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Resolution Chapter 86 - Scene 5

* * *

Harry greeted Suze with the softest of kisses. He tried to look behind her gaze, but received only fleeting impressions of his cloaked bulk and physical strength looming before her. The ball of energy rose up in him as always. He dwelled on the feel of it, how it made him acutely alive. He tried to hold it there in the front of his consciousness, to make it merge with the unformed spell. It held steady, prickling his spirit.

Her hand grew slick gripped in his. "Come down to Severus' office with me."

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It took three re-writes, but this scene turned out better than I thought it could. In the early versions I was doing too much tell. The harder the scene is to write, the better show is.

Added: many scenes yet to go. The ending will be clearly the ending.

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Resolution Chapter 86 - Scene 4

* * *

Harry returned home from training and drew in a deep breath. The magical energy inside him had swollen to the point that he was relieved he could breathe at all. He looked forward to being unburdened from it this evening, if he made it that long.

Arcadius played quietly with his unicorn pull toy while Harry bent over his research notes. They were ruffled and smudged now. He paged through them again. None of the spells alone were right. All of them together weren't right. But all of them together meant something. They built a bridge, they formed a world, they provided waymarks. If he made them part of himself, he could remake the spell energy he carried into what he needed. By remaking the spells he could remake himself into something more than he had been left with.

Harry licked his lips imagining this. If only he could create the spell before executing it, but there was no way to do that. It would work only when it was time. He felt hungry and anxious but satiated by a strangely calm confidence.

Candide put her magazine down. "Need help?"

Harry lifted his head but didn't reply right away. The question made something inside his chest vibrate. "I do. But not on this."

"You should leave early for your date. Looks like you could use it."

He did fear losing the spell energy before then. But it always surged stronger when he saw her. He made himself not worry.

"You all right?" Candide asked.

"I'm working on something."

"Something Severus knows about?"

Harry folded his notes away into his pocket as a cloth-like bundle and opened a book to pretend to read. "He will. I promised I wouldn't do spells like this without him being present."

"Be careful, Harry. Your magic is sort of strange." Her concerned eyes wavered and fell to Arcadius, who was trying to fit the golden foot of a unicorn into his mouth.

* * *

There is a rule in writing: if it's boring but must be in there, keep it short.

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Resolution Chapter 86 - Scenes 2 & 3

* * *

Arcadius pressed the ear of a stuffed white tiger to his mouth then tossed it away from himself in Harry's direction. Harry bent to scoop the animal up by the leg. He growled and held the animal paws out toward Arcadius, who gave a cry of delight and held his arms out for it. Harry instead made it stalk slowly over to attack the baby's feet. Arcadius curled his legs up, giggling.

Harry marveled at how bright his heart felt, like it was filled with helium and trying to float away. How could this not be his own emotion? Arcadius tugged the toy away by the whiskers. While Arcadius chewed on the toy's ear, Harry replayed what he'd felt from Suze. He longed to feel what she felt, on his own, not just a memory of her emotions from Legilimency. Arcadius was able to make love loop back upon himself, apparently, so it was magically possible to do this.

Harry's chest felt tight, squeezed by something expanding inside him, an idea for a spell. The spell energy he carried came from Suze, so it should be easy to reconnect it back to her, the same way Arcadius' magic connected emotion back to him.

Arcadius handed Harry toy after toy, then crawled around to where Harry had piled them and started the process over again. Something about his round face, his large black eyes, made the rest of the world irrelevant, everything except the idea swelling Harry's chest.

Snape emerged from the drawing room, small trunk in hand. He had been back and forth from school to home all weekend. He set the trunk on the back of the couch and peered at the scene, but especially Harry, who sensed that Candide's presence was the only reason Snape had not sat down for another talk.

"Come and see me when you come for your date," Snape said to him.

Feeling hopeful and therefore confident, Harry fully met his gaze and held it.

After a long moment, Snape nodded and departed. Harry thought maybe his Legilimency was improving. It felt like a conversation had occurred in that glance.

* * *

At the ministry the next morning, Harry greeted Rodgers at the door to the training room and blocked him from entering.

"Any progress on finding The Boss?"

Rodgers lowered the files bundled in his arms and exhaled. "Not yet."

Harry worked very hard to not sound difficult. "What are you doing to find him?"

"We're putting out feelers both with people who might be sympathetic to him as well as to those with the skills to help him. We're repurposing some devices usually used for the Knight Bus to see if they will draw a bead on it. We've put out some rumors that we hope will lure him into contacting someone who is actually working for us. We've got no leads so far so he may not even be in the country right now." He relaxed and considered Harry. "Sometimes you just have to wait for the enemy to make a mistake."

