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Chapter 27

Days past and the dark aura never left the block. Alexis gazed out her oval window onto the street below, trying to glimpse this wayward spirit. It remained elusive, hidden, just out of reach of Alexis’s abilities to track. Both Jason and Kaylee seemed to have kept a special eye on Alexis over the holiday break. Even Minky seemed to pop up everywhere she went. Sneaking out for a quick jog, or even a simple walk around the block proved to be a challenge.

Other than the lingering spirit, Alexis enjoyed being back at the Dragon’s Scroll. She jumped back into her tech filled life, communicating with her cousins back in Japan, catching up on her favourite shows, movies and blogs.

Christmas eve arrived, making the night club downstairs peaceful for the first time she’s been around. The Dragon’s scroll would be closed for the next couple of night. With her uncle away, and Jason and Kaylee visiting a relative up north, it left Alexis alone with Minky as her only companion. Taking advantage of the quiet, Alexis set up shop in the living room. She put on one of her favourite movies and created talismans with the ink and sacred paper her uncle had given her. She didn’t trust that spirit to remain elusive forever, something would trigger it into action and Alexis wanted to be prepared. Talismans, ofadus – require precision in the art of calligraphy. Alexis had to be careful with her brush strokes as she wrote out the kami’s name, she had to focus the magic spell into the paper. A spell spoken was power, a spell written is just as powerful. The protection ofadus would keep her safe when she returned to Hogwarts.

Alexis’ brush hovered over the last talisman when the doorbell rang out. Puzzled and alarmed, the dark haired teenager paused – reminded herself that spirits do not ring doorbells; especially the malicious ones – and rose to answer. Alexis unlocked the deadbolt and opened the door and received a startling surprise.

“Lilly! What are your doing her?” Alexis sputtered out.

“To kidnap you for Christmas of course.” She answered with a bright smile on her face, her father coming up the steps behind her.

“Mind if we come in?” He asked.

“You didn’t have to do this.” Alexis said, worried about the dark aura that still hung outside. She gave an extra look before closing the door behind the two visitors. “Don’t you have a big family party tonight?”

“Like Lilly said, nobody should be alone at Christmas. You’re uncle is really out of town?” Mr. Potter asked.

“Yeah, Spain. Though nobody told me why or what for.”

“Well, grab your stuff and let’s get a move on.” Lilly said, not wasting any time snooping around the house.

“Visitors, how nice.” Minky popped in. She wore a red dress, with a poinsettia flower as a hat. “Shall I grab some tea mistress Alexis?”

“Ah, yes please Minky. This is Mr. Potter and Lilly.”

“I know Harry Potter when I see him.” She said with a high pitch voice.

“Sorry about this, she seems a bit excited over you.” Alexis blushed at Harry.

“It’s alright, she actually reminds me of a friend of mine. She’s a free house-elf?”

“Yes. She has a bond with my uncle and won’t leave his side.”

“Alexis, let’s see your room!” Lilly shouted from the staircase.

“Ah, right.” Alexis called up behind Lilly as she tackled the stairs. She turned to Harry and gave him an awkward smile. “Make yourself comfortable, you can turn off the movie, I guess I won’t be finishing it tonight.”

Twenty minutes later Alexis had an overnight bag packed. Lily had stood in awe of her attic room, admiring the paintings and view. By the time they returned to the main floor, Minky had tea and a plate full of snacks for everyone. It seemed Harry Potter liked the house-elf the two talked easily with each other.

“You’ll tell Kaylee where I am, right?” Alexis asked Minky as they finished up the snack.

“No worries Mistress, she will be happy to hear of you spending time with friends.”

“K, just… keep an eye on things, will you?”

“Of course.” Minky answered closing the door on Alexis’ face. The dark aura stirred as if awakening from some deep sleep. It was still keeping its distance and hiding just out of her senses, but Alexis still felt a disturbance as she entered the Potter’s car.

Lilly didn’t stop talking all the way to their house on the other side of London. There were family members she had to mention, not only would Rose and Hugo be there, but Victory and Teddy, and other Weasley family members Alexis had not meet or seen. Names spun in her head, Alexis doubted she could keep track of everyone, it was like some massive family reunion.

Harry parked the car a block away, and the trio walked past a park, Harry gave Alexis a slip of paper with an address on it. She looked up at the row of houses, noticing the one number on the piece of paper was missing. As if on cue, the neighbouring houses moved to either side as 12 Grimauld Place emerged.

“Some security system.” Alexis commented.

“Yeah, pretty nifty. Now that you’re made aware of the address, you’re welcome here anytime.”

“That’s kind of you.” Alexis said with a genuine awe.

The house was packed full of people, all strangers to Aelxis. It was full of high energy, of celebrate joys and festivities. Children ran through the hallways yelling at the top of their lungs. Groups of adults lingered together, laughing and talking away. A broken wall laid to Alexis’s right. Something large had once hung there, and it took a lot of strength and magic to remove it. She wondered why nobody tried to cover it up, or said anything about it. It was a gapping eyesore compared to the rest of the decor.

“Welcome to the Potter House.” Harry said into Alexis’s year. “These are a few of our friends, make yourself at home.” He patted her shoulder and joined his wife. Lilly had grabbed her bag and disappeared up stairs. Feeling even more alone and isolate, Alexis wondered through the house, admiring the architecture and smiling at the happy family in all the photographs that hung on the wall. Lilly reappeared and introduced her to several family members and family friends. Alexis did her best to keep herself entertained and enjoy herself despite not knowing anyone around her.

