Harry Potter and Apollo's Light
It was an unusual summer for Harry. No questions about it and he felt he had taken it in stride. For one reason or another he had not been asked to do a staggering amount of chores while at the Dursley residence and that in itself had been odd, but that hadn't been the weirdest thing to happen.
He hadn't noticed it at all, but others certainly had yet had not said a word. Harry seemed to have a certain glow about him whenever he went outside, like sparkles that seemed to coalesce around his head that had heads turning, almost like a halo. To Harry though, there always seemed to be something flying around his head that had him waving his arms around trying to get rid of whatever was irritating him.
It was almost comical the way he walked down the street, flailing his arms around like an overly enthusiastic conductor, albeit in an absent minded manner.
Everything normal had to have an end at some point and it was a few weeks into summer when it happened to Harry. He had taken a wrong turn somewhere in London, where was questionable but he figured he'd be fine when he ended up in front of a not so well kept storefront with a barely hanging sign that said 'Music is Magic'.
Curiosity peaked and he gave in to the desire to enter, not that it would have stopped him anyway. The curiosity of Harry Potter was legendary in certain circles and Gryffindor was a lion and lions were cats and cats were curious after all.
The door creaked open and as he first stepped inside, the dirty store changed to a neatly arranged clutter that resonated within Harry. The mess of Harry Potter was also legendary, only in different circles. He had once entered the kitchens for something to eat and had been witness to something of a gladiator's ring made of old furniture with a pin board that clearly stated that 'the winner would be able to clean up the mess of Harry Potter for a month'. All motion had stilled when he entered and only restarted when he took a seat at a table and packed a plate of food before walking out again.
As he wandered around the store his attention jumped from display to display. Woodwind. Brass. Strings. Pianos. All miniaturized with signs that guaranteed working order when resized or money back. Yet nothing spoke to him. Well they did. Trying to get him to buy them but he brushed them off like he brushed everyone off, unintentionally of course. He wasn't rude after all.
His curiosity had almost run out when he abruptly turned and smacked his head on a floating ring that had drifted over, causing it to ring out almost as if in shock before another 13 cymbals of differing size floated over and surrounded the initial one, almost as if checking to see if it was alright.
Harry was staring in disbelieving delight and it was as if they seemed to stare back at him in similar surprise before one slowly, almost hesitantly drifted forward and he tapped it with a finger. A clear ringing sound resonated in the store and he smiled no grinned at the joy he felt when the sound slowly faded, leaving him feeling joyful.
''Music is Magic' indeed.' Harry thought to himself. He was determined to purchase the cymbal like rings and gestured to them to follow, even though they were non-sentient and in a true Potter fashion, said items turned to follow him to the counter.
As he looked around searching for a salesman but not noticing anyone he noticed a box that said input galleons here. Well not so much said as in pointed with giant arrows into a hole which he figured was a safe of some sort below it. Harry shrugged and dropped the money in and took the receipt that was magically written up based on how much money he had put in. When the full price had been paid he merely took the receipt and walked away while the rings seemed to shrink until it looked like a pair of ribbed bracers which he slid onto his wrists.
Harry walked away from the store, satisfied with his purchase and the rings seemed to vibrate in joy that felt like music rising and falling inside his body. With an appropriate focus and a suitable form of release, the light no longer looked like a halo and appeared more like floating notes as he walked, leaving a trail that seemed to hum in time with the music echoing inside of him.
He himself hadn't noticed the entire way home that he had a line of musical notes following him like ducklings following their mother, and the sheer weirdness of Harry Potter in general had resulted in no one else noticing either.
As Harry re-entered Number 4 Privet Drive, he was startled by a shriek from his aunt. He whirled, drawing his wand, thinking they were under attack when he froze and stared at what seemed to be a gathering of the ladies of Privet Drive over for dinner. The notes that had followed him had frozen as well and seemed to wilt before fading at the disbelieving stares that were now sorely focused on the unique boy.
"Hello?" Harry probed, thinking that he may or may not have slightly broken the Statute of Secrecy.
"What on earth was that?" shrieked out one of the ladies. Number 8 if he wasn't mistaken. The other ladies soon followed and he felt like he was about to be interrogated. He hummed and hawed as he tried to think of a proper response to such a loaded question before mentally shrugging and deciding what the hell.
"Music is Magic?" His reply was short and sweet before he turned and walked up to his room and closing the door. The other ladies simply looked at Petunia and she merely sighed and shook her head. All too used to the hurricane of absurdity that was Harry Potter. She couldn't even be bothered to attempt to punish him as everything weird seemed determined to happen to Harry whether he was punished or not.
In his room Harry was surrounded by the 14 floating rings he had purchased earlier and was about to tap one of them before common sense returned to him and he got up to lock the door. Then he sat down on his bed and tapped one, one of the middle sized one and it seemed as if the size determined its frequency because a lovely note rang out, not too high or low, the perfect middle ground.
