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.