Part 2- Diagon Alley
When the entryway finished arranging itself before them, they stood in awe for no more than a moment, smiles dancing on their lips and eyes glittering with excitement. Though they had been there what seemed like a thousand times before, they were still bubbling over in joy. The thought that instead of lugging their mothers' shopping around, they would be towing their own their own smelly potions ingredients and freshly tailored robes was enough to keep grins on their faces all week long.
While their mothers were inside Gringotts, the band of would-be-first-years waited on the marble steps of the bank. James was rocking out to the music in his head, Remus providing the beat by drumming his hands on his knees. Sirius was lying across the steps casually, a Wizard Pop hanging out of his mouth. Raven was watching the crowd milling around in front of them, giggling when a man in a pair of violently pink robes and some bunny slippers waltzed by.
When Mrs. Lupin and Mrs. Black returned, the four were up in shot, jabbering on about how they all wanted to go to Quality Quidditch Supplies. The answer, quite plainly, was "No", much to their disappointment.
Mrs. Lupin and Mrs. Black decided that Flourish and Blotts would be the first step, as books would probably be on the top of the list for everyone else doing their school shopping. They lead the way through the growing crowd, occasionally turning to make sure the eleven year olds were following.
Flourish and Blotts was a very grand bookshop indeed. It was filled to bursting with a glorious variety of titles and empty books and quills and all things of the sort. Books were stacked to the ceiling, bordering the edges of long aisles that stretched throughout the entire length of the shop, neatly arranged by subject and author's name. It was even enough to capture Sirius's attention, which was saying something.
"Go ahead and look around," Mrs. Lupin was saying, "Sirius's mum and I are going to go catch up with the clerk while we buy your books."
"Catch up with the clerk?" Raven inquired.
"Old school friend, more than likely." Remus replied as his mother walked away.
"Let's go and look then." James said giddily, rubbing his hands together giddily before leading the way to the back of the bookstore.
There were aisles and aisles of dusty books, and it was only predictable that it wasn't long before it was only Sirius and James on their way to the back of the shop. Remus had caught sight of a very interesting looking aisle and drug Raven along to have a look at it with him. Both were surprised that neither James nor Sirius had spotted the practical joke and artwork aisle!
But the two boys were quite occupied with something else.
"Oy, look at this!" Sirius said, beckoning James over into the corner where he stood.
A large glass case with a sliding door top that was filled with books stood in front of him. A glass divider went down the middle of it, splitting the two titles from one another. On one side of the divider were vicious, snapping books that were attempting to rip each other to shreds. On the other side was. nothing. This grabbed both of their curiosities, so James read the labels on either side of the glass case.
"The Invisible Book of Invisibility. That doesn't seem too smart." he adjusted his glasses and turned to the sign beneath the fighting books, "The Monstrous Book of Monsters."
Sirius slid the top of the case open and reached his hand in toward one of the Monster books, having a close encounter when one tried to snap shut over his fingers. He jerked his hand back like it had been burnt and gave James a sideways glance that said 'Oo, we could have fun with this!'
James silently agreed, and an evil grin identical to Sirius's crept across his lips, his brown eyes glittering mischievously.
"Got a few spare sickles?"
Sirius chuckled and reached into his pocket. He pulled out half a handful of coins and nodded. He stuffed them back into his robes. He knelt beside James in front of the Monster books, trying to decide which one was the least torn up.
"That one." James pointed to one in the corner, trying to escape by snapping unsuccessfully at the glass.
Slowly but surely, Sirius stood up and lowered his hand into the glass case. Trying to be smooth about the whole process, he hurriedly grabbed one of the Monster books from behind.
The book began snapping wildly and nearly closed itself over his nose. James, doing his best to keep it from scuttling away across the floor, demanded that Sirius close the thing with a length of cord that was sitting on top of the glass case. He snatched at the cord, but missed and watched as it fell into the case of books and was nearly ripped apart.
So he did the only thing he could think of.
He leaned in.
Under normal circumstances, this would have been a very bad idea. Keep in mind that it still was a bad idea and always will be a bad idea. But this fact just didn't occur to people like Sirius Black. Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking about diving into a case filled with learning materials that attempt to eat each other.
One of the books jumped up and bit him on the ear. It's friends followed suit, and soon he found himself covered in biting books. He tried to rid himself of them but overbalanced and fell in.
He would have hollered if a book hadn't been clamped over his lips. Instead, he looked around for the cord and ripped it free of the books' grasp as soon as he got a hold of it. He fought all the books off of him and climbed out, sliding the top of the case closed once more.
