Yoha, new story, blame Shezza88 and Nuhuh for getting me interested in Dresden. This story is Harry in Dresden Land basically, so, if you haven't read The Dresden Files you'll want to read them, subtle hint, subtle hint. But they won't be required reading for this fic, as I'll explain all the foreign concepts as I go along.
Thanks to Tinn Tam for betaing, for without her I would subject you to then's as than's and It's as its.
I've begun to notice a disturbing trend about events in my life, they all seem to start off with a girl. First it was my mother, and then it was my ex-girlfriend. The next step was a complete and utter stranger. I have a feeling that somewhere out there someone is conspiring against me, and they, without a doubt are female.
Incense and an overwhelming smell of musk filled the air. It was almost narcotic, the way it lifted the mind away from most matters. But that wasn't why Harry was where he was, no. He could have easily found himself at an average bar, but it wouldn't have worked out. Your average bar wasn't a place to be by yourself, as much as it seemed. When you go to a bar one of two things happen, you're there for a quick drink, and then you're gone. Or you're a member of the bars clique, and you have to be involved.
Nightclubs, however, were very different. On the surface they were a place to find someone, to indulge in a bit of sin, to fill a void in you, one which you wanted to fill with music, flesh, people. But within that there was something else, a hollowed out inside. The surface was perfect, but like a bar it was deceiving.
It was in a nightclub Harry Potter found himself, near the corner of the club, away from everyone, secluded and almost sealed off from the rest. There was little need for magic, the brooding, deflated look upon the single occupant's face was enough to keep even the most spirited and lust driven soul away.
There was a second, less subtle, reason the black haired wizard was where he was; there was little to no chance a wizard or witch would find their way to him, it was beyond unlikely. After all, no one in all of Magical Britain would expect to find their saviour in a club, surrounded by sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll? Neither of his best friends would have had the mind to find him either.
The steady drone of music was almost as good as the incense at keeping thoughts drifting away from consciousness. Harry wasn't sure how long he had been there, sitting back and ignoring everything that had happened over the past few months.
"And what would such a handsome gentleman such as yourself be doing sitting by himself away from the main attractions of a nightclub?" a soft, light, almost whisper of a voice asked from behind Harry.
If there was one thing Harry had a love-hate relationship with in nightclubs, it was that for all their comfortable features, the lounge chairs which decorated the casual areas were designed so that the people sitting in them had their head partially exposed. Harry had assumed various reasons why it was so. They ranged from it just being an extra comfort, to the owner of the club demanding it be so in case they wanted to take someone out. But that was more of a fictional idea, brought forth from the few movies he had watched in his life.
A new reason came to form in his mind as he felt the tell-tale softness of a woman's cheek against his own. A shiver passed through Harry's body as an equally soft pair of hands found their way onto his arms, trailing down from his biceps to his hands, and ensnaring around his wrists.
Harry tilted his head away from the advances of the unknown female behind him, before, against his better judgement responding.
"He would be enjoying the solitude," he said as he turned his head around to face the woman.
Harry felt the pressure of her arms leave his, with the sole exception of a hand, trailing up his arm to his neck, before flowing down onto the back of the lounge chair. He followed along with his eyes as the woman made her way around from the back of the lounge to the front.
The first thing Harry noticed about her was her impeccable blonde hair, along with the light blue highlights which were splayed throughout the blonde locks. His eyes naturally flowed downwards, meeting her eyes next. There was an odd quality to them, much more so than her hair. Where her hair had been obviously artificially altered, her eyes seemed untouched, which when considering the silver quality they held to them, was almost ethereal in characteristic. A cute nose and a pair of pale pink lips followed suit, her face wasn't round, nor was it gaunt, it was slender, lovely even. A great deal of girls would sell their souls for a face such as hers, Harry would imagine.
As much as Harry tried to fight against it, his eyes trailed down from her face to her body. She was wearing a pair of tight black jeans, laced with dark pink with matching boots, a tight white shirt, which served only to accentuate her bust size and draw attention to it, the shirt ended just above her midriff, leaving her slightly pale stomach exposed. On their way down Harry's eyes took note of a logo emblazoned across her chest which read 'Hate the player, not the game.'
"May," the girl said as she slid into the seat next to him.
"Pardon?" Harry asked as he furrowed his brow, to which the girl let off a chime of a laugh and smiled.
"You may call me May," she said with a cheeky smile, drawing a smile out of Harry despite himself.
"May I, really?" Harry said sardonically.
The girl's smile morphed into a grin, showing off her almost pearly teeth.
