Disclaimer: Nope. But if I owned Harry Potter or Touched By an Angel, I'd surely be in Heaven! Heh heh. Pun intended.
A/N: Thank you all my fantastic reviewers! Sorry it's been so long, but life has a way of flying by... Severus-is-my-man5690, Allanasha ke kiri, SuperDamage, hpswst101, Maloran, mae-E, Score89, Guardian Dimension, Jack Potter, LittleAngelHorselover, King of Wolves, ilovethestorys, Stahchild, lilio, Impius, Kitty-Stardust, Sapphire Warrioress, Shell, and Eclectic Me. Much thanks and appreciation for your dedication and honesty! I love you all and you keep me going!
I apologize for the fact that this chapter is more of a filler than anything else; I'm really busy getting ready for college and working full time so I haven't the patience to type this all the way through :-( Hence, Part 1. Part 2 to come later and will involve meatier angst and drama. Harry will finally meet Andrew, and he'll be very intrigued at the secrets that Angel of Death-in-disguise holds, and continuously drops!
The Wizard's Angel
Part 10: "Handyman of Hearts: Part 1"
Harry frowned as he dished out Sunday morning breakfast. The churning emotions welling like a dull ache in his abdomen were difficult to decipher; Harry thought he might be lonely, or perhaps simply disappointed...
Silly, really, that his mood depended on whether he saw his cousin's tutor or not. Unfortunately, Dudley's classes took a reprieve on the Seventh Day, which meant no Monica. Harry sighed, needing to remind his fingers to release the tongs holding bacon over Aunt Petunia's plate. She sneered at his careless inattention, but mercifully spared no chiding comments on the fifteen year old. Harry moved on to Uncle Vernon, pensively dipping into retrospective on Monica and his' changing relationship.
The idea that Monica was an agent of Voldemort to be feared and mistrusted was laughable now. After last evening's conversation with her on the swings, Harry had realized how truly he had shut himself away this summer. How he spent more time in depressed reverie than he did with his friends. How each day had passed in blurry fashion, amalgamating with the next and the previous until the Boy-Who-Lived forgot all activities he'd partook in.
Somehow, Monica had undone these unhealthy habits. The auburn-head had snuck past his defenses under that Gryffindor-hued sunset... She'd made him think deeper about the day Sirius died, how maybe the fault lay more prominently in exterior circumstances than in Harry's ill-prepared Ministry excursion. The teen still blamed himself- there was no denying that he'd been stupid- but epiphanies (or plain old good advice) did wonderful things in cleansing the heart of guilt.
Harry suddenly yelped, rubbing his stinging back. From the other side of the table, Dudley smirked. He pulled his Smeltings stick from beneath the table where it'd been lurking in wait, begging for a reason to jab Harry. Vernon looked smug.
"Pay better attention, boy, and then Dudders won't be forced to use the cane," the fat lard of a man reprimanded, and Harry pursed his lips. He refrained from rebutting that most of the time Dudley's pokes stemmed from nothing but sheer boredom and a desire to provoke a fight. The latter, of course, always fell on Harry's shoulders and he was subsequently punished for the err.
If only Monica were here... then Dudley would be too scared to pull his old tricks on me...
As it was, life was back to normal for the Dursleys.
It was time for payback after having to be- oh dear God!- actually nice and civil to their most hated nephew the past week.
"Once you've finished lollygagging around, you can dust the wood. Then you'll report back here to wash the breakfast dishes and-"
Harry couldn't help interrupting. "But what about my breakfast!?"
Vernon laid a most evil smile on the ebony-haired teen. "You should have thought about that before you shirked serving duties, huh?"
Harry went sullen and distant. He only half-listened to the pile of chores his Aunt and Uncle tacked off next. It seemed he'd be going to bed tonight with some very sore muscles...
With a wrothfully growling stomach, Harry began stacking dirty plates up in one arm. It was only with a lot of practice that he performed this feat in little fear that the dishes would come clattering down to the floor. Of course, Dudley being gone for the day at Piers' house helped ease some of that worry. Harry had learned long ago not to flaunt his superior balancing skills in front of the blonde whale. Accidentally-on-purpose bumps generally led to shattered china and a searing agony on one's rear for weeks afterward. Not a pleasant experience an individual ever wanted to relive.
Teetering only slightly, Harry cautiously slipped away into the kitchen and gently slid the victual receptacles into the sink. He twisted the faucet all the way to hot, waiting for the water to pool...
