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Blood and Thorns

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Harry looked around his room in the Leaky Cauldron. It wasn’t exactly clean, but it was certainly better than being stuck at the Dursleys’. He was free for the next five weeks until he had to go back to Hogwarts and so he was going to make the most of it. Sure, the Minister of Magic had told him not to go out too much, but Harry wasn’t about to let himself be stuck in another cage after escaping his usual summer one. And honestly? So long as no one knew that The ‘Harry Potter’ was wandering the Alleys then he would probably be fine.

He moved into the bathroom that was thoughtfully attached to his room and looked at his reflection. A scrawny twelve, almost thirteen-year-old stared back at him. His bird nest hair was getting rather long, and his glasses were probably on their last legs. Now, how to change his appearance enough to not be noticed? He pursed his lips and his eyes refocused on his hair... he suddenly remembered that time where his hair kept growing back when his Aunt cut it! Could he do it again? But maybe instead of growing it he could change the colour? But what colour?

“Maybe not red.” He muttered as he looked at himself critically. “I would look too much like a Weasley.” Maybe a lighter brown? No, what about blond? Blond should be different enough.

He shut his eyes and tried to wish his hair a different colour, focusing first on it being blond. But what kind of blond? Blond like Malfoy where his hair is almost white or the dull blond like his relatives? He didn’t want to stick out so dull blond it was. He focused hard.

He opened his eyes a moment later and unfortunately his hair was still a dark brown. He frowned.

“What if…” He mumbled aloud. “What if I focus as if I’m trying to do a spell?” So, with that idea he shut his eyes again and took a deep breath. He thought back to the tingle he felt through his arm when he first cast lumos and pushed that tingle up to his head thinking of the blond hair Dudley had. The tingle covered his whole head and this time when he opened his eyes, he was blond.

Harry grinned. “Yes!” His hair was neater too! No more bird nest, in fact it looked like he had stolen Dudley’s, feather soft according to his aunt, hair. It was blond and wispy and made Harry look completely different. His eyebrows had turned blond which he hadn’t thought about so that was good. “But can I change back?” He wondered. It would suck if he was stuck like this.

He shut his eyes and focused on going back to how his hair was before. The tingle spread more quickly than last time and when he opened his eyes again, his hair was back to its normal dark brown messy state. It worked! He grinned and practiced for a little while longer, he wanted to be able to change back and forth easily. He now had a disguise! Once he was confident enough with the change, he wondered whether he should he go straight out and explore or-

His thoughts were interrupted by the loud rumble of his stomach. Well that solved the issue of what he should do next. He sighed and decided to have lunch as Harry Potter. He would have to come up with a different name for his blond counterpart later but first lunch!

Harry went down the stairs, after checking that his hair was brown, and into the main bar area of the Leaky Cauldron. Tom the barman was behind the counter cleaning a cup.

“Afternoon, lad.” He smiled at him. “Come down for some lunch?”

“Yes please.” Harry nodded and was glad that Tom wasn’t bringing any attention to his presence unlike the first time he had appeared in the Wizarding World, and he was mobbed by ‘well-wishers'.

“How about a cheese sandwich and the soup of the day?” The barman suggested to the boy.

“Could I also have some pumpkin juice?” Harry asked quietly.

“Of course, lad. You go find yourself a table and I’ll bring your food and drink over as soon as I can.”

“Thanks.” Harry then slid over some Galleons. “I’m not sure how much my stay here costs so is this enough for lunch?”

“Don’t be silly lad, you’re already paying for your stay.” Tom admonished him. “Dumbledore sent over a bank draft that you signed to pay for it and all your meals.”

“He did?” Harry was shocked. Why would Dumbledore have any access to his money?

“You must be starving if you’re getting this forgetful lad.” Tom gave him a look full of concern. “Go take a seat, and I’ll get you your food stat.”

Harry let himself be ushered off to a table near the bar. He sat down and frowned. He would need to visit Gringotts to find out what was going on with his account and to find out why Dumbledore was able to give out checks that drew money from Harry’s account. This was the first time that he was unaccompanied while in the Alley so maybe he should ask the Goblins about how much money he has as well. He would need to make sure that he had enough to last him through school and hopefully until he was able to get a job.

