Chapter Ten – Sunder
Harry's House, 7pm
Harry was sitting back in his living room unwinding with a bottle of butter beer he had picked up when he had picked up his alchemy set from New York. It was ice cold which was the perfect way to have it during the summer months, though it was just as nice slightly warm in the winter.
Lana was due over at eight if she was able to get away from Jason. He had prepared his basement as much as he was able to perform the spell. He would have to use his wand for the casting as it took a lot of power and a fair bit of accuracy to pull off and he didn't want to risk anything going wrong by using wandless casting.
Just then the door was knocked and he got to his front door to find Jason the other side of the door.
Harry stepped back and let the man come in without a specific invite, "Hi there," Harry said his tone cool but not too unfriendly.
"Urm – Harry right?" the good looking man said his tone serious but slightly unsure.
"That's right and you're Coach Teague," Harry said.
"Look, Lana tells me you know about us."
"I do," Harry said.
"She doesn't think you're going to say anything," Jason told him then looked Harry full in the eyes. Harry took a moment to have a peek inside the guys head and didn't much like what he saw there. He was definitely up to something and was cautious enough that he wasn't thinking about it directly at that moment. He had a tiny bit of magic of his own which was confusing Harry's reading slightly but not enough to throw him off the trail totally. He was doing something for his mother, something that included Lana and wasn't good. "I do," Jason said his tone hard. "I've seen the way you look at her; I think you're just waiting for a chance to try to put me out of the picture."
Harry looked at the man steadily, with the sort of confidence that comes from fighting for your life and winning. It was wearing away at the older man's confidence somewhat. Harry knew he had come expecting to find the common hormonal male and expecting to deal with him on that footing. Harry was hormonal especially when it came to Lana of late, but that didn't mean he acted like it. "What makes you think I would do that? Ultimately I would just be hurting Lana."
"Jealousy is like that," Jason said.
"You think I'm jealous of you?"
"It's obvious," the Assistant Coach said his confidence waning as Harry stared him down easily.
This was a man pandered to by his mother for years with a lot of money while Harry had killed a 60 foot snake when he was twelve years old and lived to tell the tale. There was no competition even with the age difference. "I won't do anything to harm Lana," Harry said, "And you had better not either."
Okay so apparently his hormones weren't totally under wraps Harry had to admit.
"I don't want to hurt Lana either," Jason said, "Which is why I've got my eye on you. I know about the tattoo and that you're doing some research for her. I doubt you'll find anything we haven't."
Apparently he wasn't totally up to date with his information, and he obviously had no idea that Lana had been at Harry's all night the night before either. "You would be surprised at the resources I can call upon I think," Harry said a smile that would have made the aforementioned basilisk shit itself and run away on his face.
"I doubt it, I know who you are - I know where you came from and I know you have some small amount of money to your name; don't think that will affect Lana."
Harry pushed into Teague's mind and checked what the man was talking about. He knew Harry's false back story thank god, the one that was made up for him before coming to America, he did know rather a lot of details that weren't public knowledge though and Harry sensed that information had come from his mother Genevieve Teague. Basically he knew nothing that could hurt Harry – or now Lana – at all and was mostly bluster. So Harry kept his cool other than lifting an eyebrow to show some small surprise. The amusing thing was that Teague didn't seem to know just what league Harry was playing in when it came to money. Harry was glad of that and made a mental note to thank Walt for covering up that information for him.
Harry was also going to look up the Teague name in detail as soon as he could.
"I think you understand me," Teague said feeling that he had gotten his message across. The Assistant Coach then turned and left Harry's company and walked to his car before driving off giving Harry no chance to reply. Not that Harry had anything in particular to say he just hoped that Lana was still due to turn up. That Teague wasn't going to pull the controlling boyfriend act and ruin their plans that evening. It was important for Lana to be free of her possession before he got her training.
He whiled away the next hour or so playing his computer game and felt much more relaxed when he heard the call from his front door. He smiled when he spotted Lana still in her transfigured clothing and quickly opened the door for her. He toyed with the idea of telling her about his earlier visit but decided that she didn't want to know that her boyfriend was a bit of an arse if she didn't already.
"Hey there," he said, "Drink?"
"Is that always the first thing you ask," Lana said with a smile as she walked into the kitchen behind Harry.
"Tell you what, say yes and let me chose for you…" Harry said ignoring the playful jibe.
"Okay then yes please," Lana said sitting at the counter and blinking back some tiredness. "It's strange I'm tired but not as tired as I should be I think."
"That's the magic," Harry told her, "In fact before we get going I'll get you back up to full capacity again," he said disappearing from the room for a moment and coming back with a stopered bottle, "This is pepper-up potion." He said by way of explanation, "Have this before your other drink."
