A/N: Hello friends, chapter three is ready. A nice long one. :) As usual I do not own Stranger Things belongs to Netflix and the Duffer Brothers. I also do not own Harry Potter, belongs to the legendary JK Rowling. Anyway, on with the story.
Chapter Three: Mad Max and Maddening Mileau
James Abel Hopper, Jim to most, was on his second butterbeer. He normally went for stronger stuff, but today was not an occasion for such matters considering he had his girl with him. He had allowed her to wander the alley on account that it was a special day, a decision he was regretting more and more with each tick of the timepiece just in view. But she didn't need to be party to his particular reason for nursing several beverages in this fashion.
In his line of work, he had become particularly skilled at looking as though he was doing nothing. It is what had allowed him to rise through the ranks so quickly. People who opened their ears could learn quite a bit, and this is exactly what he was doing.
"Jim, can I getcha anything?" Tom looked to the man.
"Not right now, thanks," He held up his chilled glass.
"Doesn't seem your normal preference."
He nodded. "You seem down."
"What would you say if I told you today was a good day?"
"I'd say you're lying through your arse Jim Hopper." Tom pursed his lips.
Jim gave a bemused smirk. "You'd be absolutely correct."
"What is it this time?"
"Can I count on your discretion?"
The other man nodded.
Jim pulled out a photograph. The scene showed a white haired fellow, and behind him dark smoke. The smoke billowed outwards, destroying everything in the vicinity and then appeared to come together, to what, was unclear.
Tom's brows knitted together. "It can't be. Wasn't he locked away with the others?"
"Double time, at least would've been, if we could've caught him." Hopper replied.
"But he's active again?"
"Minister wouldn't say so with a triple dose of veritaserum but my hunch is yes."
"Without You Know Who? They've nothing to stand on, what's the angle?"
"Wish I knew. Keep your ears open would ya?" Jim placed down his now empty glass along with payment.
"You know I will."
"Thanks, now I gotta go get my girl a birthday present." Her birthday was last month in reality, but he had been away, so he was getting her a gift today. And he knew just what it would be.
"Wish her a happy birthday from me." Tom replied.
Jim nodded and then ascended the steps. He went to their room and unlocked the door. He placed the photograph underneath another stack of files, and looked around at the trunk of school supplies. He had considered not sending her, but he knew she'd be even safer within the walls, and she needed her education. He only hoped his instinct was correct. If anything happened to her, well he wouldn't be able to forgive himself.
This wasn't where they were supposed to be and she knew it.
"Hey dunghead, Mum said you were supposed to take me to Diagon Alley. This is the wrong way." Max snapped.
"Shut your mouth and keep your bloody head down or I'll make you. Dad needs me to pick some things up. If you get hit with the killing curse, because you looked at someone wrong, I'm dead."
"That's so sweet, you actually care?"
"About staying alive, yes."
Max sighed. Of course her outing to get school supplies had to be muddied. When she had gotten her letter, she'd been so excited, but her Mum couldn't come with her to get supplies so she was stuck with her stepbrother, her stepbrother who hated her guts.
She looked around and was hit with a chill, despite the July heat. Why was this place so dark? Only Dark Wizards shop here dingbat. She admonished herself.
"Hey! You lost freak?" Max focused back in only to find that she had fallen out of step with Billy. But she heard his shout. She followed the sound to see a boy around her age...being held by the collar by her brother.
"Actually I...sort of am. See I took the floo and our cat kind of hates…I'm supposed…." The boy trailed off laughing nervously as the older boy's grasp tightened. "Oh...Oh that was rhetorical wasn't it?"
"Hey! Billy, come on! Let him go!" Max said.
"What was that Max?" Billy turned his gaze to her.
"Let. Him. Go." Max glared.
Billy roughly let the boy go who promptly began choking.
Max went over. "Hey, you okay?"
"I'm not waiting for you to play nurse to a freak," Billy warned.
"Oh go and choke on a chocolate frog then!" Max shot back. Her step brother replied with a specific finger as he walked away. She turned her attention back to the boy.
"Yeah, I, I'm supposed to find my babysitter. He was taking me to Diagon Alley. Mum's got a work shift at the Prophet. Guess I'm not very good at the floo. Our cat hates it, attacks like it's gonna make a bit of difference."
"Seems it's the cat that's not very good at it then." Max proffered a hand to the boy. "I'm Max."