He wrapped the book that James was fighting with the cord and tied it as tightly as he could. He started to catch his breath when his partner in crime smiled.
"You know what we could do with this, right?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks for asking."
James cocked his head to the side and lifted a brow.
"The possibilities are endless."
They returned to the front of the shop, trapped book in James' grasp. Sirius noticed that the two adults in charge for the day had moved from the clerk to a woman they recognized as Mrs. Actine, their friend Robert's mother. But Robert was nowhere in sight.
They took advantage of the clerk and paid for their new book, tucking it carefully into James' robes after it was officially theirs (they very well couldn't let the grown-ups see that they had bought an unnecessary book!) The clerk rolled his eyes and told them that they had to stroke the spine of the book to be able to read it.
James adjusted the front of his robes, pulled his cloak around him as if he were cold, and folded his arms over his chest. He followed behind Sirius as they searched for Raven and Remus, whom they just had noticed weren't there.
When they rounded a corner, they came across none other than Mrs. Potter. She had with her a tiny blonde boy who was constantly sniffling. His eyes were watery and he looked very nervous- even more nervous and shy than Remus had been earlier that morning.
"Uh-oh." James muttered, getting an open-eyed, jaw-hanging nod from his pal.
"James!" Mrs. Potter exclaimed happily, beckoning her son toward her.
"Mum!" James greeted, forcing a smile and walking over to her, Sirius still in the lead. "Long time no see!"
"Ages, dear. Oh, this is Peter." She motioned to the boy with her. "Peter, this is my son, James. And this is his friend Sirius." Mrs. Potter motioned to Sirius. "I told you about them."
"Hello." Peter said quietly, sniffling. "Nice to meet you."
"Sirius, I- oh dear! Are you all right? You're all roughed up!" Mrs. Potter moved forward with great concern.
"I got into a bit of a spat with a rather demonic looking cat living in the old transfiguration books in the back of the shop." Sirius made a rather unique face that was intended to look like a demonic cat, but appeared more like a hawk having a very rude experience.
"I see." Mrs. Potter looked skeptical but went with it. "I was hoping you could introduce Remus and Raven to Peter while I have a word with James."
"Sure thing!" Sirius grabbed Peter by the arm and led him to go find his two cohorts.
"Yes mum?" James asked, turning to look at her after Sirius and Peter disappeared.
"I want you to do me a favor. That boy- Peter- he's not very experienced with magic and I expect he's too shy to make friends on his own at first."
Her son looked confused. "Of course he won't be good with magic at fir-"
Mrs. Potter silenced him with a nervous look. She lowered her voice to a whisper. "James, I'm about to tell you a secret, alright? Very hush, hush. Peter isn't a muggle-born. He's a pureblood, but his parents decided to raise him away from this world so that he would learn to appreciate the gift he's been given. I want you to look after him."
James looked like an open-mouthed cod. He wanted to say something like "What psychotic parents," or "Why me" but he didn't. He settled for the silent, stunned look.
Sirius and Peter came bounding back down the aisle just then.
"Promise me?" Mrs. Potter asked.
"Promise." James muttered.
"You better go get your books." Mrs. Potter smiled. She roughed up James's hair affectionately and then said; "I'll see you at Ollivander's."
"And she wonders why my hair is always messy." he shook his head, but made no move to adjust it for fear he might drop the book hidden in his robes.
James and Sirius continued down the aisles until they found Raven and Remus over in the practical joke books. James went over to Raven and began to read over her shoulder (Remus read over her other shoulder) while Sirius pulled a book off the shelf, sat himself down, and began to page through it.
"To give your enemies red, itchy, irri- irrit- irritable skin," Raven read aloud awkwardly, "Use the following hex." she ran her fingers down the page and read the spell aloud.
"Come on, let's get your school books." Mrs. Black said as she came around the corner and found them all reading- Sirius by himself deeply immersed in a book and chewing his thumbnail, and Raven standing there with Remus and James looking over her shoulder and reading from a large leather bound book. Nobody heard her. "I admire that you want to read, but let's go get your schoolbooks."
There was still no reaction. She pulled the book from Sirius' hands and the other from Raven's. "Your schoolbooks." She said, and they went off to the front of the shop to get their schoolbooks.
Just before Mrs. Black put the books back, she flipped them over and read the titles. She sighed and put them back on the shelves.
" 'Curses and Counter-curses: Bewitch Your Friends and Befuddle Your Enemies With the Latest Revenges: Hair Loss, Jelly-Legs, Tongue-Tying, and Much, Much More.' Should have known." She muttered. She looked at the other one. "Creating Magical Pranks with Artwork".
