Chapter 18: Rescuing a Damsel in Distress, the Ultimate Gryffindor Trait

Sunday brought gloomy skies and misty rain. It was one of those days where no one was motivated to do anything more than sit around the common room. It seemed as though everyone had unanimously decided that today was the day to relax, to do absolutely nothing. Harry and friends were no exceptions. They had confiscated the sitting area in front of the fireplace as theirs. Harry had taken one of the overstuffed chairs and sat sideways in it with his legs thrown over one of the armrest and his back against the other. He was secretly sketching ideas for Lofn's painting, which at the moment wasn't going so well. Amethyst laid across the back of the chair purring deeply with her tails slowly flickering back and forth.

Hermione and Ginny were sitting on the sofa. There was a pile of books between them making it impossible for anyone else to sit with them. Well, at least not without moving the books, which nobody wanted nor had the nerve to do. Hermione was, of course, reading. Ginny on the other hand was talking to Neville. Neville had taken the other chair and sat with his Herbology book on his lap as he talked with Ginny.

Dean and Seamus were sitting on the floor with a game of Exploding Snap between them. The game had started out friendly enough, but it quickly got out of hand. The two boys were fiercely competitive and Dean ended up accusing Seamus of cheating. Seamus didn't take to kindly to being called a cheater and the two boys began wrestling on the burgundy carpet with cards flying everywhere. Amethyst jumped off the back of Harry's chair to chase the falling cards and pounced on them as though they were mice. The wrestling match only ended when one of the cards exploded in Seamus' hair, much to everyone's amusement. Amethyst with one of her captured cards jumped back on to the back of Harry's chair where she laid and gnawed on the edge of the card.

As the common room quieted back down Harry returned to his drawing. He still wasn't having much luck. He just couldn't seem to get the body structured right. He contemplated asking Dean, since the other boy was an artist too. But Harry decided against it, because that would mean showing his drawing and he really wasn't ready for that. Plus, he didn't want to hear how his mum or dad was an artist. He was always being told how he looked or acted like his parents and in the beginning he loved it. He loved having that connection to them and still did. But, now he wanted to have something that was just his. Sighing he closed the sketchbook and reclined back into the chair.

"I was thinking of holding Quidditch tryouts on Wednesday, what do you think?" Harry asked to no one in particular as he stared up at the ceiling.

"Wednesday's good because we're done with classes by 3," Ginny said.

"Plus, everyone's burned out by Wednesday, so this will be a good break against the monotony of classes," Hermione added.

Everyone within hearing distance turned and stared at Hermione as if she had sprouted another head. Even Amethyst paused in her biting of the Exploding Snap card to look over at Hermione. Hermione, feeling eyes on her, looked up from her book blinking honey-gold eyes. Then a small frown crossed her features and she huffed, "Don't look at me like that. Even I need a break from school every now and then."

That statement got even more shocked looks than the first one. Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head before sighing and going back to her book. Harry laughed softly and it seemed to be a signal for everyone to go back to whatever they had been doing.

"I'll have to put up a notice and tell Professor McGonagall that we're having tryouts on Wednesday," Harry said, talking more to himself than to the others.

"I can post the notice if you want," Dean said.

Harry looked at the taller dark-skinned boy. "Really? You wouldn't mind?"

Dean laughed, "Nah, I don't mind."

"Okay then, Wednesday at 3 on the Quidditch Pitch and it's open to any Gryffindor that wants to tryout, even first years," Harry replied as he sat up and swung his legs from the armrest. He placed his sketchbook in his bag and stood up. Amethyst stopped chewing on the card and stood up as well. Her head was tilted to the side violet eyes staring at Harry and her tails swaying as she waited to see what her favorite human was up to. "I'm going for a walk."

Hermione looked up from her book. "Want company?" she asked.

"Nah, it's okay. I'm just going to stop by Professor McGonagall's office and tell her about the tryouts and then wander around until M.A.," Harry said.

"Okay, make sure you see Professor McGonagall first and don't be late to M.A.," Hermione said in her 'mother' tone.

Harry couldn't help but smile. "Yes, Mum," he murmured playfully before tugging on one of 'Mione's loose curls to show that it was all in good fun.

"Later guys," he said. There was a chorus of good-byes from his friends as he made his way out of the common room. Amethyst followed him out but took off down the stairs before Harry even took a step out of the doorway. Harry didn't bother calling after her for he knew she'd show up later, she always did. Before the portrait closed he heard Hermione yell, "Seamus give that back to Dean and leave him be for a little while." Shaking his head Harry walked down stairs to McGonagall's office.

Harry left Professor McGonagall's office in good spirits. McGonagall had said that she would reserve the Quidditch pitch for Gryffindor on Wednesday and that she was looking forward to seeing the team he put together. A pleased grin flashed across his lips, he couldn't wait till tryouts. Oh the devious tricks he had up his sleeve and they were so distinctly Slytherinish that McGonagall wouldn't be at all proud. His smile grew as he left McGonagall's office behind and there was a bounce in his step as he walked down the hall.

He wandered around the school with no destination in mind. He looked and talked to the paintings, hoping that maybe one of the portraits might help him with his drawing problem. He also looked at the paintings for inspiration. He looked for something that would catch his eye, a color, a landscape, a style of clothing or even a piece of furniture. He even entertained the idea of asking one of the paintings to pose for him, until he remember that the paintings gossiped worse than the students and it would get back to Dumbledore. Harry had no desire for the Headmaster to find out about his artistic ability, knowing that Dumbledore would find a way to use it to his advantage. Harry didn't know how the Headmaster could use it, but he knew that if there was a way Dumbledore would find it.

