Chapter Eight: Year One Ends
Everyone returned from the holidays with high spirits, which were quickly dimmed by excessive school work. Harmony, Lee, Sarah, and Kaede spent their time on the lakeshore studying. Harmony had begun to procrastinate her work, much to the displeasure of her friends. Lee was happy when her friends returned, but they noticed when she began to take aspirin almost every three classes or kept rubbing her temples. Her more irritable attitude was the most noticeable thing that had changed. While they sat studying, they decided to ask about it.
"Lee, is everything all right?" Kaede asked. "You seem...irritable."
"That would be one way of putting it," Lee replied. "I'm fine. Just some really bad headaches."
"Are you sure it's headaches?" Sarah asked. "Normal headaches don't come every single day."
"They're normal," Lee answered. "It's the cause of them that isn't."
"How can there be an abnormal cause of headaches?" Harmony asked.
"Well, you know that strange magic I've got?" Lee asked, getting nods from her friends. "Turns out it's caused by two magical entities that love to bicker with each other, and me."
"No wonder you've been taking so much aspirin," Sarah replied. "That sounds awful."
"You've got no idea."
Lee explained how they began talking during break. Her friends listened carefully and even gave her tips for the headaches. They sat there until the bell rang. Harmony and Lee dashed off to potions. They entered the dungeons and took their seats before the bell rang to start class. Lee set up everything in a flash. Snape came in and began the lesson.
"Today you must work in pairs to brew a proper invisibility draught," Snape instructed. "You have until the end of the hour. The instructions are on the board."
Harmony let Lee get out all of the necessary materials as they started.
"Are you going to help or just sit there for the entire hour?" Lee asked with a smirk.
"Well, I suck at potions, so you can do it," Harmony answered. "Besides, haven't you brewed every potion in the book already?"
"I've brewed every antidote, there's a difference," she corrected.
Lee managed to get Harmony to read the steps from the book while she brewed the potion. As the end of the hour approached, Lee bottled the potion and took it up to Snape. She sat back down with a smile and began cleaning up.
"That potion was easy," Lee stated. "You could've brewed it, Harmony."
"No, I would've screwed it up," Harmony replied.
Snape dismissed the class just as the bell rang and the two friends went to the Great Hall for lunch. Lee and Harmony took their regular spots at the end of the Slytherin table. While they ate, Lee pulled out a few pieces of paper and read them over. Harmony peeked over her shoulder and found that they were different job options.
"You're looking for a job?" She asked with confusion.
"Well, trainers have the option of doing special expeditions for the guild to earn some money," Lee answered. "And I'm looking at the different spots I could take."
"Why not get a job in Hogsmeade?"
"Because that's boring," Lee groaned. "Besides, there's actually a more free range position where I have the ability to travel anywhere I want and take data on the animals I encounter."
"Wow, that actually sounds like something you'd really like," Harmony replied. "I can tell that you like to have some control."
"And who wouldn't want to see the world?" Lee added. "There's too much out there that I just want to see. Now I have the freedom to see it."
"But aren't you going to have to go back to Chicago?"
"I'm not going back there for the life of me."
The day passed in a flash. That day became two, then three, then a week. Lee had been given the 'free range' travel position. Harmony's secret pile of paperwork from her father had doubled and she was falling dangerously behind. The end of the year was coming soon and the professors began preparing them for their exams. As they kept studying, the friends spent more time on their own. Lee would be flying over the lake for hours, while Harmony would be in some corner trying to do work. Sarah would be off climbing somewhere and Kaede would be on the astronomy tower. One day, when the exams began, Harmony and Lee had managed to find some time to hang out.
"So, how do you think you did on the charms exam?" Harmony asked.
"I think I did fine, what about you?"
"Terrible," Harmony replied. "I suck at magic in general."
"If you applied yourself more then maybe you'd do better," Lee suggested.
"But that requires work…" She moaned.
"Everything requires work." Lee pointed out.
"Then I won't do anything."
"Doing nothing requires you to do something."
"No it doesn't, you're just trying to make me miserable." Harmony said lazily.
"Nah, I'm just trying to get you to be productive." Lee stated.
They soon went inside to escape some of the heat. They took a seat in a corner in the Great Hall. The two friends practically melted into the shadows. They quieted their conversation when they heard someone approaching. It was Professor Quirrell. He kept talking to himself, which they found very odd. He didn't seem to have his stutter. Lee slinked around the edge of the hall to try and hear it better.
"Master, I assure you, it is as good as yours," he muttered, making Lee strain to hear him. "Albus Dumbledore will not pose any problem to our plan."
"You had better not fail me," a voice hissed, surprising Lee, "Or there will be consequences for your incompetence."
