Arrmaitee (arrmaitee) wrote,
Arrmaitee
arrmaitee

The War Within - Chapter 7



CHAPTER 7: THE SECOND KISS



HARRY – PLAN B


Harry woke up Saturday morning feeling refreshed. It was almost 10:30 AM. He stretched out on his bed and fumbled around until he found his glasses. He needed to get up and dressed for Hogsmeade ASAP, as he had promised Hermione that he would meet up with her in the Common Room at 11:00 AM. After pushing aside his bedside curtains, Harry opened his chest and noticed, in the right-hand corner, a shallow stone basin with odd symbols and runes carved around its edge. The basin emitted a silvery steam and glowed as Harry gazed into it.

Harry had been avoiding his Pensieve ever since he received it as a gift on his sixteenth birthday. It was a painful reminder of his Godfather’s death. But now it was time to use it to his advantage. He would liberate himself of all those memories that haunted him. As Harry lifted his wand, memories started flooding out of his mind. His parents’ murder... Cedric’s murder... Sirius’ murder... the Midnight Duel... the ‘Accidental’ Kiss...

And then his mind was clear... Harry gazed at the silvery-liquid. A huge burden had been lifted from his shoulders; he would no longer suffer the weight of those memories... Suddenly, Harry shuddered. What was that? Had he just remembered something...? No... those memories were gone! He couldn’t possibly remember the kiss... Kiss? But... No! He didn’t just... Arrrrrrrrgh! Why couldn’t he expunge that bloody memory? Of all the ones that he loathed the most, why couldn’t he shelve that one and put it away? Suddenly, like an avalanche, all of the other stored memories tumbled back onto his mind...

Harry was numb. He grabbed his Pensieve and stored it away in his chest – putting a locking charm on it so that no one could access his private thoughts. He would have to talk to Professor Dumbledore about this...

“BLOODY HELL!” shrieked a voice from the boy’s bathroom. Harry quickly bolted upright. What was Ron freaking out about? Harry stumbled over to the loo. Ron was staring at his reflection in the mirror, stunned by his new, preppy haircut. Harry was amused. Leave it to Ron to pull him out of his dark mood.

“Very nice, Captain,” Harry said. “When did you have it done?”

“I didn’t... I mean... I don’t think I did...” Ron looked bewildered. “Blimey Harry, I... I don’t understand. I mean... Thursday I woke up and... suddenly I have a whole new wardrobe... and then I was elected Quidditch Captain... And now I wake up today and... I look like an arrogant prat!”

“C’mon Ron, you look fine. There’s nothing wrong with looking like Percy...”

“WHAT?”

Harry snickered. “That was a joke...”

Ron was not amused. “But... but who did this to me?”

“I dunno,” Harry lied. Okay, so Harry promised Ginny that he would help her on her crusade to reinvent Ron if she agreed not to tell anyone at Hogwarts about his sexual preference. He even drugged Ron’s butterbeer last night so that an overpaid stylist could sneak into Gryffindor Tower and trim Ron’s hair while he was out cold.

Ron gazed at his reflection in the mirror. He was now dressed from head to toe in his new clothes.

“I CAN’T!” Ron yelled, yanking off his monogrammed sweater. “I mean... I can’t take any of this, see! Not this bloody haircut... not these clothes... IT’S NOT ME!”

“Ron, you look really... nice. Why don’t you give it a chance?”

“But that’s just it, mate. It’s not me! I... I can’t accept these things!”

“Ron, listen...”

“No, I... I can’t accept any of this! I’m not some... charity case! I can buy my own bloody clothes! I can pay for my own haircut! Blimey Harry, don’t look at me like that! I AM NOT THAT POOR!”

“Ron, will you listen? There’s something you should know...” Harry decided that it was time for Plan B.

“What?”

“Well, I’m really not supposed to tell you this, but... I... Well, I promised I’d...”

“Harry...”

“Okay, okay, your brothers... Fred and George... they bought the clothes for you...”

“THEY WHAT?” Ron shrieked.

“Er... their business has been really successful, and... er... they wanted to get you a gift because... you won the Quidditch Cup last year and you... er... and now that you’re Captain Ron,” Harry smirked. Hopefully, he mused, Ron wouldn’t remember that he received the new wardrobe before he was elected Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team.
Ron looked at Harry, puzzled. “So they bought me an entire wardrobe? This must’ve cost a fortune!”

