It had been an entire week since the letter from Hogwarts had arrived. I still had yet to buy my things because I couldn't. Not until Harry was able to buy his. But now he was nowhere to be found. Two days ago the Dursley's had suddenly packed up and left. My parents and I all knew that it was because the letters just kept on coming. Hogwarts had sent nearly forty letters through his chimney a few days ago. Somehow Harry still hadn't managed to swipe one. I'd tried to see him when they were still here but it was impossible. Every time I would come over to his house Vermin would slam the door in my face and start muttering about 'damn letters.'
We were getting close to the point where Harry had to write back to Hogwarts to let them know that he would be coming and I was getting antsy. He had to know. We had to tell him. But my parents kept telling me that they had it under control. I didn't have the slightest as to what that meant. They just kept telling me to calm down and let them handle it. It was bothering me that I could do nothing about it. Especially as we were coming gradually closer and closer to Harry's eleventh birthday. In fact, tomorrow was his birthday.
On a trip to Diagon Alley in the middle of the week, this time I had stayed with my parents the entire time, I'd gone and gotten Harry Quidditch Throughout the Ages. I had a feeling that he would like it and be good at it. Mostly considering that his father was evidently a great player. On my trip to Diagon Alley I had once more met up with the Weasley family. Fred and George had been walking around in the second-hand bookstore when I'd found them. They had Ginny - their little sister - with them. She seemed sweet but still overly shy. I had decided to let the boys be with their sister and waved them off with a promise that I would see them in a few weeks at Hogwarts.
To my utter surprise I had also seen Draco Malfoy again. He was alone this time and headed into Knockturn Alley. It was supposedly the place where all of the dark witches and wizards went. I'd debated on going to speak with him but when I saw Lucius Malfoy walking behind him I'd passed up the opportunity. As my parents had taken me to fit me for a new pair of dress robes I'd met Dean Thomas, a young black boy who was very sweet. He was also a huge Quidditch fan. My father had signed his new school parchment - which his mother had not been happy about. After buying another set of parchment for Dean we'd left and I'd told him that I would see him on the Hogwarts Express.
We would both be First-Years this coming year. Dean didn't seem to care where he went as long as he went to Hogwarts. There were a few other kids that I'd run into. Cho Chang was a girl going into her Second Year. A Ravenclaw by the looks of it. I'd accidentally spilled my ice cream on her shoes. After yelling at me for a few good minutes I'd laughed under my breath and run off. There was another First Year girl named Pansy Parkinson I'd met outside of The Leaky Cauldron that had been looking for Draco. I'd laughed and sent her the wrong way.
I was sure that there were plenty of other kids that would be going to Hogwarts in September that I had passed without even knowing. There were clearly plenty of Muggle-Born's there that day. I could hear them all shouting with glee at the discovery of the Wizarding World. There was one girl that stood out to me as she walked out of Flourish and Blotts. She had extremely bushy brown hair as she walked out of the bookstore, her arms about to fall off with the amount of books that she was carrying. Far more than the required reading. I grinned to myself. She would certainly be one of the brightest kids in First Year.
That had been earlier this week. Now I was sitting at home, attempting to bake cookies with my mother. Neither one of us were very good chefs. We mostly relied on my father. But he was currently out in London with his old friends from the Stars. They had come to visit, probably for an away game. "Wait. Were we supposed to put the butter in before or after the eggs?" My mother asked.
I glanced up at her in surprise. "We were supposed to put eggs in it?"
The two of us stared at each other for a minute before bursting out laughing. We knew that the cookies were going to come out terribly. But at least we were trying. "Well, we'll just improvise! Now get the mixer, will you?" My mother asked me. I wasn't sure that we were supposed to be mixing the batter but she seemed sure of herself. I handed her the mixer and watched as she attempted to figure it out. "Blasted thing. How do the Muggles use these?" She mumbled to herself.
As my mother reached for her wand to put an enchantment on the machine I nudged her back gently. "Perhaps you should let me use it?" My mother nodded in agreement. I had spent plenty of days at the Dursley household. I knew how to use machines that the No-Maj's used. One day I would have to start calling them Muggles. It was what everyone at school would call them.
Plugging the mixer into the wall I motioned for my mother to pour the batter in. We did so and I waited a moment before hitting the power on button, as I'd seen Horse-Face do so many times before. But just as I turned the machine on it whirred to life at the highest setting and whipped the cookie batter all over the kitchen. Some slopped onto me while other bits of it went onto my mother. Most of it went onto the walls and floor. We were both shrieking loudly as we fought to turn the stupid mixer off.
"Unplug it!" I yelled to my mother, who was standing closer to the counter than I was.
As my mother fought to reach the machine it threw a large glop onto her face. "Oh enough of this! Arresto Momentum!" My mother shouted. The mixer suddenly froze and I looked around the kitchen. It was too late. The damage had already been done. Cookie batter was all over the place, over all of the white cabinets, all over the beige tiled floor, on the white counter tops, and all over the two of us.
We both stared at each other in shock for a moment before bursting out into a fit of laughter. We were both terrible cooks but nothing like that had ever happened. It was rather funny seeing just how terrible the two of us really were. We were on the ground, wiping off bits of cookie dough. I tried a little scoop off of my mother's nose and recoiled. It was horrible. It tasted like cardboard, extremely bitter cardboard. I spit it out in my hand which only made my mother laugh. She gave me a hand up off of the floor which I took, letting her wipe me off.
The door opened and that precise moment and I watched as my father walked through, dropping his light jacket off on the hook by the door. He was still staring at the floor. "Afternoon girls. You should have seen the way that the boys are now, it's like without me there they're -" My father cut himself off as he looked around the room. "What the bloody hell happened in here?" He asked us.
He didn't look angry or upset, just confused. "We made you cookies, Daddy," I said softly. I was seriously hoping to get out of this relatively unscathed.
My father nodded at me and grabbed a small finger of the cookie dough that had been still in the bowl. He licked it off the tip of his finger before recoiling. Probably in disgust. "Well darling, the only thing that I can say about when you're old enough to live without us is that you better either marry a man that can cook or get yourself a House Elf."
The three of us laughed loudly and grinned at each other. My mother patted down some of my hair and motioned through the living room towards the stairs. "Go get cleaned up. We'll clean this mess up," she told me.
"We? This was the two of you. I'm going to go order out for some pizza," my father said with a smile. I laughed under my breath and turned to head up the stairs. As I walked into my room I pressed the door shut behind me and walked over to my old dresser.
