An annoying beep woke me up from my well-deserved, but unfortunately way too short sleep. Reflexively my hand flicked into the air and bashed to the noisy, stupid thing, which immediately became silent. Sometimes, I hated myself. Moaning, I rubbed grains of sand out of my tired, sticky eyes. It was all my fault if I tried to train myself to just manage my life with five hours of sleep. I researched it, and it was possible to do so!
Oh yes, it still was obscure to me how I would manage this, but I hoped to reach it after time went by with discipline and continuity. Napoleon and old Fritz from Prussia did manage it too! I shouldn't read that much, just because of this I came up with such bullshit! Alright, I never slept that much, just only around eight hours, but I unfortunately still felt these three hours, which I denied myself for the last three weeks, in my bones, but I was too stubborn and never allowed myself to be weak. Anyways, enough with bathing in my own self-pity, chop-chop, rise and shine, a long day with a new purpose waited for me. After a relaxing shower, whilst my cramped muscles after the apparate training in the night loosened themselves, I went to the kitchen, where I was welcomed by a friendly "Hello" from my parents. Soon after, my Mum reached me a steaming mug of black coffee, and I sank into a chair. I inhaled the aromatic, tangy scent and carefully took the first sip, causing my spirits to finally turn on.
Smiling, I looked up. "Thanks," I breathed more into the mug than anywhere else.
"As always, my little girl. What have you planned for today?" My Mum asked cheerfully and apparently well rested, which wasn't a surprise after a dose of sleeping potion. I started to feel a tiny bit envious. Now Dad lowered his newspaper and peered over to me. It seemed I didn't look like the blooming life itself after just five hours of sleep, I thought sarcastically, as he questioningly lifted his eyebrows, whilst he examined my appearance, and I could see the concern in his kind, brown eyes. I quickly answered my mums question, before he could say or ask something.
"Well, I thought, I'll drive to London today and go shopping for a little while," I said exaggeratedly cheerful and continued to drink coffee out of my mug.
"Oh, if I would've known, I'd have placed my appointments differently and accompanied you, sweetheart, because we haven't done anything like this in ages, but wait, maybe. I would quickly need to..", meant my Mum in a sad tone of voice and started to excitedly dig in her bag, which she pulled to herself to grab her diary. I quickly looked at her, trying to look sorry, because it absolutely wouldn't fit with my plans if my Mum would force herself on me.
"Sorry Mum, maybe another time, but I wanted to go to the National Portrait Gallery. You know how much I love it and I missed all the portraits!" I murmured more to myself; it was the truth, I liked the portraits of the old monarchs and important personae of England. I was passionate about them in the past, and for every visit to London, we needed to stop by at the museum. But today, the gallery just wasn't good enough, as I know the moving and talking portraits of dead people of the magical world! But my parents didn't know this; I almost didn't tell them any relevant information about the world of wizardry. It made it easier for me in several instances, like right now, because I knew how my Mum would react to my statement and she didn't disappoint me. Her eyes got big.
"Okay, but of course, my darling. Well, it's unfortunate, my patients booked my whole day out, but as you said, I'd be really happy to accompany you to a city spree for the next time."
She stood up and fled behind the kitchen counter like she couldn't imagine worse than standing for hours in front of portraits, it wasn't my mums world. When I looked up, my dad mischievously looked at me; I grinned back. It was too delightful when someone was so predictable. A half an hour went by when my parents came, ready for their day of work, to say goodbye, I still sat in the kitchen in front of my fourth mug of coffee. I still waited five minutes, after the door closed behind them, just in case they would come back again.
Quickly I stood up and went into my room on the first floor, where I opened my wardrobe and took a gown black as the night, put it around me and stood in front of the mirror. I took my white wand out of the inner bag of my gown, focused it on my hair and spoke a transformation spell. Now I didn't need the fake hair anymore. My lion curls were now smooth and fell just to my chin, thanks to the magic, a second spell after and my hair was dark blonde. Oh yes, pleased I looked into the mirror, for this was a big change, but even my full brown of my eyes should turn, and I spoke the spell which would change my eye colors. Now two water blue eyes looked towards me, perfect!
I didn't want to change my facial structures, as I wasn't a metamorphmagus it would require a higher skill of magic. Not, that I couldn't do it, but it was too complicated, even for me. It should be a quick way to transform into my spy-personality, and there was still makeup. If I would put a bit more makeup on my face no one, really no one, would recognize me.
