Chapter 2 – Making of the Malkin
Early morning, Saturday 14th May, Aunt Muriel's House, Sparrowpit, Derbyshire
Morning came and the house was alive with activity. An owl came from the ministry for Mr. Weasley and Percy and they left quickly, using the floo.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were sitting at the table with Ginny who was looking glum as she was having to spend a day on her own with her Mum and Muriel until the rest of them got home. She was seated at the table with her elbow on the table and her head in her hand pushing the cereal around in her bowl.
"We might only be an hour or so Ginny and if you want to think of some fun things to do this afternoon then we can do some." Hermione said as she collected Ron and Harry's bowl along with her own. "Are you finished with that Ginny?"
"Yeah I think I've had enough, thanks Hermione," she replied while handing over the bowl.
"We shouldn't be long Ginny. We don't even know whose Will this is, so it's not like we're going to be the main beneficiaries." Harry added.
"Yeah we'll do something later Ginny. Just think of something to do later and we'll sort it out." Ron added as he pulled on his dress robe jacket while Mrs. Weasley was running her wand over the robes straightening out any kinks and wrinkles in the fabric.
"Yeah I suppose." a glum Ginny responded.
Fleur came into the room pulling on a cloak over a silvery grey trouser suit asking if they were ready. Harry, Ron and Hermione stood and started making their way over to the fireplace when Fleur asked what they were doing.
"Going to Diagon Alley?" replied a puzzled Ron.
"Via floo and in your dress robes?" asked an exasperated Fleur.
"Ah yeah, that's a good point I suppose. Probably best if we just apparate." Harry commented.
They made their way from the fireplace to the front door, Ginny giving them all a hug as they walked out the door and giving Harry a kiss on the cheek. As she moved away from his hug and closed the door, they made their way to the end of the garden and passed the boundary at the front gate.
"Right then let's go" Fleur commanded as they all apparated to Diagon Alley.
Diagon Alley looked more like the Diagon Alley Harry remembered. It was certainly a lot better than when they were last here in their sixth year after Ollivander had been kidnapped and the other shop owners had closed up while the war was going on. The entire alley was filled with life again. Goods were displayed outside the shops and people were moving around, talking and laughing. All the wanted posters had been taken down and as they made their way down the street people turned and caught a glimpse of Harry. They all started making their way towards Harry.
Fleur moved quickly past Hermione and Ron who had been walking in front of them and everyone's head turned to her as she unleashed her Veela allure on the crowd causing their attention to be drawn off Harry and onto her. She seemed to take on a slight glow and looked extremely beautiful. Harry and the others slipped past the edge of the crowd avoiding having to be stopped by anyone.
Harry, Ron and Hermione had just managed to slip through the door to Madam Malkins before Fleur entered giggling as she closed the door behind her.
"I do love seeing ze effect my Veela allure as on people. Did you see ze man with the big belly pull is shirt over his head and start to flex his muscles. Ee was so big I do not zink that there would be any chance to see any muscle." she chuckled to herself and caused the others to laugh.
"Mr. Potter? Miss Granger?" came a voice from behind them and they all turned to see Madam Malkin smiling at them.
"Ah of course I recognize those clothes on you Mr. Weasley, I believe you're wearing one of my creations. I see they fit you very well indeed," she added with a nod on noticing Ron who stood a little straighter at the compliment.
"I'm afraid I don't know you dear," she commented to Fleur, "although if you ever fancy a modelling job I'd be quite happy to have you wear some of my designs and show them off!"
"I'm Fleur Dela…Weasley, Fleur Weasley," Fleur corrected herself, "pleased to meet you Madame, thank you for the offer but I must decline. I don't really think modelling is the way I want to spend my life. I get stared at enough as it is, but please feel free to call me Fleur." Fleur greeted with a smile and a small curtsy.
"I've no doubt about that dear, but if you ever change your mind you know where to find me." Madame Malkin replied.
"So Mr. Potter, Miss Granger, what can I do for you today? I'm assuming given your muggle attire and how Mr. Weasley and Fleur are dressed, am I right in assuming that you need
some more formal magical attire?"
