August 1st, 1991

"Are you ready Harry?" Albus asked standing near the fireplace. Harry checked his clothes over and looked back at the man.

"I believe so. You have the bag for my things and the key to my vault?"

"Right here." Albus said holding up a hand that held both items in it.

"Then I believe that I am ready."

"Excellent. One more thing… As I told you previously, you are quite famous in our world, I don't want you to be shocked if people start to surround us and question you." Dumbledore cautioned. Harry frowned.

"I've barely seen anyone since I rejoined the wizarding world. How would they even recognize me?" Harry questioned.

"Well, you do look quite like your father. Further, the scar on your head is something that many know you have and will likely identify you by." Dumbledore told him. Harry reached up and touched the scar on his forehead. He knew it was from the incident with his parent's death but he barely thought about the marring on his skin. His hair helped with that since it was usually just long enough to cover it.

"I can change my appearance if that would help. I don't really wish to be accosted." Harry admitted. He had come a long way when it came to his comfort level around strangers. That didn't mean he liked big crowds or wanted to be accosted.

"Did you have something in mind?"

"A change of hair color and perhaps a few alterations to my facial structure? Since the illusion will be static and just over my head, none should be able to see through it." Harry suggested.

"That'll likely work for most. Though I caution you there may be some who can see through it. For example, I have an old friend with a fake eye who would likely see through most of your illusions." Dumbledore told him.

"How common is that ability?"

"Not at all. I can only think of him off the top of my head, at least, in Magical Britain."

"Then it shouldn't be an issue." Harry said as he imagined a face in his mind before casting the illusion on himself. When he was finished, he looked at Dumbledore and gestured to his face.

"Well? How do I look?" Harry asked. Dumbledore looked him over before conjuring a small mirror so he could have a look himself.

"Not bad. You still look quite similar but the hair and eyes will throw onlookers off." Dumbledore told him. Harry looked at himself in the mirror and smirked in satisfaction. His black hair was now a soft red in color. His eyes which were normally green were sky blue. His facial structures were similar though, his cheekbones looked a little more pronounced. His scar was now completely gone showing no noticeable blemishes on his skin.

"Not a bad job for a last-minute piece of work." Harry said out loud.

"Fitting for the leading illusionist of Magical Britain." Dumbledore said back with a chuckle. Harry snorted at that. While the statement was technically true, it was only because there weren't other illusionists in Magical Britain. Most illusions in magic these days were part of charms or protections. Because of this, they were often weaker ones, especially compared to his own. That being said, they got the job done for most so, none saw the need for any real improvement in the field. Harry could now even craft complex illusions that could affect those with Occlumency. Though they took long to cast so they weren't exactly useful in combat.

"Hilarious. What about a name. If you call me Harry, people will probably be able to figure it out." Harry pointed out.

"James?"

"You can't be serious."

"No, but it was a funny suggestion I thought I would throw out." Dumbledore said with a soft laugh. Harry rolled his eyes and held his chin in thought.

"Charles? It was the name of grandfather and a rather common one." Harry suggested.

"That works. Now, with that sorted, shall we be off?" Albus asked. Harry nodded his agreement. With that, Dumbledore took some Floo powder and threw it into the fireplace causing a green blaze to spring up.

"Diagon Alley." Dumbledore spoke clearly before stepping in. Harry repeated the words clearly and stepped through. When he came out of the other side, he took a step and calmly came out into what looked to be some sort of bar.

"Doesn't quite look like an alley, does it?" Harry asked as he looked around.

'Very astute of you young Charles. This is Tom's Bar and Inn. It also serves as the entrance for the alley hidden from mundane and prying eyes." Albus explained. Harry nodded at that as he looked around. The bar looked rather full but perhaps that was normal for this time of day. He noticed many eyes go to Dumbledore as he looked around. He got some glances but nothing more.

"Follow me closely now, my boy. Don't want you to get lost." Dumbledore said as he made his way to what appeared to be a smaller back room just off the main dining area. The room was empty though that seemed not to be a problem as Albus stopped in front of a brick wall.

"What do you feel?" He asked Harry curiously. Harry frowned and reached out to sense the magic around them.

"… It feels like the very air around us is thick with magic. There are so many colors and patterns all around us simply moving through the air. They interact for brief moments before uncoupling and continuing to float around."

"Most impressive. What about this wall?"

"It's… dense. Less like air and more like… well a wall. But of magic. Some sort of magic has been placed on it and it appears to be rather old. Its… rather complex and yet simple at the same time. Had we enough time, I would likely be able to figure out exactly how the charm works." Harry replied as he opened his eyes and looked at Albus who was smiling down at him.

"Ten points, Charles. An excellent deduction. Now… watch." With that, Albus withdrew his wand and touched the wall in a specific order. As soon as he did, Harry could the magic at the wall go from passive to active in almost an instant. He could also physically see as the very bricks seemed to peel themselves away making a hole.

The view on the other side of the wall almost took Harry's breath away. It was a small bustling street full of strange people, strange buildings, and strange things. Everyone seemed to wear robes or more traditional clothing as they went about their business in the alley. The shops were all shapes and sizes going down the alley. They had strange names and were all sorts of colors. The things they sold though… Harry could feel his eyes jumping from one item to another. If he had thought Tom's bar was dense with magic then this place was almost suffocating with how much was swirling around it. It was truly like looking at a masterpiece of art. The way it moved in the air and mingled with each other and became part of the very atmosphere of the small street made it even more beautiful.

"Welcome… To Diagon Alley." Albus said cheekily though he didn't notice still being too distracted by the sight.

"It's beautiful…" That was all he could think to say back.