If there was anything that Uncle Vernon had been good for, it was informing Dudley and consequently Harry who had been listening in his cupboard, that you should always keep an eye on your money. Investments, in goings and out goings, your general balance etc. Come to think about it, didn’t Dudley start getting monthly statements earlier this year for the small spending account that Uncle Vernon set up for him? If Gringotts worked the same, then shouldn’t Harry be getting statements? He really needed to investigate it.

“Here you go lad.” Tom placed a steaming bowl of soup, a plate with a cheese sandwich and a tall glass of pumpkin juice down in front of him. Startling Harry out of his thoughts. “Enjoy.” He turned to leave before stopping and saying, “You should see if you can get yourself some new glasses from Owleye’s. Those look like to be on their last legs, lad.” He made an abortive movement as if to ruffle Harry’s hair, but all Harry saw was a hand reaching towards him suddenly. He flinched.

“Owleye’s?” Harry repeated and missed the look of concern that he was given.

“Yeah, just past Gringotts, closer to Olivander’s than here.” Tom smiled at him again before leaving him to his meal.

As Harry dug into his food, he made a mental note to check out ‘Owleye’s’ after he had gone to Gringotts to find out about his finances. New glasses would be nice, he thought wistfully. He had been wearing the same pair since his Aunt pulled them out of a charity bin when he was seven. He was pretty sure that it pure will and magic holding them together.

Once he was finished with his food, he thanked Tom and quickly went upstairs to his room to grab a robe. He only had his school robes but if he wore them inside out to hide his Gryffindor insignia then he shouldn’t stand out too much. He would also need to get himself some new robes too. He made sure his money pouch and vault key were secure in his pocket. He tucked his wand into his now inner robe pocket and left. He ducked through the entrance to the Diagon Alley without anyone paying attention to him. He kept his hair in front of his face but gripped his robe to stop himself from flattening it which he realised was a quirk of his.

He gazed in wonder at the magnificent Gringotts building that stuck out like a diamond among boring brown rocks. As he approached the doors, he noticed for the first time that the Goblin guards that stood beside the doors bowed at incoming customers. So, Harry bowed back, that was the polite thing to do right? He moved into the bank unaware of the surprised Goblins he had left behind.

Inside it was as busy as it was the first time, he walked in two years ago. There were lines of people queuing up to see the Goblin tellers on either side of the large hall-like area that was the main floor of the bank. Harry made his way across the bank floor to one of the tellers further in and because Wizards were lazy it also meant that this teller had the shortest queue. There were only two people in front of him.

As Harry waited, he craned his neck to look around the bank a bit more. He hadn’t had a chance to have a good look around the first and only time he had been in the bank, Hagrid had hurried him through too quickly. The ceiling was really high and reminded him of a cathedral that his school once went to on a school trip. There were massive crystal chandeliers and he briefly wondered how they dusted them before he realised that magic was probably the answer. Huge windows of coloured glass filled the bank floor with rainbow colours where the light hit the marble floor. This bank was truly a work of art.

“Next!” Barked the Goblin of his line and Harry quickly realised that it was his turn, the previous wizard had stormed off in a huff obviously not getting what he wanted.

“Ah good afternoon.” Harry said as he hurried to stand in front of the counter that stretched high above his head. “I was wondering if I could see someone regarding my account?”

“Name?” The Goblin asked in a bored voice.

“Uh,” Harry looked around himself and went on his tiptoes to be as close to the Goblin as he could be before saying in a low voice. “Harry Potter.”

“Oh?” The Goblin leaned over to look down at him. “Now that is interesting.” The goblin’s eyes scanned Harry’s face, most notably stopping on where his scar was hidden. “Follow me.” He turned his notice from ‘Open’ to ‘Closed’ and climbed down from where he was sitting, before gesturing for Harry to follow him. Harry did as he was told and tried not to feel nervous. The reaction was a little odd, and he was worried that he was somehow in trouble, but he hadn’t done anything wrong, right?

