Harry Potter and the Daemon Sidhe


Story Summary:
In the aftermath of the events of the Ministry, Harry is in dire need of help. That help arrives in the form of six mysterious people, along with his friends and even foes, who give him the strength and support he will need to defeat Voldemort. Written post-OotP but will take some factors of HBP into account.

Chapter 15 - 15

Chapter Summary:
Gwydion corrects a mistake that has some consequences and Harry discovers that control is not always as easy as he thought. Severus is summoned and there are disastrous results.

Chapter 15

That night after Harry pulled his court into Dreamtime, they found the Daemon Sidhe waiting for them in that comfortable living room. The six avatars were all wearing looks of anticipation.

"Where you are now is just thrumming with magic!" Gwydion said as soon as everyone was there. "We'll be able to use to become corporeal then we can really start training the lot of you."

Harry paused for a moment, thrown off his train of thought by Gwydion's excitement.

"Er, okay," he said slowly. "I...actually needed to ask you something first."

Devante laughed. "Ask away. And ignore Gwydion. He's a little over excited."

"Hey!" Gwydion protested good-naturedly as the rest of the Daemon Sidhe chuckled

Harry grinned. "Something a little odd happened today and I was hoping you lot might have the answer," he said. "Nobody seemed to notice anything different about us." He gestured to the other students. "Not our hair, the change in our builds and heights, nothing. Did you lot have something to do with that?"

"Oops!" Gwydion said suddenly. "I forgot I put that charm on all of you. My profoundest apologies!"

"Gwydion!" Asa said sharply. "What did you do?"

Gwydion's eyes widened momentarily. "Er, when Harry told me about not wanting Dumbledore to suspect what they were doing, I placed a little custom version of the Notice-Me-Not charm on the students."

"I see," Asa said sternly, causing the students to swallow smiles as they were suddenly reminded of Mrs Weasley dealing with the twins. "And what precisely does this custom charm of yours do?"

"Um, makes sure that nobody can see the changes in the students unless they know the reason why the changes are occurring," Gwydion said carefully.

Asa considered that for a moment. "Oh, that's really quite useful, isn't it?" she said, sounding surprised and Gwydion relaxed. He tensed again when she glared at him. "And tell me, why did you not remove it before the students returned to school?"

"Er, I forgot?" Gwydion offered nervously.

"You forgot?" Asa said angrily. "Gwydion Bedwyr Llwyrddyddwg ap-Rhys ap-Maddock ap-Harry! How could you forget something so important! The charm must be removed and now it is going to raise questions as to why Harry and his friends changed so much overnight."

"Asa," Devante said soothingly. "It's alright. We'll think of something."

Harry and the others watched on in awe at the normally-gentle Healer's display of temper. Then Harry made the decision that he'd better help Devante and Gwydion.

"ap-Harry?" he said curiously to Gwydion. "What's that all about?"

Gwydion gave him a look of gratitude as he hurried to explain. "Er, I'm...Welsh....originally, that is. At the time that I lived the Welsh didn't use surnames or family names; you were identified by your patrilineal line. That's what the ap- means; 'son of'. I use the three patronymic names because at the time I lived there were a number of Gwydions in the area. My great-grandfather's name was Harry." He paused and grinned. "It was considered an unusual name in those times but apparently my great-great-grandfather was a trifle eccentric."

Harry grinned back then looked over at Devante. "I don't think we need to get too fussed over the sudden change in our appearance," he said wearily then went on to explain the Sorting Hat's song. "So as you can see the Sorting Hat kind of placed the cards on the table," he concluded.

"Not that anyone's going to be that surprised to find out that you're the king mentioned in the Hat's song," Ron said. "Everything weird seems to happen to you."

There were muffled laughs as Harry gave Ron a flat look. "Thank you, Ron," he said dryly.

Ron grinned. "No problem, mate!" he said cheerfully.

Harry mock-scowled at his friend before turning back to the Daemon Sidhe. "Erm, well, you'd better take the charm off and we'll just deal with the aftermath when it comes."

Gwydion shot a nervous glance at Asa then pulled a long wand made of some kind of black wood out. He frowned in concentration for a moment then waved it at the six students, muttering under his breath. The students exchanged glances after he finished; not only hadn't they felt a thing, it was the first time they had seen one of the Daemon Sidhe use a wand.

