Chapter 01, The Holiday That Wasn't
TITLE: Harry Potter and The Sorcerer
AUTHOR: C. J. Whittaker
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere, just let me know.
DISCLAIMER: All non-original characters and settings belong to their owner's, who aren't me. This is non-profit for fun work.
SUMMARY: Harry meets a figure out of history that changes his life direction forever.
FEEDBACK: Yes, please. It helps my work improve.
RELATIONSHIPS: H/OC, + others
WORD COUNT: Circa 50 – 100,000 words
SPOILERS: Some for OoTP and HBP, but only set After OoTP
WARNINGS: Also the age of legal consent in the UK is 16.
I thought about calling this Harry Potter and the Author who should Never, Say Never Again. Since I always said I'd never write a HP Fic.
This is me doing a HP, so you can expect some differences from other HP stories, (I hope). I don't want to go down the path that many HP authors seem to have done.
There are various bits in this story that have been inspired by, or I've nicked from other HP authors (Kinsfire, Jeconais, Snorkack To name But A Few), Basically they're too numerous to list. Just good works guys, hope you don't get mad at me.
Now on with the show.
TtH Note: This isn't a buffy crossover. I'm not 100% on the rules but I'm hoping as most of my work IS crossover I'll be aloud to post this here as I like to keep this as up to date an archive as possible. And god I hope I filed this in the right place!
The Holiday That Wasn't
Long ago, Far away, Night-time.
A smooth hand waved over the large bowl causing a flurry off activity to follow in its wake. Images came and went in the gossamer like liquid, unknown faces appearing and disappearing in a flicker of movement. Suddenly the hand stopped moving, clenching into a fist it froze all movement. There in the bowl was a face. With an almost half hearted movement of his hand the tall man made the image come into to focus. The gray liquid formed into a more solid shape and color flushed in like ink being poured over a bust. When the changes were complete there in the bowl was the head of a young man. Perhaps no more than 16 or 17, bright intelligent green eyes, hidden by glasses. On his forehead there was a curse mark, one that the man had seen many times before in visions of this lad, but was still horrified to see on such an innocent, it was in his eyes; that innocence, even though the man could also see the pain, the loss and the maturity that came from those things. There was still an air of innocence about the young man that the much elder man found more than a little pleasant.
"So; the divine creator has decided to replace me with a teenager." the man said. There was no hint of censure to his voice, only a sense of amusement, and perhaps a little relief. The dark haired man looked to his left where a large phoenix stood, his constant companion. "So what do you think Art?" he asked a glimmer of humor in his hawk like eyes.
The phoenix sang a mournful song for a moment, with a crescendo into a more uplifting theme. The ancient man merely nodded, "I agree." he said looking at the bird he had named for his once close friend. "Well I suppose that we should get started to be ready for him." he said, mostly to himself. His hand waived over the magical vessel and three more faces appeared in sharp relief behind the young man he had seen. The ancient man's eyes sharpened their focus, he moved his hands around the three new heads but only one would come into focus.
He shook his head, "A triad of evil." he said with a dark, deep and heavy sigh. "This will be so very hard for him."
The phoenix sang once more, appearing to say that nothing could be done until the time was right.
The ancient immortal merely nodded, "Your council as always is wise my friend. Come let us begin our preparations, we only have two thousand years." he said with a bit of a laugh in his voice.
Tintagel, Cornwall. Day
Harry wasn't sure how it had happened; though he had an idea. He was just amazed that it had. Where-as normally when the Dursleys went on holiday and left him with Mrs. Figg. This year, for whatever reason, they had taken him along, they had even got him his own room. He wasn't sure, but he figured that a certain Auror may have put the fear of Moody up them. It was almost funny in a way that they would then take him on holiday. He'd owled Dumbledore to check it would be okay. Apparently the blood bond was with the people and not the house. So as long as he spent SOME time with them then all was well.
So far, most of his time had been spent alone. They had brought him along, but that was that. They didn't take him on their various day trips and had not given him any of his own money. Not that it was any problem for him; he had a fair bit of his own money converted from Galleons before he'd left.
Most of his time thus far had been spend thinking about Sirius and about his death and Harry's part in it. For the most part he was dealing. He knew in his heart that Sirius wouldn't want him to mope, moan and rail against it all. His godfather was a man of action, and was made for living in the here and now. The last thing that Harry wanted to do was to blemish his memory by being a selfish brat about it all. That wasn't to say that it didn't hurt. It did, and for the first few days of the holiday he'd barely come out of his room and then, when the torrent of grief had run its course he had begun to think. To remember the good times and the bad and to wonder what ole Padfoot would want him to do.