Harry continued walking until one painting caught his eye. The painting itself was just a landscape with nothing remarkable about it, no bright colors that would have drawn attention to it, or stylized frame. But it caught Harry's attention because he knew the place. It was the center of the maze garden; only it didn't show the fountain just the stone gazebo-like structure and the Rowan tree. But in the painting the structure was free of vines and the tree was in bloom, where in real life the stone structure was covered with vines and the tree was dead. He got closer to the painting and traced the Rowan tree. Its flowers were pure white with deep red centers and the trunk was the darkest of ebony.

His watch beeped and he looked at it to see that he had thirty minutes to get to M.A. With one last look at the painting he turned away and headed for the entrance hall and the main flight of stairs that would take him to sixth floor. He was lost in thought as he walked, too busy wondering about the painting or to be more precise the Rowan tree. At one point it had been alive, the painting showed that, but now it was dead. Everything in the maze garden was alive, hell it was thriving, except the Rowan tree. It didn't make any sense that only the tree had died and nothing else.

A smile slipped across his lips, he had just found his inspiration. He knew exactly what he was going to draw now, the center of the maze garden. The stone structure, the Rowan tree, and the fountain, he knew where they were so he'd have the real things as references. Also they were in a secluded place that only one other person knew of, so no one would interrupt him or see him drawing.

He entered the entrance hall and hurried across it to the stairs. He had just placed his hand on the banister and a foot on the first step when he heard someone call his name. He paused and turned slightly to see who was calling him and then seriously wished he hadn't.

"Oh, hello Cho," he said politely. He didn't smile or give any other indication that he wanted to continue the conversation beyond simple pleasantries. He even went so far as to look at his watch, which told him that he had about fifteen minutes till M.A. started.

She was the last person he wanted to talk to, especially after the whole fiasco of last year. He just wanted to pretend that it never happened. In fact, as far as he was concerned it hadn't. He couldn't believe he had thought she was attractive or that he had kissed her. Looking at her now he just couldn't see what had attracted him to her. Her shiny black hair was shoulder-length framing a cute heart-shaped face and her eyes were a deep dark brown, but looking at her now, he couldn't see what had drawn him to her. She was slightly shorter than him with a slim lightly toned body that all seekers shared. Her slender pale legs showed from beneath the short dark blue skirt she was wearing and the white halter-top showed off her cleavage, trim waist, and slender arms. She was pretty, there was no denying that, but he knew girls that were prettier, hell he even knew boys that were better looking. He came to the conclusion that he had only been attracted to her because it had be expected of him. That it had been the concept and not the person that he had been attracted to.

"Harry," Cho said again as she moved closer to him. She smiled flirtatiously and made sure her hips swayed in a seductive manor. She was soon disappointed as Harry once again looked at his watch and hardly seemed to notice her advancement. A small frown of displeasure crossed her features before she reminded herself that Harry was a rather shy boy. After all, she had been trying to get his attention since the start of the school year without any luck. Harry just didn't seem to notice her subtle invitation, so, she was just going to have to be more obvious in her pursuit of him. With that thought her flirtatious smile once again graced her thin lips.

"Was there something you wanted Cho?" Harry asked in a bored manor as he looked away from his watch.

"Actually, there was," Cho whispered seductively as she leaned closer to Harry. She was only an inch shorter than Harry so her dark brown eyes were nearly level with Harry's bright emerald green ones. She reached out to place her hand against Harry's chest, but before her fingers could even brushed the dark red almost black material of his sweater it was gone. She gave Harry a small pout at his retreat up the stairs before stepping forward so that there was once again little space between them, at least not enough to be considered decent. Harry's green eyes narrowed and he leaned his body away from Cho's. Didn't she ever hear of personal space?

"Cho, I have class to get to," Harry said trying to escape her clutches as he moved up one more step so that there was a stair between them.

Cho gave a coy giggle. "It's Sunday silly, there are no classes."

"Maybe not for you, but I have M.A. and I don't have time for you're little game," Harry stated as he made to turn around and walk up the flight of stairs. She grabbed his arm forcing him to stop. Harry frowned at her but she didn't give him the chance to do anything. She took a step forward placing the palm of her hand on his chest and shoved him backwards. Harry stumbled back, his foot hitting the edge of one of the steps causing him to fall backwards so that he laid sprawled on the stairs. Cho quickly took advantage, closing the space that was between them. Kneeling on the stair she leaned forward positioning herself between Harry's sprawled legs and pressing her body fully against his. She skimmed her hands up his chest to his shoulders. Harry instinctively tried to retreat. The edge of the stairs dug painfully into his lower back and shoulders as he pressed himself backward, but no matter how much he tried to become one with the stairs they remained solid and he stayed pinned under Cho.

Cho ran her hands along Harry's upper chest, his shoulders, and down his sides feeling the downy material of his sweater and secretly wishing he wasn't wearing the turtleneck at all. She rubbed herself against Harry like a cat in heat and was rewarded with a strangled cry. Little did she know that the cry wasn't one of pleasure, but rather a choked sound of panic and disgust.

As far as Harry was concerned Cho was taking far too many liberties that he wasn't at all comfortable with, he was in fact completely turned off by her behavior. He wanted desperately to push her away but he didn't know where to place his hands, it wasn't like he could just shove her away like he wanted to because she was a girl and like all girls she had breasts. And he couldn't grab her arms and force her away from him because she was wearing a skimp little top that left nothing to the imagination. And he couldn't hex her because he couldn't reach his wand, which was in his back pocket.

"Look Cho," started Harry politely only to be shushed by Cho. He glared at her. Okay, screw being polite. "Cho," he said coldly, "I'm not interested, now kindly back off."