"I am glad you think so. Though I am afraid we cannot stand admiring it all day. Let us make our way to the bank, shall we?" Albus suggested. Harry just nodded in a daze as he felt Dumbledore put his hand on his shoulder and begin to guide him through the throng of people. Harry wasn't looking at one person though, he was simply lost in the symphony of magic taking place before him. It was the second most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

"Here we are."

Harry blinked as he tried to pull himself back into the present and what was around him. He was now standing in front of a building that looked to be made of marble and looked as if it might be slightly tilted to one side. That being said, it was in a more Greek style that many banks had so he assumed this must be it. The front had silver doors that seemed to have an inscription written on them

Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.

"A cheery bunch these Goblins, huh?" Harry muttered as he finished reading the message.

"Just wait until you meet them. Be warned, Goblins are a rough bunch but they take their job extremely seriously and they respect the strength of a person. Their word means a lot, which doesn't mean they won't try and pull the wool over your eyes but once terms are agreed to, there's no backing out." Dumbledore told him seriously. Harry nodded. It somewhat matched what he had read though there had also been an undercurrent of disdain in the book he had read. When asked, Dumbledore revealed the prejudice that apparently infested much of Magical Britain.

"I'll keep that in mind, though you're the one doing most of the speaking today right?" Harry asked. He looked to have an example in mind before performing something if at all possible.

"Indeed, though they may ask a question or two so be prepared for that if necessary." Dumbledore told him. Harry nodded and steeled himself. He had never been to a bank before but if they were anywhere near as cutthroat as they appeared in pop culture, he would need to keep his guard up.

The inside of the bank was… Well, it looked like what he would expect a bank to look like. There were several benches and seats down the middle and several teller counters along the sides of the bank. Furthermore, there was a man at a desk sitting at the end of the long room who likely was in charge of the room. Perhaps a manager. He didn't have much longer to admire the room though as Dumbledore approached one of the Goblins at a counter.

Now that they were close, Harry finally got a good look at what Goblins looked like. They were short and stout from what he could see. Further, they all seemed to have rough and thicker-looking skin than what you would expect from a human. Even further, their faces had several sharp edges and even points in several places. It also looked like they all had permanent sneers on their face. The one who they approached seemed to glare as they stood in front of him.

"Greeting's teller. We are here to access this young man's vault. Here is the key." Dumbledore said politely as he extracted a key that had been hidden in his sleeve. He handed it to the goblin who looked at it for a moment before his eyes sharply looked down at Harry. He tried not to squirm under the gaze and forced himself to meet it evenly.

"I believe you are aware of Gringott's policy on disguises are you not?"

"We are. The appearance is simply to avoid attention from others, it will be dropped in the examination chamber as is customary." Dumbledore responded quietly. The teller eyed the older man before pulling back and nodding sharply.

"Very well, you may proceed to the next room. From there a cart worker will take you to the vault. As you are only the guardian of the young man in question, only a thousand galleons may be taken at the most. Is this understood?"

"Yes."

"Good. You may go." The teller finished. They immediately turned and headed to the back of the room where the man with the desk was and had a door on either side behind him. As they walked, Harry couldn't help but feel the teller's gaze on him. He wondered if the creature could actually see through his illusion or it simply knew he didn't look as Harry Potter should. He supposed it didn't matter at this point, they had made it in.

As they got to the doorway, a goblin carrying what looked like a battle-axe met them and gestured with his hand in the direction they were supposed to go. Harry couldn't help but notice that axe looked like it would be too big for the goblin. Despite this, he had no doubt the creature was capable of using it. They followed his instruction into the next room where there was a series of identical doors. They were shuffled into the first one which had nothing in it. Harry furrowed his brow in confusion.

"This is an examination room. They will simply need to verify your identity here. You will have to drop your illusion from this point forward. None should be able to see you though." Dumbledore explained to him. Harry nodded at that before swiping his hand over his face, dispelling the illusion placed on it. A moment later and another goblin came in.

"Hmph. I am Griphook and I will be taking you to your vault, I see you have already removed the illusion. You may not place any further on your person for the duration of your visit. Failure to follow this rule can result in an early death. Do you understand?" The goblin almost growled at him.

"I understand." Harry answered with ease. The goblin eyed him for a second before nodding and reopening the door.

"Very well, follow me." The Goblin told him. They followed him into the next room and followed him down a hallway where there was a cart on a track waiting for them. Harry eyed it not sure how much he trusted the strange yet archaic-looking machine. Dumbledore stepped into it easily though and seemed unconcerned so he decided he would trust it for now. He stepped in himself before the goblin Griphook hopped in and gripped the lever on the side of the cart.

"Gringotts is not responsible for any maiming or death experienced from lack of keeping one's body parts inside the cart at all times."

"Wha…"

Harry couldn't even finish the word before the cart shot forward and he was forced strongly into the back of his seat. The cart took no time at all to reach what was clearly its top speed. Honestly, though, the speed wasn't the problem, the random twist and turns the cart took without slowing down were much more worrying and disorienting.

After a few minutes of travel though, Harry found he got used to the hectic movement and even found the ride to be somewhat enjoyable. He looked over and saw Albus looking somewhat uncomfortable but otherwise maintaining his composure. Harry smiled at the man in amusement as they finally came to a stop.

"We are here. Do not dawdle too long or you will be left behind." Griphook snapped at them. Dumbledore simply nodded as both he and Harry stepped out of the cart onto the ledge where there was a big-looking vault door waiting.

"So. this is my family's vault?"

"It is simply a Trust vault put aside for your education until you become an adult or take on the headship of your house, whatever comes first."

"Can I become the head of my house before becoming an adult?" Harry asked curiously.

