a respond to Spring Fic Fest!2. Music is Magic
a music festival is held in Hogwarts, Harry doesn't want to play the flute because it brings back painful memories of his deceased mentor when he was a child. can Professor Snape challenge him otherwise?
Teacher Snape > Trusted Mentor Snape, Teacher Snape > Professor Snape, Fic Fests > #22 Spring fest 2017, Snape Equal Status to Harry > Foes Snape and Harry Main Characters:
.Snape and Harry (required), Hermione, Original Character, Other, Ron
Angry Snape, Canon Snape, Comforting Snape, Controlling Snape, Stern SnapeGenres:
Angst, Drama, Family, General, Humor, TragedyTags:
0 - Pre Hogwarts (before Harry is 11), 1st summer before Hogwarts, 5th YearWarnings:
Abusive Dursleys, Bullying, Character Death, NeglectChallenges: Musical Instrument
Challenges: Musical Instrument Series:
18 Jul 2017 Updated:
06 Aug 2017
1. Chapter 1 by Hopeless Wanderer
2. Chapter 2 by Hopeless Wanderer
Chapter 1 by Hopeless Wanderer
here's another two shot fic for you guys! i strongly suggest you listen to once upon a December (the piano cover) and the colors of the wind (flute solo) while reading both chapters. i don't think i'm allowed to give you a link but contact me if you want to listen to the ones i did while writing it. trust me, it boosts up the story tremendously ;)
lots of love
It was Tuesday.
In fact it was a hot and sunny Tuesday, a day that most would prefer to spend in the shelter of home, drinking iced tee and catching up with family.
Well, Not for Harry. Not that he had any family in the first place, but still... It was Tuesday, the only day out of week that he only had out door chores, that turned out to be the hottest day of the summer, and Harry weeding in the backyard with nothing but a threadbare over sized shirt and no snacks.
Harry had attempted to drink from the hose, but the water itself was lukewarm, so he didn't even try, his shirt was clinging to him, dampened with sweat, and his head felt heavy and achy, and Harry wished he could just take a hot and long shower.
He couldn't do that, after weeding he still had to re_paint the fence, make dinner and he still had homework to do, Mrs. Smith was ruthless when it came to him. Dudley's freaky cousin.
Harry frowned darkly, brushing his wet hair out f his clammy face, lip trembling as he heard his stomach growl, he hadn't eaten anything in two days. And it was starting to get to him by making him dizzy and nauseous under the blazing sun.
For the eight year old Harry, that was normal; working out in the yard on a hot day, starving and dehydrated, clammy and so gross that he couldn't even look at himself anymore. He couldn't believe that he had to go to school with these clothes tomorrow. His other clothes were still in the laundry. And since he didn't have laundry on his chores today, and aunt Petunia was not going to do the laundry because of her manicure, Harry had to go the school smelly and sweaty, with a double sized t-shirt that hung off him like a rag.
Harry closed his eyes, red lights burning behind his eyelids, Harry breathed out, listening to Dudley's mad snorting as Petunia cooed all over him with ice cream and lollies.
Harry never had an ice cream, but from Dudley's boasting he could tell that they were delicious, and so were the lollies. Harry continued weeding while sulking.
The sun was in the center of the sky, and it was noon, Harry was really starting to feel light-headed by then and colors were all jumbled in his vision, his skin was red and felt hot on touch and he was pretty sure that he had no internal organ named stomach by now, maybe he should drink from the hose?
Harry was so occupied in his own misery that he didn't notice an old man making his way to their porch before making his way to him. Harry was sitting cross legged on the ground, covered in mud from head to toe, and feeling like the dirtiest boy alive.
" Hey there lad, are you okay? " the man asked and Harry jumped, yelping. He turned like a doe caught on light.
" I..I'm sorry? "
" I said are you alright? You seem hungry. " Harry had no idea how the man knew, he was pretty sure that his stomach wasn't protesting that loudly for a neighbor to hear.
He looked at the man and he instantly recognized him. It was Mr. Lightwood, the blind old man that lived next door, aunt Petunia hated him with a passion because he always seemed to know everything despite being blind. Harry had heard her calling him the freaky creep next door as she described him to Uncle Vernon some time ago.
" Sir? Do you need any help? " maybe the man was hungry? He was blind so maybe he couldn't cook himself, otherwise what was he doing in their porch? Harry thought to himself, pitying the man.
Mr. Lightwood laughed brightly, his kind grandfatherly face lining in mirth.
" Help? Do you need any help young man? You are too young to be weeding outdoors. " he gave him a toothless smile, his hand rampaging in his pocket for something.
" I'm... I'm grounded. " it was his practiced lie and everyone seemed to bought it this long, no one saw why not since he was a trouble maker anyway, a mentally disturbed trouble maker. Harry frowned.
" A good lad like you? I think not, I think your cousin should be the grounded one, here you go. " the man said, handing him a wrapped chocolate. Harry stared at it in awe. He never had nay chocolate before! And this looked really delicious, but then again aunt Petunia said not to take anything from strangers.
" what do..I do with it? " he asked hesitantly, maybe the man wanted him to unwrap it for him?
Who would want to give you a treat? His mind sneered at him, you're just s stupid freak.
Lightwood frowned. " what do you do with it? What kind of question is that? " he exclaimed, handing Harry another treat. The young boy hung his head in shame, thinking over what aunt Petunia had told him about strangers.
He's not a stranger, he's a neighbor, besides you're hungry. Harry worried his lip for a few moments but extended his hand, taking the chocolate from the man's wrinkled hand.
Lightwood grabbed Harry's hand in shock. " Holy cricket boy! How long have you stayed under the sun?! "
Harry tried to detach his hand from the man, but the cold cool hand felt heavenly on his skin, and he felt himself yearning for the man's touch on his forehead so it would cool off.
" I'm fine. " he said unconvincingly, not noticing the man frowning in disprove.
" stay here. " the man said, before turning and walking to the door, making sure to make sounds as if tripping on every obstacle on his way. Harry felt his eyes widen, what the was man doing?!
" No! Wait! Sir please. " his pleas went unheard, Harry bite down on his fingers out of habit, his teeth sinking into his hot burning flesh.
He really hoped that he didn't tell aunt Petunia anything, he couldn't eat for weeks! Or worse, he'll be locked in the cupboard again.
Harry gulped, leaping out of the porch and once again in the yard, making a beeline to the shed to get some paint. Uncle Vernon was always less mad if he saw him work. He hastily dampened the brush with paint and ran out of the shed with the bucket of pain in his hands, panting for breath as he hoped aunt Petunia would ignore the knocking.
" yes? " her shrill voice rang in his ears, Harry cringed.
" Hello there Petunia, hot day isn't it? " Harry couldn't help but pick up the subtle rage in the man's voice.
" It really is George, what brings you here? " her tone was cold and so fake at the same time, her stiff smile splitting her horse like face in two.
