About Me

I find it incredibly hard to talk about myself sometimes, but here goes: I am a student that's deeply involved in my studies. I play several games and I love to write. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Star Spangled Spells; When It Happens, You'll Know

Sorry this is so delayed. The next couple of chapters will have a bit of a time warp on them; I want to move things along. Enjoy!

When It Happens, You'll Know

    It had been nearly two months since Jason read his father's letter. As Egan promised, Moxie had explained everything. It was a long and confusing tale, but Jason noticed that once she had gotten it all out, she was back to her usual self. The week after, Moxie whisked Diana and Jason to Canada for a month.
    When July rolled around, she returned them to Salem for the annual Independence Day festivities. Moxie noted that Gladys had already been replaced--after a thorough investigation of her office--by her Secretary, Madeline Pike. She was a strong headed girl, though she had been Imperioused by Gladys for quite some time. Moxie assured the other Cardinals and the President that Maddie was fine now and that no Wizarding Revolution would take place.
    In Canada they had found a replacement Divination teacher, though some changes needed to be made at the Institute. A Mermaid, Ghrendahline Mhrillch, had agreed to relocate and teach the subject, so long as she had an underwater room.
    But Jason could not help but feel the looming Death Eater take over getting closer. It was August now; a month until school would start, and he still had not gotten a letter from Hogwarts with at least his needed supplies. The mail had been slow all summer; a quick hello from fellow students, the Daily Prophet every other weekend, and an invitation to Ron's brother's wedding which had been delayed. The wedding was taking place the day the letter finally got there, and Moxie said it was too late for her to arrange anything.
    Jason had told Diana about the letter his father had written and expressed his worry more than once. "Don't worry about it, Jason," she would tell him calmly, "When it happens, I think you of all people would know. Your dad said your Inner Eye would be super powerful, maybe it's not too late to embrace it?"
    But Jason had tried that. He could teach himself Arthrimancy, but every time he attempted to read a Divination text book he found himself feeling silly and getting frustrated. His Eye was no longer an option, and he would have to rely on "good old fashioned wit" as Moxie called it.
    But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Jason birthday was tomorrow, August 2nd. He would be a wizarding adult and able to practice magic freely--though when they were with Moxie, she never protested when he used spells for menial labor. Moxie and Diana were being very quiet about their plans; they didn't bother lying that they didn't have any because Jason knew that they always did something special for him.
    So Jason rolled over on his side and fell asleep in his bed. He slept deeply that night. He didn't hear Moxie running up and down the halls, the portraits screaming to each other, or the storm that had suddenly appeared over the Institute. He only woke the next morning due to Diana's shouting at President Jefferson.
    "Now, young lady, you have no right to tell me what to do!" Jefferson shouted as Jason pushed open the portrait door.
    "In case you haven't heard, Women's Rights became an actuality in the last century!" Diana hissed. She grabbed Jason's night robe sleeve and pulled him toward Moxie's office. "Malleus Maleficarum," she said quickly before Tituba could start a conversation.
    The portrait swung open and Jason saw Moxie. She looked a mess; her hair was going in all directions and her eyes were red with lack of sleep. "The Ministry's fallen," she said simply, looking up from the Daily Prophet, "Everything will change. Pius Thicknesse will replace Scrimgeour, with a ProMagic regime all the way. There is no news on Hogwarts, as of yet.. I worry that the governors are probably feeling weak and the school has little hopes."
    "Well," Diana commented, "That beats any surprise we had planned for you." They all laughed, though Jason felt uneasy. He must return to Hogwarts. "Anyway, let's all get ready," Diana said excitedly, "You've got a Wizarding License to test for!"
    And they were off. Moxie and Diana had actually pulled out all of the stops and were dressed and ready before he was. "What exactly did you mean by test?" Jason asked as he followed Moxie and Diana out of the Institute.
    "The Exam Master will test you on the basics of magic; Practicality, Knowledge, and finally Defense. I don't think you'll have any problems," Moxie explained, "They teach some pretty advanced stuff over at Hogwarts; this should be nothing more than review for you. Unfortunately, I'm not permitted to teach the subjects at the Institute; they want to catch students on the fly."
