A Trip To Diagon Alley
Buffy squared her shoulders and nervously followed Narcissa out into Diagon Alley. Her father’s wife was taking her shopping. Specifically, wand shopping.
She still wasn’t sure how she felt about her father. She hadn’t seen him since Narcissa had shown Giles and Draco where to leave him. Buffy had a lot of questions for him, and judging by the brooding her brother had been doing, she wasn’t the only one.
Giles had gone back to Sunnydale to hold down the fort and ask a few questions of his own, but he’d trusted Narcissa enough to leave Buffy in her care when she had announced that of course Buffy would stay the night. Buffy, still thrown by the revelation of the Cruciamentum, had numbly agreed when Giles explained that she would be safe at Malfoy Manor.
Narcissa had shown her to a room, and introduced her to a house elf- a weird little thing that seemed to be absolutely ecstatic to wait on ‘Mistress Buffy’. Buffy had a minor wiggins over that, but she kept it to herself. Especially once it showed her the bathroom she’d be using, which was bigger than her bedroom at home and like everything else in Malfoy Manor, magic. Good magic- the bathtub was the size of a small pool, and had a great selection of magic bath products in a huge variety of scents and colors.
Narcissa had clucked over her a bit after she was done her bath. That was another thing that concerned Buffy a little. Shouldn’t her father’s wife detest her on principle or something? Instead, Narcissa had brought in several different robes- some hers, others that had belonged to her sisters, and had Buffy try several on.
“Not that we won’t get you your own tomorrow, of course, but you’ll need something to wear to Diagon Alley. You’ll be talked about enough even without wearing Muggle clothing.”
Buffy had wondered what that meant, but hadn’t asked. She’d just tried on robes as directed, and gone along with Narcissa’s decision on which one to wear. As it turned out, Narcissa had excellent taste.
So here she was, dressed in a green and silver robe (colors which had pleased Narcissa for some reason she hadn’t seen fit to share) that had been magically shortened to fit her, Draco at her side, both of them trailing behind Narcissa as she led the way up the street, which appeared to be the wizard equivalent of a shopping mall.
“Wand first, I think, dears,” Narcissa was saying absently. “Then we’ll stop at Madam Malkin’s, and then perhaps a few things at Flourish & Blotts before Draco tries to be subtle about sneaking you off to Quality Quidditch.”
“Quidditch?” Buffy asked. By now, she was resigned to the fact that practically everything anyone named Malfoy said to her just raised more questions.
Later, Draco mouthed at her. Mother’s not a fan.
Buffy had the distinct impression Narcissa would have laughed had they not been in public. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed people staring as they went by. No one was rude enough to point, but there were plenty of gawkers.
Narcissa gave no sign that she had noticed, marching them smartly up the street until they reached a slightly shabby store with a sign over the door announcing Ollivander’s had been making wands since 382 BC. Buffy tried to keep as cool as her brother and his mother about this, but seriously? This store had been around since the BC?
The man behind the counter flinched when he saw who had just walked into his store, but Buffy smiled brightly at him and he appeared to pull himself together.
“Mrs. Malfoy. Master Malfoy. How very unexpected,” he said.
Buffy decided that unexpected was also unwelcome in this case.
“Mr. Ollivander, my stepdaughter requires a wand,” Narcissa said. Buffy had known her long enough to note that the tone she used to the shopkeeper was not the kinder tone she reserved for family and friends. It was a bit steelier, and maybe a little haughty.
Ollivander peered curiously at Buffy, coming around from behind the counter, tape measure in hand.
“Hm, what a unique case,” her murmured, more to himself than anyone else. “Yes, this will be a tricky one to fit, no doubt.”
Narcissa seated herself on the only chair in the store while Mr. Ollivander’s tape measure proceeded to measure every part of Buffy it could. When it got to measuring the distance between her nostrils, she coughed. She heard a slight snicker from behind her that had to be Draco, but making some noise had the desired effect- Ollivander clapped his hands the tape measure left her alone.
Mr. Ollivander, on the other hand, didn’t. He’d returned with a stack of boxes, which he began opening briskly.
“Each witch or wizard is unique, Miss Malfoy,” he told her. “As is each wand. The wand chooses the wizard, you know. The trick is to find the appropriate wand.”
He handed her a wand.
“We’ll begin with this one. Very similar to your brother’s wand- hawthorn, twelve inches, dragon heartstring.”
Buffy was a little grossed out by holding something that had a bit of a dragon’s heart in it, but at Ollivander’s expectant gesture, she picked it up.
“Give it a wave,” he instructed.
Buffy did, but nothing happened. She glanced back at Draco, who smirked at her.