Cho gave a fluttering laugh. "Everyone is interested," she said haughtily

"I'm not," Harry said icily. "Now get off of me before I hex you."

Cho made a clicking sound with her tongue. "You say that now, but I know I can change your mind," she whispered as she trailed her fingers up Harry's arm only to have her hand shrugged off.

"No, you cannot," Harry declared.

"Well then," Cho said as she leaned up to look directly into Harry's eyes. "I'm just going to have to take what I want," she whispered pinning Harry's arms to the steps to keep him from reaching for his wand. Harry's eyes widened as Cho's lips got within an inch of his and he silently began to pray for some kind of divine intervention or something, anything, he didn't care what at the moment. Hell, he was so desperate he'd take Snape or even worse Filch and his stupid cat Mrs. Norris as interference.

"For you see, Harry…"

"The only thing I see Chang is you physically and sexually harassing a fellow student," interrupted a freezing drawl.

Harry instantly recognized that alluring drawl and turned his head to see Draco standing at the bottom of the stairs. He breathed a sigh of relief, relaxing slightly and glanced at the ceiling mouthing a "Thank you" to whatever god was listening. Then a small sly smile curved his lips. Well, he had asked for a divine intervention and it seemed he had gotten it in the form of a very sexy blonde, who should wear charcoal-gray more often. Looking at the blonde all Harry could think was yummy. Hmmm…if this was the outcome then he should ask for interventions more often.

Piercing silver met relieved green for a brief moment. It was just long enough for Harry's smile to turn from secretly amused to beautifully shy. It was the smile that Harry always gave Draco and it was that smile alone that kept Draco from ripping Chang to pieces right there in the entrance hall, especially since she was still all over Harry, His Harry. And if she didn't move soon he was going to give into the urge and hex her to within an inch of her life.

"Malfoy," Cho sneered as she slowly pushed herself off Harry, she knew when to cut her losses and right now the odds were against her. Where Harry wouldn't have hexed her without legitimate cause, Malfoy would hex her just because it would amuse him to do so. But boy was she was pissed, not only because she was interrupted but also because she had seen the smile that Harry had given Malfoy. The smile had been shy, sweet, and breathtaking and she couldn't understand why it had been directed at Malfoy. Unless…unless the rumors were true? Could it be that the Golden Boy of Gryffindor and the Prince of Slytherin were actually together?

Cho tossed her straight black hair over her shoulder and gave Harry, who was still sprawled on the stairs, a flirtatious smile. "We'll continue this later, Harry," she said sweetly giving Harry a wink. She gave Draco a haughty look before walking passed him.

One of Draco's pale elegant eyebrows rose and a contemptuous smirk crossed his sharp features. "Chang," Draco called after Cho, who stopped and turned around snootily. Draco's smirk deepened, he wasn't about to let Chang off the hook, not when she had frightened Harry and had dared to touch him as though she had every right to. In fact, she was going to be sorry she ever dared that little stunt, but for now he'd start small. He was a Malfoy after all and Malfoys made a person miserable before completely destroying their lives. "Thirty points from Ravenclaw for your serious lack of morals and another twenty for your deficient observation skills."

"What?" Cho nearly screeched her snooty look disappearing into one of rage. "You bastard. You can't," she started.

"Of course I can," Draco interrupted arrogantly. "I'm a prefect, in case you've forgotten." He turned away from Cho and held out a hand to help Harry up. Harry gave Draco a grateful smile and grabbed Draco's forearm feeling the soft wool of Draco's charcoal-gray sweater under his hand. Draco's fingers wrapped around Harry's forearm and with little effort he pulled Harry to his feet. Draco's hand lingered longer than necessary on Harry's arm before he let his hand fall to his side. He was thankful that Harry didn't seem to notice, but he had needed the extra contact to make sure Harry was alright.

Cho snarled and stomped her foot, she had noticed the gesture and the way Draco looked at Harry. Malfoy wanted Harry and if she had to compete against Malfoy there was no way for her to win. She wasn't so full of herself that she couldn't admit that Malfoy was better looking. After all, Malfoy was one of the hottest students in school, only having to sharing the top spot with Harry. She turned smartly on her heel and stalked off towards the Ravenclaw common room.

"Oh, and Cho," Harry called after her.

She stopped and turned halfway around to look at Harry.

"Just in case it escaped your hearing before; I'm not interested. Not now, not ever," Harry said coldly. "This is your only warning."

Cho glared and muttered, "We'll see about that." There was no way she was giving up, she would have Harry and nothing would stop her from getting what she wanted. Neither Harry himself nor the threat of Draco would stop her. She once again turned and marched off down one of the hallways that branched off of the entrance hall.

Draco smirked down at Harry; even though Harry was standing on a stair Draco was still taller than him. "Nice threat. But why didn't you just hex her to begin with?"

Harry shrugged. "Didn't need to at first and then I couldn't reach my wand," Harry said honestly as he strolled up the stairs with Draco matching his strides.

"Then why didn't you just push her away?"

Harry mumbled, "I didn't know where to put my hands."

"Pardon?" Draco said stopping on the stairs and turning to look at Harry.

"I said," Harry started in a normal tone before hesitantly whispering, "I didn't know where to put my hands." He sighed and turned to face Draco. "It's not like I could have just shoved her," he said as he placed his hands on Draco's chest and gave the blonde a gentle push demonstrating where his hands would have been. "She's a girl. The last thing I wanted was for her to think that I was feeling her up or encouraging her in any way." He realized that his hands where still on Draco's chest and quickly removed them. He turned and started walking up the stairs so that Draco wouldn't see the blush staining his cheeks. He ran a hand through his short hair, a clear sign of not only his nervousness, but also his embarrassment.