Lee glanced back at Harmony with wide eyes. She knew that voice. Lee had heard it during Christmas! Before Quirrell had a chance to discover the two eavesdroppers, they exited the hall. They went up to the Room of Requirement and began discussing what they'd heard.
"That was freaky, even to me," Harmony commented.
"I know the voice," Lee stated quickly, "I heard that voice during Christmas break."
"Do you know who it belongs to?"
"Honestly, Harm, I'm not sure I want to know," Lee answered, "Because that would open a really bad can of worms."
"Well then what exactly are you going to do?" Harmony asked.
"Hope it goes away?" Lee replied sheepishly.
"I don't think it will go away."
"Let's just wait and see. Besides the year is almost over, I'm sure everything will work itself out."
They waited patiently. The exams ended soon, and everything seemed fine. Then, one night, Harmony had another vision, and Lee had another dream.
Harmony was standing in a graveyard. She saw Harry in a red and black shirt, standing with a Hufflepuff boy. The strange thing was that Harry wasn't eleven. He seemed to be a teenager. The Hufflepuff boy was about seventeen and Lee was slinking around in the shadows with Peat. Harry crumpled in pain and his hand shot to his forehead. A man that Harmony didn't recognize was there, holding a bundle in his arms.
"Kill the spare." the bundle hissed.
Harmony froze and recognized the voice as the one she had heard today.
"Avada Kedavra!" The man shouted.
A bolt of green light came from his wand and blasted the boy, killing him. Lee looked petrified in the shadows. The man forced Harry onto a grave and dropped the bundle into a cauldron. He added a bone to the cauldron and then sliced his own hand off to add to it as well! Harry was in agony, and Harmony saw Lee standing in the shadows. She knew the look on her face. Lee wanted to help. The man then added Harry's blood to the cauldron. It fizzed and turned into a black cloud. When it disappeared, it was a new man. His face was snake-like and he had red slits for eyes.
Harmony bolted awake, covered in cold sweat. First she'd seen Lee with Kaede and Aero Shield and that came true. She hoped and prayed that this vision didn't come to pass! Harmony had a sneaking suspicion of who the man from the cauldron had been. She had never heard anybody tell her what he looked like, but the chills she got made her think that it was him…
Lee was beginning to get used to having these dreams with Cora and Alban. Cora had turned out to be a really pale girl with the darkest shade of black hair possible, and her eyes were just as dark. Alban had pale skin as well, but her hair was whiter than snow, with eyes to match. They seemed to think Lee ignored them during the day, which she did. They had been having these visits since after break. Cora and Alban were still bickering with each other. The topic of the day was who Lee should be like.
"Your powers are barbaric!" Alban snapped. "And your personality is just as bad! Really, Lee you need to be like me and have the ability to heal, instead of whatever Cora does."
"Excuse me?! I am NOT barbaric!" Cora retorted. "Besides, Lee needs to be strong and powerful! Otherwise she's just a weakling! Nobody cares about healing, it's power that matters!"
"For crying out loud, why don't you just let me be me!" Lee yelled. "Really, you say that you both chose me to be your host for a reason, so why don't you let me be who I want to be?! It's not rocket science!"
"Lee, it's not about you," Cora said patronizingly.
"I'd hate to disagree, but it kind of is." Lee replied. "You're arguing about what I should be like."
The two entities continued to bicker while Lee stood helplessly in the middle. She shook her head as they kept arguing. It was when they went silent that she looked up. To her surprise, the two entities had disappeared.
"Cora? Alban?" Lee asked suspiciously. "Not that I'm complaining, but why'd you vanish?"
Lee jumped in surprise when she saw a hole open up in front of her. It went on forever, and it was completely black. She heard the same hissing voice from it. That made her turn and run.
"Master, you are not strong enough!" Professor Quirrell cried. "You must wait until we have the stone!"
Lee pushed away her curiosity and focused on getting away from the hole. Like her life couldn't get any more crazy! She heard Cora and Alban shrieking behind her and felt like her head was being torn apart. She ran back and found that the hole was trying to swallow them! Lee grabbed their arms and pulled them away as hard as she could.
"You two could try helping!" Lee snapped. "This isn't exactly a walk in the park!"
"How do you suggest we help?" Cora snapped back.
"I don't know! Try using your feet! They're not useless you know!"
They pushed their feet against the edge and managed to pull themselves forward with Lee's help. When they got away from the hole, it vanished. Lee was breathing heavily and glanced at the two entities. What would try and literally rip them from a dream?
Lee found her answer when she woke up the next day. There was a buzz going around the Great Hall at breakfast.
"Lee! Harmony!" Sarah called, running to meet them.
"What's up?" Lee asked.
