"I said stop!"
"I demand to know how you woke up!"
Henry frowned. "I don't know. You had better let Harriet go or..."
"Or what?" Andrew interrupted, sneering. "I'm the strongest hypnotist in the household: you could hardly use your powers on me."
Henry suddenly looked shocked as if he'd realised something.
"Oh no," he whispered, seemingly to himself. He was staring into space with a horrified expression on his face.
"What?" Andrew asked in exasperation.
"You induced the sleep, didn't you?"
"No," Andrew replied sarcastically. "It was the Magical Fairy."
Henry was too preoccupied with his thoughts to respond to the sarcasm. After a few minutes, he came back to the room and murmured "I'm the strongest hypnotist in the household."
"What?!" Andrew and I exclaimed simultaneously.
Henry was looking troubled. "It's true. I always wondered why I could send people off to sleep by saying our surname when I was young."
"Young? As in younger than thirteen?" Andrew visibly paled.
Henry nodded, looking distressed.
Andrew gulped and backed away from me.
"You can go," he said, looking slightly frightened, something I'd never seen him look before.
I got up and walked out the room. I lingered outside, however, curious.
"Why have you never said anything like this before?" I heard Andrew hiss.
"Because I never realised," Henry murmured. "And even if I had, I wouldn't have wanted to do anything about it - it's so hard being this responsible, I couldn't become more so."
"Well, why are you giving me orders? You have to decide whether you're going to assume authority or not."
Henry sounded suddenly determined. "I will assume authority. Your reign of tyranny has gone on long enough - our brothers deserve a break. And though my life will become so much harder, at least they won't suffer."
"Are you sure you don't want to ... share this role?"
"No, Andrew, I won't let you continue to terrorise us. I'll do all right on my own."
"Do you know how difficult it is to resist the temptation to misuse your powers, Henry? I consider myself to have a strong mind yet I surrendered within a year."
"You were never nice!"
"Oh, I was, Henry, you just don't remember. I found out I was the strongest one when I was fifteen and had seen Matt and Ryan develop their powers a year later than I had - Arthur, you, Shaun, Simon and Jack didn't seem to have much potential so I realised the extent of my powers (like you will over the course of this week). At sixteen, I turned dark. Don't think it won't happen to you, Henry: there'll be something you've always wanted and were perfectly capable of getting and when you can no longer bear not having it, you'll take it, thus using a method the decent good guy wouldn't and becoming bad. Can you admit you're totally satisfied with life? Everyone's seen how you've been acting since that day in September - you're unstable and you know it. Your life will be a lot tougher than it used to be, Henry, and instability won't help."
"I won't let you continue to control us!"
"Then don't. But I estimate it will be about a month before you give in and then our brothers will all want me back."
"I'll prove you wrong."
Henry strode out into the corridor, stopped, closed his eyes and massaged one of his temples, and sighed. He looked stressed.
What have I gotten myself into?
There was something different about Henry, I noticed, as he stood there and I waited for him to sort out his crisis. He seemed important ... but I couldn't say why. He also looked ... more handsome. As well as appreciating the fact he'd rescued me, I seemed to admire him. He was someone you should respect, someone with power and ... authority. Was that it? Did he have more authority now?
Henry opened his eyes and frowned at me. "Harriet?"
"Yeah. Are you okay, Henry?"
He nodded. "Yeah, just a little ... blown over. Right, I've got to go and sort out my brothers. Will you be okay going to Arthur's room?"
"Oh, can I come with you?" I had a strange desire to follow him everywhere.
Henry looked confused. "Um, if you really want."
He started walking. Was there some sort of grace or elegance about his movements? I hadn't noticed anything like this before. But then again, a lot seemed to have changed since he'd come into Andrew's room and declared himself the strongest hypnotist in the household.
We first visited Shaun and Simon's bedroom, which was located next to Andrew's. Inside there was a wooden bunk bed. The twins were asleep on the bottom bunk, holding some cards.
Henry tapped their right shoulders, saying "Wake up."
The twins' eyes opened and they looked confused.
"Why did we fall asleep?" they asked Henry who had stepped back.
"It doesn't matter," he replied. "I'll make sure it doesn't happen again."
The twins looked very confused but said nothing as Henry left. I followed him to Jack's room which was between the twins' and his parents' (I caught a glimpse of an expensive-looking double bed).
Henry did what he'd done with Shaun and Simon.
When Jack woke up, however, he didn't look so bemused.
"Must have just drifted off without realising it," he murmured, smiling at Henry. "Was there something you wanted?"
"Er... did you say you wanted to go out and see Mia today?"
"Um, I don't think so," Jack replied, his brow furrowing.
"Oh, sorry - my bad."
"Ah don't worry about it. I don't want to waste the morning sleeping anyway."
Henry came out of the room looking relieved. Then he frowned at me.
"Er, Harriet, why are you looking at me like that?"
"I don't know, like I'm amazing."
"Oh... you're glowing." I had no idea what made me say that but as I said it, I pictured a golden aura around him.
"Um, no I'm not."
"But ... you're radiating ... something. I don't know exactly what. Star quality?"
Henry looked troubled.
"Oh," he murmured. "Well, just try to ignore it. It's alarming - you look slightly hypnotised."
"Maybe I am. I mean, I don't know what's suddenly brought on this appreciation of you, either. Something about you has triggered a reaction from my subconscious."
This is so not what I need right now.
Henry sighed. "Aren't Captivators captivating enough?" he asked himself. To me, he said "If it bothers you, tell me."
And then he walked down the stairs near Andrew's bedroom to the floor on which his, Arthur's, Matt's and Ryan's bedrooms were located. I followed.