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Life Collides Chapter Fifteen

A Visit With Hagrid

The club was packed; people from all over coming to listen to everyone perform. Harry was extremely shocked to see the size of the place. The stage was centre, and in front of it little tables and couches were set up for people to sit, as well as small area for people to stand. There was an upper balcony, the set-up much the same. Everyone was talking and enjoying a few rounds. Back stage it chaotic as people rushed to set up things, and the musicians tried to relax in the green room. Emily and Georgia were offering tea and honey to everyone, jabbering about the importance of keeping the vocal chords loose.

But Harry couldn’t sit still. He tried helping Alan with the set up, but he simply shooed Harry away deciding he was more of hinder than a help. So Harry got his guitar and started fiddling around, warming up. He had already done sound check quickly, and received a well enough response from the small crowd of early-comers.

The plan was that he would be first to open. Georgia and Emily had been the ones to break it to the others that he was leaving after his performance, and they were a little upset that he couldn’t be apart of the after party. But Harry didn’t spend much time worrying about their hurt feelings as his mind raced of what the celebratory party he would be attending, not to mention the fact he was doing his first show in England.

Eight thirty came in no time, and it was time for Harry to go on stage. Georgia followed him on stage, holding her own guitar as she would be playing back up to him. He didn’t expect much of a response and he got a small clap. Holding his guitar in his hand, he looked out in the dark room, and blinked for a moment as the spotlight shown on him. Just like the times before, something took over him and he became the new Harry Potter.

“My name is Harry Potter, and uh, it’s been awhile since I’ve been home so it’s great. I just grew up a little ways from here, in Surrey.” As he said this he got a few whoops from the back, and Harry smiled. “I’ve been in Canada a while and this song is sort of about going over there, and it’s called ‘What Makes a Man?’.” Harry stepped away from the mike and began playing, Georgia following up.

I can hear my train coming
It’s a lonesome and distant cry
I can hear my train coming
Now I’m running for my life
What makes a man walk away from his mind?
I think I know
I think I might know…

When Harry finished he was surprised at how quiet everyone had gotten, and when he was finished he received a decent applause, even a few cheers. Flashing a smile, he saw in the corner of his eye a group of girls start talking feverishly and he couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed.

Running his hand through his Harry, he subconsciously meant to flatten it but only succeeded in messing it up further. Playing with the strings, he began changing the key, and leaned over to the mike. “Yeah you have to sit hear and listen to me do the dratted tuning thing. I went to this show, actually my friend, Emily – you guys no Emily right?” the crowd cheered and Harry laughed. “Yeah, well, anyhow, she had this great idea to only use two guitars for a two hour show, so for a good five minutes you would just be sitting there, listening to her tune. Merlin, it was boring.” Harry said, without realizing that he had slipped up. However, everyone thought he was joking and were laughing. Finally finished tuning, he glanced back at Georgia who winked at him. “This next song I’m going to play is called ‘Save Your Scissors’. Enjoy.”

“One, two, three…

So come on, and I will refrain
And I’ll keep on running this never ending race
And maybe next time, will be the right time
And maybe next time will be your time
So save your scissors for someone else's skin
My surface is so tough I don’t think the blade will dig in
Save your strength, save your wasted time
There’s no way that I want you to be left behind
Go on and save your scissors, save your scissors
So why, does it always seem,
That every time I turn around, someone falls in love with me
This has never been my soul intention
And I have never claimed pattens on such inventions
So save your scissors for someone else’s skin
My surface is so tough I don’t think the blade will dig in
Save your strength, save your wasted time
There’s no way that I want you to be left behind
Go on and save your scissors, save your scissors

This time round everyone clapped louder, and Harry gained some more confidence. The crowd was a good one, and didn’t mind cheering on a newcomer and someone they didn’t know. Without meaning to he wondered what time it was, and what Hermione was doing at the moment. He only had one more song to play though Georgia told him if he wanted to he could play a fourth. Loving to be on stage, Harry wanted to play that fourth song but he was nervous to be late getting off and causing Hermione to get upset.

