I fancied Hermione Granger. Not in the end-of-the-world, heaven's-about-to- fall way, but in an awkward, stilted kind of way. Most of the time, I attempted to ignore it. It didn't work very well, but at least I didn't spend my time moping around because I was miserable. It wasn't like I loved her, anyway. I barely knew her, had only been on speaking-terms with her for three days before summer holidays started. So I decided that moping over things was the worst I could do, and set about learning as much as I could before Hogwarts started up again.

Frederic had kept up his practise of ambushing me, and I was able to sense him coming most of the time. To be perfectly honest, he was the stealthiest walker I had ever encountered, and it was only my shield that made me sense him about a feet away, but that was enough time to duck out of the way of his kicks or punches. I rarely won, but only because Frederic was the best, and the dirtiest fighter I had ever met. He knew every trick in the books. Hell, he wrote the book. There was nothing he did not see a weapon in: a broken bottle, a paving stone, a quill, his shoes.

He told me kill someone with his glasses.

Frankly, he frightens me more than Voldemort ever did. At least the Dark Lord never tried to kill someone with a pair of wire-framed glasses. Frederic, for all his amiable cheerfulness, had a mind like a steel-trap. He was even more frightening than his brother, and that was saying something, since his brother fancied my Astronomy teacher and had a habit of sending poor, unsuspecting students into the Forbidden Forest.

The Lucas' Library was still as fascinating as it ever had been. While still not daring to go in there alone, whenever Frederic or Vincent did, I followed them, picked a book and sat on the floor. There were chairs in the library, which both of the brothers chose to sit in, but I always sat on the floor, next to the blue spiral. It might have been my imagination, but sometimes it felt as if the patterns changed, appearing and disappearing over night.

"You are going to break your back, sitting like that," Frederic pointed out.

"I'm young: I can handle it." I dismissed it, not bothering to look up from my reading.

"It's your back." He shrugged and went back to his own book. It was some volume written by a Japanese wizard, about a samurai as far as I could understand. The blurb on the back was in English, but the book itself, Frederic claimed, was in Japanese. Which was why he was reading it backwards.

"That doesn't stop you from trying to break it every chance you get," I pointed out.

"That's my right and privilege as your teacher," he grinned. "Well, unofficial teacher, but it amounts to the same thing."

"Shut up?" I requested.

"I will, as long as you promise not to mope over your girlfriend."

"She's not my girlfriend." I snapped, "So stop pestering me about it."

Of course he didn't stop. He just shut up for a while. For a man as dangerous as he was, he was certainly juvenile at times. I went back to my book, shaking my head and deciding to ignore him for the time being. I'd taken to reading as much as I could on wandless magic in my spare time, and was currently working through a volume describing the various ways Merlin had enchanted his palace. The Muggle-version of the Arhturian tale was only half of it: Merlin had lived for a lot longer than they thought, only he retreated to a palace of his own making and made it unplottable. It was the first structure in magical history to be made unplottable too.

Quite interesting in its own right, but the book was horribly dull. I snapped it shut and replaced it on the shelf, standing up and stretching till my back popped audibly. Frederic looked up from his book and raised an eyebrow in query. I ignored him and wandered over to one of the huge windows overlooking the grounds before the mansion.

The Lucas family had to have been reach at some point in their history. No poor man could have afforded a mansion such as this: it must have taken decades to build, even with magic to help them. The library alone was a masterpiece that would leave even the unmovable Dumbledore impressed. It was a theoretical impossibility given form, and every time I stepped inside, I found something new to marvel at. The rows of portraits that lined the halls told of how ancient the family was, but it ancestors must have been intensely private people, because I couldn't remember reading about them anywhere before.

History was littered with Blacks and Malfoys, Parkinsons and Bulstrodes, Zabinis and Lestranges, but never a mention of the Lucas family. Anonymity did not equal stupidity, however, as the construction of the library proved. Insanity was a trait that galloped through the old magical bloodlines, as Frederic and I are proof of, but even the most insane Lucas' of history escaped mention. I chuckled a little at the thought, wondering if they had all been like Vincent, wanting to hide and succeeding so well that no one but my mother, his brother and my Astronomy teacher seemed to have heard of him before.

At my chuckle, Frederic once more tore his attention away from the book he was reading and looked at me.

"I've been reading a bit too much: I'm going outside." I said by way of explanation.

"´I can think in here, I'm stepping outside," Frederic said, his voice taking on a Russian accent. He put down his book and followed me out, grinning.

"That's another of those movie quotes, isn't it?" I asked wearily.

"Yup." Frederic was one of the few people in the world who would ever use the word ´yup´ in a normal conversations. "But you'll have to figure out which movie by yourself."

