Chapter 3 // Diagon Alley
Travelling by Floo powder wasn’t my favourite way to travel, but it did the trick. I kept my elbows tucked in and stared straight ahead, waiting for the right fireplace to get out.
I had travelled like this for millions of times, but I still became nauseous every time. I came to a halt, pressed my hands against the sides of the fireplace to keep from falling and did my best not to throw up, before taking in my surroundings. I had landed in Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, which was fine by me, since I needed to get my robes anyway. I didn’t know this shop had a connection to the Floo network, but I wasn’t complaining.
I stepped out of the fireplace, knocked the soot of my clothes and whispered to myself: ‘fucking Floo powder.’
I heard a muffled laugh after I said that, and I looked up, angry. An extremely pretty girl stood on top off a little stool, as Madam Malkin measured her. Her face was covered with little freckles and her hair danced like fire around her head. She was small, probably a first-year like me and had bright brown eyes.
A short, plump woman stood next to her, giving her a fierce look. She had the same flaming red hair and the same warm brown eyes. It went without a doubt that they were mother and daughter. And even though I had never met them, I could tell who they were just by looking at them.
‘Red hair, freckles and more children than they can afford,’ Draco had told me, ‘blood traitors.’
‘I’m sorry,’ the girl smiled broadly, ‘I hate Floo powder too. The soot always stays on my face.’
Now that I was taking her in, I could see remains of soot under her hairline and in her cupid’s bow. I chuckled.
‘I’m Ginny Weasley, by the way,’ she extended her hand which I took.
‘I know,’ I smiled apologetically as I gestured towards her head, ‘the red hair.’
Her cheeks turned a shade of red that matched her hair, which made her look even cuter. Madam Malkin ordered her to turn around and told me to take a look around.
‘Nice meeting you, Ginny,’ I waved and turned around to look at some dresses and robes. I bit my lip and turned again. She was still looking at me.
‘I’m Katherine Macmillan,’ I smiled, but I saw her smile waver for a second, just like her mothers, ‘I hope we’ll be friends.’
‘I’m sure we will,’ her smile returned, which I found extremely brave. She would be sorted into Gryffindor for sure. Knowing who I was and still facing me like we could be friends. I liked her already, no matter what Draco said. I turned to look at the dresses again and allowed myself a quick, hidden smile. I loved interesting people.
Ginny finally got some second-hand robes that fit her.
‘See you later, Katherine,’ she waved and walked out of the store behind her mother. I envied her. She might only have a second-hand robe, but at least her mother had time to shop for school stuff and have an enjoyable time together.
Now that Madam Malkin had time for me, we walked through the store together. She took my measurements and let me fit some robes. I also decided to buy a new dress for tonight and my eye fell on a light pink cocktail dress. The tailored dress had no sleeves and was very short. The wide skirt came about halfway up my thigh. The wide, round neck emphasized my collarbones.
‘That dress looks very good on you, Miss Macmillan,’ Madam Malkin complimented me as she rearranged the dress around my legs. ‘You have beautiful legs, you should definitely put them in the spotlight.’
‘I love it,’ I twirled around, staring at myself in the mirror, ‘I’ll take it.’
Moments later I was standing on the street with my bags and looking around. I had often been in Diagon Alley with my parents, but I was still amazed by it. The cobblestoned alley had an assortment of restaurants, shops and other incredible things. I walked around, then noticed the shop I’d been looking for: Ollivanders, the sole wand shop in Diagon Alley. Peeling gold letters over the door of the shop read: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C. The shop’s display consisted of a solitary wand laying on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. I’d never been here before, so I took a deep breath and stepped inside.
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