Let's Get Out of Here
Chapter 11- Let's Get Out of Here
Ron and Hermione had risen when they had first seen their friend topple over. Hermione blushed and Ron grinned at the awkward state Harry and Fleur found themselves in. Hermione's eyes slid to the side and saw the gleeful look on Ron's face. She elbowed him hard in the stomach. "Ron!" she hissed, "This is hardly funny."
Ron grunted in pain and shot a wounded look at Hermione. "I wasn't laughing…" He responded somewhat petulantly. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"You might as well have been." She grumbled. She watched in wincing sympathy as Harry and Fleur struggled to get up. This was likely not going to end well for her friend.
Ron huffed next to her. "It was a little funny…" He mumbled.
Harry meanwhile, could feel an edge of defiance creeping into him as his professors stared at him in dumbfounded silence. At last, Snape stepped forward.
"None of you believe this…this…rubbish!" He addressed the other adults. "Of course the boy would say that; he's a filthy liar just like his father." The disgust in Snape's voice made Harry bristle and he glared at the Potion's Master hatefully. Snape returned the look in kind, his lip curled faintly. Harry wished he could let go of Fleur for a moment so he could wipe that look off his face.
Suddenly startled by the ferocity of his own emotions, Harry reigned himself back a bit and glanced at Fleur. She was glaring every bit as intensely at Snape. Harry couldn't help a faint smile as he realized what had happened: her anger had fed his. He could feel her emotions now, holding her so closely. It was hard to distinguish where her feelings left off and his began…
Fleur turned when she felt his emotions change and found him smiling at her. She smiled somewhat bashfully in return, also now recognizing what had happened.
A voice clearing itself was enough to break them from their reverie, and they turned to look at a stern faced McGonagall.
"Harry," she began, "This is…most unusual," Before she could say more, another voice broke in.
"'Unusual'?" bellowed Madame Maxime, "You call your student blatantly molesting mine 'UNUSUAL'?" The large woman took in a deep breath to deliver a resounding rebuke, but this time it was Fleur's silvery voice that cut in.
"Madame, please do not take this the wrong way but…'arry is in no way 'molesting' me." Her voice was quiet, and firm, but Harry could feel her anger at this assumption against him. And maybe…anger that even his own professors assumed he was at fault here. "If anything, we both feel more at peace this way than we have in weeks. We are Bonded, you see. Ours was an unusual Bonding, and this manifestation is no doubt connected to that. I am sure that given a little time, this magnetic pull between us will lessen enough that we can release each other." Fleur didn't add that she didn't necessarily want to let go of Harry. At least not yet. As if in response to this unspoken desire, she felt herself being pulled tighter against Harry—the Bond had heard her, she thought, blushing. She felt something inside Harry stir and glanced up. Looking into his eyes, she realized that he had been the one to pull her tighter. She couldn't help smiling brilliantly at him, pleased by his desire to hold onto her too.
With some effort, they both turned back to look at the assembled professors and studiously ignored the other students. At last, it was Dumbledore who took the floor.
"Veela blood then, I daresay. Very well, Mr. Potter, Miss Delacour. I think then it would be for the best that you both make your way to the hospital wing. If this thing sorts itself out on the way there, then feel free to come on back. If not, then after the welcoming feast one of us will come and find you with further instructions." Dumbledore's blue eyes twinkled merrily, and Harry had a feeling that the headmaster viewed all of this as some excellent joke. But Harry also saw this as a much needed escape.
"Thank you, Professor. We will do that." Harry ignored Snape's protestations and met Fleur's look with his own.
"How are we going to do this Harry?" Fleur asked. She might have more years of schooling on Harry, but she had not had many bizarre situations she had to figure out a solution for. She could see he was thinking hard behind his green eyes. When they suddenly brightened, she knew he had thought of something.
Harry took a breath, "The Bond won't let us let go…but maybe it'll let us change positions or something." As if in response, they both felt the magnetic pull between them ease somewhat. Harry grinned. "Next, I need you to do a summoning charm for me. I'm not so great at them myself yet, even being somewhat supercharged now." Fleur frowned.
"Of course," she responded, "But what do you need?" She was puzzled.
Harry raised his eyebrows, "My Firebolt. If we can shift you around in front or behind me, we can fly out of here without risking another trip and fall." Harry grinned, pleased that he could come up with a solution.
This was a brilliant plan, Fleur thought, with only one problem.
