Disclaimer: None of this belongs to me. It all belongs to J. K. Rowling.
Thanks to Yolanda, my nifty new beta-reader.
Chapter One: Shopping
A poof sound came from the fireplace in the corner of The Leaky
Cauldron, and a boy arrived in it, landing in a heap. He stood up, dusted
himself off, paused, looked around, and crossed the room to stand in front
of the bar. The older bartender regarded him expectantly. "Are you Jarvis?"
the boy asked. The bartender nodded. "Iím Jamie Potter. My father said
to show you this letter and that youíd let me into Diagon Alley."
The bartender glanced at the letter with the familiar crest and the opening
that he knew so well: "Dear Mr. Potter, We are pleased to inform you.
. . ." He smiled at the boy. "Youíre Will Potterís son, yes? He owled
to tell me youíd be here. Heís still out of the country, then?"
"Yes, sir. Heís working on. . . ." The boy paused for a moment, checked
himself, and finished his sentence with, ". . . something for Grandfather."
"I see. Have you seen J.P. lately?"
"No, sir, but Iím to have tea with him today once my shopping is finished."
"Thatís nice. And howís your mum? Is she coming?" He eyed the fireplace,
waiting for another person to arrive.
"Sheís fine, thanks. Sheís not coming today. She would have come, but
Nickyómy little brotheróhas been sick, and she wanted to give him another
day to get better before she brought him out. Theyíll be up tomorrow to
see me off, though."
"Youíre all by yourself, then?"
"Yes, sir. I know my way, though; Iíve been here lots of times."
"Alright, then. Youíll be careful, right?"
"Yes, sir. And Iíll come back through here after my tea with Grandfather."
"Tom!" Jarvis called to the younger man, who was leaning across the counter
talking animatedly to a customer. When he snapped to attention, the older
man instructed, "Take this lad outside and let him into Diagon Alley.
This is Jamie Potter. Jamie, this is my son, Tom."
"Hi, Tom. Nice to meet you." He offered his hand.
"Good to meet you, Jamie. Come along, then." Jamie followed Tom outside
and watched as the young man drew his wand and used it to touch a brick
in the wall that stood behind the pub. The brick wriggled, and a doorway
appeared. "In you go."
"Thanks. See you later," Jamie said, stepping through the entrance. He
looked down the Alley, which was teeming with people. On top of the usual
swarm, there were lots of families with children there today; Hogwarts
opened tomorrow, and the last-minute shoppers were out in force. Jamie
joined the throng, heading for Gringotts.
The quiet inside the bank contrasted with the noise and crowd outside.
Jamie went to the desk, showed his key to one goblin, and followed another
(who had been summoned by the first) to the passageway that led to his
familyís vault. Another cart was just coming out of the passageway. It
contained the goblin driver, a black-haired boy, and a rather green-looking
woman who Jamie guessed was the boyís mother. The cart screeched to stop,
and the woman climbed out gratefully. The boy stayed in the cart. "Mum?
What about stuff from Grandmaís vault?"
"Oh, Sirius!" His mother sounded exasperated. "Why didnít you mention
that when we were already down there?"
"Because I wanted to ride the cart again," the boy replied, grinning
unapologetically. His mother sighed, and he added, "You donít have to
go; I can get it myself."
His mother looked wary, but she apparently couldnít face another cart
ride. "Fine. Just donít drop it; you have no idea what kind of curses
sheís got on. Paranoid, thatís what she is. If I start getting like that,
hex me, will you?"
"Happily," her son joked. "Donít worry; Iíll be careful with it." She
shrugged helplessly at the goblin, who started the cart again, carrying
away a grinning Sirius.
She looked at Jamie, noticing him for the first time. "Hogwarts, too?"
"Yes, maíam. First year."
"So is Sirius. Do you like those awful carts?"
Jamie laughed. "Yes, maíam," he replied. "But I wish they went faster."
"You and my son should get along fine." A second cart, this one empty,
arrived, and Jamie and his goblin climbed in. As the cart sped off, Jamie
heard the woman mutter, "Have fun," in a rather-you-than-me voice.
