The winter wind is cruel, frigid and biting but Harry just burrows his face into his scarf and soldiers on. Last year he left his holiday shopping to the last minute and he refuses to repeat the stress of that ordeal again.
Harry’s already purchased most of the Weasleys’ gifts but he has yet to find the perfect item for Hermione. As if the universe is privy to his thoughts, he stumbles across a brightly lit bookshop. The windows shine with warm, glowing lamps and a large banner hangs over the door: Grand Opening, All Books Half Off.
Harry pushes open the heavy oak door, sighing in relief as a gust of warm air wraps around him. The shop is bustling; numerous patrons chat animatedly as various clerks assist them. There are several overstuffed armchairs, tall shelves overflowing with books and impressive paper sculptures littered upon the mismatched tables. Harry’s eyes, however, are immediately drawn to the shock of white-blond hair at the front desk. That pale hair—so vivid it nearly looks unnatural—is alarmingly familiar. Harry's mouth goes dry as the young man’s face turns, his sharp features in clear view. Pointy chin, pronounced cheek bones, smooth skin and striking grey eyes. It couldn’t be… could it?