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A Trip to Diagon Alley
The next morning the four friends met in the Entrance Hall before breakfast. Ginny seemed in a bad mood, but the other three seemed to have enjoyed their evenings. Just as they were about to enter the Hall, a high pitched voice came floating down the nearest staircase.
My dear child, you need to mind your step. A terrible fall will bring much pain in your future. I can see it now
Ron turned to Harry, a look of horror on his face.
Please tell me it's not true.
Harry just looked at his friend sadly.
I'm afraid it is. She's in my House. I had to put up with that all last night. It was awful!
As he said this, Sybil Trelawney came down the stairs into the Entrance Hall, a small third year following behind her. Stopping suddenly to survey the students making their way to breakfast, she barely noticed the younger Hufflepuff swerving suddenly to miss her, and promptly falling down the stairs. The noise drew her attention to the unfortunate third year, sprawled on the floor clutching his leg. A malicious grin broke out on her face.
I did warn you, Daniel. You should take me more seriously, for a true Seer is a very rare thing, and you are fortunate to know such an individual.
The third year just rolled his eyes and sent one of his friends for Madame Pomfrey. The four friends watched as the future Divination teacher made her way into the Hall for breakfast, her head held high and a look of superiority on her face. Ron turned to Harry, a look of sympathy in his eyes.
I pity you, mate. You're going to have to listen to that all year.
Harry just nodded at the redhead in acceptance and headed in to the Great Hall for breakfast.
Nine o'clock found the four time travellers back in the Entrance Hall, waiting for Dumbledore. They had each received a note that morning by owl post, telling them what time they were going. A few minutes after they arrived, Dumbledore came out of the Great Hall, a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.
Are we all ready to go?
Yes, Professor, Hermione replied.
Good, good. Then let us be off.
As he strode out of the door, Harry ran to catch up.
How will we be getting to Diagon Alley?
We will be walking to Hogsmeade where we shall pick up a portkey. It's the fastest way to get there and back, as the train would take too long and you cannot apparate.
However, Harry didn't hear the last part. His mind was fixed on the work `portkey'. The more he thought about it, the more he started to shake until he suddenly sat on the floor, his legs no longer able to support him. His friends ran over quickly, Ginny sitting next to him and placing her arms around his shoulders.
What's wrong, Harry? What did Professor Dumbledore say? she whispered to him.
Harry just continued to shake until a concerned Dumbledore came over to the group.
May I ask what the problem is?
What did you say to him, Professor?
I merely told him we would be taking a portkey to Diagon Alley, Miss Granger.
Hermione's eyes widened and she went to comfort her friend. Ron moved over to the confused teacher.
It's portkeys, sir. Harry had a very bad experience with one a little over a year ago. He witnessed a student being killed and has felt guilty ever since. Whenever he has to travel by portkey he starts to panic. We think he thinks it's going to happen again.
Ah, I see. If he would rather, you three could take the portkey and I can apparate with him. I can take one person, but I can't take all four. That was why we were taking the portkey.
I'll tell him that, thank you Professor.
Ron went over to his best friend and told him what the future headmaster had said. Harry visibly relaxed, glad he wouldn't have to take the portkey. Thinking back, he remembered the reaction he had had after the first time they had used the amulet of time. As he thought about that, he remembered that this time travelling by amulet hadn't bothered him. He put it down to his shock over Gallatea's revelation. The others had been as surprised as he was, and Hermione had started to question him about it the night before as they had made their way to the Great Hall for the Welcome Feast. Harry had only managed to stop her questions by promising he would talk to them about it on Sunday, when they had time to go to the library and do research.
His thoughts returning to the present, he realised the group had somehow made it to the edge of the Hogwarts wards, right at the start of Hogsmeade village. Professor Dumbledore took out a small stone and handed it to the other three students who promptly disappeared. Harry shuddered a little, before Dumbledore grabbed his arm and they disappeared with a faint *pop*.
Diagon Alley looked much the same as it had in their own time, Harry thought as he appeared in the bustling street. Witches and wizards of all ages were hurrying back and forth, packages under their arms and wands in their hands. However, upon closer inspection, Harry noticed that colours didn't seem as bright as they should be. Shops didn't have the usual gaudy displays, and people's robes were dreary shades of brown and grey. Each adult running about had a small box at their hip, hanging from a strap over their shoulder. Looking at Dumbledore, the teacher started to explain.
I'm assuming you're wondering why everything seems a little more subdued than in your time?
Everyone in the group nodded, waiting for him to continue.
