Content Harry Potter
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Great Aunt Hermione is fond of saying that Divination is a ‘wooly discipline’ and doesn’t believe that one can see the future. I disagree — I’ve seen the future before -- it’s happened dozens of times, usually after I’ve committed myself to a course of action.   Once, when I was nine or ten, Gideon was sitting in the old oak, taunting me with the knowledge that he had my favourite stuffed-up animal.   Mum and Da didn’t have much use for the underaged magic statutes, so I had a wand already.   I conjured rocks above his head that pelted him soundly.   Unfortunately for me I was standing directly under him, hurling invective up, which was answered by those same conjured rocks which struck me after striking him.  

A similar event occurred when I was twelve, cross-country skiing on a frozen lake in late winter.   I concluded that the ice was too thin to continue skiing and undid my bindings so I could walk to shore.   The thin ice was willing to bear my weight distributed across the length of my skis — my much smaller ski shoe was a different matter.    Thankfully, Gideon was skiing with me, so he was able to pull me out before I froze solid.  So, no, I don’t have any problem believing that people have seen premonitions of disaster before they occur — in my case these premonitions precede the disaster by a matter of seconds, but the principle is still sound.

Around the time that I reached deep into my magical centre and hurled a wave of Veela allure at my cousin at the annual Weasley family get-together, I realized as soon as the magic left my core that I was on the cusp of another one of those imminent disaster moments.   As any sensible (almost) fifteen year old could tell you, the practical response was to seek out the parent who would discipline me the least.   I knew that Mum was going to kill me, so anything Da meted out would have to be an improvement.  

I’ve always known where I can find Da.   It’s got to be a Veela thing, as all of my Veela cousins say the same thing — for reasons they can’t quite explain, some hidden map in their head always points to where dear old Da can be found.    I found Da in the dinner tent — a contraption the size of a circus tent that hovered over the assembled tables and chairs where we’d all settle to eat.   I’m told in the old days that Great-Granny Weasley cooked for everyone, but those days are long past.   Some of the best catering firms in Magical England vie for the honour of feeding my relatives — it’s now quite the affair.   Da was kneeling over Uncle Neville, trying with some success to revive him.  

Veela magic is funny stuff — at low levels the allure makes most human males love us and their females hate us, but since males normally call the shots in this world, on the whole it’s worked out for us over the years.   At higher levels it comes close to driving males dotty with desire, and a pinch higher than that, we short out their neural circuitry and drop them in something resembling a stunner, without the attendant headache.   I’m told that at theoretically higher levels of energy that few Veela can achieve, we can cause permanent damage and even death.   I’d been aiming to drop Kirk, trying to disprove Morgana’s insinuation that I was a little girl who hadn’t come into my powers yet, but I must have slipped at the end, because I ended up dropping every male on the grounds of the Burrow who wasn’t blood-blocked to my magic.

So, there’s Da, leaning over Uncle Neville, and I enter the tent, running and shouting for Da.   Just about the time that I start spouting my apologies and explanations, Mum comes running into the tent from the other direction, ripping a streak in the air with her multi-lingual accusations that I’m a miscreant and she’s going to visit the wrath of God upon me.   I was ready to stand and take my lumps until she started tossing fireballs.   I really, really don’t like Veela fireballs and Mum’s got a really wicked assortment of them.   I dodged the first fireball and deflected the second, which exploded and covered us with sparks.   When I saw her reload and fire again, I Disaparated — or at least tried to.   My magic was pretty low at the time and when I tried to Disaparate, it felt like I’d run into a brick wall — a malevolent brick wall with a wicked one-two punch.   I blacked out and fell down at Da’s feet, narrowly missing Uncle Neville, which, if I’d hit him probably would have given us both sizable goose-eggs.  

