Unofficial Portkey Archive

The Perils of Innocence by puck_nc

The Perils of Innocence


Disclaimer: If you recognize the character, it isn't mine. Just playing in Rowling's sandbox.


3 August 1991

The large group entering the shop immediately captured the attention of two young women in robes pattered in vivid pink-and-orange stripes. Hermione realized that the eye-watering combination served to make the shopgirls easy to spot against the riot of colours from the racks of robes.

"Welcome to Madam Malkin's! New Hogwarts students, right?"

All the children nodded and the taller girl waved a hand. "I'll take the girls over here. Boys, follow Naomi." She waved the adults to a row of seats near the entrance. "We won't be long."

Hermione and Sally-Anne climbed up onto stools and pulled on the oversized robes. The clerk began tracing Hermione's hem with a wand, marking the cloth to the proper length while Sally-Anne felt the thick black cloth and flapped experimentally.

"Why is it so heavy?"

The clerk answered, "You'll want it, believe me. A draughty castle in Scotland and this your only layer? You don't learn Warming Charms for a while and even then you have to keep reapplying them."

Hermione frowned as she loosened the front of the robe. "Is there something wrong with wearing our regular clothes underneath? These are certainly loose enough."

The clerk looked up at her. "You mean Muggle clothes? Why would you want to?" She pointed at Hermione's jeans. "Those things look so uncomfortable!"

Hermione glared. "At least I won't be flashing my knickers if I get caught in one of those draughts you mentioned." She pulled the robe off and tossed it into the clerk's arms. "Got anything in a lighter material?"

The girl glared back, but any retort she had would remain unsaid. A heavy woman in flowing mauve robes had appeared. "Is there a problem here, Marigold?"

The clerk hesitated and Hermione replied, "She seemed to have a superior opinion about the kind of clothing that some of your customers prefer to wear. I would like to know if you have robes for Hogwarts in lighter materials, as I intend to wear my usual wardrobe under them."

The woman offered a slight bow. "I am Madam Malkin and I wish to beg pardon. We can certainly accommodate your request. I presume all of you are Muggleborn?" At Hermione's nod, she turned to Marigold. "Offer your apologies for your rudeness and then fetch the summer-weight robes. Make sure the young men have the same choices."

Hermione murmured a thank-you as the clerk apologised and retreated. Sally-Anne shrugged off the heavy robe and held it in front of her. "Might be a good idea to get some of each. Scotland can get really cold in winter."

Hermione nodded. "I think we can learn that Warming Charm she mentioned really quickly, though. The list said three sets of robes, perhaps three of the summer-weight and two of these for when it's really cold? Can you afford the extras?"

Sally-Anne smiled. "Daddy works in computers. He's doing quite well; they're flying him over to San Francisco next month. Mummy even said that we might be moving there next year."

"So you might wind up transferring to one of the North American schools?"

Sally-Anne's eyes grew big. "There are magic schools there, too?"

"Yes, Professor McGonagall mentioned them when she talked to us."

Marigold returned and handed the girls black robes in a light, silky material. Without saying another word she marked the robes to the right length and took them away to finish them. Hermione hopped down and went toward the boys while Sally-Anne began browsing the racks.

Justin and Harry were up on stools while the other three boys talked. Dean moved to let Hermione join them. "All done?"

"Yes, we got some of both kinds, the lighter ones for wearing over our clothes normally and the ones they brought out first for any really cold days."

Dean nodded. "I still can't believe they aren't wearing anything under these robes. There's no way that's all I'd wear." The other boys nodded as Harry got off his stool and Dean took his place.

Harry bumped Hermione's shoulder with his own. "I am so glad we got to do this as a group. Can you imagine having to go through this by yourself?"

She shuddered. "No, it would be awful. Don't even say it."

Naomi steered Justin and Dean over to them. "We'll have your robes ready in half an hour. Most students duck into Flourish and Blotts next door, get their books, and come back."

At the mention of books, Hermione lit up and Harry and Dean laughed. Harry turned to the other boys. "Gents, we have an important mission, one that is critical to our success the rest of the day." The other boys looked at him, expectant and intrigued.

"We'll need your help dragging Hermione out of the bookstore on time."

They all laughed and Hermione stuck out her tongue at him.


It took a promise from her parents and Dr Aymler that they would return the following weekend to pry Hermione out of the bookstore in time to collect their robes. Even then she added half a dozen extra books, mostly recommended for background reading by the clerk. As they left Madam Malkin's a second time, a girl their age with heavy black curls and green robes passed them and gave them a slightly sneering glance.