One breathless round-trip cart ride later, Jamie left the bank with a
pocketful of Galleons and Sickles and headed for Ollivanderís wand shop.
There were other places to buy a wand, and they were less expensive, but
not so good by half. Jamieís father had emphasised in his letter to buy
his wand from no one but Ollivander. "As if I didnít know that already,"
Jamie had muttered when he read the letter. He reached the shop and walked
in; a tinkling bell deep in the shop announced his arrival. Several families
with children were already in the shop, but no one was talking; it reminded
Jamie of the very strict library in his village. An old man with eerie,
silvery eyes appeared from the back room and began to talk to the first
family, composed of a mother, a father, and two girls. The mother was
slim and blonde and not very tall; her husband was much taller and had
dark red hair. The first girl, the younger one, had her fatherís hair
and her motherís bright green eyes; the older, tall er girl had her motherís
hair but lacked her motherís beauty; she looked rather like a horse. This
second girl was the only member of the family who didnít look excited;
she looked resentful and like sheíd rather be anywhere but here. The old
man spoke to the parents first.
"I donít recognise you two, which means that youíve never been here before;
I never forget a face. . . . or a wand. And I donít recognise this young
lady, either," he added, indicating the sullen older girl. He turned to
the red-haired girl. "Does this mean that you, young lady, are the first
magic one in the family?"
"Yes, sir." She replied. "My name is Lily. . . Lily Evans."
"Well, Miss Evans, letís get you fitted up with a wand. Which is your
"Iím left-handed for writing, but Iím right-handed for sport."
"Weíll try both, then. Hold out your left arm first. Thatís it." He began
to measure her arm, first from shoulder to finger, then from wrist to
elbow, then each finger individually. He performed the same measurements
on the other arm, then left the tape measure to continue on its own while
he began pulling long, thin boxes from the wall. The tape measured around
her head, from her knee to her ankle, and from just about every other
point that Jamie could think of. It was measuring the space between her
eyebrows when Mr. Ollivander turned back around, his arms full of boxes.
"That will do," he said, and the tape measure fell to the floor in a heap.
"Try this one, Miss Evans. Beechwood and phoenix feather. Eight inches.
Rather stiff." He handed her the wand, and she held it in her left hand,
looking uncertain. "Just give it a wave," he said." She did. Nothing happened.
"Try it in your other hand," he suggested. She did, and, again, nothing
happened. "Not that one. Try this one. Ebony and dragon heartstring. Nine
and a half inches, springy." She tried it in each hand with no results
in either. "How about this one? Ten and a quarter inches, swishy, made
of willow with a core of unicorn hair." She tried it in her left hand
with no results. When she took it in her right hand, though, her expression
changed, as though this felt promising. She raised it above her head,
brought it swishing down, and shot a shower of red and gold sparks across
the room, eliciting a chorus of "ooohs" from everyone in the roomóeveryone,
that is, except her sister, who looked, if possible, even more sulky.
"Oh, yes indeed!" Mr. Ollivander exclaimed. "That one has chosen you,
Miss Evans. Nice wand for charm work, that one. It should serve you well."
He put the wand back into the box, wrapped the box in brown paper, and
handed it across the counter to the girl. "That will be five Galleons,"
"Those are the gold ones, right?" Lily asked. He nodded. "Iím still getting
used to this money; itís very different from Muggle money." She handed
him five gold coins, took her receipt, and, family in tow, left the shop.
Mr. Ollivander dealt with the next two families fairly quickly. He remembered
the mother from the first family ("Rosewood and unicorn hair for you,
yes? Eight inches, whippy."). He didnít remember the father , who said
that he had gone to school in France and had purchased his wand there.
The sonís wand turned out to be unicorn hair like his motherís, but it
was made of ebony. Mr. Ollivander said that it would be good for Defense.
The second family was just a mother and a son. Mr. Ollivander asked about
the father, whom he remembered, described both parentsí wands, and then
sold their son a wand made of Yew and dragon heartstring. Then he turned
"Mr. Potter. Iíve been expecting you. You are the image of your father.
