Chapter Seven: The Party

Several hours after the confrontation in the study, the party had begun.  The grownups were dancing on the floor to the Wicked Sisters, and the children were flying above the marquee playing quidditch.  Harry was cutting through the air on an old Nimbus 2000 model when Mary Chang nearly knocked him off his broom.  Being a chaser was the easiest position in the world for Harry, but his competition was pretty good.  He watched bemusedly as Mary twisted around on her seat and sarcastically waved at him with her free hand and the quaffle safely cradled in her other.  If he darted after her, he would never make it in time to retrieve the ball from her.  So he started to climb upwards at the ancient broom’s maximum speed, nearly colliding with Sebastian Longbottom, until the clouds were below him.  The afternoon sunlight made the tops of the clouds bright white and Sebastian’s indignation all the more laughable.

He could easily see through the clouds with his enhanced sight, making him glad his grandfather, Remus Lupin, was a werewolf.  He saw upwards of thirty kids flying around the quidditch field on all sorts of different brooms, going in all different directions.  Some were corkscrewing or looping through the air, others were darting back and forth from one side of the field to the other, and others were just sitting there watching the action like he was.  Being a chaser was his best bet at running into a certain girl playing the game down there.  Harry’s eyes followed her movements through clouds over a hundred meters away.  She was easily one of the best fliers he’d ever seen, with the exception of the Potter kids.  Her name was Mary Chang, and her sarcastic waving made the saying ‘butterflies in my stomach’ seem quaint in comparison to what he felt for her.

With a crazy plan, whose sole intention was to impress Mary, he launched downwards and waited until he broke through the bottom of the cloud before he did the riskiest move a quidditch player could ever do: he jumped off his broom and went sailing towards the goal.  His reactive werewolf brain did the basic math and he smiled; if Mary stayed in a straight line, he would land on top of her.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw his broomstick descending gracefully to the ground, waiting to catch him in case he missed.  Several people stopped what they were doing to watch him fall towards the quaffle carrier.  He tightened his arms and legs against his body to decrease his body’s surface area and minimize air resistance and fell at a satisfyingly alarming rate.

Her naturally silky black hair whipped about her determined face as she reached the goal and took aim.  Harry’s quick reflexes allowed him to adjust his body accordingly to land neatly behind her.  Her throw would have been flawless if Harry hadn’t slammed down and catapulted her through the air; Harry forgot about things like momentum and inertia when he made this hair brained scheme.  As she became airborne without support beneath her, strange confidence spread across her beautiful face.  She twisted around in midair and threw the quaffle anyway.  Respect filled harry as he watched her petite body twirl gracefully through the air as if she were dancing with the adults.  The inaccurate shot flew off into the distance and Harry nearly fell off Mary’s Firebolt in surprise.  Adrenaline shot through his body as he shot forward to catch her.  In slow motion, he reached his toned arms out and she collided with his palms unceremoniously.

Harry held onto her tiny form as tightly as he could while he slowly descended to the ground.  She was shaking, whether from embarrassment or terror he didn’t know.  He dismounted her broom and stepped into the marquee and set her down quietly.  Standing up a bit wobbly, she looked at him with a blank face for a few seconds before an expression of absolute rage filled her face.  With her thin jaw clenched and dark eyes narrowed, she said quietly, “Did you mean to come off as an idiot just now, or was that an accident?”   He looked down at his feet in humiliation.  Then she continued, “It was just a game!  You don’t have to risk the lives of people around you to further your goals, you know!  And another thing; DON’T TOUCH MY FIREBOLT EVER AGAIN!”

Everybody in the tent stopped dancing and stared at the two children.  Then Lord Potter and an older asian woman walked over to them.  Lord Potter turned to the woman and said, “Well Cho, it seems our grandkids are fighting just like we did.”  Harry looked at the woman with curiosity burning up his insides.  Who was she?

The woman smiled politely and said, “Well, maybe the end result will be different for them.”, with a strange twinkle in her eyes.  To that, Lord Potter smiled again before Lady Ginevra Potter walked over to them with just as much amusement in her eyes, though Harry got the feeling it was over something different altogether.  What history did these three have?

Lord Potter cut off any questions Harry was about to ask by saying, “Well I guess now it’s time to cut the cake and open presents.”  Then he clapped his hands and the music stopped, the people who’d just lost interest in the quarreling children and started dancing stopped looking exasperated, and the other kids began to flock down from the heavens.