There was one thing he DID very much blame himself for, because as far as he was concerned, it truly was his fault. If not for him and Voldemort, his friends wouldn't have been put in danger. The more he thought about it, the more he wondered how he could've done things differently, which in a logical steps made him think about what he could do to ensure that nothing like it happened again, he had made a lot of mistakes that night and it was by the grace of whoever that he and his friends had made it through. The flame cutting curse that Hermione had sustained had pulled at his heart. He loved all his friends, but she had always stood firm beside him. Even Ron couldn't say that.
Harry's musings were derailed totally as a waft of perfume hit him. He was sitting, ready for his breakfast in the small B&B when that familiar scent filled his nose. There she was again, Black hair to just below her shoulder, amazing green hazel eyes and a petite form but with curves that filled his sleep. Harry knew that he was waxing lyrical but she was poetry in motion to him. She, from what he'd managed to find out, was the owner's daughter, a few of years older than him and in his opinion, the most beautiful woman alive.
"The usual Harry?" she asked with a twinkle in her eye and a wide smile on her face, Perfect teeth flashing in the morning sun.
Harry shook himself slightly. He had sworn that after what had happened with Cho he'd never allow himself to make an idiot out of himself with a girl/woman again. "Yes please Mary. You know me, I need all the energy I can get."
"So you're off on one of your walks again are you?" Mary asked with a smile that made Harry want to squirm. There was just something about the way her lips curled into that smile that made Harry think 'unwholesome' thoughts. Since it was now his 16th birthday (Not that any one knew), he'd been noticing girls for quite some time now. But not like this, Mary made his palms sweat like crazy.
Harry forcefully pushed the fear he was feeling to the back of his mind and smiled at her, "I thought that I'd go the other way up the coast today. Then maybe go see the castle again."
"They must be making a packet out of you." Mary said with a light laugh, "You've been up there every day for the last week."
Harry shrugged slightly, "I like it up there, it's peaceful."
Mary smirked, "Really." she drawled. "Even when you're standing so close to the edge that even I was having kittens." she said surprising him slightly.
"If you saw me up there, you should have come and said hello." he admonished gently, his eyes sparkling.
'Boy you do not know what power those eyes have over women, do you?' Mary thought to herself as her heart skipped a beat. "Who me? I'm just the hired help." she said with a slight smile. The summer hadn't been a great one for her. She was supposed to have come down to visit with her father and his new family, only to have been put straight to work.
Harry frowned. He glanced around, and was as usual at that time of the morning no one was around. "Sit." he ordered pointing to the chair.
Unused to such a commanding tone from the usually unassuming young man the gamine young woman did as he said. She sat across from him and looked at him expectantly; her eyes twin pools of warm hazel.
"I'm not great at talking to new people." Harry told her seriously, then smiled a half smile, "I have trust issues. That said, you've done everything you can to make me feel comfortable which is more than a little unusual for me. So as far as I am concerned you aren't the hired help you're a ... friend I hope." Harry said, flushing slightly at his last words.
Mary looked at him seriously for a long moment. He really was very cute normally, with those sad eyes of his. When he DID take control of a situation though, he was actually hot. She was well aware that he wasn't her age, she knew she was older than him, possibly by a few years; but there was something about him. From the way he acted, he was by far the most mature guy she'd met over the summer, and that included the geriatrics who spent most of their time pinching her arse.
Her eyes darkened in hue slightly and then she smiled, "Thank you Harry. That means more to me than you could ever know."
Harry smiled at her, "So... Friends?" he asked holding out his hand.
She took it and smiled in an affirmative fashion. 'For now.' she thought to herself with an inner wicked chuckle, 'for now.’ An idea occurred to her, making her inner devil smile slightly.
"Harry..." she began shyly.
"Mary..." Harry replied with a smile.
"There's this dance over in Truro that I've got tickets for. Would you like to come?"
Harry managed not to do a jig on the table. 'She's just being friendly' he told himself firmly. "Yes. I'd love to." he managed to say without his voice cracking. Something he was very grateful for.
Mary beamed at him. "My shift ends at 6, meet me out the front and I'll drive us across. Hope you've got clubbing gear."
Harry was suddenly glad he'd managed to do some shopping before coming. Otherwise he'd be stuck in Dudley's cast offs. Though truthfully he wasn't so sure what clubbing gear actually was. He had a feeling that it would look a lot like what Tonks wore. He was reasonably sure she was around somewhere. She and Moody were assigned to watch over him on this little holiday. So he'd have to check with her. "I'll see you then; then" Harry said, hoping his voice wasn't as nervous sounding as he felt.