“There was a sale at Madam Malkins.”

Ron looked suspicious.

“A big sale...” Harry explained. “Really big... er... one hundred percent off, I mean...”

Ron shrugged. “Whatever you say, mate. But... uh... what about this...?” Ron pointed to his new haircut. Harry grinned.

“Oh, that was just... Neville,” Harry lied. “He was... er... trying to use the ‘scourgify’ spell to... clean up another Stinksap outburst from his Mimbulus Mimbletonia, but he... er... accidentally nailed you with the ‘prepify’ spell instead.”

“Woah!”

“I know... You’re lucky he didn’t accidentally transfigure you into a Niffler.”

Ron was not amused.

“But you should know, mate,” Harry said. “The ‘prepify’ spell didn’t just cut your hair...”

“What d’you mean?” Ron said, obviously quite concerned.

“Have you checked your arse lately?”

“WHAT?!!!”

“You... er... have an ‘I luv Mum’ tattoo on you left buttock.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Ron screamed.

Ron looked like a cherry tomato as he quickly examined his bottom, looking for the tattoo.

“I was just kidding...”

Ron Was Not Amused. Harry wondered whether it was this easy to get Malfoy out of his clothes. Yikes – he was beginning to sound like Ginny...

Ron finally regained his composure, put back on his preppy sweater and pranced over to the mirror. He obviously still didn’t recognize himself. Ron patted his new hairdo and admired his reflection...

“So, whadda ya think, mate? And don’t say I look like Percy...”

Harry grinned – Ron actually looked a bit more like a red-headed Malfoy without the mullet.

“I dunno,” Harry smirked, walking up to Ron. “Let’s see, you’re a Prefect... the Gryffindor Keeper... the Gryffindor Quidditch Team Captain... and now you have new haircut and a whole new wardrobe.”

Harry learned closer to his beet red best friend and, impersonating Ginny, whispered into Ron’s ear, “Sounds SEXY!”


MYRTLE – GINNY’S PLAN


Myrtle looked up at Ginny, awaiting instructions. Ginny was pacing back and forth in the Prefect’s Bathroom.

“Okay, here’s the plan. You need to go find Harry because he will be able to reverse Pansy’s ‘Colloportus’ spell. That’s the only way that we can unlock the bathroom door. Hurry!”

Myrtle nodded and tried to fly through the door into the hallway, but Pansy’s spell was so powerful that the door was ghost-proof; Myrtle bounced back into the bathroom. Stupid Pitt-bull Prefect, Myrtle fumed. No one puts one over on Myrtle! Myrtle dived head-first into the toilet. Pansy obviously underestimated her superior underwater navigation skills...

Myrtle darted ahead through the dimly lit plumbing into the sewer system. The sewer was refreshing... Okay, it was actually really gross but she had to at least pretend that it was refreshing. Myrtle darted left... then right... then left again... then up... then down... Then she arrived at a fork in the sewer. Which way to Gryffindor Tower? Aha! She saw a light at the end of a toilet! She was almost there! Myrtle swam toward the light... she reached out and pulled herself up out of the toilet.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

“Oh, excuse me, Professor!”

Myrtle quickly dived back into the toilet. How did she end up in the Slytherin Dungeon? Okay, back to the rescue mission. Gryffindor Tower had to be this way. Or... that way. Ugh, road block! Number two coming her way! Eeeeeeeh! There was no way that she was swimming through that! There had to be another way to the Tower. Myrtle zoomed around and around until finally she saw another light at the end of a toilet. She swam toward the light and then finally emerged from the toilet like Venus on the Half Shell.

“Oh Harry...” Myrtle cooed into the Gryffindor boy’s bathroom. There was no response. “Harry?” Still no response. Myrtle quickly flew into the dorm room. Harry and Ron were already gone.


MILLICENT – GINNY AND THE JUICE


Millicent Bulstrode admired her monstrous figure in the dusty, full-length mirror of the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade. She was alone. She opened up the flask of the Polyjuice potion and gingerly dropped a strand of Ginny’s red hair into the Juice. The potion hissed loudly and frothed madly, ultimately turning a sickening shade of orange. Millicent looked at the clock. It was 11:00 AM. She chuckled and raised her glass.

“Here’s to you, sweetheart...” Millicent toasted as she pounded the Juice.

