• Published 4th Apr 2017
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A World Divided By Magic - Ocerra

Magic is introduced into the world from Equestria, drawing the attention of those who would seek to keep it secret.

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Chapter 5, Diagon Alley

Chapter Five
Diagon Alley

Sunset felt guilty as the three walked away from the scene. It may not have been them exactly who had caused it, but she still somehow felt partially responsible. It must have shown on her face, since Dumbledore addressed her a moment later. "You would be surprised how often an incident like this occurs in a wand shop," he mused, "The owner has become quite proficient at cleaning up the mess. It's become a requirement of a sort..." Sunset didn't exactly feel like the words were particularly comforting. She just felt nervous now for when she and Rarity now had to shop for a wand. Not that she would admit as much. Minutes passed as the group found themselves entering a popular shop by the name of "Flourish and Blotts". It appeared to be the go to store for books, Sunset noted to herself. The store was jammed full of books of all sorts; excepting a small section which lay seemingly empty, conspicuously labeled, "The Invisible Book of Invisibility". She resisted the increasingly powerful impulse to approach the section and feel around the empty seeming shelf to see if there were, indeed, books there. Luckily, Sunset didn't have to fight the urge for long, as the manager of the store caught sight of the group quickly and hurried over to them, smiling widely.

"Professor Dumbledore!" the man greeted them jovially, "What brings you to this little hole in the wall?"

"We're in need of some last minute shopping, if you wouldn't mind grabbing us two sets of books for first year students?" Dumbledore requested lightly, sending the man scurrying around the shop, amassing an impressively large stack of books in his arms in moments.

"Last minute, indeed!" he chattered, efficiently moving from book to book, "Why... doesn't the train leave tomorrow? Well... you wouldn't be the first, either. Why, just today I had several other pairs come in, requesting the same books." He laughed to himself, throwing another few books onto the stack that started to pile over his head. "You'd think people would be more prepared attending such a prestigious school..." Sunset sighed in irritation, and tried her best to tone him out. She hated chatterboxes. Dumbledore seemed to notice her mood, winking and smiling apologetically. Luckily, the manager of the building worked as quickly as he talked, and Dumbledore was paying for the books only a few minutes later.

"Well, that should do it for us," Dumbledore concluded hastily, "As you said, we haven't much time, and still have quite a deal of shopping left to do. Thank you for you assistance." He ushered the girls out of the shop before the man had the opportunity to start another conversation. Safely back outside, Rarity and Sunset took a few moments to put away their books. Sunset finished minutes faster, as Rarity had to take the time and effort to climb inside of her bag to put away the materials. As much as Rarity didn't seem to mind, Sunset couldn't help but think that would be a tedious experience to go through, each time you needed to grab a book.

Finished organizing their books, the group set out to the streets again to continue shopping. They stopped by several more stores, grabbing a small assortment of goods at each. Their bag and cart began filling up with various supplies like vials, reagents, paper, quills, scales, a telescope, and even a cauldron. Each were small purchases, not requiring more than a few minutes for each stop. The stores themselves were just as small, even being a booth on the side of the street at times. Regardless, they efficiently worked their way through the shopping list, eventually winding up in front of a large boutique. "Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions" was displayed neatly in gold letters over the display window, showcasing several fashionable outfits.

"A boutique?" Rarity questioned, seeming relatively confused at the newest stop, "We're browsing for a new ensemble?" To be honest, Sunset thought she would have had more enthusiasm than that. Wasn't she the one obsessed with clothing and dressing up in silly outfits for every occasion? Dumbledore took it all in stride, having the two leave their carts outside the shop once more, and leading the group inside.

"It is required for first year students to have three plain work robes, a plain pointed hat, a winter cloak with a silver fastening; all of which must be black," He recited in a practiced manner, "Furthermore, students will also need protective gloves of dragon hide or similar quality..." He led the group toward the back of the shop to a section of the store holding nothing but plain black attire. There was a noticeable difference in style from the rest of the shop, even for Sunset who didn't feel particularly knowledgeable about fashion. Living the majority of her life as a unicorn from another dimension, who rarely wore clothes, tended to make discerning fashion slightly more difficult.

"I can't wear this," Rarity gasped in horror, "The cut is hardly flattering. It would just hang off of me as if I were wearing a potato sack!"

"It won't look nearly as bad as you think it will." Dumbledore comforted her, "All the other students will be wearing the same. I assure you, none will think about the style of the robe."

None... except one, Sunset noted, watching the dilemma play out on Rarity's face.

"I..." Rarity began, clearly still conflicted, "Surely there is another option...?" She peered up at Dumbledore with hope radiating from her.