Inside was all of my clothing. Much of it was still warmer weather clothes that I had once worn in Florida. It was rarely warm enough to wear any of these things in Surrey. I grabbed a pair of long jeans and a blue sweater before dropping my blonde hair into the sink and ringing it out. I watched as the globs of cookie dough slid out and down the drain. Once I had all of the cookie dough out I ran my brush through my hair and shook it out, tossing my dirty clothes into my hamper. As I went to grab a book - deciding that the weather was far too nice to be cooped up inside all day - I heard the doorbell ring downstairs. For a moment my heart skipped. Could it be Harry?
Deciding that I had to go find out I dashed down the stairs. The man that was standing in our living room was certainly not Harry Potter. My parents were both hugging him and laughing like he was an old friend, which he clearly was. He was huge. Well over seven feet tall. He was about three Dudley's wide and two in height. His long brown hair was bushy over his face, matching was a fluffy beard and mustache. It went down to his chest. He was wearing a battered old cloak and carrying a bright pink umbrella.
"Hagrid!" My father chirped happily. "Glad you got our owl. About Harry, correct?"
"'Course. Gotta get 'im to Diagon Alley. Needs his Hogwarts things. Now where's Tara? Been years since I seen her. Don' think I've seen her since she was a little 'un," the giant responded. Did he know me? I certainly didn't know him.
"She's upstairs. Tara!" My mother shouted. I jumped slightly and bounced from my hiding spot. My mother grinned at me and motioned me forwards. She grabbed me by my shoulders and turned me to face the giant. "Tara, this is Hagrid. He's the Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts. He's the Groundskeeper too. You'll see him a fair bit when you go off to school. He's here to help us get Harry his letter."
My eyes brightened as I stared at Hagrid. Finally someone was here to help get Harry his letter. We needed to make sure that he was able to go to Hogwarts in September. "Do I know you?" I asked rudely. I immediately wanted to take the words back. I should have said thank you.
The giant named Hagrid didn't seem offended. Instead he took a step towards me and held his hand out. I took it and watched as it completely engulfed me. I giggled softly. His touch was barely anything and one of his was bigger than both of mine. "Ah Tara, yeh were jus' a little one las' time I saw yeh. Jus' over a year ole. Pretty then an' pretty now." I smiled softly.
"Thank you. So you're here about Harry?" I asked him suddenly.
Hagrid laughed. Yer parents tol' me tha' yeh were a quick one. Yeh, the two o' us will be headin' to get Harry jus' about now. Jus' had ter stop by to pick yeh up," he told me.
I turned back to my parents, more than a little surprised. "You knew that he was coming?" I asked them.
It was my father that stepped forward. "Yes, Tara. We've been in contact with Dumbledore about getting the letter to Harry. After multiple failed attempts, even to the hotel that the Dursley's were at, we figured that the direct approach would be for the best. Dumbledore was going to just send Hagrid to get Harry but we all felt that it would be better if he had someone he knew and trusted with him. Might be a little easier to take in. You and Hagrid will stay the night with Harry and head to Diagon Alley in the morning. Here's the money you'll need for your things," my father said, handing me a pouch filled with coins.
"Thanks!" I chirped, throwing my arms around my father. He chuckled softly and nodded. Bashfully I added, "Is there enough money in there for an owl?"
My mother stepped forward and grinned at me. "There is. We figured that you'd be wanting one of your own. And you need one if you want to be writing us back and forth. The school owls are painfully slow and not always that nice," she told me.
I wrapped my arms around her too and thanked her softly. I supposed that my spirits had risen since finding out that it was time to get Harry his Hogwarts letter. I turned back to Hagrid, who was watching the three of us with a bright smile, and nodded at him. I couldn't remember ever seeing him before but I was too young to ever remember him. Although my parents seemed to trust him, he was an employee of Hogwarts, and he had Dumbledore's trust. That made him good enough to me.
Staring at Hagrid for a moment I smiled. "Well come on! Time is wasting! Bye Mom! Bye Dad!" I shouted, dragging Hagrid from our living room and out to the front yard. "Oh! Wait right here!" I told him before dashing back into my house. My parents were watching and smiling at me. "I almost forgot Harry's present," I said with a smile, grabbing the wrapped book off of the table.
"Tell Harry we said hello. And be careful!" My mother shouted after me. I called back an affirmative to her before dashing out the door. It closed with a soft thump behind me and I walked over to where Hagrid was standing, surprised that it was already nighttime. I didn't realize that it was already dark outside. The sun was just setting.
Hagrid walked us around to my back yard. I assumed that we would be Apparating. So that meant that we had to do it away from prying eyes. "Yer folks were sayin' that Harry don't know nothin' about his parents?" Hagrid asked me.
I sighed deeply and shook my head at the giant. "Nope. Harry doesn't know anything about the Wizarding World. I mean he might have some memories that he hasn't chosen to share with me but it doesn't seem like he knows. The Dursley's kept his life before them a secret. Harry just knows that his parents died. He doesn't know about magic and he doesn't know about any of us. Witches and wizards. This is going to be quite the shock for him. Take it easy on him," I told Hagrid.
He looked less and less pleased the longer that I spoke. "He know about You-Know-Who?" Hagrid asked me after a long pause. I shook my head at him. Not that I knew of. "Well, someone's gotta tell him eventually. Might as well be us," he said and I nodded. "Yer parents 'ave Apparated with yeh before, righ'?" Hagrid asked me.
"'Course. Not my favorite mode of transportation but it'll do. Plus we're on a time crunch. Harry has to send back that letter in the next few days," I told him.
He nodded. "Not ta worry. Dumbledore knows all about Harry's situation. He'll be waitin' on me letter tellin' 'im that I got Harry the letter and we're on our way to Diagon Alley to get you two yer things," Hagrid said. I nodded.
"Sounds like a plan. Shall we?" I asked him with a smile. I gave him my arm and he chuckled, wrapping his hand completely around it. He, like my parents, was good enough with magic to not have to say the words. I felt a small tugging behind my belly-button and all of a sudden we were whooshing through the air. I bid my parents a silent goodbye. I would see them soon.
We went twirling through the air and I groaned at the feeling of Apparating. Everyone said that Side-Apparating was way worse than Apparating on your own. I could see the air turn dark and I felt the rain began to pelt me as we made our way over the sea. The Dursley's had gone a long way away just to have Harry still get his letter. We landed on a large chunk of rock with a small hut that looked like it might fall apart at any moment on it. The hut was the sole building on the rock. The sea was whipping harshly around us. The rain was falling in heavy sheets as the wind threatened to blow me over. I was glad that Hagrid had a steel grip on me.