"You can, as a matter of fact. As the last living member of the Potter line, you are allowed to take up the headship at the age of 13 which will give you full control of your estate should you wish it. You still won't get any other privileges associated with adulthood though." Dumbledore pointed out. Harry nodded as Albus inserted the key into his vault and turned it. He heard a noise come from within the door before it slowly started to open. When finished, Harry got a good look at what sat inside.

"That… Is quite a lot of gold." Harry said looking at the sizeable pile within.

"Mm. Fourteen thousand galleons exactly as it happens. We are authorized to take out over two thousand galleons a year until you reach your majority." Albus explained. Harry nodded slowly at that.

"Do we have to count out one thousand coins?" Harry asked warily looking at all the money.

"Indeed, though each stack is split into one hundred coins, so in reality, we just need to take ten stacks." Dumbledore told him before pulling a sack out of his robes as well as his wand. With a quick wave, coins from various stacks started floating before flying over and started to quickly fill the sack.

Harry watched as the sack didn't seem to expand as more coins went in it. Dumbledore had already explained to him how it worked with an expanded inside but it was still interesting to see in action. When what he assumed was the correct amount of gold, coins stopped flying in the pouch and Albus put said pouch away.

"Shall we?" Albus said with a smile as he gestured back to the cart. With that done, they left the vault which closed on its own once all occupants had left its confines. Harry took one more look at it before stepping back into the cart.

"Thank you Griphook. Would you mind terribly if we stopped at one of my vaults as well?" Albus asked as he reached forward and handed the goblin a piece of paper he seemingly pulled from nowhere. Harry scrunched his brow as he looked at the interaction with confusion. He didn't they would also be stopping at one of Albus's vaults.

"Hmph. Fine." Griphook groused before kicking the cart back into gear after reading what was on the paper, presumably a vault number to go to. The ride led them, what felt like, higher up and closer to the entrance than where his vault lied. That being said, it was a short trip and Harry found it much more enjoyable now that he knew what to expect.

They stopped soon at another vault though that looked newer but rather small compared to the one they just came from. Harry stepped out as he was closer to the exit and Dumbledore was sitting next to him on the far side. He felt rather confused at this point whether he should wait at the cart or go with Dumbledore to his vault. He didn't want too presumptuous though. Apparently, Dumbledore noticed and correctly identified his feelings.

"You may join me, Harry. There is nothing to worry about, just need to grab a small package." Albus told him. Harry nodded and followed the man quietly to the vault. Albus stepped up and inserted his key this time which quickly had the vault opening for him.

Harry couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at seeing the almost entirely empty vault in front of him. The only thing that was in it was a wrapped box packaged laying innocently in the middle of the vault. Dumbledore walked over to it and gingerly picked the package up and moved back out of the vault.

"Alright, we may leave." He said with a smile. Harry stared at him and then stared at the plain-looking wrapped package. Without even meaning to, he felt himself reach out to feel the magic around him. He immediately noticed the glowing red waves seemingly emanating from the package. Harry's eyes widened at the power that each pulse seemed to have only hinted at the true power of the small item held within. Harry had no idea what was in this box but whatever it was, it was one of the most powerful magical items he had ever been nearby.

"Albus…"

"Not here. We may speak of it back at your home." Dumbledore quickly cut him off and gave him a serious look. Harry snapped his mouth closed and nodded slowly at the words. Whatever was in that box was likely a big deal and needed to be kept secret.

"Okay…. Shall we then?" Harry asked as they got back to the cart.

"Indeed." Dumbledore said before stepping in. Harry followed right after and proceeded to get comfortable.

"We are done for the day, Master Griphook. Please take us back to the surface." Albus said to the goblin. Griphook didn't respond, he just hit the lever of the cart once again and they were off. Luckily, the ride was rather short since they were already near the surface of the bank again.

Griphook came to a stop when they got back to their original room which would lead them back to the main entrance of the bank. Harry stepped out of the cart for the last time of the day and moved away so Dumbledore also had enough room to get out.

"Thank you, Master Griphook, for helping me today." Harry told the goblin politely. The goblin looked at him with a glare but grunted. He considered it a good thing considering the small being didn't insult him in any way as Dumbledore told them they were prone to do. Dumbledore repeated his thanks before they started heading back to the front of the bank. They stopped before they entered the waiting room though so Harry could reapply the illusion on his head before once more heading out.

Once they finally stepped out of the bank, Harry finally looked over at his guardian for guidance.

"So? What's next?" Harry asked.

"Well, you need your textbooks for the year, your school robes, your potion kit, and your wand. There also might be some things that catch your eye you may want. Is traditional to get your wand last. So, what would you like to go and get first?"

"Hmm. Well, I suppose we can get my robes. That seems like the most uninteresting part to me." Harry said back with a shrug.

"Very well, Madame Malkin's is just right there." Dumbledore told him and started to lead to the building he just pointed out. Harry nodded and followed the man silently. The buildings were rather close so it didn't take too long to wade through the crowd over to it. Despite the swiftness, no less than eight people called out a greeting to Dumbledore and many more looked at him in subdued awe. Harry could understand that. Even knowing Dumbledore on a personal level, the man seemed to have a larger-than-life aura around him and he could understand why many viewed him as something above the mundane.

"Here we are. Would you prefer I come in or wait out here?"

"I don't mind either way. Though… maybe you should come inside. I have a feeling if you stay out here, you'll spend the entire time being accosted by random people." Harry answered with some amusement. Albus gave a look of slight relief at his words.

"I appreciate the consideration and will take you up on your offer." Albus said as they both walked in together.