Lana looked at the stone wrought bottle then unstopered it and sniffed, "Doesn't smell that nice."
"No, but for someone with a magical core it's a hundred times better than a strong black coffee."
Lana just nodded, put the bottle to her lips and swigged. Steam poured out of her ears for a moment and her eyes widened in shock and pleasure, "Wow," she said, "I feel totally awake now more so than I did yesterday when I got out of bed."
"Its amazing stuff and it'll help tonight," Harry said reaching for the bottle, then taking a swig himself.
Lana laughed, "Did I look like that when I took it – the steam and everything."
"Yep, and this isn't the worst. Sometime I'll give you some Firewhiskey makes you breath fire when you burp."
Lana laughed again, "This is amazing it's like a new world to explore."
"It IS a new world to explore," he told her. "The magical world has been mostly separate from the mundane one since the time of Merlin."
"Merlin is REAL?"
"Oh yes, and so are lots of things, like Dragons for instance," Harry said enjoying seeing his world through her eyes for a while.
"Real dragons, as in fire breathing dragons?"
"Yep, not sure what sorts you get out here in America if any but yes there were several types back in England and some in Europe as well. I personally had to face one once and that was no fun I can tell you."
"Why," Lana asked.
Harry made a face, "I can't tell you that without making up a story to fit the details."
"There's a lot more to you than meets the eye even now isn't there?"
"'Fraid so," Harry admitted easily enough. "Now – we need to get ready; this is going to take most of the night as it is."
"It is," she asked, surprised. "Everything I've seen so far seems so instantly there, you know, I'm surprised it's not all like that. You even have a wakeup call in a bottle."
"Potions can do a lot, but some take hours to brew, months even for the more complex ones. Or they have to be done during certain phases of the moon and the like. I'm not a huge fan of potions actually, I was rather put of the topic by my old teacher, luckily I found a way around him in the end to pick up the knowledge – for instance I brewed that Pepper-up you just took."
"Wow, can you make it taste better?"
"No – unfortunately not," Harry said with a laugh, "Come on, I've got everything set up downstairs."
Lana followed him down into the enlarged basement to a room that looked like it had been built especially for a ritual. Chalk marks were all over the place along with some marks in a liquid that Lana didn't want to think about too closely then she realised morally she had to ask, "Urh Harry – those marks."
"Blood," Harry said almost pleased she had asked.
"Mine – don't worry no nastiness to this spell other than losing a few pints of blood."
Lana looked at him closely, "You seem the right color," she asked.
"Blood replenishing potion," Harry replied then looked at her, "There's a robe at the end I'll leave the room can you put it on – sorry – but nothing on underneath."
Lana blushed slightly then nodded looking at the plain white article in question. It was thick enough not to be embarrassing so she had no real problems with it; it was just the thought of no underwear that was giving her some problems.
"I have to wear one too and I've done this before so there's no need to be embarrassed."
"Before," she asked curiously, "Why, is this common place."
"Hardly but I can't tell you who or how remember."
"One day I will get all your secrets out of you Harry," she vowed with a smile.
"I hope not," he commented as he walked out of the room causing her to smile then close the door and quickly get changed. A knock at the door sometime later alerted her to the fact that Harry wanted to come back in the room so she opened it and let him in.
"Your clothes?" he asked, "We need to get anything synthetic out of the room before we start."
Lana nodded and went to pick up the pile she had made of her clothing and passed it to Harry. He disappeared for a moment and then reappeared sans the pile.
"Ready," he asked looking set into his actions.
"I am. What is going to happen?"
"Basically I have to cast some spells over you while you stand in that ritual circle over there. It's a good night to do this with the moon full which will add power to the ritual. It's some pretty hefty blood magic so I'm going to be pretty out of it for the next few days, but all things equal you will be free of the Countess afterwards. Don't be afraid of anything that happens while I'm casting, some fairly impressive visual effects are going to be happening around you but do not step outside of the circle. I'm one of two people in England that can even cast this ritual so you're in safe hands I promise."
Lana nodded and smiled bravely at him. "Now step into that circle on the right without scuffing the marks." He told her while pulled his wand out of his sleeve.
Lana did as she was asked carefully stepping over the chalk marks and standing in the direct center of the circle. Beside her there was another circle with even more lines around it.
"Now what's going to happen is this. First I get the spirit or soul fragment out of you; it will go in the second circle. Probably look like a film ghost so don't freak out. Then I have to exorcise the spirit into the afterlife, which is when my casting will switch to Egyptian so don't worry about the language changes. Then when that is done I'll ward you against a revisit and put a temporary bind on your core, so it doesn't try to escape or fluctuate too badly, that I'll remove with a simple spell in a couple of days."
