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Chapter 4 : Surprise
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Images in Mind
Chapter 4: Surprise
Harry was restless, he had passed on his morning training because he didn’t want to be worn out when Tarragon arrived. A full week had passed so Harry was expecting the visitor and the resulting Clash. He even had to work to suppress his nervousness, he had never seen Tarragon fight before, never trained with him, and he healed on his own so he would be hard to beat. Harry didn’t expect to do any more than hold his own for a few minutes.
The rest of the household was sitting around the living room while Harry paced back and forth, they knew what was coming and they were all a bit concerned, though it was probably Harry’s anxiousness that made them so. When a knock came on the door Harry jumped and he stopped and stared at the door. There was no one on the other side, he couldn’t sense anyone with his empathy. A few seconds later he just grinned and rushed to the door, there was only one person he had ever met that he couldn’t sense with his empathy.
Harry pulled open the door and on the other side was a pretty girl his own age with a long braid of golden brown hair and bright hazel eyes. She grinned and tackled him, forcing him to stumble back a few steps.
“Harry! I’ve missed you!”
“Sky, I was expecting Tarragon,” Harry laughed. The girl had been his teacher the previous summer, she had helped him to learn about his empathy and he had sparred with her a few times later in the summer. She was very important to him and he couldn’t sense her because her empathy was stronger than his.
Sky finally let go of him and stepped back. “I know you were expecting him. I sent him here to talk to you not challenge you, when I found out that he had promised you a Clash I couldn’t let that happen. Tarragon is the strongest person I’ve ever met, even if me and Reiji gang up on him we can’t beat him. Even our mom can’t beat him anymore and that’s really saying something, our mom is pretty scary.”
“Excuse me, who are you?” Remus interrupted.
“Oh, pardon me. My name is Sky, I trained Harry last summer.”
“And you’re Tarragon’s sister?”
“Sort of, Tarragon and Reiji are half brothers and their mom is my godmom, I’ve been living with them practically my whole life.”
“What is your godmother’s name?”
“You already know it, after all, you did date her once upon a time.”
Remus paled and remained quiet.
“So Harry, are you ready?”
“As ready as I can be,” he laughed.
Sky turned back and went outside and Harry followed closely with Prongs on his heels. They didn’t go very far from the Burrow and the others stayed clustered around the door.
“Sorry Prongs, but I’m not trying to teach you anything. And besides, my own familiar is overseas, so I’m going to kindly ask you to stay out of it.”
Prongs stood and joined the rest of the spectators near the door.
Don’t look at me like that, she has a point.
Just whose side are you on?
“Lets skip the mental games Harry, you and I are too accomplished to bother. You can make the first move when you’re ready.”
“You’re just saying that because you’re stronger than I am and if you really wanted to, you could reduce me to a teary mess. But thank you for that.”
Sky only smirked and waited. Harry didn’t make his move right away, Sky was never the most patient and so he forced her to wait on him. When he was ready Harry made to run towards her and Jumped into striking distance. Like when they had sparred before, Sky was faster than Harry and she blocked his attack and Jumped away. They flitted in and out of sight across the yard chasing each other for several minutes before settling down and landing blows with fists, feet, elbows and knees. Harry imagined that to the others at the doorway, it was just normal blows, but every time he blocked Sky’s attacks, he was forced to shield himself with magic as well; though she was in the same boat.
Harry landed a kick to Sky’s side and she Jumped away a few feet.
“Ouch! Not nice Harry!”
He could only grin, it was the first time he had ever landed a solid strike against her, even after his lack of training over the past year, he was getting better. Never the less, Sky came back at him harder, this time from a distance, throwing spells like a quaffle and forcing Harry to bring up one shield after another. He was still nothing compared to Sky, she got a stunning spell through his defenses and he went down.
It didn’t take any real effort to lift the spell from himself and he sat up and frowned at Sky standing over him. Remus was half way to his side when he was helped to his feet and standing only a short ways away was a small group of people that Harry recognized.