Mary beamed at him again and flounced out of the room happily. Harry's gaze firmly locked on her as she did so. His heart going ninety to a dozen Harry tried to calm himself, to tell himself that this was just a friends thing. That didn't matter much apparently; as it didn't calm him down whatsoever.
Long ago, Far away, Night-time.
The ancient immortal sat back on his chair and glared at his magical song bird. "Is that the best you can do?" he asked, pointing towards the pool.
The phoenix cocked its head and tweeted in a way that seemed to convey that if that pool wasn't good enough then he could do it his bloody self.
"Alright, alright." the man said holding up his hands to ward off any more abuse from the overly intelligent bird. "It'll have to do." he said and grabbed a staff from beside his chair and poked one end into the Phoenix tear pond. He began to stir clockwise for ten turns, and then reversed the direction with a slight twist. The staff began to glow a pearly white and tendrils of power sank into the pool. The man continued this for a long while, seemingly randomly changing direction while charging the pool with pure magic.
Tintagel, Cornwall. Evening
Harry looked at himself in the mirror again, once more checking his reflection for what could've been the millionth time. It was times like this that he felt truly alone. Especially in the summer. In normal circumstances he would be asking his father, or perhaps mother how he looked. Getting some last minute advice, perhaps even some dance lessons from his mother. Unfortunately for him, his mum and dad had died to protect him. He sure as hell couldn't ask the Dursleys. They would most likely just laugh at him and then ground him. As far as this 'date' went, the less they knew the better.
Dudley, strangely enough had been much nicer to him over the summer so far. He'd even taught Harry how to box. That hadn't been what had surprised Harry though. It had been the fact that he had actually TAUGHT him and not used him as a punch bag. It hadn't taken long to get the basics down pat and Dudley had been strangely gentle with him. It turned out that Dudley was a VERY good boxer, his name was quickly rising up the local competition boards. He also seemed to have picked up a discipline that his parents had not instilled in him. They were a long way from being friends, but they were friendly.
Now, halfway through the summer Harry had actually managed to put on some bulk and wasn't the skinny lad he still thought himself to be. Quidditch had toned his body where Boxing had bulked him up a bit. Not too much, his weight class was a long way from Dudley's; but it was nice to feel a little more comfortable in his own body.
With a sigh Harry adjusted his glasses. He really had to do something about them. If they were knocked off in a fight with the Big V he was screwed as he could barely see. Dudley had suggested contacts, but there was little chance that Harry would be able to investigate that until the holiday was over.
He had one last look at the emerald green shirt and black trousers and hoped to god that he wasn't going to make a fool of himself. He hadn't managed to find his guard today, which most likely meant it was Mad Eye Moody anyway, and he certainly didn't want fashion advice from the slightly scary old Auror. Nor did he need a lecture on "Constant Vigilance" when he was about to take a beautiful woman out clubbing, friendly date or otherwise.
With a deep breath and gathering his courage Harry Potter, the boy that lived, walked out of his small room and headed outside. Hopefully to be the Boy that had a successful date. For a change.
Harry was starting to get more than a little nervous. She was late by a good ten minutes now, what could have happened, he wondered if she had forgot, or been hurt or any or a thousand things that could've happened to her. His almost paranoid brain was sure that somehow she had been hurt because of him, and then he turned.
There she was. Her black hair glossy and shining in the street lights. Her eyes seemed to glow. Bare shapely legs were shown to full effect by the mini dress she wore, dark navy blue that seemed to change colors as she moved. With her heels on she was still a fair bit shorter than he, not that he cared.
"Sorry I'm late" she said as she walked up to him, "My shift ran over."
Harry said the first thing that popped in his head, "Some things are worth waiting for." he said, his voice low, reverent.
Mary looked at him, and then beamed as she realized he was being totally sincere. She had to admit he looked rather edible himself. His shirt made his eyes stand out, and was tight enough to show that he was slender but muscular. There seemed to be a lot of power in his legs and arms in particular, but his shoulders were also quite broad. She wasn't sure what he did to get that slightly unusual physique but she liked it a lot. "Thanks, my cars this way. Truro isn't that far, it won't take us long to get there."
In the entire holiday, he hadn't gotten much farther than the towns on either side, via the coast. He had taken some very long walks so far and it had kept him fit and allowed him time to think. So going to a fairly large town in Cornwall would be a new experience for him.