Harry hastily turned back to his chore, hoping the man would shut up.
" Well, I couldn't help but notice your nephew doing outdoor chores here... What a strong young man he is! Already doing manual labor at eight! Anyways, do you mind if I borrow him for a few hours? My attic needs a little dusting and I'm afraid with my eyes being... Well... " He trailed off, sighing sadly. Harry gaped. What?
That wasn't true, was it? Mr. Lightwood didn't say anything about his attic when he was talking to Harry, he even gave him chocolate, was he bribing him?
The change in Petunia's demeanor was astonishing, her eyes gleamed with what could only be assumed as triumph a sense of superior smugness, and her chin held up higher than usual, showing off her long lanky neck.
" of course he can George, Harry will be / delighted / to help you out. " she reassured the old man, smirking giddily.
She then turned to Harry, an ugly and disgusted expression on her face.
" Didn't you hear Mr. Lightwood? Get a move on boy! "
The child obeyed meekly, muttering a quick. " yes aunt Petunia. " Before putting the paint brush back in the bucket.
He followed the old man out of the porch, fully aware of his aunt glaring at them both while sneering. Harry's fingers traced the wrapped chocolates sorrowfully, tucked away safely in his pocket.
He should have known, who would want to give him a treat, give him anything without asking for something in return? Who would love a freak like him?
Mr. Lightwood's house was pretty much like number four, the only difference was a few small gnomes adorning the garden, Harry followed the old man into the porch mutely, silently surprised at how the man knew how to find his way around the place. In fact, he seemed to have no difficulties at all.
" well get in lad... " he held the door open for the child, nodding his head at the house. The raven-haired boy hesitated at the door.
" I'm dirty. "
"And I'm blind, we all have something, don't we? " he gave a wrinkly smile , opening the door wider. He then put his wrinkly hand on Harry's scrawny shoulder, pushing him in against his will.
" But Mr. Light..."
"Call me George kid. " the man let go of his shoulder, straightening his back from the fake hunched position, he walked into the kitchen, throwing his keys on the table.
"Um..." should he go after him? Or should he just go and find the attic? Maybe he left to get me some rags. Harry waited by the door patiently, trying to keep the mud off Mr. Lightwood's furniture as much as he could.
" Come on in! Weren't you hungry? " the man said, the sound of pots and pans clanking muffled his voice.
Harry opened his mouth to reply but closed it with a soft thud. Was he supposed to cook for the man now? Harry worried his lip and crouched, trying to untie his shoes. No point in getting the mud everywhere.
" Harry, isn't it? Come on, come on! " Harry picked up his mud covered shoes and winced at the trail he had left behind, with a guilty conscious, he prayed that Mr. Lightwood wouldn't notice.
The kitchen was a mess. It might have been rude to mention it out loud, but it was the only word Harry could describe it as. It was not dirty or anything like that, and it smelled like cookies. But... There were pans and plates and even a radio all over the kitchen, every surface was covered with something. The curtains were done in a horribly bright yellow that would make aunt Petunia faint and the sink looked like it needed a good wash.
" Mr. Light... Mr. George? What are you doing? " he asked the man, who was fumbling with the microwave's buttons, humming under his breath.
"Oh you're finally here! Well then, that certainly makes things easy. You know how to work with this darn microwave? I ain't know how to work with this thing, damn thing only has buttons. What are we blind people supposed to do? " he shook his head, managing to manoeuvre his way between the stacks of books just lying there on the ground, some half opened and some still open with spoons as their bookmarks.
Mr. Lightwood, hummed under his breath, tapping his fingers rhythmically on the table, taking out a clean plate and a fork, fitting them on in front of Harry by pushing some of the books off the table.
Harry stood there for a moment, still bewildered at the man's behavior. He was starting to think Mr. Lightwood was really mad. But he was feeding him apparently, so who was Harry to complain?
Harry set the microwave's timer and moved his way carefully around the knick knacks scattered on the ground.
"So... Why were you out weeding? It'll must be eighty degrees out there. " he said casually, placing a glass of cool milk on the table, tucked near the books.
" I'm grounded. " he rather doubted that the man would buy it, but uncle Vernon had threatened to beat him black and blue if he said anything more or anything less.
George hummed disbelievingly, his fingers set on the radio, he snorted. "Grounded? Are you sure? What you've done to make them ground you like this? Weeding all day without a snack or a glass of water? "
Harry's eyes bulged comically behind his round glasses. " what? "
"Darn it kid, didn't you hear me? You're turning me into a broken record. "
George waved him off. "Don't be. Now are you gonna tell me or what? "
Harry squirmed in his seat, sighing in relief when he heard the microwave beep. He shot out of his seat.
"Hey there kiddo, slow down... The food's not gonna run you know. " George mistook his eagerness to run away with hunger.
"Sorry Mr.... George. " he took the steaming plate and carefully set it on the table. He then sat, devouring the food with a burning mouth.
" So, you didn't answer my question ? " Harry blushed, putting his fork down before taking a sip of his fresh cold milk.
"I.... I hit Dudley." he stammered, almost hitting himself for not cooking up a better lie.
George raised his bushy eyebrows, snorting in disbelief. "You? You hit that kid? How?!"
Harry shrugged even though them an couldn't see him. " I got in a fight with him, and.... I hit him. "
George shook his head. "So you're telling me, that you managed to hit your obese cousin, who is also double your size without getting a scratch? I might be blind but I ain't daft kid." the old man sighed, poking at his own half eaten plate.
Harry remained mute, feeling oddly frustrated as the man drummed his fingers on the table rhythmically.
"Did your cousin get punished too?"
Harry squirmed. "He... He lost his computer privileges." which was a complete lie, aunt Petunia even bought him a new one after she made Harry apologize on his knees.
"And you were out weeding without getting a rest?" the man asked critically, sounding more angry /on/ his behalf than /at/ him.
"How did you know I didn't get any rest? " there was no point in hiding it, besides Harry was curious.
George shrugged. " I pay attention. " he gave up on the radio and stood, walking out of the kitchen purposefully. Harry considered going after him, but didn't, he was still hungry. The boy turned back to his lasagna, trying to eat with more decorum but failing miserably, it's been three days since he had a full meal, and even then Harry only got a little piece of everything. Not enough to satisfy a bird, much less a growing boy.
A sudden sound startled him, the tune rang through the house sharply, but at the same time the music was soft and flowing, kind of dark at the same time. But...loud. Very loud in fact that it hurt Harry's ears. He knew it was piano, Mrs. Smith had shown them one and had even played some tracks for them. He didn't recognize the music though, but it sounded beautiful. Harry hummed along the tune, even though he had no idea what the song was, feeling ups and down of the soft flow. He put his fork down and turned his head slightly over the music.