There was a boat tied to the dock near us and I watched as it was nearly whipped away. I tried to shield myself from the rain but it was too late. I was already soaked to the bone. A loud crack of thunder and lightning shot over us and Hagrid kicked back into motion. He led me over to the door, somewhat out of the rain, and tried to cover me as best as he could. The door that I tried was locked and Hagrid shrugged his shoulders at me. Did he not know Alohomora? I thought that it was one of the First-Year spells.
Instead of using his wand - which somehow I hadn't seen yet - he knocked heavily on the door. I jumped slightly, startled at just how loud the knock was. It had shaken the entire place. "Are we sure that Harry's in there?" I yelled to Hagrid.
"Positive!" He shouted back. So I nodded and watched as Hagrid continued to knock. I knew that we must have been startling them. It was just past midnight. They were probably all asleep. At least I would get to wish Harry a happy birthday.
Hagrid knocked another time. I could hear the door creaking. It was pretty obvious that in a few moments the door would get blown off of its hinges. "Who's there?" I heard Vermin shout from the inside. "I warn you - I'm armed!" He yelled. I snorted and watched as Hagrid hesitated for a moment before knocking once more. He had hit the door so hard that this time it actually went swinging off of the hinges, hitting the floor heavily.
Just as I had expected, the Dursley's and Harry were all standing in the open house. The Dursley's were all on or near the staircase. Dudley was sitting on the couch, staring in absolute horror. Harry was laying on the rug in the living room. I ran up to him and smiled. "Harry! Happy birthday!" I shouted, wrapping my arms around him.
Harry's arms were somewhat limp around me. "Thanks, Tara," he said softly. I could tell that he hadn't bothered looking away from Hagrid since the door had been knocked off of its hinges.
Hagrid had a slightly harder time getting into the hut than I had. He squeezed through the frame and I watched as he walked in. His head just brushed against the ceiling. Hagrid bent down and picked up the door like it was nothing more than a feather. I watched as he fitted it easily back into its frame. The noise from the storm outside dropped a little. Hagrid turned and looked over the Dursley's. He looked less than impressed at them. Not that I could blame him. They weren't a super fascinating bunch.
Hagrid shifted and stared at the Dursley's with a bored expression. "Couldn't make us a cup o' tea, could yeh? It's not been an easy journey." He turned to me and gave me a small wink, which I giggled at.
Harry stared at Hagrid before turning to me. It seemed like he was seeing me for the first time. I dropped the package on the table and shivered slightly. The rain was ice cold. "Oh, Tara. Here, take this." He reached into his bags and pulled out a long sleeved blue shirt and a pair of black stretch pants that would probably trail a mile past my legs. I smiled anyways.
"Thanks," I told Harry before jumping behind a wall that was jutting out.
As I changed out of the soaking wet clothes I watched Hagrid walk over to the sofa where Dudley sat, still frozen with fear. "Budge up, yeh great lump," Hagrid told Dudley.
Before anyone could say anything else I fixed the oversized clothes. The shirt extended a few inches past my arms and laid on me like a bag. The pants needed to be tied as tight as they could go and they needed to be double-knotted. They were still almost falling off of my waist. The legs extended almost a foot past my feet. But they were warm and dry. And that was good for me. So I left my clothes in the corner of the room on the table to dry and walked back over to Harry.
No one had said anything since I had bothered to get changed. Harry didn't take his eyes off of Hagrid but he did look over at me with his jaw hanging slightly. "Tara, who is this?" He asked me softly.
"Hagrid," I answered with a smile. "He's a friend of my parents. He was a friend of yours too," I told him.
Harry looked like he was about to ask me something but before he got the chance Dudley let out a high-pitched squeak. He jumped from the couch and ran to hide behind his mother, who was crouching, terrified, behind Vermin. "An' here's Harry!" Hagrid yelled with a grin. "Las' time I saw you, you was only a baby. Yeh look a lot like yet dad, but yeh've got yet mom's eyes," he said.
I smiled slightly. My parents had once said the same thing. Vermin made a funny rasping noise, detracting the attention from Harry and Hagrid. "I demand that you leave at once, sir! And take her with you!" He yelled, looking over at me. Harry took a protective stance in front of me. "You are breaking and entering! What have you brought him here for?" Vermin asked, hissing at me.
Rolling my eyes, I moved in front of Harry and stared down Vermin. "To give him the letter that you keep hiding! It's his!" I shouted, motioning back to Harry, who looked completely surprised that I had even remembered the letter debacle.
"Ah, shut up, Dursley, yeh great prune," Hagrid said. I smirked and watched as Vermin slunk back. Hagrid reached over the back of the sofa and jerked the rifle out of Vermin's hands, bent it into a knot as easily as if it had been made of rubber, and threw it into a corner of the room. Vermin made another noise tha made me let out a small laugh. "Anyway - Harry, a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here. I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right."
I watched as Hagrid pulled out a slightly squashed box from his overcoat. How had I not even noticed that he had a box in there? Maybe that coat was half the reason that Hagrid was as big as he was. He handed it over to Harry, who looked back at me. I gave him a nod and watched as he opened it. Harry's hands were trembling as he opened the box. Immediately it smelled delicious. Inside the box was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing. Harry looked up at Hagrid with a stunned face.
It was easy to see that Harry was searching for something to say. He stared at Hagrid for a moment before opening his mouth. "Who are you?" He asked suddenly.
The smile that had been on my face dropped as I stared at my friend. "That's polite, Harry," I told him.
Hagrid chuckled at the two of us. "Now, now, Tara. Harry here don't know who I am. True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts." He held out one of his enormous hand and shook Harry's whole arm. He was not as gentle as he was with me. It made me furrow my brows. "What about that tea then, eh?" he said, rubbing his hands together. "I'd not say no ter summat stronger if yeh've got it, mind." I smiled but shook my head.
Hagrid's eyes fell on the empty grate over the fireplace with a shriveled chip bags in it and snorted. He bent down over the fireplace so that we couldn't see what he was doing. But a moment later he drew back and there was a roaring fire there. It filled the whole damp hut with flickering light and I smiled. I was still a little cold from the rain. Hagrid sat back down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and began taking all sorts of things out of the pockets of his coat: a copper kettle, a pack of sausages, a poker, a teapot, several chipped mugs, and a bottle of some amber liquid - probably Firewhisky - that he took a swig from before starting to make tea. Soon the hut was full of the sound and smell of sizzling sausage. Nobody said a thing while Hagrid worked. I thought about saying something but I decided to wait for Hagrid.
As Hagrid slid the first six fat, juicy, slightly burnt sausages from the poker, Dudley fidgeted a little. Harry's voice startled me slightly. I had almost forgot that I didn't come here just to watch Hagrid cook. "Tara, not that I'm not happy to see you, but why are you here? And with him?" Harry asked.