"I suppose if a student were to... show up... with all of her school requirements, I'm sure no teacher would question the methods. Not that someone in my position would be aware of something like that occurring." He glanced over at Rarity, giving her a coy smile. "I'm sure if a student were interested, they could learn much about what is necessary in a fine wizarding robe by speaking with the lady who runs this establishment..." He chuckled slightly as Rarity scampered off toward the register excitedly before turning his attention to Sunset, "Now... I believe we have some shopping to do..." Sunset wasn't nearly as difficult to work with, only needing to find a robe that fit her comfortably before she was satisfied. After grabbing a few more pairs of robes, a winter cloak, a silly looking hat, and a few pairs of protective gloves, the two made their way to join Rarity at the register.

"-simply great that a beautiful young witch, like yourself, is showing such an interest in fashion," they overheard the lady behind the register say, coming into the conversation partway through. "Most young witches and wizards nowadays are only interested in action and adventure," she continued, a small amount of scorn seeping through her pleasant seeming attitude. On the counter between her and Rarity lay two bolts of black fabric, an incredibly fancy silver buckle, odd looking shears, and a spool of glittering silver thread. Noticing that she had customers waiting, she concluded the transaction quickly. Rarity paid using a generous portion of her stipend for her tailoring supplies, before heading back to her cart to start organizing her purchases. "Dumbledore!" the lady greeted him in surprise, "What brings you to my establishment?"

"Madam Malkin," he nodded to her politely in greeting, "I am assisting a young student in need of some last minute shopping." Sunset lay out the array of clothing on the counter, earning the scrutinizing appraisal of the lady behind the counter.

"Assisted by the headmaster himself..." she mused, bagging up and tallying the cost quickly and efficiently, wisely keeping any future comments to herself.

Headmaster, huh... Sunset thought to herself, she really wasn't surprised at all about his fame at this point. It was nice to finally know what his occupation in this world though. There has to be more to it than that. The headmaster of a simple school won't turn the heads of everyone in the street. She frowned to herself, finding herself even more puzzled than she was before. Actually, now that I think about it... why did the headmaster of a school travel halfway across the world only to take them back across the world with him? It makes almost no sense... Luckily she wasn't needed for the purchase, since she was lost in her own thoughts. When she finally took notice of the situation, Dumbledore was leading her outside to reunite with Rarity, who was waiting patiently for their return.

Dumbledore knuckled at the small of his back as they moved down the street once more, finally showing some signs of his age. "Only one last stop. Unless you'd like a familiar?" he addressed Sunset.

"No, not really," Sunset sighed regretfully, "I'm really not much of an animal person." She had briefly considered lying about wanting one, if only to procrastinate on going inside the building where they might blow up, but she was tired too. It had to have been sometime during the evening now, judging by the location of the sun, meaning they had probably spent around six hours so far shopping and hauling around their cart. Dumbledore merely fixed her with an icy stare in response.

"Obtaining a wand is not nearly as painful of an experience as some would make it out to be," he commented absently, causing Sunset to give him a dumbfounded expression. She really needed to work on her body language if she was that easy to read. "It's as simple as showing up and following a few simple instructions," he added comfortingly, as he led them up to the shop which had, only several hours ago, exploded. Somehow during their absence, the shop had returned to how it had looked previously, which is to say it looked like a broken down hole in the wall... again. Even the small sign that read "Ollivanders" was faint and unassuming. "I trust the two of you will be able to obtain your wands without me?" he questioned suddenly, drawing worried frowns from the two girls, "I fear there is something that requires my attention elsewhere. I will be back in time to meet you when you have your wands."

"Why, of course," Rarity responded confidently, "The shop is right in front of us. We can hardly get lost now..." She glanced over and gave Sunset a warm smile.

"I..." Sunset began hesitantly, before pretending to pick up some of Rarity's confidence, "Yeah. We'll be fine."

"Excellent," Dumbledore smiled at them comfortingly before he began walking toward a small alleyway. "I'll be back before the two of you are out." He disappeared into the alley, leaving Rarity and Sunset staring after him.

A minute of silence passed as the two of them turned their attention to the small, yet strangely intimidating store. Sunset was starting to get a few second thoughts about the whole situation. The two of them were completely clueless as to what was even happening, or how the world even worked anymore. Until only a few days ago, Sunset hadn't realized magic even existed in this world, and now the two of them were supposed to wander, unsupervised, into a shady looking shop, which only hours ago, had exploded.

"No point in waiting, is there, darling?" Rarity broke the silence, taking the initiative to lead a mentally cursing Sunset into the building.