It tasted like overcooked cabbage. Immediately her insides started writhing... as if she had swallowed a live python. Suddenly, she felt a burning sensation metastasize from her stomach to the ends of her fingers and toes. Her skin was melting... and then she shrank almost a foot... Her muscles thinned, her nails became soft and polished, and her hair transformed into a ravishing red mane.

As quickly as it had started it was over. Millicent looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had transformed into Ginny Weasley. She had one hour to destroy that wench’s reputation...


HARRY – THE THREE BROOMSTICKS


Harry, Ron and Hermione arrived at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade. Ron looked really handsome, and many heads turned as he entered the bar. This obviously made Hermione nervous.

“I’ll get us some beers,” Ron said, heading over to the bar. A third year Ravenclaw groped him as he walked by. Hermione looked like she was about to start a brawl with the witch, but Harry held her back.

“Where’s Ginny?” he asked, trying to distract her.

“I don’t know,” Hermione replied, still watching Ron like a hawk. “She told me that she wanted to walk with us from the Common Room... but I haven’t seen her since she left this morning to take a bath...”

“She’s probably still in there fixing her hair, I s’pose...” Harry said. “Hey, there she is... Ginny!”

Harry waved at Ginny (not knowing that she was the Slytherin formerly known as Millicent) as she pranced into the bar. She was walking a bit funny. Ginny walked up to the bar, grabbed two butterbeers off of the counter and then strolled over to Harry. She handed Harry a beer. Hermione had already left to go find Ron.

“Hello, Potter,” she cooed seductively in Millicent’s raspy voice. Harry leapt backwards. “Excuse me,” she said, now speaking in Ginny’s voice. “I have [cough] bad allergies...”

“Er... Hi Ginny, have you been drinking?”

“Maybe I have,” Ginny responded, downing her beer. She stuck her hands on Harry’s shirt and started to undo the top button. “Wanna play a game?”

Harry shuddered. “Er... what game?”

“Truth or dare...” Ginny cooed.

“Umm... how do we play?” Harry asked nervously.

“Well, I ask you a question, and then you answer ‘Truth’ or ‘Dare.’”

Harry froze; she must really be wasted.

“First question,” Ginny purred. “Why are you staring at my breasts?”

Harry literally choked on his butterbeer.

“I... I’m not!” Harry stuttered, blushing tremendously.

“Wrong answer. Now I get to punish you...” Ginny looked like she was about to take out a whip and beat Harry.

“WHAT? No! Wait... I mean...”

“C’mon Potter, I know you like to play hardball. That’s what I like about you. You’re aggressive. You know what you want and you know how to get it.”

“But... but we had an agreement...”

Ginny had already pinned Harry against the bar and she was about to mount him right there. Hermione watched from a distance... stunned.

“Harry, I want you to know how angry I am that the Team voted for my idiot brother as the Quidditch Captain. You know how much I wanted you, and how hard I fought to have you voted as our leader. Be my leader, Harry...”

“But you told me to vote for Ron!” Harry shrieked defensively.

“What?” Hermione interjected. Ginny snarled at her.

“Mind you own business, you filthy Mudblood!”

Harry and Hermione’s mouths dropped open simultaneously. Ginny seized her chance and lunged at Harry, going for the kiss. Harry instinctually pushed her away.

“Suit yourself, scarface,” Ginny rasped. She shoved Harry and Hermione aside and sauntered over to the bar.

“Hermione, I’m really sorry...” Harry stammered. “She... she doesn’t know what she’s doing... I mean...”

“Of course she doesn’t, Harry. It’s not really her...” Hermione replied.

“You’re kidding?” he responded, feeling slightly violated.

“I’ve already figured it all out. I’ve been watching her the entire time... but the Mudblood comment clinched it. Ginny’s either under the Imperius Curse or it’s an imposter using Polyjuice.”

Suddenly, Madam Rosmerta, the proprietor of The Three Broomsticks, yelled “Attention!” The bar quieted down.

“Wizards and Witches, we have a special toast. Go ahead, Ginny.” Ginny climbed up onto the bar.

“Oh for heaven’s sake,” Harry said, covering his eyes.

“Hello boys,” Ginny said, now standing on the bar. “I wanna make a toast to my big brother, Ron, the new Gryffindor Quidditch Team Captain!”