By the time she got back to the front of the shop (she had stopped to look at a book- 'Magical Cooking for the Entire Family') Sirius, Raven, and Remus had all bought their books and were now busily flipping through them. James was watching the store clerk buzzing around behind the counter, collecting up his Hogwarts books and setting them on the counter. Once James had paid for his books they left the shop.
"Are you cold James?" Mrs. Lupin asked.
"Yeah." James lied.
He was sweltering, but he couldn't risk being seen with a book that he technically wasn't supposed to have. He'd just wait until everyone was looking away, and he'd put it in his bag of books- but that time could be far from then.
"Then we're off to get your robes." Mrs. Lupin said, checking off all the book titles from Remus's list. "To Madame Malkin's. Sirius? What happened to your nose?"
Upon entering Madame Malkin's, Sirius, James, and Raven grimaced. The sudden urge to find any other place to be but the robe shop was overwhelming. Mrs. Black shared these feelings, but decided to stomach it and just get the show on the road.
Remus and Mrs. Lupin didn't quite understand the situation, as they didn't know who the two boys and their mothers were. But seeing the disgusted looks on everyone else's face, they decided that they weren't the most pleasant of people.
"I was hoping we wouldn't bump into them today. They always ruin the milestones of our adolescence, don't they?" Sirius muttered to James as he looked at the kids being fitted and the kids lining the waiting chairs.
"We'll be back in a moment." Mrs. Black said before she and Mrs. Lupin went off to see if talk to yet another school friend (Sirius suspected that his mother just didn't want to talk to-)
"Well, well, well- if it isn't Potty and his gang of losers." A blond boy said as he strolled up to them. "Here to get your robes for school, are you?" He asked with his lip curled in disgust as he scanned the four people before him, his gaze resting on Remus for a smidge longer than the others.
"That would be a bit obvious, don't you think Malfoy?" Raven snapped after she crossed her arms angrily across her chest.
"Yeah, it is a robe shop you dolt." James added.
"I have eyes, Potter. I know it's a robe shop." Malfoy sneered.
"Then it was rather pointless to ask, don't you think?"
Malfoy curled his lip again and looked at Sirius. "I suppose you've some smart comment that you think will insult me?"
"No.. I just came to laugh at that." Sirius pointed to the boy standing behind Malfoy.
A boy with greasy black hair, a severely large hooked nose, which he always said he would grow into whenever someone poked fun at it, stood behind Malfoy. He had a nasty sneer on his lips, his cold black eyes glittering menacingly.
"Well look at him," he said, motioning towards Remus and ignoring Sirius. "No need to wonder why he's here- looks like he hasn't been to a robe shop since he was born! I suppose this is the latest addition to your little group of freaks, Potter?"
"Shut up, Snape." Raven whispered angrily. "I'll break your-"
"Got girls sticking up for you?" Malfoy asked smugly, looking at Remus, who was glaring coldly at him. "What a git!"
"Bugger off Malfoy, before I give you something to cry about." James said in a dangerous voice, balling up his fist by his side.
"Lucius, Severus- it's your turn to be fitted!" a black haired woman, presumably Snape's mother, called. Snape and Malfoy turned to leave.
"Go on then, run to mummy." Sirius said in a childish voice.
When Mrs. Black and Mrs. Lupin returned, the line was only half of what it was before. Having been caught up in conversations with several other parents, they had left their own flock unattended, and were now wondering if they had gotten in any trouble.
Of course they had.
Sure enough, Sirius had fallen asleep and now the other three were sketching on his face. Sirius continued to snooze while James finished up the butterfly on Sirius's forehead.
"Stop that!" Mrs. Black ordered, and they all whirled around to look at her.
"Uh-oh!" Remus said, dropping his drawing utensil.
"Remus! I'm surprised at you!" Mrs. Lupin then dragged him off to scold him well.
Mrs. Black woke up Sirius, who had managed to cover his shoulder in drool. She sighed and removed the artwork on his face with a charm while she angrily told Raven and James she would be speaking to each of their parents about the matter. Raven and James didn't care, and were playing thumb-wars and saying
"Yes, Mrs. Black" wherever it was needed. Mrs. Black didn't notice because she wasn't facing them, and Sirius was keeping a straight face for their protection.
After they got their robes they left the shop and went to the Apothecary to buy potion ingredients. Not wanting to spend any more time in the Alley than was absolutely necessary, Mrs. Black sent the kids off to get telescopes from the Astronomy store. Handing them all enough money to buy their telescopes, she sent them off with a push on the back.
