Bam! Harry suddenly toppled out of the fireplace face first, he felt his glasses snap as he hit the floor. Dazed, bruised and covered in soot he scrambled to his feet, holding his broken glasses to his eyes. He was alone and had no idea where he was. He looked around and figured he was in a wizard's shop. The place was dimly lit and nothing here looked like it was likely to be on a Hogwarts school list. There was a withered hand on a cushion, a bloody pack of playing cards and even human bones. Harry looked out the window. That was definitely not Diagon Alley. Lovely. Where on earth had he ended up and how was he going to find his way home? Well the first step was to get out of this awful shop. Harry made his way towards the door but before he could get half-way there he saw two people on the other side of the glass and one of them was the last person her wanted to see when he was lost, dirty and wearing broken glasses. It was Draco Malfoy. Thinking fast Harry darted into a nearby tall black cabinet. He pulled the doors closed leaving only a tiny crack to peek through just as Malfoy walked in with a man who was obviously his father. Mr. Malfoy looked lazily at the things on display.
"Touch nothing, Draco." He said silkily.
Malfoy, who had been about to pick up the glass eye stopped in his tracks, looking sour.
"You said you'd buy me a present." He whined
"I said I'd buy you a racing broom." Mr. Malfoy corrected him, drumming his fingers idly on the counter
"What good's a broom if I'm not on the house team." Complained Malfoy "Harry Potter got a Nimbus 2000 and special permission from Dumbledore to play for Gryffindor last year. Just because he's famous for having a stupid scar on his forehead.." Malfoy bent down to examine a shelf full of skulls as he continued his tirade "Wonderful Potter with his scar and his broomstick-"
"Draco..that's enough. I've heard this at least a dozen times already and I've told you the same thing again and again." Mr. Malfoy said irritably "It is not prudent to seem anything less than fond of Harry Potter. Not when most of our kind see him as the hero who made the Dark Lord vanish."
Just then the shopkeeper appeared out of the back room behind the counter.
"Mr. Borgin." Mr. Malfoy said
"Ahh. Mr. Malfoy, how wonderful to see you!" Said Borgin in an oily voice "And young master Malfoy, too. Delighted. How can I assist you? I must say, I just got something in today..and very affordable."
"No no." Mr. Malfoy said, cutting him off "I'm not here to buy but sell."
"Sell?" Said Borgin, looking slightly crestfallen
"Yes. I'm sure you've heard that the ministry are conducting more raids.." Said Mr. Malfoy, taking a scroll of parchment out of his pocket and handing it to Borgin as he spoke "There are a few things at home that may embarrass me if the ministry were to come and call."
Borgin looked down Mr. Malfoy's list and said "The ministry surly wouldn't bother you, sir."
"I haven't yet been visited.." Said Mr. Malfoy coolly "My name still commands some respect however the ministry becomes ever more meddlesome. There are stories of a new muggle protection act..no doubt Arthur Weasley is behind it. The flea-bitten fool."
In the dark cabinet Harry shook with rage at the slight on his foster father. His hand twitched subconsciously to his pocket and wrapped around the handle of his wand.
'No Harry.' he told himself sternly 'Don't do anything stupid.'
"And some of these poisons may make it appear-"
"I understand, sir, of course."
Draco suddenly interrupted their conversation "Can I have that?"
He was pointing excitedly to the withered hand that Harry had noticed earlier.
"Ahhh." Said Mr. Borgin, abandoning the list and hurrying over to Draco "The hand of glory. Put in a candle and it gives light only to the holder. Friend of thieves. Your son has fine taste, sir."
"I would hope.." Said Mr. Malfoy coldly "That my son would amount to more than a thief, Borgin." He glared at Draco and added, more coldly still "Although if his grades don't pick up that might be all he's fit for."
"It isn't my fault." Draco whined "The teachers play favorites. That Hermione Granger.."
"I would think that you'd be ashamed to be beaten in every exam by a girl with no wizard family." Mr. Malfoy snapped back.
"Ha!" Harry whispered from his hiding place grinning at the angry and abashed look on Draco's face.
"Every day wizard blood counts for less and less." Borgin said in his oily voice.
"Not with me." Replied Mr. Malfoy
"Or me." Mr. Borgin
"Then perhaps we can return to my list. I have business elsewhere today and I'm in a hurry."
The started to discuss prices and Draco ambled aimlessly around the shop examining the items that were on sale. Harry got more and more nervous as Malfoy came closer and closer to his hiding place. Draco turned and saw the cabinet and reached out his hand for the handle. Harry held his breath
"Done." Yelled Mr. Malfoy from the counter "Come along, Draco. Good day Mr. Borgin I'll expect you at the manor tomorrow to pick up the goods."
Draco turned and left with his father. Harry breathed a sigh of relief.
"Good day yourself.." Said Borgin dropping his oily manner "And if the stories are true you haven't sold me half of what you have hidden in your manor."
Still muttering darkly he disappeared into a back room. Harry saw his chance, still clutching his broken glasses to his face he silently made his way out of the cabinet and through the shop door. The dark dingy street he had walked on to was the exact opposite of Diagon Alley. It was full of shops dedicated to the dark arts. A faded wooden sign told him that he was in Knockturn Alley. This didn't help because Harry had no idea where that was. He was getting scared and jumpy. He wanted to find Diagon Alley, Ron Hermione and his family and go home.