He began to tap each one to learn where each ring stood in the scale and soon enough he had figured out the pattern to make a tune. He was a genius in his own right, after all, he just preferred to let Hermione take the spot light. Thinking of Hermione brought to mind his owl, Hedwig and all her snowy glory and where she was. It shouldn't have taken that long to bring a reply, not when she's made the trip before in hours.
Harry merely sighed and sat back against his pillow, while the rings rearranged themselves into a hexagonal shape with a ring in the middle and he played. It wasn't something amazingly difficult but it was better than a beginner should be when they first start but hey, he was a genius after all. All he needed was experience. At first it was clunky and clogged but soon after the tones became smooth and lilted as he got more and more into it.
As he continued to play, the notes and the rings themselves slowly gained more colour until they were all vibrant and eye-catching. Soon enough Harry's room was awash with colours as the notes seemed to dance in the air before splashing against the wall and leaving coloured imprints that brightened up his room.
One thing he noticed was that there were 7 colors yet they seemed to be polar opposites. There were reds, blues, greens, browns, yellows and silvers all over the place yet they seemed to only be outlined in white or black.
By the time the tune finished his worries had vanished, knowing that his faithful owl could look after herself and that panicking would do neither of them any good. Deep down he knew she was ok and that was all that mattered.
Harry decided to take another walk but before he could get out of his room there was an urgent tapping on his window. Hoping it was Hedwig he looked up only to notice that it was not his graceful owl but a regal one bearing the mark of Gringotts.
He opened the window and thanked the owl, retrieving the letter while doing so. Courtesy was a big thing after all.
Skimming through the letter he noted several key words. Marriage contract. Greengrass. Potter. Appointment. Utmost convenience.
Upon reaching the end of the letter he sighed. No walk for him it seemed.
He gestured with his wrists, the rings merging back into his bracers and settling on his forearms as he changed into more comfortable clothes of jeans and a button down navy blue shirt. Satisfied with his outfit he went downstairs and informed his aunt of what was happening.
"I'm going out."
It was all he felt was necessary and as he walked out the front door he could feel his aunt sigh and shake her head, the ladies still gathered seemed resigned that instead of being a delinquent like they had been told about he was quirky and perhaps being a delinquent was a better option than the unusual storm that he was.
He made his way to the park where there was an unused car park, which lay bare, only filled during the weekend for the weekly sports games. Harry threw up his right hand and waited for that familiar bang that signaled that the Knight Bus had arrived.
Climbing the steps he declined the extras that were offered and merely stated that he would like to go to Diagon Alley before handing over the correct fare and sitting down. With another bang the bus shot forward and he was on his way to determine what was happening with his life.
He arrived at his destination shortly after he had left, there being little to no other patrons in line before him. Striding down the steps and entering the Leaky Cauldron, he walked through the pub and nodded to Tom, the ever present owner before pulling out his wand and tapping the correct bricks to open up the archway.
The bank was as empty as the Knight Bus and he walked up to an available teller, resigned to the fact that something else weird was going to happen to his life.
"Harry Potter to speak with the Potter account manager. I was requested to attend at my utmost convenience so here I am." His voice was bland as was his expression, body language detailing his resignation.
The teller gave him a feral grin, as if he knew what was going to happen and enjoyed sending him to his proverbial death.
"Right this way Mr Potter. Might I perhaps take a chance to extend my congratulations?" That smug grin did little more than twitch one of his eyebrows and he expressed his irritation with the only way he knew was appropriate in this manner.
The sarcasm was palpable and the goblin seemed to enjoy the banter as a fire seemed to light in his eyes as he led the way through the brightly lit corridor.
"Through here Mr Potter."
Said goblin still had that insufferable smirk as he stopped beside a door that had a plaque stating that it was the Potter Account Manager on it.
Harry simply ignored the goblin and strode through the door, sitting down at one the available chairs.
"Mr Potter. Harry. If I may call you Harry? My name is Brassballs and I am pleased to inform you that you are to be engaged to one Daphne Greengrass once you take up your Lordship. Here's the ring. Put it on and everything will be finalized."
The goblin had that same infuriating grin that the teller had and Harry felt that it was rather infectious as he had also started to smile upon hearing his name.
"You certainly live up to your name. Before I do accept the ring and all it entails I'd to like to know the basis of the contract."
"Of course. The initiator of the contract was one Henry Potter. I believe he did it on a lark as he and his brother in name Alfred Greengrass even made a poem of sorts of it."
"Here we stand
upon this land,
To pledge this contract
upon first contact
of a certain nature and
that it shall nurture
after 10 generations
No more and no less."
Harry was left staring in disbelief at what could possibly have been the most ridiculous marriage contract he had ever seen. He took a few moments to gather his thoughts.
He felt that single word summed up everything he was feeling at the moment. Another was one that he felt was entirely inappropriate and decided not to say as the feeling of it was something the both of them knew.
