Chapter Two:

Our first stop that afternoon was the wizarding bank. Gringotts was an imposing snow-white multistoried marble building located in the northern side of Diagon Alley. A set of white stairs lead up to a set of burnished bronze doors. The doors were flanked by a little creature in a uniform of scarlet and gold. Albus had told me that there worked goblins at the bank, I assumed this was one of them. They didn't look particularly friendly, though Albus assured me they were very intelligent creatures. The entrance led into a small entrance hall and another set of doors. Engraved on these silver doors were the words:

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.

As we walked through the silver doors which were also flanked with goblins, we entered a vast marble hall with long counters stretching along its length with around a hundred goblins sitting at them. Among the counters were doors leading off to the vault passageways. We walked up to one of the counters, which was manned by a very stern looking goblin. "Yes?" He looked annoyed as he asked the question. "Miss Wright here wishes to make a transfer and a withdrawal." Albus stated in a cheery voice. The goblin looked at me with a scrutinizing gaze. "Does Miss Wright have her key?" He drawled. I reached into the pocket of my jeans where I had stuffed the small silver key and held it up. "Oh yes its right here." He looked at a scroll of parchment and called over another goblin, whom he gave instructions and whom we followed down one of the many vault passageways. We got into one of the carts and took off at an stomach hurling speed which I would have enjoyed had it been a rollercoaster in one of the few amusement parks I had visited as a kid. Albus seemed to quite enjoy the ride. After a minute or so the cart came to a screeching halt.

"Vault 709. Lamp please," drawled the goblin as he jumped out of the cart. I reached for the lamp in the front of the cart and handed it to the goblin before getting out myself and offering Albus a hand to do the same. "Thank you my dear." He said as he took my hand and got out of the cart. "Key please." I took the lamp from the goblin and handed him my key. He stuck the key in the key hole, turned it and then placed his palm against the door. Then as the door began to open slowly he stepped back. Inside the vault, I couldn't believe my eyes, where mountains of golden, silver and bronze coins, along with several other valuable items. I saw various items engraved with what I recognized as our family crest. I had always known that we had enough money to live a relatively easy life, but I never knew we were actually rich. I realized that my family had lived a very humbled life even with the amounts of money at our disposal. As I looked around I noticed a table in the front corner of the vault. On it lay a silver locket engraved with our family crest and next to it lay a letter and a money pouch. When I got closer to it I picked up the locket and opened it. I was met by a picture of my parents locked in an embrace smiling up at me and waving, now and then my dad would steal a kiss and my mum would blush shyly. The picture made me smile, I closed the locket and hung it around my neck. Then I picked up the letter, I wanted to read it but I didn't want to make everyone wait. I looked over my shoulder and threw a questioning look at Albus. He nodded at me and engaged the young goblin in a conversation. I turned back to the table and opened the letter. I was met by a most elegant cursive script. One that I vaguely recognized as my mothers.

Beloved Cassandra,

By the time you read this letter two things could have happened. One: your came of age and learned about your magical heritage, or Two: both your father and I passed away before we could tell you and left the family vault to you. Come to think of it, in both situations you would have figured out your heritage one way or another. If it is the latter then your father and I want you to know that we are sorry for keeping your heritage from you. We had wanted you to grow up in this magical world we live in, but certain things happened before you were born that made us decide that you would be better off growing up away from all the magic. We love you very much, you must know that. We will be proud of you no matter what, in life and beyond. You always were a bright little girl and you were always magical in the kitchen. Even as a toddler you loved to make edible things. You never really showed magic except in the kitchen. I don't know if you ever noticed this, but every time you where cooking or baking with me magic would flow through you and ingredients and tools would fly around the kitchen and start mixing themselves. You could bake a cake faster than I ever could, yours always tasted better too. Yes my dear, you were born to cook, I knew that by the time you were five.

Now, the contents of this vault are all yours. Spend it wisely. I will have you know that your father and I and your grandparents before us never boasted about the amount of money we owned. We were very wealthy, but money never mattered much to us. There are more important things in live than money, such as life itself and love. I want you to keep that in mind. Money is not endless; if you don't pay attention to it and don't spend it wisely it will be gone before you know it. As you know we live a humble life and we hope you will do so too. Money doesn't buy you happiness, remember that. We trust you to know your limits and use that wonderful little head of yours that your father and I so lovelingly created. Next to this letter you will find a small money pouch. It is charmed to always stay that size and weight, no matter how much money you put in it, this is also yours.

