His face was a careful mask of nervousness, but inside his grin was getting bigger. He was going to enjoy messing with Dumbledore's head this year. Harry shook his head and sat, looking up at the Headmaster with feigned apprehension. Had he really been such a drip? Dumbledore smiled at him with a faint touch of uncertainty that Harry would never have detected last year, and he belatedly remembered the last time he'd been in this office. Dumbledore's smile held no uncertainty this time, only pleasure. Naive-Harry interpreted the pleasure as pride in him.
On Wings of Magic
Harry knew better; it was pleasure that he had his precious little pawn exactly where he wanted him. They talked briefly, inane little pleasantries that Harry took no pleasure in. But back in Gryffindor tower, in his bed in the silent dark, Harry laughed. And was woken what seemed like moments later at five in the morning by the magic, coy and excited. He laughed at its enthusiasm, but willingly got up and dressed silently, following it downstairs and into the still, empty common room.
The fire had long gone out, but he summoned it back with a thought; it was easy to do magic now, with the magic clustering around him eagerly and the block gone from his core. He sat, the fire the only light in the room, and waited for the magic to tell him what had it so excited that it couldn't wait until a more reasonable hour. To his surprise, it was a new voice that spoke. Harry was enjoying himself immensely this year.
He was in charge of his own future for the first time, and he had two new friends. First the magic, and now Hogwarts, the very castle itself, sentient after a thousand years of magic. Its first words to him had been "You've finally learned to speak!
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Nowhere in the castle was closed to him, and if he asked it would tell him what was occurring anywhere within its walls. He slowly distanced himself from his human friends, but couldn't be lonely, not with the magic and the castle around. He stayed friends with his old friends, of course, just pulled away so that he was less of a presence in their lives.
They were too young, too fragile, and didn't need to be a part of his war. They were precious to him in their innocence, and he didn't want to taint them with what he was becoming. He had never really had a chance to be a child, but he would give them the chance for as long as he was able. They didn't notice him pulling away. Hermione and Ron had gotten together over the summer, something about a fight that ended with an unexpected kiss, and they were still in the rosy blushes of young love and not observant to notice anything subtle.
The only possible threat to his withdrawal was Ginny, who had proven her perceptiveness last year, but he wasn't naive-Harry now, he was quite capable of such deviousness that even she wouldn't notice.
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It wasn't as if he was cutting himself off from them, he was just spending less time with them, keeping his thoughts more to himself. In fact, he was speaking to Neville more now, having realised that the boy had no close friends and so was often excluded. There was so much he had never realised. He must have been blind. They thought he was still grieving over Sirius, subdued, but basically okay. They tended to avoid mentioning his godfather, watching him with worried eyes when someone usually Ron slipped up.
It was so easy to understand them now, though. So easy to paint things in a light they appreciated and make them think everything was normal. No wonder Dumbledore managed to appear so omniscient; there was no need for any kind of magic, just sharp observation and a memory for details. Who needed Legilimency when people gave themselves up so easily?
He just needed to look for the little things that most people missed. He still talked Quidditch with Ron, tactics and teams and players, but only to keep up appearances and so that Ron didn't bore Hermione silly. Quidditch, the sport, didn't matter anymore. Who cared which team managed to win a match when Voldemort was out there killing people?
It just wasn't important. Quidditch was still one of the best things in his life, though, not for the game, but for the excuse to fly. He had always loved to fly, but now, with the block gone from his magic, it was even more vital. In some ways, flying was everything. When he wasn't flying and had escaped from his friends, he spent a lot of time in the library, thumbing through the books and searching for some clue as to how he could defeat Voldemort.
Every day that he failed was another day Voldemort was free to wreak havoc on a world that didn't deserve it. Today the library was almost empty; it was a Hogsmeade weekend, and he had claimed an overdue essay as an excuse to stay behind. That the essay had been completed a week ago didn't bother him as he nosed through an ancient tome he was pretty sure hadn't been touched in five hundred years; the layers of dust on it would probably be of interest to a geologist.
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As he squinted at the tiny print, he wondered idly when the Restricted Section had been put in, because if he showed this book to a teacher it would go there before he had time to protest. He put it to one side under an invisibility charm, and fetched some more books to look at.
Knowledge, he had found, could be addictive under the right circumstances. And knowing that an evil wizard was out for your blood, with your only possibilities to kill or be killed, certainly counted as the right circumstances. So did having a desire to slip out of His meddlesome fingers and live his own life.
Eventually he left the library, only checking out one book, one which he could use for his DADA assignment. He didn't want anyone to have any record of exactly what he was reading. Flashing an open, guileless smile at Madam Pince who me? Alone in the corridor, he shoved his wand up his sleeve and held out his hands.
