Sorry for the lateness and any/all mistakes
WARNING: THERE WILL BE SLASH. It will be very light, nothing graphic but please be aware of this
Harry checked himself over one last time. He wore some loose black pants, a burgundy t-shirt, a pair of black running shoes, and a cloak he'd gotten from Remus that was held shut with a silver-colored wolf pin. A small satchel was around his shoulders with some money, some snacks, a water bottle, and a few other items.
He also had a set of small papers stuffed in the front pocket of the satchel, summoning circles already drawn up on them. Harry had practiced summoning with the smaller circles the night before with Harold and was sure he had it down pat. It wasn't that different from drawing the circle on the ground, it just took a bit more control of his magic. His wand was on the holster at his waists, safety spells all around it to keep thieves from touching it, the same for his bag.
Harry picked the leash and collar up off the counter and examined them briefly. He'd bought them earlier. They were made out of sturdy leather and Harold had cast some spells on them to make them stronger and sturdier.
Harry shrugged his thoughts aside and pulled out the summoning sheet on the top. He let his magic flow into it and felt the runes activate. He threw it to the ground and in a swirl of light Crook appeared. The hellhound was growling at being summoned but perked up as it saw Harry. It sat and gave him a doggy grin.
"Hey Crook." Harry smiled. "I have a favour to ask."
"I'm going out today to a market. This market isn't the safest so I was wondering if you would be my guard."
It gave a bark and nod.
"Wonderful! But you can't attack anyone unless they attack me. You are allowed to growl as threateningly as you want and snap at people, but unless they do something no biting or mauling. And if I say the word….um…'crooked' you have to cease attacking and calm immediately. Is that okay?"
The dog gave a bark of agreement.
"And you have to wear a collar and leash."
It seemed to give a shrug as Harry held up the studded leather collar. Harry strapped it to the dog, careful not to get any of the blood dripping from the dog on his hands. When that was done he stood. A click signified the front door being opened and Harry glanced up as Fujita entered the café through the magical side. The man blinked lazily at him, then at the vicious looking dog dripping blood.
"Fujita, this is Crook. He's a hellhound."
"I… didn't know you were a Necromancer."
"Just found out less than a month ago. I've been practicing every day but I still only summon Demon Beasts. And I only specialize in demons. Can't do anything with spirits."
Fujita cast a cleaning spell at the floor and Crook's bloody footprints vanished. The door clicked again and the scene in the window changed to a brightly lit alley. Remus was knocking on the window with a smile. Harry grinned and gently tugged Crook with him as he went to the door. With a wave to Fujita he stepped out onto the busy streets. Remus stood in a pair of tan pants and a white t-shirt. A huge Grim sat at his feet panting. Crook caught sight of said Grim and growled at him. The Grim yelped and in a swirl he was a man in blue jeans and a green shirt.
"What the hell is that?!" Sirius yelped, leaping behind Remus at the hounds growls.
"This is Crook." Harry smiled. "He's my guard for the day."
"He's leaving bloody footprints." Sirius whimpered
"He's a hellhound." Harry shrugged. "They all seem to be dripping with blood all the time."
"A hellhound?!" Remus yelped. "But that means you know a necromancer!"
"Yup." Harry smiled. "Harold, my teacher, is a necromancer. I am too."
"Wait. You're a necromancer?" Sirius spluttered.
"Yup, but I can only deal with demons."
"That reassuring." Sirius said sarcastically.
Crook growled, not liking his tone.
"Nice doggy." Sirius said quickly.
"Crook, these are Remus and Sirius. They're my family. You can not harm them no matter what, okay?"
It gave a sigh but Harry smiled.
Harry looked around excitedly. The streets were bustling and stands held everything from socks to things he'd never seen in his life. They were in a shopping district area. Sirius said the food district was coming up. The districts were split for 'convenience'.
They stepped across a street and it was like crossing an invisible line. Pottery was replaced by drinks and socks were replaced with foods. Every nationality had food vendors along this street, in between the food vendors were pathways to doors that were the front entrances to restaurants. Crook sneezed at the assault of food smells and snorted. Remus also grimaced slightly. Sirius was already bouncing around asking about different foods. Harry sniffed around and found himself drawn to a stand that had a bunch of meats on shish kabob sticks roasting over a grill. A hunched over man ran it.
