[Heathrow Airport; London,England]
As a registered werewolf, Remus Lupin often had to find work outside the wizarding world, thus having more knowledge about muggles than the average witch or wizard. But as he stepped into the building of one Heathrow Airport, it was as if he were immersing himself with the non-magicals for the first time.
Large and white flying contraptions noisily taking off or landing in a very wide stretch of road leading off to nowhere; a crowd of people scurrying to and from the entrance doors, sometimes taking the time to give hugs and kisses to ones that were to leave; different kinds of voices sometimes echoing loudly enough around the whole building to announce something that Remus would guess as the arrival and leaving of this and that (sometimes a name of a child and where to find them); and all the shops, chairs and signs he was sure to have a headache if he were to attempt to make sense of it all. Diagon Alley seemed smaller (and simpler) in comparison. Lucky for him, there was just as much help given by informants as there was the amount of chaos and settled comfortably on a chair in front of the correct terminal he was to meet the person of which he were to play escort to.
A shock of messy raven hair entered his view and he almost collapsed from his chair as it’s owner gave an easy grin, walking towards him.
“You must be Remus Lupin or am I mistaken?” the boy politely asked but Remus was too shocked and distracted to voice out an answer.
A shock of messy raven hair, eyes the color of hazel nut, with just a dash of green twinkling around the edges. The easy grin, the swagger, the confident tone -nearly everything of the boy’s person reminded Remus of the man who he had been great friends with. The man that he highly respected and adored right up until they died by that sorcerer’s hands. It had been years but--
This boy looked very much a lot like his friend, James Potter. A double, almost. He blinked as his vision returned and saw, not the man, but the boy’s concerned frown. He stumbled as he hurriedly stood to shake the boy’s outstretched hand in greeting.
“O-Oh, I’m, I’m sorry about that,” he stammered out. “I was just startled -you look alot like a friend of mine--”
“James Potter, yes?” Bard reflexively caught the old man’s other arm in an effort to save him from a bad fall.
“Uhm, yes, wha--?”
“Allow me to introduce myself,” Bard continued in an effort to steady the light haired man’s thoughts. “My name is Bard, though recently, I’ve learned that I was christened Charlus Potter, after a favorite granduncle or such, on the day of my birth.” Bard paused to let the words sink in. “The letter that I received after I sent a reply asking about my family, said that the person who’ll introduce me to the wizarding world will also be a good family friend. I assume that’s correct?” Bard finished though left his hands where they were.
When Remus finally understood, the tears he believed to have dried up a long time ago fell from his eyes. As he fully straightened himself up and took a step back away from Bard’s -Charlus -his godson’s hands, he felt a hundred different emotions swell inside him but mostly, he felt embarrassed for crying like a fool in the view of muggles. Distracted as he was on drying his tears with an offered handkerchief from his godson, he missed Bard signaling to a person he had not noticed arriving with Bard from the terminal.
“I’m so sorry,” Remus said while handing back the soaked cloth to the recently turned eleven year old boy, “I’m not so usually easy to cry like this, it’s just that--” And then he stopped. How was he to explain to the child that the entirety of the wizarding world thought him dead? Where would he even begin?
Bard thanked his lucky stars that his master saw the importance of training him on body language right at the start of his apprenticeship. Had he been in this situation three months ago, before meeting En, he would have awkwardly stood still in front of the man and waited until the adult had sorted his thoughts. Instead, he pulled on the man’s sleeve and led him toward the exit doors of the airport.
“It seems to me that we have plenty to talk about later on. Why don’t we get a move on and start for shopping for my things, Mr. Lupin, so that we could get to it?” He smiled but then paused as he took second glance of the wizard. “On second thought, why don’t we get a light snack for the road ahead, my treat. I hear London’s traffic is as drawn out as a bad opera singer. It might take a while.” He chuckled at his own joke and tugged the person with him toward a fast food restaurant.
Hours later, Remus, who had never known muggle luxury nor had ever wondered about it, thought about seriously considering just moving himself into the life as he sat comfortably in the soft interior of the Rolls’ Royce seats. It was nothing compared to Hogwarts bedspread, but in a car it was suitable enough to sleep on. The jolt he received from the car stopping managed to save himself the embarrassment of nearly drooling in ecstasy.
