Harry was in a hurry. Snape kept him after class again to have an unnecessary talk. He was trying to get Harry to share with him how he casts spells with just his mind. Harry had already explained that he was not going to tell anyone because it was a private family secret. He also explained that as the new Head of House Potter, he had every right to declare new spells and new magic as family secrets. It was as simple as that.
Snape, however, didn’t want to take no for an answer. Harry was pretty sure he was still upset about Harry winning their duel a few weeks back so he was just trying his best to irritate the Boy Who Lived. Harry refused to let him though. He new a trap when he saw one.
Now, he was late for his next class since he was kept extra late. Of course, Snape refused to give Harry a note to excuse him from being late. He just said ‘no’ in that slow drawl of his, as if it wasn’t his fault.
Harry was running down the hall pretty fast. He was wishing he could change into Sneak, turn invisible, and put on the speed, but there were still too many students around. He also had to control his speed since running as fast as he can go would cause questions as well. However, when he saw no one else in the hall, he would put on a quick burst of speed to decrease his time to his destination.
He had just done that as he came upon a corner where he had to take a sharp left. He was aware he would need to slow down when he turned, just in case someone saw him in that next hall. He cut the corner a little close, slowing down, and was just about to complete his return to a normal speed when he ran right into someone.
Evidently, she was just about to turn the same corner in a little hurry as well and they collided. Harry, being stronger than a normal teenage boy due to his animagus traits that transferred over, never lost his footing or fell down. In fact, he was not even hurt. However, the poor girl went flying in the opposite direction she was headed.
Harry looked at where she landed and she wasn’t moving at all. He then looked down both directions of the hall to see if anyone else was around but he saw no one. Slowly, he approached the girl, worried that he had done some serious damage since she wasn’t moving. She looked a little familiar to him, but he hadn’t placed her yet since he couldn’t see her face all that well. Her chocolate brown hair was covering a good part of it.
Before he got to where she was laying on the floor, she woke and started sitting up. She had her head down and was holding it with one hand. Then she took both hands and starting feeling around. She started with her head, that was still looking down, then slowly moved down her body, apparently checking everywhere. Harry was shocked when she grabbed her breasts with both hands and squeezed them a little. He was well aware of his status as an adult now but when she did that, he was suddenly aware of his status as a 16-year-old boy. He had to stamp that down. Then she continued on checking her ribs and so forth. Harry just watched her.
When she completed her full body check, she let out a sigh, evidently in relief, and looked up right into Harry’s face. She never noticed before exactly how bright green his eyes were. They were amazing in fact, she thought to herself. Then she shook her head to clear it and felt a little woozy.
“Harry, did you get a good look at that bus that I ran into?”
Now that he saw her face, he knew who she was.
“Mandy, are you alright?”
“I think so.”
She started to stand up but Harry stopped her.
“Why not?” she asked confused.
“You were out for a little bit. I thought you were seriously hurt before you finally started stirring,” he said with a bit of worry.
“I was out, as in unconscious?” she asked for clarification.
“Yes, you weren’t moving at all.”
“Oh, well, that might explain the slight dizziness then.”
“Just stay right where you are and I’m going to take you straight to Madam Pomfrey so she can check you out. I know you did your own check, but obviously you hurt your head.”
“It’s not bleeding but I must have at least bumped it. I plan on becoming a healer so I’ve studied ahead a bit. That’s why I did my own check.”
“How exactly do you plan on taking me to the infirmary?” she asked as he picked up her book bag and slung it over his free shoulder.
“Like this of course,” Harry told her then promptly picked her up bridal style like she weighed nothing.
“Harry!” she exclaimed as he started walking with her in his arms. She put her arm around the back of his neck for support.
“Don’t worry I’ve got you. Try not to move your head too much though.”
“But it’s a long way, Harry. I’ll get too heavy before we get there.”
“No you won’t. You’re as light as a feather right now.”
“I don’t feel light as a feather.”
“Well, you did hit your head. You’re likely feeling heavier than normal.”