Harry had long forgotten his meal, and instead had closed his eyes, leaning back in his chair, letting the flow sway him to his sides. He had never heard something like this before, so full of emotion, so alive... Harry was completely intrigued, his head held up high to hear the sound better even though it was blasting through the walls. It was magnificent. Harry thought, he could almost imagine the pianist's fingers flowing on the keys, pausing and playing and starting over again.
"That good eh? "
Harry didn't open his eyes, just hummed, swaying his body with the rhythm.
"Once upon a December. One of my favorites." the song ended eventually, another track playing right after that, Harry finished his meal, side glancing at the old man flexing his fingers as if he was the one playing.
"Um... Did you play?" Harry shifted on his feet, slowly setting the plate in the sink. George paused for a second before humming thoughtfully.
"You want to see something kiddo?"
"Aren't I supposed to clean the attic?"
"Bah! Forget about the attic! Come on, follow me Harry."
Harry followed the old man up the stairs. Maybe we're going to the attic after all, he thought sadly. Not that he was complaining about the work, no, he just wanted to listen to that music. All day if it was possible. Harry noticed, for the first time after looking around the house that the house was decorated in lighter colors, it was much more open and cozier than Aunt Petunia's abnormally normal house. George ushered him to the end of the hall and through a ajar door.
Harry gasped, his eyes rounding behind his glasses as he the room. Instruments, of all kinds were everywhere, some hanged on the walls, some leaning against the wall, or some just standing in the middle. But what caught Harry's eyes, was a big majestic piano, sitting in the middle of the room proudly, looking polished but a little worn, He was so engrossed with drooling over the room that he didn't notice Mr. Lightwood crossing over to the piano.
Everything looked clean, no dust was in sight, and the walls were done in a light plum, with No curtains, giving the blazing sun free access to the whole room. Violins, of all kinds and colors, lined with Guitars and flutes were all on the wall, the ground was covered with other instruments that Harry didn't even know the name of.
He gaped at the man, who sat across the piano and cracked his fingers.
"This... This is yours?" he looked around in ill disguised wonder, although careful to not damage anything. George laughed good heartedly.
"Well, this is my house." Harry blushed at the answer, sitting timidly on the Bay window's seat, feeling the intense sun burning on the back of his head.
He thought that the man just wanted to show off the room, and hadn't expected him to actually start playing. He gasped as he saw the blind man playing a familiar rhythm, he couldn't place it, but he felt like he should know it. The man played so fluently and rhythmically that for a second there Harry thought the man had lied about being blind. No blind man could play such a thing, so beautifully. Harry felt like the tune was flowing out of the man's fingers instead of the other way around.
He closed his eyes, still dumbstruck, he let the music take control once again, swaying to his sides, whisking him away to its own colorful world, where he shouldn't worry about anything, no chores, no harsh words and no cupboard. Just him and the tune.
"A little rusty there. I should practice more often." the old man said, straightening his stiff back. Harry opened his wide eyes, pointing at the man.
"But....But y...you're blind!" how could he even play without seeing the keys? Or the notes? Or anything really? George smiled softly, patting the leather cushion next to him. Harry was dubious about sitting next to the man, but his curiosity won anyway. He walked to the seat, sinking down next to the man.
"I am blind. But I'm not deaf. You see him?" he pointed at a poster hanged on the wall. Harry didn't know the man, he had wild grey hairs, similar to his own messy back hair, with sharp blue eyes, staring coldly in the painting.
"He's Beethoven." George continued. "He was a deaf pianist. He wasn't deaf at first mind you, but he didn't give up. He was deaf and he played piano. I'm blind, so why can't I do the same?"
Harry admired the poster, unable to take his emerald eyes off the man's stoic face.
"Were you blind since you were a child?" he finally turned back to the man, who was caressing the keys lovingly. The man smiled in nostalgia.
"No lad. I grew up in a war." he replied pleasantly, humming under his breath.
Harry stiffened. In a war?
"Sir... I meant... Mr. George, what war are you talking about?" for some odd reason he didn't feel like prying, the man said it so openly that Harry felt like the man was hinting at him to ask the same question.
George sighed, his hands leaving the keys. "It's a long story. Maybe when you're older. So what do you think?" he gestured around the room, Harry bitted his fingers again.
"It was beautiful Mr. Lightwood." he answered timidly, not quite sure what the man was asking.
George clasped his wrinkly hand on Harry's shoulder again. "I know it's beautiful. What I meant was that do you want to be a part of it?" he asked patiently, pausing at every word as if talking to a small child. Harry's mouth fell open, what was the man suggesting? Had he heard him right? Didn't he know what kind of a freak he was? Didn't he know that Harry didn't deserve these privileges?
"Don't over think it lad." he scolded softly, turning to play another track, it was the one he had heard downstairs. Once upon a December.
"But, I don't have any money sir." he said miserably, hanging his head low. George snorted.
"Do I look like I need money kiddo?" he said lightly.
Harry shook his head. "Then why..."
George stopped playing and grabbed his hand, his wrinkled fingers tracing his own. "You see these hands? Your long fingers and the strong structure? This is a musician's hands Harry not a slave's . In my opinion, you would be a natural in this. Someone needs to keep my legacy." Harry hesitated, but did not protest, as the man put his fingers on the piano keys, slowly guiding his fingers apart to play a single note.
Harry felt something tingle in him, a few butterflies fluttering in his chest. What was this warm feeling, he wondered. As he let the old man play with his fingers on the keys, feeling oddly calm as his hands traced the keys, some pushed down and some traveled farther, sometimes at the same time or just one at a time with the help of George. The blind man instructed him softly, patiently explaining each note and key, showing him how to put his fingers on the piano, how to seat behind the instrument properly.
"What about the Dursleys?" Harry wondered, after some time, it was late in the afternoon, probably already six. George titled his head.
"We could always tell them that you're doing chores for me."
"What if they don't allow me to come here?" This was his main concern, the the Dursleys found out. They would take him away, take everything away just so he wouldn't be able to learn anything.
George seemed to think on this one, his wrinkled face scrunched in a frown.
"I can pay you to do my chores, that way they have no choice but accept." Harry stammered again.
"But... But Mr. George, that's too much! I'm not even doing chores for you! You're just teaching me without expecting something in return and now..." Harry shook his head. That was too much, too much for him. He was a freak, freaks don't deserve these things. So much kindness.
"Don't worry about anything. Alright? Everything is with me here, I'll provide the meals, your lessons and maybe even help you with the Dursleys..."
Harry shook his head again, frantically trying to stand. "I'm sorry, I can't. That's too much, I can't just ask this of you. I'm sorry that I bothered you sir. I must be..."
"And... I want something in return." Harry stood still by the door, not turning to look at the man.
"What is it?" maybe it's chores or something? He could certainly help around the house. He felt excitement shot up in his system, making him shift on his feet.
"You have to learn properly, no slacking off. I do not tolerate tardiness." he said firmly, standing up himself and heading to the door with Harry.