"You know I don't watch movies," I told him for what seemed like the fiftieth time.

"Pity." He rolled his eyes towards the ceiling, "It would do you a lot of good. Why, I remember seeing my first Muggle movie in Paris when I was ten. It was An American Werewolf in London. Quite interesting take on lycantrophy, really."

"Having a werewolf as a teacher is a quite interesting take on lycantrophy," I told him, shaking my head.


A warm breeze was blowing as I stepped outside, into the sunshine. As summers go, this one hadn't been too bad: I felt much better than I had when leaving school. I wasn't such a nervous wreck any more. My friends, while I had never been a particular danger to them, would be safer when I went back to Hogwarts in two weeks. The summer had passed so quickly, or at least that was how it seemed here at the end of it. From snapping at my Defence professor to calling him by first name, from shopping for my own library in Diagon Alley to spending my days in a library with six thousand known books and an infinite number of shady corners, from living at the Leaky Cauldron to having a room of my own in the Lucas' family mansion, it seemed to have passed by in a dream.

I could remember clearly a conversation between Vincent and myself some two weeks earlier as if it has just happened. I had asked why I had been so shaky in my control of magic before the summer, why I had broken down at the smallest provocation. A fight with Hermione had been enough to have me vomiting on the bathroom floor.

"Emotional reactions," he'd replied promptly, if cryptically. "Strong enough emotions can make anyone do stupid things: throwing vases and dinner plates comes to mind, while hexing someone is the response mostly found in magical folk. When you didn't have a good hold on your magic, losing control is so much easier. Judging from how angry I've seen you get, the amount of anger Ms Granger inspired in you should have been more than enough to push you over the edge."

"So you're saying that I made glass shards fly because I couldn't keep my temper?" I asked sceptically.

"That is exactly what I'm saying." He nodded. "So you better rein in that anger you seem so prone to and hope to high heaven no one crosses you."

"But does that go for all emotions?"

"I'm not sure." He shrugged hesitantly. "Anger and hate are powerful emotions, as is fear, but I don't think you'll be setting fire to your classmates because you're feeling happy. I can't speak certainly about love, since it's almost the same thing as hate, if not more powerful, but I suppose that as long as you don't try to do something, you won't harm anyone by loving them."

I chose to ignore the implications of that statement, and instead turned my thoughts to learning to control my temper. It wouldn't do to have Weasley's hair catch fire just because I happened to be angry with him. Burning Weasleys was probably against school rules, though I was quite sure it wasn't stated black on white anywhere. A lot of things weren't written down in the school rules, but was considered against them in any case. Most of them were just sheer stupidity, such things only Crabbe and Goyle would try to do, but then again, there were some pretty silly rules in the school rule-book.

The one about not keeping man-eating monsters in your sock-drawer for example. I suspected that addition had been courtesy of Dumbledore: no one else would think of students keeping monsters in their sock-drawers. But I suspected Dumbledore knew most of what was going on in the school: perhaps only the Slytherins were devious enough to fool him, if only for a while. No Gryffindor worth his salt would ever understand a Slytherin: only someone who was themselves a Slytherin could do that. It was a peculiar kind of freedom, considering it was the only way to keep secrets at Hogwarts.

I took off my shoes when I reached the lake, sitting down on the edge of water and dipping my feet in. Dipping your feet into the water was something you did on careless summer days. My days would never be careless again, but I'd be damned if I let that get in the way of enjoying my summer. Slowly, after checking that Frederic wasn't around, I let my shield slip away, leaving me bared against magical attacks, but much less weary. It took time and energy to keep it up, time and energy I wasn't sure I could afford to waste.

So many things had changed in such a short time. A year ago, I would never have imagined I would be the first wandless mage in over two hundred years. Then, I hadn't cared about much else than how to pass my classes, how to have as much fun as possible over the summer holidays, and how to escape my mother. A month ago, I was still struggling with the magic that wreaked havoc on my mind. I wouldn't even have known of the possibility of the magical shield I could now hold around me for almost a full day before it disintegrated when my power waned. A week ago, I wouldn't even have considered the fact that I fancied Hermione Granger. An hour ago, I had still believed glasses to be perfectly harmless.

I couldn't possibly comprehend what I would know tomorrow.


Ending Notes: This chapter is super-short, but it is the last one, and there really was nothing more to write in this part. I have a few events left of this summer, but they fit better at the beginning of part three. This monster is now well over one hundred thousand words long, and that's only this part.

I'm thinking about writing some more stories that take place in the SV- verse. Some vignettes about the characters, which are already writing themselves out in my head, as well as writing another novel-length fic, set some ten years before SV. My overheated imagination has already started to plan some of the plot. Hopefully, you'll bear with me through that as well.