Rodgers waited and Harry said, "Thanks."

"Just have to ask." Rodgers dropped his things onto his desk. "As long as it's not a sensitive case, happy to oblige."

Harry waited in the doorway, looking at each of his fellows. They were settling into their desks and conversing in the semi-teasing, semi-depreciating manner that dominated the Auror's office. Harry felt his shoulders relax and his heart warming. These were exactly the right witches and wizards to take this journey with.

Rodgers held his hand out in Harry's direction and snapped his fingers. Harry ducked his head and took a seat. He really needed to convince the Wizengamot to let him stay. He slid his spell research notes out from under the edge of his assigned reading while he followed along with Rodgers' lecture.

Maybe it was just as well he couldn't fly this week.

* * *
I realized something during writing workshop last night while reading an old romance opening I'd brought. Some things are in there just to serve the genre, something that I can't bear to have in what I'm writing, except for extreme necessity. In romance, this happens a lot, especially in the opening. But, the lesson for me was: if it has to be in there, just let it be in there, fighting it makes it stand out more, which makes it worse.

This is apropos to the second scene here, which contains a moment that moves toward the conclusion. Pretty much the only reason it's in there. In the middle of a story, I wouldn't have included the second half of the second scene where Harry assesses where he is and with whom, which means the scene wouldn't have been justified. (Although I also wanted to show that Harry is learning how to be part of an organization.)

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Chapter 86 of Resolution -- Scene 1

I'm having a very hard time getting this chapter where I want it. I just noticed upon rereading it from the beginning that I really like the first scene in the chapter, so I'm going to post that, then post each scene as I get them palatable. I'm going to have to go with palatable, I'm afraid. Liking this chapter just isn't going to happen. The qualities that make this chapter work have nothing to do with those that make the others work. And that's just killing me.

Chapter 86 -- Promises Part II

Harry lay back on his pillows with Suze under his arm. Despite feeling this time with her was his reward for a long week, his mind was on his research, which he had spent the evening summarizing. He stroked Suze's hair, thinking about a spell he'd found that obsessively focused the mind and wondering if it could be combined with a spell that caused someone to suffer from debilitating nostalgia.

"You're so enigmatic," Suze said.

Harry turned his attention to her. "Good," he said.

"What are you going to dress up as for Halloween? That always tells me a lot about someone."

"Halloween?"

"You are inviting me to your party right? I'm sure I can sneak away. I've been working on my Doppelgänger. Want to see it?"

"I'll have to send invitations . . ." Harry faded out, wondering where the year went.

"That's enough staring into space for now." She undid the buttons of his shirt. "Hey, where are your scars?"

"I had them fixed today."

She rocked up on an elbow and stared at him. "You didn't ask me first?"

Harry's face twisted into a disbelieving smile. "It hurt when I was flying in my Animagus form."

"Oh. That's all right then. You still have others, right?"

Harry held out his right arm. "Werewolf bite."

"Oh, that's a good one." She let her fingers drift over the ripples on his forearm. "And this one." She stroked his forehead. "Don't lose that one."

After Suze fell asleep, Harry tweaked the lamp up and pulled over his notes from beside the bed. He was intensely grateful that he could read and write easily now. He could never memorize all this.

Suze slept in lax stillness beside his parchments, fingers curled upward as if holding something invisible. Her hair flowed back from her face in long ribbons. Harry had to admit he wasn't doing this for her, but for himself.

Careful to keep the rasping sound of shifting notes to a minimum, Harry read his spell summaries again. None of the spells would work. None of them could generate love. Even combining them would not succeed.

Harry pulled out a quill and, risking dripping on the sheets, drew a little chess board in the margin. He drew a heart where the black queen would sit, and stared at it. If he were honest he would draw a book inside every other square. It was a losing game. He wasn't doing this right. The answers weren't in any book, no matter how many vaults it was locked inside for safety.

Instead, he drew nothing more on the chessboard and propped the parchment up against the pillows to stare at the heart sitting alone. He was playing to his own weaknesses by using someone else's magic. He needed a spell entirely of his own.

Harry looked at Suze again. The lamplight made her hair appear blonde in the front, the moonlight made it silver on the back. Her brow line looked even more youthful in sleep.