"Sir.." George hushed him, slowly leading him downstairs and back in the kitchen . Harry followed mutely trailing behind the man.
George rampaged the kitchen, going through the scattered books and papers.
"Look for a blue notebook Harry." he instructed the boy after a few moments. Harry looked around the kitchen, and then crouched down to check under the table. He knew that he should probably leave knowing that he would be late to make dinner for Dudley and aunt Petunia would kill him if he stayed over for another hour.
He found the notebook lying on the microwave innocently, he picked it up and walked to Mr. Lightwood.
"I found it." he handed the book to the man. George smiled widely and headed to the fridge.
He picked up a wrapped package and put it on the notebook.
"Here you go kiddo. Can you sneak them both under your shirt?" Harry frowned in confusion.
Harry grabbed the said items and stuffed them under his over grown shirt experimentally, fortunately nothing seemed visible. He said so to the old man.
George nodded. "Good, I talk to your aunt, be here tomorrow morning and study that notebook in your room eh?" he then ushered Harry out before the boy could protest.
"Shh... Try to look tired and miserable, and don't forget the notes." He then basically threw him out of his house, shutting the door behind him with a soft click.
"I forgot my shoes." Harry said, behind the door, hoping that the man would hear him.
The door opened after a few seconds and a muddy pair of shoes were thrown after him. The door slammed again. Harry stood there bewildered, still blinking owlishly.
Mr. Lightwood is odd alright, he thought. Then smiled. He kind of liked it.
Ever since that Tuesday, Harry went to the Lightwood house everyday without a hitch, even if he was supposed to stay with Mrs. Figg, Harry would sneak out and meet the man in his house. Even if he was supposed to go home straight fro school he wheeled to George's house, or even if it was raining and cold and he was supposed to clean out the garage, he would always find a way to jog to the old man's residence.
And George was always there, ready with a warm meal whenever Harry came, kind and warm in nature, but strict and firm whenever it came to teaching Harry. In a year Harry could beautifully play the pieces he was taught with his eyes closed, literally. After the first five months George blindfolded him, telling him that he had to play with his feelings and not with his eyes. Telling him that music was magic.
By the time Harry was ten, he was already playing two single instruments, and working his way to the third. No one knew of course, he couldn't join the school's band, or play for anyone aside from George, the Dursleys would kill him if he did, specially Vernon.
A week before his birthday he and George were in the kitchen, eating pasta when the old man said that he had a surprise for him on his birthday. After prodding and pressing the man, he gave away that he had planned to enter Harry in a piano competition, Harry had felt his eyes bulge.
"Are you kidding? But what about the Dursleys?!" George waved him off.
"Already made a plan, they're supposed to take their boy to an amusement park."
Harry, still feeling dubious and asked several times, only to be waved off firmly.
"What do I play?" George smiled and shooed him up the stairs.
"I know it's a little soon lad. But I've been thinking if you could write your own piece, with my help of course. You are very ahead of others your age."
It was the night before his birthday, when George stopped him from exiting the room.
Harry paused his hands on the piano and looked at the smoking man patiently, waiting for him to talk.
"Listen, Harry... I think we need to have an important talk." the man exhaled the smoke, his grey blond eyes gazing at him under the flickering light of the night.
"There is something I need to tell you lad. Something important, it's about your..." the man stopped abruptly, straining his ears. George threw his cigarette in his ashtray and quickly ushered Harry out of the room and down the stairs.
"George?" Harry was starting to get worried, the old man had been acting paranoid, more so than usual.
The old man led him to the back door and held him by the shoulders.
"We need to talk lad, alright? Tomorrow, after we got home. Please don't ask, but it's important."
"George you're being weird. Is everything alright?" he felt the man's wariness, the deep fear radiating even though his eyes held no emotion.
"If anything happened, anything at all, you have to keep the flute with you, alright? Keep it in your shirt." the man thrust the black instrument in his hands. Harry felt his heart beat in his throat, and his chest felt tight.
"Go home Harry, I'll pick you up tomorrow from Figg's. Goodnight."
He was thrown out of the house unceremoniously, the flute in his shirt sending shivers up his navel. He sulked a little but went back to NO. 4 as stealthily as he could manage.
George did not pick him up tomorrow, or the day after that.
Harry had woken to the sound of sirens flaring loudly in the street, basically near his ears, he had bolted from his bed and opened the window, watching the ambulance and the crowd surrendering the Lightwood residence. His stomach dropped, sooner than he thought possible, Harry Potter dressed and hurried down the stairs, joining the rest of the Dursleys who were snooping around other neighbors.
"They say it was murder Kate. Is that true?" upon hearing the neighbors Harry gasped and looked over the house, as the stretcher was pushed out of the porch by the two paramedics. Harry's legs were jellies and his lung felt like they were filed with sand. There was a white cloth draped over the body lying on the stretcher, including the face. And Harry knew.
George was dead. He didn't dare go over and see it for himself, he just knew, the man's odd behavior the night before, and the neighbors... Could it be? Was it murder? He should've felt angry, sad, devastated, but instead he felt the same paranoia George often felt. He couldn't stop the tears from rolling down, but he also couldn't shake off the feeling that he was being watched.
With stealth and solely acting on automatic pilot, Harry slipped in the crowd and made his way into the house, setting his mind, only on one thing. To get to the music room.
Halfway up the stairs, he snapped out of his shock and realized that the flute was with him, in his room, that George had handed it to him last night, even though his mind screamed at him to get out, Harry ventured into the room, silently crying.
The room looked exactly the way it did last night, even the heavy odder of smoke was still hanging in the air, the only thing Harry instantly noticed in the bright room was the ashtray's disappearance.
The rest of his memory was hazy, and he couldn't recall what exactly happened next, but he remembered getting a good cuff in his head after Uncle Vernon found him lurking in the house and the paramedics pulled his sobbing figure out of the room.
No one took a second look at him, or batted an eye when they saw his extreme reaction to the man's sudden death. Half of the neighbors and even the Dursleys thought, it was the sight of blood.
Harry tried to tell them that he didn't remember seeing any blood but kept his mouth shut in fear of the Dursleys punishing him.
He picked up his flute to play, for the first time in weeks, when he felt that it was stuffed, and no sound came out. Curious, he grabbed a pen and pocked the flute, the rustle of a paper could be heard. With wide eyes, Harry dragged the pen down, and the paper followed down out of the flute.
It was an envelope. Harry picked it up the wrinkled envelope cautiously, tears streaming down his face. He smoothed it out on the floor, his heart beating wildly.
Mr. H Potter
The second bedroom
4 privet drive
Harry cocked his head and broke the red seal, his back to the door. He reread the letter again, and again, and another time. Was this a joke? Or a prank maybe? George was a very light hearted man, but then again....
