I swear I thought my account had been deleted. I am extremely, terribly sorry for leaving all of you hanging for… lots of years. I doubt anyone is reading this anymore because of it. Henceforth, I am going to struggle to update at least once a month in case anyone happens to read this. Terribly, horribly sorry. Really, I am.
I was going to delete this story until I realized it was well-written. I've fallen out of love with HP, I'm afraid, but this story will be finished, I swear it.
Harry watched as Raye took the rock, her eyes widening. The scene seemed to blur out for a bit, and then he found himself in the midst of a jungle of industry. England, about 16 years ago or so. Can you speak English?
Reasonably. Raye was looking around her, wide eyed. So this is London.
Yes. We should be meeting a comrade of mine around here.
"Sirius! There you are." Harry bit back a gasp of surprise. Lucius Malfoy?! He looked younger than Sirius… Harry frowned. How old was Lucius? Was Lucius the comrade Sirius was talking about? Harry couldn't fathom how this worked.
Meanwhile, said Lucius was rushing over towards both Sirius and Raye. "Erm, a longbow and a dirk is not commonly seen carried around here," he said, glancing about as Muggles gave Raye curious looks. Raye frowned, watching as he gestured to her weapons.
"What … do you want me to do with them?"
"Er, well, um… nevermind. Let's just get out of here."
Lucius hurried Raye and Sirius through the streets, causing heads to turn at the sight of a twelve-year-old, oriental girl carrying a bow near twice her height and a dagger that snarled at people when they got too close. "Here, the Order of the Phoenix has been awaiting your presence." Lucius gave a wink. Harry was a bit startled that it wasn't at the old place before remembering that the old place had been Sirius' home. And that the old place was now the new place. Or the new-old place. Or something. God he hated time-travel. Dumbeldore looked up and smiled as the three stepped into the room. He was surrounded with others, some of whom Harry recognized. Whoa. McGonagall was PRETTY.
"You are the smith we have sent for," Dumbeldore said, causing Harry to whip back around. It was more of a statement than a question, despite the fact that Raye was younger and smaller than anyone would have guessed.
Raye hesitated, looking at Dumbeldore. Harry realized how intimidating this must be to such a young girl. Sorcerers and witches over twice her age towered above her, with that much more experience than she had.
"Yes," she said, her answer barely above a whisper.
Dumbeldore smiled knowingly.
Harry sat, completely enthralled with the sight of Raye as she worked. Well, not completely. He was aware enough of Sirius and Lucius to note that they had about the same reaction. The way she handled herself in this magical smith-shop was, frankly, magical. Flames leapt up to lick at her arms and face and her eyes were glowing an eerie, purple color. Fire was definitely "her" element. It quite nearly danced around her as she worked on a blade. It swirled and twirled about, playfully pulling and tossing her hair and clothes.
As suddenly as the fire had first flared up to this state, it died down. Raye paused to catch her breath, completely winded, and Sirius stood immediately and went to her. The last tongue of flame caressed the blade Raye had been working with as it slowly floated down to her outstretched hand. She caught it and held it close before slumping down onto the floor.
Sirius stood, a little awkwardly, above her. cough Um, are you alright?
Raye nodded, still breathing heavily. Lucius bounded to his feet. "Er, so, should we try the sword?" he asked a little nervously. He had bandages around his hand, and Harry had a theory about what they were from. "Go ahead, Sirius."
Sirius laughed. "I even warned you about that dagger." Heh, Harry's theory was right. "I said, 'Take a look at the dagger with the pommel, not the one with a full tang and wrapped grip. That one bites.'"
"And I told you I didn't know what the heck you were talking about! I mean, they're all knives, right? They all work the same, and they all look the same!"
Raye looked up, a comical look of a mix between extreme weariness and 'what-the-heck-is-your-problem' evident as she glanced at Lucius.
"Except in this case, where one bites and the other doesn't," Sirius smirked.
"Sirius? Lucius? Ms Raye?" Like Lucius, Harry turned at the newcomer, The voice was kind of familiar. The face was definitely familiar. And younger. Jeeze, go back a decade-and-a-half and everyone looks SO young! Wait … Harry rubbed his temples wearily. Traveling back in time, even through a memory, gave him a headache.
Remus Lupin smiled from behind the doorframe. "My, all of you have been out here for quite a long time. We were going to eat all of the food without you."
'Oh, lunchtime already?" Sirius perked up considerably, and Harry had to laugh.
Remus snorted. "I wasn't going to get you, but Minerva made me come. I suppose we can't let the girl starve." Remus smiled, eyes twinkling, at Raye. He crossed the room and extended a hand. "And honestly, Sirius, you could have helped her up."
