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Just a little idea I'm kicking around. If I get enough reviews, I'll continue.

Where was it?

What was it?

He knew it was there; he had felt it fluttering beneath the surface of his consciousness like a bird in a net only moments ago, but it had disappeared as quickly as it had come.

Harry Potter frowned, tiny neon-violet will-'o-the-wisps dancing in the cat-shaped green eyes that stared at the ceiling, unseeing, as he looked into himself.

He knew it was there somewhere. He knew it had always been there; lurking below his waking self, inside his darkest dreams. But he had only in the last year actually realized its existence when Snape had been mind-raping him. It had been an instinctive fear of the man find the… the essence that lurked in his mind that had given him the power to throw the vile man out and keep it that way.

Since he had become aware of this Essence, it had been brushing against his consciousness like velvet inside his skull or a cat against a cupped hand, sometimes at the most inopportune times. Sometimes it was so forceful that it made him cringe like someone had rubbed his fur the wrong way.

Sometimes when it brushed him, he would be struck by a sudden impulse to cause mischief, while other times it would cause him to snap at or become irritated with his three closest friends, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger and his twin brother, Gary, The-Boy-Who-Lived. They had passed it off as stress over OWLs and his general teenage angst.

As the school year had begun to end, Harry had noticed that the Essence had almost a personality of its own and reacted differently to the people around him. It plainly loathed Hermione and Ron, disliked and disrespected Gary, gave him bloodthirsty impulses around Snape, regarded Umbridge with the same distain usually reserved for unsavoury things on the bottom of one's shoe, curled its lip in distaste at Dumbldore, cackled in glee with the twins, gave the impression of wanting to stomp on Draco Malfoy's tail (The Hell!?!), tolerated Neville Longbottom with amused condescension, gave wary affection to Remus Lupin, had liked Harry's Godfather, Sirius Black, well enough, gave the impression he wasn't all that impressed with his parents, Lily and James Potter, went feral (not in a good was) when Ginny Weasley was around and, oddly enough, went positively gah-gah over Luna Lovegood.

There were many other people it greatly wanted to share its opinion of, but it would have taken Harry too long to memorise, so he mostly ignored the feelings sent over until in receded, giving the young wizard the impression of a sulking, pouting child.

But…then Sirius died...

Voldemort had taken possession of Harry's body, not Gary's as everyone had thought, while he was mentally and emotionally falling apart at the loss of one of the few adults who listened to him…

…Then the Essence rose swift and dangerous as a hawk, tearing at the Dark Lord's mind from beneath while Harry had struggled for all he was worth up front. Dumbledore thought that Harry (or Gary, as he had thought it was) struggled free on his own, but Harry was scared, so he kept the presence of the other to himself. He even asked Gary to take the credit. Gary, used to being in the lime-light, readily agreed.

…And besides, the Presence was the only one who immediately began to ask Harry if he was alright. And most of the anger that occurred in Dumbledore's office when he had portkeyed the twins there had come from the Presence.

The anger had come so quickly and violently that Harry had been unable to control it. It had been so wild and powerful and so incredibly wonderful that he had, after calming down, wondered if that was what sex felt like. The Essence had done something like chuckling and had assured him in its, no, his wordless manner that sex was much better. And, Harry had blushed bright red at this, angry sex was a mind-blowing much better.

After Harry had been sent back to the Gryffindor tower, the Boy-Who-Lived had chattered incessantly about how famous he would be now while Harry had been trying to ignore the pain coming from the link with Voldemort, put a silencing charm around his bed and collapsed sobbing, the Essence coating the back of his mind like a soft, warm comforting blanket, fussing like a worried mother and making anxious 'sounds'.

Most of the end of year proceedings passed in a blur and then he was at the train station. He was vaguely aware of meeting his parents because his mental companion growled and he distantly heard the members of the Order around him exchanging information and passing on a message from Dumbledore.

During the long ride back to Godric's Hollow, the Essence made to comfort him a few times, but aside from that, he appeared to be distracted.

This had gone on for two days and Harry had finally come far enough out of his grieving depression to finally notice that his other half wasn't paying as much attention to him as he usually did. Indeed, it was usually like having an over attentive girlfriend with the other around.

The first time that had crossed his mind, the other had sulked and bitched something fierce for hours. He had been somewhat pacified when Harry had figured out how to do the Mental Motion Type 01; A: Sidle Up And Give Puppy Eyes. The Presence had felt embarrassed but pleased.

So here he was, lying on his voluptuous double bed, fumbling through his own mind looking for the other personality which, as far as basic psychology knew, was not supposed to be there. After a while, the green eyes blinked and the will-'o-the-wisps disappeared.

Harry sighed. How he was unable to find another presence in his own mind was beyond him.

