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They Shook Hands - Year 1


A friendly handshake in Madam Malkin's leads to an alternate but realistic universe which is eerily like the canon, featuring a cast of first year Slytherins as you've never seen them: normal children

Adventure / Action
5.0 2 reviews
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A Boy Named Malfoy

"Might as well get yer uniform," said Hagrid, nodding toward Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions. "Listen, Harry, would yeh mind if I slipped off fer a pick-me-up in the Leaky Cauldron? I hate them Gringotts carts."

Harry Potter had seen more in the last half hour to stretch his credulity than he'd seen in his whole eleven years of life. He'd grown up as an unpleasant fixture in the house of his aunt and uncle, who'd done their best to keep him shut away from the world. To have a giant man show up, declare that Harry was a wizard, and whisk him away from everything he'd ever known had undercut the whole foundation of his existence. Now he was in a fantastic alley full of magic. He didn't want to get separated from the only person he knew, even if only by a day.

But the big man did still look a bit sick. The ride on the cart had been wild and exciting, if stomach-churning, and Harry didn't want his guide to be in a foul mood. He'd learned that Uncle Vernon could be dangerous in such a state, and he didn't see any reason why Hagrid would be any different.

"Er- Sure. I'll see you in a bit."

Harry entered Madam Malkin's shop alone, feeling nervous. A squat witch was all smiles as she bustled up to him.

"Hogwarts, dear? Got the lot here. There's another young man being fitted up just now, in fact."

In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head, and began to pin it up to the right length.

"Hello," said the boy, "Hogwarts, too?"

"Yes," said Harry.

"My father's next door buying my books, and Mother's up the street looking at wands. Then I'm going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I think I'll bully father into getting me one, and I'll smuggle it in somehow. Have you got your own broom?"

The boy's arrogant manner reminded Harry a bit of Dudley, only his cousin didn't have a bored, drawling voice like this boy.

"No," said Harry.

"Play Quidditch at all?"

"No," Harry said again, wondering what the boy was on about.

"I do. Father says it's a crime if I'm not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree. I'll need that new broom, though. I've got a Comet Two-Sixty right now, top of the line, but it's not a racing broom like Nimbus or even Cleansweep by any means. I don't see why first years aren't allowed brooms. It's just not fair."

Harry nodded, not really having his own opinion on the matter. Brooms? Quidditch? He'd just learned about magic a few hours ago. How was he supposed to keep up with all this?

"Know what house you'll be in yet?"

"No," said Harry, feeling more stupid by the minute. Hagrid hadn't said anything about houses.

"Well, no one really knows until they get there, do they? But I know I'll be in Slytherin; all our family have been. Speaking of family, what's your surname?"

"Oh," Harry said, quite pleased that the boy had asked. "I'm Harry, Harry Potter. Ow!"

The exclamation came as Madam Malkin missed a stroke and stabbed him with the needle.

"Oh! Oh, I'm so sorry dear." She turned to her assistant. "Imagine that, Alice! Harry Potter himself coming in to my shop for his robes." She tittered again and continued her hemming.

The other boy had raised an eyebrow as he sized Harry up. "From all the stories they tell about you, I thought you'd be taller," he finally said. It was true, Harry was only a fraction taller than him.

"I'm not short!" Harry protested. He'd always been on the lower end of that measurement compared to the other boys in his class at school. Dudley had often called him some derogatory variant of "short" or "scrawny", and he hated it.

The boy smirked at him. "Never said you were. Father told me that you were my age, but I had no idea we'd meet before getting to school. I've been looking forward to meeting you. I'm Malfoy, Draco Malfoy."

He held out his hand.

Harry wasn't used to people offering polite greetings. If his uncle and aunt ever had to introduce him, it was dismissively. His cousin had warned other children away from him. The simple gesture gave him a warm feeling of hope. Maybe things wouldn't be so bleak in the wizarding world.

Harry shook Draco Malfoy's hand. "Nice to meet you."

"I say, look at that man!" said Draco suddenly, nodding towards the front window. Hagrid was standing there, grinning at Harry and pointing at two large ice cream cones to show he couldn't come in."

"That's Hagrid," said Harry, pleased to be able to talk about something at last. "He works at Hogwarts."