Ron? Hermione? Can you hear me! Guys? He thought, his heart beating fast. No response. Note to self..practice longer distances with the Thread as soon as possible..
He looked around as if hoping to find a sign pointing him to Diagon Alley.
"Not lost are you, my dear." said a voice behind him. Harry spun around to see an old witch holding what looked like a tray of fingernails
"HARRY!" yelled a familiar voice "What do yeh think yer doin down there?"
Harry felt his heart leap, so did the witch, her fingernails went fling off the tray. Harry wheeled around and saw Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper, striding towards him.
"Hagrid!" Harry said gratefully running towards him "I got lost..Floo Powder, you know." Hagrid lifted Harry easily by the scruff of his neck, knocking the tray of fingernails out of the witch's hands. Her yells followed them along the twisting alley into bright sunlight. Harry saw a familiar white building in the distance. Gringotts, the wizard bank. Hagrid had steered Harry right into Diagon Alley.
Har-...okay? Ron's voice was suddenly in his head. It sounded like a badly tuned raido.
"Harry. Are you alrigh?" Hagrid asked, trying to brush the soot off of him and nearly knocking him clean off his feet "Yer a mess, skulking around Knockturn alley, dodgey place don't want no one ter see yeh there."
"I'd figured that much out myself." Said Harry avoiding another swipe of Hagrid's hand before he could end up with a concussion "So what were you doing down there, then?"
"Looking fer flesh eatin' slug repellent." Hagrid growled "They're ruining all the school's cabbages. Where's everyone else at? Molly certainly wouldn't let yeh wander around alone.."
Harry'd written a long letter to Hagrid from the Burrow explaining everything, and the wizarding news hadn't be quiet about the situation either. Pretty much everyone knew that Harry was with the Weasleys now.
"I told you..I got lost. I have to find the others."
Where..you..Harry- Hermione's voice this time. Harry grinned to himself. They were getting better. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the Thread, blocking everything else out
I'm okay..I'm with Hagrid. Near Gringotts. He thought.
"Harry..what're yeh doin?" Hagrid asked "Yeh look odd." Harry snapped his eyes open.
"N-nothing..." Harry answered
"Well if yeh'd quit daydreaming and turn around yeh'd see someone lookin for yeh." Hagrid said, smiling at him.
He turned to see Hermione, Percy, Ron, the twins and Mr. Weasley running towards him.
"Harry, there you are!" Said Mr. Weasley as Ron and Hermione threw their arms around him "Molly's going spare. Oh, here they come now."
Harry looked around again to see Mrs. Weasley and Ginny coming towards them Mrs. Weasley pulled Harry quickly into a hug
"Harry! Thank goodness!" She said, sounding close to tears "You could have been anywhere!"
" M'okay.." Harry said "Really."
"Where'd you end up?" Ron asked
"Knockturn Alley.." Harry mumbled darkly
"Wicked!" Said Fred and George together
"We've never been allowed down there!" Ron said, sounding jealous.
"I'd ruddy well think not." Hagrid growled
"How'd you know he was over here?" Fred said, looking at Ron and Hermione "One second you were standing still with your eyes closed and next thing you know you take off running."
Harry, Ron and Hermione grinned at each other.
"Call it a lucky guess." Ron said casually, he tapped the side of his head with a finger as he spoke and Harry and Hermione giggled. Fred raised an eyebrow at him but didn't ask anymore questions.
"Well I best be off." Hagrid said "You three keep outta trouble.."
He strode away
"Harry come on, you've got to meet mum and dad..they're inside. I told them I'd meet them here as soon as we found you." Hermione said, leading the way up the stone steps to Gringotts.
As they climbed the steps Harry recounted the story of his trip to Knockturn Alley. Mr. Weasley had been very interested to here about Malfoy's father's escapades.
"Oh I'd love to get Lucius Malfoy for something." He said savagely
"Now, now. Don't bite off more than you can chew, Arthur. That family is trouble."
"So you don't think I'm a match for him?" Said Mr. Weasley indignantly
"I just don't want you getting into any trouble."
When they got inside they saw Hermione's parents waiting for them by the door. Hermione grinned at them, grabbed Harry and Ron by the hands and lead them over. After the introductions they split up and Harry, Ron and the rest of the Weasleys were led down to their vaults by a goblin while the Grangers went to another goblin at a desk to change out some muggle money which had intrigued Mr. Weasley greatly.
A couple wild cart rides later and they were all standing outside Gringotts. Mr. Weasley wanted to take the Grangers for a drink in the Leakey cauldron, Percy had said something about a new quill, the twins had spotted their friend Lee Jordan and Mrs. Weasley was taking Ginny to shop for robes.
"We'll all meet at Florish and Blotts in an hour to by your books." Mrs. Weasley said "And not one step down knockturn alley!" She added to Fred and George as they slipped off with Lee.
Harry sighed happily as he set off with Ron and Hermione, at least the day was back on track now.