When I was finished, a different woman, looked back at me, I didn't look like a fifteen-year-old student anymore. I had to say; I liked my new look. Yes, I could leave it as it was. I shot a picture with my digital camera, which I quickly printed and glued into my book of strategy, next to it, I quoted the spells, which I used for my transformation and my name, which I chose for my new identity: "Minna Cale". It made no sense to stop halfway, everything needed to be perfect.
I went into the living room, positioned myself in the middle of the room and thought about everything I taught myself in the garden. Focus and one appare later I stood in front of the wall in the Leaky Cauldron, which would lead me into the Diagon Alley.
Deep satisfaction went through me. I was a little bit proud of myself because I successfully apparated this far distance and everything went just great. No dizziness and no nausea. I mastered the process of apparition as it seemed, one less problem. Still, I needed to practice the routes more, but I could always do that later.
Quickly I raised my wand, touched with it the correct order of the stones and soon after the gate opened. Swiftly I walked into the very medieval-tinted alley and got lost in the stream of people. I still had a lot to do, whilst around me the usual, colorful, joyful chaos of the Diagon Alley ruled, it was a part of its charm. No one took the warnings, that he came back, for real.
No one wanted to see that it started all over again. Everyone wanted to believe the ministry and Minister Fudge, wanted to believe that Harry and Dumbledore's’ allegations had been a lie, just to make themselves relevant. That's how we don't help anybody but Voldemort himself, but the crowd had always been blind. Everyone here was so happy and joyful, no one took the warnings for real, as I could see now with my own eyes.
All the more, the parents were here with their kids who were back home from Hogwarts. After all, the kids needed to be occupied in their holidays. In front of the Quidditch shop, one could see them, their nose pressed against the glass or the full Fortescue's Ice Cream parlour. I pulled my hood over my face, as in a few seconds I would get into the junction of the Knockturn Alley and no one, okay, almost no one, as young as me and a woman at that, would voluntarily and without company enter the alley, and still show one's face.
Today Knockturn Alley was busier than it normally was at midnight, even in a grimy and rundown street as this. I was surprised, as I had guessed that everyone was a creature of the night! But in this alley it seemed like the night had already begun because diffused, dusky light dominated the path. Here too, I rapidly scurried in my dark veiled shape, anxiously to be careful and watched, while I passed, the windows of the shops. I ignored the shapes which squeezed themselves along the walls and buildings.
Ah, here it was, the shop of the wands. No, it still didn't look more likable than at night. My target was directly opposite of it. The dark magic apothecary for potion ingredients. The moment I walked into a smoky, slightly intoxicating smell various spices blew towards me. It was very dim in the shop, and it looked bigger from the inside than outside, as the many shelves have been filled with all the ingredients.
The shelves have been filled with various and most unusual things; one could imagine: hearts, from snakes, chickens or dragons, maybe even from humans. Yuck, how disgusting! I averted my gaze and found myself in front of eyes of different genera, whether pickled, dried or nature.
Green lacewings, mandrakes, Asphodelus, dittany, flobberworm mucus, rat spleen, but even such things as well visible placed, sealed glass of unicorn blood! It was jaw-dropping. Or I could see abominations like components from a carcass of a thestral, simply things one would never get in the Diagon Alley.
I almost couldn't stop myself from cheering out loud. It was like paradise. And so I wasn't surprised when I saw at the counter, the owner of the shop, bargaining with a not unknown looking man. I maintained relaxed, neither did I look like Miss-Know-It-All, nor would he expect me, Miss Granger, in a place like this. Thus, I unerringly and quite callously took a basket and calmly passed every single shelf, took a piece for some potions here and there, which I will brew in the course of my holidays and since some of them will need a very long time to be finished, I needed to start as soon as possible.
I listened to the conversation of the two men attentively in the background, unfortunately, interrupted invariably, so that I couldn't understand one coherent phrase. From what I picked out, I could hear, that Snape obtained the important duty to brew potions for You-Know-Who. It didn't surprise me; so I just mentally shrugged my shoulders.
Well, the Dark Lord was fast too, one had to give him that much credit. At the time when I saw the professor running out of the hospital wing to get to the Dark Lord, I was sure, that it had started, the war. Led as the cold war of the Muggles, America against Russia, east against west.
No instant, open fights yet, but the maneuvering in the background! The Dark Lord was too cunning for everything else and he still needed to get stronger, but one could feel the tendencies of a cold front, especially since I saw Snape here, as he bought ingredients like a lunatic, for a ridiculously low price, mind you! Here the dark mark and the name of the Dark Lord had value, always helped with threats. No shop owner in the Knockturn Alley trusted the Ministry, but the Death Eaters, yes they immediately believed in their revenge!
