I dreamt that Arthur put a sky-blue ring, made of the metal typically used for mood rings, on the surface of which read the words ‘Arthur Mesmerising's precious lover' in curly, italic lettering, on the middle finger of my right hand and kissed my hand, telling my he'd give me the real thing after the next part of the story had come true. As Arthur had told me that he wanted more out of the relationship without revealing all the details, he was more mysterious, and indeed irresistible. He'd break away for a second after a kiss and gaze into my eyes with a tender look and I would kiss him to strengthen the bond slowly growing between us which felt most powerful when we were in each other's arms and thus no longer two, but one.
I awoke with tears in my eyes and went to school feeling light-hearted and buoyant.
My happiness was not allowed to last, though, as outside my form room, I found Henry.
"What do you want?" I asked coldly.
"I want you to listen." There was a subtle emphasis on the word ‘listen' that I couldn't quite place my finger on.
"No," I said simply.
"Please listen," he implored.
I turned away from him and crossed my arms.
He came up behind me and murmured in my ear, "Listen."
My thoughts stopped as I tuned into Henry's voice. I was still looking away from him but that made it easier to focus on the words.
"My older brother is dangerous, Harry. You can't trust him. That's all I wanted to say."
I turned around. "I've listened now. And I refuse to accept that Arthur is in any way bad. He's so romantic..."
"He tells you what he knows he wants you to hear. He'll spin sweet stories that are interwoven into reality and while he does this, he'll spin a web that you'll cling to: willingly at first but then out of being forced by him. He wants to control you, Harry."
"I don't believe you," I said simply. "And why should I? You just want me for yourself."
"This isn't about my love for you anymore: this is about how your life turns out."
"And you don't have anything to do with it. So get out of my face."
Henry turned around and wandered off, looking disconsolate. It hadn't escaped my attention that he'd called me Harry again and I was very suspicious when I thought about the way I'd listened to him when I hadn't wanted to.
He was in really dangerous territory. I hoped he wasn't careless for his own sake.
It's no use. I'm going to have to hypnotise her. I'm going to have to risk everything, even her safety (the very thing I'm worried about), in the hope that things will change. I know exactly why Arthur wants her and I have to comfort myself with the knowledge that Harriet would hate him too if she knew what he was slowly doing to her.
I've seen the follow-up to the pendant, the ring stating that Harriet will be Arthur's precious lover. That's no gift: that, along with the right suggestion, binds a girl to the person whose name is inscribed upon the ring and makes her belong to him. Arthur is slowly preparing more and more ‘presents' like these and will also use all of his powers to make it so Harriet belongs completely to him. He will turn her against everyone else except him so that he's the one she always runs to (willingness made the bonds tighter), make her believe his love is phenomenal, singular and magical by inducing deep trances (and taking inspiration from her imagination, her ideas about the perfect lover); and making everything so much more delightful by showering her with it - as well as pretending he adores her - while all the time leading her to those oceans of ‘bliss' where he will gently push her head underwater and hold it there until she drowns in it and only has eyes for him. He will be so ‘perfect' that she will feel incapable and unimportant without him, take away her self-esteem and replace it with utter dependence on him.
I see it clearly: the final suggestion which will totally destroy her.
"You are nothing," Arthur will say triumphantly.
"I am nothing," Harriet will repeat and believe.
"You're nothing ... without me."
And there will Harriet's story end. She might as well be dead when that happens because she certainly won't be the person everyone knows any longer.
I am filled with a paralysing terror that chills me to the core. I love Harriet which makes the fear even worse.
The only choice I have is to hypnotise her. Who wouldn't make the same decision in my position? I wish there were some other way...
First things first, I'll have to undo the instruction Harriet gave me to avoid hypnotising her. I'll pay a visit to my older brother Ryan and ask him to help me. I hope I won't find it difficult to resist temptation after this particular use of my powers.
I feel sick.
At lunch time, Henry came up to me and wordlessly took my hand. I tried to resist him as he pulled me but he gave me a good long stare that rendered me compliant.
He took me to the bottom of the field, commanded me to sit down and stay there, and sat before me looking depressed.
"Arthur wants to own you," he said. "You have to end the relationship with him."
"No," I murmured, finding myself not fully compliant as I had previously thought.
"I can't lie to you, Harriet: my brother is going to destroy you."
"No," I repeated insistently.
Henry's eyes blazed. "He is."
Henry looked stressed. "He'll force your will!"
"He ... won't!" I said, struggling as a pain in my head tried to tell me I had to obey Henry.
"Oh, Harry, you are going to hate me for this," Henry murmured, before chanting, "Captivate, mesmerise, enchant and hypnotise; charm and anaesthetise the will beyond these eyes."
I lurched forwards violently and found myself lying on my stomach on the ground, transfixed by Henry's eyes, in the irises of which were dancing leaves.
Henry leant down and whispered in my ear, "Your will is mine."