His voice was quiet enough so that Hagrid wouldn't be able to hear us. I smiled and laid my hand on Harry's shoulder. "You'll see, Harry. Just wait. I promise that we're here on good terms," I told him with a small grin.
He shifted for a moment before looking back over at Hagrid. "So you know him?" He asked me.
I nodded. "I knew of him for a long time. I only met him just earlier today." Harry looked slightly concerned. It was the truth. I'd heard my parents make mention of a man named Hagrid but I'd never actually met him. And I never knew that he was a giant. "Don't worry Harry, he's a good man. I promise. Just sit and wait. Be patient," I told him with a smile.
Vermin's voice made me look away from Harry as he said sharply, "Don't touch anything he gives you, Dudley." I snorted under my breath. I was reasonably sure that Hagrid wasn't planning on giving Dudley any of the food that he was cooking.
Hagrid seemed to share my thoughts as he chuckled darkly. "Yet great puddin' of a son don' need fattenin' anymore, Dursley, don' worry." I snorted loudly and even Harry cracked a smile. He passed the sausages to Harry and I, who both are them quickly. I could tell that Harry was starving. His food was gone in under two minutes. I was only about halfway through my sausage.
We were all sitting in a somewhat awkward silence. Hagrid didn't seem to notice anything and I didn't want to say anything without his approval. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to be telling Harry everything. "I'm sorry," Harry started, breaking the silence, "but I still don't really know who you are. Tara seems to trust you though," he added as an afterthought.
Hagrid took a gulp of tea and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "She's right ter do so," he said with a grin in my direction that I returned. "Call me Hagrid, everyone does. An' like I told yeh, I'm Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts - yeh'll know all about Hogwarts, o' course," Hagrid said.
I had mentioned to Hagrid that Harry knew nothing about the Wizarding World but I was sure that he had underestimated just how little Harry really knew about our world. His world. But Hagrid was about to find out. "Er - no," said Harry. Hagrid looked shocked. He turned to me and I gave a small nod. "Sorry," Harry said quickly, probably thinking that he had offended Hagrid.
"Sorry?" Hagrid barked, making Harry and I both jump. Hagrid turned to stare at the Dursley's, who shrank back into the shadows. "It's them who should be sorry! I knew yeh weren't gettin' yer letters but I never thought yeh wouldn't even know abou' Hogwarts, fer cryin' out loud! Did yeh never wonder where yet parents learned it all?" Hagrid asked.
Harry suddenly looked more shocked than before. Probably at the mention of his parents. I knew that the Dursley's rarely spoke of them. Only to tell him that his parents had died in a car crash - which was utter hogwash. "All what?" Harry asked.
"Hagrid I told you all of this! Dumbledore told you all of this! My parents told you all of this!" I shouted at him.
"All what?" Hagrid thundered before turning back to me, looking slightly calmer. "I know Tara, but I thought yeh were all exaggeratin'." He turned back to the Dursley's. "Now wait jus' one second!" He shouted as he jumped to his feet. He suddenly seemed to be closer to nine feet tall, rather than seven. The Dursley's were now all cowering against the far wall. "Do you mean ter tell me," he growled at the Dursley's, "that this boy - this boy! - knows nothin' abou' - about anything?"
Turning my glance over to Harry I could tell that he looked offended. He probably thought that we meant primary school education. Where he got halfway decent marks. "I know some things," he said. "I can, you know, do math and stuff."
No one was paying him any attention other than myself. Hagrid was still glaring at the Dursley's and the Dursley's were slowly shrinking in on themselves. "Harry, shut up. You aren't helping," I told him.
He looked over at me in shock, probably desperate for someone to tell him what was going on, but I was back to looking at Hagrid. He simply waved his hand and said, "About our world, I mean. Yer world. My world. Her world. Yer parents' world."
Harry's head snapped over at me, seemingly now realizing that he was the least informed person in the room. Perhaps other than Dudley. I was reasonably sure his parents hadn't told him what Harry was. The Dursley's had turned their frightened gazes on me now. They looked angry. "You! You're like - like him?" Horse-Face asked me.
I smiled proudly. "Yep!" I chirped, popping the P.
They all suddenly looked horrified. Dudley and Harry were still staring at me in confusion. "What world?" Harry asked, breaking the awkward silence. I couldn't tell if Harry was asking me, Hagrid, or the Dursley's. Probably all of the above.
Hagrid looked as if he was about to explode. "Dursley!" He boomed.
Vermin went extremely pale and muttered some type of nonsensical word. Hagrid finally turned back to stare at Harry, both of whom looked bewildered. "But yeh must know about yer mom and dad," he said. "I mean, they're famous. You're famous," he said. Harry's jaw nearly dropped.
Taking a step forward I pushed Harry towards the couch, fearing that he might collapse from the sudden intake of knowledge. Harry didn't bother sitting. "Hagrid, I told you. He doesn't know anything. Mom and Dad wouldn't let me say anything until he got the letter. They thought that it would be best for him to take it all in at once," I told Hagrid, who looked defeated.
Harry turned towards me, a sudden spring in his step. "What? For me to take all of what in at once? Your parents know something about me?" He asked me. I nodded slowly, fearing that he was becoming upset with me. "Why does everyone seem to know things about me except for me? My - my mom and dad weren't famous, were they?" He asked Hagrid, his voice dropping to just above a whisper.
"Yeh don' know... yeh don' know..." Hagrid ran his fingers through his hair, fixing Harry with a bewildered stare. "Yeh don' know what yeh are?" He finally asked. Harry shook his head.
Vermin suddenly found his voice. "Stop!" he commanded. "Stop right there, sir! I forbid you to tell the boy anything! And you!" He shouted, turning his gaze on me. "Are never to return to our house again."
Harry looked very put off by the last piece of Vermin's rant. I rolled my eyes. A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the furious look Hagrid now gave him. When Hagrid spoke, his every syllable trembled with rage. "You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left fer him? I was there! I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An' you've kept it from him all these years?" Hagrid asked.
I hadn't known that the Dursley's had gotten a letter explaining what had happened. I thought that Dumbledore had personally gone and explained what had happened. "Kept what from me?" Harry asked eagerly.
"Shut up, Harry," I quickly interjected; this conversation seemed to have taken a turn to only involve the adults.
"Stop! I forbid you!" Vermin yelled in a sudden panic. Horse-Face gave a gasp of horror as they realized that there was nothing to be done. Harry was going to find out what he was today.