Cheers echoed throughout the bar as Ron, who was now being hit on by some horny fifth-year Hufflepuffs, turned five shades of red.

“In honor of my brother,” Ginny continued, “I’m gonna do a dance! Take out your Galleons, boys! Hit it, Rosie!”

Suddenly, the lights dimmed as strip bar music began to blast in the background. Ginny unbuttoned her cardigan. A bunch of immature blokes started cheering.

“Ginny, gerroff the bar! What’re you doing?” Ron shouted. Crabbe and Goyle grabbed Ron and stopped him from trying to pull Ginny off of the bar.

Hermione turned to Harry. “I think it’s Polyjuice, and the Slytherins are definitely involved.”

“So what do we do?” Harry asked nervously.

“Here’s the plan,” Hermione replied. “We need serious damage control. I’ll stay here and try to control the situation. You go back to Hogwarts to find the real Ginny. HURRY!”

But Harry had already left.


HARRY – THE RESCUE MISSION


Harry raced back to Hogwarts. Why didn’t he have his bloody Firebolt with him? It would make this rescue mission so much quicker. Harry entered the castle and climbed up to the seventh floor. “Captain Ron,” he said to the Fat Lady, gasping. The doorway to Gryffindor Tower opened. Where was the real Ginny Weasley? Hermione said she was taking a bath, so she must be locked in the Gryffindor Girl’s Bathroom. Harry dashed through the empty Common Room and started to climb up the stairs to the Girl’s Dormitory. Suddenly, the stairs turned into a slide and Harry tumbled back down into the Common Room. Damn... he forgot that he wasn’t allowed up the stairs unless a girl accompanied him.

“GINNY! CAN YOU HEAR ME?” Harry yelled up the staircase. There was no response. “GINNY!”

“Well, it’s about time,” chided a sultry voice from behind him. Harry turned to find a gussied up Moaning Myrtle tapping her fingers on a desk in the Common Room. She looked really good... for a ghost.

“Grab your wand, Prince Potter...” Myrtle said. “Unless, of course, you’d like me to grab it... heh heh... The Princess is awaiting her rescue...”

Harry was horrified. Was this Moaning Myrtle? When had she become... so much like Ginny? There was no time to ask questions.

“Lead the way,” Harry responded.

Myrtle led Harry out of the Tower and down to the fifth floor of the castle. As they approached the Prefect’s Bathroom, they found Ravenclaw Prefect Padma Patil standing in front of the bathroom, screaming at the top of her lungs.

“GINNY, I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE! LET ME IN! I GOTTA PEE!”

“Umm... Padma... She’s locked in by a spell,” Harry explained.

Padma turned purple from embarrassment. “You didn’t hear that, right?”

Harry and Myrtle shook their heads, trying really hard to suppress a laugh. Padma bolted down the corridor and climbed down the stairs. Harry took out his wand.

Finite Incantatum!” he cried. A yellow blast shot out of his wand and hit the door. Suddenly, the door glowed brightly and then opened. Ginny was seated in the bathroom, finishing her pedicure.

“Well, it’s about time,” she said to Harry. “Do you like my pedicure? It’s French.”

Harry was a bit surprised by her blasé attitude. “Aren’t you supposed to be hysterical after being locked in the Prefect’s Bathroom while the Slytherins plot to wreck your reputation?”

Ginny had a mischievous grin. “Now Harry, I knew you’d rescue me. And if I’m going to foil Pansy’s silly little scheme, I definitely need to look my best.” Ginny raised her hand and, like a proper lady, gestured for Harry to help her up. “Thank you, M’dear. Shall we go?”


GINNY – REVENGE, GINNY-STYLE


Ginny, Harry and Myrtle arrived at the Three Broomsticks about fifteen minutes later.

“Gimme your wand,” Ginny told Harry.

“Are you sure you can handle this?” Harry asked. Ginny glared at him, and he quickly forked over his wand.

Ginny kicked open the door to The Three Broomsticks and stormed inside. The crowd was going nuts. The fake Ginny was standing on the bar wearing nothing but a lace bra and matching silk panties while grinding suggestively with Crabbe and Goyle. Galleons were strewn all over the counter.

“HELLO BOYS!” the real Ginny shouted into the bar. Everyone turned, saw the real Ginny, and suddenly all motion and noise stopped. It was so quiet you could probably hear a fly fart from twenty yards away.