Fudge was such an idiot! But that wasn't my problem for a start. Whilst I thought about it, I counted the lacewings for the polyjuice potion. Suddenly I could feel a tingling in my neck, then it struck me, I couldn't hear any voices anymore. The conversation was obviously over, and Snape seemed to have turned around, to see my black guise bent over a translucent vessel of lacewings. I was sure he knew this shop inside out, I thought spitefully. Still, it didn't ruffle me, and I continued to count. Go away, you grumpy, greasy bloke, I mentally told myself.
Finished! I put the lid back up, put the lacewings in a transparent bag and put them in my basket, turned around and pretended to be busy, as two deep dark obsidians hovered over me. He couldn't see much, I never opened my hood, but still showed the half of my face. I tried to go ahead as dainty and normal as possible. I was sure he knew that there weren't many potions where an ingredient like that was needed. The question was, would he be imposing and curious, or would he not give a shit about it, as he did not give a crap what the students did in the school.
I went to the next shelf and observed the display accurately and in all the patients I had. Don't get nervous, for he would stand ready like a hunter, feeling the preys tension.
"Mr. Snape, do you wish for something else? I hope everything is still to your likings?" I heard the chemists slimy and submissive voice.
I glanced over to Snape, how he stood in the corridor in his whole, dark, glory, which I meant cynically. But he didn't make a bad figure, as he stood there. Impressive, yes, that was the right word. Snape turned to the direction of the voice's face. "No, Mr. Sals, everything is up to my standards!" then, he turned around so that his gown blew up in a dramatic departure and he disappeared.
Phew, Thank God he was gone! But I should continue, so I meticulously examined all the shelves, before I turned myself to the chemist. He too haunted my every movement with eagle-eyes, but I wouldn't want to have his fear of thieves.
"Well, what can I do for you?" He approached me already. I heaved the basket onto the counter. He had a particular, greedy glance in his eyes, due to the amount of ingredients, as he needed to compensate the loss, which brought Snape with him.
"This. And if we were to agree on a price, maybe even more..." I said with a slightly colder, deeper voice than usual.
My eyes wandered around the shop, while he measured the ingredients, weighing and wrapping up. After he had finished everything to his satisfaction, he looked up from his counter and examined me with a piercing glimpse of his muddy brown eyes, whose white was more yellow, as I thought he drank Firewhiskey for a very long period
"That would be 250 galleons, my lady!" He meant with a slimy grin. I slid back my hood a tiny bit, pulled up an eyebrow and looked skeptically at him. Did he think I was stupid?
"Yes, the price sounds reasonable..!" I said slowly and with steel in my voice. My expression showed the same rigidness, "... If you would add Boomslang skin and a bicon horn, as well as a vial of unicorn blood!" One could see how his grin vanished off his face, but I didn't feel sorry.
“My lady, this.. This is not possible, the horn and the Boomslang skin are on the black list, and besides do you know how rare this blood is, it's very precious..." I interrupted his whining stuttering with a harsh gesture of my hand.
"Listen, good man, I know that you have both ingredients, maybe I should go back to the ministry..." I stopped for a dramatic pause and looked directly into his eyes, to make him understand that my unspoken threat was earnest. "Either you agree to my offer, or you can put all the ingredients back again,” I said with an indifferent voice and made a step back.
"No, No, wait, please, it would still be cheaper for 300 Galleons, but I could live with it”, he sounded broken.
"275, my last word!" I hissed with an angry voice. He shifted about obviously uncomfortable, but I didn't change my expression and looked at him coldly and expectant. After seconds of pondering, he nodded slowly and started to fill the vial reluctant, went into the storage room and came back after a short time with the illegal ingredients.
I pulled out my pouch and started to count the money. Well, a visit to Gringotts was needed today. With greedy eyes, Mr. Sals ogled at the coins. Almost reluctant he handed me the bag with the ingredients and the very precious vial with the silver fluid as extra, that one I put in the inner bag of my gown, as it was safer there. I nodded thankfully at him and determined turned around.
"I wish you a beautiful day, Madam!", He called cynically behind me. However, I was already out the door and walked swiftly towards the bookstore. Here I could move in, all in all, I gave myself a lot of time, to examine all the gray and dark books. My stack grew quite high in no time at all.