Finally, he decided he was going to play the fourth song, and said, “This next song is a short one and its called ‘The Sleeping Sickness’.”

And I awoke
Only to find that my arms were empty
Through this night it seems that you were with me
And now my dreams are not what they're meant to be
And I am all, alone
And I am all, alone
And I am all, alone
And I am all, alone.

People were slowly trickling to the front of the club, moving there heads this way and that. Harry just continued strumming the guitar, getting lost into this place Georgia often referred to as ‘singer land’ and the music surrounded him.

I'm sleep because of the way you haunt me.
I know you can make me fall apart so softly
And know you turn away so easily
And leave me all, alone
Leave me all, alone
Leave me all, alone.

This time the crowd was a lot louder, and Harry was pumped. Glancing at his wrist watch he was surprised to see it was five minutes to. Looking back at Georgia he nodded his hand, and she knew what he was referring to. She got up, and as she left, Harry quickly said, “Could you clap for my helpful friend back here,” every cheered and Georgia grinned at him, giving him the thumbs up once she was safely back stage. Turning back to the crowd, Harry breathed in deeply. “So this is my last song before Taxi comes on stage, and I just want to thank you for the support and the cheering. I know you’re just doing it to get me off stage but…” Harry let them laugh, “This is my last song so humour me. It’s called ‘Sometimes’.”

If I was a simple man, would we still walk hand in hand?
And if I suddenly went blind, would you still look in my eyes?
What happens when I grow old? And all my stories have been told?
Will your heart still race for me? Or will it march to a new beat?
If I was a simple man

If I was a simple man,
I’d own no home, I’d own no land
Would you still stand by my side?
And would our flame still burn so bright?

As Harry sang this, he flashed his eyes to the crowd, deep in the back, and like a beacon on a stormy night he saw her there. Ginny’s eyes were wide as she walked to where the crowd stood listening, Hermione behind her. They had this look of a amazement, shock and confusion. Harry lost all concentration, and his fingers fell limp against the guitar. People didn’t know what was going on, and some clapped unsure of what else to do, thinking the song was over.

“Ginny,” Harry said softly, his voice echoing around the club. Everyone tried to look to see where Harry was looking, but he didn’t notice. Ginny was staring at him as if she didn’t know him, and his stomach fell a thousand feet. Shaking her head, she backed away from the stage. Ripping the guitar strap from his shoulder, he put the guitar softly on the ground, and jumped off stage to chase her just as she turned to leave. Everyone parted away, murmuring and asking what the hell what was going on. Behind him Harry could hear Georgia and Josh running on stage to ask what the hell was going on, calling my name, and than quickly trying to cover the damage. Out on the street, Harry saw Ginny running for a dark in cove to Disapparate from. Behind him, he could hear Hermione calling his and Ginny’s names.

“Ginny stop!” Harry said, just as he gained on her and managed to grab her shoulder. Spinning her around to face him, tears had formed in her eyes.

“What the hell was that Harry? Why didn’t you tell me? Instead I come here hoping to find the man I love, and instead I find a man I don’t know.” Ginny said, her voice strained.

“What? I’m still the same guy, Ginny. I just didn’t want to tell you about my music because I didn’t think you would understand, I didn’t think any of you would. I was embarrassed, I’m sorry.” Harry pleaded.

Ginny’s face turned angry. “That’s the thing Harry, the guy I knew wouldn’t have run away, and than lied to my face about what he has been doing. The guy I knew would have trusted that his friends would try to understand him because he’s means that much to them. Damn it Harry!” Ginny shouted, pushing Harry hard on the chest. Stumbling back, Harry watched as Ginny turned around, Disapparating on the spot.

Harry stared stunned, unable to move. Hermione came up next to him, looking at him with sad eyes. “Why didn’t you tell us Harry?”

“I don’t know,” Harry’s voice was rough. He had messed up everything.

“You have to come up with something better than that.” Hermione said, and turned around. Going to the same place Ginny had just been, she Disapparated and Harry still couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything to make them understand.

“Harry! What the hell happened?” Emily came up next to him, shaking his arm. She was followed by Georgia, who looked just as confused.

