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George watched the small imp that brandished a trident as it danced around the rim of the goblet in front of him. Without warning, it dove head first into the cup and began sucking up the amber liquid with a wide-open mouth, growing fat until the cup was empty. It swayed as it got to its feet and let out a deep belch as it looked up for approval. George forced his face to remain expressionless while the people around him laughed at the imp's antics. The tiny creature shrugged, turned the trident, and poked itself, immediately expelling the contents of its stomach and refilling the glass to the brim. George lifted the goblet and drained it in three deep gulps, then set it down and stared at his customers.

Lee Jordon let out a pained sigh and muttered, “I have to have one.”

George set a small round pillbox encrusted with fake jewels on the counter in front of him. “Guaranteed for a whole month’s use.”

Lee backed away. “I have to have one, but I can’t pay five whole galleons for it!”

George glared at Lee while some of the other kids piped up with protestations of their own. “This is a Fred original. It will dance around on the edge of your cup and look cute, making itself explode as many times as you want, but it has practical uses.” He refilled his goblet with pumpkin juice and pushed an empty goblet towards Lee along with the bottle of juice. “Pour yourself a drink and take a sip.”

Lee kept a cautious eye trained on George’s face while he complied. They both drank from their glasses at the same time and set them down. The little imp appeared in George’s goblet again, doing a lazy backstroke until it hit its head against the side of the cup.

“It appeared again!” a girl laughed in surprise. She pushed past the people near her so she could get a better view of the demonstration.

“Every time you take a sip of a drink the imp will appear unless you tell it to drown itself.” George looked down at the cup. “Drown yourself.” The imp gave a quick salute before disappearing. George took another sip and the creature reappeared, impatiently smacking the surface of the juice with its trident. “It comes back with a full bag of tricks every time.”

“Five galleons is still a steep price,” Lee complained.

George looked down at the goblet. “Imp, I’m thirsty, Lee’s not.” The imp climbed to the edge of the cup and rubbed its hands together with devious excitement while still holding the trident. In one great leap, it bounded off the rim and onto the table. It crossed the space between the two goblets in a few long strides and pole vaulted onto the edge of Lee’s goblet with the help of the trident.

“What!” Lee backed away in surprise. The creature winked at Lee before diving into the juice and sucked it up in a long slurp. “Hey!” Lee reached out to stop the thing, but it jumped down onto the table and scampered back to George who was sipping his juice with a wry smile on his face. The imp landed safely inside the goblet even though George was holding it in the air. Once again, the empty cup filled when the goblin jabbed the trident into its belly.

“Pour yourself another drink, Lee,” George taunted. “You look thirsty.” George took a sip and held the glass up, seeming to wait for Lee. The imp appeared at the edge of the goblet again. It held its hands securely against the rim, but only allowed its eyes to peek out and stare at Lee as if it were spying on an enemy. George looked down at the imp. It was ready to pounce. “Take the day off.” It let go without complaint, slipped down the side of the cup, and disappeared into the juice. “It can steal a drink without being noticed too. We stole Ginny’s juice every morning for two whole weeks before she even thought to accuse us. You can have imp wars if you try to steal the drink of someone who already has one. That is where the trident comes in handy, but you will have to buy what I'm selling before I can demonstrate. "  George picked up the pillbox.  "You just chew up the pill inside and for a whole month, an imp will appear in whatever you're drinking.   It is worth every knut of what you pay. The shop closes in five minutes so you need to make your decision now.”

The girl slapped five galleons onto the counter. “I want one!” The kids near her stared in surprise. She glared at them. “My granny pays me to pull the crying weeds out of her garden. I’d pay twice as much for a critter that does all that.”

George smiled and handed her change. “I always give a discount to my first customer when I introduce something new,” he said with a wink when she gave him a questioning look.

“Since when?” Lee demanded.

“Only three minutes to buy a Great Goblet Imp. Five galleons and you will never go without a full drink in your hand,” George called out in the alluring voice of a salesman, completely ignoring Lee.

“Me!”

“Quick, give me one! No, I’ll buy two.”

“Hey, stop shoving. I’m in line.”

A flurry of excitement broke out while the kids who had watched the demonstration fought for the chance to buy a pillbox before the shop closed. Lee stretched out his arms to keep his place and handed George five galleons. “Like I said, I’ve got to have one,” he said with a grin.

George held out the pillbox, but kept it locked in his fingers when Lee reached for it. “For one galleon extra you can also get your very own goblet to keep with you. It works great as a nighttime water glass because the little imp will do tricks until you fall asleep. It’s collapsible too, so it will fit in your pocket.”

Lee’s eyes grew wide with excitement. “I’ve got to have that too!” He handed George another galleon and escaped with his purchases, heading towards the water tank at the front of the store. The line at the counter was enormous, but it dwindled, and the children scurried out of the store holding the pillbox in one hand and the goblet they just had to buy as well in the other. Lee watched them with amusement. The imp that was well balanced on the edge of his goblet of water saluted them as they passed. Several kids stopped to fill their goblets before heading out into lantern-lit street of Diagon Alley. The lights in the front of the store went out as the last person exited, and the door locked on its own.

“That was brilliant,” Lee said when George came out from behind the counter. “You must have made a fortune. You would have made more if you hadn’t waited until thirty minutes before you closed to start selling.”

“Supply and demand, my friend,” George grinned. “Those who bought tonight are the privileged few who will spend the whole night advertising and bragging about their good luck. Tomorrow I will have an unending line. I plan to sell out at noon.”

“Noon? How do you know that?”

“Simple. I’ll tell them, ‘Sorry, but I’m sold out.’”

“What if you aren’t sold out?”

“I won’t be sold out,” George corrected. “I always have plenty of stock, but if I keep the supply low the demand stays high. If the demand is high I can keep my price high.”

Lee nodded. The imp was worth the five galleons, but it was still a steep price to be paying for something sold at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. George had changed—but everyone had expected Fred’s death to change him. He and Fred had always worn identical outfits, but now George wore all new clothes—similar colors and styles to the old one of course, but new all the same. Of all the members of the Weasley family, he had been the one to hold together the most, while Ginny had been the one to break the most. He had kept himself busy the whole summer working long hours selling and inventing new tricks.

George held a small envelope out to Lee. “Thanks for your help today.”

Lee held up his hand in protest. “I had fun, and I got an imp out of the deal. I don’t need to be paid.”

“It was part of the agreement. Take it. I’ll need you back early tomorrow to help me with the imp dueling demonstration. Be sure to bring your wand just in case,” George said with a wink as he pressed the envelope into Lee’s hand. He was about to turn away when he stopped as if remembering something. He stuffed his hand in his pocket and pulled out a silk purse. “You’re heading to Hogwarts in a few days, right?”

“Yeah, I volunteered to help Hagrid for a few weeks before school starts again.”

George nervously held it out to Lee. “Would you mind giving this to Ginny? She’s been working there all summer helping the new librarian. I meant to give it to her a few weeks ago when I saw her, but I forgot.”

Lee rubbed the fabric between his fingers and peeked inside when George nodded his head, giving him permission to look. It was a ring, completely black. “What's this for?”

George held up his right hand. He wore an identical ring on his index finger. “It’s a two-way mood ring so I can keep tabs on her. It will change color when hers does so I’ll know how she is feeling.”

“Sure. I’ll make sure she gets it.”

George smiled. “Thanks.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets, turned away, and headed to the back of the shop.

The lock clicked behind Lee, and the door cracked open. A warm summer breeze whistled into the room. He looked around the shop for a moment before leaving. The wizard world had changed so much. It was always changing, which was a blessing and a curse at the same time.

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