She took in a breath regretfully, "Harry, a broomstick is a magical item. It belongs to you, so I won't be able to summon it." If witches and wizards could summon magical items, theft crime rates would be unimaginably high. At Harry's mischievous grin, she saw that he had thought of a way around this.
Harry nodded, "That's true, between normal people." He deliberately looked from her, to himself. "You and I though, we are bonded. Right now, in the magic and physical sense. Why not in the material as well? What is mine is yours now too Fleur." He gazed at her earnestly. This was beyond the magic now, they both knew. This was a boy, offering everything he had left to offer, to a girl.
Fleur swallowed, her throat tight at this unexpected display of generosity and…something else? "Harry I…I couldn't possibly…" He was already shaking his head.
"It is done. I have said the words. Now, summon our ride out of here." His voice was quiet, for her ears only, and she could hear the affection in it. They definitely had a lot to figure out. Preferably when they weren't clinging to each other, with emotions running high—and sometimes mixing—in the middle of Hogwarts' Great Hall.
"Alright." She finally acquiesced. Fleur pulled out her wand and gave it an elegant flick. "Accio Harry's Firebolt!" She murmured. For several moments, nothing happened. Then the doors to the Great Hall opened and in sped one truly magnificent racing broom. Fleur could feel Harry grinning broadly beside her, and he in turn could feel her astonishment that this had worked.
The broom came to a quivering halt beside her, and Fleur appraised it with a keen eye. "This is a magnificent broom Harry," she said. She could tell by its streamlined form that it was built for speed with a capital S.
Harry grinned. "A gift from my godfather." It took a little shuffling, but they finally decided that this would work easiest with Fleur sitting in front of Harry, because the Bond seemed to prefer as much mutual contact between them as possible. It went unspoken that they both rather did too.
"You have flown before, right Fleur?" Harry asked. He would be able to help her if she needed it, he knew, thanks to his longer height and reach, but it would be easier if she was already a proficient flier.
Fleur had gotten herself settled on the broom in such a way that her skirts wouldn't fly up around her as they flew, and waited until she felt Harry get settled before responding. The way his arms slipped so easily around her felt wonderful, she thought idly. The Firebolt was only built with one passenger in mind, of course, which required Harry to sit flush behind her. Feeling his warmth around her was settling.
"Yes. Father's favorite mode of transportation is flying. Almost every family trip we have gone on has required us to fly there. I can't say I've sat many racing brooms, but I can fly." Actually, Fleur could fly pretty well. If girls were allowed to play Quidditch at Beauxbatons, perhaps she would have tried out for a team.
Harry felt inordinately pleased that Fleur knew how to fly. Probably because flying was very close to his heart…and maybe Fleur now was as well. As he got himself settled as comfortably as possible, he considered his choice to allow all of his material possessions to become hers as well.
For a long time, Harry Potter had not had much in the world to call his own. Once he began at Hogwarts, however, that began to change. His first year he had received an invisibility cloak, and a Nimbus 2000. In addition of course to Hedwig—who was truly his most prized possession. His third year he had learned that he still had family in the world in the form of Sirius Black, who had also replaced his destroyed Nimbus with a brand new Firebolt—one of the fastest racing brooms in the world.
His mother and father had left him a not insignificant fortune at Gringotts as well. So no, Harry couldn't say that he was without anything to give. But this was the first time he had ever had anyone to share those things with. A deep warmth spread through his chest, and he found himself hugging Fleur tighter against him.
It wasn't until he felt her patting his hand that he realized she had been speaking to him. "Erm, what? Sorry." He blushed, and was glad she could not see his face.
Fleur giggled quietly, a sound that didn't escape her often, "I said, are you ready?"
Harry laughed a little too. "Oh. Yes, let's go." Together they kicked off and flew out of the Great Hall. Harry was impressed by Fleur's control; he remembered his first time on the Firebolt he had ended up shooting off into the air at an incredible speed and nearly unseated himself. She was definitely a skilled flier.
"Harry," Fleur called over her shoulder, "How do we get to the hospital wing?" Harry was about to direct her when he caught a glimpse outside. The weather was perfect…
"We're not going to the hospital wing," he responded, "Let's go for a ride!" Harry directed her out the front doors and onto the grounds. "Open her up Fleur, see what this broom can really do!" Harry encouraged.
Fleur could feel Harry's enthusiasm, and she smiled. Ordinarily she wouldn't condone this type of rule breaking…but today she couldn't care. The wind was in her face, and the arms of an amazing boy were around her… Plus, she was sitting on the fastest broom in the world. How could a girl resist?