    Moxie gave the sky a sweeping look; she was worried about Boreas, as she hadn't seen him since she sent out the staff newsletter. With no sign of the bird, she hooked her arms around Diana and Jason and Apparated with a crack. They reappeared in a dark, damp alley.
    "Well, this is lovely," Diana muttered, stepping out of a puddle of what she hoped was water.
    "Sorry," Moxie said quietly, "Had to shift course at the last second. Space is so crowded around here. Point Me!" Moxie's wand spun in the palm of her hand toward the crowded street ahead of them.
    After several minutes of wandering and Moxie consulting her wand--which no Muggles seemed to notice--the group finally found the Office of Wizarding Affairs, cleverly disguised as a run-down DMV to the Muggle eye. A single, lumpy faced witch sat at a desk toward the front of the very cramped building.
    "Jason Crowe, here for his Wizarding License Exam," Moxie told the woman. She didn't seem happy to have customers, but she pointed to a door to the left and instructed Moxie and Diana to wait there. With another grunt she led Jason through a door to the right and slammed it shut behind him.
    "I am Sophia Prax and I will be your Exam Master for today," Sophia rattled off; Jason figured she had given this speech already today, "In order to test your ability we will be putting you through three tests: the test of Knowledge, of Practicality, and lastly, of Defense. If at any time you feel incapable of completing the task at hand or I have reasonable doubt in your abilities, the test will end. You may begin... now."
    The room Jason stood in lit up suddenly, momentarily blinding him. He had his wand drawn, but realized he did not need it once his eyes had adjusted. A figure of stone stood at the wall opposite Jason; when he got close to it, it spun on its platform and looked Jason up and down, "Which came first: the phoenix or the flame?"
    Jason looked oddly at the statue. This was exactly a question the Bronze Eagle had asked him around Christmas last year. "Uh.. a circle has no beginning," Jason answered.
    The stone man nodded curtly and spun again on his pedestal. The room shifted around Jason and he now stood in the middle of a box painted in the starkest of whites. "Congratulations on completing the test of Knowledge," Sophia's voice boomed monotonously, "You will now be testing on your Practicality with magic. Your task is simple, yet difficult. You must change the color of the walls to their direct opposite. A color wheel will not be given to you, and any colorblind wizards should speak now."
    Sophia coughed awkwardly, "Very well, you may begin... now."
    "Simple yet difficult?" Jason said to himself. He held up his wand, cleared his throat and spoke clearly, "Multicorfors!" Immediately the walls in the room shifted from a bright white to the darkest of blacks. Moxie was right; this test was extraordinarily easy.
    "Very well," Sophia said, boredom evident in her voice, "The test of Defense will now commence. If at any time--"
    "Just get on with it!" Diana's voice sounded through the air.
    There was a crack and scratching in the darkness. Jason lit his wand and wove it in the direction he heard the sound. The lid of the container popped open when the light hit it. Slowly a hand pulled a body out of the deep chest. A head quickly followed, and the face it had caused Jason's heart to skip a beat.
    Harley Charleston now stood before him with the stupidest grin on his face. Jason noticed that he was holding his wand funny, and upon further inspection, noticed that the wand was really nothing more than a stick. It looked like something Jessica had blown up on accident and donated for use here.
    "Dah!" Harley shouted, a jet of light shooting way over Jason's head. Jason quickly realized what was going on; this was not Harley Charleston, this was a Boggart. The Doppelganger Harley shot another spell at Jason, which he blocked with a quick Shield Charm.
    "Riddikulus!" Jason shouted. The creature's figure hunched and dropped the wand. This Harley had aged significantly and was babbling nonsense.
    "Very good, Jason!" Moxie's voice called out. "Well, it was nice seeing you, Sophie. Where do I sign?"
    "I'm afraid it's not that easy, Vivian," Sophia said darkly. Her voice was much deeper, and she seemed to be convulsing in her chair, "Expelliarmus!"