Was this what he wanted to tell him that night? That he was accepted in what? Hogwarts school of wizardry and witchcraft? George was not senile, or mad. Harry knew that, the man was a genius, a prodigy, not an insane old man. So this letter must be true?
"Music is magic Harry." the man's voice rang in his ears and Harry mused over the sentence.
Magic. Could it be? It did not seem plausible.
Why are you even thinking about it? He thought savagely, it wasn't like he could go anyway, it way too late to send a reply via... Owl? And the Dursleys rather die than let him go to a freaky school like this one.
He sighed, and picked up his flute, he played solemnly, grieving for his deceased friend finally after weeks.
Oh, how things were about to change after that faithful day. Harry never would've known.
Did you like it? how was the fic with the music? tell me what you think and rate the story
hugs and kisses ;)
Chapter 2 by Hopeless Wanderer
took me a while huh? here you go, this is the last chapter and i'm sorry if i can't continue on, but i'm not a robot and can't keep up with four stories all at the same time.
review and enjoy, don't hesitate to criticize because i love em!
It was a Tuesday.
In fact, it was a crappy Tuesday. One most would prefer to stay cocooned in their bed and drink hot vanilla, or in his case, dig a hole in the ground and die, or take role in a game of Russian Roulette with a loaded gun. He was /that/ embarrassed.
This Tuesday, was by far, his worst ever. Last week Tuesday, started out normal enough, except by lunch that day he had a life ban on Quidditch, his only salvation aside from his music, he was having terrible grade in transfiguration, even lower than Seamus's, and that was saying something. Umbridge was a joke, and he had served more detentions with her than he ever had with Snape. And if carving words on the back of his hand wasn't bad enough, Dumbledore had decided to /surprise/ them all, with a musical festival, merely days before Harry had painfully decided to give up on his love for music.
Now if that wasn't irony biting him in the butt, then Harry didn't know what was. It seemed, that these days, irony and fate had a joint project on ruining his life by every means possible, he had a splitting headache too, and a sore hand from last week where he had punched Malfoy and Pomfrey had refused to heal it, so it would /serve a lesson / for / idiotic teenagers / who deliberately /got into fights / and / hurt themselves/ just for the /fun of it/.
Those were her words, by the way, not his. But still, it stung. Hermione also took it upon herself to lecture both him and Ron, and nagged right after their detention with Snape, his detention with Umbridge, and continued right until dinner, when the headmaster clapped his hands to maintain silence and speak.
"Attention please. Thank you, As you all know by now, my dear students, Hogwarts is a place to express ourselves , to create and to love, and to bloom into your true nature. This school has been the sanctuary for those with true talent, worth and accomplishment for hundreds of years. Now that is why, I am proud to announce Hogwart's first musical event that will take place this year for those who have the talent, the pure magic of this beautiful art. Please note that festivals such as this, not only determines the best, but will increase our house unity, a much needed bond between the students that regretfully has been missing for decades.
I will not take much more of your time, but please notify your head of house if you or your band wish to enter the festival, rehearsal schedules and further information will be up in the common room boards as we speak. Now, tuck in! " the jovial old man clapped his hands, platters of food appeared on the tables, and students applauded.
just like that.
Harry however was too shocked to even move from his uncomfortable half turned half craning position.
His eyes were wide and round and his face went completely blank as Dumbledore made his grand speech.
It left /him/ speechless. Karma had it right alright, just as he thought it couldn't be any worse, something even more catastrophic popped out of nowhere. Damn that old man. He thought numbly.
"Reckon I should play Guitar?" Ron said with his mouth full of chicken pie, Hermione wrinkled her nose at his table manners.
"I think you should swallow first." she then smiled and turned to a flabbergasted Harry.
"What about you? Is it the flute or the piano?" Harry was so peeved that didn't even bother to shush her. Neville and Dean turned to him, looking a little taken back, but in interest.
"Harry plays?" Dean exclaimed incredulously and Ron nodded vigorously, having only seen it once in his life.
"He's brilliant, you just need to see him play with his eyes closed!" he gloated, and Harry snapped out of his stunned stupor. Shut the hell up Ron! He screed inwardly, and waited a few seconds for his mouth to keep up with his brain.
He shook his head rapidly. "What?! No! No, I'm not playing anything! I can't!" he exclaimed, shaking his hands to emphasize his point. There was absolutely no way that he was entering that event. No way. Neville shook his head in confusion and gulped down his pumpkin juice.
"Why not? Ron thinks you're good."
Hermione, the wicked witch of the West, saw her chance to interrupt and smiled like a Cheshire cat.
"He's not just good Neville. He's /brilliant/. He should really enter." she grinned widely, her eyes narrowed into Harry's. The boy glared back at them and shook his head stubbornly. He would not play. Not anymore. The last thing he needed was making a fool of himself in front of the entire school. Imagine that, he thought sarcastically.
"I'm not playing. End of discussion, never want to hear of it again." he ordered firmly and turned back to pile some food on his plate, blatantly ignoring Hermione's subtle nudges to at least consider the option.
Eventually, his wish was respected and none of his friends brought up the festival in his presence. That was the week before Tuesday.
Today was Tuesday, and Harry couldn't be more ashamed and embarrassed of himself than he was now.
Dean and Neville had told /everyone/. And he really meant /everyone/ of his unique talent in music, by lunch half of the school and two teachers already knew that he could play two instruments with closed eyes, and had unabashedly invited him to the participate.
The excited buzz didn't die, no matter how firm Harry tired to say ' No '. He could feel his friends restlessly throwing glances at him, too afraid to out right say it like the others. It was in that moment that Harry regretted playing for them in the first place. It had been two years ago, and he was naive, playing for them and telling them about George. It was a mistake. He knew that the moment Ron dared him to really prove that he can play while blindfolded.
But it wasn't like he had any other options either. He wanted to talk, needed to let it all out, the small ball of sadness that was etched in his chest after George died. Never telling him what he had meant to say. Harry did not remember grieving for George other than the time he found his first letter. He put it all aside. The flute, his notes, George's blue notebook. All of them safely packed away in his trunk, never meant to be seem again.
And now, there was this damn festival. He knew exactly what George would say though.
"Don't slack off lad, you know you want to play. Don't fool yourself and others." he could even smell the musk and cigarette too.
Shut up. He snapped back.
George Lightwood had no right to scold him in his grave, this was Harry's life, and George, or whatever his name really was, had no place in it anymore.
Maybe that was the reason for his wariness. He had always thought of the man of George Lightwood. After finding that letter, and numerous others... Harry got more curious, he looked for the man's name everywhere, convinced that George wanted him to see that letter. But that was the problem. He never found anyone, alive or deceased, by the name of 'George Lightwood', let alone a blind one at that.
He didn't even found the surname Lightwood in the war causalities, or anywhere really...