"Yes we're off to a will reading at Gringotts and Fleur thought it would be a good idea if we went with something a bit more formal and smart, but I can't wear the dress you made me for the Yule Ball a couple of years ago as I've outgrown it, shall we say," Hermione explained then glanced down at her bust "and my date that evening managed to tread on it, ripping it."
"Not a problem, we'll sort you out." Madam Malkin replied.
"We?" Harry enquired.
"Why yes, my new assistant and I. I'm finding that I'm getting to the point in life where I'm struggling to keep up with the fashion industry in the muggle world. I'm completely out of touch with the styles and fashions and needed some new blood with a knowledge of muggle clothing to bring the wizarding world forward and try and catch up a bit."
Hermione nodded "Yes I suppose everyday wizarding clothing are a bit…."
"Dreary, Old Fashioned, Plain and none flattering." came a voice from the back of the shop that Harry, Ron and Hermione thought they recognized. Alicia Spinnet came from the back of the shop behind a curtain where the changing rooms were. She was wearing a set of deep purple robes that were a lot more styled and form fitting than most normal witch attire.
Her torso appeared to be in a corset that was worked into the cloth showing off her slim waist but bunched into material that was more loosely fitting around her breasts so as not to be clingy and expanded out into long sleeves that covered her arms, but left her shoulders bare. It had a white swirling pattern on it and was laced up with white lace that went from just above her waist to her bust where it was tied in a bow.
Hermione thought that it was a classier kind of lederhosen that German women used to traditionally wear. She looked to see Fleur admiring the design appreciatively and Harry and Ron with their mouths open. Typical Boys.
"You look great Alicia," she greeted, "is that something you designed yourself?"
"Yeah it's sort of my design, I got the idea when I went on holiday to Germany with my family last year. There was a beer festival and the waitresses were all wearing lederhosen, so I thought it was quite a good idea. It's kind of medieval, but I thought with different colors and some design tweaks it would look pretty good. I pitched the idea to Madam Malkin one day when I was in here looking for some new clothes. She loved it and helped make it, then she offered me a job." Alicia recounted with a beaming smile.
"Talent recognizes talent dear." Madam Malkin responded. "So I thought that what we'd do is I'd take Mr. Potter and find something that he thinks would be suitable, and you can take Miss Granger and see what sort of thing she is looking for. Maybe put some ideas to her from your latest designs."
"I would like to see what you have been designing as well Alicia, if you both do not mind me coming with you?" Fleur enquired
"Course not," Hermione replied. "You always dress well and I'd like your opinion." she added. Hermione, who as much as she had never admitted it, missed having a girl pal to do girly things like shopping with as she was always around Harry and Ron and they were… well they were typical boys she supposed since they were more interested in Quidditch than going shopping and things like that. So it would be nice to have a bit of girlie time looking at clothes and things.
The girls made their way behind the curtain into the back of the shop and pulled a purple velvet curtain across leaving Ron, Harry and Madam Malkin to concentrate on Harry.
"Right then dear let's get you something picked out and sorted are you after normal every day robes, dress robes, work robes, or casual robes?" She asked as she started taking Harry's measurements.
"Errr well dress robes I suppose. We're off to a will reading we've been invited to. Ron's going smart, Fleur always looks smart, and I can imagine that Hermione will look great in whatever she chooses when she comes out of there, so I suppose we best go for as good as we can." Harry reasoned.
"Right then dear, any idea of colors, style, cut?" she asked.
"I have not really put much thought into that. Have you got any samples of anything or ideas you think will be good?" he asked.
Madam Malkin gave him a nod and went behind the counter and got a big book of swatches that was about eight inches thick and laid it on the counter. Upon seeing it Harry and Ron's faces dropped because they realized this could take a while and Ron had no desire to be standing for ages especially as he was good to go.
"I'm going to go to Quality Quidditch Supplies mate, you could be here for ages. Just come find me when you're done." Ron said as he exited the shop looking very relieved to have escaped.
"Right then well you're going to a will reading, so I think a dark color would be good, but you want to use the robes in the future so then maybe if we put a bit of color into it then it won't be as dreary as if it was all just plain black." Madam Malkin reasoned as she started leafing through the swatches of cloth.
Harry was looking at the seemingly endless supply of cloth in different colors, patterns, shades and textures. As he made his way through the book of designs, he noted that certain ones had little gold stars on them sometimes one, sometimes five and everything in between, he asked what the stars were for and she told him that they represented the cost of the cloth.