"No, Frigus," she said as she reached across the small distance that separate them, towards Harry's drink.
Harry took unconscious note that her finger nails were a periwinkle colour, as she took up his half-empty, luke-warm drink. The temperature had been why he hadn't finished it, over the past few hours it had heated up from the chilly temperature it had started off with.
"First name May, last name Frigus?" Harry said slowly, as he watched the girl take the smallest sip out of his drink.
"And yours is?" the girl asked, as she lowered the drink from her lips and placed it back down upon the table between them.
"Harry," was the only reply she got, before he reclaimed his drink and brought it up to his lips.
A moment before it touched his lips Harry took note of the anxious gleam in May's silver eyes.
"Did you do something to it?" he asked calmly, as he held it at its place just above his lips.
"No, I didn't," the blonde girl said smiling, before taking a look into Harry's eyes and seeing distrust. "I promise, cross my heart," she continued, giving a playful wink.
"I'll make you a deal," May began with a light laugh, "I promise, that I will never lie to you, under any circumstance,"
"Alright, it's a deal," Harry said giving the peculiar girl a bemused look as he pressed the glass to his lips and titled it upwards, letting the cool liquid flow down his throat. The beverage washed down his throat, filling him with an overly pleasent tingle.
"So, Harry," the blonde haired girl began, before Harry slammed the glass down onto the table, effectively silencing her.
"Don't play games with me," he said coldly, then levelled a slight glare at the girl across from him.
"Pardon?" May inquired, dubiously.
"What are you? You aren't muggle, and you aren't a witch, so what are you?"
"Muggle," May echoed softly, rolling the word off her tongue. "I don't like that word," she stated, before scrunching up her nose, giving her a weird but cute look, which Harry made a point to ignore.
"Well?" Harry snapped, as he slid his hand down into his pocket and ran his fingers over his wand.
"I'm a Faery," the silver eyed girl said matter-of-factly, before spreading out her arms upwards and winking again at Harry.
"Right," Harry said after a few moments, leaning backwards and withdrawing his hand from his wand.
Insanity could give cause for the light Muggle repellent charm he had thrown up over the couch area to fail. It was a weak charm, and that was when it was focused on a single object, spread out it wouldn't be hard for someone who wasn't thinking exactly straight to ignore the charms effect.
"And what are you, Mr Harry?" the girl asked innocently, as she folded her arms thus pushing up her restricted chest. Harry couldn't help but allow his eyes to wander down for a moment and admire the accidental view
"I'm a wizard," Harry said offhandedly, while he tried to remove control of his eyes from his groin and give it back to his brain.
"Really? You can do magic?" the girl almost whispered, leaning closer to Harry before letting out an almost equally quiet rolling laugh.
"I can, in fact" Harry said; and he reached into his pocket, his fingers coming back up against the familiar grain of his wand. He was toying with the idea of showing her his wand before he relieved her of her memories of the past five or so minutes.
"I even have my magic wand right here," he added as he withdrew the long holly wand out of his pocket.
"Will you show me some magic?" the girl said with a hint of awe in her voice.
Harry frowned lightly.
The girl was either extremely drunk, and good at hiding it, or she was on drugs, and VERY good at hiding it. Or she was playing him for a fool.
"I'll show you later," Harry said smiling slightly as he set his wand down on the table.
"So your name is Harry Houdini?" the girl said with a cheeky grin as she slowly moved closer and closer.
"No," Harry idly replied, slowly relaxing again.
"What is it then?" May asked with a curious stare.
"Harry Potter," Harry said after a few moments of debating with himself.
"Harry Potter," May breathed out, as if testing it upon her tongue.
Harry frowned as he felt a slight tingle run down his spine, that had nothing to do with him being cold.
"Tell me, Harry," the tight clothed girl beside him said as she placed her hand over Harry's, "Why are you here, really?"
Harry arched an eyebrow at the look of concern within his new 'friend's' eyes. He couldn't see anything within the argent depths except concern, curiosity, and more than a healthy bit of lust.
"I'm here because I wanted to get away from my life," Harry said carefully
May bit her lip lightly as she glanced down at her hand which laid upon Harry's, before glancing back up to meet his emerald coloured eyes.
"Would you like to come with me?" she said softly, squeezing Harry's hand ever so lightly.
"I would love to, but I can't just leave," Harry said with a faux look of regret upon his face, "And I don't have the money to just up and go whenever I want to."