“True, hitting your head will do that. Say, you never answered my question.”
“What question?” he asked curiously.
“Did you see what I ran into?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact I did.” He then paused.
“Well? Please share with me.”
“Me, it was me you ran into,” he replied reluctantly.
“You? It felt like I hit a brick wall!”
“Sorry about that, Mandy. I believe we were both in a hurry and we both turned that corner a little sharp and ran right into each other.”
“Were you hurt?”
“No, not a bit, but I was super worried when you weren’t moving. Actually, I’m still a little worried.”
“I’ll be fine, Harry. Don’t worry. Madam Pomfrey will clear up my head with a simple wave of her wand, unless of course she believes a potion would work better. It all depends on the results of her diagnostic charm.”
“Going to be a healer, huh?”
“Why don’t you try and rest your head?”
Slowly Mandy laid her head down against Harry’s neck and got a little more comfortable. She was surprised just how comfortable she was in Harry Potter’s arms. He was steady as a rock and never had to adjust her position the whole time. He held her up high against his chest, never allowing her to sag down. Mandy Brocklehurst was a smart girl though. Ravenclaw, of course. She recognized pretty much right away in first year how much Harry disliked all the attention he was given.
She made sure to stay away from that and gave him plenty of space. Of course, they knew each other from classes and around school, but they were basically just acquaintances. They never participated in a real conversation before this.
She had heard stories about the Boy Who Lived growing up just like any other kid with at least one magical parent. That was something they had in common. She was a half-blood just like Harry; only her father was the Muggleborn.
She felt herself starting to doze so she woke herself back up and told Harry that she shouldn’t be allowed to go to sleep, just in case she had a concussion.
“We just have to continue to talk to each other, Harry. You know, a real conversation. That way I’ll stay awake and not fall asleep.”
“You must have hit your head really good if you can sleep like this.”
“Actually, I don’t think that’s it, Harry. I hesitate to say this, but you are actually very comfortable. I just want to curl up and go to sleep.”
Harry chuckled. “You know, I’ve been called a lot of things and I mean a lot. of. things. But that was the first time anyone has ever called me comfortable. I’m not sure how to take that.”
“Well, it was meant as a compliment, so take it that way.”
They continued to banter back and forth with each other all the way to the hospital wing. Their conversation was fun and they enjoyed it.
“MADAM POMFREY!” Harry called as he entered the ward.
Madam Pomfrey came bustling out to see what the problem was.
“Mr. Potter? Who do you have in your arms?”
Mandy lifted her head up. “Hi, Madam Pomfrey. I believe I hit my head.”
“Put Miss Brocklehurst down on that bed right there, Mr. Potter. Let me take a look.”
Harry gently laid Mandy down on the bed and stood back. Mandy started telling Madam Pomfrey what happened, how she was knocked out, how she checked herself but knew there was a problem when she shook her head and felt dizzy.
Madam Pomfrey did a full diagnostic on Mandy and determined that she did have a slight concussion.
“Nothing to worry about, Miss Brocklehurst. I’ll have you set to rights in a jiffy. To be on the safe side, I’m going to have you take a potion, then you will need to wait here until dinner before you can go, assuming everything checks out that is. Wait here while I get the potion.”
As Madam Pomfrey walked off, Mandy looked over at Harry who gave her a sad smile.
“There’s no need in you hanging around, Harry. Madam Pomfrey will take good care of me. I’m sure you have better things to do.”
“Nope! I caused this so I’m staying right here until she gives you a clean bill of health and lets you go.”
“Harry!” she exclaimed. “Either we both were at fault or neither one of us was at fault. You choose.”
“I should not have been running that fast, especially around a corner. It was stupid of me to do that and you got hurt.”
“But Harry, I was running fast too.”
“I’d be willing to bet that I was running a lot faster, plus I wasn’t the one who went flying back down the hall.”
“It’s okay, Harry. Really. Please, just drop it?” she pleaded.
“Sure,” he grumbled.
They were both silent for a few seconds.
“If you’re not going to leave then you have to keep me company and continue talking to me so I don’t get bored,” she said with a pretty smile.