Draco made an encouraging sound in his throat for Harry to continue.

"You're not going to tell anyone are you?" Harry asked looking at Draco from the corner of his eye. "That I had to be rescued from a girl."

"I don't know, Potter, it would make an awfully good story," Draco mused as he smirked at Harry.

Emerald eyes narrowed before Harry gave Draco a smirk of his own. "Fine, tell everyone," he said with a shrug. "Just remember that when all those gullible students come up to me asking if it's true, and you know that they will, I'll get to tell them all about your Gryffindorish rescue."

Silver eyes narrowed. "You wouldn't."

Harry gave a cheeky grin. "Wouldn't I?"

"Impressive, I must be rubbing off on you," Draco commented, which caused Harry to burst into sweet laughter. "And there was nothing Gryffindorish about it."

"I beg to differ," Harry replied still laughing. "You may not have charged in on a white steed with wand blazing, figuratively speaking of course, but the fact remains that you played the hero. And no matter how Slytherin you went about it, you were still rescuing me. And I hate to break it to you, but rescuing people is the ultimate Gryffindor trait." Harry gave a cocky grin before snickering, "So who's rubbing off on whom?"

Draco gave a delicate snort. "Fine, I won't tell anyone that you had to be rescued from a girl that was trying to get into your pants, but you owe me for my silence."

Harry chuckled and shook his head. "Spoken like a true Slytherin." He glanced at his watch before gasping. "Bloody hell!" Harry exclaimed, "We have two minutes to get to M.A."

M.A. class was held in the same room as yesterday, meaning it was on the sixth floor, so Harry and Draco had four flights of stairs to run up in order to make it to class on time. They made it to M.A. with seconds to spare, slightly winded and a flush covering their cheeks.

"Cutting it a little close, you two," said Shadow with a raised eyebrow. "Do I even want to ask?"

Harry smiled and gave a sheepish laugh. "Sorry and no you don't," he answered.

"Well, someone needed rescuing," Draco said looking pointedly at Harry.

Harry's cheeks, which were already flushed from the run up the stairs, turned a darker shade as he blushed. "I can't believe you," he hissed softly at Draco.

Draco gave a careless shrug and walked over to the group sitting down next to Blaise.

"Who needed rescuing?" Ginny asked innocently having missed the subtle hints.

Hermione, having missed none it, started at Harry with narrowed honey-gold eyes. Harry squirmed under Hermione's watchful gaze and waited for the inevitable. "What happened?" she demanded.

Harry's blushed deepened even more. "I don't really think this is the time or place to talk about it, 'Mione."

"Harry," Hermione said and Harry cringed. Harry instantly recognized Hermione's tone of voice as her I'm-not-letting-this-go-and-you-are-not-weaseling-your-way-out-of-it-so-don't-even-try tone.

"I know, I know," Harry sighed as he made his way over to the group and sat down next to Hermione, "We'll talk about this later. Of course I wouldn't have to talk about it at all if someone had kept his mouth shut." He gave Draco a small glare and was giving a pleased smirk in return. Unable to stay mad at the blonde he smiled softly and shook his head.

Shadow cleared her throat to get their attention causing Harry to blush even more and mutter a quick apology. "Now, we're discussing aura colors today," she started as she sat down on one of the high flat rocks. "For some of you if not all of you today's discussion will be very uncomfortable."

"Perfect, like today wasn't embarrassing enough," muttered Harry.

Shadow gave Harry an intense stare. "Would you like to talk about?"

Emerald eyes widened in horror and he fanatically shook his head no. "No! No, no, no, I don't need to talk about it so let's just move on."

With a small amused smile across her lips Shadow gave a one should shrug. "Alright then. Now, auras are extremely personal, for all intents and purposes they are extensions of the soul. Auras are the one thing that will never lie. No matter how many masks you wear," she said looking at Harry, "or how cold and withdrawn you act," she continued her gaze shifting to Draco. "Or how many books you hide behind," she went on her purple eyes landing on Hermione, "Or how many daydreams you lose yourself in," she said her gaze shifting to Luna. "Or a careless attitude, or a long-term silence, or helpful advice," she continued her gaze moving from Blaise to Nisha to Ginny. "Your aura will always show who you really are."

The group exchanged uneasy glances before turning their attention back to Shadow. None of them were to sure about this whole aura thing. They had all became friends, but there was still a lot of secrets among them. They each had something to hide. There was always a part of them that they kept hidden from everyone, even sometimes themselves. That's just the way it was, everyone had their own inner demons and a right to keep them hidden.

"Now that I have you all terrified, who wants to be the first victim?" Shadow asked.

"Don't you mean volunteer?" Ginny questioned.

Shadow shrugged. "Same difference," she replied. "Now who's first?"

"Harry wants to go first," Blaise called out.

Ginny nodded, "Yeah, Harry should go first."

Draco's smirk deepened to show that he agreed with Blaise and Ginny. Luna giggled and Nisha just gave him a cool look before turning her attention back to Shadow. The only one that didn't say or do anything was Hermione, but it looked like she was trying not to smile.

Harry gaped at all of them. "What kind of friends are you?" he accused.

"The best kind," Blaise countered.

"I'll go," Hermione said standing up.

"Thanks 'Mione," Harry said smiling at the bookworm. "See, now that's a friend."

"I'll go first, because Harry's a big baby," Hermione finished as she sat down on the other rock. She flashed Harry a smile to show that she was just playing.

"You were saying," said Blaise smugly.

"Okay class," Shadow said drawing their attention back to her. "Now, I want everyone to look at Hermione and using the technique you learned yesterday to see her aura. Once you've seen her aura you can let your vision return to normal, but remember the color you saw and raise your hand to let me know that you've seen it. When everyone's seen her aura we'll move. Got it?"