"What can I get you sonny?" The man grinned showing missing teeth.
Crook narrowed his eyes at the man in warning but sniffed at the meats before sitting back down. Harry gave the man a galleon and in return got six sticks with seven small bite sized pieces of meat on each on. He gave one to Crook with no hesitation and the hound ate it, stick and all happily. He held the next out to Remus who was keeping an eye on both him and Sirius. Remus smiled his thanks and picked a round a few pieces but ate most of it. He gave the kinds he didn't like to Crook as they were all different kinds of meat. Harry gave the third to Sirius who took it and bounced to another stall. He kept the rest, wrapping a few up in a paper bag and eating one.
"What was the first meat?" Harry asked curiously.
The vendor grinned and tapped a sign with a cane.
Harry wrinkled his nose but had to admit it had been good. He could never tell Alice, Hatter, and March Hare of this though.
Harry found himself trying a bunch off odd foods with Sirius and having to stop himself from asking at points what it was. He did introduce Sirius to dango though. He'd enjoyed said food from Japan and Sirius was suddenly addicted to it.
"And we've lost them." Harry sighed.
Sirius had seen something that caught his eye and dragged Remus to see it. Harry had been blocked by the crowd and got turned around. Crook gave a gruff bark that could be amusement.
"They'll probably start panicking." Harry shrugged at the hound. "But we're fine aren't we?"
The hound gave a nod.
"Knowing Sirius, he'll freak when he realizes he lost me."
Harry reached into his bag and idly glanced at Crook as he snarled at a man that got to close for his liking. Said man quickly darted away. Harry had had quite a bit of breathing room. No one wanted to get close to a snarling Crook. Harry pulled a summoning sheet from his bag and filled in the blank part that described who you were summoning. He injected his magic and waited for the runes to activate before throwing it into the air. Luckily the paper became stiff when his magic was injected and flew nicely into the air.
In a swirl a bright blue bird appeared. It squawked, a harsh grating sound, and landed on his shoulder. It was the size of a crow but its eyes were five times as large as normal and purely yellow. Its beak was razor sharp and its talons looked to be knives. Its feathers were also as sharp as steel. Harry had named it a 'Knife Bird' when he'd first summoned it.
"I was separated from my godfathers. Can you find them and lead them back to me?"
It squawked and flapped before taking off.
"Well, while we wait let's explore." Harry smiled at Crook.
The hound gave an affirmative bark and trotted alongside him as he started walking.
Harry was once again tackled by his godfather. He hit the ground with a wince and tried to shake his clingy godfather off but the man held him tight.
"I was so worried!" He babbled.
"I was fine." Harry assured. "Crook looked after me. Right Crook."
The hound barked happily. The Knife Bird croaked from Remus's shoulder as the other man caught up with him. It then squawked at Harry. Harry nodded and let the link cut watching the swirl of smoke that signified the bird vanishing.
"I got some cool things while you were gone too." Harry smirked pulling out a small voodoo doll from one of his bags.
"Cooool." Sirius awed.
"Be careful with that." Remus warned. "It might actually work.
"Don't worry. The girl said it can only last an hour and you need a person's hair wrapped around it for it to work. Beside, it only gives sharp pains, not death or injuries."
"Ooh! We have to get one and then get one of Snape's hairs." Sirius said giddily.
Harry gave a weak smile.
"Is this a real flying carpet?" he asked the man.
The man babbled something in another language and shrugged helplessly. Harry sighed and ran his fingers over the deep purple and red carpet. It really was beautiful.
"You should get one." Sirius grinned. "They're fun. I rode one once. Not near as fast as the firebolt broom, but still loads of fun, and much more comfortable.
"May I take your order?" Harry asked cheerfully.
The man glanced up at him from the small book in his hands. Harry noted his eyes were a gleaming mix of wine red and silver. His hair was a roan red color and tumbled in lush waves to the middle of his back. Ends flared and twisted and looked like a thick mane as much as hair. He wore black robes and was purposely sitting at one of the tables in the more shaded part of the café. He looked to be around twenty five at the oldest.
