Sign of the Lion
Chapter 2 - Unleashed
Harry had waited an hour, but still not notification arrived. He pressed his forehead to his window, looking down at the road below, frowning. Maybe Dumbledore had stepped in or perhaps a new law had been passed. But surely students would be sent an owl about that wouldn't they?
Harry's breath caught in his throat as he saw an owl swoop low over the roofs a couple of kilometres away. Now that he saw it, he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to open whatever ill tidings the owl brought him. He nervously fingered his unneeded glasses in his hands just for comfort, though he seriously considered throwing them out. He doubted Fudge would let him off for this one, Boy Who Lived or not.
He gritted his teeth and opened the window, not enjoying the sun one bit. Harry reached for his wand, keeping his eyes on the owl as it came closer. It was a snowy, with brown spots dotted down its back and had a black splotch splayed across its head. Harry hesitantly pulled off the thick letter and opened it slowly, shooting a look at Hedwig. "I should have known this was going to happen some time or another."
The owl clicked her beak reprovingly. Harry set aside his glasses and recognised Hermione's curly writing, with all the evidence of being written at a slow, relaxed pace. He shot the delivery owl a confused expression then scanned down the page.
I'll have this sent to Ron so that he can pass it on. I can't tell you how thrilled I am with my O.W.L. results! My parents treated me to a holiday trip in Switzerland at a ski resort. It's fascinating learning about the witches and wizards in the area, even though they think I'm a Muggle!
Mind me for prying, but how are you holding up? I'll try and send you another letter soon, because all I have time for is my O.W.L. results!
Arithmancy - Outstanding
Astronomy - Exceeds Expectations
Care of Magical Creatures - Outstanding
Charms - Outstanding
Defence Against the Dark Arts - Outstanding
History of Magic - Outstanding
Herbology - Exceeds Expectations
Potions - Exceeds Expectations
Runes - Exceeds Expectations
Transfiguration - Outstanding
OWLS in total - 10
See you hopefully soon,
Harry smiled, unsurprised, and habitually reached up to finger his glasses, which weren't there. He found another letter and wondered with cold dread if this was the one from Ron telling Harry that he wouldn't be going back to Hogwarts. Harry was again startled to find that it didn't mention once anything about the Ministry of Magic.
Hermione topped the year - surprised? I'm not. Ten OWLs! Yech, mum keeps carrying on how I could have done better, why I couldn't be more like Percy etc etc. I'm sorry this didn't come to you on your birthday but mum snuck off with my Hogwarts letter. Mum tells me you're still not a prefect! If you want, I'll complain to Dumbledore. He's gotta let you have the badge!
Astronomy - Poor
Care of Magical Creatures - Acceptable
Charms - Acceptable
Divination - Dreadful
Defence Against the Dark Arts - Outstanding
History of Magic - Acceptable
Herbology - Acceptable
Potions - Poor
Transfiguration - Acceptable
OWLs in total - 6
I made it into the N.E.W.T DADA class! I can't see how us three won't be in the same class.
See you round,
(PS: Mum keeps hinting you might get to stay soon but she won't give specifics.)
Abandoning these on his desk, Harry sat on his bed, forehead pressed to his knees. Why hadn't the Ministry sent an owl? Much as he liked hearing from his friends, he couldn't displace the cold feeling of dread. Spying one of his unfinished letters to Sirius, Harry felt his stomach drop several more notches. He had no one he could really talk to about the crazy stuff that had been happening. Some one who wouldn't be anxious or want to look it up in a book...
"Boy!" demanded a voice from behind the door - a nasty and satisfied Uncle Vernon. "Have your lot sent a letter expelling you yet?"
Harry heard laughter and wondered where it was coming from, if not his uncle. He realised he himself was laughing with relief. He yelled at the door, "No! Why would they? I didn't use my wand."
As absurd as that sounded (considering Dobby never used a wand to cause chaos with a pudding), Harry decided to adopt it as an explanation. Cheerfully, he scrunched up the latest letter to Sirius and threw it into a waste basket. Uncle Vernon made a disappointed grunt, but followed up with his usual bellow, "You're to stay in there all day! You hear me?"
"Yes, Uncle Vernon," Harry replied, grinning.
The heavy tread thundering back down the stairs told him that his uncle had gone. Harry rolled onto his stomach and propped himself up with one elbow, looking out the window. He sighed and flattened onto his back, closing his eyes. Maybe he'd get some extra sleep...
Harry woke up and immediately his hand went for his glasses. He smiled, shook his head and checked the digital read out unaided. It was nearly midday! As he got up, the Quidditch book Ron had given him, which had been balanced precariously on the end, slipped off with a bang. Harry cursed and angrily looked down the book.
