Disclaimer: Harry Potter and his world are the inestimable creation of J.K. Rowling. I am a trespasser, playing for my amusement (and hopefully yours).
Chapter 3 - Expected Letters
By Gateway Girl
Harry was woken from a short sleep by a pecking at his window. Uncle Vernon had put a block above the window so it opened only enough for Hedwig to be slipped in and out. Harry had to stick his arm out, allow her to land on that, then help her in. Today, however, the owl that woke him was carrying a large package which made this harder. He managed to rest the package on the windowsill, so the owl could let go of it, get the package in before it fell, and coax the unfamiliar owl through the narrow space under the window.
Because it was nearing the time that Aunt Petunia would come wake him, Harry concealed the package beneath the loose floorboard without even examining it. When it was safely stashed for a safer time, he opened the letter.
To our most illustrious partner, Greetings!
The real world is treating us well! We have not yet made money, but we haven't yet used all our reserves, which our fellow merchants tell us is stunningly good for a first-year business. One of those fellows, the manager at Zonko's, is eager to carry some of our product line, and we are negotiating a mutually agreeable deal with him. Call us about your first Quidditch game, and we'll arrange to make a delivery to Hogsmeade that weekend!
The majority of our business is currently by owl, but we have rented some space in Diagon Alley. (No, nothing Mum would be ashamed of. We were finally able to explore Knockturn Alley, of course -- a disappointment, really. None of it was truly bril, though bits were rather disgusting.) It's mostly production, with a tiny retail section -- little more than a cupboard with a window to the production area. Floo over or call by "Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes" (no stuttering!) and we'll give you a tour.
(and hit you for more money had been written and crossed out after this.)
We enclose a few experimental items, with mostly accurate explanations, for your enjoyment. Perhaps your sweet cousin would like some! (We recommend those labeled in green.) As always, any encouragement you can give your [mindless fans crossed out] schoolmates to order more is greatly appreciated.
Your faithful servants,
Gred and Forge Weasley
Harry frowned. It seemed unlikely the twins would go to all that trouble while playing a joke on him, especially considering that they were asking him for favors and seemed nervous that they would need to ask him for more.
He was distracted from this thought by the arrival of Pig. Pig brought a card, present, and homemade shortbread from Ron. Harry stashed the present, still wrapped, but he had not been allowed to eat dinner the day before, and the smell of shortbread teamed up with his hunger to get the better of his caution. He managed two pieces before he heard his sound of his locks being undone.
Harry thought quickly. He did not have time to get the shortbread under the floor safely, and his aunt was almost certain to smell that he had food. He left half the shortbread out for a sacrifice, and shoved the rest under his blankets. It was painful to watch his aunt take the shortbread he still had out, and worse yet to be told he didn't need breakfast, but she did not look for more. Perhaps she wouldn't think of it. Harry took the list of today's tasks from his angry aunt, and fled to the bathroom.
He washed his face (twice, in a doomed attempt to feel more alert) and combed his hair.
It stayed in place.
Harry stared into the mirror. His hair was black and fine, with a slight wave to the longer locks. It didn't look any different ... except that none of it was sticking up. He shook his head. His hair flew up in the usual way ... then settled, almost, as if requesting a bit of help with the last bit. He ran a comb over it. It stayed down.
"Oh shit," he whispered.
It was then he regretted the early-morning letter to Ron.
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