“You’re rusty, but you’re still stronger than before.”
“Thanks. Sorry about that stinging curse by the way.”
“I was trained to heal by the best, it only hurt for a minute.”
“I still feel sorry for it.”
Remus grabbed him by the shoulders and looked him over from head to toes.
“I’m fine Remus, she only got me with a stunning curse.”
“You’re sure, what about those hits.”
Harry forced the man to calm down with his empathy and turned to face the others coming from the other direction.
“This is my cue to leave Harry. Keep yourself safe.” Sky vanished before they met him.
“Who was that?” Mad-eye Moody demanded. The man was a former auror and had once been appointed as Defense professor at Hogwarts, though he had been imprisoned and impersonated the entire year.
“A friend of mine. Why are all of you here?” Harry asked.
It wasn’t just Mad-eye, Nymphadora Tonks was there, another auror and one of Sirius’ cousins. There was Mr. Weasley, who should have been at work like Tonks. Not only that but Bill Weasley was there, he was the eldest of the Weasley siblings and though Harry had never met him, he had seen pictures. Then there was Fleur Delacour, Harry had met her during his fourth year, she was a participant in the Triwizard Tournament like him and was part veela, which meant she was very pretty.
“You can’t be serious Harry?” Bill laughed. “We were all invited here.”
“Your Birthday,” Ginny had come up behind him with the others once Sky was gone.
“Don’t tell us you forgot!” Hermione reprimanded.
“Hermione and I have been planning this all summer, we invited everyone,” Ginny spoke up.
Harry hadn’t celebrated his birthday the previous year, he had been too busy training with Sky, so he had completely forgotten about it.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Harry,” Bill spoke up, offering a hand.
“You’re Bill, I’ve heard stories about you,” Harry greeted, taking the offered hand.
“That was quite the show of magic, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Not many have. I haven’t used that much free magic in front of anyone before.”
“It was wonderful ‘Arry,” Fleur greeted, her French accent was as thick as he remembered it. “When did you get so strong? I do not remember you that way during the tournament.”
“I got stronger after the tournament, I had to.”
“I ‘ave not seen you since, I was sorry to ‘ear about what ‘appened.”
“It’s alright, none of us can change it now.”
“Just how strong are you?” Mad-eye demanded, he was as grumpy as always.
“Stronger than you,” Harry offered.
The man’s magical eye fixed on Harry for a moment before beginning to spin around like before.
“Let’s everyone go inside,” Mrs. Weasley finally spoke up.
Hermione and Ginny grabbed him and dragged him inside and everyone else just followed behind them.
Of course I knew, I was there when they were plotting and you were off training Ron. They asked me to keep it a secret though.
You were too focused, someone had to snap you out of it. You will thank me before we go to bed tonight.
Harry stuck his tongue out at Prongs as he was shoved past and the fox just laughed and trotted in after them.
“Who is this by the way?” Tonks asked once she made it past the front door. She knelt down and Prongs greeted her like a puppy, wagging fluffy tail and big soft ears.
“That’s Prongs, he’s my familiar. He likes the brown hair, I’m a bit more partial to the pink though.”
“He likes my hair?”
“Prongs is kind of opinionated, he’s also a smart ass on occasion.”
“You talk like you know what he’s thinking.”
“I do know what he’s thinking. I already said he’s my familiar, and all mages are capable of hearing their familiars’ thoughts, and their familiars can hear theirs.”
“Mages are a myth Harry,” Bill said, he was skeptical.
“No, I know a few of them, and I am one myself. Didn’t you see me before?”
Harry held out his hand and did the same trick with light that he had shown earlier in the week.
“Mages can do wandless magic because they understand it well enough, but they can’t contain the knowledge alone so familiars are born to us so we can handle it. They keep us sane and they keep us true to ourselves. They are us and we are them. A familiar is the easiest way to tell if someone is a mage, the two aren’t usually very far from each other. Like Dumbledore and Fawks.”