"You sure we should do that? They're eleven and this place is filled with hags." Mrs. Lupin stated as she scooped black beetle eyes into a bag. "Among other things." She added.
"They can take care of themselves- if one of them got jumped or something, the others would be on top of the bloke in a second." Mrs. Black said, reading labels on bottles.
"That's not all I'm worried about, Lesley. I'm worried about them breaking something expensive or something like that."
"They'll be fine." She said pleasantly. "I think." She added quietly to herself.
As they navigated through the crowds of Diagon Alley, Sirius, Remus, James, and Raven began to chat among themselves. Keeping their gaze just high enough to see where they were going, they clutched their pouches of money close to their sides to avoid robbery.
"So, what did your mum say?" James asked, looking over at Remus, who stood on the other side of Sirius.
"Did you get grounded?" Sirius asked, digging in his pocket.
"She said we'd 'discuss this later'." Remus made quote marks with his fingers. "And I'm not supposed to draw on people's faces while they're sleeping. I don't understand why she's so angry though- it wasn't like it couldn't come off of Sirius's face. What else were we supposed to do- sit there and talk about the weather?" he chuckled.
"Mrs. Black reamed us out." Raven said. "I think. I'm not sure. I was busy beating James at thumb wars."
"Who won that, by the way?" Sirius asked.
"I did." James and Raven answered at the same time.
Buying telescopes was boring for all but Raven- whom the subject of Astronomy fascinated. But knowing the Apothecary was even more boring and had an awful stench to it; they spent a good amount of time there. They all looked through different telescopes even though they already had their own picked out. Occasionally they looked at the clock, and when it was one in the afternoon, they left for the potions shop.
When they headed back to the Apothecary, they sat down on the floor to wait- but they got in trouble when they accidentally tipped over a basin of some green liquid with odd little fish-egg looking things in it, and were sent outside the shop to wait on the bench. This was boring too, and Remus resorted to counting leaves on a potted plant next to the bench.
At number 103, Mrs. Black and Mrs. Lupin came out of the shop. Finally came the two exciting shops- the Magical Menagerie and Ollivander's. Wanting to get magic wands before screeching animals in cages, Mrs. Black and Mrs. Lupin took them to Ollivander's first.
Ollivander's was old, dirty, and musky. The air seemed to be packed to the limit with magic, and it gave off an eerie feeling that wasn't so bad as it was exciting. The walls were stacked with boxes on shelves, filled with wands of different sizes, lengths, and fillings. A shabby desk sat in the middle of the room with an open book sitting on the top of it. Right next to the book, in front of a few bottles of ink and quills, there was a bell. Currently the shop was empty, and they were the only ones there. Mr. Ollivander was nowhere in sight.
Mrs. Black, with absolutely no problem at all, strode forward and rung the bell. Waiting for a moment, she rung it again before an old man appeared. Mrs. Black greeted him merrily and motioned to James, Sirius, Raven, and Remus over by the window sitting in their chairs.
It was then that Mrs. Blake strode in, behind her a redheaded girl who was chewing her fingernails nervously. When the girl saw the others, her eyes widened and she looked scared. Her green eyes looked watery like they were filled with tears, and she silently sat next to Remus. Though Raven knew the girl had done nothing on purpose to keep Raven's mother from taking Raven to Diagon Alley, she felt a pang of anger toward the girl, and glared at her for a second.
"Names please?" Mr. Ollivander asked in a creaky voice, looking up at them with eyes that resembled the moon. Remus didn't particularly like this feature of the experience.
"Sirius Black, James Potter, Raven Blake, Remus Lupin, and." Mrs. Black trailed off, looking at Mrs. Blake for the redhead's name.
"Lily Evans." Mrs. Black repeated to Mr. Ollivander, who wrote down the names in the book on his desk.
"Who wants to go first, then?" He asked, looking at the children sitting in the chairs by the window.
Mrs. Potter entered the shop by herself, having just dropped off the muggle boy she had taken around back at his house. She smiled at James and motioned for him to go get his wand. She sat next to Mrs. Black and smiled at her son.
"I will." James volunteered, getting out of his chair and stepping over to Mr. Ollivander.
"Potter, right?" Mr. Ollivander asked.
"Yes, sir." James answered proudly.
"Alright. Stay here and let me get some measurements." Mr. Ollivander said, walking off into the back of the shop, obscured from view by all the boxes.
A measuring tape floated up off the floor and began to measure James. While it was measuring under his armpits (which made him laugh because he was ticklish there), Mr. Ollivander emerged from the boxes for but a moment.
"You're wand arm is your right, correct?"
