“That wasn’t your fault, Harry.” Hermione said to him once Ron had disappeared from sight and most people had gone back to talking about the latest argument between Ron and Harry. “He was stupid to just storm off like that, you had no choice about being Quidditch captain, just the same as he had no choice in being a prefect.” “I know that.” Harry sighed, “Do you think I should have gone after him?” “No, he’d probably have hit you.” Ginny said, speaking from experience. “He’ll calm down later on.” Hermione reassured him. “He better do, I’ll be sharing a room with him.” Harry said. “Oh yeah, I forgot you’re coming to Grimmauld Place today.” Hermione said, “Dobby’s there.” “Yeah, I know.” Harry said and rolled his eyes. “Well if he doesn’t get over it then we can test some of our latest products on him as revenge for you, Harry.” Fred grinned. Harry wondered what Ron would do if his brother tested some jokes on him as revenge for his own best friend. He would instantly assume that even his brothers had taken Harry’s side, which would not be good. On the other hand it could be utterly hilarious to see Ron under the effects of some bizarre new Weasley contraptions. “No testing things on Ron!” Molly shouted at Fred. “Anyway, even if we can’t test things on Ron,” George said under their mother’s strict glare, “You can still be cheered up by Dobby.” “What could be more pleasing than a mad house elf?” Fred asked. “A mad house elf who’s devoted to you.” George added and Harry sighed; having Dobby around was not going to be fun. At least he would be better than Kreacher though. Glancing down the table he saw that his newly appointed godfather was discussing Ron as well, with those sat near him. “Well I think that Ron overreacted completely.” Mad Eye said just after Arthur had left to go sit with his two eldest sons. “Of course he did, but he’s in the shadow of five other brothers who have all made something of their selves in one way or another. He wants to prove himself.” Tonks said. “And hearing you say that it should really be Harry that’s the prefect probably didn’t help matters much.” Minerva said to Mad Eye who looked sheepish, or as sheepish as a man with a large, electric blue eye set on a menacing scar-covered face could look. “I agree.” Tonks said. She glanced at Remus who was staring intently at the table and had lost track of the conversation some time since. His mind had wandered back to the conversation whilst Snape had been there some time earlier. “If there is anyone you wish to tell then you may want to inform them before the next Order meeting which will be in three day’s time.” Dumbledore had said. Remus couldn’t help but hope that Harry would tell him before he found out along with everyone else. Should he make friends with Ron again he would probably be telling him as well, although Ron wouldn’t be finding out during the Order meeting and everyone else would be. “Remus?” The gruff voice of Mad Eye brought him back out of his trance-like state and he glanced around at the people there and smiled slightly. “You’re a little out of it today, Remus.” Minerva said to him. “I’m fine, just thinking, that’s all.” Remus replied. “I’m sure he’ll tell you, Remus.” Dumbledore said to him from the side and Remus looked at him, surprised. How does he always know?! He wondered and the old man winked at him. His eyes moved automatically down the table to Harry who was looking a little uncertain of himself since Ron had disappeared, and with him being surrounded by most of Ron’s family he couldn’t really blame him. “Don’t worry, dear.” Molly said to Harry from the side of him, “He’ll come around, he’s just a little hot-tempered recently, that’s all.” She smiled at him and he smiled back slightly. At least Mrs Weasley hadn’t turned against him for his argument with her youngest son. “I suppose we should be going to buy things for next year soon.” Hermione said. “Ah yes.” Dumbledore said from the end of the table, although when he spoke everyone else went quiet in order to hear what he had to say. “That reminds me.” He clapped his hands together and a small form and a quill appeared infront of Hermione and Harry. Harry didn’t doubt that one similar would have appeared infront of everyone else in their year at that moment in time. The letter had the Hogwarts crest at the top of it and there was a list of subjects there. He could see the four that he wanted amongst that list although looking down it he could see that there was no Divination there. He glanced at Hermione’s and saw that her list was quite a few subjects longer than his. “How on earth did you manage to get an O in Astronomy anyway?!” Harry asked her, remembering the night they had taken their astronomy exam and looked up the table to Professor McGonagall who had taken four stunners to the chest that night. Everyone had been very shaken up by it, Hermione included, and yet she had managed an Outstanding grade in the subject. It