Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Cage and Key

Musings and Questions

by faromir 0 reviews

chapt 13

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Ron - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2015-05-11 - 8023 words

Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Universe and all the characters belong to J.K. Rowling.
It had been the same for the past few days now. Everything was searched through and looked into, the books in Hogwarts had no useful information and spells for him anymore, he had struck a dead end while he still needed answers on the revival technique of Voldemort, and more knowledge on the Dark Arts.
He only had two options as it now stood; the entity in his mind, and Daphne.
He didn't want to ask the entity, it might have the answers he needs, but it would mean that he would be accepting more of him; he didn't even trust him completely, only partially. What did it even mean to accept more of it? What kind of effect would it have on him? Where did it come from and how could he get rid of it?
Asking any of those questions would prove to be useless as he would only get vague answers in return or became faced with the question of accepting more of him in return for explanations. He didn't want that, it would be a last resort if anything.
The other choice had only recently presented itself when Daphne told more about herself, if what she had mentioned was true then it might mean that her family possessed detailed books on the Dark Arts. Although it was still unsure whether or not she could help him, her family might have done away with the books and other items the moment they inherited it, after all; they held no interest in it as she had stated to him.
Then there was the problem of actually getting it even if she did have it. Hogwarts was being monitored on all exits and entrances, even the secret passageways. Dumbledore knew his castle well enough he had to give him that.
Finally there was Daphne herself, she had expressed her concern to his practice of the Dark Arts multiple times. It was clear that she didn't even like the thought of him practicing Bone-Breakers, which is one of the lesser Dark spells. Daphne simply didn't see the need for having to learn it as he did.
It was because he couldn't do complicated spellwork like Voldemort and Dumbledore had demonstrated to him in the Ministry. Harry had to fight back in his own way, speed and strength would be the attributes he would rely on in his battles. He could train his own speed and strength, but more powerful spells would help increase the base damage he could do, growing stronger himself would only help to increase that further.
"You okay there, Harry? You've been staring for a while." Hermione said looking ready to wave a hand in front of him.
He snapped out of his thoughts and made eye contact with her. "Hm? Oh yeah, lost myself in thought there for a moment. How are invitations coming along Hermione? Sorry that I'm not much of a help there."
"It's okay, Harry. You're very busy." Hermione replied watching Ron play chess with Seamus some distance away, having found someone to crush with the moving chess pieces. "I'm about halfway through the Gryffindors, it isn't all that time consuming since there are only a few people invite from each House."
"Then why the rush to get these invitations done by Slughorn?" He questioned from his seat across form her in the common room.
"Because each of those invited are allowed to bring their own date, who might also be in need of the supplementary lessons." Hermione answered, pulling out her DADA book.
"I see, things will need to be planned and organized accordingly." Harry said nodding.
"So, how are things coming along with Gre-Daphne in your lessons?" Asked Hermione in a curious tone.
"I'm pretty sure things will work out, the Waltz is completely stuck in my head now, and we'll likely start the next dance tonight." He said thinking back on their previous lessons
"I'm glad to hear that, it's a good thing you're a quick learner." She said switching in between reading and conversing with him.
"Yeah, It'll work out in time." He spoke reassuringly.
"Aren't you annoyed?" Hermione asked a bit suddenly, making him look up toward her.
"Hm? By what?" Harry asked wondering what she meant.
"You know…about what happened in detention, Slug Club, the party and dance instructions? It might seem a bit… scheming to others." She said carefully.
"What's wrong Hermione, you don't like her?" He asked a bit surprised, she had defended Daphne less than a week ago against Ron.
"Not that but, don't you find it rather sudden how time invested she suddenly became in you?" Hermione asked staring at the text in front of her, not taking in the words.
"She is quite engaging, yes, shamelessly so, but it doesn't feel all that sudden to me, we've been pretty interactive throughout the lessons before the detention and Slug Club." He admitted as multiple memories flashed before his mind's eye.
"Neville told me it was quite the surprising for him to see her act like she did" Hermione continued.
"Surprised at the way she acted? How so?" Harry asked curious to know more about Neville's experiences with her.
"It's all from Neville's point of view and experiences from the past of course, but he says that she wasn't like that during the balls he saw her; Neville told me that Daphne was always polite and reserved, but never"
"Really? Well I haven't really seen her with anyone besides Davis, so I can't really tell. Besides we have to be all proper and prim during events such as those right? Wouldn't be right to act otherwise." He said leaning backwards a bit, imagining the scene.
