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Chapter 16 The Price of Fame If you haven’t already noticed my story now has a banner so thanks in abundance are due to Iced_Cherriez for not only making it, but dealing with me and my computer illiteracy! This chapter was just plain and simple fun to write. You see we girls love to shop, so what’s more fun than shopping, I’ll tell you writing about shopping. And I loved the whole paparazzi aspect of this story, let me know if you thought it was too much. You see it never made much sense to me in the books, how people didn’t notice Harry that much on the street, seeing as how he’s this famous wizard who saved the entire wizarding world from Voldemort, I always thought it would be more like this… * ** *** **** *** ** * ** *** **** ***** **** *** ** * Harry allowed Brooke to drag him over to Madam Malkins robe shop, where she proceeded in buying Hogwarts school robes, and a set of pretty dress robes, since there would be a ball at Hogwarts later on in the year. Harry who already had his school robes, but true to his word of needing shopping therapy, still bought a new set of traveling robes, and a new set of navy blue dress robes. As they left the store, Harry could tell what Brooke had meant, shopping did make you feel better, especially if you didn’t think about the type of money you were spending. As Brooke led him towards a muggle clothes shop he reasoned with himself thinking that he had always been careful with his money, even though he had enough to live as extravagantly as he wanted to, so why not just splurge this once. Harry watched her try on outfit, after outfit, after outfit, and then watched as she began picking out clothes for Harry. “What do you think of this one?” She asked him holding up a white polo to him. “Well what do you think?” He asked her back, trusting her opinion much more than his own. “I like it. Very English school boy, you could get a pair of faded jeans, and then put something over it….ohh that would look really good,” she was quite excited about her shopping trip. “Here try it with this,” she said handing him a gray sweater and pushing him towards a changing room. A few minutes later he emerged, where Brooke gave the final okay, and they made there way up to purchase their items. They entered the crowded streets of Diagon Alley, clutching about ten backs each. “These bags are getting heavy,” complained Brooke. “We should just shrink them to pocket size.” “brilliant Harry, you are absolutely brilliant, and did I say brilliant,” she said to him as she shrunk their bags, and they stuffed them in their pockets. “Now where to?” asked Harry, hoping that it didn’t have anything more to do with clothes. “How about Flourish and Blotts, I still have to get my school books.” “Sounds good,” Said Harry as he pulled his hood up once more as they made their way through the holiday crowds. They stopped for a few moments to listen to the troll choir, who Harry thought for being trolls didn’t sing so badly. They entered the bustling shop, where Brooke went to look for her school books, and Harry examined a display full of charms books. That’s when he heard the voice that he hated. “That you scarhead.” Without turning around Harry replied. “Shove off Malfoy.” “Oh it is you! Why do you have your hood up, don’t want to face your fans, tisk tisk, I’m ashamed of you Potter.” Harry now wheeled around to face Draco, pulling his hood down slightly so he could see him more clearly. “Tell me Malfoy why are you here, I thought you and your type usually hung around Knockturn Alley.” “Oh aren’t you clever, think your such a big man, because everybody loves you so much. I bet the only reason your in here is so you can go and look at those stupid books they wrote about you, but why anyone would want to ready about your life is beyond me.” “It’s a hell of a lot more interesting than yours Malfoy.” “Is that right?” “Yeah, that’s right.” “You can’t back yourself up, your just talk.” “So that’s why you ran the last time you dared speak to me, because I’m all talk. Funny, and here I thought you were scared” “You don’t scare me Potty.” The two boys continued hissing insults and glaring at each other, but after awhile Draco had been joined by his cronies Crabbe and Goyle. Harry was starting to get nervous that somehow someone in the crowded shop would discover who he was, and it would cause an uproar. There had been other times when he was out in public when someone had recognized him, and he didn’t want a repeat of those performances, especially with Malfoy there to witness it. “Look Malfoy, I have more important things to do, so either you leave me alone or I will curse you.” Malfoy looked like he wanted to give a retort, but wisely decided against it, judging on the last time they had fought. “See you at school Potter.” And with that he spun around on his heel and stormed to another section of the store. Harry looked at his watch, and realized that they had been in the shop for a good half