“Charing Cross Road, London. We’re here Remus,” Bard announced, glancing over at one sign that confirmed their arrival. Whilst on the road, Remus insisted on being called his name by Bard. He hasn’t explained anything yet about himself and his connections to Bard’s birth family but it did not mean that the child should constantly call him ‘Mister’. He didn’t explain himself and told Bard that he would like to be on a first name basis with his friend’s child yet he had a feeling the child knew some of how he felt when called as such and immediately started on his name. He almost cried again at that moment for the child ever reminded him of James’ understanding nature.
“And so we are, erm..”
Bard found it funny how only agreeing to first name basis could change a person’s perspective as it took only but a glance to understand his new friend Remus’ uncertainty about the people in the car they were to leave behind. Just a few hours with the person and he already could tell what a kind-hearted person this wizard was.
“Don’t worry about Luke, he’ll be going straight to the hotel I’m staying at to drop off my bags.” He explained and gave a nod to the driver. “I’ll make a call in a telephone booth to pick me up once we’re done with the shopping.” He reassured Remus, then beckoned with his head to lead the way. “Shall we go?”
A few steps down the road and Bard was shown the entrance of the famous Leaky Cauldron. “It’s better than it looks, oh great one” Remus teased as he opened the door with a grand gesture. Bard gave a look in return but couldn’t stop the twitch of his lips as he passed through the threshold. The first thing he noticed was the smell.
It was a pub, alright. With its dim lighting, shady dark robed people whispering with drinks on hand, and the sight of the bar with it’s bartender cleaning a mug with a hand towel, not to mention that dose of mystery shifting the air, there was no telling that it could have been mistaken for any other. The only thing unusual about it was that the whole building was made out of wood which to Bard, seemed that it might give way any minute.
As a person whom studied the various ways of preserving wood forced by his master, Bard desperately wanted to ask but held his tongue as they both stalked their way through the bar. Lucky that both of them were quite used to keeping attention away from themselves. He then faced a brick wall with nothing but a small trashcan and a few weeds for company in a cramped courtyard.
“Uhm, Remus--” He started but was ignored as the wizard tapped the bricks with precise movements.
He took a step back as the bricks suddenly wriggled -it wriggled!- to form an archway, opening Bard to the entrance of the famous Diagon alley.
It was like something out of a fantasy book.
“Right then,” Remus grinned, suddenly excited for his godson’s first shopping trip in Diagon Alley, “first order of business is a stop at Gringotts bank. Can’t buy your things without money after all. You excited?”
Remus need not have asked.
“Another Potter?” mumbled the goblin -goblin!- stationed on the counter they stepped up to. It was so quietly given with the goblin’s hoarse tone that Bard had to strain to hear -lucky that the inside of the Bank was as quiet as a library- and frowned in confusion. Another Potter? What did that mean? but before he could think more on it, he was ushered away into one of the many doors littered in the hall to reveal a cart that reminded him of one of the rides in the circus he used to work on. He always enjoyed those.
A very fast and satisfying ride later, the goblin jolted their cart to a halt (nearly toppling Remus over) and got down to stand in front of a small vault door first to last of the corridor. The goblin drawled out “six hundred and eighty-six” and inserted the key Remus handed over in the small hole the middle of the vault. Bard let out an impressed whistle once the heavy but obviously well-oiled vault door swung easily open. And from where Bard was staring at, Remus knew that it wasn’t from the amount of money he held that he let out that whistle for.
It took a moment for Bard to wrench his gaze away from the vault’s door to fall upon the mountain of gleaming gold, bronze and silver piled inside his vault. So far as Remus could tell, he wasn’t as awed by it as he was with the vault door.
Remus didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his godson’s show of interest towards currency and nearly jumped when a question was directed at him.
“-much, Remus?” Bard asked only to frown by Remus’ fidgety form.
“I asked how the currency goes.. Remus, are you alright?” And when Remus directed an unsure smile, Bard thankfully got the message and turned back to the insides of his vault.
“Yes, well. The gold one is called a galleon; silver, a sickle; and bronze a knut.” He pointed at the second pile of gleaming silver and said, “seventeen sickles to a galleon and twenty-nine knuts to a sickle, easy enough to remember, yeah?”
“Galleon?”Bard murmured, “Should’ve named them Doubloons. Doesn’t that make more sense?” He then helped himself from each pile with a certain amount, placing it in a small bag the goblin offered to him. They turned and hopped back in the cart as the vault swung itself closed and after one short ride later, Remus and Bard were standing outside the bustling street of Diagon Alley.
“Shall we start with the pewter cauldron, to carry the books and the other things with? Or shall we buy your wand first?” Remus suggested.