"Er, are you sure it's gone?" Harry asked. "I didn't feel anything."

"It's gone," Gwydion confirmed. "And you shouldn't have felt anything since I did it properly."

"I wasn't aware that you needed a wand," Hermione said with interest.

"Well, we don't here in Dreamtime," Gwydion said, looking down at the wand in his hand. "But we do in the real world. I'm just trying to get used to using it again." He grinned. "We are quite skilled at wandless magic, of course, and we will be teaching you that as well. Harry is picking it up very nicely."

"Speaking of doing things in the real world," Devante said. "There is more than enough magic for us to become corporeal. When do you think the best time would be to do that?"

Harry looked over at Severus, Remus and Sirius and raised an eyebrow. "Well?" he asked. "You three would know better than I would how much warning the Headmaster and the other teachers are going to need."

The three teachers exchanged glances and Remus and Sirius deferred to Severus.

"Let me broach the subject with the Headmaster tomorrow," Severus said with a hint of amusement. "I would say it would be a couple of days before we could be prepared. We'll need to make provision for accommodation as well as training facilities. How much of what we have been using are you able to bring into the real world?"

"All of it," Kolos said firmly. "The books, the weapons, clothes, everything we need we can bring with us."

Severus raised an eyebrow but forbore from asking any questions. "Good. That will make things a little easier. We will only have to provide rooms."

"The Headmaster won't protest?" Harry asked intently.

"I do not believe so after his aid in retrieving Black," Severus replied. "We can expect him to poke his nose into our business though." He looked over at the Daemon Sidhe. "And be aware that he will attempt to recruit you for his own purposes. He is an inveterate meddler at heart."

Kolos snorted. "He will try but I believe he will also fail."

Severus and Kolos exchanged amused looks. Once the two men had overcome Kolos' disapproval of Severus' treatment of Harry, they had found themselves to kindred spirits in many ways. Certainly their senses of humour were highly compatible.

"So how long?" Gwydion asked eagerly.

Severus considered the question for a moment. "Three days," he said finally.

Gwydion's face fell, causing chuckles to run through the others.

"We can wait that long," Devante said eyeing Gwydion with amusement. "Well, now that we've sorted that out, I think it's time we got to work."

A few groans were heard but everyone obediently pushed themselves to their feet and headed for their first lesson.


Harry was the first to wake in his dorm and he yawned and stretched before pushing the blankets back and getting up. He grabbed his clothes and headed for the bathroom. He had showered and was buttoning his shirt up when Ron stumbled in.

"Hey, mate," the red head mumbled.

Harry grinned at his friend. "Better wake up soon, Ron. They're going to notice the changes in us today."

Ron waved a sleepy hand then he paused and seemed to pull himself slightly more awake. "Oh yeah," he said as he headed for a shower.

Harry laughed and ran a hand through his now shoulder-length hair before tying it back with the gold lion clasp Remus and Sirius had given him. He picked up his pyjamas and headed back for the dorm, passing a sleepy Neville on the way. When he entered the dorm he saw that the curtains around Seamus and Dean's beds were still tightly closed and he quietly grabbed his bag and shoved what he would need for the day in it. He pulled his robes on and headed down to the common room. They had decided last night in Dreamtime that they would go down to breakfast as a group to give them some protection against the inevitable question. Luna was to join them in the Gryffindor common room and they had asked her to sit with them at breakfast, an invitation she had accepted with her usual vague pleasantness.

When he got down to the common room, Harry found Hermione and Ginny sitting on the couch talking quietly to each other. He dropped down into a seat opposite and gave them a quiet greeting.

"Where are Ron and Neville?" Hermione asked as they heard a knock on the door.

Ginny got up and opened the door to admit Luna as Harry answered Hermione's question.

"They're having a shower," he said with a yawn. "They should be down soon."

The girls rolled their eyes and the four students settled in to wait. About twenty minutes later, Ron and Neville clattered down the stairs and the six students headed down to the Great Hall, chatting amongst themselves. They studiously ignored the startled looks they got from the students they passed in the corridors. Their entry into the Great Hall initially gained little attention from the sleepy students already there but that quickly changed when a few students looked up to see who had walked in. Their eyes widened and they quickly nudged their neighbours and by the time Harry and his friends reached the Gryffindor table, the whispers were running rampant around the Hall. Harry and his friends ignored this as they sat down and Harry quickly glanced up at the teachers table where he was amused to see Severus, Remus and Sirius gaining curious looks from their fellow teachers. While the three teachers hadn't changed as much as the students, the training they had been doing had made some difference.