"Oh," said Draco, "I've heard about him. He's a servant of some kind, isn't he?"

"He's the gamekeeper."

"Yes, exactly. The Headmaster at Hogwarts took him on after he got expelled. Now he lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and ends up setting fire to his bed."

Hagrid had rescued Harry from the Dursleys. That was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him. Draco's off-hand dismissal rankled him.

"I think he's brilliant," said Harry coldly.

Draco peered at him with an inquisitive expression. "You're Harry Potter, and he's a nobody. Why are you defending him?"

"He told me I was a wizard and took me away from the Muggles I was living with."

Draco's jaw dropped.

"The Muggles you were living with? Muggles?"

The way Draco said the word, it seemed distasteful. Harry agreed that the Dursleys were awful people, but he was curious why Draco thought that way too.

"Yes, Muggles."

"So that's why you don't play Quidditch or know what house you'll be in," said Draco with sudden epiphany. "You don't know anything about the wizarding world."

Harry could only shake his head. He was still very angry about how the Dursleys had kept the truth about his parents from him.

"I'm sorry, Harry," Draco said softly. "I think that's a right crime, depriving a true-born wizard of his heritage."

"Thank you," said Harry. He didn't really know what else to say. He was grateful that the boy seemed sympathetic.

"Listen, what I said about that Hagrid fellow," Draco began, "I was only telling you the truth. I hope you're not going to hate me for telling you the truth."

Shame washed over Harry. Here this boy was trying to be friendly, and Harry was being right beastly about it all. "No, I don't hate you, but I think you should give Hagrid a chance. He's been very nice to me."

"You need proper friends, though," Draco decided. "Boys your own age. Shall we be friends, Harry?"

Harry wanted friends. In his whole life, no one had ever wanted to be Harry's friend. He had wanted to play with other boys, but everyone had always been too afraid of Dudley. His cousin wasn't here, could never come here, and Harry was very tired of feeling alone, like it was him against an unfriendly world.

"I'd like that," he said sincerely.

"Brilliant!" Draco said enthusiastically. "After we have our robes all finished, we can go around and look at the new Nimbus Two Thousand. I'm going to see if I can convince Father to get me one as a late birthday present."

"I think I'm supposed to stay with Hagrid," Harry said reluctantly. He really wanted to spend time with his new friend. Hopefully Hagrid could be persuaded to deviate from whatever schedule he was on.

Draco waved such concerns away. "Hagrid works at the school, right? Father is on the board of school governors. I'm sure everything will be all right."

Harry marvelled at how nothing seemed to bother Draco. He found himself being caught up in the blond boy's enthusiasm. Brooms? Flying? How fantastic and exciting it all seemed.

Madam Malkin and her assistant, Alice, had just finished up with the last of their robes when a distinguished-looking gentleman stepped into the shop. He had the same pale skin and pointed face as Draco, even the same cold, grey eyes. His robes were subtle, yet superbly made. He wore a fur hat on his head and carried a snake-headed silver cane in his left hand.

"Father!" Draco said with spirit. "I want you to meet Harry Potter!"

Draco's father peered at him intently, and Harry felt the man's eyes linger on the scar on his forehead. It may have been his imagination, but Mr. Malfoy's hand tightened on the handle of his cane.

"I always imagined you would be taller," he said in a pleasant voice, echoing his son's comment. He reached out his hand. "Lucius Malfoy, Mister Potter. How do you do?"

Harry shook hands. "How do you do, sir?"

"Father, can Harry come around to the shops with us? I've got a lot to tell him all about Hogwarts."

Mr. Malfoy smiled, though it did not reach his eyes. "I don't see why that would be a problem."

"I'm here with Hagrid, Mister Malfoy. He's sort of in charge of me right now."

"Hagrid?" Mr. Malfoy asked incredulously. "Hagrid isn't qualified to be in charge of flobberworms. If he's in charge of you, where is he?"

"He was here just a minute ago. He had ice cream cones, but they were melting. Maybe he went to get cleaned up?"

"Well, I do think I saw him stepping into the Leaky Cauldron a few minutes ago. I would wager he'll be awhile rejoining us. Impossible man. He can't go a day without getting roaring drunk. No self-control."

