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Potter-Weasley

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With the end of the school year Harry was both excited and depressed. He had a godfather that loved him, but that godfather was still on the run. At least he knew there were people that had truly cared about him.

Harry took a great deal of joy in mentioning Sirius to his Aunt and Uncle as they left King’s Cross. He had heard from Bill who had had the wards around the Dursley’s examined that he would have to stay with the Dursley’s for a period of time. The wards were incredibly weak, but they still needed to be maintained. If the wards fell Dumbledore would be notified, and after what had happened that year Harry was even less trusting of the Headmaster than he was when the year had started. 

Thankfully he would only need to be there for 1 week. Seven days and the wards would remain for another year. Harry knew he could last that long, he had already survived years after all.

Once that week was up Bill and Charlie had made arrangements for him. They had enrolled him in a summer camp. It was only a week long, but it would get him out of the country under the radar. They couldn’t risk him leaving through magical means since the Ministry and Dumbledore would surely intervene to stop him so they had settled on the camp. Harry would be flying out with a group of muggle kids from Heathrow. They were going to Denmark to spend a week camping and hiking.

After that week though he would be getting on a plane that would take him to Romania to join Charlie for the rest of the summer. And Harry couldn’t wait for that. He had been fascinated when Ron had told him that his elder brother worked with dragons, and now he was going to get to go there himself and see.


 

A Week at Number 4

 

The week Harry had to spend with his relatives wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. Dudley was oddly decent even as he was miserable about being put on a diet.

Harry had asked him about it the second day he had been home and Dudley admitted he really did want to get in better shape. He also told Harry that he had gotten into a fight with his best friend, Piers, and that the other boy had turned the others against him too.

Each day Harry went into Diagon Alley on the Knight Bus. Hidden down the back alleys of the main alley were little shops that had been set up by muggle-borns and people that couldn’t afford the insane cost of having one of the main shops. Harry had found them the year before and had been amazed by how much they had.

In one of the shops he grabbed a test to determine if someone was a squib. That night he got Dudley to take the test and found that he was indeed a squib.

The next day when harry went to the Alley he brought Dudley with him. He did make sure the boy wore sunglasses so no one would b able to see how huge his eyes got.

Their first stop was to a potions shop. Harry told the woman at the counter that his cousin was a squib and someone had used a gluttony curse on him as a joke. It wasn't the first time she had heard something like that so she just shrugged it off and gathered the needed potions. She explained that so long as Dudley took the potions and did even just a minor amount of exercise like walking around the block he would be able to lose 20 pounds a week. She also gave them some bath salts that he would need to use to tighten his skin back up so it didn’t sag. And the final potion he got would stop his body from absorbing any large quantity of fat from any meals he ate over the next few weeks since it would take time to switch back to a normal diet.

Dudley had been amazed by all of that information. His parents had always told him magic was horrible, but it was looking pretty good to him. Dudley really liked getting to explore this new world that his cousin was a part of.

For his entire childhood Dudley had been encouraged to hate and demean his cousin. After all of that he was grateful Harry had even cared enough to notice he was having a problem, his parents hadn’t.

 

On Harry’s last full day at the Dursley’s he decided it was time to tell them he was leaving. He had already mentioned it to Dudley earlier so all he had left to tell was Vernon and Petunia.

Harry cleared his throat that evening just before dinner started.

“What do you want now boy?” Vernon demanded. “Some new demand from that horrible godfather of yours?”

“Sort of.” Harry shrugged. He really was going to be using Sirius as an excuse for this. “Sirius feels I haven’t been getting out enough so he arranged for me to attend summer camp. I will be picked up by a taxi at 5 tomorrow morning. The camp lasts all summer so right now the plan is for me to come back and grab my trunk the day I meet the express to go back to school.”

“Your leaving?” Petunia shrieked. 

“And just how do you expect to pay for this?” Vernon sneered. “We certainly won’t be paying for it.”

“Sirius has already arranged the payment through an intermediary. Everything’s already payed for.” Harry assured them.

“Fine.” Vernon snapped. This was actually perfect for him. He got rid of the boy and didn’t have to pay for it. And anything that got the boy far away from his normal family was something he would tolerate.

 

Harry was slightly surprised the next morning when Dudley got up to see him off. They had been getting along better over the past few days, but he hadn’t thought the boy that hated getting up would intentionally get up early just to say goodby to him.

