Chapter 3: Flourish and Blotts and laying the cards on the table
After leaving Gringotts, Julie led Charles to his his main goal: Flourish and Blotts.
The bookshelves within the bookstore had reached the ceilings and had books of all kinds. There were books that looked as if the covers were made from stone, books that were the size of a postage stamp, and some books that had strange runic symbols written inside that were utterly illegible to read.
Under Julie’s guidance, Charles began to pick out several books in the store.
He would first need the books on the Hogwart’s first year curriculum. (As for why just only the first year books, he didn’t want to make Julie suspicious). The first two supplementary books he would need was Hogwarts, A History and One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi. These books were more than enough to explain the entire wizarding world and establish his first foundation of information. Increasing his knowledge would come easily since he had an eidetic memory and the ability to learn at an extremely fast rate so he wasn’t afraid of getting too many books at once.
After buying a pile of books, Charles began to look the store once more just in case he forgot anything.
As expected, Flourish and Blotts was a bookstore that sold books for junior wizards. Other books that had recipes on how to make Polyjuice Potions like the Mosts Potente Potions were naturally not sold here.
Carefully thinking for some time, Charles walked up to the counter so that he could order some books on Legilimency from the owner before walking out.
Afterwards, Charles walked over to Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and bought two boxes of ice cream. Giving one to Julie, the two of them sat down to rest and enjoy their ice cream.
Maybe it was because Charles was tired, or maybe it was because of his child lifestyle that had clouded his habits, but he had wolfed down the ice cream with a satisfied look. He had been so adorable that Julie couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
“Slow down, slow down! I won’t steal it from you.”
“I know, Julie’s the best!”
“You imp, what a sweet mouth you have. Did you take your parent’s money to come out here?”
“How could I?! I want to become an Auror, so how would dare steal?”
Because of Charles “cute” actions, Julie couldn’t help but explode into a peal of laughter that could be heard echoing from far away.
Because of Charles’ age and how pure (sly) and adorable (faked) he was, Julie had no reason to doubt him. In her eyes, Charles was nothing more than a kid who liked to run away and learn magic. Charles had then been told that Julie was a recent Hogwarts graduate that was working at the nearby apothecary in Hogsmeade. She had taken a few days off to go see her parents and younger sister in London. But what Charles didn’t expect was that he was very familiar with her sister. Her name was Hannah Abbott, an important character that would later become the wife of the important supporting character, Neville Longbottom.
What a curious coincidence!
After resting, Charles had decided to buy a few last minute things, such as the incredibly important Floo Powder.
When buying Floo Powder, one must understand how muggles entered the wizarding world. In the original works, there were four different ways. One, they could enter through the secret passageway in the Leaky Cauldron. Two, they could enter through Platform 9 ¾. Third, there was Floo Powder. And lastly, there was the telephone booth Harry Potter and Sirius Black once used.
The secret passageway in the Leaky Cauldron was obvious. One would just need a magic wand to be able to get in. Anyone that looked at it would know that the wand was needed to start the magic by tapping the correct sequence of bricks.
Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station. Okay, Charles remembered that Dobby had once sealed the entrance, meaning that it was possible to close it. If Charles’ guess was right, the the entrance was only opened when Hogwarts was starting or it was the holidays. After all, there are many people in the station, and the chance of a muggle discovering the entrance by accident was quite high.
As for the telephone booth Harry and Sirius used, only the devil knew which one that was. With so many telephone booths in London, Charles wasn’t willing to look through each and every single one of them.
So the only method left was Floo Powder.
Floo Powder was a powder that twinkled and a wizard could throw it into a fireplace to travel. (Only fireplaces that were connected through the Floo Network would be able to use it). When using it, the user must stand inside the fireplace and hold a handful of Floo Powder then speak the name of the desired destination clearly before throwing down the powder. The user could be facing the fireplace first (It doesn’t matter if there’s a flame or not), throw the Floo Powder and walk inside. Afterwards, they would land at their desired location.
But while Charles’ fireplace at home wasn’t connected to the Floo Network, he could make use of the one at the Leaky Cauldron. It was equally convenient, and Floo Powder was always at a convenient price of two sickles a scoop.
After promising to keep in contact with Julie, Charles walked back home.
Opening the door to his house, he had came to a startling sight. His parents were already at home, and it seemed like they were waiting for him.
“Come to the living room! I reckon it’s time we have a talk.” Charles’ mother, Anna Goole spoke.
Following his mother into the living room, Charles had realized that his father, David Goole was already waiting for him.
The three sat down in the living room while David poured himself a cup of black tea. Handing his wife a cup, David began to gaze at his son without saying a word.
After a while, Anna couldn’t handle it anymore and gave David a gentle push. Clearing his throat, David began to speak, “Son, you’re very smart, talented, and very studious. You have wisdom that’s far beyond your peers, but your mother and I know that you have a few secrets. Okay! Would you care to share them?”
Needless to say, parents in the western education system cared about their child’s independency. In particular, Charles remarkable show of playing the stock market had made it very hard for either parent to see Charles as a small child.
However, Charles was a little confused still.
His coming and going with other people was something that wasn’t easy to hide. And him having a talent for magic wasn’t even necessary to say. At the age of 11, the Hogwarts admission letter will let his parents know. Moreover, if he had his parents support, then his plans on building his strength and dealing with Lord Voldemort would be a lot easier. The only problem was, would his own parents accept the fact that their child was a wizard?
Humans always feared what they didn’t know. An example to this was Dumbledore’s younger sister Ariana. In her childhood, she had accidentally casted magic in front of three muggles. In the end, the three muggles had been afraid and attacked her. As a result, she had lost control of her magic, destroying her body and driving her insane. The aftereffects was another long story. But to sum things up, those three muggle boys had been the cause of the tragedy of the Dumbledore family.
Just thinking about that event had caused Charles to feel afraid. But David and Anna had truly and sincerely cared and loved for him. Hesitating for a moment, Charles decided to come clean.
In the end, my heart was too soft. Charles had thought.