Everyone nodded and Shadow continued. "Good. Whenever you're ready, and remember this is not a race so take all the time you need."

Harry closed his eyes and took deep calming breaths to relax. Slowly he opened green eyes and stared at Hermione. He took in her long golden-brown hair, her lightly golden tan and honey colored eyes, then he let it all just sort of fade away so that it was no longer in focus. Once the details fade into the background there was a flicker of color and then as if someone had struck a match color flared around Hermione. The orange-yellow aura drifted off of Hermione rapidly, like a candle's flame stirred by a relentless wind. Harry guessed that the rapid flickering of the aura signified nervousness or fear. Continuing to study Hermione's aura he noticed that beneath the orange-yellow hue there was another, a bright lemony yellow that was closer to the skin. The two colors merged seamlessly into each other and around the very edge of the flickering orange-yellow hue there was a metallic layer in the shade of copper.

Blinking, Harry let his vision return to normal. A quick glance told him that he was the only person left and hastily raised his hand.

Shadow nodded and motioned for them to put their hands down. "Color?" she asked.

There was a brief moment of silence while everyone wondered who'd go first. It was Blaise that broke the silence. "An orangey yellow that was flickering wildly," he said. A sly smile curved his lips as he turned his attention to Hermione. "A little nervous?"

Hermione gave a small snort and grumbled, "Let's see how well you handle it when there are six pairs of eyes staring into you."

"Did anyone see anything different?" Shadow asked bringing the conversation back to the topic at hand.

Hesitantly Harry raised his hand and he was pleased to see Draco and Luna raise their hands as well.

"Harry?" Alyssum called.

"There…there are three colors," Harry replied hesitantly.

"Explain," commanded Alyssum.

"Well, there's a bright lemony yellow that's right next to the skin and then there's the orange-yellow hue, which is highlighted by copper," Harry said gaining confidence as he explained.

"Very good," she said holding up a hand to keep anyone from asking questions and went on to explain. "There are three colors to an aura, although not everyone has all three colors. There's the Primary, which is the major color and the color that anyone with the ability to see an aura will see. Next is the Secondary color, not everyone has a Secondary and not everyone can see the Secondary. The third and last color is the Magical Signature, so muggles wouldn't have a third color. All Magical Signatures are metallic and highlight the edge of the Primary."

"We'll discuss the Magical signatures later for now we're focusing on the Primary," Shadow went on explaining. She turned to look at Hermione before continuing, "I trust you did your homework."

Hermione nodded and clasped her hands in her lap as she went into lecture mode. "Yes, the orange-yellow color signifies; creativity, intelligence, detail oriented, perfectionist and scientific."

"Wow," whispered Ginny.

Harry started laughing. "Talk about stating the obvious."

"Like none of us saw that coming," Blaise added.

"Oh shut it you two," command Hermione.

"Nicely done Hermione, you may sit back down. Also, your homework for tonight well be to find out what your Secondary color means, which goes for anyone that has a Secondary. And Blaise you're next."

Hermione gave Blaise a smug smile before sitting down next to Harry. Blaise sighed and rolled his eyes before moving to sit on the flat rock that Hermione just vacated. As soon as Blaise was seated everyone let their visions become unfocused to see his aura. Harry did the same thing that he had done with Hermione, he focused first on Blaise appearance taking in the black hair that had a slight curl to it and his slanted deep blue eyes and then he let it all fade away. Once again it was as if someone had simply clicked on a light. Blaise's aura flared around him and it drifted off of him much calmer than Hermione's, although there was still a tiny flicker of nervousness. Blinking Harry let his vision return to normal and this time he was pleased to note that he wasn't the last one to raise his hand.

"Color?" Shadow asked once everyone's hands were raised.

"The Primary is blue," Hermione answered.

"And much calmer than Hermione's," Ginny added which earned her a glared from Hermione. Ginny just gave a one-shoulder shrug and muttered, "Well it was."

"The Magical Signature is gold," Nisha added softly.

"And the Secondary is red-orange," said Draco.

"Very good," commented Shadow. "Blaise?"

Blaise brushed a strand of black hair away from his face before replying, "Blue; depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, and faith."

Shadow nodded and gestured for Blaise to return to his place in the group. "Ginny?" Shadow called and the process continued.

Ginny's hazel eyes widened but she stood up and went to sit on the rock. She took deep breaths to calm herself down, which actually seemed to help her. Harry did the same thing as before and it seemed to be getting easier. It didn't take him nearly as long to see Ginny's aura as it had taken to see Hermione's.

It was Nisha that spoke up once Shadow asked for the color. "The Primary is Turquoise, Secondary is Pink and the Magical Signature is a pale gray hue, like tin."

"Turquoise symbolizes sensitivity, compassionate, a healer, and a therapist," Ginny explained when she was asked to.

"Luna?" Shadow called as Ginny sat back down.

Smiling dreamily Luna stood and moved to sit on the rock. The process was once again repeated. Luna's Primary color was a bright royal blue that signified clairvoyance, highly spiritual nature, generous and someone on the right path. Her Secondary color was lavender and her Magical Signature was gold.

Nisha was called next. She was as calm and unemotional as she always was, even her aura was calm not one flicker to give away any nervousness. Her Primary color was a dark blue which signified knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness. Her Secondary color was black with her Magical Signature a bright copper.

After Nisha there was just Harry and Draco who were left to go. Harry was getting nervous again and so hoped that Shadow would call Draco next just so he wouldn't have to go. His silent prayer was answered as Shadow called on Draco to go next. He breathed a sigh of relief as Draco sat on the rock.