The Goblin led him through a brightly lit corridor, it was the same cream colour as the walls on the bank floor and the ceiling was just as high. He was brought to a door that read ‘Manager Gornuk’. The Goblin that Harry was with knocked on the door twice before pushing it open and escorting Harry inside.

It was a very spartan room. There was a single desk which another Goblin, presumably Manager Gornuk, was sitting behind and a plain wooden chair in front of it. There were filing cabinets behind the Goblin but other than that the room was bare.

“Manager Gornuk, this boy claims to be Mr Harry Potter.” The Goblin that had escorted Harry there announced.

“Oh?” Gornuk looked up from his desk with a sinister smile. “We’ll just have to make sure he is who he claims to be.”

Harry was unsure why that statement was so menacing but despite knowing that he was Harry Potter he was still rather afraid that they would find out that he wasn’t...Were Goblins always this unnerving?

“Leave us.” Gornuk ordered. “I’ll deal with the little Wizard.”

“Very well.” The other Goblin bowed to Gornuk before leaving the office.

Harry stood awkwardly in the centre of the room for a moment before moving to sit on the free chair.

“We will do a simple blood test to make sure that you are who you say you are.” Manager Gornuk informed Harry as he pulled out a bowl, a potion bottle, some parchment, and a dagger. He pushed the bowl and dagger over to Harry. “Three drops of your blood in the bowl.”

Harry nervously picked up the scary looking dagger and after a moment of thought he cut the back of his arm as it was less sensitive than his hand. It was a bit awkward to get exactly three drops, but the Goblin didn’t complain so it must have been okay. He wiped the bloodied dagger on his robes before pushing both the dagger and bowl back to the goblin. He rolled his sleeve back down and ignored his gently bleeding arm. It was irrelevant and he’d had worse.

The Goblin added the potion to the bowl with his blood and muttered a few words in whatever the Goblin language was called. After the bowl glowed a very gentle gold, he poured the mixture onto the parchment. A moment later words started to form.

“Well, it looks as if you are Harry Potter.” Gornuk sighed and pushed the parchment over to him.

Inheritance Test Results:

Name: Harry James Potter-Black

Birthday: 31st July 1980

Status: Minor

Father (deceased): James Charlus Potter

Father: (blood adopted):Sirius Orion Black

Mother(deceased): Lillian Marie Evans

Magical Guardian(s):

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Heirs to:

Potter (by blood)

Peverell (by blood)

Black (by blood)

Vaults:

Potter Trust Vault

Potter Family Vault

Peverell Vault

Black Trust Vault

Black Family Vault

Total Wealth: ₲2.4 Billion

Artifacts: Unknown (for a detail list request audit)

“Who is Sirius Black?” Harry blurted out unintentionally as he read over his inheritance test. “And what is a Magical Guardian?” Oh Merlin! He had a lot more money than he thought he did!

“Sirius Black is the man that allegedly betrayed your parents to the Dark Lord. He is currently in Azkaban Prison.” Gornuk informed him. “And a Magical Guardian is the Guardian allocated to a minor.”

“Would having the status as my Magical Guardian give Dumbledore the ability to pay people from my vaults?” Harry asked the question that was really bothering him.

“I’m afraid so, he also has the ability to limit how much money you withdraw from your Potter Trust Vault.”

“Only my Potter Trust Vault?” Harry was quick to grasp what the Goblin was hinting.

“Indeed. Mr Dumbledore only has access to your Potter Trust Vault.”

“And he wouldn’t know if I was to withdraw money from any of the other vaults?”

“As a minor the only vaults you have access to until you are of age are the Trust vaults.”

“But would he know if I withdrew money from the Black Trust Vault?” Harry persisted.

“No, he would not.” Gornuk smirked. “However, the Lord of the Black Family would be made aware.”

“And who is the Lord?”

“Sirius Black.”

“And as he’s in prison I doubt he will be checking his mail anytime soon?”

“Indeed.”

“Okay.” Harry bit his lip and thought for a moment. For some reason Dumbledore was his Magical Guardian but hadn’t deigned to tell him. He was able to withdraw and limit Harry’s own money. “Oh, um, is there a bank statement I could have?”

“We send you a bank statement every quarter Mr Potter.” Gornuk said.