With all our love,

Mum and Dad

My eyes had teared up a little as I read through the letter, my parents never told me because they wanted to protect me, and then they never had the chance to. It wasn't their fault that I hadn't known about my magical heritage. I refolded the letter and put it back in the envelope, which in turn I put in the inside pocket of my jacket. I picked up the pouch and filled it with a big amount of money. Now that I had learned of my heritage I would need to get settled in this magical life and I was almost certain that it was going to cost me a little. After all what I didn't need I always could return to the vault. I took a last look through the vault and decided to return another time to fully look through its contents, for now my job was done here. I walked out of the vault, a filled money pouch in my pocket and a heritage to enrich my life, not only in the economical sense but in the emotional sense as well. I nodded at Albus and the goblin as I closed the vault. "I'm sorry I took so long, I found more than I expected to find." Albus placed a hand on my shoulder like he seemed to do a lot. "That's quite alright my dear. Now let us continue, we have quite some shopping to do I believe, hmm?" Again there was that twinkle in his eyes. "Yes let's go."

When we came back above the ground I squinted my eyes at the sudden light, it had been quite dark down there. After having transferred my muggle money to wizarding coins Albus led me to the South Side of Diagon Alley, where we came to a halt in front of a large glass window of a shop named Ollivanders, 'Makers of fine Wands since 382 B.C.'. "Hmm the place where the magic starts for every eleven year old," mused Albus beside me. I snorted, "Or for an eighteen year old in this case." He chuckled, "Right you are my dear, right you are. Now let's go visit an old friend of mine." With that he pushed open the door of the store and I followed him in.

The front of the store wasn't that big. The walls where stuffed with boxes upon boxes filled with, wands, I figured. There was a small counter, flanked by a staircase on the left side, from where I was standing. Behind the counter and on the first level of the store were more boxes piled up, hundreds of them, probably more. As the bell above the door chimed once more as it closed a man came out of the back of the store. His hair was white and his light green eyes lit up as he saw Albus and I. "Albus my old friend! What a pleasant surprise, what can I do for you?" He asked as he grasped Albus' hand and clasped his shoulder in greeting. Albus motioned at me, "We came to get a wand ofcourse!" Ollivander turned to me now and after a couple of seconds glanced back at Albus. "No, can it really be..?" "Yes my friend, the one and only." It was clear to say I had no idea what the two men were on about. "I wondered when I'd be seeing you Miss Wright. Yes, it seems only yesterday when your parents and your grandfather came to buy their first wands. Your father was a very picky case, took him two hours to find his match!" He whipped out an enchanted measuring tape which started measuring my arm length and my height and several other things that I felt were not relevant, but then again, what did I know?

"Now let's see," He pulled a small rectangular box out of the wall of boxes and for a second I was afraid that it would come down. "Willow, dragon heartstring, 9 ½ inches." He handed me a curvy wand and I looked at it, not sure what I was supposed to do with it. "Well go on, give it a wave." I did as I was told and as I did, everything made of glass shattered to pieces. I ducked and covered my face with my arms. "No, no, no, definitely not!" Ollivander took the wand from my hand and put the box back in its place. I looked up at Albus who smiled reassuringly at me and with a wave of his wand everything that I just shattered fixed itself and it was as if nothing had happened.

When Ollivander returned with another box, he took out a white wand that was decorated with silvery vines. "Perhaps this one. Birch, unicorn hair, 7 ¾ inches. Extremely swishy and perfect for charms. Your mother had one just like it. Go on try it out." Again I gave it a wave, this time the room filled up with flowers which then burst into fire, threatening to burn down the place. "Not good, not good. Absolutely not!" I quickly put the wand down on the counter and took a few steps back. Albus again cleared up the mess I made and we waited patiently for Ollivander to return.

I took a deep breath and let my head hang down, at this rate I would never find a wand. Albus seemed to know what I was thinking and gently squeezed my shoulders. "Do not worry my dear, we will find you a wand." Ollivander came back and gazed at me, he seemed to be contemplating something. "Not like your mother at all you are. Hmm, maybe.." with that he walked to the side of the store and retrieved a dark green box. "Perhaps… yes.. I wonder.." He opened the box and pulled out a most beautiful wand. The handle was dark red in color, at the end of it there was the carving of an owl, its wings wrapped around the handle of the wand decorated by silver linings. The rest of the wand was pure white with a line of gold circling it all the way to the end of the tip. The description that came to mind was 'regal'. I did not know if this was the one for me but I fell in love with it that instance. "Hornbeam, phoenix tail feather, 13 ¼ inches, very loyal and quite bendy. If this wand chooses you, then it will bend to your code of honor and won't be swayed to perform magic that does not honor that code, nor will it perform magic for anyone else but you."