Hagrid shook his head at the Dursley's. "Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh," he said. He then walked over to Harry and stood in front of him. Harry looked like a kid on Christmas morning. "Harry - yer a wizard," Hagrid said.
A small smile broke over my face. Harry turned back to me and I gave him a reassuring nod. There was silence inside the hut as Harry went back to stare at Hagrid. I could practically see the gears turning in his head. Only the sea and the whistling wind could be heard. "A what?" Harry gasped, sounding completely out of breath. Of course if I'd been raised essentially as a Muggle I would be completely shocked too.
Hagrid smiled at Harry. "A wizard, o' course," Hagrid said. He sat back down on the sofa, which groaned and sank even lower. "An' a thumpin' good 'un, I'd say, once yeh've been trained up a bit. With a mum an' dad like yours, what else would yeh be? Migh' 'ave the two of yer fightin' fer the top spot." I smiled and nodded. Harry still looked bewildered. "An' I reckon it's abou' time yeh read yer letter."
As Hagrid searched in his pockets for Harry's letter, the boy in question turned back to me. He dropped his voice so that only the two of us could hear him. "Is he serious?" Harry asked me.
I nodded with a smile. "Afraid so."
Harry still looked stunned. He was looking at me as if he had never seen me before. "Are - are you a wizard?" He asked me.
Smiling at him, I shook my head. "Witch. Males are wizards, females are witches," I explained. Harry nodded weakly at me, although I was sure that he didn't quite comprehend what I had just told him.
Hagrid finally found the letter and I watched as he pulled it out and handed it over to Harry. Harry stretched out his hand at last to take the yellowish envelope. Just like my own, it was addressed in emerald green.
Mr. H. Potter
He pulled out the letter with the welcoming information, his hand shaking, and read the same thing that had been written out on mine. The only difference was that Harry's name was on it rather than my own. Harry was never a fast reader but he was even slower than he normally was. It was like he was reading Arabic or French. He read over each word carefully and by the time he looked back up I was sure that he had already read over the letter at least five times. If I hadn't been expecting mine I probably would have read it over a few times too.
The silence in the hut was startling. No one dared to say a word as the information processed. After a few minutes he weakly stammered, "What does it mean, they await my owl?"
I nearly rolled my eyes. Of all of the questions that he could have asked he had asked about the owl. "Gallopin' Gorgons, that reminds me," said Hagrid, clapping a hand to his forehead with enough force to knock over a horse, and from yet another pocket inside his overcoat he pulled an owl - a real, live, rather ruffled-looking owl. This time when Harry looked over at me even I couldn't help the surprised look on my face. How big was that thing? Hagrid also pulled out a long quill, and a roll of parchment. With his tongue between his teeth he scribbled a note that Harry and I read upside down:
Dear Professor Dumbledore,
Given Harry his letter. Taking him and Tara to buy their things tomorrow. Weather's horrible. Hope you're well.
Hagrid rolled up the note, gave it to the owl, which clamped it in its beak, went to the door, and threw the owl out into the storm. I almost felt bad for the poor thing. Then he came back and sat down. I looked over at Harry - whose mouth was open - and motioned for him to close it; he closed it quickly. "Where was I?" Hagrid asked.
I opened my mouth to tell him to explain Hogwarts but at that moment, Vermin, still ashen-faced but looking very angry, moved into the firelight. He'd clearly gotten his spine back. "He's not going," he said.
Hagrid grunted and looked over at the Dursley's. "I'd like ter see a great Muggle like you stop him," he said.
"A what?" Harry asked, his interest piqued.
"A Muggle," Hagrid repeated, "it's what we call nonmagic folk like thern. An' it's your bad luck you grew up in a family o' the biggest Muggles I ever laid eyes on," Hagrid said, thinly veiling the insult.
If the Dursley's realized that it had been an insult they didn't show it. "We swore when we took him in we'd put a stop to that rubbish, swore we'd stamp it out of him! Wizard indeed!" Vermin growled. I narrowed my eyes. Magic was certainly not rubbish.
"You knew?" Harry asked, his attitude suddenly turning vile. "You knew I'm a - a wizard?"
"Knew!" Horse-Face shouted suddenly. All eyes turned over to her. "Knew! Of course we knew! How could you not be, my dratted sister being what she was? Oh, she got a letter just like that and disappeared off to that - that school - and came home every vacation with her pockets full of frog spawn, turning teacups into rats. I was the only one who saw her for what she was - a freak! But for my mother and father, oh no, it was Lily this and Lily that, they were proud of having a witch in the family!" She stopped to draw a deep breath and then went ranting on. It seemed that she had been wanting to say all this for years. "Then she met that Potter at school and they left and got married and had you, and of course I knew you'd be just the same, just as strange, just as - as - abnormal - and then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up and we got landed with you!"
Harry had gone very white. My heart was beating rapidly as I looked over at Harry. My parents had told me that Horse-Face never liked Harry's mother but they had never made it seem as bad as it was. "Blown up? You told me they died in a car crash!" Harry shouted.
It was the angriest that I'd ever seen him. But his rage was nothing compared to Hagrid's. "Car crash!" Hagrid roared, jumping up so angrily that the Dursley's scuttled back to their corner. Harry suddenly looked very confused. "How could a car crash kill Lily an' James Potter? It's an outrage! A scandal! Harry Potter not knowin' his own story when every kid in our world knows his name!"
He wasn't wrong about that. There were already rumors that Harry would be coming to Hogwarts this term. I had made sure to not tell anyone that I knew him. "But why? What happened?" Harry asked urgently.
The anger faded from Hagrid's face. He suddenly looked very anxious. "I never expected this," he said, in a low, worried voice. "I had no idea, when Dumbledore told me there might be trouble gettin' hold of yeh, how much yeh didn't know. Ah, Harry, I don' know if I'm the right person ter tell yeh - but someone's gotta - yeh can't go off ter Hogwarts not knowin'." He threw a dirty look at the Dursley's. "Well, it's best yeh know as much as I can tell yeh - mind, I can't tell yeh everythin', it's a great myst'ry, parts of it..." He sat down, stared into the fire for a few seconds, and then said, "It begins, I suppose, with - with a person called - but it's incredible yeh don't know his name, everyone in our world knows -"
"Who?" Harry asked.
I knew this part of the story but Hagrid seemed to be the one that should say it. After all, he could remember it. I couldn't. "Well - I don' like sayin' the name if I can help it. No one does," he said solemnly.
He was right about that. My parents had taught me to never be afraid to speak the name but they had also warned me to not speak it freely. Many still feared it and most would not use it. "Why not?" Harry asked.
"Gulpin' gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went... bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse. His name was..." Hagrid gulped, but no words came out.
"Could you write it down?" Harry suggested.
