A Bend In Time Book 1 Chapter 14

Volume 1 Chapter 14 Diagon Alley

With a yawn, Rowan stretches as Severus is unable to stay still from excitement. In the front seat, Reginald drives an enchanted car to the Leaky Cauldron, where they had already agreed to meet with the Evans couple and Lily. Despite Reginald's terrible driving skills, Reginald managed to safely arrive at the Leaky Cauldron with zero fatalities.

However, their ride wasn't yet over for half a block away, Reginald managed to pull into a parking spot between two cars. Somehow, the cars move back as enchanted vehicle neatly squeezed between the already parked vehicle and slides to a stop. Trembling, Severus and Rowan shakily regain their bearings as Reginald reaches into his pocket and suspiciously looks at the muggle money in his hand.

"Now, I just need to put these muggle coins in that strange metal contraption to pay for my parking spot, right?" Reginald huffed. "What a strange muggle idea to ask one to pay for one's parking spot?" Reginald ruefully shakes his head in disagreement.

Like trembling newborn fawns, Rowan and Severus unsteadily emerge from the car as Reginald with great curiosity pushes the muggle coins into the slots. Seeing the little timer on the meter change, Reginald nods in approval. "Well, off we go," Reginald boisterously said as Rowan and Severus follow at a gentler pace.

Despite feeling unwell, Severus is the first to spot a fair young girl with ginger hair and emerald eyes, Lily Evans. In front of a large book shop and a record shop, Lily eagerly awaits with her parents, Mr. Evans, a ginger man with light-colored eyes and Mrs. Evans, a light-haired woman with emerald eyes. Severus eagerly waves and wobblily rushes past Reginald to meet with Lily in the middle of the sidewalk.

With Severus safely out of earshot, Rowan frankly says, "Grandfather, you really should at least try to drive on the correct side of the road."

Reginald shrugs, "It's all the same to me."

"That's exactly the problem," Rowan drily replied as they approached the Evans family. Noticing that Petunia Evans is missing, Rowan frowns knowing that the bitter seed of envy had already been planted.

Reginald Prince nods in courtesy to the couple and says, "Greetings, I am Reginald Prince and I believe you have already met my two grandchildren, Rowan, and Severus Prince. Please stick closely and it will be my pleasure to be your guide."

The Evan couple glance at each other with relief in their eyes as Mr. Evans says, "Thank you, Mr. Prince, please lead the way."

"Prince?" Lily whispered in confusion to Severus.

"It's grandfather's surname. Mum had us take it after we left Spinner's End," Severus proudly explained as Lily nods her head in understanding.

The Evans couple suddenly blinks in surprise and fear at finding there is a seedy pub neatly sandwiched between the book shop and the record shop that hadn't been there before. Mrs. Evans firmly clutches her purse that much tighter as if afraid of being robbed. "Not to worry," Reginald hastily said. "Only wizards or those that have been invited can see the Leaky Cauldron." The Evans couple relaxes a tiny bit as they study the small pub sandwiched between a record shop and a large bookshop.

Reginald leads the couple into the tiny, grubby-looking bar as a hunched back bartender wipes the bar with a questionable rag, while a bizarre assortment of customers drank alcoholic brews. Tom, the old bartender nods to them as Reginald leads the way to Diagon Alley. With a tap of his wand three up and two across a small hole appears. The hole widens until a large archway forms leading to a cobbled street on the other side.

On the other side, the sun shines brightly on a stack of cauldrons for sale. Severus and Lily including the Evans couple stare in awe as Rowan just wrinkles her nose at the apothecary scent from nearby. Reginald swiftly motions for them to follow and leads the way to Gringotts Wizarding Bank to have the Evans couple exchange their muggle money for wizarding currency. Along the way, Reginald answers simple questions for the couple that allows them to feel more at ease with the magical atmosphere.

Rowan closely follows behind their grandfather and keeps a firm grip on the coat sleeves of Lily of Severus. The two of them gawk in shock as they try to take in all the astonishing sights. Along the way, they see a group of boys pressing their noses against a window with broomsticks. Keeping a firm grip on Severus and Lily, Rowan drags them past the many shops until they finally come to a stop before a snowy white building that towered over the rest of the shops.

Standing at the front of the burnished bronze doors in a uniform of scarlet and gold is a pointy-eared figure shorter than the three of them. Lily and Severus gawk in shock as Rowan coughs and softly says, "Goblins." The goblin at the door has a swarthy, clever face, a pointed beard, and very long fingers and feet. The goblin in uniform bows and allows them inside to reveal a second pair of silver doors.

Enter, stranger, but take heed

Of what awaits the sin of greed,

For those who take, but do not earn,

Must pay most dearly in their turn.

So, if you seek beneath our floors

A treasure that was never yours,

Thief, you have been warned, beware,

Of finding more than treasure here.

Lily shivers at the words as Severus gulps at the words. Rowan takes note of the area between the doors as another pair of goblins in a uniform bowed and opens the silver doors to reveal a vast marble hall. The Evans couple, Lily, and Severus are astonished at the sight of hundreds of goblins sitting on high stools behind long counters, scribbling in ledgers, weighing coins on brass scales, examining precious stones through eyeglasses, while other goblins were going in and out of hundreds of doors leading people in and out.

Lightly coughing, Reginald gathers their attention and says, "Now, the Evans couple if you would line up at a counter, one of the goblins will attend you and aid in the exchange of currency."

Reginald pauses and looks at the twins. "Wait for me right here, I have to head into the Prince Vault to grab some change." The Evans couple worriedly lines up as Reginald nods at them as promptly jumps the line to the indignation of some as he hands over a silver key to the goblin in charge, before being promptly taken by another goblin through a pair of doors to be taken to the Prince Vault.

The three children remain behind with the Evans couple until they are attended by a free goblin. The goblin stares at the Evans couple as Rowan motions for them to go forward. Taking their cue, the Evans couple steps forward as the goblin crossly says, "Well?"

"We've come for currency exchange," Mr. Evans quietly said as he took out a bag filled with wads of cash from his inner pocket. The goblin swiftly counts the money, before using a strange sort of tool to count, before promptly counting out the correct number of galleons, silver sickles, and bronze knuts. The goblin hands over a large enough pouch filled with the correct amount as Mr. Evans carefully takes the bag.

"Next!" The goblin snapped as the Evans couple hurriedly move aside as the three children follow them. The Evans couple rather lost glance around as Rowan says, "Grandfather will be back soon, he just needed to head down to the family vault to pick up some change."

The Evans couple nods their heads in understanding, but despite the explanation they still feel out of sorts, carrying a bag filled with gold, silver, and bronze coins. To their delight only minutes after, Reginald emerges with a flushed cheek and a spring in his step. "What a rush!" Reginald cheerfully thought to himself as he entered Gringotts's lobby.

Reginald swiftly makes his way over to the Evans couple and the children. "Were you properly able to make the currency exchange?" Reginald asked.

"Yes, it was wasn't too bad," Mr. Evans replied.

"Good," Reginald said. "Now stick close, we'll need to keep a firm pace to finish shopping for all the children's school supplies." The Evans couple nods in understanding and reaches for Lily's hand to keep a firm grip on her. Reginald does the say as he holds out his two hands to the twins. Rowan causally takes his right hand, while Severus shyly takes his left hand. With a warm feeling, Reginald Prince and the Evans couple set off with the children in tow.