“Who were those people?” Georgia asked, “Where did they go?” she questioned, glancing down the street.

“That was her - Ginny,” Harry groaned and began walking down the street, away from the club. Running his hand through his hair, he felt completely helpless. He had messed up, big time. He should never have lied to Ginny and Hermione; and she should not have left the show. He didn’t even want to think about what Josh was going to say to him later that night.

“Harry, where are you going? Stop walking away from us and explain!” Emily called, she and Georgia quickening their pace as he began to walk faster.

Harry spun to look at them and glared. “Just leave me alone and go back to your show and do what you do – where you belong! Where I can’t belong.” Harry mumbled the last part.

“What are you talking about?” Georgia stared at him. “Why do you have to choose where you belong’? If they don’t understand that you love music, then it’s there problem not yours.”

Harry groaned, walking away backwards. “I just need to get out of here.” Harry breathed, and broke out into a run, pushing past Georgia and Emily. He went down the street, paying no attention to his surrounding’s until he came to a dead end street where he ducked behind a bush and Disapparated.

He didn’t know what thought had led him to Hogsmeade. But he was at the top of Main Street, the cobblestone road wet, and aglow from all the lights shining through stores and homes. In the distance he could see the glowing lights of Hogwarts, and for a moment he stared. It had been his first home after all. It the place where he had met his friends who had later became his friends and family. He had turned his back on it all, and returned with so little as an excuse.

Pulling his hood over his head, he walked towards the Hogshead. The Three Broomsticks loomed behind him, but he wasn’t ready for such a step into the past. At least at the Hogshead he could find some kind security in that all of the patrons preferred to keep to themselves. Entering the dusty bar, Harry stood near the door for a few minutes to take in everything. The familiar smell of tobacco, smoke, and alcohol filled his nostrils. There were a handful of people at the pub, and a low murmuring echoed around the pub. An aged man who was bald stood behind the bar cleaning a mug with a dirty rag.

Breathing in deeply, Harry walked over to Alberforth who had glanced at him for only a moment when he had entered. Hands gripping the bar Harry cleared his throat and asked in the most commanding voice he could manage, “A whiskey please.”

Alberforth stopped what he was doing, and looked up at Harry. Grunting he put the mug down and from somewhere got Harry his fire whiskey. Taking a quick sip of it, Harry nodded at Alberforth, and for a moment the man stared. Just as the man began to recognize Harry, he turned around and went and sat at one of the vacant bar stools. Holding his head down, Harry tried to be subtle about his reappearance. Going to Hogshead was perhaps his best decision in the last few months. This was allowed people to recognize him, and begin talking about him, spreading the message that he had returned to England. At the Three Broom Sticks he would have been bombarded by people.

Sipping on his Fire Whiskey slowly, Harry noticed as people slowly began taking braver glances at him, and the murmuring became louder. Smiling to himself, Harry finished off his glass, enjoying the burning feeling that went through him, and put his glass down. Nodding his head at Alberforth, Harry turned to leave, fully aware that everyone’s eyes were on him, a pair of sparkling blue ones paying the most attention.

“Thanks for the drink Alberforth,” Harry said, throwing some Muggle money on the counter. “It’s all I’ve got, sorry.”

Harry ignored watchful eyes as he left the pub. The glances slowly ate away at him until he found himself back on the main road. It had begun to rain in heavy sheets, and Harry started walking. He wished at that moment that he still had his invisibility cloak, and that it wasn’t still at the Weasley’s, hiding under the floorboards in Ron’s bedroom. The cobblestones were slippery and he had no clue what to do or where to go. In his pocket he had maybe twenty pounds, but without Wizarding money there was no place that would take him. In the end, he knew he had no choice to either return to his bed at the Hostel and face his very angry roommates or go Ron and Hermione’s, where he doubted he would get a better reception.

Turning the corner sharply, and his head down because of the rain, he did not watch where he was going and walked straight into another person walking. Grunting loudly as he was thrown backwards, Harry stumbled to try and regain balance. Whoever had had bumped into was no small person.