When I woke up, Da had my head cradled in his lap and Mum was wiping my face with a wet washcloth.   There was a sizable crowd in the dinner tent.   The unmistakable tones of Great-Great-Nana’s voice was one of the first things I heard as I awoke.   She was ripping a new orifice into my cousin Morgana.   Great-Great-Nana had erected a privacy sphere around her as she was chewing out Morgana, but intentionally or unintentionally, it wasn’t blocking any of the sound.   At first Morgana tried to weasel her way out of things, but Great-Great-Nana wasn’t having any of it — she chewed her out in English, French, and a dialect of Euskara spoken only by the Veela.   Mum translated a few of the more choice bits from Euskara, namely Great-Great-Nana’s shame that such a shameless, spineless hussy dared to claim to be descended from her bloodline, which literally translates as Great-Great-Nana’s weeping that fragments of her shell were in Morgana’s hair.   It’s a picturesque language, but not easily translated on the fly.   She then launched into her own version of the glorious history of the Veela, how we were put on earth and given our unique gifts to stop wars and strengthen kingdoms, not cause trouble for our relatives by our overweening vanity. When Great-Great-Nana finished talking, the privacy sphere collapsed.   Morgana was now wearing a full-length veil, no doubt as part of her punishment.   Great-Great-Nana then turned, looking for me.   I whimpered and nestled into Da, somewhat surprised that Mum was supportively sandwiched in on my other side.

The rest of the tent disappeared as Great-Great-Nana clicked on the privacy sphere again.  

"This time it’s silenced, dear child.   I may be old, but I’m not forgetful," she said, taking a long look at me. "The other was for show — Morgana’s been a bit big for her robes.   Gabrielle had let me know earlier this month that she didn’t mind having her taken down a few pegs if I got the opportunity, so I saw today as my chance."   Great-Great-Nana brushed my hair out of my face, running a few strands of it through her fingertips.   "The colour suits you dear; I much prefer it to your strawberry blonde colour — how long have you been wearing it this way?"

I looked down at the hair in question — it was black as a winter night.   I hadn’t a clue that it had changed today.

Mum looked at me and then at Great-Great-Nana.   "About five minutes.   She’d tried to Disapparate after I’d hit her with an Anti-Apparation jinx and passed out.   When she passed out, I noticed that her hair colour had changed," Mum explained.

"That was the second fireball?" I asked, feeling sheepish. "An Anti-Apparation jinx?"

"Don’t feel too bad, Daphne, your Mum’s got me several times with that one — it feels so natural to shield against it, which triggers the jinx hidden inside — Moody would have been proud," Da said.   "She’s right — it’s a good colour for you."

Mum smiled her enigmatic I-know-something-that-you-don’t-know smile.   "Don’t try to change it back, young lady, you’re pretty tapped out right now and shouldn’t try to do much magic until you’ve had some time to recharge," she said, eyes twinkling.

"I don’t get it," I said to Mum.   "You should be screaming at me right now, but all of you are smiling.   Wait a minute — you know about my hair?   How long have you known?"

Mum chuckled.   "I was there when you were born, remember? You had a lovely head of fine black hair — it wasn’t long enough to see if you’d inherited your Da’s cursed rumpled look, but it was lovely all the same."

"So how did it change?" I asked, wondering when they’d resume yelling at me.

"You changed it, after you’d imprinted," Great-Great-Nana said with some satisfaction.


"I suppose it was because you wanted to please your father, Mademoiselle, a very Veela thing to do.   Your father loved two women — one with Weasley red hair and one with the more typical Veela colour," she said, fingering a strand of her own hair.   "I was most amused when you chose a colour in-between — it was a high tribute to those women.   When did you figure it out?"

"This year — I was doing an independent sturdy in Charms, working on detection charms, when I found traces of magic in my hair — Veela magic," I said.

"Which brings us to the next subject, Mademoiselle," Great-great-Nana said.   "It’s time that you began some special tutoring."

"I’m still on holiday!" I protested.

"Yes, that’s very true, but today’s little display proved that you have both your mother and your father’s abilities — and without tutoring, you may well kill the next lad you try to impress too hard," Great-great-Nana said sombrely.  

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

Great-great-Nana looked to Mum, who gave a great sigh.   "All wizards and witches have a magical core — a centre of their being from which they draw their magic.   Veela have a similar, but not quite identical core.   The daughters of the dawn have two, one Veela, one human," Mum said quietly.