It was a bold-faced lie. He had all the money he needed, and if he didn't there were more then enough people, not to mention Ministry-bastards that would give him money at the drop of a hat, just so they'd be in his good graces.
May's eyes narrowed ever so slightly, almost unnoticed by Harry.
"You just don't like me, do you?" she said softly, her voice gaining a quiver to it.
"That isn't it at all," Harry protested, before he reached over with his right hand and clasped her cool hand with his own.
As much as he hated it, Harry couldn't stand to see a girl cry, especially when he was the cause, even if it didn't make much, if any sense to him.
May smiled sadly as she pulled her hand back from Harry's
"It's alright, I can understand if you're not interested in a girl like me," she said miserably, then reaching up to brush away the light moisture that had built up around her eyes.
Harry absently noted that besides her lipstick May wasn't wearing any make-up at all. His eyes briefly came into contact with May's again, and he almost winced as he saw none of the previous emotions in her eyes. In their stead was only two things. A sense of pleading, and hurt.
"Please, take me home, Harry Potter," May said softly as she stared across the small distance between her and the black haired wizard.
Harry smiled regretfully across at May before nodding his assent. He reached over to his wand and placed it back within his pocket. The small amount of time he had his wand back in his hand, Harry dismembered the muggle repellent charm. He quietly stood up, ignoring the looks most of the club's patrons were throwing his way at the sudden 'appearance' in the forefront of their minds.
"Come on," Harry said gently as he bared his arm out for May to hold onto, which she did.
Both Harry and May exited the club into the darkness and cold of the night.
Harry shivered lightly as the tendrils of cold enveloped him. Prior to going to Hogwarts he had never been outside late at night, so the unrivalled cold of the night was lost to him. It would have been a lot worse if snow hadn't been a regular thing throughout his life. Beside him May shivered lightly and snuggled into his side. Truth be told, he was very wary of the slightly shorter girl, and with more than enough reason.
"Which way?" Harry asked as he gently nudged the blonde haired girl's shoulder.
Wordlessly she pointed towards a park, not more than a few blocks away from the nightclub. Harry used the term 'park' lightly, it resembled more of a miniature forest than a park, and in the darkness it was every bit as foreboding as the Forbidden Forest back in Hogwarts.
"Would you prefer if I got you a cab?" Harry asked kindly, glancing around for one of the depots he had seen before he had entered the club.
"Cab," May echoed, looking at Harry confusedly, "What's that?" she asked, genuinely perplexed.
"It's a sort of service, you pay a guy to drive you to wherever you want to go. If you'd like I'll pay for you to get home," Harry said with a smile.
"No!" the silver eyed girl said loudly, pushing herself closer to Harry and wrapping her arms around him tightly, "I don't want you to go!" she said pleadingly.
"Look," Harry began exasperatedly, "I promise nothing will happen to you if you take a cab home, in fact, you'd be safer there than you would walking around with me."
May frowned lightly and glanced up into Harry's eyes.
"You'd hurt me?" she whispered out softly, with the same quiver in her voice that she had in the club, making Harry's heart lunge unpleasantly.
"No, I promise I'll never hurt you, or let anyone hurt you if there is anything in my power that I can do," Harry said soothingly with a gentle smile upon his face.
If there was one thing he had learnt from his dealing with most people, it was that everyone liked a sense of protection, no matter if it was real or false, and that he couldn't deal with people crying.
"What do you want in return?" May said after a few moments of silence, before glancing down at her body and then back up to Harry's with an unreadable look upon her face.
Without warning, May leaned close to Harry and nuzzled his chest as her hands slid down to his waist.
"No, nothing like that!" Harry managed to choke out in surprise.
"What do you want then?" May said softly, as she laid her head against Harry's chest and nuzzled it lightly.
"Nothing," Harry said bemusedly, with a small smile upon his lips.
"It's a deal then," May said softly, before leaning up and placing a light kiss upon Harry's cheek.
Harry's cheek burned lightly under her lips, and it was suffused with a soft hue of red.
"Shall we go then?" Harry said as he gestured towards the park.
May tilted her head to the side and smiled.
"Of course," she murmured softly as she reached down and clasped Harry's hand, before tugging him gently as she began to walk towards the dark and desolate park.
A few minutes passed in silence as both Harry and May made their way down the street to the darkness of the forest. Harry loathed admitting it, but it felt nice, walking in silence with the faint warmth of May's hand clasped around his.
"Harry?" May said after a few minutes of silence.
"Hm?" the black haired wizard responded wordlessly.
"What do you do for a living?" she questioned curiously, glancing up to Harry's face.