Harry didn't want to challenge the word of such an important man, so he said nothing. He chewed his lip, wishing he could say something in Hagrid's defence, but nothing was coming to mind.

Draco was tugging him towards Quality Quidditch Supplies. "C'mon, let's go look!"

"I have to get my books," Harry protested feebly.


Mr. Malfoy smiled again, indulgent of his son's eagerness. "I'll take care of it, Harry. May I call you Harry?"

He nodded.

"You boys run off and look at brooms. I'll pick up another set of books and meet you both at Ollivanders in thirty minutes. Not one second later, understand Draco?"

"Yes, Father," Draco said, already looking towards the shop.

"Thank you, sir," said Harry as he followed his new friend towards the broom shop.

"And if you see your brother, tell him to meet us there," Mr. Malfoy called after them.

"Your dad's really nice."

"He's strict about the rules, but there's not that many of them. Otherwise he's very easy-going. Just don't make an enemy out of him. He's got a brutal sarcastic streak."

They looked at the Nimbus 2000 for quite awhile, and Draco explained to him a lot about Hogwarts.

"There's four houses, and the best is Slytherin. Anyone who wants to succeed is in Slytherin. It's the house for the ambitious, the clever, and the sneaky. If you're really smart then you belong in Ravenclaw. My brother Elan says they're a bunch of bookworms. If you like to work hard then you'll be in Hufflepuff, so they say, but Elan says they're a bunch of duffers. They have to work hard because they don't really fit anywhere else. Then if you've got more courage than common sense, you're in Gryffindor. They don't understand that sometimes discretion is the better part of valour."

"What's that mean?"

"Sometimes you should run away because otherwise you might get hurt," Draco said with a grin.

Harry pondered that philosophy and found that it made a lot of sense. Certainly running away from Dudley was the best policy. "So Slytherin is the best house?"

"That's right. Unfortunately people don't think kindly of Slytherin sometimes."

"Why's that?"

"Well one of the key traits is ambition, see? There's all kinds of ambition, and one of those is the desire for power. That means that more Dark wizards and witches have come from Slytherin House than any other, and it's given us a bad reputation. When a Dark wizard comes from any other house it's just brushed off as a one-time thing, but with Slytherin it's treated as the rule."

"That doesn't seem very fair," Harry commented. "To judge a whole house by the example of a few people?"

Draco turned to Harry and looked at him for a few seconds. Finally, he said, "You understand. No, it's not fair. I think it all comes from them being jealous. Slytherin really is the best. They've got a terrific Quidditch team and often take the cup. They're also strong contenders for the House Cup every year."

"What's the House Cup?"

"It's a way of keeping score between the houses. Most points wins. Slytherin and Ravenclaw have dominated for the past thirty years."

Harry was feeling very happy. It was only his first day in an exciting new world, and he'd already made a friend his own age. Draco wasn't acting at all like the people in the Leaky Cauldron had and seemed to genuinely like him. It was a new experience for Harry, and he hoped it would last.

Quidditch also sounded very interesting, and Harry bought a copy of a book called Quidditch Through The Ages so he could read all about it.

"You're going to love riding a broom. It's the best sensation in the world. First years aren't allowed to bring one to school, but next summer, you just have to get one if we're going to play Quidditch over at my house. We've got a full pitch out back and no nosy neighbors."

They walked out of Quality Quidditch Supplies and headed towards the wand maker's shop.

"I've missed out on so much," Harry said wistfully. "I wish I could have grown up in the wizarding world."

"What was it like?" Draco asked curiously. "Living with Muggles, I mean. Father says they're violent savages. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be the only one in the house who could do magic."

"I hate living there," Harry replied instantly. "I hate them. They certainly hate me. I get blamed for everything."


"Anything that goes wrong is my fault. Anything they can't explain rationally means I get yelled at, and if I ever dare to suggest that it was like magic or something similar, you'd think I'd insulted the queen."

"Sounds like you were doing accidental magic. It happens a lot when we're very young."

"Uncle Vernon seems to think I'm some sort of devil. He's always calling me a freak or saying I'm abnormal."

"I think he's the one who's abnormal."

"Aunt Petunia is a horrible woman. Her voice sounds like a dozen cats fighting over a mouse. She's always giving me chores to do. My cousin Dudley never has to do any work, the lazy porker."