"Okay," I responded, wondering what this had to do with killing blokes that I fancied.

"Your maternal grandmother, my mum, had a very attenuated Veela core and a thin human magical core," Mum explained.  

"Which is why you and Great-Nana always said that she wasn’t   much of a Veela," I said.

"I have a fully developed Veela core and a normal human magical core," Mum said.

"And I have?"

"A very powerful Veela core and a human magical core that resembles your Da’s," Mum said, giving Da a surreptitious wink.

"That’s right, blame it on Da," my father said humorously.

"Most of the time when you do magic, you use your human core," Mum said.   "But today you must have used the Veela core and then tapped into the human core for added reserves."

I blanched as I thought about the implications.   "I could have killed him," I whispered.

"Unlikely," Mum said, nodding at Da.   "Your Da put a bit of restricting magic on the link between your two magical cores — think of it like a Muggle fuse if you will.   We knew that you’d come into your powers someday, so we put that daub of restricting magic to keep you from hurting yourself — or others — until we could get a chance to tell you about the potential problems."  

"Why didn’t you tell me about it earlier?" I asked.

"Blame me," Da said.   "I wanted you to have a chance of growing up somewhat normally, not thinking that you were some sort of dangerous freak — something I know a little bit about personally.   Besides, when you were little, we weren’t sure whether you’d favour your Veela core or your human core."

I felt down deep inside myself, touching another source of magic.   I closed my eyes.   The magic felt different, but the focus was the same; with a faint puff I disappeared, leaving a wisp of lilac scented smoke in my wake, which set me to coughing when I reappeared an instant later.   "I’ll be switched," I said softly.

Harry chuckled softly.   "I doubt that you’ll be switched, but if you insist I’m sure that your Mum can work out something," he said.

"No dear," Samantha protested.   "You’re not foisting this one off on me."

Great-Great-Nana cleared her throat.   "Might I suggest that a suitable act of contrition would be if she apologized to the gentleman in question?"  

"That’s it?" I asked.   "Just an apology?   No grounding, no extra chores, no essays on responsible magic use?"

Great-Great-Nana laughed,   a musical tinkling sound.   "All of those can be arranged if you wish, child, but I think the apology would have the most lasting impression."


Great-Great-Nana was right, of course.   I had decided to screw my courage to the sticking point and apologize to Kirk before dinner, knowing my ability to procrastinate and make the entire evening an excruciating ordeal.   The only problem was that I couldn’t catch him alone.   He seemed to be always surrounded by other boys — most all of them my cousins, but still, this was something I wanted to do in private.

Mum finally tipped my courage when she brushed against me before dinner, whispering "You’ve got to pull him aside — boys his age tend to travel in packs," which I’d figured out all by myself, but the wink she gave me provided enough courage.

Breathing deeply, I steeled myself and walked up to Kirk.   When did his eyes get so blue?   "Can I talk to you?   Alone?" I asked, trying to keep from squeaking.

The boys around Kirk snickered, but Kirk shot them a withering glance.   They took the hint and wandered off.

"So, we’re alone.   What do you want to talk about?" he asked, shoving his hands into his back pockets, the picture of indifference.

"I — I wanted to apologize about what happened earlier," I stammered.

"So apologize already," he said with a smirk.

"It’s not that easy," I explained.   "Morgana-was-needling-me-and-I just-wanted-to-shut-her-up, but-if-I’d-done-it-wrong-I-could-have-really-hurt-you."

Kirk reached forward and put his finger on my lips.   Most distracting, really.   I lost where I was going with my rant.   Merlin, but his eyes are strikingly blue.

"I’ll forgive you on one condition," he said, a slight smile playing about his lips.

"What’s that?" I asked.

"When the music starts up after dinner, you’ll dance with me," he whispered.

I must have nodded, because I don’t remember answering him.   He bent down and placed a very chaste kiss on my lips.   I, of course, stood there like a stone troll at dawn, my fingers on my lips where he kissed me.

I’m so looking forward to dinner tonight.


Copyright © 2006 — J Cornell — all rights reserved. — write to me, I write back

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