Truro, Cornwall, Night.
They arrived in record time thanks to Mary's somewhat manic driving style. Her banged up old Volks seemed to be capable of naught to a hundred in a blink. Though Harry was fairly sure that was just because he was nervous. He'd never danced in a 'night-club' before. He'd heard of them of course. The Muggle born members of his house had many a story of sneaking in past the bouncers to gain entrance. He was slightly concerned that he wouldn't be able to get in to the club at all. He still had a personal image that fitted in better with a boy just starting his magical life. When in fact he was now a young man who had seen too much. He was a good six foot, and after filling out a lot in the last year he was looking much older than his years. Especially in his eyes.
"Come on." Mary said excitedly, taking him by the hand and dragging him along the pathway.
The drive over had been an exercise in self control for Harry. No matter where he seemed to look, there was Mary-flesh and lots of it. He tried to be as much of a gentleman as possible. He knew that a 'friend' wouldn't want to be looked at like that. So he had tried his hardest not to look at her legs as she changed gear or the flash of lace as she span the wheel. The journey would've been very long if he hadn't been as nervous as a nine tailed cat in a rocking chair factory.
"Come on Harry, before the Q' gets too big." she said again, virtually dragging him along. He took a couple of long strides and caught up with her properly. Even though he was now keeping her pace, he was glad that she didn't let his hand go.
As it turned out there was a line for ticket holders that was a lot shorter than the one for non ticket holders. So they made their way into the club in record time and were glad of it. As it had just started to rain as they made it across the threshold. After Mary had checked in her bag and tied her wallet around herself they walked over to the bar and ordered a couple of cokes. Harry was still somewhat surprised that he hadn't been ID'd.
"What's up Harry?" Mary asked, shouting over the music. "You look shocked."
"I am." Harry said, leaning into her so he could be heard. Her scent filled his senses for a moment that he thoroughly enjoyed.
"About what?" Mary asked, likewise leaning in to him. Her hand resting on the firm muscles in his shoulders. She licked her lips slightly a ghost of a smile appearing on her lips.
"I'm not old enough to get in here. I thought they'd ID me." Harry told her frankly.
Her fingers flexed causing a shock of electric attraction between them both. "I wouldn't have brought you here, if you were like any other 16 year old guy I've met." she told him seriously.
"Oh." Harry replied, not really knowing what else to say.
Mary laughed slightly and tossed back her coke. Then made Harry do the same thing, "Come on Harry I want to Dance!"
"What's up?" Mary asked curiously, once again stepping well into his personal space.
"I erh... Don't know how." he told her honestly.
Mary stepped back slightly and looked him deeply in the eyes. Their gazes locked for a moment before Mary smiled at him dazzlingly. "You mean I get to teach you how properly?" she mostly stated, "That's cool. Most guys just flop around or dance like a pogo stick is up their arse."
Harry laughed at the mental image that conjured up. "Okay, what the hell. What can I do except make a fool of myself. It's not like I'm not used to that." he said with a half smile.
Mary dragged him to the dance floor and started to gyrate to the thumbing beat. "Just let go Harry, and move to the music." she said moving closer into him.
Harry felt all the muscles in his body tense at the same time. She was moving like a snake, somehow though it was all in time with the music. Looking at his beautiful companion he couldn't help but smile slightly. So, taking a hold of his famed courage he moved. Then he moved again, then again until he was moving smoothly to the music. Matching Mary, move for move.
Mary watched him tense up and was worried that he was going to be a typical guy about dancing. Then she realized that he literally had no idea what he was doing. She had to wonder what sort of life he'd had if he didn't even know how to dance. She knew his Aunt and Uncle seemed to treat him like dirt, basically ignoring his presence there at all. For the first few days she hadn't even realized that he had been part of their party. His large cousin seemed to be a slightly different matter and she had once caught them working out in the back garden, sparring lightly. She wondered where his parents were but didn't feel comfortable asking those sorts of questions yet.
Then he started to move. Almost like a robot at first, but then as she watched he seemed to just let go and move fluidly. Then the next thing she knew he was moving like he had been born to this. Her eyes fixed on the bulges in his thighs as he moved, showing that there was a LOT of power there and the way his shirt moved across his chest told her a story about what was underneath. Normally she went for older men, typically 10 years or older. Yet, there was something about this green eyed enigma that interested her.