"I'm going to Diagon Alley too." Max says. She looks around. "Any idea how to get there from here?"
"Thought you were the one that wasn't lost." Dustin replied.
"Well…" Max sighed.
"I...I guess we should just walk then." Dustin began to walk. Max hurried to catch up.
"Keep your head down and try not to make eye contact with anyone, act like you know where you're going." Max said. "Maybe we'll actually make it out of here."
Lucas followed Will as they made their way to another shop, Flourish and Blotts.
"Books next then boys." Mrs. Byers said.
Lucas was surprised when they walked in to see that it looked like quite the ordinary book shop, if a bit old fashioned. Books lined the walls with odd headings denoting the sections. Potioneering, Magizoology, Charms, Magical Defenses. It made his head spin.
He was surprised to see the Byers walk to a section near the back, secondhand. But he kept his mouth shut. He knew his mum wouldn't appreciate him drawing attention to the fact especially after they'd been so generous.
He noticed Will looking around the shelves as though he wanted to read everything on them. It was a strange reaction to seeing schoolbooks. He preferred comics, but he supposed that wizards didn't have any of those.
"Lucas, darling, see if you can find these yeah? You're better at this sort of thing." His mum said, placing the list in his hand with a pointed look. Stop gawking, it said.
Lucas nodded as he walked around the shop looking at the titles and pulling books as he saw them. So focused on his task was he, he didn't see the teenage boy in his path until the damage had already been done and their heads knocked
"Eh, watch your step Kid!" The teenager said.
"S...sorry." Lucas stammered rubbing his head. "D...do you know where I can find a Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration?"
The teen scoffed. "What do I look like a librarian? Read the signs."
Lucas was just about to snark back when he noticed someone else come up next to him. "Hey, Lucas you okay?" It was Will's brother.
"Yeah, yes um...just looking for a Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration."
"Down that way," Jonathan pointed it out.
"Say, thanks." Lucas sighed in relief as he darted out of there. The two teens were just looking at each other like they had issue, and he just wanted to get his books.
Nancy was walking down Diagon Alley. She had managed to lose her little brother. Well this was a banner day. She passed Flourish and Blotts and decided to check there. Mike was never an avid reader, but it was something.
She went inside and noticed her boyfriend Steve Harrington, looking miffed and ready for a fight talking to none other than Jonathan Byers.
"Couldn't you just have given the kid directions Harrington? Or do you like being a sod?"
"The kid hit me in the head."
"It was an accident. Even I know that."
Nancy rolled her eyes as she listened to the back and forth. Enough listening, it was time to intervene.
"Steve, hi," Nancy went over excitedly and pulled Steve in giving him a peck on the lips.
Steve saw his girlfriend and gave her a hug. "Hey Nancy,"
"Hi Jonathan," Nancy turned back toward the elder Byers.
"Hi," Jonathan greeted.
"By any chance, did you see Mike around?" Nancy asked Steve.
"No, thought he was with you."
"He was, but then he wasn't." Nancy sighed. "I thought you were babysitting today."
Jonathan smirked. Steve Harrington, a babysitter as if.
"I was, floo dropped me here. Thought it dropped him here as well, but…"
"You both lost kids?" Jonathan couldn't hold it in. "How?"
"We can't all be golden boys Byers." Steve snapped.
Nancy pursed her lips. Merlin's beard.
"I don't think you know what that means." Jonathan muttered. "Do you have any idea where they could have went?"
"We didn't ask for your help Byers." Steve said.
Nancy sighed. "Steve, it might help to have an extra set of eyes."
Steve groaned. Why did Nancy have to be so bloody logical? "Fine, whatever, just...don't talk to me anymore."
A/N: So, we got a glimpse at what Hopper is up to. Met Max and Billy, Max met Dustin who was accidentally flooed to Knockturn Alley instead of Diagon Alley, and Billy left his stepsister and Dustin to fend for themselves, such a wonderful brother. :/ Meanwhile Steve ended up in Flourish and Blotts where the Byers and Lucas are and Lucas got in his way. Jonathan helped out and ended up offering his assistance to Nancy and Steve to find Mike and Dustin, who is Steve's babysitting charge. Next chapter: Back to Mike and El as they meet more members of the party and Dustin and Max try to find their way out of Knockturn Alley running into someone quite familiar as the teens search out the kids.