"Nah - can't spell it."
This was not working out the way that I had expected. I stepped past Harry and turned so that I was facing him. "Oh for goodness sake. His name was Voldemort," I said quickly.
Hagrid shuddered. "Don' say his name, Tara!" He barked at me.
I shrunk back and shrugged my shoulders. "Sorry but we were going to be here all night if I didn't say it," I excused myself.
Hagrid nodded at me. "Just don' say it again. Anyway, this - this wizard, about twenty years ago now, started lookin' fer followers. Got 'em, too - some were afraid, some just wanted a bit o' his power, 'cause he was gettin' himself power, all right. Dark days, Harry. Didn't know who ter trust, didn't dare get friendly with strange wizards or witches... terrible things happened. He was takin' over. 'Course, some stood up to him - an' he killed 'em. Horribly. One o' the only safe places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore's the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn't dare try takin' the school, not jus' then, anyway. "Now, yer mum an' dad were as good a witch an' wizard as I ever knew. Head boy an' girl at Hogwarts in their day! Suppose the myst'ry is why You-Know-Who never tried to get 'em on his side before... probably knew they were too close ter Dumbledore ter want anythin' ter do with the Dark Side," Hagrid said.
Shaking my head I stepped forward. Harry was watching me curiously. "You know why. Lily was a Muggle-Born. Vol- Sorry," I cut myself off when I saw the warning look that Hagrid was giving me. "He hated them. He would have never taken her. And he knew that James would never abandon his wife," I reasoned.
Hagrid nodded at me. "Good point. Maybe he thought he could persuade 'em... maybe he just wanted 'em outta the way. All anyone knows is, he turned up in the village where you was all living, on Halloween ten years ago. You was just a year old. Tara was almost two. Lived jus' next door to yeh. Bes' friends I ever saw." Hagrid smiled at the memory and Harry gave a curious stare in my direction. I smiled at him.
"He came ter yer house an' - an'-" Hagrid suddenly pulled out a very dirty, spotted handkerchief and blew his nose with a sound like a foghorn. "Sorry," he said. "But it's that sad - knew yer mum an' dad, an' nicer people yeh couldn't find - anyway..." You-Know-Who killed 'em. An' then - an' this is the real myst'ry of the thing - he tried to kill you, too. Wanted ter make a clean job of it, I suppose, or maybe he just liked killin' by then. But he couldn't do it. Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a Powerful, evil curse touches yeh - took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even - but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he decided ter kill 'em, no one except you, an' he'd killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age - the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts; woulda come fer Tara's family too if yeh hadn' stumped him - an' you was only a baby, an' you lived."
Suddenly a memory I'd never seen before shot through my head. A flash of green light and the echo of laughter. It wasn't friendly. It was high-pitched and cold. Hagrid was watching us sadly. "Took yeh from the ruined house myself, on Dumbledore's orders. Brought yeh ter this lot..."
"Load of old tosh," Vermin said, breaking the solemn air. Harry and I both jumped. he had almost forgotten that the Dursley's were there. Vermin seemed to have got back his courage. He was glaring at Hagrid and his fists were clenched. "Now, you listen here, boy," he snarled at Harry, "I accept there's something strange about you, probably nothing a good beating wouldn't have cured - and as for all this about your parents, well, they were weirdos, no denying it, and the world's better off without them in my opinion - asked for all they got, getting mixed up with these wizarding types - just what I expected, always knew they'd come to a sticky end -"
"How dare you!" I shouted over Vermin. Harry suddenly looked very surprised at me.
Before I could say anything else, Hagrid leaped from the sofa and drew a battered pink umbrella from inside his coat. Pointing it at Vermin like a sword, he said, "I'm warning you, Dursley - I'm warning you - one more word... " In danger of being speared on the end of an umbrella by a bearded giant, Vermin's courage failed again; he flattened himself against the wall and fell silent. "That's better," said Hagrid, breathing heavily and sitting back down on the sofa, which this time sagged right down to the floor.
Harry still had questions, I could tell. Perhaps tonight I would try to answer some of them. "But what happened to Vol-, sorry - I mean, You-Know-Who?" He asked. Hagrid had given him the same warning glance he'd given me.
"Good question, Harry. Disappeared. Vanished. Same night he tried ter kill you. Makes yeh even more famous. That's the biggest myst'ry, see... he was gettin' more an' more powerful - why'd he go? Some say he died. Codswallop, in my opinion. Dunno if he had enough human left in him to die. Some say he's still out there, bidin' his time, like, but I don' believe it. People who was on his side came back ter ours. Some of 'em came outta kinda trances. Don' reckon they could've done if he was comin' back. Most of us reckon he's still out there somewhere but lost his powers. Too weak to carry on. 'Cause somethin' about you finished him, Harry. There was somethin' goin' on that night he hadn't counted on - I dunno what it was, no one does - but somethin' about you stumped him, all right."
Hagrid looked at Harry with warmth and respect blazing in his eyes. I was smiling at Harry as well. But I could tell that he still didn't completely believe us. He probably wouldn't until we got him to Diagon Alley, maybe not even until we got him to Hogwarts. "Hagrid," he said quietly, "I think you must have made a mistake. I don't think I can be a wizard."
Hagrid chuckled softly. "Not a wizard, eh? Never made things happen when you was scared or angry?" Harry looked into the fire and I grinned. I knew that he was thinking about every strange thing that he'd ever done. And I'd seen him do quite a few.
Harry seemed to finally realize that we might just have been telling him the truth. He turned to me with a bewildered face. "You mean the boa constrictor?" He asked me weakly.
Hagrid looked confused but was still staring at the two of us with a grin. I smiled at Harry and nodded. "That very one. You accidentally made the glass disappear because you were angry. There were plenty of other times too. You might not even remember some of them," I told him.
Harry looked back at Hagrid, smiling from my encouragement, and saw that Hagrid was positively beaming at the two of us. "See?" said Hagrid. "Harry Potter, not a wizard - you wait, you'll be right famous at Hogwarts."
That was certainly the truth. Although I wasn't sure how much Harry would like that. Vermin suddenly spoke up again and I scowled. "Haven't I told you he's not going?" He hissed. "He's going to Stonewall High and he'll be grateful for it. I've read those letters and he needs all sorts of rubbish - spell books and wands and-"
"If he wants ter go, a great Muggle like you won't stop him," growled Hagrid. "Stop Lily an' James Potter's son goin' ter Hogwarts! Yer mad. His name's been down ever since he was born. He's off ter the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world. Seven years there and he won't know himself. He'll be with youngsters of his own sort, fer a change, an' he'll be under the greatest headmaster Hogwarts ever had Albus Dumbled-"
"I am not paying for some crackpot old fool to teach him magic tricks!" Vermin yelled. I sucked in a breath, knowing that insulting Albus Dumbledore would not go over well with Hagrid. Dumbledore was one of the most respected wizards in the world.