"Is he fat?"

"Huge. Monstrous, even. He makes my life miserable. He enjoys bashing me and encourages all his friends to join in. I think he gets it from Uncle Vernon."

"Did they, did they hit you?" Draco's words were uncertain, as though he didn't know how to ask his questions. Harry wondered if wizards ever hit their children.

"Sometimes. If I did any of that accidental magic, he'd smack me a few times and I'd get locked in my cupboard."

"Your what?"

"My cupboard. Under the stairs. That's where I lived."

"You didn't have your own room?"

Harry laughed bitterly. "No, they wanted me out of sight as much as possible. I spent more hours than I can count in the cupboard. It wasn't so bad. At least I had a lightbulb. Most of the time anyway. If it burned out, I'd have to sneak around and change it, but I got pretty good at it."

"What's a lightbulb?"

"It's-" Harry was momentarily perplexed. "It's like a small lantern."

"So you weren't in the dark. That's something."

"A very little something. If I was absolutely silent while I being punished, sometimes I'd get dinner."

Harry's voice was dead, with no emotion whatsoever. He might as well have been reading from the encyclopaedia. He'd never told anyone how the Dursleys had treated him, but Draco was his friend, and Harry knew friends talked to each other.

"What horrible, horrible people," Draco said. "My family doesn't like Muggles, Harry. Never has. Now I've got another reason. How can anyone treat a boy like that?"

Harry had no answer, but fortunately he didn't have to give one, for they had arrived at Ollivanders. The name of the shop was written in peeling gold letters over the door. 'Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.'. Even without the sign, they would have known this place; a single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the front window telling even the illiterate the nature of the business.

A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. The shop was narrow and shabby, tiny, and filled with shelves. Thousands of narrow boxes filled those shelves, reaching all the way up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of Harry's neck prickled. The very dust in here seemed to tingle with some secret magic.

"Draco, there you are!"

A blonde woman, tall and slim, wearing very nice dark blue robes knelt down and hugged Draco. She was smiling broadly, and Harry could see that she had very pretty teeth.

"Mum!" Draco cried, clearly scandalized about being hugged in front of his new friend.

"Oh don't be silly, Draco. I'm your mother. I'm sure he understands."

"Umm, Mum? This is Harry Potter."

Draco's mother turned a most unflattering shade of red. "Oh by the stars," she muttered. "I've fumbled it now."

Then she composed herself and smiled, the flush fading from her cheeks, and she offered Harry her hand. "Narcissa Malfoy. It's a pleasure, Harry."

Harry shook hands. He'd never been properly introduced to so many people before. "How do you do, ma'am?"

"Good afternoon, Harry Potter," said a soft voice, startling him. "I rather suspected I'd be seeing you here soon."

An old man was standing behind the counter, his wide, pale eyes shining like moons through the gloom of the shop.

"You have your mother's eyes," he said. "It seems only yesterday that she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work."

Mr. Ollivander stepped around the counter. Harry hadn't yet seen him blink those creepy silver eyes.

"Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favoured it. It's really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course."

The wand maker had come so close that he and Harry were almost nose to nose. Harry could see himself reflected in those misty eyes.

"And that's where..."

Mr. Ollivander touched the lightning scar on Harry's forehead with a long, white finger.

"I'm sorry to say I sold the wand that did it," he said softly. "Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands... well, if I'd known what that wand was going out into the world to do..."

Harry shivered. He had no idea what to say. How did one respond to someone who sold the weapon that killed one's parents?

Ollivander shook his head, turning to Draco. "Young Mister Malfoy, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Your mother has told me a great deal about you."

"I'm sure she has," Draco said wryly.

"Well then, let's get you two lads fitted. Mister Malfoy, which is your wand arm?"


"Mister Potter?"

"I'm right-handed, sir."

Mr. Ollivander snapped his fingers, and two measuring tapes hurried over and began taking all sorts of measurements on the two boys. They measured from shoulder to finger, then wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit, and round the head.

"Every Ollivander wand has a core of a powerful magical substance. We customarily use unicorn hairs, phoenix feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are quite the same, and of course, you will never get such good results with another wizard's wand."