“Dumbledore uses a wand,” Moody pointed out.
“And there in lies the real question. Why does someone so powerful still use a wand? I know I used mine for a year so that no one would know, it was because I didn’t want to be different again. Dumbledore however, is not like me, he knows more than I do and maybe that’s why he chooses to use a wand. We all have our reasons for keeping or throwing away our wands. I’ve recently chosen to give mine up.”
“Enough talk about mages and wands,” Mrs. Weasley scolded. She shoved her way into the center of the room and their conversation with a big cake in her hands. “Happy Birthday Harry.”
“Thank you Mrs. Weasley.”
“Make a wish!” Ginny urged.
Harry grinned and blew out all the candles and everyone cheered or clapped. I was a special day so cake came before lunch and everyone had some, a few people, namely Ron, had two cuts. Any conversation about mages was put on hold and there was all kinds of talk about school or work. As it turned out, Fleur was dating Bill, they were happy together, but Mrs. Weasley and Ginny didn’t seem to like it. Harry learned about Bill’s work, he had given up curse breaking for a while so that he could work at Gringotts and be closer to Fleur, who was working hard to be better at English. Tonks had been busy chasing down rogue Death Eaters, ever since Voldemort’s return two years ago they had been growing in strength and numbers and a lot of people just went missing. Moody had even been forced out of retirement to help. Mr. Weasley had been promoted to head up his own department, apparently a lot of fake protection items had found their way into the public and so it was his job to hunt them down and destroy them since apparently they did more harm than good. About half way through the celebrations Fred and George Weasley showed up, they were Ron’s older twin brothers and they immediately found Harry and shoved a big box into his arms.
“Time for presents!!” they announced.
Harry laughed but agreed and boxes appeared in everyone’s hands. The twins had gifted him a bunch of things from their joke shop, and Ron and Ginny pulled together to get him a new care kit for his broom, which was good since he was just about out of a few things. Hermione got him a few books on Transfiguration while Moody got him books on Defense, they were a nice match. Bill got him a little souvenir from when he had been in Egypt, the little idol would get up and walk around for a minute before settling back down. Between everyone Harry got a wide variety of things from little or silly to serious or useful, everyone was so happy to celebrate with him, that was his real gift. These people were his family, the only one that mattered, and he would protect them. Remus seemed to understand, he had been standing back for most of the celebration, often talking with Tonks, and he hadn’t passed over a present of any kind, but he did smile and wink when Harry looked over at him. The party continued until dinner had passed and Harry bid each of the guests farewell, even the visiting Weasley siblings left, Bill holding Fleur’s hand.
“I can’t believe Bill is dating Fleur,” Ginny grumbled.
“Don’t be so upset, they’re in love, I think it’s great. Fleur is a wonderful person,” Harry said in the couple’s defense.
“You can’t possibly know that.” Ginny was determined not to like the other girl.
Harry yawned from his place on the couch and closed his eyes for a minute as everyone kept talking.
“Are you alright?” Remus asked quietly.
“Yeah, it’s been a long day.” Harry stood and yawned again. “Sorry everyone, but it’s time for me to call it a night.”
“We’ll see you in the morning,” Hermione said as he and Prongs headed upstairs.
Prongs took his place at the end of the bed and curled up, but he kept an eye on Harry. Sitting on the pillow was a piece of paper. Harry picked it up and read the note attached, it was from Remus.
I’ve been working on this since I first met you Harry. Dumbledore helped me more than I probably know. If you’ll agree, I’d like to adopt you. I know that it’s hard having already lost every parent you’ve had so far, but I want to be able to be there for you as more than a friend.
Harry cried, but only for a minute, he quickly signed the papers and put them onto Remus’ pillow. He was too tired to stay up thinking about it, but he fell asleep smiling at the thought.
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