Madam Pomfrey came back about then. “Unfortunately, this potion is going to make you sleep for about an hour, Miss Brocklehurst, so there won’t be much talking during your nap time.”
“Now, you really have no excuse to stay, Harry. I guess I’ll talk to you later,” she said then took her potion. After a few seconds, she was sound asleep. Madam Pomfrey turned to Harry.
“Mr. Potter? Why are you still here?” asked Madam Pomfrey.
“I’m going to stay here until you give her a clean bill of health, Madam Pomfrey.”
“Suit yourself, Mr. Potter, but I strongly suspect that when she wakes she’ll be good as new.”
Madam Pomfrey nodded and left to go back to her office.
When Mandy woke about an hour later she looked over to where Harry was standing before, thinking she was going to miss the great conversation they had. It would likely be the first and last one they would ever have, she thought, as things went back to normal. Too bad she had to get a concussion to talk with him for very long. He was very nice and caring, not to mention good looking.
When she turned her head to look the other way, she was shocked to see Harry sitting there in a chair reading a book.
“Harry? You’re still here? Or, did you leave and come back?”
“I stayed here. I have plenty of reading to do so I kept myself busy while you slept. How are you feeling now?”
“Right as rain, but you really didn’t have to stay, Harry.”
“I told you I was staying until Madam Pomfrey gives you a clean bill of health and lets you leave, so I’m still here. Now, hang on. I’ll be right back.” He then put away his book and went to tell Madam Pomfrey that Mandy was awake.
Madam Pomfrey followed him back out and ran some diagnostics on her before pronouncing her healed. However, she still wanted her to stay in bed until it was time for the evening meal. She wanted to make sure the potion was completely out of her system. She promised to let her go then.
Harry and Mandy started talking and enjoyed their conversation all over again. After a while, they decided to work on some homework. They both had their book bags with them so they worked on the homework for a joint class they had together.
When it was time for dinner, they left together then walked and talked all the way to the Great Hall. It was full when they arrived. With everyone watching them, Harry walked Mandy to her seat at the Ravenclaw table, told her he would talk to her later, then went and joined his friends at the Gryffindor table.
“Harry, was that Mandy Brocklehurst you came in with?” asked Hermione.
“Yes, that was Mandy,” he replied distractedly as he filled his plate.
“Where have you been?” she asked. “We missed you in the last class.”
“It’s a long story,” he said trying to concentrate on getting his dinner.
“I didn’t know you knew Mandy, Harry,” said Seamus from down the way a bit.
“Of course, I know Mandy. I’ve only gone to school with her for over five years. She was also in the DA.”
“Well, I know that, but I mean I’m sure you’ve exchanged a few words with her over the years but I didn’t think you guys ever really talked, like a real conversation.”
“Actually, we haven’t done much more than that before today.”
“What caused you to talk to her more today, Harry?” asked Hermione. “Did you guys just run into each other then strike up an interesting conversation?”
“As a matter of fact, we did run into each other… quite literally. I nearly killed her.”
“What do you mean you nearly killed her?” asked Ron.
Resigned he would have to tell the story; Harry sighed and jumped in. “Snape kept me after class as you recall. He kept me pretty late and wouldn’t provide a note. I was running to get to our next class. Mandy was running somewhere as well and we collided with each other as we came around a corner. She went flying down the hall and when she came to a stop, she wasn’t moving… at all. I thought the worst. But she started moving before I got to her. She ended up with a mild concussion, so I took her to Madam Pomfrey and she fixed her up.”
“But you never made it to class,” said Hermione.
“No, I waited with Mandy until Madam Pomfrey said she could go. I wanted to make sure she was alright. She was made to wait until dinner time before she was released, so I walked with her here.”
“That’s why you both still have your books,” said Ron.
“We didn’t have time to drop by our common rooms.”
“You do realize, don’t you Harry, that Mandy Brocklehurst is one of the prettiest girls in the school,” said Seamus.