Severus had changed the least, the main difference being he now wore his hair tied back with a silver clasp in the shape of a raven with emerald eyes. Remus had probably changed the most; the regular training as well as the good rest and regular meals had left him looking less tired and worn. He still wore the worn and well-repaired robes that he had last time he had taught in a fairly successful effort to hide the changes. He and Sirius had chosen not to grow their hair, both preferring it short. Sirius in many ways had changed little. Although much of the damage inflicted on him by Azkaban had been reversed, his face was still somewhat gaunt and his eyes at times rather haunted. He had come to terms with the fact he would never again look like the carefree young man that he had been at James and Lily's wedding.

Harry grinned briefly as the other teachers began to ask tentative questions of Severus, Remus and Sirius. He could see that they were being snapped at by Severus while Remus and Sirius were clearly being evasive and mysterious.

Just then Dennis Creevey leaned past his brother. "Hey, Harry?" he said curiously. "What's going on? You didn't look like that last night."

"Really?" Harry said blandly then he shrugged. "This is what I've seen every time I've looked in the mirror recently."

Quiet snorts of amusement came from Ron and the others. It was a brilliant answer after all; it was the absolute truth but it told them nothing. Dennis looked surprised but was unable to ask any further questions when Harry asked a question of Hermione and the six students involved themselves in the discussion. There was a brief lull when Professor Dumbledore walked into the Great Hall. He eyed his changed teachers and then turned his amused gaze on the six students. A smile flitted around his mouth then he calmly sat down at the teacher's table and poured himself a cup of tea.

Harry and his friends managed to keep their conversation going for the remainder of breakfast. They were finally interrupted by the arrival of Professor McGonagall with their schedules. She eyed them archly for a moment then transferred her gaze to Luna.

"I believe Professor Flitwick is handing out the Ravenclaw schedules, Miss Lovegood."

"Thank you, Professor," Luna said as she stood. She wandered over to the Ravenclaw table where they could see the diminutive Charms Professor chatting with some of his students as others came up in an orderly manner to collect their timetables. Luna calmly joined the queue and collected hers before returning to her friends.

Ron groaned as the blond Ravenclaw sat down again. "Look at this morning," he said, pointing to his timetable. "Charms, Defence and Herbology."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Ron, we're doing NEWT prep this year. Of course we're going to have fairly full timetables. Besides yours isn't so bad."

"I'll say," Ginny said with dismay. "I didn't think you lot were serious when you told me about the OWL workload. I do now!"

They sat and moaned about their schedules for a few more minutes before reluctantly rising. Ginny and Luna headed off for Transfiguration while Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville were starting their day with Charms.


Harry walked out of Charms with a grim expression and his friends closely guarding him. The class hadn't gone badly, in fact it had gone rather well and that was the problem. He had forgotten to take into account his increased power and while his charm work had been exemplary, it had also been far too powerful initially. He hung his head and swallowed hard as the image of the large ragged hole in the wall came back to him. He had been trying to cast a simple repelling charm, Professor Flitwick having decided to use the first couple of classes to review their previous year. He'd been so pleased and happy to be back at Hogwarts and laughing a bit at a joke Ron had told that he'd forgotten to limit the amount of power he used in the spell. The cushion he had been using had flown backwards and straight through the wall. Harry hadn't even known a cushion could cause that much damage and he winced again at the amount of power he had inadvertently used.

"Harry, it's alright," Hermione said quietly. She quickly glanced around at the students milling around them and switched to using the bond. It was only that once and you saw how everyone just got over it eventually.

I should have remembered, Harry said guiltily. I got lucky. What if someone had been standing there? They probably would have gone the same way as the cushion.

Then take this as a sharp lesson then, Hermione said encouragingly. A reminder of what you need to do. No one got hurt, nothing irreparable was damaged. Yes, you got lucky but that's what often happens with these kinds of close calls. I'll bet you'll be careful next time, won't you?

Of course! Harry said indignantly.