Well, what you have to remember is that there is a war on. Well, technically there are two. You see, in the past there have been wizard wars and Muggle wars, neither really interfering with the other. However, this war is different. The Muggles are fighting the German leader Adolph Hitler, and the wizarding world is fighting the reign of the Dark Lord Grindelwald. What makes this different from other wars, is that Grindelwald is allied with Hitler. He believes that the only way to gain domination is to take both wizarding and Muggle worlds out at the same time. He is giving Hitler magical help to ensure his victory, as the Muggle allies will have no defence against it. The same applies to us. Hitler is providing Grindelwald with Muggle technology to attack the wizarding world. Most wizards know little about Muggle advancements, and so have no adequate defence. The boxes you see are the wizard equivalent of gas masks. We are supposed to carry them wherever we go, except at Hogwarts where we are safe.
The four students listened to the explanation in silence. They had heard little of this period of time and had never realised the extent of the war. It had never occurred to them that a Dark Lord would ally himself with a Muggle to gain help taking over the world. They continued to think over what Dumbledore had said all the way to Gringotts.
Their thoughts were interrupted by a goblin asking for a key. Harry had decided beforehand that he would take a little money out of the account he shared with Ron, even though the others thought he had plenty already. His friends were a little curious when Harry told them he needed more money, as he had run out. They couldn't see what he had spent it all on, when he had plenty in the holidays when they went to Hogsmeade. Considering how much they could get for their Galleons there, they never thought he could get rid of it.
After a long and twisted ride in the Gringotts transport carts, the four were feeling a little unwell. They soon felt better though when the door of the vault was finally opened. Ron nearly fainted in shock. The vault contained all of the profit made from the sale of quidditch rulebooks, commission from both national and international teams, and 950 years worth of interest. Walking into the vault, the group could see that it was split into two equal parts, half being Harry's and the other half being Ron's. There was easily enough gold to make the combined wealth of all pureblood aristocrats look like a pittance. Millions upon millions of gold galleons lined the vault from ceiling to floor, making a huge golden room. Ron, making his way over to the left side of the room, suddenly jumped into the piled up coins and started screaming in joy. Harry, who had yet to fully recover, watched his friend's elation. There was enough gold in the vault to buy Hogwarts 100 times over. Smiling, the Boy-Who-Lived made his way over to the right hand side of the vault - his own share - and started piling some money into his pouch. After about a half hour, a grunt of surprise could be heard from behind them. Turning around, the four teenagers watched amused as Dumbledore, who had come to look for them, stared in awe at the mountain laid out before him.
Is this really all yours? he asked in awe.
Yes it is, sir. You see, Ron and I sort of invented quidditch
Goodness, that explains it. Amazing. What are you going to do with it all?
Well, I'm giving it to my family as soon as I get home, Ron said, I would give it to them now, but Hermione will only lecture me on the dangers of changing time.
Of course I would! You can't go around changing things just because you don't like them. Imagine if Harry wanted to save his
She stopped suddenly, looking at the listening Dumbledore. She knew she had nearly said too much. If Dumbledore found out what was going to happen in 1981, he might change it, leaving their futures with a fully powerful Dark Lord running around. Smiling sheepishly, she turned around and headed out of the door.
I think we should go shopping now, she called over her shoulder, We don't want to be too late getting back to Hogwarts.
Once they were back in Diagon Alley, Dumbledore told them they had two hours to do their shopping. Handing them their lists, he told them to be careful, and to watch themselves in front of suspicious seeming characters. As he turned to leave, he looked them in the eyes and gave them a simple parting message.
Remember one important thing. Light witches and wizards have no place in Knockturn Alley. I will meet you in the Leaky Cauldron at noon. Have fun!
As soon as he was out of sight, Hermione and Ginny pulled the boys over to Flourish and Blott's bookshop so they could get their school books. As soon as they entered the shop, Harry and Hermione headed towards the stacks, while Ron made his way to a stand of quidditch books. Ginny immersed herself in the Divination section, trying to find out some more information about true Seers.
After a while, the group reluctantly left the shop, having bought all of their school books. Harry had also bought several thick potions books, as he had taken an interest in the subject when he had started writing his books on ancient potions and their antidotes. Hermione had a 1900 edition of `Hogwarts, a History', and Ginny was clutching a new Divination book.
Their next stop was the apothecary, where they acquired all of the potions ingredients on their list. Harry even bought some extra things, intending to try out some potions he had seen in the founders' time. Madame Malkin's robe shop was also visited for new school robes and dress robes, as well as some casual robes to wear at weekends and in the holidays. They would have worn the ones they already had, but in Ron and Harry's cases they were now a few inches too short. They were also of a different style than was fashionable in the 1940s, and they didn't want to draw attention to themselves.