just wasn’t fair. Hermione only shrugged in reply as she looked down the list longingly at Arithmancy as she ticked defence against the dark arts, charms, transfiguration and potions. Once she had done this her piece of parchment folded itself up quickly and both it and the quill disappeared. A second later a new piece of parchment appeared infront of her with a list of books and potions ingredients she would need for the coming year. Harry looked down at his own list; charms, transfiguration and defence against the dark arts were already ticked. He stared at the box marked ‘Potions’ and sighed as he ticked the box; signing himself up for two more years of torture. A moment later an identical piece of parchment to Hermione’s took it’s place. Across the table, Ginny was looking down her booklist at what she was going to need for the next year. “After Gringotts we’ll go to Madam Malkin’s.” Ginny said to Molly who nodded to her. “Alright Ginny.” She said, “Well let’s be off then, you have a lot of shopping to do.” Harry sighed as he got up from the table along with Hermione, Ginny and Mrs Weasley. He always hated shopping; it just had no appeal to him. The four of them said goodbye to everyone else at the table, all of them resolving to meet back there in two hours time. After that Harry, Hermione, Ginny and Mrs Weasley set off towards Gringotts a little further down the street. Luckily he had remembered the key to his vault and fished it out of his pocket as they entered the building. Soon the four of them were sat in one of the carts in the bank and Harry felt his stomach drop unpleasantly as they took a dip downwards as they made their way to his vault. He got out of the cart and didn’t bother to shield all his money as he had once done from the Weasleys as he filled his bag full of galleons and a few sickles and knuts. He got back into the cart and it set off again at frightening speed through all the tunnels and passageways underneath the main bank as they made their way to the Weasleys’ vault. Harry couldn’t suppress a smile as he saw Mrs Weasley get out of the cart and open the vault, where she was greeted by mounds of gold which were more numerous than the piles of silver by far. Once they had done in the two vaults Hermione went and changed around two hundred pounds into galleons and sickles before they went back into the street to commence shopping. “Are we going to Madam Malkin’s?” Ginny demanded of her mother who nodded submissively as the four of them went to the shop for robes a few doors down. Inside the three of them were measured up for new sets of school robes by little Madam Malkin. They all paid for their purchases and left with a bag in their hands. “So where to now?” Ginny asked her mother. “The apothecary.” Molly said and walked off down the street with the other three in tow. Harry had always hated the apothecary and as he entered he remembered why; as he entered he breathed in the horrid, choking fumes and fought the urge to hold his breath, knowing that he would pass out before he managed to make it out of the shop again if he tried. Beside him Hermione looked a little ill from the smell of it all herself but she didn’t comment and glancing down at their lists they started to buy the ingredients that they needed. “That’ll be three galleons, twelve sickles, please.” The woman behind the counter said to Harry as he went to buy his potions ingredients for the year. Using his not particularly advanced mathematics he worked it out to around eighteen pounds, which wasn’t too bad, he supposed considering that he generally bought around the same amount of potions ingredients each year and he had never yet run out. He paid and a moment later Hermione went to the till, paying just less than him with three galleons, ten sickles and 4 knuts. “So where now?” Harry asked when they got outside, a small bag which magically expanded when opened, allowing it to be filled with vials, bottle and jars of potions ingredients. “Well I’ve got to buy a new cauldron after Neville burnt the bottom out of it last year,” Hermione said. “And I need a new wand.” Ginny said. “Well we’ll go to Flourish and Blotts first then you can all go to your separate shops.” Molly said to them, leading them back down to the other end of the street. The bookshop was always busy and today was no exception as the four of them entered. It was quite large and had expanded since Harry’s last visit. He pulled out his booklist for the year: Advanced Charms for the Advanced Student by Selena Spellbound. Transfiguration: Changing Things Because You Can by Ermond Toade. How Not To Be Killed: Defence Against The Dark Arts by Louis Tremmer. Complex Potions For The Simple Student by Phyllis Phungal. The Standard Book Of Spells: Grade Six by Miranda Goshawk. Glancing at Hermione’s list, Harry saw that the two were the same. He sighed inwardly with relief at not being the only one told to get Complex Potions for the