When most people come face to face with a thunderstorm they will do one of two things. Either they run away or they seek shelter. Xallia wasn’t like most people. She was athletic, clever, and downright gorgeous. She was also the kind of person who ran head first into the storm, or in this case, flew.
“Dive!” I yelled as loud as I could from my own broom a few meters behind hers. Of all the crazy and stupid things she had dragged me into, this must have been the most dangerous. Except for the one time, we fought a dragon, but that wasn’t something she planned to do. I guess that’s what best friends are for right? Although, best friends was an understatement for me. Of course, I’m sure my knack for precognition had something to do with it.
As Xallia dove downwards towards the school grounds. A bolt of lightning shot right next to her in the spot she was in. Precognition was a rare gift for a witch or wizard to have in general. Usually, they needed some kind of medium like tarot cards or a palm to see through. I was an even rarer breed, the kind that was able to see future events without the help of a medium. Granted, I had limitations. The first was that I was only able to do it in times of great danger, specifically when someone’s life was on the line. That kind of thing though was a common occurrence with Xallia around.
“Anya, keep up!” Xallia cried over her shoulder as she kicked her broom into the next gear. She ascended while she spun almost out of control. I hated when she did that. Students on the Quidditch team called it ‘The Xallia Corkscrew’. It was obviously named after her, but also because of the way she spun around while going straight up. It was perfect in a sport like Quidditch. The way she went straight up meant most players in our school couldn’t pursue her. The spin made the next direction she would take almost impossible to predict. That made it harder for the other team. I tried to follow after her, but I had to take a much less steep angle. I wasn’t nearly as good at flying as she was. In fact, I was so bad at flying my first year that I asked her to tutor me. That moment was not only the foundation for our relationship but also the moment I met the love of my life.
Before we separated too far from each other, Xallia broke off her path and peeled in my direction. As she cut through the pouring rain, I caught a glimpse of the edge of our final destination. The thundercloud that attacked us was a short moment away from having its heart pierced by two young girls. Xallia smiled wide as she closed the distance between us. She faced possible death, soaked all the way through, and frozen solid, but still managed to smile. That was one of the things I loved about her. I smiled back at her, but not for long.
A flash tore across my eyes in the space between Xallia and I. There were two limitations to my precognition. The first was that there had to be some kind of danger. The other and the more inconvenient of the two was that I could never see my own fate. As I fell back to the ground with bits of broom on fire, my second limitation was never more apparent.
Amidst the rain and thunder in the distance, I heard a boom after Xallia had turned tail to chase after me. Believe it or not, that wasn’t the first time I had fallen from thousands of meters in the air. With little time to spare, I spread my limbs as far as they’d go to slow my descent. I looked to my side and saw her next to me. It took a few seconds, but Xallia matched the speed I was falling at and reached her hand out.
I stretched out my hand and took hold of hers. Then, with the momentum from falling, she pulled me in towards the broom and let me climb on behind her. With a twist and a turn, Xallia redirected the broom towards the clouds and set off at max speed. I wrapped my arms tight around her waist and held on for my life. Her body felt warm against mine in contrast with the icy water. A surge of worry swept over me as the feelings I had for her started to boil up. I was afraid she may take the sudden contact in a different way than expected, but it didn’t matter in that moment. If I fell off again it meant more time spent dodging lightning. Another lightning strike and it was all over for the both of us.
“Port to starboard!” I yelled into her ear so she could hear me. When we flew together, it was easier and more fun to give directions as if we were on a boat. It was a silly thing to bond over, but it worked. As she dashed to the side, a bolt struck down and narrowly missed us. I wondered how many people had gotten as close to lightning as we had and not been shocked. Not very many most likely. A few more close calls and we were on the final stretch. Rain turned into mist as we shot through the cloud in a steep climb. The world around us went from a murky, depressing grey to a sudden vibrant blue, lit up by a gorgeous yellow sun. We were finally there, above the castle, above the clouds and most important, above the storm.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it, Anya?” Xallia proclaimed as she took in the sight of the open sky.
“Yeah, you’re beautiful. I mean it’s beautiful. The view I mean.” I responded back. While both were equally true, I was more focused on Xallia. The way the sun reflected off the moisture in her abnormally long hair stuck out the most. Or the way her blouse stuck to her skin because of the water. Or even her heavy breathing as her adrenaline started to fade away. I didn’t want to let go, but I knew I needed to. I loosened the grip I had around her waist and moved them to the wooden frame of the broom.
“It’ll be safer if you held onto me,” Xallia said as she cruised forward at a steady pace. I don’t know why I thought she would remain idle once we got up there.
“Right.” I agreed with joy while my arms went back to where they were. I laid my head between her shoulder blades and closed my eyes. Both of us were still wet. I knew the charm to dry us off, but I didn’t want the feeling of the sun’s heat against the cold water and Xallia’s to leave. It was soothing and magical in a way I had never known before that flight. I wondered if Xallia felt the same way or if she didn’t do anything because she couldn’t reach her wand. She was an expert with charms so I was sure she knew something as simple as a drying spell.
I don’t know how long we were up there. It had to have been at least an hour or two. The sun finished drying our clothes and left us with a relaxing heat that started to make me drowsy. I knew I was going to be safe if I fell asleep. I didn’t have much to worry about. With my fingers interlocked around Xallia’s waist and with her flying the broom, I knew it was okay. The problem was that I didn’t want to miss out on even a second of the moment we had together. Before I became too sleepy, Xallia came to a stop and flipped her left leg over the right side of the broom. It made sense given her outfit of choice. Even while on a broom she still wore a dress. I don’t know if she even owned anything else. I let go of her to make it easier but grabbed the handle of the broom right away to steady myself. Xallia could balance on a floating broom with one foot. I was barely able to walk down the grand staircase without losing my balance.