I was correct in thinking that he had finally gone too far. Hagrid seized his umbrella and whirled it over his head, "Never," he thundered, "- Insult- Albus- Dumbledore- in- front- of - me!" He shouted.
Hagrid brought the umbrella swishing down through the air to point at Dudley - there was a flash of violet light, a sound like a firecracker, a sharp squeal, and the next second, Dudley was dancing on the spot with his hands clasped over his fat bottom, howling in pain. When he turned his back on us I realized that a curly pig's tail poking through a hole in his trousers. Vermin shouted angrily as Harry and I chuckled loudly. Vermin pulled Horse-Face and Dudley into the other room; he cast one last terrified look at Hagrid and slammed the door behind them.
Harry and I were still chuckling softly. Hagrid looked down at his umbrella and stroked his beard. "Shouldn'ta lost me temper," he said ruefully, "but it didn't work anyway. Meant ter turn him into a pig, but I suppose he was so much like a pig anyway there wasn't much left ter do." We both grinned as Hagrid gave a sideways glace at the two of us. "Be grateful if yeh didn't mention that ter anyone at Hogwarts," he said. "I'm - er - not supposed ter do magic, strictly speakin'. I was allowed ter do a bit ter follow yeh an' get yer letters to yeh an' stuff - one o' the reasons I was so keen ter take on the job."
I wasn't sure what he meant about that. Harry cast a glance at me but I shrugged. I wasn't aware that Harry wasn't supposed to be doing magic. "Why aren't you supposed to do magic?" Harry finally asked.
Hagrid suddenly looked bashful. "Oh, well - I was at Hogwarts meself but I - er - got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in half an' everything. But Dumbledore let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore."
Hagrid had been expelled? Why was he expelled? Harry looked at me again but once more I shrugged. I couldn't believe that my parents hadn't told me this. "Why were you expelled?" Harry asked.
It made me slightly nervous that Hagrid had been expelled but if my parents trusted him that was good enough for me. "It's gettin' late and we've got lots ter do tomorrow," Hagrid said loudly. "Gotta get up ter town, get all yer books an' that." Hagrid took off his thick black coat and threw it to Harry and I. "You can sleep under that," he said. "Big enough fer the two of yeh. Don' mind if it wriggles a bit, I think I still got a couple o' dormice in one o' the pockets."
Harry looked bewildered. I smiled and motioned for Hagrid to go find a place to rest. I assumed that Harry wouldn't be sleeping much tonight after everything that had happened. But Hagrid needed to rest. "Go on Hagrid, I think I need to stay up and have a chat with Harry for a while." Hagrid nodded at me gratefully before bidding us goodnight and walking through a small doorway. I turned back to Harry, who was still staring at me curiously. Hagrid's coat had been dropped to the floor. "Are you angry with me?" I asked him softly.
Harry ran his hands through his already messy black hair. "Angry? No. I'm - I'm just confused." I nodded. I had been expecting that. I was glad that he wasn't angry with me though. "You've known all this time who I was?" He asked me.
I nodded abashedly. Everyone with the exception of him knew who he was. "I suppose that I should start from the beginning. I really don't remember you from before. But my parents and yours, they were friends. During their time at Hogwarts and after. We really did live right next door to each other. Once our parents rose up in the fight against Voldemort they were placed on his... hit list, I suppose would be the best term for it. As circumstance had it, Voldemort attacked your parents first. I'm sorry about that. But if you hadn't done whatever it was that you did to him, Voldemort would have come for my family next," I said softly.
It was unnerving to think about. How close it had been to Harry being the one with parents and me without. I bickered with my parents from time to time but I loved them more than anything. I couldn't imagine what my life would be like without them. "So what happened? How did you end up in America?" Harry asked after a moment.
"Voldemort's followers were still out there. It wasn't safe for anyone that had been an enemy of Voldemort to remain. Especially not if they had a family to protect. So my parents packed up and moved us across the world. They restarted their lives there and raised me to know about what had happened when I was only a child. They didn't tell me until a day before we left the States to move to Surrey that I had actually known you. They didn't tell me that the reason that we were moving back was because I belonged here," I weakly explained.
Harry processed the information for a moment. "So you were always going to come back to England?"
I nodded. "Yes. Not that I knew that. I was completely ready to go to Ilvermorny. But my parents always knew that I would be going to Hogwarts. So they brought me back a few years early so that we could get reacquainted. I originally hated the thought of coming back here just so that I could look after you. But then we really became friends. And now I couldn't imagine not knowing you. I'm sorry for lying to you. But I had to. I wasn't allowed to tell you the truth," I told him.
Harry grabbed my hand and smiled at me. "I understand. Must have been hard to keep a secret like this." I nodded. It really was. "What's Ilvermorny?" Harry asked after a moment.
"The American wizarding school. It's where I was originally going to go. Or at least where I thought that I would be going. But, like you, my name has been down to go to Hogwarts since I was a baby," I said.
It seemed that Harry had finally come to the question that I had been waiting for. "Why wasn't I sent to America with you?" He asked.
"Because you had to be hidden somewhere in plain sight. Dumbledore - the Headmaster of Hogwarts - thought that it would be better that you be placed with Muggles. He thought that it would be easier for you to be raised not knowing who you were. In the public eye. You're a hero in our world. You stopped the greatest dark wizard in the world." Harry seemed a little put-off by the thought that in the world he would soon be introduced to, he was a hero. "They just thought that the Dursley's might eventually tell you what you were. They were wrong."
I couldn't really blame him for not being overly thrilled. He only now learned who he was. The kids at school would probably know more about him than he would. "Everyone will know who I am at Hogwarts," he said slowly.
That wasn't technically true. I shook my head at him. "Not everyone. You'll have the Muggle-Born's. There are some kids - like your mother - that are born to completely previously Muggle families. But somehow a little drop of magical blood gets in their veins. They won't know a thing about the Wizarding World. And it's not like you'll be that far behind anyone else. No one has done magic purposely before entering Hogwarts anyways."
Harry looked confused at my words. "How do you mean?" He asked.
Despite knowing that I would have to explain the Wizarding World to Harry I kept forgetting just how much there really was to explain. My eleven years of knowledge were all being forced onto him in a matter of days. "Well you're not technically allowed to do magic outside of school until you're of age. Seventeen. You could get your wand snapped for it. You could be arrested," I told him.
