They're coming out Characters: Harry, Faelan, Gaius, Hermione, Regulus, Sirius Summary: The Hogsmeade Equinox Fair winds down and right back up again.
Harry wandered the display pavilion yet again, considering it the safest place to be at the sprawling festival of performances, buskers, artists, crafts persons, rituals, rites, blessings, and more food than even Ron could sample in any one year. The Hogsmeade Equinox Fair was always a spectacle, this year even more so, however, as it became increasingly apparent that magic was backfiring at an alarming rate amoung the celebration's throng of nearly 2000.
Earlier, Harry had almost went deaf and blind in the performer's area from all the ill-timed pops and flashes of light, simple magic normally employed to accompany music or dancing. This weekend, though, charms that usually took no thought at all for experienced entertainers were flying astray, for the most part harmless except for the haze of smoke hanging over the street from them.
There had been two serious fires and more than one table that suddenly shrank with many meals dashed to the ground in the food alley, and Harry's one solid discovery about the magical mayhem had come from the vendor's area. Items spelled long ago were holding up much better than crafts worked recently. He'd almost been cut by the pieces of a watch charmed with a simple location spell when it shuddered and came apart in his hands. Harry had enjoyed the argument he'd had with the vendor, who had assumed he broke it himself until the man had recognized him. In his pocket laid the parts the craftsman had insisted he keep, without accepting his galleons in payment.
Alone now,after attending the fair or running into many friends over the weekend, Harry drifted, looking at the fertility symbols, flower piles and smudge pots with growing unease. The rites were over for the day, a final display of magic and music scheduled for the fair's end that evening, and the pavilion set up at the end of the main street was nearly empty. There had never been enough magical mishaps in one place at the same time to cause true alarm with the festival organizers or attendees, but Harry'd heard others whispering the same questions he and his friends had been asking for a while. There had even been a rumour of some sort of attack yesterday, but he'd not been able to confirm anything.
Staring into an orb displaying a flower in a loop of budding and withering, Harry thought he heard the shuffling step of someone approaching him slowly. He turned, but no one was close to him. A quick glance down the nearest alley between buildings revealed nothing, but a child raced across the yard instead, stopping short to tease the dog that scampered after her.
He chuckled even as his spine rippled from bottom to top. Stepping back from the displays toward the middle of the pavilion, he tried to decide if he was hungry enough to risk the food booths. Harry wanted to find a new direction quickly in case one of the fertility rites was determined to turn him into a shorter version of Snape in his glory.