Master of the Hallows

Chapter 8 - Unexpected Hitches

Lucas strolled down Diagon Alley, trying to find his way past the throng of people crowding around the many shops.

It was the high peak of Diagon Alley, it being the summer holidays. Magical students from all the schools all over Europe were here, trying to get their shopping done before school started.

Lucas had finally managed to escape from his parents. They always wanted to escort him here, but since he was going to be a fifth-year, he didn’t see why they had to. They always did such stuff. Embarrassing him. It was not funny.

He silently rolled his eyes. As he walked down to Flourish and Blotts, their conversation flashed through his mind yet again, for the millionth time.

It had not been a happy morning. Lucas was anxious to get his plan into action, having finally finished his shopping the day before and having decided that the plan he had chosen was the best plan he had.

His parents and he were staying at the Leaky Cauldron. With more toothless grins from Tom, Lucas ordered his normal breakfast and began eating it. Just as he was about to leave, his father grabbed his wrist.

Annoyed, Lucas gave a turn. His father was a ferret-like man with a reedy face and stubble that covered his entire chin. Next to him was Lucas’s mother, a woman of average height, with curly hair that stretched down to her neck. Both of them were staring concernedly at Lucas, as if there was something wrong with him. “We’re worried about you, son,” was the first thing that came out of Henry Blake’s mouth.

Lucas sighed. That could not be good. He waited.

“It seems that you’ve been spending rather a lot of time in Diagon Alley. Are you sure you’re…not mixing with the wrong crowd?” Mary Blake asked.

“No…no! Why would there be?” Lucas feigned innocence, looking around the Cauldron.

“It just seems…well, this year you asked us to stay here, when we normally only spend one day here getting your stuff. And now that you have, we don’t see why we still have to pay to stay here.”

This was an unexpected hitch. Lucas had counted on spending the whole month of August staking out Diagon Alley, just to get that one chance. It was 31st July and no sign of Potter had been seen.

“But why? Can’t I just stay here?”

“No. We don’t understand what you have to do that is so important.”

Lucas was getting frustrated. “Give me ONE good reason, and then I’ll go!” he said. “I want to be without you guys breathing down my neck every single time I go out! Can’t I get some privacy?”

Henry advanced. “Now, young boy, that is not the way to talk to us.”

Lucas ignored Henry and went on to fully enumerate all the times they had embarrassed him, his rage increasing by the second.

By this time, Henry was incensed as well. He stomped over and pressed his finger into Lucas’s chest. “Apologise! You know we just want the best for you!”

Lucas silently clenched his fist. He knew his parents had ‘reached their limit’ and the only way to regain their trust and convince them that he wasn’t doing illegal things was to back out.

He shrugged. “Okay, then. Just one more day here, please? Then tomorrow we can go.” His parents seemed resigned to this idea. They nodded their heads in agreement.

Finally, they let him go. Insisting on being alone, he walked out into the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron and, upon seeing no one there, started cursing and kicking the walls. “Dang it!” he yelled as he released his pent-up anger into a barrel, which exploded under the might of his spell. “Just one more month! ONE MORE MONTH!” he smashed his fist into a wall, pounding it relentlessly. Now he would have to wait a whole year before he could have a similar chance. He didn’t know if he could.

Potter had better be here, Lucas thought.

And so now he was entering Flourish and Blotts, the one shop he was sure Potter would be to pick up new books for his three children. He was still flustered from his argument that he just barged right through people.

Then his heart nearly stopped. There, in the center of the attention, was Harry Potter with his wife and children. Smiling. Lucas brightened. Here, was the chance he’d been waiting for.

He manoeuvred his way through the crowd until he was right behind Potter. Glancing around, he made sure that no one was watching him or on hand to stop him. Then he took out his wand and pointed it at Potter.

Having done that, he slowly waited until Potter was distracted. Then, he moved forwards, fast. The exact second that he bumped into Potter, he uttered, “Expelliarmus,” softly, under his breath.

The plan was working; Lucas could feel it. And then he missed.

Something had gone wrong. Lucas had pointed the wand wrongly; or he had aimed at the wrong person. Anyhow, the spell hit James Potter II in the square of his back. Lucas saw his wand fly out of his pocket.

As if in slow motion, James’s wand zoomed through the air. As it zipped past, Lucas watched it clatter onto the ground with a rattle.

James turned around. Lucas just had time to stuff his wand into his pocket, trying to hide his worried face as best as he could. As James picked up his wand, he suddenly caught sight of Lucas. He frowned and cocked his head, as if trying to place Lucas. In the meantime, Potter himself had turned around, trying to see who had jostled him.

“Dad, my wand just flew out of my pocket,” James said. Now the whole Potter family was looking at Lucas. Suspiciously, as well. Lucas tried to look innocent. Harry had this weird look on his face, as if he knew what Lucas had done and was waiting for him to tell the truth. Then Harry moved his hand down to his pocket, where Lucas knew his wand was.

Lucas turned away. In a mirror nearby, he spotted the Potters still looking curiously at him, their eyes following him. As soon as he was out of eyesight, he ran out and into a small alley.

The tears came then. Months of thinking, trying so hard to produce the perfect plan, WASTED! He shouted the last word out and repeated it to himself again and again while he almost snapped his wand with the number of times he threw it on the floor and stepped on it, grinding it into the ground. He couldn't go back now, what with Potter on his guard.

He came so close. So close. He just wanted to succeed, for heaven’s sake. Why wouldn’t it just go his way for once?

And so, with the failure of that plan, he decided to go on with Plan D: Plan Desperate.

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