As he talked, Mr. Ollivander was flitting around the shelves, taking down boxes.

"That will do," he said, and the two tapes crumpled to the floor. "Right then, Mister Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. Just take it and give it a wave."

Harry took the wand and, feeling foolish, waved it around a bit, but Mr. Ollivander snatched it out of his hand almost at once.

"Maple and phoenix feather. Seven inches. Quite whippy. Try-"

Harry tried, but he had hardly raised the wand when it, too, was snatched back.

"Mister Malfoy, give this one a wave."

Draco did so, and a jug of water on the counter exploded. Water spilled everywhere. Mr. Ollivander shook his head. "No, apparently not." He handed over another. "Ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. No? Try this one."

Draco took the wand and raised it above his head. He swished it down and a stream of green and silver sparks filled the air around him.

"Oh! How pretty!" said Mrs. Malfoy. "Slytherin colours. Do you see that, Mister Ollivander?"

Mr. Ollivander was nodding to himself as he put the wand away and wrapped it in brown paper, very satisfied. "Yes, hawthorn and unicorn hair. Ten inches precisely. Reasonably springy. A wand very suited to you, I believe. Now, Mister Potter. Let's see if we can't find yours."

Harry tried and tried. He had no idea what Mr. Ollivander was waiting for. The pile of tried wands was mounting higher and higher on the counter. Harry would have felt anxious about his lack of success, but the more wands the old man pulled from the shelves, the happier he seemed to become.

"A tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere."

They went through another half dozen boxes before the wandmaker pulled a box out from near the back.

"I wonder, now. Yes, why not? Unusual combination, holly and phoenix feather. Eleven inches, nice and supple."

Harry took the wand. He felt a sudden warmth in his fingers. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air, and a stream of gold and silver sparks shot from the end like a firework, throwing dancing spots of light onto the walls. Draco whooped and clapped for his friend while Mr. Ollivander cried, "Oh bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well... how curious... how very curious..."

He put Harry's wand back in its box and began wrapping it up, still muttering, "Curious... curious..."

"Excuse me sir, but what's curious?" Harry asked, not sure he really wanted to know.

Mr. Ollivander fixed Harry with his pale stare. "I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mister Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather -- just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother. . . why, its brother gave you that scar."

Harry swallowed hard.

"Yes, thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember. I think we must expect great things from you, Mister Potter. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things. Terrible, yes, but great."

Harry shivered again, though the day was not particularly cold. He was still coming to terms with the truth of his parents' death. It had been bad enough to be lied to for ten years, wrongly believing they had died in a car crash, that they had been drunk. It was far worse to learn the truth. Voldemort had murdered them. It was too much to comprehend.

Draco put his hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's all right, Harry. He's dead now. He can't hurt you."

Harry looked at his friend, seeing the sympathy in his face. He half-smiled, letting Draco know that he appreciated the support.

"Harry!" came Hagrid's voice booming through the wand shop. The ice cream was nowhere to be seen. "Why did yeh run off like that?"

"I didn't run off!" Harry protested. "I was with my new friend, Draco."

"Draco?" Hagrid's face was a storm cloud.

"Malfoy," Draco drawled in an insulting tone, "Draco Malfoy. Son of Lucius by Narcissa."

"Hagrid, there is no call for acting like this," Mrs. Malfoy said, appearing very put out. Her nose had risen slightly into the air, and was wrinkled slightly, as though she found something distasteful.

"C'mon, Harry, we're going." Hagrid put a heavy hand on Harry's shoulder.

"Hagrid, what's wrong?" Harry was very confused. Hagrid was not acting at all like the nice person he'd been before. He seemed angry, just like Uncle Vernon. Harry felt his nerves begin to ratchet up.

"The boy can't leave without his books, Hagrid," said Mr. Malfoy as he closed the door behind him. "Do pipe down, I could hear you clear down the lane."

"Mister Malfoy." Hagrid's voice was anything but pleasant, a stark contrast to Draco's father.

"It's good to see that you haven't lost all of your manners, Hagrid. There's no problem here at all."

"Harry's with me. I'm in charge of him." Hagrid was half-growling his words.

"The boy is perfectly all right with me," Mr. Malfoy said urbanely.

"Professor Dumbledore put him in my hands!"