The group made quick work of much of the list and were exiting the apothecary, on their way to Ollivander's for wands, when Justin stopped short in front of Eeylop's Owl Emporium. "Mother, Father, look! We could get our own owl for delivering letters just like the professor's!"

The other children began looking eagerly at the windows and the adults traded resigned looks and shepherded them in.

They exited with four cages, each containing an owl. Justin's mother had chosen a cute tiny Scops owl. The Boots had gone with a sleek barn owl. Dean had a stately great horned owl with a mischievous gleam in its eye and Harry was talking softly to a snowy white owl that had fastened her gaze on him, then flown to his shoulder and settled.

Sally-Anne's mother vetoed an owl on the grounds that they might be moving out of the country. Wayne Hopkins didn't have enough money and refused when Harry and Dean offered to lend him some. And Hermione, after studying all the owls closely, decided against buying one, saying that none of them spoke to her.


After observing the single rickety chair in the cramped space, Aymler agreed to accompany the children inside the wand shop while the parents took the owls in their cages and claimed a few tables at the ice cream shop they had passed several storefronts back. The wand shop had the hush of a library and they looked in awe at what must have been thousands of narrow boxes piled on shelves to the high ceiling. That charged sensation in the air was much stronger than outside. Harry felt as if he could create sparks if he sneezed. Dean's fingers were fluttering the way they did when he was itching to draw something and Hermione stepped forward, about to reach a hand out to touch the boxes.

"Good afternoon, good afternoon to you all." An old man with disconcerting pale eyes slipped from behind a curtain. He looked them over before fastening his eyes on Harry. "Harry Potter. I knew I'd be seeing you soon, but I didn't expect you with the Muggleborn group. Interesting. I remember your parents well. You look rather like your father-mahogany wand, eleven inches, nice power, good for Transfiguration-but those eyes could only be your mother's. Her wand was ten and a quarter inches, made of nice swishy willow, excellent for Charms." Harry's eyes widened at this information, but before he could speak, Ollivander stepped forward and waved vaguely at them. The children fell into a line with Terry Boot first. Ollivander peered down the line at Dean. "You seem familiar as well. Who are your parents?"

Dean glanced at the others, reluctant to be put on the spot. "Well, my mum is a regular person, but I just learned at Gringotts that my dad was named Alexander Demirci."

"Ah, yes. I did not sell him a wand but he would come in for polish and such. He actually went to Africa and learned to make his own-marula wood with a core of sphinx mane, fascinating combination. I only use dragon heartstring, phoenix tail feathers, and unicorn hair in my wands, but no two are alike just as no two dragons, phoenixes or unicorns are alike. Your wand will choose you and you'll get the best results from it rather than another one." He moved Terry over to his table and began quizzing him about his wand hand, a tape measure moving on its own to measure Terry's arm in a dozen ways.

Harry's eyes were drawn again to the shelves crammed with wands. He whispered to Hermione, "Do you feel a bit jumpy in here?"

She nodded. "Like there's something in the air, calling to us. I just want to reach out and follow it…" She lifted a hand, trying to sort out where the pull was, and then various shouts of surprise erupted as eight random boxes shot out of the shelves toward her. Dean managed to catch one and Harry snagged two in rapid succession, but the rest pelted her and fell to the floor, spilling out wands with a clatter.

Ollivander spun around, his large eyes even more unsettling as they widened. He left Terry and hurried over as the children picked up the wands and boxes.

Hermione stammered, "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean it. It just felt like something was calling me. I can pay if any are damaged."

Ollivander gathered the wands and looked them over carefully in growing astonishment. He turned his gaze to her. "Amazing. It's been a very long time since I had a new customer so in tune with her magic as to call her own wand." He spread the eight wands on the table and waved Hermione over. "All of these wands have dragon heartstrings as their cores…from the same dragon. One of these will undoubtedly be the proper wand for you. Here, take them one at a time and give a wave."

Her confidence returning, Hermione began. Each one sent up a shower of purple sparks, like miniature fireworks. The sixth one, carved prettily with a vine trailing leaves, burst with the largest show of fireworks, gold and silver among the purple, and Ollivander smiled.

"I believe that's the one. Try the last ones, just to be sure."