“I’ve never received any mail from Gringotts.” Harry frowned. So Gringotts was like a muggle bank in that they sent them, but why didn’t he ever receive one?

“That is most unusual.” Gornuk scowled. “I will investigate but for now.” He stood up and went to the filing cabinet behind him and pulled out a scroll. “Here is the last three months' statement.” He handed it to the little wizard.

Harry took the scroll. “Thank you.” He opened the scroll.

Incoming Monies:

N/A

Outgoing Monies:

April:

₲3,000 to the Dursley family account at Barclays.

₲5,000 to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore’s Vault 127.

May:

₲3,000 to the Dursley family account at Barclays.

₲5,000 to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore’s Vault 127.

June:

₲3,000 to the Dursley family account at Barclays.

₲5,000 to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore’s Vault 127.

₲50 to the Leaky Cauldron account.

Harry stared aghast at the statement. His Aunt and Uncle always took so much glee in telling him that he was a burden. They had claimed that he should be grateful to them for taking him out of the goodness of their hearts. Hah! They were being paid. They were being paid and all they gave him was a tiny cupboard to sleep in until he was eleven years old and Dudley’s cast offs! Those-those pigs! And Dumbledore! Why the hell was he getting money? He was exactly doing anything as far as Harry was aware and even if he was, why was he getting more money than the Dursleys who actually hosted Harry in their home? And as his Magical Guardian did that mean that he had a say in where Harry lived? He was obviously the one that had set up the payments to the Dursleys. There was something not right about this.

And there was the transaction of the payment for the Leaky Cauldron too, so much for the Ministry footing the bill.

“There is no way for me to stop these transactions, are there?” Harry asked despite having suspicions that the answer was no. The Goblin had made it clear that his Magical Guardian was in charge of his money and Harry was a minor.

“Not until you are seventeen.”

“I thought so.” He sighed and rolled the scroll back up. So where did that leave him? “What is the limit on the amount I can withdraw from my Potter Trust Vault?”

“₲100 a month.” Gornuk said after flipping through some papers.

“Does that include the money taken from the account to pay for the Leaky Cauldron stay?” He asked.

“Yes.” He grunted.

“That’s certainly interesting because the Minister, who insisted that I stay there, said that the bill was going to be covered.” Harry snorted humourlessly. “I just didn’t realise that it was going to be covered by my own money.”

“I’m afraid that unless you have that in writing, we can’t move to recover the funds.” Gornuk looked disgruntled at the paperwork.

All right, so Harry had ₲50 to last him the month if he took the money from his Potter Trust fund. It was more than he thought he would have access to, but it wasn’t a lot and Dumbledore would be aware of him spending it. “And the Black Trust Fund?”

“Unlimited.” Gornuk smirked. “It holds ₲100,000 and refills every month if money is withdrawn.”

Okay so that was helpful. The Black Trust Vault was currently overseen by a man in prison who also betrayed his parents. Great. However, using the money of his parents’ betrayer would be a great way to get back at him, especially if it refills from the main Vault...he could always drain it dry so if the man does get out of prison, he wouldn't have any money to his name. He felt a vindictive thrill run through him at the thought.

“How much would it cost me to open a new vault under an assumed name?” Harry questioned tapping the scroll again with his other hand as he thought aloud. “Would I be able to set up a transfer of ₲99,999 a month into it from the Black Trust Vault?” A small smirk curled at the edge of his lips

“That is indeed doable.” The Goblin had a rather pleased look on his face.

Hmm, that was great but what name to use… Whatever name he chose he could use it as the name for his blond self as well. Wasn’t his Mum’s maiden name Evans? The inheritance test said so. He also vaguely remembered Aunt Petunia signing his and Dudley’s school trip slips as Petunia Dursley nee Evans. But would it be too obvious a name to take? Unless he used it as his first name? But then what surname would he use?

“Do you have a surname you can suggest I use?” Harry gave up and asked the Goblin that had been rather helpful so far. “I’m thinking of using Evan as a first name.”