The fake Ginny gasped and suddenly tried to hide herself between Crabbe and Goyle. Most of the guys in the bar looked really confused. Their facial expressions read ‘Are they twins?’ or ‘Mmmm, twins...’

“I’m sorry I’m late,” Ginny said to the crowd. “I’ve been indisposed... But it looks like you’ve all been busy... As you can see, there are now two Ginny Weasleys. Hmm... Guess which one is the imposter?”

A hushed murmur came over the bar as the real Ginny climbed up onto the counter, showing off her new French pedicure to the stunned onlookers, and walked over to her bogus counterpart. Ginny looked at the clock. It was almost noon.

“If my calculations are correct, we’ll find out right about... NOW!”

Suddenly, the fake Ginny’s skin began to bubble... she grew in size. The first part of her body to change was her head... her face instantly transformed back into that of Millicent Bulstrode.

Colin Creevey seized the opportunity and snapped a couple photos of the real Ginny standing next to the half-Ginny, half-Millicent monstrosity. Horrified, all the blokes that had been previously making out with the fake Ginny started spitting out their butterbeer. Even Crabbe and Goyle looked sick to their stomachs.

Ginny shook her head. “Militant Bulldog, dancing for tips at The Three Broomsticks?” Ginny picked up a handful of Galleons and threw them disparagingly at her feet. “As if Slytherin could sink no lower...”

Millicent leapt at Ginny to attack her, but Ginny was too quick. She nailed Millicent in the face with the Bat-Bogey Hex. The spell sent Millicent reeling to the back of the bar, fighting off the bogies which were now attacking her face.

Hermione, Ron, Harry and Myrtle started cheering as Ginny proudly blew on the wand, as it if were a smoking gun. She climbed off of the bar and walked up to her friends.

“Thanks for rescuing me, Harry,” she said.

“Hermione figured out the plan,” Harry replied. Hermione blushed as Ginny gave her a big hug.

Harry looked up at the clock. It was 12:05 PM. “I gotta go. I’m late for my date... I mean... lunch date... with Cho. Can I have my wand back?”

Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Myrtle looked stunned. He had a date? With Cho?

“I need it for just a few more hours,” Ginny said. “I have another score to settle.”

“Okay, I’ll get it back from you later,” Harry stated as he bolted out of the bar.


HARRY – REVENGE, MALFOY-STYLE


Harry ran outside of The Three Broomsticks onto High Street in Hogsmeade. Madam Puddifoot’s was at the other end of town. High Street was littered with students roaming up and down, window shopping and messing about on the pavement. Harry dashed passed Honeydukes Sweetshop, Zonko’s Joke Shop, and Gladrags Wizardwear, but then he suddenly came to a grinding halt. Standing in the middle of High Street was Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson. Draco looked at Harry threateningly and then brushed his hands through Pansy’s coarse brown hair.

Harry froze. What the fuck was Malfoy doing with Parkinson? Harry was about to walk away when it happened - Draco and Pansy kissed. But this wasn’t a normal peck on the cheek. Oh no, this was revenge, Malfoy-style.

Draco French-kissed Pansy so deeply that she probably choked on his tongue. The kiss seemed to last forever. While they snogged, Draco did not look at Pansy. Instead, he locked eyes with Potter and impaled him with a malevolent stare. Draco’s cold grey eyes did not blink during the entire kiss; his eyes screamed, ‘Sod off, Potter!’

Pansy was so overwhelmed by intensity of the kiss that she did not even realize what Draco was doing. She had invited Drakey-Poo out to Hogsmeade as an alibi in case the Millicent scheme backfired, but she no idea that Draco would invite her to the Halloween Ball and then make-out with her publicly.

Harry was sick to his stomach. His heart felt like it had been ripped out, thrown into a blender and then poured into the gutter. He had a premonition about this kiss. He knew it was coming... But with Pansy? How could he be so blind? Draco took her to the Yule Ball two years ago; of course he would choose her again. Harry just wanted to die right there. He should leave now! He didn’t want to see this! When was this bloody kiss gonna end? Harry remained transfixed by Malfoy’s stare. Suddenly, Harry’s thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice.

“Oh Pansy,” Ginny cooed, breaking up the kiss. Pansy looked horrified to see the real Ginny Weasley standing in front of her.

“Oops... am I interrupting something?” Ginny smirked mischievously.