Then put it behind you, she said kindly. And remember the lesson it taught you. She paused and grinned. Besides, did you see the expression on Professor Flitwick's face once he'd gotten over his shock?

Ron and Neville began to laugh and Harry slowly joined in. Once he'd gotten over the shock of having a hole blown in the wall of his classroom, Professor Flitwick had gone in paroxysms of delight over Harry's ability with the charm and he'd insisted that Harry demonstrated several more times...with less power applied.

Yeah, that was pretty funny, Harry admitted slowly.

I don't think anyone really cared about what you did, mate, Ron said bracingly. Particularly once you started demonstrating it afterwards. They were like Nev and me; too busy watching you closely so we could get it right.

Besides, I think he completely forgot about the hole, Neville chimed in. After all, he did give you twenty points after you finished demonstrating the charm. I don't think he'd have done that if he was upset with you.

I guess you're right, Harry said, his mood lifting a bit.

Of course I'm right, Neville said in an eerily accurate impression of Draco's attitude that got a laugh from the others. What do we have now?

Hermione gave him a scandalised look. "Neville! How could you have forgotten your timetable already? We have Defence Against the Dark Arts."

Neville looked a little cowed and Harry and Ron started teasing him gently as Hermione rolled her eyes as the teasing spread. The four friends ambled into the defence classroom and sat down, still poking fun at each other.

"Is this private fun or can anyone join in?" they heard Remus asked with amusement and they quickly settled down.

Remus grinned at them and walked back up to the front of the class as the last students straggled in. When everyone was seated, he raised a hand to gain their attention. Gryffindor were sharing this class with Hufflepuff instead of having a combined class with all years due to the fact that the Headmaster had made Defence compulsory.

"Welcome to Defence Against the Dark Arts," he began. "I know you all know me so we'll get right on with it. I've looked over what you did last year and I have to agree with what everyone has said; your teacher was an idiot." Everyone grinned and laughed and even better, relaxed. "So we'll be doing a lot of work this year I'm afraid to make up for that. Your class is far better off than most of the others as most of you managed to get excellent marks."

At this the DA members straightened proudly and several grateful looks were directed in Harry's direction.

"So everyone get your wands out. We're going to review some spells," Remus said cheerfully.

The students all pulled their wands out of their bags with expressions of delight and relief at finally having a competent teacher and the class got underway. Harry and his friends quickly found that they were quite advanced compared with the other students which quickly had a number of quiet questions regarding the DA directed their way. Harry promised them he would hold a meeting regarding the DA soon and the class settled down into their work.

After Defence the four students spilt up; Hermione heading off for Magical Law while Neville and Ron started out of the castle towards the greenhouses for Herbology. Harry had nothing until lunch and he dithered for a while in the corridor, trying to work out what he wanted to do. Finally he made a decision.

Sirius? Are you busy? He asked.

Nope! came the easy reply. I've got nothing until lunch.

Harry grinned. Mind if I come down and join you?

Please! Sirius said with delight.

Harry headed down towards the dungeons where Sirius' office was located. The Applied Potions course that Severus had introduced was being held in the classroom next to the main Potions classroom and for the Sixth and Seventh Years the Applied classes would be held at the same time as the normal Potions class. Sirius' office was attached to this second classroom in much the same manner as Severus' office was in the main classroom. As he walked past the closed door of the main Potions classroom, he could hear Severus' angry voice and winced in sympathy for whichever poor student had drawn the Potions Master's wrath so early in the school year. He continued onwards until he reached the next door and opened it, wandering through the classroom to the open door of the office. He grinned when he looked in the door; Sirius was sitting behind his desk, writing on some parchment and looking startlingly studious. The older man seemed to catch sight of the movement in his doorway and he looked up.

"Harry!" he said with delight. "Come in! Sit down. I take it you don't have a class right now."

Harry shook his head. "Nothing until after lunch."

"Same here," Sirius said comfortably. "Then I'm spending the afternoon helping Moody with his Seventh Year Practical Defense classes."

"Lucky you," Harry said dryly. "I've got Transfiguration and Magical Healing."

"Hey, Minerva and Poppy! Should be a fun afternoon," Sirius said with a laugh.

"Yeah, except Magical Healing is held in the Hospital Wing," Harry said with a grimace. "I hate that place."