The evening wore on, and the party began to fad. Family members and friends left, wishing everyone a happy christmas before they departed. Exhausted, Alexis followed Lilly up to her room where three beds stood waiting for them. Rose sat on one of them already, a book in her hand. The three girls exchanged brief recollections of the party before falling asleep.

***

Somewhere between pitch black and dawn, Alexis woke up with a start. Groggy and panicked for some unknown reason she stood straight up in her bed. There was a soft grey light coming through Lilly’s window, but it was still early. She couldn’t hear anyone else in the house moving. What had it been that woke her up? Alexis leaned back down, but the moment her head hit the pillow – the sensation returned. It was the spirit, stronger than before. How? Alexis asked herself. Was she safe here? Where the Potters and their family safe? Surely the place had it’s own set of protective spells like the Dragon’s Scroll. She was still safe here, wasn’t she?

The paranoia wouldn’t let go of the teenager’s restless mind. She tossed and turned but couldn’t get back to sleep. She didn’t even have anything to protect herself with. Her bow and arrows were back at the Dragon’s Scroll, same with her talismans. The few she had with her were old and she doubted their magic would last agains something that powerful. Then there were the laws here, she couldn’t even use any purification spell for fear of being expelled from Hogwarts.

Giving up on sleep, Alexis slipped out of bed. Only then noticing the boxes of gifts at the end of her bed. She bent down to look at a few of the tags. Eloise, Lilly, Skye… even Zack had sent her something for christmas. She smiled at the gesture and took Zack’s gift in her hand to give it a little shake before setting it back down. She was curious what gift Zack would think to give her, but wanted to wait until everyone else was up. Instead, the dark haired teenager moved downstairs to start a pot of tea. There was a window on the landing that looked out onto the park across the road. Alexis froze the moment her eyes rested on the scene in front of her. She pressed her face against the cold pane of glass, too stunned to say a word.

A dark shadow lingered in the park in the predawn light. It looked like a wolf, or was it a bear? Something large and definitely not normal. This was it, Alexis thought. This was the dark spirit that had been trailing her for the past few days. If only she had her arrows!

A jogger rounded the corner, heading directly towards the park’s entrance. Alarmed Alexis ran down the last flight of stairs. “No, don’t go that way!” She thought in her head, a small hope that this one will of hers would somehow be telepathically sent to the muggle. Reaching the main floor she grabbed the knob and tried to open the door. It was locked. Frantically she ran into the nearby room and opened the curtains. The jogger had just reached the park’s iron gates, the beast seemed to notice him too. Alexis pounded on the glass. The runner didn’t hear her, couldn’t even see her! The beast gave one flick of its tail, just enough to alter the jogger’s balance. He fell onto the street – the exact moment a truck passed by. Neither could avoid the outcome of events.

“So this is what you feed on?” Alexis mumbled to herself, forcing to watch the bloody scene unfold. The jogger fell limp to the ground, while the truck driver made a hasty stop and jumped out of his cab. He had a phone to his ear, calling for help. The jogger could still live through this, but the fear, the anxiety and pain created in that moment made the beast grow stronger and more terrifying then before.

Alexis had heard about these sort of spirits, using misfortune as their fuel. They were few, but an arrow with the right spell could destroy it. She was staying in a house with several other more talented witches and wizards than she, maybe they could stop it.

***

It took Alexis time and courage to approach Harry Potter about what was lurking outside their doorway. With all the festivities, it felt wrong somehow to dash their happy attitudes. She waited while everyone unwrapped their gifts and for lunch to finish before approaching the Chosen One.

“Mr. Potter, can I have a word?” She asked, he was talking to Hugo’s father, who had the same reddish hair as Lilly’s sister and many other Weasleys.

“Sure, Alexis, enjoying yourself?”

“I am, this is really generous of you.” Alexis said quickly.

“But, you’re still missing your own family back in Japan?”

“Ah… yeah, how did you know?”

“I saw the look you had in the car on the way over here when Lilly was going over her family tree.”

“Sorry about that, I should have been paying better attention.”

“No, you shouldn’t it’s not your family.” Ron Weasley said with wink, and moving away to give the two their privacy.

“So what did you want to talk about?” Harry asked.

“This may sound… odd. But, there’s something lurking in the park across the road.”

Harry glared at her, but he didn’t laugh. Alexis was grateful, but she doubted he believed her.

“What kind of something?”

“Well, we call it Kurai seishin. A dark spirit… made up of negative energy manifesting into a physical, or semi physical entity.”

“You can see this?”

“Well, I was feeling it since we got off at the train station, I only just saw it this morning…”

“There was an ambulance out this morning, a jogger got hit. You saw that?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, I couldn’t sleep… I saw it all. I think that’s how it feeds, gains strength. Is there anything you can do about it?”

Harry moved to the window overlooking the park. Alexis right by his side. It was a bright and cherry day, the park was full of families enjoying themselves.

“Do you see it now?” He asked.

Alexis frowned. She could sense it, it was there, but was back hiding again. “No, it’s hiding itself.”

“I’m not familiar with this spirit you’ve mentioned. I’ll have to talk with Hermione, but you shouldn’t worry yourself too much about it.” He smiled at her and walked away to join the group. Alexis frowned. Don’t worry about it? How could she when it was following her around?


Chapter 26                           INDEX

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