Harry had made sure Dudley had a few galleons in case he needed to go back to Diagon. He wasn't sure if it would happen, but better he have something and not need it than need something and not have it, especially since he was on potions.

Harry said goodby and got in the car to head to the airport.


 

Romania

 

Harry spent a week in Denmark hiking and camping at his outdoor summer camp. It had been a surprising amount of fun. Harry found he actually did enjoy all that outdoors stuff. He had grown up in the suburbs and the closest he had got to camping as a kid was the few nights he ended up getting locked outside.

But once that was done he got to go where he had really been planning to spend his summer. Another plane ride and he was arriving in Romania where he was met by Charlie.

Harry knew he was definitely in for a fun rest of the summer.

 

Like Harry had expected the past weeks had been great. There were a few handlers at the reserve that were parselmouths too. They were happy enough to teach Harry more about his gift. Parsel was the language of the serpents, and dragons were serpents. Harry just needed to adapt to their dialect and those that could speak with them helped him with that.

Other than that Harry spent most of his time with Charlie helping him on his rounds, which mostly amounted to him following behind Charlie and asking questions. Harry had told Charlie that if he found him too annoying to just tell him so but Charlie laughed it off. He loved to talk about his dragons and was glad to find someone that was interested in them, his own family all got exasperated whenever he was home and started to talk about them since he did it so often.

The reserve was massive, it was broken up into different sections, one for each type of dragon that lived in the reserve. There were over 2 dozen different species of dragons in the world but only 10 types in that particular reserve. Because it was so large they were often on the move and lived out of a wizarding tent. They spent 3 days in each section.

When Ron had spoken to Harry about Charlie’s job he had just referred to him as a dragon handler, but that actually wasn't true. Dragon handlers were just generic workers at the reserve that were actually not really allowed to interact or get near the dragons much, despite their job title, since they lacked training, their job was mostly to clear areas for nesting and make sure there was plenty of food available. 

Charlie was a dragonologist, which was a branch of magizoology that focused on dragons. He specialized in socialization and behavioural issues for dragons, although he was also very good at treating their injuries as well. Since the reserve often took in injured or orphaned dragons, like Norberta, Charlie monitored them to make sure they were fitting in and weren’t causing problems.

He really liked having Harry around since he could communicate with the dragons so Charlie didn’t have to watch for days on end to determine what was causing problems. It was very hard to do therapy when you and your patient can’t understand one another. The reserve did have parselmouths, but there were only 3 of them and they were usually kept in the medical treatment area to keep the injured dragons calm.

Harry liked chatting with the dragons. They had all kinds of interesting stories. The oldest of the dragons were hundreds of years old so they had amassed a great wealth of knowledge, it wasn't generally useful to a wizard, but it was still interesting.

Something that interested Harry was that something was going on. Charlie kept getting called away to deal with issues surrounding the transportation of three dragons. Harry questioned him about it but he told him it was a surprise for when he got to school, something that just confused Harry.

 

“We have a slight issue.” Charlie announced one afternoon near the middle of August when he entered the tent.

Harry looked up from the kitchen table where he was going over his homework assignments one last time. “What’s happened? Has Dumbledore figured out about you? Has…?”

“Relax kiddo, not that kind of issue.” Charlie tried to soothe the kid. “Dad got tickets to the Quidditch World Cup. From the letter I got they are planning to invite you and Hermione to go with us. Mum’s planning on writing to the muggles to get permission and they are going to go and pick you up.”

“That’s a problem.” Harry agreed. “What should we do?”

“I think I’ll write to Bill and get him here.” Charlie said thoughtfully. “The three of us should be able to come up with a plan. There’s still a week and a half till the match and my darling parents do have a tendency to leave things to the last moment. They only let me know early since dad knew I would need to schedule time off work and arrange travel.”

Harry agreed and the two went out to check in on the latest clutch of fireball hatchlings.

 

Bill arrived in Romania a few days later.

“Hey Bill.” Harry smiled as the tall red head came into the tent. He had just been making their lunch, a nice grilled chicken salad. Charlie was great at a lot of things, but Harry had quickly learned his cooking skills extended only as far a sandwich and trail mix so had set about getting him eating properly. Charlie pointed out they could just go to the mess hall but Harry reminded him that he himself couldn’t apparate there, and he absolutely hated the feel of side along apparition. Charlie had been smart enough not to argue, especially when he found out Harry was a really good cook.