“We’ve come a long way haven’t we?” she muttered as she stretched her legs out while using her arms to balance. If she wasn’t careful, even she was going fall. She placed her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes. I lifted my hand up and ran my fingers through her hair. Usually, it was up in a braided bun or twirled around a pair of sticks. Today though she decided to wear it down. I liked it when she did that.
“Yeah, I would say so. It’s a long way down from here.” I responded.
“I don’t mean it like that. I meant us as friends.”
“Oh, yeah I guess that’s true too.”
“Of course, you think of me as a bit more than a friend don’t you, Anya?” she declared while she turned to face me. I couldn’t help but blush. I didn’t realize she had caught on. I was so careful too. I wondered how many other people knew. Of course, I wasn’t about to admit anything to her. She wasn’t like me after all. It was pretty obvious what side of the fence she stood on. There were countless nights where she would do nothing but ramble on about boys. why would I think any different?
“Of course you’re more than a friend to me, Xallia. We’re best friends aren’t we?” I said with emphasis on the word friend. Did I friend zone a girl? More importantly, the girl I loved? Xallia sighed and looked down. The sky was starting to clear and we could barely make out the castle from here. I instantly felt horrible. She was trying to be serious and I was acting completely immature.
“Do you know why I brought you up here?” she asked as she flipped her right leg over the broom so that she faced me directly. This time though, she was far more reckless and we almost fell off. Luckily the broom steadied out before we were rocked off.
“I thought it was another one of your crazy adventures and you wanted your usual partner to come with you.”
Partner. I wondered what that word meant to her.
“That’s only the partial reason,” she whispered as she came closer to me. “I had you come here because I knew you wouldn’t be able to run away.”
“Run away? But what would I want to run away from?” I stuttered out. My voice got caught in my throat so it came out even more awkward. Xallia glared at me dead in the eyes. I wanted to stare back at her and lose myself in the golden brown globes of hers. I could only look down into the clouds below our feet.
“What am I running away from, Xallia?” I asked with a pitiful tone. There was a pause after I said that as if she were contemplating her next action.
“This.” Xallia like a triumphant boast as she leaned forward into me. The weight of the broom shifted. Before I could register what was going on I felt her warm lips pressed against mine and lock in place. My heart thumped violently. It flipped in my chest uncontrollably while my eyes widened. She didn’t pull away. Neither did I. After the initial shock I reciprocated my own feelings back and leaned back into her. The broom went back to a balanced state. One small shift though and the sudden revelation meant nothing except unfortunate death.
“How long have you known?” I asked while I rest my forehead against hers as soon as we pulled away from each other.
“I didn’t know for sure, actually. It was a wild guess” she giggled while a bit of pink flushed into her cheeks. “But, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you don’t mind.”
“No, not at all,” I said with a smile before I set a light peck on her lips. It was like a dream come true. All it took was about a dozen lightning strikes, a few broken rules, and a near-death experience. That was fair, right?
“Good. So, I guess that means we can go down now right? I’m starting to get sore from the broom.”
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Headmaster Augustine will think we’re up to something if we’re gone too long. Even if he doesn’t Professor Morgan definitely will.”
“Yeah, you’re right. So, that leaves one question.”
“What’s that?” I asked thinking she was going to ask me out already. Whose job was it to ask the other out in a lesbian relationship? I guess either worked fine.
“Do we want to take the fast and fun way down or the normal way?” she asked with a devilish smile. I had seen that smile before and usually, it wasn’t accompanied with anything I would have considered fun. I trusted her so I forced myself to give a slight nod.
“What exactly does that mea-” I started, but was cut off by another unexpected and aggressive kiss. This time though, Xallia spared nothing and threw herself into me. The broom turned before I could shift my weight to compensate for hers. The two of us were tossed overboard into the open skies. Without the broom to hold us up, we dove headfirst through the air. I tried to pull away from her. I opened my eyes. Once I saw the calm and fearless look she held on her face though, I knew there was nothing to worry about. As long as we had each other we were safe. Together we could protect each other from the dangers we couldn’t face alone. Together we were complete.
We held the kiss as long as we could. The wind whipped around us, the sun pressed against our skin and the mist drew into the fabric of our clothes. Until the very last moment when Xallia pulled out her wand and pointed it towards the sky above us.
“Accio Raum!” she bellowed out. Another few seconds trickled by and then from our side flew one of Xallia’s many brooms. We learned the hard way what it was like to cast Accio and call for a broom when she owned so many. She took the liberty of naming each one after that little mishap. The ground was approaching fast. She took the broom in her hand and placed it underneath her. I quickly followed behind her and wrapped my arms around her like earlier.
With a few meters to spare, Xallia pulled up on the broom and guided us through the air. As usual, she felt the need to tour around Hogwarts one last time before she landed. Everything looked the same before our quest into the sky, but somehow it all looked different as well. The whole world looked different to me as if a veil had lifted.
We pulled into the front and landed gracefully. It felt nice to be on solid ground once again. Away from lightning, rain, the chance of falling, or anything that could kill me for that matter. Then again, if anything was going to kill me, it was going to be this relationship.