Harry frowned lightly, not at May, but at the question. He didn't really have an occupation, besides being a wizard. He highly doubted that 'Dark Wizard Hunter' counted as a real profession, but it was the only 'job' he had ever done. He had already slipped up with the wizard and muggle terms; the extra information didn't matter much, especially because she wasn't going to remember it.
"I'm a Dark Wizard Hunter," Harry said after a few moments of silence.
"Sounds dangerous," May said with a small frown.
"It used to be," Harry admitted, "But over the last year it's gotten a lot easier. Before it was like fighting a fire the size of a tree with only a cup full of water but now instead of the proverbial cup, I've got a hose."
"What changed?" May asked through a light yawn as she leaned upon Harry's arm.
"I found the power that the Dark Lord didn't know about," Harry said with a slight laugh.
"It sounds like a fictional story," the blonde haired girl murmured softly.
"With what my old Headmaster was telling me it may have well been," Harry mumbled to himself bitterly.
"What do you mean?" May asked softly as she watched Harry's facial features.
"Before he died, he told me that the power that I had, that Voldemort didn't, the one which would save us all..." Harry trailed off.
"What was he talking about?" May asked curiously, as she stopped walking.
"Love," Harry said with an amused smile, before laughing to himself.
May joined in laughing hesitantly, before frowning as her newly acquired acquaintance continued to laugh. Her face morphed into a frown, laced with concern for him.
"Don't you believe in love?" she asked softly, her voice tinged with amusement.
Harry stopped laughing as he noticed the look she was giving him. He graced her with an amused grin, before shaking his head.
"No, I don't believe in it, but I know it exists. I've seen my friends' love for their family do amazing things. Love can fill a person's life with a sense of purpose and make life worth living but it can't save the world."
"If love can't win the war between Good and Evil, what can?" May asked with a genuine interest.
Harry almost grimaced.
The girl's naivety and innocence were almost palpable. The fact that she had wished to remain within a meter of him after he made a few comments about wizards was enough for him to consider her drunk. The fact that she was demanding that he took her home was just something else altogether. It was looking more and more likely that she was somehow magically informed. A Squib, perhaps.
"Good and Evil aren't mutually exclusive," Harry said flatly.
"That's a rather pessimestic view," May said with a disapproving frown.
Harry gifted May with a lazy half smile.
"The world has a habit of killing optimists," he said bitterly, before glancing ahead.
The forest-like park was literally a step away, they had arrived at the entrance to the park without realising it.
"You haven't had a very nice life, have you?" May said softly as she turned to Harry.
"My life hasn't been a walk in the," Harry paused, before glancing into the darkness of the park. "Well you know how the saying goes," Harry finished with a small smile.
"Haaarrryyyyy," May said drawing out his name.
The wizard in question couldn't help but allow his smile to grow slightly.
"Are you a virgin?" she asked innocently.
Harry blinked owlishly, before he opened his mouth to reply.
"You are!" May exclaimed with a cheeky grin before Harry could say anything.
The black haired wizard wordlessly shrugged, before glancing into the forest.
"I'm sorry," May said after a few moments of silence, "I've made you uncomfortable, you're welcome to leave if you want to; I won't hold it against you."
A light frown marred Harry's lips for a moment, before he shook his head and allowed the frown to morph into a smile.
"No, I promised I'd protect you, and I will," Harry said with a wink.
May opened her mouth to say something, but she was too slow; Harry brought up a single finger and placed it against her lips, "Shh!" he shushed her lightly. A look of irritation passed over May's face for a moment before it vanished.
"Shall we go Milady?" Harry said mockingly as he swept his arm towards the park.
"Are you sure you want to take me home? It's a scary place," May said teasingly, mimicking Harry's wink.
"I'm sure, I've been through worse looking forests," Harry said amusedly, before offering his hand to May.
"Since you're so sure," May said with a small smile as she clasped her hand upon his.
She paused for a moment and glanced to Harry.
"By the way, it's a park, not a forest," she teased him lightly, enjoying the light colouring that bled into his cheeks.
"I knew that," Harry said almost instantly, before walking forward with his female companion, past the threshold of the park.
The smell of wet grass hit Harry as they walked through the park's dense vegetation. In hindsight, it would have been smarter to walk that extra bit further and find a path, but he, and May had already been in the park for at least a few minutes, so the point was rendered moot. The further they walked the less and less Harry could hear the noises of the city, in fact he could not even see the light's of the city anymore. The forest around was illuminated by nothing but the stars and moon above.