“So sorry ‘bout that, shoulda’ been watchin’ where I was going’.” A familiar booming voice filled the empty streets, and sputtered as the rain hit his face, while the large, harry man scooped him up with one hand. “There ya’ are.”

“Hagrid?” Harry cried.

Hagrid’s beady eyes peered at Harry for a moment before widening in recognition. “Harry m’boy, is that really you?”

Harry grinned, “Hagrid, it’s really me.”

It didn’t take long for Hagrid to get over his shock, and sweep Harry in a bone crunching hug. He kept repeating things like, “They said y’were dead” and “Yer lookin’ a lot different” and “What are ya doin’ here?”

“Hagrid, do you still have your hut?” Harry finally managed to break in, rubbing his sides where Hagrid had squeezed.

“Oh, sure, sure. Built meself a new one o’ course.” Hagrid nodded towards Hogwarts, though Harry could see nothing but the castle. “Come on now; let’s get out o’ this rain to catch up.” Hagrid started to blindly lead Harry through the wind swept streets, almost creating a shield, when he placed his arms over Harry’s shoulders. “It does good ta see ya ‘Arry, it really does.”

“It’s good to see you too Hagrid.” Harry admitted.

When they arrived at Hagrid’s new home, it was quite different from the hut he had lived in before. A small cottage with a high ceiling now, Hagrid had a lot more room to move. Hagrid ignited a fire in the large fireplace in one corner, and busied himself in an open kitchen making tea. Harry could up the stairs there was a large bedroom, and the green-yellowish eyes of Fang.

“’E’s much too old now to come bounding ta ya.” Hagrid said, setting to tea cups and kettle on the table on the table in front of the fireplace. Hagrid sat in his old chair, while Harry sat down on the large sofa.

“Has it been that long?” Harry questioned.

“Nah, it’s just the natural timing of things. I got ‘im a few years before you came to ‘Ogwarts.” Hagrid said, pouring he and Harry some tea. Handing a mug to Harry, he leaned back in his chair, sighing heavily. “Now, explain yerself.”

“Right,” Harry said lowly. “It’s long story.”

“I’m sure you’ve gone and told everyone that.” Hagrid guessed.

Harry nodded. “I suppose I have. But it’s true. When I left I went to Canada-”

“Canada?” Hagrid exclaimed. “I was sayin’ to everyone you ‘ad gone east.”

“Well, I figured if I got out of Europe I had a better chance of starting new.” Harry explained, and continued to tell Hagrid of how he had gotten a job in Toronto, moved into a house, and started to play guitar. Not once did Hagrid question him after his outburst, simply listened until Harry had finished.

“I knew you were destined for great things, but I never did see music in yer future ‘Arry.” Hagrid admitted to Harry.

“I know, that’s why I kept it from Ginny and Hermione. What else was I to say to them? They would never take me seriously – you know how they are.” Harry tried to reason.

“They are also yer friends and yer family. They would understand, if ya would let them. And yer new friends – what about them? It’s not fair ta leave them just like you did to us.” Hagrid said frankly.

Harry felt his collar grow warm with embarrassment. “Since when did I become such a coward?” Harry mumbled into chest.

“Yer not being a coward, ‘Arry, yer just being human. Go to Ginny and Hermione and Ron and try to explain to them what happened, and go to yer Canadian friends and tell them the truth about everything. Even the things yer thinkin’ they wouldn’t believe.” Hagrid finished.

Harry didn’t say anything, only looked into the fire.

“If you will be needin’ a place to stay ternight, you can have the couch.” Hagrid suggested, standing up.

“Thanks Hagrid,” Harry said when Hagrid passed him a blanket.

“Not a problem,” Hagrid said, and went towards the stairs. “Goodnight ‘Arry.”

“G’night Hagrid.” Harry echoed, and got settled on the sofa. In the morning he would sort everything out.

A/N: There isn't really any excuse for taking so long with this chapter except that life simply caught up with me again. This story is nearing it's close though, so I don't feel too terrible because I know I'll finish it before I'm eighteen. :) Thanks for sticking with the story, and do please review. Thanks!!! XD

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