"I think she is a bit closed off in the beginning, yes. After all; it's not like we were best palls during or after our first lesson. Maybe she is one of those people who slowly open up, revealing their true personalities later on." He said musing out loud.
"Yes, but she is quite… enthusiastic around you, Harry." Hermione said likely thinking back toward the events of the Slug Club.
"So what are you trying to say, Hermione?" He asked wondering where she was going with all this.
", nevermind, Harry." Hermione began before stopping, returning to staring at the words in her book.
He looked at the parts of her face he could still see over the top of the book. "You can trust her Hermione, really." He said.
"You're right, harry, sorry. It's just that I'm a bit suspicious of some girl suddenly swooping in and orchestrating all these events, Ron feels very much the same." She said revealing thoughts that had probably been on her mind for some days.
"..I can understand that these events probably look weird from outside." He said trying to imagine a similar scenario happening to Ron and Hermione. "I guess that Daphne is much like the sea; calm at bay, but vicious and strong once you are in its currents."
"You found a good friend in her, didn't you, Harry? You always speak fondly of Daphne too." Hermione remarked seemingly having some trouble with giving him a truthful smile, as it didn't look all that natural.
"Well, yeah I guess." He said suddenly feeling a bit embarrassed.
She let out a small sigh. "I should probably stop complaining and give her the benefit of the doubt."
"It's okay, Hermione. I'm glad that you share your thoughts like you do."
"Feel free to do the same, Harry." She said, smiling a bit sadly.
He only nodded in response.
Hermione definitely knew that something was wrong, as she had hinted toward it multiple times; just now, during the Slug Club and a few times even before that. He wasn't sure about Ron; he either knows the same, or doesn't have a clue in the first place. But Harry could never know for sure, Ron was prone to surprise him with his insight sometimes.
Hermione might have the strong notion that he was having trouble sleeping due to his nightmares, but likely didn't know more than that, not about his research on Voldemort, and the Dark Arts neither his practice of it.
Hermione wanted him to tell them, but he shouldn't, he couldn't. What if he told them the Prophecy and Voldemort caught wind of it? He might hunt and torture the information out of them, all because he had indulged the information to them. Information that wouldn't help them in the first place, only serving to loom ominously above them all.
He had nearly arrived at their usual classroom, slouching forwards, his legs and feet feeling a bit heavy until he stopped before the familiar simple door.
He opened the door and went inside, music filling his ears again as he saw her sitting in the middle of the room on a chair. Representing the perfect example of patience, looking up from her clasped hands in her lap as Daphne heard him arrive.
"Evening, Daphne, early again I see." He greeted her.
"Hello, Harry, and yes, better luck next time." She greeted back, smiling as she stood up and walked toward him to meet in the center of the classroom.
Daphne took a dancing stance, holding up her arms for him to accept. "Ready to begin the Slow Foxtrot?"
"No time for pleasantries?" He asked stepping closer, her arms easily slipping around him.
"No, we have much to cover." She said beginning her instructions shortly afterwards.
The Foxtrot looked much like the Waltz with the difference being the tempo and some steps, and Harry fell into thought after he began repeating the basic steps, the previous lessons helping him adapt to the new dance.
He briefly glanced at her silent figure, she was being unusually quiet but not uncomfortably so, rather seeming to be quietly enjoying it.
He once again wondered what kind of thoughts were currently occupying her devious head, Daphne always seemed to make the strangest bends in the most unpredictable ways and moments, he basically had no idea at any given time what her next move would be.
She had worked with him in class, listened in on his conversations, followed him when he trained, made him come to the Slug Club, set him up as an instructor, and had him take her to the party.
Hermione only knew half of it and had worded it in a friendly way, staying true to her nature. But he knew what Hermione meant, and what it was; manipulation. He should have felt insulted and repulsed by it, for it was normally done for selfish reasons. Hoping to steer and influence everything around and about it.
But it didn't repulse him, sure it annoyed him when she suddenly came out with it in the open, but it didn't fill Harry with anger, it was executed in a different way, above cold calculations and profit yielding results. It was manipulation, fueled with good intent.
But that didn't mean he was just going to let it happen if he could help it, he had his own say in things.
All that was left for him to understand was why. Why had Daphne started following him, why did he have to come to the Club meetings, why did she want him to take her to the party, and why was she so intent on helping him.
Because he was famous? No, she had even showed distain for it when they met, nor had she ever given any indications that it even existed to her afterwards.
Because he was intriguing? Maybe..he didn't think himself to be interesting, just plain dangerous to others wih his mere presence. However it would explain her espionage on him, but at the same time it would lack the compassion required to make you help someone, to think and care for them.
