Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe belongs to JK Rowling, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros and some other high falutin' companies. Me, I'm just a PR professional. I don't profess to own - and would never dream of making any money off - JKR's wonderful world. However, its her sandbox and she's left the gate unlatched so we can go in and play a bit. Which, I've done.


Chapter Two – Gathering Supplies

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-==(oIo)==-
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While enjoying his lunch at the cafe in Diagon Alley, Harry spent quite a bit of time thinking about the two letters from his parents. He didn't know what he thought about being 'betrothed' to this Daphne Greengrass girl, other than it annoyed him. However, he also understood from what his father explained, it couldn't be broken. And, therefore, there was no use getting all upset about it. He promised himself he wouldn't be angry with the poor girl as she was just as obviously stuck with him as he was with her. But, all bets were off when it came to this Cygnus Greengrass man when Harry finally met him.

Finishing his lunch and tucking his letters away in his new document pouch, Harry headed down to Porter's Portmanteaus.

He found the shop as described and entered to find a man similar in stature to his Uncle Vernon. However, this man seemed like a much more placid individual. The shop appeared empty of customers.

Seeing the young boy walk in, the man walked over to him and said, "Hello, young sir. Here to purchase your school trunk, I suppose? I'm Waldo Porter, by the way."

"Yes, sir," replied Harry. "I'm told I need one."

"That you do, young sir," said Mister Porter. "Follow me and we'll soon get you sorted." And he led Harry to a wall where were stacked quite a few trunks all appearing identical.

"Now," said Mister Porter, gesturing, "These are the standard school trunks I sell, designed to the specifications required of a Hogwarts student. They don't have any special charms on them other than a standard Anti-Unlocking Charm charm, and have standard key locks. Part of the purchase price includes having your name printed centre on the top of the trunk near the front edge. That way it's easily identifiable as your own."

Frowning in thought for a moment, Harry asked, "Charms, sir? The lady at the bookshop, Flourish and Blotts, suggested I get one that also had a - Featherweight Charm on it. Are there any other charms or spells I can have?"

"Certainly, young sir," replied the shopkeeper, "But those sorts of things can cost quite a bit more."

"That's okay," said Harry. "I can afford it. What can I have?"

Looking Harry over a bit the shopkeeper replied, "Forgive me, young sir; but, from your current attire, you don't appear to be able to afford much more than that."

Looking down at the state of his clothing Harry frowned and said, "I guess you're correct in that assumption, sir. First appearances can be deceiving." Looking back up he said, "I guess I better purchase clothing more suited then, first. You wouldn't happen to know where I can - acquire - clothing more suited to my newly discovered station, would you? Then, I'll come back."

Wondering just who this well-spoken young man was, the shopkeeper replied, "Just back up the Alley and next door to Flourish & Blotts. There, you'll find Madam Malkin's. She'll set you to rights."

"Thank you," said Harry, before simply turning around and walking back out the store.

As directed, he easily found Madam Malkin's and entered the store. Once inside, he found a small family with a child about his own age standing on a small circular platform being fitted for what looked like a school uniform.

Waiting for a few minutes he was soon approached by what he thought of as another sales woman, who asked, "Are you here to be fitted for your Hogwarts robes, dear?"

"Yes, Ma'am," he replied. "Plus, some other clothes."

"We can do that," she said. "Come over to the fitting area and we'll get you sorted in a jiffy."

Harry followed the lady across the store and mounted another of the platforms. He turned to see a floor length mirror reflecting his image back to him.

"Now, I'll just take your measurements, dear, and we can get started," the sales woman said, taking out a tape measure that seemed to spring to life and start taking his measurements on it's own. "Feet slightly apart and arms out like the letter 'T' for a few moments, dear," she said, watching carefully.

Harry followed her instructions and watched as a quill rapidly wrote on a floating piece of parchment as she watched the measuring.

"Now, arms down and legs together," she said after a few moments.

Harry complied.

When the tape stopped measuring and the quill stopped writing she plucked both out of the air. The tape she dropped into a pocket of her robes, and the parchment and quill she clipped onto a stand just in front of him and off to the side a bit.

"First Year, dear?" she asked.

"Yes Ma'am."

Taking note of what was written on the parchment she asked, "Are you just looking for the standard robes, dear?"

"No, Ma'am," replied Harry. "I also need a whole new wardrobe for when I'm not wearing school uniform. Such as, for now."