“What do you want, Raggedy Ann?” Draco snarled. “Can’t you see we’re busy?”

“You know, Pansy,” Ginny purred, ignoring Draco’s response. “You really didn’t need to lock me in the Prefect’s Bathroom in order to snog with that inbred albino ferret. I realize that his mouth probably tastes like a rancid Hippogriff’s arse, but with a pug face like yours, I wouldn’t have standards either.”

“WWWWHHHHAAAATTTT?!!!!” Pansy and Draco screamed, both drawing their wands.

“And one more thing, Pansy,” Ginny cooed. “A word of advice from me to you... If you do plan to shag that self-important fruitcake, you’ll definitely need to use a strap-on... But I’m sure you already have one.”

And then the melee began. Pansy and Draco attacked Ginny. Ron and Hermione saw the battle from afar and ran over to help Ginny take on the Slytherins. Ginny signaled to Harry to go to meet his date right before nailing Pansy with the Blasting curse. Harry would have stayed to help Ginny out, but since Ginny had his wand, he would have been of no use. Harry left the battleground feeling slightly vindicated.


HARRY – THE DATE


“You’re late,” Cho stated abruptly as Harry approached her small circular table at Madam Puddifoot’s tea shop.

“Hi. Sorry, I was... er... you won’t believe what happened!”

“Let me guess, did it involve Hermione Granger...? I thought so. Look, I was gonna leave. But I really needed to talk to you.”

“What can I get you, m’dears?” Madam Puddifoot asked.

“Umm... coffee?” Cho said hesitantly. Harry nodded.

This was déjà vu. All Harry needed was for Roger Davies to arrive with some bubbly blonde, to sit at the next table, and to start making out over their sugar bowl.

Harry looked over at Cho. Her face was still very pretty, but her expression was harder than in years passed. She didn’t possess the innocence that he remembered when they had kissed under the Mistletoe last Christmas. But she wasn’t crying either. She had probably developed a thicker skin...

Harry suddenly felt horrible. He still cared for Cho... and he yearned to peel away her coarse facade and see that the beautiful Ravenclaw seeker that he was so enamored with in the past. Why was he so attracted to that vindictive ferret-faced git when he had someone here who was so much more genuine?

Harry felt a surge of guilt gnawing at the pit of his stomach. He knew he had used Cho... He had used her to preserve his facade. And now that he gazed into her pouty brown eyes, he felt horrible because he knew that he had contributed to her suffering. He had added one more layer to her already thick skin. He had wronged Cho, and now he had to tell her the truth.

“Cho, I... er... have something to tell you,” Harry said, his voice shaking. “I feel really bad about what happened last year... It was all my fault. I’ve had a lot of issues and...” Harry blinked back tears. He was already an emotional wreck after the Malfoy debacle, but this was a bit too much for even him to handle. Harry looked up at Cho and realized that she was teary-eyed, too.

“Harry, I know,” she said softly.

“No, you don’t... I mean...” Harry wiped his eyes.

“I know that you... like guys,” she said. Harry was stunned.

You know?” Harry said, suddenly horrified.

“Of course I know,” Cho replied. “That’s why I had to talk to you. I feel so guilty about last year.”

Harry was traumatized. “But how’d you know?” he cried desperately.

“Harry, I’m a woman... and I am not stupid. You are about as attracted to me as you are to... I don’t know... Draco Malfoy.”

Harry literally was about to give birth to a Thestral when she said, “You guys are still enemies, right?”

Harry nodded and gasped a silent sigh of relief. She obviously didn’t know the truth about Malfoy...

“Anyway,” Cho continued, “I was so traumatized last year after Cedric’s death that I... I needed a crutch... someone to be with me who I knew wouldn’t expect anything from me physically. And then I saw you on the Hogwarts Express all covered with stinksap and... I just knew that we’d... well, that we’d get along. I knew you had your issues, but I figured that it was okay because I was terrified of having a real relationship...” Tears ran down Cho’s cheeks. “I... I couldn’t have someone that I loved die on me again... Not after Cedric...”

Harry was numb. “I know how you feel,” he responded quietly. “I recently lost my Godfather. I know what it’s like to desperately need to be alone, but to be terrified...”

“By your own solitude?” Cho asked weakly. Harry nodded. Their eyes met, and for a moment, it seemed that they had reached some sort of understanding.