“Not to worry,” Mr. Ollivander said cheerfully, taking it back and replacing it in its box. “Most witches and wizards take several tries to match. Your father’s wand, of course, is an heirloom, but perhaps we might go in that direction. Elm, eleven inches, unicorn hair.”
Buffy picked it up, but this time, paying more attention, she could feel that it wasn’t quite right even before she waved it and accidentally exploded the lamp on the counter. A careless wave of Mr. Ollivander’s own wand mended the lamp before he nearly snatched the wand from Buffy, replacing it with another.
As the rejected wands began to stack up, to Buffy’s surprise, Ollivander seemed to become happier. If anything, she’d have expected annoyance. Not only was it taking a while, she was alternately damaging things or inconveniencing everyone by making odd things happen like a rain of feathers, or a minor windstorm.
“A tricky customer! How unusual,” Ollivander beamed. “Not to worry, I enjoy a challenge.”
Finally, just when Buffy was on the brink of asking how they’d know when she found the right wand, he handed her one that felt warm as soon as she picked it up. More than that, it felt right in her hand, like it was made just for her. When she waved it, an explosion of silver and gold sparks lit up the room like a miniature fireworks show.
“How very interesting,” Mr. Ollivander mused. “An unusual combination. But then, that might be expected with such an unusual witch…”
Buffy wasn’t sure if he meant the wand, or the fireworks, which she’d noticed had made both Draco and Narcissa raise an eyebrow.
“Birch, Miss Malfoy, eleven and a half inches, phoenix feather core.”
“An unusual combination indeed,” Narcissa broke in smoothly. “Birch is so rarely used as wand wood these days.”
Narcissa settled the bill with Mr. Ollivander while Buffy admired her wand. Draco was visibly repressing his mirth at her fascination with it.
“Come along, children,” Narcissa said, curbing Draco before he could get himself into trouble. “And Buffy, you will kindly put your wand in the box before we leave the shop. I don’t intend to have any accidental magic in Diagon Alley.”
“Wouldn’t that just set tongues wagging,” Draco muttered as Buffy put her wand away.
Next on their whirlwind shopping trip was Madam Malkin’s, which was far more to Buffy’s liking. Draco dropped into a chair by the counter as soon as they walked in, picking up a magazine from the table. Narcissa and Madam Malkin were soon engrossed in style, color, cut, fabric, and having Buffy try on any number of sample robes. By the time they departed, Buffy was amazed at how much clothing Narcissa had ordered for her.
“Are you sure,” she began, only to have Narcissa cut her off.
“I promise you, Buffy, that what we’re spending today will not even make a small dent in your father’s vaults. He may have failed to provide for you adequately until now, but we will rectify that.”
“Don’t worry yourself about Lucius,” Narcissa said breezily- though Buffy could hear the hint of steel underneath. “He’s resting quietly at home and when he is fully recovered, I think a family discussion will be in order, don’t you?”
Oh man. Her father was in deep trouble. Buffy might have only known Narcissa twenty four hours, but even she could recognize that Lucius was going to be on his own at that meeting. Narcissa was going to throw him to the wolves, and probably start in on him once Buffy and Draco finished.
“Now, Draco, I believe you wanted to induct your sister into the wonders of Quidditch, and I find visits to Scribbulus run much smoother without you fretting about broomsticks underfoot.”
“That’s Mother’s way of saying she’d rather do her shopping without us,” he told Buffy. “Besides, I bet you’ll like Quidditch much better than quills and ink.”
“Probably,” Buffy agreed, letting her brother steer her toward the shop that seemed to act like a magnet for young witches and wizards. Several people heading in the same direction were giving her the side-eye, but they were at least trying not to be obvious about it. “Although it would be great if you could explain exactly what Quidditch is.”
Draco had just launched into an introduction to what was only the greatest game on magical earth when Buffy almost ran smack into a red-headed gorilla. At least, that was what she thought had happened. The guy was as tall as Draco, but built like a linebacker, had hair even redder than Willow, and clearly meant to be in their way.
“Malfoy,” he said neutrally. “Who’s your new girlfriend?”
“That’s my sister, Weasley!” Draco snapped.
“You have a sister
Buffy couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her. Sister had spanned a good octave of horrified surprise. Both boys glared at her.
“He has a sister,” she confirmed. “Draco? You going to do introductions, or should I just call him Weasley the Walking Eclipse?”
Draco wavered for a second, clearly taken with the Walking Eclipse idea, but gave in to good manners.
“Buffy Malfoy, Ronald Weasley.”
“Buffy?” Weasley asked.
Buffy’s eyes narrowed.
“Just because he told me your name doesn’t mean I have to use it if you’re going to make fun of mine,” she said warningly.