Seems like yesterday that he was here, buying his first wand. Maple and
dragon heartstring. Ten and a half inchesórather longóand bendy. A good
one for Transfiguration. And your grandfather favors a shorter wandómahogany
and phoenix feather, eight inches, very powerful. Just has he has become
very powerful. And your mother. . . but perhaps we should worry about
you now. Which is your wand arm?"
"The right one, I think," Jamie replied. Mr. Ollivander let his tape
do the measuring, then brought over a stack of boxes. He began handing
Jamie wands, describing each as he went.
Nothing worked. Four wands, seven wands, fifteen wands. The people behind
Jamie were beginning to shift impatiently. Finally, the sixteenth wand
("Mahogany and dragon heartstring. Eleven inches. Pliable. Excellent for
Transfiguration.") sent a bolt of warmth up Jamieís arm. He swung it down,
producing a shower of red and gold sparks even brighter than Lilyís had
been. "Thatís a very powerful wand, Mr. Potter. Very powerful. Take care
how you use that power."
"I will, sir."
"That one is six Galleons, four Sickles. A little more expensive than
some, but it was a very cranky dragon." Jamie handed over the money
and left the shop. Once outside, he removed the brown paper, opened the
box, took out his wand, and placed it carefully in the long, thin breast
pocket of his robe, the pocket made especially for wands. Heíd never had
anything to carry there before, and now he did. It made him feel very
He headed next to Madame Malkinís, where he followed a small, greasy-haired
boy inside. Jamie had just gotten through the door when he noticed the
black-haired boy from Gringotts heading for the exit. He was alone now,
and he seemed to be in a hurry; Jamie guessed that he was meeting his
mother somewhere and that he was probably late. In his rush, he dropped
his package of robes; the greasy-haired boy, who hadnít been watching
where he was going, tripped on the package and fell headlong onto the
"Golly, mate, Iím really sorry!" Sirius exclaimed. He offered his hand
to help the other boy from the floor. Greasy Hair ignored him and got
to his feet on his own. Jamie gaped at Greasy Hair, shocked. In the process
of getting up, Greasy Hair had pulled his wand and now had it trained
on Sirius. "What do you think youíre doing?" Sirius said, irritation and
anxiety mixing in his voice. "I said I was. . . ."
"Silence!" Greasy Hair commanded. "I will have to teach you to take a
bit more care. Now, what curse shall I use? Jellylegs seems particularly
appropriate. . . ."
"Expelliarmus!" Jamie didnít realise he had drawn his wand, didnít
realise he had spoken. But he was now holding Greasy Hairís wand as well
as his own. He had seen that spell dozens of times at the Dueling Competitions
that his father had taken him to see, but, if he had been asked, heíd
have said quite sincerely that he had no idea how to do it; he knew the
words, but he also knew that it took more than words to make a spell work.
Ollivander had been right; this was a powerful wand. Thinking quickly,
he pocketed the other wand and leveled his own at Greasy Hair. "Donít
move," he said, hoping fervently that he would be obeyed; he didnít know
any other spells to back up his threatening pose, and he wasnít sure just
how much his wand could figure out on its own. Turning toward Sirius,
but never taking his eyes from the other boy, he asked, "Okay there, Sirius?"
"Then youíd better get your package and go."
"Sure thing." Sirius picked up his package and headed for the door again.
Pausing in the doorway, he looked back at Jamie and said, "Thanks, mate."
"Youíre welcome." Jamie smiled at him, and the boy smiled back, an infectious,
irrepressible grin. Then he disappeared out the door. Jamie turned his
attention back to Greasy Hair, who was frozen in place. He lowered his
wand and gestured to the back of the shop. "Go finish your shopping,"
he said to Greasy Hair. "Iíll wait here Ďtil youíre done, and then Iíll
give you your wand back."
"You have no right. . . " Greasy Hair began coldly.
"And you had no right to try to curse that fellow; I saw the whole thing,
and he didnít trip you on purpose. It was an accident. Now go one and
get your robes."
Greasy Hair glared at Jamie, but he did as he was told. Several minutes
later, he returned to the front of the shop, a package of robes under
his arm. "My wand," he said, holding out his hand. Jamie handed it over
wordlessly. Greasy Hair turned to go, then turned back. "You havenít seen
the last of me," he hissed.
