~ Though Harry was fairly mature for his age, he was still a 13 year old, an unsupervised 13 year old in one of the most exciting places he'd ever been, needless to say, he got sidetracked more than once. As he meandered about, he noticed a fairly unassuming flyer posted on the outside of a number of shops. He hadn't noticed right away because most of the store fronts had a lot of flashy signage. Stopping to investigate outside a jewellers, he read.
Have you seen this wizard?
Convicted mass murder, escaped.
If you or anyone you know have any information regarding this man, please inform the ministry immediately.
The haunted image of what could either be a man or a decomposing corpse looked out at Harry from the poster. The green eyed youth shuddered, taking an involuntary step back. Well, at least now he knew what a "Black" was. No wonder Fudge had been so worried as to let Harry go with no more than a warning! Still, mused Harry, unless Black was a Voldemort supporter, there was no reason to think he'd be after me.
After giving himself a good shake, Harry's gaze caught on the shiny, sparkling treasures inside the display window. Deciding why not, he walked through the door to the tinkling of wind chimes.
"Hullo deary, are you looking for anything specific today?"
Harry glanced over to see an older witch behind the counter along the far wall.
"Uhh, just looking ma'am," Harry called back, a bit confused as to why he felt guilty of all things. He was just looking around a shop. People did that all the time right?
"Well if anything grabs your fancy darling, just give us a call okay."
Harry relaxed a bit, thinking the older lady's demeanor reminiscent of a grandmother, or at least what he thought a grandmother was supposed to be like. As he made his way around the display cases he felt a small tug in his gut. Some of the necklaces and bracelets and things were really really pretty. He tried not to ogle them too hard, afraid someone might notice. He knew it was stupid, but he couldn't help but worry. As he was getting ready to turn around and continue tracking down the muggle clothing shop, his eye caught on a familiar golden sphere. Walking over to the next display, he saw that the entire display was full of Quidditch themed jewelry. There were little red quaffle earrings, snitch earrings, and even triple goal post earrings. An entire set of charm bracelets and little hoops, brooms, quaffles, bludgers, and snitches, but what really held Harry fast was a realistic miniature golden snitch on a delicate golden chain. It was even slowly furling and unfurling it's tiny, feather-like wings.
Harry jumped half out of his skin as the grandmotherly voice sounded just behind him.
"Oh my, terribly sorry deary! I didn't mean to startle you. I just thought you might want a closer look at our Quidditch wear."
It was only because the old lady was smiling so very kindly that Harry managed to calm down quickly enough not to go into a panic attack. He'd mostly stopped having those after coming to Hogwarts, but dang had she scared him. He almost always kept track of his surroundings better than that. So far only Ron and Hermione had witnessed one of his panic episodes, and he'd very much like to keep it that way. Between her sneaking up on him and Parvati earlier, he really was off his game today.
"Uh, yeah, yes ma'am I mean. They are really pretty. Uh, I think umm, Ginny, would probably like something like this for Christmas. She's a big Quidditch fan." Harry was rather proud of himself for that one, hadn't even been a lie.
"Is that right darling, does she play for one of the Hogwarts houses? What position does she favor?" Asked the shopkeeper. (Harry inner-dialogue moment) "Wait, shopkeeper of jewelry? What is that, Gem-er? Jewelry-er? What do you call a jeweller anyw… oh right jeweller, duh."
Harry looked up to see the jeweller lady looking down expectantly.
"Right, sorry, I was kinda lost in my head for a mo. Umm, no Ginny doesn't play yet, but I think she plans on trying out. I'm not really sure which position though." Harry looked back to the case, "I do need to get the girls something though. Umm, how much are the little quaffle earrings?"
"8 sickles for the silver ones, 2 galleons for the gold ones with the ruby quaffle earrings deary."
"Whew, uh, no ma'am, just the silver is fine. Oh wait, I know Angelina and Alicia have their ears pierced, but I don't know if Katie does…" Harry trailed off, looking back down at the display.