A light shiver traveled down Harry's neck as they emerged from the almost dense vegetation, and into a clearing.
"I thought we'd never make it through," May exclaimed as she broke her hand free from Harry's grip.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked amusedly as he watched the slightly shorter girl jog for a small amount of time until she was in the middle of the field.
May spun around to face Harry and threw her arms out to the side, her lips curved upwards in an energetic smile which reached her eyes.
"What do you think?" she called out to Harry, "It's my own personal hide-away."
It's almost ethereal, Harry thought to himself as he watched the moonlight dance across the field, illuminating an almost invisible sheet of mist upon the ground. The light brushed up against the tops of the trees before fading away into the darkness of the night sky. Harry doubted that it would look as picturesque during the day, nor if May wasn't standing where she was.
The way the light of the moon played upon her visage, it was almost magical. Where in the club she had looked enticing with the dimmed and flashing lights, out in the open the natural light created a certain allure, which was unobtainable by artificial means. The blades of grass seemed to sway gently in the almost non-existent wind along with the fine mist laden across the clearing.
Harry was content to stare at May for more then a few moments, as she gazed back at him, her smile slowly fading down into a mild half smile.
As with seemingly everything in Harry's life the moment didn't last long.
An almost deafening roar reverberated through the air, and the tree line behind May began to shudder. Harry could feel the ground tremble as whatever it was on the other side of the trees began to move closer.
Without so much as a second thought Harry broke into a sprint towards May, who seemed to be frozen with confusion, and more than a healthy dose of fear. As he reached her he withdrew his wand from his pocket, mentally running through the list of spells he could use to stop whatever the hell it was that was about to ruin his up until then, perfectly good night.
From the middle of the trees a dark figure literally bashed its way out into the clearing. The moment it had gotten free of the trees the moonlight had shone down upon it, and illuminated its features.
It was at least eight feet tall, its skin upholstered in knobbly, hairy warts. Lank greasy hair hung down past its massive shoulders. Its two beady red eyes glared out from beneath an overbearing brow.
Harry winced lightly; it looked like a cross between a Troll and Hagrid.
The surly creature's eyes landed upon May and Harry almost instantly, and it let out a deafening bellow, before beginning to charge towards the two faster than Harry would have thought possible.
"Not good," Harry mumbled to himself as he prepared himself for what was about to come.
Harry stepped forwards in front of May and slashed his wand repeatedly at the creature in front of him.
"Falcifer Obsidio!" Harry shouted as he tore his wand upwards on the final jagged movement.
The effect was almost instantaneous.
From in front of Harry dozens of scythe-like blades of energy tore forth, heading on a direct path towards the beast. Harry had taken, despite the rash nature in which he had cast it, extreme precision with where the blades had been directed.
The world seemed to grow silent for a few moments, just as the first of the blades reached the monstrosity barreling down across the field. The blades flashed brightly as they passed through the Troll. While the casting had been almost instantaneous, it took two seconds before the spell's potential was realized, and the beast's body erupted into a fine spray of orange fluids.
Unfortunately for Harry it wasn't enough to even slow the target down, and casting the spell had used up what little time he had before the brute was upon him and his seemingly petrified friend.
There wasn't any time left at all, the monster was only two meters away, beside him he felt May shift lightly, no doubt wide eyed at the monstrosity upon them. The surly monster drew its right talon-like hand backwards, preparing to strike. As calmly as he could, Harry straightened up and stuck his left hand out towards the vicious beast, just as it it brought its clawed hand forwards a gentle flash of light appeared upon Harry's palm, before it erupted outwards in a crimson shock wave.
The scarlet energy diffused almost as quickly as it had formed. In its stead was a translucent circular barrier; the only thing between Harry and the razor sharp talons of the aggressor. For a moment the creature seemed to be stunned, but it didn't last too long, after a few seconds it screeched out again, and began hammering its fists against the shield.
Harry grimaced as the beast continued to strike the shield. While it neutralized most of the kinetic energy, there was still more than enough passed on through the shield that his arm was beginning to feel pained.
"May," Harry grunted out loudly, "When I tell you, run back the way we came, and get as far away as you can."
"Why?" May asked with a trembling voice. "What can you do against that?"
Harry didn't answer, there wasn't much he could do against it, if the effect his cutting curse had on it was anything to go by. Through the dribbles of orange blood, Harry could see the wounds he had inflicted upon it. They were healing, right before his very eyes.
"I can stop it from getting to you, for one," Harry said calmly as he stared up into the angry red eyes of the beast on the other side of the barrier, "And if there is no other way, I can kill it."
