The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
- Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)
It took Kiana a few moments before she could look up into his eyes. She expected to find him staring at her with some amount of caution, but his eyes only held curiosity. Harry, being the bolder one at the moment, stepped forward as their audience situated itself for the last round.
“Did I hear correctly that you’re the transfer who didn’t realize I’m a real twentieth century lad, not a mythological character out of…”
“Yes, yes; I’m the joke of the day,” Kiana cut in rudely, making a sour face. She might as well rush the conversation to hasten its end. “Laugh it off before we start dueling. If you ridicule me too much I won’t be careful about the spells I pick for this duel.”
She hadn’t filtered her thoughts before speaking, so she silently cursed herself for how rude her words sounded. If she hadn’t made an enemy out of him before, surely he would be one now.
To her surprise, Harry didn’t take offense at her joke but simply smirked like he found her humorous. “Who’s to say I was going to laugh at you, Kiana? It’s Kiana, right?
She grimaced in embarrassment and lowered her gaze. “Yeah. I’m sorry I judged you too quickly…Harry. I wanted to escape from this room the moment my friend pointed out to me my horrendous mistake, but for some ungodly reason I am still here.”
Harry smiled at her with compassion. She felt her gut relax, like the boy had placed another spell on her to erase all her troubled emotions. She found herself smiling back.
“No hard feelings,” Harry replied. “Let’s pretend it never happened, and I’ll make sure the other Gryffindors forget it as well.” His eyes narrowed as he glanced at the group of students gawking at them both. “May the best dueler win?”
She shook his outstretched hand firmly as the seventh year announcer (she realized she had missed the boy’s name) calmed down the room again.
“Let us begin the final championship round. Give the duelers some room…that mean you, Finnigan! I don’t want anyone accidentally shot with a stray spell. Now, wands at the ready…and…begin!”
Kiana hadn’t known what to expect when Harry Potter started dueling. To her, his “hero” status meant nothing in today’s world unless he rose to that standard. She found, however, after a few passed spells (none of them hitting on either side), that Potter’s reflexes were sharper than hers. Although his aimed spells were a tad off center, he made up for that with his speed. They were dueling so swiftly Kiana knew their actions must look like unsteady and untargeted flashes of speeding light to their captive audience.
But within a few minutes, Kiana was getting frustrated. Even her “surprise” hits were shot back at her with Harry’s quick protego shields. They both were using silent spells, so neither was speaking a word as they dueled, though Kiana noticed Harry’s lips silently moving in complete concentration.
They had been dueling (or, more accurately, paring) for a good five minutes when a new spell came into Kiana’s mind. She had been using the same three jinxes the entire length of the duel, praying at least one would hit, but she knew that now was the time for a more powerful curse. Harry would need more energy to block this one, she knew.
She found herself crying the spell aloud. “Confundo!”
Harry had not cried out the spell like she had, but Kiana realized a moment too late that he had sent the same curse her way at the exact moment she had fired hers.
Kiana’s eyes widened and she instinctively backed away toward the wall behind her. She watched with both fascination and horror as their spells collided in the middle of the room and filled the air with a deafening blast. She had raised her wand to fix whatever side effect had occurred when something hard hit her and she was thrown back against the wall.
Blackness covered her and took her far away from the dueling room.
The blasts of fired spells followed her to that other world, but she regained her bearings remarkably quickly. Her body tensed as she raised her wand arm against the darkness of night.
“Lumos,” she murmured to her wand.
The beam of light illuminated the forest around her. The blasts she had heard were now visible as mini fireworks in the far off trees.
Her heart quickened at his call and she found herself rushing through the trees. She ran into him within moments, but the boy did not let her cling to him for long. He grabbed her hand and forced her into a run in the opposite direction of the thundering spells.
“Harry, what’s happening?” she cried out at him. Her heart’s thumps were now out of terror, for the boy was clearly fearful as he led her through the never-ending throng of trees. She could hear him breathing heavily even with the blasts from behind.
And her fear only increased when he didn’t answer her.
Unseen, a cloaked figure jumped out at them from behind a tree, and Kiana shrieked as Harry halted and threw out his arms to block her.
“Now, now,” the cloaked man murmured, holding out his hands in a defenseless gesture. “There’s no need for this. You know there’s no use in defending her, Potter. She’s already ours.”
“You lay one finger on her and I’ll kill you!” Harry screamed, reaching for Kiana’s shaking hand and squeezing it.
The man chuckled, and the hood hiding his face swayed slightly. “For how powerless you are, Potter, it’s amazing how much courage you have.”
With that, the man unveiled his wand and shot Harry with a silent spell before Kiana could even blink. Harry vanished in a cloud of smoke, and Kiana screamed out his name again and again, only to be rewarded with unbearable silence.
The cloaked man before her ignored her pitiful cries and vanished just as secretly as he had appeared. Kiana was about to sprint back into the woods in vain search for Harry, but a cold, high voice froze her in place.
“Stay where you are, girl. Your love is long gone.”
Her body betrayed her when the creature stepped out from the trees. Her knees weakened and collapsed, sending her falling to the cold ground. Her voice froze, leaving her unable to cry out in protest as he slowly approached her with unfurled hands. She lay at his feet in a pathetic groveling position, unable to even raise her head and study the figure above her. Her mind screamed for Harry continuously, but Harry’s voice did not answer her nor did she feel his presence.
Her love had deserted her in every way possible.
Kiana winced as the Dark Lord placed his ghostly pale hand on her head and whispered words so full of menace each syllable chilled her heart.
“At last, Kiana Karn, you belong to me.”
“Kiana! Kiana, are you okay?”
She grimaced and pulled her arm over her eyes to cast the sharp light away. “Where’s Harry?” she mumbled, still half away in her nightmarish vision. “Why did he leave me?”
Confusion was clear in each word spoken to her. “Kiana, he’s over there…Neville is trying to bring him to. Somehow, you both got knocked unconscious when your spells connected.”
Michelle’s words brought her back to the crowded room. Kiana’s head pounded in protest as she let the light from the wall torches fill her vision. Michelle and Jenny were bent over her with concern, their faces pale even in the firelight.
“Really?” Kiana asked, her mind muddled as she struggled to sit up straight. “Our spells knocked…both of us out?”
“That’s right,” Michelle told her. “They both must have been powerful enough to cause some sort of…effect. Hermione can’t figure it out, either; she’s over there with Harry.”
Kiana forced her eyes to stray to the other side of the room, where Harry was being helped up by Hermione and Ron. About half of the room had dispersed, making her wonder how long she had been unconscious.
After finding that she was able to stand without much discomfort, Kiana caught Harry Potter’s gaze. His face was worn and strained, like he had just received disheartening news. To her surprise, Harry didn’t smile at her but, within seconds, dropped his head and turned away from her.
It was then a thought came to her mind. If both she and Harry had been knocked unconscious at the same time…had they then had the same vision? If vision it even was?
Rubbish, she thought with irritation. It couldn’t have been a ‘vision’ of any sort because it didn’t make sense. Nothing about it resembled real life, especially the part about me and Harry being…together. It had to be some kind of strange side effect of the spell collision, since Harry cast the same spell at me.
But as she watched Harry exit the room, shepherded by Ron and Hermione, his face still possessed that same dispirited expression. Kiana suddenly wasn’t so sure she was right.