    The wand on the floor of the testing room shot at Jason, causing his wand to fly somewhere behind him. "Drink it now, you idiot!" a man's voice shouted from Sophia's body.
    "No!" Moxie shrieked, "Not you, too?" She lifted her wand and sent the Polyjuiced Sophia flying into the wall. Diana rushed to the viewing window. The Boggart had pulled a vial of the darkest liquid she had ever seen out of its pocket and swallowed all of it in one gulp.
    Cold instantly filled the entire building. A sickening rush of air caused Jason to look up into the hooded face of a Dementor. He was instantly reminded of his father, and he would have cried had the tears not frozen before they could get out.
    Diana's voice brought him back to a quickly saddening reality, "Expecto Patronum!" She had somehow run back through the building and was pulling Jason out past the stone man while her Long-horned bull Patronus rammed into the Dementor-Boggart. It gave a wail and quickly retreated into the chest, which was sucked into the wall. Jason grabbed his wand and stood, running out of the Exam Sites with Diana ahead of him.
    Moxie ran past them, mumbling complex spells under her breath. Minutes later she joined Jason and Diana in the lobby, accompanied by a very tall, slender woman whose hair was pulled back into a tight bun. Her glasses sat lopsided on her nose, "Please forgive me, Vivian! He ambushed me when I was opening this morning, absolutely demanded to know if his appointment was today!"
    "Not your fault at all, Sophia," Moxie commented, handing Sophia a tissue, "He must have been in a terrible rush with that Polyjuice Potion for him to be so disfigured."
    Jason cleared his throat; he was very annoyed. Being attacked by a Dementor and another person out for his life wasn't exactly what he was looking forward to on his birthday, "Who exactly was he?"
    "Professor Halliwell," Diana muttered. She looked lost, "That's two teachers now. How are they getting past you, Moxie?"
    "I knew about Louise. Peter, on the other hand, that's surprising. It does explain why he broke down crying when we announced that Dumbledore  was dead--tears of joy," Moxie too looked a little sick to her stomach.
    There were several minutes of silence before Sophia finally snapped to a realization, "I nearly forgot! You passed--both of you!"
    Jason and Diana smiled, though Diana's quickly turned into a frown, "I'm not of age for three more months, though!"
    Sophia giggled, "Nobody really cares, dear. There's no Magical Enforcement Squad here in the States; we really just keep this office open so that there's some sort of records out there!"
    Moxie smiled and gave both of her pupils a hug. They sat and talked with Sophia for a few more minutes before her next appointment arrived, "Again, congratulations. I'll send an owl out as soon as I'm done with this one." She smiled sweetly and led the nervous looking boy and his mother toward the back of the building, "We're doing a little reorganizing in the back, so we'll just see how you are with a Written Test..."
    Diana nudged Jason and laughed as they all exited the building. "Owl.. that reminds me! The Prophet was releasing a special edition this afternoon. That would explain why Boreas was gone. We'd best be quick getting back; he's a thick bird and won't wait around for long." Moxie Disapparated with a crack and Jason almost worried for a minute. He was too accustomed to Side-Alonging with her.
    "See you there," he said cheerfully as he Apparated with a snap, leaving Diana grinning widely on the sidewalk.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Star Spangled Spells; Seeing is Knowing

Seeing is Knowing

    Gladys led Jason into an overgrown field of what looked like corn. Jason flung random curses and jinxes toward Gladys as they ran; however, none seemed to meet their target. The Dark Mark had faded away from the sky, but Jason still saw the jets of black soaring overhead.
    He stopped dead in his tracks. This was not his best judgement. Death Eaters were flying around above him and he was more worried about whether or not his Curse of the Bogies hit Gladys. Jason spun around, looking to retrace his steps, but found that he was lost. Every stalk of the plant looked the same, and Jason felt that the fields were probably enchanted.
    A rustling from his left caused Jason to snap his wand into the air. The point was nearly an inch from the face of a Crop Watcher. It looked nothing like the one Jason and Diana had fought in the Forest; this one had a sad look in its hallow eyes, and was not nearly as thin.