"I'd like some black tea." He said in a smooth, polite tone.
Harry blinked curiously as he caught a flash of fangs.
"May I ask if you are a vampire?"
The man locked eyes with him as of silently looking for something. Harry just blinked back.
"Yes." The man chuckled.
"Oh, okay. Would you like anything else?"
"No thank you."
Harry hurried to the kitchen and got the man order. He paused as he realized something. He'd read in his books that while Vampires did drink blood they weren't mindless killers nor did they eat nothing else. They were almost exactly the same as humans except food didn't give them nutrition. They also lived much, much longer, were slightly harder to kill, had a whack of better senses, and could get a rash if they stayed in the sun for to long. He'd also read they did not usually kill to get their blood. They could just as easily not kill the person or animal they took blood from.
"Yes?" The man asked lazily.
"I have a vampire ordering some black tea."
"Huh." The man grunted. "And you're wondering if he can drink it?"
"No, I know he can drink it no problem but I was wondering if they could taste it?"
"A bit I believe." Fujita shrugged. "Not as well as we can. To really taste food I think they have to add traces of blood to give it flavour."
"Oh….Would he be offended if I added some blood?"
"Vampires won't refuse blood for any reason unless they think it's poisoned, and even then it'd have to be pretty poisoned as they it takes a lot to kill them."
"Oh. How much would you suggest I add?"
"For that small pot, no more than half a teaspoon. You want to give it flavour not feed him."
Harry grabbed a knife from the counter and made sure it was clean before slicing gently up his arm. He easily ignored the pain, having had much worse from his Uncle, being bitten by a basilisk, being thrown back by Voldemort, and being up against a Dementor. When he believed there was enough he washed the wound and pulled his wand out. He didn't know many healing spells but he did know one to start the blood clotting sooner and making the cut scab sooner. Then he wrapped his arm in a loose cloth to keep blood from his uniform and picked the tea up cheerfully.
He quickly delivered the tea to the man absorbed in his book and poured his first cup for him. The man mumbled some thanks and took an idle sip even though it was steaming. Harry was about to go help another customer when a cough sounded behind him.
"Is there a problem?" He blinked at the vampire.
The man was staring at his cup. His eyes flickered up to Harry.
"This is your blood?"
"Yes." Harry said shyly.
The vampire said nothing but stared at him a long moment before sipping it again.
"It is wonderful tasting."
Harry blushed, taking the odd comment as a compliment and smiled before hurrying off.
Harry hummed happily as he pulled his shirt on. He'd changed from his café uniform into some black slacks and an emerald button up shirt. He folded his uniform and stuffed it in his locker before checking to make sure all the lights were off. He locked the muggle side of the café up and then locked up the magical side, stepping into the alley.
He pocketed his keys and was about to head for the street knowing Dee would pick him up there in five minutes or so, when someone grabbed him from behind. For a moment he was still, in shock. Then he struggled.
"Let go!" he yelled fighting the arms.
Harry stilled slightly recognizing the voice of the vampire from earlier but still squirmed in his grasp. The vampire pulled him flush against him and rested his chin on his shoulder, red hair falling over Harry's shoulder in tumbling waves.
"What do you want?" Harry asked cautiously.
"I just want a moment of your time." The man breathed, his breath rolling over Harry's neck.
A nose brushed against his bare skin and Harry stiffened. He was let go only to be backed against the wall, the vampire resting a hand on either side of his head. Harry leaned back into the stone wall.
"If another vampire comes to this establishment." The man whispered softly, alluringly. "Do not give them your blood."
"Why?" Harry asked cautiously.
"It is addicting." The man smirked.
He leaned over and lapped at Harry's exposed neck. Harry stiffened as the man's hands slid down the wall to his waist, holding him firm by the hips. He whimpered slightly as the man ran his tongue over his pulse and paused.
"Vampires can taste many things in blood. Emotions, status, power. Your blood has a spicy taste that speaks of necromancy and a flowing flavour that speaks of strong magical powers. I can practically feel your immense strength in the small amount of blood you gave me. And then the emotions, oh the emotions. They took my breath away. Your blood is a burst of love with a sweet flavour of hope, warmth, and freedom. God it's addicting." The man moaned at the memory. "One sip and all I can taste is your blood in my mouth."