"Ah!" she said, perking up a little. "Well, let's get the Hogwarts robes sorted first. Then we'll move onto the rest of the wardrobe." She ducked out through a door leading to the back of the store.

While Harry was quickly fitted with his Hogwarts uniform and robes, the other student and his family left. This left him as the only customer in the store.

When the sales clerk returned from the back with what he assumed as the rest of his uniform, he said, "As I said, I'm going to need all new other clothing, too, Ma'am."

Glancing up from where she was bundling up his uniform she said, "Yes, dear. And now that we have your uniform set aside, what other clothing do you want?"

Pushing down on his frustration at the woman he said, "As I believe I said, I need a whole new wardrobe." Thinking for a minute he said, "You see, everything item of clothing I currently own, I'm wearing right now!"

The sales clerk reared back as if physically slapped. "What? Do you mean to tell me you have nothing else to wear?"

Though even more frustrated Harry replied, "That's exactly what I'm saying, Ma'am. I just found out my parents left me quite a bit of money in that Gringotts bank, so I'm now able to finally buy some clothes of my own."

Worried that the woman was going to call the police, or something - and he couldn't have that happen - he thought harder and said, "I recently had a growth spurt and these things I'm wearing are the only things that fit me now."

That appeared to mollify the woman somewhat. She said, "Outfitting you with a complete wardrobe is going to cost quite a bit of money, young man. Do you think you can afford it?"

"Definitely, Ma'am," he said quite emphatically. He untied his money pouch from his belt and said, "I withdrew quite a large sum from the bank to take care of this."

The woman stood looking at him for a while, frowning. Obviously coming to a conclusion she asked, "Do you have more than, say, a hundred galleons to spend?"

"Yes, Ma'am," replied Harry. "More than that."

Sighing, the woman said, "Very well. I take it you need underwear and shoes, too?"

"Everything, Ma'am."

Straightening herself up she gave a curt nod and asked, "Any preferences?"

"No, Ma'am. Except I need clothes for all sorts of weather. And I have no idea what I want or need," replied Harry. "So, I'm hoping you can help me pick out my wardrobe for me."

Giving a wry smile in return she said, "Well, I've not met many boys who have much of a clue about fashion; so, I'm glad to see you have the sense to ask for help in that area."

Smiling back, Harry said, "I'm glad you understand, Ma'am. And, thank you."

"Then let's get to it, shall we?" she asked with a grin. "I think I'm going to have quite a bit of fun doing this."

That began over two hours of constantly dressing and undressing for Harry. He tried on formal, casual and semi casual robes; decided between boxers and briefs, and what colours; he was shown into the 'muggle' clothing area and tried on shirts, trousers, jeans, jackets, coats, scarves, hats, caps, footwear, belts, and other paraphernalia; and even purchased a whole new range of toiletries.

While they were working, Harry told her he was raised in the muggle world, so she explained a lot about the wizarding world to which he'd just entered. Though she occasionally pushed for information about his home life, Harry remained reticent for much of it, and only told her information that didn't identify him or how he was raised. Again, he didn't want her calling the police on him.

However, he did ask where he could find temporary accommodation and used the excuse he had much more shopping to do, and he knew needed to stay over night before heading home. She suggested that the Leaky Cauldron was the best option for short term accommodation. Harry took her suggestion on board.

When they were finished, the woman was shocked to discover the total came to a figure well in excess of the original one hundred galleons; but, Harry paid it without a problem.

After the woman packed and shrunk all his purchases down - with the exception of a muggle baseball style cap, which he immediately donned - Harry gave her a bit of a jaunty wave and headed back up to the Leaky Cauldron. He had noticed the story book about him - or, rather, the fictional Harry Potter - had a pretty good description of him right down to the scar on his forehead. He wanted it covered up and something to cover his face a little. He knew that if he was recognised he would probably be taken by the police back to his Aunt and Uncle's house. And that was the last thing he wanted to happen.

_‗_
-==(oIo)==-
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At The Leaky Cauldron the old bartender, Tom, rented him a room under the name of Harrison Smith. Harry was surprised how easy it was for him to get the room, and how few questions were asked about how - or why - a ten year old boy was staying on his own.

Tom ran through a clearly rehearsed spiel about the facilities available to his temporary tenants; such as when meals would be served, room service, shower and bathroom facilities, and behaviour required to remain; and Harry politely accepted his key and headed upstairs.