"You should get together with Moony," Sirius said with some sympathy. He knew how often his godson had ended up in there. "You two could put together a manual for future students: How to Handle Poppy Pomfrey and the Hospital Wing."

Harry laughed then looked at Sirius intently. "How has everything been going?"

Sirius was just about to give a flippant answer when he caught the look in Harry's eyes and he sobered. "It's been fine. I've had some odd looks from time to time but no one's run screaming from me or anything."

Harry gave a sigh of relief and relaxed in his chair. "And you and Severus have been having fun?"

Sirius grinned wickedly. "Definitely." He sobered and looked slightly uncomfortable. "He's...a lot different than I thought he was. We've talked about...well, you know, school and stuff. I'm not sure if we'll ever be friends but we're certainly getting along better than I ever thought possible."

"Me too," Harry said with a grin. "Though he does like springing the odd question on Ron, Hermione and I about things we've done."

"I'll bet he does," Sirius said with amusement. "Moony and I have faced some of those questions too."

Harry laughed and the conversation moved into other directions until they realised it was time to head up for lunch. They wandered out of the classroom just as the Potions class next door was being let out and they grinned at the relieved expressions on the students' faces.

"That can't have been a pretty class," Sirius said.

"He was yelling at someone when I walked past," Harry said in reply just as Snape stalked out.

The Potions Master sneered at Harry and glared at Sirius who glared right back.

"What are you doing down here, Potter?" Snape snapped.

"Talking to my godfather," Harry said defiantly.

A contemptuous sneer settled on Snape's face. "That can hardly have been challenging," he said as he turned in a swirl of robes and stalked up the corridor.

Oh, that was good! Sirius said with a mental laugh as he and Harry glared Severus' retreating back.

I have been waiting for some time to say that, Severus replied with smug satisfaction.

Harry and Sirius exchanged amused looks as they ambled along in Severus' wake.

I heard you yelling at someone when I came down, Harry said idly. I take the incompetence has started early.

Hufflepuffs should not be allowed out of their dormitories, Severus growled.

I'll tell Pomona you said that, Sirius said.

Please do. She might listen to you, Severus said irritably. Wait until you have had some of the useless idiots in a class before you do though.

Okay, Sirius said, sounding a little worried. They can't be that bad, can they?

Wait and see, came Severus' ominous reply.

Sirius started to look a little worried and Harry grinned as he head for the Gryffindor table to join his friends.

"What's wrong with Sirius?" Ron asked as Harry sat opposite him.

Harry opened his mouth to answer then looked around suddenly.

Severus just warned about the apparent uselessness of the Hufflepuffs in Potions, he replied. He's actually got Sirius a bit worried now.

Hermione looked disapproving as Ron, Neville and Ginny laughed.

They're not that bad, surely, the bushy-haired girl scolded.

Ask Sirius after his first class with them, Harry suggested as he served himself lunch.

Hermione was just about to reply when Harry dropped the spoon he was holding and gasped, tensing with pain. He immediately glanced up at the teacher's table and saw Severus flinching and clutching subtly at his arm. As they watched the Potions Master rose and made his way along the table. He spoke a few quiet words in the Headmaster's ear then ducked out a back door.

Severus? Harry asked worriedly. Voldemort had never called a meeting during the day before.

What? Severus replied, his mental voice full of tension.

Why would he call you during the day? Harry said with a hint of panic in his mental voice.

I do not know, Severus snapped. But I am sure I will find out. Go to your classes.

Harry sent a note of dubious assent and exchanged worried and concerned looks with his friends.

Okay there, Harry, came Sirius' slightly alarmed question.

Yeah, Harry replied. It only hurt for a minute. I'm just worried about Severus. He's never been called during a school day before.

I know, Remus said grimly.

The students finished the rest of their lunch in silence and headed off to their Transfiguration class. Harry sat next to Neville while Ron and Hermione took the desk behind them. All three of them were keeping a careful eye on Harry. Professor McGonagall walked into the classroom and gave Harry a worried, questioning glance. Harry gave a small shake of his head and the Transfiguration teacher began the class.

About fifteen minutes later, a bolt of pain lanced through Harry's scar and he stiffened. Neville stopped trying to transfigure his apple into an aardvark.

"Harry?" he said quietly.

Harry looked over and was just about to answer when pain exploded in his head and he was dragged into seeing Voldemort's point of view. As soon as he made sense of what he was seeing, he gasped and tried to drag himself out. Voldemort was snarling at Severus and casting the Cruciatus; Severus had been found out.