hour, and decided to go find Brooke. He made his way up to the school book section and to his displeasure not only found Brooke, but Malfoy…again. He didn’t say anything at first, but just watched the scene unfolding before him. “Hello,” said Malfoy in a silky voice. “Oh hi,” replied Brooke brightly. “Can I help you find something.” Asked Malfoy. “Oh no, I have everything I need, I was just looking at this book here,” said Brooke gesturing to one of the books propped up on the shelf. “Well if your done, how would you like to accompany me for some ice cream?” “Oh that’s really sweet of you, but I’m already here with someone else.” “Someone else? Couldn’t be better than me, just ditch them.” “No, I’m sorry, but I really have to go now.” Said Brooke, who was starting to get nervous at the way this boy was treating her. “I don’t think so,” said Malfoy grabbing hold of her arm. “Let…go…of…me,” she said as she struggled against his grip. Harry had, had enough and stormed right up to Malfoy, and with all the force he could muster punched him squarely in the jaw. “Back off Malfoy,” he said through gritted teeth. “Oh thank you Harry, this boy was, uhhh.” Said Brooke, who was getting quite frustrated by the whole situation. “THAT’S WHO YOU’RE HERE WITH…HIM?” asked Malfoy in loud astonishment, while clutching his bleeding lip. “You have a problem with it Malfoy?” Harry shot back. “So you’re Potter’s bitch then?” Malfoy asked, directing his question to Brooke. “She isn’t anyones bitch Malfoy not mine, and especially not yours.” Answered Harry for her, “Brooke, why don’t you go pay, I’ll meet you up there, as soon as I’m done dealing with him,” he said pointing at Malfoy. Brooke obediently shuffled off to the counter, wanting to get as far away from that blonde boy as possible. As soon as she left Malfoy turned to face Harry. “Well I would have never thought you could get a girl like that Potter, how much did you have to pay her?” “My private life is of no concern to you, now leave us alone or I will curse you all the way to Albania.” “I’m not going to be stupid like you Harry, don’t worry I’ll leave you alone, but I can’t promise everyone else will.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “Bye Potter,” And with that Malfoy spun around on his heel once again and began making his way towards the stores exit. Harry was quite confused as he made his way down to the crowded center of the bookstore, where he saw many people examining the books with his face on the cover. He gave an inward groan as he watched them, and then went and found Brooke who had just finished buying all of her school supplies. “You ready to go,” he shouted at her over the sea of people. “Yeah” she called back, “What is that guy still doing by the exit, I thought he left?” Brooke asked Harry as she made her way over to him. He looked around to see Draco Malfoy still standing by the door, a sly smile on his face. “Let’s just ignore him and get out of here before we get trampled,” He grabbed her hand that wasn’t clutching her purchases and began maneuvering towards the front, but right when they reached the middle of the crowd Harry heard Malfoy’s voice loud over the crowd of people. “IT’S HARRY POTTER” “Ah shit” cursed Harry. People began to get very excited and began grabbing copies of the books written about Harry, and looking around frantically for their boy wonder. “Where is he?” “I don’t see him” “Is he really here?!” “Harry, just come on let’s try and get through this way,” called Brooke as she moved them towards an opening in the crowd, but she called a little too loudly, because at the mention of the name ‘Harry’, Harry could feel his cloak being pulled off his head, with more screams from the people. “It’s him, he’s here!” “Mr. Potter would you sign this for me, please?” “Wait till I tell my daughter I met you, she’ll just die!” Harry was being pushed around from person to person, cameras were going off and quills were being stuffed into his hand, as he tried to protest the attention. Brooke who had been pushed off to the side, barged her way through the crowds and made it over to Harry, where she whispered in his ear, “Just sign some stuff, then they’ll leave you alone, and we can get out of here.” As reluctant as Harry was to sign autographs, he complied, figuring that Brooke probably had the right idea. So after ten minutes of signing and photo ops the crowd finally let him leave the store. “Oh I am going to kill Malfoy,” exclaimed a very frazzled looking Harry. Brooke was about to say something, when she heard more shouts from down the street. “THERE HE IS!” They whipped around to find themselves surrounded by a horde of photographers and journalists. “Mr. Potter may we please have an interview?” “How are you feeling after your fall?” “Who’s this girl? Is she your girlfriend Harry?” “Miranda Fredricks from Witch Weekly, our readers are dying to know, which do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?” “STOP,” called Harry putting a hand in the