“I’m not blind, Seamus, I have noticed how pretty she is. I also noticed how she’s not like some of the others around here making a big deal out of my fame, which you all know I hate with a passion. But, what I found I like best about her is our conversation. Even with a concussion, she carried on a great conversation. I really enjoyed her company. I just wish I hadn’t nearly killed her first to experience that.”
“Are you going to see her again?” asked Dean.
“I hope so. I really like talking to her. I think she could be a really good friend. It’s a shame we don’t get to know the rest of the people in the other houses better. Think of the possible friendships we might be missing out on.”
“Friendship? Right!” said Seamus who apparently had a one-track mind.
Harry looked up and over at where Mandy was sitting at the Ravenclaw table. She just happened to look over at him at the exact same time. Evidently, she was having to explain herself as well. When they locked eyes, his emerald green and her light grey, they both smirked and smiled at each other. That did not go unnoticed by Harry’s two best friends. Ginny was eating with her classmates that day at the other end of the table so she missed it all.
Seamus was whispering to Dean about Harry’s chances with the lovely Miss Brocklehurst.
Harry just ignored them all and finished eating, thinking about his new friend. Mandy was doing the same at her table.
As the days passed, Harry and Mandy would find themselves talking to each other whenever they could. They had many classes together since the NEWT classes were combined with all four houses. They usually sat together. They paired up in Potions as well. They would meet before class and just strike up a conversation like old friends. However, Mandy took Ancient Runes and Arithmancy, which Harry did not. He, on the other hand, took Care of Magical Creatures, which she did not. They even started studying together in the library for the subjects they shared.
She was extra smart and very good in all her classes but Harry could always explain what they were learning in Defense better than anyone else. She had learned a lot from him in the DA the year before. She counted herself very lucky since the DA was no longer meeting, that Harry chose to study with her and share his knowledge.
Ron and Hermione were a little concerned about their friend drifting away from them, but in truth, they both were more enamored with each other now. Since Ron smartened up and refused to argue with Hermione anymore, they were getting closer and closer. Harry felt like a third wheel when he was around them now and he realized that in the past, he was just the glue that kept the two of them together. Now that he was no longer needed as the glue, he was searching for different companionship.
Apparently, he found it in Mandy Brocklehurst.
“Will you tell me more about yourself, Mandy, and your family?” asked Harry. “I want to get to know you better.”
“There’s not much to tell, really. I’m a half-blood just like you; only it’s my father who’s the Muggleborn. My mum is the pureblood. Obviously, Brocklehurst is not an old pureblood family name.”
“What pureblood family is your mum from?”
“Oh, are you related to Tracey?”
“Interesting,” he said nodding his head.
“Tracey is from the main line of the Davis family and of course her father is a pureblood Davis and her mother is a Muggleborn. I can tell you she has to put up with a lot in Slytherin house. Daphne is the only one that stands between her and the rest of Slytherin and they don’t like to mess with the Ice Queen.”
“How did she get that nickname?” Harry asked curiously.
“Well, the Greengrass family only had two girls to carry on the family name, Daphne and Astoria. They both are very beautiful so their father made sure they went to Hogwarts with some knowledge of some good hexes just in case they needed to protect themselves. In our first year, one of the seventh years, who was basically a pedophile, was trying to convince Daphne that it was part of Slytherin tradition for the younger years to sexually service the older years. Then, when she was an older year, she could get serviced herself, he explained. When he quit talking and went to touch her she produced her wand quickly, which startled him. Then she cast a little known spell that froze his bits.”
“Yep, no one’s sure if Madam Pomfrey was ever able to reverse it. She was then nicknamed the Ice Queen. Tracey has a good friend and protector in Daphne Greengrass. The two of them basically grew up together.”
“I noticed Daphne was fairly advanced in the DA. Her father must have done a good job teaching her.”
“My mum is from a different offshoot of the main Davis line. While the main line were mostly Slytherins, my mum’s family were mostly Ravenclaws. She was in Ravenclaw and so was Dad. They both met here at Hogwarts then married a few years later after they graduated. As Ravenclaws, they of course wanted more schooling, so did that before marrying.”