He also wasn't a hero to look up to, for he didn't have the strength to save people, Daphne wasn't even the type to have an idol to look up to in the first place.
Because she fancied him? Impossible, he was looking quite haggard if the opinions of others were anything to go by from, besides she was on a whole other level, he couldn't possibly live up to her life and the society she lived in, nor the standards of the girl that was Daphne Greengrass. He had to be the next Merlin if he were to compensate for his past, his background, and his life under the cupboard.
All that was left for him was the same reason she had given to him herself during their detention; his company, maybe she just liked to have his presence, expanding their little friend circles with each other.
And he too wanted her company, but he had to be careful, she would be bothered by people if the rumors started running around, which could happen any day now that they 'volunteered' to be representatives, worst case scenario being that it went outside school to the attention of his enemies. Her family would be in danger, surely she was aware of this, a family of her status and history was going to be branded as traitors for being friendly with him.
Daphne turned her head to look up at him. "Something wrong, Harry? You seem troubled and very much in thought."
"Musings and questions." He said simply.
"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides, tell me, what goes through your mind?" She said calmly continuing the rhythm.
He paused for a moment before speaking. "I was thinking about what could happen next."
"Next?" Daphne asked prompting him to elaborate.
"Surely you have already thought about my position in the upcoming conflict in contrast to your own." Harry said voicing his thoughts.
Her expression sobered a bit. "If you are talking about the war then yes, I have, what are you trying to say?"
"Then you must have realized what could happen if you associate in the open with me, especially if it's in the same friendly manner as we always have. We don't have the excuse of a forced assignment anymore." He spoke seriously.
"I am fully aware of that, Harry." Daphne responded.
He frowned. "Then why did you continue anyway? Aren't you worried for your family?"
"Of course I am, but it wouldn't have made all that much of a difference in the end." She said, evenly.
"What? How so, what are you talking about?" He asked, confused, why wouldn't it make a difference? Voldemort used the purity belief of the Purebloods to gain followers; he couldn't go around indiscriminately killing Pureblood families only because they refused to partake in the war. She would be safe either way, right?
"We have already been visited multiple times by Death Eaters during the summer and throughout our school year, they also visit a lot of other magical families, hoping to recruit either manpower or gold for their cause." She answered.
He slowed their pace a bit at that, perplexed at what he heard. "They have come to your house?"
Daphne nodded. "Yes, we mostly stall things by pretending to think things over, but time will run out and we can't predict the moves a madman will take, will he force us to join so that he can get to our money, or Is the Malfoy fortune enough for now?"
"They probably won't be all that willing to accept our answer, rather slowly trying to coerce us into changing it for them."
He considered her words. "You didn't join the first war by doing this, so now you think he won't take no for an answer?"
"Yes.. the same trick won't work twice." She said a bit morosely.
He frowned. "But you would be safe either way right? They won't attack a family like yours. He needs to get the other families support and belief behind him."
"How can you be sure, Harry? We might be safe during the war, but who can say what will happen after the war? What kind of turn will our society take if they win? They might start concentrating themselves more on purity afterwards, cutting off Halfbloods from the Purebloods and arranging marriages for the best 'results'." She said looking uneasy at the end.
"Tracey might be one of those people, they weren't all that friendly against her and her mother when they came to visit their house. Only her father is Pureblood and it seemed to have mattered for those that had visited, it isn't their foremost focus, but it is still on their list."
"Then what are you, Tracey and your families going to do?" Harry asked wondering what they were going to do.
She fell silent for a moment before speaking up. "We want to join, Dumbledore. We think that it will offer us the best future and protection."
He nearly stumbled but quickly managed to recover. "What?.."
"Rumors had already started circulating during the first war of a group that opposed, and fought against the Dark lord himself and his followers. We seek to join the same resistance group your parents were in, you mentioned it yourself during the Slug Club." Daphne elaborated.
He looked at her for a moment, shocked that she had found use in the small deflective answer he had given her at the time before thinking about the convenience of it all.
"So, did your parents ask you to make contact with me or something?" He questioned turning a bit apprehensive at it all.
She turned to look him into the eyes. "I understand your suspicion for thinking so but no, Harry, we've been in this situation even before the start of our school year."
He held her gaze for a moment, trying to find any deceit in her eyes before smiling a bit as he found his answer. "Okay, although I sense a 'but' in your story."
"Yes, Tracey and her family have unlike us, a much better chance of joining Dumbledore, being Halfblood and more light."
"Why do you say so? Dumbledore often believes in giving people a chance to prove and redeem themselves, no matter who they are." He said, Snape quickly coming to the front of his mind.