He dropped his packages off and returned downstairs.

"Is the room to your satisfaction, young sir?" enquired Tom.

"Yes, thank you," replied Harry. "I'm just going to duck out to make a telephone call and I'll be back shortly." And left via the door onto Charing Cross Road.

A few hundred feet back up from where he'd come from the Underground, Harry found the red wooden phone box he'd remembered on the way to the wizarding pub. He ducked in, fished a few pence out his pocket, and made his call to his Aunt.

After telling her he would not be returning as he had decided to 'run away', and had found somewhere else to live; she screeched at him about how ungrateful he was and demanded he never return. He hung up on her before she could go into a full rant.

Heaving a sigh of relief he returned to The Leaky Cauldron and climbed the stairs back to his room.

A quick change into what he was told was basic casual wizard wear and he was back downstairs. He retained his money pouch, document pouch and his Hogwarts letter with the intent on gathering up the rest of his Hogwarts supplies, just in case. He watched as a wizard ahead of him tapped certain bricks on the wall in a certain order and waited for the man to pass through, sticking close behind as he did so.

Once back in the Alley proper Harry headed back down the Alley.

On the way, he spotted a sign on a small building that said 'Owl Office' that had owls flying in and out of high skylights. He had to send off his acceptance letter back to Hogwarts, so used the opportunity to get it done right away. He found the concept of using owls to send mail both quaint and amazing. The man behind the counter said that many in the wizarding world also kept their own personal owls so they didn't have to keep coming into the Office.

Harry thought it was a good idea to have one, and would get one as soon as he had time. The letter from Hogwarts even said he could have an owl as a pet, if he wanted one. So, he knew he could take it with him.

After he'd unshrunk his purchases, he realised just how much 'stuff' he now owned; and that he'd also have quite a bit more of his school supplies to add to it. Remembering the dimensions of the school trunks in the store he wondered how he was going to fit it all in. He thought he might have to buy two and hoped he'd be allowed both at Hogwarts. He'd ask Mister Porter, the store proprietor.

Continuing his walk down the Alley he returned directly to Porter's Portmanteaus. 'Trunks, first, to put everything in; then, the rest of the shopping,' he thought.

When Harry explained to the portly Mister Porter - and he gave himself a wry grin for that alliteration - his need for more luggage, and being congratulated on his 'proper' wizarding attire, the man took Harry over to another area within the store.

"Here, we have mokeskin lined trunks," explained the man. "They're more expensive than the standard school trunk but they're charmed to be multi-compartmented and to have more room inside than what's apparent from the outside."

Mister Porter demonstrated by opening one trunk and showing Harry what they looked like.

Pleased that his space requirements would be so easily met, Harry asked, "What else can be done with them?"

Mister Porter quickly went through some of the extras available with Harry carefully noting everything the man said. In the end, Harry purchased a standard black school trunk with two compartments, both enlarged. For safety's sake, he had it keyed with a keyless lock that only opened to his own magical signature by him pressing his thumb on a metal plate where a mechanical key would normally be fitted. He also had wheels fitted to one end, plus a permanent Featherweight Charm - as suggested by the lass in the bookshop - that was activated and deactivated by pressing on what he learned to be an embedded rune stone.

Harry ended up paying almost a hundred galleons for the trunk and organised to have it delivered to his room in The Leaky Cauldron. When the man asked him what his name was, Harry was, at first, hesitant to tell him. However, he remembered he had to give it so it was printed on the trunk.

With a sigh, he said, "It's Harry Potter. But please keep it to yourself. I'm trying to remain incognito here."

Recoiling a little in shock the man then bent down to take a closer look at Harry's face. The shopkeeper clearly searched for, and found, the scar on his forehead.

Straightening back up and looking at Harry curiously, he said, "Well, Lordy be. So you are. If you'd told me your name when you first came in I would have known right away you'd be able to purchase one of our more upmarket models of trunk."

With a scowl, Harry said, "I really am trying to remain incognito here. I don't like the fact I'm famous and don't want it bandied about I'm in the Alley. I'd not be able to get anything done, otherwise."

Nodding in response, Mister Porter said, "Well, as you're a high paying customer, I will keep your confidence, Mister Potter. If folks knew you were here you'd get mobbed pretty quickly."

Harry just deepened his scowl.

"However, are you aware you're entitled to have your House crest on your trunk, as well as your name?" the shopkeeper asked.