“What about you Harry?”
“Are you sure you don’t already know everything there is about me?”
“Well, I do know quite a bit about you and you seem to be the subject on everyone’s lips these days, but the problem as I see it, is I don’t believe I know the truth. I don’t set store in gossip and what people whisper about you. They don’t know what they’re talking about, so I refuse to participate in that.”
“Don’t think I didn’t notice that. Even in first year, you weren’t one of the ones pointing and staring.”
“I’m a smart girl, Harry. I figured out pretty quick that you weren’t comfortable with all that attention. I decided right then and there not be part of the problem. I grew up hearing all the stories about you, just like any child born with magical parents. I had a Harry Potter doll and Harry Potter books. In fact, I pretty much had all the trappings of your story given to me by my parents who wanted me to grow up having a hero to look up to.”
“Yes, I did. However, when I came to Hogwarts for the first time and I was anxious to meet the Boy Who Lived, I met you and realized pretty much right away that this was a kid who had suffered. He lost his parents the night he was declared a hero. How can people forget that? I knew then I wasn’t looking at the Boy Who Lived, I was looking at the real Harry Potter.”
“It wasn’t too much longer after that, I noticed you didn’t like all the attention.”
“Do you want to hear a secret?”
“I don’t mind all the attention I’m getting now, well, most of it. I realize that some of it is based on my previous fame.” Mandy frowned trying to understand. “The reason I don’t mind as much is because they are gawking at something I’m actually doing myself, something I accomplished on my own.”
“I’m still not quite following you, Harry.”
“Let me ask you this. Who was there in the house when my family was attacked and my parents killed?”
“Your parents, obviously, and you. The only other person would be V-Voldemort. Sorry, Harry, I’m still getting comfortable with it.” She was a little embarrassed at her stuttering, especially after Harry taught them in the DA to not fear the name.
“You’re doing great,” he replied and she smiled at him. “So, since it was just the four of us, I was only 15 months old, and he managed to kill both my parents before turning his wand on me, what happened next?”
“He cast the Killing Curse that you survived, except for that scar, and then you somehow rebounded it back onto him, destroying his body.”
“How do you know that?”
“It’s the story we’ve all been told over the years.”
“Who else was there that was a witness to the events and could tell that story?”
“I see what you mean. No one else was there so how did we get this story? Aw, crap! It was just gossip. I hate gossip!”
“Would you like to know the real story?”
“Do you actually remember what happened that night?”
“No. I was too young to remember. However, I did hear the story from the other surviving witness. I heard it at the end of fourth year.”
“You heard it from… Voldemort?” she asked with a pause so she wouldn’t stutter this time.
“Yep, I was tied to a gravestone. He came out of that massive cauldron and called his followers. He then explained to them what exactly happened that night. He may be crazy but he’s not an idiot. There’s no way he would believe that a 15 month old toddler could defeat him, accidental magic or not.”
Mandy was so enthralled with the story she was sometimes forgetting to breathe.
“He told them, and me, that it was my mum who set a trap for him. She used old magic, he said, something he would not know to expect. So, when he cast that Killing Curse, it rebounded back onto him instead of hitting me. That means that my mum knew of some old magic that could block the supposedly unblockable Killing Curse. Unfortunately, that knowledge died with her.”
“But, what about your scar? They said it was caused by the Killing Curse.”
“Really? How many people killed with the Killing Curse were found with a mark on them from it? We’ve all been told that it leaves no mark whatsoever so why would someone think a Killing Curse caused this scar?”
“Then how did you get it?”
“The trap Mum set somehow not only rebounded it back to the caster, it increased its power. When the curse rebounded and hit Voldemort, it did far more than just kill his body. It caused an explosion and blew out a big part of the house. If you go over there, you can see it for yourself. With an explosion happening around me, I’m sure something hit my forehead and caused the scar. The fact that it’s in the shape of a lightning bolt just makes it more interesting.”
Mandy was stunned at the revelation and almost forgot to breathe again.