“Hey kiddo.” Bill ruffled Harry’s messy hair causing Harry to bat him away with a huff and Bill laughed. 

“Leave him be Bill.” Charlie smiled at his brother. “He’s in charge of your food after all.”

Bill held his hands up in surrender. He was slightly surprised to see just how easily Charlie got on with the kid. It was an odd and uncomfortable situation to say the least, but he was glad they had found they could be friends. There would be nothing worse than being forced to be married to someone you couldn’t stand. He had hated putting his brother in this position, but it had been the only option he could find. It was a relief seeing he hadn’t completely destroyed both their lives.

“So what’s the plan?” Harry asked as he put the food on the table.

“I had an idea.” Bill spoke up after a few bites of the amazing food, he just might have to steal Harry from his brother for the next summer. “We do want to make sure there is some separation between the two of you. Currently no one outside those of us in the know would connect you, but better to have that distance early.

Charlie, mum wants us to come back a few days early. I think you should go home in a few days. Harry, when Charlie leaves you come to Egypt to stay with me. Then you fly back to London while I take a portkey. I’m sorry, but you're gonna have to spend a night at the Dursley’s before we come and get you.”

“That’s fine.” Harry assured, he actually didn’t have a problem with spending a single night at the Dursley’s. “But I don’t think you guys should get me from my aunt and uncles place. They already dislike magic enough I don’t think they will respond well to having a bunch of wizards showing up at their house. They just might hold a grudge about that until next year, and I will still need to spend a week with them.”

“So how would we be able to get you?” Charlie asked, not liking the fact Harry still had to deal with those people. He was just such a good kid, he shouldn’t have to deal with people like that.

Harry thought for a few moments. “We could meet in Diagon. I can say I need to go and collect some stuff for school and you guys can meet me there.”

“That should work.” Bill agreed.


 

Back to Number 4

 

Harry took a fortifying breath as he got out of the cab and walked towards the Dursley’s.

“Oh where have you been today Harry darling?” Came a familiar voice.

Harry turned and gave his old babysitter a polite smile. He was sure this woman might be a bit more than batty, but she was harmless as far as he could tell. “Just had to go into London to grab a few things for school. I’m going to stay with a friend for the rest of the summer so wanted to get it out of the way.”

“That’s nice. Hope you have fun with your friend.” Arabella Figg turned to head home and send off a message to her old friend Albus Dumbledore. She had been growing more and more worried in recent days when she noticed she hadn’t seen Harry around like normal, but when she questioned his cousin about it he just said that he had been staying in his room a lot. But now she knew he really was just fine. She was however going to mention that Harry was going somewhere just in case Albus needed to know.

With a deep breath Harry knocked on the front door of his relatives house. He didn’t want them yelling about him breaking in or something. Harry was startled when Dudley opened the door, not just that he had actually been the one to get up, but how he looked. Dudley had slimmed way down and actually looked like he was putting on muscle. Now that he wasn't covered in a thick layer of blubber he made Harry think of a stereotypical blond surfer.

“What are you doing back so soon?” Dudley asked in shock. “I wasn't expecting to see you again until the last day of summer.

Harry smiled as Dudley guided him in. “I got invited to attend the world cup with a couple friends so came back early. I’m gonna hav to spend the night here and then I’ll meet them in London tomorrow. Let’s just hope your parents are in a good mood.”

Dudley laughed. “Their mood isn’t going to matter. They decided to have a date weekend.” At this both Dudley and Harry shivered at the mental image. “They said it was safe to leave me home alone since you were gone and they didn’t need to worry about you hurting me or destroying the house, sometimes I swear those two live in a different reality. I’m the one most likely to destroy the house. But either way, they’re in Brighton for the weekend at some ridiculous little bed and breakfast mum heard about from one of the other ladies in the garden club.”

Harry let out a relieved sigh. “That’s good. I really wasn’t looking forward to having to deal with them, no offence.”

“Be as offensive as you want, my rose-tinted glasses are off with them.” Dudley grumbled.

“What happened?” Harry wondered at his cousins reaction.

“It’s just all the little things.” Dudley flopped down on the couch. “I started going out jogging to help with my weight. For some reason dad seems to think it's ‘unmanly’ or some such nonsense. He said I should take up boxing instead. I think I’ve done enough beating people up to last me a life time.