Harry suddenly seemed extremely worried. "Why?" He asked me.
My mouth opened and shut quickly. I wasn't actually sure why we weren't allowed. So I gave him the best answer that I could think of. "I actually have no idea. Probably because we can't really control our magic until we've been trained. And by your Seventh-Year - both when you'll be seventeen and in your last year at Hogwarts - you'll know enough to be trusted on your own. Don't worry. The Pure-Blood's and Half-Blood's might know the theory behind the magic but they'll never have done it," I told him.
Harry nodded for a moment before his eyebrows knitted in confusion once more. "What's a Pure-Blood and Half-Blood?"
"Oh. We'll be up all night if I explain everything to you." Harry looked a little guilty but I gave him a small smile to show that I didn't mind explaining it all to him. "I'll keep to the basics. You're a Half-Blood. They're most of the Wizarding World population. They can either have one Muggle and one Pure-Blood parent, two Half-Blood parents, two Muggle-Born parents, or one Half-Blood and one Pure-Blood parents. Muggle-Born's are people like your mother. They come from a strictly Muggle family but somehow they got a little drop of magical blood mixed in. Pure-Blood's are just that. No Muggle, no Muggle-Born's, and no Half-Blood's in the line. I'm a Pure-Blood."
It didn't seem that Harry really got the concept of Half-Blood's but he seemed to understand Pure-Blood and Muggle-Born well enough. "They sound almost like royalty," Harry said, referring to Pure-Blood's.
A small smile crossed over my face. "I suppose in a way we kind of are. Pure-Blood's are the oldest houses. Many refuse to even accept Muggle-Born's as proper magical folk. They think that they just dilute the gene pool. Many hate even associating with Muggle's or Muggle-Born's and Half-Blood's," I explained with a sour look on my face.
It seemed to put Harry off as well. "Your parents can't be like that. They're great people," he argued.
I smiled softly at him. He had always loved my parents and they loved him. "They aren't. They're one of the more accepting Pure-Blood families. They taught me that everyone is the same. It's your actions that determine the kind of person that you are," I told him.
Harry's mood almost immediately brightened before his face fell again. "This is all pretty cool but I don't really understand much of it," he said.
There was a slightly defeated look on his face. I smiled at him and walked a little closer, placing my hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry. It'll be an adjustment period. Tomorrow in Diagon Alley you'll learn all sorts of other stuff about the Wizarding World," I told him happily.
He nodded at me before asking another question. "What's Diagon Alley?"
To be fair I hadn't even known what Diagon Alley was until my parents had told me about it. "It's a sort of Wizarding World mall. All magical stores. It's invisible to Muggles. It's where we'll get all of our things for this term - and the six more to follow - at Hogwarts. Oh!" I shouted, suddenly remembering I had bought Harry a present. "Open my present! It'll be your first bit of Wizarding World material," I said proudly.
Harry stared at the well wrapped book for a moment before tearing the wrappings off. He stared at the book before pushing the red wrapping paper to the side. "Quidditch Through the Ages. What's Quidditch?" He asked, drawing out every syllable in the name as if to ask me if he was pronouncing it correctly.
"You didn't think that Muggles were the only ones that played sports," I said with a sly smile. "Quidditch is a very popular Wizarding World sport. My father was a professional player in the States." Harry gave an impressed smile. "That book will tell you everything that you need to know about it. You can read it while you wait for the term to start. It's a little wordy in spots but it gets the point across. Still, you won't even believe it until you see it for yourself," I told him with a small grin.
Harry laughed under his breath and began to thumb through the book, stopping to stare at a few of the painted pictures. "I'm still not sure that I believe it yet," he said softly.
I smiled at him and grabbed the book. "Here. Watch this. Wingardium Leviosa," I said softly, hoping not to wake Hagrid. The book began to float low in the air and I turned back to see Harry staring at the book, absolutely shell-shocked.
The book continued to float for a minute until I lost my grip on it and the book went soaring across the room. It hit a painting that was up on the wall and knocked it to the ground, shattering the glass case that had been over it. The book laid splayed open on the ground next to the frame. I turned to Harry and grinned bashfully.
Despite the bad landing, Harry was still staring at me and the book in astonishment. Wicked. I want to learn the knock-paintings-off-the-wall-with-a-book spell," he told me with a grin, obviously knowing that was not what the spell was for.
"Shut up, Harry," I muttered, punching his arm roughly. He laughed and grabbed his arm. "It's a levitating charm. I don't have it completely right yet. Probably because I don't have a wand," I added as a secondary thought.
No part of me even wanted to begin to get into the wand discussion with Harry. That would be a conversation best left for Ollivander. I didn't really even know that many things about wands. Just the basics. Harry's face knitted into one of confusion. "I thought you said that underage wizards couldn't do magic outside of Hogwarts?" He asked me.
I nodded with a small smile, impressed that he had actually retained something that I had told him. "We can't. But that's with a wand. Wandless magic is almost impossible to trace. Especially when there's more than one magical being around," I said, pointing to myself, Harry, and the area where Hagrid had last gone to. "Although it's difficult. Far more difficult than with a wand. Probably why I can't do it properly yet," I said.
As far as I knew we started learning to do wandless magic in either our Fifth or Sixth Year. Harry ran his hands through his hair again. It was so mussed that it nearly gave him another two or three inches of height. "This is so weird," he muttered.
I gave a small grin. "It gets weirder. Trust me, what I just did was nothing." Harry looked exhausted at the mere thought that magic got more complicated than what he had already discovered. "Go to bed, we have a long day in front of us. I'm sure you have a million questions and before we go to school I'll try to answer as many as I can. I'll see you in the morning." He nodded and reached out for Hagrid's coat, motioning to the area of the dirty ground that he had been sitting on before. I laid down with him and pressed my back up against his as he threw Hagrid's coat over us. "Hey Harry?" I called out after a moment. He hummed and turned to look back at me. "Has it been a good birthday?" I asked him.
He smiled and tightened his grip on my arm for a moment. "I think that this one might be the best one," he said. I smiled softly to myself and rolled back over. "Goodnight, Tara," Harry said as we both closed our eyes.
"Goodnight, Harry." As I drifted off to sleep I realized that the storm had passed. There was now only a light drizzle outside as the sun began to peak over the distant sea. Perhaps it was a sign of the brighter times to come.
A/N: Next time... Harry and Tara take a trip to Diagon Alley to get their school supplies, and both receive strange words in Ollivander's. Well I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! I had fun writing it. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday's and whatever else you may celebrate! Thanks so much for all of the follows and favorites! Reviews are much appreciated! Until next time -A