Harry walked mechanically towards the giant cake feeling empty inside.  Mary thought he was an idiot, and not in the endearing way.  He sat down glumly as the cake magically floated into the air and the candles lit on fire.  He blew them up to the tumultuous applause of his friends and family, but felt no euphoria whatsoever.  As the massive white cake’s top tier split up and served itself to party guests, he felt a strange tickling in the back of his head.  He slowly opened his presents; he got a moleskin pouch, a pair of omnioculars, peruvian instant darkness powder, decoy detonators, extendable ears, weasley’s wildfire whiz-bangs, a skiving snackbox, and a sneakoscope.  He put everything in his moleskin pouch and continued to feel a peculiar itch inside his head.

As the party finally started to die down hours after the quidditch incident and people began to leave, he walked up to a surprised Mary and said, “I’m sorry, what I did was stupid and immature.  I did it because... well... I wanted to impress you.”  Then he felt a strange tug pulling through him, calling her to his side.  It was a wonderful feeling, like he was connecting with her on an intimate level without even touching her.  Was that his veela powers or imagination?

The anger melted off her face and she gained a dreamlike quality to her face, as if she were in a trance.  Her pupils dilated, nearly swallowing up the rest of her small, dark eyes.  Her mouth was slightly open and her high cheekbones were fluidly quivering with emotion.  She moved closer to him and stared up into his eyes, and in a hopeful voice, she said, “Why would you want to do that?”  The evening sun was drenching her face, making it pop to him in the last light of the day.

He knew the answer she wanted to hear, the direct and honest one.  But he suddenly felt like having some fun with her.  “I think you know exactly why...”  His thin lips curled upwards at the corners and were spread apart just enough to show off his flawlessly straight, pearlescent teeth.  She stared into the depths of his luminescent cerulean irises as he entrancing her.  She leaned towards him and they were both less than an inch away from each other when suddenly Mrs. Chang grabbed Mary by the arm and pulled her away.

“What have I told you about boys...” began he old woman as the moved further and further away from him.  They were headed to the gate, and his chest felt infinitely lighter than it had earlier in the day when he yelled at his siblings.  He couldn’t bare to watch her go, mostly because the sun was setting right next to the gate and was nearly blinding him, but also because he knew he would miss her too much until they were both on the Hogwarts Express.  A small, shy smile embedded itself on him and nothing would ever take it away.  He walked towards the mansion while whistling a tune.  Tonight he would sleep easily, and tomorrow, he would go to Diagon Alley with the others to get his school supplies.

Later that night, as Gerard stood outside his door, Harry tried to fall asleep in his bed as soon as his head hit the pillow but couldn’t.  Thoughts of Mary and him being together, thinking of a way to apologize to his siblings, and thoughts of Hogwarts filled his head and made sleep nearly impossible.  Maybe tonight he wouldn’t relive the horror of his parents being murdered before his eyes like all those nights in the past.  Fawkes was with him, and that meant that he would be protected from nightmares, but these weren’t ordinary nightmares.  He suffered through them even after taking potions for dreamless sleep.  Something was deeply troubling him if potions and charms couldn’t make the problem go away.  

He heard the motors of a patrolling security robot rumble past his door  as his eyes slowly closed and he yawned one final time before sucumbing to sleep.  He felt the itch in the back of his head one last time.  Uncaring, he rolled over and allowed himself to lose consciousness.  Sticking out of the back of his head was a silver thread of memory that was nearly indistinguishable amongst the blond hairs.  It slowly slithered into his head now that his mental defense was down and he couldn’t fight off the memories, knowledge, and personality that it contained.

That night, Lord Voldemort was reborn in the mind of his nemesis’s own family member.  However, there was one flaw with the possession: Harry’s werewolf enhanced brain subconsciously detected the intrusion and began barring Voldemort’s way...

This boy is special, capable of detecting Voldemort in his sleep and fighting him off.  He was curious how this boy would’ve fared against him in the place of bigger Harry.  The boy is one of the most accomplished natural occlumens he’d ever come up against, almost as if his brain wasn’t completely human.  Maybe that infernal phoenix had something to do with it.  For now he would have to settle as appearing to be Harry’s conscience or a split personality.  He would bide his time until Harry’s guard is completely down then squash him like a bug.

The End

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