Cho was still emotional. “I’m really sorry to get all upset like this... I didn’t mean to... I just feel so guilty... I needed you last year... You were safe... safer than a straight bloke... like Roger Davies.”

Harry was stunned. He didn’t know what hurt more, the fact that Cho knew that he was gay, or that fact that she blatantly admitted to using him. All these months he tormented himself about using her, when in fact, the reverse was also true.

“You used... me?” Harry said feebly, wiping away his own tears. “I... I thought I used you...”

Cho looked up from her morose, tearful expression and surprisingly cracked a faint smile.

“So... we’re even?” she asked weakly.

“I... guess,” Harry replied.

They looked at each other and somehow they both started to giggle - a half-tearful, half-joyful laugh. Madam Puddifoot arrived with their coffees.

“I didn’t want to interrupt,” she said. “But I brought you some scones and jam on the house. Would you like to order some dessert?” Madam Puddifoot looked at Cho and then at the youthful Harry. “We have all sorts of pies. Might I recommend... CHERRY?”

Madam Puddifoot winked at Cho. Both Cho and Harry blushed feverishly and then burst out laughing. Madam Puddifoot brought them both slices of pie. Cho lifted up her cup of coffee and Harry raised his as well.

“To friendship...” Cho said, making a toast.

“And cherry pie,” Harry replied.

“I am not even goin’ there...” Cho giggled.


HARRY – REVENGE, POTTER STYLE


It was 7:00 PM on Saturday. Harry had spent the rest of the afternoon with Cho and was now supposed to meet Ginny, Hermione and Ron back at The Three Broomsticks for butterbeer and pub food. He was craving a big helping of chicken and ham pie. Harry had a great afternoon, except now he was sure that the entire school knew that he was queer, and they were all probably laughing about it behind his back... Bugger!

Ginny arrived a few minutes late... alone. She gave Harry back his wand and then they walked into the pub. Ginny walked up to the bar and ordered two butterbeers; Harry waited for her at a small wooden table in the corner. Harry immediately noticed Draco and Pansy sitting a little too cozily at a booth across the way. All of a sudden, a tiny Scop Owl flew into the bar and delivered a message to Draco.

Ginny returned to Harry’s table and handed him a beer. She raised her butterbeer, grinning mischievously. “Cheers,” she said. Ginny pounded her beer.

“Cheers,” Harry replied, downing his beer. It tasted funny; it was probably low on butterscotch...

“So where are Ron and Hermione?” Harry asked.

“Hermione said that she had to get back to study for her N.E.W.T.s... Honestly, I think she just wanted to get Ron away from his new fan club. She’s a little... jealous.” Ginny’s expression clearly read ‘hee hee hee.’

“You planned this... You want to make her jealous, don’t you?” Harry asked suspiciously.

“Moi? Nooooo... I would never be that manipulative...” Ginny’s mischievous grin gave her away.

Harry decided to change the subject. “Er... so what happened with the Slytherins?” Harry asked, frowning at the couple whispering across the way.

“Well, Snape and Professor McGonagall broke up the fight. Parkinson tried to blame it all on me, of course, but then Colon... [cough] I mean, Colin... came to my rescue and showed them the pictures of Militant Bulldog on Polyjuice. And fortunately Padma was also there, and she verified that I had, in fact, been locked up in the Prefect’s Bathroom.”

“So what happened?”

“Well, both of our Houses lost fifty House Points, and Snape chewed out Parkinson for getting caught in her own scheme and for bringing shame onto her House. Then he yelled at Malfoy for getting into another fight in less than a week after his Wizard’s Duel with you. It was beautiful. Snape was in rare form. I really wished that I had some popcorn and pumpkin-juice to snack on while watching the performance.”

Harry was quite amused.

“Anyway,” Ginny continued, “after Malfoy and Parkinson were thoroughly deflated, I expected that there would be some sort of punishment involved. But when Professor McGonagall threatened to take Parkinson’s Prefect status away or to at least give her detention, Snape threatened to do the same to me if McGonagall made a big fuss about it. So we ended up calling it a truce. But Malfoy and Parkinson are now on academic probation, so they can’t try to retaliate anytime soon.”

“Oh. So now we are at... er... negative 150 house points?” Harry asked.

“Negative 155,” Ginny giggled. “On Tuesday, I accused Pansy of drinking toilet water in front of Snape. That cost us five house points, but it was totally worth it!”