He figured, maybe the man was a squib, and so looked for registered squibs for nearly two years. The only person by the same name had been dead for fifty years. The George Lightwood he had found was found dead in a mine while working. There was even a body to prove.
After their escapade with polyjuice potion, Harry wondered whether the man was an imposter, but couldn't remember George drinking anything suspicion every hour in his presence, so he crossed that one out too.
He finally gave up, never thinking of asking Dumbledore or Figg, who also turned out to be a squib. He just tried to forget about his life before Hogwarts, and wave off his mentor's annoying voice in his head, ordering him around. Which he brushed off and ignored as much as he could.
"Coward." he knew George would say, and pursed his lips.
He looked at his frustrated friends, and grimaced.
They had every right to be afraid though, Harry was beyond pissed, and with this year's tension and his current moody attitude, he was like a exploding volcano. Ready to blow on them any second.
Sighing he went back to his essay, avoiding eye contact at all costs.
"Detention Potter! No running in the halls." the toad like teacher cried out in triumph, and walked up to him. Harry paused, his mouth closing with a sharp snap, and his knuckles just itching to punch something else. He was running away from /her/, so he wouldn't have to bear another week of Detention with the cow.
"Degree number 49, clearly states that actions such as running, skipping, jogging and etc in the hallways, staircases and classes is illegal Mr. Potter. Detention for your disobedience." she giggled and straightened the pink bow on her head, smirking at the crowd gathering around the two. Harry cursed inwardly.
"... And degree number 105 is precisely against student gathering and trafficking, again, in the hallways, staircases, and etc. It seemed you just bought yourself another week worth of detention Potter. " she said in her annoyingly girly voice and walked away, her huge backside swaying to left and right with each forceful step in her high heels.
"I hate her. I really do." Harry declared when she was out of earshot, ignoring Hermione's sympathetic comment.
"That cow! What a complete...!" Ron closed his mouth abruptly when Hemrione glared, and huffed. Harry shook his head and trailed after the two, anger flooding his head, and his eyes seeing red.
That miserable hag! She just loved to watch him squirm, she loved poking him and pushing his buttons to the brim. So he would lash out, and she would have more excuses to give him detention and then watch him carve words in his own hand. Harry was surprised the woman wasn't a deatheater, although, he didn't think even Voldemort would want a pink blasted toad like her.
"....And I think this is the reason why you should participate in the festival Harry, that woman is insufferable! You have to show her that you won't... "
Harry listened to her ranting, still fuming over the undeserved detentions he had received earlier.
Hermione was right, to some extent. Umbridge couldn't ban him from playing flute, or playing at all. Quidditch was one thing, but this was more personal, and it made him feel happy... He shook his head savagely.
Not happening Potter. Get used to it. He toughened up and tried his hardest to not think about his hands on the sleek back flute, fingers bending gracefully, and his breath flowing out of the instrument, and his body buzzing with delight...
He dug his nails in the palm of his hand, and took a deep breath. He needed to get rid of that flute. And soon.
"Hey Ron, fancy a game of chess?"
Ron shrugged with a grimace, a guitar case in his hand. "Sorry mate, I'm off to rehearsal. You sure you're not coming?"
Oh, Harry was more than sure that he wasn't going with Ron. "No thanks, I just play with Hermione. Have fun though." Ron paused by the portrait, looking thoroughly uncomfortable.
"Um...Mate? She's already there too. At the rehearsal." Harry gaped, his mind going bank at the utter injustice.
Harry cursed, fighting off the temptation. It was just his luck though, what were the odds that /both/ of his friends wanted to play some stupid instrument in a stupid festival? He was just agitated and was being unfair, Harry knew that... But the pain of watching them gush over their talent, watch them play and show off to other, filled his chest with longing to do the same.
His efforts to forget about the flute, and stop thinking about playing the grand black piano in the great hall seemed futile as days passed and the upcoming Tuesday was coming closer.
You can't play them anyway, he tried to convince himself. It had been years since he had laid hands on a piano or touched his flute willingly with the purpose of using it, he would just make a fool of himself anyway. It seemed more concerning now, that he couldn't actually remember some of the basic, but tricky stuff George had taught him. But he didn't let himself mull over it. He was not going to participate and hence had no worries.
His act of self denial, lasted about two days after the rehearsals, and he was physically sick with anticipation and disgust. He felt like an addict in withdrawal, he ached every time he heard some student playing something down in the common room, or see Ron practice on his beaten up Guitar. His fingers itched to get on something, anything, to play with.
It got to a point that he even day dreamed about playing as he was in detention with Umbridge, drumming his fingers rhythmically on the doomed parchment as he carved on the other one with the quill, the toad positively bristled as she caught him and other students goofing around and happy again, thus confirming Harry's earlier suspicions of her being a cruel hag.
Even if the satisfaction of seeing her squirm was priceless, Harry was not willing to give it a chance, he was stubborn enough, and if he could last till Tuesday evening, which was only three days away, then things could go back to normal, and he could worry about real problems.
Like Voldemort, deatheaters, strange dreams, war and misery, world hunger... Anything that mattered more than that stupid sound ringing in his ears. It sang to him, whispered in his ears whenever he was in classes and eating, it called to him to pick up his flute, to play something, anything...
But Harry fought back ruthlessly. He would /not/ relent.
"You know you want it kid. Just let it flow." he heard George say in his dreams, and he couldn't. He would not think back to the days where he was happy and world was simple. Where it was only him and George, when the beatings from uncle Vernon didn't matter as much, or when his fingers played on the piano keys, George's commanding voice, firmly teaching him how to be better, how to be himself and let the magic happen.
"Did you hear Harry? They say Snape is playing too!" Harry's head snapped to the conversation and he shook his head.
Dean bobbed his head and others joined in. "Heard it today at the rehearsal. Snape's gonna play the closing! Can you imagine /him/ of all people?!"
Harry couldn't, but shook his head anyway. "What is he playing?"
How can he even play?! Harry had never considered Snape a musician. It felt wrong, to imagine the greasy bat as one though. Musicians were gentle, delicate with fragile hearts and calm behavior. And if Harry had been lucid enough in the man's classes, he would know that Snape was /none/ of those. If anything the man was downright cruel, arrogant, stuck up and too much obsessed with potions to play anything.
It just seemed ridiculous, like saying that Sprout killed small animals in her free time, it was that unbelievable and unreal.
"He's playing piano. I could get that much. It's really bullocks isn't it?!"
"Bloody hell." Ron cursed and Nevile agreed while he gulped in fear.
Harry rolled his eyes. Figures.
Out of all of the instruments the man could play, it had to be the piano, even the image of the bristling man behind something so grand and delicate ate at his nerves and he resisted the argue to gape at the man sitting with other teachers just a few feet away.
Harry shook his head. It wasn't just meant to be.
Later that night, Harry went through his trunk, feeling as he was in a trance, he rummaged the trunk for his notes, with determination and a ting of smugness, although he had no idea what for.