“Ah, your mother’s maiden name.” Gornuk nodded. “I would recommend using your great-great grandmother’s maiden name of Fleamont.” He shuffled some papers. “They were a small pureblood family that married into the Potters. They merged all assets but if anyone was to investigate it, I’m sure they had a squib or two somewhere down the line. It isn’t completely unheard of for magic to reinsert itself into a squibbed line.”

“Evan Fleamont.” Harry tested the name. “Yeah, okay I like it.”

“Fleamont was also your Grandfather’s first name. Your great grandfather promised his mother to name his son, your grandfather with her maiden name so that the name wouldn’t fade out.”

“Really?” Harry lent forward in his chair. He had learned more about his family in the past half an hour than he had his entire life! “And as the line both married into my family or squibbed out, I won’t get into trouble for using it?”

“Indeed and no, you would face no repercussions.”

Harry took a deep breath. “Okay, Manager Gornuk I would like to open a vault under the name of Evan Fleamont and set up a monthly transfer of ₲99,999 from the Black Trust Vault into the new vault.”

“It will be done.” Gornuk grinned. “May I suggest that while I set up your new vault that you visit your trust vault and withdraw some money?”

“Thank you.” Harry nodded. Yeah, that was a good idea, surely Dumbledore would expect him to withdraw some money during his stay in the Alley this summer. “I agree.”

“Excellent! I shall summon a cart driver to take you to your Trust Vault.”

After a fantastic roller coaster cart ride to and from his Trust Vault Harry was taken back to Gornuk’s office. 

“Here is the key to your new vault.” Gornuk handed over a new tiny gold key. “And I have taken the liberty of getting you this linked money bag. Merely think of the amount of money you wish from the Fleamont Vault and it will appear.” 

“Thank you.” Harry accepted the items. “Oh!” He suddenly thought that maybe he should mention his hair change. “I plan on using the name Evan Fleamont around the Alleys during the summer.” He closed his eyes and wished his hair blond. He felt the tell tale tingle on his scalp and opened his eyes.  

“You have the Black’s Metamorphmagus powers, very good.” Gornuk nodded approvingly at him. “I would also recommend getting different eyewear for this persona as well.”

“I plan to go to Owleye’s next.” 

“Very well.” The Goblin then turned back to his paperwork. It was clearly a dismissal so Harry quickly wished his hair back to brown before leaving the office. 

Once he left Gringotts, he went straight to Owleye’s which was easy to spot now that he was looking for it. The shop was where Tom the Barkeep said it would be and the sign for the shop was that of an owl with giant eyes. It was cute in a weird cartoonish way.  

The door jingled as Harry entered and before he even had a chance to look around a man with bottle like glasses was in his face. 

“Oh no no.” He tutted. “Those certainly won’t do.” He physically moved Harry until he was sat on a slightly reclining chair. “Those glasses are just awful, and-” he paused before gasping in disgust. “And they are only held together by magic and barely at that! No, no this will not do.” 

“Um-”

“Hush, now.” The man chided him gently. “I’ll get you sorted out in no time.” He waved his wand over Harry’s face and a roll of parchment was spat out of it. “Oh dear, oh dear.” The shop owner? Harry honestly didn’t know who this man was but he was weirder than Olivander and that was saying something! The man seemed rather upset by the results either way. 

“What’s wrong?” Harry asked anxiously. 

“Your glasses don’t even fit your prescription at all! Why I bet you can hardly see anything.” 

“That’s why I came in. I need new glasses.” He could see well enough, his frames were just falling apart but he wasn’t going to argue with the obviously upset man who had his wand too close to Harry’s face for his comfort. 

“Why yes, lad.” The man nodded. “You do indeed need new glasses.” He waved his wand over Harry’s face again. It spat out more parchment. “Right I have your prescription, now you just need to choose your frames!” The man then snatched Harry’s glasses off his face and snapped them in half.  

“Hey!” Harry was pulled out of the chair and pushed over to a tall wall that was covered from floor to ceiling with different glasses frames. He was overwhelmed by the sheer amount he had to choose from. It didn’t help that his sight was even worse without his glasses that the man had mercilessly broken. “Uh.” Harry turned back to the man. “What would you recommend? I need two very different pairs.” 