Simple Student. Snape’s glee if he was the only one who bought that book would be endless. He and Hermione turned away from Ginny and Molly as they disappeared into the crowd to try and find the books that they needed. The closest ones to them were the Standard Book of Spells series, which were needed by all students in the school and a large supply was close to the doorway. They each took a copy of the sixth book before turning around to find their bearings. “Potions, this way.” Hermione said to Harry, taking hold of his sleeve and pulling him through a group of people and into a small part of the shop which seemed darker than the rest. They quickly found the book that they were looking for and Harry turned it over to read the blurb on the back: Learn to bottle fame, brew glory and even stopper death in this potion filled tome, no real intelligence necessary! Part of it read. Harry stared at it and a slight smile crossed his face as he realised where Snape had got his yearly speech. Either that or one of his past students had written the book and stolen his yearly speech. Harry didn’t mind which one it was because both scenarios could be amusing. Glancing back at his list he decided that they should attempt to access the busy section on transfiguration. Taking hold of Hermione’s wrist, he lead her through the crowds of witches and wizards to the other side of the shop where the saw Seamus, Dean and Neville talking with a copy of their transfiguration book in their hands. “Harry! Hermione!” Neville said when they spotted them coming towards them. “Hey.” Harry smiled as he and Hermione took a copy of the books each. “You’re taking Potions?!” Seamus said incredulously to Harry. “You must be mad, mate.” “You must have got an O in your OWLs though…” Dean said, staring at Harry who grinned and nodded. “Saw Ron a bit ago.” Neville said, “Heard you’re Quidditch captain.” “Yeah, well done!” Dean said to him. “Ron’s not too pleased though.” Harry said. “We know, he seemed a bit peeved off as he mentioned it.” Seamus said, “Hope you get a good team together this year, we’ll need one to beat the Slytherins. Heard Malfoy’s just getting together the biggest people he can and the best at hexing people.” “Fabulous.” Harry sighed and his three friends gave him encouraging looks whilst Hermione browsed the shelves behind him. “Anyway, I have to go, my gran’ll be wondering where I am.” Neville said to them, “See you on the train.” The four of them bid him goodbye as he walked off through the crowds to leave the shop. “We’ll see you later.” Hermione said when she was done looking at the books. “Yeah, see you.” Dean said to her and Harry as they turned and disappeared through the crowds. Now all they had left to find were books for charms and defence against the dark arts. “They’re upstairs.” Hermione said. “I didn’t know there was an upstairs.” Harry said to her. “Oh yeah, they’ve been extending the place recently. Apparently they want to have about three floors of books when they’ve finished.” Hermione said to him as they made their way over to a staircase in the shop. “The only problem is getting enough books to fill the floors.” As they reached the staircase an alarm went off in the doorway and they saw Neville being dragged into the back of the shop by two security guards. “I just forgot to pay, that’s all!” Neville cried as they pulled him away. “Sure you did, that’s what they all say!” Said a security guard as he was taken away. “Poor Neville.” Hermione said as the two of them turned back to the stairway and walked up onto the next floor of books. There were two large sections up on the first floor: charms and defence against the dark arts. This floor was a lot less crowded than the rest of the place had been, to Harry’s relief. They walked over and got their charms books with no trouble at all and then wandered into the defence section where they found Remus idly browsing the shelves. “Having fun?” Remus asked them. Hermione nodded before her eye was caught by a book further down the section and she wandered away to go have a look. Harry pulled a face at all the things he was carrying. “Here.” Remus said to him and shrank his potions ingredients and his robes down to a size where he could easily fit them into his pocket. “Thanks.” Harry smiled as he put all his recent purchases inside his jacket pocket. “Don’t you think you have enough books on defence to be going on with?” Remus asked Harry as he took a book from the shelf. “This one’s for school.” Harry said as he glanced over the cover of How Not To Be Killed: Defence Against The Dark Arts by Louis Tremmer. Now with the ‘How Not To Be Killed’ box set, you too can avoid certain death in certain perilous situations. ‘How Not To Be Killed: Charming your own Socks’ ‘How Not To Be Killed: Shopping’ ‘How Not To Be Killed: Eating Toads’ And now, for a limited period of time, ‘How Not To Be Killed: Poisoning Penguins’ comes with a free copy of ‘How