Everyone was already asleep, and snores could be heard throughout the boy's dormitory, Harry had just woken up from another George induced dream. It was that night again, the night that George was murdered, and he looked frantic.
Harry was behind the piano, as usual with closed eyes and his fingers spread out on the keys, his nose filled with smoke and his ears full of sounds and different tunes. He just played for a while, flexed his fingers, and warmed up his focus, he slowly built his way up to the complicated tunes, but kept a firm pace and discipline on his posture.
George didn't say anything, Harry wanted to open his eyes and snap at the man for smoking so much in one day, but he felt miles away, he felt deeply detached from the room and from his body and all he could hear was the sound of the keys, as he pushed them down, as his fingers skimmed over them, and as smoke filled his lungs.
"Prove it to him. Show him. You can do it, I see it now boy. Show him." his mentor's words swirled around his brain like the smoke, and Harry woke up panting for breath, his eyes wide and his heart frantic for a shred of sound, of a familiar tune.
Now, here he was, kneeling in front of his trunk and looking thorough his possessions in the dark, too spooked to find his wand and cast a lumos.
Harry found the back shiny flute, originally he was looking for his notes but was mesmerized by the instrument just laid out before him. Itching for him to play, finely tuned, and ready for use. Harry fought back harder, he thrust the flute back in his trunk and slammed it shut.
He promised himself that he would never play again, and he wouldn't. That's final.
With a disturbed mind and aching limbs Harry got back in his bed. Tossing and turning all night.
The hall applauded, the students were in the edge of their seats, some cheering for more, and some still admiring the new decor. Harry was the latter. He put every effort in his being to focus on the Hall instead of the music blasting all around him.
He blurred the words, and just concentrated on the small bright spot /behind/ the stage, his eyes squinted in the Hall's darkened light and rows of seats placed circularly around the one stage in the middle. No tables could be found and the ceiling was always a starry night, adding additional beauty to the room.
Harry noticed everything, even though he tried not to, he could distinguish every sound, every instrument with closed or glazed over eyes, courtesy of his mentor.
He had this childish usage to cover his eyes and start singing so he wouldn't hear others singing and playing. Or reach in his robe and take out his own flute. Harry squirmed guiltily. He couldn't just take his eyes off the thing all morning and had brought it along, hidden under his shirt just like the old days. He just hoped that no one would go for classic tonight.
Much to his displeasure, It seemed like nearly all of the students and bands had gone with the classic tide, every performance had a classical instrument to it, now be it piano or violin or a damn trumpet. Harry was having a hard time sitting through it while doing nothing.
Why hadn't anyone thought of playing rock?! Or jazz?! Or something aside from Harry's torture instruments?! he would prefer to do anything else, even scrub the toilets clean if that bought him his way out of the festival.
Sadly it didn't. The doors were locked, Umbridge and Snape chaperoned between the seats, her toad like eyes glaring and Snape's face fixed in a sneer whenever his eyes caught Harry's. There was no escape.
Around the time Ron and his buddies were up the stage, Harry simply resigned himself to his fate and crossed his arms, listening to the piece mainly for Ron and for his own curious mind.
They weren't that bad, Harry could admit, they even had a Ravenclaw drummer, so it was a nice change from the classical tide, Hermione surprisingly could play the tambourine rather well, and Harry silently cheered for her.
What pissed him off, through the whole play, was not the song, and rather the block who was playing the piano, Harry didn't know why, but everything about the guy irked him, the way he punched the keys as if they were made of metal with his meaty fingers, and his face screwed in a frown. Or the way the sounds came out all wrong as the boy played, nothing was in tune, in Harry's opinion, and the boy looked like he was not enjoying himself at all.
Harry narrowed his eyes. How could someone not appreciate something as blessed as a piano? Something so peaceful and beautiful, and that boy made it out like it was nothing but a heap of rubbish. He seethed in his seat quietly, his mouth curled in a Snape worthy sneer and his arms crossed in front of him defensively.
Finally his torture was coming to its end, as Ron's band was second to last, and the last was Snape. He took a deep breath and braced himself, forcefully congratulating his friends as they joined him in their seats.
"How you're holding up?"
"Fine." Harry seethed, gazing ahead.
Ron shook his,head in confusion."You don't look fine to.." Hermione interrupted him swiftly.
"What you think? Were we good?"
Harry growled, narrowing his eyes. "It was good enough."
In the dark, he couldn't quite make out the expressions on their faces, so just started ahead, too irritated and pissed off to compliment them.
"Are you alright?" Hermione's voice broke through the Slytherin's deafening applaud.
Harry only pursed his lips in response, glaring as Snape made his way to the front of the stage and sat down behind the grand black piano. Beautifully set in the middle, and shined merrily, slick and soft.
"Go on Harry, play. Close your eyes and let the magic happen." George's voice was clear and strict, and for a second Harry genuinely thought the man was there.
He shook his head, shaking off the goosebumps on his arms. He only had to sit through this one and then he was free. He thought, please let this Tuesday end already. Please. He pleaded, ignoring Snape and staring at the piano.
"Play." He itched to snap out loud and tell the man to sod off, this was his life, and he would rule it. If he didn't want to play then he wouldn't.
He was so engrossed in his own internal conflicts that he completely missed Dumbledore's speech, by the time he paid attention the man had started playing.
His jaw was set in a firm line, and his hands pressed the cold flute in his warm flesh, Harry narrowed his eyes and his fists clenched. Snape was playing and he wasn't. Snape was behind that piano and he wasn't. It infuriated him, to the point that his leg was bouncing and his face flushed.
Snape certainly knew how to play, Harry gave him that, the piece was familiar to Harry, though he couldn't place it. Snape 's performance wasn't flawless, it sounded fluent, but it was incomplete. Harry felt like something lacked, in fact he was so mesmerized by that fact that he almost didn't hear Ron's grumbling.
"Bloody hell!" the red head exclaimed, and Hermione nodded as well.
Harry jerked his face towards his friends and sneered. "Something's missing." he muttered.
His friends shook their heads, having not heard their friend clearly.
"What?" Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow.
He didn't know why he did what he did next. Maybe it was a reflex, maybe the imperfect tone was what got to him, or merely because he was agitated and jealous. But surely the day had a hand in it.
This Tuesday couldn't possibly get worst and it did.
Harry snapped his jaw and snapped loudly. "It's missing something!"
The Hall instantly went silent and Snape paused, his glare immediately on the boy who lived. Harry shark in his seat, and gulped, feeling uncomfortable as suddenly all of the eyes were on him. Apparently he had said it way louder than he meant to.
He blushed furiously, and looked down on his lap. Horrified with himself, the boy covered his face in indignation and shame.
The Hall remained silent for at least ten seconds before Umbridge cleared her throat, and Snape looked at her blankly. Dumbledore stayed silent.