" ĎCourse I havenít," Jamie said with a laugh. "Weíre both off to Hogwarts,
and I imagine weíll see each other plenty there. Now get out of here,
and quit acting like the villain in a second-rate Dark Arts novel." Without
another word, Greasy Hair stormed out.
"Youíd better watch that one," said a voice behind Jamie. He turned to
see a squat, middle-aged witch dressed in mauve robes.
"Thatís Tobias Snapeís boy. The fatherís mixed up in all kinds of Dark
Arts, and it looks like the son isnít shaping up to be much better. And
with you being J.P.ís grandson. . . . Just keep an eye on him, okay? Now,
letís get you fitted for some robes."
As she fitted his robes, Jamie reflected that, wherever he went, people
seemed to be warning him to be carefulófirst Jarvis at the Leaky Cauldron,
then Mr. Ollivander, and now Madame Malkin. He wondered if it had anything
to do with what his dad was working on, with whatever he and Mum had been
talking about in low, worried voices. Heíd ask Grandfather this afternoon,
he decided. Grandfather didnít treat him like a child the way everyone
Madame Malkin finished the fitting and prepared the robes; Jamie paid
her and went on. He made a quick stop an Eeylops Owl Emporium to buy some
treats for his new owl, Sophia. Dad had gotten her for Jamieís birthday
a few months ago; she was a Sooty Owl, black with a dark grey face and
a few white spots on her head and wings, and Jamie thought she was beautiful.
Sooty Owls came from Australia, and Jamie was a little worried about how
Sophia would deal with a Scotland winter; Dad said she would be fine,
that she was "a tough old bird," but Jamie wasnít convinced. He was stocking
up on treats to keep her happy, and, on impulse, he bought a Self-Warming
Nest Pad just in case. Before he could be tempted to buy anything else,
he hurried out of Eeylops to the apothecary. He asked for some basic potions
ingredients, received them, and headed for Flourish and Blotts; he had
saved this stop for last because the supplies that he would buy thereóhis
books and hardwareówere heavy, and he hadn ít wanted to carry them around
Jamie selected his books first; there were eight in all for his various
classes. Then, he moved on to the hardware section. There were plenty
of cauldrons at home, but they were mostly gold, silver, or copper, and
Jamie needed a pewter one for school; he found it quickly. Grandfather
had promised Jamie the crystal phials and brass scales that he had used
as at Hogwarts; Grandfather had been an excellent Potions student in his
day, and Jamie hoped that using his equipment might bring him some luck.
All needed now was a telescope. He settled on a collapsible model made
of brass. He lugged his purchases to the counter, paid, and left the shop,
heading back to Gringotts.
Inside, he asked Griphook, a floor goblin, if he could leave his purchases
in the family vault. "Just for a few hours; Iíll be back before the bank
"Certainly, Mr. Potter. Iíll just take them there. Unless youíd like
to come along?"
Jamie wavered. He was a little ahead of schedule, and, as he had told
Siriusís mother, he did like riding the carts. But he should probably
get on to tea.
"No, Iíd better go; I have an appointment. But Iíll go along to get them
when I come back."
"Certainly, Mr. Potter." Griphook snapped his long fingers, and Jamieís
packages jumped into the air and followed the goblin away. Jamie, glad
to have his hands free again, set off and reached the Post and Portkey
"Iím here for the 3:30 Portkey to the Ministry, please," he said to the
woman behind the counter.
"Are you on the list?" she asked tonelessly.
"Should be. Jamie Potter."
She glanced at the list. Apparently, his name was there, for she handed
him a rather raggedy-looking quill. "This is it. Leaves in two minutes.
Thank you for your business. Have a nice day," she said in the same flat
tone. Jamie wondered if she was under a spell or if it was just boredom
that made her sound so blank. He didnít have long to wonder, though. In
a few moments, he felt a jerk somewhere behind his navel, and he was suddenly
speeding along as through a vortex of howling wind and swirling color.
As suddenly as his trip had begun, it was over, and he landed in a heap
on the marble floor of the Entrance Hall for the Ministry of Magic.