He handed me the wand and I felt a warm tingle run up my arm, I made a swirling motion with the wand and suddenly several wand boxes rose up in the air and stayed afloat. A warm breeze blew through the store and then the boxes landed back into their original spots. "Fascinating. Yes, yes very interesting indeed. This is one of the oldest wands I have in my store. I remember every wand I've ever sold Miss Wright, and it so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather resides in your wand, gave another feather, just one other, it is fascinating that you should be destined for this wand, when its brother was owned by your grandfather! And what makes it even more so is that this was not just an ordinary phoenix feather. No, the tail feather that resides in your wand comes from a silver phoenix. The only one I have ever seen in my life. I happened upon it when I just began my work as a wand maker many, many years ago. I was researching possible wand cores in Antarctica when I came across this bird. Your grandfather would be very proud of you! The wand chooses the wizard Miss Wright, it's not always clear why, but I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you, after all your grandfather achieved great things with his wand too." I thanked Ollivander and paid for my wand. As we left the store Albus quietly told me, "That is one of the finest wands I have ever seen. It should be very powerful, as old as it is and with that core. Silver Phoenixes are very rare you see." I looked down at the wand I had just bought, amazed once more. Then I chuckled, "of all the wands I could possibly get. The one that I could possibly do the greatest damage with chooses me. Fantastic!" The both of us burst out laughing. "You will be fine my dear. This wand chose you for a reason and I have the feeling that you are more brilliant than you think you are." He gave me a look that said 'you will see that I am right'.

"So where do you want to go next?" I looked around; there was so much to see! "Uh, how about we just walk from here and see where we end up? There is just so much to see! I can't possibly know what all these stores sell. And I am sure that I need far more that I know, right?" Albus looked at me with a smile. "Very well my dear. A tour through Diagon Alley it is. How about you tell me when you want to enter a store and I will point out the stores with the most useful products?" He held out his arm for me and I hooked mine with his. "Sounds like a plan Albus."

And so my tour through Diagon Alley began. Albus pointed out the building next to Ollivanders, "This is the main office of the wizarding newspaper The Daily Prophet." On the other side of Ollivanders was a lavender colored shop devoted to what looked to be magical beauty products for women. There were several shabby looking stores that I had no intention of entering at all. The quality of their products didn't seem to be too great. As we continued on to a colorful building, inside was packed with children from almost every age, I think I even saw several adults browsing the stacks. "Ah yes," Albus said as he followed my gaze. "Gambol & Japes Wizarding Joke Shop. Once in a while I find myself in there aswell." I looked at him in amusement. He tapped his temple as he said, "A good laugh once in a while keeps the mind young." I chuckled, "I couldn't agree more."

Across from Gambol and Japes there was a Wizarding book publisher named Whizz Hard Books. Albus informed me that they published a great variety of informative books. Our next stop, "Magical Menagerie, the magical equivalent of a pet store, if you will. Many of the students buy their pets and supplies here, would you like to take a look inside?" I did and we entered the store. Inside it was very cramped and noisy, every inch of wall was covered by cages. There were all kinds of animals, many that would not be considered 'pet material' by muggles. Albus pointed several animals out to me and told me what they were. But the owls got my interest the most. Albus seemed to notice and told me, "If you would like an owl, there is Eeylops Owl Emporium further up the street. They have everything concerning owls and a vaster variety of birds than they have here." I nodded, looked around into several cages and then we left the store.

We passed Gringotts again and I noticed a small dark alley across from the bank. I pointed it out to Albus, "What's down there?" He looked at the alley with distaste and told me in a low voice, "That is Knockturn Alley it is filled with shops devoted to the Dark Arts. Unusual and dangerous people walk around there. It's not a place many people would like to be found. I would advise you to stay clear of it." I took the warning to heart and made a mental note to never go down that alley unless it was highly necessary. Next to the entrance to the dark street I noticed a travel agency called TerrorTours, it sounded a bit dodgy to me, but then again many names I had seen so far were far from ordinary, it was something I came to accept. Next we turned to a cute little shop called Madame Malkin's Robes for all Occasions. "Here we will get you your robes."