She shook her head negatively. "I can say so because we have already tried, but it's hard to persuade someone to let you in on their secret resistance group with a long and Dark family line behind you. He knows that we aren't in league with the Dark Lord by looking at the first wizarding war but that isn't enough to convince him into letting us join."
"I see." Harry said falling silent.
But an idea suddenly struck him, there was a way he could help her and himself at the same time.
"Daphne, does your family have books on the Dark Arts?" He asked suddenly.
"Books?" She asked her tone surprised by his off topic question.
"Yeah, I guess we have some.." She said, carefully frowning a bit.
Harry continued at that, focusing his questions. "No, ordinary books, I mean the kind of books your father might have inherited from your grandparents."
"Why, Harry? What does it matter?" She asked defensively, breaking their dance.
He stepped a bit closer. "It matters a lot. Now did your family inherit them? Are they still in your possession?"
"..Yes, we inherited them and we still have them, it's only one book we have, it's a book our predecessors worked on, each generation adding more to its quality and contents. We have sold the rest as they were quite generic and excessive." Daphne answered reluctantly.
"What are the contents about?" He asked excited about the ways it could possibly help him.
"Mostly spells with a few theoretical chapters. It is a foul book, Harry. My father showed it only once to me to satisfy my curiosity after I had continuously whined for it, suffice to say that I never felt the urge to open it again after viewing some chapters of it with my father." She said hugging herself, visibly uncomfortable with it.
"The spells are strong then? Descriptive, detailed?" Harry pressed despite her discomfort, he had to know.
She nodded "Yes, they are…very much so."
"Then I wish to trade the book, Daphne." He said resolutely making her look up at him again in disbelief.
"For what could you possibly trade it? Me and my parents aren't all that keen on lending it out like some kind of library." She asked skeptically.
"For a piece of very important information; information that is being kept secret by me and Dumbledore. I'll tell you if you help me in return by lending me the book." He said inwardly smiling at his own idea, this way he could ensure a favor from her; possibly gaining access to the book while giving Daphne and her family a chance at the protection they need, and giving Dumbledore a little surprise on his own, this way the Headmaster would come to know what it feels like is like to be withhold from important information.
Her face remained skeptical. "What kind of information, Harry? What could possibly be so important that he'll spontaneously allow us to enter by speaking about it?"
"Just a few words actually, they won't make any sense to you, but they'll mean the world to Dumbledore, he'll let your family join both out of necessity and in the knowledge that I trust you with it."
He saw her pausing to think; something he didn't see her do all that much, not like this, for Daphne hadn't expected this, hadn't expected him to fling this sudden chance toward her at the cost of something she didn't like.
She remained silent, Daphne's mind in thought with her eyes and brows moving a bit as they shifted with her racing thoughts. Conflicted would be the word to describe her expression.
"And you won't tell me if I am unable to get the book from my parents? You'll leave me and my family unprotected?" She asked seemingly haven come to some answers.
He smiled a bit at her Slytherin nature coming out. "No, don't be silly, I will help you regardless, but what I'm doing for you carries a lot of weight, I'm asking you to help me out in return."
"I also want to help you out, Harry, but I don't want to give that.. malevolent book to you, it's nothing you ever want to look into." She said, shaking her head in the negative.
His smile dropped a bit at her unwillingness. "I need to look into it, please Daphne. Name any other price then."
"I don't think there is anything worthwhile, Harry." Daphne said looking toward the ground between them.
"There must be; you want to know more about me and my past right? Do you want me to tell about my recent school years, explain the rumors, my experiences, my dreams?" He proposed willing to offer more important things.
"I don't want to learn things that way from you, Harry, not through some deal for a Dark book. I will keep my word and not force the past out of you." She replied declining the offer, looking to be slightly tempted nonetheless.
"It doesn't matter, I'll tell you anything if need be." He said turning desperate at seeing one of the only options he had left slip away.
Daphne sighed. "Is it really that important to you then, Harry? You would be willing to tell me things about yourself you wouldn't otherwise?"
"Yes." Harry said resolutely, holding her gaze.
She broke eye contact with him to study the stone floor again in thought.
"How am I even supposed to get it? I hardly ever wanted anything to do with it. I can't just write them a letter saying that I want to have a look at the book I never even once glanced at after discovering it."
He was quick with his response. "Then tell them the truth, tell them about our trade and that it's meant for me."
Daphne raised an eyebrow. "Tell them that one of the great paragons of Light seeks our Dark tome?"
"It'll sound strange to them, but I'm sure that you can convince them otherwise." He told her convincingly.