Harry never really had to go shopping for clothes in the wizarding world, other than his school robes, and didn't really know how much they cost. Mrs. Weasley had bought his last two sets and he'd only bought school robes himself.
Harry thought about what Madam Malkin had said though she had a good point as he didn't want to be in all black otherwise he might look like an overgrown bat, the same way Snape used to. The thought of the former Hogwarts professor threatened to ruin Harry's good mood as he thought about his death and the events that led up to it.
It was such a waste and he wondered what it would have been like if Voldemort hadn't killed Snape and he knew what he knew now. Would they be able to reconcile their differences? Would Snape have ever let Harry know what had happened in the past and about his love for his mother if he hadn't been dying? Harry guessed he would never know now unless Snape had a portrait done while he was headmaster and he was hanging up in McGonagall's office now.
In the end, Madam Malkin helped Harry make his choices and had just put the finishing touches to his outfit of black dragon skin oxford style shoes that had a red tint in certain light, over a pair of charcoal trousers with a thin red pinstripe in them, a matching charcoal waistcoat that had an overly large, faded red, Gryffindor lion worked into the fabric creating a strange pattern on the background, with a blood red shirt with charcoal square shaped buttons and a charcoal cravat held down with a pin that had a small red gem stone on it that Harry thought might be a ruby. Over this Harry was wearing a dark gown made of dragon skin leather with a scale pattern on it that had the same reddish tint that his shoes had.
Harry had never seen material like it and commented to Madam Malkin who then told him that it was from a skin of a Chinese Fireball dragon that had sadly died when it was young and not fully grown, which meant that it hadn't fully developed into a full red color as that happened when it hit adulthood and there was only enough material to make the gown and the shoes but that it was expensive stuff because it was so rare to be able to get your hands on it since dragon poaching was banned throughout the world. Also because it was Dragon skin it had many remarkable properties such as being waterproof, fireproof, was able to repel a lot of curses and hexes fired at it, along with being incredibly lightweight and durable, and that because it was so rare it was incredibly desirable.
Harry looked at himself in the mirror and thought it looked quite classy and surprisingly grown up. He felt it made him look a little older, more of a man than a boy. He wasn't sure if the cravat was a touch too far although Madam Malkin said it set off the outfit perfectly.
Harry enquired as to how much it cost as the dragon skin no doubt was expensive and he didn't know whether he'd have enough money in his trust vault to cover it. Madam Malkin told him that she would do him a serious discount on it given what he had done for the wizarding world over the last year and would knock it down to 30 galleons, 7 sickles and two knuts.
Harry couldn't believe that the outfit was so expensive and would normally never even think of paying that for something like clothes, but he looked good in the outfit and because of the quality and rarity of the clothes he was wearing he thought this one time he'd treat himself. Mrs. Weasley had picked out his dress robes for the Yule Ball and Slughorn's party, so this was technically the first time he'd ever bought clothes for himself in the wizarding world.
She was just discussing watches and cufflinks with Harry when the curtain Alicia and Hermione had disappeared behind was pulled back and Alicia came into the room while Harry was facing the mirror playing with his cuffs making sure that they sat properly and thinking about whether to add cufflinks.
Alicia made a wolf whistle as she saw Harry. "Wow! Looking hot Harry." she exclaimed looking him up and down with a predatory look in her eye.
"I see you thought about one of my ideas for Harry then Maeve." she added, looking towards Madam Malkin.
"Yes Alicia, I thought it was the prime opportunity to try something new and Harry has a good natural coloring to go with the red. So I thought why not give it a look and see."
"Well I have to admit he looks absolutely amazing," Alicia replied while shaking her head. "Wait till all the ladies see you in that Harry, they won't be able to keep their hands off you. Saying that I might start struggling myself as you look good enough to eat." she then gave him a sultry wink and she turned back rejoining Hermione and Fleur.
"Harry, would you mind terribly if I took a photo for our new catalogue? You look really good and it would be nice to show an example of the style to future customers."
Harry, never having loved his picture taken, wanted to decline but given the discount that he'd got for the clothes and that he liked Madam Malkin he relented and agreed to the photograph. This caused the witch to make a very girlish squeal like a young witch would make when finding out there was a ball, which he'd heard first when the Yule ball was announced by Professor McGonagall in fourth year.