Harry found it extremely hard not to concentrate on Draco. Every time Harry let his eyes become unfocused he would notice something about the blonde that he'd have to take in and his vision would come back into focus. Harry found himself simply staring at Draco, taking in the white-blonde hair and slashing cheekbones, the piercing silver eyes and the way the charcoal-gray sweater clung nicely to his lean frame.

Shaking his head he forced himself to stop concentrating on Draco's looks and start trying to see the blonde's aura. Harry inhaled sharply as Draco's aura flared to life; he had never seen anything so beautiful. Draco's aura was ever changing, oh it stayed the same color but it shifted through different shades of the color. His aura also shimmered, like someone had grounded up silver into a fine powder and sprinkled it on to the aura. It actually appeared as if there was a thin filmy layer of silver over the entire aura.

With all of Harry's distractions he wasn't at all surprised that he was the last to raise his hand. He just hoped that no one would figure out why he was the last to raise his hand, but a sideways glance at Hermione told him that at least one person knew.

"Color?" Shadow asked.

"The Primary is red," answered Blaise.

"And there wasn't a Secondary," Hermione added.

"No, the Secondary was an overlay of silver," Harry corrected gaining everyone's attention. "And the Primary was shades of red; they shifted from red to a scarlet red to a deep cherry red to almost a red orange. And the Magical Signature is Silver."

"An overlay? Is that even possible?" Hermione questioned.

"Before we go into that let's finish with the Primaries," said Shadow.

"Red," started Draco, "Energy, danger, war, strength, power, determination, passion, desire, sexuality, domination, aggression, grounded, realistic, and survival oriented."

"Okay, Harry your turn and after that we'll discuss Magical Signatures and overlays."

Harry sat on the rock and stared out into six pairs of eyes. Hermione was right; it was nerve-racking to have all those eyes staring intently at you. It was especially unnerving when you had a crush on one of the people staring at you and it seemed as though those silver eyes could see right into you. Harry closed his eyes so he wouldn't have to see and began to take slow calming breaths, like he would do if he was meditating. He only opened his eyes when Shadow asked for the color.

"The Primary was green," Draco answered. He gave Harry a smirk. "Slytherin green," he added.

Harry laughed, "Like you have room to talk with your Gryffindor red aura."

Hermione coughed to cover her own laughter but Ginny and Blaise had no qualms and burst into rich laughter. Luna giggled softly and even Nisha's full lips twitched into a smile.

"He's got you there," Blaise said once he got his laughter under control.

"Harry's Secondary is white," Hermione said, bring the conversation back on track.

"And his Magical Signature is silver," Draco finished.

Harry racked a hand through his short hair and licked his lips before starting, "Green symbolizes life, nature, fertility, well being, harmony, freshness, and also a strong emotion correspondence to safety. White symbolizes light, goodness, innocence, purity, virginity, and perfection." There was a slight blush on his cheeks once he was done and he quickly moved to sit back down next to Hermione. Really that had been embarrassing, like his day hadn't already been embarrassing enough.

"You already knew your Secondary?" Hermione asked.

Harry nodded. "I also knew my Magical Signature and I looked it up but I couldn't find anything."

"And you won't. At least not in the Hogwarts' library," Shadow said as she moved off the other rock and sat with them on the grass. "The information on Magical Signatures is rare; there are only a few documented books that still exist, the rest having been destroyed. I believe one of these books is in the Ministry's library in one of their restricted sections. The few other books that exist are hidden away in private libraries," Shadow explained.

"Why destroy them?" Hermione asked.

"Well, first off, a Magical Signature tells a lot about a wizard's power and even lineage. A long time ago there was resentment and prejudice between witches and wizards based off of nothing more their Magical Signatures. To try an unite the wizarding community the leaders at that time banned anything having to do with Magical Signatures, they burned the books that talked about it and arrested anyone that discriminated against another witch or wizard because of a Magical Signature. They stopped teaching Magical Signatures in schools and in doing so had to stop teaching aura reading as well. Eventually people forgot. Of course there is still the lingering prejudice, but they don't even know the real reason why anymore."

Shadow shifted to get more comfortable before continuing. "Now, Magical Signatures are always metallic and are based off of the seven metals of Alchemy. Although some will argue that it is the seven metals of Alchemy that are based off Magical Signatures. No one really knows which one actually came first and in truth it doesn't really matter for the outcome is the same. There are seven metals and seven Magical Signatures and they both go by the same names."

"The first metal," Shadow started, "is gold. Gold is connected with the sun and symbolizes enlightenment, divine protection, wisdom and inner knowledge. It is one of the strongest magical colors and only a Pureblood could have this Magical Signature."

"You said could, meaning that not all Purebloods have a gold Magical Signature?" Blaise questioned.

"Precisely," Shadow said. "Now, the next metal is Silver. It's associated with the moon and symbolizes; instinct, nurturing, and abundance; both spiritual and physical. Along with gold, silver is one of the strongest magical hues. Silver is reserved for witches and wizards that have a magical creature in their bloodline, which is why it is one of the stronger magical colors."

"Magical creature?" Harry questioned. "But neither one of my parents was a magical creature, so I don't see how I could have a silver Magical Signature."

Alyssum shook her head and gave a soft laugh. "It doesn't mean your parents were a magical creature, it just means that somewhere in your bloodline there was a magical creature. You see, even after the physical characteristics of a magical creature disappear, their magic doesn't."

"Why?" inquired Harry.

"Magical creatures are created from the raw magic of the earth, their whole being is magical. They are basically the physical manifestations of magic itself. And that kind of raw magical power doesn't just disappear. Its sole purpose is to survive and it becomes the dominate Magical Signature and overpowers any other signature introduced into the bloodline."