Oh yes, I was well versed in the matter of dark magic! Well, what shall I say, I was well versed in the light magic as well. Now many are probably wondering where from because my friends would freak out if they'd know, but in my third year at Hogwarts, when I had the time-turner, I didn't just lay around lazily. I used that year and the precious artifact whenever I could had the chance to do so.
I knew, when there was a unique opportunity in front of me and that year with the time-turner was an unique opportunity, which I would never have again. As I was a strategist, I soon left the general library behind me, as she always stood open, but the forbidden section, that was a different story. Thus, I used the borrowed time to study the whole, yes, I mean the whole, part. I had read and studied all the books in the forbidden section. This was successfully done after a half a year already and then dedicated my time to intensify the studies of the interesting book of this section.
Since then, one could call me a dark witch! No, I still didn't like the unforgivable curses, but contrary to Dumbledore, I saw the use in blood- or ritual magic and also the power and strength, which lay behind these spells. Almost no white spell would reach that kind of power. Additionally, I still believed that it is up to the wizard itself, how he used these spells. Even white spells could be devastating in its impact, and no, no one knew about my attitude, that would be even better. It was a well-protected secret of mine.
I pensively smiled, as I thought about the expressions of McGonagall, Dumbledore, the Weasleys or Harry, if they'd know, even Snape’s mask would very possibly shift and the Malfoys, alas, what a funny thought. I was in the bookstore for almost two hours and found around 20 books, I hadn't seen yet.This was certainly enough for today, I thought as I carried them to the till. I let the hunched witch shrink my books, so that I could hide them in the bags of my gown. Unfortunately, I couldn't do the same with the potion ingredients because it wouldn't agree with them and they have been too expensive to waste them.
My next stop lead me to Borgin & Burkes. Harry told me everything about it in our second year when he accidentally landed in the store on his first floo network travel, and out of his story, I decided that I would find what I was looking for in this store.
"What can I do for you?" A white-haired man asked forcefully after the door closed behind me. I pulled back my hood again a tiny bit so that he could see in my face. "I'm searching for a knife," I said briefly. I again was examined, because one didn't know the word trust here, even I didn't trust here, that's why it wasn't that bad.
"Yes, of course, I have something like that, but what are you exactly looking for?" he asked slowly and pulled up an eyebrow appraisingly.
"Made of silver, maybe two pieces, light in the hand.. Show me something!" I commanded with certainty, not to say arrogant.
"Of course, of course, Madam, whatever you wish!", he said submissively and pulled up a piece of cloth from under the counter, which he unrolled with a sway. On the dark green velvet lay beaded a row of silver, sharp, pointed knives, some broader, some longer, some crested, others very dull. A naughty smile spread across the outline of the man’s face.
"Pretty, the little ones, eh? I could recommend these! For whom is it? A gift?", He asked curiously, though seemed very slimy. I didn't answer immediately and ignored him on purpose, took my time and examined every example very carefully because I already imagined the one I wanted. I immediately rejected the first ones, too clunky for a knife. I had small hands, that's why my hand wandered unerringly to a pretty pair of daggers. I stroked over the golden colored handle.
"Oh yes, a good choice, the Horus dagger, 37 cm long. A light blade. It's made of silver and encrusted with glyphs, a beautiful piece. The blade is enhanced so that it won't go blunt; the golden handle shows the head of a horus. He lies comfortably in a small hand, as he is a light and handy dagger!", he spoke ecstatically, and he went lavish.
If I would've allowed myself, I would've smirked. After that performance I feisty grabbed a dagger. Oh yes, I could feel it, when there was magic in something, one could intuitively feel if something suits you or not. The Horus handle sat perfectly in my hand. It went slightly warm in my hand. Again, I grabbed the second Horus dagger and held both in my hand. Yes, it felt right, and they met the requirements. I nodded and put the blades back down the counter.
"How much?" I asked plainly.
"50 Galleons each, but one moment." He bent down "With the each proper leather sheath, they get invisible if you put them on, very precious!" he said and thrust the two daggers into the sheaths.
I nodded. "That will be alright.” I again pulled out my noticeable lighter pouch and began to count the 100 galleons. I couldn't believe how lucky I was; I didn't think about invisible sheaths. I shoved the counted galleons to Mr. Borgin, then I opened my cloak, placed the two leather sheaths with the daggers around my thighs and let the gown slide back above it.
I briefly looked up, nodded to Mr. Borgin and disappeared quickly out of the store, which I still needed to get used to.
(PS: ich hab es langsam mit den Titeln des Themas xD)