    "Help me," Jason whispered to the beast. It swayed with the wind and a crooked smile formed on its face. The Crop Watcher began to cackle madly--Jason had done something wrong. He spun on his feet and ran in the opposite direction, looking back only when he felt a blast of heat from behind. Flames were flying into the air from Gladys's wand; she had Metamorphed into a Crop Watcher to trick him.
    "Oh, don't be afraid, Jason!" she screeched. The jets of black were now circling them just above the tall plants. "We don't want to hurt you," Gladys said calmly. She looked much younger than earlier, which made Jason feel uneasy.
    "Expelliarmus!" a blast of red light threw Gladys onto her back and her wand into the air. Charlie ran up and planted himself ahead of Jason just as one of the black jets materialized before them.
    "Brother," a voice said cooly from the column of smoke, "Long time no see."
    Charlie grunted a reply. He was white as a sheet and Jason could feel the hatred between the two. They looked almost identical, except for the fact that Harley stood a few inches taller than Charlie. "Mother's been asking about you," Charlie said matter-of-factually.
    "Finally getting over that Confundus?" Harley jeered, "Should've made it stronger."
    A jet of red light flew from Charlie's wand, but Harley deflected it at the last second. "Ah, still a sensitive subject?" Harley smiled. He rose his wand and Jason saw his lips move, but whatever he said was drown out by a loud gong-like ringing. Moxie appeared behind him with her wand outstretched; a glowing, silver Shield Charm was vibrating with power.
    Harley looked less than pleased and rose his wand to his throat. "Ah, another old bat I should've finished a long time ago," his magically enhanced voice boomed.
    Jason looked to Moxie, "Where's Diana?"
    "Right here," she whispered from right behind him. She was invisible, probably by Moxie's doing.
    Moxie let out a hallow laugh, "And what makes you think you could've finished me? I've known your plans since that night, Harley. You're like an open book to me."
    A very angry white light began shooting at Moxie's Shield. It was not coming from Harley's wand, and Gladys was still unconscious on the ground behind her partner. This spell was coming from a very slender woman in very frilly black robes. "Ah, Louise. I was wondering when you would be getting here," Moxie commented.
    The woman spun, her dress billowing around her. Jason and Diana gasped when they saw that it was Madam Louise from the Institute. "Don't tell me you've got the Inner Eye, too, Viv?" Louise's smile was vicious.
    "I'm afraid only two of the assembled have that ability, Louise. I'm just gifted with the terrible ability to smell a rat when I see one," Moxie spat, "You didn't honestly believe that asking him those questions every summer didn't go unnoticed?" Her wand was down, but the shield was sustaining itself.
    Madam Louise scowled, "Honestly, I thought I had you there." Somewhere in the conversation Harley had found the time to wake Gladys, and they now had their wands poised on Moxie and Charlie, too.
    "Do not draw your wand," Diana whispered into Jason's ear as his hand slid to his side. He felt her hand wrap around his forearm and Diana snapped into view, "Canarius!" A spiral of yellow light shot through the bubble, the deafening sound of  birds filled the quiet dusk. Louise and Gladys fell to the ground in surprise, but Harley was wiser. He tried his hardest to break the Shield, but his spells only pierced it once Jason and the other three had Disapparated in four loud cracks.
    Jason had no idea where he was going. Diana had Apparated away with him as soon as her Taxi Summoning had left her lips. His feet hit firm ground and his knees buckled as his body found itself. "Mom!" Diana's voice rang in Jason's ears, "Mom--the Dittany!"
    Jason took a deep breath; both of his lungs were there. He opened his eyes--yes, those were there too. If it wasn't for him, then it was for someone else. Moxie; it was the only thought that ran through Jason's mind. He had so many questions.
    Jason sat up straight, greeted by the face of Diana's mother, Lucy. "Hi Jason! Having a good summer?" she said cheerfully. Even in very depressing times, Lucy seemed to be extraordinarily happy, like somebody had removed her ability to be sad.