air, which surprisingly made all the media and surrounding bystanders stop their chatter. “Please, I am just trying to have a relaxing day of Christmas shopping with my friend here, and I ask that you leave us in peace.” There was immediately an uproar of talking, people protesting, saying that they had to get an interview. Harry tried fruitlessly to push them away, but nothing he did seemed to work. Just when Harry was about to curse every last person in the crowd, he heard more excited whispers, and a voice booming over the rest. “Now please, please just leave Mr. Potter be, I’m sure we can come up with some sort of compromise.” Harry turned to see the face of Michael Kinsella the minister of magic making his way towards the crowd of people. Harry liked Michael much more than he had ever like Fudge, who was kicked out of office after he refused to believe that Voldemort had returned. Michael was fair, and was always first to believe Harry, putting the ministry on his side. “Hey Michael,” Harry called over at the minister, who smiled and waved back, while he was having an argument with one of the reporters from The Daily Prophet. Harry gave a sigh of relief, now that Michael was here they would surely be able to get away from the media, who looked down and smiled at Brooke who was clutching his hand, and looking quite overwhelmed by all the questions that were being shot at her by people wanting to know about her relationship with Harry. After a few more minutes of questioning and arguing Michael made his way over to Harry, “Harry how are you?” “Well I was fine, until all this,” said Harry gesturing towards the crowd of people, who were snapping pictures like mad now that Harry was talking on a personal basis with the Minister, he even heard one reporter yell, “It’s a money shot!” Michael merely laughed, and brushed all the attention aside. “How are you feeling after your fall.” “Well, surprisingly, I feel one hundred percent better, not at all like I’ve been in a coma for two weeks.” “Not too surprising to me, you’ve always been a strong lad. Now I have just been talking to the various reporters and they have all agreed that if you give a small interview they will leave you alone for the rest of the day. I’m afraid it’s the best I can do, they are all very adamant about speaking with you, especially after your accident.” “I don’t know,” said Harry looking down at the small form of Brooke beside him. “Its okay Harry, you go give that interview, then we can start our shopping therapy sooner!” said Brooke, with a reassuring smile, he merely chuckled and turned back to Michael, “Alright, no longer than half an hour, but not in the streets, only reporters.” “Very well, we can use the Leaky Cauldron, I’m sure Tom would be happy to oblige.” * ** *** ** * Half an hour later Harry found himself standing on a podium inside of the Leaky Cauldron, surrounded by an excited looking group of reporters. He looked down to the back of the room where Brooke was standing next to the owner of the Leaky Cauldron, Tom. He gave her a small smile, and she just nodded her head in encouragement. Knowing she was there made him feel more calm about the situation. Now Harry watched as Michael got up to address the crowd. “This is a press meeting that shall last only half an hour, then I suggest you all abide by our agreement, and leave Mr. Potter in peace, or you will be dealt with by the ministry. Now this will be orderly, one question at a time, if you all follow protocol, then you should have everything answered by the time the interview is over. Now I will waste no longer waste any more of your time, let the questions begin!” With a sigh Harry stepped forward to receive the first question. “I asked you earlier Mister Potter, which do you prefer chocolate or vanilla.” “I’ve always been more of a chocolate person myself,” answered Harry, smiling slightly at the silly question. “Mr. Potter, would you please explain to us the incident leading up to your fall.” “I was playing quidditch, where I was hit with a bludger and fell from my broom.” “Is it true that there was foul play involved, by the opposing teams beaters.” “No comment.” “Mr. Potter is the rumor that your father and godfather came into the future using a time portal device true?” “Again no comment,” Harry answered as a sad look appeared on his face. “How is the planning against you-know-who coming?” “We are working with the information that we have at the moment, and everything is in order.” “In the prophecy released last year, Mr. Potter it states that you have unknown power, are you any closer to finding out what that power is?” “That is a matter that I cannot discuss.” “Who was that girl you were with at the book store?” “She’s a friend of mine.” “She’s very pretty, is their any romantic interest between you two.” “No comment.” “What is your response to the recent attacks on Muggles up in France, do you believe it to have anything to do with he who must not be named?” “I believe that it does. Voldemort (at the mention of the name a collective shudder went throughout the room) does have foreign allies and it is vital, that we are aware of the damage he can inflict.” “Mr. Potter is it true that you will be playing on the International English Quidditch Team after you leave school?” “I plan on pursuing other career opportunities.” “Mr. Potter…” * *** *** *** * Another half an hour later Harry was standing outside alone with Brooke, feeling very thankful that the reporters had stayed true to their words about granting him some privacy after the interview. “Well that certainly was exciting.” Said Brooke “I suppose so,” answered Harry in a lack luster sort of voice, “So much for our shopping therapy, huh?” “Nah, I’ve had fun today Harry. Being with you, I don’t know, is as good as shopping therapy any day, you can make me forget about my problems just as much as a new pair of shoes.” He looked at her for a second and then they both burst out laughing. They were standing towards the edge of the town, neither one really wanting to head back into the crowds quite yet. “What do you say we go for a walk along one of those trails?” asked Harry looking towards some old walking trails that spread out around the area surrounding Diagon Alley. “Sounds good.” She said, as he clasped his hand in hers and they began walking. They didn’t talk until they reached the top of a hill that was completely surrounded by trees, and untouched snow. “I’ve had a lot of fun today too Brooke, I’m just sorry that we had to deal with all that paparazzi stuff for an hour.” “It’s okay, I know you didn’t ask for it, and it’s not like you can help it.” “Yeah,” he said quietly looking down at the snow, “Do you remember when we first got here and were talking about what happened with Ginny?” “Yes,” answered Brooke tentatively a little nervous about the direction this conversation was heading. “And you know how I told you that I had feelings for you, and you said you had feelings for me?” “Uh huh” “Were you telling the truth?” “Yes Harry.” “I was too,” he stopped and looked into her eyes, “I have really strong feelings for you Brooke. I don’t know what it is, I can talk to you, I can be myself around you, I just feel good when I’m around you.” “I feel the exact same way about you Harry,” she said returning his gaze, hoping he would tell her everything she wanted to hear. “But I can’t be with you.” “What!” she exclaimed, this was not what she was expecting to hear after everything else he had just said, “After everything you said, did I do something wrong?” “No, you did everything right, and I just get this feeling when I’m with you, that I don’t want to let go, but it’s important to me that I don’t put you in any danger. My life isn’t safe, and I don’t want to put you in danger.” “I don’t see why that should matter.” “Remember what I told you in the hospital about my life being cursed, and how everyone I care for gets taken away from me?” “Yes” “Well I won’t let that happen to you. You deserve someone better, like just now, we were just trying to shop, and we ended up in an hour long scuffle with the press. You don’t need that type of attention, you don’t need that added to your life.” “Harry you are being an idiot.” “What?” “I’ve known you for what, two days? Yeah, two days, and I already feel like I’ve known you forever, and I’ve been through enough, and I’m old enough to know that people don’t feel like that all the time. So screw it if you’re the Harry Potter. And screw what the media thinks, or how dangerous your life is, because I want to give this a try Harry.” “Brooke I…” “I heard Ginny tell you that girls would only like you because you were a famous face, but I’m here to tell you that, that is NOT true. I like you because you’re just Harry, not because you’re the boy who lived.” “I…” “Harry you are smart, brave, loyal, caring, funny, and just MERLIN, I don’t care about what might face you in the future, I’ve known about it since I met you, so why do you think I’d care?” “Brooke, listen to me. I know that you don’t like me because of who I am, but because of what I am, and that’s why I like you too, but I will NOT put you in danger, I’m sorry this is just the way it has to be, but believe me it isn’t how I want it to be.” He said it with such a tone of formality, that it took Brooke slightly aback. “I’m sorry too Harry,” she said looking up into those emerald green eyes, and hoping to god that she didn’t cry. * ** *** ** * * ** *** ** * Alright, so at this point i'm sure the majority of you are out there yelling at your computer screen 'OH MY GOD NOT ANOTHER MARY SUE' Let me be the first to assure you now, that Brooke is as far away from being a Mary Sue as could possibly be...you'll find out what I mean soon enough. And no I don't mean she has a tragic background, or some unknown power, but just trust me when I say SHE IS NOT A MARY SUE (and never will be for that matter) Thanks for reading, please leave a review!)

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