“Hmm.” The man got up rather close to Harry’s face. His eyes enlarged by his bottle glasses were even bigger up close, they were wide and grey. “I think you would do well with a pair similar in style to your current pair and perhaps one with invisible frames.” 

“That sounds great.” Harry quickly agreed and took a step back so he could have some space. The pair with the invisible frames would be perfect for his Evan persona. “How do the invisible frames work? Would I be able to find them when I take them off?” 

“Ah, they have Demiguise fur woven into the metal frames. I’m rather pleased with them too, it was a bugger to get them to work but worth it.” He explained as he plucked off a couple of pairs of glasses from the wall. “They only become invisible once they are on your face, otherwise they look like any other pair of glasses just with some silver detailing on the frame.” He pushed a pair into Harry’s hands, “Go on, try them.” 

Harry examined the pair of the glasses that he had been given and saw that they were exactly as described, the frames were black but when he tilted them in the light he could see silvery lines twisted around and through the frames. He placed them on his face. He was amazed to see them vanish on his face and the whole world came into focus.” 

“Wow.” Harry blinked in shock. He could see! Did everyone else always see this clearly? Maybe he would be able to see the blackboard in the classroom now. “This is amazing.

“I imagine so.” The shopkeeper said bemused. “After all, your last pair was so out of date I am surprised that you didn’t hurt yourself just by walking around!” 

“Thank you so much.” Harry beamed at the man, seeing him properly for the first time. He looked rather a lot like Olivander. He had the same white hair and gangly stature. “Are you related to Mr Olivander?” He asked before he realised that he was speaking.

The man laughed. “I am indeed, lad. I am Geraint Olivander and my brother is Garrick. While he followed our father's footsteps in his love of wandlore. Meanwhile I am fascinated by eyesight.”

“Nice to meet you sir and thank you so much.”

“Think nothing of it lad, I’m just doing my job. Now let's get you that second pair. You wanted a set that looked like your old ones, correct?” He turned and plucked another pair of glasses from the wall, this time Harry could clearly see that they were an almost perfect replica of his previous pair of glasses. He didn’t stop to let Harry reply and tapped the lenses and muttered his breath before placing the glasses into a small leather case. “Here you go, would you like a case for your other pair also?” 

“Yes please.”  

 “Oh and all of my glasses are spelled unbreakable and water repellent so the rain won’t mess with your vision.” 

“That’s brilliant!”

“Thank you kindly.” Mr Olivander smiled warmly at him. “I’ve included a cleaning cloth in both cases for you as well.” 

Harry swapped out the Demiguise glasses for the ones that looked like his old pair. They were just as comfortable to wear. He carefully placed the Demiguise glasses into their case before pulling out his money bag to pay. 

Harry walked out of Owleye’s with two new pairs of glasses. They had cost him a heft ₲50, which would have been the rest of the money left over from his Potter Trust vault allowed this month but they were so worth it! And he paid from his Evan Fleamont vault seeing as he hadn’t withdrawn the full ₲50 anyway. The next thing Harry really needed were some decent plain robes. He decided to get three relatively cheap black robes from Madam Malkin’s as Harry Potter. He would go and look at the higher end shop Twilfitt and Tattings’ as Evan Fleamont tomorrow.

Harry didn’t stay long in Madam Malkin’s, especially after she had told him that he hadn’t grown at all since his first year. That was humiliating to hear that he was still the size of a small eleven year old!

Harry decided to have a little look in Obscurus Books to cheer himself up. It was a second hand bookstore in Diagon Alley, a few shops down from Flourish and Blotts. He hoped that it would be less busy than the main book shop because it was second hand. Ron would probably give him a confused look for even wanting to spend some of his spare time in a place where there are books but the thing was that Harry loved magic but never really had a moment of peace to read about it. Hermione was constantly on his back about school work and Ron always hounded him to play chess. Add in Quidditch practice, classes, detention and whatever danger was lurking...was it really a surprise that he didn’t get to just simply enjoy magic? Don’t get him wrong, he loved his friends but they just didn’t give him any space. He was looking forward to just having the chance to actually read about the wizarding world and magic as a whole outside of the classroom.