And mum…” Dudley cut off to run his hand through his hair with a growl. “As soon as I started to lose the weight she started going on about how I was to thin and looked unhealthy. She started getting a lot of junk food and making really greasy and heavy meals. I actually had to start using my allowance to buy healthy food and cooking for myself.”

Harry snorted at that. Petunia, a woman who was nearly always on a diet so she could stay thin and mock the heavier women in the area, had absolutely no idea what was an appropriate meal for anyone. She had always gone between starving, with Harry, and stuffing, with Vernon and Dudley.

Harry got a letter from Ron in the afternoon, and Dudley remembered an odd letter addressed to his parents that had arrived that morning. Harry wrote back to Ron and the Weasley’s explaining he was going to be in London and that it would just be easier to meet in Diagon Alley.

The two boys found when they didn’t have Vernon and Petunia interfering they actually got along rather well and had a relaxing day.


 

Diagon Alley

 

Harry arrived in Diagon Alley much earlier than his arranged meeting with the Weasley’s. The reason for this was that he felt ready to take his heir test. Griphook had agreed to allow him to take the test but that it wouldn’t be submitted yet. They were going to keep it as a backup just in case there were any other issues Dumbledore created.

As Harry had anticipated he passed both of his test easily enough.

 

At 11 o’clock Harry was relaxing outside Fortescue’s Ice Cream waiting for the Weasley’s. He had already finished a quick snack of a banana split with extra caramel sauce.

Only about five minutes after the meeting time he had suggested he saw a large group of red heads, and a head of fuzzy brown hair, making their way down the alley towards him. Over the summer he had written back and forth with Ron and Hermione using his normal method so Dumbledore wouldn’t sense anything off. They often asked how he was doing with his relatives and he would say he was fine, he mentioned often going camping and spoke of Dudley’s changed attitude and diet, if Dumbledore was reading the letters like he suspected the man would have no reason to suspect anything was wrong with his plans, plus he wasn't lying to his friends. 

Harry really felt uncomfortable with all this sneaking around without telling his friends but he knew he couldn’t tell them everything, not yet. Ron had a temper, only a blind idiot wouldn’t be able to see that, and when he got angry he lost what little filter he had. If Ron knew about things like the contract and mail ward he would be spouting them out the first time he even got annoyed. And then there was Hermione. Despite her working to be more understanding she was still overly enamoured with those in positions of authority. If she thought he was in danger, or just being reckless, she would go running to the Headmaster. The only thing that would get her to tell faster than that was if he asked her, then she would spill everything because she still truly believed he was the greatest wizard in the world and was always right. 

Harry loved his friends, but he also knew them. Besides, everyone had their secrets. Look at Hermione with the time-turner, if she got to keep that to herself then surely he had the right to his owns secrets. As for Ron, Harry wasn't sure if he had any secrets, mostly because he was nearly as loose lipped as Hagrid, but he figured Ron didn’t tell them everything, so he didn’t have to either.

It took a couple minutes for all the greetings to get out of the way before Molly spoke up.

“Harry dear, there really was no need for you to come all the way into London to meet us. Arthur was just going to have your relatives fire hooked up to the floo for the day so it would be easier for you to travel. Plus it would have allowed you to say a proper farewell to your aunt and uncle.”

“Then I’m really glad I needed to come into London today.” Harry said. “My relatives don’t have a proper fire place. They used too, but it was bricked over years ago. Besides, it wouldn’t really have mattered. My aunt and uncle are in Brighton for the week. It’s only been Dudley and I at home.”

“But you’re to young to be left alone!” Molly was horrified at leaving children without adult supervision.

“They’ve been leaving me home alone since I was 7, I’m fine with it. I actually prefer it.” Harry told her. While it was true, Harry neglected to mention that was only when the Dursley’s went on day trips and he was left locked outside so he wouldn’t destroy the house if they couldn’t find someone to leave him with. He still had no idea why they had decided to bring him to the zoo with them on Dudley’s birthday.

Molly looked like she’d become part frog as she started gulping in large breaths of air to keep from screaming. How dare those people leave such a young child home alone? She knew what Albus said, but surely he couldn’t know about this.

“And how has it been…”

“Dealing with that cousin of yours?”