As the words left Harry's lips he felt sickened. For all he knew he and May could have stumbled across it during its mating period, or they had invaded its territory.
"But-," May began to say, but was abruptly stopped.
"Just go!" Harry snarled out as he focused back on his shield, which while sustaining it's integrity, was draining a fair amount of power from him. it was the first time he'd ever pitted his abilities against brute strength, prior, it had only been against incorporeal things, like Spells.
Harry didn't hear anything from behind him for a few seconds, before he heard the soft rustle of grass. It was almost indistinguishable from the snarls drilling into his ears from only a meter away.
"Don't die!" May's voice rang out from behind Harry, faint, as if she were already out of the clearing.
Harry snorted lightly as he regarded the beast opposite of him. May would have been more likely to die than he was, she had no way of defending herself.
A feeling of dread ran through Harry's body.
May didn't have anyway to defend herself. She was a Muggle at worst case, or a Witch or Human Hybrid at best.
May was running away. She knew about Magic, and had seen his 'secret skill'.
He hadn't obliviated her.
Harry had the overwhelming urge to scream out every swear word he had ever read, heard or spoken. But he had the foresight to know that screaming back into the rabid humanoids face wasn't the smartest thing to do, but it was right after what he was about to do.
The Troll-like creature seemed to notice that something was wrong when the edges of the barrier between it and it's target were fizzling away. With renewed vigor it began to strike the shield. Crimson sparks were flying everywhere; from where the edges were fading to where it was striking the shield.
The beast reared up for a final strike.
And then it happened.
The center of the shield erupted forth, striking the monster in the chest. The shield collapsed in on itself as it tore forth into the creature, sending it flying back almost as fast as it had charged.
Without pausing to see if the creature was down for the count, Harry began running back he way he had come, after May. Harry didn't dare look back, he had no disillusions that the trick he had pulled with the shield could have killed the creature, unless it was killed by physical trauma, but he highly doubted it; the creature was probably as tough as a Troll, and they could take more than a fair beating.
Harry flinched lightly as a booming roar tore through the clearing; he had only just made it to the edge of the clearing.
"Surrectus Terra," Harry hissed out as he flicked his wand in a large arch at the ground in front of him. As soon as the forest green energy was absorbed into the ground, Harry lunged forward over it, barely managing to pass it before the ground was torn asunder as a monolithic wall of solid earth erupted upwards with a vigor Harry had never seen before with the previous incarnations of the spell.
Harry's lips curved upwards in a fierce grin as he heard the beast roar in anger again. The grin faltered a few minutes later as Harry approached the edge of the park. The sky was tinged with with the faintest touch of light. Harry glanced down at his watch, and almost swore. The hands on it had stopped moving, they were stuck at eleven thirty six PM.
There was no possible way that so much time had passed. It hadn't felt like more then an hour, at most. Worse than that, May was no where to be seen.
But, all hope was not lost; There were few people on the streets, and they were far and in between.
Harry stepped backwards and turned upon his heel.
Harry stared back where he had come. His eyes remained where he had walked from, but he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He stared blankly at the park in front of him.
For the second time in less than an hour a feeling of dread bore it's way through his entire body.
There was a park behind him, but it wasn't anything like the one he had walked through. It was laded with tables and tall lights. It had bushes sprawled throughout, but there was barely any trees at all. Worse yet, there was nothing he recognized, within the park or around it. The gigantic wall of compacted dirt wasn't even anywhere he could see.
Harry exhaled slowly and glanced around he found himself unconsciously tightening his grip on his wand.
"Where the hell am I?" he asked no one in particular as he glanced around the desolate street.
The buildings all seemed to be newly built. The air smelt slightly of damp cement, causing Harry to scrunch up his nose lightly in displeasure. In the far distance, Harry could hear the beeping of cars, and see flashes of neon lights. Using the simple logic of Lights Plus Sounds Equals People, Harry began to walk.
There was a subtle shift in the smell of the air, Harry noticed as he walked onwards. Where it had smelt like a construction site a few moments prior, it had begun to smell more usual, it was hard to explain, cleaner wasn't the exact word for it, it was lighter less heavy than prior.
"Excuse me, where am I?" Harry asked one of the people who walked past him, but the repetition of his question amounted to little; Every time he asked he was ignored.
He had already tried to use the Point-Me spell to divine his location in an alley, but all it had done was almost stab him in the middle of the hand with his wand.