She stepped into his personal space and turned, pressing herself back into him. They began to dance together, his hands resting on her hips holding her gently. Unlike many guys she could mention he wasn't pulling her back onto his manhood, nor were his hands wandering. Which, now that she came to think of it was a bit of a shame.
Biting her lip to hide her wicked smile she grabbed his hands and moved them up her body. Tracing her curves and then over her head and back down again. That certainly seemed to have done the trick as he suddenly stepped back slightly. A flush rising on his neck.
"Drink?" he asked her, trying not to blush too brightly. Though he was sure that his face was glowing in the darkness of the club.
"Don't be embarrassed Harry." she told him, pressing herself back against him. "Personally, from you. I'll take it as a very high compliment." she continued in a honeyed purr that rose over the music and hit him straight in the libido.
She locked on to his eyes and was almost swallowed whole by the first stirrings of passions she saw in the depths of those pools. She swore for a moment that there was lightning dancing around the edges of his retinas, just for a moment. Then she shook it off as the club's lights playing tricks with his glasses. Ignoring the special effects, the look behind his eyes was more than enough to take her breath away by itself.
Harry felt a wash of heat go through him at the tone of her voice. He REALLY wanted to kiss her at that moment.
Mary pressed herself further into his body and looked up at him from under her lashes, a clear signal that even Harry didn't miss. Not knowing if he was about to get slapped and not really caring Harry kissed her.
As they kissed the music turned to a slightly slower one and they swayed their bodies together to the music. Their kiss continued, passion flowing through them both with a tender fire.
Laughing they both stumbled slightly as they walked out of the club. Neither had imbibed any alcohol that night. They were just high on each other. So far this was turning out to be the best night that Harry could remember. He was with an astounding beautiful woman, who seemed to actually like him for himself and didn't even know about all the other stuff that went on in his world.
They walked leaning on each other, as a much slower pace than they had before. Even though it was raining still neither of them cared. Harry was just happy to be with Mary. Mary didn't really want the night to end.
"Oi; Luv. Whatcha doing with that kid." a loud voice called out from nearby.
Harry went immediately on alert. Cursing himself for not bringing his wand. He'd been afraid that it would be discovered by the Night club security and he didn't fancy trying to explain that one away.
"Yeah; wouldn't ya like a real man?" another voice called out. There was a drunken snigger from the first man. The two obviously drunk men stepped out of the shadows, both quite large and both leering at Mary's legs and chest. Harry's hackles rose at that simple look.
"Please, leave us alone." Mary said in a quiet voice. Harry looked over at her, she was obviously scared. That was something he hated to see.
"We're just having a night out. Please just let us be." Harry said in a firm voice. They had a fair few stone on him and some years. That didn't matter to Harry though because there was no way that anything was going to happen to Mary.
"Oh look the little guy thinks he can take us on." the first man said. He had an eye piercing and didn't seem as drunk as his compatriot.
"Yeah." the other man said. He was a thickset man who appeared to be utterly bladdered. His head was shaven, making him look more squat. "I think we should show him what we think 'bout college kids nicking our birds."
Apparently they didn't know that Harry was younger even than his beautiful companion, or that she was none but her own 'bird'.
"Leave us alone." Harry said with an even tone as he pushed Mary behind him. It was probably just as well that he didn't have his wand as he was tempted to blast them away already. He just didn't need the hassle that would come with the Ministry breathing down his neck Again!
His words seemed to be all the encouragement two Neanderthals needed. Piercing came at him fast with a right hook that could've removed his head. Harry just ducked under it and used and uppercut to the older mans jaw. He went down hard looking up at Harry with almost total shock on his face.
Bald and ugly ignored his friend and came at Harry with a flurry of rights and lefts that had Harry ducking and weaving around like he was ducking bludgers. Then he nailed the much larger man with all his power with a powerful punch that seemed to come up from his feet, through his legs and shoulders and explode out of his fist. The large man had a moment to look stunned that such a slender looking guy had that much power before toppling over backwards. Already out for the count.
Raising his fists into a classic boxing pose Harry turned to his first attacker. Emerald met the dark brown of the less drunken man. For the first time in a long time the man knew he was seriously out classed. The fight had been a testament to skill over size. He just held up his hand and backed up slightly. "You win mate."
Harry just glared at him for a moment, his temper running high. Then a small feminine hand took his shoulder and his visibly calmed down. Much to piercing's relief.
With that he dragged his fallen fellow back away from the young couple whilst seriously rethinking his preconceptions about size.
Harry took a long shuddering breath as soon as the two attackers had left. His shoulders shaking slightly as the adrenaline flowed back out of his system. He turned to Mary. "Are you okay?" he asked her gently even as he was breathing hard.