“We had plans…”

“To play with him.” The twins said while their mother was trying to keep control, they knew it was only because they were in public. She would get angry in public, but she always saved the banshee like screaming until they were home, something they knew well.

Harry grinned at the twins. “No playing with Dudley boys, he’s actually been pretty good this summer. His school put him on a diet and he took up jogging. He’s a lot easier to deal with without all the sugar and junk food. He’s started to realize his parents are kind of stupid. He’s even started to talk to me about how school is and things that interest me.”

“Awww, no more baby whale?” George questioned as Fred pouted.

“Nope, no more baby whale. He’s lost over 50 pounds this summer.” Harry chuckled.

“So what is it you needed to get Harry?” Percy questioned. Percy had grown rather fond of the Potter Heir over the previous year when he had come to him for advice on how to manage his time better and help with homework questions. 

The previous year had changed a lot for Percy. He had finally managed to get closer to his brothers, or at least, four of his brothers. Both Charlie and Bill had written him often since they had been worried about him after the events of the previous year. Fred and George had liked the idea of him being proxy for their title so had started spending more time with him. To claim the title and assign a proxy the twins first had to pass their Heir Tests. Since Percy had already expressed an interest in the subject the three of them would get together on the weekends and spend a few hours going over the books they had gotten from their grandfather and Bill. Even with him having to study for his NEWTs Percy still made time in his schedule, and it wasn't just because he wanted to learn, he found he actually enjoyed that time with the twins and it allowed them to bond on a level they hadn’t before. Percy also may have sneakily used that time to help the twins study, and convince them to do their best, for their OWLs. Given Fred and George’s lack lustre performance in their previous years their parents had been stunned and thrilled when they each managed to get 7 OWLs, especially when that result was coupled with Percy’s own 12 NEWTs.

Fred and George had taken their test half-way through July and had passed by the skin of their teeth. But they did pass, so they were able to assign Percy to the position of Proxy. He had proudly attended his first meeting earlier that month. Since he only had to attend the two meetings per month, the Council meeting and the joint meeting with the Wizengamot he also had a job. The twins had offered to arrange for Percy to get paid for his work as proxy, but he had refused, at least until the estate had been built back up from the damage Aunt Muriel had done. He had been offered a number of positions but hadn’t known which ones were honest and which ones were in the hopes of currying his favour due to politics, something he had never thought he would have to worry about. With his dads help he had managed to find a position that matched him perfectly, he was working as a junior researcher in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Like a few of the brighter students he had quickly figured out about Professor Lupins condition and had started researching it, Harry had caught him and they had discussed how disgusting the laws in regards to those like Professor Lupin were, Percy had really liked the professor, he had been the only decent teacher they had had in that class during his time there and the man had gone out of his way to help make sure each of them did their best. When he had mentioned it to his father after graduation he had pointed out Percy could use his position to get a thorough understanding of the laws and restrictions that were bigoted and then use his position as Proxy of House Prewett to start updating or outright removing them. After that he had talked about it with the twins who had been like him in both figuring out about Professor Lupin and didn’t like the laws so they had fully supported him in what he wanted to do.

“I just wanted to pick up a few changes of clothes for winter, it get’s rather cold in the winter in classes like herbology and care, and even in the spring it can get chilly in astronomy. I wanted to get some that were heated and weather resistant.” Harry said.

“Oh those are rather expensive aren’t they dear.” Molly pointed out. She didn’t think the boy should be wasting money like that. “I’m sure just a normal jacket will work just fine.”

“The price isn’t really bad.” Harry countered, he wasn't leaving without getting the clothing he wanted, he was finally going to get a proper wardrobe, not the disgusting oversized rags the Dursley’s had given him. “I found a little shop last year that has way better prices. It’s where I got Ron and Hermione’s winter cloaks I gave them for Christmas with the warming charms. I wasn't sure how they would work so I only got one for each of us, but given how great it was last year I want to get a few more so I don’t have to wear the same thing all winter.”

“Oh, I love that cloak.” Hermione said suddenly. “It stays amazingly warm.”

“Why would it be cheaper in one shop and not another?” Ginny asked, she would love more clothes but her parents always said she was fine and they were too expensive. Although she had been getting more ever since the twins tuition started getting paid for, she was jealous they got their schooling free, even more so since they each also got money for their supplies and she didn’t.