He was trembling slightly. Harry gasped as teeth grazed lightly across his neck.
"Don't!" Harry said quickly trying to push the man off.
The vampire though, was about a foot taller than him being around 6'3'' to Harry's 5'4''. Besides that he had enhanced strength. He didn't budge.
"I won't bite you." He murmured against Harry's skin.
He inhaled deeply and Harry slowed his struggle as he realized the man was not biting. Finally he sighed and pulled back. He stepped back giving Harry breathing room.
"Would you have killed me if I bit you?" He asked.
Harry let the summoning-slip in his right hand slid back in his pocket.
"Crook would have." Harry said softly.
"At least you can defend yourself."
Harry shrugged nervously.
"Is my blood really that addicting?" Harry asked.
"Yes." The man answered without hesitation. "I have not introduced myself, I am Valentine."
"Isn't that a girl's name?" Harry asked curiously as he rolled the name over his tongue.
"No actually, it depends on the language background." The man rolled his eyes.
"I like it."
"I'm glad you approve." He said sarcastically.
Harry heard the faint honk of a horn and remembered Dee.
"I have to go."
"I shall see you again poppet." He smiled.
Harry sent him a scowl for the nickname but the man was already gone. Harry hurried down the alley to find Dee waiting impatiently in Harry's car. Harry had given him permission to pull it around as he had to close the shop. Harry slid into the passenger side and smiled at Dee who brightened at his appearance.
"Off to dinner."
Harry came too slowly, hazily and breathing harshly feeling flushed. He remembered dinner clearly but the….he was quite sure Dee had dragged him to a party. He could faintly remember a crowd of people, lights, smoke, and music. There were a couple glasses of alcohol somewhere in the equation. Harry sat up slowly, wavering. He felt giddy and warm. The alcohol.
He glanced around hazily and realized he was in a bed, a soft bed. The first thing he saw as he looked up was Dee stepping into the room, his coat on one arm and his second hand unbuttoning his shirt. The teen gave a cocky smirk as he spotted Harry sitting up. He tossed his coat to the side and sat on the edge of the bed next to Harry.
"You have really low alcohol tolerance you know." He remarked.
Harry blinked at the remark and gave a weak smile.
"Never had it before."
And then Dee was millimetres away, his breath mingling with Harry's. He sealed their lips and Harry moaned at the heat their kiss made, tongues fighting. He was pushed down on the bed and only faintly realized Dee was unbuttoning his shirt. He did notice though as hands brushed against his chest and his shirt was tossed to the side.
"Ah! Dee…" Harry moaned lowly.
"Relax Harry." Dee smirked.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked as hands tugged at his belt.
"I'm taking advantage of your drunken state."
"I don't think I'm too drunk." Harry admitted as he moaned.
A tongue ran down his chest and he withered beneath the man.
"Just relax." Dee muttered again, "I'll make it very pleasurable for you."
Harry woke slowly, content with the feeling of warmth around him. He let his eyes flutter open and moaned softly. He glanced around slowly, taking in his surroundings. He was on a bed, half covered in a quilt. He gazed about the room and realized it was quite messy. A small window let the morning light filter in. Clothes and art supplies were strewn about and a couple canvas lay against the walls. A dresser was cluttered with pain and a nightstand held a lamp and an alarm clock. A door was slightly open showing a bathroom. A second door on a different wall opened into what looked like a living room.
Harry heard a moan beside him and blinked turning to the wall. Dee lay on his stomach head buried in his pillow with one arm looped loosely over Harry's waist. They were both naked.
Harry blushed brightly as memories of the night before flood back. Well that explained the throbbing ache he felt in his lower regions. Then he caught sight of the time. He squeaked and leapt up, looking for his clothes on the mess that was the floor.
"What izzit?" Dee said groggily.
"It's nine o'clock!" Harry yelped. "Harold is going to be wondering where I am."
He grabbed his shirt and was about to pull it on when an arm wrapped around his waist and pulled him back on the bed. Dee pinned his arms to the bed and languidly kissed his neck.