Mary nodded silently.
Harry took her silence as censure. He was always being told that he had to gain a better control of his temper. He thought that he'd scared her. "I'm sorry you had to see that."
Mary looked at him, a strange look in her eyes before she mutely took his hand and led him back to her car.
The journey back to Tintagel was silent. Harry was staring forlornly out of the window; sure that he had just upset one of the better things to happen in his life and Mary just couldn't find the words to express what she was feeling at that moment. Anger sure as hell wasn't one of them. At least not aimed at him. The night had been going amazingly until the two idiots had shown up. She'd not had as much fun in a long time. No it had been the way he'd protected her, and taken out the two street fighters with almost ease that caught her words in her throat. She knew he could box. She'd seen it, the sparring with his cousin in the back yard so she knew that he was able to do that.
Fighting inside the ring and outside the ring were two very different things, she knew that from experience. Yet he had kept his head, warned them both off twice. He'd protected her, which she was unhappy to admit many men wouldn't do these days (Not that she couldn't handle herself), and won in a few short seconds. His first thought had been to check on her and now, she strongly suspected, he was blaming himself for the fight. Not that he needed to, she herself would have done nothing differently.
Her musings kept her company all the way back to the small coast line town.
Long ago, Far away, Night-time.
"Bloody over grown sparrow. Not there, over there!"
The beautiful magical creature responded clearly in a way that said, 'It's not my fault if you don't know your left from your right; idiot!'
"Don't be talking back to me now." the ancient man grumped with a smirk his hawk like eyes twinkling with mirth.
His hands cast a complicated pattern in the air. Odd patterns taking shape in his fingers wake and holding in the air. Then they flowed outwards to the walls of the cavern and spread across it like a breading virus.
"Huh" the magical man said with a frown. "Not quite what I was expecting"
The Phoenix chirruped again causing the man to look at the large bird sharply.
"Do you kiss your mother with that beak?"
Tintagel, Cornwall, Night.
There was another awkward pause as Harry struggled for something to say before he gave up and looked at Mary. "I really am Sorry." he said before turning to walk away.
Mary frowned slightly. "Harry wait." he turned to look at her, but his eyes were down cast. "You did nothing wrong. It was a surprise is all. I'm actually; very grateful." she said stepping closer to him.
Harry managed to drag his eyes back to hers and Hazel met green. Mary smiled at him, "I think the knight is allowed a prize for saving the damsel. Am I right?"
Harry smiled, "It's okay."
"I want to." Mary said stepping in and kissing him passionately. Once they broke apart both of their eyes were more than a little heated. "I really want to." she reiterated; kissing him once again.
This time when they broke apart there was no mistaken the hunger in both of their eyes. "Come up for a night cap?" Mary said her voice low and honeyed.
"Urh." Harry said suddenly becoming nervous.
"Trust me Harry." Mary said. She took him by the hand and pulled on it. He was helpless to resist her.
Tintagel, Cornwall, Day.
Harry's eyes snapped open, this wasn't his room. It smelt different, familiar but different. He ached in places he didn't know he could and he felt VERY happy. The events of the night before filtered through his mind and a goofy expression flitted across his face. His hand cast out to his side, looking for the person that had put a smile on his face that would have to be surgically removed. He frowned slightly when he found that the other side of the bed was empty and cool. He opened his eyes and looked around for his glasses. In the semi blurred room that was revealed to him he finally found them resting on a book case. Then once he had finally located and placed them on his face the room snapped into focus.
He hadn't realized how bare the room was before now. He would've expected to see more stuff around. He'd heard from Ron that his sister's room looked like the unholy child of a doily and a teddy bear. Yet this room seemed un-lived in. Then he spotted a note on the pillow where Mary had been.
Still frowning in concern he picked up the note and slipped out the letter from the envelope and began to read.
My Darling Knight,
I'm sorry to do this to you but I couldn't bear to do it face to face. Yesterday was my last day in Cornwall, I'm going back home for the rest of the summer. Back to my mums and away from the slave master, .
There has only been one bright spot in this crap summer though, and that was you Harry. I only wish we'd got to know each other sooner. I really am sorry to spring this on you this way, but I didn't know how else to do it.
Please, I think I've managed to figure you out enough by now to know you'll think that I only did last night as some sort of twisted thank you. Truth is I've wanted to jump you since I saw you first time out sparring with your cousin. Last night was as much for me as it was for you Harry.