As soon as they were clear of the castle, Fleur leaned forward, urging the broom up to faster and faster heights. She felt Harry shift behind her until he was pointing at something. Her eyes focused, and she realized she was looking at the Quidditch pitch. Making a sharp turn that got a whoop from Harry, she raced out to the pitch at dizzying speed. Without warning, she turned into a corkscrew and took them through the larger of the goals. Fleur didn't need any further encouragement from Harry to try some truly spectacular stunts. Some of which didn't come out all that well—two passengers making things a little harder, but Fleur was laughing breathlessly and Harry was holding her and everything seemed right and good with the world.
When they finished their flying stunts, Harry directed Fleur over to Black Lake. There they touched down, and Harry was glad to have a chance to catch his breath. Without even realizing it, he stepped away from Fleur. Their clasped hands their only remaining contact. Harry stopped and looked at Fleur, finding her wide sapphire eyes looking equally astonished. "Well," said Harry, "Maybe just spending time together was enough." It seemed logical. Fleur nodded, thinking perhaps that was the case. Sometimes magic wasn't really complex at all.
"Come on," said Harry, "We can sit over here for a little while." Still holding her hand, Harry guided her over to huge tree that was close up on the bank of the lake. Sitting beneath it, Harry gently pulled her down next to him. "I like to watch the sun set from here." He murmured. Fleur looked out over the lake and saw why. The sun was sinking behind the lake, causing a riot of colors to reflect on the still surface. It was truly beautiful.
Fleur scooted a little closer to Harry, so she could rest her head on his shoulder for a moment. It was then Harry released her hand. Fleur caught her breath, afraid she had moved too fast, but Harry just slipped his arm around her shoulders to draw her closer to him. "I'm so glad we came out here 'arry. I have…needed you so." She whispered. It was hard for her pride to admit she needed anyone. But it was the truth, and Fleur was already sure she would never lie to Harry. She didn't think she could now, even if she wanted to.
Harry hummed quietly, his heart full. Sitting here with Fleur felt so…right. Her words made him smile. "I needed you too. I don't think the magic between us would have allowed any less…but it feels so good to just sit here with you. I feel better than I have in my whole life." He felt wholly and truly alive. He should have felt nervous sitting there with Fleur, the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. But Harry felt only lucky, and very, very happy. No doubt the nerves would come later, he thought ruefully.
It wasn't until nearly dark that it occurred to both of them that they should really get back. Harry stood up and reluctantly let go of Fleur. "I'll walk you back to your carriage." He said, trying not to sound too disappointed. Fleur smiled at him, happy he felt the same way, and looped her arm through his. The loss of contact now felt as disconcerting as their original predicament.
"Thank you Harry. Don't worry. We will see each other again tomorrow." Fleur meant to sound reassuring, but she guessed even she was affected by their swift separation. They walked mostly in silence back to her carriage and paused at the door.
"Good night Fleur." Harry whispered, not wanting to disturb any of the carriage's inhabitants. Fleur squeezed Harry's arm in response.
"Good night 'arry." She whispered. Fleur hesitated for a moment, gazing up at Harry. It was hard to make out his green eyes in the gathering darkness, for his face was swathed in shadows. Swallowing down the sudden butterflies, Fleur leaned up and pressed a feather-light kiss to Harry's cheek. She paused long enough to take in his stunned expression, before turning and hurrying into her carriage. Inside, she smiled happily to herself. If not for that little kiss, she might have felt bereft now that Harry was no longer by her side...but it was hard to feel sad and disconcerted when her heart was pounding with joy and nerves.
Harry stood staring at the carriage in shock for several minutes, his green eyes wide as his mind replayed Fleur's soft kiss over and over again. He swallowed, and brought shaking fingers up to his cheek. A sigh escaped him, and he turned to head into the castle. He couldn't believe she had kissed him. He hoped she would do it again. Maybe he could do it next time...his heart started to pound as he imagined the time when he would be able to do that...would she allow him to do it? He was so lost in thought, he barely remembered his trek up to his common room.
Harry's elation over his night out with Fleur quickly turned into despair when he realized upon reaching Gryffindor Tower that he had left his Firebolt down by the lake…and that the light was still on in his dormitory. Which could only mean the other boys were waiting to interrogate him. Get the Firebolt first, or face his mates? Decision made, Harry quickly turned around to find his broom.