The Sugar Quill
Author: Love Gordon  Story: Harry Potter and the Viridian Wand  Chapter: Chapter One: Fly
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*~CHAPTER 1 - "FLY"~*

Harry Potter set foot in the Heathrow airport for the first time at 3:47 that afternoon. He had traveled home via a Muggle plane, for he was returning from dealing with some Unspeakable things in the Mayan temples deep in Mexico, too far away to Apparate.

He had not set foot in England in five years.

Since his last battle against Voldemort, when he had been twenty-two, he had been on extended loan from the Unspeakables office in London to the one in Mexico.

 

 Well, that was only for the last year; before he'd been in China, Russia, Thailand, the US, all over the globe. But never back to England. Even with Voldemort banished beyond this world into the realm of death, he had run. Harry had hoped he could escape… from the memories of his two best friends, Hermione and Ron Weasley, and their infant daughter, who had all been killed by Voldemort.

Late the previous night he had received an urgent dispatch from the Ministry of Magic. Percy Weasley, the current Minister, had ordered him home at once. A witch- unnamed, surprisingly - had sensed a disturbance in the barrier between the spiritual and physical realms -exactly what Harry specialized in. But it was more than that. The witch- whoever it was - had sensed that a wizard of enormous power was involved. Someone with enough power to wake the dead.

Someone with enough power to wake Voldemort.

So, Harry Potter had flown to London via Muggle plane to Heathrow Airport. Now on his once-familiar home turf, he didn't know what to do. He stood outside the disembarking gate for a moment before Charlie Weasley found him.

"Here, let's get your bags," he said, without a greeting. He motioned for Harry to follow, and headed straight for the luggage claim. When Harry didn't move, he spun around. "Look, I'd like to tell you what's going on, but I know less that you do. Fred and George were delayed, and you are supposed to meet them in," he looked at his watch, "Five minutes! So let's go."

"Okay…" Harry said with a shrug. Strange. But that was the Ministry. All of the Weasley brothers, except for the eldest, Bill, were in its employ. Even Ron had been…

When the two had gathered Harry's bags, they took a Portkey to a nearby wizarding inn on Diagon Alley. It was called, most appropriately, the Diagon Alley Inn. There, Fred and George Weasley greeted them with

much enthusiasm. After all had settled down with some lunch from a nearby pub, Charlie left.

"I suppose you know I'm your new boss in Unspeakables," Fred began. Harry nodded. "George still works in our company, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, most of the time, but then I've always done a bit more with the Ministry than he. However, we're both working on this case. You know the basics."

"Realm disturbance by a powerful wizard, 11 pm Monday night. It's two days ago tonight," Harry stated automatically.

"Yes. A mediumistic witch sensed an overlap at approximately 11:09. No other witches or wizards, as far as we know, were alerted to this, but the witch says she sensed something familiar about the power, and that may be why. She's of a group of about thirty that work to maintain barriers between the realms. The disturbance was well-hidden."

"The ideal thing would be to work with her. Is she still on duty?"

"Well…," Fred hesitated.

George spoke. "In ordinary circumstances that's what we would do, but… I don't think…"

"It's Ginny, isn't it?" Harry said.

"Yes." The three cohorts turned around at the sound of the voice. Percy leaned against the doorframe. He wore green robes emblazoned with the Ministry of Magic logo. He continued, "That's why you came back, isn't it? You knew."

Harry didn't deny it. "I did."

"You'd have had to return even if I hadn't owled an S.O.S. You can feel the danger, can't you?"

Harry reached up and touched the scar that had been given to him more than twenty-five years before. He remembered how it had ached that Monday night, as he prepared for bed. It had been so intense, he'd nearly passed out.

"I was worried about Ginny," he said finally.

"So you do have some feelings for her, after all." Percy raised an eyebrow, as if that was something he had not expected.

 

"And you thought I didn't?"

"Look… You went AWOL for a while. No one knew if You-Know-Who had killed you or what, except for Lupin, and he wasn't telling. You left your wife of three weeks behind in London with not a word as to your whereabouts. Shortly after her brother, best friend, and their daughter were killed. It's not like I don't know where I'm coming from."

"A lot more went on then you make it sound like."

"Such as?"

"I was a mess for a while. Stayed in St. Mungo's for nearly a year. I didn't want to go back to her in pieces."

"Even your ashes would have been enough."

The two men glared at each other. Fred sighed.

"Percy, Harry, enough. We have a renegade source of power loose on the planet, You-Know-Who about to stage a comeback and you two are going at it like three-year-olds. Cut - it - out!" he said emphatically.

"He's right," Harry spat out. "I left her at a time when she needed me most, without telling her if I was alive or dead. I was terribly wrong and acted like an idiot with a half-addled brain, several broken ribs, and a punctured lung, which was exactly what I was. Okay, Percy? You win!"

There was total silence. And then:

"All right then, Harry. Now, here are the reports I brought… Fred, George, will you please stop laughing? The situation is not funny!" 

______________________________________________________________________________________________

The child sat in the corner again. She didn't fidget. Her hands rested gently against the cheap, nubbly fabric of her hooded dress. Her face was - again - shadowed, and the child was utterly still.

"It's uncanny," said the old man, clad in beige linen robes. He and Lowell sat at the table in another of the underground rooms. The dirt floor here was dusty, and his hems were brown with it. The old man stroked his long white beard as he looked at her. The child lifted her head to meet his gaze, her eyes shining in the darkness. He flinched.

"She's not dangerous," Lowell said softly, reassuring the man. "She won't hurt you, Abram."

"You are a fool to think that. When she is older, she will have enough

power to destroy us all. Perhaps she could now - there is no telling the extent of her powers."

Now Lowell laughed. "It is not you who have had the care of her all these years. She has no more mind that an unthinking simpleton. Her only blessing is that she is a vessel for her enormous power."

The old man Abram stood up from the rickety log table and walked over to the child. He knelt in front of her, and carefully pushed back the hood that covered her head, as if he were uncovering a delicate object. He placed a hand under her chin, and tilted her face up to his. His eyes widened at what he saw. Her face was blank, a careful, studied blankness; her eyes were opaque jewels, glittering and empty. She stared at him with an unflinching gaze; or perhaps that was only the way her eyes were focused.

He backed away, shuddering, letting her head drop abruptly back into place under the hood. Abram was obviously unnerved, and looked much older than his sixty-some years. He looked at Lowell, who was studying the floor beneath her feet.

"Anyone with a drop of magical ability could sense her intelligence! Lowell, you have some explaining to do," he said.

No one saw the child's expressionless lips curve into a smile.

 

//
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