    "Not him, Mom!" Diana hissed. She was kneeling next to Charlie, "He's got a nasty cut on his face--just give it to me!" She ripped the bottle from her mother's hand and began dripping it over Charlie's forehead.
    "Thank you, Diana," he muttered, rubbing his temples. "You need to practice that with them, Vivian," he added jokingly. Moxie was staring out the window and nodded weakly.
    Jason walked up behind her, "So... where are we?"
    "Moone Ranch, somewhere in Texas. Roger refuses to tell me specifically where," she answered absently. She spun and looked Jason square in the eyes; her's were watering, "There's something you need to know. I know you have questions, but I can't answer them... yet."
    She pulled an envelope out of her purse and hesitated before offering it to Jason. "No, Moxie!" Charlie snapped, "Egan said to wait until his seventeenth..."
    "Egan said that as soon as he needed to know," Moxie hissed, "He should be told." She shoved the letter into Jason's hand and stared at the paper with disgust. With a sweeping look at Lucy, Diana, and Charlie, she left the room.
    "I'll get her something to drink," Lucy said quietly, but with a very wide grin. Charlie also stood and excused himself, though he stopped and stared at Jason as he passed through the doorway.
    Diana climbed into a chair and looked expectantly at Jason, "If you thought I was going to leave you were sorely mistaken."
    Jason grinned and opened the letter. The smell of wildlife filled his nose as he removed a piece of yellowing parchment.
    "My dear son," Jason read, "I know that at this time you probably do not think very highly of me. I also know that you have many, many questions. And now the most prominent is how do I know all of this if I am supposedly dead. I am sure that you, like your mother, do not think highly of the Divining arts--but they do exist, Jason.
    "Your Grandfather Crowe was a bearer of the Inner Eye, a trait that runs very deep in our blood. Grandfather's was not a powerful Sight, but mine is. Believe it or not, yours is even more powerful than mine. The Eye grows stronger as it passes through generations. We say that we know very little of Divination, that it is a very obscure art. This is, for all extensive purposes, a lie.
    "If anybody knew the true power of Sight, Seers would never live the quiet life that everybody is entitled to. But that is not the point of this letter. You have a very powerful Inner Eye, Jason. An Eye that is capable of Seeing wonderful or devastating events.
    "And again, I realize that you do not fully appreciate the Divination arts, and I thank you for that. By not accepting a gift you didn't know you had, you have successfully squashed all usefulness Harley Charleston sees in you. That is why he acted the way he did so many years ago.
    "I had Seen him coming months ahead of time. Moxie may have mentioned my extreme nervousness when your mother announced she pregnant. I was not worried about you being a Squib; I loved your sister for everything she was, not what she should have been.
    "I was heartbroken I could not save your sister and mother, but I knew I had to get you away first. You were a much too powerful weapon should they ever get you into the hands of the Dark Lord. When he realized that I had moved you, he was furious. He chased me to the Canadian border where he Cursed me beyond limits I thought possible.
    "I am only sane when I am Seeing things. Through the years I have developed the ability to ignore my Sights and write these letters. Moxie and your Grandmother have both found and read theirs by now, and I have one final warning before I leave you to wander the abyss I have been thrown into.
    "You must, above all things, return to Hogwarts this year. It is vitally important you are kept under the school's control, and though your Grandmother will protest, she knows what must happen. The Death Eaters will gain control of the British Ministry and Hogwarts--this is information you must not share with anybody. Why walk right into their trap, you may wonder.
    "You are less of a threat to them when they have a mock control over you than when you are here, with Moxie. She will answer any further questions you have; I feel my time writing this letter coming to an end. Lovingly, Egan Cro..."
    Jason looked up at Diana, his eyes burned with held back tears, "It ends in random scribblings. He couldn't even finish his name because of... because of Harley." Jason dropped the letter and sobbed. He had felt nothing but hatred for this man, his father, because of the cowardice his actions were described as. Now Jason couldn't help but hate himself.