"Professor Dumbledore, what a surprise!" A woman almost yelled as she came over to greet the man. The woman was a shorter yet older woman. She was a little on the thicker side but not by too much. She wore a pink outfit that was clearly supposed to be a nice more fashionable option than robes. Harry wasn't sure if it was nice given his fashion sense was rather weak. Her hair was grey but cut into a short and neat style. That being said, the woman seemed nice enough.

"Madame Malkin, a pleasure as always." Albus responded kindly. The woman put her hands on her hips as she looked at the man.

"Don't tell me you finally gained a sense of fashion and decided to come and get some respectable robes?" She shot at him with a smile. Albus chuckled at the jab at his fashion sense.

"Alas, I am afraid not. I am just here to help young Charles here get his school robes." Dumbledore replied as he shoved Harry forward. At this, the Madame finally looked at him. He watched her eyebrows raise to the point they almost disappeared into her hairline.

"Deary me, young man. I am so sorry; I didn't even notice you there. How rude of me. Welcome to Madame Malkin's. A robe for every occasion. Is this your first time visiting Diagon?" She asked politely and with a pleasant smile. Harry nodded back.

"It is."

"And how are you enjoying it?"

"No issues so far but the day has only begun." Harry said back with a small smile. The Madame laughed before turning back to the professor.

"You don't usually bring the children to the alley yourself professor. What's the occasion?"

"Oh, dear Minerva was busy with something so I decided I would take this one off her hands." Dumbledore responded somewhat dismissively, clearly not wanting the woman to look into it.

"Oh, how nice! It's always a treat to see you, professor. Well, on to you young man. What are you looking for pre-stitched or something custom-tailored to you?"

"What's the difference in price?" Harry asked back.

"You could get a full set of robes for 15 galleons or you could get a custom set done that can cost anywhere from 75 galleons to 500 based on the material."

"I see. Can I feel out the materials before deciding?"

"Of course! Right over here we have some cloth samples."

She led him over to a table that had several rolled-up samples across it. She gestured towards them, silently telling him he was free to touch. The first he touched was a little more coarse but still rather soft, something he wasn't unfamiliar with.

"Is this what the standard robes are made from?" Harry asked.

"Yes, it's just basic cotton, but it's cheap to source."

"I bet." Harry said as he moved on to the next one. This one was a little softer though still a little too rough for his taste. He went down the whole line before blinking at the last two.

"Are these both silk?" Harry asked.

"Yes, the first is normal silk and the second is an Acromantula silk. The same softness but the threads are much stronger even without magical reinforcement. It is our most expensive though Twilfitts and Tattings have a few rarer materials for high-class clients.

"How much would it be to get it in normal silk?"

"300 galleons for the full set." She responded easily. Harry nodded, that wasn't unexpected. For a full robe, it probably took a lot of the material.

"I'll take that, please. All of them in black as well."

"Wonderful, if you will just come over here, I will just get your sizes for the robes." She said gesturing to another part of the store that had stools and mirrors likely set aside for just this purpose. Harry nodded and walked over, He stood on top of one of the stools and waited for instructions.

"Right. Put your arms up then… Is there anything you want specially done to your robes? Keep in mind they still have to meet your school's regulations."

"Yes, I don't want them as long and flowy as I've seen many be. Just to my ankles at most will be fine. In the arms and by the shoulders as well I would prefer if it wasn't too baggy. Just enough in case, I grow a little." Harry mentioned.

"That's no issue. Just give me a few moments."

"Of course."

Harry stayed silent and only occasionally moved when Madame Malkin told him to. A couple of minutes in, another boy came into the room and stood on a stool next to him. Another attendant seemed to be doing something similar to him that Harry was undergoing.

"Hmm. Are you buying supplies for your first year at Hogwarts too?" The boy asked directed at him. Harry turned and looked at him. He had platinum blonde hair that looked a little too smooth to the touch. His face was a little scrunched up though not to the point to say he looked ugly or deformed. His expression though came off as slightly haughty. Still, it would be rude to judge him so quickly without knowing anything else about him.

"I am." He answered easily.

"Hmph. Can you believe the standard of robes they expect us to buy? When Father saw it he immediately demanded a custom set made for me from the best material." The boy bragged. Harry frowned at his words.

"I imagine it is for lower-income families to make sure they do not waste all their money on robes and can still afford other supplies." Harry responded with a slight bite in the tone though he doubted the boy would recognize it.

"Just like Dumbledore to always pander to the less fortunate." The boy said, his voice dripping with contempt. Harry looked at the boy, already tired of him.

"I can tell you have never had to experience struggle or hardship from the thirty seconds we have interacted. Must be nice to have always had had your every want and need met." Harry commented in a monotone voice despite the fact that he was quite annoyed with the boy. He turned back when he finished though he did still see the boy start to sputter indignantly at his words.

"You can't talk to me like that!"

"Why?"

"Do you know who I am? I am Draco Malfoy, heir to the Malfoy house."

"Okay." Harry said back blandly, not really caring though, he assumed from what he read that Malfoy was one of the houses that had a seat on Magical Britain's version of Parliament. The boy simply glared at him for his words.

"You're a mudblood aren't you? They're the only ones stupid enough to not know how to talk to their betters." The boy spat at him.

"Maybe, I wouldn't know since I don't know what that means. And I see none who could be considered my better." Harry responded easily. From what he could feel, this boy like most children had meager magical reserves and Harry doubted that in terms of magical ability, they were anywhere close to equals. Considering he was a ward of Dumbledore, one of the most powerful political figures in both Magical Britain and beyond, he doubted this boy could do anything to him.

"You'll learn your place soon enough." The boy said with a glare.

"You're all done, young man." Madame Malkin said from below him as she stood to her full height. Harry nodded.

"Thank you, Madame, I appreciate your work." Harry said easily as he moved off the stool and away from the other child who he had a feeling was still scowling at him.