"No, sir," replied Harry. "However, if everyone else just gets their name, then I'll have that, too." Thinking a bit Harry then asked, "And can it be covered up for the time being? I don't want anyone to see it until I go to Hogwarts."

Thinking a bit, the shopkeeper said, "Certainly. I can put a Wizard Notice-Me-Not Charm on that small area that will mean people won't look at it. And you can remove it with a simple Charm Cancelling Charm when you board the Hogwarts Express on the 1st of September. It's a simple spell that you can do by simply waving your wand across the area and giving the incantation, 'Finite Incantatem'."

Harry gave a nod and said, "Yes, please. Do that. And, when the trunk's ready, can you have it delivered to The Leaky Cauldron in the name of Harrison Smith? That's my guardian. Tom has been kind enough to hold my things for me in my guardian's name until it's time to leave."

"I can certainly do that for you, Mister Potter," replied the shopkeeper. "Tom often avails others of that service."

"Thank you," said Harry with a bit of relief. He hated lying about himself but he needed to do it if he was not going to get caught and sent back to his unloving relatives.

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-==(oIo)==-
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After paying for his new school trunk Harry exited the store, withdrew his sheet listing his school supplies, and read down to see what to do next. While he didn't actually need the list, as he had it all memorised, it gave him the excuse of keeping his head down and face covered.

'Hmmm - wand, telescope, cauldron, potion supplies, quills and parchment, and an owl plus things to take care of an owl,' he thought. 'I'll start at the bottom of the Alley and work my way back to The Leaky Cauldron, picking up things along the way.'

Harry turned down the Alley and headed for the end.

Though he'd spent quite a bit of time sorting out new clothing and his trunk, the rest went pretty easily. The only delay was in purchasing his wand. He spent about half an hour in the store of the creepy old man before he found a wand eleven inches long, made of Holly with a phoenix feather core. According to the old man, it was supposedly the 'brother' wand to Voldemort's. That, too, he thought creepy.

Harry was glad when he was finally out of the store. He'd purchased his wand, a wand care kit and a wrist holster for it that he could affix to his off, left, arm. He donned the holster, pushed the wand into it and made a few practice draws with it before he left the store.

The rest of the trip back up the Alley meant he was able to collect the rest of his school supplies even quicker than he expected. Many of the shops he visited had already prepared 'kits' of what students would need for Hogwarts.

When he was finally able to return to The Leaky Cauldron he was able to use his own wand and open the portal himself.

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-==(oIo)==-
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Once back in The Leaky Cauldron, Tom saw him walk in and told him his new trunk was already in his room; and that dinner would be available from 5.00pm. Harry - Harrison - was just to come down and let him know what he wanted and he'd have it all ready for him in a jiffy.

Harry gave his thanks and headed up to his room. He'd just had a pretty stressful day and knew he'd have an early dinner before finally getting to sleep in a real bed.

Once back in his room he unshrunk the rest of his things, unpacked them and repacked them into his trunk. All his school supplies went in one compartment; his normal wear and toiletries in the other. He left his books out for something to read.

Just after 5.00pm he picked out the books Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived and An Introduction to the Wizarding World and carried them back down to the pub's common room. As soon as he sat, Tom came over and gave him a short menu of what was available for the dinner session.

He gave his order, and ordered a butterbeer when told the wizarding world did not stock 'fizzy drinks', and settled down to read.

_‗_
-==(oIo)==-
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After enjoying his first proper meal - ever - Harry remained at the table for a while and continued to read. He'd already filtered out listening to the sounds going on around him and was deep into the fiction-masquerading-as-fact that was Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived. The book contained just enough fact about what actually happened to make the rest of it - the fantasy - appear real. And he was livid.

On a couple of occasions while reading he had to set the book aside and firmly push his anger back into the background using his meditative techniques. At those times he also switched books to An Introduction to the Wizarding World, which he found dry but still interesting. It was while reading that book he came to understand a lot of what he saw and experienced while moving about the Alley and the pub.

It was also the second book that gave him an insight in how to deal with the first book. While it appeared laws regarding libel in the wizarding world had not caught up to it's counterparts in the muggle world, a good solicitor/barrister could still go after those who were using his name to profit. And Harry had a particular hate for those who wanted to use him - the Dursleys, included.

However, that was for another day. As the books clearly had a very good description of just what Harry Potter looked like, the next day would be used learning from Simple Cantrips for the Beauty Conscious for methods by which to disguise his appearance.