"It's Harry. He's in the hospital wing!" Sarah answered.
Lee dropped her fork and dragged Harmony to the wing. Madame Pomfrey was in there tending to him. He looked like he was out cold. Professor Dumbledore was sitting next to the bed calmly. Lee ran in and immediately began questioning him.
"Professor, what happened?! Is Harry all right?!" She asked rapidly.
"Lee, please relax," Professor Dumbledore said calmly. "Harry will be fine."
"But what happened?" Harmony asked. "How did he get like this?"
"It seems that young Mr. Potter has escaped from Voldemort once again," Dumbledore answered.
"Wait, Voldemort?" Lee replied, confused. "I thought Voldemort was gone."
"It seems that he had attached himself to Professor Quirrell.," Dumbledore explained. "He attempted to steal something last night, and Harry and his friends stopped him."
"Wait, Ron and Hermione were there too?" Sarah asked quickly. "They're okay, right?"
"They are both perfectly fine," Dumbledore assured her. "Now, you three should head back to breakfast."
Harmony and Sarah turned to leave, but Lee stayed rooted to the spot.
"You guys go ahead, I'll catch up later." Lee said blandly.
They left the wing and Dumbledore gave Lee a warm smile.
"It seems that you've taken a liking to Mr. Potter," he stated.
"I don't know, he's like a brother," Lee replied. "Professor, was Voldemort always so...parasitic?"
"No, in fact, he despised having to rely on something, especially if it was someone else," he replied. "I've also noticed that is a trait you shared in common."
"What?!" Lee exclaimed. "Professor, you can't be serious. There's no way I'm like him."
"Calm down, Lee," Dumbledore chuckled. "You don't share that trait with him anymore, but you were very alike when you were in your orphanage. I do say, those scars you've collected seem quite nasty."
"Lee, I've been watching you grow quite a lot," Dumbledore stated, "It's not difficult to see that you aren't the same. You say you view Harry as a brother?"
"Wow, sudden topic change," Lee muttered. "Well, yeah. I mean, he and I have a lot in common, and he...I don't know."
"He showed you that you aren't the only person to be raised the way you were," Dumbledore stated. "I think we've had enough conversation for now. Go back and get yourself some more breakfast."
Lee left the infirmary with questions buzzing through her head. How did Dumbledore know? Why did he suddenly change the topic so much? They went through her head many times over. She went back and sat down with Harmony.
"So, what did you talk about?" Harmony asked.
"Nothing important," Lee answered. "Just some stuff."
"Okay. So, where are you going this summer?" Harmony asked again.
"I'm flying to the African jungle," Lee replied cheerfully. "Not a lot of trainers go there, so there isn't a lot of knowledge on what creatures live there. What about you?"
"I'm going back to Italy," Harmony answered, "My parents have a lot of work for me to do."
The last day came in a flash. Lee, Harmony, Sarah, and Kaede were boarding the Hogwarts express to go back to London. They took a compartment at the back of the train. Lee sat there with Peat draped across her lap like a cat.
"So, what do you think the adventure's gonna be next year?" Sarah joked.
"Who knows, maybe it'll be a vicious dinosaur wreaking havoc on the school." Lee replied with a laugh.
"A dinosaur? Aren't those extinct?" Kaede asked.
"With magic, who knows?" Lee shrugged.
The train pulled out of the Hogsmeade station and the four friends talked eagerly about the next year. They all promised to write over the summer as much as possible. They laughed as their journey continued. When the train pulled into the station, they left it together. Kaede went to meet her sister on the platform. Sarah quickly vanished when she saw her aunt.
"So, are your parents on the platform or waiting for you in the muggle world?" Lee asked Harmony.
"Probably waiting in the muggle world," Harmony answered, "Where are you going to take off?"
"First I've got to hit Diagon Alley," Lee answered, "Then they send to me to my destination from the HQ."
"Don't die in those jungles," Harmony warned.
"I promise I won't die," Lee assured her, "Besides, Aero Shield will look after me."
They ran through the barrier to King's Cross Station. The two friends bid farewell as Harmony went to her parents. Lee began her walk to Diagon Alley, for once, realizing that she'd finally found something to look forward to.
"So, was that one of your friends?" Harmony's dad asked.
"Yeah. That's Lee," Harmony answered. "She's traveling to Africa to train dragons."
"How are there dragons in Africa?" Her mother asked.
"She said wizards are good at keeping them under wraps." Harmony explained. "I'll bet she'll come back next year with twenty dragons."
Harmony and her family left for the airport, ready to fly back to Italy. Harmony couldn't wait for Hogwarts next year. Though, she wouldn't be very happy if they had to deal with the same crazy antics next year.