James nodded 'Yes' as he laughed, and ceased as the tape fell to the floor in a pile. Mr. Ollivander stepped forward with an armload of boxes and set them onto the floor. James began to go through the wands, Mr. Ollivander spouting off what they were made of and what was in them as he did.
"Ah yes, this is an interesting one. Good for Transfiguration. Powerful. Mahogany, eleven inches, pliable." Mr. Ollivander said, handing James another wand.
When James brought his arm down, the tingling in his fingertips told him that was his wand, and a gentle shower of red and gold sparks flowed from the tip of it. Mr. Ollivander chuckled as he watched. He stepped toward James, rubbing his chin in thought, resting his elbow on his arm that was crossed over his stomach.
"Well, I certainly think I know which house you'll be sorted into, young man." He said. "Next." Remus stepped forward. Raven and Sirius watched with rapt attention and curiosity while Lily Evans sat nervously, dreading her turn. She hoped against hope that Mr. Ollivander wouldn't call her next, because she felt stupid in the company of the other kids in the shop.
Here she was, little muggle-born Lily (Mrs. Blake had taught her that term) sitting with kids who had always known they were witches and wizards. She felt out of place and inadequate next to them, watching as they confidently strode forward and had no fear or anything of the sort as they tried wands. They didn't even seem amazed by much of anything magical, which astounded her. She looked over at the three kids next to her.
Her train of thought was interrupted when Remus sat down next to her again, a wand in his hand. She looked nervously over to Mr. Ollivander, who was tossing a box into a bin.
"Come on now, Lily. Let's get you a wand." Mr. Ollivander beckoned her forward, and Lily shook her head 'No'. "What? You don't want a wand?"
"I do." She muttered.
"Are you scared? You needn't be. They're just pieces of wood filled with things until you get one of your own- then you could turn his hair green." Mr. Ollivander said in his whispery tones, motioning to Sirius.
Sirius chuckled. "It might suit James, but not me." He answered. James rolled his eyes.
"Come on then. Which hand is your wand hand?"
"I'm sorry. I don't understand." Lily answered meekly.
"Which hand do you write with?" Mr. Ollivander improvised.
"My left." She answered, folding her hands together in front of her and keeping her eyes toward the floor.
"Alright. Try these." Mr. Ollivander said, setting a bunch of boxes onto the floor in front of her. "Go on, open one and try it out."
Lily uneasily opened a box and pulled out the wand. She snuck a peek of the others through her thick hair, and Mr. Ollivander noticed. He moved toward her and she set the box down onto the wooden floor.
"Don't worry about them. They're not important right now. You need a wand, and no amount of staring at them will help you."
"Yeah, don't worry about us." Remus said, and Lily looked at him with surprise. Were wizards always this friendly?
Lily went through numerous wands until one settled perfectly into her hand. Mr. Ollivander had described it as, "Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow, and good for Charm work." whatever that had meant.
Mrs. Blake helped her gather up her things and she left the shop. Raven looked at the door for a moment, silently telling it to open again and reveal her mother. No such thing happened, and so she crossed her arms angrily in front of her chest. Mr. Ollivander called her forward, and a grin spread across her face. Her mother was forgotten.
Raven went next and got a wand that was, in Mr. Ollivander's words, "Cherry, thirteen inches long, filled with a dragon heartstring, a unicorn hair, and phoenix feather. Powerful and good for defense." Mrs. Black made her put it in it's box like the other's had, because she didn't want Raven trying to do something magical- like turn her shoes orange and end up turning her orange instead.
Sirius received a wand that was made of oak, was twelve and a half inches long, and filled with a unicorn hair and a hair from a hippogriff's tale. He was very happy with this and was dismayed when he was told to put it back in its box for safekeeping. He groaned, but did it anyway.
After leaving Ollivander's they went to The Magical Menagerie and got their animals. Not much time was spent here because it was getting late; Mrs. Black and Mrs. Lupin wanted to go home and cook dinner. They exited after only a half an hour, each kid carrying an animal (Raven was carrying, well, a raven; Sirius had a cat; and both James and Remus carried owls.)
And so they wandered home, through the barrier and through the fireplace at The Leaky Cauldron. When they arrived back at Sirius's house (which was very difficult considering everything they were carrying) they went their separate ways after an hour of playing and waited anxiously for school to begin.
"'Til we meet again!" Sirius called out into the howling winds as his friends left his house. He closed the door behind him and leaned his back against it. He smiled to himself. "Well, this is going to be fun."
Chapter 3: It Was An Accident!
Chapter 1: The Gang
quitesirius' other works
The Western Tower