“A number of reasons.” Harry shrugged as he thought back to the discussions he had with many of the shop owners the previous summer. “The first is name recognition. Twilfitt and Tatting’s can charge more than Madam Malkin’s because of the name recognition even if they have similar products. 

Most students are encouraged to get their robes at Madam Malkin’s because she charges a bit less. Plus she has a deal with the School Board of Governors to set a standard rate and style and bundle the robes so they can get it all done at once. Because of that she can set whatever price she wants since most don’t know to shop around.

But the main reason is how the clothing is produced. Shops like Malkin’s and Tatting’s get bolts of fabric and then cut and sew it into the generic shapes before tailoring it to each persons measurements. Fearless Fashions, the shop I want to go to, buys pre-made, mass produced clothing and then adds the enchantments making it much more cost effective.”

“But where would they get pre-made clothing that cheep?” Arthur questioned.

“They buy them in bulk from a local muggle company that they have verified ethically sources them.” Harry shrugged.

“Ethically?” Hermione questioned in confusion. She had never bothered to pay attention to where her clothing came from.

“Yeah.” Harry was slightly confused by that. Hermione was always very opinionated and looking for a cause. “The owner of the shop is really socially active so she makes sure nothing she sells comes from sweatshops.”

“What is a sweatshop? Who would want to buy sweat?” Arthur questioned in confusion.

“A sweatshop is a workplace with very poor, socially unacceptable or illegal working conditions.” Harry told the group. “They’re often used by clothing companies in the muggle world for cheap labor and material since they pay incredibly low wages and exploit the people who have to work there. It’s a horrible practice, but greed can make people do horrible things to each other, and those that do things like that often just pay off politicians and law enforcement to look the other way.”

Arthur was horrified by that information. He had only ever looked for the good of the muggle world, he had never wanted to think about anything like that.

“If they don’t tailor it how do they know what size to make it to fit?” Ginny questioned in confusion. Even getting her clothing from second hand shops her clothing was still tailored, her mother would always make sure it fit her properly.

“In the muggle world only the wealthiest of people and professional businessmen get their clothing tailored.” Hermione informed her in a slightly strained voice, she hadn’t thought Harry would know that much about things like sweatshops when she didn’t. “For things like shirts they just use sizing like small, medium, and large. Pants can get a little more complicated since they are numbered and some go by waist size while others use leg length, and some both. Plus not all shops use the same sizing metrics.”

“Because they just use general sizes it’s much easier to mass produce clothing for muggles.” Harry added.

“But you aren’t allowed to enchant anything from the muggle world.” Percy pointed out. Surely what they were doing was illegal.

“It’s all about the loopholes.” Harry smirked devilishly at the older boy. “They can’t blanket outlaw enchanting things from the muggle world when they exist in both. To outlaw these clothes they would be banning all enchanted clothing. The law states it’s illegal to enchant anything from the muggle world with the intention of returning it to the muggle world. They only sell the enchanted clothes to magical people so they technically aren’t breaking the law.”

Arthur smirked. He had personally intentionally put that loophole into the law so that he could keep up with his regular hobbies.

Harry guided them down a small alley between Slugg and Jiggers and Quality Quidditch to find the small shop. Reaching the shop Harry stopped and looked back at the group with him. There was no way all of them were going to fit inside comfortably even with space expansion spells.

“I think we’re going to need to split up, we won’t all fit.” Harry told them.

“Are there any other shops like this one?” Fred questioned. He and George had their money for school supplies and wanted to use it in the most cost effective way so they could save as much as they could.

“Yup.” Harry nodded. “There’s a trunk shop between Scribbulus’s Writing Instruments and Madam Pimpernelle’s. It’s where I got my new trunk last year.” Harry pulled the shrunken trunk out of his pocket to show them all. “They use cheaper material so it’s a lot cheaper. They sell a basic school trunk that’s equipped with feather-lite and self-shrinking runes on them for only a few galleons.”

“Really!” Bill said in slight shock. “Normally getting those enchantments on a trunk cost at least 10 galleons each at the normal trunk shop.”

Harry just shrugged. “That shop builds their trunks with more expensive material that’s also harder to get the magic to stick too. From what they told me at Pack’n’Go they just use regular plywood covered in lacquer which is a much cheaper material and accepts the magic easier.

But there’s also a few other hidden shops. There’s also a few shops that just sell random odds and ends. If you go down any of the little side alleys like this one you’ll usually find little shops.”