"This Harold can wait." He smirked. "I have the day off and I want another round."
Harry just squeaked, which turned into a moan soon enough.
Harry wrung his new braid out and sighed content at the feeling of the steamy bathroom. He opened the door after making sure his shirt was done up right. He stepped into the living room to pause in surprise.
Dee was only wearing a pair of pants and standing by a stove, flipping a pancake. Another man was flopped on the single couch. The man was tall with long black dreadlocks tied back in a ponytail and half covered by a bandana. He had tilted brown eyes and slightly tanned skin. He wore some worn jeans and a red t-shirt.
The man blinked up at Harry and Harry blinked right back.
"So you're Dee's new toy." The man whistled looking him up and down. "You're quite cute."
Harry blushed slightly and shifted nervously.
"How old are you?" The man asked, still eying him.
Dee dropped a plate and stumbled, eyes wide.
"You're going younger and younger Dee!" The man laughed.
Dee spun back to Harry.
"You're only Fourteen?!" He yelped.
"Yes. I thought you knew?"
"I thought you were seventeen at least!" He blurted out. "You have your N for driving and run a business!"
Harry shook his head and Dee whimpered, palming his face.
"What we did last night wasnt't anywhere near legal."
The man on the couch burst out laughing as Dee turned back to the food. When dreads stopped laughing he grinned at Harry and beckoned him closer. Harry warily took a step forwards. The man's hand darted out and yanked him down. Harry's knees landed on the couch on either side of the man, his wrists held tight by said man. Dreads gave Harry a half lidded look of desire. Harry blushed as he became acutely aware of how flush against the man he was.
"Pretty and delicate," The man murmured, "Just how I like them."
Harry blushed brightly as the man leaned closer to kiss him. A plate was shoved between them. Dee raised a brow at the annoyed expression on Dreads face. Then Dreads scoffed and let him go. Harry leapt up. Dreads stood also, pulling a pair of shades on.
"I'm Agon." He said bluntly.
"Harry." Harry smiled shyly.
"See ya Dee." Agon called as he stood and walked out the door.
Harry took the offered plate of food and ate quickly. When he was finished he stood.
"Thanks for breakfast and dinner."
"No problem." Dee said with a slowly getting stronger smirk. "Feel free to come over at any time."
Harry blushed and hurried out the door. Finding his car, he hopped in and hurried home. Harold smirked at him for the rest of the day.
Harry walked down the street humming softly to himself. Crook stalked by his side obediently, growling at anyone who looked at Harry too long. It was a beautiful day, the sun out and the sky clear and blue. A soft breeze floated by, the smell of the salt air on it.
Suddenly the hound perked up and sniffed the air. He grabbed Harry's shirt in his teeth and started to drag him in a certain direction. Harry stumbled in his surprise but allowed the dog to drag him. The Hound led him to a street of doors and up to one that had a purple curtain pulled across its window and read 'Pet Shop'.
Crook looked up at him expectantly and Harry hesitantly opened the door. He stepped into the store and the door shut behind him. He was immediately assaulted by the smell of incense. He pushed past a large curtain and stepped into a brightly decorated room that was filled with aquariums and cages; walls covered with tapestries and curtains. In the center of the room was a couch, a set of chairs and a coffee table between them.
Harry's eyes flew wide and he blushed brightly as he realized that the couch was … occupied. An Asian man with short black hair and a willowy body was moaning as a tall blonde American kissed his jaw, a hand sweeping the Asian man's robes aside.
Harry let out a startled 'eep'.
The two jolted, looking up in shock. The Asian man shoved the blonde off in an impressive display of strength and stood, pulling his robes shut.
"Oh! Ah, I apologize." He said quickly before spinning to hiss at the blonde. "Detective! I thought you locked the door on your way in!"
"I did!" The man said quickly straightened his own clothes.
"I came in the… second door." Harry said shyly.
"What second door?" The blonde asked with a scowl.
The Asian however blinked then quickly smiled.
"Ah, I see. I apologize for that…display."
"It's fine." Harry blushed. "I can leave. Crook just led me here so I came in to explore.
"Crook?" the man blinked.