"Oh damn... Aunt Petunia! AUNT PETUNIA! The sink's leaking again!" Harry hollered, listening to the footsteps pounding up stairs from out of the basement's bowels. Petunia came rushing in, cheeks flushed and eyes flashing in irritation. Her arm still had a dirty sheet draped over it; the horsey woman flung it aside onto the table. Laundry would have to wait... For once, Petunia's verbal daggers weren't directed the wizard's way, and he was thankfully not tongue-lashed as the cause of the ailing plumbing.
"Out of the way," the pristine virago hissed harshly, shoving Harry from the scene of the crime. Oh, precious precious white floor! Being spoiled by tainted dishwater! Petunia crouched down to peer beneath the cabinets from whence the leakage originated, issuing a few colorful swears that Harry wasn't sure were even real. Suffice to say he was not as panicked as his Aunt... Trainers squeaking as Harry backed up to give his furious relative some yelling space (and in case she decided to use her favorite frying pan to take out her frustrations), the teen suggested,
"You should call a handyman to come and fix the pipes. This is the third time in a row."
"Really!?" Petunia shot in response, sarcasm oozing from her tone in thick amounts. "I had nooo idea. Stop sticking your nose where it doesn't belong!"
"Fine," Harry said, non-committal and trying to disguise his happiness for a more neutral emotion. There was the excuse he was looking for to leave the kitchen! Swishing on his feet and nearly fleeing, Harry let out a whooshing breath when he escaped into the hallway. Hopefully he could use this one less chore to his advantage; hastily focus in on and finish the others so he could study up for next year. And if she was really distracted, perchance Aunt Petunia would just mop up the viscous mess herself...? Nah, that was probably asking for too much, Harry half-chuckled in irony.
Uncle Vernon called for a plumber after his return from golf, receiving a promise from Surrey Suckers that they would send one of their associates over soon. Harry knew this because he'd been eavesdropping at the window while he watered the rose bushes, wasting time before he had to haul out the mower. The handyman they'd referred to arrived about an hour later around 2:30, when Harry was eagerly gulping down lunch- or in his case, the first meal of the day- in the living room (in respect for Petunia's wishes, her precious kitchen was roped off until the sink was fixed). He was so hungry that cold breakfast leftovers- bacon, eggs, and a buttered muffin that smelled suspiciously stale- sounded like food fit for a king.
The sound of Uncle Vernon greeting a plumber with a deep, handsome voice in the hallway drifted into the living room. Aunt Petunia, currently fanning herself and reading a Vanity Fair magazine, looked up and in one glance sized up Harry's appearance. She grimaced at his sweaty countenance, disheveled t-shirt and mud-stained jeans, then pointed toward the ceiling. Harry didn't miss the message, and immediately stuffed the last of his lunch into an already bursting mouth. Petunia's glare darkened as she watched his antics, so before she could tear into him for gluttony, the Boy-Who-Lived raced upstairs. He barely registered the sandy-headed handyman's curious gaze and Uncle Vernon's countering ornery one before finding himself safe under Hedwig's appraising eyes.
"You must be aching to fly," Harry commented, noticing how cramped his snowy owl looked. She chirped at him, rather annoyingly as if retorting No, really? He smiled at her and opened the cage then his window so she could go stretch her wings. "Sorry I didn't come sooner. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia decided today was going to make up for my lack of chores this past week. What I wouldn't do to have Monica here..."
Hedwig seemed to stick around long enough to listen to Harry's lamentations, then with an affectionate nip soared out into the warm afternoon. Harry watched her wistfully. He would've traded his Firebolt just to have an animalistic freedom like that... maybe to be an animagus equipped with wings, so he could escape life for a little while unnoticed...
The fifteen year old shuffled over to his pet's cage, busying himself with tidying it up and shaking the droppings into the wastebin. Hmm, she'd need some fresh water... and he was running low on owl treats. A letter to Ron would be in order to get some supplies... Pig probably had a large stock, right? Well, something had to fuel that endless energy!
Harry became aware of a foul smell radiating from some point in propinquity to him. He gave a very teenage-boy-like chuckle when realizing that the malodor was wafting from him. A nice cold shower was in order to refresh himself, then a change of clothes. And after that...?
Harry grinned grimly. Well, Aunt Petunia never told him whether he had to stay up here while the plumber did his job, right? It was boring without Hedwig, and despite his previous intentions, homework sounded like the last activity he wanted to do right now.
Besides, Potters were nothing if not susceptible to flights of curiosity and rule-breaking excursions. And adventures were this Potter's wont!
A/N: The more who review, the faster I'll attempt to update!