Not To Be Killed: Overspending on Unnecessary Reading Material’ Harry raised his eyebrows at the blurb on the back of the book which Remus read over his shoulder. “‘How Not To Be Killed: Poisoning Penguins’?” Harry muttered as he stared at the page. “People poison penguins all the time Harry.” Remus said with a grin. “As useless as most of that collection of books is, that one happens to be somewhere close to useful.” “You don’t happen to know who the dark arts teacher is this year, do you?” Harry asked him. “As a matter of fact—” Remus said but was cut off from a snide comment from behind the bookshelf. “Anyway Father wants to have Dumbledore removed permanently, after the line of defence against the dark arts teachers we’ve had, I can’t say I blame him.” The sound of Draco Malfoy’s confident sneer floated through the bookshop and Harry narrowed his eyes. Realising how likely Harry was to start a fight with Malfoy in the middle of the bookshop Remus clamped his hand down firmly over Harry’s mouth as he tried to make a retort. “Do try to keep quiet, Harry.” Remus murmured to him as he went back to glancing over the bookshelves for anything of interest to him. Harry scowled at him and tagged along after him down the isle. “Now Draco, you shouldn’t say such things. After all, it wouldn’t do to have everyone thinking that I’m wanting to supersede Dumbledore, no matter how true the statement may be.” Came the voice of Lucius Malfoy at his son’s side as the two of them rounded the corner and found themselves on the same isle as Harry and Remus. Harry actually heard the sound of contempt as they spotted he and Remus. “I see you managed to buy your way out of Azkaban then, Malfoy.” Remus said as the man passed them with a superior smirk on his face. “At least I have the money to buy myself out, wolf.” Lucius said, turning around to face Remus who turned his back on him and walked away. “Don’t you dare turn your back on me you filthy half-breed!” Remus turned to face him with a calm smile on his face, hiding his irritation. Harry didn’t managed to mask his own feelings quite so well and was working hard at biting back numerous retorts. “And what honour do you have that would have none turn their backs on you?” Remus asked him quietly, “Any ‘honour’ that the name of Malfoy once held was gone once you joined the Death Eaters more than a decade ago and now that you’ve just been released from gaol I can’t see you being particularly well respected in the wizarding world.” “At least I was imprisoned for assisting in the purification of the wizarding race.” Malfoy said, “More people respect that than you would think.” “More people condemn it than you would think.” Remus said coolly. “Ah, you are right; more do condemn than support it.” Lucius said, “But it matters little of the amount of people that support the purification process, and you: a filthy half-breed will be one of the first to be purified.” Lucius Malfoy smirked. “How terribly interesting for you to say so.” Remus said lightly, “Although you appear to have forgotten one small fact: that Voldemort apparently has an army of ‘Dark Creatures’ such as werewolves, so how likely is he to wipe them all out?” Lucius narrowed his eyes dangerously but was saved from any retort by his wife appearing by his arm. “Lucius, let us be away from such people.” Narcissa said as she looked down her nose at Harry, who gave her a cold look. “Come, Draco.” She took her husband’s arm and together they marched off down the isle whilst their son strode after them. Harry scowled darkly at the latter and stuck his foot out as he walked past. Malfoy stumbled and glared at Potter, whipping out his wand from his pocket. “Draco!” Lucius barked at him, marching back towards his son and grabbing hold of his collar he dragged him away. “You might get fleas.” He warned and Harry shot him a look of fury before they disappeared around the corner. Once they had gone Remus smiled and went back to browsing the shelves idly for anything of interest. “What was all that about?!” Hermione asked, scurrying around the side of the shelves and standing next to Harry with her hand on her hip. “The Malfoys trying to stir things up, as always.” Remus replied without turning to look at her. “Why aren’t I surprised?” Hermione asked coldly. “Anyway, I really have to go buy a new cauldron. I’ll see you at half past three outside Florean Fortescue’s’. She turned away from them both and disappeared through the bookshop with a stack of books in her arms. “Looks like I’m following you around for another hour or so,” Harry said to Remus who smiled slightly. “If you insist.” Remus said as he wandered through the shelves of books, Harry tailing him around the shop. Remus turned around to see Harry stood right behind him. He took a step down the isle and Harry took a step behind him, maintaining the distance between them. Remus took another couple of steps and Harry did the same. Remus quickly ran