'Are you okay?'

Harry paused as he felt a female voice reverberate softly in his head. He sighed before concentrating on his response.

'Fine, just had to deal with an annoying person is all. Just said some things that got under my skin. I'll tell you all about it later.' Harry thought hard on the sentence as it drifted into the void that was his mindscape.

A wonderful if not somewhat strange new feature of the creation and development of their shared mindscape was that he could finally contact Ciri when he was awake! It wasn't perfect. The response came in somewhat delayed so having conversations was still somewhat out of reach but progress was progress.

"Now, you have two options, the clothes will be ready in a week. Would you like it shipped to your home address or would you simply prefer to come to get it yourself?" Madam Malkin asked politely.

"I'll just come to pick it up after it's done." Harry responded with a smile. It would probably be suspicious if he told her to send it to Potter Manor.

"No problem, and the name you would like it under?" She asked.

"Charles Riannon." He said easily. He had a feeling Ciri wouldn't mind him borrowing her name for this. Especially since she had so many.

"Alright… All done. And you're total comes out to 275 galleons for the items." She told him. He rose an eyebrow. He was rather sure the price had been 300 when they had spoken earlier. She seemed to notice his befuddled gaze.

"I knocked off a little since you had to deal with some unpleasantness in my shop." She admitted clearly referring to the boy who had insulted him.

"Ah. I wouldn't hold a customer's attitude against your establishment. Besides him, my experience here was pleasant, I assure you." He told her appreciatively. He appreciated the gesture behind the discount but it's not like he couldn't afford it and twenty-five galleons probably meant a lot more to her than it did to him.

"It's alright, I would feel bad if I didn't give it to you. Just make sure to keep me in mind for any future clothing needs and we will call it even." She told him with a smile.

"Deal." Replied with a smile. This woman seemed rather nice. He would make sure to shop again in the future. After they finished up the transaction, Harry used some of the money Dumbledore had handed to him for the purchase and went to go find the older man. It had turned out, he had drifted to go stand near the exit. When he saw Harry approach, he straightened up.

"All done with your purchase?"

"I am… You could've helped me with it, isn't that why you are here?"

"I thought it would be a good idea to get some experience buying for yourself. How was it?"

"The buying experience was fine. I ran into an annoying person during the sizing but it's fine. Why don't we go to our next activity?"

"As you wish, I thought for the next part we could split up. While you go to get your book supplies, I would go to the apothecary and grab your potions kit. Would that be acceptable?"

"I don't see a problem with that. Where shall we meet?"

"I have a feeling I shall be done before you so I will simply meet you in Flourish and Blotts, the bookshop." Dumbledore told him. Harry nodded and they said goodbye as they temporarily parted ways. Harry made his way to another close by a store called Flourish and Blotts and entered it. It wasn't too crowded so he didn't need to move through people to get around which was nice.

He immediately started looking for the books necessary for his school year and noticed most were already at the front stacked together, likely for the ease of students. He looked them over and frowned. They all looked rather basic which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but if there was one thing, he knew about himself, he knew he soaked up knowledge FAST with all the extra time he spent on studying. He debated if he should get some more advanced reading for when he finished the schools or simply grab some from his own library.

After a few moments of pondering, he decided not to waste money on things he likely already had at his home and instead get things he may not already have. He had books that covered all the basic categories of magic but there were a few he didn't have much on. Alchemy and Rituals both were subjects he knew very little on. So, he decided to look out for those subjects in particular.

As he weaved through the shelves, he noticed very few books on the subjects, he could only find one on Rituals and two on Alchemy. Of those three books, a quick skim revealed only one gave any sort of actual instruction on getting started. He would take what he could get though, and he kept them on his person. He found a book on Astronomy that looked interesting. He knew certain stars and lunar cycles could affect things like rituals. It was something to look into.

He found another book on modern wizard culture and traditions that were still examined. He supposed that could come in handy to make sure he didn't accidentally offend someone he didn't mean to offend. The final book he found was actually one that dealt with history. It was called An Unbiased Look at the history of the Wizard. It was a thick tome and looked like it would be interesting so he decided to grab it as well.

"Have you found everything?" Harry looked to his left and saw Dumbledore was now standing next to him.

"That was fast." Harry commented.

"It's already been almost twenty minutes. I see you have already found some extracurricular reading materials."

"Yes, just a few light reads. I decided I would simply bring books from home when I need some more material to read instead of simply buying a bunch of new books that probably say the same thing." Harry explained.

"A smart idea. The Potter Library is quite expansive. Even further, the Hogwarts library is quite sizeable as well. I have a feeling you will not be left wanting. Now, why don't you go pay for your books and we can move onto the next portion of our trip." Dumbledore suggested. Harry silently agreed and took all the books he intended to buy to the front of the store. There was a pleasant old man behind the register though he wasn't sure if he was an employee or the owner of the business as he didn't bother to ask. Within a few moments, he was handing his purchased books to Dumbledore to put into the expanded sack he was carrying.

"Only one thing left then… Are you excited about your wand?" Dumbledore asked him. Harry shrugged.

"I suppose so, though I imagine it's less of a big deal since I don't strictly need it. Still, I am curious to see how much easier it is to perform magic with it." Harry confided. Albus nodded in understanding as they stepped out of this shop and headed to a smaller red one across the alley. The outside of it had a name in gold imprinted on the door that said 'Ollivanders'. Dumbledore opened the door for him and Harry stepped inside.

"Hm. Is that a new customer I hear?" A voice called from somewhere in the back of the shop. While he couldn't see who it was, the voice itself sounded old. He waited as a man finally appeared from behind one of the many shelves the was behind the counter.