Noticing the common room emptying, Harry made his way back upstairs to his room, giving the old bartender a little wave as he walked by.

Once in his room Harry put his two books away with the others and settled down for his first night's sleep in a real bed. While lying there, before sleep claimed him, he reviewed his mental 'to-do' list for the next day.

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-==(oIo)==-
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Harry awoke at 5.30am the next day; the time he always had to rise in the mornings on a weekday, to make breakfast for the Dursleys. At first he was startled to realise he wasn't in his cupboard. It took a moment for him to realise he never had to go back to that place, ever again. He grinned.

Rising, he grabbed his newly purchased personal toiletries and headed for the communal bathroom. In there, he enjoyed a leisurely shower - something he'd never had at the Dursleys - and returned to his room to dress in his new 'civilian' wizarding robes. He found himself grinning the whole time. Not even his perpetual headache could dampen his mood. He did, however, hesitate before strapping his wand holster to his off forearm. It was going to take a little time for him to include it as part of his new automatic morning ritual.

He ducked downstairs to the common room and found Tom just starting to prepare for the new day. "Good morning, Tom," said a chipper Harry.

"And a good morning to you, too, Mister Smith," replied the barman. "The grill's not been warmed up yet. So, breakfast will be available from about 7.00am. If that's alright with you?"

"That'll be fine, thanks," replied Harry. "What's on the menu?"

"Standard fare, young sir," replied the old barman, turning back to what he was doing behind the bar. "Just let me know what you'd like and I'll see what I can do."

Thinking for a few moments, Harry replied, "How about - scrambled eggs on toast with a side of bacon - and - coffee?"

Nodding without looking up, Tom replied, "Can do! Would you like me to have it delivered to your room when it's ready?"

Hesitating a moment, Harry said, "Actually, that sounds like a great idea. Thanks, Tom."

"You're more than welcome," replied the old barman.

And with a sharp nod Harry ducked back upstairs.

By the time the meal was ready Harry was already deep into the book Simple Cantrips for the Beauty Conscious and had marked a few pages. He'd found a charm that would cover the scar on his forehead, one that would change the colour of his eyes, and another that changed the colour of his hair.

He was just finishing changing his hair colour and lengthening it a bit when a young witch delivered his breakfast and placed it on the small table in his room. He thanked the young lady and gave her a galleon tip for her efforts.

She was, at first, startled to seethe gold coin in her hand.

'Hey!' he thought with a smile. 'I have money now. Besides, I liked seeing the expression on her face when I gave it to her.'

_‗_
-==(oIo)==-
\""/

After breaking his fast, Harry went back out to the Alley to take a decent look around. As he'd already collected his supplies for the upcoming school year, plus a lot of personal effects including a whole new wardrobe, this time he was just taking a wander around to see what there was to see. He also had his daily 'to-do' list to run through; but, there was no hurry at present.

First he walked through as much of the Alley as he could. Excluding those shops he'd already visited while purchasing his supplies, he stepped into each shop and memorised the layout. Some were only small and required a step through the door by a few feet and lightly peruse the shelves or racks. Others, the bigger shops, required walking further in and walking the aisles.

It was during this ambulatory sojourn he discovered a small shop up a set of stairs between two larger shops that specialised in eyewear and specialist jewellery. Ascending the stairs and entering the main floor of the shop, he was greeted by an elderly man who took one look at his glasses through his own and muttered, "No, no. That will just not do!"

Warily, Harry asked, "What do you mean?"

"Your spectacles, young sir," said the shopkeeper. "Poor quality muggle eye glasses. Not a single charm to be found."

"Errr..." replied Harry, "I take it that's a bad thing?"

"Definitely," said the shopkeeper. He then pointed to what looked like a muggle dentist's chair and said, "Go sit there. I want to have a look at your eyes."

Still wary, Harry walked across the floor and took a seat in the chair. The old man followed him over.

As soon as Harry was semi-reclined in the chair, the old man used his wand, pointed it at Harry's face and muttered "Accio muggle spectacles." The glasses whipped off Harry's face into the old man's outstretched hand.

Harry didn't even twitch in response before his glasses were gone from his face.

Trying his best to focus on what the old shopkeeper was doing, he saw the old man use some sort of chart while looking through the lenses at it. Harry couldn't read the old man's face but he heard him mutter and harrumph a bit.