A glance out the window said that it was noon-ish. He had started just as dawn was breaking, meaning that he had been in his own mind for roughly six hours.

Unable to bring himself to care, he sat up, now shoulder-blade length hair swinging around his face. It was like his hair had suddenly decided that nearly a decade of never changing style and length was wrong and put all those years of hair growth into two days. Yesterday morning, late last night and early this morning, Harry had snuck out and cut two and a half feet off to get it just above his ears again.

He suspected his tenant had something to do with it.

Shrugging it off and feeling lethargic in his patch of midday un, Harry dragged himself to his feet and staggered over to where his trunk was dumped in the corner. Might as well browse his text books and maybe do his homework.

…Oh right, he didn't have homework because he was choosing his classes this year.

He grabbed a random book from the middle of his books pile, only to find it was his Monster Book Of Monsters. Figuring 'What the hell', Harry stroked the spine and the small grunting sounds the book was making stopped.

He opened it to about the middle and began to idly flip through the pages, pausing when an odd bat with human characteristics hissed at him. There were several smaller pictures aside from the full-page bat-man. There was an exotic, red-headed woman with fox ears and a tail lounging along the bottom provocatively; a red skinned and horned ogre-ish creature was cheerfully grinning, baring a set of crooked teeth; a white and blue man with a cold, calculating look on his beautiful countenance and what appeared to be snow swirled around him made up the first letter of the page. Various other vaguely human creatures surrounded the paragraphs but those four creatures stirred an almost-memory; almost recognition. Déjà vu.

Roving green eyes studied the pictures for a minute or so before moving onto the actual words.

Across the top of the page was the word 'Youkai'. The feeling of almost-memory surged back stronger, sending a shudder down Harry's spine.

There was a moment of vertigo when the Presence suddenly slammed into Harry's conscious mind like a fangirl glomping her crush, oozing excitement and eagerness that would have scared the adolescent wizard if he had retained any emotion except half-arsed interest in the book.

The Presence was 'bouncing' and demanding that Harry read it.

Harry sent back a 'And where the hell have you been?'

The question was waved off with a 'Later'.

Not in the mood to argue, Harry let his eyes wander to the top of the page and began reading.

The term 'Youkai' is a Japanese word meaning 'Demon'. However, this term is not entirely accurate as it can also mean 'monster' or 'spirit'. Youkai are believed to be manifestations of animals, elements and aspects of nature, though some, like the Toushin or Mizoku, are also manifestations of war or destruction (respectively).

Youkai can be either evil or benign, as intelligent as a human or stupid as a rock, but it is generally agreed that the power used by these creatures is potent and makes them immune to most forms of magic.

These creatures come in a variety of shapes and sizes, though it is believed that the closer the youkai resembles a human when all glamours are dropped, the stronger the race of youkai. However, THIS IS NOT A RULE. Some lesser youkai have the innate potential to become powerful, just as some muggleborns do.

Harry rolled his eyes. 'Oh yeah, the author is so not a pureblood.' He thought with some sarcasm.

The Essence snarled in agreement.

The power used by youkai is a form of 'spirit energy' called 'youki', which is suspected of being a derivative of 'reiki', human 'spirit energy'. If properly harnessed, this 'spirit energy' is nearly unstoppable by magical means. Thankfully, in 1682, a group of extraordinary witches and wizards banded together and banished all youkai to another realm.

However, there are places of power, such as plate faults and ley lines, where it is possible for portals to this place to open. If any witch or wizard should ever be so unfortunate as to meet a youkai and survive, they are expected to report the occurrence to their Ministry of Magic immediately.

Harry stared in contemplative silence for a bit, his mental roommate surprisingly still for a once. He blinked once, lizard-like, before inquiring of his tenant;

'You're a youkai, aren't you?'

There was a tentative and almost embarrassed affirmative. Harry waited for his own anger, fear and disgust to rise, but when nothing came he shrugged with a muttered "Whatever."

The Essence did the Mental Motion Type 02; C: Slow Blink As The Mind Comes To Terms. He finally came up with a confused 'Huh?'

Harry smiled slightly, the only real emotion he had expressed for weeks other than depression. 'I said "Whatever". You've been in my head since time out of mind. It's not like I can actually kick you out and you've never done anything, to my knowledge, to hurt me.'

The Essence appeared happy with that answer and wandered back to wherever it was that he went to, to do whatever it was he did.

There was a knock on the bedroom door. "Harry, sweetheart? Lunch is ready."

Harry heaved a sigh and sat up. "Coming, Mum." Replacing the now squirming book back into his trunk and wandered downstairs.

Much obliged if you'd review. The continuation of this story does actually depend on it. Cheers.