Obscurus Books reminded him of Hogwarts library. As soon as he stepped through the door, a soft bell rang to signal that there was a customer before a sudden veil of silence hit him. There were bookcases from the floor to the ceiling packed with books as well as piles of books littering the floor and well any flat surface really. Harry was careful to not knock over any of the piles of books as he walked further into the shop.

A quick glance at the nearest bookshelf showed that the books weren’t categorised in any particular order. There was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them next to Unfogging the Future and a copy of the comic Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle . There was no sense or reason to the shelves. Harry loved it. Feeling adventurous, Harry walked further into the shop and randomly grabbed five books that were next to each other without looking at their titles.

He paid for them before leaving and going back to his room in the Leaky Cauldron. He wanted to be seen as following what the Minister wanted of him, for him not to spend too much time out in the alley. He waved at Tom who was polishing a glass behind the bar as he headed up to his room. This way he would likely remember that Harry was doing what he was told and was staying in the pub.

It was only once he was back in his room that he took a look at the books:

Protection Charm Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Counter Legilimensy by Franciscus Fieldwake.

Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charmes by E. Limus

Abracadabra: An A-Z of Spooky Spells

Ancient Runes Made Easy by Laurenzoo

Practical Household Magic is a book by Zamira Gulch

Harry picked up the A-Z of spooky spells and had a quick flip through. It had loads of spells! Well, they were hexes and were probably not exactly moral to use but they would likely be handy to know if Voldemort was truly still around. Although he wouldn’t mind hitting Malfoy with the instant scalping hex, it shaves the hair from the target’s head. The Knockback Jinx would also be useful and so would the Protego Diabolica, although that would probably take a lot of power to cast:

...When cast, Protego Diabolica creates a massive ring of fire around the caster. Any of their enemies that come in contact with it will be incinerated, but their allies can pass through the flames unharmed…” It's a really harsh spell but it would work against Voldemort so maybe he should think about learning it.

He closed the book and turned to the others that he had bought and read the introduction of Protection Charm Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Counter Legilimensy by Franciscus Fieldwake.

...Legilimency is the act of magically navigating through the many layers of a person's mind and correctly interpreting one's findings. A person who practises this art is known as a Legilimens. Muggles might call this "mind-reading," but practitioners… ” Harry dropped the book in shock. There are people who can read your mind?! He mentally screamed. He flipped ahead and thankfully found that the book contained a way to protect against it. “ ...Occlumency is the act of magically closing one's mind against Legilimency… ” He read on and found that the first step to mastering Occlumency was to ‘clear your mind’. Which was rather ambiguous if you ask Harry. Thankfully it went on to explain different methods one could use to do so. Meditation was the main one.

Harry decided to give it a go straight away. The book also warned that it would take time and practice but if there was one thing that Harry was good at it was thinking of nothing. He often had to force himself not to think during the long stretches in his Cupboard and honestly he could do with some time thinking about nothing after what he had discovered at the bank this morning. It was hard to believe that Dumbledore was paying himself and the Dursleys using Harry’s money! At least he now had access to money under a different though and with his disguise as Evan he could buy what ever he wanted without Dumbledore being the wiser. Maybe he should see a healer too? He hated the fact that he was still the same height as he was at eleven, surely there was something wrong with that fact? He would look for a healer as Evan tomorrow, but first he needed to concentrate! He was going to try and meditate so that no one could read his mind.

Harry moved to make himself comfortable on his bed. Placing the rest of his newly bought books on the bedside table. Then as he was reclining against his pillows he shut his eyes and imagined that he was back in his Cupboard. The Cupboard was dark and small and strangely warm even in the coldest of winters. His little cot bed was firm beneath him and the thin blanket cocooned him like a hug. He was safe. Uncle Vernon was too big to fit in his Cupboard and Aunt Petunia wouldn’t lower herself to try. Dudley was often told to ignore it and was once even punished for trying to get in! So yes, Harry’s cupboard was a safe place.

Now that he was in his Cupboard he could just let go.

The next thing Harry knew Hedwig was grooming his hair as if he was a chick that needed his feathers cleaning. He blinked awake and realised that he had fallen asleep while meditating. She was perched on his pillow next to his head, she was gazing down at him with her large yellow eyes, her head tilting to the side as she cooed at him.