Harry realized he had mismatched eyes. One violet and the other gold. They were unique and beautiful in the man's delicate face. Then the man's eyes found Crook. He gave a squeal and fell on the hound with very little warning. Harry stepped out of range. He wasn't completely surprised to see Crook act like a puppy in the man's hands or that no matter how tightly the man hugged Crook no blood stained his clothes. The man gave of an air of …something.
"I'm Leon Orcot by the way." The blonde said, obviously trying to break the awkward tension in the air. "What kind of dog is that?"
"A hellhound." Harry responded.
The blonde spluttered, trying to come up with a response. Harry' eyes widened and he turned to the Asian.
"He's a … muggle?" he asked.
"Yes." The man smirked.
"I should be obliviate'ing him." Harry said hesitantly, wand sliding into his hand.
The Asian man shook his head.
"He knows of some magic. He'll learn at some point anyways."
They ignored the man's whined questions of what the meant and 'what the hell is the stick for'.
"Oh he's just so cute." The man cooed to the hound which melted in his arms. "My name is D by the way."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Harry Potter."
D blinked and stood. He eyed Harry with a thoughtful expression. He brushed the hair from Harry's forehead and thumbed the bolt scar. Harry blushed in embarrassment at being recognized.
"Would you mind if I kept Crook here for a while?"
Harry blinked in surprise at the question.
"Just for a while." D smiled.
Harry looked to Crook who gave him an excited expression.
"I guess." Harry said.
"Wonderful. Could you keep the connection open for him for about three days? Then you can dismiss him from this realm and re-summon him where you are."
"That's acceptable." Harry smiled.
"Would you like a pet?" D asked suddenly.
"D!" The blonde barked. "Don't foist deadly animals onto a kid!"
D shrugged idly.
"I have many pets as it is now." Harry refused.
"Oh? What kinds?" D asked curiously.
"I have an owl, three half-kneazels, a Colored Thief, a Miles Miltis snake, a bunch of other snakes, and a sentient-tree. Plus I can summon demons like Crook here, though they don't technically count as pets."
"Ooh!" D smiled delightedly.
"You can summon demons!?" the Blonde yelped.
D paused a moment and frowned looking at him, peering at him almost curiously. Then his expression brightened.
"Oh! You're one of those shape-shifters also."
Harry blinked but nodded. The blonde had shut up and was just staring at a loss on where the conversation was.
"Show me your forms! Show me your forms!" D cheered, hopping around him.
Harry decided it could do no harm and in a flurry he was a raven. The blonde was staring with a look that said he thought he was dreaming. D's arms wrapped around him, crushing him to the man.
"So cute." He tittered.
Harry transformed again to escape the strangling hug. His grim form dragged the man down. D squeezed tighter, fingers curling in his fur as the man breathed in his scent.
"I haven't seen a Grim in many years." The man remarked. "So very few live in this realm."
Harry shifted back to human but D just cuddled him still.
"Even in your human form you're adorable." He purred.
A hand yanked the man back.
"Now you're just molesting the kid D." The blonde growled.
"Jealous detective?" D smirked.
The blonde opened his mouth, eyes narrowing. Then he snapped it shut. Soon he was kissing D senseless. Harry decided his curiosity was very sated and it was time to go. He quickly fled the store with a wave to Crook who licked his hand on his way by.
Once back in the street Harry realized he had no partner left and Griphook had told him not to go alone. He could always summon another demon though. He reached into his satchel for the summoning sheets. His hand brushed air.
"Eh?!" Harry jolted, peering into his bag. "Dammit, I forgot them on the counter!"
"Are you lost boy?"
Harry flinched and spun to come face to face with a huge, well built man that towered over him. He had wild black hair and stubble on his chin. He was dressed like an old blacksmith.
"Oh! No, not at all." Harry quickly said.
He eyed Harry again and Harry shuffled nervously, eyes darting to an escape route should he need one.
"Come with me a moment."
Then he picked Harry up around the waist, under one arm. Harry struggled viciously.
"Let me go!" Harry squirmed.
The people in the street steadfast ignored them. It wasn't their problem.
"Just relax. I want to see something." The man said, pushing open a door.