"Right," Lana said with a firm nod.
"Just breath, stand comfortably and relax, in that circle nothing can hurt you; do you understand that you must stay in the circle, even if I'm in trouble."
Lana frowned suddenly, "Why would you be in trouble?"
"Lana – the Countess might not want to go, but don't worry I'm also well protected and able to look after myself."
"Right," she said sounding less sure.
"And we begin," Harry said raising his wand like he was about to conduct an orchestra. It started to weave patterns in the air even before he began to speak in a low tone that sounded quite ominous. The air filled with the electric tingle of power as he let his magic come to the surface and he began to glow dimly.
Lana watched entranced at the play of his wand movements and the sheer power flowing off him in waves. The words were well – Latin to her, but more than that it was the sense of purpose coming from him that made her relax somewhat. She settled in for a long wait and watched entranced as he continued to cast in one seemingly single breath outwards his rhyming never ending and continuously weaving magic all around the room. The runes around her lit up and glowed under their own power and that shocked her for a moment. She knew that they were chalk but there they were glowing as if made from some alien material that glowed in the dark like a child's toy. It was an impressive effect and Lana suspected that it was just the start of the show. Her long hair began to wave in unseen and largely unfelt breeze that moved it without impediment.
The blood on the walls suddenly caused a red pulse of light to fill the area which made Lana shade her eyes against it as it was so bright and then she felt a strange tingle go up her spine. The tingle continued for what seemed like a very long time as the runes and lines pulsed with power all the while Harry's constant incantation filled her ears. Then something shot out of her after what appeared to be an even longer time sending her to her knees in shock.
The purple presence that had left her then took form in the second circle and flowed upwards into a vague female form. Then before Lana's shocked eyes it seemed to fill in with color as Harry cast and the power poured around the room. Suddenly she was looking at a duplicate of herself from the unusually colored brown eyes to the white robe and bare feet. This was nothing like Harry had predicted would happen the other form was solid and not at all ghost like.
Lana looked over at Harry to see that he was still casting but had a large frown on his face that didn't bode well. Then suddenly he switched languages as the other her walked to the very edge of the circle and ran her hand over what appeared to be a bubble like shield that encased her. The other her, who Lana assumed had to be the Countess then smiled in a way that Lana herself would never smile and ran a hand over the shield with purple light on her hand. The two lights met and caused actual sparks to appear and for Harry's voice to warble a little as the backlash hit him.
Apparently the countess was quickly bored of that game and took her hand away from the wall of light causing it to flicker and die away, then she turned to Harry incanted something in Latin and shot a spell at him. Harry's wand hand didn't pause but his other hand came up and deflected the spell away from him with a negligent wave.
The Countess actually looked pleased at this reaction and folded her arms under her pert breasts and watched Harry as he cast. "It won't work," she said after a moment. Her accent was French but her English was perfect.
Harry just frowned at her and continued to cast. This continued for a long time as the Countess continued to inspect Harry from her circle and Lana inspected the Countess from her own circle.
To Lana it was the most surreal experience of her life to date. There was a carbon copy of her looking at Harry like he was a side of meat and she was starving while perfectly content to let Harry finish casting. Harry had said that the Countess might not want to leave but this was total indifference and that made no sense to Lana at all. It was almost as if she knew Harry was going to fail in what he was doing. It appeared that she also knew exactly what Harry was up to as well. So the unconcern worried Lana slightly. Perhaps the Countess had anticipated this move and had already protected herself from it? That seemed likely from what she had read on the woman from Harry's file.
"Right – what the hell," Harry said suddenly, so suddenly that he startled Lana as he let his wand arm drop, "Why are you still around and looking like that?"
He was obviously talking to the witch and not her so Lana stayed quiet.
"You are clever sorcerer but not clever enough. It wasn't simple possession that you were dealing with."
"It wasn't a horcrux either," Harry pointed out.
"That's too dark even for me, besides why bother when there are other methods available." The Countess said with a feral smile on her face. Though she looked impressed that Harry knew what a horcrux was – whatever that was Lana had no idea.
"That's almost good to hear," Harry said after a moment, "Since I currently have no idea how to get rid of you."
"Let me go and I shall reward you greatly – you are most handsome…"
Her meaning was quite obvious to Lana and Harry both. "Hey," Lana said her ire flashing.
The Countess finally deigned to turn and look at Lana and what she saw she was apparently not impressed by in the least.
