded him awake. He gave a start. Harry apologized and paid for his watch.

                "Would you know where to get some magical contact lenses?" Harry asked.

                "Well, 'o course! Righ' here!" The man said proudly. He walked to the back of the store and brought out a box for Harry. He opened it. Inside were two clear contact lenses resting on a small bed of pink silk.

                "What's so magical about them?" Harry asked sceptically. They looked like ordinary, muggle contact lenses to him.

                "Well, firs', ya ne'er hafta wet 'em. They stay nice an' moist fore'er," the toothless old man grinned. "The wearer c'n also see things normal folk can't, like dark magic and dishonesty. Ya c'n see through things like walls at will when ya wear these, too! An' o' course, they act like a pair of glasses, improving yer general vision." Harry definitely wanted those! He paid the man a tonne of gold for them, and threw his glasses in the garbage can on his way out in exchange for the contacts. Harry could see everything the man told him he would, and when he wanted to see normally, he just had to think about it and he did. After he played around with the contacts a bit, he decided to exchange the rest of his gold for muggle money and get his car, tattoo and ear piercing. He stopped by Gringotts, where Griphook was all too happy to serve him again and exited Diagon Alley for the city street behind it. He didn't have to walk far to find a tattoo and piercing parlour. He knew exactly what tattoo he was going to get.

                "Hey kid." the punked-out girl behind the counter greeted him. "What'cha want?"

                Three painful hours later, Harry walked out of the parlour with a medium sized tattoo on the upper right part of his back, near his shoulder. It was of a black, shaggy dog standing beside a stag. The stag had a lily in its mouth. He would treasure that tattoo always. The girl had wanted to put a gold stud in his ear to prevent infection, but Harry insisted he get a different earring. Hedwig had stayed stock still while Harry cut off one of her overgrown claws to attach to a simple silver loop. Now he would always have a part of his beloved pet with him. The last thing on his list was a car. He knew he couldn't go to a legit dealership, because they'd ask for insurance and a co-signer and he really didn't want to get into all of that. Luckily, he knew someone who could sell him a car under the table. If Mundungus Fletcher couldn't get a car for Harry, then nobody could. He also knew that Mundungus hung around this street around this time of day, because it was close to Diagon Alley and easy to scam both muggles and witches and wizards. He found him in the alleyway beside the Leaky Cauldron.

                "Mundungus, I need a car," Harry said to him. "Ferrari. Red. Can you get one?"

                "HA! Of course I can get a car fer ya," Mundungus hollered.

                "A good one in working order?" Harry asked him quizzically.

                "Whadd'ya take me fer, eh? O' course, o' course!" he chuckled. Harry used his new eyesight to seek out any dishonesty. Not enough that would alarm him. It was impossible to expect a clean scan when it came to Mundungus.

                "Alright. Here's the money. Where's the car?" he demanded.

                "Already at yer place o' residence," he replied. "Don' ya worry 'bout that." He greedily grabbed the muggle bills from Harry's hand and started counting. "HAHA! I'm rich! D'ya know how many galleons this'll trade fer at Gringotts? I'M RICH!"

                "It better be at my house when I get back, or you're going to pay," Harry warned. You never could tell what Mundungus' plans were.

                "Yeah, yeah..." he replied vaguely, still sorting through his cash. Harry walked out of the alley and stuck out his wand hand in front of the Leaky Cauldron. The Knight Bus came to pick him up immediately. His shopping trip was finished. Just in time, too. It was nearly dusk. His thoughts drifted back to Bellatrix. He was going to call a Black family meeting as soon as possible and set everything straight with her. For tonight, he was just happy to be going home to sleep.



© 2008 Ashleigh


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Added on December 16, 2008


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Ashleigh
Ashleigh

I live absolutely anywhere and everywhere I choose, whenever I please, thanks to a little something called imagination., Canada



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ACTIVE CONTESTS I'm always looking for new reading material on Writers Cafe to review. I regularly create contests to give me an opportunity to read things tailored to my interests. I'll post any acti.. more..

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