"I guess that it is one of the better choices, I would have to explain things either way if I am to convince them of saying your magical words to Dumbledore." She said shrugging.
Harry nodded in agreement. "Exactly."
"And what about getting it inside Hogwarts? Have you thought about that? This place is heavily guarded for anything going inside and outside, and here we are trying to smuggle a Dark book inside Hogwarts." Daphne questioned inclined her head downwards, indicating the castle.
He deflated a bit at that but quickly resumed. "I have, and I'm still working on that..How about this; we make the deal and see whether or not we can get it inside Hogwarts, while you get your end of the bargain either way, since I won't be abandoning you and your family."
She looked sideways, thoughtful for a moment. "So it's all a big if for you.. either way I have three conditions that have to be met, two for if we get the book and one right now."
"Fine, anything, just name it." Harry said in acceptance for his chance.
She held one finger up, her face determined. "First; I will join your practice lessons, Harry, to watch over you, I want to have a say in what you learn from it if I am giving it to you."
"What? No!" He exclaimed at the demand, he had been expected some things but Daphne being there the whole time?
Her expression remained unchanging. "Yes I will, I don't want you looking into that book without some sort of guidance."
"Guidance?" He asked sarcastically. "You are overreacting, Daphne, you act as though I'll turn into some kind of evil wizard by merely looking at it."
"Maybe I am overreacting, maybe I am not. I simply won't leave things to chances. Besides it should pose no problem for I am probably wrong in the entire possibility of it happening as you yourself say so." She said easily.
He frowned. "But you still need to be there every time? You don't believe me capable of handling it?"
"I do believe you capable, Harry, but I don't want to risk it in case something does happen." Daphne said resolutely.
"Second; I will keep the book with me to ensure rule one stays effective." She continued, not waiting for his answer.
Well yeah, Of course, he thought resisting the urge to roll his eyes.
She began to smile a bit, making him feel apprehensive at what was to come. "Lastly; you will get more sleep, I'm not putting up with you being an Inferi all day anymore, you will be sleeping here if I notice that you have a shortage. I will wake you if you have any nightmares, while I make my own time useful by getting some work done in the meantime."
"What…" He uttered dumbly. "Sleep here? What about the dancing lessons and Occlumency?"
"Yes, Harry, sleep here. This can't continue on like this, you're only half awake during lessons, it will only be a temporary solution, at least until you are able to successfully keep your nightmares at bay. We might still be able to do some dancing and practicing but it will be short, for you will need your sleep." She said crossing her arms.
"I don't have t-"
"-Quit your whining, Harry. Whatever it is that you are doing can wait, you will get some decent amount of sleep or I will help you with getting it." Daphne cut through.
He eyed her disbelievingly. "You can't just tell me to fall asleep here, Daphne."
"Maybe not, but it would still be better than doing nothing right?" She responded simply.
"So we won't be doing anything at all if I'm a bit tired? Even if I can't fall asleep?" Harry asked incredulously.
Daphne shook her head. "Correction; you won't be doing anything, I will be doing some homework."
"Come on, Daphne, this is ridiculous, we can do without this condition." He said, giving it another try.
"Stop being such a hardhead, Harry. Just get yourself a decent amount of sleep, you won't even notice my third condition if you do, simple as that." She said frowning at the lack of cooperation.
He lightly glared at her, now he had to get enough sleep so he could make use of the time he had with the book and Daphne, otherwise he would spend it on a couch, sleeping.
But then again, he thought as more ideas came to him; he had more time now for it anyway, It was only recently that he had hit his dead end, looking any further in the books that were in Hogwarts would be useless, he might as well use it for some sleep so that he could make use of their time in the evening. Fact still remained that he needed her book, he didn't have anything else left within reach.
"Fine." He said, relenting after his own thoughts had convinced him.
"Good, but don't expect me to go to the ends of the earth for that wretched book." Daphne said, truthfully.
He nodded in understanding. "I see, thank you anyway."
"Now as for what you need to tell Dumbledore so that you can join the Order, tell him this; 'born as the seventh month dies.'" He said giving part of the Prophecy that Voldemort already knows.
"Is that all? What does it mean? And the Order?" She questioned. Having no clue as to what it all meant.
"The group is called the Order of the Phoenix." He said answering one of her questions.
She looked thoughtful at the name before realization suddenly dawned upon her face. "The Order! You briefly mentioned it in the Three Broomsticks during the first Hogsmeade trip!"
"Three Broomsticks?" Harry repeated thinking back on the things he had said at the same, yeah now that he thought about it; he had probably mentioned it after his tirade of Mundungus stealing Sirius's belongings to Ron and Hermione. "Ah yes, you mean one of the occasions where you spied on me."