Help! Harry screamed at his court

To those in the school what happened next was remarkable even by their standards. Minerva watched as Ron, Hermione and Neville gasped then their faces became set and they grabbed at Harry. In Charms, Professor Flitwick watched in surprise as Ginny and Luna suddenly gasped and sprinted out of the classroom. In the Practical Defence classroom, Moody yelled angrily after the rapidly disappearing Sirius and Remus babbled out a quick apology and request for his students to go to the library for the rest of the class as he too left at a run. The four members of Harry's court burst into the Transfiguration classroom, ignoring Minerva's startled and angry questions and heading straight for the screaming Harry.

"Together," Sirius barked and they all closed their eyes and concentrated on reaching Harry. They struggled for a moment then with a sudden rush their minds swirled around Harry's protecting him from the backlash of Voldemort's anger and catching sight of what was going on.

Dammit! came mental cry from an indeterminate number of them when they realised that Severus had been found out as a spy.

He...has an emergency portkey, Harry gasped out. But he ca...can't concentrate enough to use it right now. We...have to help him.

They all winced as Voldemort switched to using the cutting curse.

Lead and we'll follow, Ginny said with frightened determination.

Harry steeled himself. I'll need you to anchor me and be ready to brace both of us, he snapped briskly.

Feeling of assent came from the others and Harry reached out with his mind to the Potions Master. The man's shields were up tight and Harry was forced to use both the court bond and the Mentat bond to slide into Severus' mind.

As soon as he was in, he barked at the others, Get ready! He then reached forward and grabbed Severus' mind wrapping his shields around to block out as much of the pain as possible.

Use your portkey! Harry yelled at Severus. We can't hold this for long.

Severus did not waste time or energy answering. He used the unexpected opportunity to fumble inside his robes and grasp the small bronze disc, gasping the word, "Escape!" to activate it and be transported directly to the Hospital Wing

Harry felt more than heard the enraged shriek from Voldemort as Severus disappeared and the pain from that explosion of rage finally caused him to pass out. As Minerva watched, those who had been supporting Harry suddenly made various sounds of pain as that last bolt of pain leaked into their own minds and then they were opening their eyes and sagging down onto the ground. Only Sirius managed to keep himself mostly upright and he grabbed at Harry as the young man collapsed. He braced his godson against his body and looked up at the worried and frightened Transfiguration teacher.

"Get Harry to the Hospital Wing," he said wearily. "We'll be alright."

Minerva eyed him dubiously for a moment then nodded and levitated Harry out of his godfather's arms.

"Miss Padma Patil is in charge until I return," she snapped. "Keep working."

With that she quickly levitated Harry out of the classroom. When she got to the Hospital Wing, she was startled to see Poppy Pomfrey working frantically over an unconscious Snape. The mediwitch looked over as she entered and her expression became grimmer.

"I might have known," she muttered darkly. "Put him on one of the beds, Minerva. Is he badly hurt?"

"Just unconscious, I think," Minerva replied uncertainly. "Poppy?"

"I believe Severus' career as a spy has just ended," Poppy replied to the other woman's unspoken question. "Can you go and let Albus know?"

Minerva nodded and left to do as Poppy had asked.

Back in the Transfiguration classroom, the rest of Harry's court were slowly picking themselves up off the floor. Ron, Hermione and Neville dragged themselves back up into their desks as Remus and Sirius helped Ginny and Luna up.

"I'd better get back to my class," Remus said wearily. "Merlin knows what they've gotten up to."

Sirius nodded. "I'll take the girls back and make up something to placate Filius."

Remus gave a small smile and trudged out of the classroom after checking that the students were alright. Sirius gave the two Fifth Year girls a tired smile and ushered them out of the classroom. As soon as they left, the other students burst out with questions directed at Ron, Hermione and Neville. The three of them refused to answer and when the questioners refused to stop, it was Neville who broke first.

"Shut up!" he bellowed and his classmates obeyed, mostly in utter shock that Neville would ever yell at them. "We can't tell you what happened so stop asking. If Harry wants to tell you later that's his decision."

The other students looked dubious and were about to start in with the questions again when Neville's startling and surprisingly intimidating glare silenced them.