“Cauldron first and then go from there. The wand is to be the last one, of course.” Bard eyes glimmered in a clash of hazel and emerald, betraying his excitement and Remus, infected by his godson grinned in response.
[Flourish and Blotts]
“Shopping for Hogwarts too, eh?” The shopkeeper announced almost immediately after they set foot in his shop.
“An order for a set of First year’s books, please” Remus confirmed.
“Coming right up!” It seemed that the shopkeeper need not the supply list Remus carried with him as he disappeared just as fast as he announced. Remus turned to the already browsing Bard.
“I’ll wait here while you go browse through.”His eyes twinkled as he advised Bard, “They always keep the most interesting books out back.” and Bard only had time to acknowledged him with a smirk before disappearing into the shadows of the tall bookshelves.
In the short time frame that was needed to collect the set of books, Bard managed to find the most interesting book in stock to add in his pile of others.
“Hogwarts, A History?” asked a bewildered Remus. Of all the books--
“Master Scorpius always said to ‘know thy enemy’; Just a reference to ‘always be prepared’ but Master is a bit of a dramatic.” Bard shrugged and Remus refrained from asking more.
Bard snuck a peek at his escort and almost gave himself up with a slight twitch of lips.
Although there was some truth to the fact that he wanted to look up information about the school he was to stay for a whole school year (excluding winter holidays), he also knew it to be of good distraction to the other two books in his pile concerning ‘Good Wizards turned Bad’ and ‘The Rise and Fall of Dark Lords throughout the centuries’. Even given helpful advice by Remus, he did not think it was books that were considered ‘proper’ reading material for impressionable eleven year olds.
‘Know thy enemy’ indeed.
Remus grinned at him, none the wiser. “Shall we get your new robes next?”
By far, the apothecary’s shop was what Bard most enjoyed -even topping their visit to the Magical Menagerie and his new ownership of an expensive, eagle owl, of which he was most enthusiastic about. Remus was starting to understand what his godson was like the more they spent time together and almost teared up as they headed to their final destination on their list. The boy’s wand.
‘Olivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C’ Bard read over the door peering in gold letters. Remus held open the door and once Bard entered, it seemed that he was to share this fine moment of buying his wand with another eleven year old, a soon to be schoolmate perhaps? Dare he hoped, a friend?
“Oh,” Remus uttered, unexpected as he was.
Two people in the shop; both blond, both pale and with each came an air of their own unique dispositions. To others, they would have been called snobby or something equally foul under whispered breaths and turned backs but to Bard, who had been taught to ‘look the underneath’ identified them simply as people born and raised in high society. He gave a slight bow in respect to each.
Remus looked at him oddly but it seemed that his show gave him an interested quirk of glance. A good sign.
“And you are?” Bard grinned, not at all offended by being questioned before even giving one’s name. A quick look at the other boy showed that he too was as interested as his mother -ah, both were not used at being given such respect before they gave their name. ‘Better be cautious’ echoed his master’s voice inside his head.
“Bard Ignatius at your service, madam” Bard grantly gave and waved a hand at Remus, “And this is Remus Lupin, my escort.” He introduced.
“Mr. Lupin,” The lady acknowledged -also a good sign.
“Mrs. Malfoy.” Remus politely greeted back.
“Escort?” the blond boy suspiciously questioned with a quirk of his brow.
“Yes,” Bard replied with a friendly smile, “this is my first time in Diagon Alley. First time in this part of London actually, since I’ve never been.”
A hand descended down on the boy’s shoulder before he could inquire any more. “Draco.” admonished the lady.
“Narcissa Malfoy, Mr. Ignatius, and my son, Draco Malfoy.“ She introduced. “A pleasure to meet you.”
“The pleasure is all mine, Mrs. Malfoy, Mr. Malfoy.”
‘Narcissa Malfoy: tall, slim and blue eyed. A gentlewoman. Draco Malfoy: short, blue-eyed and probably conceited, but one might never know’
“Don’t call me that.”Draco’s face scrunched, “Call me Draco. Here for a wand too? So that means I’ll be seeing you in Hogwarts, then.” He then paused and give a thorough glance at Bard.
“...Haven’t I seen you before? At the robe’s shop?” He asked, with narrowed eyes. “I seem to recall you standing next to me when I was being measured up.”