Harry nodded his understand but then frown. "If magical creatures are created from the magic of the earth, then what are wizards created from?"

"Wizarding people aren't created from any type of magic; they are simply people who are connected to magic," Shadow explained.

"Now, moving on," Shadow continued "The next metal is copper. Copper is associated with Venus and symbolizes spiritual energy and inspiration. This is a rare hue and because of its color, gold with a rosy tint, it is usually connected with Half-bloods. Next is tin which can be confused with silver, but just remember that silver is shiny and tin is a bright pale gray. Tin is associated with Jupiter, symbolizes neutrality. Any witch or wizard can have this hue and it is the most common of the magic colors."

"Following that is Lead, which is a bluish-gray color. It's associated with Saturn, symbolizing peacefulness and intuition. This is the Magical signature of Muggle born witches and wizards, although not always. It is possible for a Pureblood or a Half-blood to have this color. And the last metal is iron, and would be a dark brownish gray. It's associated with Mars and actually has a negative symbolism of fear and insecurity. This is the weakest of all magical hues and any witch or wizard could have it."

"Are there any questions?" Shadow asked. Everyone shook their heads and before Alyssum could continue there was a soft popping sound as a house elf appeared. The little house elf bowed to Alyssum and apologized profusely for interrupting. Shadow cut off the house elf's stammering apology with a sharp order of, "That's enough."

The house elf immediately became silent. "Now, what is it?" Shadow asked in a cool voice.

"Milady, Mr. Dumbles wished to have an audience with you now," the house elf recited in it high squeaky voice.

Shadow raised an eyebrow. "Is that so? He wishes to see me right now?"

"Yes, milady," squeaked the house elf who was nearly trembling on the spot.

"I see," muttered Shadow. "What is your name?"

The house elf blinked large brown eyes in surprise having never had someone ask for his name. "Dizzie, milady."

"Well, Dizzie, tell the Headmaster that I'm in the middle of something and I'll see him when it's convenient for me to do so."

Dizzie the house elf looked down right terrified to say that to the Headmaster, but he nodded that he would do so. Before Dizzie could pop out, Shadow stopped him. "Oh and Dizzie, you are not to be punished in any way shape or form for repeating what I said. Is that understood?"

With a sigh of relief and a big smile Dizzie nodded before disappearing with a pop.

"Now, where was I?" Shadow asked.

"I believe we're going to talk about overlays," Harry offered.

"Oh yes, overlays. Overlays are uncommon, but they do happen. An overlay happens when the Secondary overpowers the Primary. For all technical purposes this should be impossible and in a way it is. The Secondary can't take over the Primary completely, so instead the Secondary is superimposed over the Primary."

"So the Secondary has become the dominant trait," Hermione said as more a statement of fact than a question. Shadow gave a nod anyway to show Hermione that she was correct.

"I don't think I'm quite following," muttered Ginny.

"May I?" Hermione asked gesturing that she wanted to explain it to Ginny. Shadow gave Hermione a nod. "Okay, the way I've taken all this is the Primary is your main personality traits, where the Secondary makes up your more passive traits. And an overlay occurs when those passive traits become more dominant and causes a conflict with the Primary. Since there can't be two Primaries it causes an overlaying effect." Hermione turned to look at Shadow. "Correct?" she asked.

"Correct," confirmed Shadow. Turning Shadow pinned Ginny with a blue-violet stare. "Did that help?"

Ginny nodded. "Yeah, I think I got it."

"Was there anything else?" Shadow asked. Everyone shook their heads or uttered a "no". Alyssum stood up and straightened her robe with a flick of her wrist so that it laid flat. "Since there is nothing else, class is dismissed. Tomorrow, we start the martial arts section so meet outside by the lake at 3:00 and wear something you can move around it," Alyssum said before turning and leaving the room.

Once she was outside her pet viper Atrum hissed at her. "Going to see the old man, milady?"

"No, I don't like to be summoned like some common house elf. So I believe I'll make him wait," Shadow hissed angrily as she stalked down the hallway headed towards her room.

Back in the room Hermione had stopped anyone from leaving with one well placed question. "Why were you late, Harry?"

With a groan Harry flopped backwards on to the soft grass of the meadow. "'Mione," he nearly whined.

"What happened, Draco," Hermione demanded turning away from Harry's collapsed form to pin Draco with an intense stare.

Draco returned Hermione's stare with an unruffled look. "I'm sworn to silence," he replied coolly.

Harry gasped as he sat up. "Now you're sworn to silence! You didn't have a problem saying anything earlier!"

Draco raised an eyebrow. "All I said earlier was that 'someone' needed to be rescued, I never said who," commented Draco arrogantly.

Harry just gaped at the blonde before muttering, "Oh, you are evil."

Draco smirked. "I know. Isn't it great?"

"Harry!" demanded Hermione drawing Harry's attention away from Draco.

"Oh, come on 'Mione, can't we talk about this later," Harry moaned, "Like, when it's just the two of us so that no one else will hear of my total humiliation."

"Humiliation?" Ginny asked. "Okay, now you've got to spill."

"I don't have to do any such thing," Harry retorted.

Ginny laughed, "You're going to tell me eventually."

Harry sighed; it was true he would sooner or later tell Ginny. "Fine," he grumbled as he stood up and began to pace through the high meadow grass and purple heather. With another sigh he began to explain what had happened on the foyer stairs with Cho. As Harry explained it became less and less of an explanation and more of a rant. "I swear that girl has never heard of personal space! And do people really find being pinned down appealing? Because I sure as hell didn't! Oh gods, I'm a freak aren't I? 'Cause I didn't find that at all pleasing?"