It lifted slowly, teasingly off the floor. He gaped at it, but no, he must have been imagining things. He shook his head and looked over at Hedwig who stared beadily back. Suddenly, something solid smacked into Harry's hand, flew up and collided with the side of his head.
"Ouch!" exclaimed Harry crossly, rubbing his head.
He looked around for the guilty party and spied the book sitting placidly on his desk. He frowned and waggled his fingers at it. The book lifted and waggled back at him. Harry just stared at it, amazed. He wasn't even using his wand! Curious, he held out his hand to the book and declared, "Accio book!"
This time he caught it.
"Hedwig, did you see that?" Harry demanded, knowing how ridiculous he must look. "Tell me you saw that."
The owl inclined her head at him briefly, a gesture which her owner took as a nod just to spare his sanity. Harry gently let go of the book and watched it hover in front his eyes, cautiously flicking a hand toward the desk. The book complied and landed softly next to his school books. Harry rubbed his eyes for a moment, then looked hard at the book, voicing, "Weird."
He sighed, deciding that he had flipped probably because of Sirius' death. That would be it. A fresh wave of fury flooded him and his vision grew cloudy. He felt wetness on his cheeks and, angry, he battered the tears away. Harry suddenly found himself cradling the mirror his godfather had given him, bent over it in misery. The cracks in it criss-crossed across the fractured image of Harry's face. Harry was startled at how quickly he'd dropped into this state.
He traced a crack which spanned the length of the small mirror with his finger and watched with amazement as it repaired under his touch. He bit his lip until it bled furiously, blood pooling into a drop and sliding down his chin. Something strange was happening to him and Harry didn't like it. Occasionally he could hold his emotions in, particularly grief, but it was always unleashed in his nightmares...
Speaking of which, why wasn't he having the nightmares anymore? The ones where Sirius' face was frozen into a horrified expression, pleading Harry to help him, demanding why Harry went off to the Department of Mysteries. The last one he'd had was two nights before his birthday, he recalled. And all of this started on his birthday...Harry frowned, continuing to cradle the mirror even though it was now repaired.
"This is insane," he muttered then gently set the mirror on his bed.
Questions sprung up in his mind. Why was this happening? First the glasses and physical changes now the wandless magic. Whatever it was, it had now become unleashed. Harry sat down dazedly at his desk and looked down at a blank piece of parchment. Exactly who was he going to write to about it? He supposed Hermione would want to research it and Ron would immediately mention it to his father, then all of the Weasleys (even Percy who had grudgingly moved back home) would know. He wasn't ready for more attention from them - he had enough with Sirius' death. Then who - Lupin? No...
He turned to Hedwig. "What am I going to do? There's no one left!"
But I'm here, the owl seemed to say with wide eyed expression she offered.
Harry looked down and found he'd written two words, ones he never continued if he wrote them.
There was nothing else for it so Harry bolding charged on to the next line. He kept the letter chatty, mentioning the strange happenings and his O.W.L results, while mentioning nothing about Sirius' death. Harry even boldly penned the line:
By the way, you forgot to send my birthday present.
He had at first felt it shameful to write such a thing because of the obvious reason. But then, Sirius wouldn't have wanted him to remain in grief. Well that wasn't too hard, he thought gloomily and pocketed the letter. It was a pity that there was no where to send the letter, but then, who would he send it to? Harry looked over at Hedwig, getting an idea. He let her hop onto his arm and tied the letter securely.
"Hey, girl," he said softly. "I want you to take this somewhere - anywhere - a place where no one will find it. Maybe out a sea or something, okay?"
The owl hooted an affirmative, spread her wings and soared out the window. Harry slumped onto his bed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. Bemusedly, he flicked his hand at the window, wanting it to shut. However, the window stayed stubbornly open. He tried again with the same result and scowled. A fluke then, nothing to worry about.
A crash from downstairs had him sitting up straight suddenly. Harry groaned inwardly, making a morbid guess that the Ministry had come to snap his wand. Aunt Petunia's shriek sounded frightened and by the sound of Dudley's feet running past, the Ministry people had no doubt brought out their wands. Something clicked for Harry.
He wasn't going to give up his wand! He'd be damned before he let them snap it. He angrily grabbed the stick in question and clenched it in his shaking hands. Harry didn't dare perform the unlocking charm, but his body cried out for him to do something. Before he knew what was happening, a strange whiteness clouded his vision and he found himself on the other side of the door.
Willing to bet he had just Apparated, Harry kicked the door angrily, muttering, "This weird stuff stops now!"
He took the stairs at a run and burst into the living room from where he could hear heated voices. Harry blinked. He saw Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks standing in the middle of the room and each bearing pained expressions. Mr and Mrs Dursley and the uninvited guests all turned to look at Harry.
"Uh, hi," Harry managed, "does this mean I'm going to the Weasleys or headquarters?"