Harry nodded in agreement. He was feeling tipsy.

“You know,” Ginny said, glancing over at Draco and Pansy. “They’re making me lose my appetite... D’you mind going somewhere else for dinner?”

Harry shook his head.

“Great,” she continued. “Why don’t you go outside and wait for me there? I need to go to the loo to freshen up. Gimme about fifteen minutes.”

Ginny excused herself and walked to the back of the pub. Harry exited the bar and stood outside, waiting for Ginny to arrive.

“Hey, Potter!”

Harry turned around to see Oliver Wood standing in front of him. Harry hadn’t seen Wood since he met him at the campsite of the Quidditch World Cup right before Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. Wood looked really handsome. He was a tall, incredibly sexy, twenty-year-old with a burly, athletic build. His cropped, chocolate brown hair accentuated his piercing hazel eyes and his devastating androgynous facial features. Harry hadn’t remembered Wood looking so attractive in years past.

“Er... Hi... How’s Puddymere? Er... I mean... Puddlemere United.”

Wood smiled at Harry. “Come with me and I’ll tell ya...”

“But I... er... have to wait for Ginny,” Harry said weakly.

Let her wait for you,” Wood replied mischievously.

In one sudden motion, Wood grabbed Harry’s hand and quickly led him around the side of The Three Brooksticks to a secluded area in the back. Harry was now standing against the back of the pub, still completely stunned at the abrupt turn of events, gazing at Wood’s face in the shadows of the overhanging foliage. Harry looked around quickly; they were alone.

“Last year, I moved up within the ranks,” Wood said. “Now I am the main Keeper for Puddlemere United. I have a flat in Puddlemere, but on my off season I rent a flat in Hogsmeade as well.”

“That’s... brilliant,” Harry said nervously, still a bit concerned that they were holding hands. He was feeling light-headed...

“You know, Harry, I’ve been waiting for you to grow up...” Wood pushed himself closer to Harry; they were now less than six inches apart. Wood ran his fingers through Harris messy, raven hair and then delicately brushed his forefinger over Harry’s lightening-shaped scar.

“Very nice. You have beautiful eyes, Harry... It’s funny how times change. Five years ago, I taught you new moves on your Nimbus 2000. Now it looks like I’m the teacher again. I can teach you new moves, Harry...”

“What d’you mean?” Harry croaked.

Wood looked Harry straight in the eye. “You know bloody well what I mean...”

Wood leaned closer to Harry. Harry swallowed hard; he was definitely shaking. He didn’t know whether he wanted to run away screaming or to shag Wood right there. Harry was dizzy; both emotions surged inside him as Wood inched closer. And then Harry saw a familiar face standing in the forest adjacent to the pub.

The light reflected off of his white-blonde hair and pointy facial features. It was Draco Malfoy. He was standing alone watching Harry like a deer caught in the headlights. Now it was time for revenge, Potter-style. Harry shuddered a bit and then looked intently into Wood’s hazel eyes. Wood didn’t notice that Malfoy was there.

“There’s just one thing, Captain,” Harry whispered softly.

Wood cracked a smile. “What’s that, Harry?”

I’m still the Seeker,” Harry cooed.

And then Harry pulled Wood into him and kissed him on the mouth. Harry was immediately engulfed in a surge of emotion more powerful than anything he had ever felt. His body cringed with fear and shame and, at the same time, he felt rejuvenated and ecstatic. Harry felt like the ceramic mug shattering on the floor in Diagon Alley as Wood plunged his tongue deep into Harry’s mouth and ran it along his gumline. The connection was wet, sloppy... incredible! Harry was breathless... alive!

Harry glanced over at Malfoy, who was still watching them kiss. Draco was deathly pale. His cold, grey eyes no longer looked vindictive... they were now horrified... very hurt.

How would Harry face Malfoy in detention on Monday? Could he ever look him in the eyes again? What was Harry doing with Oliver Wood? Was he the kind of bloke that would use Wood to get even with Malfoy?

Harry already knew the answer to that question. His emerald eyes glimmered devilishly as they focused in on Wood. Wood was so overwhelmed by intensity of the kiss that he did not even realize what Harry was doing. The Sorting Hat was right; Harry would have done well in Slytherin. Harry closed his eyes, embraced Wood, and deepened the kiss.


END OF CHAPTER 7


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