Harry fought viciously but it was no use. The man was built like stone and Harry;s magic certainly did not want to listen to him all that well in his presence. As the door shut behind him Harry realized they were in a very dark room. The only light was from a glowing pile of embers. They were in what looked like an old fashioned traditional black smith. Walls were lined with weapons and tools were spread everywhere. The man carried him over to a table spread with what looked like armour and sat him on the table. Harry tried to dart to the side but the man grabbed his wrist and held him in place as he searched the table for something.
"Here." He grunted.
Harry was surprised as what looked like a black metal bracelet shoved in his hand. He ran his fingers over and found it was very thin and about three inches wide, but strong. It was wide enough to fit over his hand easily so he was unsure of if it was supposed to be a bracelet because of that.
His eyes glanced to the door but the man stood in front of it. Harry slowly slid the bracelet on. He gasped as it shrunk and moulded around his wrists perfectly. It almost felt like he wasn't wearing anything. Red patterns started to burn across the surface making a soft red colored pattern of a cat stretched across the surface, a glowing red eyes looking up stonily.
Harry ran a finger over the cat and it moved beneath his hand, giving a pleased expression. Harry gasped as five black tendrils shot from the band and curled around a finger each. When they reached the end of his finger the black expanded to cover from the last knuckle on; swirling to go past the tip of his finger. When the tendrils stopped moving Harry had some wicked looking metal claw like nails. The metal, which he had realized the tendrils were, was wrapped smoothly around the ends of his fingers and had long sharp nails branching off an inch past the end of each finger.
Harry slowly flexed his hand. His hands could still move freely. The red cat made a pleased expression again and Harry noted that red patterns swirled up to and around the claws.
"Wonderful!" The man boomed making Harry jump.
He's almost completely forgotten about him.
"That is something my grandfather made years ago. He put so much magic, feeling, and effort into it though it's half sentient. The cat engraved on it is a representation of the magic in it. It wouldn't let anyone use it. I tried it on and it would enlarge to fall off when I wasn't looking. I've made every customer, like my father before me, try it on but it didn't like any of them. The only person to every use it was my grandfather."
He dug through a pile of things and came up with an old fashioned black and white picture. He held it out and Harry took it, wary of the new claws on his right hand. He gasped as he saw the man in the picture. Said man as short and willowy with short scruffy black hair and large eyes. He looked almost exactly like Harry except he had no glasses, his hair was short, and he had a different chin. They had to be related. Harry would make an inquiry to Griphook later.
"I saw the resemblance and thought 'perhaps'. I followed you around a while too and saw you even acted like him. I thought there was a fairly good chance it would choose you." The man said cheerfully, giving a roguish grin.
Harry ran a finger over the bracelet.
"And my grandfather was half demon." He whistled.
Harry blinked and looked up in surprise. The man grabbed his left wrist and ran a large finger over the blue band.
"And you are a demon summoner."
He gave a chuckle at Harry's stare and clapped him on the shoulder. Harry's knees almost buckled under the pressure of the clap.
"Would you join me for lunch little summoner?"
"I should be going." Harry said nervously trying to pull the band off.
The cat sulked and the claws retracted. But the band did not loosen.
"Ha! The Cat won't allow you to take it off." The man boomed with a chuckle. "And my wife makes very good sandwiches!"
Harry was picked up under his arm again and carried through a door hidden at the back of the smith into a homely living room. The man shut the door behind them and trooped to a kitchen where a plump woman hummed as she chopped some vegetables. She caught sight of Harry struggling in the smith's arms and stopped dead. She spun to the man with a look of fury.
"Ursa!" She bellowed. "What have I told you of kidnapping people?! And a child this time?! His parents will murder you!"
"It's not kidnapping." The man said gruffly, shuffling. "I was just bringing him in for lunch."
"And I supposes he's struggling to get away just for the hell of it then?!"
Harry was set back on his feet but didn't bolt like he'd first planned to. He waited, cautiously and wound up like a cornered animal as he watched the woman yell at the man. After a second she huffed and spun to him, checking him over and shooing him into a chair. She shoved a plate of toasted sandwiches on the table and poured him a glass of milk.