Mr. Malfoy clucked his tongue. "Hagrid, you do recall that I am on the board of governors? I would never let anything happen to Harry Potter, or any other student. I assure you, I have everything well in hand."

"One governor does not overrule the Headmaster," Hagrid practically snarled.

"Gentles, please vacate my shop," Mr. Ollivander said firmly. He held his own wand in his hand now. "Mister Potter, seven Galleons please. Mister Malfoy, the same."

Harry dug out his money and paid for his wand. Draco's mother slid seven gold coins across the counter as well.

They all piled out into the street, Mrs. Malfoy standing next to her husband, Draco standing near Harry. Hagrid pulled Harry closer to him, away from his friend. Harry could smell spilled alcohol.

"We still got lots ter buy an' can best do it w'out interference from the likes o' you." Hagrid's face was a little red, Harry could see in the daylight.

Mr. Malfoy's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Don't cross me, Hagrid. You had better believe that I will be taking this issue up with the board. You'll have to be lucky in the extreme to keep your job."

He handed Harry a bag filled with books. "There you are, Harry."

"Thank you, sir." Harry reached into his pocket for some money.

"No, no, consider them a birthday present."

Harry swallowed. Charity, from a man he'd barely met. Did he look that ragged? "Sir, I can't. I just wouldn't feel right about it. Please take the money."

Mr. Malfoy studied Harry's face for a moment. "Very well, Harry, if that's how you feel. It came to five Galleons and some small change. Just give me the Galleons. I do believe that the rest was about the cost of your Defence Against the Dark Arts text, which I will insist on gifting you with."

Harry handed over the coins. "Thank you again, Mister Malfoy. It was nice to meet you."

"The pleasure was all mine, Harry," he said, shaking hands. "Do take care. I hope to see you again."

Mrs. Malfoy knelt down and kissed him on both cheeks. "Goodbye, dear. Study hard. You're going to be a great wizard."

Harry felt himself blushing to his roots. "Ma'am," was all he could say.

"Bye Harry!" said Draco, shaking his hand enthusiastically. "I'll save you a seat on the train!"

"Thanks, Draco. I'll see you then."

Hagrid had said nothing during this exchange, but his face was furious. He kept his eye on the Malfoy family as he stepped away, keeping himself between them and Harry. He kept up a brisk pace, forcing Harry to practically run to keep up. People were clearing out of his path as he marched directly for the Apothecary.

"I don't know what yeh was thinkin', Harry, goin' off like that, and with Lucius Malfoy, of all people!"

Harry felt anger rising up from inside him. "What's so wrong with him? He seemed like a perfectly nice man. He went and bought my books for me so that Draco and I could get to know each other. I made a friend today, Hagrid, and I've never had a friend before."

"Malfoys are trouble. Old purebloods and snobby as the devil about it. Yer better off staying away from 'em."

"They were being perfectly civil to me," Harry ground out between clenched teeth. "Then you came along and ruined everything. You didn't even give them a chance. You just barged in and started making assumptions."

Hagrid's face fell.

"Maybe yeh'll just have to see for yourself. C'mon, we still got some things ter buy."

Hagrid kept a close eye on Harry as he asked the clerk for a supply of basic potion ingredients. Harry didn't particularly want to be around the big man in his current mood, so he busied himself investigating the shop.

From the Apothecary they went to Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, where they picked up a set of scales and a collapsible brass telescope. In Potage's Cauldron Shop, he bought a size 2 in pewter. When there was nothing left to buy, they returned to the brick wall that led out of Diagon Alley. The large man reached into his shaggy overcoat and pulled out an envelope. He handed it to Harry.

"That 'ere's yer ticket fer the Hogwarts Express. It leaves at 'leven o'clock from King's Cross station on the first o' September. All the information is on the ticket. Now let's get yeh a train back home."

Harry didn't speak at all as they walked back through the empty pub, down the road, on the Underground, up an escalator, and into London Bridge station. He only realized where they were when Hagrid tapped him on the shoulder.

"Yer train leaves in ten minutes. Best yeh be on it."

Hagrid looked like he wanted to say something else, but did not. Harry boarded the train and watched Hagrid until he was out of sight.

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Elizabeth: I loved this short story. Amazing as always.

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Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.