Thank you for making this summer worth while, and the most memorable I've ever had I will always cherish last night.
Now I've got to TRY to walk to the bus stop
Your Damsel In Distress;
Harry smiled at the note in a bittersweet way. She had been one hell of a bright spot for him too. He just wished he had more time with her. He also noticed that she hadn't left any sort of address on the letter either which made him sad. On one hand he knew to cherish the time he had spent with her, on the other he wanted more. Even just letters would've been nice.
A smile flickered back into place as he thought through the last two paragraphs of the letter and this time it stayed there. She was right; it was best to cherish the memory rather than focus on regrets, and walking wouldn't be that easy for him either.
Long ago, Far away, Night-time.
The phoenix had to agree.
"I hope you're sleepy Art." the ancient being said lying back on the slab like bed he had constructed. "We're going to be... asleep... for a ...long time."
The Phoenix hopped down beside the now prone form of his companion and dropped on to its side, immersing itself in the field they had constructed until sleep also took him into the arms of Morpheus.
Tintagel, Cornwall, Day.
"Hello Frank." Harry said politely to the guard.
"Hello Harry; Back again?"
"Yep." Harry said dropped a fiver on the counter.
"I think we've made enough money out of you." Frank said with a kindly smile, "Go on in."
Harry smiled at the elderly man, "Thanks Frank."
"Anytime you want to come in. Just do so Harry. That place just seems to speak to some people and you're one of them."
Harry smiled and nodded his thanks, and then set off of the long walk up to the top of the outcropping. Over the years the rock hewn steps had been replaced or re-carved, a new bridge had been placed and a host of other fixes were in place. None of that really made the steep climb any easier, but in all honesty it wasn't that hard for Harry, normally. Today was slightly different, but he'd done more exercise than normal. He still made it up to the castle in record time and made his way over to the very edge and looked out over the rough sea. The wind was pretty high that day, but to Harry it was like riding his broom at full pelt without leaving the floor. It was a strangely freeing experience for him; it cleared his mind and allowed him to think later on without the cobwebs in place.
That was worth a pile of money to Harry after all that had happened to him in recent years. An image of Mary's face from the night before passed before his minds eye and his smile grew. He had thought her the most beautiful woman in the world before. Now he knew that it was possible for her to be even more beautiful during certain activities. It was funny though. The guys in his dorm always said that losing virginity was like some strange rite of passage. That they would feel different or that they would truly be a man.
Apart from the warm glow that still heated his insides Harry still felt like Harry. Not that he was disappointed or anything. He would be able to fuel a million Patronus from that memory.
Realizing he was still kinda tired from the night before Harry took a step back and turned to face inland. Without really thinking too much he walked to the middle of the castle. There wasn't a single person up there with him. But then the castle had only just opened.
He was about to walk off when his foot caught on something. Curious Harry looked down and saw what looked to be a circular piece of rock. He'd been over every inch of the castle on this holiday and had never seen anything like this before. He went to pick it up, thinking that either it had been uncovered by the rain or dropped. Either way Frank would want to see it. The craftsmanship was amazing in detail.
As soon as his fingers brushed the surface though he felt the all too familiar pull of a port-key triggering.
Then there was only darkness.
Harry looked around the total blackness of his current location and tried to figure out where he was. Had Voldemort and his Death Eaters somehow found him? Or was this some sort of twisted protective custody from Dumbledore and his Order. He wouldn't put it past either of them to be brutally honest. His headmaster whilst very dear to him had shown a strange blindness when it came to protecting Harry. It was like it was more important to make sure Harry was safe than it was to make sure he was mentally stable. Though if it had been the Order he was fairly sure they would've come to talk to him by now at least.
Plus there was the fact that anyone could've stumbled across that portkey and Harry didn't think that Dumbledore would've risked that.
So left, to his mind left Death Eaters.
Suddenly a noise off to his right distracted him from his musings. 'Was that someone yawning?' he asked himself in shock. Of all the noises he was expecting, the killing curse included, a yawn wasn't in his top ten.
'Okay Harry, don't panic. But that sounded a lot like some one smacking their lips.' he told himself in almost bemusement.
"Oh my, that's goooood." a masculine voice said to the sound of cracking bones. "Aeger." the voice called out. Suddenly light sprang up from all around Harry basking him and the entire, cavern in a bright pearl white glow.
Harry turned to the source of the voice to see a man slowly sitting up with what looked to be a dead Phoenix lying next to him. 'Now there's a man who takes bird fancying to a whole new level.' Harry thought with the sort of humor that came with odd situations. This, to him, was most of his recent life.