Bard blinked several times in confusion. “I don’t think so,” He tried to think back -there were a lot of people in Madam Malkin’s that even with his photographic memory, it was hard to single out the blond boy amongst the crowd. “I think you have me confused for someone else.” He answered at last. “I recall the person next to me was an older gent -with red hair.” He waved at his hair for emphasis but Draco looked determined to confirm. Fortunately, his mother put an end to it and turned back to the shop’s front desk. Bard read that as a sign of approval and daringly stood next to the proud duo.
Remus situated himself near the door as Mrs. Malfoy clapped a palm on the gold ring bell filling the shop with its ringing sound.
Bard tightly clamped his jaws and hands together when the shopkeeper popped in without a sound.
“Mrs. Malfoy,” Greeted the old man, surveying the group before him. “Mr. Lupin, Draco Malfoy and -oh,” Bard frowned once the eyes dropped on him. He didn’t like how those moonlit eyes looked at him.
“Mr. Ollivander,” Mrs. Malfoy thankfully called to attention, “my son would like to be given a wand now. We’ve waited long enough.” Though spoken softly, everyone knew that it was not a suggestion.
“Yes, yes. Certainly, Mrs. Malfoy.” Bard strained his ears, “Always impatient, that one.” The old man murmured as he waved an arm and a measuring tape quickly assaulted his and Draco’s body.
“Wand arm?” Ollivander asked.
“The right.” Draco immediately answered, unbothered by the tape.
Bard had to struggle within himself to stop from attacking the perverted tape, -It was measuring his thighs for goodness sake!- and almost stuttered out an answer -good thing he swallowed first. “Left” He hissed.
Ollivander raised a brow at him, as if knowing that Bard was actually a right handed person but stalked through his shelves, muttering to himself while pulling out several boxes.
It was no mistake, Bard wasn’t an ambidextrous but his master had had him training his left hand since their first day together. Though he wondered if it will highly affect his performance with the wand, he wouldn’t change his answer. And if he was not mistaking the look Ollivander gave, it would still be probable that whichever wand he chooses will be a good match for him, no matter what he answered with.
Ollivander came back with an armful of boxes which he placed on his desk and Mrs. Malfoy was wise enough to have backed up a few steps away from the two boys. It was pandemonium.
Toppled boxes, broken windows, the poor vase left broken on the floor since it seemed like it was a favorite target for the two starter wizards and a few doused fires later--
“And we have a match!” Ollivander proclaimed loudly, grinning despite the disastrous conclusion of his once orderly shop.
“Congratulations Draco at least one of us can leave now.” Bard said, almost showing his frustration as he placed down another failed match up of his. He confessed that the fun in destroying things at first were now dying down due to wasted time.
“Hawthorn and unicorn hair. Ten inches. Reasonably pliant. Congratulations Mr. Draco. Please do take good care of it, it’s one of my favorites.” Ollivander confessed before turning and rummaging for more wands -Bard took note that he went deeper inside the back this time for the wands.
“You better find your wand fast, Ignatius, or I will leave you behind this shop and ignore you for the rest of your miserable life.” Draco suddenly declared to the room as he moved to stand beside his mother and Remus near the door. Due to shock at the unexpected, Bard had only managed to open his mouth before the next pile -just a few boxes- was dropped on the still- standing desk in front of him.
“I have a very good feeling about this one, Mr. Ignatius. It’s a special wand indeed.” Ollivander, grinning as if Christmas had come early, told him as he handed a box to him. The next minute, Bard handed seven gold galleons and left the shop with a good, eleven inches, elm and dragon heartstring. Bard kept a firm grip on it as it tingled beneath his palm. The wand felt as though it pulsed in sync with his heartbeat.
It was very special indeed.
“Are you done with your shopping?” Came Draco’s voice through Bard’s eager thoughts. He had to take a moment’s pause, calming his heart and his wand down to a steady level.
“Yeah, that was the last on the list. Remus helpfully shrank my stuff so we could walk through the crowd better, why?” Bard asked and almost toppled by the abrupt pull of his elbow.
“Let’s go have something to eat! I’m nearly dying of starvation after that whole wand searching affair. After that, let’s go to Quality Quidditch Supplies. Do you play? I hear that the new Nimbus Two thousand---”
Bard managed to catch Mrs. Malfoy’s eyes, asking for permission to befriend her son and almost let out a sigh of relief when she didn’t do anything to stop their budding relationship. He also managed to wave to Remus before Draco fully dragged him out of sight.
And that was how he became an acquaintance of Draco Malfoy, the young and very much excited son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. The yet, unknown arch-rival of his yet unknown twin brother.
Oh how life was just full of surprises.