"If you will Professor." Snape's slick voice cut through , and made Harry look up in confusion. Snape's sneer could be seen on the second row, and Harry swore inwardly.
Umbridge sputtered, but did not intervened again.
"Did you have something to add Mr. Potter?" Harry numbly shook his head, wondering why the man couldn't just go on with his show.
"Are you sure Potter? I must have been wrong but it seemed like you deemed yourself a professional in the..."
"The boy has a tongue Minerva. Well Potter? What am I 'missing'?" Harry glared as the man mocked him and some laughed along.
"Nothing." he whispered and stood.
"I didn't hear you Potter, what profession do you have in this field to deem my performance incomplete?" the man spat in anger.
Harry's insides melted in humiliation as the students sneered and laughed again. He bit his lip.
'tell them, you idiot! Show him! Prove that you can play!' Harry gulped down the bulge in his throat and repeated.
Sounds of protest came from the teachers, as they admonished Snape and the Slytherins jeered at him with disgust.
"Ignore his lies Severus. It isn't the first time the boy sees himself above authority."
Umbridge declared in her girly voice and scoffed. Unable to take it anymore, Harry weaved his way through the seats quickly, completely forgetting that they were locked.
"He can play with closed eyes!" a voice shouted out just as he was at the door. Harry closed his eyes in shame as other students agreed, some having heard the gossips concerning his musical abilities.
"And he can play the flute."
This how he got here. To this moment of shame.
It was a Tuesday.
In fact, it was a crappy Tuesday. One most would prefer to stay cocooned in their bed and drink hot vanilla, or in his case, dig a hole in the ground and die, or take role in a game of Russian Roulette with a loaded gun. He was /that/ embarrassed.
Thankfully, or rather unfortunately the headmaster interrupted the chaos and stood, his arms up in a gesture to calm everyone.
"Silence! Everyone remain in their seats! Mr. Potter if you would also return to your seat please." in a walk of shame, Harry slowly turned, feeling like it was forth year all over again. All of them muttering, stage whispering, accusing him of being a fake. Of lying.
Faces passed by as he quickly made his way to the second row, some jeering, some hopeful and some angry on his behalf. Harry ignored all, and just returned to his seat, tuning out Dumbledore's speech as he called everyone down.
"Harry..." Hermione's apologize was interrupted as the toad cleared her throat the moment Dumbledore shut his mouth.
"Detention Mr. Potter with..." again the music was disrupted, Snape glared at him coldly.
"I have a proposal Dolores, he is my student after all." the other Professors looked ready to step in but Dumbledore stopped them all, looking at Harry with a knowing look and twinkle in his eyes.
"What is that Severus?" she asked in her high pitched voice, smoothing her pink skirt. Snape flexed his wrists, never taking his eyes off him.
Harry could already feel the cold sweat bead on his forehead as the woman sweetly smiled in return.
His professor sneered. "Let him prove himself. Come up here Potter. Show us your real self." everyone could here the mock in the man's voice, but no one was more angry and humiliated as Harry was. Done with his politeness, Harry ignored his friends and stood again, his hands balled in fists as he glared back at Snape.
"What are you waiting for Potter? Come and show me the flaw." Harry heard the voices as if he was under water.
Stealthy he shed his robes and reached under his shirt, ignoring the cries of surprise and dumbstruck faces, he only watched Snape's taken back expression before fishing out the flute and holding it out in his hands.
"Potter..." the smirk was gone, and Snape had narrowed his eyes. Harry glared back and walked to the podium, not noticing the abysmal state of his over grown clothes, Harry closed his eyes, walking in a trance.
He was doing it. In the most horribly and dramatic way he could imagine, George would be so ashamed of him right now.
He brushed off the shame and humiliation and brought the flute to his lips, the flesh ghosted over the slick black surface and Harry never had felt so nostalgic as he was feeling now.
His fingers closed on the holes, the base of his fingers caressing the smooth surface, his breath tuned out of the black flute, just as he liked it, flawless. He never took many breaks or pauses to breath while playing, it was what made it iconic, George had told him years ago,Back then, Harry never thought of it, thinking that it was normal, and he just had good lungs as George had suggested, but over the years, as he grew, as he watched others playing the instrument, he knew that he wasn't normal, and neither was his playing.
He couldn't care that Hall was in stunned silence, that Snape was not playing and even Umbridge had shut up. He must have looked ridiculous, clad in Dudley's hideous shirt and a pair of worn out jeans, but he didn't let it get to him. Not again.
Even though his legs were trembling, and his insides were quinsy, his hands remained focused and unwavering. Hundreds of eyes ogled him with amazement and awe, student and teacher alike, all aside Snape were staring at him. It always made him nervous, being the chosen one and the always the center of attention in every sort of crowd, he wasn't uncomfortable at all, his closed eyes were probably one of the facts, but he couldn't care.
He hadn't let himself indulge in music for so long, that he was slowly becoming undone, it seemed like the more he played the more at ease he felt, his head light from the lack of breath and his legs trembled again, but Harry fought over, he heard George praising him, and he smiled.
He didn't know when, but at one point the silence broke and the family sound of piano joined his flute, they were the same song, full of ups and downs and rhythm, it never quite sounded good on solitary piano, he could imagine George say.
It always needs a back up, always paired up with another instruments. That's what makes it full and majestic.
Harry took a deep breath through his nose and blew in the flute as swiftly as he could, he wasn't in the Great Hall anymore, he was all by himself, playing in the dark, George was playing the piano, not Snape, they were in tune, so much so, that the sound almost wasn't distinguishable.
The song eventually ended and Harry dared to open his eyes seconds before the crowd /roared/. The applaud seemed so loud that Harry thought that he had gone deaf, he looked around, first at the teachers, who ever cheering just as loudly with Umbridge sputtering.
And dumbledore smiled. With the same twinkle and knowing look. In an instant, Harry knew that the man knew.
His took big gulps of breath, feeling as if he was being suffocated, as distracted as he was, he nearly didn't notice the potion master looming over him.
"Potter." the man snapped and Harry turned tiredly, his hand rubbing his chest.
"Professor." here it comes. He prepared himself for the lash out, with acceptance and a ting of disappointment.
Snape's sneer fell, and the man was completely stoic. "No detention."
Harry's eyes bulged and the Hall cheered like mad, Snape merely looked around in disgust before turning dramatically, his robes billowing as he stalked to the teacher's table.
He didn't know who was more shocked. Himself or Umbridge, or the Gryffindors, and he felt like crying. Only if George was here to see. That's what he thought about as his friends ruffled him up, patting him on the shoulder and hugging him.
"You've done good. I was right wasn't I lad? Music is magic."
It was the last whisper from his first mentor. It felt like a farewell, and after years of pent up grief Harry felt alive again, swarming in the crowd, flute in hand.
Music was magic.
hope you enjoyed it.
lots of love
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.