Dropping the chart back onto a desk, he walked back to Harry and said, "Hold out your hand, palm up."

Harry did as instructed and the old man placed the glasses in Harry's hand. He was about to redon them when the old man put his hand out and blocked him.

"Not yet, young sir," he said gently. "Now I need to check your eyes to see how well your spectacles matched."

He then waved his wand over Harry's eyes. A slight hesitation in the wand movement and Harry heard a muttered, "Finite," before the wand was moving again. Harry felt what he could only describe as a very slight itch in the back of his eyes until the man appeared to be done."

"You can put your spectacles back on now, Mister Potter," said the shopkeeper, before he muttered, "For all the good they do."

Frowning, Harry donned his glasses and looked at the man. "I take it you had to remove my glamours to see my eyes properly?" he asked.

"Yes," replied the shopkeeper without remorse. "But, never fear, Mister Potter. I will not speak of your visit to me, today. I pride myself on my discretion," he said, before dropping the timbre of his voice. "Unlike, say, Garrick Ollivander. That man is always spouting off who his clients are, and what their wands are made of. Utterly unprofessional."

"Now," he continued, back in a light manner. "The lenses in your glasses are a very poor match for your needs. I daresay you struggle to properly focus at longer distances, correct?"

"Correct," replied Harry. "But, I've learned to - compensate."

"I daresay you have!" said the man. "However, you've come to the right place to acquire a pair, or more, better suited to your needs."

"Firstly," he said, "You can get up off that chair, for the moment, and take a wander with me amongst my shelves. Let's see if we can find a style or two you're partial to."

Harry rose from his reclined position and followed the man across to where racks of various shapes, styles and types of spectacle frames were housed.

"Take a look around, Mister Potter," he gestured, "And see if there's something that tweaks your fancy. While you do that, I'll get my folder covering the various charms you can have permanently cast on your new lenses and frames."

Harry hadn't planned on getting new glasses; but, that was only because he hadn't thought of it. Now that he was actually looking around in the shop, he found he was quite enthusiastic about the idea. He knew that he only had the ones he did because they came out of a second-hand bin at a local thrift shop in Surrey, not far from Little Whinging.

Thinking a little, he thought he could get a pair for normal wear, a pair that looked more formal - read: expensive - and a pair of sunglasses or something that would otherwise hide his distinctive eye colour. Besides, unusual spectacles could help to mask his face.

Harry only wore the aviator style he wore because that was what was given to him. Trying on a few different pairs of different shapes, he found he quite liked how a more - flatter - rectangle with rounded corners looked. He thought of those for more formal occasions with frameless lenses and silver fittings. Next, he found a more rugged pair of a similar shape with solid bronze frames.

For sunglasses he wanted something with a more ultra-modern feel. He turned to the shopkeeper and asked, "How much do you know of modern muggle styles?"

Unsurprised by the question, the shopkeeper replied with a small smile, "Reach out to the racks on which the spectacles are housed and give it a slight tug."

Turning back to the rack, Harry reached out, grabbed onto the rack, and gave it a pull. The whole rack, plus the board behind it, pulled open like a cupboard door. Behind it, Harry found what he was looking for; a whole pile of new racks with spectacles.

"Sweet!" exclaimed Harry.

Behind the front rack he found plenty of brand names from many popular to expensive brands. Pulling open other racks he finally found a whole section covering sunglasses.

His eyes were drawn to a pair that had a single, wrap-around lens; and were frameless except for the top edge, and had black arms. To him they looked like what he'd been told were Raybands, or something. He loved them at first sight.

Taking them down off the rack he turned back to the shopkeeper with a wide grin and said, "I love them."

Smiling back, the shopkeeper said, "Excellent! And, I hope, if someone asks where you acquired them - except if they're a pureblood - you let them know they can come to me to acquire a pair of their own?"

"Yeah, I can do that," Harry said enthusiastically.

"Excellent," said the shopkeeper. "Now, I take it you want all three pairs?"

"Yes, please," replied Harry.

"While I adjust these to match the needed corrections to your natural eyesight..." he said handing Harry a folder with brochures made of parchment, "... I want you to skim through this and take note of what charms within it you'd like me to apply to your new spectacles."

The old man walked out through a door marked 'No Admittance' while Harry went back to the semi-reclined chair to rapidly skim through the folder.

After ten minutes the man came back with the three pairs of glasses and asked, "Picked out what charms you want me to apply to these for you?"