Hermione did, producing inferior results, then accepted the vine wood wand in a box and helped to re-box and stack the rest. He clapped his hands together. "Now, that's one. I don't suppose anyone else feels like calling their wand to them?"

His joke promptly backfired as both Harry and Dean raised their hands and half-a-dozen boxes flew at them. Ollivander and the other children stared.

Aymler grinned from his position near the door.


Ollivander was looking over the wands and paused, blinking, at one box. "Curious. Very curious." He pulled out the wand that had caught his attention and handed it to Harry. "Give that one a wave."

Harry did so, instantly producing a stream of red and gold fireworks that danced in the dusty air. He paused to look at the piece of wood in his hand, enjoying the warmth of it. Looking back at the wandmaker, he asked, "Should I try another?"

Ollivander replaced the wand in its box and handed it to him. "Oh, no, my boy. Mr Demirci there-" he ignored Dean's murmured correction "-will have to try the others. They all have unicorn hairs from the same unicorn. But this wand has the tail feather of a phoenix as its core. A phoenix that has only ever given one other feather."

He paused and Harry shrugged. "So where's the wand with that feather?"

Ollivander frowned and looked to Aymler, who shrugged as well. Seeing no help from the only other adult in the room, he reached out and gently lifted Harry's fringe. "That wand, my dear boy, was the wand that gave you that scar."

Harry's eyes opened wide in shock at that revelation. Hermione broke off admiring her wand with the others and moved back to his side. "What do you mean, sir?"

Ollivander appeared nonplussed at Harry's reaction and her question. "You mean you don't know? You don't know your own history?"

"We were told his parents died in a car accident," Aymler growled. "If you have more information than that, please share."

"I…it's really not my place…it should be Dumbledore…" Ollivander moved behind his table and began stacking wand boxes almost frantically.

Harry stepped forward as he retreated. "Sir, please? What do you know?"

"I don't know any more than anyone else. I'm not...really not the right person. I just make wands!"

Hermione realized that their doctor was on the verge of losing his temper, Harry was lost in confusion, and Ollivander looked ready to vanish behind his curtain and hope they left his shop. She jumped in. "Please, sir, if you don't feel comfortable telling us, is there some way for us to find out for ourselves? Is there a library or newspaper office?"

Ollivander seized her offer gratefully. "The incident would actually be in a number of books over at Flourish and Blotts…any book covering recent wizarding history."

Hermione nodded and looked up at Aymler. "I think we'll find it in one of the extra books I bought, Doctor."

He glanced around, at Harry's pale face and the nervous expressions on the other children, and made himself relax. "I think I'll start looking. I'll send in your dad, Hermione." He left the shop.

Ollivander busied himself with helping Dean find his wand. Hermione squeezed Harry's arm and led him to the tight little knot the others had formed. "Sorry about that. Dr Aymler is kind of protective of us and especially Harry since he's an orphan."

Justin smiled first. "I understand protective. Nannies can be quite bothersome that way as well."

Sally-Anne leaned in. "How did you pull those wands to you? It's like you knew what you were doing!"

Hermione blushed a little. "I wouldn't say we know what we're doing, but Harry, Dean and I all stay at the same institute. We've been able to practice a lot and learn how to do some things. For example, close your eyes a minute and just concentrate on how this place feels." One by one, the others followed her instructions.

"You know that part of you in your head that feels like a balloon getting bigger, just before your make something happen? See if you can reach out with it, feel with it. It's kind of like the air before a big storm, a bit tingly."

Next to her Sally-Anne let out a soft "oh". Both Justin and Wayne straightened their posture as they sensed something.

"Now, do you feel like something is pulling at that part of yourself? Try to reach out and answer it."

Terry's hand floated up toward the shelves.

Their eyes flew open and they jumped out of the way as seven boxes soared toward Terry, who laughed in astonishment.

The wandmaker looked up from stacking Dean's rejects. "Well, then. This may set a record for fastest wand-shopping by a Muggleborn group in the history of Ollivander's."


Patrick sat with Viola Granger as Robert rapidly finished his ice cream and got up to go to the wand shop. He dug through Hermione's parcel of books until he found the history ones. With the efficiency of an experienced researcher, he checked each book for an index and ran his eye down the Ps. He found three books with Harry's name in them and took a look at the titles. Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century. Modern Magical History.

It was the third title that sent a chill down his spine.

The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts.

Patrick opened the book and began to read.


Author's Note: Thanks as always for reading! Look for the next chapter in about a month.