The books he wanted to look at appeared in his hands. Since he was alone, he indulged in a quiet, dangerous smile that would surprise anyone who thought they knew him. Even if Pince discovered the books were missing, who would suspect him? He was just an average student or at least maintaining the illusion of such. How could he possibly break the anti-theft spells that surrounded every book in the library in a musty haze of protective magics?
An innocent smile curling his lips, he sauntered towards Gryffindor Tower, imagining the consternation. Of course, Snape would blame him on principle, but that would give him even more cover, as McGonagall and Dumbledore hastened to defend their poor little prodigy from the big bad Slytherin. Snickering at the thought, he absent-mindedly changed the covers of his purloined books to Quidditch books.
Getting people to underestimate him was a surprising amount of fun, now that he wasn't bothered about silly things like pride. He probably studied harder than Hermione now, making sure he knew enough to keep his scores perfectly average and didn't slip up. And he'd never thought he'd have reason to thank the Dursleys, but because of their less-than-stellar care not even Hogwarts food could make him anything but short and skinny. Once this had been a constant annoyance, but now he realised it had distinct advantages: If a Death Eater was confronted with him and Ron, he'd automatically assume that Ron was the tougher candidate.
He'd be completely wrong, but that was just fine with Harry. He sat in the Common Room, waiting for his friends to return, and glanced through a book currently labelled A Seeker's Guide to Quidditch. Its contents didn't match the title: Harry's favourite room in the castle was one that even Dumbledore didn't know about, one the castle had shown to him; it was a part of the original building, wood and plaster instead of stone, with walls and ceilings that met at unusual angles, warped and twisted with age. The Founders had walked in this room once, and though he knew that they were just ordinary people after all, he himself was famous, he knew that famous people were no different to any others it was still a thrill to think that those four had once been in this same room where he now stood.
The room itself was fairly simple, and he liked that; this wasn't like Aunt Petunia's magazine-perfect house nor was it the ornate elaborate decoration that the public areas of Hogwarts tended towards. He was becoming quite fond of simplicity. We have a village of Falconer women, at the time of the Turning, caring for a group of exiles presumably from Karsten, except that that appears to be geographically impossible and finding themselves completely incapable of understanding the gender dynamics of a patriarchal society.
Nevermind that the women of the Falconer race live apart from the men, filling all the roles — except as warriors — that men in the surrounding societies would take: Falconer women must, of necessity, understand that men are not just "he-women" because they know if only from their worst excesses Falconer men. It's simply not at all believable. As well, apparently the Falconer women have had secret villages as long as the Falconers have lived on the Estcarp border, so that the Falconer men only ever see the women in Potemkin villages.
Then a group of Estcarp Borderers finds the Potemkin village after the Turning, offering to help rebuild it. One of the Borderer troop wonders what has happened to destroy the village so thoroughly, and only belatedly realizes "Oh. The one glimmer of light in the story is the clear depiction of the Goddess Jonkara as the protector of women — where the Falconer men believe she was the Dark One who almost destroyed their race.
Unfortunately, at no time is this resolved. Even in the Afterword which I think was written by Norton , we're given just one more tiny clue, and left hanging. The second story, Falcon Magic , is much better, but still suffers from a great many errors of continuity and lack of attention e. View all 10 comments. Witch world worthwhile additions to the series Love the witch world series. These are co-written with another author. The stories are well written and add depth to the time after the turning in and around Escarp.
Sep 16, Valerie added it. I'm still debating whether to file this under 'O' for 'On' , or 'W' for 'Wings'. This isn't technically part of the trilogy it's shoehorned into, because it's actually chronologically previous to The Magestone. Also, there seems to be some arbitrariness in the matter of where to place books in 'trilogies'. This actually consists of two mostly independent stories, with bits of other stories interlarded. The 1st half is a story of how a village of Falconer women deal with refugees. The second half is the story of the kidnapping of five child trainee witches, and the rescue expedition.
Both include Falconers, male and female.
I enjoyed the description of the archives of the women's villages of the Falconers. I didn't much care for the abusive attitudes of the refugees--and even the scholars at Lormt weren't very responsive to the fleeing archivist's complaints. The trainee witch whose parents try to rescue her, first from the witches' council, and later from the Alizondern, appears in at least one later book. By this time, the witches had realized that witches couldn't be entirely nameless, so they began to be given individualized nicknames. Historical query--how did they manage before? Locational note--this is the story in which the Toads of Grimmerdale are revealed to be an atypical offshoot of a more traditional scientific expedition--who probably came in through a gate.
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