She returned with a camera and a tripod and set it up. Then with a wave of her wand a black screen dropped down behind Harry and the racks of clothing all shifted out of the way and with a flick of her wrists two orbs of light hovered in the air bathing Harry in light.
"So on the count of three a nice big smile please Harry…. one, two, three!" and she took the picture with a nice big flash and tapped the side of the camera with her wand and a photograph started coming out. She took the photograph and looked at it before saying to Harry that she was going to have to take another one because he had his mouth open like a goldfish. With a small chuckle she looked up to see Harry still stood open mouthed looking behind her.
She turned to see that Alicia, Fleur and Hermione had re-entered the room and he could see why Harry's mouth had dropped. There stood Hermione in a brown outfit that took on a dark brush gold color as the light hit it much like Harry's waist coat with her hair half piled up on her head with tendrils of hair hanging down on either side.
The rest of the outfit consisted of a leather pencil style skirt that hung to her hips and legs showing off her figure beautifully. She was also wearing a matching woman's waistcoat although it only consisted of three buttons that were close together, and the waistcoat only closed over her stomach. The wings of the waist coat flared out towards the shoulders, emphasizing her bust with a honey colored shiny blouse that ruffled just below her neck and down onto her bust. Over the top of this she wore a honey colored gown but they had been cut to fit her figure and on her feet were a pair of matching leather boots in the same color.
"Well my dear, you look unbelievably…" Madam Malkin before Harry cut her off
"Sexy!" Harry blurted out without thinking causing both himself and Hermione to blush fiercely. "Errr erm I mean you look great… really great." he added trying to meet her eyes feeling his face burn with embarrassment at his slip of the tongue.
Hermione was absolutely delighted that Harry had said that he thought she looked sexy. She had never had anyone say she was sexy before and she felt that whooshing sensation again in her stomach as she looked into Harry's eyes when he finally allowed himself to make eye contact with her.
She had to admit that she felt great and more confident. She'd never really considered herself pretty or attractive before although, being a little self-conscious, she looked at the other women questioningly and asked what they thought as it wasn't really the sort of thing that she would normally wear. They all assured her that she looked fantastic to which Harry agreed and that made her mind up to get it, no matter what it cost.
Harry meanwhile was mentally kicked himself for letting that slip out, and reprimanded himself to not slip up like that again. It would have been more awkward if Ron had been in the room hearing him call his girlfriend sexy, not to mention what Ginny would say when they got back to Muriel's later that afternoon.
Just then the entrance bell rang and Ron walked in the shop, and on seeing them all said "Wow," when he saw Hermione and Harry's attire. "You two look brilliant!"
"Ah so now I have the three of you. Could I possibly ask you all to pose for some photos for our latest catalogue? We want to get the message about our new little designing genius out there, and you three would really help with the sales given the events of last year." Madam Malkin explained, almost hopping on her with excitement at the prospect.
"Sure no problem." Ron answered for all of them. Madam Malkin got her camera ready again before saying she'd like to do some individual shots of each of them and then maybe one with them all together.
Madam Malkin took lots of photos when she was finished with Hermione, Hermione went to the counter and paid for her outfit which cost a grand total of twelve galleons, three sickles and twelve knuts. She mentally thanked her mum and dad for transferring some money into her building society account before she'd obliviated their memories and they went off to Australia.
She had decided that now after the fall out of the war was done, she was going to spend the summer researching how to restore their memories fully. She needed to give serious thought to how she was going to track them down and bring them home. She was going to ask Ron and Harry later this afternoon whether they would help her find them although she didn't doubt that they wouldn't for a minute.
Impressed with what they had bought in the shop they asked if Alicia and Madam Malkin could work on designing them some different clothes as well, now that they had their measurements, which they said that they could and they thanked them for their custom. They all turned to leave the shop and Alicia called after Hermione and Fleur saying that she would owl them about what they had been discussing earlier.
Harry and Ron asked what she meant by that and Fleur and Hermione ignored the question quickly changing the conversation instead to whether Neville would be waiting for them at the Leaky Cauldron.