"There are few conditions attached to this contract only that it is unbreakable and must be fulfilled. We will send out a notice as soon as this meeting is concluded if it suits your Lordship."
Brassballs nudged the ring box as he said the final piece of what he had to say. Harry felt as if he had practiced those two lines because his grin was starting to wear on his patience.
"Brassballs is a fitting name. Very well. Send out the notice whenever you wish. On a lark indeed…" Harry was resigned to the fact that this was happening whether he liked it or not and slipped on the ring. It resized itself to fit his finger and that was that.
"If there is nothing else then I shall be leaving."
At Brassballs nod of dismissal, Harry stood up from his chair and strode out the door, ignoring the sniggering that came from behind him.
He was beginning to think that chaos followed him wherever he went and that this trait was hereditary based on the stories he had heard about his father and grandfather.
Slouching his way back through the Cauldron he threw up his hand once more and requested a ride back to the park he left from. Two quick bangs and he was soon standing at the edge of the park as the bus shot off into the distance. The only differences between when he left and now was the shiny ring on his finger and the unnatural chill in the air.
Harry started the trek back to his summer residence with a shudder throughout his body as he slowly made his way down the empty street. He passed Dudley and his gang and merely raised a hand in greeting before continuing to plod his way back to his bed. The group were confused at his changed reaction and were contemplating confronting him but decided it wasn't worth it and made their way home. Quickly but would deny it if anyone asked.
Dudley was confused by everyone's reactions but slowly made his way to Harry's side before falling into step with the world weary Harry.
"So where did you go?" He was hesitant to ask as they hadn't really acted on friendly terms, ever if he recalled correctly. The silence that followed his question was as chilling and awkward as the mist around them and it took Harry a bit of distance to answer, mainly thinking about how to word his reply.
"I went to find out that I'm getting married thanks to a jerk of an ancestor."
The awkward silence returned as it was Dudley's turn to think of how to reply. Just as he was about to Harry suddenly froze.
"Dudley. No matter what happens stay close and keep your mouth shut. Do you understand?" Harry's tone was not the weary young man, nor was he the quirky youth that was chaos personified. This was the voice of someone who had constantly survived danger and knew how to react to everything because of it.
The pair of young men continued to walk down the street, slowly, waiting for whatever put Harry on edge to reveal itself.
The source soon revealed itself to be a pair of dementors, coming down the street from each side.
Harry quickly searched inside himself and focused on the joy of music that his bracer-rings had given him and summoned forth a patronus that was unlike anything he had ever seen. It was a series of rings of pulsing white light that differed in size and which moved until the two young men were surrounded in a barrier of white light.
The dementors screeched in fury and swooped in only to be repelled with a loud gong. On and on the dementors swooped in fury and each time they were repelled, both they and Harry were getting weaker. It was becoming a contest of who had the most stamina. Harry and his patronus or the dementors who were determined to get the snacks waiting for them.
Step by step they walked towards their place of residence and with each step Harry's stamina was draining at an alarming pace. The sounds were getting weaker and when there was the barest of echos from the latest point of contact, Dudley began to get worried.
Deciding to take action, Dudley swept Harry into a fireman's carry and began sprinting the final stretch with the quickly fading rings floating all around them.
With a twin pair of triumphant screeches the dementors swooped down to claim their meal only to release very different screeches as they came into contact with the blood wards from Harry's mother. The wards which had been barely powered until recently looked like a cloud of crimson light that swirled and rippled with flashes of blues, yellows, silvers, browns and greens.
Panting, Dudley burst through the door to the living room where he gently deposited Harry onto the couch and frantically called for his parents to help. When they came rushing into the living room, whatever they were expecting was the exact opposite.
What was expected was an angry Harry and scared Dudley but what they found was a bone-white, almost collapsed Harry resting on the sofa and a concerned Dudley pacing around the living room in anxiety.
"What happened Duddiekins?" Petunia's voice was laced with anxious concern for her son and not so anxious concern for her nephew. Vernon merely stood there in the doorway, looking as if his world had been turned upside down and he had no idea what to do or how to deal with it.
"He saved me." Dudley voice was bland yet his body language was protective and cautious, as if he was unsure about what was going to happen.
"Save you? What on earth could he have saved you from?" Vernon bit out from the doorway, less venomous than usual so Dudley decided to take that as a plus.
The silence was deafening. How did you explain something like that to someone who has never experienced it before?
"Dementors." Harry bit out, still pale but not as white as earlier. He felt more relaxed and welcome which was a surprising change as it had always been as if something in the house was fighting him. Over him at least. He figured that it was the magical red dome trying to help him as it had felt comforting when he had crossed over the threshold into its protection.
He was about to continue his explanation to break the silence when an owl swooped in and landed in front of him with a letter on its leg.
He sighed once more and skimmed through the letter, noting any key words like he did with the missive from Gringotts. Trial. Statute of Secrecy. Expelled from Hogwarts. When he had finished he said the one word that summed up both the letter and everything he had been feeling today. Fuck.