Harry was ever so slowly getting more and more agitated; With each person who passed and ignored him, more and more of that anger found a way to escape from his control in the form of a rising pressure inside his body. A feeling of dread seeped through Harry's body as he recognized the beginning's of a what he dubbed a 'magical surge'.
Harry stepped towards the nearest building and turned around, pressing his back up against the icy cold marble-covered wall. The more he fretted the worse it was going to get. Slowly, Harry lowered himself to the ground and brought his head into his arms, trying to focus his thoughts on something other then the anger he was experiencing.
There was a lot to be angry about; Him being misled by the girl called May, which he should have seen coming. The fact that everyone seemed to ignore him as if he didn't exist, or barely took any notice of him. The main reason he had gone out by himself into Muggle London was still nagging at him.
Harry stared down at the pavement in front of him, slowly categorizing and detaining the anger rampantly flowing through his mind. he was so immersed in fixing the problem, that he didn't notice a pair of slender legs covered with the tell-tale black matte of a business suit cross in front of him, nor did he notice them stop directly across from him.
"Are you alright?" a voice asked from above Harry, causing him to drop his attempts at calming down and glare up at the person who interrupted him.
The glare died almost as soon as his eyes made contact with the person standing above him, the anger bubbling away inside him was extinguished almost instantly, and before Harry could make sense of what was happening, a spasm of raw physical need shot through him. A Pair of cold grey eyes, tinged with purple stared down at Harry. Harry's eyes quickly took in her entire appearance, he couldn't help himself.
It was hard to describe her, she couldn't be easily quantified. Her hair was dark enough that it seemed to gleam with purple, a torrent of glossy curls held partially in check with a pair of milk ivory combs. her suit looked to be perfectly fitted, it was hard for Harry to tear his eyes away.
"Are you alright?" the woman repeated calmly.
"I," Harry began to say before alarms started to sound in his head, that weren't related to his previous anger problem, which seemed to drain away the moment the woman had made her presence known.
"You're a Veela," Harry managed to choke out.
"Veala? Did you mean veal?" the woman asked with an air of slight distaste, I certainly hope you're not suggesting I'm a piece of meat."
Harry's brow furrowed for a moment as he processed the words the woman had spoken.
"Sorry, I'm a bit out of it," Harry said calmly as he began to shake off the shock that had set in once his eyes had made contact with the dark haired woman.
"So it would seem," she murmured softly as she regarded the young man in front of her, "You are troubled, what is your worry?"
Harry stared up at the woman in distrust for a few seconds, before taking the almost insignificant chance.
"Where am I?" Harry asked blandly, the question seeming to have lost all coherency upon his tongue.
"You're in Chicago," the woman said as-a-matter-of-factly.
"Chicago," Harry repeatedly calmly, "Chicago as in United States Chicago?"
The woman's eyebrow arched up amusedly, along with the faintest twitch of her lips.
"I was not aware of the existence of any other," she said calmly, before she began to turn away.
"Wait!" Harry said a bit louder then he had intended to.
The suited woman paused in mid step, and turned back to Harry, gifting him with a peculiar look.
"Thank you," Harry said earnestly, before he began to stand up.
The woman inclined her head lightly with the faintest of smiles, before she began to walk away.
With the single dilemma he faced out of the way, Harry with a less pronounced frown than before began to plot out the next step of getting back home. Or he would have liked to, had he not noticed out of the corner of his eye that two non-descript men wearing grey cloaks appeared out of thin air in an alley across the street from him.
A sense of relief flooded Harry's body. It was the first sign of magic he had seen since he had come out of the forest, it was possible that they had sensed the magical rift and come to investigate it, or him, if they had a magic sensor overlaid on the area and had detected his Point-Me spell.
Harry opened his mouth to call out, but his word died upon his lips as both of the men withdrew a sword each from within their cloaks. he followed their line to sign to its destination and to Harry's chagrin it landed upon the woman who had spoken to him.
Millions of possibilities were running through Harry's mind, but there was one that stuck out from all the others, it was the only one that made sense to him at that point; The grey-cloaked wizards were America's Death Eaters, and the woman was their target. Considering her dress it wasn't hard for Harry to see her high ranked in a business, they could have been hired to kill off the competition, Harry reasoned.
Without a second though Harry began moving in the direction of their gaze; Towards the helpful, if not a little bit cold, woman.
"Excuse me, ma'am," Harry said politely as he came within range of the woman.
The woman turned around again, although her expression was as cold as before, and slightly distrusting, she hid it well though.
"Is there anything else I can help you with?" she asked politely, although her voice was stained with disapproval.