"Forgive and forget, Harry, you'll never become happy otherwise." Daphne said easily. "Now, what does 'born as the seventh month dies' mean?"
He shrugged. "Nothing much, Daphne."
"Yes it does, you said it was very important information, Harry, what is it about?" She pressed.
"It concerns my past and present, it doesn't apply to you." He said neutrally but still a bit warningly.
"-I thought you wouldn't press for information regarding my past?" He said not so subtly reminding her of her own promise.
"You're right about that." She said obviously dissatisfied as her posture was stiff with her lips thinned out. "I won't ask any further and trust you on this."
"Don't worry, it will work, I'll be right here to punish if otherwise." He said in a lighter tone.
"Good because I will." She said smiling a bit again. "I'll make haste in sending my letter, telling them of everything that we have discussed and asking for the book. We'll see what we will do next depending on their answer, right?"
"Then we will leave it at that and continue when I receive their reply, of course they too will keep silent against others about the book you might receive in return." Daphne said after he had nodded his confirmation. "Let's move on to the topic we had originally planned for tonight; Occlumency."
"Yeah, nearly forgot about it." He said watching her rummage through her back to retrieve a book from it, the cover reading 'The mind, going deeper than your average trunk'.
"Well then, let's have a seat, Harry, we've been standing the whole time. And since we still have a bit of talking to do, we might as well do it a bit more relaxed." She said, taking out her wand and levitating one of the desks back from the wall toward them.
She proceeded to tap the desk, likely intending to transfigure it into some kind of couch or chair. He saw it shift shape, before proceeding to watch it melt back into into the desk it originally was. Daphne seemed to ignore the failure and repeated her action with a resolute expression, only to be met with the same result.
"..Just a moment." She said tensely.
"Is something wrong, Daphne?" He questioned carefully after watching multiple tries end up with results that became even worse.
She looked ready to break the desk in two. "Nothing at all, only a slip of the hand."
He watched in an awkward silence as she continued to try and transfigure the desk in front of him, before finally managing to morph it into some kind of mutant furniture after she had very nearly hit the desk with her wand as if it was some kind of beating stick.
"There, have a seat, Harry." She said still managing to sound proud as she indicated for him to have a seat in the malformed desk that had taken the shape of a couch while still retaining its wooden texture and square shaped structure.
"Daphne." He said, looking apprehensively at the very uncomfortable looking…couchdesk. "What is that?"
"It's our couch of course, can't you see that?" She said simply, breathing a bit faster from her strained efforts.
He had to refrain from sighing in front of her, Daphne was simply incapable of admitting failure even when it was right in front of her. "Do you need some help with making it more… comfortable?"
"I guess that you could do some tweaking.." She said airily, looking everywhere except for the place where her creation stood.
"Why do you want to transfigure it into a couch anyway? Couldn't we just grab two chairs instead?" He asked wondering why she went through all this trouble.
She made a nonsensical gesture. "Because I want to."
"Right, was there anything that felt a" Harry asked indicating toward the…thing.
"Well, everything went perfectly of course, except for the resource input maybe." She said, crossing her arms at the last part.
He looked questioningly. "Resource? What do you mean?"
"I might have been in need of more energy to compensate for the mass of the couch, since the desk isn't as heavy and dense as the couch sized for two to three persons would have been." She murmured.
"So it needs more strength?" He asked not feeling all for surprised, he didn't imagine Daphne to be much of a powerhouse, she was more the type for intricate spellwork rather than force, at least as long as she could keep her patience.
"Let me have a try." He said ignoring her weak protests and tapping the half-transformed object, changing it back into the desk it had been originally.
"Make it a two seater if you're going to try either way." He heard her instruct from his side.
He tapped the desk, pushing a reasonable amount of magic through his wand while bringing one of the couches he had seen from Slughorn's office to the forefront of his mind for reference. He soon felt his wand tug reluctantly in the same way it always did with these kinds of performances, but was satisfied to see the desk change into one of the couches from Slughorn's office, looking much like he had envisioned it.
She looked at the result, absentmindedly running her hand along one of the soft armrests. "Pretty nice."
"So." He said seating himself on one side. "Occlumency, let's get started."
"Yes, now like I had mentioned in the library; I will introduce you with some information on it before we start." She said seating herself quite close to him despite the available space she had for herself, their arms and legs making contact with each other.
However, he didn't feel much desire to move away from her, it felt quite natural and comfortable actually, he guessed the dancing lessons could be blamed for familiarizing him with their closeness.