Raye laughed, still clutching the sword as she allowed Remus to help her up.
Sirius glared. "I-I was going to …"
Lucius laughed as he headed for the door. "I'm going on ahead, since all of you are taking your sweet time."
Remus laughed. "Ah, Come on, Black. James is actually here for once."
Harry's breath caught in his throat.
"Whaat?" Sirius asked, making a "the-apocalypse-is-here!" face. "Lili let him out of the house?!"
Raye smiled a little as she watched the two men walking ahead of her, Remus elbowing Sirius in the side, protesting in James' favor while Sirius just grinned and cracked an imaginary whip, complete with the "wha-psh" sound. This earned him a shove from Remus, who began to lecture him about things like, "You should be more supportive of his family life," and "At least James can settle down! It's a nice contrast to your immaturity," and, "Don't ignore me! Hey, don't cover your ears on me!!"
Harry, however, wasn't laughing. James is actually here for once kept ringing in his ears, and he shivered in anticipation, waiting for the scene to change.
Of course it didn't, seeming just to spite him. Actually, Harry nearly jumped out of his skin at what happened next. Lucius, who had apparently waited for them anyway outside the building, screeched, "WATCH OUT!!!" and a wave of heat and flame rolled over the room.
Harry blinked in shock as the smoke and debris began to settle down. What the hell? He heard a groan as a figure stood up, blood trickling down the side of his face. Remus coughed at the smoke as he searched the room. "Sirius!!! Ms Raye?!"
An answering groan came from the side. Harry strained his eyes as the smoke cleared. Finally, he could see Sirius, a bit dazed, crouched protectively with his arms around Raye, who had finally gotten over her shock and was coughing loudly.
"A-are you both … alright?" Remus asked, relief etched into his face.
Sirius blinked. "Give me … a second… I think I'm fine. Hm, my body won't move."
"I'm fine, it's just the smoke," Raye said in between coughs.
Lucius rushed in, hair blackened by smoke and looking as if he had been thrown into … something … and Sirius finally stood up as Remus, once again, helped Raye up.
"What happened?" Sirius asked.
Lucius shook his head, trying to smooth his hair back down. "I was coming back in to tell you two to move it or I really wouldn't leave anything on the table for you, but when I grabbed the doorframe, it lit up!"
"It was probably set there to destroy the smith," a new voice said from what had once been the doorway. "Are you all alright? We heard the explosion back in Order HQ." Harry paused, frozen at the sound of the voice. He turned slowly.
James Potter stood in the remnants of the door a moment before hurrying in. When he had satisfied himself that no one was seriously hurt, and after pulling a handkerchief from his pocket and handing it to Remus for the cut on his head, he finally smiled. "Of course, the first time in a while that I've made it here, and you had to blow something up, didn't you, Sirius?"
"I didn't do it! … this time…" Sirius was indignant.
James laughed, a little tensely given the situation, and stepped over to Remus. "What is it?"
Remus was studying the wood of the doorframe. He frowned and some pieces of wood glowed. "A trigger. The doorframe was booby-trapped."
James' face grew black with anger before he finally sighed. "Well, as long as all of you are alright …" He then frowned slyly at Sirius. "Now are you all going to go to lunch or am I going to have to eat it all?" He then grinned. "I brought some of Lili's coffee cake."
Remus smiled, tossing the piece of wood to the ground. "Then by all means, we should go. I'm sure she'd be furious if James ate it all himself."
James chuckled until he heard the "wha-psh" from behind him. He whirled around and seized Sirius by the shoulder. "Now what is 'wha-psh' supposed to mean, hm Sirius?"
Sirius laughed openly in his face. "What do you think it means, Jamesy-poo?"
"No food for you."
"Aagh, no, darnit!"
"Ms Raye Hino?" James said, ignoring Sirius' tirades about how he had to have all of his nourishment. "I'm James Potter."
Raye smiled and shook his hind. "Nice to meet you," she said shyly.
Remus smiled, "C'mon, kids, off to food. Hm, it's probably all cold already."
James was the last to leave the room. He looked back at the mess all over the smiths' shop, and Harry was certain he saw an anger smoldering in his face. "London's become far too dangerous," he muttered. "Whoever did this had better be thankful they didn't kill any of them." James' eyes glinted ominously.
Harry gulped. His father was a frightening man when irked.
As he hurried out after the group, Harry glanced at the debris where the doorframe once stood. A sliver of wood glowed up at him, some sort of symbol obvious on it. He couldn't help but wonder if Lucius had set it off on purpose.