"Ah, Welcome young man, welcome. Hmm. You look quite familiar, we haven't met, have we?" The older man looked at him with curiosity burning in his eyes. Harry kept his cool as he looked back at him.

"Not that I believe sir. This is my first time in this alley."

"Of course, of course. Still, I could've sworn… Well, it is no matter. I suppose it's a wand you're looking for. Wait right there and I shall see what fits you." The man said before running back behind some shelves, not giving Harry a chance to respond. Harry glanced at Albus who simply returned the look with his own full of amusement.

"Here try this, cherry wood, dragon heartstring from a Fireball." A piece of wood was shoved in his hands before immediately being snatched away.

"No, no, no. That won't do at all." The old shop owner said taking it back behind some shelves until he came back with another. Unfortunately, the process simply would continue on and on. Most of the time, he wouldn't be able to even wave the wand before Mr. Ollivander would snatch and declare it wrong for him. The ones he did get to swish seemed to react outrageously or simply be underwhelming. He had heard more woods than he knew existed and so many random magical animal parts that his head was starting to spin.

"I wonder… Here, try this one." He said as he took out another wand from a box and held it out for him to take. He reached out for it but as soon as he came close enough, he froze. He eyed the wand suddenly as he became hyper-aware of every edge and curve of it. He could feel it. Even before touching it, the wand was reaching out for him. It wanted to be in his hands and his magic was responding, already reaching out beyond his hands and seeming to be trying to bring the wand closer on its own. He hesitated for only a second longer before closing the distance and grabbing the wand.

In an instance, Harry could feel it. The wand in his hands was MADE for him. It already almost felt like it was part of him and he knew It in his heart. It seemed like as soon as he touched it, the wand decided to celebrate the union by showering everything around them in beautiful golden lights that fell all around him. Though the display was likely impressive, he barely saw it as he couldn't keep his eyes off the wand.

"11 inches exactly made from a Holly tree and with a phoenix tail feather from none other than your dear professor's familiar. How strange, I would never have guessed when you walked in that you would take this wand, I expected it to leave with a different face entirely. Though I suppose I should have expected a surprise from you, isn't that right Mr. Potter." Ollivander said, revealing his knowledge of Harry's identity. At his true name, Harry finally looked away and at the shopkeeper. He looked him directly in the eye and he suddenly understood.

"You can feel it too, can't you? Magic. You can feel it all around you at all times, just like I can. Is that how you pair the wands then?" Harry asked eagerly. The old man looked at him before giving a wide grin.

"What is it the muggle's say? Ah, that's right! 'A good magician never reveals his tricks'." Ollivander said with a queer smile. Harry blinked before smirking at the man. That was certainly answer enough for him.

"Thank you for the wand, Mr. Ollivander, I shall treasure it always." Harry said in reply.

"Of course. Come to me if you ever wish to learn the exquisite craft of wand making my boy. It's been such a long time since I met anyone who I believe would have a true talent for it. And do not worry. If anyone asks, I never saw a Harry Potter in my shop." The man said with a wink. Harry smiled.

"Thank you very much, and I shall keep your offer in mind." Harry said. He then paid for the wand and headed out of the shop with his guardian.

"That was an interesting experience…" He commented once they were once more in the open.

"I doubt you understand the gravity of a wandmaker offering to teach his craft to another Harry so I shall inform you, that was a very BIG deal." Albus immediately told him. Harry's eyes widened.

"Truly?"

"Indeed. Gerrick hasn't offered an apprenticeship in close to fifty years if my memory serves me correctly. He is an indisputable master of the field the likes of which is rarely seen. I would advise you to truly take such an offer under consideration." Dumbledore counseled. Harry nodded much more seriously than he had been. He would indeed consider the offer though he was less interested in wand lore than some other personal projects he had.

"Good, now, is there anything you wish to do before we depart?"

"I don't believe so… About my clothes, I need to come and get them in a week. Is that an issue?" Harry asked."

"It shouldn't be. Minerva will be meeting with you next week and I am sure she would have no problem taking you." Dumbledore told him.

"Alright, just making sure." Harry said. With that Dumbledore placed a hand on his shoulder and Harry grimaced.

"Now now, I shall try to make it as smooth a trip as possible."

"You say that every time." Harry said back with a sigh. With that, Dumbledore apparated them both out of the alley and with that, his first trip to Diagon ended.

Several Hours Later

"So how was it?" Ciri asked as she went through a few stances on a hexagonal wooden platform with a short sword that she had apparently been given at Kaer Morhen. Harry was looking over the Astronomy book he had bought earlier that day. He had flipped through the book before going to be and looked at each page. Even if he could normally not directly remember the text, in his mindscape, he could pull the actual pages from his subconscious and actually pay attention to them in more detail. Especially since it was such a recent memory.

"Enlightening." Harry said without looking up from the book.

"How so?"

"I learned several things. I got to see how ambient magic interacted with each other in a dense environment. I got to see where my money was being stored. I got to see what a magical-based world compared to the normal one looked like. I also got a firsthand look at social issues I am likely going to run into when interacting with others."

"Oh? Like what?"

"There seems to be some either racism or classism, or maybe even a mix of both that exists within wizarding society. It seemed rather deeply ingrained as well. I can't help a strange feeling it's going to be something I will run into once I rejoin the world fully."

"Hmm. That sounds bad. We have a lot of such things here and I'm not much of a fan either." Ciri told him as she continued in her movements. Harry looked up and idly noticed how well she was doing. It was almost like looking at someone performing a ritualistic dance, except this one was a dance of death. Despite that, the dance, just like all art performed by someone who knew what they were doing, was beautiful. Harry could get lost watching her do it. Ciri once told him that she felt the same when watching one of the Witchers at Kaer Morhen performing their own movements. She said it was so easy to get mesmerized by it.