"Yes, thank you," replied Harry as he handed him the folder back. "Can you put on all five of the Impervious, Anti-fog, Self-Cleaning, Anti-Legilimency and Anti-Memory Charm charms on them?"

"I can," replied the old man, "But, if you have the Self-Cleaning Charm on them, you don't need the Anti-Fog charm. The Self-Cleaning charm will do the work of the Anti-Fog charm so it becomes superfluous."

Nodding, Harry said, "I can see that, yeah. Okay, then I'd like those four placed on them."

"Very well, Mister Potter," replied the shopkeeper. "Come back after lunch and I'll have your new spectacles ready for you."

Getting back up, Harry said, "That's great, thank you. How much do I owe you?"

"I don't have the full tally yet," he replied. "However, I suspect it will be in the range of - say - eighty galleons?"

Harry drew ninety galleons from his coin pouch and handed them to the old shopkeeper. "Keep it and just give me the change when I return this afternoon," he said when the man expressed his concern it was too much.

Back out of the shop, Harry continued building his mental map of Diagon Alley.

_‗_
-==(oIo)==-
\""/

He was just about to enter a dimmer and somewhat grmier side alley when an elderly witch tapped him on his shoulder. When Harry turned to see who had accosted him, the elderly witch kindly but sternly said, "Do not go in there, young man. That's Knockturn Alley. I'm sure your parents would be most wroth with you if they learned you had entered that place."

"I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean?" replied Harry. "What's so bad about it?"

"Knockturn Alley is full of dark creatures, wizards and witches; and they generally only sell dark artefacts and the like," she said. "It is not a place for a young one, such as yourself."

Harry gave a nod, thanked her for her concern, and skipped it. He'd wait until he had better control of his magic before venturing down that particular Alley.

Instead he moved across the mouth of the Alley and continued his mapping. Mapping Knockturn Alley would be left until he actually had a legitimate reason for entering.

His next delay occurred at Flourish and Blotts. After reading the short blurb on Legilimency and Memory Charms, such as the Obliviate Curse, he wanted to learn more about that side of the mind arts. He prided himself on his eidetic memory; and the thought of someone messing with it outside of his own control somewhat frightened him.

After a bit of advice from the bookstore shopkeeper's assistant he purchased a general tome on the Mind Arts, 'An Introduction to the Mind Arts', and one that focussed specifically on Occlumency and Legilimency, 'Protecting Your Mind and Invading Others'. While there he also acquired a book on formal writing within the British magical community, 'A Formal Guide to Letter Writing' that he hoped would cover how to write to the Heads of the allied Houses regarding the alliances. He knew he had only a few weeks, at the most, before he wrote to them as his father requested. All three books were packaged and shrunk for him once he paid for them.

'Damn!' thought Harry. 'Even more studying to do, and we're not even at school yet.'

His last stop before stopping for an early lunch was at Eeylop's Owl Emporium.

Walking into the store he felt as if he was being pulled or called to the rear of the shop. And there, just over head height, was the most beautiful bird he'd ever seen; a Snowy Owl. The owl just stared right back.

Taking down the gilded cage in which the bird was housed, Harry took the cage to the front counter.

"You needs be careful with that owl, young sir," said the older sales clerk from behind the counter. 'She's a right nasty one, that one is."

"Thank you for your concern, sir," replied Harry quietly. "However, I just have this strong feeling this bird is for me."

Giving a shrug, the old shopkeeper said, "They're your fingers she's likely to bite off. She's got a real nasty bite on her."

Giving a shrug right back Harry said, "Nevertheless, I'll take her."

The shopkeeper then suggested Harry purchase some owl treats and a perch for her to 'hopefully convince her not to bite yer fingers off', and gave him a pamphlet on the care of a personal owl.

After paying for his purchase, Harry dropped the treats, shrunken perch and pamphlet into one of his pockets while he carried the cage outside.

With his latest purchases, Harry crossed the Alley and took table outside Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour. He lreft the caged owl sitting on the small table.

In there, he ordered a three scoop ice cream sundae and a coffee.

Returning to his room in The Leaky Cauldron Harry set his new pet owl - who he named Hedwig - up on her new perch near the window, so she could enjoy the sunlight. Then he set to work reading the various texts he'd acquired, before he returned to the Alley a couple hours later to pick up his new glasses.

_‗_
-==(oIo)==-
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