A chime announced our arrival. "Be right there!" Came a woman's voice from the back of the store. I looked around there were several racks filled with robes, dresses, suits and coats of a dozen different models and colors. As I was looking around taking in the various pieces of clothing that were displayed all through the store, a squat witch dressed in purple robes came out of the back of the store. "Professor Dumbledore! Come for another set of robes have you?" I turned around as Albus greeted the witch. "Ah, not today Madam Malkin, not for me at least. Miss Wright here will be joining my staff next semester, she will be needing robes." The witch nodded and looked at me with a smile. I fitted several robes, dresses and coats while Madam Malkin and Albus commented on them. After about 40 minutes I left the store with a desert colored cleric coat with a short cape attached that reached till just above the elbow, a caput mortuum colored full length dress with a silver embroidered neck and short sleeves, a black satin trimmed high-neck dress that reach till the knee with charcoal colored leggings and a classy back cloak for every day wear, amazon colored robes with belled sleeves and pointy shoulders, a dark maroon colored high-neck full length dress with a black belt around the waist, a shadow colored hooded winter cloak lined with dark fur, a cordovan colored hooded winter cloak lined with light fur, three pair of ankle boots to go with the several outfits and last a pair of silky midnight blue dress robes that were covered in stars, enchanted to look like a perfect starlit night sky, a gift from Albus.

Next we visited Flourish and Blotts, the book store that was next doors to Madam Malkins. Here I purchased several cookbooks and the full collection of schoolbooks that the students at Hogwarts used. "I would not want to stay behind on the students in magical knowledge. I will be a professor of sorts after all." I explained to Albus after he raised an eye at the stack of books I had in my arms. I added several other books to the stack. Let me tell you, my money pouch was quite the galleon lighter after we left. Albus had taken to shrinking my packages so that they were easier to carry. I stacked up on a bunch of quills, ink vials and parchments from Scribbulus Writing Instruments. And then we went to pick up some sweets and baking goods for me from Sugarplum's Sweet Shop. Albus had quite the sweet tooth I learned! Next door I picked up several items that Albus advised me were quite practical for the learning wizard.

"Now let's get you an owl shall we?" Albus motioned next door as we exited Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment. I turned my head in the direction he was pointing and saw a store that had several cages with all kinds of owls out front. I dashed towards the first cage and looked in awe at the bird inside. I heard Albus chuckle behind me and I couldn't help but smile. Owls had always been my favorite animal but I had never actually seen any up close. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked up into the shining eyes of Albus Dumbledore. "There are more inside," he said with a smile. We went inside and were met with several hoots. Barn owls, Snowy owls, Eagle owl, big, tiny, black, brown, white, all of them were so different. "Albus! How am I going to pick one!?" He laughed heartily. "Take your time my dear, we are in no hurry." I nodded and made my way through the store as Albus went to have a chat with the owner. I think I stopped in front of every cage to observe the bird in it. At some point I was gazing at one bird in particular when the touch of a hand on my shoulder made me jump. A familiar chuckle met my ears and I turned to glare playfully at Albus, "You scared me to death!" "You looked rather lost in space. Did you find one you like yet?" I looked at him for a second and shrugged, "I'm not sure yet." I turned back to the bird in front of me. "You are quite the handsome bird aren't you?" I whispered to the bird. It looked back at me with its wise amber eyes and then blinked once and then answered with a soft low hoot. The bird was a beauty its body was a mixture of light brown, white, amber and black which created a soft golden look. I looked at the card in front of its cage. It read 'Eurasian Eagle – 30 inches'. I looked back into the birds eyes and slowly stuck my hand partly into the cage as if asking the bird if I can pet him, he lowered its head and then brushed it against my hand. I stroke its feathers for a while and took the birds appearance in. Eagle Owls are very large and powerful birds. Its great size, bulky, barrel-shaped build, ear tufts and its intelligent amber orange eyes makes it a truly distinctive species. Its coloring and posture making it look powerful and regal. I looked at the birds ear tufts and could tell this one in particular was a male owl, the ear tufts of males are more upright than those of females. I bowed my head to the bird in respect. "Would you like to come home with me?" I softly asked the bird. Once again it looked into my eyes, as if determining if I was worthy, it blinked once and then let out an approving deep resonant Oooh-uh! I smiled brightly and stroke its feathers one more time before retracting my hand from the cage. "Very well then. What do you say if I named you Zeus?" A singular soft hoot approved and I turned to Albus. "This is the one." Another pair of wise eyes met mine and Albus nodded in approval. "A fine choice if I may say so myself." We picked up several things I needed to care for the bird including some food and then went to pay for the lot. After picking up several items including a cauldron and several herbs and fungi we went for a drink at the Leaky Cauldron and then left Diagon Alley.

Thank you for reading! Any names and places you recognise are property of J.K. Rowling, anything else is created by yours truly =).

I hope you enjoyed the chapter. Please review :).


~ Lor