James held up his hands. “I promise, Remus. We are going to the bookshop and to get him fitted for his robes. That’s all. Everything else – including buying a wand – will wait until next week, after his birthday. I have enough Gaellons in my trunk, so we don’t even have to make a stop at Gringott’s. Just books, and robes.”
“And ice cream.” Harry added, having watched the shouting match avidly from an out of the way corner.
Remus glared at the boy, who merely widened his eyes at him. “Please, Uncle Remus?”
The standoff lasted maybe thirty seconds before Remus gave in with a reluctant laugh. “You’re getting good at that, pup.” He said wryly, shaking his head. “Don’t try it on your dad when he is me – I have a reputation to maintain, even if I’ve been gone for ten years.”
Harry grinned and went to stand next to James. “I solemnly swear that I…will be good for this one and only outing. To the bookshop and to the robes shop, which is next to the brooms shop, and only one scoop of ice cream. Maybe two. To go! We’ll bring you back a cone. Triple chocolate, with sprinkles?”
His uncle mock scowled. “That’s bribery. I want three scoops, and a take home container. And no looking at brooms until next week. They always wait until this month to debut the new models, for the Hogwarts crowd, but business won’t really pick up until next week. So you can just wait, young man.”
The Potters exchanged mischievous look, making him groan. “Why do I even bother?” he sighed, leaning forward so James could pluck a couple of his hairs. “Be careful, and be safe, you two.”
“Draco, please stop dawdling. Let’s finish up at Madame Malkin’s, and then you can go look at brooms.” Narcissa said impatiently.
The eleven year old reluctantly followed her up the street, away from the broom shop, pouting only a bit. His mother sighed; she loved her son, but honestly, he was becoming more like Lucius every day. She would have to limit the time they spent together, and hopefully the effect would lessen by the time he went off to Hogwarts.
They stepped into the surprisingly empty shop as the cheerful tinkling of the bell alerted the shopkeeper of new guests.
“Another one for Hogwarts?” A clerk called as she bustled by. “Come right in; we’ve a bit of a lull before the afternoon rush.”
Pleased, Narcissa gently urged Draco to follow the clerk, and settled into a plush royal blue chair near his fitting area to wait. Madame had measured Narcissa for her first set of school robes, so the old witch certainly knew what was needed without prompting. The chair was in a prime location to people watch, with sight lines to both the door and the fitting areas. The door chimed again on the tail end of that thought, alerting the store to another guest. Narcissa glanced over, idly, only to freeze in shock.
The boy was Harry Potter.
He was small, scrawny even for an eleven year old, but James had been the same way as a child, eventually topping out at just six foot. His messy black hair was short, enough that the lightning bolt scar on his forehead showed clearly. Wide, bright green eyes peered around him as he chattered excitedly at the man smiling indulgently down at him.