After a quick stop at Quality Quidditch Supplies and Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlour, the four were ready to leave. Looking at his watch, Harry realised that they still had half an hour left. Standing up, he shrunk all of his purchases with a wave of his hand and placed them in his pocket. He then turned to his friends, who were watching him, curious as to why he was getting up.
I just want to have a quick look in a bookshop and apothecary in Knockturn Alley. I'll need to go into the pet shop as well, as Eyelops' don't sell anything for snakes.
Hermione got an outraged look on her face. Harry had expected this, and was ready for when she blew up at him.
Harry! What have I told you about the Dark Arts? You're going to turn into another Dark Lord if you're not careful. Harry, I know you want to use the Dark Arts for good, but I'm sure they're going to end up corrupting you beyond all recognition! I don't see why you enjoy them so much
Hermione, I've told you before, I'm not being corrupted. What is so wrong with using the Dark Arts? As Slytherin said, it is all magic, and it is the intent that counts.
But Harry! At the start of the summer you had to fight off Slytherin to stop him from taking over the school. He was evil, Harry, how can you still believe what he said?
Because I can see the logic in it! I've been using Dark Magic for a year now, and I'm still the same person. Just think about it Hermione. I used Dark Magic to stop Horatio when he had you under that Cruciatus curse. The founders couldn't stop him, but I did. Being a parselmouth is considered Dark, but if I hadn't been able to speak to snakes, we would never have found or opened the Chamber of Secrets in second year. Nor would we have been able to spy on Slytherin last year. Of course, not forgetting when I saved Justin Finch-Fletchley in the second year duelling club, and Gryffindor in the duel last year at Christmas. Do I need to go on? Oh yes, of course. In the final battle with Slytherin, Gryffindor would have been dead if I hadn't used Dark Magic to take out Slytherin. Are you seeing what I'm getting at, `Mione? Because if you want, I can think of more examples.
Harry's three friends just sat and started at him in utter shock. He had never spoken like that to Hermione before. They could see his point, though. On all of those occasions he had used magic considered Dark to save people, and he was still the same Harry they had known for five years. He hadn't changed in himself, just lost some of his prejudices. Nodding in acceptance, the three friends watched their friend smile at them slightly. Hermione, however, still had a concern.
Harry, you can't go to Knockturn Alley. Dumbledore told us not to.
Harry sighed deeply. He had been expecting this.
No he didn't. He said that Knockturn Alley was not the place for Light wizards. I no longer consider myself a Light wizard, so I have nothing to worry about.
His friends looked a little taken aback by that statement. Harry decided to elaborate.
By definition, a Light witch or wizard is someone who uses all Light magic in their everyday lives, resorting only to the Dark Arts in the most dyer of situations. A Dark witch or wizard is someone who is comfortable using both types of magic in everyday situations. Being a Dark wizard does not make one evil, even though evil wizards are predominantly Dark. Do you see what I mean? I use both types of magic freely, so I am by definition a Dark wizard. I have no problem with that, and I hope you don't either. Now, I'm going to Knockturn Alley while I still have time, and I will meet you outside the Leaky Cauldron at noon.
That said, Harry stalked off, completely missing the astonished looks on his friends' faces.
Knockturn Alley was bustling with foul creatures and Dark wizards, each hurrying along, minding its own business. Harry passed mainly unnoticed through he crowd until he reached the bookshop he had visited to buy his amulet book. Going inside, he was surprised to see the same shopkeeper sitting in a stool in the corner. He hadn't changed much over 50 years. Harry went deeper into the shop to look at the stacks upon stacks of interesting books.
Fifteen minutes later, the 16-year-ols left the shop, a bag of shrunken Dark Arts books in his pocket. After a quick stop off at the apothecary, he made his way to the shop where he had bought Simbi and Nirah. Seeing what he was looking for, he purchased a bag of small snake treats, much like the owl treats he fed to Hedwig. Thinking of his owl made Harry sad, as he didn't know what had happened to her. He hoped she would be alright, and that someone had let her out of her cage when their carriage had been found empty.
Eventually, at five to twelve, he headed back to the Leaky Cauldron. Dumbledore and his friends were already waiting for him to come back, and as soon as he stepped up in front of them, the Transfiguration teacher threw the portkey to Hermione, Ron and Ginny. After being grabbed by the arm, Harry was apparated back to Hogwarts with a faint *pop*.