On top of his forgetfulness, Neville’s problem was having too little self-esteem. Because of his parents’ matter, Mrs. Longbottom’s excessive expectations, and his own bad magic talent, he had been suffering from losses and self-doubt, unaware of the hidden courage in his heart.
But he was to grow up slowly as time went by.
Evan and Hermione did not tell anyone about Neville’s parents. If he wanted them to know, he would had told them himself.
Ron recovered the next day and was discharged from the hospital. Evan, Harry and Hermione also went to the Burrow that afternoon. The Weasleys welcomed them warmly.
For the rest of the Christmas holidays, Evan had a very good time.
Since Sirius’s incident, he had not been as relaxed as he was at the moment, with no conspiracies, Dark Wizards, vampires, or any threat of death to face.
He discussed Muggle Machines with Mr Weasley, and followed Fred and George to work on new joke products in secrecy.
On the first day of the New Year, Sirius also took some of them to see the match between Puddlemere United and Wimbourne Wasps.
The game was held deep in the mountains, and everyone planned to sleep in the wild for that night, but the Puddlemere United‘s Seeker caught the golden Snitch in only twenty minutes.
Although the game was short, it was still very exciting.
The caliber of technique and the high level of confrontation were all higher than what Evan was used to watch, and the teams’ performance kept his eyes wide open.
The fans of Wimbourne Wasps all wore yellow and black wizard robes, and a wasp was sewn on their chest and back. Whenever a player scored a goal, they made a wave, with a rhythmic buzz in a spectacularly coordinated manner.
When the Seeker of Puddlemere United seized the Snitch to end the game, the entire Quidditch pitch sounded their team anthem “Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here.” The cheerful melody echoed throughout the audience, and even Evan muttered a few words along with them.
For fans like Harry and Ron, the game that ended so fast was certainly not satisfying.
Evan didn’t care about this. He paid attention to the setting of the Quidditch pitch, the advertisements placed around it, and the souvenirs, badges and the like of the two teams sold by the staff. He was considering whether it was possible to refer to these experiences in the Hogwarts Quidditch competition.
In addition to these things, Evan spent most of the time in the shop in Diagon Alley, where everyone worked together to clean up and repair the store.
This matter was mainly handled by Lupin, Sirius and Mrs. Weasley. The House-elves Dobby and Kreacher helped. Every morning after breakfast in the Burrow, Evan and the others would fly to Diagon Alley to help.
According to Evan’s plan, the ground floor of the store was to be mainly used to sell Weasley’s joke products.
Therefore, Fred and George were the most active people. They designed and decorated the place according to their own ideas. If it wasn’t for Mrs. Weasley, they would have definitely stayed up in the store for a couple of nights.
Although Evan did not participate himself, he was not idle.
He and Hermione wrote a lot of promotional articles, used two sections in “Hogwarts Magic” newspaper to publicize the store that was about to open in a week, and even bought ads in the “Daily Prophet”.
With everyone’s efforts, the store opened successfully on the last day of the Christmas holidays.
The ground floor of the store was full of exquisite goods, that were both numerous and diverse.
They were all made by the Hogwarts wizards, and Evan had contacted and collected them with his classmates through owls and Dobby in the past few days.
Among them, Fred and George made most of the joke products.
With the persuasion of Evan and Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley finally reluctantly agreed to let Fred and George continue their research on Weasley’s magic tricks, provided that she got to check those things for safety and that the matter wasn’t affecting their studies.
Mrs. Weasley quickly found a helper. She and Hermione joined forces to rigorously sift through the joke products that Fred and George were preparing to sell, such as Dungbombs, Skiving Snackboxes, Canary Creams, and all of the things that were listed as prohibited.
Most of the joke products currently placed in the store were mild, not dangerous, and very hygienic.
Fred and George had complained more than once to Evan about this, saying it affected their mischievous inspiration.
However, they did not give up the development of other mischievous products that they themselves called “really valuable”, but moved underground.
Fred and George were going to work hard and save money and then open a joke shop on their own.
In addition to the various things made by the young wizards, in the corner of the ground floor, Evan also deliberately opened up a small place to sell Muggle items, such as light bulbs, video cameras, game consoles and other products that wizards rarely touched.
Evan didn’t know how it would work. He was ready to try to sell them.
These things were very practical, and should be very interesting to some people. And from Evan’s understanding of wizards, they would not go to the Muggle world just to buy them.
On the other side of the ground floor, there was a spacious wooden staircase leading to the first and second floors of the store. It was the headquarters of the Hogwarts Magic newspaper, mainly run by Lupin and used as a place for daily newspaper operation and advertising contacts.
In order to celebrate the store’s smooth opening, Evan also printed a special issue featuring the facts of the event and the experience of Sirius when he fled.
He even got inspiration from Lockhart to persuade Sirius to sign up autographs in the store on the opening day to attract more public.
Despite all the preparations, Evan was caught off guard by the number of customers waiting outside the store on the first day of business.
Many wizards gathered outside the store, and there were thousands of people, including many foreign wizards, almost all of whom came for Sirius.
After all, the case of Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew was the hottest topic in the magic world, especially since it was related to Voldemort’s secret. Everyone was very interested.
Two days before the store opened, the Wizengamot, after a lengthy trial, finally sentenced Pettigrew to life in Azkaban.
Evan heard the grapevine from Mr. Weasley that most of the Wizengamot members had planned to make Pettigrew’s verdict to be kissed by a Dementor, but there were many peace organizations outside demonstrating and writing to the Ministry of Magic against such a cruel verdict.
In the current low support rate, Fudge worried that this incident would cause unnecessary trouble, and he finally decided to adopt a more conservative judgment by keeping Peter Pettigrew in Azkaban forever.
After all, such a judgment had a precedent to follow. After Voldemort’s fall, many evil Dark wizards were also punished the same way.
To Fudge, what was most important was dodging being questioned by the masses.
It was said that after Peter Pettigrew heard the judgment, he collapsed on his knees in an instant, like a child, crying loudly on the ground.
Not out of fear, but out of overwhelming joy.
He didn’t expect to escape death, and Azkaban, no matter how bad, was better than losing his life or having his soul sucked away by a Dementor.
He even had a bit of illusions about the day when Voldemort would return.
For all the Death Eaters who were trapped in Azkaban, as long as they were alive, there was hope!
T/N: Hey there, this is Translating_Wizard. I hope you like the story so far and are happy with the releases, I just posted chapter 354 in Patreon! If you’re interested in supporting me and reading more chapters, hit the button below ^^