"First of all; what do you know about Legilimency, Harry?" Daphne asked while tracing the spine of the book with her finger.
Her question made him think about the false memory he had seen of Sirius being tortured in the Ministry. "You use it to intrude someone's mind, looking at their memories while also being capable of planting false ones."
"Very good." She said nodding and opening the book on her lap, quickly traveling through the pages before stopping on a specific page and resting her finger below a paragraph of text. "Here is the description in the book. 'Legilimency is the skill of extracting memories and feelings from within another person's mind, this is done by forcing it free from the person's own grip and protection by the use of magic to temporarily rupture the bond between mind and memory.''
He nodded, interested in how it seemed to work in more detail.
''Rupturing the bonds can cause pain for the person whose memories are being extracted from depending on the force, speed, and intent of the intrusion.'" She said continuing to read the paragraph.
"Wait." He said realizing something from the explanation. "This means that it isn't always painful?"
Daphne shook her head. "It isn't, the biggest factor depends on whether or not I were to intrude your mind with neutral, friendly or hostile intent and emotions. After that comes the force and speed in equal values."
"And do more aggressive attacks help with speeding up the learning process?" He asked frowning a bit.
"I don't know for sure in any theoretical aspect, my father and I never tested it nor does the book describe it being a faster method." She said truthfully.
"You learned Occlumency from your father?" He asked a bit surprised, trying to imagine Daphne and her father in the same situation he and Snape had been in.
"Oh, yes I did, I guess you can call it a family tradition to teach your children the mind arts, at least it is in mine." Daphne said shrugging.
"I see, you can continue." He said inwardly cursing Snape. The stupid bat had been giving him headaches and painful intrusions on purpose! Unable to control his own petty jealousies of him, it didn't even help him in his lessons, at least not that he or others knew of.
"Your emotions and intents shape your magic accordingly, changing it from the controlled, focused and fluid intrusion which friendly emotions bring, to a blunt and spikey from anger, lashing out freely and uncontrollably." She said elaborating further, a bit caught up in her own subject.
"'More skilled Legilimency can be capable of detecting lies from those unprotected, and could even plant fake memories inside another person's mind. The counter skill to Legilimency is Occlumency.' This is the last of the summary on Legilimency, got any questions?" She asked after finishing it.
" are fake memories implanted?" He asked wanting to know how the catastrophe with Sirius had been allowed to happen.
"I believe through the sense of false security." She said tentatively before flipping some pages of the book and resting her finger on a paragraph of text. "Here; 'Skilled Legilimency are able to implement false memories by creating one in their own mind with the use of Occlumency, and slowly slipping it in into the person's mind, usually with the use of a distraction so that the person is unaware of the whole process.' So just as the book says; you distract your target while carefully placing the memory."
He only nodded feeling revolted as he realized that Voldemort had been messing inside his head while he had busied himself with the stupid corridor.
She flipped through some pages after having answered him before looking back up at him. "What do you know about Occlumency, Harry?"
"That it is about closing off your mind from intruders by controlling your thoughts." He said using the little knowledge he had gained from Snape's lessons.
"That sums it up pretty much, yes." She said while indicating toward the book again. "Here is the summary on Occlumency. 'Occlumency is the counter skill against Legilimency, preventing them from discovering thoughts or memories which contradict one's spoken words or actions by relying on mental focus and effort to protect the user's memories and authenticity from the attacks and dangers a Legilimens brings. Those more skilled in the area can be capable of creating false memories serving to distract or deceive any Legilimens that manages to invade the mind, hoping to fool them completely or long enough before pushing them back out.'"
"Quite the detailed explanation again, but does the same apply here when the Legilimens is pushed back out? Can the intent from the Occlumens cause some kind of whiplash against the person who is intruding?" He asked.
"Yes, you can, your magic can lash out in retaliation by slamming in on the presence that is the Legilimens in your mind, this gives, much like the rupturing between the bonds; pain for the opponent." She said answering his question.
"You know quite some things about it already, have you been able to read some things about it already somewhere?" Daphne asked looking surprised at the amount of understanding he was displaying.
"Yeah, Hermione knew a thing or two." He said running his hand through his hair, not wanting to explain his experiences with Snape and the reasons for doing so.
"I see, now let's continue to the practical area with the basis in our minds." She said going through the pages again before stopping. "Here it is; 'Occlumency is practiced and learned by continuously repelling the attacks of an invader, while Legilimency is learned by invading another person's mind and searching through their memories.' What is the difference when trying to learn these two, Harry?"