"Eat up. I apologize for my oaf of a husband. He means no harm, he just doesn't think about how others see his actions. And with his size he doesn't really notice if someone tries to fight back. I think it's some of the demon blood in him." She bustled.
Ursa, as he'd caught the man called, plopped in what looked like a reinforced chair and snatched a sandwich.
"What type of demon?" Harry asked.
"My great grandfather slept with a demon woman in disguise as a human. He didn't have any idea she was a demon so we don't know the type. Nine months later he found my grandfather on his doorstep. Potions showed he was indeed my Great grandfather's child and half demon as well. Many thought he should kill the baby but he swept the whole incident under the rug and raised my grandfather like a normal person. He had luckily inherited my great grandfather's human appearance, but had gained the strength of the demon. My father and I both gained said strength and huge stature. Heat doesn't affect us as much either which is good when working in the forge." The man said eating the sandwich in two bites.
Harry pondered this as he nibbled on his own sandwich. He idly glanced down to the cat on his arm band and it grinned up at him, showing pointy teeth, eye crinkling shut. Creepy. He glanced up as he finished his sandwich and stood.
"Oh…um…thank you for the sandwiches. And the claw thing." He said nervously.
"Oh what a dear you are!" the woman cooed. "Feel free to come back at any time. Ursa! Show him to the door."
Ursa nodded and stuffed another sandwich in his mouth as he led Harry back through the house to the forge and through the forge to the door. Harry stepped onto the bustling streets and felt some of the tenseness that had been wound in him slowly release.
"Where are you headed?" Ursa asked as he ducked through his door.
Harry realized with an amused smile that the man barely fit.
"I have a store door two blocks away."
"Do you have a guard or anything?"
"I left my hound with a man for a few days."
"I can escort you if you want." Ursa offered.
"No thank you. I can fly with my animagus form."
"Good luck then. Drop by any time, even if just for a sandwich or a drink."
"Thank you sir." Harry said.
Then he shifted into a raven and flapped into the sky.
Harry wiped his hands on his garden apron and smiled widely at the back yard. His vegetables were growing beautifully, getting larger and riper quickly. His flowers had all bloomed and his yard was a sea of color. The huge vegetable garden area would give a lot of vegetables for the year. And one of the trees in the back had turned out to be a crab apple tree. His green house was doing wonderful too. All the herbs and potion ingredient plants he'd planted in it were growing perfectly and abundantly. The other magical plants were all blooming, the faeries flittering around them all the time.
"Finished weeding?" Harold yawned from his position on a lawn chair on the small deck.
"Yeah. Watering too." Harry smiled.
"You have pretty busy days." Harold stretched. "Get up, bake, work at the café, do some errands or shopping, get home, look after your garden, cook dinner, practice summoning for an hour, practice spell work for an hour, read for an hour, take care of your pets, clean up, and then go to bed. You rarely have any free time."
"I've gotten so much done so it pays off." Harry smiled. "My summers are usually wasted, so having this much freedom and doing so much feel satisfying."
"Why are they usually wasted?" Harold questioned.
"I stayed with my aunt, uncle, and cousin during the summer." Harry shrugged. "They usually load me with mundane chores or lock me in my room with nothing to do."
Harold frowned at this but didn't comment. Harry pulled a summoning slip from his apron pocket and in a swirl summoned what looked like a four legged spider the size of his fist and as round as a ball. It had two large round eyes that were a swirl of blues and reds. Its hair was a light soft grey. It opened its mouth which stretched across half of its whole round body and gave a 'maa' sound that showed off its pointy teeth.
"Will you deal with the pests?" Harry asked it kindly.
It gave another 'maa' sound.
"And don't leave the garden please."
It nodded and skittered away under a bush.
"You're having a problem with some pests?" Harold asked.
"Yes. A raccoon has been tearing up some of my fruit plants and some mice have been burrowing in my garden. The Scrawl will deal with them."
"That thing is creepy." Harold muttered. "It skitters around and stares at you with its huge eyes. Then it smiles at you. The one you summoned in the house the other days stalked me for a good hour, smiling at me every time I glanced at it."
THE END OF CHAPTER 21 - AUGUST 12th and 13th