"That's not funny boy." the man grumped, sitting totally upright and rotating his head on his neck to free it up. "And he's not dead." he said and shoved the bird, "Wake up you lazy parrot." he said to the slumbering mythical creature.
The Phoenix awoke abruptly, jumping to its feet and letting rip with an annoyed sounding string of chirps and clicks.
The man frowned, "What have I told you about that sort of language?"
The bird continued in its annoyed tone.
The black haired man looked at Harry with a little chagrin. He had piercing eyes that looked like should belong on a hawk, a dark bronzed complexion like he had spent time on the beach and his black hair draped down passed his shoulders. "Sorry about this. The spell was obviously miss timed. We were supposed to be awake just before you got here. But I see the time hidden portkey got you."
Harry just continued to glare slightly. Not knowing what to do or say.
The man hopped off the slab and cricked his neck and jumped and hopped around a bit, getting life back into his system. "Well, I don't want to do that again, so you had better be Harry Potter."
Harry continued to look at the other man. He could feel the magical power pouring off of the other man and had no idea what to say, or what not to say. Just in case.
"It's okay Harry I'm not here to hurt you. I didn't sleep for two thousand years just to go attacking a teenager."
"Who are you?" Harry said wrapping his courage around him like a cloak.
The elder man smiled, "Why my name's Merlin; pleased to meet you Harry."
Harry's jaw dropped then snapped shut with an audible click. "No you're not I've seen pictures of you at school. Where's your beard, and the white hair. Or the cloak with all the stars on it?"
The man calling himself Merlin looked at him like he was mad, "What?"
"You're too young; Merlin was hundreds of years old when he died. That's another thing. He's dead, they have his body."
"They do?" Merlin said honestly interested now. "Where?"
"At the British Museum, preserved magically. They showed us on a day trip the year before last." Harry said sticking his chin out stubbornly.
"Wow." Merlin said with a wide grin. "It's amazing what some people will do just to make their own ideas and wishes become a reality."
"If you're Merlin, prove it." Harry said after a moment’s contemplation.
Merlin cocked an eyebrow at him, "How the hell do I do that?"
"That's another thing." Harry said continuing his rant. Merlin was central to Wizard culture, for this impostor to make out that he was Merlin made Harry very angry. "Merlin spoke like they did back then with yaks and stuff. Not like I do."
Merlin laughed so hard he had to brace himself on his knees, "Oh man."
"See!" Harry said pointing an accusatory finger at the man.
"Sorry; sorry it's just that. I never expected to have to try to prove I am who I am. I've prepared for everything else, but this. Okay, as to how I talk I'm... How to explain so you understand it. I'm not exactly tied to anyone time at any one place, so I've seen this time before and I suppose will again. Thought that just gets confusing, I COULD talk like we used to back then if you really want but frankly it was confusing as hell. As for proof, what do you want?"
"Merlin was the greatest Wizard of all time, do something awesome, say Draco Anima. No ones been able to do that since." Harry said hoping he'd remembered his magical history correctly.
"Truly?" Merlin said surprised. "It's not that hard." He turned off to face away from Harry and brought his fingers to his lip like he was going to whistle. Then he blew. A jet of white hot flame shot out from his mouth and melted the opposite wall. Some fifty feet away, to slag. He then turned back with a smirk, "How’s that?"
"Aeger a Veritas." Harry said, not showing his shock. From the descriptions he'd read that was bang on.
"Now how am I going to prove anything with a little spell like that?" Merlin asked in exasperation.
"No one else can do it."
Merlin looked at him steadily and suddenly a ball of light appeared between them. "It turns red if you're lying blue for the truth. Now are you telling me the truth?"
"I am." Harry replied, the ball of light turned blue.
"How the magical community has fallen." Merlin commented then frowned, "And I'm not a wizard."
"What?" Harry said as the Light remained blue. "I'm a bad seeker." the light turned red, "I play golf." the light remained red, "I'm Harry Potter" the light turned blue.
"Are you done?" Merlin asked, "You want an answer to that question yet?"
"Yes." Harry said simply. The light turned blue.
"Well, I was and never will be a wizard. I am Merlin and I'm a Sorcerer."
Harry looked at the still blue light and then looked to Merlin's hawk like eyes. "Wow."
"Now for the real shock." Merlin said with a laugh as his Phoenix jumped up onto his shoulder.
"What?" Harry asked suddenly worried.
"You're NOT a wizard Harry."