around the side of the bookshelves and turned to see Harry still behind him. He narrowed his eyes at the boy and disapparated with a crack. “That’s just not fair!” Harry said and from behind him Remus laughed. “Come on, let’s go pay for these and get out of here.” Remus said to him. They both disappeared down the stairs, glancing around the floor below for any sign of the ridiculously blond hair which signified the Malfoys but there was no indication of their presence and they both assumed that they had left the shop. They left the shop some time later, Harry with another shrunken bag in his pocket and hoping that they wouldn’t decide to expand to their original size whilst still in his pocket, an event which had once occurred to Neville at school. Thankfully Harry’s bags stayed at their miniature size. “You’ll have to practice with that Snitch Ron bought you later on, Harry.” Remus said as they passed Quality Quidditch Supplies which was closed for unknown reasons. “Yeah, but it won’t be much fun without Ron.” Harry said gloomily. “I’m sure you’ll both make up again, you always do.” Remus said lightly as they wandered down to the far end of the street. Eventually they were as far down the road as they could go and stopped outside a single shop. “Wow…” Harry said as he stared at Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes. The shop was much larger than he could have ever imagined and stretched over two floors. He didn’t want to think how much the shop had cost them, but glancing around he realised that he had never been this far down into Diagon Alley before and the shops that were here seemed to have bigger, better counterparts up towards the Leaky Cauldron. “Things have never been so busy down here.” Remus said, “They’ve attracted people right down the alley and of course now everyone wants to know what’s so interesting. They’re making a lot of money and even Molly doesn’t mind that they dropped out of school anymore.” They filed inside the shop with half a dozen other people to find the Weasley twins inside, surrounded by people. Laughing and shouting over the top of them. The crowd parted easily for Remus who made his way to the front, whilst Harry slipped between people, taking a rather more difficult approach to making it to the front but getting there all the same. “Aha! Welcome to Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes!” Fred said when he spotted Harry and Remus next to the till. “What do you think?” George asked Harry. “Amazing.” Harry grinned at him. “Go have a wander round then, it’s not like we’re going anywhere.” Fred told him. Harry walked away and looked around the shop. The bottom floor appeared to be where they kept all their less dangerous pranks and amusements from what he saw, up on the first floor were things such as fireworks and explosive firewhisky (‘Explodes in the drinker’s face, or your money back!’). There were quite a number of people looking at fake wands which could turn into anything from a toad to a small dragon, new potions they had concocted that would turn the drinker into Dolores Umbridge for the day, a product which had sold extremely well over the last couple of months but wasn’t doing as well as previously. “We’re going to be replacing those soon.” George said from behind Harry. “What to?” “New ones which will hopefully make you become Snape or Trelawney if we can get the mixture right, at the moment we can only get a normal Snape though.” George explained. “Normal Snape? What else did you have in mind?” Harry asked, quite interested to see what alternate Snape they wanted the potions to create. “The Snape that Neville saw against the Boggart years ago.” George said and Harry laughed. “How are you ever going to manage to do that?!” Harry asked in amazement. “Well we’re not certain yet but we’re probably going to have to get hold of Neville and a Boggart for it to work.” George said, “So it could be quite some time until we manage both.” A series of loud clanging from the wall made Harry glance up to discover that the time was a quarter past three. Two small ginger wizards had walked out of the sides of the clock and were cursing a blond wizard smaller than themselves in the middle whilst clanging came from the clock. Harry couldn’t help but feel amused by the clock on the wall as he turned to walk back down the stairs with George. Glancing back at the timepiece he saw that the blond wizard had fallen to the ground and the other two were dancing back into their holes at either side of the clock. “How much money did you spend on all this then?” Harry asked Fred when they got back to the tills. Remus had been glancing around at some of their more interesting items whilst listening to Fred trying to figure out how to make some kind of map of Hogwarts for the students. He couldn’t help but smile inwardly at the idea of their replicating the Marauders’ Map, although he couldn’t seem them managing particularly well, especially