“Hi Hedwig.” Harry smiled softly at his owl and first ever friend. “I’m glad you’re here.” He stroked her feathers. “Feel free to go out and hunt as much as you want while we’re staying here.”

Hedwig barked and continued to groom his hair for a moment more before flying over to rest on the back of the chair that was in the room. He smiled at her before looking at the bedside clock and saw that it was eight in the morning. He had slept through the entire night without nightmares! He didn’t have a single dream about the Chamber of Secrets of Quirrelmort. He was definitely going to meditate every night before bed regardless of learning Occlumency! That was honestly the best night of sleep he had had in a long while.

As it was still rather early in the morning Harry decided that it would be the perfect time to try out his Evan Fleamont persona. So he showered, changed into one of the new simple black robes and turned his hair blond again. He put on his new Demiguise glasses and then looked in the mirror.

It was as if a stranger was staring back at him. Perfect. He would have to be careful not to move his hair from in front of his scar...wait! He changed back into his muggle clothes but kept himself as ‘Evan’. He would go into the muggle world and buy some foundation. His aunt swore by the stuff and seeing as Harry had watched her cover up huge spots on her face like magic, but not magic because she would never lower herself to have anything to do with it, surely it could cover up his scar?

He walked as confidently as he could down stairs and out into London. As it was now nine o’clock the shops were starting to open and Evan made his way to the nearest cosmetic shop which just happened to be Boots™. Its automatic doors opened to let him in, a wave of perfume filled his nose as he stepped into the brightly lit interior. He blinked a few times to get used to the blinding white walls and shiny white floors before looking around for the makeup area. He found the display quickly but was overwhelmed by all the different brands, shades of colour and well all of it really.

“Can I help you young man?” A woman in a white lab coat and name tag stating that she was a beauty technician appeared next to him. She looked rather stern and Evan quickly realised that she probably thought that he was there to cause trouble.

“Um, what can you recommend for hiding scars?” He asked nervously. “Especially ones that are on the face?” He reached up to his forehead.

Her face softened. “We can try a few things and see which works best?” She offered.

“Yes please.”

Evan walked out of the shop half an hour later with a foundation that matched his skin perfectly, a moisturiser, make-up removal wipes and skin coloured plasters. They had discovered that if Evan wore a plaster and then covered it with the foundation as well you couldn’t see the scar at all. If he just used the foundation you could still see a faint outline of his scar but only just and up close. He would probably ration the plasters as he didn’t really see himself getting up close and personal with anyone for them to be able to see through the foundation

Feeling more confident now, Evan went back into the Leaky Cauldron and changed into his black robe. He was completely ignored by everyone, no one screamed that he was Harry Potter and so he went back out into Diagon Alley and headed to Twilfitt and Tattings’ to get a more substantial wardrobe. He left the tailors with ten robes, ten fitted shirts, ten under shirts, ten pairs of trousers all in various shades of black, green and blue and red. He also got two really nice black cloaks, both with hoods. He still needed new underwear but he would probably sneak back into the muggle side of things to pick some up. The clothes would be delivered to his room by owl when they were done so no one else would know that he was buying clothes. It was sad at how happy he was to buy clothes that would fit him, clothes other than his school uniform.

Next Evan decided to get some breakfast. He wanted to eat somewhere other than the Leaky Cauldron so he walked through the Alley trying to find a café or even a restaurant. He found a nice little bakery called ‘Sweets and Such’. Five minutes later he was sitting at a tiny blue table munching on a savoury breakfast pasty and sipping a warm cup of tea. It was really nice and he would definitely be coming back here.

As he looked out the window that he was sitting by and saw the entrance to Knockturn Alley. He was suddenly gripped with the urge to explore it. Surely he would be okay? It wasn’t obvious that he was Harry Potter and if Hagrid could go down there and buy Slug repellent then surely it wasn’t all bad?

Evan was going to explore Knockturn Alley and there was no one to stop him. Well, he was going to do it once he had finished his breakfast. Going to a healer could wait one more day.