"Not to worry child," chuckled the grandmotherly old woman, "all of old Esmeralda's pieces are charmed to stay in place, with or without piercings until you decide to take them off. That way everyone can enjoy 'em without worrying about losing them."
"Oh umm, in that case would it be okay if I got 3 sets of them?"
"Of course deary, and would there be anything else? I noticed you seemed rather taken with my snitch there young one."
Harry wasn't really sure what to make of this old woman. She reminded him a little of Mrs. Figg. Mrs. Figg was the elderly neighbor who normally babysat Harry when the Dursley's were going out and didn't want to take him with them, so in other words, he stayed with her a lot. Mrs. Figg was a bit much when he was young, but she'd been really sweet to Harry these last few years. He tried to stop in every few days to help her clean out all the litter boxes, and things like that during the summer. It wasn't exactly fun, but Harry figured she needed the help, plus the chance to play with her cats made it totally worthwhile. This jeweller lady was being really sweet to him like that too, but something about the way she was looking at him, and the way she kept calling him deary and darling was kinda unnerving.
"Uh, well, I mean it is kinda pretty yeah, er, yes ma'am." Panicking a bit that she might think he liked it for himself, he started babbling, "But umm I don't even know if Ginny plays seeker or chaser so umm maybe I should get her something else…"
He was definitely starting to blush a little, feeling totally out of his depth. Thankfully the old woman came to his rescue.
"Well in that case dearest, why not get the snitch necklace, and, see here," she paused for a moment to pull out a very nice, silvery bracelet with four or five tiny red quaffles spaced evenly across its length, "this bracelet. That way you have both bases covered?"
Harry slowly nodded, thinking that would work, but then he fussed that he couldn't possibly after she told him just how much everything was going to come out too. Harry tried to turn down the gold necklace, but somehow the sly saleswoman convinced Harry to see what it would look like on first, because "just think how beautiful your young lady friend will look wearing this. I'm sure she's worth the expense right? Now turn around and face that mirror. You won't be able to get a proper picture of what it looks like on a wrinkly old neck like mine."
Yeah, Harry was totally doomed. She had seen the way his green eyes kept glancing back to the snitch necklace, so she'd baited the hook and set it hard. An odd choice for a young boy, and despite how much he didn't want to admit that it was actually for himself, she could easily read his want. Well, if he fancies girly jewelry, why not go for the upsale, and then she sold him a set of golden snitch earrings to go with the necklace. She almost felt bad at how easy it had been to separate the timid boy from his gold. Almost.
Harry made his way back to the leaky cauldron in a complete daze. He was getting close when the sun hit just right and his reflection was clearly illuminated in a nearby shop window. Harry stared, really truly considering the image looking back at him. If he looked past his clothing, which, besides being too big and worn out, were on his third day of wear and quite rumbled, and if he looked past his glasses, which were the cheapest frames the Dursley's could find, if he looked past all that, Harry was pretty conflicted on what he saw. He liked his eyes, everyone told him he had his mother's eyes. They really were a pretty and vibrant green. He didn't really like how much attention it brought, but otherwise he liked his scar. It was sorta unique, and, though it was a connection to the night his parents died, it was still a connection to them.
The rest of his face, Harry thought it too thin to be pretty, er, handsome, but maybe if he could bring himself to eat more this term he'd manage to fill out some? After staring long enough that a few people began to stare at him in turn, Harry finally made up his mind. He wasn't exactly sure what he needed to do to fix himself, but at the very least he could fix his clothing.
Harry spun on his heel and headed back down the street, determined that no matter what, he would make sure he at least liked his new wardrobe! Through sheer nerve and determination, Harry made it all the way to… the outside of the shop...
I actually got the idea for the miniature golden snitch necklace from a fantastic fic on here titled "Magical Metamorphosis." Starts off a little fast paced but is definitely worth the read.
This chapter is going to get a minor overhaul soon, but I like what I currently have. Chapter fives six are almost ready with the final edit, and should be reposted soon.
Thanks and hope you enjoy.