if they tried to mass produce it. “We spent the full 1000 galleons.” Fred replied, “And that bought this place and some stuff to start making products with. Now we’re easily making enough money to carry on with the shop and there’s a load spare too.” “Yeah, we can pay you back the money if you want it.” George said to him. “No chance.” Harry said, “I neither want it nor need it.” Remus glanced at him whilst he overheard the conversation, wondering why he had given the twins 1000 galleons. That was a lot of money in the wizarding world. “Let’s be going then.” Remus said to Harry. “Are you coming?” Harry asked Fred and George. “Nah, way too busy now!” Fred said to him, “Tell mum we’ll be home for tea though.” Harry nodded as he and Remus were swept away by the crowd and left the shop. “You gave them a thousand galleons?” Remus asked, raising an eyebrow once they were outside. “Do you know how much money that is?!” “Enough to buy a joke shop.” Harry replied. “Enough to buy a large joke shop in the busiest Wizarding shopping area in Britain!” Remus said, “Where on earth did you get the money?” “Triwizard tournament winnings.” Harry said and forced all memory of his fourth year from his mind. “Oh,” Remus replied as they walked up the street together. He had never had a full account of the happenings during Harry’s fourth year owing to the fact that he very rarely read the Daily Prophet due to it’s libellous nature. He had spent quite some time avoiding Rita Skeeter once the school had found out that he was a werewolf. It hadn’t been easy to escape but he had managed it, and what’s more he had also only just made the inside pages with a small column about how awful it was that he had evidently tricked Dumbledore into accepting him as a teacher. From the letters he had received from Sirius during Harry’s fourth year, he found that the Prophet had not been very nice to Harry and Rita Skeeter had been snooping around the school for any interesting tales to tell about the boy. He never touched the paper after that. Then of course he had tried to gain the information about Harry’s entrance into the tournament from Sirius, and was denied it. Then he attempted to discover how he had done in the tasks and received a short dialogue concerning dragons and the lake which had made little sense to him before that conversation had ended. And the third task? No information whatsoever. Sirius had turned up at his door sometime after the third task had been completed after being present at Harry’s debriefing by Dumbledore but he had evidently been rather shaken up by what he had heard there. Remus had questioned him occasionally on the subject but Sirius changed it swiftly afterwards. Dumbledore explained that Voldemort had returned using a ritual involving Wormtail and Harry (which had made his blood boil, remembering how Harry had allowed Wormtail to live. He had been right to do so of course, but then Wormtail was willingly being used for Harry’s destruction which only served to infuriate him). He also found in the first new Order meeting that Mad Eye had been locked in his own trunk for the entire year and subdued under the Imperious Curse, whilst an impostor spent the year working for Voldemort and endangering Harry. There had been a maze though, he knew that, and there had been a portkey to Voldemort. And that was the extent of his knowledge. Remus scowled and made a mental note to ask Harry about his fourth year, if he was willing to divulge the information, and ask him about it if he was not. Having heard a few interesting tales of Harry’s first and second years at the school when he taught there he resolved also to ask about that. He glanced at Harry who was walking silently by his side, having noticed that Remus was clearly lost in his thoughts he steered him through the crowd when necessary. His mind still seemingly disconnected from his body he realised that he had been walking along all this time. As a cool, self-important Ministry official strode past them, Harry gently pulled Remus out of his way and carried on walking next to him. He took his eyes from Harry and glanced around the street. With a jolt he realised that they had made it all the way up Diagon Alley without speaking a word to Harry and thinking about him all the way. He saw most of the Weasleys, Dumbledore, Minerva, Hermione, Tonks, Mad Eye and now Filius Flitwick sat outside the ice-cream parlour and realised that they must be the last two to arrive. “Let’s be going then, shall we?” Molly said as they arrived. A/N: Do you know what's a brilliant idea? Having chapters pre-written so that I can just post them when I need to. For example, this is chapter 6 (or so I believe) and I am currently just beginning to write chapter 8, which means I can randomly post whenever I feel like it. Cool huh? Anyways, next chapter to be posted when I've finished the eighth. Cheerio! :o)
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