"What would you say if I said the word Magic?" Harry asked as evenly he could.
The woman's lips curved down in a slight frown as her purple tinged eyes stared down into Harry's.
"What if I said Grey cloaks?" Harry offered.
The reaction was almost instant; The woman's pupils narrowed, it was so sudden that harry had to stop himself from taking a step back at the sudden anger she showed.
"You are lucky we are in public, young man, or else you would not be getting away from here alive," the woman said with a calm voice.
"No offense, but I don't think those guys," Harry said, as he pointed over his shoulder with his thumb, "Are going to care if it's public."
As if cued by his words a hiss like whistle filled the air. Harry barely had time to throw his hand out and shield himself before a Vorpal Blade of distorted air struck the shield. Sending Sparks of crimson energy flying everywhere, the force of the blow almost shattered the shield, but it remained intact. Unfortunately for Harry the same couldn't be said for him, the energy of the blade passed through the shield unto his body and sent him flying backwards uncontrollably.
Harry slammed into the outside of the building with enough force to cause him to almost scream out on reflex. But he managed to catch himself before the sounds left his lips, focusing instead on holding up the shield as the whistling sound filled the air once again.
"Run," Harry managed to grunt out, "Get away from here before the shield breaks!"
The woman remained still, staring in the direction where the attacks had come from, through the translucent and visibly damaged shield.
Harry gritted his teeth together as the attacks became visible in the air, moment before they slammed into the shield. Harry felt the wall behind him crack and indent as the energy transfered from the shield, to him, and then to the wall behind him.
Harry almost let out a sigh of relief; the pain hadn't been as intense as it had been before when he had nothing to transfer the energy through. The attacks were nothing like conventional spells, or physical blows. They had the energy of a spell and the force of a physical attack.
An eerie silence seemed to fill the air. It was a pause in the onslaught, and Harry took full advantage of it. Drawing in his concentration, Harry unleashed a barrage of non-verbal spells. A stream of multicoloured beams erupted from where Harry was as the shield infront of him faded away, all bearing down upon the area where he had sighted the men, and where the majority of the spells had come from.
"Why are you still standing there?" Harry demanded to know angrily as he sent a much larger than average stunning hex at the two men.
Without warning the moisture in the air all but evaporated. it was something Harry had only experienced a few times in his life, one of them being when he was in his fourth year and facing an overly maternal dragon. he knew that his shield wouldn't be enough to stop the flames, they would just smother the shield and flow over it; The only way to avoid it was to deflect it.
They did say that the best defense is a good offense, after all, and there was no greater offense than a supercharged meat pulverizing charm.
"Nisus!" Harry hissed out with all the focus he could manage, along with all the magical energy he could spare.
The effect wasn't instantaneous, but when it kicked in it was impressive. From his wand point a gigantic crack formed in the pavement,a few seconds later, the pavement, along with the tar of the road exploded outwards. The invisible spell tore forth toward the oncoming jets of flame, tearing up a deep trench in the ground.
The blast of pure kinetic energy met the flames head on, and for a moment it looked as if the flames were going to pass on unaffected by the spell, but it only lasted for a second. The flames began to curl in on themselves as a solid wall of energy tore through it's center. Harry hadn't been counting on the spell's initial effect to save him and the motionless woman behind him, he had been counting on the screwed up air current from the spell to throw the flames into disarray, and it succeeded.
A string of curses flew out of Harry's mouth as he heard a familiar whistling sound, and without a second thought he threw his hand outwards, towards the direction that the two men were in and re-erected his shield again, bracing himself for the impact he knew would come. Harry had to hold himself back from screaming out the more explicit words he could recall as he saw two of the Vorpal Air Blades burst out of the billowing fire. It would have been fine if they hadn't interacted with the fire, but they had.
Instead of being invisible, the blades were alight with flames trailing behind them, it seemed like the Grey Cloaks hadn't appreciated his retaliation. The projectiles collided with the shield, exploding in a shower of flames.
The Wizards seemed to have no interest in stopping again, or even taking a break. The barrage of spells was coming faster then prior, and the quantity and quality of the attacks were not faltering. He had to admit, they must have been well trained to delivery such an onslaught without weakening.
Harry felt his energy slowly being sapped away into the shield as it tried to maintain itself. he might have been able to hold them off for a significantly longer time if it had been any other day, but it wasn't. Harry found an odd comfort in that knowledge as his eyelids began to become heavy.
The last thing he saw, before he lost consciousness was the look upon the dark haired woman's face; it was unreadable.