"Can you not use my body to bribe my friend?" Lana said feeling slightly foolish; besides if any body was going to be used with Harry it was going to be her actual body with her in it to enjoy herself, though she was wishing she hadn't thought that and from the look in the Countess' eyes she had read it right off the top of Lana's head.
The Countess dismissed Lana with a flick of her hair and turned back to Harry, "To be rid of me now you would have to kill me. You see you have done what few have done before you – you have brought the dead back to life, with a little help from beyond the grave of course."
"Great, I can add necromancy to my long list of other accomplishments," Harry said dryly. "And if I remember correctly you should be calling me Magister about now," he said with a self mocking tone. "God I hope no one back home hears about this it'll have them rolling in the bloody aisles I'm sure."
"What's so funny," Lana asked.
"I was once told a little about necromancy by an – old enemy and he said there was one thing he had never pulled off on anyone, even himself, because of a ritual he used to stop death. Now I've gone and done it, people will laugh because they always said I could surpass him without trying," Harry said running a tired hand down his face. It was obvious the casting had really taken it out of him.
"I still don't see what's so funny," Lana said looking annoyed and more than a little freaked out.
Harry lazily cast his wand at the Countess and several diagnostic spells appeared over her, "Amazing, you're a devious bitch aren't you?"
"Thank you," The Countess said, "But I usually just answer to Isobel."
Harry chuffed a laugh, "I'd even like you had it not been for the fact that you were trying to take over my friend."
"It's not like I chose her in particular I just required someone of my line and she was the first that fit the bill in a long time."
"Lana – the good news is you're free from the possible/actual possession. The bad news is that now she's real and out of you I have no idea what to do with her." Harry said while lazily casting some spells over Lana, "More good news your core is intact." He walked back to Isobel and cast another spell at her, "So is hers, which is annoyingly difficult."
"Why Harry," Lana asked on one hand she was pleased that she was still able to do magic on the other she was totally freaking out. She had her very own clone and worse she was a fully trained witch of some power apparently according to the books Harry had researched for her.
Harry spread his hands in supplication, "I don't know what to do with her."
"Let me go then," Isobel said.
"You're a borderline dark witch I'd have to be insane to do that," Harry said with a smirk, "I'm just not that insane."
"I'll reward you greatly," Isobel said seductively trying that angle again.
Harry rolled his eyes, "I'm not totally hormone led," he noted.
Isobel frowned, people in this century were much harder to entice than she had imagined.
"Is that your idea of being a strong woman," Lana asked, "Using sex to get what you want?"
Isobel frowned prettily and then her lip curled into a smirk as she looked at Harry and then back at Lana but she remained silent.
"Okay – think Harry think," Harry said walking back and forth.
"Can you let me out Harry," she asked.
"No, unfortunately not until I decide what to do with Isobel here or you both go free."
"Right – fantastic," Lana grumped.
"Why do anything with me, I mean neither of you any harm. I have my own mission in life that I can now take up again."
"We know about the prophesy and I don't particularly want you to kill Jason," Lana said.
Isobel narrowed her eyes at Lana, causing Harry to wave a hand and shock Isobel away from eye contact, "Quit that," he said firmly.
"What was she doing?"
"Legimency – the art of reading minds"
Lana looked worried, "Can you do that."
"Not without just cause," Harry said to placate her worries, though he didn't realised just why she was worried.
"This century is no fun already," Isobel said with a sigh.
"I'm all for having fun, but you're going to have to put a curb on some of your proclivities when I let you out of there. This isn't 1604 there are strict rules in place and if you even show signs of going dark I'll put you down myself."
"As if," Isobel said with a sneer.
Harry's magic leapt out around him in a visible aura as he stared down the Countess, hers did the same and there was the smell of burnt tin in the air. Harry's managed to get even more powerful and then Isobel finally backed down looking a little surprised. "I'm the most powerful wizard of my age Isobel don't fool around with me."
"I believe you," she commented wryly, standing back away from the circle's wall.
Harry waved his wand around and put up some extra wards around the room and then finally magically locked his door and conjured some furniture, and then with a final wave of his wand dropped the wards over the ritual circles. Isobel felt them come down immediately then tried to escape to no avail. Even Lana felt something that had been niggling on the edge of her consciousness fade away.
"Let's talk," Harry said.
AN: I wasn't going to post this so soon after the other batch but people have been so wonderful in reviewing that I just had to do it. I can't promise another fast update though this is currently everything I have written for this particular story, but I will get to work on this and Harry Who as they are both very popular stories here. I just have to come up with a way of working on several stories at the same time without bleed over lol. So thank you once again for the wonderful reviews, you know who you are!