"Harry." Ciri called out not stopping her movement but looking over and making eye contact with him for a brief moment. It was enough to jolt Harry to remember the conversation they had been in the middle of.

"Sorry. Yes, it's a nasty thing to watch. Other than that, I believe the trip was a success. I also got an offer of an apprenticeship. A rare one at that." Harry informed her. Ciri looked at him in surprise.

"I didn't know you had apprenticeships still. Isn't that the point of your schools?"

"Yes, apprenticeships are rare though, they're more common in the wizarding world. You need to complete an apprenticeship to become a master or become so good in a particular field that your mastering of it is undeniable. That second option is much rarer than the first and much harder." Harry answered.

"Oh… So, what field were you offered an apprenticeship in then?"

"Wand crafting. An incredibly rare field in magic. For example, there is usually only one wand crafter in an entire country. And even then, only more developed magical countries have such easy access to them."

"Wow. Are you going to take him up on it?" Ciri asked him sounding in awe for a moment.

"Probably, but not for a while. Wand crafting is a rare skill and it would be nice to know but it isn't really necessary for me. I would be open to learning about it when I have fewer things on my plate." Harry answered.

"Interesting. Speaking of which, you got your wand today did you not?"

"I did indeed. Would you like to see it?"

"Of course!" Ciri said back as she stopped her movements and hopped off the platform and approached him quickly. Harry smiled seeing the excitement in her movements as she came over.

"Calm down, calm down. Hold on a moment… There." Harry told her as he crafted a simple illusion of his wand and handed it to her. Ciri quickly snatched the fake wand and held it up to eye level so she could get a good look at it.

She twirled it in her hand and inspected it seriously. She then struck a pose and went through a movement as if she were casting a spell from the wand. She looked incredibly silly while doing it causing Harry to start to snicker quietly. She stopped her movements and quickly turned to him to glare. Unfortunately, her cheeks puffed up when she did it turning Harry's snicker into a full-blown laugh. She seemed to take offense to that as she suddenly chucked the wand at his face causing him to duck.

"You're quite violent." Harry commented after finally calming down.

"Keep laughing and I'll show you what real violence looks like." Ciri growled. Harry smiled at her before shaking his head in amusement.

"Very well, I apologize. So, what did you think of it?" Harry asked summoning the fake wand back to her. She didn't take it, instead, it just floated near her face.

"It looks like a fancy stick."

"Considering that's pretty much what it is unless handled by the proper user, I suppose that is appropriate." Harry responded not taking offense to the blunt statement. With that, the wand disappeared as Harry struck down the illusion. Ciri looked at him.

"Did it at least help your magic? It is a focus isn't it?"

"It is, though I have not used it yet. It has something called The Trace on it, a piece of tracking magic the government can use to make sure children aren't using their wands. I can only use it when I go to school." Harry answered.

"That's dumb. What's the point of letting you have it if they won't let you use it?"

"It's not like I can't use magic without it, so it's not big of an issue. I am far from helpless." Harry reminded her.

"Couldn't you just take the tracking magic off of it?"

"I could probably find a way. I have read up on spells already that can do such a thing. They are a little complex which means that I'd have to find a way to adapt them to my methods. Though, I don't see much point in truth. As I said, it's not like I NEED it or anything. Besides, I shouldn't rush to become so reliant on a wand. While I am sure it'll make things easier, it was the death of sorcerers everywhere in my world."

"So, you've told me… Still, it just seems dumb to give a child a new tool and not let them use it." Ciri said with a sigh as she slumped into a chair next to him.

"I suppose you're not wrong… So, shall I ask how your day was?"

"Frustrating. I still haven't made any progress in learning Signs. Geralt told me not to try and force it and let it happen naturally but…"

"Good advice. Have you tried meditating? That's what happened to me when I tried to reach the magic that lay within." Harry asked kindly. He knew Ciri was still a little sensitive about her lack of progress.

"Of course. I try that after supper every day before I go to bed. I know it's only been a couple of weeks but Geralt says Signs are literally the easiest form that pretty much exists. Even those with no talent should be able to do it with no problem." Ciri hissed in anger.

Harry frowned at that. He understood the premise of it. Hell, even he could throw out Signs once she showed him. They were pretty much just raw magic shaped slightly to get easy to make spells. They weren't that strong, but certainly enough against things that had no defense against them.

"Perhaps there is something wrong? Perhaps you have some sort of mental block. Or maybe it has something to do with our connected mindscape." Harry suggested trying to possibly place some of the blame away from her.

"Then why would it not affect you as well?" She questioned.

"Maybe it's why I am so easy to use magic. Perhaps I am sucking the talent right out of you." Harry suggested though he didn't really believe his words, and from her expression, neither did Ciri.

"You once told me you could feel magic within me. Tell me… Can you still feel it? And don't you dare lie to me." Ciri told him seriously as she got up and moved to stand in front of him so she could look into his eyes.

"Implying that I would ever lie to you?" Harry asked rhetorically as he looked at her with a frown. They both knew he would never do such a thing and he couldn't help but feel insulted that she would suggest as much.

"I don't mean outright…" Ciri responded apologetically, "But let's not pretend you wouldn't withhold information if you thought it would harm me in any way, feelings included. You've done it before." She pointed out. Harry frowned but couldn't refuse it. He had neglected to tell Ciri things like when he was overworking himself and such because he knew she would become upset if he did.

"That's fair. Although I am telling you it isn't necessary, but if you truly wish, I will check you again." Harry told her with a sigh before standing up and before her. He opened his senses to the magic around him and immediately felt the only sources being Ciri and himself. He shook his head.