“Why wouldn’t they be out on the main alley?” Mrs. Weasley questioned in slight surprise that there were actually shops down here. “There’s still a few open storefronts.”

“Bigotry and Price.” Harry said with his lip slightly curled in anger. He had been disgusted at what he had learned the year before. “It is really expensive to get a shop in the main alley. When I talked with Florean Fortescue he said he has a rent to own agreement for his shop. I think it’s similar to a mortgage in the muggle world. But the deal is directly with the family that owned the shop before since his family didn’t want to have to take a loan from Gringotts to buy the shop outright since they didn’t want to risk failing to pay a debt to the goblins if something went wrong. He said the payments take up over half of what he makes each year, and he still has another 12 years left before he owns the shop. And I should point out he is the forth Florean Fortescue to own it, his great grandfather was the one to initially open the shop almost 100 years ago. The reason those storefronts are empty is because they can cost over 1 million galleons easy.

Plus, no shop can open in the main alley without the approval of the Ministry. Since the alley is such an important location the Ministry regulates it so they all need special permission to operate there. All of these little shops are owned by muggle-born or half-bloods. Even if they had the money the Ministry wouldn’t approve them. From what I heard in the past 100 years no muggle-born has ever been approved to open a shop out there, and only one half-blood has, but he came from an extremely well connected pureblood family on his fathers side. But he didn’t stay in business long since his tax rate was double that of the other shops. The only half-bloods that currently have shops on the main alley inherited them.”

“But that isn’t fair?” Hermione said horrified.

“Life isn’t fair.” Harry said bluntly.

Bill, Percy, and the twins all decided to go check out the trunk shop. The rest followed Harry into the clothing shop and were surprised by what they saw. There was a massive back to school sale on. Ginny actually squealed in delight at seeing how cheap some of the clothing was. Some of it was cheaper new than the stuff she often got stuck with from the second hand shops.

Both Weasley parents were surprised at the prices in this shop and wished they had known about it earlier. Life had gotten much easier for them since Fred and George started getting their tuition covered, but they still weren’t rolling in galleons. This year they were only going to have to pay tuition for Ron and Ginny so it would be much easier for them to get more and better supplies for the four they still had attending Hogwarts.

Harry didn’t miss how Charlie seemed to be keeping close to him and felt warm inside. He had really missed the man over the past few days. He didn’t have anything against Bill, it had been really fun with him, but he had just gotten so used to being around Charlie. 

That day everyone returned to The Burrow in a good mood. With Harry showing them the little shops that had better prices, even before the back to school sales were included, the Weasley’s were able to not only get their kids more, it was often of a better quality. And it wasn't just their kids that benefited, Molly and Arthur were also able to get a few new changes of clothes that were on sale. Hermione explained that many people in the muggle world changed what clothes they wore by the season, and this shop seemed to be following that idea, meaning there was the end of summer sale on adult clothing. Even Hermione was happy since she had gotten an enchanted bag from the trunk shop that would allow her to carry all of her books without damaging them or having them be to heavy for her to carry.

It looked like the rest of the summer was going to be good for Harry.


 

After the World Cup

 

Harry knew he had jinxed himself. Things had been great at the Weasley’s, but then they had gone to the World Cup. 

Oh the game had been fine, great actually. But afterward had been a mess.

After they had all gone to bed screams and shouts woke them. There were some people in black robes tormenting the muggle who owned the campground and his wife and children. They were also cursing those around them and lighting fires. Those of age had gone to try and help and they had sent the kids to hide.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione had gotten separated from the twins and Ginny. It was then that Hermione realized her wand was missing. Harry had had his in the wand holster Charlie had given him for his birthday.

They had found the wand, but it had not been good. It had been found in the hands of a house elf named Winky, and it had been used to summon the dark mark.

Hermione had been furious ever since and had gone on plenty of rants about house elf enslavement since she had seen how Winky was treated by Bartemius Crouch. Harry knew very well that this was going to be her cause of the year and she would more than likely try and force him and Ron to help her. Harry knew that Ron already thought her latest idea was crazy and he had no intention of supporting her either since he had actually met a few of the Hogwarts elves and knew they were happy and would be miserable if they were freed, the most he would support would be passing laws to protect house elves from abuse.

The last few days leading up to the start of the new year were hectic with all the commotion over what had happened at the World Cup.