Harry put his parchments away and sat up straighter to think. He let his eye rover over the covers from his knees to her shorter legs, tracing how the parchment-colored light from the lamp transitioned to the silver blue moonlight on the other half of the bed. He felt the stomach turning giddiness of someone about to jump off something.

Harry put a hand on Suze's shoulder. She jerked awake and blinked in the light.

"Look at me," Harry said.

"I am looking." She rubbed one eye, then the other as she sat up.

"Think of holding Arcadius and then think about what you feel for me."

Suze sat up all the way and shuffled closer. "What?"

Harry gently took her shoulders. "Think of holding--"

"Right."

"Look at me, though."

With a silly grin, she said, "You are trying to seem even more enigmatic by acting mad, right?"

"Humor me?"

She set her face and after some thought, complied.

Harry caught her thoughts on the second try. He felt chest-warming affection, hunger, worry, fear, a desire to never be farther than a few feet away, more worry, a desire just to look at him, to dwell on the details of his physical self, where his neck met his shoulder, where his collarbone transitioned to his chest, where his . . .

Harry looked away. Everyone felt more than he did, even for him.

Suze pulled her head back. "That felt strange."

"I'm not very good at it anymore. It used to be really easy."

She put her arms around his waist. "So?"

He put his hands over hers, covering them completely. "So . . . nothing." He kissed the top of her head and pulled her down to sleep for real this time.

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Chapter 86 Status

I'm on my phone, so sorry for errors and short length. I'm still pecking my way through chapter 86, which will be the last chapter. I am so un practiced at wrapping up that every scene is like writing a chapter. The problem comes from working the wrapping up, both emotional and plot, naturally into the scene while still having the scene flow rationally. I had a commenter suggest that the scenes needed structural work and I loled to imagine trying that NOW when I can barely get them down..

Three scenes left. Got a really tough one done yesterday.

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Resolution Chapter 85 Beta Round on LJ

Took me so long to decide this was ready. Every scene, every moment in the story is so critical now that I've lost all perspective on whether it's right or not. It's crazy. Also, work, life, etc, I've not been in a very good writing mood either.

Finally pecked away at it enough to get it rounded out as well as I think I can right now.

Since it's been so long, I'm posting here first round. Thanks for being so patient. This wrapping up is such a different mode for my brain. Honestly, not practiced at it. Bad author, can't finish story!

Chapter 85 -- Promises Part I

Aaron and Ginny were speaking with heads close together while Ginny turned the ring on her finger. Ron sat on the other end of the same sofa, head propped on his hand. Winky appeared and handed him a butterbeer, then turned and handed one to Harry, who lounged opposite Ron.

The Floo sounded and Snape strode in. Candide frowned and put down her things a bit hard.


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Resolution Chapter 84 Preliminary Post

Writing for me is about escapism. Turns out in a wholesale change of environment and nesting in semi-long-term digs, not so much call for escapism.

I've been working on 85. I'm losing the sense of final thrust that this chapter has. Going to have to remedy that.

As a reminder, in 83 the Boss attacked Harry and Candide as they were out for a walk.

Chapter 84 -- Unwinding

The wonderful scent of breakfast greeted Harry as he entered the dining room. Perhaps because of Snape's presence, Winky had laid on a buffet of platters that morning.

Harry ignored the penetrating gaze that followed him from the doorway to the chair and continued as he piled his plate high with scrambled eggs and bacon. Holding back a smile, he met Snape's gaze, knowing his mind was so full of food impressions he had no need to Occlude his thoughts.

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Resolution 84 Has Gone to Beta

I will most likely post here for gamma before 83 is posted as final. I may wait until I have more of 85 written before posting 83.

Probably going to be 86 chapters. 84 is really more than one chapter, but meh on trying to find a new cut point. I like the cliff hanger.

Oops. I shouldn't have said that. :D

It's LONG. 12k words again.

I need to work more on scene structure, as one commenter said (and comes up in workshopping my original stuff too) but at the moment I feel like just getting everything in the scene that needs to be there is all the victory I can handle at this time. Of course that's probably making me sloppier on habits. I did some remodeling on the scenes I thought I could fix, but the others needed to move things along, it just looks hopeless. Also, I'm doing fewer space breaks because lots more time is passing in more places. That's throwing me off. Scenes become something else under those circumstances, but I don't want all the breaks in there. I don't think it would help.

Anyway, enough whining. Here's a picture.

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The Book of Harry Potter



I laughed. I cried. I cried laughing.

(Maybe I'm way behind and everyone's already seen this...)

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