"I can still feel it Ciri. You have a lot of it, just as you did the last time I checked." Harry told her with another sigh.

"Are you sure? Be thorough, there must be something wrong." Ciri told him with exasperation. Harry rolled his eyes before once more paying attention to her magic. He moved a step closer though even though it's not like he needed a better 'look'.

In truth, Ciri emanated a lot of magic. Even more, than he did. When he first actually observed Ciri he was astounded. She had lots of magic and she was still a child. Even with no training or nurturing, he wouldn't be surprised if she had reserves that could match Dumbledore when she reached adulthood or even higher.

He knew what to expect, of course, once he got past the overwhelming sensation. Magic both emanated and circulated through one's body. Harry had even created a theory about it, that magic came in two parts, one from the soul and one in the blood. You needed both to be a wizard. The soul, for most, only provided what Harry called the Magic of Life. Base magic that all seemed to have. If enough of that was collected, then you would get enough magic to be what was considered a 'magical'.

And that's what the problem was. Ciri's magic was so powerful and dense, he had never bothered to look beyond it. Now that he finally bothered too, Harry finally saw what the issue was, or at least, he thought he did.

"I believe I have found the issue." Harry finally said.

"Well, what is it?"

"You… I have never seen anything like it but, you don't have magic in you."

"What?"

"that's not right. You do but… you also don't."

"Can you explain what you mean?"

"I'll try to explain, so a person has two sources of magic usually. There's the magic in one's body that flows within it. There's also the magic one has in their core that doesn't flow but emanates outward. This magic is stored in one's magical reserves and what one normally uses to cast spells. That being said, to be considered magical, you need to have somewhat of a balance between those two." Harry explained to her.

"And… I don't have a balance? Is that what are suggesting?"

"it's more than that… Ciri your soul has almost no magic at all. You have enough to live but… you have no magical reserves." Told her sadly.

"I don't understand, if I don't have magic then what have you been sensing all this time?" She asked him both confused and sad at the same time.

"Well, that's the thing. The reason I believed you to have plenty was because of how much magic I can feel emanating from you. Magic from your core radiates outward and away from the body, it's kind of like the light from a star. Magic in the body simply flows through one's body like a river. However, despite having almost no magical reserves your blood and body are carrying so much magic in it that it's literally rolling off of you. I have never seen anything like it." Harry admitted as he eyed her with wonder.

"So… What does that mean?"

"Honestly? I have no idea. You need magical reserves to cast spells. That being said, I have never heard of a case like this before. In this world, we have squibs, which are people who have the opposite of your problem. They have magic and even reserves but their bodies have little magic and cannot channel the magic from their reserves." Harry answered already thinking about what this would mean for his friend. He would have to look into this as soon as possible.

"But it does explain why I can't use magic?" She asked.

"Well yes, although… I suppose that's not entirely true. You can do things that don't require reserves. Things like Potions, Rituals, possibly Alchemy as well. But things like spells may be out of reach until I can find a solution to help you." Harry told her. She rolled her eyes.

"You don't know you'll be able to help Harry, so don't promise me anything. You've already got enough impossibilities that you've told me you'll make happen." Ciri told him. Harry shook his head.

"I will make it happen; I don't go back on my word. Do you not trust me?" Harry questioned with a glare. Ciri shook her head.

"I trust you to do everything in your power and then some to accomplish a promise you make. And that's what worries me…" Ciri muttered the last part but Harry heard it.

"You don't need to worry. I am better at telling my limits. But there has been progress and I believe now more than ever that there is a solution to my problem. I ask that you trust me on that."

"I trust you, Harry. With my life… That doesn't stop me from worrying though." She reminded him. Harry nodded in understanding. He worried for her too, much more than he worried for anything else.

"I know… Were you worried today? Is that why you reached out?" Harry asked as he recalled her voice when he was in Diagon after leaving the clothing shop.

When Harry had first created their improved shared mindscape, they noticed that they could feel emotions from each other. He had speculated then that they may also gain other new abilities as a result. One that had later presented itself was the ability to communicate even when awake.

It was by no means an easy thing to do nor was it necessarily quick. If intense enough, Harry could feel Ciri's emotion and vice versa. Thoughts however were a little more complicated and took a little longer to send through. It required concentration though so it wasn't something you could do at any time. Or at least not when you were doing other things. That being said, he noticed that the more they used it over time, the easier it was so there may come a point where it was truly instantaneous.

"A little."

"Why? I've been annoyed before." He pointed out.

"It wasn't just that. Normally you're annoyed because you're exasperated with something. That, I am used to feeling. This was something else. You were annoyed but it was based on anger. I haven't felt anger like that in you in a while. You're normally very level-headed.

"True, I suppose… It wasn't anything, it was just a boy I ran into while shopping today. He was… annoying. A racist and an idiot." Harry told her calmly. The incident no longer bothered him. He wouldn't waste time thinking about someone who meant nothing to him.

"I suppose that's better than you getting in some sort of altercation."

"Mmm."

"So, does that mean you're ready for your school then?"

"So, it would seem. Dumbledore tells me Hogwarts has the biggest magical library in all the U.K and one of the biggest in the entire world. I can't wait to see what it has to offer." Harry told her as the conversation lost some of the earlier tension. He knew she was trying to avoid talking about her magic problem and he didn't mind going with it.

After all, he already had made up his mind a long time ago. He would always do everything in his power to help Ciri whether she asked for that help or not. He would help her magic problem.

This is the end of part 1 of the story. The next chapter obviously begins the year one Hogwarts arc. I'll be taking a short break until after the new year to begin posting it. Besides the holidays i am also about to move and begin job hunting in a new place which is both very exciting but also time consuming. So, I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year and shall hopefully see you soon!