They made their way along Diagon Alley while heads were turning to look at the quartet so smartly dressed, before realizing who they were and parents could be seen restraining young children from running up to them. Harry could hear a woman telling her daughter quite sternly that they get enough attention as it is without getting mobbed in the street for autographs, while the little girl who couldn't have been more than five was trying to get to Harry with a parchment and quill while being pulled back by her mother.
Harry reached into his pocket and took out his wand, before casting a quick silenced summoning charm on the little girl's parchment and quill that whipped out of her hands and into Harry's. He caught it and quickly wrote a little note and an autograph to the girl before banishing them back to her. She fumbled the catch, picked them up, and read the note that said 'Never be afraid to go after what you really want, Regards Harry Potter.' and then she broke into a big smile and tears formed in her eyes. She waved at him as he winked at the girl's mum who gave him a nod and a smile back as she had read the note over her daughter's shoulder. He turned picking up the pace to catch up to the others, who were completely oblivious to the exchange.
As he walked, trying to catch up with the rest of them, he was looking at Hermione thinking that he wished he could follow his own advice, and that as much as he had taken the mick out of Lockhart about his autograph obsession, it might be worth keep something on him in case a situation like what just happened happens again.
On entering the Leaky Cauldron, they scanned the bar looking for Neville and found him
sitting in a booth along the back wall next to one of the fireplaces. He looked up as they entered and saw how they were dressed and his face dropped. Neville had come dressed in muggle attire consisting of a pair of trousers and a long sleeve shirt with a pair of black shoes because he thought they'd all be in muggle clothing as it was the holidays.
"You look great guys, very smart, but I now feel massively underdressed." he greeted as they approached his table after spotting him.
"You'll be alright Neville, don't worry, you've not really got any time to go home and get changed now." Harry replied while Neville shook his head.
"I'll have to go get something. I can't turn up looking like the poor cousin next to you lot. I'll grab something to eat later." he said. He squeezed past them, dashing outside, heading to what they suspected was Madam Malkin's to get himself something more appropriate.
"Ee is a man of action I see" commented Fleur while smiling causing the rest of them to laugh. They took their seats and ordered bacon sandwiches as they didn't want to run the risk of spilling any food down their dress robes.
Twenty minutes later Neville came back in as they were just eating their way through their bacon sandwiches. He was wearing a set of grey pinstripe robes with matching trousers, waistcoat, and grey leather shoes that looked to be made of some kind of scalehide, but Harry couldn't tell what it was.
"Looking Sharp Nev." said Ron with a nod.
"Thankfully Alicia Spinnet has started working there so she took over and picked me something out pretty quickly. I had to tell Madam Malkin to owl my gran for payment though and then she said not to worry and that I could sort it out later, whatever that means."
"So do any of you have an idea whose Will this is? I've been racking my brains trying to think who we would all be related to or who would leave us something. The only person I could think of would possibly be Professor Lupin, but I know he was only really close to you three, he looked out for me a couple of times but I can't think he'd leave me anything in his will, plus he's got a son as well." Neville questioned while looking around the others.
"I don't know Neville we can't think of anyone either and to be honest I wouldn't have thought Moony would have really had much to leave anyone, and if he did then it would surely all be going to Teddy." Ron replied as Hermione and Harry nodded along with this line of thinking.
"Well you shall all be finding out soon enough," Fleur stated as she checked a delicate silver wrist watch "and we really should be thinking about going. The reading is in 20 minutes and ze goblins do not appreciate being kept waiting"
"Right, well let's get going then and find out. We can speculate all we want, but there is only one way to find out." Hermione added while rising from her chair as the others joined her while Harry and Ron went to the bar to pay Tom for their meal.
"Ah Mr. Potter, don't worry about the meal, we'll sort it out later." Tom greeted with a grin as he quickly turned back into the kitchens before they had a chance to say anything, leaving a confused Ron and Harry standing at the bar.
"What did he mean by that?" asked Ron who looked to Harry for confirmation as to what Tom meant.
"Haven't the foggiest, but something strange is happening. Madam Malkin said the same thing to Neville, remember?" he replied looking at Ron. "Do you think we should just leave the money on the bar for him anyway?"
"No point, someone might nick it. We can come back after the reading. Come on we better go." Ron replied as they both turned to leave and made their way to the door that Fleur was holding open for them.