He answered after a few moments to process the given explanation. "The difference is that for learning Occlumency you need a Legilimence while those learning Legilimency don't need an Occlumence."
"Correct, Harry. Learning Legilimency does not require an Occlumence, however being pitted against one will speed up the learning process as you will have to breach their defenses. Those who wish to learn Occlumency need to be attacked however so that they learn to control their magic and mind in a defensive manner." She said smiling.
"That's how the main branches of Occlumency and Legilimency work, we'll start your first Occlumency exercises next time." She said suddenly.
He took a quick glance through the windows, seeing the cloudy but still light sky outside. "Next time? Why? We still have plenty of time left."
"I said so before and you agreed to the terms Harry; I will not work with you being some kind of reanimated corpse." Daphne said sounding as if she thought herself to be a saint.
"How about no, leave the sleeping for next time, Daphne." He responded not in the mood to stop now.
Daphne shook her head. "No, we will be continuing tomorrow for you have a lot of sleep to catch up on, you will get some rest instead exerting yourself more."
"I'll get enough sleep tonight." He said trying to make her to drop it.
"What is so different about tonight then, Harry? You haven't even learned Occlumency yet, let alone Somniamency, I don't think tonight will be all that special compared to the others then, unless you yourself will be doing something different this time. She said skeptically.
"It's because I'll be going to bed earlier." He said feeling like a child for phrasing it like that.
"A good start but not very affective if we want to see improvement more quickly, you'll still be tired tomorrow." Daphne responded unconvinced.
"I'm fine right now and I'll be even better tomorrow, Daphne, you're exaggerating." He said trying to make her see that it was unnecessary.
She crossed her arms again, a sign that didn't bode well. "You're right about your performance tonight but I'm not going to pummel your mind with Legilimency attacks; no matter how pain free they may be, it is still an exhausting experience to push out enemies from within your mind."
He fell silent for a moment, remembering how he had always crawled back to the common room and into his bed after each lesson with Snape, his body having felt disconnected from his mind and will, not to mention how his own head would always painfully throb and spin.
"You probably have a point there." He said begrudgingly before continuing. "But I'll be fine either way."
"Oh? And I thought that you had promised to sleep if I deemed it necessary in our agreement?" She questioned, phrasing it much like he had done before.
"I did.." he grumpily admitted.
"Then you'll keep it right? I would be deeply disappointed to see you break it." She said laying it on thick.
"Uhuh." Was all he said in response.
"I really thought you to be a person of your word, Harry, just like me." Daphne continued still managing to compliment herself in the process.
"Ok, fine, you're impossible damnit!" He exclaimed giving in, smacking one of his hands on the armrest.
Daphne grinned in victory. "I knew you would see reason, Harry, being the insightful person that you are."
He stopped as he realized something. "And what if i never started the deal for the book, Daphne? You wouldn't have been able to make your demands in that scenario, would we be doing Occlumency right now in that case?"
"No, I merely used the opportunity." She responded grinning devilishly as she had done the same as in their detention with Slughorn. "We would have come back to this point either way, except that I might have started using stunners to force you, so you should be happy with this development."
"Whatever." He said annoyed. "So what now?"
"I think you should begin by relaxing and closing your eyes, most people tend to go to sleep like that." She said seriously.
"You're so knowledgeable.." He drawled sarcastically, closing his eyes nonetheless.
"Why thank you, Harry." He heard her say sounding genuinely flattered.
"This also the reason why you wanted to transfigure the desk into a couch instead of grabbing some chairs?" He questioned opening his heavy eyes again to look at her.
"Maybe, maybe not." She said noncommittally, trying to remain vague even though it was painfully obvious.
He smiled a bit and closed his eyes again, it was heartwarming in a way.
"You can't sleep like that, Harry, relax more." He heard her voice say to him considerably closer now, before feeling her hands slip into the back of his head and neck, guiding him down and backwards, against the back of the couch so that he rested on it comfortably.
"You really are stubborn, doing Harry said feeling his body sunk into the couch as he sighed, already feeling sleep draw closer to claim its chance.
"Maybe you should have taken my advice from the beginning then." She replied sounding amused.
"..Say isn't Davis lonely during evenings like these?" He questioned wondering whether or not he was complicating things for her.
"We're together pretty much the whole day already, Tracey also gets along nicely with my sister, she won't be all that lonely. Pretty much the same story as your own friends right?" Daphne responded lightly.
"Yeah.." He said sleepily. "I may..mumble a my..dreams."
"Don't worry, Harry. I'll be right here." He heard Daphne say, her voice sounding far away, maybe even feeling her hand comb through his hair.
Sign up to rate and review this story