Hermione, Ginny and Blaise all burst into laughter. Even Luna giggled. "Harry, relax," commanded Hermione.

"Yeah," Ginny added, "Just because you didn't find Chang crawling all over you a turn on doesn't mean you're a freak."

Blaise nodded. "You probably wouldn't feel the same way if it were someone else," he added. "Although, I think it's save to say that you don't find Chang attractive."

"But most would find Cho attractive and would love to be pinned down by her," Harry whispered.

"I wouldn't want to be pinned down by her," Blaise stated.

"Me neither," Ginny said.

Hermione and Luna both shook their heads and stated, "Neither would I."

Draco nodded his agreement and added, "I wouldn't want that whore to touch me with a stick."

"Besides, Harry, your gift alone would make being pinned down terrifying, which would make the scenario hard to find appealing," Hermione said.

Harry's green eyes darkened and his eyelids drifted down concealing the hurt and sadness that lurked in the emerald depths. He knew that it wouldn't have mattered who had pinned him to the stairs, Cho or someone else, he still would have been frightened. His 'gift' made it frightening. It wasn't the pain he feared, he was used to pain, had dealt with it his whole life in one form or another. But it was the memories he feared; those devastatingly painful memories that were hidden away and never to be spoken of. Along with the memories it was the invasion of a person's mind that horrified him. He knew what it was like to have someone else in his mind and he hated it, wouldn't have wished it on to his worst enemy. And yet, with something as simple as a brush of skin against skin he was able to do exactly that, to invade a person's mind, their one true sanctuary, and find their most painful memories. It was that breach in privacy that truly horrified him.

"Gift?" Draco asked.

"What gift?" Ginny inquired.

Harry simply stood up and walked out of the room. He didn't want to talk about it, didn't want anyone else to know.

"Harry!" called Hermione. She quickly grabbed her things and followed him. But she paused at the door and turned to the others. "No one will mention the gift," Hermione said her voice ringing with authority. "You will never ask Harry about it or hound him in any way, if he wishes to say something he will. The ones who do know will keep their mouths shut. This will never be brought up again, unless Harry himself brings it up. Is that understood?"

Hermione didn't wait for an answer before sweeping out the door. She ran down the hall and caught up with Harry's brisk strides. "Harry," she called softly as she slowed her pace to match his. Hermione sighed as Harry remained silent. "I'm sorry, I should have watched what I said," she whispered, "I told the others to never bring it up."

"Thanks, 'Mione," Harry whispered. He gave Hermione a small smile as he stopped in front of the stairs. A soft meow and a warm feline body pressing against his leg made his smile widen. With a soft laugh he picked up the tiny black kitten and sat down on the top step placing Amethyst in his lap. He petted the kitten and rubbed his cheek against the soft fur listening to the deep purring sound Amethyst made. It relaxed him and he would swear that Amethyst knew when he needed her. She always seemed to show up when he was sad or hurt and her presence alone would make him feel better.

Hermione sat on the stair next to Harry and watched the interaction between the two. At first all Hermione saw was Harry and Amethyst, but then things began to click into place. Information that she knew about Night Creatures and even the things that she had just learned in M.A. had new meaning and all the information led to one thing.

"We need to go see Moony," Hermione said in a rush as she stood up and hurried down the stairs.

"Huh?" Harry muttered eloquently. "What? Why? Wait, 'Mione," he called as he stood up cradling Amethyst in his arms and raced after Hermione.

Cho was slammed back into a wall with a hand around her neck by an enraged red-head. She smiled seductively. "Relax, Weasley. Just because I have my own agenda doesn't mean I'm not willing to help with yours."

The hand loosened but didn't move away from her neck. "Just make sure, Chang that your 'agenda' doesn't get in the way of mine." There was a long pause before Ron continued. "I can't see what you could possible want with him. I mean, he's a virgin…"

"Exactly," purred Cho. "I want to be the one that breaks him in." Her lips curved into an evil smile and she chuckled softly. "Beside, I think I may have found out something that could be useful to both of us."


Her smile widened as she wrapped her right hand around the back of Ron's neck and pulled his head down. She moved forward slightly and began whispering in his ear.

Lil' Sphinx: 'Ello everyone. Sorry it took me awhile to update, although I did update much quicker than last time. This chapter would have been updated sooner but my muse/editor is M.I.A. I think she's died again. So if there's anything wrong with this chapter, blame her. Now, to the questions.

Shadow-Hawk Opal - Remus will show up more as Sirius gets better and actually shows up. I love these two as a couple so they will definitely have some page time.

Incessant Darkness - Damnit Shorty, how many times have I told you no more guessing. Sigh. Yes, Shadow's eyes are purple, sometimes. Harry will figure out what's under the vines and it's going to be important, the whole center of the maze is. As for a dominant Harry...well you never know.

Aniyu Moonlit-Fire - Your question about Harry's Truth Sayer ability will be answered. Remus will find out about Harry's tattoo but after Sirius comes back. Harry will become an animagus, along with the rest of the M.A. class and even a few others. As for the patronus they will be practicing that in either M.A. or DA or DADA, I haven't decided which or if I'm even bring the DA club into the story.

Slytherin Goddess Rose Thorn - Omg! I didn't even realize that I was making Hermione and Blaise like James and Lily. Lol. Oh well.

Karima - I'm glad you're enjoying the story even if it is frustrating at times.

Sparkling Cherries - I wanted him to sing 'Michael' but I figured most people didn't know the song.

Lil' Sphinx: One last thing before I go, as I stated earlier Harry and company will become animagus, so if you have any ideas on what animal they should be or you want them to be, let me know. Except for Draco, sorry you don't have a choice with him. Kay, Ja.